Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations

Title: Along the Florida reef
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/FS00000088/00001
 Material Information
Title: Along the Florida reef
Series Title: Along the Florida reef
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Holder, Charles Frederick
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Bibliographic ID: FS00000088
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
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Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA1011

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front Cover 2
        Front page 2
        Frontispiece 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        List of Illustrations 4
        List of Illustrations 5
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Full Text

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A large fish, like a monster bird, rose partly out of the water.







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THE adventures and incidents of the follow-
ing story do not belong to the realm of fiction.
They are the actual happenings in the daily life
of several boys, one of whom, the author, resided
for five or six years upon a small key of the
great coral-reef that stretches away'into the Gulf
'' of Mexico from the Florida Peninsula. A por-
tion of nearly every day was spent in floating
over the coral gardens, for which the locality is
famous, or in hunting or fishing for the strange
animals which there found a home. The excur-
sions were made, as described, under the guid-
ance of a naturalist who, while a surgeon in the
Army and stationed at the post, was studying the
corals and other animals of the reef, and who
relied not a little upon the young naturalists


and divers to collect the specimens in which he
was interested, and which, at the request of
Professors Agassiz and Baird, ultimately found
their way into the Smithsonian Institution, the
Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge,
and other institutions of science throughout the
country. The recollections of these days-the
swimming-trips along coral banks, exciting chases
after turtle and shark, visits to the haunts of the
sea-gull, dives to the home of the queen-conch in
the deep lagoon-are still fresh in the author's
memory, and it is hoped that some of the enthu-
siasm of the boy naturalists of the reef, in out-
door studies, may be imparted to the young read-
ers of this volume.
For a few illustrations taken from Elements
of Zo6logy, written by the author jointly with
J. B. Holder, the undersigned is indebted to the
American Book Company, publishers of that
C. F. H.
PASADENA, CAL., July, 1892.
























.. 232



. 267


"A large fish, like a monster bird, rose partly out of the
water" .* Frontispiece
Paublo. 5
The Antennarius marmoratus and its floating nest formed of
Gulf-weed 17
Anthea cereus. . 21
Sea-anemone and its young . . 22
A jelly-fish 26
Fort Jefferson. 29
An uninvited passenger . . 30
Inside Fort Jefferson . 32
Green turtle 36
The Conch boys" catching turtles 38
Hawksbill or shell turtle 43
A game of leap-frog 45
Astrcea pallida 53
Multiplication of polyps by spontaneous fission 54
Remoras clinging by their sucking-disk to the under part of a
shark 58
Sea-fan, or gorgonia 64
Spider-crab 65
Edible crab . 72
Porpita pacifica .79
Velella limbosa 80
Preparation . 83


Perpetration. 84
Frigate-bird .. 85
Cyprca moneta 86
Black echinus eating into a rock 88
Sea-cucumbers 89
Fierasfer and young .90
Branch coral. .93
Sea-egg ..101
Telhlna radiata 105
Toad-fish .106
Diagram of the growth of a sea-squirt or ascidian 115
Tom went headlong over the bow 118
,Meandrina cerebriformis .123
Marine cray-fish 124
An octopus running 126
Argonaut with the shell. Argonaut without the shell 129
Octopus punctatus 130
Pearly nautilus 131
The sea-porcupine. 135
The porcupine as a balloon 13
Scallop. .142
Shells of living foraminifera 143
Brittle star 144
Jelly-fish 145
The basket-fish 157
Sword-fish and saw-fish 159
The bill or gar-fish 160
The sea-horse 162
Flamingo and nest . .174
Portuguese man-of-war. .177
Parrot-fish 182
Conimon salt-water mussel. The dancing scallops 200
Oysters, showing different stages of growth 202
Ocypoda, a marine crab that lives on land 205
Gecarcinus rusticola, a land-crab. .207
Marine hermit-crab 210
Frigate-bird .212
The decorator 215

The blue shark 219
The pet shark 227
Walking-stick 230
Craw-fish 233
The lophius 246
Meandrina convexa 247
Sea birds 249
Dana's astrangia 254
Decorating in captivity 259
Luminous fish of the deep sea 263
Horseshoe-crab in trouble. 266

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Leaving Key West-The expedition-Catching a kingfish-The
Marquesas-Graining a Tartar-In the wake of a big ray-The
spoonbill-A small Sargasso sea-The nest of a fish-The float-
ing coral-Animal flowers-The dancing cranes-A sea of fire
-The games of animals.

SLL aboard for the Tuguses!"
shouted a jolly-faced col-
ored man.
"All aboard !" echoed three
youthful voices.
The hawsers were cast off,
the jib run merrily up by willing
hands, and the trim schooner
Tortugas bore away down Key
West Harbor, headed for Gar-
den Key, the land's end of the
great Florida reef-the key of
the Gulf of Mexico.
The Tortugas was a Government schooner


yacht, commanded by Captain David Ellis, and
carried the mail from Key West to the end of
the reef, being the only regular means of com-
munication. On this trip the passengers com-
prised Dr. Bassett, his son Tom, and Dick and
Harry Edmonston, companions of the latter and
sons of the commanding officer of the district.
The doctor was an enthusiastic naturalist. His
object in visiting the great reef was to study
the corals and collect specimens of all the ani-
mals found here; and the boys were looking
forward to exciting and novel experiences in
aiding in the practical work of collecting in the
months to follow.
The wind was fair, and the T1"!i',,is was
soon bowling along with a mass of foam under
her bow, starting the flying-fishes, and even
attracting the attention of the sleeping pelicans
that floated in the water here and there. By
the docks and wharves of the Spanish-American
town they rushed, passing Fort Taylor, with its
frowning guns, then bearing away by the Sand
Key light and heading, as the captain said, for
" sundown."


S"What you young gemmen like fo' sup-
per?" asked Paublo, the cook, as the boys
passed the galley. "Grunt,
hogfish, grouper, snapper,
PI conch, green turtle ?'"
I'll take kingfish,"
said Dick.
So will I," said Tom. Paublo.
Dat's always de way," rejoined Paublo;
Sde only fish I ain't got. But I kin cotch one;
dish yer's a great place fo' kingfish," added the
obliging cook, taking out a stout line from a
locker and fastening a bright silvery sardine
to the hook; "an' if one of you young gem-
men will hold de line I'll git de fryin'-pan
"I'll hold it," said Harry, taking the line
from the jolly Paublo, who went off to the gal-
ley, singing softly:
"Ham fat, ham fat,
Frying in de pan,
Ham fat, ham fat,
Cotch him if you can.
Oh git you in de kitchen
As quick as ebber can,


Hoochie koochie koochie,
I'm de ham-fat man."
Harry seated himself on the rail, line in
idll`d, watching the last receding cocoanut trees
of Key West. He had almost forgotten the
kingfish, when a mighty jerk nearly pulled him
I've got him !" he cried. But that looked
doubtful, as the fish gave a powerful surge, tak-
ing the line through his fingers at a rate that
made them burn. Captain Ellis luffed the
schooner, and they shortly had the kingfish
alongside. It proved to be a fine specimen,
about three feet long, of a steel-blue and silver
color, with a long and rakish jaw.
"Don' lift him by de line," cried Paublo,
who came running from the galley, unship-
ping on the way a pair of grains which hung in
the shrouds, "or you'll tear out his jaw. Now,
hold him up."
Harry and Tom raised the fish slightly,
while Paublo hurled the barbs into its neck;
and by the combined efforts of the three the fish
was lifted to the deck, where it thrashed around


