Laura Lee Hope.

The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea online

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Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1918, by Grosset & Dunlap





"Flossie! Flossie! Look at me! I'm having a steamboat ride! Oh, look!"

"I am looking, Freddie Bobbsey!"

"No, you're not! You're playing with your doll! Look at me splash,

A little boy with blue eyes and light, curling hair was standing on a
raft in the middle of a shallow pond of water left in a green meadow
after a heavy rain. In his hand he held a long pole with which he was
beating the water, making a shower of drops that sparkled in the sun.

On the shore of the pond, not far away, and sitting under an apple tree,
was a little girl with the same sort of light hair and blue eyes as
those which made the little boy such a pretty picture. Both children
were fat and chubby, and you would have needed but one look to tell that
they were twins.

"Now I'm going to sail away across the ocean!" cried Freddie Bobbsey,
the little boy on the raft, which he and his sister Flossie had made
that morning by piling a lot of old boards and fence rails together.
"Don't you want to sail across the ocean, Flossie?"

"I'm afraid I'll fall off!" answered Flossie, who was holding her doll
off at arm's length to see how pretty her new blue dress looked. "I
might fall in the water and get my feet wet."

"Take off your shoes and stockings like I did, Flossie," said the little

"Is it very deep?" Flossie wanted to know, as she laid aside her doll.
After all she could play with her doll any day, but it was not always
that she could have a ride on a raft with Freddie.

"No," answered the little blue-eyed boy. "It isn't deep at all. That is,
I don't guess it is, but I didn't fall in yet."

"I don't want to fall in," said Flossie.

"Well, I won't let you," promised her brother, though how he was going
to manage that he did not say. "I'll come back and get you on the
steamboat," he went on, "and then I'll give you a ride all across the
ocean," and he began pushing the raft, which he pretended was a
steamboat, back toward the shore where his sister sat.

Flossie was now taking off her shoes and stockings, which Freddie had
done before he got on the raft; and it was a good thing, too, for the
water splashed up over it as far as his ankles, and his shoes would
surely have been wet had he kept them on.

"Whoa, there! Stop!" cried Flossie, as she came down to the edge of the
pond, after having placed her doll, in its new blue dress, safely in the
shade under a big burdock plant. "Whoa, there, steamboat! Whoa!"

"You mustn't say 'whoa' to a boat!" objected Freddie, as he pushed the
raft close to the bank, so his sister could get on. "You only say 'whoa'
to a horse or a pony."

"Can't you say it to a goat?" demanded Flossie.

"Yes, maybe you could say it to a goat," Freddie agreed, after thinking
about it for a little while. "But you can't say it to a boat."

"Well, I wanted you to stop, so you wouldn't bump into the shore," said
the little girl. "That's why I said 'whoa.'"

"But you mustn't say it to a boat, and this raft is the same as a boat,"
insisted Freddie.

"What must I say, then, when I want it to stop?"

Freddie thought about this for a moment or two while he paddled his bare
foot in the water. Then he said:

"Well, you could say 'Halt!' maybe."

"Pooh! 'Halt' is what you say to soldiers," declared Flossie. "We said
that when we had a snow fort, and played have a snowball fight in the
winter. 'Halt' is only for soldiers."

"Oh, well, come on and have a ride," went on Freddie. "I forget what you
say when you want a boat to stop."

"Oh, I know!" cried Flossie, clapping her hands.


"You just blow a whistle. You don't say anything. You just go 'Toot!
Toot!' and the boat stops."

"All right," agreed Freddie, glad that this part was settled. "When you
want this boat to stop, you just whistle."

"I will," said Flossie. Then she stepped on the edge of the raft nearest
the shore. The boards and rails tilted to one side. "Oh! Oh!" screamed
the little girl. "It's sinking!"

"No it isn't," Freddie said. "It always does that when you first get on.
Come on out in the middle and it will be all right."

"But it feels so - so funny on my toes!" said Flossie, with a little
shiver. "It's tickly like."

"That's the way it was with me at first," Freddie answered. "But I like
it now."

Flossie wiggled her little pink toes in the water that washed up over
the top of the raft, and then she said:

"Well, I - I guess I like it too, now. But it felt sort of - sort
of - squiggily at first."

"Squiggily" was a word Flossie and Freddie sometimes used when they
didn't know else to say.

