Albert River, 19 October 1861.
Journal of Landsborough's Expedition from Carpentaria, in search of Burke & Wills
Norman's Group, Albert River,
My dear Captain Norman,
I have much pleasure in informing you that we have landed safely twenty-three horses, and have sent them to a waterhole which we have called Frost's Ponds, where they had a great roll in the mud, which will, I hope, protect their tender skins in some measure from the sun and sandflies; two of the weak ones we have kept on board.
The wind and the time of high-water (at night) was very unfavourable for going up the river, and, as we were short of water, I need not tell you how glad I was to know of waterholes to which I could drive the horses. Three parties went in search of water the day before yesterday, and were all successful in finding it. Mr Campbell went with one party and found water on the west bank up the river. I went on the east bank, and in an easterly direction got onto a finely grassed, openly timbered country, within three miles, and at the edge of the timber, in less than three miles further, found a fine waterhole, besides shallow ones, nearly all along the last-mentioned distance. Mr Frost found a fine waterhole within five miles of here, to which we have driven the horses, as it was on the route which we had previously determined upon as the best to take if practicable.
I have not time at present to write you an official letter, except the one I sent respecting Mr Woods. The horses, from our having had from you a liberal supply of water, are in much better condition than when they left Hardy's Island.
I remain yours very truly,
Commander Norman's Memo
Being at the Depot to start Landsborough on the South-West Expedition from November 5th to 16th, and Walker not having arrived, I offered the services of Lieutenant Woods, which Landsborough declined to accept of, stating he considered they could do very well without any assistance.
(*Footnote. At Brisbane, where I met Captain Norman before I had started on the expedition, he led me to expect that Lieutenant Woods would accompany me to make astronomical observations whilst on my search for Burke, provided I made application for his assistance. At Carpentaria, having ascertained that Lieutenant Woods was himself anxious to accompany me, I wrote the foregoing letter (Number 1) applying for that officer. Captain Norman's reply to this letter I considered tantamount to a refusal, and accordingly arranged to take Captain Alison. Having done so, I may have stated to Captain Norman that I considered I could do very well on this occasion without any assistance from him.)