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´╗┐Title: Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store
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 Keeping Store" ***

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BUNNY BROWN
AND HIS SISTER SUE
KEEPING STORE

BY
LAURA LEE HOPE

 AUTHOR OF
 THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES, THE BOBBSEY
 TWINS SERIES, THE SIX LITTLE
 BUNKERS SERIES, MAKE
 BELIEVE STORIES,
 ETC.

 ILLUSTRATED BY
 WALTER S. ROGERS

 NEW YORK
 GROSSET & DUNLAP
 PUBLISHERS

 Made in the United States of America



BOOKS

BY LAURA LEE HOPE

12mo. Cloth. Illustrated.


=THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES=

          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A SHOW
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRISTMAS TREE COVE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE SUNNY SOUTH
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE KEEPING STORE


=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 BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN WASHINGTON
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CEDAR CAMP
          THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE COUNTY FAIR


=THE SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES=

          (Eight Titles)


=MAKE BELIEVE STORIES=

          (Ten Titles)


=OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES=

          (Twelve Titles)

  =GROSSET & DUNLAP=
  PUBLISHERS      NEW YORK



  Copyright, 1922, by
  GROSSET & DUNLAP
  Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store

[Illustration: BUNNY GOT THE BOX OF BAKING POWDER.
  _Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store.
  Frontispiece_--(_Page_ 49)]



CONTENTS

          CHAPTER                          PAGE
              I A GRAND CRASH                1
             II FEEDING THE ALLIGATORS      14
            III SOMETHING IN A DESK         24
             IV THE CORNER STORE            34
              V A NEW PUPIL                 44
             VI A BUSY BUZZER               53
            VII THE BARN STORE              65
           VIII IN A HOLE                   75
             IX UP A LADDER                 87
              X THE LEGACY                  96
             XI THE LAST DAY               108
            XII WATERING THE GARDEN        117
           XIII HELPING MRS. GOLDEN        129
            XIV THE CROSS MAN              138
             XV THE BROKEN WINDOW          147
            XVI LITTLE STOREKEEPERS        161
           XVII TWO LETTERS                169
          XVIII BUNNY HAS AN IDEA          178
            XIX THE WINDOW DISPLAY         184
             XX IN THE FLOUR BARREL        194
            XXI SUE COULDN'T STOP IT       205
           XXII A SHOWER OF BOXES          214
          XXIII THE PONY EXPRESS           222
           XXIV BAD NEWS                   233
            XXV GOOD NEWS                  242



BUNNY BROWN
AND HIS SISTER SUE
KEEPING STORE



CHAPTER I

A GRAND CRASH


Patter, patter, patter came the rain drops, not only on the roof, but
all over, out of doors, splashing here and there, making little
fountains in every mud puddle.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue stood with their faces pressed against
the windows, looking out into the summer storm.

"I can make my nose flatter'n you can!" suddenly exclaimed Bunny.

"Oh, you cannot!" disputed Sue. "Look at mine!"

She thrust her nose against the pane of glass so hard that it almost
cracked--I mean the glass nearly cracked.

"Look at that, Bunny Brown!" exclaimed Sue. "Isn't my nose flatter'n
yours? Look at it!"

"How can I look at your nose when I'm looking at mine?" asked Bunny.

He, too, had pushed his nose against the glass of his window, the
children standing in the dining room where two large windows gave them a
good view of things outside.

"You must look at my nose to see if it's flatter'n yours!" insisted Sue.
"Else how you going to know who beats?"

"Well, I can make mine a flatter nose than yours!" declared Bunny. "You
look at mine first and then I'll look at yours."

This seemed a fair way of playing the game, Sue thought. She left her
window and went over to her brother's side. The rain seemed to come down
harder than ever. If the children had any idea of being allowed to go
out and play in it, even with rubber boots and rain coats, they had
about given up that plan. Mrs. Brown had been begged, more than once, to
let Bunny and Sue go out, but she had shaken her head with a gentle
smile. And when their mother smiled that way the children knew she
meant what she said.

"Now, go ahead, Bunny Brown!" called Sue. "Let's see you make a flat
nose!"

Bunny drew his face back from the window. His little nose was quite
white where he had pressed it--white because he had kept nearly all the
blood from flowing into it. But soon his little "smeller," as sometimes
Bunny's father called his nose, began to get red again. Bunny began to
rub it.

"What you doing?" Sue wanted to know, thinking her brother might not be
playing fair in this little game.

"I'm rubbing my nose," Bunny answered.

"Yes, I know. But what for?"

"'Cause it's cold. If I'm going to make my nose flatter'n yours I have
to warm it a little. The glass is cold!"

"Yes, it is a little cold," agreed Sue. "Well, go ahead now; let's see
you flat your nose!"

Bunny took a long breath. He then pressed his nose so hard against the
glass that tears came into his eyes. But he didn't want Sue to see
them. And he wouldn't admit that he was crying, which he really wasn't
doing.

"Look at me now! Look at me!" cried Bunny, talking as though he had a
very bad cold in his head.

Sue took a look.

"Yes, it is flat!" she agreed. "But I can flatter mine more'n that! You
watch me!"

Sue ran to her window. She made up her mind to beat her brother at this
game. Closing her teeth firmly, as she always did when she was going to
jump rope more times than some other girl, Sue fairly banged her nose
against the window pane.

Her little nose certainly flattened out, but whether more so than
Bunny's was never discovered. For Sue banged herself harder than she had
meant to, and a moment later she gave a cry of pain, turned away from
the window, and burst into tears.

"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Brown, hurrying in from the next room:
"Who's hurt?"

Sue was crying so hard that she could not answer, and Bunny was too
surprised to say anything for the moment. Mrs. Brown looked at the two
children. She saw Sue holding her nose in one hand, while Bunny's nose
was turning from white to red as the blood came back into it.

"Have you children been bumping noses again?" she asked. This was a game
Bunny and Sue sometimes played, though they had been told not to.

"No, Mother; we weren't 'zactly banging noses," explained Bunny. "We
were just seeing who could make the flattest one on the window, and Sue
bumped her nose too hard. I didn't do anything!"

"No, it--it wasn't Bun--Bunny's fault!" sobbed Sue. "I did it myself! I
was trying to--to flatter my nose more'n his!"

"You shouldn't play such games," said Mother Brown. "I'm sorry, Sue! Let
me see! Is your nose bleeding?" and she gently took the little girl's
hand down.

"Is--is--it?" asked Sue herself, stopping her sobs long enough to find
out if anything more than a bump had taken place.

"No, it isn't bleeding," said Mrs. Brown. "Now be good children. You
can't go out in the rain, so don't ask it. Play something else, can't
you?"

"Could we play store?" asked Bunny, with a sudden idea. It was not
altogether new, as often before, on other rainy days, he and Sue had
done this.

"Oh, yes, let's keep store!" cried Sue, forgetting all about her bumped
nose.

"That will be nice," said Mother Brown. "Tell Mary to let you have some
things with which to play store. You may play in the kitchen, as Mary is
working upstairs now."

"Oh, now we'll have fun!" cried Sue, clapping her hands.

"Could we have Splash in?" asked Bunny.

"The dog? Why do you want him?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"We could tie a basket around his neck," explained Bunny, "and he could
be the grocery delivery dog!"

"Oh, yes!" laughed Sue.

"No," said Mother Brown, with a gentle shake of her head, "you can't
have Splash in now. He has been splashing through mud puddles and he'd
soil the clean kitchen floor. Play store without Splash."

There was one nice thing about Bunny Brown and his sister Sue. If they
couldn't have one thing they did very well with something else. So now
Bunny said:

"Oh, all right! We can take turns sending the things out ourselves,
Sue."

"Yes, and we'll take turns tending store," added Sue. "'Cause I don't
want to be doing the buying all the while."

"Yes, we'll take turns," agreed Bunny.

Soon the children were in the kitchen, keeping store with different
things from the pantry that Mary, the cook, gave them to play with.
Unopened boxes of cinnamon, cloves and other spices; some cakes of soap
in their wrappers just as they had come from the real store, a few nuts,
some coffee beans, other beans, dried peas and a bunch of vegetables
made up most of the things with which the children played. After they
had finished their fun everything could be put back in the pantry.

Bunny tore some old newspapers into squares to use in wrapping the
"groceries." Mary also gave the children bits of string for tying
bundles.

The store counter was the ironing board placed across the seats of two
chairs in front of a table, and on the table back of this ironing board
counter the different things to sell were placed.

"What are we going to do for money?" asked Bunny, when the "store" was
almost ready to open.

"I'll give you some buttons," said his mother.

Bunny was given a handful of flat buttons of different sizes and colors
to use for change. He placed them in his cash box. Sue also had other
buttons to use as money in buying groceries.

"Now we're all ready to play," said Bunny, looking over the store. "You
must come and buy something, Sue."

"Yes. And then I want to keep store," said the little girl.

"All right," her brother agreed.

Bunny took his place behind the counter and waited. Sue went out into
the hall, paused a moment, and then, with a little basket over her arm,
came walking in, as much like a grown-up lady as she could manage.

"Good morning, Mrs. Snifkins!" exclaimed Bunny. He always called Sue
"Mrs. Snifkins" when they kept store.

"Oh, good morning, Mr. Huntley," Sue replied. She always called her
brother "Mr. Huntley," when they kept store. Perhaps this was because he
used to pretend to hunt for things on the make-believe shelves.

"What can I do for you this morning, Mrs. Snifkins?" asked Bunny,
rubbing his hands as he had seen Mr. Gordon, the real grocer, do.

"I want some prunes, some coffee, some eggs, some sugar, some salt, some
butter, some----" ordered Sue all in one breath.

"Stop! Stop! Wait a minute!" cried Bunny. "I can't remember all that!
Now what did you say first?"

"Prunes," replied Sue.

There were some real prunes among the things the children were playing
store with, and Bunny wrapped a few of these in a paper.

"Now some sugar," Sue ordered.

As real sugar was rather messy if it spilled on the floor, Bunny had
some bird gravel, which was almost as good, and he pretended to weigh
some of this out on an old castor that was the make-believe scales. Some
real coffee beans were also wrapped up for Sue, and then for eggs Bunny
used empty thread spools.

"Will that be all to-day, Mrs. Snifkins?" asked Grocer Huntley, when Sue
had put the things in her basket.

"Yes, that's all," Sue answered, placing two large black buttons on the
ironing board counter and getting back in change a small white button.

Sue went out with her "groceries," and soon came back for more. After
her third trip, by which time she had bought nearly everything in the
store, she said:

"Now I want to be storekeeper."

"All right," agreed Bunny.

Sue brought back the things she had pretended to buy, they were put on
the shelves again, and Bunny became a purchaser while Sue waited on
him.

Outside it still rained hard, as Bunny saw when he looked from the
window. But it was fun in the house, keeping store. The children kept on
taking turns, first one being the keeper of the store and then the
other, until Bunny suddenly had a new idea.

"Oh, I know what we can do!" cried the little boy.

"What?" asked Sue.

"We'll play hardware store," Bunny said. "I'm tired of having a grocery.
We'll keep hammers and nails and things like that."

"I think a grocery is more fun," said Sue.

"Nope! A hardware store is better," Bunny insisted. "I'll sell you
washboilers, basins, tin pans and things like that, and knives and
forks. We can have ever so many more of those things than we can have
groceries."

"Well, maybe we can," Sue agreed, doubtfully.

"I'll make a high-up shelf, like those in the hardware store down
town," went on Bunny. "I'll have things high up on the shelf, and I'll
climb up on a ladder to get 'em, as they do down town."

"What you going to climb up on?" Sue asked.

"The stepladder."

"What you going to make a high shelf of?" Sue inquired.

"There's another ironing board down in the laundry," Bunny answered.
"And I can get the washboiler and a lot of things. I'll put the other
ironing board away up there, across the top of the two doors."

"That'll be awful high," said Sue, looking to where Bunny pointed. The
pantry door and the one leading from the kitchen into the hall were
close together on one side of the room. By opening these doors half way
a board could be placed across their tops, making a high shelf. This was
soon done, and on this shelf the big tin washboiler was placed, and also
some tin pans from the pantry. Bunny climbed up on the stepladder to put
the shelf and things in place.

Other articles for a hardware play-store were placed on the lower
ironing board shelf, and then Bunny was ready for "Mrs. Snifkins" to
come again. Sue had her button money all ready, the store was in order,
and new fun was about to begin, when Mary, coming suddenly in from the
hall and not knowing what the children were doing, pushed wider open the
hall door.

Instantly there was a grand crash! Down came the upper shelf from the
tops of the doors. Down came the washboiler and a lot of tin pans. My,
what a racket there was!

And, worst of all, Bunny Brown himself was hidden from sight in that
mess of ironing board, washboiler, and other things!

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried Sister Sue, dropping her basket and her button
money, which rolled all over the floor. "Oh, dear!"

"Bless and save us!" cried Mary, the cook. "What has happened?"

Bunny Brown said nothing.



CHAPTER II

FEEDING THE ALLIGATORS


Mrs. Brown came hurrying into the kitchen from the living room.

"What has happened?" she asked. "What was that crash?"

It needed only one look to show her what had happened and what had
caused the rattling, banging, crashing sound. On the floor, over and
around the two chairs and the large ironing board, were the smaller
board, the stepladder, the washboiler, two hammers, a lot of nails, many
bread, cake, and pie pans, and some knives and forks.

"Where's Bunny?" asked Mrs. Brown.

Well might she ask that, for Sue's brother was not in sight, nor had he
uttered a word since the accident.

"He--he's under there I--I guess," faltered Sue. She was not quite sure
where Bunny had gone when that terrible crash came.

"Yes, I see his legs! I'll pull him out, Ma'am," offered Mary. "Oh, I
hope nothing has happened to him!"

Mrs. Brown hurried to assist Mary in digging Bunny from under the
wreckage of his hardware store. And while they are doing that I will beg
a moment's time from those of you who have never before read any of
these books, to tell you something of the two children who are to have
some queer adventures in this present volume.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue are well known to many of you children.
Bunny and his sister lived with their father and mother, Mr. and Mrs.
Walter Brown, in the town of Bellemere, on Sandport Bay, near the ocean.
Mr. Brown kept a boat and fish dock, and one of his helpers was Bunker
Blue, a young man who was very fond of Bunny and Sue.

In the Brown home were also Uncle Tad, who was Mr. Brown's relative, and
Mary, the good-natured cook. There was also Splash, a big dog. And I
might mention Toby, a Shetland pony. There were other pets to whom I
will introduce you from time to time. Toby had been away from the Brown
children for a while, but was now back again.

In the village were many friends of Bunny and Sue. Mrs. Redden, who kept
a candy store, was a very special sort of friend, and she gave the
biggest penny's worth of sweets for miles around. Mr. Gordon, as I have
told you, kept a real grocery store, and then there was Mr. Jed Winkler,
an old sailor who owned a parrot and a monkey named Wango. Mr. Winkler's
sister, Miss Euphemia, did not like either Polly or Wango.

Charlie Star, George Watson, Mary Watson, Sadie West, Helen Newton,
Harry Bentley, and fat Bobbie Boomer were all friends of the Brown
children.

Now that you know the names of most of the characters who are to appear
in this book, I might mention some of the other volumes. The first one
was called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue," and told of their
adventures around home. Then they went to Grandpa's farm, they played
circus, they visited Aunt Lu in her city home, they went to "Camp
Rest-a-While," and then they went to the Big Woods. After that they had
exciting adventures on an auto tour, and you can imagine what joy was
theirs when they were given a Shetland pony, that was named Toby.

Bunny Brown and his sister were always thinking up new ideas, and when
they wanted to give a show few doubted but what they would succeed. They
did, and made a goodly sum for a home for the blind. One of the trips
the Browns made was to Christmas Tree Cove, and in the book of that name
you will find their adventures set forth. They also made a winter trip
to the South, and they had not long been back from that when the things
happened that I have just told you about--the grand crash in the
make-believe hardware store.

With the help of Mary and Mrs. Brown, Bunny was pulled from beneath the
wreckage. At first the little boy could hardly speak, and his mother, no
less than Mary and Sue, was beginning to get frightened. But suddenly
with a gasp Bunny found his voice, and his first question was:

"Did you get hurt, Sue?"

"No," she answered. "But I guess you did."

"Only a little crack on the head," Bunny replied, rubbing the place that
hurt. "But who knocked down my high shelf? Did Splash get in and wag his
tail?"

Sometimes the big dog did this with funny results.

"I guess I knocked down your shelf, Bunny," said Mary. "I'm sorry, but I
didn't know you had a board on top of the doors."

"Did you have that, Bunny?" asked his mother.

"Yes'm, I--I guess I did," Bunny had to admit. "It was a high shelf for
our hardware store. I had the washboiler up there!"

"No wonder there was a crash!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "It's a wonder you
weren't hurt!"

"I guess the big ironing board fell on the stepladder first, and stayed
there, and the rest of the things didn't hit Bunny because he was under
the board," explained Mary.

And that is about how it happened. Bunny was under a sort of arch formed
by the stepladder and the two ironing boards, and so was saved from
being hit on the head by the heavy things. One of the overturned chairs,
however, had struck him in the stomach, and this had rather knocked his
breath out, which made him unable to talk for a little while.

"Well, I'm glad it was no worse than this," said Mrs. Brown. "Mercy
sakes, though, the kitchen is a sight!"

"I don't mind! I'll clean it up," offered good-natured Mary. "The
children have to play something in the house when it rains out of
doors."

"Yes," agreed Mrs. Brown. "But they could have kept on playing grocery
store. They didn't need to make a high shelf and put the big washboiler
up on it to fall down when the door was moved the least bit!"

"I did that," confessed Bunny, anxious that Sue should not be blamed for
what was not her fault. "I didn't know anybody would push the door."

"Well, it's a mercy it was no worse," remarked his mother. "And now,
after you have helped Mary pick up the things, go on with your playing.
Can't you play grocery instead of hardware store, Bunny, my dear?"

"Oh, hardware store is nicer, and we have all the things now," Bunny
replied. "But I won't make any more high shelves."

The washboiler, the pans, and the scattered knives and forks were picked
up, and then Bunny and Sue went on playing, using only the low ironing
board shelf, which was made over the seats of two chairs. They took
turns keeping store and doing the buying, and had a great deal of fun.

But even making believe keep a hardware store gets tiresome after a
while, especially if there are only two playing, and after a while Bunny
Brown and his sister Sue wanted something else to interest them.

"'Tisn't raining quite so hard now," Sue observed, after a look from the
window.

"That's right!" cried Bunny. "Oh, say! Maybe we can go out in the barn
and feed our alligators!"

"That'll be fun," agreed Sue. "And I guess they're hungry; don't you,
Bunny?"

"Yes, I guess so. Let's go ask mother if we can feed 'em."

"I know she'll say yes, so I'll get some scraps of meat from Mary," said
Sue.

As the rain was slackening and as Mrs. Brown knew that the alligators
might need food, she told the children they could go out to the barn if
they put on their rubber boots and coats.

"Aren't you afraid the alligators will bite you?" asked Mary, as she cut
up some bits of meat for the children.

"Course not; we aren't afraid!" boasted Bunny. "They're only little
alligators, and they're real tame."

One of the long-tailed, scaly pets given to the children by Mr. Bunn had
been brought from the South where the Browns spent part of the winter,
and later Mr. Brown had gotten some others. The alligators were kept in
a tank of water in the barn. Bunny and Sue wanted the alligators kept in
the house, but Mrs. Brown insisted that the barn was the place for pets
of that sort.

Out into the rain storm, which was now almost over, went Bunny Brown and
his sister Sue to feed the alligators. There were three or four of the
scaly creatures, and as the children drew near the tank the alligators
came crawling out of the water up on some bits of wood and stone that
made a resting place for them. For alligators cannot stay under water
all the while, as can a fish. They must come out every now and then to
get air.

"Oh, look at Judy!" cried Sue, dangling a piece of meat in front of the
nose of one of the queer pets. "She's awful hungry!"

"And so is Jim!" said Bunny, feeding another of the creatures. They
lifted up their long snouts, opened their mouths, and took in the pieces
of meat.

"Where's Jumbo?" suddenly asked Sue. "I don't see him!"

"Maybe he got out!" said Bunny, for the largest of the pet alligators
was not in sight. Not that Jumbo was very large, for though he was the
biggest in the tank he was not more than ten inches long.

"Oh, here he comes!" cried Sue, as Jumbo swam up from the bottom of the
tank. "I guess he was asleep."

"I guess so," agreed her brother. "Here, Jumbo!" he went on. "Here's
some meat for you!"

"Jumbo's getting real big," said Sue, as she watched the largest of the
pets.

"And Judy is growing," added Bunny. "I wish we had had these 'gators
when we gave our show."

"Yes," agreed his sister. "Well, maybe we can have another show. Or we
could put the alligators in a store the next time we play."

"Yes," said Bunny. "Only maybe you couldn't wrap up a 'gator in a piece
of paper. He might bite his way out."

"That's so," said Sue. "Well, we could----"

But she did not finish what she was saying, for a loud barking suddenly
sounded outside the barn. At this noise Bunny and Sue started on a run
for the door.



CHAPTER III

SOMETHING IN A DESK


Splash, the dog, was barking loudly at something up in a tree near the
barn. Bunny and Sue could not see what it was, but it was something that
had caused Splash to get very much excited. He leaped up and down and
ran in circles about the tree, barking loudly all the while.

"It's a cat!" exclaimed Sue.

"Can't be a cat," Bunny answered. "Splash likes all the cats around
here."

"Maybe it's a strange cat," went on Sue.

"That's so," agreed Bunny Brown. "Here, Splash!" he called. "What you
barking at a cat for?"

The only answer the dog made was to bark again.

Bunny and his sister, forgetting all about their pet alligators, ran to
the foot of the tree, up in which was something that had caused Splash
to cease his play in another part of the yard and run toward the barn.
The rain had now stopped, and the sun was getting ready to shine.

"What is it, Splash? What is it?" asked Bunny, trying to peer up among
the leaves of the tree.

"I see it!" suddenly cried Sue. "It's Wango, Mr. Winkler's pet monkey!"

"Oh, yes! I see it now!" called Bunny. "Here, Splash! Stop barking at
Wango!" ordered the little boy. "Don't you know he's a friend of yours?
Stop it, Splash!"

Splash finally ceased barking and sat down to look eagerly up into the
tree. He would not have hurt the monkey, for the two animals were good
friends. I suppose Splash had seen the monkey leaping from the branches
of one tree into another, and, not realizing that it was his friend
Wango, had given chase. Wango was a bit frightened at first, even by the
barking of his dog friend Splash, and had taken refuge in the tree near
the barn.

"Come on down, Wango! Come on down!" invited Bunny.

"Yes, please do," added Sue. "We won't let Splash hurt you. Don't you
bark any more, Splash!" she cried, shaking her finger at the dog.

Splash whined. He really only meant to have a little fun with Wango. But
the monkey did not come down. He clung to the tree branch with his hands
and tail and looked at the children, whom he well knew, for they were
kind to him.

"I know how to get him down," said Bunny. "You go into the house and get
a piece of cake for him, Sue. Take Splash with you. Then Wango won't be
afraid."

"All right," agreed the little girl. She was always ready to run errands
like this when she and Bunny could have fun. "Come on, Splash!" she
called, and the dog followed her, looking back once at Bunny, as if to
ask why the boy, too, was not following. But Bunny stayed near the tree
in which Wango still clung.

"Mother," cried Sue, tramping into the house in her rubber boots,
"please may Bunny and I have some cake for Wango?"

"You can't go over to Mr. Winkler's in the rain," said Mrs. Brown.
"You'd better stay out in the barn and feed your pet alligators."

"Oh, but the rain is over," Sue explained. "The sun is coming out. And
Wango isn't over at his own home. He's up in one of our trees. Splash
chased him up there, I guess, and barked at him. And he won't come
down--I mean Wango won't. And will you please keep him in here till I
take him out some cake. I mean," explained Sue, half out of breath, "you
please keep Splash here in the house while I take some cake out to Bunny
to feed Wango to get him down from the tree."

"My, what a lot of talk for a little girl!" laughed Mrs. Brown. "Well, I
suppose Wango has run away again from Jed. You and Bunny may take the
monkey back. Ask Mary to give you a bit of cake. I'll keep Splash in the
house."

Sue got the cake, but it was rather difficult for Mrs. Brown to keep the
dog in. He was eager to follow Sue back to the tree again. But it would
be hard work to get Wango down, once the monkey was frightened, if
Splash kept on barking, which he was pretty sure to do. He even barked
loudly, Splash did, while he was being held in the house by Mrs. Brown.

Sue ran out with the cake to Bunny, who was waiting beneath the tree.

"Is Wango there yet?" the little girl wanted to know.

"Yes," Bunny answered. "But he's coming down a little."

And the monkey came down still farther when he saw the cake, of which he
was very fond. He was soon perched on Bunny's shoulder, eating the
treat, Sue feeding him little pieces one at a time.

"Let's take him back to Mr. Winkler's house," suggested Bunny, as the
sun now came out bright and warm. "I guess the sailor will be looking
for him."

"Yes, I guess so," agreed Sue.

Wango had a great habit of running away from his master's home, and,
more than once, Bunny Brown and his sister Sue had taken back the
sailor's pet. This they now did again, and as they knocked at the side
door, Miss Winkler opened it.

"Here's your monkey back," said Bunny, after the first greetings.

"Huh! 'Tisn't _my_ monkey!" declared Miss Winkler. "It's Jed's! I
shouldn't ever worry if it never came home! Still, that isn't saying
it's your fault, Bunny and Sue. I know you mean to be kind, and Jed will
thank you, even if I don't. Wango, you rascal, why don't you stay away
when you run off? I don't want you around! What with the poll
parrot----"

"Polly wants a cracker! Polly wants a cracker!" shrieked the green bird.

