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Long Odds by H. Rider (Henry Rider) Haggard
page 1 of 19 (05%)
reprinted in the collection, "Allan's Wife and other tales."


The story which is narrated in the following pages came to me from the
lips of my old friend Allan Quatermain, or Hunter Quatermain, as we used
to call him in South Africa. He told it to me one evening when I was
stopping with him at the place he bought in Yorkshire. Shortly after
that, the death of his only son so unsettled him that he immediately
left England, accompanied by two companions, his old fellow-voyagers,
Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and has now utterly vanished into the
dark heart of Africa. He is persuaded that a white people, of which he
has heard rumours all his life, exists somewhere on the highlands in the
vast, still unexplored interior, and his great ambition is to find them
before he dies. This is the wild quest upon which he and his companions
have departed, and from which I shrewdly suspect they never will return.
One letter only have I received from the old gentleman, dated from a
mission station high up the Tana, a river on the east coast, about three
hundred miles north of Zanzibar. In it he says that they have gone
through many hardships and adventures, but are alive and well, and have
found traces which go far towards making him hope that the results of
their wild quest may be a "magnificent and unexampled discovery." I
greatly fear, however, that all he has discovered is death; for this
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