BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
BY LAURA LEE HOPE
THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES, THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES, THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES, ETC.
Illustrated by Florence England Nosworthy
NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS
By LAURA LEE HOPE
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12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Price, per volume, 50 cents, postpaid.
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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 BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
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THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES
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 BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND
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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
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GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS NEW YORK
Copyright, 1917, by GROSSET & DUNLAP
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods.
I. WHAT DADDY BROUGHT 1 II. THE PAIL OF MILK 12 III. THE OLD MAN 25 IV. A NOISE AT NIGHT 34 V. BUNNY ROLLS DOWN HILL 46 VI. AFTER THE LOST COW 59 VII. THE MISSING TRAIN 69 VIII. "WHERE HAS SALLIE GONE?" 84 IX. THE SEARCH 93 X. LOST IN THE WOODS 101 XI. THE HERMIT AGAIN 112 XII. WONDERINGS 119 XIII. MR. BROWN MAKES A SEARCH 132 XIV. THE RAGGED BOY 141 XV. HIDDEN IN THE HAY 150 XVI. THE ANGRY GOBBLER 159 XVII. SUE DECIDES TO MAKE A PIE 166 XVIII. ROASTING CORN 176 XIX. EAGLE FEATHER'S HORSE 191 XX. FUN IN THE ATTIC 199 XXI. "WHERE IS SUE?" 207 XXII. THE HERMIT COMES FOR TOM 214 XXIII. TRYING TO HELP TOM 221 XXIV. THE NIGHT MEETING 229 XXV. THE MISSING TOYS 237
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
WHAT DADDY BROUGHT
"Sue! Sue! Where are you?" called a lady, as she stood in the opening of a tent which was under the trees in the big woods. "Where are you, Sue? And where is Bunny?"
For a moment no answers came to the call. But presently, from behind a clump of bushes not far from the tent, stepped a little girl. She held her finger over her lips, just as your teacher does in school when she does not want you to say anything. Then the little girl whispered:
"Sh-h-h-h, Mother. I can't come now."
"Then let Bunny come. He can do what I want."
"Bunny can't come, either."
"Why not?" and Mrs. Brown smiled at her little girl, who seemed very much in earnest as she stood in front of the bushes, her finger still across her lips.
"Bunny can't come, 'cause we're playing soldier and Indian," said Sue. "Bunny's been shot by an Indian arrow and I'm his nurse. He's just got over the fever, same as I did when I had the measles, and he's asleep. And it's awful dangerous to wake anybody up that's just got to sleep after a fever. That's what our doctor said, I 'member."
"Oh, Bunny is just getting over a fever, is he?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"Of course it's only a make-believe fever, Mother," said the little girl. "We're only pretendin' you know"; and she cut her words short, leaving off a "g" here and there, so she could talk faster I suppose.
"Oh, if it's only a make-believe fever it's all right," said Mother Brown with a laugh. "How long do you think Bunny will sleep, Sue?"
"Oh, not very long. Maybe five minutes. 'Cause, you see, when he wakes up he'll be hungry and I've got some pie and cake and some milk for him to eat. Sick folks gets awful hungry when their fever goes away. And it's real things to eat, too, Mother. And when Bunny got make-believe shot with an Indian arrow he said he wasn't going to play fever more'n five minutes 'cause he saw what I had for him to eat."
"Oh well, if he's going to be better in five minutes I can wait that long," said Mrs. Brown. "Go on and have your fun."
"What do you want Bunny to do—or me?" asked Sue, as she turned to go back behind the bush where she and Bunny were having their game.
"I'll tell you when you've finished playing," said Mrs. Brown with a smile. She sometimes found this a better plan than telling the children just what she wanted when she called them from some of their games. You see they were so anxious to find out what it was their mother wanted that they hurried to finish their fun.
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were at Camp Rest-a-While with their father and their mother. They had come from their home in Bellemere to live for a while in the forest, on the shore of Lake Wanda, where they were all enjoying the life in the open air.
They had journeyed to the woods in an automobile, carrying two tents which were set up under the trees. One tent was used to sleep in and the other for a dining room. There was also a place to cook.
With the Brown family was Uncle Tad, who was really Mr. Brown's uncle. But the jolly old soldier was as much an uncle to Bunny and Sue as he was to their father. Bunker Blue, a boy, had also come to Camp Rest-a-While with the Brown family, but after having many adventures with them, he had gone back to Bellemere, where Mr. Brown had a fish and a boat business. With him went Tom Vine, a boy whom the Browns had met after coming to camp.
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue liked it in the big woods that stretched out all about their camp. They played many games under the trees and in the tents, and had great fun. Mrs. Brown liked it so much that when the time when they had planned to go home came, she said to her husband:
"Oh, let's stay a little longer. I like it so much and the children are so happy. Let's stay!"
And so they stayed. And they were still camped on the edge of the big woods that morning when Mrs. Brown called Bunny and Sue to do something for her.
After telling her mother about the pretend-fever which Bunny had, Sue went back to where her brother was lying on a blanket under the bushes. She made-believe feel his pulse, as she had seen the doctor do when once Bunny had been really ill, and then the little girl put her hand on Bunny's cheek.
"Say! what you doin' that for?" he asked.
"I was seeing how hot you were," answered Sue. "I guess your fever's most gone, isn't it, Bunny?" she asked.
"Is it time to eat?" he asked quickly.
"Yes, I think it is. And I think mother has a surprise for us, too."
"Then my fever's all gone!" exclaimed Bunny. "I'm all better, and I can eat. Then we'll see what mother has."
Never did an ill person get well so quickly as did Bunny Brown just then. He sat up, threw to one side a blanket Sue had spread over him, and called:
"Where's the pie and cake?"
"Here they are," Sue answered, as she took them from a little box under the bushes.
"And where's the milk?" asked Bunny. "Fevers always make folks thirsty, you know. I'm awful thirsty!"
"Here's the milk," said Sue. "I didn't ask mother if I could take it, but I'm sure she won't care."
"No, I guess not," said Bunny, taking a long drink which Sue poured out for him from a pitcher into a glass.
Then Bunny and his sister ate the pie and the cake which their mother had given them that morning when they said they wanted to have a little picnic in the woods. Instead Bunny and Sue had played Indian and soldier, as they often did. First Bunny was a white soldier, and then an Indian, and at last he made believe he was shot so he could be ill. Sue was very fond of playing nurse, and she liked to cover Bunny up, feel his pulse and feed him bread pills rolled in sugar. Bunny liked these pills, too.
"Well, now we've got everything eaten up," said Bunny, as he gathered up the last crumbs of the pie his mother had baked in the oil stove which they had brought to camp. "Let's go and see what the surprise is."
"I'm not so sure it is a surprise," returned Sue slowly. "Mother didn't say so. She just said she wouldn't tell us until you got all make-believe well again. So I suppose it's a surprise. Don't you think so, too?"
"I guess I do," answered Bunny. "But come on, we'll soon find out."
As the children came out from under the bush where they had been playing, there was a crashing in the brush and Sue cried:
"Oh, maybe that's some more of those Indians."
"Pooh! We're not playing Indians now," said Bunny. "That game's all over. I guess it's Splash."
"Oh, that's nice!" cried Sue. "I was wondering where he'd gone."
A big, happy-looking and friendly dog came bursting through the bushes. He wagged his tail, and his big red tongue dangled out of his mouth, for it was a warm day.
"Oh, Splash; you came just too late!" cried Sue. "We've eaten up everything!"
"All except the crumbs," said Bunny.
Splash saw the crumbs almost as soon as Bunny spoke, and with his red tongue the dog licked them up from the top of the box which the children had used for a table under the bushes.
"Come on," called Bunny after a bit. "Let's go and find out what mother wants. Maybe she's baked some cookies for us."
"Didn't you have enough with the cake, pie and milk?" Sue asked.
"Oh, I could eat more," replied Bunny Brown. In fact, he seemed always to be hungry, his mother said, though she did not let him eat enough to make himself ill.
"Well, come on," called Sue. "We'll go and see what mother has for us."
Through the woods ran the children, toward the lake and the white tents gleaming among the green trees. Mr. Brown went to the city twice a week, making the trip in a small automobile he ran himself. Sometimes he would stay in the city over night, and Mother Brown and Uncle Tad and the children would stay in the tents in the big woods where they were not far from a farmhouse.
Splash, the happy-go-lucky dog, bounded on ahead of Bunny Brown and his sister Sue. The children followed as fast as they could. Now and then Splash would stop and look back as though calling:
"Come on! Hurry up and see the surprise!"
"We're coming!" Bunny would call. "What do you s'pose it is?" he would ask Sue.
"I can't even guess," Sue would answer. "But I know it must be something nice, for she smiled when I told her I was your nurse and you had an Indian fever."
"It wasn't an Indian fever," protested Bunny.
"Well, I mean a make-believe Indian fever," said the little girl.
"No, it was a make-believe arrow fever," said Bunny. "I got shot with an Indian arrow you know."
"Oh yes," Sue answered. "But, anyhow, you're all well now. Oh, look out, Splash!" she cried as the big dog ran into a puddle of water and splashed it so that some got on Sue's dress. That is how Splash got his name—from splashing into so many puddles.
But this time the water was from a clean brook that ran over green, mossy stones, and it did Sue's dress no harm, for she had on one that Mrs. Brown had made purposely for wearing in the woods.
"Here we are, Momsie!" called Sue, as she and Bunny came running up to the camp where the tents were.
"What's the surprise?" asked Bunny.
Just then they heard the Honk! Honk! of an automobile, and as a car came on through the woods and up to the white tents, Bunny and Sue cried together:
"Oh, it's daddy! Daddy has come home!"
"Yes, and he's brought us something!" added Bunny. "Look at the two big bundles, Sue!"
"Oh, Daddy! Daddy Brown! What have you brought?" cried the two children.
"Just a minute now, and I'll show you," said Mr. Brown, as he got out of the automobile and started for a tent, a big bundle under each arm. The children danced about in delight and Splash barked.
THE PAIL OF MILK
"Oh, Mother! is this the surprise you had for us?" asked Sue, as she hopped about, first on one foot then on the other. For she was so excited she could not keep still.
