Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
fair and forty,” who have an instinctive dread of the trials to come, and are well aware of the merriment that their efforts to force a passage will excite among their companions of less length of girdle.  Into this winding way, we entered in Indian file, and turning our right side, then our left, twisting this way, then that, had nearly made good the passage, when our fat friend, who was puffing and blowing behind us like a high pressure engine, cried out, “Halt, ahead there!  I am stuck as tight as a wedge in a log!” Halt we did, when the guide, looking at our friend, who was in truth “wedg’d in the rocky way and sticking fast,” cried out, “I told you, when you said at the Pine Apple Bush, that you felt especially happy, to wait till you got to the Winding Way, to see how you would feel then!” The imprisoned gentleman soon burst his bonds, not, however, without damage to his indispensables; and at length forcing his way into Relief Hall, he cried out, in the joy of his heart, while stretching himself and wiping the perspiration from his jolly, rubicund face, “never was a name more appropriate given to any place—­Relief.  I feel already the expansive faculty of the atmosphere, I can now breathe again.”

Relief Hall, which you enter from the Winding Way, at a right-angle, is very wide and lofty but not long; turning to the right, we reached its termination at River Hall, a distance of perhaps, one hundred yards.  Here two routes present themselves; the one to the left conducts to the Dead Sea and the Rivers, and that to the right, to the Bacon Chamber, the Bandit’s Hall, the Mammoth Dome and an infinity of other caves, domes, etc.  We will speak of the Bacon Chamber; but before doing so, let us take our lunch.  The air or exercise, or probably both, acted as powerful appetizers, and we soon gave proof that we needed not Stoughton’s bitters to provoke an appetite.  Having discussed a few glasses of excellent Hock, we left the Bacon Chamber, which is a pretty fair representation of a low ceiling, thickly hung with canvassed hams and shoulders; and proceeded to the Bandit’s Hall, up a steep ascent of twenty or thirty feet, rendered very difficult, by the huge rocks which obstructed the way and over which we were forced to clamber.  The name is indicative of the spot.  It is a vast and lofty chamber, the floor covered with a mountainous heap of rocks rising amphitheatrically almost to the ceiling, and so disposed as to furnish at different elevations, galleries or platforms, reaching immediately around the chamber itself or leading off into some of its hidden recesses.  The guide is presently seen standing at a fearful height above, and suddenly a Bengal light, blazes up, “when the rugged roof, the frowning cliffs and the whole chaos of rocks are refulgent in the brilliant glare.”  The sublimity of the scene is beyond the powers of the imagination.


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