Explorations in Australia, The Journals of John McDouall Stuart
John McDouall Stuart

Part 6 out of 7

running stream, is very thickly wooded with tall stringy-bark, gums, and
other kinds of palm-trees, which are very beautiful, the stem growing
upwards of fifty feet high, the leaves from eight to ten feet in length,
with a number of long smaller ones growing from each side, resembling an
immense feather; a great number of these shooting out from the top of the
high stems, and falling gracefully over, has a very pretty, light, and
elegant appearance. Followed the creek for about two miles down this
gorge, and camped on an open piece of ground. The top course of the table
land is a layer of magnetic ironstone, which attracted my compass upwards
of 20 degrees; underneath is a layer of red sandstone, and below that is
an immense mass of white sandstone, which is very soft, and crumbling
away with the action of the atmosphere. In the valley is growing an
immense crop of grass, upwards of four feet high; the cabbage palm is
still in the creek. We have seen a number of new shrubs and flowers. The
course of the table land is north-north-west and south-south-east. The
cliffs, from the camp in the valley, seem to be from two hundred and
fifty to three hundred feet high. Beyond all doubt we are now on the
Adelaide river. Light winds, variable. Latitude, 13 degrees 44 minutes 14

Friday, 11th July, Adelaide River, North-west Side, Table Land. The
horses being close at hand, I got an early start at 7.20, course
north-west. In a mile I got greatly bothered by the boggy ground, and
numbers of springs coming from the table land, which I am obliged to
round. At two miles got clear of them, and proceeded over a great number
of stony rises, very steep; they are composed of conglomerate quartz,
underneath which is a course of slates, the direction of which is
north-west, and lying very nearly perpendicular, and also some courses of
ironstone, and a sharp rectangular hard grey flint stone. My horses being
nearly all without shoes, it has lamed a great many of them, and, having
struck the river again at fifteen miles, I camped. They have had a very
hard day's journey. The country is nearly all burnt throughout, but those
portions which have escaped the fire are well grassed. I should think
this is a likely place to find gold in, from the quantity of quartz, its
colour, and having so lately passed a large basaltic and granite country;
the conglomerate quartz being bedded in iron, and the slate
perpendicular, are good signs. The stony rises are covered with
stringy-bark, gum, and other trees, but not so tall and thick as on the
table land and close to it, except in the creek, where it is very large;
the melaleuca is also large. Since leaving the table land we have nearly
lost the beautiful palms; there are still a few at this camp, but they
are not growing so high; the cabbage palm is still in the creek and
valleys. Light winds from south-east. Country burning all round.
Latitude, 13 degrees 38 minutes 24 seconds. This branch I have named the
Mary, in honour of Miss Mary Chambers.

Saturday, 12th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. Started at 7.30; course,
north-west. At one mile and a half came upon a running stream coming from
the north-east; had great difficulty in getting the horses across, the
banks being so boggy. One got fixed in it and was nearly drowned; in an
hour succeeded in getting them all safe across. At six miles I ascended a
high, tall, and stony hill; the view is not good, except to the westward.
In that direction there is seemingly a high range in the far distance,
appearing to run north and south; the highest point of the end of the
range is west, to which the river seems to tend. My horse being so lame
for the want of shoeing, I shall strike in for the river and follow it
for another two miles, as it seems to run so much to the westward. I have
resolved to use some of the horseshoes I have been saving to take me back
over the stony country of South Australia. To enable McGorrerey to get
them all shod on the front feet before Monday, I have camped. There is
still a slaty range on each side of the river, with quartz hills close
down to it; the timber the same as yesterday. The country has recently
all been burned; but, judging from the small patches that have escaped,
has been well grassed up to the pass of the hills. The valley and banks
of the creeks are of beautiful alluvial soil. One new feature seen to-day
is the growing of large clumps of bamboo on the banks of the river, from
fifty to sixty feet in height and about six inches in diameter at the
butt. I am now on one of the tributaries of the Adelaide River. There
must have been a dreadful fire here a few days ago; it has destroyed
everything before it, except the green trees, to the edge of the water.
Slight winds, variable. Latitude, 13 degrees 35 minutes 58 seconds.

Sunday, 13th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. Shoeing horses. Wind blowing
strong; variable from all points of the compass.

Monday, 14th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. One of the horses cannot be
found this morning, and he has been for some time very ill and weak, and
no appearance of getting better. It was my intention to have left him. We
have been all round the tracks forward and backward over the
feeding-ground and can see nothing of him. I am afraid he has gone off to
some place and died; I shall therefore waste no more time in looking for
him. If he is alive I may have a chance of recovering him on my return.
Late start, in consequence of so long looking for him. As I have now got
all the horses shod on the front feet, I shall proceed on a north-west
course through the stony rises, which are still quartz and slate,
splendidly grassed, with gums and other trees and bushes not too thick to
get through with ease. Crossed six small creeks, one with holes with
water in them; the third one, a large creek, which I crossed at nine
miles, I have named William Creek, after the second son of John Chambers,
Esquire, of Adelaide; all running at right angles to my course.
Immediately after crossing this last creek the country changed to
granite; the rises are composed of immense blocks of it, with
occasionally some quartz. The country has been all burned. The valleys
between the granite rises are broad and of first-rate soil, many of them
are quite green, caused by springs oozing from the granite rock. We have
passed a number of trees resembling the iron-bark, also some like new
ones, and many shrubs which Mr. Kekwick has found. Wind, south-east.
Latitude, 13 degrees 29 minutes 25 seconds.

Tuesday, 15th July, Billiatt Springs. I have named these springs in token
of my approbation of Billiatt's thoughtful, generous, and unselfish
conduct throughout the expedition. I started at 7.40 this morning, course
north-west. Crossed granite and quartz rises, with broad valleys between,
both splendidly grassed. At three miles crossed a small creek with water;
at another mile the same creek again; one also to my line on the
south-west side, and immediately went off to the south-west. At six miles
the river came close to the line, and immediately went off to the west.
Continued on my course through granite and quartz country, splendidly
grassed, and timbered with stringy-bark and gums, pines, palms,
nut-trees, and a wattle bush, which in some places was rather thick, but
not at all difficult to get through. At ten miles again struck the river;
it is now apparently running to the north. Changed to that course, but it
soon left me. At three miles and a half on the north course struck
another creek running from the range north-east; it has an abundance of
water, and is rather boggy. King's horse fell with him in it, but did no
further injury than giving him a wetting. A few of the other horses
stumbled and rolled about in it for a short time, but we got them all
across without accident. Changed to west of north; at half a mile reached
a saddle between two hills, and ascended the one to the west, the river
now running between ranges to the west; they seemed a good deal broken,
with some high points to the north-west. There is a higher one, seemingly
running north and south, with apparently a plain between about four miles
broad, on which are four or five lines of dark trees; this leads me to
suppose that the river is divided. The plain being very thickly timbered,
I could not see distinctly which was the main channel. Descended, and
proceeded on a north-west course. At one mile and a half struck the
river, again running north; changed to that, and at two miles and a half
camped. The country is now all burnt. I am obliged to stop where I can
get feed for the horses. One of the channels comes close to the bank,
east side, about six yards wide and two feet deep; bed sandy. The main
channel must be in the middle of the plain. The hill I ascended to-day
has been under the influence of fire; it is composed of quartz, and a
hard dark-coloured stone; the quartz runs in veins throughout it, in
places crystalline, and formed into spiral and many-sided figures; in
places there is a crust of iron, as if it had been run between the
stones, that is also crystalline. Wind, south-east. Latitude, 13 degrees
17 minutes 22 seconds.

Wednesday, 16th July, The Mary, Adelaide River. Started at 7.40, course
north. The river runs off again to the north-west, and I have passed over
an undulating country, all burnt, but the soil of the richest
description. The rises are comprised of quartz and a hard white stone,
with occasionally a little ironstone. At three miles crossed a creek with
water holes. At five miles crossed another. At seven miles came close to
a high hill--ascended it; at the foot it is composed of a hard slaty
stone covered with a cake of iron; about the middle is quartz, and on the
top conglomerated quartz. The view from south-west to north-west is
extensive, but this not being the highest hill, the rest is hidden. To
the west is a high hill, bluff at both ends, seemingly the last hill of
the range; its course apparently north-west and south-east. At this bluff
hill the range seems to cease, or drops into lower hills. A branch of the
river lies between it and me, but there are still a number of stony hills
before I can reach it. To the north-west and north there are high and
stony hills. The river now seems to run to the west, on a bearing of 30
degrees north of west. From twenty to twenty-five miles distant is
another range, at the foot of which there is a blue stripe, apparently
water, which I suppose to be the main stream of the Adelaide. Descended,
as the country is too rough and stony to continue either to the north or
north-west. I changed to 3 degrees north of west, crossed some stony
hills and broad valleys with splendid alluvial soil, the hills grassed to
the top. On that course struck the branch of the river. Still very thick
with the same kind of timber already mentioned. Most of the bamboos are
dead. I suppose the fire has been the cause of it. I again find it
running to the north; I turn to that course. At three miles struck a
large creek coming from the east with large sheets of water; had to run
it up half a mile before I could get across it. Crossed it all right, and
passed through a beautiful valley of green grass. After that, found that
I was again on the stony rise, where every blade of grass had been burned
off, and not knowing how far this may continue, I have turned off again
for the creek, to give the horses the benefit of the valley. The timber
is the same as yesterday in some places; the stringy-bark is much larger.
The banks of the river, when we first came upon it to-day, were high and
stony. The range to the east seems to cease about here. We are now
crossing low undulations. I have seen a number of kangaroos to-day; they
do not seem to be as large as those in the south. The valleys are
composed of conglomerated ironstone underneath the soil. A large number
of new birds seen to-day, some of them with splendid plumage. Wind,
south-east. Latitude, 13 degrees 7 minutes 21 seconds.

Thursday, 17th July, Tide Creek, Adelaide River. Started at eight
o'clock, course north-west; passed over some stony hills, small creeks,
and valleys well grassed. At three miles again met with the branch of the
river, with bamboos and trees of the same description as before, a
running stream, but not so rapid. At five miles, observing an open plain
among the trees, and the river trending more to the westward, I changed
my course to it, 15 degrees west of north; found it to be open plain, of
rich alluvial soil in places; at times it seemed to be subject to
inundation, I suppose the drainage from the range to the eastward, which
is distant about four miles. I am pleased it has been burnt, but where it
has not the grass is most abundant; where the water seems to remain it is
rather coarse. The plains are studded with lines of green gum-trees, and
the cabbage palms are numerous, which give them a very pretty park-like
appearance. They continued for ten miles, when we made a small stony
hill; we met with a large creek, with large holes of water in it, and
supposing I had got upon the plain that ran to the sea-coast, and seeing
those I had passed over so dry, camped; and having sent Thring to a rise
to see where the river is, he returned, but can see nothing of it, but
reports high hills to the north-west. I am glad of this, for it is not my
intention to follow the river round if I can get water in other places,
for it has already been well described south of this by Lieutenant
Helpman when he came up in a boat, and I wish to see what the country is
away from its banks. Wind south-east, with a few clouds from the north.
For the last week the weather has been excellent, not too hot during the
day, and cool and refreshing at night. The mosquitoes are very annoying,
and the flies during the day are a perfect torment. This creek I have
called Priscilla Creek. Latitude, 12 degrees 56 minutes 54 seconds.

Friday, 18th July, Priscilla Creek. Started at 8.15, course north-west.
Passed over grassy plains and stony rise; when, at three miles, seeing
the termination of a range in a bluff point, changed my course to 310
degrees. Proceeded, still crossing stony hills, consisting of ironstone,
slate, and a hard white rock, which is broken into rectangular fragments;
also over broad valleys, which are covered with grass that when green
must have stood very high, but is now so dry that it breaks off before
the horses. My horse being first, collects so much on his front legs that
I have been obliged to stop, pull him back, and allow it to fall, so that
he may step over it, go on, get another load, and do the same. At six
miles and a half, after crossing a plain, crossed a deep bamboo creek;
this I have named Ellen Creek. Proceeded over two other stony rises and
valleys of the same description, and came upon extensive plains, well
grassed, and of beautiful alluvial soil; crossing them towards the bluff
point at fifteen miles, came upon the Adelaide between me and the bluff,
which is about a mile further on; the river is about eighty yards wide,
and so still that I could not see which way the current was. I suppose
its being high tide was the cause of this. The banks are thickly lined
with bamboo, very tall and stout, very steep, and twelve feet down to the
water's edge; the water appeared to be of great depth, and entirely free
from snags or fallen timber. The range on the opposite side of the river,
for which I was directing my course, being the highest I have seen in
this new country, I have named it after His Excellency the
Governor-in-Chief of South Australia, Daly Range, and its highest peak to
the north Mount Daly. Before reaching the river, at thirteen miles, we
passed a high conspicuous tent hill, at right angle, north-east to our
line; this I have named Mount Goyder, after the Surveyor-General of South
Australia. Followed the river on a north course for about a mile, when I
was stopped by a deep side creek of thick bamboo, with water; turned to
the east, rounded the bamboo, but found myself in a boggy marsh, which I
could not cross. This marsh is covered with fine grass, in black alluvial
soil, in which is growing a new kind of lily, with a large broad
heart-shaped leaf a foot or more across; the blossoms are six inches
high, resemble a tulip in shape, and are of a deep brilliant rose colour;
the seeds are contained in a vessel resembling the rose of a
watering-pot, with the end of each egg-shaped seed showing from the
holes, and the colour of this is a bright yellow. The marsh is studded
with a great number of melaleuca-trees, tall and straight. As I could not
cross, I had to round it, which took me a little more than an hour; when
I got upon some low undulating rises, not far from Mount Goyder, composed
of conglomerate ironstone and ironstone gravel, which seem to produce the
springs which supply the marsh. Camped on the side of the marsh, to give
the horses the benefit of the green grass, for some of them are still
troubled with worms, and are very poor and miserable, and I have no
medicine to give them, and there is not a blade of grass on the banks of
the river--all has been burnt within the last four days. Native smoke in
every direction. Wind south-east, with a few clouds. Latitude, 12 degrees
49 minutes 30 seconds.

