- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Wednesday, 6th March, The Hugh. Started at 8.45 a.m. on a bearing of 209 degrees. At nine miles, finding the water gone that I had seen on my last return, I dug down to the clay, and obtained a little, but not enough for us. Followed the creek up into the gorge, and found it very dry. Our former tracks are still visible in the bed of the creek. No rain seems to have fallen here since last March. I had almost given up all hopes of finding any water, when, at seven miles, we met with a few rushes, which revived our sinking hopes; and, at eight miles, our eyes and ears were delighted with the sight and sound of numerous diamond birds, a sure sign of the proximity of water. At the mouth of a side creek coming from the James range, on the eastern side of the Hugh, found an excellent water hole, apparently both deep and permanent. We saw a native and his lubra at the upper end at a brush fence in the water; they appeared to be fishing, and did not see us until I called to them. The female was the first who left the water; she ran to the bank, took up her child, and made for a tree, up which she climbed, pushing her young one up before her. She was a tall, well-made woman. The man (an old fellow), tall, stout, and robust, although startled at our appearance, took it leisurely in getting out of the water, ascended the bank, and had a look at us; he then addressed us in his own language, and seemed to work himself up into a great passion, stopping every now and then and spitting fiercely at us like an old tiger. He also ascended the tree, and then gave us a second edition of it. We leisurely watered our horses, and he was very much surprised to see Thring dismount and lead the pack-horse down to the water, so much so that he never said another word, but remained staring at us until we departed, when he commenced again. This water being sufficient for my purpose, I will go no further up the creek, but return to the last night's camp. Wind, south-east.