[Footnote 59: Colonel Dufour guessed the elevation of the cave, in 1822, at two-thirds the height of the Niesen, and forty years after, as General Dufour, he published the result of the scientific survey of Switzerland, which makes it 1,780 metres; so that his early guess was not a bad one.]
[Footnote 60: There is a hint of something of this kind in an editorial note in the Journal des Mines (now Annales des Mines) of Prairial, an. iv. pp. 71, 72, in connection with the glaciere near Besancon.]
[Footnote 61: M. Soret, who visited the Schafloch in September 1860, and communicated his notes to M. Thury, speaks of many columns in this part of the glaciere, where we found only two. ‘L’un d’entre eux,’ he says, ’presentait dans sa partie inferieure une petite grotte ou cavite, assez grande pour qu’un homme put y entrer en se courbant.’]
[Footnote 62: See also the note at the end of this chapter.]
[Footnote 63: ’Toute la couche superieure au plan de niveau passant par le seuil etait chargee de brouillard; toute la couche inferieure a ce niveau etait parfaitement limpide.’ (Thury, p. 37.)]
[Footnote 64: Respectively, 32 deg..666, 36 deg..266, and 32 deg., Fahrenheit.]
[Footnote 65: Since I wrote this chapter, my attention has been called to a tourist’s account of the Schafloch in Once a Week (Nov. 26, 1864), in an article called An Ice-cavern in the Justis-Thal. The writer says—’We proceeded to the farther end of the cavern, or at least as far as we thought it prudent, to ascertain where the flooring of ice rounded off into the abyss of unfathomable water we heard trickling below.’ One of the party ’having taken some large stones with him, he began hurling them into the profound mystery. Presently a heavy double-bass gurgle issued forth with ominous depth of voice, indicating the danger of farther progress. Having thus ascertained that if either of us ventured farther he would most probably not return by the way he went, the signal of retreat was given, and in about forty minutes, after encountering the same amusing difficulties which had enlivened our descent, AEneas-like we gained the upper air.’ It will be seen from my account of what we found in the ‘abyss of unfathomable water,’ that a little farther exploration might have effected a change in the writer’s views.]
* * * * *
THE GLACIERE OF GRAND ANU, ON THE MONTAGNE DE L’EAU, NEAR ANNECY.
M. Thury’s list contained a bare mention of two glacieres on the M. Parmelan, near Annecy, without any further information respecting them, beyond the fact that they supplied ice for Lyons. Their existence had been apparently reported to him by M. Alphonse Favre, but he had obtained no account of a visit to the caves. Under these circumstances, the only plan was to go to Annecy, and trust to chance for finding some one there who could assist me in my search.