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|The Story of Doctor Dolittle||Hugh Lofting|
The Bridge Of Apes
|Page 3 of 3||
But the Captain had very long ears--though his hair was very short. And as he sprang forward to take hold of the Doctor, one of his ears caught fast in a tree; and the rest of the army had to stop and help him.
By this time the Doctor had picked himself up, and on they went again, running and running. And Chee-Chee shouted,
"It's all right! We haven't far to go now!"
But before they could get into the Land of the Monkeys, they came to a steep cliff with a river flowing below. This was the end of the Kingdom of Jolliginki; and the Land of the Monkeys was on the other side--across the river.
And Jip, the dog, looked down over the edge of the steep, steep cliff and said,
"Golly! How are we ever going to get across?"
"Oh, dear!" said Gub-Gub. "The King's men are quite close now--Look at them! I am afraid we are going to be taken back to prison again." And he began to weep.
But the big monkey who was carrying the pig dropped him on the ground and cried out to the other monkeys.
"Boys--a bridge! Quick!--Make a bridge! We've only a minute to do it. They've got the Captain loose, and he's coming on like a deer. Get lively! A bridge! A bridge!"
The Doctor began to wonder what they were going to make a bridge out of, and he gazed around to see if they had any boards hidden any place.
But when he looked back at the cliff, there, hanging across the river, was a bridge all ready for him--made of living monkeys! For while his back was turned, the monkeys--quick as a flash--had made themselves into a bridge, just by holding hands and feet.
And the big one shouted to the Doctor, "Walk over! Walk over--all of you--hurry!"
Gub-Gub was a bit scared, walking on such a narrow bridge at that dizzy height above the river. But he got over all right; and so did all of them.
John Dolittle was the last to cross. And just as he was getting to the other side, the King's men came rushing up to the edge of the cliff.
Then they shook their fists and yelled with rage. For they saw they were too late. The Doctor and all his animals were safe in the Land of the Monkeys and the bridge was pulled across to the other side.
Then Chee-Chee turned to the Doctor and said,
"Many great explorers and gray-bearded naturalists have lain long weeks hidden in the jungle waiting to see the monkeys do that trick. But we never let a white man get a glimpse of it before. You are the first to see the famous `Bridge of Apes.'"
And the Doctor felt very pleased.
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