Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While/Chapter 3

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CHAPTER III


BUNNY AND SUE SLEEP OUT


After supper the two children, and their father and mother, as well, found so much to talk over, about camping out, that it was bedtime for Bunny and Sue almost before they knew it.

"Oh, can't we stay up just a little longer?" begged Bunny, when his mother told him it was time for him and Sue to get undressed.

"Just let's hear daddy tell, once more, how he cooks eggs over a campfire," added Sue.

"Not to-night; some other time," said Mr. Brown. "That's one of the things you must learn when going to camp—to obey orders."

Daddy Brown set Bunny and Sue down on the floor—they had climbed up into his lap again after supper. He stood up tall and straight, like a soldier, and touched his hand to his head.

"Order Number One!" he said. "Time to go to bed. Good-night!"

"Aye, aye, sir!" answered Bunny, putting his hand to his head, as he had seen his father do. That was saluting, you know, just as a gentleman lifts his hat to a lady, or a private soldier salutes his officer.

Mr. Brown laughed, for, though Bunny had saluted as a soldier does, the little boy had answered like a sailor. You see, he knew more about sailors than he did about soldiers, living near the sea as he had all his life.

Whenever Mr. Brown wanted Bunny to do anything, without asking too many questions about it, or talking too much. Bunny's father would pretend he was a captain, and the little boy a soldier, who must mind, or obey, at the first order. This pleased Bunny.

"Order Number One!" said Mr. Brown again. "Bunny Brown report to bed. Order Number Two, so must Sister Sue!"

Then everyone laughed, and off to bed and dreamland went the two children. They lay awake a little while, talking back and forth through the door between their rooms, but soon their eyes closed, and stayed closed until morning.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown sat up about an hour longer, talking about going to camp, and then they, too, went to bed.

"I think the children will like it—living in a tent near the lake," said Daddy Brown, as he turned out the light.

"Yes," said Mrs. Brown. "They'll be sure to like it. I only hope they'll not fall in."

"Well, if they do, Splash will pull them out," said Daddy Brown.

Bunny and Sue were up early the next morning. Even before breakfast they had thought of the good times they were going to have in camp at Lake Wanda.

"Daddy, may we go out and see the tent now?" asked Bunny.

"After a bit," answered Mr. Brown. "The tent got rather wet, coming by express through the rain, and I'm going to send Bunker Blue and some of the fishermen around to-day to put it up so it will dry out. Then we'll roll the tent up again, tie it with ropes, and it will be ready to take with us to Lake Wanda."

"When are you going?" asked Mrs. Brown.

"Oh, in about two weeks—as soon as the weather gets a little more settled."

It was May now, and the flowers were beginning to bloom. Soon it would be June, and that is the nicest month in all the year to go camping in the woods, for the days are so long that it doesn't get dark until after eight o'clock at night, and one has that much longer to have fun.

When breakfast was over Bunny and Sue went out to the barn to look at the big express bundle which held the tent. It was too heavy for them to lift, or they themselves might have tried to put it up out on the lawn. Bunny Brown was that kind of boy. And Sue would have helped him. But, as it was, they waited for Bunker and some of the strong fishermen to come up from Mr. Brown's boat dock. In a little while the tent was put up on the lawn, and Bunny and Sue were allowed to play in it.

"The dining room tent will come in a few days," said Mr. Brown, "and also the cooking tent. I bought them in New York."

Then he told Bunny and Sue how they would go camping. The tents and cots, with bed clothes, and dishes, pots, pans, an oil stove and good things to eat, would all be put in the big moving van automobile, in which they had traveled to Grandpa Brown's farm in the country.

"We'll ride in that up to Lake Wanda," said Daddy Brown. "When we get to the woods, on the shore of the beautiful lake, we'll put up the tent, and make our camp. Then we'll have good times."

"Oh, I can hardly wait; can you?" asked Sue, speaking to her wax doll.

"I wish the time would hurry up," said Bunny. "But who is going to help you put up the tents, Daddy? You can't do them all alone."

"Oh, Bunker Blue is going camping with us."

"Goodie!" cried Bunny.

"And we'll also take Uncle Tad along," went on Daddy Brown.

"That's nice!" exclaimed Sue, clapping her hands. She and Bunny loved Uncle Tad. He was an old soldier, who had fought in the war. He was really Mr. Brown's uncle, but the children called him uncle too, and Uncle Tad loved Bunny Brown and his sister Sue very much.

The tent was not very wet from the rain, and Bunny and Sue had fun playing in it that day. Splash, their dog, played in the tent too. Splash asked nothing better than to be with Bunny and Sue.

"Bunny, are we going to sleep on the ground when we go camping?" Sue wanted to know, as she and her brother sat in the tent that afternoon.

"Well, maybe we will," the little boy said. "But I think I heard daddy say we would take some cot beds with us. You can sleep on the ground, though. Mother read me a story about some hunters who cut off some branches from an evergreen tree, and put their blankets over them to sleep on. They slept fine, too."

"Could we do that?" asked Sue.

