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3-305 (Original)

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Speaker:
addressee author,male,Forrest, John,28
ns1:discourse_type
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
281
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Private Written
ns1:texttype
Diaries
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/Western_Australia
Created:
1875
Identifier
3-305
Source
Fitzpatrick, 1958
pages
446-63
Document metadata
Extent:
40321
Identifier
3-305.txt
Title
3-305#Original
Type
Original

3-305.txt — 39 KB

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<source><g=m><o=a><age=28><status=2><abode=nv><p=wau><r=prw><tt=di><3-305>
Before leaving Perth I received from the Surveyor-General the following outline of instructions for my general guidance [...]
'The chief object of the expedition is to obtain information concerning the immense tract of country from which flow the Murchison, Gascoigne, Ashburton, DeGrey, Fitzroy, and other rivers falling into the sea on the western and northern shores of this Territory, as there are many good and reasonable grounds for a belief that those rivers outflow from districts neither barren nor badly watered.
Mr. A. C. Gregory, coming from the northwards by Sturt's Creek, discovered the Denison Plains, and it may be that from the head of the Murchison River going northwards there are to be found, near the heads of the rivers above alluded to, many such grassy oases; and, looking at the success which has already attended the stocking of the country to the eastward of Champion Bay, and between the. heads of the Greenough River and Murchison, it will be most fortunate for our sheep farmers if you discover any considerable addition to the present known pasture grounds of the colony; and by this means no doubt the mineral resources of the interior will be brought eventually to light. Every opinion of value that has been given on the subject tells one that the head of the Murchison lies in a district which may prove another land of Ophir.
In tracing up this river from Mount Gould to its source, and in tracing other rivers to and from their head waters, detours must be made, but generally your course will be north-east until you are within the tropics; it will then be discretionary with you to decide on your route. [447] [...]
[April 18, 1874] By half-past nine on the morning of the 18th we had made a fair start. The day was intensely hot, and as we had only three riding-horses, half of the party were compelled to walk. We travelled in a north-easterly direction for eleven miles, and reached a spring called Wallala, which we dug out, and so obtained sufficient water for our horses. I may mention here that Colonel Warburton and other explorers who endeavoured to cross the great inland desert from the east had the advantage of being provided with camels - a very great advantage indeed in a country where the water supply is so scanty and uncertain as in Central Australia. As we ascertained by painful experience, a horse requires water at least once in twelve hours, and suffers greatly if that period of abstinence is exceeded. A camel, however, will go for ten or twelve days without drink, without being much distressed. This fact should be remembered, because the necessity of obtaining water for the horses entailed upon us many wearying deviations from the main route and frequent disappointments, besides great privation and inconvenience to man and beast.
The 19th was Sunday, and, according to practice, we rested. Every Sunday throughout the journey I read Divine Service, and, except making the daily observations, only work absolutely necessary was done. Whenever possible, we rested on Sunday, taking, if we could, a pigeon, a parrot, or such other game as might come in our way as special fare. Sunday's dinner was an institution for which, even in those inhospitable wilds, we had a great respect [...] 
22nd. - Continued northerly; at twelve miles crossed the dividing range between the Sandford and other creeks flowing into the Murchison. Camped at a granite hill called Bia, with a fine spring on its north side. Got a view of Mount Murchison, which bore N. 70 E. mag. from camp. Fine grassy granite country for the first eight miles to-day. Splendid feed at this camp. Travelled about fifteen miles. Latitude by meridian altitude of Regulus 27° 7' S. Walking in turns every day [...]
24th. - At one mile reached the Murchison River, and followed along up it. [448] Fine grassy flats, good loamy soil, with white gums in bed and on flats. Travelled about fourteen miles, and camped. Rather brackish water in the pools. Latitude of camp 26° 42' 43" by Regulus. Shot seven ducks and eight cockatoos. Saw several kangaroos and emus. Rain much required. [...]
