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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Bobbsey Twins At The County Fair - Chapter 3. The Merry-Go-Round
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The Bobbsey Twins At The County Fair - Chapter 3. The Merry-Go-Round Post by :Jerret_L_Turner Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :1196

Click below to download : The Bobbsey Twins At The County Fair - Chapter 3. The Merry-Go-Round (Format : PDF)

The Bobbsey Twins At The County Fair - Chapter 3. The Merry-Go-Round

CHAPTER III. THE MERRY-GO-ROUND

Nan, though several years older than Flossie, was at first as much frightened by the cry of "a snake!" as was her little sister. Though Bert had often said only harmless snakes were in the woods around Lakeport, Nan could not help jumping up with a scream and pulling Flossie toward her.

"What's the matter?" asked Freddie, who had taken his sandwich a little distance away to eat.

"A snake! I saw a big snake!" cried Flossie again.

"Where is it?" asked Nan, for, as yet, she had caught no sight of any serpent.

"I--I almost sat on it," explained Flossie, clinging to Nan, and looking down over her shoulder.

Nan glanced toward where her sister had been sitting just before the alarm. She saw no wiggling snake crawling over the ground.

"Are you sure, Flossie?" Nan asked. "Are you sure you saw a snake?"

"Course I did. He almost put his head in my lap."

"Maybe he was hungry and wanted your sandwich," suggested Freddie. As he spoke he stepped forward to look at the place Flossie had pointed to as being the spot where she had seen the snake. And no sooner did Freddie take a step than Flossie cried:

"There it is again! Oh, the snake! The snake! Don't let him get me, Nan!"

Nan, too, saw something round and black moving near the place where Flossie had been sitting, and, fearing for the safety of her sister, the older Bobbsey girl lifted Flossie in her arms.

But no snake glided across the brown pine needles, and there was no hissing sound nor any forked tongue playing rapidly in and out, as Nan had once seen in a little snake Bert and Charlie Mason had caught.

"I don't believe there is a snake," Nan said, as Flossie slipped to the ground. "If there was one it has gone away."

"I'll hit him with a stone!" cried Freddie, turning to look for a rock. And as he moved Flossie cried again:

"There it is! I saw it move! That black thing!"

This time she pointed so carefully that Nan, letting her eye follow along Flossie's finger, saw what the little girl meant. And Nan laughed.

"Why, that isn't a snake!" she cried. "It's only a crooked, black tree branch! It does look a little like a snake, but it isn't really one, Flossie."

"But what made it move?" the little girl asked.

"I think it was Freddie, though he didn't do it on purpose," went on Nan. "Take another step, Freddie, as you did when you were looking for a stone."

Freddie moved a little and then they all saw what it was that had caused Flossie's fright. A long, dead branch of a tree lay on the ground. The larger end of it was close to where Flossie had been sitting with Nan, and this end did look somewhat like a snake, with a mouth and eyes. The middle of the stick was covered with pine needles, and the lower end stuck out beyond the needles and dried leaves close to where Freddie stood.

When the little boy took a step his foot touched the thin end of the branch, and made the thick end, near Flossie, move. Flossie took this for the swaying of a snake's head, and so she had screamed in fright.

"There's your snake--only a tree branch!" laughed Nan, as she lifted the dead limb and held it up.

"Ho! Ho!" laughed Freddie.

"Was that it--for sure?" asked Flossie.

"Of course!" answered Nan. "Come sit down and finish your sandwich. Then we'll play until it's time to eat our regular lunch."

"Well, I'm glad it wasn't a real snake," sighed Flossie, as she took her place with her sister beneath the tree.

"If it had been a real snake I'd 'a' pegged a rock at it!" boasted Freddie.

This was not the only fright at the picnic, for a little girl about Flossie's age cried when she saw a big frog in a pool, and a little boy ran screaming to his mother because a grasshopper perched on his shoulder.

But things like these always happen at picnics, and when the little frights were over even the children themselves laughed at their short-lived terror.

After the ball game Bert and Nan took the smaller Bobbsey twins for a row in a boat. Everything went well except that Freddie, in trying to sail his tiny ship over the side of the rowboat, nearly fell in himself. But Bert caught him just in time and pulled him back.

