Chapter XXI. How Sue Found the Eggs
 

"Oh, Bunny! Can't you make him stop?" cried Sue, as she clung with her arms about her brother's waist, while the wagon swayed from side to side.

"I--I'm trying to," answered Bunny, pulling as hard as he could on the reins. "But he won't stop. Whoa! Whoa!" and Bunny called as loudly as he could.

Down the street Splash kept running. He was getting nearer to the little yellow dog, for this dog had only short legs, and Splash had long ones, and, of course, anyone with long legs can run faster than anyone with short legs.

"I--I'm going to fall out!" Sue cried. "I--I'm slipping, Bunny! I'm falling!"

"Hold on! Hold on tight!" Bunny begged his sister, for the wagon was going very fast, and he knew if she fell out on the hard sidewalk she would get a hard bump.

Sue clasped her arms as tightly as she could about her brother's waist, but her arms were short, and Bunny was rather fat, so it was not easy for her to hold fast. Still she did her best.

Several persons on the other side of the street saw Bunny and Sue having a fast ride in the toy express wagon, drawn by the big dog, but they did not think the Brown children were in a runaway, which is just what they were.

"My! what fun Bunny Brown and his sister Sue are having!" said one man, as he watched the express wagon bump along.

"Yes, they always seem to be having good times," replied a lady.

If they had only known it was a runaway, they might have run across the street and stopped Splash from going so fast.

On and on went the big dog. He was almost up to the yellow one now, and the yellow dog began to yelp. Perhaps he thought he was going to be caught and hurt. Or maybe he feared Bunny or Sue would try to make him pull the big wagon, with them in it.

But of course they wouldn't think of such a thing, and as for Splash, I have told you that all he wanted to do was to rub noses with his little yellow friend.

As the wagon rumbled past the house where lived Mr. Jed Winkler, the old sailor, who owned Wango, the monkey, came out to the front gate. I mean Mr. Winkler came out, not Wango, for he had been tightly chained, after the fun he had had in Mrs. Redden's candy shop.

"My! What a fine ride you are having!" called Mr. Winkler.

"Oh! It's not a nice ride at all!" answered Sue. "We're being runned away with! Please stop Splash!"

"Goodness me!" exclaimed Mr. Winkler. "A runaway! Well, I must stop it, of course!"

Out he ran from his yard to race after Splash, but there was no need for the old sailor to catch the big dog. For, just then, the little yellow dog stumbled, and turned a somersault. And before he could pick himself up, and run on again, Splash had caught up to him.

Now, this was all that Splash wanted to do--catch up to the yellow dog and rub noses with him. And as soon as Splash saw that the little dog had stopped, Splash stopped also.

But he stopped so suddenly that the wagon almost ran up on his back. It turned around, and then it went over on one side, so that Bunny and Sue were spilled out. But they fell on some soft grass, so they were not hurt a bit, though Sue's dress was stained.

And as soon as the little yellow dog found that he was not going to be hurt, but that Splash was just going to be friends with him, why the two animals just sat down in the grass find rubbed noses and, I suppose, talked to each other in dog language, if there is any such thing.

Bunny helped Sue get up, and then Mr. Winkler came running along. He could not go very fast, for he was aged, and he was a little lame, because of rheumatism, from having been out so many cold and wet nights when he was a sailor on a ship.

"Well, well, youngsters!" exclaimed Mr. Winkler. "You had quite a spill; didn't you?"

"But we didn't get hurt," said Bunny, who was looking at the wagon and harness to see that it was not broken. Everything seemed to be all right. "We're not hurt a bit," Bunny laughed.

"Well, I'm glad of that," went on Mr. Winkler, as he helped Bunny put the wagon right side up and straight once more. "How did it happen?"

"Splash just runned away," replied Sue, "He runned after the yellow dog."

"And he caught him all right," laughed Mr. Winkler. "But they seem to be great friends now. Who made your harness, Bunny?"