28th. - Followed up the river. Fine pools for the first six miles, with numbers of ducks in them. After travelling about twenty miles we lost the river from keeping too far to the east, and following branches instead of the main branch, in fact, the river spreads out over beautifully-grassed plains for many miles. Fearing we should be without water, I pushed ahead, and after following a flat for about six miles, got to the main river, where there were large pools of brackish water. As it was getting late, returned in all haste, but could not find the party, they having struck westward. I got on the tracks after dark, and, after following them two miles, had to give it up and camp for the night, tying up my horse alongside. Neither food nor water, and no rug.
29th. - I anxiously awaited daylight, and then followed on the tracks and overtook the party, encamped on the main branch of the river, with abundance of brackish water in the pools. Shot several cockatoos. [...]
May 1st. - Followed up river, keeping a little to the south of it for about fifteen miles. We camped on a splendid grassy flat, with a fine large pool of fresh water in it. Shot several ducks. This is the best camp we have had - plenty of grass and water - and I was very rejoiced to find the month commence so auspiciously. [...] 
2nd. - Steered straight for Mount Gould, N. 580 E., for sixteen miles, when I found I had made an error, and 'that we bad unknowingly crossed the river this morning. After examining the chart, I steered S.E. towards Mount Hale, and, striking the river, we followed along it a short distance and camped at some brackish water, Mount Hale bearing N. 178° E., and Mount Gould N. 28° E. Barometer 2896 thermometer 77° at 5.30 p.m. [...]
5th. - We travelled up easterly along the river, which spreads out and has several channels, sometimes running for miles separately, then joining again. There were many fine fresh pools for the first four miles, after which they were all salt, and the river divided into so many channels that it was difficult to know the main river. [...] [449]
6th. - Three of the natives accompanied us to-day. We travelled east for six miles, when I ascended a rise and could see a river to the north and south; the one to the north the natives say has fresh water. As the natives say there is plenty of water ahead, N. 700 E., we continued onwards to a hill, which I named Mount Maitland. After about twenty miles we reached it, but found the spring to be bad, and after digging no water came. For our relief I tied up the horses for some time before letting them go. Ascending the hill close to the camp, I saw a very extensive range, and took a fine round of angles. The compass is useless on these hills, as they are composed of micaceous iron ore, with brown hematite, which is very magnetic. To the east a line of high, remarkable ranges extend, running eastwards, which I have named the Robinson Range, after his Excellency Governor Robinson [...]
7th [...] Got an early start, and steering N. 700 E. for about twelve miles, we reached the river, and camped at a fresh pool of splendid water. This is a fine large branch; it is fresh, and I believe, if not the main, is one of the largest branches. The country is now more undulating and splendidly grassed, and would carry sheep well. The whole bed of the river, or valley, is admirably adapted for pastoral purposes, and will no doubt ere long be stocked [...]
9th. - Continued along river, which is gradually getting smaller, for about thirteen miles over most beautiful grassy country, the best we have seen. White gums along bed. I believe the river does not go more than twenty miles from here, it being now very small. Found a nice pool of water and camped..
11th. - Continued up river, which is getting very small, over beautifully-grassed country, and at seven miles came to a fine flat and splendid pool of permanent water. Although a delightful spot, I did not halt, as we had come such a short distance. Here we met six native women, who were very frightened at first, but soon found sufficient confidence to tell us there was plenty of water ahead. As they always say this, I do not put any faith in it. [450] We continued on about east for eight miles to a high flat-topped hill, when we got a view of the country ahead and turned about N.E. towards some flats, and at about eight miles camped on a grassy plain, with some small clay-pans of water. Splendid feeding country all along this valley - I may say for the last 100 miles.
12th. - Started E.N.E. for four miles, then north three miles to the range, where we searched over an hour for water without success. We then travelled S.E. for five miles and south one mile and a half to a water-hole in a brook, by digging out which we got abundance of water. About a quarter of a mile farther down the brook found a large pool of water and shot six ducks. As soon as we unloaded, it commenced to rain, and kept on steadily till midnight. I am indeed pleased to get this rain at last, as the country is very dry. Splendid open feeding country all to-day, and the camp is a beautifully-grassed spot.
14th. - Steered S.E. for about fourteen miles to a stony low range, thence E.N.E. and east and south for six miles, turning and twisting, looking for water. Windich found some in a gully and we camped. Spinifex for the first fourteen miles, and miserable country. The prospect ahead not very promising. [...]
