For some, the label "science fiction" is an immediate turn-off; for others, it's the honey pot that draws them in. In either case, that's a real shame. Good literature is just that, no matter the label attached to it.
These tales are good, old-fashioned story-telling at its best. Yes, the science fiction setting is a major component, but what shines through above all is the strength of the narrative, with bug-eyed aliens and gadgetry being confined to a supporting role. You could even transport the setting to explorers in the Pacific at the time of Capt Cook and not lose the essence of these tales.
Like another reviewer, I had approached these two as stand-alone items. They do indeed work well as that, but it soon becomes obvious during the second one that they are really episodes of a larger framing story. There's a Dickens parallel to be made there, I think, or Isaac Azimov if we're sticking to genre pigeonholing.
And that's my complaint: where's the rest of this? You've got me hooked. Now play fair and publish more of it.