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The Forest Exiles The Perils of a Peruvian Family in the Wilds of the Amazon   By: (1818-1883)

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The Forest Exiles, by Captain Mayne Reid.

Thinly disguised as a book about the fortunes of a family of exiles in the forests of Peru, this is actually a very well written book about the natural history of the region. Its style makes it eminently readable, and even today anyone reading it will be amused and interested.

The story is supposed to have taken place in the early part of the nineteenth century.

There are a good many Spanish and native Indian words, but this does not affect the readability of the various chapters, each of which deals with some aspect of the natural history of the region. It makes a good audiobook.




Boy reader, I am told that you are not tired of my company. Is this true?

"Quite true, dear Captain, quite true!" That is your reply. You speak sincerely? I believe you do.

In return, believe me , when I tell you I am not tired of yours; and the best proof I can give is, that I have come once more to seek you. I have come to solicit the pleasure of your company, not to an evening party, nor to a ball, nor to the Grand Opera, nor to the Crystal Palace, nor yet to the Zoological Gardens of Regent's Park, no, but to the great zoological garden of Nature. I have come to ask you to accompany me on another "campaign," another "grand journey" through the fields of Science and Adventure. Will you go?

"Most willingly with you, dear Captain, anywhere."

Come with me, then.

Again we turn our faces westward; again we cross the blue and billowy Atlantic; again we seek the shores of the noble continent of America.

"What! to America again?"

Ha! that is a large continent, and you need not fear that I am going to take you over old ground. No, fear not that! New scenes await us; a new fauna , a new flora , I might almost say, a new earth and a new sky!

You shall have variety, I promise you, a perfect contrast to the scenes of our last journey.

Then, you remember, we turned our faces to the cold and icy North, now our path lies through the hot and sunny South. Then we lived in a log hut, and closed every cranny to keep out the cold, now, in our cottage of palms and cane, we shall be but too glad to let the breeze play through the open walls. Then we wrapped our bodies in thick furs, now we shall be content with the lightest garments. Then we were bitten by the frost, now we shall be bitten by sand flies, and mosquitoes, and bats, and snakes, and scorpions, and spiders, and stung by wasps, and centipedes, and great red ants! Trust me, you shall have a change!

Perhaps you do not contemplate such a change with any very lively feelings of pleasure. Come! do not be alarmed at the snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes! We shall find a cure for every bite an antidote for every bane.

Our new journey shall have its pleasures and advantages. Remember how of old we shivered as we slept, coiled up in the corner of our dark log hut and smothered in skins, now we shall swing lightly in our netted hammocks under the gossamer leaves of the palm tree, or the feathery frondage of the ferns. Then we gazed upon leaden skies, and at night looked upon the cold constellation of the Northern Bear; now, we shall have over us an azure canopy, and shall nightly behold the sparkling glories of the Southern Cross, still shining as bright as when Paul and his little Virginie with loving eyes gazed upon it from their island home. In our last journey we toiled over bleak and barren wastes, across frozen lakes, and marshes, and rivers; now we shall pass under the shadows of virgin forests, and float lightly upon the bosom of broad majestic streams, whose shores echo with the voices of living nature.

Hitherto our travels have been upon the wide, open prairie, the trackless plain of sand, the frozen lake, the thin scattering woods of the North, or the treeless snow clad "Barrens... Continue reading book >>

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