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Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia by Thomas Mitchell

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Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia
In Search of a Route from Sydney to the Gulf of Carpentaria (1848)


Lt. Col. Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell Kt. D.C.L. (1792-1855)
Surveyor-General of New South Wales



"Admiring Nature in her wildest grace,"[* Burns.] it has ever been the
most attractive of the author's duties to explore the interior of
Australia. There the philosopher may look for facts; the painter and the
poet for original studies and ideas; the naturalist for additional
knowledge; and the historian might begin at a beginning. The traveller
there seeks in vain for the remains of cities, temples, or towers; but he
is amply compensated by objects that tell not of decay but of healthful
progress and hope;--of a wonderful past, and of a promising future.
Curiosity alone may attract us into the mysterious recesses of regions
still unknown; but a still deeper interest attaches to those regions, now
that the rapid increase of the most industrious and, may we add most
deserving people on earth, suggests that the land there has been reserved
by the Almighty for their use.

In Australia, the great family of civilized man seems still at that early
period between history and fable, upon which, even in "the world as known
to the ancients," the Roman poet had to look very far back:--

"Communemque pris, ceu lumina solis et auras, Cautus humum longo
signavit limite mensor." [* Ovid, Met. lib. i.]

The Journey narrated in this work was undertaken for the extension of
arrangements depending on physical geography. It completes a series of
internal surveys, radiating from Sydney towards the west, the south, and
the north, which have occupied the author's chief attention during the
last twenty years; and, as on former occasions, it has enabled him to
bring under the notice of men of science some of the earth's productions
hitherto unknown. He cannot sufficiently express his sense of obligation
in this respect, to Mr. Bentham, Sir William Hooker, Dr. Lindley, and
Professor De Vriese, for supplying the botanical matter and notes
contained in this volume, and thus contributing to the general stock of
human knowledge. It is also his pleasing duty to state, that during the
long journey of upwards of a year, Captain P. P. King, R. N., kept a
register of the state of the barometer at the sea side; and, in the midst
of his important avocations, determined, by a very elaborate comparison
of minute details, all the heights of localities herein mentioned.

The new geographical matter is presented to the public with confidence in
its accuracy, derived as it is from careful and frequent observations of
latitude; trigonometrical surveying with the theodolite, whereever
heights were available; and, by actual measurement of the line of route.
This route was connected, at its commencement and termination, with the
trigonometrical survey of the colony; and, in closing on Mount Riddell, a
survey extending two degrees within the tropics, the near coincidence of
his intersections with that summit, as fixed by his survey of 1830, could
not but be very satisfactory to the author.

The geological specimens collected during this journey have been
deposited in the British Museum, and their original locality is shown on
the maps by the numbers marked upon the specimens, so that they may be
available to geologists; hence, in the progress of geological science,
the fossils now brought from these remote regions will be accessible at
any future time, and something known of the geology as well as of the
geography of the interior. As Professor Forbes most readily undertook to
describe the freshwater shells after the work had passed through the
press, that portion of the collection also has thus been brought under
the notice of geologists.




Objects of the expedition.--Unexpected delay--by reference to Lord
Stanley.--List of the Party.--Departure from Buree.--Sheep stations.--
Scattered population.--Passage through Hervey's Range.--Encroachment of
sheep on cattle runs.--A tea-totaller.--Meet an old acquaintance.--
Sulphureous springs.--Currandong--Necessity for damming up the Bogan.
Leave Bultje's country.--Ephemeral existence of Aborigines.--Line between
the squatters and the wild natives.--Velocity of the Bogan.--Supply of
young bullocks.--Richard Cunningham--Young cattle troublesome.--A night
without water.--Distress from heat and thirst.--Excessive heat.--Reunion
of the party.--Melancholy fate of the Bogan tribe.--Interesting plants
discovered.--Encampment at Muda.--Carry water forward.--Arrive at
Darbal.--Nyingan.--Water at Canbelgo.--Discovery of a lagoon.--Encamp
near Canbelgo. Explore the Bogan in search of water.--Long ride.--Quit
the Bogan.--Party attacked with ophthalmia



Move to the ponds of Cannonb.--Set up our bivouac.--Hot wind.--Piper's
intention to quit the party.--Piper sent to Bathurst.--Change of
weather.--A day of rain.--Mr. Kennedy returns.--Salt made from the salt
plant.--Reconnoitre Duck Creek.--Ophthalmia still troublesome.--Approach
of a flood announced.--It arrives in clear moonlight.--(Frontispiece.)--
Marshes of the Macquarie.--Difficulty of watering cattle.--(Plate 2. p.
61.) A new guide.--Cattle astray.--Yulliyally.--Docility of the
Aborigines.--Water insufficient for cattle.--Want of water.--Small ponds
destroyed by cattle.--At last find abundance.--Aboriginal preferable to
modern names.--Cattle again astray--and delay the journey.--Junction of
the Macquarie and Brwan.--The Darling as at present, and formerly.--
Admirable distribution of water. The ford at Wybry.--The party crosses
the Darling



Plains and low hills.--The Carwy ponds.--Delayed by weak cattle.--The
Narran.--Arrived at--encamp by:--Narran swamp.--A bridge required.--
During the delay of drays take a ride forward.--Rich pastures on the
Narran.--New plants.--Arrival of drays.--Bridge laid down for their
passage.--The party fords the Narran.--Advances but slowly.--Low hills
examined.--Good grassy country.--Food of the natives.--Rising ground west
of the river.--Ride up.--Abodes and food of natives.--Rich grass.--Parley
with a native.--Gravelly ridges.--Two natives conduct us to the river.--
Approach the assembled natives.--Interview with the tribes.--Cordial
reception.--Cross the Balonne.--Reach the Culga.--Cross that river.--
Route beyond.--The Upper Balonne.--Explore its course.--Numerals cut on
trees.--A native scamp.--Fine country.--Splendid reaches of the river
(Plate 3. page 119.)--Lagoons near it.--Lake Parachute.--Seek a
position--for a dept camp.--Ride to the north-west.--Character of the
country.--Search for water. Uncommon birds.--Return to the camp.--New



Advance with a light party.--Fine river scenery.--Junction of rivers.--
Trace one up, then cross to the other.--Mr. Kennedy instructed to explore
it.--Fine country for grazing.--Turanimga lagoon.--Trace up a small
tributary.--Mountains discovered.--Camp visited by three
natives.--"Cogoon" the name of tributary.--Charms of the Australian
climate.--Mount Minute.--Extreme cold.--Traces of high floods in the
Cnogoa.---Mount Inviting.--Mount Abundance.--Ascend that mountain.--
Fitzroy Downs.--The Bottle Tree, or DELABECHEA.--Frosty Creek.--Travel
due north over open downs.--Advantages of mountains.--Ascend one.--Mount
Bingo.--Thenod Tagando tribe.--The party advances to the Amby--followed
by the tribe.--How we got rid of them.--Enter the country through the
pass.--Find one pond.--A large river discovered.--Position taken up on
its banks.--There await Mr. Kennedy's arrival.--Explore to the north-
west.--Ascend a hill and tree to take angles from.--Interior country
visited.--View of the western interior.--Its character.--Determine to
trace the river upwards.--Ascend Mount Kennedy.--Extensive prospect.--
Native visit during my absence.--Arrival of Mr. Kennedy's party.--The
Tagando tribe again.--Their visit to Mr. Kennedy.--Prepare to advance
again with a light party.--Instructions left with Mr. Kennedy



My departure.--A team of bullocks sent back for.--Good grassy country.--
Ride north-west during rain.--Hostile natives menace our camp.--The party
crosses Possession Creek.--A small river found.--Another ride to the
north-west.--Banks of the little river.--Mount Owen seen.--Travel towards
it.--Flank movement to the Marana for water.--None found in its bed.--
View from Mount Owen.--Names of localities on the map.--Scarcity of water
impedes our progress.--Water found in rocky gullies.--Excursion
northward.--Mount Aquarius.--View from northern summit of Mount Owen.--
Progress through a broken country.--Night without water.--Another route
explored amongst the gullies.--Plants found near Mount Owen.--Route for
the advance of the carts.--View of mountains--from Mount P. P. King.--
View from western extremity of Table Land of Hope.--Mount Faraday.--
Strange Hakea.--A running stream discovered.--Return towards the camp.--
The party with the carts advances.--(Pyramids, Plate IV., page 222.)--
Course of the new found river.--New plants.--A large lake receives the
river.--(Plate V., John Martin's Range, page 225.)--The outlet dry.--
Enter a scrub.--Return to the Salvator.--Discovery of the Claude.--Rich
soil on the downs.--The party moves to the Claude.--Cross that river.
Fossil wood.--Again shut up in a rocky country.--Slow progress in a
gully.--Balmy Creek.--New plants.--Emerge from the ravines.--Tower
Almond.--(Pl. 6. page 237.)--View from Mount Kilsyth.--View from Mount
Mudge.--Two natives met.--Remarkable tree



Head of another river.--Water again scarce.--Abundance found.--Climate
and country--under the Tropic Line.--Plants.--Peculiar character of the
water-course.--One cause of open spaces in the woods.--New plants.--
Causes of the outspread of channel.--Plains of wild indigo.--Large river
channel from the south.--Cross.--Novelties beyond.--The river much
increased.--Long journey through scrub.--New plants.--Journey along the
river bank.--Character of this river.--Distant prospect.--No water.--
Fatiguing journey through scrubs. Reach the river by moonlight.--Large
lagoons.--New tributary--from the S. W.--Excursion to the N. W.--Night
without water.--Interview with natives.--Camp visited by natives during
my absence.--An affair at the camp.--The party crosses the river.--
Conclusions.--The party returns.--Tilled ground of the natives.--The
shepherd astray.--Singular phenomenon.--Extraordinary vegetable
production.--Heavy rain comes on.--Probability of finding a river.--
Singular meteor.--Intertropical temperature.--Effects of the rain.--
Recross the Tropic.--Regain the higher land.--Remarkable
tree.--(Hakea?)--Dip of the strata.--Character of the Belyando.--How to
explore a river in brigalow.--A more direct way homewards.--Successful
passage with carts and drays.--Open downs.--Fossil wood.--Recross the
Claude.--Mantuan downs.--Natives of the Salvator.--Position taken up for
a dept camp.--Interesting plants.--(View on the Salvator, Pl. 8.)


(Having reference to Map V., Page 189.)

Preparations and departure.--Mount Pluto.--Route amongst the three
volcanic hills.--Interview with a female native.--Cross a range beyond.--
The Nive and the Nivelle.--Burning of grass by the natives.--Water found,
after a night of thirst.--Pastures green, and quiet waters at sunset.--
Morning view from a rock.--A new river followed down-over extensive open
downs.--Brigalow scrubs away from the river.--River much increased.--
Security from natives--Thoughts in these solitudes.--The downs and the
river.--An emu shot there.--A river joins from the east.--Structure of
native's huts.--Two separate channels unite.--The river well filled.--
Packhorse unserviceable.--Rare pigeon--numerous.--A wild tribe--
surprised at a lagoon.--Recross the river--and return homewards.--The
savage compared--with the civilized.--Hills in the S. W.--Short cut along
the left bank of the river.--Name it the Victoria.--Privations in
exploring.--Return to the Nive and Nivelle.--Gallant charge by a snake.--
Sources of the Salvator.--View from Mount Pluto.--Arrival at the camp of
the pyramids.--Rare and new plants collected there.--(View of Lindley's
Range, Pl. 9.)


(Having reference to Map V., Page 189., and Map IV., Page 133.)

Fossils and plants.--A new genus.--LINSCHOTENIA DISCOLOR.--Ascend Mount
Faraday.--Valley of the Warreg.--Meet an old native.--Return to the camp
over the gullies.--Encamp by the Marana.--The river found to be near our
former track--with water in abundance.--Loss of a horse.--Cattle
tracks.--Arrival at the camp of Mr. Kennedy.--Visits of the natives--
during our absence.--(Pl. 7. ABORIGINAL DANCE, page 358).--Plants
gathered at the dept camp.--New plants.--Fossils at Mount Sowerby.--
Ascent of Mount Kennedy.--The party leaves the dept camp following the
course of the Marana.--Discovery of a fine open country.--Numbered trees
at camps.--The country on the Marana.--Singular habits of a fish.--Name
of river obtained from good authority.--(Pl. 10. VIEW ON THE MARANA,
page 372).--The Acacia varians.--Water scarce again.--Some at length
discovered by a dog.--Country between the two routes.--Plants.--Arrive at
the Balonne.--Return to St. George's Bridge


(Having reference to Map III., Page 81.)

