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Minutes of Evidence: Thomas McDonough

Report of the commissioners appointed to enquire into and report upon the circumstances connected with the sufferings and death of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills.
Melbourne: John Ferres, Government Printer.
Parliamentary papers, No 97, 1861-2. 1862.

Thursday 28th November 1861.

Mr Thomas F McDonough examined.

Q384. Were you one of the original party that started with Mr Burke ?-Yes; I was with him five weeks before the party started.

Q385. Did you go right through to the Darling ?-Yes.

Q386. Were you in charge of any particular portion of the expedition ?-No; I was one of the working men.

Q387. Everything got up safely to the Darling, the provisions and stores and everything ?-Yes; something was left at Balranald.

Q388. You went on with Mr Burke's advanced party from the Darling ?-Yes, from the Darling to Cooper's Creek.

Q389. You took on provisions; did you know anything about the amount of provisions you took ?-I could not state the particular amount, but Mr Burke told me he was taking on provisions for six months for six men, and he included two afterwards which made us a party of eight, not including Wright.

Q390. Nor the two blacks ?-Nor the two blacks.

Q391. They went as far as Torowoto ?-Yes; and there Mr Wright and the two blacks came back.

Q392. The provisions were good were they not, you had no complaint to make of them ?-With the exception of some jerked beef, cured here in Melbourne, which we found to be of no use; with regard to that Mr Burke left the greater part of that at Torowoto in a plant.

Q393. And had you no meat till you got to Cooper's Creek?-Yes, sometimes salt beef and sometimes salt pork.

Q394. You went right to Cooper's Creek with Mr Burke ?-Yes.

Q395. You were one of those that formed the depot party with Mr Brahe ?-Yes.

Q396. You did not go the last day that Mr Burke left ?-No; I went with him to the depot.

Q397. And you remained the whole time at the depot with Mr Brahe ?-Yes.

Q398. You were ill too ?-I was complaining through the effect of a kick I got from a camel three months previous to the time we left the depot on our retreat : I was then about a week laid up with it, but I got better afterwards; I was lame with it a week, and about three months afterwards, a fortnight or three weeks before we left for the Darling, my knee began to swell, and I fell pains about the ankles and pains in the gums but I was able to work any more than we had a great deal of walking after the camels, we had to go seven or eight miles in the morning and evening, and at night I would find greater pain about my ankles; the last week it became very painful and I had to sit down and rest.

Q399. That was the only work you did; the looking after the stock ?-Yes, and cutting up wood-we were making a stockade.

Q400. That only took a day or two ?-For three weeks after Mr Burke left we worked very hard.

Q401. Did you hear Mr Burke give any instructions as to the length of time your party were to remain ?-I never heard him give instructions-I had a conversation with Mr Burke relative to it.

Q402. What did he say ?-About twelve o'clock the day before he left he came out, that was my watch with the camels, and had an hour's private conversation about the matter; I referred to our stay on the creek and he told me we were to stay for three months or as long after as our provisions would last, leaving us sufficient to ensure our own return to the settled districts; he did not say what were his instructions but I just asked him how it was and he told me that.

Q403. Then that was all that he said on that point ?-That was all on that point, but I beg to remark he told me with regard to Mr Wright; he said, "I expect Mr Wright up in a few days, a fortnight at furthest, I left him positive instructions to follow me, and then he was instructed to find a more practical route between the Darling and Cooper's Creek and to keep up a communication with the committee." I understood at that time by Mr Burke giving those instructions he thought they would be acted upon, and of course if Mr Wright came up, there would be a permanent depot left there.

Q404. Then after Mr Burke's departure did Mr Brahe communicate to you the instructions he had received from Mr Burke ?-Yes.

Q405. What were they ?-The day after Mr Brahe returning, Patten asked him how long were we to remain; he said, "Mr Burke instructed me to remain three months or as long as our provisions would last us."

Q406. With due regard to being able to get, back ?-Yes; but that in going down the creek Mr Wills asked him to remain four, and he made the same statement and repeated it in conversation more than once afterwards.

Q407. Mr Burke must have been then somewhat doubtful as to Mr Wright's getting to you ?-No, I do not think he could have been then, because he said he would be there in a few days, or a fortnight at furthest.

Mr Brahe -I recollect well what Mr Burke said. On the morning he left he called us round him and said he expected Wright up that night or within two days, but perhaps he might not be able to come at all. He said, "I cannot be sure of him; I cannot be sure of him; he may not come at all; he may be prevented by accident."

