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´╗┐Title: Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland
Author: Jardine, Frank, 1841-1919
Language: English
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THE Settlement of Northern Australia has of late years been of such
rapid growth as to furnish matter for a collection of narratives,
which in the aggregate would make a large and interesting volume.
Prominent amongst these stands that of the Settlement of Cape York,
under the superintendence of Mr. Jardine, with which the gallant trip
of his two sons overland must ever be associated.  It was a journey
which, but for the character and qualities of the Leader, might have
terminated as disastrously as that of his unfortunate, but no less
gallant predecessor, Kennedy.  A brilliant achievement in
exploration, in a colony where exploring has become common and almost
devoid of interest, from the number of those yearly engaged in it,
its very success has prevented its attracting that share of public
attention to which its results very fully entitled it.  Had it been
attended with any signal disaster, involving loss of life, it would
have been otherwise.  Geographically, it has solved the question
hitherto undecided of the course of the northern rivers emptying into
the Gulf of Carpentaria, of which nothing was previously known but
their outlets, taken from the charts of the Dutch Navigators.  It has
also made known, with tolerable definiteness, how much, or rather,
how little, of the "York Peninsula" is adapted for pastoral
occupation, whilst its success in taking the first stock overland,
and forming a cattle station at Newcastle Bay, has insured to the
Settlement at Somerset a necessary and welcome supply of fresh meat,
and done away with its dependence for supplies on importations by sea
of less nourishing salt provision.

Starting from the then farthest out-station of Northern Queensland
with a small herd of cattle, these hardy young bushmen met with and
successfully combated, almost every "accident by flood and field"
that could well occur in an expedition.  First, an arid waterless
country forced them to follow down two streams at right angles with
their course for upwards of 200 miles, causing a delay which betrayed
them into the depths of the rainy season; then the loss of half their
food and equipment by a fire, occasioned by the carelessness of some
of the party; next the scarcity of grass and water, causing a further
delay by losses of half their horses, which were only recovered to be
again lost altogether--killed by eating a deadly poison plant; and
finally, the setting in of the wet season, making the ground next to
impassable, and so swelling the rivers, that when actually in sight,
and within a week's journey of their destination, they were turned
off their course, and were more than six weeks in reaching it.  Added
to this, and running through the whole journey, was the incessant and
determined, although unprovoked, hostility of the natives, which, but
for the unceasing vigilence and prompt and daring action of the
Brothers, might have eventually compassed the annihilation of the
whole party.  Had Leichhardt used the same vigilance and decision the
life of poor Gilbert would not have been sacrificed, and in all
probability we should not now deplore his own loss.  But the black
tribes which dogged the steps of each expedition, and amongst whom,
probably, were the slayers of Kennedy and Gilbert, met at the hands
of the Brothers the treatment they deserved.  If the lessons were
severe, they were in every case of the native's own seeking, and were
administered in fair and open combat, in which few of the white party
were without having narrow escapes to record; but a providential good
fortune seemed to attend them, for every member got through the
journey without accident.  An account has been furnished to the
newspapers in the form of a journal by Mr. Richardson, the Surveyor
appointed to accompany the expedition, but it is much too brief and
epitomized to do justice to the subject, and omits altogether the
detached and independant trips of the Brothers whilst exploring ahead
to find the best country through which to take the herd; and, as the
Brothers Jardine themselves would probably much rather repeat their
journey than write a full account of it, it has devolved on the
Editor to attempt to put before the public a compilation of their
journals in such form as will give the narrative sufficient interest
to carry with it the attention of the reader to the end.  Although
the matter is ample, this is no easy task for an unpracticed pen, for
to the general reader, the usual monotonous details and entries of an
explorer's notes, which alone give them value to the geographer,
cannot be hoped to excite interest or command attention.  But the
journey was full of incident, and the Brothers, although not
scientific naturalists, were keen sportsmen, excelling in all
exercises requiring strength and activity, who had acquired from
their training in the bush that sharpening of the senses and faculty
of observing, the peculiar result of a life in the wilds, which not
only so well fitted them for the conduct of such an expedition, but
also enabled them to note and describe with accuracy the various
interesting objects in botany and zoology met with in the course of
their journey.  It is therefore hoped that there will be sufficient
to interest each class of reader.  Aided by Mr. Jardine, senior, a
gentleman of large experience in both Botany and Natural History, the
Editor has been enabled to supply the generic names of the birds and
plants met with; which, in many cases, if not altogether new, are
interesting as determining the range and habitat of the birds, and
the zones of vegetation and trees; but it is to be regretted that
there was no one in the party having sufficient knowledge of drawing
to figure such objects, or to delineate some of the more striking
scenes and incidents of the journey.  As these can now only be
supplied from the graphic descriptions given by the actors in them,
the Editor, without drawing too much on his imagination, has, in the
compilation of the journals, attempted in some cases to supplement
what was wanted in the text, so as to give the narrative such color
as would make it more readable than a mere journal, but in every case
rendering the descriptions of the prominent incidents of the journey
almost in the original words of the writers, merely adding as much as
would save the text from abruptness.  He has adhered to the diurnal
form of narrative, for the sake of recording, for the benefit of
future travellers, the numbers, marks, latitude, etc., of each camp,
and endeavoured to compass by this composite method the value of a
work of record with the interest of a narrative.

It is also to be regretted that so long a time should have been
allowed to elapse between the end of the journey and the publication
of these pages.  The causes of the delay are--first, the
indisposition on the part of the Brothers to "go into print," their
modesty leading them to imagine they had done nothing worth "writing
about," nor was it until the writer pressed them to allow him to
compile and edit their journals that they consented to make them
public; next, the want of leisure on the part of the compiler, whose
official duties have prevented application to his task, save in
detached and interrupted periods; and last, by the difficulty of
making arrangements for publication at a distance.

If his labor secures to the young explorers the credit and praise
which is the just and due reward of a gallant achievement, and adds a
page of interest to the records of Australian Exploration, his aim
will have been attained, and he will be fully rewarded.

The Hermitage, 'Rockhampton, December', 1866.


IN presenting the following pages to the Reader, it may not be out of
place to take a retrospect of the progress of Australian Settlement
generally, and particularly in the young northern colony of

During the last six years the great question of the character of
Central Australia, in the solution of which the lives of the
unfortunate Leichhardt and his party have been sacrificed, has been
set at rest by the memorable trip of Burke and Wills, and no less
memorable, but more fortunate one of McDouall Stewart.  The Search
Expeditions of McKinlay, Howitt, Landsborough, and Walker, have made
it still more familiar, their routes connecting the out-settlements
of South Australia with those of the Gulf Shores and East Coast, and
adding their quota of detail to the skeleton lines of Leichhardt,
Gregory, and Burke and Wills; whilst private enterprise has, during
that time, been busy in further filling in the spaces, and utilizing
the knowledge gained by occupying the waste lands thus opened up.

It is questionable whether the amount of available country thus made
known has not been dearly purchased, by the very large sums that have
been expended, and the valuable lives that have been lost in its
exploration; the arid and waterless wastes of the interior, which
have now been proved equally subject to terrific droughts and
devastating floods, make it improbable that the Settlements of the
North Coast and the Southern Colonies can be connected by a
continuous line of occupation for many years to come; the rich
pastoral tracts of Arnheim's Land, the Victoria River, the Gulf
Coast, and Albert and Flinders Rivers, are thus the only localities
likely to be made use of for the present; these, however, have been
known since the first explorations of Leichhardt and Gregory; we are
forced, therefore, to the conclusion that the results of the
subsequent expeditions are not commensurate with their cost and
sacrifices, and to consider whether further exploration may not be
safely left to private enterprise.

Let us now glance at what has been done since 1860 in the way of
occupation.  South Australia has founded on theNorth Coast a
Settlement at Adam Bay, on the Adelaide River, but its progress seems
to have been marked from the onset by misfortune.  The officer
charged with its formation, in a short time managed to raise so
strong a feeling of dissatisfaction and dislike amongst the settlers
as to call for a Commission of Enquiry on his administration, which
resulted in his removal.  His successor seems, by latest accounts to
have raised up no less dislike, the difference of his rule being
likened by the papers to that of the fabled kings, Log and Stork.
The site of the Settlement, Escape Cliffs, has been universally
condemned; one charge against the first Resident being, that it was
selected in opposition to the almost unanimous opinion of the
colonists.  The subject was referred for final report to John
McKinley, the well-known Explorer, who, bearing out the general
opinion, at once condemned it, and set out to explore the country in
search for a better.  In this he has not discovered any new locality,
but has recommended Anson Bay, at the mouth of the Daly, a site
previously visited, but rejected by the first Resident.  Previous to
his visit to Anson Bay, Mr. McKinlay started with a well-equiped
party for an exploring trip, which was to last twelve months.  At the
end of five he returned, after one of the most miraculous escapes of
himself and party from destruction on record, having only penetrated
to the East Alligator River, about 80 miles from Adam Bay; here he
became surrounded by floods, and only saved his own and the lives of
his party (loosing all else) by the desperate expedient of making a
boat of the hides of their horses, in which they floated down the
swollen river, and eventually reached the Settlement.  It is not
improbable that in some such a flood poor Leichhardt and his little
band lost their lives, and all trace of their fate has been
destroyed.  These experiences have caused some doubt and despondency
as to the future of the new Settlement, and the question is now being
agitated in the South Australian Parliament as to the desirability or
not of abandoning it.

Western Australia has formed the Settlements of Camden Harbor, and
Nickol Bay.  The latter (the country around which was explored by Mr.
Francis Gregory, brother to the Surveyor-General of Queensland, in
1861), appears to have progressed favorably, the Grey, Gascoigne,
Oakover and Lyons Rivers affording inducements to stockholders to
occupy them, but the Settlement of Camden Harbor at the time of the
visit of Mr. Stow in his boat-voyage from Adam Bay to Champion Bay,
was being abandoned by the colonists, the country being unsuitable
for stock, and it would appear from that gentleman's account that the
whole of the north-west coast of the continent, from its general
character, offers but little inducement for settlement.

[footnote]  *Since this was written the settlement has been abandoned.
[NOTE--the footnote in the INTRODUCTION does not have a referent in
the text--there is no asterisk in the text.  It is not clear
whether the 'settlement' it refers to as having been abandoned is at
Adam Bay or in Western Australia.]

The explorations of Francis Gregory to the eastward from Nickol Bay,
and of the Surveyor-General to the south from the Victoria River,
were both arrested by wastes of drift-sand, whilst those from the
western seaboard have not been extended further inland than to more
than an average of 3 degrees of longitude.  It may reasonably be
doubted, therefore, whether settlement will be much extended in that

Queensland, more fortunate in the character of the country, has, on
her part, successfully established six new settlements, to wit,
Mackay, at the Pioneer River; Bowen, Port Denison; Townsville,
Cleveland Bay; Cardwell, Rockingham Bay; Somerset, Cape York; and
Burke Town, at the Albert River; and there can be little doubt but
that the country of the Gulf shores and the northern territory of
South Australia must be 'stocked', if not settled, from the same
source.  Already have our hardy pioneers driven their stock out as
far as the Flinders, Albert, Leichhardt, and Nicholson Rivers, the
Flinders and Cloncurry having been stocked along their length for
some time past.  On the South and West, the heads of the Warrego, the
Nive, Barcoo, and Thompson have also been occupied, some of the
stations being between four and five hundred miles from the seaboard,
whilst the surveyors of the Roads Department have extended their
surveys as far as the two last-named rivers, for the purpose of
determining the best and shortest lines of communication.  The
Government, with wise liberality, has facilitated the access from the
seaboard to the interior, by the expenditure of large sums in
constructing and improving passes through the Coast Range on four
different points, and by the construction of works on the worst
portions of the roads, have largely reduced the difficulties of
transport for the out-settlers.  Bowen, a town which had no existence
six years ago, has been connected with Brisbane by the telegraph
wire, and ere another twelve months have elapsed the electric flash
will have placed Melbourne, in Victoria, and Burke Town, on the Gulf
of Carpentaria, "on speaking terms," the country between the latter
place and Cleveland Bay having been examined and determined on for a
telegraph line by the experienced explorer Walker for that purpose.

Of the six new settlements that have been called into existence, two,
Bowen and Townsville, have been incorporated, and are now, together
with Mackay, straining in the race to secure the trade of the western
interior.  Cardwell has experienced a check, in consequence of an
undue haste in the adoption of a line of road over its Coast Range,
which is too difficult to be generally adopted, and will probably be
abandoned for a better since discovered; but its noble harbour is too
good, and the extent of back country it commands too extensive in
area, for it not ultimately to take its place as an important port.
Burke Town is but starting into existence, but already supplies the
settlers of the Flinders and other Gulf rivers with which it has
opened communication.  Mr. William Landsborough, the well-known
explorer, has been charged with the administration of its affairs,
and a survey staff has been despatched to lay out the lands.  Vessels
now trade direct from Brisbane with some regularity, which services
will, no doubt, soon be re-placed by steamers.

But it is with Somerset, Cape York, that we have more especial
concern.  In the August of 1862, Sir George Bowen, Governor of
Queensland, being on a voyage of inspection to the Northern Ports, in
Her Majesty's Steamer "Pioneer," visited Port Albany, Cape York, and
on his return, in a despatch to the Imperial Government, recommended
it for the site of a Settlement, on account of its geographical
importance, as harbor of refuge, coaling station, and entrepot for
the trade of Torres Straits and the Islands of the North Pacific.
The following year the formation of a Settlement was decided upon,
the Home Government sending out a detachment of Marines to be
stationed there, and assist in its establishment.  The task of
establishing the new Settlement was confided to Mr. Jardine, then
Police Magistrate of Rockhampton, than whom, perhaps, no man could be
found more fitted for its peculiar duties.  An experienced official,
a military man, keen sportsman, and old bushman, he possessed, in
addition to an active and energetic temperament, every quality and
experience necessary for meeting the varied and exceptional duties
incident to such a position.  It was whilst making the arrangements
for the expedition by sea, which was to transport the staff,
materiel, and stores of the Settlement, that Mr. Jardine, foreseeing
the want of fresh provision, proposed to the Government to send his
own sons, Frank and Alexander, overland with a herd of cattle to form
a station from which it might be supplied.  This was readily acceded
to, the Government agreeing to supply the party with the services of
a qualified surveyor, fully equipped, to act as Geographer, by noting
and recording their course and the appearance of the country
traversed, and also horses, arms, and accoutrements for four native
blacks, or as they are commonly called in the colonies, Black-boys.
Although the account of poor Kennedy's journey from Rockingham Bay to
Cape York, in which his own and half his party's lives were
sacrificed, was not very encouraging for the intended expedition, Mr.
Jardine never for a moment doubted of its success, and looked forward
to meeting his sons at Somerset as a matter of course.  In the prime
of youth and health (their ages were but 22 and 20), strong, active,
and hardy, inured to the life and habits of the bush, with an
instinct of locality, which has been alluded to as having "la
Boussole dans la tete," they were eminently fitted for the task, and
eagerly undertook it when proposed.  How well they carried it out,
although, unfortunately, with so little benefit to themselves, is
here recorded.  Had poor Wills been associated with such companions
there would have been a different tale to tell to that which lends so
melancholy an interest to his name, and we should now have him
amongst us to honor, instead of a monument to his memory, a monument,
which in honoring the dead, rebukes the living.

The loss of three-fourths of their horses, and a fifth of their
cattle, together with a large equipment, has made the enterprise of
the Messrs. Jardine, speaking financially, little short of a failure,
but at their age the mind is resilient, and not easily damped by
misfortune.  On their return to Brisbane the Government, with kind
consideration, proposed to place such a sum on the Estimates of
Parliament as would indemnify them, and at the same time mark its
sense of the high merit and importance of their journey, but this,
through their father, they respectfully declined, Frank Jardine
giving as his reason, that as the expedition was a private enterprise
and not a public undertaking, he did not consider himself entitled to
any indemnity from the public.  Opinions may be divided on such a
conclusion, but in it we cannot but recognise a delicacy and nobility
of sentiment as rare, unfortunately, as it is admirable.  Yet, if
they have thus voluntarily cut themselves off from the substantial
rewards which have hitherto recompensed other explorers, they are
still entitled to the high praise and commendation of all who admire
spirit and determination of purpose, and cannot be insensible to
their applause.  And it is in recognition that such is their due,
that the writer has undertaken to bring this narrative before the


Start from Rockhampton--Alexander Jardine explores the Einasleih--
Newcastle Range--Pluto Creek--Canal Creek--Basaltic Plateau--
Warroul Creek--Parallel Creek--Galas Creek--Porphyry Islands--
Alligators' tracks--Bauhinia Plains--Discovers error as to River
Lynd--Return--The Nonda--Burdekin duck--Simon's Gap--
Arrival of the cattle--Preparation for final start.

On the 14th of May, 1864, the overland party which was to take cattle
to the new settlement at Cape York, was started by Mr. Frank Jardine,
from Rockhampton, under the charge of his brother Alexander.  It
comprised ten persons, with thirty-one horses.  The instructions were
to travel by easy stages to Port Denison, and there wait the arrival
of the Leader.  In the following month, Mr. Jardine, senior, taking
with him his third son John, sailed for Brisbane, and shortly after
from thence to Somerset, Cape York, in the Eagle, barque, chartered
by the Government, for transport of material, etc., arriving there at
the end of June.

Mr. Frank Jardine, taking with him the surveyor attached to the
expedition, Mr. A. J. Richardson, arrived at Bowen by sea, about the
middle of July, when the party was again moved forward, he himself
starting off to make the purchase of the cattle.  Five more horses
were purchased on account of the Government in Bowen, for Mr.
Richardson, making a total of forty-two.  The prevalence of
pleuro-pneumonia made it a matter of some difficulty for Mr. F.
Jardine to get suitable stock for his purpose, and caused
considerable delay.  Arrangements having at length been made with Mr.
William Stenhouse, of the River Clarke, the party was divided at the
Reedy Lake Station, on the Burdekin, Mr. A. Jardine moving forward
with the pack horses and equipment, leaving the Leader with Messrs.
Scrutton and Cowderoy, and three black boys to muster and fetch on
the cattle.  The advance party started on the 17th August, and
arrived at Carpentaria Downs, the station of J. G. Macdonald, Esq.,
on the 30th.  This was at that time the furthest station to the North
West, and was intended to be made the final starting point of the
expedition, by the permission of Mr. Macdonald, from whom the party
received much kindness.  On their way they were joined by Mr. Henry
Bode, a gentleman who was in search of country to occupy with stock.
After remaining in camp at Carpentaria Downs for a few days, Mr. A.
Jardine decided on utilizing the interval, which must elapse before
his brother could re-join him with the cattle, by exploring the
country ahead, so as to faciliate the march of the stock on the final
start.  Accordingly, leaving the camp in charge of Mr. Richardson,
with Mr. Binney, and two black boys, he started on the 3rd of
September, taking with him the most trusty of his black boys, "old
Eulah," and one pack-horse, and accompanied by Mr. Bode, who took
advantage of the opportunity to have a look at the country.  As Mr.
Bode had his own black boy with him, the party comprised four, with
two pack-horses, carrying provision for three weeks.  About the same
time Mr. Macdonald started with a party of three to find a road for
his stock to the Gulf, where he was about to form a station; the
account of which trip has been published bythat gentleman.

The stream on which Carpentaria Downs station is situated was
supposed to be the "Lynd" of Leichhardt and was so called and known;
but as this was found to be an error, and that it was a tributary of
the Gilbert, it will be distinguished by the name it subsequently
received, the Einasleih.  Keeping the right bank of the river which
was running strongly two hundred yards wide, the party travelled six
miles to a small rocky bald hill, under which they passed on the
north side; and thence to a gap in a low range, through which the
river forces its way.  Travelling down its bed for a
quarter-of-a-mile, they crossed to its left bank, on to a large level
basaltic plain; but here the extent of the rocky ground made the
travelling so bad for the horses, although shod, that it was
impossible to proceed, and the river was therefore re-crossed.  Five
miles more of rough travelling over broken stony ironbark ridges,
brought them to a second gorge, formed by two spurs of a range,
running down to the river banks on either side, where they camped,
having made about 15 miles on a general course of N.W. by N.  To the
south of this gorge, and running parallel with the river, is a high
range of hills, which received the name of the Newcastle Range.
(Camp I.)

'September' 4.--Resuming their journey, the party passed through a
gap in the northern spur, described yesterday, about a
quarter-of-a-mile from the camp.  From this gap a point of the range
on the south side was sighted, running into the river, and for this
they steered.  At 4 miles a small lagoon was passed, 300 yards out
from the river, and a quarter-of-a-mile further on, a broad, shallow,
sandy creek(then dry), which was named "Pluto Creek."  At 8 miles a
small rugged hill was passed on the left hand, and the point of the
range steered for reached at 9.  At 12 a large well-watered creek was
crossed, and the party camped at the end of 18 miles on a similar
one.  The general course N.N.W., and lay chiefly over very stony
ridges, close to the river banks.  The timber was chiefly box,
iron-bark, and melaleuca, the latter growing in the shallow bed, in
which also large granite boulders frequently occurred.  Though
shallow, it contained fine pools and reaches of water, in some of
which very fine fish were observed.  Eighteen miles (Camp II.)

'September' 5.--After crossing the creek, on which they had camped,
at its junction, the party followed down a narrow river flat for four
miles, to where a large sandy creek joins it from the north.  The
steepness of its banks and freedom from fallen timber, suggested the
name of "Canal Creek"--it is about 80 yards wide.  Two miles
further down a small creek joins, and at 12 miles a high rocky hill
was reached.  From this hill a bar of granite rock extends across the
river to a similar one on the south side.  A fine view was obtained
from its summit showing them the course of the river.  Up to this
point the course had been N.W.  After passing through a gap,
immediately under and on the north of the rocky hill they were forced
by the river into a northerly course for two miles, at which they
crossed a spur of the range running into it, so rugged that they were
obliged to lead their horses.  Beyond this they emerged on to a
basaltic plain, timbered with box and bloodwood, and so stony as to
render the walking very severe for the horses.  The basalt continued
for the rest of the day.  At about 18 miles a large creek was
crossed, running into an ana-branch.  The banks of the river which
border the basaltic plain are very high and steep on both sides.
Running the ana-branch down for four miles, the camp was pitched,
after a tedious and fatiguing day's march.  (Camp III.)

'September' 6.--The ana-branch camped on last night being found to
run parallel to the course of the river, received the name of
Parallel Creek.  Its average width is about 150 yards, well watered,
and full of melaleucas and fallen timber.  The country on its north
bank down to its junction with the river 20 miles from the junction
of Warroul Creek, is broken into ridges of quartz and sand-stone,
stony, and poorly grassed.  That contained between its south bank and
the river, the greatest width of which is not more than three miles,
is a basaltic plateau, terminating in precipitous banks on the river,
averaging 50 feet in perpendicular height.  To avoid the stones on
either side, there being no choice between the two, the party
travelled down the bed of Parallel Creek the whole day.  At about 9
miles stringy bark appeared on the ridges of the north bank.  Large
flocks of cockatoo parrots ('Nymphicus Nov. Holl.') were seen during
the day, and a "plant" of native spears was found.  They were neatly
made, jagged at the head with wallaby bones, and intended for
throwing in the Wommerah or throwing stick.  At the end of 20 miles
the party reached the junction of Parallel Creek with the river and
encamped.  The general course was about N.W.  (Camp IV.)

'September' 7.--The party was now happily clear of the basaltic
country, but the travelling was still none of the best, the first
nine miles of to-day's stage being over stony ridges of quartz and
iron-stone, interspersed with small, sandy, river flats.  At this
distance a large creek of running water was crossed, and the camp
pitched at about two miles from its junction with the Einasleih.  The
creek received the name of Galaa Creek, in allusion to the galaa or
rose cockatoo ('Cacatua Rosea'), large flocks of which were
frequently seen.  The junction of Galaa Creek is remarkable for two
porphyritic rock islands, situated in the bed of the river, which is
here sandy, well watered, and about 300 yards wide.  The grass was
very scarce, having been recently burned.  The timber chiefly
iron-bark and box.  Course N.W. 1/2 W., distance 10 miles  (Camp V.)

'September' 8.--To-day the river was followed down over low broken
stony ranges, having their crests covered with "garrawan" scrub for 5
miles, when the party was gratified by an agreable change in the
features of the country.  Instead of the alternative of broken
country, stony ridges, or basaltic plains they had toiled over for
nearly 80 miles, they now emerged on to fine open well-grassed river
flats, lightly timbered, and separated by small spurs of ridges
running into them.  A chain of small lagoons was passed at 12 miles,
teeming with black duck, teal, wood duck, and pigmy geese, whilst
pigeons and other birds were frequent in the open timber, a sure
indication of good country.  At 13 miles a small creek was crossed,
and another at 18, and after having made a good stage of 25 miles the
party again camped on the Einasleih.  At this point it had increased
to a width of nearly a mile, the banks were low and sloping, and the
bed shallow and dry.  It was still nevertheless, well watered, the
stream, as is not unusual in many of our northern rivers, continuing
to run under the surface of the sand, and requiring very slight
digging or even scratching, to be got at.  The general course
throughout the day was about N.W.1/2W.  (Camp VI.)

'September' 9.--The course down the river was resumed over similar
country to that of yesterday.  Keeping at the back of some low
table-topped hills, at 5 miles the party struck a fine clear deep
lagoon, about two miles in from the river, of which it is the
overflow.  A chain of small waterholes occurs at 12 miles, which were
covered with ducks and other water-fowl, whilst immense flocks of a
slate-colored pigeon were seen at intervals.  They are about the same
size as the Bronzewing, and excessively wild.*  The river, when again
struck, had resumed running.  It was still sandy and full of the
graceful weeping melaleuca in the bed, where traces of alligators
were observed.  The country traversed throughout the day was good,
but the small plains and flats were thought likely to be swampy in
wet weather.  Another good stage of 26 miles was made, and the party
again camped on the river.  The general course was due west.  (Camp

[footnote] * 'The Phaps Histrionica, or Harlequin Bronzewing.'

'September' 10.--Taking his course from the map he carried, shewing
the river running north-west, and depending on its correctness, Mr.
Jardine bore to the north-west for 15 miles, travelling over sandy
honey-combed rises, and low swampy plains, when he reached a
watershed to the north, which he then supposed must be the head of
Mitchell waters, finding himself misled by his map and that he had
left the river altogether, he turned south by west and did not reach
it before the end of 8 miles on that bearing, when the party camped
on a small ana-branch.  The true course of the river would thus be
about W. by N.  Total distance 23 miles.  (Camp VIII.)

'September' 11.--This day's journey was over fine country.  The
first course was N.W. for about 5 miles, to a large round shallow
lagoon, covered with quantities of wild fowl, and thence, following
the direction of the river into camp about 13 miles, over a
succession of large black soil plains covered with good grasses,
mixed herbs, and salt bush.  The principal timber being bauhinia,
suggested the name of "Bauhinia Plains."  Their width back from the
river extended to an average of six miles, when they were bounded by
low well-grassed iron-bark ridges.  The river was broad and sandy,
running in two or three channels, and occasionally spreading into
long reaches.  Large ana-branches, plentifully watered, left the main
channel running back from it from 1 to 3 miles.  A great many fishing
weirs were observed in the channels of the river, from which it would
appear that the blacks live much, if not principally, on fish.  They
were well and neatly constructed.  (Camp IX.)

'September' 12.--Alexander Jardine, having now travelled 180 miles
from Carpentaria Downs, was convinced that the river he had traced
this distance could not be the Lynd of Leichhardt.  The reasons which
forced this conclusion on him were three:--Firstly, the discription
of the country in no wise tallied.  Secondly, the course of the river
differed.  And thirdly, although he had travelled further to the west
than Leichhardt's junction of the Lynd and Mitchell, he had not even
been on Mitchell waters, the northern watershed he had been on, on
the 10th, being that of a small creek, doubling on itself, and
running into this river.  Having thus set the matter at rest in his
own mind, he determined to re-trace his steps, and accordingly
started back this morning and camped at night at the shallow lagoon,
passed the day previous.  On the way they shot several ducks and a
bustard.  These are very numerous on the plains, but wild and
unapproachable, as they most frequently are in the north.  At each
camp on his journey Mr. Jardine regularly marked a tree A.J. and the
number of the Camp.

'September' 13.--The party travelled back over Bauhinia Plains, and
camped on the river, near camp 8 of the outward journey.  At night
they went fishing, and got a number of fine perch, and a small
spotted fish.  Distance 24 miles.

'September' 14.--To-day the party saw blacks for the first time
since leaving Carpentaria Downs.  They "rounded them up," and had a
parley, without hostility on either side, each being on the
defensive, and observing the other.  They bore no distinctive
character, or apparent difference to the Rockhampton tribes, and were
armed with reed speers and wommerahs.  For the first time also they
met with the ripe fruit of the Palinaria, the "Nonda" of Leichhardt.
The distance travelled was 27 miles, which brought them to the 7th
camp on the outward journey.

'September' 15.--Following up the course of the river, the 6th camp
was reached in 26 miles, where the feed was so good that Mr. Jardine
determined to halt for a day and recruit the horses.  On the way they
again passed some natives who were fishing in a large lagoon, but
shewed no hostility.  They had an opportunity of seeing their mode of
spearing the fish, in which they used a long heavy four-pronged
spear, barbed with kangaroo bones.

'September' 16.--Was spent in fishing and hunting, whilst the
horses luxuriated in the abundant feed.  They caught some perch, and
a fine cod, not unlike the Murray cod in shape, but darker and
without scales.  At night, there being a fine moonlight, they went
out to try and shoot opossums as an addition to the larder, but were
unsuccessful.  They appeared to be very scarce.

'September' 17.--Resuming their journey, the party travelled 21
miles, to a spot about 4 miles below No. 5 camp, on Gaala Creek, and
turned out.  Here they met with wild lucerne in great abundance, and
a great deal of mica and talc was observed in the river.  During the
day Mr. Jardine shot a bustard, and some fish being again caught in
the evening, there was high feeding in camp at night.  The bagging of
a bustard, or plain turkey as it is more commonly called, always
makes a red day for the kitchen.  Its meat is tender and juicy, and
either roasted whole, dressed into steaks, or stewed into soup, makes
a grateful meal for a hungry traveller.

'September' 18.--Keeping out some distance from its banks to avoid
the stones and deep gullies, the party followed up the river to the
junction of Parallel Creek:  this was traced, keeping along its bed
for the same reason, by which course only they were enabled to avoid
them.  These, as before described, were very thickly strewn making
the journey tedious and severe on the horses, so that only 14 miles
were accomplished, when they camped on a large waterhole five miles
above the junction.  The beautiful Burdekin duck ('Tadorna Radjah')
was met with, of which Mr. Jardine shot a couple.

'September' 19.--Still keeping along the bed of Parallel Creek, the
party travelled up its course.  This they were constrained to do, in
consequence of the broken and stony banks and country on the east
side, whilst an abrupt wall of basalt prevented them leaving the bed
on the west.  At 13 miles they camped for a couple of hours in the
middle of the day, on a large creek which received the name of
Warroul Creek, suggested by their finding two large "sugar bags" or
bees' nests on it, "Warroul" being the name for bee in the Wirotheree
or Wellington dialect.  Warroul Creek runs into Parallel Creek from
the south-east, joining it about half-a-mile below where it leaves
the river, it being as before mentioned an ana-branch of the
Einasleih.  Leaving Parallel and travelling up Warroul Creek, in 8
miles they reached the gap in the range 12 miles below camp No. 2.
This afterwards received the name of Simon's Gap, and the range it
occurs in, Jorgensen's Range, after Simon Jorgensen, Esq., of
Gracemere.  Two miles, from the gap they struck a large round swamp
which had not been observed on the down journey, the party having
kept close to the river, from which it is distant two miles.  This
was named "Cawana Swamp"  There being good grass there, they camped.
Native companions ('Crus Australalasinus') and the more rare jabiru
('Myeteria Australis') were very numerous on it.  Total distance 23

'September' 20.--To-day the party made the lagoon mentioned on the
4th inst., a distance of 27 miles, traversing nearly the same ground
already described and camped.  They again saw a mob of blacks fishing
in the river, who, on seeing them, immediately decamped into the
ranges on the opposite side and disappeared.  The next day, Mr.
Macdonald's station, Carpentaria Downs was reached in 17 miles, the
little party having travelled over nearly 360 miles of ground in 18
days.  Mr. Jardine found all well at the main camp, but no sign of
his brother with the cattle; fifteen days passed before his arrival,
during which time Alexander Jardine plotted up the courses of his
journey down the Einasleih, and submitted the plan to Mr. Richardson,
without, however, shaking the gentleman's faith as to his position,
or that they were on Leichhardt's Lynd, preferring to dispute the
accuracy of the reckoning.  It will be seen, however, that the
explorer was right, and the surveyor wrong.  It being expedient that
the party should husband their rations for the journey until the
final start, Mr. Macdonald kindly supplied them with what was
necessary for their present wants, thus allowing them to keep their own
stores intact.

