It was the good fortune of the author to take part in a movement without precedent in the history of the world, and the incidents concurrent with, together with those subsequent to that movement, have furnished the material for this book. It has been the object of the writer to weave into the story of his actual experiences an account of those things which are as yet an unexplored field in the realm of letters.
three hundred years ago lying off the shore of some unknown land.
After breakfast the steam launch, together with all the boats, was lowered, and several of us who had determined to miss no opportunity to gather information about the islands took our places in the launch by the side of the ship's mate, and steamed away across the water with a long line of boats strung out in the rear. We headed away toward a group of cocoanut trees, and about an hour later stepped ashore on a pile of decayed coral rocks that extended some twenty or thirty feet out into the water, thus forming the only landing place of a town of several thousands of people and of considerable commercial importance. A few moments after we had landed, an army wagon drawn by a magnificent pair of mules came up out of a tropical jungle along a narrow road. We clambered into the wagon and were soon lost in the depths of foliage from which we had just seen the vehicle emerge.
Long waving bamboos with their plumy leafage hung over the r
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