Tuesday, 1 April 1862.
We started this morning at eight. When we had come down along the left bank of the river about eight miles Jemmy and I left our party and went back to the unwooded downs. These downs extend as far as the eye can reach to the eastward. Before we had gone far we found the recent tracks of an exploring party, and instead of rejoining our party we followed the tracks to see where they led, which appeared to be in the direction of some untimbered hills on the left bank of the Aramak Creek. After leaving the tracks we made for the river, and reached it at a point a short distance above an old camp of mine where there is a tree marked L over LXIX. At the river we found we had overshot our party, so we had to follow the river up to find their encampment. Our path today went fifteen miles over unwooded, undulating, rich ground bearing abundance of grass; then eleven and a half miles over a country with higher undulations and good grass, with myall, western-wood acacia and Port Curtis sandalwood. We went by the following courses: 11.20 south eight and three-quarter miles; 2.20 south and by east six and a half miles; 3.24 south-south-west two and a half miles; 4.45 south-west four miles; 5.7 west one mile to the river; 5.25 north-north-west three-quarters of a mile to marked tree; 6.30 north-west and by north three miles to encampment. Distance travelled by Jemmy and myself today twenty-six and a half miles.
Wednesday, 2 April 1862.
We started this morning at 8.15 and travelled down the river till six in the evening, journeying later than usual to get out of the neighbourhood of some blacks that we passed about seven miles back from here. At a place about fourteen and a half miles back I halted with Jackey and made an observation of the sun; afterwards, when we had nearly overtaken the party, I observed the blacks were near them. We galloped towards them to make them run away; but instead of doing so they remained and received us in a friendly manner and offered us their spears and boomerangs. I let Jackey take a spear and two boomerangs; the spear we wanted for making ramrods; in return for their presents I gave them a tomahawk. These blacks are fine, tall, powerful fellows. When we overtook the party Mr Bourne informed me that the blacks had followed it for about three miles, and that one of them, a powerfully built man about six feet high, had been so very bold that he (Mr Bourne) had repeatedly fired over his head without causing him any alarm; and that on one occasion, on looking round, he saw him apparently in the act of throwing his boomerang at him. These blacks told Jemmy, who understood their language, that they had seen nothing of any explorers with camels. When we were unsaddling I was sorry to find that we had not got out of the neighbourhood of the blacks as I observed some of them were watching us from behind some trees close at hand. Jemmy told them that I was very angry at them for following us. In reply they said I was mistaken, that they had not followed, they had never seen us before. Shortly afterwards Jemmy had a long conversation with them during which they informed him they had seen a party of explorers to the eastward, but that they had never seen any with camels or drays. When they left they assured us they would not return until morning. A place that we passed about nine miles up the river bears east and by north from a conical hill which is on the right bank of the river, and west and by south from a table range near our path on this side of the river. Besides this table range there are isolated ranges distant from one to three miles from each other and extending along the left bank of the river from our last camp. On the opposite bank (the right bank) there were no hills in sight except the conical hill already mentioned and a range near our present camp. Rich undulating ground, covered with good grass and slightly wooded with myall, western-wood acacia, and Port Curtis sandalwood, extends from the ranges in many places to the left bank of the river. Near the junction of Aramak Creek I made the meridian altitude of the sun 62 degrees 2 minutes, the latitude 22 degrees 58 minutes 29 seconds. We came here on the following courses from last camp: 9.15 a.m. south-east and by south for three miles to old camp; 11.20 a.m. south-south-east for five and a half miles to Aramak Creek; 1.50 p.m. south-west for two and a half miles; 2.50 p.m. south-south-east for three miles; 3.20 p.m. south-west for one and a half miles to creek from south-east; 5.15 p.m. south-west for five miles to another creek from south-east; 6.15 p.m. south and by east for two and a half miles. Distance twenty-three miles.
Thursday, 3 April 1862.
Left Camp 41, situated on the left bank of the river at a place between two isolated ranges.
