Stuffed Bear Mystery

Stuffed Bear Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Book: Stuffed Bear Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gertrude Chandler Warner
CHAPTER 1
An Unbearable Emergency
    A roomy car carrying four children and their grandfather made its way up into the mountains. As the car climbed higher and higher, the children in the car yawned and stretched.
    Six-year-old Benny Alden yawned twice to pop his ears. The car was so high up! The mountains must have grown while he’d been dozing. Now he was wide awake again. “Hey,” he said. “What are those cotton balls on the hills?”
    The other Alden children—Henry, Jessie, and Violet—laughed along with their grandfather, James Alden.
    Jessie, who was twelve, turned around from the front seat. “You’d better rub the sleep from your eyes, Benny. Those are sheep, not cotton balls. They still have on their thick winter coats. That’s why they look so fat and fuzzy.”
    “Not for long,” fourteen-year-old Henry said, ruffling Benny’s brown hair. “Peggy and Doc Firman told Grandfather our visit is just in time to help them with sheep shearing. I’d like to see that.”
    “Know what I’d like?” ten-year-old Violet asked. “I’d like to help Peggy sew some of her Peggy Bears. Didn’t she say we might get to do that, Grandfather? I hope so.”
    “I know so.” Grandfather smiled at Violet in the rearview mirror. “When I told Peggy Firman how handy you are with a needle and thread, she couldn’t wait for us to stay at Woolly Farm. She’s got her hands full designing and sewing her teddy bears to sell at the Old Mills Teddy Bear Jamboree.”
    Benny reached into his backpack. He pulled out a scruffy, sad-looking teddy bear that often went along on family trips. “I hope you don’t get jealous of Peggy’s new-looking bears, Mister B.,” he told the stuffed brown bear.
    “Mister B. is certainly showing his age,” Grandfather Alden said. “He’s traveled on quite a few trips since I was a boy.”
    Violet reached over to stroke the bear’s droopy head. “Poor Mister B. I think it’s time to bring you to Doctor Firman’s Toy Hospital. You need some nice wool stuffing and a new eye.”
    Mister B. stared back at Violet with his one glass eye. Yes, it was time for a visit to the doctor’s.
    Mr. Alden slowed down when he reached Old Mills. “Awful lot of cars today,” he said. “People are already arriving for the Teddy Bear Jamboree.” Mr. Alden pointed to a small wooden building next to the Old Mills General Store. “There’s Doc Firman’s Toy Hospital.”
    “I wish we could go in right now,” Violet said, disappointed to see a CLOSED sign. “I guess someone else wants to go in, too. Look, there’s a woman knocking at the window as if she sees somebody inside.”
    “Whoa!” Henry said as their car pulled up next to a yellow van. “Check out the big red bear. It’s sitting in the front seat like a real person, with a seat belt on and everything.”
    Jessie giggled. “Who could it belong to? It looks funny sitting there—as if it’s waiting for its owner to come back.”
    “Here comes that woman who was tapping on the window,” Henry said. “The big bear must belong to her.”
    As soon as the woman got behind the wheel, she blew her horn for Mr. Alden to move.
    Jessie rolled down the window. “Sorry. We’re stuck in traffic, too. I like your bear.”
    “I have an emergency!” The woman honked again.
    At last the traffic cleared up, and Mr. Alden pulled away. A few moments later, the woman passed the Aldens’ car just outside of Old Mills. “Goodness, I wonder what kind of emergency she has,” Mr. Alden said.
    “A big red bear emergency,” Henry said.
    “Look, there’s a sign for Woolly Farm!” Benny cried when the car rounded a curve in the road. “Half a mile.”
    Half a mile later, Grandfather drove up a long dirt road. By now the Aldens could see that the cotton balls on the hills had sooty black faces. The children rolled down their windows.
    “Hey, sheep!” Benny yelled out. “Baa!”
    “Baa! Baa! Baa!” the sheep bleated back.
    At the end of the road stood

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