The present romance, the second in the Mysterious Island triad, was originally issued in Paris with the title of L'Abandonné. Jules Verne's list of stories already ran then to some twenty volumes—a number which has since grown to almost Dumasien proportions. L'Abandonné, like its two companion tales, ran its course as a serial through the Magasin Illustré of education and recreation, before its issue as a boy's story-book. Its success in both forms seems to have established a record in the race for popularity and a circulation in both the French and English fields of current literature. The present book was translated into English by the late W. H. G. Kingston
"would it not be a good plan, before setting out, to build a canoe in which we could either ascend the river, or, if we liked, coast round the island? It will not do to be unprovided."
"Your idea is good, Pencroft," replied the engineer, "but we cannot wait for that. It would take at least a month to build a boat."
"Yes, a real boat," replied the sailor; "but we do not want one for a sea voyage, and in five days at the most, I will undertake to construct a canoe fit to navigate the Mercy."
"Five days," cried Neb, "to build a boat?"
"Yes, Neb; a boat in the Indian fashion."
"Of wood?" asked the negro, looking still unconvinced.
"Of wood," replied Pencroft, "or rather of bark. I repeat, captain, that in five days the work will be finished!"
"In five days, then, be it," replied the engineer.
"But till that time we must be very watchful," said Herbert.
"Very watchful indeed, my friends," replied Harding; "and I beg you to confine your hunting excursi