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    Chapter 25

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    Chapter 25
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    TO THE RESCUE

    Suddenly the door of the cabin opened, and in came the same gypsy man who had stopped Bunny from loosening the rope by which Toby was fastened to the stake.

    "Hello!" cried the man, in great surprise. "What are you young'uns doing here? Trying to run off, eh? Well, we'll soon stop that! Here, Sal!" he called, and the woman come running up.

    "Ha! So they crawled out of the tent, did they?" she exclaimed. "I didn't think they'd be smart enough for that."

    "And look what they uncovered!" added the man, as he pointed to the red-and-yellow box.

    "That--that's Mr. Tallman's box!" said Bunny boldly. "He was looking all over for it. That's what made him poor and he had to sell his pony--'cause some one took his red-and-yellow box. Now we can tell him where it is."

    "Oh, you can, can you?" asked the woman. "Well, maybe you can if we let you, but I guess you won't! We'll have to take 'em with us now," she said to the man. "Otherwise they'll have the police right after us."

    "Yes, take 'em along, though it's going to be a bother!" growled the man. "Come on, you!" he cried to some one outside the tent. "Get this place cleared out and pack the stuff on a wagon! Then take down the last tent. Leave the shack stand.

    "Here Sal, you take the young'uns!" he added. "We'll have to keep 'em out of sight for a while!"

    "Now you come with me!" ordered the woman, and she roughly caught Bunny and Sue by the hands. "I told you we'd let you go if you kept still, but you didn't," she said, "and now you'll have to be kept a while longer."

    "We're not going with you!" suddenly cried Bunny, pulling his hand away from the woman's. "We're not going with you! We want our Toby pony and we want to go home!"

    "And we want our dog Splash!" sobbed Sue, for she was crying in earnest now. "We're not going with you!" and she, also, pulled away from the gypsy woman.

    "Say, they're plucky little tykes!" said the man. "Don't be too rough with 'em, Sal. But keep 'em quiet until we can get away. Put 'em in a wagon and shut the door! Lively now!"

    "Here! you carry one and I'll carry the other!" said the woman who was called "Sal."

    Then she lifted Sue up in her arms, in spite of her screams, kicks and struggles, and ran with her out of the shack. The gypsy man caught Bunny up in the same way, though the little fellow tried to strike with his fists, and carried him out.

    Then, as the two children were carried toward one of the gaily painted wagons, Bunny caught sight of a man running out of the wooden cabin with the red-and-yellow box under his arm.

    "There! I guess you won't get out of that place in a hurry!" snapped the woman, as she thrust Sue into the wagon. Bunny was shoved in after his sister, and the door slammed shut. It was not altogether dark inside the wagon, which was fitted up something like the ark, and Bunny and Sue could dimly see chairs, tables, sleeping bunks and a little stove.

    The next moment the wagon started off, and they could hear the thud-thud of the feet of the horses that were drawing it.

    "Oh, Bunny!" sobbed Sue, "the gypsies are taking us away and we'll never see daddy, or mother, or Toby again! Oh, dear!"

    Bunny wanted to sob as Sue was doing, but he felt that he must not. He must be brave and see if he could not get out and help his sister to get out also.

    So he held back his tears, and pounded on the doors of the gypsy wagon.

    "Let us get out! Let us get out of here!" he cried.

    But no one answered, the doors were locked, and the wagon rumbled on faster than before.

    "What are we going to do?" asked Sue.

    "I don't know," answered Bunny Brown.

    On and on rumbled and swayed the wagon, with the two children inside. They found some chairs to sit on, and kept close to one another. Bunny made his way to a window in the side, and tried to look out. But the window was of frosted glass, and he could not see through it. Nor could he push it back or open it. He could hear the horses' feet plainer now, and they seemed to be on a road, and not on the soft grass of the fields or the leafy mould of a forest.

    "Where are they taking us?" asked Sue.

    "I don't know," answered Bunny Brown again.

