It was now summer in Boston. The Peters family had gathered their summer crops and was preparing to sell and can them. Rebecca came through the door, tired from running. “Hello!” she called to everyone.
“Rebecca!” Mother called, “I am glad to have your help.” It did not take Rebecca long to find out what she was to help with. Her many sisters and her mother were cutting, cooking, and preserving the strawberries. After quickly washing up, Rebecca ran to help. She liked preserving, in a way. Her favorite part was putting wax paper on the crocks of strawberry preserves, so she ran to do that. Sarah was there by her.
“Father, Joshua, Matthew, and Ben are in the barn,” Sarah stated.
“What are they doing?” Rebecca asked.
“They are putting the animals in the barn,” Sarah replied. “Father thinks it might rain tonight.”
“Really?” Rebecca said. “Mother, will we still be able to have the Olsens over tomorrow afternoon?” The Olsens were the Peters’s good friends that lived in town.
“We will see, Rebecca,” Mother said. “If it rains and the streets are too wet or muddy, you could tell them not to come when you go to the Bradley’s house.”
“Okay,” Rebecca responded. She hoped they could come.
That night it did not rain. The streets were dry when Rebecca went to the Bradley’s home the next morning. I am glad the Olsens will be able to come!Rebecca thought. When she arrived at the Bradley’s door, it opened and three-year-old Bethany ran out.
“Miss Rebecca!” she called happily. “Come and see my carriage!” With that, Rebecca was led into a world of imagination, as usual, for the rest of the morning. “Miss Rebecca, would you help me take my carriage outside?” Bethany asked. The twins wanted to go outside, too.
“Okay, we can go outside,” Rebecca answered. She then toted the twins and Bethany’s “carriage” outside. Bethany’s carriage was just an old chair laid on its back with some faded ribbons attached, but Bethany loved it anyway. Bethany sat on the back of the chair and Rebecca pretended she was a horse as she dragged it around by the legs. Soon the twins wanted to ride too. It was so much fun. Bethany got off at the “store,” which was an old tree at the end of the yard, but the twins still wanted to ride.
Rebecca saw storm clouds off in the distance. She was glad that it was after two o’clock, which was when the Olsens planned to arrive at the Peters home. The Olsens wouldn’t be stopped in the storm. She got the children inside and to the nursery. As they were playing, Bethany said, “Miss Rebecca, look at the sky!”
Rebecca looked out. What she saw was not good. The sky was an eerie green shade. She, even being a farmer’s daughter, had not seen clouds like that before. She thought it must mean a very bad storm. She kept looking out the window. Then she saw a funnel cloud. With Mrs. Bradley’s prompting, Rebecca immediately helped the children to the cellar. “What is happening?” Bethany called worriedly.
“It is a tornado, dear, but do not be afraid,” Mrs. Bradley soothed. “We are safe in the cellar.” But Rebecca wondered exactly how bad a tornado was. She held the whimpering twins tightly.
Half of an hour passed and the tornado did not come their way. Rebecca helped Mrs. Bradley get the children out of the cellar. It was late in the day, so Rebecca ran quickly home. When she saw the farm, she was shocked. The roofs of their house and barn were damaged. She ran through the field to the house.
“Father? Mother?” she called, flinging open the weathered door. She saw her family there with the Olsens.
“Rebecca!” they all called, coming over to her.
“Is everyone okay?” Rebecca asked. “Are the animals okay?”
“Everyone is okay, but we lost some chickens,” Father stated. Rebecca was sad that they lost those chickens, but she was glad that her family and friends were safe. She greeted the Olsens.
“I am glad to see that you are safe, Rebecca,“ Mrs. Olsen said. “It is sad that your house got damaged.” Then she turned to her husband and said, “Jonathan, you and Walter should stay and help the Peterses. Is that not true?”
“Yes, Walter and I shall stay and help,” Mr. Olsen replied. “We will take off work. Please tell our bosses that, dear.”
As he continued to talk to his wife, Rebecca realized that the Olsen’s oldest son, Walter, was there. He did not usually come, since he worked.
“I did not know you were coming, Walter,” she said.
“I got off today,” he said. “We did not have much work at the shop, so I was dismissed.”
“Oh, it is sad that your day off turned out to be a disaster,” Rebecca responded.
“Yes,” Walter replied.
The Peters family was very grateful that the men stayed to help repair the damaged roofs. They were sad to see Mr. Olsen and Walter leave three days later.
Under the newly fixed roof that night, Annie said, “It was so nice of Mr. Olsen and Walter to stay and help.”
“Yes, it was very nice,” Amelia said wistfully, blushing.
“Amelia! Do you like Walter?” Rebecca asked, shocked.
“Why, yes, I like him,” Amelia replied.
“Any special kind of like?” Annie prompted.
“No, he is just a friend,” Amelia replied.
“I am not so sure,” Rebecca said, as the girls climbed into their bed.
“I am sure,” Amelia said. “Stop being silly.”
“I think she really likes him,” Annie whispered to Rebecca.
“I do too,” Rebecca whispered back. And the girls fell asleep.
See complete list of chapters here.