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John Gilbert diary entry

18 October 1844 - 19 October 1844

Page 90. Volume 1

is a very conspicuous part of the creek, where the bank becomes very low on the left bank, while on the opposite is a stony cliff with a patch of Rosewood scrub overhanging the cliff. our whole days sport only produced us a duck α a pigeon. when we returned in the evening we were much grieved to find our lost companions had not made their appearance. Charlie α Mr Hodgson had been out in search since 9 o'clock. soon after our return they came in with a Kangaroo, saying they had tracked them from the Creek to the edge of the scrub when they heard Cooey's and supposed it was the missing persons, they then went away from the tracks and shot the Kangaroo they brought in and seemed quite surprised when they found Murphy α Caleb had not made their appearance, they were then joined by Mr Roper and the three started off immediately taking with them flour, Tea α Sugar ^ [“and a portion of the Kangaroo” inserted]. the situation of our lost companions is now certainly becoming alarming it is only the knowledge of their having ammunition and Charlies practised eye in tracking gives us any hopes at all, the former assuring us they have the means of averting hunger and the latter in the certainty of their tracks being followed up till found. what makes the circumstance more painful to us is that they happen to be the only two who have not before had any bush experience, and thus after they became first bewildered doubtless commenced wandering, instead of remaining stationary untill morning α coming back on their tracks, one of the horses would almost certainly have brought them back safely, if they had given the rein, but they must either of forgotten this Bush character of the horse, or lost their confidence in it, at night we did not eat our Kangaroo with that enjoyment we some days ago anticipated, our absent companions and their distressing situation were so impressed on our minds, we could think of nothing else.

Sat Oct 19. Several of our horses again missing Mr Calvert α Brown in search of them. they succeeded in finding them all. during the day I strolled about in search of novelties, and was amply repaid in finding the eggs of Struthidea cinerea, I disturbed the bird several times from a Rosewood tree in a small patch of scrub, and left assured it had a nest there but could not detect any other than that of Grallina, determined to find out the secret if possible I lay down at a short distance where I had a full command of the tree and at length was not a little surprised to see the bird take possession, I climbed the tree and was delighted to find it contained four eggs their medium length very nearly 1½ inch and the breadth rather less than ⅞. the colour white