"Who is Cheapside?" asked Speedy.
"'Turn back, Jip!' gasped the Doctor"
"Over in No-Man's-Land," said Jip. "There are lots of bones there."
"From the bottom of the lake," said the turtle. "Out there," Mudface nodded toward the gloomy wide-stretching waters, "there stood, thousands of years ago, the beautiful city of Shalba. Don't I know, when for long enough I lived in it? Once it was the greatest and fairest city ever raised by men and King Mashtu of Shalba the proudest monarch in the world. Now I, Mudface the turtle, make a nest in the swamp out of the ruins of his palace. Ha! Ha!"
"The Doctor patted him on the shoulder"
"Dab-Dab looked over his shoulder"
"Well, in that way, keeping ahead of them and calling like a cat, I finally led the children right out of the woods. They did a good deal of stumbling and the girl's long hair often got caught in the bushes. But I always waited for them if they were lagging behind. At last, when we gained the open fields, we saw three houses on the sky line, and the middle one was all lighted up and people with lanterns were running around it, hunting in all directions.
"I think I'd like to try a hand at diving myself," said the Doctor, "if the water is not too deep. I used to be quite good at fishing up sixpences from the bottom of the swimming pool when I was a boy."
Now, one evening not long after the Golden Jays had gone west, the Doctor was writing letters in the post office by the light of a candle. It was late and all the animals were fast asleep long ago. Presently while he wrote he heard a sound a long way off, coming through the open window at his elbow. He put down his pen and listened.
On arriving back at the houseboat from his short and very busy holiday the Doctor was greeted joyfully by the pushmi-pullyu, Too-Too, Cheapside and Speedy the Skimmer. King Koko also came out to greet his friend when he saw the arrival of the Doctor's canoe through a pair of opera glasses (price ten shillings and sixpence) which he had recently got from London by parcel post. And the prominent Fantippans, who had missed their afternoon tea and social gossip terribly during the Postmaster's absence, got into their canoes and followed the King out to the Foreign Mails Office.
The lighthouse keepers were sorry to have the Doctor go and they wouldn't let him leave till he promised to come and take dinner with them next Sunday.
"A retriever came up with a gold watch and chain"
"What charming children you have," said the Doctor to the mother spoonbill, who was watching them proudly. "I'm glad they've got their playthings safely back. I wouldn't have had them lose them for anything."