Q408. Might those instructions be given as a contingency of Mr Wright's not coming ?-Mr McDonough.-I do not recollect those words about Mr Wright not coming; but I was excited at parting with Mr Burke; but I have a clear recollection of what he said in his conversation with me; he said he expected him in a fortnight at the furthest; he was fully convinced that he would be up.

Q409. Then those instructions might have been given in the belief that still Mr Wright might not be up with you ?-My conviction was that those instructions were given to Mr Brahe in case Wright did not come up, as Mr Wright was to be the head officer in charge.

Q410. When you met Mr Wright did you have any conversation about the delay in coming up ?-Yes.

Q411. What did he say ?-He said he did not think he had sufficient horses or sufficient provisions.

Q412. To leave the Darling ?-To leave the Darling; and he said the horses were knocked up by Lyons and McPherson; and he said, "what is the good of my living up there with three or four months' provisions;" he waited and said he would send back to the committee to get £300 or £400, the greater part of which was laid out in getting cattle and provisions.

Q413. Did Wright mean to say there were not provisions enough for the Darling ?-I think he wanted to buy meat.

Q414. You were acquainted with the quantity of the provisions you were using at Cooper's Creek ?-Not the precise quantity, but I can get at the amount.

Q415. You had plenty I suppose while you were there ?-We ate very little; the weather being too warm we did not eat much; we could of course eat as much as we chose to.

Q416. You were aware of the quantity Mr Burke left there ?-Yes, but I did not take any note of the weight of them.

Q417. What was the ration daily ?-A pint of rice, raw rice, boiled for breakfast, with some sugar; sugar was not scanty, we had plenty of that-we brought up more than would do for six months; then we had damper for dinner, and a little salt pork or beef; and we usually ate about two biscuits and a pint of tea at night.

Q418. Had you tea only once a day ?-We had tea twice a day-not much tea at night, but at dinner time, at noon, we used to have a fair quantity of tea, one and a half pint or so; the weather was warm.

Q419. You did not try to make the provisions last out by shooting or fishing, or getting other provisions ?-For five weeks we had plenty of ducks and during that time we used very little salt meat.

Q420. Could you not continue getting them ?-We tried, but the constant firing on those two water holes the ducks became shy; and in consequence of losing those horses and camels we could not go to the other water holes two or three miles off the creek.

Q421. Did you fish ?-On two occasions we caught some fish.

Q422. Did not the necessity of trying to make the provisions go as far as you could strike you ?-I did not think there was any fish at the time in the hole; we only got a few very small fish.

Q423. Did you agree with Mr Brahe in the proposal to return at the time he did ?-When Mr Brahe referred to me at first, a, fortnight before we went, I said it might be as well to remain until the 1st of May, but then Patten was getting so bad; I knew him in my presence try to prevail upon Mr Brahe to return or he said he would not have any chance of recovering.

Q424. Patten said so ?-Yes; he had been in a very weak state for three weeks. I myself could have remained there, I think, with the usual exercise many weeks longer and yet have been able to come to the Darling.

Q425. Would you have had food enough, consuming the food at your station there, to return to the Darling ?-Yes; we could have stayed four weeks longer if we left nothing in the cache for Mr Burke.

Q426. Your great object was, then, to save Patten's life ?-That was, I presume, Mr Brahe's object. I had nothing to do with it. When he asked me, should we return, I said, "Of course, if it was a benefit to Patten to do so."

Q427. You did concur, then ?-Yes, I did then; when I was asked I made no objection against it.

Q428. Had you lost hope of Mr Burke's coming back ?-No; I was under the impression that be might have gone to Queensland though; but he never led me to suppose so.

Q429. Did that form the subject of conversation between you-the loss of hope ?-Wright was the only man who gave up hope.

Q430. What was the case - with the others - did you all concur in thinking he would never come back ?-Yes, we concurred that he would not; we thought it was more probable. I thought it was more probable he had gone to Queensland, though I did not know. I had a conversation at one time on the Darling with Mr Burke with regard to clothing, and that led me to suppose there would be such a meeting at Carpentaria. In the first place, I heard. Professor Neumayer state, "I hope to meet you, Burke, in the vessel." On another occasion, when leaving the Darling, I was packing up Mr Burke's clothing, and he was rather short of clothing, for he was very careless in that respect; whenever there was a blackfellow he would throw him a shirt or something, and I gave him two flannel shirts of my own: "I do not care," he said, "McDonough, if I get on board the vessel with only a shirt on me, if I get through." Those were the only things I ever heard. I believe afterwards he did not expect a vessel, but he had led me to suppose on Cooper's Creek there would be probably a vessel to meet him at Carpentaria.