''and nave them all a lively few moments, dodg-
: iu, its tail. Paublo now took it in hand, and
Ef Itore long a rich odor floated aft that told of a
coming dinner and a good one.
S Other kingfish were caught during the after-
.-noon, the ground proving, as Paublo had said,
S'one of the best. When the boys had wearied
"..of hauling in big fish they joined the doctor,
Swho told them something about Garden Key-
their destination and home for months to come,
: and, as it turned out for the doctor. and Tom, a
Residence of six or seven years.
"In 1818," he began, "Florida belonged to
Spain; but in the following year it was pur-
Schased by our Government for five million dol-
lars. This was considered a large sum at the
time, but at present, with its valuable fisheries
on the reef, the orange-grove industry of the
main-land, the harbors and resorts, it is seen
to have been very cheap; in fact, Key West
i: alone could not be purchased for that sum.
; "Having obtained the new possession, our
I; .oerinment found it necessary to fortify it; so
ia'*fn 1847 the central island of the Tortugas group


was selected, and Fort Jefferson begun. There
was an old-fashioned light-house there, as well as
a cottage, which is mentioned in one of Coop-
er's novels. Previous to this time the island
had been the resort of buccaneers and outlaws
from all lands, who were finally driven away by
the ships of our West India squadron.
"The islands are called Tortugas, which
means in Spanish turtle,' because they have al-
ways been famous as the breeding-grounds of
the green and loggerhead turtles. They are
called keys, which is a corruption of the Spanish
cayo, an inlet. Some call the group the Dry
Tortugas, as there are no springs there, all the
drinking water being caught in cisterns. Tor-
tugas is sixty miles from Key West, and be-
tween the islands is the Marquesas."
"Will it be possible for us to stop over at
the Keys ?" asked the doctor of the captain,
who stood near.
"I think so, sir," was the reply. "The way
things look we shall just about reach there and
be caught in a dead calm."
The captain's prophecy came true. The


wind gradually died away; the booms creaked
and slashed to and fro as the schooner rolled
in the ground swell; the reefing points beat a
merry tattoo on the listless sails, and at sun-
down the Gulf, as far as the boys could see, was
a sea of glass, the sun going down amid splen-
dors they had never dreamed of.
Paublo took a belaying-pin and began tapping
on the foremast, advising the boys to whistle for
the wind; and Captain Ellis assured them that
these two methods never failed in his experience
to raise the wind if kept up long enough-a
truism which was appreciated later on.
But, despite the shrill calls and the tattoo
on the foremast, the surface of the Gulf re-
mained as smooth as a mirror; and finally even
Paublo became discouraged and brought out his
violin, whiling away the time with song and
dance. Finally, with the stars and the South-
ern Cross gleaming brightly, the party turned
.in, to awake the next morning and see over the
rail a group of islands resting like gulls upon
,the water.
S We managed to reach here in the night,"


said Captain Ellis, joining them; "and as there
is no wind you may as well go ashore."
The boys were only too delighted, and after
a hurried breakfast the little dinghy was low-
ered away, and they were soon pulling up the
blue channel that skirted the Key. The Keys
were picturesque islands, with white, sandy
beaches, covered with a mass of low bay-cedars.
When nearly opposite a little bay, some cu-
rious fins were seen cutting the water.
Sharks !" exclaimed Dick, looking over his
"I think so," replied Tom, wisely.
"Don't make any noise, boys !" whispered
Dick, as he made a long lead or sounding-line
fast to the thwarts, then with grains in.hand
stood prepared for action, as the boat neared the
mysterious fins.
Here's one coming this way," he added,
raising the pole as he spoke. Hardly had he
uttered the words when a great black body ap-
peared near the bow and he let drive, .with a
result that almost appalled them. A large fish,
in appearance like a monster bird, rose partly


. out. of the water, coming down with a crash that
I sounded like the blast of a small cannon. The
waves rocked the boat violently, and the occu-
: pants were thrown down in a body by the sud-
I deu shock. Tom had been holding the coil of
ropie, but had fortunately remembered to throw
Sit overboard, leaving the end fast to the bow.
"That's not a shark !" said Dick, as he
p' icked himself up from the bottom of the boat.
S 'I should say not," retorted Harry; "but
7 10hat do you suppose it is ? Just see it go !"
The fish was rushing away, making the
*' water foam and boil.
S"Stand by the line," shouted Tom, "it will
4 b. le taut in a second !"
"Away we go !" cried Dick.
And go they did. For now the fish had
taken the whole length of line and, with a sud-
J. den jerk, on rushed the dinghy, bow under, at
-race-horse speed.
"Cut the rope!" shouted Dick, excitedly,
piclkin: himself up for the third time. "He'll

", 1.ld on a minute," said Tom, who had


caught the line at the notch; "I've got the
hatchet, and when I'm sure he's too much for us
I'll cut the rope."
But just then they heard Paublo calling to
them from the schooner, between his rounded
hands and at the top of his voice :
"Cut de line! cut de line! don't let him
foul de line. It's a devil-fish !"
The boat tore along the channel at a rapid
rate, but as it turned a curve the excited boys
saw that their strange steed was rushing to its
own destruction, for the channel ended in a mud
They were right. In its terror the great fish
ran up on the dead coral in about one foot of
water. The line slackened all at once, and the
boys now put out their oars and, after stopping
the boat's headway, pulled off to watch the
dying fish that was beating the water furiously.
Its head was fully exposed, and, as they pulled
in range, Dick put a load of buckshot into it
and ended its struggles.
When, shortly after, the doctor and Paublo
were brought ashore, and they all walked round


to view their capture, Paublo said: "I thought
it was a devil-fish; but it's pretty near it-one
of de biggest rays I ever see. Sometimes dey
cotch 'em here fifteen foot across, an' dey git
foul with anchors an' tow smacks about in a
mighty mystrus fashion."
"Are you joking?" asked Harry doubt-
"No," said the doctor, answering for Pau-
blo. "I know of a case myself where a manta
fouled the anchor of a good-sized schooner and
towed it for a mile before it cleared. The fish
has two curious projections," he continued,
"which are sometimes called claspers; these oc-
casionally are fouled with cables, and the fish
rushes away in blind terror, towing the vessel,
much to the astonishment of the sailors. Sev-
eral cases have been known on the reef."
The boys carried away the tail as a souvenir,
and then pulled around to the sandy beach off
which the schooner was anchored.
."Give way hard!" said Paublo, who had
the stroke oar, and with a rush the boat was
sent on the beach, whereupon the boys all


tumbled out and hauled her above the water-
They started at once to explore the beach,
and soon came upon an old wreck, which the
tides had evidently driven higher and higher,
year after year, until it was now high and dry,
the haunt of crabs and gulls, which had evi-
dently taken complete possession. Tom noted
one bird of so brilliant a red that he determined
to secure it. A shot from his gun brought it
down with a broken wing. It started for the
water at once, but Tom dashed into the surf and
caught it just in time.
"Isn't it a splendid fellow to set up in our
collection ?" asked Tom enthusiastically. "It's
a spoonbill, isn't it ? "
Yes," the doctor replied, and a fine speci-
men, too. Its feathers, you see, are blood-red,
and its bill is spread out at the end, not unlike
the bowl of a spoon. Hence its name, the ro-
seate spoonbill."
After a stroll, followed by a rest on the
beach, the party took to the boat again, intend-
ing to make a circuit of the little island. As


they pushed- out, Harry said, looking down
through the clear water:
The bottom of the sea is as beautiful as a
"Yes," rejoined the doctor; "the corals, fans,
plumes, and sea-weeds are the plants; the Gulf
Stream moves through their branches as wind
plays through the trees on land; and as land
plants absorb the excess of carbonic gas, these
marine forms secrete the lime salts, rejecting the
soluble salts of sodium and other substances
that are not necessary for them. The land
plants purify the air so that we can breathe it,
and the animal-gardens do a similar work in the
ocean, purifying the sea-water, keeping down
the excess of salts that would be unwholesome
for the fishes and other animals."
"And how about the animal life, doctor?"
inquired Dick.
"The likeness holds good," replied the doc-
tor, "for there are many curious similarities.
The. seals, manatees, and whales are the cows of
thle sea; the sharks are the eagles; the crabs are
k. the insects; the bird-of-paradise finds a worthy


imitator in the fantastic angel-fish which we
shall see among these very coral reefs. For
every animal on land there is in the sea some
creature which seems to fulfill the same office,
though, of course, under changed conditions."
The conversation was here interrupted by
the dinghy coming to a sudden standstill. It
had run into a great bunch of sea-weed.
"It's a regular Sargasso sea," said Tom,
laughing. "We could almost use this as an
"That has been done with some species,"
answered his father. "There is found near
Tierra del Fuego a gigantic sea-weed called
Macrocystis pyrifera, which grows in water two
hundred and forty feet deep, and is so firmly
rooted that vessels during smooth water are fre-
quently made fast to it."
Here Dick, who had been towing after him
a mass of the weed, suddenly noticed that some
spherical pieces of the weed had been separated
from the rest. Seizing one of them, he tossed it
into the boat,
"Here's a marine base-ball," said he.


