Page:Germ Growers.djvu/131

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126
THE GERM GROWERS.

communicated with both balloons and they presently collapsed, the action of the paddles being now sufficient both to sustain us and to urge us forward. The motion was easier than that of any conveyance that I had ever yet travelled in. The seat on which Signor Davelli sat was placed so that with one hand he could turn the key of the valve, and with the other grasp either of two handles, by one of which he managed the batteries, and by the other of which he changed at need the direction of the paddles. I perceived, upon looking more closely, that the key of the valve was fixed at the intersection of two tubes shaped like a T, one at right angles to the other, the horizontal tube joining the balloons and the perpendicular tube connected with the vessels from which the sound of boiling still proceeded.

After we had gone, as I thought, a few miles, Signor Davelli changed the direction of the paddles and swept round in a longish curve, until the forward part of the car was turned to our starting point. When we had travelled about half way back he turned the valve again and refilled the balloons, and then he stopped the paddles and we lay floating in the air, rising very slowly and gently. Then he bade me look to the west and say if I saw anything. I could see nothing at all,