Gateway to the Classics: Wild Life Under the Equator by Paul du Chaillu
Wild Life Under the Equator by  Paul du Chaillu

Preliminary Chapter

Dear young folks!—In the book I wrote for you last year, called "Stories of the Gorilla Country," I said to you "au revoir:"  that means good-bye till I come again.

I have come again to my publishers, who are also my good friends, and who have let me have my own way about the illustrations of this book; they have told me that you were pleased with the last book. Not only have they told me so, but many of you have said the same thing to me.

This was good news, for I delight to tell stories to young folks, and "Stories of the Gorilla Country" being the first book I ever wrote for you, I was delighted to hear of its success.

I felt quite happy when I learned that I had been able to interest you in what interested me, while travelling in far-distant countries.

I have taken my pen once more. I am going to lead you into the great forest of Equatorial Africa. I am going to try to make you travel with me in the wild country I have explored. I am going to bring you face to face with the gorilla, and lead you into the midst of the wild tribes of men I have discovered. I will tell you how they live, what queer superstitions they have, and what sort of people these poor savages are.

I shall tell you about snakes, leopards, elephants, hippopotami, and other wild beasts of the forest. About insects, wonderful ants, and many other curious things.

You will follow me in that great jungle; you will get lost in it; you will build your camp with me, and you will hunt with me; you will be hungry with me; you will have the flies to plague you; you will have lots of adventures, and perhaps when you close this book you will shout, "What a glorious time we have had with our friend Paul!" I hope you will not only be amused, but that you will be also instructed.

I have written two large volumes—"Explorations in Equatorial Africa" and "Journey to Ashango Land"—for older people than yourselves, and I do not see why I should not write for young folks. Now let me lead you into that land of wonders, where no civilized man had ever trodden before me.

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