Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/184

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MARS

would, in such case, be hopeless to look for evidence of folk. Anything like London or New, York, or even Chicago in its own estimation would be too small to be seen, so sorry a figure does man cut upon the Earth he thinks to own. From the standpoint of forty millions of miles distance, probably the only sign of his presence here would be such semi-artificialities as the great grain-fields of the West when their geometric patches turned with the changing seasons from ochre to green, and then from green to gold. By his crops we should know him. A tell-tale fact this, for it would be still more likely to be the case with Mars. If the surface of the planet were cultivated at all, it would probably be upon a much more thorough plan than is the case with the Earth. Conditions hold there which would necessitate a much more artificial state of things. If cultivation there be, it must be cultivation largely dependent upon a system of irrigation, and therefore much more systematic than any we have as yet been forced to adopt.

Now, at this point in our investigation, when the broad features of Mars disclose conditions which imply irrigation as their organic corollary, we are suddenly confronted on the planet's face with phenomena so startlingly suggestive of this very thing as to seem its uncanny presentment. Indeed, so amazingly lifelike is their