R A M B U*E S
"Why this longing, this for ever sighing
For the far-off, unattained, and dim,
While the beautiful, all around us lying,
Breathes up its low, perpetual hymn?"
PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
28 CORNHILL, BOSTON.
Enteed, according to Act of Congres, In the year 186, by the
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
In the Clerk's Office of the Distrlct Court of the District of Mssachusette.
"rBIOTPRI AT THE
BOSTON STBXROTTPI FOUNDT.
Tans book has been written to interest both adults
and children in some of the least known wonders
of God's skill. Land Shells, from the retiring habits
of their animals, are little observed. The one or
two kinds familiar to every person, are so common
a to be little esteemed; and, in the dead, faded,
and broken condition in which they are most often
seep, have little of their original beauty. While on
a few weeks' visit to Central New York, a lime-
stone region, the writer gathered sixty varieties.
Collected fresh, and arranged in a cabinet, they
surprise every one with their diversified elegance.
Still, the sells of our temperate zone are homely
nl comparison with those of the tropics, which can
be procured in exchange or by purchase. To illus-
trate the subject, a few tropical land shells have
been drawn and colored from nature for the frontis-
piece of this volume. Scattered through the pages
are some of our own species. The Helix, with its
animal, is copied from Binney. The reader, who
pursues the subject, is referred to Binney's large
illustrated work, and to a descriptive catalogue of
American land and fresh-water shells by the younger
Binney, soon to be issued by the Smithsonian Insti-
tution. Woodward's "Recent and Fossil Shells"
is regarded as the best cheap manual of conchology
CHAPTER I. PAGE
MOLLUSCA- HELIX PULCHELLA CONCHOLOGY. ... 7
AUNT FANNT-THE SNAKE-GATHERING SHELLS-
THE MOIST PLACE ..................... 18
THE SHELLS DISAPPEARED-CLASSES OF SHELLS-
THEIR STRUCTURE TEETH GOD'S WISDOM AND
GOODNESS ....................... .
CLEANING OF SHELLS HELICIDM HELIX ALBOLA-
BBIS HELIX PALLIATA HELIX TRIDENTATA -
HELIX CAFFRA ACHATINA ACHATINELLA 38
ANOTHER EXCURSION- ANTS- EGGS O THE HELIX
ENEMIES OF THE MOLLUSCA- HORNETS PALISSY
THE POTTER....................... 48
HELIX ALTERNATE -HOW THE SHELLS ARE MADE -
SUCCINEA OBLIQUA THE CARRIAGE DRIVE THE
SOLDIER- NO SHELLS IN PINE WOODS- BEES--
HELIX PERSPECTIVE HELIX FIDELIS HELIX
RTEXTA...... .............. ......61
VISIT TO GRANDPA RUSSELL'S-THE STEAMBOAT-
THE VILLAGE GRANDPA RUSSELL'S HOUSE -
MONEY-COWRIES IANTHINA HILIOTIS KEEP-
ING THE SABBATH-PECTEN- EXCURSION TO THE
WATERFALL -HELIX LABYRINTHICA.... . 77
DEAD SHELL LIMNZEIDA LIMHNA APPRESSA -
FRANK AND ARCHY-THE DUCKS-THE WATER
SOLDIERS-THE SWEETEST THING IN THE WORLD. 95
ELMWOOD-UNCLE HENRY AND AUNT LEDA-THE
w FISHERMEN-TRILOBITES AND AMMONITES-EX-
CURSION TO THE FALLS SEPTARIA -THE FALLS
-HELIX HORTENSIS-RETURN TO ELMWOOD.. .112
THE CABINET-- BULIMUS FASCIATUS LA BRILLANTB
GLANDINA CYLINDRELLA THE DISSENTING
REGIMENT -WORK FOR THE ARMY. ......... 13
FOSSILS- FROGS- THE MORNING--BROOK SNAILS. .149
PHYSAVINOSA- PUPA DECORA -THE THUNDER 5TORu
SNAILS IN WINTER SEA SHELLS- PLEASANT-
NESS OF THE STUDY ............... o..
RAMBLES AFTER LAND SHELLS.
"MOTHnn, what does mollusca mean?"
asked Frank Russell, a boy of twelve years,
who was inspecting the books in his grand-
"It means soft-bodied animals. Oysters
and clams, slugs and snails, are mollusca."
"I thought oysters are called shell-fish."
"They are; but that name would not an-
swer for all soft-bodied animals known as
mollusqa, because some have no shells, and
oWts, having shells, live on the land."
"Shells on the land?" said Frank, turning
around. Do you mean those on the shore by
"No, there are shells in the woods and
fields. In England, they are found in the
hedges, ditches, old ruined walls, in the gar-
dens, and even in the cellars. Bring me the
thin volume next the one at which you were
looking, and you shall see what I mean.
There," said she, turning to the plates of the
British Mollusca, "are they not beautiful ?"
"How I wish I lived i' England!" he said,
looking wistfully at them.
"What would you do?"
"I should go into the garden this minute,
and bring you a handful."
Well, Frank, go down by the brook, be-
yond the garden, and turn over any chance
board that has lain there some time, and try
what you can find."
Frank looked as if he thought his mother
was making sport of him; but, seeing her in
earnest, he ran with good speed, never
ping till he reached the green banks ofhe
little brook. A few scattered pieces of board
were in sight. These he turned hastily over,
then ran further to look among the potato
hills; but in neither place was there any
thing to reward his search, and he went back
to the library disappointed.
"Not a mollusca on the premises, mother."
"A mollusk you mean. Mollusca is plural.
Do not be too sure till you have learned to
use your eyes. Let us see if mine can help
you." Frank gladly brought a sun hat to his
mother, and followed her through the wind-
ing paths till they reached the brook.
"Here is a promising place," said she, care-
fully turning over a brown, decayed piece of
board that lay imbedded in the grass.
"Well, I see nothing yet but some wrig-
gling worms and little bugs running about,"
-" Look here, and here, and there!" answered
his mother, gently taking up certain white
ep s, one after another. In a moment he
ras down on his knees, picking away at the
white specks too; and soon, with a cluster in
the palms of their hands, they sat together by
theside of the brook.
"They are small enough- too small to
put in a book, any way."
"But not too small for God to make, my
dear child, and to make with wonderful deli-
cacy and beauty, too. Here are some which
I will put upon this green leaf, and lay in your
hand. Now examine them with the magnify-
"White trumpets, mother! Lines as fine
as hair drawn all over them! They are as
thin as glass, too!"
"Keep quite still a few moments, and then
tell me what you see."
"Hurrah! Here are the molluscal Little
white fellows with horns on their heads, nod-
.ding all about to see where they are. There
they go back again into their round doors.
Why did they shrink back that way all in a
"Because you moved your hand. hey
withdraw into their houses for protection, and
very far too, you see."
"Let me draw one out with a pin."
"No, Frank, you could not do it. He pulls
back so stoutly that you would break the
shell, and it would be cruel to tear the little
fellow to pieces in that way. We will see
about getting him out another time."
"Come, little white trumpets, give us some
Call them by their own name."
What name, pray ?"
tiPuth" "That sounds like Latin, mother,"
said Frank, laughing; "but I have not gone
so far as that, or, as the boys in school say,
'it is not in my book.' Why such a long
name for the wee things ? "
"Pulchella means pretty. Helix means.
that the shell is spiral or coiled."
"That's not a bad name, after all. And
now what shall I do with them? for I think
they are too pretty to throw away."
"Put them in a box with the written name,
if you like. You can add to them to-morrow,
if you fancy going with me and aunt Fan to
the woods near the lake in the morning."
The proposition delighted him, for, of all
places, he loved the woods best, and now his
curiosity and interest were excited. He car-
ried his new treasures to the library. Grandpa
was there reading, and to him he enthusias-
tically described them. The latter listened
good-naturedly, while running his fingers
through his snow-white hair till it stood on
end; and when the boy finished, his black eyes
twinkled over his spectacles.
Getting to be a conchologist, eh? said he.
"No, sir. What is that?"
"There is Webster's Unabridged. Look it
out, and you will remember."
There it was--a long word: "Concholo-
gist. One who studies the nature, properties,
and habits of shells and their included ani-
mals." And the next word caught his eye:
"Conchology. The science of shells and the
animals that inhabit them."
Aunt Fanny- The Snake- Gathering Shells -The Moist
THE next morning, Frank awoke at dawn.
The birds were singing so loudly among the
trees on the lawn that he could not go to sleep
immediately. And then so many pleasant
thoughts of the intended excursion came into
his head that dozing was no longer possible,
and, for once, he rose with thesun. It seemed
a long time till the family gathered in the
breakfast room. When they did, he had so
much to say about the woods, the sunshine
was so cheerful, and the morning so breezy
and cool, that all agreed nothing could be
pleasanter than to have a family picnic on
the lake shore. Accordingly, when breakfast
was finished, and grandpa had read a chapter
of the Bible and prayed, and they had sung
morning hymn, as the birds had sweetly done
four hours before, the family separated to
make ready for the intended trip.
