Sunday, 2nd June. Karriapundi
At 4 a.m. all hands were called, and at nine
o'clock we started for our next water dependence, Torowoto, a
hundred and eighteen miles distant. Smith and McDonough, who were
much better, rode on horseback. Botan conducted the camels, and
Dr Beckler and Mr Hodgkinson escorted Patten and Belooch, who
were carried by Jambel. After great and frequent delays, caused
by the necessity of adjusting pillows, &c., for Patten, the
camp was pitched fifteen miles from Poria Creek. The camels were
watched while feeding till 9 p.m., and then tied up.
Monday, 3rd June.
At 2 am. the camels were fed and
watched, and at 8 a start effected. Patten, who fancied he could
ride Simla with greater ease, being placed upon that animal, I
started with the horses some time after the camels, overtaking
them at 1 p.m. I learned from Dr Beckler that Patten had been
incessantly moaning since leaving the camp, and begging that we
might stop. This request, with no prospect of water before
reaching Torowoto, except that we had sent on, was not to be
listened to however much to be regretted ; and after attempting
to console the poor fellow as far as possible, I gave orders to
Dr Beckler not to allow any delays under any circumstances
whatever. Soon after Patten became delirious insisting that we
had brought him on to kill him, and begging to be allowed to die
where he then was. Under these painful circumstances, the party
proceeded till a quarter to six, when I reached the spot where
Mr Brahe had deposited the water. I was alarmed to find
that a great portion of the water had leaked out and issued one
bucket to each horse and camel. We had very little rest
throughout the night, as the horses kept hanging about the water,
and at twenty minutes to twelve I ordered the camels to be
loosed, in order to give them every chance of feeding. Heavy rain
clouds hung over us for many hours, and a few drops disappointed
our hopes of a greater fall.
Tuesday 4th June.
At a quarter to eight started, and,
travelling without stoppage till sunset, reached a spot twelve
miles north of Rat Point, finding there to our great surprise a
fine pool of water. Half a mile previously to reaching it,
Burra, one of the sick camels, fell down, and, evidently being
unable to travel, was left behind. Patten travelled in nearly an
insensible condition all day. The weather was bitterly cold, and
a, tent was pitched at night immediately we arrived at camp for
his accommodation. The feed was very luxuriant, and the camels
were allowed to remain loose all night.
Wednesday, 5th June. Rat
The unexpected meeting with water induced me
to delay a little this morning for the purpose of giving, all
those desirous of doing so the opportunity, of a good wash, and
it was twenty minutes to eleven before a start was effected.
While saddling, an unusual number of native dogs were noticed
hunting round the water, and regarding the camels with great
curiosity. My intention on leaving camp was to camp at Rat Point,
as I confidently expected to find water in the hole I had
previously discovered when leaving Torowoto On arriving at the
spot, however, so circumscribed was the area covered by the late
rainfall, I found no traces of water, and camped five miles
nearer Torowoto. Patten was all day insensible, and unconscious
of any change in his position.
Thursday, 6th June. Mud
At 4 a.m. it was found that Patten had died
during the night, and Mr Brahe and myself dug a grave for
him by firelight. As soon as his funeral could be performed, the
party started for the hole dug by Dr Beckler and Mr Hodgkinson
during their stay at Rat Point, and reached it at one o'clock,
finding abundance of water in the vicinity.
Friday, 7th June.
A great improvement was discernible in the
health of the men. Smith, Belooch and McDonough, the former
especially, were able to work a little, and Botan was the only
man in very bad health. At an hour before sunset the horses
reached Torowoto, but not a drop of water could be found in any
part of the swamp. This was a great disappointment, as I had
certainly calculated on finding a supply and was unwilling to
send the camels backward and forward as water carriers. There was
a strong probability of rain from the appearance of the sky, and
during the evening and night sufficient fell to afford us a
tolerably good stock of water.
Saturday, 8th June.
Spelled at Torowoto. Put up two tents for
protection against the rain, which fell intermittently throughout
Sunday, 9th June.
Spelled at Torowoto. Packed up for a
start. Intermittent showers throughout the day.
Monday, 10th June. Paldromatta
Started at twenty-five minutes past 9 a.m.
Camped at Paldromatta at a quarter to 8 p.m. No water in the
Creek, but passed a little on the road.
Tuesday, 11th June.
Started at fifteen minutes past 8 a.m. ;
travelled sixteen miles, and camped at a claypan near the creek
which was erroneously named Yeltawinge in the first part of the
Wednesday 12th June. Wannaminta.
Started at 2 p.m. with the camels, as they strayed
during the night. Met some [natives] who had accompanied Mr Burke to
Torowoto, and accepted their services as guides to a shallow
rocky waterhole, eight miles from our last camp.
Thursday, 13th June. Tirltawinge.
Started at a quarter to ten, and
reached water in Tirltawinge Creek, formerly marked on the diary
as Wannaminta, at 4 p.m. Tracks of kangaroo abundant, whence the
name of the creek, Tirlta, signifying kangaroo. Not expecting
water at the next creek (Nuntherunge), I had a couple of bags
filled for a supply. The natives remained near us, and were very
solicitous to assist us.
Friday, 14th June.
On leaving Tirltawinge I made several
presents to our black friends, and took one of them, a youth of
some fifteen years of age, on with the party. We reached
Nuntherunge at an early hour in the afternoon, and found the bed
of the creek quite dry, but by sinking a couple of feet obtained
sufficient water for camels, horses, and bathing purposes.
Splendid feed on the creek.
Saturday, 15th June, to Friday, 21st
After camping at Nantabulla or
Hobson's Basin, and Wotwinge - two gorges amply supplied with
water, in the Motanie Ranges - I proceeded to Badurga ; and
finding no water there, and only sufficient for the camels at
Bilpa, pushed on with the horses to Coorkerega, from whence,
after remaining two days, I reached the Darling on the 18th
instant. The camels arrived on the following day, experiencing
heavy rain-storms at Bilpa and between Coorkerega and the river.
I established the depot camp in its former situation at the
junction of Pamamoroo Creek with the Darling. I had the honor, on
the Friday following, to despatch Mr Brahe with a summary
of this diary, and Mr Burke's despatches, addressed to the
Committee, and I trust that the celerity with which I forward the
messenger will be sufficient excuse for its imperfect compilation
and clerical deficiencies.
W Wright, Officer in Charge.