Presently they began to descend a path which led them into the woods. They heard the roaring of the water, which grew louder and louder as they drew nigh, and then Rollo suddenly stopped and said,
“Why, father, it is raining here in the woods now.”
Lucy listened, and they heard the drops of rain falling upon the ground all around them; and yet, looking up, they saw that the sky was almost perfectly clear. Presently they thought that this was only the drops falling off from the leaves of the trees.
Rollo said he meant to see if it was so, and he ran out of the path, and took hold of a slender tree with a large top of branches and leaves, and, looking up to see if any drops would come down, he gave it a good shake; and, true enough, down came a perfect shower of drops all into his face and eyes. At first he was astonished at such an unexpected shower-bath, but he concluded, on the whole, to laugh, and not cry about it; and he came back wiping his face, and looking comically enough. All the party laughed a little at his mishap, and then went on.
In a few minutes more, they came in sight of the foaming brook. The water was very high; in some places, the banks were overflowed, and the current swept along furiously, dashing against the rocks, and whirling round the projecting points.
The children stopped, and gazed upon the scene a little while, and then Rollo said he was going to sail his boats, which he had brought in his pocket.
Just then Jonas saw a plank which was lying partly on the bank and partly in the water, a little up the stream. It had been placed across the brook some distance above, for a bridge; but the freshet had brought it away, and it had drifted down to where it then was.
Jonas said he would find a place for Lucy to stand upon with it. So he went and pushed off this plank, and let it float down to where the children were standing; and then he drew it up upon the shore, and laid it along, so that Lucy could stand upon it safely, and launch the pea-pod boats.
These boats were soon all borne away rapidly down the stream, out of sight; and then they threw in sticks and chips, and watched them as they sailed away, and whirled around in the eddies, or swept down the rapids. Thus they amused themselves a long time, and then slowly returned home.
[Illustration: “The bower on the mountain.”]
* * * * *
Rollo’s mother advised him, when he went to bed the evening before the day fixed upon for the blueberrying, to rise early the next morning, and take a good reading lesson before breakfast. She said he would enjoy himself much more, during the day, if he performed all his usual duties before he went. Rollo accordingly arose quite early, and, when he came in to breakfast, had the satisfaction of telling his father that he had read his morning lesson, and prepared his basket, and was all ready to go.