THE PEARL SHELL .... ;
PEARL shell it was,
as large as a soup-plate, no more. A brilliantly nacreous thing with a
natural polish, smooth as a mirror and reflecting not only my still
youthful features, but also, it seemed, some of the things the future
promised to hold for me.
interesting, and how foolish, to believe that one can see into the
future at the magic touch of some alien thing and vaguely guess one's
destiny in a waking dream!
happened in the prosaic London Docks, that staid businesslike place
with its background of romance. As the man lifted the pearl shell out
of the open case for me to admire its unusual size and weight, I did
what probably nine women out of ten would have done in similar
circumstances. I eyed myself carefully in the smooth and shining
surface. Presently the reflection of my own face seemed gradually to
fade, and even as I looked there took shape in my mind the vision of a
life oddly governed by the moon-fired stones of my future love.
vision faded. I stood like a ninny with the shell in my hand. The man
nudged me and said, "Trying to drill holes into this shell with your
I said apologetically. "I've been dreaming. These outlandish things
seem to awaken in me the desire to travel, that's all."
"That's all," echoed the man; "yes, and when a fellow's put the sea between Lunnon an' hisself he wants to be back again!"
what he was, a decent shell sorter and no philosopher, how was he to.
know that men neither come nor go according to their own desire?
The sheer need for cash starts more men off on adventures