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´╗┐Title: Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-While
Author: Hope, Laura Lee
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-While" ***

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[Illustration: "NOW WHERE ARE YOUR POTATOES, UNCLE TAD?" SUE ASKED.
"HERE THEY ARE!" SAID THE OLD SOLDIER.
                           _Frontispiece_ (_Page_ 75.)
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While._]



BUNNY BROWN
AND HIS SISTER SUE
AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE

BY

LAURA LEE HOPE

AUTHOR OF

THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES, THE BOBBSEY
TWINS SERIES, THE OUTDOOR GIRLS
SERIES, ETC.

Illustrated by
Florence England Nosworthy

NEW YORK
GROSSET & DUNLAP
PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America



BOOKS
By LAURA LEE HOPE

_12mo. Cloth. Illustrated._

THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE

THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES For Little Men and Women

          THE BOBBSEY TWINS
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME

THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW
          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND

            GROSSET & DUNLAP
          PUBLISHERS      NEW YORK

          Copyright, 1916, by
            GROSSET & DUNLAP

          _Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-While_



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                            PAGE
    I. GRANDPA'S TENT                1
   II. GRAND SURPRISE               12
  III. BUNNY AND SUE SLEEP OUT      23
   IV. SPLASH COMES, TOO            35
    V. OFF TO CAMP                  44
   VI. PUTTING UP THE TENTS         55
  VII. A BIG BLACK BEAR             68
 VIII. THE RAGGED BOY               78
   IX. TOM HEARS A NOISE            89
    X. OUT IN THE BOAT             100
   XI. TOM SEES A MAN              108
  XII. THE CROSS MAN               119
 XIII. A BAD STORM                 128
  XIV. TOM IS GONE                 140
   XV. LOOKING FOR TOM             150
  XVI. "WHO TOOK THE PIE?"         157
 XVII. A NOISE AT NIGHT            166
XVIII. SPLASH ACTS QUEERLY         176
  XIX. IN THE SMOKE-HOUSE          184
   XX. IN BUNNY'S TRAP             193
  XXI. BUNKER GOES ASHORE          203
 XXII. IN THE WOODS                210
XXIII. IN THE CAVE                 220
 XXIV. "WHO IS THERE?"             228
  XXV. BACK IN CAMP                237



BUNNY BROWN
AND HIS SISTER SUE
AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE



CHAPTER I

GRANDPA'S TENT


"Bunny! Bunny Brown! There's a wagon stoppin' in front of our house!"

"Is there? What kind of a wagon is it, Sue?"

The little girl, who had called to her brother about the wagon, stood
with her nose pressed flat against the glass of the window, looking out
to where the rain was beating down on the green grass of the front yard.
Bunny Brown, who had been playing with a tin locomotive that ran on a
tiny tin track, put his toy back in its box.

"What kind of a wagon is it Sue?" he asked his sister again.

"It isn't a grocery wagon," Sue answered slowly. "Not a grocery wagon,
like the one we rode in once, when we gave all those things to Old Miss
Hollyhock."

"Has it got any letters on it?" Bunny wanted to know. He was on his way
to the window now, having taken up the toy railroad track, with which he
was tired playing.

"Yes, it's got a E on it," Sue said, "and next comes the funny letter,
Bunny, that looks like when you cross your legs or fingers."

"That's a X," said Bunny. He knew his letters better than did Sue, for
Bunny could even read a little. "What's the next letter, Sue?"

Bunny could have run to the window himself, and looked out, but he
wanted to pick up all the things with which he had been playing. His
mother had always made him do this--put away his toys when he was
through.

"What's the next letter, Sue?" Bunny Brown asked.

Sue was not quite sure of it. She put her little head to one side so she
might see better. Just then a man jumped off the seat, and splashed
through a muddy puddle as he walked around to the end of the wagon.

"Oh, Bunny!" Sue cried. "The man's going to bring something here, I
guess. He's taking out a big bundle."

"Maybe it's a wagon from the store," said Bunny. And, as he looked out
through the window glass, pressing his nose flat against it, as his
sister Sue had done, he spelled out the word:

          EXPRESS

"That's an express wagon, Sue," said Bunny.

"What's express?" Sue wanted to know.

"That means when you're in a hurry," Bunny said. "You know, when we're
playing train, sometimes I'm an express train, and I go awful fast."

"Yes, I 'member that," said Sue. "Once, when we hitched our dog, Splash,
up to our express wagon, he went so fast he spilled me out."

"Well, that's express," Bunny went on. "When you went out of the wagon
so fast you were an express."

"I don't like express, then," said Sue. "I like to go slower. But that
can't be an express wagon, then, Bunny."

"Why not?"

"'Cause that's not goin' fast. It's jest standin' still."

"Oh, well, when it does go, it goes fast. That's an express wagon, all
right. Somebody's sent us something by express. Oh, Sue, I wonder what
it is?"

Sue shook her head. She did not know, and she could not guess. She was
watching the man out in the rain--the expressman who was trying to get
something out of the back of his wagon. It was a big bundle, that was
sure, because Bunny and Sue could see the end of it.

"I wonder if it's a present for us?" Sue asked.

"It can't be a present," answered Bunny. "It isn't Christmas. Don't you
remember, Sue, we had Christmas at Aunt Lu's city home."

"So we did, Bunny. But it's _something_, anyhow."

That was certain, for now the man was pulling a very large bundle out of
his wagon. It was so large that he could not carry it all alone, and he
called for Sam, the stable man, to come and help him. With the help of
Sam, the expressman carried the package back into the barn.

"Oh, I wonder what it is?" said Sue.

"We'll go and ask mother," suggested Bunny. "She'll know."

Together, the children fairly ran upstairs to their mother's sitting
room, where she was sewing.

"Oh, Mother!" cried Sue. "There's a fast wagon out in front--a fast
wagon and----"

"A fast wagon, Sue? What do you mean? Is it stuck fast in the mud?" Mrs.
Brown asked.

"No, she means an express wagon," said Bunny, with a laugh. "I told her
express was fast, Mother."

"Oh, I see," and Mrs. Brown smiled.

"But the express wagon did stop," went on the little boy. "It stopped
here, and Sam and the man took out a big bundle. It's up in our barn.
What is it, Mother?"

"I don't know, Bunny. Something your father sent for, perhaps. He may
tell us what it is when he comes."

"May we go out and look at it?" Sue asked.

"No, dear, not in this rain. Can't you wait until daddy comes home?"

"Yes, but I--I don't want to, Mother."

"Oh, well, we have to do many things in this world that we don't want
to. Now go and play with your dolls, or something. I think daddy will be
home early to-night, on account of the storm. Then he'll tell you what's
in the bundle."

"Does Sam know?" asked Bunny, as he watched the express wagon drive
away.

"Perhaps he does," answered Mrs. Brown.

"Then we can ask him!" exclaimed Sue. "Come on, Bunny!"

"No, dears, you mustn't go out to the barn in this rain. You'd get all
wet."

"I could put on my rubber coat," suggested Bunny.

"And so could I--and my rubber boots," said Sue.

Both children seemed to want very much to know what was in the express
package. But when Mrs. Brown said they could not go out she meant it,
and the more Bunny Brown and his sister Sue teased, the oftener Mrs.
Brown shook her head.

"No, you can't go out and open that bundle," she said. "And if you tease
much more daddy won't even tell you what's in it when he comes home. Be
good children now."

Bunny and Sue did not often tease this way, for they were good children.
But this day was an unpleasant, rainy one. They could not go out to have
fun, because of the rain, and they had played with all their toys,
getting tired of them, one after another.

"Mother, if we can't go out to the barn, could we have our dog, Splash,
in here to play with us?" asked Bunny, after a while. "We could hitch
him to a chair, and make believe it was an express wagon."

"Oh, yes!" cried Sue. "And you could be the driver, Bunny, and you could
leave a package at my house--make believe, you know--and then I wouldn't
know what was in it, and I could guess, and you could guess. We could
play a guessing game; will you, Bunny?"

"Yes, I'll play that. May we have Splash in, Mother?"

"No, dear."

"Oh, why not?"

"Because I just saw Splash splashing through a puddle of muddy water. If
he came in now he'd get you all dirty and he would spoil my carpet."

"But what _can_ we do, Mother?" Sue asked, and her voice sounded almost
as if she were going to cry.

"We want to do _something_," added Bunny.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Mrs. Brown, yet she could not help smiling. Rainy
days were hard when two children had to stay in the house all the while.

"We can play 'spress wagon without Splash!" exclaimed Sue, for she was a
good little girl, and did not want to make her mother worry.

"All right," agreed Bunny. "We'll just make believe we have Splash with
us to pull the pretend wagon."

He and Sue often played pretend, and make-believe, games, and they had
much fun this way. Now they turned one chair on the side, and put
another in front. The turned-over chair was to be the wagon, and the
other chair, standing on its four legs, was the horse. Bunny got some
string for reins, and the stick the washerwoman used to punch the
clothes down in the boiler made a good whip, when another piece of
string was tied on the end of that.

"Giddap!" cried Bunny, sitting on a stool behind the chair-horse.
"Giddap! This is an express wagon, and we've got to hurry."

"You must leave a package for me!" cried Sue. "This is my house, over on
the couch," and she curled up in a lump. "And this is my little girl,"
she went on, pointing to one of her dolls, which she had taken into her
"house" with her. "If I'm asleep--make-believe, you know," said Sue to
Bunny, "you tell my little girl to wake me up."

"Pooh! I can't talk to a doll!" cried Bunny.

"Yes, you can, too," said his sister. "Just _pretend_, you know."

"Well, even if I do, how can your doll talk to you, and wake you up?"

"Oh, Bunny! I'm only going to be make-believe asleep, and of course a
doll, who can pretend to talk, can make-believe wake me up as easy as
anything, when I'm only make-believe asleep."

"Oh, all right, if it's only make-believe," agreed Bunny. "Giddap,
Splash! I've named the make-believe chair-horse the same as our dog," he
explained to Sue.

Then the game began, and the children played nicely for some time,
giving Mrs. Brown a chance to finish her sewing. Bunny and Sue took
turns driving the "express wagon," and they had left many pretend
bundles at each other's houses, when a step was heard in the front hall,
and Bunny and Sue cried:

"Daddy! Daddy! Oh, daddy's come home!"

They made a rush for their father, and both together cried out:

"Oh, Daddy, a express package came! What's in it?"

"Did a package come?" asked Mr. Brown, as he took off his wet coat, for
it was still raining.

"Yep! It's out in the barn," said Bunny Brown.

"Oh, please tell us the secret!" begged Sue. "I know it must be a
secret, or mother would have told us."

Mrs. Brown smiled.

"The children have teased all afternoon to know what was in the bundle,"
she said.

"Well, I'll tell them," said Daddy Brown. "The package, that came by
express, has in it grandpa's tent."

"Grandpa's tent!" cried Bunny.

"The one we played circus in, out in the country?" Sue demanded.

"The same one," answered Daddy Brown, with a laugh.

"Oh, are we going to have another circus?" cried Bunny, joyously.

"Now sit down and I'll tell you all about it," said Daddy Brown, and he
took Bunny up on one knee, and Sue on the other.



CHAPTER II

A GRAND SURPRISE


"Don't you want to have supper first?" asked Mrs. Brown, as she saw her
husband sit down in the easy chair, with Bunny and Sue.

"Oh, I'm in no hurry," he said. "I came home early to-night, because
there were only a few boats out, on account of the storm. I might just
as well tell the children about the surprise before we eat."

"Oh, then it's a surprise!" cried Sue, clapping her hands.

"Why, yes, I rather think you'll be surprised when you hear about it,"
answered Daddy Brown.

"And is it a secret, too?" Bunny wanted to know.

"Well, you don't know what it is yet; do you?" inquired his father.

Bunny shook his head.

"Well, then," went on Daddy Brown with a smile, "if there is something
nice you don't know, and someone is going to tell you, I guess that's a
surprise; isn't it?"

"Oh, yes!" cried Sue. "And now, Daddy, don't tease us any more. Just
tell us what it is? Will we like it?"

"Can we play with it?" Bunny wanted to know.

Mr. Brown laughed so hard that Sue nearly fell off one knee, and Bunny
off the other.

"What is it, Daddy?" asked the little boy. "What's so funny?"

"Oh, just you--and Sue," said Mr. Brown, still shaking up and down and
sideways with laughter. "You are in a great hurry to have me tell you
the surprise, and yet you keep on asking questions, so I have to answer
them before I tell you."

"You asted the most questions, Bunny," said Sue, shaking her finger at
him.

"No, I didn't. You did!"

"Well, we'll each just ask one question," went on Sue, "and then you can
tell us, Daddy. I want to try and guess what it is--I mean what the
tent is for. Shall we each take one guess, Bunny?"

"Yep. You guess first, Sue. What do you say the tent is for?"

Sue thought for half a minute, shutting her brown eyes and wrinkling up
her little nose. She was thinking very hard.

"I--I guess the tent is for a house for our dog Splash," she said, after
a bit. "Is it, Daddy?"

"No," and Mr. Brown shook his head. "It's your turn, Bunny."

Bunny looked up at the ceiling. Then he said:

"I guess grandpa's tent is going to be for us to play in when it rains.
Is it, Daddy?"

"Well, that's pretty nearly right," Mr. Brown answered. "And now sit
quiet and I'll tell you the surprise."

But before I let Mr. Brown tell the children the secret, I just want to
say a few words to the boys and girls who are reading this as their
first book of the Bunny and Sue series. There are four other books that
come ahead of this, and I'll tell you their names so you may read them,
and find out all about Bunny and Sue.

Of course those of you who have read the first, and all the other books
in the series, do not need to stop to read this. You have already been
introduced to the Brown children. But to those who have not, I would say
that Bunny Brown and his sister Sue lived with their father and mother,
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brown, in the town of Bellemere, which was on
Sandport Bay, near the ocean.

Mr. Brown was in the boat business--that is, he hired out boats to
fishermen and others who wanted to go on the ocean or bay, sailing,
rowing or in motor boats. Mr. Brown had men to help him, and also
several big boys, almost as large as men. One of these last was Bunker
Blue, a red-haired, good-natured lad, who was very fond of the two
children.

In the first book of the series, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue,"
I told you the story of the little boy and girl, and what fun they had
getting up a Punch and Judy show, and finding Aunt Lu's diamond ring in
the queerest way. In the second book, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue
on Grandpa's Farm," I told you how they went off to the country, in a
great big moving van automobile, fitted up like a little house, in which
they could eat and sleep.

Bunker Blue went with them to steer the automobile, and they also took
along the children's dog, Splash, who was named that because he once
splashed in the water and pulled out Sue. On Grandpa's farm Bunny and
Sue had lots of fun. They got up a little show, which they held in the
barn.

After the little show had been given, Bunker Blue, and some larger boys,
thought they could get up a sort of circus. They did, holding it in two
tents, a big one and a smaller one. The smaller tent belonged to Grandpa
Brown, when he was in the army. And it was this tent that had just come
by express to the Brown home in Bellemere.

"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus" is the name of the third
book, and in that you may read all about the show that Bunny and Sue
took part in--how the tents were washed away, how Ben Hall did his
queer tricks, and what happened to him after that.

When the two Brown children came back from grandpa's farm they received
an invitation from Aunt Lu, to spend the fall and winter at her city
home in New York.

"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home" is the name of
the book telling all that happened when the two children went to New
York. They met a little colored girl, named Wopsie, they were lost in a
monkey store, Bunny flew his kite from the roof of Aunt Lu's house, and
toward the end Bunny and Sue were run away with when in a pony cart in
Central Park.

At first they did not like being run away with, but after they were
spilled out, and Aunt Sallie picked them up, and she and Wopsie found
out that they--but there! I mustn't put so much of that book in this
book. You would much rather read it yourself, I am sure.

So I'll just say that at Aunt Lu's city home Bunny and Sue had many good
times, and enjoyed themselves very much. They were almost sorry when it
was time to come home, but of course they could not always stay in New
York.

But now it was spring, and Bunny and Sue were once more back in
Bellemere. They had met all their old friends again, and had played with
them, until this day, when, as I have told you, it was raining too hard
to go out.

Before I go on with this story, I might say that Bunny was about six
years old, and Sue a year younger. The two children were always
together, and whatever Bunny did Sue thought was just right. It was not
always, though, for often Bunny did things that got him and Sue into
trouble.

Bunny did not mean this, but he was a brave, smart little chap, always
wanting to do something to have fun, or to find out something new. He
would often take chances in doing something new, when he did not know
what would happen, or what the ending would be. And Sue liked fun so
much, also, that she always followed Bunny.

The children knew everyone in the village of Bellemere, and everyone
knew them, from Old Miss Hollyhock (a poor woman to whom Bunny and Sue
were often kind) to Wango, the queer little monkey, owned by Jed
Winkler, the old sailor. Wango did many funny tricks, and he, too, got
into mischief. Sometimes it was hard to say who got oftener into
trouble--Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, or Wango, the queer little
monkey.

Now that I have told you all this, so my newest little
children-reader-friends will feel that they know Bunny and Sue as well
as everyone else, I will go back to the story.

Bunny and Sue were still sitting on their father's knee.

"Well, tell us the surprise!" begged Sue, reaching over and kissing her
daddy.

"And make it like a story," begged Bunny.

"I haven't time to make it like a story now, my dears," said Mr. Brown.
"But the bundle you saw the expressman bring to the barn this afternoon
was the tent from grandpa's farm."

"The same one we played circus in?" Bunny wanted to know.

"The same one," answered his father. "I asked grandpa to send it to me."

"What are we going to do with it, Daddy?" Sue asked. "I've tried and
tried, but I can't guess."

"Well, this is the surprise," replied Daddy Brown, "and I hope you'll
like it. We are going off into the woods camping--that means living in a
tent. We'll cook in a tent--that is when it rains so we can't have a
campfire out of doors--we'll eat in the tent and we'll sleep in it."

"Oh, Daddy! Shall we--really?" cried Bunny, almost falling off his
father's knee he was so excited.

"Yes, that's what we're going to do," said Mr. Brown. "We are going to
spend the summer in camp, under a tent instead of in a cottage, as we
sometimes do. Will you like that?"

"Oh, I just guess we will!" cried Bunny Brown.

"And can I take my dolls along--will there be room for 'em?" asked Sue.

"Oh, yes, plenty of room," answered Daddy Brown.

"And will Splash come?" Bunny wanted to know.

"Oh, yes, we'll take your dog along, of course. It wouldn't be like a
real camp without Splash. So now you know what the tent is for."

"May we go out and look at it?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, no, son. Not to-night. It's still raining, and the tent is all wet.
It will dry out in a few days. Besides, you've seen the tent up."

"It's just like when we had it for the circus," explained Sue. "I don't
want to go out to the barn and see it, Bunny. I'm hungry, and I want my
supper."

"It's almost ready," said Mother Brown. "Then we really are going
camping?" She looked at her husband as she asked the question.

"Yes, I thought that would be a nice way to spend the summer vacation,"
said Mr. Brown. "Grandpa's tent is very large. We can sleep in that one.
I also have a smaller tent, in which we can set a table, and next to
that will be one, still smaller, where we can cook on an oil stove in
wet weather. We'll have a real camp!"

"Oh, fine!" cried Bunny.

"How nice!" exclaimed Sue.

"And where are we going to camp?" Mother Brown questioned.

"Up in the woods, about ten miles from here, near Lake Wanda," answered
Mr. Brown. "And, now that I've told you all about the surprise, I think,
we'll have supper."



CHAPTER III

BUNNY AND SUE SLEEP OUT


After supper the two children, and their father and mother, as well,
found so much to talk over, about camping out, that it was bed-time for
Bunny and Sue almost before they knew it.

"Oh, can't we stay up just a _little_ longer?" begged Bunny, when his
mother told him it was time for him and Sue to get undressed.

"Just let's hear daddy tell, once more, how he cooks eggs over a
campfire," added Sue.

"Not to-night; some other time," said Mr. Brown. "That's one of the
things you must learn when going to camp--to obey orders."

Daddy Brown set Bunny and Sue down on the floor--they had climbed up
into his lap again after supper. He stood up tall and straight, like a
soldier, and touched his hand to his head.

"Order Number One!" he said. "Time to go to bed. Good-night!"

"Aye, aye, sir!" answered Bunny, putting his hand to his head, as he had
seen his father do. That was saluting, you know, just as a gentleman
lifts his hat to a lady, or a private soldier salutes his officer.

Mr. Brown laughed, for, though Bunny had saluted as a soldier does, the
little boy had answered like a sailor. You see, he knew more about
sailors than he did about soldiers, living near the sea as he had all
his life.

Whenever Mr. Brown wanted Bunny to do anything, without asking too many
questions about it, or talking too much, Bunny's father would pretend he
was a captain, and the little boy a soldier, who must mind, or obey, at
the first order. This pleased Bunny.

"Order Number One!" said Mr. Brown again. "Bunny Brown report to bed.
Order Number Two, so must Sister Sue!"

Then everyone laughed, and off to bed and dreamland went the two
children. They lay awake a little while, talking back and forth through
the door between their rooms, but soon their eyes closed, and stayed
closed until morning.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown sat up about an hour longer, talking about going to
camp, and then they, too, went to bed.

"I think the children will like it--living in a tent near the lake,"
said Daddy Brown, as he turned out the light.

"Yes," said Mrs. Brown. "They'll be sure to like it. I only hope they'll
not fall in."

"Well, if they do, Splash will pull them out," said Daddy Brown.

Bunny and Sue were up early the next morning. Even before breakfast they
had thought of the good times they were going to have in camp at Lake
Wanda.

"Daddy, may we go out and see the tent now?" asked Bunny.

"After a bit," answered Mr. Brown. "The tent got rather wet, coming by
express through the rain, and I'm going to send Bunker Blue and some of
the fishermen around to-day to put it up so it will dry out. Then we'll
roll the tent up again, tie it with ropes, and it will be ready to take
with us to Lake Wanda."

"When are you going?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, in about two weeks--as soon as the weather gets a little more
settled."

It was May now, and the flowers were beginning to bloom. Soon it would
be June, and that is the nicest month in all the year to go camping in
the woods, for the days are so long that it doesn't get dark until after
eight o'clock at night, and one has that much longer to have fun.

When breakfast was over Bunny and Sue went out to the barn to look at
the big express bundle which held the tent. It was too heavy for them to
lift, or they themselves might have tried to put it up out on the lawn.
Bunny Brown was that kind of boy. And Sue would have helped him. But, as
it was, they waited for Bunker and some of the strong fishermen to come
up from Mr. Brown's boat dock. In a little while the tent was put up on
the lawn, and Bunny and Sue were allowed to play in it.

"The dining room tent will come in a few days," said Mr. Brown, "and
also the cooking tent. I bought them in New York."

Then he told Bunny and Sue how they would go camping. The tents and
cots, with bed clothes, and dishes, pots, pans, an oil stove and good
things to eat, would all be put in the big moving van automobile, in
which they had traveled to Grandpa Brown's farm in the country.

"We'll ride in that up to Lake Wanda," said Daddy Brown. "When we get to
the woods, on the shore of the beautiful lake, we'll put up the tent,
and make our camp. Then we'll have good times."

"Oh, I can hardly wait; can you?" asked Sue, speaking to her wax doll.

"I wish the time would hurry up," said Bunny. "But who is going to help
you put up the tents, Daddy? You can't do them all alone."

"Oh, Bunker Blue is going camping with us."

"Goodie!" cried Bunny.

"And we'll also take Uncle Tad along," went on Daddy Brown.

"That's nice!" exclaimed Sue, clapping her hands. She and Bunny loved
Uncle Tad. He was an old soldier, who had fought in the war. He was
really Mr. Brown's uncle, but the children called him uncle too, and
Uncle Tad loved Bunny Brown and his sister Sue very much.

The tent was not very wet from the rain, and Bunny and Sue had fun
playing in it that day. Splash, their dog, played in the tent too.
Splash asked nothing better than to be with Bunny and Sue.

"Bunny, are we going to sleep on the ground when we go camping?" Sue
wanted to know, as she and her brother sat in the tent that afternoon.

"Well, maybe we will," the little boy said. "But I think I heard daddy
say we would take some cot beds with us. You _can_ sleep on the ground,
though. Mother read me a story about some hunters who cut off some
branches from an evergreen tree, and put their blankets over them to
sleep on. They slept fine, too."

"Could we do that?" asked Sue.

"Yes," answered Bunny. And then a queer look came on the face of Bunny
Brown. Sue saw it and asked:

"Oh, Bunny, is you got an idea?"

"Yes," Bunny answered slowly, "I has got an idea."

"Oh, goodie!" cried Sue. "Tell me about it, Bunny, and we'll do it!"

Bunny often had ideas. That is, he thought of things to do, and nothing
pleased Sue more than to do things with her brother. They were not
always the right things to do, but then the children couldn't be
expected to do right all the while; could they?

So, whenever Bunny said he had an idea, which meant he was going to do
something to have fun, Sue was anxious to know what his idea was.

"Tell me, Bunny!" she begged.

Bunny went over closer to his sister, looked all around the tent, as if
to make sure no one was listening, and when he saw only Splash, the big
dog, he whispered:

"Sue, how would you like to practice sleeping out?"

"Sleeping out?" said Sue. She did not just know what Bunny meant.

"Yes, sleeping out," said the little boy again. "Sleeping out in this
tent, I mean. We'll have to do it, if we go to camp, and we might as
well have some practice, you know."

Bunny and Sue knew what "practice" meant, for a girl whom they knew took
music lessons, and she had to go in and practice playing on the piano
every day.

Bunny thought that if you had to practice, or try over and over again,
before you could play the piano, you might have to practice, or try,
sleeping out of doors in a tent.

"How can we do it?" asked Sue.

"It's easy," Bunny answered. "We'll bring our blankets out here and
sleep in the tent to-night."

"Maybe daddy and mother won't let us, Bunny."

"They won't care," said the little boy. "'Sides, they won't know it. We
won't tell 'em. We'll just come out at night, when they've gone to
sleep. We can slip down, out of our rooms, with our blankets, and sleep
in the tent on the ground, just as we'll have to do in camp. 'Cause we
mayn't always have cot beds there. Will you do it, Sue?"

"Course I will, Bunny Brown!"

Sue nearly always did what Bunny wanted her to. This time she was sure
it would be lots of fun.