"This is a very interesting find, Richard,"
said the doctor, picking it up. "Your marine

Tb. -Antennarius marmoratus and its floating nest, formed of Gulf-weed.
Fish natural size, the nest reduced.


base-ball is really the nest of a peculiar fish,
about four inches long, which lives on the sur-
face of the water in this gulf-weed. The nest
is made up, as you see, of pieces of sargassum,
wound in and out, and matted together in a cu-
rious fashion, and then held in its spherical shape
by bands of a glutinous secretion from the fish
that look like strings of jelly."
When the nest had been opened, the eggs
of the fish were found fastened to the leaves in
great numbers; and Dick, who still retained
some of the loose pieces, was fortunate enough
to find the odd fish itself.
"It is the Antennarius," said the doctor;
"and a more curious fellow could scarcely be
imagined. You will notice that he mimics the
color of the sea-weed."
"And see," added Dick, "these things that
look like bits of the weed on its head and fins
are really part of its flesh."
The doctor had placed the prize in a pail
of water, and, continuing, said: They are
slow swimmers, you see," as the fish moved
lazily about, "and prefer to lie undisturbed


among the protecting branches of the sea-
<"I should like to see the baby fish when
they are hatched," said Harry; "there must be
a thousand of them."
"More than that," replied the doctor. "If
all the eggs of fishes were hatched, or if all the
young grew up, there would not be water enough
on the earth to float them. There is always a
fish of some kind that preys upon each particu-
lar species, and they in turn are devoured by
others. There must, therefore, be many born, if
any are to survive. But, without this check to
the increase, the fish would multiply with mar-
velous rapidity. Suppose, for instance, the egg
of the cod, which lays-by trustworthy calcula-
tions-over nine millions of eggs, should all be
hatched and grow to maturity, the bodies of the.
cod alone would, before many years, seriously
impede navigation."
The boys concluded that it was fortunate so
many fish enjoyed a cod-fish diet.
The boat had now nearly completed the
round of the island when, on making a sudden


turn, they came upon a number of white cranes
and gannets. The cranes rose quickly, but Tom,
the sportsman, who usually had his gun ready,
brought one down, very neatly, on the wing.
The stupid gannets had not moved even yet,
and Tom declared that they well deserved the
name of "boobies." The boys pulled out and
picked up the body of the crane. It was a
beautiful white bird, with a yellow patch on its
"It is a heron," said the doctor; "and this
yellow spot on its breast is supposed by some
observers to be capable of giving out a bright
phosphorescence in the dark."
"Don't shoot !" said Harry, as Tom took aim
at the gannets, who were still regarding their
strange visitors in stupid amazement. "Let me
start them."
Taking a large piece of coral which he had
picked up on the beach, he threw it toward the
birds. The gannets rose slowly, as the coral
splashed up the water, but, to the great astonish-
ment of the boys, the coral, instead of sinking,
floated lightly on the water like a piece of wood.


"All stones don't sink," said the doctor,
laughing to see Harry's look of surprise. That
coral doesn't mean to be left out of our collec-
tion; seriously, I think we had better keep the
specimen," he added; and the floating coral was
again picked up.
"But what is it-and why is it-doctor ?"
asked Harry.
"It is what might be called the skeleton of
the coral called Meandrina spongiosa," explained
the doctor; "and when the animals die it be-
comes bleached. It is very porous, and the
pores being full of air,
the coral floats easily on
3 the water."
"Hold on a minute,"
said Dick, as the boat
grated over some branch-
coral, knocking off thou-
-' us... (-Opelet). sands of tips. The din-
I-hy \\,W W topped, and Dick, leaning over the
side' tt-. off a branch of dead coral. Hanging
* to it wa; a beautiful anemone. Dick handed it
tle i,.":-tor, who placed it in a glass of water.

si qJpTI[A J qoivo u! 's[193o onuTm IqIM pa.jAooD
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fuJIn1aoq s. Ifno Moaqj anUomauB OqP Tuoos aoA


jo uoi rav 9qj '3pap uo puno.I S~uAl oaX.rqA
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pIaq oqr Ouiadnald 'UaOIs Oaqr JOAO p0STA SUM
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unaq ptq oqA 'ojqnvuj "qovaq aoql puoXaq uaas
oq .mou plnoo sqvn,6oj oql jo qsBm oqT,

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paoIu.) si pqM Sq pnu 'sS9 moal st 'IsASu jBao
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aoiii siql 1 uoaas oq ol 1Iwms oo0 oa.B qnq 'sop
-7uuua oq4q jo asuq aqj Bu ojaq oj' aoqn 'soa ,,
*mol^ pasn ,, sOAaO oTT Saq OAB3H ,,

-oI oaqI jo qwomols oaq olm. uiAMop I.t Amvp
solapuol oqj o .lqA '.Jopnruin orqj Sn!zfpBd pi U
nillu.1s 'ino loo-qs swp osoaqi jo sp.uFm 'sop
-uol) osaoqj rsuri sdmnq dmL[qs ,io quIJo Iprms
- JI 'MON '1uo10 ooAoJd IsoqI8i[s or qj no qno
poalp s!i Nye u)IA-n. a93H[i-af q 'alolv!p B poaio0


the boys was attracted by the actions of a flock
of cranes. One by one they had collected until
eight or ten stood on the sand. Their move-
ments were decidedly curious. Now some of
them would rush around, hop in the air, rise just
above the surface, and dance along in a dandified
fashion, pecking at imaginary objects, and utter-
ing strange cries that provoked no little merri-
ment among the boys.
"This must be the land of the dancing
crane," said Harry.
"It looks very much like it," replied the doc-
tor, "and is just as truly dancing as the motions
of men and women. Many birds have this
habit, but the cranes are the most remarkable.
The cock of the rock, a South American bird, is
also a dancer. The other birds form in a circle
about it, and when it retires exhausted another
bird takes its place."
As Captain Ellis had predicted, the wind
went down with the sun, and the water be-
came as smooth as glass, reflecting the countless
stars, and gleaming with phosphorescent light.
The schooner appeared to be resting in a sea

jaopun a 9oM osodoid I pnt,, 'aJo- aoqqj uo
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sjaooi 1oqssvd dui
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_ -- f . -- -_ i -

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j.a10UssSd pUC I AUII U-V-


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juqj os 'pus iqAM iaBp a a.q vu ioq uqo1oq aq 'daap
j9oj uoa. io 4q.,to purn 'punoJav o.im TPq. 'loplM
'90S poapunq ouo qunoqU SUM 0ar0q iuom oaqL "'IM
-sUoS OTq. puno.u? 1no SipiugT p1u 'sIjoljnb oaiy o-
l'od-_us 9q q.qSnoitq tuiop mtiq paomaooj sAoq
aq4 puu 'bAussoaou gS'M UOI ut-1AU aoqijnl: oj
,,',TO2 mj,I,, 'prls oq ,,',muip.-i-qjnj
o0 o01 sluaM nuommaS ulnoX ,os so uTI jj,,
-no muoq paola
ojqnuIj moaj unoqs SXsn1 '~ uoTrai Z aoyu dun
4joM quB m I snq oaoaA Xoaqj2 "ouo Sripxoxa Tu sMw
a3[ aq nuo s8oq oql p aouoiaadxa srgj a oqj
4,0M .JOJ aXpuai pur poll
-as SUAM XaId o9iI oq4 amn. ljoqs JaoA V U! puU
.adaaq-moq Jo Aiutirp paqiF o aizu ol 'pauLia sjj
qgsna8 se 'aiopommoo aqo i IuramuJidap aSjUUin;a
oq[. ayol pun ol poanpui unoq pqB[ o[qnu i
sd!Ta Jioaqj o p uum no
suoimudnmoa ou m i maroaq 'JO1T3 pa[ol 'uU!p
-uI ooutmoaS B puv 'iqsn[ pomnru 'aolr.s plo uv
ao!qM 'omriL o. am~rn moij doos .jioar qr[jM nmaqi
pl~1 ol aoa9 pruIt? qoa puin u[qor ,Wuorj qoI[oq



"Dey's green turtle," whispered Paublo, in
reply to Dick's question, "and don't make any
noise or dey'll start off."
. A ..

Green turtle (Ohelonia viridis).

