Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/289

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251
NEW YORK AQUARIUM

to Japan and try again." This he did, with somewhat better success, reaching San Francisco with eighteen live fish belonging to rare and beautiful species. From his description I judged that they could not be worth less than $1,000 each. My hopes were high for the ultimate success of the undertaking. But my pleasure was destined to be short-lived, as my agent arrived at the Aquarium with only one living fish. The changeable climate and the overland journey had been too much for the delicate beauties from Oriental waters, and one by one they had expired, leaving "a sole survivor to tell the tale."

Just as a matter of personal curiosity I figured up the cost of this precious member of the finny tribe from far-away Japan. He cost me more than $2,200 in gold. This may be scoffed at by some as a very fishy fish story, but when it is remembered that this specimen represented the outlay of two expeditions from America to Japan, including expenses for tanks, Japanese assistance, and all the ocean transportation, it will easily be realized that this statement is within reasonable limits.

HALF-HOURS WITH BASHFUL WHALES

We were equally zealous in our efforts to obtain the largest living creatures of the deep;