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Part Six Hugh Lofting

V The Shellfish Riddle Solved At Last

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"No," said the Doctor, "I suppose that's true."

"Well now I tell you what you do," said she: "as soon as you get back to the palace you publish a royal proclamation that you are going away for a week into the country for your health. And you're going WITHOUT ANY SERVANTS, you understand--just like a plain person. It's called traveling incognito, when kings go off like that. They all do it--It's the only way they can ever have a good time. Then the week you're away you can spend lolling on the beach back there with the snail. How's that?"

"I'd like to," said the Doctor. "It sounds most attractive. But there's that new theatre to be built; none of our carpenters would know how to get those rafters on without me to show them-- And then there are the babies: these native mothers are so frightfully ignorant."

"Oh bother the theatre--and the babies too," snapped Polynesia. "The theatre can wait a week. And as for babies, they never have anything more than colic. How do you suppose babies got along before you came here, for heaven's sake?--Take a holiday. . . . You need it."

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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