Quote: On Preferring Travel Books

We changed cars.  This was at Albury.  And it was there, I think, that the growing day and the early sun exposed the distant range called the Blue Mountains.  Accurately named.  "My word!" as the Australians say, but it was a stunning color, that blue.  Deep, strong, rich, exquisite; towering and majestic masses of blue--a softly luminous blue, a smouldering blue, as if vaguely lit by fires within.  It extinguished the blue of the sky--made it pallid and unwholesome, whitey and washed-out. A wonderful color--just divine.

A resident told me that those were not mountains; he said they were rabbit-piles.  And explained that long exposure and the over-ripe condition of the rabbits was what made them look so blue.  This man may have been right, but much reading of books of travel has made me distrustful of gratis information furnished by unofficial residents of a country.  The facts which such people give to travelers are usually erroneous, and often intemperately so.  The rabbit-plague has indeed been very bad in Australia, and it could account for one mountain, but not for a mountain range, it seems to me.  It is too large an order.

From Following the Equator by Mark Twain, Chapter XIV

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 20, 2010 9:16 AM.

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