The rite of passage

Simply everyone did it, provided they were young and male and wealthy (and not just wealthy but old money) and in fine health and with no elderly or ailing relatives whose lapses might require immediate attendance.

By sea, the journey took five weeks. Those who made it to the other side took rooms from the women by the dock, and learnt the language, and studied the botany and the strange chapels in the hollowed trees and (if we are honest) the women, and ate the bright insects.

What they learned they wrote in The Book, when (if) they returned home.

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