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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 5. Good-Bye To Grand View
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Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 5. Good-Bye To Grand View Post by :stevesandman Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :2284

Click below to download : Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 5. Good-Bye To Grand View (Format : PDF)

Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 5. Good-Bye To Grand View

CHAPTER V. GOOD-BYE TO GRAND VIEW

"Didn't you--any of you--see which way he went?" Rose demanded of the other children. "Oh! if Mun Bun gets into the swamp----"

"Of course he won't," said Margy. "He isn't a bossy-calf."

"Of course he won't," added Laddie. "Mother told us not to, and Mun Bun will mind mother."

"Shout for him!" commanded Russ, and raised his own voice to the very top note in calling Mun Bun's name.

The chorus of calls brought no response from Mun Bun. Only an old crow cawed in reply, and of course he knew nothing about Mun Bun or where he had gone.

Russ got off the rail again in his excitement, and down went the calf!

"Oh, you mustn't!" gasped Rose. "You'll drown him."

"But I guess we've got to find Mun Bun," said Vi.

Russ, however, had another idea. He was frightened because of the little boy's disappearance, but he did not want to lose the calf, having already partly saved him from the mud.

"You and Laddie, Vi, come here and help Rose hold down the rail," said Russ.

"But I must go look for Mun Bun, too!" cried Rose.

"Wait a minute," said Russ, "and we'll all go and hunt for him."

Russ had noticed a post of the old fence that had rotted off close to the ground. It was quite a heavy post, but Russ was strong enough to drag it to the side of the miry pool where the calf was fixed. He rolled the post upon the platform, and then on the end of the rail which the other children were holding down.

The post did not stay there very firmly at first. It was not perfectly round and it was gnarled (which means lumpy), and it did not seem to want to stay in place at all. Russ, however, was very persevering. He was anxious too, to keep the poor calf from drowning in the mud. And at length he got the post fixed to suit him.

"Now get up," Russ told them, and Rose and Vi and Laddie stood up.

"That fixes it!" cried Laddie, in great excitement.

"It's all right if the calf doesn't struggle much while we are gone," said Russ doubtfully. "Which way did Mun Bun go?"

"He went on ahead, towards that Dripping Rock we started to see," said Vi. "I saw him start, but I didn't think he was going to run away."

So the five Bunkers started off hurriedly along the log road through the swamp, calling for Mun Bun as they went, and hoping he had not got into real trouble. And he had not come to any harm, although he had wandered some distance from the swampy pool where the calf was.

By and by Mun Bun heard them calling, and he called back. But he was so busy that he did not return. They ran on along the road and at last around a turn, and there was Mun Bun down on his hands and knees in the middle of the road, so much interested in what he was looking at that he did not at first give the others much of his attention.

"What are you doing, Mun Bun?" cried Rose, first to reach the little boy.

"Oh, what's that?" asked Vi, at once curious when she saw the object before Mun Bun.

"I dess it's a box," said Mun Bun, looking over his shoulder. "But sometimes it walks. I'm waiting to see it walk again."

"A walking box!" shouted Laddie. "I can make a riddle out of that, I know. When is a box not a box at all?"

"When it's a turtle!" exclaimed Russ, beginning to laugh.

"No, no!" said Laddie. "That isn't the answer. When it walks. That is the answer to _my riddle, Russ."

"That is an awfully funny looking turtle," Rose said. "See how high up it is." None of them had ever seen a wood tortoise before, and the box-like, horny shell was not like that of the little mud-turtles in Rainbow River or the snapping turtle Laddie had found at Uncle Fred's.

The tortoise was so scared (for Mun Bun had been poking it with a stick) that its legs and head were drawn into the shell and it refused to move. Russ did not know but that the tortoise would bite, so he said they had all better go back to the calf. Mun Bun did not like to give up his new-found treasure, but he went back, clinging to Rose's hand and looking back at the tortoise as long as he could see it.

When they came to the place where the calf had been stuck in the mud there was Tad Munson and with him a man. The man had already dragged the calf out to the road and was wiping the mud off with a bunch of grass.

"I declare, you are smart young ones," said John Winsome. "I would not have lost this calf for a good deal. I thank you. I never would have got him out if you hadn't thought of those rails, sonny."

Russ did not much care about being called "sonny." He said that he might as well have been called "moony"--and he didn't go mooning about at all! Older folk were always calling him "young staver" and "chip of the old block," and things like that. They didn't mean any harm; but of course Russ, like other boys, did not fancy being called out of name. And "sonny" did not make the oldest Bunker feel dignified at all.

"Don't mind, Russ," said Rose in a soft little voice when the man had led the staggering calf away. "Don't mind if he did call you sonny. I guess he thinks you are pretty smart just the same. Anyway, we know you are."

"I would have helped you get the rails and build that platform if I had stayed," said Tad Munson. "But I don't know that I would ever have thought of using the rails to save that poor calf. You see, all I could think of was running for John Winsome."

"And I guess that was the first thing to think about," Russ observed, nodding. "Anyway, it's all over now and the calf is safe again. We might as well go on to the Dripping Rock and see what it looks like."

"Oh, yes!" cried Vi. "And find out what it drips."

They trooped along the road, and, coming to the place where Mun Bun had so earnestly studied the wood tortoise, the little Bunkers were surprised to find that the hard-shelled creature had totally disappeared.

"Oh!" mourned Mun Bun. "My turkle is gone. Somebody come and took him."

"No," Rose told the little boy. "He was watching you very slyly, and when he saw you had gone, he ran away just as fast as he could travel."

"He needn't have been so scared," said Mun Bun, in disgust. "I wouldn't have hurt him."

"But you were poking him with a stick, you know, and he prob'ly thought you might poke his eyes out. Come on; let's hurry to the Dripping Rock."

They did this, and Vi, in her curiosity, even got wetted a good deal with the water that dripped from the rock where the spring welled out of the ground and spattered over the lip of the stone basin on top of the big boulder. Ferns grew all about the pool of water below, and Rose and Vi and Margy gathered a lot of these to carry home to Mother Bunker.

"I want to pick ferns, I do!" cried Mun Bun. "I want to take mother the biggest bunch of all."

He worked so hard at pulling the ferns that he tired himself out. And that and the walk to the Dripping Rock and the excitement about the calf in the mud, added to the walk back to Captain Ben's bungalow, made Mun Bun very tired and not a little cross when he got home.

"I want to give these ferns to mother. And I want my face and hands washed. And I want bwead and milk and go to bed right away!" was Mun Bun's declaration.

Although it was only lunch time, they let him have his way, for Mun Bun often took a nap in the early afternoon and mother said it made him as bright as a new penny when he woke up again.

So it was the others, and not Mun Bun, who told their elders about the calf stuck in the mud.

The end of their stay at Captain Ben's bungalow had now come, and although all the little Bunkers were sorry to leave Captain Ben and remembered with delight all the fun they had had here at Grand View, home at Pineville beckoned them.

"Even if we have to go to school," said Russ, "it will seem like visiting at first. Don't you think so? Almost as though our vacation kept on--because we haven't been home much."

"Well," sighed Rose, to whom he spoke, "I sort of like to go to school. But if father goes 'way out West to that Cowboy Jack's, and without us," and she sighed again, "it will seem awfully hard, Russ."

"Maybe something will happen!" cried the oldest little Bunker suddenly.

But just what did happen, even Russ Bunker could not possibly have imagined.

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