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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 24. A Mysterious Enemy
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Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 24. A Mysterious Enemy Post by :kenboy Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :2738

Click below to download : Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 24. A Mysterious Enemy (Format : PDF)

Six Little Bunkers At Cousin Tom's - Chapter 24. A Mysterious Enemy

CHAPTER XXIV. A MYSTERIOUS ENEMY

"Here's a good place to make the fort," said Russ as he and Laddie reached the beach not far from Cousin Tom's bungalow and looked about them. "We'll build the fort right here, Laddie, near this hill of sand."

"What's the hill for?"

"That's where we can put our flag. They always put a flag on a hill where everybody can see it."

"But we haven't a flag. Where are we going to get one?"

"Say, you ask almost as many questions as Vi," exclaimed Russ. "We'll _make a flag!"

"How?"

"Out of a handkerchief. You've a handkerchief and so have I. One is enough for both of us and we can take the other and make a flag of it."

"But that'll be a white flag, Russ, and soldiers don't ever have a white flag lessen they give up and surrender. We didn't surrender, 'cause we haven't even got our fort built. We don't want a white flag."

"Oh, well, I didn't mean to have a white flag. That's just the start. We'll take a white handkerchief for a flag and we can make it red and blue."

"How?" Laddie certainly was asking questions.

"Well, Cousin Tom has some red and blue pencils. I saw 'em on his desk the other night. He marks his papers with 'em. You go and ask Cousin Ruth if we can't take a red and a blue pencil and then I'll show you how to make a red, white and blue flag out of a handkerchief."

"You won't make the fort till I come back, will you?"

"No, I'll only start it. Now you go and get the pencils."

Laddie ran back to the bungalow and Cousin Ruth let him have what he wanted. He promised not to lose the pencils, and soon he was helping Russ mark red stripes and blue stars on Laddie's white handkerchief. They did make something that looked like our flag, and then, finding a long piece of driftwood to use as a flag-pole they planted it on top of the hill.

Making a fort in the damp sand at the seashore is very easy. It is even easier than making one of snow, for you don't have to wait for the snow to fall and often after it has snowed the flakes are so cold and dry that they will not pack and hold together. But you can always find damp sand at the seashore. Even though it is dry on top if you dig down a little way you will find it moist. Now, on account of the rain, the sand was wet all over and was just fine for making forts.

Russ and Laddie had some toy shovels their mother had bought for them. The shovels had long handles and were larger than the kind children usually play with at the shore, so the boys could dig faster with them.

"How do you make a fort?" asked Laddie.

"Well," explained Russ, "you dig a sort of hole and you pile the sand up in front of you in a sort of half ring and then you can lie down behind it and if anybody throws bullets at you they won't hit you."

"Do you have a roof to your fort?"

"No! Course forts don't ever have a roof."

"Then you get wet when it rains."

"Yes, but a soldier doesn't ever mind rain. All he minds is bullets, and they can't hit him in the fort."

"Supposin' they come over the top where there isn't a roof?"

"I don't guess they'll come that way," said Russ. "Anyhow, you mustn't throw any that way."

"Oh! am I going to throw the bullets?"

"Yes," Russ replied, "We'll take turns being in the fort. After we get it made I'll be captain of it and you must come up and try to take it away. You must shoot bullets at me."

"Real ones?"

"No, course not! Make 'em of paper. Then they won't hurt. After a while I'll take down the flag--that means I surrender--and you can be in the fort and I'll fire bullets at you."

"That'll be fun!" exclaimed Laddie.

"Lots of fun!" agreed Russ.

So they dug in the sand with their shovels, piling it up in front of them in a long ridge shaped like a half circle. The ridge of sand which was to be the outer wall of the fort was in front of the hill over which floated the red, white and blue handkerchief flag. Between the hill and the outer wall of the fort was a hole which was made as Laddie and Russ tossed out the sand.

"I'll sit down in this hole," Russ explained, "and then it will be all the harder for you to hit me with the paper bullets."

The boys fairly made the sand fly as they dug with their shovels, and soon they had quite a high ridge of it half way around the little hill with the flag on top. There was also quite a hole for Russ to stand in and throw paper bullets back at Laddie.

"Now I guess we can have the battle," said Russ. "You get a lot of paper, Laddie, and roll it up into bullets."

"And I'll make some big ones!" exclaimed the little fellow.

"We can call the big bullets cannon balls," said Russ, and Laddie agreed to this. "I'll help you make the bullets," Russ offered.

There were plenty of old papers at the bungalow, and soon Russ and Laddie were tearing them up on the beach near their fort and wadding and rolling them up into "bullets" and "cannon balls."

"I guess we have enough," said Russ at last. "Come on now, we'll have a battle."

"Are Rose and Vi going to play?" asked Laddie.

"Nope! Girls never can be in a battle. They can be Red Cross nurses if they want to. But we won't call 'em until after the fight. They'd only holler like anything."

Rose and Violet were up in the bungalow playing jackstones, while Margy and Mun Bun had gone for a walk with their mother. So Russ and Laddie had the beach to themselves to play on.

Russ got inside the fort and crouched down in the hole he had dug. Laddie took up his position not far away, a little distance down the beach, having with him a pile of paper wads that he was to throw at his brother.

"Are you ready?" asked Laddie.

"All ready!" answered Russ. "Go ahead and fire!"

"Bang! Bang!" shouted Laddie, making believe he was shooting off a gun. The boys often played this game so they knew just how to do it. "Bang! Bang!"

Then Laddie began throwing large and small wads of paper at the sand fort behind which crouched Russ. And Russ threw wads of paper at his smaller brother.

The sand walls of the fort kept Russ from being "shot" in the battle. Laddie's "bullets" and "cannon balls" hit the sand walls of the fort more often than they struck his brother and Russ only laughed at them, at the same time he was pelting Laddie.

"Oh, say! this is no fun," complained the smaller boy after a bit. "I'm getting hit all the while and you don't get any at all."

"I do so! I got hit twice!"

"Well, that was when I threw cannon balls up in the air and they came down on your head like rain."

"Well, you shoot me a few more times and then I'll let you come into the fort," agreed Russ. "I'll pull down the flag and surrender. Go on, shoot me some more!"

So Laddie got together more paper "bullets" and "cannon balls" and threw them at his brother. But hardly any of them hit Russ. The fort was a good protection and with the flag floating from the top of the hill made a fine place for him to stay.

"This is the last time I'm going to shoot!" cried Laddie, and he took good aim with a large wad of paper which he called a "double cannon ball."

He threw it at Russ and then, from some point back of the fort another "cannon ball" came sailing into it, flying off and hitting Laddie's brother.

"Ouch! Quit that!" cried Russ. "'Tisn't fair throwing sand! A lot of it went down my neck."

"I didn't throw sand!" said Laddie.

"Yes, you did, too! That last cannon ball you threw had a lot of sand wrapped up in it."

"No, I didn't," cried Laddie.

"Don't you think I know!" shouted Russ, scrambling up out of the hole behind his fort. "Can't I feel it?"

Just then another paper "cannon ball" sailed into the fort from a sand hill back of it and it fell at the feet of Russ and burst, letting out a pile of sand.

"There!" cried Russ. "What'd I tell you?"

"But I didn't throw it!" said Laddie. "You looked right at me and I didn't throw it."

"No, you didn't," admitted Russ. "It came from in back of me. I wonder who's throwing sand cannon balls at us."

And then came another which hit Laddie, sending a shower of the gritty grains down his back.

"Hi! Quit that!" cried Russ. He and Laddie looked all around, but they could see no one. A mysterious enemy was shooting at them.

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