config

June 22.—As we still remained in camp, the day being dark and cloudy with occasional showers, I took the opportunity of having one of the drays boarded close up, and of re–arranging the loads, oiling the fire–arms, and grinding the axes, spades, etc.; we completed our complement of tools, tents, tarpaulins, etc. from those at the station, and had everything arranged on the drays in the most convenient manner, always having in view safety in carriage and facility of access; the best place for the fire–arms I found to be at the outside of the sides, the backs, or the fronts, of those drays that were close boarded.

By nailing half a large sheepskin with the wool on in any of these positions, a soft cushion was formed for the fire–arms to rest against, they were then fixed in their places by a loop of leather for the muzzle, and a strap and buckle for the stock; whilst the other half of the sheepskin which hung loose, doubled down in front of the weapons. between them and the wheel, effectually preserving them from both dirt and wet, and at the same time keeping them in a position, where they could be got at in a moment, by simply lifting up the skin and unbuckling the strap; by this means too, all danger or risk was avoided, which usually exists when the fire–arms are put on or off the drays in a loaded state. I have myself formerly seen carbines explode more than once from the cocks catching something, in being pulled out from, or pushed in amidst the load of a dray, independently of the difficulty of getting access to them in cases of sudden emergency; a still better plan than the one I adopted, would probably be to have lockers made for the guns, to hang in similar places, and in a somewhat similar manner to that I have described, but in this case it would be necessary for the lockers to be arranged and fitted at the time the drays or carts were made.

All the time I could spare from directing or superintending the loading of the drays, I devoted to writing letters and making arrangements for the regulation of my private affairs, which from the sudden manner in which I had engaged in the exploring expedition, and from the busy and hurried life I had led since the commencement of the preparations, had fallen into some confusion. I was now, however, obliged to content myself with such a disposition of them as the time and circumstances enabled me to make.—I observed the latitude of the station to be 34 degrees 15 minutes 56 seconds S.