"What is it, Carlo? What's he got?"
"Who are you?" she said.
"Ohâ€”you've just put on the best display I've ever seen, that's all," said Dr. Malone. "What were you doing? What were you thinking?"
And a moment later he was on the grass under the palm trees, and a second or two afterward Lyra followed.
"So what have you been up to, Lizzie?" the old man said. "Did you find out more about those skulls?"
"Ah," said the man as the daemon slipped slowly off his arm and let her weight into the golden monkey's hands. The monkey raised her slowly to his face and ran his cheek softly along her emerald skin. Her tongue flicked blackly this way and that, and the man sighed.
They avoided the engine, though some were drawn into it and dashed to pieces by the slicing propellers. Most of the birds simply perched on the body of the zeppelin, and those that came next seized on to them, until they covered not only the whole body of the craft (now venting hydrogen through a thousand tiny claw holes) but the windows of the cabin too, and the struts and cablesâ€”every square inch of room had a bird, two birds, three or more, clinging to it.