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

Part 4 out of 7

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no flowers were seen, the genus of this shrub is well indicated by the
pod and the general habit. The leaflets are often above four inches broad
and not two inches long, not unlike the form of a bat with its wings

1ST JULY.--With that view, I rode towards Mount Faraday, anxious to look
into the valley beyond it. After a two hours' ride, I passed under its
western summit, and still pressed forward, in hopes of seeing at length
into the valleys beyond. I thus entered a very thick scrub, so impervious
that I was obliged to turn westward, until I came upon sandstone gullies
into one of which I descended. Following this downwards, I found it fell
to the westward, and in a hollow part of its rocky bed I came to some
clear water. But this was inaccessible, even to my horse, nor could I
take him further down that wildly broken gully; therefore we backed out,
and ascended as we could. Then riding southward in search of one more
accessible, I at length, descended into a grassy valley, which ran
northwest, and gave promise of something still better. I could not follow
it then without provisions, having none with me, and I therefore hastened
back to the camp, resolved to take with me men and provisions sufficient
to enable me to explore this further. In the scrub I passed through on my
way back, I found various very remarkable shrubs new and strange to me.
One grew on a large stalk, from which leaves radiated without other or
any branches. These leaves, hanging gracefully around the stem, gave to
this shrub the resemblance of the plume of a staff-officer. The outer
side of each leaf was dark and shining, the inner white and woolly.
Rarely these tall stems separated into two. Other branches there were
none. Some very beautiful new acacias also grew there. One, in
particular, with leaves exactly similar to those of the silver-leaved
ironbark, was very remarkable, a broad rough-leaved FICUS, with opposite
leaves not unlike those of the New Holland Upas. The white-flowered lead-
wort (PLUMBAGO ZEYLANICA) and the TRIODIA PUNGENS were abundant among the
grasses. A downy Dodonaea, with triangular leaves, was producing its
small flowers[*], and a scrubby bush with hard narrow leaves and globular
fruit the size of a rifle-ball, proved to be a new CAPPARIS.[**]
Thermometer, at daybreak, 35°; at 9 P.M., 38°.

[* D. TRIANGULARIS (Lindl. MS.); molliter pubescens, foliis
obtriangularibus tridentatis, pedunculis masculis axillaribus

[** C. LORANTHIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.) ramosa, inermis, ramulis tomentosis,
foliis lineari-oblongis obtusis coriaceis glabris sesqui-pollicaribus
aveniis, pedunculis solitariis axillaribus tomentosis foliis brevioribus,
stipite duplo longiore, fructu sphaerico tuberculato glabro.]

2D JULY.--Returning with two men and Yuranigh to the valley where I had
been yesterday, I followed it downwards, and soon found that it widened
very much, and contained large dry ponds, with the traces of a deep
current of water at some seasons. At length, the rocky precipices seemed
to recede, and formed occasionally bold headlands of most picturesque
outline. Two, that towered above the woods before us, resembled pyramids,
and I saw an open country beyond them, from which other summits of
extraordinary form seemed to emerge. Yet we had found no moisture in the
ponds, and lamented that a country, in every other respect so fine,
should be without water. Further on, I perceived reeds in the hollow of
the valley, and Yuranigh said there must be a spring, upon which he
walked in amongst them, but still found the earth dry. The reeds at
length covered an extensive flat, and looked, at the lower part of the
flat, so green, that I sent Corporal Graham to examine that point. He
emerged from the reeds with a face that, at a distance, made Douglas, my
other man, say, "He has found water." He had found A RUNNING STREAM, to
which he had been guided by its own music, and taking a tin pot, he
brought me some of it. The water was clear and sparkling, tasting
strongly of sulphur, and Yuranigh said that this was the head of a river
that NEVER DRIED UP. In this land of picturesque beauty and pastoral
abundance, within eighty miles of the tropics, we had discovered the
first running stream seen on this journey. I returned, determined to
bring the party thus far, and with the intention of passing that night
where we had found water in a rock about six miles back, that we might
sooner reach the camp next day. At that spot we had also the benefit of a
cavern, before which, a good fire being made, we defied the frost of a
very cold night, the thermometer having been registered at the camp, at 3
A.M., as low as 7°. In the scrubs we had passed through in the morning, a
variety of the ACACIA PODALYRIIFOLIA, with grey velvety leaves, was
scarcely in flower; and I observed a beautiful new species of STENOCHILUS
with large tubular flowers.[*] The ACACIA FALCATA appeared also on the
sandstone ground above the gullies, and a broad-leaved form of the
EREMOPHILA MITCHELLII. The moon shone brightly, and the rock being full
of silver mica, the splendour of the scene imparted to my eye and mind
then a degree of gratification far beyond any associations of the richest
furniture of a palace. We found it impossible to get our horses to the
water; but we hit upon an expedient which answered even better than a
bucket,--my Mackintosh cloak.

[* S. CURVIPES (Benth. MS.) glaber, foliis lanceolatis integerrimis basi
in petiolum angustatis pedicellis recurvis, calycis foliolis latis
acuminatis, corollae glabrae ventricosae laciniis acutis inferiore ultra
medium solutâ.--Flowers large and thick on recurved pedicels 4 to 6 lines
long. Calycine leaves broader than in all the other species.]

3D JULY.--In returning, we looked for a good line of approach, and found
an easy way for the carts to descend into the valley. On arriving at the
camp, I learnt that a large pond had been discovered in a rocky part of
the river, about a mile below our camp. Thermometer, at sunrise, 14°; at
noon, 60; at 4 P.M., 61°; at 9, 26°. Height of camp above the sea, 1800
feet. (XLII.)

4TH JULY.--The clouds had gathered, and it rained heavily this morning.
Nevertheless, the party moved off, crossing the river where the banks had
been cut to facilitate the passage. With Yuranigh's assistance we hit
upon an excellent line of route, availing ourselves of a grassy valley
descending from Mount Faraday, just so far as to avoid the rocky crooked
part, and then crossing and cutting through a piece of scrub directly to
the point of easy ascent, we thus made a good road into the valley, and
arrived in good time, notwithstanding the rain, at the rock of my
bivouac. The night-sky cleared up, and I found our latitude (by Arcturus)
to be 24° 54' 12" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 43°; at 4 P.M., 49°; at 9,
38°. Height above the sea, 1437 feet. (XLIII.)

5TH JULY.--Another frosty night succeeded the day of rain, and froze our
tents into boards, not easily to be packed up this morning. We proceeded
along our horses' track, and the beautiful headland which appeared quite
isolated, and just such as painters place in middle distance, I named
Mount Salvator. We encamped on a slight elevation of the right bank of
the reedy rivulet, near the pyramids. Our prospects had suddenly
brightened, when instead of following chains of dry ponds, we had before
us a running stream, carrying life and nourishment towards the country we
were about to explore. The whole aspect of the country seemed new to us.
The barometer showed we were rapidly descending, and I expected that our
living stream would soon join that greater stream, the basin of which I
thought I could trace in the line of mist seen from Mount P. P. King on
the 28th June. The course of this river, unlike the others, curved round
from N.W. towards north, and having its origin in mountains equidistant
between Cape York and Wilson's Promontory, it was reasonable to suppose
that we had at length crossed the division between northern and southern
waters. That between eastern and western waters was still to be
discovered, and in a country so intricate, and where water was so scarce
then, the course of rivers afforded the readiest means of determining
where that division was. If the general course of this river was found to
be to the eastward of north, we might safely conclude that the dividing
ground was on the west or to the left of our route; if to the westward of
north, it might be to the eastward, or on the right of our route, and
this seemed the more probable from the line of a river flowing north-
westward, which I had seen the valley of, from Mount P. P. King. Latitude
24° 50' 2". S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 16°; at noon, 50°; at 4 P. M.,
49°; at 9, 38°. Height above the sea, according to sixteen observations,
1421 feet. (XLIV.)

6TH JULY.--A number of small bushes of CRYPTANDRA PROPINQUA appeared
amongst the rocks; back from the valley, and in the woods below, we found
an acacia, apparently, but distinct from, A. DECORA (Reichb.) VAR.
MACROPHYLLA; it approached A. AMOENA, but the stem was less angular, and
the phyllodia bore but one gland. A large tree with long hoary leaves,
and flat round capsules, proved to be a fine new BURSARIA, at a later
season found in flower. See October 10th.* A Loranthus also was found
here, which Sir William Hooker has since described.[**] Travelling along
the bank of this stream, we found it flowing, and full of sparkling water
to the margin. The reeds had disappeared, and we could only account for
the supply of such a current, in such a country, at such a season, by the
support of many springs. We made sure of water now for the rest of our
journey; and that we might say of the river "Labitur et labetur in omne
volubilis aevum." The hills overhanging it surpassed any I had ever seen
in picturesque outline. Some resembled gothic cathedrals in ruins; others
forts; other masses were perforated, and being mixed and contrasted with
the flowing outlines of evergreen woods, and having a fine stream in the
foreground, gave a charming appearance to the whole country. It was a
discovery worthy of the toils of a pilgrimage. Those beautiful recesses
of unpeopled earth, could no longer remain unknown. The better to mark
them out on my map, I gave to the valley the name of Salvator Rosa.[***]
The rocks stood out sharply, and sublimely, from the thick woods, just as
John Martin's fertile imagination would dash them out in his beautiful
sepia landscapes. I never saw anything in nature come so near these
creations of genius and imagination. Where we encamped, the river was
very deep, the banks steep and muddy, so that the use of a bucket was
necessary in watering the cattle. Notwithstanding every precaution, one
animal walked into the river, and could not be got out without great
difficulty. The only fish we caught in this river were two enormous eels,
beautifully spotted. Large shells of the UNIO genus lay abundantly on the
banks, about the old fires of the natives. These were larger than either
those found on the Darling, or those of the Maran; and although such
freshwater mussles seem to have but one shape, a peculiarity in these was
pointed out to me by Yuranigh, who said they much resembled the
impressions left by a black-fellow's foot, (which is much broader at the
toes than at the heel). We here met with a new species of BORONIA,
resembling B. ANETHIFOLIA, of which many varieties afterwards occurred.
It grows about two feet high, and had solitary pale purple flowers.[****]
A new species of ACACIA with straight, oblong, shining leaves, also grew
here.[*****] In the valley we found ERECHTITES ARGUTA, a weed resembling
European groundsel; on the rocks, a small slender shrub with white
flowers; and in the sandy scrub, the LEUCOPOGON CUSPIDATUS formed a small
shrub. Thermometer, at sunrise, 16°; at noon, 50°; at 4 P.M., 49°; at 9,
38°. (XLV.) Height above the sea, 1270 feet.

[* B. INCANA (Lindl. MS.); arborea, inermis, foliis oblongo-linearibus
supra glabris subtus incanis, paniculâ terminali tomentosâ, floribus

[** L. SUBFALCATUS (Hook. MS.); ramis dichotomis patentibus, foliis
oppositis linearibus lineari-lanceolatisve obtusis subfalcatis glabris
trinerviis, floribus axillaribus binis arcte pendentibus brevissime
pedicellatis, calycis contracti cylindracei ore dilatato, petalis 6
linearibus glaberrimis supra medium coalitis.]

[*** "His soul naturally delighted in scenes of savage magnificence and
ruined grandeur; his spirit loved to stray in lonely glens, and gaze on
mouldering castles."--ALLAN CUNNINGHAM (THE POET).]

[**** B. BIPINNATA (Lindl. MS.) glabra vel pilosa, foliis bipinnatis
pinnatisque, foliolis linearibus subteretibus obtusis, floribus
subsolitariis axillaribus foliis brevioribus 8-andris.]

[***** A. EXCELSA (Benth. MS.) glabra, ramulis subangulatis, phyllodiis
falcato-oblongis obtusiusculis mucronulatisve basi angustatis
subcoriaceis nitidis multinervibus venulosis eglandulosis, pedunculis
solitariis geminisve capitulo dense multifloro brevioribus vel
brevissimis. Very near A. VENULOSA, Cunn.; but smooth, the phyllodia
shining, 2 to 3 inches long, 6-9 lines broad, the flower heads usually
almost sessile.]

7TH JULY.--Continuing along the eastern margin of the reeds, we soon
found that the river expanded into a lake covered with them, and that in
one or two spots there also grew the "Balyan" of the Lachlan, (a bulrush
mentioned in my former journals). We listened, and still heard the
current of water amongst these reeds. From the margin of this lake the
hills, rocks, and woods, on the opposite shore, presented a most charming
morceau of picturesque scenery. Our route was through an open forest
which skirted the reedy margin, over very firm ground, and in a general
direction about north-west. At length we approached the northern limits
of the reedy lake, no river being visible flowing out of it, as we had
reason to expect. We found there, however, only a dry channel, which bore
the marks of a considerable stream at some seasons. Following this dry
channel down, I found its course turned to the northward, and even to the
north-east. When we were disposed to encamp, I could find no water in the
bed, nor were we better off when we had encamped, until Corporal Graham
dug between two rocks therein, and, fortunately, found a spring. Thus, in
one day vanished the pleasing prospect we had enjoyed in the morning, of
a stream flowing in the direction of our intended route. This might be, I
then thought, the tributary to a larger river, which I still hoped would
be found to flow westward from the coast ranges, and, finally, take the
desired north-west direction. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23°; at 4 P.M.,
58°; at 9, 25°. (XLVI.) Height above the sea, 1191 feet.

