“We did,” answered Snap.
“Hurry up, we want to see the rest of the fun,” cried Giant, and set off on a dog-trot in the direction of the Dudder mansion.
When the four boys reached that vicinity they found quite a crowd collected. More people were coming from the public square. The piazza of the Dudder homestead was illuminated with Chinese lanterns, and there sat Mr. and Mrs. Spink, the Dudder family, and a dozen specially invited guests.
“Carl, isn’t it about time you began to set off those fireworks?” asked Mr. Dudder, as his son came up the steps.
“Ham and I are going to get them out right away,” answered Carl.
“Who set off the fireworks at the square?” questioned Mrs. Spink.
“I don’t know.”
“Were they nice?” asked Mrs. Dudder.
“Not near as nice as those we are going to show,” returned Ham.
“Hurry up wid dem fireworks!” shouted an urchin hanging on the fence.
“You get off that fence, or you won’t see anything,” cried Carl.
“Bring on the fireworks!” shouted several.
“We are going to have a regular programme,” announced Carl, standing on a garden bench. “First there will be a bouquet of four rockets. Then will follow two large Roman candles, six vari-colored pinwheels, two large and four small flower pots, one living picture of George Washington, two aerial bombs, four golden clusters, one living serpent, two mines, and a whole lot of other things too numerous to mention.”
“Go on with the show,” shouted a man outside. “We don’t want to listen to no speech.”
“Come, let us get the box,” said Ham, and then he and Carl hurried down to the barn, where they found the flat box. Much to their surprise it was bound around and around with some old telegraph wire. Snap and his chums had wanted to nail the box up but had been afraid of the noise.
“Somebody’s been playing a joke on us!” growled Ham.
“Never mind, we’ll soon have the wire off,” answered his crony. “Let us take the box outside.”
They lifted the box and carried it out into the yard. There a number of visitors gathered around to watch proceedings, two holding up lanterns to illuminate the scene.
It took several minutes to take the wire from the box. Then the cover was wrenched off.
“Here we are!” cried Carl, and took up the top layer of fireworks. “Let us stack them against that bench, Ham.”
“Look!” screamed Ham, and pulled up a handful of straw, in which the fireworks had been packed. “What does this mean?”
As he spoke he held up two half-burnt pasteboard tubes—–the remains of two Roman candles. The burnt-out remains of several pinwheels followed.
Carl dove into the box and withdrew his hands covered with soot and holding several burnt-out flower pots and the frame upon which had once been fastened the “living picture” of our first President.