Parthagica Directory 06
In No. 4 we have an illustration of the tube-mouth or Solenostoma, one of the two known kinds of fish in which the female shows a sense of her position as a mother. The tube-mouth, as you can see at a glance, is a close relation of our old friend the seahorse, whose disguised and undisguised forms in Australia and the Mediterranean we have already observed when dealing with the question of animal masqueraders. Solenostoma is a native of the Indian Ocean, from Zanzibar to China. In the male, the lower pair of fins are separate, as is usual among fish; but in the female, represented in the accompanying sketch, they are lightly joined at the edge, so as to form a sort of pouch like a kangaroo's, in which the eggs are deposited after being laid, and thus carried about in the mother's safe keeping. No. 5 shows the arrangement of this pouch in detail, with the eggs inside it. The mother Solenostoma not only takes charge of the spawn while it is hatching in this receptacle, but also looks after the young fry, like the father stickleback, till they are of an age to go off on their own account in quest of adventures. The most frequent adventure that happens to them on the way is, of course, being eaten.
True, I did not let my men suspect that I was very ill. After a few minutes I struggled up once more under my heavy load and asked the men to come along. I had been seized with such a violent attack of fever that my strength seemed to have vanished all of a sudden, my limbs quivering in a most alarming way. I carried a clinical thermometer on my person. My temperature was 104 deg. F. From ten o'clock in the morning until three in the afternoon the attack of fever was so acute that several times I fell down. My men, who were in a pitiable condition that day, collapsed, now one, now another, although their loads were less than half the weight of mine, each man carrying about 40 lb. We marched until four o'clock that afternoon, but only covered a distance of 6 kil. in that entire day. Two of the men had abandoned their loads altogether, as they could not carry them any farther. What vexed me considerably was that they had discarded my valuable things in preference to leaving the great weight of rubbish of their own which they insisted on carrying, such as looking-glasses, combs, brushes, a number of old clothes in shreds, and the heavy hammocks, which weighed not less than 20 lb. each.