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   Chapter 22 OUT TO NANTASKET BEACH

Six Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 8480

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04


When Margy told Rose about Mun Bun being down in a hole, Mabel, Florence and Sallie looked much more frightened than the little girl who had come running to the porch with the news. Indeed, Margy did not seem frightened at all; but, of course, Mun Bun could not stay always with his head in a hole, so she had come to tell some one to get him out.

"What kind of a hole is he in?" asked Mabel.

"Can't he ever get out?" Florence inquired.

"I don't know," answered Margy. "It's a funny hole. It's in the yard, and Mun Bun's head is away down in it. I can't see his head, but his legs are stickin' out."

"Mother! Mother!" cried Rose, running into the house, where Mrs. Bunker was sitting in the sewing-room with Aunt Jo. "Oh, Mother! Mun Bun--"

Rose had to stop, for she was out of breath.

"What's he been doing now?" asked Mrs. Bunker. Then she saw Rose's face, and added: "Oh, has anything happened?" and she hurried over to Rose.

"Margy says his head is in a hole in the yard, and that his legs are sticking out," went on the little girl. "Mun Bun and Margy went out to play marbles an'--"

But Mrs. Bunker did not stop to hear. Followed by Aunt Jo, out she rushed to the yard, and there she saw a strange sight. In the middle of the lawn Mun Bun seemed to be kneeling down. But the funny part of it was that his head did not show. And yet it wasn't so funny either, just then, though they all laughed about it afterward.

"Oh, what has happened to him?" cried Mrs. Bunker as she rushed across the grass. Aunt Jo was beside her, and Rose, Vi, Margy and the three other girls followed.

"Mun Bun! Mun Bun!" called his mother, as she came closer to him. "What are you doing?"

"Oh, my head's in a hole! It's in a hole, and I can't get it out!" sobbed the little fellow. And, just as Margy had said, his voice did sound strange-as if it came from the cellar.

"Don't be afraid. I see what has happened," said Aunt Jo. "Mun Bun isn't hurt, and I can get him out of the hole."

"And can you get his head out, too?" asked Vi.

"Oh, yes, his head and-everything," said Aunt Jo. "I see what he has done. He has taken the cover off the lawn-drain, and stuck his head down in it, though why he did it I don't know."

"He's trying to get some of our marbles," explained Margy, as Aunt Jo and Mother Bunker hurried to the side of Mun Bun. "The marbles rolled down the hole in the yard and Mun Bun said he could get 'em back. So he stuck down his head, and now he can't get it up."

"I wonder why?" said Mother Bunker.

"It's on account of his ears," said Aunt Jo, who had her hands on the head of Mun Bun now. "They stick out so they catch on the side and edges of the hole. But I'll hold them back for him."

She slipped her thin fingers down into the hole, on either side of Mun Bun's head. Then she raised up his head, and out of the hole it came.

Mun Bun's face was very red-standing on his head as he had been almost doing, had sent the blood there. His face was red, and it was dirty, for he had been crying.

"Now you're all right!" said Aunt Jo, kissing him.

"Don't cry any more!" went on Mother Bunker, as she clasped the little boy in her arms. Mun Bun soon stopped sobbing.

"I see how it all happened," went on Aunt Jo. "In the middle of my lawn is a drain-pipe to let the water run off when too much of it rains down. Over the hole in the pipe is an iron grating, like a big coffee strainer. This strainer keeps the leaves, sticks and stones out of the pipe. But the holes are large enough for marbles to roll down, I suppose."

"Some of my marbles rolled down the holes, and so did some of Margy's," explained Mun Bun. "That is, they wasn't our marbles, but she let us take 'em," and he pointed to Mabel. "And when they rolled down in the little holes I wanted to get 'em back. So I put my head down to look and I couldn't get up again."

"But if the holes were only large enough to let marbles roll through, I don't see how Mun Bun could get his head down them," said Mrs. Bunker.

"Oh, but he lifted off the iron grating of the pipe, and put his head right down in the pipe itself," said Aunt Jo. "The iron grating is made to lift up, so the pipe can be cleaned. I suppose Mun B

un found it loose, lifted it up, stuck his head down, and then the edge of the strainer-holder held his ears, so he couldn't get loose. I pushed his ears in close to the sides of his head, and then he was all right."

And that is just the way it happened. Mun Bun, when he saw the marbles roll down into the drain-pipe, wanted to get them back. He could easily lift up the grating, but when his head was in he could not so easily get it out again. So he yelled and cried, and Margy heard him and went for help, which was a good thing.

"Well, you're all right now, but don't ever do anything like that again," said Aunt Jo.

"I won't," promised Mun Bun, as his mother carried him to the house to be washed and combed. "But I wanted the marbles, and they're down the pipe yet. I couldn't get 'em."

"Never mind," said Mabel. "My brother has lots more. He won't care about losing a few."

And he did not, so Mun Bun had all his trouble for nothing, not even getting back the marbles. But it taught him never to put his head in a hole unless he was sure he could get it out.

When Russ and Laddie came home from the moving picture show, they heard all about what had happened to their little brother.

"Let's go out and look at the hole," suggested Laddie.

"All right," agreed Russ. "I knew it was there, 'cause the last time it rained I saw water running into it. But I didn't know the iron grating lifted up."

For several days after that the six little Bunkers had lots of fun at Aunt Jo's. They played all sorts of games, and had rides on the roller-skate wagon Russ had made, as well as in the express wagon, pulled by Alexis, the big dog.

They went out to Bunker Hill monument, where they were told something about what had happened when the men of the colonies fought that these United States might become a free nation.

"Daddy," asked Vi very seriously, "didn't they name this monument after you?"

"How could they?" broke in Russ. "This monument was put up years and years before Daddy was born."

"Well, maybe they named it after his great, great, I don't know how many great grandfathers," put in Laddie.

"No, it wasn't named after any one in our family," answered Daddy Bunker.

The father also took the children out to the Charlestown Navy Yard, and told them something about the navy and how our fighting men of the sea helped to keep us a great and free people.

And then, one day, Russ saw his mother and father and Aunt Jo looking over some papers and small books. Russ knew what they were-time tables, to tell when trains and boats leave and arrive. He had seen them at his father's real estate office, and also at the house in Pineville just before the family started for Grandma Bell's.

"Oh, are we going home?" asked Russ, his voice showing the sadness he felt at such a thing happening.

"Going home? What makes you think that?" asked his father.

"Indeed, I hope you're not going home for a good while yet," said Aunt Jo. "It hardly seems a week since you came."

"Well, I'm glad you have enjoyed us," said Mother Bunker.

"But are we going home?" persisted Russ.

"No, not yet," answered his father. "You think because we are looking at time tables we are going to leave. Well, we are, but we are only going on an excursion, or picnic."

"Where?" asked Russ, and once more he felt happy.

"Out to Nantasket Beach," said Aunt Jo. "That's a nice trip by boat. It takes about an hour and a half from Boston, and we are looking to see what time the boats sail and come back."

"Oh, are we coming back?" asked Russ.

"Yes. We can only spend the day there," said his mother. "But Aunt Jo says it is very nice. It's a sort of picnic ground, with all sorts of things at which you can have fun. There are merry-go-rounds and roller-coasters. And you can have nice things to eat, and can play in the sand near the ocean."

"Oh, that'll be fun!" cried Russ. "When are we going?"

"To-morrow," answered Aunt Jo.

Russ jumped up and down, he was so happy, and ran out to tell the other little Bunkers.

And the next day they all went out to Nantasket Beach. While they were there something very strange and wonderful happened, and I'll tell you all about it.

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