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HOME > Short Stories > The Story of Doctor Dolittle > THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER TOO-TOO, THE LISTENER
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 H AVING thanked the sharks again for their kindness, the Doctor and his pets set off once more on their journey home in the swift ship with the three red sails.
As they moved out into the open sea, the animals all went downstairs to see what their new boat was like inside; while the Doctor leant on the rail at the back of the ship with a pipe in his mouth, watching the Canary Islands fade away in the blue dusk of the evening.
While he was standing there, wondering how the monkeys were getting on—and what his garden would look like when he got back to Puddleby, Dab-Dab came tumbling up the stairs, all smiles and full of news.
“Doctor!” she cried. “This ship of the pirates[134] is simply beautiful—absolutely. The beds downstairs are made of primrose silk—with hundreds of big pillows and cushions; there are thick, soft carpets on the floors; the dishes are made of silver; and there are all sorts of good things to eat and drink—special things; the larder—well, it’s just like a shop, that’s all. You never saw anything like it in your life—Just think—they kept five different kinds of sardines, those men! Come and look.... Oh, and we found a little room down there with the door locked; and we are all crazy to get in and see what’s inside. Jip says it must be where the pirates kept their treasure. But we can’t open the door. Come down and see if you can let us in.”
So the Doctor went downstairs and he saw that it was indeed a beautiful ship. He found the animals gathered round a little door, all talking at once, trying to guess what was inside. The Doctor turned the handle but it wouldn’t open. Then they all started to hunt for the key. They looked under the mat; they looked under all the carpets; they looked in all the cupboards and[135] drawers and lockers—in the big chests in the ship’s dining-room; they looked everywhere.
While they were doing this they discovered a lot of new and wonderful things that the pirates must have stolen from other ships: Kashmir shawls as thin as a cobweb, embroidered with flowers of gold; jars of fine tobacco from Jamaica; carved ivory boxes full of Russian tea; an old violin with a string broken and a picture on the back; a set of big chess-men, carved out of coral and amber; a walking-stick which had a sword inside it when you pulled the handle; six wine-glasses with tourquoise and silver round the rims; and a lovely great sugar-bowl, made of mother o’ pearl. But nowhere in the whole boat could they find a key to fit that lock.
So they all came back to the door, and Jip peered through the key-hole. But something had been stood against the wall on the inside and he could see nothing.
While they were standing around, wondering what they should do, the owl, Too-Too, suddenly said,
“Sh!—Listen!—I do believe there’s some one in there!”
They all kept still a moment. Then the Doctor said,
Animals listening at door
“‘Sh!—Listen!—I do beli............
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