(VIEW OF ST. GEORGE'S BRIDGE, Pl. 11)--Despatches sent forward.--
Acquisitions during the delay.--Mr. Kennedy's return and report.--The
party crosses the Balonne.--Arrives at the Mooni.--A white woman.--Cattle
stations.--Heavy rain.--The country impassable.--Camp removed to a
hill.--Dam thrown up.--The waters subside.--The party proceeds.--Arrival
at the Barwan.--A flood.--(Pl. 12. LAST USE OF THE BOATS, page 395).--
Cross the Mal, also in boats.--Country between the rivers.--Mount
Riddell recognised.--The Gwydir crossed.--Termination of the journey.--A
stockman.--Night on the open plain.--The Nammoy.--First news


Instructions to Mr. Kennedy for the survey of the river Victoria.--Of the
Aborigines.--Simple conditions of human existence.--Grass, fire,
kangaroos, and men.--Case of the aboriginal natives.--My native guides.--
Experiment worth trying.--Of the Convicts.--Character of the men of the
party.--Of convicts generally.--Of the Colony of New South Wales,--
capabilities of soil and climate.--Progress of colonization,--Division
and appropriation of the territory.--Capricornia and Austral-india



The Colonial Secretary to the Surveyor General of New South Wales.--
Letter, dated 28th October, 1830

Systematical List of Plants


[Not included in the text-file version of this eBook]

Flood coming down the Macquarie (pl. 1. p. 58) Map I. The Indian
Archipelago Portrait of Bultje Remnant of the Bogan tribe Map II. The
Rivers Bogan and Macquarie First use of the boats (pl. 2) Map III. The
Rivers Narran, Culgoa, and Balonne to St. George's Bridge, shewing also
the route thence homeward to Snodgrass Lagoon Separation of the Balonne
into the Culgoa, Narran, &c. The River Balonne, 7th April (pl. 3) Map IV.
Advance to the Marana, and route returning to St. George's Bridge The
Bottle tree, DELABECHEA The black awaiting the white Map V. The country
and the routes between the Marana and Mount Mudge, and those along the
River Victoria Tree without branches The Pyramids (pl. 4) Martin's Range
(pl. 5) Tower Almond (pl. 6) Map VI. The River Belyando Missile club of
natives of Central Australia Remarkable tree (HAKEA ?) The River
Salvator, 5th Sept. (pl. 8) Lindley's Range (pl. 9) Old native female
Aboriginal dance (pl. 7) View on the River Marana (pl. 10) Acacia
VARIANS St. Georgia's Bridge (pl. 11) Last use of the boats (pl. 12) Map
VII. Eastern Australia, with recent discoveries

* * * * *


Chapter I.


The exploration of Northern Australia, which formed the object of my
first journey in 1831, has, consistently with the views I have always
entertained on the subject [* See London Geographical Journal, vol. vii.
part 2, p. 282.], been found equally essential in 1846 to the full
development of the geographical resources of New South Wales. The same
direction indicated on Mr. Arrowsmith's map, published by the Royal
Geographical Society in 1837, was, in 1846, considered, by a committee of
the Legislative Council of New South Wales, the most desirable to pursue
at a time when every plan likely to relieve the colony from distress
found favour with the public.

At no great distance lay India and China, and still nearer, the rich
islands of the Indian Archipelago; all well-peopled countries, while the
industrious and enterprising colonists of the South were unable to avail
themselves of the exuberance of the soil and its productions,

"Which mock'd their scant manurings, and requir'd MORE HANDS THAN THEIRS
to prune their wanton growth."

The same attraction which drew the greatest of discoverers westward, "al
nacimiento de la especeria [* To the region where spices grew.]," seemed
to invite the Australian explorer northward; impelled by the wayward
fortunes of the Anglo-Saxon race already rooted at the southern extremity
of the land whose name had previously been "Terra Australis incognita."
The character of the interior of that country still remained unknown, the
largest portion of earth as yet unexplored. For the mere exploration, the
colonists of New South Wales might not have been very anxious just at
that time, but when the object of acquiring geographical knowledge could
be combined with that of exploring a route towards the nearest part of
the Indian Ocean, westward of a dangerous strait, it was easy to awaken
the attention of the Australian public to the importance of such an
enterprise. A trade in horses required to remount the Indian cavalry had
commenced, and the disadvantageous navigation of Torres Straits had been
injurious to it: that drawback was to be avoided by any overland route
from Sydney to the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

But other considerations, not less important to the colonists of New
South Wales, made it very desirable that a way should be opened to the
shores of the Indian Ocean. That sea was already connected with England
by steam navigation, and to render it accessible to Sydney by land, was
an object in itself worthy of an exploratory expedition. In short, the
commencement of such a journey seemed the first step in the direct road
home to England, for it was not to be doubted that on the discovery of a
good overland route between Sydney and the head of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, a line of steam communication would thereupon be introduced
from that point to meet the English line at Singapore.

In this view of the subject, it seemed more desirable to open a way to
the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria, the nearest part of the sea, than to
the settlement at Port Essington, on a presque-le forming the furthest
point of the land; and, that the journey would terminate at the Gulf was
therefore most probable. The map of Australia, when compared with that of
the world, suggested reasonable grounds for believing that a considerable
river would be found to lead to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

My department having been reduced to a state of inactivity in 1843, I
submitted a plan of exploration to Sir George Gipps, the Governor, when
His Excellency promised, that if the Legislative Council made such
reductions as they seemed disposed to make in the public expenditure, he
should be able to spare money for such an expedition. The Legislative
Council not only made reductions in the estimates to save much more money
than His Excellency had named, but even voted 1000L. towards the expense
of the journey, and petitioned the Governor to sanction it. His
Excellency, however, then thought it necessary to refer the subject to
the Secretary for the Colonies. Much time was thus lost, and, what was
still worse, the naturalist to whom I had explained my plan, and invited
to join my party, Dr. Leichardt. This gentleman, tempted by the general
interest taken by the colonists at the time in a journey of discovery,
which afforded a cheering prospect amid the general gloom and
despondency, raised and equipped a small party by public subscription,
and proceeded by water to Moreton Bay. Dr. Leichardt, and the six persons
who finally accompanied him thence to the northward, had not been heard
of, and were supposed to have either perished or been destroyed by
natives. [* Dr. Leichhardt returned afterwards to Sydney from Port
Essington by sea; and the journal of his journey, recently published,
shows what difficulties may be surmounted by energy and perseverance.]

The reply of Lord Stanley was, as might have been anticipated, favourable
to the undertaking; but the Governor of the colony still declined to
allow the journey to be undertaken, without assigning any reason for
keeping it back. This was the more regretted by me, when it became known
in New South Wales that Captain Sturt was employed, with the express
sanction of Lord Stanley, to lead an exploring expedition from Adelaide
into the northern interior of Australia, and that he was actually then in
New South Wales. Sir George Gipps had expressed, in one of his early
despatches to the British Government, his readiness to encourage such an
undertaking as that, and stated that "no one came forward to claim the
honour of such an enterprise;" yet now that Lord Stanley had sanctioned
the plan of the Surveyor General, whose duty it was to survey the
country, he refused to allow this officer to proceed. The Legislative
Council, however, renewed the petition for this undertaking, to which the
Governor at length assented, in 1845; and the sum of 2000L. was
unanimously voted for the outfit of the party, but with the clear
understanding on the part of the Council, that the plan of the Surveyor
General should be adopted.

The idea of a river flowing to the northward, was not, however, new. The
journey in 1831 was undertaken chiefly in consequence of a report that a
large river had been followed down to the coast by a bushranger,
accompanied by the natives: and the ultimate course of the Condamine,
still a question, was a subject of controversy in some of the first
papers published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. My
suggestions on the subject are detailed at length in the London
Geographical Journal, Vol. VII., Part 2., page 282., and accompanied by a
map showing the line of exploration then recommended.

In making preparations for this expedition, the means of conveyance by
land and water required the earliest consideration. These were strong
bullock-drays and portable boats. Horses and light carts had been
preferred by me: but the longer column of march, and necessity for a
greater number of men, were considered objections; while many experienced
persons suggested that the bullocks, though slow, were more enduring than
horses. [* The results of this journey proved quite the reverse.] Eight
drays were therefore ordered to be made of the best seasoned wood: four
of these by the best maker in the colony, and four by the prisoners in
Cockatoo Island. Two iron boats were made by Mr. Struth, each in two
parts, on a plan of my own, and on the 17th of November the whole party
moved off from Paramatta on their way to the proposed camp at Buree.

I joined the party encamped at Buree on the 13th of December, having rode
there from Sydney in four and a half days, and on the following Monday,
15th of December, 1845, I put it in motion towards the interior. The
Exploring party now consisted of the following persons:--

SIR T. L. MITCHELL, Kt., Surveyor General, Chief of the Expedition.
EDMUND B. KENNEDY, Esq. Assistant Surveyor, Second in command. W.
STEPHENSON, M.R.C.S.L. Surgeon and Collector of objects of Natural
History. PETER M'AVOY, Mounted Videttes. Charles Niblett, William Graham,
ANTHONY BROWN, Tent-keeper. WILLIAM BALDOCK, In charge of the horses.
John Waugh Drysdale, Store-keeper. Allan Bond, Bullock-drivers. Edward
Taylor, William Bond, William Mortimer, George Allcot, John Slater,
Richard Horton, Felix Maguire, James Stephens, Carpenters. Job Stanley,
Edward Wilson, Blacksmith. George Fowkes, Shoemaker. John Douglas,
Barometer carrier. Isaac Reid, Sailor and Chainman. Andrew Higgs,
Chainman. William Hunter, With the horses. Thomas Smith, Patrick Travers,
Carter and Pioneer. Douglas Arnott, Shepherd and Butcher. Arthur Bristol,
Sailmaker and Sailor.

8 drays, drawn by 80 bullocks; 2 boats; 13 horses; 4 private do.; and 3
light carts, comprised the means of conveyance; and the party was
provided with provisions for a year:--250 sheep (to travel with the
party), constituting the chief part of the animal food. The rest
consisted of gelatine, and a small quantity of pork.

With the exception of a few whose names are printed in italics, the party
consisted of prisoners of the Crown in different stages of probation,
with whom the prospect of additional liberty was an incentive so
powerful, that no money payment was asked by them or expected, while,
from experience, I knew that for such an enterprise as this I could rely
on their zealous services. The patience and resolution of such men in the
face of difficulties, I had already witnessed; and I had hired three of
the old hands, in order the more readily to introduce my accustomed camp
arrangements. Volunteers of all classes had certainly come eagerly
forward, offering their gratuitous services on this expedition of
discovery; but discipline and implicit obedience were necessary in such a
party to ensure the objects in view, as well as its own preservation; and
it was not judged expedient, where some prisoners were indispensable as
mechanics, to mix with them men of a different class, over whom the same
kind of authority could not be exercised.

Following the same road by which I quitted Buree, in 1835, my former line
of route across Hervey's Range lay to the left. The party thus arrived at
Bramadura, a sheep station occupied by Mr. Boyd. It was on the same chain
of ponds crossed by me on the journey of 1835, and then named Dochendoras
Creek, but now known as the Mundadgery chain of ponds. These ponds had
been filled by heavy rains which fell on Tuesday the 9th December--the
day on which I left Sydney, where the weather had been clear and sultry.
A tornado or hurricane had, on the same day, levelled part of the forest
near this place, laying prostrate the largest trees, one side of which
was completely barked by the hailstones. Many branches of trees along the
line of route, showed that the wind had been very violent to a
considerable distance.

16TH DECEMBER.--Some of the bullocks missing: the party could not,
therefore, quit the camp until 11 o'clock. The passage of the bed of the
chain of ponds (which we travelled up) was frequently necessary, and
difficult for heavily laden drays, which I found ours were, owing,
chiefly to a superabundance of flour, above the quantity I intended to
have taken, but supplied to my party, and brought forty miles by my drays
before my arrival at the camp.

We halted at another sheep station of Mr. Boyd's. Here I perceived that
Horehound grew abundantly; and I was assured by Mr. Parkinson, a
gentleman in charge of these stations, that this plant springs up at all
sheep and cattle stations throughout the colony, a remarkable fact, which
may assist to explain another, namely, the appearance of the Couchgrass,
or Dog's-tooth-grass, wherever the white man sets his foot, although
previously unknown in these regions.

