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Laura Lee Hope.

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"Yes," his father answered. "Here we are - a little late, but better late
than never! Now to find our cabin."

He guided the car into the midst of the clearing, and the children could
see the various cabin doors opening and men and women looking out.

"That you, Mr. Bobbsey?" a voice called.

"Yes, Jim Denton," was the answer. "We're here!"

"Thought maybe you'd given up and wouldn't get here until to-morrow,"
the voice went on.

As the car stopped the Bobbsey twins saw a tall, lanky man, wearing
rough clothes, but whose face had a kind smile and whose blue eyes
looked laughingly at them. He stood at the side of the car, peering in.

"We did have a little trouble," said Mr. Bobbsey. "And one of your owls
seemed to think we hadn't any right in the woods. But here we are!"

"One of the owls, eh?" laughed Jim Denton, the foreman of the Christmas
tree and lumber camp. "Well, they sure are queer birds! Make an
outlandish racket, sometimes. But come on in. Your place is all ready
for you, and Mrs. Baxter has had supper ready for some time."

"That's good!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "The children are half starved, I
fancy."

"Run your car over to the shed," said the foreman to Mr. Bobbsey. "It'll
be safe there if it snows."

"Had any snow up here yet?" asked the father of the twins.

"Not yet, but it may come any day. I heard you had a little down your
way."

"But it didn't last very long," Freddie chimed in. "We didn't have much
coasting at all!"

"You didn't, eh?" laughed Jim, as he lifted out Flossie and Freddie,
Bert and Nan being too big for this attention. "Well, when we do get
snow up here we generally get a lot, and it may come any time. But the
longer it holds off the better we can get out lumber and Christmas
trees."

"What about my Christmas trees?" asked Mr. Bobbsey. "That's what I came
up about."

"It is queer about those trees," said the foreman, as he helped Mrs.
Bobbsey out. "We sent a lot off from here, but they must be stuck
somewhere on the railroad down below. However, if they're lost we can
cut more. There's plenty in the woods."

Mrs. Bobbsey and the children waited until Mr. Bobbsey had put the car
under a shed, and then, when he joined them, the family, led by the
foreman, walked toward the largest cabin in the clearing. This was to be
the home of the Bobbseys while they were at Cedar Camp.

"Well, I am glad to see you folks!" exclaimed Mrs. Baxter, who was to do
the cooking and help Mrs. Bobbsey during the stay in camp. "I began to
be afraid that something had happened."

"A wire came loose," said Freddie. "But daddy soon fixed it. And we
heard an owl hoot. Do you like owls?"

"Well, not specially," answered Mrs. Baxter, with a laugh.

"I don't, either," said Flossie.

The Bobbsey twins looked about the cabin that was to be their home for a
time. It was a large one, and had been used by a former foreman with a
large family. There were several bedrooms and it had many of the
comforts of life, even though it stood in the North Woods.

Mrs. Baxter was the wife of one of the men employed in cutting down
trees, and she had agreed to cook for the Bobbseys during their stay.
She and her husband lived in one of the smaller cabins, and her grown
daughter would cook for Mr. Baxter while his wife was with the Bobbseys.

"Now get your things off and sit right up to the table," cried Mrs.
Baxter. "The supper's sort of spoiled, keeping so long."

"I fancy the twins are hungry enough to eat almost anything," said their
mother. "I know I am!"

In spite of what Mrs. Baxter said, the supper proved to be very good
indeed, and Flossie and Freddie passed their plates back so often to be
filled again that their father said:

"My goodness! there won't be anything left for breakfast."

"Won't there, Mother?" asked Freddie anxiously, pausing with his fork
half way to his mouth.

"Oh, yes! Of course! Your father's only joking!" she said, with a laugh.
"But don't eat too much."

"I want just a little more," begged Flossie.

"Can we go out and look at the camp after supper?" Bert wanted to know.

"You can't see much by lantern light," his father told him. "You'll have
plenty of chances to-morrow and the next few days."

Bert found it too dark out of doors when he took a look after leaving
the table, and decided to wait until morning.

The cabin was warm and cosy, and the Bobbsey twins thought they had
never come to a more delightful place than Cedar Camp. They sat and
talked a little while after the meal, and then, when Flossie and Freddie
began to show signs of being sleepy, their mother said it was time for
them to go to bed. Bert and Nan soon followed.

It seemed to be the middle of the night when Flossie, awakened from a
sound sleep, heard a great noise and loud shouting outside the log
cabin.

"Mother! Mother! What's that?" she whispered.