One of the ranges is on the left bank; I have named it Mackenzie Range. The other, on the opposite bank, I have named Herbert Range. From camp the south end of Mackenzie Range bears 45 degrees, and the south end of Herbert Range 235 degrees. The four blacks who left us yesterday evening paid us a visit as soon as it was light this morning; they were very communicative and informed us that the river flowed to the southward, that it was joined about two days' journey from this by a large river from the north-east; that a long way down the river the country was sandy and destitute of grass, and that beyond the ranges in sight there were no hills. They said further, on being asked if they knew of any country to the westward without grass, that they had not seen or heard of any country of that description in such direction. We started this morning at 8.45 and at 3.43 p.m., having travelled sixteen miles along the left bank of the river, we camped. The country we saw during the forenoon was of an undulating character and the soil rich, with myall and western-wood acacia. The grass was good, but from the absence of rain not so fresh looking as higher up the river. Our path in the afternoon lay near the river over low ground, wooded with box, having an undergrowth of saltbush and polygonum. To the eastward there was fine undulating open country. Somewhere above here I think it is probable that the river is joined by a larger stream from the westward as it is now quite unfordable and about sixty feet in width. We came in the following courses from last camp: 9.45 south-south-east for three miles; 11 south for three and a half miles; 1.20 south-south-west for three miles; 3.15 south-west for five and three-quarter miles; 3.43 south-south-west for three-quarters of a mile.
Friday, 4 April 1862.
We left Camp 42 at 8.35 a.m. and travelled in the back country from the river. I steered in the forenoon about two points off what I considered was the probable course of the river, and intended returning to it in the afternoon; unfortunately however I left the main party in the middle of the day and omitted to tell Mr Bourne to change the course if necessary to reach the river. When I overtook the party I altered the course and at 3.20 p.m. reached a creek that probably drains a great deal of back country. As there was water in its channel we encamped. The creek I named Stark Creek. Before we reached here we crossed two other creeks; the first I named Salton Creek and other Isabella Creek. The country we passed over from our last camp consists chiefly of high and wooded downs, and though the soil was rich the grass and saltbush, from the want of rain, was rather dry. The country near the watercourses is wooded with myall, western-wood acacia, and Port Curtis sandalwood. We came here in about the following courses: 10.27 south-south-west for four and three-quarter miles to Salton Creek; 11.5 a.m. south-south-west for one and three-quarter miles to Salton Creek; 11.30 a.m. south-south-east for one and a half miles to Isabella Creek; 12 a.m. south-south-east for one and a half miles; 12.35 a.m. east one mile; 12.50 a.m. south-east for one mile; 1.55 p.m. west-south-west for three miles; 3.30 a.m. south-south-west for three and a half miles to Stark Creek. Distance today eighteen miles.
Saturday, 5 April 1862.
We left camp this morning at 8.20 a.m. The Camp 43 is situated on the right bank of Stark Creek. We travelled in the first instance slightly to the westward of south with the view of reaching the river. In a few miles we crossed a large watercourse at present dry but with extensive flood-marks and heaps of mussel-shells on its banks. This creek I named Porteous Creek. A few miles further in the same direction we crossed a small watercourse which apparently joins Porteous Creek. The banks are wooded with myall. Behind these belts of myall the country rises in gentle undulations, the soil is rich, almost without trees, and from the appearance of the grass it was evident there had been no rain for a long time. In the afternoon we went north-westerly and by that course reached the river; then after following it down for a short distance we encamped. The appearance of the grass we saw in the afternoon was fresher than that we had seen earlier in the day; and near the river, where the low ground had been flooded, the herbage was quite green. Shortly after we encamped a middle-aged blackfellow, two youths, and two little boys paid us a visit; they were very friendly but we did not get any information from them. From last camp we came here on the following courses: 9.20 south-west for two and a half miles; 10 south-west by west for one and three-quarter miles to Porteous Creek; 10.50 west-south-west for two and a quarter miles to a small creek; 11.30 west for one and three-quarter miles; 11.40 north for half a mile; 12.43 south-west for one and three-quarter miles; 2.23 west for five miles; 2.43 north-west for one mile; 3.23 west-north-west for two miles; 4.23 south-west for two and a half miles. Distance twenty-one miles.
Sunday, 6 April 1862.
