Chapter XIX. Bunny in a Queer Place
 

Wango was a queer monkey in more ways than one. He liked to make mischief, or what others called mischief, though to him perhaps it was only fun. And he did not seem to like ladies. He would let boys and girls and men pet him, and make a fuss over him, but he would very seldom allow ladies to do this.

Miss Winkler, the sister of the sailor who had brought Wango from a far- off land, was one of the ladies the monkey did not like. But then she did not like Wango, and perhaps he knew this. And now it seemed that Wango was not going to like Mrs. Redden, who kept the candy shop.

And it was certain that, just then, Mrs. Redden did not like Wango; at least she did not like to have him take her candy, break the jar and scatter the jelly beans all over the shop.

"Get down, Wango!" she cried, shaking the broom at him. "Get down off that shelf right away! And give me back my lollypops!"

But Wango did not get down, and he did not give back the lollypops. He had dropped one, and this made him hold, all the more tightly, to the others. He was very fond of candy, Wango was.

"Oh dear! I'm afraid of him!" exclaimed Mrs. Redden.

"Why, he won't hurt you," said Bunny. "He's a good monkey. He lets me and Sue pet him; don't you, Wango?"

"You can't pet him now," said Sue, "he's too high up."

"Oh, but look at the funny faces he makes!" exclaimed the lady who kept the toy and candy shop.

Wango was certainly making very odd faces just then. But perhaps it was because he liked the taste of the lollypops. He had taken the paper off two of them, and had them both in his mouth at once, while his busy paws were peeling the wax covering off a third one.

Of course it was not right for Wango to put two lollypops in his mouth at once; at least it would not be nice for children to do so. But perhaps monkeys are different.

"Come down from there! Come down from that shelf!" cried Mrs. Redden, reaching up and trying to touch the monkey with the broom. I think she did not intend to hit him hard, and, anyhow, a blow from a broom does not hurt very much. Mrs. Redden thought she simply must drive Wango down. He might spoil a lot of candy.

And now, instead of making faces Wango chattered at the candy-shop lady. Oh! what a queer noise he made, showing his white teeth.

"Oh dear! oh dear!" Mrs. Redden cried. "Isn't this terrible? I never had a monkey in my candy shop before. At least not one that was loose, though an Italian organ grinder did come in with one once, on a string. But he was a good monkey."

"Wango is good, too," said Bunny. "Only I guess he is scared, now. Come on down, Wango!" called Bunny, "and I'll give you a peanut."

"Oh, yes, he'll come down for a peanut, or maybe two peanuts!" exclaimed Sue. "Wango loves peanuts. Have you any, Mrs. Redden?"

"Yes," answered the store-lady. "But I'm not going to give him peanuts, after all the candy he has taken and spoiled. Nearly half the jelly beans will be wasted, and the glass jar is broken, and he will spoil all those lollypops, too. Oh dear!"

"Just give him two peanuts," said Bunny, "and that will make him come down. Then maybe he'll give back the lollypops."

"Well, child, we can try it," the candy-lady said. "I can't hit him with the broom, that's sure, unless I stand on a chair, and if I do that he may reach down and pull my hair, as he did Mrs. Winkler's one day. I'll get the peanuts."

She brought a handful from another show case, and gave them to Bunny, who held them up so the monkey could see them.

"Come and get the nuts, Wango!" Bunny called.

The monkey chattered, and made funny faces, but he did not come down. He seemed to like the lollypops better, and, also, his perch on the shelf, he thought, was safer than one on the floor.

"What shall we do?" asked Mrs. Redden.

"Bunny, could you run down the street, and ask Mr. Winkler to come and take his monkey away?"

"Yes'm, I'll do it," the little boy answered politely.

But just then something else happened.

Wango, trying to peel the wax paper from another lollypop, dropped a second one. He reached for it, but he did keep hold of the shelf, and, the next second down he himself fell, knocking over several more candy jars.

