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John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition

JOURNAL OF MR. STUART'S SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITION ACROSS THE CONTINENT OF AUSTRALIA. FROM DECEMBER, 1861, TO DECEMBER, 1862.

Saturday, 24th May, Chain of Ponds, Large Creek.

Saturday, 24th May, Chain of Ponds, Large Creek. Followed my tracks back to Auld's Chain of Ponds, and had difficulty in doing so, the ground being so hard that the hoofs of the horses scarcely left any impression on it. This would be a fearful country for any one to be lost in, as there is nothing to guide them, and one cannot see more than three hundred yards around, the gum-trees are so thick, and the small belts of lancewood make it very deceptive. Should any one be so unfortunate as to be lost, it would be quite impossible to find them again; it would be imprudent to search for them, for by so doing the searchers would run the risk of being lost also. Arrived at Auld's Ponds and camped. Wind, south-east. A few clouds.

Sun day, 25th May, Auld's Chain of Ponds.

Sun day, 25th May, Auld's Chain of Ponds. Proceeded to the Depot, where I arrived in the afternoon and found all well. No natives have been near them, although some of their smoke has been seen at a short distance from the Depot. Yesterday we hoisted the Union Jack in honour of her Most Gracious Majesty's birthday, that being the only thing we had to commemorate this happy event, with our best wishes for her long and happy reign. Wind, south-east.

Tuesday, 27th May, Auld's Chain of Ponds.

Tuesday, 27th May, Auld's Chain of Ponds. Proceeded with the party to the fourth chain of ponds and creek. This water has every appearance of being permanent, and I hope I may fall in with such another in the next degree of latitude. It may be from this that the Wickham receives a supply of water when this overflows. Wind, south-west. Latitude, 16 degrees 14 minutes 31 seconds.

Wednesday, 28th May, Daly Waters, Fourth Chain of Ponds and Creeks.

Wednesday, 28th May, Daly Waters, Fourth Chain of Ponds and Creeks. Sent Thring and King to round the swamp into which this creek flows, to see if there is any outlet to the eastward of this within two miles. There are other ponds and a creek, which also empties itself into a swamp a little to the eastward of the one into which this one empties itself. In the afternoon they returned, having found a small watercourse forming the north-west side of the swamp; followed it, running nearly 10 degrees east of north. In about one mile and a half they came upon a large swamp covered with water, but shallow. They then proceeded seven miles on a north-east course; then meeting with some white-barked gum-trees, appearing to run to the north-west, followed them for three miles, crossing a gum and grass plain. Observing some native smoke to north-east, they returned. Wind, south-east.