The little girl moved over to the middle of the raft and Freddie began
to push it out from shore. The rain-water pond was quite a large one,
and was deep in places, but the children did not know this. When they
were both in the center of the raft the water came only a little way
over their feet. Indeed there were so many boards, planks and rails in
the make-believe steamboat that it would easily have held more than the
two smaller Bobbsey twins. For there was a double set of twins, as I
shall very soon tell you.

"Isn't this nice?" asked Freddie, as he pushed the pretend boat farther
out toward the middle of the pond.

"Awful nice - I like it," said Flossie. "I'm glad I helped you make this

"It's a steamboat," said Freddie. "It isn't a raft."

"Well, steamboat, then," agreed Flossie. Then she suddenly went:

"Toot! Toot!"

"Here! what you blowin' the whistle now for?" asked Freddie. "We don't
want to stop here, right in the middle of the ocean."

"I - I was only just trying my whistle to see if it would toot,"
explained the little girl. "I don't want to stop now."

Flossie walked around the middle of the raft, making the water splash
with her bare feet, and Freddie kept on pushing it farther and farther
from shore. Yet Flossie was not afraid. Perhaps she felt that Freddie
would take care of her.

The little Bobbsey twins were having lots of fun, pretending they were
on a steamboat, when they heard some one shouting to them from the

"Hi there! Come and get us!" someone was calling to them.

"Who is it?" asked Freddie.

"It's Bert; and Nan is with him," answered Flossie, as she saw a larger
boy and girl standing on the bank, near the tree under which she had
left her doll. "I guess they want a ride. Is the raft big enough for
them too, Freddie?"

"Yes, I guess so," he answered. "You stop the steamboat, Flossie - and
stop calling it a raft - and I'll go back and get them. We'll pretend
they're passengers. Stop the boat!"

"How can I stop the boat?" the little girl demanded.

"Toot the whistle! Toot the whistle!" answered her brother. "Don't you
'member, Flossie Bobbsey?"

"Oh," said Flossie. Then she went on:

"Toot! Toot!"

"Toot! Toot!" answered Freddie. He began pushing the other way on the
pole and the raft started back toward the shore they had left.

"What are you doing?" asked Bert Bobbsey, as the mass of boards and
rails came closer to him. "What are you two playing?"

"Steamboat," Freddie answered. "If you want us to stop for you, why,
you've got to toot."

"Toot what?" asked Bert.

"Toot your whistle," Freddie replied. "This is a regular steamboat. Toot
if you want me to stop."

He kept on pushing with the pole until Bert, with a laugh, made the
tooting sound as Flossie had done. Then Freddie let the raft stop near
his older brother and sister.

"Oh, Bert!" exclaimed Nan Bobbsey, "are you going to get on?"

"Sure I am," he answered, as he began taking off his shoes and
stockings. "It's big enough for the four of us. Where'd you get it,

"It was partly made - I guess some of the boys from town must have
started it. Flossie and I put more boards and rails on it, and we're
having a ride."

"I should say you were!" laughed Nan.

"Come on," said Bert to his older sister, as he tossed his shoes over to
where Flossie's and Freddie's were set on a flat stone. "I'll help you
push, Freddie."

Nan, who, like Bert, had dark hair and brown eyes, began to take off her
shoes and stockings, and soon all four of them were on the raft - or
steamboat, as Freddie called it.

Now you have met the two sets of the Bobbsey twins - two pairs of them as
it were. Flossie and Freddie, the light-haired and blue-eyed ones, were
the younger set, and Bert and Nan, whose hair was a dark brown, matching
their eyes, were the older.

"This is a dandy raft - I mean steamboat," said Bert, quickly changing
the word as he saw Freddie looking at him. "It holds the four of us

Indeed the mass of boards, planks and rails from the fence did not sink
very deep in the water even with all the Bobbsey twins on it. Of course,
if they had worn shoes and stockings they would have been wet, for now
the water came up over the ankles of all of them. But it was a warm
summer day, and going barefoot especially while wading in the pond, was

Bert and Freddie pushed the raft about with long poles, and Flossie and
Nan stood together in the middle watching the boys and making believe
they were passengers taking a voyage across the ocean.

Back and forth across the pond went the raft-steamboat when, all of a
sudden, it stopped with a jerk in the middle of the stretch of water.

"Oh!" cried Flossie, catching hold of Nan to keep herself from falling.
"Oh, what's the matter?"

