We Stopped For A Nooning At A Strongly Built Little Inn
Called The Schwarenbach.
It sits in a lonely spot among
the peaks, where it is swept by the trailing fringes
of the cloud-rack, and is rained on, and snowed on,
and pelted and persecuted by the storms, nearly every day
of its life.
It was the only habitation in the whole
Close at hand, now, was a chance for a blood-curdling
Alpine adventure. Close at hand was the snowy mass
of the Great Altels cooling its topknot in the sky
and daring us to an ascent. I was fired with the idea,
and immediately made up my mind to procure the necessary
guides, ropes, etc., and undertake it. I instructed
Harris to go to the landlord of the inn and set him
about our preparations. Meantime, I went diligently
to work to read up and find out what this much-talked-of
mountain-climbing was like, and how one should go about
it - for in these matters I was ignorant. I opened
Mr. Hinchliff's SUMMER MONTHS AMONG THE ALPS (published
1857), and selected his account of his ascent of Monte Rosa.
"It is very difficult to free the mind from excitement
on the evening before a grand expedition - "
I saw that I was too calm; so I walked the room a while
and worked myself into a high excitement; but the book's
next remark - that the adventurer must get up at two
in the morning - came as near as anything to flatting it
all out again.
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