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<span> Furello peered intensely about. </span> <span> A short distance in front of him lay a vast, flat desert plain. </span> <span>  Look over there! cried Furello, prancing back and forth excitedly. </span> <span> To their right, big swirls and dots lay etched on the desert sand as though someone had taken a pen and written letters from an ancient language on the sand. </span> <span> They stretched like a road toward the horizon. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Upon closer examination, Furello and Kelton were shocked by the discovery that the desert was made of glass. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Kelton looked at Furello,  I suppose we are to follow those letters, he said,  but I doubt if the glass will hold my weight. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Let s see, Furello replied, walking onto the opaque surface. </span> <span>His hooves made a light, clinking sound, but the glass did not break. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> So Kelton followed, holding his breath, carefully placing one hoof and then another on the glass. </span> <span>When he had eased his whole body onto it, he breathed more easily. </span> <span> It held him. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello laughed at the elk s first timid steps and leaped into the air. </span> <span> He flew high above a section with a mirror-like surface and watched as his reflection streaked across the glass. </span> <span>It was wonderful to fly free again. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> He could barely hear Kelton shout,  Come down, come down! </span> <span> We must be going. </span> <span>When Furello came back to the ground, Kelton scolded him.</span> <span>  We do not have the time to play. </span> <span>The month is slipping away very quickly and I must find my ships! </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  I m sorry, Furello apologized.</span> <span>  I was carried away. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The sun beat down on them as they walked through the glass desert. </span> <span> They had been hiking for hours when Furello spotted a blade of glass. </span> <span> The sun sparkled from it, as if it were dappled with drops of dew. </span> <span> Marching on, more blades surrounded them until they found themselves moving through a glass meadow. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Small glass bluebonnets tinkled gently as a breeze stirred amongst them. </span> <span>Farther on, tall glass trees began to dot the meadow. </span> <span> Fibers of silky glass streamed from their limbs and flashed rainbows into the sky as they swayed in the breeze.</span> <span> Crystal leaves swept past them, chiming as they brushed the ground. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> When Furello looked down, he saw the reflection of chalky clouds floating in the blue sky above. </span> <span> The glass gradually faded away and was replaced by a rose-colored marble road. </span> <span>They had walked a short distance farther when they heard a soft padding sound. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  What could that be? </span> <span> Furello perked his ears forward. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Suddenly, a column of glass children came marching around a turn in the road. </span> <span> They had very fine features as though made by a sculptor. </span> <span> But they did not talk--or smile--or even move their heads. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello bounded up to the children and gaily said,  Hi! </span> <span> But they marched silently past them. </span> <span>  I wonder why they won t talk to me, he said sadly. </span> <span> Kelton just shook his head in confusion. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The two friends kept walking, and soon the marble narrowed to a very thin trail.</span> <span>  Kelton! </span> <span> Furello whispered hoarsely. </span> <span> Look! </span> <span> Fifty feet in front of them stood a gorgeous glass house. </span> <span>Its windows were stained blue and green. </span> <span> Flower designs were etched into the walls. </span> <span> Transparent roses formed its roof. </span></p> <p> <center> <img id="image_13" src="image_s_13.jpg" onfocus="this.src='image_f_13.jpg';" onblur="this.src='image_s_13.jpg';" alt="Furello and Kelton are in front of a glass house." tabIndex = 0> </center> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Who goes there? </span> <span> A voice cracked through the air like a whip. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello could not see anyone. </span> <span>  It is just my friend Kelton and me, he answered nervously. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> A giant fellow with red hair, carrying a long glass tube, came bursting around the side of the house. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Aha! he exclaimed. </span> <span>  I caught you. </span> <span> What is it you are after? </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  I am looking for my ships. </span> <span>We were following the letters... </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The huge fellow interrupted Kelton. </span> <span>  A likely story. </span> <span> So you were following the letters, eh? </span> <span> I ll have you know those letters are my signature. </span> <span> You are walking upon my personal work of art. </span> <span> He raised his eyebrows to lend great meaning to his words. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  This is a work of art? Furello asked, astonished. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  All of this is a work of art. </span> <span> Each morning I wake up to magnificent splendor, not spoiled by human beings! emphasized the huge man. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello interjected,  We saw some children marching along the road... only they wouldn t talk to us. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Of course. </span> <span> They couldn t! snapped the red-haired glassblower. </span> <span>  After all, they are not real children. </span> <span> I made them myself, he declared proudly.</span> <span>  Did you make the trees, too? Furello asked. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Yes, I am proud to say, I did. </span> <span> You might have noticed the exquisite delicacy of the leaves. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Those trees are beautiful, Furello said,  and this is a most beautiful land.</span> <span> But don t you ever get lonely? </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Lonely? he barked, irritated by such a consideration. </span> <span> Of course I don t get lonely. </span> <span>This is my land. </span> <span> I made it. </span> <span> And I could make people to keep me company if I had such a weakness. </span> <span> Besides, he declared,  people only get in the way. </span> <span> Do you know that my plants are so delicate that a loud voice can shatter one? </span> <span> Watch. </span> <span> He shouted,  HEY! </span> <span> Nearby, a wild rose exploded. </span></p> <p> <center> <img id="image_14" src="image_s_14.jpg" onfocus="this.src='image_f_14.jpg';" onblur="this.src='image_s_14.jpg';" alt="The glassblower is creating a flower." tabIndex = 0> </center> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  You can see what a nuisance people would be here, always laughing and talking loudly. </span> <span> Why, the very idea! snorted the glassblower. </span> <span>  However, if you two care to stay a moment, I ll be happy to put both of you in glass. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  We must really be going, Furello declared, visualizing Kelton and himself floating inside a glass bubble, and wishing they had never found this strange land. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  And, where ARE you going? </span> <span>The glassblower inquired icily, raising one, red, bushy eyebrow. </span> <span> We are looking for Mr. Fobknot, G.B. Bear and Bittlebass, answered Furello. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The glassblower abruptly turned away from them and held his glass tube up to his mouth. </span> <span>He drew a deep breath and began to blow through it. </span> <span> Slowly, a grandfather clock, made of colored glass, took form before their eyes. </span> <span> After making a lever on one side, he stepped back and looked shrewdly at his work. </span> <span> Hmmmm. </span> <span>Yes, that will do, he said, thoughtfully. </span> <span>He stepped toward the glass clock, placed both hands on the lever and, with a mighty tug, pulled it down. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Suddenly, the ground disappeared beneath them. </span> <span>Furello felt the blood rush to his head as he fell head over hooves down a long glass chute. </span> <span> He tried to yell to Kelton, who was plummeting rapidly after him, but he could not force a sound from his throat. </span> <span> His head began to spin wildly, and then he lost consciousness. </span></p> <br> <br> <br> <a href="chapter_11.html">Click here to go to Chapter 11.</a> <br><br><br> <!-- #EndEditable --></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" bgcolor="#000000"> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.host-central.net"><img src="../images/template_design_r6_c1.jpg" width="773" height="22" border="0"></a></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </body> <!-- InstanceEnd --></html>