We docked in Georgetown on the 14th of February at 10:30 am to a cold morning; the passengers were full of excitement and couldn't wait to get off the ship. I met Captain Stanley before departing the ship, I enquired about the health of the passengers after the changes he had made with the voyage. He smiled and said all were well I will make sure that these new measures continue.
I shook his hand and made my way to my nearby hotel the first thing I did was request a hot bath, I soaked in it until the water went cold. I then took a long walk around the town, to find my land legs when I returned I found a representative from Governor Johnson, waiting for me at the Hotel.
His representative Mr Farr said the Governor would like to extend an invitation for you to dine with him and a few of his friend's tomorrow evening. I replied yes I would love to; Mr Farr said he would pick me up in the coach at five o'clock.
It was a pleasant ride through some of the most beautiful countryside I had ever seen. To Governor Johnson's residents about twenty minutes out of town. His mansion was built on the side of a hill with magnificent views. Governor Johnson gave me a big smile a strong handshake he said please call me Mike, now come and meet some of my friends.
They have been looking forward to talking to you Brett, may I call you Brett?
If throughout the evening you get tired and wish to leave please let me know I will have my driver take you back to your hotel.
After chatting to Mike and his friends for more than an hour and having a couple of drinks I felt quite relaxed.
We then sat down to a feast fit for a King in this enormous dining room; Mike proposed a toast to me and wishing me a successful mission. After the meal, I continued to mingle with Mike's many friends; they all had read of my adventures and wanted to hear more first hand.
The time flew so just after ten o'clock; I found Mike thanked him for his hospitality and the best meal I could ever remember.
Mike said the pleasure was all mine, if you're up to it I would like to meet you tomorrow to discuss the mission.
I said that would be good, he said I will have my driver take you back to your Hotel now and pick you up at nine in the morning.
Mr Farr drove me to the Governor's office the next day, I had prepared a list of questions for Mike, and he answered what he could then said when I received word that you would take this mission I made some preparations.
I put together the best team I could for the training and guidance.
This mission will take forty selected pilgrims ranging from prospectors to settlers; they will leave the expedition at their chosen locations. The team leader Jake Morrison has led many pioneering missions in this country as well as India, Africa and China.
I will get you to meet Jake tomorrow you can discuss his plans at length then.
Now I must warn you that there have been rumours of unrest with the Indian tribes in the region that you're headed.
You can discuss this further with Jake as his scout is the one who discovered the information. I asked when the trip will begin; Mike said in early spring which was in three weeks as travelling would be difficult until then.
He said a lot of the journey you would be travelling through is mountainous terrain, unexplored by white men.
There has been an unconfirmed report that the river had been travelled by trappers coming up from the south.
It was reported to be a large wide long river, this could be the way for pilgrims to travel into parts unknown and open up this new country.
He went on to say he could see boats travelling the length of the river, taking supplies to settlements and carrying pioneers from all over the world. Mike was a man of vision and passion for his new country.
He said that there were many pioneers that had arrived here then headed into the mountains never too are heard of again.
This mission should it be successful will be our way to assist them and their safety it will form the first link to the vast interior.
This country offers an abundance of untapped resources; the land is fertile so farming will be easy. The trappers will be returning here with their bounty, gold prospectors have only recently headed out into the wilderness.
So we expect to see the fruits of their labour in the near future.
Mike said the finer details of the expedition would be explained to me tomorrow by the team's leader Jake Morrison.
He then called on Mr Farr to bring his coach and asked if I would join him for a spin around the town. It was to be followed by lunch at his club, I accepted as I would soon be off into the wilderness roughing it for who knows how long.
Mr Farr then returned me to my hotel after a long extended lunch.
Again at the club with Mike, again I was asked by several of the patrons to tell of some of my adventures.
Mr Farr said that he would arrange for Jake Morrison to meet with me here at my Hotel at nine in the morning if that is suitable.
I said sure, and he then said, that the Governor will be in touch again, at the weekend to go over any issues that may arise.
I waited in the saloon at a table in a quiet corner for Jake.
Then right on nine o'clock this huge man walked in, he was all of six feet six with a weathered face, he walked to the bar then was pointed in my direction. I stood to greet him he almost broke my hand with his handshake, I said would you like a drink, he said don't drink nor will anybody else on this trip.
It was easy to see why he was chosen he was a tough dominant man who demanded obedience.
I then asked about the selection of the pilgrims Jake said I have rejected most of them seeking to be on this trip so far.
I've another fourteen to select from the ship you arrived on if you can recommend anyone for me to start with that may save me time going through them all.
I asked him what he was looking for he said first of all they must be able to take orders without question.
They need to have seen hardship, be fit, strong, and multi-skilled, be able to hunt; cook, skinning and tanning or medical knowledge would be an advantage. Governor Johnson wants a mix of pilgrims ranging from married farmers to prospectors; the best selection will give our mission a greater chance of success.
There are enough challenges out there without having more from them Jake suggested I meet with him in the town hall at nine in the morning. All the ship's passengers wishing to be on the trip would be there so seeing them may help me recall anyone that may fit the bill. The entire mission is being funded by the Governor so you can see why there have been so many pilgrims wishing to join us and why I need to screen them thoroughly.
Read part 3 The Selection
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