Saturday, 19th July, Lily Marsh, Adelaide River. Started at 9.10, course
20 degrees east of north. At three miles crossed some stony rises and
broad alluvial grassy valleys; at four miles met the river, had to go
half a mile to the south-east to round it. Again changed to my first
course; at seven miles and a half crossed a creek with water. The country
to this is good, with occasionally a little ironstone and gravel, timber
of stringy-bark, and a little low gum scrub. Having crossed this creek,
we ascended a sandy table land with an open forest of stringy bark (good
timber), palms, gums, other trees and bushes; it has been lately burnt,
but the roots of the grass abound. This continued for about three miles.
There is a small stony range of hills to the west, which at the end of
the three miles dropped into a grassy plain of a beautiful black alluvial
soil, covered with lines and groves of the cabbage palm trees, which give
it a very picturesque appearance; its dip is towards the river; in two
miles crossed it, and again ascended low table land of the very same
description as the other. At fourteen miles struck another creek with
water, and camped. The country gone over to-day, though not all of the
very best description, has plains in it of the very finest kind--even the
sandy table-land bears an abundant crop of grass. The trees are so thick
that I can get no view of the surrounding country; the tall beautiful
palm grows in this creek. Native smoke about, but we have not seen any
natives. There are large masses of volcanic rock on the sides of this
creek. At about a mile to the eastward is a large body of springs that
supply water to this creek, which I have named Anna Creek. Camped at ten
minutes to three o'clock. Wind variable. Latitude, 12 degrees 39 minutes
7 seconds.

Sunday, 20th July, Anna Creek. The mosquitoes at this camp have been most
annoying; scarcely one of us has been able to close his eyes in sleep
during the whole night: I never found them so bad anywhere--night and day
they are at us. The grass in, and on the banks of, this creek is six feet
high; to the westward there are long reaches of water, and the creek very
thickly timbered with melaleuca, gum, stringy-bark, and palms. Wind,

Monday, 21st July, Anna Creek and Springs. Again passed a miserable night
with the mosquitoes. Started at eight o'clock; course, north-north-west.
At three miles came upon another extensive fresh-water marsh, too boggy
to cross. There is rising ground to the north-west and north; the river
seems to run between. I can see clumps of bamboos and trees, by which I
suppose it runs at about a mile to the north-north-west. The ground for
the last three miles is of a sandy nature, and light-brown colour, with
ironstone gravel on the surface, volcanic rock occasionally cropping out.
The borders of the marsh are of the richest description of black alluvial
soil, and when the grass has sprung after it has been burnt, it has the
appearance of a rich and very thick crop of green wheat. I am now
compelled to alter my course to 30 degrees south of east, to get across a
water creek coming into the marsh, running deep, broad and boggy, and so
thick with trees, bushes, and strong vines interwoven throughout it, that
it would take a day to cut a passage through. At three miles we crossed
the stream, and proceeded again on the north-north-west course, but at a
mile and a half were stopped by another creek of the same description.
Changed to east, and at half a mile was able to cross it also, and again
went on my original bearing. Continued on it for three miles, when we
were again stopped by another running stream, but this one I was able to
cross without going far out of my course. Proceeded on the
north-north-west course, passing over elevated ground of the same
description as the first three miles. At seventeen miles came upon a
thick clump of trees, with beautiful palms growing amongst them; examined
it and found it to have been a spring, but now dry. Proceeded on another
mile, and was again stopped by what seemed to be a continuation of the
large marsh; we now appeared to have got right into the middle of it. It
was to be seen to the south-west, north-east, and south-east of us.
Camped on a point of rising ground running into it. The timber on the
rises between the creeks is stringy-bark, small gums, and in places a
nasty scrub, very sharp, which tore a number of our saddle-bags: it is a
very good thing the patches of it are not broad. The grass, where it has
not been burned, is very thick and high--up to my shoulder when on
horseback. About a mile from here, to the west, I can see what appears to
be the water of the river, running through clumps of trees and bamboos,
beyond which, in the distance, are courses of low rising ground, in
places broken also with clumps of trees; the course of the river seems to
be north-north-west. On the east side of the marsh is also rising ground;
the marsh in that direction seems to run five or six miles before it
meets the rising ground, and appears after that to come round to the
north. Nights cool. Latitude, 12 degrees 28 minutes 19 seconds. Wind,

Tuesday, 22nd July, Fresh-water Marsh. As the marsh seems to run so much
to the east, and not knowing how much further I shall have to go to get
across the numerous creeks that appear to come into it, I shall remain
here to-day and endeavour to find a road through it to the river, and
follow up the banks if I can. I have a deal of work to do to the plan,
and our bags require mending. After collecting the horses Thring tried to
cross the marsh to the river, and succeeded in reaching its banks,
finding firm ground all the way; the breadth of the river here being
about a hundred yards, very deep, and running with some velocity, the
water quite fresh. He having returned with this information, I sent him,
King, and Frew, mounted on the strongest horses, to follow the banks of
the river till noon, to see if there is any obstruction to prevent my
travelling by its banks. In two hours they returned with the sad tidings
that the banks were broken down by watercourses, deep, broad, and boggy;
this is a great disappointment, for it will take me a day or two longer
than I expected in reaching the sea-coast, in consequence of having to go
a long way round to clear the marsh and creeks. The edge of the marsh was
still of the same rich character, and covered with luxuriant grass. The
rise we are camped on is also the same, with ironstone gravel on the
surface; this seems to have been a favourite camping-place for a large
number of natives. There is a great quantity of fish bones, mussel, and
turtle shells, at a little distance from the camp, close to where there
was some water. There are three poles fixed in the ground, forming an
equilateral triangle, on the top of which was a framework of the same
figure, over which were placed bars of wood: its height from the ground
eight feet. This has apparently been used by them for smoke-drying a dead
blackfellow. We have seen no natives since leaving the Roper, although
their smoke is still round about us. On and about the marsh are large
flocks of geese, ibis, and numerous other aquatic birds; they are so wild
that they will not allow us to come within shot of them. Mr. Kekwick has
been successful in shooting a goose; it has a peculiar-shaped head,
having a large horny lump on the top resembling a topknot, and only a
very small web at the root of his toes. The river opposite this, about a
yard from the bank, is nine feet deep. Wind variable. Night cool.

Wednesday, 23rd July, Fresh-water Marsh. Started at 7.40, course 22
degrees east of south, one mile, to round the marsh; thence one mile
south-east; thence east for six miles, when we struck a large creek, deep
and long reaches; thence three quarters of a mile south before we could
cross it. This I have named Thring Creek, in token of my approbation of
his conduct throughout the journey; thence east, one mile and a half;
thence north for nine miles, when I again struck the large marsh. Thring
Creek has been running nearly parallel with the north course until it
empties itself into the marsh. The country gone over to-day, after
leaving the side of the marsh, as well as the banks of the creek, and
also some small plains, is of the same rich description of soil covered
with grass; the other parts are slightly elevated, the soil light with a
little sand on the surface of a brown colour; timber, mixture of
stringy-bark and gums, with many others; also, a low thick scrub, which
has lately been burnt in many places, the few patches that have escaped
abounding in grass. I have come twelve miles to the eastward to try to
round the marsh, but have not been able to do so; the plains that were
seen from the river by those who came up it in boats is the marsh; it is
covered with luxuriant grass, which gives it the appearance of extensive
grassy plains. I have camped at where the Thring spreads itself over a
portion of the marsh. There is rising ground to the north-west, on the
opposite side, which I suppose to be a continuation of the elevated
ground I passed before crossing the creek, and the same that I saw
bearing north from the last camp. I suppose it runs in towards the river.
Wind, south. Latitude, 13 degrees 22 minutes 30 seconds.

Thursday, 24th July, Thring Creek, Entering the Marsh. Started at 7.40,
course north. I have taken this course in order to make the sea-coast,
which I suppose to be distant about eight miles and a half, as soon as
possible; by this I hope to avoid the marsh. I shall travel along the
beach to the north of the Adelaide. I did not inform any of the party,
except Thring and Auld, that I was so near to the sea, as I wished to
give them a surprise on reaching it. Proceeded through a light soil,
slightly elevated, with a little ironstone on the surface--the volcanic
rock cropping out occasionally; also some flats of black alluvial soil.
The timber much smaller and more like scrub, showing that we are nearing
the sea. At eight miles and a half came upon a broad valley of black
alluvial soil, covered with long grass; from this I can hear the wash of
the sea. On the other side of the valley, which is rather more than a
quarter of a mile wide, is growing a line of thick heavy bushes, very
dense, showing that to be the boundary of the beach. Crossed the valley,
and entered the scrub, which was a complete network of vines. Stopped the
horses to clear a way, whilst I advanced a few yards on to the beach, and
was gratified and delighted to behold the water of the Indian Ocean in
Van Diemen Gulf, before the party with the horses knew anything of its
proximity. Thring, who rode in advance of me, called out "The Sea!" which
so took them all by surprise, and they were so astonished, that he had to
repeat the call before they fully understood what was meant. Then they
immediately gave three long and hearty cheers. The beach is covered with
a soft blue mud. It being ebb tide, I could see some distance; found it
would be impossible for me to take the horses along it; I therefore kept
them where I had halted them, and allowed half the party to come on to
the beach and gratify themselves by a sight of the sea, while the other
half remained to watch the horses until their return. I dipped my feet,
and washed my face and hands in the sea, as I promised the late Governor
Sir Richard McDonnell I would do if I reached it. The mud has nearly
covered all the shells; we got a few, however. I could see no sea-weed.
There is a point of land some distance off, bearing 70 degrees. After all
the party had had some time on the beach, at which they were much pleased
and gratified, they collected a few shells; I returned to the valley,
where I had my initials (J.M.D.S.) cut on a large tree, as I did not
intend to put up my flag until I arrived at the mouth of the Adelaide.
Proceeded, on a course of 302 degrees, along the valley; at one mile and
a half, coming upon a small creek, with running water, and the valley
being covered with beautiful green grass, I have camped to give the
horses the benefit of it. Thus have I, through the instrumentality of
Divine Providence, been led to accomplish the great object of the
expedition, and take the whole party safely as witnesses to the fact, and
through one of the finest countries man could wish to behold--good to the
coast, and with a stream of running water within half a mile of the sea.
From Newcastle Water to the sea-beach, the main body of the horses have
been only one night without water, and then got it within the next day.
If this country is settled, it will be one of the finest Colonies under
the Crown, suitable for the growth of any and everything--what a splendid
country for producing cotton! Judging from the number of the pathways
from the water to the beach, across the valley, the natives must be very
numerous; we have not seen any, although we have passed many of their
recent tracks and encampments. The cabbage and fan palm-trees have been
very plentiful during to-day's journey down to this valley. This creek I
named Charles Creek, after the eldest son of John Chambers, Esquire: it
is one by which some large bodies of springs discharge their surplus
water into Van Diemen Gulf; its banks are of soft mud, and boggy. Wind,
south. Latitude, 12 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds.

Friday, 25th July, Charles Creek, Van Diemen Gulf. I have sent Thring to
the south-west to see if he can get round the marsh. If it is firm ground
I shall endeavour to make the mouth of the river by that way. After a
long search he has returned and informs me that it is impracticable,
being too boggy for the horses. As the great object of the expedition is
now attained, and the mouth of the river already well known, I do not
think it advisable to waste the strength of my horses in forcing them
through, neither do I see what object I should gain by doing so; they
have still a very long and fatiguing journey in recrossing the continent
to Adelaide, and my health is so bad that I am unable to bear a long
day's ride. I shall, therefore, cross this creek and see if I can get
along by the sea-beach or close to it. Started and had great difficulty
in getting the horses over, although we cut a large quantity of grass,
putting it on the banks and on logs of wood which were put into it. We
had a number bogged, and I was nearly losing one of my best horses, and
was obliged to have him pulled out with ropes; after the loss of some
time we succeeded in getting them all over safely. Proceeded on a
west-north-west course over a firm ground of black alluvial soil. At two
miles came upon an open part of the beach, went on to it, and again found
the mud quite impassable for horses; in the last mile we have had some
rather soft ground. Stopped the party, as this travelling is too much for
the horses, and, taking Thring with me, rode two miles to see if the
ground was any firmer in places; found it very soft where the salt water
had covered it, in others not so bad. Judging from the number of shells
banked up in different places, the sea must occasionally come over this.
I saw at once that this would not do for the weak state in which my
horses were, and I therefore returned to where I had left the party,
resolving to recross the continent to the City of Adelaide. I now had an
open place cleared, and selecting one of the tallest trees, stripped it
of its lower branches, and on its highest branch fixed my flag, the Union
Jack, with my name sewn in the centre of it. When this was completed, the
party gave three cheers, and Mr. Kekwick then addressed me,
congratulating me on having completed this great and important
undertaking, to which I replied. Mr. Waterhouse also spoke a few words on
the same subject, and concluded with three cheers for the Queen and three
for the Prince of Wales. At one foot south from the foot of the tree is
buried, about eight inches below the ground, an air-tight tin case, in
which is a paper with the following notice:

"South Australian Great Northern Exploring Expedition.

