National Geographic : 1925 Sep
314 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE THE DOME ROOM, CIIARACTERIZEI) BY GRACEFULLY ARCHED WALLS AND DOMED CEILING This chamber is about 150 feet long by 50 feet wide, and is profusely decorated with pink and lemon-yellow marble in forms which baffle description. The two slender pillars rise from a fountain basin of crystalline onyx marble, which has formed at the surface of the water in shapes resembling lily pads. Many of the pendants and thin sheets of marble are in the form of wavy folds of drapery. tunda is about 200 feet from the floor of the pit and is decorated with pendants of onyx marble, while the walls are adorned with tapestrylike trappings of flowstone. Wire and rungs were brought into the cave and a ladder was constructed. This was lowered over the brink, the lower 75 feet of the ladder swinging clear of the wall (see illustration, page 307). A wire ladder has an erratic nature and an obstinate disposition; it has a tendency to be where it does not belong. Those who first descended had an unhappy time swaying and spinning about in the dark ness. Later the ladder was anchored, but those affected with weak nerves did not enjoy the climb. At the foot of the ladder we found our selves in a highly adorned corridor about 150 feet long, with a floor composed of a succession of fountain basins partly crusted over with onyx marble, formed about the rim at the surface of the water as ice forms over a pool. Before the ladder was built, Jim White, the guide, went down the hole on a rope.