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FOREWORD
The unknown lands are almost all discovered. The work of the explorer and the pioneer is nearly finished, and ere long their stern and hardy figures will have passed from the world's stage, never to return. In the Argentine, in Mexico, and in Alaska store clothes and stiff hats are replacing corduroys and sombreros; the pack-mule is giving way to the motor-car. The earth has but one more great prize with which to lure the avaricious and the adventurous: Africa—mysterious, opulent, alluring—beckons and calls.

The conditions which exist in Africa to-day closely parallel those which were to be found, within the memory of many of us, beyond the Mississippi. In North Africa the French are pushing their railways across the desert in the face of Arab opposition, just as we pushed our railways across the desert in the face of Indian opposition forty years ago. As an El Dorado the Transvaal has taken the place held by Australia, and California, and the Yukon, in their turn. The grazing lands of Morocco and the grain lands of Rhodesia will prove formidable rivals to those of our own West in a much-nearer future than most of us suppose. French and British well-drillers are giving modern versions of the miracle of Moses in the Sahara and the Sudan and converting worthless deserts into rich domains thereby.

The story of the conquest of a continent by these men with levels and transits, drills and dynamite, ploughs and spades, forms a chronicle of courage, daring, resource, and tenacity unsurpassed in history. They are no idlers, these pioneers of the desert, the jungle, and the veldt; they live with danger and hardship for their daily mates; they die with their boots on from snake-bite or sleeping-sickness or Somali spear; and remember, please, they are making new markets and new playgrounds for you and me. Morocco, Algeria, Tripolitania, Equatoria, Rhodesia, the Sahara, the Sudan, the Congo, the Rand, and the Zambezi ... with your permission I will take you to them all, and you shall see, as though with your own eyes, those strange and far-off places which mark the line of the Last Frontier, where the white-helmeted pioneers are fighting the battles and solving the problems of civilisation.

E. Alexander Powell.
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