"No, this isn't exactly what I meant," said Mrs. Brown with a smile. "Still, this is a very nice surprise, isn't it?"
"Just the very nicest!" said Bunny. "It's nice to have daddy home, and it's nice to have him bring something."
"Oh, please tell us what it is—you have two things," went on Sue, as she looked at the two bundles which Mr. Brown carried, one under each arm. "Is there something for each of us, Daddy?"
"Well, yes, I think so, Sue," answered her father. "But just wait——"
"Oh, my dears! give your father a chance to get his breath," laughed Mrs. Brown. "Remember he has come all the way from the city in the auto, and he must be tired. Come into the tent, and I'll make you a cup of tea," she went on.
"And then will you tell us what you brought us?" asked Bunny.
"Yes," said Mr. Brown.
"Then let's go in and watch him drink his tea," said Sue, as she took hold of Bunny's hand and led him toward the dining tent. "We'll know the minute he has finished," she went on, "and we'll be there when he opens the bundles."
"All right," said Mr. Brown. "Come in if you like." And while he was sipping the tea which Mrs. Brown quickly made for him, the two children sat looking at the two bundles their father had brought. One was quite heavy, Bunny noticed, and something rattled inside the box in which it was packed. The other was lighter. They were both about the same size.
And while the children are sitting there, waiting for their father to finish his tea, so they can learn what the surprise is I'll take just a few minutes to tell my new readers something about the Brown family, and especially Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.
As I have already mentioned, the family, which was made up of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brown and the two children, lived in the town of Bellemere, which was on Sandport Bay, near the ocean. Mr. Brown was in the fish and the boat business, hiring to those who wanted row boats, fishing boats or motor boats. In the first book of this series, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue," the story was about the little boy and his sister, and what fun they had getting up a Punch and Judy show.
"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm," was the name of the second book and you can easily guess what that was about. The two children had much fun in a big automobile moving van, which was fitted up just like a little house, and in which they lived while going to the farm. Bunker Blue, who worked for Mr. Brown, and the children's dog Splash went with them.
While at their grandpa's farm Bunny and Sue got up a little show, at which they had lots of fun, and, seeing this, Bunker and some of the older boys made up a larger show. They gave that in two tents, one of which had belonged to Grandpa Brown when he was in the army.
The Brown children were so delighted with the shows that they decided to have another, and in the third book, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus," you may read how they did it. Something happened in that book which made Bunny and Sue feel bad for a while, but they soon got over it.
In the next book, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home," I told the story of the two children going to the big city of New York, and of the queer things they saw and the funny things they did while there.
Bunny and Sue had played together as long as they could remember. Bunny was about six or seven years old and Sue was a year younger. Wherever one went the other was always sure to be seen, and whatever Bunny did Sue was sure to think just right. Every one in Bellemere knew Bunny and Sue, from old Miss Hollyhock to Wango, a queer little monkey owned by Jed Winkler the sailor. Wango often got into mischief, and so did Bunny and Sue. And the children had much fun with Uncle Tad who loved them as if they were his own.
After Bunny and Sue had come back from Aunt Lu's city home the weather was very warm and Daddy Brown thought of camping in the woods. So that is what they did, and the things that happened are related in the fifth book in the series, called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While." For that is what they named the place where the tents were set up under the trees on the edge of the big woods and by a beautiful lake.
Neither Bunny nor Sue had ever been to the end of these big woods, nor had Mr. Brown, though some day he hoped to go. The summer was about half over. Mrs. Brown liked it so much that she said she and the children would stay in the woods as long as it was warm enough to live in a tent.
And now, this afternoon, Mr. Brown had come home from the city with the two queer big bundles, and the children were so excited thinking what might be in them that they watched every mouthful of tea Mr. Brown sipped.
"When will you be ready to show us?" asked Sue.
"Please be quick," begged Bunny. "I—I'm gettin' awful anxious."
"Well, I guess I can show you now," said Mr. Brown. "Bring me the heaviest package, Bunny."
It was all the little boy could do to lift it from the chair, but he managed to do it. Slowly Mr. Brown opened it. Bunny saw a flash of something red and shining.
"Oh, it's a fire engine!" he cried.
"Not quite," said his father, "though that was a good guess."
Then Mr. Brown lifted out the things in the paper, and all at once Bunny saw what it was—a little toy train of cars, with an engine and tracks on which it could run.
"Does it really go?" asked the little boy, eagerly.
"Yes, it really goes," said Mr. Brown. "It's an electric train, and it runs by electricity from these batteries," and he held up some strong ones. "I'll fix up your train for you so it will run. But you must be careful of it, Bunny."
"Oh, I'll take fine care of it!" cried the little boy. "And I won't let Splash bite it."
"Didn't you bring me anything, Daddy?" asked Sue slowly. "Or do I have to play with Bunny's train?" and she looked at the little boy who was trying to fit together the pieces of the track.
"Oh, I have something for you alone, Sue," her father said. "Look and see if you like this."
He held up a great big Teddy bear.
"Oh! Ah!" murmured Sue. "That's something I've been wishing for. Oh, Daddy! how good you are to us!" and she threw her arms around her father's neck.
"I love you, too!" called Bunny Brown, leaving his toy train and track, and running to his father for a hug and a kiss.
"Well, now, how do you like this, Sue?" and Mr. Brown handed the big Teddy bear over to his little girl.
"Oh, I just love it!" she cried. "It's the nicest doll ever!"
"Let me show you something," said Mr. Brown. He pressed a button in the toy bear's back and, all of a sudden, its eyes shone like little lights.
"Oh, what makes that, Daddy?" asked Bunny, leaving his toy train and coming over to see his sister's present.
"Behind the bear's eyes, which are of glass," explained Mr. Brown, "are two little electric lights. They are lighted by what are called dry batteries, like those that ring our front door bell at home, only smaller. And the same kind of dry batteries will run Bunny's train when I get it put together.
"See, Sue, when you want your bear's eyes to glow, just press this button in Teddy's back," and her father showed her a little button, or switch, hidden in the toy's fur.
"Oh, isn't that fine!" cried Sue with shining eyes. She pushed the button, the bear's eyes lighted and gleamed out, and Splash, seeing them, barked in excitement.
"Oh, let me do it," begged Bunny. "I'll let you run my toy train if you let me light your bear's eyes, Sue," he said.
"All right," agreed the little girl.
So Bunny played with the Teddy bear a bit, while Sue looked at the toy engine and cars, and then Mrs. Brown said:
"Well, children, I think it is about time for my surprise."
"Oh, have you something for us, too?" asked Sue, quickly.
"Well, I'll have something for you if you will go and get something for me," said Mother Brown. "I want you to go to the farmhouse and get me a pail of milk. Some one took what I was saving to make a pudding with, so I'll have to get more milk."
"We took it to play soldier and nurse with," confessed Sue. "I'm sorry, Momsie——"
"Oh, it doesn't matter, dear," said Mrs. Brown. "I like to have you drink all the milk you want. But now you'll have to get more for me, as there is not enough for supper and the pudding."
"We'll go for the milk," said Bunny. "And when we get back we can play with the bear and the toy train."
"I'll try to have the toy train running for you when you come back with the milk," said Mr. Brown. "Trot along now."
Mrs. Brown gave Bunny the milk pail, and soon he and Sue, leaving Splash behind this time, started down the road to the farmhouse where they got their milk. The farmer sent his boy every day with milk for those at Camp Rest-a-While, but this time Bunny and Sue had used more than usual, and Mrs. Brown had to send for some extra.
It did not take Bunny and Sue long to reach the farmhouse, where their pail was filled by the farmer's wife.
"We've got a surprise at our camp," said Bunny, as they started away, the little boy carefully carrying the pail of milk.
"Indeed! Is that so? What is it?" asked the farmer's wife.
"We've got two surprises," said Sue. "Daddy brought them from the city. Bunny has a toy train of cars that runs with a city."
"She means electricity," explained Bunny with a laugh, but saying the big word very slowly.
"I don't care. It sounds like that," declared Sue. "And I've got a Teddy bear and its eyes are little e-lec-tri-city lamps, and they shine like anything when you push a button in his back."
"Those are certainly two fine surprises," said the farmer's wife. "Now be careful not to spill your milk."
"We'll be careful," promised Bunny.
He and Sue walked along the country road toward their camp. Suddenly on a fence Sue saw a squirrel running along.
"Oh, look, Bunny!" she cried.
"Where?" asked her brother.
"On that fence. A big gray squirrel!"
"Oh, what a fine, big one!" cried Bunny. "Maybe we can catch him and put him in a cage with a wheel that goes around."
Bunny carefully set the pail of milk down at the side of the road, out of the way in case any wagons or automobiles should come along. Then he ran after the squirrel, that had come to a stop on top of the fence and stood looking at the children.
But, as soon as the squirrel with the big tail saw Bunny running toward him, he scampered away and Bunny followed. So did Sue, leaving the pail of milk standing in the grass beside the road.
The squirrel could run on the fence much faster than Bunny Brown and his sister Sue could run along the road, and pretty soon they saw him scamper up a tree.
"Now we can't get him," said Sue, sorrowfully.
"No, I guess not," answered Bunny. "We'd better go back to camp and play with your Teddy bear and my toy train. Come on."
They walked back toward the place they had left the pail of milk. As they came in sight of it Sue cried:
"Oh, Bunny, look!"
Bunny looked, and at what he saw he cried:
For a big, shaggy dog had his nose down in the pail of milk, and as he looked up, at hearing Bunny's cry, he knocked the pail over, spilling what he had not taken himself.
"Oh, our milk's all gone!" cried Bunny.
"What shall we do?" asked Sue, in dismay.
THE OLD MAN
For a moment the two children did not know what to do. They stood still, looking at the dog who had just drunk the milk from the pail which they had set down in the road so they could chase the squirrel. Then Bunny, made bold by thinking of what might happen if he and his sister went home with the empty pail, thinking also of the pudding which his mother could not make if she had no milk, gave a loud cry.
"Get away from there, you bad dog!" cried the little boy. "Leave our milk alone!" and he started to run toward the shaggy creature.