Q431. At Cooper's Creek ?-Yes, the last thing; I was packing up his shirts.

Q432. Even then he made use of that expression ?- "I do not care, McDonough," he says, "if I get on board the vessel with only a shirt on."

Q433. "So that I get through" ?- "So that I get through." He never told me distinctly that he did expect the vessel.

Q434. Was that the impression among the party ?-The general impression before we left Melbourne when speaking to my friends, but I never heard it stated by the committee, or any of the parties connected with it.

Q435. Was it the impression among the party on the way up, that they would be likely to be met by a vessel on the other side ?-He often spoke to Mr Brahe, but he contradicted it and said Mr Burke never thought there would be one. I told Mr Brahe of those two remarks I heard.

Q436. What did you say as to Mr Wright's desponding ? -He always gave him up as lost-"Neither gone to Queensland nor gone anywhere else; the man has rushed madly on depending upon surface water, and the man is lost in the desert." He never gave us any hope for him, in fact, so much so that I said I would wager. I offered to make a bet that he would be found at Queensland or turn up somewhere.

Q437. In the letter which was written to Dr Wills, by his son, Mr Wills states "the party we left here had special instructions not to leave until our return, unless from absolute necessity ?"-I know nothing more of the affair than I have said with regard to Mr Burke's instructions; he never told me what were Mr Brahe's instructions.

Q438. But it was corroborated by Mr Brahe's telling you the same thing ?-Yes, next morning.

Q439. Were any of the provisions given away to the natives while you remained at Cooper's Creek ?-No, there might be a few biscuits, but not two dozen.

Q440. Do you know that Mr Wills said you were left with twelve months' provisions ?-Not unless Mr Wills meant that we should eat the horses and camels; he could not say that.

Q441. You think that not more than two dozen biscuits were given away ?-No, not to my knowledge, but I was sometimes out five hours together herding the camels, and of course I could not say what was done in my absence, but nothing was given away in my presence.

Q442. Did the blacks at Cooper's Creek alarm you much ?-No, I have been with them; the first time we met them at the depot camp the sepoy came in, in a very excited manner, and Mr Burke sent me out; the sepoy stated that the blackfellows were outside, he was trembling all over. I went out, I had my revolver and my gun out with me. There were about fifty of them, and they thought to feel my ribs to see if I was afraid, and I caught one and heaved him down and fired my revolver over his head and they ran away about one hundred yards distance.

Q443. Did you fire at them ?-No, only to frighten them.

Q444. Then you did not as a party feel any particular dread of them ?-No, I never felt any dread, of them; I knew they were cowardly and that a few shots would disperse them.

Q445. Did you feel as a party, as you were weak, that you were less able to defend yourselves ?-I was always able to defend myself until I went under Dr Beckler's treatment.

Q446. That had nothing to do with your leaving Cooper's Creek ?-No, it had not.

Q447. When Mr Burke left the Darling with his flying party did ho intend then to go right on to Carpentaria ?-He said that he intended to explore towards Eyre's Creek, and that he would run no great risk.

Q448. That was when you were leaving the Darling; with what object did he leave the Darling?-I think to send on six men right through, and send "two others back with a portion of the camels and horses, to meet Mr Wright." When he went to Cooper's Creek and found so many blacks there, he could not think of sending two men back; he left four and took four on.

Q449. When Mr Burke left the Darling, he intended to go right on to Carpentaria ?-As far as it was possible he could go.

Q450. That was his intention ?-Yes.

Q451. He went up with this flying party with that intention ?-He told me Brahe and the sepoy were to return with some of the camels and horses.

Q452. You were acquainted with Mr Burke's family at home ?-Yes.

Q453. Perhaps he was more confidential with you on that account ?-He had a great deal of confidence in me and often told me many things since he came out; he was a particular friend of mine.

Q454. When you joined Mr Wright's party at Bulloo, were you in tolerably good health ?-I was suffering from a kick I got in the knee, and my gums were sore, but I was well able to work. I rode three days and three nights thirty-three or thirty-four miles a day, and watched the horses and camels the greater part of the night, and got no more than two hours' sleep each night.