"But how are we to catch them?" asked
"Why, dive fo' 'em," replied Paublo; "yo'
want to swim along right up behind, an' w'en
yo' git on top dive down, sudden-like, an' grab
de turtle ri.hit 1;i(ck of de neck, an' jest hang
on; don' let go. Dat's de secret-don' let go."
The boys threw off their clothes and, lower-
ing themselves into the water, slowly swam to-
ward the turtles, Paublo standing on the sea-
wall instructing them by various mysterious mo-

puun 'qsni 13u q4iA dn omoa pnom I. unal[j '.aod
-cldsip p[no pBoq s,umoij, MoK "aJuM jopun
jOapyI sjj ,9pots.p 0o uuoJapUa 'sJaddi inj
-jamod sl qV^MA iaoM oql 2 npaioq SuBM 'Bao qjTA
pazjoa 'alnh a9tqj, -"no aiaJo o 0lnoj !Ip 4unq
6'q-noql taoj, 'aOApV? pool ss ,, no p[oT ,,
oql mTiq UaA.S puU pomwirep aaooaq SniADq paoos
s,Yai(I 'paivaddu puq SxaiuH omtD siqj Sa
,, i jqt1 to p1oH,, "Ijum aqo
Suopi Iumuunj 'olqn'uj polaoqs ni o poH ,,
ijouniB muoais v punqq pamool unioq SuAm aq
J. SB mOOL uiSS .RJp 'bSua pa8qsp uoqj 'qoavq
joj a0qaJns oqj. poqaloj 'JOaoljO. Jo qsnJ OAT.snAUno
v qI.jA 'pun 's0saa J1ao[q s81 pouado ainl oqt[JL
"pUOtLq oq1 I AO 8sn. tu[qs oqj Xq SAmjug 91jan1m 0q
pads vj pu0t 4no paqT[ova oq os 'P niq1 ol qmji
ionm iou su m aoaqic r-nq- nmiq no pauan) it .1 op
ppnoqs 9q *ltq \\ ,ju .la'i",-\\ 'povi saq soIip nioL
i saoddiqj t:,tii-i.,\x- pn: [.'.>:'t[ p'oiq sil. qj.mA.
pu''s""l 1o Wq mOH 'Iu1uouB Jo udo9[S ot[ oL
-qaOuojddJI uT S4n;Tg oi p o q pu 0'UjoA japtn sa9a
siq 2ninUado pnU 'so110onjIsnTU o01 SuipJoO 'p9AIp
pnUT 'sjaq{o oqj oojoq oaljnu vs paqor9 I.I mo10

A1XThGf03) 'vIfO3 q1H1 NI

-solunq 2uillolva r, qoq TIoUD,, 9 q


~ cr~---------~


-Sns puiu p9ao9u ot. uooq p[q oqt[ 'oIqTnU

nqI[ 0q11 p[ddoSlo u Ak TIgJ pun 'adlJmas Jia0aJ
u3 pajuasaid 'dn soAs[asmaq. Suis.t13 pu Ip1ias
o[q. nodn soaou[ laqjtpt 2uind 'Sq 'sXoq o0T pui
'suoipjxa X1q.1 paxVjo fJ1tnpaUB XoSap soamI
PITOaaa uniu opq0 Onuynm iao j. uoidcloaxo on oaJAM
ost[j piua 'p ,j oumnoaq [.TM sa[IncI OaAa
iol oq[ So sgloq
-jiod a tj o auo moil: 1Tq.igs oqp paooCnua [tjiotaq
OqAM 'Jo0oop 0a1 q.no fqSnoJq quWjq sia.o puu
j0atqt[nB[ jo sqnoqs 4[ouq paoqoa t 0oj 01qq JO 0 stp[A
oq1 pui---ouaq-oIIni no oasa s--poauouodxa
j.anTU pvq sgoq oq j. oods uti.pxa TI u qanS
*utv -i3ovq po9t[sp pnu Inoqu' paI)ItMTI sapTanj
0q1. 'paqo1aa a.nsopu. aqt. o pua aqj "uivolJ Jo
PIA.M v o0m. To oq Jo 0SJOaLM1 q1ooms o0iaq.1iq
taq. OUT JaoATUo putr ',qoajq ouo uIT li[ '.~1I[oqo
'Ou.i nut 'S2uinoqs 'air2Snjis paq[ v Si.Avq ssAV
oq0A '"atHq Sssud 'cibM 1 1 aq 4uo01 a0q d11
a1s13a qpnui pnnoj pun pip Tool q q M
'ojqnvj palqno0qs UTv1 ,,i sXA Apls no 110 r,,
q aqjJoU1 p1 a oq o und S oJoA s
p~nom all Tnj puu Soq jo .unTncl snoaoSIA aqo

*2giN OD VIY103 iHSL NI


gester of the various movements in the capture,
now entered the water and fastened a rope about
Tom's turtle, and with the aid of the rest soon
had the big reptile upon the wall and in the
barrow, when it was wheeled away to be con-
verted into savory steaks later on.
"I suppose that's our fresh beef," said Harry
as he put on his clothes.
"All you'll git here, sah," replied Paublo as
he rolled the barrow along.
"Talk about lassoing wild horses," said Tom
to his father, who had joined them, "it's nothing
to riding turtles."
"It looked as though it might be fun," said
Dick dolefully.
"It will be your turn next time, Dick," said
the doctor; "you will have plenty of riding."
"Yes," added Paublo, who was glad to get
rid of this part of the work, "we'll kill turtle
two times a week all summer, an' den dere's de
cotchin' an' turning' moonlight nights on Logger-
head an' East Key. Dere's heaps o' fun in dat."
On their way back the boys found the doc-
tor, who had gone ahead, in possession of a little


house on the edge of the channel by the wharf.
It was built on dead coral rock, and out from
it into the water extended an inclosure of the
same, with a smooth concrete walk on top. The
basin so formed was a natural aquarium, and
having been stocked from time to time by Long
John and Chief, had now been handed over to
the naturalist as an experimental station.
As they came up, the party found Long John
sitting on an upturned barrel, with a knife in
one hand and a piece of conch in the other,
from which he was shaving pieces and tossing
them to a motley crowd of fishes that scurried
to the surface. The fish were so tame that they
almost jumped out of the water in their efforts
to reach the bait.
The fish were new to the boys, and most in-
teresting, owing to the great variety of shapes
and colors.
"Isn't that an angel-fish ?" asked Tom, as in
and out among John's queer pets darted a fish
of gorgeous hues. Slashes of blue, gold, brown,
and white covered its body, while the long dor-
sal and ventral fins gave the marine dandy a

,,*saop oq jvyqM noX MOTqS 1[,I pui 'oun
spqo am pusq isnjf "Xsp SAAO uim somoo aq inq
'ao oq uoo nsop oa4 "ami LCJOao pB ,, 'uqof
,uoj plus ,,'uiop si aq pBqiM Xpoxosxa sqj,, ,,
,'[S s!q qJM tamtaq i jjrq ol ~ui
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utqof Buol iXq miaqq ol ni passol. uoBua
Tqooo jo sjiq ollqTq oqij. oj Suprqgj pun joqio
qoJsa SBuTpAYouo [li 'sjoqlo snoJaomnu pu1? 'qsg-piol.
'soaiod 'saoddcus sujoq qTpIs 'qs-moa i s[ltq
iju q mAi '1qs4-j~oJjd i? qlaaoi djTqs qqmT! pomTaj
season op;o[op '?i uo Jioqo 'oqsT-je S i iJ9A9 po~9UoU
oo n'JjnS Oq U "Ho UOTIm U Ipuoapnj som oq0I
ui mnql Isunp!O sIi[i aqoqj. 2uiqqTn 'sJaoug siq
uo9Maa9q muims 1 ouo It, s8qsU qT 9pI jnoj Jo o99qL
IJ1dl, puo9Jds s8 o1U9 qTMl 'aao9uM oqp oruI spauq
siq .nd pus unMop podoo4s 9ooq uqof Snuo,
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.jo 'uitql j I'pUirTU I[fl9M oi sopods oql. pusu,,
'jaqoj- s!q po1ido. i,,l'qsUy-ja2iu u st jqj 'so1 ,,
"Tunbopjiq possaop l[A'O
v jo J01. 0:y[piun -on 'jono'u1oiaddu OI S.?TU'J qsom


qij3ojJ qsnjqj Smk. JTU S :p uool1-oAn
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aq plus ,,'qTsg
(v ovaqit viOptw) almnj liaos jo [nqsas- o
-noafans paqL
-Psuual oq Xim