8TH JULY.--Entertaining this opinion, I still should have followed this
river down, had I not been impeded by gullies as deep as itself falling
into it, and which obliged me to cross to the left bank. There a thick
brigalow scrub grew to the very margin, and this was seared by rugged
gullies. A deep and continuous channel, entering from the westward,
induced me to turn in that direction so far, that I at length determined
to penetrate at once, if possible, to the north-west, expecting that
there I might intercept our river, if it should turn in that direction,
or, if not, cross some range into a more open country. The whole day was
lost, however, in toiling through a brigalow scrub. Various water-courses
crossed our route, but all descending towards the river we had left. The
scrub was so thick that we could only pass where accidental openings
admitted us, and by this sort of progress, until within an hour of
sunset, I found we had travelled about nine miles, and had gained only
half a minute of latitude. Having penetrated, on foot, and with
difficulty, about two miles ahead of the party, in pursuing the course of
a small watercourse, I found that even this turned south-east, evidently
to fall into the reedy basin we had previously explored; therefore, I
determined on an immediate retreat out of that labyrinth of scrub, back
to our friendly river. It was comparatively easy to return through the
opening we had made by cutting down much of the brush as we advanced, so
that by twilight we reached a good grassy spot about half way to the
river, and near it, found some good ponds of water. A pigeon, flying
almost in my face, first drew my attention to the hollow where we
afterwards found the water. It was in soft mud, however, in which one of
the bullocks got bogged, and could only be taken out by the whole
strength of the party dragging him with ropes. Thermometer, at sunrise,
18°; at 4 P.M., 54°; at 9, 25°. Height above the sea, 1241 feet.

9TH JULY.--The cattle were so much exhausted by drawing through the
scrub, and I had so much to do at my map, that I gave to the cattle and
the party, a day's rest. Latitude, 24° 34' 12" S. Thermometer, at
sunrise, 14°; (in my tent, 18°;) at 9 P.M., 48°.

10TH JULY.--Returning, still along our old track, towards a slight
eminence, three miles from our camp, I there set the party to work, to
cut a way across the gully, which had first obliged me to turn westward.
While the men were so employed, I rode about five miles northward, but
met with no opening or water-course admitting of a passage in that
direction. On the contrary, I returned, on intercepting one running S. E.
towards our river. The party had taken all things across when I rejoined
them, and we travelled along the left bank of the gully, chiefly through
open forest land, until we approached the river. Scrub, and muddy
gullies, obliged us to cross the river soon after we reached its banks.
Water appeared more abundant in its bed here, and we encamped on the
border of a small plain, hemmed in by brigalow scrub, in latitude 24° 33'
25" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23°; at noon, 58°; at 4 P.M., 62°; at 9,
29°. Height (XLVII.) above the sea, 1192 feet.

11TH JULY.--We travelled along the right bank of the river, through a
fine open forest, until our route, in a N. E. by N. direction, was again
impeded by the river. We had now descended from the upper sources of this
river, at least 1000 feet according to the barometer. We had seen, in a
large pond, a fish called mullet, which abounds in the rivers falling to
the eastern coast, but which I had never seen in those falling westward.
It was also obvious that there was no coast range between us and the
coast, and consequently that a very decided break, at least, occurred in
it, about the latitude of 25° S. This was more apparent to me on crossing
the river, and sending Yuranigh up a tree, about three miles beyond. He
could see no mountains to the northward or north-east, but only the high
table land already seen to the eastward, in which direction he could
trace the course of the river. I hastened back to the party, directed
them to encamp, and proceeded with two men and Yuranigh in a N. W.
direction, carrying provisions for a long ride. We plunged into the sea
of Brigalow--

"----And we did buffet it, With lusty sinews throwing it aside, And
stemming it with JACKETS ALL IN TATTERS."

After working out our way thus, for about ten miles, our toils were
rewarded with a scene of surpassing beauty, that gradually opened to us.
That long-lost tree, the graceful Acacia pendula, received us in the
foreground, and open plains, blended with waving lines of wood, extended
far into bluey distance, beyond which an azure coronet of mountains of
romantic forms, terminated the charming landscape.

"Far in the west, the long, long vale withdrawn,"

included columns of smoke, marking out the line of a river, which, with
its dark and luxuriant woods, pervaded the whole scene; perhaps the
finest I ever had the good fortune to discover. I beheld it from a
perfectly clear and grassy hill of rich black soil, on which we had
emerged, through a fringe of Acacia pendula. I could not advance beyond
that spot, until I had taken bearings and angles on the peaks and summits
before me. To the north-west, an apparent opening, seen between these
masses, seemed to indicate the bed of another river. On completing my
observations we rode forward across the plain, towards the woody vale,
the sun being then near setting. A solitary emu ran towards us, from a
great distance, apparently encouraged by the mere appearance of
quadrupeds, which, although new to it, seemed to have no terrors for it.
I could not allow the men to fire at it, partly, I believe, from a sense
of shame that we should thereby appear to take unfair advantage, and
prove ourselves more brutal than the quadrupeds, whom nature had
indulgently destined to carry us on their backs. The open down we
traversed, consisted of rich black mould, in which there was fossil wood
in great abundance, presenting silicified fragments so curiously wooden
as to be only distinguishable from wood, by their detached and broken
character. Such fossils are not uncommon in Australia, on plains of rich
black earth, which is a constant concomitant. Their geological history
may be simple, and would probably be very interesting, if philosophy
could but find it out. We found, further on, a channel full of water,
with reeds about the bed of it. There had been a current in it a short
time previously, and, indeed, we had seen the remains of recent rain, in
some hollows in the Brigalow scrub. The river came from the westward, and
thus might have afforded the means of travelling in that direction, had
other directions been found impracticable. We made our fire in a hollow
near the water, not wishing either to alarm or attract the natives; and
thus we passed the night pleasantly enough, with a large fire before us.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 18°; at 4 P.M., 65°; at 9, 30°.

12TH JULY.--Returning to the camp, I sought and found, with the
assistance of Yuranigh, a more open way through the scrub for our carts,
than that by which we had penetrated to the good country. I had directed
Mr. Stephenson to examine, during my absence, the western shore of the
reedy lake of Salvator, in order to ascertain whether it had any outlet
in that direction; but he returned without having reached the base of the
remarkable rocky range to the westward; thus leaving it still uncertain,
although the direction of the river since discovered, left little reason
for supposing that any waters from the valley of the Salvator, could
escape to the westward. Thermometer, at sunrise, 11°; in my tent, 15°; at
noon, 67° at 4 P.M., 65°; at 9, 35°. Height above the sea, 1107 feet.

13TH JULY.--After marking this camp XLVIII., we quitted the river
Salvator, and travelled along our track of yesterday, or nearly N. W.,
but deviating from this track occasionally, where broken ground or thick
scrub was to be avoided. The highest part of the scrubby land we crossed,
was 1310 feet above the sea. We arrived in good time at the river, where
I had previously slept, and there encamped. On the plains adjacent, the
ACACIA PENDULA grew, as on those near the Bogan; and we saw also various
new and curious grasses, and some very singular shrubs in the scrub. The
banks of the river were steep, and consisted of soft clay. I employed the
party to make a bridge across it, and this was well completed before
sunset. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23°; at noon, 65°; at 4 P.M. 68°; at 9,
40°. Height above the sea, 951 feet. (XLIX.)

14TH JULY.--Crossing the river, (which I called the Claude), we
travelled, first, through an open forest, and then across one of the
richest plains I had ever seen, and on which the ANTHISTIRIA AUSTRALIS,
and PANICUM LOEVINODE, the two best Australian grasses, grew most
abundantly. The soil was black; the surface quite level. There might have
been about a thousand acres in the first plain we crossed, ere we arrived
at another small river, or water-course, which also contained water. We
soon reached the borders of other very extensive plains and open downs,
apparently extending far to the eastward. On our left, there was a scrub
of Acacia pendula. The undulating parts of the clear land, were not so
thickly covered with grass as the plains, not because the soil was bad,
but because it was so loose, rich, and black, that a sward did not so
easily take root and spread upon it, from its great tendency to crack,
after imbibing moisture, on its subsequent evaporation. All this rich
land was thickly strewed with small fragments of fossil wood, in silex,
agate, and chalcedony. Many of the stones, as already observed, most
strikingly resembled decayed wood, and in one place the remains of an
entire trunk lay together like a heap of ruins, the DILAPIDATED remains
of a tree! I obtained even a portion of petrified bark; but specimens of
this were rare. The elevation of the highest part of these downs, was
1512 feet above the sea.

Crossing an open forest hill, which had hitherto bounded our view to the
westward, I perceived a deep grassy valley on our right, sloping towards
a much lower country, but I still travelled westward, in hopes to find an
open country, beyond a low woody range on which we had at length arrived.
I soon, however, perceived rocky gullies before me, and having halted the
party to examine them, I found they were quite impassable. Such an
unexpected obstacle, on the horizon of the fine open country, yet UNDER
that smooth horizon, was certainly as singular as it was unexpected, and
I returned to descend into the deep grassy valley I had seen on our
right, which seemed open and inviting. We therein also found some large
ponds of water, and encamped. While the men were pitching the tents I
rode down the valley about two miles, and found that the direction of the
water-course was about north-east. Such a direction was not very
favourable for us, and I resolved to look at the country beyond the
limits of this valley to the westward, before we followed it further.
Latitude, 24° 17' 42" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 19°; at 4 P. M., 66°;
at 9, 49°. (L.) 1279 feet above the sea.

15TH JULY.--Following up a flat which came from the N. W., I proceeded
about five miles amid overhanging precipices, until, at length, mighty
rocks rendered it quite impossible to push my horse further. Leaving him
in a hollow, I ascended a rocky point, which was barely accessible with
Yuranigh's assistance, and, on reaching an elevated summit, I saw still
worse gullies before us, amongst which I could perceive no feature
affording any cue to their final outlet, nor any characteristic of the
structure of these labyrinths. I looked in vain for the rugged summits I
had seen peeping over the plains when first discovered, and could not
then be convinced (as I found long afterwards, on completing my map),
that they were then under my feet. The highest parts seemed to extend
south-westward. To cross such a region with our carts, was quite
impossible, and I could only return, and, however reluctantly, follow
down the valley in which we had encamped, until it should afford access
to a more open country. The banks of the watercourse were steep, the
bottom was sandy. The course was very tortuous, alternately closing on
rocky precipices, at each side of the valley. Thus we were obliged to
cross at every turning, and the steep banks rendered each crossing a
difficult operation, occasioning so much delay, that after crossing ten
times, evening obliged us to encamp, although our direct distance from
the last camp did not exceed five miles. We had, at each crossing, cut
the banks, filled up hollows with logs, etc. The general direction, I
ascertained to be N.E. Water was found providentially near the spot,
where the approach of night had obliged us to encamp; this having been
the first water we had seen during that day's laborious journey.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 21°; at 4 P.M., 65°; at 9, 44°.

16TH JULY.--After some examination of the valley before us, I considered
it best, upon the whole, to travel in the bed of the river itself, and
thus avoid the frequent necessity for crossing with so much labour and
delay: the sandy bed was heavy for the wheels, and therefore distressing
to the animals, and one or two rocky masses obliged us to work out of it,
to get round them. The whole day was consumed in proceeding thus about 5˝
miles, and in an easterly direction. The closing in of the valley lower
down, seemed to shut us from further progress even so, and I encamped,
rather at a loss how to proceed. Just then Mr. Stephenson came to inform
me that he had seen, from a rocky point on the left, an opening to the
north-west, and level ground beyond it. I therefore determined to
accompany him next day, and to reconnoitre the country in that direction.
By digging in the bed of the creek, water was again obtained by Corporal
Graham. Some extremely fragrant shrubs were discovered in these rocky
recesses, especially one, which filled the air with perfume to a great
distance around. It seemed to be a EUCALYPTUS without flowers or fruit,
but with a powerful odour of balm, and formed a bush five feet high,
growing on sandstone rocks, having a narrow leaf, and rather thorny
stalk. The lower leaves were also rough.[*] There was another bush, with
leaves of the same shape, and glossy, but having a perfume equally strong
of the lime.[**] We regretted much, that neither the seed, flower, nor
fruit of these interesting shrubs could be obtained at that season. In
that valley, we saw also the DAUCUS BRACHIATUS, an inconspicuous weed,
to indicate its flowering season, and we found a magnificent new crimson
CALLISTEMON with its young flowers and leaves wrapped in wool.[***] A new
DODONOEA with wingless, 3-cornered, 3-celled fruit[****]; a new species
of AOTUS, with narrow hoary leaves[*****], and one of the forest trees
was a splendid new GEIGERA, with broad lance-shaped leaves.[******] The
PLATYZOMA MICROPHYLLUM, a very singular and little known fern, with
narrow leaves and small orbicular leaflets, was also there, with the
ACACIA FALCATA, ACACIA EXCELSA, and a shaggy-leaved variety of the AJUGA
AUSTRALIS, the Australian bugle. The BRUNONIA SERICEA, with its scabious-
like heads of flowers, was common; and the blue flowered HARDENBERGIA
MONOPHYLLA was observed among the grass. Thermometer, at sunrise, 25°; at
9 P.M., 41°.

[* E. MELISSIODORA (Lindl. MS.); ramis ferrugineo-tomentosis scabris,
foliis utrinque papillis rubiginosis scabris ovato-oblongis obtusis supra
basim peltatis (floribus fructibusque ignotis).]

[** E. CITRIODORA (Hook. MS.); ramis angulatis fuscis minute
tuberculatis, foliis lato-lanceolatis petiolatis pinnulatis patenti-
parallelo-venosis viridibus (non glaucis). Sir Wm. Hooker has ventured to
name this EUCALYPTUS, though without flower or fruit, from the
deliciously fragrant lemon-like odour, which exists in the dry as well as
the recent state of the plant.]

[*** C. NERVOSUM (Lindl. MS.); ramis pallidis, foliis ovato-lanceolatis
quinque-nerviis mucronatis junioribus tomentosis, rachi calycibusque

[**** D. TRIGONA (Lindl. MS.); ramulis subpilosis, foliis obovato-
lanceolatis parum pilosis integerrimis vel utrinque unidentatis, capsulis
3-locularibus trigonis apteris.]

[***** A. MOLLIS (Benth. MS.); undique molliter tomentoso-villosus, ramis
crectis-rigidis, foliis sparsis anguste oblongis margine revolutis,
calycis vix bilabiati dentibus subaequalibus, ovario breviter stipitato
villosissimo.--Near A. PASSERINOĎDES Meisn., but differing in the narrow
and longer leaves, the calyx and ovary.]

[****** G. LATIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); foliis ovato-lanceolatis longe
petiolatis subtus obscure pubescentibus junioribus convolutis.--This
appears to differ from G. SALICIFOLIA in its long-stalked leaves.]

