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John Gilbert diary entry

31 December 1844

Page 150. Volume 1

The whole conduct of the Dr in fact to-wards me of late has been any thing but friendly or liberal, he has treated me in every way as if he considered me an interloper and yet this man is indebted to me for many things to assist his expedition and I have repeatedly made offers of assistance but in every case have been refused or declined in the most abrupt or disdain=ful manner; and he seems to make no allowance for the difference of my having

gone to a great expence [sic] to outfit me for the journey while the whole expense of his expedition has been difrayed by sub=scriptions in Sydney α other places; That the time must now begin to hang heavily upon me in particular can hardly be surprising when in company of such a man, who re=fuses to reciprocate every fair α liberal feel=ing with me. This is certainly a circumstance any thing but pleasing to close the year with and the prospect of reaching our destination is at the present rate of the Drs slow progress very far distant. and our provisions are more than half expended already although we can have made only about a third of our whole distance if even so much204. and more especially if the country we have to proceed over continues as at present so dry that at every 20 or 30 miles we have to lose a day for the purpose of hunting for water. The Dr α Brown have this afternoon rode off in search of water for our next camping taking with them provisions in case of its being necessary to remain away to night α tomorrow, the water holes they before re=connoitered for our camp to day, we found on our arrival dried up. Our course to day about N.N.W. and in a straight line about 7 miles205.

Fragment No.3206

Line 1: 1 + our water having become so bad from the cattle α horses continually walking into it we [tried various experi=]

Line 2: =ments to im prove it, but without success, in every way we could not

conceal the [undesirable flavour of]

Line 3: the water which has become quite putrid and certainly resembles very closely soap [suds]

Line 4: I searched the river with spade in hand without success but found

in a hollow log about 2 gallons [of water] [rest of this page torn away].

Note 204

In actual fact, as Glen McLaren worked out, almost three-quarters of their journey lay ahead of them.

Note 205

New Years Camp, where they remained from 31st December 1844 to 2nd January 1845, was estimated by McLaren to have been at GR 630 167 on the Rolleston sheet (8649).

Note 206

Another version of the events of 31st December 1844. Words in brackets have been taken from the typed Mitchell Library transcript, but the original fragment must have frayed slightly on edges since then, unless the Mitchell typist was also guessing.