Page:Germ Growers.djvu/33

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go with him. We took our passage of course in the same ship. It was not yet the day of the great steamers and the canal was not yet open. We sailed from Liverpool in a clipper ship and we went round the Cape. But I think that we were quite as comfortable and as well taken care of as we should be now in the best of the Orient or Peninsular boats. Our voyage was altogether without disaster. Indeed it was like a picnic of ninety days' duration, and I do not know that I had ever enjoyed any three months of my life as much. But there were no details that I need mention except the fact that we formed an acquaintance (Jack and I) which determined our immediate course on our arrival in Australia, and so led us on to the mysterious experience of which I have to tell.

Not indeed that our new acquaintance was one who might fairly be expected to introduce us to anything mysterious. Mr. Fetherston, as I shall call him here, was a thoroughly good fellow, and proved himself to be a staunch friend, but he was utterly destitute of imagination, and he had the greatest contempt for what he used to call "queer stories"; he used queer in a special sense; he meant simply mysterious, or savouring of what is commonly called the supernatural.