Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Part Six Hugh Lofting

VII The Doctor's Decision

Page 4 of 6

Table Of Contents: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"Here it is, Doctor," said Bumpo producing the hat, old, battered and beloved, from under his coat. Polynesia had indeed thought of everything.

Yet even now we could see the Doctor was still trying to think up further excuses.

"Oh Kindly One," said Long Arrow, "why tempt ill fortune? Your way is clear. Your future and your work beckon you back to your foreign home beyond the sea. With you will go also what lore I too have gathered for mankind-- to lands where it will be of wider use than it can ever here. I see the glimmerings of dawn in the eastern heaven. Day is at hand. Go before your subjects are abroad. Go before your project is discovered. For truly I believe that if you go not now you will linger the remainder of your days a captive king in Popsipetel."

Great decisions often take no more than a moment in the making. Against the now paling sky I saw the Doctor's figure suddenly stiffen. Slowly he lifted the Sacred Crown from off his head and laid it on the sands.

And when he spoke his voice was choked with tears.

"They will find it here," he murmured, "when they come to search for me. And they will know that I have gone. . . . My children, my poor children!-- I wonder will they ever understand why it was I left them. . . . I wonder will they ever understand--and forgive."

He took his old hat from Bumpo; then facing Long Arrow, gripped his outstretched hand in silence.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"You decide aright, oh Kindly One," said the Indian--"though none will miss and mourn you more than Long Arrow, the son of Golden Arrow--Farewell, and may good fortune ever lead you by the hand!"

It was the first and only time I ever saw the Doctor weep. Without a word to any of us, he turned and moved down the beach into the shallow water of the sea.

The snail humped up its back and made an opening between its shoulders and the edge of its shell. The Doctor clambered up and passed within. We followed him, after handing up the baggage. The opening shut tight with a whistling suction noise.

Then turning in the direction of the East, the great creature began moving smoothly forward, down the slope into the deeper waters.

Just as the swirling dark green surf was closing in above our heads, the big morning sun popped his rim up over the edge of the ocean. And through our transparent walls of pearl we saw the watery world about us suddenly light up with that most wondrously colorful of visions, a daybreak beneath the sea.

The rest of the story of our homeward voyage is soon told.

Our new quarters we found very satisfactory. Inside the spacious shell, the snail's wide back was extremely comfortable to sit and lounge on-- better than a sofa, when you once got accustomed to the damp and clammy feeling of it. He asked us, shortly after we started, if we wouldn't mind taking off our boots, as the hobnails in them hurt his back as we ran excitedly from one side to another to see the different sights.

Page 4 of 6 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004