• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Errata
 Miss Crabbe's will
 A peep at the collection
 'Gloria Maris' is lost
 Is strictly conchological
 The lecture
 Robert and Edward are over-zea...
 Concerns shells only
 The fate of Poppy's paper...
 Neptune's butterflies, lamp shells...
 Mr. Dobson's new theory
 Shipworms, venus shells, and...
 The tunicaries
 'Gloria Maris' is found
 Table of the principal British...
 Advertising
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine














Title: Glory of the sea
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091700/00001
 Material Information
Title: Glory of the sea
Series Title: Glory of the sea
Physical Description: 212, 4 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dale, Darley, 1848-1931
Whymper, Charles, b. 1853 ( Illustrator )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Richard Clay and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Richard Clay and Sons
Publication Date: 188-?
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shells -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Snails -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Inheritance and succession -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fathers and sons -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Glory of God -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
England -- Bungay
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Darley Dale ; with illustrations by Charles Whymper and a table of the principal British shells.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091700
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 77528399
alephbibnum - 002220190

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Errata
        Page ix
        Page x
    Miss Crabbe's will
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    A peep at the collection
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    'Gloria Maris' is lost
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Is strictly conchological
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    The lecture
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Robert and Edward are over-zealous
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Concerns shells only
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    The fate of Poppy's paper nautilus
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Neptune's butterflies, lamp shells and pearls
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
    Mr. Dobson's new theory
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Shipworms, venus shells, and kellias
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
    The tunicaries
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
    'Gloria Maris' is found
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Table of the principal British shells
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
    Advertising
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Back Matter
        Page 217
        Page 218
    Back Cover
        Page 219
        Page 220
    Spine
        Page 221
Full Text


The Baldwin Library
University of Florida


^^^^^^^^^




THE GrLOBY OF THE SEA
DARLEY DALE
author of the great auk's egg,' swallowtails and skippers,' etc.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY OH AMIES WHYMPEE
and
A TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL BRITISH SHELLS.
LONDON: THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY, 56, Paternoster Row ; 65, St. Paul's Churchyard ; and 164, Piccadilly.


Richard Clay and Sons, london and bungay.


CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I.
page
miss crabbe's will.............. 1
CHAPTER II.
A peep at the collection...........17
CHAPTER III.
' globia maris is lost ............37
CHAPTER IV.
is strictly conchological...........57
CHAPTER V.
the lecture................75
CHAPTER VI.
robert and edward are over-zealous......94


vi CONTENTS.
CHAPTER VII.
page
concerns shells only............112
CHAPTER VIII.
the pate oe poppy's paper nautilus.......126
CHAPTER IX.
neptune's butterflies, lamp shells and pearls 140 CHAPTER X.
mr. dobson's new theory...........156
CHAPTER XI.
shipworms, venus shells, and kellias......169
CHAPTER XII.
the tunicaries...............179
CHAPTER XIII.
' gloria maris is found............191


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PAGE
the mystery explained.........Front.
'gloria maris'............. .36
the secret drawer empty...........52
the edible snail..............75
the precious wentle trap ..........117
the nautilus ...............126




ERRATA.
in the text.
Paqe 113, line 10Erase 'very seldom bivalve,' and put 'never bivalve.'
,, 116, line 9'Eulima,' not 'Euluna.'
,, 136, ,,30'Scaphander,' not 'Scaphanda.'
,, 137, ,, 3'Aplysia,' not Aphysia.'
in the 'table oe british shells.'
Page 209, line 6 'Undatum,' not 'undulatnm.'
209, 16- 'Litorews,' not 'litorens.'
210, 5- 'Aelis,' not Actis.'
210, 6- 'Acmsea,' not 'Aceuta.'
210, 8- 'Pulla,' not 'pullus.'
210, 16- Tarentinum,' not 'tarentum.
210, 17- 'Aplysia,' not 'Aphysia.'
210, 21- 'Fasciata,' not 'vasciata.
211, B- 'Modiola,' not 'modiolus.'
211, 7- Glyoimeris,' not 'glyameris.'
211, 16- -' Isoeardia cor,' Isocardiacor.
211 27- 'Arenaria,' not Urenaria.'




THE GLORY OF THE SEA.
CHAPTER I.
miss ceabbe's will.
'The sea is His, and He made it.'Psalm xcv. 5.
' An eccentric will, sir; a very eccentric will,' said the lawyer, as he folded up the document in question, and returned it to its home in a tin case labelled' Miss Crabbe.'
' Miss Crabbe was an eccentric woman, Mr. Seaman,' was the reply, spoken by a tall, grave-looking man, who had the air of one who took life very seriously.
'She was very eccentric in her life, and, with a strange consistency, uncommon to her sex, she was eccentric in her death also. The saving clause in this will is that you were requested to hear it read, which looks to my mind as if her love for your little daughter were stronger than her love of conchology; and no doubt she hoped you would use all your influence to
b


induce Miss Poppy to fulfil the conditions by which she inherits the whole fortune.'
' If so, she was mistaken. Had I not heard the will, the probability is I should unconsciously have done so; now I shall remain perfectly neutral; and my impression is, Miss Crabbe knew that, and to make sure that no external influence should be brought to bear on the child, she ordered that I should hear the will read. I sincerely wish it were otherwise, not for the money's sake, but because I shall be so afraid of unconsciously fostering any taste for conchology in Poppy; and, on the other hand, it won't do for me to throw any obstacles in the way, because, in her state of health, an object of this kind is the very thing for her, and I deeply regret I shall feel in honour bound to appear perfectly neutral.'
' I see what you mean. It is a difficult position, no doubt. You clearly understand all the conditions, or shall I read it again ?' said Mr. Seaman, pausing before he turned the key in the box which now contained the will.
' I understand, I think. Miss Crabbe has left her collection of shells to Poppy, to be given to her at once. On her twenty-first birthday, if she has from pure love of the science added only twenty shells to the collection, she is to inherit the whole of Miss Crabbe's fortune; if, on the other hand, she takes no interest in the shellsparts with them or takes no care of themshe is to receive a legacy of five hundred pounds, and the remainder of the fortune is left to some charities specified in the will. Is this right ?'


' Quite ; only Miss Poppy is to be distinctly told the shells were the joy and delight of her godmother's life, and they are now hers, to do absolutely as she likes with, and no hint as to any money being left is to be given her; she is to consider the shells her fortune. There, are some valuable books on the subject which are to be sent with the shells; they will be a great help to her if she is inclined to study them, as I sincerely hope, for her own sake as well as for yours, she may be.'
' Thank you. And now I must be off, or I shall miss my train. You will see that the shells are carefully packed ?'
' Of course. You may expect them at the end of the week, and I will send an experienced man to unpack them, otherwise they may be damaged, for they are very' fragile; if any are injured in the journey they are to be replaced at the cost of the estate.'
' Quite so. Good-day,' said Mr. Merton, leaving the lawyer's office with even a graver face than usual; and as the train bore him to his home on the south coast, he thought over the will, and the probable disappointment of his little daughterwho had, much against her father's wish, been taught to consider herself as her godmother's heiresswhen she was told all she "had inherited was a collection of shells. The chances were she would want to sell them, and he must not raise any objection, though he knew by so doing she would forfeit a handsome fortune. It was most unlikely that she would study them, or attempt to add to their number. Had she been well and strong, like other girls, she might have taken it into her head, seeing that they
b'2


lived by the seaside, to go down to the beach and search among the rocks and pools for other specimens; but she had curvature of the spine, and for the.next two or three years she would be chained to her sofa, though ultimately the doctors hoped she would outgrow the disease and be able to get about. Then, again, she had never shown any taste for natural history in any branch. She was fond of reading, and she drew beautifully, in spite of the recumbent position she was forced to remain in. She was clever with her fingers, and did a great deal of needlework of various kinds ; but a hobby such as this was quite out of her line, and her father had not the faintest hope that she would take it up.
The short November day was closing in when Mr. Merton drove up to the Rectory, for he was the rector of Highchff, and the great fire in the pretty low drawing-room was very inviting after the cold raw air outside. The hubbub of voices was evidently considered less welcome to the master of the house, for it ceased when he entered, and only one girlish voice, whose owner knew she was a privileged person, was heard saying,
' Oh! Father, I am so glad you have come back; it has seemed such a long day. Be quick and tell me all about it; I am longing to know how rich I have grown in a few days.'
The speaker was a 'girl apparently about seventeen years of age. She was lying on a couch made on purpose for her, which could be wheeled from room to room; a rest for her books or drawing was attached to it, but just now was pushed on one side. A long tawny mane, with red lights in it, lay about the pillow, and a large


tress touched the ground; the fire-light fell full on her face, which was lighted up with eager expectant joy at her father's entrance. It was a pale face, and her name of Poppy did not go well with it ; but her brothers were wont to tease her by saying the name referred to her hair, which nevertheless was far from red, as they would have been the first to grant. It was a young face, but not so young as the girl, for pain and the confinement of the last year had aged it. It was a sad face at times though just now it was beaming with hope and eager interest, but the monotonous life and constant pain had subdued the natural high spirit and cast a deep shadow over the gaiety of youth. It was a sweet face, for neither suffering nor the deprivations she was forced to submit to had yet soured the naturally sweet temper and the smiles that played frequently about the Hps were a charming if a sad contrast to the look of pain in the great brown eyes. It was a pretty face, as two of the occupants of the room, to whom we will presently turn our attention, seemed to think, for they looked at it very often. Figure is never the strong point of girls of this age, though some may show promising signs for the future. It is a transition stage, and therefore far from a beautiful period; but Poppy was just now encased in plaster-of-paris, so that even if her recumbent position had not hidden her figure, it would have been impossible to judge what she was really like. One thing only was certain, she was very tall, as the length of her couch testified, and her long white fingers seemed to assert, while the chances were in favour of her growing much taller if she had to remain much longer on her back.


By her side sat a dark, handsome youth of seventeen or eighteen, holding a skein of wool which she was winding, and watching her with a mixed look of pity and admiration in his fine eyes. At the foot of her sofa sat another youth apparently the same age, but in reality he, Luke Thorne, was two or three years older than handsome Arthur Graham, though he was smaller and slighter and certainly by no means handsome. He had a book in his hand, but he was not reading, perhaps because the lamps were not yet lighted-perhaps he preferred to sit and watch the winding of the wool.
Two younger boys were lying at their mother's feet on the hearthrug, but they rose on their father's entrance and seated themselves, in the hope that they would be permitted to remain and hear about their sister's fortune.
' Well, father, what news have you for me ? Please be quick and tell me, I am longing to know,' said Poppy, as her father took up a position on the hearthrug with his back to the fire.
' Let Us have the lamps brought in first, my child. Robert, ring the bell. Edward, is your Latin done 1'
' Latin and lamps, when I want to know how rich I am. Father, you are too cruel; isn't he, Arthur ?' said Poppy, giving the ball of wool an impatient little pull which broke the strand.
Cruel or not, Mr. Merton did not vouchsafe to say a word on the subject of the will until the lamps were brought in, the shutters shut, and the curtains drawn; and then watching narrowly the effect of his words he said briefly:


'Poppy, your godmother has left you her most precious possession, a collection of shells.'
' Of shells! I wish it had been books; but go on, father, what else ? How much money has she left me! I don't care about all the etceteras ; it sounds very mercenary, I am afraid, but, oh! I do want to do such heaps of things with my money, not for myself, but for other people. How much am I to have, father ?'
' My dear child, your fortune is this collection of shells, which I believe is very valuable, and which is to be sent to you in a few days; and you are to do absolutely as you like with it, remembering it was the joy of Miss Crabbe's heart and is the work of years.'
' Father! What do you mean ? Are the shells all she has left me ?'
' All except the trifling legacy. of a few hundred pounds, five hundred I think it is, to be paid on your twenty-first birthday.'
' What an old humbug!' exclaimed Arthur Graham, who was evidently on intimate terms with the family.
'I call it a regular swindle of old Crabbe,' said Robert. '
' Robert, leave the room this moment/ said his father sternly.
' I should sell the whole lot directly they arrived if I were you,' Poppy,' said Edward.
' Go after your brother, sir, this instant. How dare you two boys express your opinion in this way ?' said Mr. Merton hastily, as Edward followed his brother out of the room.


Poor Mr. Merton! Strict as he was with his boys, he was not usually snappish; but it certainly was provoking that Edward should, unconsciously, immediately suggest the very course which would deprive his sister of her fortune.
' What is the collection worth, George ?' asked Mrs. Merton, apparently struck with Edward's advice.
' I don't know, I am sure; I understand it is a very good one. I believe she had over a thousand shells.'
' But shells are not valuable, are they ?' said Poppy.
' Some are very valuable; the Gloria maris, for instance, is worth ten times its weight in gold, and two or three pounds is not at all a high price for a rare shell,' said Luke.
'And I suppose all hers are rare. Perhaps the collection is worth at least a thousand pounds then,' said Poppy.
' My dear child, no, I don't think it can possibly be worth more than two or three hundred pounds at the outside; but I really don't know.'
' Well, I shall certainly sell it, if it is only worth two hundred pounds; that is better than nothing,' said Poppy.
' So should I; shells are such uninteresting things,' said Graham.
' I don't agree with you there, they are certainly very beautiful, and I think very interesting; "little as I know of them. If I may make a suggestion, I should say wait till you see them, Poppy, before you decide to sell them,' said Luke Thome; for which remark Mr. Merton inwardly blessed him.