17TH DECEMBER.--Set off about 7 A.M. and travelled along a good road, for
about 6 miles. Then, at a sheep station, we crossed the chain of ponds,
following a road leading to Dr. Ramsay's head station, called
Balderudgery. Leaving that road, and, at 7 miles, taking to the left, we
finally encamped on Spring Creek, after a journey of about 9 miles. We
had passed over what I should have called a poor sort of country, but
everywhere it was taken up for sheep; and these looked fat; yet not a
blade of grass could be seen; and, but for the late timely supply of
rain, it had been in contemplation to withdraw these flocks to the

Calling at a shepherd's hut to ask the way, an Irish woman appeared with
a child at her breast and another by her side: she was hut-keeper. She
had been there two years, and only complained that they had never been
able to get any potatoes to plant. She and her husband were about to
leave the place next day, and they seemed uncertain as to where they
should go. Two miles further on, a shoemaker came to the door of a hut,
and accompanied me to set me on the right road. I inquired how he found
work in these wild parts. He said, he could get plenty of work, but very
little money; that it was chiefly contract work he lived by: he supplied
sheep-owners with shoes for their men, at so much per pair. His
conversation was about the difficulty a poor man had in providing for his
family. He had once possessed about forty cows, which he had been obliged
to entrust to the care of another man, at 5S. per head. This man
neglected them: they were impounded and sold as unlicensed cattle under
the new regulations.

"So you saw no more of them?"

"Oh, yes, your honour, I saw some of them AFTER THEY HAD BEEN SOLD AT THE
POUND!--I wanted to have had something provided for a small family of
children, and if I had only had a few acres of ground, I could have kept
my cows."

This was merely a passing remark made with a laugh as we walked along,
for he was one of the race--

"Who march to death with military glee."

But the fate of a poor man's family was a serious subject: such was the
hopeless condition of a useful mechanic ready for work even in the
desolate forests skirting the haunts of the savage. So fares it with the
DISJECTA MEMBRA of towns and villages, when such arrangements are left to
the people themselves in a new colony.

18TH DECEMBER.--The party moved off about 7 A.M., and continued along a
tolerable road, crossing what shepherds called Seven Mile Creek, in which
there was some water; and a little further on we quitted the good beaten
road leading to Balderudgery, and followed one to the left, which brought
us to another sheep station on the same chain of ponds, three miles
higher up than Balderudgery. Having directed the party to encamp here, I
pursued the road south-westward along the chain of ponds, anxious to
ascertain whether I could in that direction pass easily to the westward
of Hervey's Range, and so fall into my former line of route to the Bogan.
At about five miles I found an excellent opening through which the road
passed on ground almost level. Having ascended a small eminence on the
right, I fell in with some natives with spears, who seemed to recognise
me, by pointing to my old line of route, and saying, "Majy Majy" (Major
Mitchell). I little thought then that this was already an outlying
picquet of the Bogan Blacks, sent forward to observe my party. The day
was hot, therm. 97 in the shade. The chain of ponds, there called "the
Little River," contained water in abundance, and was said to flow into
the Macquarie, in which case the Bogan can have but few sources in
Hervey's Range.

The station beside which we had encamped, comprised a stock yard, and had
been formerly a cattle station belonging to Mr. Kite. It was now a sheep
station of Dr. Ramsay's, and there was another sheep station a mile and a
half from it, along the road I had examined. Thus the country suitable
for either kind of stock is taken up by the gradual encroachment of sheep
on cattle runs, not properly such. This easily takes place--as where
sheep feed, cattle will not remain, and sheep will fatten where cattle
would lose flesh. Fortunately, however, for the holders of the latter
description of stock, there are limits to this kind of encroachment. The
plains to the westward of these ranges afford the most nutritive
pasturage in the world for cattle, and they are too flat and subject to
inundations to be desirable for sheep. A zone of country of this
description lies on the interior side of the ranges, as far as I have
examined them. It is watered by the sources of the rivers Goulburn,
Ovens, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Bogan, Macquarie, Castlereagh,
Nammoy, Peel, Gwydir, and Darling; on which rivers the runs will always
make cattle fat. There are two shrubs palpably salt, and, perhaps, there
is something salsolaceous in the herbage also on which cattle thrive so
well; and the open plains and muddy waterholes are their delight.
Excessive drought, however, may occasionally reduce the owners of such
stock to great extremities, and subject them to serious loss. The Acacia
pendula, a tree whose HABITAT is limited and remarkable, is much relished
by the cattle. It is found only in clay soils, on the borders of plains,
which are occasionally so saturated with water as to be quite impassable;
never on higher ground nor on any lower than that limited sort of
locality, in the neighbourhood of rivers which at some seasons overflow.
In such situations, even where grass seems very scarce, cattle get fat;
and it is a practice of stockmen to cut down the Acacia pendula (or Myall
trees, as they call them) for the cattle to feed on.

At this sheep station where we had encamped, I met with an individual who
had seen better days, and had lost his property amid the wreck of
colonial bankruptcies--a tea-totaller, with Pope's Essay on Man for his
consolation, in a bark hut. This "melancholy Jaques" lamented the state
of depravity to which the colony was reduced, and assured me that there
were shepherdesses in the bush! This startling fact should not be
startling, but for the disproportion of sexes, and the squatting system
which checks the spread of families. If pastoralisation were not one
thing, and colonisation another, the occupation of tending sheep should
be as fit and proper for women as for men. The pastoral life, so
favourable to love and the enjoyment of nature, has ever been a favourite
theme of the poet. Here it appears to be the antidote of all poetry and
propriety, only because man's better half is wanting. Under this
unfavourable aspect the white man first comes before the aboriginal
native; were the intruders accompanied by women and children, they could
not be half so unwelcome. One of the most striking differences between
squatting and settling in Australia consists in this. Indeed if it were
an object to uncivilise the human race, I know of no method more likely
to effect it than to isolate a man from the gentler sex and children;
remove afar off all courts of justice and means of redress of grievances,
all churches and schools, all shops where he can make use of money, then
place him in close contact with savages. "What better off am I than a
black native?" was the exclamation of a shepherd to me just before I
penned these remarks.

19TH DECEMBER.--The party moved along the road I had previously examined.
On passing through to the western side, I recognised the trees, plants,
and birds of the interior regions. Granitic hills appeared on each side,
and the sweet-scented Callitris grew around, with many a curious shrub
never seen to the eastward of these ranges. On descending, grassy
valleys, with gullies containing little or no water, reminded me of
former difficulties in the same vicinity, and it was not until we had
travelled upwards of sixteen miles that I could encamp near water. This
consisted of some very muddy holes of the Goobang Creek, on which I had
formerly been pleasantly encamped with Mr. Cunningham. [* See Vol. I. of
Three Expeditions, etc., page 171.] Two or three natives soon made their
appearance, one of whom I immediately recognised to be my old friend
Bultje, who had guided me from thence to the Ben Rocks, on my former
journey along the Bogan. He brought an offering of honey. Ten years had
elapsed since I formerly met the same native in the same valley, and time
had made no alteration in his appearance. With the same readiness to
forward my views that he formerly evinced, he informed me where the water
was to be found; and how I should travel so as to fall in with my former
route, by the least possible DTOUR. Mount Laidley bore 23 E. of N.

20TH DECEMBER.--This day I gave the cattle a rest, as the grass seemed
good, while I rode to look at my old line of marked trees. A cattle
station (of Mr. Kite) was within a mile and a half of our camp, and at
about three miles below it, I fell in with the former line. Where it
crossed the Goobang, a track still continued by them, but finally
diverged, leaving the line of marked trees, without the slightest trace
of the wheels or hoofs that had formerly passed by it. Reaching a hill
laid down on my former survey, and from which I recognised Mount Laidley,
I returned directly to the camp. We had encamped near those very springs
mentioned as seen on my former journey, but instead of being limpid and
surrounded by verdant grass, as they had been then, they were now trodden
by cattle into muddy holes, where the poor natives had been endeavouring
to protect a small portion from the cattle's feet, and keep it pure, by
laying over it trees they had cut down for the purpose. The change
produced in the aspect of this formerly happy secluded valley, by the
intrusion of cattle and the white man, was by no means favourable, and I
could easily conceive how I, had I been an aboriginal native, should have
felt and regretted that change. The springs which issue from the level
plains of clay, while the bed of the water-course some twenty feet lower
continues dry and dusty, are numerous. One had a strong taste of sulphur,
and might probably be as salubrious as other springs more celebrated.
They show that, in this country at least, the water-courses are not
supplied by springs, but depend wholly on heavy torrents of rain
descending from the mountains. Some holes in the bed of the Goobang Creek
did however retain some water which had fallen during the last rain. The
thermometer stood at 107 in the tent.

21ST DECEMBER.--Guided by my old friend Bultje, we pursued a straight
line of route through the forest to Currandong, which was half way to the
Bogan. We passed over a very open, gently undulating country, just
heading a gully called Brotherba--showing how well our guide knew the
country--and we reached Currandong at 2 o'clock. Here also were two
flocks belonging to Dr. Ramsay; Balderudgery, the head station, being
fifteen miles distant, by a mountain road through a gap. While travelling
this day, Corporal Graham overtook me with letters from Buree, and a cart
had also been sent after us by Mr. Barton with a small supply of corn.
That country is considered excellent as a fattening run for sheep; the
shepherd told me they there find a salt plant, which keeps them in
excellent condition and heart for feeding. The scarcity of water at some
seasons occasions a conversion here of cattle runs into sheep runs, and
VICE VERS, a contingency which seems to render these lands of Hervey's
range of temporary and uncertain value.

22D DECEMBER.--Guided by Bultje we continued to follow down the little
chain of ponds which, as he said, led to the Bogan. The road was good--
the Currandong ponds running in a general direction about N. N. W. It was
the first of the sources of the Bogan we had reached. Crossing at length
to its left bank, near an old lambing station of Dr. Ramsay's, we further
on came to a large plain with the Yarra trees of the Bogan upon its
western skirts. Some large lagoons on the eastern side of the plains had
been filled by the late rains, and cattle lay beside them. We at length
arrived in sight of a cattle station of Mr. Templar's, called Gannaguy,
and encamped on the margin of a plain opposite to it. The cattle here
looked very fat, and although the herd comprised about 2000 head, there
was abundance of grass. The Bogan thus first appeared on our left hand,
and must have its sources in the comparatively low hills, about the
country crossed by my former line of route, rather than in Hervey's or
Croker's ranges, as formerly supposed. The water in the ponds of the
Bogan seemed low.

This fine grazing country had been abandoned more than once from the
failure of the water, and yet these ponds seemed capable of holding an
almost inexhaustible supply. A single dam would have retained the water
for miles, the Bogan always flowing through clay in a bed of uniform
width and depth like a canal. No doubt a little art and labour would be
sufficient to render the land permanently habitable: but on an uncertain
tenure this remedy was not likely to be applied, and therefore the
sovereignty of art's dominion remained unasserted there. The incursions
of the savage, who is learning to "bide his time" on the Darling, are
greatly encouraged by the hardships of the colonists when water is
scarce; and I was shown where no less than 800 head of fat bullocks had
been run together by them when water was too abundant. Then horses cannot
travel, and cattle stick fast in the soft earth and are thus at the mercy
of the natives. The stone ovens, such as they prepare for cooking
kangaroos, had been used for the consumption of about twenty head of
cattle a day, by the wild tribes who had assembled from the Darling and
lower Bogan on that occasion. Thermometer in tent 109 at noon, wind

23D DECEMBER.--We crossed the Bogan (flowing eastward) at Mr. Templar's
station at Gannaguy, and the overseer most hospitably stood by the party
as it passed with a bucket of milk, of which he gave a drink to each of
the men. Bultje put us on the right road to the next nearest water-holes
(Mr. Gilmore's station), and having rendered me the service he promised,
I gave him the tomahawk, pipe, and two figs of tobacco promised him, and
also took a sketch of his singularly Socratic face. This native got a bad
name from various stockmen, as having been implicated in the murder of
Mr. Cunningham. Nothing could be more unfounded; and it must indeed
require in a man so situated the wisdom of a Socrates to maintain his
footing, or indeed his life, between the ignorant stockmen or shepherds
on one hand, and the savage tribes on the other. These latter savages
naturally regard those who are half civilised, in the same light as we
should look on deserters to the enemy, and are extremely hostile to them,
while perhaps even his very usefulness to our party had most unjustly
connected this native's name with the murder of one of our number. His
laconic manner and want of language would not admit of any clear
explanation of how much he had done to serve our race--and the
difficulties he had to encounter with his own; while the circumstance of
his having been met with at an interval of ten years in the same valley
in a domesticated state, if it did not establish any claim to the soil,
at least proved his strong attachment to it, and a settled disposition.
Much tact must be necessary on his part to avoid those savages coming by
stealth to carry off his gins; and to escape the wrath of white men, when
aroused by the aggressions of wild tribes to get up a sort of foray to
save or recover their own. How Bultje has survived through all this,
without having nine lives like a cat, still to gather honey in his own
valley, "surpasseth me to know."

