Foreign News: The Function of Mountains

Twice a month, the tribes living in the foothills of the Amne Machin range of western China sing an ode to the mighty peaks above. They sing that Amne Machin is a sacred mountain, holding untold stores of gold. Travelers who tamper with its treasures or its mysteries (says the ode) will provoke divine wrath expressing itself in hailstorms and other calamities.

Undeterred, Chicago's Milton Reynolds, manufacturer of ballpoint pens (". . . writes high in the stratosphere . . ."), together with the Boston Museum of Science, arranged an expedition that would explore the hitherto entirely unexplored Amne Machin range. Reynolds...

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