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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 03, 1916, NOON EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-05-03/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE "LATENT INSTINCT" J
By Genevieve Ulmar i
"Aw, what's the use?" blurted out j
Vernon Gray, and wriggled and ex
pressed misery generally.
"Sit still, son, we'll soon be
through," remonstrated Prof. Archi
laus Montgomery, phrenologist and ,
physiognomist
Vernon winced and struggled and
the learned savant felt his bumps and
poked at his eyes and then gripped
him all over to test his muscles.
"Now you may go, son," directed
the professor blandly, but Vernon
lingered to shake his clenched fist
after the receding form of his hu
man torment who had swooped down
on Belleville to make his profundity
impressive and likewise a few dollars.
"The boy has. a fine head and a
good face," the listening Vernon
heard the professor report to his fa
ther in the next room. "Under my
own original test for concrete an
thropology, however, he is a minus
in the gentler attributes he has a
latent instinct."
"What does that mean, if I may
ask?" spoke Mr. Gray, half sarcasti
cally though humbly.
"The enunciation of a science of
which I am the first exponent," re
sponded the professor grandly. "It
is based upon the theory that all hu
manity inherit or acquire animal
traits. I have found them to exist
in all my subjects. Some men re
semble the serpent, the wolf, the fox,
the lamb."
"And my boy?"
"Temper, my dear sir, temper to be
curbed. That's his failing. The tiger,
I should say, exists in your son to a
degree a noble monarch of the for
est, sir, but crossed, attacked, truly
dangerous.
"H'm!" muttered Vernon, disbeliev
ingly and departing. "I'm about as
much a tiger as he is a lion! Bah!"
and he made for the playground,
while the professor collected two dol
lars from Mr. Gray for his erudite
exposition of the make-up of his son.
Unfortunately the learned pundit
imparted his impressions to other
parents, who had their sons "exam
ined." He found all the animals
shown in the geography in various
stages of development in his subjects
and bird characteristics as well. He
cut a wide swath. Then one day,
The Learned Savant Felt His Bumps
placid, nonbelligerent Vernon had a
boy walk up to him on the street
"Say," observed the bully, "they
say you are a tiger. Well, according
to that professor I'm a wolf. Wow!"
and he waded in.
He was a good deal bigger than
Vernon, but the latter whipped him
speedily, thoroughly and all over.
"The professor was right," pro
nounced Mr. Gray when Vernon
came home, the victor, but savagely
scratched up. "We must curb this
propensity."

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