The Election

We were awakened by music. The glaring noonday sunlight was streaming in at our door, outside of which some kind of a band appeared to be playing.

We got up and looked out. Our house was surrounded by the whole population of Popsipetel. We were used to having quite a number of curious and admiring Indians waiting at our door at all hours; but this was quite different. The vast crowd was dressed in its best clothes. Bright beads, gawdy feathers and gay blankets gave cheerful color to the scene. Every one seemed in very good humor, singing or playing on musical instruments—mostly painted wooden whistles or drums made from skins.

We found Polynesia—who while we slept had arrived back from Bag-jagderag—sitting on our door-post watching the show. We asked her what all the holiday-making was about.

“The result of the election has just been announced,” said she. “The name of the new chief was given out at noon.”

“And who is the new chief?” asked the Doctor.

“You are,” said Polynesia quietly.

“I!” gasped the Doctor—“Well, of all things!”

“Yes,” said she. “You’re the one—And what’s more, they’ve changed your surname for you. They didn’t think that Dolittle was a proper or respectful name for a man who had done so much. So you are now to be known as Jong Thinkalot. How do you like it?”

“But I don’t want to be a chief,” said the Doctor in an irritable voice.

“I’m afraid you’ll have hard work to get out of it now,” said she—“unless you’re willing to put to sea again in one of their rickety canoes. You see you’ve been elected not merely the Chief of the Popsipetels; you’re to be a king—the King of the whole of Spidermonkey Island.