BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of The Bunny Brown Series, The Bobbsey Twins Series, The Outdoor Girls Series Etc.
Illustrated by Florence England Nosworthy
New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers Made in the United States of America
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By LAURA LEE HOPE
12mo. Cloth. Illustrated.
THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES
For Little Men and Women
THE BOBBSEY TWINS THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND
GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS NEW YORK
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Copyright, 1916, by GROSSET & DUNLAP
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home.
I. A MIDNIGHT ALARM 1
II. BUNNY AND SUE GO OUT 14
III. AUNT LU'S INVITATION 23
IV. ON THE GROCERY WAGON 33
V. SURPRISING OLD MISS HOLLYHOCK 40
VI. OFF FOR NEW YORK 49
VII. ON THE TRAIN 58
VIII. AUNT LU'S SURPRISE 68
IX. THE WRONG HOUSE 80
X. IN THE DUMB WAITER 95
XI. A LONG RIDE 105
XII. BUNNY ORDERS DINNER 116
XIII. THE STRAY DOG 129
XIV. THE RAGGED MAN 138
XV. BUNNY GOES FISHING 148
XVI. LOST IN NEW YORK 157
XVII. AT THE POLICE STATION 166
XVIII. HOME AGAIN 175
XIX. BUNNY FLIES A KITE 184
XX. THE PLAY PARTY 193
XXI. THE REAL PARTY 202
XXII. IN THE PARK 211
XXIII. OLD AUNT SALLIE 218
XXIV. WOPSIE'S FOLKS 228
XXV. A HAPPY CHRISTMAS 236
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
A MIDNIGHT ALARM
"Bunny! Bunny Brown! Sue, dear! Aren't you going to get up?"
Mrs. Brown stood in the hall, calling to her two sleeping children. The sun was shining brightly out of doors, but the little folks had not yet gotten out of bed.
"My! But you are sleeping late this morning!" went on Mrs. Brown. "Come, Bunny! Sue! It's time for breakfast!"
There was a patter of bare feet in one room. Then a little voice called.
"Oh, Bunny! I'm up first. Come on, we'll go and help grandma feed the chickens!"
Little Sue Brown tapped on the door of her brother's room.
"Get up, Bunny!" she cried, laughing. "I'm up first; Let's go and get the eggs."
In the room where Bunny Brown slept could be heard a sort of grunting, stretching, yawning sound. That was the little boy waking up. He heard what his sister Sue said.
"Ho! Ho!" he laughed, as he rubbed his sleepy eyes: "Go to get eggs with grandma! I guess you think we're back on grandpa's farm; don't you Sue?" and he came to his door to look out into the hall, where his mother stood smiling at the two children.
When Bunny said that, Sue looked at him in surprise. She rubbed her hand across her eyes once or twice, glanced around the hall, back into her room, and then at her mother. A queer look was on Sue's face.
"Why—why!" she exclaimed. "Oh, why, Bunny Brown! That's just what I did think! I thought we were back at grandpa's, and we're not at all—we're in our home; aren't we?"
"Of course!" laughed Mrs. Brown. "But you were sleeping so late that I thought I had better call you. Aren't you ready to get up? The sun came up long ago, and he's now shining brightly."
"Did the sun have its breakfast, Mother?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, little man. He drank a lot of dew, off the flowers. That's all he ever takes. Now you two get dressed, and come down and have your breakfast, so we can clear away the dishes. Hurry now!"
Mrs. Brown went down stairs, leaving Bunny and Sue to dress by themselves, for they were old enough for that now.
"Oh, Bunny!" exclaimed the little girl, as she went back in her own room. "I really did think, when I first woke up, that we were back at Grandpa Brown's, and that we were going out to help grandma feed the hens."
"Do you wish we were, Sue?" asked Bunny.
"Oh, I don't know, Bunny," said Sue slowly. "I did like it at grandma's, and we had lots of fun playing circus. But I like it at home here, too."
"So do I," said Bunny, as he started to get dressed.
The two children, with their father and mother, had come back, only the day before, from a long visit to Grandpa Brown's, in the country. I'll tell you about that a little later. So it is no wonder that Sue, awakening from the first night's sleep in her own house, after the long stay in the country, should think she was back at grandpa's.
"Bunny, Bunny!" called Sue, after a bit.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Will you button my dress for me?"
"Is it one of the kind that buttons up the back, Sue?"
"Yes. If it buttoned in front I could do it myself. Will you help me, just as you did once before, 'cause I'm hungry for breakfast!"
"Yep, I'll help you, Sue. Only I hope your dress isn't got a lot of buttons on, Sue. I always get mixed up when you make me button that kind, for I have some buttons, or button-holes, left over every time."
"This dress only has four buttons on it, Bunny, an' they're big ones."
"That's good!" cried the little fellow, and he had soon buttoned Sue's dress for her. Then the two children went down to breakfast.
"What can we do now, Bunny?" asked Sue, as they arose from the table. "We want to have some fun."
"Yes," said Bunny. "We do."
That was about all he and Sue thought of when they did not have to go to school. They were always looking for some way to have fun. And they found it, nearly always.
For Bunny Brown was a bright, daring little chap, always ready to do something, and very often he got into mischief when looking for fun. Nor was that the worst of it, for he took Sue with him wherever he went, so she fell into mischief too. But she didn't mind. She was always as ready for fun as was Bunny, and the two had many good times together—"The Brown twins," some persons called them, though they were not, for Bunny was a year older than Sue, being six, while she was only a little over five, about "half-past five," as she used to say, while Bunny was "growing on seven."
"Yes," said Bunny slowly, as he went out on the shady porch with his sister Sue, "we want to have some fun."
"Let's go down to the fish dock," said Sue. "We haven't seen the boats for a long time. We didn't see any while we were at grandpa's."
"Course not," agreed Bunny. "They don't have boats on a farm. But we had a nice ride on the duck pond, on the raft, Sue."
"Yes, we did, Bunny. But we got all wet and muddy." Sue laughed as she remembered that, and so did Bunny.
"All right, we'll go down to the fish dock," agreed the little boy.
Their father, Mr. Walter Brown, was in the boat business at Bellemere, on Sandport bay, near the ocean. Mr. Brown owned many boats, and fishermen hired some, to go away out on the ocean, and catch fish and lobsters. Other men hired sail boats, row boats or gasoline motor boats to take rides in on the ocean or bay, and often Bunny and Sue would have boat trips, too.
The children always liked to go down to the fish dock, and watch the boats of the fishermen come in, laden with what the men had caught in their nets. Mr. Brown had an office on the fish dock.
"Where are you two children going?" called Mrs. Brown after Bunny and Sue, as they went out the front gate.
"Down to Daddy's dock," replied Bunny.
"Well, be careful you don't fall in the water."
"We won't," promised Sue. "Wait 'til I get my doll, Bunny!" she called to her brother.
She ran back into the house, and came out, in a little while, carrying a big doll.
"I didn't take you to grandpa's with me," said Sue, talking to the doll as though it were a real baby, "but I'll take you down to see the fish now. You like fish, don't you, dollie?"
"She wouldn't like 'em if they bit her," said Bunny.
"I won't let 'em bite her!" retorted Sue.
At the fish dock Bunny and Sue saw a tall, good-natured, red-haired boy coming out of their father's office.
"Oh, Bunker Blue!" cried Bunny. "Are any fish boats coming in?"
Bunker Blue was Mr. Brown's helper, and was very fond of Bunny and Sue. He had been to grandpa's farm, in the country, with them.
"Yes, one of the fish boats is coming in now," said Bunker. "You can come with me and watch."
Bunny took hold of one of Bunker's hands, and Sue the other. They always did this when they went out on the dock, for the water was very deep on each side, and though the children could swim a little, they did not want to fall into such deep water; especially with all their clothes on.
Soon they were at the end of the dock. Coming up to it was a sailing boat, that had been out to sea for fish.
"Did you get many?" called Bunker to the captain.
"Yes, quite a few fish this time. Want to come and look at them? Bring the children!"
"Oh, can we go on the boat?" asked Bunny eagerly.
"I guess so," said Bunker Blue.
He led the children carefully to the deck of the fish boat. Bunny and Sue looked down into a hole, through an opening in the deck. The hole was filled with fish, some of which were still flapping their tails, for they had only just been taken out of the nets.
"Oh-o-o-o! What a lot of fish!" exclaimed Sue. She leaned over to see better, when, all at once, her doll slipped from her arms, and fell right down among the flapping fish.
"Oh, dear!" cried Sue.
"I'll get her for you!" cried Bunny, and he was just going to jump down in among the fish, too, but Bunker Blue caught him by the arm.
"You'll spoil all your clothes if you do that, little man!" Bunker said.
"But I want to get Sue's doll!"
Bunny himself did not care anything about dolls; he would not play with them. But he loved his sister Sue, and he knew that she was very fond of this doll, so he wanted to get it for her. That was why he was ready to jump down in the hold (as that part of the ship is called) among the flapping fish.
"I'll get her for you," said Bunker. With a long pole Bunker fished up the doll. Her dress was all wet, for there was water on the fish.
"And oh! dear! She smells just like a fish herself!" cried Sue, puckering up her nose in a funny way.
"You can take off her dress and wash it," said Bunny.
"Yes," said Sue, "I can do that, and I will." She took off the doll's dress, and then looked for some place to wash it.
"Here, Sue, give it to me," said the captain of the boat, for he knew Bunny and Sue very well indeed. "I'll soon have the dress clean for you."
"How?" asked Sue, as she gave it to Captain Tuttle.
He tied the dress to a string, and then dipped it in the water, over the side of the boat. Up and down in the water he lifted the doll's dress, pulling it up by the string.
"That's how we sailors wash our clothes when we're in a hurry," said Captain Tuttle. "Now when your doll's dress is dry, it will be nice and clean. You can hang it up here to dry, while you're watching us take out the fish."
He fastened Sue's doll's dress on a line over the cabin, and then he and his men took the fish out of the boat, and packed them in barrels in ice to send to the city.
Bunny and Sue looked on, and thought it great fun. Sometimes a big flat fish, called a flounder, would slip from one of the baskets, in which the men were putting them, and flop out on deck, almost sliding overboard.
Soon all the fish were out, and as Sue's doll's dress was now dry, she and Bunny started back home.
