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´╗┐Title: Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods
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 in the Big Woods" ***

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[Illustration: "I GUESS IT'S ROLLING FASTER THAN I AM," THOUGHT BUNNY.
                       _Frontispiece._ _Page_ 61.
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods._]



BUNNY BROWN
AND HIS SISTER SUE
IN THE BIG WOODS

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



BOOKS

By LAURA LEE HOPE

       *       *       *       *       *

_12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Price, per volume, 50 cents, postpaid._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES=

          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES=

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

       *       *       *       *       *

=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, 1917, by
             GROSSET & DUNLAP

_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods._



CONTENTS

          CHAPTER                              PAGE

              I. WHAT DADDY BROUGHT              1
             II. THE PAIL OF MILK               12
            III. THE OLD MAN                    25
             IV. A NOISE AT NIGHT               34
              V. BUNNY ROLLS DOWN HILL          46
             VI. AFTER THE LOST COW             59
            VII. THE MISSING TRAIN              69
           VIII. "WHERE HAS SALLIE GONE?"       84
             IX. THE SEARCH                     93
              X. LOST IN THE WOODS             101
             XI. THE HERMIT AGAIN              112
            XII. WONDERINGS                    119
           XIII. MR. BROWN MAKES A SEARCH      132
            XIV. THE RAGGED BOY                141
             XV. HIDDEN IN THE HAY             150
            XVI. THE ANGRY GOBBLER             159
           XVII. SUE DECIDES TO MAKE A PIE     166
          XVIII. ROASTING CORN                 176
            XIX. EAGLE FEATHER'S HORSE         191
             XX. FUN IN THE ATTIC              199
            XXI. "WHERE IS SUE?"               207
           XXII. THE HERMIT COMES FOR TOM      214
          XXIII. TRYING TO HELP TOM            221
           XXIV. THE NIGHT MEETING             229
            XXV. THE MISSING TOYS              237



BUNNY BROWN AND
HIS SISTER SUE
IN THE BIG WOODS



CHAPTER I

WHAT DADDY BROUGHT


"Sue! Sue! Where are you?" called a lady, as she stood in the opening of
a tent which was under the trees in the big woods. "Where are you, Sue?
And where is Bunny?"

For a moment no answers came to the call. But presently, from behind a
clump of bushes not far from the tent, stepped a little girl. She held
her finger over her lips, just as your teacher does in school when she
does not want you to say anything. Then the little girl whispered:

"Sh-h-h-h, Mother. I can't come now."

"Then let Bunny come. He can do what I want."

"Bunny can't come, either."

"Why not?" and Mrs. Brown smiled at her little girl, who seemed very
much in earnest as she stood in front of the bushes, her finger still
across her lips.

"Bunny can't come, 'cause we're playing soldier and Indian," said Sue.
"Bunny's been shot by an Indian arrow and I'm his nurse. He's just got
over the fever, same as I did when I had the measles, and he's asleep.
And it's awful dangerous to wake anybody up that's just got to sleep
after a fever. That's what our doctor said, I 'member."

"Oh, Bunny is just getting over a fever, is he?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Of course it's only a _make-believe_ fever, Mother," said the little
girl. "We're only pretendin' you know"; and she cut her words short,
leaving off a "g" here and there, so she could talk faster I suppose.

"Oh, if it's only a make-believe fever it's all right," said Mother
Brown with a laugh. "How long do you think Bunny will sleep, Sue?"

"Oh, not very long. Maybe five minutes. 'Cause, you see, when he wakes
up he'll be hungry and I've got some pie and cake and some milk for him
to eat. Sick folks gets awful hungry when their fever goes away. And
it's _real_ things to eat, too, Mother. And when Bunny got make-believe
shot with an Indian arrow he said he wasn't going to play fever more'n
five minutes 'cause he saw what I had for him to eat."

"Oh well, if he's going to be better in five minutes I can wait that
long," said Mrs. Brown. "Go on and have your fun."

"What do you want Bunny to do--or me?" asked Sue, as she turned to go
back behind the bush where she and Bunny were having their game.

"I'll tell you when you've finished playing," said Mrs. Brown with a
smile. She sometimes found this a better plan than telling the children
just what she wanted when she called them from some of their games. You
see they were so anxious to find out what it was their mother wanted
that they hurried to finish their fun.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were at Camp Rest-a-While with their
father and their mother. They had come from their home in Bellemere to
live for a while in the forest, on the shore of Lake Wanda, where they
were all enjoying the life in the open air.

They had journeyed to the woods in an automobile, carrying two tents
which were set up under the trees. One tent was used to sleep in and the
other for a dining room. There was also a place to cook.

With the Brown family was Uncle Tad, who was really Mr. Brown's uncle.
But the jolly old soldier was as much an uncle to Bunny and Sue as he
was to their father. Bunker Blue, a boy, had also come to Camp
Rest-a-While with the Brown family, but after having many adventures
with them, he had gone back to Bellemere, where Mr. Brown had a fish and
a boat business. With him went Tom Vine, a boy whom the Browns had met
after coming to camp.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue liked it in the big woods that stretched
out all about their camp. They played many games under the trees and in
the tents, and had great fun. Mrs. Brown liked it so much that when the
time when they had planned to go home came, she said to her husband:

"Oh, let's stay a little longer. I like it so much and the children are
so happy. Let's stay!"

And so they stayed. And they were still camped on the edge of the big
woods that morning when Mrs. Brown called Bunny and Sue to do something
for her.

After telling her mother about the pretend-fever which Bunny had, Sue
went back to where her brother was lying on a blanket under the bushes.
She made-believe feel his pulse, as she had seen the doctor do when once
Bunny had been really ill, and then the little girl put her hand on
Bunny's cheek.

"Say! what you doin' that for?" he asked.

"I was seeing how hot you were," answered Sue. "I guess your fever's
most gone, isn't it, Bunny?" she asked.

"Is it time to eat?" he asked quickly.

"Yes, I think it is. And I think mother has a surprise for us, too."

"Then my fever's all gone!" exclaimed Bunny. "I'm all better, and I can
eat. Then we'll see what mother has."

Never did an ill person get well so quickly as did Bunny Brown just
then. He sat up, threw to one side a blanket Sue had spread over him,
and called:

"Where's the pie and cake?"

"Here they are," Sue answered, as she took them from a little box under
the bushes.

"And where's the milk?" asked Bunny. "Fevers always make folks thirsty,
you know. I'm awful thirsty!"

"Here's the milk," said Sue. "I didn't ask mother if I could take it,
but I'm sure she won't care."

"No, I guess not," said Bunny, taking a long drink which Sue poured out
for him from a pitcher into a glass.

Then Bunny and his sister ate the pie and the cake which their mother
had given them that morning when they said they wanted to have a little
picnic in the woods. Instead Bunny and Sue had played Indian and
soldier, as they often did. First Bunny was a white soldier, and then an
Indian, and at last he made believe he was shot so he could be ill. Sue
was very fond of playing nurse, and she liked to cover Bunny up, feel
his pulse and feed him bread pills rolled in sugar. Bunny liked these
pills, too.

"Well, now we've got everything eaten up," said Bunny, as he gathered up
the last crumbs of the pie his mother had baked in the oil stove which
they had brought to camp. "Let's go and see what the surprise is."

"I'm not so _sure_ it is a surprise," returned Sue slowly. "Mother
didn't say so. She just said she wouldn't tell us until you got all
make-believe well again. So I suppose it's a surprise. Don't you think
so, too?"

"I guess I do," answered Bunny. "But come on, we'll soon find out."

As the children came out from under the bush where they had been
playing, there was a crashing in the brush and Sue cried:

"Oh, maybe that's some more of those Indians."

"Pooh! We're not playing Indians _now_," said Bunny. "That game's all
over. I guess it's Splash."

"Oh, that's nice!" cried Sue. "I was wondering where he'd gone."

A big, happy-looking and friendly dog came bursting through the bushes.
He wagged his tail, and his big red tongue dangled out of his mouth, for
it was a warm day.

"Oh, Splash; you came just too late!" cried Sue. "We've eaten up
everything!"

"All except the crumbs," said Bunny.

Splash saw the crumbs almost as soon as Bunny spoke, and with his red
tongue the dog licked them up from the top of the box which the children
had used for a table under the bushes.

"Come on," called Bunny after a bit. "Let's go and find out what mother
wants. Maybe she's baked some cookies for us."

"Didn't you have enough with the cake, pie and milk?" Sue asked.

"Oh, I could eat more," replied Bunny Brown. In fact, he seemed always
to be hungry, his mother said, though she did not let him eat enough to
make himself ill.

"Well, come on," called Sue. "We'll go and see what mother has for us."

Through the woods ran the children, toward the lake and the white tents
gleaming among the green trees. Mr. Brown went to the city twice a week,
making the trip in a small automobile he ran himself. Sometimes he would
stay in the city over night, and Mother Brown and Uncle Tad and the
children would stay in the tents in the big woods where they were not
far from a farmhouse.

Splash, the happy-go-lucky dog, bounded on ahead of Bunny Brown and his
sister Sue. The children followed as fast as they could. Now and then
Splash would stop and look back as though calling:

"Come on! Hurry up and see the surprise!"

"We're coming!" Bunny would call. "What do you s'pose it is?" he would
ask Sue.

"I can't even guess," Sue would answer. "But I know it must be something
nice, for she smiled when I told her I was your nurse and you had an
Indian fever."

"It wasn't an Indian fever," protested Bunny.

"Well, I mean a make-believe Indian fever," said the little girl.

"No, it was a make-believe arrow fever," said Bunny. "I got shot with an
Indian _arrow_ you know."

"Oh yes," Sue answered. "But, anyhow, you're all well now. Oh, look out,
Splash!" she cried as the big dog ran into a puddle of water and
splashed it so that some got on Sue's dress. That is how Splash got his
name--from splashing into so many puddles.

But this time the water was from a clean brook that ran over green,
mossy stones, and it did Sue's dress no harm, for she had on one that
Mrs. Brown had made purposely for wearing in the woods.

"Here we are, Momsie!" called Sue, as she and Bunny came running up to
the camp where the tents were.

"What's the surprise?" asked Bunny.

Just then they heard the Honk! Honk! of an automobile, and as a car
came on through the woods and up to the white tents, Bunny and Sue cried
together:

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

"Yes, and he's brought us something!" added Bunny. "Look at the two big
bundles, Sue!"

"Oh, Daddy! Daddy Brown! What have you brought?" cried the two children.

"Just a minute now, and I'll show you," said Mr. Brown, as he got out of
the automobile and started for a tent, a big bundle under each arm. The
children danced about in delight and Splash barked.



CHAPTER II

THE PAIL OF MILK


"Oh, Mother! is this the surprise you had for us?" asked Sue, as she
hopped about, first on one foot then on the other. For she was so
excited she could not keep still.

"No, this isn't exactly what I meant," said Mrs. Brown with a smile.
"Still, this is a very nice surprise, isn't it?"

"Just the very nicest!" said Bunny. "It's nice to have daddy home, and
it's nice to have him bring something."

"Oh, please tell us what it is--you have two things," went on Sue, as
she looked at the two bundles which Mr. Brown carried, one under each
arm. "Is there something for each of us, Daddy?"

"Well, yes, I think so, Sue," answered her father. "But just wait----"

"Oh, my dears! give your father a chance to get his breath," laughed
Mrs. Brown. "Remember he has come all the way from the city in the auto,
and he must be tired. Come into the tent, and I'll make you a cup of
tea," she went on.

"And then will you tell us what you brought us?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," said Mr. Brown.

"Then let's go in and watch him drink his tea," said Sue, as she took
hold of Bunny's hand and led him toward the dining tent. "We'll know the
minute he has finished," she went on, "and we'll be there when he opens
the bundles."

"All right," said Mr. Brown. "Come in if you like." And while he was
sipping the tea which Mrs. Brown quickly made for him, the two children
sat looking at the two bundles their father had brought. One was quite
heavy, Bunny noticed, and something rattled inside the box in which it
was packed. The other was lighter. They were both about the same size.

And while the children are sitting there, waiting for their father to
finish his tea, so they can learn what the surprise is I'll take just a
few minutes to tell my new readers something about the Brown family, and
especially Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.

As I have already mentioned, the family, which was made up of Mr. and
Mrs. Walter Brown and the two children, lived in the town of Bellemere,
which was on Sandport Bay, near the ocean. Mr. Brown was in the fish and
the boat business, hiring to those who wanted row boats, fishing boats
or motor boats. In the first book of this series, "Bunny Brown and His
Sister Sue," the story was about the little boy and his sister, and what
fun they had getting up a Punch and Judy show.

"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm," was the name of the
second book and you can easily guess what that was about. The two
children had much fun in a big automobile moving van, which was fitted
up just like a little house, and in which they lived while going to the
farm. Bunker Blue, who worked for Mr. Brown, and the children's dog
Splash went with them.

While at their grandpa's farm Bunny and Sue got up a little show, at
which they had lots of fun, and, seeing this, Bunker and some of the
older boys made up a larger show. They gave that in two tents, one of
which had belonged to Grandpa Brown when he was in the army.

The Brown children were so delighted with the shows that they decided to
have another, and in the third book, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister
Sue Playing Circus," you may read how they did it. Something happened in
that book which made Bunny and Sue feel bad for a while, but they soon
got over it.

In the next book, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City
Home," I told the story of the two children going to the big city of New
York, and of the queer things they saw and the funny things they did
while there.

Bunny and Sue had played together as long as they could remember. Bunny
was about six or seven years old and Sue was a year younger. Wherever
one went the other was always sure to be seen, and whatever Bunny did
Sue was sure to think just right. Every one in Bellemere knew Bunny and
Sue, from old Miss Hollyhock to Wango, a queer little monkey owned by
Jed Winkler the sailor. Wango often got into mischief, and so did Bunny
and Sue. And the children had much fun with Uncle Tad who loved them as
if they were his own.

After Bunny and Sue had come back from Aunt Lu's city home the weather
was very warm and Daddy Brown thought of camping in the woods. So that
is what they did, and the things that happened are related in the fifth
book in the series, called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp
Rest-a-While." For that is what they named the place where the tents
were set up under the trees on the edge of the big woods and by a
beautiful lake.

Neither Bunny nor Sue had ever been to the end of these big woods, nor
had Mr. Brown, though some day he hoped to go. The summer was about half
over. Mrs. Brown liked it so much that she said she and the children
would stay in the woods as long as it was warm enough to live in a tent.

And now, this afternoon, Mr. Brown had come home from the city with the
two queer big bundles, and the children were so excited thinking what
might be in them that they watched every mouthful of tea Mr. Brown
sipped.

"When will you be ready to show us?" asked Sue.

"Please be quick," begged Bunny. "I--I'm gettin' awful anxious."

"Well, I guess I can show you now," said Mr. Brown. "Bring me the
heaviest package, Bunny."

It was all the little boy could do to lift it from the chair, but he
managed to do it. Slowly Mr. Brown opened it. Bunny saw a flash of
something red and shining.

"Oh, it's a fire engine!" he cried.

"Not quite," said his father, "though that was a good guess."

Then Mr. Brown lifted out the things in the paper, and all at once Bunny
saw what it was--a little toy train of cars, with an engine and tracks
on which it could run.

"Does it really go?" asked the little boy, eagerly.

"Yes, it really goes," said Mr. Brown. "It's an electric train, and it
runs by electricity from these batteries," and he held up some strong
ones. "I'll fix up your train for you so it will run. But you must be
careful of it, Bunny."

"Oh, I'll take fine care of it!" cried the little boy. "And I won't let
Splash bite it."

"Didn't you bring me anything, Daddy?" asked Sue slowly. "Or do I have
to play with Bunny's train?" and she looked at the little boy who was
trying to fit together the pieces of the track.

"Oh, I have something for you alone, Sue," her father said. "Look and
see if you like this."

He held up a great big Teddy bear.

"Oh! Ah!" murmured Sue. "That's something I've been wishing for. Oh,
Daddy! how good you are to us!" and she threw her arms around her
father's neck.

"I love you, too!" called Bunny Brown, leaving his toy train and track,
and running to his father for a hug and a kiss.

"Well, now, how do you like this, Sue?" and Mr. Brown handed the big
Teddy bear over to his little girl.

"Oh, I just love it!" she cried. "It's the nicest doll ever!"

"Let me show you something," said Mr. Brown. He pressed a button in the
toy bear's back and, all of a sudden, its eyes shone like little lights.

"Oh, what makes that, Daddy?" asked Bunny, leaving his toy train and
coming over to see his sister's present.

"Behind the bear's eyes, which are of glass," explained Mr. Brown, "are
two little electric lights. They are lighted by what are called dry
batteries, like those that ring our front door bell at home, only
smaller. And the same kind of dry batteries will run Bunny's train when
I get it put together.

"See, Sue, when you want your bear's eyes to glow, just press this
button in Teddy's back," and her father showed her a little button, or
switch, hidden in the toy's fur.

"Oh, isn't that fine!" cried Sue with shining eyes. She pushed the
button, the bear's eyes lighted and gleamed out, and Splash, seeing
them, barked in excitement.

"Oh, let me do it," begged Bunny. "I'll let you run my toy train if you
let me light your bear's eyes, Sue," he said.

"All right," agreed the little girl.

So Bunny played with the Teddy bear a bit, while Sue looked at the toy
engine and cars, and then Mrs. Brown said:

"Well, children, I think it is about time for my surprise."

"Oh, have you something for us, too?" asked Sue, quickly.

"Well, I'll have something for you if you will go and get something for
me," said Mother Brown. "I want you to go to the farmhouse and get me a
pail of milk. Some one took what I was saving to make a pudding with, so
I'll have to get more milk."

"We took it to play soldier and nurse with," confessed Sue. "I'm sorry,
Momsie----"

"Oh, it doesn't matter, dear," said Mrs. Brown. "I like to have you
drink all the milk you want. But now you'll have to get more for me, as
there is not enough for supper and the pudding."

"We'll go for the milk," said Bunny. "And when we get back we can play
with the bear and the toy train."

"I'll try to have the toy train running for you when you come back with
the milk," said Mr. Brown. "Trot along now."

Mrs. Brown gave Bunny the milk pail, and soon he and Sue, leaving Splash
behind this time, started down the road to the farmhouse where they got
their milk. The farmer sent his boy every day with milk for those at
Camp Rest-a-While, but this time Bunny and Sue had used more than usual,
and Mrs. Brown had to send for some extra.

It did not take Bunny and Sue long to reach the farmhouse, where their
pail was filled by the farmer's wife.

"We've got a surprise at our camp," said Bunny, as they started away,
the little boy carefully carrying the pail of milk.

"Indeed! Is that so? What is it?" asked the farmer's wife.

"We've got two surprises," said Sue. "Daddy brought them from the city.
Bunny has a toy train of cars that runs with a city."

"She means _electricity_," explained Bunny with a laugh, but saying the
big word very slowly.

"I don't care. It sounds like that," declared Sue. "And I've got a Teddy
bear and its eyes are little e-lec-tri-_city_ lamps, and they shine like
anything when you push a button in his back."

"Those are certainly two fine surprises," said the farmer's wife. "Now
be careful not to spill your milk."

"We'll be careful," promised Bunny.

He and Sue walked along the country road toward their camp. Suddenly on
a fence Sue saw a squirrel running along.

"Oh, look, Bunny!" she cried.

"Where?" asked her brother.

"On that fence. A big gray squirrel!"

"Oh, what a fine, big one!" cried Bunny. "Maybe we can catch him and put
him in a cage with a wheel that goes around."

Bunny carefully set the pail of milk down at the side of the road, out
of the way in case any wagons or automobiles should come along. Then he
ran after the squirrel, that had come to a stop on top of the fence and
stood looking at the children.

But, as soon as the squirrel with the big tail saw Bunny running toward
him, he scampered away and Bunny followed. So did Sue, leaving the pail
of milk standing in the grass beside the road.

The squirrel could run on the fence much faster than Bunny Brown and his
sister Sue could run along the road, and pretty soon they saw him
scamper up a tree.

"Now we can't get him," said Sue, sorrowfully.

"No, I guess not," answered Bunny. "We'd better go back to camp and play
with your Teddy bear and my toy train. Come on."

They walked back toward the place they had left the pail of milk. As
they came in sight of it Sue cried:

"Oh, Bunny, look!"

Bunny looked, and at what he saw he cried:

"Oh dear!"

For a big, shaggy dog had his nose down in the pail of milk, and as he
looked up, at hearing Bunny's cry, he knocked the pail over, spilling
what he had not taken himself.

"Oh, our milk's all gone!" cried Bunny.

"What shall we do?" asked Sue, in dismay.



CHAPTER III

THE OLD MAN


For a moment the two children did not know what to do. They stood still,
looking at the dog who had just drunk the milk from the pail which they
had set down in the road so they could chase the squirrel. Then Bunny,
made bold by thinking of what might happen if he and his sister went
home with the empty pail, thinking also of the pudding which his mother
could not make if she had no milk, gave a loud cry.

"Get away from there, you bad dog!" cried the little boy. "Leave our
milk alone!" and he started to run toward the shaggy creature.

"Oh, come back! Come back!" cried Sue. "Don't go near him, Bunny!"

"Why not?" her brother asked in some surprise.

"'Cause he might bite you."

"Huh! I'm not afraid of him!" declared Bunny. "He doesn't look as
savage as our Splash, and _he_ never bites anybody, though he barks a
lot at tramps."

So Bunny ran on toward the shaggy dog. The animal stood looking at the
little boy for a moment and then, with a sort of "wuff!" as if to say,
"Well, I've taken all the milk, what are you going to do about it?" away
he trotted down the road. Bunny ran on and picked up the milk pail. Only
a few drops were in the bottom.

"See I told you he wouldn't bite me! I'm not afraid of that dog!" the
little boy called to his sister.

"Yes, you did drive him off," said Sue, proud of her brother. "You are
awful brave, Bunny--just as brave as when you played soldier and I cured
you of the Indian fever, and----"

"It was arrow fever, I keep tellin' you!" insisted Bunny.

"Well, arrow fever then," agreed Sue. "But is there any milk left,
Bunny?"

"Not a drop, Sue," and Bunny turned the pail upside down to show.

"Well," said the little girl with a sigh, "then I guess you weren't
brave in time, Bunny. You didn't save the milk!"

"Huh, the dog had it all drunk up before I saw him," declared her
brother. "If I'd seen him I'd have stopped him quick enough! I wasn't
afraid of him."

"But what about more milk?" asked Sue. That was all she could think of,
now that the pail was empty. "We've got to get more milk, Bunny Brown."

"Yes, I s'pose we have," he agreed. "But we can easy go back to the
farmhouse."

"No, we can't," said Sue.

"Why not?" Bunny demanded. "It isn't far, and if you're afraid of the
dog you can stay here, and I'll go for the milk."

"Nope!" cried Sue, shaking her head until her hair flew into her eyes.
"Mother said you mustn't ever leave me alone, to go anywhere when we
were on the road or in the big woods. I've got to stay with you, and
you've got to stay with me," and she went up and took Bunny by the hand.

"All right, Sue," said he. "I want you to stay with me. But come along
to the farmhouse and we'll get more milk. I'll take a stick, if you want
me to, and keep the dog away. I don't believe he'll come back anyhow.
Don't you know how 'fraid dogs are to come back to you when they've done
something bad. That time Splash ate the meat Bunker Blue brought in and
left on the table--why, that time Splash was so ashamed for what he'd
done that he didn't come into the house all day. This dog won't bite
you."

"Pooh! I'm not afraid of the _dog_, Bunny Brown," said Sue.

"Then what are you afraid of?"

"I'm not 'fraid of anything. But you know what that farm lady said. She
said this was the last quart of milk she could spare, and she didn't
have any more."

"Oh, so she did!" agreed Bunny. "Then what are we going to do?"

"I don't know," said Sue.

"We've got to do _something_," said Bunny gravely.

"Yes," said Sue. "There isn't any more milk at the camp, and the farm
lady hasn't any, and----"

"Mother wants some to make the surprise-pudding," added Bunny. "I guess
we didn't ought to have tooken that for our play-game," he went on all
mixed up in his English.

"No," said Sue, "maybe we oughtn't. Let me think now."

"What you going to think?" asked Bunny. Though he was a little older
than Sue he knew that she often thought more then he did about what they
were going to do or play. Sue was a good thinker. She usually thought
first and did things afterward, while Bunny was just the other way. He
did something first and then thought about it afterward, and sometimes
he was sorry for what he had done. But this time he wanted to know what
Sue was going to think.

"Aren't you going to think something?" he asked after a bit.

Sue stood looking up and down the road.

"I'm thinkin' now," she said. "Please don't bother me, Bunny."

Bunny remained silent, now and then looking into the empty milk pail,
and tipping it upside down, as though that would fill it again. Finally
Sue said:

"Well, we can't get any milk at the farmhouse. I don't know any other
place around here where we can go, so the only thing to do is to go back
to Camp Rest-a-While."

"But there's no milk there," said Bunny.

"I know there isn't. But we can tell daddy and mother, and ask them what
to do. They wouldn't want us to go off somewhere else without telling
them. And maybe daddy can go off in the automobile and get some milk at
another farm."

"Maybe," said Bunny slowly. "And if we go with him," he added, "and he
does get more milk, we won't set the pail down in the road when we chase
a squirrel. We'll put it in the auto."

