to Gascoyne, 7 February 1862.
Journal of Landsborough's Expedition from Carpentaria, in search of Burke & Wills
Commander Norman's letter to Gascoyne
You will proceed to the Depot on the Albert River and so soon as possible after arrival render assistance to Mr Landsborough to get the horses and stores safely over to the eastern shore: then collect whatever surplus of provisions may be remaining, i.e. flour, biscuit, or peas, and have them securely fastened down in one of the iron water tanks sunk in the ground for that purpose. It will be as well to place therein some of the ammunition remaining, and to take a list of whatever is secured in the tank for the information of the Royal Society.
When the above is completed and all stores belonging to this ship collected you will remove the guard and return on board, bringing with you any of Mr Landsborough's party that he may not require to proceed with him overland.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Gascoyne's reply to Norman
H.M.C.S. Victoria, off Albert River,
In accordance with your instructions of 7th February 1862 I proceeded up the Albert River with Mr Landsborough and have the honour to forward the following report of my proceedings, namely:
I left the ship 7th February at 1.10 p.m., the cutter and whale-boat being placed in my charge to assist in crossing the horses and stores belonging to the Exploring Expedition, and bring down to the ship our party from the Albert River Depot.
We had a north-easterly breeze on leaving the ship which carried us up as far as the saltwater arm, arriving there at 6.10 p.m., when the boats' crews went to supper; left there at 7 p.m., perfectly calm; arrived at the Firefly at 1.10 a.m.
Saturday 8th February.
At 5 a.m. (the weather looking very threatening) Mr Landsborough sent out for the horses, which were brought in at 7.30 a.m.; it was then raining heavily, attended by thunder and lightning. At 8 o'clock I started with two of the black boys to drive the horses to the place for crossing, having sent the two boats round with lines as guess warps for hauling the boats to and fro. We succeeded in getting all of them, twenty-one in number, on the eastern shore by about 10 a.m., after which we got the stores across and pitched Mr Landsborough's tents for him to keep them dry, as it had to all appearances set in for a wet day. I then got the provisions and stores (20 pounds biscuits, 250 pounds flour, nine half-pound canisters F.G. powder, two boxes percussion caps) placed in one of the tanks. I then had the tops of the tanks secured and covered with pitch and afterwards earth. Buried a bottle containing directions relative to the foregoing, close to a tree which I had marked thus: DIG 2 feet north, which tree being on the verge of a waterhole, close to the camp, must attract attention. At 8.45 p.m. we all left the Firefly. I put Mr Landsborough and his party, consisting of Mr F. Bourne, William Leeson (groom) and three black boys, onto the opposite shore, bringing Mr H.N. Campbell and a black boy down to the ship, arriving on board at 1.15 p.m. on the 9th February.
I have the honour to be Sir,