They saw towers that looked like contorted skyscrapers, bridges hanging in mid-air, and sudden wounds spurting fire from out of solid walls.
Far at the bottom, she could distinguish the dim outlines of a dry river bed, of piled boulders, of trees contorted by centuries.
Mr. Ward could not define the emotion that contorted Rearden’s mouth as he spoke.
The smell came from undusted corners and from incense burning in silver jars at the feet of contorted Oriental deities.
She saw the engine’s tail of boxcars winding along the face of a granite drop-and miles of contorted stone below, she saw the coils of green-blue rail unwinding behind the train.
Through the blinding white glare of anger, Dagny was seeing a long strip of concrete that had been a road, with weeds rising from its cracks, and the figure of a man contorted by a hand plow.
In a distant field, beyond the town, they saw the figure of a man moving slowly, contorted by the ugliness of a physical effort beyond the proper use of a human body: he was pushing a plow by hand.
The lights were below them now, spread in flat miles of bluish windows, of smokestacks, slanting cranes, red gusts of fire, and long, dim rays silhouetting the contorted shapes of an industrial district.
It was a stretch of rocks ground against one another, with boulders hanging in precarious formations, with long, dark crevices and a few contorted pine trees growing half-horizontally into the air.
She ran through the train’s only coach, where some passengers slept in contorted poses of exhaustion, while others, awake and still, sat hunched, like animals waiting for a blow, making no move to avert it In the vestibule of the coach, she stopped.
This-she thought, looking at the mine-was the story of human wealth written across the mountains: a few pine trees hung over the cut, contorted by the storms that had raged through the wilderness for centuries, six men worked on the shelves, and an inordinate amount of complex machinery traced delicate lines against the sky; the machinery did most of the work.
Look-" He pointed at a plant fighting upward from under the weight of a rock-a long, gnarled stem, contorted by an unnatural struggle, with drooping, yellow remnants of unformed leaves and a single green shoot thrust upward to the sun with the desperation of a last, spent, inadequate effort.