18th. - Steered S.S.E. for four miles, then S.E. generally towards, the flat-topped hills seen yesterday, and which bore E. mag. from Spinifex Hill. At six miles crossed a low range covered with spinifex, after which we passed over country generally well grassed, some of it most beautifully and white gums very large in clumps were studded all over the plains. At about twenty-two miles reached the flat topped hills, and camped finding some water in a clay-pan The line of white gums I find are only large clumps studded over extensive plains of splendidly-grassed country. No large water-course was crossed, but several small creeks form here and there, and afterwards run out into the plains, finally finding their way into the Murchison.
20th. - Steering N.E. for five miles over fine grassy plains, came to a low stony range, ascending which we saw, a little to the south, a line of (colalya) white gums, to which we proceeded. Then following up a large brook for about five miles N.E., we camped at a small water-hole in the brook. [451] In the afternoon I went with Pierre about one mile N.E. of camp to the summit of a rough range and watershed, which I believe is the easterly water-shed of the Murchison River. All the creeks to the west of this range (which I named Kimberley Range, after the Right Honourable Lord Kimberley, the Secretary of State for the Colonies) trend towards the Murchison, and finally empty into the main river. From this range we could see a long way to the eastward. The country is very level, with low ranges, but no conspicuous hills. Not a promising country for water, but still looks good feeding country.
21st. - Continued on N.E., and, travelling over the watershed of the Murchison, we followed along a gully running N.E.; then, passing some water-holes, travelled on and ascended a small range, from which we beheld a very extensive clear plain just before us. Thinking it was a fine grassy plain we quickly descended, when, to our disgust, we found it was spinifex that had been burnt. We continued till three o'clock, with nothing but spinifex plains in sight. I des-patched Windich towards a range in the distance, and followed after as quickly as possible. When we reached the range we heard the welcoming gunshot, and, continuing on, we met Tommy, who had found abundance of water and feed on some granite rocks. We soon unloaded, and were all rejoiced to be in safety, the prospect this afternoon having been anything but cheering.
25th. - Travelled onwards about N. 400 E. for eight miles, passing a low granite range at six miles. Came to a fine brook trending a little south of east, which we followed downwards seven miles, running nearly east. This brook was full of water, some of the pools being eight or ten feet deep, ten yards wide, and sixty yards long. It flowed out into a large flat, and finally runs into a salt lake. I named this brook Sweeney Creek, after my companion and farrier, James Sweeney. Leaving the flat, we struck N.N.E. for four miles, and came to a salt marsh about half a mile wide, which we crossed. Following along, came into some high ranges, which I named the Frere Ranges, after Sir Bartle Frere, the distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society. [...] [452] 
26th. - Ascended the Frere Ranges and got a fine view to the north and east. Fine high hills and ranges to the north; a salt marsh and low ranges to the east and S.E. Continued on N.E. for four miles, then N.N.W. for three miles, passing plenty of water in clay-holes and clay-pans in bed of marsh, we camped at a fine pool in a large brook that runs into the marsh, which I called Kennedy Creek, after my companion James Kennedy. The prospect ahead is very cheering, and I hope to find plenty of water and feed for the next 100 miles. [...]
27th. - Followed up the Kennedy Creek, bearing N.N.E. and N. for about seven miles, passing a number of shallow pools, when we came to some splendid springs, which I named the Windich Springs, after my old and well-tried companion Tommy Windich, who has now been on three exploring expeditions with me. They are the best springs. I have ever seen - flags in the bed of the river, and pools twelve feet deep and twenty chains long - a splendid place for water. We therefore camped, and found another spot equally good a quarter of a mile west of camp in another branch. There is a most magnificent supply of water and feed - almost unlimited and permanent. A fine range of hills bore north-west from the springs, which I named Carnarvon Range, after the Right Honourable the present Secretary of State for the Colonies. The hills looked very remarkable, being covered with spinifex almost to their very summit. We shot five ducks and got three opossums this afternoon, besides doing some shoeing [...]
