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Amelia Bedelia 

Means Business

Chapter 7 The Lemonade Sit

           "You know, said Amelia Bedelia's father, "your mom and I think you should start your own business. And there is one business that any kid can start."

           "What?" said Amelia Bedelia. 

            "A lemonade stand," said her dad. 

            "Lemonade what?" said Amelia Bedelia. 

           "Stand," said her dad. 

             "Stand?" she said. "Stand what?"

           "Lemonade," said her dad. 

            "Sure," said Amelia Bedelia. "I can stand lemonade. I love lemonade."

       "Her father rolled his eyes and said, "I know you love lemonade, sweetie. That's why you should make a stand for it."

             "How come?" said Amelia Bedelia. "Is someone trying to get rid of lemonade?"

             Amelia Bedelia's dad's face began to turn red. "Of course not," he said. "You could run a stand."

              Amelia Bedelia looked bewildered. 

          "Dad," she asked, "what do you want me to do--run or stand?"

             "Stand!" yelled her dad. 
            "Stand! Stand!" Amelia Bedelia jumped to her her feet. "Okay, okay!" she said. "I'm standing!, I'm standing!

             Now her dad's face was turning even redder 

            "No, "he said. "Not you. Your customers stand. You can sit."

            "Thank you, said Amelia Bedelia. She sat back down in her chair. 

            "God idea, said her dad. "I think I need to sit down, too." 

              Amelia Bedelia's mother had been in the kitchen, listening to them talk while she finished up. She was carrying a cup of coffee as she came into the living room. She sat down on the arm of her husband's chair. 

              "Amelia Bedelia," she said, "remember last summer? We made fresh lemonade together."

               "It was delicious," said Amelia Bedelia. 

                "And easy," said her mother. "Do you remember how we made it?"

                 "You squeeze juice out of a lemon, mix it with cool water, add sugar until it taste good,

                  then throw in a couple of ice cubes."

                "Bravo," said her mother. "Then what?"

               Amelia Bedelia shrugged and said, "That's easy. You drink it!"

                "Or," said her mother, "you could sell it. What if you set up a table and made fresh lemonade? Thirst people would stand in line to drink it."

              "You know," said Amelia Bedelia, :that sort of sounds like what Dad was trying to say." 

               "Thank you, "said Amelia Bedelia's father. Then he turned to his wife and said, "And thank you, darling. I couldn't have said it better myself." 

               Amelia Bedelia bought fifty bags of lemons on sale. She used the money she'd saved from her last birthday, her tip from Pete's Diner, plus the twenty dollars she got for her bouquet. Her dad helped her build a stand that was easy to set up and take down. 

            "That way" he said, "you can put it up wherever you'll get the most customers." 

              "Have you thought of a name for yourself?" asked her mom. 

             "My name is Amelia Bedelia," she said. "That's the name you guys gave me."

              "I meant," said her mom, "a name for your business--something catchy to get people's attention."

             "Yes," said her dad. "Think big."

              "How can I? said Amelia Bedelia. "My brain is just one size." 

               "Maybe you should advertise," said her mom. "If people hear how good your lemonade is, they'll want to try it." 

              "Like the commercials on TV for Wild Bill's Auto-Rama?

               "Sort of," said her dad. "But not so terrible."

               "Everybody knew about Wild Bill's Auto-Rama. Bill owned a car dealership right downtown. He wore a white ten gallon cowboy hat. In his TV ads, he shouted over and over and over that to get the best price, you had to buy your new car from Wild Bill's Auto-Rama, the Home of the Sweet Deal. 

               Suddenly Amelia Bedelia had a great idea. She remembered last summer, when her parents had dragged her along to Wild Bill's to look at new cars with them. It was boring and hot--she could really have used a break. If she set up her stand near Wild Bill's Auto-Rama, plenty of thirst customers would line up for her lemonade when they were tired of looking at cars. 

                Amelia Bedelia hopped on her awful, embarrassing, piece-of-junk bike and rode down to Wild Bill's Auto-Rama. She found the ideal spot for her stand, right near the entrance. Perfect! This was meant to be. She pedaled home as fast as she could. As she turned into her driveway, a great name for her business popped into her head. Hooray! "Mom!" yelled Amelia Bedelia."Do you have any yellow paint left over from when you painted the kitchen? I need to make my sign."

              "Sure, sweetie," said her mom. She also gave Amelia Bedelia brushes and an old bed sheet. 

              Amelia Bedelia spread the sheet out on the driveway and went to work. Her dad had told her to think big. So she drew a lemon as large as the kitchen table and outlined it with black marker. She was in the middle of writing the name for her business right on top of the lemon when her mom and dad came out to peek at what she was doing. 

               "Mom! Dad! Stop!" hollered Amelia Bedelia. "Don't look--I want you to be surprised!"

                They certainly were. So was Wild Bill. And so were the reporters from the TV Action News Team, as well as everyone in town.

