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.
had been wronged, and had forgiven us.  In our absence he had been meditating upon the glaciere, and his imagination had brought him to a very exalted idea of its wonders.  Whereas, in the former part of the day, he had stoutly asserted that no cord could possibly be necessary, he now vehemently affirmed that if I had but taken him as guide, he would have let me down into holes 40 metres deep, where I should have seen such things as man had never seen before.  Had monsieur seen the source of the Loue?  Yes, monsieur had.  Very fine, was it not?  Yes, very fine.  Which did monsieur then prefer—­the glaciere, or the source?  The source, infinitely. Then it was clear monsieur had not seen the glaciere:—­he was sure before that monsieur had not, now it was quite clear, for in all the world there was nothing like that glaciere.  The Loue!—­one might rather see the glaciere once, than live by the source of the Loue all the days of one’s life.

It was now five o’clock, and the train left Pontarlier at half-past seven.  We represented to M. Paget that he really ought to do the twenty kilometres in two hours and a quarter, which would leave us a quarter of an hour to arrange our knapsacks and pay the National.  He promised to do his best, and certainly the black horse proved himself a most willing beast.  There was one long hill which damped our spirits, and made us give up the idea of catching the train; and here our driver came to the rescue with what sounded at first like a promising story—­the only one we extracted from him all through the day—­a propos of a memorial-stone on the road-side, where a man had lately been killed by two bears; but, when we came to examine into it, the romance vanished, for the man was a brewer’s waggoner with a dray of beer, and the bears were tame bears, led in a string, which frightened the brewer’s horses, and so the man was killed.  Contrary to our expectations and fears, we did catch the train, and arrived in a thankful frame of mind at comfortable quarters in Neufchatel.


[Footnote 54:  Cruel comme a Morat was long a popular saying.]

* * * * *



The next morning, my sisters went one way and I another; they to a valley in the south-west of Vaud, where our head-quarters were to be established for some weeks, and I to Soleure, where a Swiss savant had vaguely told us he believed there was a glaciere to be seen.  That town, however, denied the existence of any approach to such a thing, with a unanimity which in itself was suspicious, and with a want of imagination which I had not expected to find.  One man I really thought might be persuaded to know of some cave where there was or might be ice, but

Project Gutenberg
Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook