Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus
by Laura Lee Hope
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"This is the wild lion," was the answer.

"Oh-o-o-o-o!" exclaimed Sue, getting closer to Bunny. "A lion!"

"Oh, I've got him well trained," said the boy. "He won't hurt you at all. He won't even roar if I tell him not to."

Certainly the lion in the cage seemed very quiet, and the boy carried him very easily.

"I guess maybe he's a baby lion," whispered Sue to Bunny.

That afternoon there was a great deal of excitement down at the "circus grounds," as Bunny and Sue called the place in the meadow where the tents stood.

One of the boys who had been helping Bunker and Ben, came running out of the tent crying:

"They're gone! They're gone!"

"What's gone?" asked Ben.

"My white mice! The cage door is open and they're all gone!"



Bunny Brown and his sister Sue looked at one another. If the white mice had escaped from the circus tent, some of the other animals might also get away. And suppose that should happen to the lion, which Ben had said was in one of the boxes! Just suppose!

"I—I guess we'd better go home, Bunny," said Sue, in a whisper.

"Yes," he answered. "I—I guess mother wants us. Come on!"

"What's the matter?" asked Bunker Blue. "I thought you were going to stay and help us, Bunny."

"I—I was. But if those mice got away—"

"Oh, I see!" laughed Bunker Blue. "You're afraid some of the other animals might also get out. But don't be afraid. We haven't any of the other wild beasts in here yet."

"But that—that lion," said Bunny, looking toward the animal tent.

"Oh, he's asleep," said Ben. "Besides he wouldn't hurt anyone even if he was out of his cage. You needn't be afraid. He's the only animal, except the mice, that we've put in the tent yet. But how did your mice get out, Sam?" he asked the boy who owned them.

"I don't know. They were all right last night, but, when I went to feed them this morning, the cage door was open, and they were all gone."

"Will—will they bite?" asked Sue.

"No, they're very tame and gentle," answered Sam. "White mice and white rats, you know, aren't like the other kind. I guess being colored white makes them kind and nice. They run all over me, in my pockets and up my sleeves. Sometimes they go to sleep in my pockets.

"Why, even my mother isn't afraid of them, and she'll let them go to sleep in her lap, and she wouldn't do that for a black mouse or a black or gray rat. No sir!"

"No, I guess not!" exclaimed Bunker. "Other rats and mice would bite. But it's too bad your white ones are gone. We'll have to find them. We can't have a good circus without them. Everybody help hunt for Sam's lost mice!" cried Bunker.

"I—I know how to get them," said Sue.

"How?" Sam wanted to know. He and the others, including Bunny and Sue, had gone inside the tent to look at the empty mouse cage.

"With cheese," answered Sue. "Don't you know the little verse: 'Once a trap was baited, with a piece of cheese. It tickled so a little mouse it almost made him sneeze.' And when your mices sneeze, when they smell the cheese, you could hear them, and catch them, Sam."

"Yes, maybe that would be a good plan," laughed Bunker Blue. "But do your mice like cheese, Sam?"

"Yes, they'll eat almost anything, and they'll take it right out of my hand. Oh dear! I hope they come back!"

Sam felt very bad, for he had had his white mice pets a long time, and had taught them to do many little tricks.

"We'll all help you look for them," said Ben. "Did you ever teach any of them the trick of opening the cage door?" he asked.

"No," replied Sam. "I don't believe they could do that, for the door was fastened on the outside, and white mice haven't paws like a trained monkey. Maybe I didn't fasten the cage door good last night."

"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue. "Wouldn't it be fun if we could send and get Mr. Winkler's monkey Wango for our circus? Wouldn't it?"

"Yes, maybe it would," replied Bunny. "But I don't guess we could do it. Come on, Sue, I'm going to look for the white mice."

"All right," Sue said. Maybe some little girls would be afraid of mice, white, black or gray. But Sue was not. Perhaps it was because she knew Bunny was going to be with her. Then, too, Sue was very anxious to have the circus as good as it could be made, and if the mice were missing some of the people who came might not like it. So Sue and Bunny said they would help hunt for the lost white mice.

With the big boys, the children looked all around the animal tent. The ground had been covered with straw, and the mice might be hiding in this, or among the boxes and barrels in the tent. But, look as every one did, the mice were not to be found.

"What's in that box?" asked Sue, pointing to one covered with a horse blanket.

"That's the lion," answered Bunker Blue. "But don't be afraid," he went on, as he saw Sue step to one side. "He's asleep now. Besides he can't hurt anyone. You'll see, when we have the circus."

No one knew where the white mice had gone. Even Splash could not find them, though both Bunny and Sue told their dog to look for Sam's pets.

"I guess Splash isn't a rat dog," said Ben.

"No, and I'm glad he isn't," Sam said. "Rat dogs might think white mice were made for them to shake and kill, just as they shake and kill the other kind of rats and mice. I'd rather lose my white mice, and never see them again, than have them killed."

But, even though the white mice were missing, the circus would go on just the same. And now began a busy time for all the big boys. The show would be given in two more days, and there was much to be done before that time.

Sam and Bunker Blue had painted some signs which they tacked up on Grandpa Brown's barn, as well as on the barns of some of the other farmers. Everybody was invited to come to the circus, and those who wanted to could give a little money to help pay for the hire of the big tent. Many of the farmers and their wives said they would do this.

One by one the animal cages, which were just wooden boxes with wooden slats nailed in front, were brought into the animal tent. They were put around in a circle on the straw which covered the ground.

In the other tent the boys had made a little wooden platform, like a stage. They had put up trapezes and bars, on which they could do all sorts of tricks, such as hanging by their hands, by their heels and even by their chins.

No one except themselves knew what Bunny and his sister Sue were going to do. The children had kept their secret well. They had asked their grandma for two old bed sheets, and she had let them take the white pieces of cloth. Bunny and Sue were making something in the harness room of the barn, and they kept the door shut so no one could look in.

It was the night before the circus, and Bunny and Sue had gone to bed. They were almost asleep when, in the next room, they heard their mother call:

"Oh, Walter!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown to her husband. "There's something under my bed. I'm sure it's one of the animals from the boys' circus! Do look and see what it is!"

