HALLOWEEN AT MERRYVALE





CHAPTER IV

THE CANDY PULL

"Don't you think the candy's cold by this time?" whispered Fat to Toad.

"Let's find out," suggested Toad, and the two boys walked over to the table where the pans had been placed to cool. Very gently placing his finger tips upon the candy, Fat exclaimed:

"Oh, it's just right; plenty cool enough to pull."

"Hey, come on, everybody," shouted Toad, "the candy's ready."

"I'll get some butter," offered Chuck, running off to the kitchen, saying as he went: "Wait until it comes; it keeps the candy from sticking."

When he returned the boys all greased their fingers well with butter and set to work pulling the taffy.

"Let's see which one can make his the lightest," suggested Linn. "I used to be pretty good at this work when I was young," he laughed.

"Well, Grandpa, I'll beat you this time," boasted Toad.

"Won't somebody help me out of this?" wailed Herbie, holding up before him two very sticky hands. He had been so anxious to commence pulling his taffy that he had not waited for the butter.

"You're a sad looking sight," laughed Fat. "Why didn't you wait to see how I did it," he chuckled.

"You'd better go and wash it all off," suggested Father, "and make a fresh start, for there's plenty of taffy."

Herbie took his advice.

"Reddy, what was that the teacher said in school the other day about too much candy being bad for little boys?" inquired Chuck from his corner by the fireplace, at which Reddy laughed.

"Come on," he said, "let's see who's taffy's the lightest."

"Yes, everyone hold out his piece," proposed Linn.

"Oh, yours is," admitted Toad as he saw Linn's cream-colored taffy.

"Looks like a lock of Mary Lee's hair," observed Herbie, glancing at Linn's piece.

"You're always talking about her," teased Fat.

"Am not," denied Herbie stoutly, his face turning red.

"Oh, look at the little dear blush," cried Toad in great glee, just dodging the sofa pillow aimed at his head by Herbie.

Hopie, leaning back comfortably against the side of the fireplace, heaved a sigh of contentment.

"Got a tummy ache?" asked Reddy.

"Nope, just enjoying myself," was the answer as he took another bite from his piece of taffy.

"What'll we do next?" inquired Chuck, turning to Father Brown.

"I'm expecting a witch at nine o'clock to tell fortunes," was the reply. "I hope she doesn't disappoint us."

"A witch," shrieked Fat in a high, thin voice, making believe to be very much alarmed. "I hope she won't change me into a snake."

"Oh, you'd make a better turtle—you're so fond of walking slow," laughed Linn.

"She'll turn Herbie into a sleeping Prince, and Mary Lee will be the Princess who kisses him and wakes him up," said Chuck, teasingly, at which all the boys roared with laughter.

As Herbie started off after Chuck a merry chase followed which the other boys enjoyed, at times holding Chuck until Herbie was almost upon him and then letting him go, only to catch Herbie and hold him in turn. Suddenly in the midst of the uproar there came a sharp rap on the door.

"One—two—three."

"Hush," whispered Chuck, "it's the witch."

 

"Three cheers for Hopie!" shouted all the boys.



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