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PAGES: 141

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The Outdoor Girls Around the Campfire

By Laura Lee Hope

“Putt—putt—putt!” came the rhythmic beating of the motor as the little motorboat sped over the glassy surface of the lake, stirring up the water on either side of it and leaving a frothy white trail in its wake.

“How’s this for speed?” laughed the girl at the wheel, a pretty, dark-haired girl with dancing brown eyes. “We could beat any other boat on this old lake.”

“And then some!” agreed Mollie Billette, slangily. “I wish someone would come along and challenge us to a race.”

“It would provide some excitement, anyway,” sighed Grace Ford as she lounged in the bow of the pretty little boat. “It looks like a pretty dull summer to me so far.”

“How do you get that way, Grace Ford?” cried Betty Nelson, she of the dark hair and dancing eyes whom the girls fondly called “Little Captain.” “Tell ’em, Amy,” she added to the quiet, sweet-faced girl who lounged beside Mollie Billette. “Tell ’em what you told me a little while ago.”

Grace Ford sat upright, chocolate halfway to her mouth, while Mollie Billette’s black eyes regarded the “Little Captain” severely.

“Betty Nelson, what have you been holding back from us?” she demanded, but Betty was still looking at Amy Blackford.

“Tell ’em, Amy,” she repeated. “The news is too good to keep.”

“I’ll say it is,” Amy agreed, a smile lighting up her quiet face. When Henry spoke of it to me at first, I thought it was too good to be true. I supposed he was joking.”

“Told you what?” cried Mollie Billette, exasperated. “If you are not the most aggravating——”

“Hold your horses, old dear,” drawled Grace Ford, quietly helping herself to another piece of candy. “Amy has the floor——”

“The deck, you mean,” murmured Amy, then added hastily, as the girls threw impatient glances her way: “I’ll tell you just how it happened if you give me a chance. Henry,” Henry was Amy’s older brother, “had a chance to take over an old shack near the upper end of Rainbow Lake in part payment for a debt. And now that he has the shack, he doesn’t know what to do with it.”

The girls leaned toward Amy eagerly.

“Then what?” asked Mollie.

“Why,” said Amy, with a smile of quiet enjoyment, “I told him I thought we girls might help him for the summer, anyway. I thought camp out there during vacation would be a great lark.”

“Amy, you are a wonder,” drawled Grace, but Mollie broke in impatiently.

“Is he going to let us have it?” she demanded.

“I should say so!” laughed Amy. He said he would be glad to put it to some sort of use. He said it would make a mighty fine summer camp, but that was about all it was good for.”

“It will be ideal,” the Little Captain said happily as she brushed a wind-blown strand of hair from her eyes. Why, at the upper end of Rainbow Lake, we’ll be as much alone as if we were in an African forest.”

“More so, I hope,” drawled Grace, adding with a little shudder: “For in an African forest they have wild animals for the company while here——”

“We shan’t see anything wilder than a chipmunk,” chuckled the Little Captain.

“Suits me fine,” said Grace heartily. “Wolves and bears may be all right, but give me a chipmunk every time.”

“My, isn’t she brave?” said Mollie admiringly, and the other girls chuckled.

“Tell us more about this little shack, Amy,” said Betty after a while. “Is it very tiny or big enough to contain us all without squeezing?”

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Laura Lee Hope

Laura Lee Hope is a pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for the Bobbsey Twins and several other children’s novel series. Actual writers who have taken up the pen of Laura Lee Hope include Edward Stratemeyer, Howard and Lilian Garis, Elizabeth Ward, Harriet (Stratemeyer) Adams, Andrew E. Svenson, June M. Dunn, Grace Grote, and Nancy Axelrad.

Laura Lee Hope was first used as a pseudonym in 1904 for the debut of the Bobbsey Twins.


  • The Bobbsey Twins (1904–1979)
  • The Outdoor Girls (23 vols. 1913–1933)
  • The Moving Picture Girls (7 vols. 1914–1916)
  • Bunny Brown (20 vols. 1916–1931)
  • Six Little Bunkers (14 vols. 1918–1930)
  • Make Believe Stories (12 vols. c. 1920–1923)
  • Blythe Girls (12 vols. 1925–1932)

Laura Lee Hope

Laura Lee Hope