'I may sell them if I like, mayn't T, father ? Didn't you say I can do what I will with them ?'
' Yes, dear, they are yours to do as you like with, to keep or sell; no one else has any right to object to anything you may decide on.'
' Well, don't you think yourself, father, shells are stupid things, and that the best thing I can do is to sell them ? There are so many other things I would so much rather have.'
' I confess I have never thought them an interesting study, perhaps because I know nothing about them, but you see Luke says they are,' said Mr. Merton, evasively.
' Oh! Thorne thinks every nettle and every weed he comes across interesting, so I am not surprised to hear he thinks shells are. Let him and me sell them for you, Poppy; we'll get a good price for them; if Luke knows a little about them, he'll have an idea of their value,' said Graham.
' Very well, if father does not object; do you, father ?'
' Not in the least; but I agree with Luke, I should see them before I decided what to do with them.'
' I will see them certainly before they are sold, but I have quite decided to sell them. They are utterly useless things to me. I can't think what made her leave me such a silly legacy, when she always said I was to inherit her fortune.'
' Crabbedness, mere crabbedness, nothing else,' said Graham.
' Perhaps she thought the study would interest you, Poppy; for my part I believe it would; there is


an immense deal to learn about them; evidently the old lady found a great delight in them. I believe a hobby is a great source of happiness to most people; no doubt she thought if you took up the subject it might pass many a weary hour in a pleasant way for you. At any rate, I don't like to think that the old lady, who was certainly fond of you, deliberately chose her last action to be mere caprice or crabbedness, as Graham suggests. I think better of the human race in general, and of Miss Crabbe in particular, than that,' said Luke Thorne.
' Of course you do, we know you make the best of everybody and everything, even of crabby old maids, doesn't he, Mr. Merton ?' said Graham.
But Mr. Merton had slipped out of the room during Luke's speech, for he was afraid he might betray by word or look some sign of the intense interest he could not help feeling in the fate of the shells. He was a poor man, with no means beyond his living, which was not a large one, though he supplemented it by taking one pupil, who always lived in the family, and economised it by educating his two boys himself. Luke Thorne was the present pupil, and he was reading theology before going up to college, preparatory to taking orders. Fortunately Mr. Merton was not blessed with a large family, he had but these three children; but poor little Poppy was more expense than three or four healthy children would have been; and Mr- Merton would have sacrificed his last penny, if necessary, rather than leave a stone unturned which might restore her to health and strength, for she was the darling of his heart. It


was therefore a matter of almost vital importance to him that she should not forfeit the handsome fortune which was hers if only some one could inspire her with a love of shells. No wonder he felt strangely moved when he found Luke Thorne seemed rather inclined to do so, though every one else was disposed to urge her to sell the collection at once. Unfortunately, Luke had not, so her father thought, half as much influence over Poppy as handsome Arthur Graham, who was a sublieutenant in the Navy, and just now home on leave, though daily expecting a summons to join his ship. He was the only son of the squire of the parish, and already spent more of his time than his mother liked by the side of Poppy's couch, though she comforted herself by thinking Arthur was still only a boy, and Poppy a mere child; still, she was anxious about him, for she was an ambitious woman, and nothing would vex her more than what she privately described as an entanglement with a penniless cripple.
And yet Poppy was not exactly penniless, for this fortune was trembling in the balance; neither was she a cripple, for her doctors had every hope that in a year or two her spine would be quite straight, and she able to walk and get about. Nevertheless, from Mrs. Graham's point of view she was not a desirable wife for Arthur; and, as she shrewdly remarked,' Although they were both too young to think of marrying or giving in marriage, still you never can tell what these childish friendships may lead to.'
' I'll tell you what it is, Poppy,' said Graham, when he found Mr. Merton had gone out of the room ; it is no


use wasting any time about these shells. The best way to sell them is to advertise; let us draw up an advertisement, and I'll send it off to-night to two or three papers.'
' But what will it cost ?' said Poppy.
' It won't cost you anything. I'll pay for them, so that I may have the fun of receiving the answers; or if you are going to be proud and silly about them, we will deduct the expenses from the two hundred pounds. I don't myself believe they'll be worth a penny more than that.'
' It is quite possible they may, though,' interrupted Thorne.
'But not probable, I am afraid, Luke,' said Mrs. Merton sadly; for, truth, to tell, the will was a great disappointment to her.
' It is quite impossible to judge of their value till we see them; but it must be a very poor collection if it would not realise more than that, though, of course, their intrinsic worth is not much; but why not wait till they come before advertising them for sale ?' said Thorne.
' Simply because, my dear Thorne, I mean the advertisement to be in to-morrow's papers. I'll telegraph them, to make sure of it. Now, look here; listen. Will this do ?' said Graham, who for the last few minutes had been scribbling in his pocket-book.
TO CONCHOLOGIST8. For Sale immediately. A Magnificent Collection of Shells.
' What kind of shells ? Marine or land shells, British


or foreign, fossil or of living species ?' interrupted Thorne.
' How on earth are we to know that ?'
'Simply by waiting till they arrive, when I shall be able to tell you,' said Thorne.
' Never mind. Shells will do; it includes all kinds of shells. The vaguer the information we give the better; we shall have all the more answers; it only piques the curiosity of the reader. Listen again. A magnificent collection of shells. No reasonable offer refused. Communicate immediately with The Young Squire, Post Office, Highcliff." Will that do ?'
' No You have got immediately" twice in two lines,' said Thorne, who disapproved of all this haste.
' Well, I'll'strike out the last immediately and put at once." Poppy, will it do now ? Mrs. Merton, do you think it will do ?'
' Yes, beautifully,' said Poppy and her mother in a breath.
' Then 111 be off at once and telegraph it to two or three of the papers; so good-bye.'
. And the next morning, when Mr. Merton opened his paper, the first thing that caught his eye was Graham's advertisement to conch ologists, which puzzled him greatly till Luke Thorne explained that Graham had telegraphed it up to town on the previous evening.
' Graham is too kind,' said Mr. Merton briefly; and somehow Luke suspected there was a hidden meaning in his words.
Luke knew his tutor well, and already he felt sure that, in spite of Mr. Merton's apparent indifference, he


did not wish the shells to be sold. Now he has no love of natural science, so it can't be on that account that he wishes Poppy to keep them,' thought Luke. I wonder what his reason can be. Perhaps he thinks a hobby would be good for her; I am quite sure it would. Anyhow, I agree with Merton, it is a pity to sell them for I am sure he thinks so, and I'll do all in my power to induce her to keep them, only, unfortunately, Graham will do all he can to persuade her to get rid of them, and Mrs. Merton and the boys will hack him up, while Merton, I see, means to remain neutral. I wish the shells would come; perhaps when she sees them she will wish to keep them.'
But the shells were not expected till the end of the week, and before they arrived Graham came in one evening with a bundle of letters in his hand, which he threw on to Poppy's sofa.
' There, Poppy, there is a budget for you, all answers to my advertisement; we sha'n't have much^difficulty in disposing of them as soon as we are in a position to answer some of the. questions they ask. See, there are ten or a dozen people who want a list of all the shells contained in the collection. Now, Thorne, can you make one out the day they arrive ?'
' Certainly not; if it is at all a large collection, it will take* hours to dos, even if every shell is labelled and if they are all classified ; but most probably there will be a list sent with them, if so it can easily be copied.'
' Well, that part is soon settled; the next point is they all want us to name our price; now how are we to do that .even when we see them ? It won't do to sell them


for a couple of hundred pounds, and then find out they were worth five hundred.'
' Oh no, that would be a great pity, would it not, father 1' said Poppy.
'It would be unwise, I think,' was Mr. Merton's answer.
'It would be exceedingly foolish; why don't you decide to keep the shells till you know their value. Poppy ?' said Luke.
' Nonsense, Luke; let her sell them at once; if she only gets a hundred pounds, a hundred pounds is a lot of money. I only wish I had, it,' said Edward.
' I'd sell them for fifty pounds if they were mine; I don't believe they are worth that,' said Robert.
' Tou are both talking about what you don't understand in the least,' said Luke irritably.
.' See, Poppy, some old lady encloses a list of the shells she wants; two or three seem open to buying single specimens. It would be much more trouble, but it is a question whether you would not make more money if you sold them separately. If I were going to remain here for the winter, I would arrange it all for you, and should like the work, but you see I may be ordered off at any moment, so unless Mr. Merton or Luke would manage it for you, I think, we had better decide to sell the entire collection.'
' What do you think I had better do, father ? '* said Poppy.
' My dear child, I would much rather that you did not ask my advice in the matter at all. I wish you to do exactly as you like; but do not look to me to sell


them separately for you, as that would involve a great deal of letter writing, and, as you know, this half-hour is the only spare time I have in the day. Perhaps Luke would undertake to see to them for you, if you decide to sell them separately, which I should say is the more profitable way.'
Now Luke was well known to be Poppy's most devoted slave; he fetched and carried for her at her bidding; her slightest wish was his law; everything that interested her interested him. He was never weary of devising means to amuse her; he would get up early and sit up late to make up for the time he spent by her sofa; indeed, it was well known he was quite capable of sacrificing himself to any extent for her sake ; therefore no one in the room doubted that he would at once agree to sell the shells separately, no matter how much trouble it gave him. But to the surprise, of every one he declined to do this, at any rate for the present.
' No, sir, I won't promise to have anything to do with the sale of the shells at all. I think it is a very great pity they are to be sold, and I am sure when they arrive Poppy and every one else will agree with me.'
'You are very unkind to me about these shells, Mr. Thorne,' said Poppy.
And her words pricked Luke as sharply as she intended; but he had the consolation of knowing he was right, and that was some salve to the wound.


CHAPTER II.
a peep at the collection.
10 Lord, how manifold are Thy works in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches.
'So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.'Psalm civ. 24, 25.
'Ye swift-finned nations, that abide In seas as fathomless as wide, And unsuspicious of a snare Pursue at large your pleasures there, Poor sportive fools! how soon doth man Your heedless ignorance trepan.'Cowpbk.
On the Saturday morning after Mr. Merton's visit to his lawyer, a furniture van drove up to the Rectory, much to the disturbance of the boys' lessons; for the study was in the front of the house, and after two or three ineffectual attempts to keep their attention Mr. Merton was obliged to let them go ; and indeed there was so much bustle and noise going on in the house, that it was not easy to go on with Greek verbs and Latin grammar.
In the first place, a rearrangement of the drawing-room was necessary, to find room for the three handsome C% o


cabinets wbicb contained tbe shells; then the study had to be invaded, and a long shelf cleared and given up to the conchological library ; and finally a large packing-case, which contained shells too large to go inside the cabinets, was brought in and unpacked by a man sent on purpose, and who begged, as a special favour, that the young lady might not see the shells until he had arranged them all in their proper order, a work which took him several hours; so it was not till the afternoon that Poppy was wheeled into the drawing-room by Luke Thorne, who was still rather in her black books; the rest of the family followed, for Mr. Merton had forbidden any one to catch a glimpse of the collection till it was unpacked, and had controlled his own curiosity likewise; for indeed he was very curious both to see the shells and to see their effect on Poppy.
' Three cabinets And are they all full of shells ?' was Poppy's first exclamation.
' Yes, miss, every drawer is as full as it can be; but there is another cabinet, if you should care to enlarge the collection, which I believe Miss Crabbe hoped you would do,' said the man, who probably had his own reasons for hoping the .'collection was to be added to. Enlarge iL indeed she is going to sell it, and she ought to get a good sum for it too,' said Robert, going up.to one of the cabinets.
'Don't touch anything, Robert,' said Mr. Merton, sharply.
' It is one of the finest private collections in England, but if the young lady wishes to sell it, my master would, I know, give a thousand pounds for it.