On the 6th of October, Frank Jardine made his appearance with the
cattle, a mob of about 250 head of bullocks and cows in good
condition.  The ensuing three days were spent by the brothers in
shoeing the horses, a job of no little tedium and difficulty, they
being the only farriers of the party.  There were 42 head to shoe,
many of which had never been shod before, and as the thermometer
stood at 100 degrees in the shade most of the day, their office was
no sinecure; they had at first some difficulty in getting a
sufficient heat, but after a little experimenting found a wood of
great value in that particular.  This was the apple-gum, by using
which, they could if necessary get a white heat in the iron.  At the
end of the third day the last horse was shod, and it only remained to
get the stores and gear together, and dispose them on the different
packs.  This was done on the 10th, on the evening of which they were
ready for the final start.  The party was thus composed:  Frank
Lacelles Jardine, Leader; Alexander Jardine, Archibald J. Richardson,
Government Surveyor; C. Scrutton, R. N. Binney, A. Cowderoy, Eulah,
Peter, Sambo and Barney, black boys from the districts of Rockhampton
and Wide Bay; 41 picked horses and 1 mule, all in good order and

Their provision was calculated to last them 4 months, and was
distributed together with the tools, amunition, and camp necessaries
on 18 packs, averaging at the start about 150 lbs. each.  It
consisted of 1200 lbs. flour, 3 cwt. sugar, 35 lbs. of tea, 40 lbs.
currants and raisins, 20 lbs. peas, 20 lbs. jams, salt, etc.  The
black troopers were armed with the ordinary double-barrelled police
carbine, the whites carrying Terry's breech-loaders, and Tranter's
revolvers.  They had very ample occasion to test the value and
efficiency of both these arms, which, in the hands of cool men, are
invaluable in conflict.

The personalities of the party were reduced to a minimum, and what
was supposed to be absolutely necessary, one pack (the mule's) being
devoted to odds and ends, or what are termed in bush parlance,
'manavlins'.  Three light tents only were carried, more for
protecting the stores than for shelter for the party.

All were in excellent health, and good spirits, and eager to make a start.


Start from Carpentaria Downs--Order of Travel--Canal Creek--
Cawana Swamp--Simons' Gap--Cowderoy's Bluff--Barney's Nob--
Casualties in Parallel Creek--Basaltic Wall--Singular Fish--
Black Carbonado--Improvement in Country--Search for the Lynd--
Doubts--First rain--Error of Starting point--Large ant-hills--
Ship's iron found--Native nets--Second start in search of Lynd--
Return--Byerley Creek--The whole party moves forward--Belle
Creek--Maroon Creek--Cockburn Creek--Short Commons--Camp
Burned--The Powder saved--Maramie Creek--The Staaten--First
hostility of Natives--Poison--"Marion" abandoned--Conclusion as
to River--Heavy rain--First attack of Natives--Horses lost--
Barren Country--Detention--Leader attacked by Natives--
Black-boy attacked--A "growl"--Mosquitoes and flies--Kites--
Cattle missing--Horses found--Leader again attacked--Main party
attacked--Return to the River--Character of Staaten--Lagoon
Creek--Tea-tree levels--Junction of Maramie Creek--Reach head
of tide--Confirmation of opinion.

'October' 11.--At sunrise the cattle was started with Cowderoy and
two black-boys, Eulah and Barney, the former acting as pilot.  Their
instructions were to camp at the swamp at the junction of Pluto
Creek, seventeen miles from McDonald's station, mentioned on 3rd.
September.  The pack-horses were not got away until half-past 12,
two, "Rasper," and the mule (as often provokingly happens when most
wanted) being astray, and having to be hunted for.  There was also
the usual amount of "bucking" incident to a start, the unpractised
pack-horses rebelling against the unwonted load and amount of gear,
and with a few vigorous plunges sending pack-bags, pots, hobbles, and
chains in scattered confusion all round them.  Few starts of a large
party occur without similar mischances, but a day or two, suffices
for the horses to settle to their work, after which all goes
smoothly.  The country travelled has been described in the preceding
chapter.  A hill at five miles on Pluto Creek, received the name of
Mount Eulah.  On reaching the swamp, the brothers found the cattle
party had not arrived.  This was the first of many similar annoyances
during the journey.  It being between 8 and 9 p.m., it was useless to
think of looking for them at that time of night.  They therefore
encamped on the river, intending to return and run the tracks of the
cattle in the morning.  The distance travelled was about 20 miles.

'October' 12.--Leaving Binney in charge of the horses, with orders
to feed them about the Lagoon, where there was better grass than at
the river, the brothers started at sunrise in quest of the cattle
party.  They met them at about five miles up Pluto Creek, which they
were running down.  It appeared that Master Eulah, the pilot, had got
completely puzzled, and led the party into the ranges to the
eastward, where, after travelling all day, they had been obliged to
camp about half-way from the station, and without water.  He was very
chop-fallen about his mistake, which involved his character as a
bushman.  The Australian aborigines have not in all cases that
unerring instinct of locality which has been attributed to them, and
are, out of their own country, no better, and generally scarcely so
good as an experienced white.  The brothers soon found water for them
in the creek under Mount Eulah; after which,returning to the camp, it
was too late to continue the journey, particularly as it had been
necessary to send one of "the boys" back for a bag of amunition that
had been lost on the way.  This is the work they are most useful in,
as few, even of the best bushmen are equal to them in running a
track.  The day's stage of the cattle was about 11 miles.

'October' 13.--The cattle started at a quarter-to-six, in charge of
Alexander Jardine and two black-boys, while Frank and the rest of the
party remained behind to pack and start the horses.  This at the
commencement was the usual mode of travelling, the horses generally
overtaking the cattle before mid-day, when all travelled together
till they camped at night, or preceded them to find and form the
camp.  Two incidents occurred on the way:  "Postman," a pack-horse on
crossing a deep narrow creek, fell and turned heels uppermost, where
he lay kicking helplessly, unable to rise, until the pack was cut
clear of him; and "Cerberus," another horse, not liking the
companionship of the mule, took occasion in crossing another creek to
kick his long-eared mate from the top to the bottom of it, to the
intense amusement of the black-boys, who screamed "dere go poor
fellow donkit" with great delight.  The whole course was about 11
miles.  The camp on a small dry creek.  They procured water in the
main channel of the river, on the south side.  During the journey at
every camp where there was timber, Mr. Jardine cut (or caused to be
cut) its number with a chisel into the wood of a tree, in Roman
numerals, and his initials generally in a shield.

'October' 14.--The distance travelled to-day was only 11 miles, but
described by Mr. Jardine, as equal to 20 of fair travelling ground.
The course lay over very stony quartz and granite ridges, which could
not be avoided, as they ran into the river, whilst the bed of the
stream would have been as difficult, being constantly crossed by
rocky bars, and filled by immense boulders.  The grass was very
scarce, the blacks having burnt it all along the river.  There were
patches where it never grows at all, presenting the appearance of an
earthern floor.  They encamped at the junction of Canal Creek, under
the shade of some magnificent Leichhardt trees ('Nauclea
Leichhardtii') that grow there, without other water than what they
dug for in the sandy bed, and reached at a depth of two feet.  On the
opposite side and about a mile from the junction there is a swamp,
splendidly grassed, which looked like a green barley field, but the
water was too salt for the horses to drink, an unusual thing in
granite country.  The timber of the ridges was cheifly stunted hollow
iron-bark, that of the river, bloodwood, and the apple-gum, described
as so good for forging purposes; there was a total absence of those
tall well-grown gums, by which the course of a stream may usually be
traced from a distance.  So little was the river defined by the
timber that it could not be distinguished at a half-a-mile away.

'October' 15.--The party moved to-day as far as the swamp mentioned
on the 19th September.  It received the name of "Cawana Swamp," and
is described as the best and prettiest camping place they had yet
seen.  It is surrounded by the high stoney range called Jorgensen's
Range on two sides, north and east, whilst on the south and east it
is hemmed in by a stretch of cellular basalt, which makes it almost
unapproachable.  The only easy approach is by the river from the
westward.  It is six miles round, and so shallow that the cattle fed
nearly a mile towards the middle.  The party travelled out of the
direct course to avoid the stones, keeping the narrow flats occuring
between the river and ridges, which averaged about 200 yards in
width; when intercepted by the ridges running into the river, they
followed down its bed which is more clearly defined by oak
('Casuarinae') and Leichhardt trees than up the stream.  The improved
travelling allowed them to make the stage of 9 miles in less than
four hours, and turn out early.  Several large flocks of galaas
('Cacatua Rosea,') were seen, and Alexander Jardine shot a wallaby.
Before starting, Barney, one of the black-boys had to be corrected by
the Leader for misconduct, which had the effect of restoring
discipline.  On reaching Cawana Swamp, the fires of the natives were
found quite fresh, from which it would seem that they had decamped on
the approach of the party, leaving plenty of birrum-burrongs, or
bee-eaters ('Merops Ornatus, Gould') behind them.  An observation
taken at night gave the latitude 18 degrees 1 minute 59 seconds,
which gave about 41 miles of Northing.

'October' 16.--The cattle were started away at a quarter-to-four
o'clock, this morning, and found an excellent passage through
Jorgensen's Range, by "Simon's Gap."  The track from this point to
the junction of Warroul and Parallel Creeks with the river (where the
camp was pitched) was very winding, from having to avoid the basalt,
which was laming some of the cattle, besides wrenching off the heads
of the horse-shoe nails:  it could not be altogether avoided, and
made it past noon before the cattle reached the camp.  A native
companion, a rock wallaby, and a young red kangaroo were the result
of the hunting in the afternoon, which saved the necessity of having
to kill a beast:  this would have been specially inconvenient, if not
impossible here, for the natives had burnt all the grass, and there
was not a bite of feed for either horses or cattle, had they halted.
About 50 blacks, all men, followed the tracks of the party from
Cawana Swamp:  they were painted, and fully armed, which indicated a
disposition for a "brush" with the white intruders; on being turned
upon, however, they thought better of it, and ran away.  The camp was
formed under a red stony bluff, which received the name of
"Cowderoy's Bluff," after one of the party; whilst a large round hill
bearing E.N.E. from the camp was called "Barney's Nob."  In the
afternoon Mr. Binney and Eulah were sent to the river to fish, but as
they ate all the caught, there was no gain to the party.  For this
their lines were taken from them by Mr. Jardine, and they got a
"talking to," the necessity for which was little creditable to the
white man.  The thermometer at 5 a.m. stood at 80 degrees.  The day's
stage about 10 miles N.N.W.  Some banksias, currijong, and
stringy-bark were noticed to-day, the latter is not a common timber
in the northern districts.

'October' 17.--All the horses were away this morning:  as might
have been expected, the poor hungry creatures had strayed back
towards the good feed on Cawana Swamp, and were found 5 miles from
the camp.  The day's stage was the worst they had yet had.  The
country down Parallel Creek has already been described, and it took
six of the party five hours to get the cattle over three-and-a-half
miles of ground:  the bed of the creek, by which alone they could
travel was intersected every 300 or 400 yards by bars formed of
granite boulders, some of which were from 25 to 30 feet high, and
their interstices more like a quarry than anything else; over these
the cattle had to be driven in two and sometimes three lots, and were
only travelled 8 miles with great difficulty.  There were several
casualties; "Lucifer," one of the best of the horses cut his foot so
badly, as to make it uncertain whether he could be fetched on; and
two unfortunate cows fell off the rocks, and were smashed to pieces.
The cows were beginning to calve very fast, and when the calves were
unable to travel, they had to be destroyed, which made the mothers
stray from the camp to where they had missed them; one went back in
this manner the previous night, but it was out of the question to
ride thirty miles after her over the stones they had traversed.  The
camp was made in the bed of Parallel Creek, at a spot where there was
a little grass, the whole stage having been almost without any.  Here
the basaltic wall was over 80 feet in height, hemming them in from
the west; on some parts during the day it closed in on both sides.
An observation at night made the latitude 17 degrees 51 minutes.  A
curious fishwas caught to-day--it had the appearance of a cod,
whose head and tail had been drawn out, leaving the body round.
(Camp VIII.)

'October', 18.--Another severe stage, still down the bed of
Parallel Creek, from which indeed there was no issue.  Frank Jardine
describes it as a "pass or gorge, through the range which abuts on
each side through perpendicular cliffs, filling it up with great
blocks of stone," and adding that "a few more days of similar country
would bring their horses to a standstill."  Their backs and the feet
of the cattle were in a woeful plight from its effects:  one horse
was lost, and a bull and several head of cattle completely knocked
up.  Bad as yesterday's journey was, this day's beat it; they managed
to travel ten miles over the most villanous country imaginable, with
scarcely a vestage of grass, when the camp was again pitched in the
bed of the creek.  A large number of natives were seen to-day--one
mob was disturbed at a waterhole, where they were cooking fish, which
they left in their alarm, together with their arms.  The spears were
the first that had been observed made of reed, and a stone tomahawk
was seen, as large as the largest-sized American axe.  These blacks
were puny wretched-looking creatures, and very thin.  They had a
great number of wild dogs with them--over thirty being counted by
the party.  10 miles, N.W. by W. 1/2 W.  (Camp IX.)

'October' 19.--The confluence of Parallel Creek with the Einasleih
was reached in four miles, after which the country on the river
slightly improved; the camp was pitched four miles further on, on a
river flat, within sight of a large scrub, on the east side.  Four of
the cattle that had been knocked up yesterday were sent for before
starting, and fetched--the cattle counted and found correct.  The
river at the camp was about 700 yards wide, with fine waterholes in
it, containing plenty of fish.  A strange discovery was made to-day.
At a native fire the fresh remains of a negro were found 'roasted',
the head and thigh bones were alone complete, all the rest of the
body and limbs had been broken up, the skull was full of blood.
Whether this was the body of an enemy cooked for food, or of a friend
disposed of after the manner of their last rites, must remain a
mystery, until the country and its denizens become better known.
Some spears were found pointed with sharp pieces of flint, fastened
on with kangaroo sinews, and the gum of the Xanthorea, or grass-tree.
(Camp X.)

'October' 20.--The last of the stony ground was travelled over
to-day, and the foot-sore cattle were able to luxuriate in the soft
sandy ground of the river flats.  At about 6 miles Galaa Creek was
crossed at Alexander Jardine's marked tree (V in a square), and the
Rocky Island at its junction, before mentioned, were seen.  At this
point the ranges come into the river on each side.  The camp was
pitched at about five miles further on, at a fine waterhole, where
there was good grass--a welcome change for cattle and horses.  It
was not reached, however, till about 9 o'clock.  The river afforded
the party some fine fish--cod, perch, and peel, and a lobster
weighing more than half-a-pound.  Its channels were very numerous,
making altogether nearly a mile in width.  Scrub was in sight during
the whole of the stage, the crests of the broken ridges being covered
with garrawon.  (Camp XI.)

'October' 21.--Mr. Jardine describes to-day's stage as the best the
cattle had experienced since taking delivery of them 230 miles back;
the river banks along which they travelled were flat and soft,
lightly timbered with box, poplar-gum and bloodwood.  From a low
table-topped range, which they occasionally sighted on the right,
spurs of sandstone ran into the river at intervals, but were no
obstruction.  A cow had to be abandoned knocked up.  A couple of
blacks were surprised in the river spearing fish; they set up a howl,
and took to the river.  In the evening the whole of the party went
fishing for the pot, there being no meat left.  (Camp XII.)  Distance
11 miles.  The weather to-day was cloudy for the first time, shewing
appearance of rain.

'October' 22.--The river was travelled down for 10 miles, through
similar and better country than that of yesterday's stage, and the
camp established on a deep narrow well-watered creek,
three-quarters-of-a-mile from its junction with the river.  Here the
Leader determined to halt for a few days to recruit the strength of
the horses and cattle, the feed being good; many of the cattle were
lame, two of the hacks were knocked up, and several of the
pack-horses had very sore backs, so that a "spell" was a necessity.
They were now 120 miles from Macdonald's station, having averaged ten
miles a-day since the start

'October' 23.--The camp was established at this point (Camp XIII.)
pending a reconnaissance by the Leader and his brother to find the
Lynd of Leichhardt, and determine the best line of road for the
stock.  A couple of calves were killed, cut up, and jerked, whilst
some of the party employed themselves in the repairs to the saddlery,
bags, etc., and Alexander Jardine took a look at the country back
from the river.  Mr. Richardson plotted up his course, when it was
found that it differed from that of the brothers by only one mile in
latitude, and two in longitude; he also furnished the Leader with his
position on the chart, telling him that the Lynd must be about ten
miles N.E. of them, their latitude being 17 degrees 34 minutes 32
seconds S.*

[footnote] *In Mr. Richardson's journal he mentions the distances as
18 to 20.  He also explains that he had two maps, in which a
difference of 30 miles in longitude existed in the position of their
starting point.  Not having a Chronometer to ascertain his longitude
for himself, he adopted that assigned by the tracing furnished from
the Surveyor-General's Office.

'October' 24.--The brothers started this morning, taking with them
Eulah, as the most reliable of the black-boys; they were provisioned
for five days.  The cattle were left in charge of Mr. Scrutton:  the
feed being good and water plentiful, the halt served the double
purpose of recruiting their strength, and allowing the Leader to
choose the best road for them.  Steering N.E. by E. at a mile, they
passed through a gap in the low range of table-topped hills of red
and white sandstone which had been skirted on the way down:  through
this gap a small creek runs into the river, which they ran up,
N.N.E., 3 miles further, on to a small shallow creek, with a little
water in it.  Travelling over lightly-timbered sandy ridges, barren
and scrubby, but without stone, at 9 or 10 miles they crossed the
head of a sandy creek, rising in a spring, about 60 yards wide,
having about 5 or 6 inches of water in it.  The creek runs through
mimosa and garrawon scrub for 5 miles, and the spring occurs on the
side of a scrubby ridge, running into the creek from the west.  At 18
miles they struck an ana-branch having some fine lagoons in it, and
half-a-mile further on a river 100 yards wide, waterless, and the
channels filled up with melaleuca and grevillea; this, though not
answering to Leichhardt's description, they supposed to be an
ana-branch of the Lynd; its course was north-west.  They followed its
left bank down for three miles, then crossing it, they bore N.N.E.
for four miles, through level and sometimes flooded country, when
their course was arrested by a line of high ridges, dispelling the
idea that they were on the Lynd waters.  Turning west they now
travelled back to the river, and crossing it, camped on one of the
same chain of lagoons which they first struck in the morning, and in
which they were able to catch some fish for supper.  The distance
travelled was 28 miles.

'October' 25.--It was impossible to believe that the stream they
were now camped on was the Lynd.  Leichhardt's description at the
point where they had supposed that they should strike it, made it
stony and timbered with iron-bark and box.  Now, since leaving the
Einasleih they had not seen a single box or iron-bark tree, or a
stone.  Frank Jardine therefore determined to push out to thenorth-east,
and again seek this seemingly apocryphal stream.  After travelling
for eight miles through sandy ridges, scrubby and timbered with
blood-wood, messmate, and melaleuca (upright-leaved) they struck a
sandy creek, bearing north; this they followed for five miles, when
it turned due west, as if a tributary of the stream they had left in
the morning.  Having seen no water since then, it was out of the
question to attempt bringing the cattle across at this point.  It was
determined therefore that they should return and mark a line from the
Einasleih to the lagoons they had camped on last night, along which
cattle could travel slowly, whilst the brothers again went forward to
look for a better road from that point, and ascertain definitely
whether they were on the Lynd or not.  Turning west they travelled 28
miles to the creek they had left in the morning, striking it more
than 40 miles below their camp, when, to their surprise it was found
running nearly due south and still dry.  Here they camped and caught
some fish and maramies (cray-fish) by puddling a hole in the creek,
which, with three pigeons they shot, made a good supper.  At night a
heavy thunder-storm broke over them, which lasted from 9 till 12.
Frank Jardine here states himself to have been exceedingly puzzled
between Leichhardt and Mr. Richardson; one or the other of these he
felt must be wrong.  Leichhardt describes the stream in that latitude
(page 283 Journal) as stony, and with conical  hills of porphyry near
the river banks, "Bergues" running into it on each side.  They had
not seen a rise even, in any direction for miles, whilst the creek
presented only occasional rocks of flat water-worn sandstone, and the
screw-palm 'Pandanus Spiralis' occurred in all the water-courses, a
tree that from its peculiarity would scarcely have been unnoticed or
undescribed.  As it was quite unlikely that he should have
misrepresented the country, the natural presumption was, that Mr.
Richardson must have been in error as to their true position;  this
was in reality the case, the error in his assumed longitude at
starting causing his reckoning to overlap the Lynd altogether.  This
is easily seen and explained now, but was at that time a source of
great uncertainty and anxiety to the explorers.

'October' 26.--Crossing over to the west bank of the river, the
brothers followed it up the whole day along its windings, the general
course being from South-east to East for above 36 miles.  They saw
none of the porphyry cliffs described by Leichhardt, or stone of any
kind.  The country traversed, consisted of scrubby flats, and low
sandy ridges, timbered with bloodwood, messmate, mimosa, melaleuca,
grevillea, and two or three species of the sterculia or curriijong,
then in full blossom.  Thick patches of a kind of tree, much
resembling brigalow in its appearance and grain, were seen on the
river banks; but the box, apple-gum, and iron-bark, mentioned by
Leichhardt as growing in this latitude were altogether wanting.
Large ant-hills, as much as 15 feet in height, which were frequent,
gave a remarkable appearance to the country.  During their stage the
party came on to a black's camp, where they found some matters of
interest.  The natives, who were puddling a waterhole for fish, had,
as was most frequent, decamped at their appearance, leaving them
leisure to examine some very neatly made reed spears, tipped
variously with jagged hardwood, flint, fish-bones, and iron; pieces
of ship's iron were also found, and a piece of saddle girth, which
caused some speculation as to how or where it had been obtained, and
proving that they must at some time have been on the tracks of white
men.  Their nets excited some admiration, being differently worked to
any yet seen, and very handsome; a sort of chain without knots.  The
camp was made on an ana-branch of the river, were the travellers
caught a couple of cod-fish.  Their expertness as fishermen was a
great stand-by, for they had started without any ration of meat.
They experienced some heavy wind and a thunderstorm at night.

'October' 27.--Still travelling up the river, the party in about 9
miles reached the lagoons where they were first struck, and turned
out for a couple of hours.  There was good feed round them, in which
the horses solaced themselves, whilst their riders caught some fish
and shot some pigeons for dinner, after which they commenced blazing
the line for the cattle.  They reached the main camp at 9 o'clock at
night, having in eight hours marked a line through the best of the
sandy tea-tree ridges, between 18 and 20 miles in length; no
despicable work for three tomahawks.  Mr. Jardine communicated the
result of his trip to Mr. Richardson, but that gentleman could or
would not acquiesce in the opinion arrived at by the brothers,
despite the very conclusive arguments with which it was supported.
This opposition occasioned a feeling of want of confidence, which
caused them to cease consulting Mr. Richardson on their course,
leaving him merely to carry out the duty of his appointment.

'October' 28.--The following day was spent in camp, preparatory to
a fresh start ahead of the cattle, which, it was decided should leave
this camp on the 31st.  Some of them could scarcely move, but their
number were found correct on counting.

'October' 29.--Again taking old Eulah with them, the brothers
started on another quest for the Lynd, which, like the mirage of the
desert, seemed to recede from them as they approached; setting out
late in the day, they camped at night once more on the lagoon, at the
end of their marked-tree line, a distance of about  18 miles.  They
took with them four days' rations of flour, tea, and sugar, trusting
to their guns and fishing lines for their supply of meat.

'October' 30.--Starting at half-past 6 in the morning the little
party steered N. by W. about 36 miles.  At about three-quarters
of-a-mile from the river they passed a fine lagoon, and at four miles
further on a rocky creek running west with some water in it.  Their
way lay over soft, barren, sandy ridges, timbered with tea-tree.
Eight miles more brought them to a creek where water could be
obtained by digging, and at 24 miles further they camped on a large
well-watered creek, running N.W.; the whole of the distance was over
the same soft, barren, monotonous country.  On their way they killed
an iguana ('Monitor Gouldii'), which made them a good supper, and
breakfast next morning.  The cattle party at No. 13 Camp were left
with instructions to follow slowly along the marked-tree line, to
camp at the lagoon, and there await the return of the advance party.

'October' 31.--An early start was made this morning at a quarter
after 6, and 20 or 22 miles were accomplished on the same bearing as
that of yesterday, N. by W., over the same heavy barren stringy-bark
country.  Three small creeks were crossed, but not a hill or rise was
to be seen, or any indication of a river to the northward.  At this
point the heavy travelling beginning to tell on their jaded horses,
the Leader determined on abandoning the idea of bringing the cattle
by the line they had traversed, and turning south and by west made
for the river they had left in the morning, intending to ascertain if
it would be the better route for the cattle, and if not, to let them
travel down the supposed Lynd (which now received the name of
Byerley Creek), on which they were to rendezvous.  After travelling
16 miles further on the new bearing, they camped without water, being
unable to reach the large creek they had camped on the previous
night.  The country along the last course was of the same
description, low, sandy, string-bark, and tea-tree ridges, without a
vestige of water; total distance 38 miles.

'November' 1.--Making another early start, and steering S.W. by S.,
the party reached the creek in four miles, and getting a copious
drink for themselves and their thirsty horses, breakfasted off some
"opossums and rubbish" they got out of a black's camp.  The stream
was 100 yards wide, and well-watered, a great relief after their arid
journey of yesterday:  large rocks of sandstone occurred inits bed in
different places.  Crossing it, they followed down its left bank for
8 miles, its trend being N.W., then turning their back on it, they
steered due south to strike Byerley Creek.  Sixteen miles of weary
travelling over wretched barren country brought them to a small sandy
creek, on which they camped, procuring water for their horses by
digging in its bed.  Here they made a supper of the lightest, their
rations being exhausted, and "turned in" somewhat disgusted with the
gloomy prospect for the progress of the cattle.  They again met with
the nonda of Leichhardt, and ate of its ripe fruit, which is best
when found dry under the trees.  Its taste is described as like that
of a boiled mealy potatoe.

'November' 2.--Continuing on the same course, due south for 18
miles, over the same useless country, the party reached Byerley
Creek, striking it at a point 32 miles below the Rendezvous Camp,
then turning up its course they followed it for 16 miles, to their
hunting camp of the 26th October.  Here they camped and made what
they deemed a splendid supper off an oppossum, an iguana, and four
cod-fish, the result of their day's sport.  Total distance travelled
28 miles.

'November' 3.--Following up the creek for 16 miles, the party
reached the main camp on the lagoons early in the day.  Here they
found all right, with the exception that most of the party were
suffering from different stages of sandy-blight, or ophthalmia.  A
calf was killed, and the hungry vanguard were solaced with a good
feed of veal.  Byerley Creek having been found utterly destitute of
grass, badly watered, and moreover trending ultimately to the S. of
W., the Leader determined to take the cattle on to the next, which
was well watered, having some feed on it, and being on the right
course.  There were, however, two long stages without water; but it
was, on the whole, the best and almost only course open to him.  The
cattle had made this camp in two stages from the Einasleih.  It was,
consequently, No. LI.  The latitude was found to be 17 degrees 23
minutes 24 seconds:  a tree was marked with these numbers, in
addition to the usual initial and numbers.  The Thermometer at
daylight marked 90 degrees, and at noon 103 degrees, in the 'shade!'

'November' 4.--A late start was made to-day, a number of the horses
having strayed, and not having been got in.  The Brothers went ahead,
and marked a line for five miles out to the creek mentioned on the
30th October:  it contained sufficient water for the horses and
cattle, and was the best watercourse they would get until they
reached the next river, a distance of 30 miles.  It received the name
of "Belle Creek," in remembrance of "Belle," one of their best
horses, who died at this camp, apparantly from a snake bite, the
symptoms being the same as in the case of "Dora," but the time
shorter.  Belle Creek is rocky and tolerably well watered, and
remarkable for the number of nonda trees on it.  Whilst waiting for
the cattle the Brothers caught some fish and a fine lot of maramies.

'November' 5.--This day appears to have been one of disasters.  It
opened with the intelligence that sixteen of the horses were missing.
Leaving one party to seek and bring on the stray horses, the Brothers
started the cattle forward:  they left instructions at the camp for
the horses to start, if recovered before 3 o'clock; if not, to be
watched all night, and brought on the next day.  They then started,
and preceding the cattle, marked a line for 15 miles to "Maroon
Creek."  Here they camped without water, waiting with some anxiety
for the arrival of the pack-horses.  Hour after hour passed but none
appeared, and as night closed in, the Brothers were forced to the
conclusion that something must have gone wrong at the camp.  They
could not however turn back, as they had to mark the next day's stage
for the cattle to water, there being none for them to-night, and only
a little for the party, obtained by digging, however, they were
relieved by the appearance of a blackboy with rations, who reported
that some of the horses had not been found when he left the camp.
The night was spent in watching the thirsty cattle.

'November' 6.--The cattle were started at dawn and driven on to the
watered creek, where they got feed and water at some fine waterholes,
it received the name of "Cockburn Creek;" the Brothers as usual
preceded them and marked a line further ahead.  Arrived there, they
spent the rest of the day in fishing whilst uneasily waiting the
arrival of the pack-horses.  They luckily caught some fish for
supper, for night fell without the appearance of the remainder of the
party, and they had nothing to eat since the preceding night.  The
country has already been described.

'November' 7.--To-day was spent in camp by the party whilst
anxiously awaiting the arrival of the pack-horses, but night fell
without their making their appearance.  They had nothing to eat, and
as there was no game to be got, they decided on killing a calf, but
in this they were disappointed, as the little animal eluded them, and
bolted into the scrub.  They therefore had to go "opossuming," and
succeeding in catching three, which, with a few small fish, formed
their supper.

'November' 8.--At daylight this morning, Alexander Jardine
succeeded in "potting" the calf that had eluded them yesterday, which
gave the party a satisfactory meal.  Another anxious day was passed
without the arrival of the pack-horses, and the Leader had the
annoyance of finding on counting the cattle, that between twenty or
thirty were missing.  Being now seriously anxious about the
pack-horses, he determined if they did not arrive that night, to
despatch his brother to look after them.

'November' 9.--The horses not having arrived, Alexander Jardine
started to see what had happened:  he met the party with them half
way, and learned some heavy news.  In the afternoon of the 5th (the
day on which the Brothers started with the cattle), the grass around
the camp had, by some culpable carelessness, been allowed to catch
fire, by which half their food and nearly all their equipment were
burnt.  The negligence was the more inexcusable, as before starting,
Alexander Jardine had pulled up the long grass around the tents at
the camp, which should have put them on their guard against such a
contingency, one for which even less experienced bushmen are supposed
to be watchful during the dry season.  The consequences were most
disastrous:  resulting in the destruction of 6 bags of flour, or 70
lbs. each, or 420 lbs., all the tea save 10 lbs., the mule's pack,
carrying about 100 lbs. of rice and jam, apples, and currants, 5 lbs.
gun-powder, 12 lbs. of shot, the amunition box, containing cartridges
and caps, two tents, one packsaddle, twenty-two pack-bags, 14
surcingles, 12 leather girths, 6 breechings, about 30 ring
pack-straps, 2 bridles, 2 pairs blankets, 2 pairs of boots, nearly
all the black boys' clothes, many of the brothers', and 2 bags
containing nicknacks, awls, needles, twine, etc., for repairs.  It
was providential the whole was not burnt, and but for the exertions
of Mr. Scrutton, all the powder would have gone.  He is described as
having snatched some of the canisters from the fire with the solder
melting on the outside.  They had succeeded in rescuing the little
that was saved by carrying it to a large ant-hill to, windward.
Their exertions were no doubt great and praise-worthy, but a little
common prudence would have saved their necessity, and a heavy and
irreparable loss to the whole party, one which might have jeopardized
the safety of the expedition.  Besides this, they had a less
important but still serious loss; "Maroon," a valuable grey sire
horse, that Mr. Jardine hoped to take to the new settlement, died
from the effects of poison, or of a snake bite, but more probably the
former.  The pack-horses joined the cattle in the evening.  Stock was
taken of the articles destroyed, and the best disposition made of
what remained.  The latitude of this camp (XVIII.) was 16 degrees 55
minutes 6 seconds.

