Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm/2
THE RUNAWAY MONKEY
Mr. Brown, who was the father of Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, was in the boat business in the seaside village of Bellemere. Mr. Brown rented fishing, sailing and motor boats to those who wanted them, and he had his office on the dock, which was built out into Sandport Bay.
"Oh, Mother! Do you think daddy will let us go to grandpa's farm?" asked Bunny, as he and his sister Sue walked along the street, on their way to their father's office, after having gotten the letter from Grandpa Brown.
"Please ask him to let us go,!" begged Sue.
"Yes, I think he will," said Mrs. Brown.
The children clapped their hands in joy. Once, some years before, they had gone to their grandfather's farm in the country, and they remembered what fun they had had. Now they were older, and they were sure they would have many more good times.
"Well, well!" cried Daddy Brown, as he saw his wife and the two children come into his office on the dock. "What brings you all down here? Do you want some fish, or is Bunny looking for another big lobster claw, so he can put it on his nose and play Mr. Punch?"
"No, I don't want any lobster claws now, Papa," Bunny said. "But can we go to grandpa's farm in the country?"
Mr. Brown looked at his wife.
"What has happened now?" he asked. He was almost sure that something had happened because Bunny and Sue looked so excited.
"Oh!" cried the little girl, "Bunny went to a fire, and he was upset, and Splash spilled the water all over Uncle Tad, and we got a letter, and—"
Sue had to stop. She had talked so fast she was all out of breath.
Mr. Brown laughed.
"What is it all about?" he asked his wife.
Mrs. Brown told him how Bunny had been playing fire engine in his express wagon, with the dog, and about the upset, when the water was spilled on Uncle Tad.
"But what we came to see you about, Daddy," she went on, "is this letter from father." Grandpa Brown was Mr. Brown's father, you see, and Mr. Brown and his wife always spoke of the children's grandpa as "father."
"Father wants us to bring the children, and spend the Summer on the farm," went on Mrs. Brown. "I think it would be nice, if we could go."
"Oh, let us. Daddy!" cried Bunny and Sue.
Mr. Brown looked thoughtful.
"Well," he said slowly, "I suppose we could go. I could have the business here looked after all right, and I guess I need a little rest myself. Yes, I think we'll go," he said. "It will take me about a week to get ready. You may write to father that we'll come," he said to Mrs. Brown. "Was there anything else in his letter?"
"Well, yes," and Mrs. Brown spoke slowly. "It's some bad news—"
"Bad news!" Bunny interrupted. "Can't we go to the farm?"
"It isn't that," Mrs. Brown said quickly. "It's about grandpa's horses. It seems," she said to her husband, while Bunny and Sue listened with all their might, "that there was some Gypsies camping near the farm."
"Did the Gypsies—did they take grandpa away?" asked Sue, for she had often heard of Gypsies taking persons off with them. But really, this hardly ever happens.
"No, dear. The Gypsies didn't take grandpa, but they took his best team of horses," answered her mother. "That's what he says in his letter. Some of the Gypsies' horses were taken sick, and they could not pull the Gypsy wagons, when they wanted to move their camp. Some of the Gypsy men borrowed grandpa's team and said ihey would pay him for the use of it a little while, until they could pull their wagons to a new place."
"And did father let them take his horses?" asked Daddy Brown.
"Yes. He says in his letter that he wishes, now, he had not. For, though the Gypsies promised to bring the horses back, they did not do so."
"Oh, did the Gypsies keep Grandpa's horses?" asked Bunny.
"Yes. That's what he says."
"Then we can't go to the farm!" and Bunny looked very sorry.
"Why can't we go? What have the horses to do with it?" asked Bunny's mother.
"Because, if he hasn't any horses, grandpa can't come to the station for us, and drive us out to the farm."
"Oh, well, I guess he has more than one team. Though he says it was his best one the Gypsies borrowed, and did not bring back," said Mrs. Brown to her husband. "It will be quite a loss to father, and he was so proud of that team of horses!"
"Yes," answered Mr. Brown, "it's too bad!"
"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue. "Aunt Lu lost her diamond ring, and now grandpa has lost his horses. But maybe you can find them, Bunny, just as you found Aunt Lu's diamond ring!"
"Huh! Aunt Lu's ring was in my lobster claw! How could a team of horses get in a lobster claw?" asked Bunny, with a laugh.
"Oh, I don't mean that!" said Sue. "But maybe you could find the horses in the woods, same as you found the ring in the claw."
"Maybe!" agreed Bunny, "But when can we go to the farm?"
"Next week, perhaps," answered his mother. "It depends on your father."
"Yes, we can go next week," Mr, Brown said.
"Even if Grandpa Brown doesn't get his horses back from the Gypsies?" asked Bunny.
