"Nay, more," said the king; "what thinkest thou, Mopo, would this people of thine fill the rift behind us?" and he nodded at the gulf of stone.
Bid thy people pass to the right and to the left of me, and stand in all their numbers upon the slopes of the grass that run down to the lips of the rift."
Slowly, and with much pain, he clambered to the bottom of the rift and stood there.
The narrow canyon turned and twisted this way and that, and the rift
was so small that they were able to touch both walls at the same time by stretching out their arms.
As he stood looking down upon this grim reminder that another man of might had succumbed to the cruel powers of the desert, he was brought to startled attention by the report of a firearm, the sound of which came from the depths of the gorge to the south of him, and reverberated along the steep walls of the narrow rift
Suddenly, as he spoke, a great brightness fell about him, causing him to look upward, thinking the sun had burst through a rift
in the clouds; but there were no clouds.
"They are not furrows," said Barbicane; "they are rifts ."
"Rifts? stuff!" replied Michel mildly; "but what do you mean by
One could see the grand Alpine masses dimly outlined against the black firmament, and one or two faint stars blinking through rifts
in the night.
It was ribbed with sharp, steep ridges and cloven with narrow canyons, and here and there on the heights, rocky upheavals shaped themselves into mimic battlements and castles; and out of rifted
clouds came broad shafts of sunlight, that painted summit, and slope and glen, with bands of fire, and left belts of somber shade between.
Yet always were their farthest glimpses stopped by the closing vistas of green, and, yet always, as they climbed, did the forest roof arch overhead, with only here and there rifts
that permitted shattered shafts of sunlight to penetrate.
The surface is very uneven, rising like the waves of a troubled sea, descending low, and interspersed by rifts
that sink deep.