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It is my duty to remain here; and unless death comes to carry me away, I shall stay where I am to the very last." The dull gray fog still hung heavily over the ocean, but the sun was evidently shining above the mist, and would, in course of time, dispel the vapor. Toward seven o'clock I fancied I heard the cries of birds above my head.

A sensual and soporific kind of vapor had risen all about him an incense blent of the odors of new-mown hay, of jasmine, musk and Parmesan violets, of daintily-bathed women's flesh, of wonderful lingerie. And he had studied all this luminous picture, resplendent as the climax of a brilliant play.

Their thin silken garments were wet through and clung to their delicate figures, and a warm rain descended upon them from the roof of the bath, rising up again in vapor when it reached the floor. Groups of handsome women, ten or twenty together, lay gossiping saucily in one part of the room; in another two king's wives were quarrelling like naughty children.

The anthropomorphic patch of mold on the floor, the form of the yellowish vapor, and the curvature of the tree-roots in some of the old tales, all argued at least a remote and reminiscent connection with the human shape; but how representative or permanent that similarity might be, none could say with any kind of certainty.

We plunged down Montgomery Street in the teeth of the wind that dashed the spray in our faces at one moment, lulled an instant the better to deceive the unwary, and then leaped at us from behind corners with the impetuous rush of some great animal that turned to vapor as it reached us.

Now, in the case of Mercury, some doubt on this point exists. Messrs. Huggins, Vogel, and others have believed that they found spectroscopic proof of the existence of both air and the vapor of water on Mercury. But the necessary observations are of a very delicate nature, and difficult to make, and some astronomers doubt whether we possess sufficient proof that Mercury has an atmosphere.

Instantly realizing that he was free the great creature, which was about ninety feet long, darted away, swimming on the surface of the water, for he needed to get all the air possible. Quickly acquiring momentum, the whale came on like a locomotive, spouting at intervals, the vapor from the blowholes looking not unlike steam from some submarine boat.

Yet, by a last effort of the wavering will, Djalma advanced once more to try and open one of the doors; he found it indeed, but at this place the vapor was so strong, that its action redoubled, and, unable to move a step further, Djalma was obliged to support himself by leaning against the wall. Then a strange thing happened.

The huge copper lid of the lye-water kettle was rising mechanically along a notched shaft, and from the gaping copper hollow within its wall of bricks came whirling clouds of vapor.

The moon came up, flooding the woods with a creamy light; then a little stream, sparkling like molten silver, crossed our misty path; then a bare hill-side stretched away, pale in the moonlight, vanishing into a luminous veil of vapor, floating over a hollow where unseen water lay. We entered a grove of still trees standing wide apart maple-trees, with the sap-pegs still in the bark.