The Bobbsey Twins at Home/Chapter 4
"Come back, Snap!" cried Bert. "Come back!"
"Run after him," begged Nan.
"I'll get Snoop!" shouted Freddie.
"And I'll help you," offered Flossie, hurrying along as fast as her fat little legs would take her. Freddie was already half-way down the platform after the black cat.
"Come back, children! Come back!" begged Mother Bobbsey. "Oh, Richard!" she called to her husband, "get the children!"
"All right," he answered, but he could hardly keep from laughing, it was all so funny. Dinah still sat where she had fallen, after being knocked over by the strange dog, and there was a look of wonder on her face, as if she did not quite understand how it had all happened.
"I beg your pardon. I'm sure I'm very sorry for what has happened," said the man whose dog had caused all the trouble by rushing at Snap.
"Oh, you couldn't help it," returned Mrs. Bobbsey. "Richard," she again called to her husband, "do look after Flossie and Freddie. I'm afraid they'll be hurt."
"I'll help get them, and the cat too!" offered Tommy Todd. "I like cats and dogs," he added, and, carefully setting down the basket of flowers, he, too, ran down the platform.
By this time Snap, chasing after the strange dog, was half-way across the street in front of the railroad station, but Snoop, the black cat, was not in sight. Flossie and Freddie, having come to the end of the platform, stopped, for they had been told not to cross a street without looking both ways for wagons or automobiles. And it was while they had thus come to a stop that their father came up to them.
"Don't go any farther," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"But we want to get Snoop!" cried Freddie.
"And Snap will be lost, too," said Flossie, ready to cry.
"That's all right. We'll get them both. Snap won't go far. I'll bring him back. Where's your whistle, Bert?"
Bert had followed his father, while Nan stayed with her mother to help get Dinah up. Dinah was so fat that once she sat down flat on the platform she could hardly get up alone. It was not often, of course, that she sat down that way. This time it was an accident. So while Mrs. Bobbsey and Nan were helping up the fat cook, Bert gave his father a tin whistle he carried for calling Snap when the big dog was far away.
Mr. Bobbsey blew a loud blast on the whistle. Snap, who was now running down the street after the strange dog, turned and looked back. But he did not come toward the station.
"Come here, Snap!" called Mr. Bobbsey. "Come here at once!" And he said it in such a way that Snap knew he must come. Again the whistle was blown and Snap, with a last bark at the dog which had made so much trouble, turned and came running back.
"I wish you could call my dog back as easily as you called yours," said the man who owned the animal Snap had been chasing. "But I guess I had better go after him myself," he added. "Your dog and mine don't seem to get along well together, and I think it's Rover's fault. But he has never traveled in a train before, and perhaps he was frightened."
"Our dog and cat like to ride in a train," said Flossie, patting the head of Snap, who was wagging his tail.
"Oh, but we've got to find Snoop!" cried Freddie, who had, for the moment, forgotten about the black cat. "Come on Flossie."
The two younger Bobbsey twins were about to set off on a search for their pet when they saw Tommy Todd coming toward them, with the black cat in his arms.
"I've found her for you," he said, smiling. "She's all right, only a little scared I guess, 'cause her heart's beating awful fast."
"Thank you, little man," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"Oh, Snoop! Did the bad dog bite you?" asked Flossie, putting her arms around the cat as Tommy held her.
"No, she isn't bitten," said Freddie, as he looked carefully at Snoop. "Where did you find her, Tommy?"
"She was hiding behind some boxes down by the express office. I saw her go that way when the two dogs ran across the street, so I looked there for her. She didn't want to come out but I coaxed her. I like cats and they always come to me."
"That's 'cause you're kind to them," said Flossie. "Come on now, Snoop, you must go back into your basket until we get home."
"And don't run away again, either, Snap!" said Bert to the dog, shaking a finger at him. Snap seemed to understand and to be a bit sorry for what he had done. He drooped his tail, and when a dog does that he is either ashamed or afraid.
"Oh, don't be cross with him," begged Nan, who had come along now, after having helped her mother get Dinah to her feet. "Don't make him feel bad, Bert, after we've had such a nice time in the country."
"All right, I won't," laughed Bert. "It's all right, old fellow," he said to Snap. "I guess you didn't mean it."
This time Snap wagged his tail, which showed that he felt much happier.
"Let me take Snoop," begged Flossie of Tommy, and the "fresh air boy," as the twins called him, handed over the black cat. They all walked back to where Dinah and Mrs. Bobbsey were waiting. Snoop was put in her basket, where she curled up as if glad to be away from the noise and excitement.
The fresh air children had gone their various ways and Tommy set off down the street toward his poor home, which, as he had said, was down near the "dumps."
"Wait a minute!" called Mr. Bobbsey after him. "Give me your address, Tommy. Mrs. Bobbsey wants to come and see your grandmother."
"Oh!" exclaimed Tommy, and he seemed rather surprised. "Well, I live on Lombard Street."
"What number?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, taking out a note book and pencil.
"There isn't any number on our house," said Tommy. "Maybe there was once, but it's gone now. But it's the last house on the street, the left hand side as you go toward the dumps."
"All right," said Mr. Bobbsey. "I guess we can find you. But that's a long way to walk from here. Aren't you going to take a car?"
"No—no, sir," answered Tommy. "I don't mind walking."
"Maybe he hasn't the car fare," whispered Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Just what I was thinking myself," answered her husband. "Here, Tommy," he went on. "Here's a quarter. Use it to ride home, and get yourself an ice cream soda. It's warmer here than out on the fresh air farm," and he held out the money. "The ice cream will cool you off."
"Oh, I—I don't want to take it," said Tommy. "I don't mind the walk."
"Come on, take it!" insisted Mr. Bobbsey. "You can run some errands for me later on, and earn it, if you like that better."
"Yes, I'll do that," said Tommy, and this time he took the money. "I'll run errands for you whenever you want me to," he added, as he started toward the street car.
"All right," said Mr. Bobbsey with a laugh. "And tell your grandmother that we will get her more sewing to do."
"She'll be glad to hear that," Tommy said. He was quite a little man, though no older than Bert.
"And I won't forget about taking my saved-up money to buy a ship, so you and I can go and get your father from the desert island," said Freddie, as Tommy got on the car.
"And I'm coming too," added Flossie. "You said I could cook."
"You ought to take Dinah along to cook," laughed Nan.
"Maybe we will; sha'n't we, Freddie?" asked his little sister.
"Well, if we can get a ship big enough for her and us we will," Freddie decided. "But I haven't got much money, and Dinah needs lots of room."
With Snap and Snoop now safe, the Bobbseys and Dinah got in a carriage and left the station to drive to their home. On the way they saw the man whose dog had barked at Snap. The man had the animal by a chain and was leading him along. Snap growled as he looked out and saw him.
"Be quiet, sir!" ordered Bert.
"Yes, be nice and quiet like Snoop," said Flossie.
"There's our house!" cried Freddie, as they turned a corner. "Why, it's been painted!" he added, in surprise.
"Oh, so it has!" exclaimed Nan.
"Yes, I had it painted while you were at Meadow Brook," returned Mr. Bobbsey. "Do you like it?" he asked his wife.
"Yes, it's a lovely color. But I'd like it anyhow for it's home. It was nice in the country, but I'm glad to be home again."
"So are we!" cried Flossie. "We'll have lots of fun here; sha'n't we, Freddie?"
"That's what we will!"
"Home again! Home again!" gaily sang Nan as her father opened the front door, and they all went in. "We're all at home again!"