We encamped at two large water-holes of the Bogan near Mr. Gilmore's
station, and the overseer sent to the men two buckets of milk. At the
station a well had been made to the depth of eighty feet, but a flood had
come, and risen so high as to wash in the sides and so fill up the well.
The workmen had passed through yellow clay chiefly, and the clay was wet
and soft when the further sinking was interrupted. Thermometer in my tent
109, wind W. N. W.

24TH DECEMBER. A lurid haze hung among the trees as the earliest sunbeams
shot down amongst them. The party were ready to move off early, but the
progress was slow from various impediments. A hot wind blew like a blast
furnace. A bullock dropt down dead at the yoke. We encamped on the
Currandong, or Back Creek, near a small plain, after travelling about ten
miles. Thermometer in tent, 103. Hot wind from the west.

25TH DECEMBER. Halted to rest the cattle. The wind blew this day more
from the northward, and was cooler. Thermometer in tent, 107.

26TH DECEMBER.--Proceeded to Graddle, a cattle station belonging to Mr.
Coss, 2 miles. Thermometer, 109.

27TH DECEMBER.--The bullock-drivers having allowed twenty-two of the
bullocks to stray, it was impossible to proceed.

At early morning the sky was overcast, the weather calm, a slight wind
from the west carried off these clouds, and at about eleven a very hot
wind set in. The thermometer in my tent stood at 117, and when exposed
to the wind rose rapidly to 129, when I feared the thermometer would
break as it only reached to 132.

28TH DECEMBER.--All the cattle having been recovered, we set off early,
accompanied by a stockman from Graddle, Mr. Coss's station. The day was
excessively warm, a hot wind blowing from the west. We finally encamped
on the Bogan, at a very muddy water-hole, after travelling eleven miles.
Thermometer in tent, 115. At half past five, the sky became overcast,
and the hot wind increased to a violent gust, and suddenly fell. I found
that tartaric acid would precipitate the mud, leaving a jug of the water
tolerably clear, but then the acid remained. Towards evening the sky was
overcast, and a few drops of rain fell. The night was uncommonly hot. At
ten the thermometer stood at 102, and at day-break at 90.

29TH DECEMBER.--The remaining water was so muddy that the cattle would no
longer drink it. The sky was overcast, with the wind from south. Finding
a cart road near our camp, I lost no time in conducting the lighter
portion of our equipment to Mr. Kerr's station at Derribong. In the
hollows I saw, for the first time on this journey, the POLYGONUM JUNCEUM,
reminding me of the river Darling, and on the plains a SOLANUM in flower,
of which I had only seen the apple formerly. At length, greener grass
indicated that the late rains had fallen more heavily there, and at about
twelve miles I reached the station situated on a rather clear and
elevated part of the right bank of the Bogan. Here the stock of water had
been augmented by a small dam, and a channel cut from a hollow part of
the clay surface conducted any rain water into the principal pool, where
the water was very good. We had now arrived at the lowest station on the
Bogan. The line of demarcation between the squatter and the savage had
been once much lower down, at Mud, and even at Nyingan (see INFRA), but
the incursions of the blacks had rendered these lower stations untenable,
without more support than the Colonial government was able to afford.
There, at least, the squatter is not only not the real discoverer of the
country, but not even the occupier of what had been discovered. The map
will illustrate how it happens that the colonists cannot keep their
ground here from the marauding disposition of the savage tribes. [* See
map of Eastern Australia--INFRA.] The Darling is peopled more permanently
by these natives, than perhaps any other part of Australia: affording as
it does a more certain supply of food. It is only in seasons of very high
flood that this food, the fish, cannot be got at, and that they are
obliged to resort to the higher country at such seasons, between the
Darling, the Lachlan, and the Bogan. It also happens that the cattle of
the squatter are most accessible from the soft state of the ground; the
stockmen cannot even ride to protect them. The tribes from the Lachlan
and Macquarie meet on these higher lands, and when tribes assemble they
are generally ready for any mischief. The Bogan is particularly within
their reach, and when wet seasons do occur the cattle of squatters must
be very much at the mercy of the savages. The tribes from the Darling are
extremely hostile, even to the more peaceably disposed hilltribes near
the colony, and several stations have already been abandoned in
consequence of the outrages of the aborigines from the Darling and
Lachlan. Nothing is so likely to increase these evils as the precarious
or temporary occupation of such a country. The supply of water must
continue uncertain so long as there is no inducement from actual
possession to form dams, and by means of art to secure the full benefit
of the natural supply. Hence it is that half a million of acres, covered
with the finest grass, have been abandoned, and even savages smile at the
want of generalship by which they have been allowed to burn the white
man's dairy station and stockyards on the banks of the Bogan. The
establishment of a police station near the junction of the Bogan with the
Darling, or the formation of an inland township about Fort Bourke, had
been sufficient to have secured the stations along the Bogan and
Macquarie, and to have protected the Bogan natives as well as our own
countrymen from frequent robbery, murder, and insult. Such are the
results where SQUATTING has been permitted to supersede settling. With
possession, deficiency of water in dry seasons had been remedied, and no
such debateable land had remained on the borders of a British colony.

The part of the Bogan where least water can be found, has always been
that between our present camp and Mud, a very large lagoon about 50
miles lower down. I found by the barometer that there is a fall of 206
feet in that distance of 50 miles; whereas the fall in the bed of the
Bogan is only 50 feet between Mud and New Year's Range, in a distance of
upwards of 100 miles. The general course of the Bogan changes at Mud
from N.W. to north, the former being nearly in the direction of the
general declination of the country, the latter rather across it, of which
the overflowings of the parallel river Macquarie into Duck Creek, and
other channels to the westward, seemed to afford sufficient proofs. Where
the declination is least, the water is most likely to remain in ponds in
the channel of the river after floods, the water of which can neither
flow with so much velocity, nor bear down any of the obstructions by
which ponds are formed. Mr. Dixon found the velocity of the Bogan at this
part, during a flood in 1833, to be four miles in an hour; which is about
double the average rate of the larger rivers of Australia.

I had an order from Mr. Kerr, the proprietor of this station of
Derribong, to his superintendant, for such fat cattle as I might require
to take with me as live stock. Finding that the sheep answered very well,
having lost none, and that they rather improved in travelling, whereas
the working oxen had been much jaded and impoverished by the long
journey, heavy loads, and warm weather; I determined to take as many
young bullocks as might suffice to relieve and assist the others, and
break them in as we proceeded.

30TH DECEMBER.--The wind changed to S.E., and brought a cool morning.
Thermometer, 68. This day we selected from the herds of Mr. Kerr 32
young bullocks, and they were immediately yoked up in the stockyard.

Received letters from Sydney, by Corporal Graham.

31ST DECEMBER, 1845.--Thermometer at 5 A. M., 62: at noon, 109. Wind
S.E. At noon a whirlwind passed over the camp, fortunately avoiding the
tents in its course; but it carried a heavy tarpaulin into the air, also
some of the men's hats, and broke a half-hour sand-glass, much wanted for
the men on watch at night. The sky overcast from the west in the evening.

1ST JANUARY, 1846.--A strong wind from N.E. blew during the day, and was
very high at 11 A. M. The party were chiefly employed breaking in the
young bullocks. At noon, nimbus, and some rain, tantalised us with the
hope of a change; but the sky drew up into clouds of cumulus by the
evening. The vegetation of the Bogan now recalled former labours: the
ATRIPLEX SEMIBACCATA of Brown was a common straggling plant.

2D JANUARY.--The young cattle still occasioned delay. The morning was
cloudy and promised rain; but a N.W. wind broke through the clouds, which
resolved themselves into cirrostratus, and we had heat again. Besides the
SALSOLA AUSTRALIS, we found a HALGANIA with lilac flowers, probably
distinct from the species hitherto described, which are natives of the
south-west coast.

3D JANUARY.--This morning the young cattle were yoked up with the old;
and, after considerable delay, the party proceeded to some ponds in the
Bogan about five miles lower down. We were now nearly opposite to the
scene of Mr. Cunningham's disasters: I had recognised, amongst the first
hills I saw when on the Goobang Creek, the hill which I had named Mount
Juson, at his request, after the maiden name of his mother. The little
pyramid of bushes was no longer there, but the name of Cunningham was so
identified with the botanical history of almost all the shrubs in the
very peculiar scenery of that part of the country, that no other monument
seemed necessary. Other recollections recalled Cunningham to my mind; his
barbarous murder, and the uncertainty which still hung over the actual
circumstances attending it. The shrubs told indeed of Cunningham; of both
brothers, both now dead; but neither the shrubs named by the one, nor the
gloomy CASUARINOE trees that had witnessed the bloody deed, could tell
more. There the ACACIA PENDULA, first discovered and described by Allan,
could only

"Like a weeping mourner stooping stand, For ever silent, and for ever

4TH JANUARY.--The early cooler part of the morning was taken up with the
young cattle. It was now but too obvious that this means of conveyance
was likely to retard the journey to an extent that no pecuniary saving
would compensate, as compared with light carts and horses. I proceeded
forward in search of a deserted stockyard, called Tabbaratong, where some
water was said still to remain. We found some mud and water only;
although some that was excellent was found about two miles lower down the
Bogan, late in the evening.

We had crossed the neutral ground between the savage and the squatter.
The advanced posts of an army are not better kept, and humiliating proofs
that the white man had given way, were visible in the remains of dairies
burnt down, stockyards in ruins, untrodden roads. We hoped to find within
the territory of the native, ponds of clear water, unsoiled by cattle,
and a surface on which we might track our own stray animals, without
their being confused by the traces of others.

5TH JANUARY.--Three of the young cattle having escaped during the night,
retarded us in the morning until 8 o'clock, at which hour they were
brought into the camp, having been tracked by Yuranigh, a most useful
native who had come with us from Buree. I proceeded with the light carts,
guided by a very young native boy, not more than ten years old, who had
come with the party from Kerr's station, and who, being a native of the
lower Bogan, could tell us where water was likely to be found. Our route
was rather circuitous, chiefly to avoid a thick scrub of CALLITRIS and
other trees, which, having been recently burnt, presented spikes so
thickly set together, that any way round them seemed preferable to going
through. We reached plains, and came upon an old track of the squatters.
The grass in parts was green and rich. I could see no traces of my former
route, but we arrived at length at an open spot which Dicky, the young
native, said was "Cadduldury." Leaving Dr. Stephenson with the people
driving the light carts there, I proceeded towards the bed of the Bogan,
which was near, to see what water was there, and following the channel
downwards, I met with none. Still I rode on, accompanied by Piper (also
on horseback), and the dryness of the bed had forbidden further search,
but that I remembered the large ponds we had formerly seen at Bugabad
and Mud, which could not be far distant. But it was only after threading
the windings of the Bogan, in a ride of at least twelve miles, that we
arrived at the most eastern of the Bugabad ponds. The water was however
excellent, purer indeed than any we had seen for many days, and we
hastened back to the party at Cadduldury, which place we only arrived at
as darkness came on, so that Piper had nearly lost his way. The drays
with Mr. Kennedy had not come up, and I sent William Baldock and Yuranigh
back in haste to inform him that I was encamped without water, and that I
wished him, if still EN ROUTE, immediately to unyoke the cattle, encamp
on a grassy spot, and have them watched in their yokes during the night,
and to come forward at earliest dawn to the water-holes I had found near
Bugabad. We passed a miserable night without water at Cadduldury.

6TH JANUARY.--William Baldock returned at daybreak, bringing a message
from Mr. Kennedy, saying he should do as I had requested. I went forward
with the light party, and reached the water-holes by 8 A. M.. The morning
happened to be extremely hot, which, under the want of water and food the
preceding evening, made Drysdale very ill, and John Douglas and Isaac
Reid were scarcely able to walk when we arrived at the first water-hole.
But how the jaded bullocks were to draw the heavy loads thus far in the
extreme heat, was a subject of anxious thought to me. William Baldock
again returned to Mr. Kennedy with two barrels of water on a horse, a
horn full of tea, etc. On his way he met six of the drays, the drivers of
which were almost frantic and unable to do their work from thirst. He
brought me back intelligence that Mr. Kennedy still remained at his
encampment, with the two remaining drays, whereof the drivers (Mortimer
and Bond) had allowed their teams, with bows, yokes, and chains, to
escape, although each driver had been expressly ordered to watch his own
team during the night. This was a most serious misfortune to the whole
party. The rest of the drays could not be brought as far as my camp, but
I ordered the cattle to be released and driven forward to the water,
which they reached by the evening, sufficient guards being left with the
drays. The shepherd with the sheep could not get so far as the water, and
the poor fellow had almost lost his senses, when Mr. Stephenson, who had
hastened back with several bottles, relieved his thirst, and, as the man
said, "saved his life."

