Book Summary: The visit to the Far East, where my father had business in Japan, was taken when I was only eighteen. Being an only child, I had been his constant companion since the death of my mother nine years previously. I was never sent to school, and, after a succession of governesses, my education was put into the hands of the old bachelor Rector of our parish, whose ideas as to what a girl ought to know were somewhat peculiar. However, in other ways I had more practical knowledge of life than was usual for one of my age, as my father discussed subjects of all kinds with me freely; and I grew up to take interest in topics of the day, in animal life of all kinds, and in my garden, of which I was very proud. Until the last moment I feared something might occur to prevent our going; and it seemed almost too good to be true to think I was actually to see the country from where my father had brought so many beautiful curios on his former visit, and which I had always heard spoken of as an earthly paradise. However, the day of departure came at last, and after many preparations and tearful farewells from the two old servants, who were to keep house for us during our absence, we started--two planet pilgrims bound for the Land of the Rising Sun. I have always disliked books of travel with dates describing the day and hour when the writer did this or that, and giving minute descriptions of food, climate, feelings, etc. I don’t think it is in the least amusing to read that on Monday, the 26th, the heroine was seasick, and on the 30th, at 6 p.m., was able to enjoy roast mutton and pudding. Or that she landed on such a day at such a place, and exactly how she spent each hour. I have decided only to write about the events and experiences which have most impressed me during my travels, and to describe as well as I can the characteristics of the people that I came across. We sailed from Southampton in the Paris, a huge American liner of 12,000 tons, more like a floating hotel than a ship. My first impressions of life on board were not altogether enjoyable, as we started in a gale, and I own to more than once wishing myself back again in Old England. However, in a couple of days the weather calmed down, and I soon recovered my sea-legs, and was able once again to enjoy life. There were a good number of passengers of every description and nationality on board--a theatrical company, Mr. Carnegie (the millionaire), the late Dr. Barnardo, Mrs. Annie Besant, a foreign Ambassador and a Colonial Governor, besides many other well-known people. Mrs. Besant was accompanied by two Indian Mahatmas, who were the objects of much interest. They spent the greater part of their time together, reclining in long deck-chairs, with pillows behind their heads, and covered up to their chins with thick rugs. Sometimes they lay for hours, hand in hand, with closed eyes; at other times they talked earnestly in low tones. One Indian was very short and fat, the other long and thin, with snake-like movements and curious piercing eyes. They had thick black hair down to their shoulders, little red caps with tassels on their heads, and long, rusty black frock-coats and white trousers--a truly remarkable pair. I overheard the fat one remark to Mrs. Besant that before they could disintegrate and assume their astral shapes it was necessary to abstain from food for twelve hours, when their bodies would be in a fit state to soar. The fat little man must evidently have made up for his abstinence at other times, judging from his portly appearance. We were told that the trio were going to lecture on Theosophy in Chicago, and, after some little persuasion, Mrs. Besant consented to give a lecture on board. Over three hundred of the passengers assembled in the saloon, and the fair Theosophist held us fascinated for more than an hour. She spoke very quietly, but with intense earnestness, in a rich, deep voice, with hardly a moment’s pause. The subject was evolution, and the manner in which the soul passes from one body to another, either getting higher and more spiritual, or deteriorating and becoming more animal.