This book is among the best-selling popular classics "bestseller". Here is an extract of this book :
All four of us, Mark, Plunk Smalley, Binney Jenks, and Tallow Martin, which is me, stood and looked at the big, ramshackle summer hotel and then looked at one anotherand three of us grinned. Grinned, did I say? Maybe it started out with a grin, but it ended up with us rolling on the grass and yelling. For the hotel was closed tight, and anybody with half an eye could see it hadn't been opened for years!
The three of us who laughed didn't include Mark Tidd. He didn't laugh. He looked as if he was attending three funerals at once and trying to do his duty by all of them. He was flabbergastedand that's the first time I ever saw him in that shape. The whole hundred and sixty pounds of him was flabbergasted. His little eyes looked sort of dazed; his jaw dropped till his fat cheeks stretched out almost thin, and he didn't have a word to say.
Was the joke on him? Well, I should say! Here he had brought us all the way from Michigan to Vermont to spend our vacation in this summer hotel in the mountainsand the hotel hadn't been running since Ethan Allen licked the British! Now I know why the driver who brought us over had chuckled so much, and why everybody else in the little town had seemed to know something funny that they didn't want to tell us as soon as we told them where we were going.
I don't blame them. I'd have laughed, too. Think of us out there at Lake Ravona, ten miles from townand pretty nearly a million miles from Wicksville, where we lived. Think of us there, and then think about the hotel being shut up and ready to fall downand us hungry and likely to keep on being hungry, with no chance to get anything to eat. It had cost each of us close to twenty dollars railroad fare to get there, and it would cost that much to get home againwith nothing to show for it. Why, the jokers at the grocery would never have done laughing at us! Life would be close to unbearable, and Mark Tidd's reputation for smartness would be hit so hard it would pretty nearly be a total wreck.
We three finished up laughing and waited to see what Mark would have to say. In a minute his face pulled back into shape and he began to grin, too. That was one fine thing about Markhe was ready to own up when the horse was on him, and to laugh just as loud as anybody else.
"It l-l-looks," says he, stuttering worse than he had for a month back"it looks l-like that advertisin' book wasn't quite up to d-d-date." He fumbled in his pocket and brought out a little booklet with a picture on the cover of it and began studying it. "Um!" says he, and then he sat down ker-plump and laughed so he shook all over like a plate of jelly. "Six years old. Six. Wonder how they kept it s-s-so clean in the depot."
We had found the book in the depot one day when we were down visiting with old Sam Clarke, the agent, and it had got us all excited by what it said about fishing and mountains and deer in the woods and such like. It sounded like about the best place in the world to goand we'd never stopped to see when it was printed. Six years! The hotel didn't look like it had been run for twenty-six.
Even Mrs. Tidd hadn't noticed, and she is one of the most noticing women you ever heard of. She hadn't noticed, and she had liked the place as well as we didso much that she got our mothers to let us go with Mark. Mr. Tidd was paying our expenses. He was rich now because he had invented a turbine engine, and, because we had helped a little once when some men had gotten his model away from him, he was going to send us all to college, and every little while he did something fine for uslike paying for this vacation trip.