Having concluded important business matters during a brief stay in New York, I decided to go to Canada to take the express train for Vancouver. It was the last train which made connection with the Canadian Pacific steamer for Hong-Kong, and if I could make it I should save three weeks. With the assurance that I should have a couple of hours latitude, I started in the morning for Montreal. There was no doubt that I should make it unless something unusual delayed the north-bound train, and that is exactly what occurred. The steam power of the brake got out of order, necessitating a stop for repairs, and considerable time was lost. Darkness came on and I began to feel anxious about the prospect of gaining my object.

The conductor and his assistant, in the knowledge that I had a through ticket to Hong-Kong, did everything in their power to aid me. Wire messages were sent to have the Imperial Limited Express wait for "a man travelling first-class"; to the custom-house, and also for a cab and four "red caps" to meet me on arrival. The assistant conductor told everybody of the plight of the passenger with the long journey before him, the engineer was prevailed upon to increase his speed; and the passengers began to exhibit interest. A tall Canadian came to me and expressed his belief that I would catch that train, and even if it should be gone there was another a little later by which it might be overtaken. "I shall assist you," he added.

As we approached Montreal there were still twelve minutes left. The lights of the city were visible near by, and one of my fellow passengers was in the act of assuring me that my chances were good, when our train suddenly stopped - on account of the bridge being open to permit a ship to pass. Ten minutes lost! I had decided, if necessary, to sacrifice two boxes of honey which I had bought at the last moment, honey and water being my usual drink when on expeditions. The total weight was ninety kilograms, but they were neatly packed in paper and had been allowed to stand at one side of the entrance to the Pullman car. They were an important adjunct of my outfit, but perhaps after all it would be necessary for us to part.

Immediately upon the opening of the doors the four porters presented themselves with the encouraging information that they understood the Imperial Limited was waiting. My luggage, including the honey, was hurried on to a large truck, my Canadian friend throwing his on too, and speeding the boys to a trot, we ran as fast as we could to the baggage-room of the custom-house, where the official in charge caused us only a short delay. As the packages were being loaded into three cabs a man stepped forward and accosted me: "We have got you now! I am a reporter for The Star, and would like to know who the man is that keeps the Imperial Limited waiting!" The moment did not seem favourable for an interview, but I invited him to enter my cab and the two or three minutes required to drive to the station afforded opportunity for an explanation:

I was on my way to New Guinea. This was a Norwegian undertaking which had the support of three geographical societies. It was hoped that a geologist and a botanist from Norway would meet me next year in Batavia to take part in this expedition to one of the least-known regions on the globe. "What do you expect to find?" he asked just as we halted.

The porters outside said the train was gone, having waited fifteen minutes. The newspaper man immediately joined forces with my Canadian friend, and they were equally determined that by some means I should overtake that train. First we went to look for the station-master, hoping through him to obtain permission to have the train stopped en route. When found after a few minutes' search, he tried in vain to get one of the officials of the Canadian Pacific Company on the telephone. My two friends stood near to keep his interest active, but he did not seem to succeed. The station was quiet and looked abandoned. It was after ten o'clock and at that time of the evening the hope of reaching an official at his residence seemed forlorn.

Meantime I had my luggage ready to throw aboard the 10.30 express, which was my one chance in case the Imperial Limited could be halted. The three men were persistent but finally, two or three minutes before the departure of the express, they came to me hurriedly and said: "You had better go by this train to North Bay, where you will arrive at 9.30 to-morrow morning. There you will catch the train, or if not you can return here." There appeared to me small prospect that the three men would succeed in obtaining the desired permission, but I had no time for reflection. The train was ready to start and my luggage was hastily thrown to the platform of the car. I bade the gentlemen a hurried good-bye, thanking them for all the trouble they had taken. "You are going to catch that train!" the reporter exclaimed in a firm and encouraging tone. "But what do you expect to find in New Guinea?" he suddenly inquired as I jumped on to the slowly moving train.

Reflecting that in the worst case I would be back in Montreal in one and a half days, I fell asleep. At 6.30 in the morning I was awakened by the voice of the porter saying, "the train is waiting for you, sir," as he rolled up the curtain. It really was the Imperial Express! The big red cars stood there quietly in the sunshine of the early morning. In a few minutes I was dressed, and never with greater satisfaction have I paid a porter his fee.