"I guess by the time we get the milk it will be too dark to see to chase
squirrels," said Sue. "It's getting dark now; come on, Bunny."

The two children started down the road toward the camp, and as they did
so they heard a crackling in the bushes on the side of a hill that led
up from the road.

"Oh, here comes that milk dog back again!" cried Sue, and she snuggled
up close against her brother, though the sinking sun was still shining
across the highway.

"I won't let him hurt you," said Bunny. "Wait until I get a stone or a
stick."

"Oh, you mustn't do anything to strange dogs!" cried the little girl.
"If you do they might jump at you and bite you. Just don't notice him or
speak to him, and he'll think we're--we're stylish, and he'll pass right
by."

"Oh well, if you want me to do _that_ way," said Bunny, looking up
toward the place the sound came from, "why I will, only----"

He stopped speaking suddenly, and pointed up the hill. Sue looked in the
same direction. They saw coming toward them, not a dog, but an old man,
dressed in rather ragged clothes. He looked like what the children
called a tramp, though since they had arrived at the camp they had come
to know that not all persons who wore ragged clothes were tramps. Some
of the farmers and their helpers wore their raggedest garments to work
in the dirt of the fields.

This man might be a farmer. He had long white hair that hung down under
the brim of his black hat, and though he did not have such a nice face
as did the children's father, or their Uncle Tad, still they were not
afraid of him.

"Going after milk, little ones?" asked the old man, and his voice was
not unpleasant.

"No, sir; we've just been," said Bunny.

"Well, I'm afraid you'll spill your milk if you swing your pail that
way," went on the old man, for Bunny was moving the pail to and fro,
with wide swings of his arms.

"It would spill, if there was any in the pail," said Sue.

"But there isn't," added Bunny.

"It's spilled already and we don't know where to get any more,"
explained Sue.

"It wasn't _'zactly_ spilled," Bunny added, for he and Sue always tried
to speak the exact truth. "A dog drank it up."

"While we were chasin' a squirrel," added his sister.

"But I would have driven him away if I'd seen him in time," Bunny
declared positively. "He put his nose right in the pail and licked up
all the milk, and what he didn't eat he spilled and then he ran away."

"And the lady at the farmhouse hasn't any more milk," Sue explained.
"And there isn't any at the camp and----"

"Mother can't make the pudding," finished Bunny.

"Oh dear!" wailed Sue.

"My, you have a lot of troubles!" said the ragged man. "But if you'll
come with me maybe I can help you."

"Where do you want us to come?" asked Bunny, remembering that his mother
had told him never to go anywhere with strangers, and never to let Sue
go, either.

"If you'll come up to my little cabin in the woods I can let you have
some milk," said the ragged man. "I keep a cow, and I have more milk
than I can use or sell. It isn't far. Come with me," and he held out his
hands to the children.



CHAPTER IV

A NOISE AT NIGHT


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were not sure whether or not they should
go with the old man. They remembered what their mother had said to them
about walking off with strangers, and they hung back.

But when Bunny looked at the empty milk pail and remembered that there
was no milk in camp for supper, and none with which his mother could
make the pudding he and his sister liked so much, he made up his mind it
would be all right to go to the little cabin in the woods.

"Come on," urged the old man.

"Do you sell milk?" asked Sue.

"Oh, yes, little girl. Though my cow with the crumpled horn does not
give such a lot of milk, there is more than I use. I sell what I can,
but even then I have some left over. I have plenty to sell to you."

"We only want a quart," said Bunny. "That's all we have money for.
Mother gave us some extra pennies when we went for milk to the
farmhouse, but we have only six cents left. Will that buy a quart of
milk?"

"It will here in the woods and the country," answered the old man, "but
it wouldn't in the city. However, my crumpled-horn cow's milk is only
six cents a quart."

"Has your cow really got a crumpled horn?" asked Sue eagerly, for she
loved queer things.

"Yes, she has a crumpled horn, but she isn't the one that jumped over
the moon," said the old man with a smile.

The children liked him better after that, though when Bunny found a
chance to whisper to his sister as they walked through the woods, along
the path and behind the old man, the little boy said:

"I guess he means to be kind, but he's kind of _funny_, isn't he?"

"A little bit," answered Sue.

The old man walked on ahead, the children, hand in hand, following, and
the bushes clinked against the empty tin pail that Bunny carried.

"Here you are," said the old man, as he turned on the path, and before
them Bunny and his sister saw a log cabin. Near it was a shed, and as
the children stopped and looked, from the shed came a long, low "Moo!"

"Oh, is that the crumpled-horn cow?" asked Sue.

"Yes," answered the old man. "I'll get some of her milk for you. I keep
it in a pail down in the spring, so it will be cool. Let me take your
pail and I'll fill it for you while you go to see the cow. She is gentle
and won't hurt you."

Letting the old man take the pail, Bunny and Sue went to look at the
cow. The door of the shed was in two parts, and the children opened the
upper half.

"Moo!" called the cow as she stuck out her head.

"Oh, see, one of her horns _is_ crumpled!" cried Bunny.

"Let's wait, and _maybe_ she'll jump over the moon," suggested Sue, who
remembered the nursery rhyme of "Hey-diddle-diddle."

But though the children remained standing near the cow shed for two or
three minutes, the cow, one of whose horns was twisted, or crumpled,
made no effort to jump out of her stable and leap over the moon.

Bunny and Sue were not afraid of cows, especially when they were kept in
a stable, so they were soon rubbing the head of the ragged man's bossy.

"Well, you have made friends, I see," came a voice behind the children,
and there stood the ragged man with their pail full of milk. "I am glad
you like my cow," he said. "She is a good cow and gives rich milk. Any
time you spill your milk again come to me and I'll sell you some."

"We didn't spill this milk," explained Bunny carefully. "A dog drank
it."

"Well, then come to me whenever you need milk, and you can't get any at
the farmhouse," went on the old man, as Bunny gave him the six pennies.

"All right, sir," said Bunny.

"Where do you live?" asked the ragged man.

"At Camp Rest-a-While," answered Sue.

"Oh, you're the children who live in the tents. I know where your place
is."

"And to-night my father brought me a toy electric train from the city,"
said Bunny Brown. "It runs on a track with batteries, and you can switch
it on and off and it--it's won'erful!"

"So is my Teddy bear!" exclaimed Sue. "It has real lights for eyes and
they burn bright when you press a button in Teddy's back."

"Those are fine toys," said the ragged man. "We never had such toys as
that when I was a boy. And so your train runs by an electrical battery,
does it, my boy?" he asked Bunny, and he seemed anxious to hear all
about it.

"Yes, and a strong one. Daddy said I must be careful not to get a
shock."

"That's right. Electric shocks are not very good. Except for folks that
have rheumatism," said the old man. "I have a touch of that myself now
and then, but I haven't any battery. But now you'd better run along
with your milk, or your father and mother may be worried about you. Do
you know your way back to camp all right?"

"Oh, yes, thank you," said Bunny.

"And we're much obliged to you for letting us have the milk," added Sue.

"Oh, you paid me for it, and I was glad to sell it. I need the money
because I can't earn much any more. I should thank you as a store keeper
thanks his customers. And I'll say 'come again,'" and with a smile and a
wave of his hand the ragged man said good-bye to the children.

"Now we mustn't set our pail down again," said Bunny; "not even if we
see a squirrel."

"That's right," agreed Sue.

In a little while they were safely back at camp again, just as Uncle Tad
was about to set off in search of them.

"What kept you so long, children?" asked Mrs. Brown, anxiously.

"Oh, we saw a squirrel," said Bunny.

"And we set the milk pail down and chased it--chased the squirrel I
mean," added Sue.

"And then a dog drank up the milk," went on Bunny.

"And we couldn't get any more at the farmhouse," said Sue, speaking
next.

"But the ragged man, who lives in a cabin in the woods, and has a cow
with the crumpled horn though she didn't jump over the moon--he gave us
more milk for six cents," said Bunny, all in one breath.

"What's this about a ragged man?" asked Mr. Brown quickly, "and where
does he live?"

The children explained. Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at one another and
then Mr. Brown said:

"Well, the ragged man meant all right, and he was very kind. But I
wouldn't go off into the woods with strangers again, Bunny and Sue. They
might get lost, or you might, and there would be a dreadful time until
we found you again. After this don't set your milk pail down, and you
won't have to hunt around for milk for supper. Now wash and get ready to
eat the surprise."

"Can't I play with my electric train a little while?" asked Bunny.

"And can't I play with my Teddy bear?"

"Yes, I guess so," answered Mrs. Brown.

"I've got your train in running order," said Mr. Brown. "You can play
with it outside, near the campfire. But at night we'll have to take it
into the tent, for there might be rain."

Mr. Brown soon showed Bunny how to start and stop the electric train by
turning a switch. The train was pulled by a little locomotive made of
steel and tin. Inside was a tiny electric motor, which was worked by a
current from the dry battery cells, such as make your door bell ring,
except that they were stronger.

"All aboard for the city, on track five!" cried Bunny, as he had heard
the starter in the railroad station cry.

"Wait a minute! Wait a minute!" cried Sue. "I want to get on the train
with my Teddy bear that makes her eyes all light."

"Make-believe, you mean; don't you?" asked Bunny.

"Of course make-believe," answered Sue. "I couldn't sit on your little
cars.

"Maybe the Teddy bear could," she added.

"Oh, let's try," said Bunny. "Then we could give him a truly, really
ride."

The Teddy bear was quite large, but not very heavy, and by stretching it
along three cars it could get on the train very nicely. It was even too
long for three cars, but hanging over a bit did not matter, Sue said.

So she put it on top of the train, turned on its electric eyes, and then
Bunny turned on the switch that made the current go into the motor of
his engine. At first the train would not start, for the bear was a bit
heavy for it, but when Bunny gave the engine a little push with his hand
away it went as nicely as you please, pulling the bear around and around
the shiny track, which was laid in a circle.

"Whoa!" called Sue. "Stop the train I Here is where my Teddy gets off."

"You mustn't say whoa when you stop a train," objected Bunny. "Whoa is
to stop a horse."

"Well, how do you stop a train?" Sue asked.

"Just say 'ding!' That's one bell and the engineer knows that means to
stop."

"I thought bells stopped trolley cars," said Sue.

"They do, but they stop trains too, 'specially as mine is an electric
train."

"All right. Ding!" called Sue sharply.

Bunny turned the switch the other way to shut off the current, and the
train stopped. Sue took off the Teddy bear and said "Thank you" to
Conductor Bunny Brown.

Then the little boy played with his toy train by himself, while Sue
pretended her Teddy bear was visiting in Sue's Aunt Lu's city home and
kept winking its electric-light eyes at Wopsie, a little colored girl
Bunny and Sue had known in New York, where Aunt Lu lived.

"Supper!" suddenly called Mother Brown, and the two hungry children
hurried into the dining tent where Mr. Brown and Uncle Tad were waiting
for them.

"Well, how did your electric train go?" asked Bunny's father.

"Fine! It's the best ever."

"And my Teddy is just lovely," said Sue.

"Well, be careful of your toys," said Mr. Brown. "Better bring in the
tracks and the engine and cars right after supper."

"I will," Bunny promised, "after I've played with them a bit."

It was dusk when he and Sue took up the shiny track and carried the
batteries and other parts of the toy railroad into the sleeping tent,
for Bunny said he wanted it near him.

The children sat up a little later than usual that night, as they always
did when their father had come to the camp from the city. Bunny talked
of nothing but his railroad, planning fun for the morrow, while Sue said
she was going to get some little girls, who lived in a near-by
farmhouse, and have a party for her Teddy bear.

"Time to go to Slumberland now," called Mrs. Brown, when it was nearly
nine o'clock. "Go to bed early and you'll get up so much the earlier."

So off to their little cots, behind the hanging curtains, went Bunny and
Sue, and soon after saying their prayers they were asleep, one to dream
he was a conductor on a big electric train, while the other dreamed of
carrying a big, crying Teddy bear upside down through the woods with a
milk pail hanging to its nose.

Just what time it was Bunny and Sue did not know, but they were both
suddenly awakened by feeling the tent, on the side nearest to which they
slept, being pushed in. The canvas walls bulged as though some one were
trying to get through them.

"Oh, Daddy!" cried Sue, as she saw the tent move in the light of a
lantern that burned dimly beyond the curtains behind which she and Bunny
slept. "Oh, Daddy, something is after us."

"Yes, and it's an elephant!" cried Bunny, as he, too, saw the tent sway.
"It's an elephant got loose from the circus, and he's after us!"

With that he bounded out of bed, and, waiting only long enough to clasp
each other by the hand, the two children burst into that part of the
tent where Mr. and Mrs. Brown slept.



CHAPTER V

BUNNY ROLLS DOWN HILL


"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Brown, thrusting his head out from
between the two curtains behind which his wife and he had their cots.
"Why are you two children up at this time of night?"

"We--we couldn't sleep in our part of the tent," explained Sue,
snuggling up closer to Bunny.

"Couldn't sleep, my dear? Was it the mosquitoes?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"No'm. It was an elephant," explained Bunny.

"A burglar elephant," added Sue.

"He poked his head into the tent right over our bed," went on Bunny.

"But we didn't stay," added Sue. "We came out to see if you and daddy
were all right. Burglar elephants aren't nice at all."

"What in the world are they talking about?" asked Mr. Brown. "A burglar
elephant? What does it mean?"

"It must have been some sound they heard outside the tent," said Mrs.
Brown. "Or perhaps they dreamed something."

"No'm, we didn't dream," cried Bunny, while his sister Sue nodded her
head to show that she thought as he did. "It was something as big as an
elephant and it most shook the tent down."

"I felt something move the tent from the outside," said Mrs. Brown, "but
I thought it was the wind."

"I'll soon see what it was!" cried Mr. Brown. "You two kiddies jump into
bed with your mother, and I'll take a look outside."

He put on his dressing gown and slippers, and while Bunny and his sister
Sue went behind the curtains to snuggle down in the bed with their
mother, Mr. Brown, taking a lantern, started for the outside of the
tent.

He had just reached the flaps, the ropes of which he was loosening, and
Bunny and his sister were hardly in their mother's cot--a tight fit for
three--when the canvas house was violently shaken and within the very
tent itself sounded a loud:

"Moo! Moo!"

"Oh, it's a cow!" cried Bunny.

"And I can see it!" cried Sue, poking her head out between the curtains
nearest her mother's bed. "I can see it."

"Is it an elephanty cow?" eagerly asked Bunny from his side of the cot.

"No, it's a cow with a crumpled horn--two crumpled horns--and daddy's
pushing its face out of the tent," added Sue.

"Let me see!" cried Bunny, and, in spite of his mother's call to get
back into bed, out he popped to stand near the curtains that hung down
in front of his mother's cot.

"Yes, it's only a cow--a crumpled-horn cow," Bunny announced after he
had taken a look.

"But it pushed hard enough to be an elephant, didn't it?" asked Sue.

"That's what it did. I thought the tent would come down," agreed Bunny.

"What makes you say it was a crumpled-horn cow?" asked Mrs. Brown, as
she too looked through the crack of the curtain and saw her husband
pushing the animal outside.

"'Cause it's got crumpled horns like the ragged man's cow. The man that
gave us milk after the dog drank ours," said Bunny. "Only his cow had
only _one_ crooked horn and this cow has _two_. Hasn't it, Sue?"

"Yes. But it looks like a nice cow."

"Well, we don't want cows in our sleeping tent at night," said Mr.
Brown. "I'll start this one down hill, and in the morning some one who
comes for it will have to hunt for it. We haven't anything here with
which to feed cows."

"What's the matter up there?" called a voice, and the children knew it
was that of Uncle Tad, who slept in a little tent by himself, near the
one where the cooking was done.

"What's the matter up there?" he called.

"Oh, a cow tried to take up quarters with us," explained Mr. Brown. "I'm
trying to shove her out of the tent, but she seems to want to stay."

"I'll lead her away and tie her," said Uncle Tad.

Bunny and Sue heard him tramping up from his tent to theirs and then he
led the crumpled-horn cow away, the animal now and then giving voice to:

"Moo! Moo!"

"Isn't it too bad she couldn't sleep here?" asked Sue.

"She's too big," declared Bunny. "But Sue, did you see two of her horns
crumpled or only one?"

"Why, Bunny, I--I guess it was two, but I'm not sure. What makes you ask
me that?"

Before Bunny could answer his mother called:

"Come now, you children have been up long enough. Get back to bed or
you'll want to sleep so late in the morning that it will be dinner time
before you get up. The elephant-cow has gone away. Uncle Tad will lead
her to the foot of the hill, near the brook, where she can get a drink
of water and she won't bother you any more. So go back to your cots."

Bunny and Sue went. They could hear Uncle Tad leading the elephant cow,
as they called her, through the bushes, and hear him talking to her.

"Come bossy! Come on now. That's a good cow!"

The cow seemed to lead along easily enough, and pretty soon no more
noises could be heard in camp except the chirping of the crickets or the
songs of the katydids and katydidn'ts.

Bunny and Sue covered themselves up in their cots, for it was cool
getting up in the middle of the night. They both tried to go to sleep,
but found it not so easy as they had hoped.

"Sue! Sue!" whispered Bunny, after a while.

"Yes. What is it?"

"Are you asleep?"

"No, 'course not. How could I answer you if I was?"

"That's so. You couldn't. Well, I just wanted to know."

There was silence for a few seconds and then Sue whispered:

"Are you asleep, Bunny?"

"No, 'course not. If I was how could I talk to you?"

"Well, I thought maybe you might have gone to sleep. Say, Bunny!"

"Well, what is it?"

"I--I'm not quite sure about that cow havin' two crumpled horns or one."

"Neither'm I," said Bunny. "That's what I woke you up to find out
about."

"You didn't wake me up 'cause I wasn't asleep. But I _think_ the cow had
two crumpled, twisted horns."

"That's what I thought," said Bunny. "And, if she did, then she didn't
belong to the raggedy man, for his cow had only one."

"That's so," admitted Sue. "But maybe she twisted the other horn pushing
her way through the bushes to our tent."

"Bushes aren't strong enough to twist a cow's horn!" replied Bunny,
trying to set his little sister right.

"Yes they are too, Bunny Brown! 'Specially a wild grape vine that's
strong enough to make a swing!" Sue was growing sleepy and a little
cross.

"Well, maybe----"

But now the voice of Mrs. Brown broke in on the talk of the two
children.

"Stop talking right away, both of you, my dears," she ordered, and Bunny
and Sue knew she meant it.

"All right, Mother," they said, while Sue whispered, just before she
closed her eyes: "We'll find out whose cow it is in the morning."

But they did not, at least right away, for when they ran down to the
brook before breakfast, to wash their hands and faces as they always
did, they saw nothing of the cow.

"Where did you tie her, Uncle Tad?" they asked.

"Right by the big willow tree," he answered. "Maybe she broke away in
the night and tried to get back to the tent."

The cow certainly had broken away, for there was one end of the rope
still tied to the tree, while the other end was broken and frazzled,
showing it had not been cut.

"Well, I guess whoever owns her will find her," said Mr. Brown as he sat
down to a breakfast of bacon and eggs. He had to go back to the city
that day, and the children were sorry, for they counted on having good
times with him.

"But I'll come back Friday night," he promised, "and I'll stay until
Monday morning. That will give us two whole days together."

"Oh, then we'll have fun!" cried Bunny.

"And will you help me play with my 'lectri_city_ Teddy Bear?" asked Sue.

"I surely will!" answered Mr. Brown, with a smile.

"And may I play with my e-lec-tric train while you're away?" asked
Bunny.

"Yes, but be very careful of it," said his father. "It is strong, but it
can be broken or put out of order. So if you play with it take it to
some level place in the woods, and be careful how you set up the track.
Don't make too big a one."

Bunny promised that he would not, and soon after Mr. Brown had gone
away in his automobile, the children, Sue taking her Teddy bear and
Bunny his toy train, started into the woods to play.

"Don't go too far," called their mother. "You must hear me when I call
you to dinner. These woods are very big, you know."

The children wandered off on a woodland path until, after trying, they
found they could just hear their mother's voice.

"And here will be a fine place to play," said Bunny, when they reached a
shady level place on top of a little hill that led down to the lake that
was near Camp Rest-a-While.

"It will be all right if we don't fall down the hill," said Sue.

"Oh, we'll keep away back from the edge," decided Bunny.

Then he began setting up the track for his toy train of cars, while Sue
made a comfortable place for her Teddy bear to sleep, first showing the
animal with the electric eyes all about the woods, in which were the big
trees and the low bushes.

Bunny set his track around in a circle, and after connecting the strong
batteries to the track he put the electric locomotive on and coupled
together the cars. Then, when he turned the switch, the engine and train
ran along the rails very swiftly.

But Bunny soon grew tired of making the train go around in a circle. He
wanted it to run along on a straight track, as the real trains do, and,
having plenty of straight lengths of track in his box, he soon set up
more rails that stretched off in a straight line.

"Oh, you're gettin' awful near the edge of the hill that goes down to
the lake," warned Sue, as she made believe to feed her Teddy bear some
huckleberries.

"But I'm putting a curve at the end of the track so the engine and cars
will turn back toward me," said Bunny. "Than I'll shut off the power
before they can run off on the ground."

Bunny started his train the new way. At first the engine and the cars
rolled slowly over the rails, for the ground was a little uphill. Then
they came to a part that was downhill.

"Now see 'em go!" cried Bunny in delight.

"They're going awful fast!" cried Sue. "You'd better look out!"

"This is an express train," explained Bunny. "Express trains are very
fast."

Indeed the toy locomotive did seem to be going very fast. It rocked and
swayed on the tin rails, and it was soon near the end of the line where
there was a curve.

And there is where the accident happened. The curve was so sharp, and
the electric engine was going so fast, that, instead of turning around,
it kept on straight, jumped over the rails and began to run down hill on
the dirt and stone path that led to the lake.

"Oh!" gasped Sue.

"Oh, my!" cried Bunny, and then, before Sue could stop him, her brother
ran to the edge of the hill. He saw his toy engine and cars rolling over
and over toward the lake at the bottom of the hill, and, without
stopping a second, over the hill went Bunny Brown himself--slipping,
sliding and falling down!

"Oh, Bunny! Come back! Come back!" cried Sue, very much excited.

But Bunny was rolling over and over down the hill after his train, and
he could not answer.



CHAPTER VI

AFTER THE LOST COW


Bunny Brown was thinking of two things when he started to roll downhill.
One was that his train might roll into the water and be spoiled, for his
father had told him that there were bits of electrical machinery on the
engine that would be spoiled if water touched them.

Then Bunny thought of himself rolling into the water, for the hill was
steep on this shore of the lake, and any one rolling down, if he were
not stopped before he reached the bottom, would be almost sure to go
into the lake.

"But I don't mind so much about myself," thought Bunny. "My clothes will
get wet, but I've got on an old suit and water won't hurt that. It won't
hurt me, either, for I get wet when I go in swimming, and I can swim now
if I have to. But my train can't swim, 'cause that's iron, and iron will
sink, daddy told me. So I've got to catch the train before it goes into
the lake."

The thought of this made Bunny try to roll over and over faster, so he
could win in the race down the hill between himself and the train. If he
could get hold of the train before it touched the water all would be
well, he hoped. He could toss the train to one side, out of harm's way,
even if he fell into the water himself.

"But can I get it?" thought Bunny, as he rolled over and over.

He could hear Sue calling to him at the top of the hill, on the very
edge of which he had made the curve of his track. He realized now that
it was too near the edge. What Sue was saying Bunny could not hear, but
he imagined she was begging him to stop rolling downhill and come back
to her.

"As if I could!" thought Bunny to himself. "This rolling downhill isn't
any fun. I didn't really mean to do it, but I couldn't help it. I wanted
to run or slide down. There are too many stones for rolling."

Indeed there were, for the slope of the hill down to the lake was not
of soft grass. Instead it was of gravel and stone and these were very
rough for a small boy to roll on. Still Bunny did not mind if he could
get his locomotive and train of cars.

He could see them just ahead of him, rolling over and over just as he
was doing. Of course there was no electricity in the toy locomotive now.
The current, as the electricity is called, was all in the rails, going
into them from the batteries, and from there it went into the motor or
the wheels, gears and other things inside the engine that made it roll
along.

"I guess it's rolling faster than I am," thought Bunny. "It will get to
the bottom first, and go in the water."

This seemed to be what would happen. For the engine and cars had started
ahead of Bunny, and, too, they were not so big as he. It took him some
time to turn over, for there was more of him.

It was not the first time Bunny had rolled downhill. Often he and Sue,
finding a nice smooth, grassy slope in the country, had started at the
top and rolled all the way to the bottom, over and over, getting up
slightly dizzy.

But Bunny had never rolled down such a long, steep and rough hill as
this, and he really did not mean to do it. He had started out to run to
the bottom, or slide along, his feet buried in the soft sand and gravel.
But he had slipped, and the only thing now to do was to roll, just as
the train was doing.

Bunny looked down the slope again. He saw that the train was almost in
the water, and he was wondering how much spoiled it would be, and
whether it could be fixed again, so it could be run, when he suddenly
saw a man step from the fringe of bushes at the edge of the lake and
pick up the engine and cars just as they went into the water, getting
only a little wet in the edge of the lake.

The man was roughly dressed, and for a moment Bunny thought he was the
old hermit who lived in the lonely log cabin, and who had sold Bunny and
Sue some milk the day before, when the dog had taken their pailful.