"Well, we had fun then, Sue," said the little boy. "Didn't we?"
"Yes," agreed his sister. "But what can we do this afternoon?"
"Oh, we'll go down to Charlie Star's house and have some fun. He's got a new swing and a hammock."
"Oh, that will be fine!" cried Sue.
The children had a good time playing with Charlie that afternoon. Others of their playmates came also, and Bunny and Sue told of the jolly fun they had had in the country, on grandpa's farm.
After a while the sun, that had been shining brightly all day, began to get ready to go to bed, down back of the hills where the clouds would cover it up until morning. And it was time also, for Bunny Brown and his sister Sue to go to bed. All the little folk of the town of Bellemere were getting sleepy.
How long Bunny and Sue slept they did not know. But Bunny was dreaming he had turned into a fish, and was going to flop into the water, and Sue was dreaming that she and her doll were having a fine ride in a motor boat, when both children were awakened by the loud ringing of a bell.
"Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Ding-dong!" went the bell.
"Is that our door bell?" asked Sue of Bunny, who slept in the room next to hers, the door being open between.
"No, I guess it's a church bell," said Bunny, half awake.
Then he and his sister heard their father moving around his room.
"What is it, Walter?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"It's a midnight alarm," he answered. "I guess it must be a fire, though it's the church bell that's ringing. I can't see any blaze from my window, but it must be a fire, or why would they ring the bell?"
"And why should they ring the church bell, when we have a fire bell?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"I don't know," answered her husband. "I guess I'd better get up, and see what it is. I wouldn't want any of my boats to burn up."
BUNNY AND SUE GO OUT
Bunny Brown, in his little room, and Sue Brown, in hers, jumped out of bed and ran to the window. They could hear the ringing of the church bell more plainly now.
"Ding-dong! Ding-dong!" it sounded through the silence of the night. It was not altogether dark, for there was a big, bright moon in the sky, and it was almost as light as a cloudy day.
"Can you see any blaze?" Bunny and Sue heard their mother ask their father.
"No, not a thing. But it's funny that that bell should ring. I'm going out to see what it is."
"I'll come with you," said Mrs. Brown. "I'll just put on my slippers, a bath robe and a cloak, and come along. It's so warm that I'll not get cold."
"All right, come along," said Mr. Brown. "The children are asleep and they won't miss us."
Bunny and Sue felt like laughing when they heard this. They were not asleep, but their father and mother did not know they were awake. Pretty soon Mr. and Mrs. Brown slipped quietly down the stairs and out of the house—out into the moonlit night. The church bell was still ringing loudly, and Bunny and Sue could hear the neighbors, in the houses on either side of them, talking about it. Everyone wondered if there was a fire.
"Oh, Bunny!" called Sue in a whisper to her brother, when daddy and Mother Brown had gone out. "Is you awake, Bunny?"
"Yep, course I am! Are you?"
"Yep. Say, Bunny, let's go to the fire; will you?"
"Yep. I'll just put on my bath robe and slippers."
"An' I will too. We'll go and see what it is. Daddy and mother won't care, and we can come home with them."
Now while Bunny Brown and his sister Sue are getting ready to go out to see what that midnight alarm means, I'll tell you a little bit about the children, and the other books, of Which this is one in a series.
The first book was called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue." In that I told you that Bunny and Sue lived with their father and mother in Bellemere, near the ocean. Mr. Brown was in the boat business, and he had a big boy, Bunker Blue, as well as other men and boys, to help him. But of them all Bunny and Sue liked Bunker Blue best.
In the first book I told how Bunny's and Sue's Aunt Lu came from the city of New York to pay them a long visit, how she lost her diamond ring, and how Bunny found it in the queerest way.
In the second book, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm," I told how the Brown family went on a trip in a big automobile. It was a regular moving van of an automobile, and so large that Bunny and Sue, Mr. and Mrs. Brown and Bunker Blue could eat and sleep in it. They camped out during the two or more days they were making the trip to grandpa's.
And what fun the children had in the country! You may read in the book all about how they saw the Gypsies, how they were frightened by tramps at the picnic, how they were lost, and what jolly times they had with their dog Splash.
Then, too, Bunny and Sue helped find grandpa's horses, that the Gypsies had taken away. So, altogether, the children had lots of fun on Grandpa Brown's farm. They even went to a circus, and this brings me to the third book, which is called: "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus."
And that is just what Bunny and Sue did. They got up a little circus of their own, and held it in grandpa's barn. Then Bunker Blue, and some of the larger boys in the country, thought they would get up a show. They did, and held it in two tents. Of course Bunny and Sue helped.
A week or so after the circus Bunny and Sue, with Bunker, and their father and mother (and of course their dog Splash) came back from the country in the big automobile.
Bunny and Sue had many friends in Bellemere where they lived. Not only were the boys and girls their friends, but also many grown folk, who liked the Brown children very much indeed. There was Mrs. Redden, who kept the village candy store, and there was Uncle Tad, an old soldier, who lived in the Brown house. Bunny and Sue liked them very much.
Then there was old Jed Winkler, a sailor, who lived with his sister, Miss Euphemia Winkler, and a monkey. That's right! Mr. Winkler did have a pet monkey named Wango, and he was very funny—I mean the monkey was funny. He was so gentle that Bunny and Sue often petted him, and gave him candy and peanuts to eat. Wango did many queer tricks.
But now I think I have told you enough about Bunny and Sue, as well as about their friends, so we will go back to the children. We left them getting ready to go out into the moonlight, you know, to see what the ringing of the church bell meant.
"Is you all ready, Bunny?" called Sue when she had put on her bath robe and slippers.
"Yep," he answered. "Come on."
Hand in hand the children went softly down the front stairs, as their father and mother had done. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were now out in the street, some distance away from the house. Men and women from several other houses, near that of the Brown family, were also out, wondering why the bell was ringing.
"Don't wake up Uncle Tad!" whispered Bunny to Sue, as they walked along so softly in their bath slippers.
"No, I won't," answered the little girl. "And don't wake up Mary, either. She might not let us go."
"All right," whispered Bunny.
Mary was the cook, but, as she slept up on the third floor, she would hardly hear the children going out.
"Shut the door easy," said Bunny to Sue, as they reached the front steps. "Don't let it slam."
They had found the door open, as Mr. and Mrs. Brown had left it, and the two children, each taking hold of it, closed it softly after them.
"Now we're all right!" whispered Bunny, as he started down the street on the run, for the bell was ringing louder than ever now, and Bunny was anxious to see the fire, if there was one. He hoped it would not be one of his father's boats, or the office on the fish dock.
"Wait! Wait for me!" cried Sue to her brother. "I can't run so fast, Bunny, 'cause I'll stumble over my bath robe. It's awful long!"
"Hold it up, just as I do," said Bunny, turning around to look at his sister. "Hold it up, and then your legs won't get tangled in it."
Sue pulled the robe up to her knees, and held it there. Bunny was doing the same thing, the bare legs of the children showing white in the moonlight. Bunny started off again.
"Wait! Wait!" begged Sue. "Take hold of my hand, Bunny."
"I can't!" he answered. "I've got to hold up my robe, or I'll tumble and bump my nose. Besides, how can I take hold of your hand when you haven't got any hand for me to take hold of?"
That was true enough. Sue was holding up her long robe with both hands.
"If I had some string I could tie up our robes," said Bunny, looking on the moonlit sidewalk, hoping he might find a piece. "But I hasn't got any," he said, "so I can't hold your hand, Sue. But I'll go slow for you."
He waited for his sister to catch up to him, and then the two children hurried on. They could go faster now, for their long bath robes did not dangle around their feet.
Down the street they hurried. The bell kept ringing and ringing, and Bunny and Sue could see and hear many other persons who had gotten up to see what it all meant, and who were now hurrying down the street.
"Oh, Bunny!" said Sue. "Isn't it just nice out to-night?"
"Yes," he said. The night was warm, and the moon was bright. Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did not think they were doing wrong to get up at midnight, and run down the street.
"I—I wonder where mother is?" said Sue, as they turned a corner.
"We don't want to see her, or daddy either," answered Bunny, keeping in the shadows, out of sight.
"Why not, Bunny Brown? Why don't we want to see our papa or mamma?"
"'Cause they'll send us back to bed, and we want to see the fire."
"Oh! do you think there is a fire, Bunny?"
"I guess so, or the bell wouldn't ring. But we'll soon see it, Sue, for we're almost at the church."
AUNT LU'S INVITATION.
"Ding-dong!" went the bell in the steeple. "Ding-dong! Ding-dong!"
By this time many persons were out in the street. Mr. Gorden, the grocery man, who lived next door to the Brown family, saw Bunny and Sue hurrying along.
"Hello!" he cried. "What are you two youngsters doing up at this hour of night?"
"We—we came to see the fire," said Bunny.
"Where is your pa and your ma?" asked Mr. Gordon.
"They—they went on ahead," explained Bunny.
"Oh, well, if they're with you I guess it's all right," the grocer said.
Of course Mr. and Mrs. Brown were not with Bunny and Sue, and their parents didn't even know that the children were out of their beds. But Mr. Gordon thought Bunny and Sue were all right, for he hurried on, calling back over his shoulder:
"I don't know where the fire is. I think it must be a mistake, for I don't see any bright light. Good-night, Bunny and Sue!"
"Good-night!" called the children, and they followed on behind Mr. Gordon.
Now they were in front of the church. Before it was quite a crowd of people, but Bunny and Sue seemed to be the only children. At first no one noticed them. Everyone was anxious to know what the ringing of the bell meant.
"Where's the fire?"
"Who rang the alarm?"
"Why didn't they ring the fire bell instead of the church bell?"
"Who's ringing it, anyhow?"
"And what a funny way to ring it!"
Those were some of the remarks and questions Bunny and Sue heard, as they stood in front of the church.
"Ding-dong!" the bell kept on ringing. "Ding-dong!"
"Well, there's one thing sure," said Mr. Gordon. "There isn't any fire around here, or we'd see it."
"Then someone must be ringing the bell for fun," suggested another voice.
"That's daddy," whispered Sue to Bunny.
"Hush!" Bunny said, as he moved around behind Mr. Gordon. He did not want his father or his mother to see him just yet—not until he had found out what made the bell ring.
"It must be some boys doing it just for fun," said another man.