29th.. [...] Spinifex in every direction, and the country very miserable and unpromising. I went ahead with Windich. Steering about N. 15° E. for about eight miles over spinifex sand-hills, we found a spring in a small flat, which I named Pierre Spring, after my companion Tommy Pierre. It was surrounded by the most miserable spinifex country, and is quite a diamond in the desert. We cleared it out and got sufficient water for our horses. [...] 
[June] 2nd. - Early this morning went with Pierre to look for water, while my brother and Windich went on the same errand. We followed up the brook about south for seven miles, when we left it and followed another branch about S.S.E., ascending which, Pierre drew my attention to swarms of birds, parroquets, &c., about half a mile ahead. [453] We hastened on, and to our delight found one of the best springs in the colony. It ran down the gully for twenty chains, and is as clear and fresh as possible, while the supply is unlimited. Overjoyed at our good fortune, we hastened back, and, finding that my brother and Windich had not returned, packed up and shifted over to the springs, leaving a note telling them the good news. After reaching the springs we were soon joined by them. They had only found sufficient water to give their own horses a drink; they also rejoiced to find so fine a spot. Named the springs the Weld Springs, after his Excellency Governor Weld, who has always taken such great interest in exploration, and without whose influence and assistance this expedition would not have been organized. There is splendid feed all around. I intend giving the horses a week's rest here, as they are much in want of it, and are getting very poor and tired. Barometer 28.24; thermometer 71° at 5 p.m. Shot a kangaroo. [...] 
11th. - Rested at the Weld Springs. Shot an emu; about a dozen came to water. My brother and Windich intend going a flying trip E.S.E. in search of water tomorrow [...] 13th. - About one o'clock Pierre saw a flock of emus coming to water, and went off to get a shot. Kennedy followed with the rifle. I climbed up on a small tree to watch them. I was surprised to hear natives' voices, and, looking towards the hill, I saw from forty to sixty natives running towards the camp, all plumed up and armed with spears and shields. I was cool, and told Sweeney to bring out the revolvers; descended from the tree and got my gun and coo-eyed to Pierre and Kennedy, who came running. By this time they were within sixty yards, and halted. One advanced to meet me and stood twenty yards off; I made friendly signs; he did not appear very hostile. All at once one from behind (probably a chief) came rushing forward, and made many feints to throw spears. He went through many manoeuvres, and gave a signal, when the whole number made a rush towards us, yelling and shouting, with their spears shipped. When within thirty yards I gave the word to fire: we all fired as one man, only one report being heard. I think the natives got a few shots, but they all ran up the hill and there stood, talking and haranguing and appearing very angry. [454] We re loaded our guns, and got everything ready for a second attack, which I was sure they would make. We were, not long left in suspense. They all descended from the hill and came on slowly towards us. When they were about 150 yards off I fired my rifle, and we saw one of them fall, but he got up again and was assisted away. On examining the spot we found the ball had cut in two the two spears he was carrying; he also dropped his wommera, which was covered with blood. We could follow the blood-drops for a long way over the stones. I am afraid he got a severe wound. My brother and Windich being away we were short-handed. The natives seem determined to take our lives, and therefore I shall not hesitate to fire on them should they attack us again. I thus decide and write in all humility, considering it a necessity, as the only way of saving our lives. I write this at 4 p.m., just after the occurrence, so that, should anything happen to us, my brother will know how and when it occurred. - 5 p.m. The natives appear to have made off. We intend sleeping in the thicket close to camp, and keeping a strict watch, so as to be ready for them should they return to the attack this evening. At 7.30 my brother and Windich returned, and were surprised to hear of our adventure. They had been over fifty miles from camp E.S.E., and had passed over some, good feeding country, but had not found a drop of water. They and their horses had been over thirty hours without water. [...] 
14th (Sunday). - The natives did not return to the attack last night. In looking round camp we found the traces of blood, where one of the natives had been lying down. This must have been the foremost man, who was in the act off throwing his spear, and who urged the others on. Two therefore, at least, are wounded, and will have cause to remember the time they made their murderous attack upon us. We worked all day putting up a stone hut, ten by nine feet, and seven feet high, thatched with boughs. We finished it; it will make us safe at night. Being a very fair hut, it will be a great source of defence. Barometer 28.09; thermometer 68° at p.m. Hope to have rain, as without it we cannot proceed. [...] [455]
15th. - I intend going with Windich to-morrow easterly in search of water. Barometer 2909 at 5 p.m.; thermometer 62°. 
