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0105_001E Part Three Hugh Lofting

II Good-Bye!

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I looked around me and took in a deep breath. The Doctor was at the wheel steering the boat which was now leaping and plunging gently through the waves. (I had expected to feel seasick at first but was delighted to find that I didn't.) Bumpo had been told off to go downstairs and prepare dinner for us. Chee-Chee was coiling up ropes in the stern and laying them in neat piles. My work was fastening down the things on the deck so that nothing could roll about if the weather should grow rough when we got further from the land. Jip was up in the peak of the boat with ears cocked and nose stuck out-- like a statue, so still--his keen old eyes keeping a sharp look-out for floating wrecks, sand-bars, and other dangers. Each one of us had some special job to do, part of the proper running of a ship. Even old Polynesia was taking the sea's temperature with the Doctor's bath-ther-mometer tied on the end of a string, to make sure there were no icebergs near us. As I listened to her swearing softly to herself because she couldn't read the pesky figures in the fading light, I realized that the voyage had begun in earnest and that very soon it would be night--my first night at sea!

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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