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"Who--who is that?" asked Sue of her brother in a whisper. "Oh, it's papa come for us!"
"That isn't papa," Bunny answered, for well he knew his father's voice.
"Well, it's somebody, anyhow," and Sue smiled now, through her tears. "It's somebody, and I'm so glad!"
"Bunny! Sue!" called the voice again, and the big dog barked. Perhaps he was also glad that "somebody" had come for him, as glad as were the children. But, though Bunny Brown and his sister Sue looked all about, they could see no one. Then, all of a sudden, Sue thought of something.
"Oh, Bunny!" she cried. "Do you s'pose it could be him?"
"Robinson Crusoe's man Friday. Here on the island, you know. Maybe he heard we were here, and came to help us catch fish, or make a fire. Oh, Bunny, if it should be Mr. Friday!"
"Pooh! It couldn't be," said Bunny. "Mr. Friday was only make-believe, and we were only pretending, anyhow. It couldn't be!"
"No, I 'spose not," and Sue sighed. "Anyhow, it's somebody, and they know us, and I'm glad!"
Bunny was also glad, and a few seconds later, while the dog kept on barking, and running here and there, Bunny and Sue raw, coming around the end of the island, a boat, and in it was Jed Winkler, the old sailor who owned Wango, the monkey. Only, of course, the old sailor did not have the monkey with him this time.
"Bunny! Sue! Oh, there you are!" called Mr. Winkler as he saw the two children.
"Oh, Mr. Winkler!" cried Bunny. "We're so glad to see you!"
"Yes, and I guess your folks will be glad to see you!" answered the old sailor. "They've been looking all over for you, and only a little while ago I noticed that your boat was gone. I thought maybe you had gone on a voyage down the river, so I said I'd come down and look, as far as the island, anyhow. And here you are!
"I wonder what you'll do next? But there's no telling, I reckon. What have you been doing, anyhow, and whose dog is that?"
"He's mine," said Sue quickly. "He pulled me out of the water."
"He's half mine, too," said Bunny. "I saw him before you did, Sue. You couldn't see him 'cause your head was under the water," he went on, "and when a feller sees a dog first, half of it is his, anyhow; isn't it, Mr. Winkler?"
"Oh, you may have half of him," agreed Sue kindly. "Do you want the head half, or the tail hall, Bunny?"
"Well," said Bunny slowly, "I like the tail end, 'cause that wags when he's happy, but I like the head end too, because that barks, and he can wash our hands with his tongue."
Bunny did not seem to know which half of the dog to take. Then a new idea came to him.
"I'll tell you what we can do, Sue!" he exclaimed. "We can divide him down the middle the other way. Then you'll have half his head end, and half his tail end, and so will I."
"Oh, yes!" Sue agreed, "and we can take turns feeding him."
"Say, I never see two such youngsters as you!" declared the old sailor, laughing. "What happened to you, anyhow?"
"Well, we didn't mean to go off in the boat, but we did," Bunny explained. "Then we got wrecked on this island, just like Robinson Crusoe did."
"Only we didn't find Mr. Friday," put in Sue.
"But we found a cave--a make-believe one," Bunny said quickly.
"And I fell in, but we didn't get any fish," added the sister.
"And the dog did pull her out, and we're going to keep him," went on Bunny. "And will you take us home, Mr. Winkler? 'Cause we're hungry, and maybe our dog is, too, and it's getting dark, and we couldn't make our boat go, even if we did hitch the dog up to it."
"Bless your hearts, of course I'll take you home, and the dog, too!" the old sailor cried, "though I didn't expect to find a dog here. Come now, get in my boat, and I'll fasten yours to mine, and pull it along after me. Come along!"
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were soon in the old sailor's boat, the dog following them, and, a little later, they were safely at their own dock, where their father and mother, as well as Aunt Lu and Bunker Blue, were waiting to greet them.
"Oh, Bunny! Oh, Sue!" cried Mrs. Brown, as she gathered them both into her arms. "Why did you do it? Oh, such a fright as you have given all of us!"
"We didn't mean to, Mother," said Bunny, himself a little frightened at what had happened. "The boat came untied, and floated off with us, and then we played Robinson Crusoe, just like you read to me out of the book, and--"
"But we didn't find Mr. Friday," interrupted Sue, who seemed to feel this was quite a disappointment.
"Never mind," remarked Aunt Lu, "you had plenty of other adventures, I should think. Why, Sue!" she exclaimed, "your dress is quite damp!"
"She fell in," explained Bunny, "and--"
"Mercy! Where did that dog come from?" cried Mrs. Brown, for the big shaggy animal had been lying quietly in the bottom of Mr. Winkler's boat, and now, with a bark, he suddenly sprang up, and jumped out on the dock.