"Are we sinking?" asked Nan.

"No, we're only stuck in the mud," Bert answered. "You just stay there,
Flossie and Nan, and you, too, Freddie, and I'll jump off and push the
boat out of the mud. It's just stuck, that's all."

"Oh, don't jump in - it's deep!" cried Nan.

But she was too late. Bert, quickly rolling his trousers up as far as
they would go, had leaped off the raft, making a big splash of water.



"Bert! Bert! You'll be drowned!" cried Flossie, as she clung to Nan in
the middle of the raft. "Come back, you'll be drowned!"

"Oh, I'm all right," Bert answered, for he felt himself quite a big boy
beside Freddie.

"Are you sure, Bert, it isn't too deep?" asked Nan.

"Look! It doesn't come up to my knees, hardly," Bert said, as he waded
around to the side of the raft, having jumped off one end to give it a
push to get it loose from the bank of mud on which it had run aground.
And, really, the water was not very deep where Bert had leaped in.

Some water had splashed on his short trousers, but he did not mind that,
as they were the old ones his mother made him put on in which to play.

"Maybe we can get loose without your pushing us," said Freddie, as he
moved about on the raft, tilting it a little, first this way and then
the other. Once before that day, when on the "boat" alone, it had become
stuck on a hidden bank of mud, and the little twin had managed to get it
loose himself.

"No, I guess it's stuck fast," Bert said, as he pushed on the mass of
boards without being able to send them adrift. "I'll have to shove good
and hard, and maybe you'll have to get in here and help me, Freddie."

"Oh, yes, I can do that!" the little fellow said. "I'll come and help
you now, Bert."

"No, you mustn't," ordered Nan, who felt that she had to be a little
mother to the smaller twins. "Don't go!"

"Why not?" Freddie wanted to know.

"Because it's too deep for you," answered Nan. "The water is only up to
Bert's knees, but it will be over yours, and you'll get your clothes all
wet. You stay here!"

"But I want to help Bert push the steamboat loose!"

"I guess I can do it alone," Bert said. "Wait until I get around to the
front end. I'll push it off backward."

He waded around the raft, which it really was, though the Bobbsey twins
pretended it was a steamboat, and then, reaching the front, or what
would be the bow if the raft had really been a boat, Bert got ready to

"Push, Bert!" yelled Freddie.

But a strange thing happened.

Suddenly a queer look came over Bert's face. He made a quick grab for
the side of the raft and then he sank down so that the water came over
his knees, wetting his trousers.

"Oh, Bert! what's the matter?" cried Nan.

"I - I'm sinking in the mud!" gasped Bert. "Oh, I can't get my feet
loose! I'm stuck! Maybe I'm in a quicksand and I'll never get loose!
Holler for somebody! Holler loud!"

And the other three Bobbsey twins "hollered," as loudly as they could.

"Mother! Mother!" cried Nan.

"Come and get Bert!" added Freddie.

"Oh, Dinah! Dinah!" screamed Flossie, for the fat, good-natured colored
cook had so often rescued Flossie that the little girl thought she would
be the very best person, now, to come to Bert's aid.

"Oh, I'm sinking away down deep!" cried the brown-eyed boy, as he tried
to lift first one foot and then the other. But they were both stuck in
the mud under the water, and Bert, afraid of sinking so deep that he
would never get out, clung to the side of the raft with all his might.

"Oh, you're making us sink. You're making us sink!" screamed Nan.
Indeed, the raft was tipping to one side and the other children had all
they could do to keep from sliding into the pond.

"Oh, somebody come and help me!" called Bert.

And then a welcome voice answered:

"I'm coming! I'm coming!"

So, while some one is coming to the rescue, I will take just a few
moments to tell my new readers something about the children who are to
have adventures in this story.

Those of you who have read the other books of the series will remember
that in the first volume, called "The Bobbsey Twins," I told you of
Flossie and Freddie, and Bert and Nan Bobbsey, who lived with their
father and mother in the eastern city of Lakeport, near Lake Metoka. Mr.
Richard Bobbsey owned a large lumberyard, where the children were wont
often to play. As I have mentioned, Flossie and Freddie, with their
light hair and blue eyes, were one set of twins - the younger - while Nan
and Bert, who were just the opposite, being dark, were the older twins.

