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Part Six Hugh Lofting

III The Red Man's Science

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Returning to the Reception Room, we were shown some red roots which Long Arrow told us had the property, when made into a soup with sugar and salt, of causing people to dance with extraordinary speed and endurance. He asked us to try them; but we refused, thanking him. After Bumpo's exhibition we were a little afraid of any more experiments for the present.

There was no end to the curious and useful things that Long Arrow had collected: an oil from a vine which would make hair grow in one night; an orange as big as a pumpkin which he had raised in his own mountain-garden in Peru; a black honey (he had brought the bees that made it too and the seeds of the flowers they fed on) which would put you to sleep, just with a teaspoonful, and make you wake up fresh in the morning; a nut that made the voice beautiful for singing; a water-weed that stopped cuts from bleeding; a moss that cured snake-bite; a lichen that prevented sea-sickness.

The Doctor of course was tremendously interested. Well into the early hours of the morning he was busy going over the articles on the table one by one, listing their names and writing their properties and descriptions into a note-book as Long Arrow dictated.

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"There are things here, Stubbins," he said as he ended, "which in the hands of skilled druggists will make a vast difference to the medicine and chemistry of the world. I suspect that this sleeping-honey by itself will take the place of half the bad drugs we have had to use so far. Long Arrow has discovered a pharmacopaeia of his own. Miranda was right: he is a great naturalist. His name deserves to be placed beside Linnaeus. Some day I must get all these things to England--But when," he added sadly--"Yes, that's the problem: when?"

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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