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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 1. Sammie's Story
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Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 1. Sammie's Story Post by :MLM_Gorilla Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :2682

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Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 1. Sammie's Story

CHAPTER I. SAMMIE'S STORY

They were playing on the lawn of Aunt Jo's house--the little Bunkers, six of them. You could count them, if you wanted to, but it was rather hard work, as they ran about so--like chickens, Mrs. Bunker was wont to say--that it was hard to keep track of them. So you might take my word for it, now, that there were six of them, and count them afterward, if you care to.

"Come on!" cried the eldest Bunker--Russ, who was eight years old. "Come on, Rose, let's have some fun."

"What'll we do?" asked Rose, Russ' sister, who was about a year younger. "I'm not going to roll on the grass, 'cause I've got a clean dress on, and mother said I wasn't to spoil it."

"Pooh! Clean grass like Aunt Jo's won't spoil any dress," said Russ. "Anyhow, I'm not going to roll much more. Let's get the pipes and see who can blow the biggest soap bubbles."

"Oh, I want to do that!" cried Vi, or Violet, who was, you might say, the third little Bunker, being the third oldest, except Laddie, of course. "What makes so many colors come in soap bubbles when you blow them?" she asked.

"The soap," answered Russ, getting up after a roll on the grass, and brushing his clothes. "It's the soap that does it."

"But soap isn't that color when we wash ourselves with it," went on Vi. "And what makes bubbles burst when you blow 'em too big?"

"I don't know," answered Russ. Like many an older person, he did not try to answer all Vi's questions. She asked too many of them.

"Let's blow the bubbles," suggested Rose. "Then maybe we can see what makes 'em burst!"

"Come on, Margy and Mun Bun!" called Vi to two other and smaller Bunkers, a little boy and girl who were digging little holes in a sandy place in the yard of Aunt Jo's home. "Come on; we're going to blow bubbles!"

These two little Bunkers left their play and hastened to join the others. At the same time a boy with curly hair and gray eyes, who was Violet's twin, dropped some pieces of wood, which he had been trying to make into some sort of toy, and came running along the path.

"I want to blow some bubbles, too!" he said.

"We'll all blow them!" called Rose, who had a sort of "little mother" air about her when the smaller children were with her. "We'll have a soap-bubble party!"

"Shall we have things to eat?" asked Mun Bun.

"'Course we will," cried Margy, the little girl who had been playing with him in the sand. "We always has good things to eat at parties; don't we, Rose?"

"Well, maybe we can get some cookies from Aunt Jo," said Rose. "You can run and ask her."

Off started Margy, eager to get the good things to eat. It would not seem like a party, even with soap bubbles, unless there were things to eat! All the six little Bunkers felt this.

While Margy was running along the walk that led to the kitchen, where Aunt Jo's good-natured cook might be expected to hand out cookies and cakes, another little Bunker, who was walking beside Violet, the one who had been trying to make something out of pieces of wood, called out:

"Nobody can guess what I have in my mouth!"

"Is that a riddle, Laddie?" asked Russ. For Laddie was the name of the gray-eyed and curly-haired boy, and he was very fond of asking puzzle-questions. "Is it a riddle?" Russ repeated.

"Sort of," admitted Laddie. "Who can guess what I have in my mouth?"

"Oh, it's candy!" cried Violet, as she saw one of her brother's cheeks puffed out. "It's candy! Give me some, Laddie!"

"Nope. 'Tisn't candy!" he cried. "You must guess again!"

Nothing pleased Laddie more than to make his brothers and sisters guess his riddles.

"Is it a piece of cake?" asked Mun Bun.

"Nope!"

"Then 'tis so candy!" insisted Violet. And then, seeing her mother coming down the side porch, she cried: "Mother, make Laddie give me some of his candy! He's got a big piece in his mouth, and he won't give me any!"

"I haven't any candy!" declared Laddie. "I only asked her if she could guess what I had."

"'Tis so candy!" insisted Violet again.

"No, 'tisn't!" disputed Laddie.

"Children! Children!" said Mrs. Bunker softly. "I don't like my six little toadikins to talk this way. Where's Margy?" she asked as she "counted noses," which she called looking about to see if all six of the children were present.

"Margy's gone to get some cakes, 'cause we're going to have a soap-bubble party," explained Russ.

"What makes so many pretty colors come in the bubbles, Mother?" asked Violet.

"It is the light shining through, just as the sun shines through the water in the sky after the rain, making the rainbow."

"Oh," said Violet. She didn't understand very well about it, but her question had been answered, anyhow. "And now what's Laddie got in his mouth?" she went on. "Make him give me some, Mother!"

"I can't, 'cause it's only my tongue, and I can't take it out!" laughed Laddie, and he showed how he had thrust his tongue to one side, bulging out his cheek, so it really did look as though he had a piece of candy in his mouth.

"That's the time I fooled you with a riddle!" he said to Violet. "It was only my tongue!"

"I don't care! When I get some real candy I won't give you any!" cried Violet.

"Here comes Margy with the cakes!" exclaimed Rose. "Now we'll have the soap-bubble party."

"But don't get any soap on your cake, or it won't taste nice," warned Mother Bunker. "Now play nicely. Has the postman been past yet?"

