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Four Young Explorers or, Sight-Seeing in the Tropics

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"FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS" is the third volume of the third series of the "All-Over-the-World Library." When the young millionaire and his three companions of about his own age, with a chosen list of near and dear friends, had made the voyage "Half Round the World," the volume with this title left them all at Sarawak in the island of Borneo. The four young explorers, as they became, were permitted to spend three weeks there hunting, fishing, and ascending some of the rivers, while the rest of the party proceeded in the Guardian-Mother to Siam. The younger members of the ship's company believed they had seen enough of temples, palaces, and fine gardens in the great cities of the East, and desired to live a wilder life for a brief period.

They were provided with a steam-launch, prepared for long trips; and they ascended the Sarawak, the Sadong, and the Simujan Rivers, and had all the hunting, fishing, and exploring they desired. They visited the villages of the Sea and Hill Dyaks, and learned what they could of their manners and customs, penetrating the island from the sea to the mountains. They studied the flora and the fauna of the forests, and were exceedingly interested in their occupation for about a week, when they came to the conclusion that "too much of a good thing" became wearisome; and, more from the love of adventure than for any other reason, they decided to proceed to Bangkok, and to make the voyage of nine hundred miles in the Blanchita, as they had named the steam-launch, which voyage was accomplished without accident.

After the young explorers had looked over the capital of Siam, the Guardian-Mother and her consort made the voyage to Saigon, the capital of French Cochin-China, where the visit of the tourists was a general frolic, with "lots of fun," as the young people expressed it; and then, crossing the China Sea, made the port of Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands, where they explored the city, and made a trip up the Pasig to the Lake of the Bay. From this city they made the voyage to Hong-Kong, listening to a very long lecture on the way in explanation of the history, manners, and customs, and the peculiarities of the people of China. They were still within the tropics, and devoted themselves to the business of sight-seeing with the same vigor and interest as before. But most of them had read so much about China, as nearly every American has, that many of the sights soon began to seem like an old story to them.

Passing out of the Torrid Zone, the two steamers proceeded to the north, obtaining a long view of Formosa, and hearing a lecture about it. Their next port of call was Shang-hai, reached by ascending the Woo-Sung. From this port they made an excursion up the Yang-tsze-Chiang, which was an exceedingly interesting trip to them. The ships then made the voyage to Tien-tsin, from which they ascended by river in the steam-launch to a point thirteen miles from Pekin, going from there to the capital by the various modes of conveyance in use in China....