'November' 10.--Leaving instructions with the cattle party to
follow down Cockburn Creek, and halt at the spots marked for them,
the Brothers, accompanied by Eulah, started ahead, to mark the camps
and examine the country.  By this means no time was lost.  The first
three camps were marked at about seven-mile intervals; and at about
25 miles, opposite two small lagoons on the west bank, the Leader
marked trees STOP (in heart), on either side the creek, leaving
directions for the party to halt till he returned, and a mile further
down camped for the night.  The banks of the creek were scrubby and
poorly grassed, the country sandy, and thickly timbered with
tea-tree, stringy-bark, and bloodwood, and a few patches of
silver-leaved iron-bark, the nondas being very plentiful along its
course.  Large flocks of cockatoo parrots ('Nymphicus Nov. Holl.')
and galaas were seen during the day.

'November' 11.--Still continuing down the creek the party made a
short stage of 13 miles, one of their horses having become too sick
to travel.  The early halt gave them an opportunity to go hunting,
the more necessary as they were again out of meat.  The result was an
iguana, a bandicoot, three opossums, and some "sugar bags" or wild
honey nests.

'November' 12.--Crossing Cockburn Creek the Brothers bore away
N.N.W. for 9 or 10 miles, over sandy bloodwood ridges, intersected
with broad tea-tree gullies, to two sandy water courses half-a-mile
apart, the first 100 and the second 50 yards in width, running west.
These they supposed to be heads of the Mitchell.  Crossing them and
continuing N. by W., they traversed over barren tea-tree levels
(showing flood marks from three to four feet high), without a blade
of grass, for about 16 miles, when they reached the extreme head of a
small rocky creek, where they camped at a waterhole, and caught a
great number of maramies, which suggested the name of "Maramie
Creek."  It was quite evident that the cattle could not follow by
this route, as there was nothing for them to eat for nearly the whole
distance.  The stage travelled was 26 1/2 miles.

'November' 13.--Maramie Creek was followed down for 25 miles:  its
general course is west.  At three miles from the start a small creek
runs in from the north-east.  The Brothers had hoped that the
character of the country would improve as they went down, but were
disappointed.  Nothing but the same waste of tea-tree and spinifex
could be seen on either side, the bank of the main creek alone
producing bloodwood, stringy-bark, acacia, and nonda.  Though shallow
it was well watered, and increased rapidly in size as they proceeded.
The natives had poisoned all the fish in the different waterholes
with the bark of a small green acacia that grew along the banks, but
the party succeeded in getting a few muscles and maramies.

'November' 14.--Being satisfied that the cattle could not be
brought on by the course they had traversed, Frank Jardine determined
to leave Maramie Creek, and make for the large stream crossed on the
12th, so as to strike it below the junction of Cockburn Creek.
Turning due south the party passed a swamp at eight miles, and at
seventeen miles a lagoon, on which were blue lilies ('Nymphoea
gigantea.')  A mile farther on they reached what they supposed to be
the Mitchell, which was afterwards ascertained to be the Staaten, of
the Dutch navigators, or one of its heads.  At the point where they
struck it (about 18 miles below the junction of Cockburn Creek, it is
nearly a quarter-of-a-mile in width, sandy, with long waterholes.  A
dense black tea-tree scrub occupies its south bank.  It was here that
the party experienced the first decided show of hostility from the
natives.  They had seen and passed a number at the lily lagoon
unmolested, but when arrived at the river whilst the leader was
dismounted in its bed, fixing the girths of his saddle, he was
surprised to find himself within 30 yards of a party carrying large
bundles of reed spears, who had come upon him unperceived.  They
talked and gesticulated a great deal but made no overt hostility,
contenting themselves with following the party for about three miles
throughscrub, as they proceeded along the river.  Getting tired of
this noisy pursuit, which might at any moment end in a shower of
spears, the Brothers turned on reaching a patch of open ground,
determined that some of their pursuers should not pass it.  This
movement caused them to pause and seeming to think better of their
original intention they ceased to annoy or follow the little party,
which pursued its way for five miles further, when they camped in the
bed of the stream.  Its character for the 8 miles they had followed
it up was scrubby and sandy:  its course nearly west--long gullies
joined it from each side walled with sandstone.  They caught two
turtles for supper.  Total distance travelled 26 miles.

'November 15.--Making an early start, the party followed up the
Staaten for eight miles, the general course being about N.E.  Here it
was jointed by Cockburn creek, which they ran up until they reached
the cattle party encamped at the lagoons, where the Leader had marked
trees STOP.  They had reached this place on the 13th inst., without
further accident or disaster, and seeing the trees, camped as
instructed.  It was nearly 30 miles from the junction of the Staaten,
the country scrubby, thickly timbered, and very broken.  Total
distance 38 miles.

'November' 16.--The whole party was moved down Cockburn Creek, that
being the only practicable route.  It was the alternative of poor
grass or no grass.  The trend of the creek was about N.W. by W.  At
twelve miles they encamped on its bed.  A red steer and a cow were
left behind poisoned; and another horse, "Marion" was suffering
severely from the same cause.  They were unable to detect the plant
which was doing so much mischief, which must be somewhat plentiful in
this part of the country.  Leichhardt mentions (page 293) the loss of
Murphy's pony on the Lynd, which was found on the sands, "with its
body blown up, and bleeding from the nostrils."  Similar symptoms
showed themselves in the case of the horses of this expedition,
proving pretty clearly that the deaths were caused by some noxious
plant.  (Camp XXIII.)

'November' 17.--The course was continued down Cockburn Creek.  At
six miles a large stream runs in from the S.E. which was supposed to
be Byerley Creek.  This however is only an assumption, and not very
probable, as it will be remembered that when the brothers struck it
on the 1st November, 40 miles below camp 15, they were surprised to
find it trending toward the south.  It is not improbable that it may
run into the sea between the Staaten and Gilbert.  This problem can
only be solved when the country gets more occupied, or some explorer
traces the Staaten in its whole length.  Below this junction Cockburn
Creek is from 200 to 300 yards wide, running in many channels, but
under the surface.  The country is flat and poorly grassed, a low
sandy ridge occasionally running into the creek.  The timber is
bloodwood, string-bark, tea-tree, nonda, and acacia.  The party
camped 5 miles further down; poor "Marion" being now past all hope of
recovery had to be abandoned.  Three cows that calved at camp 22 were
sent for and brought up.  They were kept safely all night, but during
the morning watch, were allowed to escape by Barney.  At this camp
(XXIV.) Scrutton was bitten in two or three places by a scorpion,
without however any very severe effects.

'November' 18.--Cockburn Creek, now an important stream was
followed down for four miles, when it formed a junction with the
Staaten.  The width of the main stream is about 400 yards, in many
channels sandy and dry.  It now runs generally west and very winding.
The country and timber were much as before described, with the
exception that a mile back from the river, (a chain of lagoons)
generally occurs, some of them being large and deep and covered with
lilies.  Beyond, a waste of sandy tea-tree levels, thickly covered
with triodia or spinifex, and other desert grasses.  The green tree
ant was very numerous, particularly in the nonda trees, where they
form their nests.  The birds were also very numerous, large flocks of
black cockatoos, cockatoo parrots, galaas, budgerygars or grass
parrots ('Melopsittacus Undulatus, Gould'), and some grey quail were
frequently seen, and on one of the lagoons a solitary snipe was
found.  Another cow was abandoned to-day.  The total day's stage was
8 miles.  The party camped in the sandy bed of the river.  A little
rain was experienced at night.  (Camp XXV.)  Latitude 16 degrees 32
minutes 14 seconds.

'November' 19.--The party followed down parallel with the Staaten,
so as to avoid the scrub and broken sandstone gullies on the banks.
They travelled for 11 miles, and camped on one of the lagoons above
mentioned.  Their course was somewhat to the south of west, so that
they were no nearer to their destination--an annoying reflection.
In the afternoon some of the party went over to the river to fish.
At this spot it had narrowed to a width of 100 yards, was clear of
fallen trees and snags, the water occupying the whole width, but only
5 feet deep.  Up to this time, Frank Jardine had supposed the stream
they were on to be the Mitchell, but finding its course so little
agreeing with Leichhardt's description of it, below the junction of
the Lynd, which is there said to run N.W., he was inclined to the
conclusion that they had not yet reached that river.  Mr. Richardson,
on the contrary, remained firm in his opinion that Byerley Creek was
the river Lynd, and consequently, that this stream was the Mitchell,
nor was it till they reached the head of the tide that he was fully
convinced of his error.  (See his journal November 18, and December

'November' 20.--To-day the Leader went forward and chose a good
camp, 12 miles on, at some fine lagoons.  The cattle followed,
keeping, as usual, back from the river, the interval to which was all
scrubby flooded ground, thickly covered with brush and underwood.
They were however unable to reach the camp that night, for when
within three miles of it a heavy deluge of rain compelled them to
halt, and pitch the tents to protect the rations, all the oilskin
coverings that had been provided for the packs having been destroyed
in the bonfire, on Guy-Faux Day, at camp No. 16.  They could hardly
have been caught in a worse place, being on the side of a scrubby
ridge, close to one of the ana-branches of the river.  It would seem
that the natives calculated on taking them at a disadvantage, for
they chose this spot for an attack, being the first instance in which
they attempted open hostility.  Whilst the Brothers were busily
engaged in cutting out a "sugar bag," a little before sundown, they
heard an alarm in the camp, and a cry of "here come the niggers."
Leaving their 'sweet' occupation, they re-joined the party, in front
of which about 20 blacks were corroboreeing, probably to screw up
their courage.  They had craft enough to keep the sun, which was now
low, at their backs, and taking advantage of this position sent in a
shower of spears, without any of the party--not even the black-boys
--being aware of it, until they saw them sticking in the ground
about them.  No one was hit, but several had very narrow shaves.  The
compliment was returned, and as Alexander Jardine describes "'exeunt'
warriors," who did not again molest them, although they were heard
all around the camp throughout the night.  (Camp XXVII.)  Course W.
Distance 9 miles.  A heavy thunderstorm in the evening.

'November' 21.--The cattle were started as usual, but as ill-luck
would have it, 13 of the horses were not to be found.  After waiting
for them till four o'clock, all the packs and riding-saddles were
packed on the remaining horses, and the party drove them on foot
before them to the camp, at the lagoons, three miles on.  It was dark
before they got there, and well into the second watch before the
tents were pitched, and everything put straight.  The country
continued the same as before described, a barren waste of tea-tree
levels to the north, obliging them to keep along the river, although
at right angles to their proper course.  (Camp XXVIII.)  Distance 3
miles W.

'November 22.--The troubles and adventures of the party seemed to
thicken at this point, where the cattle were detained, whilst the
missing horses were being sought for.  Old Eulah had come in late the
preceding night empty-handed, he had seen their tracks, but night
coming on he was unable to follow them.  He was started away this
morning in company with Peter to pick up and run the trail.    At two
o'clock he returned with two, and reported that Peter was on the
trail of the others.  They had evidently been disturbed by their
friends the natives, for their tracks were split up, and those
brought on had their hobbles broken.  At dusk Peter brought home
three more, without being able to say where the others had got to.
During this time, Frank Jardine had a little adventure to himself;
wishing to find a better run for the cattle, he started about noon,
and rode down the river for about six miles.  There was no choice,
the country was all of the same description, so he turned back in
disgust, when, in crossing the head of a sandstone gully, he heard a
yell, and looked round just in time to see a half a dozen spears come
at him, and about a dozen natives around and painted, jumping about
in great excitement.  Going forward a little, he got time to clear
the lock of his rifle, from the oil rag which usually protected it.
He turned on his assailants, and sent a bullet amongst them; it hit a
tree instead of a blackfellow, but as they still menaced him, his
next shot was more successful, when seeing one of their number fall,
the rest decamped.  It was now their turn to run, but before they
could cross the bed of the river, which was dry, clear, and about 300
yards wide, he was able to get two good shots at short range.  They
did not trouble him again that afternoon.  They dropped all their
spears in the "stampede," some of which, reed and jagged, were taken
home as trophies.  They used no "wommerahs."  Peter came in to camp
at dark, with 3 horses, having no idea where the others had got to;
there were 8 still away.

'November' 23.--Sambo, the best tracker among the black-boys, was
despatched at sunrise, with Peter, to look for the missing horses.
He returned at sundown with the mule, which he had found on the
opposite side of the river, but he had seen no traces of the rest.
Peter came in after dark, without any, he had seen the tracks of the
natives on the horse tracks, and related in his own jargon, that
"blackfella bin run'em horses all about" and "that bin brok'em
hobble."  He had also seen two or three of the blacks themselves, at
the lagoon where the brothers met them on the 14th, and had some
parley with them--he described them a "cawbawn saucy" "that tell'im
come on, me trong fella, you little fella," and after chaffing him in
their own way, sent as many spears at him as he would stand for.  The
detention caused by the loss of the horses, was a serious matter,
whilst the hostility of the natives was very annoying, keeping the
party constantly on the alert.  The interval was occupied in patching
up the ration tent, with portions of the other two, so that they had
now one water-proof to protect their stores.  Some good snipe and
duck shooting might have been got round these lagoons, but as nearly
all their caps had been destroyed by the fire, it was not to be
thought of.  The scarcity of these and of horse-flesh alone prevented
the Brothers from turning out and giving their troublesome enemies a
good drilling, which, indeed, they richly deserved, for they had in
every case been the agressors, and hung about the party,
treacherously waiting for an opportunity to take them by surprise.
The detention also was due to them, which was a matter of some
anxiety to the Leader, when it is considered that the party was in a
level flooded country, without a rise that they knew of within fifty
miles, and that the rains of the last ten days portended the breaking
up the dry season.

'November' 24.--This morning Frank Jardine went out with Eulah, and
succeded in finding 5 more of the horses, scattered all over the
country, their hobbles broken, and as wild as hawks.  He sent Eulah
along the tracks of the last two, who were evidently not far ahead,
and brought the others in himself.  These two "Cerebus" and "Creamy,"
were the best and fattest of the pack-horses.  Their loss would have
made a serious addition to the loads of the remainder, who had
already to share 400lbs. Extra in consequence of the poisoning of the
three already lost.  Whilst waiting for and expecting their arrival
every hour, the different members of the party amused themselves as
best they might by fishing, opossum, sugar-bag hunting, and nonda
gathering.  The monotony of the camp was also broken by a little
grumbling, consequent on an order from the Leader against the opening
of the next week's ration bag.  The party had, during the halt
consumed a week's rations a day and a-half too soon, hence the order,
which was a wise precaution.  The rations were calculated with care
to last through the journey, but, unless a restriction had been
placed on the consumption, this could not be hoped for.  But it is
difficult to reason with hungry men.

'November' 25.--Another day passed without finding the two missing
horses.  Sambo and Eulah were sent out in quest of them, but returned
unsuccessful, giving it, as their opinion that "blackfella bin 'perim
'longa 'crub."  Peter and Barney were then despatched with orders to
camp out that night and look for them all next day.  A steer having
been killed last night, the day was passed in jerking him.  The day
was very unpropitious as there had been a shower of rain in the
morning, and there was no sun, so it had to be smoked with manure in
one of the tents.  What with the mosquitoes and sand-flies, men,
horses, and cattle were kept in a continual fever.  The horses would
not leave the smoke of the fires, the cattle would not remain on the
camp, and the men could get no rest at night for the mosquitoes,
whilst during the day the flies were in myriads, and a small species
of gad-fly, particularly savage and troublesome.  Another source of
annoyance was from the flocks of crows and kites, the latter ('Milvus
Affinis') are described by Leichhardt as being extraordinarily
audacious, during his journey through this part of the country, and
they certainly manifested their reputation now.  Not content with the
offal about the camp, they would actually, unless sharply watched,
take the meat that was cooking on the fire.  The black-boys killed a
great many with "paddimelon" sticks, and reed spears, (the spoils of
war) but with little effect.  "When one was killed, twenty came to
the funeral."  Old Eulah was a great proficient in this exercise, and
when in action with his countrymen, was always anxious to throw their
own spears back at them.

'November' 26.--One of the party went to sleep during his watch last
night, by which fifteen head of cattle were allowed to stray away
from the camp.  It was not the first time that this very grave fault
had occurred, the mischief caused by which, can sometimes, hardly be
estimated.  In this case, however, it verified the proverb, it is an
ill wind, etc., for whilst looking for the stragglers Frank Jardine
luckily "happened" on the missing horses "Cerebus" and "Creamy" about
7 miles down the river.  They had evidently been frightened by the
blacks.  Seven of the cattle only were found, leaving eight missing
which was very provoking as it was necessary to shift the camp (on
which they had now been detained six days) for all the stock where
looking miserable.  Neither horses nor cattle would eat the grass,
which had ceased to have a trace of green in it, but rambled about
looking for burnt stubble.  The day was close and sultry with loud
thunder and bright lightning, which very much frighened the horses.
The natives were heard cooeying all round the camp during the night,
but made no attack, remembering probably the result of the Sunday and
Tuesday previous.

'November' 27--Everything was ready to pack on the horses before
daylight this morning, but most provokingly "Cerebus" was again
missing.  Leaving orders for the partyto start if he was not
recovered before noon, the Leader pushed on to mark a camp for them.
At about three miles he came on to a chain of fine lagoons, running
parallel to and about four miles from the river.  The intervening
country was one tea-tree level all flooded, but a narrow strip of
soft sandy flat occurred on the banks of each, timbered with
blood-wood, stringy-bark, and box.  Following these down he marked a
camp at about nine miles, then crossed over to the river to look for
the cattle.  He had not followed it far when he saw a mob of blacks.
They did not molest him, so he passed them quietly, as he thought,
but about two miles further on, in some scrubby sandstone gullies, as
he was riding along looking for tracks, a spear whistled past, within
six inches of his face.  Pulling up, he saw seven natives, all
standing quietly looking on at the effect of the missile:  the fellow
who threw it never threw another.  Pursuing his way, pondering on the
fatality that had brought about collisions on two Sundays running, he
met the cattle, and found the party in some excitement; they too had
had a shindy.  The natives had attacked them in force, but no one was
hurt, whilst some of their assailants were left on the ground, and
others carried away wounded.  It was found that they would not stand
after the first charge--and a few were hit.  (Camp XXIX.)  Distance
9 miles.  Course W. by N.

'November' 28.--All hopes of finding the eight missing head of
cattle, lost from camp 28, had to be abandoned, for the reason that
the horse-flesh could not hold out in looking for them.  The cattle
were moved down along the lagoons, which in about two miles narrowed
into a defined creek, sandy, with occasional lagoons.  This was
explored ten miles by the Leader, and the question as to whether he
should choose that route, or follow the river was decided for him.
The banks were either utterly barren or clothed with spinifex, and
the country on either side the same worthless tea-tree levels.  He
was therefore determined to take the cattle back on to the river,
which was not much better, and led them away from their course.  The
prospects of the Brothers were rather dispiriting.  To attempt
striking north was out of the question, whilst every mile down the
river took them further away from their destination, and their horses
were falling away daily, so much so, that if the feed did not soon
improve, there would not be one capable of carrying an empty saddle.
The rainy season too was at hand, and the level and flooded nature of
the country they were in, would, were they caught there by the
floods, endanger the safety of the party.  It was therefore with no
little anxiety that they watched the weather, and searched for a
practicable line which would allow of their steering north.  (Camp
XXX.)  Latitude 16 degrees 26 minutes 53 seconds.  Distance 10 miles,
W. by N.

'November' 29.--Keeping a south-west course, so as to strike it
lower down, the cattle were again taken on to the river, which they
reached in about nine miles; then travelling about another mile down
its banks, encamped.  These were now decidedly more open, and the
country generally improved.  The same strip of soft sandy flat about
half-a-mile wide continued, but better grassed, although the spear
grass was far too common.  Bloodwood, stringy-bark, applegum and
acacia timbered the north bank; whilst on the south, tea-tree flats,
covered with spinifex, ran close down to the bed, the bank itself
being of red clay.  Two channels, together making a width of about
300 yards, formed the bed, which was sandy, and held very little
water on the surface.  No large trees occurred, save now and then a
vagrant nonda.  Another cow was lost to-day, and "Lottie," a favorite
terrier, was missing.  The latitude of Camp 31 was supposed to be 16
degrees 31 minutes 53 seconds, but doubtful.

'November' 30.--The river was followed down to-day for 11 miles.  It
was very winding and irregular in its width.  At the camp it was only
60 yards wide and running in one channel, whilst a mile above, it
measured nearly 400.  Its general course was nearly west.  The creek
which is formed by the lagoons, on which the party were so long
detained was crossed at about nine-and-a-half miles.  The country at
its junction is flooded for a long distance back, and the river bed
sandy and thickly timbered.  Although the country generally had
decidedly improved, inasmuch as that it was more open, devoid of
scrub, and the box flats on the river extending further back on each
side, it was by no means good.  The flats were very scantily grassed,
chiefly with sour water grasses and spinifex, and shewed by the flood
marks that they must be quite impassable during floods or wet
weather.  The dreary tea-tree levels might be seen in glimpses
through the white box of the flats extending far beyond.  Several
small swamps were passed during the day, on which ducks and other
water-fowl were very numerous, the stately native companion stalking
near the margins.  The large funnel ant-hills occurred from 2 to 15
feet high.  The Fitzroy wallaby was plentiful, and the Leader shot an
emeu.  Some large flights of white ibis, and slate-colored pigeons
passed high overhead, flying north, which might be a good indication.
Peter was sent back to seek for Lottie, but returned in the evening

'December' 1.--Maramie Creek was crossed this morning at its
junction with the river, into which it flows in two channels, about
60 or 70 miles from the point where the brothers first struck it on
the 12th of November, while searching for a road to the northward.
Its total width is about 120 yards.  The general course of the river
was slightly to the north of west, but very winding, some of its
reaches extended for nearly four miles.  Numerous ana-branches
occurred, the flats separating them, being three miles in breadth,
timbered with flooded box and tea-tree, their banks well grassed.  It
would be a dangerous country to be caught in by the floods.  Two
parties of blacks were passed fishing on the river, but they took no
notice of the party, and were of course not interfered with.  They
used reed spears pointed with four jagged prongs, and also hooks and
lines.  Their hooks are made with wood barbed with bone, and the
lines of twisted currejong bark.  Distance travelled to-day 10 miles.
The Camp XXXIII. in latitude 16 degrees 27 minutes 30 seconds.

'December' 2.--The river was travelled down through similar country
for eleven miles, when the party reached the head of the tide, and
camped on a rocky water hole in an ana-branch, the river water not
being drinkable.  The course was to the southward of west.  It was
now beyond a doubt, even to Mr. Richardson, that this river was not
the Mitchell, for neither its latitude, direction, or description
corresponded with Leichhardt's account.  It was also perceived that
the longitude of the starting point must have been incorrect, and
very considerably to the westward, as their reckoning, carefully
checked, brought them much too near the coast.  The Brothers
therefore became satisfied of what they had long believed, that they
had never been on the Lynd at all, or even on its watershed, and that
what they were on was an independent stream.  They therefore named it
the "Ferguson,' in honor of Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor of
Queensland, but there is little doubt that it is the Staaten of the
Dutch navigators, or at least its southern branch.  Should a northern
branch eventually be discovered, which the delta and numerous
ana-branches make a probable hypothesis, the stream explored by the
brothers might with propriety retain the name they gave it.  At eight
miles from the start the character of the country changed from the
prevailing flats, to a kind of barren sandstone and spenifex ridges.
On pitching the camp the fishing-lines were put into requisition, but
without success.  It is remarkable, that on reaching the salt water,
not far from this spot, Leichhardt was similarly disappointed, after
having counted on catching and curing a good quantity of fish, the
whole day's work of Brown and Murphy being "a small siluus, one
mullet, and some guard-fish," 'qu.' gar-fish.

'December' 3.--To-day's stage was a short one, and was hoped to have
been the last on this miserable river, which was now looked upon as
undoubtedly the Staaten.  It had in some measure improved.  The
timber was much larger and finer, and the lagoons extensive and deep.
But a heavy storm which came down, and compelled them to camp early,
soon proved what the country would be in the wet season.  With this
one heavy fall of rain it became so boggy that the horses sank in up
to their girths.  Hitherto the grass had been so scanty that the
party could not halt for a day to kill.  They had consequently been
four days without meat.  It was determined, therefore, to stop and
kill a beast, preparatory to a start north, the feed having slightly
improved in common with the timber.  In addition to the steer that
was slaughtered, a shovel-nosed shark was caught and jerked in like
manner with the beef.  In the afternoon Alexander Jardine explored
down the river for seven miles, seeking for a good spot for turning
off.  The country still improved:  the river was completely salt, and
in one continuous sheet of running water, in two channels 300 or 400
yards in width, and together about half-a-mile at the spot where he
turned back.  Here it was flat and shallow, and fordable at low
water.  Mangroves and salt-water creeks commenced as described by
Leichhardt,* and alligator tracks were seen.  (Camp XXXV.)  Latitude
16 degrees 26 minutes 39 seconds.

[footnote] *See Journal, page 320.  It was at this point that he
threw away his horse-shoes and other heavy articles.

'December' 4.--The beef, shark, and a few cat-fish were jerked, and
all the stores and loading spread out and re-distributed on the
packs, and as this put the camp into some confusion, the Leader
thought it well to shift it for a few miles, to let the packs shake
into place before the final start.  They therefore moved down three
miles to the commencement of the mangroves, into a patch of the best
feed they had seen since they left the Einasleih.  At this point the
banks were very soft and sandy, growing spinifex; the stream in
numerous channels, altogether half-a-mile across, and the tide rose
and fell about twenty-two inches.  Here they camped, intending to
make an early start on the following morning.  Time was now an object
of the utmost importance to the progress, if not to the safety of the
party:  Frank Jardine was aware that the Mitchell, which he had hoped
long ere this to have left behind him, was still ahead, at least 40
miles away, without certainty of water until it was reached, whilst
if caught by the floods he would probably be stopped by this
important stream.  It was with some anxiety therefore that he
hastened preparations for the start.  How his hopes were deferred and
how fortune seemed to laugh at his endeavours to push forward on his
course will now be narrated, and it will be seen how good bushmen
with high hearts can overcome obstacles, and meet difficulties that
would appal and baffle ordinary travellers.


Leave the Staaten--Half the horses away--Fresh troubles--Mule
Lost--Sambo knocked up--Search for mule--Perplexity--
"Lucifer" goes mad--Final attempt to recover him--Marine Plains
--Search for Deceiver--Found dead--Salt Lagoon--Arbor Creek--
Country improves--Good Camp--Eulah Creek--The Brothers attacked
--Reach the Mitchell--Cow poisoned--Battle of the Mitchell--An
ambush--Extent of flooded Country--Reach head of tide--Heavy
rain--A "Blank run"--Leave the Mitchell--Good Coast Country--
Balourgah Creek--Blue grass--Banksia--The Eugenia--Green Ant
--Hearsey Creek--Holroyd--Creek Dunsmuir Creek--Thalia Creek
--Black boy chased by natives--Another encounter--Cattle
scattered by thunder-storm--Rainy Season--Macleod Creek--
Kendall Creek.

'December' 5.--Turning their backs on the Ferguson or Staaten the
party steered north, and at starting crossed the head of the
sand-flats, described by Leichhardt.  The rest of the day's stage was
over sandy ridges covered with tea-tree and pandanus, tolerably
grassed, no creek or water-course of any description occurred along
the line, and the party had to camp without water at about 13 miles:
but as the Leader had not expected to find any at all for at least
40, this was not thought much of.  The camp though waterless was well
grassed, and by dint of searching a small pool of slimy green water
was found before dark, about two-and-a-half miles to the N.N.W. in a
small watercourse, and by starting off the black boys, enough was
procured in the "billies" for the use of the party for supper.  This
is marked a red day in Frank Jardine's diary, who closes his notes
with this entry.  "Distance 13 miles.  Course North at last."  (Camp

'December' 6.--The satisfaction of the party in getting away from
the Staaten and travelling on the right course was destined to
receive a check, and the Brothers to find they had not yet quite done
with that river.  This morning about half the horses were away, and a
worse place for finding them, saving scrub, could hardly be imagined.
It was fortunate that the pool of water mentioned yesterday had been
found, as the cattle would have had to turn back to the river, but
this they were saved from.  They were started away for the water at
day-break, in charge of two of the black boys, with instructions to
stay and feed them there until the horses came up or they were
relieved by Binney.  No horses coming in, Binney was sent after them.
The Brothers searching for the horses, followed an hour-and-a-half
after, but on arriving at the pool found the cattle and boys but no
Binney.  Returning to the camp they instructed the party to shift the
packs to the pool on the twelve horses that  had been found.  Binney
here came into the camp along the yesterday's tracks.  He had missed
the cattle and did not know where he had been to.  He was started
again on the cattle track by the Brothers, who then went in search of
more water, sending two more black boys to look for the horses.  At
about four miles away they themselves came on to their tracks, which
they ran for about eight miles towards the coast, when they found
six.  Continuing to follow the trail they were led to their 35th camp
on the Staaten, when they found three more.  Here, as the sun went
down they were obliged to camp, and after short hobbling the horses
laid down by their fire, supperless, and without blankets.  They saw
no water through the whole of the day, which was the cause of the
restlessness of the horses the previous night, and of their straying,
in spite of short hobbles.  The myriads of mosquitoes too, which now
annoyed them may possibly have contributed to that end.

'December' 7.--Leaving the nine horses hobbled to feed near the
water the Brothers separated, one taking up and the other down the
river to look for the others, in hopes that they might also have
turned back, but met again in the afternoon, each without success.
Starting back (with the nine recovered yesterday) at about two
o'clock, they returned to the camp, where fresh troubles awaited
them.  Only two of the others had been found, and the party with the
pack-horses had succeeded in losing the mule, together with his pack.
Whilst preparing to start they had allowed him to poke away
unperceived in the scrubby timber, and did not miss him till ready to
start.  Sambo had been at once despatched on his tracks but had not
yet returned.  Binney had lost himself a second time and only
rejoined the camp at dark last night, after having ridden the whole
day, probably in a circle, without finding either horses or water.
The two black boys had been equally unsuccessful.  Eulah and Barney
were now despatched with orders to camp out until they found the
missing horses, five of which, besides the mule, still were away.  In
the evening Sambo returned quite exhausted for want of water, not
having seen or tasted any, or any food during the too days of his
absence.  For an hour after coming into camp he was quite dilirious.
When sufficiently recovered and collected to speak he stated that he
had followed the tracks of the mule (who had evidently been
galloping) through the tea-tree levels, at the back of camp 35, when
he was obliged to turn back for want of water.  This accident, the
result of gross carelessness, together with frequent cases of less
importance, induced in the Leader a want of confidence which caused
him great anxiety when away from the party, to which indeed he never
returned without a feeling of disquietude, which was not allayed
until he learned that all was well--a harassing feeling, which few
but those who have experienced the responsibility of the conduct and
success of a similar expedition can fully appreciate.  The water at
this camp was very bad, but still under the circumstances, a great
God-send.  There were two holes equi-distant half-a-mile from the one
they were on, up and down the creek.  The upper one was the deepest,
having many ducks, terns, and cranes on it.  All three were
surrounded with a fringe of green rushes.  By digging wells and
allowing the water to drain in, it was drinkable, although very
brackish.  (Camp  XXXVIII.)  Latitude 16 degrees 13 minutes 45

'December' 8.--At 4 o'clock this morning Alexander Jardine started
with Sambo after the mule.  The Leader remained with the party
employing the day in exploring ahead for about 18 miles, in the hope
of finding water for a stage.  This was a paramount necessity, for
the weather was so hot and the country so dry that twenty-four hours
without drinking drove the cattle nearly mad, their drivers suffering
almost equally.  Finding no water during this search Mr. Jardine was
again in perplexity.  Supposing the Mitchell to be 40 or 45 miles
ahead, the cattle could not reach it without water.  On the other
hand if the coast were followed, it was probable that on reaching the
Mitchell they would have to trace it up 40 or 50 miles before it
could be crossed.  The latter however seemed to be the best course,
if not the only one.  The intention of Alexander Jardine was to have
got on to the mule's tracks, and run them over again until he
"pulled" him, but the ground being baked hard, stony, and grassless
Sambo was unable again to pick them up.  However, whilst looking for
the mule's tracks they found three more of the horses, on a small
creek, fourteen miles from the camp, which ran into the river below
the last camp on it.  He now determined to look for the other two,
and abandon the search after the mule for the present.  One of them
"Lucifer" was found at camp 35.  He was out of hobbles, and
immediately on being seen, started off at a gallop up the river.  His
tracks were followed up to the next camp, six miles, where night
closing in Mr. Jardine was constrained to halt.  The wretched animal
had apparently gone mad, probably with drinking salt water.