"Not yet, Mother," answered Russ. "Do you think he is going to bring you a letter?"

"He may, yes."

"Will it be a letter asking us to come some other place to have a good time for the rest of the summer?" Rose wanted to know. For the six little Bunkers were paying a visit to Aunt Jo in Boston, and expected to leave shortly.

"I don't know just what kind of letter I shall get," said Mrs. Bunker with a smile, "but I hope it will be a nice one. Now have your party, and see who can blow the largest bubbles."

"Let's eat our cake and cookies first," said Russ. "Then we can't get any soap on 'em."

"Why not?" asked Violet, who seemed especially fond of asking questions this day.

"'Cause they'll be inside us--I mean the cookies will," explained Russ.

"Oh, that would make a good riddle!" exclaimed Laddie. "I'm going to make up one about that."

The children went out to the garage, where there was a room in which they often played. There they ate their cookies and cakes, and then Russ and Rose made some bowls of soapy water, and with clay pipes, which the little Bunkers had bought for their play, they began to blow bubbles. They made large and small ones, and nearly all of them had the pretty colors that Violet had asked about.

They took one of the robes from Aunt Jo's automobile, and, spreading this out on the grass, they blew bubbles and let them fall on the cloth. The bubbles bounced up, sometimes making several bounds before they burst.

"Oh, this is lots of fun!" cried Laddie. "It's more fun than making riddles."

"I wondered why you hadn't asked one," said Russ with a laugh. "Oh!" he suddenly exclaimed, for he had happened to laugh just as he was blowing a big bubble, and it burst, scattering a little fine spray of soapy water in his face.

Margy giggled delightedly.

"I like this!" said Mun Bun, as he put his pipe down into the bowl of water and blew a big string of little bubbles.

Just then a voice called:

"Hey, Russ! Where are you?"

"Back here! Come on!" answered Russ, laying aside his pipe.

"Who is it?" asked Rose.

"It's Sammie Brown, the boy we met the other day when we went to Nantasket Beach," Russ explained. "He lives about two blocks from here, and I told him to come over and see us. Here he is now!" and he pointed to a boy, about his own age, who was coming up the walk.

"Hello, Sammie!" greeted Russ. "Want to blow bubbles?"

"Yes," was the answer, and a pipe was found for Sammie. He seemed to know how to use it, for he blew bubbles bigger than any one else.

"What's inside the bubbles?" asked Violet, who simply had to ask another question. "Is it water?"

"No, it's air," said Sammie. "If you could blow a bubble big enough to get inside of you could breathe the air, just like outside. Only when it was all breathed up you'd have to get more."

"Would you, really?" asked Rose.

"Sure," Sammie answered.

"How do you know?" Violet questioned.

"'Cause my father's a sea captain, and he takes divers out on his boat and they go down after things that sink. The divers have air pumped to them, and they wear a big thing on their heads like a soap bubble, only it's called a helmet. This is pumped full of air for the diver to breathe."

"Oh, tell us about it!" begged Laddie, laying aside his pipe.

"Did your father ever go down like a diver?" asked Russ.

"Yes, once or twice. But now he just helps the other men go down. He's been a sea captain all his life, and once he was shipwrecked."

"What's shipwrecked?" asked Margy.

"It's when your ship hits a rock, or runs on a desert island and sinks," said Sammie. "Then you have to get off if you don't want to be drowned. And once my father was shipwrecked on a desert island that way, and they found a lot of gold."

"They did?" cried Russ.

"Sure! I've heard him tell about it lots of times."

"Oh, is it a story?" asked Rose.

"No, it's real," said Sammie.

"Tell us about it," demanded Laddie.

"Well, I don't 'member much about it," Sammie said. "But if you come over to my house, my father'll tell you about it. Only he isn't home now 'cause he's got some divers down in the harbor and they're going to raise up a ship that's sunk."

"Couldn't you tell us a little about it?" asked Russ. "Did your father dig gold on the desert island?"

"Yes, he dug a lot of it," said Sammie. "He's got one piece at home now. It's yellow, just like a five-dollar gold piece."

"Where was the island?" asked Violet.

"Maybe we can go there," suggested Laddie. "That is, if it isn't too far."

"Oh, it's terrible far," said Sammie. "It's half-way around the world."

"That's too far," said Russ with a sigh.

"Maybe we could dig for gold here," suggested Rose. "There's nice sand in one part of Aunt Jo's garden, and I guess she'd let us dig for gold. We could give her some if we found any."

"I don't guess there's any gold here," said Sammie, looking the place over. "This isn't a desert island."

"We could pretend it was," said Laddie. "Let's do that! I'll go for a shovel."

He ran to where the garden tools were kept, but, on the way, he heard the postman's whistle and stopped to get the mail. This he carried to his mother, and, when she saw one letter, she cried:

"Oh, this is from Cousin Tom! I hope it has good news in it!"

Quickly she read it, while Laddie wondered what the good news was about. Then Mrs. Bunker said:

"Oh, Laddie! We're going on another nice trip! Cousin Tom has invited us all down to his seashore cottage! Won't that be fine? We must soon get ready to leave Aunt Jo's and go to Cousin Tom's!"

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