Mr. Stuart made his public entry into Adelaide on Monday, 23rd September, and reported himself to the authorities.
Almost at the same time the Victorian Government obtained their first traces of the survivors of the ill-fated expedition under Burke and Wills.* (* The news of their death reached Melbourne on November 2nd.)
The South Australian Government had such confidence in Mr. Stuart that, on his expressing his readiness to make another attempt to cross the continent, they at once closed with his offer, and in less than a month (on October 21st) the new expedition started from Adelaide to proceed to Chambers Creek, and get everything in order there for a final start.
Mr. Stuart accompanied them for a few miles to see that everything went on well, when, one of the horses becoming restive, he advanced with the intention of cutting the rope which was choking the animal; the horse reared and struck him on the temple with its fore foot, knocking him down and rendering him insensible. The brute then sprang forward and placed one of his hind feet on Mr. Stuart's right hand, and, rearing again, dislocated two joints of his first finger, tearing the flesh and nail from it, and injuring the bone to such an extent that amputation of the finger was at first thought unavoidable.
By careful treatment, however, it was unnecessary to resort to such a course, and in five weeks the leader was able to start to overtake his party, some of whom were to remain at Moolooloo until he joined them.
In no way discouraged either by his own unlucky accident and previous want of success, or by the melancholy end of his brother explorers, Burke and Wills, Mr. Stuart arrived at Moolooloo on Friday, December 20th, and at Finniss Springs on the 29th.