Amazon Essay

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Amazon, I was particularly interested because once, years ago, I had
turned my own mind in that direction with considerable longing. I knew
he would encounter many set-backs, but I never would have predicted
the adventures he actually passed through alive.

He started in fine spirits: buoyant, strong, vigorous. When I saw
him again in New York, a year or so later, on his return, he was
an emaciated fever-wreck, placing one foot before the other only
with much exertion and indeed barely able to hold himself erect. A
few weeks in the hospital, followed by a daily diet of quinine,
improved his condition, but after months he had scarcely arrived at
his previous excellent physical state.

Many explorers have had experiences similar to those related in
this volume, but, at least so far as the fever and the cannibals
are concerned, they have seldom survived to tell of them. Their
interviews with cannibals have been generally too painfully confined
to internal affairs to be available in this world for authorship,
whereas Mr. Lange, happily, avoided not only a calamitous intimacy,
but was even permitted to view the culinary preparations relating to
the absorption of less favoured individuals, and himself could have
joined the feast, had he possessed the stomach for it.

These good friends of his, the Mangeromas, conserved his life when
they found him almost dying, not, strange as it may appear, for
selfish banqueting purposes, but merely that he might return to his
own people. It seems rather paradoxical that they should have loved
one stranger so well as to spare him with suspicious kindness, and
love others to the extent of making them into table delicacies. The
explanation probably is that these Mangeromas were the reverse of
a certain foreign youth with only a small stock of English, who, on
being offered in New York a fruit he had never seen before, replied,
"Thank you, I eat only my acquaintances"--the Mangeromas eat only
their...

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