Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership

 

Title: Journal of the Elder Exploring Expedition, 1891
Author: David Lindsay
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1203431h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: September 2012
Date most recently updated: September 2012

Produced by: Ned Overton

Project Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this
file.

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg Australia License which may be viewed online at
http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html

GO TO Project Gutenberg Australia HOME PAGE


[No. 45.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA.




JOURNAL OF THE ELDER EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1891


by David Lindsay



Ordered by the House of Assembly [of the South Australian Parliament]
to be printed, October 3rd, 1893.


[Estimated cost of printing (750), £97 4s. 7d. Lithographing (2 maps), £33 11s. 6d.]



CONTENTS [NOT part of the ORIGINAL WORK]

D. Lindsay's Covering Letter to the R.G.S.
FINAL REPORT
NATIVES
SUMMARY OF WORK DONE
JOURNAL OF THE ELDER EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1891.
April, 1891
May,1891
June, 1891
[L.A. Wells' Journal, June 22 - July 4 (1; June; Flying trip: search for water)[
June, 1891 (resume)
July, 1891
[L.A. Wells' Journal, June 22 - July 4 (2; July; Flying trip: search for water)]
July, 1891 (resume 1)
[L.A. Wells' Journal, July 10 - 20 (Search to S.W. for water)]
July, 1891 (resume 2)
August, 1891
[F.W. Leech's Journal, August 6 - 16, (Search for traces of Gibson)]
August, 1891 (resume 1)
[L.A. Wells' Journal, August 5 - 21 (Search to the south for water)]
August, 1891 (resume (2)
September, 1891
October, 1891
November, 1891
December, 1891
January, 1892
Collapse of the Expedition

WELLS' JOURNAL, 1892
Wells' Covering Letter
Wells' Journal, 1892:
February, 1892
March, 1892
April, 1892

VOCABULARIES OF NATIVE WORDS (not included)


MAPS

Map 1 of the Expedition
Map 2 of the Expedition


JOURNAL OF THE ELDER EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1891.

Adelaide, October 4th, 1892.

Sir—I have the honor to forward herewith a copy of my journal as kept during the progress of the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition of 1891-2; also a copy of Mr. Wells' journal, kept during my absence from the party. Enclosed is the final report, written in accordance with the instructions.

Mr. Streich's journal having been in my possession, I was enabled to place his geological descriptions on the map. Not having seen the journals or reports of Messrs. Leech, Elliot, and Helms, I cannot in any way refer to them. I regret that Mr. Leech should have seen fit not to hand in the pencil sketches made by him.

I have, &c.,          

DAVID LINDSAY.

The President S.A. Branch Royal Geographical Society of Australia, Adelaide.




FINAL REPORT.

On my arrival at Warrina I found that Mr. Leech, the second officer, had the evening before when wrestling sprained his knee.

The medical officer next morning reported that if a bed could be arranged on a camel during the march and perfect rest allowed Mr. Leech while in camp, for about three weeks, there would be no risk in taking him on, and that he did not consider the injury serious enough to necessitate Mr. Leech being left behind.

Arrangements were made for Mr. Leech's comfort on the march and in camp, and five weeks later he was able to dispense with the crutches.

The death of poor Bowden, at Cootanoorinna, a week after the expedition left Warrina, was an unfortunate loss to the expedition, as he was a man of long experience in the bush and with camels, and might have given valuable help in the troublesome times which followed.

We left Warrina on the 2nd May, 1891, were detained seven days in the vicinity of Cootanoorinna by rains, a week at Arcoellinna Well through the stupidity of the Afghans in losing seven camels.

We followed Chamber's pad and road to a few miles north-west of Chamber's Bluff, when we left it and travelled straight for the Everard Ranges, distant about thirty-six miles, which were reached on the 2nd of June.

Mount Illbillie, the highest point in the Everard Ranges, is a trigonometrical station, and the point decided upon as the starting point, from where, according to the printed instructions, we were to proceed "thence on a westerly course into the section of unexplored country marked (A) on the plan." Formation, granite with diorite dykes. The country was in good condition owing to recent rains. Water in nearly every gully.

From Illbillie we proceeded westerly, examining and fixing the position of all hills, and marked the southerly limit of the hills. Flying parties were detached at various points, as shown on the map, until we reached the province boundary, where we expected to find a range of mountains thirty miles long. At the position assigned to this range—the Blyth Range—only a group of detached hills was found, with a few rockholes in granite outcrops four miles to south and south-west.

Having left the country which had been visited by rains and entered a region so dry as to lead us to the conclusion that no rain had fallen for two or three years, we went on to the range of which Skirmish Hill forms the south-western end in the hopes of finding water, but again met with disappointment, for the country Was still drier; even the spinifex, or, more properly speaking, the porcupine, was dead and the mulga nearly so. Mr. Wells here rejoined us, and reported that the country to the south was all sandhills and sandstone ridges, with small quantities of water in rockholes. We now considered our best course was to go to Fort Mueller and Bailee Spring, form a depôt, according to our printed instructions, from which to detach parties northerly into block B to search for Gibson, and southerly into block A, exploring and searching for water. Fort Mueller being absolutely dry, I went west and found at Forrest's rockhole, and at some holes unseen by the previous explorers, a fair supply of water, while the sandhills were covered with the green waterbush (Pollechia Zeylanica). After watering the camels at a rockhole found near Borrow's Hill we moved on and formed a depôt, sending the spare camels some fifteen miles back to depasture on the waterbush.

From the depôt; (camp 33) Mr. Wells went south-west; Mr. Leech north-west into block B to look for traces of Gibson—owing to the lapse of years it was not surprising that the search proved fruitless; I and Mr. Streich rode around and through the Barrow Ranges, only finding one small rockhole. Then Dr. Elliot and I went west, visiting Barlee Spring, which was practically dry, and all the watering places discovered by Giles and Forrest to the west side of the Warburton Ranges; when, finding all the waters dried up and all the. rockholes empty and evidences of the thought having been long continued, I concluded that no water would be found at the Sutherland Ranges. 100 miles further on, and that Alexander Spring would certainly be dry also, I decided to return to the depôt. I have since learnt from Mr. W. W. Mills that in 1883 he found Alexander Spring dry.

Mr. Wells returned, reporting miserable country with only very few small rockholes. At one place, 130 miles south-west, he left 300 gallons of water in a hole. Our position was somewhat perplexing, as we had not enough water to give the camels a drink and to fill up our casks; there was none for a reasonable distance behind us. The few natives we saw were living on the rockholes, and those, with whom we got speech said no water to the south and south-west. But as a good number of natives had made towards Mount Squires from all directions, and as there were evidences of rain having fallen on that mountain during the last three months, we considered it likely that a closer search in the gullies and gorges would result in the discovery of some waters. After full consideration we decided that if we could get enough water in the neighborhood by emptying all the rockholes, to go across to Queen Victoria's Spring by way of the rockhole found by Mr. Wells.

We proceeded south to Mount Squires, having brought in the camels, which had been now three weeks without water, and after searching found abundance of water. Gave the camels a drink, sent water twenty-five miles on the intended course, gave the camels another drink, filled all our water vessels and headed for Queen Victoria's Spring on the other side of the Great Victoria desert and distant about 400 miles. My journal and map give full details of the country. No sign of minerals so far.

When we reached the rockholes found by Mr. Wells we found a mob of natives camped there and the quantity reduced to 90 galls. of very dirty water. Gave it to the camels and proceeded over a useless country of sandhills and sandstone ridges all through to Queen Victoria's Spring. The fine growth of Eucalyptus endesmioides (desert gum) extending for over 100 miles gave the country a very pleasing aspect, but there were very few stock bushes and no grass. In latitude 29° 20', 270 miles from Mount Squires, the eastern edge of good pastoral country was touched. The geologist expressed his opinion that water would be found by sinking, and he also reported "an extinct mound spring", the position of which I have shown on the map. The average height of the plains is about 1,600ft. or 1,700ft., while the mountain tops reach to a height of 2,500ft. above sea level; the lowest noted flat was 750ft. above sea level and Queen Victoria's Spring is 836ft., showing a very considerable fall.

Queen Victoria's Spring was reached on the twenty-fifth day at a distance of 393 miles from Mount Squires, and found to be dry. Our position now was somewhat critical, for the camels had been twenty-five days without water and were not only thirsty, but leg-weary. To go north back into the desert was not possible, and the only safe course to take was to make for the nearest certain water, which, after consulting the map, was found to be at Fraser Range, 125 miles distant. It was questionable whether the camels would travel another week without water. A well was sunk 15ft. deep and 60 gallons of water obtained, to which we added 40 gallons out of the casks, enabling the camels to have 2½ galls. each. When about half way to the range we passed out of spinifex and entered a good country of rich red soil, producing many good stock bushes, including saltbush and bluebush, but all extremely dry. Fine forests of high mallee and eucalypti were passed through. At twenty-nine miles we crossed a belt of country worthy the attention of prospectors.

On the thirty-fourth day we reached Fraser Range, having travelled 537 miles from Mount Squires without loss of camels or equipment. One camel died the day we reached Queen Victoria's Spring from urinic poisoning. Up to this point we had travelled 2,710 miles, of which 1,813 miles were through unexplored country.

From October 4th to the 2nd November the party was encamped at Fraser Range, during which time I went on horseback to Esperance Bay, 160 miles distant, to report progress by telegraph to the council of the Royal Geographical Society. I obtained the consent of the council to go viâ Hampton Plains, when, if no water was found there, to go west until water was found.

On the 2nd November we started again, and travelled ninety-eight miles through new country to Mount Monger, and then twenty miles to Hunt's slate well. All the country very well adapted for stock, but no surface waters, and now suffering from a long drought. The inability of our native guides to show us any water, and the camels having been seven days without water, and eating saltbush every clay, it was absolutely necessary to go west along Hunt's route to find water. When Hunt was exploring here in 1864 he sank wells, constructed dams and tanks at which to form depôts, and it was at some of those wells that I hoped to find water. All the officers saw the gravity of our position, for our camels were really looking worse than when we reached Fraser Range, and the weather was very hot. All agreed as to the necessity of again making for known water. I did not consult them on the matter, as there were only two courses to pursue—one leading on to certain destruction and loss of the whole party, and the other the course we followed, which took us to within thirty miles of Southern Cross township before sufficient water was obtained, viz., at Karoling. Unfortunately there was only a limited amount of camel food and an abundance of Gastrolobium—a dreaded poison bush, which prevented us remaining more than one day.

Karoling is about 250 miles from the edge of the unexplored country, and it was quite impossible for us to attempt to go there. The country was suffering from drought, and all our camels were in a very low and weak condition, as was clearly shown when a week later, at a suitable spot, I had to order a fortnight's rest for them.

Our only course now was to make our way as direct as possible to the Murchison through the outer edge of the settled country, where we could get water at moderate stages from the settlers' wells, doing away with the necessity of carrying large quantities of water. We had a stage of ninety miles without water, from Elichapatten to Pindeburra Well, which occupied us, owing to the dense thickets and the weak state of the camels, seven days. We then followed a dray track to Broad's Station, fifty-three miles. Then across country a day's stage to the Nalbaralla, Well, when a dray track served us for half a day, when we again made across Country to Watson's Station, from where a new track was followed to Coodardy Station on the Murchison-Geraldton road.

As soon as I established a depôt at Annean Station and made necessary arrangements for supplies, &c., I started for Geraldton to place myself in direct telegraphic communication with the council. The journey of 330 miles was accomplished in ten clays, and after a few telegrams had passed between the council and me I was much distressed at receiving imperative instructions to return to Adelaide to consult with the council. I felt that a loss of time and much needless expense would accrue.

Before leaving Geraldton I wrote full instructions to Mr. Wells what to do during my absence. Fortunately for him, the night after he left with a light party to examine the unexplored country lying to the east of our depôt, in accordance with my instructions, the three years' drought broke up and splendid rains fell all over the country, so that he was enabled to send the water team back to the depôt and travel fast and far, accomplishing in the six weeks he was away a very important work; he travelled 834 miles, discovered some fine ranges and bids, a large extent of pastoral country and some auriferous country, but no permanent surface waters.

Briefly, the country traversed is from Welbundinum Well (the depôt camp), which is about forty miles east of Annean station, for fifty miles, good pastoral country, crossing the Montagu Range, 2,260ft. above sea level. Then a narrow belt of sand ridges with spinifex was crossed (fourteen miles in width), when good pastoral country was again entered, extending for 170 miles to the eastward; at fifty miles (in the good pastoral country) auriferous country was met with, extending for 100 miles easterly, the lay of the country being northwest and south-east, with fine hills and ranges and two large gum creeks, in one of which, the Erlistoun, Mr. Wells considered a permanent soakage exists. There can, I think, be very little doubt that water is to be obtained at reasonable depths, making this country worthy the attention of the pastoralist. Then sixty miles of sand ridges were traversed, when auriferous country was again met with. Then for forty miles the hills and ridges and good pastoral country broken by belts of sandy spinifex country continued, when the edge of the Great Victoria Desert was entered upon, and nothing could be seen to the east but sand ridges whose spinifex-covered surface was relieved by the bright green foliage of the desert gums and by black patches of mulga. Mr. Wells then travelled north-east over sand ridges for sixty-two miles, when he turned west for twenty-four miles to a long range (the Ernest Giles) having a north and south trend and an elevation of 2,170ft. above sea level, surrounded by good stock country. Descending the western slopes a belt of sand ridges, broken by mulga-covered hills, continued for twenty-eight miles to a long narrow salt lake (Lake Wells), which is surrounded by high hills and splendid pastoral country, extending for 120 miles westerly, and as far north as could be seen; small patches of sandy country to be seen to the southward. Then twenty-two miles of sandy country was crossed and good pastoral country was entered upon, extending for 160 miles to the depôt at "Welbundinum Well", passing at thirty-six miles a spot where permanent water is considered to exist.

The pastoral country discovered is equal to that now occupied by settlers on the Murchison, and no doubt will ere long be taken up and stocked with cattle. The auriferous country will probably be found capable of supporting a fairly large population, which will hasten on and render profitable the stocking of those extensive valleys which, according to the description given, consist of "rich chocolate loam covered good stock mulga, acacias, saltbush, and grass."

Immediately on Mr. Wells' return to the Murchison he proceeded, in accordance with the instructions awaiting him, to disband the expedition, which was most unfortunate, as the drought having now broken up all over Western Australia, the remainder of the unexplored regions in Australia could have been quickly and easily examined.


NATIVES.

Of the natives little need be said, as no doubt the medical officer will hand in his full report. During the whole expedition very few were met with. Four men in the vicinity of the Everard Ranges were the first seen; they were friendly, and travelled with us for some weeks. Then one old man was seen, and then about 110 miles from the Everard six men visited us speaking the same language and practising the same rites of circumcision and incision. These left us quickly, and a week later we had thirteen natives in the camp, friendly and with the same habits and customs, medium stature, but strong and healthy and in good condition. No women or children were seen. For the next sixty miles we had with us numbers varying from three to thirteen. Many footprints of women and children were seen. At Pernamo Hill they refused to go any farther, saying there was no more water. The next natives seen were an old man and old woman near Skirmish Hill; the next at camp 33, in the neighborhood of which between fifty and 100 or more were living at the different rockholes. Women and children were seen, but all were so frightened that no Communication could be held with them. The men, fine fellows some of them, were very afraid and excited and wanted us to leave their district, but they showed no hostility to us. Mr. Wells saw a few on the sandhills. Mr. Leech surprised some in block B, and I saw some to the westward. At Mount Squires we were visited by twelve men, most of them of fine physique, who were very frightened. I gave them some presents, and they left. Next seen were in the sandhills at a rockhole, where they attacked Mr. Wells and myself, but we were able to overcome their hostile intentions and hold friendly intercourse with them. At the rockholes 120 miles south-west of Mount Squires we surprised a mob, who were inclined to attack us, but were overawed by our numbers and the camels. After a little trouble we talked with the men and gave them some red handkerchief's. So far as we could ascertain in the few minutes we had with them their language and customs were still the same as those seen farther back. No more natives were seen until we reached Fraser Range Station, where many were employed by a dam sinker. The dialect spoken was quite different, and they were an inferior type, being smaller and not so well formed. A woman and a man—brother and sister—were seen, both having six toes on each foot and six fingers on each hand. From Fraser Range on to the Murchison natives were only seen at the stations. As many words as possible were obtained from them on every opportunity, and I beg to attach a list of words as obtained by Mr. Wells and myself. Mr. Wells saw one woman east of the Murchison, but she was too afraid to give any information.


SUMMARY OF WORK DONE.

From May 2nd to June 2nd, 1891. we travelled to reach starting point, 255 miles. From June 6th to October 3rd, 1891, we travelled through unexplored country, 1,813 miles; through explored country searching for water, &c., 306 miles; flying trips same routes afterwards travelled by caravan, 336 miles. From October 4th to November 2nd, 1891, in depôt at Fraser Range. From November 2nd to November 26th, 1891, through new country, ninety-eight miles; looking for water in explored country, 225 miles. From November 27th to December 7th, 1891, resting camels near Golden Valley. From December 7th, 1891, to January 3rd, 1892, travelling through mapped country, 412 miles. From January 4th to February 22nd, 1892, resting camels, taking stores from Moorowie to Murchison, and shifting depôt. From February 23rd to April 4th, 1892, flying trip (by Mr. Wells) through unexplored country, 834 miles. Total, 4,279 miles, which gives an average rate of travel for eleven months, that is from May 2nd, 1891, to April 4th, 1892, including all stoppages, of nearly fifteen miles per day. Area explored and mapped, over 80,000 square miles. Total mileage through unexplored country, 2,745 miles.

In conclusion, I unhesitatingly affirm, without fear of contradiction, that the course pursued under the circumstances of prolonged drought was on each occasion right and proper. When at Mount Squires had we spent any more time in searching for water the camels would have been unfit for the long journey to Queen Victoria's Springs, and the weather would have been so hot that the camels would have been unable to do such a long distance without water. Had we returned from Mount Squires and gone northwards we should still have had the drought to contend with, much time would have been wasted, and all the arrangements upset.

With the training our camels had undergone, I considered the risk of going the 400 miles to Queen Victoria's Spring was a fair one to take—every member of the party was with me in that decision; and the fact that I was able to lead the whole caravan 150 miles further without any loss of camels and equipment was a sufficient proof that my judgment was sound, and that had Queen Victoria's Spring not failed us we should have easily, from there as a depôt, completed the examination of block A, and been only two or three weeks' behind time at the Murchison depôt. When on the western side of the desert we found that the drought had been on for three years, and the natives living on water obtained out of roots; it would have been madness to have attempted to take the caravan across direct to the Murchison. And the camels were quite unfit to be sent out searching for water.

The vicinity of Fraser Range was not a suitable place for a lengthened stay, as the bushes were very dry and provisions for the party could not easily be obtained. That, when Hampton Plains failed us, the course followed of going to the Murchison, where was plenty of feed and water for the camels and provisions for the party, and from where the remaining portion of block A could be easily attacked and examined by lightly-equipped parties, was the proper one, was proved by after events. Even if the drought had not broken up I could, as I advised the council from Geraldton, have gone on with the work and completed the exploration of Australia. But when the drought broke up we were in a splendid position, and all our camels were fat and fit to go on, and if I had been allowed to fill the vacancies in the party and continue the work I have no hesitation in saying that not only would block A have been examined and probably new goldfields opened up for Western Australia, but blocks B, C, and D would have been explored by this date.

The abandonment of the expedition was a terrible disappointment to me. That men who had so little sense of their duty to their leader and to their generous employer should have been the primary cause of the break up of such a splendidly-equipped expedition, causing the opportunity of completing in such a thorough manner the exploration of those extensive unknown regions in Australia to be lost, is a matter that not only those intimately associated with the expedition, but geographers throughout the world, must ever regret.

I desire again to place on record my full appreciation of the splendid loyalty and assistance of Mr. L. A. Wells, the surveyor, and afterwards second officer, and also of the loyalty, good behaviour, and willing attention to his duties shown by Alfred Warren.                    I have, &c.,

DAVID LINDSAY.

Adelaide, October 4th, 1892.







JOURNAL OF THE ELDER SCIENTIFIC EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1891.


(Equipped solely at the cost of Sir Thomas Elder, G.C.M.G., for the purpose of completing the exploration of Australia.)

The party is constituted as follows:—David Lindsay, F.R.G.S., &c., leader; F. W. Leech, second officer; L. A. Wells, surveyor and third officer; Victor Streich, geologist, mineralogist, and meteorologist; R. Helms, naturalist and botanical collector; F. J. Elliot, medical officer and photographer; A. Warren, cook; R. Ramsay, assistant; A. P. Gwynne, assistant; W. Bowden, assistant (died at Coota.); Hadji Shah Mahomet, jimador in charge of camels; Mahyedin, Afghan camel driver; Alumgool, camel driver; Mahmoud Azim, camel driver; Abdul, camel driver (took Bowden's place); forty-four camels (ten riding and thirty-four pack camels); four pairs 20-gall. water kegs = 160 galls.; four pairs 25-gall. water kegs = 200 galls.; four pairs 3-gall. canteens = 24galls.; water bags, and buckets, &e.


April, 1891]

April 22nd.—F. W. Leech, L. A. Wells, V. Streich, R. Helms, A. Warren, R. Ramsay, and A. P. Gwynne left Adelaide by the early train for Warrina, stopping at Farina to take on the camels by special train. There being only twenty-two camels fit to take, Mr. Phillipson telegraphed to Taighe Mahomet, at Hergott Springs, to have additional camels awaiting the train. Mahomet had only twenty-five out of which to pick twenty-two. It can be seen that the whole forty-four were not specially selected.

April 27th.—Dr. Elliot and I left Adelaide on Monday, April 27th, 1891. We reached Warrina on the 29th, in the evening, and found very little done towards getting away. Mr. Leech had the evening before sprained his knee when wrestling. Dr. Dickenson, of Warrina, considered it serious, but Dr. Elliot said that if I could do without Mr. Leech's services for a few weeks he would soon be well, and it was perfectly safe to take him on.

April 30th.—Examined the camels and although there were a few I would rather not have had, on the whole the team was a good one. Those purchased at Hergott were rather poor, but one advantage was that there were a goodly number of suitable riding camels.

May, 1891]

May 1st.—Engaged with the loading at Warrina. Bowden unwell, having a very bad cold. 9 a.m., bar. 30.010, ther. 75°.

May 2nd.—Left Warrina at 1.45 p.m., after being photographed by Mrs. Dickenson. Made a bed on one of the camels for Mr. Leech; the doctor had obtained a pair of crutches for him. Camped at a spring two miles east from Nilpena H.S. At 9 a.m., bar. 30.100, ther. 61°.

May 3rd.—Travelled over level good country to a spring two miles east from Cootanoorinna, H.S. Distance travelled ten miles. Killed a bullock for the Afghans; cut it up and salted it. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.990, ther. 69°.

Monday, May 4th.—Preparing meat and hide pack bags. Bowden worse. Dr. Elliot advised his being sent up to the station, which was accordingly clone, Ramsay and Gwynne acting as nurses night and day. Leech also was at the station, Mr. MacDonald being most kind, making us welcome and doing all he could to assist us. The doctor stayed at the station to look after Leech and Bowden. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.950, ther. 66°.

Tuesday. May 5th.—Camped near Cootanoorinna. Mr. Streich asked me to lend him a camel to go and look at some hills three or four miles away. I told him that Mr. H. Y. L. Brown, the Government Geologist, had already reported on this country, and I wanted the riding camels to have as much rest as possible in the early part of the journey; besides Mr. Streich could not manage a camel, and we were all too busy to spare a man to accompany him. Mr. Helms busy collecting. At. 9 a.m., bar. 29.945, ther. 66°.

Wednesday, May 6th.—Still busy with the loading and boxes, getting everything in proper order. I miss the assistance of Mr. Leech and Bowden very much, as only Mr. Wells understands what is needed. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.945, ther. 67°.

Thursday. May 7th.—Left camp at spring, two miles east of Cootanoorinna Station, at 11.20 a.m. Prevented leaving earlier owing to the late arrival of the camels. At the station Dr. Elliot photographed the caravan, and Mr. Helms left a packet of botanical specimens to be forwarded to Adelaide. Took 1,000lbs. weight of dry salt beef and 38lbs. fresh. Poor Bowden is almost unconscious, and the doctor says a few hours will decide his fate. If he recovers we will not be able to take him on with us. This is sad. news, and makes our start anything but cheerful. Resumed our journey at 2.20, leaving Dr. Elliot, Mr. Leech, Gwynne, and Bowden at the station. Camped on the creek about ten miles distant at 4.30, the caravan arriving at 5 p.m. Clear hot day, with some heavy clouds low clown on the horizon. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.940, ther. 65°.

Friday, May 8th.—At camp. Ther. 61°, bar. 29.975. During the night, at 2 and 4 o'clock, thunderstorms, with about ¼in. of rain and a southerly wind. Being quite unexpected, we were unprepared, and all sleeping out, so that the members of the company had an unpleasant experience putting up tents and covering up the loading in the rain. A big fire and billy of hot coffee warmed us, and we made light of the discomfort. Morning broke dull and threatening, but no rain fell until midday. The whole party were inexpressibly shocked when a messenger came with the melancholy intelligence that Bowden had died at 6 p.m. last evening. Sent an Afghan in with camels for the gentlemen at the station, also instructions re disposal of Bowden's effects, &c., and wrote to the hon. secretary Royal Geographical Society, Adelaide. As the doctor informed me previously that Bowden would be unable to go on with us I had sent Hadji in to engage another Afghan, as I knew of no white man available to take the vacant place. A very good man, Abdul, arrived. Raining in afternoon.

Saturday, May 9th.—Rained all night and all day, up to 4 p.m. Bar. 30.200, ther. 53° at 9 a.m. Had we not left the spring we would have been stuck up for a week in a most miserable camp; no firewood, no shelter, no feed, and very boggy all around, whereas we have all those desiderata here.

Sunday, May 10th.—Camp ten miles W.N.W. of Cootanoorinna. Ther. 56°, bar. 30.600. Held service, and then Messrs. Wells, Streich, and I walked up the creek to see how the flood waters were. Took off our boots and crossed a dozen water channels. A tremendous lot of water coming down the creek, but our camp is safe, as the biggest body of water passes down on one side, and we could get our goods out on the other to the tableland if necessary. Messrs. Leech, Elliot, and Gwynne came out from the station, bringing a mail, the last we shall get until we reach the settled districts in Western Australia.

Monday, May 11th.—Same camp. Ther. 50°, bar. 30.110. Mr. Wells and I went, away to see if the ground was hard enough for the camels, and to find, if possible, a crossing to the other bank. We returned at sundown successful, but had a very wet and boggy ride. Paddy Fitzpatrick, a Central Australian with his blackboy came out to see if he could get on in place of Bowden. I was indeed sorry that I had engaged the other Afghan, as Fitzpatrick would have been a splendid addition to the party, Sent a mail back with him.

Tuesday, May 12th.—Cloudy, threatening for rain; ther. 55°. bar. 30.200. We are very anxious to get out of this flooded valley, as in the event of another inch of rain falling, we would be unpleasantly situated; not that we would lose our goods, for the flood waters move so slowly that we would be able to remove everything in time. Started at 10.20; got safely on to the tableland on the south side of Cootanoorinna Creek at 11.45. I then rode on ahead to find, if possible, a better crossing to the creek. At 1.35 had all the camels safely across on to the north side of the creek, just east of the trig. We had some difficulty, as some of the camels fell down in the boggy ground. We proceeded up the S.W. back of the Arkaringa Creek for nine miles, a very great deal of water laying about and the country very soft. We had a few drops of rain. The wind was very cold, veering round from east to north. Camped at 4.30 on good. feed. Saw one emu who successfully escaped from about eleven shots fired at him. Turkey were numerous, but very wild.

Wednesday, May 13th.—The morning broke clear and fine; ther. 53°, bar. 29.980.—Wind, slight from south. Started at 9.35, and travelled steadily up the Arkaringa Creek. Lots of water laying about—very heavy travelling. Camped about one mile from No. 1 Well, making a stage of about eighteen miles at 4 p.m. Some of the Cootanoorinna cattle about. An undulating stony country, with very good feed, salt cotton, and other bushes. Mulga and gidyea and box trees on the watercourses, and the two-mile wide valley of the Arkaringa. Few wood ducks.

Thursday, May 14th.—Cold and clear, wind N.W. to south; ther. 55°, bar. 29.960. Started at 9.25, passing No. 1 Well in one and a half miles; still following up the valley of the Arkaringa. As the waterholes were becoming less frequent, we filled up two casks. At midday we crossed to N.E. side of the creek, and found a country most beautiful to the eye of the pastoralist—good rains having fallen some two months ago—salt, cotton, and other bushes, with Mitchell grass, gidyea and box trees; a loose loamy soil. On the right a high tableland with bluff escarpment and very peculiar shapes. Slopes from the hills, beautifully clothed with vegetation. Valley of the creek two miles wide. Fresh horse and cattle tracks. Camped at 4.25. very lovely sunset.

Friday, May 15th.—During the night the sky became partially overcast with clouds. Very heavy dew.. Started at 9.20 along moist flat. Crossed to south side of Arkaringa Creek. Passed numerous clay water-holes. Followed a dray track; at 11.30 came to a well with the timbering nearly all destroyed by white ants. An open flat with good vegetation extending to the northwards. Open stony downs, very well grassed and clothed with cotton and saltbush, mulga, gidyea, box, and willows. The whole country looking extremely well. Camped at 4.20. Very cloudy, and looking like rain. As the sun set the clouds lifted, and the sky cleared very much. Hadji was breaking in one of the young bullocks, which he says will make a very good riding camel. I do not approve of his method of breaking; he knocks and rushes the poor beast about too much. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.835, ther. 55°.

Saturday, May 16th.—Cloudy, very threatening for rain; wind. Started at 9.17, having put all the loading on in half an hour. Passed over very good country indeed—a tableland and peaked hills of "horizontal beds of red and yellow jasper rock, flintz, quartzite, kaolin, and sandstone porcelanite, resting on gypseous clays of cretaceous age."—H.Y.L.B. At 11.30 we reached a point where the hills come right down on to the creek. The identical hill whose foot is washed by the creek we ascended, and found the "true matrix of the opal a quartzite highly ferruginous."—V. S. There was milk opal in places. It seems to me that this rock is much harder than the Queensland opal matrix. At 12.30 the packs started, and we resumed our journey. The track follows closely the course of the creek, but occasionally leaves it and goes around a hill. At 3.30 we camped on a very pretty spot on the creek bank; nice waterholes and abundance of good feed for the camels. A flood 8ft. high had recently passed down, forming at one place a very large and deep waterhole, shaded by immense gums—a very cheering sight, and made us hope for some such spot a few months hence, on which to form a depôt. Most magnificent feed of every sort. Mr. Streich has bad some opportunities to-day to study the geological features, whilst Mr. Helms is kept very busy indeed, as, owing to the rains, both insect and plant life are plentiful. Hadji had a narrow escape from a serious accident to-day; he was riding the young bullock, and had dismounted to pick up an empty bottle. When he was about to remount the camel jumped up suddenly, and Hadji lost his hold; his foot remained in the stirrup, and for a few moments his head hung downwards, whilst he held on to the nose line and called to the camel to "wishta". Fortunately the beast lay down without hurting him, but he certainly was in a critical position, and might have had his brains dashed out. Looked like rain. At 9 a. m., ther. 58°, bar. 29.480.

Sunday, May 17th.—Morning broke fine and clear. Held Divine service at 9.15 a.m.; all attended. Remained in camp, men arid animals enjoying the rest. An afterglow in the western sky lingered long after the sun had disappeared. At 9 a.m., ther. 62°, bar. 29.365.

