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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 22. The Upset Boat
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Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 22. The Upset Boat Post by :kenboy Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :702

Click below to download : Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 22. The Upset Boat (Format : PDF)

Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 22. The Upset Boat

CHAPTER XXII. THE UPSET BOAT

Cousin Tom had said he was not going to wait for a hammer to open the box, and he was as good as his word. When he had carried the box well up on the beach, out of reach of even the highest waves, he looked about for a piece of driftwood that he could use in knocking the cover off the case. And while he was thus searching, Daddy Bunker, Russ and Laddie examined the box.

"It looks just like the same one," said Russ.

"I'm positive it is," added his father. "I remember the size and shape of the other box and this is just the same. And there were two funny marks in the wood on top, and this has the same marks."

"There was a piece of paper tacked on the other box," said Russ. "That isn't here now."

"That was soaked off in the water and washed away," said his father. "But you can still see the four tacks, one for each corner of the card. I suppose that had some address on but it was washed off by the salt water."

"What made the box come back to us?" asked Laddie, as Cousin Tom came walking along with a heavy stick he was going to use as a hammer to open the case.

"Well, no one knows what the sea is going to do," replied Daddy Bunker. "It washes up queer things and takes them away again. I suppose this has been floating around for some time--ever since it was washed away from us the time we thought we so surely had it."

"It may have been washed up on the beach in some lonely spot a little while after we last saw it," said Cousin Tom. "And it may have been there ever since until the last high tide, when it was washed away again and then I happened to spy it just now. But it will not get away again until we open it."

Using the piece of heavy driftwood he had picked up as a hammer, Cousin Tom soon broke the top of the box that had drifted ashore. He pulled back the splintered pieces and eagerly they all looked inside. The box was about two feet long and the same in height and width, and all Laddie and Russ could see at first was what seemed to be some heavy paper.

(Illustration: COUSIN TOM BROKE OPEN THE BOX WITH A PIECE OF DRIFTWOOD _Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's._--_Page 210_)

"Is that all that's in it?" cried Russ.

"Wait and see," advised his father. "There may be something under the paper."

Cousin Tom put his hand in and raised the covering. Some bright colors were seen and then what appeared to be a lot of pieces of cloth.

"A lot of dresses!" exclaimed Russ in disappointed tones. "That's all!"

"But here is something inside the dresses," said his father with a smile.

"Something in the dresses?"

"Yes. Unless I am very much mistaken there are Japanese dolls in this box--maybe half a dozen of them--and it is their gaily colored dresses which you see. Isn't that it, Cousin Tom?"

"You are right, Daddy Bunker! There they are! Japanese dolls!" and Cousin Tom pulled out one about two feet long and held it up in front of the two boys.

"Dolls!" gasped Laddie.

"Japanese dolls!" added his brother.

"A little spoiled by the salt water, but still pretty good," said Cousin Tom, as he pulled another doll out of the box. "They were wrapped in oiled silk and the box is lined with a sort of water-proof cloth, so they didn't get as wet as they might otherwise. Some of the dresses are a bit stained, and I see that the black-haired wig of one of the dolls has melted off. But we can glue that on again. Well, that's quite a find--six nice, large Japanese dolls," laughed Cousin Tom.

"They aren't any good for us!" exclaimed Russ. "I was thinking maybe there'd be a toy steam engine in the box."

"If there had been it would have been spoiled by the sea water," said Cousin Tom with a smile. "Dolls are about the best thing that could be in the box. They are light and wouldn't sink. And, being so well wrapped up, they didn't get very wet. We can take them home to Rose and Mun Bun and Margy and----"

"Oh, there'll be one for Violet!" cried Russ. "Now I can give her back a doll for the one that sunk when my boat upset! Save the nicest doll for Violet!"

"Yes, I think that would be no more than fair," said Daddy Bunker. "The sea took Violet's doll and the sea gives her back another. How many dolls did you say there were, Cousin Tom?"

"Six. One for each of the six little Bunkers."

"Pooh! I don't want a doll!" exclaimed Russ. "I'm too big!"

"So'm I!" added Laddie.

"Very well. And as there are six dolls and only four who will want them, that will leave two over, so if Rose or Violet or Mun Bun loses a doll we'll have two extra ones. Only I hope they won't lose anything more while we're here," and Daddy Bunker smiled.