Q455. That was before you joined Mr Wright ?-Yes, on our way from Cooper's Creek to Bulloo, where we got no water. I got two of my teeth knocked out from a small fall from my horse.

Q456. Patten was very ill at the time ?-Yes, and we had to tie him on.

Q457. Was that the case with Botan ?-It was; subsequently he got ill.

Q458. What was the state of Mr Wright's party as well as you could observe, when you joined them ?-They were in the most wretched state, everything thrown about in the greatest disorder, so much so that it elicited the remark from Mr Wright, the favorable contrast of our little cavalcade, and he wondered how it could be kept in such order; he remarked how well our party was kept together while they could not keep a strap in its place.

Q459. What state of health did the men appear to be in ?-Smith was not able to work, and Belooch, the other sepoy, was not able to work.

Q460. Was that from illness ?-Through illness.

Q461. Dr Becker was sick then ?-He died the day after; Purcell and Stone were dead before.

Q462. Mr Wright, Mr Hodgkinson, Dr Beckler, and Dost Mahommed were able to work ?-Yes.

Q463. Smith was ailing and so was Belooch ?-Yes ; they were not required to keep watch at night even.

Q464 And Mr Brahe, yourself, and the other sepoy were able to work ?-Yes.

Q465. That makes six altogether who were in fair condition for work ?-Mr Brahe and the sepoy were in good condition. I was able to work any more than I had a little lameness. Smith was not so very weak. It was more through Dr Becker wishing to be gone. I know he was obliged to lay up.

Q466. But Smith and Belooch were not able to move about ?-They were not able to keep watch at night, which was very light work.

Q467. Did you notice the quantity of stores they had with them at all ?-I did, when Mr Brahe and Mr Wright left;

This was at Bulloo, I am speaking of - No; I do not know the quantity of stores then, but I did after the return to Cooper's Creek.

Q468. When you joined Mr Wright at Bulloo the whole party proceeded a day's journey backwards to Koorliatto ?-Yes, I believe so.

Q469. It was from that point Mr Brahe and Mr Wright went back ?-Yes, to Cooper's Creek.

Q470. Then you saw the provisions-that was the day after ?-Two or three days we were at Bulloo, until we buried Dr Becker: that was the time Mr Wright mentioned about our cavalcade having an imposing appearance.

Q471. And when you got to the next stage backwards, then Mr Wright and Mr Brahe left to return to Cooper's Creek ?-Yes.

Q472. Then you had notice of the stores, you say; what had you noticed with regard to them ?-Mr Wright left me to re-adjust the loads on his return from Cooper's Creek, and I had to take notice of the animals and provisions, and I did take notice of them in my notebook, which I handed over; but, as far as I recollect, I can give it you:-700 lbs. of flour (but my impression is there were 800 lbs.), a great deal of rice - a couple of bags or more - a few bags brought back to the Darling were not used, but they gave flour to the sick camels long before we left Cooper's Creek, and Mr Wright gave some of the flour to the camels; and we had & great deal of clothing - any amount - as far as two or three pairs of trousers each the sepoys had.

Q473. Warm clothing ?-Warm clothing-cotton corded trousers and flannels (some not made into shirts but just in a bale), and a great deal of boots, seven or eight hams of bacon, and a great deal of sugar.

Q474. Any tea ?-Yes, tea; but I do not know how much, but not much coffee.

Q475. Did Mr Wright never think of sending back any of that clothing and stores to the depot ?-He did not, in fact he spoke very little to us: at the time he left to go back, my impression was that he wanted to go back to see the creek, and not with a view to relieve Mr Burke, simply that Mr Wright's object was to go and see Cooper's Creek. I am confident Mr Brahe was anxious to relieve Mr Burke.

Q476. That is your impression ?-Derived from his conversation.

Q477. How long do you suppose those provisions you have spoken of were likely to last the party ?-Say 700 lbs. of flour; there were only eight of us men; then a man could do with five pounds of flour a week with the rice.

Q478. How much rice was there ?-There must have been 150 lbs. or 200 lbs. of rice.

Q479. How much would you give with the 5 lbs. of flour if you were serving out a week's rations ?-Three lbs. of rice.

Q480. There was an ample quantity of sugar ?-A great deal of sugar.

Q481. Any meat ?-The jerked beef; but we had used that; the latter end of that when we reached the Darling.

Q482. At the time you speak of there was not a great deal of jerked beef ?-As much as would last for six weeks.

Q483. Did you bring all those stores hack with you to the Darling ?-Yes, everything.