As this was Sunday and we did not think the blacks numerous or dangerous in the neighbourhood we rested ourselves and horses. The elderly blackfellow and one of the others we had seen yesterday paid us a visit, and in the course of the day he brought the others of his party and a man about his own age whom we had not seen before. He made me understand that his elderly friend wanted to see a gun so I gratified his curiosity. The boys did not run away as they had done when they saw me fire a shot on a previous occasion. The blacks examined with great curiosity our equipment and accepted greedily everything we gave them but did not steal anything. Mr Bourne gave our newest acquaintance a shirt which pleased him very much. They relished some food he gave them and said "Thank you sir" upon Jackey making them understand it was proper to say so. The presents which pleased them most were a broad file, a needle and thread, a broken glass bottle, and clothes. The file they could make a better tomahawk of than their stone ones; the broken glass bottle they would use for knives or wood scrapers. We did not give them many clothes as cold weather had warned us we had none to spare. Jemmy, on further acquaintance with the blacks, found they could speak a language he understood.
Monday, 7 April 1862.
We left 44 Camp at 7.20. When we had gone about one and three-quarter miles south Jackey and I waited behind to take an observation of the sun. I made its meridian altitude A.H. 118 degrees 12 minutes (I did not take notice of the index error) the latitude is by that observation. This morning the blacks told Jemmy of a well-watered road leading to the southward. On that river they said the blacks had clothes and it was from them they got their iron tomahawks. When we had come about one and three-quarter miles Jackey and I remained behind the others. Before the party left I told Mr Bourne to let Jemmy lead in the direction that the blacks had pointed out to him. After making an observation of the sun we followed the tracks of our party. When we had ridden a short distance over undulating country we reached plains. Further on we crossed a creek which, although now dry, had evident signs of being well watered in good seasons. The holes were deep and mussel shells were abundant on its banks. I named it Bourne Creek. The party, after going up the creek for some distance, went in a straight course to the south-east; when Jackey and I overtook them we learned that Jemmy was leading the way to some smoke they had seen in the distance. After steering in that course we reached at dark a water channel but, as there was no water in it, I told Fisherman and Jemmy to guide us back to our last camp. After travelling a considerable distance, and when I thought we ought to be near our camp, I ascertained our guides had not the slightest idea of our situation. As I had been misled by them, and had paid no attention to the route we had come, I was rather at a loss which way to go. I judged however that the horses would take us to the river, so let them go their own way. At 4 in the morning, when we had travelled for some time in a north-east direction, we stopped and tied up the horses till 7.10. Yesterday we went in the following courses: 11.35 south for one and three-quarter mile; 1.49 south for two and a quarter miles to Bourne's Creek; 2.25 south and by east for one and three-quarter mile; 2.50 south by west for one and a quarter mile; 3.40 south-east for two and a half miles; 4.10 south and by east for one and a half miles; 6.30 south-east for six and a quarter miles to dry watercourse. Total distance seventeen and a quarter miles.
Tuesday, 8 April 1862.
We started for camp this morning and reached it in about eight and a half miles. The country we saw in this journey in search of water, in the direction of the river to the southwards, only wants a few showers to make it look as fine pastoral country as can be found anywhere. Upon examining my sextant I found the index error was 39 degrees 1 minute. Before I reached the Gulf of Carpentaria it was damaged during the wreck of a Firefly, and Lieutenant Woods kindly repaired it. I now meant to adjust it and in doing so I was so unsuccessful as to make it useless. We came this morning on the following course to camp: 8.40 west for four miles; 9 north-west by west one mile to our outward track; 10.10 south three and a half miles to camp.
Wednesday, 9 April 1862.
Jemmy and I left camp this morning, 9.5, in search of water on the route we wanted to go. We went along the plains on the left bank of the river in a south and west direction for eight miles. We expected to find in that distance a well-watered river which Jemmy understood the blacks to say formed the river a short distance below the camp. As we had not found it there we went west and reached the river in about four and a half miles. We then followed it down for about two miles in a southward direction where we found the blacks we had seen up the river. Upon telling them we had not found water back from the river, and that we now wanted them to show us the road to the next river and would give them a tomahawk and a shirt for doing so, they promised if we would bring our party down the river they would do so. We saw here two old gins and a little girl whom we had not seen before. One of the gins was a disfigured-looking object; she had lost her nose and lips. The little girl was about four years old; she had good features and was fat and plump. To please the blacks we let one of the little boys ride a horse for a short distance. After asking them to remain in this neighbourhood we returned to camp.