"Then we ought to get the police after them!" exclaimed someone else. "The idea of waking folks up at this hour of the night by ringing a church bell! They ought to be spanked!"
"Ding-dong! Ding-dong!" went the bell again. Everyone looked up at the church steeple, trying to see who was ringing the bell. There was no fire—everyone was sure of that.
Then, all at once a man cried:
"There he is! I see him! There's the boy who has been ringing the bell!"
He pointed up to the steeple. Climbing out of one of the little windows, near the top, could be seen something small and black.
"It's a boy—a little boy!" cried Mr. Gordon.
"Oh, he'll fall!" gasped Mrs. Brown. "The poor little fellow! How will he ever get down?"
Indeed he was very high above the ground. But he did not seem to be afraid.
"Little tyke!" said a man. "He ought to be spanked for this! I wonder whose boy he is?"
"I'm glad it isn't Bunny or Sue," said Mrs. Brown.
"Yes, they are safe at home in bed," answered Mr. Brown.
And, all this while, mind you, Bunny and Sue were right there in the crowd, where they could hear their father and their mother talking. But Mr. and Mrs. Brown did not see their children.
"Who are you, up there on that steeple?" cried Mr. Gordon. "Whose boy are you, and what are you doing there?"
There was no answer.
"Maybe it's Ben Hall, the circus boy," said Sue, as she thought of the strange boy who had come to grandpa's farm.
"No, it couldn't be!" said Bunny.
"It might," Sue went on. "Ben was a good climber, you know. He climbed up high in the barn, and jumped down in the hay, and he turned a somersault."
"Yes, but the church steeple is higher than the barn," said Bunny. "That isn't Ben Hall. It's a little boy—not much bigger than I am."
Just then the moon, which had been behind a cloud, came out. The church steeple was well lighted up, and then everyone cried:
"Why, it isn't a boy at all! It's a monkey!"
"A monkey has been ringing the bell!"
"Whose monkey is it?" someone asked.
"Why it's Wango!" exclaimed Bunny Brown, out loud, before he thought. "It's Mr. Winkler's monkey, Wango!"
"And I know how to get him down!" chimed in Sue. "Just give him some peanuts, and he'll come down!"
The children's voices rang out clearly in the silence of the night. Everyone heard them, Mr. and Mrs. Brown included.
"Why—why, that sounded just like Bunny!" said Mrs. Brown.
"And Sue," added Mr. Brown. "Bunny! Sue!" he called. "Are you here? Where are you?"
"We—we're here, Daddy," said Bunny, sliding out from behind Mr. Gordon.
"And I'm here, too!" said Sue. She let her bath robe fall down over her bare legs.
"Well I never!" cried Mrs. Brown. "I thought you were at home in bed!"
"We—we heard the fire-bell, Mother," said Bunny, "and when you and daddy got up we got up, too."
"But we didn't wake Uncle Tad nor Mary," said Sue.
The crowd laughed, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to smile. After all, Bunny and Sue had done nothing so very wrong. It was a warm, light night, and they were not far from home. Besides, they were only following their father and mother, though of course they ought not to have done that.
"Well, well!" said Mrs. Brown. "I wonder what you children will do next?"
"We—we don't know," answered Sue, and everyone laughed again.
"As long as there isn't any fire, we'd better get back home," said Mr. Brown. "Come on, Bunny and Sue."
"Oh, please let us watch 'em get Wango down," begged Bunny. "Did he really ring the bell?"
"I guess he must have," said Mr. Gordon. "He's a great monkey for getting loose, and doing tricks. I don't see how we're going to get him down if he doesn't want to come, though. It's too high to climb after him."
"If we had some peanuts or lollypops, he'd come down," said Sue. "Once he was up on a high candy shelf in Mrs. Redden's store, and he came down for peanuts."
"Well, we might try that," said the store-keeper. "But here comes Mr. Winkler himself. I guess he'll know how to manage Wango."
The old sailor, who had also been awakened by the ringing of the bell, came slowly down the street. He looked toward the church steeple in the moonlight, and saw his pet.
"Wango, you bad monkey! Come right down here!" called Mr. Winkler.
But Wango only chattered, and stayed where he was.
"How'd he get up there?" someone asked.
"Oh, he broke loose in the night, when we were all asleep, and jumped out of an open window," said Mr. Winkler. "I suppose he must have climbed up inside the church steeple, and, seeing the bell rope hanging down, he swung himself by it, as he does on a rope I have fixed for him at home. His swinging back and forth on the rope rang the bell. I don't really believe he meant to do it."
And that was how it had happened, and how Wango had made people think there was a fire in the middle of the night when there wasn't any fire at all.
"Wango, come down!" called Mr. Winkler.
But the monkey would not come.
"If you had some peanuts he'd come," said Sue.
"I have some peanuts, little Sue," said Mr. Winkler, and he brought out a handful from his pocket. "Here, Wango, come and get these!" the old sailor called.
Wango chattered, and came scrambling down the church steeple. He liked peanuts very much, and he was soon perched on his master's shoulder eating the brown kernels, and throwing the shells to one side.
"Well, now that everything is over all right, we'll go back home," said Mr. Brown. "But the next time a bell rings at night, I don't want you children running out," he said.
"We won't," promised Bunny. "But it was so nice and warm, and moonlight, that we couldn't stay in, Daddy."
Daddy Brown laughed, and a little later he and his wife, with Bunny and Sue, were safe at home. They went in without awakening Uncle Tad or Mary, the cook. The other people also went home. Mr. Winkler fastened Wango so he could not get loose, and soon everyone was asleep again, even the bell-ringing monkey.
In the morning Bunny and Sue went over to see the old sailor's pet. Wango jumped around on his perch and chattered, for he liked the children.
"I—I wish we'd had him in the circus at grandpa's farm," said Bunny, as he watched Wango do some of his tricks. "He would have made them all laugh."
"Yes," said Sue. "Wango is funny!" and she petted the little, brown animal.
When Bunny and Sue reached home again, munching on some cookies Miss Winkler had given them, they found their mother reading a letter.
"Good news, children!" Mother Brown cried. "Good news!"
"Oh, are we going back to grandpa's farm?" asked Bunny.
"No, not this time," said his mother. "This is a letter from Aunt Lu. She invites us to come to her home, in New York City, to spend the fall and winter. Oh, it's just a lovely invitation from Aunt Lu!"
ON THE GROCERY WAGON
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue began to dance up and down, and to clap their fat little hands. They always did this when they were happy over some pleasure that was coming. And surely it would be a pleasure to go to Aunt Lu's city home.
"Oh, Mother, may we go?" cried Bunny.
"Please say we can!" begged Sue.
"Why, yes, I think we'll go," smiled Mother Brown. "I have been thinking for some time of paying Aunt Lu a visit, and, now that she asks us to come, I think we will go."
"And will daddy come?" Bunny wanted to know.
"Well, he can't come and stay as long as we shall stay, perhaps," said Mrs. Brown, "but he may be with us part of the time, as he was at grandpa's farm."
"Oh, goodie! What fun we'll have! Oh, goodie! What fun we'll have!" sang Sue, dancing around, holding her doll by one arm.
"And we'll ride in street cars, and on the steam cars," said Bunny, "and I'll see a policeman and a fireman and the fire engines, and we'll have ice cream cones, and—and——"
But that was all the little boy could think of just then, and he had to stop to catch his breath, which had nearly got away from him, he had talked so fast.
"There won't be any horses to ride, and we can't see the ducks and chickens," said Sue, "like we did on grandpa's farm in the country, Bunny."
"No, but we can see lots of other things in the city. I know we'll have plenty of fun, Sue."
"Yes, I guess we will. When are we going, Mother?"
"Oh, in about a week, I think. I'll write and tell Aunt Lu we are coming."
"She hasn't lost her diamond ring again; has she?" asked Bunny.
"No, I guess not. She doesn't say anything about it, if she has," answered Mrs. Brown.
"'Cause if she had lost it we'd help her find it," the little boy went on. "Oh, Sue! aren't you glad we're going?"
"Well, I just guess I am!" said Sue, happily, singing again.
She and Bunny talked of nothing else all that day but of the visit to Aunt Lu, and at night, when they were going to bed, they made plans of what they would do when they got to Aunt Lu's city house in New York.
"You'll come; won't you, Daddy?" asked Bunny, at breakfast the next morning, just before Mr. Brown was ready to start for his office at the fish dock.
"Well, yes, I guess I'll come down when it gets so cold here that the boats can't go out in the bay on account of the ice," said daddy.
"Oh, are we going to stay until winter?" asked Sue.
"Yes, we shall stay over Christmas," her mother answered.
"Will there be a place to slide down hill?" Bunny wanted to know.
"I'm afraid not, in New York City," Mr. Brown said. "But you can have other kinds of fun, Bunny and Sue."
"Oh, I can hardly wait for the time to come!" cried Sue, as she once more danced around the room with her doll.
"Let's go out in the yard and play teeter-tauter," called Bunny. "That will make the time pass quicker, Sue."
Bunker Blue had made for the children a seesaw from a long plank put over a wooden sawhorse. When Bunny sat on one end of the plank, and Sue on the other, they went first up and then down, "teeter-tauter, bread and water," as they sang when they played this game.
Soon the brother and sister were enjoying themselves this way, talking about what fun they would have at Aunt Lu's city home. Then, all at once, Bunny jumped off the seesaw, and of course Sue came down with a bump.
"Oh, Bunny Brown!" she cried, "what did you do that for? Why didn't you tell me you were goin' to get off, an' then I could stop myself from bumpin'."
"I'm sorry," said Bunny. "I didn't know I was going to jump till I did. Did you get hurted?"
"No, but I might have. And you knocked my doll out of my lap, and maybe she's hurted."
"Oh, you can't hurt a doll!" cried Bunny. "Pooh!"
"Yes you can, too!"
"No you can't!"
The children might have gone on talking in this unpleasant way for some time, only, just then, up the side drive came Mr. Gordon's grocery wagon, with Tommie Tobin, the grocery boy, on the seat driving the horse.
"Oh, he's got things in for us!" cried Sue. "Let's go an' see what they is, Bunny. Maybe it's cookies, and we can have one. I'm hungry, and it isn't near dinner time yet. It's only cookie time."