16th. - Left the Weld Springs with Windich and a pack-horse carrying fourteen gallons of water [...]
17th. - As the horses did not ramble far, we got off early and followed along and through the ranges E.S.E. about, the distance being eighteen miles. Passed some splendid clay-pans quite dry. The flats around the ranges are very grassy, and look promising eastwards, but we cannot find any water. Kangaroos and birds are numerous. Being about seventy miles from camp, we cannot go any farther, or our horses will not carry us back. We therefore turned, keeping to the south of our outward track, and at about eleven miles. found some water in some clay-holes, and camped at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There is sufficient water to last the party about a week, but not more. The weather is dark and threatening, and I believe there will be rain to-night, which will be a great boon, and will enable us to travel along easily. It is in circumstances such as I am at present placed that we are sure to implore help and assistance from the hand of the Creator; but when we have received all we desire, how often we forget to give Him praise!
18th. - Rained lightly last night, and we had a nice shower this morning. Yet did not get very wet, as we had our water- proofs. Fearing that the rain would obliterate the tracks and the party be unable to follow them, I decided to return towards Weld Springs [...] 
20th. - Started at 9.30 a.m., and steering S.E. towards the water found on the 17th for twenty-four miles; thence E.S.E. for eight miles and camped without water on a small patch of feed. The last ten miles was over clear spinifex country of the most wretched description. The country all the way, in fact, is most miserable and intolerable.
21st (Sunday). - Got an early start, and continued on E.S.E. At about three miles reached a spring on a small patch of feed in the spinifex and camped, but found, after digging it out, that scarcely any water came in. I have no doubt that it will fill up a good deal in the night; but, our horses being thirsty, I re-saddled and pushed on to the water about sixteen miles ahead, which we reached at 4 p.m. [456] There is not more than a week's supply here, therefore I intend going ahead with Pierre to-morrow in search of more. The country ahead seems promising, but there is a great deal of spinifex almost everywhere. From Weld Spring to our present camp is all spinifex, with the exception of a few flats along short gullies [...]
22nd. - Left camp in company with Tommy Pierre, with a pack-horse carrying fifteen gallons of water. [...] Fine grassy country all round and very little spinifex. To the south about nine miles we saw a lake, and farther off a remarkable red-faced range, which I named Timperley Range, after my friend Mr. W. H. Timperley, Inspector of Police, from whom I received a great deal of assistance before leaving Champion Bay. A remarkable peak, with a reddish top,- bore S.S.E., which I named Mount Hosken, after Mr. M. Hosken, of Geraldton, a contributor to the expedition. I made south towards the lake, and at one mile and a half came to a gully in the grassy plain, in which we found abundance of water, sufficient to last for months. We therefore camped for the night, with beautiful feed for the horses. I was very thankful to find so much water and such fine grassy country, for, if we had not found any this trip, we should have been obliged to retreat towards Weld Springs, the water where I left the party being only sufficient to last a few days [...]
30th. - Left camp F in company with Tommy Windich, taking one pack-horse, to find water ahead eastward. Steered E.N.E. over salt marshes and spinifex sand-hills, and at about eleven miles found water in some clay-pans, and left a note telling my brother to camp here to-morrow night. Continued on and found several more fine water-pans and fine grassy patches [...] 
July 1st. [...] The last forty miles was over the most wretched country I have ever seen; not a bit of grass, and no water, except after rain; spinifex everywhere. We are very fortunate to have a little rain-water, or we could not get ahead. 
2nd. - Steered towards the range seen yesterday a little south of east, and, after going twelve miles, my horse completely gave in, Mission doing the same also. I had hard work to get them along, and at last they would not walk. [457]I gave them a rest and then drove them before me, following Windich till we reached the range. Found a little water in a gully, but no feed. Spinifex all the way to-day; most wretched country. We ascended the range, and the country ahead looks first-rate; high ranges to the N.E., and apparently not so much spinifex. We continued N.E., and after, going four miles camped on a patch of feed, the first seen for the last sixty miles. I was very tired, having walked nearly twenty
miles, and having to drive two knocked-up horses. I have good hopes of getting both feed and water to-morrow, for, if we do not, we shall be in a very awkward position...
