Page:Germ Growers.djvu/181

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176
THE GERM GROWERS.

might remind one of the cares and pleasures of life: no garden, or orchard, or playground, no child or woman;—all this formed altogether a picture as unearthly and inhuman as the barren surface of the moon. The odd-looking trees and shrubs which, as I have told you, were planted along the roadway, made this worse and not better. Their approach to naturalness made the unnaturalness of all the rest only the more apparent. Besides, their very presence made you feel that it was not nature, as on the surface of the moon, which caused the silence and desolation, but some foul and maleficent influence which was external to nature. The broad walk and the rows of houses both ended abruptly, abutting upon a belt of timber artificially planted. The trees were like the blue gum, they were so close together that no passage between them was possible, and as far as I could judge the intervals from tree to tree were quite equal and regular. This plantation extended a good way up the cliff on both sides, and it was a hundred yards across, or more. Beyond it was a space of about twenty feet, and then another row of trees of quite a different kind, and like nothing that I had ever seen. But as far as I could guess from such a height the leaves were as thick as the gum leaves, but in other ways much larger. This row of trees