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John Gilbert diary entry

6 May 1845

Page 91. Volume 2

Mr. Roper had to relate to him much more quietly than any of us anticipated and he ultimately came to the determination of proceeding back to the river where the poor horse was incapable of moving from; The Dr α Charlie it seems fol=lowed the rivulet we have camped on to its source a spring bubbling out of a fissure of the field of Basalt, it took him about ten miles in a Northern course, on crossing the head of it he kept on in expectation of coming upon the river586, in two miles he came upon another small rivulet bursting out of the field of Basalt as in the former case, this he followed down, which conducted him to the Lakes α Lagoons near our Camp, so that he had not seen any traces of the river in that direction, in consequence therefore of the Accident which takes us back to the river, we shall instead of proceeding up to the sourse of these rivulets, proceed on the left bank of the Burdikin where there appears no Basalt, to intercept our travelling. We therefore packed up our loads as quickly as possible, and loading our Bullocks and Horses, were by 1 o'clock en route on our old tracks across the Basaltic field. during the time we were packing the Bullocks the Natives all disappeared, they pro=bably saw that we were on the point of moving, and that we might even cross the stream towards them, returning to our previous camp we crossed the rivulet and struck across the Basalt for the river in reaching which we had to cross over the worst gully we have yet met with, the banks of which were of loose pieces α blocks of sharp cutting edges of the Basaltic rock, it was a very difficult matter to induce our Bullocks to face it at all, and even when they did, with their already tender feet, it was as much as the poor creatures could do to keep on their legs, after a great deal of whipping and urging they ultimately crossed, and we camped beneath a fine grove of large Casuarina, on the bank of the river opposite where Roper met with his accident, on inspecting the Horse, the Dr considered it a hopeless case, and the poor beast was accordingly shot to put an end to its misery. The Dr was anxious that a fair trial should be made of the meat particularly as the Horse was very healthy, we all but Roper felt a prejudice against it

Note 586

The Burdekin River.