Meet Kirsten

An American Girl

1854

Chapter 4: A Sad Journey

         Kirsten liked the Mississippi riverboat the moment she saw it. It was white, with a pair of wings painted in bright red on the sides. The boat was named The Redwing, like the red-winged blackbirds that called to one another along the riverbank. The Redwing had broad decks and a big paddle wheel. 

        Right away Kirsten wanted to run upstairs to the wide upper deck. She grabbed Marta's hand, ducked under a rope, and skipped up the steps. But before they were to the top step a sailor stopped them. They didn't understand his words, but they knew his gesture meant "Get down!"

         That evening as they ate their meal of dried pork and bread,Kirsten asked Papa, "Why can't we go up on the big deck? No one is out there.."

         "That deck is for rick people," Papa said. 

          "If we paid more money could we go up there?" asked Kirsten. 

          Papa rubbed his forehead. "We only have a little money left, Kirsten. And when we leave this boat we'll still have to hire a wagon to reach Olav's farm."

           "You've managed our money well," Mama said to Papa. To Kirsten she said crossly, "Don't ask for so much!"

           Kirsten was surprised. Mama never talked harshly to her. Why was she cross now? Their long trip was almost over. In a few days they would be at Uncle Olav's.

           Kirsten looked closely at her mother. "What's wrong, Mama?" she asked. 

           Mama said softly, "I'm cross because I'm worried. As we boarded the boat, the sailors were burying a passenger who died of cholera."

         "Don't worry so," Lars said to Mama. "We won't get sick! Look at us. We're healthy."

          Lars was right. They were strong from walking beside the wagons on the way to the river and tan from the prairie sun. But Mama didn't smile. "Cholera kills strong one just like weak ones," she said. "Pray to God that we get safely to Uncle Olav's. 

         For two days, Kirsten and Marta played together on the riverboat. They watched the hawks circling overhead and counted the fist that jumped from the water. But the third morning, Marta wasn't on the small deck where they were allowed to walk. Marta's father was there alone. He stood at the railing staring straight ahead at the wide, brown river. 

          "Where's Marta?" Kirsten asked him.

          "Our Mara's very sick," he said. He gripped the railing so tightly that his knuckles were white. "With cholera."

           Kirsten's head buzzed. Cholera! Last night after supper, Marta had played with her right here on deck. Last night Marta was perfectly fine. She couldn't have cholera now. 

           "How can she be sick?" Kirsten asked. "She was well yesterday."

            "During the night she doubled up with a pain her belly. Now she aches and moans and burns with a fever. The captain made us take her to the sick bay," he said

           "Can I go see her?"

            Marta's father took Kirsten's wrist firmly. "No, Kirsten. You mustn't. You could get sick, too. Marta's mother is with her. That's all we can do."

              But Kirsten had to see Marta. She ran down below the decks, to the part of the boat called the sick bay. Mara was there, lying on a straw mat near the entrance. He knees were drawn up to her chest. Her mouth was open as though she couldn't breathe. When her mother tried to wipe her forehead, Marta trembled and moaned. Her lips were dry and cracked and her eyelids fluttered. 

              "Marta, " Kirsten whispered. She took a step toward her friend, but Marta's mother sent her away. "Go back to your family, Kirsten. It's dangerous for you here. Marta will get better, you'll see." 

              Still, Kirsten stayed near the sick bay until Mama found her. "I've looked everywhere for you!" Mama said. "There's nothing we can do for Marta. Not with cholera. You must take care of yourself, Kirsten! Stay close to me and Papa, please."

            So Kirsten stayed close to Mama, but her thoughts were with her sick friend. She told herself that Marta would get well. Over and over she said, She must get well!

             Kirsten wasn't able to eat, and that night she was sure she would never sleep. But she fell into a restless doze. Later, she woke up with a start. Something was terribly wrong, but in her sleep sh'd forgotten what it could be. Then she remembered Marta. 

            Kirsten ran down to the sick bay. Through the parted curtains she saw that Marta was gone. She's better then, Kirsten thought. She ran up to the deck to find her friend. 
           The sun was just rising. The riverboat was anchored at a sandy beach below tall bluffs. A gangplank had been lowered for some sailors, who carried a wooden box on their shoulders. They walked along the shore.

          Marta's father stood at the railing where Kirsten had seen him last. His arm was around Marta's mother. 

         Kirsten grabbed Marta's father's sleeve. "Where's Marta?" she asked. 

           He pointed to the sailors with their box. "Our Marta died last night, Kirsten. The sailors will bury her here. He soul is in heaven."Then he hid his face in his hand. 

          "She can't be dead! Kirsten cried. "She can't be!" Kirsten felt as though her hear was ripped in two. She heard deep sobs that hardly seemed her own. They filled up her chest. She tried to say her friend's name, but her lips wouldn't form the words. 

          Then Kirsten felt Mam's arms around her, and Papa patted her shoulder. "Enough crying. Stop now, Kirsten," he said. 

           But Mama cradled her and said softly, "Let her have her tears."

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