THE GET-AWAY

Amy Brooks had sunk in the bog!

The weight of the soggy earth had dragged her down, until she lay
helpless, clinging to some underbrush!

And how dark it was now!

“Quick! Quick!” called Dorothy. “This may be a bog hole!”

“Team play! Team play!” shouted Tavia, and instantly every girl,
whether leading or following, was making for the spot from which Amy’s
cries came.

The girl was imbedded in the black, wet bog as if she had been cemented
there!

Even Tavia had no suggestion to offer, but stood gazing in hopeless
amazement.

Dorothy was running about, trying to find a firm footing from which to
reach out to the imperilled girl.

Although it was September, the late afternoons were damp and chilly,
and as the girls, almost feverish from the over-excitement, ran this
way and that, in hope of finding some sort of board or plank to make a
way to Amy, their shouts of fright and cries for help, rent the air,
and turned the scene, so lately one of merriment, into terror and
danger for everyone of them.

“Oh, it’s all my fault!” wailed Tavia. “I should not have risked it so
near dark.”

“It’s nobody’s fault,” replied Dorothy, “but this is the time to act.
Come Tavia, we may get a fence rail. I see some old black stuff, like
wood, over there,” and she did her best to hurry over the wet ground,
that threatened to hold her fast at every step.

In the meantime the other girls were trying to get Amy out. Molly
Richards was the oldest and strongest, and she ventured near the spring
until the others called to her that she would presently be worse off
than Amy. A pile of light travelling coats were tossed over to Amy and
she kept herself from going deeper in the bog by making these fast to
the brushwood near her.

“Here we are!” called Dorothy, and with one end of the old moss-covered
fence rail on her shoulder, and the other end upon Tavia’s, the two
girls made their way to the brink of the bog hole.

It took but a few minutes to get the rail over the swamp-like pit,
where a spring sluggishly bubbled.

“There,” called Dorothy, “now see if it will hold you, Amy.”

But there was no need to direct Amy. Her rescue was too welcome to wait
for orders. Throwing her arms firmly over the rail she dragged herself
out of the mud until she was sitting on the long piece of wood.

“Be careful,” called Tavia. “Hold tight, and we will all pull the rail
over to this side.”

In spite of the peril the situation was almost comical, and the girls
lost no opportunity of cheering and otherwise dispelling the fast
settling gloam.

“We ought to carry you to the road this way,” suggested Nita Brant,
“you are so soaking wet, and horribly muddy—-”

“Thank you, but I am too anxious to walk. I doubt if I shall get the
use of my ankles for a month,” replied Amy. “My! but that was awful! I
was saying my prayers, I tell you.”

“But what shall we do now?” inquired Ned, who, on account of her
injured arm, could not help in the rail ride.

“Go directly back to the train,” said Dorothy. “Listen! That was a
train whistle! Oh, if it should start—-”

“A train sure enough!” declared Jean, who had held back. “That’s what
we get for following–a leader.”

Her tone was full of contempt, and everyone noticed it.

“Too bad you came,” replied Tavia, who never cared for good manners,
when there was a chance for sarcasm, “for that is the wrecking train, I
think, and they might have taken you on the hand car. Wouldn’t it have
been fun?”

The idea of that fashionably dressed girl riding on a hand car with
train men!




“Now let me down,” insisted Amy. “I’m going to run after that whistle
even if it proves to be a fog horn!”

“Oh, don’t–go near–the water!” shouted Tavia, and, as she spoke, a
big touring automobile dashed by.

“Another life-saver lost!” declared Dorothy. “If only we could have
made them see us!”

“Oh, mercy!” gasped Nita, “There come two men with guns on their
shoulders!”

“Just snipe hunters, likely,” said Dorothy, but she was noticed to
hurry toward the road.

It was not a great distance back to the standing train, and, as the
girls came within hearing of some passengers on the rear platform,
someone called:

“Oh you Glenwood girls! You have missed it. The touring car came from
your school to get you, and is now driving all over the country
looking for strayed, lost or stolen girls.”

“The Glenwood machine! Oh, do let me cry!” begged Tavia. “If I don’t
cry within the next three minutes, I’ll die of internal deluge.”

She stepped to the platform. Dorothy was the next to mount, but she
paused to help Edna.

“Back safely?” asked the man who had bandaged the strained arm. “We
were greatly worried. I could scarcely keep mother from going after
you,” and the handsome elderly lady who had been standing aside with
him, came forward and extended her hand to Dorothy.

“My baseball player!” groaned Tavia into Molly’s ear. “Lost again, but
I think he’s an artist. I’ll get him to paint me.”

By this time the young ladies were passing into the car. When the other
passengers heard of the accident, and beheld Amy’s almost solidly
bog-cemented garments, there was no end to the excitement.

“I think,” said the young man, “that I can arrange to get this car, or
half of it, for you young ladies for the night. As there are no chairs
nor sleepers to be had it may be well to make sure of something.”

“Oh, thank you so much,” said Dorothy, who was still acting as leader,
although she hardly knew what to do or say. “This is awful! And to
think that we missed the car! The school principal, Mrs. Pangborn, will
be ill of anxiety.”

“There is no possible way of getting a message away from here,” replied
the other. “But at least they know the train is safe.”

“But they also know that we were not in it,” objected Dorothy. “Mrs.
Pangborn probably heard of the delay caused by the broken bridge, and
sent for us.”

“There’s just one way, and perhaps I can make it. May I leave mother
with you?” and the young man quickly picked up his cap, leaving the car
before anyone had time to know what he was going to do.

“I’ll be back in about an hour,” he called, and then the girls were
once more conscious of the loneliness of being “just girls.” Men know
so much better what ought to be done in emergencies.