17TH JULY.--Our ride this morning soon led amongst different scenes. By
merely turning to the left we came upon a flat, in which another water-
course, similar to that we had been tracing (Balmy Creek), came from the
west, apparently out of that inaccessible country, across which I had
previously looked in vain for a passage. Several other gullies joined
this water-course, and seared the flat, which consisted of a deep clay
deposit, in almost every direction. After crossing these, we found a fine
broad opening between rocky precipices of most picturesque forms. This
gap I called Stephenson's Pass; it led into a spacious glen surrounded on
all sides but the N.W. by mountains such as I have described, recalling
to my memory the most imaginative efforts of Mr. Martin's saepia drawing,
and showing how far the painter's fancy may anticipate nature. But, at
the gorge of this valley, there stood a sort of watch-tower, as if to
guard the entrance, so like a work of art, that even here, where men and
kangaroos were equally wild and artless, I was obliged to look very
attentively, to be quite convinced that the tower was the work of nature
only. A turret with a pointed roof, of a colour corresponding, first
appeared through the trees, as if it had been built on the summit of a
round hill. On a nearer approach the fine tints of the yellowish grey
rocks, and the small pines climbing the sides of a hill abruptly rising
out of a forest of common trees, presented still a very remarkable
object. I named the valley "Glen Turret," and this feature "Tower
Almond," after an ancient castle, the scene of many early associations,
and now quite as uninhabited as this. Passing through Glen Turret, we
ascended the nearest summit on the right, and from it beheld a prospect
most cheering, after our toils amid rocky ravines. On the westward, the
rocky range seemed to terminate abruptly towards the north, in an
elevated point, which seemed to command an extensive view over the
unknown W. and N.W. Out of that region two isolated mountain masses arose
from an open country, and were clothed with open forests to their
summits. Further eastward, masses of mountain in the extreme distance
appeared covered, also, with open forests, and presented finely rounded
outlines, not likely to impede our passage, in any direction. But towards
the N.W. our view was not so extensive; like the uncertain future, it
still lay hid. The retrospect was very extensive, including Mount Faraday
in the extreme distance, and which thus afforded me a valuable back angle
for the correction of our longitude from any errors of detailed survey.
The lofty mass of Buckland's Table Land still overlooked all from the E.,
and I could here again intersect its three principal points. The view
back to the Pass was very fine, for the rocks and wood were so blended on
the bold summits, as to present sublime studies for the artist. Far to
the westward, an interior line of cliffy range resembled a sea beach,
presenting a crescent, concave on that side, apparently the limit to the
basin of the Nogoa, and the dividing range between eastern and western
waters. Our Pass seemed to be the only outlet through the labyrinths
behind us. Even the open plains beyond them were visible in a yellow
streak above the precipices. Far beyond these plains, Mount Faraday was
distinctly visible, on the horizon of the landscape. Thermometer, at
sunrise, 29°; at 9 P.M., 43°. (LI.) 1234 feet above the sea.

18TH JULY.--By retracing our horses' footsteps, the carts were soon
brought to the base of the same hill; deep gullies in the clay having
obliged us to pass close under it, and, indeed, to cross two of its
elevated extremities. We found the country beyond, in a N.W. direction,
tolerably open, and we encamped in a valley containing abundance of
grass, and near to our camp, water was found in a chain of ponds
descending to the eastward. A new SUAEDA, with short leaves, and the
habit of a dwarf Tamarisk, was found this day.[*] Latitude, 24° 6' 47" S.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 31°; at noon, 65°; at 4 P.M., 69°; at 9, 44°.

[* S. TAMARISCINA (Lindl. MS.); fruticosa, ramosissima, foliis brevibus
cylindraceis imbricatis obtusissimis, axillis lanatis, floribus
solitariis sessilibus.]

19TH JULY.--With the intention to lose no opportunity of getting further
to the westward, I travelled on towards the base of the most northern
summit of the range in the west; but I was, at length, so shut up by
gullies and scrubby extremities near its base and all radiating from it,
and becoming very deep, that I took the party aside into a grassy ravine
near, where I directed the men to encamp, and hastened myself to the
summit. From it, the view westward was not so extensive as I expected.
Something like precipitous slopes to some channel or water-course,
apparently falling either S. W. or N. E., formed the most promising
feature; but, although my object was to have travelled in that direction,
the scrub seemed too thick to admit of a passage. Open forest land
appeared to the N. E., and there, the gently undulating features,
although much lower than the range on whose northern extremity I then
stood, seemed nevertheless to form a connection between it and some
higher ranges of open forest land, that appeared between me and the
coast. Through one wide opening in these, about east, I saw some broken
hills, at a very great distance, say seventy or eighty miles. The ridgy-
connected undulations formed the heads of some valleys sloping to the
south-east, whereof the waters would evidently join those of the Balmy
Creek, while others, rising on the north-west side, seemed to belong to a
separate basin, and to form a river falling to the north-west. This river
was indicated only by slopes meeting and interlacing in a valley. To the
left or westward of that supposed river channel, a mighty isolated
mountain mass shut out any view of the further course of the water of the
valley formed between it and these slopes; but, as the very lowest point
of the whole horizon, as indicated by the spirit-level of the theodolite,
lay in that direction, I determined to pursue that bearing, (10° W. of
N.) through the open forest country that intervened. I found that the
mountain commanding this view, was elevated 2247 feet above the sea,
according to the Syphon barometer, and in using this instrument, I could
not forget Colonel Mudge, who had kindly taught me its use; I therefore
named that summit Mount Mudge. In the gravel at the base of the hill,
were water-worn pebbles of trap and basalt. The rock of which the range
itself consisted, seemed to be a calcareous grit, with vegetable
impressions, apparently of GLOSSOPTERIS BROWNII. On descending to the
camp, I was informed that the cattle-watering party came suddenly upon
two natives, one of whom was a placid old man, the other middle-aged.
Corporal Graham did all he could to allay their fears, and convince them
that they were in no danger from such strangers. The elder at length
handed his little bundle to the younger and sat down, on seeing the
Corporal's green bough; meanwhile the other walked on. When Graham took
the old man's hand, and shook it, also patting him on the back, and
expressing a friendly disposition only, the poor helpless man of the
woods burst into tears, finding himself incapable of either words or
deeds suitable for a meeting so uncommon. They could not relieve him from
this state of alarm, so readily as by leaving him sitting, and moving on,
which they did. In the scrubs near this camp, Mr. Stephenson discovered a
very remarkable tree, apparently a casuarina, having long drooping
leaves, hanging like long hair from its upper boughs[*]; and in the stony
gullies a DODONAEA allied to D. SALSOLIFOLIA A. CUNN., from Van Diemen's
Land, but the leaves slenderer, and three or four times longer[**].
Although we were approaching the tropics, the weather was most cool and
pleasant. A delicious breeze played amongst the woods, and welcomed us to
the Torrid Zone. Until now, during every clear night the air had been
frosty. Latitude, 24° 6' 50" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 34°; at noon,
68°; at 4 P.M., 61°; at 9, 47°.

[* See page 285.]

[* D. FILIFOLIA (Hook. MS.); foliis sparsis ramis binis ternisve
lineariangustissimis elongatis subrugosis viscosis glabris utrinque
canaliculatis falcatis, fructibus trialatis.]

Chapter VI.


20TH JULY.--AFTER a little trouble with the gullies and brigalow scrub,
on first setting off, we came upon fine undulating open forest land, and
crossed many a gully and small water-course, all declining towards the
N.E. A very remarkable flat-topped hill appeared on our right, resembling
a wart, on one of these ridges; to the northward it was precipitous, and
seemed to consist of a very red rock. At length, after crossing a ridge
rather broader than the rest, with some brigalow scrub upon it, and one
or two specimens of that tree of solitary places, the bottle tree,
(DELABECHEA) we arrived at valleys and water-courses descending to the
southward of west, into a valley turning to the N.W. One, at length, on
our right, taking the direction in which I was proceeding, viz., 10° W.
of N., I followed it down, and thus entered a broader valley leading N.W.
Following this, on a wide flat of open forest, we found at length a fine
pond of water in it, and encamped beside it, after a journey of about
twelve miles. This valley seemed to continue to the base of the lofty
isolated mountain already mentioned, where a lower valley crossed it,
falling either to the northward or southward. This I left in pleasing
uncertainty until next morning, for I had remarked in that locality, when
I stood on Mount Mudge, a long line of grey mist running north and south.
I named the large mountain beyond that valley, Mount Beaufort, in honour
of my scientific friend at the Admiralty. Thermometer, at sunrise, 40°;
at noon, 66°; at 4 P.M., 73°; at 9, 62°. (LIII.)

21ST JULY.--On following downwards the chain of ponds and broad valley,
we came upon the bed of a river, running to the N.N.E. We gladly turned
in that direction, and after it had received various tributaries from the
south, I found it took the course I had foreseen it must from Mount
Mudge. We saw water in the channel, and now again I believed that we had
at length discovered the head of a northwestern river. The soil consisted
of firm clay, and tributaries occasionally impeded our journey. We got
amongst brigalow scrub, and could find no water in looking for the
channel of the river, which we knew must still have been on our left.
Ponds in the scrub could not easily be identified as channels. I met with
no better success on turning to the left, and encamped amongst the
brigalow, where I found some grass. On riding westward I came upon arid
stony ground, on which many of the trees were dead, apparently from
drought, and so near the Tropic such a scene was by no means encouraging.
On turning my horse, he trod on an old heap of fresh watermussles, at an
old fireplace of the natives. This was a cheering proof that water was
not distant, which was further indicated by the flight of two native
companions, from the N.W. We had encamped on a flat of clay, on which
salsolaceous bushes, such as grew on similar plains on the Bogan, had
been growing, but were then all withered from drought. The very grass
seemed parched and useless. I never saw vegetation so checked by drought.
A longer continuance was likely to kill all the trees, and convert the
country into open downs. I determined, before I ventured further, to send
the cattle to a pond four miles back, next morning, and to examine the
country before us. Latitude, 23° 48' 36". Thermometer, at sunrise, 57°;
at noon, 69°; at 4 P.M., 75°; at 9, 48°.

22D JULY.--Having sent bullocks, horses, and sheep back to the water, I
went forward on the bearing of 30° W. of N. I soon fell in with the
united channel of the river, and found in it abundant ponds of water, the
direction of the course being as favourable as could be wished. From
these ponds I perceived a clear hill to the westward, which I hastened to
ascend, and from its summit I beheld some fine mountains to the
northward, although an easterly wind and sea air brought a haze over
them, which soon obscured some of my points. But I saw enough to relieve
me of all anxiety at that time about the want of water. A promising
valley from the mountains in the eastward, came due west, and from it
arose the smoke of many natives' fires. Lines of other rivers, from other
ranges, were partly visible beyond, until the haze obscured the outlines
of mountains still more remote. The bright prospects of this morning were
a pleasing contrast to the temporary difficulties of yesterday. Such is
human life in travelling, and so it was in war at Salamanca this day
thirty-four years back. We encamped after a short journey on the bank of
the river. Latitude, 24° 46' 46". Thermometer, at sunrise, 49°, at noon,
74°; at 4 P.M., 73°; at 9, 64°. (LIV.)

23D JULY.--The water in the adjacent pond was trodden into mud, so that
none remained for the horses and bullocks this morning. Accordingly, on
arriving at a pond about two miles on, we gave water to all, that they
might better bear the privation in the afternoon, should we not
fortunately find more. The river had a singular tendency to spread into
little channels within a belt of brigalow scrub. The little holes formed
by these channels were almost all dry, while the withered state of the
grass, and even of the forest trees, showed that rain had long been due,
and we therefore hoped some would fall before our return. When we had
travelled about twelve miles, keeping as close to the river line as the
scrub would permit, and crossing one or two fine rising grounds covered
with a very open forest, and consisting of large gravel, I found a pond,
and encamped near it, on a plain of almost naked clay. Amongst the water-
worn pebbles, of which the rising ground consisted, there were, besides
the ingredients of the Barwan gravel, many of trap and basalt. Very old
and dry grass only, could be had for the cattle. In the pond were small
fishes of a different form from any we had seen, having a large forked
tail, only two or three spikes in the dorsal fin, and a large jet-black
eye within a broad silvery ring. Mr. Stephenson found three crabs,
apparently identical with those about the inlets near Sydney. Latitude,
23° 37' 51". S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 46°; at noon, 73°; at 4 P.M. 80;
at 9, 55°. (LV.)

24TH JULY.--The morning was overcast by heavy clouds, and the air was
balmy and mild, reminding us of the spring season near Sydney. Lightning
had been seen to the northward during the night. In following the little
wayward channel downward, we met with much brigalow scrub, and crossed
two apparently important tributaries. In one of them was a good large
pond. We had some trouble with an ana-branch, resembling the main
channel, which we had twice to cross at a distance of two miles. With the
last tributaries, plains and an open forest country became neighbours to
the river; and where we encamped beside it, no scrub was to be seen, and
the water lay in a deep broad reach, nearly half a mile in length, with
ducks upon it. Towards evening, the unwonted sound of thunder was heard
in the west, reminding us, at this season of the year, that we were near
the Tropic. In the same direction, two distant storms exhausted
themselves, and most likely giving birth to young grass where they fell.
During the night, much thunder was heard, and also early next morning, to
the northward. Latitude, 23° 31' S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 56°; at
noon, 75°; at 4, P.M., 82°; at 9, 66°. (LVI.)

25TH JULY.--There was no hill or other geographical feature near our
route, whereby it might have been possible to mark there the limit of
Tropical Australia. We were the first to enter the interior beyond that
line. Three large kangaroos hopping across a small plain, were visible,
just as we entered these regions of the sun. The air was extremely
fragrant; the shrubs and grass being still moist with the thunder-shower.
The course of the river continued favourable, and the country seemed to
improve as we advanced, opening into plains skirted by scrubs of
rosewood, and drooping shrubs whose verdure was most refreshing to the
eye, after just having passed through dry and withered brigalow. At eight
miles a large lagoon appeared on our left, on which we saw many ducks,
and at nine miles we encamped where the grass seemed good, finding that
water was at hand now, in the river bed, wherever we required it.
Latitude, 23° 25' 26" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 45°; at noon, 77°; at 4
P.M., 85°; at 9, 53°. (LVII.)