But another look, as Bunny tried to slow-up his rolling, told him it
was another man. He was just as ragged as the hermit who kept a cow, but
he did not have long hair, nor a long white beard, and his face was very
dark.

"Oh, that's one of the Indians!" quickly thought Bunny. "Well, he saved
my train all right. I'm glad of that."

With a slide and a roll Bunny reached the foot of the hill, and by
catching hold of a small tree he saved himself from slipping into the
water.

The Indian looked up from the toy train at which he was gazing in
puzzled fashion.

"That's mine," said Bunny, speaking slowly. He knew some of the Indians
who lived on a reservation in the big woods, not far from Camp
Rest-a-While. Some of them could speak fairly good English and
understand it. Others knew only a few words and Bunny wanted to make
sure this Indian understood him.

"Huh! This you?" asked the red man, as the Indians are sometimes called.

"Yes, that's mine," said Bunny. "It's a train of cars."

"Oh, puff-puff train. Eagle Feather ride in puff-puff train once. How
him go?" and he set Bunny's train down on a smooth rock, while the
little boy shook the dust from his clothes and tried to comb it out of
his hair with his fingers.

"It can't go now--no track--no electric current," explained Bunny.
"Track up there on top of hill," he went on, motioning and speaking as
slowly as he could, and with few words, so the Indian would understand.

"Oh, go electricity--same as like lights in big city," said Eagle
Feather, which seemed to be the Indian's name. "Me
know--Buzz--whizz--flash--go quick--no come back."

"That's it," laughed Bunny Brown. He was not afraid of the Indian. The
men and the squaws, or women, used often to come to Camp Rest-a-While to
sell their baskets, their bead work or bows and arrows.

"That your train puff-puff cars. You take," said the Indian, handing the
toy to the little boy. "Indian see him ready to swim in water, no t'ink
good--catch um."

"I'm glad you did," said Bunny. "Thank you. I nearly went into the
water myself."

"Water good for boy--good for muskrat too, maybe," said Eagle Feather.
"Maybe not so good for meke-believe puff-puff train."

"That's right," said Bunny. "If my toy train had fallen into the lake
and stayed there very long, it might never have run again. But I can run
after I've been in the water."

Then Bunny heard a voice calling to him from up on top of the hill:

"Bunny! Bunny Brown! Are you all right?"

Bunny looked up quickly, and so did the Indian. Sue was standing on top
of the hill, holding her Teddy bear with the little electric eyes.

"I'm all right, Sue," called up Bunny. "Come down if you want to. But
come down by the path. My train is all right, too. Eagle Feather saved
it for me. He's one of the Indians from the reservation."

The State had set aside certain land for the Indians on which they must
live. Bunny and Sue, with their father or mother or Uncle Tad, had
often been to the place where the Indians lived.

"Are you all right, Bunny?" asked Sue again.

"Yep. Course. But I'm all dirty. Don't you roll down."

"I won't," promised the little girl, and she started for the path, which
was an easier way of getting to the bottom of the hill. The Indian
waited with Bunny, and when Sue stood beside the two Eagle Feather gave
a sort of grunt of welcome, for Indians are not great talkers.

"Bunny has an 'lectric train," said Sue, for she was no more afraid of
the red men than was her brother. "Bunny has an 'lectric train, and I
have an 'lectric Teddy bear. See, Eagle Feather!"

She pushed the button, or switch, in the back of her toy, and at once
the eyes flashed out brightly.

"Huh! That much like real bear when you see him in dark by campfire,"
said the Indian. "Much funny. Let Eagle Feather see!"

Sue showed the Indian how to make the eyes gleam by pressing the button
in the toy bear's back, and Eagle Feather did this several times. He
seemed to think the toy bear was a more wonderful toy than the train he
had saved from the lake. He gave this back to Bunny and kept the bear,
flashing the eyes again and again.

"You mustn't do it too much or you'll wear out the batteries inside the
bear," said Bunny. "The same kind of electric batteries make the eyes of
the bear bright as run my train."

"Huh! Indian no want to make little girl's toy bad," said the Indian
handing it back. "Great toy, much. Very good to have."

"What are you doing so far away from your camp?" asked Bunny. "Have you
some bows and arrows to sell?"

"No got to sell to-day. Indian come to hunt lost cow."

"Have you lost a cow?" asked Bunny and Sue together.

"Yes. Maybe you see him. He got two horns funny twisted--so"; and Eagle
Feather picked up a crooked branch, like a fork or crotch, both parts
of which were gnarled and twisted. "Horns like him?"

"Yes, just like that," said Bunny. "The cow came to our tent in the
night and we thought it was an elephant. Was it your cow? We thought it
belonged to the white hermit who sold us milk last night."

"No, two-crooked-horn cow belong Eagle Feather. Where you see him?"

Bunny and Sue told of Uncle Tad having tied the cow in the night and of
her having broken loose.

"But maybe we can see which way she went by her hoof-prints in the mud,"
said Bunny. "Come on, Eagle Feather. You saved my train from going into
the lake where maybe I couldn't get it up, so we'll help you find your
lost cow."



CHAPTER VII

THE MISSING TRAIN


For a moment Eagle Feather, the Indian, stood looking at the two
children, and yet not so much at them as at their two toys--the
electrical train, and at the Teddy Bear with the queer electric eyes. It
was hard to say of which the Indian was most fond.

"You ought to see my train run on the track!" exclaimed Bunny, as he
shook some drops of water off the cars and engine. "I guess I'll have to
put oil on it now to keep it from getting rusty, as Uncle Tad does when
I leave his tools out all night."

"And you ought to see my doll at night!" added Sue. "Her eyes shine like
anything, and once, after I got to bed, and wanted a drink of water that
was on a chair near my bed, I just lighted Sallie Malinda's eyes, and I
found the drink without calling mother."

"Huh! Heap big medicine--both of um!" grunted the Indian.

Eagle Feather was one of the oldest of the tribe of Onondagas who lived
on the reservation, and though he usually spoke fairly good English,
sometimes he talked as his grandfather had done when he was a boy and
the early settlers first had to do with the Indians.

And when Eagle Feather called the children's toys "heap big medicine,"
he did not mean exactly the kind of medicine you have to take when you
are sick.

The Indians have two kinds of medicine, as they call it. One is made of
the roots and barks of trees, berries and bushes which they take, and
some of which we still use, like witch hazel and sassafras. But they
also have another kind of medicine, which is like what might be called a
charm; as some pretty stone, a feather, a bone or two, or anything they
might have picked up in the woods as it took their fancy. These things
they wear around their necks or arms and think they keep away sickness
and bad luck.

So when Eagle Feather called the toy train and the Teddy bear of Bunny
Brown and his sister Sue, "heap big medicine," he meant they would be
good not only to cure sickness without medicine, but also keep bad luck
away from whoever had them.

"Now we'll help find your cow, Eagle Feather," said Bunny, for he was no
more afraid of the Indian than you would be of the fireman down in the
engine house at the end of your street, or the policeman on your block.
Bunny and Sue had lived in the Big Woods so long now, and had seen the
Indians so often, even to learning the names of some of them, that they
thought no more of them than of some of the farmers round about.

"All right--we go find cow," said Eagle Feather. "No milk for little
papoose if cow no come home." "Papoose" was the word the Indians used
for "baby," and in the log cabin where Eagle Feather lived were two or
three papooses.

"It must have been your cow that poked her head into our tent," said
Sue, "for she had two crumpled horns, and the farmer's had only one."

"That right," said Eagle Feather with a sort of grunt. "My cow have two
horns twist like so," and he held up two fingers and made a sort of
corkscrew motion in the air with his hands.

"Then that was your cow all right," said Bunny. "Uncle Tad tied her to a
tree, but maybe we can find her."

"Sure we find," grunted Eagle Feather. "Heap big medicine little boy an'
girl have soon find cow."

What the Indian meant was that he believed the toy train and the
electrical Teddy bear would bring such good luck that the lost cow would
soon be found.

Mr. Brown had gone back to the city when Bunny and Sue, each one
carrying a toy, and followed by Eagle Feather, came back to Camp
Rest-a-While. Bunny was in worse condition than his sister, for he had
rolled down the steep hill. Sue's dress was torn a little.

"Why, Bunny! Why, Sue!" cried Mrs. Brown as she saw the two children.
"Where in the world have you been?"

"In the woods, playing with our toys," answered Bunny. "Sue made her
Teddy's eyes flash to scare away the tigers and lions all around us."

"Oh, you were playing make-believe," said Mother Brown, for well she
knew the different games the children made up.

"But Bunny's runaway train was real," said Sue.

"Did your train run away?" asked Mrs. Brown, not paying much attention
to the Indian at first, as it was common to see them around the camp,
whither they came to beg for scraps of food, the remains of a ham bone,
and such things.

"Did your train really run away, Bunny?" asked Mrs. Brown. "Oh, Bunny,
you've been in the dirt!"

"Yes, and it's a good thing he didn't get _wet_," went on Sue, for both
children always told everything that happened to them as soon as they
got back home. Only sometimes it took a little longer than usual to
think up all the happenings. "He almost rolled into the lake, Bunny
did."

"You did!" cried Mrs. Brown. "How did it happen?"

"Oh, I made the track straight, instead of in a circle, and the train
got to going so fast in a straight line that it ran off the end of the
rails downhill. I ran after it, but I slipped and rolled. Then the train
rolled into the water, but only a teenty little way, and Eagle Feather
got it out. Wasn't he good?"

"He was indeed, and we must thank him," said Mrs. Brown. "But did he
stop you from going into the water also, Bunny?"

"No, Momsie. I stopped myself by catching hold of a tree. But I almost
went in. I'd have gone in after my train anyhow, if Eagle Feather hadn't
got it for me."

"Thank you, Eagle Feather," said Mrs. Brown. "I must give you some of
the nice soup I have made. The papooses will like it."

"Squaw like it, and Indian like it heap, too," said Eagle Feather.

"Yes, but the squaw, as you call your wife, and the little children,
must have some first."

"Oh, yes. Give 'em milk too, if so he can find cow."

"Oh, is your cow lost? And was it she who poked her head in our tent
last night?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"I think it was, Mother," said Bunny. "She had two crumpled horns, and
the one the farmer owns has only one. Sue and I are going to help Eagle
Feather find his cow."

"Well, you mustn't go very deep into the big woods," said Mrs. Brown.
"But then I think the cow can't have wandered far, for there is good
feeding near where Uncle Tad tied her."

"You show me where cow broke loose, I find her," said Eagle Feather.
"Indian hab heap good medicine to find cow."

"Medicine? You don't need medicine to find a cow," said Mrs. Brown. "You
might need medicine if your cow were sick, but she didn't look sick when
she poked her nose into the tent."

"Cow no sick, but heap good medicine find her all same," replied Eagle
Feather, smiling.

"He means our toys, Mother," said Bunny. "He called my train of cars and
Sue's doll heap good medicine."

"Oh, I see!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "It's a sort of charm. But you
mustn't believe in that sort of nonsense, children, even if some of the
more ignorant Indians do."

"But, Mother," asked Bunny, "mayn't I show Eagle Feather how my toy
train works? He didn't see it, and I know he'd like to. Mayn't I show
him the train and how it runs?"

"Oh, yes, I suppose so. But be quick about it, if you are going to help
him hunt for his cow."

Bunny relaid the track, in a circle this time, so the engine and cars
would not roll off to where they were not intended to go. Meanwhile Sue
flashed the eyes of her Teddy Bear so Eagle Feather could see them. He
looked very closely at the toy, but when Bunny had his train on the
circular track, the batteries connected, and had started the little
locomotive pulling the cars after it, the eyes of Eagle Feather grew big
with wonder.

"Great medicine!" he exclaimed. "Heap big powerful. Indian do anything
with that medicine. Bring him along an' soon find cow."

"Oh, I couldn't bring my whole train, the track and the batteries into
the woods," said Bunny. "But I'll take one car with me."

"Well, maybe one car help some," said the Indian. "Little gal bring baby
bear whose eyes light up same as in dark by campfire."

"Yes, I'll bring Sallie Malinda," promised Sue. "That's my Teddy's
name," she explained.

"Well, don't lose your toys," cautioned their mother, "and don't be gone
too long, for dinner will soon be ready. And, Eagle Feather, don't
forget to come back for the soup," she concluded.

"Me no forget," said the Indian.

Then with the children he went to the place where Uncle Tad had tied the
stray cow, and from where she had broken loose. That was the starting
place for the search.

Mrs. Brown was not at all nervous about letting Bunny and Sue go away
with the Indian, Eagle Feather. All the farmers for miles around spoke
of his honesty and kindness. He owned several farms, as well as horses
and cows. He did business with the white people, and all of them trusted
him. Mr. Brown often bought things from him.

Bunny, carrying one car of his train, and Sue, her Teddy bear to which
she had given such a queer name, led the Indian to the tree to which
Uncle Tad had tied the cow in the night. There was the broken end of the
rope still tied around the tree, but there was no cow on the other end
of it.

"She go this way," said Eagle Feather, pointing off toward the west.

"How can you tell?" asked Bunny.

"See feet marks in soft dirt--see broken branches where cow go
through--no look for path," and the Indian pointed to several branches
broken from the bushes through which the cow had forced her way in the
darkness after having broken loose from the tree.

"Come on, Sue!" called Bunny, as he followed the Indian, carrying the
toy train in his hand.

"I'm coming," answered his sister. "But the thorns catch in the fuzzy
wool of Sallie Malinda and scratch her. I've got to go slower than you."

"All right--we wait for you," said Eagle Feather, who had heard what Sue
said. "No hurry from little gal," he said to Bunny. "Maybe her medicine
better for finding cow as yours, though me think yours very much
stronger medicine. Maybe we see--byemby." That was the way Eagle Feather
said "Bye-and-bye."

Bunny and the Indian went on slowly through the big woods, the red man
stopping every now and then to look down at the ground for marks of the
cow's hoofs, and also looking at the sides for signs of the broken
branches.

"Cow been here," he would say every little while. "Soon we catch 'er.
Medicine heap good. Indian like!"

"You'd better get yourself a toy train," said Bunny.

"No got money," returned Eagle Feather. "Like 'em very much for boy
papoose when he grow big so like you."

"Maybe I'll be tired of mine by that time and give it to him," said
Bunny.

"Too nice. You no get tired long while," said the Indian. "Heap big
medicine. Come, Sue, we wait for you."

As the Indian and Bunny waited they heard, off in the distance, the
lowing of a cow.

"Hark!" cried Bunny.

"That my cow," said Eagle Feather. "I tell you boy and gal medicine heap
good--find cow soon. Over this way! Soon hab cow now!"

He hurried on ahead so fast that Bunny and Sue could hardly keep up with
him, but they managed to do so and, a little later, they saw, in a
little glade among the trees, a cow with a broken rope trailing from her
neck. She had two twisted, or crumpled, horns.

"Oh, that's the cow that was in our tent!" cried Sue. "I'd know her
anywhere."

"She my cow--give good milk for little papoose. What for you run away?"
he asked, going up to the cow, rubbing her neck and pretending to talk
into her ear.

The cow mooed softly and appeared glad to see Eagle Feather.

"Well, now you've got your cow back you can come to our camp, get the
soup and go to your cabin," said Bunny. "I'm glad you found her."

"Boy and girl, with heap good medicine find," said Eagle Feather. "Much
thankful to you. Some day make bow and arrows for boy, and moccasins for
feet of little girl with bear that makes fire eyes at night. Indian
glad!"

"Oh, we were only too glad to help you," said Bunny. "Now we must be
going back to camp."

"Me come--cow come too," said Eagle Feather, and he led the cow by the
broken rope. They were soon back at the tents, telling Mrs. Brown how
they had found the lost cow. Eagle Feather spoke much about the toy
train and the Teddy bear "medicine," but Mrs. Brown laughed.

"This is better medicine than all the toys in the world," she said, as
she gave Eagle Feather a big pail of soup. "Take it home to your wife
and children."

"Me will--all much 'bliged," and Eagle Feather bowed. Then with a
farewell nod to the children the red man went off into the big woods
leading his lost cow, who seemed glad to be on her way home again.

Mr. Brown came home that night to stay two or three days, for Bunker
Blue could take care of the fish and boat business, and when Bunny's
father heard what had happened when Bunny put the toy track too near the
edge of the hill, the little boy was told not to do it again, and
promised not to.

"Eagle Feather was very good to you, and you must be kind to him and to
all the Indians," said Mr. Brown. "So the wetting didn't seem to hurt
your toy engine, Bunny?"

"No, Daddy. I shook off all the water."

"Well, we'd better oil it and let it stand all night to take off the
rust. For if it gets rusty it won't run."

Bunny did not want this to happen, so he left his toy railroad out in
the kitchen tent that night, near the stove in which a little fire was
kindled.

No cows stuck their heads into the bedrooms of the tent houses that
night, and Bunny and Sue slept soundly. So did Mr. and Mrs. Brown and
Uncle Tad, but some one must have been around the camp with very soft
feet in the darkness. For when Bunny awakened early, and went out to
have a look at his toy railroad, he set up a cry:

"It's gone! It's gone! Some one has taken it!"

"Taken what?" asked his father.

"My toy locomotive, my cars, the tracks, batteries and everything! Oh,
dear! My toy train is gone!"



CHAPTER VIII

"WHERE HAS SALLIE GONE?"


"What's the matter, Bunny?" asked Uncle Tad, who, as usual, had gotten
up early to make the fire in the kitchen stove. It had gone out during
the night, though a late fire had been built to make warmth for Bunny's
train.

"What's the matter?" asked Uncle Tad again. "Have you found some more
lost cows?"

"No. I've lost something instead of finding it this time," said the
little boy.

"What have you lost?" asked Uncle Tad, as he began to shake the ashes
out of the cook stove, getting ready to make a new fire in it. The stove
pipe went right out through the tent, with an asbestos collar around it
so the canvas would not catch fire.

"I've lost my electric train," cried Bunny Brown, looking around the
kitchen tent to make sure his toy was not stuck in some corner. "I was
playing with it yesterday, and I had one of the cars when I went with
Sue and Indian Eagle Feather to find his lost cow. Then I brought it
back to camp and I put it here so the water would dry out. Now it's
gone!"

"Yes, it seems to be gone," said Uncle Tad, looking carefully around the
tent, after he had put a match to the wood kindlings. "And I know you
left it here because I saw it the last thing when I came in to make sure
the fire was all right before going to bed."

"Then who could have taken it?" asked Bunny.

"Well, as to that I couldn't say," answered Uncle Tad slowly. "It might
have run off by itself, I suppose?"

"It couldn't have!" declared Bunny. "Of course it runs by itself when
the batteries are connected, but they weren't this time. And the train
wasn't even on the track, though the rails were piled up near it, and so
were the batteries. Yet everything is gone!"

"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Brown, coming into the kitchen tent to
start the breakfast.

"My train is gone!" said Bunny sadly. "And I didn't hear anybody around
camp during the night," he added, and told of finding out about his
loss.

"Do you suppose you could have got up in the night, walked in your
sleep, and hidden the train somewhere else yourself?" asked Uncle Tad.

"Well, about a year ago that might have happened," said Mother Brown.
"But Bunny is cured of his sleep-walking habits now. He hasn't gotten up
for several months, unless, as happened the other night when the cow
poked her head in the tent, he woke up and cried out."

"But no cow came into the tent last night, Mother," said Bunny. "Anyhow
a cow wouldn't like to eat a train of cars."

"A cow eat a train of cars!" cried Daddy Brown, coming into the tent
just in time to hear what Bunny said. "Say, is that a riddle?"

"No. But it's a riddle to guess who or what took Bunny's train of cars,"
said Mrs. Brown. "He says he left them here, in front of the stove to
dry out the water as you told him to, but they are gone now."

"That's queer," said Mr. Brown, looking about. "Is Bunny's train the
only thing that is missing?"

"It seems to be, as far as we can tell by a hasty look around. But we'll
have to see," said Mother Brown.

Uncle Tad, Mr. Brown and Bunny and Sue looked carefully about the tent
while Mrs. Brown got breakfast. They saw several footprints, for the
children, as well as the grown folks, had been about the tents all day,
and Eagle Feather, the Indian, had also been there.

"Who knew that you had a train of cars?" asked Mr. Brown of his son when
a long search had failed to find the toy.

"Well, I told the boy who brings the milk, the butter and egg man, and I
guess that's all," said Bunny.

"You told Eagle Feather," put in Sue.

"Yes, but he wouldn't take them," said Bunny. "He thinks they are big
medicine for finding his lost cow. He wouldn't take them."

"I'm not so sure of that," said Uncle Tad. "Indians like bright and
pretty things and that electrical train must have been a great wonder to
them; especially to Eagle Feather, who is a smart Indian."

"Then why didn't he take my Teddy bear, Sallie Malinda?" asked Sue. "My
bear, with the blinking eyes, helped find the lost cow as well as
Bunny's train did."

"Of course it did," agreed Mother Brown. "I don't believe Eagle Feather
had a thing to do with it. If the train was stolen by tramps we'd better
get another dog, Daddy Brown, to keep them away."

"Oh, don't get a dog!" cried Bunny and Sue together. "Splash is the best
dog that ever was!"

"Yes. But he is so friendly with everybody that he would just as soon a
tramp came up to the tent as some of the farm peddlers," said Mrs.
Brown. "He hardly ever barks unless he is playing with you children,
and he is so good-natured."

"Oh, we never could give up Splash," said Bunny, and Sue nodded her head
to show that she felt the same way about it.

"Maybe you can get another dog, who will bark, Mother. Then we could
hitch Splash and him up together and have a team," went on Bunny.

"Splash would never pull the way the other dog wanted to go," said Uncle
Tad. "I guess, before we think of more dogs we'll just go over to the
Indian village and find out what they know about the missing toy train."

"Yes, that would be a good plan," said Mr. Brown. "Suppose we go
together, Uncle Tad."

So, after breakfast, when another search had been made about the camp to
make sure the train was not hidden behind something, the two men started
off. Bunny kept on searching about the tents for his missing toy, and
Sue played with her Teddy Bear, tying her on the back of Splash, the
dog, to make believe Sallie Malinda was having a pony ride.

When Father Brown and Uncle Tad came back the children ran eagerly to
them. Mr. Brown shook his head.

"No," he said, slowly, "there is no trace of the toy train in the
Indians' village, and Eagle Feather and his men say they know nothing
about it. They say they were not away from their camp all night. They
even let us search their tents and cabins, and were very good-natured
about it."

"That doesn't prove anything," said Uncle Tad. "If they had hidden the
toy train it would be in a place where we could never find it. I guess
we'll have to let it go."

"Could any one else have taken it?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Yes, of course. But one of the Indians seems most likely. They probably
heard what Eagle Feather told about how the train ran and one of their
men crawled up in the night and took it from the tent while we were all
asleep."

"Well, maybe so, but I don't believe Eagle Feather did any such thing as
that," said Mother Brown.

"Nor I," said Bunny, and Sue nodded her head. "It was a tramp."

Mr. Brown promised Bunny a new train as soon as he should go back to the
city, but that would not be for a few days.

"Oh dear!" cried Bunny. "How can I wait that long?"

"You can play with my Teddy bear sometimes," said Sue kindly. Bunny
thanked her, but it was easy to see he did not care much for such a
girl's toy.

"My Sallie Malinda Teddy bear is as good as your toy train," said Sue.
"She's better--for I _have_ her and you _haven't_ your train of cars."

"Well, I'm glad you like her," said Bunny. "But maybe your Teddy will go
away in the night just as my train did."

"My Teddy can't run, even if her eyes can light up," said Sue, making
the bear's eyes blink.

"My train didn't run away, it was tooken," said Bunny. "And some day I'm
going to find the one that tooked it."

Bunny did not speak as his school teacher would have had him, but he
meant the same thing as if he had spoken correctly.

"Well, they sha'n't touch my Teddy bear!" said Sue. "I'll take her to
bed with me every night."

And she did, two or three times. Then, one night Sue forgot and left her
wonderful Teddy bear out in the kitchen. And in the morning what do you
suppose had happened?

In the morning Sue awakened early, and, missing her toy, which she
thought she had taken to bed with her, she happened to remember that
Sallie was left out in the kitchen.

"I'll bring her to bed with me and tell her a story," said the little
girl.

Eagerly she ran out to the kitchen. She looked in the chair where the
Teddy bear had been left. Then Sue's eyes filled with tears as she
cried:

"Where has Sallie gone? Oh, where has Sallie Malinda gone? Some one has
tooken my Teddy bear!"

Bunny Brown heard his sister's cry, and up from his cot he jumped.



CHAPTER IX

THE SEARCH


"What's the matter, Sue?" asked Bunny as he saw his sister standing in
the middle of the dining room part of the tent, which was separated by
curtains from the sleeping rooms.

"Oh, my Teddy bear's been taken! Some one has taken Sallie Malinda!"
cried the little girl. "I don't believe I'll ever be happy again. Oh,
dear!"

"Maybe we'll find her again," said Bunny, shivering, for the morning was
cool and he had on only his night clothes.

"No, I'll never find her," sobbed Sue. "She's been tooked away, same as
your train of cars."

This thought of his own missing toy made Bunny feel sad. But he wanted
to cheer Sue up.

"Oh, maybe your Teddy bear just walked off in the night to get something
to eat," the little boy went on. "I get hungry in the night lots of
times. I get up and eat a sweet cracker, if I've left one on the chair
by my bed. Now let me think what it is bears like best."