Grandma and aunt Fan (nobody called her
Fanny) filled a motherly basket with sand-
wiches, biscuits, tarts, and coffee, while Frank
went off to the stable to see the horses duly
harnessed and hurried to the door. In an
hour, all were seated in the carriage except
Fan and Frank, who, with the basket of sand-
wiches, chose to follow in the chaise.
What a pleasant drive that was through
the shady streets, out between the green
fields, past the camp where the soldiers were
drilling, and two or three miles beyond, along
the shore of the smooth blue lake There
were the old wintergreen woods, where school
girls of two or three generations had picked
berries and botanized, but which, at last, were
being encroached upon by fields full of long,
straight furrows, that pointed toward the
woods, rich with the prophecy of coming
Frank and his mother followed a winding
pathlthat led from the edge of the wood to a
denser part, down in a ravine. They stooped 4
and dodged the low branches, parted the in-
terlacing boughs, stumbled over sticks, and
slid among the leaves till their shoes were
slippery. Fallen trunks of trees lay here and
there, covered with moss, or crumbling to
pieces. Frank was a city boy, and, though
he had enjoyed rambles in the woods before,
he had never found occasion to make acquaint-
ance with the inhabitants. Both he and his
mother began to search the decaying stumps
with a certain caution, as if, possibly, they
might contain something less welcome than a
mollusk. Each with a stick broke away the
decayed edges, looking carefully all the time.
Frank lifted the leaves and pieces of bark in
the hollow, and there, snug as a mouse, lay a
round, dark shell, with a white mouth, like the
top of a gothic window. The woods rang
with a shout at his success. His mother
smiled, and went on picking out from beneath
the bark some little shells, hardly as large as
a pin-head, thin and shining. These she'tied
' in a corner of her handkerchief, for they had
forgotten to bring a basket. Nothing more
was to be found in the top of the stump; so
they lifted the moss and leaves near the roots.
"Here is another, and another!" and two
more of the gothic shells were taken prisoners.
The stumps each side of the path were suc-
cessively inspected, yielding more of the
brown and several small shining ones. In a
hollow, nicely couched on abed of damp moss,
Frank found a large yellow-brown shell, with
a white rim around the mouth. His mother
added one more like it, which she picked up
from among the leaves near the path. Just
beyond was a mossy old stump, in which she
found nestled a very small mollusk, that had
a white bar across the entrance. Frank
thought it would be as hard for the animal to
creep out as for any living thing to get in.
"What is the name of it? he asked.
"When we are at home, we will find out
all about it," was the answer. "Here is a
LAND SHELW. 17
promising bit of bark and moss;" and, lifting
it up with the stick, there was a tiny cavern,
just fit for a mollusk to live in. Amall coiled
snake lay there fast asleep. It did not stir,
and Mrs. Russell covered it again quickly,
and dropped her stick with an exclamation
"Let me kill it," said Frank, advancing
with a flourish.
"No; there is room enough in the woods
Jfor it and us too. It is of a harmless kind."
"But snakes ought to be killed."
"We did not come to make war on the
rightful inhabitants of the woods. We have
come only to learn about some of the wonders
of God's creation, and to study the habits of
the living things that are so often passed by
unseen. Let the snake finish his nap."
Aunt Fan was now calling them, like a
ventriloquist, in all manner of voices; and,
thus reminded that it was already long past
the usual dinner hour, they went back to the
group seated under the trees, at the edge of
S1 IMBLES AFTER
the wood. It was a pleasant spot. On the
right, at some distance, was a quaint old house,
with a deep dark ravine behind it, and a great
hedge-bound lawn in front. On the other
side, lower down, a gray-roofed campanile
tower rose amidst deep-green oaks and chest-
nuts. These wholly hid the church to which
the tower belonged; but it was pleasant to
know it was there, and proof that the dwell-
ers on this peaceful shore were not forgetters
Before them a green field sloped to the
yellow line of the winding road. This was
skirted by trees and trailing wild grape-vines,
with old twisted trunks tlftt might entitle them
to the name of grape-trees. Openings, here
and there, gave bright, near glimpses of the
lake and over their tops the blue water
stretched away to the misty hills in the dis-
SHow beautiful it is!" said Mrs. Russell,
glancing at the sunny picture and at the gyp-
sy-looking group near by.
LAND SHELLS. 19
What have you found ? Let us see," said
impatient Fan. Whereupon Frank began to
empty his pockets into her lap.
"What ugly-looking things! Ugh! Hor-
rid!" she exclaimed, turning them back into
his hands as the animals began to thrust
"Don't you see that big fellow walking off
with the shell on his back? Mother, come
ud see! Here is an animal so far out of his
house that he can not get in again. Shall I
keep the shell, and let him walk back to the
woods and get another?" She could not
help laughing this time.
"It does not leave the shell at all unless it
dies. Would you take off a mud turtle's
bck, and tell him to go and make himself
"But see, mother; it can never get in
again. It is now as long again as the
,!Yet it. is able wholly to shrink back, if
hurt or alarmed. The good Maker did not
forget to provide means of protection in
danger, even for the humble snail. It can
not run quickly and hide under a stone, like
a bug; but God has given it strong muscles,
by which it can pull itself back into its house
when frightened. Put them away now.
Grandma is waiting."
When the picnic dinner was over, and
grandpa had lounged long enough on the
carriage cushions and shawls, and gazed up
at the sky and at the fleecy clouds sailing
about, and when grandma had gathered the
remnants of the dinner, that nothing should
be wasted, and aunty had seen the dishes
snug and safe in the basket, they all strolled
slowly down to the road, and then along to
the shady place where the horses stood, pa-
tiently waiting to go back to their own pio-
nic in the fields. 0
It was sunset when the party reached home.
Frank was tired, and glad to put away his
shells, without asking any more questions.
He remembered that his mother told him
LAND SHELLS. -. 21
they lived only in moist places, and, thinking
4o make them comfortable for the night, he
-lled a goblet half full of water, turned them
al into it, and set it on a shelf in the book-
ease, dosing the glass doors tightly, to insure
the safety of his treasures.
The Shell diappeaed--Claes of Shells-Their Struture
-Teeth-God's Wisdom and Goodness.
"WZLL, mother," said Frank, full of indig-
nation, the next morning after breakfast,
"somebody has been mean enough to take
away all my shells but three."
"Where did you put them ?"
"In grandpa's book-case."
"We will go and see," returned Mrs. Rus-
sell, believing there was some mistake.
"Here are all that are left," Frank said,
taking down the goblet.
"Did you put the poor things in- water?
These creatures are not made to live in water.
We found them in damp, shady places, not in
a brook, nor in a lake. Why, my son, they
have climbed out of the glass, and run away
themselves. There is one!" she pointed to
the inside of the easing, nearly at the top.
"There is another, on the back of Hume's
History. Do you see the shining trail wher-
ever they have crept ? "
By these marks, the astonished boy traced
them behind the books, in the shelf corners,
on the piles of pamphlets, and on the wood-
work. They had evidently done their best to
find their way back to the woods.
This mishap will help you remember what
I intended to tell you this morning. Bring
the shells to the table, by the window."
While he gathered them, his mother went
for those she had tied in her handkerchief,
and came back laughing at her own misfor-
tune -the small shining shells being broken
"Never mind; we shall both do better the
next time, and have learned, at least, to take
a basket and small box lined with cotton,
when we go again."
"And not to put them into water when we
come back," added Frank.
"Unless they are fresh-water mollusca,"
his mother replied. U And now the first thing
I wish you to remember is, that the mollusoa
are divided into six classes. We will talk
now of three dhly. These are named from
the way in which the mollusks move. The
first is CBPHALOPODA. Where do you sup-
pose their feet grow? "
"Out of their legs," answered Frank,
"No; out of their head !"
Frank began to laugh; and the more he
thought about it, the more he laughed.
They must look like the pictures in Punch,"
SOh, no. They are pretty enough. The
feet or arms grow in a circle around the head,
and enable them to swim rapidly. The name
is given from two Greek words, meaning head-
footed. The second class is GASTEROPODA.
Where do you think their feet grow ? "
"I can not guess"
"From the stomach!"
"Then they walk fiat on the ground I"
aid Frank, laughing so heartily when his
mother assented to this, that aunt Fan came
to see what had happened.
"The word Gasteropoda means stomach-
footed," continued his mother, "and these
shells are called crawlers. The next, the
third class, is PTEROPODA. This means wing-
footed. The pair of wings grow from the
sides of the head."
"Do they fly, like butterflies?"
"No; they live only in the sea, and swim
by means of these wings or fins. Most of
them have no shells, and float about, attach-
ing themselves sometimes to sea-weed. Now,
to the three classes I have named belong all
the univalves, or shells composed of one
* piece. How many valves, or parts, have your
"Then they are univalves, and belong to
one of these three'classes. Do the animals
move themselves by arms or feet growing
from the heaR ?"
"No, indeed," answered Frank, watching
one as it crept about the table.