Monday, May 18th.—Fine clear cold morning, heavy dew. Started at 9.23. Abdul is suffering from a swollen groin, having been kicked by one of the young camels. Mahmoud Azim was also kicked a few days ago, and has been very lame. At 12.5 passed a well and left the Arkaringa Creek and travelled over undulating stony downs exceedingly well bushed and grassed with Mitchell and other varieties, mulga, myall, and gidgea, and quondongs, passing between hills with the tableland close on our right. Camped at 5.10, having travelled about twenty miles. Passed numerous claypans with water; very good feed. A camel I was riding last week, and which I noticed went lame if ambling, was, although only carrying a pair of empty watercasks, walking very lame with the off hind leg, the injury evidently being at the hock or knee. It seems that about three of the camels were slightly injured in the trucks. At 9 a.m., ther. 58°, bar. 29.610.

Tuesday, May 19th.—Clear fine morning. Started at 9.23. Travelled over rolling stony country exceedingly well clothed with good bushes and grass between table-topped and peaked hills. At one time an extensive view was obtained over about 1,600 square miles. Crossed a branch of the Arkaringa Creek; fine waterholes, and large white gum trees, mulga; then the country changed to tertiary sandy loam, with stony flats; very good stock country. At eighteen miles the change was very marked; at twenty and a half miles camped on the edge of a Bay of Biscay flat covered with water and polygonum, in the centre of which was the Wintana well (water very white), a bastard saltbush growing over the flat. I shot four clucks. The tracks of dogs, kangaroos, and emus were very numerous. At 9 a.m., ther. 54°, bar. 29.360.

Wednesday, May 20th.—Abdul is still unfit for work. Ten camels missing this morning. Started at 10.20, taking 40 gallons of water with us, and travelled over a good mulga country, with grass, reddish sandy loam flats, and low sand rises. Tracks of dingo, emu, and kangaroo very numerous. Mahmoud Azim brought eight emu eggs on with him this morning; the contents were extracted and eaten, the shells being saved. Our camp at eighteen miles was situated in dense mulga. At 9 a.m.. ther. 57°, bar. 29.235.

Thursday, May 21st.—Camels much split up and difficult to find, although the ground being sandy there can be no possibility of losing any. All the camels but thirteen brought in. Having but little water in camp and no doubt that the other camels would shortly be brought in, we loaded up and started, leaving Hadji and Mahmoud out looking for the camels, Hadji riding; Ramsay being left in charge of the left, loading. In half a mile came on two camels sent them back with Alumgool; and we proceeded for seventeen miles over the same description of country, except that the soil was harder and we crossed some loose stones with a low sandstone range ahead and closing in on our course, which is nearly west now. At 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 29.550.

Friday, May 22nd.—At 1.15 a.m. the dog Edward came into the camp, causing us to expect the other members of the party with the lost camels, but when we resumed our journey at 11 a.m. there was no sign of them. Left a canteen with 3 gallons of water in it hanging up a tree. We had to go on to Arcoellinna Well, as we had but little water in camp. In three miles we touched the sandstone range and worked over a sandy gap and changed our course to north at seven miles, soon entering splendid feed, saltbush and other good green bushes. Reached Arcoellinna Well at 4 p.m., seventeen miles; the packs arriving about half an hour later. We had a good supper of emu egg omelette, wild cabbage, and fresh potatoes. At 8.15 p.m. I started on Misery, taking 4galls. of water; we had no other canteens with us. At 10.50 stopped for half an hour to give Misery a feed, and then on four miles met Ramsay and the others coming along, but seven camels short; they having left their camp at 4 p.m. the day before. Ascertained for the first time that six camels were out of hobbles Mahmoud having brought and then left the camels close to the camp while he went back for some others; they must have at once started off back. Had I known this I would have stayed and soon run their tracks down. I cannot understand why these fellows could not follow the tracks. The men continued their journey on to the camp. I returned with them for four miles, when I turned out on good feed to await their return. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.080, ther. 66°.

Saturday, May 23rd.—They reached the camp at 6 o'clock a.m., and immediately made preparations to return on riding camels. At 10 o'clock Hadji on Mr. Wells' camel, Mahmoud Azim on Mr. Streich's, Mahyedin on his own, with a week's rations and 9 gallons of water came. I packed up and we travelled twenty-eight miles farther back, passing old camps at 11.20 and 4 o'clock, having stopped three-quarters of an hour for a pot of tea. Stayed ten minutes at the last camp making everything snug against rain. Camped on top of a sandhill on the lost camels' tracks at 5.10 p.m. At 9 a.m., at Arcoellinna Well, ther. 66°, bar. 28.960.

Sunday, May 24th.—Her Majesty the Queen's birthday. Started at 8 a.m., Hadji and Mahyedin, to go along the road to Wintana Well and swamp to see if the camels had made in there for a drink; if not then they would still follow the road back to the Arkaringa Creek and follow that up to the northwards, as the camels making back to Warrina must cross that creek, in which is good water and plenty of feed; Mahmoud and I to follow the tracks to where they were last seen, and endeavor to track them on. If unable to do so, we would make straight on for Arkaringa Creek, head and follow it down to meet Hadji, thus making a circle around the camels if neither of us found their tracks. Mahmoud led me on for a couple of miles and then said, "Look out for the tracks now." After searching for some time, he said, "I lose them; must make back to camp and start again." He did not know where the camp was. I growled at him for not getting on the tracks at once. It was 10 o'clock when we again left the camp, this time on the tracks. Without any difficulty we tracked them for eight miles, to where Hadji and Mahmoud had lost the tracks, on hard stony ground. This was twelve miles from the camp where the camels strayed from. Hadji had followed the tracks this far on foot, having first knocked up his camel by galloping in and out like a madman through the mulga scrub, and then gave himself up for lost, and Mahmoud found him sitting under a bush with his head between his hands. He started up, exclaiming "I am so glad to see you; I thought I would die." They were both unable to follow the tracks any further, and returned to camp. There were only the tracks of six camels visible. We dismounted, and with much difficulty tracked them for five miles, when we lost the tracks. As the camels had been keeping a very direct course we continued on, and in one mile we came upon a big swamp, at which the camels had. not been. Concluding that they must have turned off, we went back to where we had seen the last dung, which was the last sign of them we had seen. Found the spot without any difficulty, and with some careful searching found a little more, the camels having turned sharp to the left. We with great difficulty tracked them over the stony ground for one mile, when we came to another swamp, at which they failed, owing to the soft ground, to get a drink. Followed the tracks up to the same hollow to where two camels had drunk, but the others were not so venturesome, and went away without a taste. A little farther on they left the hollow and resumed the original direction, which we followed for about a mile, when we could not track them any farther owing to the excessively hard ground and stones, the whole country being dense mulga with occasional clay flats with stones and saltbush. Mahmoud wanted me to leave the tracks and go on the Arkaringa Creek, as we were making such slow progress, and the camels had four days' start of us and were without hobbles. I was very loth to leave the tracks. We left the tracks on our right, by making a detour to the left, and crossed over a stony range for three hours. Twelve miles we rode over soft country, and camped on the very head of the Arkaringa Creek, on rolling stony downs, Bay of Biscay, with good saltbush. herbs, and grass, extending as far as we could see to the east. Mulga; some small waterholes. At Arcoellinna Well. The aneroid barometer read at 9 a.m. ther. 66°, bar. 28.980.

Monday, May 25th.—Retraced our steps at 7.30 to some soft ground, which we followed southerly. At one mile we came on a good waterhole; in three miles the first gums appeared, so that we were on the extreme head of the Arkaringa—just where I wanted to be. Followed the creek down for eight miles, which has immense and numerous waterholes, when we found a gum creek coming in from the right, with Hadji's tracks going up it. Followed up that for six miles, when we came to where Hadji had camped last night. Still proceeded, wondering why he had not returned, as it was evident we should soon lose the creek. In about two miles we found we had missed Hadji's tracks, and we could not understand where he had gone to; the country on both banks being very stony it was no use looking for his tracks. After some consideration decided that, as the camels must be inside the circle that we had described, we must go back to where we left the tracks yesterday, and endeavor to follow them out. I was much put out at not meeting Hadji, as I did not know where he would make for. Mahmoud was completely perplexed, and trusted entirely to me to find the place. I just ejaculated, "God guide me right!" and I looked to our right, and saw what appeared a faint smoke arising through the mulga. Called Mahmoud's attention to it, but he could not detect it. After a few moments' watching I decided it was smoke, and presently some crows swept out of the blue ether and circled over the haze. Turned to it, and in half a mile or so found Hadji with the six lost camels, he having found them just previously, having heard during the night a faint tinkling of the bell on one of them. Strange that we should have so shaped our travelling as to meet just where the camels were! I was indeed thankful, as they were six of our best Beltana camels. Having found water and good feed they had been content to stay about for a few days. We steered for Wintana Well, the Afghans not having the slightest idea where it was. In six miles we struck the track, one and a quarter miles west of the water. We fully expected to find the other camel here, as he had been some days without water. Camped. No signs of the lost brute, which is, I find, a regular "hatter", always poking away by himself. I am much disappointed with the bushmanship of the Afghans. They cannot track any better than I can, and they have no idea of locality; they are easily bushed, and much afraid of losing themselves. I cannot see any reason why the camels could not have been found on the first day if the men had only stuck to the tracks; they must have turned back when within two or three miles of the animals. At Arcoellinna Well. At 9 a.m., ther. 65°, bar. 29.980.

Tuesday, May 26th.—Clear, warm, heavy dew. I intend sending one man on with the camels to where the goods are, while the rest of us will endeavor to pick up the tracks of the still missing camel. At 8.45 we started going on south side of the track to intercept any tracks. Hadji and Mahyedin went on the north side of the track and I rode along the track for five miles further, when I turned off on the same side to run a smaller circle around the camp. At 1 o'clock I found the lost camel's track north-west of the camp and followed it for two hours in and out amongst the older tracks until it got mixed up with a lot of others on a hard piece of ground, when I could not pick it up again. Went for Mahmoud, but he could not do so well as I could. Decided that the camel was close. Hadji came on and reported that he had seen the camel's track on the road north of the camp, going away from the camp. He said he had put some bushes on the track to mark the spot. Just at dark the camel came into the camp, evidently attracted by the bells of the others. Thus he had strayed about for six days. He had been on some parakylia, and looked very well. At Arcoellinna Well. At 9 a.m., ther. 65°, bar. 28.600.

Wednesday, May 27 th.—I started at 7 o'clock, leaving the others to follow with the loading. At 10.35 passed the old cave; at 11.20 turned out on good roley poley. I saw no sign of Hadji's mark, so conclude he must have been on one of the pads close to the camp instead of on the main track. On again at 12.20 and reached Arcoellinna Well—thirty-six miles. Found everything right. Mr. Leech still on crutches. Mr. Wells had been out to north side of Chambers' Bluff, and recommended our going that route instead of direct to Mount Illbillie. Slight rain in evening and more during night. During my absence Wa Wee waterhole. had been visited and photographs taken. The water at Arcoellinna is contained in shallow wells 6ft. deep in a watercourse in a gap. Very good water, and I think a fair supply. Mr. Chambers must have had a long camp here as he had erected a very substantial hut. Ther. 67°, bar. 28.940.

Thursday, May 28th.—Showery. The camels arrived at noon, but as the showery weather continued I decided not to move on. At 9 a.m., ther. 66°, bar. 28.860.

Friday, May 29th.—Threatening for rain. Started at 10.5, and at 3 p.m. drizzling rain began to fall. Reached the Soakage in a gum creek north of Mount Chandler at 4.15 (twenty miles), and camped, rain becoming heavier. Made everything snug. Steady rain from N.E. continued. At 9 a.m., ther. 60°, bar. 28.720.

Saturday, May 30th.—Heavy lowering clouds; everything damp and uncomfortable. Hadji was putting the saddles on, when I called his attention to some sore backs. He said, "Put saddles on wet hacks make sores worse." I said, "Go and have your breakfasts, and put the saddles on afterwards." He said that was not their way of doing it. I persisted, and he rattled off a lot of jargon about his business and my business and fifteen years with Mr. Phillipson. Of course I had my way, and we did not start until 10.45, and followed a pad westerly to an old camp, from which we took two augers, three files, one old shovel, one adze, one old axe, a medicine chest, and one bar of steel. Still followed the pad over excellent country with ground very soft owing to the recent rains. At least half an inch most have fallen during the last two days, plenty of water lying about. At ten miles left the pad and travelled on bearing 240°. Camped at 5 p.m., having made about seventeen miles; very good country the whole day. At 9 a.m., ther. 67°, bar. 28.500.

Sunday, May 31st.—No rain, but heavy dew. Started at 9 a.m. On bearing 246° to low part of range south-east of Mount Illbillie a fine hill to the south of that mount is in view. Granite broken hills on our right all day, with a black sea of mulga stretching far away on the left. At 3 p.m. passed a native well close to a granite outcrop; at noon we stopped at a granite hill to have a shot at some wallabies while waiting for the caravan to come up. Having made about twenty-three miles we camped at 5.20 on a mulga watercourse, about one mile from a much-broken granite range. Heavy mulga but good country all day. Heavy rains have fallen over here recently, rendering the travelling heavy, anti we have left a pad behind us that will take a long time to efface. One of the young pack camels came in very lame, having run a mulga stake into the side of his near fore foot, but the lameness appears to be in the shoulder. Very good feed. At 9 a.m., ther. 53°, bar. 28.350. I forgot to mention that at Warrina we received the greatest kindness from all the residents. Mr. and Mrs. Baggaley and all the railway officers showed us special attention and assembled in force to see us off.

June, 1891]

Monday, June 1st.—Just at dawn we were aroused by a few drops of rain. Rose, and covered all the goods; but, though the clouds were heavy and lowering, the rain was but light, and we were enabled to start at 9.20. Travelled slowly, owing to the lame camel, along the foot of granite hills, with fine country; ground very stiff, a sandy soil. Passed one native well. About 1.30 heavy rain suddenly set in, and we were obliged to camp and pitch the tents in the falling rain on wet ground. We only made about twelve miles. About three miles from last night's camp Mount Illbillie bore 265°, Chambers' Bluff 89°, and Mount Johns 105°. From the top of a low granite hill the view reminded me of the Barrier Reef scenery, the mulga representing the sea, and the hills, rising abruptly from the mulga, looked like the islands. Great masses of bare granite. The rain continued all the evening and until we went to sleep. Max. temp. 67°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.39; 3 p.m., ther. 50°, bar. 29.10; 2,000ft. above sea level.

Tuesday, June 2nd.—The morning broke cloudy and threatening for rain. Travelled through dense mulga, with numerous kangaroo pads leading to the ranges. Old native camps numerous; patches of country burnt last summer, but no recent signs of their presence. Started at 10.45 in a slight drizzle, but with the loads covered and well prepared for rain. At six miles crossed a small gum creek coining out of the Jubillie Range (eastern end), with water in it. One mile farther came on fine open country, with good camel feed and a nice running stream emerging from under an immense granite hill. Camped. The lame camel travelled fairly; but the seat of the injury is now apparent, being in the shoulder, a very severe sprain, and I am afraid. we shall have to leave him. The sun came out at 3 p.m., and dried our things splendidly. When up the creek looking for water I saw the fresh track of a native—the first we have seen on the journey. After 4.30 Mr. Wells, Helms, and I climbed up this rocky hill, which is about 1,000ft. high, and had a very grand panoramic view of the surrounding country. The climb was one of the best I have ever had, and extremely interesting. Clear night, promising fine weather. The mosses, lichens and ferns, ti-tree, rushes, and other growth show a moist climate or continuous rains. Max. temp. 60°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 am., ther. 56°, bar. 28.18.

Wednesday, June 3rd.—Having now reached the Everard Ranges our work begins. Mr. Leech is just able to hobble about without the crutches, but has to be very careful. Very heavy dew. No signs of the native. The doctor took Gwynne with him, and they were away all day in the ranges photographing. I, Wells, Streich, and Helms rode along the south foot of the range, and in two miles passed the Soakage, the water now running strongly down a gum creek out of a fine gorge. Two miles farther on we left our camels and ascended Mount Illbillie, which is a grand bare round granite peak, with very broken and rough granite hills, gorges, ravines, and precipices, with streams of water in every gully; mosses, ferns, rushes, mulga, ti-tree, acacia, numerous flowering shrubs, scented grasses, patches of Triodia irritans, whitegum trees in the ravines and creeks; height above sea level 3,010ft., above plain 1,000ft. It occupied us one hour to climb to the summit; a very fine view was obtained. Returned to camp at dark in a shower of rain. Mr. Leech marked a tree at this camp, close under the rocks on the eastern bank of the creek, at the entrance to the gorge, D.L./3.6.91(within diamond). The ground, which is reddish sandy with a good admixture of clay, is very soft indeed, and very tiring for the camels. Slight rain continued during the night. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 37°; at 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 28.11; 3 p.m., ther. 61°, bar. 27.125. Mr. Streich is of opinion that permanent underground water exists.

Thursday, June 4th.—Morning broke with a dense mist enveloping everything, and a light Scotch mist continued until 2 p.m. The hilltops were not visible at all during the day, neither was the sun. We could not move out of the camp or work at plans. Made bags out of canvas, for the sugar; adjusted the cases, made hide covers for two canteens, covers for guns and tools. Fixed up a box to carry the tools. Just before sundown a single black-fellow came to the camp; he knew a few words of English. We fitted him out with some covering, a knife, tobacco, pipe, piece of Turkey twill, some food, and sent him off, hoping that to-morrow he will bring up his companions, as I want to get a boy from here if I can, having been unable to obtain one at Warrina. Night closed in with a falling barometer and very threatening for rain. Max. temp. 54°, min. temp. 37°. At 9 a.m., ther. 51°, bar. 28.22; 3 p.m., ther. 54°, bar. 28.18. We are looking forward to a splendid journey, so much rain having fallen, and we can see good hills away some fifty miles to the south-west, to which we shall make.

Friday, June 5th.—Rain during the night. Morning broke very cloudy, and slight rain fell during the day, preventing our moving onwards. The aborigine came soon after daybreak, bringing with him a boy about 14 years of age, whose hair was very light colored, probably by the use of ashes. Not yet circumcised, although the man is. The doctor measured them, and we got the following words from them:—

[NOTE.—Where w is to be pronounced as the uin sun I have doubled the following consonant.]

English. Native. English. Native. English. Native.
Teeth Karteiti Man's track     China wila To tickle Kigigimunni
Ear Pina Emu Kalaya Finger nail Piri
Hair of head Munnga Turkey Wilo Woman Wollaberra
Neck Unndi Crow Kairangra Creek water Kapi kairu
Abdomen Kummbo Broom Pundi Rockhole Kapi euro
Hands Murra Gum tree Arparra Camp Kupa
Thigh Junnda Grass Butcha Blood Pika
Foreleg Kirara Water Kapi Mouth Dah
Elbow Nigo Cold Worri Yam stick Wunna
Toes Piri Tongue Tali Hills Wollu
Penis Toro Boy Itichiru Sit down Naien runni
Kangaroo Whirru Sun Ginntu Smoke Mukati puyu
Dog Pa-pa Sleep Angu Corrobboree     Kaiendudni
Mulga Ilgarra Bone Turrka Tobacco Okeri
Cork tree Wiginnti Breasts (F) Ilippi To run Wollaringa
Rock Kulbi Thumb Gina billka Small Ankai-ita
Kangaroo grass     Illinnga Come here Ahwai-i Moon Biya
Fire Mukkati Wurley Bundi Eat, drink Nalguni
Sand Munnda Spinifex Charnpi Sleep Angu
Sit down Unnuaringaini     To jump Polkardinngho     Long way Wortmunga
Forehead Ulla To walk Yanu Iguano Milballi
Nose Mula Yes Owh Urine Kumbu
Whiskers Kundga Cloud Kapi uringna Rock drawings     Kulpi
Eye Karu Stars Kalilpi Distant Wertmunnga
Chest Nurrka Grass Putha Rainbow Chutiungu
Arm Yari Stone Kaitchu Plenty of water Bulga kapi
Buttock Murna Saltbush Iriya Well Kapi ila
Knee Murrti Opossum Waiguta I have had Chiggen
Ankle Tari No Wiya    
Foot China Claypan Gingey    

Max. temp. 56°, min. temp. 38°. At 9 a.m., ther. 48°, bar. 28.28; 3 p.m., ther. 53°, bar. 28.22.

Saturday, June 6th.—One camel missing and the adjustment of the loading delayed our start. Day very cold and cloudy with S.E. wind; ther. 33°. Everard Ranges.—Started at noon, leaving the camel with the sprained shoulder here on good feed and water. Went westerly for two miles to the soakage under Mount Illbillie, which we made our starting-point, going 248° for 122 chains, 232° for eighty-six chains, 263° for seven miles thirty-six chains, passing first through hills and then plains lightly covered with mulga and broom. Young herbage of all sorts plentiful. Saw the fresh tracks of two natives. Billie, as we christened the Illbillie native, is coming along with us riding on one of the camels. The adjustment. of the loading; left one camel empty and some of the others lightly loaded. Camped at 5 p.m. on the north side of an isolated granite peak, on the east foot of which is a soakage giving water by sinking in the (native wells) reddish sandy soil. Fine open country to the south, dense mulga to the north. About three miles distant, bearing 8°, is the top of a large granite hill. To the eastwards is a black outcrop which Mr. Streich did not think worth visiting. Mount Illbillie bears 63° 30', the camp 28°, half a mile distant. The aborigine seems contented, and will, I hope, go on a few days. Tracks of natives going south fairly numerous. Distance for day ten miles. Max. temp. 55°, min. temp. 33°. At 9 a.m., ther. 50°, bar. 28.36; 3 p.m., ther. 51°, bar. 28.40.

Sunday, June 7th.—Camp 1—Morning broke clear and cold. Having been delayed so much through wet weather, I decided to travel to-day; accordingly we started at 9.40. Three friendly natives came in just before we started and travelled with us all day; they were fine strapping young fellows. We travelled on the same bearing as yesterday, along the west foot of a granite range over the same class of country for about fifteen miles, when we turned on bearing 320° for one and a quarter miles to an isolated granite outcrop situated on a high reddish sand ridge. Ascended with the theodolite, and tool; the bearings which arc in Mr. Wells's fieldbook. At one point during the march I took bearings:—287°, to a low point about twenty miles distant; 292°, bare granite peak eight miles distant; 317°, Mount Eunyarrinna trig; 327°, by mountain in the Musgrave Ranges; 351°, to peak five miles; 75° to Mount Illbillie trig. At eleven and a quarter miles we passed a bare granite outcrop about 70ft. high, whose top has an area of, say, ten acres, in which are numerous rock waterholes, most of them about 6in. to 12in. deep only, but one was 20ft. x 9ft. x 5ft. 6in. deep; numerous native mia-mias on the eastern side. Evidently a good supply of soakage water would be obtained by sinking, although I could not find any native wells. The country passed over is undulating sandy with high granite hills on our left and right, with occasional outcrops of granite on our course or close to; at eight miles an outcrop of oolitic limestone occurred. The last two miles were sandy, mulga, brooms, acacias, currant bush, roley poley, speargrass, and a luxuriant crop of herbs. Evening very cold indeed, promising a frost. Max. temp. 59°, min. temp., 32°. At 9 a.m., ther. 48°, bar. 28.50; 3 p.m., ther. 57°, bar. 28.33. Camp 2, distance thirteen and a half miles.

Monday, June 8th.—Camp 2—Heavy frost. Ther. 27° at sunrise. Started at 9.40 a.m. on bearing 247° 40' for range, and travelled over an undulating, sandy country, with an occasional granite rock just showing and limestone rises with hard soil, clayey, producing good grasses, roley poley, &c. High mulga, acacia, Grevillia, a few clumps of mallee, and good grass to the Ferdinand, ten and a half miles, which comes from the N.E. and goes S.W. It has a channel two chains wide, but in times of heavy flood the width would be six chains; brown sandy bed, very dry, no recent flood marks. The gum trees, which are not numerous, are very green, which makes. one judge that water would be obtained by sinking. Low sandhills on both sides; very good pasture. Fresh emu and kangaroo tracks numerous; no fresh native. tracks. Marked a large gumtree where we crossed the Ferdinand D.L./7.6.91 (within diamond). Half a mile down the creek metamorphic rocks occur, buck saltbush, ti-tree, polygonum, and fresh gum trees. I hare no doubt water would be obtained at shallow depths. The country now becomes harder; limestone rises, slaty rocks, large timber, black oaks, saltbush, mulga, many herbs, splendid grasses. Distance about seventeen miles. Camped at 4.5 p.m. Max. temp. 68°, min. temp. 27°. At 9 a.m., ther. 51°, bar. 28.33; 3 p.m. ther. 65°, bar. 28.33. The four natives still accompany us. Camp 3. The Ferdinand is 1,800ft. above sea level.

Tuesday, June 9th.—Camp 3—Morning clear and cold, ther. 33°; west wind, few clouds. Eight camels short. Hadji went out on camel back for them, and just as the first team was starting he brought in three. In his usual excited way he called out something, and galloped away. Mahmoud said, "Don't know; he say he find 'em camel, he leave 'em, he go bring 'em." Presently he brought in three more, and was terribly excited, saying, "No have job like this before." Off again. Having left the other two close to camp he was going for them. He returned with only one, and I found the other one within 200yds. of the camp. We got away in detachments—first Mr. Wells and the bulk of the caravan; a little later Mr. Leech, the doctor, and Gwynne; and then Warren followed them. It was 1.30 p.m. when Hadji, I, and the black-fellow Billie got away. The natives are still with us, and Billie has made himself quite one of the party. At about eight and a half miles touched a rocky hill, having passed over poor country, spinifex, limestone, mulga, and usual bushes, chalcedony. The hill was of granite and diorite, and. the eastern hill of this rather important group. The camp was about one and a quarter miles further on, out between two sandhills close to a small granite outcrop. The water was contained in a fine rock tank, with very good camel feed about the low sandhills. Mr. Wells and Mr. Helms walked on about two and a half miles to the foot of the main hill, and found a very good soakage. They then climbed up a peak, and reported seeing hills a little north of west in the distance. This is to be our first depôt. Our course of work will be decided to-morrow, after I have climbed the mount and laid down our position. This morning Mahmoud reported having found a native well with water in it about one mile south-easterly from the camp. Cloudy sky, with very pretty colored cloud effects. Depôt 1, camp 4. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp., 33°. At 9 a.m., ther. 56°, bar. 28.26; 3 p.m., ther. 56°, bar. 28.26. Height by hypsometer, 1,850ft. above sea level.

Wednesday, June 10th.—A number of bearings were taken from the top of the mountain with the theodolite. I was accompanied to the hilltop by Messrs. Leech, Wells, Helms, and the native Billie. Mr. Leech had great difficulty in climbing the hill. This mountain is composed of granite with diorite dykes. On the east side there is a very fine soakage—black soil—a small open place with good bushes and herbs with dense clumps of black wattle, which I believe is, in Western Australia, considered a good sign for water. A little distance to the north there is an immense granite boulder outcropping, on the leaning side of which are some very rude native drawings. The growth around this bill consists of mulga, acacia, wattles, gums, mallee, spinifex, waterbush (Pollichia zeylanica), spear and other grass, with creepers, roley poley. and other good herbs. Plotted up our position. A few, drops of rain fell just before daylight, but not enough to cause us to cover up the goods. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 32°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.10; 3 p.m., ther. 68°, bar. 28.03. Camp 4.

Thursday, June 11th.—Camp 4—Mr. Wells and Bob went west to look for water, while Mr. Helms, Billie, and I went south to examine the country to "Tietkins' farthest". I have an idea that Mr. Tietkins was close to water when he turned back, and I want to see if I can find any in the vicinity. We left camp at 12.3 on south bearing, passing a big granite hill at 12.40=one and a half miles; at 12.48 (two miles) stopped, and Billie, pointing 160°, said water short and long way off; 201°, ditto, and "wollu" (sandhills), and he also said "Kapi warnmunga" and "Kapi tau", the meaning of which I do not yet know. Lost nine minutes and resumed our journey on bearing 201° for some rocks at 2.55; two and a quarter miles we passed the granite rocks situated in some high sand ridges. Three-quarters of a mile farther took us to some rock waterholes bearing 240°, where we camped. Billie and I walked back to the rocks, and I stood up a granite slab about 3½ft. high and took a record of bearings. After leaving camp we, in half a mile, entered dense mulga with patches of mallee and irregular sandhills of red sand and considerable height, trending northwest, about fifteen to twenty chains apart; very little spinifex, a good deal of grass. In four miles the mulga became less dense and more grass appeared; we passed a native camp (gurndu). Our camp is situated in a basin, in which is a flat outcrop of granite with numerous rockholes and a fine soakage. One of the holes has a surface opening of 2ft. and is deep, going away under the rocks, quite full of water. Mr. Helms very busy collecting; Billie is very eager to help him and brings all sorts of stuff to him. At the depôt. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.19, ther. 49°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.20, ther. 66°.

Friday, June 12th.—The night was cloudy and warm; no dew. The camels were close. We started at 8.42, on bearing 213°, over open mulga sandy country; very well grassed. At five miles the rocks bear 34°, and we were travelling over a hard flat, with limestone and quartz; saltbush. At five and a half miles left the saltbush. At six and a quarter miles we crossed a small watercourse, leading east. At seven miles white quartz outcrop, striking 315° through a micaceous sandstone, whose strike is, approximately, 280°. At seven and a half miles another small watercourse, leading east. At seven and a quarter miles we were on top of a high sand hill or ridge, from which the Depôt Mount bore 22°. The rocks 34° 30'. To a hill on the left on the 9th, 60°. To a high hill near our track, thirty miles distant, 62° 30'. Resuming our journey, we passed over level hard sand and mulga. At seventeen miles outcrop of stone passed. In nineteen and a half miles we were on top of another high sand ridge, but could not see the hills behind us. Billie pointed 288°, and said, "Kapi kaitchu, kapi wollu." Pointing south he said, "Kapi nurtpa", by which I understand no water, or rather, that he does not know of any water in that direction. Wartunga means a long way. At 4.24 we turned out, having made about twenty miles in six hours of actual travelling, on bearing 213°. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 30°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.34, ther. 54°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.29, ther. 65°.

Saturday, June 13th.—The night was intensely cold, with very heavy frost. My outer blanket was quite stiff with the ice. A very heavy mist hung over us, quite obscuring the sun until 2 p.m., and the sky remained very much clouded; a south wind blowing. We started at 8.57 on bearing. 213°. In six miles the sandhills became more irregular, higher, and closer together. Billie caught an opossum (waiyuta), and an iguano (milballi). At seven and a half miles an outcrop of sandstone in the valley between the sandhills. In thirteen and a half miles we descended on to low, flat, hard country; good spear grass and geranium, then spinifex came in. And at fifteen miles we came on a fine large claypan 200yds. or 300yds. in diameter, full of water, but very shallow. 286° is bearing to a high sandhill with large, bare, white patch, making it very conspicuous, we having seen it for some miles; it is distant one and a half or two miles. There are three peaked sandhills, this being the middle one; claypan (gingeya). The country passed over to-day is really very good, being well grassed and bushed. When we were on top of a high sandhill we could see beneath. us a large valley trending east and west with a big black sandhill range some miles on the other side, evidently where Tietkins turned back from. There were only one or two patches of spinifex to be seen, and these patches always denoted limestone outcrops. Some good patches of black oak (Casuarina glauca) and some giant mallee were seen; we altered our course a little to one of these white patches, not knowing they were spinifex, and thus we went, after crossing the spinifex, straight into the claypan, which is surrounded by exceptionally good stock country, saltbush, spear grass, and many other good stock bushes. There are a number of good claypans here and a native well. The drainage is principally from the west. Where the sandstone is cropping up, having a north escarpment 12ft. high, strike east and west with a dip to the south. Oolitic limestone and many clays are underneath. The shifting sand has nearly covered the top of the rocks. Old native encampments. Billie was much astonished at seeing the water; he was busy tracking an emu when we found the water; he tracked it to its nest and brought in three eggs. I have no doubt a large supply of water would be obtained by sinking in this basin, and I look upon it as a very important feature in the country. No wild fowl. Billie had for his supper one iguano 2½ft. long, an opossum, and one emu egg. Fifteen miles. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 60°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.44, ther. 57°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 57°.

