John McDouall Stuart - Second Expedition


Monday, 11th April.

Monday, 11th April. I am unable to go and search for water, being too weak and not able to ride. I have sent Herrgott and Muller to find St. Stephen's Ponds, and see if there is water; they are to return by the foot of the range and endeavour to find water there also. I have been very ill indeed during the night; I have had no sleep for the last two nights, and I am so weak that I am scarcely able to move.

Wednesday, 13th April.

Wednesday, 13th April. I feel a good deal better. I hope by to-morrow I shall be all right again. Herrgott did not return until noon to-day. He reports that there is no water in St. Stephen's Ponds, which I expected; but he also states that he has found a batch of springs three miles on this side of the ponds, with abundance of water. They are twelve in number. I shall go to-morrow with the party to them. I am very glad he has found them. There will now be no difficulty in taking stock to Chambers Creek. From this camp to the springs will be the longest journey to be encountered in a season like this, in which so little rain has fallen. After rain has fallen there will be no difficulty at all. The native cucumber grows about here.

Thursday, 14th April.

Thursday, 14th April. Started at 8.10. The country travelled over was fine salt-bush country, but there was no water on our course, although we disturbed numerous pigeons and other birds. There are three table-topped hills to the east of the end of our north line; I think they are those within a short distance of which Major Warburton mentions that he found water. It would take me too much to the east of my course to examine them at present. I should have gone that way if Herrgott had not found those twelve springs, which we hope to make early to-morrow morning, and then proceed to the Finniss Springs. Camped on the east side of Decoy Hill, without water.

Friday, 15th April, East Side of Decoy Hill.

Friday, 15th April, East Side of Decoy Hill. At daybreak despatched Campbell for the horses. At 7.30 he returned with only five, and said that he found them on the track, going back for the water from which we have come, and that the others had left the tracks and gone west towards the hills. I immediately despatched Muller on horseback to track and bring them back, and I sent the others by Herrgott to get water at the springs. Sundown: no appearance of the horses. They must have gone back. If they have, it will be the middle of the night before Muller can be here. It is vexing to be delayed thus with the brutes.