"Oh, come back! Come back!" cried Sue. "Don't go near him, Bunny!"
"Why not?" her brother asked in some surprise.
"'Cause he might bite you."
"Huh! I'm not afraid of him!" declared Bunny. "He doesn't look as savage as our Splash, and he never bites anybody, though he barks a lot at tramps."
So Bunny ran on toward the shaggy dog. The animal stood looking at the little boy for a moment and then, with a sort of "wuff!" as if to say, "Well, I've taken all the milk, what are you going to do about it?" away he trotted down the road. Bunny ran on and picked up the milk pail. Only a few drops were in the bottom.
"See I told you he wouldn't bite me! I'm not afraid of that dog!" the little boy called to his sister.
"Yes, you did drive him off," said Sue, proud of her brother. "You are awful brave, Bunny—just as brave as when you played soldier and I cured you of the Indian fever, and——"
"It was arrow fever, I keep tellin' you!" insisted Bunny.
"Well, arrow fever then," agreed Sue. "But is there any milk left, Bunny?"
"Not a drop, Sue," and Bunny turned the pail upside down to show.
"Well," said the little girl with a sigh, "then I guess you weren't brave in time, Bunny. You didn't save the milk!"
"Huh, the dog had it all drunk up before I saw him," declared her brother. "If I'd seen him I'd have stopped him quick enough! I wasn't afraid of him."
"But what about more milk?" asked Sue. That was all she could think of, now that the pail was empty. "We've got to get more milk, Bunny Brown."
"Yes, I s'pose we have," he agreed. "But we can easy go back to the farmhouse."
"No, we can't," said Sue.
"Why not?" Bunny demanded. "It isn't far, and if you're afraid of the dog you can stay here, and I'll go for the milk."
"Nope!" cried Sue, shaking her head until her hair flew into her eyes. "Mother said you mustn't ever leave me alone, to go anywhere when we were on the road or in the big woods. I've got to stay with you, and you've got to stay with me," and she went up and took Bunny by the hand.
"All right, Sue," said he. "I want you to stay with me. But come along to the farmhouse and we'll get more milk. I'll take a stick, if you want me to, and keep the dog away. I don't believe he'll come back anyhow. Don't you know how 'fraid dogs are to come back to you when they've done something bad. That time Splash ate the meat Bunker Blue brought in and left on the table—why, that time Splash was so ashamed for what he'd done that he didn't come into the house all day. This dog won't bite you."
"Pooh! I'm not afraid of the dog, Bunny Brown," said Sue.
"Then what are you afraid of?"
"I'm not 'fraid of anything. But you know what that farm lady said. She said this was the last quart of milk she could spare, and she didn't have any more."
"Oh, so she did!" agreed Bunny. "Then what are we going to do?"
"I don't know," said Sue.
"We've got to do something," said Bunny gravely.
"Yes," said Sue. "There isn't any more milk at the camp, and the farm lady hasn't any, and——"
"Mother wants some to make the surprise-pudding," added Bunny. "I guess we didn't ought to have tooken that for our play-game," he went on all mixed up in his English.
"No," said Sue, "maybe we oughtn't. Let me think now."
"What you going to think?" asked Bunny. Though he was a little older than Sue he knew that she often thought more then he did about what they were going to do or play. Sue was a good thinker. She usually thought first and did things afterward, while Bunny was just the other way. He did something first and then thought about it afterward, and sometimes he was sorry for what he had done. But this time he wanted to know what Sue was going to think.
"Aren't you going to think something?" he asked after a bit.
Sue stood looking up and down the road.
"I'm thinkin' now," she said. "Please don't bother me, Bunny."
Bunny remained silent, now and then looking into the empty milk pail, and tipping it upside down, as though that would fill it again. Finally Sue said:
"Well, we can't get any milk at the farmhouse. I don't know any other place around here where we can go, so the only thing to do is to go back to Camp Rest-a-While."
"But there's no milk there," said Bunny.
"I know there isn't. But we can tell daddy and mother, and ask them what to do. They wouldn't want us to go off somewhere else without telling them. And maybe daddy can go off in the automobile and get some milk at another farm."
"Maybe," said Bunny slowly. "And if we go with him," he added, "and he does get more milk, we won't set the pail down in the road when we chase a squirrel. We'll put it in the auto."
"I guess by the time we get the milk it will be too dark to see to chase squirrels," said Sue. "It's getting dark now; come on, Bunny."
The two children started down the road toward the camp, and as they did so they heard a crackling in the bushes on the side of a hill that led up from the road.
"Oh, here comes that milk dog back again!" cried Sue, and she snuggled up close against her brother, though the sinking sun was still shining across the highway.
"I won't let him hurt you," said Bunny. "Wait until I get a stone or a stick."
"Oh, you mustn't do anything to strange dogs!" cried the little girl. "If you do they might jump at you and bite you. Just don't notice him or speak to him, and he'll think we're—we're stylish, and he'll pass right by."
"Oh well, if you want me to do that way," said Bunny, looking up toward the place the sound came from, "why I will, only——"
He stopped speaking suddenly, and pointed up the hill. Sue looked in the same direction. They saw coming toward them, not a dog, but an old man, dressed in rather ragged clothes. He looked like what the children called a tramp, though since they had arrived at the camp they had come to know that not all persons who wore ragged clothes were tramps. Some of the farmers and their helpers wore their raggedest garments to work in the dirt of the fields.
This man might be a farmer. He had long white hair that hung down under the brim of his black hat, and though he did not have such a nice face as did the children's father, or their Uncle Tad, still they were not afraid of him.
"Going after milk, little ones?" asked the old man, and his voice was not unpleasant.
"No, sir; we've just been," said Bunny.
"Well, I'm afraid you'll spill your milk if you swing your pail that way," went on the old man, for Bunny was moving the pail to and fro, with wide swings of his arms.
"It would spill, if there was any in the pail," said Sue.
"But there isn't," added Bunny.
"It's spilled already and we don't know where to get any more," explained Sue.
"It wasn't 'zactly spilled," Bunny added, for he and Sue always tried to speak the exact truth. "A dog drank it up."
"While we were chasin' a squirrel," added his sister.
"But I would have driven him away if I'd seen him in time," Bunny declared positively. "He put his nose right in the pail and licked up all the milk, and what he didn't eat he spilled and then he ran away."
"And the lady at the farmhouse hasn't any more milk," Sue explained. "And there isn't any at the camp and——"
"Mother can't make the pudding," finished Bunny.
"Oh dear!" wailed Sue.
"My, you have a lot of troubles!" said the ragged man. "But if you'll come with me maybe I can help you."
"Where do you want us to come?" asked Bunny, remembering that his mother had told him never to go anywhere with strangers, and never to let Sue go, either.
"If you'll come up to my little cabin in the woods I can let you have some milk," said the ragged man. "I keep a cow, and I have more milk than I can use or sell. It isn't far. Come with me," and he held out his hands to the children.
A NOISE AT NIGHT
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were not sure whether or not they should go with the old man. They remembered what their mother had said to them about walking off with strangers, and they hung back.
But when Bunny looked at the empty milk pail and remembered that there was no milk in camp for supper, and none with which his mother could make the pudding he and his sister liked so much, he made up his mind it would be all right to go to the little cabin in the woods.
"Come on," urged the old man.
"Do you sell milk?" asked Sue.
"Oh, yes, little girl. Though my cow with the crumpled horn does not give such a lot of milk, there is more than I use. I sell what I can, but even then I have some left over. I have plenty to sell to you."
"We only want a quart," said Bunny. "That's all we have money for. Mother gave us some extra pennies when we went for milk to the farmhouse, but we have only six cents left. Will that buy a quart of milk?"
"It will here in the woods and the country," answered the old man, "but it wouldn't in the city. However, my crumpled-horn cow's milk is only six cents a quart."
"Has your cow really got a crumpled horn?" asked Sue eagerly, for she loved queer things.
"Yes, she has a crumpled horn, but she isn't the one that jumped over the moon," said the old man with a smile.
The children liked him better after that, though when Bunny found a chance to whisper to his sister as they walked through the woods, along the path and behind the old man, the little boy said:
"I guess he means to be kind, but he's kind of funny, isn't he?"
"A little bit," answered Sue.
The old man walked on ahead, the children, hand in hand, following, and the bushes clinked against the empty tin pail that Bunny carried.
"Here you are," said the old man, as he turned on the path, and before them Bunny and his sister saw a log cabin. Near it was a shed, and as the children stopped and looked, from the shed came a long, low "Moo!"
"Oh, is that the crumpled-horn cow?" asked Sue.
"Yes," answered the old man. "I'll get some of her milk for you. I keep it in a pail down in the spring, so it will be cool. Let me take your pail and I'll fill it for you while you go to see the cow. She is gentle and won't hurt you."
Letting the old man take the pail, Bunny and Sue went to look at the cow. The door of the shed was in two parts, and the children opened the upper half.
"Moo!" called the cow as she stuck out her head.
"Oh, see, one of her horns is crumpled!" cried Bunny.
"Let's wait, and maybe she'll jump over the moon," suggested Sue, who remembered the nursery rhyme of "Hey-diddle-diddle."
But though the children remained standing near the cow shed for two or three minutes, the cow, one of whose horns was twisted, or crumpled, made no effort to jump out of her stable and leap over the moon.
Bunny and Sue were not afraid of cows, especially when they were kept in a stable, so they were soon rubbing the head of the ragged man's bossy.
"Well, you have made friends, I see," came a voice behind the children, and there stood the ragged man with their pail full of milk. "I am glad you like my cow," he said. "She is a good cow and gives rich milk. Any time you spill your milk again come to me and I'll sell you some."
"We didn't spill this milk," explained Bunny carefully. "A dog drank it."
"Well, then come to me whenever you need milk, and you can't get any at the farmhouse," went on the old man, as Bunny gave him the six pennies.
"All right, sir," said Bunny.
"Where do you live?" asked the ragged man.
"At Camp Rest-a-While," answered Sue.
"Oh, you're the children who live in the tents. I know where your place is."
"And to-night my father brought me a toy electric train from the city," said Bunny Brown. "It runs on a track with batteries, and you can switch it on and off and it—it's won'erful!"
