The Bobbsey Twins at Home/Chapter 3
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Chapter III: Snap and Snoop
|Chapter IV: Home Again→|
SNAP AND SNOOP
The train on which the Bobbsey twins were coming back from the country had now been stopping for several minutes. There was no sign of a station on either side of the track, as could be told by those who put their heads out of the opened windows. And Mr. Bobbsey had not come back.
"I wonder if anything has happened," remarked Mrs. Bobbsey.
"I'll go and find out, Mother," offered Bert, getting up from his seat.
"No, indeed, I can't let you!" his mother answered. "Your father would not like it. He may be back any moment."
"I don't believe anything much has happened, ma'am," said a man across the aisle from Mrs. Bobbsey. "I can see some men up near the engine, but they are talking and laughing."
"Then they aren't robbers," said Freddie to his older brother Bert, "'cause robbers wouldn't laugh."
"Well, if they're not train robbers why have they guns and false faces on?" asked Bert.
"Maybe they're just making believe—same as when we have pretend-plays," put in Flossie.
"Do you pretend, and make believe?" asked Tommy Todd, of the two younger twins.
"Oh, yes, lots of times," Freddie said. "We have heaps of fun that way; don't you?"
"Sometimes," answered Tommy in a low voice. "Sometimes I pretend I have gone off in a ship, and that I've found my father. I make believe that he and I are sailing together. And oh! how I wish it would come true!"
"Maybe it will—some day," said Flossie softly, as she patted Tommy's hand which was on the back of the seat in front of her.
"I must go out and see what is keeping your father," said Mrs. Bobbsey at last. "Something must have happened. You children stay here with Dinah. Nan and Bert, you look after Flossie and Freddie."
But there was no need for Mrs. Bobbsey to leave the car for, just then, her husband came in. He was smiling, and that seemed to show that nothing very serious was the matter.
"What is it?" asked Bert.
"Are the men playing a game?" Freddie demanded.
"Is the train off the track?" asked one of the fresh air boys. "I hopes it is—that is, if nobody is hurt, 'cause then we won't have to go home, and maybe we can go back to the country."
"No, the train isn't off the track," answered Mr. Bobbsey. "It's a hold-up by masked robbers."
"There! What'd I tell you?" cried Bert to his brother and sisters. "I knew they were masked robbers."
"But only make-believe," went on Mr. Bobbsey, still smiling. "This is a hold-up, or stopping of the train, and a pretend robbery for moving pictures."
"Moving pictures!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Yes. There is a man up front, near the engine, with a moving picture camera. With him are some men and women, actors and actresses, dressed up—some like passengers, such as we are, and others like robbers, with false faces on. They wanted the train to stop so they could get a picture of that, for it would be a funny movie of a train robbery without a train to be seen."
"And did they actually stop the train?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Yes. They held up a red flag and the engineer stopped. But it was all right, for he knew it was going to be done. It was all arranged for ahead of time. Now, if you like, you may come out and see them take moving pictures."
"Well, who would have thought that!" cried Bert. "I was sure the men with masks on were robbers. And they're only taking a moving picture."
"I'd like to see it in a theatre afterward," said Nan. "Don't you remember what fun it was when we were in the movies this Summer?"
"Were you in them, really?" asked Tommy as he followed the twins out of the car.
"Yes, we acted a little," said Bert. "There was a make-believe battle being taken near our uncle's farm. We went to watch. They fired cannon and guns, and had horses—"
"And the men and horses were shot!" interrupted Freddie. "Only pretend, of course, but I was there and I was in the movies too. I acted and so did Nan. And I fell in the brook and the man made a moving picture of me doing that!"
"Did they really?" asked one of the fresh air ladies of Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Yes, the children were in the moving pictures a little this Summer," explained Freddie's mother. "It was all unexpected, but we did not mind, for it was all outdoors. It was fun for them." Those of you who have read the book before this one will remember how Freddie and the others really did act before the camera.
"Say, I'd like to do that!" cried Tommy with shining eyes as he heard what the Bobbseys had done. "It must have been great!"
"It was fun," Freddie said.
By this time they were out of the train, walking up toward the engine. About it were men and women, and the children saw a man with a black box on three legs grinding away at a crank.
"He's taking the moving pictures," said Bert.
"Why—why!" exclaimed Flossie as she came closer. "It's the same man who took our pictures at Meadow Brook!"
"So it is," agreed Nan. "It's Mr. Weston."
"Yes, he's the same one," said Mr. Bobbsey. "I told him you children were on the train and he asked me to fetch you up to see him."
When Mr. Weston had finished taking the pictures of the actors and actresses who had to pretend they were being robbed by the masked men, he spoke to the Bobbsey twins.
"Don't you want to act for the movies again?" he asked, laughing.
"Oh, yes!" cried Flossie and Freddie.
"I'm afraid we haven't time now," said Mrs. Bobbsey with a smile. "We shall get home late, as it is. When is the train going to start again?"