The two children went over to the grocery wagon. Tommie Tobin jumped off the seat, and hurried into the Brown kitchen with a basket of things. He did not see Bunny and Sue, as they were on the other side of the wagon.
Just then Bunny had an idea. He often got ideas in his queer little head.
"Oh, Sue!" he cried. "I know what let's do!"
"What?" she asked.
"Let's get in the grocery wagon, and have a ride."
"Oh, Bunny! All right. Let's!"
Softly the children drew nearer the wagon. Then Sue thought of something.
"But, Bunny," she said, "Tommie won't like it. Maybe he won't let us ride."
"Oh, he'll like it all right," said Bunny. "He gave Charlie Star a ride the other day. Anyhow he won't know it."
"Who won't know it; Charlie?"
"No, Tommie. We'll get in the wagon, and hide down between the boxes and baskets, while he's in our house. Then he won't see us. Come on, Sue."
"But it's so high up I can't get in, Bunny."
"Oh, I'll help you. Here, we can stand on this box, and then we can easy get up."
Bunny found a box beside the drive-way. He put it up near the back of the grocery wagon, and stood up on it. Then he helped Sue up on the box.
"Now you can get in," said the little boy. "I'll boost you, just like Bunker Blue boosts me when I climb trees. Up you go, Sue!"
Bunny raised Sue up from the box. She put one leg over the tail-board of the wagon, and down inside she tumbled in the midst of the grocery packages, the boxes and baskets.
"Here I come!" cried Bunny, and in he came tumbling. He fell between Sue and a bag of potatoes. Just then the children heard a joyous whistle.
"Now keep still—keep very still," whispered Bunny to Sue. "Here comes Tommie, and if he doesn't see us he'll drive off and give us a nice ride. Keep still, Sue."
Sue kept very still. So did Bunny. Tommie came out whistling. He tossed the empty basket into the back of the wagon, gave one jump up on to the seat, and cried:
Off trotted the horse with the wagon, taking Sue and Bunny for a ride, along with the groceries.
SURPRISING OLD MISS HOLLYHOCK
"Aren't we having a fine ride, Bunny?"
"Hush, Sue! Not so loud! He'll hear us!" whispered the little boy, as he and his sister cuddled down in among the boxes and baskets in the grocery wagon.
"But it is a nice ride; isn't it?"
"It sure is, Sue." Bunny laughed in a sort of whisper, so Tommie, the boy who drove the wagon, would not hear him. And, so far, Tommie had no idea that he was taking with him Bunny and Sue.
The two children had no idea where they were going. They often did things like that, without thinking, and sometimes they were sorry afterward. But it had seemed all right to them to get into the wagon for a ride.
"We won't go very far," Bunny went on, in another whisper, after a bit. "We'll just ride around the block, and then get out."
"Will we have to walk home?" Sue asked.
"Maybe Tommie will drive us back," said Bunny. "He's real good, you know."
"I'd rather ride than walk," said Sue.
Tommie was whistling away as loudly as he could, and this, with the rattle of the wagon, and the clatter of the horse's hoofs made so much noise that the whisperings of Bunny and Sue were not heard by the grocery boy.
The horse began to trot slowly, and Bunny and Sue, peering out from the back of the wagon, saw that it was going to stop in front of Charlie Star's house.
"What's he stopping for?" asked Sue.
"Hush!" whispered Bunny. "I guess Tommie is going to leave some groceries here."
Bunny had guessed right. Tommie reached back inside the wagon, and picked up a basket full of packages and bundles. The delivery boy did not notice Bunny and Sue, who crouched down low, so as to keep out of sight. Then, still whistling, Tommie ran up the walk with some groceries for Mrs. Star.
In a little while Tommie was back again, and once more the horse trotted off as the grocery boy called: "Giddap there, Prince!" Prince was the name of the horse.
"Oh, this sure is a fine ride!" said Sue, laughing and snuggling close up to Bunny. "Aren't you glad we came?"
"Yes," he answered, "but I hope he brings us back. We're a long way from home now, and it's pretty far to walk."
"Oh, I guess he'll take us," said Sue. "Anyhow we're having a good time, and so is my doll," and she looked at her toy which she had brought with her. The doll was now sound asleep on a pound of butter in one of the baskets, her feet resting on a bag of sugar, and one arm stretched over a box of crackers.
"She won't get hungry, anyhow," said Bunny with a laugh.
"She doesn't eat when she's asleep," said Sue.
Tommy stopped his grocery wagon several times, to leave boxes or baskets of good things at the different houses. Finally he stopped in front of a house where lived Mr. Thompson, and here Tommie had to wait a long time, for the Thompson family was very large, and they bought a number of groceries. Tommie used to write down in his book the different things Mrs. Thompson wanted to order, so he could bring them to her the next time he drove past.
Bunny and Sue, cuddled down amid the boxes and baskets, did not like to stay still so long. They wanted to be riding. Finally Sue looked out of the back of the wagon and said:
"Oh, Bunny, look! There's where old Miss Hollyhock lives," and she pointed to a shabby little house, where lived a poor old woman. "Hollyhock" was not her name, but everyone called her that because she had so many of those old-fashioned flowers around her house. She was so poor that often she did not have much to eat, except what the neighbors gave her. Mrs. Brown often sent her things, and once Bunny and Sue sold lemonade, and gave the money they took in to old Miss Hollyhock.
"Yes, that's where she lives," said Bunny.
"And maybe she's hungry now," Sue went on.
"Maybe she is," agreed Bunny.
"We could give her something to eat," suggested Sue, after thinking a few seconds.
"How?" Bunny wanted to know.
"Look at all these groceries," Sue said. "There's a lot here that Tommie don't need. We could get out, and take a basket full in to old Miss Hollyhock."
"Oh, so we could!" Bunny cried. "We'll do it. Pick out the biggest basket you can find, Sue."
Neither Bunny Brown nor his sister Sue thought it would be wrong to take a basket of groceries from the wagon for poor old Miss Hollyhock. They did not stop to think that the groceries belonged to someone else. All they thought of was that the old lady might be hungry.
"We'll take this basket," said Sue. "It's got lots in."
She pointed to one that held some bread, crackers, sugar, butter, potatoes, tea and coffee. All of these things were done up in paper bags, except the potatoes. Bunny and Sue could tell which was tea and which was coffee by the smell. And they had often gone to the store for their mother, so they knew how the grocer did up other things good to eat, in different sized bags or packages.
"Yes, that will be a nice basket to take to old Miss Hollyhock," agreed Bunny. "But I don't think I can carry it, Sue."
"I'll help you," said the little girl. "Anyhow, if we can't carry it all at once, we can take it in a little at a time."
"We—we ought to have a box to step on when we get out, same as we had to get in," said Bunny.
"Here's one," and Sue pointed to an empty box in the wagon.
Bunny dragged it to the back of the wagon. The end, or "tail," board was down, so there was no trouble in dropping the box out of the wagon to the ground. Then Bunny could step on it and get out. He also helped Sue down. But first they pulled the big basket of groceries close to the end of the wagon, where they could easily reach it.
"Now we'll surprise old Miss Hollyhock," said Bunny.
"Won't it be nice!" exclaimed Sue.
They did not stop to think that they might also surprise someone else besides the poor old lady.
Looking toward the Thompson house, to make sure Tommie was not coming out, Bunny and Sue filled their little arms with bundles from the grocery basket, and started toward old Miss Hollyhock's cabin. They did not want Tommie to see what they were doing.
"'Cause maybe he wouldn't want to give her so much," said Bunny. "But mother will pay for it if we ask her to."
"Yes," said Sue.
Together they went up to old Miss Hollyhock's door. Then Bunny thought of something else.
"We'll give her a surprise," he whispered to Sue. "We'll make believe it's Valentine's Day or Hallowe'en, and we'll leave the things on her doorstep, and run away."
"That will be nice," said Sue.
The children had to make three trips before they had all the groceries out of the basket and piled nicely on the front steps of old Miss Hollyhock's house. But at last it was all done, and Bunny and Sue climbed back in the wagon again. Bunny even reached down and pulled up after him the box on which he and his sister had stepped when they got in and out.
All this while Tommie had not come out of the Thompson house, so of course he had not seen what the children had done. Soon after Bunny and Sue were safely snuggled down amid the boxes and baskets once more, the grocery boy came down the walk whistling.
He threw an empty basket into the wagon, put in his pocket the book in which he had written down the order Mrs. Thompson had given him, and cried to Prince:
"And he giddapped as fast as anything!" said Sue, in telling about it afterward. "He giddapped so fast that I tumbled over backward into a box of strawberries. But I didn't smash very many, and Bunny and me ate 'em, so it didn't hurt much."
On went the grocery horse, and pretty soon Tommie, on the front seat, cried:
The horse stopped in front of a big house where lived Mr. Jones. Tommie looked back into the wagon. He did not see Bunny and Sue, for they had pulled a horse blanket over themselves to hide, since there were not so many boxes in the wagon now.
"Hello!" cried Tommie in surprise. "Where's that big basket of groceries for Mr. Jones? I surely put it in the wagon, but it's gone! This is queer!"
Bunny and Sue, hiding under the blanket, wondered what would happen next.
OFF FOR NEW YORK
"Where is that basket of groceries for the Jones house? Where can it have gone to?" asked Tommie aloud, as he looked back into his wagon. "I'm sure I put it in, and now—"
He turned around on his seat, and stepped over into the back part of the wagon, among the boxes and baskets. He looked at them carefully, and finally he raised the horse blanket that was over Bunny and Sue.
"Why—why—what—what in the world are you doing here?" cried Tommie, much surprised to see the two children hiding there.
"We—we're having a ride," said Sue.
"Where did you get in?" asked Tommie.
"When you stopped at our house," answered Bunny. "And we've been riding with you ever since."
"Well, well!" cried Tommie. "And to think I never knew it! You riding in with me all the while, and I never knew a thing about it! Well, well!"
He laughed, and Bunny and Sue laughed also. It was quite a joke.
"You don't mind, do you, Tommie?" asked Bunny.
"No, not a bit. I'm glad to have you."
"And will you ride us home?" asked Sue.
"Sure, yes, of course I will. But I've got to deliver the rest of my groceries first. And that makes me think—I've lost a big basket full that ought to go to Mr. Jones. I'm sure I put 'em in the wagon, but they're not here. You didn't see a big basket of groceries—butter, bread, tea, coffee and sugar—fall out, while you were riding in there, did you?"