"So is my Teddy bear!" exclaimed Sue. "It has real lights for eyes and they burn bright when you press a button in Teddy's back."
"Those are fine toys," said the ragged man. "We never had such toys as that when I was a boy. And so your train runs by an electrical battery, does it, my boy?" he asked Bunny, and he seemed anxious to hear all about it.
"Yes, and a strong one. Daddy said I must be careful not to get a shock."
"That's right. Electric shocks are not very good. Except for folks that have rheumatism," said the old man. "I have a touch of that myself now and then, but I haven't any battery. But now you'd better run along with your milk, or your father and mother may be worried about you. Do you know your way back to camp all right?"
"Oh, yes, thank you," said Bunny.
"And we're much obliged to you for letting us have the milk," added Sue.
"Oh, you paid me for it, and I was glad to sell it. I need the money because I can't earn much any more. I should thank you as a store keeper thanks his customers. And I'll say 'come again,'" and with a smile and a wave of his hand the ragged man said good-bye to the children.
"Now we mustn't set our pail down again," said Bunny; "not even if we see a squirrel."
"That's right," agreed Sue.
In a little while they were safely back at camp again, just as Uncle Tad was about to set off in search of them.
"What kept you so long, children?" asked Mrs. Brown, anxiously.
"Oh, we saw a squirrel," said Bunny.
"And we set the milk pail down and chased it—chased the squirrel I mean," added Sue.
"And then a dog drank up the milk," went on Bunny.
"And we couldn't get any more at the farmhouse," said Sue, speaking next.
"But the ragged man, who lives in a cabin in the woods, and has a cow with the crumpled horn though she didn't jump over the moon—he gave us more milk for six cents," said Bunny, all in one breath.
"What's this about a ragged man?" asked Mr. Brown quickly, "and where does he live?"
The children explained. Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at one another and then Mr. Brown said:
"Well, the ragged man meant all right, and he was very kind. But I wouldn't go off into the woods with strangers again, Bunny and Sue. They might get lost, or you might, and there would be a dreadful time until we found you again. After this don't set your milk pail down, and you won't have to hunt around for milk for supper. Now wash and get ready to eat the surprise."
"Can't I play with my electric train a little while?" asked Bunny.
"And can't I play with my Teddy bear?"
"Yes, I guess so," answered Mrs. Brown.
"I've got your train in running order," said Mr. Brown. "You can play with it outside, near the campfire. But at night we'll have to take it into the tent, for there might be rain."
Mr. Brown soon showed Bunny how to start and stop the electric train by turning a switch. The train was pulled by a little locomotive made of steel and tin. Inside was a tiny electric motor, which was worked by a current from the dry battery cells, such as make your door bell ring, except that they were stronger.
"All aboard for the city, on track five!" cried Bunny, as he had heard the starter in the railroad station cry.
"Wait a minute! Wait a minute!" cried Sue. "I want to get on the train with my Teddy bear that makes her eyes all light."
"Make-believe, you mean; don't you?" asked Bunny.
"Of course make-believe," answered Sue. "I couldn't sit on your little cars.
"Maybe the Teddy bear could," she added.
"Oh, let's try," said Bunny. "Then we could give him a truly, really ride."
The Teddy bear was quite large, but not very heavy, and by stretching it along three cars it could get on the train very nicely. It was even too long for three cars, but hanging over a bit did not matter, Sue said.
So she put it on top of the train, turned on its electric eyes, and then Bunny turned on the switch that made the current go into the motor of his engine. At first the train would not start, for the bear was a bit heavy for it, but when Bunny gave the engine a little push with his hand away it went as nicely as you please, pulling the bear around and around the shiny track, which was laid in a circle.
"Whoa!" called Sue. "Stop the train I Here is where my Teddy gets off."
"You mustn't say whoa when you stop a train," objected Bunny. "Whoa is to stop a horse."
"Well, how do you stop a train?" Sue asked.
"Just say 'ding!' That's one bell and the engineer knows that means to stop."
"I thought bells stopped trolley cars," said Sue.
"They do, but they stop trains too, 'specially as mine is an electric train."
"All right. Ding!" called Sue sharply.
Bunny turned the switch the other way to shut off the current, and the train stopped. Sue took off the Teddy bear and said "Thank you" to Conductor Bunny Brown.
Then the little boy played with his toy train by himself, while Sue pretended her Teddy bear was visiting in Sue's Aunt Lu's city home and kept winking its electric-light eyes at Wopsie, a little colored girl Bunny and Sue had known in New York, where Aunt Lu lived.
"Supper!" suddenly called Mother Brown, and the two hungry children hurried into the dining tent where Mr. Brown and Uncle Tad were waiting for them.
"Well, how did your electric train go?" asked Bunny's father.
"Fine! It's the best ever."
"And my Teddy is just lovely," said Sue.
"Well, be careful of your toys," said Mr. Brown. "Better bring in the tracks and the engine and cars right after supper."
"I will," Bunny promised, "after I've played with them a bit."
It was dusk when he and Sue took up the shiny track and carried the batteries and other parts of the toy railroad into the sleeping tent, for Bunny said he wanted it near him.
The children sat up a little later than usual that night, as they always did when their father had come to the camp from the city. Bunny talked of nothing but his railroad, planning fun for the morrow, while Sue said she was going to get some little girls, who lived in a near-by farmhouse, and have a party for her Teddy bear.
"Time to go to Slumberland now," called Mrs. Brown, when it was nearly nine o'clock. "Go to bed early and you'll get up so much the earlier."
So off to their little cots, behind the hanging curtains, went Bunny and Sue, and soon after saying their prayers they were asleep, one to dream he was a conductor on a big electric train, while the other dreamed of carrying a big, crying Teddy bear upside down through the woods with a milk pail hanging to its nose.
Just what time it was Bunny and Sue did not know, but they were both suddenly awakened by feeling the tent, on the side nearest to which they slept, being pushed in. The canvas walls bulged as though some one were trying to get through them.
"Oh, Daddy!" cried Sue, as she saw the tent move in the light of a lantern that burned dimly beyond the curtains behind which she and Bunny slept. "Oh, Daddy, something is after us."
"Yes, and it's an elephant!" cried Bunny, as he, too, saw the tent sway. "It's an elephant got loose from the circus, and he's after us!"
With that he bounded out of bed, and, waiting only long enough to clasp each other by the hand, the two children burst into that part of the tent where Mr. and Mrs. Brown slept.
BUNNY ROLLS DOWN HILL
"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Brown, thrusting his head out from between the two curtains behind which his wife and he had their cots. "Why are you two children up at this time of night?"
"We—we couldn't sleep in our part of the tent," explained Sue, snuggling up closer to Bunny.
"Couldn't sleep, my dear? Was it the mosquitoes?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"No'm. It was an elephant," explained Bunny.
"A burglar elephant," added Sue.
"He poked his head into the tent right over our bed," went on Bunny.
"But we didn't stay," added Sue. "We came out to see if you and daddy were all right. Burglar elephants aren't nice at all."
"What in the world are they talking about?" asked Mr. Brown. "A burglar elephant? What does it mean?"
"It must have been some sound they heard outside the tent," said Mrs. Brown. "Or perhaps they dreamed something."
"No'm, we didn't dream," cried Bunny, while his sister Sue nodded her head to show that she thought as he did. "It was something as big as an elephant and it most shook the tent down."
"I felt something move the tent from the outside," said Mrs. Brown, "but I thought it was the wind."
"I'll soon see what it was!" cried Mr. Brown. "You two kiddies jump into bed with your mother, and I'll take a look outside."
He put on his dressing gown and slippers, and while Bunny and his sister Sue went behind the curtains to snuggle down in the bed with their mother, Mr. Brown, taking a lantern, started for the outside of the tent.
He had just reached the flaps, the ropes of which he was loosening, and Bunny and his sister were hardly in their mother's cot—a tight fit for three—when the canvas house was violently shaken and within the very tent itself sounded a loud:
"Oh, it's a cow!" cried Bunny.
"And I can see it!" cried Sue, poking her head out between the curtains nearest her mother's bed. "I can see it."
"Is it an elephanty cow?" eagerly asked Bunny from his side of the cot.
"No, it's a cow with a crumpled horn—two crumpled horns—and daddy's pushing its face out of the tent," added Sue.
"Let me see!" cried Bunny, and, in spite of his mother's call to get back into bed, out he popped to stand near the curtains that hung down in front of his mother's cot.
"Yes, it's only a cow—a crumpled-horn cow," Bunny announced after he had taken a look.
"But it pushed hard enough to be an elephant, didn't it?" asked Sue.
"That's what it did. I thought the tent would come down," agreed Bunny.
"What makes you say it was a crumpled-horn cow?" asked Mrs. Brown, as she too looked through the crack of the curtain and saw her husband pushing the animal outside.
"'Cause it's got crumpled horns like the ragged man's cow. The man that gave us milk after the dog drank ours," said Bunny. "Only his cow had only one crooked horn and this cow has two. Hasn't it, Sue?"
"Yes. But it looks like a nice cow."
"Well, we don't want cows in our sleeping tent at night," said Mr. Brown. "I'll start this one down hill, and in the morning some one who comes for it will have to hunt for it. We haven't anything here with which to feed cows."
"What's the matter up there?" called a voice, and the children knew it was that of Uncle Tad, who slept in a little tent by himself, near the one where the cooking was done.
"What's the matter up there?" he called.
"Oh, a cow tried to take up quarters with us," explained Mr. Brown. "I'm trying to shove her out of the tent, but she seems to want to stay."
"I'll lead her away and tie her," said Uncle Tad.
Bunny and Sue heard him tramping up from his tent to theirs and then he led the crumpled-horn cow away, the animal now and then giving voice to:
"Isn't it too bad she couldn't sleep here?" asked Sue.
"She's too big," declared Bunny. "But Sue, did you see two of her horns crumpled or only one?"
"Why, Bunny, I—I guess it was two, but I'm not sure. What makes you ask me that?"
Before Bunny could answer his mother called:
"Come now, you children have been up long enough. Get back to bed or you'll want to sleep so late in the morning that it will be dinner time before you get up. The elephant-cow has gone away. Uncle Tad will lead her to the foot of the hill, near the brook, where she can get a drink of water and she won't bother you any more. So go back to your cots."