"Oh, it can't be anything," said Mr. Brown. "All the animals are shut up in the tent. Besides, they are only make-believe animals, anyhow."

"Well, I'm sure something is under my bed!" said Mrs. Brown. "I heard it move. Please look!"

Mr. Brown looked. Sue and Bunny wondered what it was their papa would find. They heard him say:

"Oh, it's nothing but a piece of white paper. You heard it rattle in the wind. Come and see for yourself."

Bunny and Sue heard their mother cross the room. She stooped down to look under the bed. Then she cried:

"Oh, Walter! It's alive! It isn't paper at all. It's coming out!"

"Why, so it is!" said Mr. Brown. "I wonder what—?"

Then Mrs. Brown screamed, and Mr. Brown laughed.

"Oh, it's a mouse! It's a rat! It's a whole lot of mice!" said Bunny's mother.

"Yes, it's a whole lot of mice, and they're white!" said Mr. Brown with a jolly laugh. "Hurrah! We've found the lost white mice from the boys' circus! You needn't be afraid of them!"

Mrs. Brown did not scream any more. She was not afraid of white mice. Bunny and Sue ran into the room where their mother and father were. There they saw their father picking up the white mice in his hands, and petting them. The mice seemed to like it.

"Oh, where did you find them?" cried Bunny.

"Under our bed," his mother said.

"Oh, how glad Sam will be!" said Sue. "Now we can have the circus all right."

And so the white mice were found. They had gotten out of their cage in the tent, and had, somehow or other, found their way to the farmhouse. There they had hid themselves away, until that night when they came out into Mr. Brown's room.

"Well, I'm glad they are found," said Mrs. Brown. "Give them something to eat, and put them in a box until morning."

This Mr. Brown did, after Bunny and Sue had held in their hands the queer pets, which had such funny pink eyes.

"I want to see them do some tricks," said Sue.

"Sam can hitch them to a little cart and drive them," said Bunny. "He told me so."

The mice were put safely away ready for the circus the next day, and soon the house was quiet, with everyone asleep.

The sun was brightly shining. There was just enough wind to make it cool, and the weather was perfectly fine for the circus. Bunny, Sue, Bunker and Ben were up early that morning, for there was still much to do.

Sam, the boy who owned the white mice, came over to ask if his pets had been found. And when told that they were safe in a box down in the cellar, he was very happy indeed.

"I must put them back in their cage, and let them practise a few of their tricks," he said. "They may have forgotten some as they have been away from me so long."

Bunny and Sue had to get their things ready. They were to have a little place in the big tent to dress and get ready for their act. They were the smallest folks in the circus, and everyone was anxious to see what they would do.

On the big, as well as on the little, tent the boys had fastened flags. Some were the regular stars and stripes of our own country, and other flags were just pieces of bright-colored cloth that the boys' mothers had given them. But the tents looked very pretty in the bright and sparkling sunshine, with the gay banners fluttering.

Just as in a real circus, the people who came were to go first into the animal tent, and from there on into the one with the seats, where they would watch the performance.

Soon after dinner the farmers and their wives, with such of their children who were not taking part in the show, began to come.

"Right this way to see the wild animals!" called Ben Hall, who was making believe he was a lion tamer. "This way for the wild animals! Come one! Come all!"

The people crowded into the small tent. All around the sides were wooden boxes, with wooden slats. These were the "cages."

"Now watch the trained white mice!" cried Ben. "The big circus is about to begin!"

"Over this way! Over this way!" cried Sam, as he stood on a box with his trained white mice in their cage in front of him. "Right this way to see the wonderful trained white mice, which escaped from their cage and were caught by brave Mr. Brown and his wife!"

Everyone clapped and laughed at that.

Then Sam made his pink-eyed pets do many tricks. They ran up his arms to his shoulders, and sat on his head. Some of them jumped over sticks, and others through paper-covered hoops, like the horse-back riders in a real circus. One big white mouse climbed a ladder, and two others drew a little wagon, in which a third mouse sat, pretending to hold the reins. One big white mouse fired a toy cannon, that shot a paper cap.

Then Sam made his mice all stand up in a line, and make a bow to the people.

"That ends the white mice act!" cried Sam. "We will now show you a wild lion. But please don't anybody be scared, for the lion can only eat bread and jam, and he won't hurt you."

"What a funny lion—to eat bread and jam," laughed Sue.

"Hush!" exclaimed Bunny. "He's going to take the blanket off the cage."

Everyone looked to see what sort of wild lion there was in the circus.



"Now, ladies and gentlemen, as well as boys and girls," began Ben Hall, who was a sort of ring-master, in the play-circus, "I am about to show you that this lion does really eat bread and jam, and that he is a very kind and gentle lion indeed, though he can roar. Roar for the people!" cried Ben, shaking the horse blanket that was hung in front of the "lion's cage."

The next second there came such a real "roar," that some of the smallest children screamed.

"Don't be afraid!" cried Ben. "He won't hurt you. I will now raise the curtain, and you can see the lion."

Slowly he pulled aside the blanket. And then everyone laughed—that is they did after a few seconds. For at first it did look like a real lion in the box.

He had a real tail, and a big, shaggy mane, and his mouth was wide open, showing his red tongue and his white, sharp teeth. But when you looked a second time you saw that it was only the skin of a lion, which had been made into a rug for the parlor. And it was Tom White, one of the boys with whom Bunny played, who was pretending to be a lion, with the skin rug pulled over him, and the stuffed head over his head.

Underneath the open mouth of the lion peered out Tom's smiling face, and as he looked through the wooden slats of the cage Ben put in a piece of bread and jam, which Tom ate as he knelt there on his hands and knees.

"See! I told you this was a kind and gentle lion, and would eat bread and jam," announced Ben. "I will now have him roar for you again, ladies and gentlemen. Roar, lion, roar!"

But instead of roaring, Tom, for a joke, went:

"Meaou! Meaou! Meaou!" just like a pussy cat.

