Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/60

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A regular Midsummer Night's Dream frolic, which every one enjoyed heartily, while the band played patriotic airs, the pretty villa shone like a fairy palace, and the sky was full of dazzling meteors, falling stars, and long-tailed comets, as the rockets whizzed and blazed from the hill-tops.

Just as the fun was at its height the hurried clang of a bell startled the merry-makers, and a cry of "Fire!" came from the town, causing a general stampede. "Post-office all afire! Men wanted!" shouted a breathless boy, racing through the crowd toward the river. Then great was the scampering, for shops stood thickly all about the post-office, and distracted merchants hastily collected their goods, while the firemen smashed windows, ran up and down ladders, broke in doors, and poured streams of water with generous impartiality over everybody and everything in the neighborhood, and the boys flew about, as if this unexpected display of fireworks suited them exactly.

Such noble exertions could not fail of success, and the fire was happily extinguished before the river was pumped dry. Then every one went home,