To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions, admits Pops, employing the royal first person plural once again, the better to avoid the onus, Pops wears the onus uneasily, like a too tight collar, is the prime vice of age, which has so many vices. This is not the remark of a weak man. The principal vice of age is too much suspicion. Pops has been around the block. Pops has touched all the bases. He has called at every port. He has chafed under the onus. The wiles of life are not strangers to Pops. They have been much with him. They have tarried together. They have become accustomed to one another. Those long accustomed to the wiles of life cast commonly beyond themselves, let their cunning go further than reason can attend it. Pops is aware of this tendency to suspiciousness on the part of those who have too long tarried. Knowledge of this kind it would have been impossible for him to avoid. Equally impossible for him to steadily remember. Memory now an intermittent affair, here today, gone tomorrow, for Pops. In the gaps there is the forgetting and with the forgetting comes the casting beyond. This is always the fault of a little mind, made artful by long commerce with the world. A little mind is always playing catchup. A little mind is always losing things. A little mind is always developing systems of retrieval. One has observed this with squirrels and buried nuts. One presumes the squirrels spend much time developing systems of finding and then again losing and then again finding the nuts, and that the brain activity is what keeps them mentally agile. Relatively. How would one know really. Do they divide their territory up into grids perhaps, and then search each grid? Moving a small way, turning a bit, scratching, digging, pausing, then moving again. Over time they will have touched upon each grid section in the field which makes up the territory. What the squirrels have over Pops is their seeming ability to remember they have searched a certain section, so that they will not return to waste time in the folly of searching it again. Activity like everything else can be overdone.
An open Knight's tour in chess, animated examples (with visited squares shaded and unshaded): images by Ilmari Karonen, 2010 (based on Knight's tour image by Gdr)