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On every side were smiling villages, blooming gardens, corn-fields, and orchards, betokening the industry and consequent prosperity of the inhabitants.

The tender households of the birds are not only exposed to hostile Indians in the shape of cats and collectors, but to numerous murderous and bloodthirsty animals, against whom they have no defense but concealment. They lead the darkest kind of pioneer life, even in our gardens and orchards, and under the walls of our houses.

Here are trees, and bright green grass, and orchards full of contentment, and a man may scarce espy the brook, although he hears it everywhere. And indeed a stout good piece of it comes through our farm-yard, and swells sometimes to a rush of waves, when the clouds are on the hill-tops.

Such was the discipline of Elizabeth's court that any man who struck another within it had his right hand chopped off by the executioner in a most horrible manner. The English have always had a passion for gardens and orchards. In the Roman time grapes abounded and wine was plenty, but the culture disappeared after the Conquest.

Then the orchards on the slopes are arrayed in virgin white of pear and cherry blossom, with here and there a blush from apple-trees and a faint glimmer of delicate green against cool grey of stone walls showing among the purples of trunks and branches warming into new life under the fitful rays of April sunshine.

And worms that had served all the birds of the air with meat, now multiplied greatly, and cut down all the vines, and destroyed double the corn that the fowls had taken; while caterpillars and locusts trimmed the orchards, and plagued the oats and wheat.

Certain interests in California, notably the orchards and canneries, were violently anti-British during the first years of the war, as the blockade shut off their immense exports to Germany, and those that failed, or closed temporarily, realized the incredible: that a war in Europe could affect California, even as the Civil War affected the textile factories of England.

``He came singing through the orchards into the village, he said. ``A quaint old place with queer gables, called Ville-en-Bois. ``Do you know where we are? said the other. ``No, said the platoon commander. ``I thought not, he said. ``Hadn't you better take a look at the map?

Before long there came raspberries, and then blackberries, to help him save his money; and there were apples in the orchards and potatoes in the ground he learned to note the places and fill his pockets after dark. Twice he even managed to capture a chicken, and had a feast, once in a deserted barn and the other time in a lonely spot alongside of a stream.

But the plains above which they have travelled and the Weald to which they go, the people of the valley cannot see and hardly recall. The wind, when it reaches such fields, is no longer a gale from the salt, but fruitful and soft, an inland breeze; and those whose blood was nourished here, feel in that wind the fruitfulness of our orchards and all the life that all things draw from the air.