'December' 9.--On resuming the search this morning Mr. A. Jardine
met Eulah and Barney.  They also, had seen "Lucifer" on the coast,
but could do nothing with him.  Detaching Sambo and Barney to
continue the search after the mule, and giving them all the
provision, he took Eulah with him to try once again to recover
"Lucifer."  Picking up his trail at last night's camp, where they
left the three recovered horses, they ran it four miles up the river
and came upon him in a patch of scrub; they headed him after a hard
gallop and endeavoured to drive him down to the other horses, but all
to no purpose, they knocked up their horses and were obliged to
abandon the pursuit.  He had evidently gone mad.  Returning to the
camp they got fresh horses, and returned with the three to the party
of the main camp.

'December' 10.--The two lost horses ("Lucifer" and "Deceiver") being
Mr. Jardine's best hacks and favourites, he determined to make one
more effort to recover them.  Starting with Eulah this morning, he
travelled down the creek on which the cattle were camped for six
miles west, when he reached some large marine plains and downs, so
large, that though they ascended a high tree they could see nothing
between them and the horizon; they were grassed only with spinifex
"and other rubbish."  They came on to Lucifer's tracks about 25 miles
from the camp, and found the place where he had been drinking the
salt water and lying down.  From thence they followed his tracks for
15 miles through the tea-tree levels, and camped without water, after
having travelled, walking and riding, over between 40 or 50 miles of
the most miserable and desolate country imaginable, without finding
any fit to drink.  Meanwhile Alexander Jardine took another cast to
find water and have a look at the coast.  He also saw the Marine
Plains, and found them utterly waterless.  This decided the question
of the coast-line route.

'December' 11.--At daylight Mr. Jardine and Eulah again got on to
Lucifer's tracks, but the ground was so hard that they had to run
them on foot and lead their horses.  At sun-down they hit camp 33 on
the river, having made only about 20 miles in a straight line.  Here
they had a good drink.  The water was rather brackish, but after two
days travelling over a parched and arid country, almost anything
would have been acceptable.  They turned out and whilst trying to
catch something for their suppers, they saw Lucifer standing within
thirty yards of where their horses were feeding, but the moment he
caught sight of them he again galloped away.  Mr. Jardine immediately
jumped on his horse and brought him back to Eulah's, but to no
purpose, for he galloped past without taking the least notice of him,
and as it was now dark they had to let him go.  Alexander Jardine
spent the day in searching for water, and was fortunate enough to hit
on a permanent water hole, in a small creek, eight miles N.N.W. from
the camp.  This discovery was like a ray of sunshine promising to
help them on their way.  At night Sambo and Barney returned, but
without the mule.

'December' 12.--Lucifer was again followed till mid-day.  From the
time that he had left their camp last night he had galloped for 13
miles without stopping, and when found he was quite white with sweat.
It was quite evident that he was perfectly mad from the effects of
the salt water, so that Mr. Jardine decided to abandon him without
wasting more horse-flesh.  He turned therefore to look for the other
horse "Deceiver," expecting to find him in the same state.  His
tracks being found shortly afterwards, they followed them for some
distance, when they came on to his dead carcase.  The poor brute had
evidently died from want of water; the Leader therefore turned
homewards, hoping, but little expecting to find that the mule had
been found.  These losses were a heavy blow, and sadly crippled the
party.  Lucifer and Deceiver were the two best riding horses, and the
mule the best pack animal.  His own loss was aggravated by his
carrying his pack with him.  This carried most of the odd articles
that were hitherto deemed indispensible, but which henceforth they
had per force to dispense with.  One pack contained all that remained
of the tea, currants, and raisins, which were saved from the fire,
and two pairs of boots, the only ones the Brothers had; and the other
was filled with oddments, such as files, gimlets, ragstone, steel,
weighing machine, awls, tomahawks, American axes, shoeing tools, and
a number of things "that they could not do without," but perhaps the
most important loss was that of the spade, to which they had many
times been indebted for water.  Up to this time, that is to the 37th
camp, the number of the camp had always been cut in the wood of a
tree at each, with a mallet and chissel, these having gone with the
mule's pack the numbers were from this point cut with a tomahawk, but
as Mr. Jardine was expert and careful in its use it is probable that
his marks are but little less legible.  The recovery of the mule
being now past all hope the Brothers determined to push on, thankful
that they were certain of water for one stage.  It was the more
necessary, as two of the party, Scrutton and Cowderoy, were getting
ill from the effects of the bad water.  At this camp Mr. Richardson
fixed the variation at 40 east.  He had hitherto used a variation of
6 degrees in his plotting.

'December' 13.--The Leader intended to have camped to-day on the
creek, found by his brother on the 11th, but whilst ahead looking for
a good camp for the morrow, he came at five miles further on, to what
he took to be the "Rocky Creek" of Leichhardt.  He turned back
therefore and fetched the cattle on to it, making 13 instead of 8
miles.  But on turning out it was found that the water was not
drinkable, although the lagoon was covered with nympheas, generally
supposed to grow only in fresh water.  These were white instead of
blue, which might be from the effect of the salt.  However at a mile
up the creek, a fine reach of good water was found, two miles long
and sixty yards wide.  The bed of the creek contained sandstone rock,
was well grassed, and where crossed, ran about east and north.  A
fine barramundi was caught in it, and Alexander Jardine shot six
whistling ducks in the first creek.  The country traversed to-day
alternated between extensive marine plains, covered with "pigs face,"
('Misembrianthemum Iriangularis'), and crusted with salt, and low
undulating tea-tree, and banksia ridges.  Birds were very plentiful,
large flocks of native companions ('Gurus Antigen,') stalked over the
marine plains, and when seen at the distance had the appearance of a
flock of sheep, gigantic cranes, pelicans, and ibis were numerous,
whilst in the lagoons of the creek, nearly every kind of water-fowl
common to Queensland, was found, except the coot and pigmy goose,
plover and snipe were abundant, also the elegant Burdekin duck, and a
small crane was noticed having a dark blue head and body, with white
throat and neck.  (Camp XXXIX.)  Lat. 16 degrees 3 minutes 38
seconds.  A tree was marked F. J. in heart on one side, and 39 in
square on the other.

'December' 14.--To-day the party started north-east, the Leader
wishing, if possible, to hit the Mitchell at the head of the tide.
Water was carried in case these should not find any, but the
precaution was fortunately unnecessary.  At five miles they crossed a
small creek from the eastward, having one small hole of water in it.
The country to that point was similar to that of yesterday, thence
outward for about 9 miles they traversed box flats, intersected with
low sandy rises, well grassed, and timbered with stringy-bark and
acacia.  Another watered creek was crossed at about 9 miles from the
start, and the camp pitched at a round waterhole, in a well-watered
creek at 14 miles.  Many gullies were crossed filled with the
screw-palm ('Pandanus Spirilas.')  The soil of the box flats was a
stiff yellow clay.  Hot winds had been prevalent for the last week
from the south-east, which parched and baked everything and made the
mosquitoes very numerous and annoying.  (Camp XL.)  Latitude 15
degrees 56 minutes 31 seconds.

'December' 15.--The grass was so coarse and dry at this camp, that
the precaution was taken of watching the horses all last night, and
the party started this morning by moonlight.  For 5 miles they
travelled over box and tea-tree flats, full of funnel ant-hills,
melon and rat-holes, when they reached a narrow deep sandy creek, the
course of which was defined by a line of dark green timber,
presenting a strong and pleasing contrast with any previously crossed
along the "Levels," where they could never be distinguished from a
distance, being fringed with the same kind of timber.  It came from
the eastward, was tolerably watered, and presented some bad broken
sandstone country on its north bank.  Its shady appearance suggested
the appropriate name of "Arbor Creek."  For three miles the route lay
over gullies, spurs, and walls of broken sandstone.  The country
beyond opened agreably into flats, which might almost be called
plains, but for the lightly-dotted timber.  The grasses though dry,
were finer and better than any seen, since leaving the Einnasleih.
The timber generally was white box, applegum, bloodwood, and
grevillea, and at 11 miles (from camp) the bauhinia, and Bidwill's
acacia commenced, and continued to the 42nd Camp.  The flats towards
the end of the stage sloped to the north-east.  At 19 miles the party
having accomplished a long stage, Mr. Jardine camped without water,
sending old Eulah to try and find some.  He soon returned with the
welcome news that there was a well-watered creek on a-head, so
saddling up again, they drove on and reached it in about three miles.
It was well worth the extra fatigue to the stock.  They were rewarded
by an excellent camp, plenty of green grass, open country and water,
which, after a drive of 23 long and dusty miles, was alike acceptable
to men and beasts.  The creek received the name of Eulah Creek, in
honor of the discoverer.  (Camp XLI.)

'December' 16.--Between two and three miles of travelling over
flooded box country, having large melon holes in it, brought the
party to a well-watered creek, with vine scrub banks running N. W.
At three more, another and similar one was reached, where the scrubs
on the banks were so thick that the Brothers who were a-head had to
camp, to cut a road through them.  This creek appeared to be an
ana-branch.  Whilst they were engaged in marking a line for a
crossing place for the cattle, they saw some blacks, and tried to
avoid them, these however ran in the direction of the cattle, and
brandishing their spears laughingly, defied the horsemen, beckoning
them to come on.  With this they complied, and turned them back over
the creek, and then sat down awaiting the arrival of the cattle.
They were not allowed to remain long in peace, for the natives,
having left their gins on the other side, swam over the creek and
tried to surround them.  Being thus forced into a "row," the Brothers
determined to let them have it, only regretting that some of the
party were not with them, so as to make the lesson a more severe one.
The assailants spread out in a circle to try and surround them, but
seeing eight or nine of their companions drop, made them think better
of it, and they were finally hunted back again across the river,
leaving their friends behind them.  The firing was heard by the
cattle party, but before they could come up, the fray was over.  In
this case, as in all others, the collision was forced on the
explorers, who, as a rule, always avoided making use of their
superior arms.  Leaving the cattle in camp, the Brothers spend the
afternoon in exploring the country a-head for 7 miles.  After
crossing the river, the course lay through flooded country (the marks
on the trees being in some cases five feet high, covered with box,
and vine scrub, and the water, grasses, and rushes being matted
together with mud and rubbish,) to a large stream with broad sandy
bed, divided into three channels, altogether about 600 yards wide,
but with little water in them.  The banks and islands were covered
with vine scrub, and lined with plum ('Owenia,') chestnut
('Castanopermum,') nonda, bauhinia, acacia, white cedar, the corypha
or (fan-leaved palm,) flooded gum, melaleuca (drooping tea-tree,) and
many creepers and shrubs.  On the box flats travelled through, some
gunyahs, dams, and weirs were noticed, all constructed of matted
vines and palm leaves, which last grow almost everywhere.  One of the
largest of the palms measured 13 1/2 feet at the butt, which is the
smallest end, as they here assume the shape of the bottle tree.  This
stream was correctly surmised to be the long desired Mitchell, the
two last creeks being only its ana-branches.  Although 10 miles
higher up in latitude 15 degrees 51 minutes 56 seconds it is
described by Leichhardt as being 1 1/2 miles wide.  It here measured
as before described only about 600 yards.  A number of fish were
caught at the camp.  (Camp XLII.)  Distance 6 miles.

'December' 17.--After some little trouble the cattle were crossed
over this branch, a road having to be cut for them through the scrub.
At 5 miles they crossed another main branch about 450 yards wide, and
camped two miles on the other side of it, on a waterhole in a
Leichhardt-tree flat ('Nauclea Leichhardtii.')  The country was the
same as described yesterday.  One of the fattest of the cows died
from the effects of some poisonous herb, not detected.  Some turkey's
eggs were found, and a wallaby, with which the vine scrubs were
swarming, was shot.  The Torres Straits pigeon ('Carpophaga
Luctuosa,') was here met with for the first time on the trip, and
attracted the interest and admiration of the travellers.  It is a
handsome bird, about the size of a wonga, the head and body pure
white, the primaries of the wings and edge of the tail feathers
black, and the vent feathers and under tail coverts tinged with a
delicate salmon color.  Distance 7 or 8 miles.  Course N.N.E.  (Camp

'December' 18.--The river was followed down to-day for 9 miles
through a complete net-work of ana-branches, gullies, and vine scrubs
to another branch, which may be called the true stream.  It was 30
yards wide, deep, and running strongly.  Here the party had to camp
for about 3 hours, whilst the Brothers searched for a good crossing.
The cattle and pack-horses were crossed in safety, but some of the
pack-bags got wetted in the passage.  They were travelled another
mile over to a sandstone bar, crossing another deep sheet of water,
that had been previously found.  This stream had been explored in
search of a ford for four miles further up but without success.  It
continued of the same width and appeared to do so much further.  This
day, Sunday, was marked by the severest conflict the travellers had
yet had with the natives, one which may well be degnified by the name
of the "battle of the Mitchell."  On arriving at the running stream
before mentioned, whilst the cattle halted, the Brothers and Eulah,
taking axes with them, to clear the scrub, went down to find a safe
crossing.  At about a-mile-and-a-half they came on to a number of
blacks fishing, these immediately crossed to the other side, but on
their return, swam across again in numbers, armed with large bundles
of spears and some nullahs and met them.  The horsemen seeing they
were in for another row, now cantered forward towards the camp,
determined this time to give their assailants a severe lesson.  This
was interpreted into a flight by the savages, who set up a yell, and
re-doubled their pursuit, sending in their spears thick and fast.
These now coming much too close to be pleasant (for some of them were
thrown a hundred yards), the three turned suddenly on their pursuers,
and galloping up to them, poured in a volley, the report of which
brought down their companions from the camp, when the skirmish became
general.  The natives at first stood up courageously, but either by
accident or through fear, despair or stupidity, they got huddled in a
heap, in, and at the margin of the water, when ten carbines poured
volley after volley into them from all directions, killing and
wounding with every shot with very little return, nearly all of their
spears having been expended in the pursuit of the horsemen.  About
thirty being killed, the Leader thought it prudent to hold his hand,
and let the rest escape.  Many more must have been wounded and
probably drowned, for fifty nine rounds were counted as discharged.
On the return of the party to the cattle an incident occurred which
nearly cost one of them his life.  One of the routed natives,
probably burning with revengeful and impotent hate, got into the
water under the river bank, and waited for the returning party, and
as they passed threw a spear at Scrutton, before any one was aware of
his proximity.  The audacious savage had much better have left it
alone, for he paid for his temerity with his life.  Although the
travellers came off providentially without hurt, there were many
narrow escapes, for which some of them might thank their good
fortune.  At the commencement of the fight as Alexander Jardine was
levelling his carbine, a spear struck the ground between his feet,
causing him to drop his muzzle, and lodge the bullet in the ground a
few yards in front of him.  His next shot told more successfully.
There were other equally close shaves, but providentially not a
scratch.  This is one of the few instances in which the savages of
Queensland have been known to stand up in fight with white men, and
on this occasion they shewed no sign of surprise or fear at the
report and effect of fire-arms.  But it is probable that they will
long remember the "Battle of the Mitchell."  (Camp LXIV.)  Course
N.N.W.  Distance 7 miles.

'December' 19.--The horses had to be watched last night, for the
grass was so dry and course that the stock would not look at it, but
kept rambling about.  The river was followed down about 13 miles.
The whole country travelled to-day and yesterday shewed flood marks
from 5 to 15 feet high.  The rushes, nardoo, thatch, and water-grass,
dried and parched by the hot winds, were matted together with mud and
rubbish.  At the camp the stream was 150 yards wide, the running
water being 30 yards across.  The banks were of clay and sandstone,
from 20 to 30 feet high, the water was discolored to a kind of
yellowish white.  During the floods the stream must be eight or ten
miles wide, for, two miles back from it, a fish weir was seen in a
small gully.

Altogether it would have been a frightful place for the party to have
been detained at.  (Camp XLV.)  Latitude 15 degrees 26 minutes 5

'December' 20.--The river was still followed down to-day, the party
keeping about four miles from it, to avoid its scrubs and
ana-branches.  At between 7 or 8 miles, a stream about 100 yards
wide, coming from the eastward, caused them to halt until a road was
cut through the thick vine scrub that fringed its banks.  Four miles
further on they camped at a small lagoon close to the bank of the
river, at which point it is about 100 yards wide, deep, and too salt
for drinking, being affected by the tide.  The country travelled over
was box, and tea-tree, melon-hole flats, shewing very high flood
marks.  The ground had become very boggy from a heavy rain that fell
during the day.  The night was very stormy, rain and wind falling and
blowing pretty equally.  Two more head of cattle were dropped.  The
total distance was 11 miles.  Course W.N.W.  (Camp XLVI.)

'December' 21.--The rain of last night continuing through the
morning, the party had to start in the down-pour.  They crossed
another large shallow sandy creek at four miles, coming from the
eastward running south-east.  The camp was formed on a lagoon about a
mile from the river bank.  The country traversed was sandy, growing
only coarse wirey grasses and spinifex, sandstone rock cropping out
occasionally above the surface.  The river was here a
quarter-of-a-mile wide, salt, and running strongly.  Before the
pack-horses came up, a mob of blacks approached the camp, and getting
up in the trees, took a good survey of the white intruders, but on
one of the party going towards them they scampered off over the open
ground towards the river.  The recollection of the affair at the
crossing place probably quickening their movements.  Just at
sun-down, however, the sharp eyes of the black-boys detected some of
them actually trying to stalk the whites, using green boughs for
screens.  So the Brothers taking with them Scrutton and the four
black-boys, started in chase.  They were in camp costume, that is to
say, shirt and belt, and all in excellent condition and wind, and now
a hunt commenced, which perhaps stands alone in the annals of nature
warfare.  On being detected the natives again decamped, but this time
closely pursued.  The party could at any time overtake or outstep the
fugitives, but they contented themselves with pressing steadilly on
them, in open order, without firing a shot, occasionally making a
spurt, which had the effect of causing the blacks to drop nearly all
their spears.  They fairly hunted them for two miles into the scrub,
when, as darkness was coming on, they left their dingy assailants to
recover their wind, and returned to camp laughing heartily at their
"blank run," and taking with them as many of the abondoned spears as
they could carry.  (Camp XLVII.)  Distance 9 1/2 miles.  Course W.N.W.

'December' 22.--The Mitchell was left finally to-day, Mr. Jardine
determining on beginning the "straight running" for Cape York.  The
first 8 miles was to a broad rocky creek, over tea-tree and box
flats, and small plains, fairly grassed, the best coast country that
had been seen.  The creek appeared to be permanent, although there
was no water where it was crossed.  From thence to camp, 7 miles, was
over saline plains, intersected by belts of bloodwood, tea-tree,
mangrove, nuptle, grevillea, dogwood, applegum, silky oak, and
pandanus.  A second creek was crossed at 11 miles, similar to the
first.  The camp was pitched at a puddle, without a blade of grass,
although its appearance was beautifully green, caused by a small sort
of tea-tree growing in great abundance, about 10 inches high, with
seven or eight large leaves on it.  A steer was killed in the
evening, giving the party a very acceptable meal of meat, the first
they had tasted for three days, the weather being too hot to kill,
and there being no game to shoot.  Course N. by W.  Distance 15
miles.  (Camp XLVIII.)  Latitude 15 degrees 2 minutes 10 seconds.

'December' 23.--All hands were up almost the whole of last night,
some engaged in watching the cattle and horses, and others in cutting
up and jerking the beast.  The rain came down heavily, and a cold
bitter wind was blowing; all the tents, save the ration tent, being
like seives, the outside was rather preferable to their shelter; so
each passed the night as best they could.  The cattle were started
away in the morning, leaving Scrutton and Binney to finish jerking
the meat, there being some sunshine, which was beginning to be a
rarity, for the wet season had now fairly set in.  Twelve miles of
wretched country were traversed, white sandy undulating ground,
clothed with shrubs and underwood, in the place of grass, and the
camp pitched on a low stringy-bark ridge, without water, for in this
flat sandy country the ground absorbs the rain as soon as it falls.
The horses had to be watched again to-night, for there was not a
blade of grass to be got.  A small quantity of water was found in a
creek about a mile-and-a-half ahead.  Late in the evening the horses
and water-bags were taken to it, and sufficient water brought back
for the use of the camp.  Two small unimportant creeks were crossed
to-day, sandy and dry, trending west.  Distance 12 miles N.W. by N.
(Camp XLIX.)

'December' 24.--The cattle were watched at a small lagoon beyond the
creek before mentioned, which was deep and rocky.  The country
continued of the same miserable character as yesterday, till at 7
miles, the party came to a belt of bloodwood and stringy-bark, where,
by good luck, there was a little coarse grass, but as the stock had
had none for two days, they were not particular.  (Camp L.)  Distance
7 miles.  Course N.N.W.

'December' 25.--The rain came down all last night, and continuing
throughout the day (for the first time continually), did not suggest
a merry Christmas.  However the Leader wished his companions the
compliments of the season, and pushed on.  The country decidedly
improved if the weather did not.  The tail end of some scrubs were
passed in the first five miles, cheifly tea-tree and oak, and
half-a-mile further on, a fine creek of sandstone rock, permenantly
watered; at 7 miles another similar, but larger, was named Christmas
Creek.  Here whilst Mr. Jardine was halting in wait for the cattle,
he marked a tree XMAS, 1864, in square.  In it the swamp mahogany was
seen for the first time since leaving Bowen.  Its native name is
Belourgah.  The creek was therefore christened by that name.  At 15
miles the party reached and camped on a fine, well-watered, rocky
creek, where the blue grass was plentiful, the first that had been
seen for many weeks.  The country travelled over was very soft, and
though driven loose, three of the horses could scarcely travel over
it.  The packs also were getting into a very dirty state, consequent
on the amount of mud and water they had been dragged through.  The
timber noticed to-day was very varied, comprising all the kinds that
have already been mentioned, with the addition of the banksia, which
was observed for the first time, and a kind of pomegranate, which was
quite new to the Brothers.  The trees grow large with soft white
bark, and large round leaves.  The fruit as large as an hen's egg, in
shape like the common pomegranate.  Unripe it is of a transparent
white, but when mature, has a dark pink color and slightly acid
taste.  It is probably the euginia mentioned by Leichhardt.  They
were much annoyed by the green-tree ant, all the trees and shrubs
being covered with them, in riding along they got about their
persons, and down their backs, where they stuck like ticks.  They are
of a transparent green, nearly half-an-inch long, soft, and sticky.
On coming to the green feed and good water at the camp, it was felt
that this Christmas Day, if not the most cheerful, might have been
much worse.  (Camp LI.)  Distance 13 miles N.N.W.

'December' 26,--The party travelled to-day on a course N.N.W. for
about 14 miles over very similar country to that of yesterday, save
that they crossed no creek, and saw no water during the whole of the
stage.  Some of the ground was very scrubby and boggy, and better,
though not well grassed, too much spear grass occuring.  The camp was
pitched on a splendid sheet of water, in a rocky creek, 80 yards
wide, and very long, in which some of the party caught some fine
fish.  Waterfowl of all kinds were also numerous.  It received the
name of Hearsey Creek, after a particular friend, Mr. W. Hearsey
Salmon.  The blacks were hanging about, but did not make their
appearance.  (Camp LII.)

'December' 27.--The course to-day lay over similar country, a little
to the west of north, for 16 miles to a small creek, which contained
in a puddle, just sufficient water for the use of the party and the
horses.  The cattle had to go without.  (Camp LIII.)

'December' 18.--At five miles from starting this morning, the
thirsty cattle were able to get abundance of water in a long sandy
creek, running in several channels, and having a rocky sandstone bed.
It was named Holroyd Creek.  Two miles further on another stream was
crossed of similar size and character, which received the name of
Dunsmuir Creek.  Here the country suddenly changed into lightly
timbered box flats, poorly grassed, and flooded.  Four miles more
brought them to a salt-water creek, which had to be run up
a-mile-and-a-half before drinkable water was found.  The camp was
pitched on a lotus lagoon, the water of which was slightly brackish.
It received the name of Thalia Creek.  About two hours after camping,
whilst the party were engaged in digging trenches round them, and
otherwise preparing for an impending thunder-storm, the black-boy
that was tailing the cattle, came running into the camp in great
excitement, with the news that the natives that had been seen in the
morning, had hunted him and were now running the horses, so half the
party immediately turned out in pursuit.  To protect the carbines
from the coming storm, Alexander Jardine and Scrutton arrayed
themselves the one in a black and the other a white mackintosh, which
reached to their heels, whilst the Leader having a short coat on, a
revolver in each pocket, jumped on to the bare-back of one of the
horses.  This time it was not a "blank run."  The horses were
scuttling about in all directions, and the natives waited for the
whites, close to a mangrove scrub, till they got within sixty yards
of them, when they began throwing spears.  They were answered with
Terry's breech-loaders, but whether fascinated by the strange attire
of the three whites, or frightended by the report of the fire-arms,
or charge of the horse, they stood for some time unable to fight or
run.  At last they slowly retired in the scrub, having paid for their
gratuitious attack by the loss of some of their companions.  Some of
them were of very large stature.  The storm broke with great violence
accompanied with thunder and lightning and scattered the cattle off
the camp in spite of the efforts of the party to keep them.  The
thunder caused them to rush about, whilst darkness caused the
watchers to run against them, and add to their fright.  So they were
let go.  (Camp LIV.)  Distance 11 or 12 miles north.

'December' 29.--The cattle were all gathered this morning, save 10,
for which Frank Jardine left two of the black-boys to seek and then
follow the party.  To his great annoyance they came on at night
without them.  The course to-day was N.N.E. over boggy tea-tree
flats, and low stringy-bark ridges.  At three miles a large running
creek, one hundred yards wide, was struck, and had to be followed up
for four miles before a crossing was found.  Four miles further
brought them to a small creek, well supplied with water from the
recent rains, and what was even more acceptable, plenty of green
feed, of which the cattle and horses stood in great need.  The Leader
determined to halt here one day, to try and recover the lost cattle,
but felt anything but easy in doing so, for the flood-marks were six
feet high on the camp, which was high ground compared to the level
waste around them, and the rains seemed fairly to have set in.
Another heavy storm poured down on them at night.  (Camp LV.)

'December' 30.--The cattle remained here to-day, whilst Scrutton and
Eulah were sent back for the lost cattle.  The Brothers went forward
a day's stage to try and find some high ground.  In this they did not
succeed.  The country was all alike, and they were satisfied beyond
doubt that it must be one sea during the rains; not a very comforting
discovery.  They found a creek four miles on, which received the name
of Macleod Creek.  It was large and deep, with a strong current
running, and chose a place at which they would have to cross, between
two high banks of red sandstone.  They then returned to camp, and
spent the rest of the day in "sugar bag" hunting, in which they were
very successful, bringing in as much as made a feed for the whole
camp, which was no small quantity.  Scrutton and Eulah returned at
dark, without having seen any traces of the missing cattle, so it was
determined to go on without them, as it would have been madness to
have remained longer in such dangerous country.  At night they
experienced a heavy storm, which is thus described in Frank Jardine's
journal:--"We had one of most severe wind and thunder storms this
evening that I ever saw.  The largest trees bent like whip-sticks,
and the din caused by the wind, rain, thunder, and trees falling,
beyond description.  People looking at it from under a snug roof
would have called it 'grand,' but we rhymed it with a very different
word."  This may be called a "joke under difficulties."

'December' 31.--Macleod Creek was reached by half-past eight o'clock
this morning, and cattle, horses, and packs were all safely crossed
by 9.15.  The journey was then continued over, or rather, through
very boggy tea-tree flats, and undulating stringy-bark, nonda, and
bloodwood country, to a large flooded creek, coming from the
eastward, which received the name of "Kendall Creek," after a friend
of Mr. Richardson's.  There was a little rising ground on its banks,
on which the party camped.  Frank Jardine went up it for a few miles,
and found a spot at which to cross the next day, in the same manner
as at the last.  At this camp some capital barramundi and perch were
caught, one of the former weighing no less than 14 pounds.  They were
a great treat, as the party had been without meat for some days, the
heavy rains allowing them no chance of killing.  The distance
travelled to-day was 12 miles, and course generally N.N.W., but the
track was winding in consequence of having to lead the horses, and
thread the way through the soundest looking places.  (Camp LVI.)


New Year's Day--Sinclair Creek--New Year's Creek--Kinloch Creek -
Micketeeboomulgeiai--The River Archer--The Coen--Slough of Despond
- River Batavia--Two Horses Drowned--Five Horses Poisoned -
Symptoms--Abandon Baggage--Cache--Party commence Walking -
Difficult Travelling--Two more Horses Die--Last Encounter with
Natives--Pandanus Thorns--Another Horse Sickens--Urgency of
Getting Forward--Dalhunty Creek--Another Horse Dies--"Creamy" and
"Rocket" Die--Skardon's Creek--Pitcher Plant--Two Saddles
Abandoned--Nell Gwynne's Foal Killed--Richardson's Range.

'January' 1.--Kendall Creek was crossed early on the morning of
this, New Year's Day, and subsequently at distances of 10 and 14
miles, two small creeks of running water, coming from the eastward,
named respectively Sinclair and New Year's Creeks, in which lilies
were abundant ('Blue Nympheas'), and on the last of which the party
camped.  The progress was rendered very tedious and difficult, by the
large trunks and branches of trees, which had been blown down by the
storm of the 30th December, over and amongst which the weak horses
kept constantly falling.  The country changed into red sandy ridges,
shewing an outcrop of sandstone, timbered with tall straight saplings
of stringy-bark and bloodwood, the larger timber having in all cases
been blown down.  Some grass-tree country was also passed, covered
with quartz pebbles, white, or colored with oxide of iron.  The
distance accomplished was 14 miles on a course of N.E. by N.  (Camp
LVII.  Nonda.)  A heavy thunder-storm broke at night, followed by
steady rain.

'January' 2.--The heavy rain, boggy soil, and recent long stages
made it necessary to turn out the cattle during the last night, as
the poor animals had so little chance of feeding during the day.
They were, however, gathered by the time the horses were ready in the
morning, having, probably, but little temptation to stray on the
boggy ground.  The country traversed was similar to that of
yesterday, and very much encumbered with fallen timber.  The grasses,
though thin, are of the best quality.  Altogether the interval
between Kendall Creek and to-night's camp, a distance of 30 miles,
would make a fine cattle run, being watered at every six or seven
miles by running creeks, besides a large swamp.  It was found to be
an extensive plateau, sloping away to the eastward, terminating
abruptly in a perpendicular wall, overlooking the valley, on the head
of which the party camped.  The camp was one of the best of the whole
journey, being pitched on a grassy rise, sloping gently to the
eastward, and was a grateful relief after the barren and waterless
camps of the journey.  The latitude was 13 degrees 47 seconds.
Distance 16 miles.  (Camp LVIII.)

'January' 3.--This morning the creek was followed down to near its
junction with a large sandy stream, coming from the north-east, which
was named Kinloch Creek, in honor of John Kinloch, Esq., Mathematical
Master of Sydney College.  It was plentifully watered, and remarkable
for presenting the only iron-bark trees that were seen since leaving
the Einasleih.  At 8 and 12 miles, two small very boggy creeks were
crossed, the first of which had to be bridged.  Their banks were very
unsound and swampy, covered with tea-tree, pandanus, ferns, and all
kinds of valueless underwood.  They were full of lilies, and appeared
to be constantly running, from which it was conjectured that they
must take their rise from springs.  On passing the last, the party
emerged on to poorly grassed, desolate-looking sandstone ridges,
covered with grass-tree and zamia.  A pine-tree ridge was then
passed, and a camp formed on a small water-course beyond, the total
distance being 16y miles on a bearing of N.N.E. 1/2 N.  The latitude
was ascertained to be 13 degrees 35 minutes 54 seconds S.  During the
day red kangaroos were seen, also the Torres Straits pigeon, and two
black cockatoos, with very large stiff crest, crimson cheeks, and
large black bill, the rest of the body black.  This was the
('Microglossus Aterrimus'), a species peculiar to Northern Australia.
It is nearly one-third larger in size than the common black cockatoo,
from which it is mainly distinguished by the color of the bill, which
is black.  (Camp LIX.  Bloodwood.)

'January' 4.--A heavy storm of rain and thunder having been
experienced last night, the party made a short day's stage, and
camped early to enable them to dry their meat, saddlery, bags, etc.,
which had been thoroughly soaked.  The horses backs too, were getting
sore from the use of wet saddles, and themselves tired.  The course
was north, over stringy-bark and bloodwood ridges for 5 miles, to a
large running creek named Micketeeboomulgeiai,* from the north-east,
on which a crossing had to be cut; a mile-and-a-half further on, an
ana-branch was crossed, and the party camped.  (Camp LX.  Bloodwood.)

[footnote]*In the Wellington Dialect "place where the lightning struck."