"Yes, I diink we can manage to reach the farm without grandpa's horses. I have a new plan for going out there—something we have never done before," and Daddy Brown nodded at his wife, and smiled.
"Oh, what is it?" Bunny asked eagerly.
"It's a secret," said his father. "I'll tell you after a while."
The children begged and teased to know What it was, but Mr. Brown only laughed, and said they would have to wait.
Then Mrs. Brown took Bunny and Sue home, and on the way the brother and sister talked of nothing but what fun they would have on grandpa's farm, and of how sorry they were about the Gypsies having borrowed the horses, and keeping them, instead of bringing them back, as they should have done.
"But maybe you'll find them," said Sue, "I hope so, anyhow. I'll help you look, Bunny."
"I hope so, too," replied Bunny. "We did find Aunt Lu's diamond ring, when she thought she never would."
I will tell you a little about that, though, if you like, you may read of it in the first volume of this series, which is named: "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue."
In that I told how the Brown family lived in the seaside town of Bellemere, on Sandport Bay. Bunny, who was six years old, and Sue, who was five, were great chums and playmates. They were together nearly all the while, and often got into trouble; though of course they had fun, and good times also.
Their Aunt Lu came to visit them from New York, and the first night she was at the Brown house she lost her diamond ring, when she was helping Mrs. Brown make a salad from a big lobster that was brought ashore in one of Mr. Brown's boats. A lobster is a sort of fish only it has legs and claws to pinch with.
Aunt Lu felt sorry about losing her ring, and Bunny and Sue promised to help her find it. They looked, but, for a long time, could not discover it. Finally Bunny found it in the queerest way.
Besides finding Aunt Lu's diamond ring. Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did many other things, which are told of in the first book. They had good fun with their friends Charlie Star, Harry Bentley, Mary and George Watson, and Sadie West and Helen Newton, children of about their own age.
Bunny and Sue got locked in an empty house, and thought they would have to stay there all night, but they did not. They went on a trolley ride, and got lost, and wandered into a moving picture show, and up on the stage, where they made everybody laugh.
Bunny Brown was always thinking of new things to do, and Sue was always ready to help him do them. The children were not naughty, but they did get into trouble and out again more easily than any tots of whom I ever heard. They had many friends, and everybody in town knew and liked them.
"And now we're going to have more good fun!" said Bunny, on the afternoon of the day when Grandpa Brown's letter came. "Oh, I Just love it on the farm."
"We can play in the hay, and go after the cows, and hunt eggs," said Sue.
"But you mustn't fall into any hen's nest, as you did once in our barn, and get your dress all egg," said Bunny.
"I won't," promised Sue. "Oh, Bunny, I can hardly wait!" and she jumped up and down, she was so excited and happy.
"Neither can I," said her brother. "I'll tell you what let's do!"
"What?" asked Sue.
"Let's go down to Mrs. Redden's and get a lollypop. We have our penny, and mother said we could each spend one this afternoon."
"All right," Sue replied. "And then shall we go in and see Wango, the monkey?"
"I guess so. But we'd better eat our lollypops first, or he'll beg them away from us."
Wango was very fond of candy, and if the children stood in front of him, eating any, he would beg so hard for some, and hold out his little paws in such a sad way, that they could not help sharing their treat with him.
Wango was sometimes kept in a big cage, but he was also often allowed to be outside, on the porch, with a chain fastened to his collar, and then snapped to a ring in the porch post.
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue bought their lollypops at Mrs, Redden's store, and then went on to Mr. Winkler's house, to see the monkey. Mr. Winkler, the old sailor, lived with his sister, Miss Winkler. The sister did not like her brother's monkey very much.
"Shall we tell Miss Winkler about going to grandpa's farm?" asked Sue, as she and Bunny walked along the street, hand in hand, eating their candy.
"Yes, and we'll tell her about the Gypsies taking grandpa's horses. Maybe she might see them, and tell the bad men to give them back."
"Maybe," agreed Sue. "Is your lollypop good, Bunny?"
"Awful good. Is yours?"
The two children walked on, and soon were within sight of Mrs. Winkler's house.
"There's Wango, tied on the porch," cried Bunny.
"I see him," answered Sue. "And oh, Bunny! Listen! I hear music!"
"Oh, it's a hand-organ!" Bunny exclaimed.
"Oh, see, he has a monkey!" Sue cried, pointing to a little furry creature on top of the music box.
Wango saw the strange monkey at the same time. Wango jumped up, and ran toward the organ grinder as far as the chain would let him. Then Mr. Winkler's monkey chattered and screamed loudly.
All at once the Italian stopped playing, for his own monkey suddenly jumped down to the sidewalk, gave a hard pull on the string that was about his neck, broke loose and ran away, far off down the street, while Wango chattered louder than ever.