- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Wednesday, 25th June, River Strangways. Two of the horses having separated from the others, and crossing the river, quite hidden in the long grass, it was late before they were found. Started at nine o'clock; course about 70 degrees east of north, following the channel. I expect, in two or three miles, to meet with the Roper. At three miles struck a large sheet of deep clear water, on which were a number of natives, with their lubras and children; they set up a fearful yelling and squalling, and ran off as fast as they could. Rounded the large sheet of water and proceeded along it. At a mile, three men were seen following; halted the party, and went up to them. One was a very old man, one middle-aged, the third a young, stout, well-made fellow; they seemed to be friendly. Tried to make them understand by signs that I wished to get across the river; they made signs, by pointing down the river, by placing both hands together, having the fingers closed, which led me to think I could get across further down. They made signs for us to be off, and that they were going back again. I complied with their request, and after bidding each other a friendly good-bye, we followed down the banks of the river, which I now find is the Roper. At seven miles tried to cross it, but found it to be impossible; it is now divided into a number of channels, very deep and full of running water. Proceeded further, and tried it at several places, but with the same result. At twelve miles, camped close to a steep rocky hill on the north side of the river. Searched all round for a crossing, but was unable to find one. To the eastward the country is all on fire. The banks of the river are thickly lined with cabbage-trees, also the cane, bamboo, and other shrubs. Two small turtle-shells were picked up by the party at the native camp. The country is still of the same fine description. We are now north of Mr. Gregory's tracks. Latitude, 14 degrees 5 minutes. Wind variable.