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In giving to the world the record of what, looked at as an adventure
only, is I suppose one of the most wonderful and mysterious experiences
ever undergone by mortal men, I feel it incumbent on me to explain what
my exact connection with it is. And so I may as well say at once that I am
not the narrator but only the editor of this extraordinary history, and
then go on to tell how it found its way into my hands.
Some years ago I, the editor, was stopping with a friend, "vir doctis-
simus et amicus neus," at a certain University, which for the purposes of
this history we will call Cambridge, and was one day much struck with
the appearance of two persons whom I saw going arm-in-arm down the
street. One of these gentlemen was I think, without exception, the hand-
somest young fellow I have ever seen. He was very tall, very broad, and
had a look of power and a grace of bearing that seemed as native to him
as it is to a wild stag. In addition his face was almost without flawÑa
good face as well as a beautiful one, and when he lifted his hat, which he
did just then to a passing lady, I saw that his head was covered with little
golden curls growing close to the scalp.
"Good gracious!" I said to my friend, with whom I was walking, "why,
that fellow looks like a statue of Apollo come to life. What a splendid
man he is!"
"Yes," he answered, "he is the handsomest man in the University, and
one of the nicest too. They call him 'the Greek god'; but look at the other
one, he's Vincey's (that's the god's name) guardian, and supposed to be
full of every kind of information. They call him 'Charon.'" I looked, and
found the older man quite as interesting in his way as the glorified speci-
men of humanity at his side. He appeared to be about forty years of age,
and was I think as ugly as his companion was handsome. To begin with,
he was shortish, rather bow- legged, very deep chested, and with unusu-
ally long arms. He had dark hair and small eyes, and the hair grew right
down on his forehead, and his whiskers grew right up to his hair, so that
there was uncommonly little of his countenance to be seen. Altogether he
reminded me forcibly of a gorilla, and yet there was something very
pleasing and genial about the man's eye. I remember saying that I should
like to know him.
"All right," answered my friend, "nothing easier. I know Vincey; I'll in-
troduce you," and he did, and for some minutes we stood chattingÑ
about the Zulu people, I think, for I had just returned from the Cape at
the time. Presently, however, a stoutish lady, whose name I do not