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John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition

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

Thursday, 18th April, West Mount Blyth.

Thursday, 18th April, West Mount Blyth. Started at 7.40 a.m., same bearing, across the Murchison range, in which we found great difficulty. On the north-east side of Mount Blyth we found a large gum creek of permanent water, and camped. I have named this Ann Creek. I then rode to the highest point of the range, taking Thring with me, to see if there is any rising ground to north-west by which I may cross the gum plain. I could see no rise, nothing but a line of dark-green wood on the horizon. We had great difficulty in getting to the top, the rocks being so precipitous. In coming down the eastern side we were gratified by the sight of a beautiful waterfall, upwards of one hundred feet high, over columns of basaltic rock, its form, two sides of a triangle, the water coming over the angle. Wind, south-east.

Friday, 19th April, Ann Creek.

Friday, 19th April, Ann Creek. Started at 7.45 a.m., on a course of 324 degrees, towards Mount Samuel. After sundown arrived at Goodiar Creek; one of the horses done up; had to leave him a little distance back; he is unwell. On leaving the Murchison range we crossed a number of quartz reefs and hills running east and south-west. Wind, south-south-east.

Saturday, 20th April, Goodiar Creek.

Saturday, 20th April, Goodiar Creek. Three horses missing this morning, in consequence of the scarcity of feed. The horse left behind last night has been brought in; he looks very bad indeed. About 11 a.m. the other horses were found, brought in, and saddled, and we proceeded on a north-north-west course for Bishop Creek, but found the sick horse too ill to proceed further than Tennant Creek, where we camped, there being plenty of water and feed. Two natives were seen by Masters this morning when in search of the horses--he could not get them to come near him. Wind, south-west.

Monday, 22nd April, Tennant Creek.

Monday, 22nd April, Tennant Creek. Started at 7.30 a.m., course 21 degrees, for Bishop Creek, and at twelve miles made it. I find that two of the horses are so weak that they are unable to go any further without giving in, I have therefore camped, giving them the remainder of the day to recruit. Native fires are smoking all around us, but at some distance off. Wind, east.