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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
Some of the party thrusting their heads and, in their anxiety to see, their bodies through the window into the vast and gloomy dome of two hundred feet in height.  The window is not large enough to afford a view to all at once, they crowd one on the top of the other; the more cautious, and those who do not like to be squeezed, stand back; but still holding fast to the garments of their friends for fear they might in the ecstasy of their feelings, leap into the frightful abyss into which they are looking.  Suddenly the guide ignites a Bengal light.  The vast dome is radiant with light.  Above, as far as the eye can reach, are seen the shining sides of the fluted walls; below, the yawning gulf is rendered the more terrific, by the pallid light exposing to view its vast depth, the whole displaying a scene of sublimity and splendor, such as words have not power to describe.  Returning, we ascended the ladder near Louisa’s Dome, and continued on, having the Labyrinth on our right side until it terminates in the Bottomless Pit.  This pit terminates also the range of the Deserted Chambers, and was considered the Ultima Thule of all explorers, until within the last few years, when Mr. Stephenson of Georgetown, Ky. and the intrepid guide, Stephen, conceived the idea of reaching the opposite side by throwing a ladder across the frightful chasm.  This they accomplished, and on this ladder, extending across a chasm of twenty feet wide and near two hundred deep, did these daring explorers cross to the opposite side, and thus open the way to all those splendid discoveries, which have added so much to the value and renown of the Mammoth Cave.  The Bottomless Pit is somewhat in the shape of a horse-shoe, having a tongue of land twenty seven feet long, running out into the middle of it.  From the end of this point of land, a substantial bridge has been thrown across to the cave on the opposite side.

[Illustration:  BOTTOMLESS PIT.  On Stone by T. Campbell Bauer & Teschemacher’s Lith.]

While standing on the bridge, the guide lets down a lighted paper into the deep abyss; it descends twisting and turning, lower and lower, and is soon lost in total darkness, leaving us to conjecture, as to what may be below.  Crossing the bridge to the opposite cave, we find ourselves in the midst of rocks of the most gigantic size lying along the edge of the pit and on our left hand.  Above the pit is a dome of great size, but which, from its position, few have seen.  Proceeding along a narrow passage for some distance, we arrived at the point from which diverge two noted routes—­the Winding Way and Pensico Avenue.  Here we called a short halt; then wishing our newly formed acquintances [Transcriber’s note:  sic] a safe voyage over the “deep waters,” we parted; they taking the left hand to the Winding Way and the rivers, and we the right to Pensico Avenue.

CHAPTER VII.

Pensico Avenue—­Great Crossings—­Pine Apple Bush—­Angelica’s Grotto—­ Winding Way—­Fat Friend in Trouble—­Relief Hall—­Bacon Chamber—­ Bandit’s Hall.

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