'January' 5.--Still raining and wet to-day.  A table-land of open
sandy ridges was traversed to a high point, the edge of which was
reached in five miles on a course N. by E.  On reaching this point a
range was seen in front, extending east and west about 10 miles off,
between which and the party, a fine valley extended, traversed by a
large sandy river, which was named the Archer, in honor of Messrs.
Archer, of Gracemere.  The river Archer flows from the north-east,
through a valley of great richness and beauty, and considered by the
explorers to be the best country for cattle seen north of Broadsound.
The banks of the river are fringed by a thick belt of vine-scrub,
containing very many Leichhardt and other handsome trees and shrubs
of great luxuriance and growth.  The valley is also described as
being the first locality where any varities of flowers were seen,
some were of great beauty, particularly a bulb which bears a large
flower, shaped like a larkspur, of every tinge of red, from a
delicate pink to a rich purple.  After crossing the Archer two
ana-branches were passed, the route laying over loamy black and
chocolate flats, and fine long sloping ridges, very thickly grassed,
quite free from stones, well-watered, and despite the heavy rains
that had fallen, perfectly sound.  The range seen from the table-land
was low, and of much the same description.  Distance travelled 15
miles N. by E.  (Camp LXI.  Applegum.)

'January' 6.--The march to-day was very trying to the poor horses,
being chiefly over rotten melon-hole country, of a yellow clayey
soil, timbered with stunted bloodwood and pandanus, the rain pouring
down all day.  At two miles from camp a large creek was crossed
containing a little rain water, and subsequently nine or ten small
deep waterless creeks, their beds too sandy to be retentive.  On one
of these the wearied party camped at the end of 16 or 17 miles.  A
range 8 or 9 miles to the East, was sighted during the day.
Notwithstanding the rain, barely sufficient water was found at the
camp.  Distance 17 miles.  Course North.  (Camp LXII.  Poplar gum.)

'January' 7.--At rather more than a mile from camp, two branches of
a large deep creek, were crossed just above its junction.  It runs
from W. by N., had a little water in it, and the usual fringe of dark
green vine scrub, interspersed with Leichhardt trees.  A hill on the
north bank covered with large sandstone boulders, marks the
crossing-place of the party.  Numerous small water-courses similar to
those of yesterday, were crossed to-day.  The country slightly
improved but was of the same character, waterless but for the showers
of rain.  I was strange to see the horses bogging leg deep during a
thunder-storm, and in five minutes after unable to get a drink of
water.  Large red funnel-shaped ant-hills were seen, in some
instances as high as 18 to 20 feet.  The timber in addition to the
usual varities comprised zamias, iron bark, acacia, pandanus, mimosa,
sterculia [(Currijong'), grevillia, coral, ('Erythrina'), and Nonda
('Walrothia') trees.  Scrub turkeys ('Talegalla Lathami'), wonga
wongas, and Torres Straits pigeon were seen.  The party camped at the
end of 15 miles in a shallow tea-tree gulley, with a little water
from last night's rain in its sandy bed, supplying themselves with
drinking water from the rain, caught by the tents.  Course North.
(Camp LXIII.  Acacia.)

'January' 8.--The first 15 miles travelled over to-day were good
undulating forest country, timbered chiefly with box and applegum,
and a few iron-barks, and intersected with numerous canal-like
creeks, running north-west, but without water; the last three miles
was wretchedly bad, being similar to the tea-tree country of the
Staaten.  The whole country between the Archer and Staaten is without
water, save immediately after rain, sufficiently heavy to set the
creeks running.  The party camped on a small tea-tree "Gilgai," or
shallow water pan, and experienced another night of heavy rain with
high wind.  Two more horses, Rasper and N'gress were found knocked
up.  Distance 18 miles.  Course N.  The latitude of the camp was
ascertained to be 12 degrees 38 minutes 2 seconds.  (Camp LXIV.

'January' 9.--The fact of high land being observed to the west of
the course, and that the creeks all flowed eastward, induced the
party to think that they were near on the eastern slope of the
peninsula.  This idea, however, was dispelled on their reaching at
the end of ten miles, a large river which was supposed to be the
Coen.  It was running strongly W.N.W., and seemed distinctly to
divide the good and bad country, that on the south side being richly
grassed, open and lightly timbered, lucerne and other fine herbs
occurring frequently, whilst on the north side it relapsed into the
old barren tea-tree country of which so much had been traversed.
Considerable time was lost by the party in cutting a road for the
cattle through the thick scrub that fringes its banks, a kind of work
which was now becoming familiar.  The Coen is about sixty yards wide,
sandy, and contains crocodiles.  The country on it is described as
being of excellent quality for a cattle run.  The party camped on a
tea-tree swamp with a few inches of water in it, 6 miles beyond the
crossing place.  During the day wongas and Torres Strait pigeons were
observed, and scrub turkeys frequented the river scrubs.  Distance 16
miles.  Course North.  (Camp LXV.  Bloodwood.)

'January' 10.--The journey to-day was one of unusual fatigue and
hardship.  The country for the first two miles was comparatively
sound, but at this point the course was intercepted by a narrow boggy
creek, running strongly through a tea-tree flat.  Although care and
time were taken in the selection of a proper spot, when the herd
began to cross, the leading cattle, breaking through the crust, sank
to their hips in the boggy spew below, and in a short time between 30
and 40 were stuck fast, the remainder ploughing through with great
difficulty.  Four beasts refused to face it altogether, and it was
found necessary, after wasting considerable time and a deal of
horse-flesh, to let them go.  The greater part of the day was
consumed in dragging out the bogged cattle with ropes.  Even with
this method and with all the exertions that could be used by the
party, five had to be abandoned, nothing appearing above the ground
but their backs and heads.  The horses were more easily crossed, but
their saddles, packs, and loads had to be carried over by the party.
They then camped on the creek, and spent the remainder of the day in
drying their arms, saddles, etc., and in jerking the beef of one of
the beasts which they had been unable to pull out of the slough.
Heavy rain again fell at night, which caused an apprehension that
their progress would be altogether stopped if it continued.  Distance
2 1/2 miles.  Course North.  (Camp LXVI.  Pomegranite.)

'January' 11.--It is at this point that the heaviest troubles and
hardships of the party appear to have commenced, ,troubles that might
well appal hearts less stout than those of the Leader and his
brother, and hardships bearing heavily on each member of the party,
but doubly so on them who had to explore, mark, and clear the way for
the cattle, in addition to the ordinary labor of the journey.  After
having travelled with the greatest difficulty for two miles over
execrable country, so boggy as to be barely possible to traverse,
their progress was stopped by a creek 25 yards wide, flooded "bank
and bank," and running like a mill sluice. This was the river
Batavia.  The usual formidable fringe of vine scrub covered the
margin and approaches and had to be cut through before the cattle
could cross.  This was done by the Brothers by the time they came up,
and in addition a large melaleuca which leant over the stream, was
felled across it, by means of which (by tying a rope above it, as a
leading line), they were enabled to carry over the packs, saddles,
stores, etc., on their heads.  The cattle accustomed to swimming,
took the water in splendid style, one however getting entangled and
drowned.  With the horses they were not so fortunate, for though a
head stall was put on each with a rope attached to the bit, to haul
them across, the rapidity of the current swept away two of them into
a tangle of vines in the middle of the stream, under which they were
carried and drowned, despite the exertions of four or five of the
party to pull them across by the rope.  Their efforts to save them
nearly cost their own lives, and A. Jardine chronicles receiving a
"nasty crack" in the head from a log in attempting to disentangle his
own horse "Jack" from the vines, one which might have closed his
career, had it been a degree harder, the other, "Blokus," was a
Government horse, belonging to Mr Richardson; both were useful
horses, and a great loss to the party, but only the forerunner of
much greater ones.  The creek at last crossed, the party attempted to
push forward on the other side, but after travelling a mile leading
the horses, slushing through bog and swamp under a heavy rain, they
were obliged to turn back and encamp on some high ground on the banks
of the creek, about half-a-mile above the crossing, where there was a
little good grass.  Several of their horses were left behind bogged,
one mare in particular, "Nell Gwynne," being too weak to travel.
Distance 3 miles.  Course N.  (Camp LXVII.)

'January' 12.--It was determined to camp here to-day, both to spell
the weak horses and dry many things that had got wet.  The horses
left bogged the previous night were got out, when on returning to the
camp, it was found that a number of the others were poisoned, and one
missing.  The black-boys were immediately sent out in search of him,
but were unsuccessful.  Meanwhile the party being unable to shift
camp that day, a yard was immediately formed, all herbs carefully
pulled up in and about it, and the horses penned there.  The
precaution came too late, for before evening five of them besides the
missing one ("Rasper") were dead.  It was supposed that "Rasper" must
have got into the river and been drowned, as one of the effects of
the poison is complete blindness.  The symptoms are thus described.
Profuse sweating, with a heaving of the flanks, the ears droop, the
eyes glaze, set, and the animal finally turns stone blind.  He then
lies down, struggles fitfully for several hours, and never rises
again.  This was a heavy blow.  Ten of their horses were now gone,
eight of which were picked, and the best of the whole number, besides
being the best conditioned, one peculiarity of the poison being that
it appears to attack the fattest animals.  A careful search was made
to detect the plant that caused this fearful loss, but
unsuccessfully.  The number of horses being now reduced to
twenty-one, and those the poorest and worst, it became necessary to
take only what was actually wanted of their baggage, and to abandon
the remainder.  A cache was accordingly dug, and 25 sets of
horse-shoes, a lot of nails and other miscellaneous articles were
buried at the foot of an iron acacia on the top of the ridge and
facing the creek, on which was marked in a sheild F J over LXVII.
over DIG in heart.  The horses were kept in the yard all night, and
the rest of the day and evening spent in disposing of the reduced
loading, and making preparations for leaving this fatal camp.  The
rain continued to fall heavily throughout the day, which could not
under the circumstances, have increased the cheerfulness of the
party.  The Leader, however, closes the entry in his Diary with "Nil
Desperandum" merely marking the day of the week in parenthesis as
("Black Thursday.")

'January' 13.--The poor condition of the horses, and the wretchedly
soft nature of the ground, making it impossible for them to be
ridden, or do more than carry the diminished loads of baggage and
stores, the party had no choice but to walk and in some cases even to
carry the packs of the horses.  Mr. A. Jardine describes their
appearance this morning as "rather neat" at the starting from the
camp, the two Brothers, Mr. Binney, Scrutton, and the four black-boys
having doffed everything but their shirts and belts.  It was well for
the whites that their previous habits on the journey had hardened
their feet and enabled them to travel without shoes, with but little
less hardship than their black companions.  This they had acquired by
the custom on coming into camp, of going out with the boys opossum
and "sugar bag" hunting.  With stout hearts and naked legs, therefore
they faced forward driving the horses and cattle before them, and by
the end of the day placed ten miles between them and "Poison Creek,"
as it was then named.  This however was not accomplished without
great toil, the country traversed being red soil ridges, with black
soil tea-tree flats between them, which were so many bogs.  In these
the cattle floundered and bogged at every hundred yards, and even the
spare unladen horses had to be pulled out.  The latter were at length
so completely knocked up that it was necessary to leave some of them
at one side of a swamp, the party carrying their packs and loads
about a quarter-of-a-mile on to a dry ridge on the other.  Here they
camped and tired as they were, were obliged to keep a vigilant watch,
as, to add to their many annoyances the natives had been following
them all day.  Distance 10 miles N.E. by N.  Box marked F.J. 68 cross.

'January' 14.--At daylight this morning the horses were got over
the swamp, with less difficulty than was expected, being recruited by
their night's rest.  The journey was resumed at 6.30.  There had been
no rain on the previous day and night, and the ground with only this
twenty-four hours of dry weather had hardened sufficiently on the
crust to allow the horses to walk without bogging.  This crust,
however, once broken through, they bogged hopelessly, until dragged
out with ropes.  In this the water and sludge oozing out from the
tracks were great auxiliaries, as they formed a kind of batter, in
which, by pulling the horses on their sides, they slid along like
sledges.  This process had continually to be repeated throughout the
day, causing so much delay, that seven or eight miles were with
difficulty accomplished.  At each running stream the packs had to be
taken off and carried over.  The country traversed was similar to
that of yesterday, undulating blood-wood red soil ridges,
sufficiently well-grassed, with the everlasting black soil, tea-tree
flats, and gullies running between them, some being very wide.  Two
more horses died during the day from the effects of the poison, and
the Leader owns that he was beginning to be at his wits end as to how
they were to get along.  Every superfluity and been abandoned, and,
with the exception of a few light things, such as clothes and
blankets, of too trifling weight to make it worth while to leave, and
only what was absolutely necessary, retained; yet there were barely
sufficient horses left to carry that.  He had therefore good cause
for anxiety.  The day kept tolerably fair until the party came into
camp, when the rain came down in torrents.  Whilst in the hurry and
confusion of putting up the tents to protect the stores from the
deluge that was pouring, the alarm of "blacks" was again given.  They
were fortunately unarmed, and the party easily chased them away.
This was fortunate, and was caused by the native custom of making the
gins carry their spears and shields on the march, themselves only
carrying a nulla or two.  They were soon back again however, with
large bundles of spears, but not before the party had had time to
prepare for them.  The rifles were dry and loaded.  Frank Jardine
here owns to a feeling of savage delight at the prospect of having a
"shine" with these wretched savages, who, without provocation, hung
on their footsteps dogging them like hawks all through the thickest
of their troubles, watching with cowardly patience, for a favourable
moment to attack them at a disadvantage.  Even then, however, he
would not be the agressor, but allowed them to come within sixty
yards, and ship their spears in the woomerahs, before they were fired
upon.  The two foremost men fell to the only two shots that were
discharged, and their companions at once broke and fled; nor was the
advantage followed up, as the travellers were careful to husband
their ammunition, and their caps were running short.  This, however,
was the last occasion on which the party was molested, their sable
adversaries having, probably, at length learned that "they were worth
letting alone," and never again shewing themselves.  The distance
travelled was 8 miles.  N.E. by N.

'January' 15.--This being Sunday and horses, cattle, and men, being
in want of rest after the work of the last two days, it was
determined to make a rest day.  The party employed part of the time
in spreading out the contents of the pack bags to dry, everything
having become mouldy with the constant wetting.  The day was marked
too, by a grant feast of "stodge," doughboys, and jam, stodge being a
delicacy extemporised for the occasion, consisting of "flour boiled
with water to the consistency of paste, with some small pieces of raw
meat thrown into it"!!  The Brothers spent part of the afternoon in
the mutual good offices of picking the pandanus thorns out of each
others feet and legs, the blackboys following their example.  These
thorns were a constant source of small torture to the party.  The
necessity of trying the ground in advance of the cattle prevented
them wearing boots, and thus feet and legs were left without any
protection, and exposed them day after day to the same annoyance.
Another horse, "Creamy," sickened from the effects of the poison.  It
was thought that he had not taken enough to kill him, and that the
day's rest would set him to rights.  A cow was also left bogged in
the swamp.  The ground on which the party encamped was supposed at
first to be dry, being on a bloodwood ridge, with six or eight inches
of gravel on the surface, but the heavy rain of the previous night
caused the water to run through the tents to a depth of three inches.
It was only necessary to scratch a handful of gravel off the crust to
get clear running water for drinking.  A heavy rain again fell during
the night, dispelling all hopes of sound travelling for the morrow.
(Camp LXIX.  Bloodwood.)

'January' 16.--The absolute necessity of getting at or near their
destination before the setting in of the periodical rains, stimulated
the Leader to urge the party to long stages, which was not at all
relished by some of the number, two of whom at starting made repeated
requests to camp for another day, alleging that they could not walk
any further.  To this Mr. Jardine could not listen, and being further
importuned, disposed of the request summarily by packing their rifles
on the horses, and telling them that they might remain or come on as
they might elect.  He heard no more grumbling, and a good stage was
accomplished.  The country for the first two miles was similar to
that of the last two stages.  It then suddenly changed into red sandy
stringy-bark ridges, with a dense under-growth of vines, zamias, and
pandanus, which made the walking difficult and painful.  Several
creeks were crossed, the largest of which was at ten miles from the
camp, and running W. by N., and the party halted at another six miles
further on, which received the name of Dalhunty Creek.  Its course
was west, and it was remarkable for the palms ('Seaforthia Elegans')
growing in its bed.  All these creeks were supposed to be tributaries
of the Batavia River.  The party had only to unpack the horses twice
during the day, and made a capital stage, but not without paying for
it, for even the Black-boys shewed signs of fatigue.  Their legs and
feet, as well as those of most of the party were in a frightful
state, cut in peices by the thorny vines which covered the line of
march.  They were now completely out of meat, but it would have been
unwise to halt to kill a beast for three reasons:  first, the
weather; next, the fact that they could not pack the meat without
leaving behind something to make place for it, another of their
horses, Combo, having died to-day from the effects of the poison; and
lastly, the urgency of getting forward whilst the weather would admit
of it.  The morning had been rainy, but in the afternoon it cleared
up and gave promised of a few fair days, of which it was expedient to
take advantage.  In addition to the horse that died (Combo), two more
of their best horses (Rocket and Creamy) were fast sinking.  It was a
fearful thing to see them dwindling away day by day, without power to
help or time to halt for them; but to press forward was a paramount
necessity.  Distance 16 miles North.  (Camp LXX.  Applegum.)

'January' 17.--The country traversed to-day was similar to that of
yesterday, save that the ridges were higher and more stony.  Creeks
were crossed at two and ten miles, running strongly westward, which
appeared to be permanent.  Five miles further on, the party camped on
a smaller one of the same character, having vine scrub and seaforthia
palms on its banks, which was named Skardon's Creek.  The horse
Creamy died during the day, and Rocket through the night.  These
losses reduced their horses from forty-two, with which they started,
to fifteen of the culls.  They were in latitude 11 degrees 51 minutes
50 seconds, and by their dead reckoning, just about the track of
Kennedy, supposing it to have been correctly charted, and therefore
on the western slope of the dividing range.  The Torres Strait pigeon
('Carpophaga Luctuosa') was again seen, and the bitcher
plant('Nepenthes Kennedya') first noticed.  Two of the police saddles
had to be left at this camp in consequence of the loss of the horses.
Distance 15 1/2 miles.  North.  (Camp LXXI.)

'January' 18.--The march to-day is described as being through the
most abominable country that can well be imagined, being a
continuation of loose white sandy ranges, thickly covered with low
bush from three to eight feet in height, broom, fern, grass-tree
('Xanthoraea'), pandanus, and "five-corner" bushes, being thickly
matted together with prickly vine.  Not a tree relieved the monotony
of this waste, and what was worse, not a blade of grass was seen for
miles.  Several deep creeks were crossed, all running strongly with
clear pelluced water to W. and N.W.  The timber when it occured was
bloodwood, stringy and iron-bark on the ridges, banksia, grevillia,
and several kinds of tea-trees in the gullies, which were
honey-combed and boggy.  Two new kinds of palm were seen.  The bush
which seems to be what Kennedy alluded to as "heath," could only be
got through by leading a horse ahead, the others following slowly
behind him, the cattle then following in their track.  A straight
course was impossible, as all the boggy creeks and gullies had to be
run up to their heads before they could be crossed.  A general
course, however, was kept of N. by E.  The packs were continually
being knocked off the horses, occasioning great delay, so that only
12 miles were accomplished.  Some black perch were caught in one of
the creeks, and scrub turkeys were seen.  Poor "Nell Gwynne's" foal
knocked up to-day, after having kept up bravely since the mare's
death.  Nothing remained therefore but to kill him.  The party being
without meat, and it being impossible to stop in such a country to
kill a beast, part of his flesh was dressed and carried on, which was
a grateful addition to the food, and although two or three at first
refused to eat of it, the craving of hunger soon made them forget
their repugnance to horse-flesh.  At night the horses had to be short
hobbled and a watch kept over them.  The weather kept fine, raising
the hopes of the Leader of getting in before the rains.

'January' 19.--Despite the watch kept over the horses, they got
away during the night, and a late start was the consequence.  Several
hours were also lost at the first mile on the journey, in consequence
of some of the horses getting "upside down" in one of the deep narrow
creeks, which were constantly recurring, and having to be extricated.
These creeks run N.W., and take their rise from springs.  They are so
boggy that in some cases, though perhaps only eighteen inches wide,
they had to be headed before the cattle could pass.  The summit of
the range was reached in seven miles of similar country to that of
yesterday, resembling (identical in fact) in appearance and botanical
character, to the worst country of Botany Bay, the Surry Hills, and
coast about Sydney.  A thick vine scrub was then passed, when the
party emerged on to some open ridges of red sandy soil, timbered with
bloodwood, stringy-bark, and nonda.  They were now satisfied that
they were on eastern waters, as, whilst out sugar-bag hunting in the
evening, the Brothers saw the blue waters of the ocean about twelve
or fifteen miles to the eastward, a small arm of which was supposed
to be a bay to the northward of Cape Grenville.  Their latitude was
11 degrees 46 minutes 36 seconds.  The camp was pitched at the head
of a small creek running eastward.

'January' 20.--After 4 miles of brushwood and scrubby range had
been accomplished this morning, further progress was stopped by a
dense pine and vine scrub stretching across the course.  The cattle
were halted outside, whilst the Brothers made search for an opening
for them to get through, in doing which they came on to a narrow
track cut by the blacks.  This they followed for more than two miles,
but were obliged to return at last, the vine ropes, tangle, and dense
scrub, making it hopeless to attempt taking the cattle along it.  A
further search proved equally unsuccessful.  The whole party had
therefore to turn back along their tracks for a couple of miles, then
turning east they travelled on that bearing.  At about half-a-mile
they reached the eastern slope, from which the sea was distinctly
visible.  A spur of the range was followed for about four miles into
rather better country, where the party camped, being well-grassed and
slightly timbered, though stoney.  Although about 9 miles were
travelled over, the distance in latitude from the last camp could not
have been more than one-and-a-half miles.  From a bluff on the range
a fine view of the low country and sea was obtained, and a bearing
taken to Cape Grenville of 117 deg.  Blacks' tracks were very
numerous to-day, and it was evident by the neat cutting of the marks
on the trees that they were provided with good iron tomahawks.  Many
turkeys' nests were found, but the eggs only benefitted the stronger
stomachs of the party, having young ones in them in most cases.  In
crossing one of the boggy creeks, one of the horses jumped on to a
pack-saddle, and a hook entering his skin lacerated it dreadfully.

'January' 21.--The course to-day was N.E. by N., along the eastern
slope of the Richardson Range, through a fearfully difficult country.
Seven deep scrubby creeks had to be crossed running strongly to the
westward, whose banks were invariably fringed with a thick scrub,
which had in each case to be cut through before the cattle could
pass:  one in particular was so dense that it alone occupied three
hours in cutting.  The cattle occasionally got their horns entangled
in the vines, and had to be cut loose.  One cow got fearfully furious
at being thus arrested, and when extricated, galloped straight away,
and was no more seen.  Over seven hours were occupied in making a
distance of about 8 miles, only 3 of which were spent in actual
travelling.  A great variety of palms were seen in the scrubs, which
were covered with fruit and berries, but only the "Seaforthia," the
most graceful of the family, the 'Caryota Urens', remarkable for its
star-shaped fronds and the more common 'Corypha', of which the
colonial straw-hats are made, were known to the travellers.  Latitude
11 degrees 37 minutes 46 seconds.

'January' 22.--The country traversed to-day was of the same
description as that of yesterday, utterly without grass, and the same
tedium and toil were experienced in cutting through the vine scrubs
which bordered the running creeks.  These were very numerous, and
quite uniform in their difficulty, a lane for the cattle having to be
cut through each.  Some very large pines were noticed to-day (most
probably 'Araucaria Cunninghamii'), which, forming large and dense
scrubs, twice forced the party out of their course.  The camp
to-night was a very miserable one, surrounded by scrub and brushwood,
without a blade of grass for the stock, or even a tree that could be
marked, and to add to their wretchedness, a heavy rain came down
which lasted till near midnight.  Course N.W., 10 miles.  (Camp

'January' 23.--A steady rain poured down all to-day, and as
yesterday, the route alternated over and through desert wastes of
brush and tangled scrubs, the former telling with great severity on
the lacerated feet of the travellers.  Their legs had the appearance
of having been curried by a machine.  At the end of 9 miles they
luckily came on to a creek comparatively well-grassed on the banks.
This being the first that had been seen for three days, they joyfully
encamped on an open ridge.  The timber comprised nonda, grevillea,
banksia, tea-tree, mahogany, and many other tropical trees not known.
The total distance travelled was 10 miles.  N. by W.  (Camp LXXVII.)

'January' 24.--For the first three miles to-day, the country
remained similar to the generality, that is, scrub and heath, after
this it slightly improved, opening into coarse sandstone ridges, in
some parts strewed with quartz pebbles, either white or tinted with
oxide of iron.  At two miles from the start a stream was struck,
running north, having a clear sandy bed thirty yards wide, which was
immediately concluded to be a head of the Escape River, and a
continuation of that crossed on the 22nd.  Into this, numerous short
steep scrubby creeks discharge themselves from the range or ridge to
the eastward.  These had, as usual, all to have passages cut through
them for the stock.  At the end of about six miles, a heavy
thunder-storm coming on whilst the party were engaged in clearing,
the creek they were upon was sent up bank and bank by the storm
water, and barred their further progress.  They were therefore
compelled to camp.  At sundown it was again nearly dry, but the rain
continued at intervals till midnight.  During the day a large low
table-topped mountain was passed about 4 miles to the eastward.  It
was either bare of timber or heath clad, and received the name of
Mount Bourcicault.  (LXXVIII.)  Distance 6 miles.  N. by W.

'January' 25.--A ten-mile journey was accomplished to-day, the
country for the first seven having slightly improved into red soil
ridges coarsely grassed, having patches of scrub along their summits.
The remaining three were of the usual character, heath and brushwood,
in the midst of which, in a miserable hole as it is described, they
were obliged to camp.  A delay of a couple of hours occured in
consequence of a thunder-storm flooding a narrow gutter that might be
hopped over.  It was not until this subsided that the horses and
cattle could be made to face it, the poor brutes having been so
frightened with bogs and water, that the horses had to be led over
the smallest of them.  The rain still continued to pour heavily at
intervals during the day.  (Camp LXXIX.)  No trees to mark.  The
course was N. by W.

'January' 26.--After two miles of travelling, the party again
struck the supposed Escape River.  The stream was flooded, and at
this point fifty yards wide, and the bed clear of fallen timber.  A
bloodwood tree was marked on both sides, on the S. bank.  The country
on either side is of a red and white sandy soil, timbered with
bloodwood, mahogany, melaleuca and black and white tea-tree, coarsely
grassed, with heath and scrub running down to the banks in many
places.  The river was followed down for 7 or 8 miles, its general
course being N.W., the party having to cut roads for the cattle
through the thick scrubs which lined the tributary creeks and
gullies, in four instances.  At this distance a large branch nearly
equal in size, joins it from the south-east, to which the name of the
"McHenry"* was given.  It being flooded and deep, the party traced it
upwards for about a mile from its junction and encamped.  The tents
being pitched and everything made secure for the night, the Brothers
explored up the stream in search of a good crossing place for the
morrow.  After several trials were made, a spot was finally decided
upon, about three-quarters-of-a-mile from the camp, and they returned
with the pleasing prospect of having to swim the cattle and horses
over next day, and carry the packs on their heads.  Black and white
cockatoos, some parrots, scrub turkeys ('Talegalla Lathami'), and
white pigeons (Torres Straits), were seen on the march, throughout
which the rain still continued to fall, as it did also during the
night.  At this camp (80) the last of the sugar was finished, but
this was not thought much of, as from the latitude being ascertained
to be 11 degrees 10 minutes, it was supposed that Somerset could not
be more than 20 or 30 miles distant.  How they were undeceived in
their conjecture, and had their hopes disappointed, will be seen.

[footnote] *After Captain J. McHenry, of Arthur Downs, Isaac River.

'January' 27.--Early this morning the party addressed themselves to
the task of crossing the McHenry.  This was accomplished in safety,
cattle and horses taking the water like dogs, the greater difficulty
being in getting over the packs, saddles, and stores, which had to be
carried on the heads of the swimmers of the party, and this necessary
part of a bushman's education was not common to all, or at least
sufficiently to be of use.  The course was then continued on the
other side to the junction of the two streams.  The rain continued to
fall steadily during most of the day, filling up every little creek
and gutter.  Some of the former had to be swum over, whilst the
latter occured at every mile.  Just below the junction there is a
large dense vine-scrub, which had to be skirted, after which, the
party continued their course down the supposed Escape, which had now
increased its width to a hundred yards.  Its width when first struck,
was only twenty, increasing to forty or fifty at its junction with
the McHenry, when the united streams form an imposing river.  Its
course is extremely winding, whilst the numberless creeks and gulleys
which join it, all with scrubby banks, make travelling along its
banks, a work of great labor and difficulty.  The country on this
day's march slightly improved, being more open and better grassed,
the best being on the river banks, but coarse and sparse at best.
The timber chiefly bloodwood and black tea-tree.  Several trees were
marked with a cross at the crossing place of the McHenry, and one
similarly at the point of the scrub below the junction.  In
consequence of the many delays to-day the total distance travelled
was only 5 miles.  Course N. by W.  (Camp LXXXI.)

'January' 28.--The course of the river was followed down to-day for
about two-and-a-half miles, but the endlessly recurring water
courses, each with its eternal fringe of thick vine scrub, at last
compelled the party to turn to the west in order to avoid them, there
being no time to cut roads for the cattle.   They were constantly
getting entangled by the horns in the hanging vines of the 'Calamus
Australis' and 'Flagetlaria', so often referred to.  The effect of
this on some was to work them into such a perfect fury, that when
released by the party cutting them clear, they would in some
instances rush blindly away from the herd and be lost, as described
before.  The intention on starting was to run the river down to the
head of the tide, and then establish a camp, where the cattle could
stay, whilst the Brothers went on to find Somerset, now supposed to
be not far distant.  On leaving the river the course was shaped west,
to head the scrubs on the tributaries, but this, far from improving
the travelling, made it worse as they got into a maze of scrub,
heath, and swamps, through which they had to thread their course.
They, had therefore, to make their way back to the river, which was
again struck in about 7 miles.  It was here running north, the bed
free from fallen timber, and about 150 yards wide, and so full and
flooded as to make it impossible to discover whether it was within
the tidal influence or not.  Following the river for 4 miles, making
a total journey of 12, the rain pouring the whole day, the party
camped on the bank, where alone grass was to be found, and that even
very poor and thin.  Two of the horses "Tabinga," and "Pussey," had
to be left about three miles back from the camp with their saddles,
utterly knocked up.  A lame heifer was killed and cut up for jerking,
on the morrow.  Course N.W. by N.  Distance 12 miles.  (Camp LXXXII.)

'January' 29.--This day was devoted to rest, with the exception of
the necessary duties of jerking the beef of the heifer, and preparing
for the start of the Brothers to find Somerset.  The horses left
behind were sent for and brought into camp, and dispositions made for
a halt, until the return of the Leader.  The packs, saddles, and
stores were "overhauled," and found for the most part to be
completely rotted, from the constant rain and severe duckings they
had undergone, making the party congratulate themselves that they
were near their destination.  At the request of Frank Jardine, Mr.
Richardson plotted up the route, as far as this camp, and gave him
his position on the chart, with a note "that camp 82 was on the
Escape River, eight miles in a direct line from where it joins the
sea, and sixteen miles from Somerset."  In this, as in the case of
the position of the Lynd, he was mistaken, the reason for which, he
states to be that his sextant was out of order.  This was much to be
regretted, as failing the correctness of the surveyor's observations,
Mr. Jardine might just as well trust to his own dead reckoning.  It
might be supposed that Mr. Richardson having had an opportunity of
checking his position by the bearing to Cape Grenville, when he
sighted the sea on the 20th inst, at camp 74, should have been able
more accurately to have determined his present position, but he
excuses himself on the score of the difficulty of estimating the
daily distance whilst walking.*  This is a very admissable
explanation, considering the tedium and slowness of their progress in
winding through scrubs, and being delayed by crossings, the
tortuousness of their route making it difficult to keep the course.
It was the more unfortunate, therefore, that the sextant, which was
naturally depended upon for keeping them informed of their progress,
should have been allowed to become so deranged, as to be less
reliable than the result of mere dead reckoning.

[footnote] *See his Journal.


First Start in Search of Settlement--Character of the Jardine--
The Eliot--Return to Main Camp--Flooded State of River--
Impromptu Raft--Crossing Horses--Uncertainty--Second Start in
Search of Settlement--View of the Ocean--Reach South Shore of
Newcastle Bay--Reach Mouth of True Escape--Unable to Cross--A
Dainty Meal--Character of the Escape--Return to Main Camp--
Horses Knocked-up--Another Horse Dead--Flour Exhausted--
Wretched Condition of Horses--More Baggage Abandoned--Prospects
--The Whole Party Again Move Forward--Another Horse Abandoned--
Reach Head of Tide View of the Gulf--Barne Island--Return up the
Jardine--Third Start in Search of Settlement--Wild Grape--
Crossing Saddles--a Disappointment--Head the Escape River--Meet
Friendly Natives--Natives Act as Pilots--Native Bread--Canoes
--Corroboree--Native Drums--Arrival at Somerset--Mr. Jardine's
Marked-tree Line--Meeting with their Father--A Heroine.