Sunday, June 14th.—Very heavy frost; the water on the claypans was covered with ice. Fine clear morning; easterly wind. Mr. Helms and I walked to the top of the "conspicuous white sandhill" mentioned yesterday, and from the top of which a fine view over sandhill country was obtained. A little north of west another long hollow or basin lies, with patches of spinifex showing. On bearing 274° 30' there is a round-top hill showing blue in the distance, say, about thirty miles; am sure it is stone, but if a sandhill it must be a very high one. To the eastward and north-east there is a valley extending, with a succession of low sandhills for twenty or thirty miles; to the south all high sandhills. 325° Billie points for water, 85° also. In every other direction it is "Kapi nurtka", which means, I am sure, "I don't know of any water." Returned to the camp, and at 12.8 started on bearing 206°. In a quarter of a mile came on a claypan 300yds. in diameter full of water; at one and three-quarter miles we were on top of a sandhill with a good view back over the basin, the last water being visible (the conspicuous sandhill bears 322°); at two and a half miles the water was still visible from the top of a high sand ridge; at three miles, on top of another high sand ridge, the intervening distance being filled with low and irregular sandhills, could not see the water, but the conspicuous sandhill was just visible, bearing 338°; at five miles we were on top of a high sandpeak, with a narrow depression between us and a high-level line of sandhills, which extends from south distant eight miles to west distant four miles, when it tapered down, and another line of high sandhills could be seen beyond. On the side of the high hill, which appears to have a long slope of, say, one and a half miles from valley to summit, can be seen small patches of spinifex and black oak. The sand is reddish, and the whole country is densely clothed with bushes, acacias, and mallee—some of the giant mallees as seen by Mr. Tietkins. Estimated that we are just about the spot from where Mr. Tietkins turned back in 1875, when out in search of water. We might easily have missed the claypans; and it seems to me more than probable that, in the valley some three miles further back, where Mr. Tietkins saw the natives and diamond sparrows, there were some claypans which he had the misfortune to pass. We now decided to return to the depôt by a different route. Billie pointed on a bearing of 60° for water; accordingly we started on that bearing at 2.26 p.m. In one and a quarter miles, in a valley, we found an outcrop of rubbly sandstone; in three-quarters of a mile, another; in one mile, another—the whole country being splendidly grassed. Having travelled four miles, and being on top of a high sand ridge, I asked Billie, "Which way to the water?" He pointed bearing 50°. We altered our course, and in one and three-quarter miles found limestone outcropping with black oaks of considerable size; at two and a half miles the high sandhills above the claypans bore 285°; at three and a quarter miles limestone and spinifex were again met with. At 4.47 we camped, having travelled about seven and three-quarter miles—making for the day twelve and three-quarter miles—206°, five miles; 60°, four miles; 50°, three and three-quarter miles. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 65°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 a.m., ther. 54°, bar. 28.49; 3 p.m., ther. 53°, bar. 28.39.

Monday, June 15th.—Very clear night, with heavy frost; all the bushes and trees were white in the morning. The camels were close, but their backs were covered with ice, and we had to wait some time before they were dry enough to saddle. Started at 9.8 on bearing 50°. At five and three-quarter miles, limestone, sandstone, and black oaks; at seven miles, sandstone, all the intervening country being irregular sandhills, covered with mulga; at seven and a half miles, a hard flat, with blackrock and scrub; at fifteen and three-quarter miles, being on a flat densely covered with different kinds of mulga, we sighted a rocky cliff, bearing 119°. Billie was surprised at seeing them, which showed that he had never been in this country before. We turned towards the rocks and travelled up a densely scrubby flat of hard yellowish clay, in Which were some Bay of Biscay holes containing, in one or two instances, a little water; in four miles we reached the rocks. Examination showed the hill to be of very fine-grained hard whitish sandstone, strike or direction 225°, dipping about 50° to the southward. North escarpment about 30ft. above the base, and 150ft. above the plain. The cliff face shows for nearly one mile. On the southern side the hill is 50ft. or 60ft. above the base. We pitched our camp in a valley at the back of the rocks, where was good feed. We did so thus early because there was a large rock face covered with native drawings, which we wished to sketch. [See Appendix.] From the top of this hill a big hill bears 58°, the mount above the the depôt 6°, the eastern hill of that group 11°, and the claypan sandhill(?) 248°. Country to the east very black and scrubby. Courses: 50°, sixteen miles; 119°, three and a half miles; total, nineteen and three-quarter miles. A. little drop of water was found in a small hollow on the polished surface of a rock. These drawings Billie called "koolpi", but I could not get any explanation of them from him. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 63°, min. temp. 26½°. At 9 a.m., ther. 51°, bar. 28.41; 3 p.m., ther. 61°, bar. 28.38.

Tuesday, June 16th.—Fine, clear night; heavy frost. Camels again close. Billie now points on bearing 25° for water, and we start in that direction at 8.55. At one and a quarter miles we found a stony surface; at three and a quarter miles limestone, with ferruginous sandstone nodules, level country, open mulga, well grassed; at eight and a quarter miles a sandstone ridge, with a strike of 355°, continuing on our course for a quarter of a mile. A high range showing in the east, which Billie says is sand. 356° to Depôt Mount; 33° to a hill parallel to our course on the 9th inst.; 41° to a shining patch, five or six miles off, looking like water. Billie now points bearing 5° for water, and we proceeded in that direction, which takes us along the top of the ridge. Having travelled one mile I found Mr. Helms was not following me. Accordingly I stopped and fired off my revolver and cooeed for him. Presently I espied him away down in the valley, sailing along happy in the ignorance that our paths were rapidly diverging. I ascended a high point, and succeeded in attracting his attention. This bearing 5° is straight for a high hill in the far distance. Pines were growing on this sandstone hill; dense mulga and mallee crowded the gullies and flat. At four miles we stopped for lunch. At 1.52 we resumed our travelling, on bearing 57° for the "Barepatch". In one and a half miles we entered a neck of spinifex, with limestone nodules strewing the ground; at two and a half miles we were in saltbush and samphire, on the edge of a salt swamp. In three miles we came to a mound right in the centre of this valley, with salt water at the foot. The mound is exactly the same as the mounds on the Lake Eyre basin. "Without doubt this is an extinct spring", Mr. Streich said. The valley is about two miles long and one mile wide, with high scrubby sandhills. The natives had been digging gypsum out of the salt bed. We called this the Purndu Saltpans, "purndu", I think, meaning salt. Leaving this interesting spot, we went on bearing 325°, and in a quarter of a mile came to abrupt cliff-like points, having a solid limestone capping of 3ft. thickness, covering a marl (calcareous). We ascended 50ft. on to a level plateau of limestone and chalcedony; spinifex and many good camel bushes. We camped at 4.25, having made eighteen and a quarter miles—25°, nine miles; 5°, four miles; 87°, three miles; 325°, three quarters of a mile; 330°, two miles. From our camp 333°, to rocks and water; 348°, to Depôt Mount; 351°, for eastern hill; 353°, small distant hill; 39°, black hill; 53°, distant peak, near Illbillie. It occurred to me that there must be some superstition connected with this mound or the salt pans, for Billie would not come down into the valley, but kept up on the plateau in amongst the bushes. I thought at first that he had left us, but he was waiting for us. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 a.m., ther. 60°, bar. 28.37; 3 p.m., ther. 67°, bar. 28.29.

Wednesday, June 17th.—At 8.51 we resumed our journey on bearing 352°. In two miles we left the level acacia-covered country (Acacia salicina) and entered the mulga-covered sandhills, with good grass, alternating with patches of sandstone and limestone under a covering of spinifex. At four miles we crossed a sand ridge with mallee and spinifex, then mulga and good grass. At nine and a quarter miles we turned on bearing 40° for a water, and on the mile we were on top of a sand peak, with an outcrop of granite in the hollow half a mile further on—82° to big black hill, 331° to Depôt Mount, 2° to eastern hill. Descended into the valley and found some nice rockholes, the principal one being 9ft. by 4ft., by a depth of over 7ft.—that was the longest stick I could get—and bottomed on loose sticks, Depôt Mount bearing 327°. Marked a mulga tree on west side of water D.L. It will be seen that Billie was quite at fault as to where the water was. He looked about for it at last night's camp and said he could not find it. Very nice feed on this basin, as is always the case, the evaporation causing a moister atmosphere to hang around the rockholes. Six miles of travelling took us to the camp, where we found all well, Mr. Wells and Bob having returned two days before and reported having found a good rockhole, sufficient for three or four days' camp, some forty miles to the westward—352°, nine miles and a quarter; 40°, one mile and a half; 5°, six miles—sixteen and three-quarter miles. Mr. Helms and I got on capitally, although his searching for plants, &c., often delayed us and made our journeyings short. Still I did not object to that as his work was having good results, as shown by the large parcels of various botanical specimens, besides birds' eggs. reptiles, and insects. We also took specimens of all rocks met with, as well as the gypsum and encrustation from the mound on the saltpan. Distance travelled by Mr. Helms and I, about 116 miles. At the depôt, camp 4. Max. temp. 67°, min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.43, ther. 52°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 63°.

Thursday June 18th.—Cloudy; ther. 39°. Depôt 1, camp 4. Resumed our westerly journeying at 9 o'clock, on bearing 293°, for the hill where Mr. Wells found the water. Level sandy country, mulga, and grass, patches of limestone and spinifex. I rode around the south side of the mountain and found running water on north-west side in a creek, with a few gum trees. This is not permanent water. Splendid feed, waterbush, black wattle, gum. Natives went on with the caravan. I also visited the rockhole bearing 253° from the mount. Found a hole 15ft. by 2ft., by 7ft. A bare sandhill on the west side. A feature of these granite outcrops with rockholes is the bare sandhills surrounding; by bare I mean no trees or large bushes. Numerous "gurndus". At eleven miles we passed a high hill, and there were diorite outcrops on our right. At this big rocky hill there is a native well in a basin, from which the top of the hill bears 260°, distant fifteen chains. At eighteen miles and a half we camped on good feed close to a diorite outcrop, whose strike is generally east and west. Max. temp. 70, min. temp. 40. At 9 a.m., ther. 47°, bar. 28.47; 3 p.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.40.

Friday, June 19th.—Camp 5. The caravan proceeded on same bearing, but I went back to a big hill, at the foot of which I found a claypan with water on the east side, fifteen chains distant. From a hill nearly covered by sand the hill to which the caravan is going bears 285°, the Apex Mount in Musgrave Ranges 11° 30', Depôt Mount 112° 30', a peaked hill 264° 30'. All these hills in this neighborhood are composed of granite and diorite. From the South Peak Mr. Wells took a round of bearings with the theodolite. I overtook the caravan here. Low sandhills, mulga and grass, spinifex. Two natives had followed Mr. Wells' return track for miles. We passed the big hill, which is a mass of bare granite, and went on to Larrie's Rockholes, one and three-quarter miles. Travelled twenty and a half miles. Camp 6. Max. temp. 60, min. temp. 35°; at 9 a.m., ther. 48°, bar. 28.48; at 3 p.m., ther. 58°, bar. 28.50.

Saturday, June 20th.—Camp 6. Frosty; ther. 27°. Mr. Wells, Gwynne, and I went to the big hill, which I have named Mount Goolwa, after my birthplace, this being the anniversary. I think water could be obtained by sinking amongst the black wattles and gum trees on the western side. The cold on the top of the hill was intense, a keen easterly wind blowing. A round of bearings (magnetic) was taken with the theodolite. Erected a pole, on which was cut D.L., 20.6.91. The whole of the country is apparently mulga, clothed with much spinifex. Sandhills low and irregular, with long valleys or flats of sandy soil. Max. temp. 57°, min. temp. 30°; at 9 a.m., ther. 46°, bar. 28.42; at 3 p.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.36. Very good feed, and the camels are doing very well; one or two of them developing mange rather badly, but it is not safe to rub tar and grease into their skins while the cold weather lasts.

Sunday, June 21st.—Remained in camp. Height 1,575ft.; max. temp. 57°, min. temp. 27°; 9 a.m., ther. 48°, bar. 28.41; 3 p.m., ther. 58°, bar. 28.30. The doctor photographed a native "gurndu", with our natives sitting in front. Mr. Helms busy collecting at the different rock outcrops.

Monday, June 22nd.—Larrie's Rockholes; camp 6. Dr. Elliot and I, with our two riding camels only and five days' provisions and water, started to inspect the country to the westward, the caravan to go to a distant hill in the south-west, where I hope to obtain water. The natives who are with us do not know this country. We got away at 9.23, and went on bearing 293° 30' to a hill three and a half miles distant, and took compass bearings—113° 30' to pile on Mount Goolwa, 196° flat-topped granite hill six miles distant, 273° to small black knob seven miles distant. Sandhills, spinifex, mulga, mallee, poor country. On bearing 273° for two miles, when we turned to 230° to visit a big hill three and a half miles distant. Granite and diorite; no water. sand ridges, mulga, poplars, more spinifex than usual; 277° for three-quarters of a mile to a point north-west of the hill, and then 268°. At four and a half miles we passed an outcrop of sandstone, with fresh natives' tracks. At five and a quarter miles opposite a hill—the black knob for which I was steering when on bearing 273°. Spinifex sand ridges, with valleys half a mile wide; good mulga and grass, good sandy loam. At 4.10 eight and a half miles. We camped half a mile east of a granite hill; acacias, grass, spinifex. After turning out we ascended the hill, and took a round of bearings with the prismatic compass. I am not very careful with the traverse, as I ascend every hill and take bearings, thus giving a system of triangulation. The compass is affected more or less on all the hills, owing to the immense diorite dykes, which have burst through the granite and form a capping or backbone to nearly every granite hill. With the caravan. Max. temp. 63°, min. temp. 24°. At 9 a.m., ther. 48°, bar. 28.29; 3 p.m., ther. 61°, bar. 28.39.

Tuesday, June 23rd.—Frost, N.E. wind. The camels were two miles away; the doctor's camel, Kangaroo, having made off back for his mates. Started at 9.20, on bearing 268°; in half a mile passed a hill of granite, and then went 257° for a hill; at eight miles saw smoke bearing 243°. This is the first native's:smoke we have seen since leaving Warrina. At ten and a half miles we were on top of a sand ridge (white), and turned a little to our left to visit a rock thirty chains distant, where we found a rockhole full of water. Top of hill bearing 278°, about forty chains to the foot of the hill, and fifteen chains farther to the top. My pocket aneroid read 1,600ft. at foot, and 1,800ft. at top of hill. Took bearings with prismatic compass. We had lunch, and then started on bearing 304° at 2.20, through mulga with grass; in three and a half miles sand ridges with spinifex and mallee, which continued to the foot of the hill, nine and a half miles, where we camped. Ascended the hill and took several magnetic bearings with a prismatic compass. This hill is of granite, with a fine basin, or reservoir, on the south-east side, and a native well full of water. This reservoir is full of earth, but the natives have dug out a hole 4ft. deep in which is 3ft. of water. No doubt there is a very considerable quantity of water contained in that earth. Gum trees of large size growing between the hills indicate the presence of water at no very great depth. Pines, mallee, kangaroo grass 5ft. high. Water in small rockholes. Built a small pile of stones on the summit of this hill. This morning our travelling was all through spinifex, sand, and mallee and limestone. In the afternoon we had much more grass. Very nice feed around this bill. We saw six emus, but they were very wild, and ran off as soon as they sighted us, some 600yds. distant. Courses and distances travelled:—268°, thirty chains, 257°, ten and a half miles; south, thirty chains; 278°, thirty chains; 304°, nine and a miles. Total, twenty-one miles. With the caravan. Max. temp. 73°, min. temp. 22°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.40, ther. 44°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.34, ther. 69°.

Wednesday, June 24th.—We started at 9.24, on bearing 224°; at four miles entered mulga, with grass, and limestone outcropping; at four and a half miles good bushes—saltbush, quondongs—to five miles, clay soil; at ten miles came to a native well in a rock basin, a good quantity of water, ten chains further to top of the hill, which is of granite, with a diorite dyke running through it. Height, above plain, 200ft.; above sea level, very approximate, 1,860ft. From the summit I took a round of bearings with prismatic compass. After lunch we proceeded on a bearing of 151°, starting at 2.2 t p.m. Camped at 4.35, having travelled seven and a half miles, over poor country—sandhills covered with spinifex and mallee. Numerous kurrajong or ordnance trees—the first seen on this journey. It was pleasing to see those ranges to the south-west. 224° for ten miles, 151° for seven and a half miles—seventeen and a half miles. With the caravan. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 24°. At 9 a.m., ther. 51°, bar. 28.53; 3 p.m., ther. 66°, bar. 28.39.

Thursday, June 25th.—At 9.2 a.m. we resumed our journey on hearing 151°. Entered good mulga. At two and a half miles sandhills, which continued for half a mile; then the country began to improve; mulga and grass, with numerous fresh native tracks. At eight miles we came to a good rockhole at the foot of a low granite and diorite hill, being only about 60ft. above the surrounding country; still it was plainly visible for more than twenty miles. Turned the camels on the good feed, and went to the top and took bearings with the prismatic compass. On the east end of these rocks is a rockhole, 27ft. x 2ft. 6in. x 2ft. or 3ft., a quantity of brushwood and loose stones having been thrown in by the natives to prevent evaporation and loss through the animals drinking; I was unable to ascertain the true depth. The rockhole on the north side is 40ft. x 7ft. x over 4ft. deep. There is a small basin close by, 2½ft. x 2ft. x 3½ft.—a beautiful bath. Splendid camel feed on the flat and sandhills surrounding the rock; numerous native "gurndus". At 1.32 we resumed our journey on bearing 114° to the hill at which I expect to find the caravan camped awaiting us. We passed through fine mulga, with good grass; a few spinifex-covered sandhills. We reached the hill at 5.30, and saw the tracks of two camels as having come to the hill and gone away again, but no sign of the camp. Climbed to the top of the hill whilst the doctor was letting the camels go, and saw the camp in a gully on the other side. Quickly descended, and went into the camp. Was disappointed to hear that there was no water here, but Mr. Wells reported the existence of a good rockhole some eight miles back. Travelled 101°, eight and a half miles; 114°, fourteen miles—twenty-two and a half miles. With caravan. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 30°. At 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 28.41; 3 p.m., ther. 70°, bar. 28.38°.

Friday, June 26th.—Sent the camels to rockhole found by Mr. Wells. Preparing stores, &c., for Mr. Wells to take on a flying trip; he is only expected to be away twelve days, but will give him three weeks' rations. He will take Ramsay and Mahmoud Azim. Camp 9. Lat., 27° 20' 54"; variation of needle, 1° 53' E. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 28.25; 3 p.m., ther. 69°, bar. 28.12. Mr. Wells furnished me with the following notes of travel since I left the camp on the 22nd instant:—

[L.A. Wells Journal, June 22 - July 4 (1: June; Flying trip: search for water)]

"June 22nd.—Left camp at 9.30 a.m., bearing to 223° 30'. Stopped at 10.25 at granite outcrops, with black wattles growing at base. saw native drawings here. Left at 10.48; stopped at 12.7 at granite hill, with wattles, and took bearings. Altered bearing to 222°, and left at 12.46. Granite hill to the right at 1.8, with wattles and natives' tracks. Left here at 1.23; stopped at 2.58. Left at 3.1, and camped at 4.18 under a broken range of diorite Bearings and distance for the day:—223° 30', 220 chains to granite outcrops; 223° 30', 336 chains to granite. hill; 222° 0', ninety-three chains to granite hills to right of course; 222° 0', 380 chains to diorite range; and 222° 0', 327 chains to camp. Total distance, seventeen and a half miles. Country passed over to-day of low red sandy ridges, intersected by flats of spinifex, bearing about 290°. Belts of mulga and grass in places, all fairly open; wattle bush, bloodwood, acacia, currant bush, and various other bushes; occasional isolated granite hills and outcrops. Limestone outcrops in vicinity of diorite range where we camped. The native, Tommy, accompanied us to-day, but the others left this morning. Noticed numerous tracks of natives, including children, but could see nothing of them although they were in the vicinity.

"June 23rd.—Camp 7. A strange black-fellow came into the camp this morning and may accompany us to-day. Bearing of range, 295° for half a mile; 115° (from gap) for half a mile, where there is another gap of half a mile; the range continues on (broken) to bluff end at highest point to eastward (position fixed). Left camp at 8.50 a.m., on bearing 265° 30', to granite outcrop, the caravan going on bearing 237° 30', to a prominent knob, distant nine and a half miles. I struck a granite outcrop at seven miles and took bearings. Camped at 4.1. Courses and distances travelled:—237° 30' to prominent black knob, nine and a half miles, bearing to hill we are starting for; 208.46, eight miles twenty chains to camp, making seventeen and three-quarter miles for the day. Country passed over to-day:—At the granite outcrop visited are numerous rockholes on top, but none over 6in. deep. At the prominent black knob is a native soakage, with water. Country of a poor nature. Ridges, bearing 290°, of red sand covered with spinifex and numerous bushes; flats between of open bushes and spinifex (burnt in places), with outcrops of limestone. Occasional belts of mulga and grass; few bloodwoods, poplars, mallee, and little grass. The two natives suddenly disappeared this morning.

"June 24th.—Camp 8. Left camp on same bearing, 206°, at 9 a.m. At 10 arrived at hill, which is of granite and capped with diorite, 150ft. above the flat and 1,530ft. above sea level. Camped at foot of the hill and examined the vicinity for water, but could find none. Tried sinking in low flat, but struck the granite rock. Plotting up work done until 3.30 p.m.; then ascended the hill with the theodolite to take bearings to all hills visible. Worked out set of stars for observation on 25th. Camp 9; height 1,840ft.

"June 25th.—Camp 9. Left camp with riding camel at 9.30 a.m. to look for water. Found none in the vicinity of camp, so proceeded to granite hill, bearing 7° 8', and distant about eight miles. Found no water here, but seeing some old wurleys to the west of the hill I concluded there must be rockholes or water not far distant. After hunting around I found a large rockhole in a gully a quarter of a mile from the hill, about due north, 20ft. long, 15ft. wide, and from 3ft. to 5ft. or more deep. Sufficient water to last the camels for four weeks, in my opinion. Returned to camp at 3 p.m. The other members of the party were pleased to hear of my good fortune. Found Mr. Lindsay had not yet come to camp, but they returned at sundown, having had a good trip. Plotting up work and preparing for a flying trip to south. N.W. wind, sky half clouded, lightning to south during evening. Lat. of camp 9, 27° 20' 54"."

June, 1891 (resume)]

Saturday, June 27th.—Mr. Wells, Ramsay and Mahmoud left on their flying trip. We started at 9 a.m., and travelled along my pad to the rockhole discovered by me on the 25th, fourteen miles back. I did this to have a Sunday's rest on good feed for the camels, they not having had much for the past few days. Mr. Wells' course was south-easterly to visit a hill I had seen from the claypans, south of No. 1 depôt, on the 14th instant., and which is visible from this hilltop. It is apparently a sandstone hill. Camp 10. Max. temp., 36°. At 9 a.m., ther. 58°, bar. 28.17; 3 p.m., ther. 61°, bar. 27.96.

Sunday, June 28th.—In camp. Read Divine service. Busy amongst the loading. Mr. Streich picked up a small piece of basalt, which had been brought here by the natives. Weather mild and pleasant, few clouds, S.W. wind. Dr. Elliot photographed a beautiful specimen of the native willow, which is growing up amongst the granite rocks. Max. temp. 63°, min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 28.06; 3 p.m., ther 62°, bar. 28.00.

Monday, June 29th.—The caravan proceeded on bearing 194°, while I went on bearing 172° to examine a hill about fourteen miles distant. At four and a half miles crossed an outcrop of quartz in a mulga plain, with very good grass; another quartz reef at eight and a half miles. At nine miles a diorite dyke, with a S.S.E. strike. At thirteen and a half miles came to the foot of the hill, having travelled over splendidly-grassed mulga country, with the usual bushes, and but very little spinifex, foot of hill 1,720ft. by aneroid, with a strong S.W. wind; top of hill, 1,925ft., of metamorphic rocks, with a strike of 65°, very much broken up and rough, covered with mulga and good grass; good bushes. Very steep on both sides. Took specimens of the rocks to Mr. Streich. Took bearings to hills visible, Then, at 2.50, resumed on bearing 250°, to strike the caravan pad; but a late start and slow travelling, for various reasons, caused them to do only about eleven miles, consequently I crossed their bearing some distance in advance, and had to wait till about 5 o'clock for the signal smoke, which was some three miles back. At four miles entered saltbush, which lasted for some distance, then thick mulga and good grass, with occasional sand ridge and spinifex, acacia, quondong, mallee, &c. Found an emu nest with ten eggs, which I carried in front of me for ten miles, and although the eyes of the chicks were visible, made excellent omelettes. I also carried for Mr. Helms the nest and eggs of a small bird. Camp 11. Caravan distance, eleven miles; mine, twenty-two miles. At 9 a.m., ther. 50°, bar. 28.95; 3 p.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.07.

Tuesday, June 30th.—Clear and frosty. Camp 11. Just as we were at breakfast six native men came up to the camp quite fearlessly, and were photographed by the doctor. Some of them have evidently seen whites before, and speak the same language as the Everard Range natives. Bob's camel showed symptoms of having eaten poison. Gave him 6ozs. of Epsom salts. He was lying down and could not be found for some time, thus causing a late start. Resumed on the bearing of 194° at 10.50, the natives going a short distance with us. Over sand ridges with mallee and spinifex until we began the gradual ascent of a quartzite range, which was covered with loose boulders and fragments of broken rock and dense mulga. After some little difficulty we found a descent down the precipitous western side, and camped at 3, under the sandstone peak where I had directed Mr. Wells to come on to our tracks again. The doctor and one or two others had crossed the range about half a mile to the left, and, found a native well with a little water in it, also a little surface water on some rocks. Gum trees growing in the gully and creek bed. When loading up this morning I had a 20-gallon cask of water resting on my knees; my left foot slipped on a bit of spinifex, owing to the camel shifting, and I experienced like a galvanic shock extending from the great toe up the front of the leg to the thigh, then round the back to the right side; reported it to the doctor, who said "You have stretched your sciatic nerve and broken some muscular fibres." With considerable difficulty I managed to ascend the hill, and took a round of bearings with the theodolite. The view to the south and south-west is very extensive—level, evidently sandhills, and dense mulga. The western escarpment of this range is much broken up; mulga, acacia, little waterbush. Built a pile, and Mr. Helms cut in the sandstone rock D.L. Left a note for Mr. Wells, directing him where to find the water. Distance travelled, twelve miles. Min. temp. 26°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.31. Camp 12; lat., 27° 33' 35"; height, 1,580ft. This range consists of quartzite and grits; 210ft. above the plain.

July, 1891]

Wednesday, July 1st.—Cold and clear. Another camel poisoned; the other camels are better. My back and leg very stiff. Leech, Helms, Streich, and I went to look at the water found yesterday. That on the rocks bears from the pile 353°, distant one mile. Opened out the native well, from which the pile bears 177°, distant one mile. Bob's camel, which appeared all right when brought in, afterwards developed symptoms of having eaten some irritant—froth running from the mouth, weakness, and disinclination to walk; gave him four packets of salts. At 1.10 we left camp 12 on bearing 280° for flat-topped hill—Coffin Hill. Travelled over level, hard plain, no sand until close to the hill; fine mulga and good grass. At seven miles passed the hill, which is of quartzite and sandstone; foot 1,700ft., top 1,900ft. A fine peak hears 314°, Saw a nice gully with good feed, and sent the caravan around there, and camped at 4.35 on northwest side of the hill. Mr. Helms found a small rockhole; doctor took photographs of the rocks and pines. Warm, no wind. Camp 13. Min. temp. 26°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.31. Travelled seven and a half miles, bearing 280°.

Thursday, July 2nd.—Camp 13. Coffin Hill; clear, cold, calm. Two more camels poisoned, the others are better. Am quite at a loss to understand what plant is causing the mischief. Mr. Helms has searched diligently, but cannot recognise any poison plants. Very peculiar mirage effects over the country to the westward. Magnificent mountain ranges of fantastic shapes and high precipitous cliffs. Started at 9.40 on bearing 314°. Acacias and good grass, mulga. At five miles low granite outcrops crossed our course. Thicker scrub, acacias, and spinifex; sandhills on either hand. Tracks of emu, lowan, and kangaroo plentiful. At ten miles we were at the foot of a bold broken granite hill, being the outlier of this small group—foot, 1,750ft.; top, 1,900ft. Found a little water on granite rockhole out on the mulga flat. Twelve miles took us to the foot of the peak, where we camped. Good mulga plain, with good grasses and herbs. Had great difficulty to get the last sick camel along today. Left him about three miles back. Gwynne and I ascended the hill, whose height is 2,180ft.; the camp being 1,780ft. at 4.30 p.m., with a moderate northwest wind. Took a round of magnetic bearings with the theodolite. From this peak a magnificent panoramic view was obtained of over sixty miles radius. Some very fine hills to the south-west and northwest. The sandhills to be seen are irregular and clothed with spinifex. This small range is of granite boulders, clothed with pines and bushes. Four hundred feet above base; two and a half miles long by three-quarters mile, trend east and west. No water, except the very small rockholes about one mile south amongst the mulga. A limited extent of very good country—mulga, grass, geranium. Not much rain has fallen here. Sent up a fine smoke, and lit a pine tree, which should be visible to Mr. Wells if he is within thirty miles. Mr. Leech's camel seems much better. The pack camel Tommy certainly seemed better, but very weak. On the journey we gave him one bottle of castor oil, he having had seven packets of salts previously. The camels who threw up a viscid watery fluid recovered quickly. Camp 14. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m., ther. 56°, bar. 28.24; 3 p.m., ther. 68°, bar. 28.13.

Friday, July 3rd.—Camp 14. Few scattered clouds, light north wind. Hadji reported that the sick Camel, Tommy, was all right internally, but his head was bad and that he would not walk. Mr. Leech and I built a pile on the hill, Dr. Elliot taking Gwynne with him photographing. Mr. Leech then went with Hadji to see the sick camel, whilst Mr. Streich and I went to look for water. We rode six miles south-west to some hills and surprised two natives who were resting under the shade of a bush growing on some granite rocks outlying from the big hills. One was an old man, the other I think a young lubra, but as she quickly ran over the top of the rocks, and hid away like a wallaby, we had but a glimpse of the figure. The old man was very frightened, but pointing to the hills said "kapi". Mr. Streich gave him some tobacco, and we, walking, induced him to go on to where there was a soakage in a watercourse coming out of a high granite hill. I do not think the supply of water will be large. The native, then pointing to some rocks, said "White-fellow, white-fellow", which we could not understand, but presently Mr. Streich saw some black-fellows on the rocks. The native then called and beckoned to them, and soon nine men joined us, amongst them being one we saw last Tuesday. As we were ascending the hill with all the natives, to point out where there was any more water, they became very excited, and, pointing over the valley, said "White-fellow, white-fellow." Looking back, we saw a native running at his utmost speed towards us, evidently in a great hurry to join the group, and share in whatever was going on. He proved to be a very intelligent man, and had such a happy face that we attached him to our service, and when asked if there was water at a bald hill a few miles further on, he replied in the affirmative, which the others seemed not to be pleased with. I fancy the lubras are camped on that water, and these men did not want us to go there, so told us there was no water. The absence of tracks here show that the natives have not been encamped in the neighborhood. The same language is spoken so far as we could tell, although some words are different: for instance, "warru" for fire, instead of "mukkati". We returned to camp 14, taking with us the intelligent native. Found that Mr. Leech had brought Tommy to near the camp, and that Hadji thinks in a few days he will be quite right.