"The exploring party, under the command of John McDouall Stuart, arrived
at this spot on the 25th day of July, 1862, having crossed the entire
Continent of Australia from the Southern to the Indian Ocean, passing
through the centre. They left the City of Adelaide on the 26th day of
October, 1861, and the most northern station of the Colony on 21st day of
January, 1862. To commemorate this happy event, they have raised this
flag bearing his name. All well. God save the Queen!"

[Here follow the signatures of myself and party.]

As this bay has not been named, I have taken this opportunity of naming
it Chambers Bay, in honour of Miss Chambers, who kindly presented me with
the flag which I have planted this day, and I hope this may be the first
sign of the dawn of approaching civilization. Exactly this day nine
months the party left North Adelaide. Before leaving, between the hours
of eleven and twelve o'clock, they had lunch at Mr. Chambers' house; John
Bentham Neals, Esquire, being present, proposed success to me, and wished
I might plant the flag on the north-west coast. At the same hour of the
day, nine months after, the flag was raised on the shores of Chambers
Bay, Van Diemen Gulf. On the bark of the tree on which the flag is placed
is cut--DIG ONE FOOT--S. We then bade farewell to the Indian Ocean, and
returned to Charles Creek, where we had again great difficulty in getting
the horses across, but it was at last accomplished without accident. We
have passed numerous and recent tracks of natives to-day; they are still
burning the country at some distance from the coast. Wind, south-east.
Latitude, 12 degrees 14 minutes 50 seconds.



Saturday, 26th July, Charles Creek, Chambers Bay, Van Diemen Gulf. This
day I commence my return, and feel perfectly satisfied in my own mind
that I have done everything in my power to obtain as extensive a
knowledge of the country as the strength of my party will allow me. I
could have made the mouth of the river, but perhaps at the expense of
losing many of the horses, thus increasing the difficulties of the return
journey. Many of them are so poor and weak, from the effects of the
worms, that they have not been able for some time to carry anything like
a load, and I have been compelled to make the (symbol crescent over C)
horses stand the brunt of the work of the expedition. As yet not one of
them has failed; they have all done their work in excellent style. The
sea has been reached, which was the great object of the expedition, and a
practicable route found through a splendid country from Newcastle Water
to it, abounding, for a great part of the way, in running streams well
stocked with fish--and this has been accomplished at a season of the year
during which we have not had one drop of rain. Started, following my
tracks back. Passed my former camp on the Thring; went on and crossed it.
Proceeded on my east course to the west, about one mile and a half, to
some small green marshy plains of black alluvial soil, with a spring in
the centre, covered with fine green grass. Camped. Wind, south. Latitude,
12 degrees 30 minutes 21 seconds.

Sunday, 27th July, Small Grassy Plains. Day rather warm; mosquitoes
terrible; no sleep last night; never found them so bad before; not a
breath of wind to drive them away.

Monday, 28th July, Small Grassy Plains. Started at 7.40, course 25
degrees west of south, for my camp of the eighteenth instant. At ten
miles struck my tracks, thus avoiding the boggy creeks that flow into the
large marsh. On this course passed five small black alluvial plains,
covered with grass, three of them having springs with water on the
surface. They lie between slightly elevated country of light-brown soil,
having stringy-bark and gums, with occasionally a thin scrub abounding in
grass. On the plains there is occasionally a little of the volcanic rock
cropping out. Followed my former tracks to the camp on the Lily Marsh,
and remained for the night. We all passed a miserable night with the
mosquitoes. My hands, wrists, and neck, were all blistered over with
their bites, and were most painful.

Tuesday, 29th July, Lily Marsh. At half-past seven o'clock proceeded on
the track. Passed my camp of 17th instant, and arriving at the one of the
16th at four o'clock p.m., camped. Wind, south.

Wednesday, 30th July, Side Creek, Adelaide River. All were delighted with
a comfortable night's rest--no mosquitoes. Proceeded to Billiatt Springs
and camped. One of the horses, Jerry, has been ill for the last three
weeks, and although he has not had anything to carry, it has been as much
as we could do to get him into the camp. This afternoon he gave in
altogether, and Mr. Kekwick was quite unable to get him a step further,
and was compelled to leave him about three miles back, where there is
some water and plenty of feed. Wind, south-east.

Thursday, 31st July, Billiatt Springs. Proceeded and passed our camps of
13th and 12th instant. Crossed the Mary branch of the Adelaide: went
along the south side, expecting to avoid the boggy creek crossed on the
12th instant. When nearly opposite to it, camped. Found this part of the
branch deep, broad, and boggy; but I think we will be able to cross in
the morning by cutting down a number of cabbage palms, which are growing
very thick here. Light winds from south-east.

Friday, 1st August, South Side of the Mary. Recrossed the Mary, which is
very boggy on the banks. We were enabled to cross it safely by cutting a
large quantity of long grass, laying it on the sides of the banks, with a
few logs and pickets driven into the bed to prevent the current from
carrying away the grass. In this we succeeded very well. After crossing I
found we had still to encounter the other running and boggy creek of the
12th ultimo; but, by repeating the same operation, we were successful.
Passed our camp of the 11th ultimo, and proceeded on towards the table
land. On approaching it, where the springs come from underneath, found it
very boggy; had some difficulty in getting the horses through it. Got
them all through with the exception of Frew's horse, which stuck hard and
fast in it, and we were obliged to pull him out, which was soon
accomplished, and we got him safe on terra firma. Continued along the
foot of the table land, and halted at our camp of the 10th ultimo. At
about seven p.m. last night I heard something plunging in the river; sent
down to see what it was; found two of the horses bogged, and unable to
extricate themselves. Got ropes, and all the party to pull them out.
After an hour's hard work succeeded. On coming near the table land the
country is all on fire, causing a dense black smoke and heated
atmosphere. Wind, south-east.

Saturday, 2nd August, North-west Side of Table Land. Proceeded up the
creek to the gorge--where we came down from the top of the table land;
ascended it, which they all did well except one horse, which refused to
go up, and caused me to lose more than an hour with him; we had to take
all the things off him and carry them to the top on our backs. We had to
zigzag him backwards and forwards, and got him to the top after a deal of
trouble. Crossing on the top we met with a large fire about two miles
broad. The wind not being strong, nor the grass very long, we got through
it well, but my weak eyes suffered much from the smoke coming from the
burning logs, trees, and grass. The atmosphere very hot and almost
overpowering before we got through it. One of the horses knocked up, but
we were able to get him on to the running creek connected with Kekwick's
large group of springs, where I am obliged to camp and try to recover
him. This is the first one of the (symbol crescent over C) horses that
has failed; but he has not had fair play, through the negligence of the
man who had him. He has for some time been carrying a load of one hundred
and forty pounds without my knowledge, far more than he was able to
carry. He has been a good horse, and has done a deal of work. There are a
number of native tracks both up and down our tracks. One of the natives
seems to have a very large foot. Wind, south.

Sunday, 3rd August, Kekwick's Large Springs. Last evening, just as the
sun was dipping, five natives made their appearance, armed with spears,
and came marching boldly up to within eighty yards of the camp, where
they were met by Mr. Kekwick and others of the party who had advanced to
meet them. They were all young men, small, and very thin. Seeing so many
approaching them they soon went off. They were all smeared over with
burnt grass, charcoal, or some other substance of that description. This
morning, shortly after sunrise, the same five again made their
appearance. I went up to them to see what they wanted. Saw that they had
painted their bodies with white stripes ready for war. As it is my
intention to pass peaceably through the different tribes, I endeavoured
to make friends with them by showing them we intended them no harm if
they will leave us alone. One of them had a curious fish spear, which he
seemed inclined to part with, and I sent Mr. Kekwick to get some
fish-hooks to exchange with him, which he readily did; we then left them.
They continuing a longer time than I wished, and gradually approaching
nearer to our camp, thinking perhaps they really did not wish to part
with the spear, I sent Mr. Kekwick back with it to them to see if that
was what they wanted, and to take the fish-hooks from them. But when they
saw what was intended, they gave back the spear and retained the hooks.
They offered another with a stone head upon the same terms, which was
accepted. Mr. Kekwick had a deal of trouble before he could get them to
move off, when they were joined by another, and then went off by twos. In
a short time they set fire to the grass all round us to try to burn us
out. Two of them came again close to the camp under pretence of looking
for game before the fire, at the same time setting fire to the grass
closer to us. But Mr. Kekwick and one of the others, seeing their
intention, ran up to them, who, on their approach, ran off, setting fire
to the grass as they went along, which gave us a deal of trouble in
putting out, as we wished to save as much feed for the horses as will do
for them till to-morrow morning; we have managed that, if they do not
come and set fire to it again. If they do I shall be compelled to use
preventive means with them, for I can stand it no longer; they must be
taught a lesson that we possess a little more power than they anticipate.
I would have moved on, but some of my horses are so ill that they are
unable to travel. If the natives we have seen to-day are a sample of
those that inhabit this country, they are certainly the smallest and most
miserable race of men that I have ever seen. In height about five feet,
their arms and legs remarkably thin, they do not seem to want the
inclination of doing mischief if they could get an opportunity, but they
find we are rather too watchful to give them a chance. From their manner
I have no doubt there were many more concealed, who intended attacking us
under cover of the smoke--indeed if they see us unprepared they may yet
do it before evening. At sundown they have not again made their
appearance. Wind, south.

Monday, 4th August, Kekwick's Large springs. Proceeded to the Katherine
and camped. The horse that knocked up on Saturday gave in again two miles
before we arrived here, although the distance is only thirteen miles, and
he had a rest all Sunday. I shall be compelled to leave him here; he only
destroys other horses dragging him along, and as the season is so far
advanced, I am doubtful of the water in some of the ponds, and therefore
cannot stop with him. I have been so very unwell to-day, with symptoms of
fever, that I could scarcely reach this place; but I hope I shall be
better by to-morrow. Nights and mornings are now very cold, but the sun
is very hot during the middle and afterpart of the day. Wind, south-east.

Tuesday, 5th August, The Katherine. Leaving the knocked-up horse behind,
proceeded to the Fanny, and camped. It was as much as I could do to sit
in the saddle this distance. Wind, south.

Wednesday, 6th August, The Fanny. Proceeded to the Waterhouse and camped.
The natives have been along our track, and burned the grass to within
three miles of our camp. On arriving here I was much disappointed on
finding all the water gone, but, following back the north-west branch, I
found enough for our use to-night and to-morrow morning. The country is
all on fire to the south-east. Wind, variable. The journey has been
rather rough and stony, and my weak horses feel it very much. I am afraid
I shall be compelled to leave some more of them behind. I cannot now stay
for them to recover, after seeing the rapidity with which this water has
dried up. A long delay will cause my retreat to be cut off in the pond
country. Wind, south-east. There is still permanent water up the
north-west branch of this creek.

Thursday, 7th August, The Waterhouse. Started at half-past seven, and at
two minutes past ten o'clock I arrived at the running stream (the
Chambers) of the 4th ultimo and camped. Weak horses looking very bad.
Country on fire round about us. A number of natives have been following
on our former tracks. Wind, south.

Friday, 8th August, Running Stream, The Chambers. Crossed the hard
sandstone range, and got upon the branch of the Chambers that I followed
up, passing our camp of 3rd ultimo, with plenty of permanent water.
Followed it down to our camp of the 2nd ultimo and remained there. Had to
leave one of the done-up horses about two miles behind. Another horse
gave in, and it was as much as Mr. Kekwick could do to get him thus far.
The natives have burned all the grass throughout this day's journey. A
little has escaped at this camp, and I am now compelled to give my horses
a rest until Monday morning. I thought they would have been able to carry
me across the Chambers before I gave them a rest, but, if I proceed
further, I shall lose more of them. The weather is beginning to be again
very hot in the middle of the day. Wind, south-east.

Saturday, 9th August, River Chambers. Resting horses. Day hot. Wind

Sunday, 10th August, River Chambers. Resting horses. I have sent Thring
to bring up the one that was left behind on Friday; in a short time he
brought him up, looking a most deplorable picture; the other one that
gave in the same day is quite as bad. I shall have to leave them behind;
it is only destroying other horses to force them along. I must also
reduce the weight the others are carrying, to enable them to get along. I
have had all the saddle-bags overhauled, and shall leave everything we
can possibly do without--even boots and clothes belonging to the party
have not been spared; all were quite willing to sacrifice anything they
had, with the exception of one who had a pair of new boots he had never
put on. I told him to put them on, and leave the old ones, but he
immediately told me that he had got a bad foot; I very soon cured him of
that by telling him if that was the case he might leave the new ones. I
have managed to leave about three hundredweight; many of the things I can
ill spare, but I hope by doing this to be able in a short time to push on
a little quicker. Light winds, variable.