Po0qm 4mt1isT

,'purnoi Ilul siq
.ung at[ uaqAy
2Saop taiq M1as naO s .8snut '[suis u MO, sa1U
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uIi.11,A samo~]3ooa 4Sg SAOJA ,, "u 'qof Suo
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saoao oado-opIAk qtA!i iq( pomu13U)
-XO,, i .T 1 YI4Us 'aJv!n[ a W13n J u Sll" i snou0D1 ,,
r mi3v paqluaqs Sluappns
s3 sgBA pus '1T.ju s,qsiJ aq0 aujaB q 4aoqs u 0o 1-no
pa4i.p uodoma o9jr[-atjyu '(djqs u astadans .aoq4 o0
'aqiT[8 stq qIA qt1T o1t[ p9qPnoj 'IqagIA o0. sAoq
oq0 Ou1101 ''uqoj1 2uoj 9uo 4[A Inq 'oi[aod uomamoo
v a0[t.[ o4anm po3[oo[ II "1 01A 4 o 1 n0o m1q p0opu13
'qs14 oq0q qjvo1aq 4T1 OUT JagSUi Xsnoaojxap 't14Of
1uoj pun 'a1au-dooos aq0 Twiq ppapurq reojl

"2Tnifioo riV1iOD a1Hi NI

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'JtO neou, [J.s o[.qM-- [nsBaomos Smu B jUynl quo-
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v oJaq4 puT 9iaq0 p la'j pu A j 'suaa.U nUaJ o puis jao
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oapuirq s qons p[q aq mANa1 aq01 Ji uo0oaJ I ,,

*d1ala GIHOIIJ HIIII axorlv



~ e d c I ;ii'


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nju.suis u poidso 'sjuomou aomos .ioj pnoqu uin
-:[oo001 Jou 'prV 'oaoo oqq poTaruoa sgoq oaqj,
japinoqs sitq JOAO OJ)rM SIT[ sIq qj
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s~qoa,, "uuuIuaqsg 241o oqj. poijdaM ,,'oN.,,
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sam1aBS paSvAId soqsgI mq M AxouIq ,upip I,,



A haunted pipe !" cried Dick, laughing.
Haunted by a hermit crab," retorted Tom.
And this was Bob Rand's pet, as from the
bowl projected the deep purple and red claws
of a soldier or hermit crab, that had taken pos-
session of the pipe-bowl, and roamed about the
office at will. It did not require much persua-
sion on the part of the boys to obtain this cu-
rious pet from the obliging Bob, and Diogenes,
as he was christened, became then and there a
conspicuous object in the household.
Paublo, after killing the turtle, had spent the
morning fitting out a boat for use on the reef, and
now came up to report that it was in readiness,
whereupon the entire party started for the mid-
dle wharf, where both the Bosetta and the dinghy
awaited them. In the former had been placed
two large cans containing diluted alcohol for the
reception of specimens. A number of long coral-
hooks (iron instruments or tongs not unlike
small oyster-claws) and three or four pairs of
" grains "-long poles ending in two-tined- spear-
heads, with barbed points-some fastened to the
poles, others fitted on with a socket and held by


a cord, were arranged in the boats; and over
the bows were hung several scarp-nets. A jug
called a "monkey," used for carrying water,
with the oars and a sprit-sail, completed the out-
fit of the Rosetta; while the dinghy carried the
small seine and cast-net, and also provided room
for the overflow of passengers.
Dinner was quickly over, and then, as the
doctor called out, All aboard for the reef !" a
rush was made to the wharf, and in high spirits
the young naturalists were speedily under way,
pulling with rapid strokes across the deep, blue
water toward the outer reef.




Wonders of the ocean garden-The angel-fish-Living sponges-
Cigars afloat-The growth of a coral key-The shark and sting-
ray-Gigantic coral heads-The remora-The malthea-Living
sleeve-buttons -Drifting over the reef-The box-crab-The
black squall-Making the five-foot-A narrow escape.

ecene seemin;

; HE sun rose upon a glorious
r"< day. There was not a cloud
in the sky; the water was as
Smooth as glass, save where the
fapping tail of some big fish
Sp-lashed the surface. The sub-
Slued roar on the outer reef
Sounded like far-off music, the
white keys and the azure of the
i -right sky were reflected again
and again in the water, the whole
g to the boys a dream of enchant-

Old Busby led the way in the dinghy, with

I .


Tom, while the doctor and the rest of the expe-
dition, with Long John, followed in the Rosetta.
Before long they left the channel, and came sud-
denly upon the reef, which here rose almost per-
pendicularly from the channel and bristled with
innumerable points of coral. Deep down among
the green moss-fronds an anemone, looking much
like the weird passion-flower, turned its fair face
toward them; angel-fish dashed by, their gay
bands and wing-like fins resplendent with color;
gayly striped morays darted in and out of the
shadows of the sea-fans and feathers, and the
gorgonias, brilliant with rainbow-tints, were sur-
rounded by duller-hued conchs and hermit crabs,
sea-eggs, and devil-fish.
"Isn't it wonderful!" exclaimed Tom. And
indeed it was. In a moment they had passed
from the blue water to a veritable garden of
coral spread over acres of reef; in shoal water
and deep; on hill-side and plain; in forest-like
groups and garden-like beds, in clusters, in cir-
cles, in hedges; domes like the round-topped
mosque of the Orient; sponge forms that mocked
the Turkish minaret; Laplandish huts and the

50- .


Gothic minster; cups, vases, and the classic
urns; antlers of deer, of moose, of elk; flowers,
vines, brakes, and mosses-all these forms came
before them as they drifted slowly along and
looked down upon this vast ocean garden.
As Tom hurled his spear at a small parrot-
fish, which darted under the boat, the weapon
landed in a large black mass about three feet in
diameter and concave on top, like a huge vase.
Hallo, what's this ?" he cried, hauling away
at the mass.
"It is a sponge," his father replied. "The
color represents the living part."
"Why, are sponges animals, doctor ?" asked
Harry from the other boat.
"Naturalists admit them to the ranks of ani-
mal life, though, of course, among the very low-
est forms," the doctor explained. "If you ex-
amine them closely in the water, you may see
a slight current over the pores and openings,
which shows that the necessary nourishment is
thus absorbed while it circulates through these
cavities. The common sponges, as we use them,
are but the skeletons."



The boats were now gradually nearing Bush
Key, with its scraggy trees, when Dick ex-
claimed :
"Why, there's a cigar in the water !"
"So it is," said Harry, nearly tumbling over-
board in an attempt to reach it.
Sold again !" laughed Tom, who had secured
one; "it's only a stick."
"You'd find them hard to smoke, boys," said
the doctor. "They are more useful than all the
cigars that could be sent over here from Havana.
They are the seeds of the mangrove tree, that
you see over on Bush Key. The reef of the
State of Florida has been formed mainly by the
corals and the mangroves."
"Tell us how, doctor," said Harry, who was
always redy for information.
"Sup e," said the doctor, "this clear water
on which we are drifting should be visited by a
single egg of the star-shaped coral called the
Astrcea. It settles on a bit of shell. In a few
days some tentacles spring out, and the tiny
polyp seems only a solitary sea-anemone. Then
a little growth of lime, secreted by the anemone,


forms. on the shell, and soon overspreads it with
a jagged coating. Then another polyp grows

Astrrea pallida (living).
beside this one, perhaps by division or budding,
and the single egg that first drifted here has
become two. This goes on indefinitely, until
the bottom all around is covered with coral-rock.
Then, when these polyps decay and die, the sea-
sand sifts in; other corals grow on this; floating
matter is caught and added to the growing reef;
forms of branching corals appear, together with
gorgonias, or sea-fans and feathers; all these are
eaten or crushed down by great worms and
coral-eating animals. Upon this decay still
other forms of coral grow; shell-fish of various
kinds make it their home; delicate corals that
need protection from the waves grow up in the


lagoon formed within the shallow circle; as the
reef becomes higher, sea-weeds and corallines are
added; every particle of refuse adds to the up-
building of this curious island; and now, just as
the dry layers, or top-dressings, appear above
the waves, along comes Dick's cigar.' The larger
end f the mangrove seed strikes the sand or
mud collected on the reef, the waves drive it still
farther on, and, touching the soil, it sends out
little shoots. These soon obtain a foothold, and

Multiplication of polyps by spontaneous fission.

