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to pass along in the night, on account of the want of railing at the sides, where there is nothing put to prevent the traveller from falling into the lake.
It was about the hour of midnight when we attempted to cross this fatal bridge, and the night was unusually dark and silent; no sounds were heard save the gentle murmurs of the lake below, and the hollow tramps of my mare's feet, as she paced the rotten boards of the bridge, which indeed
indeed produced a rumbling noise, that at any other time might not have been unpleasant, but which then conveyed to my mind the terrible idea that the bridge would inevitably give way, and this painful sensation was much augmented by the actual shaking of that frall building.
About the mid-way over, my mare made a sudden stand, and all the whipping and spurring I could make use of had no effect in making her proceed. Thinking this dead
pause very strange, I called to my guide, who had insensibly slunk back, to come forward and examine into the cause of her fright. He can never forget the emphatic “ O God!" accompanied by a slipping noise, that struck my ear as he passed my mare's head, and which was almost instantaneously succeeded by a loud splash in the lake, at a dreadful depth below my feet.
Horror seized my whole frame; and trembe ling with unspeakable anguish, when I endeavoured to speak, the faultering accents hung upon my lips, and could gain no utterance; whilst at intervals the mingled sounds of splashing, stifled groans, and thrilling cries for help, pierced the sky with unavailing woe; and ere I could give an atterance to my grief, the last hollow splash, the last groan, and the last throb, had died away into awful silence, and the unhappy victim had sunk to rise more. Then it was my frenzied thoughts broke out into loud shouts of despair, which rung through the vast concave of the heavens, and awakened the mountain echoes in their retreat, from whence they answered me in their most horrid mockery
-Though I kill him not, I am the cause, " His death was so effected : better 'twere,
" I met the raving lion when he roard, “ With sharp constraint of hunger!"
" In vain his little children, peeping out “ Into the mingling storm, demand their sire, " With tears of artless innocence. Alas! # Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold, “ Nor friends, nor sacred home.”
" Meantime the village rouses up the fire ;
« Till superstitious horror creeps o'er all.” After a few minutes solemn pause, a body of invalids sallied from the fort, with lights in their hands; and upon approaching the fatal spot, their lanthorns discovered to my aching sight a tremendous chasm, made by a giving way of a large part of the bridge and by which means had my unfætunate guide sunk to all the horrors of an untimely death.
This part of the bridge was undergoing some repairs, and the careless workmen having neglected to place any barrier, a hideous gulph yawned to my sight, which I had no other means of passing, than by calling to some invalids of the Fort, desiring them to procure a few long planks, which I ordered to be laid across the chasm. This being done, and after they were united together as closely as circumstances would allow,