"A Procession! A Procession!"
I should wish to place upon record here our gratitude to all our friends upon the Amazon
for the very great kindness and hospitality which was shown to us upon our return
journey. Very particularly would I thank Senhor Penalosa and other officials of the
Brazilian Government for the special arrangements by which we were helped upon our
way, and Senhor Pereira of Para, to whose forethought we owe the complete outfit for a
decent appearance in the civilized world which we found ready for us at that town. It
seemed a poor return for all the courtesy which we encountered that we should deceive
our hosts and benefactors, but under the circumstances we had really no alternative, and I
hereby tell them that they will only waste their time and their money if they attempt to
follow upon our traces. Even the names have been altered in our accounts, and I am very
sure that no one, from the most careful study of them, could come within a thousand
miles of our unknown land.
The excitement which had been caused through those parts of South America which we
had to traverse was imagined by us to be purely local, and I can assure our friends in
England that we had no notion of the uproar which the mere rumor of our experiences
had caused through Europe. It was not until the Ivernia was within five hundred miles of
Southampton that the wireless messages from paper after paper and agency after agency,
offering huge prices for a short return message as to our actual results, showed us how
strained was the attention not only of the scientific world but of the general public. It was
agreed among us, however, that no definite statement should be given to the Press until
we had met the members of the Zoological Institute, since as delegates it was our clear
duty to give our first report to the body from which we had received our commission of
investigation. Thus, although we found Southampton full of Pressmen, we absolutely
refused to give any information, which had the natural effect of focussing public attention
upon the meeting which was advertised for the evening of November 7th. For this
gathering, the Zoological Hall which had been the scene of the inception of our task was
found to be far too small, and it was only in the Queen's Hall in Regent Street that
accommodation could be found. It is now common knowledge the promoters might have
ventured upon the Albert Hall and still found their space too scanty.
It was for the second evening after our arrival that the great meeting had been fixed. For
the first, we had each, no doubt, our own pressing personal affairs to absorb us. Of mine I
cannot yet speak. It may be that as it stands further from me I may think of it, and even
speak of it, with less emotion. I have shown the reader in the beginning of this narrative
where lay the springs of my action. It is but right, perhaps, that I should carry on the tale
and show also the results. And yet the day may come when I would not have it otherwise.
At least I have been driven forth to take part in a wondrous adventure, and I cannot but be
thankful to the force that drove me.
And now I turn to the last supreme eventful moment of our adventure. As I was racking
my brain as to how I should best describe it, my eyes fell upon the issue of my own
Journal for the morning of the 8th of November with the full and excellent account of my