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The Story of a Bold Tin Soldier   By:

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[Illustration: "Forward March!" Said the Bold Tin Soldier.]

THE STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER

BY

LAURA LEE HOPE

ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY L. SMITH

CONTENTS

I A MAKE BELIEVE FIGHT II SAVING THE CLOWN III BOUGHT BY A BOY IV A BEAN BATTLE V THE CAPTAIN AND THE LAMB VI SAVING THE SAWDUST DOLL VII A SAD ACCIDENT VIII A BUNCH OF SWEETNESS IX BACK TO THE STORE X THE SOLDIER AND THE RABBIT

THE STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER

CHAPTER I

A MAKE BELIEVE FIGHT

"Attention!"

That was the word of command heard in the toy section of a large department store one night, after all the customers and clerks had gone home.

"Attention!"

"Dear me, what is going on?" asked a Calico Clown, as he looked around the corner of a pile of gaily colored building blocks.

"Has the Sawdust Doll come back to see us?" inquired a Candy Rabbit.

"That would be good news, if it were true," said a Jumping Jack.

"But it isn't true," announced a Monkey on a Stick, as he climbed up to the top of his perch and looked over the top of a Noah's Ark. "I don't see the Sawdust Doll anywhere, nor the White Rocking Horse, nor the Lamb on Wheels. It isn't any of our former friends who have come back to visit us."

"Who is it, then?" asked the Calico Clown, reaching up to get hold of a long string, for he thought perhaps he could turn somersaults like the Monkey on a Stick or the Jumping Jack.

"Attention, Soldiers!" suddenly called again the first voice that had spoken. "Ready, now! Attention!"

"Oh, it's the Bold Tin Soldier!" said the Jack in the Box, who was the Jumping Jack's cousin. "What's the matter down there in your barracks, my Bold Tin Soldier?" went on the Box Jack, as he was sometimes called for short.

"I want my men to get ready to march," answered the Bold Tin Soldier. "We are going to have a fancy drill to amuse you, my friends. Would you like to see me march my men around the counter?"

"Very much, indeed," answered the Candy Rabbit. "It is night now, and there are no human eyes to see what we do. So we toys may come to life and move about and make believe we are real as much as we please. We haven't had very much fun since the jolly sailor came and carried away the Lamb on Wheels."

"Has any one heard anything from her since she left us?" asked the Calico Clown.

"Oh, yes, the Lamb has a lovely home with a little girl named Mirabell," answered the Jack in the Box. "And Mirabell has a brother named Arnold, and those two children live next door to Dorothy, who has our dear friend the Sawdust Doll."

"Really?" asked the Jumping Jack.

"Really and truly," added the Box Jack. "And Dorothy's brother, whose name is Dick, owns the White Rocking Horse who used to be here with us."

"Why, that is quite remarkable," said the Monkey on a Stick. "I hope we all get homes with such nice children when we are sold and taken away."

"You may well say that," came from the Bold Tin Soldier. "Some children are not as kind to their toys as they might be. But now, if you want to see me and my men march around in fancy drill, please take your places and keep out of the way."

"Yes, indeed, we must keep out of the way," said the Candy Rabbit. "I don't want to get pricked with a soldier's bayonet or tickled with the Captain's sword."

"And be sure to keep well back from the edge of the counter," went on the Bold Tin Soldier. "I don't want any of you falling off when the guns are fired."

"Oh dear me! has any one a bit of cotton?" asked a Rag Doll, who sat next to a picture book.

"Cotton? Why do you want cotton?" asked the Calico Clown.

"Didn't you hear what the Bold Tin Soldier said?" asked the Rag Doll. "He spoke about guns going to be shot off, and I can't bear loud noises. If I can find some cotton I am going to stuff it into my ears so I won't be made deaf."

The Box Jack and the Jumping Jack stood side by side as cousins ought; the Candy Rabbit found a place near the Noah's Ark; the Monkey on a Stick found a place as near the parade grounds as the Bold Captain would let him come; and the Calico Clown moved over close to the Rag Doll... Continue reading book >>




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