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John Gilbert diary entry

18 January 1845 - 21 January 1845

Page 10. Volume 2

page 10

[in left margin]

579 [total miles progressed]

if we were desirous of one of his women. Charlie understood him perhaps better than we, but there was a certain slyness a half laugh about the fellow that could not well be mistaken by us who knew not a word he uttered, we parted for the night very good friends, one of the old women however seemed as if very dissatisfied whether with us particularly or not we could not tell. At night we had a thunder Storm and a little rain. Charlie returned and brought us the unpleasing intelligence that our stage to=morrow will be 15 miles through scrub.

[in left margin]

Sun 19.

On uncovering our meat this morning, we found it had sweated very much during the night from being covered up so close from the rain before perfectly dry, we therefore thought it most prudent to lose a day rather than run the hazard of having all our meat spoiled, the day being hot we spread it out and by night it was fairly preserved. Thunder storms again during the night, for the last few evenings we have not had the cooling sea breeze, and the nights in consequence have been excessively close α hot, and with it that pest of the bush Mosquitoes, sufficiently annoying to prevent the soundest sleepers among us obtaining a fair nights sleep. New Fish shot246. our Bullock gave us 117 lbs of dried meat.

[in left margin]

Mon 20

11 [miles made]

Spirit Camp247

N.W. by W.

This morning we broke up our Camp and again fairly faced the Scrub. however Charlie fortunately tried another rout [sic], which enabled us to avoid much of it that was very bad, and instead of 15 we made the water holes in about 11 miles with Scrub at the back and on the eastern side a clear open ridge with the round leaved Box α narrow leaved Iron-bark, in our route we passed through many patches of very thick scrub where the Brush Turkeys nests were met with, at other parts we came out upon fine open ridges or flats with Box, Flooded Gum - Iron bark - α c[o.] all similar or in fact the same species as those on the Condamine. our course was a great part of the distance North afterwards nearly West. On coming to Camp248 we had scarcely time to get our tents up before rain came on, as it appeared only at first a slight shower, we were rather careless about our preparations, but it was very soon followed up by Thunder Storms, and a regular Tropical rain set in which continued pouring down very heavily for 3 hours. being on a slope the water soon commenced running down upon us in a torrent, to save our stores and avoid being washed out of our tents it was necessary to dig deep trenches round the upper parts to carry off the water, such a heavy shower and of so long a duration we have not experienced since leaving Black-fellow's Camp. the water hole in a water course when we arrived had not more than a foot in depth of water, the rain increased it to at least 12 feet in depth and nearly 100 yards in length. in fact it rose so rapidly that had the rain continued 2 hours longer, we should have been under the necessity of moving higher up, to get beyond its reach. Contrary to our expectations we did not find the Dr α Brown returned, the rain com=ing on so early in the afternoon we supposed they had determined to remain away the night.

[in left margin]:

Tue 21

The whole day passed and the Dr not yet returned we all supposing that he had ex=

Note 246

This must have been the type of the Southern Saratoga Scleropages leichardti, shot by John Murphy, which confirms the date of collection as the 19th January 1845.

Note 247

John Murphy’s “Grog Camp”.

Note 248

Spirit Camp was estimated by McLaren to be at GR 700 280, on present-day Cooroora Creek.