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_The_ CURLYTOPS
ON STAR ISLAND

[Illustration]

HOWARD R. GARIS




[Illustration: TED WADED OUT, AND BROUGHT HIS SISTER'S DOLL
TO SHORE. _Page_ 134]


THE CURLYTOPS
ON
STAR ISLAND

OR

_Camping out with Grandpa_

BY

HOWARD R. GARIS

AUTHOR OF "THE CURLYTOPS SERIES," "BEDTIME
STORIES," "UNCLE WIGGILY SERIES," ETC.

_Illustrations by
JULIA GREENE_

NEW YORK
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY


COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

THE CURLYTOPS ON STAR ISLAND




CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE

I THE BLUE LIGHT 1

II WHAT THE FARMER TOLD 14

III OFF TO STAR ISLAND 32

IV OVERBOARD 42

V THE BAG OF SALT 56

VI TED AND THE BEAR 67

VII JAN SEES SOMETHING 78

VIII TROUBLE FALLS IN 91

IX TED FINDS A CAVE 101

X THE GRAPEVINE SWING 111

XI TROUBLE MAKES A CAKE 123

XII THE CURLYTOPS GO SWIMMING 139

XIII JAN'S QUEER RIDE 157

XIV DIGGING FOR GOLD 164

XV THE BIG HOLE 175

XVI A GLAD SURPRISE 188

XVII TROUBLE'S PLAYHOUSE 197

XVIII IN THE CAVE 211

XIX THE BLUE LIGHT AGAIN 224

XX THE HAPPY TRAMP 236




THE CURLYTOPS ON STAR ISLAND

CHAPTER I

THE BLUE LIGHT


"Mother, make Ted stop!"

"I'm not doing anything at all, Mother!"

"Yes he is, too! Please call him in. He's hurting my doll."

"Oh, Janet Martin, I am not!"

"You are so, Theodore Baradale Martin; and you've just got to stop!"

Janet, or Jan, as she was more often called, stood in front of her
brother with flashing eyes and red cheeks.

"Children! Children! What are you doing now?" asked their mother,
appearing in the doorway of the big, white farmhouse, holding in her
arms a small boy. "Please don't make so much noise. I've just gotten
Baby William to sleep, and if he wakes up - - "

"Yes, don't wake up Trouble, Jan," added Theodore, or Ted, the shorter
name being the one by which he was most often called. "If you do he'll
want to come with us, and we can't make Nicknack race."

"I wasn't waking him up, it was you!" exclaimed Jan. "He keeps pulling
my doll's legs, Mother and - - "

"I only pulled 'em a little bit, just to see if they had any springs in
'em. Jan said her doll was a circus lady and could jump on the back of a
horse. I wanted to see if she had any springs in her legs."

"Well, I'm _pretending_ she has, so there, Ted Martin! And if you don't
stop - - "

"There now, please stop, both of you, and be nice," begged Mrs. Martin.
"I thought, since you had your goat and wagon, you could play without
having so much fuss. But, if you can't - - "

"Oh, we'll be good!" exclaimed Ted, running his hands through his
tightly curling hair, but not taking any of the kinks out that way.
"We'll be good. I won't tease Jan anymore."

"You'd better not!" warned his sister, and, though she was a year
younger than Ted, she did not seem at all afraid of him. "If you do
I'll take my half of the goat away and you can't ride."

"Pooh! Which is your half?" asked Ted.

"The wagon. And if you don't have the wagon to hitch Nicknack to, how're
you going to ride?"

"Huh! I could ride on his back. Take your old wagon if you want to, but
if you do - - "

"The-o-dore!" exclaimed his mother in a slow, warning voice, and when he
heard his name spoken in that way, with each syllable pronounced
separately, Ted knew it was time to haul down his quarreling colors and
behave. He did it this time.

"I - I'm sorry," he faltered. "I didn't mean that, Jan. I won't pull your
doll's legs any more."

"And I won't take the goat-wagon away. We'll both go for a ride in it."

"That's the way to have a good time," said Mrs. Martin, with a smile.
"Now don't make any more noise, for William is fussy. Run off and play
now, but don't go too far."

"We'll go for a ride," said Teddy. "Come on, Jan. You can let your doll
make-believe drive the goat if you want to."

"Thank you, Teddy. But I guess I'd better not. I'll pretend she's a Red
Cross nurse and I'm taking her to the hospital to work."

"Then we'll make-believe the goat-wagon is an ambulance!" exclaimed Ted.
"And I'm the driver and I don't mind the big guns. Come on, that'll be
fun!"