3rd.:. [...] Steering N.E. towards a large range about fifteen miles off, we found a great deal of spinifex, although the country generally was thickly wooded. I rode Mission, who went along pretty well for about twelve miles, when Williams gave in again, and Mission soon did the same. For the next six miles to the range we had awful work, but managed with leading and driving, to reach the range; spinifex all the way, and also on the top of it. I was very nearly-knocked up myself, but ascended the range and had a very extensive view. Far- to the north and east the horizon was as level and uniform as that of the sea; apparently spinifex everywhere; no hills or ranges could be seen for a distance of quite thirty miles. The prospect was very cheerless and disheartening. Windich went on the only horse not knocked up, in order to find water for the horses. I-followed after his tracks, leading the two poor done-up horses. With difficulty I could- get them to walk. Over and through the rough range I managed to pull them along, and found sufficient water to give them a good drink, and camped on a small patch of rough grass in one of the gorges. Spinifex everywhere; it is a most fearful country. We cannot proceed farther in this direction, and must return and meet the party, which I hope to do tomorrow night [...] 
4th. - We travelled back towards the party, keeping a little to the west of our outward track; and after going five miles found some water in clay-holes, sufficient to last the party about one night. Two of our horses being knocked up, I made up my mind to let the party meet us here, although I scarcely know what to do when they do arrive. [458] To go forward looks very unpromising, and to retreat we have quite seventy miles with scarcely any water and no feed at all. The prospect is very cheerless, and what I shall do depends on the state of the horses, when they reach here. It is very discouraging to have to retreat, as Mr. Gosse's farthest point west is only 200 miles from us. We finished all our-rations this morning, and we have been hunting for game ever since twelve o'clock, and managed to get a wurrung and an opossum, the only living creatures seen, and which Windich was fortunate to capture.
7th. - Early this morning Pierre and I and my brother and Windich started off in search of water, as there was scarcely any left at camp. Unless we are fortunate enough to find some, retreat is inevitable. Pierre and myself searched the range we were camped in, while Windich and my brother went further south towards another range. We searched all round and over the rough ranges without success, and reached camp at one o'clock. To our relief and joy learnt that my brother and Windich had found water about five miles S.S.E., sufficient to last two or three weeks. This was good news; so after dinner we packed up and went over to the water. The feed was not very good, but I am truly thankful to have found it, as a retreat of seventy miles over- most wretched country was anything but cheering [...] 
13th. - Steering straight for the water found by my brother, about E.S.E. for twenty-five miles, over most miserable spinifex country, without a break. Just before we got to the water Windich shot an emu. We saw two natives; who made off. Many fires in every direction. Latitude 260 5' 10' S., longitude about 124° 46' E. Fine water at this place. I have no doubt water is always here. I named it the Alexander Spring, after my brother, who discovered it. Abundance of water also in rock holes [...] 
26th. - Left Alexander Spring, in company with Windich; to look for water ahead. Steered east for twelve miles, over spinifex sand-hills with some salt-marsh flats intervening. We then turned S.E. for seven miles to some cliffs, and followed them along east about one mile and a half, when we saw a clear patch a little to the N.E., on reaching which we found a fine rock water-hole holding over 100 gallons of water. [459] We had a pannican of tea, and gave our horses an hour and a half's rest. Left a note for my brother, advising him to camp here the first night. We continued on a little to the south of east for about fifteen miles over spinifex plains, when we camped on a small patch of feed.
