Abbildungen der Seite

gone and raised a scare. A smart man neath them. Replacing the bag, he gets hold of it for a Press Intelligence went on-mercilessly: office, and it's all over the country like "It was lucky that it was you that a shot. And that's all about it!".

took the bag, sir, at any rate. If it That was really all about it. The had been one of those prying, inquisi. story was complete, with no necessity tive people I have been speaking of, on my part for a single question. It why, I might have got into no end of was only too easy to see how things a bother. It's a good thing to travel bad fallen out. Ah, if I had only re- with gentlemen." frained from looking into those cases! I hated the man at that moment. The

By this time the Chief of Police was Chief, from his corner, was watching looking into them. Mr. Ashdon took me, and I felt, though I did not see, up the first, and held it out so that we the gleam of amusement in his eyes. might see the coronet upon it.

With it all I could only take off my "The Lenstoi coronet," he said, glasses, rub them for a very long time, briefly. Then he opened the case, and and return them to their place. In my passed the diamond necklace over to heart I thanked Heaven that we were the Chief. “Now," he said, "just look nearing the end of our journey. at some of our work. Can you tell it It was a relief that Mr. Ashdon, hayfrom the real thing?

ing been placed on the trail of business, I had failed before and could only could not easily leave it. He como gaze at the lustrous pieces in mute mis- menced to tell us now how the Coun. ery; but the Chief turned the necklace tess's diamonds had been made, and over carefully, and then stood up in the how such articles are generally manucentre of the carriage. Holding one of the factured. The Chief displayed a good largest jewels to the lamp, he slowly deal of interest; but I could only listen moved it this way and that, to catch the stupidly. There was, I remember, a light at different angles.

curious jumble of references to “May“Why, you are an expert!” cried Mr. ence" base, rock-crystal, salt of tartar, Ashdon.

white-lead, powdered borax, manganThe officer smiled, and gave the neck- ese and metallic oxides. There was lace back.

also a considerable talk of hot and cold “Not exactly," he said; "but I had water, crucibles and mortars; for the an opportunity to study the subject making of paste diamonds seemed to once, and thought it worth while to do be a somewhat complicated affair; but so. The power of refraction, of course, when we ran into Hinton Junction Mr. is the simplest test of all."

Ashdon drew himself up with a jerk. He returned to his seat, and Mr. Ash- "Upon my word,” he said, “here we don began to return his wares to the are! I suppose we have to part now. bag. Perhaps he thought as he did so I'm afraid I've bored you; but at least that it was a good thing that they were I've tried to give you a little informaonly paste after all. “It is very sel- tion. If at any time, Mr. Crossley, you dom," he said, “that I meet a person happen to find a hoard of diamonds in who knows the difference. You would- another man's bag, you will be able n't know it, Mr. Crossley-would you? now to say at once whether they are - you?

genuine stones or not." He was returning to the attack. Once The train stopped, and I hastened to again I began to wish myself out of get out. The Chief followed, and stood the carriage. His keen eyes were upon beside me on the platform. Mr. Ashmy face, and I moved helplessly be- don shook hands through the open door It ap

and gave a quick look all round. He had not been stolen, but that the Counsaw a couple of men standing together tess herself had placed them in security at the station entrance.

before going out. The subject was "Ah!” he said, "so your friends are dropped at once as far as the public waiting. Dear me, Mr. Crossley, they was concerned, and I should have been look very much like-policemen!" the last to revive it if I had not been

I did not wait to hear another word. obliged to do so in self-defence. The That remark explained everything. He story is bad enough in any case, but had, no doubt, recognized the Chief at not so bad as some have painted it. In once, and had been enjoying his dis- fact, a distorted version of my advencovery throughout the journey. I hur- ture has lately been published. ried across the platform; but before I peared first in a Boltport sheet, under had reached the other side the Chief's the heading, “The Prying Professor, hand was on my sleeve.

the Chief Constable and the Paste Dia“It is useless to go out," he said. “We monds." I was described in this as "a could scarcely get rooms to-night. It prying old gentleman, whose lack of will be better to stay here in the wait- the sense of humor is only less coning-room, and catch the first train spicuous than his conceit, bis ill-temper back."

and his love of meddling." This absurd "When will that be?"

slander gradually went the round of He looked at his watch. “At six-fit- the county press, and certain people teen in the morning," he answered, have at last connected it with me. It coldly.

appeared in another form in a higher Five hours! This was pleasant, in- place. This was in the columns of the deed! I stood mute in doubt and help- Spectator, where my recently-published less wrath; and while I stood the train Carlyle discoveries have provoked so by which we had come began to move much discussion. In a letter dated from out of the station. I saw the compart- Leachester, the inquiries which resultment we had occupied, and saw Mr. ed in my possession of those docu. Ashdon in it. He was leaning back in

ments were declared to be "an unwarhis corner seat, looking over at us and rantable intrusion into the private comsmiling

partments of Another Man's Bag!"