thus a mangrove tree is started. These being self-
propagating by shoots and rootlets, a growth in
time may extend around a whole island. Other
waste matter of the sea is accumulated, the in-
fluence of winds and tides changes the surface,
and Nature furnishes suitable plants to flourish
in the new soil which the decay of vegetable


and animal organizations is continually increas-
ing and enriching. That is the secret of reef-
building, Bush Key being an example in this
group of the aid which the mangrove gives."
While the doctor had been talking, the boats
had slowly drifted toward the key, when right
ahead a large sting-ray leaped from the water,
flapping its wing-like fins in the air a moment,
then coming down with a crash that was heard
all over the lagoon. A large fin showed itself
above the water, rushing after the ray toward a
shoal near the key.
"It's a shark chasing a sting-ray!" shouted
the old boatswain from the bow of the dinghy.
"Give way, lads, give way !"
The boat surged ahead in the direction of
the great fishes. The shark was gaining on its
less rapid victim, and the ray repeatedly leaped
into air to escape the rushes the shark made at
it. Suddenly the ray took a desperate chance
as it neared the shoal, and, instead of turning,
dashed upon it; the flat body passed through
the scant eight inches of water with a rush, and
in an instant it was through the breakers and in


the blue waters of the Gulf. The shark, follow-
ing in blind haste, could not force its big body
over the shoal, and was soon- high on the reef.
The boat's crew were quickly upon it, but, on
account of the shark's tremendous efforts to free
itself, they dared not touch it. In its struggles
the fish would bend nearly double, and then,
V suddenly straightening out, would hurl the
water over the boys, who had now left the boat
and were wading about in the shoal water, dodg-
ing the shark's tail and trying to get within
striking distance. Finally, Tom hurled his
grains into the shark's head. This only increased
the creature's struggles, but Busby, wading up
to the writhing monster, struck it a terrific blow,
breaking its backbone.
"It's easy enough, when you know how," he
said, laughing.
They were all soon at work, cutting up their
"Stand still, Tom," said the doctor, presently,
as he lifted the shark's jaw and held it so that it
easily fitted over Tom's head.
"Eight rows of teeth !" said Dick, counting


them. "What a time the young sharks must
have when cutting their teeth "
"Yes," said Harry, feeling of the terrible
weapons, "and each one is saw-like and sharp as
a knife."
"All the teeth except the front row lie flat,"
explained the doctor, "when not in use. As
you see, they move up and down; but when the
shark was after the ray I feel sure they were all
vertical and ready for action."
For his share of the prize the boatswain took
the liver, intending to try out the oil.
"Sharks are not entirely worthless animals,
you see, after all," said the doctor. "The teeth
are used by many savage islanders for weapons,
the liver is taken out for the oil it contains, and
in the East the tails and fins are valuable arti-
cles of commerce, while the skin, as with us, is
used for various purposes."
"What do you call this shark that we have
caught, doctor ?" asked Harry.
"It is a shovel-nosed shark," he replied.
"There are at least a hundred different species
of sharks now known to naturalists, and this


gentleman had an enormous forefather, away
back in what is called the Tertiary period.
That ancestor must have been a hundred
feet long, with teeth as large as your open
"What is this?" interrupted Tom, striking
at a black body hanging to the shark, just under
water, which Long John now exposed to view
by turning the body over.
"Take it by the head and pull it off," said

Remoras clinging by their sucking-disk to the under part of a shark.
(Adapted from Brehm.)


the boatswain; "it won't hurt you; it's only a
But this was by no means easy, for the cu-
rious object clung so fast that only by a violent
wrench could Dick and Tom tear it from the
"It is a remora, and a very interesting fish,"
said the doctor. "It follows the larger fishes
and attaches itself to them by this disk, refusing
to leave them even when they are dead, as you
"That's why we call 'em 'suckers,'" put in
"They are sometimes called 'ship-stayers,'"
continued the doctor, "and one of them is said
to have changed the history of the world and
given the Roman Empire to Augustus Caesar."
Doubly interested by so historic and impor-
tant a fish, the boys gathered around this curious
specimen and examined it minutely.
The disk, which was the principal object of
curiosity about the remora, was oval in shape,
and on the very top of the head. It resembled
in construction a Venetian blind, for it was com-


posed of what the doctor called "oblique trans-
verse cartilaginous plates," and Dick said were
"slats of gristle." These were supplied with
delicate teeth or hooks that helped it to cling.
"But how did it help Augustus Cesar ?" in-
4quired Harry.
There is a legendary story that one of these
fellows fastened itself on Antony's galley at the
great naval battle of Actium, and thus allowed
the galley of Augustus to obtain the advantage
in the onset," the doctor explained. "Hence its
name-the ship-stayer.' "
"I have heard you can catch turtles with
'em," said Busby, "although I've never seen it
"I have heard the same thing," rejoined the
doctor. "In Mozambique the natives, it is said,
keep this fish in a tub of water, and then, when
a turtle is sighted, the remora, with a cord tied
to its tail, is tossed overboard. Instinctively it
fastens itself to the unconscious turtle, which is
speedily hauled in by the fisherman."
Well, well, a live fish-hook; that's an idea!"
laughed Tom. "Let's keep it and try. Only


it would be rather rough on us if Mr. Remora
should fasten himself to a shark instead of a
What's that smoke on Bush Key ?" asked
Dick, pointing to the island, a short distance off,
from which a column of smoke was rising.
"Hardly a volcano, Dick," replied the doc-
tor. I believe it is a signal that our lunch is
ready. Long John thought we would like some
coffee after grubbing, as he called it, in the
water; so he took the dinghy and the lunch Pau-
blo prepared for us, and I imagine is now wait-
ing for us."
"Well, I'm ready," said Dick; and Harry
and Tom answered by jumping into the Rosetta.
The others followed suit, and in a short time
they were on Bush Key, where they found Long
John frying mullets, having spread a cloth and
the lunch on the white sand. The boat was
pulled up high and dry, and soon the boys were
doing justice to the mullets which Long John
had caught in his cast-net a few minutes before.
"I've seen the time," said the fisherman, as
he sat down at the invitation of the doctor,


"that we wouldn't care to sit here. The big
hurricane in '50 made a clean sweep of it. I
believe there was one tree left; but you could
have sculled the dinghy over the key."
"You don't have hurricanes often, do you?"
asked Harry.
"Not very," replied the fisherman;. "onc't
or twic't in ten year or so. But when they do
come," he added, "they wake snakes; wipe out
everything. That one cleaned out Long Key;
you'd never know 'twas there."
The lunch over, the boys investigated a peli-
can's nest-a big bunch of drift-wood-in one
of the low trees, while the two boatmen repacked
the hampers. Soon after they shoved off, and
began again the circuit of the great reef.
Wading along, the party continued their in-
vestigations in tide-water; and Dick and Harry,
coming upon a large piece of coral, which had
been worn almost through, rolled it over. In
doing this they disclosed a natural pool beneath
the coral, and at the bottom lay a most peculiar
"Well, here's a curious fellow, doctor," cried


Dick; "what under the sun-or rather under
the coral-is it "
The doctor stooped down and examined it.
"You are right, Dick; this is a curious fellow,
indeed !" he said. The fish is called the Mal-
thcea. It has, as you see, no fins for swimming,
but is provided with short feet, like paddles,
with which it moves over the muddy bottom in
which it lives."
"He's lazy enough," said Dick, as the fish,
even when touched, showed but small desire to
"It is one of the sluggish fishes," continued
the doctor, "of which there are a number. This
one, you will notice, is formed and colored so
as to appear like an inanimate substance-a
part of the sea-bottom. But here is a singular
thing. Do you see here, right over the mouth, a
sort of depression or pit, from the roof of which
hangs a curiously colored pendant ?"
The boys, after a careful look, saw it dis-
"Well," said the doctor, "that is the means
by which the Malthwa makes up for its slug-


gishness. The broad mouth rests on the mud;
above it this curious-looking pendant twists and
writhes, and looks so much like a tempting and
luscious worm to the hungry prawn or inquisi-
tive crab that, if the living bait is approached
too closely, the great mouth yawns wide open,
and good-by to Mr. Crab or Mr. Prawn !"
Well," said Tom, "we've seen a' living fish-
hook and a living bait; if we keep a sharp look-
out, perhaps we shall find a live reel or fishing-
pole !"

Sea-fan, or gorgonia.

