The light breakfast was taken, and the adventurers moved on. At each step the way grew more and more difficult. Every mile was steeper than its predecessor, and in many instances it was rougher. The rarefaction of the air increased, and rendered the work of breathing more and more severe. The travellers panted like frightened deer, and their lungs seemed to gain little relief from the rest that the Doctor and his young friends were compelled to take at frequent intervals. The last of the huts of refuge was passed, and it seemed only a short distance to the summit. But it required more than an hour's effort to accomplish this final stage. The boys refused all offers of assistance, and struggled manfully on; but Doctor Branson was less confident of his powers, and was glad of the aid of the strong-limbed and strong-handed yamabooshees. All were glad enough to stand on the summit and gaze into the deep gulf of the crater, while their brows were cooled by the clear breezes from the Pacific. They were at the top of Fusiyama, 14,000 feet above the level of the ocean that lay so far below them, eighty miles from their starting-point at Yokohama, and their vision swept an area of the surface of the earth nearly two hundred miles in diameter. East and south lay the broad ocean. West and north was the wondrous land of Japan, a carpet of billowy green, roughened here and there with wooded hills and small mountains, indented with bays and with silver threads of rivers meandering through it. It was a picture of marvellous beauty which no pen can describe..