'January' 30.--This morning, Mr. F. Jardine with his Brother and
the Blackboy, Eulah, started to find the Settlement, leaving the rest
of the party encamped with the cattle, in charge of Mr. Scrutton.
They took with them a week's ration of 25 lbs. of flour, and 12 lbs.
meat (tea and sugar had long been things of the past), intending to
follow the supposed river down to the head of the tide.  It was
accordingly followed for about 21 miles, but to their astonishment,
instead of trending N.N.E., its general course was found to be
North-west 1/2 West.  This led them to the conclusion that it was a
western water, and not as they had hitherto supposed, the Escape
River.  Of this they were now convinced, but to make certain, agreed
to continue travelling down it for two days more, and with this
intent camped on a creek coming in from the southward.  The margin of
the river is generally open and coarsely grassed, timbered with
mahogany, bloodwood, and melaleuca, the points of scrubs and
brushwood occasionally closing down to the stream.  Its width varies
from one to two-hundred yards, with a sandy bed, entirely free from
fallen timber.  Its banks are steep in many places, of white clay and
coarse sandstone, and fringed with tall melaleuca, whose long
drooping branches and leaves swept the rapid and deep stream.  A
straight course was impracticable, for as soon as attempted, and the
river was out of sight, the party got entangled in thick brushes and
tea-tree swamps, without a blade of grass.  They were obliged,
therefore, to follow the course of the river in all its windings.
The only birds seen were scrub turkeys, and Torres Strait pigeons.
The weather at starting was fine, but about 11 o'clock the rain
commenced, and continued steadily the whole of the day.  At night, on
camping, a "bandicoot gunyah" was erected, and covered with the broad
pliable paper bark of the melaleuca, which made a snug shelter for
the night from the still pouring rain.  Course generally N.W by W.
Distance following the river, 21 miles.

'January' 31.--Crossing the creek immediately after leaving the
camp, the party still continued to follow the windings of the river
through similar country to that of yesterday, save that the ground
was more boggy, the swamps, ana-branches, and small lagoons more
numerous.  On the latter some Coromandel geese were seen, of a
species different from those found near Rockhampton.  The heavy rain
which had continued all last night had caused the river to rise
several inches.  At about ten miles the progress of the party was
stopped by a large stream coming in from the South-east, about the
same size as the McHenry.  A tree was marked AJ at the junction which
was very scrubby, and the new stream received the name of the Eliot.
It was running strongly, and had to be traced up for two miles,
before the party could cross in safety.  This they fortunately
accomplished without accident, although the water was up to their
necks, as they waded across with their saddles and packs on their
heads, giving them all they could do to stem the rapid current.  They
then proceeded on their way for 7 miles further, the last two of
which were through thick brush, and camped on the bank of the main
stream, now much augmented in size after receiving the waters of the
Eliot.  There was but little grass for the poor horses, but no
choice, the country back from the river being all scrubs and swamps,
covered with tea-tree, but barren of grass.  The total distance
travelled was 17 miles.  The course generally West by South, clearly
proving that they could not be on the Escape.

'February' 1.--The river was again followed for about seven miles
further, but as the course still continued to trend West, and even
south of West, the Brothers in disgust determined on re-tracing their
steps, satisfied, if satisfaction can be predicated of such a
disappointment, that they were on western waters, and that they had
not yet reached the looked-for Escape River.  At this point,
therefore, they turned, intending to swim the river at the main camp,
and make another exploration to find the Settlement from the North
side, or right bank.  By night-fall they reached their first night's
camp, where they found the "gunyah" very acceptable.  They had now
followed the supposed Escape 45 miles; deducting a third for its
sinuosities, a distance of at least 30 miles in a straight line
Westward had been travelled, and they were filled with surprise that
so large and important a stream should have remained undiscovered.
Its width at their turning-point was over two-hundred yards, the
banks commencing to be very swampy, and it is described by Mr. A.
Jardine, as the most compact river, with the exception of the
Fitzroy, he had seen in the North.  The rain continued as yesterday
during the whole of the day, accompanied with cold winds.  This,
together with their disappointment, was sufficient to depress the
spirits of most men.  There is not, however, in the journals of
either of the Brothers the slightest indication of despondency or

'February' 2.--The main camp was reached this morning early, and
everything found safe and right, save in one particular, that
deserves recording.  In looking over the ration account, Mr. Jardine
found a deficiency of 30 lbs. of flour, accruing in the interval of
the four days of his absence.  All denied any knowledge of it, and
all were equally certain that the allowance had not been exceeded;
"so" writes Frank Jardine, "where it is gone to, I am never likely to
know," and there the matter dropped.  It is humiliating to think,
that amongst white men banded together in exploring parties, where
the success and safety of the enterprise are much dependent on the
good conduct of each individual member, there should be found
individuals so ignoble, as to appropriate an undue share of the
common stock of food on which the health, and perhaps the life of
each equally depends; and yet, sad to say, such instances are not
singular.  The well-proved charge against Gray of cooking flour for
himself privately, for which he was chastised by poor Burke, is one
instance.  Gray's excuse was that he was so ill, and his apologists
point to the fact that he subsequently died.  Either Burke or Wills
would have died on the spot, rather than have taken an ounce more
than their meanest companion, and yet it has been asked why this man
has had no monument.  Again, in the unfortunate expedition of poor
Kennedy (not far from their present camp), the storekeeper of the
partyof the name of Niblett, was discovered to have largely pilfered
from the stores for a considerable time previously.  Who knows that,
but for the deficiency his greed caused, more of that ill-fated party
might have held out until the succour arrived, guided by the heroic
black, Jacky, who risked his own life to save that of his master, and
whose name is as worthy of being held up for honour as that of the
white man's for contempt.

'February' 3.--This day was spent by the Brothers with their
black-boys in hunting for a good crossing place, or as they described
it, "doing a little water dogging."  The river being two hundred
yards wide, and running rapidly, made it a difficult matter, and
after trying a number of places, it was found that as they were all
alike, deep and wide, they might as well cross opposite the camp.
This would not be without risk and danger, but the exigency of the
party made it necessary.  Their flour was nearly exhausted, and they
had nothing else but the jerked meat of the beef they killed, and
what they could catch in the bush, to depend on.  In this last,
however, as old hunters and bushmen, they were generally pretty
successful, supplementing and eking out their ordinary rations very
largely.  The day previous their larder had been recruited by three
iguanas' eggs, a brush turkey ('Megapodius Tumulus'), and nine
turkeys' eggs.  The rain came down as usual at intervals during the
day, which, added to the almost incessant rain of the four previous
days, brought the river down during the night, increasing its volume
and current so much as to make it dangerous to attempt crossing.

'February' 4.--The river being too high to cross, the start for the
Settlement was postponed, the fagged horses getting the benefit of
the delay.  A beast was killed in the evening.  The weather clearing,
Mr. Richardson was enabled to get correct observations for the
latitude, having succeeded in putting his sextant into tolerable
adjustment.  The readings gave the latitude of camp 82 to be 11
degrees 11 minutes 39 seconds, or about 33 miles south from Cape
York.  Part of the day was employed in constructing a raft to float
over the saddles, rations, etc.  This was done by stretching a hide
over a frame of wood, but not without some trouble, as it was found
that the only wood light enough for the purpose, was dead nonda, and
this being scarce, had to be searched for.  Before evening, however,
a raft was finished sufficiently light for the purpose.

'February' 5.--The river having sunk considerably during the night,
the crossing was commenced this morning, despite the downpour of
rain, which lasted all day without a break.  The stream was one
hundred and thirty yards wide, the banks fringed with scrub and
vines, and the current still running rapidly.  It required therefore
strong and expert swimmers to get the horses across, the method being
as follows:--One of the party went in first with a line made fast
to the bit of the horse's bridle, and another followed, holding on to
his tail by way of rudder.  Now as a horse can swim faster than a
man, and is of course heavier in the water, the leader has no easy
task even if the horse swim honestly for the opposite bank, but
should he turn back or boggle at all, man and line are alike
powerless; the use of the rudder therefore will be seen.  When the
leader reaches the opposite bank, he has to scramble up nimbly, or he
may have the horse on him, and arrived there, be in readiness with
the line to assist him should he get entangled in the saplings and
vines which fringe the banks.  It will be remembered that in crossing
the Batavia on the 11th January, two horses were drowned, in spite of
every care and precaution.  Here, however, they were fortunate enough
to cross their four horses without accident, Mr. Scrutton, old Eulah,
and the black-boys doing good service, being all excellent swimmers.
The saddles and rations were then floated over in the raft, also
without accident, and the advanced party (the Brothers and Eulah)
camped on the north side, leaving the remainder of the party and
cattle in charge of Mr. Scrutton.  Even now, Frank Jardine was
uncertain as to what stream they were on, and still leaned to the
belief that it was the Escape, his faith in the result of the
observations, having been shaken by the accident to the sextant.
They failed to assist him in his opinion, which was sorely puzzled by
the river running westward.  He considered it, therefore, absolutely
necessary to find the Settlement before moving the cattle forward,
his horses being so weak, as to make it useless to travel on in
uncertainty.  The necessity for reaching their journey's end was
becoming urgent, for their tea and sugar were exhausted, their flour
nearly so, and some of the party were complaining of being unwell,
and getting very weak.

'February' 6.--The second start was made this morning, the Brothers
intending to find either the Settlement or the mouth of the Escape.
Their course for the first 15 miles was N.N.East, over barren white
sandy country, covered with brushwood and scrub.  At 7 miles a large
deep running creek was crossed, running westward.  Its south bank was
so densely covered with vine scrub, that they had to walk and cut
their way through it with their tomahawks.  After crossing it, the
country suddenly changed to thickly timbered sandy ridges, some being
rocky, of course sandstone, the more elevated ones having belts of
impenetrable scrub running along their crest.  At 12 miles a fine
sheet of water was passed, surrounded by sandy coarsely-grassed
ridges.  At 15 miles, from a line of high ridges forming a
saddle-range, they had a view of the ocean, and could distinguish a
few small islands out to sea.  It might have been seen sooner but for
the drizzling rain which fell with little intermission.  The range
was of red soil, timbered with bloodwood, and stringy-bark.  Two
miles further on the country improved still more, continuing from
thence into their camp, 6 miles.  The course was altered from the
range to N. by E., and at 20 miles a white hill was reached, from
which they looked down on the sea about half-a-mile distant beneath
them.  This was Newcastle Bay.  Turning westward and skirting the
coast, they travelled 3 miles further on, and camped on a palm creek,
with very steep banks.  Large flocks of the Torres Strait pigeons
flew over in the evening.  Distance travelled 23 miles.

'February' 7.--The good country traversed yesterday ceased at a
creek half-a-mile from the camp, on crossing which the party had to
cut their way as usual, after which the course skirting the coast lay
over a villainous country, boggy swamps, brushwood and scrub.  After
travelling 7 or 8 miles their progress was arrested by a large stream
three-quarters-of-a-mile in width, running rapidly from the W.N.W.
Its banks were low and muddy, covered with a wide belt of dense
mangroves, its muddy and swollen waters carrying down quantities of
rubbish.  This they correctly surmised to be the mouth of the
veritable "Escape" but Frank Jardine was again in error in supposing
it to be the same stream that they had left the cattle on.  Seeing so
large a stream he naturally reverted to the idea that it had turned
on itself, and that their first exploration had stopped before
reaching the turning point.  His case was dispiriting in the extreme.
The main camp was not more than 15 miles in latitude south of his
present position.  The Settlement, the long-wished end of their
journey, could not be more than 20 to the North, yet his progress was
arrested by a broad and rapid river, to head the supposed bend of
which he had ineffectually travelled nearly 50 miles.  His plan was
now to follow the Escape up in hopes of being able to cross at the
head of the tide, and so reach Somerset, but this, as will be seen,
was more easily planned than executed.  Following up the course of
the river the way lay over a country which Alexander Jardine mentions
in his notes as "too bad to describe," pandanus swamps, vine scrubs,
and small creeks swollen by the rains to a swimmable depth,
succeeding one another along the whole stage.  At the latter the
horses had always to be unpacked and their saddles taken over on the
heads of the party.  Three hours were consumed in cutting their way
through the last of the vine scrubs, when they camped on the outside,
three of the horses being completely knocked up.  The Brothers then
walked to the river in hopes of finding a crossing place.  This
however, proved hopeless.  A thick matted fringe of mangroves nearly
three miles wide intervened between them and its bank, through which
it was next to impossible to make any headway.  Their supper to-night
was augmented by a lucky "find" during the day of thirteen scrub
turkeys' eggs, which, though they would scarcely have been
appreciated at an ordinary breakfast table, were very acceptable to
tired and hungry travellers existing principally on jerked beef.
Eating what yolk or white they contained, they plucked and roasted
the chicks as a "bonne-bouche."  Fires had to be kept going day and
night to drive away, and protect the poor miserable horses from the
march and sand-flies by day, and mosquitoes by night.  These were, in
fact, the principal cause of the poverty and debility of the poor
brutes, who could never get a moment's rest to feed or sleep.
Twenty-two miles were accomplished to-day, despite their difficulties.

'February' 8.--The journey was continued to-day up the Escape, the
course of which was very crooked, but generally N.W. by N.  The
horses knocked up a few miles after starting.  The party were
therefore obliged to walk and drive them before them.  The country
traversed was similar to that of yesterday, so that they could not
get more than a-mile-and-a-half an hour out of the poor jaded beasts.
Three times they tried to make into the river bank, but without
success, from the great width and the density of the belt of
mangroves, and the soft mud.  An old black's camp was passed in which
they found heaps of shells, turtle, and shark bones.  In the evening
they caught a quantity of whelks and cockles, which, with an iguana,
and three turkeys' eggs, made a good supper.

'February' 9.--The course of the river to-day was even more crooked
than yesterday, the nature of the country continuing the same, save
that the swampy ground was occasionally broken by ridges of
bloodwood, and stringy-bark.  From a tree on one of these they had a
fine view of Newcastle Bay, and what was supposed to be Mount
Adolphus Island, the latter about 25 miles away, and could trace the
course of the river to where it debouched, by the stretch of
mangroves.  Here, therefore, they were within 20 miles of their
destination, which they were tantalised by seeing, without being able
to reach.  With difficulty they drove their horses before them for 7
miles, when they turned out and camped, as well to hunt, as again to
try and reach the river.  In the first they were pretty successful,
getting some turkeys' eggs and shell-fish, but the last they were
unable to do, mud and mangroves barring their way, whilst the salt
water proved to them that they were still within the influence of the
tide, and the stream was still between three and four hundred yards
wide.  Despairing of being able to find a crossing to which they
could fetch the cattle, their horses being unable to cross the river,
to continue the search for Somerset in advance, and their scanty
provision of flour being nearly exhausted, Frank Jardine, reluctantly
abandoning the idea of getting into the Settlement, determined to
return to the cattle, and with them, head the supposed bend of the
Escape.  Disheartening as this was, there was nothing else to be done
in the present state of the country.  Distance travelled, 7 miles

'February' 10.--Turning their backs on the mangroves and swamps of
the Escape River, the little party faced for the camp, steering
S.S.E.  The first four miles was through boggy, swampy country,
through which they walked, driving their horses before them.  The
remainder was over the usual iron-bark and bloodwood ridges, fairly
grassed with coarse grasses, intersected with swamps and belts of scrub,
through one of which they were three hours in forcing their way two
miles.  After 11 miles of this kind of travelling they camped, the
horses completely knocked up, the men in not much better condition,
having had to drag the horses out of bogs several times, besides
cutting through the hanging vines of the scrubs.  Distance 12 miles.

'February' 11.--The main camp was reached to-day, after another
fatiguing journey of 11 or 12 miles, the first 6 miles similar to
that of yesterday, the remainder through heath and brushwood.  It was
sundown before they reached the river, which they found much swollen.
A heavy thunder-shower of two hours' duration, put up all the creeks
bank high, one of which, at about two miles from the river, they had
to swim across.  Having struck it immediately opposite the camp, they
left their jaded horses with their saddles on the north side, and
swam across themselves to the party.  During their absence another of
the horses, "Pussey," had died from exhaustion.

'February' 12.--The meat at the camp being all consumed, it became
necessary to halt for a couple of days, in order to kill and jerk a
beast.  The flour too was now exhausted, save 10 lbs., which was
judiciously put by and reserved for an emergency.  The day was spent
in crossing back the four horses, with saddles and swags.  The cattle
were counted and some found missing; the Black-boys were therefore
sent in search of them.  A beast was killed, cut up, and jerked, a
tedious task, from the absence of the sun.  Although there were only
a few light showers towards evening, the air was damp; the meat,
therefore, had to be smoked under a covering.

'February' 13.--The lost cattle were found to-day, the jerking of
the meat finished, and preparations for a final start on the morrow
completed.  The unfortunate horses were in such wretched condition,
that it was found necessary to lighten the loads to the Settlement.
Four pack-saddles, two police saddles, and the two belonging to the
Brothers were therefore abandoned, with the remainder of the odds and
ends.  The prospect before them was not very bright.  With no
provision save jerked meat, and with knocked-up horses, they were
starting on a journey of at least 100 miles, when their destination
was not more than 30 miles away from them.  they hoped to head the
bend of the river they were on (having reverted to the opinion that
it was the Escape), without knowing how far beyond the lowest point
of their first exploration this turning-point might be, or what
obstructions might be a-head of them.  On the other hand, the whole
of the party were without sickness, and they had plenty of cattle to

'February' 14.--A final start was made this morning from camp 82,
of dreary memory, after a good deal of trouble in packing, choosing
and rejecting what was too heavy or useless, and the other delays
attendant on the breaking up of an established camp.  The river was
followed for 11 miles with the usual amount of bogging and
difficulty, in crossing the small trench-like creeks already
mentioned.  In one of these they were compelled to abandon another
horse (Tabinga).  The poor brute fell in trying to cross, and when
pulled out and set on his legs was too weak to stand.  He had to be
left, therefore, saddle and all.  Another (Pussy) having died at the
last camp, their number was now reduced to thirteen.  Their loads
were reduced to the slightest possible, and consisted merely of the
jerked meat, the ammunition, and swags of the party.  Distance 11
miles.  (Camp LXXXIII.)

'February' 15.--A gloomy morning with light showers, 10 miles were
accomplished to-day.  Three hours were consumed in crossing one of
the boggy gullies.  Every horse had to be unpacked, and half of them
had to be pulled across with ropes.  The pack of another horse (Lady
Scott) had to be abandoned.  She was too weak to carry even the empty
saddle.  The camp was pitched in the angle formed by the large creek
running into the river just below the gunyah camp of their first
trip, mentioned January 30th.  (Camp LXXXIV.)

'February' 16.--The Eliot was reached to-day 8 miles from the camp.
It had fallen considerably, but was still too high to allow of
crossing without taking off the packs.  It was about thirty yards
wide, and running clear, about five feet deep, where the party
crossed.  The camp was pitched on the main stream two miles further,
making a total of 10 miles for the day's journey.  (Camp LXXXV.

'February' 17.--The lowest camp of the Brothers on their first trip
was passed to-day at about 6 miles.  The total distance they
estimated they had travelled down the river on that occasion was 40
to 45 miles, as it will be remembered that they went 6 or 7 miles
beyond this camp on the 1st of February.  The true distance to the
turning point by Mr. Richardson's reckoning, was estimated at 35
miles, which is probably correct.  Mr. Richardson in his journal of
to-day's date says, "they told me they had travelled 20 miles North
and 30 miles West."  A glance at sheet No. 14 will shew this to have
been an error; and in a foot-note at February 2nd, he states, "I
afterwards found that these distances were incorrect.  The true
distances West and North respectively from the 82nd camp to the point
in our track where the Leader turned back, are about 24 miles W. and
7 N."  Now, considering the tortuous course of the river, the nature
of the country, the weather, and obstacles of the creeks, 6 miles is
not a great error in westing.  Mr. Richardson's own reckoning,
generally, despite his advantage over the Brothers, in having nothing
to do but follow the cattle, was not more to be depended upon, whilst
the results of his observations by the sextant were not so much so,
as he naively informs us he did not think he error in Latitude was
more than 15 miles!  It appears evident therefore that the dead
reckoning of the explorers was of equal, if not greater value, as far
as the journey was concerned, than the surveyor's, the chief result
and use of whose presence in the party is, that we have been
furnished with a very excellent and interesting map of the route; but
it by no means assisted the Leader in the piloting of the Expedition,
or resolved his doubts when at fault, either at this point or on
leaving the Einasleih in search of the Lynd.  The party camped at the
end of about two miles on the right bank of a broad deep creek
running in from S.W., when after turning out, some of them went
fishing, but only one small cat-fish was caught.

'February' 18.--A slight rain fell during last night, but cleared
off before morning.  The creek was crossed at about a mile from the
camp, cattle, horses, and men having to swim.  The former took it
like water-dogs, and the latter had as usual to carry their saddles,
packs, and "traps" over on their heads.  After ten miles of
travelling over poorly-grassed stringy-bark ridges, the country
resumed its old character of swamp, brushwood, and low scrubby banks,
flooded for four or five feet, the overflow filling swamps running
parallel, and about two or three hundred yards distant from the
river.  This was followed during the day's march, and they were
elated with the hope that they had at length reached the much wished
for bend, the course being slightly to the eastward of north.  It was
Mr. Jardine's intention to have again halted the party when they
reached this point, and once more pushed forward in search of
Somerset, but they were out of meat, and the party had started
without breakfast, there being nothing to eat.  He therefore camped
at the end of 10 miles to kill a beast.  there were a good many
delays during the march, chiefly to pull the exhausted horses out of
the constantly recurring bogs.  Poor "Lady Scott" especially was with
great difficulty got into camp.  Distance 10 miles, N. 1/2 E.  (Camp
LXXXVII.  Bloodwood)

'February' 19.--To-day was chiefly devoted to rest, and the cutting
up, jerking, and smoking of the beef by the whites, the black-boys,
after the manner of their race, dividing it pretty equally between
sleeping and stuffing.  The meat curing was as usual a slow process,
there being no salt, and a gunyah having to be made to smoke it in.
The river was here first observed to have a rise and fall in it of
about six inches.  Its width was about a quarter of a mile.

The latitude of this camp (87) is 11 degrees 11 minutes 13 seconds
The latitude of camp (82) is 10 degrees 58 minutes 2 seconds
The Northing therefore equals 13 minutes 11 seconds

'February' 20.--It commenced to rain at two o'clock this morning,
and continued heavily as the party started.  The river again turned
to the Westward, to their great disappointment.  The course was
continued along it for 9 miles, when they were brought to a
stand-still by a deep creek with boggy banks, twenty yards wide,
flowing from the South.  It was evidently affected by the tide, as
the water was slightly brackish and the edge fringed by a species of
mangrove.  A crossing-place was looked for without success, and the
camp was finally pitched, as the rain was pouring heavily.  (Camp

'February' 21.--This morning the Brothers, taking old Eulah with
them, swam across the creek, alligators notwithstanding, and walked
to the top of a high stringy-bark ridge on the south side.  Selecting
the highest tree he could find (a bloodwood) Alexander Jardine
ascended it with Eulah, and from its top branches got a view that
finally dispelled the doubts as to their position, and the identity
of the stream they had traced down.  Before him, at about 3 miles
distant lay the mouth of the river, about 2 miles wide.  Its course
could without difficulty be traced from where they were till it
debouched into the Gulf waters opposite a small island, which was
easily recognized as Barn Island, whilst to the North, Endeavour
Straits, and Prince of Wales Island could be distinctly seen.  It was
now perfectly plain that the river they had followed was not the
Escape.  They had therefore, been deceived a second time.  It
received the very appropriate name of Deception, but has since, by
the direction of his Excellency Sir George Bowen, been charted, and
is now known by the name of the Jardine.  Descending from his perch,
after half-an-hour spent in taking bearings by the compass to the
different points of interest, Mr. Jardine joined his brother, who at
once determined to return to camp 87, it being impossible to cross
where they were.  Re-crossing the creek, they rejoined the party,
reaching the camp at sun-set, under a heavy downpour of rain.

'February' 22.--Although it was raining heavily with every
appearance of a continuance, the party started to return up the river
in excellent spirits.  The Brothers were now certain that they should
have no difficulty in finding the Settlement on their next trip.
They were, however, very much puzzled as to where such a large stream
as the Escape was found to be, should rise.  They now re-traced their
steps, and camped close to their last camp LXXXVII.  Six miles.

'February' 23.--To-day was spent in killing and jerking a beast,
and preparing for the Leader's third start in search of the
Settlement.  The rain poured down heavily, causing the river to rise
very fast.  Another raft similar to that made at camp 83, had to be
constructed, a work of some time, for the only wood fit for making
the frame was dry nonda, which was scarce.  The rain too, very much
impeded the drying of the beef, for which, as usual, a bark gunyah
had to be erected.  Everything, however, was got well forward for the
important business of crossing the next morning.

'February' 24.--The horses, saddles, and rations were all crossed
in safety to-day, though not without difficulty.  In swimming the
horses particular care had to be taken, for there was only one small
spot on the other side at which they could be landed.  As explained
on the 5th, on the occasion of the second start, it requires a strong
swift swimmer to lead a horse across a stream, and in this the white
men, or at least, three of them, were much superior to the
black-boys, who, although all good swimmers, were much more efficient
in the service of the raft.  This only illustrates the rule that most
white men can beat the aboriginal in swimming fast, whilst the latter
has superior endurance; but there is no doubt, that under the same
conditions of education and practice, the civilized white man is
superior to the savage in any physical function or exercise.  The
rain poured down consistently during the whole of the day, and a cold
cutting wind drove the swimming party at intervals to the fires,
where, whilst toasting the outward, they solaced the inner man with a
decoction of Scrutton's, by courtesy called, soup, being an 'olla
podrida', or more properly "bouillon," of the bones, gristle, head,
and oddments of the lately-killed beast.  This was always a stock
repast after each kill-day, and there is but little doubt but that
its "osmazome" contributed not a little, to the good health and heart
of the party.  Almost every exploring party on short commons, records
some favourite cookery, some dish that their souls loved.  In
McKinlay's journey, the dish most in vogue was a kind of "amorphous"
black-pudding, made of the carefully-saved blood of the bullock,
horse, or sheep, as the case might be, boiled with some fat, and
seasoned with a little condiment, which being of light carriage, can
always be saved for such high occasions.  In the present instance,
the fat was always devoted to the greasing of the saddles,
pack-straps, etc., during the latter part of the journey, when
clothing was at a premium; of the explorers themselves, "more
aboriginum," who found that the protection it afforded them against
cold, wet, and mosquitoes, far outweighed any slight redolence,
which, after all, could only be offensive to anyone not equally
anointed.  At night the Brothers camped on the north side of the
Deception, or Jardine, leaving the party again to await their report
and return, the cattle being in charge of Scrutton.

'February' 25.--There was an early start this morning, but the
little party did not make much headway that day, for after two miles
of boggy brushwood country their progress was suddenly arrested by a
sea of water, the overflow of a large creek, the outline of which
could be traced by a fringe of dark green foliaged trees.  Some
fruitless attempts were made to cross it at different points.  At the
narrowest part they could find, on running it down at a spot where
the channel was hemmed in by ridges on either side, it was still
half-a-mile wide, and running very strongly in the actual channel.
They therefore had to resign themselves to wait patiently till the
flood went down, apparently not a near prospect, for the rain still
continued to drizzle unceasingly.  After hunting about for some time
they were fortunate enough to find a good dry camp when turning out,
they disposed themselves to await the subsidence of the water, with
what patience they might.  The next two days were spent in hunting
for the pot, and exploring for a good crossing place.  In the former
they met with no success, all they were able to find being a kind of
wild grape, about the size of a small marble.  They are black and
sweet, and as Alexander Jardine describes, "very good to eat, but
they take all the skin off the tongue and lips!"  On the evening of
the second day they had the pleasure of seeing that the creek was
slowly going down, giving promise that they might be able to cross it
on the morrow.

'February' 28.--This morning they had the satisfaction of seeing
that the creek had fallen sufficiently to enable them to cross, but
not without swimming.  At the spot they chose for going over the
stream was about fifteen yards wide, but the current very rapid.  The
horses were crossed in the usual manner, swimming with their saddles
on their backs, but the rations, etc., were passed over by a
different method, one which did credit to the projector.  A kind of
flying suspension bridge was improvised, by which they were slung to
the other side, in a manner proving that necessity is the mother of
invention.  By attaching one end of their light tent-line to the
branches of an over-hanging tree on the hither side, and the other
end to a butt on the opposite bank, the "swag" slid down by its own
gravity, and was safely crossed.  Their 'impedimenta' were thus
safely transported to the opposite bank, the whole process occupying
about an hour.  They were well re-paid for their long patience, for
immediately on attaining the other side, the country changed into
good sound well-grassed stringy-bark ridges, which continued
throughout the whole stage, with the exception of a few broad
tea-tree gullies.  They encamped at about 10 miles.  Poor old Eulah
experienced to-day, what he felt was a cruel disappointment.  Just
before getting into camp he espied what he supposed to be a fresh
turkey's nest (the 'Talegalla Lathami'); jumping off his horse, he
eagerly commenced rooting it up, expecting to be rewarded by a fine
haul of eggs.  These, as is the habit of that bird, were deposited in
a large mound formed of sticks, earth, and leaves.  His
disappointment and disgust were equal, and his language forcible and
deep, on finding that he had been anticipated--the big mound was
the abode of emptiness.  The mystery was cleared up on going on a
little way, when they found a black's camp about two days old, where
the egg-chips shewed that the occupants had enjoyed Eulah's
anticipated feed, the piccaninnies probably amusing themselves
afterwards by filling up the nest to its original appearance.  In the
evening, whilst Alexander Jardine, was preparing the frugal supper
(they generally ate their jerked meet raw, but on this occasion he
was cooking it for a change), the Leader and Eulah walked to the top
of a small sandy conical hill, about half-a-mile distant, when
climbing the highest tree, they could find, they were rewarded by a
fine view of Newcastle Bay, on the south-east of the bight, on which
they were now camped.  They had also the great satisfaction of
finding that they had at last headed the Escape River.

'March' 1.--"A nasty wet morning."  The trio started early,
thinking it quite possible that they might "pull up" something or
other belonging to the Settlement before night, but they kept their
thoughts to themselves.  They had had so many disappointments that
they felt that to hazard a guess even, was a mistake.  After
travelling over a great deal of low scrub and brushwood, which,
however, was better than boggy ground ("to be without one or the
other," says Alexander Jardine "would have been too much to expect")
during a heavy shower of rain, about three o'clock, whilst riding
over some low sandy ridges they suddenly came on to a number of
blacks, camped on the outside of a thick scrub, at a point where it
abutted on a small creek.  The travellers immediately unslung their
carbines, very dubious however as to whether they would go off (for
they were all damp,) and prepared for the customary "set-to."  As
hitherto, in all these encounters, they had always without any show
of hostility on their part, been at once attacked, they were
surprised to find the blacks, who were very numerous, bolt into the
scrub, with the exception of three who stood their ground, and
holding up their empty hands shewed that they were unarmed, dancing
and shouting vociferously.  Eulah was the first to detect what they
said, and reining up called out "hold on, you hearim, that one bin
yabber English."  the brothers halted and listened.  Sure enough they
distinctly heard the savages shouting excitedly "Alico, Franco,
Dzoco, Johnnie, Toby, tobacco, and other English words.  It was now
evident that they had met with friendly natives, who were acquainted
with the Settlement, so they went forward and spoke to them.  The
blacks still continued to shout their shibboleth, pointing to
Somerset, which they called "Kaieeby."  After taking a rough
inventory of the camp, without, however, finding anything that could
have come from the Settlement, they started two of the most
intelligent in front of them, making them understand by signs, that
they wanted to be guided by the shortest route to Cape York.  This
they had no difficulty in doing, for they were by far the most
intelligent blacks they had met with.  The whole party now started
forward, the sable guides piloting them over the best ground.  In
about 7 miles they arrived at a shallow salt-water creek, that
empties itself into a northern inlet of Newcastle Bay.  Here they met
with a large body of unarmed blacks, who after making a great many
signs, came up and presented them with some spears and wommerahs,
which they had concealed in the mangroves, possibly as an earnest of
peace.  They also brought them a villainous compound, in some
dilly-bags, a mixture of mangrove-roots and berries, pounded up into
a pulp, of a yellowish color.  Although it was very disagreeable to
the taste, the travellers eat of it in token of confidence in their
hosts, or rather to make them believe that they trusted them, for
they were too well acquainted with the aboriginal nature to trust
them in reality, and kept a wary though unobserved watch.  The tide
being in, and it being very late when the salt-water creek was
reached, the Brothers determined to camp with their newly-made
friends at their main camp, and accordingly followed them for about
two miles, when they again hit the salt creek.  Here three large
canoes were moored to the mangroves, the largest was about 28 feet
long, and 30 inches wide, cut out of the solid butt of some large
tree, and very neatly finished.  The tent was pitched, but not made
much use of, for after dark the travellers left it and camped
separately, each keeping vigilant watch all night.  The natives spent
it very differently, and, whether in honor of the whites, or in
anticipation of picking their bones (it might have been either) they
held high corroboree till about midnight, keeping up a fearful din,
in which two large drums formed a prominent part.  The name of this
kind of drum is "Waropa" or "Burra Burra," and it is procured in
barter or war from the Islanders of Torres Straits, who frequently
visit the continent.  It is neatly made of a solid piece of wood
scooped out, in shape like an elongated dice box.  One end is covered
with the skin of a snake or iguana, the other being left open.  When
this instrument is played upon by a muscular and excited "nigger," a
music results which seems to please him in proportion to its
intensity; keeping time with these, and aiding with their voices,
they kept up their wild dance varying the chant with the peculiar
b-r-r-r-r-r-r-oo, of the Australian savage (a sound made by
"blubbering" his thick lips over his closed teeth,) and giving to
their outstretched knees the nervous tremor peculiar to the
corroboree.  But a corroboree, like the ball of civilized life must
have an end, and at length the tired dancers sought their several
lairs, leaving the whites to watch the watery moon and lurid stars,
and listen to the dull plashing of the tide through the mangroves,
whilst waiting for daylight.