"A fire cracker's what you ought to have!" sniffed Miss Winkler, who did
not like the two pets her sailor brother had brought back with him from
one of his voyages.

"Cracker! Cracker! Put the kettle on the fire! Polly wants a cracker!"
yelled the bird, and Wango began to chatter, the two of them making such
a racket that Miss Winkler held her hands over her ears while Bunny and
Sue could not help laughing.

"Stop it! Stop it!" yelled the maiden lady, and finally the monkey and
the parrot grew quiet.

"Put Wango in his cage, Sue, if you please," said Miss Winkler. "And
I'll tell Jed, when he comes home, how good you were to bring Wango
back--not that I want the creature, though. Well, it's cleared off, I'm
glad to see. And now maybe you two will have a piece of cake for
yourselves. I won't give Wango any, though!"

"Yes'm, I could eat a bit," said Bunny, with a smile.

"I like it, too," added Sue.

The children were soon having a lunch of cake and milk. Though Miss
Winkler was a bit fussy over her brother's pets, yet she had a good
heart, and she liked Bunny and Sue.

Through the little mud puddles, left after the rain, Bunny and Sue
splashed their way back home. Their mother saw them coming, and, as
Splash was making a great fuss at being kept in the house, she let the
dog out. He ran to meet the children.

"What'll we do now?" asked Bunny, when they had told their mother about
taking Wango home.

"Let's go down and wade in the brook," proposed Sue. "We have our boots
on, and we won't have 'em on to-morrow. We'll have to go to school then,
anyhow. So let's go wade in the brook now."

"All right!" agreed Bunny. "And we'll sail boats!"

With their dog, the children were soon splashing in the shallow brook,
made a bit higher on account of the rain. They found some boards and
made a raft, on which they pushed themselves about the wider part of the
brook. Splash climbed on the raft with them, and the children pretended
they were Robinson Crusoe on a voyage.

"Well, we had a lot of fun to-day," sighed Bunny in contentment, as he
and Sue were going to bed that night. "Lots of fun!"

"Yes," agreed his sister. "And to-morrow we have to go to school."

"Oh, well," Bunny remarked, "maybe we'll have fun there." The children
had been kept at home on account of the heavy rain.

"We won't have any fun like the hardware store shelf falling down on
you," laughed Sue, as she remembered the queer accident.

"No, I don't want anything like that," said Bunny. "Once is enough."

Early the next morning the children were ready for school. But, almost
at the last minute, Bunny could not find his large pencil box.

"Where did you have it last?" his mother asked him.

"Oh, I remember! I saw it in the barn!" exclaimed Sue.

"That's right--we were playing school there day before yesterday," said
Bunny. "I'll get it!"

He ran to the barn, got the pencil box, thrust it into his bag with his
books, and trotted along with Sue.

Having to hunt for his pencil box at almost the last moment nearly made
Bunny and Sue late for school. But they slipped into their seats just as
the last bell was ringing. After the morning exercises, Bunny placed his
pencil box and the books he did not need to use right away in his desk
and went to his reading class.

It was when Bunny was doing his turn at reading up near the front
platform that Sadie West, who sat in the seat next to Bunny, gave a
sudden little cry.

"What is the matter, Sadie?" asked Miss Bradley, the teacher.

"Oh! Oh, if you please, Teacher, there's something in Bunny Brown's desk
making faces at me!" exclaimed Sadie.

"Something making faces at you? What do you mean, Sadie?" asked Miss
Bradley in surprise. "What is it?"

"It--it's a--a mouse!" cried the little girl.

"A mouse?" repeated the teacher.

"Yes'm! A mouse in Bunny Brown's desk!" and Sadie screamed.

At this some of the other children screamed, and there was much noise
and confusion in the schoolroom.



CHAPTER IV

THE CORNER STORE


"Quiet, children! Quiet!" ordered Miss Bradley. "This is school, not the
playground at recess. Now, Sadie," she went on, as soon as there was a
little quiet in the room, "tell me again, and be careful what you say.
What did you see?"

"Please, teacher, I saw a mouse in Bunny Brown's desk, and he made a
face at me. I mean the mouse made a face at me--not Bunny!" Sadie made
haste to explain, for she saw Bunny look at her when she made the
statement about his desk and the mouse.

Sadie had left her seat beside Bunny's desk, and was now up front.

"How many other girls saw the mouse in Bunny's desk?" asked Miss
Bradley.

No one answered.

"Raise your hands if you are afraid to speak," said the teacher, with a
smile. She was beginning to believe that Sadie had imagined it all, or
else that an edge of a book had looked like a mouse.

None of the girls raised her hands except Sadie West.

"Did any boy see the mouse?" Miss Bradley next asked.

"No, but I wish I had!" exclaimed Charlie Star. "If I'd see it I'd grab
it!"

The other pupils giggled on hearing this.

"Quiet, children! Quiet!" begged the teacher again.

"Are you sure, Sadie, that you saw a mouse in Bunny Brown's desk?" asked
Miss Bradley.

"Yes'm, I'm sure I did," was the answer.

"Bunny, did you bring a mouse to school?" Miss Bradley next asked. "I
mean a pet mouse, for I know you and Sue have many pets. Did you bring a
mouse to school, Bunny?"

"Oh, no, Teacher! I wouldn't do such a thing!" Bunny declared very
earnestly.

"I didn't believe you would," said Miss Bradley, with a kind smile. "I
think Sadie must be mistaken. But still, to quiet her--and all of you,"
she added, looking at the pupils, "I will look in Bunny's desk. I am
quite sure I will find nothing more than a book or a piece of paper that
may have moved, making Sadie think it was a mouse."

Miss Bradley went to Bunny's desk. All the desks in the room were of the
sort with a lid that raised up and down on hinges, like the cover of a
box. As Miss Bradley came near Bunny's desk she noticed that the top was
raised a little way, leaving a crack of an opening. Bunny had put one of
his books in hurriedly, and the desk lid rested on this.

As the teacher raised the desk lid and looked in, the room was very
quiet. Some of the girls almost held their breaths. One of them covered
her eyes with her hands, lest she might, by accident, see the mouse.

Sadie West leaned forward eagerly, anxious, in a way, that a mouse
should be found, for that would make her story true, and she was sure,
in her own mind, that she had seen a mouse. Bunny, too, looked eagerly
at Miss Bradley, and so did Sue, from the other side of the room.

"Grab a book, everybody!" said Charlie Star in a hoarse whisper to the
other boys. "Grab a book, and if the mouse runs out we'll bang him!"

Charlie was an active little chap, almost as lively as Bunny Brown
himself.

Miss Bradley heard what Charlie said and, with the desk lid half raised,
she said:

"No, boys! No throwing of books, if you please! Should there be a mouse
in the desk I can call the janitor to get it out."

"Oh, let me get it out!" begged Bunny.

There was no time to say more, for now Miss Bradley had Bunny's desk lid
fully raised. She looked inside for a moment, then with a queer look on
her face she closed the desk again and moved away.

"Did you see it, Teacher? Did you see the little mouse--same as I did?"
eagerly asked Sadie.

"No," answered Miss Bradley. "There isn't a mouse in the desk, but there
is a little alligator!"

"Alligator!" cried the girls--that is, all but Sue.

"Alligator!" shouted the boys.

"Let's see it!" cried Charlie Star.

"Quiet, children! Quiet!" ordered Miss Bradley. Then, turning to Bunny
she asked: "Did you bring that little alligator to school?"

"No'm," Bunny answered.

"Is it yours?" went on Miss Bradley.

"Well, I have some pet alligators home," Bunny admitted. "Half of 'em's
Sue's. We got one of 'em down South, and Daddy bought the rest. But I
didn't bring any to school. If you let me look I can tell if it's mine
or Sue's."

"I'll help!" offered Charlie Star. "I know Bunny's alligators, too!"

"No, let Bunny manage his own pets," said the teacher. "Come here,
Bunny, and see what really is in your desk. I can't understand how an
alligator would get in there if you didn't bring it."

Bunny opened his desk cover, the other boys wishing they had his chance
to "show off" this way right in the school room. Bunny looked inside and
then laughed.

"Yes," he said, "it's Judy, the littlest alligator. She won't hurt
anybody."

"But how did it get to school?" asked Miss Bradley.

"It's in my big pencil box," Bunny answered. "I brought my pencil box to
school this morning, but I didn't open it and----"

"Teacher! Teacher! I know!" exclaimed Sue, raising her hand to show that
she had something to tell.

"Well, how did it happen?" asked Miss Bradley.

"If you please, Teacher," said the little girl, "Bunny's pencil box was
out in the barn where we keep the alligators. He left it there when we
played school the other day. This morning Bunny couldn't find his pencil
box, but it was out in the barn. He brought it in from there and we came
to school."

"And I guess," said Bunny, finishing the story his sister had started,
"that Judy climbed into my pencil box in the night and went to sleep
there and I didn't see her."

This seemed to be as good an explanation as any, and was probably the
way it had happened. Anyhow there was the little alligator in the
pencil box inside Bunny's desk. The scaly creature had crawled in and
then out, and when Bunny went up to recite the little creature had
thrust its snout out beneath the partly raised lid. It was this that
Sadie West had seen and thought was a mouse.

"Well, Bunny," said Miss Bradley, "I know it wasn't your fault, so we'll
say nothing more about it. Only, after this, please look in your pencil
boxes before you bring them to school."

"I will," promised Sue's brother.

"And now I'll excuse you from class while you take your alligator home,"
went on Miss Bradley.

"I can help him, Miss Bradley, if he wants me to," offered Charlie Star.
"I know a lot about alligators."

"No, thank you," replied the teacher with a smile. "This alligator is so
little I think Bunny can manage it alone. Now we will go on with our
lessons!"

There was something like a sigh of disappointment among the children.
For they had all welcomed the happening, since it gave them a sort of
recess. But now they must pay attention to their books.

Bunny shut Judy up in his pencil box, as the easiest way of carrying the
little alligator, and soon he was on his way home with his pet.

"Why, Bunny! what's the matter?" his mother asked, as he came into the
house. "Why are you home?"

"I had to bring back one of the alligators," he explained.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Tad. "Like Mary's lamb, the alligator followed
you to school one day, did it, Bunny?"

"She didn't 'zactly follow me," Bunny explained, as he took his pet out
to the tank in the barn. "I carried Judy in my pencil box, but I didn't
know it."

Bunny went back to school and finished his lessons. And all the
remainder of the day, when the pupils had a chance to speak, they talked
of nothing but Sadie West, the "mouse" and Bunny's pet alligator. It was
very exciting, all together.

When Bunny and Sue reached home that afternoon they found their mother
on the steps waiting for them.

"I'll take your books," she told the children, "and I want you to go to
the store for me. Mary started to bake a cake and found, at the last
moment, she was out of baking powder. I want you to go for a box. You
needn't go all the way to the big store. Stop at the little one on the
corner--Mrs. Golden's, you know. She sometimes has the kind I want. Go
to the corner store and get the baking powder."

"All right!" exclaimed Bunny, and he and Sue hurried off. They knew
where Mrs. Sarah Golden's little corner store was located--just a few
blocks from their home, much nearer than the big store where Mrs. Brown
generally traded. Bunny and Sue had been in Mrs. Golden's store before,
but not often, as it was rather out of the way, and such a small place
that Mrs. Brown was afraid things would not be as fresh as at the larger
grocery. Besides groceries, Mrs. Golden also kept "notions"--that is,
pins, thread, hooks and eyes, and things like that. She also had candy
and a few toys for sale.

"Her store isn't much bigger than our play store was, is it?" asked
Bunny of Sue, as they reached Mrs. Golden's.

"Not much," agreed Sue. "Didn't we have fun when we played store?"

"Lots!" agreed Bunny. "And didn't the boiler make a big racket when it
fell down?"

He and Sue laughed at remembering this, but their laughs died away as
they entered the little corner store and heard groans coming from behind
one of the counters. Groans and sighs greeted the children as they
opened the door. No one was in sight.

"Oh, Bunny!" exclaimed Sue, frightened, "what you s'pose has happened?"



CHAPTER V

A NEW PUPIL


Though Bunny Brown and his sister Sue had not often bought things in
Mrs. Golden's store, they knew the woman who kept the place, and she
knew them, for she often called them by name as they passed when she was
out in front. But now Mrs. Golden was not in sight, though the groans
that came from behind one of the counters seemed to tell that she was
there.

"Oh, Bunny, I'm afraid!" whispered Sue, standing in the opened door with
her brother. "Don't let's go in!"

"Why not?" Bunny asked.

"'Cause maybe burglars have been here and maybe they've hurt Mrs.
Golden!"

"Well, if they have, then we've got to help her," decided Bunny. "But
burglars don't come in the daytime. They come only at night time."

"That's so," agreed Sue, growing bolder.

And then the groans stopped and the voice of an old lady said:

"Who is there, my dears? Some children, I know by your voices, but I
can't see you. Don't be afraid, but come and help me."

"Where are you, and what's the matter?" asked Bunny.

"I'm down behind the notion counter," went on the voice. "I stepped up
on a box to reach something from the shelf, and I slipped and fell. I'm
not badly hurt, thank goodness, but I'm sort of wedged in here between
the box and the wall, and I can't get up. If you can pull the box out
I'll be all right."

"We'll do that!" cried Bunny, and he ran around behind the notion
counter, on the side of the store where the needles, pins, and spools of
thread were kept. Sue followed her brother.

There, just as Mrs. Golden had said, they found the old lady
storekeeper. She was lying on the floor with a small packing box so
wedged between her back and the side wall that she could not easily get
up, especially as she was old and feeble.

"Oh, it's Bunny Brown and his sister Sue!" exclaimed Mrs. Golden, when
she saw the children. "I'm so glad you came in! I was hoping some one
would come in to help me. The breath was sort of knocked out of me when
I fell, and I could only grunt and groan for a few minutes."

"We heard you," said Bunny.

"And I thought it was burglars," added Sue.

"Bless your hearts!" exclaimed Mrs. Golden. "Burglars wouldn't come to
my poor, little store. Now just pull the box out and I'll be all right."

Bunny and Sue tugged at the box on which Mrs. Golden had been standing
when she slipped and fell. It was hard work, but they managed to pull it
out, and then Mrs. Golden, with a few more grunts and groans, could get
up.

"Oh, my poor back!" she exclaimed, as she sank into a chair outside the
counter.

"Is it broken?" asked Sue anxiously.

"No, not quite," was the answer, with a little smile. "But it's
strained, and I expect I'll be lame for a while. Philip always told me
not to stand up on things to reach the top shelves, and I guess he was
right."

"Who is Philip?" asked Bunny.

"Philip is my son," was the answer. "He's a grown man, and he has to go
off to work every day, though he helps me in the store as much as he
can. I wouldn't want him to know I fell. It would only worry him, and he
might make me give up my store. And I don't want to do that. I'm feeling
better now. I'll be all right in a little while. Did you want something,
my dears?" she asked, for she must not forget that she was a
storekeeper.

"We wanted some baking powder," said Sue. "But we aren't in any hurry."

"We are in a _little_ hurry," said Bunny. "'Cause Mary's got a cake
partly made, but maybe----"

"Oh, I have baking powder," said Mrs. Golden quickly. "And I'll be glad
to sell it to you. If I sold more things I'd make more money. Let me see
now; I'm feeling sort of queer in my head on account of my tumble, but
baking powder--oh, it's on one of the high shelves. I--I'm almost afraid
to reach up for it."

"Oh, let me get it!" eagerly begged Bunny. "I like to climb up. I'd like
to get it! I like to keep store!"

"So do I!" added Sue. "We played store the other day, and a lot of
things fell down when Mary closed the door. We had a high shelf, too."

"Yes, one needs high shelves in a store," said Mrs. Golden. "But, Bunny,
do you think you can reach up and get the baking powder?" she asked. "I
can point it out to you."

"Sure, I can get it!" declared the little boy. "I'd love to."

"We don't want you to fall again," said Sue.

"That's very kind of you," replied Mrs. Golden. "Well, the baking powder
is on the other side of my store--the grocery side. There it is," and
with a bent and trembling finger she pointed out the tin boxes.

"Oh, that's an easy climb!" exclaimed Bunny, and he soon proved that it
was by clambering up and getting the box of baking powder he wanted.
Then he paid for it.

The children asked Mrs. Golden if they could help her further. She said
she was feeling better and would soon be all right.

"But don't climb up any more," warned Sue.

"That's right," echoed Bunny. "Maybe we could help you tend store, Mrs.
Golden. I'm a good climber."

"Yes, Bunny, I notice you are," said the old lady, with a smile. "And it
is very kind of you, but you see I never could tell when some one might
come in and want something from a high shelf. Unless you stayed here all
the while it wouldn't be of much use."

"No, that's so," the little boy admitted. "I'd like to stay here all the
while, though. I like to keep store!"

"So do I," added Sue.

"But children must go to school," said Mrs. Golden, with a smile. "I'll
have to get my son Philip to put all the things on low shelves, I guess.
Then I can reach them without climbing up. Run along now, Bunny and
Sue. Your mother will be waiting for that baking powder."

Bunny and Sue told their mother what had happened at the store.

"Poor old lady!" sighed Mrs. Brown. "She is very poor, I'm afraid. We
must buy more of our things there, Mary. It will be a help to her."

"Yes'm, it will," agreed the cook. "I often stop there when I want
something in a hurry. She and her son are honest and hard-working."

"And I worked, too!" said Bunny. "I helped her tend store. I climbed up
and got the baking powder."

"That was kind of you. But you, too, must be careful, son," his mother
told him.

On their way to school the next day Bunny and Sue went past Mrs.
Golden's store to ask how she was. They found her smiling and cheerful,
little the worse for her tumble.

"My son Philip is going to make me some lower shelves," she said.

"Then I can help reach things down for you," exclaimed Sue, with a
smile.

"Yes, dearie," murmured Mrs. Golden.

"Wouldn't it be fun if we had a little store like that?" said Sue to
Bunny, as they hurried along, to school. "I mean a real store, with real
things to sell, and we could take in real money."

"Yes, it would be lots of fun!" agreed Bunny. "But I don't s'pose it
will ever happen."

However, something very like that was to happen, almost before the
children knew it.

"Yes," went on Bunny, when they had almost reached the school, "it would
be dandy to have a store like Mrs. Golden's!"

"Maybe you will have some day--when you grow up," replied Sue.

"That's a long way off," sighed Bunny, as he looked down at his little,
short legs.

There was nothing to disturb the school classes that morning. No pet
alligators were found in the desk of Bunny or any of the other pupils,
and neither Sadie West nor any of the other girls thought she saw a
mouse.

However, something happened in the afternoon. It was a warm day, early
in summer, though the long vacation had not yet come. The windows were
open and the bright sun streamed in.

After a period of study Miss Bradley called the first class in spelling.
Bunny and Sue were in this division, and they went up to the front seats
where Miss Bradley heard all recitations.

"Sadie West, please spell church," called Miss Bradley. Sadie spelled
the word right.

"Sue Brown, please spell horse," called the teacher, and Sue did not
make a miss.

"Now, Bunny, it is your turn," said the teacher, with a smile. "Your
word is cracker."

Bunny paused a moment.

"C--r--a----" he began.

Then suddenly, sounding throughout the school room, a harsh voice cried:

"Cracker! Cracker! Give me a cracker!"

Miss Bradley hurriedly stood up beside her chair. What pupil had thus
dared to speak aloud in school?



CHAPTER VI

A BUSY BUZZER


Bunny, Sue and the other children were just as much surprised as was
Miss Bradley when that strange, harsh voice called out. And it needed
but a look at the faces of her pupils to show the teacher that none of
them had broken one of the rules of the classroom.

Bunny still held his mouth open, for he was half way through the
spelling of the word "cracker." He was about to keep on, when once more
the voice called:

"Cracker! Cracker! Polly wants a cracker!"

The sound came from the cloak closet on one side of the classroom.

"It's a parrot!" cried Charlie Star. "A poll parrot!"

"Yes, I believe it is," said Miss Bradley.

"You didn't bring a parrot to school to-day, did you, Bunny?" she asked.

"Oh, no, Ma'am!" he exclaimed, so earnestly that of course Miss Bradley
believed him.

"But I know whose parrot it is," said Sue, eagerly.

"Whose?" asked the teacher.

"Mr. Winkler's! He's got a parrot and a monkey. They're always getting
loose. Maybe the monkey's in the cloakroom, too, only the monkey can't
talk like Polly," went on Sue.

"Keep your seats, children!" said Miss Bradley. "I'll look in the
cloakroom. There is no need to be excited. A parrot will hurt no one,
nor a monkey, either. Keep your seats!"

As she opened the cloakroom door the harsh voice again sounded more
loudly than before.

"Bow! Wow! Wow!" it barked. "Cracker! Cracker! Polly wants a cracker!
Let's have a song! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Then it began what I suppose the bird thought was singing.

The children laughed, and so did the teacher.

Out of the cloakroom flew the parrot, fluttering up on the teacher's
desk. There it perched, preening its feathers with its big beak and
thick, black tongue, now and then uttering harsh squawks and making
remarks, some of which could not be understood.

"Is this the parrot you meant, Sue?" asked Miss Bradley.

"Yes'm, that's Mr. Winkler's," answered Sue. "I can take it back to him
if you want me to. Polly knows me."

"And he knows me, too!" exclaimed Bunny.

"And me!" eagerly added Charlie Star. "Let me and Bunny take him home,
please?" he begged.

"Is that the way to say it?" remarked the teacher, for the room was more
quiet now. "What should you have said, Charlie?"

"Let Bunny and me," corrected Charlie.

"That's right. Always speak of yourself last. It is more polite. Well, I
think you and Bunny may take the parrot back to Mr. Winkler," went on
the teacher. "Certainly we don't want him in our class, though he seems
a bright bird."

"You ought to see Wango, the monkey, climb!" cried fat Bobbie Boomer,
and all the other children laughed. "He's great!"

"Well, I think a parrot is enough for one day," remarked Miss Bradley,
with a smile. "Take Polly home, Bunny and Charlie."

"Just see, Teacher, he's tame and he knows me," Bunny said, stroking
Polly's head, a caress the parrot seemed to like. Polly perched herself
on Bunny's shoulder, and then he and Charlie went out, envied by the
other pupils.

"Oh that bird! Out again!" cried Miss Winkler, when Polly was restored
to her. "I declare, I'll make Jed get rid of her and Wango! They're more
bother than they're worth!"

"I'll take 'em if you don't want 'em!" offered Charlie Star.

"So will I!" said Bunny.

But as Miss Winkler usually made this threat three or four times a week
(or every time the monkey or parrot got loose), and as Mr. Winkler had
never yet given them away, it did not seem likely that he would do so
now. So Bunny and Charlie had small hopes of owning either pet.

The boys went back to school, passing, on their way, the store of Mrs.
Golden.

"Let's go in," suggested Charlie. "I want to buy a top!"

"All right," agreed Bunny.

"Well, boys, what can I sell you to-day?" asked Mrs. Golden, coming out
from the little back room where she generally sat when there were no
customers to wait on.

"Got any tops?" asked Charlie.

"A few," Mrs. Golden answered, "but not many. I'm going to have a new
lot in next week. Good day, Bunny," she went on. "Did your mother like
that baking powder?"

"I guess so," Bunny answered. Then he and Charlie began looking at the
tops. But the kind Charlie wanted was not in the case, and after looking
at several Charlie decided not to buy any.

"Here's a tin automobile I'm selling cheap," said Mrs. Golden, taking a
red toy out from another case. "It's the last one I have, and I'll sell
it to you for what it cost me--twenty-five cents. The regular price
would be fifty cents. See, I'll wind it up for you."

This she did, setting it down on the floor. With a whizz and a buzz the
auto darted across the store, bringing up with a bang against the low
part of the opposite counter.

"Say, that's a dandy!" exclaimed Charlie. "I'd like to own that!"

"So would I!" agreed Bunny. "Only I haven't twenty-five cents."

"I have!" Charlie said. "I was going to spend only ten cents for a top,
but I guess I'll buy this buzzer auto for a quarter."

"It's in good order," said Mrs. Golden. "I'm not going to keep such
expensive toys after this. I'm getting too old to run a toy store as
well as groceries and notions. I'm giving up most of my toys. But this
is a good auto, Charlie."

"Yes'm, I'll take it," said the little boy, and he bought the auto.

"You can't take it to school with you," said Bunny, as he and his chum
left Mrs. Golden's store.

"Yes, I can," answered Charlie.

"If teacher sees it she'll take it away."

"Well, she won't see it. I can put it in my coat pocket." This Charlie
did, after a struggle, for the pocket was rather small and the toy auto
rather large.

"It sticks out and shows," Bunny said, after the toy had been crowded
in.

"I'll stuff my handkerchief over it," Charlie decided, and this was
done.

Then the two boys went on to school, arriving just as it was time for
recess, so they did not have to go back to their lessons right away.

"And I didn't have to spell!" laughed Bunny. "Though I did know how to
spell cracker."

"Come on!" called Charlie. "We'll have some fun with my new auto! I'll
let it run around the yard."

This he did to the delight of the other boys. As for the girls, they
gathered on the other side of the school yard for their own particular
recess fun.

Sue, Mary Watson, Sadie West, Helen Newton and some others raced about,
playing tag and jumping rope.

"Oh, I know what we can do!" suddenly cried Helen, when they were all
tired from having romped about playing tag.

"What?" asked Sue.

"Let's go down to the end of the yard where the men are digging, and see
how big the hole is," suggested Helen.

