by GRACE BROOKS HILL, Thelma Gooch

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“I hear a noise,” declared Dot, holding her Alice-doll more firmly and staring all about into the aisles of the chestnut grove.

“What kind of noise?” asked Tess, mildly curious.

“Where does the sound come from?” demanded Agnes in her abrupt way, but very carefully picking brown chestnuts out of a prickly burr—and with gloves on one may be sure. Catch Agnes Kenway, the “beauty sister,” ever doing anything to spoil her hands!

“Say! Is this a game? Like ‘cum-je-cum’?” grumbled Sammy Pinkney, who did not wear gloves and therefore had already got plenty of “prickers” in his stubbed fingers, although the nutting party had not been in the grove half an hour. “I’ll bite. How big is the noise?”

“Well,” said Dot seriously, and answering Sammy’s query first, “it is not a big noise at all. I just manage to hear it. And it’s gone now.”

“It can’t be a wolf, or anything like that,” said the eminently practical Tess, whose proper name, Theresa, was seldom heard save from the lips of her Aunt Sarah Maltby.

“O-oo!” squealed Dot, squeezing her Alice-doll harder. “Don’t, Tess! A wolf!”

“There’d be some fun in that,” declared Sammy, inspired instantly to romantic imagination. “We’d have to hitch up the horses again, and take to the sledge, and flee——”

“There are no horses, and it’s our automobile,” interrupted Tess, with disdain.

“Aw—you!” gruffly exclaimed Sammy. “Can’t you play this is the Russian steppes?”

“What’s Russian steps, Sammy? Aren’t they like American steps?” asked Dot, who had a bump of inquisitiveness second to none. “I know what Russian sables are, and a Russian samovar, for Ruth has one, an awful ugly thing. And Russian car—caviar. Little black seeds that come in a can and you eat ’em—if you are Russian. But I’m not Russian and I don’t like ’em.”

“That steppes means plains, I guess. Anyway, they are like the western prairies, and there are wolves on ’em. And when they chase you they are faster than the horses can run.”

“But our automobile would beat ’em,” announced Tess confidently. “Neale O’Neil would drive it so fast that no wolf could catch us, Dot.”

“But we’re not in the automobile now,” said the littlest Corner House girl who, if the truth were known, loved to be thrilled.

“Sure not. We’re in a Russian sledge,” declared Sammy, his own excitement feeding on his vivid imagination. “And here come the wolves!”

“O-oo!” shrieked Dot. “Where?”

Sammy pointed dramatically into the deeper woods; but just where he pointed at that moment Neale O’Neil appeared with a heavy sack on his shoulder.

“That’s no wolf,” sighed Dot, disappointed. “It’s only Neale.”

“Well, it might have been a pack of wolves with a leader with slavering tongue.”

“Er—what’s that?” demanded the littlest girl, hearing another new word. “What do they do to ‘slaver’?”

“I—I——Oh, well, what does it matter? Wolves’ tongues always do that,” rejoined the small boy in some disgust. “Anyway, here they come!”

Dot murmured an appreciative and tremulous “o-oo!”

“We got to whip up the horses like mad!” cried Sammy, beating a fallen log with the stick he had used to search the fallen leaves for chestnuts. “See ’em come! They’ll get us——”

“Oh, Sammy,” cried Dot all in a quiver, “don’t let ’em quite get us.”

“Only one way to save our lives!” gasped the almost breathless Sammy, glaring all about him.

“How? How?” cried Dot, in pretended alarm.

Tess Kenway remained rather unmoved by all this. She was getting older, and the stimulant of Sammy’s eager imagination had small...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012878502
Publisher: Unforgotten Classics
Publication date: 05/31/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 567 KB

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