Miss Crabbe refused to let him have it for that some years ago, and it is worth more than that, though some shells have depreciated in value.' Indeed, how is that ?'
' Well, sir, here is this Wentle Trap; years ago seventy guineas were given for a single specimen; you can get one now for seven-and-six. This specimen is worth more, for it is a very fine one,' said the man, taking up a small turreted white shell with many whorls, each whorl ornamented with numerous longitudinal bands, each band being the lip of a former mouth.
' Oh! the Precious Wentle Trap, Scalaria pretiosa. I know it well, it comes from the seas of China and Japan,' said Luke Thorne.
' Why is it called a Wentle Trap ? does it catch wentles ? and if so, what are wentles ?' asked Robert.
' It is a corruption of the German name, Wendeltreppe or winding staircase; the genus is supposed to resemble a staircase, hence the Latin name, Scalaria, a ladder or staircase,' said Luke.
' You understand shells, sir ? Do you know this one ?' said the man, turning to Luke as he opened another drawer and pointed to a long conical-shaped shell of remarkable beauty of shape, colour, and markings; the ground was white, with delicate dull red triangular lines all over it, and three broad bands of beautiful tints encircling it.
' Gloria maris, as I am alive Poppy, you are a highly favoured mortal indeed. Do ypu know there are only twelve known specimens of this shell.in the world ? and you actually possess one of the twelve. Oh it
c 2


would be wicked to talk of selling this shell!' exclaimed Luke enthusiastically.
' I don't see very much in it; I would much rather have one of these big shells on the top of the cabinet/ said Edward.
'That Glory of the Sea was the glory of Miss Crabbe's life, sir; it is practically priceless. She had this secret drawer made on purpose for it. I will show the young lady how it goes before I leave; and this cabinet has always been kept locked.'
'There is a story of a Frenchman who years ago possessed the only Gloria maris then in the world, except one which belonged to a Dutchman. When the Dutchman died his specimen was put up to auction; the Frenchman outbid every one, and then crushed it beneath his heel and exclaimed, Now my specimen is the only one,"' said Luke.
' What sublime selfishness !' said Arthur Graham, -who had entered the room while Thorne was speaking. Hulloa, Poppy, you seem to have inherited a museum; these are shells indeed,' he continued, pointing to the large shells on the top of the cabinet which had already attracted Robert's attention.
And here it may be observed that it was one of Mr. Merton's peculiarities not to allow his boys' names to be shortened to Bobby or Ted. He considered it was right that people should be called by their baptismal names, though he had been cajoled into allowing his daughter's name of Agatha to be altered into Poppy; but then exceptions to all his rules were made in favour of her.
'This is the Giant Clam, Tridacna gigas,' said the


man, taking an enormous bivalve shell.in his hands and opening it, showing its beautiful opaque white interior. This is only an ordinary-sized specimen; they sometimes grow to an enormous size, and are said to weigh as much as five hundred pounds.'
' Two of them are used for holy water in the church of St. Sulpice, Paris, which were given to Francis the First by the Republic of Venice, and it is said that a hundred people could dine off the animal it comes from the Indian Ocean,' said Thorne.
' I don't believe it is ever large enough to dine a hundred people; at least, I should be sorry to be one of the hundred,' said Edward, with the charming candour of his species.
'Perhaps you don't believe the shell is sometimes so large that one person can with difficulty lift one of the valves : all the same, it is true. That is a Fountain Shell, Stromhus gigas, Poppy; next to Tridacna, it is one of the largest living species,' said Luke.
' And this is a very good specimen, sir, it weighs nearly five pounds; they use these shells at Santa Cruz for paving the streets, they tell me, and in Europe they are used for making cameos. Occasionally pearls are found in them; a pink pearl weighing twenty-four grains was once found in a Fountain Shell, while the animal was being cleaned for table in the West Indies, where these large ones are mostly found.'
' What is that large oblong univalve, so beautifully coloured ?' asked Mr. Merton.
' A Triton, sir, Triton variegatus; it is a foot and a half long, a magnificent specimen; it is found on the


Asiatic coast, and in the Mediterranean and South Seas. They are called Conch shells, and are used in foreign countries as instruments of music; they bore a hole near the apex and blow through it, and thus produce musical notes.'
' To be sure ; the ancient Greeks used to use them for a trumpet for the town crier, and I believe some nations used them as military horns; and I am afraid, Poppy, that, is almost the extent of my conchology,' said Mr. Merton, who was sitting by his little girl's sofa, watching the wonder depicted on her face as she gazed speechlessly on her new possessions.
'Here is a great big shell like a helmet,' said Edward.
' It is a Helmet shell, sir, Cassis tuberosa ; this shell is often used for engraving cameos, because of its pure delicate colour, and a considerable trade is carried on on the Continent with ornaments made from them.'
' Whereabouts do they carve the cameos?' said Robert.
' Why, on this beautiful enamel part by the mouth of the shell; the mantle which lines the interior rises in folds here, do you see, and secretes enamel; on this they carve their cameos,' said Luke.
' What do you mean by the mantle ?' You must get Luke to explain that to you another day, Robert; we have only time now to take a hasty glance at the collection, so that we may have some little idea of what it contains.'
' There is a beautiful shell like a great ear, with holes perforated down one side; it looks as if it were made of mother-of-pearl, its colours are so beautiful; I should


like to know something about that, please,' said Poppy-finding her voice at last.
' It is the Ear shell, miss, Haliotis; the outside has been scraped to discover the nacre; it is generally very rough in these shells, but. the inside is in its natural state, and shows all the colours of the rainbow. It is not a rare shell; in the Channel Islands they call these shells Orrners; they are very jnentiful there, and the animal is used largely for foodthey are well beaten first, to make them tender. This is not the same species as the Guernsey one, Tuberculoid, but that has just as beautiful a shell inside as this one. I can show you several. There is a very long species, called the Ass's Ear. They all have these holes in one side ; and perhaps this good gentleman will tell you what they are for.'
'They are made by the animal as it grows, some conchologists say, to allow the lobes of the mantle to pass through, as the creature increases in size; others say they are to let in water to the breathing organs through a slit in the mantle; probably they serve both purposes. The hinder ones are often closed as a new one is made, so that not more than seven or eight are open at a time; see, two or three are closed in this specimen. Sea Ear is its proper English name. No doubt Robert and Edward can tell us its derivation,' said Luke, who was rather given to teasing the boys.
' Halios, marine, and ous, an ear; they, eat that creature in Japan. I have tasted it,' said Graham; isn't that a Nautilus up there 1' he continued.
' Yes, sir, Nautilus Pompilius, and a lovely thing it is; see what an exquisite shape it is.'


' It is indeed; it used to be dedicated to the Egyptian priestess Arsinoe, and the ancients used it for a drinking-cup: the inside is lined with pearl, isn't it ? Aristotle mentions this Pearly Nautilus, and the Paper Nautilus also, and describes them very well,' said Mr. Merton.
' Yes; only he represents them as floating on the sea in fine weather, and spreading out their arms to the breeze, like a sail, and the poets ever since have delighted in repeating the fable, hence Pope,
"Learn of the little Nautilus to sail, Spread the thin oar. and catch the driving gale."
But the Nautilus has neither oars to spread nor sails to catch the gale with. It does float on the sea when the waves become calm after a storm, with its head above water and its tentacles spread out on the surface, the shell being undermost and almost hidden. It has the power of sinking its shell by merely drawing in its tentacles, and then down it goes to its favourite spot at the bottom of the sea ; but to say that it either rows or sails is nonsense.'
' No, Luke, only poetical license,' said Mr. Merton, smiling. I believe Pliny is great on the Nautilus, as well as Aristotle, and it was a Dutch merchant in the eighteenth century who first found.out its power of-sinking and rising. He discovered also that when they are at the bottom of the sea they creep along with their shell above them and their head and tentacles on the ground, in the reverse position to that which they assume when floating; they can go along pretty


quickly, but often get entangled in the fishermen's nets.'
' I wish some of our fishermen here would land one at Highcliff one fine day,' said Robert.
' Here Why, there are no Naihtili in England. Pom-pilius comes from the warm seas of Asia, Australia, and the East and West Indies,' said Luke.
' Show us the Paper Nautilus, please,' said Poppy.
' There is not one, strange to say, in the collection, miss; it must have been an oversight of Miss Grabbe's, for it is one of the most beautiful shells, though very fragile when exposed to the air, but pliable enough in the water, or else it could not escape destruction.'
' Why, if it is anything like this Pearly Nautilus, I should think it would stand a good deal of knocking about,' said Graham.
'But it.is not in the least like it; Argonauta Argo, or the Paper Nautilus'
' Excuse me, Thorne, one moment. Boys, what is the English of Argonautai ?'
' Sailors of the ship Argo,' said Graham promptly, to save Robert and Edward from making a blunder, which was the probable result of their efforts at replying.
' It is sometimes called the Paper Sailor; its shell is very thin and elastic, pure white and translucent, of a beautifully symmetrical fluted shape, containing only one chamber, whereas the home of the Nautilus contains from thirty to forty chambers. The Argonaut is very loosely, if at all, attached;to its shell, which is not mounted on the body of the animal, but seems chiefly intended to serve the purpose of a cradle, for inside it the female


Argonaut lays her eggs. For a long time it was supposed that the animal in the shell was a parasite, who had appropriated this beautiful house to itself, but a Madame Power, then living at Messina, kept a number of Argonauts of all sizes in a tank and watched them, and discovered that when the young Argonauts were twelve days old they began with their two front arms to form a thin filmy layer of shell-like matter, which slowly but surely developed and hardened into a perfect shell. She also discovered that if the shell is broken the clever little Argonaut can repair it. It no more sails than the Nautilus ; indeed, it is doubtful if it ever floats, for its favourite haunts are deep water, where it swims by ejecting water from its funnel. It crawls in the same way as the Nautilus, with its shell over its back like a snail.'
' I wish I had one, I should so like to see it,' said Poppy.
' Where is it to be found, Thorne ? Perhaps I may come across one some day; if I do I'll secure it for you, Poppy,' said Graham.
' There is not much use in doing that if the collection is to be sold. But it is not a rare species; the Mediterranean is a very good place for it, the Cape is another, and in any warm seas almost you might find it; but it is so fragile, I doubt if it will arrive safely/ said Thorne.
' Oh yes, it will, sir, if it is carefully packed; it is not so fragile as these shells, the Sea Snail, Ianthina,' said the man opening a drawer and showing some' little violet snail-like shells, which he promptly stopped


Robert from touching, assuring him they were so brittle the least roughness would break them; but he took out the drawer and handed it to Poppy.
' How pretty they look in their bed of pink cotton wool!' said Poppy.
' They are all packed and kept in cotton wool, some small ones are in little boxes, and the tiniest are gummed on to glass",5 said the man, opening drawer after drawer, and showing shells of all sizes, beginning with some not much larger than a pin's head.
'Those Xanthines can emit a phosphorescent light, Poppy, and the animal gives out a violet fluid, which stains the hand. Whole fleets of the Ianthince are seen floating in calm weather in the South Atlantic, for their home is the high sea, and sometimes hundreds get wrecked on the coral-reefs ; they stick to each other sometimes in a mass, like bees. They are some of the very few Molluscs which inhabit the ocean and yet have fragile shells, but yet they ride securely upon the waves, and make rapid progress. Now, it is possible you boys might find one of them here, for they sometimes drift to our southern and western coasts. Let me put that drawer back, Poppy, and we'll have another out.'
' These are the Cowries, miss,' said the man, handing Poppy a drawer of thick glossy shells of vivid colours and delicate markings, one of whichthe Tiger Cowry is known to everybody.'
' You have not Princeps and Lmcodon, I suppose ?' said Luke.
' No, sir. They are in the National Collection, but


they are unique, and perhaps the most valuable shells yet discovered. There is the Money Cowry, Cyprcea moneta!
' Why is it called the Money Cowry ?' asked Robert.
' Because it is used by the natives of West Africa as money ; it is the current coin, too, of Siam and Bengal. The negro women collect it, and it is sent to the different countries. In 1848 sixty tons of Money Cowries were imported into Liverpool, and then exported for coin into Africa. This used to be done annually, and may be to this day, for aught I know. But now, Edward, I have explained the meaning of moneta, do you know what Cyprcea means 1' said Mr. Merton.
' No. I know Cypris is one of the names for Venus--'
(Right!; Cyprcea is the Greek for Venus, and I suppose the name has been given to these shells on account of their beauty.'
' What is this white shell with bright orange teeth called ?' asked Poppy.
' The Orange Cowry. It is a rare one. The chiefs of the Friendly Isles wear it as an ornament-; it is a badge of rank. But still rarer is Cyprcea aurora. Yes, you have one. Look! I know it by this hole, which was pierced by some New Zealand er; it is not a natural perforation; they suspend it to their dress as an ornament. That one there, Anmdus, is used for money, for ornament, and to weight their fishing-nets with, by the West Indians.'
' Are any of the Cowries found in England ?' asked Poppy.
' The Nun Cowry is very common; but it is small and


not at all remarkable for beauty; it is a dull brown. See, there are some Nuns; none of the European species have brilliant tints. Let us have the Pectens next they are some of the prettiest shells. See There is a blaze of colour for you, Poppy,' said Luke, as a drawer of Pectens was pulled out. ' I call those Scallops,' said Edward. 'So they are; but Pecten is their family name. It means comb, Poppy. Pecten Jacdbmus, or St. James's shell. Here he is; used to be worn by the pilgrims to the Holy Land. It is the scallop-shell that we hear so much of. Like the pilgrims, the scallops are great travellers, and sometimes get deserted by the tide, and then what do you think they do ? They jump back. They take a series of leaps till they get back to the sea. They can go about half a foot at a leap, and they do it by expanding their valves, and then closing them with a jerk. Besides this, they can lie at anchor in a storm. They spin a thread, and by it moor themselves to a rock or boulder, and there they lie safely till the storm is over, otherwise they might be dashed against the rocks by the force of the waves and their shells broken, for they prefer shallow water near the shore. There are nine British species; I wonder if you have them all, Poppy ?'
' No, sir; I think only four. Miss Crabbe's collection is chiefly foreign and very rare shells. I believe she thought the commoner kinds could be added at any time. I dare say you would find several of the Pectens on the beach, and they are all very pretty; but they don't equal Spondylus, the Thorny Oyster. There are


some beautiful specimens of that genus; it belongs to the same family as the Pectens, and is by far the most beautiful of all the bivalves.'
' Oh what lovely thingsred and pink and yellow and orange. Oh father, just look! Aren't they exquisite ?' said Poppy, as another drawer of thorny bivalves, of vivid colours, was placed on her sofa.
' They are indeed, Poppy. I remember my old friend Aristotle was struck with their beauty. I don't suppose we shall find anything prettier than these in the collection. Where do they come from, Luke ?'
' The Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, sir. There is another shell still more beautiful in form than Spondylusthe Murex. Will you show us that next, please ?'
' We call that sort of shell the Sting Winkle. There are plenty of the common ones on the beach, and the fishermen say they make holes in the shells of other fish with their spines,' said Robert.
' You don't find any like these on the beach, I am sure, Robert,' said Luke, as he put a drawer of exquisitely coloured univalves of singularly beautiful shape, and armed with long spines, which added greatly to their beauty, on Poppy's sofa.
' That is Venus's Comb, Murex tenuispinct; when the animal wants to enlarge its shell, it can dissolve those spines and replace them with a smooth surface. This one, Trunculus, yields a purple dye,' said the packer.
' Tyrian purple; the Romans are said to have obtained this colour, from the juice of the Murex, which was found on the shores of Tyre ; and there is an old legend


