It was time for Tommy and Dil to go to bed, so Didi carried them upstairs and tucked them in. Around midnight, Didi suddenly awoke. She immediately knew that something was going on. Worriedly, she rushed into Tommy and Dil's room, but they were both sound asleep. Didi couldn't see anything else that could be the matter, so she went back to bed, but no matter how hard she tried, Didi couldn't get back to sleep. She checked on Spike, but he also was asleep. She checked on Stu, but he was also asleep. Finally, she checked on grandpa, but he was also asleep. She then noticed that it seemed very hot in the house. She ran to check the thermostat, but It was turned all the way down. Then, she thought she could smell smoke.
"Stu! Stu! Wake up!", she cried.
Stu immediately woke up.
"What is it, Didi?", Stu asked.
"Stu, I smell smoke, and it seems very hot in the house," Didi said.
You are absolutely right," said Stu.
Suddenly, Stu noticed an orange glow comeing from downstairs. He went to investigate, but came running sraight back to Didi.
"Didi! The house is on fire!", Stu shouted.
As she ran to thed boys' room, Didi yelled, "Oh my goodness! Grab Spike and the kids! Wake up grandpa!"
Tommy and Dil had also been awakened by this time, and they were both crying. Didi snatched them up and ran to grandpa's room. Stu was already there, and grandpa was already awakw. In no time, all of the Pickles (even Spike) were out the door and into the Deville's house.
Howard awoke and said to Betty, "Betty! Thieves are in our house!"
He and Betty grabbed Phil and Lil and ran downstairs. However, they were surprised when they saw their neighbors, the Pickles, at the front door.
Just then, the Carmichaels came running over.
Dr. Lucy said, "Didi, Stu! We saw the fire!"
Betty dialed 911.
Within a few minutes, fire trucks arrived. But it was too late; the house burnt to the ground anyway. Didi sank down to the ground and started to cry.
"Tebby!", Dil sadly yelled as he noticed what was left of his Teddy Bear.
Tommy says, "I'm sorry Dil, but even mommy won't be able to fix it. I know how you feel Dil, because all of my stewdrivers are all recked now too, and so is my special bed, and my Reptar doll, and our blanky, and even our playpen."
"My inventions!", Stu moaned.
"My bowling trophy!", grandpa groaned.
"Everythingwe owned! "Didi sobbed.
Spike barked very sadly.
"Now we have no place to go. My parents house, Betty and Howard's house, and Chaz's house are all to small, and there is no more room in the Carmicheals house," sobbed Didi.
"We will find someplace to stay until we find a new house. Actually, we have to find a place to live until we can find a new house."
Stu said. "For tonight, we will just have to camp out in the backyard,"said Didi.
So, Betty and Howard lent Stu and Didi their tent, and the Pickles managed to get some more sleep.
The next morning, Stu said: "I'm going to build us a new house right here and new furniture to go with it."
Didi smiled, maybe things would be alright after all.
Stu went to a hardware store to buy more supplies. On the way he saw a house for sale only a block from where their old house once stood. It looked much like their other house. It seemed perfect for them. Then he saw the price. The house cost 400,000 dollars! Stu needed that house! He knew it would be near impossible to build a house himself, and would be much more expenive to have someone build it for him than to buy one. He drove back home and told his wife the news. Chas and Kira said that the Pickles' could stay at their house until they made enough money to buy the house. Kira even offered them a bit of money to help them some.
"We cannot offer much," Kira told Didi, "We don't have much money, but I can give you about 200 dollars to boost."
"Thank you, oh thank you so much!" Didi said. The rest of her friends offered to help, too.
"I'll give 300 bucks," Betty anounced. Didi smiled.
"I can offer that much." Lucy promised. Didi's smile widened.
"I can give you 500 dollars," Charlette pledged.
"I'll do the same," Drew said. The Pickles' had 1,700 dollars, but they still needed 398,300 more dollars!
The next morning finds Kimi, Tommy, Chuckie, and Dil in the playpen playing.
"I wonder why your fambaly is all stayin' at my house Tommy," Kimi wondered out loud.
"Well, maybe we're all havin' a big, long sleepover," Chuckie suggested. Tommy looked sad.
"No, you guys," He said, "We're stayin' at your house 'cause we don't gotsa house anymore, an' my mommy and daddy don't have 'nough money to getsa new one!"
Tommy began to cry.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. It was Charlotte with Angelica and Phil and Lil. Charlette dropped the babies off in the playpen and went into the kitchen.
"What's he ballin' about?" Angelica eyed Tommy.
"Tommy's sad 'cause he don't gotsa house no more," Chuckie informed her, "Now he gotsta stay at our house."
"I gotsa idea!" Kimi anounced. "Maybe we could get all the money we gots, an' give it to Tommy's mommy and daddy, then they could get a house."
"Will you help us Angelica?" Tommy sniffiled.
"Why should I help you?" Angelica scoffed.
"'Cause my mommy and daddy said that we might hafta go to your house to stay insteada Chuckie's," Tommy told her.
Angelica frowned. She liked bossing around the dumb babies, but she did not approve of having one living in her house. Especially Dil.
"Alright, I'll help," Angelica reluctantly agreed.
"Thanks, Angelica," Tommy said, "Ok, Phil, Lil, what do you guys got?"
"I gotsa penny," said Phil, "and Lil's gota nickle."
"Good," said Tommy, "How 'bout you Chuckie?"
"I gots the, uh, same thing," Chuckie laid out six cents.
"Alright!" Tommy cheered, "How 'bout you Kimi?"
"Here's a penny," Kimi handed Tommy the coin.
"I gotsa dime," Tommy placed it in the middle of the playpen with the other coins. "Now we're ready!"
"Hey, what about me!" Angelica screamed.
"Oh, yeah," Tommy remembered, "What do you gots Angelica?"
"I gots ba-ten whole dollars!" Angelica bragged. She put two fives in the center of the playpen. Tommy picked up the cash.
"Here, hold this," Tommy told Kimi.
Kimi grabbed the money and put into her pocket. Tommy opened the playpen with his screwdriver. They babies walked up to where Tommy's father, Stu, was watching tv. Kimi dropped the money into Stu's lap.
To Be Continued
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