17th. [...]-. We continued about east for two miles; found a rock water-hole holding about fifty gallons, and had break--fast. After this, continued on a little south of east for twelve miles, when we turned more to the north, searching every spinifex rise that had a rocky face, first N. and then N.W. and W., all over the country, but not over any great extent, as my horse (Brick) was knocked up. About one o'clock we found enough to give the horses a drink, and to make sonic tea for ourselves. We saw some low cliffs to the north, and proceeding towards them we saw ahead about N.N.E. a remarkable high cliff. I therefore decided to make for it. I had to walk and drive my horse before me, and before we reached the cliff we had hard work to get him to move. When we got close we were rejoiced to see cliffs and gorges without end, and descending the first hollow found a fine rock hole containing at least 250 gallons. We therefore camped, as it was just sundown. I am very sanguine of finding more water to-morrow, as our horses will soon finish this hole. There was very little feed about the water. 18th. - This morning we began searching the ranges for water. First tried westerly, and searched some fine gullies and gorges, but without success. My horse soon gave in again, and I left him on a patch of feed and continued the search on foot. I had not walked a quarter of a mile before I found about 200 gallons in a gully, and, following down the gully, we found a fine pool in a sandy bed, enough to last a month. We were rejoiced at our good fortune, and, returning to where we left the horse, camped for the remainder of the day. There is not much feed anywhere about these cliffs and gullies, but as long as there is plenty of water the horses will do very well. To-morrow I intend going back to meet the party, as the way we came was very crooked, and I hope to save them many miles. It is certainly a wretched country we have been travelling through for the last two months, and, what makes it worse, the season is an exceptionally dry one; it is quite summer weather. However, we are now within 100 miles of Mr. Gosse's farthest west, and I hope soon to see a change for the better. [460] We have been most fortunate in finding water, and I am indeed very thankful for it.. [...]
22nd. - Started in company with Pierre to look for water ahead, steered a little north of east for about twelve miles to the points of the cliffs, and ascended a peak to get a -view ahead. The line of cliff country ran N.E., and to the east, spinifex undulating country; nevertheless, as I wished to get a view of some of the hills shown on Mr.- Gosse's map, I bore E. and E.S.E. for over thirty miles, but could - not find a drop of water all day, and we had come nearly fifty miles [...] 
23rd. - Decided not to go any further, although I much wished to get a view further to the east, but our horses would have enough to do to carry us back. [...] My brother and Windich intend going to-morrow in that direction in search of water.
26th (Sunday). - Rested at camp. My brother and Windich returned late this evening, having been over sixty miles to the E.N.E., and having found only one small rock water-hole with water in it.
28th. - Left camp in company with Windich to look for water ahead. [...]
29th. - Rained lightly during the night; my rug got wet. Thinking we could get plenty of water ahead, I left the drums and water, as the horses would not drink. We steered about east over miserable spinifex country, and cut my brother's return tracks.. [...] No sign of water, and apparently very little rain has fallen here last night. [...] 
30th. - Very thick fog this morning. We bore north for four or five miles, and then S.E. for about five miles, when we got a fine view to the east, and could see some hills, which are no doubt near Mr. Gosse's farthest west. They bore S.E. about eighteen miles distant. I could not go on to them, as I was afraid the party would be following us, on the strength of the little rain we had the night before last. Reluctantly, therefore, we turned westward. [...] [461]
August 1st. [...] Pushed on and reached the party a little after dark, and found all well, having been absent five days, in which time we had travelled about 200 miles. -
2nd (Sunday).. I now began to be much troubled about our position, although I did not communicate my fears, to any but my brother. We felt confident we could return if the worst came, although we were over 1000 miles from the settled districts of Western Australia. The water at our camp was fast drying up, and would not last more than a fort-night. The next water was sixty miles back, and there seemed no probability of getting eastward. I knew we were now in the very country that had driven Mr. Gosse backs I have since found it did the same for Mr. Giles. No time was to be lost. I was determined to make the best use of it if only the water would last, and to keep on searching. (Even now, months after the time, sitting down writing this journal, I cannot but recall my feelings of anxiety at this camp) Just when the goal of my ambition and my hopes for years past was almost within reach, it appeared that I might not even now be able to grasp it. The thought of having to return, however, brought every feeling of energy and determination to my rescue, and I felt that, with God's help, I would even now succeed. I gave instructions to allowance the party, so that the stores should last at least four months, and made every preparation for a last desperate struggle [...] 