"Oh, teacher said we mustn't!" exclaimed Sadie.

"Well, we won't go very close," went on Helen. "She just told us to be
careful not to fall in. But if we don't go too close we can't fall in."

This seemed a safe way of looking at it, and the girls were curious to
see what the workmen had done at the far end of the school yard. The
laborers had been digging for some days, fixing water pipes, and had
made a deep trench, so deep that when a man stood down in it only his
head showed above.

Just now none of the men was near the hole, all having gone away to get
other tools, and as the boys were busy playing at the other end of the
yard, or watching Charlie's auto, the girls could explore the digging by
themselves.

"It's nothing but a hole!" said Sue, in some disappointment, as they
approached as near as they dared and looked in.

"I'd like to go down in it!" exclaimed Helen, who was rather daring.

"Oh!" cried Sue. "Come back! Don't go too close!"

But Helen did not heed. She went up to the very edge of the long, deep
trench, and was looking in when suddenly her feet slipped out from under
her, and down she went, sliding right into the hole!

"Oh! Oh!" she cried.

"Oh! Oh!" screamed the other girls, and in such excited voices that Miss
Bradley came running out of the classroom and the boys crowded down to
the end of the yard.

"What has happened?" asked the teacher.

"Helen Newton fell into the big hole!" cried Sadie West.

"Did the dirt cave in on her?" asked Miss Bradley.

Fortunately, it had not. The walls of the trench were firm and solid,
and the only thing that had happened was that Helen was down in the
deep trench, and could not get up by herself. She was crying now.

"Don't cry," said Miss Bradley. "You're all right. We'll soon get you
out. Now you other boys and girls keep back from the edges, or you'll
cause the sides to cave in and they'll cover Helen! Keep back, Bunny,
Sue, every one!"

This was good advice, and as the other children moved back away from the
trench there was less danger. Miss Bradley was just going to send one of
the boys to call the janitor when two workmen came back. They broke into
a run as they saw the crowd about their digging place, for they had told
the teacher to keep the children away from it.

"There's been an accident!" said one man.

But it was not so bad as he feared, and he and his companion soon lifted
Helen out on solid ground again, a rather frightened little girl, but
not in the least hurt.

"I told you to stay away from that hole!" said Miss Bradley, rather
severely. "I was afraid something like this might happen. It is
fortunate it was no worse. Who started it?"

There was a moment's pause, and then Helen raised her hand. She had been
crying.

"If--if you please, Teacher, I went there first," she stammered.

"Well, I think your fright has been punishment enough for you," said
Miss Bradley kindly, "and we will say nothing more about it. But if any
of you go near that hole again he or she will be kept in after school.
It isn't that I mind your seeing what the workmen are doing, it is just
that it would be dangerous for even grown folks to go too near the edge
of the trench, and much more so for you little folk. So keep away from
the hole. I hope the pipes will be in this week, and the hole closed up.
Now do you all promise to keep away?" she asked. "Raise your hands!"

Every hand went up, for the boys and girls were fond of their teacher
and did not want to cause her worry.

It was a solemn moment, for they all felt that something dreadful might
have happened to Helen had the dirt caved in on her.

"Hands down," said Miss Bradley, and down they went.

Just then the bell rang. Recess was over, and the lines of boys and
girls marched into the schoolhouse once again.

Charlie Star reached for his handkerchief, which he had again stuffed
over his toy automobile after he had crowded that toy into his pocket
when going back into school after recess. As he pulled out his
handkerchief the auto came with it and fell to the floor.

Suddenly there was a strange buzzing sound in the room. Neither the
teacher nor the girls knew what it was, but Bunny and the boys knew it
was Charlie Star's new toy automobile which he had bought from Mrs.
Golden.

With a buzz the busy auto ran from Charlie's desk straight down the
aisle toward Miss Bradley, who was standing in front of her platform.



CHAPTER VII

THE BARN STORE


For a second or two Miss Bradley seemed to pay no attention to the
buzzing sound which Bunny, Charlie, and some of the other pupils heard
only too plainly. The teacher was busy thinking whether she had done
enough talking to make sure her boys and girls would not again go near
the deep hole in the school yard.

"I wouldn't want any of them to get hurt," thought Miss Bradley. "I had
better scare them a little now than have any of them harmed the least
bit."

She was thinking what else she might say, to impress on the pupils the
danger of the hole, when she seemed to hear, for the first time, the
buzzing of Charlie's auto.

"What's that?" asked Miss Bradley.

No one answered, except that, here and there in the room, a boy or girl
snickered.

There was one queer thing about Charlie's new toy auto. It made a great
deal of buzzing as the wheels whirred around when the wound-up spring
made them do this, but the machine itself did not go very fast. It
seemed to make a great fuss about getting anywhere, but it took its own
time in doing it.

This was the reason why the auto, though it had been pulled out of
Charlie's pocket with his handkerchief and had fallen into the aisle
down which it ran, did not very soon get where Miss Bradley could see
it. She could hear the buzzing sound, but she did not know what it was.

"Who is making that noise?" she asked again.

No one answered, for, truth to tell, neither a boy nor a girl in the
room was causing the noise; though of course Charlie was to blame, in a
way.

Miss Bradley was looking over the room, into the faces of her pupils.
The buzzing sound kept up. It seemed to be coming nearer and nearer. The
windows were open, and she thought a bee or a wasp might have flown in.
But it would be a very large wasp or bee, indeed, which would make so
loud a buzzing sound as this.

"Children----" began Miss Bradley, and then she suddenly stopped, for
something struck her on the foot. And it was right near her foot that
the buzzing noise sounded. But as she had walked a little way down from
her platform, and her foot was partly under the first desk--that of fat
Bobbie Boomer--Miss Bradley could not see what had struck her.

"Oh!" she cried, as she jumped back, rather startled.

Charlie Star and Bunny Brown could not help laughing right out loud.
They knew what had caused all this excitement.

A moment later Miss Bradley knew also. For Charlie's buzzing auto,
having struck her foot, turned aside and rolled out on the floor in
front of her teaching platform, in plain sight. There the little red toy
came to a stop, for its spring was fully unwound.

Charlie and Bunny stopped their laughing suddenly as the teacher looked
down at them.

"Whose is this?" asked Miss Bradley, in a voice she hardly ever used in
the classroom, for her pupils were generally very orderly. "Who owns
this automobile?" she asked, sternly.

Timidly Charlie Star raised his hand.

"If you please, Teacher, it's mine," he said. And such a weak little
voice as it was! Not at all like the loud, hearty tones Charlie used
when he called to Bunny, "first shot agates!"

Miss Bradley stooped over and picked up the toy. She placed it on her
desk, and then, turning to face the children, she said:

"I am very sorry about this. I thought, after what had happened to
Helen, that you were going to settle down and study your lessons. Why
did you bring this auto to school, Charlie? And why did you take it
out?"

Charlie was silent a moment, and then he answered, saying:

"I--I didn't exactly take it out, Miss Bradley. It came out when I took
out my handkerchief. I--I didn't mean to do it."

"Very well then, you didn't," the teacher agreed, with a little smile,
for she knew Charlie was telling the truth. "But why did you bring the
auto to school at all?"

Then Charlie told of having bought the toy that morning, on his way to
school with Bunny Brown.

"I didn't have time to go home with it after I bought it," he said, "so
I put it in my pocket. We played with it at recess, and I forgot and
wound it up and stuck it in my pocket. I didn't mean to let it get out
and run down the aisle."

Miss Bradley wanted to smile, but she knew it would not be just the
thing to do. So she said:

"Well, Charlie, I will excuse you this time. But please don't bring any
more toys into the schoolroom. And now, as we have lost much time from
our lessons, we must study extra hard to make it up. Come to me after
school, Charlie, and I'll give you back your auto."

Miss Bradley put the toy in her desk for safe keeping, and went on with
the lessons. But it was rather hard for the pupils to get their minds
back on their studies, because so much had happened that day from the
time the parrot had screeched "Cracker! Cracker!" in the cloakroom
until Charlie's auto fell out of his pocket and went buzzing down the
aisle to bang into the teacher's foot.

However, the day came to an end at last, and then, talking and laughing,
the boys and girls ran out of doors. Charlie stayed after the others,
and walked shyly up to the desk at which Miss Bradley sat, looking over
some examination papers. The room was very still and quiet after the
noise and excitement of the children's outgoing.

"Yes, Charlie. What is it?" asked Miss Bradley, as she saw him standing
near her desk.

"If you please--my auto----"

"Oh, yes," and she opened her desk and handed it to him. "It is a cute
little toy," and she smiled at Charlie.

"You ought to see it go!" he exclaimed eagerly, for Miss Bradley was
really a friend to her pupils, and she knew how to make kites and spin
tops almost as good as a boy.

"Here! I'll show you!" Charlie went on. "It's a dandy!"

Quickly he wound up the auto and set it down on the floor. The wheels
buzzed and the little red car spun across the schoolroom floor.

Bunny Brown and George Watson, waiting outside for Charlie, wondered
what was keeping their chum. They knew he had stayed in to get his
plaything.

"Maybe she's going to make him stay in half an hour," suggested George.

"She didn't say she was," replied Bunny. "But maybe she's giving him
a--a leshure." What Bunny meant was lecture.

"Let's look in," suggested George.

On tiptoes they went to a window whence they could see into the room.
There they saw Miss Bradley winding up Charlie's auto, and they heard
Charlie saying:

"You try it now, Miss Bradley! See how nice it runs!"

And as the surprised watchers looked on, their teacher started the toy
across the floor as Charlie had done. For, following the first showing
of his plaything, Charlie had offered to let his teacher wind it, and
she had agreed.

"Yes, it is a cute toy," said the teacher, as the auto banged into a
side wall and stopped. "But we mustn't play with it in school hours."

"Oh, no'm!" agreed Charlie, and then he hurried outside, where Bunny and
George were waiting for him.

"Say, you ought to see!" exclaimed Charlie, half breathless. "She ran
the auto herself!"

"We saw her," said Bunny.

"She's a dandy teacher all right!" declared George.

One Saturday morning Bunny and Sue came downstairs to breakfast at the
same hour as on other days. Usually this did not happen, for on
Saturdays they were allowed to remain in bed a little longer than on
days when they had to go to school.

"Well, what does this mean?" asked Uncle Tad, who was finishing his meal
and reading the paper at the same time. "This is Saturday, isn't it?
Unless I have on the wrong glasses!" he added, as he looked at the
calendar on the wall.

"Yes, it's Saturday," said Bunny.

"Then why are you up so early?" asked Uncle Tad.

"'Cause a lot of the boys and girls are coming over, and we're going to
play store out in our barn," explained Sue. "You can come and buy
something if you want to, Uncle Tad."

"Thanks! Maybe I will!" chuckled the old soldier. "Are you going to sell
any inside outside cocoanuts flavored with saltmint?" he asked.

"What are those?" Bunny inquired.

"Oh, he's only joking!" declared Sue, as she saw a twinkle in the eyes
of Uncle Tad. And of course he was joking.

"Well, maybe I'll look in and see what you do have to sell in your barn
store," he said, as he left the table.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were not long in finishing their
breakfast, and then they hurried out to the barn where they were to keep
store. Bunny and Sue had found some boards and boxes out there which
would make fine shelves for a pretend store.

"We'll put the shelves up before the others get here," said Bunny.

"Yes," she agreed. "But what kind of store are you going to play? Are
you going to have washboilers and tin pans?"

"No, I guess not," said Bunny, after thinking about it a moment. "We'll
keep a store like Mrs. Golden's."

"Yes, that will be nice," agreed Sue. "Here, Splash!" she cried. "Get
out of there! That box isn't for you to sleep in!" For the big dog had
crawled into one of the boxes that were to form the store shelves.
Splash was curling up most comfortably.

"We'll use him for a delivery dog," said Bunny. "We'll tie a basket on
his neck and he can take the groceries and things to different places."

"Oh, that will be fun!" laughed Sue, clapping her hands. "Here comes
Helen!" she cried a moment later, and then, with joyous shouts and
laughter, a number of children came running into the Brown yard, ready
to play barn store.



CHAPTER VIII

IN A HOLE


"What things are you going to sell?"

"Who's going to tend store?"

"I want to be cashier!"

These were some of the things the boys and girls shouted as they ran
into the barn where Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were waiting for them
to play store. Charlie Star, Helen Newton, fat Bobbie Boomer, Harry
Bentley, George and Mary Watson and Sadie West were among the boys and
girls who came crowding into the barn, for the day before Bunny and his
sister had invited them to spend Saturday in having fun.

"We'll take turns tending store," explained Bunny, after he had shown
his playmates the shelves and boxes that were to be used for shelves.

"And we're going to have our dog Splash deliver things with a basket on
his neck," explained Sue.

"I should think it would be more fun to hitch up your pony Toby to the
basket cart and have him to deliver things," remarked Helen.

"We thought of that," replied Bunny. "But Bunker Blue has taken Toby
down to the boat dock. He has to do some errands for my father, so we
can't have Toby."

As Bunny and his sister had played this game more than the others, they
were allowed to lay out the plans. Bunny showed the boys how the boards
were to be put across the boxes to make shelves, and Sue took the girls
down to the brook to gather little pebbles and the shells of fresh water
mussels which were to be used for money, as there were going to be so
many "customers" for the barn store that Mrs. Brown's buttons would not
be enough to make change.

"What things are we going to sell?" asked Charlie, as he began pulling
something from his pocket.

"Oh, we'll get stones, sand, gravel, some leaves, pieces of bark,
twigs, and things like that," Bunny explained. "But what you got in your
pocket, Charlie?"

"My wind-up auto. I thought maybe we could use it in the store."

"How?"

"Well, it could be like a cash register. You see," Charlie went on,
"somebody's got to be the cashier just as in a big store. We'll have
different clerks, and when anybody buys anything they must pay the money
to whoever is clerk."

"Yes," agreed Bunny, who understood thus far.

"Then," went on Charlie, "the clerk must put the money the customer pays
into my auto, and send it on a plank up to the cashier's desk. The
cashier will make change and send it back in the auto."

"Oh, that'll be great!" cried Bunny. "And I guess you ought to be the
cashier for thinking it up, Charlie."

"Well, maybe I ought, 'cause it's my auto," Charlie said. He had been
hoping for this all along. "Now I'll make myself a place to be
cashier," he went on, "and I'll fix up a long plank for the auto to run
back and forth on. One winding will bring it up to me and back to the
clerk."

When the other children heard this plan they were much delighted. Soon
the store was ready for business. Boards had been placed across the
boxes and a tier of shelves made, the top one so high that a long box
had to be used like a stepladder to reach it. On the shelves were placed
different things picked up around the barn, in the yard, and in the
patch of woods not far away, or brought from the shore of the brook.

Then the boys and girls divided themselves up, some were to be customers
to buy things in the store, while others were to be clerks to wait on
the customers. Charlie took his place at the end of the tier of shelves
to act as cashier. From the end of the shelves to his box ran a long
narrow plank on which the auto change-carrier was to run.

Finally everything was ready, even to torn pieces of newspaper in which
the things bought were to be wrapped. Splash was on hand with a basket
tied to his neck to deliver the goods. And each customer had picked out
a certain part of the barn as his or her "home" where the things were to
be delivered.

"All ready!" called Bunny Brown. He and Sue were to be clerks in the
store at first; afterward they would take a turn at being customers.

"I want a pound of sugar!" ordered Sadie West, coming up to Bunny,
standing behind his part of the front counter.

"Yes, Ma'am. A pound of sugar!" repeated Bunny, scooping up some sand in
a clam shell. "Nice day, isn't it--Mrs. er--Mrs.----"

"Snyder is my name," said Sadie. "I'm Mrs. Snyder and I live at 756
Oatbin Avenue," she added, as she looked toward the part of the barn she
had picked out for her "house." It was near Toby's oat bin.

"Yes, Ma'am," answered Bunny. "I'll send it right over to Oatbin
Avenue."

He wrapped up the sand-sugar in a piece of paper and took the black
mussel shell which Sadie handed him as her "five-dollar bill." Bunny
placed the shell in the automobile, and started it up the plank to where
Charlie waited. Taking out the large shell, Charlie put in two smaller
ones and a white stone. This was "change."

Back whizzed the auto down the plank until it reached Bunny, who took
out the "change" and handed it to "Mrs. Snyder."

"Please send my sugar right over," she ordered.

"Yes, Ma'am, it will go on the first delivery," Bunny answered, as he
had heard Mr. Gordon, the real grocer, often say.

"Here, Splash!" called Bunny, and his dog, with the basket on his neck,
came running up, wagging his tail.

"Oh, look out!" cried Sue, who was acting as a clerk next to Bunny.

"What's the matter?" Bunny asked.

"Splash is wagging his tail so hard that he'll knock down my eggs!"
complained Sue.

Of course the "eggs" were only pine cones from the woods near by, but
when you are playing store you must pretend everything is real, or else
it isn't any fun.

"Keep your tail still, Splash!" cried Bunny. But the dog seemed only to
wag it the harder.

Splash might have knocked down all the "eggs" and done other damage in
the store had not Bunny placed Mrs. Snyder's sugar in the basket and
sent his pet to deliver the make-believe sweet stuff.

And Splash delivered it very carefully, too. Sadie had gone back to her
home at "756 Oatbin Avenue" to wait for her sugar, and when it came she
took it from the basket on Splash's neck. Then the dog went back to the
barn store to run on more delivery errands.

This was a sample of the way Bunny, Sue, and their friends played that
Saturday morning. Now and then they would change about, some who had
been clerks becoming customers and the customers clerks.

Of course accidents happened. Splash wagged his tail so hard that he
knocked over a box of prunes, scattering them on the barn floor. Even if
the prunes were only little black stones it wasn't just the thing for
Splash to do, and Sue scolded him for it. But Splash didn't seem to
mind.

Another time, when the dog had been sent to deliver some ice-cream
(which was really some white sand from the brook) to Mrs. Leland Sayre,
who lived at 1056 Straw Terrace (Mrs. Sayre being Mary Watson), an
accident happened. Splash was on his way to Mrs. Sayre's home when he
heard another dog barking outside the barn.

With a bark of greeting Splash dashed out, spilling the "ice-cream" all
over the barn floor.

"Oh, dear! And I wanted it for a party!" said Mrs. Sayre.

But of course it was all in fun.

More than once the change auto ran off the plank, either on its way to
the cashier or coming back, and spilled the money all over the barn
floor. But that could not be helped.

"Only it isn't good for my auto," said Charlie.

"We'll put some straw down on the floor so when it falls it won't get
bent," said Bunny, and this was done.

All morning the children played store in the barn, selling the things
over and over again. Splash got tired of being a delivery dog after a
while, and Bobbie Boomer said he'd take his place. Bobbie was more to be
depended on than Splash, who, try as he did, would sometimes deliver
things to the wrong houses.

When noon came the neighboring children were talking of going home to
lunch, but Mrs. Brown gave them all a pleasant surprise, including Bunny
and Sue, by asking all the boys and girls to remain and have something
to eat, served in the barn.

"Oh, what fun!" cried Sadie West.

"The best ever!" declared Charlie Star. "I'm glad I came!"

Lunch over, the playing of store went on again, until first one and then
another began to tire, and it was given up. Then they put away the
planks and boxes and played tag and hide and seek until it was time for
supper, when the boys and girls went home.

"We've had a lovely time!" they said to Bunny and Sue.

Just before supper Mrs. Brown needed something from the store.

"I'll go get it," offered Bunny. "I'll get it at Mrs. Golden's."

"I'll go with you," said Sue, and soon they were at the little corner
grocery.

"How are you to-day, Mrs. Golden?" asked Bunny, as the old woman was
getting the yeast cake he had been sent for.

"Oh, pretty well," she answered, with a cheery smile on her kind but
wrinkled face. "I'd like it if I wasn't so stiff, but then we can't have
all we want in this world."

"We played store in our barn to-day," said Sue, looking around at the
various shelves filled with many articles.

"Did you, dearie? That was nice. I guess it's easier to play store than
it is to keep one really," said Mrs. Golden.

"Oh, I'd like to keep store!" declared Bunny Brown. "Only, how do you
remember where everything is?" he asked. "There's such a lot of stuff!"

"Yes, there is," agreed Mrs. Golden. "And sometimes I forget. But I'm
getting old, I reckon. There's your yeast cake. Now run along, and be
careful when you cross the street."

"Yes'm, we will!" promised Bunny, as he took Sue's hand.

"Maybe, when vacation comes, Mrs. Golden will let us help her in her
store," said Bunny to his sister, as they neared their home.

"Oh, maybe!" Sue agreed. "And it soon will be vacation, won't it?"

"Yes," said Bunny. "I wonder where we'll go this summer."

"I wonder, too," mused Sue. "If we could stay at home and have a real
store it would be fun!"

Bunny agreed to this.

Several days passed. The hole in the school yard was filled up so there
was no further danger of any of the boys or girls falling in. Charlie
did not again bring his toy auto to school.

But something else happened.

One afternoon Charlie Star walked home with Bunny and Sue from school.
Bunny had made a new sailboat, and he wanted Charlie to see it make the
first voyage down the brook which ran back of the Brown home.

"May I come, too?" asked Sue, as Bunny carried his little vessel down to
the stream.

"Sure, let her come," advised Charlie.

"All right," called Bunny, and Sue ran along after the boys.

But Bunny and Charlie were so interested in sailing the new boat that
they did not pay much attention to Sue after reaching the brook. They
watched the wind puff out the sails and Charlie was just going to ask
Bunny if he would trade the boat for the toy auto when there came a loud
scream from Sue, who had wandered off by herself.

"Oh, Bunny! I've falled in! I've falled in!" cried Sue.

"Oh, she is in!" exclaimed Charlie, glancing upstream.

"And there's a deep hole there!" shouted Bunny, darting away. "Come on,
Charlie! Help me pull Sue out of the hole!"



CHAPTER IX

UP A LADDER


Charlie Star needed no second urging. Bunny had forgotten all about his
toy ship, but Charlie gave one look and saw that it had safely blown on
shore. Then Charlie sped after his chum.

"We're coming, Sue! We're coming!" cried Bunny. "Don't be afraid!"

"We'll get you out!" added Charlie.

The brook that ran back of the Brown house was rather deep in places,
and some of these places were near shore where the bank went steeply
down into the water. It was at one of these places that Sue had fallen
in.

The little girl had been looking for "sweet-flag." This is the root of a
plant something like the cat-tail in looks--that is, it has the same
kind of long, narrow ribbon-like leaves.

But while the root of the sweet-flag is pleasant to gnaw, though a
trifle smarty, the root of the cat-tail is of no use--that is, as far as
Sue could tell. She wanted some sweet-flag, but not cat-tail root, and
to find out which was right she had to pull up many of the long, green
streamers. If Sue had known how to tell the difference otherwise it
would have been easier.

It was in bending over to pull up some of the flag roots that she had
leaned too far, and suddenly she found herself in the water. She had
slipped off the muddy bank at a place where it was steep and the water
was deep.

Luckily Sue had slipped in feet first, and now she was standing in water
over her waist, yelling for Bunny to come and help her.

Breathless, the two boys reached the little girl. They could see then,
that she was in no special danger, since the water was not over her
head. If Sue had fallen in head first instead of feet first that would
have been sadly different.

"Come on out! Come on out!" cried Bunny, reaching his hand toward his
sister.

"I--I can't!" she answered.

"Why not?" Charlie asked.

"'Cause I'm stuck. I'm stuck in the mud!" Sue answered.

"Oh!" exclaimed Bunny. "Then we have to pull you out!"

"That's right!" said Charlie Star. "I'll help!"

"Look out you don't fall in yourselves!" warned Sue, as they held out
their hands to her. "It's awful slippery!"

And the bank was, as Charlie and Bunny soon found, for Charlie nearly
slid in as Sue had done and Bunny almost followed. But by digging their
heels in the slippery mud they held on and soon they had pulled Sue out
of the hole.

But, oh, in what a sad plight was the little girl!

She was soaking wet to a line above her waist, and she was splashed with
water above that, some mud spots being on her face, one on the end of
her nose making her appear rather odd. Her shoes and stockings were
covered with black, mucky mud.

"Oh! Oh, dear!" exclaimed Sue, looking down at her legs, and began to
cry.

"Don't cry!" advised Charlie.

"I--I can't help it!" wailed Sue. "And there's something on my nose,
too!"

"It's only a blob of mud," said Bunny. "I'll wipe it off," and he did,
very kindly.

"Look--look at my shoo-shooes!" sobbed Sue.

"Splash 'em in the water," advised Charlie. "Sit down on the bank, Sue,
and splash your feet in the water."

"What'll I do that for?" she asked, through her tears. "I'm wet enough
now!"

"Yes, I know," said Charlie. "And you can't get any wetter by dabbling
your feet and legs in the water. But it will wash off the mud. You might
as well wash it off."

"That's right," agreed Bunny. "Your legs will dry better if they are
just wet, instead of being wet and muddy, Sue. Dabble 'em in the brook."

Sue thought this must be good advice, since it came from both boys. She
was about to sit down near the place where she had slid into the brook,
but Charlie said:

"No, not there! That water's all muddy. Come on down to a clean place."

This Sue did, sitting on the grassy bank and thrusting her feet and legs
into the water up to her knees, splashing them up and down until most of
the mud was washed from her stockings and shoes.

"Now we'll take you home," said Charlie.

"No!" exclaimed Sue. "I don't want to go home!"

"You don't want to go home?" repeated Bunny. "Why not? You have to get
dry things on, Sue! Mother won't scold you for falling into the brook
when it wasn't your fault!"