Bunny and Sue went. They could hear Uncle Tad leading the elephant cow, as they called her, through the bushes, and hear him talking to her.
"Come bossy! Come on now. That's a good cow!"
The cow seemed to lead along easily enough, and pretty soon no more noises could be heard in camp except the chirping of the crickets or the songs of the katydids and katydidn'ts.
Bunny and Sue covered themselves up in their cots, for it was cool getting up in the middle of the night. They both tried to go to sleep, but found it not so easy as they had hoped.
"Sue! Sue!" whispered Bunny, after a while.
"Yes. What is it?"
"Are you asleep?"
"No, 'course not. How could I answer you if I was?"
"That's so. You couldn't. Well, I just wanted to know."
There was silence for a few seconds and then Sue whispered:
"Are you asleep, Bunny?"
"No, 'course not. If I was how could I talk to you?"
"Well, I thought maybe you might have gone to sleep. Say, Bunny!"
"Well, what is it?"
"I—I'm not quite sure about that cow havin' two crumpled horns or one."
"Neither'm I," said Bunny. "That's what I woke you up to find out about."
"You didn't wake me up 'cause I wasn't asleep. But I think the cow had two crumpled, twisted horns."
"That's what I thought," said Bunny. "And, if she did, then she didn't belong to the raggedy man, for his cow had only one."
"That's so," admitted Sue. "But maybe she twisted the other horn pushing her way through the bushes to our tent."
"Bushes aren't strong enough to twist a cow's horn!" replied Bunny, trying to set his little sister right.
"Yes they are too, Bunny Brown! 'Specially a wild grape vine that's strong enough to make a swing!" Sue was growing sleepy and a little cross.
But now the voice of Mrs. Brown broke in on the talk of the two children.
"Stop talking right away, both of you, my dears," she ordered, and Bunny and Sue knew she meant it.
"All right, Mother," they said, while Sue whispered, just before she closed her eyes: "We'll find out whose cow it is in the morning."
But they did not, at least right away, for when they ran down to the brook before breakfast, to wash their hands and faces as they always did, they saw nothing of the cow.
"Where did you tie her, Uncle Tad?" they asked.
"Right by the big willow tree," he answered. "Maybe she broke away in the night and tried to get back to the tent."
The cow certainly had broken away, for there was one end of the rope still tied to the tree, while the other end was broken and frazzled, showing it had not been cut.
"Well, I guess whoever owns her will find her," said Mr. Brown as he sat down to a breakfast of bacon and eggs. He had to go back to the city that day, and the children were sorry, for they counted on having good times with him.
"But I'll come back Friday night," he promised, "and I'll stay until Monday morning. That will give us two whole days together."
"Oh, then we'll have fun!" cried Bunny.
"And will you help me play with my 'lectricity Teddy Bear?" asked Sue.
"I surely will!" answered Mr. Brown, with a smile.
"And may I play with my e-lec-tric train while you're away?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, but be very careful of it," said his father. "It is strong, but it can be broken or put out of order. So if you play with it take it to some level place in the woods, and be careful how you set up the track. Don't make too big a one."
Bunny promised that he would not, and soon after Mr. Brown had gone away in his automobile, the children, Sue taking her Teddy bear and Bunny his toy train, started into the woods to play.
"Don't go too far," called their mother. "You must hear me when I call you to dinner. These woods are very big, you know."
The children wandered off on a woodland path until, after trying, they found they could just hear their mother's voice.
"And here will be a fine place to play," said Bunny, when they reached a shady level place on top of a little hill that led down to the lake that was near Camp Rest-a-While.
"It will be all right if we don't fall down the hill," said Sue.
"Oh, we'll keep away back from the edge," decided Bunny.
Then he began setting up the track for his toy train of cars, while Sue made a comfortable place for her Teddy bear to sleep, first showing the animal with the electric eyes all about the woods, in which were the big trees and the low bushes.
Bunny set his track around in a circle, and after connecting the strong batteries to the track he put the electric locomotive on and coupled together the cars. Then, when he turned the switch, the engine and train ran along the rails very swiftly.
But Bunny soon grew tired of making the train go around in a circle. He wanted it to run along on a straight track, as the real trains do, and, having plenty of straight lengths of track in his box, he soon set up more rails that stretched off in a straight line.
"Oh, you're gettin' awful near the edge of the hill that goes down to the lake," warned Sue, as she made believe to feed her Teddy bear some huckleberries.
"But I'm putting a curve at the end of the track so the engine and cars will turn back toward me," said Bunny. "Than I'll shut off the power before they can run off on the ground."
Bunny started his train the new way. At first the engine and the cars rolled slowly over the rails, for the ground was a little uphill. Then they came to a part that was downhill.
"Now see 'em go!" cried Bunny in delight.
"They're going awful fast!" cried Sue. "You'd better look out!"
"This is an express train," explained Bunny. "Express trains are very fast."
Indeed the toy locomotive did seem to be going very fast. It rocked and swayed on the tin rails, and it was soon near the end of the line where there was a curve.
And there is where the accident happened. The curve was so sharp, and the electric engine was going so fast, that, instead of turning around, it kept on straight, jumped over the rails and began to run down hill on the dirt and stone path that led to the lake.
"Oh!" gasped Sue.
"Oh, my!" cried Bunny, and then, before Sue could stop him, her brother ran to the edge of the hill. He saw his toy engine and cars rolling over and over toward the lake at the bottom of the hill, and, without stopping a second, over the hill went Bunny Brown himself—slipping, sliding and falling down!
"Oh, Bunny! Come back! Come back!" cried Sue, very much excited.
But Bunny was rolling over and over down the hill after his train, and he could not answer.
AFTER THE LOST COW
Bunny Brown was thinking of two things when he started to roll downhill. One was that his train might roll into the water and be spoiled, for his father had told him that there were bits of electrical machinery on the engine that would be spoiled if water touched them.
Then Bunny thought of himself rolling into the water, for the hill was steep on this shore of the lake, and any one rolling down, if he were not stopped before he reached the bottom, would be almost sure to go into the lake.
"But I don't mind so much about myself," thought Bunny. "My clothes will get wet, but I've got on an old suit and water won't hurt that. It won't hurt me, either, for I get wet when I go in swimming, and I can swim now if I have to. But my train can't swim, 'cause that's iron, and iron will sink, daddy told me. So I've got to catch the train before it goes into the lake."
The thought of this made Bunny try to roll over and over faster, so he could win in the race down the hill between himself and the train. If he could get hold of the train before it touched the water all would be well, he hoped. He could toss the train to one side, out of harm's way, even if he fell into the water himself.
"But can I get it?" thought Bunny, as he rolled over and over.
He could hear Sue calling to him at the top of the hill, on the very edge of which he had made the curve of his track. He realized now that it was too near the edge. What Sue was saying Bunny could not hear, but he imagined she was begging him to stop rolling downhill and come back to her.
"As if I could!" thought Bunny to himself. "This rolling downhill isn't any fun. I didn't really mean to do it, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to run or slide down. There are too many stones for rolling."
Indeed there were, for the slope of the hill down to the lake was not of soft grass. Instead it was of gravel and stone and these were very rough for a small boy to roll on. Still Bunny did not mind if he could get his locomotive and train of cars.
He could see them just ahead of him, rolling over and over just as he was doing. Of course there was no electricity in the toy locomotive now. The current, as the electricity is called, was all in the rails, going into them from the batteries, and from there it went into the motor or the wheels, gears and other things inside the engine that made it roll along.
"I guess it's rolling faster than I am," thought Bunny. "It will get to the bottom first, and go in the water."
This seemed to be what would happen. For the engine and cars had started ahead of Bunny, and, too, they were not so big as he. It took him some time to turn over, for there was more of him.
It was not the first time Bunny had rolled downhill. Often he and Sue, finding a nice smooth, grassy slope in the country, had started at the top and rolled all the way to the bottom, over and over, getting up slightly dizzy.
But Bunny had never rolled down such a long, steep and rough hill as this, and he really did not mean to do it. He had started out to run to the bottom, or slide along, his feet buried in the soft sand and gravel. But he had slipped, and the only thing now to do was to roll, just as the train was doing.
Bunny looked down the slope again. He saw that the train was almost in the water, and he was wondering how much spoiled it would be, and whether it could be fixed again, so it could be run, when he suddenly saw a man step from the fringe of bushes at the edge of the lake and pick up the engine and cars just as they went into the water, getting only a little wet in the edge of the lake.
The man was roughly dressed, and for a moment Bunny thought he was the old hermit who lived in the lonely log cabin, and who had sold Bunny and Sue some milk the day before, when the dog had taken their pailful.
But another look, as Bunny tried to slow-up his rolling, told him it was another man. He was just as ragged as the hermit who kept a cow, but he did not have long hair, nor a long white beard, and his face was very dark.
"Oh, that's one of the Indians!" quickly thought Bunny. "Well, he saved my train all right. I'm glad of that."
With a slide and a roll Bunny reached the foot of the hill, and by catching hold of a small tree he saved himself from slipping into the water.
The Indian looked up from the toy train at which he was gazing in puzzled fashion.
"That's mine," said Bunny, speaking slowly. He knew some of the Indians who lived on a reservation in the big woods, not far from Camp Rest-a-While. Some of them could speak fairly good English and understand it. Others knew only a few words and Bunny wanted to make sure this Indian understood him.
"Huh! This you?" asked the red man, as the Indians are sometimes called.
"Yes, that's mine," said Bunny. "It's a train of cars."
"Oh, puff-puff train. Eagle Feather ride in puff-puff train once. How him go?" and he set Bunny's train down on a smooth rock, while the little boy shook the dust from his clothes and tried to comb it out of his hair with his fingers.
"It can't go now—no track—no electric current," explained Bunny. "Track up there on top of hill," he went on, motioning and speaking as slowly as he could, and with few words, so the Indian would understand.
"Oh, go electricity—same as like lights in big city," said Eagle Feather, which seemed to be the Indian's name. "Me know—Buzz—whizz—flash—go quick—no come back."
