Rollo had no more to say, but he was impatient to go. He and Lucy went out and stood on the steps again. The clouds were breaking up and flying away in all directions, and large patches of clear blue sky appeared everywhere, giving promise of a beautiful evening.
“Hark!” said Rollo; “what is that?”
Lucy listened. It was a sort of roaring sound down in the woods. Rollo at first thought it was a bear growling.
“Do you think it is a bear?” said he to Lucy, with a look of some concern.
“A bear!—no,” said Lucy, laughing. “That is not the way a bear growls. It is the freshet.”
“The freshet!” said Rollo.
“Yes; it is the water roaring along the brook.”
Rollo listened, and he immediately perceived that it was the sound of water, and he jumped and capered with delight, at thinking how fine a sight it must be.
At the tea-table Rollo’s father explained the plan he had formed for their going. He said it was rather a difficult thing to go and see a freshet without getting wet—especially for a girl. He and Rollo, he said, could put on their good thick boots, but Lucy had none suitable for such a walk, as it would probably be very wet and muddy in some places.
“What shall we do then?” said Rollo.
“I believe I shall let Jonas go down and draw Lucy in his wagon,” said his father. “How should you like that, Lucy?”
Lucy said she should like it very well, and after tea they went out to the garden-yard door, where they found Jonas with his wagon all ready. This wagon was one which Jonas had made to draw Rollo upon. It was plain and simple, but strong and convenient, and perfectly safe. They helped Lucy into it, and she sat down on the little seat. Rollo, with his hoots on, took hold behind to push, and Jonas drew. Rollo’s father walked behind, and thus they set off to view the freshet.
They moved along carefully through the yard, and then turned by the gate and went into the field. The path led them by the garden fence for some distance, and they went along very pleasantly for a time, until at length they came to a large pool of water covering the whole path. There were high banks on each side, so that the wagon could not turn out.
“What shall we do now?” said Rollo.
“I can go right through it,” said Jonas; “it is not deep.”
“And we can go along on the bank, by the side,” said Rollo.
“Very well.” said his father, “if you are not afraid, Lucy.”
Lucy did feel a little afraid at first, but she knew that if her uncle was willing that she should go, there could not be any danger; so she made no objection. Besides, she knew that, as Jonas was to walk along before her, she could see how deep it was, and there could not be any deep places without his finding it out before the wagon went into them.
Jonas was barefoot, and did not mind wetting his feet; so he waded in, drawing the wagon after him. It was about up to his ankles all the way. Lucy looked over the side of the wagon, and felt a little fear as she saw the wheels half under water; but they went safely through.