Brookfield Friends

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Overview

From spending time with jolly Mr. Carpenter to celebrating with the whole town at a Maple Frolic, Caroline Quiner and her family have great times with their Brookfield friends!

The Caroline Chapter Books are part of an ongoing series of Little House Chapter Books.

Caroline Quiner, who grows up to become the mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, spends time with neighbors, makes a new friend, and ...

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Overview

From spending time with jolly Mr. Carpenter to celebrating with the whole town at a Maple Frolic, Caroline Quiner and her family have great times with their Brookfield friends!

The Caroline Chapter Books are part of an ongoing series of Little House Chapter Books.

Caroline Quiner, who grows up to become the mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, spends time with neighbors, makes a new friend, and attends the Maple Frolic in the frontier town of Brookfield, Wisconsin.

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Product Details

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Chapter One

Going to Town

Caroline lived in a little frame house near Brookfield, Wisconsin, with her mother and grandmother and five brothers and sisters. Joseph was the oldest, Henry came next, and then there was Martha. Eliza was younger than Caroline, and baby Thomas was the youngest of all.

One summer day Mother said she must go to town to do her shopping. She told Caroline that she could come along. Caroline hurried to get her bonnet. Going to town always meant seeing new things and saying hello to friends and neighbors. Father had often taken her along when hewent to town to trade or pick up supplies.

“This town's grown up same as you, little Brownbraid,” he used to say, tugging on Caroline's one long brown braid. Little Brownbraid is what Father had nicknamed her.

Thinking about Father made Caroline happy, but it also made her sad. Father had gone away on a boat a year ago and his boat had not come back. Mother said Father was in heaven. Caroline missed him very much.

Quickly Caroline finished tying her bonnet strings and kissed Grandma good-bye. Mother and Henry were already outside waiting. Joseph was busy with chores, and Martha had to stay home and help Grandma look after Eliza and Thomas.

“Hurry and get the ashes,” Mother told Henry. “I hope it isn't too heavy for you to carry. We'll walk along slowly.”

Once a month Henry or Joseph took the ashes the family had saved from the hearth into town to trade for supplies. Mr. Porter, the grocer, sold the ashes to the soap factory. Caroline's family did not have a wagon, and the ashes were very heavy. Henry had to carefully drag the large sack whileCaroline and Mother walked slowly down the dirt road.

The air was warm and sweet. Tall grasses and wildflowers danced all along the road.

As they neared town, everything became noisy and busy. The little town was growing bigger and bigger every day. Groups of men and boys were everywhere, building new shops. Some of the men were chopping and splitting wood. Others were hauling stone. The noise was so loud that Caroline put her hands over her ears.

“Goodness glory!” Mother cried. She started across the road, but then she came to an abrupt stop and Caroline crashed into her.

A thunderous roar shook the street. Henry let go of the bag and grabbed Caroline's arm. He held her so tightly she could hardly move.

“What is it?” Caroline gasped, struggling to see around Mother.

“It's the stagecoach!” Henry shouted.

The dust from the road swirled up in thick, choking gray clouds. Two huge black horses snorted at the front of a great team. A blur of faces was mixed together with the blue sky and puffy white clouds.

“Who-o-o-o-a! Who-o-o-o-a!” a man called. It was the loudest voice Caroline had ever heard.

All at once the team of horses lurched backward and stopped right in front of Caroline. She saw that the blur of faces she had seen were actually people perched on top of the stagecoach.

“E-e-easy girls, eeeeea-sy!” the voice hollered again.

The horses stomped and grunted in place. Caroline had seen stagecoaches before, but she had never been so close to one. Now she saw that the front wheel was as tall as she was, and the back wheel was even taller. The coach hovered like a huge brown wooden box high above her head. The flat top was loaded down with people and luggage.

“Stop! Brookfield!” the man with the loud voice called out.

“That's the driver,” Henry whispered.

The driver jumped from the top of the coach down to the dusty street. He had a black beard and a black hat. He opened the coach door right in front of Caroline. She stood on her tiptoes to peek inside. Two benches at the front and back were packed tight with passengers. More travelers sat on a third bench in the middle of the coach, talking excitedly.

Now the people began pouring out. Men in suit coats and wide-brimmed hats jumped out into the street first. Some turned back to help the women out. The women wore dark dresses and bonnets.

“Baggage!” the driver bellowed. He climbed up to the top of the stagecoach and began tugging at the bags.

Everyone grabbed at their luggage as it flew down from the sky. Once all the belongings had been claimed, the ladies and gentlemen hurried off down the street in different directions. Then the driver pulled the last heavy sack from the top of the coach.

“Mail!” he yelled.

“Look, Caroline,” Mother said. “This stagecoach brings all the mail to Wisconsin from Boston and New Haven.”

Mail! Caroline loved to hear Mother read the mail that Grandmother and Grandfather Tucker sent from Boston. Looking at the sack it was hard to imagine that all those letters had traveled so far, over so many miles, from Boston to Wisconsin.

At last Mother said, “Come along now, we must get to the grocer's.”

But before they could take a step, the largest horse on the team lunged forward. The driver fell back against the baggage rack and dropped the sack of mail!

Letters and packages scattered across the dusty road at Caroline's feet. The driver jumped down and started tossing them back into the bag. A crowd gathered around him, peering down at the letters to see if any belonged to them.

Caroline wanted to see if there were any letters for her family, but Mother was in a hurry to get to the general store.

“If we have a letter, it'll be delivered to the grocer's as it always is,” Mother said.

Slowly Caroline followed Mother and Henry down the street. She couldn't help but look back over her shoulder at the stagecoach. How exciting it must be to go to new places! Maybe she would travel on a stagecoach someday, too. Maybe she could even sit on the roof!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2003

    Fantastic

    These books are simply fantastic...they take the reader back to when times were simpler and life ran a a slower pace. You get a history lesson and you imagination simulated all at once. These books hold you attention and you find yourself wondering what happens next...you are peering into the life of someone that actually lived and you see life throught their eyes. I would recomment this book to anyone...young or old....I loved them all

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