"That's it," laughed Bunny Brown. He was not afraid of the Indian. The men and the squaws, or women, used often to come to Camp Rest-a-While to sell their baskets, their bead work or bows and arrows.
"That your train puff-puff cars. You take," said the Indian, handing the toy to the little boy. "Indian see him ready to swim in water, no t'ink good—catch um."
"I'm glad you did," said Bunny. "Thank you. I nearly went into the water myself."
"Water good for boy—good for muskrat too, maybe," said Eagle Feather. "Maybe not so good for meke-believe puff-puff train."
"That's right," said Bunny. "If my toy train had fallen into the lake and stayed there very long, it might never have run again. But I can run after I've been in the water."
Then Bunny heard a voice calling to him from up on top of the hill:
"Bunny! Bunny Brown! Are you all right?"
Bunny looked up quickly, and so did the Indian. Sue was standing on top of the hill, holding her Teddy bear with the little electric eyes.
"I'm all right, Sue," called up Bunny. "Come down if you want to. But come down by the path. My train is all right, too. Eagle Feather saved it for me. He's one of the Indians from the reservation."
The State had set aside certain land for the Indians on which they must live. Bunny and Sue, with their father or mother or Uncle Tad, had often been to the place where the Indians lived.
"Are you all right, Bunny?" asked Sue again.
"Yep. Course. But I'm all dirty. Don't you roll down."
"I won't," promised the little girl, and she started for the path, which was an easier way of getting to the bottom of the hill. The Indian waited with Bunny, and when Sue stood beside the two Eagle Feather gave a sort of grunt of welcome, for Indians are not great talkers.
"Bunny has an 'lectric train," said Sue, for she was no more afraid of the red men than was her brother. "Bunny has an 'lectric train, and I have an 'lectric Teddy bear. See, Eagle Feather!"
She pushed the button, or switch, in the back of her toy, and at once the eyes flashed out brightly.
"Huh! That much like real bear when you see him in dark by campfire," said the Indian. "Much funny. Let Eagle Feather see!"
Sue showed the Indian how to make the eyes gleam by pressing the button in the toy bear's back, and Eagle Feather did this several times. He seemed to think the toy bear was a more wonderful toy than the train he had saved from the lake. He gave this back to Bunny and kept the bear, flashing the eyes again and again.
"You mustn't do it too much or you'll wear out the batteries inside the bear," said Bunny. "The same kind of electric batteries make the eyes of the bear bright as run my train."
"Huh! Indian no want to make little girl's toy bad," said the Indian handing it back. "Great toy, much. Very good to have."
"What are you doing so far away from your camp?" asked Bunny. "Have you some bows and arrows to sell?"
"No got to sell to-day. Indian come to hunt lost cow."
"Have you lost a cow?" asked Bunny and Sue together.
"Yes. Maybe you see him. He got two horns funny twisted—so"; and Eagle Feather picked up a crooked branch, like a fork or crotch, both parts of which were gnarled and twisted. "Horns like him?"
"Yes, just like that," said Bunny. "The cow came to our tent in the night and we thought it was an elephant. Was it your cow? We thought it belonged to the white hermit who sold us milk last night."
"No, two-crooked-horn cow belong Eagle Feather. Where you see him?"
Bunny and Sue told of Uncle Tad having tied the cow in the night and of her having broken loose.
"But maybe we can see which way she went by her hoof-prints in the mud," said Bunny. "Come on, Eagle Feather. You saved my train from going into the lake where maybe I couldn't get it up, so we'll help you find your lost cow."
THE MISSING TRAIN
For a moment Eagle Feather, the Indian, stood looking at the two children, and yet not so much at them as at their two toys—the electrical train, and at the Teddy Bear with the queer electric eyes. It was hard to say of which the Indian was most fond.
"You ought to see my train run on the track!" exclaimed Bunny, as he shook some drops of water off the cars and engine. "I guess I'll have to put oil on it now to keep it from getting rusty, as Uncle Tad does when I leave his tools out all night."
"And you ought to see my doll at night!" added Sue. "Her eyes shine like anything, and once, after I got to bed, and wanted a drink of water that was on a chair near my bed, I just lighted Sallie Malinda's eyes, and I found the drink without calling mother."
"Huh! Heap big medicine—both of um!" grunted the Indian.
Eagle Feather was one of the oldest of the tribe of Onondagas who lived on the reservation, and though he usually spoke fairly good English, sometimes he talked as his grandfather had done when he was a boy and the early settlers first had to do with the Indians.
And when Eagle Feather called the children's toys "heap big medicine," he did not mean exactly the kind of medicine you have to take when you are sick.
The Indians have two kinds of medicine, as they call it. One is made of the roots and barks of trees, berries and bushes which they take, and some of which we still use, like witch hazel and sassafras. But they also have another kind of medicine, which is like what might be called a charm; as some pretty stone, a feather, a bone or two, or anything they might have picked up in the woods as it took their fancy. These things they wear around their necks or arms and think they keep away sickness and bad luck.
So when Eagle Feather called the toy train and the Teddy bear of Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, "heap big medicine," he meant they would be good not only to cure sickness without medicine, but also keep bad luck away from whoever had them.
"Now we'll help find your cow, Eagle Feather," said Bunny, for he was no more afraid of the Indian than you would be of the fireman down in the engine house at the end of your street, or the policeman on your block. Bunny and Sue had lived in the Big Woods so long now, and had seen the Indians so often, even to learning the names of some of them, that they thought no more of them than of some of the farmers round about.
"All right—we go find cow," said Eagle Feather. "No milk for little papoose if cow no come home." "Papoose" was the word the Indians used for "baby," and in the log cabin where Eagle Feather lived were two or three papooses.
"It must have been your cow that poked her head into our tent," said Sue, "for she had two crumpled horns, and the farmer's had only one."
"That right," said Eagle Feather with a sort of grunt. "My cow have two horns twist like so," and he held up two fingers and made a sort of corkscrew motion in the air with his hands.
"Then that was your cow all right," said Bunny. "Uncle Tad tied her to a tree, but maybe we can find her."
"Sure we find," grunted Eagle Feather. "Heap big medicine little boy an' girl have soon find cow."
What the Indian meant was that he believed the toy train and the electrical Teddy bear would bring such good luck that the lost cow would soon be found.
Mr. Brown had gone back to the city when Bunny and Sue, each one carrying a toy, and followed by Eagle Feather, came back to Camp Rest-a-While. Bunny was in worse condition than his sister, for he had rolled down the steep hill. Sue's dress was torn a little.
"Why, Bunny! Why, Sue!" cried Mrs. Brown as she saw the two children. "Where in the world have you been?"
"In the woods, playing with our toys," answered Bunny. "Sue made her Teddy's eyes flash to scare away the tigers and lions all around us."
"Oh, you were playing make-believe," said Mother Brown, for well she knew the different games the children made up.
"But Bunny's runaway train was real," said Sue.
"Did your train run away?" asked Mrs. Brown, not paying much attention to the Indian at first, as it was common to see them around the camp, whither they came to beg for scraps of food, the remains of a ham bone, and such things.
"Did your train really run away, Bunny?" asked Mrs. Brown. "Oh, Bunny, you've been in the dirt!"
"Yes, and it's a good thing he didn't get wet," went on Sue, for both children always told everything that happened to them as soon as they got back home. Only sometimes it took a little longer than usual to think up all the happenings. "He almost rolled into the lake, Bunny did."
"You did!" cried Mrs. Brown. "How did it happen?"
"Oh, I made the track straight, instead of in a circle, and the train got to going so fast in a straight line that it ran off the end of the rails downhill. I ran after it, but I slipped and rolled. Then the train rolled into the water, but only a teenty little way, and Eagle Feather got it out. Wasn't he good?"
"He was indeed, and we must thank him," said Mrs. Brown. "But did he stop you from going into the water also, Bunny?"
"No, Momsie. I stopped myself by catching hold of a tree. But I almost went in. I'd have gone in after my train anyhow, if Eagle Feather hadn't got it for me."
"Thank you, Eagle Feather," said Mrs. Brown. "I must give you some of the nice soup I have made. The papooses will like it."
"Squaw like it, and Indian like it heap, too," said Eagle Feather.
"Yes, but the squaw, as you call your wife, and the little children, must have some first."
"Oh, yes. Give 'em milk too, if so he can find cow."
"Oh, is your cow lost? And was it she who poked her head in our tent last night?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"I think it was, Mother," said Bunny. "She had two crumpled horns, and the one the farmer owns has only one. Sue and I are going to help Eagle Feather find his cow."
"Well, you mustn't go very deep into the big woods," said Mrs. Brown. "But then I think the cow can't have wandered far, for there is good feeding near where Uncle Tad tied her."
"You show me where cow broke loose, I find her," said Eagle Feather. "Indian hab heap good medicine to find cow."
"Medicine? You don't need medicine to find a cow," said Mrs. Brown. "You might need medicine if your cow were sick, but she didn't look sick when she poked her nose into the tent."
"Cow no sick, but heap good medicine find her all same," replied Eagle Feather, smiling.
"He means our toys, Mother," said Bunny. "He called my train of cars and Sue's doll heap good medicine."
"Oh, I see!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "It's a sort of charm. But you mustn't believe in that sort of nonsense, children, even if some of the more ignorant Indians do."
"But, Mother," asked Bunny, "mayn't I show Eagle Feather how my toy train works? He didn't see it, and I know he'd like to. Mayn't I show him the train and how it runs?"
"Oh, yes, I suppose so. But be quick about it, if you are going to help him hunt for his cow."
Bunny relaid the track, in a circle this time, so the engine and cars would not roll off to where they were not intended to go. Meanwhile Sue flashed the eyes of her Teddy Bear so Eagle Feather could see them. He looked very closely at the toy, but when Bunny had his train on the circular track, the batteries connected, and had started the little locomotive pulling the cars after it, the eyes of Eagle Feather grew big with wonder.
"Great medicine!" he exclaimed. "Heap big powerful. Indian do anything with that medicine. Bring him along an' soon find cow."
"Oh, I couldn't bring my whole train, the track and the batteries into the woods," said Bunny. "But I'll take one car with me."