Then they can not be classed under Cepha-
lopoda. Have they wings growing from the
No, ma'am," laughed Frank, "they are too
fat for fairies."
"Neither do they belong to the Pteropoda.
Do they crawl?"
"So they do!" exclaimed Frank. "I have
it now, mother; they belong to the class Gas-
"You are right. And the largest portion
of the sea-shells you have seen are in this
class. But this second class, Gasteropoda, or
crawlers, is divided into four orders, because
their breathing organs are differently placed
and differently made. The first is Proso-
branchiata, meaning gills in advance of the
heart. But where do you suppose the gills
are placed ? "
"No. On the back of the head! And
these are all made to live in the sea. Those
of the third order are called Opisthobran-
chiata, meaning gills situated on the back and
sides, in the rear of the body; and the fourth
order, Nucleobranchiata, in which the -gills
are placed on the back, belong also to'the
sea. We will not learn about them till we
go back to live by the sea."
"But, mother, I do not see any gills in these
'mollusks. Do they belong to one of the
"They have no gills."
"Can't they breathe?" asked Frank, a little
"Yes, they breathe air. You found out
last night that they do not breathe in the
S"Now I understand!" exclaimed Frank, in
delight. "Things that live in the water have
gills, like the fishes. But what have these
snails to breathe air with ?"
"What have you, Frank?" *
So have the snails."
This time Frank sprang out of his chair
with such a loud exclamation that aunt Fan
brought her work into the library to hear what
seemed so wonderful.
"Think of that, Fan," said he. "Those
homely things, that you thought 'horrid
worms,' have lungs."
"And heart," added his mother, "and liver,
white blood, eyes, mouth, tongue, and teeth." *
"How could all those be put into a snail ?"
asked Fan, soberly.
"There are snails not larger than a thread,
that have all these organs perfect," said Mrs.
Russell. "God's skill is not like the poor
skill of man in these things."
."You have not told me, yet, to which order,
these snails belong, mother."
"I gave you the names of the first, third
and fourth orders, because they include the
mollusks that live in the water. The land
snails belong to the second order, Pulmonif-
era, which means, having lungs."
"I can remember that," said Frank, watch-
ing a large snail with his shell on his back,
crawling about the table, close to the edge.
"Here, my big fellow, you will fall off that
precipice, and smash your house, if not your
"Snails have no bones, you recollect," his
mother said. "That reminds me of a verse in
the Psalms which says of the wicked, As a
snail melteth, let every one of them pass
away.' Snails look large while active, but
shrink to half the size when dead, and with
a stroke of your hand or foot you can almost
wipe them out of existence. Or, if left in
their shells, they shrink up to a mere wisp,
like a dead leaf. With all their beautiful or-
ganization, they do, indeed, melt away. Now,
Frank, tell me, if you can, where the eyes are
Both Frank and Fan examined a snail
carefully, and declared there were no eyes
at all, where they ought to be. Nothing
but horns-four horns; two short ones,
and two long. They were told to uke the
magnifier, and look at the ends of the long
Here they are, mother, at the ends of the
long horns. How odd I I should think they
would get hurt, mounted up so high."
"Touch the long tentacles, or horns, as
you call them, and see what protection the
good Creator has given them," said Mrs.
Frank touched one softly, and in went
the eyes, and down went the horns in a
twinkling, just as you would turn a glove
finger outside in. The eyes disappeared
"But, mother, suppose something should hit
very hard, and spoil horns and all, would the
snails be blind always ?"
"No, if the tentacles were broken offt
new ones would grow out again in a few
weeks. The experiment has been tried many
"Where are their teeth ? queried Fan, now
thoroughly interested, and no longer
Shrinking from the touch of the
"On their tongues!" A hearty
laugh greeted this information.
:!'.i "Then how can they bite?'
.i tl't asked Frank.
S. There is a saw-like plate behind
:i.".:i::.: the upper lip, with which they cut
;.... ;i: tlfH leaves. The tongue is covered
with rows of minute teeth, shining
;i: .like glass, the points turned back-
,;:it ward. These serve' to grind the
Food, and carry it backward to the
i,. What wonderful little creatures,
itil :I mother! I should think God would
ongue teeth be tired thinking hew to, make
Man would tire, and fall far short of per
fiction, if he had the forming of them; but thl
Lord of all is infinite in wisdom and goodness.
There is no limit to his power. Neither
Toue teth &f Cyctphtus
does he forget to provide for them, and for
the birds and the fishes. Now you can un-
derstand better the verse you repeated the
other morning at table, '0 Lord, how mani-
fold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made
them all: the earth is full of thy riches.'"
Cleaning of Shells- Helcide Helix Albolabris Helix
Palliata Helix Tridentata Helix Caffra Achatina-
MRS. RUSSELL did not think best to tell
Frank any more about the shells till the next
rainy day. Boys dread rainy days. They go
lounging about, looking now and then out of
the window, wishing they could see a patch
of blue sky, and turn away, begging mother
or sister to tell them what they can do the
livelong day. You can imagine how pleased
Frank was when he heard his mother's pleas-
ant voice, one such dreary morning, calling
"Come, Frank 1 Come, Fan I am going
to be major-general to-day, and review m.
"Are you going to play soldier, mother?"
he asked, in profound astonishment. She did
not hear him, for she had disappeared down
the cellar stairway.
"Is the review to be in the cellar?" said
Fan, running to the door just in time to see
Mrs. Russell coming up, with a deep dish con-
taining cabbage leaves, and having a fine wire
"You are the sutler, instead of major-gen-
eral. If you have any thing nice to eat under
those cabbage leaves, I hope you will count
us as officers, and entitle us to a share," said
"Certainly. Try one now," replied her
sister, lifting the cover and the leaves, and
displaying the contents-a cluster of mol-
lusks who thought they had been. hiding
under a great plant in the woods all the time.
Fan gave a little scream.
Ho I ho I those are the soldiers, are they ?"
ried Frank. "Patter away, rain! We'll
ave a good time within." And he followed
his mother to the kitchen, where the tea-
kettle was steaming away like a small locomo-
tive. She removed the shells from under the
leaves, placed them in another dish, and, be-
fore Frank could think what she was going
to do, she had poured the boiling water over
the mollusks. Every snail instantly disap-
peared in its shell.
"Oh, mother, did not that hurt ?"
"Conchologists tell us these do not feel
pain. You saw me destroy them in the
quickest way possible, and it is necessary to
do so, else we could not remove them from
the shell. I heard a little boy propose the
other day to pull them out with a pin!"
"So I did!" answered Frank, wondering
When the water had cooled, Mrs. Russell
carried the dish into the library. Of course
Frank went also, and Fan was willing enough
to join them with her sewing. Mrs. Russell
took a piece of wire, bent in one or two coils .
and began to remove the animals, which came
out quite easily after being well hooked on
the wire. Frank attempted one with a bent
pin, but ran it through the shell in two or
three places, and, finally, broke the snail in
two, leaving part in the shell.
"You can not clean the shell rightly now,
and the odor will trouble you in a day or two.
My plan, you see, is the best."
"There he comes!" said Frank, watching
his mother take out one of the snails. "How
pretty the colors white, cream-color, dark
gray. It is coiled exactly the shape of the
shell. Do look, Fan!"
That is the stomach of the animal which
remains wound in the shell. The rest of the
body protrudes when the snail is in motion,
and is drawn back by a network of muscles
which line the whole slimy covering or skin
of the animal. This skin is called the
'mantle.' There is a strong muscle in the
foot, also, fastened to the shell inside, and by
means of which the snail draws itself back in
its house, so stoutly that you would not be
able to pull it out."
"I can see no foot, mother."
"Nor I either," added Fan, tipping over a
"The whole under surface, or part that
creeps, is called the foot."
"I should like to see your army perform a
'double quick' with such feet," laughed Fan,
"Stop a minute before you laugh, Fan.
You will see, presently, what an orderly army
we can muster. You remember, I am to com-
mand one division during this summer's cam-
paign, which I told you should be gaster-
"Oh, yes. Crawling soldiers! said Frank.
"And you remember the class gasteropoda
is divided into orders, which shall be our
brigades. The brigade we have chosen for
close inspection is named pulmonifera."
"Air-breathers, that means," interrupted
Frank. "Three cheers for the air-breathing
brigade!" and he would have shouted in
earnest, if his mother had not cautioned him
She continued, "This brigade, or order, is
composed of several regiments, which con-
chologists call 'families.'"
"Do they carry a regimental flag?" asked
Fan, who had forgotten to sew.
"You may have it so, if you like. The
first regiment, or family, may inscribe on its
flag the word delicide, which means the
family of coiled shells. So you see they are
all related to each other. And now we will
inspect the first company of this regiment.
Company A! Helices Why, Frank, where
are they?" said his mother, after waiting a
"I don't know," he replied, with a blank
"Right before you, on the table. All the
shells we have yet found are named helices."
"But, mother, these are not alike. Here is
a small one, there a large one: some are yel-
low, and some brown."