"All right," Bunny went on. "To-night, after it gets all dark, we'll
come down, and sleep here."

"S'pose--s'posin' I get to sleep in my own bed in the house, Bunny?"

"Oh, I'll wake you up," said Bunny. "I won't go to sleep, and I'll come
in and tickle your feet."

Sue laughed. She always laughed when anyone tickled her feet, and even
the thought of it made her giggle.

"Don't tickle 'em too hard, Bunny," she said. "'Cause if you do I'll
sneeze and that will wake up daddy and mother."

"I won't tickle you too hard," Bunny said.

That night, after supper, Mrs. Brown said to her husband:

"Bunny and Sue are up to some trick, I know they are!"

"What makes you think so?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Oh, I can always tell. They are so quiet now, they haven't teased for
anything all afternoon, and now they are getting ready to go to bed,
though it isn't within a half-hour of their time."

"Oh, maybe they're sleepy," said Mr. Brown, who was reading the paper.

"No, I'm sure they are up to some trick," said Mother Brown.

And now, if you please, just you wait and see whether or not she was
right.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did go to bed earlier than usual that
night. Bunny, after supper, had whispered to his sister:

"If we go to bed sooner we can be awake quicker and go down to the
tent."

"Can you open the door?" asked Sue.

"Yes, the back door opens easy."

"But has you got the branches from the evergreen tree cut so we can
spread our blankets over them?" Sue wanted to know.

Bunny shook his head.

"I didn't dast do it," he said. "They might see me cutting 'em, and then
they'd guess what we were going to do. We can each take two blankets
off our beds, Sue, and that will make the ground soft enough. 'Sides, if
we're going to be campers, and sleep in the woods, we mustn't mind a
hard bed. Soldiers don't--for daddy said so."

"Girls aren't soldiers!" said Sue. "But I'll come with you and we'll
sleep on two blankets."

"To practice for when we go camping," added Bunny.

Sue nodded her head, and, with her doll, went up to bed in the room next
to Bunny's.

"I just know those children are up to something," said Mother Brown, as
she came down after tucking in Bunny and Sue. "I wish I knew what it
was."

"Oh, I guess it isn't anything," laughed daddy.

Sue and her brother found it hard to keep awake. They had played hard
all day, and that always makes children sleepy.

In fact, Bunny and Sue did fall asleep, but Bunny awakened sometime in
the night, I suppose because he was thinking so much about going out
into the tent.

The little fellow sat up in bed. A light was burning out in the hall, so
he could see plainly enough. He remembered what he had promised to
do--wake up Sue by tickling her feet.

Softly he stole into her room, after putting on his bath robe. He
dragged after him two blankets from his bed.

Reaching under the covers he gently tickled Sue's pink toes.

"What--What's matter?" murmured Sue, sleepily.

"Hush!" whispered Bunny close to her ear. "Wake up, Sue! I don't want to
tickle you any more, and make you sneeze. We're going to sleep out in
the tent, you know."

Sue was soon wide awake. Softly she crawled out of bed, slipped on her
bath robe, which was on a chair near her bed, and then, dragging two
blankets after her, she and Bunny went softly down the stairs.

Carefully Bunny opened the door, and he and Sue went out on the side
porch, and down across the lawn to where, in the moonlight, stood
grandpa's tent.



CHAPTER IV

SPLASH COMES, TOO


The camping tent, which had been put up by Daddy Brown, so it would be
well dried out, stood wide open. Bunny and Sue, with their bed-blankets
trailing after them, slipped in through the "front door."

Of course, there was not really a "front door" to a tent. There are just
two pieces of canvas, called "flaps," that come together and make a sort
of front door. Between these white flaps Bunny Brown and his sister Sue
went, and they found themselves inside the tent.

"It--it's awful dark, isn't it, Bunny?" whispered Sue, softly.

"Hush!" returned her brother. "We don't want them to see us. It will be
light pretty soon, Sue."

"I--I don't like it dark," she said.

"Shut your eyes and you won't see the dark," Bunny went on. His mother
had often told him that when she wanted him to go to sleep in a dark
room, or when only the hall light was dimly burning. So Bunny thought
that would be a good thing to tell Sue. "Shut your eyes, and you won't
see the dark," said Bunny Brown.

But, really, it was not very dark in the tent, after the two children
had stood there awhile. The moon was brightly shining outside, and, as
the tent was of white canvas, some of the light came through. So as Sue
looked around she could begin to see things a little better now. There
was not much to see. Just the ground, and a box or two in the tent.
During the day Bunny and Sue had been playing with the boxes, and had
left them in the tent.

"Come on, now," said Bunny. "We'll spread our blankets out on the
ground, Sue, and go to sleep. Then we'll make believe we're camping out,
just as we're going to do up at the lake."

As he spoke Bunny spread his two blankets out on the ground under the
tent. He folded them so he could crawl in between the folds, and cover
himself up, for it was rather chilly that spring night.

"I--I want a pillow, Bunny," said Sue. "I want something to put my head
on when I go to sleep."

"Hush!" cried Bunny in a whisper. "If you speak out loud that way, Sue,
mother or daddy will hear us. Then they'll come and get us and make us
sleep in our beds."

"Well--well," answered Sue, and Bunny could tell by her voice that she
was trying hard not to cry, "well, Bunny Brown, I--I guess I'd better
like sleepin' in my bed, than out here without no pillow. I want a
pillow, an' it's dark an' cold, an'--an'----"

Sue was just ready to cry, but Bunny said:

"Oh, come on now, Sue! This is fun! You know we're making-believe camp
out!"

"All right," Sue answered, after thinking it over a bit. "But can I--can
I sleep over by you, Bunny?"

"Yes. Put your blankets right down here by mine, and we'll both go to
sleep. Won't daddy and mother be s'prised when they find we've camped
out all night?"

"I--I guess they will," Sue said. "It kinder s'prises me, too!"

Sue was dragging her blankets over toward the place when Bunny had his
spread out on the ground, and she was just going to lie down, when the
flaps of the tent were suddenly shoved to one side, and something came
in.

"Oh! oh!" cried Sue, as she threw herself down in her blankets, and
wrapped herself up in them, even covering her head. "Oh, Bunny! Bunny!
What is it? What's after us?"

"I--I don't know," said Bunny, and his voice trembled a little.

Then Sue raised her head and peeped out from under her blanket. She saw
something standing in the front door of the tent, half way in, and half
way out. The moon was still shining brightly, and Sue cried:

"Oh, Bunny! It's a bear! It's a bear!"

Just then there came a loud:

"Bow-wow-wow!"

Bunny and Sue both laughed then. Then were frightened no longer.

"Oh, it's our dog, Splash!" cried Sue. "It's only Splash!"

"Here, Splash!" called Bunny. Then with a joyous bark the dog sprang
inside the tent, and snuggled close up to his two little play-mates.

"Now I isn't afraid," said Sue, as she put her arms around the big
shaggy neck of her pet. "Now I isn't afraid any more. Splash can sleep
with us; can't he, Bunny?"

"Yes, Sue. Now go to sleep. Isn't this fun?"

"Yes, it is when Splash is here," Sue said.

Though Bunny did not say so, he, too, was glad their dog had come to
spend the rest of the night with them. Not that there was anything to be
afraid of, oh, dear no! There were no bears, or wolves, or anything like
that in Bellemere. There were big fish in the bay and in the ocean, but
of course they never came up on land.

"And, even if they did," said Sue sleepily to Bunny when they were
talking about this, as they lay close to the big dog in their blankets,
"even if any fish did flop up, Bunny, Splash would catch them; wouldn't
he?"

"Sure!" answered Bunny.

"You would; wouldn't you, Splash?" asked the little girl, her chubby arm
around the dog's neck.

Splash whined softly, and rubbed his cold nose first against the warm
cheek of Sue, and then against Bunny's. That was his way of kissing
them, I think.

And so, strange as it may seem, Bunny and Sue went to sleep in the
camping tent that night. They were well wrapped up in the warm blankets
they had brought from their beds, and after the first few shivers they
were not cold. And so they slept, and Splash slept with them. All this
while Daddy Brown and Mother Brown knew nothing about their children
having gone out in the night.

But Mother Brown soon found it out. I'll tell you about it.

About two o'clock every morning (when it was still quite dark, and when
it was yet night, though you could call it morning), Mrs. Brown used to
get up, and slip into the rooms of the children to see if they were
covered up. For little folk often kick off the bed clothes in the night,
and so get cold. Mother Brown did not want this to happen to Bunny and
Sue.

This time, though, when Mother Brown went softly into Sue's room, to see
if her little girl was all right, she did not find Sue in her bed.

"Why, this is queer," thought Mrs. Brown. "Where can Sue have gone?
Perhaps she slipped out and went in with Bunny."

Sometimes Sue used to do this, when she would awaken and become a little
frightened. But when Mother Brown went into Bunny's room Sue was not
there, nor was Bunny. Mrs. Brown felt all over the bed, but there was
not a sign of either of the children.

"Why--why!" exclaimed Mother Brown. "What can have happened to them?
Where can they be? Bunny! Sue!" she called, and she spoke out loudly
now.

"What is it? What's the matter?" asked Daddy Brown, as he awakened on
hearing his wife call. "What has happened?"

"Why, I can't find Bunny or Sue! They're not in their beds! I came in to
cover them up, as I always do, but they're not here. Oh dear! I hope
nothing has happened to them!"

"Of course nothing has happened!" said Daddy Brown. He sprang out of bed
and lighted a light in Bunny's room. As he took one look at the tumbled
bed, and saw that two of the blankets were gone, Mr. Brown laughed.

"What are you laughing at?" his wife asked him. "I don't see anything
very funny to laugh at!"

"It's those children!" said Daddy Brown, "I know where they are!"

"Where?" cried Mother Brown, eagerly. "Where?"

"Out in the tent. They've taken their blankets and gone out there to
sleep. They're playing camping out, I'm sure. We'll find them in the
tent."

And, surely enough, as you well know, there they found Bunny Brown and
his sister Sue, fast asleep on their blankets in the tent, with Splash
sleeping between them.

Splash looked up and wagged his tail as Mr. and Mrs. Brown, wearing
their bath robes and slippers, came softly into the little canvas house.
Splash seemed to say:

"Hush! Don't wake up the children! They're sound asleep!"

And Bunny and Sue were sound asleep. Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at one
another, smiled, and then daddy picked up Bunny, blankets and all, while
Mrs. Brown did the same with Sue.

"We'll put them right in their own beds, in the house, without waking
them up," whispered Daddy Brown.

"Yes," nodded Mother Brown.

"What--what's matter?" sleepily murmured Bunny as he felt himself being
carried into the house. But that was all he said, and he did not even
open his eyes.

Sue never said anything as her mother carried her. And as for Splash,
once he saw that the children were being taken care of, he curled up in
a corner of the tent, and went to sleep again.



CHAPTER V

OFF TO CAMP


Bunny Brown opened his eyes, and sat up in bed. Then he blinked his
eyes. Next he rubbed them. Then he looked all around the bed.

Yes, there was no doubt about it, he was in his own little room, with
the pictures he so well knew hanging on the walls, with his toys on the
box in the corner. It was his own room, and he had awakened in his own
bed, and yet----

"Sue! Sue!" called Bunny in a whisper, looking toward the open door of
the room in which his sister slept. "Sue, is you there!"

"Yes, Bunny, I'm here."

"And are you in your own bed?"

"Yes, I is."

Sometimes Bunny and Sue did not speak just right, as perhaps you have
noticed.

"But, Sue--Sue," Bunny went on, "didn't we go to sleep in the tent; or
did we? Did I dream it?"

"I--I don't know, Bunny," answered Sue. "I 'members about being in the
tent. And Splash was there, too. But I'm in my bed _now_."

"So'm I, Sue. I--I wonder how we got here?"

Bunny looked all around his room again, as if trying to solve the
puzzle. But he could not guess what had happened. He remembered how he
and Sue had gotten up in the middle of the night, and how they had crept
inside the tent. Then Splash had come; and how funny it was when Sue
thought their dog was a bear. Then they had all gone to sleep in the
tent, and now----

Well, Bunny was certainly in his bed, and so was Sue in hers.

"How--how did it happen?" asked Bunny.

He heard a laugh out in the hall. Running to the door he saw his father
and mother standing there. Then Bunny understood.

"Oh, you carried us in from the tent when we were asleep; didn't you,
Daddy?" asked Bunny, pointing a finger at his father.

"Yes, that's what I did."

"Oh, Bunny, what made you and Sue do a thing like that?" asked Mother
Brown. "I was so frightened when I came in to cover you and Sue up, and
couldn't find my little ones. What made you do it?"

"Why--why," said Bunny slowly, "we wanted to get some practice at
camping out, Sue and I did--just like they practice piano lessons. So we
went to sleep in the tent."

"Well, don't do it again until we really go camping," said Daddy Brown.
"When we are in the woods, at Lake Wanda, you can sleep in the tent as
much as you like, for then we'll have cot beds and everything right.
Anyhow, I'm going to take down the tent to-day and get it ready to pack
up for camp."

"When are we going?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, in about a week, I guess," answered his father.

"Then I'm going to pack up," declared the little boy. "I've got lots of
things I want to take to camp."

"And so have I," called Sue, who had run out of her own room. "I'm going
to take two of my best dolls, and all their clothes."

"You can take some of your toys and play-things but not too many," said
Mrs. Brown. "You must remember that you'll be out in the woods a good
part of the time, having fun among the trees, or perhaps on the lake. So
you won't want too many home-toys."

"Are we going to have a boat on the lake?" asked Bunny eagerly.

"Yes, but you're not to go out in it alone. Bunker Blue is coming with
us, and he will look after you on the water, and Uncle Tad will look
after you in the woods--that is when either daddy or myself is not with
you children. Now you'd better get dressed for breakfast, and don't go
out in the middle of the night any more and sleep in a tent."

"We won't," promised Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.

That week began the work of getting ready to go to camp. One of the
first things Daddy Brown did was to get two other tents. One of these
was to be the dining-room tent, where the table would be set for eating
when in camp. Another tent, smaller than either of the two, would do to
cook in.

Besides the tents they must take with them things to eat, knives, forks,
spoons, dishes, pots and pans, an oil stove and bed clothing.

All these things Daddy Brown, or Mother Brown, with the help of Uncle
Tad or Bunker Blue, packed. The big automobile, in which the Brown
family had eaten and slept when on their trip to grandpa's farm, was
once more made ready for a journey.

In this were packed the tents, the bedding, the stove, the good things
to eat, and all that would be needed in camp. Of course, they could not
take with them all they would want to eat through the summer, for they
expected to stay in camp until fall. But there were stores not far from
Lake Wanda, and in them could be bought bread, butter, sugar, tea,
coffee, or whatever else was needed.

"Are we going to sleep in the automobile this time?" asked Bunny, as he
looked inside the big moving van. "I don't see where we can make a bed,"
Bunny went on, for the van was quite filled with the tents, cot-beds,
chairs, tables, the oil stove and other things.

"No, we're not going to sleep in the auto this time," said Mr. Brown.
"It will only take us a day to get from here to Lake Wanda where we are
going to camp. So we will get up here, in our own home in the morning,
ride to camp, put up the tents, and that same night we will sleep in
them."

"Oh, what fun it will be!" cried Sue, joyfully.

"It will be dandy!" exclaimed Bunny. "And I'll catch fish for our supper
in the lake."

"I hope you won't catch them as you caught the turtle in the New York
aquarium, the time we went to Aunt Lu's city home," said Mother Brown
with a laugh.

"No, I won't catch any mud turtles," promised Bunny.

In the book before this one I've told you about Bunny catching the
turtle on a bent pin hook with a piece of rag for bait. He had quite an
exciting time.

Everyone at the Brown house was busy now. There was much to be done to
get ready to go to camp. Bunny and Sue were each given a box, and told
that this must hold all their toys and playthings.

"You may take with you only as much as your two boxes will hold," said
Daddy Brown to Bunny and Sue. "So pick out the play-toys you like best,
as the two boxes are all you may have. And when you get to camp I want
you always, when you have finished playing, to put back in the boxes the
toys you have finished with.

"In that way you will always know where they are, when you want them
again, and you won't have to be looking for them, or asking your mother
or me to help you find them. Besides, we must keep our camp looking
nice, and a camp can't look nice if toys and play-things are scattered
all about.

"So pick out the things you want to take with you, pack them in your
boxes and, after you get to camp, keep your toys in the boxes. That is
one of our rules."

"Aye, aye, sir!" answered Bunny making a funny little bob with his head
as he had seen some of the old sailors, at his father's dock, do when
they answered.

"I'm just going to take my dolls, and some picture books for them to
look at," said Sue.

"Pooh! Dolls can't look at picture books!" exclaimed Bunny.

"Yes, they can too!" cried Sue.

"No, they can't!"

"Well, I mean make-believe, Bunny Brown!"

"Oh, well, yes; make-believe! I thought you meant _real_."

"Well, _I_ can look at them real," said Sue, "and make believe I'm
reading to my dolls."

"Oh, yes," agreed Bunny.

"What are you going to take?" asked Sue of her brother.

"Oh, I'm going to take my fish pole, and my pop gun----"

"That only shoots a cork!" cried Sue. "You can't hit any bears with
that."

"I can scare 'em with it when it pops!" cried Bunny. "That's all I want
to do. I don't want to kill a bear, anyhow. I just want to scare 'em.
And maybe when I scare a little bear I can grab it and bring it home
and tame it."

"Oh, if you only could!" cried Sue. "Then we could make it do tricks,
and we could get a hand-organ and go around with a trained bear instead
of a monkey."

"Yes," said Bunny. "We could until the bear got too big. I guess I
wouldn't want a big bear, Sue."

"No, little ones is the nicest. Maybe we'd better get a monkey, anyhow,
'cause they never grow big."

"I don't believe any monkeys grow in the woods where we're going to
camp," observed Bunny. "But we'll look, anyhow, and maybe I can scare
one of them with my pop gun."

Then the two children talked of what fun they would have in camp. They
put things in their two boxes, took them out again and tried to crowd in
more, for they found they did not want to leave any of their toys or
play-things behind. But they could not get them all in two small boxes,
so finally they picked out what they liked best, and these were put in
the automobile.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown had done most of the other packing. The auto-moving
van was quite full, there being just room enough for Mrs. Brown, Uncle
Tad and the two children to ride in the back, while Daddy Brown and
Bunker Blue sat on the front seat.

At last everything was ready. The last things had been put in the
automobile, and tied fast. The children took their places, and called to
Splash. Of course he was to go with them. He would run along the road,
until he grew tired, and then he could ride in the automobile.

"All aboard!" called Bunker Blue as he sat at the steering wheel. "Is
everybody ready?"

"I am!" answered Bunny Brown. "I've got my fishing pole, and I can dig
some worms when I get to camp."

"Are you going to fish with worms?" asked Sue.

"Sure I am! Fishes love worms."

"I don't!" Sue said. "Worms is so squiggily." She always said that when
Bunny spoke of worms.

"Well, I guess we're all ready," remarked Daddy Brown. "Start off,
Bunker Blue."

"Chug-chug!" went the automobile.

"Bow-wow!" barked the dog Splash.

"Good-bye!" called Bunny and Sue to some of their little boy and girl
friends who had gathered to wave farewell. "Good-bye! Good-bye!"

Then the big automobile rolled out into the road. The Browns were off to
camp.



CHAPTER VI

PUTTING UP THE TENTS


"How long will it take us to get to Lake Wanda, Mother?" asked Bunny
Brown, as, with Sue and Uncle Tad, he and his mother sat in the back of
the big car that rumbled along the road.

"Oh, we ought to get there about noon," she answered.

"Just in time to eat," said Uncle Tad. "I suppose you children will be
good and hungry, too."

"I'm hungry now," said Sue, "I wish I had a jam tart, Mother."

"So do I!" put in Bunny.

"I'll give you one in a few minutes," Mrs. Brown said. "We did have an
early breakfast, and I suppose you are hungry now."

"Will we have to cook dinner as soon as we get to camp?" Bunny wanted to
know.

"If we do I'll help," said Uncle Tad with a smile. "I can build a
campfire. When I was a soldier, in the army, down South, we used to
build campfires, and roast potatoes when we couldn't find anything else
to eat."

"Did they taste good, Uncle Tad?" asked Sue.

"Indeed they did, little girl. And we had roast ears of corn, too. They
were even better than the potatoes."

"I guess we'll have to make Uncle Tad the camp cook," said Mother Brown
with a smile, as she brought out a basket of lunch for Bunny and Sue. In
the basket were some cakes, sandwiches and a few of the jam and jelly
tarts that Aunt Lu used to make. Only, as Aunt Lu had gone back to her
city home, Mrs. Brown had learned to make the tarts, and Bunny and Sue
were very fond of them.

As they rode along in the big automobile the children ate the little
lunch, and enjoyed it very much. Uncle Tad took some too, for he had
gotten up early, with the others, and he was hungry.

"I wonder if Daddy and Bunker Blue wouldn't like a tart," murmured Sue,
after a bit, as she picked up the last crumbs of hers.

"Perhaps they would," said Mother Brown. "But they are away up on the
front seat, and I don't see how we can pass them any. There is too much
in the auto, or I could hand it to them out of the little window back of
the seat. But I can't reach the window."

"I know how we could pass them a tart," said Bunny.

"How?" asked his mother.

"Climb up on the roof of the auto, and lower the lunch basket down to
them with a string."

"Bunny Brown! Don't you dare think of such a thing!" cried his mother.
"The idea of climbing onto the roof of this big automobile when it's
moving!"

"Oh, I didn't mean when it was _moving_," Bunny said. "I wouldn't do
that, for fear I'd be jiggled off. I meant to wait until we stopped.
Then I could get up on the roof."

"No need to do that," said Uncle Tad. "For when we stop, then one of you
can get down, and run up ahead with something for daddy and Bunker
Blue."

And, a little later, the automobile did stop.

"What's the matter?" called Mrs. Brown to her husband, who was up on the
front seat. "Did anything happen?"

"No, only the automobile needs a drink of water," answered Mr. Brown. I
have told you how automobiles need water, as much as horses do, or as
you do, when you get warm. Of course the automobile does not exactly
_drink_ the water. But some must be poured in, from time to time, to
keep the engine cool. And this was why Bunker Blue stopped the
automobile now.

While he was pouring water in, dipping it up with a pail from a cold
spring beside the road, Bunny and Sue got out and took their father and
the red-haired boy some jam and jelly tarts, and also some sandwiches.

"My! This is fine!" cried Mr. Brown, as he ate the good things Sue
handed him. "I'm glad we're going camping; aren't you, children?"

"Oh, I should say we were glad!" cried Bunny, as he took a drink from
the spring. There was half a brown cocoanut shell for a dipper, and
Bunny thought he had never drunk such cool, sweet water.

Then, when Bunker Blue had eaten his sandwiches and tarts, they started
off once more, rumbling along the country roads toward Lake Wanda.

"I wish we'd hurry up and get there," said Sue. "I want to see what
camping is like."

"Oh, we'll soon be there," promised Daddy Brown, "and there'll be work
enough for all of us. We'll have three tents to put up, and many other
things to do."

On and on went the big automobile. Splash ran along the road, some time
at the side of the car, sometimes behind it, and, once in a while, away
up ahead, as if he were looking to see that the road was safe.

After a bit the dog came back to the automobile, and walked along so
slowly, with his red tongue hanging out, that Sue said:

"Oh, poor Splash must be tired! Let's give him a ride, Mother!"

"All right. Call him up here."

"Come on, Splash!" called Bunny and Sue, for they each owned half the
dog. They had pretended to divide him down the middle, so each one
might have part of the wagging tail, and part of the barking head. It
was more fun owning a dog that way.

Up jumped Splash into the back of the auto-moving van. He stretched out
on a roll of carpet that was to be spread over the board floor of the
big tent, and went to sleep. But first Bunny had given him some sweet
crackers to eat. Splash was very fond of these crackers.

The automobile was going down hill now, and when it reached the bottom
it came to a stop again.

"What's the matter now?" asked Mother Brown. "Does the auto want another
drink?"

"No, not just now," answered daddy. "Something has happened this time."

"Oh, I hope nothing is broken!" said Mrs. Brown.

"Not with us," answered her husband. "But there is an automobile just
ahead of us that seems to be in trouble. They are stuck in the mud, I
think."

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, their mother, Uncle Tad and even Splash
got out to see what the matter was. I don't really believe Splash cared
what had happened, but he always went where Bunny and Sue went, and when
he saw them go this time he went with them.

Walking up toward the front part of the big automobile, where Bunker
Blue and Daddy Brown sat, Mrs. Brown, Uncle Tad and the children saw,
just ahead, a small automobile, off to one side of the road. The wheels
were away down in the soft mud, and a man at the steering wheel was
trying to make the car move up onto the hard road, but he could not do
it.

"You seem to be in trouble," said Daddy Brown. There were two ladies out
on the road, watching the man trying to start the car.

"I am in trouble," said the man down in the mud. "I turned off the road
to pass a hay wagon, but I did not think the mud was so soft down here,
or I never would have done it. Now I am stuck and I can't seem to get
out."

"Perhaps I can help you," said Daddy Brown. "I have a very strong
automobile here. I'll go on ahead, keeping to the road, and I'll tie a
rope to your car, and fasten the other end to mine. Then I'll pull you
out of the mud."

"I'd be very thankful to you if you would."

"Yes, we'd be ever so much obliged," echoed the two ladies, whose shoes
were all muddy from having jumped out of the automobile down into the
ditch.

It did not take Daddy Brown and Bunker Blue long to fasten a rope from
their automobile to the one stuck in the mud. Then when the big
auto-moving van, in which the Browns were going to camp, started off
down the road, it pulled the small car from the mud as easily as
anything.

"Thank you, very much," said the man when he saw that he and the ladies
could go on again. "The next time I get behind a hay wagon I'll wait
until I have room to turn out, without getting into a mud hole. I'm very
much obliged to you, Mr. Brown, and if ever you get stuck in the mud I
hope I can pull you out."

"I'm afraid you couldn't do it with your small car, when my auto is such
a large one." Mr. Brown answered, "but thank you just the same."

Then the man in his small automobile, rode off with the two women, and,
a little later, the Browns were once more on their way.

It was a little before noon when they came in sight of a big lake, which
they could see through the trees. It was not far from the road.