Saturday, July 4th.—Camp 14. Strong variable winds during the night, warm. Strong warm northwest wind. Tommy is better, Rajah missing. I went on to visit the bald hill previously referred to, to see if there was more water there, instructing Mr. Leech to bring the caravan on to the first hills, where I would meet them, but as Mr. Leech's camel was missing he stayed back, and the caravan came on with the scientific officers and the native in the lead. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.180, ther. 64°. I found the distance to the bald hill to be ten miles, and also found a small soakage under a big hill on the north-east side. Very good feed surrounding these isolated, bare, granite hills. The water supply is very limited, and would only last us a few days. Sandy country, with mulga and some spinifex. At 3 p.m., bar. 28.06, ther. 81°. Returned to the first water, and had to wait some time before the caravan arrived. Some natives who were with me were much astonished at the number of whites and the caravan, becoming quite excited as the members of the Party came in in somewhat straggling order—first Messrs. Streich and Helms and the native, then the caravan, then the doctor and Warren, then shortly afterwards Mr. Leech and Hadji with the missing camel, then just before dark Mr. Wells and his party. The natives must have been bewildered, and wondered how many more whites there were in the country and what we wanted. Camp 15 is six miles from No. 14, the intervening country being all sand spinifex, covered with belts of mulga. Nice feed around the hills. I travelled sixteen miles, Mr. Wells' report of his trip was satisfactory, he having gone south to within forty miles of Giles' track of 1875. The following is the report handed in to me by Mr. Wells, copied from journal from June 27th to July 3rd inclusive:—

[L.A. Wells Journal, June-July, 1891 (2: July; Flying trip: seach for water)]

"June 27th.—Camp 9; lat. 27° 20' 53" S. Aneroid at 8.50 a.m. 28.110, attached ther. 52°; strong wind from north-west, few clouds. Received instructions from Mr. Lindsay to examine country to the south. Left camp at 8.50 a.m., accompanied by R. Ramsay, with two riding and one pack camel, 40galls. water, and ten days' provisions, bearing 147.30 mag. for hill seen from camp 9 (hill). Passed over a fairly level country of a red sandy soil with occasional low ridges of sand, flats clothed with dense mulga and mulga grass, quondong and bushes, small spinifex flats, and few limestone outcrops and small ferruginous stones. Camped for lunch at 12.30, and let camels feed, having travelled nine and a half miles. Noticed this morning where, the natives had been digging for grubs some time since, also numbers of emu tracks. Left again at 1.30 p.m. Travelled for seven miles over similar country, when we came upon a limestone rise with open mulga and good saltbush, which we crossed at right angles half a mile further on, when we again entered similar country to that passed over during the morning. Seeing no hope of reaching the bill before dark, camped in dense mulga at 4.45 p.m., having travelled about eighteen and a half miles for the day. Tied camels down.

"June 28th.—Let camels go at 2.50 a.m. Slight dew last night. Left at 7.20 a.m., and reached hill at 8.25, which is the highest of a small range of sandstone covered with mulga. scrub; hill 140ft. above flat and about 1,680ft. above sea level. Took bearings to all hills visible, this range bearing 233° mag. and runs out in about seven miles. The country around as far as can be seen is of dense mulga and occasional open patches of triodia, with sand ridges intersecting to the south and south-east. Read aneroid at 9 a.m., 28.375, ther. 53°; slight south-west breeze, few light clouds. Left again at 9.15 a.m., bearing 207° mag., passing over similar country to that of yesterday, except continuous sand ridges intersecting flats from ten to forty chains apart and generally bearing about 290° mag. Camped at 12.30 p.m. for lunch, and let camels feed, having travelled about twelve and three-quarter miles during morning. Left again at 1.30 p.m., and travelled on same bearing until 4.30 p.m., when we camped, having travelled nine miles since lunch. Aneroid at: 3 p.m. 28.400, ther. 66°; few fleecy clouds, moderate breeze from south-west. Country passed over similar to morning, except sand ridges more numerous. Observed for lat. 27° 47' 36". Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m.

"June 29th.—Very cold night; white frost. Let camels go to feed at 2.45 a.m. Left camp on same bearing at 7.25 a.m. At four miles ascended a high point and took bearing to hill left yesterday, 27° mag. Aneroid, at 9 a.m., 28.400, ther. 54°. Cold south-west breeze, clear sky; could see a great distance to south-east and south—sand ridges and mulga flats, apparently similar to that seen here. Camped for lunch at 12.30 p.m., having travelled thirteen miles during morning. Country passed over of continuous ridges—some high—of red sand generally bearing 290° from ten to forty chains apart clothed with low mulga scrub and low ti-tree, few acacia bushes, and tall mallee. Flats of open mulga and well grassed, and patches of spinifex (triodia), white gums (desert), some large, and belts of pine. Noticed numbers of parrots (ring-necks), minahs, crows, and two eaglehawks, and many smaller birds. No signs of natives were seen to-day, and I don't. think they ever visit this part of the country. The birds seen, I consider, do without water at this period of the year. Left again at 1.30 p.m., and travelled over similar description of country until 4.36 p.m., when we camped, having come seven miles from lunch camp. Four miles back from hero I ascended a high point and took check bearing 27° mag. to hill left on 28th. From here I could see from twenty-five to thirty miles to the south-east and south, all apparently similar country to that passed over to-day. Observed for lat. 48° 2' 30". Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m.

"June 30th.—Cold, windy night. Let camels go to feed at 2.45 a.m. Made start at 7.25 a.m., and reached a very low gully at three miles, gradually descending from each sand ridge crossed; 1,200ft. above sea level, when we again began to rise. Aneroid at 9 a.m., 28.625, ther. 50°, moderate south-west breeze, cold, clear sky. At nine miles crossed highest elevation, which is 425ft. higher than the flat passed at three miles or 1,625ft. above sea level. At ten miles camped for lunch, at noon. Noticed this morning many tracks of natives, who had apparently been here about two months since, and during wet weather. Saw a place where. they had camped, but no sign of water. Left at 1.30 p.m., and continued on same bearing till 3.30 p.m., when I could see a great distance to the south and south-east and south-west, all of same appearance of that behind us. Country passed over for day of high continuous red sand ridges, generally bearing about 290° mag., clothed with low mulga scrub, mallee in small clumps, large gains (desert), ti-tree bushes, and triodia. Flats of large gums (desert), mallee, mulga belts, quondongs, spinifex, and patches of grass. Rather inferior country. Noticed some fair kurrajong trees, some 2ft. diam. Camped at north side of a low sand ridge, after crossing a flat of kurrajong and white gums. Cut blaze <> on east and west sides of a kurrajong 18in. diam. with letters E.E.E/L.A.W./30.6.91 (within diamond), on west side. Aneroid at 3.30 p.m. (camp), 28.500, ther. 70°, moderate breeze from S.W., cloudy sky. Unable to observe to-night. Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m. Very little feed here.

"July 1st.—Observed early morning, 28° 15' 47" S. lat. Let camels go at 3.30 a.m. Left camp at 7.15 a.m., bearing mag. 338°. and after travelling for two miles entered a jumble of high red sandhills and ridges, some very steep (on south side). Very miserable country, and clothed with dense mulga scrub, mallee, and triodia, few kurrajong (saw one 3ft. diam.), low ti-tree, and small patches of grass. Camped for lunch at noon, and gave the camels three gallons of water from our kegs, as they would not feed and were very sulky. Can see a great distance to south-west from here; all apparently sandhills. Aneroid at 9 a.m., 28.600, ther. 64°, clear sky, warm. Travelled about eleven miles this morning. Left again at 1.45 p.m., and travelled over slightly better class of country. Sand ridges generally continuous, clothed with low mulga scrub and ti-tree, bearing 290° mag. Flats of mulga fairly grassed, and triodia, few acacia bushes. Noticed emu tracks, and saw a few parrots. Camped at six miles, making seventeen in all. From a high point at camp I could see for a very great distance, say forty or fifty miles, to west and south-west, all apparently sand ridges, but lower than here. Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m. Very poor feed.

"July 2nd.—Let camels go to feed at 2.45 a.m. Made start on same bearing 7.50 a.m. At two miles I ascended a high ridge, and could see a blue range distinctly on our bearing. At 12.15 camped for lunch, having travelled ten miles. Country passed over this morning of continuous ridges of sand, bearing about. 290° mag. (steep in places), clothed with dense mulga scrub, mallee bushes, ti-tree, large white gums (desert), and patches of grass in gullies. Poor country. Aneroid at 9 a.m. on low ridge, 28.350, ther. 60°, clear sky, warm and calm. Saw no tracks of game or birds, and no sign of natives having ever been in this country. Left here at 1.20 p.m. and camped at 3.30 p.m. on a patch of acacia, as the camels were very tired and hungry. Country similar to that of this morning, except flats being more open, with abundance of triodia and few acacias and currant bushes. Sand ridges as usual. Travelled five miles, or fifteen miles in all. Aneroid at 4 p.m. (camp), 28.575, ther. 76°, westerly breeze, clouds rising, sky quarter covered. Too cloudy to observe. Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m.

"July 3rd.—Observed at 2 a.m. Lat. S. 27° 46' 53". Let camels go on good feed at 5 a.m. Made start, bearing 22° mag., at 7.50 a.m. for a range seen from camp 9, and where I expect to hear from Mr. Lindsay. Passing over open low ridges of sand (red), bearing generally 290° mag., about forty chains apart, clothed with triodia, acacia, few mallee, ti-tree, and bushes; flats, mulga belts, spinifex (triodia), and grass. At five miles passed low end of sandstone and ironstone range, bearing about 270° mag., clothed with dense mulga scrub. Noticed good grass and herbage in this vicinity, also large mallee, casuarinas, mulga, quondong, acacia in abundance. Continued on same bearing, crossing open sand ridges and mulga and grass flats as before, until 12.15 p.m., when we camped on good camel feed for lunch, having travelled eleven miles. Continued on same bearing at 1.25 p.m.. and reached bluff end of low sandstone range at 3.30 p.m., a distance of five miles—sixteen in all. Here we found a pile erected by Mr. Lindsay, with letter of directions regarding water at one and a half miles north from here, and instructions to follow the pad of the caravan, as they had left for N.W. Went to water and watered the camels, and returned to near the pile, and camped thirty chains off. Bearing to pile 156° mag. Observed for lat. 27° 33' 35". Travelled twenty miles to-day. Tied camels down at 7.30 p.m.

"July 4th.—Let camels go to feed at 4 a.m. Left following pad bearing 280° 30' for prominent flat-topped hill, which we reached at 10.30 a.m., and found their thirteenth camp, also instructions to still follow pad, as they had left for hill eleven miles oft bearing 313° mag. Followed pad, and camped on good feed at 11.45 a.m. for lunch, having travelled ten miles. Left again at 1 p.m., and reached hill at 9.45 p.m., having travelled about seventeen miles. Found camp No. 14 and a note from Mr. Leech, saying they had left for hills to S.W. Followed pad, and reached party at 6 p.m (six miles), and found all well, having travelled about twenty-three miles for day. After leaving the marked tree of June 30th, I could not see any signs of natives having crossed our course for a great period, and, therefore, consider the tracks noticed before reaching my furthest point south to belong to natives from the east or south-east.

"7/7/91."

"L. A. W.

July, 1891 (resume 1)]

Sunday, July 5th.—Camp 15. Cloudy, cool, S.W. wind. Read Divine service, as usual. Sank a well, erected troughs, and watered the camels, the natives gazing with undisguised surprise at the quantity of water consumed by the camels. Eleven native men had now assembled and watched our every movement with much interest. The sick camels are doing well, but need a few days' rest; therefore will remain here to-morrow. Max. temp. 75°, min. temp. 42°. At 9 a.m., ther. 62° bar. 28.21; 3 p.m., ther. 68°, bar. 28.17.

Monday, July 6th.—Cold night, frost; ther. 33°; S.W. wind. Camp 15. Filled all the water casks. Doctor photographing; Messrs. Streich and Helms collecting; Mr. Wells writing out his report and plotting up the work. Mr. Leech and I ascended a mountain, the centre of this group, and took a round of bearings with the theodolite, top of rugged granite hill, the highest point of which is inaccessible, being ten chains distant, on bearing 240° 40' from where we observed. Two more natives came in, making the number 13. All the camels are well. Mr. Streich found a little arsenical pyrites. I am still very stiff and lame, and the daily hill climbing which is necessary for the proper survey of the country is very trying, and much retards my recovery. Warren served us up a very good supper of salmon, herrings, emu egg omelette, and stewed apricots. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., ther. 52°, bar. 28.30; 3 p.m., ther. 72°, bar. 28.20. I consider it likely that good soakage wells would be obtained amongst these granite hills. Doctor photographed the natives.

Tuesday, July 7th.—Clear, calm, with a N.E. wind later; ther. 30°. Camp 15. Started at 10.30 on bearing 292°. At eight miles we passed a peculiar hill, a base of granite, with conglomerate covered with quartzite and sandstone. In the conglomerate are great waterworn quarts pebbles. Soon after passing hill, which Mr. Streich "kodaked", he and I turned off a little to the left to visit some broken hills of conglomerate. In one of the gullies we found a little water. We found the summit to be, approximately, 1,650ft. above sea level. Quartzite, sandstone, and conglomerate. From the water the bearing to peak at camp 14 is 90°; to the observation point of yesterday 106°. The escarpment of these hills is to the north. We camped at 6 under a granite hill at the entrance to a broad valley in which there is very good stock bushes and good grass, about two miles from the great bare mountain to which we are going. The eleven natives who travelled with us this morning left the caravan shortly after passing the peculiar hill to go to some hills on our right, where they said there is water. Before very long eleven new natives took their places and camped with us, only to clear out in the night. Travelled about seventeen miles. Poor country, spinifex, mulga, few sandhills. Bearing 292° 30', seventeen miles. Camp 16. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 29½°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.25; 3 p.m., ther. 69°, bar. 28.30. Caravan distance, seventeen miles. I rode ten miles extra.

Wednesday, July 8th.—Mr. Wells and I proceeded to the mountain and climbed it; then took bearings with the theodolite. The hill is of bare granite, with a gum tree (the only tree) growing 125 links north of the summit. We found the height by aneroid to be 2,380ft.—750ft. above the base. I named it Mount Watson, in honor of Professor Archibald Watson, M.D., of the Adelaide University, as an appreciation of his kindness in assisting, as Sir Thomas Elder's agent, in the formation of the party. On the north-east side, that is the side we ascended, water was slowly trickling out of a morass. It is no spring, only a soakage; and not a great supply at that, I am sure. Good pines and gum trees in the gully. The appearance of the country to the westward is very inviting—open undulating valleys between bold rugged granite hills, with watercourses fringed with fine umbrageous gum trees. Mr. Wells and I were quite certain we should find water on that side, so, after taking the bearings, we descended to the caravan, and, passing around the eastern foot of Mount Watson, we entered a nice valley. As the caravan travelled on we examined the gullies and gorges in the side of Mount Watson, finding a small soakage at the south foot. Hurrying on ahead of the caravan, soon ascertained that the view from the summit had been delusive, as, although there was beautiful pasture land and fine gum trees in the creeks, no water was to be found. Returned to the caravan, and took them back about one mile to the soakage, and camped at 2.30 in a most excellent place. Good feed. Camp 17. Six natives rejoined us here just as we were about to camp. A fire had been burning brightly, though intermittently, on a hill some two miles off the whole of last night. Sank a well 5ft. deep in a small watercourse right up at the foot of the hill, and got a fair supply of very good water. Max. temp. 60°, min. temp. 27°. At 9 a.m.. ther. 48°, bar. 28.32; 3 p.m., ther. 56°, bar. 28.28.

Thursday, July 9th.—Spelling the sick camels. Mr. Wells preparing to go south-west. Repairing saddles. Cut the iron bars of one, and had to punch holes in the bars to make it short enough for Mr. Leech's camel. We had some difficulty in doing this, having no proper tools, but with the stump of a bloodwood tree for an anvil we managed fairly well, I being the blacksmith with Gwynne as my chief assistant. All our riding saddles are much too big, having been made for Beltana camels, whereas all our riding camels came out of the jimador's mob, and, stupidly, all the bows were riveted instead of being fixed on with bolt and nut. Hadji says he told the Beltana blacksmith to fix them that way, and to punch holes so that the saddles could be made smaller if necessary. Streich and Helms out collecting; doctor photographing. Mr. Leech made a sketch of the mountain from the eastern side. Mr. Helms marked the gum tree on the top of Mount Watson D. L., 8.7.91. From camp 17 Mount Watson bears 328° 30' magnetic half a mile distant. Marked a tree (bloodwood) D.L./XVII/9.7.91 (within diamond) on the eastern bank of a watercourse. Latitude of camp 27° 20' 12" south; variation of needle 2° 15' east of north. My compass reads on true south line 178° 40'. Mr. Wells' compass reads on true south line 178° 30'. Max. temp. 52°; min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m. ther. 46°, bar. 28.87; 3 p.m. ther. 49°, bar. 27.505.

Friday, July 10th.—Mr. Wells, Bob, and Mahmoud Azim started south-west, taking eighty gallons of water and three weeks' rations, at 10.30. We did not get away until 11.45, steering for the big range to the north-west. Cold, cloudy, a few drops of rain occasionally. A good supply of water in our well, which is now 6ft. deep. At one and a half miles we stopped, and then the caravan proceeded on bearing 305, while Mr. Streich and I went 276° to visit some hills. In one and a quarter miles we left the west end of the hills on our left hand; at six miles we found a double hill; in the gully on the plateau we found a native well. The hill is of granite and diorite. We then went on the south side of the hill, and proceeded on bearing 340°. From the top of the hill an extensive view, say forty or fifty miles, over sandhills stretching away to the south, the horizon being unbroken by any irregularity. At the north-north-west foot of this bill from the top of a sand ridge, say twenty chains from a peculiar bush on the hilltop, a hill three miles distant bears 281°, a distant mount 298°. We resume on bearing 342° at 3.13. At one mile passed the west end of a low granite hill; at two and a quarter miles a hill at half a mile and one at one mile on our right; at three miles a hill half a mile on the right; at three and a quarter miles a hill half a mile on right; at three and a half miles a hill a quarter of a mile on right; at three and three-quarter miles at foot of hill; at four and a quarter another hill. Then, on bearing 60° for three-quarters of a mile and 115° for half a mile, to the camp, having ridden thirteen and a half miles, the caravan doing ten and a half. The country to-day has been poor, mostly spinifex, a few sandhills, with mulga flats, and little grass. Good country close around all the hills. Mr. Leech reports having passed a good rockhole. Marked a bloodwood tree D.L./XVIII (in diamond). Native well, very little water, two chains east of marked tree. Mount Sir Thomas bears 318°, saddle of range 314°, the dome 7°. Max. temp. 60°, min. temp. 38°. At 9 a.m., ther. 49°. bar. 28.33; 3 p.m., ther. 60°, bar. 28.30. Natives (five) still continuing with us. Bearing 340° for one and a half miles, 305° for nine miles (caravan); bearing 340° for one and a half miles, 276° for six and a half miles, 342° for four and a half miles, 6° for three-quarters of a mile, 115° for half a mile to camp 18; total distance, twenty-three and a quarter miles (caravan, ten and a half miles; self, thirteen and three quarter miles). Camp 18 is 1,850ft. above sea level.

Saturday, July 11th.—Resumed our journey at 10.10 on bearing 318°. Warm; few clouds. In half a mile we passed a hill one mile distant on our right; at four and a half miles a hill close on our right; at five miles crossed a saddle; at five and a half miles camped on a good water in a watercourse leading out of a low broken range on the eastern side of a fine valley. Country passed over to-day level, mostly spinifex, but mulga and good grass near the hills. Numerous old native camps. The natives led us to this water. They made us understand that there were some emus at the water, so two went up one gully and a native and I up another; unfortunately the emus saw us before we saw them and made over the hills. I had two shots at them as they ran, but missed. Obtained a few more words from them—Wollaberra (woman), kapi kairu (water in creek), bulga kapi (plenty water), kapi euro (rockhole). At 3.12 Messrs. Leech, Streich, Helms, Dr. Elliot and I set off for Mount Sir Thomas. A ride of one and three-quarter miles took us to the foot of a rugged much broken mountain of granite sparsely clothed with spinifex and a few bushes. Tied our camels down, and commenced a most laborious ascent. Found the summit to be 2,535ft. above sea level, and 900ft. above the plain. It was 4.30 when we reached the top. A magnificent view was obtained; scattered groups of hills from west around north to east. To the south nothing but sandhills, the horizon being level and as unbroken as the sea. With the theodolite I took a round of magnetic bearings. Hastily built a small pile and hurried down the hill, the sun having set before we reached the camels, and quite dark when we reached the camp. Very nice country in this valley, and surrounding the range—the best we have seen for some time. I have called this range, the most important natural feature discovered, the Birksgate Range, after Sir Thomas Elder's residence at Glen Osmond, and the mountain Mount Sir Thomas, in honor of Sir Thomas Elder, the generous originator of this expedition. Max. temp. 69°; min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m. ther. 54°, bar. 28.26; 3 p.m., ther. 69°, bar. 28.10; 6 p.m., ther. 57°, bar. 27.32. Camp 19; distance travelled, eight miles; 1,855ft. above see level.

Sunday, July 12th.—Heavy dew and frost last night. Ice on the water; warm day. Doctor photographing. Helms and Streich collecting. Planted wheat, barley, oats, lucerne, giant grass, clover, pumpkins, melons, sorghum, maize, cherries, apricots, peaches, dates, acacias, and gums. Very fine specimen of the pituri (native tobacco) growing amongst these granite boulders; doctor photographed one specimen, and we gathered some seeds. The natives take the green leaf and lay it on some of the fine white ash dust until much of the moisture is drawn off; they then roll it up with some of the ash attached and it is chewed and passed from man to man. It is often carried long distances. I have often been offered a quid of this taken from behind a black-fellow's ear, or out of a carefully wrapped up parcel. Max. temp. 71°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 a.m., ther. 54°, bar. 28.19; 3 p.m., ther. 70°, bar. 28.13.

Monday, July 13th.—Cold, clear, heavy frost. Camp 19. While the caravan went around the south side of the Birksgate Range, in charge of Mr. Leech, I and Dr. Elliot went through the range and around the north end of it. I started at 9.7 a.m., on bearing 350°; in half a mile struck the creek and followed it for five chains, when we altered the course to 30°, in one-eighth of a mile the creek left our course and went around a hill; one-quarter of a mile we crossed a saddle into another watercourse, then at three-quarters of a mile changed to 8°, and in one-quarter of a mile came to a native well in the creek bed. The appearance of the trees, &c., lead me to think that this is a permanent soakage, though the supply would probably be small. The gorge is narrow. This spot has evidently been selected by the natives for the performance of some of their rites. Numerous small heaps of stones at irregular distances, and on the face of a broken granite boulder parallel vertical lines were drawn. The doctor photographed this. A considerable delay was caused. The rocks are granite with some limestone. Three-quarters of a mile farther we were blocked and had to lead our camels to one and quarter miles, when a fine view of the mountain was obtained, and which the doctor photographed. We were on the E.N.E. side. In one and three-quarter miles we got over a saddle and on to the level country beyond. It being now 11.30 it was too late to go to the Dome, so we rode around the north end of the range down the west side to a by-creek which comes from the mount and then across the valley westward and around the north and west sides of a group of large hills into camp 20. Very good country surrounding these hills—grass, geranium, acacias, mulga. I think there is some water up the western creek of the range, but it was too rough to ride up. The natives left us, saying there is no water in the hills to the west. Distance travelled—caravan nine miles, I fourteen miles=twenty-three miles. Min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m., ther. 49°, bar. 28.20. Camp 20 is 1,535ft. above sea level.

Tuesday, July 14th.—Camp 20. Very cold, clear frost, S.W. wind. We followed up the gully for ten chains and crossed over a saddle into a valley; then went 335° for half a mile, when the caravan proceeded on bearing 288° for a distant hill, while I went 350° to look for water, the natives having told us there was kapi kairo in the hills, about three miles distant. My course led me over good mulga country with plenty of parakylia, the first I have seen since leaving the Everard Ranges. At three miles I entered a valley about twenty chains wide, high bare granite hills on both sides. At three and three-quarter miles crossed to west side of valley and found a fair sized gum creek. I left my camel and clambered over the boulders for some distance, finding a very small soakage up near the head of the creek which has some fine large gum trees. At four and a quarter miles native camps (old). An isolated hill bears 70°, two miles distant 30°, one at a mile and north, one is one and a half miles distant. I then went on bearing 267°, leaving the hills on my left. At three and a quarter miles struck some fresh tracks of native men, women, and children, going north to a big hill one mile distant. I followed the tracks, hoping to find some water. Saw where the natives had camped last night, and then followed their tracks to the north side of the hill, where I found a very small rockhole, almost empty. I then resumed my journey, and at one and a quarter miles passed a group of hills on my left; at four and three-quarter miles another group of hills one and a half miles on the left; parallel sandhills ten to thirty chains apart; spinifex, mulga, and grass. At five and a half miles changed my course to 238° for a big hill, and cut the tracks of the caravan. Followed them into camp 21; reached it at 5.30, having ridden twenty-two miles, the caravan doing fourteen miles. My extra ride of fourteen miles was, as far as water is concerned, fruitless, as I found none worth speaking about. Mr. Leech reports having seen a fine rockhole and some natives. The bulk of the country passed over to-day is poor; spinifex, an occasional sandhill. The camp (21) is on the south side of a fine big hill, which is worthy of a name. Mulga, roley poley. Mr. Helms climbed to the top of the hill, which is of granite, as are all the hills seen to-day. Nine natives joined the caravan, and stayed all night, some more coining in with a rush and a yell just after dark. From them I ascertained that "kupa" meant camp; "kapi kairo", creek water; "kapi euro", rock water;"kapi ila", native well; "kapi bulka", plenty water. The caravan passed a rockhole at a bare granite mound near a big granite hill. Very cold; clouds in the south-west. Max. temp. 69°, min. temp. 29°; at 9 a.m., ther. 49°, bar. 28.15; 3 p.m., ther. 65., bar. 28.08.

Wednesday, July 15th.—Ther. 25°; frost, clear. Camp 21. We now have thirteen natives with us. Leech and I went on ahead to a mountain (which I have called temporarily "Mount Sawback" (Pernamo Hill), owing to the serrated appearance as seen from the east) to take a round of bearings. In six and a half miles we were at the east end of the mount, and found it to be of granite with a diorite dyke running the whole length through it, the five peaks being of diorite. The country passed over was poor spinifex sandhills. Aneroid at foot reading 1,710ft., at top 2,320ft. We had a very stiff and rough climb, as we had to go about one mile along to get to the highest point. Climbing for me was rather unpleasant, as both my back and left leg are very weak still. The needle was affected considerably by this diorite. The bearings are magnetic, and taken with the theodolite. It was 1.30 p.m. when we reached the foot of the hill, and found the caravan waiting. The natives had all come along and shown Alumgool a fine waterhole in a rock basin up on the side of the hill. The hole was of considerable extent and full of earth. The natives had excavated a big hole, which was full of beautiful clear water. There being very good feed here we turned out. Filled up the watercasks, watered the camels, built a small pile of stones around a high post to show the position of the water, as it would easily be passed. I rode eight miles around the hills, but saw no more water. A very small extent of good country at this mountain. On the very summit of the hill right under My theodolite I found a mark ^ in the solid diorite. At the first glance it appeared as if some one had chiselled a broad arrow, but on closer examination I found three similar marks about 2ft. apart, as if an emu had walked over and wherever he had placed his foot the black surface of the stone had weathered and left a reddish stain. The rocks were all broken, and the marks were just where an emu would have placed his feet had he been crossing here. The marks were like this <– <– <– <– all of the same size. A little further back a mark Θ was found, and another similar O. It is evident they were all made by the natives. The natives all went away and returned again before dark. They say there is water at the next hills, and that they are going on with us. The doctor photographed them on the bare face of the rock. Marked a bloodwood tree D.L./XXII. (within diamond), from which the water bears 152° distant about ten chains. Sketched outline of the hill to which we shall go to-morrow. From the waterhole hill at camp 21 bears 90°, Mount Sir Thomas 107°. Mr. Helms lost his watch, and thinks it fell into the water when he was getting a drink. S.E. wind, few clouds. Max. temp. 70°; min. temp. 25°. At 9 a.m. ther. 52°, bar. 28.17; 3 p.m., ther. 63°, bar. 28.12.

Thursday, July 16th.—Temp. 32°. Cold; frost. Camp 22. The natives remained at the water. Started at 10 with all our water casks full, on bearing 295°. In one and a half miles went on bearing 301° for a hill this side of the gap. Travelled. over irregular sandhills, spinifex, mulga, and acacias. Good herbs and grass in places, but mostly poor. Camp at 5.30, having made about twenty and a half miles, at foot of a granite hill 1,750ft. (200ft. above the plain.) From the top of this hill I could see water on a flat rock to the westward. The hill rises out of a hard clay soil, on which is growing mulga and roley poley. Mr. Helms obtained two eggs of an eaglehawk, which when made into an omelette were really very good. Southerly wind wind, cloudy, cool. My leg still very weak. Max. temp. 68°, min. temp. 32°. At 9 a.m. ther. 51°, bar. 28.26; 3 p.m., ther. 62°, bar. 28.39. The country extremely dry. Few acacias and quondongs; saw a new tree.

Friday, July 17th.—Camp 23. Started at 8.35. At 8.50 found a rockhole 10ft. deep. The top of the granite hill, distant thirty chains, bearing 120°; a bare granite outcrop five chains to the south. Replenished. our water supply. At two miles a hill half a mile on the right.. At three and a quarter miles granite hills close on our right. At eight miles reached the foot of the hill, aneroid reading 1,340ft. Gwynne and I, who had conic on ahead, climbed the mountain, which is principally of broken diorite, ringing like a bell to the touch of our ironshod boots. On top the aneroid read 1,900ft. The bluff point (south) is twenty chains from the highest point, and bears 117° 24' A round of bearings were taken with the theodolite. The needle would be considerably affected by the diorite. From 330° to 35° seems one range with very high mountains, distant thirty or forty miles, the Tomkinson Ranges. When descending, Gwynne slipped and fell amongst the rocks. I was afraid the theodolite was ruined, but fortunately the only damage done was the breakage of one of the levels on the parallel plate. From end of hill, three-quarters of a mile distant, the top bears 30°, and we go 325° at 2.3 p.m. The diorite on these hills is very much broken up and is stained like iron slag. In two and a half miles we had a big hill on our left, and while Mr. Leech led the caravan to a hill pointed out I went south to visit the bare rocks where I thought it likely some rockholes might be found. I rode between isolated granite hills, over sandy country, poor, dry, spinifex, mulga, some dry grass, a few patches of roley poley, but no feed to camp on with our mob of camels. Found a small rockhole, from which Mount Gosse bears 63° distant four miles; hill at camp 24 bears 356°; camp 23 bears 104°; Pernamo Hill 114°; close by was a good rockhole, 36ft. x 10ft. x 5ft., water now 3ft. at deepest part, situated on east end of long low bare granite outcrop. Another rockhole 15ft. x 8ft. x 3ft., Mount Gosse, bearing 83°, Pernamo Hill, 164°. Then another, the hill at camp 24, bearing 38°, Mount Gosse 90°, this hole being 20ft. x 3ft. x 9ft.; only 6ft. of water at deepest part now. Numerous hare granite outcrops amongst sandhills; poor feed. Altogether there is not much water, and what there is is dirty and old. Not a suitable place for a depôt camp, all the bushes. and feed being so dry, no rain having fallen for a very long time. It seems almost as if the splendid rains. which had fallen in South Australia during the past two months had stopped short at the boundary of Western Australia, where we now are. I saw some fresh native tracks going westward, and Mr. Leech saw big smokes. bearing 308°, say twenty miles distant, this leading me to believe that we will find good waters amongst the hills we can see ahead; wire-wing pigeons (crested doves) numerous. The caravan travelled fourteen, miles, I twenty-six miles. The camp 24 was on a plain at the north, foot of a big granite hill. Very poor feed. Max. temp. 71°, min. 26°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.65, ther. 50°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.49, ther. 65°. Distance. eighteen and twelve miles=thirty miles.

