The Last Cabinet Meeting

From the way Polynesia talked, I guessed that this idea of a holiday was part of her plan.

The Doctor made no reply; and we walked on silently towards the town. I could see, nevertheless that her words had made an impression on him.

After supper he disappeared from the palace without saying where he was going—a thing he had never done before. Of course we all knew where he had gone: back to the beach to sit up with the snail. We were sure of it because he had said nothing to Bumpo about attending to the matter.

As soon as the doors were closed upon the Cabinet Meeting that night, Polynesia addressed the Ministry:

“Look here, you fellows,” said she: “we’ve simply got to get the Doctor to take this holiday somehow—unless we’re willing to stay in this blessed island for the rest of our lives.”

“But what difference,” Bumpo asked, “is his taking a holiday going to make?”

Impatiently Polynesia turned upon the Minister of the Interior.

“Don’t you see? If he has a clear week to get thoroughly interested in his natural history again—marine stuff, his dream of seeing the floor of the ocean and all that—there may be some chance of his consenting to leave this pesky place. But while he is here on duty as king he never gets a moment to think of anything outside of the business of government.”

“Yes, that’s true. He’s far too consententious Bumpo agreed.

“And besides,” Polynesia went on, “his only hope of ever getting away from here would be to escape secretly. He’s got to leave while he is holiday-making, incognito—when no one knows where he is or what he’s doing, but us. If he built a ship big enough to cross the sea in, all the Indians would see it, and hear it, being built; and they’d ask what it was for. They would interfere. They’d sooner have anything happen than lose the Doctor. Why, I believe if they thought he had any idea of escaping they would put chains on him.”