In a line with the mountains the plain is gashed with numerous and dangerous chasms, from four to ten feet wide, and of great depth.
Opposite to these chasms Snake River makes two desperate leaps over precipices, at a short distance from each other; one twenty, the other forty feet in height.
We now carefully examined the chasm in which we had passed the night.
Cold shiverings and a burning fever succeeded one another at intervals, while one of my legs was swelled to such a degree, and pained me so acutely, that I half suspected I had been bitten by some venomous reptile, the congenial inhabitant of the chasm from which we had lately emerged.
On they came, and in a moment the burly form of Tom appeared in sight, almost at the verge of the chasm.
George fired,--the shot entered his side,--but, though wounded, he would not retreat, but, with a yell like that of a mad bull, he was leaping right across the chasm into the party.
As it came slowly forth and overhung the chasm, we saw that it was a very large snake with a peculiar flat, spade-like head.
We had gathered in a little group at the bottom of the chasm, some forty feet beneath the mouth of the cave, when a huge rock rolled suddenly downwards--and shot past us with tremendous force.
The young man drew a pile of the sassafras from the cave, and placing it in the chasm
which separated the two caverns, it was occupied by the sisters, who were thus protected by the rocks from any missiles, while their anxiety was relieved by the assurance that no danger could approach without a warning.
William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates to landscapes, and usually so correct, standing at the head of Loch Fyne, in Scotland, which he describes as "a bay of salt water, sixty or seventy fathoms deep, four miles in breadth," and about fifty miles long, surrounded by mountains, observes, "If we could have seen it immediately after the diluvian crash, or whatever convulsion of nature occasioned it, before the waters gushed in, what a horrid chasm
must it have appeared!
Turning, she gazed in through the gaping chasm
of the window at her side.
Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra again became serene and assured, like one who hath come out of a deep chasm
into the light.