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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Mammy June's - Chapter 18. The Twins In Trouble
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Six Little Bunkers At Mammy June's - Chapter 18. The Twins In Trouble Post by :louis1899 Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :1428

Click below to download : Six Little Bunkers At Mammy June's - Chapter 18. The Twins In Trouble (Format : PDF)

Six Little Bunkers At Mammy June's - Chapter 18. The Twins In Trouble


Laddie and Vi Bunker felt as though they had been cheated. They had not been allowed to go to the fire, "when Mammy June's cabin had been burned all up," Vi declared. They had only seen the fire from an upper window of the big Armatage house.

"But it wasn't burned _up_, Vi," her twin insisted. "It was burned _down_."

"Russ said it was burned up when he came back from the fire--so now," Violet declared somewhat warmly.

"How can a house burn up? It just fell all to pieces into the cellar."

"There wasn't any cellar to Mammy June's house," Vi observed.

"Well, it fell down; so of course, it burned down."

"The flames went up," repeated Vi, quite as determinedly. "And the wood went with 'em--with the flames and smoke. So the cabin burned up."

What might have been the result of this discussion it would be hard to say had not the twins both felt so keenly their disappointment. Russ had gone to the fire and brought Mammy June out of the cabin and brought her up here to the big house! To tell the truth, Russ was so excited when he got back that in telling of the adventure he gave the younger children to understand that he had done it all himself. Daddy Bunker and Mr. Armatage did not appear much in his story.

"Russ is always doing the big things," sighed Laddie. "It's just like a riddle----"

"What is?" almost snapped Vi, for she was just as disappointed as her twin brother.

"Why, Russ getting the best of everything. Why is it?" muttered Laddie, kicking a pebble before him in the path.

"If that's a riddle, I can't answer it," said Vi.

"It isn't any worse to ask riddles than it is to ask questions--so now."

The twins were not always in accord, of course; but they were seldom so near to a quarrel as upon this morning. Perhaps, for one thing, the day before, they had rather over-done and possibly had over-eaten. They were on the verge of doing something that the Bunker children seldom did--quarreling. Fortunately something suddenly attracted Laddie's attention and he stopped kicking the pebble and pointed down the yard in front of them.

"Oh, Vi! See that cunning thing! What is it?"

Something flashed across a green patch of grass away down by the road. It was red, had small, sharp-pointed ears and nose and a bushy tail. This tail waved quite importantly as the small animal ran.

"Come on!" cried Vi, taking the lead at once. She often did so, for Laddie was slower than she. "Come on! Let's get it, Laddie."

Laddie, nothing loath, ran after his twin sister. They raced down the hill and came to the little gully into which the animal with the bushy tail had disappeared. The end of that gully was the open mouth of a culvert under the road.

"Did he go in there?" Laddie demanded. "Did he go into that hole, Vi?"

"He must have," declared Violet. "It must be his home. It's a burrow."

"But he wasn't a bunny. Bunnies have burrows," objected Laddie.

"I guess other animals can have burrows, too," said his twin. "And he was lots prettier than a rabbit."

"He was that," admitted the excited Laddie. "It wasn't a rabbit, of course. Rabbits aren't red."

"Let's find the other end of the hole," Vi said eagerly. "We'll stop both ends up and then--and then----"

"Well, what then?" her twin demanded.

"Why, we can catch him then," said Vi, rather feebly. "That is, we can if he wants to come out."

"I suppose we can. If he doesn't take too long. Let's," said Laddie, and he ran across the road and looked to see if there was another opening to the culvert.

But as it chanced, this was an old and unused drain, and the farther mouth of it was stopped up. This made the hole a very nice den for the little animal the Bunker twins had seen go into it. But neither Laddie nor Vi had any idea as to what the creature was.

"I'm going to get a stick and poke him out," announced Laddie.

"You can't poke him out when there is no other hole over there," rejoined Vi very sensibly.

"I'll poke him till he comes out then," said Laddie, looking all about but not starting to find a stick.

To tell the truth he was at the end of his resources. He did not know how to get at the little red animal.

"Anyway," he said at last, "maybe he didn't run in here after all."

"He did so, Laddie Bunker!" cried Violet. "I saw him."

This seemed final. Laddie looked all around again, quite puzzled as to what to do next. There was no backing out of a thing when once it was begun--not with Vi Bunker! She always insisted upon going on to the end, no matter what that end might be.

"Well," her twin said at last, "I s'pose I'll have to go in after him."

"How can you?" asked Vi promptly, but excitedly, too.

"I can crawl into that hole----"

"Isn't it too small?"

"Well, I'm not so big," replied Laddie. "I guess I can do it. I'm going to try."

He knelt down before the round mouth of the culvert. It was a piece of drainpipe with a rough rim at the edge of the hole. Laddie poked his head into the hole.

"It's as dark as the inside of your pocket, Vi Bunker," he said, in a muffled voice.

"Shall I run get a candle?" asked his sister.

"No," sighed Laddie; and even his sigh sounded funny from inside the pipe. "If you do they'll want to know what you want it for. And if we are going to catch this--this whatever-it-is, we want to catch it all by ourselves. Wait."

Vi granted that request. She waited, watching Laddie's plump little body wriggling farther and farther into the culvert. His jacket caught several times on the rough rim of the opening. But he persevered.

"Oh!" ejaculated Laddie at last, and his voice seemed a murmur from a great way off.

"I guess you better come back, Laddie," said Vi, getting anxious.

Laddie, if the truth were known, thought so too. For just then he had sighted in the dark two fiery points, like flashing bits of glass or mica. He knew what they were; they were the eyes of the little red animal he had chased into this hole. And Laddie thought that when eyes flashed so brilliantly, their owner must be angry.

"He's going to jump at me!" breathed the little boy to himself.

He began to back out hastily. The bottom of his jacket caught on the rim of the pipe. He was stuck there!

"Pull! Pull me out, Vi Bunker!" he shouted.

But his voice was so muffled that his sister could not understand what he said. It looked as though Laddie was unable to get back the way he had come. And he certainly dared not go on ahead.

For now, to increase his fears, he saw other points of light in the darkness--all in pairs, the eyes of several smaller animals, he was sure! He had self-control enough to count them and found that there were five pairs of eyes altogether.

What should he do about it? Struggle as he might he could not back any farther. And no manner of wriggling was likely to get him out of the hole the way he had come in.

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