The children had many good times, about some of which I have told you in
the first book. Dinah Johnson, the fat, jolly cook, always saw to it
that the twins had plenty to eat, and her husband, Sam, who worked about
the place, made many a toy for the children, or mended those they broke.
Almost as a part of the family, as it were, I might mention Snap, the
trick dog, and Snoop, the cat. The children were very fond of these

After having had much fun, as related in my first book, the Bobbsey
twins went to the country, where Uncle Daniel Bobbsey had a big farm at
Meadow Brook. Later, as you will find in the third volume, they went to
visit Uncle William Minturn at the seashore.

Of course, along with their good times, the children had to go to
school, and you will find one of the books telling what they did there,
and the fun they had. From school the Bobbsey twins went to Snow Lodge,
and then they spent some time on a houseboat and later again went to
Meadow Brook for a jolly stay in the woods and fields near the farm.

"And now suppose we stay at home for a while," Mr. Bobbsey had said,
after coming back from Meadow Brook.

At first the twins thought they wouldn't like this very much, but they
did, and they had as much fun and almost as many adventures as before.
After that they spent some time in a great city and then they got ready
for some wonderful adventures on Blueberry Island.

Those adventures you will find told about in the book just before this
one you are now reading. The twins spent the summer on the island, and
many things happened to them, to their goat and dog, and to a queer boy.
Freddie lost some of his "go-around" bugs, and there is something in the
book about a cave, - but I know you would rather read it for yourself
than have me tell you here.

Now to get back to the children on the raft, or rather, to Flossie,
Freddie and Nan, who are on that, while Bert is in the water, and stuck
in the mud.

"Oh, come quick! Come quick!" he cried. "I can't get loose!"

"I'm coming!" answered the voice, and it was that of Mrs. Bobbsey. She
had been in the kitchen, telling Dinah what to get for dinner, when she
heard the children shouting from down in the meadow, where the big pond
of rain water was.

"I hope none of them has fallen in!" said Mrs. Bobbsey as she ran out of
the door, after hearing Bert's shout.

"Good land ob massy! I hopes so mahse'f!" gasped fat Dinah, and she,
too, started for the pond. But, as she was very fat, she could not run
as fast as could Mrs. Bobbsey. "I 'clar' to goodness I hopes none ob 'em
has falled in de watah!" murmured Dinah. "Dat's whut I hopes!"

Mrs. Bobbsey reached the edge of the pond. She saw three of the twins on
the raft. For the moment she could not see Bert.

"Where is Bert?" she cried.

"Here I am, Mother!" he answered.

Then Mrs. Bobbsey saw him standing in the water, which was now well over
his knees. He was holding to the edge of the raft.

"Oh, Bert Bobbsey!" his mother called. "What are you doing there? Come
right out this instant! Why, you are all wet! Oh, my dear!"

"I can't come out, Mother," said Bert, who was not so frightened, now
that he saw help at hand.

"You can't come out? Why not?"

"'Cause I'm stuck in the mud - or maybe it's quicksand. I'm sinking in
the quicksand. Or I would sink if I didn't keep hold of the raft. I
dassn't let go!"

"Oh, my!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "What shall I do?"

"Can't you pull him out?" asked Nan. "We tried, but we can't."

They had done this - she and Flossie and Freddie. But Bert's feet were
too tightly held in the sticky mud, or whatever it was underneath the

"Wait! I'll come and get you," said Mrs. Bobbsey. She was just about to
wade out to get Bert, shoes, skirts and all, when along came puffing,
fat Dinah, and, just ahead of her, her husband, Sam.

"What's the mattah, Mrs. Bobbsey?" asked the colored man, who did odd
jobs around the Bobbsey home.

"It's Bert! He's fast in the mud!" answered Mrs. Bobbsey. "Oh, Sam,
please hurry and get him out!"

"Yas'am, I'll do dat!" cried Sam. He did not seem to be frightened.
Perhaps he knew that the pond was not very deep where Bert was, and that
the boy could not sink down much farther.

Sam had been washing the automobile with the hose, and when he did this
he always wore his rubber boots. He had them on now, and so he could
easily wade out into the pond without getting wet.

So out Sam waded, half running in fact, and splashing the water all
about. But he did not mind that. As did Dinah, he loved the Bobbsey
twins - all four of them - and he did not want anything to happen to them.

