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Laura Lee Hope.

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Freddie, each laughing, ran over to the other side of the yard.

"Oh, I guess they are all right," said Nan, as she stopped running and
turned back.

Then the bell rang to call the children in from their play, and they
took their places in long lines. A little later Bert and Nan were in
their room, saying their lessons, and Flossie and Freddie were with
their classmates, getting ready to recite in geography.

Miss Snell, their teacher, looked over the room. She noticed one vacant
seat.

"Where is Nick?" asked Miss Snell. "He was here before recess. Did
anyone see him go home?"

No one answered for a moment, and then Flossie raised her little, fat,
chubby hand.

"Yes, Flossie, what is it?" asked Miss Snell, with a smile.

"Nick didn't go home," said the little girl. "He - he's out in the yard."

"Out in the yard?" exclaimed the teacher. "He should come in!"

"If you please, he can't," said Freddie suddenly. "He's locked up! I
locked him up!"




CHAPTER III - THANKSGIVING


Miss Snell was not quite sure that she understood Freddie Bobbsey. She
looked at the little twin, smiled to make him understand that she was
not cross, and said:

"What did you do to Nick, Freddie?"

"I locked him up," Freddie answered. "In the tool shed. I have the key,
too," and, marching up to Miss Snell's desk he laid on it a large key.

"You locked Nick in the tool shed!" repeated the surprised teacher.
"Why, Freddie Bobbsey! what a strange thing to do. Why did you do it?"

"He pulled my hair," Flossie explained. "I mean Nick did. He pulled it
yesterday, too, and I told Freddie and Freddie said he would make Nick
stop."

"Yes, go on, please," urged Miss Snell, as Flossie grew silent.

"Well, when he pulled it again to-day," resumed the little girl, "I
hollered for Freddie and we hit Nick and he hit us and we pushed him
into the shed and - and - - "

"I locked the door!" finished Freddie. "You can hear him hollerin' to
get out," he added. "Listen!"

The windows had been opened to freshen the air in the classroom, and as
silence followed Freddie's last remark Miss Snell and the children could
plainly hear, coming from the shed, the voice of someone calling:

"Let me out! Let me out!"

"That's Nick," calmly explained Freddie. "But I'm not going to let him
out 'cause he pulled Flossie's hair."

"Well, of course, he shouldn't do that," said Miss Snell. "But you
should not have locked him in, Freddie. I shall have to tell the
principal and get him to let Nick out."

The eyes of Flossie and Freddie grew big as the teacher said this. The
eyes of the other children opened wide also. To have to tell "the
principal" anything meant that it was very serious.

"But I am sure you did not mean to do wrong," Miss Snell added, as she
saw that Freddie and Flossie looked rather frightened. "It will be all
right, I'll have the principal let Nick out. You may look over your
geography lesson while I am gone. I want you to tell me, when I come
back, what is a river, a lake, and an island."

"We know about a island," said Flossie in a loud whisper. "Once we
camped on Blueberry Island, didn't we, Freddie?"

"Yep!" he answered. "An' I fell in!"

"Well, you may tell us about that later," and Miss Snell tried not to
laugh. "But don't talk any more in school; and study your lesson while I
go to Mr. Nixon's office."

While Miss Snell was out of the room I do not believe much studying was
done by Flossie, Freddie or any of their classmates. They all listened
as, through the open window, came the cries of Nick Malone calling:

"Let me out! Let me out!"

"I locked him in - 'cause he pulled Flossie's hair!" declared Freddie,
and Freddie was looked upon as quite a hero by the boys and girls in his
room.

By standing up, Flossie, Freddie and the others in their class could see
the tool shed. And the children stood up and looked out as Miss Snell
and the principal went to release the locked-up boy. He came out crying,
and seemed frightened. But he soon quieted down, and promised never
again to pull Flossie's hair, while Freddie was made to promise never
again to lock anyone in the tool shed.

"Tell your teacher, or tell me, when anyone plagues your sister,
Freddie," the principal said.

"Yes'm - I mean yes, sir," Freddie answered.

Neither he nor Flossie had any more trouble with the "bad" boy, about
whose teasing they had talked on their way to school that morning. I
think, after being locked up, that Nick was afraid of Freddie. At any
rate, Flossie's hair was not again pulled.

"Our smaller twins are growing up," said Mr. Bobbsey to his wife at home
that night, when the story of what had happened in school had been told
at the supper table.

"Yes," agreed Mrs. Bobbsey. "Our little 'fireman' and our 'fat fairy'
will soon be almost as big as Bert and Nan." Fireman and fairy were the
pet names for the smaller Bobbsey twins. But they were getting almost
too old for pet names now.