The station was Chalk River, and the train had waited forty minutes. What a comfortable feeling to know that all my belongings were safely on board! I had not only saved time and money but an interesting trip across the continent lay before me. Having washed and put on clean garments, I had my breakfast while passing through an enchanting hilly country, amid smiling white birches, and the maples in the autumn glory of their foliage, with more intensely red colouring than can be seen outside North America. The oatmeal porridge seemed unusually well prepared: the waiter intimated that the cook was a Parisian. However that might have been, he was probably of French descent.

Four days later we arrived at Vancouver, where I wrote to the three gentlemen of Montreal, my appreciation of services rendered, addressing them care of The Star. Their names I did not know, but it was not the first time that I had been reminded of Darwin's assurance, in the account of his travels round the world, as to "how many truly kind-hearted people there are, with whom he (the traveller) never before had, nor ever again will have any further communication, who yet are ready to offer him the most disinterested assistance."

Early in the morning on October 19 we saw the first Japanese fishing-boats. The sea was green and in the atmosphere a kind of haze, which almost seems peculiar to Japan, imparted an artistic tone to everything. In splendid weather, almost calm, we sailed along the coast of Nippon. As we entered the bay of Yokohama the sun was setting over a landscape that realised one's preconceived ideas of the beauty of the country. On one side, low ridges with rows of picturesque pine-trees just as you know them from Japanese prints, while in the background to the west, above the clouds rose the top of Fuji, nearly 4,000 metres above sea-level. We steamed up in absolute calm, while the long twilight was still further prolonged by a brilliant afterglow.

Taking advantage of the permit to leave the steamer and rejoin it in Kobe, and having received useful advice from Cook's representative who came on board, I immediately went ashore. On calling a rickshaw I was much surprised to find that the man spoke English quite well. He trotted continuously twenty minutes, to the railway station, where in good time I caught the train for the West, and at daybreak I was ready to observe the beautiful country through which we passed. I had made no provision for breakfast, but one of my fellow travellers, who came from Tokio, had the courtesy to offer me two snipe with bacon, which tasted uncommonly well.

In the morning I arrived at Kioto, the city of many temples, and found the Kioto hotel satisfactory. I shall not attempt to describe in detail the fascination of the two days I spent here, where one still may see something of old Japan. In Kobe, Nagasaki, and other cities exposed to the stream of travellers, Western influence is evident everywhere, and the inhabitants are less attractive on that account. After all one has heard and read about the charm of the country, one is inclined to think that the reports are exaggerated, but as far as my brief experience in Nippon goes, it is the most beautiful and interesting country that I have visited, and I hope in the future to know it better.

The deepest impression made upon me by the Japanese was that they are all so active, healthy, and strong; always good-tempered, their manners are exquisite, even the plain people bowing to each other, and many young people saluted me on the street. The infinite variety in their shops is noticeable. To see the coaling of the steamers in Japanese harbours, which is done by baskets handed from one to another, makes an impression on the traveller. Hundreds of women and men take part in the occupation, and they come neatly dressed to this dirty work, women with clean white kerchiefs on their heads. The low ditches in their rice-fields are like engineering work, and their bundles of wood are nicely tied.

Of the many temples I visited in Kioto the first was Chion-in, which lies impressively on an elevation at the foot of a charming wooded hill. The tiny lake at the back of the quaint structure, the peaceful atmosphere, the sunshine, and singing birds - the tout ensemble was inexpressibly beautiful. On my way back to the hotel I passed a Christian church and felt ashamed of the wretched architecture, in the usual conventional style, made of stone with white-plastered walls, hard and unattractive. Never have I been among a people so close to nature, strikingly intelligent, friendly, and the most aesthetic of all nations on the globe.

In continuing the journey opportunity is afforded to see Shanghai, Hong-Kong, and at last Singapore, the important port of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore, with its green lawns and trees, has a pleasant, though humid climate, cooler than that of Batavia, and quite comfortable although so near the equator. It is satisfying to know one place where the native races have a good time in competition with the whites, not only the Chinese, who have reached power and influence here, but also the Malays, natives of India, Arabs, etc. The Chinese rickshaw men here are of superb physique, and the excellence of the service renders this the most agreeable method of getting about. Moreover, it is a pleasure to watch their athletic movements and long easy stride, as if they were half flying. Some of them pass the carriages. They are jolly, like big children, and are natural teetotalers, but they sometimes fight about money among themselves.

