Then Sedgwick drew him out and learned that his steamer was of six hundred tons, built with all care for a gentleman’s yacht; that after awhile the owner tired of his plaything and sold it to him at a mighty discount on its first cost; and that he was seeing the world in it, and trying at the same time to make the craft pay its own expenses. He said also he had a picked crew and private surgeon, and added: “When I secure a cargo, if you and the madam will become my guests, I will adopt you both as long as you please to follow the seas.”
Sedgwick declined with thanks, but said: “You want to see the world; how would you like to make a run to the coast of Africa?”
“I would not object,” he replied. “I have had the ‘Pallas’ overhauled since we came into port. She is in first-class trim, good for a year if no unusual misfortune overtakes her. I would as soon go to Africa as any other place.”
The result was the “Pallas” was chartered to carry out the machinery, some mill-wrights, a couple of engineers, a couple of mill workers, an assayer, and any miscellaneous freight that Sedgwick might desire to send.
The ship was hauled into the wharf next day, and the loading of what was ready was begun. Sedgwick got on board his wagons and trappings from Sacramento. He ordered also a great quantity of drill steel, picks and shovels, quicksilver, some giant powder and caps, some blankets, mattresses, canned fruits, pickles, boots and brogans, and a whole world of other supplies such as miners use.
In fifteen days the ship was loaded, and the craft put to sea, as was understood and published, with a mixed cargo for Australia.
Sedgwick had insured the cargo; had paid the owner in advance the freight, and McGregor estimated that, if prosperous, he could, running slow to save coal, and stopping a week or ten days in Australia for coal and fresh supplies, make Port Natal in eighty days.
In the meantime Sedgwick and his wife had made the acquaintance of an English gentleman and his wife, named Forbes, who a few days previous had started for England, but who had promised to visit some English friends in Indianapolis, Indiana, until Sedgwick and Grace should overtake them, that they might sail on the same ship from New York.
The day after the “Pallas” sailed, Sedgwick and his bride took the overland train for the East.
A lost trail discovered.
They reached Indianapolis in due time; stopped at a hotel, and Sedgwick had no difficulty in finding the Forbeses. He was presented to their friends, the Brunswicks, and Mrs. Brunswick insisted that Sedgwick should go straight to the hotel and bring his wife to her house.
He thanked the old lady warmly, but begged to be excused, saying they could visit without that.
“Very well,” said the old lady, “but I will certainly have my way in another thing. You must go right off and tell your wife that an old English woman up the street says she must waive ceremony and come right here for dinner.”