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Matkin continues describing the schoolmaster's experience on St. Vincent in the Cape Verdes.

He arrives on this barren island on the 19th with only £2 in his pocket, and after describing the kind of people on shore here in his journal, he goes on to say—“Having such a small sum of private money with me, and not being furnished by the Admiralty with any funds to defray my expenses on disembarking, I consider my best plan is to consult the British Consul at once about it. The Consul kindly informed me, he says, that the “Challenger" might arrive in 10 days, or she might be a month, he really could not say, but he told me I might manage to subsist at an Hotel until her arrival, at the rate of about 8/per day. I then enquired—“Can you furnish me the means for subsistence until the Ship's arrival for I have only about £2 with me, and you shall then be reimbursed everything". His answer was—“I have no instructions that would justify me in so-doing, and to me, you are no more than any other British subject".

After this pleasant information (he says) I walked about the place to collect myself and consider what was best to be done, and I have calculated that I shall be able to manage at least a week if I only sleep at the Hotel. I must pass away the time during the day by walking about the island,and must do the best I can in the town for food."  This is the last entry in his Journal, for on the same afternoon (8 days before we arrived) he left the Hotel to go for a walk, and was never again seen alive. He was wearing his watch at the time, and had his money about him, and it is considered by people who know the place well that he has been murdered for his money and buried, which is no uncommon circumstance on this island....

I consider the Consul ought to be superseded at the least; he is getting £400 a year for looking after the interests of British subjects, and that is the way he treated one of his own countrymen. Sub Lieut. Harston came out in the same mail boat, and was nearly in the same predicament on landing here, but the Consul invited him to his house, and then kept him until our arrival—merely because he was a Commissioned Officer.

 

Later, at the end of Challenger's journey, Sub-Lieutenant Harston would face his own crisis and tragedy, and Matkin would report on it in his letters home.