Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/48

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Higgins had possessed and studied from boyhood an old elementary book of Euclid the only thing he ever read, except an occasional newspaper, which he studied for the same reason that "free thinkers" study the Bible.

"Life" he'd say, after some preliminary shuffles, coughs and grunts, "is wot I call made up of triangles—ekal hatteral triangles. Circles is made up of triangles, and made with triangles, if you consider the legs of the compass the sides, and the lines between the points the bases. Squares is double triangles when you run a line to opposite corners. Oblongs, the same way, is hobtuse or haycute angles—an' both. An' a right hangle is a right hangle, no matter which side you might lay it on. It's a right angle if you lay it flat, but all sorts of angles if you run lines from the corners to the bases—which yer can't in wot I call the equell try hangles of life.

"Now this is my case" (this was before the trouble with his daughter), "there's that there Lizzie o' mine at the happix, and me and the missus at the hextremities of the base. We can't come no nearer for a right hangle try-hangle is rigid. We might change corners, but that would make no difference between me and the missus, but one of us, if we could agree about it, or to take turn 'en turn about, might change corners with Lizzie—which might do her some good—but we'd be just as far from each other as ever. And if we laid the triangle flat we'd be just as far off as ever, and it would do none of us any good. An' if we was to put hinges on it it wouldn't make no difference.