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46
PHOSPHOR.

upwards; here my eyes were met with sights even more hideous.

Huge bluish white birds, with enormous eyes and crooked beaks a foot long, sat on the rocks projecting from the sides, or with hoarse cries flapped from crag to crag.

Every now and then, uttering a shrill note, one of them would leave its perch, swoop to the ground, pick up a serpent and fly with it, hissing and writhing in its beak into the darkness above me.

All round me were beds of phosphorescent fungi, and by their weird light I was able to perceive these horrible sights.

On the ground, black liquid formed repulsive looking pools, into which, every now and then, with a hiss, a snake would plunge, and disappear.

My horror was absorbed in sheer amazement for some time.

Then, came a revulsion of feeling, swallowing up the astonishment, and leaving me trembling, in terror, wondering what I should next see.

In the vault I had been possessed by spiritual and moral terrors.

Here it was different.

Material ones, in the shape of these horrid birds, and still more horrid snakes, were the agents.