which says it was discovered by a shepherd's dog, which broke one of the shells on the beach, and stained his mouth with the colour. They bruised the shells in mortars to extract the dye; and heaps of these broken shells, and holes in the rocks, which were evidently used for coppers, may still be seen on the Tyrian shores,' said Mr. Merton.
'Why, father, you said you knew nothing about shells; why, you know more than any of us except Luke.'
' But we none of us know anything, so that isn't much of a compliment to Luke, Poppy,' said Edward.
'I don't know much, but I mean to learn a good deal, if Poppy does not sell the books as well as the shells on Monday,' said Luke.
' I never said I was going to sell them on Monday!' said Poppy indignantly. I am certainly going to look at them all first, and I have not seen half yet.'
' No ; we must get on quicker, if you please, sir, I should like to show the young lady just the principal shells before I go. These are the Harps: there is the Imperialis; it'is very rare, it comes from the Mauritius, it is a very beautiful shell, and used to fetch an enormous price, but it is not so scarce or so dear now; there is a fishery for them at the Mauritius; there are only nine species, and perhaps this one, Veiitrieosa^ which is as common as any, is the most beautiful.'
' Yes, I think it is; see, Poppy, how symmetrical all these ribs, which represent the strings of the harp, are ; each of those ribs was formerly a vao-ix, or vein. I believe the animals which inhabit the Harps are very beautiful, and of brilliant colours, rosy red and yellowish


green. Now, these are the Cones coming next; we have seen the most rare of them, Gloria maris,' said Thorne.
' We have the Field of the Cloth of Gold here, sir, and a lovely thing it is; no brocade made by human hands can equal the exquisite design on that shell; and here is the Imperialis. See the elaborate painting of these yellow and brown bands, and the number of lovely shades used in the work; others have markings like Greek and Hebrew letters, and others are marked with dots, veins, clouds, stripes, bands; every kind of decoration seems to be employed. There are over three hundred species of Gonus, and there are two hundred species in this collection. Here is one, Gedo Nulli, you would not get for less than seven or eight pounds. They come chiefly from Asia, but they are abundant in all tropical seas, and I believe are generally found in the holes of rocks and caves.'
' Are there no British specimens ?' asked one of the boys.
' No; and it is lucky for you there are not, for some species bite when handled. Here we come to the Mitres. They are as numerous as the ConesI mean they have as many species. Some are very minute, and they are all slender and elegant in form. Here is Episcopalis. My lord can give out a purple liquid with a disagreeable odour when irritated, and some species are said to be poisonous, and if touched will wound with their pointed trunknot a dignified use for a bishop to put his mitre to, is it ? They are exquisitely moulded; sometimes grooved, sometimes fluted, sometimes smooth,' said Luke.


' Are these British 1'
' None of these. They are mostly from the Pacific ; but there are a great many fossil species found in our chalk. Here is a quaint shell, young gentlemen, often found on the Norfolk coast, where it is very common the Razor Shell. See, it is a bivalve; but enormously long in proportion to its breadth, for bivalves are measured in this way : from the hinge to the margin is called the breadth, from posterior side to the anterior side the length. If you have any Solens on this coast, you must look for them at low water, for they live buried in the sand. You can discover their whereabouts by a mark like a keyhole in the sand, and you may perhaps catch them with a piece of bent wire, and they are very good to eat when cooked. They never come out of their holes of their own will, and sometimes sink to a depth of one or two feet. They are more curious than beautiful.
' There is another way of catching them I know of. Put a little salt down their holes; that irritates them, and up they'll come. Then you must be quick and snatch at them, for, if you miss them, they won't come up a second timethey are too knowing for that. Here, in this drawer, we have the Fool's Cap Limpet (Capuhis). See, the shape is very like a fool's cap; the very large species are tropical, but one, called the Hungarian Cap, is found in our British % seas. Here it is, look; white outside, lined with a beautiful rose colour, jit is supposed that the animals never move from the spot they originally settle upon. Now we come to the Needle Shells. By the way, Poppy, I hope


you don't think we are going through these shells in any sort of order, because Ave are not; we are just taking those which are the most attractive at first sight, iust to give you a general idea of what they are like.'
'Yes, and we must not spend more time over them to-day.; so if you have anything to say about the Needle Shells, be quick please, Luke, and say it,' said Mr. Merton.
' They get their name from their sharp-pointed form. They are tropical, excepting one which is found in the Mediterranean, and some species are ten inches long. They love the sea, and seldom get out of its reach. There! I could spend hours talking about them,' said Luke enthusiastically, as the cabinets were closed.
' So you may another day; but now will you all go out of the room for a minute, while the packer shows Poppy how this secret drawer goes ? I had better see it also, Poppy, in case you forget,' said Mr. Merton.
So the boys and Mrs. Merton went away while the secret of the drawer which contained Gloria maris was explained.
When they all came back, Poppy exclaimed :
' I feel like the Queen of Sheba when she had been looking at all King Solomon's treasures; there is no more spirit in me.'
' Well, you have no need to feel like her. Her spirit was taken out of her, because the treasures were Solomon's, and not hers. Now, your shells are your own,' said Graham.
' Until she sells them !' said Luke, in a tone which was meant to be reproving, but was taken to be unkind; for Poppy made no answer, but burst into tears.






CHAPTER III.
'gloria maris' is lost.
' But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create.' Isaiah lsv. 18.
' Master, I marvel how the fishes live i' the sea.' Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones. Pericles. Shakspeabe.
An awkward silence, broken only by Poppy's sobs, followed Luke Thome's remark ; in the midst of which he rose abruptly and left the room.
' Poppy, dear, you are over-tired; the excitement of these shells arriving has been too much for you,' said Mrs. Merton.
' It is not that so much, Mrs. Merton ; it is Thome's temper. He has been as cross and as rude to Poppy as he could be ever since we spoke of selling the shells; they are hers to do as she likes with, and if she chooses to sell them it has nothing to do with Thorne. It is great cheek of him to interfere, I consider,' said Graham savagely.
' It is just like Luke; he likes to manage us all, Poppy, as well as us boys,' said Robert.


' Never mind, Poppy; we know a little about tbeir value now from that man. By the way, he told me by far the best plan is not to sell the entire collection, but to sell the shells separately; it takes much longer, but in the end you will realise almost as much again.'
' But I don't want to sell them at all,' sobbed Poppy. Don't want to sell them !' exclaimed the two boys in a breath.
' Not sell them What are you going to do with them then ?' asked Graham.
' I don't think she knows what she wants, Arthur ; she has done too much, poor child,' said Mrs. Merton.
'Perhaps I'd better be off, then. Come on, you fellows; I'll take you for a walk before tea, if Mr. Merton does not object.'
Mr. Merton made no objection. On the contrary, he was very glad when Mrs. Merton followed the boys out of the room and left him alone with Poppy; for her remark that she did not want to sell the shells, when for the last few days, until within the last hour, she had talked of little else but selling them, had filled him with curiosity to know what the meaning of this sudden change was, and he felt sure Poppy, with a very little encouragement, would tell him. Under ordinary circumstances he would have been at her side at the first sign of tears, and asked what they meant, but he was afraid to evince any anxiety in the fate of the shells, lest he should in any way influence her to keep them; so he had held aloof, thereby increasing Poppy's grief, and making her think he was angry with her as well as


Luke. As soon as they were alone Mr. Merton went across the room, and sitting down by Poppy's sofa, bent over and kissed her.
' What is the matter, my child ? I don't think Luke meant to be unkind.'
' No, but he is angry with me, and I thought you were too.'
' But you see I am not in the least angry; why should I be?'
' Because I was so mercenary about those shells ; I was so disappointed when I heard Miss Crabbe had only left me them, and no money.'
'It was a great disappointment, no doubt, my darling ; older people than you would have felt that. I own I did, so I can't be angry with you for that.'
' But I was cross with poor dead Miss Crabbe, and I hated the shells, and longed to sell them; and now I have seen them I think she must have been very fond of me, or she would never have left such treasures to me, for they are so beautiful. I am sure she must have been very fond of them, and I think I ought to take great care of them for her sake. I think they are a sort of trust; so if you don't mind, father, I should like to keep them; it seems to me, now I have seen them, it would be almost a sin to sell such lovely things; don't you think it would ?'
Mr. Merton hesitated before he answered. He was secretly intensely relieved to find Poppy inclined to keep the shells, but he was dreadfully afraid of letting her see his relief.
' No, dear, I don't think it would be a sin to sell


them, but I am just as well pleased that you should keep them, and I like your motive for doing so.'
'But it is not all a good motive. I like having things that very few other people have, and that is selfish, isn't it ? But then I like these shells for their beauty, as well as for their rarity, and I begin to long to hear more about them; where they all come from, what kind of animals lived in such beautiful homes, and how they make such lovely houses for themselves.'
' That I can't tell you, dear; all I know is God, who made them, taught them also how to build their beautiful houses as a protection. He might have been content with giving them something far less beautiful, which would, perhaps, have served the purpose as Avell, but He chose to make them beautiful also. He has taught these creatures to be sculptors and artists, and I cannot help thinking He did this for our benefit; that in admiring these exquisite shapes and lovely colours, we might be led to think of His perfect beauty. I love to think that we were in the Creator's thoughts when He made the lower animals, and that He made them not only to be our food, and our servants, but to be our teachers, our joy, and delight also. In the first instance, He made them all for Himself, we are told; but no dotibt their secondary purpose was to minister to man; and not merely to satisfy his physical hunger, but to stimulate his love of science, and above all to increase his love of God, to minister to his body, soul, and spirit. I believe no one has yet fathomed the mystery of how the shell is made, but no doubt Luke will be able to tell you more about it,' said Mr. Merton.


' He could if he chose, but he is so angry with me for wishing to sell the shells, I am afraid he won't.'
' And I am sure he will; but I think I must forbid him to talk of them any more to-day, as you are too exhausted with all this excitement. I will suggest to him that on Monday he shall begin regularly to give you lessons in conchology, if you like.'
Poppy was delighted with this proposition, and Luke, who did not appear again till tea-time, was no less so when Mr. Merton suggested it, for he had been abusing himself in the interim for being an ill-tempered brute, who had interfered in what did not concern him, and hurt the feelings of a poor little invalid girl, who, young as she was, he already loved with all the ardour of first love, though he managed to conceal his feelings so well that no one suspected their existence. Indeed, Poppy's extreme youth, and her state of health, quite prevented Mr. or Mrs. Merton from suspecting that either Luke or Arthur Graham looked upon her in any other light than that of a delicate child, whom it was a charity to amuse. And yet, as Thorne had discovered, Graham too was devoted to Poppy, and, with his wealthy position and handsome face, was likely to prove a formidable rival, when the child was old enough to think about lovers.
She did not join the family party at tea that night, but remained, by her mother's orders, quietly alone in the drawing-room, whither Luke sought her as soon as he could make an excuse for leaving the table.
'Poppy, I was very ill-tempered and unkind to you' began Luke.


'No, you weren't, I was silly to cry,' interrupted Poppy.
' Yes, I was; you said so yourself, and it was true ; but if you'll forgive me I'll make up for it by teaching you the little I know, and a great deal more, for I'll study some of those books of yours about shells. Is it a bargain ?'
' Oh, thank you, thank you, Luke !' said Poppy, radiant with joy, as she put one of her long white hands into Luke's.
Luke Thorne was certainly not handsome; but he was a neat dapper little man, with small hands and feet, firmly closed lips and resolute grey eyes. There was plenty of character, if there was no beauty, in his face, and they seldom go together, for character as a rule destroys the balance and turns the scales in its own favour. But as he took Poppy's hand and raised it almost reverently to his lips to seal their bargain he looked by no means ugly, for pity, love, sympathy, reverence and penitence were all written on his ordinary features, illuminating them with a grace mere physical beauty often lacks.
Mrs. Merton's entrance put an end to the little scene, and by Mr. Merton's wish no more was said about the shells that day, and Sunday was such a busy day at the Vicarage, what with services and Sunday school classes, that there was no time to think of them; but on Monday afternoon Luke came into the drawing-room to tea and to give Poppy her first lesson in conchology.
' Poppy, I have been asking Mr. Merton if I may


give a lecture at our first penny-reading this year, in the schoolroom, and he says Yes; now what do you think the subject is to be ?'
'Shells, Luke; I am sure you have not another idea in your head just now.'
' Right! Well, now in this lecture I shall try and tell you a little about the habits, structure and physiology of the Mollusca, as this sub-kingdom is called; it includes all soft-bodied animals enveloped in a muscular skin, and generally living in a shell, and is derived from the Latin word mollis, soft. The lecture will contain general information on the ways and appearances of shells and their inhabitants; but you want particular information, so in these lessons I want to go straight through the classes, families, and in some cases genera, and occasionally even species of shells, taking a glance at your specimens to illustrate what would otherwise be far less interesting. By this means we shall find out what shells are wanting to make the collection perfect, and which of those it would be.most interesting to have. Well, now to start off, the classes into which the Mollusca are divided are--'
' Wait a minute, Luke. I believe I know that; there are two classes, aren't thereunivalves and bivalves ?'
'Those are divisions, and, as you know, all shells consisting of only one piecelike a snail, or a cone, or a cowryare called univalves; all consisting of two valves or shellslike the mussel, or scallop, or. oyster are called bivalves. These divisions are again divided into five classesfirst, Cephalopoda, or head-footed, so called because the animal has arms or feet arranged in


a circle round its mouth; the name is derived from two Greek wordscephal, a head, and poda, feet. The second class is Gasteropoda, from gaster, the under side of the body, so called because the animal walks on the under side of its body, which forms the foot, as the snail, for instance. The third class is JPteropoda, from pteron, a wing; these creatures swim with a pair of fins, or wings extending on each side of the head; they are entirely marine animals. These three classes are all univalves, and the animals all have heads ; the remaining classes, are bivalves, and the animals are acephalous that is, they have no heads.'
'No heads, Luke ? What queer creatures they must be!'
'You would think an oyster with a head still queerer, wouldn't you ? The fourth class is called Brachiopoda, from brachion, an arm; they have two long, spiral arms near their mouthfor they have a mouth, though they have no headand with these arms, which they can unroll, they make currents, which help to convey their food into their mouths. The fifth class is the Gonchifera, or shell-bearers, the ordinary bivalve, like the oyster; these creatures breathe by two pairs of gills attached to the mantle.'
' Oh Please tell me what you mean by the mantle?'
' It is an outer skin which envelops the animal entirely, and from it exudes a liquid, which, when exposed to the air or water, hardens into the shellin other words, the mantle is an envelope or covering which secretes the shell; in the univalves it takes the form of a sac, in bivalves it is divided into two lobes one lobe for each valve.'


