elf of young Pentelow, now near the end of his pupilage, and offered him his first job. Will accepted with alacrity. The opportunity of gaining experience and at the same time seeing a foreign country was too good to be neglected. He sailed with Mr. Jackson, and had been several months in Venezuela when our story opens. Forty miles of the railway had already been completed, and was in use for the carriage of asphalt, this being conveyed to railhead from the mines on mules. The Company had ceased to pay dues to the ex-Jefe of Guayana, whose monopoly was now not worth an old song.
Will's only regret in leaving England was the interruption of his hobby. He had been for some time enthusiastically interested in motor-boats, and when Mr. Jackson's sudden offer came, was in the midst of experimenting with a hydroplane. This he had to leave behind. But he had not been long in Venezuela before he found an opportunity of taking up his hobby again. The labourers on the railway, a strangely assorted crowd of Spani
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