"I know she won't," Sue said. "But--but--I'm not going in the house
looking all soaking wet! There's company--some ladies came to call on
mother before we went out to play--and they'll see me if I go in the
front door. I'm not going to have them laugh at me!"

"We'll take you in the side door then," offered Bunny.

"That'll be just as bad," whimpered Sue. "They can see me from the
window."

"Well, then we'll go in the back way," Charlie proposed.

"No!" sobbed Sue. "If I go in the back way Mary'll see me, and she'll
say, 'bless an' save us!' and make such a fuss that mother'll come out
and it will be as bad as the front or side door!" complained the little
girl. "I don't want to go home all wet!"

"But you'll have to!" insisted Bunny. "You can't stay out here till you
get dry. You must go to the house, Sue!"

"Not the front way nor the side way nor the back way!" Sue declared.

"Then how are you going to get in?" asked Bunny. "Do you want to go in
through the cellar?"

"I'd have to come up in the kitchen," objected Sue, "and Mary would see
me just the same and she'd say, 'bless an' save us!'"

"Well, but how are you going to get in?" Bunny demanded. "There isn't
any other way."

"Yes, there is!" suddenly exclaimed Charlie.

"How?" asked Bunny Brown.

"Up the painter's ladder," went on Charlie. "They're painting the roof
of your sun parlor. And the ladder's right there. We can get Sue up the
ladder to the roof of the sun parlor, and there's a second-story window
she can get in so nobody can see her, and change her things."

"Oh! A ladder!" gasped Sue, when she heard how Charlie and her brother
planned to get her into the house unseen by company. "A ladder!"

"Sure!" cried Bunny. "That's the best way! Charlie and I'll help you
up."

"You won't let me fall?" asked Sue.

"Course not!" declared Charlie. "I've climbed lots of ladders!"

"So have I!" boasted Bunny Brown. "And so have you, Sue Brown!"

"And can't anybody see me if I go up the painter's ladder?" asked Sue,
who was feeling most uncomfortable, being clammy and wet.

"Nobody'll see you!" declared Charlie. "The ladder's away off on one
side of the sun parlor. Mary can't see you from the kitchen, and your
mother and the company can't see you."

"Is the painter there?" Sue went on. She was asking a good many
questions and making a number of objections, I think.

"No, the painter isn't there," Charlie said. "I saw him going back to
the shop after more paint when we came down here."

"All right then!" sighed Sue. "Help me up the ladder!"

Cautiously the children approached it. There the ladder stood, a big
one, on a long slant leading from the ground to the roof of the
one-story sun parlor. From the roof of this extension were several
windows Sue could climb into, one opening from her own room.

No one was in sight, and the painter had not come back. Sue was just
starting up the ladder, with Bunny going before her and Charlie
following her, when the little girl happened to think of something
else.

"S'posin' the roof's just been painted?" she asked. "How can I walk on
it?"

This was a poser for a moment until Charlie exclaimed:

"If it is I'll get some boards and we can lay them down to walk on."

Sue had no further excuse for not going up the ladder, and she began to
climb. She reached the top, and it was found that the painter had spread
his red mixture on only part of the roof. There was room enough to walk
on the unpainted part to her room window.

She was just climbing in, with the help of the boys, when she suddenly
noticed something that made her exclaim:

"Oh, look! How did that happen?"



CHAPTER X

THE LEGACY


"What's the matter? What's happened?" asked Bunny Brown. "Are you going
to fall, Sue?"

He was helping his sister on one side to climb in the window, and
Charlie was on the other side of the little girl.

"No, I'm not going to fall," Sue answered. "But look at my dress! It's
all red paint!"

And so it was! In addition to being wet and muddy her skirt was now
covered with big blotches of red paint--the same kind of paint that was
being put on the roof.

"How did it happen?" went on Sue, almost ready to cry again. "I didn't
step in any paint, did I?"

"Even if you did I don't see how it got on your dress," said Charlie
Star.

"There's some on me, too!" cried Bunny Brown. "There's some on my
pants!"

"And I'm daubed just like you!" cried Charlie. "We're all three
painted!"

And they were, only Sue had more of it on her dress than the boys had on
their clothes.

"It must have been on the ladder," decided Charlie. "The painter man got
some of his red stuff on the ladder and we got it on us."

"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue. "Now after my dress is dry and I brush the mud
off mother will see the red paint. Course I'd tell her, anyhow, but I
wish she wouldn't see it first!"

However, there seemed no help for it. All three of the children had red
paint on their clothes, and paint, you know, can't be brushed off. When
it's on it stays, unless turpentine, or something like that, is used to
take it off.

Sue, and the boys, too, had hoped that Mrs. Brown would not know what
had happened. It wasn't that they wanted to deceive, or fool, her, but
Sue wanted to tell of the accident at the brook in her own way and time.
She really did not want to cause her mother worry when Mrs. Brown had
company. And Mrs. Brown would certainly begin to ask questions when she
saw those red spots on Sue's dress.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue again, and she seemed about to burst into tears.
Neither Bunny nor Charlie knew what to do.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue for the third time.

Suddenly the three children saw the upper end of the ladder--the part
that was raised up over the roof of the sun parlor. They saw this part
of the ladder moving.

"Oh, somebody's coming up!" exclaimed Charlie.

"Maybe it's mother!" wailed Sue. "Oh, help me get in the window! I don't
want her to see me this way!"

"Mother wouldn't be coming up the ladder!" declared Bunny. "What would
she be coming up the ladder for?"

"That's so!" agreed Charlie. "I guess she wouldn't."

"But somebody's coming up!" declared Sue, and this was very plain to be
seen. The ladder shook more and more.

Wonderingly the children watched it, and then there came into sight,
above the roof of the sun parlor, the head and shoulders of the
painter. He looked surprised as he saw the children, and then a cheerful
smile spread over his face as he said:

"Well, you've been getting daubed up, I see!"

"Ye-yes," faltered Bunny. "We got some of your paint on us!"

"'Tisn't my paint!" laughed the painter. "It's your father's, Bunny. I
got this paint down at his boat dock to paint the roof of this sun
parlor. I don't mind how much of it you daub on yourselves. 'Tisn't my
paint, you know!"

"But we don't want it on us!" exclaimed Sue. "Oh, I fell in the brook
and I got all muddy and now I'm all covered with paint! Oh, dear!"

Sue was almost crying again, and the painter who at first had thought
the children were merely playing, now began to understand that something
was wrong.

"What's the matter?" he asked.

Then the story was told, of why the boys had helped Sue climb up the
ladder to get into her room so her mother and the company would not see
her in her soiled dress.

"But now we're all paint!" wailed Sue.

"Well, never mind!" said the good-natured painter. "I can take those
paint spots out for you, if that's all you're worrying about."

"Oh, can you?" eagerly cried Sue.

"How?" asked Charlie Star, who was a rather curious little chap.

"Will you?" asked Bunny Brown, which was more to the point.

"I can and will!" said the painter. "Wait until I get some clean rags
and my turpentine."

He want back down the ladder, but soon came up again, with a can of
something with a strong, but not unpleasant smell. Bunny remembered that
smell. Once when he was little, and had a bad cold, his mother had
rubbed lard and turpentine on his chest.

"This turpentine will take the paint out when it's fresh," said the
painter. "Stand still now."

He wet the rag in some turpentine, which, as you know, is the juice, or
sap, of the pine and other trees. It is used to mix with paint, which
it will dissolve, or melt away after a fashion. It also helps the paint
to dry more quickly when spread on a house or bridge.

With the turpentine rag the painter rubbed at the red spots on Sue's
dress, and then, having taken those out, he began on Bunny and Charlie.
But the boys wanted to take out their own paint spots, and the painter
let them do it.

"There you are," he finally said. "I guess they won't show now."

"And my dress is nearly dry!" exclaimed Sue. "Oh, I'm so glad. Mother
won't know until I tell her. And of course I'll tell her," she quickly
added.

Sue was as good as her word. After she got into her room and the boys
had climbed down the ladder to go back and play with Bunny's little
ship, Sue changed into dry clothes.

Then, after the company had gone, she told her mother all that had
happened.

"I suppose it couldn't be helped," said Mrs. Brown with a smile. "I mean
about falling into the brook. But it would have been just as well to
come and tell me at once, Sue, instead of climbing the ladder. You
might have fallen."

"I didn't want the company to know about it, Mother!"

"That was thoughtful of you. But if you had fallen off the ladder the
company would have known about that, and it would have been much worse
than just being seen in a wet and muddy dress."

"Oh, I couldn't fall with Bunny and Charlie to help me!" declared Sue.

That evening, just before supper, after Charlie Star had gone home and
Bunny and Sue were playing out in the side yard, Mary called to them,
asking:

"Do you children want to run to the store for me?"

"Yes," answered Bunny, and Sue inquired:

"What do you want?"

"A little pepper," was the answer. "I forgot that we were out and didn't
order any when the grocery boy called to-day."

"We'll get it at Mrs. Golden's corner store!" said Bunny. "She keeps
pepper."

"All right," Mary agreed. "Wait and I'll get you the money. We don't
charge things at her store."

A little later Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, hand in hand, entered
Mrs. Golden's little store.

"Well, my dears, what is it to-day?" asked the old lady, with a smile.

"Some pepper, if you please," answered Sue.

"Red or black?" asked Mrs. Golden.

Bunny and Sue looked at one another. This was something they had not
thought about. Which did Mary want--red or black?

Seeing that the children were puzzled, Mrs. Golden said:

"What is your mother going to use it for, my dears?"

"Mother didn't tell us to get it," replied Bunny. "It was Mary, our
cook, who sent us after it, 'cause she forgot to get any for supper."

"Oh, then it's black pepper she wants, I suppose," said Mrs. Golden.
"She wouldn't want red pepper unless she were putting up pickles or
something like that. I'll give you black pepper."

She started to rise from her chair, for she had been seated near the
back of the store, but seemed so old and feeble that Bunny and Sue felt
very sorry for her. When ladies got as old as Mrs. Golden seemed to be
they ought always to rest in easy chairs, Bunny thought, and not have to
get up to wait on a store.

Mrs. Golden grunted and groaned a little as she pushed herself up from
the arms of the big chair.

"Are you terrible old?" asked Sue.

"I'm pretty old, yes, my dear," said Mrs. Golden. "But I don't mind
that. It's the stiffness and the rheumatism. It's hard for me to get
about, and the black pepper's on a high shelf, too. If my son Philip was
only here he'd reach it down for me."

"Where is Philip?" asked Sue.

"Oh, he's gone to the city on business. He hopes to get a little
legacy."

"What's a leg-legacy?" asked Bunny. "Is it something to sell in the
store?"

"Bless your heart, no!" laughed Mrs. Golden. "A legacy is money, or
property, or something like that which is left to you. If some of your
rich relations die they leave money in the bank, or a house and lot, and
it comes to you. That's a legacy."

"Did some of your rich relations die?" asked Sue.

"Well, an old man, who wasn't a very close relation, died," said the
storekeeper. "There was some talk that he might leave me something, and
Philip went to the city to see about it.

"But, dear, me! things are so uncertain in this world that I don't
believe I'll get anything. There's no use thinking about it. I don't
want to be disappointed, but I would like to get some money!"

Poor old lady! She seemed very sad and feeble, and the children felt
sorry for her.

"Let me see now," went on Mrs. Golden. "Was it salt you said you wanted,
Bunny?"

"No'm, pepper--black pepper."

"Oh, yes, black pepper! And it's on a high shelf, too. I wish Philip was
back. He'd reach it down for me. I don't believe he'll get that legacy
after all. Let me see now--pepper--black pepper----"

"Let me get it!" begged Bunny. "I can climb up on a high shelf!"

"So can I!" cried Sue. "I went up on a ladder, after I fell in the
brook, and I got red paint on my dress!"

"My, what a lot of things to happen!" murmured Mrs. Golden, as slowly
and feebly she made her way around the store to the side where she kept
the groceries.

"Let me get the pepper!" begged Bunny, as he saw the old woman looking
toward a top shelf. "I can climb up."

"Well, my dear, if you're sure you won't fall, you may get it," said
Mrs. Golden. "I've got some sort of a thing to reach down packages and
boxes from the high shelf. My boy Philip got it for me. But I can hardly
ever find it when I want it. Be careful now, Bunny."

"I will," said the little fellow, as he began to climb.

Sue watched her brother, thinking over what Mrs. Golden had told them
about a legacy.

"If she got a lot of money," mused Sue, "she could get a big store, all
spread out flat and she wouldn't have to have any high shelves. I hope
she gets her legacy."

Bunny was just reaching for the box of pepper when there was a sudden
barking of dogs outside the store and something black and furry, with a
long tail, rushed in, leaped up on the counter, and thence to the top
shelf, knocking down a lot of boxes and cans.

"Oh! Oh!" screamed Sue. "Look out, Bunny!"



CHAPTER XI

THE LAST DAY


Mrs. Golden was too surprised to do or say anything. She just stood
still, looking up at Bunny. As for the little boy, he had been so
startled that he almost let go his hold on one of the upright pieces of
wood that held up the shelves. But he did not quite unclasp his hand,
and so he clung there. Sue was dancing up and down in her excitement.

Then into the store rushed a big dog, barking and leaping about, his
eyes fixed on that scrambling object in brown fur which had sprung to
the highest shelf.

"Mercy me! What's that?" cried Mrs. Golden.

"It's Wango, Mr. Winkler's monkey," Sue answered.

And that is what it was.

Wango had got loose--nothing new for him--and had wandered out into
the street. There a strange dog, catching sight of the animal, had
chased him. Bunny and Sue knew it was a strange dog, for their own dog,
Splash, and most other dogs in the neighborhood, were used to Wango and
liked him. They seldom ran after him or barked at him. But this was a
strange dog.


[Illustration: "GO ON OUT OF HERE!" SUE ORDERED.
  _Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store._ _Page_ 109]

"Go on out of here!" Sue ordered this dog. The animal stood looking from
her to Wango on the high shelf, barking loudly now and then. "Go on out
and let Wango alone!" Sue ordered.

The dog did not seem to want to go, however, and Mrs. Golden was getting
a bit worried. She feared the monkey would leap about and knock down
many things from her shelves.

"Wait a minute," called Bunny Brown. "I've got the pepper. I'll come
down there and make the dog sneeze with it if he doesn't go out."

Bunny started to climb down, but there was no need for him to sprinkle
pepper on the dog's nose to make him sneeze. For just as Bunny reached
the floor in came Jed Winkler himself, looking for his pet monkey. Mr.
Winkler drove out the strange dog, closed the door, and then coaxed
Wango down from the high shelf.

"Did he do any damage, Mrs. Golden?" asked the old sailor. "If my monkey
did any damage I'll pay for it."

"No, he didn't do any harm," she answered. "He just startled us all a
little."

"Wango's a good monkey, but he will run away," said Mr. Winkler, petting
his furry companion. "I'm glad he didn't do any damage. My sister said
he'd be sure to this time, but I'm glad he didn't."

"He's a good climber," said Sue. "If you had a monkey, Mrs. Golden, he
could reach things down from the high shelves for you, when your son
goes off after leg-legacies."

"I'm afraid, dearie, that a monkey would be more bother than he was
worth to me, just to lift things down off high shelves," laughed the old
lady. "Wango is a lively chap, though."

"What's this about a legacy?" asked Mr. Winkler, for he was an old
friend of Mrs. Golden.

"I don't count much on it," she answered. "Philip has gone to see about
it. I got word that an uncle of mine had died and left some money and
property. We may get a share of it and we may not."

"I hope you do!" exclaimed Mr. Winkler. "I most certainly hope you do!"

So did Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, for they were getting quite fond
of Mrs. Golden, and liked to buy things at her store.

When the children were on their way home with the pepper, Mr. Winkler
walking with them part of the way carrying Wango on his shoulder, Bunny
said:

"When I keep a store like that I'm going to have a monkey to reach
things down off the high shelves for me."

"He might get the wrong things," Sue objected.

"Maybe he would first," said Bunny. "But I'd train him. It would be fun
to have a monkey in a store, wouldn't it, Sue?"

"Lots of fun!" agreed Sue.

"My goodness, children!" laughed Mary, as they entered the kitchen with
the pepper, "it took you quite a while, and I was in a hurry. Didn't
Mrs. Golden have any pepper?"

"Yes, but Wango got in the store," explained Bunny. "When I keep a store
I'm going to keep a monkey, too!"

"Bless and save us, what does the child mean?" murmured Mary, but she
did not stop for an answer, as she was in a hurry to get the supper on
the table.

Some days after this, during which time Bunny Brown and his sister Sue
had had much fun with their playmates keeping store and doing other
things, the two children came down dressed to go to school. But they
were singing and laughing in a way they seldom did unless something
different was happening, or going to happen.

"Bless and save us!" exclaimed Mary, as she saw Bunny and Sue start out
of the house hand in hand. "You're very joyful this morning. What's
going on?"

"It's the last day of school!" explained Bunny, laughing still more.

"We'll have hardly any lessons," Sue added. "And when we come home
to-day we don't have to go back to school for a long, long while. It'll
be vacation!"

"Oh, so that's the reason!" laughed Mary. "No wonder you feel so pert
and chipper--no school! Well, have a good time when you're young."

Bunny and Sue certainly had good times if ever children did.

As Sue had said, there were hardly any lessons at school that day.
Reports were to be given out, little gifts were to be made to the
teachers, and there were to be "exercises." That is, the pupils would
recite or sing in their different classrooms.

Bunny and Sue were each to "speak a piece," and they had been preparing
for some time, going over their recitations each night at home to make
sure they would not forget and stumble and halt when they stood on the
platform.

Miss Bradley was such a great favorite with her children that many had
brought her little gifts.

These were placed on her desk, and then, after a few lessons, which no
one took very seriously, Miss Bradley read the class a story. Then came
the speaking of "pieces."

This was always one of the things that took place on the "last day," and
was much enjoyed. No one had to recite unless he or she wanted to, and
so no one was nervous or afraid, except about forgetting the lines.

Sadie West recited a verse about bees and flowers, and very pretty it
was, too. Sue had picked out a funny verse about a little mouse, a trap,
and a piece of cheese. I think most of you know it, so I'll not tell you
about it.

Then came the turn of fat Bobbie Boomer. Bobbie was funny just to look
at, and he was funnier when he got up to recite. He had picked out as
his recitation that old, old poem about Mary and her lamb, for it was
easy for him to remember that.

Now Bobbie had been very sure that he would not forget any of the verses
when he got up on the platform. He had practiced his "piece" at home
over and over until he knew it "by heart," and could almost say it in
his sleep, his father remarked.

But when Bobbie got up on the platform and after he had made a funny,
jerky, fat, little bow, all of a sudden every word of that poem seemed
to slip from his mind! He stood there, looking around the room, now up
at the ceiling and now down at the floor. His face grew red, and he
began pulling at the buttons on his coat.

Miss Bradley felt sorry for him, and she laid her finger over her lips
when she heard some of the children beginning to laugh.

"What is the name of your selection, Bobbie?" the teacher asked kindly.

"It--it's about Ma--Mary and her--her little lamb!"

"That's a cute little poem. Don't be afraid. I'll start you off, and
then perhaps you can remember the rest. Now begin," and Miss Bradley
said the first line.

This helped Bobbie very much, and he got along all right until he came
to the verse about the lamb following Mary to school. Bobbie got as far
as, "It followed her to school one day which was----"

And there poor Bobbie "stuck." He couldn't think what came next.

"It followed her to school one day--school one day--one day," he said
slowly.

"Yes," said Miss Bradley kindly. "And what comes next, Bobbie? Was it
right for the lamb to follow Mary to school?"

Miss Bradley wanted Bobbie to say, "which was against the rule," but
Bobbie couldn't just then remember that. Suddenly his eyes opened wide.
He pointed to the back of the room, where a clattering sound was heard,
and cried:

"Look! Look what's coming in!"



CHAPTER XII

WATERING THE GARDEN


Instantly all the children turned around to look at what Bobbie Boomer
was pointing to. And gasps of surprise came from Bunny Brown and Sue, as
well as from the other pupils and the teacher.

For, standing in the doorway of the classroom, which was on the ground
floor, was Toby, the Brown's Shetland pony. He stood there looking in,
the wind blowing his fluffy mane and forelock, and his bright eyes
looking around the classroom as if for a sight of Bunny and his sister.

"Oh, Toby!" cried Bunny. He had spoken out loud in school, but as it was
the last day it did not so much matter.

"He came to school, just like Mary's lamb!" exclaimed Charlie Star.

Fat Bobbie Boomer seemed to be forgotten, but the sight of the pony
appeared to have brought back to the little boy's mind the line he had
missed.

"Which was against the rule!" he suddenly exclaimed.

Every one laughed, even Miss Bradley, and she added:

"Yes, it was against the rule for the lamb to follow Mary to school, and
I suppose it's just as much against the rule for the pony to follow
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue."

"Please, Teacher, he didn't follow me!" said Bunny.

"Nor me!" added Sue. "We didn't know he was coming! He was in the stable
when we came from home."

This was very true, and they were all wondering how it had happened that
Toby had followed the children. It was something he had never done
before, and, though he was a great pet, he was not exactly Mary's
lamb--he did not follow Bunny and Sue everywhere they went.

"Suppose, Bunny, you take Toby out of the room," suggested Miss
Bradley, for the Shetland pony did not seem to want to go of his own
accord. "Can you manage him?" the teacher asked.

"Oh, yes, I can ride home on his back, if you'll let me," said the
little boy.

"School is almost over for the day, and also for the term," said the
teacher with a smile. "You may be excused."

But Bunny did not have to leave. For just then in came Bunker Blue, the
young man who worked for Mr. Brown at the fish and boat dock.

"Oh, you're in here, are you?" asked Bunker, speaking to Toby and taking
hold of the thick mane of the little horse.

"Did he run away?" asked Bunny of Bunker. "Did he get out of his stall?"

"Not exactly," explained the tall young helper. "I was taking him down
to the blacksmith shop to have new shoes put on him. I left him in front
of the hardware store while I went in to get something for your father,
Bunny, and when I came out Toby had slipped from his halter. I didn't
know where he was until some one said they saw him come into the
schoolhouse."

"He hasn't done any harm," remarked Miss Bradley.

"How did he get loose from the pony cart?" Sue asked.

"He wasn't hitched to the pony cart," answered Bunker Blue. "I was just
leading him by the halter, but I guess I didn't have it strapped tight
enough. Come along, Toby," he added. "I guess you've said your lessons,"
and the whole class, teacher and all, joined in the laugh which Bunker
Blue started.

Toby whinnied, which was his way of laughing, I suppose, and then Bunker
Blue led him forth from the classroom. So Bunny didn't have to leave
school to ride his pet home, though I believe the little boy would have
been very glad to do so--as would, in fact, any boy in the class.

"Well, now we will go on with our exercises," said Miss Bradley. "Can
you remember your recitation now, Bobbie?"

The appearance of Toby seemed to have had a good effect, for Bobbie
began again about Mary and her lamb, and gave all the verses, without
forgetting a single line. Every one clapped his or her hands when he
finished and made his bow.

In turn the other children recited. Then came the singing of some songs
in which the whole school joined in the big assembly hall, and the "last
day," ended.

"Now for the long vacation!" cried Bunny Brown, as he raced out of the
schoolyard with the other boys.

"And lots of fun!" added Charlie Star.

"We'll go camping!" said George Watson.

"And sail boats!" added Harry Bentley.

The girls, too, were no less joyful. They talked of what they would do,
of the play parties they would have and of picnics in the woods.

"Will you play store any more?" asked Mary Watson of Sue.

"Oh, I guess so," was the answer. "Bunny and I like that fun. Bunny
wants to keep a real store when he grows up. Sometimes he lifts things
down from the shelves for Mrs. Golden in her store."

Laughing, shouting, tagging each other, and running away, talking of
what they would do during the long vacation, the school children ran on
through the streets of Lakeport.

"Let's have a race!" cried Bunny.

"I can beat you!" declared Charlie Star.

Off they ran, feet fast flying, and Bunny was first to reach the
hitching post in front of his house, this being the end of the race
course for that particular time.

"Did Bunker Blue come back with Toby?" asked Bunny of his mother, after
he had been given a piece of bread and sugar by Mary.

"No," was the answer. "But how did you know Bunker had Toby out? He
didn't come for him until after you went to school," said Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, Toby came to school!" explained Sue, laughing.

"Toby came to school?" repeated her mother.

And then the story was told amid much laughter.

Just before supper Bunker Blue came back with Toby, and the children
were allowed to hitch the Shetland pony to the basket cart.

"Do you want anything from the store?" asked Bunny, as he took his seat
beside Sue and grasped the pony's reins.

"Better ask Mary," was the reply.

And, as it happened, Mary wanted some sugar.

"We'll get it at Mrs. Golden's," called Bunny, as he drove out of the
yard.

"My, the children are getting fond of that old lady store keeper," mused
Mary, as she went back to her kitchen work.

"I'm glad to have them," said Mrs. Brown. "It does children good to
learn to be kind and thoughtful toward others. And, from what I hear,
Mrs. Golden needs help. Her son works, but does not earn much, and she
can't make a very good living from so small a store. We must buy what we
can from her."

"Trust the children for that!" laughed Mary. "They'd run there all the
while if we'd let them. Bunny was telling me Mrs. Golden had something
the matter with one of her legs."

"Oh, no. He said she expected a legacy," explained Mrs. Brown. "That
means she hopes to get a little property or some money from a relative
who has died."

"Oh, I thought it was her legs, poor old lady!" said Mary. "Rheumatism,
or something like that."

"Mrs. Golden isn't very well able to get around," admitted Mrs. Brown.
"But that has nothing to do with a legacy."

Bunny and Sue drove up to the door of the little corner store.