Q484. Clothes and all ?-Yes; we used to give some flour and water to the camels.

Q485. Can you account in any way for the sickness that was in Mr Wright's party, with those ample provisions and stores ?-Scurvy; I do not know of anything else.

Q486. Were there any preserved vegetables ?-Yes, a great deal; we brought back plenty of preserved vegetables; it was left on the Darling, and I believe is there now.

Q487. Pickles ?-No; beans, fresh beans, not bottled pickles; there was a quantity made up in large packets of turnips and carrots.

Q488. Did you use any citric acid at Cooper's Creek ?-Yes.

Q489. Pretty constantly ?-We used it for five or six or eight weeks, as long as it lasted. We mixed it up with a little sugar and water just to give it an acid taste, because the water had a taste like iron or mineral and in order to give it an acid taste; we took it three times a day and used it as long as we had any.

Q490. You observed when you met Mr Wright's party that it appeared to be very disorganised ?-Yes.

Q491. Did you hear any conversation among the men accounting for the state of disorganisation in which they appeared to be ?-Mr Wright very frequently laid the blame on the men through negligence, not preserving ropes and straps and girths necessary for the expedition for tying on the packs.

Q492. Did they attribute it at all to the lateness with which they had started from the Darling ?-They did not.

Q493. Did you hear any reason given for your having been so delayed on the Darling ?-I stated that he wished to have his appointment confirmed by the committee and wanted more money to buy horses in consequence of those few horses being knocked up by Lyons and McPherson.

Q494. But you heard no complaint of the men of the delay in coming from the Darling ?-I heard Mr Hodgkinson say that he was very anxious to get on after Mr Burke.

Q495. You did not hear any blame attached to Mr Wright for not having pushed ahead before ?-No, but I blamed him myself; I remarked to him "you have both camels and horses."

Q496. Did you tell him Mr Burke expected him so soon ?-Yes.

Q497. What did he say ?-He said he waited because his appointment was not confirmed, and he wanted more money to buy more horses to carry up the provisions. He said "It is no good for me to run on with a few camels and horses."

Q498. Why did Mr Burke after reaching Cooper's Creek remain five weeks there, can you say ?-Yes.

Q499. What was it ?-He wanted to explore right to the north of Cooper's Creek where they struck it, to see if there was an available route more to the north-east of Mr Sturt's track in 1845, and he got three camels equipped for Mr Wills and me and instructed me to see to the stores to take on for a week, and accordingly Mr Wills and I started and went on for three days and on the third day we returned. During those three days Mr Wills calculated we had completed 100 miles; we returned about ten miles on the evening of the third day; it was just night fall when we came in to the camp, and we saw smoke to the right of us, the north-east of us, which Mr Wills thought about twenty miles over the range, and he said "If we find any water in the valley we will go and see what is over here; it appears to me there is permanent water over there, they are blacks camping there because the smoke usually rose about four o'clock in the evening". When we came to the camp that evening the moon was rising and Mr Wills wanted to take an observation; I went to let out the camels; they were some of Coppin's camels; they were very much done up, and were not inclined to feed.

Q500. Were you without water at that time ?-Without water; we had some in the bags, but they were leaking; and when Mr Wills was taking the observations I let out the camels and returned to cook our supper. Mr Wills had done taking observations and he came and both of us sat down to supper. I had one half of my supper eaten and I noticed the camels going into the scrub. I went and brought back the camels to within about thirty yards of our camp.

Q501. Were they hobbled ?-No, we had no hobbles then, Mr Landells had left them and said they were no use to them. I brought the camels within thirty yards of the camp; Mr Wills was done supper then; while I was finishing my supper, in about ten minutes, I went to look after the camels, and it was then dark, and I could not find them, and I called Mr Wills search of them. We searched until twelve o'clock at night and could get no trace of them. We returned to our camp, Mr Wills laid down and had a few hours sleep, and desired me to call him at two o'clock in the morning, and to make a few johnny cakes, for, he said "if we do not find the camels, if we do not get back we are lost." At two o'clock in the morning we went to a rise about fifteen miles off, which we reached a short time before day, thinking the camels might have camped during the night and that we might see them coming down the valley. Mr Wills looked through his opera glass but could not find any trace of the camels; it was then nine o'clock. We walked back to our camp and then traced their tracks about a mile, and saw their tracks down the valley, and we made up our swag. We had a little bread and water; we did not like to light a fire for fear of the blacks, so we made up our swag I had a large Colt's revolver, and thirty-five pints of water in a goatskin bag, Mr Wills had three or four johnny cakes and a Trenche's revolver, and some small instrument to take reckoning by.