Saturday, July 18th.—Camp 24. Ther. 33°. S.E. wind. Gwynne and I started in advance of the caravan, Mr. Leech having instructions to travel to a hill distant about ten miles. One mile from the camp we found a rockhole 153° to Mount Gosse, 184° to hill. At camp 24, one and a half miles distant, 319° to an isolated hill, about eight miles. At two and a half miles we entered mulga.—chalcedony; one mile further into the sand and spinifex again. At the foot of the bill, eight miles, the aneroid read 1,240ft.; at the top it read 1,620ft. Took a round of magnetic bearings with the theodolite. Built a pile of stones and put up a pine post 15ft. high. At 2 p.m. we (the caravan having come up) started around the north end of the hill, and in one and a half miles the caravan went, bearing 323", for another hill, while I went off to where I saw the smoke (340° 30'), hoping to find water. It is necessary to find water, for Mr. Wells is due to-morrow, and if he is late we must wait for him. He was to come on to the south-west end of the Blyth Ranges, which are shown on the map as crossing the boundary line and being continuous for between twenty and thirty miles, whereas we have crossed the boundary and hive seen no range of hills. The only range with a south-westerly trend is that ahead, and it is too much out of position to be Blyth Ranges. Yet Mr. Gosse must have seen a range, unless it was a mirage; but then his experience was too great to allow him to make a. mistake like that. We must go on to the range ahead, as there is our only chance of finding water and feed. The whole country presents a very drought-stricken appearance, and the camels are doing badly for want of feed. After travelling over poor country—sandhills with a few granite outcrops, mulga in patches, spinifex, a few good camel bushes—I reached the hills at 5.20, the distance being fifteen miles instead of ten miles. I passed through the smoke and found an unfinished trap (bush), but saw no natives. Made a hurried search, but saw no signs of water. Native tracks all about, but could find no pad or number of tracks going in one direction. I did not care about stopping here alone all night, so as the sun went down I steered off for where the camp should be, and after about nine miles over high sandhills, with spinifex, I rode straight into camp, a fire having been lit on a sandhill, and which I saw when I was about two miles distant, straight ahead of me. I rode thirty-one miles, and the caravan sixteen miles. Mr. Leech had camped on most wretched feed, and the poor camels had a poor night of it. I am sorry to say Mr. Leech does not show much judgment about selecting a good camp. Max. temp. 67°, min. temp. 33°; at 9 a.m., ther. 54°, bar. 28.71; 3 p.m., ther. 67°, bar. 28.69. Camp 25. Total distance, forty-seven miles.

Sunday, July 19th.—Camp 25. Ther. 24°. Bones, one of the camels, looking very sick, as if partaken of poison; gave him four packets of salts. Owing to the lack of feed the camels had made back a long way. and it was 9.26 before we were able to start, on same bearing (323°) up a spinifex valley between sandhills; very poor country, unfit for anything. In eight and a quarter miles reached this hill, which is of granite and. isolated. Aneroid at foot 1,440ft., on top 1,700ft. The hill looked much higher, and we must have been, ascending all the way. Took the following compass bearings:—297° to the south hill of a range and to which we are going, 80° to hills where I was last night, 142° to pile of yesterday. On the north-west side of the hill a granite outcrop with a few pines on it—a very likely looking place for a rockhole. Doctor and I, who, were ahead, rode around, and found a nice hole. Two crows came to meet us, and flew straight to the hole and perched themselves on a dry pine tree. We returned to the hill, and sent up a smoke to guide the caravan in, so as to instruct them to fill up the water casks at the hole. My smoke was answered by some natives not many miles to the westward, and also by some twenty or thirty miles west. I took this for a good sign of water, as none had been in at this rockhole recently. Dr. Elliot and I rode on bearing 276° for the smoke, Mr. Leech leading the caravan on bearing 297° to the hill. In two miles, having just crossed a spinifex sandhill, we came right on a black woman, who did not notice our approach and was much alarmed when she saw probably the first white men she had ever seen and the "devil devil", as the camel is generally supposed to be by the natives. She was loaded up with the fruits of the chase and edible roots and seeds. When she saw us she immediately pushed her treasures under a bush, and with the firestick which she carried ran from bush to bush, sending up a big smoke and calling out at the top of her voice. Presently she hid herself in a bush. I dismounted, the doctor remaining on his camel on the the hilltop on the lookout for the other natives, who would be attracted by the smoke and cries; and when I reached out my hand to touch her she jumped out, seized a big stick, and beat on the ground and bushes, all the while facing me and making most discordant yells and cries. I stood off some little distance, and tried to soothe her by holding out a handkerchief and repeating all the native words I could remember; I managed to get close enough to give her the handkerchief. Presently the doctor reported "Natives coming!" and an old white-haired fellow advanced slowly and fearfully towards us. After some amount of coaxing the old fellow let me approach him, the woman taking the opportunity to slip off amongst the bushes. The man was just as terrified. He took from a bag a piece of pituri, and offered it to me; I suppose that was the most valuable thing he had, and it is perhaps considered "the pipe of peace." Dr. Elliot gave him some tobacco and a bun in exchange for some seeds of the kurrajong, of which the old woman had a considerable quantity in a wooden vessel, and pieces of a large yarn. The old fellow would say but little, but made comical and suggestive gestures. After some time he pointed to the hills to which we are going, and said "kapi euro"; sweeping his hand around west and south he said "kapi nurtha" (no water). We soon overcame his fears, and he travelled a mile or so with us, and would have come right on had we insisted. Our course was now 322°, over wretched country—"seas of spinifex." In nine (9) miles we found ourselves in dense mulga, good clayey soil, and camped. The mulga being as dry as sticks, and no sign of feed anywhere, we tied the camels down all night. Most wretched looking country; the bushes all look dying, and the spinifex is dead. I am sure no rain has fallen here for two or three years. It is to be hoped that we will soon get out of this drought-stricken region, or the camels Will have a hard time. Over at the range we should get some gum creeks and better feed. We made nineteen and a half miles; the caravan camped on no feed again, at fourteen miles—thirty-four miles. Max. temp. 77°, min. temp. 24°. At. 9 a.m., ther. 50°, bar. 28.72; 3 p.m., ther. 68°. bar. 28.55. Camp 25.

Monday, July 20th.—Started at 8 a.m., and travelled over most miserable country—level, hard sandy soil, with dying spinifex and a few brown, half-dead quondongs. Seven miles took us to the hill; aneroid at foot reading 1,570ft., on top 2,150ft., making height 580ft. A few edible bushes, on which the doctor let the camels feed while I ascended the hill to take bearings with the compass, as follows:—260°, low group of hills, about fifteen miles; 275°, big hill in group. twenty-five miles (Borrow's Hill); 287°, south end of range, thirty-five miles; 295°, north end of same range; 308°, a distant hill; 315°, west end of a range; 318°, hill in same range, thirty-five miles; 333°, hill in group; 13°, mount in range, twenty-five miles; 52°, Mount Hinkley(?); 67°, a mountain; 100°, hills fifteen miles; 108°, Mount Moulden; 124°, diorite group. As Mr. Wells is due on our track to-day, I set fire to the spinifex from the top all the way down. In a watercourse I found a rockhole containing about 100galls. or 150galls. of water. The hill is composed of a porphyritic rock, very much broken. Found some feed on a gum creek about one mile distant, and signalled for the caravan, which was just in sight; they turned to us, and we pitched camp amongst some shady large gum trees. A fair amount of edible bushes, but very dry. The creek bed is dry, sandy, with bars of rock showing up occasionally. I think it probable that water would be obtained at, say, 50ft. or 60ft. in this basin. I observed for latitude, and found it to be 26° 23' 51" 45"'. Camp 27. Distance for caravan ten miles 17 miles. Max. temp. 73°, min. temp. 19°. At 9 a.m., ther. 57°, bar. 28.63; 3 p.m., ther. 67°, bar. 28.39. On looking at the map I find that we are at Skirmish Hill of Mount Gosse, an outlier of the Tomkinson Range. The camp is 1,535ft. above sea level.

Tuesday, July 21st.—I and Mr. Leech went in different directions looking for water and feed, but were both unsuccessful. On returning down this creek I found Mr. Gosse's old camp. Bullock bones, &c., and a tree marked GOS/13/F76 (within square), and on the reverse side W.W.M/46 (within square), showing that Gosse, Forrest, and Mills had all been here. Our camp was one mile farther down the creek. Tarred some of the camels for mange. Gave Misery three pints of fat, sugar, and flour. Sent up some good signal smokes for Wells. Camp 27, on Moses' Creek; height 1,355ft. above sea level. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 p.m., bar. 28.440, ther. 57°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.360, ther. 68°.

Wednesday, July 22nd.—The camels were scattered all over the country. Some of the bulls coming in season had driven the bullocks straight away. It was 11.30 before the Afghans returned with them one short, which was not found till sundown. The poor brutes are thirsty, and have had very poor feed for the Past week. Took stock of stores, and found we had a full three mouths' supply of everything; the meat would easily last four months. Went up and marked Gosse's tree D.L./XXVII./21.7./91. (within diamond), and the doctor photographed it. Mr. Wells returned at sundown with a favorable report on the country. One or two good rockholes and some natives. Mr. Wells saw many fresh tracks of natives on our pad. He had struck in on the east side of Mount Gosse, and followed our pad. Max. temp. 71°, min. temp. 26°. At 9 a.m., ther. 55°, bar. 28.45; 3 p.m., ther. 71°, bar. 28.40.

Thursday, July 23rd.—The camels having been tied down all night an early start was made back for the last rockhole, Gwynne and all the Afghans except Mahmoud Azim going, their instructions being to fill all the empty water casks and then give the camels a drink, Mr. Leech having given it as his opinion that there was sufficient water there. They are to return to-morrow. Mr. Wells busy writing me a report of his flying trip. Adjusted the loading. Soled my boots with green hide. In the evening Mr. Wells and I ascended Skirmish Hill and I took with the theodolite a round of magnetic bearings. The group of hills which Mr. Gosse named the Blyth Range are clearly discernible, but do not present the appearance of a continuous. range as shown on his plan. The position assigned to the range is fairly correct, but as the group cannot in any sense be called a range I have taken the liberty of altering the name to the Blyth Hills, and calling the principal hill Mount Agnes. Having obtained bearings to four trigonometrical stations we shall have again an absolutely correct starting point. As we have to examine a portion of block B near here I shall go west and establish a depôt at Fort Mueller, or Barlee Springs, from which to detach light parties north and south again. Another advantage of visiting these waters will be that I shall have a means of judging whether any reliance can be placed on the waters on Forrest's track. So far the only waters are rockholes, and we have not seen a place where we could stop for two months if it were necessary. Our caravan is much too large for this country in a season like this. Max. temp. 68°, min. temp. 25°. At 9 a.m. ther. 51°, bar. 28.54; 3 p.m., ther. 65°, bar. 28.45.

Friday, July 24th.—The camels returned in the evening with the casks full, but there were only eight buckets left for the camels. Gwynne said that the Afghans used two buckets of water to wash their clothes, thus depriving the animals of that much. Hadji lost his temper when I asked him if he did so. Said nothing to me, but they all got excited and had a big talk amongst themselves. They told me they used about three-quarters of a bucket to have a wash in. These men are frequently rowing between themselves, and all seem to hate Hadji. Working at loading and plans. Made a road by shifting rocks to enable the camels to get to the water. Cold south wind. Gwynne reported having seen some natives at the rockhole. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 24°. At 9 a.m., ther. 52°, bar. 28.57; 3 p.m., ther. 67°, bar. 28.47. Lat. 26° 23' 51", var. 2.22 E.

Saturday, July 25th.—Sent all the camels to the rockhole, which only yielded 3galls. each. It was a slow job watering them, as the water had to be carried some distance over smooth rocks. They returned to camp at 11.20, when we at once loaded up and started at 12.20 up Moses' Creek, 286° for three miles from the marked tree, and 310° for six miles over sandhills and along sandy spinifex and mulga plains. The country is better than east of Skirmish Hill, more bushes, though terribly dry. We camped at 5.30 at foot of low granite outcrops with sandhills intervening; quartz reels. I found a rockhole with but little water in it. Fair feed, some waterbush. I brought in about 300lbs. weight of it from some rocks two miles away. Cool day, south wind. Camp 28. Lat. 26° 18' 50". Distance, twelve miles. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 26°. At 9 a.m., ther. 51°, bar., 28.62; 3 p.m., ther. 66°, bar. 28.39.

Sunday, July 26th.—Ther. 28°, cold, calm. Camp 28. The camels had scattered, and it was 10.30 before all were brought in. We had been cleaning out the rockhole and draining the water into canvas troughs. After going down left, and removing a great deal of mullock, we were rewarded by getting in all 100galls. of water, camels thus having 2½galls. each. This is the third rockhole we have absolutely emptied in the last three days. This hole is almost circular, 4ft. diameter, and 10ft. deep. We only travelled emptied miles over an improving country. More acacia, mulga, and mallee, spinifex not so thick. Numerous fresh native tracks. Max. temp. 64°, min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m., ther. 53°, bar. 28.32; 3 p.m., ther. 63°, bar. 28.30.

Mr. Wells handed me a written report of his last trip, as follows, being an exact copy of his journal:—

[L.A. Wells' Journal, July, 10 - 20 (Search to S.W. for water)]

"July 10th.—Aneroid at 9 a.m., 28.300; ther. 50°. Westerly breeze, showery; 1650ft. above sea level. Left Camp No. 17 at 10.15 a.m., accompanied by:Ramsay and one Afghan, taking five camels, two pair water casks (160galls.) and rations for three weeks. Bearing from Mount Watson 210°, at three miles entered continuous ridges of red sand, generally hearing from 290° to 300° mag. Clothed with open acacia (wattle bush), low ti-tree, and other bushes and triodia, from twenty to forty chains apart. Flats of scattered mulga, acacia. mallee, and few bushes covered with triodia. Very little grass. Few mulga belts, few bloodwoods. At fifteen miles crossed high point, 1,425ft. above sea level. Camped at 5 p.m. on flat between sand ridges.

"July 10th.—Aneroid at 5 p.m., 28.600; ther. 56°; 1,300ft. above sea level. Distance travelled, about eighteen miles. Tied the camels down at 7 p.m.

"July 11th.—Let camels go at 6 a.m. Breakfast. Made start at 7.30 a.m. Travelled over country similar to yesterday. At three miles passed numerous outcrops of limestone and flint. Saw tracks of natives, about two months old. At seven miles crossed a low flat 1,175ft. above sea level. Large casuarinas here. At nine miles the sand ridges were much lower. Flats of red loam and ferruginous gravel, belts of mulga and grass. Desert gums, mallee, triodia, acacia, ti-tree, and other bushes, as yesterday. Camped at noon to feed camels and lunch. Distance travelled, about twelve miles. left again at 1 p.m. At thirteen and half miles limestone rise, with large casuarinas and broombushes. At fifteen miles ironstone outcrop (selected specimen for the geologist). At seventeen miles noticed where natives had been recently digging for grubs. Also (long) rise of sandstone and ironstone formation, with dense casuarinas, mulga, and bushes. Reached the highest point at 4 p.m.—1,650ft. above sea level. Numerous desert gums, few acacias and currant bushes, few poplars, dense triodia; no grass. Camped at this point, on flat between ridges. Travelled nineteen miles. Aneroid at 4.5 p.m., 21.610 [sic]; ther., 67°. Moderate breeze from south-west; warm, clear sky. Country similar as far as eye can reach. Higher sand ridges to the south-east and east. Took check bearing to Mount Watson and camp 17—30° mag.; made sketch from here. Noticed evidences of natives having been in the locality not long since. Observed for latitude 27° 47' 43". Tied camels down at 7.15 p.m. Marked a kurrajong tree at camp (the only one seen since leaving camp 17) E.E.E./L.A.W./11.7.91. (within diamond). The tree is 18in. in diameter.

"July 12th.—Let the camels go at 5 a.m. Breakfast. Made start at 7.25 a.m. on same bearing, passing over open red sand ridges (continuous). Numerous desert gums in flats and on ridges, some being 3ft. in diameter. Scattered kurrajong, acacia, quondong, and abundance of triodia everywhere. At three miles noticed track of a native not more than a week since. At eight miles reached lowest point—1,150ft. above sea level. Saw pines here; also scattered mallee and low ti-tree. Sand ridges and hills become steeper from here, and very jumbled and broken. All miserable country this morning. Camped for lunch at 12.30 p.m. At fifteen miles sandstone outcrop in gully similar to that passed over during morning, except belts of mulga and little grass. Reached highest point at 3.50 p.m.—1,625ft. above sea level (eighteen miles). Saw several fresh tracks of natives (to-day's). Camped at 4 p.m., on flat under top of ridge. Bar., 28.325; ther. 65°. Moderate breeze from south-west; very few light clouds. Travelled about eighteen miles to-day. Have seen no kurrajongs since noon to-day. Noticed several parrots, crows, two cockatoos (white), black magpies, minahs, kangaroo and other rats; also old tracks of emu and kangaroo. From this point could see for great distance, say, twenty miles west, and forty miles east, south-east, and south. All apparently of same class, but lower towards the south. Tied camels down at 7 p.m. Observed for latitude 28° 1' 58".

"June 13th.—Let camels go at 5 a.m. Breakfast. Left camp at 7 a.m. and returned, accompanied by Ramsay, leaving the Afghan in camp, to where we saw the fresh native tracks. Followed them in a south? easterly direction for about two miles and came upon the recent camp of at least a dozen natives. They could not have left more than a day ago, green boughs being plentiful. Saw numbers of old camping places. Examined the vicinity, and found at the south side of a low sand ridge a sandstone outcrop, with a rockhole, which was half full of water; would hold 200galls. when full. Watered our riding camels with waterproof sheeting and quart pots (4galls. each). Made traverse to fix the position. Returned to camp at 9.45 a.m. Aneroid 28.375, ther. 60°; slight S.W.. breeze, clear sky; frost last night. Gave the pack camels 3galls. of water apiece from our kegs. Made start at 10.15 a.m. on same course (210°), passing over miserable jumble of red sand ridges. Saw a few sandstone outcrops, desert gums, acacias, mallee, pines, mulga, triodia. At five miles camped for lunch; 12.30 p.m. Saw a few tracks of natives just after leaving camp. Crossed low flat, 1,275ft., at six miles; at seven miles, high point, 1,375ft. Saw smokes from here bearing 224° long distance, and 226°, about twelve miles. Passed over miserable jumble of ridges the whole afternoon. Red sandhills, open scattered desert gums, acacia, mulga scrub, low ti-tree, few quondong, dense triodia, destitute of grass. Had difficulty in getting camels along to-day. Camped at 4 p.m., having travelled about eleven miles on course to-day. Barometer at 4 p.m., 28.700, ther. 65°; 1,220ft. above sea level; S.W. breeze, sky half covered with heavy clouds. Tied camels down at 7 p.m.

"July 14th.—Few light showers fell last night. Let camels go at 4.20 a.m. Breakfast. Made start at 7.30 a.m. on same course, passing over same class of country as yesterday. At three miles passed old wurleys on rise, and immediately afterwards came upon basin in sandhills, with a splendid rockhole at south side of sandhill. Open portion 4ft. in diameter, and extends under the sandstone rock for a great way. I pushed a stick under for 10ft. and could not find the other end. Watered all the camels, and as there was good feed here let them pick for an hour instead of staying for lunch. Aneroid here at 9 a.m., 28.825, ther. 56°; 1,100ft. above sea level. Calm, and fog just clearing off. A few mulga and currant bushes near the rockhole. Left here at 9.50 a.m. At half a mile came upon a temporary camp of natives and saw their hunting implements there and a fire burning. They had evidently gone out hunting. At one mile surprised a young lubra, who ran away. I called to her, but she would not stay. At a mile and a half came upon another temporary camp, where we surprised an old lubra who was cooking opossum. She cried out and ran away, with a wooden dish Upon her head, setting up a most pitiful wail, which she kept up for some time. The ether lubra answered her several times. We touched nothing in either camp, and kept on our bearing. At three miles passed a low flat 1,000ft. above sea level. At five miles a high point 1,275ft. above sea level. At six miles top of ridge, 1,250ft. above sea level. At twelve miles camped on south-east side of sand ridge at 3 p.m., the camels being very tired and sulky. Travelled about sixteen miles to-day. Can see from here for a great distance to the west and south-west, say thirty or forty miles; all apparently sand ridges. High ridge at three miles on bearing 210°, 1,350ft. above sea level. Can see for about fifteen miles on this bearing; all similar country. Country passed over to-day similar to yesterday, all of a wretched nature—jumble of sandhills, and very uneven for travelling, dense triodia, open desert gums, mallee, acacia, quondong, mulga, casuarina, low ti-tree and other bushes; very little grass. Barometer at camp at 3 p.m. 28.685, ther. 60°. Slight southerly breeze, sky half clouded, and few drops rain. Marked a desert gum on south-east side of sand ridge E.E.E./L.A.W.,/14.7.91. within diamond. Observed for latitude 28° 22' 12". Tied camels down at 7 p.m.

"July 15th.—Heavy dew and frost last night. Let camels go at 5.30 a.m. Very little feed. Made start bearing 350° mag. at 7.15 a.m. At eight miles low point 900ft. above sea level, and sandstone outcrops here. At eleven miles camped on ridge for lunch, as there was some herbage (waterbush) for the camels. Noticed several tracks of natives which had been made just before the last showers. Left at 12.30 p.m., and at sixteen miles passed an outcrop, and several others further on, of ironstone, and a quartzite(?); took specimens for the geologist. Travelled over similar country all day to that of yesterday, except little more mulga in gullies and dry grass. Camped after gradually rising all day at 4 p.m., after travelling nineteen miles. Aneroid at camp at 4 p.m. 28.625, therm. 62°. Calm. Sky half clouded with rain clouds. At midday camp I could see for a great distance to the south, say, for thirty miles. Saw several native tracks, but those of before the last showers, one fresh emu pad, parrots, kangaroo rats, and other kinds. Tied camels down at 6.30 p.m.

"July 16th.—Slight dew last night. Let camels go at 4 a.m. Made start at 7.30 a.m. At one mile reached highest point, 1,350ft. above sea level. At five miles a gully, 1,080ft. At six and a half miles top 1,275ft. above sea level. At seven miles came upon a gully among sand ridges with few mulga and currant bushes, very few saltbush, and fair herbage, few quondong, acacia bushes, and mulga on sand ridges. There splendid rockhole here in sandstone outcrop, 6ft. diameter, exposed, and 3ft. deep; extends under rock for 8ft., full of good water. Watered all the camels here, and let them feed on herbage for an hour. Got away again at 11.45. At eight miles low gully 1,125ft., and at nine miles top 1,255ft. At ten miles surprised to see distinct track of a bullock (made not more than three months since) apparently after rain, and going in a south-easterly direction. Smoke north-east from here, and about three miles off. At thirteen miles highest point 1,300ft. above sea level. Camped at foot of same at 4.30 p.m. Aneroid at camp 28.660, ther. 64°. Slight south-west breeze; few light clouds. Passed over miserable country all day. similar to that of past two days except mulga is now getting much denser in flats of red loam, with ferruginous gravel and a few out­crops of ironstone. Noticed many tracks of natives to-day, also several fresh emu tracks. No feed for camels here except mulga; tied them down at 6 p.m. Observed for latitude and found same agree exactly with traverse, 27° 50' 3".

"July 17th.—Let camels go at 4 a.m. Made start on same bearing at 7.30 a.m. Passed over loamy flat and ferruginous gravel for first three miles; saw a little saltbush in this flat, and a place where natives had once camped (old). At six miles top of ridge 1,000ft. above sea level. Saw small claypans (dry) with saltbush around. Same at half mile to north-west and north, with outcrops of sandstone. Many old wurleys here recently deserted, and fresh tracks of natives. At thirteen miles camped for lunch on small patch of acacia and currant bushes. Saw more tracks of natives here. Country this morning of low broken ridges of sand, clothed with dense spinifex and low ti-tree scrub, few mulga and desert gums, quondong, and very little acacia; occasional belts of dense mulga on loamy flats, and little poor grass. Passed over a great deal of burnt country this morning, apparently done last summer. Made start again at 1.25 p m., and at the mile ascended high point 1,000ft. above sea level. Belt of mulga and saltbush, stretching to north-east. At two miles entered plain of saltbush and open mulga, which stretched about three miles to the west, where sandhills were again visible. We crossed the plain at four miles, highest point 1,925ft. above sea level. Passed shallow dry clay-pans on this flat. Saw numbers of natives' tracks, also brush traps, erected for trapping wallabies or rats. Travelled on over low rides of sand with low ti-tree bushes, dense triodia, few scrub mulga, occasional desert gums, quondong, few acacia, and few belts of mulga, and poor dry grass, in loamy flats. Noticed limestone outcrops on saltbush plain, and sandstone and ironstone, during the day. Aneroid at camp at 4.30 p.m. (after travelling twenty miles for the day), 28.925, ther. 60°; calm, clear sky. Very little feed for camels. Tied them down at 6.30 p.m. Range to north now clearly seen. Hope to reach same to-morrow. Camp is about 1,000ft. above sea level.

"July 18th.—Very cold last night and slight frost. Let camels go at 5.30 a.m. Made start at 7.10 a.m. At 8.20 (two miles) came upon a loamy flat and little ironstone, with roley poley and mulga. Let the camels feed here for forty minutes. This morning could see for great distance to. west and W.S.W., all apparently low country, with occasional tops of sand ridges showing above the horizon. Left again at 9 a.m. At three miles, lowest flat 875ft., and at twelve miles highest point 1,060ft. above sea level. Took a bearing to highest point of scrubby range seen on 16th instant, 51° mag. Country passed over this morning of continuous open sand ridges, generally steep on south side, clothed with low tame bushes and triodia, few low mulga, quondong, acacia, and few poplars and mallee. Flats between of red sandy soil and loam, with spinifex; occasional dense belts of mulga. The ridges are from twenty to forty chains apart. Saw a few casuarina and numbers of kangaroo rats this morning. Made start again at 1 p.m., passing over similar country, with few bloodwoods. At 4 p.m. reached range, which is of sandstone. Aneroid at foot (camp), 28.700, ther. 64°; south-east breeze, clear sky; 1,225ft. above sea level. This range is timbered with pines and mulga. Gave the camels 4galls. of water apiece from kegs; tied them down at 6.30 p.m. Observed for lat. 27° 15' 54". Camp about fifteen chains north from most easterly end of range. Found no water here this evening. Saw several old native camps. To-day we passed over a great many burnt flats, apparently done last summer. Travelled nineteen miles to-day.

"July 19th.—Let camels go at 3.40 a.m. Made start at. 7.15 a.m. Ascended to top of range, 1,375ft. above sea level. Took bearings to several hills, and can see prominent range on our bearing, which I presume must be the Blyth Ranges; 110° 30', to highest point of scrubby range sketched yesterday, five miles off; also bearing of both these ranges. This one runs one mile to the east and two miles to westward; also bearing to camp, forty chains distant; 47° 45', to high prominent range thirty miles off; 345°, highest point seen in Blyth Range; 353° 30', prominent top of range; 292°, top one mile off; 170°, top three-quarters of a mile off. Left on same bearing at 7.15 a.m., passing over similar country to yesterday, except flats (loamy in places, with dense mulga), being larger, from twenty to sixty chains apart. Saw a few kurrajongs at noon, when we camped for lunch, after travelling eleven miles. Fresh track of native here going to westward. Left again at 12.55 p.m., passing over same description of country. At sixteen and a half miles passed small shallow clay-pan, and at seventeen miles camped on good saltbush, This patch, with mulga, is half a mile across, stretching east and west. Aneroid at 3.30 a.m., 28.600, ther. 64°. Moderate breeze from N.E. Clear sky. Ascended sandhill near camp during evening to look for smoke, Mr. Lindsay having said he would light a fire on this date to let me know the position of their camp; could see no sign. Expect to cut tracks of camels to-morrow morning. To-day I noticed several outcrops of limestone and flint, and small ferruginous stones.

"July 20th.—Let camels go at 3 a.m. Very cold; ther. 36°. At 7.15 a.m. made start on same bearing. and passing over similar country to yesterday, some of the ridges being very steep on south side. Reached the range at 10.30 a.m., distant eight miles. Found the pad of the caravan, having passed to westward, which I followed until the evening of the 22nd, when I reached the party two miles north-east of Skirmish Hill, in latitude, by Mr. Lindsay, 26° 23' 51". During my absence from the party I travelled each of the thirteen days. and covered a distance of 240 miles, all over miserable sand ridges, finding water was a great assistance to the camels. They do not do well in that class of country. Seeing so many tracks of natives leads me to believe that there are many more rockholes in these sand ridges. The natives had only visited one of those found by me (the first) for some time, and that for one night. The others were full of water, and had not been used for at least twelve months. I also saw many smokes from their hunting fires. The existence of the bullock track I cannot account for, but do not think it had been long amongst the sand ridges, probably it had strayed from some very distant run. There are apparently many natives in this locality. Ever since cutting the caravan pad we have seen all along it fresh tracks of natives going either way—of men, women, and children, some of them leaving the pad and going towards the south and west."

July, 1891 (resume 2)]

Monday, July 27th.—Ther. 37°. Cloudy, cold; strong south-east wind. Camp 29. I went on bearing 175° to a granite hill four miles distant. No water. Then turned to go for Mount Morphett, and in two miles saw some rocks on the right, a likely place for a rockhole. Went to them, and found a hole, the entrance to it being blocked by a large boulder. The hole is about 8ft. deep, with about 100galls. in it, very difficult to get at; but I managed to water Misery with my leather riding cloth. Bearings to Skirmish Hill, 109°; the hill I visited, 143°, distant two and a half mules; Borrow's Hill, 269. This is the third rockhole discovered inside other explorers' tracks, which they missed. The caravan made on for diorite hills, where I overtook them. Distance thirteen miles, the last two being through very good country—clayey soil, mulga and good stock bushes, dead roley poley, saltbush, and grass, but all very dry. We then turned northwards two and a half miles to foot of Cavenagh Ranges to find Fort Mueller. Camped on very good feed, Mitchell grass plains, saltbush, &c. We saw distinctly at one place the wheel marks of Gosse's dray. Few fresh native tracks; kangaroos. A. very good stock country, but extremely dry. No rain can have fallen for very many months. Where the hills have been burnt the waterbush is very luxuriant. By observation we found we are on the latitude of Fort Mueller, but no "remarkable peak" is to be seen. Camp 30. Lat. 26° 11' 49". Max. temp. 63°, min. temp. 37°. At 9 a.m., ther. 49°, bar. 28.36; 3 p.m., ther. 63°, bar. 28.42. Distance—Caravan, fifteen and a half; I, twelve=twenty-seven and a half miles.

