The Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge/Chapter 11
"Are you sure this is so—is Danny Rugg really going up to the woods near Snow Lodge?" asked Bert of Charley, after a pause.
"That's what Frank Smith told me," replied Charley, "and you know Frank and Danny are great chums."
"That's so. Well, if Danny doesn't bother us we won't make any trouble for him," said Bert. "Still, I'd rather he would go somewhere else."
"If Mr. Rugg is going up to see about having lumber cut," said Nan, "I guess there 'won't be much fun for Danny. Maybe he won't bother us at all."
"He will if he gets a chance," declared her brother. "Danny's just that kind. But we'll wait and see."
Bert, Nan and Charley talked for some time longer about the trip to Snow Lodge, and then, as it was getting nearly time for dinner, they skated down the lake toward their homes.
"How are you folks going up to the lodge?" asked Charley, before parting from Bert and Nan.
"Oh, I guess father will take one of his big lumber sleds and drive us all up," replied Bert. "We'll have to take along lots of things to eat, for it's a good ways to the store, and we might get snowed in."
"That's right," said Charley. "But say, why don't you and Freddie go up in our iceboat, the Ice Bird? It isn't much of a run to Snow Lodge, on the lake, and it's good going now."
"I never thought of that!" exclaimed Bert. "I wonder if father would let us?"
"You can ask him," said Nan. "I'd like to skate up, if it wasn't so far. But I don't believe it would be safe to take Freddie on the ice-boat, Bert. He's so little, and so easily excited that he might tumble out."
"That's right. And yet it will be no fun to sail it alone. I wish you could go with me, Charley."
"I wish I could, but I don't see how I can. My folks are going to my grandmother's for a couple of weeks. Otherwise I'd be glad to go."
"Well, maybe my father will sail in the iceboat with me," spoke Bert. "I guess I'll ask him."
Bert and Nan had much to talk about as they skated on, having bidden Charley goodbye, and their conversation was mostly about the new idea of getting to Snow Lodge on the ice.
"I don't want to skate alone, any more than you want to go in the ice-boat alone," said Nan. "But maybe mamma and papa will let us invite some of our friends to spend a week or so at Snow Lodge with us. Then it would be all right."
"It surely would," said Bert.
The Christmas dinner at the Bobbsey home was a jolly affair, and while it was being eaten Bert spoke to his father about the ice-boat.
"Do you think it will carry you to the upper end of the lake?" asked Mr. Bobbsey with a smile, for Bert and Charley had made the boat themselves, with a little help. Though it was a home-made affair, Bert was as proud of it as though a large sum had been spent for it.
"Of course it will carry us to Snow Lodge," he said. "There would be room for four or five on it, if the wind was strong enough to carry us to the head of the lake. But I don't want to go alone, Father. Could you come?"
"I'm afraid not," laughed Mr. Bobbsey. "I'll have to go in the big sled with your mother, and the provisions. We're going to take Dinah and Sam along, you know. Can't you ask some of your boy friends? I guess there's room enough at the Lodge."
"That's just what I'll do!" exclaimed Bert. "I'll see who of the boys can go."
"And may I ask Grace Lavine or Nellie Parks?" inquired Nan. "We could skate up, or go part way in the ice-boat with the boys."
"I think so," said Mrs. Bobbsey.
"I know who you could take on the iceboat," said Freddie, passing his plate for more turkey.
"Who?" asked Bert.
"Dinah!" cried the little fellow. "She would be so heavy that she couldn't roll off, and if the ice-boat started to blow away she'd be as good as an anchor."
"That's right!" cried Nan. "Dinah, did you hear what Freddie is planning for you?" she asked as the fat cook came in with the plum pudding.
"I 'clar t' goodness I neber knows what dat ar' chile will be up to next! " exclaimed Dinah with a laugh. "But if he am plannin' to squirt any mo' fire injun water on me I's gwine t' run away, dat's what I is!"
They all laughed at this, Dinah joining in, and then Freddie explained what he had said.
"No, sah! Yo' don't cotch me on no icecream boat!" declared Dinah. "I'll go in a sled, but I ain't gwine t' fall down no hole in de ice and be bit by a fish! No, sah!"
There was more laughter, and then the plum pudding was served. Freddie begged that Snoop and Snap be given an extra good dinner, on account of it being Christmas, and Dinah promised to see to this.
Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey discussed the plans for going to Snow Lodge. They agreed that Bert and Nan, if they wished, might each ask a friend, for the old farmhouse in the woods on the edge of the lake contained many rooms. It was completely furnished, all that was needed being food.
"So if you young folks want to skate or ice-boat up the lake I see no objection," said Mr. Bobbsey. "The rest of us will go in a big sled."
"Couldn't I go in the ice-boat?" asked Freddie. "I'm getting big. I'm almost in the first reader book."
"We're going so fast your fire engine might be lost overboard," said Bert with a smile, and that was enough for his little brother. He didn't want that to happen for the world, so he gave up the plan of going on the Ice Bird.
"I don't like the idea of that Danny Rugg going to be near us," said Mrs. Bobbsey to her husband, when Bert had told this news. "He's sure to make trouble."
"Perhaps not," said Mr. Bobbsey. "Bert generally manages to hold his own when Danny bothers him."
"Yes, I know. But it always makes hard feelings. I do wish Danny wasn't going up there."
"Well, the woods are open, and we can't stop him," said Mr. Bobbsey, with a smile. The children had gone out to play, and the house was quiet once more.
"There is a great deal to do to get ready," went on Mrs, Bobbsey. "But I think the trip will do us all good. I only hope none of us take cold."
"Don't worry," advised her husband. "I'll see Mr. Carford, and have the fires made up a couple of days before we arrive. That will make the house good and warm, and dry it out."
They talked over the various things they had to do in order to make their stay at Snow Lodge pleasant, and then went out to call on some friends.
That afternoon Bert and Nan extended the invitation to Snow Lodge to a number of their boy and girl friends, explaining how they were going to make the trip on skates or on the iceboat.
But one after another declined. Either their parents had made other plans for spending the Christmas holidays, or they did not think it wise to let their children go off in the woods.
Bert asked a number of boys he knew, but none of them could go, and Grace Lavine, Nellie Parks, and many other girls to whom Nan spoke, made excuses.
"I guess we'll have to give up the ice-boat plan," said Bert, regretfully that night to Nan. "No one seems able to go. Will you risk it with me, Nan?"
"I wouldn't be afraid," she answered. "If mamma and papa will let me I'll sail in the Ice Bird with you."
"Then we'll go that way!" cried Bert. But the next day something occurred that made a change in the plans of the Bobbsey twins.