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Six Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 8610

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"First," said Russ, as he took up the shovel, "we've got to make a hole."

"I thought you said we were going to make a fountain," said Laddie.

"We are," Russ went on. "But first you have to have some place for the fountain water to run into, don't you?"

"I guess so," agreed Laddie, who was not quite sure.

"'Course you have," insisted his older brother. "Don't you 'member how a fountain is? It has a big basin where the water splashes in out of a thing like a hose, and us boys could paddle our feet in the water if we wanted to."

"Oh! are you goin' to make that kind of a fountain?" asked Laddie.

"Sure," said Russ. "Come on, help me dig the hole, and then we'll fix the hose in it and run it full of water and then we can paddle in it-I mean in the hole full of water-and the hose'll be squirtin', and that will be a fountain."

"That'll be fine!" cried Laddie. "I'll get a shovel and help you dig."

Laddie found a small shovel in the barn, and, Russ using the larger one, which was really too big for him, the two brothers began to make their fountain. If their father and mother had been at home, or even Aunt Jo had seen them, I don't suppose they would have been allowed to do this, for it wasn't exactly right, no matter how much fun they thought they would have.

But the boys went on digging, making a deep and large hole in the garden. They tossed the dirt out with their shovels, and, as the soil was soft, it was easy for them to dig in it.

"Isn't it 'most big enough now?" asked Laddie, after a while.

"Almost," Russ answered, as he looked up from where he stood in the hole.

"I'm tired-my back aches," Laddie went on.

"I'm tired, too," said Russ. "But I guess when you build a fountain it makes 'most everybody tired. We'll only dig a little more, and then we can run the water in and wade. I haven't had a good wade since we came from Grandma Bell's."

"Neither have I," said Laddie.

So they dug some more, until they really had quite a large hole in the garden, and then Russ went to get the hose. It was still attached to the faucet, but the water was not turned on.

If William had seen what the boys were doing he would have stopped them. For, though Mr. and Mrs. Bunker had said nothing about not letting the children play in the water, and though Aunt Jo had not spoken of it, either, still, I feel sure William would have stopped Laddie and Russ from making their fountain if he had seen them. But he did not. He was doing something inside the garage just then, and it was at this time that Russ took the nozzle end of the hose, and dragged the long, rubber pipe over toward the hole he and Laddie had dug.

"Now all we've got to do is to fasten the hose in the hole, so it sticks up straight," said Russ. "Then I'll turn the water on, and we'll have a fountain and we can wade in it."

"That'll be fun!" exclaimed Laddie.

At first Russ did not have an easy time trying to make the hose nozzle stand up straight in the hole he and his brother had dug. Then the boy, after whistling a bit, and thinking as well as he could, exclaimed:

"I know how to do it!"

"How?" asked Laddie.

"Why, I'll just drive a stick down in the middle of the hole, and I'll leave part of it sticking up. Then I can tie the end of the hose to it, sticking up in the air, you know, and when I turn the water on it'll squirt right straight up and come down in the fountain."

"That'll be nice," said Laddie. But you just wait and see what happens.

Russ found an old broom-handle, and, using the shovel for a hammer, he drove this stick down into the soft dirt, leaving enough showing above the bottom of the hole to which to tie the hose.

Laddie helped his brother do this, and then the fountain was ready to "play" as it is called. I suppose the water bubbling up and down, as it does in a fountain, really looks as though it were playing.

"Now we're all ready to turn it on," said Russ when the hose was tied fast.

"And then we can wade in the fountain," added Laddie. "I'm going to get my shoes and stockings off now," and he sat down on the ground, near the hole, and began to do this.

Russ went back to where, on the outside wall of the garage, the hose was screwed on the faucet. He tried to turn the brass handle. But it was s

tiff, and more than his little fingers could manage.

"Come here, Laddie!" called Russ. "You've got to help me turn on the water."

"Wait till I get my other shoe off!" said Laddie.

"No, come on! Do it now!" said Russ. "You can take your shoe off afterwards, while we're waiting for the fountain basin to fill."

So, with one shoe on and the other off, Laddie limped over to the garage to help his brother turn the faucet. Before this William had finished what he was doing, and had gone to the house to ask Parker something. He did not notice what Laddie and Russ were doing, but on his way back to the garage the chauffeur saw the pile of dirt, noticed the hole and looked at the end of the hose sticking up in the air.

"Now I wonder what that is," said William to himself. "I didn't leave the hose like that, and I don't believe Alexis could have dug such a big hole. I must certainly see what it is."

So William, forgetting for the moment about the little Bunkers, walked over to the hose. He saw it sticking up in the hole and, as he bent over it, he said:

"This must be the work of Laddie and Russ. I wonder what they're going to do. Play fireman, maybe."

And it was just then, as William leaned over the hose, that Russ and Laddie managed to turn the faucet. You can imagine what happened after that.

Through the hose spurted the water, out of the end, right in William's face. But of course Laddie and Russ did not mean to do that.

"Oh, my! Here! What's this! Oh, I'm all wet!" spluttered the chauffeur. He jumped back, but not quite far enough, for he stumbled over some of the dirt, and fell down, and the water, shooting up into the air, came down on him in a regular shower.

"I say now! Stop it! Shut off the water!" cried William.

At first Laddie and Russ did not know what he meant. Then they looked toward the hole, which they intended for a fountain, and saw the chauffeur getting wet. William's legs seemed to be so tangled that he couldn't get up in a hurry, and he was getting very wet.

"Turn off the water! Turn off the water!" he begged. "I'm getting all mud!"

Laddie and Russ were frightened, then, and they tried to shut off the faucet. But, just as, often, when you want to do a thing in a hurry you can't, so it happened with the two boys. The faucet wouldn't turn, and the water kept on spurting, and William kept getting wet, until he finally managed to roll out of the way and then he stood up, looking at the showering hose.

"What's all this?" asked the dripping chauffeur, but he was not angry. "What are you boys doing?"

"Please, it's a fountain we made," said Russ.

"And we're goin' wadin' in it!" added Laddie. "Oh, look, Russ! It squirts fine! I'm going to take off my other shoe!"

He sat down to do this. Really the fountain made from the hose, was sending out a fine shower of water that sparkled in the sun. The water was beginning to fill the hole the boys had dug.

"What are you going to do?" asked William, wiping the water from his face.

"We're goin' wadin' in the fountain," explained Laddie. "That's what we made it for."

"Oh, no, you'd better not," said William. "I'm sorry, but your aunt wouldn't like a fountain in her garden. It'll only be a mud-hole, and you'll get all dirty. Your father and mother wouldn't want that. I guess I'd better shut off the water. When your aunt comes home, if she lets you do it, why then it will be all right. But I'm afraid I can't let you do it now."

Russ and Laddie looked disappointed. After all their work not to have the fountain! It was too bad!

"We-we're sorry you got wet," said Russ, thinking perhaps William felt a little vexed at them.

"Oh, that's all right," said William. "I don't mind. These are my old clothes, anyhow. But I'd best shut off the water."

He started toward the faucet to do this. Already the hole Laddie and Russ had dug was half full, and would have made, as Russ said, a "dandy" place to wade. But it was not to be.

As the boys stood beside the hole half filled with water, and as William was at the faucet, ready to turn it off, a loud barking was heard, and into the garden came racing a little dog, chased by big Alexis, who was barking loudly.

"Oh, look!" cried Russ.

And then something else happened.

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