"Only the lumbermen going to work," Mrs. Bobbsey answered.

"Do they go to work in the night?" Flossie wanted to know.

"It's almost morning - the sun will soon be up," her mother told the
little girl. "Keep quiet and don't awaken Freddie."

Flossie turned over and closed her eyes, thinking it strange that men
should have to get up and go to work in the night. It was dark, and the
stars were shining, as she could see by a glimpse through her window.

"I guess maybe they're like Santa Claus," thought Flossie. "They have to
go out to cut Christmas trees in the dark, same as St. Nicholas comes to
our house in the dark on Christmas Eve."

Content with this thought, the little girl fell asleep, not to awaken
again until it was broad daylight. She found that all were up save
Freddie and herself, but the youngest Bobbsey twins soon joined the
others at the breakfast table.

"Oh, goodie!" cried Freddie, when he understood that Mrs. Baxter was
baking buckwheat cakes and had maple syrup to pour over them. "That's
what I like!"

"He can't like 'em all, can he, Mother?" cried Flossie. "I can have some
pancakes, can't I?"

"Hush! There'll be plenty for all of you!" said Mrs. Bobbsey. "What will
Mrs. Baxter think?"

"I'll think they're good and hungry; and that is what I like to see when
I'm baking cakes," laughed the good-natured cook. She was almost as nice
as Dinah, Freddie whispered to Flossie.

"An' if she has a birthday we - we'll give her something," whispered
Flossie.

"Yes," agreed Freddie, holding out his plate for another cake.

After breakfast Mrs. Bobbsey took the children for a walk in the woods
around the camp, while Mr. Bobbsey went to talk with some of his
lumbermen about the missing Christmas trees.

"Don't go too far away," he called to his wife.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because the woods here are rather wild, and you and the children might
get lost. There aren't many trails, paths, or roads. Keep close to
camp."

"I will," she promised.

It was wonderful and beautiful in the North Woods, even though winter
was at hand. Most of the birds had gone, and about the only trees that
had any leaves on were the oaks. An oak tree holds many of its leaves
all winter, the old ones being pushed off in the spring as the new ones
come on. But there were so many spruce, pine, hemlock, and cedar trees
growing all about - trees which remain green from one year to the
other - that the woods were not as bare and dreary as are most forests.
Cedar Camp was indeed a green Christmas camp, and a most lovely place.

"We'll have lots of fun here!" cried Freddie, running to the edge of a
little hill.

"Lots of fun!" agreed Flossie. "We'll - - " and then she stopped
suddenly, for Freddie did a queer thing - or at least a queer thing
happened to the little fellow. His feet seemed to slide out from under
him, and down the hill he went, almost as though sliding on the ice!

"Oh, look! Look!" cried Flossie. "What made him do that?"

"I slid! I slid! Oh, I had a slide! I'm going to slide it again!" cried
Freddie, jumping up and scrambling to the top of the hill again. "Come
on, Flossie!"

"What makes him slide, Mother?" asked Flossie, as she saw her little
brother go down the hill standing up, just as he and his small sister
had often done on a snowy, icy slope.

"It's the pine needles," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "The ground is covered with
the long, brown, smooth pine needles, and they make a slippery carpet.
You may slide on them. If you fall you won't be hurt."

Soon the two smaller Bobbsey twins were having great fun sliding down
the slippery pine-needle-covered hill, and Bert and Nan also took their
turns.

But after two or three slides Bert found something on the ground that
made him exclaim in delight and run to his mother to show her.

"Look!" he cried. "A chestnut! Are there chestnuts in these woods?"

"Yes, I did hear your father say something about them," Mrs. Bobbsey
replied.

"Oh, let's hunt for some!" cried Nan.

"We'll help!" added Flossie and Freddie, deserting the pine-needle slide
for the joys of nutting.

But though the twins looked in all directions they found only a few
scattered chestnuts.

"The squirrels have picked up most of them," said Jim Denton, coming
along a little later. "But there's a chestnut grove not far away, up
Pine Brook, and there ought to be plenty left if you don't wait too
long."

"Oh, Mother! may Nan and I go chestnutting?" asked Bert. "I want to get
a lot!"

"Will it be safe for them?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of the foreman.

"Oh, yes," answered Jim. "It isn't more than a mile and the trail is
plain. I'll tell 'em how to go and show 'em the way."

And so, the next morning, Bert and Nan started off on a chestnut party,
little dreaming of the strange things that were to happen to them and
the other Bobbsey twins.




