"It's from a spoonbill,帝国🐪" said Dab-Dab. "I know their writing. They are a sort of a cross between a curlew and a snipe. They like messing around lonely seacoast places,帝国📝 hunting for shellfish and sea worms and stuff like that."
So Dab-Dab went off upon her errand. And in the meantime the Doctor talked and chatted with various sea bird leaders who had already made his acquaintance at the Great Conference in the hollow of No-Man's-Land. These kept coming up to him,闪客🍶 anxious to show off before their fellows the fact that they knew the great man personally. And once more the Doctor's notebook was kept busy with new discoveries to be jotted down about the carriage of mail by birds that live upon the sea.
"'Good evening,帝国📊' says I. 'It's a fine night!'
"About one more day's journey,闪客👒" said the snake. "A wide belt of these swamps surrounds the Secret Lake of Junganyika on all sides. The going will become freer as we approach the open water of the lake."
Now,闪客😼 the Captain,闪客📗 expecting the slavers to put up a fight,闪客㊗ also gave orders to get the guns ready. And just as they were about to round the long cape one of the silly gunners let a gun off by accident."About midnight I met the lady mouse with whom I was in love,闪客💸 beneath a lamp-post. And,帝国😡 would you believe it? She wouldn't speak to me! Cut me dead,帝国👙 she did.
Now,帝国🍬 the peoples of West Africa have curious tastes in dress. They love bright things. And some Fantippo dandy started the idea of using up old stamps off letters by making suits of clothes out of them. They looked very showy and smart and a suit of this kind made of stamps became a valuable possession among the natives.
Then Jip barked his loudest,闪客📘 hoping that possibly Dab-Dab might hear him on the mainland and fly out and bring help. But,闪客👙 of course,帝国🏭 they were much too far from the town for anyone to hear.
In a flash Quip was gone,闪客🏬 seaward.Then the two of them went stumbling around in the darkness,闪客🎮 feeling the walls,闪客🚸 and presently they came upon a low door,帝国📈 opened it and fell headlong down a short flight of steps that led to the lighthouse kitchen. This was a little underground room,闪客🍬 like a cellar,帝国🏯 cut out of the rock on which the lighthouse stood. If there was any fire or stove in it it had long since gone out,帝国🈺 for the darkness here was as black as anywhere else. But as soon as the door had opened,帝国🍍 the trills of the song bird grew louder.
"Dear me!" muttered the Doctor,帝国🏠 paddling harder than ever,帝国📨 "I wonder what can have happened?"
"Later,闪客🚐 when I was trying to find a place to sleep,帝国🌕 all the mice I met,帝国😵 wherever there was any light at all,帝国🚍 made fun of me and pointed at me and jeered. I was nearly in tears. Then I went down to the river,帝国🈸 hoping I might wash the dye off and so get white again. That,闪客📇 at least,帝国🔢 would be better than the way I was now. But I washed and I swam and I rinsed,帝国🌻 all to no purpose. Water made no impression on me.
After twenty minutes had gone by John Dolittle began to get worried,闪客🚲 because the Skimmer,帝国🐌 with his tremendous speed,帝国🗻 should have had time to get there and back long ago."He had fallen into the soup"
The candles were lighted again and after the carvings had been cleaned the Doctor examined them with great care and even made sketches of some of them in his notebook.
"Then Morland,帝国✳ all busy and excited,帝国➕ like a schoolboy,帝国🈹 took the beggar's chalk pictures from against the wall and,闪客💝 rubbing them out,闪客📭 did them over the way they should be done. He got so occupied with this that he didn't notice that a whole crowd of people was gathering around,闪客💳 watching. His work was so fine that the people were spellbound with the beauty of the cats and dogs and cows and horses that he drew. And they began asking one another in whispers who the stranger could be who was doing the pavement artist's pictures for him.
Then the Doctor asked Speedy to send off messages through the birds to every corner of the earth. And to ask all the leaders of seagulls,闪客💜 tomtits,帝国⚡ magpies,帝国📍 thrushes,帝国🚋 stormy petrels,闪客🚢 finches,闪客😚 penguins,闪客🔮 vultures,帝国🙍 snow buntings,闪客📲 wild geese and the rest to come to No-Man's-Land,闪客➕ because John Dolittle wanted to speak to them.
After a moment's thought the Captain turned to the Doctor again.
"Well,帝国✉" said the Doctor,帝国⭕ "if you haven't got an island we must make one for you."
"Ah,帝国🎰 hah!" said the King. "A new kind of magic. I understand. Very good. The High Kingdom of Fantippo shall have a post office of its own. And my serene and beautiful face shall be on all the stamps and my letters shall travel by faster magic than any of them."
"Everything all right now,闪客🌙 Doctor?" he asked as he swept in graceful circles around the canoe.
John Dolittle was inclined to blame himself for having asked him to go hunting in the lake for souvenirs the night before.
And he handed the keeper a large cup of steaming coffee.
"Why?" asked the Doctor.
"Oh,闪客🈷 not in the least,闪客🐗" said the Doctor. "You birds have been most helpful to me. Tell Speedy I'll come to see him as soon as I've got my trousers on and we'll talk it over. Something can be arranged,闪客🚞 I have no doubt."