Our position might indeed have been critical, had the natives been
hostile, or as numerous as I had formerly seen them at that very part of
the Bogan. Separated into three parties, and exhausted with thirst and
heat, the men and the drays might have been easily assailed. No natives,
however, molested us; and I subsequently found that the tribe, with which
I was on very friendly terms there formerly, were still amicably disposed
towards us.

7TH JANUARY.--Early this morning, M'Avoy brought in the spare bullocks,
having been sent forward by Mr. Kennedy to travel on during the night.
The shoemaker also brought in one of the lost teams and part of the
other. I sent back, by Baldock, this morning, water for the men in charge
of the drays, and some tea and bread for Mr. Kennedy. He would also have
gone in search of the four bullocks still missing, but Mr. Kennedy sent
him again to me to procure something to eat. The drays carrying the
provisions had not come up, and my party too was short. The day surpassed
in heat any I had ever seen: the thermometer at noon in the shade stood
at 109, a gentle hot wind blowing. The camp of Mr. Kennedy was distant
at least 16 miles from mine near Bugabad.

The six drays came in about 4 P. M.; the sheep not until long after dark.
Bread, gelatine, and ten gallons of water were sent back to Mr. Kennedy,
and a memorandum from me apprising him of my arrangement for drawing
forward the two drays, which he had taken such good care of, and which
was as follows: Two teams to leave my camp on the evening of next day, to
be attached on their arrival to the two drays with which they were to
come forward, travelling by moonlight during the rest of the night, until
they should be met by two other fresh teams, destined to meet them early
next morning. Also I informed Mr. Kennedy that it was not my intention to
send after the four stray bullocks until the drays came in, and the party
could be again united. Thermometer again 109 in the shade all day.

The CALOTIS CUNEIFOLIA was conspicuous amongst the grass. This was the
common BURR, so detrimental to the Australian wool. Small as are the
capitula of this flower, its seeds or achenia are armed with awns having
reflexed hooks scarcely visible to the naked eye; it is these that are
found so troublesome among the wool.

8TH JANUARY.--The messenger returned from Mr. Kennedy saying he had found
him and the men with him, in a state of great distress from want of
water, having given great part of what had formerly been sent to a young
dying bullock, in hopes thereby to save its life. He also stated that a
tribe of natives were on their track about three miles behind. Baldock
had seen several bullocks dead on the way. In the evening the two first
teams were sent off as arranged. This day had also been very sultry,
especially towards evening.

9TH JANUARY.--Early this morning, the two relieving teams were despatched
as arranged, and at noon Mr. Kennedy and the whole entered the camp. We
had been very fortunate, under such trying circumstances, to suffer so
little loss, and I determined never to move the party again, until I
could ascertain where the water was at which it should encamp. I had been
previously assured by the young native that water was still to be found
at Cadduldury, and the disappointment had nearly proved fatal to the
whole party.

On the banks of the Bogan, the ATRIPLEX HAGNOIDES formed a round white-
looking bush.

I rode forward to Mud, accompanied by Dr. Stephenson and by Piper, and
had an interview with some of the heads of the old tribe, who remembered
my former visit, and very civilly accompanied me to show me my old track
and marked trees, which I found passed a little to the northward of my
present encampment. The chief, my old friend, had been killed in a fight
with the natives of the Macquarie, not long before. Two old grey-haired
men sitting silent in a gunya behind, were pointed out to me as his
brothers, one of whom so very much resembled him, that I had at first
imagined he was the man himself. These sat doubled up on their hams
opposite to each other, under the withered bushes, naked, and grey, and
melancholy--sad and hopeless types of their fading race!

The chief who formerly guided us so kindly had fallen in a hopeless
struggle for the existence of his tribe with the natives of the river
Macquarie, allied with the border police, on one side; and the wild
natives of the Darling on the other. All I could learn about the rest of
the tribe was, that the men were almost all dead, and that their wives
were chiefly servants at stock stations along the Macquarie.

The natives of Mud assured me there was no water nearer than Nyingan, a
large pond which I knew was 22 1/3 miles distant, in a direct line lower
down the Bogan. The ponds of Mud, their great store of water, and known
to white men as the largest on the Bogan, were alarmingly low, and it
became evident that our progress under such a scarcity of water would be
attended with difficulty. These natives gave us also a friendly hint that
"GENTLEMEN" should be careful of the spears of the natives of Nyingan, as
many natives of Nyingan had been shot lately by white men from Wellington

Among the woods we observed the white-flowered TEUCRIUM RACEMOSUM, the
JUSTICIA MEDIA, a small herbaceous plant with deep pink flowers; also a
STENOCHILUS and FUSANUS (the Quandang), although not in fruit; a new
species of STIPA, remarkable for its fine silky ears and coarse rough
herbage.[*] This place produced also a fine new species of Chloris in the
way of C. TRUNCATA, but with upright ears, and hard three-ribbed
pales,[**] and we here observed, for the first time, a fine new
EREMOPHILA with white flowers, forming a tree fifteen feet high.[***] The
beautiful DAMASONIUM OVALIFOLIUM, with white flowers red in the centre,
still existed in the water.

[* S. SCABRA (Lindl. MS.), aristis nudis, paleis pubescentibus basi
villosis, glumis setaceo-acuminatis glabris, foliis scabropilosis
involutis culmis brevioribus, geniculis pubescentibus, ligul oblong

[** C. SCLERANTHA (Lindl. MS.), culmo stricto, foliis planis glabris
tactu scabris, spicis 4--7-strictis, spiculis bifloris, flore utroque
breviaristato cartilagineo truncato 3-nervi glabro supremo sterili

[*** E. MITCHELLI (Benth. MS.), glabra viscidula, foliis alternis
linearibus planis, corolla alba extus glabra fauce amplo laciniis 4
superioribus subaequalibus infima majore retusa, staminibus inclusis.]

In the evening it was discovered that no one had seen the shepherd and
the sheep since the morning, and Piper and Yuranigh went in search. It
was night ere they returned with the intelligence that they had found his
track ten miles off to the S. W. when darkness prevented them from
following it further.

I ascertained, by observations of the stars Aldebaran and Orionis, that
out present camp near Bugabad was in latitude 31 56', and thus very
near the place where Mr. Dixon's journey down the Bogan in 1833 had
terminated. Thermometer at noon, 90; at 9 P. M., 70; with wet bulb,

10TH JANUARY.--Early this morning Mr. Kennedy and Piper went to the S. W.
in search of the shepherd and sheep, while at the same time I sent
William Baldock and Yaranigh back along our track in search of the stray
bullocks. Meanwhile I conducted the party along my former track to Mud,
where we met Mr. Kennedy and Piper with the shepherd and sheep, already
arrived there. The shepherd stated that the fatigue of having been on
watch the previous night had overcome him; that he fell asleep, and that
the sheep went astray; that he followed and found them, but lost himself.
He had met one or two natives who offered him honey, etc. which he

We encamped beside the old stock-yard and the ruins of a dairy, only
visible in the remaining excavation. But a paddock was still in such a
state of preservation, that in one day we completed the enclosure. We had
passed near Bugabad similar remains of a cattle station. This position
of Mud was a fine place for such an establishment; a high bank nearly
clear of timber, overlooking a noble reach of great capacity, and
surrounded by an open forest country, covered with luxuriant grass. The
last crop stood up yellow, like a neglected field of oats, in the way of
a young crop shooting up amongst it.

11TH JANUARY, 1846.--Sunday. Prayers were read to the men, and the cattle
and party rested. The day was cool and cloudy.

12TH JANUARY.--Still I halted at Mud for the lost bullocks. To-day I
noticed the KOCHIA BREVIFOLIA, a little salt-bush, with greenish yellow
fruit, edged with pink.

13TH JANUARY.--Baldock and Yuranigh arrived early in the morning (by
moonlight) with five of the stray bullocks. Two others (young ones) could
not be driven along, and one old bullock was still astray at Mr. Kerr's
station (to which they had returned) and could not even then be found. We
had now in all 106 bullocks, and, considering the great scarcity of
water, heat, and consequent drought, I was most thankful that our loss
had been so slight.

I proceeded to reconnoitre the country in a straight line towards
Nyingan, which bore 353--and having found a tolerably open country for
about six miles, I returned and took the party on so far, and encamped,
sending back all the cattle and horses to the water at Mud. Enough had
been carried forward for the men who were to remain at the camp. To
ensure the early return of the cattle, I had repaired, as already stated,
the paddock at Mud, in which during this night, they could be secured,
having also sufficient grass,--likewise the horses. In my ride I found a
new grass of the genus CHLORIS[*], something like CHL. TRUNCATA in habit,
some starved specimens of TRICHINIUM LANATUM; amongst the grasses I also
Nees, discovered originally by me in 1836, and also a new PAPPOPHORUM
with the aspect of our European Anthoxanthum.[**] A smart shower fell
during the evening.

[* C. ACICULARIS (Lindl. MS.); culmo stricto, foliis involutis glabris
tactu scabris, spicis 8--9 subacutis, spiculis bifloris, flore utroque
setaceo aristato, supremo sterili angustissimo, paleis dorso scabris.]

[** P. FLAVESCENS (Lindl. MS.); aristis 9 rigidis pallidis plumosis,
spic composit densissim oblong, paleis lanatis, glumis ovatis
pilosis, foliis vaginisque pubescentibus tactu scabris, geniculis

14TH JANUARY.--The cattle arrived early from Mud, and were immediately
yoked to the drays. I proceeded with the light carts, still on the same
bearing, until arriving near Dar, where I had formerly been encamped, I
turned to the left to ascertain if there really was no water there. I
found two excellent ponds, and encamped beside them after a journey of
about ten miles. The drays arrived early and I subsequently found I had
encamped near my old ground of 9th May, 1835, when I was guided by the
friendly chief of the Bogan tribe to the best water holes his country
afforded. By the route I had selected from my former surveys, I had cut
off the great bend described by the Bogan in changing from a north-
westerly to a northerly course, and the track now left by our wheels will
probably continue to be used as a road, when the banks of the Bogan may
be again occupied by the colonists. At Darwere still most substantial
stock-yards, and, as usual, the deep dug foundations of a dairy that had
been burnt down.

15TH JANUARY.--Eight bullocks were missing, and although the day was
fine, not too hot, I could not think of moving until these cattle were
found. Accordingly, at earliest dawn, I despatched William Baldock and
the native to look for them. In the course of the day six were found by
Baldock in one direction, and the remaining two, afterwards, in another.
An inconspicuous blue-flowered Erigeron grew here, also the JASMINUM
LINEARE, with its sweet-scented white flowers--and, near the water, I saw

16TH JANUARY.--At a good early hour the party moved from Dar, crossing
the Bogan and falling into my former track and line of marked trees. We
lost these, however, on crossing the Bogan at Murgab, and made a slight
dtour to the eastward before we found Nyingan, where we encamped, and
were joined by the drays by twelve o'clock. During this day's journey
Piper and Yuranigh discovered fresh traces of horsemen with those of the
feet of a native guide, come from the East to my old track, and
returning, apparently, as our natives thought, looking for traces of our

At Nyingan we found many recent huts and other indications of the
natives, but saw none. Large stock-yards and a paddock remained, but a
house and garden fences had been burnt down. The great ponds were sunken
very low and covered with aquatic weeds. As soon as the camp had been
established with the usual attention to defence, I set out to look for
the next water, and after riding twelve miles nearly in the direction of
my former route, I reached the dry channel of the Bogan, and tracing it
thence upwards, I sought in every hollow at all its turnings for water,
but in vain, and I reached the camp only at dusk, without having seen,
during the day, any other ponds than those of Nyingan.

17TH JANUARY.--Early this morning, I sent Mr. Kennedy with the native
Yuranigh, also on horseback, to run back my track of yesterday to the
Bogan where I had commenced its examination upwards, and from that point
to examine the channel downwards to the nearest water, provided this did
not take Mr. Kennedy too far to admit of his return by sunset. Two old
women came to the ponds of Nyingan for water, by whom Piper was told that
the nearest permanent water was "NIMIN," where white men had attempted
to form a cattle-station, and been prevented by natives from the Darling,
many of whom had since been shot by the white men. They said the place
was far beyond Canbelego, the next stage of my former journey, and where
these women also said little or no water remained.

Mr. Kennedy returned at eleven A.M., having found water at Canbelego.
Yuranigh brought with him a large green specimen of the fruit of the
CAPPARIS MITCHELLII, which he called an apple, being new to him, but
which Dicky, the younger native from the Lower Bogan, knew, and said was
called "MOGUILE;" he also said that it was eaten by the natives.

