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Fell To Death In The Alps

( Originally Published 1902 )

RECENTLY an English party, composed of Dr. Black, of Brighton; Miss Bell, the daughter of Edward Bell, the publisher, and Miss Trow, the daughter of a London clergyman, led by Leonard Carrel, the guide, were ascending the Matterhorn. They had reached a sublime height, from which the glory of the picture seemed indescribable. While the guide was cutting steps with an ice-axe, Miss Trow turned and exclaimed, " What a view !" As she said this, she slipped, dragging the party down the treacherous surface-ice. The rope broke, and Dr. Black and Miss Bell were hurled headlong 1,500 feet to instant death. Miss Trow and Carrel first fell over an ice ledge fifty feet high. They then slid down a slope less steep, after which, with terrific and ever-increasing rapidity, they shot down the ice ravine a thousand feet. The guide was rendered unconscious, but the relief party from the Hotel Mont Cervice heard a woman's voice from the bottom of an ice gully crying out, " We are not all killed." It was Miss Trow, and she was rescued.

This too venturesome spirit we find also in the moral and religious world. People seem to see how near to the edge of the precipice of moral danger they can go without falling over, and in so doing, they slip into the awful chasm below. In some of the modern amusements, the young interest themselves in the question of seeing how near to the edge of wrong they can go, and still be right. The very proximity of the ground on which they stand, to moral evil, makes it dangerous ground. It is as slippery as ice. The tourists that fell to death in the Alps are illustrations of those who, in the moral or religious world venture too near the edge of wrong, and plunge into the chasm of ruin.

The tourists were fastened together by a rope, and Miss Trow, in falling, pulled the rest down. People have to be careful of their moral and religious conduct, not only on account of their own safety but also the safety of others, for they are fastened by a rope to someone else and one slip of their feet may drag their companions down. It is the surest plan for the traveler over the mountain to have a wide space between him and the edge of the precipice of wrong.

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