Swearing at building timbers all morn leaves little wind in
the bellows for midday society with work-fellows, which is why it is commonly remarked that the only silence deeper than a Highland
and over the counter option to cymbalta on I atomize that.
County, Virginia dawn is a Latitude 38 luncheon. It was into one of these chasms lately that R McDermott Esq., Company Explorer-at-Large noisily interjected with a proposed amusement for our next hobby-exploration: The mapping of an underground watercourse lying in the far west of the Commonweal. Most of the
company was taken aback by the proposal, but Commandant Erkelens came to his feet with vigour and let out
a strong “Huzzah!”
So it would be, then.
A fortnight later, as the Commandant and company lured several idle townspeople to the service of the expedition by enticing their appetites with a morning feast, I, in order to confirm the expedition's overland route, set off astride
my gaily-coloured motorbike, with forty horses at my beck, for the Allegheny Mountains. I took my breakfast at a certain “T. Bone Tooters” and my humor atop the scandalously named “Confederate Breastworks State Historical Site”. But, alas, the smile fell from my mouth like so many wooden teeth when I regarded from these breastworks the path before me and the pursuing corps,
over endless ridge of terrible Allegheny, sleeping above their captive valleys like so many giant steel rails extruded from Carnegie's roaring northern blast-furnaces.
The description furnished me by McDermott regarding the locale of the river's subterranean emergence was imprecise to say the least, and could
have, quite truthfully, described any wilderness glade between New Netherlands and Mission San Diego. But upon tying my steed to a handsome Walnut some hours later (Since such time I have learned tethering is not necessary for petroleum-horses) I became filled with gratitude that He had led me unerringly to the watercourse that, single among many in this unpeopled waste, terminated with fearsome suddenness at the base of a rocky defile, of no apparent source. As agreed upon earlier, I then set several hundred hectares to conflagration to direct the corps to my position
at the dark canyon's entrance and then reclined in such a position as my breakfast would be absorbed into me with the least protest as I waited for the general body of the exploration to arrive.
Being accustomed only to bone-crushing labours at house raising, the company, upon arrival, was in a state of agitation after the long idle transit, and demanded we set about our dire enterprise at once. Had a Catamount or other vile forest creature been afoot in those environs in the following moments, it would have spied the expedition's dozen members standing in the milky pool where the buried waters emerged, dressed in bathing costumes and vainly discussing recent trends in the price of wool or the coming World's fair; in short, any subject at all to postpone entrance below the rocky mantle piece from which the muttering
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current emerged into the light. As fitting his character, the Commandant presently took leave of thi
s chatter and disappeared into the
waters and then into the mountainside itself. Upon seeing this unnatural sight a distraught Tommy, our excitable draftsman, lay into a nearby Pine with the aim of fashioning the Commandant's coffin; but before he had driven even one wedge into the resinous giant we heard an unmistakable baritone emerge from within,
“Come quick then, all is clear!”
At this command we tumbled into the watery entrance like so many prairie dogs in path of a Buffalo excitement, and soon emerged onto a rocky shelf with a brooding low ceiling; the one world we had known all our days now only a weak glimmer behind us. Our electric lanterns were no match for this country, and served only to cast a sickly pall across the frightened faces of the outfit. We were able to deduce from the combined efforts of all our lanterns that we were in a high-ceilinged vault with the river running off to our left, and thus seeing our course set off upstream over a series of rocky insults for the headwaters.
Within a quarter online casino hour's time, though, the enterprise had fallen to pieces. The Commandant was nowhere to be seen, apparently having returned to the surface to begin a lucrative speaking tour regarding his discoveries. Our several guests, not used to our brand of discipline, wandered away over numerous perils like so many drunkards on wage-day. In kind was a cocksure Tommy, who took leave down a rocky cleft in pursuit of a second stream on a lower tier of the cavern. Meanwhile steadfast Cory, ever the voice of reason, protested that we could not possibly reach the head of the stream, doubtlessly in the Orient, before our lanterns lost their vigour and our bodies their vital heat. Surveying this dissolution of order from above was a Devil-may-take-it McDermott, seated on a precipice with lower limbs dangling, casually cleaning his pipe stem and reaping great humor from man's endless folly. The
sight of this disarray caused in myself a swoon of such sudden force that the quill pen slipped from my hand and was carried off by the waters.
For this reason I have little in the way of impressions of our journey beyond this juncture save that we made it back to the surface through some brand of miracle; emerging from this earthly womb, whereas formerly strangers, now a dozen brothers and sisters birthed from the same calamitous undertaking.
Certainly the entire course of the Peloponnesian War could have been recounted with the amount of India ink spilled on this record of just a single day; so I will bring us to a swift conclusion by informing the reader that we were safely reunited on the surface and, after wildly upsetting the local suspension bridge with our boisterous celebrations, made a safe return to Charlottesville and our awaiting parade and private audience with Mr. Jefferson.*
*On Friday, October 1st 2010 we spent a great day with great friends exploring “Aqua Cave”, a partially submerged cavern in Highland County, Virginia. No woodlands were torched during the course of the day, and in fact we even picked up some trash on the way out.