New National Fourth Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

Another striking feature of Mammoth Cave is what is called the Dead Sea.  This body of water is four hundred feet long, forty feet wide, and very deep.

A curious fish is found in this dark lake.  It is without eyes, and, in form and color, is different from any fish found outside the cave.

There are found also a blind grasshopper, without wings, and a blind crayfish of a whitish color, both of which are very curious and interesting.

The fact that these living creatures are blind would seem to indicate that nature had produced them for the distinct purpose of inhabiting this dark cave.


Of all the sights to be seen on this continent, there is none that equals the great Falls of Niagara River, situated about twelve miles north of Buffalo, in the State of New York.

On first beholding this most wonderful of all known cataracts, one is overawed by its surpassing grandeur, “and stunned by the sound of the falling waters as by a roar of thunder.”

For quite a distance above the falls, the Niagara River is about one mile wide, and flows with great swiftness.

Just at the edge of the cataract stands Goat Island, which divides the waters of the river, and makes two distinct cataracts; one on the Canadian side, and one on the American side of the river.

The one on the Canadian side, called from its shape the Horse-shoe Fall, is eighteen hundred feet wide, and one hundred, and fifty-eight feet high.  The other, called the American Fall, is six hundred feet wide, and one hundred and sixty-four feet high.

As the immense body of water leaps over this vast precipice, it breaks into a soft spray, which waves like a plume in the wind.  At times, when the rays of the sun strike this spray, a rainbow is formed which stretches itself across the deep chasm, and produces a beautiful effect.

During the winter, much of the water and spray freezes, and as each moment adds to the frozen mass, some curious and wonderful ice formations are produced.

Sometimes, during a very cold winter, the ice at the foot of the falls forms a complete bridge from one shore to the other.

An interesting feature of a visit to these falls is a descent to the level of the foot of the cataract behind the great sheet of water.

A long flight of steps leads down to a secure footing between the rocky precipice and the falling torrent.  By a narrow footpath, it is possible for the visitor to pass between this column of water and the wall of rock.

Once behind the sheet of water, the roar is deafening.  One can only cling to the narrow railing or his guide, as he picks his way for more than a hundred feet behind the roaring torrent.

A single misstep, a slip, or a fall, and nothing remains but a horrible death by being dashed to pieces upon the jagged rocks below.

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New National Fourth Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.