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| Home | Reading Room The Bobbsey Twins at School

The Bobbsey Twins at School
by Laura Lee Hope

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"PAPA, do you think a tiger would come in here?" asked Freddie,

remembering all the stories of wild animals he had heard in his four


"Or a lion?" asked Flossie.

"Of course not!" exclaimed Nan. "Can't you see that all the wild

animals are still in their cages?"

"Maybe some of 'em are loose," suggested Freddie, and he almost hoped

so, as long as his father was there to protect him.

"I guess the circus men can look after them," said Bert. "May I get

off, father, and look around?"

"I'd rather you wouldn't, son. You can't tell what may happen."

"Oh, look at that man after the monkey!" cried Nan.

"Yes, and the monkey's gone up on top of the tiger's cage," added Bert.

"Say, this is as good as a circus, anyhow!"

Some of the big, flaring lights, used in the tents at night, had been

set going so the circus and railroad men could see to work, and this

glare gave the Bobbseys and other passengers on the train a chance to

see what was going on.

"There's a big elephant!" cried Freddie. "See him push the lion's cage

around. Elephants are awful strong!"

"They couldn't push a railroad train," said Flossie.

"They could too!" cried her little brother, quickly.

"They could not. Could they, papa?"

"What?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, absentmindedly.

"Could an elephant push a railroad train?" asked Flossie.

"I know they could," declared Freddie. "Couldn't they, papa?"

"Now, children, don't argue. Look out of the windows," adivsed their


And while the circus men are trying to catch the escaped animals I will

tell you something more about the Bobbseys, and about the other books,

before this one, relating to their doings.

Mr. Richard Bobbsey, and his wife Mary, the parents of the Bobbsey

twins, lived in an Eastern city called Lakeport, on Lake Metoka. Mr.

Bobbsey was in the lumber business, and the yard, with its great piles

of logs and boards, was near the lake, on which the twins often went in

boats. There was also a river running into the lake, not far from the

saw mill.

Their house was about a quarter of a mile away from the lumber yard, on

a fashionable street, and about it was a large lawn, while in the back

Sam Johnson, the colored man of all work, and the husband of Dinah, had

a fine garden. The Bobbseys had many vegetables from this garden.

There was also a barn near the house, and in this the children had many

good times. Flossie and Freddie played there more than did Nan and

Bert, who were growing too old for games of that sort.

As I have said, Bert and Nan were rather tall and thin, while Flossie

and Freddie were short and fat. Mr. Bobbsey used often to call Flossie

his "Fat Fairy," which always made her laugh. And Freddie had a pet

name, too. It was "Fat Fireman," for he often played that he was a

fireman; putting out makebelieve fires, and pretending he was a fire

engine. Once or twice his father had taken him to see a real one, and

this pleased Freddie very much.

In the first book of this series, called "The Bobbsey Twins," I told you

something of the fun the four children had in their home town. They had

troubles, too, and Danny Rugg, one of the few bad boys in Lakeport, was

the cause of some. Also about a certain broken window; what happened

when the twins went coasting, how they had a good time in an ice boat,

and how they did many other things.

Snoop, the fat, black kitten, played a part in the story also. The

Bobbsey twins were very fond of Snoop, and had kept him so many years

that I suppose he ought to be called cat, instead of a kitten, now.

After the first winter's fun, told of in the book that began an account

of the doings of the Bobbseys, the twins and their parents went to the

home of Uncle Daniel Bobbsey, and his wife, Aunt Sarah, in Meadow Brook.

In the book called "The Bobbsey Twins in the Country," I wrote down many

of the things that happened during the summer.

If they had fun going off to the country, taking Snoop with them, of

course, they had many more good times on arriving at the farm. There

was a picnic, jolly times in the woods, a Fourth of July celebration,

and though a midnight scare alarmed them for a time, still they did not

mind that.

But, though the twins liked the country very much, they soon had a

chance to see something of the ocean, and in the third book of the

series, called "The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore," my readers will find

out what happened there.

There was fun on the sand, and more fun in the water, and once the

little ones got lost on an island. A great storm came up, and a ship

was wrecked, and this gave the twins a chance to see the life savers,

those brave men who risk their lives to help others.

Then came closing days at Ocean Cliff, the home of Uncle William and

Aunt Emily Minturn at Sunset Beach. School was soon to open, and Mr.

and Mrs. Bobbsey were anxious to get back to their town home, for

Flossie and Freddie were to start regular lessons now, even though it

was but in the kindergarten class.

