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To cross the Southern Atlantic and enter the Gibraltar Gates, to drift over a sea of dreams to Greece, to climb the Acropolis and wander through the ruined Parthenon, to sail at sunset on the Golden Horn, to ascend the Nile to Thebes and make the acquaintance of Amenophis II in the still Valley of the Kings—this, to most of us, means travel.
Once, a long time ago—it was in 1867—the good ship Quaker City carried the first little band of ocean excursionists to the shores of the Mediterranean, and one of them wrote a book about it that made those early "pilgrims” immortal. How many ships have followed the little side-wheeler, getting always bigger until, all at once, they ceased going—forever, apparently—for the war had come and brought ruin to the world.
Now, once more, the big ships are starting; the old lure of the old places stirs the old-time tugging in the heart; the Mediterranean shores will soon be populous again with our romantic, travel-loving race. The call of the East never fails of answer.
For those who dream of going, some day; for those who are happily going now; even for those who have been and returned, this story of one favored ship and its fortunate company was written. It does not pretend to tell everything—not even the guide-books can do that-it is just a reflection of people and places, and days of the golden East. It was written in happiness -it is offered in humility.
A. B. P.