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Part Three Hugh Lofting

IX We Depart In A Hurry

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AS soon as the door closed behind the Doctor the most tremendous noise I have ever heard broke loose. Some of the men appeared to be angry (friends of Pepito's, I suppose) ; but the ladies called and called to have the Doctor come back into the ring.

When at length he did so, the women seemed to go entirely mad over him. They blew kisses to him. They called him a darling. Then they started taking off their flowers, their rings, their necklaces, and their brooches and threw them down at his feet. You never saw anything like it--a perfect shower of jewelry and roses.

But the Doctor just smiled up at them, bowed once more and backed out.

"Now, Bumpo," said Polynesia, "this is where you go down and gather up all those trinkets and we'll sell 'em. That's what the big matadors do: leave the jewelry on the ground and their assistants collect it for them. We might as well lay in a good supply of money while we've got the chance-- you never know when you may need it when you're traveling with the Doctor. Never mind the roses--you can leave them--but don't leave any rings. And when you've finished go and get your three-thousand pesetas out of Don Ricky-ticky. Tommy and I will meet you outside and we'll pawn the gew-gaws at that Jew's shop opposite the bed-maker's. Run along-- and not a word to the Doctor, remember."

Outside the bull-ring we found the crowd still in a great state of excitement. Violent arguments were going on everywhere. Bumpo joined us with his pockets bulging in all directions; and we made our way slowly through the dense crowd to that side of the building where the matadors' dressing-room was. The Doctor was waiting at the door for us.

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"Good work, Doctor!" said Polynesia, flying on to his shoulder--"Great work!--But listen: I smell danger. I think you had better get back to the ship now as quick and as quietly as you can. Put your overcoat on over that giddy suit. I don't like the looks of this crowd. More than half of them are furious because you've won. Don Ricky-ticky must now stop the bullfighting--and you know how they love it. What I'm afraid of is that some of these matadors who are just mad with jealousy may start some dirty work. I think this would be a good time for us to get away."

"I dare say you're right, Polynesia," said the Doctor--"You usually are. The crowd does seem to be a bit restless. I'll slip down to the ship alone--so I shan't be so noticeable; and I'll wait for you there. You come by some different way. But don't be long about it. Hurry!"

As soon as the Doctor had departed Bumpo sought out Don Enrique and said,

"Honorable Sir, you owe me three-thousand pesetas."

Without a word, but looking cross-eyed with annoyance, Don Enrique paid his bet.

We next set out to buy the provisions; and on the way we hired a cab and took it along with us.

Not very far away we found a big grocer's shop which seemed to sell everything to eat. We went in and bought up the finest lot of food you ever saw in your life.

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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