Tuesday, July 28th.—Camp 60°. Ther. 34°. Cold. East wind. Mr. Wells found a few buckets of water in a small creek about one mile. west from the camp; this is where the natives are getting their water. They have duo. a hole in the pipeclay, and the water slowly, very slowly, drains in and fills it. We proceeded along the range westward to find Fort Mueller. The descriptions given of the locality are not very lucid, and it is more difficult to find than would be imagined. We climbed a big broken granite and diorite hill, and saw a pile of stones on top of a hill on the north side of a valley, which we supposed must be Forrest's "remarkable peak". We all went around the west end of this hill, and found a broad valley, with a large watercourse coming from the eastward. Mr. Wells climbed the mountain; I was not able to, my leg and back being so weak. It was very high, quite 700ft. Mr. Wells reported that it could not be the hill we expected, and from the appearance of the country he thought we should follow up the valley we had crossed. As we were returning we found a tree marking Gosse's 14 depôt G/O/S/14 (encircled), showing that Mr. Wells had been on top of Mount Cooper (Gosse). It is a peculiar fact that though three explorers (Gosse, Giles, and Forrest) had been here, yet they had not fixed the same hill or joined their work. Forrest had seen Giles' tree, but no fixing was given of it. We followed up the valley, instructing the caravan to wait for us. Soon found Giles' tree, a bloodwood, on the northern bank of the watercourse. Seeing a well-beaten horsepad leading up the gully, we continued. up, and found the creek as dry as a bone. No sign of water; no likely looking place for a spring—just a rocky gorge with the creek bed full of great crooked ti-tree. Nothing very remarkable about the rocks. Mr. Forrest's remarkable peak is a round peak, the top being formed of broken diorite, but as the bill does not show up until you are quite close it is of no assistance to anyone looking for Fort Mueller. Had we crossed over the range from our last night's camp we should have come right into the gorge. Returned to the caravan, and camped at the entrance to the valley. Very good country. Friable reddish clay loam, mulga, acacias, saltbush, Mitchell grass, roley poley, waterbush, &c.; kangaroos. The country is in an extremely dry state. Distance—caravan, eight; I, eight=sixteen miles. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., ther. 47°, bar. 28.45; 3 p.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.46. Camp 31. Lat. 26° 10' 48"; var. 2.15 east. "The Cavenagh Ranges consist of hornblendic rocks, i.e., genuine diorite, hornblendic quartz, diorite schist, and aphanitic diorite."—V.S.

Wednesday, July 29th.—Mr. Wells and doctor went south ten miles to Borrow's Hill to take a round of bearings with the theodolite, and to look for water. Leech and Gwynne went to examine some likely looking gullies, and open out the small water found by Mr. Wells. I, accompanied by Ramsay, left camp at 9.50, and went 273° for nine miles to two kurrajong hills; no water; then 348° for six miles to Lightning Rock of Giles, at which we found a rockhole full of debris, but I pushed a stick in 3ft. below the surface of the water. Impossible to estimate the quantity of water. Walked around to the north-west side of the hill, and there saw the native well found by Mr. Tietkens when he and Mr. Giles were making back to their depôt at Fort Mueller in 1872. It is a large rockhole full of blown sand, into which the natives have dug, say, 10ft. or 12ft., and a little water is showing. I do not think there is very much, as the rocks having sloping sides must soon meet. Camped. Sixteen miles. The country to-day consists of sand ridges irregular with flats between, in which are numerous small hillocks of limestone, spinifex, acacia, salicina, mulga, bloodwood, with very luxuriant waterbush on the burnt sandhills. At camp 31. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 ther. 54°, bar. 28.46; 3 p.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.46. Height 1,517ft. above sea level.

Thursday, July 30th.—S.E. wind; clear; warmer than usual. From top of Lightning Rock 279° 30', to Mount Bust; 290°, granite outcrop, eight miles. probably rockhole: 296°, Mount Rawlinson; 223° around hill, twenty-five miles; 240°, Mount Squires. Eight miles on bearing 290° over few sandhills, spinifex, and thick mulga in patches took us to a granite outcrop, with fresh native, emu, and kangaroo tracks. Fifteen chains from the hill and bearing 10° I found a very nice rockhole, containing, perhaps, 200galls. of water or more—forty chains from the top of the biggest hill. This is a new rockhole missed by the other explorers. Changed our course to 275° for some rocks. Saw numerous fresh native tracks; they are living on these rockholes. Six miles we came to the granite rocks and turned south for half a mile and found a circular shaped cavity in the rock, in which I think is a good deal of water, but much debris; 225°, three miles through very dense mulga took us to the immense rockhole of John Forrest. We found a considerable quantity of water and some good waterbush. Camped for tea, but as the natives were numerous we went three miles out on the plain on bearing 115°, and camped at a big acacia bush. Distance for the day, twenty­one miles; and we had good luck in finding two new rockholes, besides getting to Forrest's rockhole. Just before reaching the second hole, Bob called out, "Here is the niggers' camp; fire's alight, and there is a dingo. By jove, there is a nigger behind that bush." I turned and saw an old man who had evidently been asleep; he was too feeble to run away. I gave him some tobacco, a red handkerchief, and some bread. Pointing over to the rocks he said "Kapi." After looking at the rockhole we climbed on top of the rocks and saw smokes arising in the direction of our tracks, showing that some of the natives out hunting had crossed them. Presently we saw four or five coming towards the camp, making fires, but they were afraid to come right in. At last we got tired of waiting. so showed ourselves, and waved our handkerchiefs; the niggers took one steady look at us and ran off along the edge of the mulga thicket, which surrounds these rocks. After waiting for some time we went down into the mulga, to get speech with them, if possible. We got quite close to a party—the old man, a young man, his wife, and two small boys. They did not see us until I called out "Wiya. itchura" (I will not hurt you), when, after one glance at us, they all, except the old man, threw down what they were carrying and ran off in different directions as fast as they could; the man knocked down the boys in his hurry to get away. The mulga was too dense for pursuit, so we returned to the foot of the hill, and on the south-west side found a small rockhole, dry. We then rode south-westerly for the other rocks. At the first pile of rocks we came to I heard a child crying in the direction of another granite outcrop, fifteen chains distant; proceeded in that direction, and saw some natives sitting by their fires. I slipped off my camel and gave the reins to Bob, while I went on foot, hoping thus not to frighten them, but immediately on seeing me, 70yds. away, they all jumped up and, snatching up their children, ran off to the rocks, leaving an ancient dame, whose skin was wrinkled over her body in many hundreds of lines. She like the old man we had seen at the last camp was unable to run away, and I suppose thought she had "lived her life", and death sooner or later now mattered not. I approached her speaking in her own tongue, gave her tobacco and a red handkerchief. She told me "Kapi, naiennunni" (water, sit down), and pointed to the rocks near by. This is rather a large camp, and, with the last camp, judging by the tracks and sleeping places, contains considerably over fifty natives. The camps are not permanent. It is evident that we have got into a thicker populated country, and I think the waters already found will do for a depôt but there will be none to spare. After we had examined the rockhole, which was a good one, but not so large as from the description I had expected to find. I climbed up on the rocks and met a lubra, impelled by curiosity, coming around by a big rock. She did not wait to answer any questions, but was off like a scared wallaby. Kangaroo tracks numerous. Day's travelling—290°, eight and a half miles; 275°, six miles, south half-mile; 225°, three miles; 115° three miles=twenty-one miles. With the caravan. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., ther. 58°, bar. 28.46; at 3 p.m., ther. 66°, bar. 28.32.

Friday, July 31st.—Last night closed in cloudy, and this morning broke as though there was rain to the south. Wind south. As the day advanced the clouds spread, and at midday light rain was falling away to the east. Passed at the north foot of Mount Blyth a garnetiferous granite hill. At fourteen miles we stopped to give the camels a feed of waterbush, of which there is a considerable quantity on the burnt patches. This plant is a Godsend to the camels. I believe they could easily go a month without water if they had this bush every day. It grows as high as 8ft. At twenty-five miles reached the camp. Mr. Wells reported having found a good rockhole twelve miles south, near Borrow's Hill, whose capacity is about 7,000galls. Mr. Gosse had missed this fine water. The camels having been fourteen days with only 5½galls. of water each, I will send them down there to-morrow. Max. temp., 60°, min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m., ther. 52°, bar. 28.37; at 3 p.m., ther. 57°, bar. 28.31. Mr. Wells took a round of bearings from Borrow's Hill with the theodolite. The hill is 2,150ft. above sea level, and Mr. Wells' journals read as follows:—"Borrow's Hill, which is the highest of a group of granite hills, is 2,150ft. above sea level. Proceeded to granite outcrop, bearing 266° 57', distant two miles, and found a large rockhole nearly dry. It would hold 7,000galls. when full. Camped here. Camp is 1,500ft. above sea level; 650ft. below summit of Borrow's Hill. There are a number of native drawings on the granite outcropping rocks near the rockhole. Saw some recent tracts of natives. Rode all around the hill but found no more water, although I saw a dry rockhole bearing 333° 55' from Borrow's Hill. Dr. Elliot copied the native drawings."

August, 1891]

Saturday, August 1st.—Camp 31, at foot of Mount Cooper, Cavenagh Ranges. Ther. 24°; cold south wind. Mr. Leech took the camels down to the rockhole discovered by Mr. Wells near Borrow's hill. The camels only drank 9galls. each and left water in the hole. Leech returned at sundown, but the caravan did not arrive. Hobble-making, pointing the steel bar; plans and journals. Max. temp. 67°, min. temp. 24°. At 9 a.m., ther. 52°, bar. 28.44: 3 p.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.37.

Sunday, August 2nd.—Camp 31. Cold heavy fog; south-east wind. Camels came early, and we got.away at 9.40. going west to Mount Blyth. Camped on excellent feed at 2.40, twelve miles; warm sun, pleasant. Most of us have headaches. Gwynne says he is terribly bad, and he must lie down; probably it is the kangaroo meat we have been eating for the last few days. Yet Mr. Wells complains, and he has eaten no meat. The travelling to-day was for four miles through mulga, and grass, clayey loam, then sandhills, spinifex, valleys, with limestone outcrops, bloodwoods, gums, quondong, acacia, waterbush, &c. Good camel country, but wretched for other stock. Max. temp. 78°, min. temp. 32°. At 9 a.m., ther. 47°, bar. 28.42; 3 p.m. ther. 70°, bar. 21.43. When travelling through the limestone, which was very rough and sharp, Mr. Helms would ride straight on, and I had to ask him to avoid the stones as much as possible.

Monday, August 3rd.—Camp 32. Ther. 22°; dew and ice. East wind, clear. Started at 8.30. One of the camels sick. Gwynne better. At noon we passed Mount Blyth, with good feed, roley poley in big green bunches, waterbush, &c. At 3 p.m. reached Forrest's rockhole and camped. At 2 o'clock we saw two smokes north and north-east, also one to the south, evidently signals, as one appeared immediately after the other, and only lasted a few minutes. Fresh native tracks. After dark we could, from the camp, see the files of the natives camp at the rockhole discovered by me the other day about eight miles distant. The fires are numerous. All the natives must have collected there; if so they will not leave much water. North wind in the afternoon. Distance fifteen and a half miles. Camp 33; depôt 2, 1,565ft. above sea level. Trees marked by Forrest and Mills. Max. temp., 79°, min. temp. 23°. At 9 a.m., ther. 57°, bar. 28.32; at 3 p.m., ther. 73°, bar. 28.27.

Tuesday, August 4th.—Camp 33. Mr. Wells, with Bob and Mahmoud Azim, five camels, 80galls. of water, and one month's rations, started for a trip southerly in search of water. I and Mr. Streich accompanied them to Mount Squires, twelve miles distant, taking the theodolite to get a round of bearings. We passed through level mulga and spinifex country, with occasional outcrops of broken granite, on which are growing pine trees. At the north foot of Mount Squires I saw the track of an emu going towards the mount, and two crows flew in that direction. I followed the track, which led me up a nice gum creek. A native had also gone up that way. I went as far as I could get the camels, but saw no water. There are evidences of a rain having fallen here a month or two ago, and I suppose there is a rockhole somewhere. At the east foot of the mount, which is at the south end of the Barrow Ranges, there was some fresh waterbush and roley poley, so we camped. Mr. Wells, Streich, and I ascended the mount, which is 2,270ft. high (680ft. above the camp). Saw a native smoke spring up about twenty miles distant. A curious deviation of the needle was noticeable. The hill is of syenite, and the theodolite was set up on a large boulder. The smoke burst up just before the theodolite was levelled. I asked Mr. Wells to take a bearing with his compass in case the smoke should die away before I was ready. He did so, and said 212° 30'. I read the theodolite 207°. Mr. Wells was standing close against the instrument. I then read my compass on the opposite side of the theodolite, and it read 207° We then exchanged compasses, and he read 212°, and I 207°. Then he came on my side and read his compass 207°. Ten yards forward (S.) the compasses both read 220° Fifty yards further on both read 218°. Twenty yards back from the theodolite both read 218°. Very strange that 2ft. on the same rock should give such a difference. A round of magnetic bearings were taken with theodolite, the needle being very much affected. The country to the south is apparently stony and undulating, with dense belts of mulga and numerous sand ridges. Going down the watercourse from the hill I noticed that some of the drift wood was recent; bushes, say, two or three months old. We may be getting out of the dry belt and into country where rain has fallen. I hope it may prove to be so, as then our onward course will be made easy. When we returned to camp Bob said two natives had been on the rocks close to camp, but he could not get speech with them. Am glad to see them, because there must be water near. I will have a look round this hill to-morrow. I am sorry to hear from Mahmoud that the Afghans' meat supply is getting short. This is extremely annoying. Only half the time out. This is one of the troubles with Afghans: you cannot control their meat. The clay was hot. No wind. Evening warmer than usual. Light north wind. At camp 33. Max. temp. 71°, min. temp. 25°. At 9 a.m., ther. 54°, bar. 28.37; 3 p.m., ther. 71°, bar. 28.27.

Wednesday, August 5th.—Thermometer with us 42°. At the depôt, twelve miles north, it was freezing. Started at 7.40, southerly, and in half a mile, found a watercourse leading east, and we bade good-bye to Mr. Wells, who would come back to the depôt via this camp, so that if we found any water at this hill he would be able to give his camels a drink if they wanted one. We followed up the watercourse, which was very rough and stony, and found about 500galls. or 700galls, of water in some rockholes half a mile up the creek. Mr. Streich went back to our camels for my towel, soap, and quart pots, while I searched farther up the creek. We indulged in the luxury of a bath. We then returned and left a note for Mr. Wells on a tree, and another under the fire at the camp, and also blazed a tree and wrote on it that he could get water by following up the creek. We then wound around the south foot of Mount Squires, through dense mulga, but did not find Mr. Giles' tank. Saw no birds, tracks of animals, or natives. At 1 o'clock we were clear of the range, and mounting our steeds (we had been leading them all the morning) rode fast over very good country—open mulga, with good grass, acacias, and saltbush—until 6.20, when we reached the camp, having only had two miles of spinifex. Native tracks numerous. Saw four separate smokes to the south and south-west, promising good luck for Mr. Wells. Found all well in camp, and that eleven natives had come in, friendly, but very frightened. While some members of the party were talking to them, and trying to establish friendly relations with them, Mr. Helms discharged both barrels of his gun into the air, thus effectually dispersing the poor creatures, and nothing would induce them to return. They camped in the dense mulga, about half a mile from our camp. Last night bright fires were burning at the hill, eight miles distant, but none to-night. Flocks of galars visit this rockhole, and the doctor had been making slaughter amongst them. Camp 33. Distance, twenty-four miles. Zodiacal lights visible last night.

Thursday, August 6th.—My camel had a drink on the 15th July, then on the 17th had another; since when, until to-day, he has only had two buckets of water, so that in twenty days he has only had 6galls., and by his appearance would have gone a week or two longer without a drink. Took him up to the rockhole and he only drank 12galls. Mr. Streich and I went over to the natives, taking only our revolvers, so that they would not be afraid. After some little difficulty we induced four men to come on the rocks to us, when we gave them four handkerchiefs, two knives, and some tobacco, thus, I hope, showing our friendly disposition towards them. They were very frightened and excited, and by their gesticulations. evidently wanted us to go away. We saw a few more natives dodging about amongst the mulga. Could not get any in formation from them, and could not induce them to sit down quietly for a chat. They kept. edging away off the rocks, and one old fellow worked himself up into quite a fever of excitement. Hadji and two men took the spare camels east to keep them on the green waterbush, it being arranged that he was to look out specially at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day, and if he saw a smoke at the camp he was to return at once. Mr. Leech and Abdul accompanied them to the rockhole, eight miles distant, where they would give their camels a drink, fill up their water casks, and then proceed to the north-west into block B to search for any traces of Gibson, the poor fellow who lost himself when returning from Mr. K Giles in 1872. When they were starting Hadji told me that he did not think the camel Bones, which had been sick for a week, would get better, and wanted to leave him in the camp. I gave instructions that if the natives showed up again they were to be very careful not to let them come into the camp. If they were hanging about, to keep watch, and that the camp was never to be left with less than two men in it. Dr. Elliot and I then left the camp to go as far west as time would. permit, looking at the waters discovered by John Forrest in 1874, promising to be back in ten or twelve days. We only took our riding camels and twelve days' water. We struck a native trail, which led us west over the Barrow Ranges, just about where. Mr. Forrest must have crossed it. When crossing the rocky saddle of the range we lost the trail and had much difficulty in picking it up on the other side, as the natives had separated and zigzagged about with the evident intention of baffling pursuit should they be followed. Although we lost some time, we were only able to make one mile, when the tracks went in all directions, some of them up into the hills. We camped. only six miles west of camp 33. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 24°. At 9 a.m., ther. 60°, bar. 28.35; 3 p.m. then. 71°; bar. 28.27. Faint zodiacal lights and many shooting stars.

Friday, August 7th.—Warm, clear, and calm. Climbed a hill of diorite. Tried to follow the native. tracks, but owing to their separating got confused; the last I saw were going E.S.E., a direction I do not. want to go, as I want to visit Barlee Springs, about nine miles to the westward. For some little distance we had hard clayey loam, with mulga and acacias; then the sandhills, clothed with spinifex, crossed our course. A. rough range lay along on our right hand. At about six miles we entered mulga, which extends up to the hills, and saw the track of one native going in our direction. Presently, where he had sent up a smoke, a woman's track joined his. A little further on another smoke had been sent up, and another native joined them. These tracks led us into the gully, and through some very extensive old native encampments. Then We came to the Bailee Springs, which in 1874 Mr. J. Forrest described as a "fine spring"; and now there is only a very small quantity of water to be had by digging in the debris which has filled up a rocky hole in the creek bed. As we were riding along the doctor saw a native up on the hill side. I climbed up the hill, and saw the pile of stones erected by Mr. Forrest. The natives attacked Mr. Forrest here. A native man with a very sore leg came down to us, showing but little fear of us. We gave him bread, tobacco, and a red handkerchief. Pointing to some hills on bearing 230° he said "Kapi kairo" (creek water); pointing to the Townsend ridges, which were in sight, he said, "Kapi nurtpa" (no water). The doctor did something to the. old fellow's leg, and we proceeded clown the creek, much disappointed with Barlee Springs, and found very good country—large gum trees, acacias, mulga, myall, bloodwood, mallee grass, roley poky. limestone ridges, few sand ridges clothed with spinifex. At 4.30 I climbed a low hill, and saw some prickly acacias ahead, to which we proceeded one-quarter of a mile and camped. Have not made much to-day, owing first to trying to follow the natives' tracks, then meeting the natives, and climbing the hill and searching up the creek for water. I think we are going to the shoeing camp of Mr. E. Giles, but it is difficult to recognise the country from the description given in his book without a plan, and I am not certain whether there are two hills bearing the one name, or whether his position and Mr. Gosse's agree. Mr. Gosse did not find the water at Giles' shoeing camp. At camp 33. Max. temp. 77°, min. temp. 25°. At 9 a.m., ther. 64°, bar. 28.34; 3 p.m., ther. 73°, bar. 28.25; faint zodiacal lights and many shooting stars.

Saturday, August 8th.—Clear, calm, colder. As we were riding along we saw on our right a thin blue column of smoke rising out of the mulga, and then a smoke sprang up a quarter of a mile ahead of us. We. hastened on to it, and picked up a native's track making for a gully in the range on our left. We followed it and found a pad leading through the range, but as soon as. we emerged on to the plain the pad died out, and although we searched about we could see no indications of water. Returning through the gully, we made across to where we had seen the first smoke rising, and there found where quite a large number of natives had slept last night, only about two miles from where we camped, unconscious of their close proximity. We followed their tracks, and in a gully in a low black range, very stony and covered with mulga, we found a very little water under a rock in the creek bed, this being the "Kapi kairo" of "The King of Barlee", as we designated the gentleman we met there. The doctor remained with the camels while I followed a distinct native trail over the hills and out on to the plain on the north side, where the fresh tracks separated. I returned, and we resumed our westerly journey along the range and camped on a few acacias at 5.10. Only made ten miles. Tracks of natives very numerous. We find the camels we are riding are both very slow, and wish we had Misery and Kangaroo, but these two wanted a spell, Misery (my camel) being very tender-footed. At camp 33. Max. temp. 73°, min. temp. 29°. At 9 a.m., ther. 59°, bar. 28.39; 3 p.m., ther. 70°, bar. 28.35. Strong whirlwinds at midnight. Two splendid meteors towards north.

Sunday, August 9th.—Clear, calm, warm. The camels ate very little last night. It is a curious fact that camels do not care to eat the third night without water, but want to have a drink and often make straight away if let loose. We proceeded on a bearing of 280° through dense mulga and spinifex for four miles; then 330° for two miles; then 280° again. At twelve and a half miles, having followed a native track for a mile, found a small granite cup (dry). At a hill about three-quarters of a mile slightly to the right we found a fine large rockhole, but the natives had yesterday drained the last drop of water out of it. The trail now being hot we followed it, and in two miles camped on good acacias. We wasted some time picking up the trail from the different camping places. Travelled about twenty miles. At camp 33. Max. temp. 70°; min. temp. 33°. At 9 a.m. ther. 55°, bar. 28.41; 3 p.m. ther. 68°, bar. 28.36.

Monday, August 10th.—Clear, calm, cool. Started north-west at 7.40. In one mile stopped to search for rockholes, as the old native encampments were very numerous; found a good hole, bat dry. At three miles further on saw a crow flying to some rocks half a mile south-west, to which we proceeded, and found that the natives had camped here last night. We found a well 18ft. deep in a great basin in the granite rocks, which was full of earth. There was very little water, the natives having obtained their drinks by putting a bunch of fibre on a stick, pushing it into the water, and then sucking the fibre. This was shown by my seeing the stick and the fibre in a crevice in the side of the well. I was unable to get any water with a pannican. Great numbers of galas (pink cockatoo) came here to drink. The doctor shot a few. This is the spring or native well which Mr. Forrest discovered after searching all through these ranges (the Warburton) in 1874, and which he thought would make a good depôt for his party if necessary. The old camps of the natives are more numerous around here than we have seen anywhere else. The natives had split up from here and gone in all directions—followed the trail of a few towards Mount Harvest. This is a very good pastoral country, but suffering from a prolonged drought; open mulga, good grasses, saltbush, and acacias. When we got in amongst the hills the travelling became painfully slow, owing to the broken stony nature of the hills. At about six miles we decided that, having been five days out and that to go to the Sutherland Ranges would take us five days longer, with no prospect of getting any water there—as Mr. Forrest found none permanent—we should follow down a creek in these ranges and have a look for water there, as we saw a smoke bearing 140°. We considered it very improbable that there would be any water at Alexandria Spring, 170 miles further west, as we had found the splendid springs at Fort Mueller and Barlee dry; then this last spring also, and all the rock holes empty, showing no rain had fallen here for years. Farther than that, I recollect that Mr. Mills, in 1883, had a hard push for his life, owing to one of the springs on Forrest's track having failed, and and I fancy it must have been Alexander Spring. We followed the Elder Creek from its head right out on to the plain—a local thunderstorm had fallen just on that creek some months back—but we could find no sign of water. Saw a dead gum tree, of which there were a great many, marked E. GILES,/73 showing the spot where Mr. Giles had found a little water in 1873; but no sign of any now, Fine gum trees and prickly acacias. Nice grazing country. Followed up some of the gorges and climbed amongst the rocks, but no water. Camped on the edge of the plain. The first rockhole seen was an immense one. At camp 33. Max. temp. 79°, min. temp. 25°. At 9 a.m. ther. 57°, bar. 28.33; 3 p.m. ther. 70°, bar. 28.17.

Tuesday, August 11th.—Wind north-east. Clear and cold. I slept a little later than usual, having had my eyes covered up to protect them from the cold wind. Few clouds in the south and south-west. I hope it is raining down there. Wind veered to north and blew very strong. We searched about amongst. the ranges and came to the natives' smoke, but saw no sign of water; then steered for Burke Spring, making a distance of twenty-two miles for the day. Barometer very low, 28.84. At camp 33. Max. temp. 79°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m. ther. 64°, bar. 28.17; 3 p.m. ther. 75, bar. 28.10.

Wednesday, August 12th.—Clear, calm, warm, lightning in the south. Our course took us over spinifex sandhills, with small patches of waterbush here and there. As we were travelling along I noticed the fresh track of a native, and presently from behind us we heard a call. Looking back we saw a black man, who came fearlessly towards us with his spears in his hand. I laid my camel down, and tried to induce him to get on, but failed. He pointed to Shoeing Camp and Barlee Spring for water and natives. He travelled along with us for a few miles, and then seemed unwilling to go any further, so we camped, having done eighteen miles, thinking he might stay with us all night and go on next day and show us some waters in this neighborhood. We gave him his supper, which he was not at all eager to eat. Sugar took his fancy most. How differently we are faring with the natives to Forrest and Giles. They were attacked or had trouble with them, while we are establishing friendly relations on every occasion. Just before dark the nigger grew very restless and could not be persuaded to stay with us. Of course it was no use using force to detain him. If we had the caravan here I would have tied him up and carried him along to show us the waters in this drought-stricken region. Our camels know where the water is and do not care to feed. They are very thirsty, as the weather has been hot. To day a strong hot north and north-west wind has been blowing. A few clouds. Oh for a shower of rain! Forrest and Giles said when here in 1873 and 1874 "Oh for camels, how easy I would get through", and so they would. With the seasons they had it would have been a perfect picnic, or rather pleasure trip. My sigh is for a less number of camels and four men only, and how easy I would get through in spite of the drought. Forty-four camels at a drink need about (after, say, ten days without water) 800galls., and fourteen men use a considerable quantity in a few days. At camp 33. Max. temp. 82°, min. temp. 38°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.24, ther. 62°. At 3 p.m. bar. 28.16, ther. 80°.

Thursday, August 13th.—Calm, clear, afterwards hazy, with very strong north wind. Started at 7 a.m. Reached Barlee Spring at 9.30. Watered our two camels, and took on 8galls. of water with us. Had a pot of tea, and started for camp at 1 o'clock. Very unpleasant day. The wind is dry, not to say hot. About 3 p.m. the wind went around to north-west, and at sundown was due west. Heavy clouds to southward. Camped at 4.30 on roley poley, having lost three-quarters of an hour on waterbush. Temp. 83° in shade. Distance travelled. sixteen miles. We were much surprised at not seeing some natives at the water. At camp 33. Max. temp. 82°, min. temp. 39°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.23, ther. 68°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.16, ther. 80°.

Friday, August 14th.—Ther. 43. Cold south-west wind. Started at 7.20. Reached camp at 10 o'clock. Found all well. No natives had been seen or heard. We had a better track over the range than when going out. I do hope Wells has found water, as this hole is nearly finished, and we are 400 miles from either Windich Springs or Queen Victoria's Spring. While we have been out Dr. Elliot and I have been trying how two quarts of water each per day would do, and both agree that it will be a sufficient allowance if we have to tackle a long dry stage, as in all probability we shall. It was fortunate that I returned, as those in camp had made up their minds to signal for Hadji to-morrow to bring them water. This action would have been too precipitate, as there is over a week's water in the hole yet. I immediately put the party (five of us) on an allowance of two buckets (6galls.) per day. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.31, ther. 55°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.31, ther. 64°.

Saturday, August 15th.—Cold, clear; ther. 22°; ice. Gwynne and I went to the rockhole three miles from the camp, and, to my disgust, found it absolutely dry, being in shape like a tub, the first of that shape I have met with. Took the camels with us for feed, as there is none around the camp. Very little here; just enough for our two camels for one day. According to my instructions, we are to make an exhaustive examination from depôts; therefore if I go straight for Queen Victoria's Spring, over 400 miles, I shall leave a considerable extent of country unexamined. Still, without a depôt or a fair amount of water some 150 miles to the southward, that piece cannot be examined. It is a serious question to decide whether to go west towards Windich Springs, hoping, against the probabilities, of being able to make a depôt at Alexander Springs, and thus do the country to the south and north; or go for Queen Victoria's Spring, with a chance of not finding it, for Mr. E. Giles, the discoverer, says it is a difficult, even dangerous, place for any one to attempt to find, and having to go 130 miles farther before water is reached. I prefer the latter, but am doubtful which is the best course to pursue. Very perplexing. If I go west many will say I was afraid to tackle the desert or leave another man's track. Still I do not care for the opinion of such people. My desire is to do the work entrusted to me as completely and satisfactorily as possible, without lightly risking the lives of either the party or the camels. Max. temp. 72°, min. temp. 20°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.41, ther. 55°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.36, ther. 55°.

Sunday, August 16th.—Cold and clear. I had again to take the camels out to feed, as I cannot trust Gwynne to do it, for on Friday I let the camels go and told him to watch them. He lost sight of them for an hour, and then I told him I could hear the bell in a certain direction. About half an hour later, just before sundown, he came back for his coat, as it was getting cold, and said he could not find the camels anywhere. I had to go out and bring them in myself. And then he seems to have no idea what is feed for them. In the evening I found that M Leech had come about mid-day, having travelled a considerable distance without any important result, the best news being the discovery of a rockhole about ten miles away. I was sorry to learn from him that the sick camel taken away by Hadji died that night. Abdul tells me it had been sick for eight days. Hadji appears to know very little about camel sickness. In fact he is a poor jimador; not a patch on Joorak. One of Mr. Leech's camels had been poisoned slightly, but recovered in a day or two. Max. temp. 80°, min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.34, ther. 63°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.23, ther. 79°. Mr. Leech's camels had a drink at the rockhole, ten miles back, and he brought some water with him. His report of the journey is as follows:—

[F.W. Leech' Journal, August, 6 - 16 (Search for traces of Gibson)]

"Camp 33, August 17th, 1891. Dear sir—The following is a copy of my field notes, made during my trip N.W., with a rough plan of the country travelled oven—FREDERICK WM. LEECH.

"Thursday, August 6th.—Leave camp at 1.15, bearing 75° to a small hill, where there is a rockhole. Hadji and three Afghans, with all the camels which are not in use, are coming so far with me. Country between camp and rockhole spinifex plains, with occasional patches of mulga scrub. Reached the small hill and rockhole at 4.35. Distance, eight miles. Very good camel feed around this camp, there being plenty of fresh green waterbush. The niggers, whose fires we were able to see so plainly from the depôt camp last night, have all cleared out, but, to judge from their camps all around, there must have been a considerable number here.