Thursday, 10 April 1862.
As I imagined, Gregory's party had traced the Thomson River to its head. I did not suppose this river was it. I determined, as we had used the most of our stores, to leave the river if possible and start for the settled districts. It was very vexatious to come to this resolution as the river was flowing almost in the direction of Burke's starting point on Cooper's Creek. We left Camp 44 at 9.50 a.m. and reached the place we had arranged to meet the blacks in about fourteen miles. It took us, travelling steadily exclusive of stoppages, five hours to reach it. The blacks were waiting for us and conducted us about half a mile further down the river to a good place for our encampment. I gave a pound of flour to one of the blackfellows. He is going tomorrow on foot to see if there is water in the waterholes on the road to Barcoo River. Jemmy made flour into a cake and the blackfellow and his companions ate it with avidity. I gave the blacks a comb, and Jackey pleased them very much by combing their hair.
Friday, 11 April 1862.
Two of the blacks started this morning along the line they intend taking us if they can find water for the first stage. I spent a considerable time in repairing my sextant. I got it so near right that the index error was only four minutes, but after fastening it with a thread I found the error was increased. This evening the blacks returned and reported that the waterholes they had gone to see were empty. They told us of two practicable roads to the Barcoo River. One by Stark Creek from a place up the river, the other from a place down the river; the latter we determined to try.
Saturday, 12 April 1862.
We left Camp 45 at 8.30. Two of the blacks accompanied us down the river to show us the road to the Barcoo River. At first they walked, but afterwards I gave them a horse to ride alternately. The oldest of the two liked riding so much better than walking that he made his young companion walk the most of the way. When we had come about thirteen miles we encamped. About a mile above here we passed some blacks whom our guides stopped with. Afterwards the eldest of the blackfellows came in the evening for some flour for himself and his companions. The country we have seen since leaving 44 Camp has undulating features but no hills. The soil rich, but vegetation dry from want of rain. We came he today on the following courses: 11 west-south-west six and a quarter miles; 1.20 south-west two and three-quarter miles; 2.50 south-south-west four miles to camp.
Sunday, 13 April 1862 - Camp 46.
46 Camp is situated near the eastern channel of the river. The marked trees are on the left bank. We are glad to find that one of our guides, who was named Wittin, had determined to accompany us. He brought an intelligent-looking white-headed old man to the camp, and a fine tall well-proportioned young gin with a little boy, the two latter remaining some distance from the camp. Wittin showed his friend our guns, water-bottles, and other things as if he were quite familiar with them. Before starting we went to see the gin and the little boy. She was very timid and ran away when we approached near to her. We left camp at 9.30 and followed down the left bank of the river about nine and a half miles and encamped. The country we saw today has undulating features with rich soil, dry grass, and box-tree. Near the river just above here there are sandstone ridges with western-wood acacia and Port Curtis sandalwood. Wittin told Jemmy that he had seen to the eastward of here about ten moons ago a party of travellers consisting of four white men and four black men. He got a shirt from them, but they did not give him any bread. Wittin wanted to return because of the unpleasant effects of the riding, which was new to him. We came here on the following courses: 11.30 south-west for five and a quarter miles; 1.15 south-south-west for one and a half miles; 1.45 south-west for one mile; 2.24 south-south-west for one and three-quarter miles. Distance nine and a half miles.
Monday, 14 April 1862.