    After what seemed like many hours to the children, they suddenly heard loud shouts and calls. Who made them they could not tell. Then Bunny, creeping close to the front of the wagon heard the driver snapping his whip, as though trying to make the horses go faster. And then, all at once, Bunny heard a voice say:

    "Hold on there! Stop now! Don't try to get away, we've got you!"

    A thrill of hope came to Bunny's heart.

    "Oh, Sue!" he said, "maybe it's somebody arresting the gypsies!"

    "Is it daddy, do you think?" asked the little girl, whose face was streaked with dirt from the tears she had shed and tried to wipe away.

    "Maybe," said Bunny hopefully. "Anyhow, this wagon is stopping!"

    And so it was. They could feel and hear the horses going more and more slowly, until the gypsy van at last came to a stop. Then some one pounded on the doors and cried:

    "Here now, I'll break these doors open if you don't unlock 'em. I guess the children are in here!"

    There was a sort of growling answer, and then the doors flew open, letting in the light of the setting sun. A kindly-faced man--not a gypsy--looked in at Bunny and Sue, and cheerfully cried:

    "Are you the Brown children?"

    "Yes--that's who we are," said the little boy. "I'm Bunny Brown and this is my Sister Sue."

    "Then you're the ones we've come to rescue!" was the man's reply. "Hold those gypsies, boys. Don't let any of 'em get away! You are all right now," he told Bunny and Sue. "Come on out of the wagon. You're with friends, and these gypsies will soon be in jail!"

    "Is--is our daddy here?" asked Sue, ready to cry again, but this time from joy.

    "Well, he isn't here just this minute," said the kind-faced man, "but he'll be here pretty soon. He's on his way. He telephoned us to stop this gypsy caravan and see if you weren't in one of the wagons and, sure enough, you were!"

    "And have you got our pony Toby, and our dog Splash?" asked Bunny, who was smiling now.

    "Well, we've captured a lot of dogs, ponies and horses, as well as gypsies," said another man, "and I guess if any of yours are with 'em you can have 'em back. Land sakes! to think that these gypsies tried to kidnap the children!"

    "No, no! We would not have taken them away far!" exclaimed a voice, and Bunny and Sue saw the woman called "Sal."

    "What were you going to do with 'em?" asked one of the rescuers.

    "Just going to keep them with us until we could get away."

    "Well, you didn't get away, and it will be some time before you do, after this," said the kind-faced man. "You gypsies will all go to jail."

    Bunny and Sue got out of the wagon and looked about them. They were on the edge of a little village, and quite a crowd had gathered. There were a number of gypsy wagons, and the dark-faced men, women and children, who had been in them, seemed to be in charge of the village police.

    "Oh, there's Toby!" cried Bunny, as he saw the pet trick pony tied behind one of the wagons. "There's Toby, Sue!" and he rushed up to the Shetland pony and threw his arms around its neck.

    "And here's Splash!" cried Sue, laughing now, as a dog scrambled out of another wagon and fairly leaped on her and Bunny. "We got our dog and pony back!"

    And so they had.

    "Take these gypsies to the jail," said the man who had first looked in on Sue and Bunny when the locked doors were opened. "Take 'em to jail--every one of 'em--and we'll store their wagons, horses and stuff until we see who it belongs to."

    "There's a red-and-yellow box!" cried Bunny, from where he stood beside Toby. "It's Mr. Tallman's and he won't be poor if he gets it back. It's in one of the wagons. Mr. Tallman wants it!"

    "Well, then we'll see that he gets it back," said the constable. "Search the wagons, boys, for a red-and-yellow box," he ordered, "and hold on to it for this Mr. Tallman, whoever he is. Then lock up the gypsies. And bring the children to my house. They can stay there until their father comes for them."

    "And can we take Toby and Splash?" asked Bunny.

    "Sure, you can!" cried Mr. Roscoe, the constable. "They're yours to do what you like with, now that we've got them away from the gypsies for you."

    "Oh, I'm so glad!" said Sue.

    "So am I," said Bunny Brown.