18TH JANUARY.--The party moved to Canbelego where one or two small ponds
remained, but on the plains adjacent there was better grass than we had
hitherto found near those places where, for the sake of water, we had
been obliged to encamp. I sent Mr. Kennedy again forward looking for
water, but he returned sooner than I expected, and after following the
river down twelve miles, without finding any. I was now within the same
distance of Duck Creek, in which Mr. Larmer had found abundance of water
when I sent him to survey it upwards during my last return journey up the
Bogan. It also seemed, from the direction in which Piper pointed, that
the old gins referred to Duck Creek, as containing water; and as the
course of that creek, so far as shown on maps, led even more directly to
the Darling than did the Bogan, I was willing in such a season of extreme
drought, to avail myself of its waters. My eye had been much injured by
straining at stars while at the camp near Walwadyer, and I was obliged to
send Mr. Kennedy on one of my own horses, followed by Graham, to examine
the water in Duck Creek. I instructed him to proceed on a bearing of 35
E. of North, until he should reach the creek, and if he found water in it
to return direct to the camp, but that if water was not found on first
making the creek, then he was to follow Duck Creek up to its junction
with an eastern branch, surveyed also by Mr. Larmer, and to return thence
to the camp on a bearing of 240. I also sent Corporal Macavoy with
Yuranigh down the Bogan, to ascertain if the channel contained any pond
between our camp and the part previously examined by Mr. Kennedy.

This officer returned from Duck Creek after an absence of twelve hours,
and reported that he had found no water in Duck Creek after examining its
bed twelve miles; but that he had found a fine lagoon on the plains near
the head of the eastern branch, but around which there was no grass, all
having been recently burnt.

20TH JANUARY.--Macavoy returned at seven A.M., saying he had been twenty-
four miles down the Bogan without finding any water. About the same time
Sergeant Niblett, in charge of the bullocks, came to inform me that these
animals were looking very ill, and could not drink the mud remaining in
the pond. At the same time intelligence was brought me that four of the
horses had broken their tether ropes during the night, and that William
Baldock had been absent in search of them on foot, from an early hour in
the morning. I immediately sent back the whole of the bullocks to
Nyingan, with a dray containing the empty harness casks, also the horses,
and a cart carrying all our other empty casks; and the whole of the
cattle and horses returned in the evening with all the casks filled.

21ST JANUARY.--Having again despatched the bullocks back to Nyingan, I
conducted the light carts forward along my old track (of 1835), having on
two of these carts two of the half-boats, and in the carts under them all
the water-kegs that had been filled. My object was to use the iron boat
as a tank, at which we might water the bullocks at one stage forward;
that by so gaining that point and proceeding onwards towards the water I
hoped to find next day, we might encamp at least at such a convenient
distance from it, as would admit of the cattle being driven forward to
return next day and draw the drays to it. This I considered possible,
even if it might be found necessary to go as far for water as the fine
reach described in my journal as the place of my encampment on the 14th
May, 1835, beyond Mount Hopeless, and which I concluded from the gin's
description, must have been what she called Nimine, or the disputed
station of Lee. I encamped this party on a plain about twelve miles from
Canbelego, where I had left Mr. Kennedy, with instructions to bring the
drays on with the spare cattle and horses early next morning. I had sent
thence Corporal Macavoy and Yuranigh to follow the track of Baldock and
the horses; but it was obvious that we could remain no longer at
Canbelego. As soon as we could set up one of the half-boats, the contents
of the water-kegs were emptied into it, and the cart was immediately sent
back with the empty kegs to Canbelego, where fresh horses had been left,
to continue with the same cart and empty kegs to Nyingan during the
night, so as to arrive in time to admit of the dray--already there with
the harness casks--bringing an additional supply back in the kegs, when
the bullocks returned next day.

It was now necessary that I should ascertain as soon as possible the
state of the ponds lower down the Bogan, and thereupon determine at once,
whether to follow that dry channel further in such a season, or to cross
to the pond in Duck Creek, and await more favourable weather. I
accordingly set out at 3 P.M., from where the water had been placed in
the half-boat, accompanied by Dr. Stephenson, and followed by Corporal
Graham and Dicky the native boy. By the advice of the latter, I rode from
the camp in the direction of 30 E. of N., and, crossing the Bogan, we
reached at about 3 miles beyond it, a channel like it, which I supposed
was Duck Creek; and in it, just where we made it, there was a small pond
of water. Having refreshed our horses, we followed this channel
downwards, without meeting with more water. To my surprise, I found the
general direction was westward, until it JOINED THE BOGAN. We next
followed the course of the Bogan as long as daylight allowed us to do so,
without discovering any indication that water had recently lodged in any
of the hollows, and we finally tied up our horses and lay down to sleep,
in hopes that next day might enable us to be more successful.

22D JANUARY.--Having proceeded some miles along the western bends of the
Bogan, hastily--being desirous to see that day the great pond beyond
Mount Hopeless--I observed that the clay was very shining and compact in
a hollow sloping into an angle of the river-bed, that the grass was green
as from recent rain, and that there was more chirping of birds; I was
tempted once more by these indications, to look for water in the Bogan's
almost hopeless channel, and there we found a pond, at sight of which
poor Dicky shouted for joy; then drank, and fell asleep almost in the
water. It was small, but being sufficient for our immediate wants, we
thankfully refreshed our horses and ourselves, and proceeded on our
eventful journey. Almost immediately after leaving this pond I discovered
my old track, which we continued to follow across those large plains,
whence I had formerly discovered Mount Hopeless. These plains I soon
again recognized from the old tracks of my draywheels, distinctly visible
in many places after a lapse of nearly eleven years. Arriving at length
near the debateable land of Lee's old station, we resumed our examination
of the Bogan. There we perceived old cattle tracks; the ovens in which
the natives had roasted whole bullocks, and about their old encampments
many heaps of bones; but in none of the deep beds of former ponds or
lagoons could we discover any water. The grass was nevertheless excellent
and abundant; and its waste, added to the distress the want of water
occasioned us, made us doubly lament the absence of civilised
inhabitants, by whose industry that rich pasture and fine soil could have
been turned to good account. We saw no natives; nor were even kangaroos
or emus to be seen, as formerly, any longer inhabitants of these parts. I
turned at length, reluctantly, convinced that it would have been unsafe
to venture with cattle and drays into these regions before rain fell. In
returning, we at first found it difficult to find our old track, by which
alone we could hope that night to reach the small pond of the morning;
but Dr. Stephenson very fortunately found it, and we had also the good
fortune, for so we considered it, to arrive at the pond before sunset.
There we tied up our horses and lay down, glad indeed to have even that
water before our eyes. Dicky, the native boy, had repeatedly thrown
himself from his horse during the afternoon, quite ill from thirst.

23D JANUARY.--After our horses had drank, we left no water in the pond;
but they had fed on good grass, and we were well refreshed, although with
water only, for our ride back to the camp. Setting off from an old marked
tree of mine near the Bogan, on a bearing of 160, I several times during
our ride fell in with the old track, and finally reached the camp after a
rapid ride of four hours. I found the whole party had arrived the
previous evening with the water, as arranged; but that Mr. Kennedy was
absent, having set off that morning in search of water to the N. E. with
Corporal Macavoy, on two government horses, leaving word that he should
return by twelve o'clock. He did not return at that hour, however, and at
two I moved the party across the Bogan, and proceeded along open plains
towards the ponds at Duck Creek, with the intention of there refreshing
the cattle and horses, and awaiting more favourable weather. I previously
watered out of the half-boat, 106 bullocks, and gave a quart to each of
the horses. On the way, the heat was so intense that our three best and
strongest kangaroo dogs died, and it was not until 10 P. M. that the
drays reached the ponds where I had proposed to encamp. About an hour and
a half before, Mr. Kennedy also came in, having galloped the two horses
66 miles, and hurt both their backs, Macavoy being a heavy man. At 9 P.
M., therm. 80, wet bulb, 68.

24TH JANUARY.--This morning I awoke completely blind, from ophthalmia,
and was obliged to have poultices laid on my eyes; several of the men
were also affected in the same manner. The exciting cause of this malady
in an organ presenting a moist surface was, obviously, the warm air
wholly devoid of moisture, and likely to produce the same effect until
the weather changed. At 9 P. M., therm. 84, with wet bulb, 68.

Chapter II.


25TH JANUARY.--Dr. Stephenson having recommended the application of
leeches, and having observed them in the ponds at Nyingan, I sent William
Baldock and Yuranigh there in search of some, and they brought back
enough. Fourteen were applied to my eyes the same afternoon. The ground
here was quite naked; it was, in fact, the blue clay of the Darling, with
the same sterile looking plants; and no time was to be lost in seeking
some ponds where there might be also good grass for the cattle. Therm. at
sunrise, 97; at noon, 100; at 9 P.M. 90; with wet bulb, 71.

26TH JANUARY.--I sent Corporal Graham with Piper, in a N. E. direction to
where we had observed the light of burning woods reflected from a cloudy
sky last evening; considering that a sure indication that water was near,
as natives are seldom found where there is none. He returned early with
the welcome tidings that he had found abundance of water in a creek about
five miles off, and excellent grass upon its banks. My eyes were so far
recovered that I could observe the altitude of a star, thus ascertaining
the latitude of this camp to be 31 20' 20" S. Therm. at sunrise, 85; at
noon, 112; at 9 P.M. 84; with wet bulb, 70.

27TH JANUARY.--The whole party moved to the ponds called "Cannonb" by
the natives. There we found greater abundance of water and better grass
than we had seen near water during the whole journey, and I determined to
halt for at least two weeks, as part of the time I had previously
intended to devote to the repose and refreshment of the cattle, when we
should have reached the Darling. The cattle and their drivers had been
much harassed, and both needed and deserved rest. The horses had got out
of condition, and I considered that when we arrived at the Darling their
services would be more required. I was also to try the experiment here,
whether I might prosecute the journey without danger of losing my
eyesight; to have abandoned the undertaking at that point, had been
almost as painful to me as the other alternative. There were no hostile
natives here, the fire having been set up by some solitary gins; rain was
daily to be expected, at least cooler weather would certainly come in a
short time; the wheels of the drays had been long represented to me as
needing a thorough repair, from the effect of the heat on the wheels;--
and, upon the whole, I considered it very fortunate that we could encamp
under such circumstances on so favourable a spot. We placed our tents
amongst shady bushes--set up the blacksmith's forge, and soon all hands
were at work in their various avocations, whilst the cattle and horses
enjoyed the fresh grass, leisure to eat it, and abundance of water.

Amongst the bushes here, a HAKEA, with simple filiform mucronulate leaves
without flower, occurred, loaded with oblong hard galls resembling dry
plums. Also the SENECIO CUNNINGHAMI (D.C.), found by Allan Cunningham on
the shores of Lake George. Mr. Stephenson discovered here a very pretty
new TRICHINIUM, with heads of hoary pink flowers. [* T. SEMILANATUM
(Lindl. MS.); ramosa, pubescens, ramulis, angulatis, foliis linearibus
acutis noveillis villosis, capitulis paucifloris hemisphericis, rachi
dens bracteis uninerviis acutis scpalisque angustis plumosis parc

I learnt from the natives that this creek also joined the Bogan,
consequently that the real Duck Creek must either be still to the N. E.
of us, or be a branch out of this. At all events, the creek surveyed by
Larmer is thus proved to have been a discovery of his, and a most useful
one it has thus proved to us on this emergency. That chain of ponds
(whence we had just come) was called Bellaringa; this "Cannonb;" and to
what I suppose must be Duck Creek, water to which the natives point
northward, they give the name of "Marra." Therm. at sunrise, 78; at
noon, 115; at 4 P.M. 96; at 9, 88; with wet bulb, 73.

28TH JANUARY.--Several kettles, a good spade, a Roman balance with large
chain complete, barrels, and other articles, were found at the bottom of
one of the ponds; and old tracks of cattle were numerous about the banks.
Thus it was clear that this favourable spot for a cattle station had not
been unheeded by the white man. It was vaguely asserted by some old gins
seen by Piper, that three men had been killed here when the place was
abandoned. We were about twelve or fourteen miles to the W.N.W. of Mount
Harris; and certainly the general bed of this watercourse was broader
than that of the Bogan, and moreover contained much granitic sand, all
but identifying its sources with those of the Macquarie. This day was
very hot; a thunder cloud passed over us, and a shower fell about 3 P.M.
Thermometer at sunrise, 78; at noon, 115; at 4 P.M. 108; at 9, 84;
with wet bulb, 63.

29TH JANUARY.--A more than usually hot wind raised the thermometer to
115 in the shade; but distant thunder was soon heard, and the horizon
became clouded. The day was very sultry, and although no rain fell near
us, it was evident that other parts to the north-east were receiving a
heavy shower. Thermometer at sunset, 102.