"Oh, what lake is that?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"That is Lake Wanda, where we are going to camp," said Mr. Brown. "We'll
turn in toward it, pretty soon, and begin putting up the tents."

"You said we'd have dinner first!" cried Bunny Brown.

"Are you hungry again?" asked his mother.

"I guess riding and being out in the air make them hungry," said Uncle
Tad. "Well, children must eat to grow big and strong."

"Then Bunny and Sue ought to be regular giants!" laughed Mrs. Brown,
"for they are eating all the while."

A little later the big automobile turned off the main road into a
smaller one, that led to the lake. And when the children and Mrs. Brown
had a good view of the large sheet of water they thought it one of the
most beautiful they had ever seen.

The lake was deep blue in color, and all around it were hills, and
little mountains, with many trees on them. The trees were covered with
beautiful, green leaves.

"Oh, this is a lovely place," cried Mother Brown. "Just lovely!"

"I'm glad you like it," said her husband.

"I like it, too," echoed Bunny.

"So do I," added Sue.

"Well, shall we begin putting up the tents?" asked Mr. Brown. "It will
be night almost before you know it here. You see the hills are so high
that the sun seems to go to bed sooner here than he does at home."

"Oh, let's rest awhile before we do anything," said Mother Brown. "Just
rest awhile and look at the lake."

"Hurrah!" suddenly cried Daddy Brown. "That's it! I've been trying to
think what to call it, but you've done it for me. That's just what we'll
call it! There couldn't be a better name!"

"Why, what are you talking about?" asked Mrs. Brown, in surprise.

"The name of our camp," explained Daddy Brown, laughing. "I have been
trying, ever since we started, to think of a good name for it.
'Rest-a-While,' will be the very thing. That's just what you said a
moment ago you know. 'Let's rest awhile and look at the lake.' So we
will call this Camp Rest-a-While! Isn't that a good name?"

"Why, yes, it does sound very nice," said Mother Brown. "Camp
Rest-a-While! That's what we'll call it then, though I didn't know I was
naming a camp. Well, children--Uncle Tad--Bunker--and all of us--Welcome
to Camp Rest-a-While!"

"Hurrah!" cried Bunny and Sue, clapping their hands.

And so the camp was named.

Mrs. Brown set out a little lunch, and they gathered about one of the
boxes, in which the bed clothes were packed, to eat. The box was set on
the ground, under a big chestnut tree.

"Where are you going to put up the tents?" asked Mother Brown.

"Right where we are now," said Daddy Brown. "I think we could not find a
nicer spot. Here is a good place for our boat, when we get it. It is
nice and dry here, and we can see all over the lake. Yes, this is where
we will put up the tents for Camp Rest-a-While."

And, after they had all eaten lunch, including Splash, who was as hungry
as Bunny or Sue, the work of putting up the tents was begun. The canvas
houses were unrolled, and spread out on the ground. Then Daddy Brown,
with Bunker Blue and Uncle Tad to help, put up the tent poles, and
spread the canvas over them. By pulling on certain ropes, raising the
poles, and then tying the poles fast so they would not fall over, the
tents were put up.

There was the big one, that could be made into two or even three rooms,
for them all to sleep in, Bunny, Daddy Brown, Uncle Tad and Bunker Blue
in one part, and Mother Brown and Sue in the other, with a third part
for company.

The big tent was almost up. Only one more rope needed to be made fast.
Bunker Blue was pulling on this when Bunny and Sue, who were helping,
heard Splash give a sudden bark. Then the dog jumped into the lake, and
the children, looking, saw a great commotion going on in the water near
shore. Splash seemed either to have caught something, or to have been
caught himself. He was barking, howling and whining.

"Oh, a big fish has caught Splash! A big fish has caught our dog!" cried
Sue, and, dropping the tent rope, of which she had hold, down to the
edge of the lake she ran.



CHAPTER VII

A BIG BLACK BEAR


Something certainly seemed to be the matter with Splash. Bunny and Sue
had never seen their dog act in such a funny way. He would dash into the
water, not going far from shore, though, and then he would jump back,
barking all the while.

Once or twice he tried to grab, in his sharp teeth, something that
seemed to be swimming in the water. But either Splash could not get it,
or he was afraid to come too close to it.

"Oh, Daddy! What is it? What is it?" asked Bunny and Sue.

Mr. Brown, who with Bunker Blue and Uncle Tad, was fastening the last
ropes of the tent, hurried down to the shore of the lake.

"What is it? What's the matter, Splash? What is it?" asked Mr. Brown.

Splash never turned around to look at daddy. He again rushed into the
water, barking and snapping his sharp teeth. Then Mr. Brown, taking up a
stick, ran toward the dog.

"Let it alone, Splash! Let it alone!" cried Daddy Brown. "That's a big
muskrat, and if it bites you it will make a bad sore. Let it alone!"

Daddy Brown struck at something in the water, and Bunny and Sue, running
down to the edge of the lake, saw a large, brown animal, with long hair,
swimming out toward the middle. Splash started to follow but Mr. Brown
caught the dog by the collar.

"No you don't!" cried Bunny's father, "You let that muskrat alone,
Splash. He's so big, and such a good swimmer, that he might pull you
under the water and drown you. Let him alone."

Bunker Blue, who had come down to the edge of the lake, threw a stone at
the swimming muskrat. The queer animal at once made a dive and went
under the water, for muskrats can swim under the water as well as on
top, and Bunny and Sue saw it no more.

Splash rushed around, up and down the shore, barking loudly, but he did
not try to swim out. I think he knew Mr. Brown was right in what he
said--that it was not good to be bitten by a muskrat.

"Is that what it was, Daddy--a rat?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," answered his father. "Splash must have seen the muskrat swimming
in the water, and tried to get it. The muskrat didn't want to be caught,
so it fought back. But I'm glad it got away without being hurt, and I'm
glad Splash wasn't bitten."

"What's a muskrat?" Sue wanted to know.

"Well, it's a big rat that lives in the water," said Daddy Brown. "It is
much larger than the kind of rat that is around houses and barns, and it
has fine, soft fur which trappers sell, to make fur-lined overcoats, and
cloaks, for men and women. The fur is very good, and some persons say
the muskrat is good to eat, but I would not like to try eating it. But
this muskrat was a big one, and as they have sharp teeth, and can bite
hard when they are angry, it is a good thing we drove it away."

Bunny and Sue looked out over the lake. They could see the muskrat no
longer, though there was a little ripple in the water where it had dived
down to get away.

"Now we must finish putting up the tents," said Daddy Brown. "It will be
night before we know it, and we want a good place to sleep in at Camp
Rest-a-While."

"And are we going to have a fire, where we can cook something?" asked
Bunny.

"Yes, we'll have the oil stove set up."

"I thought we would have a campfire," said the little boy.

"So we shall!" exclaimed Uncle Tad. "I'll make a campfire for you,
children, and we'll bake some potatoes in it. We'll have them for
supper, with whatever else mother cooks on the oil stove."

"I'll get some sticks of wood for the fire!" cried Sue.

"So will I!" added Bunny.

And while the older folk were finishing putting up the tents, and while
Mother Brown was getting out the bed clothes, Bunny and Sue made a pile
of sticks and twigs for the fire their uncle had promised to make.

Soon the big sleeping tent was put up, and divided into two parts, one
for Sue and her mother, and the other for Bunny and the men folk.
Cot-beds were put up in the tent, and blankets, sheets and pillows put
on them, so the tent was really like a big bedroom.

"It will be nicer sleeping here than on the ground, like we did in the
tent at home that night," said Bunny to Sue.

"Yes, I guess it will," she answered. "My dollie won't catch cold in a
nice bed."

"Did she catch cold before?" Bunny wanted to know.

"Well, she had the sniffle-snuffles, and that's almost like a cold," Sue
answered.

In the second-sized tent the dining table had been set up, and the
chairs put around ready for the first meal, which would be supper.
Mother Brown got the dishes out of the box, and called:

"Now, Bunny and Sue, let me see you set the table."

She had taught them at home how to put on the plates, knives, forks,
spoons, cups, saucers and whatever was needed, and now Bunny and Sue
did this, as their share of the work, while Bunker Blue, and the older
folk, were busy doing different things.

In the cooking tent the oil stove was set up and lighted, to make sure
it burned well. Then Camp Rest-a-While looked just like its name--a
place where boys and girls, as well as men and women could come and have
a nice rest, near the beautiful lake.

When everything was nearly finished, and it was about time to start
getting supper, a man came rowing along the shore of the lake in a boat.
He called to Mr. Brown:

"Hey, there! Is this where you want your boat left?"

"Yes, thank you. Tie it right there," answered Daddy Brown.

"Oh, is that going to be our boat?" asked Bunny, in delight.

"Yes," answered his father, "I wrote to a man up here that has boats to
let, to bring us a nice one. We'll use it while we are in camp. But you
children must never get in the boat without asking me, or your mother.
You mustn't get in even when it's tied to the shore."

"We won't!" promised Bunny and Sue. Once they had gotten in a boat that
they thought was tied fast, but it had floated away with them. They
landed on an island in the river, and had some adventures, of which I
have told you in the first book of this series.

Bunny and Sue remembered this, so they knew that sometimes it was not
even safe to get in a boat which was tied fast, unless some older person
was with them.

The man left the boat he had brought for Mr. Brown. It was a large one
and would easily hold Bunny and Sue, as well as all the others at Camp
Rest-a-While.

"Now for the roast potatoes!" cried Uncle Tad. "Come on, children! We'll
start our campfire, for I see your mother getting the meat ready to
cook, and it takes quite a while to roast potatoes out of doors."

The campfire was built between two big stones, Bunny and Sue bringing up
the wood they had gathered. Uncle Tad lighted the fire, for it is not
safe for children to handle matches, or even be near an open fire,
unless some older person is with them. Bunny and Sue had often been
told this, so they were very careful.

When the fire had blazed up good and hot, Uncle Tad let it cool down a
bit. Then he raked away the red hot embers and put in them some nice,
big, round potatoes. These he covered up in the hot ashes, and put on
more wood.

"Now the potatoes are baking," he said. "They will be done in time for
supper."

And what a fine supper it was--that first one in camp! Bunny and Sue
thought they had never tasted anything so good. They all sat in the
dining tent, and Mother Brown put the things on the table.

"Now where are your potatoes, Uncle Tad?" she asked.

"Here they are!" cried the old soldier, as he went to the campfire. He
raked away the ashes and embers with a stick, and on a platter, made
from a large piece of bark, off a tree, the old soldier poked out a
number of round, black, smoking things.

"Why--why!" exclaimed Sue, in surprise. "I thought you baked _potatoes_,
Uncle Tad!"

"So I did, Sue."

"They look like black stones," said Bunny.

"You wait--I'll show you," laughed Uncle Tad. He brought the bark
platter to the table. Taking up a fork he opened one of the round,
black, smoking things. Though the outside was burned black from the
fire, the inside was almost as white as snow.

"There's baked potatoes for you!" cried Uncle Tad. "Put some salt and
butter on them, and you never tasted anything better! But be
careful--for they're very hot!"

Supper over, the dishes were washed and put away. Then there was nothing
to do but wait until it was time to go to bed.

"And I think we're all tired enough to go early to-night," said Mother
Brown.

"But, before we go," said her husband, "I think we will have a little
row on the lake in our boat. It is not yet dark."

It was beautiful out on the water, and the sun, sinking down behind the
hills, made the clouds look as though they were colored blue, pink,
purple and golden.

Bunny and Sue were almost asleep when the boat was headed back toward
shore, and their eyes were tight shut, when daddy and mother lifted them
out to carry them up to Camp Rest-a-While. The children hardly awakened
when they were undressed and put to bed, and soon every one was sound
asleep, for it was a dark night.

Bunny Brown was sleeping in the outer part of the bedroom-tent, in a cot
next to his father's. Just what made Bunny awaken he did not know. But,
all at once the little fellow sat up on his cot, and looked with
wide-open eyes toward the entrance. There was a lantern burning in the
tent, and by the light of it Bunny Brown saw a big shaggy animal,
standing on its hind legs, and sniffing with its black nose. At first
Bunny could not make a sound, he was so frightened, but finally he
screamed:

"Oh, Daddy! Daddy! Wake up! It's a bear! A bear! A big black bear in the
tent!"

Then Bunny slipped down between the blankets and covered up his head
with the bed clothes.



CHAPTER VIII

THE RAGGED BOY


Daddy Brown was used to being suddenly aroused in the night by either
Bunny or Sue. At home the children often awakened, and called out.
Sometimes they would be dreaming, or perhaps they would want a drink of
water. So Daddy Brown and Mrs. Brown Were used to answering when they
heard the children call out.

But it was something new to hear Bunny calling about a big, black bear.
He had never done that before, though one time, when he ate too much
bread and jam for supper, he screamed that there was an elephant in his
room, and there wasn't at all. He had only dreamed it.

But this time Daddy Brown had plainly heard his little boy say:

"Oh, it's a bear! It's a bear!"

Mr. Brown awakened, and sat up in his cot. He looked over toward Bunny's
bed, but could see nothing of the little fellow, for as I have told you,
Bunny was covered up under the blankets and quilt. Even his head was
covered.

Then Mr. Brown looked toward the entrance, or front door of the tent.
And, to his surprise, he saw just what Bunny had seen, a big, shaggy,
hairy animal, standing on its hind legs, with its black nose up in the
air, sniffing and snuffing.

"Why--why!" exclaimed Mr. Brown, rubbing his eyes to make sure that he
was wide awake, and that he was not dreaming, as he thought Bunny might
have been. "Why--why! It _is_ a bear!"

"Sniff! Snuff!" went the big, shaggy creature.

"Daddy--Daddy!" cried Bunny, his voice sounding faint and far off,
because his head was under the covers. "Daddy, is--is he gone?"

"No, not yet," answered Mr. Brown.

"What is it? What's the matter?" called Mrs. Brown, from behind the
curtain, where she slept.

"Why," said Mr. Brown slowly. "It--it seems to be a----"

Then he stopped. He did not want to scare his wife or Sue, by telling
them there was a bear in the tent, and yet there was.

"Oh, what is it?" cried Mrs. Brown again. "I heard Bunny crying! Is
anything the matter with him?"

"No, he's all right," answered Bunny's papa. That was true enough. There
was really nothing the matter with the little boy. He was just a bit
frightened, that was all.

"But _something_ is the matter," said Mrs. Brown, "I know there is! Why
don't you tell me what it is?"

Daddy Brown did not know just what to do. He sat up in bed, thinking and
looking first at the bear and then at Bunny. All Mr. Brown could see of
Bunny was a heap under the bedclothes. But the bear was in plain sight,
standing in the doorway of the tent, sniffing and snuffing near the
lighted lantern.

Mr. Brown did not want to speak about the bear. He thought the big,
shaggy creature looked quite gentle, and perhaps it would go away if no
one harmed it. Perhaps it was just looking for something to eat, and as
it couldn't find anything in the bedroom tent it might go to the one
where the cooking was done.

Bunker Blue was still sound asleep, and so was Uncle Tad. Nor had Sue,
sleeping next to her mother, in the other part of the tent, been
awakened. Just Bunny Brown, and his father and mother were wide awake.
Oh, yes, of course the bear was not asleep. I forgot about that. His
little black eyes blinked, and opened and shut, and he wrinkled up his
rubber-like nose as he sniffed the air.

"Well, aren't you going to tell me what it is? What's the matter in
there? What happened?" asked Mother Brown. "If you don't tell me----"

By this time Bunny Brown made up his mind that he would be brave. He
uncovered one eye and peered out from beneath the bed clothes. His first
sight was of the bear, who was still there.

"Oh! Oh!" cried Bunny. "It _is_ a bear! It's a big, black bear! I didn't
dream it! It's real! a real, big, black bear!"

Mrs. Brown heard what her little boy said.

"Oh, Walter!" she cried to her husband. "Throw something at it. Here's
my shoe--throw that. I've got two shoes, but I can only find one. Throw
that at the bear and make him go away!"

Mrs. Brown threw over the curtain, that divided the tent into two parts,
one of her shoes.

She really had two shoes, but when she felt under her cot in the dark,
she could only find one. You know how it is when you try to find
anything in the dark, even if it's a drink of water in the chair at the
head of our bed. You move your hand all over, and you think some one
must have come in and taken the water away. And when you get a light you
find that, all the while, your hand was about an inch away from the
glass. It was that way with Mrs. Brown's other shoe.

But she threw one over the curtain, calling out again:

"Hit him with that, Walter! Hit the bear with my shoe!"

But there was no need for Mr. Brown to do anything. The shoe thrown by
Bunny's mother sailed through the tent. Straight at the bear it went,
and before the shaggy creature could get out of the way, the shoe hit
him on the end of the nose.

"Bunk!" went the shoe.

"Wuff!" grunted the bear.

Now you know a bear's nose is his most tender part. You could hit him on
his head, or on his back, or on his paw--that is if you were brave
enough to hit a bear at all--but you would not hurt him, hardly any,
unless you hit him right on the end of his soft and tender nose. That's
the best place to hit a bear if you want to drive him away, out of your
tent, or anything like that. Hit him on the nose.

"Whack!" went Mrs. Brown's shoe on the end of the bear's nose.

"Wuff!" grunted the bear, and down he dropped on all four paws.

Now Mrs. Brown really did not mean to hit the bear. She was just
tossing her shoe over the curtain so her husband might have something to
throw at the bear, and, as it happened, she hit the bear by accident.

Of course it might have been better if one of Mr. Brown's shoes had hit
the bear. I mean it would have been better for the Brown family, but
worse for the bear. Because Mr. Brown's shoes were larger and heavier
than his wife's. But then, it turned out all right anyhow.

For, no sooner did the bear feel Mrs. Brown's shoe hit him on the nose,
than he cried out:

"Wuff!"

Then he turned quickly around, and ran out of the tent.

"Did you throw my shoe at him? Did you make him go away?" asked Mrs.
Brown. "Because if you didn't, Walter, I've found my other shoe now, and
I'll throw that to you."

"You won't need to, my dear," said Mr. Brown with a laugh. "One shoe was
enough. You hit the bear yourself!"

"I did?"

"Yes, and he's gone. It's all right, Bunny. You can put your head out
now. The bear is gone."

Bunny peeped with one eye, and when he saw that the big, shaggy creature
was no longer there, he put his whole head out. Then, with a bound he
jumped out of bed, and ran toward the back part of the tent, where his
mother and sister were sleeping.

"Where you going, Bunny?" asked his father. "There's no more danger; the
bear has gone."

"I--I'm just going in here to get my pop gun, so if the bear comes
back----" Bunny said, "My pop gun is in here."

"Oh," said Mr. Brown, "I thought you were going to crawl in bed with
your mother."

"Oh, no--no!" Bunny quickly answered, shaking his head. "I--I just want
my pop gun. But," he went on, "if mother _wants_ me to get in bed with
her, and keep the bear away, why I will. Don't be afraid. I'll get in
bed with you, Mother!"

"Oh, I guess the bear won't come back," said Mr. Brown with a laugh.

"Well, I'll get in bed with mother anyhow," said Bunny. "I'll have my
pop gun all ready."

By this time Uncle Tad, Bunker Blue and Sue had been awakened by the
talk. Outside the tent Splash could be heard barking, and there was a
noise among the trees and bushes that told that the bear was running
away.

"I--I hope he doesn't bite our dog," said Bunny.

"Oh, I guess Splash will know enough to keep away from the bear,"
replied Mr. Brown. "Besides, I think the bear was only a tame one,
anyhow."

"A tame bear?" asked Uncle Tad, as he was told all that had happened.

"Yes. He didn't act at all like a wild one. Besides, there aren't any
wild bears in this part of the country. This was a tame one all right."

"Where did it come from?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, I think it got away from some man who goes about the country making
the bear do tricks. Probably in the morning we'll see the man looking
for his bear," answered her husband.

And that is just what happened. There was no more trouble that night.
Everyone went to sleep again, Bunny in the cot with his mother; though
when he was asleep and slumbering soundly, she carried him back to his
own little bed near his father.

Soon after breakfast the next morning, when they were talking about the
bear scare in the night, along came a man, who looked like an Italian
organ-grinder. He said he had a pet, tame bear, who had broken away from
where he was tied, in the night.

And it was this bear who had wandered into the tent where Bunny was
sleeping. Where the bear was now no one knew, but the Italian said he
would walk off through the woods, and see if he could not find his pet,
which he had trained to do many tricks.

Two or three days later, Mr. Brown heard that the bear was safely found,
so there was no more need to worry about his coming into the tent at
night.

That day Daddy Brown, with the help of Uncle Tad and Bunker Blue
printed a big cloth sign which they hung up between two trees. The sign
read:

          CAMP REST-A-WHILE

"There," said Daddy Brown, "now the postman will know where to find us
when he comes with letters."

"Oh, do they have mail up here?" asked Sue.

"No, daddy is only joking," said her mother. "I guess we'll have to go
to the post office for letters."

One day, when they had been in camp about a week, Bunny and Sue, with
the others, returned from a walk in the woods. As they came near the
"dining-room tent," as they called it, they saw a ragged boy spring up
from the table with some pieces of bread and meat, and dash into the
bushes.

"Hold on there! Who are you? What do you want?" cried Daddy Brown. But
the ragged boy did not stop running. He wanted to hide in the bushes.



CHAPTER IX

TOM HEARS A NOISE


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, with their father, mother, Uncle Tad and
Bunker Blue, hurried on toward the tent under which was set the dining
table. They could see where the ragged boy had made a meal for himself,
taking the bread and meat from the ice box. For a refrigerator had been
brought to camp, and the iceman came on a boat, once a day, to leave
ice.

"Who is he?" asked Bunny Brown, looking toward the bushes behind which
the strange boy had run.

"What did he want?" Sue asked.

"I can answer you, Sue, but I can't answer Bunny," said Mr. Brown. "That
boy was hungry, and wanted something to eat, but who he is I don't
know."

"Poor little chap," said Mrs. Brown in a kind voice. "He didn't need to
run away just because he wanted something to eat. I would be glad to
give him all he wanted. I wouldn't see anyone go hungry."

"He looked like a tramp," said Bunker.

"But he was only a boy," remarked Uncle Tad.

"I wish he hadn't run away," said Mother Brown. "I don't believe he got
half enough to eat. He took only a little." She could tell that by
looking in the ice box.

By this time Splash, the big dog, who had not come up with the others,
now rushed into camp. He sniffed around, and then, all of a sudden, he
made a dash for a clump of bushes, and, standing in front of it began
barking loudly.

"Oh, maybe the bear's come back and is hiding in there!" cried Bunny.

"More likely it's that ragged boy," said Uncle Tad. "That's where he
made a rush for as soon as we came up."

Splash seemed about to go into the bushes himself, and drive, or drag,
out whatever was hiding there.

But Mr. Brown called:

"Here, Splash! Come here, sir!"

The dog came back and then Bunny's father, going over to the bushes,
looked down among them.

"You'd better come out," he said, to someone. The children could not see
who it was. "Come on out," said Mr. Brown, "we won't hurt you."

Out of the bushes came the ragged boy. In his hand he still had some of
the bread and meat he had taken from the ice box.

Bunny and Sue looked at him.

The boy's clothes were very ragged, but they seemed to be clean. He had
on no shoes or stockings, but one foot was wrapped up in a rag, as
though he had cut himself. He limped a little, too, as he came forward.

"I--I couldn't run very fast with my sore foot, or I'd a' got away from
you," he said slowly.

"But why should you want to get away?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Well, I took some of your stuff--I was hungry and I went through the
ice box--and I s'posed you'd be looking for a policeman to have me
arrested. That's why I ran. But I couldn't go very far, so I hid in the
bushes. I thought I could get away when you weren't looking. Here's your
stuff," and he held out to Mrs. Brown what was left of the bread and
meat. Bunny and Sue thought the ragged boy looked hungrily at the food
as he offered to give it back.

"You poor boy!" said Mrs. Brown, "I don't want it! You're welcome to
that and more, if you need it. You must be hungry!"

"I am, lady. I haven't had anything since morning. I started to go back
to the city, but it's farther than I thought, and I lost my way. When I
struck this camp, I saw the sign--'Rest-a-While,' so I sat down to rest.
Then I saw the ice box, and I was hungry, and--and I--well, I just
helped myself."

His face was sunburned, so it could not be told whether he was blushing
or not, but he hung his head as if ashamed of what he had done. He still
held out the meat to Mrs. Brown.

Splash, who, now that he knew the boy was a friend of the family, did
not bark any more, slid gently up, and began nibbling at the meat and
bread in the boy's hand.

"Oh, look at Splash!" laughed Sue.

"Here, Splash! That isn't for you!" cried Mr. Brown. "But you might as
well give it to him now, now that he's had his tongue on it," said Mr.
Brown to the ragged boy. "We'll give you some more."

"Yes, sit right up to the table," said Mrs. Brown. "I'll get you a good
meal."

The boy's eyes filled with tears, and he turned his head away so they
would not be seen.

"Where did you come from?" asked Daddy Brown, as Mrs. Brown was setting
out some food.

"I come from Benton," the boy answered, naming a city about twenty miles
away. "I've lived there all my life until about a week ago, and I wish I
was back there now."

"How did you come to leave?"

"Well, all my folks died, and I couldn't make much of a living selling
papers, running errands and blacking shoes, so when a farmer down in
the city market, said he wanted a boy on his farm, I said I'd come and
work for him.

"I rode out on his wagon, after he had sold all his stuff one day, and I
came to a place called Fayetteville."

"Yes, I know where that is," said Mr. Brown. "It's on the other side of
the lake."

"I went to work for the farmer," said the ragged boy, who gave his name
as Tom Vine, "but it was worse than being in the city. I never had a
minute's rest and I didn't get enough to eat. I wasn't used to working
out in the hot sun, and my legs and arms seemed as if they'd burn off
me."

"Yes, I can see you're pretty well burned," said Mr. Brown. "Then you
ran away?"

"Yes, sir. I couldn't stand it any longer. The farmer and his hired man
used to whip me if I made a mistake, or if I didn't get up early enough.
And they used to get up before daylight. So I made up my mind to run
away, and go back to the city.

"I used to think the country was nice," the ragged boy went on, "but I
don't any more. I don't mind working, but I don't want to be starved
and whipped all the while. So I ran off, but I guess I got lost, for I
can't find the way back to the city. I don't know what to do. When I got
here, and saw that sign about resting, I thought that was what I needed.
So I came in."

