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    Chapter 22

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    Chapter 22
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    Aunt Lu looked first at Sue, and then at Bunny Brown. Mother Brown did the same thing. Then they looked at Wopsie. Finally Aunt Lu, in a sort of faint, and far-away voice asked:

    "What--what does it all mean, Sue?"

    Sue leaned back in her chair.

    "It's just like I told you," she said. "You know Bunny's kite got away, and we ran after it. We didn't find it, but we saw some poor children having a play-party, with broken pieces of dishes on a box, same as me and Bunny plays sometimes. We watched them, and I guess they thought we was makin' fun of 'em."

    "Yes," said Bunny, "that's what they did."

    "But we wasn't makin' fun," said Sue. "We just wanted to watch, and when they saw us I asked them to come here to-morrow to a real party."

    "Oh, Sue, you never did!" cried her mother.

    "Yes'm, I did," returned Sue. "I gave 'em Aunt Lu's card, and they're coming, and we're going to have real cake and real ice-cream. That one girl can cook real, or make-believe, sausages, but we don't need to have them, 'less you want to, Aunt Lu! Only I think it would be nice to have some jam tarts, and I'd like one now, please."

    Aunt Lu and Mrs. Brown again looked at one another. First they smiled, and then they laughed.

    "Well," said Aunt Lu, after a bit. "I suppose since Sue has invited them I'll have to give them a party. But I wish you had let me know first, Sue, before you asked them."

    "Why, I didn't have time, Aunt Lu. I--I just had to get up the real party right away, you see."

    "Oh, yes, I see."

    So Aunt Lu told Mary, her cook, and her other servants, to get ready for the party Sue had planned. For it would never do to have the big girl, and the little boys and girls, come all the way to Aunt Lu's house, and then not give them something to eat, especially after Sue had promised it to them.

    Bunny and Sue could hardly wait for the next day to come, so eager were they to have the party. They were up early in the morning, and they wanted to help make the jam and jelly tarts, but Aunt Lu said Mary could better do that alone. Wopsie helped dust the rooms, though, and she lifted up to the mantel several pretty vases that had stood on low tables.

    "Dem chilluns might not mean t' do it," said the little colored girl, "but dey might, accidental like, knock ober some vases an' smash 'em. Den Miss Lu would feel bad."

    Bunny and Sue spoke to Henry, the elevator boy, about the ragged children coming to the party.

    "You'll let them ride up with you; won't you, Henry?" asked Sue.

    "Oh, suah I will!" he said, smiling and showing all his white teeth. "Dey kin ride in mah elevator as well as not."

    And, about two o'clock, which was the hour Sue had told them, the ragged children came, the big girl marching on ahead with Aunt Lu's card held in her hand, so she would find the apartment house. But the children were not so ragged or dirty now. Their faces and hands were quite clean, and some of them had on better clothes.

    "I made 'em slick up, all I could," said the big girl, who said her name was Maggie Walsh. "Is the party all ready?"

    "Yes," answered Sue, who with Bunny, had been waiting down in the hall for the "company."

    Into the elevator the poor children piled, and soon they were up in Aunt Lu's nice rooms. The place was so nice, with its satin and plush chairs, that the children were almost afraid to sit down. But Aunt Lu, and Mrs. Brown soon made them feel at home, and when the cake, ice-cream, and other good things, were brought in, why, the children acted just like any others that Bunny and Sue had played with.

    "Say, it's real ice-cream all right!" whispered one boy to Maggie Walsh. "It's de real stuff!"

    "Course it is!" exclaimed the big girl. "Didn't she say it was goin' to be real!" and she nodded at Sue.

    "I t'ought maybe it were jest a joke," said the boy.

    Aunt Lu had not had much time to get ready for Sue's sudden little party, but it was a nice one for all that. There were plenty of good things to eat, which, after all, does much to make a party nice. Then, too, there was a little present for each of the children. And as they went home with their toys, pleased and happy, there was a smile on every face.

    They had had more good things to eat than they had ever dreamed of, they had played games and they had had the best time in their lives, so they said. Over and over again they thanked Sue and her mother and Aunt Lu, and Bunny--even Henry, the elevator boy.

    "We'll come a'gin whenever you has a party," whispered a little red-haired girl, to Sue, as she said good-bye.

    "And youse kin come to our make-believe parties whenever you want," said the big girl.

    "Thanks." Sue waved her hands to the children as they went down the street. She had given them a happy time.

    For a few days after Sue's party she and Bunny did not do much except play around Aunt Lu's house, for there came several days of rain. The weather was getting colder now, for it was fall, and would soon be winter.

    "But I like winter!" said Bunny. "'Cause we can slide down hill. Are there any hills around here, Aunt Lu?"

    "Well, not many. Perhaps you might slide in Central Park. We'll see when snow comes."

    One clear, cool November day Bunny and Sue were taken to Central Park by Wopsie. They had been promised a ride in a pony cart, and this was the day they were to have it.

    Not far from where the animals were kept in the park were some ponies and donkeys. Children could ride on their backs, or sit in a little cart, and have a pony or donkey pull them.

    "We'll get in a cart," said Bunny. "I'm going to drive."

    "Do you know how?" asked the man, as he lifted Bunny and Sue in. Wopsie got in herself.

    "I can drive our dog Splash, when he's hitched up to our express wagon," said Bunny. "I guess I can drive the pony. He isn't much bigger than Splash." This was so, as the pony was a little one.

    So Bunny took hold of the lines, but the man who owned the pony carts sent a boy to walk along beside the little horse that was pulling Bunny, Sue and Wopsie.

    "Giddap!" cried Bunny to the pony. "Go faster!" For the pony was only walking. Just then a dog ran out of the bushes along the park drive, and barked at the pony's heels. Before the boy, whom the man had sent out to take charge of the pony, could stop him, the little horse jumped forward, and the next minute began trotting down the drive very fast, pulling after him the cart, with Bunny, Sue and Wopsie in it.
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