The weeks passed, and the weather grew colder, though, as yet, no snow
had appeared. Freddie and Flossie, who had gotten out their sleds soon
after coming home from the West, looked at the sky anxiously each day.

"Do you think it will ever snow?" asked Flossie of her mother. "I want
to go coasting."

"So do I, and skating, too," Freddie added.

"Oh, there is still plenty of time for it to snow this winter," said
their mother. "Why, it isn't Thanksgiving yet."

"Oh, that's so!" exclaimed Freddie. "Thanksgiving is coming, an' we'll
have cranberry sauce an' turkey!"

"An' pie an' cake!" cried Flossie.

"Thanksgiving is not meant only for feasting," said their mother. "It is
a time for being thankful for all your blessings. It is a time, also, to
think of the poor, and to try to help them."

"I wish we could help some poor," said Flossie. "Is it fun, Mother?"

"Well, I don't know that you would call it fun," her mother replied,
with a smile, "though it gives more pleasure than many things that you
do call 'fun'. Just try it and see."

Rather thoughtful, Flossie and Freddie went out together. It was the
Saturday before Thanksgiving and they did not have to go to school. They
each had two cents to spend, and it was while going down the street to
the nearest candy store that they passed the home of Miss Alicia
Pompret.

"Hello, Bobbsey twins!" called Miss Pompret to Flossie and Freddie.

"Hello!" answered the blue-eyed little boy and girl. They knew Miss
Pompret quite well, since Bert and Nan had, on their trip to Washington,
discovered some of the elderly lady's missing valuable china. Miss
Pompret was what some people would call "rich," and she had offered a
reward for the finding of her rare sugar-bowl and milk-pitcher. It was
these pieces that Nan had, by chance, seen in a secondhand store window,
and Miss Pompret paid the older Bobbsey twins the reward, which they
turned in to charity.

"Are you going to the store for your mother?" asked Miss Pompret of
Flossie and Freddie, as they paused at her door.

"We're going to the store for ourselves," Freddie answered.

"We have two cents apiece," added his sister.

"Oh, I see!" laughed the elderly, maiden lady. "Well, on your way would
you mind stopping at the grocer's and telling him he hasn't yet sent the
barrel of flour, the barrel of potatoes, and the ten hams I ordered.
Tell him I expect them to-day."

"My! you're gettin' a lot of stuff, Miss Pompret," said Flossie.

"Well, you see, I am going to give a large dinner to a number of poor
people for Thanksgiving," said Miss Pompret, "and I want some things for
them to take home with them. That's why I'm ordering so much."

"For the poor!" murmured Freddie.

"Yes, dear," went on the lady. "You know Thanksgiving is not meant to
see how much we can eat, but to think of our blessings and help other
persons to have blessings that they may be thankful for."

"That's what mother said," remarked Flossie. "Yes'm, we'll stop at the
grocery for you."

"Thank you," called Miss Pompret.

Then, as she and Freddie walked on, Flossie turned to her brother and
said:

"Freddie, didn't we ought to do something for the poor?"

"Maybe we ought," he agreed. "But who is poor?"

"Anybody that has ragged clothes is poor," observed Flossie. "We could
give 'em some of our clothes, 'cause I've got so many my closet is
full."

"I've two pair of pants," observed Freddie. "I don't need but one, I
guess. But you can't eat clothes, Flossie."

"I know it, but you have to have clothes when it's cold. And it maybe
will snow for Thanksgiving. Oh, Freddie! we could give our two cents to
somebody poor for Thanksgiving!" Flossie's eyes were shining with
delight.

"Yes, we could do that," said Freddie, slowly. "But you can't get much
clothes for two cents and not much to eat, I don't guess."

Flossie thought this over for a moment, and then her face lighted up.

"I know what we can do!" she said. "We can look for some poor ragged
people, and take them to our house for Thanksgiving. Mother or father
could give them some clothes and they could have some of our turkey.
Daddy and mother have some dressings, too, like Miss Pompret said."

"She didn't say '_dressings_,'" objected Freddie. "It's '_blessings_,'
like you get in Sunday-school."

"Oh," said Flossie. "Well, we could get some for the poor. Let's do it,
Freddie."

"All right," agreed the little fellow.

They were just going into the candy store, having stopped at the
grocer's with the message from Miss Pompret, when Flossie and Freddie
caught sight of a ragged boy and girl, about their own age, standing
with their faces close against the glass of the show window of the toy
and candy shop.

"Freddie, look!" whispered Flossie.

"They're poor!" whispered Freddie. "Let's take them!"

Flossie nodded in agreement, and then they went up to the ragged
children who were eagerly gazing in the window, which was partly filled
with Christmas toys.

