Page:Germ Growers.djvu/182

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was nearly of the same depth as the other, and extended like it high up on either side of the cliff. I have little doubt that all these trees were intended as a defence against the vapours which were generated by certain works which were carried on beyond, and of which I must now try to tell you what I saw.

From what I have said it will be clear to you that there was only one way from the eastern part of the valley to the western, and that was through the air. No one could pass through either belt of timber. And as we floated over them I noticed that Signor Niccolo at once raised the car several hundred feet, and kept well away to the south. Then he stopped; then he lowered the car a little and asked me what I saw.

I saw several very unequal belts of what seemed to be cultivated ground. But it was a very queer-looking sort of cultivation. There was almost no green from end to end of it, and what green there was looked like the scum that you sometimes see floating upon the surface of a stagnant pool. And even this was only to be seen at the southern extremity of the cultivated ground. As you looked north the growth was more and more foul and offensive, and thick, filthy looking vapours floated over it here and there. I thought of Shelley's ruined garden, where—