Monday, 11th August, River Chambers. Two of the horses having strayed
this morning, it was a quarter past nine before I could get a start. I
had to proceed very slowly, in consequence of five of the horses being so
ill that they were unable to walk quickly. Proceeded on my former tracks,
cutting off the bends of the river. In some places it is very stony. Late
in the afternoon managed to get all the horses to the first camp on this
river. Light winds, south-east.

Tuesday, 12th August, River Chambers. Horses missing again this morning.
Started at half-past eight. Proceeded to the south-east end of the reedy
swamp, and at half-past three o'clock camped. An hour before halting, we
surprised a number of native women and children who were preparing roots
and other things for their repast. The moment they saw us they seized on
their children, placed them on their shoulders, and ran off screaming at
a great rate, leaving all their things behind them, amongst which we saw
a piece of iron used as a tomahawk; it had a large round eye into which
they had fixed a handle; the edge was about the usual tomahawk breadth;
when hot it had been hammered together. It had apparently been a hinge of
some large door or other large article; the natives had ground it down,
and seemed to know the use of it. Left their articles undisturbed, and
proceeded to the river Roper. My horses are still looking very bad. The
cause must be the dry state of the grass; it is so parched up that when
rubbed between the hands it becomes a fine powder, and they must derive
very little nourishment from it. I can hear natives talking and screaming
on the other side of the river, which at this place is a strong running
stream about thirty yards wide and apparently deep. Wind, south-east,
blowing strong.

Wednesday, 13th August, Roper River, Reedy Swamp. One of the horses
missing again this morning; he is one that generally goes off and hides
himself if he can find a place to do so. Searched all round, but could
find nothing of him or his tracks. Thinking that he might be hidden
amongst the thick bushes over the river, sent Frew to look through them
on foot, and Mr. Kekwick to an open place up the river to see if he had
got into it. Mr. Kekwick returned in a short time and reported that he
saw him lying drowned in the middle of it. I am sorry for this: he was a
good horse, in fair condition, was with me last year, and has always done
his work well, although he has caused a deal of trouble and loss of time
by so frequently concealing himself. I shall feel his loss very much, as
so many of the other horses are so poor that they are able to carry but
little of a load, and I am obliged to let four go without carrying
anything; indeed it is as much as they can do to walk the day's journey,
although the journeys are short. I shall be compelled to make them still
shorter to try and get them round again. As we were saddling, one native
man and two women made their appearance and came close to the camp. Mr.
Kekwick and I went up to them; the man was middle-aged, stout and tall,
the women were also tall, one especially. Their features were not so
coarse as those we had seen before--a very great difference between this
fellow and those I saw on the source of the Adelaide River. The man made
signs that he would like to get a fishhook by bending his forefinger and
placing it in his mouth, imitating the method of catching fish. I gave
him one with which he was much pleased: I also gave a cotton handkerchief
to each of the women; one of them no sooner got it than she held out the
other hand and called out "more, more, more;" with that request I did not
feel inclined to comply. They remained until we started. Proceeding about
three quarters of a mile down the river to where I had crossed it before,
I got all the horses over without difficulty. There is now no difference
in the strength, depth, nor velocity of the stream since we were here; it
is exactly in the same state as when we previously crossed it. After
crossing it to the other side, I had to cross another deep although dry
creek coming from the east; proceeded on a south-east course to avoid the
deep boggy creek that comes into the river, but at two miles I was
stopped by an immense number of springs, very boggy, and emitting a large
quantity of water; they seem to come from the east, as far as I could
see, in a wooded valley between two hills. I had to round them until I
got upon the south-east course again. At seven miles came upon a large
creek or chain of ponds, having long broad deep reaches of water;
followed this, running nearly my course for seven miles in a straight
line. Camped. My horses cannot do more. The country that I have travelled
over to-day is of the very finest description, rich black alluvial soil,
completely matted with grass, the water most excellent and abundant. The
timber, gum and melaleuca, a few of the trees resembling the shea-oak
also; a few of the fan palms growing among the springs, very tall,
upwards of forty feet; the cabbage palm, and a number of other bushes.
The general course to-day has been about east-south-east. Wind variable.

Thursday, 14th August, Springs and Chains of Ponds South of the Roper.
Started at half-past seven, intending to follow a south-east course to
make the Mussel Camp on the 23rd of June; but, meeting with another large
creek with continuous water, deep, broad, and boggy, also a number of
springs and water creeks, so boggy that I could not cross them, had to
twist and turn about very frequently, and sometimes to go quite back
again, before I could clear them--which brought me often close to the
river again. About eleven o'clock, as I was approaching the east end of a
low rocky range of hills, where I expected to get rid of all the boggy
ground, I was again stopped by a broad, deep, and boggy sheet of water. A
few minutes before coming to it, I was seized with a violent pain under
the right shoulder-blade, which deprived me of breath and power of
utterance: it darted through my body like lightning, causing the most
excruciating pain that I have ever felt during my life. I had to halt the
party, and was lifted from the saddle completely powerless. After
dismounting, the pain became so violent, and the torture so excessive,
that I thought my career in the world was coming quickly to a close. I
was completely paralysed, and a cold perspiration was pouring in streams
over my face and body. Recollecting I had got a mixture of laudanum and
other strong aromatic tinctures, had it sought for and took a strong
dose. After suffering an hour the extremes of torture, I began to feel
the good effects of the medicine, and obtained a little relief from the
pain ceasing for a few seconds; but still very bad. In a short time
afterwards I was able to bear being lifted into the saddle; again my
sufferings commenced, for every false step the horse made sent the pain
through my body like a knife, and almost brought me to the ground. Being
determined to reach the Mussel Camp to-night, and get quit of the Roper
River, which has been so unfortunate to me in drowning two of my best
horses, I kept my saddle until I reached it--which was not till near five
o'clock. Such a day of torture I never experienced before. On reaching
our tracks, about four miles from the Mussel Camp, another of the horses
knocked up, and we could not get him a step further. I expected to have
lost him long before this; he is one of those that failed on my last
journey, and was sent back from Mount Margaret. Light winds from east.

Friday, 15th August, Mussel Camp. I have passed a miserable night, and
feel but little better this morning, and as the horses require rest, I
shall remain here to-day. Shortly after sunrise, three natives came close
to the camp; Mr. Kekwick went up to them. Two were of the number of those
who visited us the first time at the large reedy swamp. They were very
quiet, and seemed very friendly; they had come to have a look at us, and
satisfy their curiosity. I feel a little easier to-night. Light wind,

Saturday, 16th August, Mussel Camp. Started at nine o'clock. Another of
my horses very ill; I think that many of them must have eaten some
poisonous plant on the Roper and its tributaries; I never saw horses fall
away so rapidly before. The worst are those that have been in good
condition throughout the journey, and the work they have been doing since
I commenced my return journey any horses ought to have done with ease. I
have never travelled more than eight hours a day, and frequently not more
than six hours. In a day or two they fall away to perfect skeletons, are
quite stupid, and hardly able to walk. I am glad that I am now quit of
the Roper, and hope that I shall have no more of them taken ill. If I can
only get the weak ones beyond Newcastle Water, where I expect to get some
new grass for them (from the June and July rains), they would soon
recover. My old horses are all looking well, although they have had to
carry the heaviest loads throughout the journey. I should have been in a
sad way without them--they are my mainstay. Arrived at the Rock Camp,
River Strangways, at two o'clock without having to leave any more. I feel
a little better to-day, but the motion of the horse has been very severe
throughout the journey. The water at this camp is drying up very rapidly:
it is reduced three feet in depth since we left, and I am very much
afraid it will be all gone in Purdie Ponds--if such is the case, I shall
lose all the weak horses. Wind in strong puffs, variable.

Sunday, 17th August, Rock Camp. Resting horses. Winds light and variable.

Monday, 18th August, Rock Camp. Three of the best horses are missing this
morning--they are the three leading horses--while feeding; and I have
never known them to be away from the others before. The three
horse-keepers have returned at half-past ten, and can see nothing of
them; the ground is so hard that their tracks leave but little
impression, so that they might have passed them unseen. Mounted Thring
and King on fresh horses to round the feeding-tracks again, and at
half-past twelve they returned with them. They happened to come upon
their tracks on a small piece of sandy ground on the opposite side of the
creek; they traced them to a large permanent water lagoon, deep and
broad, with water-lilies growing round it, and a number of ducks upon it;
it is about three quarters of a mile west-south-west from this camp. Not
seeing them there they followed their tracks for another mile, and there
found them, at which I was very glad, for they are three of my very best
horses, on which I am placing my dependence for carrying me back. I felt
very uneasy at their being away, thinking that the natives might have cut
them off during night. Saddled and proceeded to my first camp, north of
the Rocky Gorge, but was disappointed to find all the water gone, which I
did not expect. Proceeded a mile further, and found as much as will do
for a drink for the horses to-night and to-morrow morning. Camped. Light
winds, variable.

Tuesday, 19th August, First Camp North of Rocky Gorge. Started at eight
o'clock, proceeding to the Rocky Gorge, and camped. This water has shrunk
considerably since we left it, and I have now little hopes of there being
any water in Purdie Ponds. If there is not I shall require to push
through to Daly Waters. Light winds, south-east.

Wednesday, 20th August, Rocky Gorge, River Strangways. If there is no
water in Purdie Ponds, I have six horses that will not be able to go
through to Daly Waters; they must be two nights without it, and that they
will not be able to stand. I have therefore determined to send Thring and
King to Purdie Ponds to-morrow, to see if there is any water, and also to
examine another place that I observed in coming through, where I think
there may be water. If they find none at either of these places, I shall
be compelled to leave the six weak horses at the camp, where there is and
will be plenty of food and water for them. To attempt taking them
through, and be compelled to leave them behind where there will be no
chance of their getting a drop of water, would, I consider, be a great
cruelty; here they are safe, and there is a chance of their being picked
up by the next party. If Thring succeeds in getting water, I shall still
endeavour to take them on. I am yet suffering very much from scurvy; my
teeth and gums are so bad that it causes me excessive pain to eat
anything, and what I do eat I am unable to masticate properly, which
causes me to feel very ill indeed. Light winds, south-east.

Thursday, 21st August, Rocky Gorge, River Strangways. At 7.30 despatched
Thring and King to see if there is any water in the Ponds. Resting
horses, repairing saddle-bags, etc. Day hot, night and morning cool;
wind, south-east. My sight has been very much impaired during the last
month; after sundown, I am in total darkness. Even though the moon is
full, and shining bright and clear to the others, to me it is darkness; I
can see her dimly, but she gives me no more light than if she had been
painted on a piece of canvas. I am now quite incapable of taking
observations at night, and I am most thankful this did not happen before
I was enabled to reach the ocean, as the most of my observations are
taken at night. After the equinox the sun is too high to be measured by
the sextant in the artificial horizon.

Friday, 22nd August, Rocky Gorge, River Strangways. Day exceedingly hot.
Wind still from south-east, sometimes blowing in strong puffs. A little
after two o'clock Thring and King returned with the good news that there
is still water in Purdie Ponds; there is as much as will do for us until
Monday morning. I am very glad of it, for it will enable me to get the
weak horses through to Newcastle Water. After that I hope they will soon
recover, for I expect that rain has fallen to the southward of that, and
trust I shall get some fresh feed for them, which they require very much.
I still feel very unwell to-day.

Saturday, 23rd August, Rocky Gorge, River Strangways. Started at
half-past seven, and at four o'clock arrived at the Ponds. The day has
been extremely hot, but about noon some heavy clouds came up from the
east and south-east, which made it a little cooler, and enabled me to get
all the weak horses through; one of them showed symptoms of giving in
before we reached the Ponds, but we got him in all right. I shall remain
here until Monday morning, when I shall have again another long journey
without water (thirty-five miles) to Daly Waters. At sundown the clouds
all cleared away, without giving us any rain. Wind, south-east. This
day's journey has completely knocked me up. At one time I thought I
should never have been able to reach this water. I had no idea I was in
such a weak state, and am very doubtful of my being able to stand the
journey back to Adelaide; whatever may occur I must submit to the will of
Divine Providence.

Sunday, 24th August, Purdie Ponds. Day hot. Wind light, from south-east.
About noon a few clouds came up, but they all disappeared about sundown.
Very little improvement in me to-day.

Monday, 25th August, Purdie Ponds. Started at seven o'clock on my former
tracks towards Daly Waters. At seven miles south of the Blue-grass Swamp
saw a heavy fog to the east, in the same place that I saw the black fog
in coming up; it must be caused by a large body of water in that
direction. The natives have been running our tracks, and have burnt the
grass on both sides of it for some distance. There seem to be very few of
them about this part of the country. At half-past four passed the large
swamp that receives the surplus water of Daly Waters, with water still in
it, but very much reduced. At a quarter past five o'clock arrived at Daly
Waters; found them also very much reduced, but still an abundant supply.
Got all the weak horses through, which is more than I expected. This long
journey has again completely exhausted me, and I feel very ill. Wind,
south-east, with a few clouds.