26TH JULY.--The river appearing to pursue a W. N.W. course, I set out in
that direction, attracted there, also, by some open plain separated by
scrub from the river. We travelled on, a good many miles, when, instead
of the firm clay, we found, under foot soft, red sand, and trees of the
genus callitris growing in close thickets. I turned to the northward, and
travelled many miles to the eastward of north, without seeing any
indications of the river, whose general course had been previously
straight. Scrubs of almost every description lay in our way. Brigalow,
rosewood, casuarina, a thick light-green scrub of a close-growing bush,
new to us, and some scrubs of the tree as yet undescribed for want of
flowers or fruit, although well known to us as a graceful, and, indeed;
useful bush; of which, as an impediment, we could not much complain; and
useful, as forming excellent whip-shafts. This is the tree of unknown
fruit figured in my former journal. At length, when it was growing late,
I travelled eastward to make sure of the river, and, at length, regained
its banks, where we found in its bed plenty of water. The surface looked
bare, and the grass dry; but this day I discovered green shoots amongst
it, evidently the product of recent rain, and indicating the approach of
spring. On sandstone rocks, we found a plant which Sir William Hooker
terms "a singular Euphorbiaceous (?) plant[*]," destitute of flower and
fruit. Branches very thick, and they, as well as the long petioles and
underside of the leaves clothed with dense white wool. Leaves a span
long, cordato acuminate; the laminae all pointing downwards, glossy green
and glabrous above. Also a new DODONOEA, with very narrow, linear,
pinnated leaves. The only hills visible, from a tree ascended by
Yuranigh, during this day's journey were those to the eastward, already
seen. None appeared above the horizon in any other direction.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 39°; at noon, 79°; at 4 P.M., 89°; at 9, 75°.

[* D. TENUIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); glaberrima, viscosa, ramulis angulatis,
foliis impari pinnatis: foliolis 3-5-jugis linearibus obtusis

27TH JULY.--The same characteristic, still distinguished our river; a
variety of channels, so concatenated amongst brigalow scrub, much whereof
lay dead, that it was scarcely possible to ascertain whether there was
any main channel. Hitherto, I had not detected one; but this was of
little consequence to us, so long as these ponds contained abundance of
water. This we saw in many parts of our route this day; for I kept as
close as possible to the river's course, to avoid such detours as that of
yesterday, and being very anxious about the river's general direction, I
was glad to find it turn somewhat westward of north. After travelling
thus about nine miles, I perceived a blue pic nearly due north, which I
named Mount Narrien; and Yuranigh saw from a tree, that there was a range
in the same direction, but very distant. This seemed likely not only to
send down some additional waters to our river, but also to turn it
westward. Entering, soon after, upon a plain of good grass, I looked for
water; and, on finding some, encamped after a journey of about eleven
miles. Latitude, 23° 9'S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 43°; at noon, 83°; at
4 P.M., 90°; at 9, 53°. (LIX.)

28TH JULY.--The brigalow scrub, still a concomitant of our river, so
hemmed in the patch of plain, that I was obliged to move out of it, in a
southerly direction. Even thus, however, the scrub was not to be avoided,
and we were obliged to force a way through, where the still more
formidable impediment of much fallen timber, rendered it almost
impossible that our vehicles could pass. This dead wood seemed peculiar
to that sort of brigalow, and appeared to remain unburnt, chiefly from
the usually naked surface of the ground where brigalow grows. I left the
party, when brought almost to a stand, and sought for a more open part,
by riding northward. This rather singular river seemed to have spread
over a considerable extent of surface, and much of the brigalow, however
fond of water, appeared to have died of too much, on spots which had been
flooded. I traversed a plain, beyond which I found, what seemed there,
the main chain of ponds or channel. There was a fine reach of water, and
beside it, were the still smoking fires, water-vessels, etc., of a tribe
of natives, who had disappeared. On the plain, the remains of decayed
stumps of brigalow showed that there also, this tree had once grown, and
that the openings were caused only by such trees perishing; as if,
according to seasons, the half-dead scrub might either give place to open
downs, or, that the plains might, by long succession of regular seasons,
become again covered with scrub. I returned to the party halted in the
scrub, and conducted it through an opening I had found, to the plain, and
across it, in a N.W. direction; where, after passing through some open
forest, we had again to contend with brigalow. One of the many dry
channels assisted us much in seeking openings, as the bottom then
consisted of smooth, firm, clay. A pond, however, obliged us to quit it,
and seek our way through the wood. We arrived next at slightly undulating
ground, and finally entered an open forest, where I saw the LORANTHUS
SUBFALCATUS of Sir William Hooker. I made Yuranigh climb a tree, from
whence he again saw the pic seen yesterday, (the bearing of which I
ascertained), and also a gap appeared in the range beside it, through
which, as he thought, a river was likely to come down. The extreme
westerly escarp of these hills bore 17° E. of N., so that nothing was
likely to impede the continued course of our friendly river in the
direction we wished. The scrub we met with on the rising ground,
consisted of the verdant bushes in rosewood scrubs, and we next found
brigalow all dead, with a rich crop of grass growing amongst the dead
stems. I had never seen grass, amongst brigalow, when in a healthy state.
On turning northward, we next entered upon an open plain covered with
good grass mixed with verdant polygonum. I selected a corner of this
plain, nearest to the river, for my camp; and, on approaching its bed,
found water as usual, near some old huts of the natives. Latitude, 23° 5'
20" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 44°; at noon, 82°; at 4 P.M., 88°; at 9,
58°. (XL.)

29TH JULY.--The scrub between our camp and the river, admitted of easy
access from it to open forest ground, over which we travelled in a N.W.
direction for several miles. Belts of scrub, consisting of rosewood and
other acacias intervened, and, in some parts, TRIODIA PUNGENS grew in the
place of grass. But, upon the whole, the country was fine, open, park-
like, and with much anthistiria, and other grasses in which a greenness
was observed quite novel to us, and unexpected in these tropical regions.
Amongst the shrubs, we recognised the CASSIA HETEROLOBA, a small yellow-
flowered shrub; also a glutinous Baccharislike plant, and a form of
Eremophila Mitchellii, intermediate between the two other varieties. This
was a shrub ten feet high. Another new species of the genus GEIJERA
formed a tree twenty feet high, with long slender weeping branches. It
was otherwise much like the GEIJERA PARVIFLORA, except that its flowers
were larger.[*] A dwarf shrub belonging to the genus STENOCHILUS, but
new, was found here[**]; and we met also with a large spreading tree,
from which we could bring away nothing that would enable botanists to
describe it, except as to the texture and nervation of the leaves, which,
Sir William Hooker observes, resemble CAPPARIDEOE; but the fruit appeared
to be sessile, and was too young and too imperfect to lead to any
satisfactory conclusion. The very crows cawed differently from those near
Sydney, or, (as Yuranigh observed) "talked another language." This river
was not the least unique of our recent discoveries. It still consisted of
a great breadth of concatenated hollows without any one continuous
channel, and this character seemed to be preserved by various trees
growing in the banks. When their large roots became denuded by the
floods, or were washed out, or partially gave way, so that the tree fell
over the stream, they presented impediments, first to the floating-wreck,
and, next, to the water itself: when that collection of floating wreck
became consolidated with muddy deposit, new banks so formed forced the
river into new currents, working out new courses; and this appeared to
give the peculiar character so uniformly observed. It seems extremely
favourable for the retention of water in a country where it may be
scarce; for the many ponds so formed and shaded from the sun, preserve it
much better and longer, than if one continuous unobstructed channel
alone, received and carried off, the water of the surface. I found the
hollows we saw this day drier than usual; but we at length succeeded in
discovering three good ponds. The foliage of the trees, with dry and
naked water-worn roots, presented all the hues of an English autumn,
although none of these were deciduous. This effect I was disposed to
attribute to unseasonable drought, or past heat. The weather we had was
delightful; for, although the thermometer in the shade rose sometimes to
90° about 4 P.M., the heat of the Bogan was still fresh in our
recollection; and the frosts which, not above three weeks before, had
disturbed our sleep, made this degree of heat as welcome as the flowers
in May. Latitude, 22° 55' 35" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 38°; at noon,
80°; at 4 P.M., 85°; at 9, 51°. (LXI.)

[* G. PENDULA (Lindl. MS.); ramis gracilibus pendulis, foliis linearibus
in petiolum sensim angustatis 5 uncias longis cum ramo parallelis.]

[** S. SALICINUS (Benth. MS.); foliis lanceolato-linearibus integerrimis
apice subuncinato ramulisque canescentibus, calycis foliolis brevibus
lanceolatis, corollae puberulae inferne attenuatae laciniis obtusis
infimâ retusâ vix caeteris magis solutâ.--Very near S. PUBIFLORUS, but
much whiter, the flowers smaller with the lobes much more equal, the
lower one much broader.]

30TH JULY.--The scrub of the river being likely to surround us, I
endeavoured to pass it, and cross the river, but on examination I found
the brigalow belt beyond, so serious an obstruction, that I adhered to
the left bank still, and proceeded N. N. W. The woods opened into
extensive plains covered with wild Indigo, as high as a horse's head, and
that was skirted by a plain covered with rich grass. Beyond these, we
entered an open forest where the anthistiria grew luxuriantly. I saw,
from the skirts of the plain, the mass of mountains partly seen in the
east for several days past, and I was able to intersect various points.
We seemed to be descending to a very low country. A fine large lagoon,
covered with ducks, appeared on our right. The whole country was improved
both as to grass and trees. The MYOPORUM DULCE, a shrub about five feet
high, was perhaps a distinct species intermediate between M. DULCE and M.
DESERTI. It had the habit of the latter, but the leaves nearly of M.
DULCE. A hollow at length indicated the river bed near us. It contained
abundance of transparent water, a continuous channel, rocky bed, and,
instead of brigalow, there grew on its banks a thick crop of strong
grass, and much verdure. A tributary from the west cost us some trouble
to cross, and soon after crossing it, I encamped. The course this day had
run well to the westward. We had crossed the 147° of E. longitude, and I
was very anxious to learn more of the further course of this river. I
crossed it, and hastened to some rising ground, whence I perceived a
flat-topped cliffy range extending from S. W. to the N. of west. It was
low; the middle part, appearing highest, was probably the nearest to our
camp. It was likely to turn our river too far to the northward for our
purpose. Latitude, 22° 51' 55". Thermometer, at sunrise, 54°; at noon,
82°; at 4 P.M., 83°; at 9, 45°. (LXII.)

31ST JULY.--We travelled over a rather different sort of country from
that recently seen upon the river. It was still on our right, and ran in
a deep, well-marked channel. I pursued a N.W. course, although the range
I had seen yesterday lay across it. I thus came upon the bed of a large
river from the south, very near where our little river joined it. This
new river was there fully 100 yards broad, with a sandy bed. I hastened
across it, and proceeded still N.W. In the bed, just above the junction
of the two rivers, I found a large podded pea, the seed both in green
pods and dry pods, was very sweet and edible. The pods were larger than
those of Turkey beans, and contained each ten or eleven peas (Dr. L.?)
Beyond the last found river, we travelled over open forest land,
occasionally passing patches of rosewood scrub on the left. When we might
again see water was rather a desperate thought, for we had witnessed our
abundant little river, wholly absorbed in a deep mass of dry sand, for
such was the bed of the larger. At length we came upon a very spacious
dry lagoon. Following this, as it appeared to be the channel of large
floods from the river, we arrived at a part containing water, and, still
continuing along the hard dry bank, another and another pond appeared,
and I finally encamped near the last, where I saw some good grass. The
course and character of the river below the junction last mentioned,
remained to be ascertained. Parts of the surface in the scrub, which,
before the rain, had been quite bare, now presented a crop of lichen,
which bore some resemblance to the orchilla. It might have been gathered
in any quantity. The ant-hills in this region, presented a different form
from any to be seen in the south, consisting of slender cones of hard
clay about the size and shape of sugar-loaves on an average, many being
larger, or as much as 3˝ feet high, others smaller. In some places they
were so numerous, as to be rather inconvenient to ride amongst,
especially where the grass was long. Latitude of this camp, 22° 44' 45".
Thermometer, at sunrise, 52°; at noon, 70°; at 4 P.M., 69°; at 9, 43°.

1ST AUGUST.--Supposing that this line of lagoons led to the river, I
followed that direction westward, until it disappeared where we came upon
the water brigalow. Then, turning northward, I travelled many miles in
that direction, through rosewood scrubs, and over ground where the very
coarse hard grass grew on red sand. The callitris and casuarina appeared
amongst the trees. On a spot rather clear of wood, Yuranigh went to the
top of a callitris tree, and saw a lofty mountain somewhat to the
eastward of north, and he thought he could trace the trees marking the
course of the river to the westward of it. Further westward, the low
range already mentioned, was still visible, and he saw that the country
between the two ranges was very "deep," as he termed it, meaning very
low. Upon the whole, there was reason to believe that the river pursued a
course, somewhat to the westward of north. I turned in that direction,
and forced our way through scrub and brush, until, after cutting through
much fallen brigalow, I entered upon good grassy land, and saw the large
Yarra trees before me. These grew by the river, which here looked very
important, having a bed wider than that of the Barwan, with sloping
grassy banks at least sixty feet high, and Yarra trees growing from the
lower margin. Continuing along its banks, we soon found various large
ponds of water, and in the short course of it we had to trace before we
encamped, the direction was S. W. Many curious plants and trees now
appeared about the banks. A rough-leaved fig tree with well-formed
woolly, globular fruit; an ALTERANTHERA, with very large balls of satiny
white flowers, resembling A. NODIFLORA; the ACACIA FARNESIANA, a prickly
tree; the narrow-leaved smooth variety of ACACIA HOLOSERICEA; and in the
bed of the river, the ACACIA SIMSII (Cunn.) A broad-leaved form of
LORANTHUS NUTANS was parasitical on trees, and the EURYBIA SUBSPICATA of
Sir W. Hooker also grew on the upper bank. A very extraordinary CAPPARIS
was here observed in fruit. Its leaves were as much as eight inches long,
although not more than three quarters of an inch wide, and their hard
leathery texture gave them the appearance of straps. It did not
afterwards occur.[*] The water in the river was excellent. Thermometer,
at sunrise, 23°; at noon, 65°; at 4 P.M., 69°; at 9, 44°. Latitude, 22°
38' 40". (LXIV.)