Bunny and Sue looked at one another. They were both thinking of the same thing.
"That must have been the basket," said Bunny slowly.
"Yes," agreed Sue.
"What basket?" asked Tommie.
"We—we gave a basket of groceries to old Miss Hollyhock," said Bunny slowly. "It was while you were in Mr. Thompson's house. You know old Miss Hollyhock is awful poor, and we gave her the things to eat. We left 'em on her doorstep."
"For a Hallowe'en surprise," added Sue, "or a Valentine, though it isn't Valentine's Day yet, either."
"So that's what happened; eh?" cried the grocery boy. "Old Miss Hollyhock has the things I ought to leave for Mrs. Jones! Well, well!"
"Is you mad?" asked Sue, for there was a queer look on Tommie's face.
"No, not exactly mad, Sue," said Tommie slowly. "But I don't know what to do. I know you meant to be kind, and good to old Miss Hollyhock; but what am I to do about the things for Mrs. Jones? I can't very well go and take them away from old Miss Hollyhock, for she must think that some of her friends sent them, as they often do. It wouldn't do to take them away."
"Oh, no! You musn't take 'em away from her, after we gave 'em to her," said Bunny. "That would make her feel bad."
"And she feels bad now, 'cause she's poor," put in Sue. "She's hungry, too, maybe."
"Yes, I guess she is," agreed Tommie. "Well, I don't know what to do. If I go back to the store to get more things for Mrs. Jones, Mr. Gordon will want to know what became of the basketful I had. And old Miss Hollyhock has them. Well—"
"Oh, I know what to do!" cried Bunny.
"What?" asked Tommie.
"You go to my house," said the little boy, "and my mamma will give you money to buy more groceries for Mrs. Jones. Then old Miss Hollyhock can keep the ones Sue and me give her. Won't that be all right?"
"Yes, I s'pose it will if your mother gives me the money," answered Tommie slowly.
"She won't have to give you the money," said Sue. "We don't pay money for groceries anyhow; we charge 'em."
"Well, it's the same thing in the end," said Tommie with a laugh. "But I guess the best I can do is to take you two youngsters home, and see what happens then. I'll tell Mrs. Jones I'll come later with her groceries."
Tommie ran up to the Jones house, and was soon back on the wagon again. He drove quite fast to the home of Bunny and Sue.
"Oh, you children!" cried Mrs. Brown, when she heard what had happened—about Bunny and Sue riding in the grocery wagon, and giving the things away to old Miss Hollyhock that Mrs. Jones ought to have had.
"You'll pay for the groceries, won't you, Mother?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, dear, I suppose so. I know you meant to be kind, but you should ask me before you do things like that. However, the food will be a great help to old Miss Hollyhock. I was going to send her some anyhow.
"Here, Tommie, you give this note to Mr. Gordon, the grocer, and he will charge the things to me, and give you more for Mrs. Jones. I'm sorry you had all this trouble."
"Oh, I don't mind," and Tommie was smiling now. "I'm glad Bunny and Sue had a nice ride."
"And it makes you feel good to give things to people," said Bunny. "I mean it makes you feel good inside."
"Like eating bread and jam when you're hungry," observed Sue.
"No, it isn't like that," said Bunny. "'Cause when your hungry, and you eat bread and jam it makes you feel good here," and he put his hand on his stomach. "But when you make somebody, like old Miss Hollyhock, a present it makes you feel good higher up," and he patted his little heart.
"Well, I'm glad to know you like to be kind," said Mother Brown. "But please don't run away and ride in any more grocery wagons, or something may happen so that you can't go on a visit to Aunt Lu's city home."
"Oh dear!" cried Sue. "We wouldn't want that to happen! Are we soon going, Mother?"
"Pretty soon, I guess. I have some sewing to do first. I must make you some new dresses."
The next week was a busy one in the Brown house. There were clothes to get ready for Bunny and Sue, and as they had just come back from a long visit to grandpa's, in the country, some of their things needed much mending. For Bunny and Sue had played in the hay; they had romped around in the barn, and had run through the woods, and across the fields.
But the summer vacation had done them good. They were strong and healthy, and as brown as little Indian children. They could play all day long, come in, go to bed, and get up early the next morning, ready for more good times.
One day the postman brought another letter from Aunt Lu.
"I can hardly wait for Bunny and Sue to come to see me," said Aunt Lu. "I am sure they will have a fine time in the city, though it is different from the seashore where they live. Bunny will not find any lobster claws here. And my home isn't in the country, either. There are no green fields to play in, though we can go to Central Park, or the Bronx Zoo."
"What's a Zoo?" asked Bunny. "Is it something good to eat?"
"It's a game, like tag," guessed Sue.
"No," said Mother Brown. "Aunt Lu means the Bronx Zooelogical Park, and she calls it Zoo for short. That means a place where animals are kept."
"Wild animals?" asked Bunny.
"Pooh! I know what a Zoo is—it's a circus!" the little boy exclaimed.
"Well, it's partly like that," said his mother. "But that isn't all of Aunt Lu's letter."
"What else does she say?" asked Sue.
"Why, she writes that she has a surprise for you."
"Oh, what is it?" asked Bunny.
"Tell us!" begged Sue.
"Aunt Lu doesn't say," said Mrs. Brown. "You will have to wait until you get to Aunt Lu's city home. Then you'll find out what the surprise is."
Bunny and Sue tried all that day to guess, but of course they could not tell whether they had guessed right or not.
"Oh dear!" sighed Sue. "I wish it was time to go now."
But the days soon passed, and, about a week later, Mrs. Brown, with Bunny and Sue, were at the railroad station, ready to take the train for New York. Mr. Brown could not go with them, though he said he would come later. He went to the station with them, however.
"Here comes the New York train," said Mr. Brown as a whistle sounded down the track. "Now you're off for Aunt Lu's!"
ON THE TRAIN
Mr. Brown helped his wife and the two children on to the train. Then he had to hurry down the steps, for the engine was whistling, which meant that it was about to start off again.
"And I don't want to be carried away with it, much as I would like to go," said Daddy Brown. "But I'll come to Aunt Lu's and see you before the winter is over, though now I must stay here, and look after my boat business, with Bunker Blue."
"Bring Bunker with you when you come to New York," called Bunny to his father, as the train slowly rolled out of the station.
"All right, perhaps I will," answered Mr. Brown.
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue crowded up to the open car window to wave a last good-bye to their father, who stood on the depot platform. At last they could see him no longer, for the train was soon going fast, and was quickly far away. Then the children settled down to enjoy their ride.
"Mother, can't I sit next to the window?" begged Sue.
"No, I want to!" cried Bunny.
The children did not often ride in the steam cars, and of course it was quite a treat for each of them to sit next to the window, where one could watch the trees, houses, fences and telegraph poles as they seemed to fly past. In fact Bunny and Sue both wanted the window so much that they quite forgot to be polite, as they nearly always were.
"I'm going to be at the window," said Sue.
"No, I am!" cried Bunny.
"Children, children!" said Mrs. Brown softly. "Be nice now. I will let you each have a seat by yourself, then you may each sit by a window. You must not be so impatient about it."
The car was not crowded, and there was plenty of room for Bunny and Sue to have each a seat by a window. Mrs. Brown also sat in a seat by herself behind the two little ones. She had seen that the windows were not raised high enough for Bunny or Sue to put out their heads.
"And you must not put out your arms, or hands, either," she said. "You might be hit by a post or something, and be hurt. Keep your hands and arms in."
Bunny and Sue were quite happy now, for they loved to travel, as most children do. Then, too, they were going to Aunt Lu's in the big city of New York, and would have lots of good times there. They had said good-bye to all their little friends, and to old Miss Hollyhock. The poor old lady had found the groceries on her doorstep, and she was very thankful for them.
"I hope when you get old, and poor and hungry, you'll have some one to be kind to you," she had said to Bunny and Sue, when she found out it was to them she owed the good things.
"Oh, we're never going to be poor!" Sue had said. "Our papa will buy us things to eat. He buys us ice cream cones; don't he Bunny?"
"Yes, dear, and I hope he will always be with you, to look after you," said old Miss Hollyhock.
Bunny and Sue had also said good-bye to Uncle Tad, to Mrs. Redden who kept the candy store, and to Mr. and Miss Winkler. Nor did they forget to say good-bye to Wango, the monkey.
"We won't see any monkeys in the city," said Sue.
"Yes we will," cried Bunny. "We'll see 'em in the Zoo. And they have hand-organ monkeys in cities, Sue."
"Maybe they do," she said.
And now, as the two children were riding in the train, they talked of what they saw from the windows, and also of the friends they had left behind in Bellemere, not forgetting Wango, the monkey.
"Mother, I want a drink of water," said Sue, after a while. "I'm thirsty."
"All right, I'll get you a drink," said Mrs. Brown. In her bag she had a little drinking cup, that closed up, "like an accordion," as Bunny said. And, taking this out, Mrs. Brown walked to the end of the car where the water was kept in a tank, to get Sue a drink.
As the little girl was taking some from the cup the train gave a sudden swing to one side, and, the first thing Sue knew, the water had splashed up in her face, and down over her dress.
"Oh—oh, Mother!" gasped Sue. "I—I didn't mean to do that."
"No, you couldn't help it," said Mrs. Brown. "It was the train that made you do it. Water won't hurt your dress."
Mrs. Brown sat down, after wiping the drops off Sue's skirt and face. She was beginning to read a book when Bunny, who had been looking out of his window, called:
"Mother, I'm thirsty. I want a drink!"
"Oh, Bunny dear! Why didn't you tell me that when I was getting one for Sue?"
"'Cause, Mother, I wasn't thirsty then."
Mrs. Brown smiled. Then she once more went down to the end of the car and got Bunny a drink. By this time the train had stopped at a station, so the car was not "jiggling" as Sue called it. And Bunny did not spill his cup of water.
For some time after this the two children sat quietly in their seats.
"I just saw a cow!" Sue called back to her brother.
"Pooh!" he answered. "That's nothing. I just saw two horses in a field, and one was running."
"Well, a cow's better than a horse," insisted Sue.
"No it isn't!" Bunny cried. "You can ride a horse, but you can't ride a cow."
"Well, a cow gives milk."
