the following is taken from lewis
and bruno concluded" chapter 7. it is the instructions for making
a "fortunatus' purse". good luck and carry the wealth of the universe
in your pocket.
Here Lady Muriel returned with her father; and, after he had exchanged
some friendly words with `Mein Herr', and we had
all been supplied with the needful `creature-comforts', the newcomer returned to the suggestive subject of
`You have heard of Fortunatus's Purse, Miladi? Ah, so! Would you be
surprised to hear that, with three of these leetle
handkerchiefs, you shall make the Purse of Fortunatus, quite soon, quite easily?'
`Shall I indeed?' Lady Muriel eagerly replied, as she took a heap of
them into her lap, and threaded her needle. `Please tell
me how, Mein Herr! I'll make one before I touch another drop of tea!'
`You shall first,' said Mein Herr, possessing himself of two of the
handkerchiefs, spreading one upon the other, and holding
them up by two corners, `you shall first join together these upper corners, the right to the right, the left to the left; and the
opening between them shall be the mouth of the Purse.'
A very few stitches sufficed to carry out this direction. `Now, if I
sew the other three edges together,' she suggested, `the
bag is complete?'
`Not so, Miladi: the lower edges shall first be joined--ah, not so!'
(as she was beginning to sew them together). `Turn one of
them over, and join the right lower corner of the one to the left lower corner of the other, and sew the lower edges together
in what you would call the wrong way.'
`I see!' said Lady Muriel, as she deftly executed the order. `And a
very twisted, uncomfortable, uncanny-looking bag it
makes! But the moral is a lovely one. Unlimited wealth can only be attained by doing things in the wrong way! And how
are we to join up these mysterious--no, I mean this mysterious opening?' (twisting the thing round and round with a puzzled
air). `Yes, it is one opening. I thought it was two, at first.'
`You have seen the puzzle of the Paper Ring?' Mein Herr said, addressing
the Earl. `Where you take a slip of paper, and join
its ends together, first twisting one, so as to join the upper corner of one end to the lower corner of the other?'
`I saw one made, only yesterday,' the Earl replied. `Muriel, my child,
were you not making one, to amuse those children you
had to tea?'
`Yes, I know that Puzzle,' said Lady Muriel. `The Ring has only one surface, and only one edge. It's very mysterious!'
`The bag is just like that, isn't it?' I suggested. `Is not the outer
surface of one side of it continuous with the inner surface of
the other side?'
`So it is!' she exclaimed. `Only it isn't a bag, just yet. How shall we fill up this opening, Mein Herr?'
`Thus!' said the old man impressively, taking the bag from her, and
rising to his feet in the excitement of the explanation. `The
edge of the opening consists of four handkerchief edges, and you can trace it continuously, round and round the opening:
down the right edge of one, handkerchief, up the left edge of the other, and then down the left edge of the one, and up the
right edge of the other!'
`So you can!' Lady Muriel murmured thoughtfully, leaning her head on
her hand, and earnestly watching the old man. `And
that proves it to be only one opening!'
She looked so strangely like a child, puzzling over a difficult lesson,
and Mein Herr had become, for the moment, so strangely
like the old Professor, that I felt utterly bewildered: the `eerie' feeling was on me in its full force, and I felt almost impelled to
say `Do you understand it, Sylvie?' However I checked myself by a great effort, and let the dream (if indeed it was a dream)
go on to its end.
`Now, this third handkerchief,' Mein Herr proceeded, `has also four
edges, which you can trace continuously round and
round: all you need do is to join its four edges to the four edges of the opening. The Purse is then complete, and its outer
`I see!' Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted. `Its outer surface will be
continuous with its inner surface! But it will take time. I'll
sew it up after tea.' She laid aside the bag, and resumed her-cup of tea. `But why do you call it Fortunatus's Purse, Mein
The dear old man beamed upon her, with a jolly smile, looking more exactly
like the Professor than ever. `Don't you see, my
child--I should say Miladi? Whatever is inside that Purse, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it. So you have
all the wealth of the world in that leetle Purse!'