"Come on with us," said Freddie, tapping the other boy on the shoulder.

Quickly the boy turned, doubled up his fist, and, thrusting the ragged
girl behind him, he exclaimed:

"Now you let us alone! We wasn't doin' nothin'! We was just lookin' in
the winder, an' that's what it's for! You let us alone!"




CHAPTER IV - BERT IN DANGER


Flossie and Freddie were so surprised at the strange action on the part
of the ragged boy that they hardly knew what to do. Flossie looked at
Freddie and Freddie looked at his sister, and then they looked at the
strange boy and girl.

"You let her alone, an' you let me alone!" ordered the ragged boy. "I
ain't done nothin', an' she ain't done nothin'!"

"You shouldn't say 'ain't,' 'cause it ain't - I mean it _isn't_ a good
word. Our teacher says so," Flossie quickly admonished the strange boy.

"Well, I don't care what I say, you oughtn't to drive us away from
lookin' in this winder," objected the boy. "Nice smells comes out; and
when you ain't - I mean when you _isn't_ got any money to buy candy, you
can smell it!"

Flossie and Freddie looked at each other in surprise. To be so poor that
one had to "smell" candy instead of eating it, was to be poor indeed!
Flossie opened her fat chubby hand and looked at the two moist pennies
clutched there. Freddie did the same. Then the small Bobbsey twins, with
one accord, held out the money to the boy and girl.

"Here," said Freddie. "Take it!"

"Mine too!" added Flossie. "You can buy candy with it!"

For a moment the ragged boy and girl did not know what to say. Then a
smile came over the boy's face. His fist unclenched, and his sister
smiled too.

"You mean this - for us?" he asked.

"Sure!" answered Freddie. "We don't need candy, and we'll feel good for
Thanksgivin'!"

"Oh, I'm going to buy two lollypops!" cried the ragged girl.

"I want gum!" said the boy, and into the store they disappeared.

Freddie drew a long breath.

"I - I feel happy, don't you?" he asked Flossie.

"Yes," she answered. "I - I guess I do! Anyhow, we can ask mother for
more pennies when we go home."

"Let's take them home for Thanksgiving," suggested Freddie.

"You mean that ragged boy and girl?" asked Flossie.

"Yes. Miss Pompret is going to feed some poor, and we can feed some at
our house. Let's take 'em home," went on Freddie.

"Oh, that will be fine!" Flossie agreed. "Let's!"

When they came out of the candy store the ragged boy and his sister, who
at first thought Flossie and Freddie had wanted to drive them away from
the window, were smiling.

"You're coming home with us!" announced Freddie, taking the boy's hand.

"For Thanksgiving," added Flossie. "Course it isn't Thanksgiving yet,
but we want to feel good when it does come, so we're going to feed you
now."

"Well, I'm hungry all right," sighed the ragged boy.

"So'm I," said his sister.

And so, hardly knowing what was going to happen, the ragged boy, who
said his name was Dick, and his sister, who was Mary Thompson, went with
the little Bobbsey twins.

Mrs. Bobbsey was very much surprised when her little son and daughter
came up the steps, leading a strange ragged boy and girl.

"We brought them home for Thanksgiving, like Miss Pompret's going to
do," said Freddie.

"So's to make us be more happier," added Flossie. "And we gave them our
two cents, so please can we have more? And they're hungry, Mother!"

Mrs. Bobbsey understood that it was the kind hearts of Flossie and
Freddie that had brought all this about. So she welcomed the two strange
children, and took them out to Dinah, who, you may be sure, fed them
enough, and almost too much.

After that meal, which Dick said was the "best feed" he ever had eaten,
and after Flossie and Freddie had finished watching their strange,
ragged guests eat, Mrs. Bobbsey asked Dick and his sister some
questions.

She found out that they lived on the other side of town, that their
father was dead, and that their mother did what she could for her
children.

"Do you go to our school?" asked Freddie, during a pause in his mother's
questions. "We've a nice school, and our teacher's name is Miss Snell,
and - - "

"And Freddie locked a boy up in the tool shed 'cause he pulled my
hair - I mean the bad boy pulled my hair," broke in Flossie.

"We don't go to school - our clothes is too ragged," said Mary, in a low
voice.

"Never mind, my dear. Perhaps I can find some clothes for you that
aren't quite so full of holes," offered Mrs. Bobbsey kindly. "Clothes
with holes in are fine for summer," she said, with a laugh, "but not so
good for winter. I'll see what I can find."

