AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE
QUICKLY, after the first guests had arrived came the others. Nellie
Parks, Grace Lavine friends of Nan, and Willie Porter and his sister
Sadie, came first, and Freddie and Flossie let them in, the Porter
children being some of their bestliked playmates.
All the children wore their best clothes, and for a time they were a bit
stiff and unnatural, standing shyly about in corners, against the walls,
or sitting on chairs.
The boys seemed to all crowd together in one part of the room, and the
girls in another. Flossie and Freddie, Nan and Bert, were so busy
answering the door that they did not notice this at first.
But Aunt Sarah, their mother's sister, who had come over to help Mrs.
Bobbsey, looking in the parlor and library, saw what the trouble was.
"My!" she cried, with a goodnatured laugh, as she noticed how
the children were. "This will never do. You're not that way at school,
I don't believe. Come, be lively. Mix up - play games. Pretend this
is recess at school, and make as much noise as you like."
For a moment the boys and girls did not know what to think of this
invitation. But just then Snap, the circus dog, came in the room, and,
with a bark of welcome, he turned a somersault, and then marched around
on his hind legs, carrying a broomstick like a gun - pretending he was a
soldier. Bert had given it to him.
Then how the children laughed and clapped their hands! And Snap barked
so loudly - for he liked applause that there was noise enough for even
jolly Aunt Sarah. After that there was no trouble. The boys and girls
talked together and soon they were playing games, and having the best
kind of fun.
For some of the games simple prizes had been offered and it was quite
exciting toward the end to see who would win. Flossie and Freddie
thought they had never had such a good time in all their lives. Nan and
Bert were enjoying themselves, too, with their friends, who were
slightly older than those who had been asked for the younger Bobbsey
"Going to Jerusalem," was one game that created lots of enjoyment.
number of chairs were placed in the centre of the room, and the boys and
girls marched around them while Mrs. Bobbsey played the piano. But
there was one less chair than there were players, so that when the music
would suddenly stop, which was a signal for each one who could, to sit
down, someone was sure to be left. Then this one had to stay out of the
Then a chair would be taken away, so as always to have one less than the
number of players, and the game went on. It was great fun, scrambling
to see who would get a seat, and not be left without one, and finally
there was but one chair left, while Grace Lavine and John Blake marched
about. Mrs. Bobbsey kept playing quite some time, as the two went
around and around that one chair. Everyone was laughing, wondering who
would get a seat and so win the game, when, all at once, Mrs. Bobbsey
stopped the music. She had her back turned so it would be perfectly
Grace and John made a rush for the one chair, but Grace got to it first,
and so she won.
"Well, I'm glad you did, anyhow," said John, politely.
Other games were "peanut races" and "potato scrambles."
In the first
each player had a certain number of peanuts and they had to start at one
end of the room, and lay the nuts at equal distances apart across to the
other side, coming back each time to their pile of peanuts to get one.
Sometimes a boy would slip, he was in such a hurry, or a girl would drop
her peanuts, and this made fun and confusion.
Nan won this race easily.
In the potato scramble several rows of potatoes were made across the
room. Each player was given a large spoon, and whoever first
took up all his or her potatoes in the spoons one at a time, and piled
them up at the far end of the room, won the game. In this Charley Mason
was successful, and won the prize - a pretty little pin for his tie.
The afternoon wore on, and, almost before the children realized it the
hour for supper had arrived. They were not sorry, either, for they all
had good appetites.
"Come into the dining room, children," invited Mrs. Bobbsey.
And Oh! such gasps of pleased surprise as were heard when the children
saw what had been prepared for them! For Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, while
not going to any great expense, and not making the children's party too
fanciful, had made it beautiful and simple.
The long table was set with dishes and pretty glasses. There were
flowers in the centre, and at each end, and also blooms in vases about
the room. Then, from the centre chandelier to the four corners of the
table, were strings of green smilax in which had been entwined
carnations of various colors.
The lights were softly glowing on the pretty scene, and there were
prettily shaded candles to add to the effect. But what caught the eyes
of all the children more than anything else were two large cakes - one
at either end of the table.
On each cake burned five candles, and on one cake was the name
"Flossie," while the other was marked "Freddie." The
names were in pink
icing on top of the white frosting that covered the birthday cakes.
"Oh! Oh! Oh!" could be heard all about the room. "Isn't that
sweet for anything!"
"I guess they are sweet!" piped up Freddie in his shrill little
"'cause Dinah put lots of sugar in 'em; didn't you, Dinah?" and
looked at Dinah, who had thrust her laughing, black, goodnatured face
into the dining room door.
"Dat's what I did, honey! Dat's what I did!" she exclaimed. "If
anybody's got a toofache he'd better not eat any ob dem cakes, 'cause
dey suah am sweet."
How the children laughed at that!
"All ready, now, children, sit down," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Your
are at your plates."
There was a little confusion getting them all seated, as those on one
side of the table found that their name cards were on the other side.
But Flossie and Freddie, and Nan and Bert, helped the guests to find
their proper places and soon everyone was in his or her chair.
"Can't Snap sit with us, too?" asked Freddie, looking about for
who had done all his tricks well that evening.
"No, dear," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Snap is a good dog, but we
him in the dining room when we are eating. It gives him bad habits."
"Then can't I send him out some cakes?" asked Flossie, for Snap
almost as large a "sweet tooth" as the children themselves.
"Yes, as it is your birthday, I suppose you can give him some of your
good things," said Mamma Bobbsey.
"Here, Dinah!" called Freddie to the cook, as he piled a plate
cakes. "Please give these to Snap."
"Land sakes goodness me alive!" cried Dinah. "Dat suah am
Feedin' a dog jest laik a human at a party. I can't bring mahself to
"I'll take 'em out to him," said her husband.
Then the feast began, and such a feast as it was! Mrs. Bobbsey, knowing
how easily the delicate stomachs of children can be upset, had wisely
selected the food and sweets, and she saw to it that no one ate too
much, though she was gently suggestive about it instead of ordering.
"Don't eat too much," advised Freddie to some of the friends who
near him. "We've got a lot of ice cream coming. Save room for that."
"That's so - I almost forgot," spoke Jimmie Black.
A little later Mrs. Bobbsey said to Dinah:
"I think you may bring in the cream now, and I will help you serve
"Oh, goodie!" cried Freddie. "Ice cream's coming!" and
he waved his
spoon above his head.
"Freddie - Freddie!" said his mother, in gentle reproof.
Dinah went out on the back stoop, looked around and came running back to
the dining room, where Mrs. Bobbsey was. Dinah's eyes were big with
wonder and surprise.
"Mrs. Bobbsey! Mrs. Bobbsey!" she cried. "Suffin's done gone
"What is it?" asked Mamma Bobbsey, quickly. "Is anyone hurt?"
"No'm, but dat ice cream freezer hate jest gone and walked right off
back stoop, an' it ain't dere at all, nohow! De ice cream is all gone!"
The children looked at one another with pained surprise showing on their
The ice cream was gone!
Top of Page
Room | The
Bobbsey Twins at School