The Bobbsey Twins in a Great City by Laura Lee Hope
Chapter VI. On to New York
"Are we going?" cried Flossie, when she heard that the family was about to make some sort of a journey.
"And can we take the ice-boat?" Freddie asked eagerly.
"Yes, of course you're going," said Mrs. Bobbsey.
"But no ice-boat," added Bert. "There's no chance to sail one in New York City--and if there was we wouldn't have time."
"Oh, are we going to New York?" cried Flossie.
"Yes," her father nodded.
"Then I'm going to take my fire engine!" cried Freddie. "They have fires in New York, don't they, Daddy?"
"Plenty of them, I think. And they have big engines there to put them out--larger ones than we have in Lakeport. But now let's get quiet so I can tell Mother and you the news."
Then, with the smaller twins cuddled up on his lap and Bert and Nan seated near their mother, Mr. Bobbsey told the news. He was going to start a new business, from which he hoped to make a great deal of money, and he had to go to New York to see about it. The trip would take the best part of a day from Lakeport, and Mr. Bobbsey would have to stay in the big city several weeks.
He had long promised his wife that when the time came to go to New York he would take her and the whole family with him, and that time had now come.
"When can we start?" Flossie inquired.
"To-night?" asked Freddie eagerly.
"Oh, indeed not!" laughed his mother. "It will take at least a week to get ready, and perhaps longer. You children have to have some new clothes, and Daddy has to look after his business here. I think we will close this house, and Dinah and Sam can visit their friends."
"What about Snap and Snoop?" asked Flossie.
"Oh, let's take them!" begged Freddie.
"It would be no fun going to New York with pet cats and dogs," said Bert. "They'd only be in the way or get lost."
"I wouldn't want either one of 'em to get lost," put in Flossie.
"Then we'll leave them with Dinah," said Mother Bobbsey, glad that that part was over. Every time they went away it was always hard to get the younger twins to consent to leave Snoop and Snap at Home.
"It will be great, going to New York!" cried Bert. "I want to see some of the flying machines I've read about."
"And I want to see some of the lovely stylish dresses the girls wear as they ride on Fifth Avenue," declared Nan. "Mother, do you think I could have a real dress from New York?" she asked in a whisper. "Not one that's too stylish, of course, but so I could say it came from New York."
"I guess so," and Mrs. Bobbsey smiled. "But let's hear what Flossie and Freddie most want to see in New York," and she looked at the two small twins.
Flossie and Freddie thought for a moment, and then the blue-eyed boy, shaking his flaxen curls, cried:
"I want to see a big fire, and watch the firemen put it out. But I hope nobody gets hurt!"
"That last part is good, anyhow," said Mr. Bobbsey. "And how about my little fat fairy?" and he playfully pinched Flossie's plump leg. "What do you want to see?"
Flossie did not answer at once, but when she did she cried:
"A monkey?" repeated her father.
"Yes, the monkeys in the park. I read about them, and how they do such funny tricks their cages. That's what I want to see--the monkeys in the park."
"Oh, so do I!" cried Freddie. "Can I see the monkeys and a fire too?"
"Well, I guess so," answered his father. "But we will hope no big fires will occur while we are in New York. As for monkeys, I guess there will be plenty of them in the park."
The children were so excited, thinking about the trip to the great city of New York, they could hardly sleep that night, even though they stayed up later than usual.
And the next day a busy time began. Mrs. Bobbsey had to see to getting ready the clothes for herself and the children. At this Nan helped some, but Flossie and Freddie could not, for they were too small. Bert ran on a number of errands for his father, before and after school, for the children had their lessons to do even while getting ready for the trip.
Of course they could not go to school in New York very well, but Mr. Bobbsey arranged with the teachers in Lakeport that the twins could make up, when they came back, any lessons they should miss. And as Nan and Bert were ahead of their class, and as Flossie and Freddie were only in the "baby" grade, where they did not have hard lessons, as yet, staying from school would do not great harm to any of them.
But at last all was ready for the start. The trunks and valises had been packed, the children had said good-bye to their many friends and playmates, Dinah and Sam had gone away and the dog and cat had been sent to board near the cook's home until the Bobbseys should come back.
Mr. Bobbsey had left his business with his partner to look after, and Bert had said Tommy Todd could sail the ice-boat as much as he pleased while Bert was in New York.
"Well, I guess we're ready to start," said Mr. Bobbsey, when the house had been locked and the big automobile that was to take them to the station was puffing out in front. "All aboard!"
"This isn't the train, Daddy!" laughed Nan.
"No, but we'll soon be there," her father answered, "Come along."
Into the automobile they piled, parents, twins, baggage and all, and off they started. On the way to the depot Flossie cried:
"Oh, there's Uncle Jack!" and the sled of the woodchopper was seen moving slowly down the village street, with a load of logs piled high on it.
"Poor old man," murmured Mrs. Bobbsey, "Did you see if you could help him in any way?" she asked her husband.
"Yes, I have arranged it so that Uncle Jack will have plenty of food this Winter. He can keep warm, for he has a stove and can cut all the wood he wants. I sent our doctor to see him. But Dr. Haydon thinks Uncle Jack should go to a hospital."
"Then why don't you send him? He was so good to the children----"
"I know he was, but he won't go to the hospital. He says he knows it costs money and he won't let me spend any on him. But when I come back from New York I'll see what I can do. I think he'll be all right for a while, poor old man."
Uncle Jack, sitting on top of his load of wood, saw the children in the automobile and waved to them. The Bobbsey twins waved back.
"We must bring him something from New York," said Freddie.
"We could get him a little toy chick, and then he wouldn't be lonesome. Maybe he'd like that," added Flossie.
Little did the two small Bobbsey twins think what they would help to bring back from New York for the poor, old woodchopper.
The train for New York was on time, and soon the twins, each pair in one seat, with Father and Mother Bobbsey behind them, were looking out of the car windows, happy and joyous as they started on their journey.
They were on their way to the great city of New York.
I shall not tell you all that happened on the trip. It was not really much, for by this time the twins had traveled so often that a railroad train was an old story to them. But they never tired of looking out of the windows.
On and on clicked the train, rushing through the snow-covered country, now passing some small village, and again hurrying through a city.
Now and then the car would rattle through some big piece of woods, and then Flossie and Freddie would remember how they were tossed out of the ice-boat, and how they had been so kindly cared for by Uncle Jack in his lonely log cabin.
It was late in the afternoon when, after a change of cars, the Bobbsey family got aboard a Pennsylvania railroad train that took them over the New Jersey meadows. They crossed two rivers and then Flossie and Freddie, who were eagerly looking out of the windows, suddenly found themselves in darkness.
"Oh, another tunnel!" cried Freddie.
"Is it, Daddy?" asked Flossie.
"Yes, it's a big tunnel under the Hudson River. In a little while you will be in New York."
And not long afterward the train came to a stop. The children found themselves down in a sort of big hole in the ground, for the Pennsylvania trains come into the great Thirty-third Street station far below the street.
Up the steps walked the Bobbsey family, red-capped porters carrying their hand-baggage, and, a little later, Flossie, Freddie and the others stood under the roof of the great station in New York. They were in the big city, and many things were to happen to them before they saw Lakeport again.