THE NEPHILIM OF MAMMOTH CAVE,
Let us now follow the guide—who, placing on his back a canteen of oil, lights the lamps, and giving one to each person, we commence our subterranean journey; having determined to confine ourselves, for this day, to an examination of some of the avenues on this side of the rivers, and to resume, on a future occasion, our visit to the fairy scenes beyond. I emphasize the word some of the avenues, because no visitor has ever yet seen one in twenty; and, although I shall attempt to describe only a few of them, and in so doing will endeavor to represent things as I saw them, and as they impressed me, I am not the less apprehensive that my descriptions will appear as unbounded exaggerations, so wonderfully vast is the Cave, so singular its formations, and so unique its characteristics.
At the place where our lamps were lighted, are to be seen the wooden pipes which conducted the water, as it fell from the ceiling, to the vats or saltpetre hoppers; and near this spot too, are interred the bones of a giant, of such vast size is the skeleton, at least of such portions of it as remain. With regard to this giant, or more properly skeleton, it may be well to state, that it was found by the saltpetre workers far within the Cave years ago, and was buried by their employer where it now lies, to quiet their superstitious fears, not however before it was bereft of its head by some fearless antiquary.