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John Gilbert diary entry

25 December 1844 - 27 December 1844

Page 145. Volume 1

for the Bush. The Drs return thus ear=lier than was expected (they having gone

out for four days) was in consequence of their discovery of a fine country much nearer than was calculated upon, it will however take us two days to reach it α tomorrow we shall make a start for this wished for changed [sic] of country.

Thurs 26 Dec. Rain in the morning prevented us making so early a start as we wished, however we man=aged to make a good days stage, passing Black-fellows Camp190, we soon entered the scrub, following the creek,by winding α picking our way carefully, we succeeded in avoiding the thickest of the scrub, excepting a few places where our packs as usual suffered. at about 5 miles from Black fellows Camp we came upon an open spot, where we halted for the day, and had but just time to get all our packs covered and tents up before a heavy thunder shower came on, and we although sheltered from the falling rain, soon had the water beneath us and mud α mire surrounding us on all sides. our whole distance to day about 10 miles in a Northerly direction, a little westerly191. The range which runs about N. α S. at a distance of three miles the Dr has named Christmas Range. Muddy Camp192.

Friday 27 Dec. Again a day of scrub travelling some of it very thick, and in consequence of last nights rain very heavy travelling instead of the parched up ap=pearance of the ground every where as before observed since crossing Expedition Range, the whole scrub was little better than one continued swamp. in every hollow pools of water, and the creek as we came lower hav=ing very long deep pools, thickly enveloped in large groves of Melaleuca; In five hours we passed through the scrub and came upon a Box flat, with open forest and rich grass, at the junction of the creek running from Scrub Camp and the creek from Blackfellows camp down which we have followed the last two days we camped at a large water hole, the banks thickly clothed with large tea-tree, it forms a back water to the creek and is half a mile in length and an average breadth of 50 yards. and has every appearance of being permanent water; our course North a little east, and distance about 10 miles; during the last few days, something of a jealous or selfish disposition has displayed itself with the Dr towards myself, having originally understood that we should share equally our collections, I have all along taken particular care of the smaller specimens for that purpose, my bags and Boxes, being the only convenience for such a purpose in the expedition, for strange

Note 190

Their camp of 22nd December, estimated to have been at GR 716 670 on the Warrinilla sheet (8648).

Note 191

Actually the campsite of 26th December is about 9 km due north of Pink Lily Lagoon.

Note 192

“Muddy Camp” was written by Gilbert in pencil and was probably added later. Glen Mclaren estimated this camp to be at GR 738 720 on the Warrinilla 1: 100,000 map (8648), by one of the anabranches of the river they were shortly to call the Comet.