    And, as the gypsy band was led away to jail, and when Bunny and Sue were leading Toby toward Mr. Roscoe's house, with Splash following, along came an automobile, in a cloud of dust, and, before it had quite stopped, out jumped Mr. Brown.

    "Did you get my children?" he cried.

    "Here we are, Daddy!" answered Bunny and Sue for themselves. "Here we are and we got back Toby and Splash!"

    And then a woman's voice cried:

    "Oh, I'm so glad!"

    And Mrs. Brown quickly followed her husband, clasping Bunny and Sue in her arms.

    "What happened to you, Bunny?" asked his mother. "Where were you? What did you do and where did you go?"

    "We went to find Toby," answered the little boy. "A boy told us where the gypsy camp was, and we went there, and we found Toby. But the man and woman wouldn't let us come away,--and we saw Mr. Tallman's red-and-yellow box and----"

    "Good gracious, Bunny Brown!" cried his father. "If you tell any more you won't have breath enough left to eat your supper!"

    "But how did you find us, Daddy?" asked Sue. "How did you and mother know where to come for us and take us away from the gypsies?"

    "The little boy who showed you the gypsy camp told us about you," said Mr. Brown. "After he showed you where the camp was, and went on the errand for his mother, he stopped back where the gypsies were camped to see if you had found your pony and were all right.

    "But instead of finding you he saw the last of the gypsy wagons hurrying away, and then he thought maybe something was wrong. So he hurried and told me and I went to the gypsy camp. Then I met a farmer who said he had seen two little children walking up to the gypsy tents, but he hadn't seen them come away before the gypsies left. Then I guessed they must have taken you with them, though I didn't know they had Toby and Splash.

    "I found out which way the gypsies were going, and I telephoned on ahead of them to have the constable arrest them. He did; and here you are, and mother and I came on as fast as we could in an automobile to get you. And now you're all right!"

    "And so is Toby!" said Bunny, laughing now.

    "And so is Splash!" added Sue, her tears also changed to laughter.

    "But what's this about a red-and-yellow box?" asked Mr. Roscoe, the constable. "We did find it in one of the gypsy wagons," he added, "and it seems to have a lot of papers in it--stocks and bonds."

    "They're Mr. Tallman's," said Bunny to his father. "Don't you 'member he lost 'em, and he got poor and had to sell Toby? We found the box in the cabin when we crawled through the gypsy tent," and Bunny told all about it.

    And, surely enough, when the box was opened it did have in it the papers stolen from Mr. Tallman, so he did not lose all his money after all, and could pay all he owed Mr. Tang and others. Some of the gypsies had taken the box from his house and meant to keep it. But Bunny and Sue found it just in time.

    And the same gypsy band, one night, had opened the Brown stable and taken Toby, afterward locking the door. One of the gypsy men had made friends with Splash, the dog, and had taken him away also, so that's why Splash didn't bark and give the alarm.

    So Bunny and Sue found their pet pony just in time, for, as some of the gypsies said afterward, they were going to move away that day, to a distant part of the country, and only that the little boy happened to tell the two children about the camp, Toby and Splash might have been taken far away and never found.

    But everything came out all right you see. Bunny and Sue soon got over their fright, and went home with their father and mother in the automobile, a man driving Toby over to their house the next day. Splash rode in the auto, there being room for him.

    As for the gypsies, they were punished for taking Mr. Tallman's red-and-yellow box, as well as for taking Toby and Splash. And Bunny and Sue had a great, happy time, for many days afterward, telling their playmates about having been held prisoners by the dark-faced people.

    "Weren't you awful scared?" asked Sadie West.

    "Oh, not so very much," said Bunny. "I kept thinking it was an adventure, like mother reads to us about from books."

    "I was scared," said Sue. "But I'm glad I got Toby back."

    "So'm I," said Bunny. "And we're going to teach him a lot of new tricks."

    And so, while Bunny and Sue are doing this we will say good-bye to them.

    THE END.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *
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