Ruthanna and Mrs. Tayor returned to number 865. They found out that Mr. Taylor and his friends had had a rough time trying to turn the truck around and get it out. “Bill had to back down the icy road, between the stone walls,” Mr. Taylor explained. “Those Japanese trucks sure are noisy! The whole way down, the reverse gear was beeping and a lady’s voice announced ‘Bakku shimasu. [Backing up now.]’ The truck kept saying it over and over for forty-five minutes! It was driving me crazy.”
The Taylors spent the rest of the day eating in the Japanese restaurant and unpacking a couple of boxes. They had dropped Uncle Bill Elston off at the train station to ride the train back to his home.
That evening, Mr. Taylor announced, “It’s time to go to the Baileys’ for supper!” So they got all bundled up in coats, hoods, scarves, gloves, and boots. Mr. Taylor found a sled and a flashlight in the basement and figured they would come in handy. “Now, Ruthanna, you can sit in the sled, and I’ll pull you to the bottom of the hill. Then you’ll have to walk.”
“OK,” said Ruthanna. She flopped onto the plastic sled, and her papa pulled her along down the mountain. At the bottom, the sled stopped, with a crunch, against a mound of snow.
“Get off the sled, Ruthanna,”
“But, Papa, that spot is all covered with snow,” said Ruthanna, waving a mitten. “Will you please just pull me across there too?”
“All right, then. Hold on tight!” Swoosh, the sled bumped after Ruthanna’s papa.
“Not so fast! I’m going to fall out,” Ruthanna called. Too late—the sled hit a tree root and she tumbled over in the snow. “Ooh, I’m all wet! Papa, you dumped me over!” she scolded.
“Sorry, Punkindoodle. Here, stand up, and I’ll brush you off.”
“OK, I’m ready to walk now,” said Ruthanna. “Do you want me to pull the sled, Papa?”
“Oh, is it my turn now?” he teased, pretending to get on the sled.
“No! I can’t pull you! Just the empty sled!” giggled Ruthanna.
“So you won’t return the favor. In that case, follow me! We go straight down this road. That is—let’s see here—we go around the curves in this road. There will be a bridge,” Mr. Taylor added, as he peered at the map in the flashlight’s shine.
“I think this is the bridge,” Mrs. Taylor said.
“Why, so it is. Here we are, standing on the bridge already! Next we go into Cabin Quarters. I guess that’s around this way.”
Mr. Taylor led the way, but soon he started to wonder. “This might be a different road, after all. I know we’re close, but it seems like we’ve been going around Cabin Quarters, when we ought to be going through it.”
“Hey, there’s their house!” cried Mrs. Taylor suddenly. “I recognize it from our visit this morning. That’s it, all right, because there’s a snowman in the yard. Hurry now, let’s go inside.”