Filled with the new idea, the two children hurried around the side of
the farmhouse out toward the barn where Nicknack, their pet goat, was
kept. Mrs. Martin smiled as she saw them go.

"Well, there'll be quiet for a little while," she said, "and William can
have his sleep."

"What's the matter, Ruth?" asked an old gentleman coming up the walk
just then. "Have the Curlytops been getting into mischief again?"

"No. Teddy and Janet were just having one of their little quarrels. It's
all over now. You look tired, Father."

Grandpa Martin was Mrs. Martin's husband's father, but she loved him as
though he were her own.

"Yes, I am tired. I've been working pretty hard on the farm," said
Grandpa Martin, "but I'm going to rest a bit now. Want me to take
Trouble?" he asked as he saw the little boy in his mother's arms. Baby
William was called Trouble because he got into so much of it.

"No, thank you. He's asleep," said Mother Martin. "But I do wish you
could find some way to keep Ted and Jan from disputing and quarreling so
much."

"Oh, they don't act half as bad as lots of children."

"No, indeed! They're very good, I think," said Grandma Martin, coming to
the door with a patch of flour on the end of her nose, for it was baking
day, as you could easily have told had you come anywhere near the big
kitchen of the white house on Cherry Farm.

"They need to be kept busy all the while," said Grandpa Martin. "It's
been a little slow for them here this vacation since we got in the hay
and gathered the cherries. I think I'll have to find some new way for
them to have fun."

"I didn't know there was any new way," said Mother Martin with a laugh,
as she carried Baby William into the bedroom and came back to sit on the
porch with Grandpa and Grandma Martin.

"Oh, yes, there are lots of new ways. I haven't begun to think of them
yet," said Grandpa Martin. "I'm going to have a few weeks now with not
very much to do until it's time to gather the fall crops, and I think
I'll try to find some way of giving your Curlytops a good time. Yes,
that's what I'll do. I'll keep the Curlytops so busy they won't have a
chance to think of pulling dolls' legs or taking Nicknack, the goat,
away from his wagon."

"What are you planning to do, Father?" asked Grandma Martin of her
husband.

"Well, I promised to take them camping on Star Island you know."

"What! Not those two little tots - not Ted and Jan?" cried Grandma
Martin, looking up in surprise.

"Yes, indeed, those same Curlytops!"

It was easy to understand why Grandpa Martin, as well as nearly everyone
else, called the two Martin children Curlytops. It was because their
hair was so tightly curling to their heads. Once Grandma Martin lost her
thimble in the hair of one of the children, and their locks were curled
so nearly alike that she never could remember on whose head she found
the needle-pusher.

"Do you think it will be safe to take Ted and Jan camping?" asked Mother
Martin.

"Why, yes. There's no finer place in the country than Star Island. And
if you go along - - "

"Am I to go?" asked Ted's mother.

"Of course. And Trouble, too. It'll do you all good. I wish Dick could
come, too," went on Grandpa Martin, speaking of Ted's father, who had
gone from Cherry Farm for a few days to attend to some matters at a
store he owned in the town of Cresco. "But Dick says he'll be too busy.
So I guess the Curlytops will have to go camping with grandpa," added
the farmer, smiling.

"Well, I'm sure they couldn't have better fun than to go with you,"
replied Mother Martin. "But I'm not sure that Baby William and I can
go."

"Oh, yes you can," said her father-in-law. "We'll talk about it again.
But here come Ted and Jan now in the goat-cart. They seem to have
something to ask you. We'll talk about the camp later."

Teddy and Janet Martin, the two Curlytops, came riding up to the
farmhouse in a small wagon drawn by a fine, big goat, that they had
named Nicknack.

"Please, Mother," begged Ted, "may we ride over to the Home and get
Hal?"

"We promised to take him for a ride," added Jan.

"Yes, I suppose you may go," said Mother Martin. "But you must be
careful, and be home in time for supper."

"We will," promised Ted. "We'll go by the wood-road, and then we won't
get run over by any automobiles. They don't come on that road."

"All right. Now remember - don't stay too late."

"No, we won't!" chorused the two children, and down the garden path and
along the lane they went to a road that led through Grandpa Martin's
wood-lot and so on to the Home for Crippled Children, which was about a
mile from Cherry Farm.

Among others at the Home was a lame boy named Hal Chester. That is, he
had been lame when the Curlytops first met him early in the summer, but
he was almost cured now, and walked with only a little limp. The Home
had been built to cure lame children, and had helped many of them.

Half-way to the big red building, which was like a hospital, the
Curlytops met Hal, the very boy whom they had started out to see.