"Well, maybe one car help some," said the Indian. "Little gal bring baby bear whose eyes light up same as in dark by campfire."
"Yes, I'll bring Sallie Malinda," promised Sue. "That's my Teddy's name," she explained.
"Well, don't lose your toys," cautioned their mother, "and don't be gone too long, for dinner will soon be ready. And, Eagle Feather, don't forget to come back for the soup," she concluded.
"Me no forget," said the Indian.
Then with the children he went to the place where Uncle Tad had tied the stray cow, and from where she had broken loose. That was the starting place for the search.
Mrs. Brown was not at all nervous about letting Bunny and Sue go away with the Indian, Eagle Feather. All the farmers for miles around spoke of his honesty and kindness. He owned several farms, as well as horses and cows. He did business with the white people, and all of them trusted him. Mr. Brown often bought things from him.
Bunny, carrying one car of his train, and Sue, her Teddy bear to which she had given such a queer name, led the Indian to the tree to which Uncle Tad had tied the cow in the night. There was the broken end of the rope still tied around the tree, but there was no cow on the other end of it.
"She go this way," said Eagle Feather, pointing off toward the west.
"How can you tell?" asked Bunny.
"See feet marks in soft dirt—see broken branches where cow go through—no look for path," and the Indian pointed to several branches broken from the bushes through which the cow had forced her way in the darkness after having broken loose from the tree.
"Come on, Sue!" called Bunny, as he followed the Indian, carrying the toy train in his hand.
"I'm coming," answered his sister. "But the thorns catch in the fuzzy wool of Sallie Malinda and scratch her. I've got to go slower than you."
"All right—we wait for you," said Eagle Feather, who had heard what Sue said. "No hurry from little gal," he said to Bunny. "Maybe her medicine better for finding cow as yours, though me think yours very much stronger medicine. Maybe we see—byemby." That was the way Eagle Feather said "Bye-and-bye."
Bunny and the Indian went on slowly through the big woods, the red man stopping every now and then to look down at the ground for marks of the cow's hoofs, and also looking at the sides for signs of the broken branches.
"Cow been here," he would say every little while. "Soon we catch 'er. Medicine heap good. Indian like!"
"You'd better get yourself a toy train," said Bunny.
"No got money," returned Eagle Feather. "Like 'em very much for boy papoose when he grow big so like you."
"Maybe I'll be tired of mine by that time and give it to him," said Bunny.
"Too nice. You no get tired long while," said the Indian. "Heap big medicine. Come, Sue, we wait for you."
As the Indian and Bunny waited they heard, off in the distance, the lowing of a cow.
"Hark!" cried Bunny.
"That my cow," said Eagle Feather. "I tell you boy and gal medicine heap good—find cow soon. Over this way! Soon hab cow now!"
He hurried on ahead so fast that Bunny and Sue could hardly keep up with him, but they managed to do so and, a little later, they saw, in a little glade among the trees, a cow with a broken rope trailing from her neck. She had two twisted, or crumpled, horns.
"Oh, that's the cow that was in our tent!" cried Sue. "I'd know her anywhere."
"She my cow—give good milk for little papoose. What for you run away?" he asked, going up to the cow, rubbing her neck and pretending to talk into her ear.
The cow mooed softly and appeared glad to see Eagle Feather.
"Well, now you've got your cow back you can come to our camp, get the soup and go to your cabin," said Bunny. "I'm glad you found her."
"Boy and girl, with heap good medicine find," said Eagle Feather. "Much thankful to you. Some day make bow and arrows for boy, and moccasins for feet of little girl with bear that makes fire eyes at night. Indian glad!"
"Oh, we were only too glad to help you," said Bunny. "Now we must be going back to camp."
"Me come—cow come too," said Eagle Feather, and he led the cow by the broken rope. They were soon back at the tents, telling Mrs. Brown how they had found the lost cow. Eagle Feather spoke much about the toy train and the Teddy bear "medicine," but Mrs. Brown laughed.
"This is better medicine than all the toys in the world," she said, as she gave Eagle Feather a big pail of soup. "Take it home to your wife and children."
"Me will—all much 'bliged," and Eagle Feather bowed. Then with a farewell nod to the children the red man went off into the big woods leading his lost cow, who seemed glad to be on her way home again.
Mr. Brown came home that night to stay two or three days, for Bunker Blue could take care of the fish and boat business, and when Bunny's father heard what had happened when Bunny put the toy track too near the edge of the hill, the little boy was told not to do it again, and promised not to.
"Eagle Feather was very good to you, and you must be kind to him and to all the Indians," said Mr. Brown. "So the wetting didn't seem to hurt your toy engine, Bunny?"
"No, Daddy. I shook off all the water."
"Well, we'd better oil it and let it stand all night to take off the rust. For if it gets rusty it won't run."
Bunny did not want this to happen, so he left his toy railroad out in the kitchen tent that night, near the stove in which a little fire was kindled.
No cows stuck their heads into the bedrooms of the tent houses that night, and Bunny and Sue slept soundly. So did Mr. and Mrs. Brown and Uncle Tad, but some one must have been around the camp with very soft feet in the darkness. For when Bunny awakened early, and went out to have a look at his toy railroad, he set up a cry:
"It's gone! It's gone! Some one has taken it!"
"Taken what?" asked his father.
"My toy locomotive, my cars, the tracks, batteries and everything! Oh, dear! My toy train is gone!"
"WHERE HAS SALLIE GONE?"
"What's the matter, Bunny?" asked Uncle Tad, who, as usual, had gotten up early to make the fire in the kitchen stove. It had gone out during the night, though a late fire had been built to make warmth for Bunny's train.
"What's the matter?" asked Uncle Tad again. "Have you found some more lost cows?"
"No. I've lost something instead of finding it this time," said the little boy.
"What have you lost?" asked Uncle Tad, as he began to shake the ashes out of the cook stove, getting ready to make a new fire in it. The stove pipe went right out through the tent, with an asbestos collar around it so the canvas would not catch fire.
"I've lost my electric train," cried Bunny Brown, looking around the kitchen tent to make sure his toy was not stuck in some corner. "I was playing with it yesterday, and I had one of the cars when I went with Sue and Indian Eagle Feather to find his lost cow. Then I brought it back to camp and I put it here so the water would dry out. Now it's gone!"
"Yes, it seems to be gone," said Uncle Tad, looking carefully around the tent, after he had put a match to the wood kindlings. "And I know you left it here because I saw it the last thing when I came in to make sure the fire was all right before going to bed."
"Then who could have taken it?" asked Bunny.
"Well, as to that I couldn't say," answered Uncle Tad slowly. "It might have run off by itself, I suppose?"
"It couldn't have!" declared Bunny. "Of course it runs by itself when the batteries are connected, but they weren't this time. And the train wasn't even on the track, though the rails were piled up near it, and so were the batteries. Yet everything is gone!"
"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Brown, coming into the kitchen tent to start the breakfast.
"My train is gone!" said Bunny sadly. "And I didn't hear anybody around camp during the night," he added, and told of finding out about his loss.
"Do you suppose you could have got up in the night, walked in your sleep, and hidden the train somewhere else yourself?" asked Uncle Tad.
"Well, about a year ago that might have happened," said Mother Brown. "But Bunny is cured of his sleep-walking habits now. He hasn't gotten up for several months, unless, as happened the other night when the cow poked her head in the tent, he woke up and cried out."
"But no cow came into the tent last night, Mother," said Bunny. "Anyhow a cow wouldn't like to eat a train of cars."
"A cow eat a train of cars!" cried Daddy Brown, coming into the tent just in time to hear what Bunny said. "Say, is that a riddle?"
"No. But it's a riddle to guess who or what took Bunny's train of cars," said Mrs. Brown. "He says he left them here, in front of the stove to dry out the water as you told him to, but they are gone now."
"That's queer," said Mr. Brown, looking about. "Is Bunny's train the only thing that is missing?"
"It seems to be, as far as we can tell by a hasty look around. But we'll have to see," said Mother Brown.
Uncle Tad, Mr. Brown and Bunny and Sue looked carefully about the tent while Mrs. Brown got breakfast. They saw several footprints, for the children, as well as the grown folks, had been about the tents all day, and Eagle Feather, the Indian, had also been there.
"Who knew that you had a train of cars?" asked Mr. Brown of his son when a long search had failed to find the toy.
"Well, I told the boy who brings the milk, the butter and egg man, and I guess that's all," said Bunny.
"You told Eagle Feather," put in Sue.
"Yes, but he wouldn't take them," said Bunny. "He thinks they are big medicine for finding his lost cow. He wouldn't take them."
"I'm not so sure of that," said Uncle Tad. "Indians like bright and pretty things and that electrical train must have been a great wonder to them; especially to Eagle Feather, who is a smart Indian."
"Then why didn't he take my Teddy bear, Sallie Malinda?" asked Sue. "My bear, with the blinking eyes, helped find the lost cow as well as Bunny's train did."
"Of course it did," agreed Mother Brown. "I don't believe Eagle Feather had a thing to do with it. If the train was stolen by tramps we'd better get another dog, Daddy Brown, to keep them away."
"Oh, don't get a dog!" cried Bunny and Sue together. "Splash is the best dog that ever was!"
"Yes. But he is so friendly with everybody that he would just as soon a tramp came up to the tent as some of the farm peddlers," said Mrs. Brown. "He hardly ever barks unless he is playing with you children, and he is so good-natured."
"Oh, we never could give up Splash," said Bunny, and Sue nodded her head to show that she felt the same way about it.
"Maybe you can get another dog, who will bark, Mother. Then we could hitch Splash and him up together and have a team," went on Bunny.
"Splash would never pull the way the other dog wanted to go," said Uncle Tad. "I guess, before we think of more dogs we'll just go over to the Indian village and find out what they know about the missing toy train."
"Yes, that would be a good plan," said Mr. Brown. "Suppose we go together, Uncle Tad."
So, after breakfast, when another search had been made about the camp to make sure the train was not hidden behind something, the two men started off. Bunny kept on searching about the tents for his missing toy, and Sue played with her Teddy Bear, tying her on the back of Splash, the dog, to make believe Sallie Malinda was having a pony ride.
