January 9, 1856

Independent Victrola Watson Family Arrives In Australia on Hotspur

Jack Holmes Reappears, Vows To Care For Trio

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The Henry Watson family have finished their three-month ocean cruise at last, but without Henry Watson himself. Watson, last heard from while beginning missionary work on the prison ship Gloria Scott, was lost at sea along with numerous swindlers, embezzlers, and that London criminal genius from last season, Jack Prenderghast.

"It was a rat-gutted, beetle-ridden, mouldy old coffin of a Chin China coaster, from what I’ve heard," family friend Jack Holmes explained. "I’m not surprised that it was lost at sea . . . which I am quite sure it was, even at this early date . . . not that I’d have any way of knowing if it had actually exploded or anything."

Holmes, previously thought missing, turned up on the Hotspur, where he had apparently started work as a sailor in mid-October under the name of "Hudson."

"I’m not sure how or why my husband’s best friend decided to become a man of the sea like that," Victrola Watson said. "But Jack Holmes is a good ‘un, and he had heard how my Henry was looking out for his interests, so he swore he’d look out for Henry’s, now that my man has been claimed by the vengeful seas."

The brave and independent Victrola Watson and her two sons, Henry Watson Junior and John H. Watson, M.D., will travel with Jack Holmes to the Australian gold fields, where Holmes hopes to make enough money so that the widow Watson and her sons can live the rest of their days in comfort among the kookaburras, kangaroos, koala bears, and other friendly Australian animals whose names begin with the letter "k."