'March' 2.--At daylight the party started forward, accompanied by a
strong detachment of "black guards," who were much disgusted when the
greater number of them were dismissed before they had proceeded far,
no doubt wishing and expecting to share in the "bacca" or "bissiker,"
which would reward the pilots.  Mr. Jardine selected the three they
had first met as guides, who turned out capital fellows.  They
explained that to go straight they would have "mouro pia" much scrub,
and therefore led the way along the beach, carefully shewing the
horsmen the hardest places on the sands.  In rounding one of the
rocky headlands, Eulah's horse fell with him, causing the greatest
amusement and merriment to the body-guard.  To be laughed at by
Myalls was nearly too much for Eulah's equanimity, and could he have
had his own way he would probably have resented the insult.  As it
was, his ire could only find vent in deeply muttered objurgations and
abuse.  At about noon the party sighted the Settlement, and
involuntarily pulled up to gaze at the scattered and insignificant
buildings they had so long and ardently desired to see and struggled
to reach, hardly realizing that the goal was at last attained; when
they again moved forward theguides set up an admonitary yell, which
had the effect of bringing Mr. Jardine and their brother John to the
door.  For a considerable time before the arrival of the overland
party, Mr. Jardine had not been without some uneasiness for the
success and safety of the expedition.  The time for their probable
arrival had long elapsed.  A report had reached him by the
"Salamander" from Rockingham Bay, that the party were on the Lynd,
unable to move forward for want of water, and that their provision
was exhausted, and finally the wet season had set in.  To facilitate
their endeavours in finding the Settlement (a work of more than
ordinary difficulty, arising from the intricacy of the rivers and
scrubby nature of the country, at the apex of the Cape York
peninsula,) Mr. Jardine had cut a marked tree line for 30 miles in a
south-westerly direction, meeting a similarly marked line running
east and west from the head of the Kennedy to the west or Gulf Coast,
a distance of about 10 miles.  On the latter and on either side of
the longitudinal line, trees were marked at intervals, with
instructions for their course, so that the party hitting the east and
west line would be guided to the junction of the first one leading
into the Settlement.  The east and west line, it has been seen they
overran, the rapid tropical growth of the scrub having so far
obliterated it as to make it difficult to notice, or find, even if
sought for.  Yet through any depression that might naturally be
induced by the delay, whatever his fears might have been for the
success of the expedition, he felt none for the safety of his sons,
well knowing and relying on their dauntless pluck, energy, and
fitness for the work.  His parting injunction to them had been, that
whatever might betide, 'they should keep together'.  He knew that he
would not be disobeyed, and felt firm in the faith that, should the
party by misfortune be reduced to their own two selves, with only
their tomahawks in their hands, they would make their way to him.
Thus, firmly reliant on the qualities of his boys, he waited with
patience, and his faith was well rewarded.  On the morning of the 2nd
of March, Mr. Jardine being employed in some matters about the house,
during an "evendown" pour of rain, was disturbed by a loud shouting,
and looking out saw a number of blacks running up to the place.
Imagining that the Settlement was about to receive another attack,
(for the little community had already had to repulse more than one,)
he seized his gun, always in readiness for an "alerte" and rushed
out.  Instead, however, of the expected enemy, he had the pleasure of
seeing his long-looked-for sons, surrounded and escorted by their
sable guides.  For a long time previous, the natives who visited the
Settlement had been made to understand that Mr. Jardine expected his
sons with horses and cattle, and had been familiarized with their
names, "Franco" "Alico" as also with others such as "Somerset," "Cape
York," "Salamander," and "Toby," (Mr. Jardine's well-known retreiver)
the intention being that these should act as pass words when they met
the party, a wise precaution, which, as it has been seen, probably
prevented a collision.  Thus, on nearing the Settlement the blacks
set up the shouts that had alarmed him, screaming out his name Joko,
Franco, Alicko, and such was the eagerness of each to prove that he
(smiting himself on the breast) was "Kotaiga" or friend, pointing at
the same time to the Brothers, as a witness of their truth, that it
was with some difficulty that the Father could reach his sons to
greet and welcome them.  But for the horses they bestrode, even a
father's eye might have failed to distinguish them from the blacks by
whom they were surrounded.  Six months of exposure to all weathers
had tanned their skins, and so reduced their wardrobe, as to make
their appearance primitive in the extreme, their heads being covered
with a cap of emu feathers, and their feet cased in green hide
mocassins.  The rest of their costume was 'a l'ecossaise,' their
pantaloons being reduced to the waist-bands and pockets, the legs
having for a long time been matters of remembrance only.  However,
they were hearty and well, in high spirits, and in good case.  During
the hubbub caused by the tumultuous demonstrativeness of the natives,
an amusing episode occurred, which is worthy of record.  The
attendant of Mrs. McClintock, a fine strapping girl from the Emerald
Isle, whose good humour and light-heartedness in the discomforts of a
new Settlement had earned her the name of cheerful Ellen, hearing the
tumult outside, and seeing Mr. Jardine rush out gun in hand, imagined
also that they were about to have another attack.  Seizing her
mistress in her arms, with more kindness than ceremony, she bore her
away to her own room, where, having deposited her burden, she turned
the key on her, saying, "that was no place for her whilst fighting
was going on."  Nor was it until she was well assured that there had
been a false alarm that the kind-hearted wench released her mistress
from durance.

It must be left to the imagination of the reader to realize the
swelling feelings of joy and pride with which the Father grasped the
hands of his gallant sons.  After a separation of more than ten
months, his boys had found their way to him at the extremity of the
Australian Continent, by a journey of over 1600 miles, whose
difficulties, hardships, dangers, and escapes, have seldom been
parallelled, and never been surpassed in the whole annals of
exploration.  Had they, like poor Lichhardt, Kennedy, or Burke and
Wills, perished in the attempt, they would have been honored as
heroes, and a tablet or monument would been handed down their names
to posterity.  As it was, thanks to a kind Providence, they were
living heroes, who had sturdily accomplished their work, and brought
their companions through without hurt or casualty.  The modesty which
is ever the attribute of true merit, will probably cause their cheeks
to tinge in finding their exploits thus eulogized, but assuredly it
is no exaggeration of praise to say, that they have won for
themselves a lasting and honorable name in the records of Australian


Chose Site for Station--Native Method of Using Tobacco--Return
for the Cattle--The Lakes--Reach the Camp--Another Horse Dead
--The Whole Party Cross the Jardine--Raft Upset--Cargo Saved--
Deserted by Guides--Final Start for Settlement--Another Horse
Abandoned--Horses Knocked Up--Cattle Missing--Choppagynya--
Reach Vallack Point--Conclusion.

On the afternoon of their arrival in Somerset, the Brothers, after a
"slight" luncheon, in which Mr. Jardine's preserved vegetables
received very particular attention, manned the whale-boat belonging
to the Settlement, and pulled over the Straits to Albany Island to
get fresh horses.  Two were got over, but night coming on, the
crossing of the rest was deferred until the next day.  The Strait is
three-quarters-of-a-mile wide, which, with a current running upwards
of five knots an hour, makes it an exhausting swim even for a strong
horse.  The next morning three more horses were crossed.  The five
expedition horses which these re-placed were in a miserable
condition.  Three of them had given in on the preceding day, two
miles from the township, and had to be left behind for the time.
With the fresh horses the Brothers were enabled to take a look about
them, and select a site for the formation of a cattle station.  A
convenient spot was chosen at Vallack Point, about three miles from
Somerset, to which it now only remained for them to fetch up their
companions and the cattle.  Two days were spent in recruiting the
horses, the explorers themselves, probably, enjoying the "dolce far
niente" and change of diet.  The black guides were not forgotten, and
received their reward of biscuit and tobacco.  The manner in which
they use this latter is curious, and worthy of notice.  Not satisfied
with the ordinary "cutty" of the whites, they inhale it in volumes
through a bamboo cane.  The effect is a profound stupefaction, which
appears to be their acme of enjoyment.  On the morning of the 5th,
taking with them their younger brother, John Jardine, and their two
guides, Harricome and Monuwah, and the five fresh horses, in addition
to their own, the Brothers started to return to the cattle party, who
were anxiously awaiting their return on the banks of the flooded
Jardine.  The black pilots were made to understand where the camp
was, and promised to take them by a good road.  The first stage was
to the Saltwater Creek, on which they had camped with the tribe,
which they reached in about 17 miles, passing on the way, three fine
lakes, Wetura, Baronto, and "Chappagynyah," at two, four, and eight
miles from Somerset.  The road was a fair one for the cattle, keeping
along the line marked by Mr. Jardine the preceding year as before
mentioned, and only presented a few light belts of scrub to go
through.  They were likewise enabled to choose a better crossing of
the Saltwater Creek, where the swamps join and form a defined
channel.  The last two miles were very boggy, even the fresh and
well-conditioned horses getting stuck occasionally.

'March' 6.--The camp was reached in the evening of to-day, at the
end of about 22 miles, but the black pilots were of very little use,
as shortly after starting they fairly got out of their latitude, and
were obliged to resign the lead to the Brothers, who hit the river a
little before dark, nearly opposite the camp.  They found it about
the same height as when first crossed, but it had been considerably
higher during their absence.  It being too late to cross, the party
camped on their own side, and Messrs. Harricome and Monuwah swam over
to see the new strangers and get a supply of beef.  They returned
with nearly a shoulder of a good sized steer, which entirely
disappeared before morning, the whole night being devoted to feeding.
The quantity of meat that a hungry native can consume is something
astounding, but in this case beat anything that any of the whole
party had ever seen.  The natural result was a semi-torpor and a
perfectly visible distention.

'March' 7.--This morning the Brothers crossed over to the camp,
when they had the satisfaction of finding, on counting the cattle,
that a number were away, and when the horses were tried, two of them
were found missing, besides one that had died during their absence,
"Lady Scott."  They were immediately sent for, and the remainder of
the party employed in preparing for the crossing, and killing a
beast.  A fresh raft was made with the hide capable of carrying 400
lbs. weight.  The two Somerset blacks evinced a great deal of
surprise at sight of the cattle, and expressed it by chirping and
making various curious noises with their tongues and mouths.
Accustomed chiefly to fish, herbs, and roots, the succulent beef had
charms which outweighed surprise, and another night was spent in
feasting on the "oddments" of the fresh killed beef.

'March' 8.--The missing cattle and horses were brought in with the
exception of three, which prevented the party crossing to-day,
although all was now in readiness.  The river was still 200 yards
wide, and running strongly, so that it was expedient to cross the
whole together.

'March' 9.--The three missing cattle not having been found, the
crossing operations were commenced at mid-day.  The width and
appearance of the river made it difficult to make the cattle face it,
but they were all safely crossed after a little time, with the
exception of one, which broke away, and could not be recovered.  The
pack-horses were then put over, which was easily accomplished, and it
then only remained to cross the packs and baggage.  The raft answered
admirably, and everything was ferried over in safety, till the last
cargo, when a little adventure occurred, which nearly cost the life
of one of the party.  Cowderoy, being unable to swim, had to be taken
across holding on to the raft, and was, therefore, left to the last;
all went well with him until within 30 yards of the bank, when,
whether from trepidation, induced by visions of alligators (with
which the river indeed abounds), or from an attempt to strike out
independently, he "succeeded" in upsetting and sinking the raft, and
was with some difficulty got to the shore "quitte pour la peur."  In
truth it requires some nerve for a man who can't swim to cross a wide
and rapid river.  Without a confiding trust in the means adopted for
his transport, a catastrophe is not an unlikely result.  The writer
has known instances of persons crossing broad rivers supported by a
spear held between two blacks, by holding on to a bullock's tail, and
even sitting on a horse's back, but in every case the success of the
attempt depends almost entirely on the coolness of the individual,
and even with this essential, he has known some fatal cases, so that
Cowderoy might congratulate himself on his safe transit.  The packs,
etc., which formed the last cargo, were recovered after some time,
the distance from the shore being slight, and Cowderoy soon recovered
his accustomed good humor.  By four o'clock everything had been
crossed in safety, save the four beasts before mentioned; but on
camping for the night it was found that the guides had decamped,
their unwonted high feeding, having, no doubt, induced an
indisposition to work, a result not confined to blacks alone.

'March' 10.--This morning the "Cowal," or watercourse, which had
detained the Brothers on their first trip, had to be swum over, and
here poor Ginger, one of the horses, got hopelessly bogged, and
though got out and put on his legs with saplings, was too exhausted
to go on,and had to be abandoned.  The distance accomplished was 11

'March' 11.--The line marked by Mr. Jardine was followed to-day.  A
scrub occurred on a creek called Wommerah Creek, through which it
took two hours to drive the cattle.  Only 10 miles were made, and the
camp was pitched at about 4 miles from the mouth of the creek where
the corroboree was held.  Three horses were knocked up during the
day, which prevented their gotting as far as intended.

'March' 12.--On counting the cattle it was found that 30 head had
been dropped in coming through the scrub at Wommerah Creek.  Two of
the black-boys were sent after them, and the Brothers went out to
find a crossing-place over Ranura Creek, (their last camp in
Somerset.)  Here they met the same tribe, (known as Wognie's,) and
bartered "bacca" and "bissika," against "moro wappi," or fish, with
which the camp was plentifully supplied in the evening.  The cattle
were recovered all but five.  The country is described as being
composed of ridges of white and red sand, intersected by swamps of
tea-tree, pandanus, and banksia, the crest of the ridges being
generally surmounted by a patch of scrub.  The timber, bloodwood,
mahogany, stringy-bark, and nonda.

'March' 13.--A late start was made to-day, for some of the horses
were away.  The camp was formed on the banks of the lake
before-mentioned, 8 miles from Somerset, Chappagynyah, which is
described as teeming with crocodiles.  tThe next day the party
reached their final resting place, probably not without some
exhiliration in feeling that their journey was over.  They were met
at Baronto, by Mr. Jardine, who had ridden out from Somerset for the
purpose.  The camp was established at Vallack Point, where the
wearied horses and cattle at length found rest, whilst their drivers
were able to indulge in the unwonted luxuries of regular feeding and
uninterrupted sleep:  luxuries which few but those who have
experienced hunger and broken rest can fully appreciate.  They had
been on the road for 5 months, travelled over 1600 miles, the last
250 of which were, as we have seen, performed on foot, and by most of
the party barefooted, whilst for the last four weeks their food had
consisted chiefly of jerked veal, fish without salt, and the wild
fruits and herbs they might find in the bush.  In addition to the
distance travelled over by the whole party, and over which the cattle
were driven, the Brothers traversed more than 1200 miles in their
exploratory trips ahead, looking for the lost horses, etc.  Alexander
Jardine's journey down the Einasleih alone amounted to little less
than 300.  It may be imagined, therefore, that the return to the
habits and fare of civilized life must have been an agreeable change.

After an interval employed by the Brothers in forming a station at
Vallack Point, they returned with their father to Brisbane, in H.M.S.
Salamander, leaving their younger brother, John, in charge of the
newly-formed station, where the cattle were doing well.  Mr.
Richardson left in the same vessel, and on arriving in Brisbane
immediately set to work to chart the route.  Having every facility at
hand in the office of the Surveyor-General, the error of the river
Lynd was rectified, and a map compiled, shewing the route, from which
that now presented to the reader has been reduced.  A glance at it
will shew that a large tract of unexplored country exists between the
track of the Jardines and that of Kennedy, which affords ample scope
for, and may possibly repay future explorations.  Already stock is on
the road to occupy country on the lower Einasleih, and it is not
improbable that before long the rich valley of the Archer will add
its share to the pastoral wealth of Queensland.



[Plate: SOMERSET CAPE YORK. Lithograph.]


THE MELALEUCA ('Tea-tree Gum M. Leucodendron.')

This tree, of which there are several varieties, is very common to
Northern Australia; the drooping kind ('Melaleuca Leucodendron'),
occupying the beds and margins of the rivers, where its long pendant
branches weeps the stream, as does the graceful willow of Europe.
Its bark is in thin paper-like layers, whilst its leaves are like
that of the gum, but thinner and straighter.  It is remarkable for
containing an extraordinary quantity of brackish water, which pours
out in a torrent, when the bark is cut through, to the extent of from
a quart to a gallon.  Another variety is found chiefly in flat sandy
country and shallow swamps.  It is much smaller than that of the
rivers, and the leaves broader, stiff, and upright, its blossoms
nearly the same.  It is indifferently called weeping gum, tea-tree
gum, and tea-tree, although it is in no way allied to the latter.  It
is with the upright kind that the arid levels of the Staaten are
chiefly timbered.


This scrub, one of the numerous family of accacia, which together
with the pandanus, gave the travellers so much annoyance on their
journey, occupies a large extent of country about the Richardson
range, from the Batavia to Cape York.  It much resembles, and is
probably identical with that which grows in the neighbourhood of
Sydney, to the appearance of which, indeed, that part of the
Peninsula closely resembles.

FLOCK PIGEON OF THE GULF ('Phaps Histrionica.')

These beautiful pigeons which are alluded to by Leichhardt, are at
certain seasons found in immense flocks in the plain country about
the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Their range is wide, as in 1846 they
appeared in flocks of countless multitudes on the Murrimbidgee River,
N.S.W., probably driven from their usual regions by drought.  They
are described and figured in Mr. Gould's great work on the Australian


This river was erroneously supposed by its first settlers to be the
Lynd of Leichhardt.  That such was not the case, was proved by
Alexander Jardine, who traced it down for 180 miles from Carpentaria
Downs, when he turned back, within about a day's stage of its
junction with the Gilbert, fully satisfied that it could not be the
Lynd.  Since then it has, I believe, been traced into the Gilbert,
and thence to the Gulf.  Its importance would lead to the supposition
that it was the principal branch of the Gilbert.  There is an
excellent cattle country on the lower part, as described in the text
which has probably ere this been occupied by our pioneers.

THE NONDA ('Parinarium Nonda.  F. Mueller.')

This tree so named by Leichhardt's black-boys (described in Bentham's
'Flora Australiensis'), is very abundant north of the Einasleih,
which is possibly the extreme latitude of its zone south.  It formed
an important accession to the food of the party, and it is highly
probable that their good health may be attributable to the quantity
of fruit, of which this was the principal, which they were able to
procure, there being no case of scurvy during the journey, a
distemper frequently engendering in settled districts, when there is
no possibility of varying the diet with vegetables.  The foliage of
the tree is described as of a bright green, the fruit very abundant,
and much eaten by the natives.  It is of about the size and
appearance of a yellow egg plum, and in taste like a mealy potatoe,
with, however, a trace of that astringency so common to Australian
wild fruits.  The wood is well adapted for building purposes.

BURDEKIN DUCK ('Tadorna Raja').

This beautiful species of shelldrake, though not numerous, has a wide
range, extending from the richmond river to Cape York.  It frequents
the more open flats at the mouths of rivers and creeks.


This little insect (called Wirotheree in the Wellington dialect), the
invasion of whose hoards so frequently added to the store of the
travellers, and no doubt assisted largely in maintaining their
health, is very different from the European bee, being in size and
appearance like the common house-fly.  It deposits its honey in trees
and logs, without any regular comb, as in the case of the former.
These deposits are familiarly known in the colony as "sugar bags,"
(sugar bag meaning, aboriginice, anything sweet), and require some
experience and proficiency to detect and secure the aperture by which
the bees enter the trees, being undistinguishable to an unpractised
eye.  The quantity of honey is sometimes very large, amounting to
several quarts.  Enough was found on one occasion to more than
satisfy the whole party.  Its flavor differs from that of European
honey almost as much as the bee does in appearance, being more
aromatic than the latter:  it is also less crystalline.  As the
celebrated "Narbonne honey" derives its excellence from the bees
feeding on the wild thyme of the south of France, so does the
Australian honey derive its superior flavour from the aromatic
flowers and shrubs on which the Wirotheree feeds, and which makes it
preferred by many to the European.

THE APPLE-GUM ('Angophora?')

I have been at some pains to discover to what species this tree
belongs, but further than that it is one of the almost universal
family of the Eucalypti, have not been able to identify it.  As
mentioned in the text, it was found very valuable for forging
purposes by the Brothers, who were able to bring their horse-shoes
almost to a white heat by using it.  It is like box in appearance,
and very hard.


This formidable weapon can hardly receive too high a commendation,
and to its telling efficiency is probably attributable the absence of
any casualty to the party in their many encounters with the savages.
Not only for its long range is it valuable, but for its superior
certainty in damp or wet weather, its charge remaining uninjured
after days and weeks of interval, and even after immersion in water,
making it available when an ordinary piece would be useless.  The
effect of the conical bullet too is much more sure and complete,
which, when arms 'must' be resorted to, is of great importance.


This shell-fish is to be found in almost all the Australian rivers
and lagoons.  It is in size and appearance very much like the little
cray-fish or "Ecrevisses" which usually garnish the "Vol-au-vent" of
Parisian cookery, and of very delicate flavor.

SPINIGEX, Spear Grass, Needle Grass, or "Saucy Jack" ('Triodia Irritans.')

This grass, so well known to all Australian travellers, is a certain
indication of a sandy sterile country.  The spinifex found in the
Mally scrubs of the south attains a great size, generally assuming
the appearance of a large tuft or bush from one to two feet in
diameter, and twelve to eighteen inches high.  When old, its sharp
points, like those of so many immense darning needles set on end at
different angles, are especially annoying to horses, who never touch
it as food, except when forced by starvation.  In Northern Queensland
the present species is found abundantly from Peak Downs to Cape York.

FIVE CORNERS ('Stypelia?')

This fruit is well known and very common in the neighbourhood of
Sydney, and was found in the scrubby region about the Richardson
Range, which, as before mentioned, is of similar character to that
description of country.  It does not, so far as I am aware, exist in
any other part of Queensland.

THE NATIVE PLUM  ('Owenia.')

This tree, of which there are several species, ('Owenia Cerasifera'
and 'Owenia Vanessa' being most common in Queensland), is found along
the whole of the east coast, as far south as the Burnett, and is one
of the handsomest of Australian forest trees.  Its purple fruit has a
pleasant acid flavor, and is probably a good anti-scorbutic.  It is
best eaten after having been buried in the ground for a few days, as
is the custom of the natives.  The stone is peculiar, having much the
shape of a fluted pudding basin.  The timber is handsomely grained
and is of durable quality.

On the subjects of the fruits, edible plants, and roots of
Queensland, Mr. Anthelme Thozet, of Rockhampton, whose name is well
and deservedly known to Botanists, has been at great pains to prepare
for the approaching Exhibition at Paris, a classified table of all
that are known as consumed by the natives raw and prepared, and to
his enthusiastic attention to the subject, we are indebted for the
possession of a large and important list, a knowledge of which would
enable travellers in the wilds of the colony to support themselves
from their natural productions alone, in cases where their provision
was exhausted.

THE CALAMUS ('Calamus Australis.)

This plant belongs to a genuis of palms, the different species of
which yield the rattan canes of commerce.  Its form in the scrubs of
the Cape York Peninsula is long and creeping, forming a net work of
vines very formidable to progress.

THE PITCHER PLANT ('Nepenthes Kennedyana.')

This interesting plant was first noticed to the north of the Batavia
River, and is common to the swamps of the peninsula.  It has been
described and named in honor of the unfortunate Kennedy, who first
noticed it.


This stream, whose arid banks Mr. Jardine was forced to trace to the
sea, in consequence of the sterility and waterless character of the
levels to the northward, is neverthless of some importance.  Like
most of the northern rivers, it is a torrent stream, whose bed is
insufficient to carry off its waters during the flooded season,
causing the formation of lagoons, back-waters, and ana-branches, and
yet in the dry months, containing only a thread of water trickling
along a waste of sand, sometimes three or four hundred yards wide,
and at intervals loosing itself and running under the surface.
Should the northern branch which was seen to join amongst the
ana-branches near its debouchure prove to be the larger stream, that
followed by the party might still retain the name of "the Ferguson,"
given to it by the Brothers, in honor of the governor of Queensland.
It receives Cockburn Creek, one of importance, which, just before
joining it, receives the waters of another large creek from the
south, which was supposed to be Byerley Creek, but this as mentioned
in the text, is unlikely, for when the Brothers were in quest of the
Lynd (which they never reached at all) they left Byerley Creek
trending to the south, at a point considerably to the west of the
longitude of that influence.  It is more probable, therefore, that
Byerley Creek is a tributary of either the Einasleih or Gilbert, or
that it is an independant stream altogether, running into the Gulf
between the Gilbert and Staaten rivers.

It appears unlikely also that any practicable route for stock will be
discovered between the coast which Mr. Jardine skirted, and the heads
of the rivers Staaten, Lynd, Mitchell, and Batavia.  The interval
between Kennedy's track and that of the Brothers has yet to be
explored, when the best line will probably be found nearer to the
former than the latter, for the country between the Staaten and
Mitchell near their sources has been proven to be a barren and
waterless waste, the good country only commencing beyond the
Mitchell, and forming the valley of the Archer, but terminating about
the Coen.


The fate of the unfortunate mule, whose loss was amongst the most
severely felt of the journey, has come to light in rather an
interesting manner.  In a late letter from Cape York, Mr. Frank
Jardine mentions that some natives had visited the Settlement at
Somerset, amongst whom were seen some of the articles carried in the
mule's pack bags.  On questioning them he found that they were
familiar with all the incidents of the journey, many of which they
described minutely.  The mule had been found dead, having shared the
fate of Lucifer and Deceiver, and perished from thirst, and his packs
of course ransacked.  They had watched the formation of the Cache,
when the party abandoned the heaviest articles of the equipment, and
in like manner ransacked it.  These blacks must have travelled nearly
500 miles, for the Staaten is nearly 450 miles in a straight line
from Somerset, and were probably amongst those who dogged the steps
of the party so perseveringly to within 100 miles of Cape York,
frequently attacking it as described.  From their accounts it appears
that the expedition owed much of its safety to their horses, of which
the blacks stood in great dread.  They described minutely the
disasters of the poison camp on the Batavia, particularising the fact
of Frank Jardine having shot one of the poisoned horses, his
favourite, with his revolver, their start on foot, and other things.
 From this is would appear that they closely watched and hung on to
the steps of the party, though only occasionally daring to attack
them; and proves that but for the unceasing and untiring vigilence of
the Brothers, and their prompt action when attacked, the party would
in all probability have been destroyed piece meal.  The utter
faithlessness, treachery, and savage nature of the northern natives
is shown by their having twice attempted to surprise the settlement
whilst Mr. Jardine, senior, was resident there, although they had
been treated with every kindness from the first.  In these encounters
two of the marines were wounded, one of whom has since died from the
effects, whilst others had narrow escapes, John Jardine, junr. having
had a four-pronged spear whistle within two inches of his neck.
Since then they have not ceased to molest the cattle, and in an
encounter they wounded Mr. Scrutton.  They have utilized their
intercourse with the whites so far as to improve the quality of their
spears by tipping them with iron, a piece of fencing wire, 18 inches
long, having been found on one taken from them on a late occasion.
In his last letter Frank Jardine mentions an encounter with a
"friendly" native detected in the act of spearing cattle, in which he
had a narrow escape of losing his life, and states that, despite
their professions of friendship, they are always on the watch for
mischief.  It is evident therefore, that no terms can safely be held
with a race who know no law but their own cowardly impulse of evil,
and that an active and watchful force of bushmen well acquainted with
savage warfare is necessary to secure the safety of the young
settlement.  For a description of the habits and the character of the
Australian and Papuan races, which people the Peninsula and the
adjacent islands of Torres Straits, the reader is referred to the
interesting narrative of the voyage of the Rattlesnake, by Mr. John
McGillivray, in which the subject is ably and exhaustively treated,
and which leaves but little to add by succeeding writers.


The "villanous compound, a mixture of mangrove roots and berries,"
which was presented to the explorers by the friendly natives as a
peace-offering on first meeting them near Somerset, was probably what
is described as the "Midamo" in Mr. Anthelme Thozets' valuable
pamphlet already alluded to above on "the roots, tubers, bulbs, and
fruits used as vegetable food by the aboriginals of Northern
Queensland."  The midamo is made by baking the root of the common
mangrove ('Avicennia Tomentosa'), which is called Egaie by the tribes
of Cleveland Bay, and Tagon-Tagon by those of Rockhampton.  Its
preparation is described at page 13.



A description of the settlement at Port Albany, Cape York, at the
time of the arrival of the Brothers has been carefully drawn up in
the shape of a report to the Colonial Secretary of Queenslandby Mr.
Jardine.  It is so full and interesting that I cannot do better than
publish it in extenso.  It first appeared in the 'Queensland Daily
Guardian' of 24th June, 1865.  A letter from Mr. Jardine to Sir
George Bowen, reporting the arrival of the sons, and epitomising the
events of the journey, together with the report of Dr. Haran, R.N.,
Surgeon in charge of the detachment of Royal Marines, on the climate
of Cape York, showing its great salubrity, are also added:--


Somerset, March 1st, 1865.

Sir,--My former reports to you having been, to a certain extent,
necessarily taken up with matters of detail in reference to the
formation of the new settlement of Somerset, and that object being
now in such a state of completion as to enable me to say that it is
fairly established, so far as the comfort and safety of the present
residents are concerned, I now do myself the honor to lay before you
the result of such general observations as I have been able to make
on what may be termed general matters of interest.

2.  The portion of the country to which my observations will
particularly apply is that which, I think, may correctly be termed
the "York Peninsula proper," and comprises the land lying to the
northward of a line drawn from the estuary of the Kennedy River, at
the head of Newcastle Bay, to the opposite or north-west coast.  The
general course of the Kennedy River runs in this line, and from the
head of the tideway to the north-west coast the breadth of land does
not exceed six miles.  The mouth of the river falling into the sea a
short distance to the southward of Barn Island will be nearly met by
the western extremity of this line.

3.  The land on the neck thus formed presents singular features.
There is no defined or visible water shed; a succession of low
irregular ridges, divided by swampy flats, extends from coast to
coast, and the sources of the streams running into either overlap in
a most puzzling manner.  The large ant-hills which are spread over
the whole of this country may be taken as sure indicators of the
nature of the soils; on the ridges a reddish sandy loam, intermixed
with iron-stone gravel, prevails; on the flats a thin layer of
decomposed vegetable matter overlays  a white sand, bearing
'Melaleuca' and 'Pandanus', with a heavy undergrowth of a plant much
resembling tall heath.  Nearly every flat has its stream of clear
water; the elegant "pitcher" plant grows abundantly on the margins.
The timber is poor and stunted, chiefly bloodwood and 'grevillea';
and the grass is coarse and wiry.

