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Freddie saw Danny coming, and did the most natural thing in the world. He dropped the hose and ran. And you know what a hose, with water bursting from the nozzle will sometimes do if you don't hold it just right. Well, this hose did that. It seemed to aim itself straight at Danny, and again the rough boy received a charge of water full in the face.

"Ha—ha—here! You quit that!" he gasped. "I'll fix you for that!"

The water got in his eyes and mouth, and for a moment he could not see. But with his handkerchief he soon had his eyes cleared, and then he came running toward Bert.

Danny Rugg was larger than Bert, and stronger, and, in addition, was a bullying sort of chap, almost always ready to fight some one smaller than himself.

But what Bert lacked in size and strength he made up in a bold spirit. He was not at all afraid of Danny, even when the bully came rushing at him. Bert stood his ground manfully. He had taken up the hose where Freddie had dropped it, and the water was spurting out in a solid stream. Freddie, having gotten a safe distance away, now turned and stood looking at Danny.

Danny, too, had halted and was fairly glaring at Bert, who looked at him a bit anxiously. More than once he and the bully had come to blows, and sometimes Bert had gotten the best of it. Still he did not like a fight.

"I'll get you yet, Freddie Bobbsey!" cried Danny, shaking his fist at the little fellow. Whereupon Freddie turned and ran toward the house. Danny saw that he could not catch him in time, and so he turned to Bert.

"You put him up to do that—to douse me with water!" cried Danny angrily.

"I did not," said Bert quietly. "It was just an accident. I'm sorry——"

"You are not! I say you did that on purpose—or you told Freddie to, and I'm going to pay you back!"

"I tell you it was an accident," insisted Bert. "But if you want to think Freddie did it on purpose I can't stop you."

"Well, I'm going to hit you just the same," growled Danny, and he stepped toward Bert.

"You'd better look out," said Bert, with just a little smile. "There's still a lot of water in this hose," and he brought the nozzle around in front, ready to squirt on Danny if the bad boy should come too near.

Danny came to a stop.

"Don't you dare put any more water on me!" cried the bully. "If you do, I'll——" he doubled up his fists and glared at Bert.

"Then don't you come any nearer if you don't want to get wet," said Bert. "This hose might sprinkle you by accident, the same as it did when Freddie had it," he added.

"Huh! I know what kind of an accident that was!" spoke Danny, with a sneer.

"You'd better get out of the way," went on Bert quietly. "I want to sprinkle that flower bed near where you are, and if you're
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The Bobbsey Twins at School.Page 68

there you might get wet, and it wouldn't be my fault."

"I'll fix you!" growled Danny, springing forward. Bert got ready with the hose, and there might have been more trouble, except that Sam, the colored man, came out on the lawn. He saw that something out of the ordinary was going on, and breaking into a run he called out:

"Am anything de mattah, Massa Bert? Am yo' habin' trouble wif anybody?"

"Well, I guess it's all over now," said Bert as he saw Danny turn and walk toward the gate.

"If yo' need any help, jest remembah dat I'm around," spoke Sam, with a wide grin that showed his white teeth in his black, but kindly face. "I'll be right handy by, Massa Bert, yes, I will!"

"All right," said Bert, as he went on watering the flowers.

"Huh! You needn't think I'm afraid of you!" boasted Danny, but he kept on out of the gate just the same. Sam went back to his work, of weeding the vegetable garden, and Bert watered the flowers. Pretty soon Freddie came back.

"Did—did Danny do anything to you?" the little fellow wanted to know.

"No, Freddie, but the hose did something to him," said Bert.

"Oh, did it wet him again?"

"That's what it did."

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Freddie. "I wish I'd been here to see it, Bert."

"Well, why did you run?"

"Oh, I—I thought maybe—mamma might want me," answered Freddie, but Bert understood, and smiled. Then he let Freddie finish watering the flowers, after which Freddie played he was a fireman, saving houses from burning by means of the hose.

Snap, the trick dog came running out, followed by Flossie, who had just been washed and combed, her mother having put a clean dress on her.

"Oh, Freddie," said the little girl, "let's make Snap do some tricks. See if he will jump over the stream of water from the hose."

"All right," agreed her little brother. "I'll squirt the water out straight, and you stand on one side of it and call Snap over. Then he'll jump."

Flossie tried this, but at first the dog did not seem to want to do this particular trick. He played soldier, said his prayers, stood on his hind legs, and turned a somersault. But he would not jump over the water.

"Come, Snap, Snap!" called Flossie. "Jump!"

Snap raced about and barked, and seemed to be having all sorts of fun, but jump he would not until he got ready. Then, when he did, Freddie accidentally lowered the nozzle and Snap was soaked.

But the dog did not mind the water in the least. In fact he seemed to like it, for the day was warm, and he stood still and let Freddie wet him all over. Then Snap rolled about on the lawn, Freddie and Flossie taking turns sprinkling.