"Ah, yes," she answered; "the people who
study shells found tha$ out long ago, and
divided them into squads, which they call
'varieties.' Select those you think alike, and
then we will find out their names, just as you
would find out which was Johnny Grey, and
which was James."
Accordingly, Frank, with Fan's assistance,
separated the shells in clusters.
"What is the name of this helix, mother ?"
he asked, holding up the largest.
"And what does that mean ? He turned
it over and over, to see why it had so long a
Helix, I just told you, means a coil. Albo-
labris means white-lipped."
"Is that white rim the lip? queried Fan.
"Yes. The open part of the shell is called
the mouth, and the edge of the mouth is the
lip, which, in this case, is reflected, or turned
back. The white lip is in pretty contrast with
the yellow-brown shell. Notice, too, the fine
lines that curve over the whorls, more per-
fectly than any graving tool could make
"I do not know what you mean by whorls."
"Begin at the lip, and move your finger
round the shell till you come to the lip again.
You find your finger higher up than when you
started. That is one whorl. Move again,
counting each time you return to the lip, till
you reach the apex, or top of the shell. Now,
tell me how many whorls has Helix albo-
"Six answered Frank, triumphantly.
"How many has this?" asked his mother,
taking up one which had reminded them of
a gothic window, when in the woods. .He
counted as before.
"Five. But how rough it is! Shall I get
a brush and rub it off clean ?"
"Take the magnifier, first, and see if it
"It is covered with little points and hairs!"
he presently exclaimed.
"Which possibly gives its name; 'Helix
palliata,' meaning cloaked," added Mrs. Rus-
"A fur cloak, I should think," was Fan's
suggestion, after examining it.
We shall have to spoil our gothic window
name," continued Mrs. Russell, "by calling the
lip three-lobed. The points where the arches
meet are named teeth; and the white bar at
the entrance is an oblique tooth. There is
another shell that looks much like this. Can
you tell me the difference ?"
"It has a fur cloak, a white lip, and teeth,
just like the other," said Frank.
"It is smaller."
"I see! I see now! It hasa holeon the
"You are right. 'Umbilicated,' the book
says. The whorls wind around, leaving an
opening in the center. The shell is called
' Helix tridentata' three-toothed."
Mrs. Russell now laid the shells in a bowl
of warm soap-suds, and, with a camel's-hair
brush, cleaned them carefully, rinsed them in
clear water, and laid them down to dry. Fan
went to look for a box and some white cotton
to place them in for safe keeping.
"I think I like shells better than flowers,"
said Frank, while waiting. "Why did Jesus
never speak of them? He talked of fishes,
birds, beasts, and trees and flowers."
"I suppose because the people were famil-
iar with the objects of which he spoke while
many, perhaps, had never noticed a shell, just
as you had not till a few days ago. Syria,
too, is a dry country, and probably shells do
not abound there."
Fan presently came back and herself ar-
ranged the shells on the clean white cotton.
"They are really pretty, now, I own. I
won't laugh at you any more when you go
hunting in the woods for them."
"If you laughed at our interest in search-
ing for the mollusca, you would also have to
laugh at people whom you greatly admire.
Dr. Livingstone, whose Explorations in Africa
interested you so much, has already sent home
many fine specimens of land shells. The
Oregon and Colorado expeditions, over which
you were enthusiastic, were accompanied by.
scientific men who collected natural history
specimens for the Smithsonian Institute in
Washington. There you can see what shells
are found in all parts of our country. Persons
are employed, in many parts of the world, by
Professor Agassiz, to collect shells for his
Museum of Natural History in Cambridge.
He has already an immense cabinet. Then
there is Madame Pfeiffer, whose energy you
admire. She did not fear to venture among
the cannibal Fijis for the sake of gathering
plants and shells; and, when she was driven
from Madagascar, although very ill during the
journey, she did not forget to induce the
natives to obtain them for her by the way."
"I give up I give up!" exclaimed Fan.
"I confess I laughed in ignorance, and, with
such an array of my favorites against me, I
promise not to despise the snails again."
It is safe and wise not to despise any thing
God has made. You will be sure to find
beauty, and order, and use in it. David re-
joiced in the works of nature so much, that
he could not praise God enough without call-
ing on the mountains, hills, trees, the birds,
beasts, and all creeping things, to help him
sing, Glory to God; and even tells little chil-
dren to praise the Lord for his wondrous works.
So I think, if either Solomon or David were
here, they would tell us that it is a good thing
to search the woods and fields, and know the
wonders they contain."
"Sister Annie, you said, a few moments
since, that Dr. Livingstone had sent home
African shells. Do they differ as much from
ours as the plants and trees?"
"Yes. They are much larger, and are more
highly colored. I have seen a helix sent by
him measuring three inches across. The
color is green, in three shades, handing the
whorls in the same direction with the strike
or fine lines, such as we noticed in Helix
albolabris. There is another shell which
belongs to the family Helicidae, but does not
march in the same company with the Helices,"
she added, looking at Frank. "The company,
or species to which it belongs, is called' Acha-
tina,' meaning agate shell. One African variety
grows to the length of eight inches. That is
longer than my hand. Think of a great snail
with such a house as that on his back, climb-
ing up a tree to get his dinner!"
"And are there oi such shells in this coun-
try?" asked Frank, wistfully.
None so large. It is properly an African
species. There is a little shell called Achati-
nella,' very abundant in the Sandwich Islands.
They are red, green, brown, yellow, or white,
and are banded in a countless variety of ways ;
a narrow line of black winding in the same
direction with the whorls. Sometimes there
are several lines. The son of a missionary,
who was interested in collecting these little
shells, told me he used to dig in the ground
for them. Many times he found them on the
trees, tracing them by a humming noise which
"That would suit me, precisely," said Fan.
"Can we find shells on the trees, mother?"
"Yes, sometimes. At the West they have
been found thus. If you look on the under
side of leaves, upon the lowest branches, you
may make a discovery now and then."
When shall we go and try to-morrow ?"
*' The ground would be too wet to-morrow,
even if the sun shone. Snails do not like the
wet ground any better than we. They take
an airing when it is damp."
Then day after to-morrow, if it is pleasant,"
"Yes, that will do." And, with this decis-
ion, Mrs. Russell put away the shells, and
went with her sewing to visit with her mother.
Another Excursion-- Ants-- Eggs of the Helix Enemies of
the Mollusca- Hornets- Palissy the Potter.
IT Was during the month of July that
Frank and his mother were making excursions
into the woods. Could they have spent April
and May in the country, better success would
have rewarded their search for shells. The
snails wake from their long winter's nap, and
come forth plentifully in the cloudy days of
spring. They are then full grown, and are
found most perfect. The dryness and heat
of summer cause them to hide in the earth, or
in the moist secluded places, where there is
an abundance of shade and moisture. Mrs.
Russell knew this, but was unwilling to wait
for better opportunities, which might never
On the appointed morning, therefore, she
was ready to go with Frank. He had been
waiting almost an hour, while his mother
assisted Fan in her usual employment. *14
soon found a pleasant reason for this, for,
when they were ready, there stood Fan with
her flat, looking as if she meant to go, too.
"Are you really bound for the woods, aunt
Fan?" said Frank, hardly believing his eyes.
"Too true," she replied, soberly.
"Good !" That was all he said, but it was
a hearty welcome, nevertheless. So they
went together down the long farm-lane, that
led between fields of grain. The reapers
were already at work there. The lane ended
at a road which divided the grain fields
from a hilly pasture. There was a deep cut
through this pasture, at the bottom of which
a brook spread itself broadly over the pebbles,
and was then gathered into a narrow way be-
tween grassy banks, and glided into a pond
in a field beyond, where the frogs sunned
themselves all day, and croaked all night.
Cows, spotted and plain, red, white, and
black, long-horned and ugly looking, or mild.
eyed and patient, were scattered over the
." sture, browsing or standing, idly whisking
their tails. This pasture was to be crossed
before reaching the woods beyond. Fan
could not be persuaded to run this gantlet.
So, after consultation, they walked further
along the road, and climbed through the bars
into a field which seemed to be planted only
with thistles. Fan sighed over the heat, the
cows, and the thorns, and Frank rubbed his
ankles and condoled with her over the rough
road to knowledge. At last they reached the
boundary fence. Frank went over at one
leap; his mother followed, clumsily; and poor
Fan, jumping from the top, fell full length
among the leaves and sticks. They began
immediately a thorough search.
"Come and see what is under this stone I"
Frank shouted. Truly enough, there was a
snug little family of insects as large as flies,
with the prettiest blue, shining wings that
could be imagined. They ran about when
the light poured in upon them, knocking their
heads against every little lump of dirt, in vain
efforts to hide. Frank put the stone back,
and Fan told him she had no doubt they'
were gossiping now about the strange event,
and congratulating each other over their nar-
"Why are you tearing off the bark from
the stumps, Annie?" she asked.
"To find shells."
"Are there any?"
"Nothing but ants, yet."
Then Frank rolled over a log, and ex-
What have you found now?" called Fan.
