Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Returning to his home in Natal after an unsuccessful elephant hunt, Allan Quatermain meets Sir Henry Curtis and his friend, retired Captain John Good, aboard ship. Sir Henry inquires whether Quatermain met a man named Neville in Bamangwato. Learning that he did, Sir Henry explains that Neville is his younger brother, George, with whom he quarreled. When Sir Henry inherited his parents’ estate, George took the name Neville and went to Africa to seek his fortune. He was not heard from since.
Quatermain says that Neville reportedly headed for King Solomon’s Mines, diamond mines reputed to lie far in the interior. Ten years before, Quatermain met a Portuguese man, José Silvestre, who tried unsuccessfully to cross the desert to the mines and dragged himself into his camp to die. Before he died, José gave him a map showing the location of the treasure. It was written on a piece of a shirt that belonged to his relative, another José Da Silvestre, three hundred years before. Silvestre saw the mines but died in the mountains while trying to return. His servant brought the map back to his family, and it was passed down through succeeding generations of the Silvestre family. By the time the ship reached Natal, Quatermain agrees to help Sir Henry find his brother.
In Natal, Quatermain gets the equipment together, and the trio choose the five men who are to accompany them. Besides the driver and the leader for the oxen that are to pull their cart,...
(The entire section is 1768 words.)
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