"Yes," answered Bunny. And then a queer look came on the face of Bunny Brown. Sue saw it and asked:

"Oh, Bunny, is you got an idea?"

"Yes," Bunny answered slowly, "I has got an idea."

"Oh, goodie!" cried Sue. "Tell me about it, Bunny, and we'll do it!"

Bunny often had ideas. That is, he thought of things to do, and nothing pleased Sue more than to do things with her brother. They were not always the right things to do, but then the children couldn't be expected to do right all the while; could they?

So, whenever Bunny said he had an idea, which meant he was going to do something to have fun, Sue was anxious to know what his idea was.

"Tell me, Bunny!" she begged.

Bunny went over closer to his sister, looked all around the tent, as if to make sure no one was listening, and when he saw only Splash, the big dog, he whispered:

"Sue, how would you like to practice sleeping out?"

"Sleeping out?" said Sue. She did not just know what Bunny meant.

"Yes, sleeping out," said the little boy again. "Sleeping out in this tent, I mean. We'll have to do it, if we go to camp, and we might as well have some practice, you know."

Bunny and Sue knew what "practice" meant, for a girl whom they knew took music lessons, and she had to go in and practice playing on the piano every day.

Bunny thought that if you had to practice, or try over and over again, before you could play the piano, you might have to practice, or try, sleeping out of doors in a tent.

"How can we do it?" asked Sue.

"It's easy," Bunny answered. "We'll bring our blankets out here and sleep in the tent tonight."

"Maybe daddy and mother won't let us, Bunny."

"They won't care," said the little boy. "'Sides, they won't know it. We won't tell 'em. We'll just come out at night, when they've gone to sleep. We can slip down, out of our rooms, with our blankets, and sleep in the tent on the ground, just as we'll have to do in camp. 'Cause we mayn't always have cot beds there. Will you do it, Sue?"

"Course I will, Bunny Brown!"

Sue nearly always did what Bunny wanted her to. This time she was sure it would be lots of fun.

"All right," Bunny went on. "To-night, after it gets all dark, we'll come down, and sleep here."

"S'pose—s'posin' I get to sleep in my own bed in the house, Bunny?"

"Oh, I'll wake you up," said Bunny. "I won't go to sleep, and I'll come in and tickle your feet."

Sue laughed. She always laughed when anyone tickled her feet, and even the thought of it made her giggle.

"Don't tickle 'em too hard, Bunny," she said. "'Cause if you do I'll sneeze and that will wake up daddy and mother."

"I won't tickle you too hard," Bunny said.

That night, after supper, Mrs. Brown said to her husband:

"Bunny and Sue are up to some trick, I know they are!"

"What makes you think so?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Oh, I can always tell. They are so quiet now, they haven't teased for anything all afternoon, and now they are getting ready to go to bed, though it isn't within a half-hour of their time."

"Oh, maybe they're sleepy," said Mr. Brown, who was reading the paper.

"No, I'm sure they are up to some trick," said Mother Brown.

And now, if you please, just you wait and see whether or not she was right.

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did go to bed earlier than usual that night. Bunny, after supper, had whispered to his sister:

"If we go to bed sooner we can be awake quicker and go down to the tent."

"Can you open the door?" asked Sue.

"Yes, the back door opens easy."

"But has you got the branches from the evergreen tree cut so we can spread our blankets over them?" Sue wanted to know.

Bunny shook his head.

"I didn't dast do it," he said. "They might see me cutting 'em, and then they'd guess what we were going to do. We can each take two blankets off our beds, Sue, and that will make the ground soft enough. 'Sides, if we're going to be campers, and sleep in the woods, we mustn't mind a hard bed. Soldiers don't—for daddy said so."

"Girls aren't soldiers!" said Sue. "But I'll come with you and we'll sleep on two blankets."

"To practice for when we go camping," added Bunny.

Sue nodded her head, and, with her doll, went up to bed in the room next to Bunny's.

"I just know those children are up to something," said Mother Brown, as she came down after tucking in Bunny and Sue. "I wish I knew what it was."

"Oh, I guess it isn't anything," laughed daddy.

Sue and her brother found it hard to keep awake. They had played hard all day, and that always makes children sleepy.

In fact, Bunny and Sue did fall asleep, but Bunny awakened sometime in the night, I suppose because he was thinking so much about going out into the tent.

The little fellow sat up in bed. A light was burning out in the hall, so he could see plainly enough. He remembered what he had promised to do—wake up Sue by tickling her feet.

Softly he stole into her room, after putting on his bath robe. He dragged after him two blankets from his bed.

Reaching under the covers he gently tickled Sue's pink toes.

"What—What's matter?" murmured Sue, sleepily.

"Hush!" whispered Bunny close to her ear. "Wake up. Sue! I don't want to tickle you any more, and make you sneeze. We're going to sleep out in the tent, you know."

Sue was soon wide awake. Softly she crawled out of bed, slipped on her bath robe, which was on a chair near her bed, and then, dragging two blankets after her, she and Bunny went softly down the stairs.

Carefully Bunny opened the door, and he and Sue went out on the side porch, and down across the lawn to where, in the moonlight, stood grandpa's tent.