Of course everyone laughed at that. The idea of a big, savage lion meaouing like a kitten! Tom had to laugh and then he couldn't pucker up his lips to meaou any more.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as well as boys and girls," went on Ben. "We will now pass to the next cage. This is a real wild animal. He has sharp teeth, so do not go too close to his cage. He is the wild chicken-eater of the woods!"

"Oh, I wonder what that can be?" whispered Sue.

"We'll see in a minute," Bunny answered. The two children, as well as the other boys who were to take part in the show in the big tent later on, were now following the crowd around to see the animals.

"Behold the wild chicken-eater of the woods!" cried Ben, as he pulled aside a blanket from another wooden box-cage.

This time there was a sort of snarl and bark. It was so real that everyone knew this was a real animal, and not a boy dressed up in a skin or fur rug. Some of the little children tried to run out of the tent.

"Don't be afraid!" called Ben. "He can't get loose. There he is!"

He pulled the blanket aside and there everyone saw a small reddish animal, as big as a dog, with a large, bushy tail, a sharp pointed nose, and very bright eyes.

"What is it?" asked Sue. "Oh! what is it?"

"It's a fox," answered her brother. "I once saw one in the real circus where grandpa found his horses the Gypsies took."

"Yes, it is a fox," said Ben. "And a fox just loves to eat chickens and live in the woods."

"Where did you get him," Bunny asked.

"Oh, one of the boys caught him in a trap, and saved him for the circus. He is going to tame him, but the fox is quite wild yet."

And indeed the fox was. For he jumped about, and tried to bite and scratch his way out of the cage. But the wooden bars were too strong for him.

The people who had come to the circus gotten up by the big boys, stood for some time looking at the fox, which was a real wild animal. Some of the farmers, though they had lived in the country all their lives, had never seen a fox before.

"Now, if you will come down this way!" said Ben, as he started toward a place in the tent that had been curtained off, "I will show you our trained bear."

"Oh, is it real?" asked Sue.

"You'll see," said Ben, who seemed to know how to talk and act, just like a real ring-master in the circus.

Ben stood in front of the little corner of the tent, that was curtained off, so no one could see what was behind it.

"Are you all ready in there?" Ben called, loudly.

"Yes, yes, all ready!" was the quick answer. And the voice did not sound like that of any of the boys from the nearby farms.

"Oh, I didn't know a bear could talk," cried Sue, and everyone laughed, for the tent was very still and quiet just then, and Sue's voice was heard all over.

"That wasn't the bear talking," said Ben. "It was his trainer. The man who makes the bear do tricks you know."

"Oh, is it a trick bear?" Sue asked.

"Yes," answered Ben.

"A real truly one?" Bunny wanted to know.

"You'll see in a minute," Ben told her. "All ready now, Signore Allegretti! We are going to have you do some tricks with your trained bear!"

With that Ben pulled aside the curtain, and there stood a real, live, truly, big brown bear, and with him was a man wearing a red cap. The man had hold of a chain that was fastened to a leather muzzle on the bear's nose.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried the children.

"Why, he's real!" gasped Sue.

"Of course he's real!" laughed Ben.

"He's just like the bear the man had out in front of grandpa's house last week, doing tricks," said Bunny.

A man had gone past Grandpa Brown's house with a trained bear, and he had stopped to make the big, shaggy animal do some tricks. Bunny and Sue had given the man pennies, and Grandma Brown gave him something to eat. The man gave part of his bread and cake to the bear.

"This is the same man," said Ben. "When I saw him, I thought he and his bear would be just the thing for our circus. So I asked him to come back to-day and give us a little show on his own account. And here he is. He came last night and stayed in the barn so no one would see him until it was time for the circus. I wanted him for a surprise."

"Well, he is a surprise," said Bunny. "I didn't think it was a real bear."

"Let's see him do some tricks!" called a boy.

"All right. He do tricks for you," promised the man with the red cap. "Come, Alonzo. Make fun for the children. Show dem how you laugh!"

The bear, who was named Alonzo, opened his mouth very wide, and made some funny noises. I suppose that was as near to laughing as a bear could come.

"Now turn a somersault!" cried the bear's trainer, and the big, shaggy creature did—a slow, easy somersault. Then he did other tricks, such as marching like a soldier, with a stick for a gun, and he pretended to kiss his master. Then the bear danced—at least his master called it dancing, though of course a big, heavy bear can not dance very fast.

"Now climb a pole!" cried the bear's master. "Climb a pole for the little children, and they will give us pennies to buy buns."

There was a big pole in the middle of the animal tent, and the bear trainer led the animal toward it.

"I make him climb dis!" he said.

"Is the pole strong enough to hold him?" asked Grandpa Brown. "The bear is pretty heavy, I think."

"Oh, dat pole hold him! I make Alonzo climb very easy," the Italian bear-trainer said. "Up you go, Alonzo!"

The bear stuck his long sharp claws in the pole. It was part of a tree trunk, for the regular tent pole had been broken when the tent was carried away in the flood.

Up and up went the bear, until he was half way to the top. The children looked on with delight and even the old folks said it was a good trick.

And then, all of a sudden, something happened. The big centre pole, half way up which was the bear, began to tip over. Some of the ropes that held it began to slip, because they were not tied tightly enough to hold the pole and the bear too.

"Look out!" called Daddy Brown. "The tent is going to fall! Run out everybody!"

"They haven't time!" said Grandpa Brown. "The tent will come down on our heads."

Bunny Brown stood right beside one of the ropes that held up the pole. Bunny saw the rope slipping, and he knew enough about ropes and sails to be sure that if the rope could be held the pole would not fall.

"I've got to hold that rope!" thought Bunny. Then, like the brave little fellow he was, he reached forward, and grasped the rope with both hands. He knew he could not hold it from slipping that way, however, so he wound the rope around his waist as he had seen his father's sailors do when pulling in a heavy boat. With the rope around his waist, brave Bunny found himself being pulled forward as the pole swayed over more and more, with the bear on it.



"Look out!"

"Run, everybody!"

"Somebody help that little boy hold up the pole! He's doing it all alone!"

"Oh, Bunny! Bunny Brown! You'll be hurt!"

It was Bunny's mother who called this last. It was some of the farmers in the circus tent who had shouted before that, not seeming to know what to do. Daddy Brown and grandpa were hurrying from the other side of the tent to help Bunny hold the rope.

