N OW we must learn more about that string of eggs that Mrs. Conch left on the sand. First it was like a thread with knots tied close together on it. Then it grew to be a yard long. It grew very fast.
The knots grew into little cases, or pockets. They were set close to each other. At the ends of the string the cases were small, but after three or four small ones, the others were of the size and shape of big Lima beans.
Once I was out on the sand with a boy.
We found a string of this kind. It had been cast up by the waves. It was of a pale straw-color, and like a long curl.
The boy said, "It is a sea-weed."
I said, "No." Then he said, "It is some kind of a bean or seed." I said, "It is fish seed." Let us look at it.
Each case, or pocket, is flat, and has a rim. The rim has lines in it. In the front edge is a small, round spot, where the case is very thin. This is the door of the case.
Out in the Cold
The sides of the case are very tough. Let us cut one case open. It is full of white gum, or jelly.
I see in it specks like grains of sand. Here is one more string, far up on the sand. This one is dry, hard, and light. The little thin places are real holes now.
The cases are quite empty. Here is one more string. This, too, is light and dry. But the holes in front are not open.
Shake it. Does it rattle? Yes. Cut a case open.
Why! Each case is full of wee shells! Each shell is as small as a grain of rice! See how thin and white these shells are.