Page:Germ Growers.djvu/201

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196
THE GERM GROWERS.

cultivated up to the highest pitch were sent away every day, and that hundreds of thousands went under cultivation.

While I was making these calculations, I became aware of a disturbance at the first bed. Turning my glass hastily to the spot I saw that one of the men had fallen down, and it struck me at first that there was going to be a repetition of the sort of disappearance and reappearance which I had already witnessed, and which I now understood. But I very soon saw that this was quite a different matter. There was a panic, and the men ran in all directions away from the man who had fallen. I followed for a moment with my glass the course of some of the fugitives. Turning the glass back towards the spot where the man had fallen, I could perceive nothing at all. Every trace of his body was lost. Then I heard a long and loud whistle, and in almost as little time as it takes me to tell it the panic had ceased and the men were working away just as before. Just then I heard what seemed like a deep and desperate curse from Signor Davelli, and looking towards him I saw him standing with his arm half way up, holding the glass. He seemed to have just taken it away from his eyes, and a scowl was passing over his face, made up as it seemed to me