She found some good, half-worn garments belonging to the twins, and Dick
and Mary took the clothes home. The result was that they appeared at
school the following Monday. But neither Flossie nor Freddie spoke of
their mother having given the two fatherless children clothes to wear.

"Now we'll be happy for Thanksgiving; won't we, Freddie?" asked Flossie,
when it was settled that Dick and Mary were to be taken care of.

"Yes," Freddie agreed. "And I hope we have a big turkey!"

"An' cranberry sauce!" added his sister.

There was a fine Thanksgiving dinner at the Bobbsey home, but the mother
of the four twins did not forget the poor. She helped Miss Pompret with
that lady's Thanksgiving feast for those who were not fortunate enough
to have one of their own, and Mr. Bobbsey and some other good-hearted
men of Lakeport provided money so that the Salvation Army could feed a
number of hungry men who were out of work.

Still there was one reason why at least Flossie and Freddie, of the
Bobbsey family, were not quite happy that Thanksgiving day. And the
reason was because there was no snow. The children had polished their
sleds, had wiped the rust off the runners, and were all ready for a
coast. But without snow there can be no sleigh riding, and though the
weather was cold, the sun shone from a cloudless sky, and Flossie and
Freddie were much disappointed.

"Do you think it will ever snow, Mother?" asked Flossie for about the
twentieth time.

"And will there be ice so I can skate?" Freddie wanted to know.

"Well, my dears, there will be snow and ice, surely, in a little while,"
answered Mrs. Bobbsey. "But when I can not say. You must be patient.
Think of your blessings, as Uncle William would say."

"I want to have some fun," complained Freddie. "Oh, look!" he suddenly
cried, coming back to the window away from which he had started to go.

"What is it?" asked Flossie.

"It's our cat - Snoop! A big dog just came along and Snoop ran up the
tree. Now he can't get down!"

"Oh, of course Snoop can get down out of a tree," said Nan. "He's often
climbed up and down before."

But this time Snoop did not come down. Whether he had been too much
frightened by the dog, or whether he was afraid of falling if he started
to come down backward out of the tree, I don't know. But Snoop stayed up
on a limb, where he cried pitifully.

"I'll get him down," offered Bert. "I can climb out on that limb from
our front porch roof. I've done it before."

Bert went upstairs, climbed out on the porch roof, and a little later
was over in the tree where Snoop was perched.

"Mew! Mew!" dismally cried the cat.

"I'm coming to get you," said Bert, kindly. "Wait a minute, Snoop!"

From the ground Flossie, Freddie and Nan watched Bert make his way out
on a limb toward Snoop. And then, all of a sudden, there was a cracking,
breaking sound and Bert cried:

"Oh, I'm falling! I'm going to fall!"




CHAPTER V - CHRISTMAS TREES


Several things happened all in a moment. The cracking limb, Bert's
cries, and the swaying of the bough as it bent toward the ground with
the weight of the Bobbsey boy frightened Snoop, the cat. All this did
just what was needed, for it so frightened Snoop that down he scrambled
out of the tree, not caring whether or not he fell.

Bert, as soon as he felt the tree branch giving way with him, reached
out his arms and grasped whatever came first to his hands. This happened
to be another branch over his head, so that there he was, his feet on
one limb that was slowly bending beneath his weight, and his hands
grasping a branch above him.

And, to add to the excitement, Flossie and Freddie, who saw what danger
Bert was in, set up a dismal crying.

"Oh, Bert's going to fall! Bert's going to fall!" yelled Freddie.

"Daddy! Mother! Dinah! Somebody! Come quick!" exclaimed Flossie. "Catch
Bert before he falls!"

Nan ran out under the tree and stood with her dress held up, as she used
to do when her father picked apples and dropped them down to her. Nan
may have thought Bert could drop down and she would catch him, as a man
jumps into a circus net from the top of the tent. But, again, perhaps
Nan was so excited that she really did not know what she was doing.

However, daddy and mother came hurrying to the window, attracted by the
cries of the children, and Mr. Bobbsey, seeing just what was needed,
said to his wife:

"Run and tell Sam to come here with the ladder. It stands back of the
chicken house."

"I will," said Mrs. Bobbsey. So, instead of running out after Mr.
Bobbsey to see poor Bert dangling in the tree, she hurried to the rear
door and called to Sam, who was working over Mr. Bobbsey's automobile.

"Sam! Sam! Bring the ladder out in front, quick!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Ladder! De ladder?" repeated the colored husband of fat Dinah. "Am dey
a fire some place?"

"No fire!" answered Mrs. Bobbsey. "But Bert is up a tree and he is
falling! Mr. Bobbsey wants the ladder to get him down! Hurry!"

"Oh!" answered Sam. Then he hurried to the chicken house, got the
ladder, and hurried around to the front of the house with it.