My narrative, I believe, will show As you will have guessed, Mr. Ash- that I was the victim of circumstances don's story was correct in every partic- rather than of a vulgar, prying curiular. In the morning papers it was

osity. It will also explain why I am explained that the Lenstoi diamonds now so careful as to my luggage. Chambers's Journal.

W. E. Cule.

[ocr errors]


"My door," saith Lowly heart, “is all unbarred,"
And sets a lamp, and keepeth fearful guard;
Pride praises God that all his bolts are strict,
And smiles at robbers wbile the safe is picked.

Frederick Langbridge.


I have no desire to raise the ques- seem to possess more senses than the tion as to how certain colors change in cuttles, this might give the fishes an the skin of the cuttle-fishes, whether advantage in fighting the battle of life. by volition or otherwise. My purpose Here, I purpose to take the faculties is only to record facts. Just now I am of the cuttle in succession.. only touching the fringe of a very great The Eyes consist of a single pair, subject, although Mr. Bate began it so one on each side of the head, and are long ago. Like my article on the large and brilliant-superior as an orcrabs, this also will be written on gan of vision to those of many of the hypothetical lines-although showing vertebrates, and presenting peculiarvoluntary actions in these creatures- ities of great interest to the anatomist. leaving to the future the final decision. The Ears are two chambers or cav

These cephalopods are true mollusks, ities behind the eyes, in each of which although they make the nearest ap- is suspended a sac containing a clear proach of all known creatures to the fluid and an otolith or ear-stone. Cutvertebrate forms. Here, for the first tles are very quick of hearing; and time, we have a distinct brain enclosed great caution is needed when trying to in a brain pan of jelly or cartilage an- catch them, so that no noise may be swering to the skull in the higher made. forms of life.

The Taste.-In the mouth is a large Beside this rudimentary skull, a few fleshy tongue, the structure of which of this species have also a spinal col- indicates a great development in the umn in shadow; for I think it doubtful sense of taste; in fact, we know of no if it is in its initiatory stage. In some marine animal which has such facilit is in the form of a clear, flexible ities for the enjoyment of its food. gelatinous pen or feather, strong The Smell.-Below, or bebind, the enough to keep the animal in shape. In eyes are small cavities with raised others it takes the figure of an oval borders, containing a soft wart-like shelly plate, carrying on one of its sur- substance, and supplied with special faces a quantity of very thin shelves nerves. These appear to be organs of which are kept apart by pillars so fine smell. as to be microscopic; and, although The Feelings, or Touch.-These are formed of hard, stony matter, by this found in the whole skin and lips, and arrangement the plate is so light as to especially in the arms and tentacles. float in water, thus giving a needful Beside this, cuttles have characterbuoyancy to the creature.

istics which are peculiarly and wholly In animals so nearly allied to the their own. fishes, this question arises with those Thus they have but two bones or who intimately know them: if sense horny developments connected with were compared with sense in the two their structure. These are in the upraces, which would show the highest per and lower jaws, in the form of a development? And it has been inferred parrot's beak, and are formidable weathat the cuttles would take the high- pons when in use, being so hard, and est place. But seeing that the fishes attached to muscles so strong, that they can easily break through the back boat there is no end to their wanderand claws of crabs.

i "Mimicry and Other Habits of Crabs; The Liv. See Gosse's "Manual of Marine Zoology for the ing Age. July 7, 1900.

British Isles," p. 133.

ings; sometimes they will climb up the In feeding, unlike the case of most mast a considerable distance, or, if alanimals, the lower jaw is a fixture, and lowed, will quietly creep over the side the upper jaw opens and closes the of the boat and drop into the depths mouth, giving the creature great com. below. mand of grip when attacking large ob- Their enemies are all the predatory jects.

fishes and larger crabs, and over and Then they are head-footed animals; above their sepid secretions their and when walking on the floor of the mimicry manifests itself in imitating ocean they are very different from their surroundings to avoid these foes, most other creatures, in having their for it is certain that but few species in head and heels so close together, and the great deep afford its inhabitants their mouth and eyes so near the dirt such pleasant food as do these cuttles; and weeds of the sea-bottom.

and as a consequence all the hungry Then their blood is either violet, forces of the sea are aiming at their green or transparent; and, I believe, destruction. never red. And their general habits, That they may meet these enemies including mimicry, are so intense and the great Designer has supplied cuttles extreme that I purpose to review sev- with compensating balances equal to eral of these creatures individually. their wants for the preservation of the My first case will be the

race. First, they possess an elaborate

facility for instantly changing their ELEDONE OCTOPUS.

skin into a great variety of colors, These invertebrates are fairly plenti. which seem to be under the control of ful off the Cornish and Devon coasts the muscles, and held in or under the and breed freely there; their eggs are cuticle in sacs or vesicles.