The pole was slowly falling, the tent seemed as if it would come down, and the Italian was calling to his bear. As for the bear, he seemed to think that he ought to climb higher up on the pole. He did not seem to mind the fall he was going to get.

Bunny Brown, small as he was, knew what he was doing. He had seen that the rope, which help up the pole, ran around a little wooden wheel, called a pulley. If he could stop the rope from running all the way through the pulley, the pole would not fall down, and the tent would stay up.

"And if I keep the rope tight around my waist, the end of it can't get over the pulley wheel," thought Bunny. He had often seen sailors do this with his father's boats, when they slid down the steep beach into the ocean.

And then, all of a sudden, Bunny found himself jerked from his feet. He struck against the bottom of the tent pole, and his side hurt him a little, but he still held to the rope about his waist.

"The pole has stopped falling! The pole has stopped falling!" some one cried.

"Yes, and Bunny stopped it!" said Sue. "Oh, Bunny, are you hurted?"

Bunny's breath was so nearly squeezed out of him that he could not answer for a moment. But his mother had reached him now. So had Daddy Brown, his grandpa and some other men. In another moment the rope that held up the big pole was unwound from Bunny's waist and made fast to a peg in the ground.

"Now the pole can't fall!" said Grandpa Brown. "We're safe now!"

"Is—is the tent all right?" asked Bunny, as his father picked him up in his arms.

"Yes, brave little boy. The tent is all right! You stopped it from falling on the people's heads."

"And the bear—is the bear all right?" asked Bunny. From where his father held him Bunny could not see the shaggy creature.

"Yes, the bear is all right," answered Mr. Brown. "He is coming down the pole now."

"That bear is too big and heavy to climb the tent pole," said Grandpa Brown. "He is too fat. But it's lucky Bunny grabbed that rope."

"I—I saw it slipping," said Bunny, "and I—I just grabbed it!"

The bear came to the ground, and made a low bow, as his master had taught him to do. The tent pole was now made tight and fast, and the circus could go on again. Some of the ladies, with their little boys and girls, who had run out of the tent when they thought it was going to fall, now came back again.

"The show in the animal tent is now over," said Ben Hall. "We invite you, one and all, into the next tent where we will do some real circus tricks."

"And there's preserved seats for grandpa and grandma, and daddy and mother!" called out Sue, so clearly that everyone heard her. "The preserved seats have carpet on," said Sue.

"Reserved seats, Sue, not preserved," said Bunny in a shrill whisper, and everyone who heard him laughed.

Into the big tent, with its rows of seats around the elevated stage and sawdust ring the people walked. They were still laughing at the funny sights they had seen, the lion, made from a parlor rug, with a boy inside it. And they were talking about Bunny's brave act, in stopping the pole of the tent from falling down.

"You and Sue go and get ready for what you are to do," whispered Bunker Blue to the two children. "I'll tell you when it's your turn to come out on the stage."

"All right," answered Bunny. "Come on, Sue. Now's the time for our secret."

He and Sue went into a little dressing room that had been made especially for them. It was a part of the big tent, curtained off with blankets.

In this little room Bunny and Sue, earlier in the day, had taken the things they needed to do their "trick." You will soon learn what it was they had kept secret so long.

It took some little time for all the people to take their places in the "preserved" seats, as Sue called them. Daddy Brown and his wife, and grandpa and grandma were given places well down in front, where they could see all that went on.

"The first act!" cried Ben Hall, "will be some fancy riding on a horse, by Ted Kennedy! Come on, Ted!" he called.

"Oh, Ben's dressed up like a real clown!" called Bunny to Sue, as they looked out between their blanket curtains, and saw what was going on. Ben had made himself a clown suit out of some calico. With a pointed cap on his head, and his face all streaked with red and white chalk, he looked just like a real clown in a real circus. Ben and some of the others had "dressed up," while the people were taking their seats in the big tent.

"Oh, look, Bunny!" cried Sue. "It's a real horse Ted is riding!"

And so it was. When Ben called for the first act, in came Ted riding on the back of one of his father's farm horses. Ted wore an old bathing suit, on which he had sewed some pieces of colored rags, and some small sleigh bells, that jingled when he danced about on the back of the horse. For the horse was such a slow one, with such a broad back, that there was no danger of Ted's falling off.

Around and around the sawdust ring rode Ted. Now he would stand on his hands, and again on his feet. Then he would sit down and ride backwards. Finally, when the horse was going a little faster Ted jumped off, jumped on again, and then turned a somersault in the air.

"Wasn't that great, Bunny?" cried Sue, who was watching.

"It sure was. But hurry up, or we'll be late."

The people clapped and laughed as Ted rode out of the ring after his act. Then came more of the circus tricks. Two of the bigger boys pretended they were an elephant. One was the hind legs and tail and the other boy was the front legs and trunk. The boys were covered with a suit of dark cloth, almost the color of an elephant, and when they walked around the ring it was very funny. Then a little boy was given a ride on the "elephant's back." He liked it very much.

Two other boys pretended they were horses, with long bunches of grass for tails. Each one took a smaller boy on his back, and then these "boy horses" raced around the sawdust ring.

Two of the girls were dressed up like real circus ladies, one in a pink, and the other in a blue dress, made from mosquito netting. They sat on sawhorses, which Bunker Blue got from the village carpenter shop. And though the sawhorses could not run, or gallop, or even trot, the girls pretended they could, and they had such a funny make-believe race that everyone laughed. The girls even jumped through paper hoops, just as the real riders do in a circus.

Then there was a wheelbarrow race between two boys, each of whom had to push another boy around the tent. All went well until one of the clowns put a pail of water in front of one of the wheelbarrows. Over this pail the boy stumbled, and he and the one he was wheeling got all wet.

But it was only in fun, and no one minded. There were several boys who did fancy tricks on the trapeze bars. They hung by their arms and legs, and "turned themselves inside out," as Bunny called it.

Other boys did some high and broad jumping, while Bunker Blue pretended he was the big strong giant man, who could lift heavy weights. But the weights were only empty pasteboard boxes, painted black to look like iron. Bunker pretended it was very hard to lift them, but of course it was easy, for they were very light.

