- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Sunday, 10th June, Grassy Plains. Started at sunrise, and at two miles again got into the scrub. Three of the horses we can scarcely get along; they are very much done up. At 11 o'clock, one horse gave in altogether. We cannot get him up; we have tried everything in our power to do something for him. The other horses have been carrying his load, and he has had nothing to carry for this last hour and a half; all our efforts are in vain, and I am obliged, although with great reluctance, to leave him to his fate. Had this occurred nearer the water, I should have put an end to his existence and taken part of him to eat, for we are now very short of provisions, and the other horses have quite enough to carry without sharing his load; I wish I had left him sooner. At 12 o'clock, I find I shall lose some more of them, if they do not get water to-night, and it will be to-morrow before I can reach Bishop Creek. I shall now go to Short range and try to find some. The little bay mare Polly has become nearly mad, running about among the other horses, and kicking them as she passes; even the men do not escape from her heels. At five miles made the range. There are no large creeks coming from this side--nothing but small ones which empty themselves into the plain; sand up to the foot of the hills. Before we reach the range another of the horses is done up; he has only been carrying about 30 pounds in consequence of his back having been bad for the last three weeks. We lightened all the weak horses two days since. We shall now try if he will go without anything on his back. We are now amongst the granite ridges, and hope we shall find water on this side. The horse has given in before we can get to the other side. We must leave him for the sake of the others. Too much time has already been lost in endeavouring to get them on. Reached the other side and searched the different creeks, but cannot find any water. Crossed a spur of the range running south, and can see a nice-looking creek with gum-trees. Our hopes and spirits are again revived; the sight of it has even invigorated the horses, and they are hurrying on towards it. Traversed it down, but, to our great disappointment, find that it loses itself in a grassy plain. It is now dark, so I must remain here for the night. The sky is quite overcast, and I trust that Providence will send us rain before morning. An accident has happened to the water we were carrying; it was all lost yesterday. If it clears during the night, so that I can see the stars to guide me, I shall move on.