Tuesday, 26th August, Daly Waters. I feel a little better this morning,
but still very weak and languid. I shall give the horses and myself a
rest to-day, for I am quite unable to ride. Wind, south-east, with a few
clouds from the same direction.

Wednesday, 27th August, Daly Waters. Last evening, about half-past seven,
Thring observed a comet bearing about 20 degrees west of north, and about
15 degrees above the horizon; the tail is short and the nucleus large. I
regret that I am unable to see it. I cannot now see a single star,
everything at night is total darkness. I should like to take some
observations of it, but I am quite debarred from doing so. Started at
half-past seven and proceeded along the Daly Waters, in which we saw an
abundant supply. On reaching McGorrerey Ponds, and finding plenty of
water, camped. I feel a good deal better to-day, but the motion of
travelling on horseback is still very severe. Although Daly Waters is
much reduced, there is still enough to last six months longer, even
should no rain fall. These ponds will also hold out about three months
longer. Wind, strong from south-east, with a few clouds.

Thursday, 28th August, McGorrerey Ponds. Proceeded to King's Ponds and
camped. Find that the natives have been running our tracks, and have
burnt large patches of grass; at this camp they have burnt it round. The
water here is nearly all dried up; a few days later and I should not have
got a drop. There is enough to last me to-night and to-morrow morning.
Strong wind from south-east. The natives have cut on one side of my
initials, on a gum-tree by the water where we camp, a figure resembling
(a stylised flying bird).

Friday, 29th August, King's Ponds. Started at quarter past seven;
proceeded to Frew's Pond, but was disappointed to find it quite dry. Dug
down two feet, but could find no water. Proceeded on a straight course
for Newcastle Water. Crossed Sturt Plains, and after dark camped on them.
I would have gone to Howell Ponds, but finding the others so nearly dry,
I was doubtful of them. A little before sundown, after I had passed them
some distance, I observed flocks of pigeons flying towards them, showing
that there is water still there. It is too late for me to go there now,
Newcastle Water being the nearest. Wind, south-east. I feel a little
better than I did on the former long journey.

Saturday, 30th August, Sturt Plains. At dawn of day started, being still
some eight miles from Newcastle Water. The horses look very wretched this
morning, especially the weak ones. About half-past eight arrived there,
and found an abundant supply of water, though much reduced. No rain seems
to have fallen since we left this, upwards of four months ago. A short
time before we arrived a number of natives were observed following at a
distance behind the rear of the party. They followed us on to our old
camp, when I sent Mr. Kekwick up to them to keep them amused until I had
the horses unpacked and taken down to water. By giving them a
handkerchief he obtained a stone tomahawk from them. They are a fine race
of men, tall, stout, and muscular, but not very handsome in features.
They were very quiet. By making signs they were made to understand they
were not to come nearer to our camp than about one hundred and fifty
yards. They remained until noon staring at us and our horses. Some who
could not see us very well got into the gum-trees, and had a long look at
us. They were seventeen in number; four of them were boys, one of them
much lighter than the others, nearly a light yellow. At noon they all
went off, after remaining for four hours. Once more have I returned, if I
may so call it, into old country again, after an absence of four months
and ten days, exploring a new and splendid country from this to the
Indian ocean without receiving a single drop of rain, or without any
hostilities from the natives. I have returned from the coast to this in
one month and three days. The horses have been one night without water,
but got it early next morning, between eight and nine o'clock, and they
would not have been without it if I could have seen to have guided the
party after sundown. After the rays of the sun have left the earth, all
is total darkness to me, even if there is a moon; I was therefore
compelled to camp until daylight. Had my horses been in anything like a
fair condition to have done a day's journey, and my health permitting, I
could have accomplished the journey from the coast to this in three
weeks. Before sundown we were again visited by our black friends; this
time two old men accompanied them, whom Mr. Kekwick recognised as among
those who visited the Depot at Howell Ponds during my absence. They all
came up this time painted in red and white, and after remaining a short
time went quietly to their camp. Wind, south-east.

Sunday, 31st August, North Newcastle Water. The natives again visited us
this morning, and after remaining some time went off quietly. Wind,
south-east. Few clouds at sundown.

Monday, 1st September, North Newcastle Water. Whilst saddling the horses
this morning the natives again came up, and were anxious to know if they
might be permitted to visit the camp after we were gone; that of course I
had no objection to. They have been very quiet and peaceable during our
stay; but I suppose they observed that both night and day we were always
prepared to resist any aggression on their part. Started at seven
o'clock, and proceeded by the base of the Ashburton range to my former
camp on the East Newcastle Water. Distance, twenty-five miles; course
nearly south-east. Arrived at four o'clock and found the water much
reduced, but still in great abundance. Not a drop of rain has fallen
since we left. There are, apparently, two tribes of natives on this
water, one inhabiting the north and the other the south; for, on those of
the north visiting us, we could not recognise any of those we saw on the
southern water. One of the natives was a very amusing little fellow,
rather less than five feet high, having a very peculiar and comical
countenance and antics that would have eclipsed Liston in his best days,
and as supple in the movements of his joints as any clown on the stage.
He imitated every movement we made, and burlesqued them to a very high
degree, causing great laughter to his companions and us. He seems to be
the buffoon of the tribe. The other natives delighted in making sport of
him, by ridiculing the shortness of his stature and laughing at him
behind his back. Wind, south-east.

Tuesday, 2nd September, East Newcastle Water. Proceeded to Lawson Creek,
but found no water in the lower part. Went up into the gorge, and there
found as much as will do; it also is nearly gone, but there are still a
few feet of it. I had no idea that such a body of water could have
evaporated so quickly, which now makes me very doubtful of the waters to
the southward. Wind, south-east.

Wednesday, 3rd September, Lawson Creek. As I now do not expect to get
water before I reach the Hunter or the Burke, a distance of upwards of
forty miles, I shall give the horses one day's rest to enable them to do
the journey. I expect to lose some of the weak ones; to delay longer is
only making the risk the greater. This must be an uncommonly dry season;
not a single drop of rain has fallen in this part of the country since we
left it. Last year we had three days' rain about the middle of June, and
I was in hopes there would be the same this year, but am very much
disappointed. I shall lighten the horses as much as I can possibly do, by
leaving the water-bags, which are nearly useless, blankets, rugs, and
cloths, as well as any other articles that can be done without.
Provisions I MUST carry. I sincerely hope the forthcoming equinox will
give me some rain and enable me to return. I feel a little better, but
very weak and feeble from the severe attack of scurvy. My mouth and gums
are so sore that to eat any food gives me the greatest pain. I cannot
chew it, and am obliged to swallow it as it is, which makes me very ill.
I am the only one of the party that is at present troubled with it. Wind,

Thursday, 4th September, Lawson Creek. Started at 6.40, and proceeded to
the Hawker, but found no water there; thence to Watson Creek, none there;
thence to Powell, Gleeson, and a number of other creeks that had water in
them last year, but there is not a drop. Continued on to the creek that I
camped at coming up. Arrived at 6.45 p.m.; found that water also gone,
although it was a large deep hole when we were here before. Camped. Weak
horses nearly done up. About 8.30 p.m. sent Thring up the creek to see if
he could find any water. In three hours he returned: he had followed it
up into the rough rocky hills until he could get no further, without
seeing a drop. Wind, east. A few clouds at sundown coming from the south
and south-east.

Friday, 5th September, Branch Creek of Hunter. Had to watch the horses
during the night to prevent them straying in search of water. Started at
5.40 a.m. for the Hunter; in an hour and three quarters found some water
in its bed. Camped, and will give the horses the benefit of it to-day.
Wind variable.

Saturday, 6th September, The Hunter. Proceeded to the Burke, and found an
abundant supply of water in the large iron conglomerate water hole that I
discovered last year; it is reduced about four feet, but is still deep,
and will last yet a long time without rain. I should say it was permanent
without a doubt. Camped. From here I shall require to send on in advance
to see if there is water in the Tomkinson; if not, I shall require to
rest the horses here for three or four days to enable them to do the
journey to Attack Creek without it. If there is none in the Tomkinson, I
do not expect to find any in the Morphett. Native smoke about. They have
burnt a great portion of the grass about here. The day has been
oppressively hot and close. Wind from the east-south-east, with heavy
clouds from the south-east to the south-west at sundown.

Sunday, 7th September, The Burke. After sunrise the clouds all gone. At
6.30 despatched Thring and King to the Tomkinson to see if there is any
water. The day again oppressively hot, with clouds from south and
south-east. Wind variable.

Monday, 8th September, The Burke. The clouds continued to come up du-ring
the night, but after sunrise they cleared off; still no rain. Between one
and two p.m. Thring and King returned with the disheartening tidings that
there was no water in or about the Tomkinson. I shall give the horses two
more days' rest, and push through to Attack Creek, where I am almost sure
of there being water. The wind variable, sometimes north, east, and west.
The clouds are broken up, and are nearly all gone, without leaving rain.

Tuesday, 9th September, The Burke. Resting horses, mending saddle-bags,
etc. Wind, north and variable, with a few clouds from the west and

Wednesday, 10th September, The Burke. Thring on his return last Monday
saw some water about four miles higher up this creek, nearly on our
course for the Tomkinson; to that I shall go to-day, and make a start for
Attack Creek to-morrow morning. Every mile now gained is of the utmost
importance to me. Started early, to get there in the cool of the morning.
In an hour and a half arrived at the water and camped. It is situated at
the foot of some ironstone conglomerate rock, and will last a week or two
longer. It has a number of small fish in it. The soil on its banks is
light and a little sandy, with spinifex and grass mixed through it. Wind,
north and north-west; the clouds have all disappeared. This morning I
again feel very ill. I am very doubtful of my being able to reach the
settled districts. Should anything happen to me, I keep everything ready
for the worst. My plan is finished, and my journal brought up every
night, so that no doubt whatever can be thrown upon what I have done. All
the difficult country is now passed, and what remains is well known to
those who have been out with me before; so that there is no danger of the
party not finding their way back, should I be taken away. The only
difficulty they will have to encounter is the scarcity of water, caused
by the extreme dryness of the season.

Thursday, 11th September, The Upper Burke. Started at 6.40; crossed the
Tomkinson and small grassy plains; ascended the north spur of the
Whittington range. After sundown, it becoming quite dark to me, so that I
could not see the horse's head before me, I was compelled to halt on the
top of the range, four miles from my former camp on the Morphett. Day
excessively hot; myself and horses have felt it very much. Wind variable,
from the north and north-east.

Friday, 12th September, Top of Whittington Range. At break of day
started over the range to my former camp, but found all the water gone.
Proceeded down the Morphett, and at four miles found a little in the
sandy bottom of what had once been a large hole. There is as much as
will do for me until to-morrow by digging. All the clouds gone; not the
slightest appearance of rain. The country on fire all round us. Wind,
north-west and variable. Day exceedingly hot.

Saturday, 13th September, The Morphett. Started at 7.20, crossed the
other spur of Whittington range, and at 11.20 arrived at Attack Creek.
There is still an abundant supply of water, although much reduced--much
lower than I have ever seen it. In about an hour and a half after
camping, some native women came to the lower end of the hole where
Billiatt was getting some water. The moment they saw him they went off at
full speed. In a short time afterwards one man made his appearance and
came marching up towards us. Sent Mr. Kekwick to meet him. As he
approached him the black became stationary, and moving back a little,
beckoned to some others to come up. Mr. Kekwick observed five or six
others down at the lower end of the water hole, one of whom came up. I
then sent Frew to Mr. Kekwick. They approached very cautiously, but as
soon as they caught sight of Mr. Kekwick's gun, he could not get near
them. On laying it down he got a little nearer; they shrank back when he
attempted to touch them. Taking out a small strip of white calico which
he had in his pocket, he tore it into two and held it out to them. They
wished to possess it, but did not fancy coming too close to him for it.
He made a sign that he wished to tie it round their wrists; they
gradually approached nearer, holding out their arms at full length, and
so frightened were they to come close, that he had to reach out his full
length to tie them on; after which they gained a little more confidence,
pointed towards the gun, imitated the report with their mouth, and held
up three fingers, signifying that they recollected my first visit and
number, which they do not seem to have forgotten, and seem to dread the
appearance of a gun. The first one that came up had a very long spear,
with a flat, sharp, and barbed point. They were two elderly stout men,
one very much diseased and lame. They remained a long time looking at us.
None of the others came up. In a little more than three hours they went
off and we saw no more of them during the evening. Wind, south-west, with
heavy clouds from the same direction and from the south.

