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MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER


[Illustration: MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER MISBEHAVES HIMSELF [See p. 205]]


MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER

A Sequel to "TOBY TYLER"

BY JAMES OTIS

AUTHOR OF "TIM AND TIP," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED

[Illustration: Logo]

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON


COPYRIGHT, 1882, 1910, BY HARPER & BROTHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY JAMES OTIS KALER

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA




CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE SCHEME 1

II. THE BLIND HORSE 14

III. ABNER BOLTON 31

IV. THE PONY 40

V. OLD BEN 54

VI. THE GREAT EVENT 66

VII. ATTRACTIONS FOR THE LITTLE CIRCUS 78

VIII. THE DINNER PARTY 91

IX. MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER 105

X. THE ACCIDENT 119

XI. CHANGE OF PLANS 131

XII. A REHEARSAL 143

XIII. THE RESULTS OF LONG TRAINING 156

XIV. RAISING THE TENT 170

XV. STEALING DUCKS 183

XVI. A LOST MONKEY 197

XVII. DRIVING A MONKEY 208

XVIII. COLLECTING THE ANIMALS 218

XIX. THE SHOW BROKE UP 231

XX. ABNER'S DEATH 237


ILLUSTRATIONS

MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER MISBEHAVES HIMSELF _Frontispiece_
FACING
PAGE
PLANNING THE CIRCUS 14

MR. AND MRS. TREAT EXHIBIT PRIVATELY 92

TOBY RESCUES THE CROWING HEN FROM MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER 234




MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER




CHAPTER I

THE SCHEME


"Why, we could start a circus jest as easy as a wink, Toby, 'cause you
know all about one an' all you'd have to do would be to tell us fellers
what to do, an' we'd 'tend to the rest."

"Yes; but you see we hain't got a tent, or bosses, or wagons, or
nothin', an' I don't see how you could get a circus up that way;" and
the speaker hugged his knees as he rocked himself to and fro in a musing
way on the rather sharp point of a large rock, on which he had seated
himself in order to hear what his companions had to say that was so
important.

"Will you come down with me to Bob Atwood's, an' see what he says about
it?"

"Yes, I'll do that if you'll come out afterwards for a game of I-spy
'round the meetin'-house."

"All right; if we can find enough of the other fellers, I will."

Then the boys slipped down from the rocks, found the cows, and drove
them home as the preface to their visit to Bob Atwood's.

The boy who was so anxious to start a circus was a little fellow with
such a wonderful amount of remarkably red hair that he was seldom called
anything but Reddy, although his name was known--by his parents, at
least--to be Walter Grant. His companion was Toby Tyler, a boy who, a
year before, had thought it would be a very pleasant thing to run away
from his Uncle Daniel and the town of Guilford in order to be with a
circus, and who, in ten weeks, was only too glad to run back home as
rapidly as possible.

During the first few months of his return, very many brilliant offers
had been made Toby by his companions to induce him to aid them in
starting an amateur circus; but he had refused to have anything to do
with the schemes, and for several reasons. During the ten weeks he had
been away, he had seen quite as much of a circus life as he cared to
see, without even such a mild dose as would be this amateur show; and,
again, whenever he thought of the matter, the remembrance of the death
of his monkey, Mr. Stubbs, would come upon him so vividly, and cause him
so much sorrow, that he resolutely put the matter from his mind.

Now, however, it had been a year since the monkey was killed; school had
closed during the summer season; and he was rather more disposed to
listen to the requests of his friends.

On this particular night, Reddy Grant had offered to go with him for the
cows--an act of generosity which Toby accounted for only on the theory
that Reddy wanted some of the strawberries which grew so plentifully in
Uncle Daniel's pasture. But when they arrived there the strawberries
were neglected for the circus question, and Toby then showed he was at
least willing to talk about it.

There was no doubt that Bob Atwood knew Reddy was going to try to induce
Toby to help start a circus, and Bob knew, also, that Reddy and Toby
would visit him, although he appeared very much surprised when he saw
them coming up the hill towards his house. He was at home, evidently
waiting for something, at an hour when all the other boys were out
playing; and that, in itself, would have made Toby suspicious if he had
paid much attention to the matter.

Bob was perfectly willing to talk about a circus--so willing that,
almost before Toby was aware of it, he was laying plans with the others
for such a show as could be given with the material at hand.

