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Part One Hugh Lofting

V Polynesia

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"Do you know if he ever went back in search of The Sleeping Beauty?" asked the Doctor.

"Oh yes," said Polynesia--"the day after you left. And a good thing for him he did: the king got to know about his helping you to escape; and he was dreadfully wild about it."

"And The Sleeping Beauty?--did he ever find her?"

"Well, he brought back something which he SAID was The Sleeping Beauty. Myself, I think it was an albino niggeress. She had red hair and the biggest feet you ever saw. But Bumpo was no end pleased with her and finally married her amid great rejoicings. The feastings lasted seven days. She became his chief wife and is now known out there as the Crown-Princess BumPAH--you accent the last syllable."

"And tell me, did he remain white?"

"Only for about three months," said the parrot. "After that his face slowly returned to its natural color. It was just as well. He was so conspicuous in his bathing-suit the way he was, with his face white and the rest of him black."

"And how is Chee-Chee getting on?--Chee-Chee," added the Doctor in explanation to me, "was a pet monkey I had years ago. I left him too in Africa when I came away."

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"Well," said Polynesia frowning,--"Chee-Chee is not entirely happy. I saw a good deal of him the last few years. He got dreadfully homesick for you and the house and the garden. It's funny, but I was just the same way myself. You remember how crazy I was to get back to the dear old land? And Africa IS a wonderful country--I don't care what anybody says. Well, I thought I was going to have a perfectly grand time. But somehow--I don't know--after a few weeks it seemed to get tiresome. I just couldn't seem to settle down. Well, to make a long story short, one night I made up my mind that I'd come back here and find you. So I hunted up old Chee-Chee and told him about it. He said he didn't blame me a bit--felt exactly the same way himself. Africa was so deadly quiet after the life we had led with you. He missed the stories you used to tell us out of your animal books-- and the chats we used to have sitting round the kitchen-fire on winter nights. The, animals out there were very nice to us and all that. But somehow the dear kind creatures seemed a bit stupid. Chee-Chee said he had noticed it too. But I suppose it wasn't they who had changed; it was we who were different. When I left, poor old Chee-Chee broke down and cried. He said he felt as though his only friend were leaving him-- though, as you know, he has simply millions of relatives there. He said it didn't seem fair that I should have wings to fly over here any time I liked, and him with no way to follow me. But mark my words, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he found a way to come--some day. He's a smart lad, is Chee-Chee."

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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