"Hello, Hal!" cried Ted. "Get in and have a ride."

"Thanks, I will. I was just coming over to see you, anyway. What are you
two going to do?"

"Nothing much," Ted answered, while Jan moved along the seat with her
doll, to make room for Hal. "What're you going to do?"

"Same as you."

The three children laughed at that.

"Let's ride along the river road," suggested Janet. "It'll be nice and
shady there, and if my Red Cross doll is going to the war she'll like to
be cool once in a while."

"Is your doll a Red Cross nurse?" asked Hal. "If she is, where's her cap
and the red cross on her arm?"

"Oh, she just started to be a nurse a little while ago," Jan explained.
"I haven't had time to make the red cross yet. But I will. Anyhow, let's
go down by the river."

"All right, we will," agreed Ted. "We'll see if we can get some sticks
off the willow trees and make whistles," he added to Hal.

"You can make better whistles in the spring, when the bark is softer,
than you can now," said the lame boy, as the Curlytops often called
him, though Hal was nearly cured.

"Well, _maybe_ we can make some now," suggested Ted, and a little later
the two boys were seated in the shade under the willow trees that grew
on the bank of a small river which flowed into Clover Lake, not far from
Cherry Farm. Nicknack, tied to a tree, nibbled the sweet, green grass,
and Jan made a wreath of buttercups for her doll.

After they had made some whistles, which did give out a little tooting
sound, Ted and Hal found something else to do, and Jan saw, coming along
the road, a girl named Mary Seaton with whom she often played. Jan
called Mary to join her, and the two little girls had a good time
together while Ted and Hal threw stones at some wooden boats they made
and floated down the stream.

"Oh, Ted, we must go home!" suddenly cried Jan. "It's getting dark!"

The sun was beginning to set, but it would not really have been dark for
some time, except that the western sky was filled with clouds that
seemed to tell of a coming storm. So, really, it did appear as though
night were at hand.

"I guess we'd better go," Ted said, with a look at the dark clouds.
"Come on, Hal. There's room for you, too, Mary, in the wagon."

"Can Nicknack pull us all?" Mary asked.

"I guess so. It's mostly down hill. Come on!"

The four children got into the goat-wagon, and if Nicknack minded the
bigger load he did not show it, but trotted off rather fast. Perhaps he
knew he was going home to his stable where he would have some sweet hay
and oats to eat, and that was what made him so glad to hurry along.

The wagon was stopped near the Home long enough to let Hal get out, and
a little later Mary was driven up to her gate. Then Ted and Jan, with
the doll between them, drove on.

"Oh, Ted!" exclaimed his sister, "mother'll scold. We oughtn't to have
stayed so late. It's past supper time!"

"We didn't mean to. Anyhow, I guess they'll give us something to eat.
Grandma baked cookies to-day and there'll be some left."

"I hope so," replied Jan with a sigh. "I'm hungry!"

They drove on in silence a little farther, and then, as they came to the
top of a hill and could look down toward Star Island in the middle of
Clover Lake, Ted suddenly called:

"Look, Jan!"

"Where?" she asked.

"Over there," and her brother pointed to the island. "Do you see that
blue light?"

"On the island, do you mean? Yes, I see it. Maybe somebody's there with
a lantern."

"Nobody lives on Star Island. Besides, who'd have a blue lantern?"

Jan did not answer.

It was now quite dark, and down in the lake, where there was a patch of
black which was Star Island, could be seen a flickering blue glow, that
seemed to stand still and then move about.

"Maybe it's lightning bugs," suggested Jan.

"Huh! Fireflies are sort of white," exclaimed Ted. "I never saw a light
like that before."

"Me, either, Ted! Hurry up home. Giddap, Nicknack!" and Jan threw at the
goat a pine cone, one of several she had picked up and put in the wagon
when they were taking a rest in the woods that afternoon.

Nicknack gave a funny little wiggle to his tail, which the children
could hardly see in the darkness, and then he trotted on faster. The
Curlytops, looking back, had a last glimpse of the flickering blue light
as they hurried toward Cherry Farm, and they were a little frightened.

"What do you s'pose it is?" asked Jan.

"I don't know," answered Ted. "We'll ask Grandpa. Go on, Nicknack!"




CHAPTER II

WHAT THE FARMER TOLD


"Well, where in the world have you children been?"

"Didn't you know we'd be worried about you?"

"Did you get lost again?"

Mother Martin, Grandpa Martin and Grandma Martin took turns asking these
three questions as Ted and Jan drove up to the farmhouse in the darkness
a little later.