"And I'm glad you did," said Mrs. Brown. "Now you eat this and you'll
feel better. Then I'll look at your sore foot, and we'll see what to do
with you."

"You--you won't have me arrested; will you?" asked the boy.

"No, indeed!" said Mr. Brown.

"And you--you won't send me back to that farmer?"

"No, I think not. He has no right to make you work for him if you don't
want to. Don't be afraid," said Bunny's father. "We'll look after you."

A little later the ragged boy had eaten a good meal. Then he was given
some of Bunker Blue's old clothes, for he was almost as large as the
red-haired boy, and the old clothes were thrown away.

Mr. Brown looked at the boy's sore foot, and found that there was a big
sharp thorn in one toe. When this thorn had been taken out, and the toe
bound up with salve, the ragged boy said he felt much better. Perhaps I
shouldn't call him a ragged boy any longer, for he was not, with
Bunker's clothes on.

"Mother, is he going to stay with us?" asked Bunny that evening when it
was nearly supper time, and the new boy--Tom Vine--had gone after a pail
of water at the spring.

"Would you care to have him stay?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Yes," said Sue. "He's nice. I like him."

"Well, we'll keep him for a while," answered Mrs. Brown. "He needs help,
I think."

Tom Vine told more of his story after supper. He had never been away
from the city's pavements in all his life before he went out to the
country with the farmer who hired him. He had never seen the ocean, or
the woods. He did not even know that cows gave milk until he saw the
farmer's hired man milking one day.

"I just don't know anything about the woods or the country," the boy
said to Bunny and Sue, "so you can fool me all you like."

"Oh, we won't fool you," said Bunny kindly. "We'll tell you all we
know."

"Thanks," said Tom Vine.

He had offered to travel on, after supper, and try to get back to the
city.

"I don't want to be a trouble to you folks," he said to Mrs. Brown. "In
the city I know some fellows, and they'll lend me money enough to buy
some papers, and start in business."

"You had better stay with us awhile," said Mrs. Brown. "We have enough
room for you, and you can help about camp."

"I can wash and dry dishes!" cried Tom eagerly. "I worked in a
restaurant for a week once, and I know how to handle dishes."

"Then we can give you plenty of work," said Mrs. Brown, with a laugh.
"For if there is one thing, in camp or at home, that I don't like it is
washing dishes."

"I'll do them for you!" cried Tom, "and I'll be glad of the chance,
too!"

"All right then. You'll be the head dishwasher of Camp Rest-a-While,"
said Mr. Brown, smiling.

And that is how Tom Vine came to stay with the Browns while they lived
in the woods near Lake Wanda.

Tom, indeed, knew very little about the country. As he said, he had
never been away from the city pavements, winter or summer, in all his
life before. The first night in camp, when he was sleeping next to
Bunker Blue, in a little part of the tent that had been curtained off
for them, Tom awakened Bunker, by reaching over and punching him in the
ribs.

"Hey, listen to that!" cried Tom.

"To what?" asked Bunker, only half awake.

"Somebody is outside the tent, calling: 'Who? Who? Who?'" said Tom. "I
didn't do anything, did you? What do they holler 'who' for?"

Bunker listened. Surely enough he heard very plainly:

"Who? Who? Too-who?"

"Hear it?" asked Tom.

"Yes, it's only an owl," Bunker answered. "There's lots of 'em in these
woods."

"What's an owl?" Tom wanted to know.

"Oh, it's a bird with big eyes, and it can only see at night. It comes
out to get mice and bugs. Owls won't hurt you. Go on to sleep."

Tom did not go to sleep at once. But he was no longer afraid of the owl.

Tom was just going to sleep once more, when he heard another funny
noise. This time he was sure some one said:

"Katy did! Katy did! Katy did!"

Tom sat up in his cot. He reached over to punch Bunker, to ask him what
this was, when all at once, another voice cried:

"Katy didn't! Katy didn't! Katy didn't!"

"Listen to that, now, would you!" exclaimed Tom. "Bunker! Bunker Blue!
Wake up! There's two people outside, and one says Katy did it, and the
other says she didn't--who's right?"



CHAPTER X

OUT IN THE BOAT


Bunker Blue turned sleepily over on his cot.

"What--what's that?" he asked of Tom.

"Listen," Tom answered. "Don't you hear that, Bunker? First someone is
hollering about Katy's doing something, and then somebody else yells
that she didn't do it. Say, I don't like it here."

Bunker Blue laughed aloud.

"What's the matter out there?" asked Daddy Brown.

"Oh, it's only Tom," said the red-haired boy. "He doesn't like the song
of the katydids."

"Song! Is that a song?" asked Tom.

"Some people call it that," said Mr. Brown, for he knew that a city boy
might be just as frightened of sounds in the country as a country boy
might of sounds in the city.

"That noise is made by a little green bug, called a katydid," Mr. Brown
explained. "It looks something like a grasshopper."

"But they don't all say 'Katy did,'" objected Tom.

"No, some of them seem to say 'Katy didn't,'" agreed Mr. Brown. "Of
course they don't really say those words. It only sounds as if they did.
Now go to sleep. In the morning I'll show you a katydid."

Tom was not frightened any longer. He turned over and was soon sound
asleep. Mr. Brown and Bunker also closed their eyes and the tent in Camp
Rest-a-While was quiet once more. Bunny and Sue had not awakened.

Early the next morning, before breakfast, Tom was seen walking about
among the trees of the camp. He seemed to be looking for something.

"What are you looking for?" asked Bunny.

"For Katy," Tom answered.

"There isn't any Katy with us," said Sue. "We have a cook, but her name
is Mary, and she isn't here with us, anyhow. She's at home."

"No, I'm looking for a Katy bug," explained Tom, and then he told about
the noises he had heard in the night.

"I'll help you look," said Bunny.

"So will I," added Sue. "I'd like to see a Katy bug."

But, though the children and Tom looked all over, they could not find a
katydid until Mr. Brown helped them. Then on a tree he found one of the
queer, light-green grasshopper-like bugs and showed it to the children.

"Why doesn't it cry now?" Sue wanted to know. "Make it cry, Daddy, so I
can hear it!"

"Oh, I can't do that," Mr. Brown said with a laugh. "The katydid cries,
or sings, mostly at night. I guess they don't want anyone to see them.
Besides, I don't just know how they make the noises, whether they rub
their rough legs together, or make a sound somewhere inside them. So I
guess we'll have to let them do as they please."

Tom and the children stood for some little time, watching the pretty,
green bug, and then came the sound of a bell.

"There!" cried Mr. Brown, with a laugh. "I guess you all know who made
that noise, and what it means."

"It means breakfast!" cried Bunny.

"And mother rang the bell!" added Sue.

"That's right," said Bunker Blue, coming along just then. "And your
mother doesn't want you to be late, either, for she's baking cakes, and
you know how you like them!"

"Oh, cakes!" cried Bunny, clapping his hands. "I just love them!"

Soon the little party, including the new boy, Tom Vine, were seated
around the table under the dining tent, eating pancakes that Mrs. Brown
cooked over the oil stove.

Bunny and Sue said nothing for several minutes. They were too busy
eating. Then Bunny, looking at Tom, asked:

"Can you jump over an elephant?"

"Jump over elephants? I guess not!" the new boy cried. "I never saw an
elephant, except in a picture."

"We did," said Sue. "We saw a real elephant in a real circus, and we had
a make-believe circus with a pretend elephant in it."

"And we knowed a boy named Ben Hall, who used to be in a real circus,"
went on Bunny. "He could jump over an elephant, and I thought maybe you
could, too."

"No," said Tom, with a shake of his head. "I'm sorry, but I can't do
that. About the only thing I can do is wash and dry the dishes."

"Well, it's a good thing to be able to do even one thing well," said
Mrs. Brown, "and I'm glad you're here to wash and dry the dishes. There
are plenty of them."

"I know something else you can do," said Bunny, smiling at Tom.

"What is it?"

"You can eat."

"Yes," and Tom laughed. "I like to eat, and I'm hungry three times a
day."

"Bunny and Sue are hungry oftener than that," said Uncle Tad. "At least
they say they are, and they come in and get bread and jam."

Bunny and Sue looked at each other and laughed.

After breakfast, just as he had said he would do, Tom Vine picked up the
dishes, and got ready to wash them. Mrs. Brown watched him for a few
minutes, until she was sure that he knew just how to go about it. Then
she left him to himself.

"He is a very nice, neat and clean boy," she said to her husband. "I'm
glad he came to us. But what are we going to do with him? We can't keep
him always."

"Well, we'll let him stay with us while we are in camp here in the
woods," said Mr. Brown, "and when we go back home, well, I can find
something for him to do at the boat-dock, perhaps--that is, if he
doesn't want to go back to the city."

While Tom was doing the dishes Bunny and Sue had gone off into the wood
a little way, to where they had made for themselves a little play-house
of branches of trees, stuck in the ground. It was a sort of green tent,
and in it Sue had put some of her dolls, while Bunny had taken to it
some of his toys. The children often played there.

But they did not do anything for very long at a time, getting tired of
one thing after another as all children do. So when Sue had undressed
and dressed her two dolls, combing and braiding their hair, she said to
Bunny:

"Oh, let's do something else now."

"All right," replied her brother. "What shall we do?"

"Can't you think of some fun?" Sue wanted to know.

Bunny rubbed his nose. He often did that when he was thinking. Then he
cried:

"Let's ask mother to let Bunker Blue take us out in the boat. I want to
go fishing."

"That will be nice," Sue said. "I'd like a boat ride, too."

Back to the camp went the children, but when they reached the tents they
saw neither their father nor mother, nor was Uncle Tad or Bunker Blue in
sight.

"They've gone away!" said Sue.

"Yes, so they have," agreed Bunny. "But I guess they didn't go far, or
they'd have told us. Mother knew where we were."

"Let's go find them," said Sue. "Maybe they went out in the boat."

"We'll look," agreed Bunny.

The two children went to the edge of the lake, where a big willow tree
overhung the water. The boat was kept tied to this tree.

"Oh, the boat's gone!" exclaimed Sue, as she reached the place and did
not see it. "The boat's gone, Bunny!"

"Then they must have gone for a row, and they didn't take us!" and Bunny
was much disappointed. He looked across the lake, up and down, as did
Sue, and then both children cried out:

"Oh, look!" said Sue.

"There's the boat," added Bunny. "And Tom Vine is in it all alone! He
hasn't got any oars, either. Look, Sue!"

Surely enough, there was the boat, some distance out in the lake, and
Tom, the city boy, who knew nothing at all about boats, was in it. As he
saw Bunny and Sue he waved his hands to them, and cried:

"Come and get me! I can't get back! I'm afraid! Come and get me!"



CHAPTER XI

TOM SEES A MAN


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue stood by the lake shore, and didn't know
what to do. Some distance out on the water floated the boat with Tom
Vine standing up in it, waving his hands. And Tom cried once more:

"Come and get me! Come and get me!"

Bunny was the first to speak after that. And he said just the right
thing.

"Sit down, Tom!" cried Bunny. "Sit down, or you'll tip over, and then
you'll be drowned, and we can't get you."

Bunny shouted loudly, and his clear, high voice could easily be heard by
Tom, for there was no wind, or at least only a little, to ruffle the
water of the lake. Tom heard, and he knew what Bunny meant. Very
carefully he sat down on one of the seats in the boat.

"Are you coming to get me?" he asked. "I can't get back to shore, and I
can't swim. I don't like it out here!"

"Just sit still, and we'll think up a way to get you," called Bunny.
"But don't stand up, whatever you do."

"No, you must keep sitting down," added Sue.

Mr. Brown had often told his children how to act when in boats. Small as
they were they could both swim a little, Bunny, of course, better than
Sue, because he was older. And they had both been told what to do in
case they fell into the water--hold their breath until they came to the
top, when someone might save them, if they could not swim out.

But it was what Mr. Brown had told Bunny about not standing up in a boat
that the little fellow now first remembered to shout to Tom. He did not
want to see the new boy fall over into the lake.

And Tom must have known what Bunny meant, for he was now sitting very
quietly in the boat, looking toward the shore where Bunny and Sue stood.

"How did you get out there?" Bunny asked. He had not yet thought of a
way to get Tom back to land.

"I--I didn't think the boat would float away," Tom answered. "I got in
it and untied the rope. Then, the first thing I knew I was away out
here. The wind blew me out, but it won't blow me back. I'll soon be out
in the middle, I guess!"

Though there had been enough wind to blow Tom, in the boat, away from
shore, there was hardly any wind now, so the boy could not be blown
back. And how to get him to shore was something that Bunny and Sue could
not tell how to do, especially as there were no oars in the boat.

"He can't row without oars," said Bunny.

"No, he can't," said Sue. She knew enough about boats to tell that. "And
he hasn't any sail," she added.

"Haven't you got a stick, so you can push yourself back to shore?"
called Bunny.

"I have a little stick, but it won't touch bottom," Tom answered. As he
spoke he held up a short tree branch. Bunny had used it the day before
as a fishpole, and when through playing had tossed it into the boat.
Tom reached this stick over the side of the boat, and put it down into
the water. But the lake was too deep there to let him touch the bottom,
and so push himself to shore.

"Can't you swim out and get me, Bunny?" Tom cried. He was not as old a
boy as was Bunker Blue, and so he was quite easily frightened,
especially as he could not swim, and knew hardly anything about boats.

"Swim out and get me, Bunny!" Tom begged.

Bunny Brown shook his head.

"I couldn't swim that far," he shouted. "Besides, I'm not let go in the
water unless my father or mother, or Uncle Tad or Bunker Blue is with
me, and they're not here now."

"But how can I get back?" poor Tom wanted to know.

"We'll get you, somehow!" cried Bunny. "Won't we, Sue?"

"Yes," answered the little girl. But neither she nor her brother knew
how they were going to save Tom.

"Anyhow, if I could swim that far, and daddy would let me," went on
Bunny, speaking to his sister, "I couldn't take the oars out, and if I
didn't have oars to row with, I couldn't bring the boat back, or Tom
either."

"No, you couldn't," Sue said. She knew enough about boats to tell that,
for she could row a little, with a light pair of oars.

"Call your father or mother!" called Tom, who was now farther from shore
than ever. "Call them! Maybe they can get another boat, and come after
me."

So Bunny and Sue called as loudly as they could, but neither Mr. Brown,
his wife, Bunker nor Uncle Tad answered. They had taken a walk back in
the woods, when Tom started to wash the dishes, and when Bunny and Sue
were playing house in the leafy bower, and they had gone farther than
they intended. So they could not hear Bunny and Sue calling.

"It's no use," said Bunny, after a bit. "We've got to save him
ourselves, Sue. But I wonder how we can do it."

Sue thought for a minute. She did not rub her nose as Bunny had done.
She could think without doing that. Then Sue said:

"If we only had a string on the boat, Bunny, we could pull Tom right to
us. We could stand on shore and pull him in, just as we did with your
little sail boat."

"That's right--we could!" cried Bunny. Then he called:

"Tom, has you got a rope on your boat? If you has throw it to me and
Sue, and we'll pull you in by it."

Tom looked in the bottom of the boat.

"There's a rope here," he said, "but it isn't long enough to reach to
shore."

He held it up so the children could see. Certainly it was not half long
enough. It was the rope by which the boat had been tied to the tree.

While Bunny and Sue stood there, wondering what to do, there came a
rustling, cracking sound in the bushes back of them. They quickly
turned, and saw their dog, Splash. He had been roving about in the
woods, and had now come back to camp.

"Oh, Splash!" cried Bunny. "You can do it, I know you can!"

"What can he do?" asked Sue.

"He can swim out to Tom in the boat, and pull him back to shore. Go on,
Splash!" cried Bunny, pointing to poor Tom. "Go on and get him! Bring
him back!"

Splash bounded around and barked. He looked to where Bunny pointed, but
though the dog could understand some of the things Bunny said, he could
not tell just what his little master wanted this time. Tom was watching
what was going on, and now he called:

"I know a better way than that."

"What?" asked Bunny.

"If you had a long cord, you could tie one end to a stick, and give it
to Splash to bring to me. Then I could tie it to the boat, and you could
pull me to shore."

"Oh, yes, we can do that!" cried Bunny.

"Have you got a long cord?" Tom asked.

"Yes, one I fly my kite with. I brought the cord along, but now I
haven't any kite. I'll get that."

Bunny ran to the tent where he kept his box of playthings. He soon
returned with a stick, on which was wound a long and very strong cord.

"This will pull the boat," he said.

He looked around for a stick to tie onto the end of the cord, and when
he had done this he gave the stick to the dog.

"Take it out to Tom!" ordered Bunny.

But Splash only barked and dropped the stick. He wagged his tail, as if
he were saying:

"I'll do anything you want me to, little master, but I don't know just
what you mean."

Once more Tom called across the water.

"Throw the stick into the lake, Bunny. Then Splash will bring it to me.
He knows how to jump in after sticks you throw into the water; doesn't
he?"

"Oh, yes, Splash knows that all right," Bunny said. "Here, Splash!" he
called.

Into the lake Bunny tossed the stick to which was fastened one end of
his kite cord.

"Get it, Splash!" cried the little boy.

With a bark Splash sprang into the water. But instead of swimming out to
Tom with the stick and string, he swam back to shore. That was what he
had been taught to do, you see.

Splash dropped the stick at Bunny's feet, and wagging his wet tail,
spattered drops all over Sue. The dog barked, looking up at Bunny, and
seeming to say:

"There, little master! Didn't I do that fine? Wasn't that just what you
wanted me to do?"

"No! No!" cried Bunny. "I don't want the stick, Splash! Take it to
Tom--out in the boat--take it to him!" and he pointed to Tom.

Once more Bunny threw the stick into the water, and once more Splash
sprang in and brought it to shore. It was not until Bunny had told
Splash four times, that the dog knew what was wanted.

Then the fifth time, when Bunny threw the stick into the water, Splash
jumped in after it and swam out to Tom in the boat. Tom kept calling:

"Here, Splash! Here, Splash! Come on, good dog!"

Up to the boat, with the stick and cord, swam the dog. Tom made the
string fast to the boat, and then Bunny and Sue, standing on shore,
pulled on their end. They pulled slowly at first, so as not to break
the cord. But, once the boat was started, it came along easily, and soon
Tom was on dry land again. Splash swam along behind the boat.

"There!" Tom cried, as he tied the boat fast. "I'll never do that
again!"

"We're not let get in the boat," said Bunny, "but I guess daddy forgot
to tell you."

"If he had I'd never have gotten in," Tom said. "But I'm glad you pulled
me to shore."

The rest of the campers came back soon after that, and Mr. Brown got Tom
to promise never to get in the boat alone again. Of course Tom was not
in any real danger as long as he kept still, and Mr. Brown might easily
have gone out and rescued him in another boat. But I think it was very
clever of Bunny and Sue, and Splash, too, to get Tom back to shore as
they did; don't you?

There were many happy, joyful days at Camp Rest-a-While. The children
went on little picnics in the woods and often they were taken out in the
boat by Bunker Blue. Bunny had a real fishpole and line and hook now,
with "squiggily" worms, as Sue called them, for bait, and the little
boy caught some real fish.

It was about a week after Tom's adventure in the drifting boat that one
day, as he was walking through the woods with Bunny and Sue, on their
way back from a farmhouse where they had gone after milk, that Tom
suddenly came to a stop along the path.

"Wait a minute!" he said in a whisper, to Bunny and Sue.

"What's the matter?" Bunny wanted to know. "You look afraid, Tom. Are
you?"

"Yes, I am," said Tom, and even Sue could tell that he was when she
looked at him.

"Did you--did you see a snake?" she asked, drawing closer to Bunny, for
Sue did not like snakes, either.

"No, it wasn't a snake," returned Tom. "It was a man. Here, come on back
among the bushes, and he can't see us," and, as he spoke, Tom drew Bunny
and Sue away from the path, behind some thick bushes. Tom seemed very
much afraid of something. And he had said he had seen a man. Bunny and
Sue could not imagine why Tom should be afraid of a man.



CHAPTER XII

THE CROSS MAN


"Come on! Come on!" whispered Tom to Bunny and Sue, as he led them still
deeper back in among the bushes. "Don't let him hear you! Come on, and
we'll hide!"

"Who is it? What's the matter?" Bunny wanted to know.

"Hush!" whispered Tom. "It's that man! He's after me, I guess. I'll tell
you about it when we get away. He's coming! Hurry!"

Certainly someone, or something, was coming along the path from which
Tom and the two children had just stepped to go in among the bushes. Tom
was in such a hurry that he pulled Bunny and Sue along with him harder
than he meant to. Finally Bunny said:

"Oh, Tom, I'm spilling the milk!"

Bunny was carrying the pail of milk they had bought at the farmhouse,
and, though the pail had a cover on it, some of the milk had splashed
out, and was running down Bunny's stocking.

"Set the pail down here, and we'll get it when we come back--after that
man goes," Tom said, in a whisper.

Bunny put the pail down on the ground, near a big stone, so he would
know where to look for it again. Then, to hide, they all squeezed as far
back in the bushes as they could, and waited.

"Is he coming after us?" asked Sue in a whisper.

"No, I guess he's only after me," answered Tom. "He won't touch you or
Bunny."

"Is it a Gypsy man?" Bunny wanted to know.

"No, he isn't a Gypsy," replied Tom. "He's just a cross, bad man; and I
don't want him to see me. Keep your heads down."

Bunny and Sue did so. Like frightened rabbits they crouched among the
bushes. Tom kept hold of their hands, and though the children knew that
Tom was afraid, for he had said so, still Bunny and Sue were not very
much frightened, as long as the man was not a Gypsy and did not want
them.

"There! He's gone past!" exclaimed Tom, as he stood up to look over the
tops of the bushes. "He's gone, and we can come out. He didn't see
us--he won't get me this time."

"But who was he?" Bunny wanted to know. Tom, however, did not seem to
hear him. Still holding Bunny and Sue by the hand, Tom led them back to
the path. Bunny picked up the pail of milk.

"I'll carry it for you," Tom said. "We've got to hurry back to camp."

"Why?" asked Sue. "I can't hurry very much, for my legs hurt."

"I'll carry you," said Tom, "if Bunny will take the milk pail."

"Yes, I'll do that," said the little boy.

Once more he took the pail, while Tom hoisted Sue up onto his shoulder.

"Give me a piggy-back!" Sue begged, so Tom carried her pickaback, while
Sue held tightly to her doll. Tom marched ahead along the path, and soon
they were safely at the tent. Before Tom could say anything, Bunny and
Sue, seeing their father and mother, called out:

"Oh, Tom saw a man, and we hid!"

Mr. and Mrs. Brown did not know what this meant.

"What sort of man was he?" asked Mrs. Brown quickly.

"He wasn't a Gypsy man," Bunny said.

"But he was after Tom, only he didn't see us," added Sue. "And I had a
piggy-back ride home, and some milk got spilled on Bunny's stocking, but
not much, and I'm hungry!"

Sue believed in telling everything at once, to have it over with.

"What is it all about?" asked Mr. Brown of Tom. "Did you and the
children really, hide from a man?"

"Yes, sir."

"What man was it? I hope there aren't any tramps in these woods."

"Oh, no, he wasn't a tramp. He was the farmer I told you about--the one
I worked for, and from whom I ran away. I guess he was looking for me,"
Tom answered.

"Hum," said Mr. Brown. "Well, I suppose we'll have to wait and see what
he wants. Was he coming this way?"

"No, he seemed to be wandering through the woods, as if he didn't know
where to go."

"Oh, well, maybe he won't find you," said Mrs. Brown.

"I hope he doesn't," returned Tom, looking over his shoulder.

No strange man came to camp that night, and Bunny and Sue soon forgot
all about the little fright Tom had had. But two days later, just as
dinner was finished, there came a man rowing in a boat to the little
wooden camp-dock Bunker Blue had built out into the lake.

Out of the boat climbed a man with black whiskers. He had on big, heavy
boots, and in one hand he carried a whip. He walked up the path from the
lake, and when he saw Mr. Brown and his family at the table, under the
tent, which was wide open, the man stood still.

"Camp Rest-a-While, eh?" he said in rather a rough voice, as he read the
sign. "Well, maybe this is the place I'm looking for. Have you seen a
boy--a ragged boy--about fifteen years old in these woods?" he asked.

Before Mr. Brown could answer, Tom Vine, who had gone to the spring for
a pail of water, came back. At the sight of the man Tom dropped the
pail, spilling the water. At the same time the "ragged boy" cried out:

"There he is! There's the man! He's after me! Oh, please don't let him
take me away!"

Tom turned to run back into the woods, but Mr. Brown called to him:

"Stay right where you are, Tom! This man won't hurt you. Stay where you
are."

Though he was much frightened, Tom stood still.

"Now then, what do you want?" asked Mr. Brown of the man with the whip.

"I want that boy!" answered the man, pointing the whip at poor Tom. "I
hired him to work for me, but he ran away. I want him back, and I'm
going to have him!"

And oh, what a rough, cross voice the man had! He wasn't at all nice,
Bunny and Sue thought.

"I've been looking for that boy, and now I've found him. I want to take
him back with me," the cross man went on. "I was hunting all through
these woods for him, and yesterday I heard that a boy like him was in a
camp over here. So I came for to find out about it, and I've found him!"

"Is that the man you saw in the woods, when we went after milk the other
day, Tom?" asked Bunny in a whisper.

"Yes," nodded Tom.

"Well, if this boy doesn't want to go with you I'm not going to make
him," said Mr. Brown. "He came to us, and said you had not treated him
well. I'll not send him back to you. Are you the farmer who hired him?"

"Yes, I'm that farmer," said the man, scowling. "Jake Trimble is my
name, and when I want a thing I get it! I want that boy!"

"Oh, please don't make me go back to work for him!" begged Tom. "He beat
me, and he didn't give me enough to eat!"

"Don't be, afraid," said Mr. Brown. "He shan't have you!"

"I say I will!" cried the cross man. "That boy hired out to work for
me, and I want him!"

"You can't have him," said Mr. Brown quietly. "And I want you to go away
from here. This is my camp, and it is a private one. Go. You can't have
this boy."

"But he ran away from me!" said the cross man.