"Nothing but ants," he answered, laughing;
"but just see them run." A whole city of
ants, frightened at the noise, and blinded by
the light, ran over each other in the direst
confusion, as the Assyrians must have done
when Gideon's men broke the pitchers and
blew the trumpets. Frank took pity on
them, and turned back the log. And now it
was Fan's turn to call the rest, mischievously.
-Have you found the first shell?" they
"Oh, no. Nothing but ants! But, in good
earnest, sister Annie, do tell us what they are
doing. They are smaller than those under
the log, and are running up and down this
tree, just as if they had much to do, and were
doing it with all their might."
"I can not tell you," answered Mrs. Russell,
"unless Solomon's words can explain it. You
remember the verses, 'Go to the ant, thou
sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise;
which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
provideth her meat in the summer, and gather-
eth her food in the harvest.'"
"Then they are gathering food for winter,"
said Frank, watching them with great interest.
The little party continued to brush about
among the leaves and old logs, till convinced
there were no shells.
"We may be sure that where it is dry
enough for ants to abound, it is too dry for
mollusks," Mrs. Russell said. "We must go
down in the ravine there. It is moist, and
filled too with old logs and stumps."
The same little stream that ran through the
pasture came first through this wood, wind-
ing about at the foot of the hill, narrow and
still. When they had clambered down the
hill-side, they obtained footing on the roots
of an upturned tree, and waited till Frank
found a limb strong enough to bridge the
brook. When all were over, each selected a
place to search.
"Something new!" shouted Frank, enthu-
siastically, holding up two or three amber-
colored shells, one containing the animal, the
others empty. He laid them carefully in the
"Here is a new variety of Helix," said his
mother, showing a broad strip of bark she had
just turned over. Seven large and small mol-
lusks, curiously marked, clung to the moist
wood, and one or two still larger lay upon the
ground. When a log was too heavy to turn
over, they scraped away the leaves that lay
against it, moving them slowly and gently.
Now and then, they were rewarded by find-
ing an albolabris, or another, still prettier,
which reminded Frank of grandma's brown
"If these mollusks are always hiding, moth-
er, how do they find any thing to eat? "
They come out in the night for their food.
I am not sure, but if you were to wake up in
the night in the woods, you might hear them
munching the leaves. I think these with the
black marks eat the decayed wood to which
"What is this?" asked Fan, holding up
some leaves glued together, and within which
lay a cluster of minute white globules.
"The eggs of the helix. They will hatch
"Yes. They are not many. One helix
will produce from thirty to one hundred dur-
ing the season."
"I wonder the world is not overrun with
them," said Fan.
"You forget that He who creates has pro-
vided limits also. These snails have so many
enemies, and so many difficulties to surmount
in their short life, that the greater wonder is,
they do not become extinct."
"What enemies can snails have?" Fan
and Frank sat down on a log to rest and
"Us, to begin with," replied Mrs. Russell
"When the woods are cut down, they disap-
pear, for they can live only in the forest. The
severe cold of winter destroys great numbers
of them. Even the rivers are their enemies.
In the vicinity of the Mississippi and Ohio,
where the climate and soil are very favorable
to their increase, they are destroyed in great
numbers by inundations and freshets. Fires
in the forests and prairies almost exterminate
them. In woods where the Indians were ac-
customed to burn out the underbrush yearly,
the mollusks are scarcely found. Then the
"Not the birds, mother," interrupted Frank.
Yes, even the birds, especially the thrush,
will pick them up while creeping, carry them
to a convenient place, peck away the shell,
and devour the snail. Reptiles sometimes
swallow them. A kind of field mouse, too,
will burrow under the snow, and search them
out in their winter retreats; and the hog will
root for them so thoroughly as to cause their
entire disappearance from the vicinity in
which the creature is allowed to roam. Frogs
swallow them, shell and all, sometimes, and,
worse than all this, they sometimes eat each
"What ugly things!"
"What would you think if you saw a little
fellow bob up his head and bite off another's
"Bite off the stalks that hold up his eyes,
and make him blind ?" asked Frank, in disgust.
"I shall never like them again."
"They do no worse than human beings,
Frank; and, when it happens, the parts grow
out again in a few weeks."
"Well, that is kind in God, to give him
Sister Annie," said Fan, I thought a little
while ago, the world would be overrun with
snails, but now I believe you will not find a
shell left when you come home next year."
"If we managed their existence, we should
probably make clumsy work of it," replied
Mrs. Russell, smiling, and brushing away some
leaves from a bed of moss. "Happily, God
"Truly enough," added Fan. "What
mistakes we should make!-just as inventors
never get things quite to their minds. What
a droll world it would be!" Fan went now
to an old log, and began punching it with a
stout stick. The stick suddenly plunged
through the decayed wood.
"Buzz--z-z-z," said a score of hornets, rush-
ing out to see who had broken into their
house. Fan sprang up screaming, rattled
her bonnet, shook her shawl, and then flew
toward the brook, crossed the bridge at one
bound, and scrambled up the steep hill, as
nimbly as a deer with a pack of hounds at its
heels. The hornets buzzed angrily around
Frank and his mother, jerking in all sorts of
angles, unpleasantly near their faces, yet did
not venture to sting either of them. They
seemed to recognize their innocence in the
matter by their quietness, and flew off again,
in search of the real intruder.
Mrs. Russell followed Fan as quickly as she
could, over the brook and up the hill. Then
she saw her in the distance, sitting on a fence,
exclaiming now and then, as she found a hor-
net sticking in her shawl. Happily, she had
escaped with only five stings; but these were
extremely painful, so that further search for
shells was given up, and they went home as
speedily as possible. Grandma's skill was
equal to any need. Under her care, Fan was
soon relieved, and smiling at her own ex-
"Aunt Fan, you will never wish to go with
us again," said Frank, regretfully.
"Yes -I shall. I have learned more about
mollusks and hornets this morning than I
could in reading a month. It is stupid to
study natural history in a school room; to
learn about things as if they lived in the
moon, instead of our own woods."
Strange that Fan should live so near the
woods, and not know better what they con-
tained! But it is one thing to picnic there,
and quite another to go with one's eyes open,
looking for something-no matter what, if
only one is wide awake. Palissy, the Hu-
guenot potter, who loved God and his works,
delighted to wander in ravines and dells
near his home. He was a poor, uneducated
man, yet he took pleasure in observing the
formation and habits of insects. Afterward,
when making china-ware, he was able to use
the knowledge thus gained, by drawing and
coloring so perfect copies of insects on his
ware, .that they attracted the notice of a no-
ble lady, whose patronage made him famous.
She was able to shield him, often, from perse-
60 RAMBLS8 AFTER
caution, to which he was exposed because he
was an avowed lover of Jesus. But above
all the worldly benefits that resulted were
the strength and happiness he found in thus
communing with and praising the Creator.
He could sing in his heart, while at work all
day, 0 Lord, how manifold are thy works I
In wisdom hast thou made them all." His
persecutors could not take away this joy.
Alternata-How the Shells
are made Succnea ob-
Soldier -No Shells in
Pine Woods- Bees Helix Perspectiva Helix Fidelia
- Helix Intertexta.
" MOTHER, do you intend to take out the
snails this morning?
Frank asked, the fol-
"Yes, now, if you like.
Sit here first, and
watch the little fellows crawl about, and then
we shall know more certainly their names."
"Did you not call the dark shells Helices?"
"But the snails are different from those we
They constitute one
ties of the species Helix that is, they form
a squad in the same company, and are known
by the name of 'Helix Alternata,' because, I
suppose, these dark-red
bars alternate with
the light brown of the shell. How do these
snails differ from albolabris? "
Helix Altents maglled
"The snails are shorter, the eye stalks are
shorter, and their backs are partly orange
color. See what yellow trails they are leav-
ing wherever they crawl What is it? "
"It is the coloring matter of the shell, al-
ways profuse in this variety of helix."
"Oh Is that the way the shells are col-
ored?" said Frank, with surprise.
Yes. And the shell itself is made of simi-
lar secretions, thrown off from the mantle of
* snail. The top or apex of the shell is
commenced when the animal is hatched, and
the house on its back grows by little addi-
tions to the door, winding round and round."
"Are the eggs like those we saw yester-
"How odd for shells to begin in eggs!"
"What do you think of a snail's egg larger
than a robin's egg?" asked his mother. He
"The African achatina, of which I lately
told you, produces eggs an inch long. No
robin's egg is as large as that, as most boys
know," she said, smiling. "Now you may
give me the basket, and we will see the new
shells you found."
"One is spotted, the rest are plain," said he,
looking in the basket.
"It is the snail that is mottled gray and
black. You can see it through the shell.
Are not the empty shells very clear and trans-
"Yes, and thin."
"You will understand and remember the
name of the shell then, I am sure. Did you
ever see a piece of amber?"
"It looks like dark-yellow stained glass,
such as you saw in the windows of Grace
Church. This shell is thought to look like
amber, and is therefore called succinea, which
means amber. It belongs to the family Heli-
cide, just as the helix does, because the body
is coiled in the shell, but is classed as another
species of the same family on account of
other differences. So, you see, it is only
cousin to Helix."
