Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/225

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167
DEVELOPMENT

deepening extent is highly unlikely, while a growth of vegetation would deepen in appearance in precisely the way in which the darkening takes place.

As for color, the lines would seem to be of the same tint as the blue-green areas. But, owing to their narrowness, this is only an inference. I have never chanced to see them of distinctive color.

At this point it is probable that a certain obstacle to such wholesale construction of canals, however, will arise in the mind of the reader, namely, the thought of mountains; for mountains are by nature antagonistic to canals. Only the Czar of all the Russias — if we are to credit the account of the building of the Moscow railway — would be capable of running a canal regardless of topography. Nor will the doings at our own antipodes help us to conceive such construction; for though the Japanese irrigate hillsides, the water in the case comes from slopes higher yet, whereas on Mars it does not.

Indeed, for the lines to contain canals we must suppose either that mountains prove no obstacles to the Martians, or else that there are practically no mountains on Mars. For the system seems sublimely superior to possible obstructions in the way; the lines running, apparently, not where they may, but where they choose. The Eumenides-Orcus, for example,