Every Few Hundred Yards, At Particularly Bad Places,
One Came Across A Panel Or So Of Plank Fencing; But They
Were Always Old And Weak, And They Generally Leaned
Out Over The Chasm And Did Not Make Any Rash Promises
To Hold Up People Who Might Need Support.
There was one
of these panels which had only its upper board left;
a pedestrianizing English youth came tearing down the path,
was seized with an impulse to look over the precipice,
and without an instant's thought he threw his weight
upon that crazy board.
It bent outward a foot! I never
made a gasp before that came so near suffocating me.
The English youth's face simply showed a lively surprise,
but nothing more. He went swinging along valleyward again,
as if he did not know he had just swindled a coroner by the
closest kind of a shave.
The Alpine litter is sometimes like a cushioned box
made fast between the middles of two long poles,
and sometimes it is a chair with a back to it and a support
for the feet. It is carried by relays of strong porters.
The motion is easier than that of any other conveyance.
We met a few men and a great many ladies in litters;
it seemed to me that most of the ladies looked pale
and nauseated; their general aspect gave me the idea
that they were patiently enduring a horrible suffering.
As a rule, they looked at their laps, and left the scenery
to take care of itself.
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