[* C. UMBONATA (Lindl. MSS.); inermis, glaberrima, foliis coriaceis
longissimis loratis obtusis in petiolum sensim angustatis, pedunculis
solitariis (2 poll.) stipite brevioribus, fructu ovoideo umbonato.]

2D AUGUST.--We had approached this fine river over a park-like plain, but
lower down we found the banks lined with scrub. I pursued a N.W. course
in passing through it, and emerged on plains and open forests alternating
with scrubs. The scrubs were remarkable, as always involving dry hollows
where water had lodged. The clay was then hard; but, in all these
hollows, the deep impressions of naked feet of men, women, and children,
remained since the bottom had consisted of mud. These numerous
receptacles for water, when it is sent, attest the wisdom with which even
the clods of the valley have been disposed for the benefit of the animal
world. The day's journey was long, and chiefly through that sort of
scrub. I was disappointed in my hope of falling in with the river, by
travelling N.W. Yuranigh descried from a tree, the continuation, far to
the westward, of the low range that had been already seen from a former
camp. Its direction had then appeared to be nearly N. and S. The turn the
river had taken westward was, therefore, favourable to my hopes, that it
would continue in that direction. Its general course was found to be
nearly northward. On the other hand, the high ranges in the E. seemed to
terminate abruptly towards the N., so that a very low country appeared to
be to the northward of our position then, stretching from 40° N. of W. to
40° E. of N., a full quarter circle which the course of the river almost
bisected. After travelling twelve miles without seeing any thing of the
river, I reluctantly turned N.E., and then E., and in the last-mentioned
direction, I hit the river where it contained a fine reach of water. In
the dry part of the bed, grew various curious plants in flower, all quite
new to me; a species closely allied to the ACACIA DELIBERATA (Cunn.), and
a very fine silky leaved TRICHODESMA.[*] A new VELLEYA was also found
near this camp.[**] In the scrubs back from the river, the STENOCHILUS
CURVIPES was loaded with its long tubular flowers. A small species of
Acacia was perhaps a variety of A. LEUCADENDRON Cunn.; and we found also
a curious scrubby species of JACKSONIA.[***] Latitude, 22° 30' 10" S.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 29°; at noon, 61°; at 4 P.M., 69°; at 9, 40°.

[* T. SERICEUM (Lindl. MSS.); caule erecto sericeo setis nullis, foliis
oppositis lineari-lanceolatis basi angustatis sericeopilosis, pedicellis
pilosis lateralibus longis, calycis lobis lanceolatis pubescentibus basi
pilosis, nucis dorso polito maculato.--Near T. ZEYLANICUM, but quite

[** V. MACROCALYX (De Vriese MSS.); foliis omnibus radicalibus,
oblongospathulatis acutis, integris, membranaceis, remote, minute et
obsolete dentatis, uninerviis, glabris, subdecurrentibus, glabris; scapis
radicalibus elongatis, folia vix exaequantibus; bracteis dichotomiarum
vel trichotomiarum binis ternisve lanceolatis acutis vel lineari-
lanceolatis, floribus 2-3nis; calycibus (involucris) ternis, magnis,
membranaceis, ovatis, ellipticisque, acuminatis, basi cordatis,
petiolatisque; antherae liberae, stigmatis indusium maximum ciliatum,
labiis compressis, cochleariforme.--Folia sunt 6-12 cent. longa, 3 cent.
lata, crassinervia; scapi adscendentes, inferne tenuiores, sursum parum

[*** J. RAMOSISSIMA (Benth. MSS.) inermis, ramis angulatis ramosissimis
glabriusculis, floribus subsessilibus, calycis colorati profunde divisi
laciniis duabus supremis diů vel omnino cohaerentibus, legumine
subsessili ovato-acuto ventricoso.]

3D AUGUST.--Our carts had been so much jolted about and shaken, in
crossing the dead timber yesterday, that I resolved to keep along the
river bank this day, if the ground and woods permitted. To a certain
distance from the banks, there was less fallen timber, as the natives had
been accustomed there to make their fires, and roast the mussles of the
river, and other food. The river was found to spread into separate
channels, in which I did not readily recognise it, until I found them
again united in a splendid reach of water under steep banks. The general
course was by no means promising, being somewhat to the E. of N.; it was
much to be apprehended that this river, too, would run to the E. coast,
and become another instance of the utter want of any knowledge of the
interior country, that still may prevail, long after complete surveys
have been made of the lines of coast. Again we came upon wide fields of
polygonum, and tracks of open forest with large lagoons. Then scrubs of
brigalow obliged us to travel in the river bed, as the only open part
where we could pass. That surface consisted of clay iron-stone, denuded
by torrents, and the "DISJECTA MEMBRA," of a river. Ponds, water-worn
banks, and timber, alive and dead, were there intermixed. Emerging from
these obstructions, as from a feverish dream, we entered upon park-like
scenery and good grass. The latter had been a desideratum during the last
two days. We next came upon a river containing plenty of water, and
coming from the N.W. I expected this would terminate our journey along
the other, and I encamped on discovering it, after a journey of ten
miles. The Australian rivers have all distinguishing characteristics,
which they seem to possess from their sources to their termination. That
we had just quitted, had a great affection, like its upper tributary, for
brigalow scrubs, and spreading into ana-branches. This last discovered
river seemed quite the reverse of all this. Its channel was very uniform;
the banks being covered with open forests and good grass. The bed was
sandy, but contained water in abundance, so that I hoped it would lead us
to higher regions, by following it upwards, to where other waters might
fall in the direction of the Gulf. This river contained the Harlequin
fish of the Maranin great abundance. Yet we had found none of these in
the river to which this was a tributary, but, on the contrary, two other
sorts. There was much novelty in the trees and plants. One tree in
particular, growing in the bed of the river, had the thin white shining
bark of the tea-tree (mimosa), and drooping leaves shaped like those of
the eucalyptus; a HIBISCUS allied to, if not the same, with II. LINDLEYI,
but not in flower; a CASSIA, perhaps C. CORONILLOIDES in ripe fruit, or
at least closely allied to it, occupied the dry sandy ground with
MONENTELES REDOLENS, a silveryheaded weed; and some Cinchonad allied to
Coffea, with young fruit, the size of small olives. Latitude, 22° 23'
10". Thermometer, at sunrise, 21°; at noon, 59°; at 4 P.M., 64°; at 9,
37°; with wet bulb, 28°. (LXVI.)

4TH AUGUST.--We had still so much westing to make, in order to hit the
head of the Gulf, that I was disposed to follow up the new river in any
direction that did not take us much to the S. The river, however, was
soon found to come from the S.W. and S., so that I was obliged to cross
it. I then travelled W. through open forest three miles, which brought us
to undulating ground. I then turned to the W.N.W., and proceeded over
ground equally open and favourable for the passage of our carts. At
length, a hard ferruginous conglomerate rock, projected from the surface,
and clumps of thick brigalow grew on some of the summits. On one piece of
rising ground, I found a mass of rocks, a few feet higher than the rest,
and from it I perceived a continuation of the slightly elevated
flattopped range, to the southward and westward. A somewhat higher but
similar sort of range appeared in the east, beyond a very broad and level
woody country, through which it was probable that our first-found river
still pursued a northerly course. Beyond that flat, and further to the
eastward, the same hills already seen were still visible, and others
northward of them, just like them. There was a high summit beyond all
these bearing about E. I could not discover any satisfactory line to
follow in the country thus partially visible, and as the sun was near the
horizon, I only continued, to go forward to a valley wherein I hoped to
have found water, but was disappointed, the soil being too sandy and
absorbent. There we nevertheless encamped, in Lat. 22° 19' 45" S. On this
day's journey, I saw two of the rose-coloured paroqueets of the Barwan,
none of these birds having been seen by any of the party since we crossed
the Culgoa. A fragrant stenochilus, with leaves smelling exactly like
mint, was found this day, and a splendid banksia in flower, also a new
MELALEUCA.[*] Thermometer, at sunrise, 23°; at noon, 58°; at 4 P.M., 63°;
at 9, 29°; with wet bulb, 18°.

[* M. TAMARISCINA (Hook. MSS.); ramosissima ramulis gracillimis copiose
excavatis e foliis delapsis, foliis rameis remotis parvis ovatis
acuminatis appressis, ramulinis minutissimis squamaeformibus convexis
obtusis imbricatis immersis, capsulis circa ramos spicatis parvis
globosis.--A very singular MELALEUCA, somewhat allied to M. HUGELII,
Endl.: but extremely different in the very minute squamiform leaves of
the copious slender branchlets, from which they fall and leave the
bleached slender branchlets full of little pits or cavities in which the
leaves had been, as it were, sunk.]

5TH AUGUST.--The last-found river not having answered my expectations, we
had come quite far enough from the one we had previously followed, which
still might have turned N.W., where we wished it to go; although I
confess the prospect was by no means promising. The doubt was still to be
removed, and, after a night passed without water, the earliest dawn saw
us again going forward, in a direction a little to the eastward of N. It
was only after pursuing that line for seventeen miles, that we again
found the river, unchanged in character, and still running northerly.
This was a trying day for our animals, as they could not be watered until
long after it was dark; a brigalow scrub, full of much fallen timber,
having retarded and impeded the carts so that they could not be got to
the water sooner. Nor had this been possible, even then, but for the
fortunate circumstance of our having the light of a nearly full moon. I
had preceded the party by some miles, accompanied by Yuranigh, the rest
following my horse's tracks, and I had thus passed through the four miles
of scrub, and reached the river early in the day. On returning, we found
the party in the midst of this scrub, and succeeded in guiding it, even
by moonlight, to the pond at which we had watered our horses during the
day. Many dry hollows of indurated mud appeared, as usual, in the
brigalow we had passed through; and we endeavoured to lead the carts, as
much as possible, through these hollows, in order to avoid the dead logs,
many of which we were obliged to cut, before the carts could pass. Many
deep impressions of natives' feet appeared in these clay hollows; also
the tracks of emus. Yuranigh showed me several tracks where a native had
been following a kangeroo's track; and he told me of a certain method
adopted by the natives of killing the kangeroo during wet weather,--which
is, to pursue the track, following it up day after day, until they
overtake the animal, which, on being so incessantly followed, becomes at
length so defenceless, that one native can despatch it with a tomahawk.
According to the barometer, it appeared that this river was not now much
higher above the level of the sea, than the Bogan or the Balonne. Still
it spread into many channels and isolated ponds; the latter being
sometimes in good grassy land, apart from the brigalow. Nothing could be
more sterile than the surface where the brigalow grew; but the first
indication of the river was an open space covered with luxuriant grass,
and we had to ride two miles along this, before Yuranigh and I could find
the river, having been guided to it chiefly by some smoke of the natives.
At the first place we approached, we found two ponds of excellent water,
under the shining boughs of lofty Yarra trees. Latitude, 22° 10' 15" S.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 39°; at noon, 64°; at 4 P.M., 61°; at 9, 36°;--
with wet bulb, 28°. (LXVII.)

6TH AUGUST.--I gave the jaded cattle a day's rest, and the men thus had
an opportunity to screw up and repair their carts.

7TH AUGUST.--The brigalow scrub obliged me this day to travel along the
river banks, upon which I found it pleasant to go, as they proved open
and grassy. Large lagoons and reaches of water appeared in the scattered
channels. At length, a deep broad reach, brim full of pure water,
glittered before us. Clouds of large ducks arose from it, and larger
water-fowl shrieked over our heads. A deep receding opening appeared to
the northeast, as if our river had been either breaking off in that
direction, or met with some important tributary from that side. I
continued to travel northwest, passing through some fine open forests.
The character of the country seemed changed. The grass was of a different
kind, and a refreshing breeze from the north-east seemed to "smell of
water," as Yuranigh expressed it. The dense line of Yarra trees appeared
still to be continuous on the right, and the more I travelled westward,
the more I was convinced that we still had the river at hand. We did at
length approach its banks after a journey of ten miles, when we found
this was a river FROM the west appearing fully as deep and important as
the one we had been following, and containing ponds of water. This new
tributary from the west, left no room to hope that the channel we had
been pursuing would turn westward--on the contrary, it became but too
probable that below the junction of this river, the channel would turn
towards the N. E. It could not well be doubted that this went to the
eastern coast; but, to remove all doubt, as Yuranigh was of a different
opinion, I sent Corporal Graham with him up the newly-found river, to
ascertain whether it did not come from the north-west, in which case we
could not expect that the other it joined would go in that direction.
Their report on returning, only rendered it necessary that I should take
a ride forward next morning. They said this river came from the S. W.,
and at two miles higher, had a very narrow channel. Lower down, it was
found to join the main channel, which, below the junction, still
continued northward. There, we found a beautiful new Grevillea.[*] The
STENOCHILUS PUBIFLORUS formed a willow-leaved shrub about twelve feet
high, and in the sandy bed of the river was an EUPHORBIA very near E.
HYPERICIFOLIA, but with narrower leaves, and the ovary pubescent not
glabrous. The DODONOEA VESTITA, with its hairy foliage and large shaggy
fruits, clothed the sandstone surface back from the river.[**] Latitude,
22° 2' 15" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 30°; at noon, 78°; at 4 P.M., 77°;
at 9, 55°;--with wet bulb 49°. (LXVIII).

[* G. MITCHELLI (Hook. MSS.); appresso-subsericesa, foliis pinnatifidis
bipinnatifidisque, laciniis angustissime linearibus elongatis marginibus
arcte reflexis subtus concoloribus, racemis elongatis secundis
densifloris, floribus subverticillatis, perianthiis pedicellisque
tomentosis, folliculis oblique ovatis tomentosis sessilibus, stylis
glabris.--Allied to G. CHRYSODENDRON, Br., but the segments of the leaves
are narrower, not golden-coloured beneath: the flowers are entirely
secund: a splendid species.]

