My grandfather's grandfather, Charles Waters, founded the International Bible Reading Association. There's a monument to him in Camberwell Old Cemetery
, just down the hill from the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London. Obviously the 'fluence has skipped a generation. I was poking around on the web and found his obituary from the Adelaide Advertiser
, Jan 1910). In this there is a lengthy quote from a letter he wrote describing a visit to a cave in America:
"During my visit to America a few months ago I went with some friends to see a wonderful cave in which we walked continuously for four or five hours and then did not see one half of it. On our way out we had to pass through a place very fairly described as the 'corkscrew.' By some great power the rocks had been rent apart, leaving just space enough for one person to pass through and up in a zigzag course. My companions, who had a lamp, had failed to notice that I was not close behind, and I was left in the 'corkscrew' in total darkness, with nothing to show whether the next step was to the right or left or straight on. and my call for 'light' was unheard. Then came the terrible thought -What if I should be left in this fearful place with no light, no guide, and the way unknown? I might wander farther and farther away or take a wrong step and fall into some deep pit such as we had seen."
Very much shades of Lovecraft's The Beast in the Cave, and quite possibly in the same place, Mammoth Cave, which we also visited a few years back. The old entrance to this is described thus
: "Climbing up through Cork Screw requires endurance, patience, and skill equal to that of climbing a treacherous mountain. "