This is written from memory, unfortunately. If I could have brought with
me the material I so carefully prepared, this would be a very different
story. Whole books full of notes, carefully copied records, firsthand
descriptions, and the pictures--that's the worst loss. We had some
bird's-eyes of the cities and parks; a lot of lovely views of streets,
of buildings, outside and in, and some of those gorgeous gardens, and,
most important of all, of the women themselves.
Nobody will ever believe how they looked. Descriptions aren't any good
when it comes to women, and I never was good at descriptions anyhow. But
it's got to be done somehow; the rest of the world needs to know about
I haven't said where it was for fear some self-appointed missionaries,
or traders, or land-greedy expansionists, will take it upon themselves
to push in. They will not be wanted, I can tell them that, and will fare
worse than we did if they do find it.
It began this way. There were three of us, classmates and friends--Terry
O. Nicholson (we used to call him the Old Nick, with good reason), Jeff
Margrave, and I, Vandyck Jennings.
We had known each other years and years, and in spite of our differences
we had a good deal in common. All of us were interested in science.