Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.

We reached S. Georges again in a wretched state of wet and cold, and Renaud went off to bed, and imbibed abundant and super-abundant kirsch,—­at least, when drawn thence the next morning, his manner left no doubt about either the fact or the abundance of the potations overnight.  Warned by many experiences, I had gone no nearer to a specification of the bill of fare than a vague suggestion that quelque chose must be forthcoming, with an additional stipulation that this must be something more than mere onions and fat.  The landlady’s rendering of quelque chose was very agreeable, but, for the benefit of future diners au Cavalier, it is as well to say that those who do not like anisette had better make a private arrangement with their hostess, otherwise they will swallow with their soup an amount sufficient for many generations of the drag:  they may also safely order savoury rice, with browned veal and wine-sauce, which is evidently a strong point with the Cavalier.  All meals there are picturesque; for the omelette lay on the Castle of Grandson and a part of the Lake of Neufchatel, while the butter reposed on the ruined Cathedral of Sion, and the honey distilled pleasantly from the comb on to the walls of Wufflens.  No one should put any trust in the spoons, which are constructed apparently of pewter shavings in a chronic state of semi-fusion.  On the evening of the second day, the landlady allowed a second knife at tea, as the knife-of-all-work had begun to knock up under the heavy strain upon its powers; but this supplementary instrument was of the ornamental kind, and, like other ornamental things, broke down at a crisis, which took the form of a piece of crust.

Lest this account should raise anyone’s expectations too high, it is as well to add that they have no snuffers in S. Georges, beyond such as Nature provided when she gave men fingers; and they burn attenuated tallow candles with full-bodied wicks.  Also, the tea is flavoured with vanille, unless that precious flavouring is omitted by private contract.


[Footnote 12:  On our previous visit, in 1861, we passed from Arzier through Longirod and Marchissy, stopping to measure and admire the huge lime-tree in the churchyard of the latter village.  Our Swiss companion on that occasion was anxious that we should carry home some ice from the cave; and as the communal law forbade the removal of the ice by strangers, he hunted up a cousin in Marchissy, and sent him with a hotte across country, while we went innocently by the ordinary route through S. Georges.  The cousin, however, contrived to lose himself in the woods, and we never heard of him again.]

[Footnote 13:  The size of this basin is exaggerated in the engraving on page 24, owing to the roughness of the original sketch.]

[Footnote 14:  See p. 253.]

[Footnote 15:  For further details on this point see pages 54 and 83.]

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Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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