One boy, Tommie Lutken, did a very good trick though. He walked on a tight rope stretched from one end of the tent to the other. This was a real trick, and Tommie had practised nearly two weeks before he could do it. He walked back and forth without falling. But when the people clapped, and wanted him to do it again, Tommie did not do so well. He slipped and fell, but he did not get hurt.

"Now, Bunny and Sue, it's your turn!" called Ben to them, when he came out of the ring, after having done some funny clown tricks. "Are you all ready?"

"All ready!" answered Bunny. "Come on, Sue."

Out of their dressing room the children came, and when the people saw them they laughed and clapped their hands. For Bunny was dressed like a scarecrow out of a cornfield, with a suit of such ragged and patched clothes on that it is a wonder they did not fall off him. He had a black mask, cut out of cloth, over his face, and he held his arms and legs stiff, just as the wooden and straw scarecrow does in the cornfield.

And Sue! You'd never guess how she was dressed.

She was a Jack-o'-lantern. She and Bunny had scooped the inside out of a big yellow pumpkin, and had made it thin and hollow. Then they had cut a hole in the bottom, made eyes, a nose and mouth, and Sue put the pumpkin over her head.

From her shoulders to her feet Sue was covered with an old sheet, and as she walked along it looked just as if a real, Hallowe'en Jack-o'-lantern had come to life.

Out on to the wooden platform of the circus tent went Bunny, the scarecrow boy, and Sue, the Jack-o'-lantern girl. They made little bows to each other, and then to the audience, and then they did a funny dance, while Bunker Blue played on his mouth organ.

"Say, isn't that just fine of our children?" whispered Mother Brown.

"It certainly is," said Daddy.

Up and down the platform danced Bunny and Sue. They were the smallest ones in the circus, and everyone said they were just "too cute for anything."

There were many more tricks done by the boys in the tent, and the circus was a great success. Ben and the other clowns made lots of fun. They threw water on one another, beat each other with cloth clubs, stuffed with sawdust, which didn't hurt any more than a feather.

"And now I will do my great jumping trick!" called Ben, "and then the show will be over. I am going to jump over fourteen elephants and ten camels."

At the end of the tent was a long board, which sprang up and down like a teeter tauter. It was called a spring-board, and some of the boys had made their jumps from it, turning somersaults in the air, and falling down in a pile of soft hay.

Ben asked some of the boys to stand in a line at the end of the spring board.

"I'll just pretend these boys are elephants and camels," said Ben, "as it's hard to get real camels and elephants this summer. But I will now make my big jump."

Ben went to the far end of the spring board. He gave a run down it, and then jumped off the springy end. Up in the air he went, and, as he shot forward, over the heads of the boys standing in a line, Ben turned first one, then two, and then three somersaults in the air.

"Oh, look at that!"

"Say, that's great!"

"How did he do it?"

"He must be a regular circus performer!"

"Do it again! Do it again!"

Everyone was shouting at once, it seemed. Ben landed on a pile of soft hay. He stood up, made a low bow, and kissed his hand to the audience, as performers do in the circus.

A strange man, who had come into the circus a little while before, started toward Ben Hall. Ben stood there bowing and smiling until he saw this man.

"Come here a minute, Ben. I want to talk to you," said the man.

But Ben, after one look at the stranger, gave a jump, crawled under the tent and ran away, all dressed as he was in the clown suit.

"Why—why! What did he do that for?" asked Bunny Brown, very much surprised.



Everyone was looking at the place where Ben Hall had slid out under the edge of the tent and run away. Why he had done it no one knew.

Then all eyes were turned toward the strange man who had come into the tent just in time to see Ben's big jump, and his three somersaults. The man was a stranger. No one seemed to know him.

This man stood for a moment, also looking at the place where Ben had slipped under the tent. Then he cried out:

"Well, he's got away again! I must catch him!"

Then the man ran out of the tent.

"What is it all about?" asked Mother Brown. "Is this a part of the circus, Bunny?"

But Bunny did not know; neither did his sister Sue. They were as much surprised as anyone at Ben's strange act. And they did not know who the man was, at the sight of whom Ben had seemed so frightened.

"I'll see what it's about," said Grandpa Brown.

He hurried out of the tent, but soon came back again.

"Ben isn't in sight," Grandpa Brown said, "and that queer man is running across the fields."

"Is he chasing after Ben?" asked Bunny.

"Well, he may be. But if I can't see Ben, I don't see how the man can, either. I don't know what it all means."

"Maybe the man was a Gypsy," said Sue, "and he wants to catch Ben, same as the Gypsies took grandpa's horses."

"Gypsies don't take boys and girls," said Mrs. Brown. "Besides, that man didn't look like a Gypsy. There is something queer about it all."

"I always said that boy, Ben, was queer," asserted Grandpa Brown. "He has acted queerly from the time he came here so hungry. But he was a good boy, and he worked well, I'll say that for him. I hope he isn't in trouble."

"Will he—will he come back?" Sue wanted to know.

"I don't know, my dear," answered her grandfather. "I hope so."

"I hope so, too!" declared Sue. "I like Ben."

"He ran as soon as he saw that man," observed Bunker Blue.

"Did he ever tell you anything about himself?" asked Mr. Brown. "You were with Ben most of the time, Bunker."

"No, sir, he never told me anything about himself. But he seemed to know a lot about circuses. I asked him if he was ever with one, but he would never tell me."

"Well, I don't know that we can do anything," said grandpa. "If Ben comes back we'll treat him right, and if he is in trouble we will help him. But, since he is gone, there is no use trying to find him."

The circus was over. The boys who had brought their pets to the show took them home again. It was now late afternoon, and Grandpa Brown said the boys could leave the tents up until next day, as there was no sign of a storm.

"You can take them down then," he said to Bunker Blue. "My tent we'll store away in the barn, until Bunny and Sue want to give another circus. The big fair tent can also be taken down to-morrow and put away. But everyone is too tired to do all that work to-night."

That evening, in grandpa's farmhouse, after supper, nothing was talked of but the circus, and what had happened at it. Everyone said it was the best children's circus they had ever seen.

