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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 2. A Lucky Escape
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The Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 2. A Lucky Escape Post by :johlum Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :2805

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The Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 2. A Lucky Escape


To those who are already acquainted with the Outdoor Girls, no explanations are necessary, but for the benefit of my new readers I will take advantage of this moment to make them better acquainted with the characters and setting of the story.

In the first book of this series, called "The Outdoor Girls of Deepdale," the girls, Betty Nelson, sometimes called the Little Captain, because of her fearless leadership, Mollie Billette, Grace Ford and Amy Blackford, had gone on their famous walking tour, and during their wanderings had solved the mystery of a five-hundred-dollar bill.

The second volume, "The Outdoor Girls at Rainbow Lake," tells of a summer full of interest and adventure during which the horse Grace was riding ran away with her. This misfortune led to the loss of some very valuable papers, with a subsequent strange happening on an island, about which, and the recovery of the papers, you may read, dear reader, if you will.

"The Outdoor Girls in a Motor Car" is the third book of the series. Yes, there really was a house where all sorts of weird sights and sounds might be seen and heard at night if one had the courage to stay around. And you may imagine the consternation of the Outdoor Girls when Mollie was captured by the "ghost."

At the end of a delightful summer, spent in touring the country in Mollie's car, the girls had a wonderful chance to spend the winter in the woods. Needless to say, they took advantage of the opportunity. The fourth book, "The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp," describes the settlement of a certain property dispute, involving Mr. Ford. The happy result was made possible by the good fortune that favors our girls. This volume tells also how Amy was claimed by a brother, of whose existence she was unaware.

Then followed their adventures in Florida during which the girls had succeeded in finding Will Ford, Grace's brother, who had been virtually kidnapped by a villainous labor contractor and had been set to work in a turpentine camp. The fifth volume, entitled "The Outdoor Girls in Florida; or, Wintering in the Sunny South," tells of many other adventures the girls had during their winter among the "orange blossoms," but now it was over, and Deepdale, which they had left covered deep with snow, had begun once more to stir with life beneath the gentle touch of spring.

In the sixth book, "The Outdoor Girls at Ocean View," the girls have many good times and stirring adventures. The discovery of a box, containing veritable riches in diamonds, led to the kidnapping of Betty and Amy and their subsequent rescue.

And now that spring had dipped into summer, and they were again in Deepdale, was this ride of theirs, begun so joyously, about to end in tragedy?

"Frank, Frank!" screamed Grace, "if you don't stop, I'll jump, I will--I will!"

"No, you won't! Sit where you are!" her brother Will commanded sternly. "Sit still, I tell you!"

On, on, they went with ever-increasing speed, while Frank tried desperately to jam the useless brake--but to no effect! The car was like a horse with the bit between its teeth, plunging madly to destruction.

"Oh, oh, _oh_!" screamed Grace, pressing her hands tightly before her eyes. "We're going to be killed, I know it!"

There was a shock, a sound like tearing cloth, the big machine plowed half its length through the big haystack and--stopped!

"Frank, I'm getting smothered; won't you dig me out?" It was Betty's voice, plaintive and half hysterical.

Will and Frank shook the hay from their own eyes and then went to the rescue of the girls. Then they stared at each other. Gradually the look of utter bewilderment faded from their faces and a smile flashed from one to the other like a ray of sunshine.

Then suddenly Mollie laughed. "Oh, you look so funny!" she gasped. "Just when I thought we were all going to be killed----"

"You get disappointed," Frank finished with a rueful smile. "Just the same, it's lucky for us that big haystack was just exactly where it is," he added. "When I hit the rock I sure thought we were all goners."

"Oh, don't," begged Grace, then added, with a shame-faced little smile, "I'm sorry I made such a fuss--I always am ashamed of myself when the danger is over."

"You needn't apologize, Grace," said Betty, quickly. "If there's one time you ought to be excused for making a fuss it's when you think it's going to be your last chance."

That was Betty all over--bright, generous, fun-loving, the acknowledged leader of the girls. Grace was tall, graceful, slender, with a pretty face framed in a wealth of bright hair. She was accustomed to take life more easily than Betty and, although not a coward in the true sense of the word, she was always willing to have the other girls go first. Then there was Mollie, dark eyed and quick tempered, with more than a touch of the French in her, but Betty's equal in bravery. The last of the little quartette was Amy Blackford (formerly called Amy Stonington), who has not yet appeared in this book. Up to a year before she had been surrounded by a mystery which would have held great interest for the girls even had they not loved and admired her for her own good qualities.

Such were the girls who, with Betty's help, were fast recovering their good spirits.

"If we can back the machine out of this haystack," Frank was saying, "I guess we had better start for home."

"But don't you think we had better walk," Grace suggested nervously. "I'm afraid to trust myself to the old thing again."

"Oh, there won't be any danger now," Will assured her. "We can go back by a roundabout route where there aren't any hills to speed us into haystacks. How about it, Frank?"

"You're right! We are not going to take any more chances, I can tell you that." Then, turning to the girl beside him, he added, "How are you feeling, Betty? Awfully shaken up?"

"Not a bit," she assured him, gaily. "Why, after the first shock I really enjoyed it."

"That's the way to talk and I'm mighty glad no one's hurt. Now for home."

After a great number of half starts and sudden stops they succeeded finally in backing the great machine away from the haystack and out on the road again.

"Now remember your promise," cried Grace as they started off. "No more speeding, Frank, and no more hills."

"Right," he sang back, cheerily. "We have had excitement enough for one day. Just watch me."

And, true to his word, after an hour's roundabout trip, they swung quietly into Deepdale, without having encountered further mishap on the way.

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