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There were no longer the vaulted vapors of the preceding days, the dense counterpane of nebulous gray that covered the whole sky with its monotony. The heavy cloud-banks clung to the mountains, leaving an exquisite arc of sky, almost Italian in its sunny azure.

Among miasmatic vapors and clouds of noxious insects on mud-flats, in narrow channels whose densely wooded banks might conceal legions of hostile sharp-shooters, the river navy kept up its work. Earning but little glory, though in the midst of constant peril, the officers and men kept up their work, and contributed not a little to the final outcome of the great conflict.

One dwells in a cave in the bowels of the earth; one lies on the sand beneath a blazing sun; one has shut himself forever from the sight of man in a miserable hut among the bleak rocks of yonder projecting peak; one rests with joy in the marshes, breathing with gratitude the pestilential vapors. Some of these saints became famous for piety and miraculous power.

For it has been established after many long discussions that in the nerves originate the most fearful torture. But it is especially in bed that vapors play their part. There when a woman has not a headache she has her vapors; and when she has neither vapors nor headache, she is under the protection of the girdle of Venus, which, as you know, is a myth.

When the night fell, and one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed out the beautiful stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels, they seemed so near that you almost expected to touch them with the hand, and the silver moon arising, set the clouds on fire with gladness and "left upon the level water one long track and trail of splendor, down whose stream we sailed into the purple vapors, to the islands of the blessed, to the kingdom of Ponemah to the land of the hereafter."

Above the whole valley, indeed, the sky was heavy with tumbling vapors, interspersed with which were tracts of blue, vividly brightened by the sun; but, in the east, where the tempest was yet trailing its ragged skirts, lay a dusky region of cloud and sullen mist, in which some of the hills appeared of a dark purple hue.

From these cast-iron monsters, there extended to the nearest windows and projected through them, hideous stove-pipes that too often spread, from every leaky and ill-fastened joint, smoke and sooty vapors, and sometimes pyroligneous drippings on the congregation. Often tin pails to catch the drippings were hung under the stove-pipes, forming a further chaste and elegant church-decoration.

And I saw it only for a flash. The car went on, gathering speed, and as it went, my brain, suddenly purged of the vapors of doubt and perplexity, was as busy as the throbbing engine before my feet. I knew. "You say something in that manuscript of yours, Mr. Trent, about the swift, automatic way in which one's ideas arrange themselves about some new, illuminating thought. It is quite true.

I was now two days' march from the British Burma border. The landscape in this district was solemn and imposing as I trudged on again, very tired indeed, after a day's rest at Chiu-ch'eng. In the morning heavy tropical vapors of milky whiteness stretched over the sky and the earth. Nature seemed sleeping, as if wrapped in a light veil.

The long switching tails regarded so ominously and from which were anticipated such dire calamities as the destruction of worlds into chaos have been proven to be composed of gaseous vapors of no more solidity than the "airy nothingness of dreams."

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