Page:Germ Growers.djvu/114

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the aspect of his men. They were looking at us eagerly, and it seemed as if they were waiting for some expected word of command. I could not help thinking that they were about to spring upon us, and I put my hand instinctively to the pocket where I kept my pistol.

The leader said shortly, "never mind that." Then he turned to his men. I could not see his face, but I saw that he lifted his hand. Presently the men were working away at their previous work, and were taking no more note at all of us.

"Come with me," said the leader, and he walked down the broad stone stairway. It was a very broad stairway, with stone balustrades on each side, light in appearance, but immensely strong. Every step, as well as the whole of the balustrade, was diversified with a variety of pictures and devices wrought upon stone by some method which rendered them proof against the weather. On this occasion I noticed little but the colours, but I observed them very closely afterwards. They appeared not only here, but everywhere in the valley, whether under cover or in the open air, where-ever there was any space to receive them, on walls, floors, ceilings, pillars, and doors.

All these pictures and devices presented one pervading idea; and as one passed backward and forward