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    Chapter 13

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    Chapter 13
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    THE STRAY DOG

    The girl waitress in the restaurant smiled at Bunny Brown and his sister Sue. They seemed too small to be going about, ordering meals for themselves, but then the girl knew that in New York people do not live as they do in other cities, or in the country. Many New York persons never eat a meal at home, nor do their children. They go out to hotels, restaurants or boarding houses.

    And perhaps this girl thought Bunny and Sue might be the children of some family who had rooms near the restaurant, and who went out to their meals. So she just asked them:

    "Are cakes the only things you want?"

    "Oh, no, we'll want more than that," said Bunny. "But we want the cakes first; don't we, Sue?"

    "Yep," Sue answered. "I like pancakes. And I want some syrup on mine."

    "So do I!" cried Bunny.

    "I'll bring you some maple syrup when I bring you the cakes," the girl said as, with a smile, she went up to the front of the restaurant to tell the white-capped cook in the window to bake a plate of cakes for each of the children.

    Several other persons in the restaurant smiled at Bunny and Sue, as they sat there waiting for the cakes. They seemed such little tots to be all alone. But Bunny and Sue knew what they were doing. At least they thought they did, and they were not at all bashful.

    When the hot cakes were brought to them they spread on some butter, poured the maple syrup over their plates, out of the little silver pitchers, and began to eat.

    "They're awful good, aren't they, Bunny?" asked Sue, as she took up the last piece of her third cake.

    "Yep," he answered. "I like 'em."

    "Let's have some more," Sue said.

    "No, let's have something else," said Bunny. "I'm hot now."

    "Oh, then we ought to have ice-cream," cried Sue. "You know the other night, when Aunt Lu and mother were so warm, they had ice-cream."

    "Then we'll have some," agreed Bunny.

    "Anything else?" asked the waitress girl, coming up to their table.

    "Ice-cream, please--two plates," ordered Bunny. Soon he and Sue were eating the cold dessert. As they were taking up the last spoonfuls they saw the waitress girl, at the next table carrying a large piece of red watermelon to a man.

    "Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue. "I want some of that!"

    "So do I!" exclaimed Bunny. "We'll have some."

    And so, after the ice-cream, they ordered watermelon.

    "Do you think it will be good for you?" asked the waitress girl.

    "Oh, yes, we like it," said Bunny. That was all he thought of--just then.

    The ice-cream had been cold, and so was the watermelon, for it had been on the ice, and by the time they had finished that Bunny and Sue were quite chilled through.

    "Now I'd like to be warm again," said Sue. "Let's have some more hot cakes, Bunny."

    "All right," agreed her brother. He waved his hand to the waitress girl.

    "Some more hot cakes!" ordered Bunny.

    The girl laughed and said:

    "I guess you tots had better not eat any more. I'll call the manager, and ask him if he thinks it safe."

    A man, with a black moustache and red cheeks, came up to the table.

    "What is it?" he asked. The waitress girl explained. At the same time she put down on the table, by Bunny's plate, two little cards, with some numbers on them, and some round holes punched near the numbers.

    "We want some hot cakes, 'cause the ice-cream and watermelon made us so cold," Bunny said.

    "How much money have you?" asked the manager, who is the man who sees that everyone gets enough to eat, and then that they pay for it.

    "Money?" cried Bunny Brown. "Money?"

    "Yes, you must have money to pay for what you eat," the man said.

    "I've five cents," explained Sue. "My mother gave it to me for a toy balloon, but I didn't spend it yet."

    "I've four cents," said Bunny, reaching into his pocket, and bringing out four pennies. "I had five cents," he explained, "but I spent a penny for a lollypop."

    He shoved the four pennies over toward the girl. Sue began looking in her pocket for her five cent piece.

    "I'm afraid you won't have enough money," the manager said. "But if you tell me where you live, and give me the name of your father, I'll call him up on the telephone, and let him know you are here."

    "Oh, our daddy's away off," said Bunny. "But you can talk to Aunt Lu on the telephone. She's got one. My mother is with her. She'll buy some cakes for us."

    "What's your aunt's name?" the manager wanted to know.

    "Aunt Lu!" said Sue.

    "Aunt Lu Baker," added Bunny.

    "All right. I'll call her up," said the man, smiling. "And I don't believe you had better eat any more griddle cakes. You might be made ill. Give them some dry, sweet crackers, and a glass of milk," he said to the girl. "That won't hurt them."

    Bunny and Sue liked the crackers very much. They were eating away, having a fine time, when, all at once, into the restaurant came Mrs. Brown.

    "Oh, Mother!" cried Bunny, as he saw her. "Are you hungry too? Sit down by us and eat! We had a fine meal, didn't we, Sue?"

    "Yep," answered the little girl. "The ice-cream and watermelon is awful good, Mother!"

    "Yes, I suppose it is," and Mrs. Brown could not help smiling. "But you musn't come in restaurants, and order meals like this, Bunny Brown, without having money to pay for them. It isn't right!"

    "I--I thought I had money enough," and Bunny looked at his four pennies.

    The manager laughed. He had found Aunt Lu's name in the telephone book, and had talked to her, telling her about Bunny and Sue. And then, as the restaurant was just around the corner from Aunt Lu's house, Mrs. Brown had hurried there to get her children.

    She paid for what they had eaten, and took them back with her. The waitress girl smiled, so did the manager, and so did many persons in the restaurant, who had seen Bunny and Sue eating.

    "Don't ever do anything like this again, Bunny," said Mrs. Brown.

    "I won't," Bunny promised. "But we went to the fire, and we were awful hungry; weren't we, Sue?"

    "Yes, we was. And the hot cakes was good."

    "Oh dear!" sighed Mrs. Brown. "I wonder what it will be next."

    But even Bunny Brown and his sister Sue did not know.

    For several weeks the two children stayed at Aunt Lu's city home. They had more good times, and often went with their mother or Aunt Lu to the moving pictures. Then, too, there was much to see on the city streets, and Bunny and Sue never grew tired of looking at the strange sights. Daddy Brown wrote letters, saying he was so busy, looking after his boat business, that he could not come to see them for a long time.

    "Does he say how Splash, our dog, is?" asked Bunny, when part of one of his father's letters had been read to him and Sue.

    "Yes, Daddy says Splash is all right, but lonesome," Mrs. Brown answered.

    "I wish we had Splash here with us," sighed Sue.

    "So do I," echoed her brother.

    After that, whenever they saw a dog out in the street, they looked anxiously at him, especially if he looked like Splash. And one day, when Bunny and Sue had gone down to the corner of their street, to listen to another hurdy-gurdy hand-piano, they saw a big yellow dog running about, sniffing at some muddy water in a puddle in the sidewalk, as though he wanted a drink.

    "Oh, look at that dog!" cried Bunny to Sue. "He's thirsty!"

    "He looks as nice as Splash, only, of course, it isn't Splash," Sue said.

    "Maybe we could take him," said Bunny. "Let's try. Then we'll have a city dog and a country dog, too."

    Sue was willing, and she and Bunny walked up to the stray dog.

    "Come here!" called Bunny, just as he used to call to Splash.

    The dog looked up. He seemed to like children, for he came straight to Bunny and Sue.

    "Oh, he's got a nice collar on," said Sue. "Let's take him to Aunt Lu's, Bunny, and give him a nice drink of water."

    "All right," agreed Bunny. "We will." Then, each with a hand on the dog's collar, Bunny and Sue walked along with the nice animal, whose red tongue hung out of his mouth, for the dog had been running, and was quite hot.
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