Sunday, 14th September, Attack Creek. During the night the sky frequently
became overcast with heavy clouds, which seemed to indicate rain, but
none fell. About eight o'clock the wind changed to north-east, bringing
up very heavy clouds, which led me to expect rain, but I was much
disappointed, for at half-past twelve they all broke up and went off.
This morning, at sunrise, I despatched Thring and Nash to see if there is
water in Hayward, Phillip, Bishop, Tennant, or Goodiar Creeks. If there
is none I shall require to rest the horses for three days, and then push
on for the Bonney. It is a very long distance, and only the very best of
them will be able to do it. I feel a little better this morning, but
still very weak. The pains are increasing in my limbs, and my mouth is so
bad I can eat nothing but a little boiled flour. How I am to get over
such long pushes I do not know. I must trust entirely to Divine
Providence. The natives have not visited us this morning. A little before
four o'clock p.m. Nash returned. Thring had sent him back to report that
there was water, by digging in the sand, at Hayward Creek, while he goes
on to see if there is any other creek. Wind variable, with heavy clouds
at sundown.

Monday, 15th September, Attack Creek. Started at 8.40. On crossing the
creek, one of the weak horses, which had eaten some poison about the
Roper, and which has been getting weaker every day, in attempting to get
up the bank, which was not steep, fell and rolled back into the creek.
There he had to be some time before he was able to get up. I saw that it
was useless taking him any further, therefore left him where he will get
plenty of feed and water. Proceeded to the Hayward, where I met Thring.
There is some soft mud in Phillip Creek, but none in Bishop Creek.
Camped, and cleared out a place for the horses to drink at. A number of
natives have been camped on the opposite side of the creek, where they
have left their spears, dishes, etc. Thring had arrived here some time
before. About twenty of them coming closer to him than was safe, he
mounted his horse and chased them to the hills, where they are now seated
watching us. Some of them are approaching nearer. Mr. Kekwick could not
get them to come near him until one of the old men who visited us at
Attack Creek arrived and came up to him, which gave the others
confidence. A number of them then came forward--tall, stout, well-made
fellows, armed with long heavy spears, having bamboo at one end. One of
them had also part of a large sea-shell, but it is so broken and ground
down for a scoop that I cannot say of what description it is. The bamboo
and the sea-shell show that this tribe has communicated with the
sea-coast. They remained until sundown, and then did not seem inclined to
go away, but prepared sleeping-places for the night--a proof that this is
the only water near. There are upwards of thirty men, besides women and
children. Wind, south-east. Clouds all gone.

Tuesday, 16th September, Hayward Creek. The natives showed themselves
again at daybreak, but kept on the opposite bank of the creek, having a
long look at us, and calling out something at the top of their voices
which we could not understand. Watered our horses, saddled, and moved on
amidst a succession of yells and screeches from old and young. Proceeded
across Short ranges, and Phillip, and Bishop Creeks. Looked into every
place I could think of, but could not find a drop. Moved on to Tennant
Creek. Found that dry. Tried digging in the sand, without effect. Pushed
on to the large rocky water hole in Goodiar Creek, where I made almost
sure that I should find some. On arriving, was sadly disappointed to find
that dry also. Proceeded across the McDouall range, and camped on a
grassy plain between it and Mount Samuel. The natives followed us nearly
to Tennant Creek, raising a line of smoke all the way. They kept about a
mile to the east of us, on some rising ground that runs nearly parallel
with my tracks. We have had to lighten a heavy cart-horse named Charley.
When any hardship is to be undergone, he is always the first to show
symptoms of giving in. He had only thirty pounds to carry to-day, and he
looks ten times worse than those that are carrying one hundred and
twenty. I shall require to let him go without anything to-morrow. We
shall have to watch the horses during the night to prevent them from
straying in search of water. Wind, south-east.

Wednesday, 17th September, McDouall Range. Started at daybreak for the
Murchison range. About eleven o'clock the cart-horse gave in, and would
not move a step further. I am obliged to leave him; he has been carrying
nothing all the morning. Two others that have been very weak from eating
some poisonous plant will, I fear, give in before the end of the day. A
little after four o'clock I found I must leave them. At dark arrived at
the Baker, which I found dry. Camped. This is another night the horses
will be without water, and will require to be watched. A quantity of
native smoke about. There must be permanent water about this range
somewhere, but I have no time to look for it now. Tomorrow I must push on
for the Bonney. If that fails me I shall be in a sad predicament, but I
trust that the Almighty will still continue to show me the same great
kindness that he has done throughout my different journeys. There is very
little improvement in my health. I feel very much being in the saddle so
long. Twelve hours is almost too much for my weak state, but I must
endure it. Wind, south-east.

Thursday, 18th September, Murchison Range. Proceeded at daydawn to the
Gilbert. Found it dry. Went on towards the Bonney; crossed the
McLaren--no water. At two o'clock arrived at the Bonney, and am most
thankful to Divine Providence that there is still a good supply of water
that will last some time longer. My horses look very bad indeed. I
expected to have lost more of them. They have got over this first
difficulty very well. Towards the end of the journey my old horse took
the lead. Day hot. Wind, south-east.

Friday, 19th September, The Bonney. From this camp Mount Fisher bears 119
degrees 30 minutes. I must remain here some time to get my horses round
again. A large number of them are looking very ill this morning. Being so
long without water and the dry state in which the grass is, has reduced
them more than three months' hard work would have done. If the grass had
any nourishment in it, two or three days would have done for them. Not a
drop of rain seems to have fallen here for the last twelve months;
everything is dry and parched up. This appears to be the driest part of
the year. I am very doubtful of the water in the Stirling, the next place
that I was depending upon. From the very reduced state in which this is,
I have very little hope of there being any there. The day has been again
oppressively hot. I trust we shall soon have rain. Wind variable. Native
smoke about.

Saturday, 20th September, The Bonney. Resting horses. I feel very ill
again; being so long in the saddle is very severe upon me. Day again very
hot. Wind from the west, with a few clouds, which I trust will bring up

Sunday, 21st September, The Bonney. Resting horses. Day very hot. Wind,
west; clouds broken up.

Monday, 22nd September, The Bonney. This morning sent Thring up the creek
to see if there is any larger water than this that can be depended on for
some time to come. Very hot. Clouds all gone. Wind variable.

Tuesday, 23rd September, The Bonney. Recruiting horses, etc. About eleven
o'clock Thring returned. He has been about twenty miles up the creek to
where it became much narrower and was joined by a number of small ones
coming from very rough and stony hills. Its general course is about
east-south-east. At four miles from this he found a pool of water four
feet deep, two hundred yards long, and thirty feet broad. There is a
considerable quantity of water all the way up, but shallow, and none of
the extent of the former one found. Should I be forced to retreat, that
will be a safe place to fall back on until rain falls. Day again
oppressively hot. Wind, east.

Wednesday, 24th September, The Bonney. Shortly after sunrise despatched
Thring to see if there is any water in Thring Ponds, or any between them
and this. I would have gone myself, but was quite unable to do so, being
very little better. One of my good horses has met with an accident in
feeding along the bank of the creek in places where it is very
precipitous. A portion must have given way and thrown him into the creek,
injuring him very much in the chest and other parts of the body. I am
afraid he will not be able to travel with me, which will be a great loss,
having so many weak ones already. Wind, south-east, with a few clouds.

Thursday, 25th September, The Bonney. Clouds all gone, no rain. Resting
horses, etc. Day hot, morning and evening cool, with strong wind from
east and south-east. I have been obliged to reduce the rations to five
pounds of flour and one pound of dried meat per week for each man, which
will leave me provisions at that rate until the end of January, in case I
should be locked in with the dry state of the season. The flies at this
place are a perfect torment. A little after three o'clock p.m. Thring
returned. There was no water in the Barker, none in the Sutherland, and
when he got to the ponds, found them quite dry also; he then returned two
miles to where there was some good feed for the horse, and camped for the
night without water, intending to return to this in the morning. In
saddling he observed some crested pigeons fly past him to the south of
east; he thought it would be as well to follow them some distance in that
direction, as they might be going to water, as about that time in the
morning is generally the time they fly towards it. After going a few
miles he surprised fourteen natives at breakfast. As soon as they saw him
they ran off at full speed. Observing some small wooden troughs with
water in them, he collected it together and gave it to his horse.
Examined the small creek for more, but could find none, and knowing the
natives would not carry it very far, and that there must be some no great
way off, went on a little further and found a fine pool of water with
ducks on it, but shallow. He then returned. This will bring the Stirling
within visiting distance. I shall remove the party down to the pool
to-morrow. Strong wind, still from the south-east.

Friday, 26th September, The Bonney. In consequence of the horses
separating during the night, I did not get a start before nine o'clock;
followed my former tracks across Younghusband's range; thence on a
bearing 25 degrees east of south; arrived at the pool of water at 5.15
p.m. Before reaching the water we crossed four red sand hills, with
spinifex, running north-east and south-west, having broad valleys
between, in which are growing melaleucas, gum-trees, and grass. After
rain they retain water, but now are quite dry. This one that we are now
camped at is much larger, having the same description of timber, with
polyganum growing round about it; the water is shallow, and will not last
long. There are a number of ducks, geese, and other water-fowl on it, but
too shy to be approached. A quantity of native smoke about. I am very ill
to-day; I am scarcely able to endure the motion of the horse thus far.
The horse that injured himself so much knocked up about two miles from
this water, but we were able to get him to it before sundown. I shall
have to kill him and eat what is good of him; it is useless to attempt
taking him on a long journey without water--he would never be able to do
it; and, as we are now upon half rations of meat, I shall kill and eat
him, so that he will not be lost altogether. Wind variable. Day
exceedingly hot.

Saturday, 27th September, Pool of Water. Before attempting to see if
there is water in the Stirling, I have sent Thring on course 20 degrees
west of south, to see if there is any creek or water between two stony
ranges of hills that lie east of Mount Morphett. At sundown he has not
returned. Wind, west. Day very hot. After sundown we shot the black horse
that was not able to travel; shall cut him up and dry him to-morrow;
there are some parts very much injured by bruises he got in his tumble.
He also showed evidence of having drunk too much water at the Bonney.
Being so exhausted and knocked up on my arrival there, I was unable to go
and see they did not drink too much, and had to leave it to others. In
all my journeys (and my horses have been much longer time without water
than this), this is the first horse that has injured himself in that way.

Sunday, 28th September, Pool of Water. About eight o'clock, Thring
returned, being out all night without food or blankets; he had found a
large gum creek in the place I had sent him to, with water in it, by
sinking in its sandy bed. I shall move the party to it to-morrow morning.
Wind variable, mostly from the north and north-east. Day very hot.
Latitude, 20 degrees 47 minutes 59 seconds.

Monday, 29th September, Pool of Water. Started at seven o'clock, course
20 degrees west of south. For the first five miles we passed over a fine
country, soil red, and in places a little sandy, with gums, grass, a
little scrub, and in places a little spinifex. After this it became
covered with spinifex until within five miles of the creek, where the
mulga commenced, with plenty of grass, which continued to its banks,
where we arrived after twenty-six miles, and had to dig six feet in the
sand before we could get sufficient water for the horses; by ten o'clock
p.m. however we got them all watered. I am inclined to believe this is a
continuation of the Taylor and other creeks coming from Forster range
more to the eastward. After my arrival here, I sent Thring up the creek
to see if he could find any surface water. After dark he returned and
informed me that he had followed it into the Crawford range, and that it
came through the range; if such is the case, there is no doubt of it
being the Taylor with the creeks from Forster range. There is no surface
water, but apparently plenty by digging in the bed of the creek, judging
from the number of native wells that he saw with water in them. At one of
the wells he saw several natives, who ran off on his approach. Latitude,
21 degrees 9 minutes 30 seconds. Wind variable. Day oppressively hot.

Tuesday, 30th September, The Taylor. As soon as I could get the horses, I
despatched Thring to the Stirling to see if there is water. I have sent
King on with him, with a pack-horse carrying two bags of water for the
horse that carries him to the Stirling. They are to follow this creek up,
and, if it is the Taylor, they are to stop to-night at our last camp on
it. Next morning King is to return to me, whilst Thring goes on to
examine the Stirling. Still all hands engaged in sinking for water for
the horses. Wind from the south-east, with heavy clouds from the
north-west and south-west, showing every indication of rain, which I
sincerely hope will fall before morning.

Wednesday, 1st October, The Taylor. About nine o'clock last night there
were a few drops of rain, and almost immediately afterwards the clouds
broke up and went off to the south-east, to our very great
disappointment. This morning there are still a few light ones about, but
very high, and no more appearance of rain. Wind still strong and blowing
from the same quarter. We have now got enough water for the horses, and
can water them all in about two hours. No natives have shown themselves
since we have been here, although their smoke was quite close to us
yesterday. In the afternoon Thring and King returned, having found a fine
pool of water about fifteen miles up the creek, four feet deep, which
will serve us for a short time. Sundown: still blowing strong from the
south-east; clouds all gone.

Thursday, 2nd October, The Taylor. Started at five minutes to eight,
course 3 degrees west of south; at five miles got through the gap in the
range, then changed to 20 degrees west of south, and after ten miles on
that course reached the water hole. The journey to-day has been over
first-rate travelling-ground, avoiding crossing the range at Mount
Morphett. The country in many places along the creek has large grassy
plains with mulga, gum-trees, and scrub, not too thick to get easily
through. Native smoke under the hills to the east. Strong cool wind
blowing all day from the south-east. A little before sundown three
natives came within three hundred yards of the camp, setting fire to the
grass as they came along. We could not get them to come any nearer.
Latitude 21 degrees 22 minutes 12 seconds.