Then it was time for lunch, and what a good time all the children had, sitting at tables in the little rustic houses, or on the ground, eating from boxes and baskets. The Bobbsey twins, with a group of their friends, sat in a little pavilion by themselves.

Besides the lunch which each child or group of children brought, there was to be ice cream and cake, given by the Sunday school. The big freezers had been arranged in a sort of shed, and the cake and cream treat was to be given after the picnic lunches had been eaten. Just before the time for this part of the program, Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey arrived at the grounds, driving over in the auto, as they had promised to do.

"Well, children, having fun?" asked the father of the Bobbsey twins.

"A dandy time!" exclaimed Bert. "My team won the ball game."

"And I 'most fell out of a boat!" boasted Freddie.

"Pooh! That's nothing! I 'most saw a snake!" exclaimed Flossie.

"A snake!" cried her mother.

"It wasn't real," Nan hastened to add, and Mrs. Bobbsey seemed to breathe easier.

"Well, you have had some excitement as well as fun," observed Mr. Bobbsey.

"Excitement!" cried Bert. "Say, Daddy, you ought to have been there when the truck almost smashed through the bridge!"

"Oh, did that happen?" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey.

"No, but almost," Bert went on.

"Well, it seems to me that everything 'almost' happened," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Flossie _almost saw a snake, Freddie _almost fell overboard and the truck _almost broke the bridge."

"Oh, the bridge really _is broken," Nan said. And she told about that accident. Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey had come to the picnic grounds by another road, and so had not seen the bridge that sagged in the middle.

"Well, all's well that ends well, so they say," remarked Mr. Bobbsey, "and we're glad you are having a good time. Yes, Mr. Blake, what is it?" he asked, for Mr. Blake, had come to where Mr. Bobbsey was talking to the children, and had called aloud.

"Do you want to help the ladies dish out the ice cream?" asked Mr. Blake.

"Surely!" answered the twins' father. "Wait until I take off my coat. Dishing out ice cream is rather messy work."

He removed his coat, hanging it on the limb of a tree near the shed where the ice cream freezers had been placed. Mrs. Bobbsey also offered to help, and when it became known that it was time for the ice cream and cake treat the picnic children began gathering at the rustic shed.

Before the dainties could be served, however, there came from down the road, in the opposite direction from the broken bridge, a low, rumbling sound.

"I hope it isn't going to rain," said Mrs. Morris, as she held a plate of ice cream in one hand.

"What makes you think it is?" Mrs. Bobbsey asked.

"Didn't you hear that thunder? I can't see the sky, on account of the trees, but I'm afraid it's clouding over."

"No, the sun is shining," said the twins' mother.

"But I'm sure that is thunder," went on Mrs. Morris.

There was a rumbling sound down the road, and there seemed to be some excitement there, for a number of children who had started toward the ice cream pavilion turned back.

"I wonder what it is," mused Mrs. Bobbsey. "I hope no 'almost' accidents are going to happen."

"I'll go see what it is," offered Bert.

He ran down the road, was gone a little while, and came back, his eyes shining with eagerness.

"Oh, it's a big merry-go-round!" he cried.

"A merry-go-round?" repeated his mother, busy at the ice cream.

"Yes, a man has a big merry-go-round in pieces on three or four big wagons," Bert reported. "Something's the matter with the engine--it runs by a steam engine, and something's the matter!"

"Bert, go call your father," said Mrs. Bobbsey, for her husband had gone to the far side of the grove to get another ice cream tub from the truck on which they were brought to the picnic. "We don't want any strange men setting up a merry-go-round here. Call your father!"

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CHAPTER II. "THERE'S A SNAKE!"With the first cries of alarm, Bert Bobbsey had jumped to his feet, one arm had gone out toward his sister Nan, and the other toward Flossie and Freddie. But no boy has arms long enough to reach for three relatives at once, especially when two of them, as Flossie and Freddie happened to be, were some distance away. Bert did, however, manage to put one arm around Nan, and he pulled her toward him, though just why he hardly knew. As he did so there was a frightened movement on the part of all the other
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