30TH JANUARY.--An easterly wind brought a refreshing air from the quarter
where the thunder-cloud had exhausted itself last evening. This day the
doctor found the tree mentioned as bearing a nondescript fruit in my
former journal, Vol. I. page 82., but this tree bore neither flower nor
fruit. Thermometer at sunrise, 80; at noon, 103; at 4 P.M., 108; at 9,
100 ; with wet bulb, 79.

31ST JANUARY.--The weather still very sultry. I commenced a series of
observations with a syphon barometer (made by Bunten of Paris). The table
for expansion of mercury and mean dilatation of glass, sent me by my
friend Captain P. P. King, came but to 88 of Fahrenheit, whereas at 4
P.M., the centigrade thermometer stood at 44, which is equal to 112 of

This day I was apprised of Piper's intention to leave the party, taking
with him the two younger and more useful natives. He had recently made
some very unreasonable demands. It was now obvious from various sayings
and doings thus brought to my recollection, that he had never any serious
intention of accompanying this expedition throughout its progress. The
services of other more intelligent natives might easily have been
obtained, having been proffered by many in the settled districts, but
Piper from having been with me before, was preferred as a matter of
course. He had not improved in speech or manners during the long interval
of ten years that had elapsed since our former acquaintance, although
during that time he had visited Adelaide, Sydney, Moreton Bay, the river
Hunter, etc., etc. From the day on which he had joined the party on this
last occasion, he had been allowed a horse, saddle, doublebarrelled gun,
clothing, and the same rations as the other men, blankets, place in a
tent with the men, etc. Unlike most other natives, he was a very bad
shot, and very awkward about a horse; it was impossible to obtain any
clear intelligence from his countrymen through him as interpreter; he
went very unwillingly about doing anything. He had drawn his rations and
those of the two young natives separately from the men's mess the week
before this, on the plea that they did not obtain their fair share; he
was thus premeditately preparing for his clandestine departure,
foreseeing that on the Saturday, when rations were issued, he could thus
obtain a week's provisions in advance, without suspicion. He also had it
in his power, like a true savage, to take the lion's share from the other
two, in thus drawing rations apart from the men's mess. He had heard of
the gins who had made the conflagration having retired towards the
cattle-stations on the Macquarie. Here, then, while other men were
actively at their work,--blacksmiths, carpenters, bullock-drivers,--this
man, who was as well fed and clothed as they, carried on a horse to boot,
and doing no work, was the only dissatisfied person. Me, whom he called
his "old master," he would heartlessly leave, without a native guide,
just at the time when such guides were most required. The only difficulty
I felt on this occasion was how to secure the services of the two others,
and yet dismiss him. He had just received a week's ration in advance, and
he was baking the whole of the flour into bread. I sent to have him
instantly seized, and brought with the dough and the other native,
Yuranigh, before Mr. Kennedy and myself, as magistrates. He denied the
intention to decamp. The other declared he had proposed to him to leave
the party and go in search of gins, and that he could not understand him;
that he was afraid to accompany Piper in a country so far from his own
home (Buree). On this I ordered Piper to be sent to Bathurst, and the
rations he was about to carry off, to be given to the other two, and that
he should be kept apart from them during the night. Thermometer at
sunrise, 85; at noon, 111; at 4 P.M., 112; at 9, 101;--with wet bulb,

1ST FEBRUARY.--This morning Piper was sent off with Corporal Graham. Mr.
Kennedy rode on also in order to find out the nearest police station, and
make arrangements, if possible, there, for forwarding Piper to Bathurst,
his own district, which would put it out of his power to molest the party
by endeavouring to induce the other natives to leave it. On them this
measure appeared to have a salutary effect, Yuranigh calmly observing
that Piper had only himself to blame for what had befallen him, and that
he had acted like a fool. Mr. Kennedy undertook also to obtain, if he
could, some more kangaroo dogs to replace those which had died from
excessive heat. By that loss our party was left almost without dogs; and
dogs were useful not only to kill kangaroos and emus, but to afford
protection from, or to give notice of, nightly attacks by the natives, in
which attacks those on that part of the Darling we were approaching, had
been rather too successful against various armed parties of whites.
Thermometer at sunrise, 88; at noon, 104; at 4 P.M., 106; at 9 P.M.,
88;--with wet bulb, 76.

2ND FEBRUARY.--The setting sun descended on a blue stratus cloud which
appeared along the edge of all other parts of the horizon, and eagerly
watching any indication of a change, I drew even from this a presage of
rain. Thermometer at sunrise, 88; at noon, 104; at 4 P.M., 106; at 9,
88;--with wet bulb, 72.

3RD FEBRUARY.--High winds whistled among the trees this morning, and dark
clouds of stratus appeared in the sky. A substantial shower fell about 9
A.M., and the horizon was gradually shut in by clouds of nimbus. The high
wind had blown steadily from north both yesterday and this morning, and
in the same quarter a thunder cloud seemed busy. But when the rain began
to fall, the wind shifted to the S.W., from which quarter the rain seemed
to come. With it came a very peculiar smell, which I had noticed near
Mount Arapiles in 1836, about the time of the commencement of the rainy
weather there; and nothing could have been more welcome to us now, than
the prospect of rain, and the decided change in the temperature from 115
to 73. This was almost the first day during a month in which the air had
not been warmer than our blood; often had it been greater than fever
heat, so that 73 felt to us as cool as 50 would have been to a resident
of Sydney. Much rain did not fall at our camp, but it seemed that rain
was falling about the sources of the Bogan and other places at which a
supply of water was indispensable to enable us to proceed. At sunset,
glimpses of a clear sky appeared about the horizon, and during the night
the moon and stars came forth, and destroyed all hopes of more rain. We
were thankful, however, for the relief afforded by what had fallen, which
had lowered the temperature about 40 degrees, and enabled us to enjoy a
night of refreshing rest. Thermometer at sunrise, 85; at noon, 80; at 4
P.M., 73; at 9, 68;--with wet bulb, 67.

4TH FEBRUARY.--The morning dawned in a most serene sky, with refreshing
breezes from the south, and the thermometer at 61. This day we had
completed the repair of the wheels of half the drays. Many of the tire-
rings had been cut, rewelded, and again fixed and bolted on the wheels;
the wood of these having contracted so much in the intense heat, as to
have rendered these repairs indispensable. The same repairs were required
by the wheels of the remaining drays and those of the light carts, and
the smith and wheelwright continued their work with activity and zeal.
Meanwhile the cattle were daily regaining strength and vigour for another
effort. Thermometer at sunrise, 61; at noon, 89; at 4 P.M., 89; at 9,
72;--with wet bulb, 62.

5TH FEBRUARY.--This morning the mercurial column stood higher than I had
yet observed it here, and clouds of cirrus lay in long streaks across the
sky, ranging from east to west, but these were most abundant towards the
northern horizon. The day was comparatively cool and pleasant, the
thermometer never having risen above 96. By 6 P.M., the barometer had
fallen nearly four millimetres, and even upon this apparently trivial
circumstance, I could build some hope of rain; such was my anxiety for a
change of weather at that time, when the earth was so parched as not only
to preclude our travelling, but almost to deprive us of sight.
Thermometer at sunrise, 60; at noon, 94; at 4 P.M., 96; at 9, 73;
with wet bulb, 64.

6TH FEBRUARY.--Dark stratus-shaped clouds wholly covered the sky, and
shut out the sun, to my unspeakable delight. A most decided change seemed
to have taken place; still the barometer remained as low as on the
previous evening. A slight breeze from south-east changed to north, and
at about 7 A.M. the rain began to fall. Clouds of nimbus closed on the
woody horizon, and we had a day of rain. In the evening the barometer had
fallen still lower, and it was probable that the rain might continue
through the night. Range of thermometer from 74 to 72.

7TH FEBRUARY.--Some heavy showers fell during the night, and the
mercurial column stood exactly at the same point as on the last evening.
About 10 A.M. a very heavy shower fell, after which the sun broke
through, and the mass of vapour separated into vast clouds of nimbus.
Much rain seemed to be still falling in the east, where the Macquarie,
Bogan, and other rivers had their sources. At noon, the barometer had
risen one millimetre. The rain had penetrated the clay soil of the plains
about five inches.

Mr. Kennedy returned in the afternoon, having duly provided for Piper's
conveyance by the mounted police to Bathurst, and brought back a good
bull-dog, and also some useful information respecting the various water-
courses, and the river Macquarie, which he had gathered from the natives
about the stations along the banks of that river. Thermometer at sunrise,
74; at noon, 86; at 4 P.M., 90; at 9, 80;--with wet bulb, 75.

8TH FEBRUARY.--The moisture recently imbibed by the earth and air made us
much more sensible of the high temperature in which we had been living,
although it had been reduced by the late rains. The night air,
especially, breathed no refreshing coolness as heretofore during the dry
heat. The drier earth below seemed to be steaming the wet soil above it
(as Brown, our cook, justly observed). Thermometer at sunrise, 80; at
noon, 96; at 4 P.M., 95; at 9, 80;--with wet bulb, 75.

9TH FEBRUARY.--The leisure we enjoyed at this camp, enabled us to bestow
more attention on the vegetable and animal productions of these
remarkable plains, than had been given during my former journey. It
appeared that the saltwort plants, which were numerous, were not only
efficacious in keeping the cattle that fed on them in the best possible
condition; but as wholly preventing cattle and sheep from licking clay, a
vicious habit to which they are so prone, that grassy runs in the higher
country nearer Sydney are sometimes abandoned only on account of the
"licking holes" they contain. It is chiefly to take off that taste for
licking the saline clay, that rock-salt is in such request for sheep,
lumps of it being laid in their pens for this purpose. At all events, it
is certain that by this licking of clay both sheep and cattle are much
injured in health and condition, losing their appetite for grass, and
finally passing clay only, as may be seen near such places. In the salt
plants on these plains, nature has amply provided for this taste of these
large herbivora for salt. Our sheep nibbled at the mesembryanthemum, and
the cattle ate greedily of various bushes whereof the leaf was sensibly
salt to the taste. The colour of the leaves of such bushes is usually a
very light bluish green, and there are many species. That with the
largest leaves, called salt-bush by stockmen, and by Dr. Brown RHAGODIA
PARABOLICA, was very useful as a vegetable after extracting the salt
sufficiently from it. This we accidentally discovered from some
experiments made by Mr. Stephenson, for the purpose of ascertaining the
proportion of salt contained in the leaves. The leaves contained as much
as a twentieth part of salt, nearly two ounces having been obtained from
two pounds of the leaves.[*] We also found that after twice boiling the
leaves a few minutes in water to extract the salt, and then an hour in a
third water, the leaves formed a tender and palatable vegetable, somewhat
resembling spinach. As the superior excellence of these runs for
fattening cattle is admitted on all hands, as compared with others more
abundant in grass on the eastern side of the great range, would it not be
advisable for the colonists to cultivate this salt-supplying bush, and
thereby to produce a vegetable substitute for the rock salt, which is not
only expensive, but only a very imperfect remedy for the clay-licking
propensities of sheep and cattle on many runs? Thermometer at sunrise,
70; at noon, 94; at 4 P.M., 98; at 9, 86;--with wet bulb, 75.

[* The process of Mr. Stephenson was as follows:--"Two pounds of the
green leaf were boiled in eight quarts of water for half an hour, then
strained and evaporated nearly to dryness. The mass was then submitted to
a red heat for half an hour. The residuum was next digested in one pint
of water, filtered, and again evaporated to six ounces. It was then
exposed to the sun's rays, which completed the desiccation; crystals of a
cubic shape having previously been formed."]

10TH FEBRUARY.--This morning the natives caught, in a hollow tree, an
animal apparently of the same genus as the DIPUS MITCHELLII, and which
seemed to live solely on vegetables. The barometer had fallen three
millimetres last evening, and by noon this day it had declined three
more. A fresh breeze blew from N. N. E., and at 2 P.M. a dark thunder
cloud came from the S. S. W. and passed over the camp. The thunder was
very loud, the lightning close and vivid; the wind for some time high,
and rain heavy. The sky was, however, clear by 4 P.M., except in the N.
E. where the thunder continued. Thermometer at sunrise, 75.

