as the stream was already twelve or fourteen feet wide.
It spread with the most frightful rapidity, and overtook some of them who had been unable to gain a high spot.
With hideous shrieks they fell into the bubbling lava—in a second disappeared, and were carried along in the boiling torrent.
Numbers had managed to gain rocks above it, and escaped for the time being.
The trembling of the earth detached some of the rocks they were on; they would fall, clutching wildly at the sides until they were engulfed in the seething mass.
Standing where I was, the heat became unbearable, so I returned to the opening of the small cave, and climbing up the rocks, seated myself on a ledge as far as possible above the ground.
Here I had a view of those on the other side.
Occasionally one, overcome with the heat, with a feeble cry, would let go his hold and fall fainting into the molten lava.
The servant climbed on a rock close to me. The stream of lava looked like a long thread of fire, as it flowed along the passage in the direction of the "cave of snakes."
The shrieks of those who saw it gradually rising to the ledges they were on, the low rumbling