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   Chapter 4 SPLASH COMES, TOO

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-While By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 8333

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

The camping tent, which had been put up by Daddy Brown, so it would be well dried out, stood wide open. Bunny and Sue, with their bed-blankets trailing after them, slipped in through the "front door."

Of course, there was not really a "front door" to a tent. There are just two pieces of canvas, called "flaps," that come together and make a sort of front door. Between these white flaps Bunny Brown and his sister Sue went, and they found themselves inside the tent.

"It-it's awful dark, isn't it, Bunny?" whispered Sue, softly.

"Hush!" returned her brother. "We don't want them to see us. It will be light pretty soon, Sue."

"I-I don't like it dark," she said.

"Shut your eyes and you won't see the dark," Bunny went on. His mother had often told him that when she wanted him to go to sleep in a dark room, or when only the hall light was dimly burning. So Bunny thought that would be a good thing to tell Sue. "Shut your eyes, and you won't see the dark," said Bunny Brown.

But, really, it was not very dark in the tent, after the two children had stood there awhile. The moon was brightly shining outside, and, as the tent was of white canvas, some of the light came through. So as Sue looked around she could begin to see things a little better now. There was not much to see. Just the ground, and a box or two in the tent. During the day Bunny and Sue had been playing with the boxes, and had left them in the tent.

"Come on, now," said Bunny. "We'll spread our blankets out on the ground, Sue, and go to sleep. Then we'll make believe we're camping out, just as we're going to do up at the lake."

As he spoke Bunny spread his two blankets out on the ground under the tent. He folded them so he could crawl in between the folds, and cover himself up, for it was rather chilly that spring night.

"I-I want a pillow, Bunny," said Sue. "I want something to put my head on when I go to sleep."

"Hush!" cried Bunny in a whisper. "If you speak out loud that way, Sue, mother or daddy will hear us. Then they'll come and get us and make us sleep in our beds."

"Well-well," answered Sue, and Bunny could tell by her voice that she was trying hard not to cry, "well, Bunny Brown, I-I guess I'd better like sleepin' in my bed, than out here without no pillow. I want a pillow, an' it's dark an' cold, an'-an'--"

Sue was just ready to cry, but Bunny said:

"Oh, come on now, Sue! This is fun! You know we're making-believe camp out!"

"All right," Sue answered, after thinking it over a bit. "But can I-can I sleep over by you, Bunny?"

"Yes. Put your blankets right down here by mine, and we'll both go to sleep. Won't daddy and mother be s'prised when they find we've camped out all night?"

"I-I guess they will," Sue said. "It kinder s'prises me, too!"

Sue was dragging her blankets over toward the place when Bunny had his spread out on the ground, and she was just going to lie down, when the flaps of the tent were suddenly shoved to one side, and something came in.

"Oh! oh!" cried Sue, as she threw herself down in her blankets, and wrapped herself up in them, even covering her head. "Oh, Bunny! Bunny! What is it? What's after us?"

"I-I don't know," said Bunny, and his voice trembled a little.

Then Sue raised her head and peeped out from under her blanket. She saw something standing in the front door of the tent, half way in, and half way out. The moon was still shining brightly, and Sue cried:

"Oh, Bunny! It's a bear! It's a bear!"

Just then there came a loud:


Bunny and Sue both laughed then. Then were frightened no longer.

"Oh, it's our dog, Splash!" cried Sue. "It's only Splash!"

"Here, Splash!" called Bunny. Then with a joyous bark the dog sprang inside the tent, and snuggled close up to his two little play-mates.

"Now I isn't afraid," said Sue, as she put her arms around the big shaggy neck of her pet. "Now I isn't afraid any more. Splash can sleep with us; can't he, Bunny?"

"Yes, Sue. Now go to sleep. Isn't this fun?"

"Yes, it is when Splash is here," Sue said.

Though Bunny did not say so, he, too, was glad their dog had come to spend

the rest of the night with them. Not that there was anything to be afraid of, oh, dear no! There were no bears, or wolves, or anything like that in Bellemere. There were big fish in the bay and in the ocean, but of course they never came up on land.

"And, even if they did," said Sue sleepily to Bunny when they were talking about this, as they lay close to the big dog in their blankets, "even if any fish did flop up, Bunny, Splash would catch them; wouldn't he?"

"Sure!" answered Bunny.

"You would; wouldn't you, Splash?" asked the little girl, her chubby arm around the dog's neck.

Splash whined softly, and rubbed his cold nose first against the warm cheek of Sue, and then against Bunny's. That was his way of kissing them, I think.

And so, strange as it may seem, Bunny and Sue went to sleep in the camping tent that night. They were well wrapped up in the warm blankets they had brought from their beds, and after the first few shivers they were not cold. And so they slept, and Splash slept with them. All this while Daddy Brown and Mother Brown knew nothing about their children having gone out in the night.

But Mother Brown soon found it out. I'll tell you about it.

About two o'clock every morning (when it was still quite dark, and when it was yet night, though you could call it morning), Mrs. Brown used to get up, and slip into the rooms of the children to see if they were covered up. For little folk often kick off the bed clothes in the night, and so get cold. Mother Brown did not want this to happen to Bunny and Sue.

This time, though, when Mother Brown went softly into Sue's room, to see if her little girl was all right, she did not find Sue in her bed.

"Why, this is queer," thought Mrs. Brown. "Where can Sue have gone? Perhaps she slipped out and went in with Bunny."

Sometimes Sue used to do this, when she would awaken and become a little frightened. But when Mother Brown went into Bunny's room Sue was not there, nor was Bunny. Mrs. Brown felt all over the bed, but there was not a sign of either of the children.

"Why-why!" exclaimed Mother Brown. "What can have happened to them? Where can they be? Bunny! Sue!" she called, and she spoke out loudly now.

"What is it? What's the matter?" asked Daddy Brown, as he awakened on hearing his wife call. "What has happened?"

"Why, I can't find Bunny or Sue! They're not in their beds! I came in to cover them up, as I always do, but they're not here. Oh dear! I hope nothing has happened to them!"

"Of course nothing has happened!" said Daddy Brown. He sprang out of bed and lighted a light in Bunny's room. As he took one look at the tumbled bed, and saw that two of the blankets were gone, Mr. Brown laughed.

"What are you laughing at?" his wife asked him. "I don't see anything very funny to laugh at!"

"It's those children!" said Daddy Brown, "I know where they are!"

"Where?" cried Mother Brown, eagerly. "Where?"

"Out in the tent. They've taken their blankets and gone out there to sleep. They're playing camping out, I'm sure. We'll find them in the tent."

And, surely enough, as you well know, there they found Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, fast asleep on their blankets in the tent, with Splash sleeping between them.

Splash looked up and wagged his tail as Mr. and Mrs. Brown, wearing their bath robes and slippers, came softly into the little canvas house. Splash seemed to say:

"Hush! Don't wake up the children! They're sound asleep!"

And Bunny and Sue were sound asleep. Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at one another, smiled, and then daddy picked up Bunny, blankets and all, while Mrs. Brown did the same with Sue.

"We'll put them right in their own beds, in the house, without waking them up," whispered Daddy Brown.

"Yes," nodded Mother Brown.

"What-what's matter?" sleepily murmured Bunny as he felt himself being carried into the house. But that was all he said, and he did not even open his eyes.

Sue never said anything as her mother carried her. And as for Splash, once he saw that the children were being taken care of, he curled up in a corner of the tent, and went to sleep again.

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