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|The Story of Doctor Dolittle||Hugh Lofting|
|Page 2 of 3||
"If we only had Polynesia with us," said the white mouse. "SHE would soon think of some way. Do you remember how she got us all out of prison--the second time? My, but she was a clever one!"
"I don't think so much of those eagle-fellows,"said Jip. "They're just conceited. They may have very good eyesight and all that; but when you ask them to find a man for you, they can't do it--and they have the cheek to come back and say that nobody else could do it. They're just conceited--like that collie in Puddleby. And I don't think a whole lot of those gossipy old porpoises either. All they could tell us was that the man isn't in the sea. We don't want to know where he ISN'T--we want to know where he IS."
"Oh, don't talk so much," said Gub-Gub. "It's easy to talk; but it isn't so easy to find a man when you have got the whole world to hunt him in. Maybe the fisherman's hair has turned white, worrying about the boy; and that was why the eagles didn't find him. You don't know everything. You're just talking. You are not doing anything to help. You couldn't find the boy's uncle any more than the eagles could--you couldn't do as well."
"Couldn't I?" said the dog. "That's all you know, you stupid piece of warm bacon! I haven't begun to try yet, have I? You wait and see!"
Then Jip went to the Doctor and said,
"Ask the boy if he has anything in his pockets that belonged to his uncle, will you, please?"
So the Doctor asked him. And the boy showed them a gold ring which he wore on a piece of string around his neck because it was too big for his finger. He said his uncle gave it to him when they saw the pirates coming.
Jip smelt the ring and said,
"That's no good. Ask him if he has anything else that belonged to his uncle."
Then the boy took from his pocket a great, big red handkerchief and said, "This was my uncle's too."
As soon as the boy pulled it out, Jip shouted,
"SNUFF, by Jingo!--Black Rappee snuff. Don't you smell it? His uncle took snuff-- Ask him, Doctor."
The Doctor questioned the boy again; and he said, "Yes. My uncle took a lot of snuff."
"Fine!" said Jip. "The man's as good as found. 'Twill be as easy as stealing milk from a kitten. Tell the boy I'll find his uncle for him in less than a week. Let us go upstairs and see which way the wind is blowing."
"But it is dark now," said the Doctor. "You can't find him in the dark!"
"I don't need any light to look for a man who smells of Black Rappee snuff," said Jip as he climbed the stairs. "If the man had a hard smell, like string, now--or hot water, it would be different. But SNUFF!--Tut, tut!"
"Does hot water have a smell?" asked the Doctor.
"Certainly it has," said Jip. "Hot water smells quite different from cold water. It is warm water--or ice--that has the really difficult smell. Why, I once followed a man for ten miles on a dark night by the smell of the hot water he had used to shave with--for the poor fellow had no soap.... Now then, let us see which way the wind is blowing. Wind is very important in long-distance smelling. It mustn't be too fierce a wind--and of course it must blow the right way. A nice, steady, damp breeze is the best of all.... Ha!--This wind is from the North."
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