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.
to our feet, so that we did not spend much time on it, or rather in it.  A huge fragment of rock had at some time or other fallen from overhead, and now occupied a large part of the sloping bottom of the pit:  by squeezing myself through a narrow crevice between this and the live rock, which looked as if it ought to lead to something, I found a veritable ice-cave, unhappily free from ornament, and of very small size, like a round soldier’s tent in shape, with walls of rock and floor of ice.  We afterwards found an easier entrance to the cave; but the floor was so wet, and the constant drops of water from the roof so little agreeable, that we got out again as soon as possible, especially as this was not the glaciere we had come to see.

When we reached the surface once more, the landlord and the domestic both assured us that the neigiere was the great sight, the glaciere being nothing at all, but, such as it was, they would lead us to it.  They took us to the fissured rock mentioned above; and when we looked down into the fissures, we saw that some of them were filled at the bottom with ice.  They were not the ordinary fissures, like the crevasses of a glacier, but rather disconnected slits in the surface, opening into larger chambers in the heart of the rock, where the ice lay.  In one part of this curious district the surface sank considerably, and showed nothing but a tumbled collection of large stones and rocks, piled in a most disorderly manner.  By examining the neighbourhood of the larger of these rocks, we found a burrow, down which one of the men and I made our way, and thus, after some windings in the interior, reached a point from which we could descend to the ice.  The impression conveyed to my mind by the whole appearance of the rock and ice was not unlike that of the domes in the Glaciere of Monthezy; only that now the lower part of the dome was filled with ice, and we stood in the upper part.  There were two or three of these domes, communicating one with another, and in all I found abundant signs of the prismatic structure, though no columns or wall-decoration remained.  My sisters were accomplished in the art of burrowing, but they did not care to come down, and we soon rejoined them, spending a little time in letting down lighted bougies into the various domes and fissures, in order to study the movements of the air, but our experiments did not lead to much.

The landlord had evidently not believed in the existence of ice in summer, and his first thought was to take some home to his wife, to prove that we had reached the glaciere and had found ice:  such at least were the reasons he gave, but evidently his soul was imbued with a deep obedience to that better half, and the offering of a block of ice was suggested by a complication of feelings.  When we reached the auberge again, we found the rejected guide still there, and more unstable than before.  The general impression on his mind seemed to be that he

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