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The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Part 3 out of 3

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half of Monday.

And all the little boys of the fishing-village
went down to the beach and pointed at the great
ship anchored there, and said to one another in

"Look! That was a pirate-ship--Ben Ali's
--the most terrible pirate that ever sailed the
Seven Seas! That old gentleman with the high
hat, who's staying up at Mrs. Trevelyan's, HE
took the ship away from The Barbary Dragon
--and made him into a farmer. Who'd have
thought it of him--him so gentle--like and all!
... Look at the great red sails! Ain't she the
wicked-looking ship--and fast?--My!"

All those two days and a half that the Doctor
stayed at the little fishing-town the people kept
asking him out to teas and luncheons and dinners
and parties; all the ladies sent him boxes
of flowers and candies; and the village-band
played tunes under his window every night.

At last the Doctor said,

"Good people, I must go home now. You
have really been most kind. I shall always
remember it. But I must go home--for I have
things to do."

Then, just as the Doctor was about to leave,
the Mayor of the town came down the street
and a lot of other people in grand clothes with
him. And the Mayor stopped before the house
where the Doctor was living; and everybody in
the village gathered round to see what was going
to happen.

After six page-boys had blown on shining
trumpets to make the people stop talking, the
Doctor came out on to the steps and the Mayor

"Doctor John Dolittle," said he: "It is a
great pleasure for me to present to the man who
rid the seas of the Dragon of Barbary this little
token from the grateful people of our worthy

And the Mayor took from his pocket a little
tissue-paper packet, and opening it, he handed
to the Doctor a perfectly beautiful watch with
real diamonds in the back.

Then the Mayor pulled out of his pocket a
still larger parcel and said,

"Where is the dog?"

Then everybody started to hunt for Jip. And
at last Dab-Dab found him on the other side
of the village in a stable-yard, where all the
dogs of the country-side were standing round
him speechless with admiration and respect.

When Jip was brought to the Doctor's side,
the Mayor opened the larger parcel; and inside
was a dog-collar made of solid gold! And a
great murmur of wonder went up from the village-
folk as the Mayor bent down and fastened
it round the dog's neck with his own hands.

For written on the collar in big letters were

Then the whole crowd moved down to the
beach to see them off. And after the red-haired
fisherman and his sister and the little boy had
thanked the Doctor and his dog over and over
and over again, the great, swift ship with the
red sails was turned once more towards Puddleby
and they sailed out to sea, while the village-
band played music on the shore.



MARCH winds had come and gone; April's showers were
over; May's buds had opened into flower; and the June sun
was shining on the pleasant fields, when John Dolittle at
last got back to his own country.

But he did not yet go home to Puddleby.
First he went traveling through the land with
the pushmi-pullyu in a gipsy-wagon, stopping at
all the country-fairs. And there, with the acrobats
on one side of them and the Punch-and-
Judy show on the other, they would hang out
a big sign which read, "COME AND SEE THE

And the pushmi-pullyu would stay inside the
wagon, while the other animals would lie about
underneath. The Doctor sat in a chair in front
taking the sixpences and smiling on the people
as they went in; and Dab-Dab was kept busy
all the time scolding him because he would
let the children in for nothing when she wasn't

And menagerie-keepers and circus-men came
and asked the Doctor to sell them the strange
creature, saying they would pay a tremendous
lot of money for him. But the Doctor always
shook his head and said.

"No. The pushmi-pullyu shall never be shut
up in a cage. He shall be free always to come
and go, like you and me."

Many curious sights and happenings they saw
in this wandering life; but they all seemed quite
ordinary after the great things they had seen
and done in foreign lands. It was very interesting
at first, being sort of part of a circus;
but after a few weeks they all got dreadfully
tired of it and the Doctor and all of them were
longing to go home.

But so many people came flocking to the
little wagon and paid the sixpence to go inside and
see the pushmi-pullyu that very soon the Doctor
was able to give up being a showman.

And one fine day, when the hollyhocks were
in full bloom, he came back to Puddleby a rich
man, to live in the little house with the big

And the old lame horse in the stable was glad
to see him; and so were the swallows who had
already built their nests under the eaves of his
roof and had young ones. And Dab-Dab was
glad, too, to get back to the house she knew so
well--although there was a terrible lot of dusting
to be done, with cobwebs everywhere.

And after Jip had gone and shown his golden
collar to the conceited collie next-door, he came
back and began running round the garden like
a crazy thing, looking for the bones he had
buried long ago, and chasing the rats out of the
tool-shed; while Gub-Gub dug up the horseradish
which had grown three feet high in the
corner by the garden-wall.

And the Doctor went and saw the sailor who
had lent him the boat, and he bought two new
ships for him and a rubber-doll for his baby;
and he paid the grocer for the food he had lent
him for the journey to Africa. And he bought
another piano and put the white mice back in
it--because they said the bureau-drawer was

Even when the Doctor had filled the old
money-box on the dresser-shelf, he still had a
lot of money left; and he had to get three more
money-boxes, just as big, to put the rest in.

"Money," he said, "is a terrible nuisance.
But it's nice not to have to worry."

"Yes," said Dab-Dab, who was toasting
muffins for his tea, "it is indeed!"

And when the Winter came again, and the
snow flew against the kitchen-window, the Doctor
and his animals would sit round the big,
warm fire after supper; and he would read aloud
to them out of his books.

But far away in Africa, where the monkeys
chattered in the palm-trees before they went to
bed under the big yellow moon, they would say
to one another,

"I wonder what The Good Man's doing now
--over there, in the Land of the White Men!
Do you think he ever will come back?"

And Polynesia would squeak out from the vines,

"I think he will--I guess he will--I hope he will!"

And then the crocodile would grunt up at
them from the black mud of the river,

"I'm SURE he will--Go to sleep!"

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