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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 128 [01-05-1853]

              below, blurring out half the fall from view.   No beautiful
Iris-bow to-day, not even for a moment.   Table Rock
yawns out fearfully, long icicles depending there from.  The
little shanties, the show-places, are all deserted on the 
Canadian shore, the huge Clinton Hotel closed and unten-
anted, and not a human-being is in sight.    Wild birds
of the gull kind skim athwart the breakers below.   The
little �Maid of the Mist� has disappeared with the Summer
time; and Niagara plays on in wintry majesty to us twain
alone.   (By the bye, the first white man who set eyes 
upon it, is said to have been Champlain, the French priest,
who found his way northwards from the Mississippi.   The
word �Niagara� is Indian Equivalent for �Wonderful.)     We
stay an hour or so, despite ice and sleet, then descend and
busy ourselves in picking up shells from the water-covered rocks
at the edge of the Cataract.  (I secured five or six pretty ones
but had them lost or stolen afterwards at the little boarding-
house.)      Retracing our steps, we resolve to descend the 
Biddle Staircase, to the base of the great mass of rock that
divides the two falls.      Part of this proves a horribly
hazardous proceeding as we have to descend an inclined
plane, short indeed, but so glazed with ice, that only
careful crawling sufficed to bring us to the commencement of               
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