"Bunker Blue did. He can make lots of things."

"Yes, I guess he can," agreed the old sailor. "But I hope, after this, that Splash won't run away with you when you go for a ride."

"Well, it didn't hurt much, to fall out," laughed Bunny. "Now we'll ride back again."

Splash went back very slowly. Perhaps he was tired, or he may have been sorry that he had run so fast at first, and had upset the wagon. The yellow dog went off by himself, and he was glad, I guess, that he did not have to pull a wagon with two children in it. But Splash seemed to enjoy it.

Mrs. Brown and Aunt Lu had not seen the runaway, or they might not have wanted Bunny and Sue to take any more rides in the express wagon. But the two children had lots of fun the rest of the morning, riding up and down, and Splash acted very nicely, stopping when Bunny called "Whoa!" and going on again when the little boy said, "Giddap!"

"Oh, it's just like a real horse!" exclaimed Sue, clapping her hands. "Will you let me hold the lines, Bunny?"

"Yes," answered her brother, and soon Sue could drive Splash almost as well as Bunny could.

For several days after that Bunny Brown and his sister Sue had many good times with their dog and express wagon. They gave their playmates rides up and down the sidewalk, and never once again did Splash run away. But then he did not see his friend, the little yellow dog, or he might have raced after him just as at first.

When Bunny and Sue were eating breakfast one morning, Mrs. Gordon, whose husband kept the grocery store, came in to see Mrs. Brown.

"I wonder if your children could not help me?" said Mrs. Gordon, as she sat down in a chair in the dining room, and fanned herself with her apron. She lived next door to the Brown home.

"Well, Bunny and Sue are always glad to help," said their mother, smiling at them. "What is it you want them to do?"

"Do you want a ride in our express wagon, Mrs. Gordon?" asked Bunny.

"Or maybe have us sell lemonade for you?" added Sue.

"Bless your hearts! It isn't either of those things," answered Mrs. Gordon, with a laugh. "I just want you to help me hunt for a hen's nest. That's all."

"Look for a hen's nest!" exclaimed Bunny.

"Yes," said Mrs. Gordon. "One of my hens has strayed off by herself and is laying her eggs in a nest I can't find. I've looked all over our yard for it, but perhaps it is in your barn," she went on to Mrs. Brown. "And if it is, maybe Bunny and Sue could find it."

"Oh, maybe we could!" Bunny cried.

"It will be fun to look!" said Sue. "Come on, Bunny."

"Be careful you don't fall," their mother cautioned them, as they ran out, hardly waiting to finish their breakfast.

Hens, you know, often like to go quietly off by themselves, and lay their eggs in a nest that no one can find. And this is what one of Mrs. Gordon's hens had done.

Into the barn ran Bunny and Sue.

"We'll see who'll find the nest first!" Bunny shouted.

"I think I shall," cried Sue.

And now you wait and see what happens.

There were many places in the barn where a hen might lay her eggs. There were nooks under wagons, or under wheelbarrows, corners behind boxes, and any number of holes in the place where the hay for the horses was kept--the haymow, as it is called.

Bunny and Sue looked in all the places they could think of. But they did not see a hen sitting in her hidden nest, nor did they find the white eggs she might have laid.

"I guess the nest isn't here," said Bunny after a while.

"No, I guess not, too," echoed Sue. "Let's slide down the hay."

The hay in the mow was quite high in one place, and low in another, like a little hill. Bunny and Sue could climb to the top, or high place of the hay, and slide down, for it was quite slippery.

Up they climbed, and down they slid, quite fast. They had done this a number of times, when finally Sue said:

"Oh, Bunny, I'm going to slide down in a new place!"

She went over to one side of the hay-hill, and down she slid. And then something funny happened.

There was a sort of crackling sound, and Sue called out:

"Oh, Bunny! Bunny! I've found the hen's nest, and I'm right in it!"