It Is Possible That Tent Life In The East, Or In The Rocky
Mountains, With Beds, Tables, Travelling Knick-Knacks
descriptions, and servants who study their master's whims, may be
very charming; but my experience of it having
Been of the make-shift
and non-luxurious kind, is not delectable. A wooden saddle, without
stuffing, made a very fair pillow; but the ridges of the lava were
severe. I could not spare enough blankets to soften them, and one
particularly intractable point persisted in making itself felt. I
crowded on everything attainable, two pairs of gloves, with Mr.
Gilman's socks over them, and a thick plaid muffled up my face. Mr.
Green and the natives, buried in blankets, occupied the other part
of the tent. The phrase, "sleeping on the brink of a volcano," was
literally true, for I fell asleep, and fear I might have been
prosaic enough to sleep all night, had it not been for fleas which
had come up in the camping blankets. When I woke, it was light
enough to see that the three muffled figures were all asleep,
instead of spending the night in shiverings and vertigo, as it
appears that others have done. Doubtless the bathing of our heads
several times with snow and ice-water had been beneficial.
Circumstances were singular. It was a strange thing to sleep on a
lava-bed at a height of nearly 14,000 feet, far away from the
nearest dwelling, "in a region," as Mr. Jarves says, "rarely visited
by man," hearing all the time the roar, clash, and thunder of the
mightiest volcano in the world.
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