11TH FEBRUARY.--The real "Duck Creek" was still to the northeastward of
our camp, as Mr. Kennedy had ascertained when on the Macquarie. I hoped
to find in it water sufficient at least to serve the party halting on it
one night, on its way to the Macquarie, by which line alone I was now
convinced water enough might be obtained to supply the party until it
could arrive at the Darling; I therefore rode this day to examine it,
with the elder native. I followed the bearing of N. N. E. from our camp,
a direction in which it was likely to be met with, so as equally to
divide the journey of the drays to the Macquarie, into two days. I
crossed plains covered with luxuriant crops of very rich grass, and at
length obtained a sight of Mount Foster bearing east. I reached Duck
Creek (that of Sturt), or the "Marra" of the natives, ascertained by the
bearing of Mount Foster, the native name of which is Narrab. I examined
the bed of the Marra downwards for about two miles, without seeing
therein the least indication of water, and returned to the camp fully
resolved to proceed next day to the Macquarie, so as to reach it a little
way below Mount Foster, a distance in that direction rather too great for
the cattle to travel over in one day. Thermometer at sunrise, 59; at
noon, 73; at 4 P.M., 76; at 9, 61;--with wet bulb, 57. From an
average of twenty-five observations of the mercurial column, the height
of this station has been determined to be 566 English feet above the
level of the sea.

12TH FEBRUARY.--We broke up our encampment on Cannonb ponds, where we
had greatly recruited ourselves, both men and cattle, and crossing the
channel of the water-course near our camping ground, we travelled over
open grassy plains towards the river Macquarie. At thirteen miles we
reached the western branch of Duck Creek, or "Marra," a name by which it
is universally known to natives and stockmen. Of this we crossed several
branches, from which it would appear as if the name was derived from that
of the hand, which is the same, especially as natives sometimes hold up
the hand and extend the fingers, when they would express that a river has
various branches or sources. I went on with an advanced party towards the
Macquarie, and encamped on the bank of that river at 5 P. M. The thick
grass, low forests of yarra trees, and finally the majestic blue gum
trees along the river margin, reminded me of the northern rivers seen
during my journey of 1831. Still even the bed of this was dry, and I
found only two water holes on examining the channel for two miles. One of
these was, however, deep, and we encamped near it, surrounded by
excellent grass in great abundance. The Macquarie, like other Australian
rivers, has a peculiar character, and this was soon apparent in the reeds
and lofty yarra trees growing on reedy plats, and not, as usual in other
rivers, on the edge of water-worn banks. The channel was here deep and
dry. We found this day, in the scrubs by Marra Creek, the ACACIA
SALICINA, whereof the wood has a strong perfume resembling violets, also
a new small-leaved KOCHIA with intricate branches.[*] Thermometer at
sunrise, 47; at 4 P. M., 77; at 9, 57;--with wet bulb, 56.

[* K. THYMIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); fruticosa, ramosissima, ramulis intricatis
pubescentibus, foliis carnosis obtusis teretibus fructibusque glabris.]

13TH FEBRUARY.--I was again laid up with the MALADIE DU PAYS--sore eyes.
Mr. Stephenson took a ride for me to the summit of Mount Foster, and to
various cattle stations about its base, with some questions to which I
required answers, about the river and stations on it lower down. But no
one could tell what the western side of the marshes was like, as no
person had passed that way; the country being more open on the eastern
side, where only the stations were situated; Mr. Kinghorne's at Grway,
about five miles from our camp, being the lowest down on the west bank.
Mr. Stephenson returned early, having met two of the mounted police. To
my most important question--what water was to be found lower down in the
river--the reply was very satisfactory; namely, "plenty, and a FLOOD
COMING DOWN from the Turmountains." The two policemen said they had
travelled twenty miles with it, on the day previous, and that it would
still take some time to arrive near our camp. About noon the drays
arrived in good order, having been encamped where there was no water
about six miles short of our camp, the whole distance travelled, from
Cannonb to the Macquarie, having been about nineteen miles. In the
afternoon two of the men taking a walk up the river, reported on their
return, that the flood poured in upon them when in the river bed, so
suddenly, that they narrowly escaped it. Still the bed of the Macquarie
before our camp continued so dry and silent, that I could scarcely
believe the flood coming to be real, and so near to us, who had been put
to so many shifts for want of water. Towards evening, I stationed a man
with a gun a little way up the river, with orders to fire on the flood's
appearance, that I might have time to run to the part of the channel
nearest to our camp, and witness what I had so much wished to see, as
well from curiosity as urgent need. The shades of evening came, however,
but no flood, and the man on the look-out returned to the camp. Some
hours later, and after the moon had risen, a murmuring sound like that of
a distant waterfall, mingled with occasional cracks as of breaking
timber, drew our attention, and I hastened to the river bank. By very
slow degrees the sound grew louder, and at length, so audible as to draw
various persons besides from the camp to the river-side. Still no flood
appeared, although its approach was indicated by the occasional rending
of trees with a loud noise. Such a phenomenon in a most serene moonlight
night was quite new to us all. At length, the rushing sound of waters and
loud cracking of timber, announced that the flood was in the next bend.
It rushed into our sight, glittering in the moonbeams, a moving cataract,
tossing before it ancient trees, and snapping them against its banks. It
was preceded by a point of meandering water, picking its way, like a
thing of life, through the deepest parts of the dark, dry, and shady bed,
of what thus again became a flowing river. By my party, situated as we
were at that time, beating about the country, and impeded in our journey,
solely by the almost total absence of water--suffering excessively from
thirst and extreme heat,--I am convinced the scene never can be
forgotten. Here came at once abundance, the product of storms in the far
off mountains, that overlooked our homes. My first impulse was to have
welcomed this flood on our knees, for the scene was sublime in itself,
while the subject--an abundance of water sent to us in a desert--greatly
heightened the effect to our eyes. Suffice it to say, I had witnessed
nothing of such interest in all my Australian travels. Even the heavens
presented something new, at least uncommon, and therefore in harmony with
this scene; the variable star ARGUS had increased to the first magnitude,
just above the beautiful constellation of the southern cross, which
slightly inclined over the river, in the only portion of sky seen through
the trees. That very red star, thus rapidly increasing in magnitude,
might, as characteristic of her rivers, be recognized as the star of
Australia, when Europeans cross the Line. The river gradually filled up
the channel nearly bank high, while the living cataract travelled onward,
much slower than I had expected to see it; so slowly, indeed, that more
than an hour after its first arrival, the sweet music of the head of the
flood was distinctly audible from my tent, as the murmur of waters, and
the diapason crash of logs, travelled slowly through the tortuous
windings of the river bed. I was finally lulled to sleep by that melody
of living waters, so grateful to my ear, and evidently so unwonted in the
dry bed of the thirsty Macquarie. Thermometer, at sunrise, 47; at noon,
79; at 4 P. M., 88; at 9, 63;--with wet bulb, 57.

14TH FEBRUARY.--The river had risen to within six feet of the top of the
banks, and poured its turbid waters along in fulness and strength, but no
longer with noise. All night that body of water had been in motion
downwards, and seemed to me enough to deluge the whole country to the
Darling, and correct at least any saltness in its waters, if stagnant; a
probability which had greatly reconciled me to the necessity for changing
the line of my intended route, as the waters above the junction of the
Castlereagh had never been known to become salt. We proceeded, falling
soon into a cart track which led us to Grway, Mr. Kinghorne's
cattlestation, and we encamped about five miles beyond it, near a bend of
the river. We were already in the midst of reeds, but these had been so
generally burnt, that we had little difficulty in crossing those parts of
the marshes. The IMPERATA ARUNDINACEA, with its long head of white silky
flowers, was common, and a straggling naked branched species of dock, on
the parts unburnt. Thermometer at sunrise, 54; at noon, 91; at 4 P. M.,
82; at 9, 72;--with wet bulb, 60. Height above the level of the sea,
475 feet.

15TH FEBRUARY.--Mr. Kinghorne obligingly accompanied me this day, and
guided us across arms of the marshy ground. I was very glad to have his
assistance, for I saw no line of trees as on other rivers, nor other
objects by which I could pursue its course or keep near its waters; trees
of the aquatic sort and reeds grew together. At one time nothing was
visible to the eastward but a vast sea of reeds extending to the horizon.
Where the long reeds remained unburnt, they presented a most formidable
impediment, especially to men on foot and sheep, and twenty of these got
astray as the party passed through. We encamped on a bank of rather firm
ground, in lat. 30 53' 55" S. The grass was very rich on some parts of
open plains near the marshes, and the best was the PANICUM LOEVINODE of
Dr. Lindley, mentioned in my former journals[*] as having been found
pulled, and laid up in heaps for some purpose we could not then discover.
Mr. Kinghorne now informed me that it was called by the natives "coolly,"
and that the gins gather it in great quantities, and pound the seeds
between stones with water, forming a kind of paste or bread; thus was
clearly explained the object of those heaps of this grass which we had
formerly seen on the banks of the Darling. There they had formed the
native's harvest field. There also I observed a brome grass, probably not
distinct from the BROODS AUSTRALIS of Brown; it called to mind the
squarrose brome grass of Europe. Thermometer at sunrise, 59; at noon,
87; at 4, 89; at 9, 73;--with wet bulb, 66.

[* Vol. i. p. 237.]

16TH FEBRUARY.--Mr. Kinghorne set out with a man of our party to examine
Duck Creek, a native boy having told him that water was to be found in it
lower down. I sent back early this morning, our native, with the store-
keeper, some of the men, and the shepherd, to look for the lost sheep in
the reeds, and Yuranigh fortunately found them out, still not very far
from the spot where they had been separated from the rest of the flock.
Our greatest difficulty in these marshes was the watering of the cattle.
We had still the Macquarie at hand--deep, muddy, and stagnant--not above
thirty feet wide, the banks so very soft that men could scarcely approach
the water without sinking to the knees. We could water the horses with
buckets, but not the bullocks. The great labour of filling one of the
half-boats, and giving the cattle water by that means, was inevitable,
and this operation took up three hours of the morning; a wheel required
repair, the box having been broken yesterday. I for these reasons found
it advisable to halt this day, which I did very reluctantly. At sunset,
Mr. Kinghorne returned, having found no water in the "Marra," (Duck

Among the grasses growing among the reeds, we perceived the ANDROPOGON
SERICEUS and an ERIANTHUS, which appeared to differ from E. FULVUS in
having no hair upon the knees. The smooth variety of the European LYTHRUM
SALICARIA, raised its crimson spikes of flowers among the reeds of the
Macquarie, as it does in England on the banks of the Thames. We saw also
leaves, also a BRACHYCOME resembling B. HETERODONTA, only the leaves were
entire. A new species of LOTUS appeared among the reeds, very near the
narrow-leaved form of L. AUSTRALIS on the one hand, and the South
European narrow-leaved form of L. CORNICULATUS on the other; the flowers
were pink, and smaller than in L. AUSTRALIS.[*] Also an ETHULIA [**],
which may, on further examination, constitute a new genus; it was found
by Allan Cunningham on the Lachlan. Thermometer at sunrise, 54; at noon,
86; at 4 P.M., 84; at 9, 61;--with wet bulb, 54.

[* L. LAEVIGATUS (Benth. MS.); subglaber glaucescens, foliolis linearibus
v. lineari-cuneatis vix acutatis, pedunculis folio longioribus 3--6-
floris, calycis subsessilis appresse pubescentis dentibus setaceo-
acuminatis tubo suo paullo longioribus, legumine recto tereti glabro.]

[** ETHULIA CUNNINGHAMI (Hooker MS.); glaberrima, caule dichotomo, foliis
oblongis sessilibus dentato-serratis, capitulis paucis corymbosis
globosis, involucri squamis oblongis imbricatis viridibus, pappo e setis
paucis brevibus.]

17TH FEBRUARY.--The party moved off early, and Mr. Kinghorne having shown
me a few miles more of the best ground between the scrubs and reeds, went
towards a cattle station beyond the Macquarie, where a belt of open
forest separated the reeds and enabled him to pass. He prevailed on a
native whom he met with there to come with him to me, and to guide me to
water until I reached the Brwan. This native at first seemed rather
afraid of our numerous party, but our own native, Yuranigh, endeavoured
by every means to make him at ease, and to induce him to remain with us.
He guided us this day by fine open ground westward of the marshes, to a
part of the Macquarie where the banks were solid enough to admit of the
cattle drinking. The name was Bilgawngara; I reached the spot early, but
at sunset no drays had come up. At length I was informed that such was
the softness of the soil, that the drays had sank frequently, that two
were fast in one place, four in another, and that two of the bullocks
were astray. The marshes were said to be just then occupied by some angry
tribes, of whom Mr. Kinghorne had warned me to be on my guard. The
patience necessary to any traveller depending on bullocks and bullock
drivers, I then thought ought to exceed that of Job. Our native guide was
very shy, and Yuranigh feared he meant to "bolt." We depended on him for
finding water--on our own native for finding bullocks; but it would not
have done then to have sent him away. The weather might change, and these
marshes become impassable; indeed, we were as much at the mercy of
Providence in this respect as the Israelites were in the bed of the Red
Sea. It depended on the weather whether we should deserve to be
considered Jews or Egyptians. The teams came in about midnight, after the
moon had risen, by which the drivers were enabled to see my track. Lat.

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