After securing a Chinese photographer and a trained native collector of zoological specimens, I embarked in the excellent Dutch steamer Rumphius for Batavia where I arrived on the 10th of November. The first thing to be done was to ask an audience of the Governor-General of Netherlands India, who usually stays at Buitenzorg, the site of the world-famous botanical gardens. It is an hour's trip by express from Batavia, and although only 265 metres higher, has a much pleasanter climate. The palace, which is within the botanical gardens, has an unusually attractive situation, and the interior is light, cool, and stately. His excellency, A.W.F. Idenburg, most courteously gave the necessary orders for the furtherance of my proposed expedition to New Guinea, and as it was necessary for me to go first to Dutch Borneo, to secure a Dayak crew, he provided me with an introduction to the Resident of the South and Eastern Division.

During the few days I stayed in Buitenzorg, the botanical gardens were a source of ever new delight. It was in the latter half of November and thus well into the rainy season. Usually showers came every afternoon, but the mornings, even up to eleven o'clock, always appeared like spring-time, only in a more magnificent edition than that of temperate zones. In the effulgence of light and the fresh coolness of the first hours of the day, plant and animal life seemed jubilant. After the calm and heat of midday, violent thunder-storms of short duration may occur, but the evenings are generally beautiful, although the prevailing inclination is to retire early. In the tropics one realises more readily than elsewhere how a single day contains all the verities and realities of one's whole life: spring, summer, and autumn every day, as in a year or in a lifetime. Australians and Americans who visit Java every year make a great mistake in selecting the dry season, April to July, for their travels. To be sure, one is not then troubled by rain, but on the other hand the heat is greater, the country becomes dry, and including the botanical gardens, loses much of its attraction.

I decided to go by rail to Soerabaia, the point of steamboat connection with Borneo; this would give me opportunity to see Java besides saving some time. After twelve hours' travel by express the train stops for the night at Djokjakarta where there is a good hotel. We now find ourselves in a region which formerly was the main seat of Buddhism in Java. The world-famous monument, Boro Budur, is in the neighbourhood to the north in the district of Kedu, and by motor-car a visit may easily be made in one day, but for those who can spend more time on this interesting excursion there is satisfactory accommodation in a small hotel near by. The government has of late years successfully restored this magnificent ancient structure which at its base forms a square, with the length of the side 150 metres, and rises to a height of more than 30 metres. At first sight it does not seem as large as expected, but on entering the first gallery one is struck by the monumental magnitude and unique beauty of the edifice.

Built upon a small hill from blocks of trachyte, it consists of twelve terraces rising one above another, and connected by staircases. The uppermost terrace, fifteen metres in diameter, has a dome. Each gallery is surrounded by a wall adorned with niches in handsome settings, each containing a life-sized Buddha, with legs crossed, soles turned downward. There are 432 such niches, and from this great number of statues of the famous religious founder the place probably derived its name, Boro Budur equals Bara Buddha (Buddhas without number).

There are no less than 1,600 has reliefs, handsome carvings in hard stone mostly representing scenes from the life of Buddha and "which must," says Wallace, "occupy an extent of nearly three miles in length. The amount of human labour and skill expended on the Great Pyramids of Egypt sink into insignificance when compared with that required to complete this sculptured hill-temple in the interior of Java." It dates from the eighth or ninth century after Christ, and in reality is not a temple, but a so-called dagoba, dedicated to the keeping of some Buddhist sacred relic which was deposited in the dome, its principal part. In the beautiful light of afternoon the walk through the galleries was especially impressive. From that vantage point there is presented a fine, extensive view of a peaceful landscape, and at the time of my visit an actively smoking volcano in the far distance added a picturesque feature. In the vicinity is another noble Hindu structure, the so-called temple of Mendut, inside of which is found a large and singular Buddha sitting on a chair, legs hanging down. The figure is nude and the expression on its features is very mild.

The journey from Djokjakarta to Soerabaia consumes about half a day and the trip is pleasanter than that of the previous day, when the rolling of the fast express on a narrow-gauge track was rather trying, while at dinner-time the soup and water were thrown about in an annoying manner. I have no doubt that this defect will soon be remedied, for Java is still what a very distinguished English visitor said sixty years ago: "the very garden of the East and perhaps upon the whole the richest, best cultivated, and best governed tropical island in the world." Soerabaia is the great shipping port for sugar, tobacco, etc., and a more important commercial centre than Batavia. The day after my arrival I started for Borneo where I intended to proceed to the Kayan or Bulungan River in the Northeast. It was my purpose to take advantage of the occasion to acquaint myself with that district and its natives which would extend my travels by a few months.