- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Tuesday, 12th August, River Chambers. Horses missing again this morning. Started at half-past eight. Proceeded to the south-east end of the reedy swamp, and at half-past three o'clock camped. An hour before halting, we surprised a number of native women and children who were preparing roots and other things for their repast. The moment they saw us they seized on their children, placed them on their shoulders, and ran off screaming at a great rate, leaving all their things behind them, amongst which we saw a piece of iron used as a tomahawk; it had a large round eye into which they had fixed a handle; the edge was about the usual tomahawk breadth; when hot it had been hammered together. It had apparently been a hinge of some large door or other large article; the natives had ground it down, and seemed to know the use of it. Left their articles undisturbed, and proceeded to the river Roper. My horses are still looking very bad. The cause must be the dry state of the grass; it is so parched up that when rubbed between the hands it becomes a fine powder, and they must derive very little nourishment from it. I can hear natives talking and screaming on the other side of the river, which at this place is a strong running stream about thirty yards wide and apparently deep. Wind, south-east, blowing strong.