"My, but you're coming in style!" exclaimed Mrs. Golden, when she saw
them. "Are you going to buy me out?"

"No, we just want some sugar," said Bunny. "We're going to get five
pounds, 'cause we can carry it in the pony cart."

"Yes, if it wasn't for the cart I'd be a bit afraid to give you so much
as five pounds," said Mrs. Golden, as she went slowly behind the counter
to weigh out the sweet stuff. "You might drop it. But it'll be safe in
the pony cart. You'll be like a regular grocery delivery."

"Do you deliver things?" asked Sue.

"No, dearie. I can't afford to have a delivery wagon and a horse, to say
nothing of one of those automobiles. And it wouldn't pay me to hire a
boy, even when Philip is away. Sometimes he takes heavy things that are
ordered, but mostly folks carry away what they buy. Let's see, now, how
many pounds did you say, Bunny?"

"Five, Mrs. Golden. And please may I scoop it out of the barrel?"

"Well, yes, maybe; if you don't spill it."

"I won't spill any!" promised Bunny eagerly. "And may I put it on the
scales? You see I'm going to keep a store when I grow up," he went on,
"and I'll want to know how to weigh things on the scales."

"I hope you make more money than I do," sighed Mrs. Golden. "Now be
careful of the scoop, dearie!"

Bunny felt quite proud of himself as he leaned down in the sugar barrel
and dipped up the sweet, sparkling grains. Mrs. Golden guided his hands
as he poured the sugar into the scoop of the scale, and of course she
watched to make sure the weight was right, for Bunny was hardly old
enough to know that.

But he did it nearly all himself, and he told his father so that evening
after supper.

"My! I'll have to be on the lookout for a vacant place to rent so you
and Sue can keep a store during vacation," replied Mr. Brown, laughing.

"Oh, we don't want to start a store unless Mrs. Golden gets her legacy
so she'll be rich," declared Sue. "If we had a store she wouldn't sell
so much and she'd be sorry."

"Well, maybe that's so," agreed her father, with a smile. "We'll wait
until we find out about the legacy before we start you and Bunny in the
store business. When will Mrs. Golden know about it?"

"When her son Philip comes back. He's gone to see about the legacy,"
said Bunny.

When they went to bed that night Bunny and Sue talked of what they would
do during the long vacation. On account of some business matters, Mr.
Brown could not take his family away that summer until about the middle
of August. This left them with a good part of the vacation to spend in
Bellemere, and the two children were beginning to plan for their fun.

One of the first things Bunny found to do the next morning--the first
morning of the vacation--was to water the garden.

"May I take the hose and sprinkle?" he asked.

"If you don't get yourself wet through," his mother answered.

"I'll be careful," Bunny promised.

There was a vegetable garden at the side of the house, a garden which
Uncle Tad had made and of which he was very proud. As there had been no
rain for some days the garden was in need of water.

The hose was attached to the faucet, for Uncle Tad had been watering the
garden the night before, and he had gone away, leaving word that if any
one had time to spray more water on the vegetables they should do so, as
the ground was very dry.

"I like to water the garden," said Bunny, and he took great delight in
directing the stream from the hose over the cabbages, beets and potatoes
which were coming up.

After watering for some time Bunny began to feel hungry, as he often
did, and started in to ask Mary for some bread and jam. He laid the hose
down, with the water still running, but he turned the stream so it would
spray on the grass and not on the garden, so it would not wash out any
of the growing things.

Bunny was coming out again, with a large slice of bread and jam, when
from the front street he heard a man's voice crying:

"Here! Look out what you're doing! Be careful with that hose! You're
soaking me!"

"Oh, oh!" cried Bunny Brown. "Sue must have picked up the hose that I
left and squirted water on somebody!"



CHAPTER XIII

HELPING MRS. GOLDEN


Almost dropping his slice of bread and jam, so excited was he, Bunny
Brown ran toward the hose. Before he reached it, for it was around the
corner of the house, he heard the man's voice again calling out:

"Here! Stop that I say! Can't people go along the street without being
wet with water from a hose? Pull your hose farther back!"

"Sue! Sue! Don't do that! Be careful! You're wetting some one," cried
Bunny, as he ran along, not yet seeing the hose. But he could guess what
had happened.

Sue, coming along and seeing the hose turned on, with the water spurting
out, had picked up the nozzle end and was watering the garden. Only she
held the hose so high that the water shot over the high front hedge and
was wetting some man passing in the street.

That is what Bunny thought. But that is not what had happened.

Just before he turned the corner of the house he heard the man's voice
once more saying:

"Say, isn't it enough to wet me once? What are you keeping it up for? I
am trying to get out of the way, but you follow me. I'm coming in and
see about this!"

Something very like trouble seemed about to happen.

"Sue! Sue!" cried Bunny, still thinking his sister was to blame. "Let
that hose alone!"

But when he turned the corner of the house and could see the garden, Sue
was not in sight. And, stranger still, no one was at the hose. There it
lay, still spurting water out on the thick, green grass.

Who had picked up the nozzle and sprayed the unseen man in the street?
If it was Sue where had she gone?

"Sue! Sue!" called Bunny. "Were you playing with the hose?"

Sue's head was thrust out of the window of her room upstairs.

"What's the matter, Bunny?" she asked.

"Oh, you're up there, are you?" exclaimed the little boy, much
surprised. "Were you down here at the hose?"

"No. I'm getting dressed. I haven't been down in the yard at all yet."

"Then who did it?" thought Bunny. "I wonder----"

But just then a man, who seemed to have been out in a rain storm without
an umbrella, came hurrying around the side path. He caught sight of
Bunny standing near the hose.

"Look here, my little boy," said the man, trying not to speak angrily,
though he was rightfully provoked, "you must be more careful with your
hose. You have wet me very much. Does your mother know you are doing
this?"

"She--she knows I'm watering the garden," Bunny answered.

"Does she know you were watering me?" asked the man, with a half smile.

"No--no, sir," replied the small boy. "I didn't wet you!"

"You didn't! Then who did?"

"I--I don't know," stammered Bunny. "I left the hose here while I went
in to get some bread and jam. Here's some of it now," and he held out
what was left of his slice. "I heard you calling, and I thought maybe it
was my sister Sue. Course she wouldn't 'a' done it on purpose. But it
wasn't Sue. She hasn't been downstairs yet."

"Then who was it?" insisted the man. "Surely the hose didn't wet me all
by itself."

"No," admitted Bunny. "But it might have been Mr. Winkler's monkey."

"Who's Mr. Winkler's monkey, and how could he wet me with a hose?"
demanded the man.

"His name is Wango--I mean the monkey's is," explained Bunny. "Sometimes
he gets away and does things. He climbed up on Mrs. Golden's
shelves--she keeps a store. Maybe Wango got loose and came over here and
picked up the hose to get a drink or something, and so wet you."

"Well, that's possible," admitted the man. "And if that's the case I beg
your pardon. Do you see Wango around here?" he went on, while Sue,
looking from her upper window, wondered who the stranger could be.

"No, I don't see Wango," replied Bunny, looking about. "But I'll look
for him. Maybe he's hiding."

"Maybe he is," and the man now laughed. "I'll help you search. For if
the monkey is up to tricks like that he ought to be stopped. He may wet
some one else if you go away and leave the water turned on."

"That's right," agreed Bunny.

He left the hose, still spurting, on the grass, and, followed by the
man, walked around the yard, looking for Wango. But the mischievous
monkey was not in sight, nor did he come when Bunny called, though Mr.
Winkler's pet nearly always did this.

"I guess he isn't here," said Bunny at length. "But I didn't wet you
with the hose."

"Then who----" began the man, but he stopped short to point and cry:
"Look at that!"

As Bunny and the stranger were walking back toward the hose, Splash, the
big dog, ran out from under the back porch and took hold of the hose in
his teeth. He began to shake it as he often shook things with which he
played.

"There!" laughed the man. "That's how I was sprayed! Your dog picked up
the hose after you left it, and raised it high, so the water shot over
the hedge and on me! Now the mystery is explained! It was the dog that
did it!"

And so it was.

"Splash!" cried Bunny. "Drop that hose!"

Splash dropped it, and with a bark came running up to be petted. He did
not know he had done wrong.

"I'm very sorry," said Bunny. "Splash, you're a bad dog!" he declared,
and Splash drooped his tail between his legs.

"Oh, don't scold him," the man begged. "I like dogs, and I know they
don't like to be scolded any more than we do--or than boys or girls do.
It wasn't his fault. He thought the hose was left there for him to play
with."

"Is anything wrong?" asked Mrs. Brown. Sue had told her mother about a
strange man, all wet, in the yard talking to Bunny, and Mrs. Brown had
come down to see about it.

"Just a little accident," explained the stranger. "I was passing in the
street when it suddenly began to rain--or at least I thought at first it
was rain. Then I knew it was some one using a hose and spraying me. I
called to them, but that did no good, and I came in. I saw this little
boy and the hose, and naturally thought he had wet me by accident. But
it seems it was his dog," and he explained how it had happened.

"I am very sorry," apologized Mrs. Brown. "If there is anything I can
do----"

"Oh, I will soon dry in the sun!" laughed the man. "I wasn't really
angry, only I know children will get careless when they have a hose, and
I was going to tell them to be more careful. But I don't suppose I can
make Splash understand," and he patted the dog, whose tail was now
wagging again.

"I'm glad you are so kind about it," said Mrs. Brown. "Bunny generally
is careful when he waters the garden. If you will come in and get
dry----"

"Oh, no, thank you! I'll dry better in the sun. Clean water will hurt
no one, and I might just as well have been caught in a shower.
Good-bye!" he called, and hurried away.

"After this, Bunny," advised his mother, as he kept on wetting the
garden, "it will be best to turn off the water if you leave the hose."

"Yes, Mother, I will," he promised.

So that little happening passed off all right, and later Bunny and the
gentleman--who was a newcomer in town, Mr. Halsted by name--became good
friends.

One day, about a week after vacation had started, during which time
Bunny and Sue had had much fun, the two children went to the little
corner store kept by Mrs. Golden. Bunny and Sue each had two cents to
spend, and they were allowed to get some candy.

As they entered the store they saw Mrs. Golden trying to sweep, but the
way in which the old woman used the broom showed that she was in pain.
As the children entered she stopped, held her hand to her side, and
tried to stand up.

"Oh!" she murmured, in a low voice.

"Is it your rheumatism?" asked Bunny.

"That, or something worse," replied the old lady, with a sigh. "I get a
pain in my side every time I sweep."

"Let me do it!" begged Sue. "I love to sweep, and I'd like to help you."

"So would I!" exclaimed Bunny. "I can sweep, too. Please let me!"

Almost before she realized it, Mrs. Golden had given up the broom to
Sue, and the little girl was sweeping the store, while Bunny waited for
his turn.

Suddenly the doorway was darkened, and a big man with a bushy black
beard came stalking in.

"Where's Mrs. Golden?" he asked, looking at some papers in his hand. "I
want to see Mrs. Golden," and his voice was cross.

"I'm Mrs. Golden," answered the old lady. "What can I do for you?"

"The best thing you can do is to pay that money!" snapped the man.



CHAPTER XIV

THE CROSS MAN


Bunny and Sue had at first paid no attention to the big man with the
black beard who entered the little corner grocery store so suddenly. The
children thought he was a customer come to buy some groceries.

But when the man, in that cross voice, said Mrs. Golden had better pay
him some money, Bunny and Sue looked sharply at him, Sue holding on to
the broom.

"'Cause I thought maybe he was a robber coming after Mrs. Golden's
money," she explained later.

"What would you have done if he had been a robber?" asked Uncle Tad.

"I'd 'a' hit him with the broom," Sue replied.

"And I'd have helped her!" exclaimed Bunny.

But this was afterward. The man, however, as the children looked at
him, did not appear to be a robber. He was big, and not very pleasant to
look at, and his black beard was as bristling as some of those worn by
moving-picture pirates. But he did not seem to be going to take any
money from the cash drawer.

From the way poor Mrs. Golden looked, though, the children were sure the
man had frightened her. She sank down in a chair, and stared silently at
the man.

"Well!" exclaimed the cross man more crossly than at first, "I'm Mr.
Flynt of the Grocery Supply Company. If you're Mrs. Golden, I want to
know why you don't pay me that money?"

"I--I wish I could, Mr. Flynt," murmured the old lady store keeper. "I
really thought I'd have it for you last week."

"But you didn't!" snapped out the man. "You told our agent who called
two weeks ago that you'd have it last week. But you didn't pay it. Then
you said you'd send it this week, and you didn't. Now I've come for it.
You can't fool me!"

Truly, thought Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, no one could fool this
man, nor play with him nor do anything with him except dislike him.

"Come, come, Mrs. Golden!" went on Mr. Flynt. "You owe us this money,
you know, and you'll have to pay it!"

"If you'll only wait until my son Philip comes back," murmured the old
lady, "he'll pay you some, I'm sure. He's gone away to get a little
legacy, and if he gets it I'll have enough to pay you all I owe and
more!"

"Yes, _if_ he gets it!" sneered the cross man. "I've heard those stories
before. But if your son doesn't get that legacy what then?"

"Oh, I'm sure he'll get it!" said Mrs. Golden, trying to smile. "But
if--if he doesn't, why, I'll just have to owe you the money, that's
all!"

"That isn't all!" exclaimed Mr. Flynt. "We've got to have money. We've
been as easy on you as we could be. We've let your bill run a good deal
longer than we do most folks' bills. You've got to pay your debts, just
as we have to pay ours. Come now, I want some money!"

Bunny and Sue looked at each other. Both had the same thought. Sue
dropped the broom and began feeling in her pocket beneath her
handkerchief. Sue had only one pocket, and she was lucky, being a girl,
to have that. Bunny had any number of pockets, and he was going through
first one and then the other, finding different things in each--a top,
pieces of string, his knife, odd bits of stone, a very black piece of
licorice, and some nails. Bunny never knew when he might want some of
these things.

"Here, Mrs. Golden!" exclaimed Sue, she being the first to get what she
was after in her pocket. "Here's two cents I was going to spend for
candy. You can have it to give to the man!"

"Bless your heart, dearie!" murmured Mrs. Golden, "I can't take your
money."

"And here's my two cents!" exclaimed Bunny. "You can keep it. And you
don't need to give us any candy either."

"No!" added Sue, though she had a catch in her breath as she said it,
for she really wanted a bit of sweet stuff that day.

"No, no, my dear," said Mrs. Golden, trying to smile, though there were
tears in her eyes. "Keep your money. I'll sell you some candy if you
want it, but you mustn't give your pennies away. Anyhow, I must pay Mr.
Flynt a great deal more than that."

"I should say so!" exclaimed the black-bearded man, though, somehow or
other, his voice was not quite so cross as before. "Four cents wouldn't
pay postage on the bills we have sent you!

"But now, Mrs. Golden," he went on, "I don't want to be any harder on
you than I have to. If you're going to get some money in, or your son
is, and you can pay us what you owe we won't sell you out."

"Sell me out!" cried the old lady. "Were you thinking of doing that?"

"We'll have to if you don't pay," was the answer. "You bought a lot of
goods of us, and you must pay for them. If you don't we'll have to take
these things away," and he looked around at the shelves of the store.

"If you take things away from her how can she sell them?" asked Bunny
Brown.

"She can't," said Mr. Flynt. "But she must pay. Everybody must pay what
they owe or be sold out. Now I'll give you a little more time," he went
on. "I'll tell them, back at the office, that you expect a legacy, and
when that comes you must pay."

"Yes, yes! I'll pay!" promised Mrs. Golden. "Only give me a little more
time and I'll pay."

"Well, see that you do!" grumbled the black-bearded man, who appeared to
be crosser than ever now. "When I come again I want money!"

He stalked out of the store with a scowl on his face, and Bunny and Sue
looked first at each other and then at poor Mrs. Golden.

"I don't like that man!" declared Sue, as she picked up the broom.

"I don't, either!" said Bunny. "What makes him so cross, Mrs. Golden?"

"Maybe he can't help it, dearie. Going around making people pay up is a
cross sort of work, I guess."

"But what makes him want you to give him money?" asked Sue. "I thought a
store was a place where people paid you money. I didn't think you had to
pay money out. Bunny's going to keep a store when he grows up. Will he
have to pay out money?"

"No, I'm not going to!" cried the little boy. "People have got to pay me
money, but I don't pay any."

"You have lots to learn about a store, little man!" said Mrs. Golden.
"It isn't all fun, as you and Sue suppose. Do you see all these things
on my shelves?" she asked.

The children looked around at them and nodded their heads.

"To get them I have to buy them from other people--from the wholesalers,
as they are called," explained Mrs. Golden. "The Grocery Supply Company
is one of them. I buy barrels of sugar, barrels of flour, big boxes of
prunes, and so on, from this company. Then I sell a few pounds of sugar,
flour or prunes at a time and make a little money each time I sell. You
see I don't pay as much for the flour and sugar as I sell it for. The
difference in price comes to me, and is what I live on, and sometimes
it's little enough.

"And now the trouble is I have bought a great many things from this Mr.
Flynt's company, and I haven't the money to pay for them. That's why
he's cross. He has a right to his money, but I haven't it to give him."

"Why not?" Bunny asked.

"Well, because I don't sell very much in my little store. If I sold more
I'd have the money to pay my bills."

"Oh, Bunny, I know what we can do!" cried Sue. "We can tell mother to
buy everything here--all her groceries and things--and then Mrs. Golden
will have money to pay the cross man."

"Your mother is very kind as it is," said the old lady. "I'd like to
have her trade here, but of course I don't keep the best of everything.
I have to sell cheap goods. But of course if I sold more of them I'd
have more money and then I could pay my bills.

"But there, my dears, this isn't any fun for you. You came to get your
pennies' worth of candy, and I'll pick it out for you. An old woman's
troubles aren't for little ones like you."

"My father had troubles once," said Bunny, "and we hugged him and kissed
him; didn't we, Sue? That was when there was a fire on his boat dock."

"Yes, we were sorry a lot," Sue replied. "And we're sorry for you now,
Mrs. Golden, and I'm going to tell mother to buy all her things here."

"That's very kind of you," said the woman. "But if Philip only gets that
legacy I'll have money enough to pay all my debts and a little left
over. Now don't worry about me. Try to have a good time. I'll get your
candy!"

"And I'll finish this sweeping," laughed Sue.

"I'll help," said Bunny Brown, and then, in spite of the cross man,
there seemed to be a little bit of sunshine in Mrs. Golden's store.



CHAPTER XV

THE BROKEN WINDOW


"Daddy," said Bunny Brown that night, as the family were in the pleasant
living room, "have you much money in the bank?"

"I have a little, Bunny, yes. But why do you ask?" Mr. Brown wanted to
know.

"I have some in my bank!" cried Sue, before her brother could answer. "I
guess maybe I have a hundred and seventy dollars!"

"Pennies you mean, dear! Pennies! Not dollars!" laughed her mother, for
the children each had a penny bank.

"Well, pennies, then," agreed Sue. "But aren't a hundred and seventy
pennies 'most the same as a hundred dollars?"

"Pooh! No!" said Bunny. "It takes a hundred pennies to make even one
dollar!"

"Oh--o--o--! Does it?" exclaimed Sue. "What a terrible lot of money!"

"Yes, it does seem a lot," laughed Mr. Brown. "But why are you talking
about money?" and he looked at his little son. "Why did you ask if I had
any money in the bank?"

"I was wondering if Mrs. Golden had any in her bank," said Bunny.

"I don't believe she has very much," said Mr. Brown. "I was past her
store to-day. It's a very small one. I don't see how she makes a living
there."

"We were in there to-day," went on Bunny, "and a man came in and wanted
a lot of money. He said Mrs. Golden owed him. He was from the grocery
company."

"Yes, the wholesale house, I presume," remarked Mr. Brown. "Well, Bunny,
did Mrs. Golden pay her bills?"

"No," said Bunny, a bit sadly, "she didn't. And Mr. Flynt was cross. I
was thinking maybe if you had a lot of money in the bank you could take
some out and give it to Mrs. Golden, and then she wouldn't have to cry
when cross men came in. And she could pay you back when she got her
leg--her legacy!" and Bunny brought the last word out with a jerk, for
it was rather hard for him to remember.

"What's all this about?" asked Mr. Brown, looking at his wife in some
surprise.

"I don't know," answered the children's mother. "It's the first I've
heard of it. Bunny and Sue often go to the little corner store. It's
handy when Mary wants something in a hurry."

"Tell me more about Mrs. Golden, Bunny," asked his father.

Thereupon the story of the cross man and the money the old lady owed to
the grocery company was told as well as the children could tell it.

"It's too bad!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "I want you children to be as kind
as you possibly can to Mrs. Golden. Help her all you can, Bunny and
Sue."

"And will you buy things there?" asked Sue.

"Why, yes," agreed her mother. "We will trade there all we can. Mr.
Gordon, the big grocer, can afford to lose a little of our custom."

"Do you think you could give her any money out of your bank, Daddy?"
asked Bunny. "And she could give it back after she got her legacy."

"I'll see about it," was the smiling answer. "I know some of the men in
the Grocery Supply Company," went on Mr. Brown, "and I'll ask them to be
a bit easy with the old lady. But you didn't tell us about this legacy,
Bunny. You told us about the cross man, but not about the legacy."

"The children have spoken of it to me several times," said Mrs. Brown.
"It seems some relative of Mrs. Golden has died, and her son has gone to
see about some money or property that may come to his mother."

"She'll have plenty of money when she gets her legacy," remarked Bunny.
"She told me so."

"Then let us hope that she gets it," said Mr. Brown. "And now don't you
children worry any more about it," he told Bunny and Sue. "I'll help
Mrs. Golden if she really needs it."

"And we'll help her, too," said Bunny to his sister, as they went to bed
that night.

"Hey, Bunny! Hi, Bunny Brown!" called a voice under Bunny's window
early the next morning.

"Hello! Who's down there?" Bunny asked, jumping out of bed.

"Come on down!" cried Charlie Star. "We're going to have a ball game!
We're waiting for you! Bobbie Boomer, Harry Bentley, George Watson, and
all the fellows are over in the lots waiting. Come on have a ball game!"

"I didn't know it was so late!" murmured Bunny, rubbing his eyes. "I'll
be right down!"

He had, indeed, slept later than usual, and as this was vacation time,
his mother had not called him, though Sue had got up and had gone off to
play with some of the girls.

Bunny had his breakfast and then he ran over to the big lots with
Charlie. A number of boys were tossing and batting balls, and when Bunny
arrived there were enough to make up two "sides" and have a game. Bunny
was captain of one team and Charlie Star of the other.

"Now, fellows, we want to beat!" cried Bunny, as he took his place to
pitch the first ball of the game.

"Yes! Ho! Ho! I'd like to see your side win!" laughed Charlie. "We won't
let you get a single run!"

It was all jolly good fun, and though each side tried to win it was in
good-nature, which is how all games should be played. First Bunny's team
was ahead, and then Charlie's, until it came close to noon, when the
boys knew they would have to stop playing and go home to dinner.

"Now, fellows," said Bunny Brown, as it was his turn to bat, "I'm going
to knock a home run and that will win the game for us!"

"Pooh! You can't knock a home run!" laughed Charlie, who was pitching
for his side.

Bunny swung hard at the ball which Charlie pitched to him. And Bunny
himself was a little surprised when his bat struck it squarely and the
ball sailed away, much farther than he had ever knocked a ball before.

"Run, everybody! Run!" cried Bunny Brown, dropping the bat and starting
for first base himself. Two of his side were on the other bases, and if
they could all get in on his home run it would mean that his side would
win.

Higher and higher and farther and farther sailed the ball Bunny had
knocked, away over the head of fat Bobbie Boomer, who was playing out in
center field. It surely was going to be a home run.

"Oh, look where that ball's going!" cried Charlie Star, turning to watch
it. "Oh, it's going to break one of Mr. Morrison's windows!" Mr.
Morrison was a rather crabbed, cross old man who had a house on the edge
of the vacant lots where the boys played ball.

Bunny was too excited over his home run to pay much attention to where
the ball went, and Tom Case and Jerry Bond, who were running "home,"
thought only of how fast they could run. But the others watched the
ball, and a moment later saw it crash through one of Mr. Morrison's
windows.

By this time Bunny was at third base. He did not stop there, but ran on
in, touched home plate, and sank down to rest, very tired but happy
because he was sure his side would now win the ball game.

Out in the field, near the fence that was around Mr. Morrison's house,
Bobbie Boomer was calling:

"I can't get the ball! I can't get the ball! It's in Mr. Morrison's
house!"

And, surely enough, that's where it was--right in the house. It had gone
through the window.

"I--I made the home run all right!" panted Bunny Brown. "I told you I
would, Charlie Star!"

Bunny had run so fast that he had not heard the tinkle of the breaking
glass, nor had he seen where his ball went.

"Yes, you made a home run all right!" yelled Charlie. "And now we'd
better all _run home_ or Old Morrison will be after us for busting his
window. Come on, fellows! Let's run home!"

The game was practically over, and a number of the boys, fearing the
anger of Mr. Morrison, started after Charlie, running away from the
lots. But this was not Bunny Brown's way.

"Did I--did the ball I batted break a window?" he asked.

"You ought to 'a' heard the crash!" panted Bobbie Boomer, running in
from center field. "Old Morrison will be here in a minute! You'd better
run, Bunny!"

Surely enough, a moment or two later Mr. Morrison came out on his back
porch, from which he could look into the lots. He saw the boys, some of
them running away. In his hand he held the baseball that had crashed
through his window.

"Hi, there!" he cried. "Who did this?"

One or two boys, seeing that Bunny was not going to run, had stayed with
him.