"But poor Ben!" exclaimed Bunny. "I wonder where he is?"

"Did he have his supper?" asked Sue.

No one knew, for Ben had not come back. It was dark now. The cows and horses had been fed. The chickens had had their supper, and gone to roost long ago. Bunny, Sue and all the others had had a good meal. But Ben was not around. Everyone felt sad.

"I wonder why he ran away," pondered Bunker Blue, over and over again, "I wonder why he ran away, as soon as he saw that man."

No one knew.

Early the next morning Bunny Brown and his sister Sue arose and came down stairs to breakfast.

"Did Ben come back?" was the first question they asked.

"No," said Grandma Brown. "He didn't come back."

"Oh, dear!" sighed Sue.

"It's too bad!" said Bunny. Then he crooked and wiggled one of his fat little fingers at Sue. She knew what that meant. It meant Bunny had something to whisper to her.

"What is it?" she asked, when grandma had gone out into the kitchen to get some more bread and butter.

"Hush! Don't tell anyone," whispered Bunny. "But we'll go and look for him and bring him back."

"Bring who back?"

"Ben Hall. We'll go look for him, Sue."

"But we don't know where to find him."

"We'll take Splash," announced Bunny. "Splash likes Ben, and our dog will find him. We'll go right after breakfast."

And as soon as they had brushed their teeth, which they did after each meal, Bunny Brown and his sister Sue started out to find Ben Hall, who had run away from the circus the day before.

Bunny and Sue did not want to go very far away from grandpa's house. They, themselves, had been lost a number of times, and they did not want this to happen again. But they thought there would be no harm in just walking across the meadow where Ben had last been seen. From the meadow grandpa's house was in plain sight, and if Bunny and Sue did not stray into the wood, which was at the further side of the meadow, they could not lose their way.

"I hope we can find Ben," said Sue.

"So do I," echoed Bunny. "Come on Splash, find Ben!"

The big dog barked and ran on ahead.

Bunker Blue, and some of the boys who had helped get up the circus, were now taking down the big tent. It was to be folded up, put on a wagon, and taken to the town hall where it was kept when not in use.

"I'm going to be a circus man when I grow up," said Bunny, as he looked back, and saw the white tent fluttering to the ground, as the ropes holding it up were loosened.

"I'm not," said Sue. "I—I'd be afraid of the wild animals. I'm just going to ride in an automobile when I get big."

"You can ride in mine," offered Bunny. "I'm going to have an automobile, even if I am a circus man."

Over the meadow went the two children and Splash their dog, looking for Ben Hall. But they did not see him, nor did they see the strange man who had run after him out of the tent. Bunny and Sue went almost to the patch of woodland. Then they turned back, for they did not want to get lost.

"I guess we can't find him," said Bunny sadly.

"No," agreed Sue. "Let's go back."

When the children reached grandpa's house again, the big tent was down, and Bunker and the other boys were gone. They were taking the tent back. The smaller tent—the one Grandpa Brown had loaned—was still up.

"Let's go in it and rest," said Bunny. "We can make believe we are camping out."

"All right," agreed Sue.

Into the tent they went. All the wooden boxes, that had been used as cages for the make-believe wild animals, had been taken out. There was only some straw piled up in one corner.

"Watch me jump!" cried Bunny. He gave a run and landed on something in the pile of soft straw. Something in the straw grunted and yelled. Then some one sat up. Bunny Brown rolled over and over out of the way.

"Oh! Oh!" cried Sue. "What is it?"

But she did not need to ask twice. She saw a big boy, dressed in a funny clown's suit, standing up in the straw. Bunny was now sitting up, and he, too, was looking at the clown.

"Why—why," said Sue, "It's Ben! It's our Ben!"

"So it is!" cried Bunny.

"Yes," answered Ben, rubbing his eyes, for he had been asleep in the straw when Bunny jumped on him. "Yes, I've come back. I stayed in the field, under a haystack all night, but I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to come back."

"What'd you run away for?" asked Bunny.

"Because I was afraid he'd catch me," Ben answered.

"Do you mean that—that man," whispered Bunny.


"He isn't here," said Sue. "Did you stay in this tent all the while, Ben?"

"No, Sue. I ran across the field when I saw that man looking at me, after I made my big jump. I ran over to the woods and hid. Then, when it got dark, I crept back and hid under the hay stack. A little while ago, when I saw Bunker and the other boys drive away with the big tent, I came back here. I'm awfully hungry!"

"We'll get you something to eat," said Sue. "Won't we, Bunny?"

"Sure we will. But come on up to the house, Ben. That man isn't there, and we won't let him hurt you. What's it all about, anyhow?"

"I guess I'll have to tell your folks my secret," Ben answered.

"Oh, have you a secret, too?" asked Sue, clapping her hands. "How nice!"

"No, it isn't very nice," said Ben. "But I guess I will go and ask your grandmother for something to eat. I'm terribly hungry!"

Holding the hands of Bunny Brown and his sister Sue, Ben, the strange boy, who had been so queerly found under the straw in the tent, walked toward grandpa's house.

"Well land sakes! Where'd you come from?" asked Grandma Brown, as she saw him. "And such a looking sight! You look as if you'd slept in a barn all night!"

"I did—almost," said Ben, smiling.

"Well, come in and get that clown suit off you," said Mrs. Brown. "Then tell us all about it. What made you run away?"

"I was afraid that man would get me," said Ben.

"Why should he want to get you?" asked Daddy Brown.

"Because I ran away from his circus where I used to do tricks," Ben answered. "That's my secret. I used to be a regular circus performer, but I couldn't stand it any longer, and I ran away. I didn't want you to know it, so I didn't tell you. But that man, who came into the tent when I was doing the same jump I used to do in the regular circus—that man knew me. I thought he had come to take me back, and I didn't want to go. So I ran away."

"You poor boy!" said Grandma Brown.

There came a knock on the door, and when Mrs. Brown opened it there stood the same man from whom Ben had run away the day before.

"Oh, you're back again I see!" said the man.

Ben dropped his knife and fork on his plate, and looked around for a place to hide. Everyone was silent, waiting for what would happen next.



