"Fetherston," said I, "is going with a survey party to assist in laying the overland wire to Port Darwin: he proposes that we should go with him; he was only in jest, but I think I should like it."
Jack thought it would be a very good beginning: we should see much of the country, we should get experience, and have something to talk about. Poor Jack! if he had only known! We have never ventured to talk much about that journey, not much to one another, and not at all to anyone else; but I must not anticipate. We both took a fancy to the scheme. There would be much of the interest of exploring without any of the special risks. We would, no doubt, have some hardships to put up with, but there would be depôts at intervals along the way, and our communication would be kept open all through. So I spoke to Fetherston a few days later. "Fetherston," I said, "will you take two volunteers with you on your survey party northward? We shall pay our own expenses, but we shall want your guidance and protection, and we shall have nothing to give you in return but our company."
Fetherston said that he thought it might on such terms be easily managed, and it was managed accordingly.