Bunny could not think of any answer for a minute, and then he said:
"Well, anyhow, two horses is better than one cow."
Even Sue thought this might be so. She sat looking out of the window, watching the trees, houses, fences and telegraph poles, as they seemed to fly past.
By and by a boy came through the car selling candy.
"Mother, I'm hungry!" said Bunny.
"So am I!" added Sue. "I want some candy!"
Mrs. Brown bought them some chocolates, for the ride was a long one, and they had eaten an early breakfast. The candy kept Bunny and Sue quiet for a while, and Mrs. Brown was shutting her eyes for a little sleep, when she heard some one behind her saying:
"Oh, children, I wouldn't do that!"
Quickly opening her eyes she saw Bunny and Sue crossing to the other side of the car, to take some empty seats there. A passenger behind Mrs. Brown, seeing that she was asleep, had spoken to the children.
"Oh, you musn't do that," said Mrs. Brown. "Stay in the seats you had first."
"We want to see what's on this side," said Bunny. He had already climbed up into a vacant seat, and was near the window, when, all at once, a train rushed past on the other track, with a loud whistle, a clanging of the bell and puffing of the engine, that sent smoke and cinders into Bunny's face. The little fellow jumped back quickly.
"There!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "You see it is much nicer on the side where you were first. No trains pass on this side."
So Bunny and Sue were glad enough to go back to the places they had at first. For some time they were quiet, looking out at the different stations as they stopped. At noon their mother gave them some chicken sandwiches from a basket of lunch she had put up.
"Why don't we go into the dining car, like we did once?" Bunny wanted to know.
"Because there isn't any on this train," said Mrs. Brown. "But we will soon be at Aunt Lu's. Now sit back in your seats, and rest yourselves."
Bunny and Sue did for a while. Then they looked for something else to do. The train boy came through with some picture books, and Mrs. Brown bought one each for Bunny and Sue.
These kept them quiet for a little while, but the books were soon finished, even when Bunny took Sue's and gave her his, to change about.
"You come back and sit in my seat, Bunny," Sue invited her brother after a while.
"No, you come with me," said Bunny. So Sue got in with him, but she wanted to sit next to the window, and as Bunny wanted that place himself, they were not satisfied, until Sue went back in her own seat.
About this time Bunny looked up and saw a long cord stretched overhead in the car, like a clothes line. It hung down from the car ceiling, and ran over little brass wheels, or pulleys, like those on Mr. Brown's boats, only much smaller.
"Do you see that cord, Sue?" asked Bunny.
"Yes," answered the little girl. "What's it for?"
"That's what holds the cars together," Bunny said. "The cars are tied to the engine with that cord."
Of course this was not so, for it takes strong iron chains and bars to hold the railroad cars one to another, and to the engine. But Bunny thought the cord, that blew a whistle in the engine, kept the train from coming apart.
"Is that what it's for?" asked Sue. "It isn't a very big string for to hold a train."
"Oh, it's very strong," Bunny said. "Nobody could break it."
"I—I guess daddy could break it," Sue suggested.
"No he couldn't!"
"Yes he could! Daddy's awful strong!"
"He couldn't break that cord!" declared Bunny. "Nobody could break it. If I could pull it down here, you could pull on it and see how strong it is. No one can break it."
He reached up toward the whistle cord, but he was too short to get hold of it.
"I know how you can get it," said Sue.
"How can I get it?" Bunny asked.
"Hook it down with mother's parasol," answered Sue.
"Oh, so I can!" cried Bunny.
He went back to the seat where his mother sat. Mrs. Brown had fallen asleep, and Bunny got her parasol without awakening her.
The little fellow raised the umbrella, and hooked the crook in the end of it over the whistle cord. He pulled down hard, and then—well, I guess I'll tell you in the next chapter what happened.
AUNT LU'S SURPRISE
When Bunny Brown pulled down on the whistle cord in the railroad car, a very strange thing happened. All at once there was a loud squeaking, grinding sound. The car shivered and shook and began to go slowly. It stopped so suddenly that Bunny slid out of the smooth plush seat down to the floor. So did his sister Sue.
Some of the other passengers had hard work to keep from sliding from their seats, and many of them jumped up and began calling:
"What's the matter?"
"What has happened?"
"Is there an accident?"
For when a train stops suddenly, you know, if it is going along fast, it almost always means that something has happened, or that there is a cow, or something else, on the track, and that the engineer wants to stop, quickly, so as not to hit it. And that's what the other passengers thought now.
Mrs. Brown was suddenly awakened from her sleep. She, too, had almost slid from her seat when the car stopped so suddenly. For the moment Bunny pulled down on the cord, it blew a whistle in the cab, or little house of the engine, where the engineer sits. And when the engineer heard that whistle he knew it meant for him to stop as soon as he could.
He could look down the track, and see that there was nothing on the rails that he could hit, but, hearing the whistle, he thought the conductor, or one of the brakemen, must have pulled the cord. Perhaps the engineer thought some one had fallen off the train, as people sometimes fall off boats, and the engineer wanted to stop quickly so the passenger could be picked up. At any rate, he stopped very suddenly, and that was what made all the trouble. Or, rather, Bunny Brown made all the trouble, though he did not mean to.
"Why, Bunny!" cried his mother, as she straightened up in her seat. "Where are you? Where is Sue? What has happened?"
For, you know, Bunny and Sue had slid down to the floor of the car when the train came to such a sudden stop.
"Where are you, children?" called Mrs. Brown, anxiously.
"I—I'm here, Mother!" answered Sue. "Bunny pushed me off my seat!"
"Oh-o-o-o, Sue Brown! I did not!" cried the little fellow, getting up with the parasol still in his hand. "I did not!"
"Well, you made the train stop, and that knocked me out of my seat, and my doll was knocked down too, so there!" answered Sue, and she seemed ready to cry.
"Bunny, what happened? What did you do?" asked his mother. "What are you doing with my parasol?" she asked.
"I—I just reached up to pull down that rope with the crooked handle end," Bunny answered, pointing to the whistle cord. "I wanted to show Sue how strong it was, so I pulled on it."
"Oh ho!" exclaimed a fat man, a few seats ahead of Bunny. "So that's what made the train stop; eh? I thought someone must have pulled the engineer's whistle cord to make him stop, but I didn't think it was a little boy like you."
"Oh, Bunny!" exclaimed his mother, when she saw what had happened. "You shouldn't have done that. You musn't stop the train that way."
"I—I didn't want to stop the train, Mother!" the little boy answered. "I just wanted to show Sue about the cord. I fell out of my seat, too," he added.
"Yes, nearly all of us did," said the fat man with a laugh. "Well if you didn't mean to do it Bunny, we'll forgive you I suppose," and he laughed in a jolly way.
Into the car came hurrying the conductor, with the gold bands on his cap, and the brakeman. They looked all around, and then straight at Bunny who still held his mother's parasol.
"Who pulled the whistle cord?" asked the conductor. Years ago there used to be a bell cord in the train, and a bell rang in the engineer's cab when the cord was pulled. But now an air whistle blows. "Who pulled the cord?" asked the conductor.
Now Bunny Brown was a brave little chap, even when he knew he had done wrong. So he spoke up and said:
"I—I pulled it, Mr. Conductor. I pulled the cord."
"You did eh?" and the conductor smiled a little now. Bunny looked so funny and so cute standing there, with the parasol, and Sue looked so pretty, standing near him, holding her doll upside down, that no one could help at least smiling. Some of the passengers were laughing.
"And so you stopped my train; did you?" the conductor asked.
"I—I guess so," Bunny answered. "I was pulling down on the rope, to show my sister how strong it was."
"Oh, I see," the conductor went on. "Then you didn't stop my train because you wanted to get off?"
"Oh, no!" cried Bunny quickly. "I don't want to get off now. I want to go to New York. We're going to my Aunt Lu's house."
"Well, New York is quite a way off yet," laughed the conductor, "so I guess you had better stay with us. But please don't pull on the whistle cord again."
"I won't," Bunny promised. "But it is a strong rope, isn't it, Mr. Conductor? And it does hold the cars together; doesn't it?"
"Well, no, not exactly," the conductor answered, while the passengers laughed. "I'll show you what the cord does in a little while. But I'm glad nothing has happened. I thought there was an accident when the train stopped so quickly, so I ran through all the cars to find out. Now we'll go on again."
He reached up and pulled the car-cord twice. Far up ahead, in the cab of the locomotive, a little whistle blew twice, and the engineer knew that meant for him to go ahead. It's just like that on a trolley car. One bell means to stop, and two bells to go ahead.
"Oh Bunny! Why did you do it?" asked his mother, as she took the parasol from him.
"Why—why, I didn't mean to stop the train," he said.
Mrs. Brown thought there was not much need of scolding Bunny, for he had not meant to do wrong. He promised never again to pull on a whistle cord in a train.
Now the cars were rolling on again, and, in a little while the conductor again came back to where Mrs. Brown was sitting.
"Now where's the little boy who stopped my train?" he asked with a smile.
"I'm here," Bunny answered, "and this is my sister Sue."
"Well, I'm glad to meet you both again, I'm sure," and the conductor shook hands with Bunny and kissed Sue. "Now, if you two would like it, I'll show you where you blew the whistle in the engine."
"Oh, will you take us in the engine?" asked Bunny, who had always wanted to go in that funny little house on top of the locomotive's back.
"Yes, I'll take you in when we make the next stop," the conductor said. "We have to wait a few minutes to give the engine a drink of water, and I'll take you and your sister in the engine. That is if you say it's all right," and he turned around to look at Mrs. Brown.
"Oh, yes," Bunny's mother answered. "They may go with you if they won't be a bother. I'm sorry my little boy made so much trouble about stopping the train."
"Oh, well, he didn't mean to, so we'll forget all about it. I'll come back and get you when we stop," he said.
A little later the train slowed up. It did it so easily that no one fell out of his seat this time, and, pretty soon, back came the conductor to get Bunny and Sue.
The engine had stopped near a big wooden tank filled with water, and some of this water was running through a big pipe into the tender of the engine. The tender is the place where the coal is kept for the locomotive fire.
"Hello, Jim!" called the conductor to the engineer who was leaning out of the window of his little house. "Here's the boy who stopped the train so suddenly a while back."
"Oh ho! Is he?" asked the engineer. "Well, he isn't a very big boy, to have stopped such a big train."