"Now don't be afraid, Ben," said the man. "I'm not going to hurt you."

"Are you—are you going to make me go back to the circus?" Ben asked slowly.

"Not unless you want to go, though we want you back with us very much, for we have missed you," the man replied.

"I'll not go back to be beaten the way I was!" cried Ben. "I can't stand that. That's why I ran away."

"You can just stay with us; can't he Mother?" pleaded Sue. "He can work on grandpa's farm with Bunker Blue."

"What does all this mean?" asked Grandpa Brown of the strange man who had knocked at the door. "Are you after Ben?"

"Yes, sir, I am after Ben," was the answer, and the man smiled. "I have been looking for him for a long time, and I am glad I have found him. I will take him back with me if he will come, and I will make him a promise that he will no more be whipped. I never knew anything about that until after he had run away from my circus."

"Did you really do that, Ben?" asked Bunny. "Run away?"

"Yes. That was where I came from that night I begged a meal here—a circus. But I'll go back, for I like being in a circus, if I'm not beaten."

"Tell us all about it," said grandpa.

"I will," answered the man. "My name is James Hooper. I own a small circus, with some other men, and we travel about the country, giving performances in small towns and cities. This boy, Ben Hall, has been in our show ever since he was a baby. His father and mother were both circus people, but they died last year, and Ben, who had learned to do many tricks, and who knew something about animals, was such a bright chap that I kept him with us. I was going to make a circus performer of him."

"And I wanted very much to be one—a clown," said Ben. "But the head clown was so mean to me, and whipped me so much, that I made up my mind to run away, and I did."

"I don't know that I blame you," said Mr. Hooper. "I never knew that you had such a hard time. I supposed you ran away just for fun, and I tried to find you. I asked about you in all the places where we stopped, but no one had seen you."

"I have been here ever since I left your show," explained Ben. "I like it here, but I like the circus better. How did you find me?"

"Well, our circus is showing in a town about three miles from here," said Mr. Hooper. "Over there, in that town, I heard about a little circus some boys and girls were getting up here, and—"

"Bunny and I got up the circus first," said Sue, "and then the big boys made one, but we acted in it."

"I see!" laughed Mr. Hooper. "Well, I heard about your circus over here, so I came to ask if any of you had seen Ben. I walked into the tent, and there I saw him doing the jump and somersaults he used to do in our tent. I knew him right away, but before I could speak to him he ran away.

"I ran after him, hoping I could tell him how much we wanted him back, but I could not catch up to him. So I went back to my circus, and made up my mind I'd come back here again to-day. I'm glad I did, for now I've found you, Ben."

Ben told Mr. Hooper, just as he had told Bunny and Sue, about sleeping all night out in the field, under a pile of hay, and then of creeping back to sleep in the tent.

"Well, do you want to come back with me, or stay here on the farm?" asked Mr. Hooper. "I'll promise that you'll be well treated, Ben, and the head clown, who was so mean to you, isn't with us any more. You won't be whipped again, and you'll have a chance to become a head clown yourself."

"Then I'll come back with you," said the circus boy. "I'm very much obliged to you, for all you've done for me," he said to Grandpa Brown and Grandma Brown, "and I hope you won't be mad at me if I go away."

"Not if you think it best to go," said grandpa. "You have been a good boy while here, and you have more than earned your board. I don't like to lose you, but if you want to be a clown, the circus is the best place for you."

"All his folks were circus people," said Mr. Hooper. "And when that's the case the young folks nearly always stay in the same business. Ben will make a good clown when he grows up, and he will be a good jumper, too."

"I'm going to be a circus man," said Bunny. "Can I be in your show, Mr. Hooper?"

"Well, we'll see about that when you get a little older. But you and your sister can come and see our circus, any time you wish, for nothing. I watched you two do your scarecrow and pumpkin dance, and you did it very well."

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were pleased to hear this.

"Yes, it was a pretty good circus for young folks to get up all by themselves," said Grandpa Brown. "But how soon do you have to take Ben away with you, Mr. Hooper?"

"As soon as I can, Mr. Brown. Our show is going to move on to-night, and I'd like to have Ben back in his old place if you can let him go."

"Oh, yes," said Grandpa Brown. "He can go. I hope you'll be happy, Ben."

"I'll look well after him, and he shall have no more trouble," said Mr. Hooper. Then Ben told what a hard time he had after he ran away from the circus. He had to sleep in old barns, and under hay-stacks, and he had very little to eat. And when he came to grandpa's house he did not tell that he had run away from the show, for fear some one would make him go back to the bad clown who beat him.

But everything came out all right, you see, and Ben was happy once more. Of course, Bunny and Sue felt sorry to have their friend leave them, but it could not be helped.

"But we'll be going back home ourselves pretty soon," said Daddy Brown.

Bunker Blue and Ben Hall shook hands and said they hoped they would see each other again.

"And to think," said Bunker, "that you were from a circus all the time, and never told us! But I sort of thought you were, for you knew so much about ropes, and putting up tents, making tricks and acts and pretend wild animals, and all that."

"Yes," answered Ben with a laugh, "sometimes it was pretty hard not to do some of the other tricks I had learned in the circus. I didn't want you to find out about me, but the secret came out, anyhow."

"Just like ours about the scarecrow and the pumpkin!" laughed Bunny Brown. "Wasn't ours a good secret?"

"It certainly was!" cried Mother Brown.

That night Ben Hall said good-bye to Bunny, Sue and all the others, and went back to the real circus with Mr. Hooper.

"I wonder if we'll ever see him again?" asked Bunny, a little sadly.

"Perhaps you will," said his father.

The vacation of Bunny and Sue, on grandpa's farm was at an end. In a few days they were to go back to their home, near the ocean.

"Oh, but we have had such fun here; haven't we, Bunny?" cried Sue.

"Indeed we have," he said. "Jolly good fun!"

"I wonder what we'll do next?" Sue asked.

"I don't know," answered her brother.

But, as I happen to know, I'll tell you. Bunny and Sue went on another journey, and you may read all about it in the next book in this series, which will be named: "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home."

