I feel it incumbent upon me to explain how this wonderful and mysterious history found its way into my hands. I received a letter and two parcels- one a manuscript, the other containing a scarab and an ancient sherd - from a brief acquaintance of mine called Mr Horace Holly. Mr Holly and his ward Leo Vincey had passed through a most uncommon African adventure, a tale of a nature so marvellous that I fear the reader might disbelieve it. To me the story seems to bear the stamp of truth upon its face. But I must leave the reader to form his own judgment... And with this explanation I introduce the world to Ayesha - She-who-must-be-obeyed - and the Caves of Kôr.