They crashed to the floor, smashing and spilling the candy all over. Wango turned a somersault, and landed lightly on his feet, close beside Mrs. Redden.

"Oh, you bad monkey! You bad monkey!" she cried. "Shoo! Get out of here! Out of my shop!"

She brushed at Wango with the broom, and the lively monkey made a rush for the back door of the store, as the front one was closed.

"Here! Don't you dare go into my kitchen!" cried Mrs. Redden, as she ran after the monkey. "You'll upset everything there!"

Wango chattered, and made funny faces. Then he turned and ran back, sliding right under Mrs. Redden's skirts, and nearly upsetting Bunny.

At that moment the front door opened, and there stood Jed Winkler, the old sailor, who owned the monkey.

"Have you seen anything of Wango?" began Mr. Winkler, but there was no need for him to ask such a question. There was Wango, in plain sight, holding some lollypops in one paw, and in the other some jelly beans and coconut candies he had grabbed up from the floor. And in his mouth, with the stick-handles pointing out, were three other lollypops!

"Take him away! Oh, take him away!" begged Mrs. Redden. "He will spoil all the candy in my shop!"

"This is too bad!" exclaimed the sailor, "Wango, behave yourself! You are a bad monkey! Up with you!"

Wango jumped up on his master's shoulder, and hung his head. I really think he was ashamed of what he had done.

"He broke loose from his new chain," said the old sailor, "and I have been looking all over for him. I am glad I have found him, and I will pay for all the candy he spoiled."

"Well, if you do that I can't find any fault," said the store-lady. "But he certainly gave me a great fright."

"And he wouldn't even come down for peanuts," cried Bunny.

"Wango isn't very good to-day," said Mr. Winkler. "I must get a stronger chain for him, I think. Now I'll take him home, and, Mrs. Redden, when you find out how much candy he spoiled, and how many jars he broke, I will come and pay you."

"All right," answered Mrs. Redden. Then the sailor took his monkey home, and the store-lady, after she had given Bunny and Sue the lollypops they came for, began to clean up her place. Certainly Wango had upset it very much.

"He must have come in the store by the back way, when I was out hanging up the clothes," said the candy-shop lady. "He hid under the counter until he saw me open the showcase for you, Bunny. Then he put in his paw, and grabbed the lollypops."

"Yes, that's what he did--I saw him," said Sue, who was now taking the paper off her candy. But she did not put two in her mouth, at once, as the monkey had done. Of course Sue wouldn't do anything like that.

Bunny and Sue made all the folks at home laugh, as they told of Wango's funny tricks.

"Well, it was quite an adventure," said Aunt Lu, "wasn't it?"

"What's an ad--adventure?" Sue wanted to know.

"It's something that happens," her aunt explained.

"Then Wango must be an adventure," said Bunny, "for lots happened to him."

It was two days after the monkey had gotten in the candy-store that Harry Bentley, Charlie Star, Sadie West and Helen Newton came over to play with Bunny and his sister Sue.

"What shall we play?" asked Bunny.

"Hide-and-go-to-seek," said Sadie.

The others liked this game, so they began to play it. Helen covered her eyes with her arms, so she could not see where the others hid, and began counting.

"When I count up to fifty, I'm coming to find you," she said, "and whoever I find first will have to blind next time, and hunt for the rest of us."

Off they all ran to hide. Sue stooped down to hide behind a lilac bush, near "home," which was the side porch. Whoever reached "home" before Helen did, after she had started on her search, would be "in free."

"Ready or not, I'm coming!" called Helen, after she had counted fifty, and she began to look for the hiding ones.

"She'll not find me," said Bunny Brown to himself. "I'm going to hide in a funny place. She'll never find me!"

And where do you think he hid? It was in a queer place--down in an empty rain-water barrel, that stood back of the house. Bunny climbed up into it by standing on a box, and, once inside, he crouched down on the bottom, where anyone would have had to come very close, and look over the edge, to see him. And there Bunny hid.