Friday, 3rd October, Surface Water, The Taylor. Shortly after sunrise
despatched Thring and King in search of water higher up the creek. I feel
so weak and ill that I am now scarcely able to move about the camp. This
morning Frew, in searching for some of the horses, came upon the three
natives we saw last night; the moment they saw him off they went at full
speed, and he saw no more of them. They must have been sneaking about and
watching our camp during the night. Wind still blowing strong south-east.

Saturday, 4th October, Surface Water, The Taylor. It still continues to
blow very strong from the same quarter. A little before two p.m. King
returned. They had followed up this creek for a considerable distance
beyond where the Taylor joined it, and as it came more from the
south-east than I had expected, and approached near to Forster range,
Thring changed his course to the Stirling, according to my instructions.
A little before sundown they arrived at my former camp on the Stirling;
found the water hole quite dry; dug down, but could find no moisture.
They had not seen a drop of water during the whole day. In the morning
King returned to me, giving Thring's horse the water that he had carried
with him to enable him to search the Stirling down and round about the
adjoining country. Still blowing strong from the same direction. No
clouds visible.

Sunday, 5th October, Surface Water, The Taylor. Still blowing strong and
cool from the same quarter. About half-past one o'clock Thring returned;
he could find no surface water, neither any to be had by digging. He then
crossed over to the foot of the Hanson, where he saw some native smoke;
on his arriving at it he surprised a native busily engaged in sinking for
water, about six feet deep, in the bed of the creek, who, as soon as he
saw him, jumped out of the well and ran off as fast as he could. He then
tried to see what quantity of water was in the bottom of the well, but
having nothing but a quart pot to clear it out with, he was unable to
form a correct opinion, but from all appearances he thinks there will be
sufficient for our use for some time, only it will require an immense
deal of labour and time to remove the great body of sand to enable the
horses to get down to it. To-morrow I shall send Thring with McGorrerey
and Nash, with four horses and sufficient provisions for a fortnight. On
their arrival at the native well on the Hanson they will be able easily
to get water enough for their four horses that night. McGorrerey and Nash
will then clear out the well and see what quantity there is in it, while
Thring will proceed up the Hanson to see if there is water in the springs
that I discovered on my first journey through the centre. If they are dry
he will proceed with the examination of the Hanson to above where we
crossed it; he will then return to the diggers; by that time they will be
able to judge if there is sufficient water for the whole party. If there
is sufficient he will leave them to dig, and come on to me; if not, and
there is no more water higher up, he will bring them on with him, and I
shall require to try a course more to the south-east. In the afternoon
the three natives again made their appearance, bawling out as they came
near, but retreated as Mr. Kekwick went towards them to see what they
wanted. Wind still south-east.

Monday, 6th October, Surface Water, The Taylor. Shortly after sunrise
despatched Thring with McGorrerey and Nash to the Hanson. Day very hot. I
am still very ill--no improvement whatever. Wind strong from the

Tuesday, 7th October, The Taylor. What a miserable life mine is now! I
get no rest night nor day from this terrible gnawing pain; the nights are
too long, and the days are too long, and I am so weak that I am hardly
able to move about the camp. I am truly wretched. When will this cease?
Wind, south-east.

Wednesday, 8th October, The Taylor. Wind still blowing from the
south-east; no appearance of rain.

Thursday, 9th October, The Taylor. Last night, about sundown, a native
woman and youngster came to the waterhole, rushed down, had a drink, and
were running off again, when I cooed and made signs of friendship; in a
few seconds the woman gained confidence, and, not seeing any of us
approach, went down to the hole again, and fetched up a large troughful
of water. Mr. Kekwick tried to induce her to stop, in order to gain some
information from her, but it was of no use; the faster he walked the
faster she did the same, chatting all the time, pointing to the south; so
he left her to walk at her leisure. They do not seem to be at all
frightened of us; but we cannot get any of them to come near, although we
have tried every time they have come. The day again oppressively hot. I
still feel very ill. Wind from south-east. Nothing particular has
occurred during the day. This is dreadful work to be detained here so
long. I am afraid soon I shall not be able to sit in the saddle, and then
what must I do? I feel myself getting weaker and weaker every day. I hope
the Almighty will have compassion on me, and soon send me some relief. He
is the only one that can do it--my only friend.

Friday, 10th October, The Taylor. Last night, a little before sundown,
until after dark, we were amused by a farce enacted by the natives,
apparently to keep us quiet and render us powerless, while they
approached the water hole and got what water they required. They
commenced at some distance off, raising a heavy black smoke, (by setting
fire to the spinifex), and calling out most lustily at the top of their
voices. As the sun got lower I had the party prepared for an attack; on
they came, the fire rolling before them. We could now occasionally see
them; one was an old man with a very powerful voice, who seemed to be
speaking some incantations, with the most dreadful howl I ever heard in
my life, resembling a man suffering the extremes of torture; he was
assisted in his horrid yell by some women. As the evening got darker and
they were within one hundred and fifty yards of us, and nearly opposite
our camp, the scene was very pretty--in fact grand. In the foreground was
our camp equipment with the party armed, ready to repel an attack. On the
opposite side of the creek was a long line of flames, some mounting high
in the air, others kept at a low flickering light. In the midst of the
flames the natives appeared to be moving about, performing all sorts of
antics; behind them came the old man with his women. At every high flame
he seemed to be performing some mysterious spell, still yelling in the
former horrid tone, turning and twisting his body and legs and arms into
all sorts of shapes. They appeared like so many demons, dancing,
sporting, and enjoying themselves in the midst of flames. At last they
and their fire reached the water hole after continuing this horrid noise
for nearly two hours without intermission; as soon as they came in sight
of the water, those in front rushed down into it, satisfied themselves,
filled their troughs and bags, except the old man, who kept up his howl
until he was stopped by a drink of water. This seemed to satisfy them,
for they went off from us about three quarters of a mile and camped, I
suppose thinking they had done great things in keeping us so quiet.
Shortly after this something started the horses which made them all rush
together. I kept the party under arms till nine o'clock p.m. and then,
everything appearing to be quiet, I sent them all to bed except the one
on guard. The natives were quiet during the night. This morning the
blacks watched us collecting the horses and watering them; they then very
quietly slipped down to the water, filled their troughs, etc., and in
about half an hour went off and left us in possession of the water. They
must certainly think we are very much to be frightened by fire and a
great noise, or they would never have come in the way they did last
night; they would have been rather surprised had they attacked us, to
find that we could both speak and injure by fire. I am better pleased
that they went away quietly; it is far from my wish to injure one of them
if they will let me pass peaceably through. About two o'clock p.m. Thring
returned; he had examined up the Hanson, but could not find a drop of
water, either on the surface or by digging. On his return to where he had
left the two men to dig, he found there would not be enough water for the
whole party, as it came in so slowly; it is on the top of hard burnt
sandstone; he therefore came on to inform me of the result, leaving the
two men still there. They had been visited by the natives, who appeared
to be inclined to be rather unfriendly at first, but on showing them they
were welcome to use the water as well as the party, they became friendly,
and came over night and morning to fill their troughs and bags. They
pointed to the south-south-east, and made signs, by digging with a scoop,
that there was water in that direction, but how far he could not make
out. This is a sad disappointment to me. I dare not move the party on to
where they are digging, there is too little water. To-morrow morning I
must send Thring and King on to Anna Reservoir to see if there is any
there; if that is dry I shall be locked in until rain falls, and that may
not be before the equinox, in March, a very dismal prospect to look
forward to. I shall start Thring and King to-morrow morning; they will
reach where the diggers are to-morrow night, and will rest their horses
there on Sunday. On Monday morning start for Anna Reservoir--King, with a
pack-horse carrying water, will go on one day with Thring. The water to
be given to Thring's horse night and morning. Thring will proceed to the
Reservoir. King will return to the diggers with the empty bags, have them
filled, and next morning start with fresh horses and the water to meet
Thring on his return in case the Reservoir is dry; this is the only way
that I see it can be done. I now begin to feel the want of my health
dreadfully. Although Thring is a good bushman and does his best, poor
fellow, yet he wants experience and maturer judgment; he has had hard
work of it lately, but he is always ready to start again at any moment
that I wish. Wind, south-east. A few light clouds about.

Saturday, 11th October, The Taylor. The natives camped last night at
their former place; they seem to have given up all their buffoonery. I
suppose they see it has no effect upon us. Shortly after sunrise
despatched Thring and King. The day again oppressively hot, with a few
light clouds from the south. Wind, south-east.

Sunday, 12th October, The Taylor. The natives again encamped in their
former place last night. They came in late and started early this
morning. They always seem to go off to the westward. Day again
oppressively hot. Wind, south-east.

Monday, 13th October, The Taylor. Can see nothing of the natives this
morning; they must have gone off during the early part of last night. We
tried to get near to them yesterday afternoon by making friendly signs,
etc., but the moment we approached them they ran off, and everything we
can think of will not induce them to come near us or allow us to get near
them; they are the most timid race I have ever met with, which I think is
a very bad feature--such are often very treacherous. I should have a much
higher opinion of them if they would come boldly forward and see if we
were friends or foes. Wind from the north; heavy clouds from south and

Tuesday, 14th October, The Taylor. During the night there was a deal of
lightning in the south and south-west; clouds about, but high and much
broken. About two o'clock p.m. they collected together and gave a very
promising appearance of a heavy fall of rain; they seemed to be coming up
all round, but the heaviest from the south and south-west. At four
o'clock p.m. it began to lighten and thunder, accompanied by a shower
which did not last above a few minutes. Sundown: still the same promising
dark, heavy, gloomy appearance. Wind, south-east.

Wednesday, 15th October, The Taylor. During the night we had a terrific
storm of lightning and thunder, which continued throughout the night and
morning at intervals, but little rain has fallen, it has merely damped
the surface of the ground. At twelve o'clock to-day it has nearly cleared
all away, leaving only a few light clouds, which is another very great
disappointment. At sundown it again became overcast. Wind variable.

Thursday, 16th October, The Taylor. Still cloudy during the night and
morning, but no rain has fallen; the heavy clouds pass south of us to the
eastward. I am now nearly helpless; my legs are unable to support the
weight of my body, and, when I do walk a little way, I am obliged to have
the assistance of one of the party, and the pains caused by walking are
most excruciating. I get little sleep night or day. I must endure my
sufferings with patience, and submit to the will of the Almighty, who, I
trust, will soon send me some relief. Wind variable.

Friday, 17th October, The Taylor. Still heavy clouds during the night and
day, but no rain will fall. Still very ill. About three o'clock p.m.
Thring returned; he has been to Anna Reservoir and found plenty of water,
and a number of natives camped at it, who ran off the moment they saw
him; he watered his horse and recrossed the range, not thinking it
prudent to camp where there were so many of them. He has met with the
same description of weather that we have had up here, thunder and
lightning with a heavy, cloudy sky, but nothing but a light shower or two
of rain. I shall move the party on to the Hanson to-morrow, and, if I am
able to ride, shall push on to-morrow. Wind variable; sky still overcast.

Saturday, 18th October, The Taylor. Started at twenty minutes to eight
for the Hanson; sky still overcast with heavy clouds. We had two light
showers during the journey. I am now so helpless that I have to be lifted
into the saddle. I endured the pain of riding for the first seventeen
miles far better than I expected; after that it became almost unbearable,
and camped at twenty-four miles, having found as much water in the rocks
of the Stirling as will do for the horses to-night and to-morrow morning,
left from a shower of rain, for which I am very thankful. I could not
have gone on more than three miles. I was then enduring the greatest pain
and agony that it is possible for a man to suffer. On being lifted from
the horse, all power was gone out of my legs, and when I attempted to put
the weight of my body on them the pain was most excruciating. Still heavy
clouds about, indicating rain. Wind, south-east.

Sunday, 19th October, The Stirling. I had a few hours' sound sleep last
night, which I find has done me a deal of good. During the early part of
the night two heavy showers of rain fell, and left plenty of water for
the horses; got them up, and saddled and proceeded to the Hanson. At
eight miles arrived there, finding the party all well; they had not been
troubled with the natives except by their coming down to the water during
the night time, and bringing into the hole a quantity of sand with them.
I had to be taken from horseback nearly in the same state as yesterday.
Wind, south-east.

Monday, 20th October, The Hanson. Started early; passed the Centre;
crossed the upper part of the Hanson, and at five miles beyond it camped.
Distance, thirty-five miles. Not a drop of rain seems to have fallen for
a long time. During the whole day's journey this has been a terrible day
of agony for me; nine hours and a half in the saddle. I had to be taken
from my horse in the same helpless state as before. My feet and legs are
now very much swollen; round the ankles they are quite black, and the
pain is dreadful. I still continue to take the bicarb of potash, but it
has little or no effect. Wind variable.

Tuesday, 21st October, South of the Centre. About sunrise started for
Anna Reservoir, and at 5.30 p.m. arrived there, completely exhausted.
Wind, variable. Heavy clouds from the south-east.

Wednesday, 22nd October, Anna Reservoir. Last night I was so completely
overcome by fatigue and exhaustion that I had no sleep during the whole
of the night, which makes me feel very ill indeed this morning. I shall
be obliged to remain here to-day and to-morrow, to see if that will
recruit my strength and enable me to perform the long journeys to the
McDonnell range. About twelve o'clock heavy thundery weather to the west
and south.