CHAPTER IX - SAWMILL FUN


Flossie and Freddie had teased to be allowed to go nutting with Bert and
Nan, especially when the smaller Bobbsey twins learned that their
brother and sister were to take a lunch and perhaps stay all the rest of
the day in the woods.

"Oh, I want to go nutting!" cried Flossie.

"So do I!" wailed Freddie. "An' I want to eat my dinner under the
Christmas trees!"

"We can't have any fun if they come with us," objected Bert, in a
whisper to his mother.

"We'll take them some other time," added Nan. "They'd get tired and want
to come back before we found any nuts, Mother."

"Yes," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "perhaps they would. You can take them some
other time, I suppose." Then, as she knew Flossie and Freddie would be
disappointed, Mrs. Bobbsey called to them:

"Come, little twins, we'll go down to the sawmill and see the big logs
sawed up into boards. Maybe you can ride on the log carriers."

Flossie and Freddie knew what this was, and to them there was no better
fun. Also they liked to see the big, jagged-tooth saw whizzing about and
cutting its way through the logs with such a queer, ripping, buzzing
sound.

"Oh, if we can go to the sawmill that will be 'most as much fun as
nutting," agreed Freddie.

"Will you bring us some nuts?" asked Flossie.

"Yes," promised Nan. "And next time we go we'll take you."

So the nutting party was arranged. Taking lunch was a sort of
afterthought on the part of Bert.

"What'll we do if we get hungry?" he had asked his mother.

"We'll take something to eat in our pockets," Nan had said.

"I'm going to eat mine outside - sitting on a log!" laughed Bert.

"Smarty!" laughed Nan. "I'll catch you next time!"

Mrs. Baxter put up for the children a good lunch, more than enough for
two meals, Mrs. Bobbsey said.

"But we'll get awful hungry in the woods," Bert remarked. "And we don't
want to have to eat the nuts we get."

True to his promise, Jim Denton, the foreman, showed the older Bobbsey
twins where to take the path that led up along Pine Brook and deeper
into the forest about Cedar Camp, where the chestnut trees were growing.

"Good-bye!" called Flossie and Freddie, as they stood on the porch of
the log cabin, waving to Bert and Nan, who started off with their lunch
to be gone the rest of the day on the nutting party.

"Good-bye," echoed the older Bobbsey twins, and then they were soon lost
to sight in the turn of the path along Pine Brook, which led deeper into
the North Woods.

"Now for some sawmill fun!" called Mrs. Bobbsey. "We'll go down and see
the little saw chew up the big logs."

In addition to sending to market logs for telegraph poles and the masts
of ships, Mr. Bobbsey's men in the North Woods also sawed up trees into
planks and boards which were sold in the neighborhood. Besides this
there was the Christmas tree trade, but that only took place at this
time of year, around the holidays.

Flossie and Freddie were too small to think much about the missing
Christmas trees, which their father had come to camp to see about. All
they were anxious for was to have some fun, and going to the sawmill was
part of this.

The sawmill was farther down on Pine Brook, where that stream widened
out and was dammed up to make a waterfall. Part of the waterfall went
through a flume, or sort of wooden canal, and the water, falling down a
shaft, or wooden tunnel standing on end, turned a turbine wheel.

A turbine wheel is quite different from the ordinary mill wheel you may
have seen. In fact you can not see the turbine wheel at all, for it is
closed in at the bottom of the water shaft. It is small, but very
powerful, and it was this kind of wheel which turned the saw machinery
in Mr. Bobbsey's Cedar Camp mill.

Before the smaller Bobbsey twins reached the mill they could hear the
ripping, tearing sound of the saw as it cut its way through the logs,
slicing them into boards as your mother slices the loaf of bread with
the carving knife.

"Good morning, Mrs. Bobbsey - also little twins!" called Foreman Tom
Case, who had charge of the sawmill. "Did you come to buy some lumber
this morning?"

Flossie and Freddie knew Tom Case, for he had, at one time, worked in
the lumberyard of their father in Lakeport, so it was meeting an old
friend to see him here.

"Do you want one or two million feet this morning, Flossie?" asked the
jolly sawman. "And will you take it with you or have it sent?"

"I guess we'll just take some sawdust for Flossie's doll," laughed
Freddie. This was a standing joke between the sawmill man and the little
twins. Tom Case was always trying to sell a big lot of lumber to Flossie
and Freddie, and they always said all they wanted was a little sawdust.

"Oh, shucks! you aren't any kind of customers to have around a lumber
camp," laughed Mr. Case. "Where's the rest of the family?" he asked Mrs.
Bobbsey.