"I—I didn't mean to," said Bunny, and he and Sue looked back, and saw that truly it was a long train. And the locomotive pulling it was a very big one.
"Well, you didn't do much damage," laughed the engineer.
"I'm going to bring them up to see you," the conductor said.
"That's right, let 'em come!"
The engineer came out of his cab and took first Bunny, and then Sue, from the conductor, who lifted them up to the iron step near the boiler. A hot fire was burning under the engine to make steam, and Bunny and Sue looked at it in wonder.
Then the engineer took them up in his cab, and showed Bunny where, on the ceiling, was the little air whistle—the one Bunny had blown when he pulled the cord with the parasol. Then the engineer showed the children the shiny handle that he pulled to make the engine go ahead, and another that made it go backward. Then he showed a little brass handle.
"This is the one I pulled on in a hurry when I heard you blow the whistle once," he said.
"What handle is that?" asked the little boy.
"That's the handle that puts on the air brakes," said the engineer. "And over here is the rope the fireman pulls when he wants to ring the bell. I'll let you ring it."
"And me, too?" asked Sue.
"Yes, you too!" laughed the engineer.
First Bunny pulled on the rope that was fast to the big bell on the top of the engine, near the smoke-stack where the puffing noise sounded. Bunny could hardly make the bell ring, as it was very heavy, but finally he did make it sound:
"Now it's my turn!" cried Sue.
She could only make the bell ring once:
But she was just as well pleased.
By this time the engine had taken enough water for its boiler, to last until it got to New York, and the conductor took Bunny and Sue back to their mother. They were quite excited and pleased over their visit to the locomotive, and told Mrs. Brown all about the strange sights they had seen.
"But when will we be at Aunt Lu's?" asked Bunny, as he looked out of the window.
"Oh, soon now," his mother answered.
And, in about an hour, the brakeman put his head in through the door of their car, and called out:
"New York! All change!"
"Change what, Mother?" asked Sue. "Have we got to change our clothes? Are we going to bed?"
"No, dear. The man means we must change cars. We are at the end of our railroad trip."
"But it's so dark," said Bunny. "I thought it was time to go to bed."
"It's the station that's dark," said Mrs. Brown. "Part of it is underground, like a tunnel."
Indeed it was so dark in the train and the station that the car lamps were lighted. No wonder Bunny and Sue thought it time to go to bed.
But when they got outside the sun was shining, though it was afternoon, and would soon be supper time.
"Oh, here you are! Hello, Bunny dear! Hello, Sue dear!" cried a jolly voice.
"Oh, Aunt Lu! Oh, Aunt Lu!" cried Bunny and Sue as they clung to their aunt. "We're so glad to see you!"
"And I'm glad to see you!" she cried, as she kissed her sister, Mrs. Brown. "Now come on, and we'll soon be at my house."
"But where's the surprise?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, we want to see the surprise," said Sue.
"It's in my automobile," said Aunt Lu with a laugh. "Come on, I'll show her to you."
"Is it—is it a her?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, my dear. You'll soon see. Come on!"
Aunt Lu led the way to a fine, large automobile just outside the station. A man wearing a tall hat opened the door of the car, and looking inside Bunny and Sue saw a queer little colored girl, her kinky hair standing up in little pigtails all over her head. She smiled at Bunny and Sue, showing her white teeth.
"There!" cried Aunt Lu. "What do you think of my surprise?"
THE WRONG HOUSE
For a second or two Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did not know what to say. They stood on the sidewalk, at the door of the automobile, which was one of the closed kind, staring at the little colored girl, with her kinky wisps of hair.
"Well, what do you think of Wopsie?" asked Aunt Lu again. "Don't you like my surprise, Bunny—Sue?"
"Is—is this the surprise?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, this is Wopsie. I'll tell you about her in a little while. Get in now, and we'll soon be at my house."
Wopsie, the colored girl, smiled to show even more of her white teeth, and then she asked:
"Is yo' all de company?"
"Yes, this is the company I told you about, Wopsie," said Miss Baker, which was Aunt Lu's name. "This is Bunny," and she pointed to the little boy, "and this little girl is Sue. They are going to be my company for a long time, I hope."
Wopsie gave a funny little bow, that sent her black topknots of hair bobbing all over her head, and said:
"Pleased to meet yo' all, company! Pleased to meet yo'!"
Bunny and Sue thought Wopsie talked quite funnily, but they were too polite to say so. They looked at the little colored girl and smiled. And she smiled back at them.
"Home, George," said Miss Baker to one of the two men on the front seat of the automobile. The man touched his cap, and soon Bunny, Sue and their mother were being driven rapidly through the streets of New York in Aunt Lu's automobile.
"It's almost as big as the one we went in to grandpa's, in the country," said Bunny, as he looked around at the seats, and noticed the little electric lamp in the roof.
"But you can't sleep in it or cook in it," said Sue. "And there's no place for Splash or Bunker Blue."
"No," said Bunny. "That's so."
The children had had to leave Splash, the dog, home with Daddy Brown, and of course Bunker Blue did not come to Aunt Lu's.
"No, we can't sleep in my auto, nor eat, unless it is to eat candy, or cookies, or something like that," said Aunt Lu. "And I have some sweet crackers for the children, if you think it's all right for them to eat," said Aunt Lu to Mother Brown.
"Oh, yes. I guess it will be all right. They must be hungry, though they ate on the train."
"And Bunny stopped the train, too!" cried Sue. "He pulled on the whistle cord, with mother's parasol, and we stopped so quick we slid out of our seats; didn't we, Bunny?"
"My! That was quite an adventure," said Aunt Lu, laughing.
"And we went in the choo-choo engine," went on Sue. "I ringed the bell, I did, and so did Bunny. Was you ever in a train, Wopsie?" Sue asked the little colored girl.
"Yes'm, I was once."
"Wopsie came all the way up from down South," said Aunt Lu. "She is a little lost girl."
"Lost!" cried Bunny and Sue. They did not understand how any one could be lost when in a nice automobile with Aunt Lu.
"Yes'm, I'se losted!" said Wopsie, shaking her kinky head, "an' I suttinly does wish dat I could find mah folks!"
"I must tell you about her," said Aunt Lu. "Wopsie, which is the name I call her, though her right name is Sallie Jefferson, was sent up North to live with her aunt here in New York. Wopsie made the trip all alone. She was put on the train, at a little town somewhere in North Carolina, or South Carolina—she doesn't remember which—and sent up here."
"All alone?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, all alone. She had a tag, or piece of paper, pinned to her dress, with the name and house number of her aunt. But the paper was lost."
"De paper was losted, and now I'se losted," said Wopsie.
"I'll tell them all about you, Wopsie," said Aunt Lu.
Then she told Bunny and Sue how the little colored girl had reached New York all alone, not knowing where to go.
"A kind lady, in the same station where you children just came in, looked after Wopsie," said Aunt Lu. "This lady looks after all lost boys and girls, and she took Wopsie to a nice place to stay all night. In the morning she tried to find Wopsie's aunt, but could not. Nor could Wopsie tell her aunt's name, or where she lived. She was lost just as you and Sue, Bunny, sometimes get lost in the woods."
"And how did you come to take her?" asked Mother Brown.
"Well, Wopsie was sent to a society that looks after lost children," said Aunt Lu. "They tried to find her friends, either up here, in New York, or down South, but they could not. I belong to this society, and when I heard of Wopsie I said I would take her and keep her in my house for a while. I can train her to become a lady's maid while I am waiting to find her folks."
"Are you trying to find them?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"Yes, I have written all over, and so has the society. We have asked the police to let us know if any one is asking for a little lost colored girl. But I have had her nearly a month now, and no one has claimed her."
"Yep. I suah am losted!" said Wopsie, but she laughed as she said it, and did not seem to mind very much. "It's fun being losted like this," she said, as she patted the soft cushions of the automobile. "I likes it!"
"And are you really going to keep her?" asked Mrs. Brown of her sister.
"Yes, until she gets a little older, or until I can find her folks. I think her father and mother must have died some time ago," said Aunt Lu in a whisper to Mrs. Brown. "She probably didn't have any real folks down South, so whoever she was with sent her up here."
"Well, I'm glad you took care of her," said Mrs. Brown. "She looks like a nice clean little girl."
"She is; and she is very kind and helpful. She is careful, too, and she will be a help with Bunny and Sue. Wopsie has already learned her way around that part of New York near my apartment, and I can send her on errands. She can take Bunny and Sue out."
While Mrs. Brown and Aunt Lu were talking together Wopsie had given Bunny and Sue some sweet crackers from a box she took out from a pocket in the side of the automobile. Aunt Lu had told her to do so. So Bunny and Sue ate the crackers as they rode along, and Wopsie sat near them.
"Don't you want a cracker?" asked Bunny.
"No, sah, thank you," answered the little colored girl. "I don't eat 'tween meals. Miss Baker say as how it ain't good for your intergestion."
"What's in—indergaston?" asked Sue.
"Huh! Dat's a misery on yo' insides—a pain," said Wopsie. "I t'ought everybody knowed dat!"
Bunny was silent a minute.
"Do you know how to stop a train by pulling on the whistle cord?" he asked.
"No," said Wopsie.
"Huh! I thought everybody knew that!" exclaimed Bunny. Then he laughed, as Wopsie did. It was a little joke on her, when Bunny answered her the way he did.
The automobile came to a stop in front of a large building. Bunny and Sue looked up at it.
"My! What a big house you live in, Aunt Lu!" said Bunny.
"Oh, this isn't all mine!" laughed Aunt Lu. "There are many others who live in here. This is what is called an apartment house. I have my dining room, kitchen, bath room and other rooms, and other families in this building have the same thing. You see there isn't room in New York to build separate houses, such as you have in Bellemere, so they make one big house, and divide it up on the inside, into a number of little houses, or apartments."
Bunny and Sue thought that very strange.
"But you haven't any yard to play in!" exclaimed Bunny, as he and his sister got out of the automobile, and found that the front door of Aunt Lu's apartment was right on the sidewalk.
"No, we don't have yards in the city, Bunny. But we have a roof to go up on and play."
"Playing on a roof!" cried Bunny. "I should think you'd fall off!"
"Oh, it has a high railing all around it. Wopsie may take you up there after a bit. Then you can see how it seems to play on a roof, instead of down on the ground. We have to do queer things in big cities."
