Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/497

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toward the summit for about 60 feet, then doubled back to the ridge which descends toward Zermatt. A long stride round a rather awkward corner brought us to snow once more. The last doubt vanished! The Matterhorn was ours! Nothing but 200 feet of easy snow remained to be surmounted.

A Tramp Abroad 0497h.jpg

The higher we rose, the more intense became the excitement. The slope eased off, at length we could be detached, and Croz and I, dashing a way, ran a neck-and-neck race, which ended in a dead heat. At 1:40 p. m., the world was at our feet, and the Matterhorn was conquered!

The others arrived. Croz now took the tent-pole, and planted it in the highest snow. "Yes" we said, "there is the flag-staff, but where is the flag?" "Here it is," he answered, pulling off his blouse and fixing it to the stick. It made a poor flag, and there was no wind to float it out, yet it was seen all around. They saw it at Zermatt—at the Riffel—in the Val Tournanche.   *   *   *

We remained on the summit for one hour—

"One crowded hour of glorious life."

It passed away too quickly, and we began to prepare for the descent.