As the breeze freshened we worked up to Lelé, the principal harbour of the island, where Togusâ, the king, resided, and in a few hours we were boarded by a number of white men, whom we had last seen at two lonely spots near the equator called Pleasant and Ocean Islands. In a few minutes we learnt that in consequence of their lives being in imminent danger from the natives, they, accompanied by their native wives, families, and over one hundred natives connected with them by marriage, had escaped from the islands in two whaleships, and landed at Kusaie, where they were at that moment causing old King Togus
At one time they traversed a portion of dark forest, heavy and choked up with the dense and gigantic foliage peculiar to those countries that lie near to the equator; then they emerged from this upon what to their eyes seemed most beautiful scenery, mingled plain and woodland, where the excessive brilliancy and beauty of the tropical vegetation was brought to perfection by exposure to the light of the blue sky and the warm rays of the sun.
I beseech you, do not call that nonsense; it is but a good-natured way of stating the case in the aspect it presents from the De Sauty point of view; for tightly laced as poor Mother Earth already is, with railroad corsets and steamship stays, growing small by degrees and beautifully less, she needs but the forty-minute girdle of Puck De Sauty to so contract her waist at the equator that any impudent traveller may span it with a carpet-bag and an umbrella.
Perhaps London lies beyond the horizon of the island gods. Tembinok', in his first dealings, showed himself sternly averse from superstition: and had not the Equator delayed, we might have left the island and still supposed him an agnostic. It chanced one day, however, that he came to our maniap', and found Mrs. Stevenson in the midst of a game of patience.
About a month after leaving Juan Fernandez we reached the Galapagos, a group of volcanic islands lying under the equator, their black and rugged shores having a most uninviting appearance.
We disembarked, or "detrained," as they say down there, at a little station on the railroad called Londiani, eight miles south of the equator and about eighty miles from Victoria Nyanza.
They were stupendous days for bulk and stretch; apparently much larger days than we had ever been in before. All previous days had been but shrunk-up little things by comparison. The difference in temperature between the two days was very marked, their day being hotter than mine because it was closer to the equator.
If one continues his journey toward the equator he will next pass through forests of broad-leaved trees. They will include oak, maple, beech, chestnut, hickory, and sycamore. In Kentucky, which is a centre of the broad-leaved belt, there are several hundred different varieties of trees. Farther south, the cone-bearing species prevail.
Thus, as I believe, a considerable number of plants, a few terrestrial animals, and some marine productions, migrated during the Glacial period from the northern and southern temperate zones into the intertropical regions, and some even crossed the equator.
To explain how he differed from Philip or Geoffrey would be like bringing the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer together for purposes of comparison.