4.  Leaving this neck of barren and uninteresting country, the land
to the northward rises, and a distinct division or spine is formed,
ending in Cape York.  From it, on either side, spurs run down to the
coast, frequently ending in abrupt precipices overhanging the sea; in
other places gradually declining to the narrow belt of flat land
which occasionally borders the shore.  The formation is, I may say,
entirely sandstone, overlaid in many places by a layer of lava-like
ironstone.  Porphyry occurs occasionally in large masses, split and
standing erect in large columns, at a distance resembling basalt.
The sandstone is of the coarsest quality, almost a conglomerate, and
is soft and friable; exposure to the air might probably harden it if
quarried, when it would be available for rough building.  The ridges,
with very few exceptions, are topped with large blocks of ferruginous
sandstone, irregularly cast about, and are covered with a thick
scrub, laced and woven together with a variety of vines and climbers,
while the small valleys intervening bear a strong growth of tall
grass, through which numerous creeping plants twine in all
directions, some of them bearing beautiful flowers.  Among them I may
particularise two species of 'Ipomea', which I believe to be
undescribed, and a vine-like plant, bearing clusters of fruit much
resembling in appearance black Hambro Grapes, wholesome and pleasant
to the taste.  The scrubs are formed of an immense variety of trees
and shrubs, far too numerous for me toname, were I able to do so.
Some of them have fine foliage, and bear handsome flowers and
agreeably tasted fruit, and would form most ornamental additions to
our southern gardens and pleasure grounds.  Several species of the
numerous climbing plants produce a fine and strong fibre, from which
the natives make their fishing lines.  Some fine varieties of palm
are found on the moister lands near the creeks, two especially
elegant, a 'Seaforthia' and a 'Caryota'.  A wild banana, with small
but good fruit, is also found in such localities.  On the open
grounds the bloodwood, Moreton Bay ash, and a strong growing acacia
are the principal trees.  Timber for building is scarce, and of very
indifferent quality.  The iron-bark and pine are unknown here.

5.  The soil on these grounds is a reddish loam, more or less sandy,
and thinly covered with a coarse ironstone gravel.  Much of the
ironstone has a strong magnetic property--so much so as to suspend
a needle; and it was found a great inconvenience by Mr. Surveyor
Wilson, from its action on the instruments.  As the land descends,
the soil becomes more sandy.  Near the creek patches with a
considerable mixture of vegetable loam are found, which would be
suitable for the growth of vegetables, bananas, etc.  The grass is
generally long and coarse, and soon after the rainy season ceases
becomes, under the influence of the strong south-east winds, withered
and dry.  Horses and cattle keep their condition fairly, but sheep do
not thrive; the country is quite unsuited to them.  Goats may be kept
with advantage; and pigs find an abundant supply of food in the
scrubs and swamps.

6.  In the Zoology of the district, the careful researches of Mr.
M'Gillivray--the naturalist attached to H.M.'s surveying ship
Rattlesnake--have left little room for the discovery of many
positive novelties.  I have, however, been able to note many
interesting facts in the economy and habits of the birds, especially
such as relate to their migration.  Several of the species found here
are season visitors of New South Wales, and it is interesting to
compare the times of their arrival and departure in this place with
those in the southern colony.

7.  The animals afford small variety.  The dingo, or native dog, four
species of the smaller kangaroos, and two other marsupials are found.
One, an elegant little squirrel-like opossum, striped lengthways with
black and white, I believe to be new.

8.  The birds are more plentiful.  My collection comprises more than
one hundred species of land birds, many of them remarkable for beauty
of plumage, and peculiarity of form, structure, and habit.  Among
them the most remarkable are the great black macaw, ('Microglossus
Atterrimus') the magnificent rifle bird, ('Ptiloris Magnifica') and
the rare and beautiful wood kingfisher, ('Tan Ts-ptera Sylvia').  The
latter first made its appearance here on the 30th of November last.
On the afternoon and night of the 28th and the 29th of that month
there was a heavy storm of rain, with wind from the north-east, and
the next morning the bush along the shore was ringing with the cries
of the new arrivals.  To my constant enquiries of the blacks for this
bird, I was always told by them that when the wind and rain came from
the north-west the birds would come, and their prediction was
verified to the letter.  They also say the birds come from "Dowdui"
(New Guinea).  I think this probable, as several of the birds
described by the French naturalist, M. Lesson, as found by him in New
Guinea have also appeared here for the breeding season.  The
'Megapodius Tumulus' is also worthy of mention, on account of the
surprising structure of its nest.  The mound resembles, and is
composed of the same materials as that of the brush turkey
('Talegulla'), but is very much larger in size.  Some that I have
measured are upwards of thirty (30) feet in diameter at the base, and
rise at the natural angle to a height of fifteen (15) feet or more.
It is wonderful how birds so comparitively diminutive can accumulate
so large a pile.  These birds live in pairs, and several pairs use
the same mound.  The eggs are deposited at a depth of from one to
three feet; the heat at that depth is very great, more than the hand
can bear for any length of time.  I cannot say whether the young,
when released from the mounds, are tended by the parents; they,
however, return and roost in the mounds at night.  The flesh of the
'Megapodius' is dark and flavorless, being a mass of hard muscle and
sinew.  birds, which may be called game, are not numerous.  The brush
turkey ('Talegalla'), the 'Megapodius', several species of pigeon,
with a few ducks and quail, comprise the whole.

9.--Fish are in abundance, and in great varieties; some of them of
strange form and singular brilliancy of coloring.  The grey mullet,
the bream--a fish much resembling in general appearance the English
pike--and several others, are excellent eating.

10.--Three species of turtle are plentiful during the season, that
is, the period when they approach the shores to deposit their eggs,
the green, the hawksbill, and another species, which grow to a much
larger size than either of the above.  The natives take large numbers
of the former; indeed, from the month of November till February
turtle forms their principal food.  The green turtle are taken in the
water by the blacks, who display great address in "turning" them;
they are approached when asleep on the surface; the black slips
gently from his canoe and disappears under water, and rising beneath
the animal, by a sudden effort turns it on its back, and by a strong
wrench to the fore flipper disables it from swimming.  The fisherman
is assisted by his companions in the canoe, and a line is secured to
the turtle.  This is hazardous sport, and deep wounds are frequently
inflicted by the sharp edges of the shells, which in the female
turtle are very sharp.  A singular mode of taking the hawksbill
turtle is followed by the natives here.  This custom, though said to
be known so long back as the time of the discovery of America by
Columbus, is so strangely interesting that I will give a short
account of it, as I have seen it practised.  A species of sucking
fish ('Remora') is used.  On the occasion to which I allude two of
these were caught by the blacks in the small pools in a coral reef,
care being taken 'not to injure them'.  They were laid in the bottom
of the canoe, and covered over with wet sea weed--a strong fishing
line having been previously fastened to the tail of each.  Four men
went in the canoe; one steering with a paddle in the stern, one
paddling on either side, and one in the fore-part looking out for the
turtle and attending to the fishing lines, while I sat on a sort of
stage fixed midship supported by the outrigger poles.  The day was
very calm and warm, and the canoe was allowed to drift with the
current, which runs very strong on these shores.  a small turtle was
seen, and the sucking fish was put into the water.  At first it swam
lazily about, apparently recovering the strength which it had lost by
removal from its native element; but presently it swam slowly in the
direction of the turtle till out of sight; in a very short time the
line was rapidly carried out, there was a jerk, and the turtle was
fast.  The line was handled gently for two or three minutes, the
steersman causing the canoe to follow the course of the turtle with
great dexterity.  It was soon exhausted and hauled up to the canoe.
It was a small turtle, weighing a little under forty pounds (40
lbs.), but the sucking fish adhered so tenaciously to it as to raise
it from the ground when held up by the tail, and this some time after
being taken out of the water.  A strong breeze coming on, the canoe
had to seek the shore without any more sport.  I have seen turtle
weighing more than one hundred (100) pounds, which had been taken in
the manner described.  Though large numbers of the hawksbill turtles
are taken by the Cape York natives, it is very difficult to procure
the shell from them; they are either too lazy to save it, or if they
do so, it is bartered to the Islanders of Torres' Straits, who use it
for making masks and other ornaments.

11.  Although there is a considerable variety of reptiles, snakes do
not appear to be very numerous.  The common brown snake and
death-adder are found; carpet snakes (a kind of 'boa'), appear to be
the most common, and grow to a large size.  They have been very
troublesome by killing our poultry at night.  They seem to be
bloodthirsty creatures, frequently killing much larger animals than
they can possibly swallow, and are not satisfied with one victim at a
time.  One which was killed in my fowl-house had three half grown
chickens compressed in its folds and held one in its jaws.  A short
time since I was roused in the middle of the night by the piteous
cries of a young kangaroo dog, and on running out found it rolling on
the ground in the coils of a large carpet snake.  The dog was
severely bitten in the loin, but in the morning was quite well,
proving that the bite of this reptile is innocuous.  This snake
measured nearly twelve feet in length.

12.  Crocodiles are found in numbers in the Kennedy River and a
lagoon, which has communication with its estuary.  They are also seen
occasionally in the bays in Albany Passage.

13.  Of the aborigines of Cape York I can say little more than has
already been so often repeated in descriptions of the natives of
other parts of the Australian continent.  The only distinction that I
can perceive, is that they appear to be in a lower state of
degradation, mentally and physically, than any of the Australian
aboriginal tribes which I have seen.  Tall well-made men are
occasionally seen; but these almost invariably show decided traces of
a Papuan or new Guinea origin, being easly distinguished by the
"thrum" like appearance of the hair, which is of a somewhat reddish
tinge, occasioned no doubt by constant exposure to the sun and
weather.  The color of their skin is also much lighter, in some
individuals approaching almost to a copper color.  The true
Australian aborigines are perfectly black, with generally woolly
heads of hair; I have however, observed some with straight hair and
features prominent, and of a strong Jewish cast.  The body is marked
on each shoulder with a shield-like device, and on each breast is
generally a mark in shape of a heart, very neatly executed.  The
large cicatrices which appear on the bodies of the tribes of Southern
Australia are not used here; nor is a front tooth taken out at the
age of puberty.  The 'septum' of the nose is pierced, and the
crescent-shaped tooth, of the dugong is worn in it on state
occasions; large holes are also made in the ears, and a piece of wood
as large as a bottle cork, and whitened with pipe clay, is inserted
in them.  A practise of cutting the hair off very close is followed
by both sexes, seemingly once a year, and wigs are made of the hair.
These are decorated with feathers, and worn at the 'corrobories' or
gatherings.  The women hold, if possible, a more degraded position
than that generally assigned to them among the Australian aborigines.
They are indeed wretched creatures.  The only covering worn by them
is a narrow belt of twisted grass, with a fringe of strips of palm
leaves in front.  the men go entirley naked.  The aborigines make no
huts.  In the wet weather a rude screen of leafy boughs, with palm
leaves--if any happen to grow in the neighbourhood--is set up as
a shelter.

14.  The arms used by these natives are few and simple.  Four sorts
of spears, made from the suckers of a very light wood tree with large
pith, headed with hard wood and generally topped with bone so as to
form a point or barb, are the most common.  The end of the tail of a
species of ray fish is sometimes used as a point.  It is serrated and
brittle, and on entering any object breaks short off.  It is said to
be poisonous, but I do not believe such to be the case, as one of the
marines stationed here was speared in the shoulder with one of these
spears, and no poisonous effect was produced.  The point which broke
short off, however, remained in the wound, and could not be extracted
for many months.  The spear most commonly in use, and the most
effective, has merely a head of very hard wood, from a species of
acacia, scraped to a very fine sharp point.  These are the only
spears which can be thrown with any precision to a distance--they
are sent with considerable force.  I extracted two from the thigh of
one of my horses; the animal had another in the shoulder, which had
entered to a depth of five and a half inches.  All spears are thrown
with the 'wommera', or throwing stick.  A rudely made stone tomahawk
is in use among the Cape York natives, but it is now nearly
surperseded by iron axes obtained from the Europeans.  I have seen no
other weapons among them; the boomerang and nulla-nulla (or club) are
not known.

15.  The greatest ingenuity which the natives display is in the
construction and balancing of their canoes.  These are formed from
the trunk of the cotton tree ('Cochlospermum') hollowed out.  The
wood is soft and spongy, and becomes very light when dry.  The canoes
are sometimes more than fifty feet in length, and are each capable of
containing twelve or fifteen natives.  The hull is balanced and
steadied in the water by two outrigger poles, laid athwart, having a
float of light wood fastened across them at each end--so that it is
impossible for them to upset.  A stage is formed on the canoe where
the outriggers cross, on which is carried the fishing gear, and,
invariably, also fire.  The canoes are propelled by short paddles, or
a sail of palm-leaf matting when the wind is fair.  Considerable
nicety is also shown in the making of fishing lines and hooks.  The
former are made from the fibres of a species of climber very neatly
twisted.  The fish-hooks are made of tortoise-shell, or nails
procured from wreck timber.  They are without barbs, and our
fish-hooks are eagerly sought for in place of them.

16.  The food of the natives consists chiefly of fish, and, in the
season, turtle, with roots and fruits.  These latter and shell-fish
it is the business of the females to collect and prepare.  They may,
however, be truly said to be omnivorous, for nothing comes amiss to
them, and the quantity they can consume is almost incredible.  I have
seen them luxuriating on the half putrid liver of a large shark cast
up on the beach, the little black children scooping up the filthy
oil, and discussing it with apparently the greatest gusto.

17.  These remarks apply to the four tribes which inhabit the
territory within the limits mentioned at the commencement of this
report--viz., the peninsula to the northward of the Kennedy River.
These four tribes are not distinguishable from each other in any
distinct peculiarity that I can perceive.  They keep each to their
own territory, except on the occasion of a grand "corroborie," when
the whole assemble.  They are at present on terms of peace nominally.
Should a safe opportunity of cutting off a straggler offer, I have no
doubt it would be taken advantage of.  They are cowardly and
treacherous in the extreme.  The "Gudang" tribe, claiming the land
from Cape York to Fly Point, at the entrance of Albany Pass, is small
in numbers, having, I fancy, been seriously thinned by their
neighbours, the "Kororegas," from the Prince of Wales' Island, in
Torres' Straits, who frequently come down upon them.  Paida, Mr.
M'Gillivray's 'kotaiga' (friend), was not long since killed by them.
The "Goomkoding" tribe, who live on the north-western shore, I have
seen little of.  They and the "Gudang" seem to hold most
communication with the islanders of 'Torres' Straits, the
intermixture of the races being evident.  "Kororega" words are used
by both these tribes, and the bow and arrow are sometimes seen among
them, having been procured from the island.  The "Yadaigan" tribe
inhabit the south side of Newcastle Bay and the Kennedy River; the
"Undooyamo," the north side.  These two tribes are more numerous than
the two first-mentioned, and appear to be of a more independant race
than the others, and gave us much trouble on our first settlement, by
continual thefts and otherwise.  The tract of country which they
inhabit is nearly covered with the densest scrub and with swamp, into
which they took refuge with their booty as soon as any depredation
was committed, so as to render it next to impossible for us to pursue
them.  These four tribes together do not number in all more than 250
to 300 men.

18.  All these people are much addicted to smoking.  Tobacco is used
by them in preference when it can be got.  Before its introduction,
or when it was not procurable from Europeans, the leaves of a large
spreading tree, a species of 'Eugenia', was, and is still used.
These leaves must possess some strong deleterious or narcotic
property.  I was for some time puzzled to assign a cause for so many
of the natives being scarred by burns.  Nearly every one shows some
marks of burning, and some of them are crippled and disfigured by
fire in a frightful manner.  They smoke to such excess as to become
quite insensible, and in that state they fall into their camp-fires,
and receive the injuries mentioned.  The pipe used is a singular
instrument for the purpose.  It is a hollow bamboo about 2 1/2 feet
long, and as thick as a quart bottle; one of the smoking party fills
this in turn with smoke from a funnel-shaped bowl, in which the
tobacco is placed by blowing it through a hole at one end of the
tube.  When filled it is handed to some one who inhales and swallows
as much of the smoke as he can, passing the pipe on to his neighbour.
I have seen a smoker so much affected by one dose as to lie helpless
for some minutes afterwards.

19.  Thus much for the general appearance and habits of the Cape
York natives.  A very accurate vocabulary of their language has been
published by Mr. M'Gillivary in his account of the voyage of H.M.S.
Rattlesnake.  Of their superstitions I am unable to speak with
certainty.  That they have no belief in the existence of a Supreme
Being is, I think, positive.  They are, like all the Australian
tribes, averse to travelling about at night if dark; this, I believe,
chiefly arises from the inconvenience and difficulty of moving about
at such times, and not from any superstitious fear.  They travel when
there is moonlight.  They are true observers of the weather, and
before the approach of a change move their camps so as to obtain a
sheltered position.  They do not seem to give the slightest thought
to cause or effect, and would, I believe eat and pass away their time
in a sort of trance-like apathy.  Nothing appears to create surprise
in them, and nothing but hunger, or the sense of immediate danger,
arouses them from their listlessness.

20.  I am aware of the great interest taken by his Excellency the
Governor and all the members of the Government of Queensland in the
promotion of missionary enterprise.  I much fear, however, that the
mainland here will be found but a barren field for missionary labors.
One great obstacle to successful work is the unsettled nature of the
people.  No inducement can keep them long in one place.  Certainly a
missionary station might be formed on one of the neighbouring islands
--Albany or Mount Adolphus Island, for instance, where some of the
young natives might be kept in training, according to the system used
by Bishops Selwyn and Patterson for the instruction of the

21.  With the Kororegas or Prince of Wales Islanders, who, from
constant communication with the islands to the northward, have
acquired a higher degree of intelligence than the pure Australians, I
believe a successful experiment could be made.  Missionary enterprise
beyond the protection and influence of this new settlement at
Somerset would, of course, at present be attended with considerable

22.  To the Banks and Mulgrave Islanders in Torres' Straits, a
similar remark will apply.  Those people, however, seem to be of a
more savage nature, although intelligent, and giving considerable
attention to the cultivation of yams, bananas, etc.  Both the good
and bad features in their characters may, I believe, in a great
measure be attributed to the strong influence exercised among them by
a white man, called by the natives "Wini," who has been living there
for many years.  This man, who is supposed to be an escaped convict
from one of the former penal settlements in Australia, no doubt
considers it politic to keep Europeans from visiting the island where
he resides, "Badu".  The natives of Cape York hold him and the Banks
Islanders generally in the greatest dread, giving me to understand
that all strangers going to these islands are killed, and their heads
cut off.  The latter appears to be the custom of these and the
neighbouring islands towards their slain enemies.

23.  The natives of the islands more to the northward and eastward
are said to be of milder dispositions, especially the Darnley
Islanders--of whom Captain Edwards, of Sydney, who had a
"Bech-de-mer" fishing establishment there during the last year,
speaks in high terms as being of friendly dispositions and displaying
very considerable intelligence, living in comfortable huts and
cultivating yams, bananas, coconuts, etc., in considerable
quantities.  Among these islanders I should think missionaries might
establish themselves without great difficulty, and with a
satisfactory result.

24.  I think that the simple fact of a settlement of Europeans being
established at Cape York will very much tend to curb the savage
natures of the natives, not only of the mainland, but also of the
islands, and any unfortunates who may be cast among them from
shipwrecked vessels will, at all events, have their lives spared; and
I believe that, should such an event take place, I should soon hear
of it from the natives here.  The communication between the islanders
and the natives of the mainland is frequent, and the rapid manner in
which news is carried from tribe to tribe to great distances is
astonishing.  I was informed of the approach of H.M.S. Salamander on
her last visit two days before her arrival here.  Intelligence is
conveyed by means of fires made to throw smoke up in different forms,
and by messengers who perform long and rapid journeys.

25.  I should like much to send one or two of the Cape York natives
to Brisbane to remain there a short time.  I believe that the reports
which they would bring back to their tribe of the wonders seen among
the white men would tend more than any other means to promote
friendly feelings towards us, and to fit their minds to receive
favourable impressions.

26.  From what I have previously said of the soil here, it will be
seen that no large portion of it is suited for agriculture.  Even
were the land good, the peculiar climate, which may be considered dry
for eight months in the year, would not permit satisfactory
cultivation to any large extent.  During the rainy months, from
December to April, vegetables suitable to the temperature may be
grown in abundance.

27.  Of the agreeableness and salubrity of the climate of Somerset, I
can not speak too favorably.  The wet season commenced here last year
(1864) with the month of December, and continued till the latter part
of March.  During that time the rain was intermittent, a day or two
of heavy wet being succeeded by fine weather.  The winds from the
north west were light, and falling away to calm in the evening and
night.  During this season the highest range of my thermometer was 98
degrees in the shade; but it very rarely exceeds 90 degrees, as may
be seen from Dr. Haran's meteorological sheets.  During the calms
immediately succeeding wet the heat was disagreeable, and mosquitoes
appeared, but not numerously.  The nights were invariably cool.  The
weather for the remaining seasons of the year may be termed
enjoyable.  A fresh bracing breeze from the south east blows almost
continually, the thermometer averaging during the day from 80 to 85
degrees.  This temperature, with the cool nights, (sufficiently so to
render a blanket welcome) and delightful sea bathing, prevent any of
the lassitude or enervating influence so common to tropical climates
elsewhere from being felt at Somerset.

28.  During the time of my residence here no serious indisposition
has occurred among the European residents.  Occasional slight attacks
of illness generally traceable to some cause, has taken place, but as
far as can be judged there is no 'local malady'.  There has been no
symptom of fever or ague, which it was apprehended would be prevalent
during the rainy season, as in other hot countries.  Dr. Haran, R.N.,
(the naval surgeon in charge) reports very favorably of the salubrity
of the climate.  I have every reason to believe with Dr. Haran, that
at no very distant period, when steam communication through Torres
Straits shall have been establish, Somerset will be eagerly sought by
invalids from the East as an excellent and accessible sanatorium.

29.  At all events, there can be no doubt but that the new settlement
will fulfil admirably the objects for which it was founded, 'i.e.', a
port of call and harbor of refuge for trade in the dangerous
navigation of Torres Straits, and a coal depot for steamers.

30.  I almost fear that in the foregoing remarks it may be considered
that on some subjects I have entered too much into details, while on
others my notices have been too slight.  I have endeavored, as much
as possible, to confine myself to subjects of interest, and you may
rely on my statements as the result of personal observation.  Should
there be any particular point on which the Government may require
more specific information, I shall be most happy, if it be in my
power, to afford it.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,




Somerset, May 1, 1865.

Sir,--Since the date of my last report the most important
intelligence which I have to communicate is the arrival of my sons,
Frank and Alexander Jardine, with their overland party, all safe and
well, after an extremely arduous and toilsome journey of five months,
almost entirely over country which for the greater part may be termed
barren, the distance travelled over being somewhat more than 900

2.  The party, consisting of my two sons and four other Europeans
(including Mr. Surveyor Richardson, attached to the expedition by the
Government of Queensland), with four aborigines of the Rockhampton
district, made their final start from Mr. J. G. McDonald's station,
Carpentaria Downs, in latitude 18 deg. 37 min 10 sec S., longitude
144 deg. 3 min 30 sec. E, (the farthest out-station on the supposed
Lynd River), on the 11th of October, 1864, and reached this place on
the 13th of March, ult.  Rockhampton was the first point of
departure, my second son leaving it, with the horses and men, on the
16th of May, 1864, making the journey for them about 1800 miles.

3.  It would appear from the journals kept that a great portion of
the country on the west coast of the York Peninsula, especially in
the locality of the Mitchell River, is at times (I presume
periodically) subject to inundation; the water, however, soon
disappears from the flat and sandy land, and for the greater portion
of the year, till the next rainy season, the country is destitute of
water, and in other respects little better than an absolute desert.

4.  It is a subject of great regret to myself, and in which I am sure
you will share, that this long journey should be, so far as at
present appears, productive of so poor a result to the public in
developing new resources to the colony.  However, a large and
valuable addition to geographical information has certainly been
gained; but at the same time few of the important discoveries in
lands suitable for pastoral or agricultural occupation, or in
minerals, etc., etc., and which might in so large a tract of country
have reasonably been expected, have been made.

5.  My sons have experienced a severe disappointment to their hopes
and expectations in the nature of the country around, and within a
reasonable distance of this place, as well as a heavy loss in
prosecuting their undertaking.  However at their ages, 23 and 21
respectively, the spirit is very buoyant, and they are again quite
ready for another venture.  Their journey, which, from the nature of
the country traversed, has been one of unusual difficulty and
hardship; and it is surprising to me that, hampered as they were with
a herd of 250 cattle, for which providing food and water in a barren
and unknown country is in itself no easy matter, they should have
come through so successfully.

6.  Next to the general barrenness of the country, the difficulties
they had to encounter were--first, the destruction of a quantity of
their supplies and gear, through the camp being carelessly permitted
to catch fire during their absence in pioneering the route.  Next,
the determined hostility of the natives, who were almost continually
on their track, annoying them on every favorable opportunity; on one
occasion, the crossing of the "Mitchell," opposing them so
obstinately that a considerable number were shot before they would
give way.  Then the loss of two-thirds of their horses (all the best)
from eating some poisonous plant, and which necessitated the last 300
miles of the journey being travelled on foot; and last, the flooded
state of the country during the season of the rains.  And I think it
is not too much for me to say, that nothing but a thorough knowledge
of their business, supported by determined energy, could have carried
them through what must be considered one of the most arduous tasks in
exploration on record.

7.  I will not attempt in the small space of a letter to give you
more full particulars of the journey and its incidents.  Mr. Surveyor
Richardson has, of course, his journal and maps of the route as
directed by the government, and from these, with the information
gained by my sons in their numerous "offsets" in search of the best
courses to follow, which will be placed at the disposal of the
Government, I believe a pretty accurate idea of the nature of the
country on the west coast of the York Peninsula may be gathered.

8.  My sons have at present formed their station near Point Vallack,
on the north shore of Newcastle Bay, between two or three miles from
the settlement of Somerset.  They are on good terms with the natives,
and their black servants fraternise with them, but are kept under
strict rule.  The natives of Cape York from the first have shown a
friendly feeling towards them, having, on their first arrival, met
them about twenty miles from the settlement, and shown them the
nearest way to it, and they have since been very useful in carrying
timber to build huts, stockyards, etc., etc; and I believe that for
the future, if well treated, they will offer no annoyance to the
present settlers.  The establishment of a cattle station in the
neighborhood is of great advantage to the settlement, serving as an
outpost to secure its safety, and in opening up the country, besides
affording a ready supply of fresh meat.  Already my sons and their
blacks have cut good passages through the scrub to the settlement,
and also through the various belts of scrub dividing their station
from open grounds; so that now a large extent of country can be
'ridden' over without obstruction.

9.  I have little else of importance to communicate.  The affairs of
this settlement have gone on slowly but steadily.  The several works
left unfinished are, under the charge of the acting foreman, Private
Bosworth, Royal Marines, (and of whom I can speak most highly for his
attention and work), completed, with the exception of the Custom
House, which is well advanced.

10.  The natives are on good terms with us, and work for us in
various ways, being duly paid in food, tobacco, etc.

11.  On the 23rd ultimo there was a slight shock of an earthquake
felt distinctly by myself and other persons here.  It occurred in the
afternoon, about two o'clock, was accompanied by a rumbling sound,
but lasted little more than a minute.  The health of the royal
Marines, and all other residents at the settlement, continues to be
very good, as will be seen from the report of the surgeon Dr. Haran,
R.N.  I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,


To the Hon. the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane.



Somerset, May 22, 1865.


It affords me much pleasure to have again to forward to your Excellency
a most favourable report of the climate of this settlement, and of the
uninterrupted good health of our small community, military and civil.
the dreaded summer season, with its calms, light winds and heavy rains,
has passed off without causing a single case of sickness, attributable
to noxious exhalations, which prevail at that season in most tropical
climates, but which, in my opinion, cannot exist here, owing to the
preventive causes enumerated in my letter of the 13th January last;
neither have we experienced that oppressiveness of the atmosphere which
its saturated condition at that season through the sun's direct
influence in favoring evaporation in the surrounding seas would lead one
to expect. Some slight oppressiveness was felt immediately before the
rains, but speedily disappeared on their occurrence. I can only account
for this valuable immunity by attributing it to some peculiarity of
climate, in all probability to the same causes which counteract the
evolution of noxious exhalations; for we did experience calms and very
light winds, and the hygrometer during the greater part of the time
indicated a very large amount of moisture in the atmosphere.

2. The meteorological sheets forwarded by this opportunity, contain full
particulars regarding the winds, temperature, etc., for the last four
months, and having been prepared from a series of observations,
conducted with care and regularly registered, they cannot fail, amongst
other important objects bearing on general climatology, to afford
convincing proof that, as a climate, even during the summer season, that
of Somerset, although in close proximity to the equator, possesses many
advantages not attainable in higher latitudes, and is, in my opinion,
from its mildness and equable character, especially suited for such as
may have the misfortune to be predisposed to, or suffering from,
pulmonary consumption.

3. The S.E. Trade ceased as a continuous wind in these seas on the 24th
December last. Calms, light winds, from all points of the compass, but
chiefly from the points between North and West to South, or against the
sun's course, and heavy rains, with electric phenomena of a
comparatively mild character, succeeded and persisted until the 11th of
March; when the sun's more direct influence having been diverted from
its course, and in a manner dissipated by the great heat and
evaporation, again resumed its ascendancy, and has continued since
without interruption.

4. On the 25th of January two of the Marines were seized with a severe
headache and other suspicious symptoms while working in the sun during a
calm; and I consider it my duty at once to recommend such alteration in
the working hours as would protect the men from sun-exposure during its
period of greatest heat. These alternations were adopted, and continued
in force until the 22nd of March, when the former working hours were
resumed, as no danger was apprehended from solar heat at any time of the
day during the prevalence of the S.E. Trade wind.

5. One well-marked case of scurvy became developed at the end of
January; and a few of several cases of cutaneous eruption under
treatment at the time closely resembled the symptoms characteristic of
that disease. the only anti-scorbutic dietary available,
viz.,--preserved meats and potatoes, compressed vegetables and lemon
juice, was issued at once, and continued on the salt-meat days for three
weeks, when all the indications of scurvy having disappeared, the usual
dietary was resumed. Since then the entire adult community have enjoyed
very good health.

I am, etc.,

T. J. HARAN, Surgeon, R.N.

His Excellency, Governor Sir G.F. Bowen, G.C.M.G.


Spelling errors and typos listed below are as shown in the paper text
and have been copied into the electronic text.


The footnote in the INTRODUCTION does not have a referent in the text--
there is no asterisk in the text. It is not clear whether the
'settlement' it refers to as having been abandoned is at Adam Bay or in
Western Australia.

P ix--'loosing' instead of 'losing'
P xi--re-placed


There are several words in this chapter which do not conform to today's
spelling, but which appear in the paper text as copied:
p 1--faciliate
p 3--agreable
p 5--speers
p 5--Gaala Creek--(should be Galaa Creek)
p 5--discription
p 7--amunition


P 9--amunition
P 9--earthern
P 9--cheifly
P 10--stoney
P 10--occuring
P 11--villanous
P 11--vestage
P 16--potatoe
P 16--oppossum
P 17--apparantly
P 18--despatch
P 18--amunition
p 19--muscles--probably should be 'mussels'
p 19--(about 18 miles....--no closing bracket
p 23--a cawbawn saucy--should probably be 'as cawbawn....
p 23--agressors
p 24--succeded
p 24--'where' instead of 'were'
p 24--'frighened' instead of 'frightened'
p 26--emeu
p 27--double and single quotes on "Ferguson,' don't match
p 27--'spenifex' instead of 'spinifex'

P 30--too (too days)
P 30--dilirious
P 32--carcase
p 32--indispensible
P 32--chissel
P 33--'these' should probably be 'they'
p 33--pigmy
P 34--agreably
P 34--a-head
P 35--degnified
P 36--'course' instead of 'coarse'
P 37--steadilly
P 37--abondoned
p 37--wirey
P 38--cheifly
p 38--seives
P 38--permenantly
p 39--occuring
P 40 --frightended
P 40--bythe (all one word)
P 40--gratuitious


P 42--they (no capital on beginning of sentence)
P 43--horses (no possessive apostrophe)
P 43--varities
P 44--varities
p 44--gulley
p 46--sheild
p 48--agressor
p 49--peices
p 50--bitcher plant--(instead of pitcher plant?)
p 50--pelluced


p 59--'course sandstone'--should probably be 'coarse'
p 63--a-head
p 64--the latitude measurements seem to have reversed the signs for
       minutes and seconds in measuring latitude. I have spelled out the words.
p 67--'meet' instead of 'meat'
p 68--'eat' instead of 'ate'
p 69--horsmen
p 69--admonitary
p 70--Lichhardt
p 70--retreiver
p 70--mocassins


p 72--distention
p 73--'gotting' should be 'getting'?
p 73--exhiliration


p 75--weeps the stream--should be 'sweeps the stream'? or was the
       author being poetic?
p 77--SPINIGEX--should be 'Spinifex'
p 77--genuis--genus
p 77--neverthless
p 77--loosing--losing
p 78--vigilence
p 79--Thozets'--Thozet's
p 82--easly--easily
p 82--entirley
p 83--surperseded

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