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    Chapter 5

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    Chapter 5
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    SURPRISING OLD MISS HOLLYHOCK

    "Aren't we having a fine ride, Bunny?"

    "Hush, Sue! Not so loud! He'll hear us!" whispered the little boy, as he and his sister cuddled down in among the boxes and baskets in the grocery wagon.

    "But it is a nice ride; isn't it?"

    "It sure is, Sue." Bunny laughed in a sort of whisper, so Tommie, the boy who drove the wagon, would not hear him. And, so far, Tommie had no idea that he was taking with him Bunny and Sue.

    The two children had no idea where they were going. They often did things like that, without thinking, and sometimes they were sorry afterward. But it had seemed all right to them to get into the wagon for a ride.

    "We won't go very far," Bunny went on, in another whisper, after a bit. "We'll just ride around the block, and then get out."

    "Will we have to walk home?" Sue asked.

    "Maybe Tommie will drive us back," said Bunny. "He's real good, you know."

    "I'd rather ride than walk," said Sue.

    Tommie was whistling away as loudly as he could, and this, with the rattle of the wagon, and the clatter of the horse's hoofs made so much noise that the whisperings of Bunny and Sue were not heard by the grocery boy.

    The horse began to trot slowly, and Bunny and Sue, peering out from the back of the wagon, saw that it was going to stop in front of Charlie Star's house.

    "What's he stopping for?" asked Sue.

    "Hush!" whispered Bunny. "I guess Tommie is going to leave some groceries here."

    Bunny had guessed right. Tommie reached back inside the wagon, and picked up a basket full of packages and bundles. The delivery boy did not notice Bunny and Sue, who crouched down low, so as to keep out of sight. Then, still whistling, Tommie ran up the walk with some groceries for Mrs. Star.

    In a little while Tommie was back again, and once more the horse trotted off as the grocery boy called: "Giddap there, Prince!" Prince was the name of the horse.

    "Oh, this sure is a fine ride!" said Sue, laughing and snuggling close up to Bunny. "Aren't you glad we came?"

    "Yes," he answered, "but I hope he brings us back. We're a long way from home now, and it's pretty far to walk."

    "Oh, I guess he'll take us," said Sue. "Anyhow we're having a good time, and so is my doll," and she looked at her toy which she had brought with her. The doll was now sound asleep on a pound of butter in one of the baskets, her feet resting on a bag of sugar, and one arm stretched over a box of crackers.

    "She won't get hungry, anyhow," said Bunny with a laugh.

    "She doesn't eat when she's asleep," said Sue.

    Tommy stopped his grocery wagon several times, to leave boxes or baskets of good things at the different houses. Finally he stopped in front of a house where lived Mr. Thompson, and here Tommie had to wait a long time, for the Thompson family was very large, and they bought a number of groceries. Tommie used to write down in his book the different things Mrs. Thompson wanted to order, so he could bring them to her the next time he drove past.

    Bunny and Sue, cuddled down amid the boxes and baskets, did not like to stay still so long. They wanted to be riding. Finally Sue looked out of the back of the wagon and said:

    "Oh, Bunny, look! There's where old Miss Hollyhock lives," and she pointed to a shabby little house, where lived a poor old woman. "Hollyhock" was not her name, but everyone called her that because she had so many of those old-fashioned flowers around her house. She was so poor that often she did not have much to eat, except what the neighbors gave her. Mrs. Brown often sent her things, and once Bunny and Sue sold lemonade, and gave the money they took in to old Miss Hollyhock.

    "Yes, that's where she lives," said Bunny.

    "And maybe she's hungry now," Sue went on.

    "Maybe she is," agreed Bunny.

    "We could give her something to eat," suggested Sue, after thinking a few seconds.

    "How?" Bunny wanted to know.

    "Look at all these groceries," Sue said. "There's a lot here that Tommie don't need. We could get out, and take a basket full in to old Miss Hollyhock."

    "Oh, so we could!" Bunny cried. "We'll do it. Pick out the biggest basket you can find, Sue."

    Neither Bunny Brown nor his sister Sue thought it would be wrong to take a basket of groceries from the wagon for poor old Miss Hollyhock. They did not stop to think that the groceries belonged to someone else. All they thought of was that the old lady might be hungry.

    "We'll take this basket," said Sue. "It's got lots in."

    She pointed to one that held some bread, crackers, sugar, butter, potatoes, tea and coffee. All of these things were done up in paper bags, except the potatoes. Bunny and Sue could tell which was tea and which was coffee by the smell. And they had often gone to the store for their mother, so they knew how the grocer did up other things good to eat, in different sized bags or packages.

    "Yes, that will be a nice basket to take to old Miss Hollyhock," agreed Bunny. "But I don't think I can carry it, Sue."

    "I'll help you," said the little girl. "Anyhow, if we can't carry it all at once, we can take it in a little at a time."

    "We--we ought to have a box to step on when we get out, same as we had to get in," said Bunny.

    "Here's one," and Sue pointed to an empty box in the wagon.

    Bunny dragged it to the back of the wagon. The end, or "tail," board was down, so there was no trouble in dropping the box out of the wagon to the ground. Then Bunny could step on it and get out. He also helped Sue down. But first they pulled the big basket of groceries close to the end of the wagon, where they could easily reach it.

    "Now we'll surprise old Miss Hollyhock," said Bunny.

    "Won't it be nice!" exclaimed Sue.

    They did not stop to think that they might also surprise someone else besides the poor old lady.

    Looking toward the Thompson house, to make sure Tommie was not coming out, Bunny and Sue filled their little arms with bundles from the grocery basket, and started toward old Miss Hollyhock's cabin. They did not want Tommie to see what they were doing.

    "'Cause maybe he wouldn't want to give her so much," said Bunny. "But mother will pay for it if we ask her to."

    "Yes," said Sue.

    Together they went up to old Miss Hollyhock's door. Then Bunny thought of something else.

    "We'll give her a surprise," he whispered to Sue. "We'll make believe it's Valentine's Day or Hallowe'en, and we'll leave the things on her doorstep, and run away."

    "That will be nice," said Sue.

    The children had to make three trips before they had all the groceries out of the basket and piled nicely on the front steps of old Miss Hollyhock's house. But at last it was all done, and Bunny and Sue climbed back in the wagon again. Bunny even reached down and pulled up after him the box on which he and his sister had stepped when they got in and out.

    All this while Tommie had not come out of the Thompson house, so of course he had not seen what the children had done. Soon after Bunny and Sue were safely snuggled down amid the boxes and baskets once more, the grocery boy came down the walk whistling.

    He threw an empty basket into the wagon, put in his pocket the book in which he had written down the order Mrs. Thompson had given him, and cried to Prince:

    "Giddap!"

    "And he giddapped as fast as anything!" said Sue, in telling about it afterward. "He giddapped so fast that I tumbled over backward into a box of strawberries. But I didn't smash very many, and Bunny and me ate 'em, so it didn't hurt much."

    On went the grocery horse, and pretty soon Tommie, on the front seat, cried:

    "Whoa!"

    The horse stopped in front of a big house where lived Mr. Jones. Tommie looked back into the wagon. He did not see Bunny and Sue, for they had pulled a horse blanket over themselves to hide, since there were not so many boxes in the wagon now.

    "Hello!" cried Tommie in surprise. "Where's that big basket of groceries for Mr. Jones? I surely put it in the wagon, but it's gone! This is queer!"

    Bunny and Sue, hiding under the blanket, wondered what would happen next.
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