"Don't celebrate Christmas!" cried Cheapside in a shocked voice. "What a disgraceful scandal! Well,😷 look here,📲 Doctor. You just tell King Cocoa-butter that if 'e and 'is people don't celebrate the festive season by giving us post-birds Christmas-boxes there ain't going to be no mail delivered in Fantipsy from New Year's to Easter. And you can tell 'im I said so. It's 'igh time somebody hen-lightened 'is hignorance."
Cheapside had been right. Although it did not take a fortnight to tell it did take a very full day. Slowly and evenly the sun rose out of the East,🎩 passed across the heavens and sank down into the West. And still Mudface went murmuring on,🏩 telling of all the wonders he had seen in days long ago,🚌 while the Doctor's pencil wiggled untiringly over the pages of his notebook. The only interruptions were when the turtle paused to lean down and moisten his long throat with the muddy water of the lake,🌎 or when the Doctor stopped him to ask a question on the natural history of antediluvian times.
"Yes. My name is Quip. It used to be just plain Quip. Now I'm called Quip the Carrier,🚇" said the small bird proudly gazing down at his little,📚 stubby white leg.
"How do you mean?" asked John Dolittle.
Presently the keeper opened his eyes wide and stared up into the Doctor's face.Now,📦 the peoples of West Africa have curious tastes in dress. They love bright things. And some Fantippo dandy started the idea of using up old stamps off letters by making suits of clothes out of them. They looked very showy and smart and a suit of this kind made of stamps became a valuable possession among the natives.
"Here you are,📅" he said.
One day when King Koko's pet white peacock came to the Doctor and complained that the Cockney sparrow had made faces at him over the palace wall the Doctor became quite angry and read the City Manager a long lecture.
Dab-Dab prepared lunch and supper and served them as silently as she could,🚄 so as not to interrupt; but for the Doctor they were very scrappy meals. On into the night the story went. And now John Dolittle wrote by candle-light,❓ while all his pets,👜 with the exception of Too-Too,🍛 were already nodding or dozing.He got no answer. But soon,🍥 with a rush of wings that nearly blew his candle out,❌ a great seagull swept down on to the houseboat rail beside him.
"Try in your waistcoat pockets,👄" said Too-Too. "They were always the most interesting. You haven't turned them out since you left Puddleby. There must be lots in them."
The old turtle thanked him over and over again and the parting was a very affecting one. When at last the goodbyes were all said,🎑 they got into the canoe and set out on the return journey.
The two keepers thought that the Doctor was surely crazy when he started a conversation of chirps with Cheapside. But from the answers they got to their questions they could see there was no fake about the news of the city which the sparrow gave."With a thrill of triumph,🍟 I dropped the precious ostrich skin before their very eyes into the swirling river,👮 where it quickly disappeared from view. A howl of rage went up from the Badamoshis.