Excerpt:INTRODUCTIONMy Dear William George Craigie--I have no doubt as to your surprise at receiving this letter, after so long and unjustifiable a period of silence, from one whom you must have come to consider either a dead man or at least a permanent refugee. When last we met it was on the deck of Tremorden's yacht, in the harbour of Honolulu. I had been down to Kauai, I remember, and the day following, you, you lucky dog, were going off to England by the Royal Mail to be married to the girl of your heart. Since then I have heard, quite by chance, that you have settled down to a country life, as if to the manner born; that you take an absorbing interest in mangel-wurzels, and, while you strike terror into the hearts of poachers and other rustic evil-doers, have the reputation of making your wife the very best of husbands. Consequently you are to be envied and considered one of the happiest of men.While, however, things have been behaving thus prosperously with you, I am afraid I cannot truthfully say that they have fared so well with me. At the termination of our pleasant South Sea cruise, just referred to, when our party dismembered itself in the Sandwich Islands, I crossed to Sydney, passed up inside the Barrier Reef to Cooktown, where I remained three months in order to try my luck upon the Palmer Gold Fields. This proving unsatisfactory I returned to the coast and continued my journey north to Thursday Island. From the last-named little spot I visited New Guinea, gave it my patronage for the better part of six months, and received in return a bad attack of fever, after recovering from which I migrated to Borneo, to bring up finally, as you will suppose, in my beloved China.
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