"Dick, why do you study Arabic so closely?" "To understand Arabic." "And further?" Dick Compton closed his book and placed it carefully in a leather case. "It is a pity you were born curious, Venning, otherwise you would have made an excellent companion for a studious man. 'Why do I wish to understand Arabic?' Why do you stand on one leg watching a tadpole shed its tail." "Excuse me, I always sit down to watch a tadpole." "Yet I have seen you poised on one leg for an hour like a heron, afraid to put down the other foot lest you should scare some wretched pollywog. Why?" "I do it for the love of the thing, Dick. What is a page of your crooked signs compared with a single green pond and all that it holds?"
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