And he handed the keeper a large cup of steaming coffee.
"But,安徽🚈 Doctor,安徽🔅 birds and animals don't send letters,安徽📎" said Speedy.
The next day,安徽🔗 leaving Speedy,下楼📝 Cheapside and Jip in charge of the post office,安徽🅾 the Doctor got into his canoe with Dab-Dab and paddled off to take his holiday. On the way out he noticed a schooner,幼童🙏 the ship of Jack Wilkins,安徽📃 the pearl fisherman,幼童💾 at anchor near the entrance to Fantippo Harbor.
The Doctor,安徽🐐 taken aback for a moment,幼童🚩 gazed at the pistol muzzle,下楼🏉 wondering what to do next. Wilkins,安徽🍻 without moving his eyes from the Doctor for a second,幼童💾 closed the pearl box with his left hand and put it into his pocket.
The birds,幼童🚞 who at first followed the Doctor in droves around the main island wherever he went,安徽💚 presently returned to their ordinary doings when the newness of his arrival had worn off. And after Dab-Dab had come back from her hunt and told him the spoonbill lived on one of the smaller islands,安徽🏡 he got back into his canoe and paddled over to the rock she pointed out.
These were the days,安徽❕ you must understand,安徽💈 when slavery was being done away with. To capture,幼童💋 to buy or to sell slaves had,安徽💵 in fact,下楼🏇 been strictly forbidden by most governments. But certain bad men still came down to the west coast of Africa and captured or bought slaves secretly and took them away in ships to other lands to work on cotton and tobacco plantations. Some African kings sold prisoners they had taken in war to these men and made a great deal of money that way."So,幼童🚍 seeing they were threatened by a secret danger,下楼💌 I went off and told the leader of the herd about it. He was frightfully stupid and I had the hardest work getting it into his head.
He got no answer. But soon,幼童🚓 with a rush of wings that nearly blew his candle out,幼童🐁 a great seagull swept down on to the houseboat rail beside him.
Such a roaring trade was done in this way that the King set the stamp printing presses to work more busily than ever,安徽⭐ so that a whole new set of Fantippo stamps should be ready for sale by the time the same ship called again on her way home to England.
"The villain!" grunted the Doctor,安徽❔ putting on all the speed he could. "Let's hope he doesn't get away before we reach Fantippo."
"No,幼童💼 but his wife can,安徽🔖" said Jip.
"Wait a minute,安徽✳" said Gub-Gub. "My foot's gone to sleep."
John Dolittle had no idea of what he meant to do. Nor was the gull himself sure that he would be in time to succeed with the plan he had in mind. But presently,安徽🎾 to his delight,安徽🎥 the seabird heard his call being answered from the rocky shores shrouded in darkness. And soon he had hundreds of his brother gulls circling round him in the night.
"'Ah,安徽🌊 hah!' he cried. 'A white mouse! The very thing I've been wanting!'
"'Ugh!' says the little girl,下楼🌀 clutching her brother around the neck. 'What was that,下楼🆗 a spook?'
"So,下楼🔣 since I wasn't doing the children any good,下楼😐 I went off to look up this other owl and see if he had any ideas to suggest. I found him sitting on the stump of a hollow birch,安徽🍒 rubbing his eyes,下楼🌎 having just got out of bed.
"When the fight was over and the dining hall cleared the Cook Goblins were very grateful to the baby pig for his valuable assistance. They called him a conquering hero and,下楼🐐 crowning him with a wreath of parsley,下楼♐ they invited him to the seat of honor at the dining table and went on with the meal."Lor' bless us,幼童🐱 Doctor,安徽🍝 but you do get yourself into some comical situations! Who would think to see John Dolittle,下楼🐇 M.D.,幼童😝 heminent physician of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh,幼童🌑 bein' pulled through a mud swamp in darkest Africa by a couple of 'undred yards of fat worm! You've no idea how funny you look!"
On his arrival at the post office the Doctor was given his usual warm reception by the king and dignitaries of Fantippo who paddled out from the town to welcome him back.