"What is the other name of this new
cousin ?" asked Frank, much amused.
A "'Succinea Obliqua,' on ac-
count of the long, narrow mouth,
leaning on one side."
"Yes, in this way!" exclaimed
Fan, suddenly appearing at the
sme" lV"* door, and making a long, wry
,mouth, so that even Mrs. Russell had to join
in the uproar that followed. "Come, put
away the shells. You are to have a drive
with father and mother, if you won't be five
minutes getting ready."
The shells were replaced in the basket, and
in just five minutes Mrs. Russell was waiting
beside her mother, on the piazza. Of course,
Frank was already in the carriage, watching
Peter put the finishing touches on the hand-
some harness and shining ponies. Presently
all were seated, and the carriage rumbled over
the graveled road around the lawn, and out
at the great gate, where an old, old willow
stood sentinel; then up the hill, through the
town, and away out into the country, along
the smoothest road you ever saw. The toll-
gate was reached, and grandpa had a chat
with the keeper. After that, they met a large
load of hay, and had to wait by the road-side
for it to pass, and a moment longer for
grandpa to speak with the farmer, who was
mounted away at the top, just as if he was
sitting on the roof of a house, and the horses
were harnessed to the front door. I How he
expected to get through the toll-gate is more
than I can tell.
They rode up and down the hills, now
through a rocky glen, and then past cool-
looking woods, and between wide fields of
grain. Some were almost ready for the
reaper. In others the wheat was already
beginning to lie in long, yellow waves, in the
wake of the reaping machine, that was able,
like a good servant, to do all the work while
the farmers' sons were gone to the war. Then
they came to a solid-looking stone bridge
spanning a creek wide and shallow here, but
away back in the glen it poured in a full
stream down the road, giving the passers over
the stone bridge just a glimpse of the white
waterfall. On the other side of the creek
was a large, old-fashioned farm-house. Here
grandpa stopped, and was to remain some
time to transact business.
Grandma thought she would wander along
the shore of the creek till tired, and then re-
turn to the carriage. Mrs. Russell set out
for the woods in the ravine and above the
waterfall. Frank was about to follow her,
when he spied a soldier sitting in the shade
of the bridge down by the stream. So he
changed his mind, and went with grandma to
talk with the tired soldier, who was on his
way back to camp, after a short furlough.
Grandma's head and heart were brimful of
the war. She sat down by the volunteer, and
chatted so sympathizingly, that, before the
stranger knew it, he had told her all that
concerned him in this life. Then she talked
to him of the next, to which the first battle
might hasten him, and, full of high patriotism
herself inspired him with new thoughts and
new courage for all that was before him. It
even made Frank's heart swell with an heroic
spirit, so that he told the soldier he would
like to go with him and be a drummer boy.
Presently, he bade them good by, and,
with a fervent "God bless you," went on his
way, strengthened in mind and body. Then
grandma and.Frank entered the woods near
by, where they found his mother busy turning
over the logs and sticks, and breaking down
the stumps. He ran quickly to tell her about
You need only to say that my mother saw
the soldier, and I know all the rest," she
answered, casting a smiling and affectionate
glance toward her.
"Are you repaid for all this labor ?" asked
grandma, looking at the disturbed earth.'
"Yes, indeed. I have an abundance of new
varieties of shells to tell Frank about when
we get home. I find that each tract of woods
possesses its own kind."
"Mother," asked Frank, "do you remember
the woods on the north side of the bay, at
home? Why did you never look there for
"Those are pine woods. Not a shell can
be found there."
"Indeed!" said grandma. "Is it because
of the soil, or the influence of the trees?"
"The dry, sandy soil, I presume. Snails
are most numerous in limestone regions, like
this. What is the matter, Frank?" He was
dodging his head about to avoid something.
"A bee! a humble-bee!" He laid himself
flat on the ground to avoid it. "Every thing
grows in the woods, I believe. There, now,
here comes a lot of bugs, of all sizes, to see
who I am, just as the Liliputians ran to see
"Did you not know there are wild bees in
the woods, Frank?" said grandma.
"No. Are there, truly?"
Yes, and they store honey."
"What do they do for hives ?"
"They make their own in hollow trees.
There is one kind that burrows in the ground;
another that makes a nest of moss among the
rocks. One kind will floor the nest with scar-
let poppy leaves, while another prefers rose
leaves. Then they line the nest with wax,
and are ready to store the honey."
"I always wondered how Samson could
have found a swarm of bees and honey in the
carcass of a lon. Now I know."
"The Bible is a wonderful book. It tells
us of every thing does it not, Frank ?"
"Except locomotives I" he answered; "and
you know I like those best."
"Read Nahum, second chapter, and tell me
if that does not describe a locomotive!" re-
turned grandma, rising from the mossy seat
where she had been resting. After gathering
a few wild flowers, she was ready to go.
"Come, Annie; come, Frank; we should re-
turn to the carriage. Your father will be
So they all went down by an easier path
that led through the yard and garden of the
farm house. Mr. Martin was leaning on the
gate. The farmer, in his straw hat and shirt
sleeves, and with his hands in his pockets,
stood inside, talking. When the ladies came
near, Mr. Martin called out, cheerily, -
"All ready? Basket full of shells?"
"Not full, father," said Mrs. Russell, open-
ing the basket and displaying a handful at
the bottom. The farmer looked and smiled.
"We," said he, "don't set much by snails.
We turn out lots of 'em when we're clearing.
The children use them sometimes in their
"Indeed !" exclaimed Mrs. Russell.
"The little ones would give you theirs in
welcome, but they're away yonder at the
school-house," he continued, nodding in the
direction of the road.
"Tell them to bring me such as they can
find, and they shall have a tea-set for their
play-house," she answered.
And now all were ready for the return
drive. The good mornings were said, and
the ponies whisked away as fast as they could
go, knowing well enough that their heads
were turned homeward.
It was nearly noon when they reached
home, but not too late for an hour in the
library with the shells, before dinner. When
these were poured out upon the table, Mrs.
Russell selected a single variety.
"They are the finest and largest I ever saw.
These are Helix perspective,' Frank."
"What does that mean ?"
"It means perceived, or thoroughly seen,
because the umbilicus is so open that you can
see every coil on the under side, to the very
top. Do you not see, it is like a saucer made
of coiled red twine? I do not wonder the
children like them. The strike, or fine lines
which cross the whorls, form almost an angle
at the edge, instead of continuing in the same
line to the umbilicus, as in other shells. This
distinguishes it from a variety called striatel-
la;' otherwise quite alike."
"Where did you find these, mother?"
"Always under the bark. They looked
like worms wound up. I picked up a large
shining and beautifully striated shell, as I
thought, of a dark-green color, but, on turn-
ing it over in my hand, discovered it to be a
worm. "It was hard and tightly coiled; play-
ing dead, I presume."
What did you do with it ? eagerly asked
"I threw it down quickly, I confess," was
the laughing reply. "Just as you threw down
the snails when you began to study con-
"And what else did you find?"
"Plenty of baby snakes under the logs
and stones, but they were all napping. Here
are some new shells I discovered among the
leaves, close under a log." She held one up.
"It has a white stripe," exclaimed Frank,
pleased with the novelty.
"Yes, I think it the prettiest of all. We
have none of the brightly banded Helices at
the North. In Oregon, and in California,
there are a few showy varieties. One-
'Helix fidelis'- is yellow, banded with black,
and the lip of a reddish color, while the lower
part, or base of the shell, is bright chestnut.
There is also a variety found in Florida,
which like the Achatintellas of the Sandwich
Islands, is either white, yellow, green, or red,
banded with black. In tropical climates, the
shells are mdch more beautiful than here."
"Ah, would I not like to look for such I"
"Well," said his mother, smiling, "when
we go to Florida, if it ever happens, we will
gather them under the palmetto trees. But,
after all, those shells do not belong to the
States-or rather, they are only naturalized
citizens, for there is good reason to believe
they migrated from the West Indies."
How could they get across the water? "
"They are borne along by oceanic currents
like the Gulf Stream. Seed-vessels, trunks of
trees, and various small objects, are found on
the beach of Key West and other places, evi-
dently swept from the Cuban shores. As
these gay little shells are not found elsewhere
in the States, and are a tropical variety, we
must suppose that is the way in which they
made the voyage and colonized themselves.
But we will not despise the plainer ones of
our own woods. This banded one is a treas-
"Is it named for the band?"
"Oh, no. You will have to bring the glass
to find the reason for its name. Now, do you
see the lines crossing the whorls?"
"Are there other lines in a different di-
"Yes, crossing the first, and winding with
"Interlaced, or interwoven."
"Then you have the name of the shell-
'Helix intertexta.' Now look inside the lip."
"It has no lip, mother."
"Not a white, reflexed lip, certainly. But
the termination of the whorl is called the lip,
just the same; and, when plain and thin like
this, it is called simple. What do you see on
a portion of the lip, inside ? "
"White, pearly spots."
"As if the moonlight had shone in, and the
snail caught and fastened it to the shell?"
queried his mother.
