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0105_001E Part Five Hugh Lofting

IV What Makes An Island Float

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Table Of Contents: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

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"What a pecurious phenometer!" said Bumpo.

"It is indeed," said the Doctor. "I must make a note of that." And out came the everlasting note-book.

The porpoises went bounding off towards the icebergs. And not long after, we saw the sea heaving and frothing as a big herd of whales came towards us at full speed.

They certainly were enormous creatures; and there must have been a good two hundred of them.

"Here they are," said the porpoises, poking their heads out of the water.

"Good!" said the Doctor. "Now just explain to them, will you please? that this is a very serious matter for all the living creatures in this land. And ask them if they will be so good as to go down to the far end of the island, put their noses against it and push it back near the coast of Southern Brazil."

The porpoises evidently succeeded in persuading the whales to do as the Doctor asked; for presently we saw them thrashing through the seas, going off towards the south end of the island.

Then we lay down upon the beach and waited.

After about an hour the Doctor got up and threw a stick into the water. For a while this floated motionless. But soon we saw it begin to move gently down the coast.

"Ah!" said the Doctor, "see that?--The island is going North at last. Thank goodness!"

Faster and faster we left the stick behind; and smaller and dimmer grew the icebergs on the skyline.

The Doctor took out his watch, threw more sticks into the water and made a rapid calculation.

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"Humph!--Fourteen and a half knots an hour," he murmured--"A very nice speed. It should take us about five days to get back near Brazil. Well, that's that-- Quite a load off my mind. I declare I feel warmer already. Let's go and get something to eat."

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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