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The Young Firemen of Lakeville
by Frank V. Webster
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Fire! Fire! Turn out, everybody! Fire! Fire! This cry, coming like a clarion call, at midnight, awoke the inhabitants of the peaceful little New England village of Lakeville. "Fire! Fire!" Heads were thrust out of hastily-raised windows. Men and women looked up and down the street, and then glanced around to detect the reddening in the sky that would indicate where the blaze was. Timid women began sniffing suspicio-usly, to learn if it was their own homes which, unsuspectingly, had become ignited. "Fire! Fire! Stimson's barn is burning! Fire! Fire!" A man ran down the principal village street, shouting as he ran. At some doors he paused long enough to pound with his fist, awakening the dwellers who had not heard his call, for he was Rodney Stickler, the town constable and watchman, whose duty it was to sound the fire alarm, and summon the bucket brigade, in the event of a blaze.
Fortunately, there was not much meat in the ice box, and when it had all been consumed, and there was only wood for the fire to feed on, the blaze was less fierce. The water from the three lines of hose and that dashed on by the men, who could now approach quite close, had its effect. In a little while the fire was about out, and Bert ordered the boys to use only one line of hose, which made it easier on the pumpers and bucket lads. Then, with a final hiss and splutter, the fire died away.
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