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In the South Seas
Robert Louis Stevenson

Page 1 of 491


IN THE SOUTH SEAS 

PART 1: THE MARQUESAS 

CHAPTER I--AN ISLAND LANDFALL 

For nearly ten years my health had been declining; and for some
while before I set forth upon my voyage, I believed I was come to
the afterpiece of life, and had only the nurse and undertaker to
expect.  It was suggested that I should try the South Seas; and I
was not unwilling to visit like a ghost, and be carried like a
bale, among scenes that had attracted me in youth and health.  I
chartered accordingly Dr.  Merrit's schooner yacht, the Casco,
seventy-four tons register; sailed from San Francisco towards the
end of June 1888, visited the eastern islands, and was left early
the next year at Honolulu.  Hence, lacking courage to return to my
old life of the house and sick-room, I set forth to leeward in a
trading schooner, the Equator, of a little over seventy tons, spent
four months among the atolls (low coral islands) of the Gilbert

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