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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 148 [10-02-1853]

              lay the path outwards, and one crawling on being precipitated down an abyss
and there perished by the fall;   I wished to find.     Alfred pointed out one
pit as the place, but it was comparatively speaking shallow, and no-wise answer-
ed the description I had in mind about it, so though he took it in dudgeon
I denied the identity.     And on reaching the third Avenue, a short one, it was
plain I, (and the boy, also;) were right.  Here a great pit stretched right
across the cave, barring all access further, save by descent.  The approach to
the edge slopes upwards, thence the horrible chasm sinks precipitously down, for
sixty or fifty feet.       Alfred descended by means of a pine tree, which with
its branches lopped off formed a rough ladder, for the recovery of the poor fel-
lows body, years ago.     Mr Miller had mentioned it to me.    You can go
some hundreds of yards below, then the avenue ends.   The margin above runs
on to the left of the pit for a little space, like a path, but ending suddenly.   A
sombre, gloomy place.     Alfred found the body of an unfortunate raccoon below,
who had toppled over in the dark, breaking his nose and ending his life at
once and the same time.    He had not rotted, but looked mummified, and his
teeth grinned dismally.  We left him, depriving him of part of his tail.  /
   It was night when we got to the outer world, (the Cave may be 3 or 5 miles
in length;) and we had a dark ride back to the Hotel; there to supper, a
blazing fire and an evening with Kellam and his friends.
  3 2. Monday.   As yesterday planned a party of four made up for
the entire exploration of the Mammoth Cave.   Others, the clergyman, his
wife and two or three intended only to visit the regions this side of the rivers,
under the guidance of Nicholas; Kellam & his friends and myself determined
on crossing, did the rivers permit. No rains had occurred since Saturday,
nevertheless had not Mr Miller accompanied us, Alfred, indeed any one of the
guides would have done all possible to have avoided crossing, as it would involve
wet feet and wading disagreeables.    As �twas they made much objection, but it
was quietly overruled, and leaving the other party behind, we four, (Mr Miller               
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