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A TRIP TO THE GOLD MINES IN THE RAINY SEASON

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NARRATIVE

OF A

JOURNEY ROUND THE WORLD.

SOUTH AMERICA.

CHAPTER I.

THE START.

It excites a singular feeling to be on board a vessel, still at anchor in the harbour of your native country, but ready to start every minute on a long, long voyage. You no longer belong to your home, although, in fact, you have not yet left it, nor have you yet begun your new wandering life. You feel only this restless waiting, this not being able to leave the ship, and hour after hour passed without your moving a step. You find yourself for once in your life between the future and the past, without a present, and wish at last for that which you have so

VOL. I.

B

dreaded before—the moment when you shall bid farewell to your home.

But emigrants are not always visited by these emotions. Most of them have closed their account with their old mother country-leaving mother country also not unfrequently in debt to them, and feeling now only suspense.

This spreads over the whole ship, and people walk about on deck with dissatisfied and peevish looks, grumbling and growling, and by no means in a humour for sentiment.

New passengers arrive without intermission, and each seems to have thought of getting the whole of Noah's Ark to himself, so completely do they heap the decks with boxes, and trunks, and chests, and are quite astonished to find not the least possibility of stowing them away. But after awhile they and their boxes disappear in the lower hold, and all is arranged satisfactorily.

The only quiet persons in this chaos of things and objects are the sailors. Used to the confusion, they look

upon

it as of too common occurrence even to deserve a thought, and step now with a really frightful indifference, through and over the passengers' goods, which for them seem hardly to exist.

Wet weather makes things, as the reader may think, only worse, and no wonder that many a poor wretch coming here with quite another ex

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