The next day I was walking--in the early morning again as is my habit--when I was astonished to see the same strange markings on an abalone of my acquaintance!
"Ahoy, there, Sailor Bill!" I called, knocking rather loudly on his shell since he was a bit hard of hearing.
"What are these peculiar marks on your shell?"
"Avast there! Leave off the shoutin' and racket!--oh, it's YOU, Constable! Nice to see ya' this fine mornin'! And what might I be doin' fer ya?"
"I would like to know what these strange markings on your shell mean, Bill?"
"Market? Nah--I ain't been ta the market, Constable. An what would I be doin at the market anyhow?"
"Not MARKET, Bill! MARKINGS! I would like to know about these MARKINGS on your SHELL!"
"You are jokin' Constable! Ain't no MARKINS on MY shell!"
"But the ARE, Bill!"