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John Gilbert diary entry

10 March 1845

Page 47. Volume 2

[in left margin]

Mon 10th

792

As soon as it was light enough we saddled our Horses and again commenced our course through the Scrub, in a few hundred yard we came out upon an open forest, and thought we had now escaped the Scrub, but very soon discovered our error for it only proved to be a small patch of open forest flat so frequently met with in the Scrub, as the dense Brigalo thus surrounded us on all sides, and there was no way of escaping it I preferred taking a westerly course to endeavour to get near the low range, about 3 hours pushing through the scrub, and we ultimately came out upon a fine open Box forest flat, while on an elevated part of the Scrub Charlie climbed a tree to make out the direction of a round topped hill in the low range, and on emerging from the scrub, we were making for it, when in about half a mile we suddenly came upon the deep banks of a large Creek or river coming down from the N.E. and apparantly running to the Southward388, here we were in hopes of finding water and following it down, we came upon a hollow part in the Sandy bed, which ap=pearing moist, induced us to try if there was not water, and in a less than a spade depth we found the water came through the sand very freely. here we at once stopped without examining the river farther, and giving our horses a drink each and hobbling them to allow them to feed, we prepared our Breakfast of grilled dried meat, and Tea the latter when made resembled Ink, the water when lying in the little well is perfectly clear, but from the sand containing so much iron, the water is im=pregnated with it, and when it comes in contact with the Gallic acid389 contained in the Tea, immediately becomes black, however this did not prevent us drinking our usual quantity. We had been nearly 24 hours without water but from the coolness of the weather I did not feel the slightest inconvenience. I was rather pleased on the whole with the discovery of this river, being in full hopes it might ultimately turn out very much to our advantage, in the sandy bed were lying dead shells of Unio - Cyclas - and two species of Limneus and shells of Crayfish390, all apparantly so recently dead, that from this circumstance alone I was in full hopes we should ultimately find water in its bed, but as I was anxious to get to the low range before me I left the examination of the River till our return, in about 7 miles from the river we came upon the foot of the mount up which we rode391, and from which I had a very extensive view, ranges towards the Sea coast could

Note 388

The first sighting of the Suttor River, which they must have come across at about GR 83 42.

Note 389

According to Wikipedia, Gallic Acid is a phenolic acid found in tea leaves, witch hazel, oak bark and other plants. It was an important component of iron gall ink, the standard European writing and drawing ink from the 12th to 19th century, with a history extending to the Roman empire and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Gilbert obviously knew how this ink was produced.

Note 390

As before, we still need check for any of these shells and crayfish remains in the Natural History Museum in London.

Note 391

Was this the peak at GR 716 432, which is marked on the Byerwen 1: 100,000 map as being 489m high (but is not named)?