"Pretty soon," answered Mr. Weston.
A few more pictures were taken and then the engineer blew the whistle. The moving picture people got in a big automobile to ride away.
"All aboard!" called the conductor, waving his hand to the engineer who was looking from the window of his cab. "All aboard!"
"Come on!" cried Mr. Bobbsey, and he and the twins, as well as the fresh air children, were soon in the car again, speeding on toward Lakeport.
"That's the first time I ever saw moving pictures taken," said Tommy Todd.
"We go to moving picture shows lots of times," said Flossie. "I like 'em, 'specially when they have fairy plays."
"I like 'em too," replied Tommy. "Only I don't get to see 'em very often. There aren't very many nickels lying loose around our house. Sometimes I only make five cents in a whole day."
"Oh, I didn't find out how much money there was in my bank," said Freddie. "I was just doing it when the train stopped. Wait a minute, Tommy, and I'll ask my father."
Back once more the chubby little "fireman" went to where his father sat, and again he asked the question about the money, and about buying a ship to search for the lost sea captain.
"What's all this?" asked Mr. Bobbsey in surprise. "Who is this Tommy Todd?"
"He's one of the fresh air boys," answered Freddie. "There he is in the seat ahead of Flossie."
"He is one of our nicest boys," put in Miss Carter, the fresh air lady. "I was so glad we could send him out to the farm. He lives with his grandmother on the outskirts of the city near the dumps, and, though the home is a very poor one, Mrs. Todd keeps it very neat. She sews for a living."
"Tommy's father was lost at sea, and Tommy and I are going to rescue him from a desert island," cried Freddie eagerly. "How much money have I in my bank, Daddy?"
"Was his father really shipwrecked?" asked Mr. Bobbsey of Miss Carter.
"I believe he was, yes. Before then Tommy and his grandmother lived well. We help them all we can, but there are so many poor."
"Tommy can run errands," put in Freddie. "He works for Mr. Fitch, our grocer, after school. He's strong, Tommy is. He gained two pounds in the country. Maybe you could hire him to run errands for you, Daddy, and pay him money."
"He really is a very good boy," said Miss Carter. "If you could give him any work it would be a charity."
"I'll see about it when we get home," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"And you say the grandmother does sewing?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "I must look her up, and perhaps I can give her work. We won't forget the Todds."
"But can I help Tommy buy a ship and go to look on the desert island for his father?" Freddie demanded.
"I'll see about it," promised Mr. Bobbsey, with a smile.
The train rumbled on. Some passengers got off, and others came on board. The fresh air children got drinks of water until there was none left in the tank. Some of them crawled under the seats, and one little fat girl got stuck, and a brakeman had to come in and raise the seat so she could get out. Others raced up and down the aisles until the two ladies in charge of them did not know what to do. Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey helped as much as they could.
"The children don't mean to be troublesome," said Miss Carter, "but they don't very often have a chance to have real fun like this, and they make the most of it. Thank goodness we'll soon be home."
A little later the brakeman called:
"Oh, here we are!" cried the Bobbsey twins.
"Come!" shouted Flossie.
"Hurry!" urged Freddie.
"Don't forget Snoop, Dinah," said Nan.
"I'll hurry up to the baggage car and get Snap," said Bert, for the dog had to ride there.
"Can I help you carry any bundles?" asked Tommy Todd of Mrs. Bobbsey. "I get out here, too."
"Oh, yes, so you do. Well, you might carry that basket if it isn't too heavy for you. But please be careful of it for it has flowers in it."
"Yes'm, I'll be careful," and Tommy slipped the handle of the basket over his arm.
The Bobbseys got out, as did some of the fresh air children, and other passengers. Fat Dinah carried the basket in which lay Snoop, the black cat. She had awakened now, and was stretching out her claws.
"I guess Snoop will be glad to get out," said Flossie, putting her fat little finger in the basket to rub her pet. Snoop purred her thanks.
The baggageman loosed Snap's chain, and let him jump out of the baggage car to Bert, who led him down the platform. There was another dog in the car, and his master came for him, following Bert. And then something happened.
The other dog, who it appeared had been growling at Snap all the while the two were in the car, now made a rush to get at him. Perhaps he only wanted to make friends, but it looked as though he wanted to bite. Snap did not like this so he barked at the other dog. Then the other dog became frightened and ran away, pulling loose from his master.
Straight toward Dinah, who was carrying Snoop in the basket, ran the other dog. His master called him to come back but he would not. Then Snap, seeing his enemy run, naturally ran after him, pulling the chain out of Bert's hand.
"Go 'way! Go 'way!" cried Dinah. But the strange dog ran right into her, upsetting her. Down she fell. The basket slipped from her arm, and the cover flew off, letting out Snoop. The black cat, seeing a strange dog, ran down the platform as fast as she could. So with Snap chasing the other dog, and with the Bobbsey twins yelling, and with men and boys shouting, there was so much excitement that Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey did not know what to do.