Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/74

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little leisure to indulge them. But lie had already inoculated his only son with a love for such subjects. Willie, however, had never before been drawn within the magic circle of enthusiasm

PSM V35 D074 Scale of perch.jpg
Fig. 10. — Scale of Perch.

for them, and his highly sensitive temperament was fixed by the professor's descriptions and demonstrations immediately. Before the term was half over, he was a member of the society, and doing his best to "collect" for the society's museum.

Jack had many a hearty laugh over this disposition to hoard up a lot of old stones and things, and give them hard names. More than once he was asked to attend a society's meeting — for each member had the privilege of introducing a friend — but he always shirked it. "No," he said; "they are not my sort."

PSM V35 D074 Scale of common carp.jpg
Fig. 11. — Scale of Common Carp.

One wet evening, however, Willie Ransome got Jack to go, just because there was nothing else to do. There was a short paper being read on "Fish-Scales," and a number of them were mounted for microscopical examination, of course with a low power, say inch and half-inch. Anything relating to fish or fishing was certain to gain Jack's attention, therefore a better subject could not have been selected to engage his notice. Besides, Jack had never yet even looked through a microscope! He felt a bit ashamed of

this now; but there were a couple of microscopes present, and Jack determined to have a good look through them. The scales of different sorts of British fishes were on view. Of course, fish-scales are common enough; but who would think that each kind