Page:Germ Growers.djvu/121

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116
THE GERM GROWERS.

on the contrary, to be men of considerable intelligence. You would suppose them to be quite capable of being leaders themselves, and able to carry out in full detail instructions which they might receive in the merest outline. It was evident that they were now receiving instructions. These were being given, partly by expressions and signs, and partly by some spoken language. The language, which I heard several times in the next two days, bore no resemblance at all to any language that I knew. It seemed to be very artificial and elliptical. The former quality was suggested by the regular recurrence and gradation of certain sounds, and the latter quality was suggested by its great brevity. A word or two seemed to suffice where we should require one or more sentences.

When the leader had given his instructions, one and another, and then another, of the men stood out from the ranks and spoke to him, and in each case he replied. The men who spoke I judged to be in some subordinate command. All the men stood in files now, one man behind another, facing the leader, and in each case the man who spoke stood in front of his file. These files formed themselves quite suddenly and with great precision after the leader had given his first orders and before the other men spoke. It seemed as