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John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition

JOURNAL OF MR. STUART'S FIFTH EXPEDITION. FROM NOVEMBER, 1860, TO SEPTEMBER, 1861.

Wednesday, 20th March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range.

Wednesday, 20th March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range. About 1 p.m. we were delighted with the sight and feeling of heavy rain. At about 4 the creek came down, and by sunrise it was running at the rate of five miles an hour--a new and delightful sight to behold. At about 9 the clouds were breaking and the rain lighter. We were all truly thankful for this great boon. It is too wet to move to-day; the horses are bogging up to their knees. After sundown we had a heavy thunder storm, accompanied by vivid lightning, and heavy rain from south-east and east. Wind from same direction.

Thursday, 21st March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range.

Thursday, 21st March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range. Rain has continued at intervals during the night; a great deal has fallen. A horse having gone into the creek to drink during the night, one of his hobbles became undone, and got fastened to his hind shoe. He was found this morning up to his body in water, and unable to move. Having relieved him, it was with difficulty he could get out. He is in a tremble all over, and can scarcely walk. The ground is so soft, even on the hills, that we cannot walk without sinking above the ankle. I should gain nothing by starting to-day. It would injure the horses more than a week's travelling.

Friday, 22nd March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range.

Friday, 22nd March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range. About 1 a.m. the rain came down in torrents, and continued until nearly sunrise, from south-east. Wind from same quarter. It is impossible to move to-day. The creek is higher than it has been before, and running with great rapidity. All the horses were found right this morning but the one which got into the creek yesterday. After searching all the hills and the creeks round about, he was found in a small gully by himself.

Saturday, 23rd March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range.

Saturday, 23rd March, Brinkley Bluff, McDonnell Range. Heavy shower of rain about 4 a.m. this morning. After sunrise it all cleared away and became fine. Started at 8.20 to cross the northern portion of the range by following the creek up. We have had a very hard and difficult journey of it. It is now 4 p.m., and we have arrived at Hamilton Springs. The ground was so soft, even at the top of the ranges, that we had the greatest difficulty in getting the horses through. We did so, however, with the loss of a great number of shoes, and many of the horses were very lame. Wind still south-east.