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John Gilbert diary entry

27 October 1844 - 28 October 1844

Page 98. Volume 1

of curing the meat in a dried state, if we succeed in this, then we have a full supply of meat independent of the productions of the country. if we do not succeed in preserving the meat to carry on, the Dr thinks it will be necessary to send back a portion of the party at once in preference to leading on the whole of the present 10 with the hazard of all suffering eventually from hunger, and which can hardly be avoided if we meet with much more of the obstacles we have as yet had to contend against, again it is necessary to fairly reconnoitre well around the scrub before proceeding on with the almost certainty of losing a portion of our provisions every time we attempt to push our bullocks through scrub or thickets. in case a portion of our party is to return it is not yet determined who it is to be the Dr merely remarking that for the safe progress of the expedition it will be necessary to reduce the number to his original plan. however a few days will most likely settle the point, as Mr Roper brought us the pleasing intelligence of a clear country existing to the N α E of our present camp with numbers of rocky creeks running in various directions, as it will be necessary to camp in a tolerably clear country and well grassed for our stay the Dr intends proceeding on tomorrow. Days Dist. 7 miles.

Mon Oct 28 During our Breakfast of thick porridge the Bullocks again eluded our vigilance and Charlie did not bring them in till near 10 o'clock, when we steered off about North North East for five miles following down the creek which Mr Roper did yesterday and which continues from the chain of water holes we last night camped on, for the first 2 miles we had to push our way through the thick brush which almost in=variably lines the Scrub, one of our flour bags as usual again suffered but fortunately very little of its contents were lost. the last three miles over the most luxuriant grass, and moderately timbered, we halted on the banks of a large water hole and close to the edge of the scrub60. in the afternoon the Dr with Calvert rode out to reconnoitre, and did not return till 8 o'clock, we had all given them up for the night supposing they would not return till daylight. however they not only made their appearance unexpect=edly but brought us the pleasing intelligence of a divid=ing country about ten miles beyond us. during this absence the Steer was killed by us, and at night we

Note 60

The location of this camp can be found on the Guluguba sheet 8945: GR 251 954, on what is now called Back Creek; this flows into Dogwood Creek. Back Creek was originally named Dried Beef Creek by the members of the Leichhardt Expedition.