"Friday, August 7th.—One of the camels, which had been sick for some time, died last night in great agony, to judge from its groaning. None of the Afghans seemed to have any idea what was wrong with the poor brute. Hadji told me last night, in reply to a question of mine respecting his ailment, "Give it plenty salts, master, all right by by"—his invariable remedy for everything, which he recommended in the same way that a quack doctor would one of his patent medicines. Having filled my water casks, and giving my three camels a drink which I am taking with me, we (Abdul and self) said good-by to the Afghans and started, bearing 320°. For the first few miles we were travelling through mulga scrub, with occasional small rocky hills to the left; then a small sandy plain covered with spinifex, and again thick mulga scrub. At about ten miles, when in this scrub, I noticed a smoke suddenly start up right ahead, and a few minutes after saw many fresh tracks, all going in the same direction. At eleven miles I came to a fine rockhole, fourteen paces long, 4ft. wide, and 6ft. down to the water. Unfortunately, however, there was not very much water, the little there was being carefully covered over with sticks. There was a cleared space round the rockhole of a a few hundred yards, but otherwise the thick scrub all around would prevent anyone from seeing it, unless, indeed, like myself, they chanced to come straight to it. I had not gone more than a few hundred yards from the water when I suddenly came upon a large native camp, with all the fires burning and every appearance of its having been just deserted. There were many weapons of various kinds about, and the numerous tracks in all directions showed that they evidently had been frightened by the noise of the camels when at the water. A few miles on some large granite outcrops appear, but no signs of any rockholes. I Camped at 4.15 on the edge of a spinifex plain, having made eighteen miles.

"Saturday, August 8th.—Start at 7.15, same bearing, 320°. Bearing to prominent black hill, 355°. At five miles, black hill bears 83°. Occasional outcrops of limestone occur, and some distance further we come to some kurrajong trees and stunted mallee in low irregular sandhills, which class of country continues for some miles. At sixteen miles came to a rough sandstone ridge. The scrub was so dense that we had to dismount and break a way for the camels, but fortunately it did not last long. As soon as we crossed the ridge there was another of the same description right ahead. In places very rough for the camels, and I had to twist and turn about a bit to get over. Camped at 4.7; distance, nineteen miles. Country passed over to-day of a very poor description. Saw some old nigger camps and tracks, and some smoke in the far distance.

"Sunday, August 9th.—Start at 7.5, bearing 328°; at two and a half miles cross rough stony ridge, and at three and a half miles pass through valley; in another ridge at four and a half miles. I altered my course to due west, the country being very rough, and the stony hills preventing my going straight. Go west for two miles, when I clear the hills and resume my bearing 320°. In the hills there was evidence of great quantities of rain having fallen at one time or another, as the numerous small creeks and watercourses had well-defined flood marks, and in many places large heaps of driftwood were piled up against the bushes. When I cleared the hills the usual spinifex flats, alternating with patches of scrub, were met with. In the afternoon some high sandhills made a change for the worse, and from the top of each of these hills my vision to the north and north-west was bounded by other hills of like nature. Camp at 4; distance, nineteen miles.

"Monday, August 10th.—Leave camp at 7.5. One of the camels was very sick, having eaten some poison weed last night. Abdul promptly dosed the unfortunate wretch with the usual remedy, salts, and we got him to walk all right, but a bit shaky on his legs. At 9.20 I stopped to give the sick camel another dose of salts. The general direction of the sandhills is W.N.W. and E.S.E., but in ten miles there is a change, and I come to low irregular sandhills, with clumps of desert oak. Camped at 3.40; distance, sixteen miles.

"Tuesday, August 11th.—Start at 6.55. Travelling as usual over sandhills, which in places have clumps of bloodwood growing on the ridges. Saw a hill in the extreme distance bearing 91°. Having travelled seven miles on my usual bearing 320° I determined to turn south, as it would now take the remainder of my limited time to get back to camp, so at 10.20 I altered my bearing to 180°. At 3.30, when crossing a large spinifex flat, Abdul called my attention to three niggers who were sitting down under a bush some little distance ahead of me. They must have seen or heard us about the same time, for they promptly decamped notwithstanding the fact that I shouted at them in the choicest collection of my limited native vocabulary. Abdul also yelled at them endearing and pacific phrases in his own barbarous language, and yet they sloped; so we saw them no more. I was looking out for some camel feed all the afternoon, as so far they have fared very badly, but it was a case of Hobson's choice; so I was compelled to camp on a few miserable green bushes, which were almost dry. Camped at 4.30; distance south, eleven miles.

"Wednesday, August 12th.—Before starting I gave each of the camels one bucket of water out of the casks, as the weather has been very hot, and they are beginning to show signs of fatigue. We were late in starting, as one of the camels had wandered some distance in the night. In two miles I came to a ridge with a very rough descent, sharp jagged stones, and very thick scrub, so that I had to do some more winding in and out to find a road for the camels; but having crossed this one there were several others, and my clothes suffered very much forcing a way through. Noticed some red mulga, once across the ridges, and the usual flats and sand ridges, and again I was forced. to camp on very poor feed for the camels. Camp at 4.30; distance, fifteen miles.

"Thursday, August 13th.—Start at 7, bearing 180°. Having travelled five and a half miles, I stopped and went up a very high sandhill a little on my right, but the view from it was very uninteresting as far as the eye could see the same description of useless miserable country. I now determined to alter my course and strike in for the rockhole which I had found on my way out, so as to give the camels a drink and fill up the casks before returning to camp; so at 10 o'clock start on new bearing 113°. Came across some quondong trees with ripe fruit; they were very acceptable to Abdul and myself. We left none behind us. Country of the same description. Camped at 4.25, having done thirteen and a half miles on the bearing 113°.

"Friday, August 14th.—Start at 7. For some hours the same miserable spinifex country, with the inevitable patches of mulga scrub, and then for variety our old friends the sandhills. In the afternoon passed some small hills and crossed another ridge. Saw the Barrow Range from the top of one of these sandhills. Camp at 4.30; distance, nineteen miles.

"Saturday, August 15th.—Start at 7. The country begins to change a bit for the better as there are more bushes, and they seem fresher and greener. I very soon came across a lot of small hills, and lost considerable time in getting through the north end of the Barrow Range as it was very rough and difficult travelling for the camels. Reached the rockhole at 3; distance, fourteen miles. Found that the natives had been there since my first visit and had covered it up again very carefully. Gave the camels a drink and filled the water casks to take into camp to-morrow.

"Sunday, August 16th.—Start at 7.50, bearing 184°. Reach camp at 12. Ten and a half miles. During the trip I passed over a most miserable class of country without any redeeming features, the dried and. withered appearance of the herbage clearly showing that no rain had fallen for a very considerable time. Neither could I help noticing the almost entire absence of game of any kind. One of the objects, indeed the chief one, of this flying trip was to try if there were any signs or tracks which might throw some light on the fate of the unfortunate Gibson. I very much regret to say that I was altogether unsuccessful in this respect, and I am of opinion that after such a lapse of years it would only be by the merest chance that any clue might be discovered."

Total distance travelled, 175 miles.

August, 1891 (resume 1)]

Monday, August 17th.—Cold. Strong south-east wind. Ther. 38°. Sent Gwynne and Abdul out with the camels to feed. The doctor very kindly offered to take them out for me. About 3 p.m. saw a smoke south-west of Mount Squires, which I believe was made by Mr. Wells, who I expect here to-morrow. I hope he will have found water suitable for us to move on to. Cool day, the south-east wind continuing. We are now on an allowance of two buckets of water per day for eight of us. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 39°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.50, ther. 49°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.41, ther. 65°.

Tuesday, August 18th.—Ther. 30°. Cold and clear. About 7 o'clock a strong east wind sprang up. Again sent Abdul and Gwynne out with the camels to feed. Wells did not arrive, so that the smoke which we saw yesterday must have been natives. I am sorry for this, as the feed within four miles is now finished. and I will have to send the camels some miles further away; besides Hadji will be bringing all the camels back here, and no place to send them to feed. At night the wind changed to the west. Max. temp. 65°, min. temp. 30°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.54, then 48°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.44, ther. 64°.

Wednesday, August 19th.—Ther. 23°. Cold, clear; south-east wind. Sent Abdul and Gwynne south to some hills for feed for camels, with instructions to return to-morrow night. No sign of Mr. Wells yet. This waiting is very terrible for me. I cannot settle to do anything, as every day's delay here is of serious import to us. Give me work. Work as hard as you like, but do not ask me to wait in uncertainty with nothing to do. I would not mind if there was plenty of water in the locality, but as that is so scarce delay means placing us in a very awkward position, unless, indeed, Wells has found water for us to go to. The only advantage about this delay is that it is giving my leg and back a complete rest; consequently, I hope to be able to undertake the lion's share from this out. A smoke is to be seen to the eastward, which I suppose is Hadji on his way here, wondering why he has not been summoned before this. His rations must be nearly finished. The wallabies are very numerous on the granite rocks, and Mr. Helms has quite an array of stuffed bodies hanging up. We have had good change of diet here—wallaby and galar stews every day. Max. temp., 70°, min. temp. 20°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.58, ther. 50°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.46, ther. 70°.

Thursday, August 20th.—Ther. 28°. Ice, clear, light south-east wind. Mr. Wells did not return last night. I am really most anxious for his arrival, as our water will not last many days, and we will not be able to get a fill up all round in this part of the country. We want first 800galls., then in ten days 1,060galls more—1,800 galls. or 2,000 galls. altogether, to enable us to start for Queen Victoria's Spring. Gwynne and Abdul returned at sundown, having had the camels on good feed. Hadji's smoke again visible, but he has not shown up. Max. temp. 74°, min. temp. 28° At 9 a.m. bar. 28.61, ther. 58°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.50; ther. 72°.

Friday, August 21st.—Thermometer 28°. Clear, south wind. Last night the moon rose almost blood-red and oval in shape—quite remarkable. I, Abdul, and Gwynne went south to the granite hills to feed the camels, I intending to go around Mount Squires again to find out where the natives had gone. It seems to me that there must be another water somewhere in that range. Just after we had turned out (I wanted my camel to have a feed before I started) I saw smoke westerly over the range and also on this side, one and a half miles off. Watching, I saw another one spring up some distance ahead, so I knew it was Wells. Saddled up Tommy Dodd and rode across, but did not overtake them until they reached the camp. Mr. Wells' report was encouraging, in that 130 miles S.S.W. he had left about 300galls. of water in a rockhole, but the country traversed is very poor, vide his report. He, Leech, and I discussed matters, and decided that our best course was to at once prepare and start back on his tracks and so on for Queen Victoria's Spring. Mr. Wells is of opinion that the country which will lay to the east of our track, if we find no more waters, is nothing but the same class of country, and from what he has seen there can be nothing of importance in them. Alumgool came in from Hadji's camp for some water, so I sent a message out by him to bring in the camels early to-morrow morning. Mahmoud I sent out to join Abdul, so that his camels can have feed. He was very grumpy and "did not want this billet." "Just come back, no spell, no wash, no tucker." I explained to him that there was no water in the country and we could not delay a day. We at once set to work to get the loading in order, repacking and tying up things. Everyone delighted at the prospect of an early move, all being tired of delays. All eager for the dart across the desert. Mr. Wells' camels look wretched, showing what a hard trip they had. Max. temp. 78°, min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.5, ther. 63°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.45; ther. 73°. Mr. Wells' journal is as follows:—

[L.A. Wells' Journal, August 5 - 21 (Search to the south for water)]

"August 5th.—At foot of hill (Mount Squires) we left Mr. Lindsay, and proceeded on bearing 224° for smoke seen yesterday. At seven miles passed west end of a sandstone ridge: Country to there of dense mulga scrub and stony scrubby hills. Selected specimens from top of the hill for the geologist. Saw three smokes from natives (signals) bearing 189° 202°, and 220°. Left here at 11 a.m., and going towards most westerly smoke over red ridges of sand and dense spinifex Rata, few mulga belts, few acacia, quondong, and other bushes and low ti-tree. Camped for lunch at ten miles. Left here at 1 p.m., and travelled on over open broken sand ridges and dense spinifex, with few belts of mulga, few acacias, poplars, ti-tree, quondong, and other bushes. Camped at 4.30 p.m., having made about eighteen miles. Aneroid 28.600, ther. 78°; calm, clear sky, very warm all day. Noticed smoke behind us at camp bearing 20° mag. and just behind sandstone ridge bearing from camp to Mount Squires 34° 30'; lat. 26° 26' 47".

"August 6th.—Very cold night, ice. Let camels go at 4.15 a.m. Made start at 7.35, bearing 224° for smoke seen yesterday. Passed over a small limestone outcrop. Saw at two miles smoke on bearing; at five miles smoke 138° 30'; high point of sand ridge here 1,300ft. above sea level. 213° smoke very distant; 35° to Mount Squires; 237° distant smoke. At eight miles dense belts of mulga and loamy flats, intersected by limestone rises, prickly acacia, quondong, few myall, yellow bark mallee, dense spinifex. At eleven miles camped for lunch, at 12.10 again entering sand ridges. Left again at 1 p.m., continuing on till 4 p.m. (nine­teen miles), when T struck a claypan with small patch of saltbush, and belt of myall, and prickly acacia. Being such good camel feed I determined to camp here. Aneroid at 4 p.m., 28.600; (her. 83°; calm, clear sky, very warm. Noticed several kurrajongs, bloodwoods, desert gums this afternoon; remainder similar to yesterday. Saw several tracks of natives and a few crows this evening; will look for water to-morrow. I feel sure it is not far from here. Lat. 26° 39' 8".

"August 7th.—Cold night. Let camels go at 5 a.m. Made start with Ramsay to look for water; followed tracks of natives in a round-about way, and after travelling about twelve miles came upon camp of about a dozen natives bearing from our camp 359° and seven miles distant. Was disgusted to find no water about here, but saw where they had been chewing the bark from the kurrajong roots in large quantities; also several of the trees had the roots dug up. The camp was only that of one or perhaps two nights. Returned to camp at 3 p.m. Owing to the good feed I camped here again to-night. Travelled nineteen miles. Aneroid at 3.30, 28.600; ther. 73°; slight easterly breeze, clear sky, very warm all day.

"August 8th.—Cold night. Let camels go at 5 a.m., but they made off, all being very thirsty owing to the very warm calm clays we have had. Made start at 7.24 a.m., bearing for a high point seen from Mount Squires 214° mag. Travelled over open sand ridges with dense triodia flats; desert gums, mallee, belts of mulga, acacia, quondongs, dense low ti-tree patches, for six miles; then loamy flats with ferruginous gravel and sandstone outcrops; very dense mulga, some red; ascended to high point 1,600ft. above sea level, and selected specimens for geologist. Seven miles. Could see a great distance from here to east and south-east, all spinifex sand ridges and desert gums, should say quite forty miles. Left top of hill on mag. bearing 200°, and at one mile left mulga and sandstone, and again entered sand ridges as before described. Saw many recent tracks of natives, and, as we had apparently left the kurrajong trees behind us. I determined to again try tracking. On same bearing; camped on sand ridge two miles from summit of hill and nine miles from camp of last night. Had lunch, and started on foot, with Ramsay, following fresh tracks from here, the camels being too thirsty to get along at more than a snail's pace. Following the tracks in a north-eastern direction for three miles, we found they had only been hunting, the camp being somewhere to the south-west, Returned to camp, and after resting for a few minutes I again started on foot, taking the Afghan this time, following the tracks in the opposite direction. After walking over sand ridges for three miles, we came upon. a recent camp of not less than twenty natives; we also found some good herbage (waterbush) on a sand ridge here. The natives had evidently had some water here; there are sonic more sandstone outcrops and patches of dense mulga. It being late, I determined to return to the camp and bring the camels over to the feed before daylight and let them feed for two hours whilst we look for water. They have eaten nothing to­day, it being very warm. I saw several smokes again to-day, two at a great distance to the E.S.E., and one a few miles west, and another on our present bearing, say, ten miles distant. We saw several crows and two cockatoos or corellas. Noticed about sandstone ridges tracks of kangaroo and emu. Aneroid at camp at 3.15, 28.425; ther. 80°; calm, clear sky.

"August 9th.—Up very early; packed the camels, and left for feed at 5.45 a.m., on bearing 200°. At two miles the feed was thirty chains to west. At the same distance and a quarter of a mile to the right found where the natives had been getting water. Three small catch wells sunk in clay and sandstone formation, and near dense belt of mulga. The largest would not hold more than 140galls., if full. Cleaned out the mud, and found that the natives had cleaned out all the water before leaving. Hearing a shot from the Afghan about a quarter of a mile to the south-west, I went over a sand ridge to where he had found another recently-deserted encampment of the natives, about twenty; also another catch well about the same size. We managed to get about 5galls. of very dirty water from this hole and gave it to the most distressed camel. After breakfast, the camels having eaten all the waterbush, we made a start, first getting on our bearing 200 mag. passing over loamy flats of firm soil and ferruginous gravel, with occasional outcrops and rises of sandstone, and few sand ridges. Dense belts of mulga on rises; all country clothed with dense triodia, scattered desert gums, mallee, acacia, quondongs, and low ti-tree. Saw smoke 80° from second catch well, about five miles distant. At nine miles bearing to smoke 64°; at twelve miles 192° to distant smoke; at fourteen miles a smoke bearing 307°. Could see for considerable distance to east and south-east, say, quite forty miles—all apparently of similar sand ridge country, with dense spinifex. At sixteen miles ascended a high rise, 1,650ft. above sea level. Could see for great distances from here; all apparently sandhills and open spinifex, belts of mulga descending to flats below. We camped at 4.30 p.m. on open flats of ferruginous gravel and few sand ridges. Noticed very open country, with rise immediately to west for two or three miles. Distance from camp, eighteen miles. Aneroid at 4.30 p.m., 28.410, ther. 76°; strong east breeze, clear sky; lat., 27° 1' 17". Hitherto we have been very unfortunate in not finding any useful water-holes, and I am of opinion we will not until a change in formation takes place. I am in hopes of finding some water about the smoke seen on our bearing to-day, and some distance ahead. Noticed to-day tracks of natives, emu, and kangaroo, and also saw two magpies this evening.

"August 10th.—Mild night. Let camels go on small patch of poor waterbush found last evening. Made start at 7.30 a.m. on same bearing (200°), passing over loamy rises and flats of gravel (ferruginous) for five miles; then entered lower country of broken ridges of red sand and valleys of pines and mallee, all clothed with dense spinifex, few acacia, quondong, and scattered desert gums, with sandstone and quartzite ridges on either side, from two to five miles off. Noticed round water-worn quartz crystals and other stones. Saw smoke about on our bearing at five miles, and on bearing 155°, both some distance off. Travelled on until 12.40 p.m., when we saw fresh tracks of natives. I determined to camp here and run tracks; followed them from here on bearing 290°, when at one and a half miles we (Ramsay and self) came to sandstone and quartzite ridge clothed with dense mulga scrub. On entering the same found a recent camp of about thirty natives; also, on top of rocky knob close by, two rockholes about 100 gallons each, one of which had four and a half gallons of dirty water in it, which we gave the camels. The natives seem to have just finished the waters about here, and now making off. Returned to camp at 4 p.m. Aneroid 28.475, ther. 70°; moderate north-east breeze; clear sky. We gave the three pack camels 4½galls. of water apiece, leaving 25galls in their kegs. Selected specimens of stone for the geologist. Lat., 27° 11' 30". Distance on course, twelve miles.

"August 11th.—Mild night. Made start at 6.30 a.m.; still on same bearing, and travelling over same description of country as that of yesterday. At four miles saw smoke bearing 273°, about three miles distant. Altered course at once, and went for it. Surprised a lubra, who ran off, crying out for her companions, who were evidently not far off. Ran tracks until we lost them on stony ground. °Searched about sandstone rise or hill for some considerable time, when we at last found a camp with log burning and several wooden dishes at it. Made further search, when Mahmoud Azim found a rockhole with about 50galls. of water; when full it would hold about 100galls. It is situated on a flat sandstone outcrop, and almost surrounded by dense mulga, with a sandstone rise about a half a mile south. From camp of last night, at a point three miles on bearing 200°, the rockhole is about three miles due west. Gave the camels 45galls. from the supply, and left the remainder for the natives. Made start from here at 12.30 p.m., bearing 165° mag., to cut bearing of 200° from camp. Reached same at high point (sandhill before seen) 1,710ft. above sea level at five miles, or eight miles from camp of last night. Continued on bearing 200°, passing over similar country, except few kurrajongs and desert gums more numerous, less acacia. Camped at fifteen miles, having travelled twenty-two miles for the day. Aneroid at 4.30 p.m., 28.175, ther. 74°. Strong gusts of wind, and breeze from north-west. Clouds rising from south. Bearing 7° to a bluff. We saw fresh tracks of emu, also three corellas. Let camels go early on poor feed.

"August 12th.—Made start on some bearing, 200°, at 7.30 a.m., passing over sand ridges bearing about 290°, and generally continuous. Dense spinifex and large desert gums, few Kurrajong, mallee, acacia, quondong, low ti-tree, and small belts of mulga, few loamy flats, and little ferruginous gravel. At twelve miles noticed smoke bearing 273°, about thirty miles distant. Camped for lunch at 12.30 p.m. Thirteen miles. Hereabouts I distinctly saw a few yards from me a black cat (domestic), similar to the ordinary house cat. It trotted slowly off into some mulga. Left again 10 p.m. same bearing. Red sand ridges much lower and farther apart. Spinifex and desert gums, few acacia, quondong, and patches of dry grass where the country has been burnt. Camped at 4.30 p.m. on poor feed for camels; they did not feed, being tired and sulky. Aneroid 28.200, ther. 80°. Strong wind from north-west all afternoon. Few clouds to south-west. Saw fresh tracks of emus to-day, but none of natives, except old ones. No pines, which appear generally in jumbled sand ridges. Travelled to-day twenty-one miles. Lat. 27° 39' 0".

"August 13th.—Let camels go at 5 a.m., but they soon made off easterly. Made start at 7.30 a.m. At one and a quarter miles came upon old camp of natives, and found a well-beaten pad leading to three rockholes ten chains east of our course. They are situated at the head of a small watercourse coming from sand­stone ridges (low cliffs), and surrounded by dense mulga. This was a most fortunate find, as our stock of water was getting low. I will now be able to examine the country around for a better supply. The natives have not been camped here for some time. Rockholes would hold, when full, 200galls., 300galls., and 400galls. respectively. At present I estimate there is about 350galls., after giving the camels 27galls. Saw more mulga and sandstone ridges bearing 227° mag. from here; so went on that bearing, at 8.30 a.m. passing over fairly high sand ridges of the usual description, and reached ridges at ten miles at 12.30 p.m. Had lunch and camped here. At 1.30 p.m. left with two camels and Mahmoud Azim for low cliffs seen from camp bearing 315° mag. No variation of the needle here. Reached the cliffs in three miles after riding through dense belts of mulga. Tied camels down here, and going on foot examined outcrops of sandstone for two miles further. Finding nothing I returned to camp at 4.30 p.m. Noticed large smokes bearing 210° from ten to fifteen miles distant. Aneroid at 4.30 p.m. 28.250, ther. 77°. Strong wind from north-west all day; few clouds. Lat. 27° 44' 54".

"August 14th.—Let camels go early. Made start at 7.10 a.m. on bearing 143°, and at two miles reached a sandstone outcrop with mulga; finding no water, altered course to 178°. At fourteen miles a high point 1,400ft. above sea level. Could see for very considerable distance to S.E. from here, say, quite forty miles, with sandstone ridges and red. sand ridges. High point on bearing 180°; sixteen miles, 1,350ft. above sea level. Camped for day thirty-two miles. Country passed over to-day of similar nature to that of yesterday. Can see some distance to south and west from here, say twenty-five miles. Sand ridges with desert gums. Saw few belts of pines to-day. Aneroid at 4 p.m., 28.480, ther. 60°; cold southerly breeze, clear sky.

"August 15th.—Very cold night. Let camels go at 4.30 a.m. Made start on return journey at 7.15 a.m. following pad for main depôt camp, now being four days later Mr. Lindsay expects. Travelled twenty-five miles and camped at foot of sand ridge on fair bush feed. Aneroid at 4 p.m., 28.310, ther. 70°; calm, clear sky.

"August 16th.—Let camels go at 4,30 a.m. Followed pad bearing 20°, var. 1°, travelling about twenty-two miles. I reached a small patch of good feed (waterbush), and determined to camp at 3.45 p.m. Aneroid at 4 p.m., 28.510, ther. 76°; clear sky, slight south-west breeze.

"August 17th.—Very cold and windy night. Let camels go at 4 a.m. Started at 7.5; still along pad for three miles: then on bearing 20° until again struck the pad at eight miles at 8.30 p.m. We had travelled twenty-six miles and camped on fair bush. Aneroid at 4.30 p.m., 28.415, ther. 60°; cold south-east breeze all day, clear sky. Noticed small patch of waterbush at five miles to-day.

"August 18th.—Left camp at 7.15; still along the pad. The natives seem to have left this part of the country. Travelled on until 4.45 p.m., and reached our camping place on the 6th instant, twenty-seven miles, Aneroid at 5 p.m., 28.825, ther. 60°; cold south-east breeze, clear sky. Gave camels 5galls. water each from our kegs.

"August 19th.—Let the camels go at 3 a.m., and they did well on saltbush, myall, and acacia. Some of them are very footsore from stony ground. Started at 7.5 a.m, along pad. After a very monotonous ride of twenty-six miles we camped at 5 p.m. Aneroid 28.750, ther. 70. Moderate breeze from east, clear sky, warm afternoon.

"August 20th.—Let the camels go at 3 a.m. Started at 7.10 a.m., following pad to our outward camping place near Mount Squires, in Barrow Ranges. Reached same at 2.15 p.m., and turned the camels out on good feed (roley poley), which they ate ravenously. Examined old fireplace, and found a tin buried by Mr. Lindsay, with a note in it, which was scorched by a fire he afterwards kindled to deceive the natives. Managed to read it, and ascertained that he had found three rockholes in a creek about half a mile from Mount Squires, bearing about south-east. Took the camels and waterbags up to spot described, which is three-quarters of a mile from camp, and, although rough, we managed to get them right up, so that they could drink. The largest hole had about 250galls. of water in it, and would hold 1,200galls. if full. Filled the casks, and returned to the camp at 5.30 p.m. Bearing to Mount Cooper 83° 30' mag., Borrow's Hill 104°. Aneroid at 3 p.m. 28.550, ther. 72°; slight easterly breeze, clear sky. Noticed to-day many tracks of natives having been about here since our departure on outward trip. No doubt there is more water in the vicinity of Mount Squires. Tied camels down at 10 p.m.

"August 21st.—Let the camels go at 2 a.m. Started at 7.45 a.m., the camels having done well on the splendid green herbage. Reached 32 (depôt) camp at noon. Reported result of journey to Mr. Lindsay, and found that neither he nor Mr. Leech had been very successful either in finding water. The past seasons here have apparently been very dry ones. During my absence I examined the country to a distance of 166 miles—including looking for water, 388 miles—in eighteen days. Aneroid at 4 p.m., in camp, 28.430, ther. 73°; calm, clear, and warm. Height by hypsometer, 1,535ft."

August, 1891 (resume 2)]

Saturday, August 22nd.—Breakfast before sunrise. Ther. 36°, north-east wind, veering later to north­west, and afterwards to west. Hadji did not come until 1 o'clock, having, he said, lost three or four camels. He had emptied the rockhole eight miles north-east from here, and was in a very bad temper. Immediately loaded up. We were surprised to get 90galls. of water out of the rockhole, but we left very little in it for any thirsty natives who might come along. Reached Abdul's camp at sundown. Camp 34. Max. temp. 85°, shade heat; min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.44, ther. 67°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.35, ther. 82°. Distance, six miles. Zodiacal lights visible after sunset.

Sunday, August 23rd.—Cool and clear. Strong S.E. wind, veering to south. Mr. Wells and I went away to look for water around Mount Squires, the caravan going on to the east end of Mount Squires. After searching numerous gullies, at 11.30 I was sitting on top of a hill waiting for Mr. Wells when I saw two crows flying past. I watched them, and they went into a gully three-quarters of a mile away. I then walked over there, and as soon as I struck into the creek saw Mr. Wells' tracks. Went up the creek, and found what might prove to be a nice little soakage; Mr. Wells had been there. I then returned and waited for Mr. Wells; he had gone back to where he had left his camel and found the brute had broken his nose line and cleared, giving Mr. Wells a mile and half walk before he caught him. We then crossed a saddle, going west, and dropped down into the soakage creek. In a short distance saw crows fly out from under a cliff; going there we found a waterhole containing apparently enough water for all our requirements. Two chains further down found a larger one; quarter of a mile still down the creek found another, there being altogether, I suppose, 3,000galls. or 4,000galls. on the surface besides what is in the sand; no feed, thick mulga. Two miles north-west of Mount Squires. We then crossed over southerly and searched other gullies without success, but as Mr. Wells saw many native tracks coming into Mount Squires from the southward on the 20th instant and only two or three had been at these waters it is evident there is another water to be found. This water is most providential, and I thank God for it. It gives us an opportunity to have a good wash, which we all much need, and we can rest Mr. Wells' camels, which really sadly need a few days' rest after then: 380 miles' journey. We will now be able to make a favorable start for Queen Victoria's Spring. We had a very long rough walk amongst these stony spinifex and mulga clad ranges. I will send Mr. Leech on twenty miles with water to let the camels top up on. I am now satisfied that there is but little risk for the camels or party in the proposed journey, especially if the weather keeps cool, as it should do. The equinoctial gales due about the 18th of September might bring us rain, and so help us if we are unfortunate enough to find no more waters between Wells' rockhole and Queen Victoria's Spring. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.43, ther. 58°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.38, ther. 72°. Distance—caravans, eight miles; I and Wells, sixteen miles.

Monday, August 24th.—Ther. 36°. Ice on Mr. Helm's oilsheet, and none on anyone else's, and the thermometer registering 4° above freezing! The camels did not come in until 11 o'clock, and then there were nine short. The Afghans said they had brought some from eight or nine miles, and the others had gone straight on. 2 x 8 = 16/4 = 4 miles per hour—simply impossible. I, Bob, Gwynne, Streich, Helms, Mahmoud, and Alumgool took twenty-nine camels to water, and brought back six pairs of casks full. The camels nearly emptied the top hole, they were so thirsty, having been twenty-four days without water—what splendid training for the desert march! Five and a half miles to the water; very rough track. We reached camp at 6.35. Found Hadji had not long returned with the missing camels. Cool day. Let all the camels go, except those that had no water. Mr. Wells' riding camel very tender footed; so is one of the bulls, who is in season, and continually chasing the bullocks about over the stones. Min. temp. 37. At 9 a.m., bar, 28.51, ther. 53°.

Tuesday, August 25th.—Ther. 40°. Wind from north-east, veering round to north-west; warm. Again two camels short, which is dreadfully annoying. Hadji says there is very good feed, but they want to make back for the waterbush. Mr. Leech and Mahyedin took nine camels to water. Bob took the two lame ones and watered them at the small hole near camp. I went south of Mount Squires to run the native tracks seen by Mr. Wells, and at 11.20 came on a magnificent rock waterhole in a rocky creek, south-west of Mount Squires, evidently Giles' tank, though not quite agreeing with his position. Mr. Streich and I missed this hole when searching for it on the 5th instant. We passed within 300yds. of it, but there was no track or sign of animal or bird life in the vicinity at that time. Very nice waterbush in the creek; I let my camel have one and a half hours' feed on it, and then followed the creek down to see if there was good enough feed to bring the whole caravan on to. Saw some very well beaten kangaroo pads, which only led out on to little flats with a little feed. The best feed I saw is on the creek in which is the first rockhole found, and there within half a mile of the camp is plenty for us for a few days; but as the mulga scrub is very dense, and the ground dry and hard, we shall have to shepherd the camels. Max. temp. 78°; min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.34, ther. 52°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.21, ther. 76°. Strong zodiacal light visible for three hours.

Wednesday, August 26th.—At 8.30 Mr. Leech, Gwynne, and Hadji took six loads of water away to fill up the troughs some twenty-five miles on our intended course, so that the day after we leave here the camels can have a top up with water. Then probably, if the weather remains cool, they will not quite empty the hole found by Mr. Wells and we can fill up our casks again, which if we are able to do will make the 280 miles to Queen Victoria's Spring comparatively easy. Let the camels go all day and then tied them down at night to prevent trouble. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 41°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.48, ther. 50°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.40, ther. 65°.

