THE BOBBSEYS AND OTHERS WERE ROWED TO THE SHORE.
“Flossie! Flossie! Look at me! I’m having a steamboat ride! Oh, look!”
“I am looking, Freddie Bobbsey!”
“No, you’re not! You’re playing with your doll! Look at me splash, Flossie!”
A little boy with blue eyes and light, curling hair was standing on a raft in the middle of a shallow pond of water left in a green meadow after a heavy rain. In his hand he held a long pole with which he was beating the water, making a shower of drops that sparkled in the sun.
On the shore of the pond, not far away, and sitting under an apple tree, was a little girl with the same sort of light hair and blue eyes as those which made the little boy such a pretty picture. Both children were fat and chubby, and you would have needed but one look to tell that they were twins.
“Now I’m going to sail away across the ocean!” cried Freddie Bobbsey, the little boy on the raft, which he and his sister Flossie had made that morning by piling a lot of old boards and fence rails together. “Don’t you want to sail across the ocean, Flossie?”
“I’m afraid I’ll fall off!” answered Flossie, who was holding her doll off at arm’s length to see how pretty her new blue dress looked. “I might fall in the water and get my feet wet.”
“Take off your shoes and stockings like I did, Flossie,” said the little boy.
“Is it very deep?” Flossie wanted to know, as she laid aside her doll. After all she could play with her doll any day, but it was not always that she could have a ride on a raft with Freddie.
“No,” answered the little blue-eyed boy. “It isn’t deep at all. That is, I don’t guess it is, but I didn’t fall in yet.”
“I don’t want to fall in,” said Flossie.
“Well, I won’t let you,” promised her brother, though how he was going to manage that he did not say. “I’ll come back and get you on the steamboat,” he went on, “and then I’ll give you a ride all across the ocean,” and he began pushing the raft, which he pretended was a steamboat, back toward the shore where his sister sat.
Flossie was now taking off her shoes and stockings, which Freddie had done before he got on the raft; and it was a good thing, too, for the water splashed up over it as far as his ankles, and his shoes would surely have been wet had he kept them on.
“Whoa, there! Stop!” cried Flossie, as she came down to the edge of the pond, after having placed her doll, in its new blue dress, safely in the shade under a big burdock plant. “Whoa, there, steamboat! Whoa!”