"Can you hold on a little longer, Bert?" asked his father anxiously, as
Sam began to raise the ladder up into the tree.

"I - I guess so," was the answer. "Is Snoop all right?"

"Yes, Snoop's all right. He jumped. But don't you jump!" called Nan.

"I - I won't," Bert answered.

Then his father and Sam raised the ladder up into the tree, and a few
minutes later they had rescued Bert, helping him so that he could put
his feet on the ladder and climb down.

"What made you go up?" asked his mother, when the excitement was all
over.

"I went up after Snoop," said Bert. "A strange dog chased him up the
tree."

"Well, of course, you meant to be kind," said his father. "But you must
be careful when in a tree. Very often a branch may look sound and
strong, as though it would hold you up. But when you step on it or pull
on it, it breaks. It is always a good plan, if you climb a tree in the
woods - or anywhere else - to pull on a limb to test it before you bear
your full weight on it. If you hear a cracking sound it means that the
branch will break."

"I heard a cracking sound," Bert said. "But that was after I got out on
the limb with my feet."

"Then it was almost too late," his father said. "But remember always to
test a branch before you trust yourself to it."

The Bobbsey twins and the others went back into the house, and the rest
of the Thanksgiving day passed pleasantly. Snoop and Snap had been given
especially good dinners in honor of the occasion.

In the morning, when Flossie and Freddie awakened, which generally
happened at the same time, the little fellow ran to the window and
looked out.

"Oh, look, Flossie! Look!" he cried. "Come and see!"

"Is Snoop up the tree again?" asked the little girl.

"No, but it's snowing! Snowing hard! Now we can have some fun with our
sleds! Come on, we'll go coasting!"

Later the two smaller Bobbsey twins, having had their breakfasts, ran
out to play in the snow. Quite a little had fallen during the night, and
more was coming down. It was just about right for starting to make a
coasting hill.

Not far from the Bobbsey home, on a side street, was a hill where the
smaller children had their fun. Bert and Nan, with some of the older
boys and girls, generally went to a longer and steeper hill some
distance away. But this time Bert and Nan had not gotten out their
sleds.

"I'm going to wait for Charlie Mason," said Bert. "He said he'd come
over as soon as it snowed. We're going to make a bob."

"May I have a ride on it?" asked Nan. "I'll help you get some pieces of
carpet to tack on if you'll let me ride."

"Sure we'll let you," agreed Bert. And then he went to telephone over to
ask if Charlie were coming.

Meanwhile Flossie and Freddie and some of their friends were having fun
on the small hill. Each of the smaller Bobbsey twins had a sled, and the
children had races to see who would get first to the bottom of the
slope. With merry shouts and laughter they played amid the swirling
flakes of white snow.

The fun was at its liveliest, and Flossie and Freddie were among the
merriest, when along came Nick Malone, the boy whom Freddie had locked
in the tool shed at school.

"Oh, Freddie! Look!" whispered Flossie, dropping the rope of her sled
and moving closer to her brother.

"What is it?" asked Freddie, for he was watching Sammie Henderson go
down hill backward on a "dare."

"It's that - that bad boy!" whispered Flossie. "He might pull my hair!"

"If he does, I'll - I'll - - " began Freddie, and then up swaggered Nick.

"Hu! you can't do nothin' to me now," he sneered. "There ain't no
teacher or principal here! There!" and he reached over as if to pull
Flossie's hair.

"You let my sister alone!" cried Freddie.

"Yah! Yah! Why don't you wear girls' dresses!" taunted Nick. "You're a
girl-boy! Girl-boy!"

"I am not!" declared Freddie, while the other coasters gathered around.
"You go on away!"

"I'm going to have a coast! Here, I guess I'll take this sled!" cried
Nick, and before Freddie could stop him the bad boy caught Flossie's
sled from the ground and ran with it toward the top of the hill.

"Here! You come back! You let my sister's sled alone!" shouted Freddie,
racing after Nick.

Now Freddie was a good runner, but Nick had the start of him, and
reached the top of the hill first. However, Freddie was not far behind,
and no sooner did Nick throw himself flat on the little Bobbsey girl's
sled, face down, than Freddie made a jump, and right on top of Nick's
back he landed!

"Hi! Get off!" cried Nick, his breath rather knocked out of him, for
Freddie was a fat, chubby little fellow.

"You get off my sister's sled!" demanded Flossie's brother.

But it was too late for this. It was impossible for Nick to stop now,
and down the hill he coasted on Flossie's sled, with Freddie on his
back, both boys coasting together!

It was a trick the children often did on the hill, and there was nothing


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