Also in this section…?

John Gilbert diary entry

12 October 1844 - 14 October 1844

Page 87. Volume 1

Sat Oct 12. At 12 o'clock the Dr made his appearance with the remaining 4 Bullocks accompanied by Murphy α Brown - all the horses but one had made their escape from them during the night. the two black fellows were immediately sent off in pursuit of them, and we waited till near sundown with great anxiety when they returned as they left us, saying the horses had been tracked by them 12 miles without seeing one of them, the party in the scrub must have been still more anxious than ourselves, for the black fellows hav=ing met with the tracks before reaching the camp followed them up at once, leaving the party in a state of doubt not to be envied. to add still more to our disasters, the Dr told us of a further loss of flour. it seems the horses had been all hobbled, on a small patch of grass in the scrub near the Camp a proceeding which I certainly think no prac=tised Bushman would have dreamed of, if the horses escape without being staked it will be little less than miraculous in such a dense scrub. The black fellows search for the horses was attended with one good re=sult however, they having found a creek to the N.E. of the Lagoon which may very probably lead us through the scrub, the Lagoon appears to be the head water of the creek.

Sunday Oct 13. Mr H. α Charlie started off this morning in search of the horses, while the Dr α Brown taking 5 of the pack Bullocks saddled went to the relief of the party in the scrub, leaving myself α Murphy to guard the provisions and Bullocks, being anxious to be fairly prepared in case the Natives should come upon us, I formed a regular battery with the Bags of Flour α c leaving an inner ring to retire to in case of a regular attack having two double barrelled Guns α Ball cartriges [sic] in readiness sufficient to hold out a siege for several hours27. at 12 Mr Hodgson α Charlie returned with only 5 Horses, soon after the Dr returned with the party from the Scrub. Mr H α Charlie immediate=ly went into the scrub in search of the remaining 7 Horses with which they returned in the evening. at night it rained heavily and not being prepared with either Tent or hut, all of us got a regular soaking, and most of our Baggage well soaked after the rain had a little abated we tyed the tarpaulings together to form a general tent, and which kept us dry during the nights rain;

Monday Oct 14. Rainy the whole day, with all the drawback we managed to weigh the flour α mend the Bags - our loss in the Scrub was no less than 143 lbs; our hunters too returning without any Game, in fact no party I believe in the Bush ever fared much worse than we have done as regards the

Note 27

Gilbert, although he had used Aboriginal assistance in the field for over five years, had great fear of them, as can be seen in his pencilled comments from late April 1844 about the Barwon Blacks and in many of his letters to John Gould.