[** D. VESTITA (Hook. MSS.); tota densissimč pilosa, foliis pinnatis
pinnis oppositis 4--5-jugis cuneatis apice lunulato-emarginatis vel
incisis, rachi articulatâ articulis obovatis, capsulis profundis
tetrapteris villosissimis.]

8TH AUGUST.--With two men and Yuranigh, I proceeded first, northward by
compass, for some miles, when I emerged from scrub, upon fine open downs
covered with a crop of excellent grass. The soil was soft and rich, the
grass PANICUM LOEVINODE. Small clumps of Acacias were strewed over these
downs, which were very extensive, and from them I saw several rather high
hills to the eastward, terminating abruptly over a low country to the
northward. Supposing that the main channel would there turn round to the
eastward, I proceeded north-west to examine the country. I soon entered a
thick scrub of rosewood and other Acacias. I remarked the CALLISTEMON
NERVOSUM, previously seen (July) with rich crimson flowers, forming a
large tree, in the dry open forest, with perfectly green spikes; also, on
the branches of Eucalypti, a beautiful orange coloured LORANTH. The soil
was rich, yielding, and rather bare of vegetation. Nodules of variegated
limestone, or marble, appeared on the surface, showing that the
improvement in the soil was owing to a change in the rocks under it.
Again emerging on open plains, the country seemed to fall northward,
which induced me to ride again in that direction, thinking we might meet
with some river either coming from the N. W. or leading there. The open
plains terminated upon a hollow full of trees, growing, as was very
evident, on a lower surface. The hollows resembled those of brigalow
scrub, and we soon found this tree in full possession of them. Dry
channels, leading in various directions between N. W. and E. engaged my
attention throughout the afternoon: indeed, they seemed interminable. At
length, we detected some continuity in the hollows, leading towards the
N.N.E. Yarra trees at length appeared in it, abundance of grass on the
banks, and deep dry ponds. Two crows hovering over one, raised our hopes
that it contained water, as we also perceived a line of green vegetation
over the margin. It was deep and full of water. Here, about 4 P. M., we
were thus enabled to water our horses, and continue our ride
independently of finding more water that evening. We next perceived an
open forest hill on our right; but, on examining the country from it, we
saw no immediate indications of the river. On reentering the brigalow
scrub, the continuity of ponds was very indistinct, and I at length lost
it, as it seemed, on its turning off to the eastward, a direction in
which I was unwilling to follow it at that time. I threaded the mazes of
another chain of hollows, which turned in various directions between N.
W. and 20° N. of E., the latter being the general course. During this
unsatisfactory sort of exploration, night overtook us, where the dry and
naked clay presented neither grass nor water. Our horses had come thirty
miles, and it was only after considerable search, in the dark, that I
found a grassy spot for our horses, and where we tied them up, and lay
down to pass the night.

9TH AUGUST.--We saddled them as soon as day broke, and proceeded again
into the scrub; but the hollows took no longer any continuous channel,
and I again travelled N. W., in which direction I entered upon a plain.
Thence I perceived a low flat, and a line of trees beyond it, very much
resembling those of a river, and towards this I hastened, and found the
river we had followed so far, unchanged in character. The scattered
ponds, and nearly northerly course, were legible proofs of its identity.
We watered our horses and took some breakfast, after which, while engaged
laying down our route, one of the men observed some natives looking at us
from a point of the opposite bank. I held up a green bough to one who
stood forward in a rather menacing attitude, and who instantly replied to
my signal of peace by holding up his bommareng. It was a brief but
intelligible interview; no words could have been better understood on
both sides; and I had fortunately determined, before we saw these
natives, to return by tracing the river upwards. Our horses had been
turned loose, the better to allow them to make the most of their time
while we breakfasted. Graham got them together while I was telegraphing
with the natives, some of whom I perceived filling some vessel with
water, with which they retired into the woods. We saddled, and advanced
to examine their track and the spot they had quitted, also that they
might afterwards see our horses' tracks there, lest our green bough and
subsequent return might have encouraged them to follow us. Yuranigh was
burning the mutton bones we had picked; but I directed him to throw them
about, that the natives might see that we neither eat their kangaroos nor
emus. I found the course of the river very straight, but rather more than
it had been, to the eastward of north. In some parts of the channel, lay
deep reaches of water, fully a mile long; at other places, shallow
hollows quite dry, seemed to be the only channel for the river's
currents. We avoided brigalow scrubs, and passed the night on a grassy
part of the bank, about ten miles back from the farthest point we had
reached that morning.

10TH AUGUST.--Early in the morning a moist breeze blew from the north,
with low scud not very high above the trees. Higher clouds drove as
rapidly from the westward. The extremely moist air was a great novelty to
us there. About 9 A.M., the sky was wholly overcast; but it finally
cleared up, and the day was cool. We reached the camp about 3 P.M.,
having hit the river on which it was situated, two miles lower. There I
found, to my surprise, that its channel was very deep and full of water,
being broader than that of the main river. I was, therefore, inclined to
explore its sources by proceeding upwards next day, as the direction of
the northerly stream, did not promise much. The camp had just been
visited by seventeen natives, apparently bent on hostile purposes, all
very strong, several of them upwards of six feet high. Each of them
carried three or four missile clubs. They were headed by an old man, and
a gigantic sort of bully, who would not keep his hands off our carts.
They said, by signs, that the whole country belonged to the old man. They
pointed in the direction in which I had gone, and to where Mr. Stephenson
happened to be at the time, down in the river bed; and then beckoned to
the party that they also should follow or go where I had gone, or leave
that place. They were received very firmly, but civilly and patiently, by
the men, and were requested to sit down at a distance, my man Brown,
being very desirous that I should return before they departed; thinking
the old man might have given me some information about the river, which
he called "Belyando." But a noisy altercation seemed to arise between the
old chief and the tallest man, about the clubs, during which the latter
again came forward, and beckoned to others behind, who came close up
also. Each carried a club under each arm, and another in each hand, and
from the gestures made to this advanced party, by the rest of the tribe
of young men at a distance, it appeared that this was intended to be a
hostile movement. Brown accordingly drew out the men in line before the
tents, with their arms in their hands, and forbade the natives to
approach the tents. "Nothing damps the ardour of troops so much," says
General Lloyd, "as an unexpected obstacle at the moment of attack," and
these strong men stood still and looked foolish, when they saw the five
men in line, with incomprehensible weapons in their hands. Just then, our
three dogs ran at them, and no charge of cavalry ever succeeded better.
They all took to their heels, greatly laughed at, even by the rest of
their tribe; and the only casualty befell the shepherd's dog, which
biting at the legs of a native running away, he turned round, and hit the
dog so cleverly with his missile on the rump, that it was dangerously ill
for months after; the native having again, with great dexterity, picked
up his club. The whole of them then disappeared, shouting through the
woods to their gins. It was remarkable that on seeing the horses, they
exclaimed "Yerraman," the colonial natives' name for a horse, and that of
these animals they were not at all afraid, whereas they seemed in much
dread of the bullocks. That these natives were fully determined to attack
the white strangers, seems to admit of no doubt, and the result is but
another of the many instances that might be adduced, that an open fight,
without treachery, would be contrary to their habits and disposition.
That they did not, on any occasion, way-lay me or the doctor, when
detached from the body of the party, may perhaps, with equal truth, be
set down as a favourable trait in the character of the aborigines; for
whenever they visited my camp, it was during my absence, when they knew I
was absent, and of course must have known where I was to be found. The
old man had very intelligibly pointed out to Brown the direction in which
this river came, I. E. from the S. W., and I therefore abandoned the
intention of exploring it upwards, and determined to examine how it
joined, and what the character of the river might be, about and below
that junction, in hopes I might still obtain an interview with the
natives, and learn something of the country to the north-west.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 59°; at noon, 82°; at 4 P.M., 81°; at 9, 62°;--
with wet bulb, 59°.

11TH AUGUST.--Crossing this river at a favourable spot near our camp, we
travelled on, eleven miles, and encamped early, on a fine reach of the
main river. Here I had leisure to lay down my late ride on paper, and to
connect it with the map; whereupon I concluded, with much regret, that
this river must be either a tributary to, or identical with, that which
M. Leichardt saw joining the Suttor in latitude 21° 6' S., and which he
supposed to come from the west. It had supplied me with water across
three degrees of latitude, and had gradually altered its course from N.W.
to about 30° E. of N. In my ride I had traced it to 21° 30' of latitude
south, and no high land had appeared, as I expected, to the northward, at
all likely to turn its course towards the west. I found the height of its
bed, moreover, to be so little above the sea (not much more than 600
feet), that I could no longer doubt that the division between eastern and
western waters was still to the westward; and I arrived at the following

1st. That the river of Carpentaria should have been sought for to the
westward of all the sources of the river Salvator.

2nd. That the deepest indentation as yet discovered of the division of
the waters, was at the sources of that river, and corresponded with the
greatest elevation indicated by the barometer (about 2500 feet); and,
3dly. That there, I. E. under the parallel of 25° S., the highest spinal
range must extend westward, in a line of truncated cones, whereof Mount
Faraday appeared to be one.

I accordingly determined to retrace our wheel-tracks back to the head of
the Salvator, and to explore from thence the country to the north-west,
as far as our stock of provisions and the season would permit. I had
marked my camps by Roman letters cut deep in sound trees, and at this, I
left the number LXIX. cut under the initials of the colony, N.S.W.; this
being the number marked from the Culgoa. We had, at least, laid out a
good carriage road from the colony to a river in M. Leichardt's route;
which road, as far as we had marked it with our wheels, led through
pastoral regions of much greater extent than all the colonists now
occupied. At this farthest point traced by our wheels within the Tropics,
the plants were still known to botanists, but with some interesting
exceptions. We here found the CASSIA HETEROLOBA in flower; also the burr
Cunningham, a shrub with yellow flowers and narrow willowy leaves; and
the beautiful laurel-leaved GEIGERA LATIFOLIA was still conspicuous among
the forest trees. But here also we found a very fine new species of
STENOCHILUS[*], a new pine-leaved DODONOEA, allied to the D. PINIFOLIA of
Swan River[**], and a most singular hard-leaved shrub, with spiny foliage
resembling five pointed stars, proved to be a new species of
LABICHEA.[***] Thermometer, at sunrise, 36°; at noon, 71°; at 4 P.M.,
70°; at 9, 35°;--with wet bulb, 30°.

[* S. PUBIFLORUS (Benth. MS.) foliis lanceolato-linearibus elongatis
integerrimis apice subuncinato novellis ramulisque tomentellis mox
glabratis, calycis foliolis lanceolatis, corollae pubescentis inferne
attenuatae laciniis oblatis infima breviter soluta.--This agrees pretty
well with Brown's short diagnosis of S. LONGIFOLIUS, as well as with
Cunningham's specimens so named; but those have no corolla, which Brown
also had not seen, and his is a south coast plant. (Another new species
with leaves like this, but very different flowers, was gathered by Sir T.
Mitchell in his former expedition.)]

[** D. ACEROSA (Lindl. MS.); foliis tenuibus acerosis subfalcatis
glandulosis, corymbis axillaribus paucifloris folio brevioribus, capsulis
tetrapteris alis apice rotundatis.]

[*** L. DIGITATA (Benth. MS.) ramulis tomentellis, foliis subsessili bus,
foliolis 3-5-digitatis lineari-oblongis spinoso-mucronatis coriaceis
reticulatis terminali caeteris vix majore, antheris parum inaequalibus

12TH AUGUST.--I reluctantly ordered my men, (who believed themselves on
the high-way to Carpentaria,) to turn the horses' heads homewards, merely
saying that we were obliged to explore from a higher point. The track
already marked out by our party advancing, was so much easier for the
draught animals, as requiring less driving, that they arrived at an early
hour again at the river they formerly crossed, and travelled with ease
three and a half miles further back to a lagoon, on the banks of which
the grass was good, and where we therefore now encamped. The track of the
large feet of the natives showed they had followed us this morning, from
our camp of yesterday; and a fragment of burning wood they had dropped,
showed that they had this day met us in the scrub as we returned, and had
gone out of our way. Even to the lagoon, their track along our route was
also plainly visible. I was now, apparently to them, at their request,
leaving the country; and we should soon see if their purpose in visiting
our camp was an honest one, and whether their reasonable and fair demand,
was really all they contemplated on that occasion. Thermometer, at
sunrise, 37°; at noon, 70°; at 4 P.M., 71°; at 9, 65°.

13TH AUGUST.--We continued back, along the old track, to beyond Camp
LXVII. I then took the direction of the camp two stages back, in order to
avoid the great detour formerly pursued; the camp without water, and the
thick brigalow. All these we successfully avoided, passing over fine open
forest land, and encountering no brigalow. We found the river on our left
when we required it, and encamped on a plain near the water, and distant
only a few miles from the camp two journies back from LXVII. I was guided
by the bearing of 10° E. of N. We found much of the grass on fire, and
heard the natives' voices although we saw none. We crossed some patches
of dry swamp where the clods had been very extensively turned up by the
natives, but for what purpose Yuranigh could not form any conjecture.
These clods were so very large and hard that we were obliged to throw
them aside, and clear a way for the carts to pass. The whole resembled
ground broken up by the hoe, the naked surface having been previously so
cracked by drought as to render this upturning possible without a hoe.
There might be about two acres in the patch we crossed, and we perceived
at a distance, other portions of the ground in a similar state. The river
had, where we made it, a deep wellmarked channel, with abundance of clear
water in it, and firm accessible banks. It was still, however, enveloped
in a narrow belt of brigalow. The shepherd having most imprudently taken
the sheep to water when it was near sunset, lost his way in the scrub,
and could not be found all night. Some thought he had fallen into the
hands of the aborigines who were closely watching us; and it was obvious
that had they got possession of our sheep, they could have annoyed us
very seriously, or indeed, destroyed the whole party. The night was very
dark, the sky having been overcast. Thermometer, at sunrise, 56°; at
noon, 61°; at 4 P.M., 60; at 9, 60.