In that book I'll tell you all the funny things the little boy and girl saw, and did, when they were in the big city of New York. It was quite different from being on grandpa's farm in the country.

One morning, about two weeks after the play-circus had been given, and Ben Hall had gone back to the real show, to learn to be a clown, Bunker Blue brought the great big automobile up to the farmhouse.

"All aboard!" cried Bunker. "All aboard for Bellemere and Sandport Bay! Come on, Bunny and Sue!"

Into the automobile, that was like a little house on wheels, climbed Bunny and Sue. Mr. and Mrs. Brown also got in. Bunker sat on the front seat to steer. There were good things to eat in the automobile, and the little beds were all made up, with freshly ironed sheets, so when night came, everyone would have a good sleep. Splash sat up on the front seat with Bunker.

"Good-bye! Good-bye!" called Bunny and Sue, waving their hands out of a window.

"Good-bye!" answered grandma and Grandpa Brown.

"Good-bye!" called the hired man.

"Bow-wow!" barked Splash.

"Chug-chug!" went the automobile, and, after a safe and pleasant journey, Bunny Brown and his sister Sue safely reached home, ready for new fun and fresh adventures which they had in plenty. And so we will all say good-bye to them.


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Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books

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Wrapper and text illustrations drawn by


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These stories by the author of the "Bobbsey Twins" Books are eagerly welcomed by the little folks from about five to ten years of age. Their eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively doings of inquisitive little Bunny Brown and his cunning, trustful sister Sue.

Bunny was a lively little boy, very inquisitive. When he did anything, Sue followed his leadership. They had many adventures, some comical in the extreme.


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Here is a series full of the spirit of high school life of to-day. The girls are real flesh-and-blood characters, and we follow them with interest in school and out. There are many contested matches on track and field, and on the water, as well as doings in the classroom and on the school stage. There is plenty of fun and excitement, all clean, pure and wholesome.


Or Rivals for all Honors.

A stirring tale of high school life, full of fun, with a touch of mystery and a strange initiation.


Or The Crew That Won.

Telling of water sports and fun galore, and of fine times in camp.


Or The Great Gymnasium Mystery.

Here we have a number of thrilling contests at basketball and in addition, the solving of a mystery which had bothered the high school authorities for a long while.


Or The Play That Took the Prize.

How the girls went in for theatricals and how one of them wrote a play which afterward was made over for the professional stage and brought in some much-needed money.


Or The Girl Champions of the School League

This story takes in high school athletics in their most approved and up-to-date fashion. Full of fun and excitement.


Or The Old Professor's Secret.

The girls went camping on Acorn Island and had a delightful time at boating, swimming and picnic parties.

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Author of the "Bobbsey Twin Books" and "Bunny Brown" Series.

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These tales take in the various adventures participated in by several bright, up-to-date girls who love outdoor life. They are clean and wholesome, free from sensationalism, absorbing from the first chapter to the last.


Or Camping and Tramping for Fun and Health.

Telling how the girls organized their Camping and Tramping Club, how they went on a tour, and of various adventures which befell them.


Or Stirring Cruise of the Motor Boat Gem.

One of the girls becomes the proud possessor of a motor boat and invites her club members to take a trip down the river to Rainbow Lake, a beautiful sheet of water lying between the mountains.


Or The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley.

One of the girls has learned to run a big motor car, and she invites the club to go on a tour to visit some distant relatives. On the way they stop at a deserted mansion and make a surprising discovery.


Or Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats.

In this story, the scene is shifted to a winter season. The girls have some jolly times skating and ice boating, and visit a hunters' camp in the big woods.


Or Wintering in the Sunny South.

The parents of one of the girls have bought an orange grove in Florida, and her companions are invited to visit the place. They take a trip into the interior, where several unusual things happen.


Or The Box that Was Found in the Sand.

The girls have great fun and solve a mystery while on an outing along the New England coast.


Or A Cave and What it Contained.

A bright, healthful story, full of good times at a bungalow camp on Pine Island.

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For Little Men and Women


Author of "The Bunny Brown" Series, Etc.

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Copyright publications which cannot be obtained elsewhere. Books that charm the hearts of the little ones, and of which they never tire.


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Moving pictures and photo plays are famous the world over, and in this line of books the reader is given a full description of how the films are made—the scenes of little dramas, indoors and out, trick pictures to satisfy the curious, soul-stirring pictures of city affairs, life in the Wild West, among the cowboys and Indians, thrilling rescues along the seacoast, the daring of picture hunters in the jungle among savage beasts, and the great risks run in picturing conditions in a land of earthquakes. The volumes teem with adventures and will be found interesting from first chapter to last.

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS Or Perils of a Great City Depicted.

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE WEST Or Taking Scenes Among the Cowboys and Indians.

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS ON THE COAST Or Showing the Perils of the Deep.

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE JUNGLE Or Stirring Times Among the Wild Animals.


THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AND THE FLOOD Or Perilous Days on the Mississippi.

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AT PANAMA Or Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal.


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Never was there a cleaner, brighter, more manly boy than Frank Allen, the hero of this series of boys' tales, and never was there a better crowd of lads to associate with than the students of the School. All boys will read these stories with deep interest. The rivalry between the towns along the river was of the keenest, and plots and counterplots to win the champions, at baseball, at football, at boat racing, at track athletics, and at ice hockey, were without number. Any lad reading one volume of this series will surely want the others.

THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH Or The All Around Rivals of the School




THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE ICE Or Out for the Hockey Championship


THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH IN WINTER SPORTS Or Stirring Doings on Skates and Iceboats

12mo. Illustrated. Handsomely bound in cloth, with cover design and wrappers in colors.

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Transcriber's Notes:

Varied usage of — and —— were retained as were haystack, hay stack and hay-stack.

Page 10: The word "tree" was inserted into the text as there was a space and no word. "...of the peach tree"

Extraneous punctuation was removed. Such as "No, Ned Johnson has a dog. "We can ...

Incorrect punctuation repaired. "I am going to feed him," to "I am going to feed him."

Page 72: "agian" changed to "again". "my turn again,"

Page 226: Hyphens added to first Jack-o'-lantern on page to conform to rest of text.


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