"Perhaps he did. He said he could not stand the way you treated him. Any
boy would have run away," replied Mr. Brown. "I'm looking after this boy
now, and I say you can't have him."

"Well, I'll get him, somehow, you see if I don't!" cried the cross man,
as he turned to go back to his boat. And he shook his whip at Tom. "I'll
get you yet!" he said. "And when I do I'll make you work twice as hard.
You'll see!"

"Don't be afraid, Tom," said Mr. Brown, when the unkind man was gone. "I
won't let him hurt you."

Tom picked up the overturned pail, and went again to the spring for
water. When he came back he said:

"That was the farmer I met in the city. He took me out to his place, and
was very mean to me. I just had to run away. I didn't think he'd try to
find me. But I knew he must be looking for me when we saw him in the
woods that day. I hid away from him then, but now he knows where I am."

"Don't you care," said Sue. "My daddy won't let him hurt you; will you,
Daddy?" and she put her arms around her father's neck.

"We'll take care of Tom," said Mr. Brown. "I guess that man won't come
back."



CHAPTER XIII

A BAD STORM


Bunker Blue was sitting out in front of the big camp-tent, on a bench,
one day, with a pile of long sticks in front of him. With his knife
Bunker was whittling the sticks to sharp points.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, who had been out in the woods, gathering
wild flowers for the dinner table, came up to Bunker, and Bunny asked:

"What you doing, Bunker?"

"Why, I'm sharpening these sticks, Bunny," was the answer.

"What for?" asked Sue, as she put her wax doll down in the shade, so the
sun would not melt the nose.

"Oh, I know!" cried Bunny. "You're making arrows! Are you going to have
a bow, and shoot the arrows like an Indian, Bunker?"

Bunker Blue shook his head and smiled.

"You'll have to guess again, Bunny," he said.

Bunny took up one of the pointed sticks.

"Are they spears?" asked the little boy, as he put his finger gently on
the sharp point. "Indians use spears to catch fish. Are you going to do
that, Bunker?"

Bunker shook his head.

"You haven't guessed yet," he said.

"Oh, tell us!" begged Sue. "Is it a secret?"

"Sort of," said Bunker.

"Oh, how nice!" cried Sue. "I just love to guess secrets! Let me have a
turn, Bunny."

The two children sat down in the shade near the tent. Bunker kept on
making sharp-pointed sticks with his knife. Over in the dining-tent Tom
Vine was setting the dinner table. This was some days after the cross
man had come to the camp and had gone away. He had not come back since.

"Well, what is your guess, Sue?" asked Bunker, as he kept on making the
sharp-pointed sticks.

"Let me see," pondered the little girl. "Oh! I know what they are for.
You're going to put some other pieces of wood on the end of these
sticks, Bunker, and make croquet mallets of them so we can have a game!"

"Is that it?" asked Bunny. "Is it for croquet?"

"No, that isn't what they're for," answered Bunker, smiling.

"Anyhow," went on Bunny Brown, "we couldn't play croquet in the woods
here, 'cause we haven't any croquet balls."

"Oh, we might use round stones, mightn't we, Bunker?" Sue asked.

"Yes, we might," replied Bunker slowly, as he laid down one
sharp-pointed stick and began whittling another. "We might, but that
isn't the secret."

"Now, it's my turn to guess!" said Bunny. "You had a turn, Sue."

"Well, what do you say it is?" asked Bunker. "Go on, Bunny."

Bunny thought for about half a minute.

"Are you going to make a trap to catch something?" the little boy asked.
Ever since he had come to Camp Rest-a-While he had begged Bunker to
make a trap to catch a fox, or a squirrel, or something like that. Bunny
did not want to hurt the wild animals, but he thought he would like to
catch one in a trap, and try to tame it.

"No, I'm not making a trap," answered Bunker. "I don't believe you
children could guess what these sticks are for if you tried all day.
And, as it isn't my secret, I don't believe I'd better tell you. You go
and ask your mother--it's mostly her secret--and if she wants to tell
you--why, all right."

"Oh, we'll go and ask mother!" cried Bunny. "Come on, Sue!"

The two children found Mrs. Brown in the cooking-tent, getting dinner
ready.

"What's the secret?" cried Sue.

"What is Bunker making all the sharp-pointed sticks for?" Bunny wanted
to know.

Their mother smiled at them. From a shelf over the oil stove she took
down a large platter on which she put the eggs she was cooking.

"What is the secret, Mother?" begged Bunny. "Please tell us!"

"Yes," added Sue. "We've guessed and guessed, but we can't guess right.
Bunker said you might tell us."

Mrs. Brown laughed, and, after she had put the platter of eggs on the
table, she pointed to two large, round, tin boxes on a chair in the big
tent.

"Can you read what it says on those boxes?" Mrs. Brown asked Bunny.

Bunny looked at the long word.

"It begins with a 'M'," he said, "and the next letter is 'A' and then
comes----"

"Oh, I know what's next!" cried Sue. "It's a 'R.' I can tell by the
funny little tail that kicks up behind. It's just like the 'B' for Brown
in our name, only the R has a kick-up tail at the end. That letter is a
'R'; isn't it, Mother?"

"Yes," answered Mrs. Brown. "But what is the whole word, Bunny? If you
can tell what it is you'll know the secret."

Bunny could spell out each letter one after another and he did, until he
had spelled this big word:

          MARSHMALLOW

But he could not say it. The word was too big for him. So his mother
said it for him.

"Those are marshmallow candies in the tin boxes," said Mrs. Brown. "Now
can you guess the secret?"

"Oh, I know!" cried Sue. "We're going to have a marshmallow roast by the
campfire to-night! Is that it, Mother? And the sharp sticks Bunker is
making are to put the marshmallow candies on to hold over the fire and
roast! Isn't that it?"

"Yes, Sue, you have guessed it."

"Pooh! I was just going to say that," cried Bunny.

"Well, Sue said it first, dear," went on Bunny's mother. "Now get ready
for dinner. After dinner we'll take a nice walk, and this evening, when
it gets dark, Uncle Tad is going to build a campfire and we'll all roast
marshmallows."

"Oh, what fun!" cried Sue, clapping her hands.

"Jolly, jolly fun!" laughed Bunny.

And that was why Bunker Blue was making the pointed sticks.

"Now for our walk!" called Mother Brown, when the dinner things had been
cleared away, and Tom Vine had washed and dried the dishes, Bunny and
Sue helping. "We'll take a walk over near the waterfall. I want to take
a picture of it."

But, when they were all ready to start--Bunker Blue, Splash and all--Tom
Vine could not be found.

"Why, where is he?" asked Bunny. "He was here a minute ago, for I saw
him."

"Maybe he's losted," said Sue. She and Bunny got lost or "losted," as
they called it, so often, that Sue thought that trouble could very
easily happen to anyone.

"No, he isn't lost," said Daddy Brown. "Tom! Tom!" he called. "Where are
you?"

"I'm here," was the answer, and Tom stood up. He had been sitting behind
a thick bush, down near the edge of the lake.

"Oh, we were looking for you," Mr. Brown said. "Don't you want to come
for a walk with us? We are going over toward the waterfall. It is very
nice there."

Tom shook his head.

"I don't believe I'll go, thank you," he said.

"Why not?" asked Mrs. Brown. "Don't you feel well? Don't you like to
walk in the woods, Tom?"

"Oh, yes'm, I like the woods, and I feel fine. I never had such good
things to eat as I've had in this camp."

"Then why don't you want to come with us?"

"Well--er--well, because, you see that farmer I worked for lives over
near the waterfall, and maybe he'll catch me if I go there."

"Oh, I won't let him catch you!" exclaimed Mr. Brown. "Come along, Tom.
I'll look after you."

Then Tom came out of his hiding place, where he had gone after he heard
Mrs. Brown say they were going to the fall. Soon the party of campers
were marching through the woods, Tom holding Bunny's hand, while Bunker
Blue looked after Sue.

The waterfall was very pretty, the water from a small river falling down
over green, mossy rocks, into a deep glen, foaming and bubbling. Mrs.
Brown took some pictures with her photograph camera, and then they sat
down in a shady spot, and ate a little lunch they had brought with them.
Splash, the big dog, had his share, too.

And that night was the grand marshmallow candy roast. Uncle Tad built a
fire of wood in front of the big tent. When the smoke and the hottest
flames had died away Bunny and Sue and the others, sitting on logs
around the fire, toasted the candies, holding them over the fire on the
pointed ends of the sticks Bunker Blue had made with his sharp knife.

"Oh, aren't they good!" cried Sue, as she began to eat a candy she had
roasted.

"Look out! They're hot!" called Uncle Tad. But he was too late.

"Ouch!" cried Sue, as the hot candy burned her tongue. "Oh, it hurts!"
she sobbed. "It hurts me!"

But Mother Brown put some cold, sweet cream on Sue's tongue, and soon
the burning pain stopped.

After that Sue waited until the brown and roasted candy had cooled
before she ate any.

"Oh, dear!" suddenly cried Bunny, as he was roasting a marshmallow for
himself. "Oh, dear!"

"What's the matter with you?" asked his father. "Did you burn your
tongue, Bunny?"

"No, but my candy slipped off my stick, and it's all burning up in the
fire."

"Never mind," said Mother Brown. "Here's another candy. Next time don't
hold the marshmallow over the fire so long. That makes it soft, so it
melts, and it won't stay on the stick."

After Bunny and Sue learned how to do it they had no trouble roasting
the marshmallows. Everyone roasted some except Splash, and he was very
glad to eat the browned and puffed-up sweets, even if he could not hold
them over the fire. But Splash took good care not to burn his tongue, as
Sue had burned hers.

When the candies were all roasted, and eaten, it was time to go to bed.
After Bunny and Sue were tucked in their cots, Bunny heard his father
and Bunker Blue going about outside the tent. They seemed to be doing
something to the ropes.

"What are you doing, Daddy?" Bunny asked.

"I think there's going to be a storm," answered Mr. Brown, "and I want
to be sure the tents won't blow away. I'm making the ropes tight."

Pretty soon everyone at Camp Rest-a-While was in bed. It was not long
before the wind began to blow and then, all at once, there came a bright
flash of lightning, and a loud clap of thunder.

"Oh, what's that?" cried Bunny, sitting up in his cot, for the noise had
awakened him. "What's the matter?" he asked.

"It's a thunder storm," replied his father. "Go to sleep, for it can't
hurt you."

But Bunny could not go to sleep, nor could Sue. She, too, was awakened
by the bright lightning, and the loud thunder. The wind, too, blew very
hard, and it shook the sleeping tent as if it would tear it loose from
the ropes.

"Do you think it is safe?" asked Mother Brown.

"Oh, I think so," answered her husband. "Bunker and I put on some extra
ropes before we came in. I guess the tent won't blow away."

Everyone was wide awake now. The storm was a very heavy one. The wind
howled through the trees in the wood, and, now and then, a loud crash
could be heard, as some tree branch broke off and fell to the ground.

Then, suddenly, it began to rain very hard. My! how the big drops did
pelt down on the tent, sounding like dried corn falling on a tin pan!

"Oh, the rain is coming in on me!" cried Bunny. "I'm getting all wet,
Daddy!"

Surely enough, there was a little hole in the tent, right over Bunny's
cot, and the rain was coming in there.

"Swish!" went the lightning.

"Bang!" went the thunder.

"Whoo-ee!" blew the wind.

It was certainly a bad storm at Camp Rest-a-While.



CHAPTER XIV

TOM IS GONE


"Daddy! Daddy!" cried Sue, from behind the curtain, in the part of the
tent where she slept with her mother. "Daddy, do you think we'll blow
away?"

"Oh, no," answered Mr. Brown. "Don't be afraid. Bunker and I fastened
down the tent good and strong. It can't blow over."

"But I'm getting all wet!" cried Bunny. "The water's leaking all over my
bed, Daddy!"

"Yes, I didn't know there was a hole in the tent. I'll fix it
to-morrow," said Bunny's father. "You get in my bed, Bunny!"

"Oh, goodie!" Bunny cried. He always liked to get in his father's bed.

But as Bunny jumped out of his own little cot, and pattered in his bare
feet across to his father's, he saw Daddy Brown getting up. Mr. Brown
was putting on a pair of rubber boots, and a rubber coat over his bath
robe, which he had put on when the storm began.

"Where you going, Daddy?" asked Bunny, as he crawled into the dry bed,
and pulled the covers up over him, for the wind was blowing in the tent
now. "Where you going?"

"I'm going out to see that the tent ropes are all right," said Mr.
Brown.

"Going out? What for?" called Mrs. Brown. "You musn't go out in this
storm. It's terrible!"

"Oh, but I must go!" answered Daddy Brown with a laugh. "I don't mind
the thunder, lightning and rain. If some of the tent pegs come loose,
the ropes will slip off, and the tent will blow over. Bunker Blue and I
will go out and make sure everything is all right."

"I could go with you," said Uncle Tad from his cot. "Shall I?"

"No, you stay where you are," Daddy Brown said. "You might get the
rheumatism if you got wet."

"I used to get wet enough when I was in the army," returned the old
soldier. "Many a time, when it stormed, I used to get up to fix the
tent."

"Well, Bunker and I will do it now, thank you," Mr. Brown went on. By
this time Bunker Blue had on his rubber boots and coat. Then, taking a
lantern with them, Mr. Brown and Bunker went outside.

"Fasten the tent door after us, Tom," called Mr. Brown to the city boy,
"or everything will blow away inside. Tie the tent flaps shut with the
ropes, and you can open them for us when we want to come in again."

Out in the storm went Daddy Brown and Bunker Blue. As they opened the
flaps, or front door of the tent, a big gust of wind came in, and dashed
rain in Bunny's face, so that he covered his head with the bed clothes.
He had one look at a bright flash of lightning, and he could see the
ground outside all covered with water.

"I'm glad I don't have to go out in the storm," he thought, and he felt
sorry for his father and Bunker Blue.

But Mr. Brown had often been out on the ocean in worse storms than this,
and so had Bunker, so they did not mind. With their lantern they walked
all around the sleeping-tent, making sure that all the ropes were fast
to the pegs, which were driven into the ground. Some of the wooden pegs
were coming loose, and these Mr. Brown and Bunker hammered farther into
the dirt.

All the while the wind blew, and the rain pelted down, while the
lightning flashed brighter, and the thunder rumbled so loudly that it
scared Sue.

"I--I don't like it!" she sobbed, and she crept into bed with her
mother. "Please make it stop, Mother!"

"No one can make the thunder stop, Sue, dear," said Mrs. Brown. "But the
thunder won't hurt you, and the storm is almost over."

Just then there came a very loud clap.

"Oh, dear!" cried Sue. "I'se afraid!"

Bunny heard his sister, and called out:

"That sounded just like Fourth of July; didn't it, Sue? When the big
boys fired the cannon on top of the hill."

"Isn't you afraid, Bunny?" asked Sue.

"No, I--I like it," Bunny answered.

He tried to make himself believe he did, so Sue would not be so
frightened.

"Well, if you isn't afraid I isn't goin' to be, either," said Sue, after
a moment. And she stopped crying at once, and lay quietly in her
mother's cot-bed. And then the storm seemed to go away. It still rained
very hard, but the wind did not howl so loudly, and the lightning was
not so scary, nor the thunder so rumbly.

The rain still leaked in through the hole in the tent, but Tom Vine
moved Bunny's cot out of the way, and set a pail under the leak.

All at once there sounded a banging noise, as if a whole store full of
pots and pans and kettles had been turned upside down.

"Oh, what's that?" cried Mother Brown.

"Sounded as if something blew away," said Uncle Tad. "I'll get up and
look."

But he did not have to, for, just then, in came Daddy Brown and Bunker
Blue, their rubber coats all shining wet in the lantern light.

"What made that noise?" asked Mother Brown.

"The cook-tent blew over," said Daddy Brown, "and all the pots, pans and
kettles fell in a heap. But we'll let them go until morning, I guess, as
the worst of the storm is over. Now we'll all go to bed again."

"This tent won't blow over; will it, Daddy?" asked Bunny.

"No, it's all safe now. Go to sleep."

But it was some little time before they were all asleep again. Nothing
more happened that night, and Bunny and Sue were up very early the next
morning to see what the storm had done.

Camp Rest-a-While was not a pretty sight.

Besides the cook-tent having been blown over, there were broken branches
of trees scattered about. The tents were covered with leaves blown from
the trees, and there were many mud puddles.

The oil stove, and the pots, pans and other things, with which Mother
Brown cooked, were piled in a heap under the fallen cook-tent. The tent
itself was soaking wet, and one of the poles that had held it up was
broken.

"Oh, we can't ever have anything to eat!" said Sue sadly, as she looked
at the fallen tent.

"We can build a campfire," said Bunny. "Uncle Tad used to cook breakfast
over one; didn't you?" and he turned to the old soldier.

"Yes, Bunny, I did. But I guess we won't have to this time. We'll soon
have the oil stove working."

Then he and Daddy Brown, with Bunker Blue and Tom Vine, set to work. The
blown-down tent was pulled to one side, and it was seen that though
everything under it was in a heap, still nothing was broken.

Soon some milk was being warmed for the children, and coffee made for
the older folk. Then Mother Brown even made pancakes on the oil stove,
which was set up on a box at one side of the dining-tent. The day was a
fine one, and there was not enough wind to make the stove smoke.

So they had breakfast after all, and then began the work of making Camp
Rest-a-While look as it had before the storm. A new tent pole was cut,
and the tent put up again, stronger than before. Bunny and Sue helped by
picking up the scattered pieces of tree branches, and piling them in a
heap. Then they swept up the torn-off leaves, and by this time the sun
had dried up some of the puddles of water. By noon time the camp looked
as well as it had before the storm.

"And don't forget to fix the hole over my cot," cried Bunny. "I don't
want to be rained on any more, Daddy."

"I'll fix it," said Mr. Brown, and he did.

"I didn't hear any fire engines last night," said Tom Vine as they sat
at supper that evening, after coming in from a little sail around the
lake, Bunker having fixed a sail onto the rowboat.

"Fire engines!" exclaimed Bunny. "Why should you hear fire engines,
Tom?"

"Why, in the city, where I lived, before I went with that farmer, the
fire engines used to come out after every storm. Places would be struck
by lightning, you know. I've seen lots of fires. But I didn't hear any
engines last night."

"There aren't any engines in these woods," said Daddy Brown. "Of course
trees are often struck by lightning, and lightning often sets fire to
houses in the country, but there aren't any engines out in the woods."

"And no policeman, either," added Tom. "It seems funny not to see a
policeman, and have him yell at you to move on, or keep off the grass."

"Do you like it better here than in the city?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, heaps better, yes'm! I love it here. I hope I don't ever have to go
back to the city--or to that mean farmer."

Nothing had been seen of the man who wanted to get Tom back, since that
day when he had called at the camp. Bunny and Sue had almost forgotten
him, but it seemed that Tom had not. He was always a little bit afraid,
thinking that the cross man might come back.

One morning, two days after the big storm, when Bunny, Sue and all the
others were gathered around the breakfast table, Daddy Brown asked:

"Where is Tom Vine?"

"He was here a minute ago," Bunny said.

"I think he went to the spring to get a pail of water," put in Uncle
Tad.

"Yes, that's where he went," said Mrs. Brown. "I said we would need some
fresh water, and he went after it."

"Well, we won't wait for him," said Daddy Brown. "We'll eat, and he can
have his breakfast when he comes."

But the others had finished breakfast, and Tom Vine had not come back
from the spring, though they waited for some time.

"I wonder what's keeping him," said Mrs. Brown.

"He couldn't have fallen in; could he?" asked Uncle Tad.

"No, the spring isn't large enough," Bunker Blue answered. "I'll go to
look for him."

Bunker ran off along the path that led to the spring. In a little while
he came hurrying back. He carried a pail full of water, and he said:

"I found the empty pail by the spring, but Tom was gone!"



CHAPTER XV

LOOKING FOR TOM


Bunker Blue, with the pail of water, walked up to where Bunny, Sue and
the others were still sitting at the breakfast table, though they had
finished eating.

"Tom's gone," said Bunker again.

"Gone where?" asked Bunny.

"I don't know," answered the red-haired boy. "I looked all around by the
spring, but I couldn't see him. The pail was there, but Tom wasn't."

"Could he have fallen in?" asked Mrs. Brown, just as Uncle Tad had
asked.

Bunker Blue shook his head.

"The spring is only about big enough to dip a pail in," he said, "and
Tom is bigger than the pail."

"But maybe he curled all up in a little heap when he fell in," said
Bunny. "Oh, dear! I don't want Tom to be lost!"

Bunny and Sue had grown to like Tom very much.

Once more Bunker Blue shook his head.

"I could look right down to the bottom of the spring," he said. "It's
quite deep, even if it isn't big. But Tom wasn't in it. There was a big
bullfrog in the water, though."

"Was the frog big enough to--to eat Tom?" asked Sue, her eyes wide open.

Sue's mother and father laughed, and Bunny said:

"A bullfrog couldn't eat anybody!"

"They could if they was a big enough frog; couldn't they, Daddy?" asked
Sue.

"Well, I don't know," replied Mr. Brown. "Then you couldn't see anything
of Tom, Bunker?"

"No, sir, not a thing."

"Had he filled the pail with water?" Uncle Tad wanted to know.

"The pail was empty, and it was tipped over," Bunker said. "I don't know
whether Tom had filled it, and then something had knocked it over, or
not. Anyhow, the pail had no water in it, so I dipped it into the
spring to fill it, and came on back to tell you."

"That was right," said Mr. Brown. "We'll go over and look around. Tom
may have seen some new kind of bird, or something like that, and have
wandered off in the woods, following it."

"Maybe he saw a bear, and ran," suggested Bunny.

"No, I guess the only bear around here is the tame one that came in our
tent the first night," said Mrs. Brown. "Oh, I do hope nothing has
happened to Tom!"

They all hoped that, for the strange boy was very well liked.

Mrs. Brown remained at the tent to wash the breakfast dishes, since Tom
was not there to do them, while the others--Bunny, Sue, their father,
Uncle Tad and Bunker--went to the spring. It was on the side of a little
hill, where grew many trees, and was about three minutes' walk from Camp
Rest-a-While.

Mr. Brown and Uncle Tad looked all around the hole in the ground--the
hole was the spring, and it was filled with clear, cold water. The
bottom of the spring was of white sand, and sitting down there, having a
nice bath, was a big, green bullfrog. With his funny eyes he looked up
at Bunny and Sue as they leaned over the spring.

"Oh, look!" cried Sue. "What a big frog!"

"But he isn't big enough to swallow Tom," said Bunny.

"No, that's so," agreed Mr. Brown. "We'll have to look for Tom. Bunny
and Sue, you stay with me. Uncle Tad, you and Bunker walk around in the
woods. It may be that Tom fell and hurt himself, when running after a
bird or butterfly, and can't walk. We'll find him."

Tom, having lived all his life in the city, thought the birds and
butterflies were most wonderful creatures. Every time he saw a new one
he would run up to it to get a close look. He never tried to catch them,
he just wanted to watch them fluttering about the flowers.

But, though they looked all around in the woods by the spring, there was
no sign of Tom. Up and down, back and forth, they walked, looking
beside big rocks or stumps, behind fallen logs and under clumps of
bushes they peered, but no Tom could they find.

"Oh, he's losted, just like we was losted," said Sue, sadly.

"Yes, I guess he is," agreed Bunny. "Splash, can't you find Tom?"

The big dog barked: "Bow-wow!" But what he meant by that no one knew.
Splash, however, could not find Tom.

"Let's call his name," said Uncle Tad.

So they called his name.

"Tom! Tom! Tom Vine! Where are you?"

But Tom did not answer.

"This is queer," said Mr. Brown. "I don't believe he'd run away and
leave us. He liked it too much at our camp."

"Perhaps he saw that mean man," said Bunker Blue. "Tom may have seen the
cross farmer who wanted him to come back to work, and Tom may have run
away off and hid--so far off that he can't hear us calling."

"Yes, that's so. He _may_ have done that," agreed Mr. Brown. "We'll go
back to camp, and wait for him. He may come when he thinks the man has
gone away."

Back to camp they all went. Bunny and Sue felt bad about Tom's being
lost. So did the others. Every time Splash would stop in front of a
clump of bushes, and bark, as he often did, Bunny and Sue would run up,
thinking their friend had been found.

But it would be only a bird, a rabbit or a squirrel that Splash had
seen, which made him bark that way. Tom was not to be found.

They waited in camp all the rest of that day, only going out a little
way for a row on the lake. Night came, and there was no Tom. It grew
very dark, and still he had not come.

"Oh, dear!" cried Sue. "Will he have to sleep out alone all night?"

"Perhaps he'll come back before you are awake in the morning," said
Mother Brown. "Anyhow, Tom isn't afraid of the dark, and it is now so
warm that anyone could sleep out of doors and not get cold. I think Tom
will be here in the morning."

But morning came, and there was no sign of Tom. A lantern had been left
burning outside the tent all night, in case he should come. But he did
not.

"Well," said Mr. Brown, after breakfast, "there's only one thing to do,
and I'm going to do it."

"What is that?" asked his wife.

"I'm going over to Farmer Trimble's, to see if Tom is there."

"Oh, Trimble is the name of the man who wanted to take Tom away; isn't
it?"

"Yes, that's the man who came here, and tried to get Tom. It may be that
Mr. Trimble saw Tom at the spring, getting water, and made him go away.
So I'm going over to the Trimble farm, and see."

"Oh, may we come?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," said Mr. Brown. "I guess so. I'll take you and Bunker Blue with
me. And if we find Tom we'll bring him back with us. That man has no
right to keep him!"



CHAPTER XVI

"WHO TOOK THE PIE?"


The shortest way to go to the Trimble farm was to row across the lake in
the boat, and then to walk a little distance through the wood. Mr.
Brown, with Bunny and Sue, started, with Bunker Blue at the oars,
dipping them in the water, pulling hard on them, and lifting them out
for another dip.

"Don't row too hard, Bunker," said Mr. Brown. "It is a hot day, and I
don't want you to get tired out. Besides, we are in no hurry, so take it
easy."

At the last minute, Splash, the dog, had run down the hill to the lake,
and climbed into the boat. He did not want to be left behind.

"May we take him, Daddy?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, yes. Let him come along. He's a good dog, and maybe he can help us
find Tom."

