AN ADVENTURE WITH A SHARK 71
is also made from the skin of sea-fish, particularly in France.'
Ernest asked his brother if he knew why the mouth of the shark is not, as in other animals, placed in the middle of the snout, but directly under. Fritz confessed ignorance.
' I suppose,' Ernest went on, ' that the mouth of the shark is thus placed to prevent him from depopulating the sea. With such a voracious appetite nothing would escape him if he could seize his prey without turning his body ; but as it is, there is time for a smaller animal to make his escape.'
' Well reasoned,' cried I ; for though Ernest's conceit sometimes made him didactic, yet I knew he had a genuine interest in natural history, and did not wish to discourage him.
We once more landed safely on shore, but no one of the family appeared. We called to them, however, and were answered, and in a few minutes my wife appeared between the two little boys. Each carried a handkerchief, which appeared filled with some new prize ; and little Francis had a small fishing-net formed like a bag and strung upon a stick, which he carried on his shoulder. No sooner did they hear our voices than they hurried to meet us, surprised at our quick return. Jack reached us