f discussion to induce the commander, and then the mothers of two of the explorers, to assent to this plan; but the objections were finally overcome by the logic and the eloquence of Louis. The Blanche, the consort of the Guardian-Mother, having on board the owner, known as General Noury, his wife and his father-in-law, had nothing to do with this difficult question; but the general had a steam-launch, which he was kind enough to grant for the use of the explorers.
The third engineer of the ship was to go with the quartette, in charge of the engine; five of the youngest of the seamen were selected to make the venture safer than it might otherwise have been. Achang Bakir, a native Bornean, who had been picked up off the Nicobar Islands, after the wreck of the dhow of which he had been in command, was to be the guide and interpreter.
The youngsters and their assistants had taken their places on board of the "Blanchita," as Louis had christened the craft, and she was to accompany the two large stea
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