"Bert and Nan have gone nutting," their mother answered. "So we came
down here to see what was going on."

"Well, we're sawing up a lot of logs to-day," said the head man of the
mill. "Here, you twins sit right down on this soft place, and you can
watch everything." Mr. Case spread a horse blanket on top of a pile of
soft, fragrant sawdust, and on this Mrs. Bobbsey and the smaller twins
sat down.

They saw the lumber men float logs down into the pond at one side of the
dam and near the flume through which the water dropped to turn the
turbine wheel. Into these logs a big iron hook was driven. The hook was
fast to a chain, and the chain was wound around a drum, or big roller.

When a man threw over a lever that started the machinery, the drum
turned, the chain was wound up and the log was pulled from the water up
on land and ready to be put on the moving carriage which fed it into the
teeth of the saw.

"Could we ride on the logs?" cried Flossie, as she saw them pulled, or
"snaked," as it is called, out of the pond and up on shore.

"Yes! Yes!" chimed in Freddie.

"Oh, no," his mother answered. "You might roll off, and if the log
turned over, and got on your legs, it would break them. It wouldn't be
safe - see there!"

One of the lumbermen had jumped on top of a log that was being pulled
along by the chain. For a time he kept his balance, and was given a
ride. But as Mrs. Bobbsey cried out, the log struck a stone and turned
over, and if the lumberman had not jumped he would have been thrown.

He leaped to one side with a laugh, and ran into the mill.

"That's what might have happened to you, only you might not have gotten
off so easily," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"I'd like to ride," sighed Flossie.

"So would I!" added Freddie.

"Let 'em ride on the log carriage. That's safe if they don't get too
near the saw, and you can ride with them and watch," said Tom Case.

"All right," agreed Mrs. Bobbsey.

The log carriage was a movable platform of framework, on which the logs
rested as they were sawed into boards. The logs were rolled up on the
carriage by men, when the machinery had been stopped and the big buzz
saw was no longer whirring around. Once a log was fastened in place, Tom
Case pulled a lever, and the turbine wheel began to turn the saw, and
also move forward the carriage. The carriage, or framework carrying the
log, moved slowly forward by means of cogwheels underneath, so that it
fed the log into the teeth of the saw which ripped off wide planks and
boards.

Mrs. Bobbsey and the little twins sat on the far end of the carriage,
and began to ride forward with it. Of course if they had stayed on too
long they would have been carried up against the dangerous saw just as
the log was. But before this would happen they could step off, as the
carriage moved slowly, like an automobile just before it stops.

"Oh, this is fun!" cried Flossie, as she dragged her feet through little
piles of sawdust.

"'Most as much fun as nutting!" agreed Freddie. "I'm going to be a
lumber-saw man when I grow up."

"Then you aren't going to be a fireman?" asked his mother, for that had
been Freddie's great ambition.

"Nope; I'm going to have a sawmill," he decided. But as he changed his
mind about every other day concerning what he intended to do when he
grew up, his mother did not take him seriously this time.

She and the twins rode on the log carriage until the big tree length was
almost sawed through, and then she helped Flossie and Freddie off. With
a final zip and clatter the board was sawed off the side of the log.
Then the carriage would move back its full length, the log would be
shifted over to enable the saw to cut a new place, and the work would
start over again.

The log carriage moved backward, when no sawing was being done, much
faster than it moved forward. And the little Bobbsey twins liked this
backward ride very much, as they went fairly whizzing along.

"All aboard!" called Tom Case, as he prepared to send the carriage on
its return trip. Mrs. Bobbsey and Flossie and Freddie took their places.

There was a rattle and a rumble, and back they shot, the twins shouting
in glee and kicking aside the piles of sawdust. Thus they had great fun
at the sawmill, and they did not want to come away when the noon whistle
blew and it was time for lunch. For there was a steam engine in Cedar
Camp, as well as the turbine wheel, and this steam engine had a whistle
which the engineer blew to tell the men to stop for dinner.

After dinner Mrs. Bobbsey went to lie down, and after cautioning Flossie
and Freddie not to go near the sawmill without her, she left the smaller
twins to amuse themselves near the cabin. Their father was out with some
of his men looking after Christmas trees, and as Bert and Nan had gone
nutting, Flossie and Freddie looked about to find some amusement of
their own.

"Let's play sawmill!" proposed Freddie, as he and Flossie wandered down
near Pine Brook, where it ran over the dam, making a waterfall.

"All right," agreed the little girl. "But what'll we have for a saw?"

Freddie looked around and noticed a wheelbarrow not far off.

