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[106] to get the cream of the thoughts which had invariably come to his chief during his morning walk across Boston Common. With the father it was the same, his mental activities being wholly impulsive and yet ever ready to take hold of every point offered by another. If nothing offered, the jest ripened in his own head, and blossomed by itself. I remember that one morning, during a brief call at Fields's office, Holmes came in on an errand, having a book done up in paper under his arm, and as he was going out suddenly turned and said: “I have here a most wonderful book. It is worth in money value any other book in Boston. In fact it is worth a whole library. If it could be properly edited and illustrated, as I would do it, it would be worth the whole public library put together.” Nodding to us authoritatively, he shut the door, leaving us looking at one another, too bewildered for conjecture. Presently the door opened again quietly, and Dr. Holmes put in his head, his face bubbling over with amusement, and said: “Oh, I forgot to tell you what book this is. It is Nat Thayer's check-book.” Then he shut the door. The

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