'How is it that only the inside of shells have that beautiful mother-of-pearly look ?'
' Nacreous, Poppy; not mother-of-pearly. Why is the lining nacreous ? Because that is formed by the thin transparent part of the mantle which contains the viscera; the epidermis, or outer layer, and the cellular parts are formed by the margin or collar of the mantle. Every layer of a shell was once a portion of the mantle, and then, having been hardened with carbonate of lime, was thrown off to join itself to those layers previously formed; but the exact way in which this outer shell is made is a mystery.'
' Where do they get the carbonate of lime from ?'
' Oh, from their food. There is abundance of lime in land plants, which land molluscs feed on, and seaweed contains a great deal of lime, for it collects it from the salt water, to which it acts as a filter; there is no scarcity of lime for them, witness the enormous thickness of some of their shells, which means they have too much lime in their systems. How this lime is built up into the wonderful cellular structures is, as I said, a mystery which will never be fathomed, and how some exhibit such exquisite colours is very hard to understand, though we know that the colours depend to some extent on the action of light, for bivalves, which are stationary, have rich colours on the upper valve exposed to the light, while the under valve is colourless; and, generally speaking, shells from shallow water have richer and warmer colours than those which come from deep waters, though those Which inhabit the tropics are much more brilliant than those which live


in temperate regions. But your question about the mantle has caused me to digress considerably. As I was telling you, there are five classes of the Mollusca; in point of fact, there are six, but as we have nothing to do with the sixthTunicatainasmuch as the animals have no shell, but only an elastic tunic, I won't bother you with them. The Gasteropoda is the largest class; the Cephalopoda are the most highly organised, and consequently the most interesting; the animals are symmetricalthat is, they have both sides of their bodies equally developed; they have large heads and remarkably large eyes, and their arms or feet are arranged in a circle round their heads; they have two powerful jaws, not unlike the beak of a parrot; they have a large crop, like a bird's also; the tongue is covered with tiny horny barbed spines, and they may be said to have three hearts, which lie between the gills; their senses are very acute, their great eyes being very perfect; cavities on each side of the brain serve them as ears, but it is left for you to discover their noses.'
' Oh! Luke, what wonderful creatures They sound rather terrible.'
' Terrible I should say they weresome of them, at least. What will you say, Poppy, when I tell you the dreadful Octopus is own brother to that beautiful, delicate Argonaut which Graham is to find and send to you ? He is, indeed; at least, he belongs to the same family. There are six families of the Cephalopods: the Octopoda, the Sepias, the Belemnitesthey are all fossils, so we have nothing to do with themthe


Spirulas, the Nautilidse, and the Ammoniteswhich are also fossil.'
' But do you mean to say, Luke, the Argonaut is a kind of Octopus ?'
' I mean to say the animal has eight arms arranged round his mouth, and is therefore included in the Octopoda. He is the beauty of the family, while his elder brother, the Octopus, is the black sheep. By the way, Poppy, the common name for the Octopus is the Cuttle-fish; they vary in size from an inch to two feet in length, while the arms of some of the largest are two feet long. These arms, or tentacles, are highly muscular and flexible, and can be twisted in any direction round any object, as well as serving as organs of motion. They are furnished with suckers on the under-surface, and if they once fix on any substance it is easier to tear the tentacle away than to release it so you may imagine what terrible enemies these large Octopi are even to man, if he comes in contact with them. Now, though in the various families these arms differ very much, yet they are all armed with these suckers. You would suppose the Octopus was sufficiently armed with these formidable suckers of his, and yet he has another method of defence common to many members of the- class; he has an ink-bag, from which he discharges an inky fluid, which discolours the surrounding water, and enables him under cover of it to make good his escape from his enemies.'
' I should not think the cruel creature need be afraid of any other animal.'
' Well, the Argonaut needs it, for he is by no means


so terrible a creature as the Octopus. He uses it too if necessary, and be also uses his suckers to seize his prey, while at the same time he wraps his dilated arms round his shell, and so descends in a cloud of his own ink if alarmed. The animal of the Argonaut is very beautiful when alive; these arms and all the body are purple and silver and gold; and the great eyes of all the Cephalopods are luminous at night. I forgot to tell you that the Octopus has no shell; indeed, there are one or two species of Argonaut which have no shell also.'
' I hope there are no Octopuses in our English seas,' said Poppy, regardless of Latin grammar.
' Yes, the Octopi are found in all seas; but you need not be afraid of coming across any of the larger ones on this coast; in India and Italy the cuttle-fish is used for food. The Sepias, or Squids, as they are commonly called, are the second family; they are the literary members of the class.'
' Literary, Luke; what do you mean ?'
' Well, I don't mean that they are authors exactly.'
' I should hope not,' laughed Poppy; as father says, there are a great many too many authors now, so we don't want any fish to take to writing.'
' Nevertheless, the Squids are furnished with a pen} and they are never seen without it. This pen, as it is called, and it is very like a pen in shape, is an inner shell. I didn't see any of them in your collection the other day, but no doubt I could find some of the Cala-maries or Loligo on the beach; they are a very common species of Sepia, used by fishermen as bait. One


species, called by fishermen the Flying Squid, by naturalists Ommastrephes, frequently leaps out of the water like flying-fish. The Common Sepia, also called the cuttle-fish, is considered a great luxury by the Sandwich islanders. Its flesh is said to be like the meat of a lobster's claw when well cooked; its shell is used as toothpowder, ink-erasers, pumice, etcetera. Some of these Sepias grow to a very large size. They all have ten arms, armed with suckers, and sometimes with claws in addition. They have two fins, and are armed with an ink-bag, which they empty at the least sign of danger; from this fluid the pigments sepia and Indian ink are prepared. Many of the Squids are fossil, and, as I said before, all the Belemnites are, so we will pass over them and go on to the Spirulas. Do you remember seeing them ? Look, here are some : these are only three recent species.'
And as Luke spoke he took up a little box lined with pink cotton-wool, in which lay some small spiral shells, whose whorls did not touch; they were very beautiful, thin, pearly-white, and almost transparent, and of a most graceful spiral form.
' Are any of these found in England ?' asked Poppy.
' No; but those Peronii have been picked up in Ireland, I believe. You won't find anything more exquisite in form than those among your shells, Poppy. Now all those four families have two gills, or branchiae, and are called Dibranchiata, or two-gilled ; the last two families have four gills, and are called Tetrabranchiata, from tetra, four, and branchice, gills. And now we come to your Nautilus Pompilius. I'll get him down for you
E


to hold in your hands while I talk about his family. There is only one recent genus, Nautilus, and only two species, Pompilius and Umbilieatus, which is very rare.'
'And is the animal which lives in this shell one of those terrible eight-armed creatures ?'
' Not exactly; it has numerous tentaclesOwen says ninetybut no suckers and no ink-bladder, because its strong shell is sufficient protection. The animal is attached to the shell by two very powerful muscles ; it lives in the last of its numerous chambers, which is very large. They are all connected by a siphon, or tube, which perforates them, and a flexible membrane runs through this siphuncle, lining the air-chambers. The creature is furnished with a leathery hood, which fits to the shell something like the lid of a box, and by means of it the head and tentacles can be covered up. The siphuncle enables it to rise and sink at its pleasure, for the air-chambers make it of nearly the same specific gravity as the surrounding water, and by exposing more or less of its body to the water, it rises or falls accordingly. And now, as we have run through one whole class, I think we have done enough conchology for to-day. I hope you are not tired, Poppy?'
' Oh, no! I have so enjoyed it; thank you very much, Luke. Now as a reward I'll show you Gloria maris; or rather you may show it to me, for my back is rather bad to-day; I daren't get up.'
' But I don't know how to open the drawer.'
' I'll tell you: father said I might, only don't tell any one else, please. The spring is in the centre or


e 2




the handle; see, if you simply take hold of the handle you might try for ever without opening it, hut press against the centre of the knob and it opens at once.'
' It is very clever,' said Luke; who, before he opened the drawer, was examining two or three of the handles, which were apparently all alike.
'And so simple, almost too simple, the man said, for he thought it might be possible to open it by accident.'
'I don't think so,' said Luke, as he touched the spring and the drawer opened; but to his amazement it was empty.
'Why, Poppy, you have made a mistake; this isn't the drawer, it is emptylook.'
' Empty, Luke ? It is impossible Empty Why, Gloria maris is gone Oh, what shall I do ? Gone and there are only eleven others in the world.' And in her excitement Poppy got off her sofa.
' Lie down, Poppy; please lie down; it can't be gone; don't be frightened; you have made a mistake, this isn't the drawer, there must be two secret drawers,' said Luke, trying one drawer after the other.
' But there are not; there is only that one, and Gloria maris was in it on Saturday evening !' exclaimed Poppy, wringing her hands and paying no heed to Luke's injunctions to lie down; when, luckily for her, the door opened, and her father and Arthur Graham walked in.
' What's up here ? Poppy standing wringing her hands over her shells Well, the sooner they are got rid of the better !' exclaimed Graham.


'Poppy, my child, lie down directly,' said Mr. Merton anxiously.
' But, father, Gloria maris is gone !' cried Poppy, as she suffered her father to put her back on her sofa.
' My dear child, how pale you look Fetch her a glass of wine, Luke, please. What is it, my dear ?'
' Gloria maris, that rarest of all my shells, the one in the secret drawer, is gone,' said Poppy.
' Nonsense It can't be gone; no one knows how to, open the drawer but you and me. Let me see. Why, yes, this is the secret drawer, and it is empty; there is no doubt about that. Some one has found out the spring besides ourselves. Perhaps they have had the grace to put the shell into one of the other drawers; let us have a search; you would know it directly, wouldn't you, Luke ?'
' Oh, yes, sir; here are. the other Cones, it isn't amongst them,' said Luke, as he and Mr. Merton proceeded to search every drawer, but in vain; they looked them through again and again, but there was no doubt about the matterGloria maris was gone.
'What are we to do, father?' said Poppy, turning such a little white, woe-begone face to her father, that his heart ached, not for the Glory of the Sea, but for his poor little daughter's vanished health and strength.
'.You must lie still and rest, my little one, and leave me to see about this. Where are the boys ? Perhaps one of them has found out the spring and dared to play some trick upon us ; just see if you can find them, and send them here, Thorne, will you ?'
' I will, sir,' said Graham with alacrity; for he


thought it would go hardly with the hoys if they had been up to any nonsense with this wonderful shell; and he wanted to warn them, if they had, their only hope was full and immediate confession.
And certainly Mr. Merton looked rather alarming when, after a few minutes, Robert and Edward followed Graham into the drawing-room.
' Have either of you boys dared to touch any of these shells 1' he demanded.
' No, father,' was the immediate response.
' Are you quite sure 1'
' Certain; we don't tell lies,' said Robert indignantly.
'Mind what you are about, sir; remember you are speaking to your father, if you please.'
' I beg your pardon, father,' muttered Robert, hanging his head.
' We thought you doubted our word,' said Edward.
' No, my boys, I don't doubt you-thank God, I have never known either of you deceive me; but this is a serious affair. This was by far the most valuable of all Miss Crabbe's shells, and it has disappeared in a most extraordinary manner. I must make inquiries amongst the servants.'
'Itis not at all likely that they would have touched it, is it, sir ? They would not know its value,' said Thorne.
' It is not likely ; but if you had asked me on Saturday night, I should have said nothing was less likely than that this drawer should have been opened and Gloria maris taken out within forty-eight hours. I wish your mother were back, Poppy.'


' Is Mrs. Merton away from home, then ?'
' No; she is only with a sick woman, with whom she sat up all Saturday night; I think I shall leave her to question the servants when she comes in. Dear me, this is a very .serious business. Why, that shell is worth a fabulous sum of moneyit is a fortune in itself, one might almost say.'
' I hope, sir, you will immediately communicate with the police, for it is a very unpleasant thing to have occurred,' said Thorne.
' Not more so for you than for any of us, Luke; you are one of us,' said Mr. Merton.
' Or than it is for me. How do you know I didn't break into the house on Saturday or Sunday night, and steal it ?' said Arthur Graham.
' It is beyond a joke, Graham, beyond a joke; it is a profound mystery. You see, not a soul except Poppy and me knew how to open the drawer--'
' Except the man who showed us, father,' said Poppy.
' Poppy has hit it; that fellow must have got into the house on Saturday or Sunday night and stolen it, said Robert.
' Or bribed one of the servants to steal it for him,' said Edward.
' Upon my word, loth as I am to suspect any one, I can think of no other way. I must telegraph to my solicitor at once, and ask him what I am to do,' said Mr. Merton.
Accordingly he went off at once to telegraph, leaving the young people together to discuss the matter in his absence.