"It's honey," answered Sue.

"How do you know?" her brother asked.

"'Cause I read it in the animal book. It told about a bear climbing a
bee-tree----"

"What's a bee-tree?" interrupted Bunny.

"It's a hollow tree where a bee makes its nest and lays honey eggs,"
explained Sue, in a very funny way, you see. "And the bear climbed that
tree and got the bee's honey."

"Wouldn't the bee sting him?" asked Bunny. "I was stung by a bee once,
on Grandpa's farm, and I wasn't climbing the bee-tree either."

"Oh, well, that was an accident," declared Sue. "Besides a bear has
thick fur on him and the only place where a bee can hurt him is on his
soft and tender nose. And before he climbs a bee-tree, the bear puts
thick mud on his nose like a plaster so the bee can't sting that, so
he's all right."

"Hum," said Bunny. "Then we'll go and find a bee-tree, and maybe your
Teddy bear will be there."

"But my Teddy bear Sallie Malinda can only make-believe walk!" exclaimed
Sue. "She can only make-believe eat honey, too."

"Then we'll look for a make-believe honey-tree," said Bunny. "Come on,
Sue!"

Sue seemed to hold back.

"Come on!" cried Bunny again, always ready to start something. "Let's
get dressed and go to hunt for the Teddy bear."

It was very early, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown were not yet awake. Mrs.
Brown, however, soon heard the children moving about and she called to
them:

"What's the matter?"

"Sue's doll is gone," said Bunny.

"My nice Teddy bear one," added Sue.

"He's gone off to find a bee's nest to get honey," went on Bunny.

"My bear ain't a 'he'--she's a 'she,'" declared Sue. "And her name is
Sallie Malinda."

"Well, no matter what her name is, she is lost," said Bunny. "We're
going to find her."

"Look here, children!" called Mr. Brown, who was now awake. "Don't go
off on any wild goose chase."

"We're not after wild geese. We're going after Sue's bear," replied
Bunny.

"What! Is Sue's bear taken, too?" cried Mr. Brown.

"She's either taken or else she walked away," Bunny said.

"Sue's bear wasn't the walking kind, though they did have some of that
sort," said the children's father. "But if your bear is gone, some one
must have taken it just as they did Bunny's train of cars. I must look
into this. You children stay right where you are until I get dressed and
we'll make a search. Meanwhile look around the tent and see if you can't
find Sallie Jane."

"Her name is Sallie _Malinda_," said Sue, with some indignation.

"Well, take a look around for Sallie Malinda Teddy Bear Brown while I'm
getting dressed," said her father.

The children soon slipped into their clothes, and then began to look
around the tent, inside and out. Sue thought perhaps she had left her
Teddy bear with its flashing electrical eyes in a chair near the
kitchen-tent table. She had had her there after her own supper. She even
pointed out where she had put a small plate of cracker crumbs near the
Teddy bear. The plate of crumbs was still there, but the doll was gone.

"We'll look outside," said Bunny; and when he and Sue were outside the
tent, waiting for their father, Bunny began walking slowly along, bent
over as though he had a peddler's pack on his back.

"What are you doing that for?" asked Sue in surprise. "We aren't playing
any game."

"I know it. But I'm looking for the marks of the bear's tracks in the
mud, just as Eagle Feather looked for the hoof prints of his lost cow in
the sand. He found his cow that way, and maybe we'll find Sallie Malinda
this way."

"But his cow was bigger than my Teddy bear, and made bigger tracks."

"That doesn't matter. I've been talking to the Indians about trailing
animals this way, and you can trail a squirrel as easily as an elephant
if you only know how to look for the feet marks. See, Sue!" and Bunny
pointed to marks in the soft earth. "Aren't those the prints of your
Teddy bear's feet?"

Sue looked to where Bunny pointed. There were marks plainly enough, but
in a minute Sue knew what they were.

"Why, that's where Splash, our dog, walked," said the little girl.

"Oh, so it is," agreed Bunny. "Well, I made a mistake that time. We'll
try again."

So the children went on, seeking for marks of the toy bear's paws, until
Mr. Brown came out.

"It's of no use to look that way, children," he said. "If Sue's bear is
missing some one took it away--it never walked, for it couldn't."

"That's what I said!" cried Sue.

"But how did it get away?" asked Bunny.

"Somebody must have taken it. The same one who took your train of cars.
We must look farther off than just around the tent."

"Say, Daddy, do you s'pose some of the Indians could have done it?"
asked Sue in a whisper.

"I hardly think so," answered Mr. Brown. "Still, they are not all as
honest as Eagle Feather. We'll have a look around their camp."

"And maybe we'll find my train at the same time," said Bunny, hopefully.

"We'll look for it," replied Mr. Brown.

All of a sudden Bunny began to run around in a circle, bending down
toward the ground.

"What are you doing?" asked Sue. "Playing stoop-tag?"

"No, I'm looking for the marks of Indians' feet," answered Bunny. "If
Indians came around here to take your doll, they'd leave some mark. I'm
trying to find it."

Sue shook her head.

"What's the matter?" asked Bunny.

"Indians don't leave any tracks," returned the little girl. "'They are
very cunning,' it says in my school reader-book, 'and they can slip
through a forest leaving no more trace than that of the wind.' I don't
know what 'trace' is, but it must be true, for it's in my book."

"Oh, those were old-fashioned Indians," said Bunny. "That kind wouldn't
leave any marks. But these Indians wear shoes, and they'd leave a mark
in soft ground. Wouldn't they, Daddy?"

"I believe they would. But I don't want to think it was our good friends
the Indians who have taken your things. But we will search and see. Come
on, now, Bunny and Sue. We'll have a little hunt before breakfast."



CHAPTER X

LOST IN THE WOODS


Holding the hands of Bunny and his sister Sue, one on either side, Mr.
Brown started on a little search around the tents. They were trying to
find the footprints of some one who did not belong to the camp. Some one
other than Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Uncle Tad and the children themselves. Of
course Bunker Blue came to the camp once in a while, and so did various
peddlers and some people from neighboring farms. But most of these
footprints were known to Mr. Brown, as he had seen them about the place
ever since he and his family had been living at Camp Rest-a-While.

"What I want to see is a strange footprint," said the children's father.

"An Indian's footprint is stranger than ours," said Sue.

"Of course, if they wear moccasins," agreed Bunny.

"No, if they wear shoes," said Sue. "Our teacher told us about it."

"What is different in an Indian's footprint and ours, Sue?" asked Mr.
Brown.

"Why, an Indian, even if he wears shoes like ours, turns his toes in,
instead of out, as we do," went on the little girl.

"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!" laughed Bunny. "Whoever heard of such a thing?"

"But it's true, isn't it, Daddy?" asked Sue.

"Yes, it is true," said Mr. Brown. "A real Indian has a sort of
pigeon-toe, as it is called. That is, instead of pointing his toes out
when he walks, he turns them in. At least most Indians do, though there
may be some who do not. So if you are looking for Indians' tracks,
Bunny, look for the kind that turns in."

"I will," the little boy agreed. "I didn't know you knew so much about
Indians, Sue."

"Our teacher used to live out West among the Indians, and she taught
them," explained Sue. "She tells us lots of Indian stories."

"Goodness! I wish I could be in your class!" cried Bunny. "Even though
I am a grade ahead of you," he added. "Does she tell about Indian fights
with bows and arrows, and taking prisoners, and all that?"

"No, she tells about tame Indians, not the wild kind," explained Sue.
"The tame ones are just like the ones that live on the preservation
here--the Onondagas. But I like tame Indians, though I hope none of them
has taken my Teddy bear."

"I hope not, either," said her father. "For Eagle Feather and his
Indians are good friends of ours, and I would not like to feel that they
would take anything from our camp. Still we must look everywhere."

"Sue, you said the Indians lived on a 'preservation.' You meant
'reservation,'" corrected Bunny.

"I don't care. They live there, whatever it is," declared the little
girl.

They circled about the tents, but the footprints, as far as they could
tell, were those of white men--none of them toed in.

"Are you going to the Indians' camp?" asked Bunny.

"Yes, I think we'll go there, and also to----"

But just then came the voice of Mrs. Brown calling:

"Breakfast is ready, and if you wait very long the pancakes will be
spoiled! Hurry!"

"Oh, hurray! Pancakes!" cried Sue. "Don't you like them, Bunny?"

"I should say I do! I hope I can have ten."

"Oh, Bunny Brown!" cried Sue, "you never could eat ten pancakes at one
meal!"

"Well, anyhow, I could try," he said. "And I can eat five, I know."

"That's better," said Mr. Brown with a smile. "I can eat a few myself."

They hurried back to breakfast, telling Mrs. Brown they had had no luck
in finding the person who had taken Sue's Teddy bear.

For that the toy with the electric eyes had been taken away and had not
walked off by herself was now believed, even by Bunny, who had at first
insisted that Sallie Malinda had been hungry and had gone off to find
honey.

"Though some mother bear might have come in and taken her to her den,
thinking she was her baby," said Sue. "My Sallie Malinda looked just
like a real bear when her eyes were lighted up."

"But there were no bear tracks around the tents," said Bunny; "and there
would have been if there had been any bears here to carry off your
Teddy. There are no other bears here."

"I'm glad of that," said Mrs. Brown. "Teddy bears are the only ones I
want to see."

"Well, maybe no real bears came for Sallie Malinda," said Sue, after a
while. "I guess it was an Indian or some man who wanted my toy for his
little girl. But I hope I get her back--Sallie Malinda, I mean."

Bunny managed to eat five of the cakes his mother baked, and he might
have eaten another only his father called to him to hurry if he wanted
to go to search for the missing toy bear.

Sue and Bunny went with Mr. Brown off into the big woods after
breakfast. As they walked along they looked on either side of the path
for a sight of the missing Teddy bear or Bunny's toy train. But they saw
neither one.

"Whoever took them is keeping them well hidden," said Mr. Brown. "Now,
we'll go to the Indian camp."

Though they called it a camp, it was more of an Indian village where the
Onondagas lived. There were many tents, log or slab cabins, and one or
two houses built as the white people built theirs. These were owned by
the richer Indians, who had large farms and many horses and cows. Some
of the Indians were very poor, and their cabins had only one room, where
they cooked, ate and slept.

Eagle Feather was the head, or chief, of this particular tribe. He was
not like the old-time or wild Indians. He owned a farm and he worked
hard to grow fruits and vegetables.

When Eagle Feather saw Mr. Brown, with the two children, coming to the
Indian village, the chief came out to meet them.

"How do!" he exclaimed in English that could be understood. "Eagle
Feather glad to see you. Come in an' sit down. Squaw make tea for you,
or maybe coffee. Coffee better; more has taste."

"No, thank you, we haven't time to eat now," said Mr. Brown. "We came
looking for bear."

"For bear?" cried Eagle Feather in surprise. "No bear here. Bear maybe
'way off in woods. Why you no go there and shoot 'um?"

"Oh, this isn't that kind of bear," said Mr. Brown.

"Funny bear, no live in woods," said the Indian.

"This bear have eyes go like so," and Mr. Brown took from his pocket a
small electric flash light. By pressing on a spring he made the light
flash up and go out, just as had the eyes of Sue's bear.

"Oh, now Eagle Feather know," said the Indian quickly. "Lil' gal's heab
big medicine doll gone. Where him go?"

"That's just what we don't know," said Mr. Brown. "In the night, when we
were all asleep, some one came and took the bear. Maybe he came to
Indian camp. Not sure, but maybe we can look." Mr. Brown tried to talk
as he thought Eagle Feather would understand. And the Indian seemed to.

"Your lil' gal's bear no here at Eagle Feather's camp," he said with a
shake of his head. "Much big medicine, like baby puff-puff train doll
is, but Indian no take lil' gal's play bear. See, I and you look in
every house."

"Oh, no, that isn't necessary," said Mr. Brown. "If you tell me the bear
isn't here I believe you."

"That right, for I speak truth. But wait--we ask other Indians. Maybe
they think no harm to take bear lil' while for big medicine, and bring
him back. I ask."

Eagle Feather stepped to the door of his house and gave a loud whistle.
In a few minutes there came to him many of the older Indian men. Eagle
Feather spoke to them in their own Indian language. He listened to the
answers.

Then, turning to Mr. Brown and the children, the chief said:

"No have got lil' gal's play bear. Nobody here have got. You look in
all Indian houses and see for yourself."

"No. I'll take your word for it," said Mr. Brown. "I believe the Teddy
bear is not here. It must have been taken by some one else. I will look
farther."

But Eagle Feather insisted on some of the head men's huts being
searched, and this was done. But no doll was found.

"Oh, dear! Where can Sallie Malinda be?" half sobbed Sue.

"Never mind," said her father. "If you can't find your bear, and Bunny's
cars are still gone, in two weeks I'll get you new ones. But I think
they will come back as mysteriously as they went away. Now, we must go
home."

"But I thought you were going to look in the cabin of the hermit," said
Bunny.

"We'll have to do that after dinner," answered Daddy Brown. But when
dinner was half over there came a telegram for Mr. Brown telling him he
was needed back at his business office at once, as something had gone
wrong about the fish catch.

"Well, I'll have to go now," said the children's father; "but I'll help
you look for the Teddy doll and the train of cars when I come back," he
said.

It was a little sad in Camp Rest-a-While when Mr. Brown had gone, but
Mother Brown let the children play store, with real things to eat and to
sell, and they were soon happy again. Finally Sue said:

"Bunny, do you know where that hermit's hut is--the one where you got
the milk the time the dog drank it?"

"Yes," slowly answered Bunny. "I do. But what about it?"

"Let's go there," answered Sue. "Maybe he has my Sallie Malinda. Daddy
was going to take us there, but he had to go away so quickly he didn't
have time. But you and I can go. I'm sure he'd give us my Teddy bear if
he had her."

"I guess he would," agreed Bunny. "But what would he want with it?
Anyhow, we'll go and see."

So he and Sue, saying nothing to their mother, except that they were
going off into the big woods back of the camp, left the tent and headed
for the hermit's cabin.

On and on they went, leaving Splash behind, for, of late, their dog had
not followed them as often as he had done before.

They had tramped through the woods for about an hour, looking in all
sorts of places for the missing Teddy bear and the toy train, when Sue
suddenly asked:

"Aren't we near his cabin now, Bunny? It seems as if we'd come an awful
long way."

"I was beginning to think so myself," said the little boy. "Yet I was
sure it was over this way."

The children walked on a little farther, but found themselves only
deeper in the big woods. Finally Sue stopped and said:

"Bunny, do you know where we are?"

"No, I don't," he answered.

"Then we're lost," said Sue, shaking her head. "We're lost in the woods,
Bunny Brown, and we'll never get home!"



CHAPTER XI

THE HERMIT AGAIN


Bunny Brown was a wise little lad, considering that he was only about
seven years old. But many of those years had been spent with his father
going about in the woods, and while there Mr. Brown had told him much
about the birds, bugs and animals they saw under the trees. So that the
woods were not exactly strange to Bunny.

Above all, he was not afraid in them, except maybe when he was all alone
on a dark night. And one thing had Mr. Brown especially impressed on
Bunny. This was:

"Never get frightened when you think you are lost in the woods. If you
think you are lost, you may be sure you can either find your way out, or
some one will find you in a little while.

"So the best thing to do when you fear you are lost is to sit quietly
down on a log, think which way you believe your camp or home is, think
where the sun gets up in the morning and where it goes to bed in the
night. And, whatever you do, don't rush about, calling and yelling and
forgetting even which way you came. So, when you're lost keep cool."

Remembering what his father had told him, Bunny Brown, as soon as he
heard Sue say they were lost, looked for a log and, finding one not far
away, he went over and sat down on it.

"Why, Bunny Brown!" cried Sue, "what in the world are you doing? Don't
you know we're lost, and you've got to find the way back to our camp,
for I never can. Oh, dear! I think it's over this way. No, it must be
here. Oh, Bunny, which is the right way to go?"

"That's just what I'm trying to find out," he said.

"You are not!" cried Sue. "You're just sitting there like a bump on a
log, as Aunt Lu used to say."

"Well, I'm doing what father told us to do," said Bunny. "I'm keeping
cool and trying to think. If you run around that way you'll get all
hot, and you can't think. And it may take both of us to think of the way
home."

"Well, of course, I want to help," said Sue. "I don't want you to do it
all. But we're awful much lost, Bunny."

"Are you sure, Sue?" he asked.

"Of course I'm sure. I was never in this part of the woods before and I
can't tell where it is."

"Do you know where the sun rises?" asked Bunny, for it was, just then,
behind some clouds.

"It rises in the east, of course," said Sue. "I learned that in our
jogfry."

"Yes, but which way is east from here?" Bunny wanted to know. "If I
could tell that, I might find our camp, 'cause the sun comes up every
morning in front of our tent, and that faces the east."

"But you can't walk to the sun, Bunny Brown. It's millions and millions
of miles away! Our teacher said so."

"I'm not going to walk to the sun," said the little boy. "I just want to
walk toward it, but I've got to know which way it is first, so's to
know which way to walk."

Sue looked about her, as did Bunny. Neither of them knew in what part of
the big woods they were, for they had never been there before. They were
both looking for some path that would lead them home. But they saw none.

Suddenly Sue cried:

"Oh, there's the sun! It's right overhead."

She pointed upward, and Bunny saw a light spot in the clouds. The clouds
had not broken away, but they were thin enough for the sun to make a
bright place in them.

"That must be the east," said Sue. "But how are we ever going to walk
that way, Bunny, unless we climb trees? It's up in the air!"

"That isn't the east," said the little boy. "That's right overhead--I
forget the name of it."

But I will tell you, and Bunny Brown can look it up in his geography
when he gets home. The point in the sky when the sun seems to be
directly over your head is the zenith.

"And it's noon and dinner time, too," went on Bunny.

"Can you tell by your stomach?" asked Sue. "I can, for my stomach is
hungry. It is always hungry at noon."

"I can tell by my stomach, for it is hungry just like yours," said Sue's
brother. "But I can tell by the sun. Daddy told me that it was noon, and
time to eat, when the sun was straight over our heads. Now, we'll get
out of the woods, Sue."

"How? Will the sun help us and bring us something to eat?" asked Sue.

"Well, the sun will help us in a way, for when it begins to go down we
will know that is the west. And the east is just opposite from the west.
So if we walk with our backs toward the west we'll be facing the east,
and if we keep on that way we'll be at our camp some time. All we'll
have to do is to walk away from the sun."

"And will that give us something to eat?" Sue demanded.

"Maybe," said Bunny Brown. "We may come to a farmhouse, and they might
give us some cookies and milk."

"How good that would taste!" cried Sue. "I wish I had some now."

"We'll walk on a way," said Bunny. "Maybe we'll come to a place where
they'll feed us. But be careful to keep your back to the sun."

Sue said she would, and the two lost children were soon walking through
the woods together. They walked on the path when they saw one, and
crossed over open glades or through underbrush when they came to such
places where they saw no path.

For the time being they had given up all idea of finding their missing
toys. All they thought was of getting home. Every once in a while Sue
would ask:

"Are we most there, Bunny?"

And he would answer:

"Not quite, but almost. Just a little farther, Sue."

Suddenly there was a noise in the bushes as if some one were coming
through in a hurry.

"Oh, maybe it's our dog Splash coming to find us!" cried Sue.

"I don't believe so," answered Bunny. "Besides, Splash would bark; and
whatever this dog's name is, he doesn't make a sound. Oh, look, Sue,
it's a man, not a dog!"

"A man?" cried Sue. "What kind?"

"Oh, I can't tell, except that he has a dog and he's very ragged." Bunny
peeped between some bushes and the next moment uttered a cry of
surprise:

"Why, it's the ragged hermit who gave us the milk and who was so good to
us!" cried Bunny. "He's the man who lives in the log cabin with the cow!
Now we're all right. He'll take us home. Now we're all right!" and Bunny
danced about.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" murmured Sue. "We're not lost any more!"



CHAPTER XII

WONDERINGS


Out from behind the bush where they had hidden on hearing the rustling
in the underbrush came Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, hand in hand. The
hermit, as they called the man who lived all alone in his little cabin,
looked up and saw them. So did the dog, and with a bark and a growl he
rushed toward the two children.

"Down, Tramp! Down!" called the hermit, and the dog sank to the
moss-covered ground, beating his tail up and down on the dried leaves.

"He wouldn't hurt you for the world," said the old, ragged man. "He
loves children, but he's so fond of them that he jumps up on them, and
tries to kiss them. Sometimes he tries to love them so hard that he
knocks them down. So I have to tell him to be careful."

"We're not afraid of good dogs," said Bunny.

"And we've got a dog of our own," added Sue. "His name is Splash, 'cause
he splashes through the muddy puddles so much that he gets us all wet
when he's with us. That's why we don't take him so often, lessen we know
it's going to be a dry day."

"I see," said the ragged man. "Well, Tramp is pretty good, except that
he loves children too much."

By this time the dog must have felt that it was time for him to get up,
and he arose and leaped toward Bunny and Sue. Sue turned to one side and
held her arm over her face, but Bunny waited for the dog to come near
enough so he could be patted, and this the dog seemed to like. When he
tried to jump up and put his paws on Bunny's shoulders the little boy
cried:

"Down! Down, Tramp!" and at once the dog sank down and wagged his tail
so hard that Sue said afterward she thought it would almost wag off.

The dog seemed to like Bunny and Sue, running about them, giving little
barks of joy and licking their hands.

"I like him," said Sue. "He's 'most as good as our dog. How did you come
to name him Tramp?"

"Well, he looked like a tramp when he came to me," said the ragged man,
who seemed to be clean enough, though his clothes were in tatters. "He
was all stuck up with burrs from the woods, one foot was cut and he was
covered with mud and water. I took him in, washed him, bound up his paw,
which had been cut on a piece of broken glass, and gave him something to
eat. He has been with me ever since."

"I should think he _would_ stay with you," said Bunny. "You were kind to
him."

"Well, I like animals," said the man. "But what are you children doing
off here in the woods. Do you want more milk?"

"Not this time, thank you," said Bunny. "When we go to the farmhouse now
we have a cover on our pail, and when we set it down on the road no dog
can come and drink the milk."

"But we don't set it down any more," said Bunny. "Mother told us not
to."

"That's good," said the ragged man, whose name was Bixby. "It's a good
thing you didn't want any milk, because I haven't any left. I used up
most of what my cow gave, and sold the rest to a party of automobile
folks that came along dreadfully thirsty."

"We have two automobiles," said Bunny. "One my father rides back and
forth to the city in and the other a big one, like a moving van, that we
can live in, and go where we want to. When night comes we just go to
sleep in it beside the road."

"That's what my dog Tramp and I would like," said the ragged man. "It's
no fun staying in one place all the while. But if you children are not
away off here looking for milk, what are you here for, I'd like to
know?"

"I'm looking for my Teddy bear with the blinking 'lectric lights for
eyes," said Sue.

"What makes you think you'll find him here, off in the woods?" asked Mr.
Bixby, after a pause.

"Well, somebody took my Teddy bear, which is a her, not a him, and is
named Sallie Malinda, from our tent," went on the little girl; "and, of
course, as a bear likes a wood, maybe they brought her here."

"And my train of cars is gone, too," said Bunny, as he told of that
having been taken from the tent.

"Why, that is surprising!" cried the ragged man. "Both your nice toys
taken! Who could have done it?"

"Well, I did think maybe I left my train on the track with the batteries
switched on so it would go," said Bunny. "But I left the track made into
a round ring, and of course, if my train did get to going by some
accident, it would just keep on going around and around like Splash
chasing his tail, and wouldn't go out of the tent."

"Of course," agreed the ragged man.

"And Bunny thought Sallie Malinda had walked off by herself," said Sue,
"but daddy said she couldn't, for there is nothing in her to wind up. So
that couldn't happen."

"Then who took her?" asked the ragged man.

"We thought Eagle Feather, or some of his tribe, might," replied Bunny,
"for they thought our toys were 'heap big medicine.' But we went to
their village, and no one there knew anything about them."

"That's what they said, did they?"

"Yes, that's what they said," agreed Bunny.

"But they might not have told the truth," went on Mr. Bixby, with a sort
of wink at Bunny.

"Oh, everybody tells the truth," said the little boy.

"Not always," returned Mr. Bixby with a laugh. "But never mind about
that now. You have come a long way from your camp."

"Oh, that's another thing we forgot to tell you about," said Bunny.
"We're lost."

"Lost?" cried the ragged man.

"Terrible lost," said Sue. "We don't even know which is east, where the
sun gets up, you know."

"Oh, I can easily show you that," said Mr. Bixby. "And you're not lost
any more, for I know where your camp is."

"We hoped you would," said Bunny.

"That's why we were glad to see you through the bushes. Can you take us
home?"

"I can and I will," said the ragged man. "I can take you back straight
through the wood, or around by my cabin, which will put you on the road
along which you went to get your milk that night. Then you'll have an
easier walk to Camp Rest-a-While, though a little longer one."

"Let's go by the road, though it is longer," said Sue. "I'm tired of
walking in the woods."

"All right, and I'll carry you part of the way," said Mr. Bixby.

"Will you give me a piggy-back?" asked Sue, who was not too old for such
things.

"A pickaback is just what you shall have," said Mr. Bixby, and Sue soon
got up on his back by stepping from a high stone, to the top of which
Bunny helped her.