"That'll do," he said. "We'll turn it downside up, and I'll turn the
wheel for a saw and you can hold sticks against it and make believe
they're being sawed up."

"All right," agreed Flossie. "That'll make a fine saw."

They went over to the wheelbarrow, and then a new idea came to Freddie.

"Oh, Flossie!" he cried, "you sit in it and I'll wheel you down to the
edge of the brook. We'll have our sawmill there, and make believe to
snake logs out of the water like Mr. Case did."

This suited Flossie exactly, and soon she had taken her place in the
wheelbarrow. Freddie grasped the handles, but his sister was almost more
of a load than he had bargained for. Still he was a sturdy little chap,
and he managed to stagger on, wheeling Flossie toward the brook.

There was a smooth place on a little knoll near the brook where Freddie
intended to set up his wheelbarrow sawmill. Toward this place he wheeled
Flossie, and all might have gone well had it not been for the fact that
the ground was covered with those slippery pine needles.

Freddie managed to wheel his sister up the slope, and he was just going
to set the barrow down and tell Flossie to get out so he could turn it
over and make a saw of it, when his feet slipped. He lurched forward,
gave the wheelbarrow a push, and, an instant later, it turned over, and
Flossie, sliding on the slippery, brown pine needles, began to go down
the slope and straight toward the brook, just back of the dam.

Freddie, too, sat down hard and suddenly, but though the breath was
knocked out of him for a moment, he managed to pick himself up and to
cry:

"Mother! Mother! Come quick! Flossie's fallen into the brook and she'll
be carried over the dam!"

And, as he called, into the water at the foot of the pine needle hill
splashed poor Flossie Bobbsey!




CHAPTER X - A SUDDEN STORM


While Flossie and Freddie were having such fun at the real sawmill, and
before Freddie had, by accident, upset Flossie down the pine needle bank
into the brook above the mill dam, Bert and Nan were trudging along
through the woods on their way to the chestnut grove, about which Jim
Denton had told them.

"Aren't you glad we came to Cedar Camp, Bert?" asked Nan.

"I sure am!" answered her brother. "It's like having two vacations in
the same year. We had fun out West, and we'll have fun here."

"We can have a party when we get back, and roast the chestnuts,"
suggested Nan.

"I hope we get a lot," went on Bert, kicking aside the pine cones and
dried leaves. "We'll want some for Flossie and Freddie."

"Yes, and for daddy and mother," added Nan. "They like chestnuts, too."

The day had started as a bright and sunny one, though it was colder up
here in the North Woods than down in Lakeport. But Bert and Nan were
warmly dressed, and they were so accustomed to being out of doors that a
little cold did not bother them.

But though the sun had shone brightly when they had started on their
nutting trip, they had not gone far before the sky began to be overcast
with clouds. Not that Bert and Nan minded this. They were too busy
looking for chestnut trees and thinking what a good time they were
having to mind the weather.

For it was fun just to walk through the woods and breathe the sweet,
spicy odors of the pine and cedar trees. The ground underfoot was
thickly carpeted with dried leaves and pine needles, so that the
footfalls of the older Bobbsey twins made scarcely any sound as they
walked along.

It was so quiet that the children heard many sounds in the forest which
was all about them. They were following a path that led along Pine
Brook, and Jim Denton had said that if they kept to this path they would
come after about a mile's walk to a grove of chestnut trees.

"And if you don't find any nuts there, keep on a little farther," the
lumberman had said. "The squirrels and chipmunks can't have taken all of
them."

So interested were Bert and Nan that they paid little attention to the
weather. In fact, they could scarcely see the sky at times. This was
because the cedar and other trees were so thick overhead.

As they were going along the path where the pine needles made a thicker
carpet than usual, Bert, who was in the lead, came to a sudden stop.

"What's the matter?" asked Nan, shifting from one hand to the other the
bundle of lunch she carried.

"I thought I heard something," said Bert in a low voice.

A moment later there was no doubt of this, for both he and his sister
heard a grunting noise in the bushes, and then they heard the rustle of
dried leaves and the snapping of twigs.

"Oh, Bert! Maybe it's a bear!" cried Nan, clinging to her brother.

"A - a bear!" gasped Bert. He hardly knew what else to say.

"Oh, look!" gasped Nan. She pointed toward a bush, and, coming out from
under it, was a little animal, somewhat larger than a rabbit, but with
different kind of fur, small ears, and with a tail that seemed to have


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Online LibraryLaura Lee HopeThe Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp → online text (page 4 of 10)