At length we reached the point where the roads for Gimel and S. Georges separate, and there, under a glorious sapin, we said our adieux, and wished our au revoirs, and settled those little matters which the best friends must settle, when one is of the nature of a monsieur, and the others are guides. They burdened their souls with many politenesses, and so we parted. The inclemency of the weather was such, that the people in the lower country asked, as they passed, whether snow had fallen in the mountains, and the cold rain continued unceasingly down to the large plain on which the Federal Camp of Biere is placed. Here for a few moments the sun showed itself, lighting up the white tents, and displaying to great advantage the masses of scented orchises, and the feathery reine-des-pres, which hemmed the road in on either side. All through the earlier part of the day, flowers had forced themselves upon our notice as mere vehicles for collected rain, when we came in contact with them; but now, for a short time, they resumed their proper place,—only for a short time, for the rain soon returned, and did not cease till midnight. Not all the garden scenery about Aubonne and Allaman (ad Lemannum), nor all the vineyards which yield the choice white wine of the Cote, could counterbalance the united discomfort of the rain, and the cold which had got into the system in the two glacieres; and matters were not mended by the discovery that Bradshaw was treacherous, and that a junction with dry baggage at Neufchatel could not be effected before eleven at night.
There are some curious natural phenomena in this neighbourhood, due to the subterranean courses which the fissured limestone of the Jura affords to the meteoric waters. Not far from Biere, the river Aubonne springs out at the bottom of an amphitheatre of rock, receiving additions soon after from a group of twenty natural pits, which the peasants call unfathomable—an epithet freely applied to the strange holes found in the Jura. It is remarkable that the way seems to stand at different levels in the various pits.