We started down the river this morning at 9.50. Our last camp (47) is situated on the left bank of the river. When we had proceeded a short distance we observed a range right ahead of us. Wittin called it Trimpie Yawbah. Afterwards we observed other hills to the westward of Trimpie Camp, the highest of which I called Mount Pring. On the first unwooded plain we came upon after leaving camp we saw in the distance objects which appeared to be cattle, but upon getting nearer to them we found them to be emus. When we had travelled about fourteen miles down the left bank of the river we encamped. The ground we crossed was more level than the land higher up the river, and the grasses at places were good; but otherwise there was no change in the character of the country. At a spot about five miles south half east from the last camp I made the meridian altitude (A.H.) 112 degrees 50 minutes; latitude 24 degrees 5 minutes 7 seconds. Anxious to have the guidance of Wittin to Cooper's Creek I made free with the name of Sir George Bowen, Governor of Queensland, by telling him that, if he showed us the road, the governor would send from Brisbane to the first station formed on Bowen Downs a medal, a tomahawk, and a blanket. This evening Fisherman and Jackey showed Wittin corroboree dance. For the dance they painted themselves with white streaks, and with the light of the fire they looked like skeletons. From last camp we steered in the following courses: 11.40 south half east for five miles; 1.30 south half east for three miles; 2.30 south by west for three miles; 3.40 south-south-west for three miles; distance fourteen miles.
Tueday, 15 April 1862.
We left Camp 48 this morning 9.30. It is situated on the right side of a long hole of water on the eastern channel of the river at a place bearing north half west from Mount Pring. We steered for the eastern side of the Trimpie Range. When we had journeyed about four miles we reached a creek showing extensive flood-marks and with heaps of mussel shells on its banks but very little water in its channel. I named it Dunsmore Creek. Led by Wittin we followed up the creek for about seven miles and encamped. Several emus seen today, but they were so wild that none of us succeeded in shooting them. The ground is of a level character on both sides of Dunsmore Creek; the soil rich with good grass but rather dry for want of rain. Box-trees grow near the creek. Back from the south bank of the creek the country is wooded with myall and western- wood acacia. From the other bank of the creek there are very few trees of any description. At the place where we struck Dunsmore Creek I made the meridian altitude of the sun 111 degrees 49 minutes, the latitude A.H. 24 degrees 16 minutes 16 seconds. We steered from our last camp on the river to here on the following courses: 11.7 south-east half south for four miles to Dunsmore Creek; 1.40 east-south-east for three and three-quarter miles; 3.15 south-east by east for two and three-quarter miles; 3.40 south and by west for one mile. Distance come today eleven miles.
Wednesday, 16 April 1862.
Camp 49 is situated at Dunsmore Creek at a place bearing north-east from a hill about three miles distant and north-north-west from a distant range named by me Mount Johnstone. We tried very hard to persuade Wittin to show us all the way to Barcoo River. He promised to do so, but after Jackey and Jemmy went for the horses he left the camp as if he were only going down to the creek but he did not make his appearance again. Jemmy said his reason for not going to Barcoo River was that the blacks there would kill him if they found him in their country. When we had followed the creek up about thirteen miles to near its source in Johnstone Range we had to return four miles to get water for our encampment as there was none in the upper part of the creek. We saw several emus today but as usual we did not manage to shoot any. The ground we saw from our path is rich, chiefly wooded with myall; the herbage good but rather dry from the want of rain. In the middle of the day, when we had gone back for a considerable distance on the north-east side of the creek, we got to the edge of rich unwooded downs. We steered on the following courses: 11.10 south-east for three and three-quarter miles; at 1 south-east for one and three-quarter miles; 1.22 south-south-east for one mile; 1.50 south by west for one and a half miles back to the creek; 4 south-east for five and a quarter miles up to the creek; 5.49 north-west for three and three-quarter miles down the creek to camp. Distance seventeen miles.
Thursday, 17 April 1862.
Jemmy and I left our camp on Dunsmore Creek this morning at 8.5 to go to the Barcoo River. When we had ridden three or four miles we got on the watershed of a creek on the Barcoo side of the range. About seven miles further on we reached the main branch of the creek. It had extensive flood-marks and heaps of mussel-shells on its banks, but the waterholes in its channels were empty. I named it the Archer Creek. After following Archer Creek for thirteen miles we reached its junction with the Barcoo River. I was glad to find that the channel of the river was full of water; and as there were fresh tracks of blacks near the river I supposed them to be in the neighbourhood, so to avoid them I returned up Archer Creek for about four miles to some fine young grass and encamped. The country we saw today has in many places a rich soil with grass and saltbush. It is wooded chiefly with myall and western-wood acacia. Near the channel of the river there are gumtrees, and on the banks of the river and Archer Creek there are box-trees. Today we steered to the river on the following courses: 12.10 east for eleven miles to the left bank of Archer Creek; 1.20 east for three miles down the creek; 2.28 south-south-east for three miles; 2.52 east for one mile; 3.10 east-south-east for three-quarters of a mile; 4.20 south-east and by south for two and a half miles; 5 south for one and a half miles; 6 south-east and by south for three-quarters of a mile. Distance twenty-three and a half miles.