"Here's a curious shell," cried Harry, who
had waded out into deeper water, lifting up a


gorgonia a foot in diameter, and of a rich yellow
hue. Clinging to it were a number of beautiful
oblong shells of about the same tint-tending
toward pink.
"Those are fan-shells," said their guide, and
are parasites on the gorgonia, or sea-fan. They
make beautiful sleeve-buttons."
The boys supplied themselves with a stock
of these natural cuff-buttons; and then Harry,



turning over
crabs, pulled

a rock that was alive with spider-
a beautiful blue one out of the


water and tossed it to Long John, to be placed
in the water-pail for security.
"Here's an odd fellow," Tom called out a
moment after, stooping over the rock and bring-
ing up a curious-looking spider-crab.
"That is a deep-water one," said the doctor;
"some of his big relatives, measuring nearly
three feet across, have been hauled up in the
South Atlantic from a depth of nearly two
As deep as that ?" exclaimed Harry; "why,
I should think the pressure was too great for
animals to live at such great depths."
"Water is practically incompressible," ex-
plained the doctor; "that is to say, it can not
be forced into a smaller compass, as solids can.
So, as all these creatures are filled with water,
the pressure is equalized. If you lower an empty
bottle two miles under water it will often remain
intact, and yet the pressure in deep water is
simply tremendous. A deep-water crab, for in-
stance, must withstand a pressure, at such depths
as two and a half miles, of a number of tons-as
against the fifteen pounds' pressure which a fish


at the surface experiences. But all animals are
adapted for their particular sphere in life."
Noticing a bubbling in the sand, Dick thrust
his hand under and forced up what the doctor
declared to be a box-crab; as he demonstrated, it
had the faculty of closing its legs around its
body in such a manner as to seem a solid piece.
When released, it opened out and showed its
curious make-up-a round body, covered with
queer brown spots and ridges, even the claws
being formed in grotesque shapes.
You'll find lots of them crabs on the reef,"
said Busby, who was passing.
"Hallo, look over yonder !" came a sudden
shout from Long John. "We've got to clear
out of this, and be quick about it, too !"
They all followed the direction of his warn-
ing gesture, and saw on the horizon a small
black cloud, its lines as distinct as if drawn with
a brush. As they sprang into the boats and
pulled for Long Key the cloud seemed to in-
crease, and so rapidly did it gain upon them
that in ten minutes from the time they sighted
it the cloud was almost on them. Landing hur-


riedly, they hauled the boats on shore, and, turn-
ing the dinghy keel up, they crawled beneath it;
and just in time. With a darkness that turned
day into night, and a low, far-away moaning,
that grew into a roar, wind, rain, and sand burst
upon them in a hurricane, with a fierceness that
threatened to carry away the boats. The wind
howled and shrieked, the lightning flashes lighted
up the scene in fitful glances, while the sea was
beaten into clouds of foam, lifted into the air,
and hurled far beyond them over the island.
"It won't last but a minute," shouted Long
John from somewhere; and even as he spoke it
began to grow lighter; the rain ceased, and they
crawled from beneath the boat. The cloud or
squall disappeared almost as rapidly as it came,
and in twenty minutes from the time the storm
arose the sun was shining again from a clear
A start was now made for home. The squall
had left a stiff breeze behind it, and with sails
hoisted on the Rosetta, and towing the dinghy
astern, they were soon rushing toward Garden
Key, gunwale under.


"Well, that was a blow !" said Tom.
"Oh, it's nothing when you get used to it,"
said Long John. "I've seen seven or eight
squalls movin' around, looking' jest as if they
were painted on the sky. It's quick come, quick
go, with 'em; but, if you keep your weather eye
open, you know how to steer clear of 'em."
"This is not the way home, is it?" asked
Dick, as Long John headed the flying boat be-
tween Long and Bush Keys.
"It's one way," the latter replied, trimming
the sail still more.
Crossing the reef, the boat dashed into blue
water and bore away to the south, where the
long line of breakers seemed to form an impassa-
ble barrier. Long John kept along the reef
until nearly opposite the sally-port of Fort Jef-
ferson, which could just be seen a mile away,
then suddenly he bore off before the wind, and
headed straight for the breakers.
The boys looked at the raging surf in some
anxiety, and then glanced at Long John. He
was cool and calm, as was also the old boatswain,



"I suppose he knows what he's about," whis-
pered Harry to Dick.
Slack off the fore-sheet!" shouted Long
John quickly, standing up now and scanning the
distant fort.
The commodore did as directed, and the boat
bent over and rushed headlong toward the reef,
seemingly to destruction.
I don't care to swim in that surf," said
Harry, looking uneasily at the mass of foam they
were rapidly approaching.
"You won't have to swim," answered Long
John, who had overheard him, "if you hang on
It was too late to object, so they all drew a
long breath and "hung on tight," as advised.
With a mighty rush the boat plunged into the
breakers; now on top of one, again nearly buried
under another, careening over so that the boys
sprang to the windward, then luffing and sliding
close by one almost bare head of coral to avoid
another; covered with foam and spray, drenched
from head to foot, and almost before they could
catch their breath, they were over the reef, safe


and sound, and tearing along in the smooth water
of the inner reef.
The boys were amazed. "What kind of
navigation do you call that ?" asked Tom, wip-
ing the spray from his eyes; while the doctor
said: "Why, John, you cleared those heads only
by about six inches."
That's all the room there was, sir," replied
Long John with a grin. It's a regular chan-
nel," he added; "we call it the 'five-foot.' I've
been through when it was worse."
"But how did you know how to steer?"
asked Harry.
"Well," said Long John, "if you'll promise
not to let on, I'll tell you. Keep down the reef
until the Garden Key light is just on a line with
the third chimney of that big brick building of
the fort; then let her drive, and, if you can keep
her head on, you're all right."
"And if you can't ? ii teirupted Harry.
"Well, sir," was the r-i l-, "it's one of the
things it wouldn't pay to miss-it's a bad place
for sharks."
While talking they had neared the lower


part of Long Key, where they stopped to put
their corals in the barrels that Long John had
previously provided for the purpose, as in this
way, he explained, coral was prepared. The
shells which they had found were also placed in
stagnant water, or buried, this being the only
way to thoroughly clean them, while many other
finds were dropped into alcohol for future study.
Having disposed of their specimens, they
shoved off again, and were shortly in their quar-
ters, -ired out, but well pleased with their first
day on the reef.

Edible Crab.




The boatswain's home-After the norther-Long Key-Miles of
spirulas-A shell with 'a dye-The water-spout-The gull and
pelican-A live cowry-Pierced by the black echini-The dweller
in a sea cucumber-Wonders of the five-foot channel-A worm
with a door and hinge-The old wreck-A young sea serpent-
Pegging a turtle.

i as the boys sometimes called
St -. old boatman, and as, indeed,
h' s tyled himself, was inclined
'' t, be a martinet. He was a
.:l rn-t stickler for etiquette, and
in the seventeen-foot Rosetta
I- xl-11lld, if allowed, have divided
all hands into port and star-
o1. ia'rd watches, installed the doc-
t.,r as admiral, with Tom as cap-
tain of the fleet. When the Rosetta went about,
Bu by generally sat amidships, tending the fore-


sheet, and his Ready about, sir Hard a lee,
sir Haul it is, sir !" were all delivered with a
precision that would have done credit to a fifty-
gun frigate.
The commodore took great pride in the Ro-
setta, which the doctor had decorated. She was
painted a rich vermilion outside, white within,
her seats cushioned, and the guards and bulk-
head ornamented'with attractive pictures from
the doctor's brush. Tin cans had been inserted
beneath the decks, so that she was a life-boat as
well as a picture of beauty. Busby did not
fancy her name, Rosetta, and after a race in
which Tom sailed her to victory in half a gale,
and brought her in half full of water, he re
christened her the Roaring Gimlet, as being
characteristic of her method of boring through
the waves under a press of canvas.
The commodore had quarters in a large ram-
bling building outside of the fort, where, in one
end, he had a room fixed up, from which led
a little balcony. From here he could see a
weather-vane, set by the compass, on the top of
the building, and here, according to his own ac-