"Where do you suppose the dolls came from?" asked Russ as Cousin Tom packed them back in the box so the case could be carried to the bungalow.

"It's hard to say," was the answer. "As the tag on the box has been washed off we don't know to whom the dolls belonged. They may have gotten in a load of refuse from New York by mistake, from one of the big stores, and been dumped into the sea, or they may have been lost off some vessel in a storm. Or there may even have been a wreck.

"Anyhow the box of dolls, well wrapped up from the water, has been floating around for some time, I should say. It came to us once but we lost it. Then we had another chance at it and we didn't lose it. Now we'll take the dolls home and see what Rose, Violet and the others have to say about them."

It was a jolly home-going, even though no fish had been caught. Long before they were at the bungalow but within sight of it Laddie and Russ cried:

"Look what we got!"

"We found the box again!"

Rose, Violet, Margy and Mun Bun came running out to see what it all meant.

"Did you find my gold locket?" asked Rose eagerly.

"No, my dear, we didn't find that," her father answered.

"Did you get my doll back from the bottom of the ocean?" Violet called.

"Well, we pretty nearly did," answered Russ. "Anyhow, we got you one I guess maybe you'll like as well."

Cousin Tom gave Russ one of the Japanese dolls from the box and, with it in his arms, Russ ran toward his little sister.

"Look! Here it is!" he cried.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" gasped Violet, hardly able to believe her eyes. "Oh, what a lovely, lovely doll!"

A disappointed look came over the face of Rose, but it changed to one of joy when her father took out another doll and gave it to her. Then Mun Bun set up a cry:

"I want one!"

"So do I!" echoed Margy.

"There is one for each of you," laughed Cousin Tom, as he took out two more dolls.

"And two left over!" added Russ.

"Oh, where did you get them?" asked Rose. "Oh, I just love mine!" and she hugged it to her closely.

"My doll's wet!" exclaimed Mun Bun, as he saw the damp dress on his plaything.

"Mine is, too," said Violet. "But all dolls have to be wet when they come out of the ocean, don't they, Daddy?"

"Yes, I suppose so. And that is where these dolls came from--right out of the ocean."

Then the children were told how the queer box had been found again floating near the beach and how Cousin Tom had waded out in his high rubber boots and brought it to shore.

Mother Bunker and Cousin Ruth came out to see the find and they, too, thought the dolls were wonderful.

"And we saw a fish that could walk," added Laddie when the dolls had been looked at again and again.

Then he and Russ told about the queer-looking skate.

The doll with the wig of black hair that had been soaked off was laid aside to be mended, as was the one the dress of which was badly stained by sea water. But the other dolls were almost as good as new. And, in fact, Rose and Violet would rather have had them than new dolls right out of the store, because there was such a queer story connected with them.

"I wonder if they came right from Japan," mused Rose as she made believe put her doll to sleep.

"We can pretend so, anyhow," said Violet. "I'm not going to cry about my other doll that was drowned now, 'cause I got this one. She's the nicest one I ever had."

"Mine, too," added Rose.

I might say that the six little Bunkers never found out where the dolls came from. But most likely they had fallen off some ship and the oiled silk and other wrappings kept them in good shape until the box was washed up on the beach the second time.

"Well, if the seashore is a bad place to lose things on account of so much sand it is also a good place to find things," said Mother Bunker that night when the six little Bunkers had been put to bed and the dolls were also "asleep."

"I'm glad you like it here," said Cousin Ruth. "But I am sorry that Rose lost her locket."

"Well, it couldn't be helped," said the little girl's mother. "I did have hopes that we would find it soon after she lost it. But now I have given up."

"Yes," agreed her husband. "The locket is gone forever."

But I have still a secret to tell you about that.

A few days after the finding of the dolls all six of the little Bunkers were playing down on the beach. Four of them had the Japanese dolls, but Russ and Laddie did not.

Laddie was digging a hole in the sand and trying to think of a new riddle, and Violet had just finished asking Russ a lot of questions when, all of a sudden, George Carr, the little boy whose dog had been bitten by the Sallie Growler, came running around a group of sand dunes, crying:

"Oh, the boat's upset! The boat's upset, and all the men are spilled out! And the fish, too! Come and see the upset boat!"

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