"It's our dog," said Sue. "He pulled me out."
"Pulled you out, child? Out of where?" Mrs. Brown wanted to know. "What happened? Tell me all about it!"
Which Bunny and Sue did, taking turns. Then they begged to be allowed to keep the dog, and Mr. Brown said they might, if no one came to claim it.
"I guess it must be a lost dog," said the old sailor. "Maybe it jumped off some boat that was going down the river, and swam to the island. I guess it's glad enough to get off, though, for there's nothing there for a dog to eat."
"We couldn't find anything, either," said Bunny, "and we're hungry now, Mother."
"And we're going to take turns feeding the dog," came from Sue. "I own one half, down the middle, and so does Bunny."
"Bless your hearts!" Mrs. Brown cried. "She was very glad the children had been found, and Mr. Brown told Bunny and Sue they must not get in the boat again, unless some older person was with them, even if the boat was tied to the dock. Then it was supper time, and the big, shaggy dog ate as much as Bunny and Sue together, which showed how hungry he was.
"What are you going to call the dog?" asked Aunt Lu.
"I called him Towser," Bunny said, "but we can take another name, if we don't like that."
"Oh, let's call him Splash!" exclaimed Sue.
"Splash? What a funny name!" her mother remarked.
"Well, he did splash in the water after me, and pulled me out. Maybe we could call him Pull, but I like Splash better," and Sue shook her curly head.
"Call him Splash, then," agreed Mr. Brown, and so the big dog was called that name. He did not seem to mind how funny it was, but wagged his tail, and barked happily whenever he was spoken to.
For two or three days after they had gone off in the boat, Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did not go far from home. They remained about the house, playing different games with some of the children who lived near them. Now and then they would go down the street with Aunt Lu, or to the dock, to see the fish boats come in. And, often, as she walked along, Aunt Lu would look down at the ground.
"Are you looking for your lost diamond ring?" Bunny or Sue would ask.
"Well, not exactly," Aunt Lu would say. "I'm afraid I shall never find it," she would add, in rather a sad voice. "I am afraid it is gone forever."
"We'll keep on looking," promised Bunny. "And maybe we'll find it."
Splash, the big dog, proved to be very gentle and kind. He seemed to love the two children very much, and went everywhere with them. No one came to claim him. There was only one place Bunny and Sue could not take him, and that was to Mr. Winkler's house, and it was on account of the monkey.
"I'm afraid Splash might scare Wango," the old sailor said. "Monkeys are easily frightened, and Wango might try to get out of his cage and hurt himself. So, much as I love your dog, children, please don't bring him where Wango is." "We won't," promised Bunny and Sue. So, whenever they paid a little visit to their friend, the old sailor, Splash was chained outside the gate, and the poor dog did not seem to understand why this was done. But he would lie down and wait until Bunny and Sue came out. Then how glad he was to see them!
One day Aunt Lu gave Bunny and Sue each five cents. They said they wanted to buy some toy balloons, which they had seen in the window of Mrs. Redden's store.
"Maybe we could tie two balloons together, and fasten them to a basket and have a ride, like in an airship," Sue said to Bunny, for they had been looking at some pictures of airships in a magazine.
"Maybe we could," Bunny agreed.
But Bunny and Sue did not buy the toy balloons. They were on their way to get them, with Splash, the dog, walking along the street behind them, when a trolley car came along. The trolley ran from Bellemere, where Bunny and Sue lived, to Wayville, the next town. In Wayville lived Uncle Henry, who was a brother of Mrs. Brown's.
"Oh, Sue! I know what let's do!" Bunny suddenly cried, as the trolley car stopped to take on some passengers at the street corner.
"What shall we do, Bunny?" Sue was always ready to follow where her brother led.
"Let's take our five cents and have a trolley ride! We can go to Wayville and see Uncle Henry. He'd like to see us."
"But if we go on the trolley it costs five cents," Sue objected, "and we can't buy the balloons."
"Maybe Uncle Henry will give us some pennies when we tell him we had to spend our five cents to come to see him," Bunny suggested.
"Maybe. All right, let's go!"
Hand in hand, never thinking that it was in the least wrong, Bunny and Sue ran for the trolley. The conductor, though perhaps he thought it strange to see two such small children traveling alone, said nothing, but helped them up the high step. Often the people of Wayville or Bellemere would put their children on the car, and ask the conductor to look out for them, and put them off at a certain place. But no one was with Bunny and Sue.
"We want to go to Wayville, to our Uncle Henry's," explained the blue- eyed little boy.
"All right," answered the conductor. "I'll let you off at Wayville, though I don't know your Uncle Henry." He rang the bell twice, and off went the trolley car, carrying Bunny and Sue to new adventures.
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