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HIGH IN THESE MOUNTAINS, THE APENNINES, THE SPINAL CORD of Italy, with its vertebræ of infant stone to which the tendons and the flesh of the old world are attached, there is a small cave high up a precipice. It is very difficult to reach. The narrow path is littered with loose stones and, in the spring when the thaw comes, it is a running stream, an angled gutter two hundred metres long, slicing across the sheer surface of the rock face, collecting melt-water as the scar incised in the bark of a rubber tree channels the sap.
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Some years, the local people claim, the water runs crimson with