"Who did this?" cried Mr. Morrison again.

Up spoke Bunny Brown, walking toward the angry man.

"I--I knocked the ball," he said.

"Well, you broke my window, young man, and you've got to pay for it!"

"I--I will!" faltered Bunny. "I have some money in my bank, and if you
come home with me I'll take it out and pay you."

Mr. Morrison seemed surprised at this. In times past when his windows
were broken the boys had run away, or, if they had not, they had been
saucy to him and had refused to pay for any glass. This was something
new.

"What's your name?" asked Mr. Morrison.

"Bunny Brown," was the answer.

"Does your father keep the boat dock where Bunker Blue works?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Oh," said Mr. Morrison, not so angry now. "Well, of course this window
has to be paid for, but I know your father, Bunny Brown. He and I do
business together. And Bunker Blue does me favors once in a while. I
guess there won't be any hurry about paying for this glass. You can pay
me five cents a week if you want to. And I should think the other boys
ought to chip in and help you pay for it. That's what we used to do when
I played ball. If a window was broken we all helped pay for it."

"I'll help," offered one boy.

"So will I!" said another.

By this time Charlie Star and the boys who had started to run away began
straggling back. They wondered why Bunny and his companions were not
being chased by Mr. Morrison. And when Charlie and his chums heard about
the offer to pay shares for the broken glass Charlie said:

"I'll pay my part, too!"

"So will I!" cried his players.

"That's more like it," chuckled Mr. Morrison, and, somehow or other, the
boys began wondering why they had ever called him cross. Certainly he
seemed quite different now. Perhaps it was the way Bunny had acted, so
bravely, that made the change.

"Now look here, boys," went on the uncross Mr. Morrison. "I know you
have to play ball, and this isn't the first time you have broken my
windows. But it's the first time any of you have had the nerve to stay
here and offer to pay. I like that. And now that you all offer to chip
in and pay for it, it'll not be too hard for any one boy. It's the right
spirit. And I want to say that if you always do that there'll not be
any trouble.

"Not that I want any more windows broken," he added, with a laugh. "But
if they are smashed, chip in and pay for them. And now I'll have the
pane of glass put in and you can take up a collection among yourselves
and pay me later on. I'm in no hurry as long as you act fair.

"And now if you'll come in here I think maybe I can find something that
you boys would like to have," he added. "Don't be afraid, come on in,"
he invited, opening a gate in his side fence.

The boys hesitated a moment, and then, led by Bunny Brown, they entered.
What could Mr. Morrison have in mind?

They soon found out. He led them down into the cellar and showed them
some old baseballs, some bats, some gloves, and, best of all, a good
catcher's mask.

"Here are some old baseball things," said Mr. Morrison. "I got them in a
lot of junk I bought a year ago, and I've been wondering what to do with
them. I like the way you boys acted--especially some of you," and he
looked at Bunny. "I'm going to let you have these things for your team,"
he said. "But try not to break any more of my windows!" he laughed.

"We won't!" promised Bunny Brown. "Or, if we do, we'll pay for 'em!"

"Crackie! What dandy stuff!" cried Bobbie Boomer.

"Now we can have regular league games!" exclaimed Charlie Star, who was
perhaps the best player of all the boys.

"And a real mask, like the Pirates have!" cried Harry Bentley.

"Take 'em along," said Mr. Morrison. "They're only cluttering up my
cellar. I'm glad to get rid of 'em, and especially to good boys."

"We--we were afraid of you at first," said Charlie.

"Well, you needn't be any more," chuckled Mr. Morrison. "Just pay for my
window, when you get the money together, and we'll call it square!"

Talking, laughing gleefully, and wondering at their good fortune, the
boys hurried from the cellar. And they had another game that same
afternoon, with the balls, bats, gloves and mask that Mr. Morrison had
given them. Only Bunny knocked no more home runs, and Charlie's team
won, which was, perhaps, as it ought to be. And, best of all, no more
windows were broken.

It was quite an adventure for Bunny Brown, but it was not the last he
and his sister Sue were to have, for many good times were ahead of them
for the long vacation.



CHAPTER XVI

LITTLE STOREKEEPERS


"Here, Bunny! Here, Sue!" called Mrs. Brown, one bright, sunny morning.
"Where are you?"

"We're coming, Mother!" answered Bunny.

He and his sister were playing in the yard down near the brook. Bunny
had carried to the brook a little boat, and Sue had with her one of her
very small dolls which was having a voyage on the small vessel. She had
picked out a celluloid doll.

"'Cause then if she falls off into the water it won't hurt if she gets
wet," said Sue.

"That's right!" agreed Bunny.

But now the children left their play and ran to see what their mother
wanted.

Before doing so, however, Bunny made fast the little boat to a tree on
the bank of the brook, tying it by a long string. And Sue took the
celluloid doll off the deck and laid her on the grass in the shade.

"'Cause she might go off sailing by herself," Sue explained.

"Pooh! She couldn't sail my boat!" laughed Bunny.

"Well, she might," said Sue.

Then they ran to their mother--who was waiting for them on the back
steps.

"What do you want, Mother?" asked Sue.

"Is it time to eat?" is what Bunny Brown asked. Bunny, like many
children, was always ready for this.

"No, it isn't time for lunch," laughed Mrs. Brown. "But I want you to
bring some things from the store so Mary can get lunch ready. And this
is a chance for you to help your friend Mrs. Golden."

"What do you mean--help her?" asked Bunny. "Is daddy going to give her
some money out of his bank so she can pay the cross man?"

"I don't know about that," replied Mrs. Brown. "But I mean you can help
her now by getting some groceries from her. The more we buy and the
more other families buy, the more money she will make, and then she can
pay her bills."

"That's so!" exclaimed Bunny. "I'm going to ask all the fellows to buy
their things of Mrs. Golden instead of going to Gordon's."

"And I'll ask the girls!" exclaimed Sue.

"We mustn't desert Mr. Gordon altogether," said Mrs. Brown. "He wants to
do business, too. But Mrs. Golden needs our trade most, I guess, so get
these things of her. I've written them down on a paper so you'll not
forget, and as there are a number of them you had better take a basket,
Bunny."

"I will," he said. "Do we have to hurry back, Mother?" he asked.

"Oh, there is no special hurry," his mother answered. "But what did you
want to do? Play another game of ball and break another window?" and she
smiled at Bunny, for she had heard the story. Mr. Morrison's window had
been paid for by all the boys "chipping in," or clubbing together.

"I'm not going to play ball," said Bunny. "But Sue and I might stay with
Mrs. Golden a little while and help her in the store if you weren't in
a hurry."

"No, I'm not in a hurry," Mrs. Brown said. "Help Mrs. Golden all you
can, poor old lady!"

Together Bunny and Sue went around the corner to the little grocery and
notion store. They were talking of what they might do to help the
storekeeper, and they were planning what fun they could have with the
little boat and doll when they reached home again. By this time they
were at the store, but, to their surprise, the front door was closed,
though this was summer, and it generally stood wide open.

And in one corner of the door was a piece of paper on which something
was written. Bunny and Sue saw this notice and they at once guessed that
something had happened.

"Maybe she's gone away with her son Philip to get the leg-legacy!"
exclaimed Bunny.

"Maybe," said Sue. "Go on, Bunny, you can read better'n I can. Read what
it says."

Slowly Bunny read the little notice on the front door. It said:

          "_Please come to the side door._"

Wonderingly the children went along the path to the side door, for the
grocery of Mrs. Golden was in an old-fashioned house which had been
built over so she could sell things in it. The side door was almost
closed, but, though open a small crack, Bunny and Sue did not want to
push it open further and go in. Instead they knocked.

"Yes? What is it? Who's there?" called the voice of Mrs. Golden. It was
a weak, quavering old voice.

"We're here," answered the little boy. "Bunny Brown and his sister Sue!"

"Oh, my dears! I'm glad it's you and not Mr. Flynt!" said Mrs. Golden.
"Push the door open and come in. I have such a dreadful headache that I
couldn't keep the store open. I had to come to my room back here and lie
down. I just had to close the store!"

The children entered to see their friend lying on a sofa in the room
back of the store. She had her head tied in a rag.

"Are you very sick?" asked Sue.

"'Cause if you are I'll go for the doctor," offered Bunny.

"Oh, no, thank you, my dears, I'm not ill enough for that," answered
Mrs. Golden. "Just a bad sick-headache. I'll be better to-morrow. But I
couldn't keep the store open to-day."

"That's too bad," said Bunny. "We came to get some things," and he took
out the list his mother had written for him.

"Well, I want to sell things, but I am too ill to get up and wait on
you," said the storekeeper. "I put that sign in the front door so if any
wholesale wagons came to leave stuff they could find me. But, really, I
don't feel able to get up."

Then Bunny had an idea.

"Couldn't Sue and I wait on ourselves?" he asked eagerly. "We want to
get these things here, and if you told me where to find them--though I
know where to find some myself--and if you told me how much they were, I
could pay you, and it would be all right. I have the money."

"Yes, you might do that," said Mrs. Golden. "It would be fine if you
could. Now let me see what you want, and then see if you can get it from
the shelves."

"I can climb like anything!" said Bunny gleefully.

"Well, don't fall!" cautioned Mrs. Golden. Together, with the help of
their friend, Bunny and Sue picked out from the closed store the things
their mother had written on the list for them to get. Mrs. Golden told
them where certain groceries were kept, and the price.

"Why, you are regular little storekeepers!" declared Mrs. Golden, trying
not to think of her aching head. "You have waited on yourselves as well
as I could have done."

"I wish we could wait on some regular customers!" boldly exclaimed
Bunny.

"Wouldn't it be fun!" laughed Sue.

There came a knock on the side door, and a woman's voice called:

"Are you there, Mrs. Golden? I want a few things. May I come in?"

"Oh, yes, come in, Mrs. Clark," replied the storekeeper, as she
recognized the voice of one of her customers. "If I can't wait on you
you can help yourself, as Bunny and Sue did."

A woman came in the side door.

"Let us wait on you, please!" begged Bunny. "My sister and I can get
what you want."

"Why, yes, I guess you can!" agreed Mrs. Clark, with a laugh. "I want a
yeast cake and some sugar. It's too bad you two children couldn't stay
and help Mrs. Golden," she added, as Bunny and Sue brought what she
wanted and she was giving the money to the store owner.

"We'd love to stay!" cried Bunny.

"And we can, for a while," added Sue. "Mother said we didn't have to
hurry."

"Oh, could we open the front door and tend store for you really?" asked
Bunny, his eyes sparkling in delight.



CHAPTER XVII

TWO LETTERS


Mrs. Golden thought it over for a minute. Really, with her head aching
as it did, she was in almost too much pain to think, but she felt that
something must be done. She needed all the money she could take in, and
if customers were turned away from her store, because the door was
closed, she would lose trade. Not many would come around to the side as
Mrs. Clark had done.

"Couldn't we tend store for you--a little while?" asked Bunny again, as
he saw Mrs. Golden thinking, as his mother sometimes thought, when he or
Sue asked her if they might do something.

"We could ask you where things are that we don't know about," added Sue,
"and we wouldn't talk loud or make a noise."

"Bless your hearts, dearies!" sighed Mrs. Golden. "You are very kind;
but I'm sure I don't know what to say."

"Then let me say it," advised Mrs. Clark. "I say let the children tend
store for you, Mrs. Golden. Bunny and Sue are a lot smarter for their
age than most children. You let them tend store for you, and I'll run
over once in a while to see if everything is all right."

"Very well," said Mrs. Golden. "You may keep store for me, Bunny and
Sue."

"Goodie!" exclaimed Sue, clapping her hands. Then she happened to
remember that she must not make too much noise, and she grew quieter.

"I'll open the front door and take down the sign," said Bunny. "We'll
wait on the customers for you, Mrs. Golden."

Bunny felt quite like a grown man as he removed the card and turned the
lock in the front door, swinging it open. The shades had been pulled
down over the show windows, and Bunny and Sue now ran these up.

"I'll run along now," said Mrs. Clark, going out the front door and
nodding in friendly fashion at the children. "I guess you'll make out
all right, and I'll be back in a little while. If she gets any worse, or
anything happens, just come and tell me--you know where I live," she
said in a low voice, so Mrs. Golden, in the back room, would not hear.

Sue nodded and Bunny smiled. They were rather anxious for Mrs. Clark to
go, so they would be left in charge of the store. And when this
happened, when really, for the first time, Bunny Brown and his sister
Sue were truly storekeepers you can hardly imagine how pleased they
were.

"You go to sleep now, Mrs. Golden," said Sue, going on tiptoe to the
rear room, to look at the old woman lying on the couch. "You go to
sleep. Bunny and I will tend store."

Then she went back to Bunny, who sat on a stool behind the grocery
counter. He had decided he would sell things from that side of the
store, while Sue could wait on the dry-goods and notions side.

"All we want now is some customers," remarked the little boy.

"Yes," agreed Sue. "We want to sell things."

They waited some little time, for the corner store was not in a busy
part of town. Several times, as footsteps were heard outside, Bunny and
Sue hardly breathed, hoping some one would come in to buy. But each time
they were disappointed.

Finally, however, just when they were about to give up, thinking they
would have to go home, a woman came in and looked around, not at first
seeing any one.

"What can I do for you to-day, lady?" asked Bunny Brown, as he had often
heard Mr. Gordon say.

"Oh, are you tending store?" the lady asked. She was a stranger to Bunny
and Sue.

"Yes'm, I and my sister--I mean my sister and I--are keeping store for
Mrs. Golden. She's sick," said Bunny. "I can get you anything you want."

"All I want is a loaf of bread," the lady answered.

Bunny knew where to get this, and also the kind the lady wanted, as it
was the same sort of loaf his mother often sent him for. He put it in
a paper bag and took the money. The lady gave the right change, so Bunny
did not have to trouble Mrs. Golden.

All this while Sue stood on her side of the Store, rather anxiously
waiting. She wished the customer would buy of her.

"You are rather small to be in a store, aren't you?" asked the lady, as
she started to leave with the bread.

"Oh, we know lots about stores," said Bunny. "We often play keep one,
but this is the first time we ever did it regular."

"I know how to keep store, too," said Sue, unable to keep still any
longer. "Would you like some needles and thread?"

"Yes, now that you speak of it, I remember I do need some thread, my
dear," the lady answered, with a smile. "Can you get me the kind I
want?"

"I--I guess so," Sue answered, yet she was a bit doubtful, as there were
so many things among the notions.

"Well, perhaps I can help you," said the lady. "I see the tray of spools
of silk right behind you, and if you'll pull it out I'll pick the shade
I want. I have a sample of dress goods here."

[Illustration: SUE HELPED HER CUSTOMER MATCH HER SAMPLE.
  _Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store._ _Page_ 174]

Sue had often been with her mother when Mrs. Brown matched sewing silk
in this way, and the little girl pulled out the shallow drawer of small
spools. She saw the sample and knew the lady needed red sewing silk; so
she at once pulled out the right drawer. Then she helped the customer
match her sample until she had what she wanted.

"How much is it?" asked the lady, taking out her purse.

Here was Sue's trouble--she did not know exactly, and she did not want
to go ask Mrs. Golden, for the storekeeper might be sleeping. To call
her might make her head suddenly ache worse.

"I generally pay ten cents a spool," said the customer, "and I suppose
that's what it is here. If it's any more I can stop in the next time I
pass. That is, unless you can find out for sure."

"Oh, I guess ten cents is all right," said Sue, and she found out later
that it was.

Then the lady left with her bread and thread. The children had waited on
their first customer all alone.

In the next hour, during which the children remained in the store, they
waited on several customers, and did it very well, too, not having to
ask Mrs. Golden about anything, for which they were glad. Of course the
things they sold were simple articles, easy to find, and of such small
price that the men or women who bought them had the right change all
ready.

Once a boy came in, and you should have seen how surprised he was when
Bunny waited on him. He was Tommy Shadder, a boy Bunny knew slightly.

"Huh! you workin' here?" asked Tommy, as he took the sugar Bunny put in
a bag, not having spilled very much.

"Sure, I'm working here!" declared Bunny. "That is, for a while," he
added, for he knew he would soon have to go home.

"Huh!" said Tommy again, as he went out. "Huh!"

"Mail!" suddenly called a voice, and the postman entered the store.
"Where's Mrs. Golden?" he asked, as he saw Bunny and Sue, whom he knew.

"She's got a headache, and we're tending store," Sue answered proudly.

"Oh, all right. Here's a couple of letters for her. She's been asking me
for letters all week, and I didn't have any for her. Now here are two."

He tossed them on the counter and went out into the sunlit street. Bunny
looked at the two letters.

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "One's from Mrs. Golden's son Philip. Maybe it's
about the legacy!" Bunny had seen the name Philip Golden in the corner
of the envelope.

"Who's the other from?" asked Sue.

"The Grocery Supply Company," read the little boy from the other
envelope.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue.

"What's the matter?" asked Bunny.

"Maybe that's a bill," Sue said, for she had often been in her father's
office on the dock when the mail came in, and when he received a thin
letter Mr. Brown would hold it up to the light, laugh, and say:

"I guess this is a bill."

Sue knew what bills were, all right, and she seemed to feel that bills
coming to Mrs. Golden, who had little money, would be worse than those
which came to her father's office, for Mr. Brown never seemed to worry
about the bills.

As the children looked at the letters on the counter, wondering whether
or not to take them in to Mrs. Golden, she herself came out of the back
room. She looked at the children and then at the letters.

"Oh, some mail!" she exclaimed. "I hope it's from Philip about the
legacy! If it is, I'm sure it will completely cure my headache, which is
much better."

Eagerly Bunny and Sue watched to see Mrs. Golden open the letters.



CHAPTER XVIII

BUNNY HAS AN IDEA


Mrs. Golden read first the letter from her son, sent to her from the
distant city. But if Bunny and Sue thought to see a look of joy spread
over the store owner's face they were disappointed.

"Did he--did your son send you the legacy?" asked Bunny, as the letter
was folded and put back in the envelope.

"Well, no, not exactly," was the answer. "It seems there is some trouble
about it. I hoped Philip could come home to help me, but he can't, and
it will be some time before we'll get any money from that legacy--if we
ever get it. Oh, dear! So many troubles!"

Mrs. Golden sighed and opened the other letter. Her troubles seemed to
be more now, for she sighed again as she laid this letter aside. Sue
could not help asking:

"Is it a bill?"

"Something like that, yes," answered the old lady. "It's from Mr.
Flynt's grocery company. It says if I don't pay soon I'll be sold out."

Mrs. Golden sighed again. The children did not know exactly what it was
all about, but they knew there was trouble of some kind and they wanted
to help. But they felt, too, that it was time they went home.

Mrs. Golden must have seen the worried looks on their faces, for she
tried to smile through the clouds of her own trouble as she said:

"Never mind, my dears! Run along now, for I'm sure your mother will be
getting anxious about you. You have been a great help to me. I guess
I'll find some way out of my troubles--I hope so, anyhow. Run along now!
It was good of you to help me."

So Bunny and Sue, taking the things they had bought, started out of the
store.

"If she could only sell more things she'd have more money and then she
could pay that grocery bill," said Bunny to his sister.

"Yes," agreed Sue. "We'll tell daddy about it and see what he says.
Daddy has lots of money."

"But maybe he needs it," suggested Bunny. And very likely Mr. Brown did.

However, children of the ages of Bunny and Sue are not unhappy for very
long at a time, and trouble seems to roll away from them like water off
a duck's back. On the way home they met some of their playmates, and in
talking over a picnic that was to be held in a few days Bunny and Sue
forgot about Mrs. Golden for a while.

"You stayed rather a long time," said Mrs. Brown, when Bunny and Sue
finally reached home with the groceries she had sent them for.

"You said we could stay," said Bunny.

"And we helped Mrs. Golden by tending store," added Sue.

"Did you really tend store?" Uncle Tad asked, and he was much surprised
when the children told what they had done.

"I guess she doesn't do much business," remarked Uncle Tad. "She has a
store on a corner, which is the best place for one, as people on two
streets pass it. But I'm afraid she isn't enough of a hustler."

"What's a hustler?" asked Bunny, wondering if Mrs. Golden might be made
into one.

"A hustler," said Uncle Tad, "is a person that does things in a hurry.
Some storekeepers are hustlers for business. If business doesn't come to
them they go after it. That's how they sell things."

"How could Mrs. Golden sell more things?" Bunny questioned. "She's got
lots of things in her store--heaps and packs of 'em--but she doesn't
sell much."

"That's the trouble!" said Uncle Tad. "She doesn't advertise, and she
doesn't make any window display."

"What's a window display?" Sue inquired.

"I saw you looking at one the other day," replied the old soldier. "Do
you remember when I passed you and Bunny while you were looking in the
drug store window on Main Street?"

"Oh, yes! Where the rubber bags were!" cried Bunny.

"A little doll was making believe swim in a rubber bag," said Sue, "and
there was a big crowd looking at it."

"That's it!" exclaimed Uncle Tad. "That drug store man got a big crowd
in front of his store by putting something in the window that made
people stop and look. That's advertising."

"Maybe Mrs. Golden could fix up her windows so a crowd would stop in
front!" exclaimed Sue.

"What good would that do?" Bunny asked. "She wants people to come inside
her store and buy things."

"That's it," agreed Uncle Tad. "But if you get a crowd _outside_ a
store, because there's something to look at in the windows, some of that
crowd will go _inside_ and buy something."

"Only Mrs. Golden hasn't any rubber bags," went on Bunny. "But I guess
Sue could lend her a doll if she wanted it to take a swim."

"Mrs. Golden doesn't need to put rubber bags in her window," said Uncle
Tad. "That wouldn't be the thing for a grocery and notion store. She
should put in something that people would stop to look at, or have a
special sale or something like that. And another thing I've noticed,
when I've been past her place is that the windows are very dirty. You
can hardly see what's inside. If her windows were cleaned and she had
something in them, a crowd would stop and more people would go in and
buy than go in now. Mrs. Golden needs to advertise in that way."

Uncle Tad went out. Mrs. Brown busied herself about the house, and Bunny
Brown motioned to his sister Sue to come to the side porch.

"What you want?" asked Sue.

Bunny put his finger over his lips.

"I've got an idea!" he said. "I know how we can help Mrs. Golden get a
crowd in front of her store."



CHAPTER XIX

THE WINDOW DISPLAY


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue spent much time during the next few days
out in their barn--that is when they were not going to the store for
their mother. Every chance they had, however, they bought things of Mrs.
Golden, to help her as much as they could by trading at her store.

"And we ought to get the other boys and girls to go there," Sue said.

"We will, after a while," agreed Bunny. "Just now we have to do
something else."

And the something else had to do with his idea and the time he and Sue
spent in the barn. With them, most of the time, was Splash, their dog,
and Charlie Star often came over with a covered basket.

"What do you think the children are doing?" asked Mrs. Brown of Mary,
the cook, one day.

"Oh, I guess they're getting up some kind of a show," Mary answered. "I
can hear Splash barking now and then, and there's a cat mewing."

"Cat!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "We haven't a cat!"

"I guess it's Charlie Star's," went on the cook. "He brings it over
every day in a basket and takes it home again. I guess they're getting
ready for a show."

"Bunny and Sue did have a show once," observed Mrs. Brown. "I hardly
believe they would get up another. I must see what they are up to."

However, as company came just then and Mrs. Brown had to entertain them,
she forgot all about her two children. Meanwhile things were happening
out in the barn.

But Bunny and Sue kept it a secret, in which only Charlie Star had a
share, and Charlie did not tell. When Mrs. Brown's company had left some
one telephoned to her and she forgot all about her plan to ask Bunny
what was going on.

It was a few days after this that Bunny and Sue were again sent to the
store for their mother, and you may easily guess to which store they
went--the little corner one, of course.

Mrs. Golden was sitting in her usual easy chair, and there were no other
customers in the place.

"How's business?" asked Bunny, as he had often heard men ask his father.

"It might be better and not hurt itself," was Mrs. Golden's answer.
"Customers are few and far between."

"Mrs. Golden," said Bunny, "my Uncle Tad says you ought to have a
special sale. Did you ever have one?"

"Oh, yes, years ago," she answered. "I had a sale of notions, and a
number of women came in to get things to make dresses with. But I
haven't had a special sale for a long while."

"Why don't you, then?" asked Bunny eagerly. "I think a special grocery
sale would be good. You could put a lot of things in your window and
mark the prices on them, and people would come in to buy."

"Yes, I suppose I could do that," agreed Mrs. Golden slowly. "I have a
big stock of a new kind of oatmeal on hand. Some new concern sold it to
me, but it didn't take very well. Lately I got a letter from them saying
I could sell it at a special price. I suppose that would bring in some
trade. I never thought of it. I'm getting too old, I guess, and worrying
too much. When my son Philip comes home I'll have a special sale."

"No, don't wait!" cried Bunny Brown eagerly. "Let's have it now! Where
are those oatmeal things?"

Mrs. Golden smiled at his eager, bustling air.

"They're in the storeroom," she said. "Some of the cases aren't open
yet."

"We'll open 'em for you!" cried Bunny. "Then we'll stack the oatmeal in
the window, and we'll make a sign saying it's awful cheap and you'll
sell a lot, Mrs. Golden."

"Well, maybe I will, dearie. I'm sure I hope so. And it's good of you to
help me. Let me see now, I'll put 'em in the left window, I guess. That
has less in it," and she looked toward the window she meant. So did
Bunny and Sue, and Sue's first idea was made plain when she said:

"Could I wash that window, Mrs. Golden?"