CHAPTER IV.
IS STRICTLY CONCHOLOGICAL.
'And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind.'Genesis i. 21.
' Oh what a happy life were mine Under the hollow-hung ocean green ; Soft are the moss-beds under the sea: We would live merrily, merrily.'Tennyson.
' WELL, if any one had told me a week ago I was of less value than a shell, and that all this family would confirm that opinion, I would not have believed them, hut such is the melancholy truth,' said Graham ; when for a quarter of an hour after Mr. Merton had left the room, Gloria maris had been the sole topic ol conversation.
' What do you mean, Arthur ?' asked Mrs. Merton, who came in in time to catch this remark.
' Oh mother! I am so glad you are back; my best shell, Gloria maris, the one that was kept in that secret drawer, has been stolen"!' exclaimed Poppy; and then the story of the missing shell was told again by half a dozen voices.


' Yes,' said Graham, when the excitement had somewhat subsided, the Glory of the Sea is gone, and the glory of Highcliff is going to sea.'
' What do you mean by the glory of Highcliff ?'
'I mean myself, of course. I flattered myself my news would cause some little excitement, not unmixed with a pang or two of regret here; but I was mistaken. I ought to have remembered that nobody is missed in this world. We miss things, even such useless things as shells, but we don't miss people. My departure is entirely swallowed up in the still greater news that Poppy's Gloria maris, which she first set eyes on on Saturday afternoon, has departed/ said Graham, half in fun, though there was a tone of bitterness in his voice.
' You are going away, Arthur ? Why didn't you tell us before ?' said Poppy regretfully.
'How could I, when you were all so full of Gloria maris? Yes, I am ordered to join my ship this day week, and we are off to the West Indies. I shall be able to get you plenty of shells there, Poppy, so I dare say you won't regret my departure.'
' I am very sorry you are going/ said Poppy simply, ignoring the implied reproach of Graham's remark.
'So am I. Why, Graham, losing you is a thousand times worse than losing that old shell of Poppy's/ said Edward.
' I should think it was, indeed; only, you see, Graham will come back again in five years, and Gloria maris, I believe, is gone for good/ said Robert.
And, though Poppy was genuinely sorry that Arthur was going, yet he could not hide from himself the


apparent truth that her regret for his departure was swallowed up by her dismay at the mysterious disappearance of Gloria maris; while both Luke and Mr. Merton were at little pains to conceal their opinion that the loss of so valuable a shell was by far the greater calamity, if indeed Graham's being ordered to sea could be called a calamity. Mr. Merton received an answer to his telegram that same evening; it was very brief, but it left no doubt as to what he was to do, for it said:
' Dobson will arrive by the first train to-morrow ; do nothing till he comes.'
Who Mr. Dobson was Mr. Merton had not the remotest idea, and he awaited his arrival with no' little curiosity, going to meet him the following morning. Mr. Dobson turned out to be a little dapper man, clean shaven, and dressed in a blue serge suit, as the most appropriate costume for a few days' visit at the seaside solely for the benefit of his health. On arriving, he plunged into business at once, and before he reached the Rectory had taken down full particulars of the case. He was very careful to inquire who was present when the shells were unpacked, and who slept in the house on Saturday and Sunday nights. He asked very few questions about the servants, but he was particular in his inquiries about Luke Thorne and Arthur Graham.
' Was there any talk of selling these shells ?'
' Oh, dear, yes a great deal. My daughter was most anxious to sell them until she saw them, and Mr. Graham was to have negotiated the matter for her with Mr. Thorne.'


' Both those gentlemen were then in favour of selling the shells ?'
'No, Mr. Thorne was strongly opposed to it; Mr. Graham was anxious to sell them. But I hope -you don't for one moment suspect either of these gentlemen, Mr. Dobson ? I am as sure of their innocence as I am of my own.'
' That may be, sir; but I am a detective officer, sent here to sift this matter to the bottom, and it is my duty to follow up every clue, no matter how slight. As far as I can see at present, there are only three people who could possibly have taken it: the man who brought the shells downand he must either have broken into the house or corrupted one of the servantsor one of those gentlemen. Of course it is possible one of your own sons may have taken it and hidden it up for a lark; if so, I shall soon find that out; and before I have been many hours in the house I shall know whether there has been any collusion among the servants. It would be as well if you could pass me off as an old friend, a partner of your solicitor's; there is no harm in their knowing I have come down about the shell, but you had better keep to yourself that I am a detective. I shall have to ask you to give me a bed for a night or two, perhaps for several; and if we start as old friends my work will be done all the quicker. As you are certain of the innocence of these gentlemen, you will not feel that you are luring them on to detection by furthering my work. If you will give me the run of the house, and induce them to regard me as a friend, I think I shall very soon get to the bottom of this affair.'


Mr. Merton didn't altogether like this scheme. He could not pass a stranger off as a friend, hut as he had not the very slightest doubt of the innocence of Graham and Thorne, he consented to introduce the detective to his wife as a friend of his lawyer, Mr. Seaman.
Mr. Dobson very soon made himself at home. He began by asking for a holiday for the two boys, and spent the morning with them in going over the house and premises. He casually informed them that he would give a hundred pounds to either of them if they succeeded in finding Gloria maris, and he came to the conclusion before they went in to dinner that neither of them had anything to do with the lost shell. At dinner he made Luke Thome's acquaintance, and apparently took a fancy to him, for he proposed they should go for a walk together that afternoon, to which Luke agreed; only stipulating that he should be back in time to give Poppy her lesson in shells.
' Certainly; and if you'll allow me, I should like to be present and take a peep at some of these wonderful shells,' said Mr. Dobson; who before he started took occasion to give Mr. Merton a hint that he should like to see Arthur Graham that day, if it could be managed.
Mr. Dobson soon found he should have no difficulty in discussing his business with Luke Thorne, for he could talk of little else but the missing shell; but by dint of a little ingenuity he succeeded in finding out Graham and Thorne were rivals, and that the latter was by no means sorry that Graham's ship was to sail on the following Monday.
' Do you suppose Mr. Graham had any hand in this


Gloria maris affair ? Is he fond of playing tricks 1 Would he have hidden it for a joke ?'
' Oh, no Graham had no more to do with it than I had ; besides, he had no opportunity.'
' Was he at church on Sunday morning ?'
' No, he wasn't, now I come to remember; but I am positive he has not touched the shell.'
Mr. Dobson was by no means so positive. He had already found out no one was at home on Sunday morning except the cook, and he had also discovered that the hall door was never locked except at night. What was there to have hindered this Mr. Graham, who was so suddenly ordered off to sea, from walking in and carrying off the shell while the family were at church ? By the time Mr. Dobson returned from his walk, he felt almost as convinced of Graham's guilt as he did of Thome's innocence; though when, on entering the drawing-room, he was introduced to the young sailor, he was forced to confess he did not look like a thief.
' He may have done it for a lark,' thought the detective, for he was not one to give up a theory he had invented because a man looked incapable of crime.
' Here you are, Luke, we are all waiting for you. Arthur wants to hear your lesson to me to-day, and Mr. Dobson can be looking through the cabinets while you are giving it me,' said Poppy, when Luke and Mr. Dobson came in to the group before the fire.
' Let him have a cup of tea after his walk first, Poppy,' said Mrs. Merton.
' Well, Poppy, we are to begin on the second class, Gasteropoda, to-day; it is the largest division of the


Mollusca; it contains four orders according to the present system-Cuvier made eightand fifty-three families, but we shall not have to deal with all those families, for some are land shells. Some few live in fresh water, and with both these we have nothing to do. The Gasteropoda may be taken as the type of the Mollusca, and the common snail as the type of the Gasteropoda.'
' What do you mean by being the type of the Mollusca \'
' I mean that they are the most characteristic of the Mollusca. On the one hand, they are less like fishes than the Cephalopoda; and, on the other hand, they are less like Zoophytes than the bivalves. They move, like the common snail, on a fleshy muscular foot, by means of which they crawl on land or on the surface of the water, for their swimming is little more than this. Very few of them can really swim or float like Ianthina, that pretty little violet sea-snail; some, like Patella, never move at all, but actually eat a hollow in the rock with this fleshy foot; some adhere to floating seaweed. They all have a visible head, which is usually adorned with from two to six feelers; their eyes are small, and are sometimes fixed in the head, sometimes in the feelers, sometimes on separate branches. On the back is a mantle, and in most species this produces a shell; but in some few it is wanting altogether, and in some it is only rudimental. The shell is univalve and spiral usually; in one genus, Chiton, however, it is multivalve, and in some it is conical. Most of the spiral shells are dextral or right-handed, though


exceptions sometimes occur, and a large price used to be paid formerly for a left-banded shellI mean for a left-handed dextral, if you'll excuse the bull. Some shells, like Glausilia, are always sinistral or left-handed. The Gasteropoda divide themselves naturally into two orders, the water-breathers, or Branchifera, and the air-breathers, or Pulmonifera.'
' But, Luke, you told me there were four orders. If the Gasteropoda were kind enough to divide themselves into two orders, why did conchologists want to go and puzzle people by making those two into four ?'
' Because they thought it easier in the end to subdivide the Branchifera into three orders: the Prosobranchiata, in which the gills are situated in advance of the heart, from the Greek proson; the Opistho-branchiata'
' Oh Luke, what a dreadful word; must I learn it ?'
' I think so; opisthen is the Greek for rear, and the order is so called because the gills are placed in the hind part of the body; and, lastly, the Nucleobran-chiata, in which the gills and digestive organs form a nucleus on the back of the animal; this last is a very small order, containing only a few families, all of which are pelagic'
' What is pelagic, please ?' asked Poppy.
'Belonging to deep seas. All these animals are found swimming on the surface of deep seas, and are therefore called pelagic. With the exception of the genus Chiton, all the shells of the Gasteropoda are formed of one single piece; Chiton is very curious, as we shall see presently, and is made of eight pieces. The


shell is generally large enough to contain the animal, which coils itself up spirally, and can withdraw entirely into its house; closing the door, in many cases, with a second piece of horny shell adhering to its foot, and called the operculum. In the Gasteropods the shell is seldom internalthat is, entirely covered by the mantle, as in the Squids. No Gasteropod has a series of chambers in his house, like the Nautilus; his shell never contains more than one conical or spiral chamber, though in some spiral shells the whorls are almost separate, as in the Precious Wentle Trap {Scalaria pretiosd). The axis round which the whorls are coiled is sometimes hollow, and then the shell is called umbricated, or perforated; the last turn of the shell is called the body-whorl, and is usually very large; the point of the shell is called the apex, the opposite end the base. By glancing at the aperture of a shell, you can tell whether the animal was carnivorous or herbivorous; in vegetable-feeders the aperture is entire; where the animal is carnivorous it is notched, and sometimes prolonged into a canal. See, here in this Voluta, how deeply notched the aperture is: the animal, we may be sure, was carnivorous; or take a Cowrysee, the aperture here is channelled at both ends; these, again, are carnivorous.'
' Why, what flesh can they get to eat ?' asked Poppy.
' Other molluscs, of course. Fish is flesh in this sense. There is another bull for you, Poppy; the Irish blood of my mother is in the ascendant to-day. The outer side the right side, that isof the aperture, is called the outer


lip, and in immature shells it is generally thin and sharp ; in adults thickened, sometimes curled outwards, when it is called reflected; sometimes, as in the Cowry {Cyprcea), inwards, when it is said to he inflected ; and sometimes it is fringed with spines, as in Murex. The inner lip is called the columellar lip.'
While' Luke was speaking, he took up shell after shell from time to time, and illustrated his meaning by touching the part he referred to. Mr. Dobson was in the meantime carefully examining all the cabinets, having casually asked Graham to show him the spring of the secret drawer; but Graham referred him to Mr. Merton, professing his ignorance as to how it worked.
'But now, Poppy, we must get on to the family of the Prosobranchiata. First come the Carnivorous Gas-teropods, and of these the Strombiclce, or Wing shells, are the first family; see how deeply notched the lip is in Strombus. These animals are very active, as molluscs go; they feed on carrion, and they are celebrated for their large eyes, which are more perfect than any of the other Gasteropods ; the foot is narrow, and so little adapted for creeping, that the animal prefers to get along by turning its shell from side to side, and thus executing a series of leaps. There are four genera: Strombus, which means a stromb: these are found on reefs at low water in the West Indies, Pacific, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean ; there are sixty species, eight of which are fossil, and one, Strombus gigas, as you remember, is the Fountain shell, one of the largest living shells. Then comes the genus Pteroceras, or


