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"Of a story?" cried Too-Too.

And he sent letters to various fellow naturalists whom he knew in different countries and gave them a whole lot of information about the yearly flights or migration of birds. Because, of course, in the bird mail business he learned a great deal on that subject that had never been known to naturalists before.

"'Good!' said the pig. 'I've come to the right place. Let us go on with the dinner.'

"We found they ran a better table for their passengers. With the Binnacle, who threw us out morning biscuits, afternoon tea and sandwiches last thing at nightas well as three square meals a daywe lived like fighting cocks. It nearly made sailors of us for good. It's a great lifeall you do is eat. I should say gulls are interested in men and ships, Doctorvery much so. Why, I wouldn't have an accident happen to a ship for anythingespecially a passenger ship."

"As he took a seat beside me on the doorstep I burst into tears and told him all that had happened to me since we left our parents' home.

"It's a big ship," panted the Skimmer, "with tall, high masts and, I should judge, a fast one. But it is coming this way and it is sailing with great care, afraid, I imagine, of shallows and sandbars. It is a very neat ship, smart and new-looking all over. And there are great big gunscannonslooking out of little doors in her sides. The men on her, too, are all well dressed in smart blue clothesnot like ordinary seamen at all. And on the ship's hull was painted some letteringher name, I suppose. Of course, I couldn't read it. But I remember what it looked like. Give me your hand and I'll show you."

This time the officers all burst out laughing and tapped their foreheads knowingly, to show they thought the Doctor was crazy. And the Captain, thinking he was being made a fool of, flew into a rage once more and was all for having the Doctor arrested again.

And in ten days' time he went to the prison, as he had said, to gloat over the terrible fate of the white man. Many of his ministers and generals came with him to help him gloat. But when the prison door was opened, instead of seeing the white man's body stretched upon the floor, the Emir found the Doctor smiling on the threshold, shaved and hearty and all spruced up. The only difference in his appearance was that with no exercise in prison he had grown slightly stouter and rounder.

"'Fine,' says he. 'Try that and see what happens!'

"Oh, quite," said the Doctor, "thank you. But why did you swim under water?"

"Well, for what parts of the world do you want to know the weather, Doctor?" asked the gull. "If it's just for Fantippo or West Africa it will be easy as pie. All you ever get here is tornadoes. The rest of the year is just frying heat. But if you want to prophesy the weather for the Straits of Magellan or Nova Zembla or those countries where they have all sorts of fancy weathers, it will be a different matter. Even prophesying the weather for England would keep you busy. Myself, I never thought that the weather itself knew what it was going to do next in England."

"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.

"Lor' bless us!" muttered Cheapside. "What a wonderful piano-mover 'e would make to be sure! Great Carter Patterson! Does 'e think the Doctor's goin' to 'ang that on 'is watch-chain?"