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HOME > Short Stories > The Story of Doctor Dolittle > THE NINETEENTH CHAPTER THE ROCK
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 U P they got, early next morning, out of the silken beds; and they saw that the sun was shining brightly and that the wind was blowing from the South.
Jip smelt the South wind for half an hour. Then he came to the Doctor, shaking his head.
“I smell no snuff as yet,” he said. “We must wait till the wind changes to the East.”
But even when the East wind came, at three o’clock that afternoon, the dog could not catch the smell of snuff.
The little boy was terribly disappointed and began to cry again, saying that no one seemed to be able to find his uncle for him. But all Jip said to the Doctor was,
“Tell him that when the wind changes to[160] the West, I’ll find his uncle even though he be in China—so long as he is still taking Black Rappee snuff.”
Three days they had to wait before the West wind came. This was on a Friday morning, early—just as it was getting light. A fine rainy mist lay on the sea like a thin fog. And the wind was soft and warm and wet.
Jip waking up the doctor
“‘Doctor!’ he cried. ‘I’ve got it!’”
As soon as Jip awoke he ran upstairs and poked his nose in the air. Then he got most frightfully excited and rushed down again to wake the Doctor up.
“Doctor!” he cried. “I’ve got it! Doctor![161] Doctor! Wake up! Listen! I’ve got it! The wind’s from the West and it smells of nothing but snuff. Come upstairs and start the ship—quick!”
So the Doctor tumbled out of bed and went to the rudder to steer the ship.
“Now I’ll go up to the front,” said Jip; “and you watch my nose—whichever way I point it, you turn the ship the same way. The man cannot be far off—with the smell as strong as this. And the wind’s all lovely and wet. Now watch me!”
So all that morning Jip stood in the front part of the ship, sniffing the wind and pointing the way for the Doctor to steer; while all the animals and the little boy stood round with their eyes wide open, watching the dog in wonder.
About lunch-time Jip asked Dab-Dab to tell the Doctor that he was getting worried and wanted to speak to him. So Dab-Dab went and fetched the Doctor from the other end of the ship and Jip said to him,
“The boy’s uncle is starving. We must make the ship go as fast as we can.”
“How do you know he is starving?” asked the Doctor.
“Because there is no other smell in the West wind but snuff,” said Jip. “If the man were cooking or eating food of any kind, I would be bound to smell it too. But he hasn’t even fresh water to drink. All he is taking is snuff—in large pinches. We are getting nearer to him all the time, because the smell grows stronger every minute. But make the ship go as fast as you can, for I am certain that the man is starving.”
“All right,” said the Doctor; and he sent Dab-Dab to ask the swallows to pull the ship, the same as they had done when the pirates were chasing them.
So the stout little birds came down and once more harnessed themselves to the ship.
And now the boat went bounding through the waves at a terrible speed. It went so fast that the fishes in the sea had to jump for their lives to get out of the way and not be run over.
And all the animals got tremendously excited; and they gave up looking at Jip and turned to[163] watch the sea in front, to spy out any land or islands where the starving man might be.
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