"You see we'd have to get a tent the first thing," said Toby, as he
seated himself on the saw-horse as a sort of place of honor, and
proceeded to give his companions the benefit of his experience in the
circus line. "I s'pose we could get along without a fat woman, or a
skeleton; but we'd have to have the tent anyway, so's folks couldn't
look right in an' see the show for nothin'."

Reddy had decided some time before how that trifling matter could be
arranged; and, as he went industriously to work making shavings out of a
portion of a shingle, he said:

"I've got all that settled, Toby; an' when you say you're willin' to go
ahead an' fix up the show, I'll be on hand with a tent that'll make your
eyes stick out over a foot."

Bob nodded his head to show he was convinced Reddy could do just as he
had promised; but Toby was anxious for more particulars, and insisted
on knowing where this very necessary portion of a circus was coming
from.

"You see a tent is a big thing," he said seriously; "an' it would cost
more money than the fellers in this town could raise if they should pick
all the strawberries in Uncle Dan'l's pasture."

"Oh, I don't say as the tent Reddy's got his eye on is a reg'lar one
like a real circus has," said Bob slowly and candidly, as he began to
draw on the side of the wood-shed a picture of what he probably intended
should represent a horse; "but he knows how he can rig one up that'll be
big enough, an' look stavin'."

With this information Toby was obliged to be satisfied; and with the
view of learning more of the details, in case his companions had
arranged for them, he asked:

"Where you goin' to get the company--the folks that ride, an' turn
hand-springs, an' all them things?"

"Ben Cushing can turn twice as many hand-springs as any feller you ever
saw, an' he can walk on his hands twice round the engine-house. I guess
you couldn't find many circuses that could beat him, an' he's been
practising in his barn all the chance he could get for more'n a week."

Without intending to do so, Bob had thus let the secret out that the
scheme had already been talked up before Toby was consulted, and then
there was no longer any reason for concealment.

"You see we thought we'd kinder get things fixed," said Reddy quickly,
anxious to explain away the seeming deception he had been guilty of,
"an' we wouldn't say anything to you till we knew whether we could get
one up or not."

"An' we're goin' to ask three cents to come in; an' lots of the fellers
have promised to buy tickets if we'll let 'em do some of the ridin', or
else lead the hosses."

"But how are you goin' to get any hosses?" asked Toby, thoroughly
surprised at the way in which the scheme had already been developed.

"Reddy can get Jack Douglass's blind one, an' we can train him so's
he'll go 'round the ring all right; an' your Uncle Dan'l will let you
have his old white one that's lame, if you ask him. I ain't sure but I
can get one of Chandler Merrill's ponies," continued Bob, now so excited
by his subject that he left his picture while it was yet a three-legged
horse, and stood in front of his friends; "an' if we could sell tickets
enough, we could hire one of Rube Rowe's hosses for you to ride."

"An' Bob's goin' to be the clown, an' his mother's goin' to make him a
suit of clothes out of one of his grandmother's curtains," added Reddy,
as he snapped an imaginary whip with so many unnecessary flourishes that
he tumbled over the saw-horse, thereby mixing a large quantity of
sawdust in his brilliantly colored hair.

"An' Reddy's goin' to be ring-master," explained Bob, as he assisted
his friend to rise, and acted the part of Good Samaritan by trying to
get the sawdust from his hair with a curry-comb. "Joe Robinson says
he'll sell tickets, an' 'tend the door, an' hold the hoops for you to
jump through."

"Leander Leighton's goin' to be the band. He's got a pair of clappers;
an' Mrs. Doak's goin' to show him how to play on the accordion with one
finger, so's he'll know how to make an awful lot of noise," said Reddy,
as he gave up the task of extracting the sawdust, and devoted his entire
attention to the scheme.

"An' we can have some animals," said Bob, with the air of one who adds
the crowning glory to some brilliant work.

Toby had been surprised at the resources of the town for a circus, of
which he had not even dreamed; and at Bob's last remark he left his
saw-horse seat as if to enable him to hear more distinctly.

"Yes," continued Bob, "we can get a good many of some kinds. Old Mrs.
Simpson has got a three-legged cat with four kittens, an' Ben Cushing
has got a hen that crows; an' we can take my calf for a grizzly bear,
an' Jack Havener's two lambs for white bears.



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