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"So you see, Doctor," the Jay ended, picking up his letters and getting ready to fly, "if it hadn't been for my ancestor Christopher Columbus would have had to turn back to please his sailors, or be killed. If it hadn't been for him America would not have been discovered in 1492later, perhaps, but not in 1492. Good-bye! I must be going. Thanks for the acorns."

And one day the King's brother came to the post office with a terrible cough and asked him in the same breath (or gasp) to give him five half-penny stamps and a cure for a cough. This gave the Doctor an idea. And the next gum which he invented for his stamps he called whooping-cough gum. He made it out of a special kind of sweet, sticky cough-mixture. He also invented a bronchitis gum, a mumps gum and several others. And whenever there was a catching disease in the town the Doctor would see that the proper kind of gum to cure it was issued on the stamps. It saved him a lot of trouble, because the people were always bothering him to cure colds and sore throats and things. And he was the first Postmaster General to use this way of getting rid of sicknessby serving round pleasant medicine on the backs of stamps. He called it stamping out an epidemic.

"'Undreds of them," said the sparrow"as big as rabbits. And that uppish you'd think they owned the place!"

And the Doctor wrote back:

And then an idea came to him.

"Jip, it's a Quiffenodochus, as sure as I'm alive!"

Then the Emir was puzzled and angry. If Nyam-Nyam could get pearls on the Harmattan Rocks, why couldn't he? And one of his generals said that probably the white man had something to do with it, since it was he who had discovered and started the fisheries.

And during the next week the Doctor paddled the old Chief to the rocks twice a day. A great number of oysters were fished up by the cormorants and the pearls were sorted by the Doctor, put in little boxes and sent out to be sold. John Dolittle told the old Chief to keep the matter a secret and only to intrust the carrying to reliable men.

A little while after that, by using the larger birds to carry packages, a regular parcel post every two months was put at the service of the Fantippans; and alarm clocks and all sorts of things from England were sent for.

"Everything all right now, Doctor?" he asked as he swept in graceful circles around the canoe.

Next Wednesday, July 18, the Red-Winged Plovers will leave this office for Denmark and points on the Skager Rack. Post your mail early, please. All letters should bear a four-penny stamp. Small packages will also be carried on this flight for Morocco, Portugal and the Channel Islands.

"I see," said the Doctor. "But the storms, what do you do in them to keep yourselves safe?"