MY Dear Young Folks,—In the first book which I wrote for you, we traveled together through the Gorilla Country, and saw not only the gigantic apes, but also the cannibal tribes which eat men.
In the second book we continued our hunting, and met leopards, elephants, hippopotami, wild boars, great serpents, etc., etc. We were stung and chased by the fierce Bashikouay ants, and plagued by flies.
Last spring, your friend Paul, not satisfied with writing for young folks, took it into his head to lecture before them. When I mentioned the subject to my acquaintances, many of them laughed at the notion of my lecturing to you, and a few remarked, "This is another of your queer notions." I did not see it!!! I thought I would try.
Thousands of young folks came to your friend Paul's lectures in Boston, Brooklyn, and New York; not only did my young friends come, but a great many old folks were also seen among them.
The intelligent, eager faces of his young hearers, their sparkling eyes, spoke to him more eloquently than words could do, and told him that he had done well to go into the great jungle of Equatorial Africa, and that they liked to hear what he had done and what he had seen.
When he asked the girls and boys of New York if he should write more books for them, the tremendous cheers and hurrahs they gave him in reply told him that he had better go to work.
When, at the end of his third lecture, he made his appearance in the old clothes he had worn in Africa, and said he would be happy to shake hands with his young hearers, the rush then made assured him that they were his friends. Oh! how your hearty hand-shaking gladdened the heart of your friend Paul; he felt so happy as your small hands passed in and out of his!
Before writing this new volume, I went to my good and estee-med friends, my publishers in Franklin Square, and asked them what they thought of a new book for Young Folks.
"Certainly," they said;
"by all means, Friend Paul. Write a new book, for STORI-ES OF THE GORILLA COUNTRY and WILD LIFE UNDER THEEQUATOR are in great demand."
I immediately took hold of my old journals, removed the African dust from them, and went to work, and now we are going to be
"LOST INTHE JUNGLE"