Saturday, 19 April 1862 -
Barcoo River, Camp 51.
We left Camp 50 at 8.35. It is situated on the left bank of Dunsmore Creek at a place bearing north by west half west from Johnstone's Range. The main party started direct for Cooper's River and Fisherman and I went to Johnstone's Range which we reached in about four miles. We ascended its cliff-topped summit and observed from it a long range of hills from which we bore 99 1/2 degrees from one end, and 141 degrees from another part. The part of the range we were on prevented me from seeing the other end of Johnstone's Range. I made the meridian altitude of the sun 108 degrees 15 minutes. The latitude of that observation is 24 degrees 34 minutes west. To reach the river where Mr Bourne had moved the encampment, at a place a short distance above the junction of Archer Creek, we had to hasten the last seven miles to get to it before dark. By coming on a different course from our yesterday's one the road was not so good, and the country was so thickly wooded at places with western-wood acacia that riding fast was too dangerous to be agreeable. Mr Bourne observed several blacks today. They were very timid and ran away. We came here in about the following courses from the last camp: 10.40 south and by east half east four miles to Johnstone's Range; 12.30 east, 4.30 east, eleven miles to the tracks; 6.0 east-south-east quarter south seven miles to this encampment. Twenty-two miles.
Sunday, 20 April 1862 - Barcoo River, Camp 51.
Today we rested ourselves and the horses. I made the meridian altitude of the sun A.H. 107degrees 56 minutes. The latitude is by that observation 24 degrees 37 minutes 43 seconds.
Monday, 21 April 1862 - Barcoo River, Camp 52.
We left Camp 51 at 10.3. It is situated on the left bank of the river bearing east half south from a small hill about two miles distant. We followed the river up on its western bank for about fifteen and a half miles and encamped at 5.10 p.m. We came first in a north-north-east direction and afterwards for a few miles in a more easterly one. Our path along the first part was between ridges thickly wooded with western-wood acacia and low flat country intersected by boggy branches of the river. In the latter part our path was not confined. On the flats where the old grass had been burned good grass had grown up. There was also good grass on the ground which had been flooded near the channels of the river. We came here in about the following courses: 11.30 north-east four miles; 12.15 north-east four miles; 2.10 north-north-east four miles; 4.10 north and by east five miles; 4.35 east-north-east one mile; 5.10 east one and a half miles. Total fifteen and a quarter miles. About four miles north-east from last camp I made the meridian altitude A.H. of the sun 106 degrees 50 minutes; the latitude by that observation is 24 degrees 34 minutes.
Tuesday, 22 April 1862 -
Barcoo River, Camp 53.
Left Camp 52 at 9.22 and followed up the river on its western side one and a half miles. Doing so brought us in a north-easterly direction to here. In the first part we came more northerly than easterly and in the latter part more easterly than northerly. The country we saw was like that seen yesterday, except being scrubby at a few places. In the middle of the day Jemmy and I waited behind the main party and I made an observation of the sun to get our latitude. As we were riding to overtake the main party we passed nets for catching emu and nets for catching fish. We then passed an elderly gin and a little boy watching earnestly our main party, and immediately afterwards we came upon about a dozen blacks. Mr Bourne informed me that they had followed him for several miles and had persisted in approaching nearer than was desirable. Jemmy had a long conversation with them respecting the explorers they had seen, and also respecting the route towards the settled districts, which he learned some of them had visited. They said they did not remember any explorers who had larger animals than horses and, strange to say, none who had drays. We presented them with glass bottles, an empty powder flask, and some hair from the horses' tales. Jemmy told them we wanted to encamp and that we did not wish to be too near them. They continued to follow us and on Jemmy asking them why they did so they replied they wanted a light. We gave them one and they left; but after we had camped we found they had encamped very near us. We came here on the following courses: 11.30 north-north-east seven miles; 12.30 nil; 1.15 north-north-east two miles; 3.15 north-east by east four and three-quarter miles; 3.35 east-north-east three-quarters of a mile; 4.45 north-east three miles; 5.25 east one mile. Eighteen and a half miles.