This power enveloped in a glutinous whitish-gray is always used by the animal for asfinger-like case; and in the early spring similating or blending its colors with they are often attached by the parents its environment. And secondly, when to the fishing implements of the crab these deceptive colors fail and the fishermen, in bunches of from a score creatures are really discovered and at. to thirty in number.

tacked by their enemies, they are furThe young, in breaking the sac in nished with an ink bag and siphon, July or August, are perfect in form whereby they can instantly cover their and color; and are about the length of pursuers in a cloud of darkness some rice grains, but a little broader in size. two or three feet square; and while I have known them squirt ink the thus enveloped the eledone quietly drops moment they were afloat.

out of sight. Full-grown specimens seldom exceed

Considering the home and life of two feet six inches in their extreme these creatures, there can be no doubt grip; and having only a single row of that in our shallow waters, where suckers on their arms they cannot be

of red, olive and green seaconfounded with the larger varieties. weeds abound with their varying Their food is generally small crusta- shades, interspersed here and there ceans, but when hungry they will em- with jutting rocks and neutral sands, at brace all kinds of young fish life. times when the sea is clear and the

In the winter months when food is sunshine is on them, they must present scarce, they are caught on the fisher. vistas of harmonious and unique man's hook, and when thrown into the beauty. And further, outside the



laminarian zone or the range of the mixed and fused together as to be besea-weeds, amid the many varieties of yond any description of mine. the sea-bottom, where the hoary rocky I now come to the pinnacles pierce up through the blue

OCTOPUS VULGABIS. sea, where patches of gray sands lie here and there in contrast to these These massive cephalopods live among looming heights and stretching the rocky precipices under the sea; and

from shadows, and where all is toned and

cavern and crevice

ever softened by the sun throwing its dim ready to pounce out and assault their blue light on countless millions of red enemies. I cannot imagine any creaGorgonias,' creamy Alcyonlide and ture more vindictive, violent or cun. white bivalves, in the sometime quiet ning, or whose embrace is so much like of this oceanic sylvan wilderness, there the grip of death, relentless, sure, abid. must be a dreamy condition of still. ing; once felt, ever to be remembered, ness and color almost impossible else

On our coasts we have them with where.

tentacles stretching seven feet, with a In localities like these the eledone

thousand suckers on their eight arms, lives. To match and blend with all some of whose discs will easily cover & these gradations of tints and hues, penny. when wandering through these vales

The late Frank Buckland once of beauty, so as to be prepared for the

stated that there was no difficulty in worst and to evade their piratical and

a creature like this holding a man plunderous enemies, these cuttles have down in the sea and drowning him. at will a great variety of vanishing Their enemies are most of the fishes and fleeting colors, many of which I

with predal habits, with whom they have seen displayed. Among them I often battle successfully; for beside the have noticed a bright mahogany on

immense muscular power centred in the back with a whitish blue on the these limbs, they have their sucking chest; also reddish streaks running cups, which are none other than tough down the back and sides, filled in with leather-like pistons and cylinders atbluish gray, the latter color covering tached to these flexible arms, which the under part of the mantle; also a

can surround any object, and whose chocolate red on the back with a green

grip and action are further regulated chest and surroundings; then a French and intensified by using, at will, the gray color on the back mottled with a weight of the ocean and atmosphere creamy white throughout.

above. I have seen, too, a mottled skin of Then they have their ink bag and salmon color and gray with flashes of siphon, with which they can half suffospotted green, the green showing

cate their adversary, besides envelopbrightest on the web between the arms.

ing him in a cloud of pitchy darkness Another color has been a heliotrope on

which no eye can penetrate, while they the back, with peacock blue mixed

are in clear water and can retreat at with salmon color below. And these

leisure. were all made to move and shade into

Their favorite food is crabs and lobeach other as freely and gently as the

sters, whose hard backs they

can blushes on a lady's face, while at

easily pierce with their bony parrot. other times they could be so suddenly

like beaks.

On the coasts of Cornwall the largest In some places the bottom of the sea is covered

forms are readily caught on the fisheras thick as a tern-brake with these beautiful flex. ible corals,

man's hook; and an objectionable com

« ZurückWeiter »