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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/810

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10,000,000. Guessing means, with many people, no attempt at any sort of reasonable measurement, but rather an attempt to express their guess in such a way as to afford them the greatest amount of mental relief. And this relief can not be wholly accomplished without satisfying number preferences. Therefore, guessing is likely to exhibit, in a greater or less degree, some habitual lines of preference subject to predetermination. It may be that much practical advantage has been taken of these facts in games of chance where number selections play an important part.



WHY is it that while popular fancy has attributed all sorts of uncanny and supernatural qualities to owls and cats, and that no ghost story or tale of horrid murder has been considered quite complete without its rat peering from some dark corner, or spider with expanded legs suddenly spinning down from among the rafters, no such grewsome association has ever attached itself to the weasels, creatures whose every habit and characteristic would seem to suggest something of the sort? Now, fond as I am of cats, I should never think of denying that they are uncanny creatures, to say the least. But, suppose it was the custom of our domestic tabbies to vanish abruptly or even gradually on occasion, like the Cheshire cat after its PSM V54 D810 Weasel.png interview with Alice, that would at least furnish some excuse for the general prejudice against them, but would really be no more than some of our commonest weasels do whenever it serves their purpose. I remember one summer afternoon I was trout-fishing along a little brook that ran between pine-covered hills. As I lay stretched on the bank at the foot of a great maple I saw a weasel run along in the brush fence some distance away. A few seconds later he was standing on the exposed root of the tree hardly a yard from my eyes. I lay motionless and examined the beautiful creature minutely, till sud-