"You said you wouldn't stay late," went on Mother Martin, as the
Curlytops got out of the goat-wagon.

"We didn't mean to, Mother," said Ted.

"Oh, but we're so scared!" exclaimed Jan, and as Grandma Martin put her
arms about the little girl she felt Jan's heart beating faster than
usual.

"Why, what is the matter?" asked the old lady.

"Me wants a wide wif Nicknack!" demanded Baby William, as he stood
beside his mother in the doorway.

"No, Trouble. Not now," answered Ted. "Nicknack is tired and has to have
his supper. Is there any supper left for us?" he asked eagerly.

"Well, I guess we can find a cold potato, or something like it, for such
tramps as you," laughed Grandpa Martin. "But where on earth have you
been, and what kept you?"

Then Ted put Nicknack in the barn. But when he came back he and Jan
between them told of having stayed playing later than they meant to.

"Well, you got home only just in time," said Mother Martin as she took
the children to the dining-room for a late supper. "It's starting to
rain now."

And so it was, the big drops pelting down and splashing on the windows.

"But what frightened you, Jan?" asked Grandma Martin.

"It was a queer blue light on Star Island."

"A light on Star Island!" exclaimed her grandfather. "Nonsense! Nobody
stays on the island after dark unless it's a fisherman or two, and the
fish aren't biting well enough now to make anyone stay late to try to
catch them. You must have dreamed it - or made-believe."

"No, we really saw it!" declared Ted. "It was a fliskering blue light."

"Well, if there's any such thing there as a 'fliskering' blue light
we'll soon find out what it is," said Grandpa Martin.

"How?" asked Ted, his eyes wide open in wonder.

"By going there to see what it is. I'm going to take you two Curlytops
to camp on Star Island, and if there's anything queer there we'll see
what it is."

"Oh, are we really going to live on Star Island?" gasped Janet.

"Camping out with grandpa! Oh, what fun!" cried Ted. "Do you mean it?"
and he looked anxiously at the farmer, fearing there might be some joke
about it.

"Oh, I really mean it," said Grandpa Martin. "Though I hardly believe
you saw a real light on the island. It must have been a firefly."

"Lightning bugs aren't that color," declared Ted. "It was a blue light,
almost like Fourth of July. But tell us about camping, Grandpa!"

"Yes, please do," begged Jan.

And while the children are eating their late supper, and Grandpa Martin
is telling them his plans, I will stop just a little while to make my
new readers better acquainted with the Curlytops and their friends.

You have already met Theodore, or Teddy or Ted Martin, and his sister
Janet, or Jan. With their mother, they were spending the long summer
vacation on Cherry Farm, the country home of Grandpa Martin outside the
town of Elmburg, near Clover Lake. Mr. Richard Martin, or Dick, as
Grandpa Martin called him, owned a store in Cresco, where he lived with
his family. Besides Ted and Jan there was Baby William, aged about three
years. He was called Trouble, for the reason I have told you, though
Mother Martin called him "Dear Trouble" to make up for the fun Ted and
Jan sometimes poked at him.

Then there was Nora Jones, the maid who helped Mrs. Martin with the
cooking and housework. And I must not forget Skyrocket, a dog, nor
Turnover, a cat. These did not help with the housework - though I
suppose you might say they did, too, in a way, for they ate the scraps
from the table and this helped to save work.

In the first book of this series, called "The Curlytops at Cherry Farm,"
I had the pleasure of telling you how Jan and Ted, with their father,
mother and Nora went to grandpa's place in the country to spend the
happy vacation days. On the farm, which was named after the number of
cherry trees on it, the Curlytops found a stray goat which they were
allowed to keep, and they got a wagon which Nicknack (the name they gave
their new pet) drew with them in it.

Having the goat made up for having to leave the dog and the cat at home,
and Nicknack made lots of good times for Ted and Jan. In the book you
may read of the worry the children carried because Grandpa Martin had
lost money on account of a flood at his farm, and so could not help when
there was a fair and collection for the Crippled Children's Home.

But, most unexpectedly, the cherries helped when Mr. Sam Sander, the
lollypop man, bought them from Grandpa Martin, and found a way of making
them into candy. And when Ted and Jan and Trouble were lost in the
woods once, the lollypop man - -

But I think you would rather read the story for yourself in the other
book. I will just say that the Curlytops were still at Cherry Farm,
though Father Martin had gone away for a little while. And now, having
told you about the family, I'll go back where I left off, and we'll see
what is happening.

"Yes," said Grandpa Martin, "I think I will take you Curlytops to camp
on Star Island. Camping will do you good. You'll learn lots in the woods
there. And won't it be fun to live in a tent?"