Saturday, 23rd October, Anna Reservoir. I shall rest to-day and have what
shoes there are left put on the horses. I, with William Auld, will
proceed to-morrow about ten miles in advance, to divide the long journey
into two, for I have not strength to do it in one day. Wind variable.

Friday, 24th October, Anna Reservoir. Started early, taking with me
Thring, King, and Auld, with one pack-horse to carry my tent, water, etc.
Proceeded through the thick mulga scrub, and at ten miles camped, which I
find is quite as much as I am able to do. Had my tent put up, and myself
carried into it. Sent Thring and King back with the horses to the
Reservoir, keeping Auld with me. The party will start from the Reservoir
early to-morrow morning, pick me up, and proceed to Mount Harris. Wind,

Saturday, 25th October, Mulga Scrub South of Anna Reservoir. A few
minutes before ten o'clock a.m. the party arrived all right. I was soon
ready and lifted up into the saddle, and started at 10.10. During the day
it has been excessively hot. At 5.45 p.m. arrived at Mount Harris, being
nearly eight hours in the saddle, which is far more than I am able to
endure in my terribly weak state. It is between my shoulder-blades and
the small of my back that I am so much affected while riding. When the
pain from them becomes unbearable I endeavour to get on as far as I can
by supporting my weight upon my arms until they give way. I arrived here
in a state of utmost exhaustion; so much so that I was quite unable to
eat a single mouthful of anything. After we had the horses unpacked, a
few natives made their appearance on the side of the mount, calling out
something and pointing to the north-east. Sent Thring and King to see if
they could make anything of them, but they soon ran down the other side
of the mount, and, when seen again, were marching off in the direction
they had pointed out. They had taken good care before leaving to use
nearly all the water in the crevices of the granite rocks; they left
about a quart. Finding it quite impossible to remain so long in the
saddle as I have done to-day, I got Mr. Kekwick and some of the others to
construct a stretcher during the night, which I hope will enable me to do
a long journey to-morrow. Wind, south-east.

Sunday, 26th October, Mount Harris. Had the stretcher placed between two
horses. Had great difficulty before we could get two that would allow it
to be passed between them. At last succeeded in getting two that we
thought would do very well, as they seemed to go very quietly with it. I
shall continue on horseback until I find that I have got enough of it.
Started a little after sunrise. I found I could continue two hours and a
half in the saddle without fatiguing myself too much. Having done this, I
sent to the rear of the party for the stretcher, when, to my great
disappointment and vexation, I found that a short time before something
had annoyed one of the horses, which set to and kicked it all to pieces,
which is a great misfortune. I continued in the saddle, and proceeded
until I was exhausted, which happened at the end of fifteen miles, when I
was compelled to stop. Keeping Auld with me, and some water, I sent on
the party and all the horses to Mount Hay. If they find water they are to
camp and return for me to-morrow; if not, they are to push on to the
Hamilton Spring; if that is gone, they will have to cross the range to
Brinkley Bluff. I find myself getting weaker and weaker every day. I am
very ill indeed. Wind, south-east.

Monday, 27th October, Hills North of Mount Hay. About 11.30 a.m. King and
Nash returned for me. Thring had found water in one of the gullies, but
the approach to it was very rough and stony indeed. Thring had gone to
see if there was any water in the clay-pans that I had camped at on my
journey up, and if there is, will take the party over there, and will
send one of the men to meet me and inform me of it. The distance from
here to the water is ten miles. Had the horses saddled; mounted, and
proceeded towards it. At the end of two hours the motion of the horse
became so dreadful to me, and the pain I was suffering from was such as
no language can describe; but I still continued in the saddle, and,
within a mile and a half of the water, met Frew, whom Thring had sent to
say that he had found plenty of water in the clay-pans, with green grass,
and that the party had moved on to it. Distance from where we were then
to the clay-pans, six miles further. I could no more sit in the saddle
that distance than I could fly; I am now already completely exhausted,
and have still a mile and a half to ride before I can reach the other
water. To that I must go, and see what a night's rest will do in the
morning. While taking a drink of water, I was seized with a violent fit
of vomiting blood and mucus, which lasted about five minutes, and nearly
killed me. Sent Frew on to the party. Went on the best way I could with
the other three to the water. Arrived there feeling worse than I have
ever done before. I have told King and Nash to remain with me in case of
my dying during the night, as it would be lonely for one young man to be
here by himself. Wind, south-east.

Tuesday, 28th October, Mount Hay. Started in the cool of the morning, and
in two hours reached where the party were camped, so much exhausted and
so completely done up that I could not speak a word--the power of speech
has completely left me. I was lifted from the saddle and placed under the
shade of a mulga bush. In about ten minutes I recovered my speech. I find
that I can no longer sit on horseback; gave orders for some of the party
to make a sort of reclining seat, to be carried between two horses, one
before the other; also gave orders that a horse was to be shot at
sundown, as we are getting rather short of meat, and I hope the change of
beef tea made from fresh meat will give me some increase of strength, for
I am now reduced to a perfect skeleton, a mere shadow. At sundown had the
horse shot; fresh meat to the party is now a great treat. I am denied
participating in that pleasure, from the dreadful state in which my mouth
still is. I can chew nothing, and all that I have been living on is a
little beef tea, and a little boiled flour, which I am obliged to
swallow. To-night I feel very ill, and very, very low indeed. Wind,
south-east, with a few clouds.

Wednesday, 29th October, Clay-pans East of Mount Hay. This morning I feel
a little relieved in comparison with my exhausted state of yesterday. I
had a very troubled night's rest. All hands cutting up the horse, and
hanging up the meat to dry. Thring and Nash out for two long poles to fix
the chair in, which they succeeded in finding. At twelve o'clock had all
the meat of the horse cut up and hung up to dry. Day oppressively hot.
Wind, south-east. Clouds.

Thursday, 30th October, Clay-pans East of Mount Hay. I think I am a
little better this morning, but still very weak and helpless. Find that
the chair will not answer the purpose, and must have a stretcher instead.
Wind, south-east.

Friday, 31st October, Clay-pans East of Mount Hay. I felt a little
improvement this morning, which I hope will continue; and I think I have
reached the turn of this terrible disease. On Tuesday night I certainly
was in the grasp of death; a cold clammy perspiration, with a tremulous
motion, kept creeping slowly over my body during the night, and
everything near me had the smell of decaying mortality in the last stage
of decomposition and of the grave. I sincerely thank the Almighty Giver
of all Good, that He, in His infinite goodness and mercy, gave me
strength and courage to overcome the grim and hoary-headed king of
terrors, and has kindly permitted me yet to live a little longer in this
world. Auld, who was in attendance upon me on that night, informed me
that my breath smelt the same as the atmosphere of a room in which a
dead body had been kept for some days. What a sad difference there is
from what I am now and what I was when the party left North Adelaide! My
right hand nearly useless to me by the accident from the horse; total
blindness after sunset--although the moon shines bright to others, to me
it is total darkness--and nearly blind during the day; my limbs so weak
and painful that I am obliged to be carried about; my body reduced to
that of a living skeleton, and my strength that of infantine weakness
--a sad, sad wreck of former days. Wind variable.

Saturday, 1st November, Clay-pans East of Mount Hay. Although in such a
weak state, I shall try if I can ride in the stretcher as far as Hamilton
Springs. Started early; found the stretcher to answer very well. On
arriving at the springs, saw that there was not sufficient water for the
horses, and, as I had stood this part of the journey so well, made up my
mind to cross the range to Brinkley Bluff. Proceeded, and arrived there
about five o'clock p.m. I have stood the long journey far better than I
expected, but feel very tired and worn out. Wind variable. Cloudy.

Sunday, 2nd November, Brinkley Bluff, The Hugh. Got a few hours' good
sleep during the night, and feel a good deal better this morning. Day
still cloudy. Wind variable.

Monday, 3rd November, Brinkley Bluff, The Hugh. Started at 7.30 a.m. for
Owen Springs. Saw where one of the horses died that I was compelled to
leave behind on coming up. As there is only the hair of his mane and tail
to be seen, and not a single bone, I am inclined to think that he has
been killed, carried off, and eaten by the natives. I expect the other
one has shared the same fate. At 2.20 p.m. arrived at the springs. Plenty
of water. I have stood the journey very well, but am very tired. Wind,

Tuesday, 4th November, Owen Springs, The Hugh. Started at 7.20 a.m.,
passing through the gorge of the Waterhouse range. At 1.20 arrived at the
springs under the conglomerate rock, a mile and a half north-east of the
gorge in James range. I feel the shaking of the stretcher very much, and
am again very tired, but am glad to find that I am getting a little
stronger. Wind, south-east. The clouds are all gone.

Wednesday, 5th November, Spring, Conglomerate Rock, The Hugh. Started at
7.25 a.m. Passed through the gorge of James range and proceeded to the
side creek in which water was obtained on coming up. Found some still
there. Camped. Sent four of the party to clear out the hole; in the
meantime sent Thring up the side creek to see if there is any surface
water left from the showers of rain that have fallen here some short time
ago. Since leaving the McDonnell range we have had plenty of green grass,
showing that rain has fallen some time back; it has made no impression
upon the large creek, which is quite dry. In a short time Thring
returned; he has seen as much as will do for forty horses to-night, which
is a good thing. Sent him up with them, and watered the remainder at this
hole, into which the water comes very slowly, in consequence of the main
creek having none in its bed below the sand. I again feel tired from the
shaking of the horses and the stretcher. The swelling of my gums and the
black blisters, which have been so very painful for such a long time
back, are slowly giving way before some vegetable food which I have been
able to get since coming into the green, grassy country; I hope it will
soon cure me. My teeth are still loose, but it is a great thing to get a
little relief from a great mouthful of swollen, blistered, and most
painful gums. When my mouth was closed I had scarcely room for my tongue;
the blisters are now much reduced. Wind, south-east.

Thursday, 6th November, The Hugh. Started at 7.20 towards the Finke; at
five p.m. met with some water in a clay-pan, and camped. I am a little
stronger to-day, and feel that I am gradually improving. Wind,
south-east. Night and morning cool.

Friday, 7th November, North of the Finke. Proceeded to Pascoe Springs in
the Finke; found plenty of water and camped. Day oppressively hot. Wind,

Saturday, 8th November, Pascoe Springs, The Finke. Proceeded to Sullivan
Creek and found sufficient water to do for us until Monday morning, and
this being a place for feed for the horses, I shall remain here until
that time. I feel very tired and sore after this rough week's work, and
am glad of a day's rest. I feel a gradual improvement in my health and
strength, which I hope will continue to increase. Wind variable, mostly
from south-east.

Sunday, 9th November, Sullivan Creek. During the night had a few drops of
rain; heavy clouds to the west, north-west, north, north-east, and east.
Wind blowing strong and variable. Sundown: the sky overcast with heavy

Monday, 10th November, Sullivan Creek. Some of the horses missing this
morning. Did not get a start till nine o'clock a.m. Day oppressively hot.
Crossed the Finke three times, and arrived at Polly Springs, where there
is plenty of water. Camped. Wind, south-east.

Tuesday, 11th November, Polly Springs, The Finke. Proceeded to Marchant
Springs. Camped. The water is low and rather boggy. Dug a place about
eighteen inches deep in the firm ground, and the water came boiling up. I
am happy to find that I am gaining a little strength again. I was able to
walk two or three steps by leaning upon two of the party, but the pain
was very severe. Wind, south-east; a few clouds about.

Wednesday, 12th November, Marchant Springs, The Finke. As I am not
certain of water at the next two camps, I will rest the horses as well as
myself here to-day, for we both require it very much; it will enable them
to stand a long push if required. A number of showers of rain seem to
have fallen here this month. Wind, south-east.

Thursday, 13th November, Marchant Springs, The Finke. Started at 7.40.
Proceeded towards the Goyder, and at nine miles found myself in as dry a
country as ever; not a drop of rain seems to have fallen here for upwards
of twelve months. On arriving at the Goyder found a little moisture at
the bottom of the sand in the rocks--not enough for the horses. Pushed on
towards the Coglin, and at dark camped in the mulga scrub without water.
Day most oppressively hot. Light wind from south-east.

Friday, 14th November, Mulga Scrub. Started at six o'clock a.m. Examined
the different creeks in which I found water on my journey to the north
but there was not a drop. At twelve miles reached the Coglin--none there.
Country all in the same dry state. Proceeded on to the Lindsay, where I
am sure of water. At four o'clock arrived there and found plenty. Camped.
Thanks be to God, I am once more within the boundary of South Australia!
I little expected it about a fortnight ago. If the summer rain has fallen
to the south of this, there will be little difficulty in my getting down.
I am again suffering very much from exhaustion, caused by a severe attack
of dysentery, which has thrown me back a good deal in the strength I was
collecting so quickly, but I hope it will not continue long. Wind,

Saturday, 15th November, The Lindsay. At day-break I have sent Thring to
the Stevenson to see if there is water there, either on the surface or by
digging in the sand; if there is I shall move the party over there
to-day, and on Monday morning start for the Hamilton (I expect no water


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