6th. [...] we passed a rock hole full of water, about sixty gallons. I left a note telling my brother to camp here on Sunday night, and to follow on our tracks on Monday. We continued on about five miles, and camped not far from Mount Charles, without water for the horses; but they were not thirsty. So far we have been most fortunate, although there is very little to fall back on should we be unable to proceed; in fact, as Soon as the surface water dries up it will be impossible. [...] 
7th. [...] We followed down gullies and over hills, passing two rock holes dry, until the dark, but could not find any water. The country is most beautifully grassed, and is a great relief after travelling over so many hundreds of miles of spinifex; but the season is very dry, and all the gullies are dry. We camped for the night without water for ourselves or horses. [462] I have since learnt that these ranges were seen by Mr. Giles, and were named the Warburton ranges.
8th. - Early this morning Windich and I went on foot to search the hills and gullies close around, as our horses were knocked up for want of water. We returned unsuccessful about 8 o'clock. Close to where we found our horses we found a tree with the bark cut off one side of it with an axe which was sharp. We were sure it was done by a white man, as the axe, even if possessed by a native (which is very improbable), would be blunt. We are now in the country traversed by Mr. Gosse, although I am unable to distinguish any of the features of the country, not having a map with me, and not knowing the latitude. [...] We saddled our horses and continued our search about S.E., over hills and along valleys - the distance or direction I am unable to give - our horses scarcely moving, and ourselves parched with thirst. The sun was very hot. At about noon we found some water in a gully by scratching a hole, but it was quite salt. As our horses would not drink it, it can be imagined how salt it was. We drank about a pint of it, and Windich said it was the first time he ever had to drink salt water. I washed myself in it, which refreshed me a little. Our horses could not go much further without water, but we crawled along about north, and shortly afterwards found a small rock hole in the side of a large rough granite hill, with about five gallons of good water in it. We had a good drink ourselves, put half a gallon into a canteen, and gave the rest to the horses. From here our usual good fortune returned. We had not gone far when Windich called me back and said he had found horses' tracks, and sure enough there were the tracks of horses coming from the westward. Windich took some of the old dung with him to convince our companions that we had seen them. We followed westward along the tracks for half a mile, when we found two or three small rock holes with water in them, which our horses drank. Still bearing to the north we kept finding little drops in the granite rocks, - our old friend the granite rock has returned to us again, after having been absent for several hundred miles. We satisfied our horses, and rested a short time to have something to eat, not having had anything for forty-eight hours. We bore N.W., and soon afterwards found a fine rock hole of water in granite rocks, sufficient to last the party a day. [463] Plenty of water on rocks, also, from recent rain here. We were rejoiced, as we now had a place to bring the party to. But our good fortune did not end here: continuing on westerly or a little north of it, we came on a summer encampment of the natives, and found a native well or spring, which I believe would give water if dug out. This may make a good Depot if we require to stay long in this neighbourhood. We were overjoyed; and I need not add I was very thankful for this good fortune. When everything looked at its worst, then all seemed to change for our benefit. [...]
13th. - Found a rock hole with about forty gallons of water in it close to camp. After watering our horses we followed along the old tracks, going nearly N.E., and passed a gnow's nest, where they had apparently got out eggs. Shortly afterwards found where the party had camped without water, and continued on to some high hills and ranges; then we left them to follow some emu tracks, which, after following up a gully and over a hill, brought us to a fine spring of good water in a gully. We camped here, and intend waiting for our party, which will reach here to-morrow. We watched at the water for emus, and after waiting about four hours saw two coming, one of which Windich shot. Fine grass, although old and dry, down this gully. Ranges in every direction. The country contrasts strikingly with what we-have been travelling through for the last three months. The party whose tracks we followed this morning have not been to this spring, so they must have missed it. All my troubles were now over, inasmuch as I felt sure we would accomplish our journey and reach the settled districts of South Australia; although, as it afterwards proved, we had many days of hard work and some privation yet to endure. Still the country was much improved, and not altogether unknown. I then gave out publicly to the party that we were now in safety, and in all human probability in five or six weeks would reach the telegraph line. I need not add how pleased all were at having at last bridged over that awful, desolate spinifex desert. [...] 
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http://ns.ausnc.org.au/corpora/cooee/source/3-305#Original