- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Monday, 12th May, Nash Spring, West Forest. Proceeded very slowly with the knocked-up horse to the Depot; he appears to be very ill, and is looking very bad this morning. Arrived there and found all right; they had been visited by the natives twice during my absence. They appeared to be very friendly, and were hugging Frew and King, for whom they seemed to have taken a great fancy; they were old, young, and children. Some pieces of white tape were given to them, which pleased them much. They still pointed to the west, as the place where the large water is, and made signs with a scoop to show that they have to dig for it in going through; which I am now almost sure is the case from what I saw of the country in my last journey in that direction. In upwards of fifty miles we did not see the least signs of a watercourse--nor could I discover any dip in the country; it has the same appearance all round; one cannot see more than half a mile before one, and in many places only a few yards. I have been deceived once or twice by what appeared to be a dip in the country, but it turned out to be only lower trees and scrub than what we were travelling through. With a small party I might make the Victoria from here, but there is every chance of losing the horses in doing so; and I should be in a sad predicament to be there without horses, and without the possibility of receiving supplies from the party at the Depot; I should have to perish there. Therefore, I consider it would be folly and madness to attempt it, and might be the cause of sacrificing the lives of both parties. Had the feed been green, or had it any substance in it, I would have tried, but every blade of grass is parched and dried up as in the middle of summer, and the horses have not the strength nor endurance to undergo much privation, of which I have had a proof in the journey I have just taken. After resting a day or two to recover the horses, and get ourselves a little refreshed, I shall move the party up to King's Ponds, and try to push through wherever I can find an opening. Day very hot. Wind, south-east. A few clouds came up from that quarter after sundown.