Page:Germ Growers.djvu/42

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The undertaking in which he was now engaged was in rather a critical condition. The entire length of the route, from Adelaide to Port Darwin, would be about two thousand miles, and over the central section of eight hundred miles, passing through, as some would have thought, the most difficult part of the line, the wire had been already carried. And after some further delay this had been connected with Adelaide. But about six hundred miles at the northern extremity still remained unfinished. The first expedition for the purpose had absolutely failed, and one or two attempts made since had not been any more successful. The chief superintendent of the work was either about to start for Port Darwin by sea, or was already on his way. And Mr. Fetherston's expedition was to meet him in the north. They expected to hear of one another somewhere about the Daly Waters. So there would be no work but simply travelling until that point was reached; none, at least, for Mr. Fetherston's party.

Mr. Fetherston introduced us to his chief assistant, Mr. Berry, telling us that we could do no better than take his advice about our preparation for the journey. Mr. Berry was also a veteran bushman and an experienced surveyor. He had been to Cooper's Creek twice,