You reach out and touch the stalks. They're almost sticky, with tiny hairs on the outside. You know you ought to go straight back to the canoes, and probably then to the doctor's to take something for hallucinations, but curiosity gets the better of you, and you begin to climb.
It's hard work, and you have to stop several times. You can hear Johnny panting behind you. He hasn't said anything since you met James.
The stalk begins to bend in the wind, but you can see James up ahead of you, and you decide to go on. Clinging to the stalk, you continue your climb up into the heavens.
Finally, when it seems the stalk will never end, you break through the clouds into a ray of sunshine, and see James leaping away over the clouds. You realises that this is impossible - clouds would never take anyone's weight.
You are now faced with a choice. You can either continue after James and risk falling back to earth through the clouds, or you can climb back down the stalk and go back home to the doctor.