Splash was a regular water-dog. He could swim across the lake, he could
jump in and bring back sticks that Bunny or Sue would toss in, and he
liked to be in a boat. Splash knew that dogs, as well as boys and girls,
must keep quiet in boats, especially small boats, so they would not tip
over. And now Splash perched himself up in the bow, or front part of the
boat, and quietly sat there, looking across at the other shore.

Bunny looked down over the side, where he was sitting, and saw some fish
swimming about, for the water of the lake was very clear.

"I wish I had brought my fishpole," Bunny said. "I could catch some fish
for dinner."

"We've something else to do besides catching fish to-day, Bunny,"
replied his father. "We've got to find Tom Vine."

"Do you think we'll find him, Daddy?" asked Sue, as she hugged one of
her dolls, which she had brought with her.

"Well, maybe so, little girl. I can't think of anything else that would
happen to Tom, except that he would be taken by Mr. Trimble. I think
we'll find him."

They were half way across the lake when Sue suddenly cried:

"Oh, there she goes! Oh, she's fallen in!"

"What is it?" asked Mr. Brown, turning around quickly, for he was seated
with his back toward his little girl.

"It's my doll!" Sue cried. "She jumped right out of my arms, and fell in
the lake."

I guess Sue meant that her doll slipped out of her arms, for dolls can't
jump--at least not unless they have a spring wound up inside them, like
an alarm clock, and Sue's doll wasn't that kind.

"Stop the boat, Bunker! Row back!" cried Mr. Brown. "Sue's doll fell
overboard, and we don't want to lose her!"

Bunker stopped rowing, and he was reaching out with an oar to pull in
the doll, which was floating like a little boat on top of the water, not
far away. But before Bunker could save the doll, Splash, with a loud
bark, jumped in and swam out toward the plaything of his little
mistress.

Seizing the doll in his mouth, Splash swam back with her to the boat.
Bunny stretched out his hand to take the doll, but Splash would not give
it up to him. The dog knew that boys don't play with dolls, and that
this one belonged to Sue. So Splash swam around to the other side of the
boat where Sue was anxiously waiting, and he let her take the doll from
his mouth.

"Good dog!" cried Sue, patting him with one hand. Then she began to
squeeze the water out of her doll's dress.

"I'm glad I didn't bring my best doll," said Sue. "This is only one of
my old ones, and it won't hurt her to get wet. I was going to give her a
bath, anyhow, but I didn't mean to leave her clothes on. Anyhow, she'll
soon dry, I guess."

Sue put the doll down beside her, on the seat, where the hot sun would
dry up the water. Splash put his two paws on the edge of the boat, and
Mr. Brown and Bunker Blue helped him in.

"Now you be quiet, Splash!" called Mr. Brown. "Don't go shaking the
water off yourself, as you always do when you come in from a swim. For
we can't get far enough away from you in the boat, and you'll get us all
wet. Don't shake yourself!"

I don't know whether or not Splash understood what Mr. Brown said. At
any rate, the dog went back to his place in the bow, and did not shake
the water off his dripping fur. Whenever he did that he made a regular
shower.

The boat was soon close to the other shore. Bunker Blue rowed up to a
little dock, and tied fast. Then Mr. Brown helped out Bunny and Sue.
Splash did not need any help. He jumped out himself and ran on ahead,
now giving himself a good shake to get rid of the water drops.

A short walk brought the party to Mr. Trimble's farm. The cross farmer
was not in the house, but his wife said he was out in the barn, and
there Mr. Brown found him.

"Well, what do you want?" asked Mr. Trimble in that cross voice of his.
He seemed never to smile.

"I came to see if you have that boy I'm taking care of--Tom Vine," said
Mr. Brown. "Did you take him away?"

"No, I did not," said Mr. Trimble, crossly.

"Do you know where he is?"

"No, I don't."

"Have you seen him at all?" asked Bunny's father. "Yesterday he went to
the spring for a pail of water, but he did not come back. We are afraid
something has happened to him. Then I thought perhaps you might have
taken him, though you had no right to."

"Well, I didn't take him, though I had a right to," growled the farmer.
"I hired that boy to work for me, and I gave him a suit of clothes,
besides feeding him. He didn't stay with me long enough to pay for what
I gave him. And if I catch him I'll make him work out what he owes me.
But I haven't seen him since he was in your camp. I wish I did have him
now. I'd make him step lively, and do some work!"

So Mr. Brown had his trip for nothing. Tom was not at the Trimble farm,
that was sure.

"I guess he ran away from you the same as he did from me," said Mr.
Trimble as Mr. Brown turned away.

Bunny's father shook his head.

"Tom Vine isn't that kind of boy," he said. "He may have run away from
you because you didn't treat him well, but he would not run away from
us. He liked it at Camp Rest-a-While."

"That's all you know about boys!" laughed the farmer. "I treated him as
well as he needed to be treated. Boys are all lazy. They'd rather play
than work. And you'll find out that Tom Vine has run away from you. He
didn't want to work."

"He didn't work very hard at our camp," said Mr. Brown. "All he had to
do was to wash the dishes and help with little things. He liked it. I'm
sure something has happened to him, and I'm sorry, for I intended doing
something for him."

"Well, I haven't got him, though I wish I had," grumbled Mr. Trimble.
"If I catch him, I'll make him work hard!"

"Then I hope you don't catch him," Mr. Brown said.

He went down to the boat with the children and Bunker Blue, and they
were soon back at camp.

"Did you see anything of him?" asked Mrs. Brown, coming down to the edge
of the lake, as she saw the boat nearing the shore.

"No," answered Mr. Brown. "Mr. Trimble said he isn't at the farm, and I
don't believe he is. You didn't see anything of him while we were gone,
did you?"

Mrs. Brown shook her head.

"Uncle Tad has been looking up around the spring again," she said, "but
he couldn't find him."

"Oh dear!" sighed Bunny. "Poor Tom is lost!"

"He must have been frightened by something at the spring," said Mr.
Brown, "and have run off."

"Well, there's one thing we don't have to worry about," said Mrs. Brown.
"There aren't any wild animals in these woods. None of them could get
Tom."

She said that so Bunny and Sue would not be thinking about it.

Two days and nights passed, and there was no sign of Tom. One afternoon
Mrs. Brown baked some pies in the oven of the oil stove. She was all
alone in camp, for Mr. Brown, the children, and Bunker Blue had gone
fishing. Uncle Tad had gone for a walk in the woods.

Mrs. Brown put the pies on a table in the cooking-tent to cool, while
she went to the spring for a fresh pail of water. When she came back she
looked at the pies. Then she rubbed her eyes and counted them.

"Why!" she cried. "One of the pies is gone! I baked four, and there are
only three here. Who took the pie?"

She looked under the table, in boxes and on chairs, thinking perhaps a
fox or a big muskrat might have come along and tried to drag the pie,
tin and all, away. But the pie was not to be found.

"Who could have taken my pie?" asked Mrs. Brown.



CHAPTER XVII

A NOISE AT NIGHT


When Mr. Brown, Bunny, Sue and Bunker Blue came back from their little
fishing trip, they saw Mother Brown walking about the camp, in and out
among the tents, looking here and there.

"Have you lost something, Mother?" asked Bunny.

"Well, yes, I have--sort of," she said, smiling. "I've lost a pie!"

"Oh, a pie!" cried Sue. "Did you drop it, Mother, and did it fall down a
crack in the board walk, like my penny did once?"

"No!" laughed Mrs. Brown. "It wasn't that way."

Then she told of having made four pies, setting them on the table to
cool while she went to the spring for a pail of water.

"And when I came back, a whole pie was gone!" she said.

"Well, we certainly didn't take it, for we weren't here," said Daddy
Brown. "And you were all alone in camp, Mother?"

"Yes, even Uncle Tad was gone."

"Oh, maybe _he_ came back and took it!" exclaimed Bunny.

"No, he wouldn't do that," said his mother. "Some animal, perhaps a big
muskrat, like the one Splash tried to catch, came up out of the lake and
carried away my pie. I was just looking to see if I could find any marks
of the rat's paws in the soft ground, when you came along. But I
couldn't see any."

"I don't believe it was a rat, or any other animal, that took your pie,"
said Mr. Brown, as he, too, looked carefully on the ground around the
table where the pie had been placed. The three other pies were there,
but the fourth one was gone.

"There isn't a sign of any four-legged animal having been here," Mr.
Brown went on. "I think it was some animal with only two legs who took
the pie."

"Oh, you mean a--a man!" cried Mother Brown.

Daddy Brown nodded his head for yes.

"Do you mean a tramp?" asked Bunker Blue.

"Well, yes, it might have been a tramp, though we haven't seen any
around here since we've been in camp. However, if a pie is all they took
we don't need to worry."

"Perhaps the poor man was hungry," said Mrs. Brown. "I'm sure I hope he
enjoys my pie."

"He couldn't help liking it," said Bunny Brown. "Your pies are always so
good, Mother!"

"I'm glad to hear you say that," exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "Well, we have
enough for the next two days, anyhow, and I'll bake again to-morrow."

"Splash didn't take the pie," said Sue, "'cause he was with us in the
boat."

"Then it must have been the tramp," Mrs. Brown said. "Never mind, we
won't worry any more about it. Did you have a nice time?"

Then they told about their little fishing trip. When Uncle Tad came back
from his walk in the woods, he, too, had to be told of the missing pie.
Uncle Tad shook his head.

"We'll have to lock up everything around our camp if tramps are going to
come in and take our pies, and the other good things Mother Brown
makes," he said with a smile. "Or else one of us will always have to
stay here to keep watch."

"I wish we had Tom Vine back," said Bunny. "I wonder where he is?"

Of course no one knew, and Mr. Brown began to think that, after all, Tom
had done just as Mr. Trimble had said--had run away.

The next day, after breakfast, Sue, who was changing the dress of one of
her dolls, saw brother Bunny walking along the path that led toward the
spring. Bunny carried a small wooden box.

"What are you going to do, Bunny?" she asked him. "Get a box full of
water?"

"Nope. This box won't hold water. It's got holes in."

"But what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to make a trap to catch a fox."

"Oh, Bunny! Can I help you?"

"Yes. Come on. But you must keep awful still, 'cause foxes are easy
scared."

"I will, Bunny. And may I bring my doll with me? I can put her to sleep
on some soft dried leaves when you want me to help you."

"Yes, you may bring one doll," said Bunny. "But don't bring one of the
kind that cries when you punch it in the stomach, or it might make a
noise and scare the fox. I'm going to catch one and train him to do
tricks."

"How are you going to catch him, Bunny?"

"In this box. Come on, I'll show you."

"I guess I won't bring any of my dolls," said Sue, after thinking about
it for a minute. "A fox might bite her."

"Yes, that will be better," said the little boy.

So, carrying the box, and some other things, which Sue helped him with,
Bunny and his sister went a little way into the wood.

"Don't go too far!" their mother called after them.

"We won't!" they promised. Since coming to Camp Rest-a-While Bunny and
Sue had not been lost, and they did not now want to have that trouble if
they could help it.

"Are there any foxes in here?" asked Sue, looking around as she and
Bunny came near the spring.

"Hush! Don't speak so loud," whispered her brother. "You might scare
'em."

"Is they any here?" asked Sue, this time in a very soft whisper.

"I guess so," answered Bunny. "They must come to the spring to get a
drink of water, same as we do. I'm going to put my trap near the
spring."

There was a large flat stone, near the place where the water for the
camp was found. On this stone Bunny put the box, bottom side up. It had
no cover to it. One edge of the box Bunny held up by putting a stick
under it, and to the stick he tied a long string.

"Is that a trap?" asked Sue.

"Yep," Bunny answered. "Now I'm going to put something under the box
that foxes like. They'll crawl under to eat it, and when they're there
I'll pull the string. That will make the stick come out and the box will
fall down, and cover up the fox so it can't get away."

"Oh, that'll be fine!" cried Sue. "But what're you going to give the
foxes to eat, Bunny?"

"I'll show you," said the little fellow. From his pocket he took some
bits of bread, a few crumbs of dried cake, a little piece of pie wrapped
in paper, and half an apple.

"There!" Bunny exclaimed as he put these things under the raised-up box.
"Foxes ought to like all that. Now we'll hide back here in the bushes,
Sue, and I'll have hold of the long string. As soon as we see a fox, or
any other animal, go under the box, I'll pull away the little stick, and
we'll catch him!"

"All right," said Sue. So, the trap having been set, Bunny and Sue hid
themselves in the hushes to wait. But for a long time no fox, or any
other animal, came along. Bunny and Sue grew tired of sitting in the
bushes and keeping quiet. They could only whisper, and this was not much
fun.

"I--I guess I'll go home," said Sue, after a bit.

"Oh, no, stay with me!" Bunny begged. "Maybe I'll catch a fox pretty
soon. Oh, look, Sue!" he cried, this time aloud, he was so excited.
"There's a bird going into the box. I'll catch the bird, to show you how
my trap works."

"You won't hurt the bird; will you, Bunny?" begged Sue.

"No, I won't hurt it a bit," Bunny replied.

A sparrow was hopping along the flat stone, toward the upraised box,
under which were the bread and cake crumbs, and other good things that
birds like. Closer and closer to the box went the bird, and finally it
was all the way under, picking up the crumbs.

"Now watch me catch him!" cried Bunny.

He pulled the string, out came the stick, down came the box, and the
bird was caught.

"I've got him! I've got him!" cried Bunny. "That's the way I'd catch a
fox!"

He and Sue ran to the box trap. Bunny lifted it up and out flew the
bird, not at all hurt, and only a little frightened. Bunny raised the
box up again, and held it there with the stick. Then he and Sue went
back among the bushes to wait; all ready to pull the string again.

But though Bunny's trap would catch a sparrow, there did not seem to be
anything else he could catch. No foxes or other animals came to get a
drink, and later Bunny's father explained to him that nearly all wild
animals wait until after dark to get water, for fear of being caught.

After a while Bunny and Sue grew tired of waiting in the bushes.

"I'll just leave the trap here," said Bunny, "and maybe a fox will go in
and knock the stick down himself. Then he'll be caught."

"But a fox could easy upset the box," said Sue.

"Maybe he could," agreed Bunny. "I'll put a stone on top of it." And he
did.

Bunny and Sue reached camp in time for dinner. In the afternoon they
went with their mother to pick huckleberries, and helped fill two pails.

"I'll make pies of these berries," said Mother Brown.

"And I hope nobody takes any of the pie," said Bunny. "'Cause I like
huckleberry pie myself an awful lot."

That evening Daddy Brown built a campfire, and Bunny and Sue, with
Bunker Blue, sat about it roasting marshmallows.

"I wish Tom Vine was here to help eat them," said Sue.

"So do I," agreed Bunny.

But Tom Vine was not there. Where was he? No one at Camp Rest-a-While
could tell.

Bunny Brown did not sleep well that night. Perhaps he had eaten too many
marshmallow candies. At any rate, he awoke soon after he went to bed. He
was wishing he had a drink of water, and he was thinking whether he
would best get up for it himself, or awaken his father, when the little
fellow heard a noise outside the tent. It was a noise as if someone were
walking around. At first Bunny thought it was Splash, but, looking over
in the corner of the sleeping-tent, Bunny saw his dog there. Splash,
too, had heard the noise, for he was getting up and growling deep in his
throat.

Then, all at once, came a loud bang, as if someone had knocked down five
or six tin pans.



CHAPTER XVIII

SPLASH ACTS QUEERLY


"Daddy! Daddy!" cried Bunny Brown. "Daddy, did you hear that?"

"I couldn't very well help hearing it," said Mr. Brown sitting up on his
cot, which was next to Bunny's. "Who's out there?" Mr. Brown cried, and
with a jump he reached the flaps of the tent, which he opened, so he
could look out.

Splash, who had jumped out, barking, when the noise sounded, rushed out
of the tent. The tins had stopped rattling, and it was very quiet
outside, except for the noise Splash made.

"What is it?" called Mrs. Brown, from her side of the tent.

"I don't know," answered her husband. "Someone--or some animal--seems to
be making a noise. Maybe it is someone after more of your pies,
Mother."

"We'll take a look," said Uncle Tad. He got out of his bed, and went to
stand beside Daddy Brown at the opening of the tent.

"Can you see anything?" Mrs. Brown asked. Bunny could hear his sister
whispering. Sue also, had been awakened, and wanted to know what had
caused the noise in the night.

"No, I can't see anything," said Mr. Brown. "Splash is coming back, so I
guess it wasn't anything."

He and Uncle Tad could see the children's dog walking back to his bed in
the tent. Splash slept on a piece of old carpet. The dog was wagging his
tail.

"What is it Splash? Did you see any tramps?" asked Mr. Brown.

Splash did not answer, of course, but he wagged his tail as he always
did when he was with his friends.

"I guess it couldn't have been anything," Mr. Brown went on. "Maybe a
squirrel or chipmunk was looking for some crumbs in the dining-tent, and
knocked down the pans. I'll just take a look out there to make sure."

Mr. Brown and Uncle Tad went outside the tent. Splash did not go with
them. He seemed to think everything was all right.

"Did you find him, Daddy?" asked Bunny, when his father came back.

"No, son. I don't believe there was anyone. I saw where the pans had
been knocked down, but that was all."

Bunny was given the drink of water he wanted and soon was asleep. The
others, too, became quiet and slept. But in the morning Mrs. Brown, in
getting breakfast, found that a piece of bacon and some eggs had been
taken from the ice box.

"The eggs and bacon were in the refrigerator all right when I washed up
the supper dishes last night," she said. "I counted on having them for
breakfast. Now they're gone!"

"Then there must have been someone in our camp, snooping around last
night," said Daddy Brown. "It was a tramp, after all. And when he helped
himself to something to eat he knocked down the pans. That's how it
happened."

"I suppose so," said Mother Brown. "Well, I'm sure if the poor tramp was
hungry I'm glad he got something to eat. But I wish he had not taken my
bacon and eggs."

However, there was plenty else to eat in Camp Rest-a-While, so no one
went hungry.

"I wonder if it was the same tramp that took the pie," said Bunny as he
finished the last of his glass of milk.

"He must be a hungry tramp to eat a whole pie, and all those eggs, and
the big piece of bacon," said Bunker Blue.

"Oh, I guess the things he took lasted him for several meals," Mr. Brown
said. "The funny part of it is, though, that Splash did not bark. When
he ran out of the tent last night the tramp could not have been far
away. And yet Splash did not bark, as he always does when strangers are
around at night. I think that's queer."

"So do I," put in Uncle Tad. "Maybe Splash knew the tramp."

"Splash doesn't like tramps," said Bunny.

"Well, he must have liked this one, for he didn't bark at him," added
Bunker Blue with a laugh. "Maybe Splash knew this tramp before you
children found your dog, on the island where you were shipwrecked."

For Bunny and Sue had found Splash on an island, as I told you in the
first book of this series. That was when Bunny and Sue were
"shipwrecked," as they called it.

Nothing else had been taken from Camp Rest-a-While except the bacon and
eggs, and as Bunker Blue was going to the village that day he could buy
more meat for Mother Brown. The eggs they could get at the farmhouse
where they bought their milk. So, after all, no harm was done.

"The only thing is," said Daddy Brown, "that I don't like the idea of
tramps prowling about our tents at night. I'd rather they would keep
away."

[Illustration: BUNNY AND SUE OFTEN WENT BATHING IN THE COOL LAKE.
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While._ _Page_ 181.]

It was so lovely, living out in the woods, near the beautiful lake, as
the Browns were doing, that they soon forgot about the noise in the
night, and the tramps. Bunny and Sue were getting as brown as little
Indian children. For they wore no hats and they went about with only
leather sandals on, and no stockings, their sleeves rolled up to
their elbows, so their arms and legs were brown, too. They often went
bathing in the cool lake, for, not far from the camp, was a little sandy
beach.

Of course, it was not like an ocean beach, or the one at Sandport Bay,
for there were only little waves, and then only when the wind blew. In
the ocean there are big waves all the while, pounding the sandy shore.

One day Mrs. Brown told daddy they needed some things from the village
store--sugar, salt, pepper--groceries that could not be bought at the
farmhouses near by.

"I'll take the children, row over, and get what you want," said Mr.
Brown, for it was easier to row across the lake, and walk through the
woods, than to walk half-way around the lake to the store. With Splash,
Bunny and Sue in the boat Mr. Brown set off.

They landed on the other shore, and started to walk through the woods.
On the way they had to pass along a road that was near to the farm of
Mr. Trimble, the "mean man," as Bunny and Sue called him. Perhaps Mr.
Trimble did not intend to be mean, or cross, but he certainly was. Some
folk just can't help being that way.

"Huh! Are you coming over again to bother me about that runaway boy, Tom
Vine?" asked Mr. Trimble, as he saw Mr. Brown.

"No, I've given Tom up," replied the children's father. "I guess he has
gone back to the city. I'm sorry, for I wanted to help him."

"Boys are no good!" cried Mr. Trimble. "That Tom is no good. But I'll
pay him back for running away from me!"

"Did he come back to you?" asked Mr. Brown, thinking perhaps, after all,
the "ragged boy," as Sue sometimes called him in fun, might have thought
it best to go back to the man who had first hired him.

"You don't see him anywhere around here; do you?" asked Mr. Trimble.

"No, I don't see him," said Mr. Brown, wondering why the farmer answered
in that way.

"Well, he isn't here," said Mr. Trimble, and he went on hoeing his
potatoes, for he was in a field of them, near the road, when he spoke
to Mr. Brown.

As Bunny, Sue and their father walked on, Splash did not come with them.
He hung back, and seemed to want to stay close to a small building, near
Mr. Trimble's barn. Splash walked around this building three or four
times, barking loudly.

"What makes Splash act so funny?" asked Bunny.

"I don't know," answered Mr. Brown. "Here, Splash! Come here!" he cried.
But Splash would not come.



CHAPTER XIX

IN THE SMOKE-HOUSE


"What makes Splash act so queer?" asked Bunny again.

"I'm sure I don't know," said his father. "I guess we'll have to go back
and get him."

Certainly Splash did not seem to want to keep on to the village with Mr.
Brown and the children. The dog was running around and around the small
house, barking loudly. Mr. Trimble seemed not to hear the dog's barks,
but kept right on hoeing potatoes.

"We'll go back and get Splash!" decided Mr. Brown.

He and the children walked slowly back. Splash kept on barking.

"You seem to have something in that little house which excites our dog,"
said Mr. Brown.

"It doesn't take much to get some dogs excited," answered the farmer.
He did not seem to care much about it, one way or the other.

"What sort of house is that?" asked Mr. Brown. He looked at it closely.
The little house had no windows, and only one door. And there was a
queer smell about it, as though it had once been on fire.

"That's a smoke-house," said Mr. Trimble. "It's where I smoke my hams
and bacon. I hang them up in there, build a fire of corn-cobs and
hickory wood chips, and make a thick smoke. The smoke dries the ham and
bacon so it will keep all winter."

"What a funny house!" said Sue.

"It hasn't any windows," observed Bunny.

"We have to have smoke-houses tight and without windows," explained Mr.
Trimble, "so the smoke won't all get out."

"Are there any hams or bacon in there now?" asked Mr. Brown.

"No, we don't do any smoking until fall, when we kill the pigs."

"Well, there's _something_ in there that bothers our dog," went on the
children's father. For, all this while, Splash was running around the
smoke-house, barking more loudly than before.

Just then Bunny Brown thought of something. He pulled at his father's
coat and whispered to him:

"Oh, Daddy! Maybe Tom Vine is shut up in there--shut up in the
smoke-house!"

Mr. Brown looked first at Bunny and then at the strange little house
which had no windows. The door of it was tightly shut.

"That's so, Bunny," said Mr. Brown. "Perhaps Tom is in there. That would
make Splash bark, for he knows where Tom is." Mr. Brown thought as Bunny
did, that Mr. Trimble might have caught Tom, and locked him up in the
dark smoke-house.

"Oh, Daddy! Do you s'pose Tom's in there?" asked Sue in a whisper, for
she had heard what Bunny had whispered.

Daddy Brown nodded his head. He walked up to Mr. Trimble and said:

"Now look here! There's something in that smoke-house, and I want to see
what it is. Our dog knows there's something there, and I'm pretty sure
of it myself."

"Well, what do you think it is?" asked Mr. Trimble. "If there's anyone
in there I don't know it. But I'll open the door, and let you see. Your
dog certainly is making a lot of noise."

"Have you got that poor boy, Tom Vine, locked up in there?" asked Mr.
Brown.

The farmer laughed.

"Tom Vine locked up in there? Certainly not!" he cried. "I wish I did
have. I'd like to punish him for running away from me. But I haven't
seem him since he was at your camp. No, sir! He isn't in my smoke-house.
I don't believe anything, or anybody, is in there. But I'll open the
door and let you look inside. Why, the door isn't locked," the farmer
went on, "and I guess I couldn't keep a boy like Tom Vine in a
smoke-house without locking the door on him."

Mr. Brown did not know what to think now. As for Bunny and Sue they
thought surely their new friend, Tom, was locked in the queer little
house.

"Oh, now we'll see him!" cried Sue, and she felt very glad.

Mr. Trimble dropped his hoe across a row of potatoes, and walked to
where Splash was still barking away in front of the smoke-house.

"Will your dog bite?" asked the farmer.

"No, he is very gentle," answered Mr. Brown. "But I'll call him away
while you open the door."

"I'll hold him," said Bunny. "I'll hold him by his collar."

By this time Splash seemed to have barked enough, for he grew quiet.
Perhaps he knew the door was going to be opened. He came away when Bunny
called him, and the little boy held tightly to the dog's collar.

"I'll help you hold him," cried Sue, and she, too, took hold.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you," said Mr. Trimble, with a sour sort of
laugh, "but you won't see any boy, or anything else, as far as I know,
in this smoke-house. I did pile in some bean poles last fall, and I
guess they're there yet, but that's all. Now watch close."

He put his shoulder against the door, and pushed. As it swung open, an
animal, something like a little red dog, with a sharp, pointed nose and
a big, bushy tail, sprang out and ran down the little hill, on which the
smoke-house stood.

"Why--why!" cried Mr. Trimble. "There _was_ an animal in there after
all! I didn't know it."

"A fox! It's a fox!" cried Bunny Brown. He had once seen in a book a
picture of a fox, and this animal looked just like the picture.

"Yes, that's a fox sure enough, and I guess it's the one that's been
taking my chickens!" cried Mr. Trimble. "I wish I had my gun! I'd shoot
the critter!"

