The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat
The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat
Chapter 1 GOOD NEWS
"What are you doing, Freddie?" asked Bert Bobbsey, leaning over to oil the front wheel of his bicycle, while he glanced at his little brother, who was tying strings about the neck of a large, handsome dog.
"Making a harness," answered Freddie, not taking time to look up.
"A harness?" repeated Bert, with a little laugh. "How can you make a harness out of bits of string?"
"I'm going to have straps, too," went on Freddie, keeping busily on with his work. "Flossie has gone in after them. It's going to be a fine, strong harness."
"Do you mean you are going to harness up Snap?" asked Bert, and he stood his bicycle against the side of the house, and came over to where Freddie sat near the big dog.
"Yes. Snap is going to be my horse," explained Freddie. "I'm going to hitch him to my express wagon, and Flossie and I are going to have a ride."
"Ha! Ha!" laughed Bert. "You won't get much of a ride with THAT harness," and he looked at the thin cord which the small boy was winding about the dog's neck.
"Why not?" asked Freddie, a little hurt at Bert's laughter. Freddie, like all small boys, did not like to be laughed at.
"Why, Snap is so strong that he'll break that string in no time," said
"Flossie's gone in for our booty straps, I tell you!" said Freddie. "Then our harness will be strong enough. I'm only using string for part of it. I wish she'd hurry up and come out!" and Freddie glanced toward the house. But there was no sign of his little sister Flossie.
"Maybe she can't find them," suggested Bert. "You know what you and
Flossie do with your books and straps, when you come home from school
Friday afternoons-you toss them any old place until Monday morning."
"I didn't this time!" said sturdy little Freddie, looking up quickly. "I-I put 'em-I put 'em-oh, well, I guess Flossie can find 'em!" he ended, for trying to remember where he had left his books was more than he could do this bright, beautiful, Saturday morning, when there was no school.
"I thought so!" laughed Bert, as he turned to go back to his bicycle, for he intended to go for a ride, and had just cleaned, and was now oiling, his wheel.
"Well, Flossie can find 'em, so she can," went on Freddie, as he held his head on one side and looked at a knotted string around the neck of Snap, the big dog.
"I wonder how Snap is going to like it?" asked Bert. "Did you ever hitch him to your express wagon before, Freddie?"
"Yes. But he couldn't pull us."
"'Cause I only had him tied with strings, and they broke. But I'm going to use our book straps now, and they'll hold."
"Maybe they will-if you can find 'em-or if Flossie can," Bert went on with a laugh.
Freddie said nothing. He was too busy tying more strings about Snap's neck. These strings were to serve as reins for the dog-horse. Since Snap would not keep them in his mouth, as a horse does a bit, they had to go around his neck, as oxen wear their yokes.
Snap stretched out comfortably on the grass, his big red tongue hanging out of his mouth. He was panting, and breathing hard, for he and Freddie had had a romping play in the grass, before quieting down for the horse-game.
"There, Snap!" Freddie exclaimed, after a bit. "Now you're almost hitched up. I wish Flossie would hurry up with those straps."
Freddie Bobbsey stood up to look once more toward the house, which his little twin sister had entered a few minutes before, having offered to go in and look for the book straps. She had not come back, and Freddie was getting Impatient.
At last the little girl appeared on the side porch. Her yellow hair blew in the gentle June breeze, making sort of a golden light about her head.
"Freddie! Freddie!" she cried. "I can't find 'em! I can't