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Beyond the desert rise the lava flats, scoriae strewn; sharp-cutting walls of narrow canons; league-wide, frozen puddles of black rock, intolerable and forbidding. Beyond the lava the mouths that spewed it out, ragged-lipped, ruined craters shouldering to the cloud-line, mostly of red earth, as red as a red heifer. These have some comforting of shrubs and grass.

As we sat round the little parlor of the cabin that night in the Vasquez Forest, an army man turned forester struck up on a piano that had been packed on horseback above cloud-line strains of Wagner and Beethoven. A graduate of Ann Arbor and post-graduate of Yale played with a cigarette as he gazed at his own fancies through the mica glow of the coal stove.

Then, we emerged on the high upper mesa acres and acres of it, thousands of acres of it, open like a park but shaded by the stately yellow pine, and all of it above ordinary cloud-line, still girt by that snowy range of opal peaks beyond.

A season's adventure in a no-man's-land of bear and deer, above cloud-line and amid wild mountain torrents, had sent them out to the world laden with wealth. Some ran the wild canyons of the Fraser in frail canoes and crazy rafts with their gold strapped to their backs or packed in buckskin sacks and carpet-bags.

This slope of Haleakala is like a whole township, diversified with farms and woods, valleys and hills, resting on its elbows, so to speak, and looking out over the Pacific. We could look up to the cloud-line, about seven thousand feet above the sea, and occasionally get a glimpse of the long line of the summit through rifts in the clouds.

It was from the vast Alpine chain which hangs in the haze of midday like a long dim cloud-line to the north that the hordes of Hun and Goth burst on the Roman world. Their path lay, along the coast trending round to the west, where lost among little villages that stand out white in the distant shadow lie the sites of Heraclea and Altinum.

Moment after moment the rifts grew longer, the tones grew warmer; above began to spread a rosy flush; in front, the glory brightened, touching the cloud-line above it with a tender crimson. If all days could be like this! One could live so well, he thought, in mere enjoyment of the beauty of earth and sky, all else forgotten.

The river meadows blazed with buttercups; the river itself, when Constance occasionally caught a glimpse of its windings, lay intensely blue under a wide azure sky, magnificently arched on a great cornice built of successive strata of white and purple cloud, which held the horizon. Over the Lathom Woods the cloud-line rose and fell in curves that took the line of the hill.

By infinitesimal degrees the dark cloud-line merged upward into the golden-red haze of the afterglow of sunset. A shadow lengthened from under the western wall across the valley. As straight and rigid as steel rose the delicate spear-pointed silver spruces; the aspen leaves, by nature pendant and quivering, hung limp and heavy; no slender blade of grass moved.

At cloud-line, the rocks were slippery as glass from moisture, and Mackenzie led the way, beating the drip from the branches as they marched. The record was twelve miles the first day. When it rained, the shelter was a piece of oil-cloth held up in an extemporized tent, the men crouching to sleep as best they could.