"Please go slow," begged the little boy, "'cause we might happen to see
Sue's Teddy bear or my train of cars, where the Indians or somebody else
dropped it; though I don't believe Eagle Feather would do such a
thing."

"Oh, I don't think Eagle Feather would take your toys," said Mr. Bixby.
"He is quite honest. But some of his tribe are not, I'm sorry to say."

So he walked on with Sue on his back and Bunny trudging along beside,
and Tramp, the dog, first running on ahead and then coming back barking,
as though to say everything was all right.

"We'll soon be at my cabin," said the ragged man. "And then you can rest
before starting on the road home."

"Have you got anything to eat at your house?" asked Sue.

Bunny, who was walking along behind her as she rode on Mr. Bixby's back,
reached up and pinched one of his sister's little fat legs.

"Stop, Bunny Brown!" she cried. Then to Mr. Bixby she said again: "Have
you got anything to eat at your house?"

Once more Bunny pinched her leg, and Sue cried:

"Now, you stop that, Bunny Brown! I'm not playing the pinching game
to-day."

"Well, you mustn't say that," said her brother.

"Say what?" demanded Sue.

"About Mr. Bixby having anything to eat in his house," went on Bunny.
"You know mother has told you it isn't polite."

"Oh, that's right, Bunny! I forgot. So that's why you were pinching me?"

"Yes," answered Bunny.

Sue leaned over from the back of the ragged man and said, right in his
ear:

"Please don't give us anything to eat when you get to your house. It
wouldn't be polite for us to take it after me asking you the way I did."

"Hey? What's that?" asked the ragged man, seeming to wake up from a
sleep. "Did you ask me not to go so fast?"

"No, I asked you----"

Once more Bunny pinched his sister's leg.

"Don't tell him what you asked him and he won't know, and then it will
be all right," said Bunny.

"All right," whispered Sue. Then aloud she said: "Is it much farther to
your house, Mr. Bixby?"

"Why, no," answered the ragged man. "So that's what you asked me, was
it? I wasn't listening, I'm afraid. My cabin is only a little farther
on, and then after you rest a bit I'll put you on the road to your
camp."

"And maybe he'll give us something to eat without our asking," muttered
Sue to her brother, who was behind.

"Hush!" he whispered. "Don't let him hear you."

They were soon at Mr. Bixby's cabin.

"Now, if you'll sit down a minute," said the ragged man, "I'll get you a
few cookies. I baked them myself. Maybe they are not as nice as those
your mother makes, but Tramp, my dog, likes them."

"I'm sure we will, too," said Sue. "There! what'd I tell you, Bunny
Brown?" she asked in a whisper. "I knew he'd give us something to eat!
And it isn't impolite to take it when he offers it to you!"

"No, I guess it's not," said Bunny. "Anyhow, we'll take 'em."

The ragged man appeared with a plate of cookies. The children said they
were very good indeed, fully as good as Mother Brown baked, and Tramp,
the dog, ate his share, too, sitting up on his hind legs and begging for
one when the ragged man told him to. Then the dog would sit up with a
cookie balanced on his nose, and he would not snap it off to eat until
the man told him to.

"Well, I like to have you stay," said the hermit, "but it is getting
late, and perhaps I had better take you to the road that leads straight
to your camp."

"Yes, we had better go," replied Bunny. "We'll know our way home now.
Thank you for taking care of us and for the cookies."

"Which we didn't ask for," said Sue quickly. "Did we, Mr. Bixby?"

"No, you didn't," he answered with a laugh, and he seemed to understand
what Sue meant without asking any questions.

As Mr. Bixby started away from his cabin, to lead the children down to
the road, they met an Indian coming up the path. He was not Eagle
Feather, but one of the tribe.

"How!" and the Indian nodded to the ragged man.

"How!" answered Mr. Bixby.

"You got heap big medicine ready for make Indian's pain better?" asked
the red man.

"Yes, but not now--pretty soon," answered Mr. Bixby.

"All right--me wait. You come back soon byemby?" asked the Onondaga.

"Yes, in a minute."

"You don't need to go any farther with us," said Bunny presently. "We
can see the road from here and we know our way all right."

"Are you sure?" asked Mr. Bixby, who seemed anxious to get back to the
Indian, who appeared to be ill.

"Of course we can," said Bunny.

"Of course," added Sue.

"Then I'll leave you here," went on the ragged man. "I doctor some of
the Indians, and this is one of them. I'll say good-bye, and the next
time you're lost you must send for me."

"We will," laughed Bunny and Sue as they went on toward the road. They
knew where they were now, as they had come along this road after the
milk.

As they reached the highway they heard from the cabin of the ragged man
a curious buzzing sound.

"What's that?" asked Sue. "Is it bees?"

"No, I don't think so," answered Bunny. "It sounds more like machinery."

"Yes, it does," agreed Sue. "I wonder what kind it is."

"Sounds like a little saw mill," said Bunny.

"Say!" cried Sue, when they had walked on a little way. "Wasn't it queer
that that Indian asked about 'heap big medicine,' just the way Eagle
Feather spoke of my Teddy bear and your electric train?"

"Kind of," admitted Bunny. "I wonder what he meant?"

"Oh, I guess it's some medicine Mr. Bixby has for curing the stomach,"
went on Sue. "The Indian might have eaten too many green apples."

"Maybe," said Bunny. "Oh, here comes Splash, looking for us!" he cried,
as he saw the dog running along the road toward them.



CHAPTER XIII

MR. BROWN MAKES A SEARCH


The Brown children ran to meet Splash, and he was quite as glad to see
them as they were to see him. Up and down he jumped, trying to kiss
them, making believe to bite them and all the while whining and barking
in joy.

"Did you think we were lost, Splash?" asked Sue.

"Bow-wow!" answered the dog, and that, I think, was his way of saying:
"I did, but I'm glad I've found you."

"And we _were_ lost, Splash," went on Bunny. "But now we're on our way
home again."

"Bow-wow!" barked the dog, and that meant he was glad.

Together the children and their dog walked on along the road, and Splash
went on so far ahead and so fast that often Bunny and Sue had to run to
catch up to him.

[Illustration: THEY MET AN INDIAN COMING UP THE PATH.
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods._ _Page_ 129.]

"But we'll get home all the quicker," said Bunny.

"Maybe they sent Splash to find us," suggested his sister.

"Well, Splash is smart enough to do that if he had to," said Bunny.
"We'll soon be home now."

In a little while they made a turn in the road that brought them within
sight of the tents of Camp Rest-a-While.

"Now we're all right!" cried Sue.

"Bow-wow!" barked Splash.

"Oh, children! where have you been?" cried Mrs. Brown, coming out to
meet them. "I sent Uncle Tad off one way to look for you, and Splash in
the other. I was just thinking of starting off myself!"

"We were lost in the woods," said Bunny; "but the ragged man found us,
and then we met Splash. We didn't see Uncle Tad."

"Oh, maybe he's lost!" cried Sue.

"We can go to look for him," said Bunny.

"No you don't!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "Two of you getting lost is enough
in one day. Uncle Tad knows his way back to camp from any part of the
big woods. But who was the ragged man?"

"Oh, he's the man that gave us the milk the time the dog drank it up
when we chased the squirrel," explained Sue. "He's awful nice, and he
gave me a piggy-back ride, and took us to his cabin, and gave us cookies
without us really asking."

"What do you mean by not really asking?" inquired Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, Sue means she sort of _hinted_ or spoke of 'em easy like," Bunny
explained. "I pinched her leg without Mr. Bixby--he's the ragged
man--seeing me, and then Sue stopped asking him if he had anything to
eat at his house. He offered the cookies all by his own self."

"Well, I'm glad of that," said Mrs. Brown with a smile. "But after this
don't go into strange houses and even _hint_ for something to eat. That
isn't polite."

"Oh, but this isn't a _real_ house," said Bunny quickly. "It's a log
cabin."

"But it's home for the ragged man, as you call Mr. Bixby."

"It's a funny home," said Bunny. "He's got a buzzing machine in it and
the Indian that came while we were there asked for heap big medicine.
That's the way Eagle Feather spoke of my toy train."

"That's how we got lost in the woods, looking for my Teddy bear and
Bunny's 'lectric train," explained Sue. "We went on and on until we
didn't know where we were."

"Well, you mustn't do it again," said her mother. "Don't go far into the
woods unless your father, Uncle Tad or I am with you. Then you won't get
lost."

"Wouldn't Splash do?" asked Bunny.

"Yes, Splash is all right--he'd know the way home," said Mrs. Brown.
"Now come in, wash and get ready for lunch."

"We don't want very much," said Bunny. "The ragged man gave us so many
cookies."

"I hope they weren't too rich for you," said Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, no, Mother, they couldn't be!" exclaimed Bunny. "'Cause he's an
awful poor, ragged man."

"Oh, _rich_ cookies means they have too much shortening--butter or lard
or something in 'em," said Sue. "I know, for I've taken a cooking
lesson; haven't I, Momsie?"

"Yes, Sue, and you must take some more, for you are getting older."

"And some day I'll get up a real dinner for you and Bunny and daddy and
Uncle Tad and the ragged man and Eagle Feather," said the little girl.

"You wouldn't know how to cook for Indians," said Bunny. "They eat bear
meat and deer meat, and roots and the bark of trees and maybe berries."

"Well, I could give Eagle Feather berries in a pie," declared Sue, "and
I could make slippery elm tea, and roast some acorns for him."

"That would be quite an Indian feast," laughed Mrs. Brown. "But come now
and get what you want, and don't go so far off into the woods again."

The children promised that they would not, though both said they wanted
to hunt farther for their lost toys, or taken-away toys, which was
probably what had happened to them.

When lunch was over, the children played about the tents, using some of
the games and toys they had had before Mr. Brown brought the wonderful
electric train and the Teddy bear with the shining electric eyes.

"We can have lots of fun," said Sue.

"Yes. But anyway I want my train back," declared Bunny.

"And I want Sallie Malinda!" exclaimed Sue with a sigh. "She was just
like a real baby bear to me."

"Why don't you call a Teddy bear he?" asked Bunny.

"'Cause she's a _girl_. Can't you tell by the name _Sallie Malinda_?"
asked Sue.

Bunny was about to continue talking to the effect that the _Teddy_ bear
ought to have a boy's name, when there came the sound of wheels outside
the tent, and a cheery voice called:

"Hello, everybody!"

"Oh, it's daddy!" cried Bunny and Sue together. "Daddy has come home!"

"They rushed out of the tent to meet him, to hug and kiss him, and for a
while he pretended to be smothered by the two little children who hung
about his neck.

"We went hunting for our toys which are lost," said Bunny.

"And we got lost ourselves," added Sue.

"But we got found again----"

"By a dog----"

"And a man----"

"And we had cookies----"

"And an Indian came to get heap big medicine----"

"And I'm going to cook a dinner----"

Thus the children called, one after the other, and I leave you to guess
who said what, for I can't do it myself as they talked too fast.

But at last they quieted down, and Mrs. Brown had a chance to talk to
her husband and tell him the news. Uncle Tad had, in the meanwhile, come
back, not being able to find the lost ones, and he was very glad to see
them safe in the camp.

Mr. Brown had come home early that day, but before long it was time for
supper. Bunny and Sue ate nearly as much as though they had had no
lunch and had eaten no cookies at the ragged man's cabin.

"And so you heard a queer buzzing noise in the hermit's cabin as you
were coming away?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Yes," said Bunny, "we did."

"I think I'll take a look up around there myself," said Mr. Brown, with
a nod at his wife across the table.

"Oh, is something going to happen?" asked Sue.

"And will you find our lost toys?" asked Bunny eagerly.

"No, I don't promise you that. In fact I have given them up for lost,
and have ordered new ones for you, though not such fancy ones. They are
altogether different. I'll have them for you to-morrow night."

This set the children into a wild guessing game as to what their father
had got, and they amused themselves until nearly bed time.

They did not notice that Mr. Brown left camp, nor that he wandered down
the road, in the direction of the home of the ragged man. When Mr.
Brown came back, after the children were in their cots, his wife asked
him:

"Did you find anything?"

"No, I can't say I did. I made a search around Bixby's cabin and went
over into the Indian village to talk to Eagle Feather. But I didn't find
out anything about the missing toys. I guess wandering tramps must have
taken them. I'll get the kiddies new ones."

By this time Bunny and Sue were fast asleep, dreaming of the new
playthings they were to have.



CHAPTER XIV

THE RAGGED BOY


"Ding-dong! Ding-ding! Ding-dong!" rang the breakfast bell in Camp
Rest-a-While. Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, snug in their cots, heard
it, stirred a bit, turned over, and shut their eyes.

"It's too early to get up," murmured Bunny.

"Yes," muttered Sue. "Much too early. I can sleep more."

And off to sleep she promptly went, Bunny doing the same thing.

"What's the matter with those children?" asked Uncle Tad, who was
ringing the bell. He waved it through the air all the faster so that it
seemed to sing out:

"Ding-ding-dong! Ding-dong-ding! Ding-ding--dingity-ding-dong ding!"

"Maybe that's a fire," said Bunny, wide-awake now.

"Oh, maybe it is!" agreed Sue.

"What's the matter? Aren't you ever going to get up?" asked Uncle Tad,
looking into that part of the tent where Bunny and Sue had their cots.

"Where's the fire?" asked Bunny, though, now that he was wide-awake, he
knew there was no fire.

"And will you take us to it?" asked Sue, making a grab for her clothes
which were on a chair near her cot, and still believing in the fire.

"There isn't any fire," said Uncle Tad, "except the one out in the
stove, and that's getting breakfast. Come on! What makes you so slow?"
asked Uncle Tad.

"Oh, but they were so tired yesterday, from getting lost, that I let
them sleep a little longer this morning," said Mrs. Brown.

"It's long past getting up time," went on Uncle Tad. "If Bunny is going
to be a soldier, and Sue a trained nurse they'll find they will have to
get up much earlier than this."

"That's so!" cried Bunny. "I forgot I was going to be a soldier. And as
you're to go to nurse me, Sue, you'd better get up, too."

"All right, I will, Bunny. But I'm dreadful sleepy."

However, now that the two were awake, from the ringing of Uncle Tad's
bell and his talk about soldiers and nurses, Bunny and Sue found it was
not so very hard to get dressed.

Then they fairly danced to the breakfast table, which was set out of
doors, as it was a fine day.

"Where's daddy?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, he had an early meal and said he was going fishing out in the
lake," said Mrs. Brown.

"He promised to take me the next time he went," said the little boy.

"He's coming back in a little while to get you both," said their mother.
"He wanted to have some good fishing by himself while it was nice and
quiet in the early morning hours. When you children go with him, you
laugh and chatter so, and get your lines so tangled up that your father
can't fish himself in comfort.

"But he likes to take you, and as soon as he has a chance to catch some
fish himself, he'll come back and take you out in the boat."

"Oh, that'll be great!" cried Bunny. "I'm going to get my fish pole and
line ready."

"I don't want to catch any fish," said Sue. "I don't like to have 'em
bite on the sharp hook. I'll go and get one of my dolls and give her a
boat ride. But I wish I had my Teddy bear."

"He'd catch fish," said Bunny, winding up his line on the little spool,
called a reel, on his pole.

"She's a she. And anyway, Teddy bears can't catch fish," said Sue.

"No, but _real_ bears can. Our teacher told us. They lean over the edge
of a river and pull the fish out with their claws. Bears likes fish."

"But my Sallie Malinda isn't a real bear," said Sue.

"You could make believe he was," insisted Bunny. "And if you put his paw
in the water, and sort of let it dingle-dangle, a fish might bite at
it."

"She," sighed Sue. "But just as if I'd let a fish bite my nice Teddy
bear! Besides, I haven't got her."

"No, that's so," agreed Bunny. "Well, I guess you'll have to take a
regular doll then."

"And don't you let her make believe fall into the water, either, and get
her sawdust all wetted up," said Sue.

"I won't," promised Bunny.

Then the children began to get ready for their father's return with the
boat, and when Sue's doll was laid out in a shady place on the grass,
and Bunny's pole and line were where he could easily find them, the
little boy said:

"Let's walk down to the edge of the lake, and maybe we can see daddy
quicker."

"All right--let's," agreed Sue, and the two were soon walking, hand in
hand, down the slope that led to the water.

"Where are you going?" called Mother Brown.

"Oh, just down to the shore," answered Bunny.

"Very well; but don't go into the water, and don't step into any of the
boats until daddy comes."

"We won't," promised Bunny Brown and his sister Sue. Their mother could
always depend on them to keep their promises, though sometimes the
things they did were worse than those they promised her not to do. They
were just different, that was all.

Sue and Bunny went down to the edge of Lake Wanda. They could not see
their father's boat, so they walked along the shore. Before they knew it
they had gone farther than they had ever gone before, and, all at once,
in the side of the hill, that led down to the beach of the lake, they
saw a hole that seemed to go away back under the hill.

"Oh, what's that?" asked Sue, stepping a little behind Bunny.

"It's a cave," answered her brother.

"What's a cave?" Sue next asked.

"Well, a cave is a hole," explained Bunny.

"Then a hole and a cave are the same thing," said Sue.

"Yes, I guess they are pretty much," admitted the little boy. "Only in a
cave you have adventures, and in a hole you only fall down and get your
clothes dirty."

"Don't you ever get your clothes dirty in a cave?" Sue demanded.

"Oh, yes, but that's different. Nobody minds how dirty your clothes get
if you have an adventure in a cave," Bunny said.

"And can we go into this one?" Sue asked.

"I guess so," answered Bunny. "Mother told us not to get in any boats,
and we're not. A cave isn't a boat. Come on."

"See, Splash is going in," pointed out Sue. "If he isn't afraid we
oughtn't to be."

"Who's afraid?" asked Bunny. "I'm not!" And with that he walked into the
cave. As he still held Sue's hand he dragged her along with him, and as
Sue did not want to be left alone on the beach of the lake, she
followed. Bunny saw Splash running ahead. For a little way into the cave
it was light, but it soon began to darken, as the sun could not shine
in that far.

"Oh, I don't want to go any farther," said Sue. "It's dark. If I had my
Teddy bear I could make a light with her eyes."

"I've got something better than that," said Bunny.

"What?" asked Sue.

"My pocket flashlight I got for Christmas. That gives a good light. Come
on, now we can see."

From his pocket Bunny took the little flashlight. It was the same kind,
made with the same storage dry battery, that ran his train and lighted
the Teddy bear's eyes.

"Yes, now I can see!" cried Sue. "I'm not afraid any more."

With Bunny holding the light, the two children went farther on into the
cave. They were looking about, wondering what they would find, when, all
of a sudden, there was a noise farther in.

"Oh!" cried Sue. "Did you hear that?"

"Yes," answered Bunny, "I did. What was it?"

Splash began to bark.

"Quiet!" ordered Bunny, and the dog whined. Then the noise sounded
again. It was like some one crying.

"Oh, I don't want to stay here!" exclaimed Sue, clasping Bunny's hand.

"Wait a minute," he said.

Then came a voice from out of the darkness, saying:

"Please don't run away. I won't hurt you and I'm all alone. I want to
get out. I'm lost. I can just see your light. Stand still a minute and I
can see you. I'm coming."

Bunny and Sue did not know whether or not to wait, but, in the end, they
stood still. Splash whined, but did not bark. They could hear some one
walking toward them.

A moment later there came into the light of the flashlight a slim,
ragged boy. He was even more ragged than Mr. Bixby.

"Please don't run away," he said. "I won't hurt you. I need some one to
help me."

Bunny and Sue felt sorry for the boy.



CHAPTER XV

HIDDEN IN THE HAY


For two or three seconds the two children and the ragged boy stood in
the queer cave looking at one another. Splash had come to a stop near
his little master and mistress, and with one fore leg raised from the
ground was looking sharply at the boy. It seemed as if the dog were
saying:

"Just say the word, Bunny or Sue, and I'll drive this boy away from
here. He doesn't look like a proper person for you to be with."

But Bunny and Sue had no such feeling. They did not mind how ragged a
person was if he were only clean. Of course a dog is different. Splash
never did like ragged persons, though in a good many cases they were
just as good as the well dressed ones with whom he made friends.

So, in this case, seeing the ragged boy coming near to Sue and Bunny in
the dark, where the only light was that of the little boy's electric
lamp, the dog growled and seemed about to spring on the lad. The boy
took a few steps backward.

"What's the matter?" asked Bunny. "You're not afraid of us, are you?"

"No, little feller, I'm not. But I don't like the way your dog acts. He
seems as if he didn't like tramps, and I expect he thinks I'm one. Well,
I 'spect I do look like one, 'count of my clothes, but I ain't never
begged my way yet, though many a time I've been hungry enough to do it."

"Splash, behave yourself!" cried Bunny Brown. "Charge! Lie down!"

Splash did as he was told, but it was easy to see he did not like it. He
would rather have run toward and barked at the ragged lad.

"Don't be afraid of him," said Sue. "We won't let him hurt you. Bunny,
why don't you make Splash shake hands with this boy, and then they'll be
friends forever. You ought to introduce 'em."

"That's so! I will," said Bunny. "I forgot about that. Splash, come
here!" he ordered, and the dog obeyed. "Now go over and shake hands with
him," went on the little fellow, pointing to the strange boy.

"Don't be afraid and move away from him, or Splash won't like it," said
Sue, as she saw the boy shrink back a little. "Just stand still and
Splash will shake hands and be friends with you."

The boy seemed to be a bit afraid still, but he stood quietly and,
surely enough, Splash advanced and held out his right paw, which the boy
took and shook up and down. Then the boy patted the dog on the head, and
Splash barked, afterward licking the boy's hand with his tongue.

"Now he's friends with you, and he'll always like you," announced Sue.

"And no matter where he meets you he'll come up to you and shake hands,"
said Bunny. "Once Splash makes friends he keeps 'em. My name is Bunny
Brown," he went on, "and this is my sister Sue. We live at Camp
Rest-a-While on the edge of the big woods. We came out to see if my
father had come back from fishing, and we saw this cave and came in."

"Is there a way out?" asked the ragged boy. "I hardly know how I got in
here, but I've been trying to find a way out and I couldn't."

"Oh, we can show you that," said Sue. "It's only a little way back, and
it comes right out on the lake shore. But how did you get in here? You
look as ragged as the ragged man," she went on. "But that's nothing.
Sometimes Bunny and I are raggeder than you. We like it."

"I don't know who the ragged man is," said the boy, who gave his name as
Tom Fleming, "but I work for a man named Mr. Bixby, and his clothes have
lots of holes in."

"That's the ragged man we mean," said Bunny. "But please don't ever say
we called him ragged, 'cause we like him just as much ragged as if he
wasn't."

"Oh, I guess he doesn't mind being called ragged," said Tom. "He's got
other clothes but he won't wear 'em."

"If you're working for him, what are you doing in this cave?" Sue
asked. "Lessen it's his."

"Well, maybe he calls it his'n," said Tom. "It joins on to his cow
stable and that's how I got in it. After I got in I couldn't find my way
out until I saw your light."

"What did you run away for?" asked Bunny. "Please tell us! We won't tell
on you."

"No, I don't believe you would," said Tom. "Well, I'll tell you. You see
I live at the poorhouse, having no relations to take care of me, and no
place to live. But in the summer I hire out to the farmers around here
that want me, and work to earn a little spare change.

"This year Mr. Bixby hired me. At first I liked the work. I had to do a
few chores, milk the cow and take the milk to the few families that
bought it. But the other day he did something I didn't like and so
to-day after I found the hole in the cow stable that leads to this cave,
I ran away."

"What did he do to you?" asked Bunny. "Did he beat you?"

"No, he stuck pins and needles in me."

"Stuck pins into you?" cried Sue. "How horrid! I never heard of such a
thing! How did you get them out?"

"That was the funny part of it," said the boy. "They weren't real pins.
He'd make me take hold of some shiny brass knobs, and then pins and
needles would shoot all over me. Then, all of a sudden, he'd pull 'em
out and I wouldn't feel 'em until he did it again."

"That was funny," said Bunny Brown, thinking very hard. "Could you see
the needles?"

"No, but I could feel 'em, and that was enough. I got away as soon as I
could, when he wasn't looking, and I made for the hole I'd found in the
cow shed. But from there I got into the cave, and I thought I was lost,
for I couldn't find my way back and I didn't know what to do when I saw
your light. And then I didn't know whether to go and meet you or hide in
the dark."

"Well, it's a good thing you came on," said Sue, "'cause we were getting
scared ourselves, weren't we Bunny?"

"Oh no, not much. I wasn't scared."

"But I was," admitted Sue. "And I think Splash was too, for he was sort
of whining in his throat."

"Well, we're all right now," said Bunny. "But what are you going to do,
Tom? Are you going back to Mr. Bixby?"

"I certainly am not! I've had enough pins and needles stuck in me,
though you can't see 'em now," and he glanced down at his long, red
hands. "I'm going to run away--that is, if I can find my way out of this
cave."

"Oh, we can show you the way _out_ all right," said Bunny. "But where
are you going to run to."

"I don't know," said the boy slowly.

"You can run to our camp," put in Sue, "and we'll never tell Mr. Bixby
you are there."

"That's right!" cried Bunny. "And maybe you can show us how he stuck
pins and needles into you, so we could do it to ourselves."

"I don't believe I could," said Tom, with a shake of his tousled head.
"But I'll be glad to run to your camp. I never want to see Mr. Bixby
again."