"That is it," laughed Frank.
"It is called a testaceous deposit because it
is like the pearly composition of sea-shells.
This aids in deciding the variety to which it
"Here is a letter for you, Annie," said
grandpa, entering at this moment.
Mrs. Russell opened it quickly, and after
reading it, told Frank it was from his father.
"He is already at Forestville, and wishes
us to join him at grandpa Russell's. After
that, we are to spend a day or two with my
brother at Elmwood. He will look for us on
This was a pleasant arrangement, and one
that suited Frank. The shells were no more
thought of during the busy time before their
departure. Frank had much to do. There
were the bow and arrows to be completed,
a sail to be made for the boat, and the wood-
en cart to be painted, before he could think of
undertaking a journey to his other grandpa's.
All these were intended for a certain little
cousin Archy, whom we shall presently find
greeting him at the other homestead.
Visit Jo Grandpa Russell's The Steamboat The Village -
Grandpa Russell's House Money-cowries lanthina -
Hallotis Keeping the Sabbath Pecten Excursion to
the Waterfall- Helix Labyrinthica.
OuR friends whizzed away in the cars on
the appointed morning. It was in the midpt
of the traveling season; besides, there were
many soldiers on their way to various points
to join their companies or regiments, and
therefore the cars were crowded. Frank
found enough to amuse him the whole way.
Two French families, bound for the West,
occupied the opposite seats. Two women,
each with a young babe and a row of little
folks, formed the lively but well-behaved
group. It is not often that three little peo-
ple can sit together without quarreling, or
crying, or twisting themselves into a tangle
in fan; yet three did sit, side by side, that
warm summer day, as quietly as if they had
been gentle-born, and under the eye of a
prince's tutor. Further away sat an ill-bred
young miss, in a flounced silk, who amused
herself with throwing orange peel at her
parents, and making faces at the passengers
who frowned upon her. At each station
there were soldiers, and often the fife and
drum were sounding for recruits, or marshal-
ing companies through the streets of the
villages. At length the train shot along the
shore of a broad lake.
"Here we are, Frank," said Mrs. Russell;
"and yonder is the steamboat waiting for the
There it lay, as pretty a steamboat as ever
was built, Frank thought, because it looked
more like a toy than a real business affair.
- He hastened to leave the dusty cars, and get
into the cool, pure breeze that came across
the water; and, while his mother was talking
with friends, he took her shawl and basket,
and went immediately on board the "Water
Lily." Before she rejoined him, he had ex-
plored the pretty cabin, looked admiringly at
the engine, and was already up in the wheel-
house, beside the pilot, who remembered him
well enough, as Frank had sat hours in that
wheel-house every summer since he was four
years old. No wonder this was his pet steam-
boat. The engineer had given him a hearty
greeting, too, and asked if he had made a
model boat yet.
By this time the locomotive had whistled,
and puffed, and rumbled out of sight, like a
living thing. The bell of the boat now;
sounded, the gang-plank was taken in, the
hawser cast off, and the steamer swept slowly
and gracefully round, then, with good speed,.
headed up the lake. At every few miles there
was a landing.* Sometimes it was at a large
village, which could send a lively crowd to
the wharf to welcome the passengers and the
mail; but oftener there was only a small
cluster of houses, or only a single storehouse.
Before the boat arrived at the various land-
ings, Frank was allowed to make the steam-
whistle scream. When they approached
closely, if there were no passengers to be
left, or taken aboard, the mail carrier would
show his skill in tossing the mail-bag on the
wharf, while the boat sailed by, without stop-
It was pleasant to plow through the
water, almost as green as the sea, first to
one shore and then to the other, now running
close to a jutting point covered with trees,
under which a picnic group waved their hand-
kerchiefs and cheered; and then gliding past
the sloping shores, where lay the richest farms
in all that region; and, again, almost touch-
ing the foot of the hills, that grew higher and
higher with each mile of distance. Now the
shores were lined with rocky bluffs, broken
by ravines, through which streams came tum-
bling and rollicking, and poured in foam over
the last ledges of slate into the lake. Wild
vifes, tufts of bushes, or thick woods bordered
the bluffs. The head of the lake was reached
at sunset; but there was no wharf no village,
not a living being in sight; nothing but a
forest of low bushes and trees; so that a
stranger might wonder if the boat was made
to navigate the woods. But the jaunty little
craft knew the way well enough, and soon
found an opening that would have frightened
a sailor much more than a "land lubber.".
Here, along a winding creek, the steamer
twisted and whistled, as merrily as if it was
the easiest thing in the world to "face about,"
whichever way the captain shouted. The
water lilies thought it prettilpdone, for they
waved their green hands, and bowed their
white faces so low that they actually plunged
themselves head and shoulders under water,
as the boat went by.
At last, the wharf was reached. There lay
the town between great hills that loomed up
on either side. Truly, it seemed shut from
the world, like Rasselas's "Happy #,alley.
But Frank thought nothing about it,ihhe
was on the lookout for his father, whom he
had not seen for weeks. The latter stood
upon the wharf, waiting and smiling as he
distinguished his wife and son among the
group of passengers. A happy greeting, and
the three were soon in a carriage, slowly toil-
ing up one of the hills that overlooked the
Half way up, as if a white bird with spread
wings had alighted among the green trees,
stood grandpa Russell's house. The front
door was open, the gate thrown back, and
grandpa stood on the steps leaning on his
cane, waiting w receive his children. Then
came his widowed daughter, Mary, and pres-
ently, running and shouting, appeared Archy,
ready to throw his arms around Frank's neck.
When the welcomes were kissed and said,
and the guests were rested, aunt Mary led
them to the tea-room. The canaries fluttered
in their cages at sight of the new-comers. The
garden door stood open, and the fragrant
breath of roses and honeysuckles floated in.
The well-laid table, with its tempting biscuits
and fresh honey, the ruby currants shining from
under the snowy sugar, the new goldenbutter,
and .the sweet white bread, were refreshing,
both to sight and taste. Frank and Archy did
hasty justice to it all, for they sat next each
other, and Frank could not resist telling him
about a certain little sloop stowed in his trunk,
which resulted in the escape of both from the
table, with a bunch of keys in their possession.
The trunk was easily opened, and the sloop,
the bows and arrows, and the small cart, were
at Archy's feet, he happier than any man with
a crown laid before him. It wM a happy, long-
remembered' evening. Neither was it forgot-
ten to thank God around the family altar, that
night, for the pleasant reunion.
The Sabbath passed in delightful quiet and
rest; now at church, now at home, and now
in singing hymns of the old and the new time.
Next morning Frank was up almost as
early as grandpa. There was a large cabinet
of shells which had stood for years in the
parlor. Frank had often seen them carelessly,
but they had now a new interest in his eyes,
and he was anxious to know more about
Them. When he met grandpa in the hall, he
took his hand and coaxed him into an exhibi-
tion of the cabinet. This request was the
more readily yielded to, because grandpa had
gathered many of them himself, on the shores
of the Pacific, and at the Sandwich Islands,
and he could tell many a story associated with
"What shell is this, as white as milk?"
"'Ovulum ftum,' because resembling an
So it does look like an egg, when cooked
for sick people."
"Cooked without the shell, you mean."
Yes. And what are these yellow, glossy
"They are commonly known as money-
cowries. The islanders used them as we use
money. Tons of them are taken to Africa for
barter. Here are some with red rings, which
are employed as weights for nets, or for orna-
"Are these land shells?" asked he, in doubt.
"No. Nearly all you see were gathered
on the sea shore, or obtained by diving."
"What a pretty shell this is, grandpa! It
is shaped like a helix. It is thin as paper,
and I am sure I never saw so bright;a band
of purple. Where did you get it ?"
Far out at sea. It is named, for its beau-
tiful violet color, 'lanthina.' They float in
great companies, each one having a raft
attached to the foot. On the under side of
this raft are the eggs, securely fastened."
"How odd Tell me about this rainbow
shell, like a wide boat full of portholes."
"It is called Haliotis,' or ear-shell. It grows
on the rocks, and the animal will hold so
tightly that it can be safely removed only
by the quickness and dexterity of the col-
lector. Warm water will make them loosen
their hold, and a sudden push sidewise fin-
ishes the capture. These shells are much
used in ornamental work. I think papier-
machi requires its use. Your mother has a
writing desk ornamented thus."
"Were those bright flowers made of shells ?"
"Yes. You see, here is green for the leaves,
red for the roses, blue for forget-me-nots, and
as many more colors as you like, changing
into one another. They are often called Cal-
ifornia shells, because abundant on that coast."
"Were you ever in California?"
"No; in Oregon, beyond the Rocky Moun-
"All alone?" queried Frank.
"I accompanied a caravan of trappers just
beyond the mountains, #Ak traveled with
the Indians the rest of the way."
"I have reatories about the trappers.
Are they not splendid fellows?"
"Poor fellows, I should say. They spent
most of their money in gambling and drink-
ing. They were desperate men, and hated
me and my companion, who was both a physi-
cian and a missionary."