"Wash the window? Why, yes, I suppose so," answered the storekeeper. "It
is pretty dirty," she added. "I don't very often look at 'em, and that's
a fact. I declare! you can hardly see what I have in my windows, can
you? Dear me, I am getting old. If Philip was here he'd wash 'em for
me."

"I'll do it!" offered Sue. "I often wash the low windows for mother. She
lets me. Have you got any of that white stuff that makes 'em shine?"

"Oh, yes, I know what you mean," said Mrs. Golden. "Yes, you can take a
cake from the grocery shelf. My, I never thought of a special sale and
having windows washed. It may bring me trade!"

"Uncle Tad says it will!" exclaimed Bunny. In a measure it was Uncle
Tad's idea that Bunny and Sue were carrying out.

"You wash the window," he told his sister, "and I'll open the oatmeal."

Soon there was a busy time in Mrs. Golden's store. Bunny was hammering
and pounding away opening the oatmeal cases, and Sue was washing the
window, having first taken out the few things Mrs. Golden had on display
there--not that you could see them very well from the outside, however.

"Could I wash the other window, too?" asked Sue, when she had finished
the first.

"Are you going to put oatmeal in both windows?" asked Mrs. Golden.
"Seems to me that will be too much. Wash the other window if you want
to, dearie, but two of them filled with oatmeal----"

"Oh, we aren't going to put oatmeal in _both_!" exclaimed Bunny, with a
queer look at his sister. "We're going to fix up the second window to
make people come in and buy."

Mrs. Golden did not seem to understand exactly. She shook her head in a
puzzled way and murmured that she was getting old.

And as the postman came along just then with a letter from Philip, she
was soon so busy reading it that she paid little attention to what Bunny
and Sue were doing.

The children worked hard and faithfully all morning, and promised to
come back in the afternoon. When they left to go home to lunch, both
windows were brightly shining, though there were a few streaks here and
there where Sue had forgotten to wipe off the white, cleaning powder.
But they didn't matter.

"I'll pull the shades down," said Bunny, as he was leaving. "We don't
want people looking in the windows until we get 'em all fixed up, and
then we'll surprise 'em."

"Just as you like, dearie. Just as you like," said Mrs. Golden, in a
dreamy tone. She was thinking of what her son had said in his letter.

Hurrying through their lunch as quickly as their mother would let them,
Bunny and Sue hastened back to Mrs. Golden's store. They told something
of their plans at home, and Uncle Tad said:

"That's a fine idea! I'll stop down there later and see how it looks."

"Come on, Splash!" called Bunny to his dog, as he and his sister started
back. "We want you!"

"And we must stop at Charlie's house and tell him," said Sue.

"Yes, we will," Bunny agreed, and Charlie, when he heard the news, said:

"I'll be at the store in about half an hour."

Certainly things were getting ready to happen.

Bunny and Sue found Mrs. Golden lying down on her couch in the back room
when they reached the store again.

"I'm afraid I have another of my bad headaches coming on," she said.

"You lie down," said Sue kindly. "Bunny and I will tend store again, and
we'll start the special sale."

The windows were now dry and clean. All the old goods had been taken
out, and Bunny and his sister were ready to put in the special display
of oatmeal which was to be sold at a low price. Mrs. Golden told Bunny
where to find some price cards to put in the window telling of the
special sale. These cards were of a sort that most grocers keep on hand.

With the help of Sue, Bunny piled the boxes of oatmeal in the window.
They were stacked up as nearly like a fort as he could make them, and he
knew how to do this, for he had often helped the boys build forts of
snow. Here and there he left holes in the piled-up wall of oatmeal
boxes.

"Oh, if you only had something like little cannons to put in the holes
it would look more like a real fort!" said Sue.

Bunny thought this was a good idea, and looked around for something to
use. He saw some round pasteboard boxes, the top covers of which were a
dull black.

"They'll look just like cannons," he said, as he fitted them in the
holes of the oatmeal box fort. The window shades being down, no one
could see from the street what was going on. Splash, the big dog, was
content to sleep in the store while the children were there.

"Now for the other window," said Bunny to Sue, when the oatmeal was all
in place, with the low price plainly marked on cards stuck here and
there.

"We have to wait for Charlie," Sue said.

"He's coming now," observed Bunny, looking from the door. No customers
had come in while the children were busy fixing the window, and they
were just as well satisfied. They hoped for a rush of trade when the
shades were raised.

Charlie came in with the covered basket, and the next fifteen minutes
were busy ones for the children. Mrs. Golden had fallen asleep and did
not come out of the back room to see what they were doing.

"Well, we're all ready now," said Bunny, at last. "Pull up the shades!"

He and Charlie did this. The sun shone in through the newly cleaned
windows and lit up such a display as never before had been seen in Mrs.
Golden's store.



CHAPTER XX

IN THE FLOUR BARREL


Slowly the heavy green shades, which hid what was in the cleaned windows
from the sight of persons in the street, rolled up. Bunny Brown, his
sister Sue, and Charlie Star waited for what was to happen next. They
looked first at one of the windows in which they had made a display, and
then at the other.

In one was the pile of oatmeal packages built up like a small fort, with
holes here and there through which stuck round boxes, with black covers
so that they seemed to be small cannon.

In the other window--but I can best tell you what was in that by telling
you what happened.

The curtains had not been up very long, and the children were feeling
rather proud of what they had done, especially Sue in making the glass
so clean, when a boy who was passing along the street stopped to look in
one of the windows.

And the window he looked at was not the one where the oatmeal boxes were
piled. It was at the other. This boy was soon joined by a second. Then a
girl who had been running, as if in a hurry, came to a stop, and she
stood near the two boys, looking in.

"The crowd is beginning to come!" remarked Charlie Star.

"But they aren't buying any of the oatmeal," objected Sue.

"Never mind," Charlie went on. "These kids wouldn't buy anything anyhow;
they haven't any money. Wait till the big folks come." Charlie spoke of
the "kids" as if he were about twenty years old himself. He seemed to
have become much bigger and more important since helping Bunny and Sue
fix up Mrs. Golden's windows.

And, surely enough, a few minutes later men and women began to stop to
look at the windows of the little corner store. And the men and women
at first looked not at the oatmeal but at the other window.

"It's making a big hit!" said Bunny Brown. He had learned this saying at
the time when he and his sister Sue gave a show.

By this time quite a crowd had gathered in the street outside, and there
was some talk and laughter which was heard inside the store. It was even
heard in the back room where Mrs. Golden had gone to lie down, and it
aroused her from her doze.

"Well, children," she said, as she came slowly out, "have you got the
windows washed, and the special sale of oatmeal started?"

"Yes, everything is all ready," answered Bunny, with a sly look at his
sister and Charlie.

Then Mrs. Golden saw the crowd outside.

"My goodness!" she exclaimed. "I never knew oatmeal to be so popular. I
can sell it all, maybe!" Then she noticed that the crowd was mostly
looking at the other window.

"What have you in there, Bunny Brown?" she asked.

"Take a look and see," invited Sue.

Mrs. Golden peered over the wooden partition that fenced the show window
off from the remainder of the store. And in the window she saw--what do
you think? Well, I imagine you must have guessed by this time.

Yes, it was Splash, the big dog, and asleep on his back was Charlie
Star's little white kitten! It made the cutest picture you can imagine,
for Splash kept very still, as if he did not want to wake up the
sleeping puss, and the little cat was curled up just as if on a silken
cushion.

It was this that Bunny and Charlie had been planning in the barn for
several days. At first Splash would have nothing to do with the white
kitten, and the kitten fluffed up her tail and made funny noises at
Splash.

But finally the boys and Sue had trained the two to be friends, so that
Splash would lie down and allow the kitten to go to sleep on his back.
And it was this that Bunny and Sue, together with Charlie Star, had
planned to attract attention to Mrs. Golden's poor little store.

The children had succeeded better than they had dared dream. Outside
the crowd was getting larger and larger all the while, and men were
saying:

"That's a pretty good dog!"

The women said:

"What a pretty picture!"

Little girls said:

"I wish I had that pussy!"

The boys wished they owned Splash. Many of them knew him, for they had
often seen the dog with Bunny Brown. But the kitten was new, and few
knew that Charlie Star owned it.

And then happened just what Uncle Tad had told the children would take
place if they could draw a crowd outside the store. Some began to look
at the special display of oatmeal in the other window, and a few came in
to buy. Some bought not only oatmeal but other things as well, happening
to remember that they were needed at home.

Mrs. Golden, who felt much better after her sleep, was kept very busy
waiting on customers, and Bunny and Sue helped her, as did Charlie.

[Illustration: SPLASH AND THE KITTEN DID THEIR SHARE IN DRAWING TRADE.
  _Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store._ _Page_ 199]

Splash and the kitten did their share, too, in drawing trade. For soon
the kitten awakened and began playing with a spool which Charlie had
hung up on a string in the window. The little white cat struck at the
spool with her paws as she stood up on the back of the big dog. Splash
did not seem to mind it in the least. In fact, he looked as if he
enjoyed it, and this amused the crowd all the more.

"Well, I do declare! You children beat anything I ever saw!" exclaimed
Mrs. Golden, when she had time to look and see what was going on in the
special display window. "You've made my store into a regular circus!"

"But it's good for business, isn't it?" asked Bunny.

"Indeed it is!" said the old lady, with a smile. "I never was so busy.
That oatmeal is selling fine. I wish I'd had a special sale of it
before."

Besides the boxes in the window there were packages of oatmeal piled on
shelves ready to be sold. And as the price was lower than oatmeal could
be bought for at other stores, Mrs. Golden did a good trade.

After a while things became a little quieter in the store, after the
first surprise had worn off. But now people were constantly passing in
the street, and many of them stopped to look at the dog and cat, which
were now playing together, Splash gently pawing at the white kitten
which climbed all over him.

Bunny had just finished selling a man a package of oatmeal, and Sue was
getting out a paper of pins for a lady when Uncle Tad came into the
store.

"Hello, children!" he cried in his jolly way. "I see you took some of my
advice and advertised by your show windows," he added to Mrs. Golden.

"Bunny and Sue did it for me," she said, "with the help of Charlie Star.
It is wonderful."

"If you'll get me a white piece of cardboard and a pen and some ink I'll
make you a sign to put in that oatmeal window," offered the old soldier.
"Those signs are all right, Bunny," said Uncle Tad. "But for a special
sale you want a special sign. Let me see now," he went on, as Mrs.
Golden got him what he had asked for. "You have made those oatmeal boxes
into the shape of a fort with guns. Now I must make a sign to go with
it. Let me see. Ah, I have it!"

He was busy with the ink for several minutes, and then he held up a sign
which read:

          FORT-IFY YOUR CONSTITUTION
               WITH THIS OATMEAL

"There!" exclaimed Uncle Tad, "this ought to bring more customers!"

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Mrs. Golden. "That's a pretty good joke!"

Bunny, Sue, and Charlie could not see anything funny, or like a joke, in
the sign. But then it was not intended for children, so it did not
matter.

But men and women passing in the street and pausing to read what Uncle
Tad had printed, seemed to think it was odd, for they stopped, read it,
laughed or chuckled, and then either passed on or came in and bought
some oatmeal. And quite a few came in, so that by night Mrs. Golden had
sold nearly all of the cereal.

"My goodness!" she said, when it was time for Bunny, Sue, and Charlie to
go home. "This has been a wonderful day. Could you come over to-morrow?"
she asked. "I don't mean to work," she added quickly. "For I'm afraid
your mothers will think you're doing too much for me. But I mean could
you come over and bring your dog and cat to put in the window. They
certainly brought the crowd."

"Yes, we'll bring Splash," said Bunny.

"And I'll bring my kitten," offered Charlie.

"And we'll come and help you sell things!" laughed Sue. "We like it,
don't we?" she asked the boys, and of course they said they did.

The first attempt of Bunny and Sue to advertise Mrs. Golden's store had
been very successful. Of course Uncle Tad had told them how to do it,
and Charlie Star had helped by bringing his kitten and training her with
Bunny and Sue. So the special oatmeal sale made quite a bit of talk in
that section of Bellemere near the little corner store.

Of course Mrs. Golden did not make a great deal of money, for the profit
on each thing she sold, even the many boxes of oatmeal, was small. But
it brought new customers to her store, and she was well pleased with
what had happened.

"And if Philip can only get that legacy," she murmured to herself that
night, "things will be easier for me. But I owe a lot of money to Mr.
Flynt, and I don't know where I'm going to get it to pay--not even if
those dear children help me with a lot more special sales, bless their
hearts! Well, I'll do the best I can."

The next day Bunny, Sue, and Charlie again came to Mrs. Golden's store.
Charlie could not stay, however, as he had to rake up the leaves around
his home, but he brought his kitten, and again the dog and the white
pussy drew crowds to the store window.

Besides oatmeal Mrs. Golden also had a special sale on notions, and she
did a fairly good business in them, so that she and Sue were kept busy
behind the counter. Not that Sue could do as much as Mrs. Golden, but
she did all she could.

Bunny waited on some customers who came in to buy groceries, and when
one lady wanted some flour an accident happened. Bunny was leaning over
to scoop the white stuff out of the barrel, and as it was near the
bottom he had to stand up on a box to reach it.

Suddenly the lady on whom he was waiting, and who was watching him, gave
a startled cry.

"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Golden.

"That little boy has fallen into the flour barrel!" was the answer.



CHAPTER XXI

SUE COULDN'T STOP IT


There was a banging, kicking sound and several cries of "Oh, dear!" The
cries were faint and muffled, as if they came from the cellar. Then the
lady who had ordered three pounds of flour, which Bunny was trying to
scoop out for her, ran behind the counter.

Sue followed. So did Mrs. Golden. All they saw were Bunny's heels
sticking out of the barrel, waving in the air, and now and then banging
against a low shelf near which the flour barrel stood.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" cried Bunny, from inside the barrel.

For that is where he was. He had fallen into the flour barrel!

"Pull him out!" begged Sue.

"I can't. I'm not strong enough to pull him up!" panted the customer,
but doing her best.

"We must all pull!" exclaimed Sue. "Bunny pulled me out of the brook,
and I'll pull him out of the flour barrel!"

"Yes, we must all pull!" said Mrs. Golden.

Together they all grasped Bunny by the heels and lifted him out of the
flour barrel.

Oh, but he was a queer sight! Luckily he had stuck out his two hands
when he felt himself falling head first into the nearly empty barrel,
and had landed on his outstretched palms. And as there was not much
flour in the barrel his head had not gone into the fluffy white stuff,
or he might nearly have smothered. As it was his face was completely
covered with the white particles.

And when Mrs. Golden, the customer and Sue had pulled the little boy
from the barrel, and set him on his feet, Sue could not help laughing.

"Oh, Bunny!" she cried, giggling. "You look--you look just like the
clown in the circus!"

And truly Bunny did, for his face was plastered as white as the face of
any funny man that ever made jokes beneath the canvas.

"You poor boy," said the customer.

"Oh, Bunny, I'm so sorry!" exclaimed Mrs. Golden.

"I--I'm all right," declared Bunny, blowing out a white cloud of flour
as he talked. "I--I didn't spill any!"

"No, you spilled yourself more than anything else," said Mrs. Golden. "I
guess I'd better get the flour, Bunny, after we brush you off. It's too
low in the barrel for you to reach. I don't want you falling in again."

"All right," agreed Bunny. "I guess I'm not quite big enough for flour
barrels."

He was dusted off out in the side yard, so no great harm resulted from
his accidental dive into the barrel, and Mrs. Golden waited on the flour
customer.

"What did you think, Bunny, when you were falling into the flour
barrel?" asked Sue, when the excitement was over and business was going
on as before in the little corner store.

"What did I think?" he repeated. "Why, I guess I didn't have time to
think anything. I just felt myself slipping, and then I fell in. I stuck
out my hands, and I'm glad the flour wasn't deep in the barrel."

"It was like the time when I fell into the brook!" said Sue, with a
little laugh. "Only I fell in feet first and you went in head first."

"Yes," laughed Bunny, "I went in head first all right!"

Mrs. Golden told the children they must not try to do things that were
too hard for them, even though they meant to be kind and help her.

The second day of the special sale of oatmeal and notions was not quite
as busy as the first. The novelty of the cat and dog in the window wore
off and Bunny brought some of the little pet alligators to show. Still
quite a number of people came in to buy, and Mrs. Golden was well
pleased, thanking Bunny, Sue, and Charlie many times. She also wanted to
thank Splash and the white kitten and the best way to do this was to
feed them, which she did, as well as the alligators.

"We'll come and help you tend store to-morrow," said Bunny as he and
Sue went home that night, Sue carrying Charlie's kitten in a basket and
Splash following at Bunny's heels. The alligators were left till next
day.

"I'm afraid your mother will think you are doing too much for me," said
the old lady, as she said good-bye.

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Bunny. "She told us to help you all we could."

"And we like it!" Sue exclaimed. "It's fun."

"Except when you fall into flour barrels!" added Bunny Brown, with a
laugh at some white spots that still clung to his jacket.

Mrs. Brown did not mind how much Bunny and his sister helped Mrs.
Golden, but she told the children they must not stay in the store too
much.

"Your long vacation from school is given you so you may play out in the
sunshine and fresh air," said Mother Brown. "And though it is all right
for you to help Mrs. Golden in her store, I want you to have some fun
also."

"It's fun in the store," said Bunny.

"Well, I mean other kinds of fun," added Mrs. Brown.

So there were days when Bunny and Sue only went to Mrs. Golden's grocery
on some errand for their mother or Mary, but even on these short trips
they often were able to help the storekeeper, sometimes making little
sales, if she was busy in another part of the house, or by arranging
goods on the shelves.

Having learned that she could do more business by having her windows
clean and with things nicely piled in them, Mrs. Golden kept this plan
up, Bunny and Charlie and Sue often stacking goods where they would show
well.

But with all this even the children could see that Mrs. Golden was
worried. Bunny often saw her adding up figures on bits of paper, and she
would look at the sum and sigh.

"What's the matter?" Bunny once asked.

"Oh, I owe so much money I'm afraid I'll never be able to pay," she
said. "And it seems to be getting worse, even with all the help you
children give me. If only Philip would get that legacy!"

"Hasn't he got it yet?" asked Bunny.

"No, not yet," was the answer. "And I'm afraid he never will. I miss him
so, too. If he were here to help me things might go easier. But there! I
mustn't complain. I'm much better off than lots of folks!" she added,
trying to be cheerful.

"If more people would come to buy here you'd have more money," said the
little boy. And that gave him an idea that he did not speak about just
then, but turned over and over in his busy little head.

Heeding their mother's advice, Bunny and Sue played out of doors with
their boy and girl chums, sometimes going on picnics and excursions or
on walks through the woods and over the fields. Bunny and Charlie often
played at boats in the brook, and more than once they fell in. Sue and
her friends often waded in the water of the brook.

Bunny did not again, though, topple into any flour barrels. It was Sue
who had the next accident at the corner grocery, and this is the way it
happened.

The little girl had been sent by her mother to get a yeast cake at Mrs.
Golden's, and when Sue reached the store she found the old lady busy
with two women who were matching sewing silk. At the same time a little
boy had come in for some molasses.

"I'll get the molasses for you," Sue offered, for she knew where the
barrel was kept, and once Mrs. Golden had allowed her to raise the
handle of the spigot and let the thick, sticky stuff run out into the
quart measure. Sue was sure she could do this again. So, taking the
boy's pail, she went to the molasses barrel.

It was kept in the back part of the store, and perhaps if Mrs. Golden
had seen what Sue was about to do she would have stopped the little
girl. But the two customers were very particular about the sewing silk
they wanted, and kept Mrs. Golden busy pulling out different trays.

Sue reached the molasses barrel, set the quart measure under the spout,
as she had seen Mrs. Golden do, and raised the handle. The next thing
the storekeeper knew was when Sue came running up to her in great alarm
crying:

"I can't stop it! I can't stop it!"

"Can't stop what, my dear?" asked Mrs. Golden.

"I can't stop the molasses from running out!" cried Sue. "I got it
turned on, but I can't turn it off, and it's running all over the
floor!"

"Oh, my goodness!" cried Mrs. Golden, hurrying to the back of the
store.



CHAPTER XXII

A SHOWER OF BOXES


Sister Sue, as soon as she had told Mrs. Golden what had happened also
started to run back to the molasses barrel. In fact she ran ahead of the
storekeeper, and Sue's hurry was the cause of another accident.

For the molasses, running out of the spigot which Sue had not been able
to close, had overflowed the quart measure, and was now spreading itself
out in a sticky pool on the floor.

It was a slippery puddle, as well as a sticky one, and Sue's feet,
landing in it as she ran, slid out from under her.

Bang! she came to the floor with a thud.

"Oh, my dear little girl!" cried one of the customers, who had been
buying the sewing silk. "Are you hurt, child?"

Sue, sitting in the molasses puddle--yes, she was actually sitting in
it now--looked up, thought about the matter for a moment, and then
answered, saying:

"No, thank you, I'm not hurt. But I'm stuck fast. I can't get up."

It was very sticky molasses.

Mrs. Golden, thinking more about the waste of her precious molasses than
about Sue for the moment, reached over and shut off the spigot. It had
caught and was hard to close, which was why Sue could not do it.

Fortunately, however, the little girl had nearly closed it before the
quart measure was quite full, and not so much of the molasses had run
out on the floor as might have if the spigot had been wide open all the
while. But, as it was, there was enough to make Sue fall, and to hold
her there in the sticky mess after she had sat down so hard.

"Dear me, what a mess!" exclaimed one of the customers.

"Isn't it!" said the other.

"I--I'm awful sorry," faltered Sue. "My father will pay for the molasses
I let run out, Mrs. Golden!"

"Oh, don't worry about that," said the old lady, though she was a bit
worried over the loss, for nearly a pint of the sweet stuff had run
away. "It's you I'm thinking of," she said. "Are you sure you aren't
hurt?"

"No," answered Sue. "But my dress is. Oh, how am I going to get home?"
she went on, as she pulled up the edge of her skirt and saw how dirty
and sticky it was.

"You'll have to get into the bath tub, clothes and all," said one of the
customers.

"It's like when I fell in the brook," half sobbed Sue.

"There, never mind!" said Mrs. Golden kindly. "Here, little boy," she
said, reaching over and lifting up the brimming measure of sweet stuff,
"take your molasses and run along. Then I'll clean up here."

Leaning over, to keep her feet out of the puddle, Mrs. Golden helped Sue
to rise, though it was a bit hard on account of the sticky molasses.
Then the little girl's dress was taken off and she was sent into Mrs.
Golden's bedroom.

"I'll wash this dress and your petticoat out for you, Sue," said Mrs.
Golden, when her thread customers were gone. "But it will hardly be dry
for you to wear home before dark."

"If you should see Bunny, you could send him home to get another dress
for me," Sue suggested.

"Yes, I could do that," agreed Mrs. Golden. "I'll see if Bunny is coming
after I put your clothes to soak."

But Bunny was off playing ball that day, and did not come to the corner
store. However, fat Bobbie Boomer happened to pass, and Mrs. Golden sent
him to Sue's house.

He rather frightened Mrs. Brown at first, for Bobbie twisted the message
and said Sue had fallen into a barrel of molasses, instead of just into
a puddle on the floor, so that Mrs. Brown came hurrying to the store,
imagining all sorts of things had happened.

She had to laugh when she heard the real story, and then she went back
to get a clean dress for Sue, leaving the other to be washed and dried
by Mrs. Golden.

"I'm afraid the children are more of a bother to you than a help," said
Mrs. Brown, as she started home with Sue.

"Oh, bless their hearts, I don't know what I'd do without them!" said
the storekeeper. "They are a great help. My store business is much
better than before they began coming here. That special oatmeal sale
brought me new customers, and Bunny and Sue are a great help."

As it would be rather hard work for Mrs. Golden to clean up the sticky
puddle, Mrs. Brown sent Bunker Blue up from the boat dock to help. For
this Mrs. Golden was very glad, as she could hardly have handled the
broom and pails of water as well as Bunker did.

"This is easier than cleaning out boats," declared the fish boy as he
"swabbed" the floor, as he called it.

Soon the store was scrubbed nice and clean and ready for more customers
the next day. As Bunny and Sue had nothing special to do they went to
the corner grocery to see if they could do anything to help. And Sue was
told by her mother to bring home the washed dress and petticoat.

"We've come to help," Sue announced, as she entered the store. "But I'm
not to draw any more molasses! Mother said I wasn't to!"

"Well, perhaps it will be as well for me to do that," said Mrs. Golden,
with a smile. "That spigot is sometimes hard to close."

"And I'm not to dip up any more flour," added Bunny.

"Yes, I suppose it will be as well for me to do that, too," said the
storekeeper. "But since you like to help me tend store there are many
other things you can do."

Bunny and Sue found them, for it was afternoon now, and many families in
the neighborhood sent children to buy things for supper.

"Hello, Sue!" called George Watson as he came into the store, whistling.
"I told my mother about that special sale of oatmeal you had here last
week. Got any more?"

"Yes, a few boxes left," said Mrs. Golden, who was behind the grocery
counter with Sue. Bunny was out in the storeroom opening a new box of
prunes. "They're up on a high shelf, I'll get one down for you, Sue."

But as she was going to do this a man entered the store. He was Mr.
Flynt, and Sue heard Mrs. Golden sigh when she saw him.

"You'll have to wait a minute about that oatmeal," said the storekeeper
to George. "I'll get it down for you in a little while. I have to see
this gentleman first."

George was willing to wait, but Sue was anxious to help in the store,
and as she saw that Mrs. Golden was going to be busy talking to Mr.
Flynt, the little girl decided she could get down the box of oatmeal
herself. She felt sure that Mrs. Golden would have trouble with Mr.
Flynt who would want money, and Mrs. Golden had very little to pay.

