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THE VOYAGES OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE
BY HUGH LOFTING
To Colin and Elizabeth
CONTENTS PART ONE PROLOGUE I THE COBBLER'S SON II I HEAR OF THE GREAT NATURALIST III THE DOCTOR'S HOME IV THE WIFF-WAFF V POLYNESIA VI THE WOUNDED SQUIRREL VII SHELLFISH TALK VIII ARE YOU A GOOD NOTICER? IX THE GARDEN OF DREAMS X THE PRIVATE ZOO XI MY SCHOOLMASTER, POLYNESIA XII MY GREAT IDEA XIII A TRAVELER ARRIVES XIV CHEE-CHEE'S VOYAGE XV I BECOME A DOCTOR'S ASSISTANT
PART TWO I THE CREW OF "THE CURLEW" II LUKE THE HERMIT III JIP AND THE SECRET IV BOB V MENDOZA VI THE JUDGE'S DOG VII THE END OF THE MYSTERY VIII THREE CHEERS IX THE PURPLE BIRD-OF-PARADISE X LONG ARROW, THE SON OF GOLDEN ARROW XI BLIND TRAVEL XII DESTINY AND DESTINATION
PART THREE I THE THIRD MAN II GOOD-BYE! III OUR TROUBLES BEGIN IV OUR TROUBLES CONTINUE V POLYNESIA HAS A PLAN VI THE BED-MAKER OF MONTEVERDE VII THE DOCTOR'S WAGER VIII THE GREAT BULLFIGHT IX WE DEPART IN A HURRY
PART FOUR I SHELLFISH LANGUAGES AGAIN II THE FIDGIT'S STORY III BAD WEATHER IV WRECKED! V LAND! VI THE JABIZRI VII HAWK'S-HEAD MOUNTAIN
PART FIVE I A GREAT MOMENT II "THE MEN OF THE MOVING, LAND" III FIRE IV WHAT MAKES AN ISLAND FLOAT V WAR! VI GENERAL POLYNESIA VII THE PEACE OF THE PARROTS VIII THE HANGING STONE IX THE ELECTION X THE CORONATION OF KING JONG
PART SIX I NEW POPSIPETEL II THOUGHTS OF HOME III THE RED MAN'S SCIENCE IV THE SEA-SERPENT V THE SHELLFISH RIDDLE SOLVED AT LAST VI THE LAST CABINET MEETING VII THE DOCTOR'S DECISION
THE VOYAGES OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE
PROLOGUE ALL that I have written so far about Doctor Dolittle I heard long after it happened from those who had known him--indeed a great deal of it took place before I was born. But I now come to set down that part of the great man's life which I myself saw and took part in.
Many years ago the Doctor gave me permission to do this. But we were both of us so busy then voyaging around the world, having adventures and filling note-books full of natural history that I never seemed to get time to sit down and write of our doings.
Now of course, when I am quite an old man, my memory isn't so good any more. But whenever I am in doubt and have to hesitate and think, I always ask Polynesia, the parrot.
That wonderful bird (she is now nearly two hundred and fifty years old) sits on the top of my desk, usually humming sailor songs to herself, while I write this book. And, as every one who ever met her knows, Polynesia's memory is the most marvelous memory in the world. If there is any happening I am not quite sure of, she is always able to put me right, to tell me exactly how it took place, who was there and everything about it. In fact sometimes I almost think I ought to say that this book was written by Polynesia instead of me.
Very well then, I will begin. And first of all I must tell you something about myself and how I came to meet the Doctor.
THE FIRST CHAPTER
THE COBBLER'S SON
MY name was Tommy Stubbins, son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh; and I was nine and a half years old. At that time Puddleby was only quite a small town. A river ran through the middle of it; and over this river there was a very old stone bridge, called Kingsbridge, which led you from the market-place on one side to the churchyard on the other.
Sailing-ships came up this river from the sea and anchored near the bridge. I used to go down and watch the sailors unloading the ships upon the river-wall. The sailors sang strange songs as they pulled upon the ropes; and I learned these songs by heart. And I would sit on the river-wall with my feet dangling over the water and sing with the men, pretending to myself that I too was a sailor.
For I longed always to sail away with those brave ships when they turned their backs on Puddleby Church and went creeping down the river again, across the wide lonely marshes to the sea. I longed to go with them out into the world to seek my fortune in foreign lands--Africa, India, China and Peru! When they got round the bend in the river and the water was hidden from view, you could still see their huge brown sails towering over the roofs of the town, moving onward slowly--like some gentle giants that walked among the houses without noise. What strange things would they have seen, I wondered, when next they came back to anchor at Kingsbridge! And, dreaming of the lands I had never seen, I'd sit on there, watching till they were out of sight.