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John Gilbert diary entry

17 May 1845 - 19 May 1845

Page 103. Volume 2

left us, we heard Natives cooeying, but could not see them, as we saw nor heard any more from them we supposed it was a few only passing at the time. The whole night very cloudy and cold.

[in left margin]

Sun 18th.

Very Cloudy all day, with occasionally light showers, and very cold, the wind has blown stronger than we have been accustomed to feel for some time past, from the S. East. Charlie killed a second Bustard.

[At this point in Gilbert’s diary he has inserted a passage relating to an incident that had happened on Wednesday 30th April. I have repeated the text under that date, and also referred to it in footnotes under the entry for Spear Horse Camp at Zamia Creek, on 7th December 1844]:


Wed 30th April While we were travelling over the Ridges Calvert α Brown, remained behind to search for a Sword, which was lost off one of the Bullocks backs during yesterdays stage, they did not suc=ceed in their object, and in coming after us they kept the river bank, and reported to us the fact of our having committed an error in taking to the ridges, while there was really very good travelling ground by keeping as before to the river, the reason why Charlie should have so misled us is very difficult to understand, he went out last night with his gun and as usual followed up the river, when he returned he told us he had gone 2 miles, and that during the entire distance we could not keep either the river bed or its banks, and that there was a great water fall. this latter too was not seen by Brown α Calvert, what makes it more annoying is that through going over the ridges we gave our Cattle one of the severest days stages they have hitherto had independent of the little progress made for the day. when Brown came in and related with Calvert the above contradictions to Charlies account, the latter lost his temper on being discovered, and he α Brown had a very serious quarrel in consequence during which the secret came out respecting the affair at Spear horse Camp on Zamia Creek, instead of the poor horse having been speared by Natives, it now turns out that Charlie inflicted the wound on the poor horse with his Tomahawk, why or wherefore is yet a mystery to us all. They at night slept separately for the first time in the expedition, both threatening never again to speak to the other, but I doubt very much whether they will not soon forget it.


[At this point Gilbert resumed his account for Sunday 18th May 1845]:

The whole night continued cloudy, with light showers, Charlie returned in the afternoon, but without gaining his object, his bag and its contents being burnt in a Bush fire. Roper rode out 6 miles in a W N W direction, and saw large Plains and Swamps abounding every where.

[in left margin]

Mon 19th.



Cloudy moist morning; the Dr returned in the afternoon, and reported to us that he had found a creek running to the N.W. and which he thinks from the character of the surrounding coun=try will introduce us to a change of water courses. The weather cleared up in the evening, α the night was fine. A third Bustard was killed to day.