Q502. A compass ?-A compass. We proceeded towards Cooper's Creek, and in about seven or eight miles we found a small pool of water, stagnant water, and we rested there about an hour, and drank a good deal of water, and filled the goatskin bag, and proceeded then, walking eight hours and resting four, till we reached Cooper's Creek.

Q503. Did you get any water ?-No; I had a goatskin bag full on my back.

Q504. None but what you carried ?-No, not the last thirty miles; and the last night we camped, we had not any, the goatskin bag leaked; I was done up myself, and Mr Wills too, in consequence of carrying this water bag.

Q505. That was one cause of detention for the five weeks ?-Yes; then it caused another delay-Mr Wills and King had to go back for those camels' saddles and other things that were there.

Q506. That caused another part of the delay ?-Yes, and we had to kill a horse and jerk the meat; that caused another delay, and the fitting out of the expedition during part of the time.

Q507. And all this time Mr Burke was making preparations for the start for Carpentaria ?-Yes.

Q508. So that he always had made up his mind, whether Mr Wright came up or not, to go to Carpentaria ?-He had; we were up the creek when Mr Wills and I went out; we went down afterwards. Mr Burke intended to follow out Mr Sturt's track at first.

Q509. With regard to the daily rationing of Wright's party, was it much larger than your party ?-There was no stint.

Q510. But was it actually under your observation larger much than yours ?-Not larger, because we all satisfied our hunger, but we had far better rations in his party; but on both occasions we always satisfied our hunger.

Q511. Are you aware whether, when Mr Wright and Mr Brahe went back to Cooper's Creek, they took any clothing with them to leave for Mr Burke in the event of his arrival ?-I never heard anything of it.

Q512. They did not take any clothing or any supplies back to leave there in the event of Mr Burke turning up ?-Nothing.

Q513. Mr Brahe informed us that he was unable to make any explorations to see whether Mr Wright was coming, or on Mr Burke's track, for fear of the natives - that he did not like, in fact, to leave the camp: there was some difficulty about that ?-I do not think he could make any explorations, because I was continually out after the horses, and another was continually out after the horses, except a few hours in the day, and there was no one to protect. the camp, and we never could be safe of them.

Q514. You never had any conflict with them; they never threw spears at you ?-No; we had a boundary line, and told them not to come further.

Q515. They never hurt the cattle ?-I heard Patten say once or twice, when the horses were hobbled, that they had them surrounded, and that they were knocked up sometimes as if they had been after hunting them, and on that account we took the hobbles off them.

Q516. The creek never ran while you were there ?-No.

Q517. Had you any heavy rains ?-Before Mr Burke started was the only heavy rain; a thunder storm for three or four hours which was pretty heavy, that was the only heavy rain we had.

Q518. From your observation of the road do you think that it would have facilitated the expedition if there had been a light cart with horses, instead of having nothing but animals to pack ?-I think a good strong spring cart and a good strong horse or two would be able to carry a great many things which it is hard to pack on horses or camels; but where there is no chance for a heavy wagon or bullock dray from the state of the ground, but a light, spring cart could go very well there during my time; but perhaps after heavy rain on Cooper's Creek it might be difficult to get to it, if there were very heavy rains.

Q519. Have you anything else you wish to say ?-I wish to make a remark on Dr Beckler's treatment of me and Patten. When I got under his charge I was quite able to work; in fact, after Mr Wright and Mr Brahe were gone, it was Hodgkinson and me put up all the tents, and put up the stockade, and got firewood and everything else that was required; and then Dr Beckler requested me to lay up till he had treated my knee. I laid up a week or six days, and he applied four different treatments; one time a lotion, another time warm water, and a third time cold water; and I did not believe he was doing me any good, and I thought to take exercise, and then I found the sinews of my leg all shrunk in. And Patten, I should say, was depending upon nothing but a pint of arrowroot morning and evening. Dr. Beckler had tins of fresh meat that he never used for Patten, until Wright and some others used them a few days before they readied the Darling - some tins of mutton, I think there were five or six ,which were never given to Patten as far as I could see. Dr Beckler told me that Patten was recovering from scurvy, and, if so, he died from exhaustion and not from scurvy.

Q520. You had symptoms of scurvy yourself ?-Yes.

The witness withdrew.

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