The great water snake began by taking the Doctor's party down the coast south for some forty or fifty miles. There they left the sea,音美⛽ entered the mouth of a river and started to journey inland. The canoe (with the snake swimming alongside it) was quite the best thing for this kind of travel so long as the river had water in it. But presently,音美♻ as they went up it,音美🍃 the stream grew narrower and narrower. Till at last,音美🏨 like many rivers in tropical countries,音美😚 it was nothing more than the dry bed of a brook,音美🈶 or a chain of small pools with long sand bars between.
"So,音美🍠 after that,音美👼 of course,音美🏰 I saw that if I wanted to save my good but foolish friends from destruction,音美😒 I had better do something on my own account.
"'What's the matter,音美💔 Jip?' said he. 'House on fire or something?'"Well,音美📞 for a while our plan worked splendidly. The beggar sold the things that we got in payment from the dogs and he had money to live on.
"Oh,音美🚛 don't let him tell one,音美🏠 Doctor,音美😇" said Jip. "It's sure to be stupid."
Reaching the mouth of the river at the southern end of the lake they paused a moment before entering the mangrove swamps and looked back. And there in the distance they could just see the shape of the old turtle standing on his new island,音美🎢 watching them. They waved to him and pushed on."Why,音美㊙ this is extraordinary!" said the Doctor,音美♐ examining the bone with great care. "I did not know that this class of animals were still to be found in Africa. Where did you get this bone,音美😄 Jip?"
And on the morrow,音美🍄 crossing once again to the island,音美✈ he went on with the discussion and planning and arrangement. It was agreed that the Swallow Mail Service should have its head office here in No-Man's-Land. And that there should be branch offices at Cape Horn,音美🎓 Greenland,音美😞 in Christmas Island,音美📦 Tahiti,音美📘 Kashmir,音美💔 Thibet and Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. Most of the mails were arranged so that those birds who migrated or went to other lands in the winter and back again in summer should carry the letters on their regular yearly journeys. And as there are some kinds of birds crossing from one land to another in almost every week of the year,音美😅 this took care of much of the mails without difficulty.
Mudface's landing on his new home was quite an occasion. The Doctor paddled out alongside of him till they reached the island. Until he set foot on it,音美🍀 John Dolittle himself had not realized what a large piece of ground it was. It was more than a quarter of a mile across. Round in shape,音美♓ it rose gently from the shores to the flat centre,音美🌲 which was a good hundred feet above the level of the lake.
The two keepers thought that the Doctor was surely crazy when he started a conversation of chirps with Cheapside. But from the answers they got to their questions they could see there was no fake about the news of the city which the sparrow gave.
"Later,音美🌛 when I was trying to find a place to sleep,音美🐸 all the mice I met,音美💺 wherever there was any light at all,音美🐖 made fun of me and pointed at me and jeered. I was nearly in tears. Then I went down to the river,音美🏰 hoping I might wash the dye off and so get white again. That,音美⛔ at least,音美💮 would be better than the way I was now. But I washed and I swam and I rinsed,音美🚲 all to no purpose. Water made no impression on me.Then the engine boy,音美👴 also anxious that his ship should have the honor of capturing Bones,音美➰ tied down the safety valve on the steam engine,音美🚊 to make her go faster,音美🌴 and then went up on deck to see the show. And soon,音美💻 of course,音美👀 one of the Violet's brand new boilers burst with a terrific bang and made an awful mess of the engine room.
"Oh,音美🚳" said the Doctor,音美🐫 "who is that?"