Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/155

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.



DECEMBER, 1893




THE STORY OF BOB.

By DAVID STARR JORDAN,

PRESIDENT OF LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY.

WE called him Bob. We never knew his real name. That had been left in the jungles of Borneo. He was born in 1890, a prince of the tribe of Cercopithecus which inhabits the palm forests of the south sea islands. Stolen from his parents by a south sea trader, he was brought to San Francisco, exchanged for a keg of beer, and found his way at last to a Kearny Street curiosity shop.

Not long after, a student of evolution saw him there, ransomed him by a subscription from his fellow-students, and Bob was transferred to a new home in the university beside the Tall Tree. Here he was placed in the custody of a young naturalist from Japan. Otaki being likewise Asiatic by birth, understood the wants and feelings of Bob better than did any of the others by whom he was surrounded.

We first knew Bob as a wild and suspicious creature, who looked at all who came near him with fear or hatred. If any person touched him. Bob would look him straight in the eyes, with scowling face and lips rolled back, every muscle tense for action in case of any injury or indignity. Whenever he was lifted from the ground, all these expressions would be intensified; but he never ventured to bite any one who seemed beyond his size, or to escape from any one he thought able to hold him. Toward women he showed from the first great aversion, for they had poked him in the ribs with their parasols while he was in prison in Kearny Street. Furthermore, he seemed seriously to disapprove the unseemly freedom allowed to women in our country.