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    Chapter 2

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    Chapter 2
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    Bunny Brown, in his little room, and Sue Brown, in hers, jumped out of bed and ran to the window. They could hear the ringing of the church bell more plainly now.

    "Ding-dong! Ding-dong!" it sounded through the silence of the night. It was not altogether dark, for there was a big, bright moon in the sky, and it was almost as light as a cloudy day.

    "Can you see any blaze?" Bunny and Sue heard their mother ask their father.

    "No, not a thing. But it's funny that that bell should ring. I'm going out to see what it is."

    "I'll come with you," said Mrs. Brown. "I'll just put on my slippers, a bath robe and a cloak, and come along. It's so warm that I'll not get cold."

    "All right, come along," said Mr. Brown. "The children are asleep and they won't miss us."

    Bunny and Sue felt like laughing when they heard this. They were not asleep, but their father and mother did not know they were awake. Pretty soon Mr. and Mrs. Brown slipped quietly down the stairs and out of the house--out into the moonlit night. The church bell was still ringing loudly, and Bunny and Sue could hear the neighbors, in the houses on either side of them, talking about it. Everyone wondered if there was a fire.

    "Oh, Bunny!" called Sue in a whisper to her brother, when daddy and Mother Brown had gone out. "Is you awake, Bunny?"

    "Yep, course I am! Are you?"

    "Yep. Say, Bunny, let's go to the fire; will you?"

    "Yep. I'll just put on my bath robe and slippers."

    "An' I will too. We'll go and see what it is. Daddy and mother won't care, and we can come home with them."

    Now while Bunny Brown and his sister Sue are getting ready to go out to see what that midnight alarm means, I'll tell you a little bit about the children, and the other books, of Which this is one in a series.

    The first book was called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue." In that I told you that Bunny and Sue lived with their father and mother in Bellemere, near the ocean. Mr. Brown was in the boat business, and he had a big boy, Bunker Blue, as well as other men and boys, to help him. But of them all Bunny and Sue liked Bunker Blue best.

    In the first book I told how Bunny's and Sue's Aunt Lu came from the city of New York to pay them a long visit, how she lost her diamond ring, and how Bunny found it in the queerest way.

    In the second book, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm," I told how the Brown family went on a trip in a big automobile. It was a regular moving van of an automobile, and so large that Bunny and Sue, Mr. and Mrs. Brown and Bunker Blue could eat and sleep in it. They camped out during the two or more days they were making the trip to grandpa's.

    And what fun the children had in the country! You may read in the book all about how they saw the Gypsies, how they were frightened by tramps at the picnic, how they were lost, and what jolly times they had with their dog Splash.

    Then, too, Bunny and Sue helped find grandpa's horses, that the Gypsies had taken away. So, altogether, the children had lots of fun on Grandpa Brown's farm. They even went to a circus, and this brings me to the third book, which is called: "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus."

    And that is just what Bunny and Sue did. They got up a little circus of their own, and held it in grandpa's barn. Then Bunker Blue, and some of the larger boys in the country, thought they would get up a show. They did, and held it in two tents. Of course Bunny and Sue helped.

    A week or so after the circus Bunny and Sue, with Bunker, and their father and mother (and of course their dog Splash) came back from the country in the big automobile.

    Bunny and Sue had many friends in Bellemere where they lived. Not only were the boys and girls their friends, but also many grown folk, who liked the Brown children very much indeed. There was Mrs. Redden, who kept the village candy store, and there was Uncle Tad, an old soldier, who lived in the Brown house. Bunny and Sue liked them very much.

    Then there was old Jed Winkler, a sailor, who lived with his sister, Miss Euphemia Winkler, and a monkey. That's right! Mr. Winkler did have a pet monkey named Wango, and he was very funny--I mean the monkey was funny. He was so gentle that Bunny and Sue often petted him, and gave him candy and peanuts to eat. Wango did many queer tricks.

    But now I think I have told you enough about Bunny and Sue, as well as about their friends, so we will go back to the children. We left them getting ready to go out into the moonlight, you know, to see what the ringing of the church bell meant.

    "Is you all ready, Bunny?" called Sue when she had put on her bath robe and slippers.

    "Yep," he answered. "Come on."

    Hand in hand the children went softly down the front stairs, as their father and mother had done. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were now out in the street, some distance away from the house. Men and women from several other houses, near that of the Brown family, were also out, wondering why the bell was ringing.

    "Don't wake up Uncle Tad!" whispered Bunny to Sue, as they walked along so softly in their bath slippers.

    "No, I won't," answered the little girl. "And don't wake up Mary, either. She might not let us go."

    "All right," whispered Bunny.

    Mary was the cook, but, as she slept up on the third floor, she would hardly hear the children going out.

    "Shut the door easy," said Bunny to Sue, as they reached the front steps. "Don't let it slam."

    They had found the door open, as Mr. and Mrs. Brown had left it, and the two children, each taking hold of it, closed it softly after them.

    "Now we're all right!" whispered Bunny, as he started down the street on the run, for the bell was ringing louder than ever now, and Bunny was anxious to see the fire, if there was one. He hoped it would not be one of his father's boats, or the office on the fish dock.

    "Wait! Wait for me!" cried Sue to her brother. "I can't run so fast, Bunny, 'cause I'll stumble over my bath robe. It's awful long!"

    "Hold it up, just as I do," said Bunny, turning around to look at his sister. "Hold it up, and then your legs won't get tangled in it."

    Sue pulled the robe up to her knees, and held it there. Bunny was doing the same thing, the bare legs of the children showing white in the moonlight. Bunny started off again.

    "Wait! Wait!" begged Sue. "Take hold of my hand, Bunny."

    "I can't!" he answered. "I've got to hold up my robe, or I'll tumble and bump my nose. Besides, how can I take hold of your hand when you haven't got any hand for me to take hold of?"

    That was true enough. Sue was holding up her long robe with both hands.

    "If I had some string I could tie up our robes," said Bunny, looking on the moonlit sidewalk, hoping he might find a piece. "But I hasn't got any," he said, "so I can't hold your hand, Sue. But I'll go slow for you."

    He waited for his sister to catch up to him, and then the two children hurried on. They could go faster now, for their long bath robes did not dangle around their feet.

    Down the street they hurried. The bell kept ringing and ringing, and Bunny and Sue could see and hear many other persons who had gotten up to see what it all meant, and who were now hurrying down the street.

    "Oh, Bunny!" said Sue. "Isn't it just nice out to-night?"

    "Yes," he said. The night was warm, and the moon was bright. Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did not think they were doing wrong to get up at midnight, and run down the street.

    "I--I wonder where mother is?" said Sue, as they turned a corner.

    "We don't want to see her, or daddy either," answered Bunny, keeping in the shadows, out of sight.

    "Why not, Bunny Brown? Why don't we want to see our papa or mamma?"

    "'Cause they'll send us back to bed, and we want to see the fire."

    "Oh! do you think there is a fire, Bunny?"

    "I guess so, or the bell wouldn't ring. But we'll soon see it, Sue, for we're almost at the church."
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