"What made him stick pins and needles into you?"

"Maybe he didn't exactly do that. Maybe it only felt that way, for you
couldn't see anything. He said he was doing it for an experiment."

"That's what the teacher does for the boys in the high school where we
go, only we're in the lower class," said Bunny. "Some of the experiments
make a funny smell."

"Well, there's no smell to this," said Tom. "Now let's get out of here."

Led by Bunny and Sue, with Splash running on ahead, the ragged boy was
soon out of the cave.

Bunny and Sue looked across the lake for a sight of their father in his
boat coming back, but as they did not see him, Bunny said:

"I know what we can do to have some fun."

"What?" asked Sue, always ready for a good time.

"We can go in Mr. Bailey's barn and slide down the hay. He said we
could do it any time without asking."

"Oh, let's do it then!" Sue cried. "You'll come, won't you?" she asked
the ragged boy.

"Course I will! I like hay-sliding. I don't mind being stuck with
prickers that way."

The three were soon sliding down the hay in the mow, coming to an end
with a bump in a pile of hay on the barn floor.

All at once Bunny gave a cry, as he was part way down the slide, and he
dug his hands into the hay to stop himself from going further.

"What's the matter?" asked Sue. "Did you slide on a thistle?"

"No, not a thistle but I slid over something sharp. I'm going to find
out what it is."

Bunny poked around in the hay, and uttered a cry of astonishment as he
brought out one of his toy cars from his electric railroad that had been
stolen.



CHAPTER XVI

THE ANGRY GOBBLER


"Oh, what is it?" asked Sue.

"Where'd you find it?" Tom questioned.

"It's part of my lost railroad," explained Bunny, answering the first
question. "And I found it hidden under the hay. I must have stuck myself
on one of the sharp corners of the little car as I slid down, and I
stopped right away, 'cause I thought it might be an egg."

"An egg!" exclaimed Tom.

"Yes," answered Bunny. "Once I was sliding down hay, just like now, and
I slid into a hen's nest. It was partly covered over with hay and I
didn't see it. There were thirteen eggs in the nest, and I busted every
one! Didn't I Sue?"

"No you didn't, Bunny Brown! That was me!"

"Oh!" Bunny looked very queer for a moment, then he laughed as he
remembered what really had happened. "Well, Sue got all messed up with
the white and yellow of the eggs. Maybe there weren't just thirteen, but
there was a lot anyway. But I'm glad this wasn't a hen's nest. Maybe
I'll find the rest of my railroad now. Let's look."

"Somebody must have hid the car here in the hay after they took it,"
said Tom. "Who do you s'pose it was?"

"We thought it might be some of the Indians," said Bunny. "But my father
made a search down in their village. He couldn't find anything, though.
Now _we_ have found something."

"You don't s'pose Mr. Bixby would take it, or my Teddy bear with
flashing lights for eyes, do you?" asked Sue of the ragged boy.

"I never saw anything like that around his place, and I was there two or
three weeks," said Tom.

"We didn't see you when we were there," said Bunny.

"No, I was mostly weeding up in the potato patch on the hill. I'd have
my breakfast, take a bit of lunch with me, and then not come home until
'most dark. That's why you didn't see me. But I never took notice of any
electrical trains or toy bears around his place. I don't guess he took
'em."

"Nor I," said Bunny. "But I'm going to look in the hay for more."

He did, the others helping, while even Splash pawed about, though I
don't suppose he knew for what he was searching. More than likely he
thought it was for a bone, for that was about all he ever dug for.

But search as the two Brown children and Tom did, they found no more
parts of the toy railroad.

"The one who took it must have thrown the car away because it was too
heavy to carry," said Bunny. "It was a pretty heavy toy, and I always
carried it in two parts myself. Besides the car wasn't any good to make
the train go. The electric locomotive pulled itself and the cars. I
guess they just threw this car away.

"But I'm going to keep it, for I might find the tracks and the engine
and the other cars, and then I'd be all right again."

"Yes," said Tom, "you would. But it is funny for somebody up in these
big woods to take toy trains and Teddy bears. That's what I can't
understand."

"And I can't understand that man sticking needles into you--a funny kind
of needles he didn't have to pull out and that stopped hurting you so
soon," said Bunny.

"It's all queer!" declared Sue. "Come on, we'll have some more fun
sliding down the hay."

This they did, and even Splash joined in. But though they slid all over
the hay, and kept a sharp lookout for any more parts of Bunny's train,
they found nothing.

"I wish I could find part of my Teddy bear," said Sue.

"If you did that your Sallie Malinda wouldn't be much good," said Bunny.
"For you can take an electrical train apart and put it together again,
and it isn't hurt. You can't do that way with a Teddy bear. If you pull
off one of his legs or his head he's not much good any more."

"That's right," agreed Sue. "I want to find my dear Sallie Malinda all
in one piece."

"And with his eyes blazing," added Bunny.

"Oh, of course, with _her_ eyes going," said Sue. "Now for a last slide,
and then we'll go out and see if daddy has come."

"And I guess I'd better go back to the poorhouse and get a meal," said
Tom. "Mr. Bixby won't give me any dinner 'cause I ran away from him, but
if I tell the superintendent back at the poorhouse how it happened I
know he'll feed me until I get another place.

"And I can get work easy now. I'm good and strong, and the farmers are
beginning to think of getting in their crops. But I'm not going to be
stuck full of needles again."

"You come right along with us," said Bunny. "My mamma and papa will be
glad to see you when they know you helped us look for our lost toys,
even if we didn't find but one car, and I slid over that. But they'll
take care of you until you can get some work to do. My mamma does lots
of that in the city when tramps come to us----

"Of course you're not a tramp," he said quickly, "'cause you have a home
to go to."

"Folks don't ginnerally call it much of a home, but it's better'n
nothing," said Tom. "But I'm thankful to you. I'll come, only maybe your
maw mightn't be expectin' company--leastwise such as I am," and he
looked down at his ragged clothes.

"Never mind that," said Bunny. "You ought to see the picture of my Uncle
Tad when he was in the war, captured by the Confederates as a prisoner.
He had only corn husks for shoes and his coat and trousers were so full
of holes that he didn't know in which ones to put his legs and arms.
He'll give you some of the clothes he don't want. Now come right along."

"What about meeting daddy to go fishing?" asked Sue. "I guess he isn't
going to take us to-day, or he's forgotten about it. Maybe the fish are
biting so good out where he is in his boat that he doesn't want to come
in."

"Maybe," said Bunny. "Anyhow we'll go on back to the camp. It must be
getting near dinner time, for I'm feeling hungry, aren't you?" he asked
Tom.

"Yes, but then I'm 'most allers that way. I never remember when I had
all I wanted to eat."

On the way along the lake road to Camp Rest-a-While they passed a
farmyard where many geese, ducks, turkeys and chickens were kept. Just
as Sue, who happened to be wearing a red dress, came near the yard, a
big turkey gobbler, who seemed to be the king of the barnyard, rushed to
the gate, managed to push his way through the crack, and, a moment
later, was attacking Sue, biting her legs with his strong beak, now
pulling at her red dress, and occasionally flying up from the ground
trying to strike his claws into her face.

"Oh dear!" cried the little girl. "Won't somebody please help me? Drive
him away, Bunny!"

"I will!" cried her little brother, and, catching up a stick, he bravely
rushed at the angry turkey gobbler.



CHAPTER XVII

SUE DECIDES TO MAKE A PIE


"Here. You're too little for such a job as this!" cried Tom, as he
stepped in front of Bunny. "That's an old, tough bird and he's a born
fighter. Better let me tackle him."

Bunny was a brave little boy, but when he saw how large and fierce the
gobbler was his heart failed him a little. The big Thanksgiving bird
just then made a furious rush at Sue, and as she jumped back Tom stepped
up in her place. The turkey did not seem to mind whom he attacked, as
long as it was some one, though probably Sue's red dress had excited him
in the first place, though why bulls and turkeys should not like red I
can not tell you.

"Look out, Tom!" called Bunny. "He's a bad one!"

"He certainly is fierce all right," answered Tom. "He's coming with a
rush!"

As he spoke the turkey made a rush for him, keeping off the ground with
outstretched wings and claws. He went: "Gobble-obble-obble!" in loud
tones as though trying to scare the children.

Tom was ready with a heavy stick he had caught up, and as the big bird
sailed at him through the air the lad aimed a blow at the gobbler.

But the turkey seemed to be on the lookout for this, and dodged. Then,
before Tom could get ready for another blow, the gobbler landed back of
the lad, and came on with another rush.

"Look out!" cried Bunny, but his warning came too late. The turkey
landed on Tom's back and began nipping and clawing him.

"Get off! Get off!" cried the poorhouse lad, trying in vain to reach up
with his club and hit the gobbler hard enough to knock him to the
ground.

But Tom's club was of little use, with the big bird on his back. Bunny
saw this and cried:

"Wait a minute and I'll throw some stones at him."

"You might hit Tom instead of the gobbler," said Sue, who was safe out
of harm's way behind a big pile of wood. "Don't throw any stones,
Bunny."

"No, you'd better not," said Tom. "I'll try to shake him off."

So he rushed about here and there, swaying his back from side to side,
trying to make the turkey fall off. But the gobbler had fastened his
claws in the back of Tom's ragged coat, and there he clung, now and then
nipping with his strong bill Tom's head and neck.

"Here comes Splash!" cried Bunny. "He'll soon make that turkey gobbler
behave."

Up the sandy beach of the lake shore came Splash racing. He had stopped
to look at a little crayfish, and it had nipped his nose, so Splash was
not feeling any too pleasant. Most of you children know that a crayfish
is like a little lobster.

"Here, Splash! Splash!" cried Bunny. "Come and drive this bad turkey off
Tom!"

"Bow-wow!" barked the big dog, as he came running.

"Tell him to hurry," begged Tom. "I can't shake him off and he's biting
deep into my neck. I'm feared he'll bore a hole in it!"

"Hurry up, Splash! Hurry up!" urged Bunny.

"Bow-wow!" barked Splash again, which, I suppose, was his way of saying
he would.

On he came, and, all this while, the gobbler was on top of Tom's back,
gobbling away, fluttering his wings and now and then making savage pecks
at the boy's shoulders and neck.

"Splash will make him go away," said Bunny. "Splash likes you now, Tom.
He's a friend of yours, for he shook hands, and he'll do anything you
want."

"Well, all I want is for him to get this gobbler off me," said the
ragged boy.

"Hi, Splash!" cried Bunny. "Get at this bad gobbler!"

Splash rushed up to Tom, and then, raising up on his hind legs, nipped
at the gobbler. The big bird made a louder noise than ever, and suddenly
jumped down from Tom's back.

"Ha! I knew you'd do it!" cried Bunny in delight. But just then
something queer happened.

Splash, seeing the bird flop down to the ground, made a dash for the
gobbler with open mouth, barking the while.

"Now watch that old gobbler run!" cried Bunny, capering about.

But instead it was Splash that ran. Unable to stand the sight of the big
bird, with outspread and drooping wings, with all his feathers puffed
out to make him look twice as large as he really was, and with an angry
"Gobble-obble-obble" coming from his beak, Splash ran. It was no wonder,
for the turkey was a terrifying sight. I think even a tiger, a lion or
perhaps an elephant would have run.

"Come back! Come back, Splash!" called Bunny. "We want you to drive the
turkey gobbler away from us."

But the gobbler was already going away. He was going right after Splash,
who was running down the road as fast as he could go.

"Well, we're all right," said Tom. "That bird won't bother us any more."

"And I hope he doesn't come for me," said Sue. "He scared me."

"But what about poor Splash?" asked Bunny quickly. "He'll scare our
nice dog awful."

"Splash seems to be getting away," remarked Tom, rubbing the place in
the back of his neck where the turkey had nipped him.

"Oh! Oh, dear!" cried Bunny. "Look what's happening now. Splash is
coming back this way and the turkey is coming with him. Oh, what shall
we do?"

"He won't bother us as long as he has Splash to chase," said Tom.

"But I don't want him to chase Splash!" said Bunny.

The children watched what happened.

Splash, with the turkey close behind him, was running back to a spot in
front of the barn, where Bunny, his sister Sue and Tom were standing.
Just as the dog reached there the turkey caught him by the tail.

And I just wish you could have heard Splash howl! No, on second
thoughts, it is just as well you did not. For you love animals, I am
sure, and you do not like to see them in pain. And Splash was certainly
in pain or he would not have howled the way he did. And I think if a
big, strong turkey gobbler had hold of your tail, and was pulling as
hard as he could, you would have howled too. That is, if you had a tail.

Anyhow Splash howled and tried to swing around so he could bite the
gobbler, but the big bird kept out of reach.

"Oh, what can we do?" asked Sue.

"Get sticks and beat the gobbler!" cried Tom.

"No, wait. I know a better way," said Bunny.

"What?" asked his sister.

"I'll show you," answered the little boy. He had seen on the green lawn
of the farmhouse a water hose. It was attached to a faucet near the
ground and the water came from a big tank on the house into which it was
pumped by a gasolene engine.

Bunny ran to the hose. The water was turned off at the nozzle, but it
was the same kind of nozzle as the one on the Brown's hose at home, so
Bunny knew how to work it.

In an instant he turned the nozzle, and aimed the hose at the turkey
which still had hold of the poor dog's tail.

All over the turkey splashed the water, and as the big bird tried to
gobble, and keep hold of Splash's tail at the same time, and as the
water went down its throat, the noise, instead of "Gobble-obble-obble,"
sounded like "Gurgle-urgle-urgle."

"There! Take that!" cried Bunny squirting the water over the turkey.
"That will make you stop pulling dogs' tails, I guess."

Indeed the water was too much for the gobbler. He let go of Splash's
tail, for which the dog was very thankful, and then the big bird ran
toward the farmyard, just as the farmer came out to see what all the
trouble was about.

"I had to splash your turkey to make him let go of our dog," explained
Bunny.

"Oh, that's all right," answered the farmer. "I guess that bird is a
leetle better off for being cooled down. Glad you did it. None of you
hurt, I hope?"

"My neck's picked a bit," said Tom.

"Well, come in and I'll have my wife put some salve on it."

"No, thank you, we're in a hurry to get home," said Bunny. "My mother
has some goose grease."

"Well, that's just as good, I reckon. Next time I'll keep the old
gobbler locked up."

Mr. Brown was at home, when Bunny, Sue and the ragged boy reached the
tent. The father and mother listened while Bunny and Sue explained what
had happened, from going into the cave to the turkey gobbler.

"Well, you had quite a number of adventures," said Mr. Brown. "I stayed
out fishing by myself longer than I meant to, and when I came back to
get you I find you just coming in. We'll go this afternoon."

"And may Tom come too?"

"I guess so," answered Mr. Brown.

"I know where there's lots of places to fish," said Tom.

Mr. Brown talked it over with his wife after dinner, and they decided to
let Tom stay in camp and do a little work, such as cutting the wood and
bringing the water.

"But what do you suppose he means by saying that Mr. Bixby sticks
needles into him?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"That's what I'll have to look into," said her husband. "The hermit
seems to be a queer sort of chap."

"And Bunny finding one of his cars, too!"

"Yes, that was queer. This will certainly have to be looked into."

In a few moments after this conversation Sue came from behind the
kitchen tent.

"Come on, Sue, we're going fishing," called Bunny to his sister.

"No; you and Tom can go with father," said the little girl, "I'm not
coming."

"Why not? Are you 'fraid?"

"Course not, Bunny Brown! I'm just going to stay in camp and make a pie.
Tom said he hadn't had one for a good while. I'm going to make him one."

"All right. Make me one too, please," said Bunny. "We're going after
some fish," and with his pole and line he started down toward the lake
with his father and Tom.



CHAPTER XVIII

ROASTING CORN


"Now, Bunny, be careful when getting into the boat," said his father.

Bunny turned and looked at his father. What Bunny thought, but did not
say, was:

"Why, Daddy! I've gotten into boats lots of times before, I guess I can
get in now." That is what Bunny Brown did not say.

But, in a way, Bunny's father was talking to the ragged boy, Tom, and
not to Bunny. For Mr. Brown did not yet know how much Tom might know
about boats, and as the boy was a big lad, almost as tall as Uncle Tad
himself, Mr. Brown did not want to seem rude and give a lesson to a boy
who might not need it. So though he pretended it was Bunny about whom he
was anxious, all the while it was about Tom.

"Oh, I'll be careful, Daddy," said Bunny. "And you be careful too, Tom.
You don't want to fall in and get drowned, do you?"

"No indeed I don't, Bunny. Though it would be pretty hard to drown me. I
can swim like a muskrat. And I can row a boat, too, Mr. Brown," he went
on. "I've worked for Mr. Wilson, the man who owns the pavilion at the
other end of the lake. I used to row excursion parties about the lake,
and there isn't a cove or a bay I don't know, as well as where the good
fishing places are."

"I found one of those myself this morning," said Mr. Brown, with a
smile.

"Well, I wish you'd let me row you to some others that hardly any one
but myself knows about."

"I shall be glad to have you," said Bunny's father. "And I'm glad you
understand a boat. I shan't be worried when Bunny and his sister Sue are
out with you."

"I can row myself a little, when you are with me, Daddy," said Bunny.

"Yes, but you'll have a chance to learn more with Tom, as I haven't time
to teach you. So I'm going to depend on you, Tom."

"Yes, sir, and I'll take good care of 'em. I've lived near this lake all
my life, and when my folks died and I went to the poorhouse in the
Winter, and worked out in the Summer, I managed to get to the lake part
of the time. I'll look after the children all right."

Mr. Brown did not need to ask anything further what Tom knew of a boat,
once the ragged boy took his seat and picked up the oars. He handled
them just as well as Mr. Brown could himself.

"Do you want me to row you to any particular place?" asked Tom.

"Well, some place where we can get some fish. I suppose Bunny would like
to land a few."

"I want to catch a whole lot of fish, Daddy!" cried Bunny. "So row me to
a place where there's lots of 'em!"

"All right, here we go!" and Tom bent his back to the oars, so that the
boat was soon skimming swiftly over the water. Mr. Brown liked the way
the big boy managed the boat, and he knew he would feel safe when Bunny
and Sue were out with Tom.

Meanwhile, on shore, in the shade of the cooking tent, Sue was busy with
her pie.

"I want to make a mince one, for daddy likes that kind," said Sue. "And
I want to have it ready for them when they come home from fishing.
Though I don't see what he wants of any more fish," she added, as she
glanced at a little pool near the edge of the lake where, in a fish-car,
the fish Mr. Brown had caught while out alone that morning were
swimming. They could not get out of the car, or box, which had netting
on the side.

"He is going to take some of them back to the city with him in the
morning," said Mrs. Brown. "He wants to give them to his friends. Those
he and Bunny and Tom catch this afternoon, will be for our supper, Sue."

"I like Tom, don't you, Mother?" asked Sue, as she put on a long apron
in readiness to bake her pie.

"Yes, he seems like a nice boy. But it's very queer that the hermit
should stick needles into him."

"But they weren't _real_ needles," said Sue. "He never could see them.
He only felt them. They must have been fairy needles, for Tom could
never see them being pulled out, either."

"Well, we'll let your father look after that," said Mrs. Brown. "Now
we'll bake your pie and I'll make the pudding and cake I have to get
ready for the Sunday dinner."

Whenever Mrs. Brown baked she always let Sue do something--make a
patty-cake, a little pie with some of the left-over crust from a big
one, or, perhaps, bake a pan of cookies. Mrs. Brown would let Susie use
some of the dough or pie crust already made up, or she would stand
beside her little girl and tell her what to do.

To-day Mrs. Brown did a little of both. She, herself, baked several
pies, as well as two cakes, and as there was plenty of pie crust left
Mrs. Brown told Sue how to roll some out in a smooth, thin sheet, and
lay it over a tin.

"The next thing to do," said Mrs. Brown, "is to put the mince-meat in on
the bottom-crust, put another sheet of pie crust on top, cut some holes
in it so the steam can get out, trim off the edges, nice and smooth, and
set the pie in the oven.

"Roll out your top pie crust and you'll find the mince-meat in a glass
jar in the cupboard, next to a jar of peaches. And don't forget to cut
holes in your top crust."

Sue started to do all this. Just then, a neighboring farmer's wife
called at the tent, with fresh eggs to sell, and, as she needed some,
Mrs. Brown went to see about buying a dozen.

"Go on with your pie, Sue," she called. "I'll be back in a minute."

"Let me see," said the little girl to herself. "I have the bottom crust
in the tin, the top crust is all rolled out, and now I need the
mince-meat. I'll get it."

From a glass jar which she brought from the cupboard, next to a jar of
peaches, Sue poured very carefully into the bottom crust some dark stuff
that had a most delicious spicy odor.

"Um-m, that mince-meat is good and strong!" said Sue. "Daddy will be
sure to love it."

She spread out the filling evenly and then put on the top crust with the
little holes cut in to let out the steam when the pie should be baking
in the oven.

Just as Sue was finishing trimming off what, was left over of the crust,
Mrs. Brown came back from buying the eggs.

"Oh, you have your pie finished!" exclaimed Sue's mother. "You got ahead
of me. Well, I'll put it in the oven for you, as you might burn
yourself. And then I'll get on with _my_ baking."

"And I really made this pie all my own self; didn't I?" asked Sue,
eagerly.

"Indeed you did, all but making the crust. And you'll soon be able to do
that," said her mother. "Now we must finish our baking."

The afternoon passed very quickly for Sue and her mother, but just as
the last cookies, which Sue helped to make, were taken out of the oven,
a lovely brown, and smelling so delicious, Bunny, his father and Tom
came back from their fishing trip.

"Is the pie baked, Sue?" asked Bunny, who was tired, hungry and dirty.

"There are certainly pies baked, and other things too, if my nose can
smell anything!" cried Daddy Brown. "Now then we'll clean the fish and
have them for supper."

"Please let me clean them," said Tom. "I used to work for a fish man and
I know how to do it quick."

"That isn't the only thing you can do quickly," said Mr. Brown, with a
smile. "The way you caught that fish which got loose from Bunny's hook
to-day showed how quick you were."

"Oh, I've done that before," said the tall lad with a laugh. "I like to
fish."

"And he's very good at it," said Mr. Brown to his wife as he and Bunny
began to wash. "He took me to a number of quiet coves, and we got some
big fish. Bunny caught the prize of the day, and it would have got loose
from its hook if Tom had not slipped a net under it in time. Bunny was
delighted."

"I'm glad of that. But what about this boy? Are we going to keep him
with us?"

"I think so, for a while. He'll be useful about the camp, now that I
have to be away so much. And, too, he's perfectly safe with the
children. He'll look well after them. Besides I want to look into this
queer story he tells about the hermit Bixby and the needles."

"Do you think there is anything in it?"

"Well, there may be--and something queer, too. I want to find out what
it is. Tom can sleep in that little extra tent we brought. Now how is
supper coming on? Can I help?"

"No, I think Uncle Tad has done everything but clean the fish, and----

"Here comes Tom with them now," said Mrs. Brown. "And you must be sure
to speak of Sue's pie."

"I will. That little girl is getting to be a regular housekeeper. She'll
soon have your place," and Mr. Brown shook his finger at his wife.

Tom brought up the cleaned and washed fish. Mrs. Brown dried them in old
towels, dipped them in batter and soon they were frying in the pan. By
this time the cakes and pies were set out, and in a little while supper
was ready.

And how good those freshly caught fish tasted! Bunny declared his was
the best, and really it did seem so, for it was a splendid bass.

"And now for my pie," said Sue, as Mrs. Brown set it on the table. "I
want you all to have some, and a big piece for Tom, 'cause he saved
Bunny's fish."

Mrs. Brown cut the pie and passed it around. As she did so she looked
carefully at the pie and the pieces.

"Isn't there enough, Mother?" asked Sue, anxiously.

"Oh, yes. But I was just thinking----"

At that moment Bunny, who had taken rather a large bite, cried:

"What kind of pie did you say this was, Sue?"

"Mince, of course."

"It tastes more like spiced pickles to me. Doesn't it to you, Tom?"

"Oh, I don't know. It tastes lots better than the pie we got to the
poorhouse. I can tell you that!"

Mr. Brown, who had tasted his piece, made a funny face.

"Are you sure you put enough sugar in?" he asked Sue.

"You don't have to put sugar in mince-meat--it's already in," answered
his little girl.

Mrs. Brown took a taste of Sue's pie. She, too, made a funny face, and
then she asked: "Where did you get the jar of mince-meat, Sue?"

"From the cupboard where you told me, Momsie, next to the glass jar of
peaches."

"On which side of the jar of peaches?"

"Let me see--it was the side I write my letters with--my right hand,
Mother."

"Oh dear!" cried Mrs. Brown. "I should have told you! But the egg woman
came just then. I should have told you the left side of the jar of
peaches. On the right side was a jar of pickled chow-chow. It looks a
lot like mince-meat, I know, but it is quite different. The real
mince-meat was on the _left_ of the peach jar. Oh, Sue! You've made your
pie of chow-chow."

"I was thinking Sue had found out a new kind of pie," said Daddy Brown.
"Never mind, there are some cakes and cookies."

"Oh, dear!" cried Sue, and there were tears in her eyes. "I did so want
my mince pie to be nice!"

"It was good," said Tom. "The crust is the best I ever ate, and the
pickled insides will go good on the fish."

Everybody laughed at that, and even Sue smiled.