Wednesday, 23 April 1862 - Barcoo River, Camp 54.
During the second watch last night our lives depended on the vigilance of our watchmen. The blacks came up and probably would have overpowered us if they had found all asleep; but Jemmy the native trooper, who always keeps his watch well, awoke us, and all of our party except one discharged their guns in the direction from where we heard the blacks. I reserved my charge to shoot at them when I caught sight of them, which I did not succeed in doing until after daylight. We set off two sky-rockets but they did not go up well because they were bruised or because the sticks we attached to them were unsuitable. When the first rocket exploded it made the blacks laugh; at the explosion of the second we did not hear them do so, as they had probably retired to some distance. After the conduct of the blacks last night, and as they approached Gregory's party in a similar way in the same neighbourhood, I fully intended to shoot at them if we had a chance; but this morning, although three approached to within one hundred yards of us while we were eating our breakfast, I did not fire at them until Jemmy had warned them of our hostile feeling towards them, and until they, instead of attending to the warning they had received to be off, got most of their companions, who were heavily loaded with clubs and throwing-sticks, to approach within about the same distance of our position. I then gave the word and we fired at them. The discharge wounded one and made the rest retire. Some of us followed them up as far as the horses and again fired, and shot the one who had been wounded previously. Afterwards Jackey slightly wounded another when Jemmy and he went for the horses. Perhaps these blacks, as they said they had visited the settled country, may have had a part in the massacre of the Wills family. We followed the river up today for about eighteen miles. About sixteen miles of the distance was along the western bank. On that side the country is inferior and the place is thickly wooded with western-wood acacia. Near sunset we crossed several channels of the river. There was a change in the character of the country when we left the northern bank; the ridges were sandy, caused, I judged, by the junction of the Alice River, which I was afraid of following up in mistake for the Barcoo River. We were not certainly, according to the chart, so far to the northward as it; but Mr Gregory discovered when he went through the country that the north bend was laid down on the chart too much to the northward. From where we crossed the watercourse we steered south-east and, after crossing several dry watercourses, in about two and a half miles reached one with water in it and encamped. In following up the river today we saw several blacks; some of them wished to speak to us but we passed them without stopping to do so. We came here on the following courses from 53 Camp: 11.27 north-east half north three miles; 12.20 ---- miles; 1.40 east-north-east three and a half miles; 2.25 east by north three and a half miles; 4.25 north-east six miles; 5 east one and a half miles to our crossing-place; 5.50 south-east two and a quarter miles. Total eighteen and a half miles.
Thursday, 24 April 1862 - Camp 55.
We left camp this morning 9.25 and travelled up the river for about seventeen miles. We encamped 4.55 on the bank of a small creek. The country we have seen from the path we have traversed, since leaving what I thought was the Alice River, is very good with the exception of a few patches of land too thickly wooded with western-wood acacia. The land generally is thinly wooded with myall and well grassed with the best grasses. We came from Camp 54 in about the following courses: 11.30 east for five and three-quarter miles; 12.45, 1.20 south-east and by south for one and a quarter miles; 4.20 east and by south for eight and a half miles; 4.55 south for one and a half miles to camp. Distance seventeen miles.
Friday, 25 April 1862 - Camp 56.
We left Camp 55 this morning at 8.23. When we had journeyed for about twenty miles we reached a creek, which I thought perhaps was a channel of the Barcoo River, and encamped on the northern side of the left bank of the creek. We came during the forenoon in nearly a south-east direction, and during the afternoon about a point to the eastward of south. By the latter course we crossed from the left to the right bank of the creek on which we had our two last camps and left it. The creek was too small to be the Barcoo River, and the ground on both sides of it too high to admit of it being an ana-branch. To the southward of our path we observed a long range of hills, one of which was remarkable for its tabled summit. The country we saw was more undulated than that we saw yesterday, but otherwise of a similar description. We came here in about the following courses: 10.23 south-east for five and a half miles; 11.43 south-south-east for three and a half miles; 2.35 south and by east for four and three-quarter miles; 4.55 south for five and a half miles; 5.15 west and by south for three-quarter miles. Distance twenty miles.
