The Wakulla Volcano Archive

A Tallahassee Girl Excerpt #2

Maurice Thompson (1881)


The old-fashioned Capitol building stood on
nearly the highest swell. Just below it, on the
hither side, the old inn, the City Hotel, with
all its little gabled roof-windows and dilapidated
verandas, slept among its trees. Farther north-
ward the low lines of business housed, the for-
saken cotton yards and warehouses, and then
the little market-house and sunny square ; still
beyond, and a little higher, the broad-winged,
roomy, old residences looking out from among
the grandest and beautifulest trees in the world.
They could see the color of the foliage change
with many a scintillation, as the waves of the
breeze swept over those undulated groves.
"And see! Look!" she continued. " Wa-
kulla is at full blast!"
He followed her hand with his eyes, and saw,
far in the south-east, a slim, mysterious, dark
column of smoke spouting straight up to the
sky. It seemed actually to strike the empy-
rean, and rebound from its surface in dense
fleeces and flakes.
"It is a great mystery, --- that lonely smoke-
pot in the vast Wakulla swamp," said Cauthorne
musingly: "why doesn't some one undertake
to reach it ?"

"I don't know," she replied. Then she
added quickly, "Oh, Judge White did try it,
but he failed!"
"I was talking with Col. Brevard and Mayor
Lewis about it yesterday," said Cauthorne;
"and I have written to the proprietors of our
paper suggesting that they send me to look
after this inveterate smoker."
"You will find nothing," she said, with a
little contempt of the scheme in her voice ;
"there is nothing to find. Judge White says
the swamp is absolutely impenetrable. And
see, while we've been talking the smoke has
Sure enough, it had. Cauthorne turned to
Lucie with a sort of incredulous cloud on his
face, and said,----
"You will be fading from my sight next, and
a ghost will come out of the Murat palace
yonder. By the way, tell me something of
Murat and his wife, will you ?
"Oh! I know absolutely nothing about them.
They have fallen out of the memory of most
people here. The war was such a sponge. It
obliterated every thing."

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