Page:Picturesque New Guinea.djvu/408

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186
BRITISH NEW GUINEA.

Mr. Senior in charge to recall them. Mr. Senior earnestly requested this duty might be allotted to him, which I did on the Doctor's assurance that it would in all probability benefit his health, which was far from good, and was not likely to stop or impede his recovery. It is only fair to the rest of the party to say that there were plenty of other volunteers for that service.

We left Thursday Island on November 21st, in tow of s.s. "Alexandra," and arrived in Sydney on December 3rd, all well, and on behalf of the Exploratory Party I beg to return our most hearty thanks for the very generous and cordial reception we received from the Society and public, and also for the kind and deep interest felt for us when we were supposed to be in trouble.

In conclusion, I also report that the Expedition was entirely dependent on its own resources. I was scarcely able to supplement our provisions at all, game of all kinds being very scarce, and extremely shy. It was from first to last conducted on temperance principle, no stimulants being taken as stores excepting as medical comforts. I hold the opinion that any hard work can be performed just as well without alcohol as with it.

Quinine was also taken by all the party daily from the time we left Thursday Island until we returned there, but even that did not prevent our suffering rather severely from fever, as four of the Europeans were dangerously ill, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was extremely beneficial in staving off malaria: and finally, in conducting the Expedition, I have endeavoured to follow out my line of instruction as well as I could, and to keep in mind the duty I owed to this Society, the members of the Expedition, and the natives of the country we were sent to explore, and can at least congratulate myself that no serious complication with the natives arose at all, and I think other parties that may follow in our footsteps will benefit from any communications we had with the native tribes.


Captain Everill was heartily cheered at the conclusion of his address, and His Excellency the Chairman invited discussion.

Mr. Mann said that, after having carefully examined the map, and having listened to the leader's remarks, he was inclined to think that the country which had been traversed was a series of deltas or islands. Possibly, also, the Aird River might unite with the Strickland. It was very probable that future explorations would bear out this idea.

Dr. Belgrave thought that Captain Everill might well be congratulated upon the success of the expedition. (Hear, hear.) He was only away some four months, and about three thousand specimens were collected, in addition to exploration work and its attendant risks. He had discovered, amongst other