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Part Two Hugh Lofting

VII The End Of The Mystery

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"While my master was busy scolding me Mendoza put his pistol in his pocket, came up with a smile on his face and looked down the mine.

" 'Why, Good Gracious'!" said he to Luke, 'You've killed Bluebeard Bill. I must go and tell the police'--hoping, you see, to get the whole mine to himself when Luke should be put in prison. Then he jumped on his horse and galloped away."

"And soon my master grew afraid; for he saw that if Mendoza only told enough lies to the police, it WOULD look as though he had killed Bill on purpose. So while Mendoza was gone he and I stole away together secretly and came to England. Here he shaved off his beard and became a hermit. And ever since, for fifteen years, we've remained in hiding. This is all I have to say. And I swear it is the truth, every word."

When the Doctor finished reading Bob's long speech the excitement among the twelve men of the jury was positively terrific. One, a very old man with white hair, began to weep in a loud voice at the thought of poor Luke hiding on the fen for fifteen years for something he couldn't help. And all the others set to whispering and nodding their heads to one another.

In the middle of all this up got that horrible Prosecutor again, waving his arms more wildly than ever.

"Your Honor," he cried, "I must object to this evidence as biased. Of course the dog would not tell the truth against his own master. I object. I protest."

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"Very well," said the judge, "you are at liberty to cross-examine. It is your duty as Prosecutor to prove his evidence untrue. There is the dog: question him, if you do not believe what he says."

I thought the long-nosed lawyer would have a fit. He looked first at the dog, then at the Doctor, then at the judge, then back at the dog scowling from the witness-box. He opened his mouth to say something; but no words came. He waved his arms some more. His face got redder and redder. At last, clutching his forehead, he sank weakly into his seat and had to be helped out of the court-room by two friends. As he was half carried through the door he was still feebly murmuring, "I protest--I object--I protest!"

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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