“Well, Miranda,” said the Doctor. “I’m terribly sorry this has happened. But you mustn’t mind Cheapside; he doesn’t know any better. He’s a city bird; and all his life he has had to squabble for a living. You must make allowances. He doesn’t know any better.”
Miranda stretched her gorgeous wings wearily. Now that I saw her awake and moving I noticed what a superior, well-bred manner she had. There were tears in her eyes and her beak was trembling.
“I wouldn’t have minded so much,” she said in a high silvery voice, “if I hadn’t been so dreadfully worn out—That and something else,” she added beneath her breath.
“Did you have a hard time getting here?” asked the Doctor.
“The worst passage I ever made,” said Miranda. “The weather—Well there. What’s the use? I’m here anyway.”
“Tell me,” said the Doctor as though he had been impatiently waiting to say something for a long time: “what did Long Arrow say when you gave him my message?”
The Purple Bird-of-Paradise hung her head.
“That’s the worst part of it,” she said. “I might almost as well have not come at all. I wasn’t able to deliver your message. I couldn’t find him. Long Arrow, the son of Golden Arrow, has disappeared!”
“Disappeared!” cried the Doctor. “Why, what’s become of him?”
“Nobody knows,” Miranda answered. “He had often disappeared before, as I have told you—so that the Indians didn’t know where he was. But it’s a mighty hard thing to hide away from the birds. I had always been able to find some owl or martin who could tell me where he was—if I wanted to know. But not this time.