Scorpion shells, from pteron, a wing, and carets, a horn ; there are only ten living species; you have one, lamhis, and a lovely shell it is. Look !they come from India and China, and there are nearly a hundred fossil species. A very different-looking shell is Bostellaria eurta, so called because the canal is prolonged like the bill of a bird, hence the name of the genus, from rostellwm, a little beak; this shell has what we call an elongated spire. There are only five living species, all foreign, but seventy fossil, some of which are found in our chalk. The last genus rejoices in the name of Seraphs ; the Latin name is Terebelhm. There is only one species, a thin, delicate, oblong shell, marked with bands and spots ; it comes from the Indian seas, and is found in a fossil state also.'
' Is that the end of the Strombida3 ?'
' Yes. Now we come to the Mioricidce, which contain some very favourite shells.'
' My friends the Sting Winkles included,' said Robert.
' They belong to the first genus, Murex. The Murices are ornamented with three or more rows of varices, that is, fringes on the outer lip, which make them perhaps the most beautiful in form of all shells. Tenuispinct, or Venus' comb, is one of the most curious; in that the varices become long spines; it is thought the Murex only makes one-third of a whorl annually, ending it in a varix. They are found all over the world, but we have only two British species, JErinaceus, the Sting Winkle of Robert, and Gorallinus, the animal of which is a brilliant scarlet colour. In some speciesas in Murex
F 2


Palma Rosathe varices are developed into beautiful leaf-like fronds; the colours in the aperture of the genus are always very bright and of great purity of tint. Yery frequently the aperture is tinged with an exquisite pink or deep rose colour, and the enamelling of the lining is very fine and profuse. The Tritons, or Conch shells, are a genus of Muricida?--'
' But you have not told me what the animal of Murex is like. Is he as beautiful as his shell ?'
' Not in colour; he has a broad flat head, with two tentacles, in the centre of which are fixed the eyes; the foot is oval, and rather small; the tongue is armed profusely with teeth, and the mantle is produced into a siphon. The animal of Triton is nearly always brilliantly coloured ; it has a smaller and thicker foot than Murex, a large head, eyes in the centre of its tentacles, and a long, cylindrical proboscis, which can be projected from the mouth ; Murex has a similar appendage. The shell of Triton is oblong, the varices are disconnected and placed alternately on each whorl, and are never developed into leaves or spines; the canal is prominent, the lips toothed, the outer often wrinkled, the inner sometimes thickened; the epidermisthat is, the outer skin of the shell, is thick and hairy, and sometimes tufted with bristles.'
' Have all shells an epidermis ?' asked Poppy.
' Yes; sometimes it is thin and transparent, sometimes silky or fringed with hairs, sometimes thick and rough, like coarse cloth; in all fresh-water shells it is olive-coloured and thick. The colours of land-shells depend greatly on the epidermis. In the Cowry, and some other


shells, it is more or less covered up by another layer of shell; in the bivalves it is connected with the mantle by organic matter.'
'What is the use of this epidermis ?' said Poppy.
' It protects the shell from heat and cold and chemical agents. Some fresh-water shells would be entirely dissolved by the quantity of carbonic acid gas contained in all fresh waters, more or less, if it were not for the epidermis. It soon fades after the death of the animal it has life, but not sensation, like our epidermis or scarf-skin. But to return to the Tritons. There are 102 species. One minute species has been found by dredging at a depth of fifty fathoms, but they are generally found at a depth ranging from low water to ten or twenty fathoms. They are found in the West Indies, the Pacific, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Africa, and West America; there are forty-five fossil species, some British. There is a genus called Reindict, or Frog shell, in which the animal is like that of Triton. The shell has two rows of varices, one on each side, united longitudinally. Some of the species are very handsome shells, all foreign. The animal of Murex is so like that of the next genus I want to talk about that they are indistinguishablethe Top shells, or Twrbinella. They are large, heavy, and shaped like a top, or rather like a pear; the left or columellar lip has three or four folds or plaits crossing it; the shell is thick, and the operculum like a claw. One species found in Ceylonyou have one, Poppy, TurUndla pynvmis called the Shank shell, and is often beautifully carved by the natives. Dextral or reversed varieties are considered sacred, and


used by the priests to administer medicine. Some species are very heavy.'
' I thought these pear-shaped shells were called Pyrula,' said Robert.
' That is another genus. Pyrula is shaped like a pear or a fig; hence the name, from pyrus, a pear. The animal of Pyrula has a long, narrow head with two small tentacula, at the base of which are the eyes; the foot is moderately large. In one species, Pyrula ficus, the mantle forms lobes on the sides, which nearly meet over the back of the shell. Another very rare species, rapa, has the spire quite flat, so that it will stand upright if placed on the spire. Some species are found in the Northern' Ocean, but the greater number are tropical.'
'There don't seem to be any British shells worth mentioning, Luke,' grumbled Edward.
' That is only because he is going straight through Poppy's collection,' said Robert.
'Indeed I am not; I am going straight through the families just as they come ; there is no particular order for the genera. However, I'll take Fusus, or the Spindle shells, next. There are six British species ; the shell is a graceful shape, like a spindle ; the canal and spire both frequently very long; the left lip is smooth, the right toothed or waved. They are not at all brilliantly coloured, but owe their beauty to their form. The animal has a large oval foot, thick tentacles flanking the head and bearing the eyes, a long proboscis, and the tongue armed with teeth. One British species, Fusus antiquus, is called the Red Whelk, and is eaten largely in Scotland, where it also goes by the name of the Buckie,'


or the Roaring Buckie,' because the sound of the sea may always be heard in it. One species found off Spitzbergen is always reversed, and is called Fusus deformis. F. colosseus is often eleven inches long, and is one of the two largest living Gasteropods. F. longissimus is very long and turreted. The animal of Fusus and another genus, Fasciolaria, are exactly alike. One species, Fasciolaria gigantea, grows to two feet long in the Southern seas ; they are natives of the Indian Ocean. There are sixteen living species, but they are not numerous animals ; the colours are rather brighter than Fusus; the shell fusiform, but with a shorter spine and canal than the Spindles. Some species are found in the Mediterranean.'
' How many more genera are there in that family, Luke 1 for it is getting rather late,' said Mr. Merton.
' Only three, sir; I will run through them very quickly. The first, Pisania, often confounded with Bnccinum and Miwcx; the shell has numerous indistinct varices; it is very numerous, there are 120 species, mostly found on the shores of Africa, India, and America. The second, Ccmcel-laria, is a vegetable-feeding genus ; see, Poppy, here is a specimen, no notch in the aperture, though channelled in front. The shell is. cancellated, that is, cross-barred, hence the name. The columella has several strongly marked folds; the foot of the animal is almost as long as the shell, but very thin; the head is broad and flat; the tentacles long and slender, bearing the eyes at the base.'
' This is Cancellaria, this striped shell: how rough it feels !' said Graham.


' Yes, they are generally rough. They are rare, but not very handsome; there are seventy living species; some fossil species are British. Now we come to the last genus, Trichoiropis, from thrix, hair; and tropis, keel.'
' What a dreadful name and it is sure to be tropical,' grumbled Robert.
' No, it is not, it is British; at least one species, Borealis, and that the typical species, is found on our coasts. The shell is thin, spiral, and furrowed; the ridges of the epidermis fringed; the animal has a short, broad head, the tentacles wide apart, with the eyes in the middle, and a long proboscis. There are eight species, all found in Northern seas, and with Trichotropis I will finish for to-day.'
Poppy thanked Luke for his lesson, and the others joined her, all professing to have been very much interested in it, except the two little boys, and they were quite aggrieved that the British shells had been scarcely alluded to; they seemed to regard it as little short of a personal insult.
' Well, suppose I make my lecture exclusively on British shells, merely exhibiting a few of .Poppy's foreign shells, to show them how the species vary under the influence of climate; how would that be, sir ?' said Thorne, turning to Mr. Merton. But the boys were so enthusiastic in their approbation, that at first their father could not edge in a word.
' I think it would do very well; it may fire some of our villagers with a desire to search our rocks for specimens,' said Mr. Merton.


' I wish you could have your lecture before I start/ said Graham.
'I could, I dare say, if Mr. Merton does not object to its being on Saturday evening ; I can't be ready before, i it is to be on British shells.'
' Saturday is a bad night,' objected Mr. Merton.
' I am sorry for that, for I should very much like to be present at this lecture. If you could put me up till Monday, I could just get down in time on Saturday evening; I am due in London to-morrow,' said Mr. Dobson, with a significant glance at Mr. Merton; who, seeingathe detective desired the lecture to take place on the Saturday, for some reason best known to himself, at once removed his objections, and the matter was settled. The truth was, Mr. Dobson was at present fairly baffled, though he would not have confessed it, even to himself. His suspicions rested on Graham, but he had not at present a jot of evidence against him, beyond the mere facts that he saw the shells unpacked, knew the value of Gloria maris, and had the opportunity, supposing that he had mastered the spring of the secret drawer, of getting possession of the treasure on Sunday morning, when every one else was at church. But all this was mere suspicion, there was absolutely no case against him ; and Mr. Dobson was well aware he must get hold of some more tangible evidence than this, if he wished to prevent his prey from sailing the following Monday. There was a whole week for him to act in, and, as he knew, a great deal could be done in a week. Meanwhile, it was his duty to inquire into the character of the packer; and for that purpose, among


others, he was going to London the next day. There, too, he would set afloat inquiries as to whether any Gloria maris had been offered for sale during the last few days; he would be certain to hear of it from the London conchologists, if so invaluable a species had been in the market. He did not in the least suspect the packer, for he felt certain no burglary had been committed, and none of the Rectory servants had wit enough, in his opinion, to have had any hand in the business; they could not even realise the fact that the shells were valuable. So Mr. Dobson spent the following day in roaming about the village, trying to elicit information from the villagers as to Mr. Arthur Graham's movements on Sunday morning; but only arriving at the news that he had been seen to go down to the beach with his clogs, while the people were in church. No one remembered seeing him in the neighbourhood of the Rectory, and the detective went to London, feeling this was a tougher job than he had anticipated.


CHAPTER V.
THE LECTURE.
' 'Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honour and power : for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.'Revelation iv. 11.
'Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals Of fish that with their fins and shining scales Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft Bank the mid-sea, part single or with mate Graze, the sea-weed their pasture, and through groves Of coral stray, or sporting with quick glance Show to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold, Or in their pearly shells at ease attend Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food, In jointed armour watch.'Milton.
If Mr. Dobson went up to London feeling puzzled on the Tuesday, he returned to Highcliff on the Saturday no wiser, but more firmly convinced than


ever that Graham must be the culprit, though he had no hope of bringing the crime home to him. He had learnt that the packer was a thoroughly honest, trustworthy man, and, moreover, would have no- difficulty in proving that he was in London on the Saturday evening, and had been there ever since, so that it was quite impossible he had anything to do with it.
' No,' said Mr. Dobson to himself; 'it is the young squire; and if it ain't him it is the pupil, though I have not a jot of evidence against either, and, as far as looks go, one is as innocent as the other; it strikes me this business will prove too much for me after all, if I don't look sharp; and sharp I mean to look to-night at this lecture, I can tell them.'
He made his way straight from the station to the school-room in which the lecture was to take place. The room was well filled, and Luke Thorne was on the platform with a table set out with shells in front of him, just about to begin his lecture when Mr. Dobson entered. A place had been reserved for him near the Eectory party, but he did not avail himself of it, and took up a standing position near the platform, from which he could command a good view, not only of the lecturer but of the audience; and there he stood the greater part of the evening, apparently carelessly looking about' him and listening to the lecture, though it is doubtful if he heard a word of it, so absorbed was he in his own thoughts.
It is not our intention to do more than summarise the lecture, because to report it verbatim would be to repeat a great deal that has been already said; for


Luke first of all described the organisation and classification of the Mollusca, in as simple language as he could find.
' Molluscs, my friends, are creatures with a soft body protected by an external shell, and in the animal kingdom they come between fishes and the Articulata; in other words, they rank below salmon, cod, herring, &c, which are vertebrate animals, and above crabs and lobsters, which, strictly speaking, have no shell, but only a hard covering. The oyster, the mussel, and the garden snail are types of the Molluscs, but I am going to confine my lecture to-night to Marine Molluscs, that is, those which inhabit the sea; moreover, I am only going, by express desire, to speak of those Molluscs which inhabit our own British seas. Now, as perhaps some of you know, Molluscs produce their young from eggs, and the eggs of sea shells adhere together in masses. They are most prolific animals; for instance, mussels and oysters are said to produce between 200,000 and 300,000 young in one season. The bivalves and the tunicaries are hatched before they leave their parent, and many of the formerlike the cockle and musselattain their full growth in a year, but the oyster goes on enlarging his shell for four or five years.
' The Molluscs are as clever as birds and butterflies in placing their eggs where they will be safe from injury, and near the proper food for the young when hatched. In their infancy the different families are very much alike, though they grow up as widely different as the oyster and the octopus; and the fry are as different from


their parents as caterpillars from butterflies, or nearly so. In their extreme youth they all swim, and often travel to great distances; whereas many of the full-grown Molluscs, like the oyster, never move at all. Others creep on the shore or the surface of the sea, a few float, fewer really swim. The sedentary species soon tire of these wanderings; and after a few days cruising about settle down on the spot they intend to occupy for the rest of their lives. The Molluscs are great eaters, and are largely eaten themselves; not only by man but by other animals, as the rat, the otter, the racoon, the whale, and sea-birds, but then: greatest enemies of all are themselves, for they prey largely on each other. Scarcely half of them are vegetable feeders, the sea-pastures of sea-weed afford no attraction to the larger half of the Marine Molluscs; they prefer flesh-meat, and prey on other shell-fish, or on zoophytes. Some like living fish, others prefer dead and putrid remains. All the bivalves feed on Infusoria, that is, microscopic insects, and on microscopic vegetables, which are brought to them by currents they have the means of exciting. Every species has its own special situation, where it finds its favourite food, and is best preserved from the dangers most liable to its kind. Every zone of sea-depth has its appropriate Molluscs; on sandy flats w# find the cockle flourishing; on muddy shores the mussel ; between low and high Avater marks the peri-Avinkle, Avhich loves to be left dry twice a day; the Top shells among the sea-weed at low tide ; in water four or five fathoms deep, the Oyster ; in deeper water the Scallop; in deepest of all the Lamp shells ; in the open


sea, far from sight of land, the Sea Snails, and thousands of other Molluscs floating on the surface of the waters.
' Now, as I wish this lecture to he useful as well as instructive, I propose to speak to you first of those British Molluscs which are good for food; and I suppose we shall all agree that the best of these is the oyster; which even in the days of ancient Greece and Rome was considered a great delicacy. It is one of the most sedentary of all the Molluscs, and spends its life fixed on a rock or some other object, where its only movement is opening and shutting its valves. It is attached by its under-valve to its resting-place, and at its birth is covered with a mucilaginous or slimy liquid which causes it to stick to any object on which it is placed. In some American and Indian rivers oysters are found adhering to the trunks of trees, and are called tree-oysters; they are excellent food. The greatest enemy of the oyster, is a sponge, which eats small round holes into the valves, until the shell is quite destroyed and falls to pieces. The shell of the oyster is unequal; the upper valve is flat or concave, the other convex, often plaited or foliated and beaked; the interior is slightly nacreous. The shells become very thick with age. The animal is shaped like the shell; the mantle is doubly fringed ; the valves are attached by a strong round muscle, which forms the gristle, considered by some epicures as the best part of the oyster.
' Belonging to the same family as the oyster is the Pecten, or Scallop, two species of which, the Scallop and the Quin, are considered delicacies. There are nine


