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Wallace explains flower anatomy

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                                       Parkstone, Dorset.
                                             June 2nd.1893

My dear Violet,

I am so busy with the Exam. papers that I quite forgot the Zoo. tickets you asked for, but I send now 2 for 11th. June (none earlier) & 2 any day. I finished Papers yesterday, & have to go to last Exam[inatio]n. meeting next Tuesday. We have put an Advertisement in the "Times" to let the house & hope to get off soon. We cannot find Mrs. Firkins' botanical Tables anywhere in the little room. You must have had a nice holiday at the Anglesea Cottage. I hope we may get away & be somewhere where you can come to us during your half-term holiday. We shall try.

I am glad you got the books. I thought they could not be lost but why they should have gone to Euston & be kept so long is a mystery. I suppose all the Railway people are so overworked things get overlooked when once they go wrong. I had just written a long letter to the Manager of the South Western Company, asking him to enquire at Templecombe & Bath, & yours came just in time to prevent its being posted.   

To find out what any curious flower, like an iris, is, you should always pull one to pieces, then you will see where the parts grow from the petals (6) outside, the stamens (3) inside them, and the 3 stigmas or divisions of the pistil which is in the centre. Cutting it across near the base you have this section

[sketch in pen of the cross section of a flower with the following labels]
Petals (6) or petals (3) and sepals (3) forming a perianth
Pistil 3 winged stamens (3)
The stamens grow up close under the divisions of the pistil.

[written vertically at the left hand side of the page]
These positions are invariable in all flowers.

Have you not been to the Museum yet, or to call on Mr. H. H. Higgins? He will be delighted to see you, & you will be at home with him directly, & he will show you everything & I dare say lend you specimens.  

We have heard of nothing for Will yet but have still some enquiries on hand. Keep up your spirits. Your work will get easier as you get more used to it. How did the dinner go off? Who was there &c. &c. Ma has been 3 weeks with an Extra girl house cleaning! Almost finished!
             Your affectionate Pa
[signed]             Alfred R. Wallace



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