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|The Story of Doctor Dolittle||Hugh Lofting|
Polynesia And The King
|Page 2 of 2||
So that night, when the moon was shining through the palm-trees and all the King's men were asleep, the parrot slipped out through the bars of the prison and flew across to the palace. The pantry window had been broken by a tennis ball the week before; and Polynesia popped in through the hole in the glass.
She heard Prince Bumpo snoring in his bedroom at the back of the palace. Then she tip-toed up the stairs till she came to the King's bedroom. She opened the door gently and peeped in.
The Queen was away at a dance that night at her cousin's; but the King was in bed fast asleep.
Polynesia crept in, very softly, and got under the bed.
Then she coughed--just the way Doctor Dolittle used to cough. Polynesia could mimic any one.
The King opened his eyes and said sleepily: "Is that you, Ermintrude?" (He thought it was the Queen come back from the dance.)
Then the parrot coughed again--loud, like a man. And the King sat up, wide awake, and said, "Who's that?"
"I am Doctor Dolittle," said the parrot--just the way the Doctor would have said it.
"What are you doing in my bedroom?" cried the King. "How dare you get out of prison! Where are you?--I don't see you."
But the parrot just laughed--a long, deep jolly laugh, like the Doctor's.
"Stop laughing and come here at once, so I can see you," said the King.
"Foolish King!" answered Polynesia. "Have you forgotten that you are talking to John Dolittle, M.D.--the most wonderful man on earth? Of course you cannot see me. I have made myself invisible. There is nothing I cannot do. Now listen: I have come here to-night to warn you. If you don't let me and my animals travel through your kingdom, I will make you and all your people sick like the monkeys. For I can make people well: and I can make people ill-- just by raising my little finger. Send your soldiers at once to open the dungeon door, or you shall have mumps before the morning sun has risen on the hills of Jolliginki."
Then the King began to tremble and was very much afraid.
"Doctor," he cried, "it shall be as you say. Do not raise your little finger, please!" And he jumped out of bed and ran to tell the soldiers to open the prison door.
As soon as he was gone, Polynesia crept downstairs and left the palace by the pantry window.
But the Queen, who was just letting herself in at the backdoor with a latch-key, saw the parrot getting out through the broken glass. And when the King came back to bed she told him what she had seen.
Then the King understood that he had been tricked, and he was dreadfully angry. He hurried back to the prison at once
But he was too late. The door stood open. The dungeon was empty. The Doctor and all his animals were gone.
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|The Story of Doctor Dolittle
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