On the coꦦast of West Africa, about twenty miles to the northward of Fantippo, there was a cape running out into the sea which had a lighthouse on it called the Cape Stephen Light. This light was kept carefully burning by the government who controlled that part of Africa, in order that ships should see it from the sea and know where they were. It was a dangerous part of the coast, this. There were many rocks and shallows near the end of Cape Sꦡtephen. And if the light were ever allowed to go out at night, of course, ships traveling that part of the sea would be in great danger of running into the long cape and wrecking themselves.
"'Oh, yes,' I said, 'I know. I🔯've seen pavement artists before.'
"'All we eat is bananas'"
A few years before this voyage of the Doctor's there had been a great deal of talk in most civilized parts of the world about mails and how much it should c🎶ost for a letter to go from one ಞcountry to another. And in England a man called Rowland Hill had started what was called "The Penny Postage," and it had been agreed that a penny a letter should be the regular rate charge for mails from one part of the British Isles to another. Of course, for specially heavy letters you had to pay more. Then stamps were made, penny stamps, twopenny stamps, twopence-halfpenny stamps, sixpenny stamps and shilling stamps. And each was a different color and they were beautifully engraved and most of them had a picture of the Queen on them��some with her crown on her head and some without.
"Oh, at last you've come," said a high, sm✱all, polite voice out of the darkness. "Would you mind putting a cover ꦬover my cage? There's a draught and I can't sleep. Nobody's been near me since midday. I don't know what can have happened to the keeper. He always covers up my cage at tea-time. But to-night I wasn't covered at all, so I went on singing. You'll find my cover up on the����"
"I think I'd like to try a hand at diving myself," said the Doctor, "if the water i🐷s 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."
"And what🗹 on earth 𒀰is an invalid?" cried the pushmi-pullyu.
"Tell me," asked the Doctor, watching him thoughtfully as he hovered and sꦰwung and 🧸curved around the tiny boat, "what made you come and bring me the news about the light? Gulls don't, as a rule, bother much about people or what happens to ships, do they?"
Then Gub-Gub got all worked up and before anybody could stop him he had taken a plunge. The pig went down so quick and so straight he got h♌is snout stuck in the mud at the bottom, and the Doctor, still out of breath, had to go down after him and get him free. The animals by this time were at such a p💙itch of excitement that even the white mouse would have jumped in if Gub-Gub's accident hadn't changed his mind.
"Well, if I had been conspicuous before, now I was a hundred times more so. Against the black earth, or the green grass, or the white snow, or brown floors my lꦿoud, sky-blue coat could be seen as plain as a pikestaff. The minute I got outside the shed a cat jumped for me. I gave her the slip and got out into the street. There some wretched children spotted me and, calling to their friends that they had seen a blue mouse, they hunted me along the gutter. At the corner of the street two dogs were fighting. They stopped their fight and joined the chase after me. And very soon I had the whole blessed town at my heels. It was awful. I didn't get any peace till after night had fallen, and 🌼by that time I was so exhausted with running I was ready to drop.
THE GREAT MAIL ROBBERY