"Next time smell your mince-meat before you put it in a pie," said Mrs.
Brown. "Otherwise your pie would have been perfect, Sue."

"I will," promised the little girl.

Tom became a regular member of Camp Rest-a-While, sleeping in a tent by
himself. And he proved so useful, cutting wood, going on errands and
even helping with the cooking, that Mrs. Brown said she wondered how she
had ever got along without him.

He was given some of Uncle Tad's old clothes, that seemed to fit him
very well, so he could no longer be called the "ragged boy," and he went
in swimming so often, often taking Bunny and Sue along, that all three
were as "clean as whistles," Mrs. Brown said.

No word had been heard from Mr. Bixby about his missing helper, but Mr.
Brown had not given up making inquiries about the "needles."

Bunny and Sue missed their electric playthings, but their father brought
them other toys from the city with which they had great fun. But still
Bunny wished for his electric train, and Sue for her wonderful Teddy
bear.

One night, just after supper, Mrs. Brown discovered that she needed milk
to set some bread for baking in the morning.

"I'll go and get it to the farmhouse," said Tom.

"And may I go, too?" asked Bunny. It was decided that he could, as it
was not late, only dark. So down the dusky road trudged Bunny and Tom,
with Splash running along beside them. As it happened, the farmhouse
where they usually got the milk had none left, so they had to go on to
the next one, which was quite near the edge of the Indian village.

"But they won't any of 'em be out now, will they?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, the Indians may be sitting outside their cabins, smoking their
pipes," said Tom.

"Oh, that'll be all right," observed Bunny. "They'll be peace-pipes and
they won't hurt us."

"Of course not," laughed Tom.

From the road in front of the house where they finally got the milk they
could look right down into the valley of the Indian encampment. And as
Bunny looked he saw a bright fire blazing, and Indians walking or
hopping slowly around it.

"Oh, Tom, look!" cried the small boy. "What's that? Are the Indians
going on the war-path? I read of that in my school book. If they are,
we'd better go back and tell Uncle Tad and father. Then they can get
their guns and be ready."

"Those Indians aren't getting ready for war," said Tom. "They're only
having a roast corn dance."

"What's a roast corn dance?" asked Bunny. "I'll show you the roast corn
part to-morrow night," promised Tom. "But don't worry about those
Indians. They'll not hurt you. Now we'd better go home."

As soon as Bunny was in the tent he shouted, much louder than he need
have done:

"Oh, Sue, we saw Indians having a roast corn dance, and to-morrow night
we're going to have one too!"



CHAPTER XIX

EAGLE FEATHER'S HORSE


Bunny Brown was so excited by the Indian campfire he had seen, and by
the queer figures dancing about in the glare of it, seeming twice as
tall and broad as they really were, that he insisted on telling about it
before he went to bed.

"Did they really dance just as we do at dancing school when we're at
home?" asked Sue.

"No, not exactly," Bunny answered. "It was more like marching, and they
turned around every now and then and howled and waved ears of corn in
the air. Then they ate 'em."

"What was it for, Tom?" asked Mr. Brown. "You have lived about here
quite a while and you ought to know."

"Oh, the Indians believe in what they call the Great Spirit," Tom
explained. "They do all sorts of things so he'll like 'em, such as
making fires, dancing and having games. It's only a few of the old
Indians that do that. This green corn roast, or dance, is a sort of
prayer that there'll be lots of corn--a big crop--this year so the
Indians will have plenty to eat. For they depend a whole lot on corn
meal for bread, pancakes and the like of that. I told Bunny I'd show him
how the Indians roast the ears of green corn to-morrow, if you'd let
me."

"Oh, please, Momsie, do!"

"Oh, Daddy, let him!"

The first was Sue's plea, the second Bunny's, and the father and mother
smiled.

"Well, I think it will be all right if Tom is as careful about fire as
he is on the water," said Mr. Brown.

"Oh, goodie!" cried Sue, while Bunny smiled and danced his delight.

Finally Camp Rest-a-While was quiet, for every one was in bed and the
only noises to be heard were those made by the animals and insects of
the wood, an owl now and then calling out: "Who? Who? Who?" just as if
it were trying to find some one who was lost.

"Where'll we get the ears to roast?" asked Bunny as soon as he was up
the next morning. "We don't grow any corn in our camp."

"Oh, we can get some roasting ears from almost any of the farmers around
here," said Tom. "But we don't want to make the fire until night. It
looks prettier then."

"That's what I say," cried Sue. "And if you wait until night I'll make
some muffins to eat with the roast corn. Mother is going to show me
how."

"Well, don't put any chow-chow mince-meat in your muffins," begged Bunny
with a laugh.

"I won't," promised Sue. "But can't we do something while we're waiting
for night to come so we can roast the corn?"

"Will you put up the swing you promised to make for us, Tom?" asked
Bunny.

"Yes, if you have the rope."

"We can row across the lake in the boat to the store at the landing, and
get the rope there," said Bunny. "I'll ask my mother."

Mrs. Brown gave permission and Tom was soon making a swing, hanging it
down from a high branch of a strong oak tree. Then Bunny and Sue took
turns swinging, while Tom pushed.

After dinner they decided it was time to go for the roasting ears, and
again they were in the boat, as it was nearer to the farmer's house
across the water than by going the winding road.

Tom picked out the kind of ears he wanted, large and full of kernels in
which the milk, or white juice, was yet running. This was a corn that
ripened late, and was very good for roasting.

With the corn in one end of the boat, and the children in the stern, or
rear, where he could watch them as they moved about on the broad seat,
Tom rowed the boat toward camp. They reached it just in time for supper,
and just as Mr. Brown got home from his trip to the city.

"We're going to have roast ears of corn to-night!" called Sue as she
hugged and kissed her father.

"Oh! That makes me feel as if I were a boy!" said Mr. Brown. "Who is
going to roast the corn?"

"I am," said Tom. "I've done it many a time."

"Well, I'm glad you know how. But now let's have supper."

The children did not eat much, because they were so anxious to roast the
corn, but Tom said they must wait until dark, as the camp fire would
look prettier then.

However, it could hardly have been called dark when Tom, after much
teasing on the part of Bunny and Sue, set aglow the light twigs and
branches, which soon made the bigger logs glow.

"We have to have a lot of hot coals and embers," said Tom, "or else the
corn will smoke and burn. So we'll let the fire burn for a while until
there are a lot of red hot coals or embers of wood."

When this had come about, Tom brought out the ears, stripped the green
husks from them, and then, brushing off a smooth stone that had been
near the fire so long that it was good and hot, he placed on it the
ears of corn.

Almost at once they began to roast, turning a delicate brown, and Tom
turned them over from time to time, so they would not burn, by having
one side too near the fire too long.

"When will they be ready to eat?" asked Bunny Brown.

"In a few minutes," said Tom. "There, I guess these two are ready," and
he picked out two smoking hot ones, nicely browned, using a
sharp-pointed stick for a fork. He offered one ear to Mr. Brown and the
other to Mrs. Brown.

"No, let the children have the first ones," said their mother.

"Be careful, they're hot!" cautioned Tom, as he passed the ears on their
queer wooden sticks to Bunny and Sue.

Sue blew on hers to cool it, but Bunny was in such a hurry that he
started to eat at once. As a result he cried:

"Ouch! It's hot!"

"Be careful!" cautioned his mother, and after that Bunny was careful.

[Illustration: TOM BROUGHT OUT THE EARS AND STRIPPED THE GREEN HUSKS
FROM THEM.
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods._ _Page_ 195.]

Soon two more ears were roasted, and these Mr. and Mrs. Brown took. They
waited a bit for them to cool, and then began to eat slowly.

"They are delicious," said Mrs. Brown.

"This is the only way to cook green corn," remarked Uncle Tad.

"It's the best I've eaten since I was a boy," declared Mr. Brown. "We
shall have to have some more, Tom."

"Yes, I'll cook some more for you. Parched corn is good, too. The
Indians like that. You have to wait until the ears are nearly ripe for
that, though, and the kernels dried."

"Aren't you going to eat any, Tom?" Bunny asked, as he took the ear the
bigger boy handed him.

"Oh, yes, I'll have some now, if you've had all you want."

"Well, maybe I'll eat more," said Bunny.

"And I want another," put in Sue.

"There's plenty here," said Tom, as he began to eat. Almost as he spoke
there was a crackling of the leaves and sticks behind the embers of the
roast-corn party, and before any one could turn around to see what it
was a voice spoke:

"White folks make heap good meal same as Indians."

"That's right, Eagle Feather," called back Tom, who did not seem to be
so much taken by surprise as did the others. "Come and have some. What
brings you here?"

"Eagle Feather lose him horse," was the answer. "Come look for him.
Maybe you hab?" and he squatted down beside the campfire and accepted a
roasted ear that Tom handed him.

"What does this mean about Eagle Feather's horse being _here_?" asked
Mr. Brown.

"Me tell you 'bout a minute," answered the Indian, gnawing away at the
corn.



CHAPTER XX

FUN IN THE ATTIC


Bunny Brown looked at his sister Sue, and she looked at him. What could
it mean--so many things being taken away? First Bunny's train of cars,
then Sue's electric-eyed Teddy bear. Now Eagle Feather's horse was
missing and he had come to Camp Rest-a-While to look for it, though why
the children could not understand. Tom was kept busy roasting the ears
of corn, and passing them around. Eagle Feather ate three without saying
anything more, and would probably have taken another, which Tom had
ready for him, when Mr. Brown asked:

"Well, Eagle Feather, what is your trouble? Is your horse really gone?
And if it is, why do you think it is here? We don't have any horses
here. All our machines go by gasolene."

"Me know all such," replied the Indian. "Little wagon make much
puff-puff like boy's heap big medicine train. No horse push or pull 'um.
Eagle Feather hab good horse, him run fast and stop quick, sometimes,
byemby, like squaw, Eagle Feather fall off. But horse good--now somebody
take. Somebody take Eagle Feather's horse."

"Maybe he wandered away," said Mr. Brown. "Horses often do that you
know, when you tie them in the woods where flies bite them."

"Yes, Eagle Feather know that. But how you say--him rope broke or cut?"
and the Indian held out a halter made of rope, with a piece of rope
dangling from it. Mr. Brown looked closely at it.

"Why, that's been cut!" exclaimed the children's father, for the end of
the rope by which the horse had been tied was smooth, and not broken and
rough, as it would have been had it been pulled apart. If you will cut a
rope and then break another piece, you can easily see the difference.

"Sure, cut!" exclaimed Eagle Feather. "Done last night when all dark.
Indians at corn dance and maybe sleepy. No hear some one come up soft to
Eagle Feather's barn and take out horse. Have to cut rope 'cause Indian
tie knot white man find too much hard to make loose."

"So you think a white man took your horse, and that's why you come to
us?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Yes. You know much white man. Maybe so like one ask you hide my horse
in your tent."

"Indeed not!" cried Mr. Brown. "I haven't any friends who would steal a
man's horse."

"Maybe not," went on the Indian. "But night of green corn dance him come
to see it and your boy too," and Eagle Feather pointed first at Tom and
then at Bunny.

"We didn't see Eagle Feather's horse!" cried out Bunny Brown.

"Easy, my boy," said his father. "Let's get at what Eagle Feather
means."

Before he could ask a question the Indian pointed a finger at Tom and
asked sharply:

"You see my horse night you come green corn dance?"

"Not a sign of him did I see," answered Tom quickly. "And I wasn't
nearer the middle of the village, where the campfire was, than half a
mile. We didn't take your horse, Eagle Feather."

"Maybe so not. Eagle Feather thought maybe you might see," went on the
red man. "Me know you good boy, Tom--good to Indians. These little Brown
boy an' gal--they good too.

"But we walk along path horse took, and marks of him feet come right to
this camp."

"Is that so?" asked Mr. Brown. "We'll have to look into this. Perhaps
the thief did pass among our tents to hide the direction he really took.
We'll have a look in the morning. It's too dark now."

Indeed it was very dark, the campfire throwing out but fitful gleams,
for enough of the roasted ears had been cooked to suit every one. Eagle
Feather bade his friends good-bye, remarking again how sorry he was over
losing his horse, and he said he would see them all in the morning.

With the children and Tom safely in bed Uncle Tad and Mr. and Mrs. Brown
talked the matter over.

"Eagle Feather seems to think his horse was brought to this camp," said
Mrs. Brown.

"Perhaps he does," agreed her husband. "But that doesn't matter."

"I don't like it though," went on his wife. "The idea of thinking Bunny
might have had a hand in the trick!"

"I don't believe Eagle Feather ever had such an idea," laughed Mr.
Brown. "He might have thought Tom, from having watched the corn dance,
had taken the horse in fun, but I don't believe he has any such idea
now."

"I should hope not!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown.

Early the next morning Eagle Feather and another Indian came to the
camp. They looked for the marks of horses' hoofs and found some they
said were those of Eagle Feather's animal in the soft dirt. But though
the marks came to the edge of the camp, they did not go through the
spaces between the tents.

"They must have led the horse _around_ our camp," said Uncle Tad, and
this proved to be a correct guess, for on the other side of the camp the
footprints of a horse, with the same shaped hoof as that of Eagle
Feather's, were seen.

"Now we find horse easy," said the Indian, as he and his companion
hurried on through the big woods.

"Well, I hope you find him, and I'm glad you don't think any one around
here had anything to do with it," said Uncle Tad. "I hope you find your
horse soon."

But it was a vain hope, for in a little while it began to rain and the
rain, Mr. Brown said, would wash away all hoofprints of the Indian's
horse, so they could no longer be seen. But Eagle Feather and his friend
did not come back.

"Oh, I wish we had something to do!" cried Sue, as the rain kept on
pelting down on the roof of the tent, and she and Bunny could not go
out.

"It would be fun if we had your electric train now and my Sallie
Malinda," said Sue.

"That's right!" exclaimed Bunny. "But I don't s'pose we'll ever get
'em."

"No, I s'pose not," sighed Sue.

The children were trying to think of a rainy-day game to play and
wishing they could go out, when there came a knock on the main tent
pole, which was the nearest thing to a front door in the camp.

"Oh, it's Mrs. Preston, the egg lady," said Sue, who, out of a celluloid
tent window, had watched the visitor coming to the camp.

"She can't be coming with eggs," said Mrs. Brown, "for I bought some
only yesterday." Mrs. Preston quickly told what she wanted.

"I've come for your two children, Mrs. Brown," she said. "I know how
hard it is to keep them cooped up and amused on a rainy day.

"Now over at our house we have a lovely big attic, filled with all sorts
of old-fashioned things that the children of our neighbors play with.
They can't harm them, and they can't harm themselves. Don't you want to
let Bunny and Sue come over to my attic to play?"

"Oh, yes, Mother, please do!" begged Bunny.

"And it's only such a little way that we won't get wet at all," said
Sue. "We can wear rubbers and take umbrellas."

"Well, if you're sure it won't be any bother, Mrs. Preston," said Mrs.
Brown.

"No bother at all! Glad to have them," answered Mrs. Preston. "Get
ready, my dears!"

And Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were soon on their way to have
rainy-day fun in an attic.



CHAPTER XXI

"WHERE IS SUE?"


"Now children, the attic is yours for the day," said Mrs. Preston, after
she had led Bunny Brown and his sister into the house, and had helped
them get off their wet coats. "You are to do just as you please, for
there is nothing in the attic you can harm."

"Oh, won't we have fun?" cried Sue.

"I should say so!" exclaimed Bunny. "Are there any old guns or swords up
there we can play soldier with?" asked the little boy.

"Yes, I think so," answered Mrs. Preston. "The guns are very old and
can't be shot off, and the swords are very dull, so you can't hurt
yourself. Still, be careful."

"We will," promised Bunny. "I wish I had another boy to play with. Sue
makes a good nurse, but she isn't much of a soldier."

"I can holler 'Bang!' as loud as you," protested Sue.

"Yes, I know you can, but who ever heard of women soldiers? They are all
right for nurses, and Sue can bandage your arm up awful tight, just like
it was really shot off. But she can't act like a real soldier, Mrs.
Preston."

"Maybe the boy I have asked over to play in the attic with you can,"
suggested Mrs. Preston.

"Oh, is there another boy coming?" asked Bunny eagerly.

"Yes. And a girl, too. They are Charlie and Rose Parker, and they live
down the road a way. They are a new family that has just moved in, and
they haven't an attic in their house, any more then you have in your
tent. So I ask them over every rainy day, for I know that it is hard for
children to stay in the house."

"Oh, I hope they come soon!" exclaimed Bunny. "I want to have some fun!"

"I think I hear them now," said Mrs. Preston, as a knock sounded at the
back door. "Yes, here they are," she called to Bunny and Sue, who were
sitting in the dining room. "Come now, young folks, get acquainted, and
then go up to the attic to play."

Charlie and Rose Parker, being about the age of Bunny and Sue, did not
take long to grow friendly. And the Brown children, having often met
strangers, were not a bit bashful, so the four soon felt that they had
known each other a long time.

"Now up to the attic with you, and have your fun!" directed Mrs.
Preston. "Use anything you want to play with, but, when you are through,
put everything back where you found it."

"We will!" promised the children, and up the stairs they went, laughing
and shouting.

"I hope we find some swords and guns to fight with," said Bunny to
Charlie.

"Oh, there's a lot of them," Charlie answered. "I've been here before
and I know where lots of guns are. Only they're awful heavy."

"Then we can pretend they are cannon!" cried Bunny.

"Yes, and we can make a fort of old trunks. There's a lot of them up
here," Charlie said.

They were on their way up the attic stairs, Charlie leading the way, as
he had often gone up before.

"Don't take all the trunks until we get out of them what we want to play
with," begged Rose.

"What's in the trunks?" asked Bunny of his new friend.

"Oh, nothing but a lot of old dresses and things. Rose most always
dresses up fancy in 'em and pretends she's a big lady," said Charlie.

"Then that's what Sue'll do," said Bunny. "She likes to dress up. But
we'll play soldier."

Mrs. Preston's attic was the nicest one that could be imagined. In one
corner were several trunks. In another corner was a spinning wheel, and
hanging here and there from the attic beams were strings of sleigh
bells, that sent out a merry jingle when one's head hit them.

Here and there, in places where there were no boards over the beams,
were hickory nuts and walnuts that could be cracked on a brick and
eaten.

"They'll be our rations," said Charlie, who liked to play soldier as
well as did Bunny.

"But where are the swords and the guns?" Bunny asked.

"I'll show you," said Charlie. "They're just behind the chimney."

In the middle of the attic, extending up through the roof, was a big
chimney. It could not be seen in the rest of the house, but here in the
attic the bricks were in plain view, and Charlie said, on cold Winter
days, when it snowed, it was warm in the attic because of the heat from
the chimney.

Just now the boys were more interested in the guns and the swords, of
which a goodly number were hanging on rafters and beams back of the
chimney.

"Oh, what a lot of guns!" cried Bunny.

"And they shoot, too," added Charlie. "I mean you can pull the trigger
and the hammer will snap down. Course we only use make-believe powder."

"Course," agreed Bunny. "But we can holler 'Bang!' whenever we shoot a
gun."

"And we can each have a sword."

So the boys began to play soldier, sometimes both being on the same
side, hunting Indians through the secret mazes of the attic, and again
one being a white-settler soldier, and the other a red man.

Meanwhile Sue and Rose were playing a different game. They had found
some old-fashioned and big silk dresses in some of the trunks, and they
at once dressed themselves up in these and made believe pay visits one
to the other. The two little girls talked as they imagined grown-up
ladies would talk when "dressed up," and they had great fun, while on
the other side of the attic Charlie and Bunny were bang-banging away at
one another in the soldier game.

The children had been playing in the attic about an hour, the boys at
their soldiering game and the girls at visiting, when Rose came to Bunny
and Charlie with a queer look on her face.

"What's the matter?" asked Charlie. "Have you had a fuss and stopped
playing?"

"No, but I can't find Sue anywhere."

"Can't find Sue!" exclaimed Bunny. "Where is she?"

"That's just what I don't know. I was playing I was Mrs. Johnson, and
she was to be Mrs. Wilson and call on me. When she didn't come I went to
look for her, but I couldn't find her in her house."

"Which was her house," asked Bunny.

"This big trunk," and Rose pointed to a large one in a distant corner of
the attic.

"Sue! Sue! Are you in there? Are you in the trunk?" cried Bunny.

The children, listening, seemed to hear a faint call from inside the
trunk. They looked at one another with startled eyes. What could they
do?



CHAPTER XXII

THE HERMIT COMES FOR TOM


"Are you sure she came over here?" asked Bunny Brown.

"Sure," answered Rose. "You see this was her pretend house, and mine was
over there under the string of sleigh bells." She pointed to where
several small trunks had been drawn together to form a square. Some old
bed quilts had been laid over to make a roof, and under this Rose
received visits from her friend Sue, who went by the name of Mrs.
Wilson.

"When did you last see her?" asked Charlie. "Maybe she went downstairs."

"No, she didn't, for I saw her opening the big trunk and taking clothes
out to dress up in. Besides she couldn't get downstairs, for you boys
pulled two trunks in front of the stairs for a fort."

"So we did," said Charlie. "She couldn't have gone down without moving
the trunks, and they haven't been moved."

"Well, then she must be up here somewhere," said Bunny. "Maybe she's
shut up in the big trunk."

"That's dreadful! Call and let's see if she is in there," said Rose.

Bunny went close to the big trunk--the largest, in the attic--and then
he called as loudly as he could:

"Are you in there, Sue?"

Back came the answer, very faintly:

"Yes, I'm here, Bunny! Please get me out! I'm locked in!"

"She's locked in!" cried Charlie. "We must open the trunk and get her
out! Come on, Bunny!"

Both boys grasped the lid of the trunk.

"Why it's locked!" cried Rose. "You can't open it without unlocking it.
Let's see if we can find some keys."

Eagerly the children ran about the attic, taking keys from all the
trunks they saw. But either these keys did not fit in the locked one
where Sue was shut up, or the fingers of Bunny, Rose and Charlie were
too small to fit them properly in the locks.

"We'd better call Mrs. Preston," said Bunny, for he could hear Sue
crying now, inside the trunk. And Sue was a brave little girl, who did
not often cry.

"We'd better go down and tell her," suggested Rose. "She'll never hear
us from up here."

"Let's go down then!" cried Bunny.

He and Charlie soon pulled away from the attic stairs the two trunks
they had placed there to make a fort. Down to the kitchen, where Mrs.
Preston was making pies, hurried the three children.

"What? Through playing so soon?" asked Mrs. Preston. "I thought you'd be
much longer than this. I haven't your lunch for you ready yet. But where
is Sue?" she asked, not seeing Bunny's sister.

"She--she's locked in a trunk in the attic--the big trunk," explained
Charlie, "an' she's hollerin' like anything, but we can't get her out!"

"Locked in that trunk! Good gracious!" cried Mrs. Preston. "That trunk
shuts with a spring lock. Now I wonder where the key to it is."

"Here's a lot of keys we found!" said Bunny, holding out those he and
Charlie had gathered from the other trunks.

"I'll try those, but I'm afraid they won't fit," said Mrs. Preston,
hurrying up to the attic, followed by Bunny, Charlie and Rose.

"You'll be all right now, Sue!" called Mrs. Preston through the sides of
the trunk to Sue. "We'll soon have you out."

"Please hurry," said a muffled and far-off voice. "I can hardly breathe
in here."

"I should say not!" exclaimed Mrs. Preston. "We'll get you out soon,
though."

She tried other keys, none of which would fit, and then she brought up
from her bedroom another bunch that locked the trunks she used when she
went traveling.

"It's of no use," she cried, when she found she could not open the
trunk. "We can't waste any more time. Charlie, you run and get Mr.
Wright, the carpenter. He'll have to saw a hole in the end of the trunk
to get Sue out."

"But he won't hurt her, will he?" asked Bunny.

"No indeed! He'll be very careful."

Mr. Wright came back with Charlie, carrying several tools in his hand.
He soon set to work.

"Get as far back to the end of the trunk as you can," he called to Sue,
tapping with his fingers on the end he wanted her to keep away from.

"I'm back as far as I can get," she said in a far-off voice.

"All right. Now I'm going to bore a little hole in this end, and then
I'm going to put in a little saw and saw a door in the end of your trunk
house so you can crawl out. Don't be afraid. I'll soon have you out,"
said the carpenter.

Very carefully Mr. Wright bored the hole. Then, with a small saw, he
began cutting a hole in the side of the big trunk. In a little while the
hole was big enough for Sue to crawl through. They had to help her, for
she was weak and faint from having been shut up so long. But the fresh
air and a glass of milk soon made her feel better, and she wanted to go
on with the game.

"No, I think you had better be out in the air now on the big enclosed
porch," said Mrs. Preston. "You have played in the attic long enough. I
never thought of the spring lock on that trunk. It is the only one in
the attic, but now we will leave the hole cut in the end, so, even with
the lid closed, whoever goes in can get out."

"It would make a good kennel for our dog Splash," said Bunny.

"And you may have it for that, if you like," said Mrs. Preston. "I'll
have the hired man take it over to your camp."

After thanking Mrs. Preston for the good time she had given them, the
children, after a lunch, started for their homes. Bunny and Sue found
something very strange going on in the camp when they reached there.

There was Mr. Bixby, the hermit, sitting on a box just outside the tent,
talking very earnestly to Mr. Brown, who had just come from town in the
small automobile. It had stopped raining.