Saturday, 26 April 1862 - Camp 57.
We left Camp 56 this morning 9.30. We steered south, and by that course left the small creek on which we had encamped, and reached another creek with here and there water in its channel. We followed the creek up nearly to its source in the fine range of hills I mentioned in yesterday's journal. Having left the creek we came nearly east for three and a half miles to the left bank of a watercourse with plenty of water in it and encamped. The country we saw today was very rich with undulating features and the best grasses; the timber upon it consisting of myall, western-wood acacia, brigalow, white-wood and box. The brigalows are few and far between. The box grows along the watercourses. We came here from last camp in about the following courses: 2.40 south for ten and three-quarter miles; 3.10 east for one and a quarter miles; 4 east-south-east two and a quarter miles. Distance fourteen and a quarter miles.
Sunday, 27 April 1862 - Camp 57.
This being Sunday we rested ourselves and our horses. Yesterday I discovered that I had not repaired my sextant in a satisfactory manner. The index showed it to be easily put out of adjustment. I made the meridian altitude of the sun today A.H. 102 degrees 26 minutes; latitude 24 degrees 43 minutes.
Monday, 28 April 1862 - Camp 58.
The greater part of the forenoon was spent in collecting the horses. We left Camp 57 at 12.35 p.m. When we had proceeded up the western bank of the creek (the side on which we had encamped) for about three-quarters of a mile we crossed it and left it as it became evident that its sources were in the hills to the right of the course we wanted to pursue. After proceeding about six and a quarter miles from the creek in an easterly course over low undulating ridges we saw two emus, which remained in our vicinity for some time but not sufficiently near to induce any of us to try and shoot them. Half a mile from this brought us in a south-east direction to a well-watered creek which we followed up for some distance, but as it took us in a south-west direction we returned and followed it down. This took us in a north-east direction. When we had come down the creek about three miles, reckoning from the place we first struck it, we encamped. The ground near here is flat and intersected by watercourses, so much so that it is like a kind of country that is often found in flat country near a river. The land we saw today is rich and well-grassed, seemingly as good sheep country as any I have seen. We came here in the following courses from last camp: 12.53 south for three-quarters of a mile; 3 east six and a half miles; 3.10 south-east half a mile; 4.50 north-east one and a half miles down the creek; 5.15 north-east and by east one mile; 5.20 north-north-east half a mile. Total ten and a half miles. Near last camp I made today the meridian altitude of the sun 101 degrees 46 minutes; the latitude 24 degrees 44 minutes.
Tuesday, 29 April 1862 - Camp 59.
We left Camp 58 at 10 this morning. When we had come a few miles the grey mare on which I rode suddenly became unwell and, lying down, in a few minutes died. She was in good condition and one of the best of the expedition horses, which, I may mention, have proved themselves well fitted for the service. When we had come easterly about nine and a quarter miles we reached the best watered and the largest-looking watercourse we have seen for some time. When the mare died I made the meridian altitude of the sun A.H. 101 degrees 18 minutes; the latitude is by that observation 24 degrees 44 minutes. This nearly agrees with the latitude I got by the observations I made on Sunday and Monday at the 57th camp, so I suppose the observations must be very nearly correct, although I thought the first two observations when I made them were not good ones. After reaching this watercourse we followed it up for five and a half miles. In coming to it we passed through several narrow belts of land, thickly wooded with western-wood acacia. The country we saw between these belts was like the fine country I described in yesterday's journal, the additional charm of having trees of another variety of myall. The drooping acacia grows on it. I love these trees; their foliage is so beautiful, and the wood when cut has a fine aromatic smell. The grain of the wood is nearly as hard as ebony; besides it is characteristic of the best pastoral country as it only grows on good country. Its leaves are useful and good for stock, which are fond of eating them. We came here in the following courses: 2.45 east for nine and a quarter miles to the watercourse; 3.50 south for three miles up along the west bank; 4.35 south-south-east two miles; 5.10 south-east half a mile; fourteen and three-quarter miles.