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The new Schoolmaster from England is on board, came out in the same mail that brought your letter, he is a young man, and had been married 5 days, when he received 24 hours notice to embark for the "Challenger."

One wonders if Matkin perhaps hoped to find a friend in the new schoolmaster; he writes to his mother about his sense of isolation and the lonely outings he plans for himself:

Of course I shall go on shore to Simon's town, & there are some fine walks here, also a fine beach for sea bathing which will suit me better than lounging about Cape town. It is not like Melbourne or Sydney, & I invariably go on shore by myself. I have not a single companion in the ship—that I call a companion, though of course we are all sociable & friendly.

To-morrow being Charlie's birthday, I shall probably go on shore & have a spree, also on the 2nd December take myself out to tea somewhere.

 

Matkin's plans for December 2nd tea would mark the occasion of his twentieth birthday.