Wednesday, 12th June, Western Dense Forest and Scrub.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition
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Wednesday, 12th June, Western Dense Forest and Scrub. Proceeded to camp and found all well. This is the third long journey by which I have tried to make the Victoria in this latitude, but have been driven back every time by the same description of country and the want of water. There is not the least appearance of rising ground, or a change in the country--nothing but the same dismal, dreary forest throughout; it may in all probability continue to Mr. Gregory's last camp on the Camfield. My farthest point has been within a hundred miles of it. I would have proceeded further, but my horses are unable to do it; they look as if they had done a month's excessive work, from their feet being so dry, the forest so thick, and the want of water. Thus end my hopes of reaching the Victoria in this latitude, which is a very great disappointment. I should have dug wells if my party had been larger, and I had had the means of conveying water to those engaged in sinking the wells. I think I could accomplish it in that way; but by doing so, I should have to divide the party into three, (one sinking, one carrying water, and one at the camp), which would be too small a number where the natives appear to be so hostile. I have not the least doubt that water could be obtained at a moderate depth, near the end of my journeys, amongst the long thick timber, which seems to be the lowest part of the country. I had no idea of meeting with such an impediment as the plains and heavy scrub have proved to be. For a telegraphic communication I should think that three or four wells would overcome this difficulty and the want of water, and the forest could be penetrated by cutting a line through and burning it. In all probability there is water to be found nearer than this in the Camfield, Mr. Gregory's last camp, somewhere about its sources, which might be thirty miles nearer. Wind, south-east. Country drying up very fast.