A NIGHT ALARM
ARE you all ready?" called Danny to Bert, looking over at the homemade
bob, and there was something like contempt in his tone.
"All ready," answered Bert. "I'll start as soon as you give
"We ought to have someone to shove us off," suggested Danny. "It
be fair if one or the other gets a headstart."
"Hi! He's afraid already!" cried Charley Mason. "He knows
"I am not!" retorted Danny. "It will be a walkover for me
once I start.
But I don't want Bert Bobbsey saying I took advantage of him, after the
race is over."
"You needn't be afraid - I won't say so - I won't have to," replied
Bert. "All the same I think it would be better if we each had a push.
I want to be fair, too."
"Hey, Bert!" called a shrill voice, as the elder Bobbsey lad was
about for some on the hill to whom he might appeal. "Can't I ride down
with you, Bert?"
It was Freddie who called, and he came runnining up, anxious to take
part in the exciting race.
"No, Freddie, not this time," explained Bert kindly. "I want
boys with me in the race. I'll give you a ride afterward."
"After I beat him, he means," sneered Danny.
"Come on, let's race if we're going to," called some of the boys
"Yes; don't stay here all day."
"Get a move on!"
"We'll beat, anyhow, what's the use of racing?"
There were only a few of things that those on the big new sled of
Danny's, called to those on Bert's bob. On their part Bert's friends
voiced such remarks as:
"We're not so strong on looks, but we'll get there first!"
"We're going to give Danny a tow to the bottom of the hill!"
"He won't know he's moving, once Bert's sled gets started going!"
"Well, what are we going to do?" asked Danny at last. "Shall
Just then there came along two large boys, Frank Cobb, and his
particular chum, Irving Knight.
"What's going on here; a race? " asked Frank.
"It looks that way," said Irving.
"Oh, will you push us off?" begged Bert, appealing to Frank, whose
father worked in Mr. Bobbsey's lumber yard.
"Sure we will," answered Frank goodnaturedly. "Take the other
Irving," he said to his chum, "and we'll give 'em an even start.
we'll see which beats, and may the best sled win!"
"That's what I say!" cried Irving.
The two larger boys took their places behind the bobs. They slowly
shoved them to the edge of the hill, held them there a moment, and, at a
nod to each other, shoved them down evenly.
"Hurray!" cried the crowd of other coasters. "There they
"And Danny's ahead!" said some of his friends.
"No, Bert's sled is!" shouted his admirers.
As a matter of fact, though, both sleds were even at the start. On and
on they went very swiftly, for the hill had been worn smooth. Then Bert
saw his bob getting ahead a little, and he felt that he was going to win
But he was glad too soon, for, a little later, Danny's sled shot ahead,
and for some distance was in the lead.
"Can't you beat him, Bert?" whispered Charley Mason, who sat just
"I hope so," was the answer. "But I can't really do anything.
have to depend on the sled, you know."
"Steer a little more over to the left," suggested another boy.
looks smoother there."
"I will," said Bert, and he turned the steertng wheel of his bob
Luke Morton, in the rear, pulled hard on the bell, making it clang out a
"Look out where you're going, Bert Bobbsey!" warned Danny, looking
"You're coming over on my side of the hill!"
"No I'm not. I'm away from the middle even," said Bert. "Besides,
"I know you are, and you're going to stay there; but I don't want you
run into me."
Bert thought of the time, the winter before, when Danny had run into
him, and broken his sled, but he said nothing. He did not want that
kind of an accident to be repeated if he could help it.
On, on and on dashed the big bobs, with the crowd on the hill, and a
number of coasters scattered along the way, watching anxiously. As soon
as Bert had steered over to the left his sled began to go faster, as the
snow was packed better there. He was fast catching up to Danny, when
one of the boys on that bob, looking back, saw it, and warned the
"He's coming, Danny," he cried.
"Oh, he is; eh? Well, he won't pass me," and Danny steered his
over directly in front of Bert's, almost causing Bert to collide vith
"Shame!" cried some watchers. "That wasn't fair!"
"Let him keep on his own side then," warned Danny.
But this mean trick did Danny little good for, though Bert was forced to
go to the right, to avoid crashing into Danny, he, most unexpectedly,
found good coasting there, and he shot ahead until his sled was even
with that of the bully's.
"Better look out, Danny," warned the boy sitting directly back
"He's crowding us fast."
"Oh, it's only a spurt. We'll soon be at the bottom of the hill and
On and on came Bert's bob, the Flier. It was a little ahead of Danny's
now, and the latter, seeing this, steered over, thinking the going was
"Look out!" warned Bert. "Who's crowding over now?"
"Well, I've got a right here!" snarled Danny.
But Bert knew his rights also, and would not give away. He held to his
place, and Danny dared not come too close. Then, as Bert found himself
on smooth, hardpacked snow, he steered as straight as he could. More
and more ahead of Danny he went, until he was fully in front of him.
"We're going to win! We're going to win!" cried Bert's friends.
going to win the race!"
Danny was wild with anger. He steered his sled over sharply, hoping to
get on the same track as was Bert and so pass him. But it was not to
be. Danny took too sudden a turn, and the next instant his bob
overturned, spilling everyone off.
There was a cry of surprise at the accident, and some of those on Bert's
sled looked back. Bert himself looked straight ahead as a steersman
"Danny's upset!" cried Charley.
"I'm sorry!" said Bert. "Now he'll claim the race wasn't
And that is what Danny did when he picked himself up, and walked down to
meet Bert, whose bob got safely to the foot of the hill, and so won the
"Aw, I'd have beaten if you hadn't gotten in my way so I had to steer
over," cried Danny.
"Don't talk that way now," said Irving, who, with Frank Cobb had
the end of the hill. "Bert beat you fair and square."
"Aw, well" grumbled Danny.
"I'll race over again, if you like," offered Bert.
"Yes, and do the same thing," grumbled Danny. "I will not.
I know my
sled is the best."
But few others, save those who hoped for a ride on it, agreed with the
bully, and Bert's homemade bob was held to be champion of the hill.
Then came many more coasts, Bert giving Nan and Flossie and Freddie, and
a number of their little girl and boy friends, several rides.
Until late that evening the coasting kept up, and Bert and Charley were
congratulated on all sides for the fine bob they had made. And what fun
Bert had home after supper, telling of how he had won the race!
It was in the middle of the night, when the Bobbsey household was
awakened by the ringing of fire bells. They all heard the alarm, and as
Papa Bobbsey counted the number, he said to his wife:
"That must be near here. Guess I'll look. It's a windy night and a
fire in my lumber yard would be very bad."
As he went to the window he saw a glare on the sky in the direction of
"It is near here!" he said. "The engines are going past our
better take a look."
"Can I come?" asked the little "Fat Fireman" from his
cot. "Take me,
Top of Page
Room | The
Bobbsey Twins at School