Scene, a sandy shore at a small village in the county Down, Northern Ireland. Time, a hot August day in 19^* Characters, a large man, a small girl, and a minute Yorkshire Terrier dog. All dawdling along the shore, picking up assorted bits and pieces. Then the child found a single purple valve of Chlamys varia and from that day on was a dedicated conchologist.
The 6-year-old child was myself, the man my patient father who encouraged my inexplicable taste for conchology. I have the shell still.
N. F. McMillan