When Father Brown and Uncle Tad came back the children ran eagerly to them. Mr. Brown shook his head.
"No," he said, slowly, "there is no trace of the toy train in the Indians' village, and Eagle Feather and his men say they know nothing about it. They say they were not away from their camp all night. They even let us search their tents and cabins, and were very good-natured about it."
"That doesn't prove anything," said Uncle Tad. "If they had hidden the toy train it would be in a place where we could never find it. I guess we'll have to let it go."
"Could any one else have taken it?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"Yes, of course. But one of the Indians seems most likely. They probably heard what Eagle Feather told about how the train ran and one of their men crawled up in the night and took it from the tent while we were all asleep."
"Well, maybe so, but I don't believe Eagle Feather did any such thing as that," said Mother Brown.
"Nor I," said Bunny, and Sue nodded her head. "It was a tramp."
Mr. Brown promised Bunny a new train as soon as he should go back to the city, but that would not be for a few days.
"Oh dear!" cried Bunny. "How can I wait that long?"
"You can play with my Teddy bear sometimes," said Sue kindly. Bunny thanked her, but it was easy to see he did not care much for such a girl's toy.
"My Sallie Malinda Teddy bear is as good as your toy train," said Sue. "She's better—for I have her and you haven't your train of cars."
"Well, I'm glad you like her," said Bunny. "But maybe your Teddy will go away in the night just as my train did."
"My Teddy can't run, even if her eyes can light up," said Sue, making the bear's eyes blink.
"My train didn't run away, it was tooken," said Bunny. "And some day I'm going to find the one that tooked it."
Bunny did not speak as his school teacher would have had him, but he meant the same thing as if he had spoken correctly.
"Well, they sha'n't touch my Teddy bear!" said Sue. "I'll take her to bed with me every night."
And she did, two or three times. Then, one night Sue forgot and left her wonderful Teddy bear out in the kitchen. And in the morning what do you suppose had happened?
In the morning Sue awakened early, and, missing her toy, which she thought she had taken to bed with her, she happened to remember that Sallie was left out in the kitchen.
"I'll bring her to bed with me and tell her a story," said the little girl.
Eagerly she ran out to the kitchen. She looked in the chair where the Teddy bear had been left. Then Sue's eyes filled with tears as she cried:
"Where has Sallie gone? Oh, where has Sallie Malinda gone? Some one has tooken my Teddy bear!"
Bunny Brown heard his sister's cry, and up from his cot he jumped.
"What's the matter, Sue?" asked Bunny as he saw his sister standing in the middle of the dining room part of the tent, which was separated by curtains from the sleeping rooms.
"Oh, my Teddy bear's been taken! Some one has taken Sallie Malinda!" cried the little girl. "I don't believe I'll ever be happy again. Oh, dear!"
"Maybe we'll find her again," said Bunny, shivering, for the morning was cool and he had on only his night clothes.
"No, I'll never find her," sobbed Sue. "She's been tooked away, same as your train of cars."
This thought of his own missing toy made Bunny feel sad. But he wanted to cheer Sue up.
"Oh, maybe your Teddy bear just walked off in the night to get something to eat," the little boy went on. "I get hungry in the night lots of times. I get up and eat a sweet cracker, if I've left one on the chair by my bed. Now let me think what it is bears like best."
"It's honey," answered Sue.
"How do you know?" her brother asked.
"'Cause I read it in the animal book. It told about a bear climbing a bee-tree——"
"What's a bee-tree?" interrupted Bunny.
"It's a hollow tree where a bee makes its nest and lays honey eggs," explained Sue, in a very funny way, you see. "And the bear climbed that tree and got the bee's honey."
"Wouldn't the bee sting him?" asked Bunny. "I was stung by a bee once, on Grandpa's farm, and I wasn't climbing the bee-tree either."
"Oh, well, that was an accident," declared Sue. "Besides a bear has thick fur on him and the only place where a bee can hurt him is on his soft and tender nose. And before he climbs a bee-tree, the bear puts thick mud on his nose like a plaster so the bee can't sting that, so he's all right."
"Hum," said Bunny. "Then we'll go and find a bee-tree, and maybe your Teddy bear will be there."
"But my Teddy bear Sallie Malinda can only make-believe walk!" exclaimed Sue. "She can only make-believe eat honey, too."
"Then we'll look for a make-believe honey-tree," said Bunny. "Come on, Sue!"
Sue seemed to hold back.
"Come on!" cried Bunny again, always ready to start something. "Let's get dressed and go to hunt for the Teddy bear."
It was very early, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown were not yet awake. Mrs. Brown, however, soon heard the children moving about and she called to them:
"What's the matter?"
"Sue's doll is gone," said Bunny.
"My nice Teddy bear one," added Sue.
"He's gone off to find a bee's nest to get honey," went on Bunny.
"My bear ain't a 'he'—she's a 'she,'" declared Sue. "And her name is Sallie Malinda."
"Well, no matter what her name is, she is lost," said Bunny. "We're going to find her."
"Look here, children!" called Mr. Brown, who was now awake. "Don't go off on any wild goose chase."
"We're not after wild geese. We're going after Sue's bear," replied Bunny.
"What! Is Sue's bear taken, too?" cried Mr. Brown.
"She's either taken or else she walked away," Bunny said.
"Sue's bear wasn't the walking kind, though they did have some of that sort," said the children's father. "But if your bear is gone, some one must have taken it just as they did Bunny's train of cars. I must look into this. You children stay right where you are until I get dressed and we'll make a search. Meanwhile look around the tent and see if you can't find Sallie Jane."
"Her name is Sallie Malinda," said Sue, with some indignation.
"Well, take a look around for Sallie Malinda Teddy Bear Brown while I'm getting dressed," said her father.
The children soon slipped into their clothes, and then began to look around the tent, inside and out. Sue thought perhaps she had left her Teddy bear with its flashing electrical eyes in a chair near the kitchen-tent table. She had had her there after her own supper. She even pointed out where she had put a small plate of cracker crumbs near the Teddy bear. The plate of crumbs was still there, but the doll was gone.
"We'll look outside," said Bunny; and when he and Sue were outside the tent, waiting for their father, Bunny began walking slowly along, bent over as though he had a peddler's pack on his back.
"What are you doing that for?" asked Sue in surprise. "We aren't playing any game."
"I know it. But I'm looking for the marks of the bear's tracks in the mud, just as Eagle Feather looked for the hoof prints of his lost cow in the sand. He found his cow that way, and maybe we'll find Sallie Malinda this way."
"But his cow was bigger than my Teddy bear, and made bigger tracks."
"That doesn't matter. I've been talking to the Indians about trailing animals this way, and you can trail a squirrel as easily as an elephant if you only know how to look for the feet marks. See, Sue!" and Bunny pointed to marks in the soft earth. "Aren't those the prints of your Teddy bear's feet?"
Sue looked to where Bunny pointed. There were marks plainly enough, but in a minute Sue knew what they were.
"Why, that's where Splash, our dog, walked," said the little girl.
"Oh, so it is," agreed Bunny. "Well, I made a mistake that time. We'll try again."
So the children went on, seeking for marks of the toy bear's paws, until Mr. Brown came out.
"It's of no use to look that way, children," he said. "If Sue's bear is missing some one took it away—it never walked, for it couldn't."
"That's what I said!" cried Sue.
"But how did it get away?" asked Bunny.
"Somebody must have taken it. The same one who took your train of cars. We must look farther off than just around the tent."
"Say, Daddy, do you s'pose some of the Indians could have done it?" asked Sue in a whisper.
"I hardly think so," answered Mr. Brown. "Still, they are not all as honest as Eagle Feather. We'll have a look around their camp."
"And maybe we'll find my train at the same time," said Bunny, hopefully.
"We'll look for it," replied Mr. Brown.
All of a sudden Bunny began to run around in a circle, bending down toward the ground.
"What are you doing?" asked Sue. "Playing stoop-tag?"
"No, I'm looking for the marks of Indians' feet," answered Bunny. "If Indians came around here to take your doll, they'd leave some mark. I'm trying to find it."
Sue shook her head.
"What's the matter?" asked Bunny.
"Indians don't leave any tracks," returned the little girl. "'They are very cunning,' it says in my school reader-book, 'and they can slip through a forest leaving no more trace than that of the wind.' I don't know what 'trace' is, but it must be true, for it's in my book."
"Oh, those were old-fashioned Indians," said Bunny. "That kind wouldn't leave any marks. But these Indians wear shoes, and they'd leave a mark in soft ground. Wouldn't they, Daddy?"
"I believe they would. But I don't want to think it was our good friends the Indians who have taken your things. But we will search and see. Come on, now, Bunny and Sue. We'll have a little hunt before breakfast."
LOST IN THE WOODS
Holding the hands of Bunny and his sister Sue, one on either side, Mr. Brown started on a little search around the tents. They were trying to find the footprints of some one who did not belong to the camp. Some one other than Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Uncle Tad and the children themselves. Of course Bunker Blue came to the camp once in a while, and so did various peddlers and some people from neighboring farms. But most of these footprints were known to Mr. Brown, as he had seen them about the place ever since he and his family had been living at Camp Rest-a-While.
"What I want to see is a strange footprint," said the children's father.
"An Indian's footprint is stranger than ours," said Sue.
"Of course, if they wear moccasins," agreed Bunny.
"No, if they wear shoes," said Sue. "Our teacher told us about it."
"What is different in an Indian's footprint and ours, Sue?" asked Mr. Brown.
"Why, an Indian, even if he wears shoes like ours, turns his toes in, instead of out, as we do," went on the little girl.
"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!" laughed Bunny. "Whoever heard of such a thing?"
"But it's true, isn't it, Daddy?" asked Sue.
"Yes, it is true," said Mr. Brown. "A real Indian has a sort of pigeon-toe, as it is called. That is, instead of pointing his toes out when he walks, he turns them in. At least most Indians do, though there may be some who do not. So if you are looking for Indians' tracks, Bunny, look for the kind that turns in."
"I will," the little boy agreed. "I didn't know you knew so much about Indians, Sue."
"Our teacher used to live out West among the Indians, and she taught them," explained Sue. "She tells us lots of Indian stories."