My Dear Grantie, From the following pages, written with a single eye to your own personal tastes and predilections, you may, I trust, learn three Great Moral Lessons.
First, never to approach too near the edge of an active volcano.
Second, never to continue your intimacy with a man who deliberately and wickedly declines to pull you out of a burning crater.
And third, never to intrust the care of youth to a cannibal heathen South Sea Islander.
With the trifling exception of these three now enumerated, I am not aware that you can extract any Great Moral Lesson whatsoever from the hairbreadth escapes of Kea and her associates.
Having thus almost entirely satisfied your expressed wishes in this matter—for "a story without a moral"—I subscribe myself, with pride,
Your obedient servant and very loving father,
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