So goodbyes were said to the ocean, and though Dorothy Minturn cried a

little when her cousins Nan and Flossie, and Bert and Freddie, had to

leave, still she said she hoped they would come again. And so the

Bobbseys were on their way home in the train when the circus accident

happened that brought them to a stop.

"And so we nearly ran into an elephant, eh?" said Mr. Bobbsey to the

brakeman, who had brought in the news.

"Yes, sir. Our engineer stopped just in time."

"If we had hit him we'd gone off the track," said Freddy.

"No, we wouldn't," declared Flossie, who seemed bound to start a

dispute. Perhaps she was so tired that she was fretful.

"Say, can't you two stop disputing all the while?" asked Bert, in a low

voice. "You make papa and mamma nervous."

"Well, an elephant is big, anyhow," said Freddie.

"So he is, little Fat Fireman," said Nan, "Come and sit with me, and we

can see the men catch the monkeys."

The work of getting the escaped animals back into their cages was going

on rapidly. Some of the passengers went out to watch, but the Bobbseys

stayed in their seats, Mr. Bobbsey thinking this best. The catching of

the monkeys was the hardest work, but soon even this was accomplished.

The wait seemed very tiresome when there was nothing more to watch, and

Mr. Bobbsey looked about for some railroad man of whom he could inquire

how much longer delay there would be. The conductor came through the


"When will we start?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"Not for some time, I'm afraid," spoke the tickettaker. "The wreck is a

worse one than I thought at first, and some of the cars of the circus

train are across the track so we can't get by. We may be here two hours


"That's too bad. Where are we?"

"Just outside of Whitewood."

"Oh, that's near home!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "Why can't we get out,

Richard, walk across the fields to the trolley line, and take that home?

It won't be far, and we'll be there ever so much quicker."

"Well, we could do that, I suppose," said her husband, slowly.

"That's what a number of passengers did," said the conductor. "There's

no danger in going out now - all the animals are back in their cages."

"Then that's what we'll do, children," said their father. "Gather up

your things, and we'll take the trolley home. The moon is coming up,

and it will soon be light."

"I'm hungry," said Freddie, fretfully.

"So am I," added his twin sister.

"Well, I have some crackers and cookies in my bag," replied Mrs.

Bobbsey." You can eat those on the way. Nan, go tell Dinah that we're

going to take a trolley. We can each carry something."

"I'll carry Snoop," exclaimed Freddie. He hurried down the aisle to

where the cook was now standing, intending to get the box containing his

pet cat."

"Where's Snoop, Dinah? " he asked.

"Heah he am!" she said, lifting up the slatbox. "He ain't made a sound

in all dis confusion, nuther."

The next moment Freddie gave a cry of dismay:

"Snoop's gone!" he wailed. "He broke open the box and he's gone! Oh,

where is Snoop?"

"Ma sakes alive!" cried Dinah. The box was empty!

A hurried search of the car did not bring forth the black pet. Mr. and

Mrs. Bobbsey, and some of the passengers, joined in the hunt. But there

was no Snoop, and a slat that had pulled loose from one side of the box

showed how he had gotten out.

"Most likely Snoop got frightened when the train stopped so suddenly,

and broke loose," said Mr. Bobbsey. "We may find him outside."

"I - I hope an elephant didn't step on him" said Flossie, with a catch

in her breath.

"Ohooo! Maybe a tiger or a lion has him!" wailed Freddie. "Oh, Snoop!"

"Be quiet, dear, we'll find him for you," said Mrs. Bobbsey, as she

opened her satchel to get out some cookies. Then she remembered


"Freddie, where is that silver cup?" she asked. "You had it to get a

drink. Did you give it back to me?"

"No, mamma, I - I"

"He gave the fat lady a drink from it," spoke Flossie, "and she didn't

give it back."

"The train stopped just as she was drinking," went on Freddie. "I sat

down on the floor - hard, and I saw the water spill on her. The fat

lady has our silver cup! Oh, dear!"

"And she's gone - and Snoop is gone!" cried Flossie. "Oh! oh!"

"Is that so - did you let her take your cup, Freddie?" asked his papa.

Freddie only nodded. He could not speak.

"That fat lady was with the circus," said one of the men passengers.

"Maybe you can see her outside."

"I'll look," said Mr. Bobbsey, quickly. "That cup is too valuable to

lose. Come, children, we'll see if we can't find Snoop also, and then

we'll take a trolley car for home."



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