14TH AUGUST.--Drizzling rain this morning with an easterly wind, and high
barometer, reminded me of the coast rains of Sydney. At dawn, I sent
Yuranigh with one of the men, both being mounted, in search of the
shepherd, and they returned with him and the sheep about 8 A. M. He had
been found in full march to the eastward, where he never could have
fallen in with the party. His track, circling in all directions, had soon
been come upon by Yuranigh in the scrub. We then proceeded, and still
found a way clear of brigalow, which, once or twice during the day,
seemed almost to surround us. At about seven miles from where we had
encamped, we crossed the first discovered tributary from the S. W., and
at a mile further on, we fell in with our old track, travelled two miles
more along it, and then encamped beside a fine reach of the river. The
drizzling rain continued, and I hoped the ponds at the higher range,
towards which we were returning, might be replenished by still heavier
rain. An unpleasant smell prevailed every where this day, resembling that
from a kitchen sewer or sink. Whether it arose from the earth, or from
decayed vegetable matter upon it, I could not form any opinion; but it
was certainly very different from the fragrance produced by a shower in
other parts of New South Wales, even when it falls only on sunburnt
grass. It was equally new and unaccountable to Yuranigh. Two proteads,
probably GREVILLEAS, were found here.[*]

[* The one with singularly thick, firm, and rigid leaves, a foot long,
linear attenuated at each extremity, pubescenti-sericeous, striated: the
other with white acerose leaves pinnated in two pairs. Both were large
forest trees, neither in flower nor in fruit.]

15TH AUGUST.--We continued to return along the old track until we arrived
at Camp LXV., taking the direction of the river's general course, (7° E.
of S.). I travelled along its banks several miles, endeavouring to cut
off a detour we had previously described. The river, however, obliged me
to go so far to the westward, that I met with my former track, about
midway between the two camps. We soon left that track, crossing a strip
of brigalow and a rich grassy plain; beyond which, I found the river, and
encamped about 3 P.M., when the rain again came on, the morning having
been, until then, fair, although the sky was cloudy and overcast.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 57°; at noon, 64°; at 4 P.M., 66°; at 9, 60°;--
with wet bulb, 58°.

16TH AUGUST.--The sky still clouded, seemed to promise rain in the
country to which we were returning. We came to the channel of the main
river, after proceeding about three miles in the direction of a turn in
our route beyond next camp. The channel here was broad, and occasionally
filled with a good body of water. The bed was sandy, and in it grew a
tree with thin loose white bark, resembling that of the mimosa or tea-
tree of the colony; some of these trees were of large dimensions. There
also grew, in the sandy bed of this river, a new white-flowered
MELALEUCA, resembling M. ERICIFOLIA, but with long mucronate leaves[*];
and, in the scrubby bank the STENOCHILUS BIGNONIOEFLORUS formed a willow-
like shrub fifteen feet high. We again came came upon our track where I
intended to hit it, although we had been retarded by brigalow scrub. We
thus left Camp LXIV. on the left, and finally again pitched our tents at
that of LXIII. Thermometer, at sunrise, 58°; at noon, 65; at 4 P.M., 63°;
at 9, 63°;--with wet bulb, 57°.

[* M. TRICHOSTACHYA (Lindl. MS.); folsaepius oppositis linearibus planis
utrinque acutissimis, spicâ terminali laxiusculâ rachi pilosâ, calyce
glabro dentibus herbaceis, phalangibus polyandris ungue petalis

17TH AUGUST.--The ground was covered in many parts with a lichen, the
product of the late rain, and which had no root in, nor attachment to,
the soil, but could be collected in handfuls, and lay quite loose in
heaps, or rather in a thick layer. I could not comprehend the origin of
this singular vegetable production, which might then have been gathered
in any quantity. The day was cool, cloudy, and pleasant. Fine round
clouds driving still from the eastward, with a high barometer (for this
of Bunten stood seven millimetres higher, than it did when we had been
formerly encamped on the same ground). On recrossing the great river from
S. W., we found more of the pea with large pods, it seemed to grow only
on the dry sand of the river bed. This was a most interesting river, and
I could have wished much to have explored it upwards, had the state of my
horses and provisions permitted. On its banks we had discovered various
rare trees and plants seen by us nowhere else; and the pea just
mentioned, which had, as Mr. Stephenson thought, valuable qualities as a
laxative medicine. The bed of the river was broad and sandy; the banks
were quite clear of brigalow or other scrubs, level, open, and in most
parts covered with luxuriant anthistiria and wild indigo. We arrived in
good time, the way being good, at Camp LXII., and there again established
ourselves for the night. It was an excellent spot for the purpose, having
plenty of water in rocky ponds, and abundance of grass, half green. The
wind lulled, and heavy clouds of stratus appeared in the east, towards
evening. Some stars were afterwards visible, and about 9 P. M., a wind
from the S.E. suddenly arose, but no rain fell. Thermometer, at sunrise,
55°; at noon, 71°; at 4 P. M., 74°; at 9, 68°;--with wet bulb, 62°.

18TH AUGUST.--The mercurial column was lower this morning, and the sky
was overcast. No wind could be felt from any quarter. We moved off, at
our usual hour, 7 A. M. About nine, the western portion of the sky seemed
loaded with rain; the wind suddenly arose from S. W., and a heavy rain
began to fall steadily, to my great joy. The soil consisted of clay,
which clogged the wheels, nevertheless, we arrived, without much delay,
at a large lagoon, not much more than a mile short of Camp LXI., and
there, of necessity, encamped. The rain continued without intermission
until the evening, turning the surface around our tents into mud, almost
knee deep. Still I rejoiced in the prospect the rain afforded, of water
in the remaining part of our journey; the grand object of which was still
to be accomplished, namely, the discovery of an interior river, flowing
towards the Gulf of Carpentaria. Thermometer, at sunrise, 51°; at noon,
54°; at 4 P. M., 53°.

19TH AUGUST.--The soft clay was still impassable, but the sun shone
brightly in the morning, and was likely soon to put a crust upon the
earth. The wind continued, however, in the same quarter, the S. W., and I
had thus a little leisure to mature my plan of farther exploration in
that interesting country, to the westward of the vale of Salvator Rosa. I
had ascertained that the whole of that fine country so named, and all the
gullies falling towards it, were on the seaward side of the dividing
range, if range there was. That, southward of the high ground under the
parallel of 24° or 25°, the fall of waters and of the whole country was
towards the south; whereas, northward of that parallel, the fall was so
decidedly in the very opposite direction, or northward, that the river we
had just explored extended across three degrees of latitude, descending
from a mean elevation of at least 2000 feet, to one of only 600 feet
above the sea. No river of any importance came from the westward; those
we had seen, coming from S. W. What then could be supposed, but that the
water-shed on that side was not far distant? Nor was it less reasonable
to expect to find beyond it, the heads of a river or rivers leading to
the Gulf of Carpentaria. In that nook, where it seemed that the spinal
range extended westward in the elongated direction of this great island,
and there probably separated from whatever high land extended northward
and formed a limit to the basin of the Belyando, was therefore, to be
sought the solution of this important geographical question; one result
of which would probably be, the discovery of a river falling towards the
north-west, to enter the Gulf of Carpentaria. The exploration of the
country to which we were returning was, therefore, of the most momentous
interest; and although our cattle were tired, and our time and provisions
almost exhausted (the sun being likely to approach the tropic line before
we could return to it), I was determined to carry the exploration so far,
with whatever means could be spared from the party, even had it been
necessary to have travelled on foot, or to have lived, like a native, on
opossums, in order to investigate that point. Thermometer, at sunrise,
45°; at noon, 63°; at 4 P. M., 63°; at 9, 47°;--with wet bulb, 44°.

20TH AUGUST.--Heavy clouds promised more rain, but a crust had been
formed on the surface which enabled us to proceed. The day cleared up,
and we encamped within two miles of Camp LX.; much of the ground passed
over having been sandy and dry. We now found water in every hollow, a
great blessing brought by the rain, and affording some prospect of relief
from one great difficulty for some time to come. At 10 minutes past 10
P.M. a very extraordinary meteor alarmed the camp, and awoke every man in
it. First, a rushing wind from the west shook the tents; next, a blaze of
light from the same quarter drew attention to a whirling mass, or
revolving ball of red light, passing to the southward. A low booming
sound, accompanied it, until it seemed to reach the horizon, after which
a sound like the report of a cannon was heard, and the concussion was
such that some tin pots, standing reversed on a cart-wheel, fell to the
ground, and the boat on the dray vibrated for some minutes. The sky was
very clear. Fahrenheit's thermometer 46°.

21ST AUGUST.--Following our former route, the track led us through
hollows, formerly clear of the fallen brigalow, but now rendered
impassable by water, a new impediment. I was, however, most thankful for
the glorious abundance of that element, the want of which had hitherto
confined my route, and retarded the exploration of the country. We
cheerfully sought round-about ways to avoid these new ponds. Our journey
was accomplished very satisfactorily, having made two cuts to avoid the
former camp (LX.), which formed an angle in the route, and much bad
brigalow near Camp LIX., where we again encamped, for the sake of a piece
of good grassy plain near it. The weather was most pleasant, temperate,
and Englishlike, though we were still within the tropics. A sweet breeze
blew from the S. W., and the degree of temperature was between 50° and
60° of Fahrenheit, the most agreeable, I believe, of any, to the human
frame. There was abundance of water, and young grass was daily growing
higher; many trees were also beginning to blossom. We were retiring,
nevertheless, RE INFECTÂ, from these tropical regions, and I was
impatient to arrive at the great range once more, to resume my
explorations. At this camp, we found a plant, which was a wild carrot,
tasting exactly like parsley. The men did not like to eat it, from the
effects they had recently experienced from eating the large pea already
mentioned--violent vomiting and purging; but I had no doubt whatever,
that this carrot would have been found a good vegetable. The GEIJERA
PARVIFLORA again attracted attention, by the strong pungent odour of its
long narrow leaves; and we here observed the EREMOPHILA MITCHELLII, in
the form of a shrub, from ten to twelve feet high. Its wood was
remarkable from a perfume like roses.

22D AUGUST.--The morning was beautiful, our way plainly marked and
sufficiently open, although it led wholly through a scrub for twelve
miles. Flowers, the product of the late rain, were beginning to deck the
earth, and water lodged in every hollow. We arrived early at Camp LVIII.,
and encamped 300 yards beyond it, to be nearer to a plain of good grass.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 25°; at noon, 69°; at 4 P. M., 72°; at 9, 43°;--
with wet bulb, 40°.

23D AUGUST.--The route back to the next camp went too far to the
westward; and I therefore endeavoured to make a direct cut back to it. We
thus encountered much scrub, and twice crossed the river. A bank, or
berg, of water-worn pebbles, appeared on the west side of the river; and,
to the eastward, a hill was visible amongst the trees. The river channel
was full of water, and seemed to have been even running, with the late
rain. The whole journey was through scrub; but this was chiefly of
rosewood, which is not nearly so formidable an impediment as brigalow. We
encamped on the river bank before we got so far as Camp LVII., at a spot
where there was grass, the ground generally about that camp being very
bare, although a fresh spring was observable, which would soon alter the
case. At this camp I found, on a very low bush with a small leaf,
splendid specimens of the fruit of a CAPPARIS, in a dry state, containing
seeds. A crop of young fruit appeared also on the same bushes. This must
be a very different species from the C. MITCHELII; the bush seldom
exceeding the height and size of a gooseberry bush, although the fruit
was larger than that of the tree CAPPARIS, and of a more uniform size and
spherical shape. It seemed to grow only within the tropic. Thermometer,
at sunrise, 28°; at noon, 73°; at 4 P. M., 75°; at 9, 44°;--with wet
bulb, 41°.

24TH AUGUST.--The fine grassy plain had afforded better food for our
horses and cattle, than they had seen for some time. Keeping along its
eastern side, I continued to travel until I fell in with our former
track; and in passing Camp LVII., I caused the letter T to be cut above
the letters N.S.W., to distinguish it as our first camp within the line
of Capricorn. I left the intertropical regions with feelings of regret;
the weather had favoured our undertaking, and water had become abundant.
The three last mornings had been frosty; the thermometer having stood on
these mornings at 25°, 28°, and 29°, respectively. Many interesting trees
and shrubs were just putting forth buds, of which we might never be able
to gather the flower for the botanist. We travelled from Camp LVII.,
along our old track, to Camp LVI., in latitude 23° 31' 36" S.; and there
again set up our tents, having been exactly one month in the interior of
tropical Australia. A pigeon this day arose from her nest in the grass
near our route, and Yuranigh found in it two full fledged young ones.
These being of that sort of pigeon preferable to all others for the
table, GEOPHAPS SCRIPTA, we took this pair in hopes it might be possible
to bring them up, and, perhaps, to obtain from them a domestic brood.
This bird seemed to have the shortest beak of all the pigeon tribe, and
flew more clumsily than others. It had three streaks of white about the
head, assimilating it to the poultry class; and in building on the
ground, it afforded another indication of its resemblance to our domestic
birds. The flesh is very white, firm, yet tender. It is, perhaps, the
most delicate of all birds. Thermometer, at sunrise, 29°; at noon, 75°;
at 4 P.M., 76°; at 9, 46°;--with wet bulb, 42°.

25TH AUGUST.--The former route to this camp having been very crooked from
following the course of the river amongst brigalow scrub, I set out on
the bearing of the next camp, and reached it by travelling in a straight
line, without much impediment, having found tolerably open ground. The
blue summits of mountains appearing again above the trees, were welcome
to our eyes; and Mounts Beaufort and Mudge reminded me of the Persian
proverb, "The conversation of a friend brighteneth the eyes." We encamped
a mile on, from Camp LV., for the sake of better grass than we had left
formerly at that camp. The hills adjacent consisted of gravel; and
amongst the large water-worn pebbles, of which it consisted, I found
basalt and trachite, neither of which rocks had been detected by me
amongst the gravel of the basin of the Darling. Thermometer, at sunrise,
48°; at noon, 76°; at 4 P.M., 77°; at 9, 52°;--with wet bulb, 47°.

