As far as he could see, ropes were stretched between pegs, dividing the expanse 136
in front of him into squares and rectangles. Building had
started on some of these plots, but most constructions were only a few inches off the ground. Joseph announced:
“Here we are, Henry. This is Aliwal North.”
Henry had never before seen anything quite like this gigantic piece of practical geometry, and did not know what to say.
Joseph, reading his mind, said:
“I know that there’s not too much to see. Rome wasn’t
built in a day!”
Joseph stopped the wagons outside a large but unfinished building at the corner of a crossroads in the centre of the place, and explained:
“This is our shop. The ground floor is habitable, and it
will eventually become the shop and offices. It should
not be too long before the upper floor will be
completed. That will become your residence, Henry.
will be able to afford to build your own larger, and
Henry listened and surveyed the scene from the front of the shop, thinking that the place looked more like a map than a town. He realised it was up to him to help change it from a mere dot on a map into a thriving municipality.
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