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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 147 [10-02-1853]

              he again started, a negro woman bore him company for some space, she
on horseback also.     Having parted from her, we, at another house were
joined by a boy and two young fellows, who proceeded with us to the Cave
Entrance, which lies, as usual on a rocky-hill side, but quite out of the way
of road or path, you have to ride through the forest for some hundreds of
yards to reach it.       Dismounting, and preparing our lamps, one of the young
fellows, (more boy than man,) was inclined to venture with us, but on his ex-
pressing a mild apprehension that we might be �lost,� Alfred was so des-
perately ironical at the notion that he speedily convinced me he didn�t know
much of the place.     It is scarcely ever visited, presenting no very great at-
tractions in points of curiosity; � there hadn�t been an explorer for years
two or three, so they told me.     Boy deciding to go, down we clambered, 
descending a very steep and hazardous declivity, over loose rocks, presenting
every unpleasant variety of sharp angles upwards.   I doubt if it could have been
managed but for a stout and very long vine-stem which was fastened above,
to hold on by.                 This Cave I shall not attempt to describe in de-
tail, nor indeed could I.     Three avenues branch off from the entrance
hall, at some little distance from the mouth; each of which we severally
explored.        They are very wild, gloomy, and savage, huge chaotic rock
piles have to be clambered over; long avenues monotonous and wearisome threaded
to the sounds of the shrill gibber of myriads of bats which cluster, hanging 
head downwards in close bunches of about twenty or thirty, from the ceiling.
Like thick black knobs of moss they bespeck the roof for half a mile
together, all the winter; and their querulous gibber, was strange and
solemn to listen to, as we sped on, disturbing them with out lamp-glare.
Some stalactites there are, and queer, fantastically shaped, water worn
niches, or figures, idol or monkey shaped; and some black, terrible
pits.    One of these, respecting which Bird tells a story of two men get-
ting here lost, their lights extinguished, themselves disputing as to which way               
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