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|The Story of Doctor Dolittle||Hugh Lofting|
The Monkeys Council
|Page 1 of 2||
CHEE-CHEE stood outside the Doctor's door, keeping everybody away till he woke up. Then John Dolittle told the monkeys that he must now go back to Puddleby.
They were very surprised at this; for they had thought that he was going to stay with them forever. And that night all the monkeys got together in the jungle to talk it over.
And the Chief Chimpanzee rose up and said,
"Why is it the good man is going away? Is he not happy here with us?"
But none of them could answer him.
Then the Grand Gorilla got up and said,
"I think we all should go to him and ask him to stay. Perhaps if we make him a new house and a bigger bed, and promise him plenty of monkey-servants to work for him and to make life pleasant for him--perhaps then he will not wish to go."
Then Chee-Chee got up; and all the others whispered, "Sh! Look! Chee-Chee, the great Traveler, is about to speak!"
And Chee-Chee said to the other monkeys,
"My friends, I am afraid it is useless to ask the Doctor to stay. He owes money in Puddleby; and he says he must go back and pay it."
And the monkeys asked him, "What is MONEY?"
Then Chee-Chee told them that in the Land of the White Men you could get nothing without money; you could DO nothing without money--that it was almost impossible to LIVE without money.
And some of them asked, "But can you not even eat and drink without paying?"
But Chee-Chee shook his head. And then he told them that even he, when he was with the organ-grinder, had been made to ask the children for money.
And the Chief Chimpanzee turned to the Oldest Orangoutang and said, "Cousin, surely these Men be strange creatures! Who would wish to live in such a land? My gracious, how paltry!"
Then Chee-Chee said,
"When we were coming to you we had no boat to cross the sea in and no money to buy food to eat on our journey. So a man lent us some biscuits; and we said we would pay him when we came back. And we borrowed a boat from a sailor; but it was broken on the rocks when we reached the shores of Africa. Now the Doctor says he must go back and get the sailor another boat--because the man was poor and his ship was all he had."
And the monkeys were all silent for a while, sitting quite still upon the ground and thinking hard.
At last the Biggest Baboon got up and said,
"I do not think we ought to let this good man leave our land till we have given him a fine present to take with him, so that he may know we are grateful for all that he has done for us."
And a little, tiny red monkey who was sitting up in a tree shouted down,
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