And, as might be expected, considerable water got on the two children, and when Snap shook himself, as he often did, to get some of the drops off his shaggy coat, he gave Flossie and her clean dress a regular shower bath.

Nan, coming from the house saw this. She ran up to Flossie, who had the hose just then, crying:

"Flossie Bobbsey! Oh, you'll get it when mamma sees you! She cleaned you all up, and now look at yourself!"

"She can't see—there's no looking glass here," said Freddie, with a laugh.

"And you're just as bad!" cried Nan. "You'd both better go in the house right away, and stop playing with the hose."

"We're through, anyhow," said Freddie. "You ought to see Snap jump over the water."

"Oh, you children!" cried Nan, with a shake of her head. She seemed like a little mother to them at times, though she was only four years older.

Mrs. Bobbsey was very sorry to see Flossie so wet and bedraggled, and said:

"You should have known better than to play with water with a clean dress on, Flossie. Now I must punish you. You will have to stay in the house for an hour, and so will Freddie."

Poor little Bobbsey twins! But then it was not a very severe punishment, and really some was needed. It was hard when two of their little playmates came and called for them to come out. But Mrs. Bobbsey insisted on the two remaining in until the hour was at an end.

Then, when they had on dry garments, and could go out, there was no one with whom to play.

"I'm not going to squirt the hose ever again," said Freddie.

"Neither am I," said his sister. "Never, never!"

Snap didn't say anything. He lay on the porch asleep, being cooled off after his sport with the water.

"I—I wish we had our cat, Snoop, back," said Flossie. "Then we wouldn't have played in the water."

"That's so," agreed Freddie. "I wonder where he can be?"

They asked their father that night if any of the railroad men had seen their pet, but he said none had, and added:

"I'm afraid you'll have to get along without Snoop. He seems to have disappeared. But, anyhow, you have Snap."

"But some one may come along and claim him," said Freddie. "That Danny Rugg says he belongs to Mr. Peterson in Millville, father," said Bert.

"Well, I'll call Mr. Peterson up on the telephone to-morrow, and find out," spoke Mr. Bobbsey. "That much will be settled, at any rate."

"Did you hear anything from the circus people about the fat lady?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Yes, but no news," was her husband's answer. "The circus has gone to Cuba and Porto Rico for the winter, and I will have to write there. It will be some time before we can expect an answer, though, as I suppose the show will be traveling from place to place and mail down there is not like it is up here. But we may find the fat lady and the cup some day."

"And Snoop, too," put in Nan.

"Yes, Snoop too."

One fact consoled the Bobbseys in their trouble over their lost pet and cup. This was the answer received by Mr. Bobbsey from Mr. Peterson. That gentleman had lost a valuable dog, but it was a small poodle, and unlike big Snap. So far no one had claimed the trick dog, and it seemed likely that the children could keep him. They were very glad about this.

"Oh dear!" exclaimed Bert, one afternoon a few days following the fun with the hose, "school begins Monday. Only three more days of vacation!"

"I think you have had a long vacation," returned Mrs. Bobbsey, "and if Freddie and Flossie are going to do such tricks as they did the other day, with the hose, I, for one, shall be glad that you are in school."

"I like school," said Nan. "There are a lot of new girls coming this term, I hear."

"Any new fellows?" asked Bert, more interested.

"I don't know. There is a new teacher in the kindergarten, though, where Flossie and Freddie will go. Nellie Parks has met her, and says she's awfully nice."

"That's good," spoke Flossie. "I like nice teachers."

"Well, I hope you and Freddie will get along well," said Mamma Bobbsey. "You are getting older you know, and you must soon begin to study hard."

"We will," they promised.

The school bell, next Monday morning, called to many rather unwilling children. The long vacation was over and class days had begun once more. The four Bobbseys went off together to the building, which was only a few blocks from their home. Mr. Tetlow was the principal, and there were half a dozen lady teachers.

"Hello, Nan," greeted Grace Lavine. "May I sit with you this term?"

"Oh, I was going to ask her," said Nellie Parks.

"Well, I was first," spoke Grace, with a pout.

"We'll be in the room where there are three seated desks," said Nan with a smile. "Maybe we three can be together."

"Oh, we'll ask teacher!" cried Nellie. "That will be lovely!"

"I'm going to sit with Freddie," declared Flossie. "We're to be together—mamma said so."

"Of course, dear," agreed Nan. "I'll speak to your teacher about it."

Bert was walking in the rear with Charley Mason, when Danny Rugg came around a corner.

"I know what I'm going to do to you after school, Bert Bobbsey!" called the bully. "You just wait and see."

"All right—I'll wait" spoke Bert quietly. "I'm not afraid."

By this time they were at the school, and it was nearly time for the last bell to ring. Danny went off to join some of his particular chums, shaking his fist at Bert as he went.