Chapter XII. Found
 

Getting lost in the woods is different from getting lost in the city. In the city, or even in a little country town, there is someone of whom you can ask the way to your house. But in the woods there is no one to talk to.

Bunny and Sue thought of this when they had looked around through the trees, trying to find some way to, at least, get back to the road.

"If I could find the trolley car tracks we'd be all right," Bunny said. "We could wait for a car and ride home." "But what could we do with Splash?" asked Sue.

"Oh, he could run along after us. It isn't far, and he's had a good rest now."

"Well, I wish I were home," sighed the little girl. "I'm awful hungry!"

Bunny Brown did not know what to do. He wanted to be brave, and help his sister, but he, himself, felt much like crying, and he thought he could see tears in Sue's eyes.

Where was their home, anyhow? Where were their papa and mamma and dear Aunt Lu? Bunny felt he would give all of his five cents if he could see the house where he and Sue lived. But all around them were only trees.

"Will we have to stay here all night?" Sue wanted to know.

"Well, if we do, we can make believe we have a camp here, and live in the woods. And we've got Splash with us."

"Yes, I guess I wouldn't be much afraid," agreed Sue. "But it would be dark; wouldn't it, Bunny?"

"Maybe there'd be a moon--or--or lightning bugs."

"I--I'd rather have a real light," said the little girl. "And even if I'm not very much afraid in the dark, I can't stop being hungry, Bunny. What do you eat when you camp in the woods?"

"Why--er--you eat--I guess you have to have sandwiches, or ice cream cones, or something like that."

"I want a sandwich now!" Sue insisted.

Bunny shook his head.

"We can make-believe," he began.

"But my hungry isn't make-believe!" cried Sue. "It's real--I'm awful hungry. Can't you find our house, Bunny?"

Her brother shook his head. Then, somehow or other, he decided that he must do something besides stand there in the woods.

"Let's look for a path and walk along it," he said. "Maybe we can get home that way."

There were several paths through the woods, and the children soon came to one of them. They walked along it a little way, but it came to an end in a place where the trees and bushes grew thick, making it quite dark.

"Our house isn't here," said Sue, sadly, and she cried a few tears.

"No, it isn't here," answered Bunny. "We'll go back and find another path."

Back they went. But the next path they tried was no better than the first one. It came to an end in a swamp, in which, on logs, were a number of big frogs and turtles, that jumped, or fell in, with much spattering of water as the children and the dog came near.

"I--I'm never going to take a trolley ride again," Sue said, as she and Bunny turned back.

"I'm not, either," her brother agreed. "But if we had kept on to Uncle Henry's we'd have been all right. It was Splash's fault that we had to come back."

The dog barked, as he heard his name spoken. And then Sue suddenly thought of something.

"Oh, Bunny!" she exclaimed, "if Splash knew the way home he could take us. Maybe he does. Mother read to us about a dog that found his way home from a long way off. Splash, can you take us home?" she asked, patting the big dog on the head.

Splash barked, and started off on a path which the children had not yet tried.

"That's so. I never thought maybe Splash could show us the way," said Bunny. "We'll try it! Home, Splash!" he cried. "Home!"

The dog barked again, and wagged his tail. He ran along the path a short distance, and then stopped, looking back at Bunny and Sue as if asking:

"Well, why don't you come with me if you want to get home?"

"Oh, Bunny, I believe he does know the way!" Sue cried. "Come on, we'll follow him!"

On ran Splash, turning every now and then to look around and bark, as if telling the children not to worry--that he would lead them safely home.

And he did, or, if not exactly all the way home, the faithful dog made his way out of the woods, until he came to the main road, along which ran the trolley track.

"Oh, now I know where we are!" cried Bunny, in delight, as he saw several houses ahead of them. "Why, Sue, we're right on our own street. We weren't much lost!"

"Well, I'm glad we're found," Sue said.

It was easy to get home now. All the while Bunny and Sue had been only a little way from the road which led to their home, but the trees were so thick they could not find the right path. And Splash had never thought his two little friends were anxious to get home, until Bunny had told him so. Then he led them.

On walked Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, happy now that they were no longer lost. Splash seemed to think he had done all that was needed, for now he ran here, there, everywhere--across the road, back and forth, trying to find something with which to amuse himself. He no longer watched to see that the children followed him. He must have known that they were on the right road at last--that he had led them there.

Bunny and Sue passed Mrs. Redden's store. In the window were the red, blue, green, yellow and other colored toy balloons that they had set out to buy. Bunny and Sue still each had five cents, though it was in pennies now.

"Let's get the balloons," proposed Bunny.

"Oh, yes; let's!" agreed Sue.

So they went in and bought them, letting them float in the air, high above their heads, by the strings to which the balloons were fastened.

Down the street came Aunt Lu.

"Well, children!" she cried. "We were just getting worried about you. Mother sent me to find you. Where have you been?"

"We had a trolley ride," explained Sue, "but Splash couldn't get on the car, so we got off, and we were lost, and Splash found the path for us, and I'm hungry!"

"Bless your heart! I should think you would be!" cried Aunt Lu. "Come right home with me and I'll get you some jam and bread and butter."

And, a little later, Bunny and Sue were telling of their adventure.

"Oh, but you must never do that again!" said their mother. "Never get in the trolley cars alone again!"

"We won't!" promised Bunny and Sue. But you just wait and see what happens.

Bunny Brown was out in the yard, a few days after the funny trolley ride, digging a hole. Bunny had heard his father talk about a queer country called China, which, Mr. Brown said, was right straight down on the other side of the world, so that if one could possibly dig a hole all the way through the earth, one would come to China.

"I guess I'll dig a hole," thought Bunny Blown. "Maybe I won't go all the way to China, but I'll dig a big hole, and see where it ends. I'd like some China boys to play with."

A little while before Bunny started to dig the hole his sister Sue had been playing in the yard with her dolls. But, somehow or other, Bunny forgot all about Sue now. He was taking the dirt out of the hole with his sand shovel when his mother came to the door and called:

"Bunny, where is Sue?"

Bunny looked up from the pile of dirt in front of him. He was standing down in the hole, throwing out the sand and the gravel, and wondering when he would get his first sight of that queer land of China.

"Why, Mother," the little fellow answered, "Sue was here just now. Maybe she has gone down to show Wango her new doll."

"Oh, no, Sue wouldn't go down there alone, Bunny. See if you can find her."

Bunny went to the front gate and looked up and down the street.

"I don't see her, Mother," he called back.

"Oh, dear! I wonder where she can be?" said Mrs. Brown.

"I'll find her," Bunny said. "Come on, Splash!" he called to his dog. "We're going to find Sue; she's lost!"

"Wait! Wait! Come back!" cried Mrs. Brown. "Don't you run off and get lost again, Bunny! I'll go with you, and we'll both find little sister."