British species of Pecten, they are all very pretty shells ; the edible Pecten is called Pecten maximiis ; the shell is regular, eared, nearly round and ribbed or furrowed; the hinge margins are straight, united by a narrow ligament. The animal is bright orange or scarlet, with a row of round black eyes at the base; the gills are remarkably delicate, the foot is shaped like a finger. Most of the Pectens spin a byssus, or threads, when young. Unlike the stay-at-home oyster, they have the power of moving rapidly through the water by suddenly contracting their muscles. The heart-shaped shell of the cockle has given it its Latin name of Garclium, from a Greek word, hardia, which means the heart. The shell is so common I need not describe it. As you all know, it is equi-valve, the borders of the valves toothed and locking into each other. The animal has a very large foot, sickle-shaped; the margins of the mantle are plaited. There are two hundred species; it is found in all parts of the globe buried in the sand near the shore. Some foreign species are very pretty.
' The Sea Mussel, Mytihts, is at some seasons poisonous, though the cause is unknown; nevertheless thousands are eaten annually, particularly in Scotland, and tens of thousands are used for bait. Mussels produce inferior pearls, and are collected for the sake of them; they are of world-wide distribution, and have a great propensity to hide themselves by burrowing and even by spinning a nest of sand ; they attach themselves by a byssus, spun from their long slender foot. There is quite a trade carried on in some parts of the country in the seed pearls found in the mussel; these are collected and sold


for about two shillings an ounce. The shells when polished are of a beautiful purple colour.
' In Jersey and Guernsey a very favourite fish is the Ormer, or Haliotis, which is found in abundance round the Channel Islands. The shell is ear-shapedhence its name of the Sea Earand perforated by a series of holes. When polished it is used largely for ornamental purposes. The animal has a very large round foot, with which it adheres firmly to the rocks like a limpet. A less well-known edible Mollusc is the Solen, or Eazor Fish, which is said to be the most delicious of shell-fish if well cooked; it is best broiled. Most of you here know how to catch the Solen better than I do; but perhaps you don't know that the animal has a large powerful foot, which enables it to bury itself as it does in the sand.
' The Whelk, or Buccinvm, called also the Trumpet shell, is much eaten in the North of England, where it is dredged and also used as bait. There are four British species, but the genus is known all over the world. The shells have no bright colours, but they vary very much in shape and sculpture ; they are generally oval, with a large body-whorl and a spire of round whorls. Sometimes the shells are small and veiy thick, sometimes large and thin. The animal has a large flabby foot, and eyes at the base of its tentacles. The Red Whelk, or Buckie," of Scotland, is the Spindle shell or Fusus, and is much better eating than the common Whelk. Perhaps the commonest of our English Molluscs used as food is the Periwinkle, the Littorina of conchologists, for it is to be found crawling about
g


between watermarks on all parts of our coast; it gets its Latin name from litns, the sea-shore. There are nine or ten British species; it abounds here and also in Sweden, -where it is used weather-glass by the
peasants, who say that whenever a storm is near, the periwinkles ascend the rocks, to avoid the dashing of the waves, but in calm weather they descend to.the sand.
' The largest British bivalve, the Pinna, is sometimes used for food, but it requires a great deal of cooking to make it tender. Our British species is seldom more than a foot long, but foreign species grow to two feet in length, and one foot in breadth at the broader end, for the shell is wedge-shaped. Some fossil species have been found in the Cotswold Hills which must have measured a yard across, and an inch or more in thickness ; but in our degenerate times they do not attain such gigantic proportions. When young the shell of the Pinna is thin, brittle, and translucent, with a thin pearly lining. The animal is triangular, the mantle doubly fringed, the gills long, the foot rather small; from it the creature spins a powerful byssus, which is attached to the centre of each valve by large muscles, and by it the Pinna is generally found moored to the sand, the beak plunged deep into the ground, the other end, which is always gaping, turned upwards. Small amber-coloured pearls of little value are sometimes found within the shell, and a tiny crab often takes up its abode under shelter of the Pinna's mantle, where apparently it is a welcome guest, perhaps because it can see, whereas the Pinna is blind. At any rate, many tales are told of this strange friendship, and Aristotle gave the crab the name of the


Pinna's guardian. In Italy and Sicily the creature is sought as an article of food, and also for the sake of its long, silky, shining byssus, from which a soft warm species of cloth is made, but which, strange to say, will not take any dye. In the Natural History Museum is a pair of gloves spun from this byssus, and Pope Benedict XV. once had a pair of stockings made from it.
' In North America and Zetland the Mya armaria, or Gaper, as we call it, is considered an excellent dish, but I am not aware that it is eaten in England, though this very species is common on our own coasts, It is found in the deep sea and also on the beach near high water-mark; it burrows a foot deep in the sand, leaving a hole which betrays its place of retreat. In Greenland it is preyed upon by the walrus, the Arctic fox, and birds. The shell is thick, strong, and opaque, covered with a wrinkled epidermis. It is bivalve, oblong, the left valve smaller than the right; the mantle is closed except in one place, where it opens to admit the passage of the small foot; the shape of the body is a long broad tube. The shell gapes, hence the name.
' One of the most beautiful families of shells is the Veneridw, or Venuses, and most species of the gentis Venus are eaten, if not here, in America and on the Continent; one species, Tapes, is a favourite food on many parts of the Continent, where it grows to a larger size than here. The shell is an oval bivalve; the animal spins a byssus from its thick foot. The Venus inereuraria is used by the North American Indians as
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money, and also as beads and ornaments for tbeir dresses; the shells and animals of the Veneridse vary very much, and conchologists are not agreed as to their classification. They are all remarkable for their graceful shapes and beautiful colours, and though these are more remarkable in tropical species yet we have some very pretty British species. For instance, Gytherea is a beautiful shell; it is large, smooth, oval, pinkish, marked with rich brown outside, white within. The "animal is orange-red, with a beautifully scalloped mantle.
I must not forget to mention an edible Mollusc which is largely eaten in Ireland, particularly in seasons of scarcitythe Limpet, or Patella, from a Latin word meaning a dish. It is not very nice food, but when boiled makes a meal for our seaside poor when times are bad, and has often saved shipwrecked mariners from starvation; it is also largely used as bait by fishermen. We have three British species, Patella vulgata, the Common Limpet; Patella athletica, which resembles mlgata very closely, though if used as bait it is refused by fishes, who at once detect the difference; and Patella pellucida, the Transparent Limpet, a pretty little dark olive shell rayed with blue, which is semi-transparent. The genus possesses the power of adhering so firmly to rocks that the heaviest seas may break over it without washing it off. Come what may, stones, shingle, mighty waves, there sticks the Limpet, secure in its cone-shaped shell, fixed firmly on the rock to which it adheres by atmospheric pressure of fifteen pounds to the square inch.


Our common Limpet is one of the most sedentary; it seems never to move from one spot, and forms a cavity in the rock itself by absorbing some of its substance. Nevertheless the creature can move if it chooses, particularly when young, when it can crawl, and leaves a track on the rock which, it scrapes. It manages to get change twice a day, for it lives between tide-marks, so it is left high and dry twice every day; it is said to be able to lift its shell and spring to some distance, but I cannot vouch for the truth of this statement. When removed from its shell, the animal will be found to have left a muscular impression in the form of a horse-shoe. It has a distinct head with tentacles and eyes at the base; the mouth is armed with horny jaws and a long ribbon-shaped toothed tongue, the foot is a large disk. Some species move occasionally, others fix themselves on sea-weeds the food of the whole tribe of Limpets, as far as is known. In Cyprus and the Cape of Good Hope a large species abounds, the shells of which are used as spoons by the Hottentots, and in South America there is a still larger species, one foot in diameter. These shells are used as basins by the natives; we should find a difficulty in performing our ablutions in the shell of our common Limpet, which is a mere liliputian in comparison.'
Here the audience broke into a laugh, and the lecturer paused to rest for a minute, under cover of which interruption Mr. Dobson took occasion to move from his place by the platform, and by a little judicious manoeuvring succeeded in seating himself between


Arthur Graham and Mr. Merton, which was precisely the position he wished to occupy.
'By the kindness of Miss Merton,' resumed the lecturer, I am enabled to show you a few specimens of some of the most beautiful foreign shells, the genera of which are but feebly if at all represented in our cold climate. Of the most valuable family, the Cones, we have not a single species, but I am able to show you several very handsome specimens; and I will take this opportunity of telling you, that in this little village, in the Rectory last Saturday or Sunday, a shell called the Glory of the Sea, worth a fabulous sum of money, was stolen from a cabinet; if any one here can give us any information which may lead to the recovery of this treasure, I can safely promise in the Rector's name that he or she shall be handsomely rewarded.'
Here Mr. Dobson, who was narrowly watching Arthur Graham, mentally made a note that the lecturer was innocent; and as his prey, in his own language, did not turn a hair, he began to be impressed with his innocence.
' We shall see, we shall see; I shall stay here till Monday, and then if nothing turns up my gentleman will sail, and George Dobson will have to confess himself beaten for once in his life,' reflected Mr. Dobson; while Luke went on to say that Miss Merton possessed no other shell of anything like the value of Gloria maris; for, as he afterwards told Poppy, he thought he had better make this clear, lest another robbery should be attempted.
' Of the Cowries, one of the handsomest shell-


families, we have only one representative, and that a very inadequate one, for Cyprcea JEuropea, or the Nun Cowry, is a little dull-coloured shell possessing none of the beauty of its tropical relations. It is common enough on our coast, and no doubt many of you have often picked up a Uttle flesh-coloured shell, ribbed across the back, and opening all down the under-side, about the size of a coffee-berry, this is the Nun Cowry. The animal is so much larger than the shell, that it is wonderful how it manages to conceal itself so completely inside it, but it does. It is a bright orange-colour, and about an inch and a half long. The shell is so wrapped up in the lobes of the bright mantle as to be almost concealed from view. The head has three horns, on the two outer ones are fixed the eyes; the body is convex, and the foot flat, on which the creature crawls.
'The beautiful Murexes are only feebly represented in this country ; we have two species, Murex corallinus, and Murex erinaceus, but neither are at all characteristic of the genus either in shape or colour. Purpura, a near relation of the Murexes, is represented here by one species, lapillus, which is very abundant on our coasts, as the Trochus and Winkle know to their cost; for it is as greedy a creature as the beautiful Murex, and, like that sea-tiger, feeds on living victims. The animal resembles Murex, and is of a yellowish colour with conspicuous eyes; the shell is spindle shaped, with a thick outer lip and a well-marked canal; the whorls of the spire are turreted and ribbed. The creature secretes a purple dye, which is quite as good as the dye of the celebrated Murex, which furnished the


Tyrian purple, and was formerly used in Ireland; but it cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities to make it worth while to employ it now. This dye is contained in a receptacle behind the head of Purpura; it can be obtained- by pressing on the operculum. It is a white fluid, but on being exposed to the air yields a rich purplish-crimson colour. The eggs of this animal are deposited in a membrane or egg-bag, and are commonly called the Dog Periwinkle, as many of you no doubt are aware. Purpura preys on limpets and periwinkles and mussels; it bores a hole through the shells of these fish, and then sucks up the juicy morsel. It will spend perhaps two days in boring through a shell, it will then gorge itself with its contents, and lie for weeks before attempting to get another meal. It is to be found on the shore between the tide marks crawling about seeking what it may devour. A very handsome and rare British shell of the Murex family is a Spindle shell, Fusus bemiciencis, it is about two inches and a half long, of a graceful fusiform or spindle-shaped pattern, and a delicate pink colour underneath the epidermis. A commoner species is Fusus antiquus, a large solid oval shell, sometimes white, beautifully tinged with orange inside the mouth, but oftener some shade of brown. You may occasionally meet with a sinistral or reversed shell of this species; it is used as a lamp in the North, the body-whorl is filled with oil, and a wick passed through the canal. Generally speaking, our British shells are very inferior in colour to foreign species, but this is not the case with the Staircase shells {Scalaria), which though far less elegant in form are


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