- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Tuesday, 17th July, Stirling Creek. Proceeded to the Hanson. Shortly after we started, we were followed by the natives, shouting as they came along, but keeping at a respectful distance. They followed us through the scrub for about two hours, but when we came to the open ground at the lagoons they went off. I intended to have halted and spoken to them there, thinking it would not be safe to do so in the scrub. They were tall, powerful-looking fellows, and had their arms with them. We then went on to the Hanson, crossing numerous fresh native tracks. On nearing the water, we saw five blacks, who took fright and went off at full speed. There were many more in the distance; in fact, they seemed to be very numerous about here. The country all round was covered with their tracks. Found water still there, but had to clear the sand away a little to give the horses a drink. Thinking that it would not be safe to camp in the neighbourhood of so many natives, I went on to the Central Creek, and in going through some scrub, we again disturbed some more, but could only see children, one a little fellow about seven years old, who was cleaning some grass seeds in a worley, with a child who could just walk. The moment he saw us he jumped up, and, seizing his father's spear, took the child by the hand and walked off out of our way. It was quite pleasing to see the bold spirit of the little fellow. On nearing Central Mount Stuart we saw two men, who made off into the scrub. Arrived at the creek after dark, but the water is all gone. On examining the hole where the water was, we discovered a small native well, with a very little water, too little to be of any service to me. To-morrow morning I must push on through the scrub to Anna's Reservoir. My horses are still very weak, and I do not think they will be able to do it in a day. Wind variable.