"Well, I've decided not to let him go back to you," Mr. Brown was
saying. "I don't think you have treated him right, and I am going to
complain to the authorities about it."

"And I tell you, Mr. Brown, not meaning to be impolite, that I'm
entitled to that boy an' I'm going to have him. He's bound out to me for
the Summer."

"What does he want, Mother?" whispered Bunny.

"Hush, my dear. Daddy will attend to it all. Mr. Bixby came here a
little while ago and he wants to take Tom back. Tom doesn't want to go
on account of the 'needle pricks' as he calls them. But Mr. Bixby wants
him, and your father is not going to let Tom go."

"Oh, I'm glad of that!" exclaimed Sue in a whisper. "I like Tom, and I
don't care if I was locked in a trunk and 'most smothered if we can keep
Tom."



CHAPTER XXIII

TRYING TO HELP TOM


"You were locked in a trunk and almost smothered!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown,
looking first at Sue and then at Mr. Bixby, as though she thought he
might have had some hand in the matter.

"Yes, it was over in Mrs. Preston's attic. But it was my own fault, I
never should have got in the trunk, for it closed with a spring lock and
they had to get a carpenter to saw me out."

"Oh! And spoil Mrs. Preston's trunk?"

"'Tisn't spoiled," said Bunny. "She's going to let us use it for a dog
kennel."

"And it will make such a nice one for Splash," said Sue. "You see, we
can put hinges on the little square place the carpenter cut out to make
a hole for me to get through, and we can make something fast to it that
Splash can get hold of with his teeth, like a knob, so he can pull the
door shut when it rains. It will be awful nice. I don't mind having been
shut up a bit when I think of Splash."

"But how did it all happen?" asked Mrs. Brown, while her husband and Mr.
Bixby were talking together.

The children told of Sue's adventure and of Charlie and Rose, and of the
big porch and of the lunch.

"But what does Mr. Bixby want, Mother? Is he really going to take Tom
away from us?" asked Sue.

"I don't know, my little girl. I hope not. But he seems to have the law
on his side."

"Well, you have your way of looking at it and I have mine," Mr. Bixby
was saying to Mr. Brown. "I hired this boy from the poorhouse and agreed
to pay him certain wages. Part he keeps for himself and the rest goes to
the poorhouse managers for his board in the Winter when he can't work.

"Then this boy ups and leaves me and comes to you. It isn't fair, and
I'm not getting the worth of the money I paid. For though he is a lazy
chap I managed to get some chores out of him."

"Of course," said Mr. Brown, "you may be right in what you say about
having the right to this boy's work because you paid for it. As for his
being lazy, I don't agree with you there. He has certainly been a help
to us about the camp."

"Oh, yes, where there's any fun in it Tom's right there! I s'pose he's a
good fisherman?"

"I never saw a better one," said Mr. Brown earnestly, while Bunny Brown
and Sue sat together on a big stump and wondered what it was all about.

"Yes, Tom'd rather fish than eat," said Mr. Bixby slowly, as he crossed
one ragged-trousered leg over the other.

"Who wouldn't with what I got to eat at your cabin?" burst out Tom who
had been standing back near the cook tent. "All I got was potatoes, and
once in a while bacon; I got so hungry I just _had_ to go out and fish."

"Well, we won't go into any argument about it," said Mr. Bixby. "I'm
entitled to work from you and I'm goin' to have you. That's all there
is about it."

"I'll never go back to you to be stung with them needles!" cried Tom.

At this Mr. Brown asked a question.

"What are these 'needles' Tom speaks of?" he asked. "I think I have a
right to know, as he is in my charge now, and if I let him go to you,
and he is hurt, I should feel I was to blame. I want to know about this
needle business."

"There wasn't anything to it. He just imagined it. I used to grab hold
of his arm, to shake him awake mornings, and I'd happen to hit his funny
bone in his elbow. You know how it is when you hit your elbow in a
certain place--it makes it feel as though pins and needles were sticking
in you."

"I have felt that," said Mrs. Brown.

"And so have I," added Bunny. "It's funny!"

"Well, that's all there is to it," said Mr. Bixby. "But I want Tom back.
I'm going to have him, too!"

"You shall have him if you have a right to him. But I shall look into
this first," said Mr. Brown. "You can't take him to-night."

"Oh, well, we sha'n't quarrel over that, as long as I get him to-morrow
to help dig potatoes. But you'll find I'm in the right, and that the boy
belongs to me for the Summer," said the hermit. "I'll do just as I
agreed to by him."

"Well, I'll look it up to make sure," said Mr. Brown. "It may be that
you are right, and it may be you are wrong. If you are, I'll say to you
now that you'll never get Tom away from me."

"That's right. Don't let him take me!" cried Tom, who seemed very much
afraid. "I don't want any more of his funny needles stuck in me. Let me
stay with you!"

"I will if I can, Tom my boy," said Mr. Brown.

"You'll find you can't keep him away from me," said Mr. Bixby, as he got
up to go. "And I won't hurt him, as he and you folks seem to think. All
I want are my rights."

The two men talked together a little longer, but Tom wanted to hear all
about Sue's having been shut in the trunk, so Bunny and his sister took
turns telling the story once more, while Tom listened eagerly.

"If I'd been there," he cried as Sue finished, "I'd a given that trunk
one kick and busted her clean open, Sue! I wouldn't have waited for no
carpenter."

One look at Tom's big feet seemed to indicate that he could easily have
"busted the trunk clean open."

"But it was better to saw a little door, to make a kennel for Splash,"
said Sue. "Anyhow I wasn't in there very long, and I could breathe a
little."

"Well, be careful about getting into trunks again," said her mother, and
Sue said she would.

The children played in the woods about the camp with Tom after supper,
while Mr. and Mrs. Brown sat off to one side talking earnestly.

"I guess they're talking about you," said Sue. "About your going away,
Tom."

"Well, I'm not going back to Mr. Bixby!" declared the lad.

"And we're not going to let you!" cried Bunny. "If he comes after you
we'll get in a boat and go down the lake and hide in that cave. We'll
take something to eat with us, and some fish lines to catch fish, and
we'll cook 'em over a campfire and we'll live in the big woods forever."

"What'll we do when Winter comes?" asked Sue.

"Oh, then daddy and mother will be back in the city and we can go and
live with them," replied her brother.

Early the next morning, while the children and Tom were having
breakfast, Mr. Brown was seen setting off toward the village.

"Where are you going, Daddy?" cried Sue.

"Can't you take us with you?" asked Bunny.

"No, I'm going off to see some of the townspeople--the authorities--the
head of the poorhouse and others, to find out what right Mr. Bixby has
to Tom."

"Oh, if you're going to help Tom that's all right!" said Sue. "We can
have some games among ourselves, can't we Bunny?" she added, turning to
her brother.

"Yes, but I wish I had my electric train."

"Well, you can play with the car you found in the hay," said Sue. "And
then we've got to make that trunk-kennel for Splash."

"Oh, so we have!" exclaimed Bunny. "I forgot about that. We'll have some
fun anyhow."

"And I'll help," said Tom. "Might as well have what fun I can if I have
to go back to Mr. Bixby's."

"You won't have to go back," said Bunny. "My father will fix it so you
can stay with us."



CHAPTER XXIV

THE NIGHT MEETING


Bunny and Sue, as soon as they had finished their breakfast, went down
to the edge of the lake to play. They wanted to go for a row, and Mrs.
Brown had said they could if Tom was along, so there was no trouble this
time.

Out on the water, where the sun was shining on the waves, Tom rowed the
children. Then Bunny brought out his fishing line and pole, baited the
hook with some worms he had dug, and began to fish.

"You won't get any fish here," said Tom. "There are too many boats
around. I can take you to a place where there are some good perch and
sunnies."

"No, I want to fish here," said Bunny. "It's easy to catch fish where
everybody else can. I want to try in a hard place."

So Tom kept the boat in about the same spot, rowing slowly about while
Bunny fished, and fished, and fished again, without getting a single
bite or nibble.

"Oh dear, it's so hot here out in the middle of the lake!" said Sue.
"Can't we go where it's cool and shady?"

"I know such a place as that," said Tom. "And you can catch fish there,
too."

"Does everybody fish there?" Bunny asked.

"No, hardly anybody. And you can't always catch fish there either, even
if you know the best places."

"Then we'll go," decided Bunny. "I want to go to a hard place."

"Is there anything I can do where you are going?" asked Sue.

"Well, you can gather pond lilies in the creek, which comes into the
lake up above a piece. I'm going to take you there," said Tom. "It's a
nice place."

"Oh, goody!" cried Sue, clapping her hands. "Mother loves pond lilies."

"Well, there's lots up where we're going," said Tom, as he began to row
with strong, long strokes.

The creek, as Tom called it, was a lazy sort of stream flowing into one
part of the lake through a dense part of the big woods. Up this creek
very few persons went, as it was shallow for most boats, and they often
ran aground and got stuck.

"But our boat will be all right," said Tom, "for it has a flat bottom
and it doesn't lie very deep in the water. It could almost be rowed in a
good rain storm."

Farther and farther up the creek Tom rowed the children. The trees met
in a green arch overhead, and the only sounds were those of the dripping
waters from Tom's oars, the call of woodland birds or the distant splash
of a fish jumping up to get a fly that was close to the top of the
water.

"Shall I fish here?" asked Bunny.

"Yes, you ought to get a few here."

Bunny cast in, and it was not long before he had a bite. But when he
pulled up there was no fish on his hook.

"You must yank up quicker," said Tom. "They are only nibbling to fool
you. Pull up quickly."

"Look out!" suddenly called Bunny. He yanked his pole up so suddenly
that he pulled the fish out of the water, right over the heads of
himself, his sister and Tom, and with a splash the fish came down in the
water on the other side of the boat. There it wiggled off the hook.

"You pulled _too_ hard this time," said Tom with a laugh.

"I'll do it just right next time," said Bunny. And he did. When he felt
something pulling on his line he, too, pulled and this time he caught a
sun fish, large enough to cook. It had very pretty colors on it.

"It's too pretty to catch," said Sue. "But, oh! Look at the pretty pond
lilies!" and she pointed to some farther up the creek. "Can we get some,
Tom?"

"Wait until I catch one more fish," begged Bunny.

Bunny soon caught another fish, which had stripes around it "like a
raccoon," Sue said.

"That's a perch," Tom told the children. "They're good to eat, too. But
now we'll row up for the lilies."

However, in spite of the fact that their boat did not take much water,
it ran aground before it reached the lilies.

"Oh, how are we going to get them?" asked Sue, in disappointment.

"I'll wade after them," said Tom. "I can take off my shoes and socks.
The water won't be much more than up to my knees after I get over the
mud bar on which the boat has stuck."

Tom was soon wading in the mud and water, his trousers well rolled up.
He was just reaching for one very large lily when he gave a sudden call,
threw up his hands and sank down out of sight.

"Oh, Tom's gone! He's drowned!" cried Sue.

"We've got to save him!" shouted Bunny, struggling with the oars. But
the boat was fast in the mud, and he could not move it.

"What shall we do?" gasped Sue.

Before Bunny could answer, Tom's head appeared above the muddy water. He
had hold of the pond lily.

"I'm all right," he said. "I stepped on the edge of a hole under the
water, and it was so slippery I went down in before I knew it. But the
deepest part is only over my waist, and now that I'm wet I might as well
stay and get all the lilies you wish."

"Oh, that's too bad!" cried Sue.

"Not at all," said Tom. "I like it. Afterward I'll take a swim in the
clean part of the lake and wash off."

So, wet and muddy as he was, his clothes covered with slime from the
bottom of the creek, Tom kept on gathering the lilies. Once he found a
mud turtle which he tossed into the boat for Bunny. The turtle seemed to
go to sleep in a corner.

"There's a nice bunch for you," said Tom, coming back to the boat with
the flowers for the little girl.

"Oh, thank you, so much!" said Sue. "But I'm sorry you got wet."

"I'm not. These clothes needed washing anyhow," laughed Tom.

With that Tom pushed the boat off the mud bar, and down the creek into
deeper water, the children sitting on the seats.

"Now I'll tie you to shore, go in swimming in this clean water, and row
you home after I've dried out a bit," said Tom. So he went in swimming
with all his clothes on, except his shoes and socks, and soon he was
clean.

"Mother will be so glad to get the pond lilies," said Sue.

"And I guess she'll be glad to get my fish," said Bunny. "There's 'most
enough for dinner."

Tom was nearly dry when he reached home, and no one said anything about
his wet clothes.

"Oh, what lovely flowers!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "And what fine fish.
Did you catch them all alone, Bunny?"

"Yes'm, Momsie! Both of 'em. Where's Daddy?"

"Oh, off seeing some men. I believe there's to be a meeting at our camp
to-night to talk about your friend Tom and Mr. Bixby."

"I hope they don't send Tom back," said Bunny. "He knows everything
about this lake."

After supper several men came to Camp Rest-a-While. They were some of
the county officers. Eagle Feather and some of the Indians were
present, sitting by themselves, and Mr. Brown sat near Tom.

"May we stay and see what happens, Mother?" asked Bunny.

"I guess so. I don't know just what is going on, but I think your father
is going to try to arrange matters so Tom will not have to go back to
the hermit's to live."

"Hurray!" cried Bunny. "And while daddy is talking, I hope he'll ask
everybody if they've seen my electric train."

"And my Sallie Malinda," added Sue. "My nice 'lectric-eyed Teddy bear."

For all the inquiries that had been made had not brought forth any trace
of either of the children's toys. The man in whose barn Bunny had found
one car, said he had seen no one hiding it in the hay.

"Daddy is going to say something!" whispered Sue.

"Hush!" cautioned her mother.

Just then Mr. Brown arose and looked at the men in front of him.

[Illustration: TOM WADED IN THE MUD AND WATER TO GET THE LILIES.
_Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods._ _Page_ 233.]



CHAPTER XXV

THE MISSING TOYS


"Gentlemen," began Mr. Brown, "I have asked you all to come to my camp
to-night to settle some questions, and, if possible, to find out what
has been going on around here.

"As I have told you, two rather costly toys, belonging to my children,
have been stolen. Eagle Feather's horse has been taken away. I know my
children's toys have not been found. And I think, Eagle Feather, your
horse is still missing?"

"Him no come back long time," said the Indian. "Stable all ready for
him--good bed straw, hay to eat. He no come home. Me t'ink somebody keep
him for himself."

"That's what we think, too, Eagle Feather," said Mr. Brown.

"Now there is one person I asked to come here to-night who is absent,"
he went on.

"The hermit," said some.

"Bixby," said others.

"I think we all mean the same man," said Mr. Brown.

"Now I have told you about this boy Tom, who was found by my children in
a cave near the lake shore," he continued. "He was found crying, saying
he was being stuck full of needles. I have not been able to get more
than that out of him. He says Bixby made him take hold of two shiny
balls, and then the needles pricked him. I have my own opinion of that,
but I'll speak of that later.

"I asked Bixby here to-night, that we might talk to him. I find that he
has a right to hire this boy to work for him, and under the law to keep
him all Summer. So it seems that unless we can show that Bixby has
treated Tom harshly he will have to go back."

"Unless we can prove that this needle-business was queer," said one man.

"Yes, and that is what I hoped to prove to-night. But since Mr. Bixby is
not here to talk to us----"

"Suppose we go and talk to him!" cried an officer.

"He may hear us coming, and run away," said another.

"Not if we go through the cave," suggested Tom. "I got into the cave,
where Bunny and Sue found me, by going through a hole in Bixby's
stable."

"Then you'd better lead us through the cave," said Mr. Brown. "We may
surprise the man at his tricks."

The party was soon going along the lake shore toward the cave.

The cavern was dark and silent when they entered it, but their lights
made it bright.

On they went, all the men, with Mrs. Brown, Uncle Tad and the children
coming at the rear of the procession. After they had gone far into the
cave the whinny of a horse was heard.

"Ha!" exclaimed Eagle Feather. "Him sound like my horse!"

They went on softly through the cave and were soon near the place where
Tom had entered it from the stable.

"Be very quiet now, everybody," said Mr. Brown.

"Sh-h-h," said Bunny to his mother and Sue, putting his finger on his
lips.

"I'll take a peep and see if any one's in sight," said Tom.

He went forward a little way and came back to whisper:

"There are two horses and a cow in there, and one horse looks like Eagle
Feather's."

"Let Indian see!" exclaimed the red man, and when he had peeped through
a hole between two stones in the stable wall, while Tom flashed a
flashlight through another hole, Eagle Feather cried:

"That my horse! Me git him back now!"

"Go a bit slow," advised Mr. Brown. "We want to see what else this Bixby
is up to. How can you get to the house from here, Tom?"

"Right through the stable, by the hole I got out of. His back door is
near the stable front door. Come on!"

On they went through the stable, Eagle Feather pausing long enough to
pat his horse and make sure that it was his own animal and grunting
"Huh!" in pleasure.

"Softly now," whispered Tom. "We are coming to where we can look into
one of the two rooms of Mr. Bixby's hut. It is there he sits at night
and where he gave me the needles."

In silence the party made its way to where all could look through the
window. Bunny's father held him up and Mrs. Brown took Sue in her arms.

What they saw caused them all great surprise. For there, on a table in
front of Bixby, the hermit, was Bunny's toy engine, and Sue's Teddy
bear. But the bear was partly torn apart, and from it ran wires that
joined with other wires from Bunny's electric locomotive and batteries.
At the other ends of the wires, were round, shiny balls, like those on
the ends of curtain rods.

On the other side of the table sat an Indian, and at the sight of him
Eagle Feather whispered:

"Him name Muskrat. Much good in canoe and water."

They saw the hermit put the two shiny knobs on the Indian's hands. Then
Mr. Bixby turned a switch and the Indian let out a wild yell and sprang
through the open door, crying:

"Thorns and thistles! He has stung me with bad medicine! Wow!"

"I think I begin to see the trick," said Mr. Brown.

"That's what he did to me," explained Tom, "but I didn't see a Teddy
bear or a toy locomotive."

This time the hermit, disturbed by the sudden running away of the
Indian, and by the voices outside his window, started toward the latter.

"Quick! Some of you get to the door so he can't get away," called Mr.
Brown, but Bixby did not seem to want to run away. He stood in the
middle of the room until Mr. Brown, Bunny, Sue and the others had
entered.

"Oh, there's my toy engine!" cried Bunny making a grab for it.

"And my Teddy bear!" added Sue.

"Look out, don't touch them!" called Mr. Brown. "He has fixed the dry
batteries in the toys to a spark coil, which makes the current
stronger, and he's giving shocks that way. Aren't you?" he asked,
turning to the hermit.

"Since you have found me out, I have," was the answer. "I admit I have
been bad, but I am sorry. I will tell you everything. I used to be a man
who went about the country with an electric machine, giving people
electrical treatments for rheumatism and other pains. I made some money,
but my wife died and her sickness and burial took all I had. Then my
electrical machine broke and I could not buy another.

"However, I did manage to get a little one, run with dry batteries, and
I began going about the country making cures.

"Then this place was left me by a relative. I thought I could make a
living off it with the help of a hired boy, so I got Tom.

"I found some Indians lived here, and, learning how simple they were and
that they thought everything strange was 'heap big medicine,' as they
called it, I thought of trying my battery on them. First I tried it on
Tom, and he yelled that I was sticking needles into him. He did not
understand about the electricity, and I did not try to explain.

"I remembered what your children had told me about having a toy train of
cars that ran by electricity, and a Teddy bear with two lamps for eyes.
I knew these batteries, though small, would be strong, and just what I
needed with what electrical things I had. So I stole the toy train of
cars and the Teddy bear.

"I was sorry to do it, but I thought if I could make enough money from
the Indians I could buy new batteries for myself and give the children
back their toys.

"But most of the Indians were afraid of the electrical current which
felt like needles, and I could not get many of them to come back after
they had once tried it. So I made no money.

"Tom ran away, and then I stole Eagle Feather's horse. I thought maybe
if I could sell the horse and get money enough to get a new machine that
did not sting so hard, I could make money enough to buy the horse back.

"But everything went against me, and now I have nothing left. I am sorry
I had to rip your Teddy bear apart, little girl, to get the wires on the
batteries. And as for your cars, little boy, I hid them in farms and
various places. I don't know where they are now, but the engine is all
right and in running order."

He quickly loosened the wires, and the toy locomotive ran around the
table on part of the stolen track.

"But my poor dear Sallie Malinda is dead!" cried Sue.

"No, I can sew her together again, if the batteries are all right," said
Mrs. Brown.

"And the batteries are all right," said the hermit, who had heard what
was said. "See, I'll make the eyes shine!"

He quickly did something to the wires and again the eyes of Sue's Teddy
bear shone out bravely.

"I realize how wrong I was to take the children's things," went on the
hermit, "but I knew no other way to get the batteries I needed. I only
had my cow to sell, and I dared not part with her, for she gave me milk
to live on. All the while I kept hoping my luck would be better.

"When Tom ran away I did not know what to do. I did not imagine the
little electricity I gave him would hurt him. A few of the Indians
seemed to like it."

"Yes, me hear um talk of heap big medicine that sting like bees," said
Eagle Feather. "But me no think hermit did it, what has my horse."

"I'm sorry I took it," said Bixby. "I'll give up my cow to pay for all I
took. Then I'll go away."

"Wait a minute," said Mr. Brown. "We'll decide about that later. You
have done some wrong things, but you have tried to do what was right.
We'll try to find a way out of your troubles. Stay here for a few days."

Bunny Brown and his Sister Sue took with them that night their toys so
strangely found, and in a few days the playthings were as good as ever,
for Mrs. Brown sewed up the ripped Teddy bear and Bunny had some new
cars for his electric engine. The track the hermit had kept, so
that was all right.

"Does electricity feel like pins and needles?" asked Bunny Brown one
day.

"I'll show you," said his father, and he did by a little battery which
he owned. This was after their return from camp.

"Is it like needles, or your foot being asleep," said Bunny.

But before this Mr. Brown had talked with some of his neighbors, and
they decided to give the hermit another chance. Tom would go back to
work for him on condition that no more electricity be used. The hermit
had a good garden and he could sell things from that. Eagle Feather was
given back his horse, and Mr. Bixby was not arrested for taking it. And
the mystery of the electrical toys being solved, life at Camp
Rest-a-While went on as before for a time.

Bunny and his sister had fine times, and once in a while Tom had a day's
vacation, and came over to see them.

"But I s'pose we can't stay here forever," said Bunny to Sue, one day.
"I wonder where we'll go next?"

"I heard father and mother talking something about a trip," said Sue.

And what that journey was may be learned by reading the next volume of
this series to be called: "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on an Auto
Tour."

"Say, we ought to have some fun on that!" cried Bunny.

"So we ought!" cried Sue. "I'm going to take my fixed-over Sallie
Malinda."

"Well, I'll take my flashlight instead of my locomotive and cars," said
Bunny. "We may have to travel at night."

And while the two children are thus planning good times together we will
say good-bye to them.


=THE END=



THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS


For Little Men and Women

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Bunny Brown" Series, Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

=12mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING.=

       *       *       *       *       *

Copyright publications which cannot be obtained elsewhere. Books that
charm the hearts of the little ones, and of which they never tire. Many
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THE BOBBSEY TWINS

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THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL

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THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE

          Telling of the winter holidays, and of the many
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THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT

          Mr. Bobbsey obtains a houseboat, and the whole
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THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK

          The young folks visit the farm again and have
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THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME

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=GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK=



THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL

HIGH SERIES

By GERTRUDE W. MORRISON

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Here is a series full of the spirit of high school life of to-day. The
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Or Rivals for all Honors.

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Or The Crew That Won.

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THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON THE STAGE
Or The Play That Took the Prize.

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Or The Girl Champions of the School League.

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THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH IN CAMP
Or The Old Professor's Secret.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK=



THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS

SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Bobbsey Twins Series."

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=12mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING.=

       *       *       *       *       *

The adventures of Ruth and Alice DeVere. Their father, a widower, is an
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THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS
Or First Appearance in Photo Dramas.

         Having lost his voice, the father of the girls goes
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THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT OAK FARM
Or Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays.

         Full of fun in the country, the haps and mishaps of
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THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS SNOWBOUND
Or The Proof on the Film.

         A title of winter adventures in the wilderness,
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Or Lost in the Wilds of Florida.

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=GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK=



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By VICTOR APPLETON

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=12mo. CLOTH. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING. COLORED WRAPPERS.=

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These spirited tales convey in a realistic way the wonderful advances in
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            Or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure

          TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT
            Or The Speediest Car on the Road

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            Or The Castaways of Earthquake Island

          TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS
            Or The Secret of Phantom Mountain

          TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE
            Or The Wreck of the Airship

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            Or The Quickest Flight on Record

          TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE
            Or Daring Adventures in Elephant Land

          TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD
            Or Marvellous Adventures Underground

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            Or Seeking the Platinum Treasure

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            Or A Daring Escape by Airship

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            Or The Perils of Moving Picture Taking

          TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT
            Or On the Border for Uncle Sam

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            Or The Longest Shots on Record

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            Or The Naval Terror of the Seas

          TOM SWIFT AND HIS BIG TUNNEL
            Or The Hidden City of the Andes

       *       *       *       *       *

=GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK=

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation normalized.

On page 168, "Slash" changed to "Splash."

On page 188, "At is" changed to "As it."





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