What for? said Frank, rising to his feet.
"Because we kept the Sabbath, and in
other ways set them a Christian example.
They were angry to be thus reminded of God.
At one time they threatened our lives if we
did not drink with them."
"Did you do it?"
"We did not fear them that can kill the
body, but feared God rather. We refused.
A few days afterward, the cholera broke out
among them, and, by our attention and nurs-
ing, all but two recovered. They then con-
fessed their intention to have killed us at the
first opportunity. We were safe the rest of
the way. God was able to restrain the wrath
of man, you see. When you are tempted, be
sure to remember and trust in God's promises.
Live up to your principles, my boy, and don't
sneak out of them when in the company of
the wicked. That is what Jesus meant when
he said, 'Let your light shine.'" Grandpa
arose as if to close the cabinet and go away;
but Frank begged him to explain one more
very odd thing among the shells.
"This stone, shaped just like the fan-shells
I have seen at home, on the shore, what
is it? "
"I found it at the mouth of the Columbia
River. It is a fossil Pecten.'"
"What is a fossil? Was it ever a shell ?"
"Yes, a long time ago. It became filled
or mixed with a metallic or earthy substance,
without losing its form, and is now hard and
heavy. Many such are found deeply imbedded
in the earth or in rocks. There are some
stones, which when broken, show a fossil shell
inside. Did you ever see a living fan-shell, as
you call it, on the shore ?"
"Plenty of them."
"Do they creep, like snails?"
"No, they only snap the doors together,
and spit, as if they weie angry because -the
tide had left them high and dry.
"That snapping, or sudden shutting to-
gether of the two parts of the shell, is their
mode of moving in the water. Young mol-
lusks can swim rapidly in that way. When
. LAND 8RLLS.
they are lying open, did you ever slip your
finger in the shell? Try it. They will hold
it as tightly as a baby with real teeth."
Frank thought this funny enough, and said
he should certainly try it.
Grandpa continued: "One variety of peo-
ten was formerly used as a drinking cup.
Your mother must read to you about Ossian's
'hall of shells,' where kings and warriors
feasted. There is a variety that was obtained
in Palestine, by pilgrims, and worn in proof
of the performance of their pilgrimage. It
became the badge of knighthood. This shell,"
said he, taking up another, "fiat on one side
and deep on the other, is sometimes called
the 'pilgrim's shell,' being used by them, it
is said, as a cup and plate."
Frank was much interested, but Archy was
already tugging at .his jacket, to induce him
to frolic, and then the breakfast bell sum-
moned them all. Grandpa would never say
grace till every one was seated, so there was
no time now for play.
During breakfast, it was proposed to visit a
waterfall in the neighborhood. Aunt Mary
,would be too busy. Grandpa declined, too.
"The young folks may climb the rocks," he
said. "I am too old. Besides, you can pour
as good a waterfall out of the pitcher there.
You should go to the Columbia River, to see
waterfalls. One pours over a precipice of
twenty or thirty feet, and continues a whirling,
foaming descent of five miles. A stream
flows into that river, also, after descending
a thousand feet, in a series of cascades, looking
like a belt of silver on the sides of the moun-
tains.. The last plusge of the stream is over
a HW pice two hundred feet."
Frank thought it would be rather a long
walk over the Rocky Mountains to that river,
and was quite content to accompany his father
and mother to a nearer place of interest.
Then, too, he was to wade as much as he
A little basket, lined with cotton, was not
forgotten; and before the sun rose too high
for comfort, the party were on their way to
the foot of the hills, that sloped to the wooded
level lying between the town and the lake..
The stream, at the entrance of the ravine, was
broad and shallow. Through it, or beside it
.when the mossy, dripping rocks would allow,
they picked their way, stopping now and then
to admire the high, jagged, crumbling walls"
of slate, hung with moss and running plants,
and topped with dark evergreens. They
climbed up the stairway of ledges, where the
water was tumbling down, Frank, always
first at the top, perching on a rock or fallen
tree, and swinging his cap in high glee. Then
they rested, and enjoyed glimpses of the next
waterfall, just beyond a jutting cliff. Mrs.
Russell looked carefully among the moss, and
in the shady nooks of the broken rocks. One
pale-looking Helix albolabris was creeping
overhead, within reach. Frank discovered it,
and thought it new.
i is of a pale green, mother."
"Because starved," she answered. You
see how thin it is; and the lip is not half
formed. It is not full grown, but you may put
it in the basket."
"Here are some shells for you," said Mr.
Russell. He poured a dozen or more brown
and white bits into Frank's hand.
"Are these shells, mother?"
"Yes, indeed, and not easily found either,
because so small. Where did you get them?"
"There in the moss. You are not really
going to keep them I"
"Certainly. They are beauties shaped
like tents too. Think of six whorls in that
little thing, hardly larger than a pin. Under
a glass, the lip is rosy, and you can see two
raised lines, like a railroad track, revolving
inside, where the whorls unite. Who but
God could make such a thing as that?"
"None, truly," said Mr. Russell, "when one
considers the living thing inside of it."
"What name would you give, if it had none
already ? asked Mrs. Russell. *
"Uidlum in parvo-much in little," re-
turned Mr. Russell, picking up a stick to assist
in climbing, and getting ready to move on.
"The Fairy's Tower," suggested Frank,
"because you know a fairy might ride up
that railway in a- "
"In what? There is nothing small enough
to ride in through that door."
"Well, I was thinking of a flower that
would do for a car, with a morning glory for
a smoke-stack, and a lily of the valley for
"But you could put half a dozen of these
shells into the bell How then could the bell
get into the shell ? to say nothing about the
smoke-stack and the fairy. Your name will
not do. We must keep the old one-' Helix
"Every thing is a helix, mother. How
many of them are there ?"
"Between one and two thousand varieties"
"In this country?" was the astonished
"In the world, I mean. The whole num-
ber of species of land and marine mollusks
Fpbably exceeds twenty-five thousand. A
gntleman in London, Mr. Hugh Cumming,
has twenty thousand species in his collection,
which is considered the finest in the world."
"I hope I may see it some day," said Frank.
"You must have one of your own. We
are making a good beginning this summer."
His eyes twinkled at the suggestion, and he
resolved to carry it into effect.
Mr. Russell was shouting for them to fol-
low, he being already at the foot of the next
waterfall. When they had climbed this, they
concluded to go no further, as a path here led
up the steep bank, while, beyond, there was
too deep a pool for pleasant wading, and more
difficult heights to ascend. The path took
them through a dense wood, and then into a
field, whence they were able easily to find
their way home, glad to rest, and ready to
enjoy the roast and the dumplings, which
proved aunt Mary's good housewifery.
Dead Shell Limnaide Limmea Appressa Frank and
Archy The Ducks The Water Soldiers The Sweetest
Thing in the World.
ONE afternoon, at sunset, Frank and Archy
had a fine frolic in the arbor, at the end of
the garden. They made rows of soldiers from
hollyhocks, with monk's-hood for helmets, and
pieces of honeysuckle for sabers and trumpets.
Archy was rolling on the floor with laughter
at a pig made of a gooseberry, when Mr. Rus-
sell came calling for his wife.
Frank, go tell your mother I have brought
her some shells worth having."
A very large green leaf lay in his hand,
upon which were black shells, nearly two
inches long, twisted in the oddest way, and
rolling about as the animals within tried to
"Where did you get these?" exclaimed
Mrs. Russell, when she saw them.
"Down on the flats, as you may see from
the condition of my boots."
"I am glad you took so much pains. You
have made a great discovery. Were they in
water, or covered with the mud?"
"Do you remember the stagnant pool near
the bridge, almost hidden by lily leaves and
wild grasses? I found them there, either
swimming about on the water, shell down-
ward, or clinging to the lower side of the
broad leaves. Here is one fellow safely pock-
eted, that must bb the oldest inhabitant.'"
He drew from his coat pocket a large shell,
which measured just two inches from the
apex to the base. Then Mrs. Russell gath-
ered them all, except two, in a tin dish, and
prepared them, as she had done before, for
separating the animal from the shell. Frank
assisted in removing them.
How easily the edges break, mother I" said
he, trying in vain to hold the shells carefully.
The least pressure of his finger broke pieces
from the thin lip. This was shaded into a
lighter brown than the rest of the shell. The
inner side, or mouth, was faintly tinged with
yellow, and shining as if varnished. The
lower whorl spread out widely, and the upper
ones were twisted exactly as if some one had
'done it with thumb and finger.
"I like these best of all you have found.
See, mother, here is a yellow one."
That is a dead shell."
"How can a shell be dead ?"
"When the epidermis is worn off, it is
"What is the epidermis ?"
"It is a thin covering or secretion thrown
out by the animal, which you would call the
color of the shell, but which is really the skin.
In many marine shells this epidermis is fibrous
or mossy, and serves to preserve the texture
of the shell underneath. In others it consists
of a brilliant gloss, which is soon worn off or
corroded in the water, if the occupant is dead.
Sometimes the epidermis will crack and peel
off if kept in too warm a place. Archy, do