He picked up a stone, and threw it at the fox, but did not hit the
running animal. Then something queer happened.

Splash, who was being held by Bunny and Sue, gave a sudden bark. Then he
gave a sudden jump. He went so quickly that he pulled Bunny and Sue
after him, and they both fell down in the dirt. But it was soft, so they
were not hurt.

They had to let go of Splash's collar, though, and the dog now began to
run after the fox, barking again and again.

"Splash! Splash!" cried Bunny. "Come back. The fox will bite you!"

"Don't worry," said Daddy Brown. "Splash can never catch that fox. The
fox can run too fast, and he has a good head-start. Splash will soon get
tired of running, and come back."

"The idea! The idea," exclaimed Mr. Trimble, "of a fox being in my
smoke-house! That's what made your dog all excited."

"Yes, that was it," said Daddy Brown. "But I thought you might have Tom
Vine shut up in there. I'm sorry I made the mistake."

"Oh, well, that's all right," said Mr. Trimble. He did not seem so cross
now. He even smiled at Bunny and Sue.

"Maybe I was too quick with that boy," he said. "But I'm a hard working
man, and them as works for me has to work hard, same as I do. But maybe
I was too hard on Tom. I certainly was mad when he ran away and left me,
and I made up my mind I'd punish him, if I could get him back. But I
haven't seen him since he was at your camp. And you thought he was in
the smoke-house?" he asked.

"Yes, I really did," replied Mr. Brown. "But I guess you didn't know a
fox was in there; did you?"

"No, I didn't," answered the farmer. "He must have gone in during the
night, when the door was open. The place sort of smells of meat, you
know. Then the door blew shut, and the fox couldn't get out.

"And Splash smelled him!" cried Bunny, who had gotten up and was
brushing the dust off. Sue was doing the same thing.

"Yes, your dog smelled the fox," said Mr. Trimble. "That was what made
him bark and get all excited."

"I'm going to catch a fox in my trap," said Bunny. "I've got a trap set
over by our spring. Maybe this is the fox I'm going to catch," he went
on.

"I'm afraid not," said Mr. Brown. "This fox is so scared that he'll run
for miles. He'll never come back this way again. Well, we haven't found
Tom Vine yet; have we?" and he looked at Bunny and Sue.

"No, and you never will find him," said Mr. Trimble. "Boys are no good.
Tom ran away from you same as he did from me. But maybe I was a little
too harsh with him. I wouldn't lock him up in a dark smoke-house,
though. That's no place for a boy."

Bunny and Sue were glad to hear the farmer say that.

"Well, we'd better be getting on to the village," said Mr. Brown. "Come
along, children."

"Oh, let's wait for Splash to come back," said Bunny. "I don't want him
to be lost."



CHAPTER XX

IN BUNNY'S TRAP


Pretty soon Splash was seen coming over the hills. He did not run fast,
for he was tired from having chased the fox. The dog was wet and muddy,
too.

"Oh, Daddy! What happened to Splash?" asked Bunny, as the dog came
slowly along, and stretched out in the shade of a tree.

"Did the fox bite him?" Sue wanted to know. "If he did I don't like
foxes, and I don't want Bunny to catch any in his trap."

"No, the fox didn't bite your dog," said Mr. Brown. "I guess he just ran
away from Splash. And Splash tried to catch him, and ran through mud and
water until he got all tired out. You don't like foxes, either, do you,
Splash?"

Splash barked once, and did not even wag his tail. That one bark must
have meant "No." And I guess Splash was too tired to wag his tail, as
he always did when he was happy, or pleased.

"Maybe he'd like a drink of water," said the farmer. "I'll bring him
some from the well. It's good and cold. I'm going to drink some myself,
as it's a hot day. I could give the children a glass of milk," went on
Mr. Trimble to Daddy Brown. "I've got plenty up at the house."

"Oh, I don't want to trouble you," said the children's father.

"It's no trouble!" said the farmer. "My wife will be glad to give them
some. Come on, Splash!" he called. "We'll get you a cold drink after
your run. So the fox got away from you same as that boy Tom Vine ran
away from me."

Mr. Trimble was smiling and laughing now. Somehow or other he did not
seem as mean and cross as he once had. Bunny and Sue were beginning to
like him now. He was quite a different man from the one who had called
at Camp Rest-a-While looking for Tom.

Splash eagerly drank the cool water, and then he rolled in the grass to
get some of the mud off his coat. Mrs. Trimble brought out some milk for
Bunny and Sue, and also a plate of molasses cookies, which they were
very glad to have.

"Sit down under this shady apple tree," said Mrs. Trimble, "and help
yourselves. Maybe you'd like a glass of milk," she said to Mr. Brown.

"Well, I don't care much for milk, except in my tea and coffee," he
said. "Thank you, just the same."

"How about buttermilk?" asked Mr. Trimble. "That's what I like on a hot
day, and she's just churned."

"Yes, I should like the buttermilk," returned Bunny's father, and soon
he was drinking a large glass.

"What funny looking milk!" remarked Sue, as she helped herself to
another molasses cookie from the plate in front of her. "It's got little
yellow lumps in it, Daddy."

"Those are little yellow lumps of butter," said Mr. Brown. "To make
butter, you know, they churn the cream of sour milk. And when the
butter is all taken out in a lump, some sour milk is left, and they call
that buttermilk. Would you like to taste it, Sue?"

Sue, who had drunk the last of her glass of sweet milk, nodded her curly
head. But when Daddy Brown put his glass to her lips, and just let her
sip the buttermilk he had been drinking, Sue made such a funny face that
Bunny laughed aloud.

"Oh--oh! It--it's sour--like lemons!" cried Sue.

"Yes, it is sour!" said Mr. Brown. "But that is why I like it."

"I like molasses cookies better," said Sue, as she took a bite from one
to cleanse away the sour taste in her mouth. "You can make just as good
cookies as my mother or my Aunt Lu can," said Sue to Mrs. Trimble.

"Can I? I'm glad to hear that," said the farmer's wife, with a smile.
"Have some to put in your pockets."

"Oh, I'm afraid you've given them too many already," objected Mr. Brown.

"Molasses cookies won't hurt children; nor milk won't either," the
farmer said. "Any time you're over this way stop in. I'm sorry you can't
find that boy Tom. And I'm sorry I was a bit cross with him, or maybe
he'd be here yet. But I haven't seen him."

Splash was rested now, and clean. And he had had a good drink of cold
water, so he was ready to start again. The children, too, felt like
walking, and, after having thanked the farmer and his wife, Mr. Brown
set off once more with Bunny and Sue, Splash following behind.

"Come again!" Mrs. Trimble invited them.

"We will, thank you," answered Daddy Brown.

"She's real nice; isn't she?" asked Bunny, when they were once more in
the road.

"Yes," said Daddy Brown.

"And I like that farmer, too," said Sue. "I didn't like him at first,
when he shook his fist and was so cross, but I like him now."

"Yes, he is different from what he was at first," returned her father.
"But I'm afraid we've seen the last of Tom. He must have run away. Maybe
he was afraid, after all, that Mr. Trimble would stay cross, and would
try to get him back onto the farm. Well, it's too bad, for Tom was a
nice boy, but it can't be helped."

"I'd like Tom back," said Bunny.

"So would I," added Sue.

"What's the matter, Splash?" asked Mr. Brown, for the big dog had run up
the side of a little hill along the road, and was barking at a hole in
the ground.

"Maybe he thinks the fox lives there," said Bunny.

"Maybe," said Daddy. "Come on, Splash. Even if that is the hole of the
fox he isn't there now. You chased him too far away. Come on!"

But Splash did not want to come. He pawed away the dirt at the side of
the hole, and put his sharp nose down inside it.

"There must be _something_ there, Daddy," said Bunny, standing still,
and looking up the hill at the dog. "Let's go and see what it is."

"If it's a fox I'm not going!" cried Sue, holding back.

"I don't believe it's a fox," said Mr. Brown. "But we'll take a look.
I'll carry you, Sue, and then, even if it is some animal in the hole,
you won't be afraid."

Sue didn't mind going closer if her father carried her, and soon the two
children, and Mr. Brown, were looking down into the hole at which Splash
was barking.

All at once a light brown animal, covered with fur, and larger than the
muskrat Splash had barked at in the lake, stuck its head out of the
hole.

"Oh, look!" cried Bunny. "It's a little bear!"

"No, that's a ground-hog, or woodchuck," explained Mr. Brown. "They
won't hurt you. This must be the old father or mother, and there may be
little ones in the hole, or burrow, so the old folks want Splash to go
away."

But Splash did not want to go. He barked louder than ever at the sight
of the woodchuck, and pawed at the dirt with his fore paws. But he could
not reach the brown, furry animal.

"Come away, Splash!" called Mr. Brown.

Still Splash barked.

Then, all at once, the woodchuck thrust out his head quickly, and made
a grab for one of Splash's paws. The dog howled, and ran down the hill.

"There!" exclaimed Mr. Brown. "Now I guess you'll leave the woodchucks
alone, Splash."

"Oh, is Splash hurt?" asked Bunny, for the dog was running along on
three legs, holding the other up off the ground.

"Oh, I guess he isn't hurt much," Mr. Brown said. "Come here, Splash,
until I look at your foot."

Splash limped up. He was not badly bitten. The woodchuck had just
pinched him to drive him away. Splash looked at the hole and barked. But
he did not offer to go near it again. So the old lady, or old gentleman,
ground-hog--whichever it was--with the little ones, was left safe in the
burrow on the side of the hill.

Mr. Brown, Bunny, Sue and Splash went on to the village. They bought the
things Mother Brown wanted and then started for camp again. Nothing much
happened on the way back. Mrs. Brown was told of the visit to Mr.
Trimble's, and how the fox ran out of the smoke-house.

"And now," said Bunny, as his father finished telling what had happened,
"now I'm going up to see if we've caught a fox or a ground-hog in my box
trap. Come on, Sue."

"All right. I'm coming, Bunny, but if it is a fox or a ground-hog, you
won't let him bite me; will you?"

"Course I won't, Sue!" said the little fellow, picking up a stick from
beside the sleeping-tent. "Come on!"

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were soon at the place where Bunny had
set the box-trap, with the stone on top to hold it down, in case an
animal got beneath.

"Now go easy, Sue!" whispered Bunny, as they crept through the bushes.
"If there's a fox, or anything else, just going in, we don't want to
scare him away."

"No," said Sue. "I won't make any noise."

She walked along quietly behind her brother. Now they were in sight of
the box-trap Bunny had made.

"Is--is anything in it?" Sue asked.

"Yes, I think so," her brother answered. "Don't make a noise. The box is
down, and I guess something is under it. I hope it's a fox."

"I don't," said Sue. "Foxes bite."

"Well, you can sell 'em for a lot of money," argued Bunny. "And maybe I
could train this one. But maybe it's only a ground-hog."

"I don't like them either," said Sue, "'cause one bit Splash."

"Say, what kind of animals _do_ you like?" asked Bunny, turning to look
at his sister. "What would you like me to catch in my trap?"

"A nice kitty cat," said Sue quickly. "Then I could have her to play
with, and she'd like me and my dolls. Couldn't you catch a nice white
kitty cat, Bunny?"

Bunny did not answer. He was looking at his box trap. His eyes opened
widely.

"Oh, look, Sue!" he cried. "Look! My trap is moving! Something big is
under the box!"



CHAPTER XXI

BUNKER GOES ASHORE


"Bunny! Bunny! I--I want to go home!" cried Sue.

"What for?" asked her brother. "It's nice here, and I've got something
in the trap, Sue."

"I know it, Bunny. I can see it move. That's why I want to go back to
camp."

"Are you 'fraid, Sue?"

Sue nodded her head, and clasped closer in her arms the doll she had
brought with her.

"Wait until we see what's in the trap--under the box," said Bunny. "I'll
lift it up and look under. If it's a fox I won't let him out."

Bunny started toward the box that was still moving slowly about on the
big flat rock where Bunny had set his trap.

"Don't you touch it!" cried Sue. "Don't lift up the box, Bunny!"

"Why not?" he asked.

"'Cause the fox might get out and bite us. Let it alone."

Bunny stood still and looked at the box. It had stopped moving for a
while. Then it began again, going about in a sort of circle.

"Why--why!" cried Sue. "It's just like Blind Man's Buff!"

And, really, that is how the box moved about, just like some boy or
girl, with a handkerchief tied over his or her eyes, trying to move
about to catch someone, and yet trying not to bang into a tree or the
fence.

"The fox, woodchuck, or whatever it is under my box," said Bunny Brown,
"can't see which way he's going. That's why the box jiggles around so
funny. But I'm going to see what's under it."

"If you lift it up, I'm going back to camp," declared Sue, turning back.

"But I want to see what it is!" cried Bunny. "I've caught an animal, and
I want to look at it!"

You remember I told you he had fixed up a box, raised at one end by a
little stick. Under the box were some good things to eat, such as
animals and birds like. Bunny had tied a long string to the stick, and
he and Sue had hid in the bushes, ready to pull the string, pull out the
little stick, and let the box trap fall down on whatever was eating the
bait.

But all Bunny caught were some sparrows, which he let go. Then he had
set the trap again, and had gone off. Now there was something under the
box, that was sure.

"How do you think it got caught, Bunny?"

"I guess the fox--or whatever it is--crawled under the box to get the
cake crumbs, and he bumped against the stick, knocked it away, and the
box came down on him," Bunny said. "Sue, I do want to see what I've
caught."

"You--you might get bit," his sister said.

Bunny thought that over for a minute.

"I know how I could do it," he said.

"How?" Sue wanted to know.

"I could get a long stick, and lift the box up with that. Then as soon
as the fox came out, we could run, and we wouldn't be near enough for
him to bite us."

"Oh, Bunny! That would be a good way, I'll stay and watch if you do it
like that."

Bunny found a long pole, like a fishing rod. Holding this out in front
of him, he walked toward the box. He tried to raise it up, but the stone
on top made it too heavy.

"Push off the stone first," said Sue.

Bunny had not thought of that. With two or three shoves of his pole he
knocked the stone off the top of the box. Then, once more, he tried to
raise his trap to see what was under it.

All at once the children heard some one calling:

"Bunny! Sue! Where are you?"

"That's Bunker Blue," said Bunny.

"Here we are!" answered Sue. "Bunny's got something in his trap! Come
and help us get it, Bunker."

There was a noise in the bushes, a dog barked, and along came the
red-haired boy and Splash. The box was moving about more quickly now,
for the heavy stone was not on top.

"Say, you have caught something!" cried Bunker. "There's surely
something under the box, Bunny."

"It's a fox," said Bunny.

"Or maybe a ground-hog," added Sue.

"Maybe, and maybe not," went on Bunker. "We'll have a look. Here, let me
take your pole, Bunny. Splash, you be ready to grab whatever it is!"

With a sudden push Bunker upset the box. Out ran a gray and brown
animal.

"Oh, look!" cried Bunny.

"Is it a fox? Oh, don't let it bite me!" cried Sue, and she ran toward
Bunker, who caught her up in his arms.

Splash, with a bark, sprang toward the little animal that had run out of
Bunny's box trap. But the little animal, instead of running away, just
curled up into a ball and stayed there. And Splash stopped short. He
barked at the animal but did not try to bite it.

"He's afraid of it, and no wonder!" said Bunker. "Best leave that alone,
Splash!"

"What is it?" asked Bunny.

"It's a hedgehog, or a prickly porcupine," said Bunker. "That animal is
all covered with sharp quills, like a lot of toothpicks. They aren't
very tightly fastened to him, and if a dog, or some other animal, tries
to bite, he gets his mouth full of sharp, slivery quills from the
hedgehog. That makes the dog's mouth very sore, and he can't bite
anything again for a long time. That's why the hedgehog curls himself up
into a little ball. In that way he is all covered with quills that stick
out in every way. No dog or any other animal, can bite without getting
badly hurt. I guess you'd better let the porcupine go, Bunny."

"I will," said the little fellow. "I don't want Splash hurt. Come away,
Splash!"

Splash did not care very much about biting or worrying the hedgehog. The
dog barked once or twice, and then came away. Then the porcupine
uncurled himself, and ran off into the wood.

"Well, I caught _something_ in my trap, anyhow," said Bunny.

"That's what you did," said Bunker Blue. "And the hedgehog, walking
around under the box, kept pushing it along with his head. He was trying
to find a way out. Come on back to camp now. Supper is ready and your
mother sent me to find you."

The next two days it rained, and Bunny and Sue did not have much fun at
Camp Rest-a-While. They had to stay in the tents. But the third day it
cleared off, and the wind blew away the storm clouds.

That afternoon Bunker took Bunny and Sue out in the boat, fishing. They
took with them some lunch to eat, and a bottle of milk to drink if they
got thirsty. Sue also took an old umbrella to keep the sun off herself
and her doll.

Bunker rowed the boat half way across the lake, and tied it to one of
the trees that grew on a little island. There he and Bunny fished, but
they did not catch anything.

"Maybe if we went on the island we would catch something," said Bunny.
"May we, Bunker?"

"Well, I don't know. We might," said the red-haired boy. "I'll tell you
what I'll do. I'll go ashore on the island, and try fishing a bit. If I
have any luck I'll come back and get you two. You and Sue stay in the
boat, Bunny, until I come back." Then the big boy got out and went
ashore, leaving Bunny and Sue in the boat.



CHAPTER XXII

IN THE WOODS


Bunker Blue seemed to be gone a long time. Five, ten--fifteen minutes
went past and he did not come back. Bunny and Sue began to get tired.

"He must be catching a lot of fish," said Bunny, after a bit, while he
dangled his own hook in the water. Bunny wasn't catching anything--he
didn't have even a nibble, though he was using the right kind of hook
and line, and he had a real "squiggily" worm on his hook--Bunker had put
it there for him.

"Maybe Bunker caught a big fish," said Sue, "and it pulled him into the
water, eh, Bunny?"

Bunny shook his head.

"No," he said. "That didn't happen."

"Maybe it might," went on Sue. "There might be big fish in this lake. Or
maybe it was a muskrat, like the one Splash barked at."

Splash, asleep up in the front of the boat, hearing his name spoken,
looked up and wagged his tail.

"I didn't call you," said Sue. "But, oh, Bunny! maybe Bunker _did_ fall
in!"

Bunny shook his head again.

"No, he didn't fall in," said the little fellow. "If he had we'd have
heard him holler, and he hasn't hollered."

Sue thought that over. It seemed all right. She knew she would "holler,"
as Bunny called it, if she fell into the water, and of course if a big
fish or a muskrat had pulled in Bunker, he, too, would cry out. And it
had been very still and quiet since the red-haired boy had gone ashore
on the island.

"I know what we can do," said Bunny, after a bit.

"What?" asked Sue.

"We can untie the boat, and row around to the other side of the island
where Bunker went," suggested Bunny. "He told us not to get out of the
boat until he came back, and we won't, 'cause mother told us to mind
Bunker. But he didn't tell us not to row the boat around where he is."

"That's right," agreed Sue. "We can do that."

Bunny and Sue knew something about boats, and they could each row a
little. So while Bunny loosed the rope by which the boat was tied, Sue
took up one oar. Then Bunny took the other. He shoved the boat out a
little way. It began to move, first slowly, and then faster. All at once
Sue cried:

"Oh, Bunny! My umbrella!"

It was open, and a gust of wind almost blew it out of the boat. Bunny
caught the umbrella just in time. To do this he had to let go of his
oar, and it slid overboard, into the water. But Bunny was not thinking
about the oar just then. He had a new idea.

As he held the open umbrella he felt the wind blowing strongly against
it. The wind was almost strong enough to blow the umbrella out of his
hands. But he held on tightly.

"Oh, Bunny, your oar is gone!" cried Sue, as she saw it float away.

"I--I can't help it," answered her brother. "I can't reach it, Sue. You
get it."

"I can't. It's too far away."

"Well, let it go!" cried Bunny. "I know something else we can do, Sue.
Oh, this will be fun! It's better than fishing!"

Sue was pulling, as best she could, on her one oar. But boats are not
meant to be rowed with one oar, though you can scull, or paddle, with
one. If you row with one oar your boat swings around in a circle,
instead of going straight ahead.

"I can't row this way, Bunny!" called Sue. She knew enough about boats
for that. "You'll have to get your oar, Bunny."

"We won't need it, Sue," called her brother. "Take in your oar. We won't
need that either. We're going to sail. Look! the umbrella is just like a
sail."

And so it was. The wind, blowing on the open umbrella Bunny held, was
sending the rowboat along just as if a sail had been hoisted. The boat
was moving quite fast now. Bunny and Sue were so pleased that they did
not think about the lost oar, which had fallen overboard and had
floated away. As Bunny had said, they did not need oars now.

"Isn't this fun!" cried Bunny.

"Yes," said Sue. "I like it. My dolly likes it, too! Do you like it,
Splash?"

Splash did not answer. He hardly ever did answer, except with a bark or
a whine, when Bunny or Sue spoke to him, and the children did not
understand dog language. Anyhow, Splash seemed to like the umbrella
sail, for he stretched out in the bottom of the boat and went to sleep.

Bunny held the open umbrella, and Sue held her doll. Of course, the doll
had nothing to do with the sailing of the boat, but Sue kept her in her
arms.

"You aren't going to sail very far; are you, Bunny?" asked Sue as the
boat kept on going faster and faster.

"Not very far," Bunny answered. "We'll just sail around the end of the
island where Bunker went fishing."

Now this would have been all right if the children had sailed around the
end of the island where Bunker Blue happened to be. But they did not.
It was not their fault, either. For Bunker had gone to the other end of
the island, and he was sitting on a log, waiting for a fish to bite.

You see, this is the way it was. Bunker Blue told about it afterward. He
went off the island, leaving Bunny and Sue in the boat. Bunker walked to
the lower end of the island. Bunny and Sue saw him going. He was going
to try for fish there.

But when the red-haired boy got to that end of the island he saw that
the water was so shallow that no large fish could be caught in it.

"I'll just go to the other end," thought Bunker.

So, without calling to Bunny and Sue, Bunker walked along the other
shore of the island, to the upper end. And Bunny and Sue, being behind a
lot of trees and bushes, did not know that Bunker was not in the place
where he had said he was going.

Bunker found the water deep enough at the upper end of the island, and
there he sat down to fish.

"I'll just see if they're biting good here," he said to himself, "and,
if they are, I'll go back and get the children."

Bunker had to wait quite a while for his first bite, and by that time
Bunny and Sue had decided to start off themselves in the boat. And so
they did, with the umbrella for a sail, as I have told you.

Faster and faster they went, around the lower end of the island. They
expected to see Bunker there, but they did not, because he was at the
upper end.

"Why--why--Bunker isn't here," said Sue, in surprise.

"Then we'd better go back," announced Bunny, still holding to the
umbrella. "Stick your oar in the water, Sue, and steer back to where we
were."

You can steer a boat with one oar, if you can't row it with one, and Sue
knew a little bit about steering. But the oar was too heavy for Sue's
little hands, and it soon slipped over into the lake. She tried to grab
it, but was too late. The second oar was lost overboard.

"Oh, dear!" Sue cried. "It's gone."

"Never mind," said Bunny. "We don't need oars with the umbrella for a
sail. Only we can't sail back where we were unless the wind blows the
other way. And I don't see where Bunker is."

"Maybe he's gone home and left us," said Sue.

"He couldn't--not without a boat," objected Bunny. "We'll have to sail
over to camp and get daddy or Uncle Tad to row back for him."

"Yes, let's sail to our camp," agreed Sue. "Won't they be s'prised to
see us come up this way with an umbrella?"

"I guess they will," said Bunny.

The wind blew stronger. It was all Bunny could do to hold to the
umbrella now. The wind almost blew it from his hands. Even with Sue to
help him it was hard work.

"If you could only tie it fast," suggested Sue.

"Maybe I can," said Bunny. "Here's a rope."

The rope by which the boat had been tied to a tree on the island lay in
the bottom of the boat. The umbrella had a crooked handle, and the
tying of one end of the rope around this, helped Bunny to hold the queer
sail.

The boat now went on faster and faster.

"Why, there's our camp, away over there!" cried Sue, pointing. "Why
don't you sail to it, Bunny?"

Bunny looked. Indeed, the white tents of Camp Rest-a-While were on the
other side of the lake--far away. And the wind was blowing the boat
farther and farther off. Bunny and Sue could not get back to camp, for
now they had nothing with which to steer their boat. Of course, if the
wind had been blowing toward the tents, instead of away from it, they
could have gotten there without steering. But now they could not.

"Oh, dear!" cried Sue. "Where are we going, Bunny?"

"We are going to the woods, I guess," he said. They were sailing toward
the wooded shores of the lake, away on the other side from their camp,
and a long way down from the island where they had left Bunker Blue.

Harder blew the wind on the umbrella sail. Faster went the boat. Finally
it ran up on shore, right where the woods came down to the edge of the
lake.

Splash jumped out with a bark, and began stretching himself. He did not
like to stay too long in a boat. He wanted to run about on shore.

"Bunny, where are we?" asked Sue.

"I don't know," answered her brother. "But we are on land somewhere, I
guess. It's nice woods, anyhow."

The trees and bushes grew thick all about.

"Let's get out," Bunny went on. He shut down the umbrella sail, and took
off the rope. Then he tied the boat to a tree. He got out, and helped
Sue.

"Where's our camp?" the little girl wanted to know.

Bunny looked across the lake. He could not see the white tents. Neither
could Sue.

"Bunny--Bunny," said the little girl slowly. "I--I guess--we're losted
again."

"I--I guess so, too," agreed Bunny Brown.



CHAPTER XXIII

IN THE CAVE


Splash, the big, shaggy dog, ran up and down the shore of the lake,
poking his nose in among the bushes here and there, barking loudly all
the while.

"What's the matter with Splash?" asked Sue of her brother. "Is there a
wild animal here, Bunny?"

"No, I don't guess so," the little boy answered. "Splash is wagging his
tail, and he wouldn't do that if there were wild animals around. He
doesn't like a wild animal. I guess Splash is just glad 'cause he is out
of a boat. Splash doesn't like a boat."

"I do," said Sue. "But we didn't ought to have come away in the boat all
alone, Bunny. Mother told us not to, you know."

