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FROM SYDNEY TO NEW GUINEA.
the New Guinea service. The tender of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company, for the use of the S.S. "Governor Blackall," was accepted, this vessel lying then in Sydney Harbour, undergoing repairs and refitting.
By the end of July, 1885, everything was in readiness for a start; but another fortnight's delay occurred through the sudden illness of the Commissioner. His health restored. Sir Peter Scratchley gave orders to Captain Lake to have steam up and all ready for the voyage by half-past eight on the morning of Saturday, 15th August. It was with no little joy and pride that I shipped my personal baggage and apparatus, and enrolled myself as a member of the Expedition. It seemed to me that a goal I had long been striving to reach was now in sight, and that I was fortunate enough not only to obtain exceptional facilities for seeing a country whose physical peculiarities, and the manners and customs of whose inhabitants had hitherto been little known and imperfectly described, but to be the humble means of communicating truthful information to others. A large party of friends came on board to take a farewell breakfast, and to accompany us down the beautiful harbour. We rounded H.M.S. "Nelson," and the band on board that vessel struck up "Auld Lang Syne" by way of parting salute. A number of small steamers were conveying the men garrisoned in the various forts and batterie to a grand review that was to come off that day, and the men, as they passed our vessel, greeted us with hearty cheers. A little past Bradley's Head our Captain slackened speed to allow Lady Scratchley and her children to be taken on board the launch "Gladys." I could not help noticing that the parting between the Commissioner and his wife and eldest daughter was touched with pathos and solemnity, as if they all felt deeply that the enterprise in which the husband and father was engaged was not wholly free from serious risks and dangers. Alas! it was their final parting on earth. The younger members of the Commissioner's family, however, entertained no misgivings. "With the happy carelessness of childhood, they evidently regarded the occasion as only a pleasant holiday, too soon brought to a close. At length the moment for the final leave-takings came; the last affectionate adieux were ex-