26TH AUGUST.--After cutting off an angle in the old track, and so
shortening the way about a mile, we pursued it back to Camp LIV.; which
spot we again occupied for the night. The horses were leg-weary; but I
could spare no time for rest, otherwise than by making the daily journies
short, until we could return to the foot of the dividing ranges. One of
the young pigeons was found nearly dead this morning; but Yuranigh, by
chafing and warming it by the fire, soon recovered it. The thermometer
had been as low as 38°; but the birds had been kept in a box well covered
with wool, and also by canvas. On the hill, southward of this camp, I
found one tree, of the remarkable kind mentioned, as having been first
seen by Mr. Stephenson, near Mount Mudge. Thermometer, at sunrise, 37°;
at noon, 80°; at 4 P.M., 81°; at 9, 44°;--with wet bulb, 40°.

27TH AUGUST.--On reaching a difficult place for the passage of carts
along the rocky margin of the river, we took a new direction, more to the
right, crossing the clear hill, from which, on the 23d July, I had a view
of the mountains to the eastward. Then descending, we came upon plains of
firm clay, whereon grew some trees of ACACIA PENDULA. The rock in the
hills seemed calcarious, and on a detached slab of ferruginous sandstone,
I saw a more perfect specimen of ripple marks than I had ever seen
elsewhere, except on the sea-beach.

I had now an opportunity of observing, in the hills forming a low range
on my right, or to the westward, that their stratification dipped toward
the east, at an angle of about 25° with the horizon; on which side those
slopes did not exceed that angle, whereas on the westward, they presented
abrupt, precipitous sides, each terminating in two steep sides, forming
an angle at the highest point. We encamped on a fine plain on the east
side of that range, but westward of the river (beyond which lay our
former route), and we found water in a lagoon a quarter of a mile
eastward of our camp; also, in a mountain rivulet two miles south of the
camp, coming from near Mount Beaufort, and some, very clear, was found in
a rocky gully immediately westward of our camp. Still, the bed of the
main channel was dry, and we had been obliged to seek for the water
before it was found in these several directions. Thermometer, at sunrise,
41°; at noon, 79; at 4 P.M., 82°; at 9, 48°;--with wet bulb 39°.

28TH AUGUST.--The cattle were well refreshed by the grass on the plain: a
fresh growth was now apparent in it. We continued to travel due southward
over the plain, and through a brigalow scrub beyond it, until we crossed,
for the last time, the little river that had led us so far astray. Just
beyond it, we joined our old track, at about five miles short of Camp
LIII., to which we proceeded, and where we again encamped, although the
pond we formerly found there had dried up. We afterwards found a good
supply, at a lagoon about half a mile lower down; from which a little dog
of mine (called Procyon), had come out wet, and so made it known to us.
Thermometer, at sunrise, 40°; at noon, 81°; at 4 P.M., 76°; at 9, 49°;--
with wet bulb, 41°.

29TH AUGUST.--Continuing along the old track, we this day quitted the
basin of the Belyando, and ascended those grassy slopes, and that range,
which I had formerly taken to be the water-shed of the coast rivers. We
thus crossed to the basin of another eastern river, the Nog; and, in
quitting that of the Belyando, I have to observe, that like most other
Australian rivers, it maintained a peculiar character throughout its
course, with great uniformity, even after it received tributaries
apparently larger than itself. All these lapsed into the same
concatenated line of ponds; at one place, spreading amidst brigalow
scrub, at another, forming one well-defined deep channel. For the
formation of ponds, and the retention of water, in so dry a climate, we
see here something between the ordinary character of rivers, and
artificial works which man must construct, when population may spread
into these regions. The fallen timber of the brigalow decays very slowly,
and is not liable to be burnt, like most other dead wood in open forests,
because no grass grows amongst the brigalow, as in open forests. The
accumulations of dead logs become clogged with river rack and the deposit
of floods; to which floods these heaps present obstructions, forcing the
waters into new channels, and, in their progress, scooping out new ponds,
and completing the embankment of dead logs; which thus form natural dams
and reservoirs to hold, under the shade of the brigalow trees, more water
for a longer time than any single river channel could retain, however
sluggish its course. Thus it was, that during a season of unusual
drought, we had found abundance in this river's course, across nearly 3˝
degrees of latitude. The fallen brigalow presents awkward obstructions to
wheel carriages; and, as the river spreads into broad plains, and is very
favourable to the growth of brigalow, the difficulty of travelling along
this river is greatest, where its waters are most scattered. Experience
has taught us, in such cases, to endeavour to follow the river channel as
closely as possible (the general course being very straight); and thus,
open grassy spots and small plains are frequently met with, beyond which
nothing could be distinguished, and from which it is safest to go forward
in the known general course of the chain of ponds. We again encamped
under Mount Mudge, where I perceived that a projecting portion of white
rock on the summit, had fallen since I had stood upon it; and that the
avalanche of rock had strewed the woody side of the mountain with white
fragments down to the very base. In the sheltered ravine below, a curious
new CASSIA formed a shrub six feet high.[*] Thermometer, at sunrise, 39°;
at noon, 70°; at 4 P.M., 82°; at 9, 56°;--with wet bulb, 50°.

[* C. ZYGOPHYLLA (Benth. MS.) glabra vel pube tenuissimâ subcanescens,
foliolis unijugis linearibus planis crassis, glandula inter foliola parva
depressa, racemis petiolo brevioribus 2-4-floris.--Near C. NEMOPHILA
Cunn.; but there appear never to be more than one pair of leaflets, the
plant is smoother, the leaflets longer, and the glands different.]

30TH AUGUST.--The old track guided the party, while I preceded it to
sketch one or two landscapes. A fine breeze blew from the northward, and
goodly clouds seemed to promise rain. I completed my drawings before the
arrival of the carts; and on their coming up I conducted them to a spot
where we encamped, on the left bank of the creek, or opposite to camp
LI., being resolved to seek a better and more direct way to the plains,
than that down the bed of Balmy Creek, which we formerly found so
difficult. As soon as I had chosen a spot for the tents, I took a ride,
accompanied by Mr. Stephenson and Yuranigh, to explore the ravines
eastward of that of Balmy Creek, and which led in a more direct line
towards the plains of the Claude. We found the precipices in this
direction much lower. After riding a few miles, we could ride up one of
the points, and following the ridge we had ascended (which was thickly
covered with brigalow), we at length got to an open forest, and once more
saw the open plains before us. In returning, I selected, with Yuranigh's
able assistance, a smaller valley, by which I hoped to succeed in
conducting the carts next day, so as to avoid the ascent of the brigalow
range. The barometer at this camp had fallen ten millimetres lower than
the point at which the mercury stood formerly at the adjacent camp
(marked LI.). By the side of the water-course, we found the ACACIA
DORATOXYLON and also the ACACIA CONFERTA. The valley was gay with the
ultramarine blue flowers of a new species of HOVEA[*]; and on rich soil
we saw also the PODOLEPIS ACUMINATA? D. C. A shrub with long curved
leaves and singular zigzag stems, was ascertained to be the ACACIA
MACRADENIA, a very striking new species; and on Balmy Creek we found also
a new BOSSIOEA, with deep red flowers.[**] Thermometer, at sunrise, 59°;
at noon, 83°; at 4 P.M., 81°; at 9, 62°; with wet bulb, 54°.

[* H. LEIOARPA (Benth. MS.) fruticosa, foliis anguste oblongis
sublanceolatisve integerrimis subtus reticulatis pubescentibus, venis
primariis obliquis, pedicellis in pedunculo brevissimo axillari
subgeminis calyce longioribus, calyce adpresse tomentoso, legumine
glaberrimo.--Not unlike some forms of H. LANCEOLATA, but readily
distinguished, besides the shorter leaves, by the smooth fruit and the
veins of the leaves, which diverge from the midrib at a very acute
instead of a right angle.]

[** B. CARINALIS (Benth. MS.) ramulis teretibus puberulis foliosis,
foliis subsessilibus subcordato-ovatis acutiusculis puberulis, pedicello
calyce paullo breviore, corollae alis vexillo longioribus carinâ multo
brevioribus.--The same remarkable proportion of the petals may be seen in
an unpublished species gathered by Fraser on the Brisbane river.]

31ST AUGUST.--Some heavy showers fell during the night, and in the
morning the sky was wholly overcast. We crossed various formidable
gullies, and travelled some way down the bed of Balmy Creek, then
ascending by the valley through which I yesterday penetrated in my ride,
we travelled southward in a tolerably direct line through the valley up
to its highest heads, from one of which we contrived to draw up carts and
drays along three traverses, formed by nature on the face of a rocky
slope. Above this, we found a plateau of flowering shrubs, chiefly new
and strange, so that Mr. Stephenson was soon loaded like a market
gardener. He had found in the hollow of the little gulley by which we
ascended a variety of ACACIA DECORA with leaves shorter that usual; the
CASSIA ZYGOPHYLLA, a very curious new species; and the BERTYA OLEOEFOLIA,
a shrub three feet high, with green flowers. On the top of the plateau
grew a singular dwarf shrub, loaded with yellow flowers, and covered by
strong sharp leaves resembling the curved blade of a penknife. It has
been ascertained by Mr. Bentham to be an Acacia, referable to his ACACIA
TRIPTERA. A little upright bush, with glandular leaves smelling strongly
of thyme, proved to be a new PROSTANTHERA.[*] The beautiful ACACIA DECORA
appeared as a shrub four feet high; the DODONOEA NOBILIS was just forming
its fruit; the DODONOEA VESTITA was also there; the white flowered
MYOPORUM CUNNINGHAMI with its viscid branches, formed a bush about four
feet high: PITTOSPORUM LANCEOLATUM was a shrub about three feet high,
with yellow flowers; and here we met in abundance with the beautiful
TECOMA OXLEYI, a kind of Bignonia, loaded with yellowishwhite flowers.

[* P. ODORATISSIMA (Benth. MS.) viscoso-puberula foliis linearibus
sublanceolatisve obtusissimis paucidentatis integrisve crassis ad axillas
fasciculatis, floribus paucis axillaribus subsessilibus, calycis labiis
integris inferiore minore, antherarum calcare longiore loculum
superante.--Near P. ASPALATHOIDES: leaves two or three lines long,
remarkably thick. Calyx strongly ribbed. The specimens found were past
flower, having only a few fragments remaining of the corolla and stamens.
The whole plant appears very viscid and retains when dry a very strong
smell of thyme.]

There ended all our troubles with the sandstone gullies, for we soon
entered open forests, and crossed a grassy valley gently sloping to the
eastward, in whose bosom we found a fine deep rocky pond. Beyond that
valley we arrived at open downs of the richest soil, and of an extent not
to be embraced by the eye at any one point of view. The finest sorts of
grass were fast springing up, and curious herbs were beginning to shoot
from the rich alluvium in the vallies. We encamped on these downs, about
ten miles from our former camp by the Claude, XLIX.

1ST SEPTEMBER.--The morning clear and frosty; Thermometer 25°. All
prospects of rain had vanished "into thin air." The scene now around us
was as different as could well be imagined, from that which surrounded us
at the same hour yesterday. As we proceeded, we crossed a hill quite
clear of trees, which commanded a view over an extent of similar country,
large enough for a county. The broken summits, just appearing above the
placid horizon of undulating downs, had formerly looked like a range to
us, and were certainly highly ornamental to the scenery; but no stranger
could have supposed these features to have been only the highest parts of
such a broken sandstone country as that from which we had just emerged.
The plains, or rather, I should say, downs, for they were nowhere level
but everywhere gently undulating, were first seen in white streaks high
above us, when we first perceived them through the scrubs. These downs
consisted of the richest sort of black mould, on which grew luxuriantly,
ANTHISTIRIA and PANICUM LOEVINODE. But the surface in general was loose,
resembling that of a field after it had lain long in fallow. Herbs in
great variety were just emerging from the recently watered earth, and the
splendid morning did ample justice to the vernal scene. The charm of a
beginning seemed to pervade all nature, and the songs of many birds
sounded like the orchestral music before the commencement of any
theatrical performance. Such a morning, in such a place, was quite
incompatible with the brow of care. Here was an almost boundless extent
of the richest surface in a latitude corresponding to that of China, yet
still uncultivated and unoccupied by man. A great reserve, provided by
nature for the extension of his race, where economy, art, and industry
might suffice to people it with a peaceful, happy, and contented

These plains are much higher than the sandstone ravines, and the soil
contains not only pebbles, but angular fragments of the knots and fibres
of wood in a silicified state, and much encrusted with chalcedony. The
component parts of the sandstone in the gullies resemble those of a sea
beach. These fragments of fossil wood in rich soils of plains or downs
above formations of sandstone, are found in various parts of Australia,
and I have seen fossil wood from similar plains in Tasmania. The fossil
wood of such plains has no appearance of having been exposed to fire. The
ACACIA PENDULA grows on the skirts of them, and indicates a salsolaceous
soil. These circumstances are obvious to everybody, but no geologist has
yet explained to us the causes of such changes as may have produced that
rich black mould, on which trees, now silicified, formerly grew; or these
wide plains and downs of rich earth, above a red sandstone formation. One
has called the interior of Australia a "dry seabottom;" but this phrase
admits of no easy application to such cases as these. Fragments of a
ferruginous conglomerate of water-worn pebbles, apparently identical with
those in the basin of the Darling, in some places accompany these angular
fragments of fossil wood. We found this day a new ERIOSTEMON allied to E.
BREVIFOLIUM, with small knobby fleshy leaves[*]; also a fine new shrubby
EURYBIA.[**] Scattered plants of BOSSIOEA RHOMBIFOLIA also appeared in
the adjacent gullies; and LORANTHUS SUBFALCATUS (Hook), was parasitical
on trees. We encamped on the margin of the rich plain N. of Camp XLIX,
and about a mile distant from it, our draught oxen being very weak and
leg-weary. Thermometer, at sunrise, 25°; at noon, 67°; at 4 P.M., 73°; at
9, 44°;--with wet bulb, 40°.

[* E. RHOMBEUM (Lindl. MS.); ramulis pubescentibus, foliis carnosis
obtuse rhombeis revolutis subtus glabris, pedicellis terminalibus
unifloris tomentosis foliis brevioribus, staminibus pilosis.]

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