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John Gilbert diary entry

10 October 1844 - 11 October 1844

Page 85. Volume 1

very like the Salmon bark Gum of Swan River a species of Jacksonia was however the most conspicuous from its bright orange flowers which were borne in such thick clusters as to nearly conceal the foliage of the tree all the hills we passed over were covered with thick grass, excepting the valley between the scrubs which took us in a nearly west course, we were enabled to keep our direct course during the day, our medium course for the day was N 65 W. our Bullocks α horses travelled the whole distance without any mishap and we camped at a very small Lagoon24, the only water we met with after leaving the chain of Ponds in the valley. In the evening I rode out accompanied by Charlie in hopes of killing a Kangaroo, but met with no success, not one had been seen by us the whole day, I rode out in a N.W. direction for about 2 miles when I came upon the edge of a dense brush of Pine, small Iron Bark Acacia's α c, so thick that it was with the ut=most difficulty I could push my horse through it I then followed it up just on the out=side for about five miles till it brought me round S W of our Camp. where I left it the distance here perhaps about 3 miles from the Lagoon. the thickest of the brush presented a different charac=ter from any I have seen before the ground very uneven and full of holes and an immense number of fallen trees lying about in the utmost confusion while the growing trees were so thick, that scarcely a ray of sunshine could reach the ground, consequent=ly there is not a blade of grass or any vegetation but the taller trees.

Days Dist. 13 miles

Oct 11. Very much to my surprise the Dr steered direct N.W. for the dense scrub I saw yesterday, in two miles we were in the thickest of it, and now commenced a series of disasters, which continued to follow us up throughout the whole day, the Bullocks in their endeavours to push their way between the trees, were constantly either tearing the Bags or throwing off their loads altogether. The Dr still pushing on endeavour=ing to find an opening through, from 9 till three we were kept in this scrub our horses were obliged to be let loose and trust to their following, the consequence was one of mine not liking such disagreable work, separated from the others, I then went in pursuit and found he was going back on our morning track I at length came up with him, when he set off at a fast gallop dashing my Gun α other things constantly against the trees, I found it impossible to gallop after him without the constant chances of having myself dashed against a tree I therefore followed him slowly till he got back to our yesterday's Camp, where I was enabled to gallop him down; on examining his load I found my Gun broken in several places all my Shirts lost and worse than [that, omitted], all my

Note 24

They named this Kent's Lagoon, "after F. Kent Esq." (Leichhardt 1847). This was John Kent, Deputy Commissary-General and Superintendant of the Government Stock Establishments at Moreton Bay. He had given the party considerable supplies of chocolate (Chisholm 1973), which they had finished before they left this lagoon. They were to spend about 10 days here in all. The lagoon is part of Stockyard Creek, about 1.5km north of the Warrego Highway; Chinchilla sheet 9044: GR 553 453.