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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 140 [10-01-1853]

              on the other side of Purgatory, a rough rock passage which we might
have reached by keeping on, the exploration might still have been effected.
But the boats were visibly here, and we couldn�t have got one across to 
Echo River. So my exploration had yet to be deferred.      We freed the sub-
merged boat with some difficulty, and then after some gettings out on mud
banks in the Great Walk, returned, and disembarked.    The day was
yet young and I therefore determined if barred access to the subterranean world
beyond these black pools, to explore more fully on the other side.   So to the Bot-
tomless Pit we sped, this time issuing at an opening into it some distance below
the former one.   Here, sitting on a monstrous projecting rock chaos, the black
void below did we converse and smoke sociably, Stephen romancing out a little
touching his discoveries, risks and adventures; how he had clambered, descended,
and explored, being veritably the Columbus of the Cave.  Anon he fell to
renting and rummaging at a hole in the rock floor, and telling me how there
were fearful pits and hollows of unknown and unascertainable depths on every
side of us, he with attentive, earnest look, pitched a stone downwards.
�Listen!� said he � �did you hear how far it went?�  �About five feet, I
should say!� quoth I.    He attempted denial, and repeated the experi-
ment again and again, but I was still stubborn in speaking my conviction.
So with more routing the crevice was at length cleared of the loose stones
which had blockaded it, and half-burying his body in the essay he managed
to pitch a stone in.   In the dead silence I listened intensely, and heard
it go knock! knock in its progress downwards, decreasing in sound at
each leap, till it had passed out of hearing, nor yet reached the bottom of
that awful fissure, which might have reached to the earth�s centre for aught
I knew.   �Twas a very successful bit of the horrible, � knowing the whilst
that you were over this pit, on certain rock masses which had, earth-
quake shaken, tumbled into their present condition.         There is also a
winding tortuous avenue by which you can get to the bottom of the Bottom               
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