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue certainly thought so.
As they entered the apartment house the children found themselves in a wide hall, with marble floor and sides. There was a nice carpet over the marble floor and bright electric lights glowed from the ceiling.
"Right in here," said Aunt Lu, leading the children toward what seemed to be a little room with an iron door, like the iron gate to some park. A colored boy, with many brass buttons on his blue coat, stood at the door.
"Jes' yo' all wait an' see what gwine t' happen!" said Wopsie.
"Why, what is going to happen?" asked Bunny.
"Oh, ho! Yo' all jes' wait!" exclaimed Wopsie, laughing at her secret.
"What is it? I don't want anything to happen!" cried Sue hanging back.
"Oh, it isn't anything, dear. This is just the elevator," said Aunt Lu. "Get in and you'll have a nice ride."
"Oh, I like a ride," Sue said.
In she stepped with Bunny, her mother, Aunt Lu and Wopsie. The colored boy, who was also smiling, and showing his white teeth as Wopsie was doing, closed the iron door. Then, all of a sudden, Bunny and Sue felt themselves shooting upward.
"Oh! Oh!" cried Bunny. "We're in a balloon! We're in a balloon! We're going up!"
"Just like a skyrocket on the Fourth of July!" added Sue. She was not afraid now. She was clapping her hands.
Up and up and up they went!
"Oh, what makes it?" asked Bunny. "Is it a balloon, Aunt Lu?"
"No, dear, it's just the elevator. You see this big house is so high that you would get tired climbing the stairs up to my rooms, so we go up in the elevator. It lifts us up, and in England they call them 'lifts' on this account."
"Oh, I see!" Bunny cried, as he looked up and saw that he was in a sort of square steel cage, going up what seemed to be a long tunnel; standing up instead of lying on the ground as a railroad tunnel lies. "I see! We're going up, just like a bucket of water comes up out of the well."
"That's it!" said Aunt Lu. "And when we go down we go down just like the bucket going down in the well."
"It's fun! I like it!" and Sue clapped her hands. "I like the elevator!"
"Yes'm, it sho' am fun!" echoed Wopsie.
"Wopsie would ride up and down all day if I'd let her," said Aunt Lu. "But here we are at my floor. Now wasn't that better than climbing up ten flights of stairs, children?"
"I guess it was!" cried Bunny. "Do you live up ten flights?"
"Yes, and there are some families who live higher than that."
They stepped out of the elevator into a little hall, and soon they were in Aunt Lu's nice city apartment, or house, if you like that word better.
"Now, Wopsie," said Aunt Lu, "you tell Jane to make Mrs. Brown a nice cup of tea."
"And can we go up on the roof?" asked Bunny.
"Not right away—but after a while," said his aunt.
"Let's go out into the elevator again," suggested Sue.
"No, dear, not now," said Mrs. Brown.
Bunny and Sue thought they had never been in such a nice place as Aunt Lu's city home. From the windows they could look down to the street, ten stories below.
"It's a good way to fall," said Bunny, in a whisper.
"But you musn't lean out of the windows, and then you won't fall," his mother told him.
The children were given their supper, and then Wopsie took them up on the roof. This was higher yet. It was a flat roof, with a broad, high railing all around it so no one could fall off. And from it Bunny and Sue could look all over New York, and see the twinkling lights far off, for it was now getting on toward evening, though it was not yet dark.
A little later Wopsie took them down in the elevator again, to the street. There they saw other children walking up and down, some of them playing; some babies being wheeled in carriages, and many men and women walking past.
"My! What a lot of people!" cried Bunny. "Is it always this way in a city, Wopsie?"
"Yes'm," answered the little colored girl, who seemed to mix up "Yes, ma'am," and "Yes, sir." But what of it? She meant all right. "It's bin dis way eber sence I come t' New York," she went on. "Allers a crowd laik dis. Everybuddy hurryin' an' hurryin'."
Wopsie stood still a moment to speak to another colored girl, who came out of the next house, and Bunny and Sue walked on ahead. Before they knew it they had turned a corner. Down at the end of the street they saw a man playing a hand-piano, or hurdy-gurdy, as they are called.
"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue. "Let's go down and listen to the music."
"All right," Bunny agreed. "And maybe he has a monkey, like Wango."
Hand in hand the two children ran on. They saw other children about the hurdy-gurdy. Some of them were dancing. Bunny and Sue danced too. Then the music-man wheeled his music machine away, and Bunny and Sue turned to go back. They walked on and on, and finally Bunny, stopping in front of a big house said:
"This is where Aunt Lu lives."
"But where is Wopsie?" asked Sue. "Why isn't she here?"
"Oh, maybe she went inside," replied Bunny. "Come on, we'll go in the elevator and have a ride."
They went into the marble hall. It looked just like the one in Aunt Lu's apartment. And there was the same colored elevator boy in his queer little cage. Bunny and Sue went to the entrance.
"Where yo' want to go?" asked the elevator boy.
"To Aunt Lu's," answered Bunny.
"What floor she done lib on?" the boy asked.
"I—I don't know," Bunny said. "I—I forgot the number."
"What's her name?"
"Aunt Lu," said Sue.
"No, I mean her last name?"
"Oh, it's Baker," said Bunny. "Aunt Lu Baker."
The colored elevator boy shook his head.
"They don't no Miss Baker lib heah!" he said. "I done guess yo' chilluns done got in de wrong house!"
IN THE DUMB WAITER
Bunny Brown looked at his sister Sue, and his sister Sue looked at Bunny Brown. Then they both looked at the colored elevator boy. He was smiling at them, so Bunny and Sue were not as frightened as they might otherwise have been.
"Isn't this where Aunt Lu lives?" asked Bunny.
"Nope. Not if her name's Baker," answered the elevator lad. "We sure ain't got nobody named Baker in heah!" (He meant "here.")
"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue. "Then we're losted again!"
"Where'd you come from?" asked the colored boy. "Now don't git skeered, 'cause yo' all ain't losted very much I guess. Maybe I kin find where yo' all belongs. What's de number of, de house where yo' auntie libs?"
"I—I don't know," said Bunny. He had not thought to ask the number of his aunt's house, nor had he looked to see what the number was over the door before he and Sue came out. In the country no one ever had numbers on their houses, and Bellemere was like the country in this way—no houses had numbers on them.
"Well, what street does your aunt done lib on?" asked the colored boy, in the funny way he talked.
"I don't know that, either," said Bunny.
"Huh! Den yo' suah am lost!" cried the elevator lad. "But don't yo' all git skeered!" he said quickly, as he saw tears coming in Sue's brown eyes. "I guess yo' all ain't losted so very much, yet. Maybe I kin find yo' aunt's house."
"If you could find Wopsie for us, she could take us there," said Bunny.
"Wopsie. She's a little girl that lives with my aunt, and—"
But the elevator boy did not wait for Bunny to finish.
"Wopsie!" he cried. "Am she dat queer li'l colored gal, wif her hair all done up in rags?"
"Yes!" cried Sue eagerly. "That's Wopsie. We came out to walk with her, but we heard the hand-piano music, and we got lost."
"Do you know Wopsie?" asked Bunny.
"I suah does!" cried the elevator boy. "She's a real nice li'l gal, an' we all likes her."
"She's losted too," said Bunny.
"Yes, I knows about dat!" replied the elevator boy. "We all knows 'bout Wopsie. Why she's jest down the street, and around the corner a few houses. Now I know where yo' Aunt Lu libs. If you'd a' done said Wopsie fust, I'd a knowed den, right off quick!"
"Can you take us home?" asked Sue.
"I suah can!" cried the kind colored boy. "Jes yo' all wait a minute."
He called to another colored boy to take care of his elevator, and then, holding one of Bunny's and one of Sue's hands, he went out into the street. Around the corner he hurried, and, no sooner had he turned it, than up rushed Wopsie herself. She made a grab for Bunny and Sue.
"Oh, mah goodness!" cried the little colored girl. "Oh, mah goodness! I'se so skeered! I done t'ought I'd losted yo' all!"
"No, Wopsie," said Bunny. "You didn't lost us. We losted ourselves. We heard music, and we went to look for a monkey."
"But there wasn't any monkey," said Sue, "and we got in the wrong house, where Aunt Lu didn't live."
"But he brought us back. He knows you, Wopsie," and Bunny nodded toward the kind elevator boy.
"I guess everybody around dish yeah place knows Wopsie," said the boy, smiling. "Will yo' all take dese chilluns home now?" he asked.
"I suah will!" Wopsie said. "Mah goodness! I'se bin lookin' all ober fo' 'em! I didn't know where dey wented. Come along now, an' yo' all musn't go 'way from Wopsie no mo'!"
"We won't!" promised Bunny.
He and Sue were beginning to find out that it was easier to get lost in the city, even by going just around the corner, than it was in the country, when they went down a long road. For in the city the houses were so close together, and they all looked so much alike, that it was hard to tell one from the other.
"But yo' all am all right now, honey lambs," said Wopsie, who seemed to be very much older than Bunny and Sue, though really she was no more than three or four years older.
"Do we have to go in now?" asked Bunny, as Wopsie led him and Sue down the street, having said good-bye to the kind elevator boy who had brought them part way home.
"Yes, I guess we'd better go in," said the little colored girl. "Yo' ma might be worried about yo'. We'll go in. It's gittin' dark."
The elevator quickly carried them up to Aunt Lu's floor.
"Oh, now I see the number!" cried Bunny. "It's ten—I won't forget any more."
"Well, did you have a good time?" asked Mother Brown when Bunny and Sue came in, followed by Wopsie.
"We got losted!" exclaimed Sue.
"What! Lost so soon?" cried Aunt Lu. "Where was it?"
"In a house just like this," broke in Bunny. "And it had a lift elevator and a colored boy and everything. Only he said you didn't live there, and you didn't, and I didn't know the number of your floor, or of your house, and we got losted!"
"But I found them!" said Wopsie, for she felt it might be a little bit her fault that Bunny and Sue had gotten away. But of course it was their own fault for running to hear the music.
"You must be careful about getting lost," said Aunt Lu. "But of course, if ever you do, just ask a policeman. I'll give you each one of my cards, with my name and address on, and you can show that to the officer. He'll bring, or send, you home."