"Oh, won't it though!" cried Ted, and the shine in Jan's eyes and the
glow on her red cheeks showed how happy she was.

"But I'd like to know what that blue light was," said the little girl.

"Oh, don't worry about that!" laughed Grandpa Martin. "I'll get that
blue light and hang it in our tent for a lantern."

I think I mentioned that Jan and Ted had such wonderful curling hair
that even strangers, seeing them the first time, called them the
"Curlytops." And Ted, who was aged seven years, with his sister just a
year younger (their anniversaries coming on exactly the same day) did
not in the least mind being called this. He and Jan rather liked it.

"Let's don't go to bed yet," said Jan to her brother, as they finished
supper and went from the dining-room into the sitting-room, where they
were allowed to play and have good times if they did not get too rough.
And they did not often do this.

"All right. It _is_ early," Ted agreed. "But what can we do?"

"Let's pretend we have a camp here," went on Jan.

"Where?" asked Ted.

"Right in the sitting-room," answered Jan. "We can make-believe the
couch is a tent, and we can crawl under it and go to sleep."

"I wants to go to sleeps there!" cried Trouble. "I wants to go to sleeps
right now!"

"Shall we take him back to mother?" asked Ted, looking at his sister.
"If he's sleepy now he won't want to play."

"I isn't too sleepy to play," objected Baby William. "I can go to sleeps
under couch if you wants me to," he added.

"Oh, that'll be real cute!" cried Janet. "Come on, Ted, let's do it! We
can make-believe Trouble is our little dog, or something like that, to
watch over our tent, and he can go to sleep - - "

"Huh! how's he going to _watch_ if he goes to _sleep_?" Ted demanded.

"Oh, well, he can make-believe go to sleep or make-believe watch, either
one," explained Janet.

"Yes, I s'pose he could do that," agreed Teddy.

Baby William opened his mouth wide and yawned.

"I guess he'll do some _real_ sleeping," said Janet with a laugh. "Come
on, Trouble, before you get your eyes so tight shut you can't open 'em
again. Come on, we'll play camping!" and she led the way into the
sitting room and over toward the big couch at one end.

Many a good time the children had had in this room, and the old couch,
pretty well battered and broken now, had been in turn a fort, a
steamboat, railroad car, and an automobile. That was according to the
particular make-believe game the children were playing. Now the old
couch was to be a tent, and Jan and Ted moved some chairs, which would
be part of the pretend-camp, up in front of it.

"It'll be a lot of fun when we go camping for real," said Teddy, as he
helped his sister spread one of Grandma Martin's old shawls over the
backs of some chairs. This was to be a sort of second tent where they
could make-believe cook their meals.

"Yes, we'll have grand fun," agreed Jan. "No, you mustn't go to sleep up
there, Trouble!" she called to the little fellow, for he had crawled up
on top of the couch and had stretched himself out as though to take a
nap.

"Why?" he asked.

"'Cause the tent part is under it," explained his sister. "That's the
top of the tent where you are. You can't go to sleep on _top_ of a tent.
You might fall off."

"I can fall off now!" announced Trouble, as he suddenly thought of
something. Then he gave a wiggle and rolled off the seat, bumping into
Ted, who had stooped down to put a rug under the couch-tent.

"Ouch!" cried Ted. "Look out what you're doing, Trouble! You bumped my
head."

"I - I bumped _my_ head!" exclaimed the little fellow, rubbing his
tangled hair.

"He didn't mean to," said Janet. "You mustn't roll off that way,
Trouble. You might be hurt. Come now, go to sleep under the couch.
That's inside the tent you know."

She showed him where Ted had spread the rug, as far back under the couch
as he could reach, and this looked to Trouble like a nice place.

"I go to sleeps in there!" he said, and under the couch he crawled,
growling and grunting.

"What are you doing that for?" asked Ted, in some surprise.

"I's a bear!" exclaimed Baby William. "I's a bad bear! Burr-r-r-r!" and
he growled again.

"Oh, you mustn't do that!" objected Janet. "We don't want any bears in
our camp!"

"Course we can have 'em!" cried Ted. "That'll be fun! We'll play Trouble
is a bear 'stead of a dog, and I can hunt him. Only I ought to have
something for a gun. I know! I'll get grandpa's Sunday cane!" and he
started for the hall.

"Oh, no. I don't want to play bear and hunting!" objected Janet.

"Why not?"

"'Cause it's too - too - scary at night. Let's play something nice and
quiet. Let Trouble be our watch dog, and we can be in camp and he can
bark and scare something."


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