Trailer Stories for Girls
|This short-lived series by Mildred A. Wirt was published by Cupples and Leon from 1937 to 1938. Each book has a glossy frontispiece illustration and comes with a dust jacket. Due to the brief time of release, the books are scarce without a dust jacket and near rare with a dust jacket.
|#1 The Runaway Caravan
|Barbara and Ginger Gibson are bitterly disappointed that they are unable to go on a trailer trip with the other girls from the Harmon Friendship Club. Nathan French, their beloved uncle and guardian, regrettably does not have the money to pay for the trip. After seeing their friends off on their vacation, Barbara and Ginger return home to be informed by their brother Jimmie that Uncle Nathan has been seriously hurt in an automobile accident. On top of this worry, the siblings learn from their housekeeper, Mrs. Goody, that Uncle Nathan has been in serious debt for quite some time and mortgaged their home a year before. Uncle Nathan is so seriously injured that he will not fully recover from his accident for at least one year and will be unable to pay off the mortgage. The Gibsons worry about whether they will lose their home.
|One day a woman arrives and announces that she is their Aunt Matilda and that she has come to take charge of their home while Uncle Nathan recuperates. Aunt Matilda makes a number of unwelcome changes to the household and discharges Mrs. Goody. The final blow comes when Aunt Matilda gives away Jimmie's pet dog and informs the children that she has asked the court to appoint her their legal guardian. The children try to think of a way to prevent Aunt Matilda from ruining their lives. Ginger proposes that they purchase a trailer and run away in it; however, the children do not have enough money. The three young people begin working odd jobs and are fortunate to encounter a salesman who has wrecked his trailer. The salesman wants to get rid of the trailer and so sells it to the Gibsons at a price they can afford. The Gibson children flee in their new trailer, attempting to seek their fortune. During their journey, the children discover that their new trailer has a mysterious history and work to uncover its secret.
|#2 The Crimson Cruiser
Barbara, Ginger, and Jimmie Gibson take a vacation with their Uncle Nathan French in their trailer. The Gibsons hope that the fresh air and carefree life will help their uncle to regain his health.
During their stay in a trailer camp, Barbara and Ginger become interested in a girl who is staying alone in an adjacent trailer. Her name is Linda Allen, and she clearly doesn't have enough money or food. The camp manager comes to collect the money she owes him and threatens to throw her out of the camp. Mr. French intervenes, paying the camp manager for Linda. Ginger and Barbara try to discover more about Linda, but Linda is evasive.
|Linda finally reveals her story after she learns that her aunt is unable to send her money. Linda confesses to Mr. French and the Gibsons that she is heading west to search for her father, who disappeared a number of years previously. Her father's last letters had hinted that he had struck it rich in a mine but gave no details. Linda's only clue is an old Indian charm that she found in one of her father's letters. The Gibson invite Linda to join them in their trailer and travel west to help Linda find out what happened to her father and whether he did strike it rich.
|#3 Timbered Treasure
|Barbara, Ginger, and Jimmie continue their travels in their trailer after Uncle Nathan is forced to return home on business. The Gibsons become curious about a brother and sister who stay near them in a trailer at a camp site. Their names are Earl and Virginia King, and the two respond evasively to questions that the Gibsons ask them. The ticket window at a nearby amusement park is held up that evening, and Earl is arrested for stealing the money because he is wearing the same color of suit as the thief. A large amount of money is found in his pockets which seems to indicate that he is indeed guilty. Barbara had seen the hold-up and tells the police that the thief was not Earl. Later, Barbara begins to doubt herself because the Kings have left hastily in their trailer.
|Presently, the Gibsons continue their road trip in search of a boys' camp, for Jimmie wishes to spend the summer at a camp. As fate would have it, the Gibsons cross paths with the Kings again and end up camping at the edge of the same lake as the Kings. The Gibsons observe the Kings behaving very strangely and strive to discover the cause of their unusual behavior.
|#4 The Phantom Trailer
|Barbara, Ginger, and Jimmie Gibson are excited when they receive a letter from Mr. Tolland, a man whom they helped during the adventure of The Runaway Caravan. Mr. Tolland asks the Gibsons to come visit him because he has an attractive proposition for them. Mr. Tolland needs to drive out west to see his sister, Penelope, and wishes the Gibsons to drive out west with him as well. The Gibsons and Mr. Tolliver travel in separate trailers. Mr. Tolliver's trailer is driven by Mr. Tolliver's newly-hired man of all work, Lee Sing. Unfortunately, the trip quickly becomes an ordeal, because Mr. Tolliver is not well-suited to roughing it in a trailer, and Lee Sing turns out to incapable of handling the simplest of tasks.
|As the group nears Yellowstone Park, Mr. Tolliver and Lee Sing separate from the Gibsons and travel a different route because the Gibsons wish to see Yellowstone Park and Mr. Tolliver has already seen it more than once. However, when the Gibsons reach the proposed meeting place, Mr. Tolliver and Lee Sing never arrive. The Gibsons must discover what has happened to the two men and must also solve Penelope Tolliver's mystery.
List of Mildred Wirt Benson's Stories and Novels for Children
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