The first great "Lost World" action-adventure-a precursor to Indiana Jones H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines" has entertained generations of readers since its first publication in 1885. Following a mysterious map of dubious reliability, a small group of men trek into southern Africa in search of a lost friend-and a lost treasure, the fabled mines of King Solomon. Led by the English adventurer and fortune hunter Allan Quartermain, they discover a frozen corpse, survive untold dangers in remote mountains and deserts, and encounter the merciless King Twala en route to the legendary hoard of diamonds.
Three men trek to the remote African interior in search of a lost friend - and reach, at the end of a perilous journey, an unknown land cut off from the world, where terrible dangers threaten anyone who ventures near the spectacular diamond mines of King Solomon...
Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was a prolific English writer, who published colorful novels set in unknown regions and lost kingdoms of Africa, or some other corner of the world: Iceland, Constantinople, Mexico, Ancient Egypt. Haggard's best-known work is the romantic adventure tale KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1885), which was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson' s famous Treasure Island. Giles Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967. His family moved to Malawi in 1972 where he was brought up. His first novel, the acclaimed The Last King of Scotland (1998), is set during Idi Amin's rule of Uganda in the 1970s and won the Whitbread First Novel Award; his second novel, Ladysmith (1999), is set during the Anglo-Boer War in 1899; Zanzibar (2002), is set in East Africa and explores the events surrounding the bombings of American embassies in 1998. A new book, The Battle for Lake Tanganyika, was published in 2004.
"A peculiarly thrilling and vigorous tale of adventure." --Andrew Lang
The first great Lost World action-adventurea precursor to Indiana Jones H. Rider Haggards "King Solomons Mines" has entertained generations of readers since its first publication in 1885. Following a mysterious map of dubious reliability, a small group of men trek into southern Africa in search of a lost friendand a lost treasure, the fabled mines of King Solomon. Led by the English adventurer and fortune hunter Allan Quartermain, they discover a frozen corpse, survive untold dangers in remote mountains and deserts, and encounter the merciless King Twala en route to the legendary hoard of diamonds.
"A peculiarly thrilling and vigorous tale of adventure." - Andrew Lang
CHAPTER I I Meet Sir Henry Curtis It is a curious thing that at my age-fifty-five last birthday- I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it-I don''t yet know how big-but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence, and, moreover, I am fairly sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the "Ingoldsby Legends." Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any. First reason: Because Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good asked me to. Second reason: Because I am laid up here at Durban with the pain in my left leg. Ever since that confounded lion got hold of me I have been liable to this trouble, and its being rather bad just now makes me limp more than ever. There must be some poison in a lion''s teeth, otherwise how is it that when your wounds are healed they break out again, generally, mark you, at the same time of year that you got your mauling? It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions and more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don''t like that. This is by the way. Third reason: Because I want my boy Harry, who is over there at the hospital in London studying to become a doctor, to have something to amuse him and keep him out of mischief for a week or so. Hospital work must sometimes pall and grow rather dull, for even of cutting up dead bodies there may come satiety, and as this history will not be dull, whatever else it may be, it will put a little life into things for a day or two while Harry is reading it. Fourth reason and last: Because I am going to tell the strangest story that I know of. It may seem a queer thing to say, especially considering that there is no woman in it-except Foulata. Stop, though! there is Gagaoola, if she was a woman and not a fiend. But she was a hundred at least, and therefore not marriageable, so I don''t count her. At any rate, I can safely say that there is not a petticoat in the whole history. Well, I had better come to the yoke. It is a stiff place, and I feel as though I were bogged up to the axle. But "sutjes, sutjes," as the Boers say-I am sure I don''t know how they spell it-softly does it. A strong team will come through at last, that is, if they are not too poor. You can never do anything with poor oxen. Now to begin. I, Allan Quatermain, of Durban, Natal, Gentleman, make oath and say-That''s how I began my deposition before the magistrate about poor Khiva''s and Ventv
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