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Seeing the snake, and knowing there were none on this side of the crevice, he had probably divined that I had brought it here and killed his mistress with it.

None of them would have dared to touch it, much less to carry it from one cave to the other.

Gaining the hole, I passed through, the light from the molten lava permitting me to see that the opening extended some distance. It was not very wide, and about nine or ten feet high in the part I stood in.

It ascended for the short distance I could see.

Was it possible for this passage to lead me outside these awful caves? I ran along, each moment expecting to be crushed.

The noise was tremendous even here. I could hear the shrieks of some of the creatures who were not yet dead.

Slipping and stumbling I rushed along in the darkness.

The passage must have widened, for though I could hear the stones falling from the sides, none came near me; and by the sound of those falling I was saved from running into the walls.

Breathless, and fainting I hurried on.

How long I continued running I have no idea; but at last, in the distance, high above me, I saw a light.