forests above lies the unspeakable beauty of White�s Cave. Well now
can I understand the inspiration which produced Bird�s �Merry the Miner.� /
Hanging our lanthorns behind the central screen, the effect was
indescribable. On the crowded, spear shaped, transparent rock icicles the
light glistened, on the great down-hanging stalactite masses which meeting
in marriage-petrification with the Stalagmites below form strange columnar shapes;
on the pools and thin rock curves of the floor, on distant hollows where
stalactites dimly seen beyond stalactites indicate inaccessibly minute winding
ways; � wondrously beautiful, all. / Towards the farther parts
of the Cavern, these features become fewer, rough cave above and below,
and an ascent over loose rough rock-masses, rather steep has to be effected.
Stalactites and Stalagmites, appear again, if I recollect at the end, though
of no very extraordinary size or beauty. / Returning to the
Hotel, (where our clerical friend had been favouring the folks with a sermon
in the big ball room above;) we dined; and an hour so subsequently set off
on horseback, under the guidance of Alfred to explore Long�s Cave, at
about five miles distance. Stephen was sick, having complained of indisposi-
tion during the last day or two. Alfred, having admitted he had been in the
Cave in question once before, consented, though a little unwillingly, (indeed the
good fellows do have enough of troglodyzing o� week days;) to accompany me.
Kellam was persuaded to go to, though not intending exploring, but only awaiting
us. He, having seen the Mammoth Cave to his satisfaction, was tarrying
the advent of two friends, from Georgetown, Kentucky, then to proceed with
them, and certain mares down south, by land, to his Louisiana home.
And we had not countered above a mile and a half ere we met them, so
he turned back, accompanying his friends, I keeping on with Alfred. It was
a sunny, exhilarating afternoon, and pleasant riding through the forest road.
despite rocks and consequent joltings. Alfred drew up and tarried
for half an hour at a farm house, where his wife was visiting; and when