"Jest you stand right fast, Bert!" said the colored man. "I'll have yo'
out ob dere in 'bout two jerks ob a lamb's tail! Dat's what I will!"

Bert did not know just how long it took to jerk a lamb's tail twice,
even if a lamb had been there. But it did not take Sam very long to
reach the small boy.

"Now den, heah we go!" cried Sam.

Standing beside the raft, the colored man put his arms around Bert and
lifted him. Or rather, he tried to lift him, for the truth of the matter
was that Bert was stuck deeper in the mud than any one knew.

"Now, heah we go, _suah!_" cried Sam, as he took a tighter hold and
lifted harder. And then with a jerk, Bert came loose and up out of the
water he was lifted, his feet and legs dripping with black mud, some of
which splashed on Sam and on the other twins.

"Oh, what a sight you are!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Oh, but good land of massy! Ain't yo' all thankful he ain't all
_drown?_" asked Dinah.

"Indeed I am," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Come on away from there, all of you.
Get off the raft! I'm afraid it's too dangerous to play that game. And,
Bert, you must get washed! Oh, how dirty you are!"

Sam carried Bert to shore, and Nan helped Freddie push the raft to the
edge of the pond. And then along came Mr. Bobbsey from his lumberyard.

"Well, well!" exclaimed the father of the Bobbsey twins. "What has

"We had a raft," explained Freddie.

"And I had to toot the whistle when I wanted it to stop," added Flossie.

"We were having a nice ride," said Nan.

"Yes, but what happened to Bert?" asked his father, looking at his muddy
son, who truly was a "sight."

"Well, the raft got stuck," Bert answered, "and I got off to push it
loose. Then I got stuck. It was awful sticky mud. I didn't know there
was any so sticky in the whole world! First I thought it was quicksand.
But I held on and then Sam came and got me out. I - I guess I got my
pants a little muddy," he said.

"I guess you did," agreed his father, and his eyes twinkled as they
always did when he wanted to laugh but did not feel that it would be
just the right thing to do. "You are wet and muddy. But get up to the
house and put on dry things. Then I have something to tell you."

"Something to tell us?" echoed Nan. "Oh, Daddy! are we going away

"Well, I'm not sure about that part - yet," replied Mr. Bobbsey. "But I
have strange news for you."



Bert and Nan Bobbsey looked at one another. They were a little older
than Flossie and Freddie, and they saw that something must have happened
to make their father come home from the lumber office so early, for on
most days he did not come until dinner time. And here it was scarcely
eleven o'clock yet, and Dinah was only getting ready to cook the dinner.

"Is it bad news?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband.

"Well, part of it is bad," he said. "But no one is hurt, or killed or
anything like that."

"Tell us now!" begged Bert. "Tell us the strange news, Daddy!"

"Oh, I couldn't think of it while you look the way you do," said Mr.
Bobbsey. "First get washed nice and clean, and put on dry clothes. Then
you'll be ready for the news."

"I'll hurry," promised Bert, as he ran toward the house, followed by
Snap, the trick dog that had once been in a circus. Snap had come out of
the barn, where he stayed a good part of the time. He wanted to see what
all the noise was about when Bert had called as he found himself stuck
in the mud.

"Are you sure no one is hurt?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband. "Are
Uncle Daniel and Aunt Sarah all right?"

"Oh, yes, of course."

"And Uncle William and Aunt Emily?"

"Yes, they're all right, too. My news is about my cousin, Jasper Dent.
You don't know him very well; but I did, when I was a boy," went on Mr
Bobbsey. "There is a little bad news about him. He has been hurt and is
now ill in a hospital, but he is getting well."

"And is the strange news about him?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, as she walked
on, with Flossie, Freddie and Nan following.

"Yes, about Cousin Jasper," replied Mr. Bobbsey. "But don't get worried,
even if we should have to go on a voyage."

"On a voyage?" cried Mrs. Bobbsey in surprise.

"Yes," and Mr. Bobbsey smiled.

"Do you mean in a real ship, like we played our raft was?" asked

"Yes, my little fireman!" laughed Mr. Bobbsey, catching the little
bare-footed boy up in his arms. Often Freddie was called little
"fireman," for he had a toy fire engine, and he was very fond of
squirting water through the hose fastened to it - a real hose that
sprinkled real water. Freddie was very fond of playing he was a fireman.

"And will the ship go on the ocean?" asked Flossie.

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