"I'll get the box of oatmeal for you, George," said Sue. "I know where
it is."

She climbed up on the counter by means of a box, and stretched up her
little hands and arms to the shelf on which the cereal was stacked. Sue
reached for a box, managing to get hold of it by stretching as far as
she could and standing on her tiptoes. But as she pulled the one box out
it caught on several others standing in line on the shelf.

"Look out!" cried George, as he saw what was going to happen.

But it was too late. Sue could not get out of the way, and a moment
later a shower of pasteboard boxes of oatmeal and other things fell all
around her.

"What is happening?" cried Mrs. Golden, hearing the clattering sound.
She came hurrying from the back of the store where she had gone to talk
quietly to Mr. Flynt.

"Everything is going to fall!" cried George.

But it was not quite so bad as this. Sue kept her hands raised above her
so nothing would hit her head, though one or two boxes did bump her a
little.

Box after box slipped from the shelf, falling on the floor, on the
counter, and all around poor little Sue!



CHAPTER XXIII

THE PONY EXPRESS


Bunny Brown ran out of the storeroom, in his hand a hammer with which he
had been opening the box of prunes. Mrs. Golden gave a cry of alarm as
she heard the clatter of the boxes falling around Sue. Mr. Flynt joined
Bunny in a rush to help the little girl. As for George, he was so
frightened by the sudden toppling of things from the shelf that a tune
he had started to whistle died away and he got ready to run out of the
store.

"Mercy sakes! what is going on in here?" cried Mrs. Clark, entering the
store as the boxes ceased falling. "Is anybody hurt?"

No one knew for a moment, as Sue had uttered no cry save the first
frightened one. But by the time Bunny and Mr. Flynt reached her the
shower of boxes was over and the little girl took down her hands from
over her head.

"Did anything break?" asked Sue, looking about her. "Oh, dear, what a
terrible mess!" she cried.

"Don't worry about that, child!" exclaimed Mrs. Golden. "What if a few
boxes are broken open? It's you I'm thinking of."

"Oh, I'm all right!" Sue said, and she laughed a little.

And when they came to look her over nothing worse had happened than that
she had a few bumps and bruises. And they were not very hard ones, for
the boxes were of pasteboard and not wood.

And only one or two of the oatmeal packages were split open, so that not
much was lost in that way. So, take it all in all, the accident was a
very little one, though it made a great deal of excitement for the time
being.

"You oughtn't to reach up for such high things, little girl," said Mr.
Flynt, when he had helped pick up the packages.

"No, sir, I guess I oughtn't," agreed Sue. "But George wanted one and I
thought I could get it."

"You call me when you want things from a high shelf," said Bunny, going
back to the task of opening the box of prunes. "I'm a good climber."

"I wasn't climbing, I was reaching," answered Sue, as if that made a lot
of difference. "Here's your oatmeal, George," she added, and the
whistling boy came back to the counter and got it.

Bunny and Sue stayed in the store for an hour or more after the fall of
the oatmeal boxes. Bunny finished opening the box of prunes, and he and
Sue waited on several customers, for Mrs. Golden seemed to be quite busy
talking to Mr. Flynt in the back room. And it was not a pleasant talk,
either, as Bunny and Sue guessed when they caught glimpses now and then
of Mrs. Golden wiping tears from her eyes.

Finally the grocery man came out of the back room with Mrs. Golden. He
was saying, so that the children could hear:

"Now you'd better take my advice, Mrs. Golden, and sell out your store
here. You'll never make it pay, and you keep on owing us more money all
the while. I know you're trying to do your best, but you must either
pay us or we'll have to take our things back and sell you out besides
for the rest that you owe us.

"Take my advice and sell out before you're sold out. It will be better
that way. We can't wait any longer. This is a good little store, but you
don't make it pay."

"Maybe I could if my son Philip were to come back," sadly said the old
lady. "He's gone after a legacy, and when he comes back----"

"There there, Mrs. Golden! It's of no use to talk that way!" exclaimed
Mr. Flynt. "You've been telling me about that legacy a long time. Why
doesn't it come?"

"I don't know, Sir."

"No. And I don't believe it ever will come. We've waited as long as we
ought, but I'll give you a little more time, and that will be the last.
If you don't pay we'll have to close your store. Think it over and sell
out before you're sold out."

And then Mr. Flynt went out.

Bunny and Sue, who had been about to go home, looked at Mrs. Golden and
felt sorry for her. They could see that she was feeling bad, and that
she had been crying.

"What's the matter?" asked Bunny.

"Not enough money--that's the trouble," was her answer. "Oh, dear, I
don't want to sell my store!" she said. "I want to keep it."

"Have you got to sell?" asked Sue.

"Mr. Flynt says so," came the reply, "because I owe him a lot of money I
can't pay. If business was only better I might keep my store going until
Philip comes back with the legacy. Once we get that we'll be all right!
But if we don't----"

Mrs. Golden put her handkerchief to her eyes. Then, seeing that she was
making Bunny and Sue sad, she added:

"There now! Run along. Maybe I can get the money somehow. At any rate
you children have been most kind to me. Run along now, and don't mind a
poor old woman."

But Bunny and Sue did mind. They talked matters over on their way home
and decided that something must be done. They wanted to help more than
they had been doing, and Bunny thought of a way. As usual Sue agreed
with him, for she was willing to do anything her brother did.

That evening after supper Bunny brought his little tin savings bank from
a shelf in his room, and Sue brought hers. There was a great rattling as
the pennies, dimes and nickels in the tin boxes clattered against the
sides.

"My goodness! what's going on?" cried Daddy Brown, looking up from the
paper he was reading. "Are you two going to buy an automobile with all
that money?"

"Will you please open my bank, Daddy, and see how much is in it?" asked
Bunny.

His father, wondering what was "in the wind," as old Jed Winkler would
say, did so. With Bunny's help the cash was counted. There was eight
dollars and fifteen cents.

"I have more than that!" exclaimed Sue, and indeed she had, for Bunny
had taken some of his money the week before to buy a top and a set of
kite sticks. Sue had ten dollars and forty-six cents in her bank.

"What are you going to do with it?" asked Mrs. Brown, for she knew the
children would not have gotten down their banks unless they had some
plan in their heads.

"We're going to give it to Mrs. Golden," said Bunny.

"Mrs. Golden?" cried their father.

"You mean you're going to buy something at her store?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"No, we're going to give it to her," said Bunny gravely. "She owes money
and Mr. Flynt will close up her store if she doesn't pay. So we're going
to give her our money so she can pay Mr. Flynt and then the store will
stay open."

"'Cause if it's closed," added Sue, "we can't have any more fun helping
keep it."

"Oh, ho! I see!" laughed Mr. Brown. "Well, I must admit I forgot all
about Mrs. Golden. I promised to see if I couldn't help her when you
told me about Mr. Flynt before, but I forgot. Now, children, it wouldn't
be right for you to take your bank money to help Mrs. Golden. She
wouldn't want you to do that. Put away your pennies, and I'll see what I
can do to help."

This made Bunny and Sue feel happier, and they went to bed more
satisfied, for they felt sure their father could make everything right.
But the next day, when they went in to see Mrs. Golden, to help keep
store, they found her looking very sad and unhappy.

"What's the matter?" asked Sue.

"Oh, just the same old trouble," Mrs. Golden answered. "I need money to
pay bills."

"Mr. Flynt's?" asked Bunny.

"Yes, his and another man's. I'm afraid, children, you won't be able to
come here much longer and help keep store."

"Why not?" Bunny wanted to know.

"Because there won't be any store--at least I won't have it. I'm afraid
I'm going to lose it. If I could only get some more customers and do
more business I might manage to pull through until Philip gets back. But
I don't know--I don't know!" and she shook her head sadly.

That afternoon, going home with Sue, Bunny had another idea.

"Sue!" he exclaimed, "if we can't give our money to Mrs. Golden maybe we
can get her more customers."

"How?" asked the little girl.

"We can ask everybody we know to come and trade there," said Bunny. "I
remember when the Italian shoemaker started down at the end of our
street and I took my rubber boots there to have him fix a hole, he said
for me to tell all the boys I knew to bring their boots and shoes to him
to be mended."

"Did you?" Sue inquired.

"Yes. And the shoeman said I brought him good trade and he gave me a
piece of beeswax. So maybe we could get customers for Mrs. Golden."

"Maybe we could!" cried Sue. "Let's tell the other boys and girls to get
their fathers and mothers to let them buy things at Mrs. Golden's, and
then she'll have a lot of customers!"

"Oh, let's!" cried Bunny Brown.

And they did. The next day, when Bunny and Sue were playing with
Charlie, George, Mary, Sadie, Helen, Harry and Bobbie, the idea was
spoken of again.

"Fellows and girls!" exclaimed Bunny, who got up to make a speech, "we
have to help Mrs. Golden."

"You should speak of the girls first," said Sadie, who was a little
older than the others.

"Well, anyhow, we ought to help Mrs. Golden," went on Bunny. "She needs
customers. Now, if all of you would buy everything you could of her,
like Sue and I do, maybe she wouldn't lose her store."

"My mother says she'd trade there if Mrs. Golden would deliver stuff,"
remarked Helen Newton. "But she says she can't cart heavy things from
any store."

"My mother said the same thing," added Mary Watson.

"She can't afford to hire a delivery horse and wagon," said Charlie
Star. "I know, 'cause I helped in her store."

"She needs an auto like Mr. Gordon," said Bobbie Boomer.

"Pooh, autos are only for big stores!" exclaimed Harry.

Bunny Brown seemed to be doing some hard thinking. He had a new idea.

"Fellows!" he suddenly cried, "I have it! I'll get a delivery wagon for
Mrs. Golden!"

"You will?"

"A delivery wagon?"

"How?"

These cries greeted what Bunny had said.

"I'll take our Shetland pony, Toby, and deliver things for her in the
little cart!" cried Bunny Brown. "If all of you will promise to buy as
much as you can from her, I'll deliver things in our pony cart!"

"Hurray for the pony express!" cried Charlie Star. "I'll help!"



CHAPTER XXIV

BAD NEWS


The boys and girls, all of whom promised to buy as much as they could
from Mrs. Golden and who also promised to tell their mothers at home
that things could now be delivered from the little corner store, were
bubbling over with fun and good-nature as they left the yard of Bunny
and Sue where the "meeting" was held. But after his playmates had gone
Bunny Brown began to do a little worrying.

"I know Toby will like to deliver groceries and be a pony express," said
the little boy to his sister. "But maybe mother won't let us do it."

"Oh, I guess she will," said Sue.

"I'll ask her, anyhow," decided Bunny, and he did.

Mrs. Brown thought the matter over carefully when Bunny and Sue told her
about it.

"Is Mrs. Golden really in such need of money?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, yes!" cried Bunny. "She feels so sad when Mr. Flynt comes and says
he's going to close her store. And we'll feel sad if we don't have any
place to go any more and learn how to work in it, Mother! Please let us
take Toby and be a pony express!"

"I'll talk it over with your father," said Mrs. Brown.

The children waited anxiously for what their father should say, and they
were glad when they heard him laugh after Mrs. Brown had spoken to him
of the plan.

"Why, yes," he agreed. "I don't see any harm in it. Toby doesn't get
enough exercise as it is. And Bunny and Sue can manage the little
Shetland very well. The only thing is, I wouldn't want them to drive all
over town delivering groceries--I mean out on the main street where
there are so many autos now."

"Oh, we wouldn't go there!" promised Bunny.

"We might work it this way," went on Mr. Brown. "If there are things to
be delivered on the other side of Main Street I'll let Bunker Blue do
it. He can spare the time once a day. Bunny and Sue can do the rest of
the delivery."

So it was decided, and you can imagine how delighted Bunny and Sue were
when they hastened to tell the good news to Mrs. Golden.

"Why, that's perfectly wonderful!" exclaimed the old lady, and there
were happy tears in her eyes. "Oh, you are two darling children to think
so much of helping an old woman."

"You're not so old," declared Bunny politely. "Besides, we like to keep
store; don't we, Sue?"

"Lots!" answered the little girl.

Bunny and Sue clerked in the store as much as they had time for, but as
they were now to deliver things in the pony cart they could not spend so
much time behind the counter. And Mr. Brown said that Bunny and Sue must
both go in the pony cart, as it would be safer for them that way.

"Sue can hold Toby while you take the groceries into the houses," said
Mr. Brown. "Only you mustn't lift too heavy boxes, Bunny."

"No, Daddy!" he promised. "If it's too heavy I'll lift it twice!" He
meant he would make two trips of it.

Toby was almost as much help to Mrs. Golden as Bunny and Sue had been,
for many housekeepers, when they found they could have groceries
delivered from the corner store, took part of their trade there. And
Bunny and Sue were quite proud to load up the basket cart with boxes and
packages and start out to leave the orders at the different houses.

Mrs. Golden did not grow any younger or more active, and there were
times when she could hardly get around the store. At such times, if
Bunny and Sue had to be out with the pony cart, Charlie Star would come
in and be a clerk.

When things needed to be delivered on the other side of Main Street,
along which many automobiles were driven, then Bunker Blue was called
on. He gladly drove the "pony express" as it was laughingly called, and
many customers were served this way.

But in spite of this increase in trade the worried look did not leave
Mrs. Golden's face, and, more than once, Bunny and Sue again saw her
counting up her money and looking at bills she owed Mr. Flynt.

"Will you have to sell the place now?" asked Bunny one day, coming in
with Sue to help tend store. The two previous days had been busy ones,
when many customers had bought things.

"Well, I don't know about it, Bunny, my dear," was the answer. "More
money is coming in, to be sure, but things cost so much I make hardly
any profit. Things still look black. But don't worry. You and Sue are a
big help. If Philip only gets that legacy, then I'll be all right!"

"I hope he does!" said Bunny Brown.

Several customers came in and the children helped Mrs. Golden wait on
them. Then one woman wanted flour, sugar, and potatoes sent to her house
on the other side of Main Street, a place where Bunny and Sue had never
been.

"But we'll load the things in the pony cart," said Bunny to Sue, "and
drive to our house. Bunker Blue is going to be there, for he's going to
cut the grass, and he can drive across Main Street to Mrs. Larken's
house."

"That will be all right," said Mrs. Golden. "It's very kind of you to
help me this way."

The children started out with Toby, and they were almost at their own
home when they heard a great shouting and racket behind them.

"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue, "maybe we dropped something out of the cart and
they're calling to us to pick it up."

Bunny gave one look back over the way they had come. Then he pulled hard
on Toby's reins and shouted:

"No, we didn't drop anything, but here comes the fire engine!"

And, surely enough, dashing down the street was the shiny new engine
that had lately been bought for Bellemere.

"Oh, pull over to one side!" cried Sue, clasping Bunny's arm. "Pull over
to one side!"

"I--I'm trying to!" he answered. But Toby did not seem to want to go
over near the curb, and out of danger. Once in a while the Shetland pony
had a stubborn streak, and this was one of those times.

"Get over! Get over there!" cried Bunny, pulling on the reins.

But instead of swinging to the right Toby turned to the left, and down
the street, clanging and thundering came the fire engine.

"Get out the way!"

"Look at those children!"

"Pull over! Pull over!" cried people along the sidewalk.

One or two men ran out to grasp the bridle of Toby and swing him over,
for it seemed that all Bunny was doing had no effect. But before any of
the men could reach the pony Bunker Blue came dashing along. He was on
his way to the Brown house to cut the grass, and he saw the danger of
Bunny and Sue.

"What's the matter with you, Toby? What's the matter?" cried Bunker
Blue. The Shetland pony seemed to know the fish boy's voice, for he
allowed himself to be swung over to the curb and out of danger just
before the fire engine dashed by.

"Oh dear!" sighed Sue.

"Pooh! That wasn't anything!" declared Bunny Brown. "I could have got
him over. And, anyhow, the fire engine would have steered out! But I'm
glad you came, Bunker," he said, for this talk did not seem to show a
kindly feeling toward the fish boy who had been so quick to act.

"Yes, I guess you'd 'a' been all right," said Bunker, with a laugh. "But
that fire engine was going very fast. You've got to be careful of it."

And all the rush and excitement was for nothing, as there was no fire,
the alarm being a false one. Bunker took charge of the pony cart and
delivered the groceries before he cut the grass. Then Bunny and Sue
drove back to the corner store.

They saw Mr. Flynt talking to Mrs. Golden as they entered.

"It's of no use!" the cross man was saying. "I have bad news for you.
You'll have to give up the store, Mrs. Golden."

"Won't your company give me a little more time?" she asked.

"No," said Mr. Flynt. "We've been waiting and waiting, hoping you could
pay. Of course things are better than early in the summer. I guess these
children have helped you a lot," and he looked at Bunny and Sue. "But
you don't take in enough money to pay your bills. If you could pay up
you might get along, for you have a good trade now. But you can't pay
your bills, and so we're going to sell you out!"

"Does that mean close up the store?" asked Bunny timidly.

"That's what it means, little man," was the answer, and Mr. Flynt did
not seem so cross now. Perhaps he was sorry for what he had to do. "Mrs.
Golden will have to give up her store."



CHAPTER XXV

GOOD NEWS


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue looked at each other with sad eyes. After
all their work it had come to this. The store would be closed! They
would have no place to come and have good times during the long vacation
days! It was too bad! What was to be done?

Sue waited for Bunny to speak, as she usually did, and Bunny, after
thinking the matter over, asked:

"Are you going to close it up right away?"

"Within a day or so, unless Mrs. Golden can pay her bills," answered Mr.
Flynt. "We have waited as long as we can. I'm going to begin now to
close out her business, but it will take two or three days. If she can
raise the money in that time----"

"There's no use waiting or hoping--I can't do it!" sighed the old lady,
with tears in her eyes. "I've tried my best, but I can't do it, even
with the help of these dear children and the pony express," and she
looked out of the window at Toby, hitched to the little basket cart.

"It is too bad," said Mr. Flynt. "We know you've done your best, and if
you didn't owe so much you might get along now, with the start you have.
But it takes all you can make to pay your back debts. It's best that you
should give up the store. My company is sorry for you, but we've waited
as long as we can. You'll have to sell out, Mrs. Golden."

"Yes, I suppose so," she agreed. "But if I could only hear from Philip,
and if he could bring the money from that legacy, I could pay all I owe
and start a bigger store. But I don't suppose there's any use hoping for
that."

"No, I believe not," agreed Mr. Flynt. "Your son Philip doesn't seem to
have gotten that legacy. Have you heard from him?"

"Not lately," said Mrs. Golden, with a sad shake of her head. "I don't
know why he hasn't written. Perhaps because he has no good news for
me."

"Very likely," said Mr. Flynt. "Well, I must go. You had better arrange
to sell everything by the end of the week, and pay us what you can.
We'll have to wait for the rest, I reckon."

"Won't there be a store here any more?" asked Sue.

"Oh, some one else may start one. It isn't a bad place for a grocery and
notion shop," answered the black-whiskered man. "But Mrs. Golden can't
keep this store any more."

"Maybe she can if my father will help her!" exclaimed Bunny. "He said he
would!"

"Well, if some one would pay what she owes, of course she could keep on
with the store," agreed Mr. Flynt. "But we can't wait any longer. We've
got to sell her out."

When Bunny and Sue told at home that evening what had happened, Mrs.
Brown said:

"Walter, can't you do something for that poor old woman?"

"Yes, I must try," he said. "I meant to look into her affairs long
before this, but I've had so many other things to do that I let it go.
We'll save the store for her if we can."

"'Cause we like to help tend it," said Bunny. "Don't we, Sue?"

"Yes," answered the little girl.

Instead of going to his boat and fish dock the next morning, as he
nearly always did, Mr. Brown called to Bunny to get ready and go down to
the corner grocery with him.

"May I come?" asked Sue.

"Yes," her father answered. "You are in this as much as Bunny. We are
going to help Mrs. Golden if we can."

They found the old lady sitting sadly in her easy chair near the back of
the store where she generally could be found when no customers needed to
be waited on.

"Good morning, Mrs. Golden," said Mr. Brown. "I understand you are in
trouble."

"If owing a lot of money and not being able to pay it is trouble, then
I'm in almost up to my eyes," she answered, with a shake of her head.

"Like I was in the brook!" said Sue.

"Yes, I suppose so," sighed Mrs. Golden. "I'm afraid I've got to lose my
store."

"Tell me how much you owe," begged Mr. Brown.

And when he heard he shook his head, saying:

"It is more than I thought. If it had been only about a hundred dollars
I might have lent it to you, or found some one who would, but now I'm
afraid nothing can be done."

"Do you mean the store will have to close?" asked Bunny.

"I'm afraid so, Son," replied his father.

"Oh dear!" sighed Mrs. Golden! "If Philip were only here then I
might----"

"Well, here I am, Mother!" cried a voice at the front door. "What's the
trouble?" and in came big, strong, jolly Philip Golden. He had just
arrived on a train. "What's wrong?" he asked, for he could see that his
mother had tears in her eyes.

The trouble was soon told.

"Sell the store!" he cried. "I guess not much! Didn't you get my
telegram, Mother?"

"What telegram?"

"The one telling about the legacy. We have it--several thousand
dollars! It won't make us rich, but it will be enough to make you
comfortable for life. I heard the good news yesterday, and I sent you a
telegram telling about it so you wouldn't worry any more."

"I never got your message!" said Mrs. Golden, smiling through her tears.
"But it doesn't matter. I suppose there was some mistake and it went to
the wrong address. But it was better to have you bring the good news.
Are you sure we're to have the legacy?"

"Sure, Mother! I brought some money with me and more will come. You'll
be all right now. You can pay all your bills and have plenty left over."

"Oh, I'm so glad!" cried Sue. "Then you can have a real nice store,
can't you?"

"Yes," answered Mrs. Golden with a happy smile on her face, "I suppose I
can. Oh, how glad I am, and how thankful I am to you dear children.
You've helped me more than I can tell you."

"And we're going to help more!" cried Bunny Brown. "When you get your
new store I'm going to be a clerk in it; can't I, Daddy?"

"Maybe," said Mr. Brown, with a smile.

And so the good news came after the bad, which is always the best way to
have it come, I think. Mrs. Golden paid all her debts, and later she and
her son Philip opened a larger store and did very well. Sometimes Bunny
and Sue went to see the new place, but it was too far from their home
for them to "work" in it. And, anyhow, there were other things for Bunny
Brown and his sister Sue to do.

But now we have come to the end of our story and must say good-bye.


THE END



THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books


Wrapper and text illustrations drawn by

FLORENCE ENGLAND NOSWORTHY

       *       *       *       *       *

          12mo. DURABLY BOUND. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING

       *       *       *       *       *

These stories by the author of the "Bobbsey Twins" Books are eagerly
welcomed by the little folks from about five to ten years of age. Their
eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively doings of inquisitive
little Bunny Brown and his cunning, trustful sister Sue.

Bunny was a lively little boy, very inquisitive. When he did anything,
Sue followed his leadership. They had many adventures, some comical in
the extreme.

          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A SHOW
          BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRISTMAS TREE COVE

       *       *       *       *       *

          GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS

For Little Men and Women

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Bunny Brown" Series, Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

          12mo.  DURABLY BOUND.  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.

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

       *       *       *       *       *

          GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE


Author of "The Bobbsey Twins Books," "The Bunny Brown Series," "The
Make-Believe Series," Etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

          Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding

       *       *       *       *       *

Delightful stories for little boys and girls which sprung into immediate
popularity. To know the six little Bunkers is to take them at once to
your heart, they are so intensely human, so full of fun and cute
sayings. Each story has a little plot of its own--one that can be easily
followed--and all are written in Miss Hope's most entertaining manner.
Clean, wholesome volumes which ought to be on the bookshelf of every
child in the land.

          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDMA BELL'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT AUNT JO'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT COUSIN TOM'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDPA FORDS
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT UNCLE FRED'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S
          SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT COWBOY JACK'S

       *       *       *       *       *

          GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE


Author of the popular "Bobbsey Twin Books" and "Bunny Brown" Series.

       *       *       *       *       *

          UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING. INDIVIDUAL COLORED WRAPPERS.

       *       *       *       *       *

These tales take in the various adventures participated in by several
bright, up to-date girls who love outdoor life. They are clean and
wholesome, free from sensationalism, and absorbing from the first
chapter to the last.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE
          Or Camping and Tramping for Fun and Health.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE
          Or Stirring Cruise of the Motor Boat Gem.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR
          Or The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP
          Or Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA
          Or Wintering in the Sunny South.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW
          Or The Box that Was Found in the Sand.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND
          Or A Cave and What it Contained.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN ARMY SERVICE
          Or Doing Their Bit for Uncle Sam.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT THE HOSTESS HOUSE
          Or Doing Their Best for the Soldiers.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT BLUFF POINT
          Or A Wreck and A Rescue.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT WILD ROSE LODGE
          Or The Hermit of Moonlight Falls.

          THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN THE SADDLE
          Or The Girl Miner of Gold Run.

       *       *       *       *       *

          GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 10: "ironing-board" changed to "ironing board" to conform to rest
of text. (on the ironing board counter) Also on page 20. (low ironing
board shelf)

Page 51: "of" changed to "off". (long way off)

Page 57: "Bnnny" changed to "Bunny". ("All right," agreed Bunny.)

Page 74: "runing" changed to "running". (came running into)

Page 78: "step-ladder" changed to "stepladder" to conform to rest of
text. (like a stepladder)

Page 122: Author says that the children ran through the streets of
Lakeport. However they live in Bellemere, see page 15. The children in
one of her other series, The Bobbsey Twins, live in Lakeport. This
mistake was retained.

Page 211: "musn't" changed to "mustn't". (I mustn't complain)





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