N the year 1895 I found myself at Cooktown in Queensland, aged 23, accompanied by a fellow adventurer, F. H. Sylvester, and armed with £100, an outfit particularly unsuited to the tropics, and a letter of introduction from the then Governor of New Zealand, the Earl of Glasgow, to the Lieutenant-Governor of British New Guinea, Sir William  MacGregor.

After two or three weeks of waiting, we took passage by the mail schooner Myrtle, 150 tons, one of two schooners owned by Messrs. Burns, Philp and Co., of Sydney, and subsidized by the British New Guinea Government to 여우알바 carry monthly mails to that possession; in fact they were then the only means of communication between New Guinea and the rest of the world. These two vessels, after a chequered career in the South Seas, as slavers—then euphoniously termed in Australia “labour” vessels—had, by the lapse of time and purchase by a firm of high repute and keen commercial ambition, now been promoted to the dignity of carrying H.M. Mails, Government stores for the Administration of New Guinea, and supplies to the branches of the firm at Samarai and Port Moresby; and were, under the energetic superintendence of their respective masters, Steel and Inman, extending the commercial interests of their owners throughout both the British and German territories bordering on the Coral Sea.

Good old ships long since done with, the bones of one lie scattered on a reef, the other when last I saw her was a coal hulk in a Queensland port. And good old Scotch firm of trade grabbers that owned them, sending their ships, in spite of any risk, wherever a possible bawbee was to be made, and taking their hundred per2 cent. of profit with the same dour front they took their frequently trebled loss. Mopping up the German trade until the day came when the heavily subsidized ships of the Nord Deutscher Lloyd drove them out; as well they might, for in one scale hung the efforts of a small company of British merchants, unassisted as ever by its country or Government, the other, a practically Imperial Company backed by the resources of a vast Empire.