- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Hits: 1063
Tuesday, 1st July, Reedy Swamp, River Chambers. Before sunrise the natives again made their appearance, sixteen in number, with small spears. Sent Mr. Kekwick to see what they wanted. On his coming up to them they put two fingers in their mouths, signifying that they wanted more fish-hooks, but we had no more to spare. They remained looking at us until the horses were packed and started. After Thring and Frew had brought in the horses, they rode up to where they were. They (the natives) did not fancy being too near the horses, but having dismounted, it gave them confidence, and they returned again. Thring opened the lips of one of the horses, and showed them his teeth, the appearance of which did not suit their taste. Some of them thought the further off they were from such weapons the better, and ran off the moment they saw them. Others remained, but kept at a respectful distance. Thring pulled a handful of grass, and it amused them much to see the horses eating it. After starting they followed us for some miles, when Mr. Waterhouse, observing a new pigeon, shot it. They, not liking the report of the gun, went off, and we saw no more of them. Started at 8.20, following the river on a course 30 degrees east of north. After a mile it gradually came round to the south-east, and was a running stream in that direction. As that course would take me too much out of my road, I changed my bearing to north-west, to an opening between the hills. After passing a number of fine ponds, many of them with water in them, came upon a large creek, having long reaches of water in it, but not running. It winds about a great deal. Its general course to-day has been west-north-west. The reedy swamp must be a mass of springs, which causes the Roper to run with such velocity. A little after one o'clock camped. The journey to-day has been rough, having so many small creeks to cross, and the day being excessively hot, the horses seem fagged. They have been covered with sweat since shortly after starting until now, and as some of the drowned horse is not quite dry, I have halted earlier than I intended. The country gone over to-day is of the same kind, beautiful soil, covered with grass. We occasionally met with stony hills coming down to the creek, also well grassed and timbered to their tops. Wind west, with heavy clouds from the south-east. Latitude, 14 degrees 41 minutes 39 seconds.