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.
and bring up the lamp.  His offer was accepted by a man, who, in consequence of his diminutive stature, was nicknamed Little Dave; and the rope being made fast about his waist, he, torch in hand, was lowered to the full extent of the forty-five feet.  Being then drawn up, the poor fellow was found to be so excessively alarmed, that he could scarcely articulate; but having recovered from his fright, and again with the full power of utterance, he declared that no money could tempt him to try again for the lamp; and in excuse for such a determination, he related the most marvellous story of what he had seen—­far exceeding the wonderful things which the unexampled Don Quixote de la Mancha declared he had seen in the deep cave of Montesinos.  Dave was, in fact, suspended at the height of two hundred and forty feet above the level below.  Such is the history of the lamp, as told by the old miner, Holton, the correctness of which was very soon verified; for guides having been sent to the place where the lamp was found, and persons at the same time stationed at the mouth of the crevice pit, their proximity was at once made manifest by the very audible sound of each other’s voices, and by the fact that sticks thrown into the pit fell at the feet of the guides below, and were brought out by them.  The distance from the mouth of the Cave to this pit, falls short of half a mile; yet to reach the grand apartment immediately under it, requires a circuit to be made of at least three miles.  The illumination of that portion of the Great Dome on the left, and of the hall on the top of the hill to the right, as seen from the platform, was unquestionably one of the most impressive spectacles we had witnessed; but to be seen to advantage, another position ought to be taken by the spectator, and the dome with its towering height, and the hall on the summit of the hill, with its gigantic stalagmite columns, and ceiling two hundred feet high, illuminated by the simultaneous ignition of a number of Bengal lights, judiciously arranged.  Such was the enthusiastic admiration of some foreigners on witnessing an illumination of the Great Dome and Hall, that they declared, it alone would compensate for a voyage across the Atlantic.  With the partial illumination of the Great Dome, we closed our explorations on this side of the rivers, and retracing our steps, reached the hotel about sun-set.  At mid-night, the party which separated from us at the entrance of Pensico Avenue, returned from the points beyond the Echo river.

CHAPTER IX.

Third Visit—­River Hall—­Dead Sea—­River Styx—­Lethe—­Echo River—­ Purgatory—­Eyeless Fish—­Supposed Boil of the Rivers—­Sources and Outlet Unknown.

Early the next morning, having made all the necessary preparations for the grand tour, which we were the more anxious to take from the glowing accounts of the party recently returned, we entered the cave immediately after an early breakfast, and proceeded rapidly on to River Hall.  It was evident from the appearance of the flood here, that it had been recently overflown.

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