Old Mr. Carford
“Stop the horses!”
“Yes, grab them, somebody, or they’ll run into the girls!”
“Look out, everybody, they’re coming right this way!”
“I’m going to get my bob to a safe place!”
It was Danny Rugg who called out this last, and the other boys had shouted the previous expressions, as they watched the oncoming, runaway horses.
Bert Bobbsey had thrown himself on his sled and was coasting toward the group of girls, of whom his sister Nan was one. They were on their sleds in the very path of the team. It seemed that nothing could save them. But Bert had a plan in his mind.
And, while he was preparing to carry it out, I will take just a moment to tell my new readers something about the characters of this story, and the books that have gone before in the series.
Bert and Nan, Freddie and Flossie Bobbsey were the twin children of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bobbsey, who lived in an Eastern city called Lakeport, at the head of Lake Metoka. Mr. Bobbsey was a prosperous lumber merchant. Other members of the household were Dinah and Sam Johnson. Dinah was the cook, fat and good-natured. Sam was her husband, slim and also good-natured. He did all sorts of work about the place, from making garden to shoveling snow.
Then there was Downy, a pet duck; Snoop, a pet black cat, and, of late, Snap, the fine trick dog, who had come into the possession of the Bobbseys in a peculiar manner.
In the first book of this series, entitled “The Bobbsey Twins,” I told of the good times the four children had in their home. How they played in the snow, went coasting, helped to discover what they thought was a “ghost,” and did many other things. Bert even went for a sail in an ice boat he and Charley Mason had made, though it was almost more than the boys could manage at times.
The second volume, called “The Bobbsey Twins in the Country,” told of the good times the four had when they went to the farm of Uncle Daniel Bobbsey and his wife, Aunt Sarah, who lived at Meadow Brook.
Such fun as there was!
There was a country picnic, sport in the woods, and a great Fourth of July celebration. A circus gave a chance to have other good times, and though once there was a midnight scare, it all turned out happily.
But though the twins had much happiness in the country they were destined to have still more fun when they went to the ocean shore, and in the third book, called “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore,” I related all that happened to them there.
They went on a visit to their uncle, William Minturn, who lived at Ocean Cliff, and their cousin Dorothy showed them many strange scenes and sights. They had most delightful times, and toward the close of their visit there was a great storm at sea, and a shipwreck. The life savers were on hand, however, and did such good work that no one was drowned. And if you want to learn how a certain little girl was made very happy, when she found that her father was among those saved, you must read the book.
Then, after the storm ceased, there were more happy days at the shore. The time for the Bobbseys to leave came all too soon. School was about to open, and even the smaller twins must now settle down to regular lessons.
In the fourth book of the series, called “The Bobbsey Twins at School,” there is told of the start for home.
But many things happened before the family arrived. There was the wreck of the circus train, the escape of the animals, the meeting with the very fat lady, and the loss of Snoop, the pet cat. Then, too, a valuable cup the smaller Bobbsey twins had been drinking from, seemed to be lost, and they were very sorry about it.
On the way home something else occurred. They were followed in the dark by some strange animal. At first they feared it was some wild beast from the circus but it proved to be only a friendly dog.
How Flossie and Freddie insisted on keeping the dog, now that their pet cat Snoop was gone, how they named him Snap, and how it was discovered that he could do tricks, are all part of the story.
There were many more happenings after the twins started in at school. Mr. Bobbsey’s boathouse caught fire in a mysterious manner. Snap was found to be a circus dog, and it was pretty certain that the fat lady in the train had also belonged to the show, and that it was she who had the valuable silver cup.
In time all was straightened out, and how Snoop came back from the circus in far-off Cuba, how Snap was allowed to stay with the Bobbseys, and how even the cup was finally recovered–all this you will find set down in the fourth book of this series.
And now winter had come in earnest, though even before this story opens the Bobbsey twins had had a taste of snow and ice. The accident on the coasting hill now occupied the attention of all.
“Oh, Nan! Nan will be killed!” cried Flossie, as she stood with Freddie gazing down the slope.
“No, she won’t!” exclaimed Freddie, “Bert is going to save her–you’ll see!”
“Oh, if he only can!” murmured Nellie Parks, one of Nan’s friends.
“I think he will! See, he is coming nearer to them,” added Grace Lavine, another friend.