Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
in hell itself, the prey of the devils, who would presently be let loose upon him.  It was at this moment the miners in search of him made their appearance; they lighted upon his sack, lying where he had thrown it, and set up a great shout, which was the first intimation he had of their approach.  He started up, and seeing them in the distance, the half naked negroes in advance, all swinging their torches aloft, he, not doubting they were those identical devils whose appearance he had been expecting, took to his heels, yelling lustily for mercy; nor did he stop, notwithstanding the calls of his amazed friends, until he had fallen a second time over the rocks, where he lay on his face, roaring for pity, until, by dint of much pulling and shaking, he was convinced that he was still in the world and the Mammoth Cave.  Such is the story of the Haunted Chambers, the name having been given to commemorate the incident.

CHAPTER III.

Stalagmite Pillars—­The Bell—­Vulcan’s Furnace—­Register Rooms—­ Stalagmite Hall or Gothic Chapel—­Devil’s Arm-Chair—­Elephant’s Head—­Lover’s Leap—­Napoleon’s Dome—­Salts Cave—­Annetti’s Dome.

Resuming our explorations in this most interesting avenue, we soon came in sight of stalagmite pillars, reaching from the floor to the ceiling, once perhaps white and translucent, but now black and begrimed with smoke.  At this point we were startled by the hollow tread of our feet, caused by the proximity of another large avenue underneath, which the guide assured us he had often visited.  In this neighborhood too, there are a number of Stalactites, one of which was called the Bell, which on being struck, sounded like the deep bell of a cathedral; but it now no longer tolls, having been broken in twain by a visiter from Philadelphia some years ago.  Further on our way, we passed Louisa’s Bower and Vulcan’s Furnace, where there is a heap, not unlike cinders in appearance, and some dark colored water, in which I suppose the great forger used to slake his iron and perhaps his bolts.  Next in order and not very distant are the new and old Register Rooms.  Here on the ceiling which is as smooth and white as if it had been finished off by the plasterer, thousands of names have been traced by the smoke of a candle—­names which can create no pleasing associations or recollections; names unknown to fame, and which might excite disgust, when read for the first time on the ceiling which they have disfigured.

[Illustration:  STALAGMITE HALL OR GOTHIC CHAPEL.  On Stone by T. Campbell Bauer & Teschemacher’s Lith.]

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Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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