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Earthquake in the Early Morning

Earthquake in the Early Morning

Titel: Earthquake in the Early Morning
Autoren: Mary Pope Osborne
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We’re headed for the park!” said Betty.
    â€œWe can’t. We’re on our way home, to our parents,” said Annie.
    â€œWell, get going! And be careful!” said Betty. “Let’s beat it, Fred!”
    The photographer grabbed his camera equipment, and the two of them rushed off.
    â€œI don’t think Betty and Fred recognized us,” said Annie.
    â€œ
I
don’t recognize us,” said Jack.
    Another blast shook the ground.
    â€œCome on,” said Annie. “Let’s beat it!”
    Jack and Annie jumped up. Jack put their sign in his bag. Then they started back down the hill.

Jack and Annie ran over the cobblestones. Dynamite blasts echoed behind them.
    They headed back down the hill. Flames shot across the roofs, traveling from one house to another.
    â€œWe’re heading right into the firestorm!” Jack shouted over the noise.
    â€œWe have to keep going,” Annie shouted back, “before the tree house catches fire!”
    At the bottom of the hill, thick smoke was rolling through the street. It made Jack’s eyes burn.
    â€œWhere’s the tree house?” he shouted.
    â€œHere!” said Annie.
    Jack followed her voice.
    She was holding on to the rope ladder.
    â€œIt’s still here!” Jack said with relief.
    â€œOf course. The tree house wouldn’t leave without us,” said Annie. “Don’t you—”
    â€œGo! Go!” said Jack.
    Annie started up the rope ladder. Jack followed. They climbed into the tree house and looked out the window.
    All around, buildings were going up in flames. Black smoke seemed to be smothering the city.
    Jack could scarcely breathe. His throatburned. His eyes were stinging.
    Annie grabbed their Pennsylvania book. She opened it to the picture of Frog Creek and pointed.
    â€œI wish we could go there,” she said. “Good luck, San Francisco!”
    â€œGood-bye, San Francisco!” said Jack.
    The wind started to blow.
    The tree house started to spin.
    It spun faster and faster.
    Then everything was still.
    Absolutely still.

The songs of early-morning birds filled the woods.
    Jack opened his eyes and sighed.
    They were back in Frog Creek. He could breathe again. His eyes didn’t sting anymore. He was wearing his own clothes, even his sneakers.
    â€œI wonder what happened to everyone?” Annie asked anxiously. “Andrew, Peter, and their aunt, and Betty and Fred, and all the other people.”
    Jack pulled out their research book. He turned to the last chapter. He read aloud:
    After the earthquake fires were put out, people from all over the world sent help to San Francisco. The brave citizens of the city never gave up hope. Many even wore badges that said, “Let’s rebuild at once.” In less than ten years, San Francisco was once again one of the loveliest cities in the United States.
    â€œOh, good,” breathed Annie. “Hey, do you have our sign?”
    Jack reached again into his pack. He pulled out the sign from Peter and Andrew.
    He placed it on the floor, next to the list from the Civil War, the letter from the Revolutionary War, and the slate from the pioneer schoolhouse.
    â€œWe have all four writings now,” he said.
    â€œSo what happens next?” said Annie.
    Suddenly, there was a roar. A bright light flashed through the tree house.
    Jack covered his face. When he peeked over the tops of his fingers, he saw Morgan le Fay.
    â€œMorgan!” Jack and Annie cried joyfully.
    They both hugged her.
    Morgan hugged them back.
    â€œWe found the four special writings for your library!” said Jack.
    Annie picked up the list and the letter. Jack picked up the slate and the sign.
    â€œHere they are!” he said.
    They started to give everything to Morgan. But she held up her hand.
    â€œDo not give them to
me,
” she said. “Someone else needs them more.”
    Suddenly, a blinding light flashed through the tree house again. There came a great roar, then silence.
    When Jack and Annie opened their eyes, they were no longer in the magic tree house.
    They were standing in a huge, shadowy room. The room smelled wonderful—like leather, books, and a wood-burning fire.
    Flames crackled in a huge stone hearth. Along the walls were rows and rows of tall bookcases filled with books.
    â€œWelcome to my library,” Morgan said softly.
    â€œWow,” whispered Jack.
    â€œSomeone here is waiting to meet

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