"I know she did, Sue, but we couldn't help it. We were just going to
look for Bunker Blue and the wind blowed us away from the island. We
couldn't help it."

"No, I don't guess we could, Bunny. But what are we going to do now?"

"I guess we'll have to walk back to Camp Rest-a-While," answered Bunny.
"We can leave the boat here, and Bunker can come and get it."

"Can't we sail back in our boat, with the umbrella, same as we sailed
down here?" Sue wanted to know.

"We could if the wind would blow right, but it isn't," said Bunny. He
had been among his father's boatmen often enough to know that you have
to go with the wind, and not against it, when you're sailing a boat.
"We'll have to walk, Sue."

"Let's holler and yell," said the little girl, as she straightened out
the dress of her doll.

"What for?"

"So daddy or mother can hear us," Sue went on. "If we holler real loud
they may hear us, and come and get us in another boat. If we hadn't lost
the oars, Bunny, we could row back."

"Yes, but the oars are lost. I guess we'll just have to stay here, Sue.
We're losted again. But I'm not afraid. It's nice here, and if we get
hungry I can catch a fish. I have my pole, and there's a worm on my hook
yet."

"Is he a squiggily worm?" Sue wanted to know.

"He _was_ kind of squiggily," answered Bunny, "but I guess he's all done
squiggling now. He's deaded."

"Then I wouldn't be afraid of him," Sue said. "I could fish with him,
too. I don't like squiggily worms. They tickle you so."

Bunny walked back to the boat, which the wind had blown partly up on
shore. He looked for his fishing pole and line, and, after he had taken
it out, he saw the little basket of lunch his mother had put up. It had
not yet been opened.

"Oh, Sue!" Bunny cried. "Look! We've got our lunch! And there's a bottle
of milk, too! Now we can have a picnic!"

"And you won't have to catch any fish!" cried Sue, clapping her hands.
"I'm hungry Bunny. Let's have the picnic now!"

Bunny was willing, for he was hungry too, and the children, taking the
basket of lunch, sat down in a shady place on the shore to eat. As Sue
was taking off the napkins, in which the sandwiches and cakes were
wrapped, she happened to think of something.

"Oh, Bunny!" Sue said. "Part of this lunch was for Bunker Blue."

Bunny thought for a second or two.

"Well, Bunker isn't here now," he said, "and he can't get here, less'n
he swims. I don't guess he'll want any lunch, Sue."

"And anyhow, he can catch a fish," said Sue. "Bunker is good at fishing,
and he likes to eat 'em."

"I wonder where Bunker is now," pondered Bunny.

He looked back up the lake. He could not see the island where they had
left Bunker. It was out of sight around a bend in the lake shore.

"Do you think he'll swim down here and want some lunch?" asked Sue.

"No," answered Bunny. "We can eat all this. Bunker won't come."

And so the children began on their lunch, sharing some of it with
Splash, who, after a bath in the lake, lay down in the sun to dry
himself.

By this time Bunker Blue, back on the far end of the island, had caught
three fine, big fish. He was so excited and glad about getting them
that, for a while, he forgot all about Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.
Then he happened to remember them.

"I'll go back to the boat and get the children," said Bunker Blue to
himself. "They can catch fish here, and that will tickle Bunny. He never
yet caught real big fish like these."

But when Bunker went to the place where he had left Bunny and Sue in the
boat, the children were not there, nor was there any sight of the boat.
Bunker had been fishing by himself longer than he thought, and by this
time Bunny and Sue were out of sight around a bend in the shore.

Bunker rubbed his eyes. Then he looked again. There was no doubt of
it--the boat was gone, and so were the children.

"Where can they be?" asked Bunker, aloud. But there was no one on the
little island to answer him.

Then the red-haired boy happened to think that perhaps Bunny might have
taken the boat around to the other end of the island. Bunker quickly ran
there, but no boat was to be seen.

"They've either drifted away," said Bunker, "or else they've rowed
themselves away. It's too bad; but they know how to behave in a boat,
that's one good thing. They won't try to stand up, and so fall
overboard. I wonder if I could call to them?"

Bunker shouted, but Bunny and Sue were too far away to hear him. Bunker
then sat down on a stone. He did not know what to do. He looked over to
the main shore, where he could just see the white tents of Camp
Rest-a-While.

"Well, if we don't come back pretty soon, Mr. Brown will know something
is wrong, and he'll get another boat and come over here," thought
Bunker. "Then I can tell him what has happened, and we can go and look
for the children. I guess they'll be all right. All I can do is to
wait."

All this while Bunny and Sue were eating their lunch. They were not
frightened now, and they very much enjoyed their little umbrella-sail
excursion in the boat and the picnic they were having.

But, pretty soon, it began to grow cloudy, and then it began to rain.

"I don't like this," said Sue. "I want to go home, Bunny."

Bunny, himself, would have been glad to be in camp with his father and
mother, but he thought, being a boy, he must be brave, and look after
his little sister, so he said:

"Oh, I guess this rain won't be very bad, Sue. We'll go back into the
woods, under the trees. Then we can keep dry. And we'll take the lunch,
too. There'll be enough for supper."

"Will we have to stay here for supper?" asked Sue.

"Maybe," answered Bunny. "But if we do it will be fun. Come on!"

It was now raining hard. Bunny carried the lunch basket, with the
bottle of milk--now half emptied--in one hand. The other hand clasped
Sue's. They went back in the wood a little way, and, all at once, Bunny
saw something that made him call:

"Oh, Sue! Here's a good place to get in out of the rain!"

"What is it?" Sue asked.

"A cave!" cried Bunny. "It's a regular cave, like robbers live in! Come
on, Sue! Now we're all right! Oh, this is fun!" and Bunny ran forward
into the dark hole in the side of the hill--right into the cave he ran.



CHAPTER XXIV

"WHO IS THERE?"


Sue did not run into the cave after her brother Bunny. She stood,
hugging her doll close to her, under a big, evergreen tree, so that only
a few drops of rain splashed on her.

Bunny Brown, standing in the "front door" of the cave, as he called it,
looked at his sister.

"Come on in, Sue!" he called. "It's nice here, and you can't get wet at
all."

"I--I don't want to," Sue answered.

"Why not?" Bunny wanted to know.

"'Cause," and that was all Sue would say. Then it began to rain harder,
and the drops even splashed down through the thick branches of the
evergreen tree.

"Oh, come on!" cried Bunny. "It's nice here, and dry, Sue. Why won't you
come?"

"'Cause I don't like those robbers!" answered Sue at last. "I'd rather
stay out in the rain than go in with those robbers."

"What robbers?" asked Bunny, his eyes opening wide.

"You said that was a robbers' cave," declared Sue, "and I don't like
'em."

Bunny laughed.

"There's no robbers here, Sue," he said. "I only meant that this _looks_
just like the pictures of a robbers' cave. There isn't any robbers here.
Come on in. It's nice and dry here."

"Are you sure there's no robbers?" Sue wanted to know.

"Sure," said Bunny. "Listen!" He went back a little farther in the cave
and cried:

"Robbers! Robbers! Go on away! That will drive 'em off, Sue," he said.
"Now come on in."

The little girl waited a half minute, to make sure no robbers came out
after Bunny's call. Then she, too, ran into the cave.

"Isn't it nice here?" Bunny asked.

"Ye--yes, I--I guess so," and Sue spoke slowly. She was not quite sure
about it. "But it--it's dark," she went on.

"All caves are dark," Bunny Brown answered. "They have to be dark or
they wouldn't be caves. Nobody ever saw a light cave."

"Well, I like a light cave best," said Sue. "How long has we got to stay
here, Bunny?"

"Till Daddy comes for us, I guess," he said. "We can't walk back to camp
all alone. I don't know the way. We'd get losted worse than we are now."

"Has we got to stay here all night?" Sue wanted to know.

"Well, maybe," said Bunny slowly. "But we could easy sleep here. There's
some nice dried leaves we could make into a bed, and we've some of our
lunch left. We can eat that for supper, and save a little for
breakfast."

"What will we give Splash?" asked Sue. She had looked over Bunny's
shoulder as he now opened the lunch basket. There did not seem very much
left for two hungry children and a dog. Splash was now nosing about in
the cave. He did not bark, and Bunny and Sue knew there could be no one
in the hole but themselves--no wild animals or anything.

"There isn't enough to give Splash much," said Bunny slowly. "But maybe
he can dig himself up a bone in the woods. We can leave the crusts for
him. Splash likes crusts."

"I don't," Sue said. "He can have all of mine."

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue had not yet learned to like the crusts of
their bread. But Splash was not so particular.

The wind was now blowing harder, and the rain was flowing in the front
of the cave. It blew in the faces of the children.

"Come on farther back," said Bunny, as he saw Sue wrapping her dress
around her doll to keep off the rain.

"It--it's too dark," Sue answered.

Bunny walked back a little way. Then he cried:

"Oh, Sue. Come on back here. It's real light here. There's a chimbly
here and the light comes down it fine!"

"You come and get me--I can't see--it's so dark," Sue answered.

Bunny had left her standing near the front part of the cave, where it
was still light, and he had run back into the dark part. There, half
way back, he had found a place where there was a hole in the roof--a
"chimbly," as Bunny called it.

Through this hole, or chimney, light came down, but between that place,
and the entrance, was a dark spot. And it was this dark patch that Sue
did not want to cross alone.

"I'll come and get you," Bunny called, and, a minute later, he and Sue
were standing together under the hole in the cave roof. Some few drops
of rain came down this chimney, but by standing back a little way the
children could keep nice and dry, and, at the same time, they were not
in the dark.

"Isn't this nice, Sue?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," she said. "I like it better here."

It was a good place for the children to be in out of the storm. They
were far enough back in the cave now so that the wind could not blow on
them, and no rain could reach them. Splash had come this far back into
the cave with them, and was sniffing about.

Bunny walked around the light place, and found some boxes and old bags.
In one of the boxes were some pieces of dried bread, and an end of
bacon. There was also a tin pail and a frying pan. And, off to one side,
were some ashes. Bunny also saw where a pile of bags had been made into
a sort of bed.

"Look, Sue," said the little boy. "I guess real people used to live in
this cave. Here is where they made their fire, and cooked, and they
slept on the pile of bags. We can sleep there to-night, if daddy doesn't
come after us."

"But I hope he comes!" exclaimed Sue.

Bunny hoped so, too, but he thought he wouldn't say so. He wanted to be
brave, and make believe he liked it in the cave.

"I--I'm thirsty," said Sue, after a bit. "I want a drink, Bunny."

"I'll give you some of the milk, Sue. There's half a bottle of it left."

"I'd rather have water, Bunny."

"I don't guess there's any water here, Sue," answered Bunny.

Then he listened to a sound. It was Splash, lapping up water from
somewhere in the cave. It did not sound very far off.

"There's water!" Bunny cried. "Splash has found a spring. Now I can get
you a drink, Sue. Splash, where is that water?"

Splash barked, and came running to his little master. Bunny walked to
the place from which Splash had come, and there he found a spring of
water coming out of the rocky side of the cave. It fell into a little
puddle, and it was from this puddle that Splash had taken his drink.
Bunny held a cup under the little stream of water and got some for Sue.
Then he took a drink himself.

"Say, this cave is fine!" he cried. "It's got water in it and a place
for a fire. All the smoke would go up that hole. We'll get Bunker and
daddy and mother and Uncle Tad and come here and have a picnic some day.
Don't you like it, Sue?"

"I--I'd rather be back at Camp Rest-a-While," said the little girl.
"Can't we go?"

"I'll go and see how hard it's raining," said the little boy.

He went to the front door of the cave, and looked out. It was storming
very hard now. The wind was blowing the limbs of the trees about, and
dashing the rain all over.

"We can't walk home in this storm," said Bunny to Sue. "We'll have to
stay in this cave until they come for us."

"All right," Sue said. "Then let's eat."

The children ate some more of the lunch they had brought with them.

"Now let's make the bed," said Sue. "We'll sleep on a pile of the bags,
Bunny, and pull some of 'em over us for covers. Splash won't need any
covers. He never sleeps in a bed."

Bunny and Sue had often "played house," and they knew how to make the
old blankets, and pieces of carpet they found in the cave, into a sort
of bed. It was not so light now, for it was coming on toward night, and
the sky was covered with clouds.

"If we shut our eyes and go to sleep we won't mind the dark," said
Bunny.

"All right--let's," agreed Sue.

They cuddled up on the bags, their arms around one another, with Sue's
doll held close in her hand, while Splash lay down not far from them.

Bunny was not sure he had been asleep. Anyhow he suddenly opened his
eyes, and looked toward the chimney hole in the roof of the cave. A
little light still came down it. But something else was also coming
down. Bunny saw a big boy--or a small man--sliding down a grapevine rope
into the cave. First Bunny saw his feet--then his legs--then his body.
Bunny wondered who was coming into the cave. He made up his mind to find
out.

"Who is there?" he suddenly called. "Who are you? What do you want in
our cave?"

The figure sliding down the piece of grapevine into the cave, through
the chimney hole, suddenly fell in a heap on the floor, close to where
Bunny and Sue were lying on the pile of bags. Splash jumped up and began
to bark loudly.



CHAPTER XXV

BACK IN CAMP


Bunny Brown tried to be brave, but when he saw someone come into the
cave in the darkness, in such a queer way, the little boy did not know
what to do. He thought of Sue, and felt that he must not let her get
hurt, no matter what else happened.

"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue. "Is that one of the robbers? Is it, Bunny? If it
is I don't want to stay here! You said there weren't any but picture
book robbers in this cave, Bunny Brown!"

Bunny did not answer right away. He did not know what to tell Sue.

But the big boy who had dropped down through the chimney hole
straightened up suddenly. Bunny could see him patting Splash on the
head.

And that was rather strange, for Splash did not easily make friends
with strangers. He would not bite them, but he would bark at them, until
some of his friends had said it was all right, and that he need bark no
more.

But, after his bark of surprise this time, Splash seemed to have
suddenly made friends with the big boy who had come sliding down the
chimney hole of the cave.

"Who--who are you?" asked Bunny again.

Instead of answering the big boy laughed. Then he asked:

"Are you Bunny Brown and his sister Sue?"

"Ye--yes--yes, we are," Bunny said. "But how did you know?"

"Oh, I can tell, all right."

Splash seemed very glad to meet the strange boy. There was still light
enough coming down the chimney hole for Bunny to see the dog's wagging
tail. And Splash did not wag his tail for persons he did not like. This
must be a friend.

"Is--is you a robber?" asked Sue. She had hidden her face in the pile of
bags, and was holding closely to her doll.

Again the big boy laughed.

"No, I'm not a robber," he said, "though I did take a piece of your
mother's bacon. But I'll pay her back for it. How in the world did you
find my cave, and where is your father, or Bunker Blue? And what are you
doing out alone in this storm? Are you----"

But Bunny Brown broke in on the questions.

"Oh, I know who you are! I know who you are!" Bunny cried. "You're Tom
Vine who ran away from us! Why did you run away? Daddy has been looking
for you. You are Tom Vine; aren't you?"

"Yes, Bunny, I am. Wait a minute and I'll light a lantern, and you can
see me better. Look out, Splash, so I won't step on you."

So that was why Splash had made such good friends with the big boy who
came down the cave chimney hole--Splash knew Tom Vine, of course, even
in the darkness.

Tom walked over to one of the boxes, and brought out a lantern. This he
lighted. Bunny and Sue blinked their eyes at the sudden light, but they
were soon used to it. Then they looked at Tom.

Yes, it was he. But he was even more ragged than when they had first
seen him. He was laughing, though, and did not seem sad.

"And to think when I came home, and slid down the chimney of my cave,
which I sometimes do, when I don't want to go around to the front
door--to think when I did this I should find Bunny Brown and his sister
Sue here!" said Tom. "How in the world did you find me?"

"We weren't looking for you," answered Bunny. "We were in the boat, with
Bunker Blue. He went on an island to fish, and we sailed away with the
umbrella. We landed here and I found this cave, to get out of the rain.
I told Sue it was a make-believe robbers' cave."

"Well, I guess I'm the only robber who ever lived in it," said Tom. "But
what are you children going to do? Tell me all about how you got here."

This Bunny and Sue did, from the time they started out with Bunker Blue,
until Bunny opened his eyes to see Tom sliding down the grapevine rope.

"And now I'll tell you about myself," said Tom.

"Have you been living here in this cave ever since you went away from
our camp?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," answered Tom. "This has been my home. No one knew I was here. I
wanted to keep out of sight of Mr. Trimble, for fear he'd make me go
back to his farm."

"Oh, he won't make you go back," said Bunny. "He's sorry he was so cross
to you. He told daddy so; didn't he, Sue?"

"Yes, he did. I'm glad we found you, Tom," and she put her little hand
in his big one.

"And I'm glad I found you and Bunny, Sue. And I'm glad that Mr. Trimble
isn't looking for me. I was getting tired of hiding out this way. I want
to go back to your camp."

"You can come," said Bunny. "Daddy wants you, I know, for he said he
did. Come on back now."

"Wait a minute," said Tom. "First I'll tell you how I came here. And
then, I guess, we'll have to stay until morning, as it is storming too
bad to leave the cave now."

Tom then told that he had heard Mr. Trimble was looking for him, to make
him go back to the farm.

"And, as I was afraid he'd catch me, I ran away from your camp that day
when I went for the pail of water," said Tom. "As I was at the spring I
saw Mr. Trimble going past behind some bushes. He didn't see me, because
I stooped down. And when he got past I ran away. I didn't want him to
get me.

"I found this cave, and I've lived in it. I took some old boxes and bags
from a barn. They were thrown away, so no one wanted them, I knew. Then
I found this lantern and I brought that here."

"How did you get anything to eat?" asked Bunny.

"Well, I took that," said Tom. "In the night I went back to your camp,
and took some things. I didn't think your folks would care very much."

"They didn't," said Bunny. "Did you take the pie and the bacon and
eggs?"

"Yes," said Tom, "I did. I have earned some money, though, and I'll pay
for them."

"And did you knock down the pile of tins?" Bunny asked, "and make the
noise in the night?"

"Yes," laughed Tom. "I thought sure your folks would catch me then, but
I got safely away. And ever since then I've stayed in this cave. I found
it by accident. It made a nice dry place. During the day I would go off
to different farms and work enough to earn a little money to buy things
to eat. All the while I was afraid Mr. Trimble would find me. He was
such a mean man."

"But he's turned good now," declared Bunny, "and he's sorry he was bad
to you. He wouldn't even shut you up in a smoke-house," and Bunny told
of finding the fox in the little house.

"So then I can go back to your camp, and Mr. Trimble won't try to get
me; will he?" asked Tom.

"Nope, he won't hurt you at all," said Bunny. "And please can't we go
back to our camp now? Daddy and mother will be so worried about us."

"Why, yes, I guess I can take you," said Tom. "It isn't very far, and
there's a good road. I see you have an umbrella. That will keep Sue dry.
You and I won't mind getting wet, Bunny; will we?"

"Nope," said the little fellow.

When they went to the entrance of the cave they found that the rain had
stopped, and the moon was shining. It was quite light in the woods.
Leading Bunny and Sue by the hands, with Splash following after, Tom
started for Camp Rest-a-While. He stopped for a moment on top of the
cave, to show the children the chimney hole, and how he had slid down it
by holding on to a long grapevine, that twined around a tree growing
near the hole. The grapevine was like a long rope.

Through the woods went Bunny, Sue and Tom. As they came near the camp
they saw lanterns flashing, and voices called:

"Bunny! Bunny Brown! Sue! Sue! Where are you?"

"Here we are, Daddy! Here we are!" cried Bunny and Sue together. "And
Tom Vine is with us!" added Bunny.

Those carrying the lantern rushed forward, and soon Bunny and Sue were
clasped in their father's and mother's arms, while Uncle Tad and Bunker
were shaking hands with Tom, and listening to his story of how he had
found the children in the cave where he made his home.

"And to think you two went off in a boat with an umbrella for a sail!"
cried Mother Brown to the children. "Don't you ever do it again!"

"We won't!" promised Bunny. "But what happened to you, Bunker?"

"Well, after you left me on the island," said the red-haired boy, "I
waited until I saw your father coming after me in a boat. He took me to
camp, and I told him I thought you and Sue had drifted down the lake. So
we set out to find you, but you got here all right."

"And I don't want to sleep in any more caves," said Sue.

"I like it," Bunny said. "It was nice!"

The children were soon asleep in their cots in the camp tent, and after
Tom had told his story to Mr. and Mrs. Brown, he, too, was given his
old bed. He had nothing more to fear from Mr. Trimble, and he need not
have run away, only he was afraid of the farmer. And for that reason he
did not go back to camp, or send any word to Mr. Brown.

But everything came out all right, and Mr. Trimble came over and told
Tom how sorry he was for having been so unpleasant as to make him run
away.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue stayed at Camp Rest-a-While all that
summer and they had much fun, and many more adventures, but I have no
room to tell you about them in this book. Perhaps I may write another
volume about them later. As for Tom Vine, he was taken to live in
Bellemere, where he worked at Mr. Brown's boat business with Bunker
Blue. He did not have to live in a cave any more, and had a good home.

And now, having told all there is to tell, I will let you say good-bye
to Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.


THE END



This Isn't All!

          Would you like to know what became of the good
          friends you have made in this book?

          Would you like to read other stories continuing
          their adventures and experiences, or other books
          quite as entertaining by the same author?

          On the _reverse side_ of the wrapper which comes
          with this book, you will find a wonderful list of
          stories which you can buy at the same store where
          you got this book.

=Don't throw away the Wrapper=

          _Use it as a handy catalog of the books you want
          some day to have. But in case you do mislay it,
          write to the Publishers for a complete catalog._



THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books, Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Each Volume
Complete in Itself.=

       *       *       *       *       *

          These stories are eagerly welcomed by the little
          folks from about five to ten years of age. Their
          eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively
          doings of inquisitive little Bunny Brown and his
          cunning, trustful sister Sue.

          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 CAMP-REST-A-WHILE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A SHOW
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRISTMAS TREE COVE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE SUNNY SOUTH
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE KEEPING STORE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR TRICK DOG
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT A SUGAR CAMP
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON THE ROLLING OCEAN
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON JACK FROST ISLAND
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT SHORE ACRES
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT BERRY HILL

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK=



THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS

For Little Men and Women

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Bunny Brown Series," Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Every Volume
Complete in Itself.=

       *       *       *       *       *

          These books for boys and girls between the ages of
          three and ten stand among children and their
          parents of this generation where the books of
          Louisa May Alcott stood in former days. The haps
          and mishaps of this inimitable pair of twins,
          their many adventures and experiences are a source
          of keen delight to imaginative children.

          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
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CEDAR CAMP
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE COUNTY FAIR
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS CAMPING OUT
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND BABY MAY
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS KEEPING HOUSE
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CLOVERBANK
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CHERRY CORNERS
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND THEIR SCHOOLMATES
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS TREASURE HUNTING

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK=



SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of The Bobbsey Twins Books, The Bunny Brown Series, The Blythe
Girls Books, Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Every Volume
Complete in Itself.=

       *       *       *       *       *

          Delightful stories for little boys and girls which
          sprung into immediate popularity. To know the six
          little Bunkers is to take them at once to your
          heart, they are so intensely human, so full of fun
          and cute sayings. Each story has a little plot of
          its own--one that can be easily followed--and all
          are written in Miss Hope's most entertaining
          manner. Clean, wholesome volumes which ought to be
          on the bookshelf of every child in the land.

          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDMA BELL'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT AUNT JO'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT COUSIN TOM'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDPA FORD'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT UNCLE FRED'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT COWBOY JACK'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT MAMMY JUNE'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT FARMER JOEL'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT MILLER NED'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT INDIAN JOHN'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT HAPPY JIM'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT SKIPPER BOB'S

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK=



THE HONEY BUNCH BOOKS

By HELEN LOUISE THORNDYKE

       *       *       *       *       *

=Individual Colored Wrappers and Text Illustrations Drawn by

WALTER S. ROGERS=
       *       *       *       *       *

          Honey Bunch is a dainty, thoughtful little girl,
          and to know her is to take her to your heart at
          once.

          Little girls everywhere will want to discover what
          interesting experiences she is having wherever she
          goes.

          HONEY BUNCH: JUST A LITTLE GIRL
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE CITY
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS ON THE FARM
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE SEASHORE
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST LITTLE GARDEN
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS IN CAMP
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST AUTO TOUR
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST TRIP ON THE OCEAN
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST TRIP WEST
          HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST SUMMER ON AN ISLAND

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK=



THE BLYTHE GIRLS BOOKS

By LAURA LEE HOPE

       *       *       *       *       *

Individual Colored Wrappers and Text Illustrations by

THELMA GOOCH

Every Volume Complete in Itself

       *       *       *       *       *

          The Blythe girls, three in number, were left alone
          in New York City. Helen, who went in for art and
          music, kept the little flat uptown, while Margy,
          just out of a business school, obtained a position
          as a private secretary and Rose, plain-spoken and
          businesslike, took what she called a "job" in a
          department store.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: HELEN, MARGY AND ROSE
  A fascinating tale of real happenings in the great metropolis.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: MARGY'S QUEER INHERITANCE
  The Girls had a peculiar old aunt and when she died she left an
unusual inheritance.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: ROSE'S GREAT PROBLEM
  Rose, still at work in the big department store, is one day faced with
the greatest problem of her life.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: HELEN'S STRANGE BOARDER
  Helen goes to the assistance of a strange girl, whose real identity is
a puzzle. Who the girl really was comes as a tremendous surprise.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: THREE ON A VACATION
  The girls go to the country for two weeks--and fall in with all sorts
of curious and exciting happenings.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: MARGY'S SECRET MISSION
  Of course we cannot divulge the big secret, but nevertheless the girls
as usual have many exciting experiences.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: ROSE'S ODD DISCOVERY
  A very interesting story, telling how Rose aided an old man in the
almost hopeless search for his daughter.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HELEN
  Helen calls on the art dealer on business and finds the old fellow has
made a wonderful discovery.

THE BLYTHE GIRLS: SNOWBOUND IN CAMP
  An absorbing tale of winter happenings, full of excitement.

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK=

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's notes:

Punctuation normalized.

Page 51, "exlaimed" changed to "exclaimed."

Page 147, "Said Tom Vine" changed to "said Tom Vine."

Page 148, "forgotton" changed to "forgotten."





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