count, he took "dead loads of comfort." The
doctor gave him a flag and rigged him a flag-
staff, and every night and morning the rheu-
matic old sailor would be seen hoisting and low-
ering the national emblem. From a hook in
his room hung an old spy-glass-a remarkable
instrument made from several others, and from
which the commodore pretended to discern not
only various wrecks and sails, but traces of storms
and foul weather.
One morning, a week or two later, the boys
were visiting the old man. They were sitting
on the little balcony, looking off on the smooth
water, and listening to the cries of the laughing-
gulls, when Busby unhooked his wonderful spy-
glass and peered through it for a few seconds;
then looking steadily over the top a moment, he
announced that it was going to blow, and blow
hard, and that things had better be made snug.
The boys wondered how he knew, and each tak-
ing the glass in turn tried to peer through it,
but could see nothing but a blur. They could
lti-an nothing further from the old boatswain,
who, taking down his flag, hobbled down the


stairs of the big building and was soon at the
boat-house, hoisting the Rosetta, or the Roaring
Gimlet, as he preferred to call her, out of the
Busby was a true prophet, as before many
hours it began to blow, and by night a heavy
gale broke upon the key. The cocoa-nut trees
in the fort were lashed and torn, and as far as
the eye could see was a mass of boiling foam,
while the water rose so high that the boys sailed
about on planks in the interior of the fort. This
weather continued for three days before the
northerr," as this wind is called, was succeeded
by a dead calm. Then the boats were put in
readiness for a trip, and it was decided to start
at Long Key and follow along the entire length
of the Teef, which was now piled with dead
coral, weeds, and deep-sea shells tossed up by
the waves. Long Key was appropriately named,
being a long, attenuated island, half a mile in
length and from twenty to fifty feet wide, run-
ning north and south, just across the channel
from Garden Key, and so near that the boys
often swam to it.


The key was entirely destitute of trees, a lit-
Stie grass constituting its flora, while its sole in-
habitants were hermit and other crabs. At the
north end it was joined to Bush Key by a partly
submerged flat, and here, on an apology for an
island, grew several mangroves that gave shelter
to various pelican nests.*
,. The party was soon ashore at Long Key, se-
Slecting many beautiful specimens from the num-
berless richly colored weeds and shells strewed
along the sand. The univalves, or one-shelled
S .,>ci.lt-.uiel, were the most numerous, but upon
P'ite- pir- of gorgonia many delicate bivalves of
1e'xiiisit' red and blue tints were found.
TIih- ,severity of the storm was evident in the
numbers of strange objects piled upon the beach.
A narrow white band, extending almost as far
as the eye could see, was found to be composed
almost wholly of the shells of the little Spirula,
-,n ,of the most beautiful and delicate of the
.,.'l-i.nlI'pods. It was a perfect spiral, divided
like- tih nautilus into chambers, with pearly par-

i .... the time of my residence here Long and Bush Keys have
,. .. l. ..il -t entirely obliterated by a hurricane.-AruTnoB.

p*, w..


titions; but, strange to say, the shell, like the
cuttle bone of other species, was concealed in
the body and only found after the death of the
little squid, when the air-chambers caused it to
rise to the surface and it was washed ashore.
Though diligent search was made at various
times, the boys were never able to secure one
alive. They are probably extremely delicate
creatures, and were killed by the waves and
torn from the shell before being cast upon the
The rich shells of the marine snail lanthina
were almost as frequent, the animal in many
cases being intact. On the water their appear-
ance was extremely beautiful, the rich purple
coloring, in various shades and tints, standing
out in strong contrast against the white fairy-
like raft of bubbles by which they are kept
upon the surface. By pressing the animal, the
boys found that the rich purple ink would stream
out over their fingers.
"This ink would make a good dye," said
'Tom; I'm going to put some on my handker-
chief and see how long it will stand."


"It will last several years," answered his
father; "and some think it the ancient dye of
the Tyrians."
Among these animal wrecks were found
numbers of the Porpita and Velella, their shin-

PQrpita pacifica

ing skeletons looking like dismantled hulks.
The color of the Porpita, in those spread before
them, was a rich purple, but where the animals
had died and the skeletons lay bleaching in the
sun, it presented a structure that in delicacy
could be compared only to spun glass. The


Velella was even more beautiful, the body part
somewhat resembling the Porpita, except that it
had a curious sail-like membrane that would

Velella limbosa.

readily catch the breeze. On other occasions
the boys often watched fleets of these charming
ships sailing over the blue waters in company
with the Portuguese man-of-war.
These objects, which in the North were val-
ued as rare specimens, were banked up in wind-
rows by the storm, with fishes, shells, sea-fans,
and gorgonias, in which the boys literally bur-
rowed, gradually moving up the narrow key.

F .

The doctor and Harry had gained on the
others, and had become so completely absorbed
in the treasures before them that they were ut-
terly oblivious to their surroundings. They had
almost reached an old fishing schooner that had
been hauled up, when they heard a shout, and,
looking back, saw a very unusual spectacle.
Tom and Dick, who had lingered behind, were
now rushing along the beach as if for their lives,
while, not a hundred yards behind them, run-
ning parallel with the key, towered a huge wv.ter-
spout, its top lost in the clouds. With gigantic
curve it came surging on, hissing like a steam-
engine, and tearing up the shallow bottom at a
terrible rate. Arace with a water-spout is not
a pleasant pastime. It ran so close upon them
that its drippings were like a heavy rain. Thus
far they had kept even with it, but it now
s.ur'._-l ahead, and, changing its direction, headed
f,'r the old schooner on the key. Tom and Dick
\\w-r safe, but Harry and the doctor appeared
t" bIe in danger.*

I r ,i with this spout for several hundred yards, and had diffi-
Iulr, in keeping apace with it. The noise was like that made by a



Run for the spout and get behind it,"
shouted Long John, who had come in and was
hauling his boat off shore.
The doctor and Harry ran past the spout,
which was now very near the shore, and, when
out of harm's way, turned to watch the mon-
ster's progress. On it went, boiling and hissing,
in the direction of the fort, passing down the
face of the north wall, a sublime and magnificent
"That was a close shave !" said Harry; and
the others fully agreed with him.
The line of march was again taken up, and
before long they reached the head of the island,
where a narrow strait separated Long Key from
Bush Key. While stopping to overhaul a pile
of sea-weed their attention was attracted by the
comical asthmatic cries for food made by some
young pelicans from their nests of drift-wood in
the mangrove trees near by. The old birds
were hard at work, diving for fish in the lagoon.

steam-engine. Examination later showed that the spout had plowed
a trench in the reef two or three feet deep. Small fishes were killed,
and flocks of gulls followed in the wake.-AUTHOR.


The boys watched one,
with no little curiosity.
stant over its prey, then

which was near them,
It would flutter an in-
plunge down, and with

.~ \
~zw \\


open, dip-net bill resting on the water, would ad-
just the catch in the capacious pouch beneath.
In one of these expeditions a gull, with trained


and eager eye, hovering near, settled down upon
the pelican's broad head, and as the fish was
tossed about, preparatory to swallowing it, the


thievish gull adroitly snapped it up and sailed
away with a derisive "Ha, ha!" while the peli-
can, as if accustomed to this sort of pocket-pick-


ing, simply flapped heavily up again to renew
its search for food. But the gull, as was speed-
ily seen, had laughed all too soon; for down
upon it from the neighboring shore swooped a
strong-winged man-of-war hawk, or frigate-bird.


With a shrill cry of alarm the gull darted now
this way and now that, in zigzag lines, striving
with all its power to escape. Fear and fatigue
prevailing, he let his choice stolen morsel slip
from his grasp; then the man-of-war bird, with
a lower .swoop, clutched the falling fish and bore
it. naay to the nearest rock.
So the struggle for existence goes on," said
the doctor; and, turning from hawks and gulls,
the party continued their search for specimens.


The doctor made the first find of interest.
Turning over a submerged piece of dead coral,
several brown egg-shaped creatures appeared,
covered with curious short tentacles. They were
evidently mollusks; but where was the shell?
"Now watch, the transformation," said the
doctor, as the boys
crowded around;
and, touching one
of the animals, the
curious covering
rapidly drew in
Cypr~oa moneta. from beneath, ex-
posing the exquisitely polished shell of a Cy-
prcea or cowry, the micramock of the reefers.
"I have often wondered," said Harry, "how
they retained their polish; this explains it."
"Yes," 'replied the doctor. "They live in
these rough places, and to protect the shell, and
rebuild it when worn away or broken, this sin-
gular covering- is thrown out. You are all fa-
miliar with the spotted cowry; it is a relative
of this; the family is a very large one. The
Cyprcea moneta, or money cowry, is imported

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