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    Chapter 16

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    Chapter 16
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    LOST IN NEW YORK

    Bunny's sister Sue did not think her brother was doing anything wrong. She had so often seen him do many things that other boys did not do that she thought whatever Bunny did was all right.

    "How you going to catch fish?" she asked.

    "I'll show you," Bunny answered. "But don't call mother or Aunt Lu. They want to stay looking at the seals. I've seen enough of them."

    But I think, though, that the real reason Bunny did not want Sue to call his mother, or his aunt, was because he was afraid they might stop him from trying to catch a fish.

    And that was what Bunny Brown was going to try to do.

    While Sue watched, Bunny bent a pin up in the shape of a hook. He and his sister had often fished with such hooks down in the brook near their house. Bunny tied the bent pin to the end of a long string, and then he walked over toward the white, tile-lined pool.

    Just at this time there was no one near this pool, for most of the visitors in the aquarium were watching the seals, as Mrs. Brown and Aunt Lu were doing. The seals, of whom there were three or four, seemed to be having a game of tag. They swam about very swiftly, and leaped half out of the water, splashing it all about, and even on the persons standing about the pool. But the men, women and children only laughed, and crowded up closer to look at the playing seals.

    "I want to see them," said Sue, pointing to where the crowd stood, laughing.

    "Wait until I catch a fish," pleaded Bunny. "I'll soon have a fish, or a turtle or an alligator, Sue."

    "I don't want any alligators," said the little girl. "They bite, and so does a turtle."

    "All right. I won't catch them," promised Bunny. "I'll just catch a fish. Then we'll go to look at the seals."

    "All right," agreed Sue. She went with her little brother over to the other pool. They were the only ones there, because everyone else was so anxious to look at the seals.

    "Now watch me catch a fish," Bunny said. To the bent pin hook, on the end of the string, he tied a piece of rag. He had brought all these things with him, hoping he might get a chance to fish in the aquarium.

    "What's that rag?" Sue wanted to know.

    "That's my bait," Bunny answered. "You can't dig any worms in the city, 'cause there's all sidewalk. So I use this rag for bait."

    "I don't like worms, anyhow," said Sue. "They is so--so squiggily. Rags is nicer for bait. But will the fish eat rags, Bunny?"

    "I guess so."

    The pool that Bunny had picked out to fish in was in two parts. There was a wire screen across the middle, and on one side were the alligators and turtles--some large and some small, while on the other side of the wire were fish. It was these fish--or one of them at least--that Bunny Brown was going to try to catch.

    Into the water he cast his bent pin hook, with the fluttering rag for bait. No one saw him, everyone else being at the seal-pool. Sue watched her brother eagerly. She wanted him to hurry, and catch a fish, so they could go over where their mother and Aunt Lu were.

    But the fish in the pool did not seem to care for Bunny's rag bait. Perhaps they knew it was only a piece of cloth, and not a nice worm, or piece of meat, such as they would like to eat. Anyhow, they just swam past it in the water.

    "Hurry up, Bunny, and catch a fish!" begged Sue. "I want to go and look at the seals."

    "All right--I'll have a fish in a minute," Bunny said, hopefully.

    But he did not. The fish would not bite. Bunny wanted to catch something, and, all at once, he decided that if he could not get a fish he might get a turtle, or a small alligator. But he did not tell Sue what he was going to do, for he knew she would not like it. She was afraid of alligators and turtles.

    Bunny pulled his line from the fish-pool and tossed the pin-hook over into the turtle-pool. And then something happened, all at once! There was a rush through the water, as a big turtle saw the fluttering rag, and the next minute Bunny was nearly pulled over the low railing into the pool. For the turtle had swallowed his bent pin hook.

    "Oh, Sue! I've got one! I've got one!" cried Bunny, shouting out loud, he was so excited.

    "Have you got a fish, Bunny?" asked Sue, who had walked a little way over toward the seal-pool.

    "No, I haven't got a fish, but I've got a turtle. But I won't let him hurt you, Sue!" he called. "Oh, I've got a big one! Look, Sue!"

    Bunny was holding tightly to the string. He had wound it about his hands, and as the cord was a strong one, and as the turtle had swallowed the bent-pin hook on the other end, Bunny was almost being pulled over into the tank full of water, where the alligators and other turtles were now swimming about, very much excited, because the turtle which Bunny had caught was making such a fuss.

    "Oh, I've got him! I've got him!" cried Bunny, eagerly.

    "I rather think he has got you!" said a man, rushing up to Bunny just in time to grab him. The little fellow's feet were being lifted off the floor and, in another few seconds, he himself was in danger of being pulled into the pool. For the cord was a strong one, and the turtle was one of the largest.

    "Let go the string!" called the man who had hold of Bunny. "Let go the string!"

    Bunny did so, and the turtle swam away with it.

    By this time Mother Brown and Aunt Lu, who had heard Bunny's calls, had rushed over to him. Others, too, left the seals, to see what was the excitement at the turtle and alligator pool.

    "Oh, Bunny! What have you done?" cried his mother.

    "I--I was catching a fish," Bunny explained, as the man who had stopped him from being pulled into the pool, set the little fellow down. "I was catching a fish and--"

    "But you musn't catch any fish in here!" exclaimed one of the men in uniform, who was on guard in the aquarium. "You're not allowed to catch fish in here!"

    "It--it wasn't a fish," said Bunny. "It was a turtle. I tried to get a fish, but I couldn't. But the turtle bit on the rag bait."

    "Yes, turtles will do that," said the guard. "But you must never again try to fish in here. These fish are to look at, not to catch."

    "Oh, I'm sure he didn't mean to do wrong," said the man who had saved Bunny from getting wet in the pool.

    "I'll forgive him this time," the guard said, "but he must not do it again."

    "I won't," Bunny promised.

    The turtle that had taken the pin hook was swimming about with the string dragging after it. One of the aquarium men, with a net, caught the turtle, and took the pin and string out of its mouth.

    "Now let's go and look at the seals," said Bunny, when the crowd, laughing at what the little boy had done, had moved away.

    "But you musn't try to catch any of them," his mother said.

    "I won't," promised Bunny.

    Watching the seals was fun, and Bunny and Sue had a good time there, until it was time to go out of the aquarium for dinner. The children had a nice meal, in a restaurant, and Aunt Lu said:

    "I think this afternoon we will take a little ride on the boat to Coney Island. You children can have an ocean bath there. It is getting on toward fall, I know, but it is all the nicer down at the beach, and there won't be such crowds there as in real hot weather."

    "Oh, won't it be fun to paddle in the water again!" cried Sue.

    "That's what it will!" said Bunny Brown.

    The place to take the boat for Coney Island was two or three blocks from the restaurant where they had eaten lunch. Bunny and Sue walked behind Mother Brown and Aunt Lu along the street to the boat-dock.

    "This is just like home," said Bunny as he saw the water-front, with many boats tied up along the docks, just as they were at his father's pier at home.

    Sue liked it, too. There were many things to see. In one window the children saw a number of monkeys, and birds with brightly colored feathers.

    "Oh, let's stop and look at them!" cried Sue. Bunny was willing, so they stood looking in the window. Mrs. Brown and Aunt Lu, thinking the children were coming right along, walked on. And it was not until they were ready to cross the street that the mother and aunt missed the little ones.

    "Why, where can they have gone?" cried Mrs. Brown, looking all around.

    "Oh, they're just walking slowly, behind us," Aunt Lu said. "We'll go back and find them."

    She and her sister walked back, but they could not see Bunny and Sue.

    "Oh, where are they?" cried Mrs. Brown. "My children are lost! Lost in New York! Oh dear!"
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