Thursday, August 27th.—In camp. Engaged with loading and plans and journals. A gale of wind blew from south-west and south, with lightly scudding clouds. Tarring some of the mangy camels. Max. temp. 71°, min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.53, ther. 58°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.41, ther. 69°.

Friday, August 28th.—North wind; cold. Engaged in camp. Eight native men, fine tall muscular fellows, came to the camp. They were very frightened, but by cautiously approaching them they allowed us all to sit down close by them. I gave them each a red handkerchief, one knife, tobacco, and some dried beef. They went away into the scrub and did not show up again. Reduced our heavy loading so that when we leave here, except the "water camels", none will be carrying more than 400lbs. weight. All the dried meat now goes into one pair of bags and only weighs a little over 200lbs. Of Mount Squires, Mr. Streich says:—"It forms a small range for itself, being of different formation, viz., porphyritic, syenite, and other feldspathic rocks, some of them semi-porphyritic; quartz veins and lodes occur frequently, but did not so far prove auriferous. Consider it not unfavorable for metals, especially towards west, where surely metamorphic slates and schists are to be found." Mr. Helms busy amongst the plants. Max. temp. 73°, min. temp. 44°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.59, ther. 62°; 3 p.m., bar 28.46, ther. 70°. Faint zodiacal light.

Saturday, August 29th.—Clear, cold north-east wind. About 9.30 our visitors of yesterday accompanied by four others, came in sight of camp. They were again very frightened and kept dodging about amongst the bushes, and ready to run off at any moment. I gave them a little more tobacco and nearly half a hundredweight of dried beef in a bag. I had picked out all the coarsest and driest pieces yesterday and put it in a bag for the natives if they showed up. They were very delighted, and ran off with it, stopping every now and then to form in a line and dance a very pretty dance, keeping perfect time with swaying legs and arms. This was evidently a dance of joy or thankfulness. Mr. Leech returned at midday, having la the water some twenty-five miles down. Sunk the troughs in the ground and covered them over with bushes. He saw a native, but could not get speech with him. Everything is ready for a start to-morrow. I am afraid we are going to have some hot weather. The camel Mr. Helms first rode has been spelling with a bad back for about two months. I asked Mr. Helms if he wished to ride it again? He said "No; he would stick to the one he was riding, as he had now broken it in to his ways, and it was fresh after the month's spell." Accordingly I gave that camel to Mr. Streich, as his is scarcely fit to carry him over a long dry stage. Max. temp. 76°, min. temp. 47°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.56, ther. 61°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.39, ther. 74°.

Sunday, August 30th.—"A lucky day for a start", the sailors say. North-east wind, mild, and clear. Started at 9 a.m., and went to Giles' tank, leaving the loading about three-quarters of a mile down the creek, in charge of Gwynne. The camels took a very big drink, and most of them took a bucket or two when brought up the second time. Filled our casks, canteens, canvas bags, buckets, &c., holding about 400 gallons of pure clear rain water. This is the best water we have seen since leaving Mount Sir Thomas. A splendid thing it is for the camels to have such perfectly fresh water, and they must be in magnificent training for a long dry stage, having had such short allowance for so long. Some of them are poor and mangy. Am afraid at least two will not go through to Queen Victoria's Spring. They are old Boco and the camel Mr. Wells had out on the last flying trip. As we are at once going on an allowance of two quarts of water per man per day the pure rain water is a perfect Godsend for us. We all had a wash. The hole is about 12ft. in diameter, and holding about 6,000galls. I carried a billycan of water down to Gwynne to let him have a final good drink. Loaded up, and at 2.50 headed for the Great Victoria Desert, not without some anxiety, but with a firm trust in Providence and a settled conviction that the course we are pursuing is the proper one. At 4.20, say four miles, we camped on the flooded flat of a watercourse, on which were growing green acacias and other good food for the camels. The day was hot. Marked a tree D.L./36 (within diamond), a white gumtree, on the east bank of the watercourse. Read Divine service in the evening, as usual, a practice I have followed since we were at Mount Sir Thomas. Distance, about seven miles. Max. shade temp. 81°, min. 48°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.41., ther. 61°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.20, ther. 76°.

Monday, August 31st.—Mild night. Having had the camels tied down (a practice I shall follow all across the desert), as to be delayed by lost camels would be too serious, we were all saddled up before sunrise; very cloudy; hot day; north wind, veering in afternoon to west. Started at 7.16 over irregular sandhills. At two miles we passed a sandstone range stretching east, and away to the west the Tomkinson ridges, evidently a continuation of this, are visible. Quartzites and sandstones, 200ft. high; spinifex, mulga flats, a few acacias. Country has a very drought-stricken appearance. At eight miles, gravelly surface; at ten miles, limestone. Camped at 3 p.m., having done nineteen miles. We are now on an allowance of two quarts of water per man per day; no washing up allowed. Each man has his own plate, knife, and fork, which he washes with the tea leaves. As I have decided to go into Fraser Range Station from the neighborhood of Queen Victoria's Spring for meat and flour, I will take Gwynne and send him to Adelaide in charge of the botanical and geological specimens and the photographic plates, thus relieving us of these parcels. I told Messrs. Helms and Streich that I would send away the collections from Queen Victoria's Springs, so that they can be prepared. By doing this I will relieve at least two camels. If I can get two bags of flour we can comfortably complete block A, and only be about three weeks behind time at the Murchison. The Afghans' meat will be finished this week, and of course our flour will go quicker in consequence, as they will have nothing but bread to live on. We have plenty of tinned meat (fresh), but they would sooner perish than cat that. We have thirty tins of fish, which I will give to them. Evening very close indeed; hot day to-morrow; I hope the heat will bring up rain. After supper a big row occurred in the Afghan camp between Hadji and Mahmoud Azim, about the water, I believe. Most insulting and filthy language was used, and after a few blows were struck Hadji rushed to the fire and picked up a great stick. We at once interfered and prevented bloodshed. The old man was frantic. I sent Mahmoud out of his way. A little later Mahmoud was sitting quietly by the fire, and Hadji came up behind him, jumped on him, caught him by his long hair, dragged him up, and kicked him in the stomach. The other Afghans separated them; we did not interfere further. A tremendous nuisance these Afghans are for this sort of work. Max. temp. 84½° (shade), min. temp. 39°; at 9 a.m., bar. 28.42, ther. 70°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.48, ther. 82°. Camp 37; lat., 26° 30' 13" S. Distance, nineteen miles.

September, 1891]

Tuesday, September 1st.—Mild night; ther. 39°. Started at 7.14, bearing 220°, on Well's pad. Reached troughs at 9.45. The camels had each one bucket (nearly 3gals.)—a few of the poorer ones two buckets. The 300galls. which Mr. Leech had deposited here had by leakage (the canvas troughs being new and touching the ground) and evaporation been reduced to less than 150galls. Proceeded over sandhills, and camped at 4 p.m. on saltbush flat, with good acacia and myall. Kept the camels off the saltbush. Our camp is in a claypan covered with gypsum, I think a likely spot to get water by sinking. Camp 38. Distance, fifteen miles. Lat. 26° 39' 9". Max. temp. 90°, min. temp. 39°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.58, ther. 76°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.60, ther. 88°. Very hot and clear.

Wednesday, September 2nd.—Cold, clear night; ther. 32°. Started at 7.16, on same bearing. Country more level. Natives' smokes on left about four miles; another much further off; another far ahead on our left hand, and one nearly ahead; also one on the right; a very big smoke or dull-white clouds very far off to the north-west. Day was hot, with strong north wind. Camp 39, at 3.15. Distance fourteen miles. Height above sea level 1,100ft. Poor feed. To save water and bother with the Afghans I have arranged to give Warren £1 per week extra while we are on the dry stage for him to cook all the bread that is required; that means baking every day, which will be pretty hard on him. The limestone disappeared early to-day, and gravel and brown ferruginous sandstone were met with. A few large white desert gums (Eucalyptus endesmioides) on the sandhills relieve the eye. At seven miles crossed a sandstone rise, 1,600ft. above sea level. Max. temp. 89°, min. temp. 32° Lat. 26° 51'. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.51, ther. 68°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.18, ther. 87°.

Thursday, September 3rd.—Camp 39. Clear; south wind. Started at 6.50. Travelled sixteen miles ever undulating sandy country; loose ferruginous sandstone pebbles. Passed one low hill of sandstone, with pebbles very much waterworn. Mulga and two kinds of spinifex, few acacias (Acacia salicina), quondongs. Sandhills are irregular. Fine desert gums lend a pleasing aspect to the scene. At 1.40, as we were journeying on, with a high sandhill parallel to our course and close on our left hand I heard a whistle, like a native, who does it by an indraught of air. Mr. Wells said "What's that?" and asked if anyone whistled. No. Presently we heard another, and as we could see nothing, asked if there was a ventriloquist in the party; but almost immediately saw a native walking across an open space 100yds. ahead, all unconscious of our approach. Slipped off my camel and approached the creature, who catching sight of us seemed spellbound. As I came close to her, for it was a little girl about seven years of age, she held out to me a lizard, and was talking, but not crying. The lizard, a yellowish-brown reptile, new to me, I handed over to Mr. Helms. Gave her some water, some sugar, and took her up in front of me. Turned out a little further on some feed, as this child will be able to show us some water. We had dinner, the child sitting close by me, eating such a dinner as she never dreamed of, quite happy and apparently without fear of the strange white men. She is the first female we have had in camp and the first one the doctor has had an opportunity to photograph; she was much afraid of the camera, and I had great difficulty in keeping her quiet. Mr. Wells and I, with the Young girl in front of me, on Misery, went away to find the water (kapi). In about two miles she took us to a round hole on top of a conglomerate and sandstone cliff with some nice clear water, how much we could not say, as the water was under a ledge. The cliff escarpment of this rock is to the south-west and has small caves and big holes. This sandstone outcrop is similar to all others in this country, being crowned with dense mulga, with here and there an open space covered with spinifex and rubble, ferruginous sandstone nodules. No natives have been here lately. A little saltbush in the flats. We began to retrace our steps, the child again in front of me, being clothed in a long shirt and with a red turban twisted around her head. We had not proceeded far before Mr. Wells called my attention to some natives ahead. The girl would not call to them. We saw many black forms in amongst the bushes; the women ran to the right, the men to the left into some mulga. I dismounted and taking the girl by the hand led her towards the men. As soon as we were well in sight, being on an open plateau, I let the girl go; she immediately ran off, calling out and crying, When she reached the men they tore off the turban and shirt, dashed them on the ground, pushed the girl behind them, shipped their spears, and made a dash out at us. I remounted quickly, and as they were within 100yds. of us I fired my revolver well clear of them. During the momentary halt caused by the report we retired a bit. With a yell they again charged us in open order; again I fired well clear of them; they were probably only 70yds. distant. Again they stopped; with a yell we charged them at a gallop. A moment's hesitation and the sight of the huge monsters coming at them open-mouthed, struck fear into their hearts, and turning they fairly raced for the dense mulga thicket, which we could not penetrate. We retired, and they tried to surround us, setting fire to the spinifex as they ran. Mr. Wells charged one bold fellow on the left, and he took to his heels. As we were on a nice open spot I dismounted, gave my camel to Mr. Wells to hold, and approached slowly, waving a handkerchief, calling to them the few words I knew of their tongue, every few yards sitting down for a few minutes, Mr. Wells standing by his camel with his Winchester repeating rifle ready to knock over a nigger if there was a rush for me, or if I fired. After a great deal of this, and when I had gone 80yds. from the camels, I got one fellow to come to me; he had his spears. I gently took them from him and placed them on the ground, quietly tied a red handkerchief around his head. His eye was on me, and every muscle tense and ready for a dash for freedom. I touched his arm, and he jumped away as if hurt. He called to his friends to bring their spears, pointing to his on the ground. I picked them up and handed them to him. Went back to the camels, got another red handkerchief and a piece of tobacco, and again approached them. They drew back into the bushes, and some time was again occupied in similar manoeuvres before they would come near. Eventually, slowly, and with halting steps and much evident trepidation, a man came and was decorated with the handkerchief. Slowly others came, until I had seven men, muscular fellows—two of them being about 5ft. 10in. in height—standing close by me. I had all their spears laid on the ground. I accomplished that by taking the spears out of the hand of the man I had just adorned with the handkerchief, and laying them on the ground, pointing to each man's spears and signing them to do likewise. I broke a. piece of tobacco for each man, chewed a piece, and then put it behind my ear, as they do their pitchiri (native tobacco). They grasped my meaning at once, and seemed quite taken with the horrid taste. Another fellow wanted a hand­kerchief; having a white one on my hat, I removed that and tied. it round his head. That seemed to please them much. Again returning to the camels, having nothing more to give them, and it being near sundown. As I went to the camels they retired into the scrub. Noticing a kadnuka on Mr. Well's saddle, which he had caught as we rode along, I took that to them, and one fellow quickly came out and eagerly took it from me. Thus, after about an hour, I was able to hold converse with everyone of those who had been thirsting for our blood shortly before. They all felt me and patted me, and expressed their astonishment by a clicking of the tongue and slapping their legs. A great triumph I think this was, for really matters looked very serious at one time. I did not intend to run away from them, and neither did I wish to shoot at them. We returned to camp. At ten miles a sand ridge 1,650ft. above sea level. The day had been cool and pleasant. Min. temp. 46°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.31, ther. 60; 3 p.m., bar. 28.38, ther. 80. Camp 40. Lat. 27° 4'.

Friday, September 4th.—Camp 40. Clear and cold. Ther. 31°, light south wind. Rob made a mistake in the time, and got up at 4.30, lit the fire. and aroused all hands. At 6.30 we started up for the rockhole, leaving Warren and Gwynne in camp. The natives had been there and lowered the water considerably. We got 2lgalls. of clear water which we put in the canteens, and got 72galls. for the camels, leaving a little in the hole. Throwing the dirt out of this shelving (or cave) was a work of considerable trouble, and occupied us until midday. The camels were very thirsty and eager to get at the water; twenty four of them got a bucket each. The geologist says of the locality:—"The formation exposed there, the top of a rise, consists in its lower strata of brown ferruginous sandstone, changing gradually; a small band of rough conglomerate of the same material, cemented by iron ochre, and top layer is composed of a conglomerate of small pebbles and a kind of travertine limestone (fresh water form). The whole outcrop is exposed for 12ft. to 15ft. high, and is very much inclined to cavernosity, the conglomerate forming the roof of the eaves. The waterhole is about 7ft. below the surface, being one of these excavations; it has leading to it a drive of an inclination of 45°." Proceeding on our journey for seven miles, we passed over a country which, though wretched as far as feed is concerned, has a very pleasing aspect. Fine healthy looking gum trees; pines on the sand ridges, which are few and far between. Sandstone table bluffs; mulga crowned. Camp 41 on very poor feed for the camels. Warm day. Heavy clouds to the north and north-west. A cool south-east wind. Lat. 27° 10' 40". Max. temp. 65°, min. temp. 30°. At 9 am., bar. 21.37[sic], ther. 56°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.50, ther. 65°. Distance, nine miles on course, and five miles to and from rockhole = fourteen miles for day.

Saturday, September 5th.—Camp 41. Cold, clear; ther. 28°. Having put our watches back 30' to local time our start is apparently earlier being at 6.25. Still following Mr. Wells' pad, the caravan going on, while I went westerly to some cliffs, four miles distant, to look for water. Crow about. Saw some native tracks, ran them and eventually came to a small hole in a cliff. Was only able to get lgall. of water out by tying a pannican on to my whip handle. This small hole is in the soft sandstone on the face of the cliff. The natives (about twenty, I should think) had camped here a night—the night before last. Cliffs are of a white clayey material, 70ft. high, capped by a ferruginous sandstone. Fine saltbush at the fort, and dense mulga. Country very pleasing aspect. Groves of gum trees (desert gums) in the valleys and sometimes on the sandhills. Pines (Thryptomene Maisoeneuvii). Spinifex everywhere. Very poor camel feed, Heavy travel­ling over big sandhills. Camp 42, at 3.45. Distance, seventeen miles. Day was cool; south-east wind. I reached the camp just as the camels were being let go, having ridden about twenty-seven miles. "Crossed a ridge of sandstone, which is interstratified by layers of clay somewhat ferruginous. The same formation exists four miles west; sample brought by Mr. Lindsay. The surface cover is formed by marine quartz pebbles of a quartz not found on the spot, probably the remains of an older stratum, a conglomerate now corroded."—V. S. Lat. 27° 28' 30". Max. temp. 68°, min. temp. 28°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.75, ther. 51°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.51, ther. 68°.

Sunday, September 6th.—Camp 42. Cold, clear. Ther. 19° F., the lowest we have had it so far. Cold enough; it is 13° below freezing. At 8 o'clock an east wind sprang up and blew strongly. Started at 6.22. Sandhills not so frequent. Country still pleasing to the eye. Desert gums numerous. Feed scarce. No grass. Valleys hard sandy soil. No pines. Saw fresh native tracks and smoke ahead. I hope the natives have not been camped on the water long, or Mr. Wells' 300galls. will have shrunk considerably. As Mr. Wells said we should not get any feed for six or eight miles if we passed a certain place, we turned out at 12.45, having only done fourteen miles. The travelling was not so bad to-day, but still in a wretched country. Camp 43. Lat. 27°. 36' 10". An accident happened whereby 1½galls. more of water was used than customary, viz., Warren's yeast jar burst. Max. temp. 73°, min. temp. 19° F. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.95, ther. 57°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 71°.

Monday, September 7th.—Camp 43. Ther. 46°. What an extraordinary difference to last night; north-east wind. Cool night. Resumed our journey at 6.24. The natives tracks more numerous, and going our way. Good travelling. Sandhills not so bad. At five miles we reached the rockholes. Pushing our way through the dense mulga, which crowns this sandstone height and surrounds the rockhole, we suddenly saw a lot of native women and children at the hole. With a tremendous yell they fled; I after them on Misery for a few yards, when the open gully took a sudden turn to the right, and I saw a mob of men rushing up to see what had frightened the women. On seeing me they stopped. I "wishta'd" Misery and dismounted and approached the excited creatures, adopting somewhat similar tactics to that so successfully tried a few days ago. I succeeded in getting twelve men to come up to us. They were terribly frightened. Gave them handkerchiefs. They did not like the look of the shining barrel of the doctor's gun. I noticed one man call another's attention to it, and they one by one sneaked off. One man I detained pointed west and south for "kapi", but what good is their water to us? I intended tying one fellow on a camel, and make him take us to water; but on consideration it seemed to me that we should be dragged about, in all probability, from one small rockhole to another and never get enough. Better by far to trust to Providence and make a straight line for Queen Victoria's Spring. One of these men had only half a foot on one leg, the heel being in front, the other foot had no big toe, and he only had one eye. Another man was a dwarf, not more than 4ft. high, with a long, flowing beard. Another was about 6ft. high, and a fine muscular fellow. The others were average height, and all looked well nurtured. We returned to the water and found the 300galls. reduced to 90galls. of a dirty, dark, bitter fluid. Thirty camels had a bucket each, which, poor brutes, though they were very thirsty, did not relish at all. It was almost worse than no water at all, I think. This is a great disappointment, but the explorer gets used to disappointments, and must trust to Providence to pull him through the tight places. There is for us no turning back. We must push on at all hazards. We only made six miles farther on a new bearing of 227°, because Mr. Wells said we would not get any feed for miles if we passed that spot. Turned out at 3 p.m. Distance, eleven miles. Camp 44. Max. temp. 89°, min temp. 46°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 59°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.35, ther. 85°.

Tuesday, September 8th.—Camp 44. Clear, calm, warm. Two of the young camels sick—evidently a poison plant. Gave them eight packets of salts each, and they travelled with very light loads all day. The country has decidedly improved, in that it is firmer with irregular sandhills, our course missing many of them. All the bushes much greener. Some nice green waterbush here and there on the hills. I went to some sandstone country, but did not find any water. We started at 6.30 a.m. and camped at 3.15 p.m., having made about eighteen miles on bearing 225°, and having passed Mr. Wells' farthest at two miles in lat. 27° 44' 55". Camp 45 in lat. 27° 54' 32". There is a peculiar looking valley on our right, mulga and stony looking. I must go there to-morrow to look for water. The day has been cool; wind veering south­west, west, and north-west. The barometer fell last night. Camels travelled very well. Saw two corellas. Max. temp. 78°, min. temp. 50°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.40, ther. 68°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.25, ther. 77°.

Wednesday, September 9th.—Camp 45. Ther. 35°. Clear and calm. Resumed our journey on bearing 225° at 6.20; shortly afterwards a nice cool breeze sprang up from the south-west and then south. Rain clouds low down. Passed over low sandhills with sand plains between. Spinifex, desert gum, and usual bushes. I went westerly in the valley looking for water. Saw good mulga country, loamy soil, but no water. At noon we passed some old native camps. Country gradually changing. Camp 46. At 3 p.m., distance travelled seventeen miles. Lat. 28° 4' 29". Height 1,300ft. Max. temp. 78°, min. temp. 35. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.49, ther. 57°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.51, ther. 72°.

Thursday, September 10th.—Camp 46. Cold east wind during night. On same bearing at 6.20. Good travelling, level; more mulga and gravel plains. I was away again searching for water. At eleven miles found a dry rockhole on a sandstone ridge 1,250ft. above sea level. Numerous old native camps. Searched for other holes without success. These rockholes, at least many of them, are not natural. On a suitable place the natives dig a hole in the soft rubbly sandstone, which, becoming filled with water after rain, becomes softer, and the cleaning out which is necessary to get at the water deepens and enlarges the hole, so that in course of a few years fair sized holes capable of holding a few hundred gallons are formed. We saw some holes newly made that had never contained water. A change in the country here occurred, a big dip taking place, with sandstone cliffs on our right, which I searched for water without success. Saw smoke bearing 275° and 210°. Camp 47; at 2.30. Sixteen miles. Lat. 28° 13' 53". East wind continued all day. Cool. Fairly good feed for the camels. Height of camp 1,100ft. Max. temp. 78°, min. temp. 40°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.75, ther. 58°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.78, ther. 75°.

Friday, September 11th.—Camp 47. Cool, cloudy; north-east wind. We all felt better, but very weak and queer all day. In two miles the country became flat—a yellowish soil, with a gypseous clay, like around the mound springs, and I expect we will soon come to a salt lake. Black oak, sandalwood, myall; good stock country. Splendid travelling; the camels walked quickly. A very few low sandhills. We made nineteen miles to lat. 28° 28' 0" on a bearing of 211°, having started at 6.30 and stopped at 2.30. From the dip in the country and the high white sandhills—freshly burnt country—a few natives (three) and emu (four) tracks, I expected to find water. I followed the tracks, but the only good fortune I had was to find a patch of green waterbush. While Misery fed, I cut all there was and took it to the camp, which I reached at dusk. Misery had a good feed. Having seen a smoke not far off our course yesterday, we steered for it to-day, and passed through the burnt patch. I saw a smoke ahead, about three miles from camp, evidently sent up in answer to a smoke made at the camp for me when I was away, it being the custom to always send up a smoke after camping, so that I should not pass ahead of the caravan. The camels are still going well, though the feed is poor. Level mallee, poor spinifex, white sandy country. Lot of this country has been burnt within the last two years, A strong cool south wind set in about 2 o'clock. Heavy clouds all day; threatening for rain. I hope and pray rain will fall. I still hope to find water hereabouts; the presence of natives and emus is encouraging. One of the Afghans saw a crow, attracted by our smoke. We are to-day half way between Mount Squires and Queen Victoria's Springs. Marked a desert gum D.L./11.9.91 (within diamond). The doctor photographed it. I wonder if a white man will ever see that tree. Camp 48. Lat. 28° 28' 0". Height 1,300ft. "Change in the formation, viz., nodulous limestone, partly organic, afterwards changing into clay and gypsum, with an extinct mound spring. The limestone continues for two miles, and after that again sand in vast flats. Height of mound spring, 1,050ft."—V. S. Strong south wind continued to blow during night. Lightning seen to south-east. Max. temp. 70°; min. temp. 50°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.75, ther. 65°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.68; ther. 70°.

Saturday, September 12th.—Camp 48. Night clear and mild; light south wind. Having a strong idea that there is water somewhere in this vicinity I again went away to have a search. Had no luck, and came to conclusion that there was not any water within a radius of five miles at all events. There is nothing to indicate the presence of water or to guide one in the search for it. I overtook the caravan at 12.30, having found some old native camps, but no signs of where the natives had procured the water. We passed through open forest, undulating hard sandy soil, scattered spinifex, a little withered grass. Much of the country has been burnt. At about ten miles we were on top of a hill 1,100ft. above sea level, with big dark hills to the right, and ahead sand covered with scrub and forest, looking very uninviting. Here was a steep descent over sandstone and big waterworn quartz pebbles; 150ft. lower was a nice valley, with claypans and good bushes, a watercourse leading down the centre, southerly. Then we commenced to ascend, and camped in mulga valley, low sandhills. I think we have finished with the big sandhills. About three miles back from the Camp we lost the forest and had open spinifex plains, with belts of dense mulga on our right, which we are having the good luck to miss; poor camel feed. Cool south-west wind, cloudy. A few drops of rain fell here Yesterday. Streich shot a fine eagle, which Mr. Helms is going to preserve. Camp 49. Lat. 28° 41' 49". Height, 1,000ft.; distance, nineteen miles. "The cliff We descended is quartzite grit on top and white quartz and lydite gravel underlaying. The strike of the grit was east and west, the dip north-west, and under 15. The rises to-day presented themselves very distinctly as terraces."—V. S. Max. temp. 78°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.77, ther. 57°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.90, ther. 74°. We have seven weeks' supply of tobacco in camp.

Sunday, September 13th.—Camp 49. At 3 o'clock we were awakened by a slight drizzling rain. The sky was completely overcast. Rose at the usual time. Cold south-west wind, heavy clouds. At 5.25 we sat down to our breakfast, and at 6.7 we started on our journey, only forty-two minutes to breakfast and load up thirty-two camels; pretty smart work, I think. We altered our bearing to 222°. Crossed three small sandhills and then slightly undulating open forest country, sandy soil, hard, small spinifex, gravelly surface. The desert gums gradually became less, and we had clumps of mallee, kurrajong, quondong, acacia, spinifex always. Just before we lost the gums the country was most pleasing, being park-like in its appearance. At noon we saw fresh native and emu tracks going our way, but nothing to indicate where the water might be. At 1 o'clock we were on an extensive burnt country, with green grass (spear grass), the first we have seen since leaving Mount Squires. Everlastings and other small plants in blossom. "Many a flower is born to bloom unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air"—showing that some rain had fallen here a short time ago. The spinifex too was green. The desert gums again came in. The camels travelled well, and at 2.15 we turned out, having made about twenty and a half miles, on bearing 222°. Camp 50. Lat. 28° 55' 14"; height 850ft. Heavy clouds this morning, with slight misty rain. Cold south-west to south wind, rendering coats necessary, and being as good to the camels as a bucket of water. We could not have better weather for travelling, and if it continues I am not afraid of losing any of the camels. We shall not give them water for two or three days yet. Again some corellas were seen. Marked a tree D.L./50 (within diamond). Var. 1° 16' E. Max. temp. 66°, min. temp. 44°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.18, ther. 55°; 3 p.m., bar. 29.03, ther. 66°.

Monday, September 14th.—Camp 50. Ther. 32°; cold, clear, calm. The camels ate very freely of the kurrajong or ordnance tree. Started at 6.25 on bearing 222°, the same class of country continuing. Camels all well. My compass read 181° on a true south line. At six miles we entered open mulga and mallee, hard, yellowish clay loam. At eight miles dry grass and broombush; country level. At ten miles came on burnt country, with parakylia fairly plentiful; consequently we turned the camels out, as this moist plant is as good as water, and the camels deserve a day's rest, having travelled for fifteen consecutive days. A spell day is rather irksome, as, being unable to wash my hands, I cannot work at journals. North-east wind, then south­west; beautiful day—cool, with few clouds. The travelling has been exceptionally good. Saw the fresh tracks of two or three natives and emus, and passed some clumps of mallee, of which the natives had been pulling up the roots to get water. This mallee has a smooth bark, nearly white, and the leaves are very much greener and more shiny than any of the other kinds growing in the neighborhood. Mr. Wells walked the whole distance yesterday; every one walks from two to five hours each day. Camp 51. Lat. 29° 1' 40"; height 850ft. Max. temp. 79°, min. temp. 32° F. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.13, ther. 53°; 3 p.m., bar. 29.00, ther. 78°.

Tuesday, September 15th.—Camp 51. Cold, clear. Resumed our journey on same bearing at 6.6. All camels looking well, the little parakylia having made a most noticeable impression on them. Passed over the same class of country, with good coarse green grass. Then at four miles the bush improves; good sheep country; hard soil; mallee, mulga, myall, broom, and many bushes and shrubs, less spinifex; white, yellow, and pink everlastings, and other small, beautiful flowers—Mr. Helms is kept very busy amongst them; needle-bush, a few quondongs, a little saltbush. At fourteen miles we emerged out of a dense mallee scrub on to burnt country with fresh vegetation. A smoke bearing 255°. At eighteen miles came on really good fresh herbage, and turned out. 1.25 p.m. As we proceed the country is improving, and the flowers, shrubs, herbs, &c., all show a fair rainfall. I am now quite easy in mind about the camels all going through, even to Hampton Plains, if Queen Victoria's Spring should tail us. We are now 126 miles from the latter place. Mr. Helms has gathered many interesting flowering plants to-day; many new to us. I noticed the Euphorbia Drummondi and E. Pilufera. North west wind; pleasant day. Camp 62. Latitude 29" 12' 0". Height, 850ft. Occasional patches of nodulous limestone. Max. temp. 79°, min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.99, ther. 62°; 3 p.m. bar. 28.80, ther. 76°.

Wednesday, September 16th.—Camp 52. Clear, cold, north wind. Barometer falling. Resumed our bearing at 5.55. exactly one hour and twenty minutes after the fire was lighted. Camels all looking well, and showing the benefit of the green juicy food. No necessity now to give them any water out of the casks. Same class of country, then few pines, mallee, spinifex. Limestone occurs in small patches occasionally. Emu tracks going west, three fresh native tracks also. Strong cool north-west wind. At seven and a half miles sandy soil. Pines more numerous. Fresh lowan tracks and nests, but no eggs. Desert gums again (eu. eudesmioides). At eight and a half miles lost the pines. Acacias more plentiful, with quondongs, grevillia, few kurrajongs. Wind west and then south-west. At 10.25 (ten miles) I saw a smoke bearing 305°. Turned towards it, leaving the caravan to go on. One mile took me on top of a long low white sand ridge, and the smoke appearing distant about seven or eight miles. 262° to white patch on high black range fifteen miles. Think the range is only high sandhills covered with scrub. 264° to west bluff end of same range. 279° a round hill not like sand, about twenty miles. At seven miles I reached the smoke, and found only one native track. I then went 243° for a smoke which had just sprung up. In three miles I came to a samphire flat with high banks of gypseous clay and mallee trees, with the roots pulled up by natives for water. The round hill now bears 274°, and the bluff 248°. Fine pastoral country, but suffering from a prolonged drought. Reached the second fire in four miles, and found it had been made by the same native. Then sped on hurriedly to another fire, and found that had also been made by the same man. I now turned south-east to intercept the caravan, and passed through saltbush, cottonbush, bluebush, black oak, rich clayey soil suitable for reservoirs. All extremely dry; no signs of animal or bird life. At six miles I left the good country and entered a sandy country again with a few large sandhills, thick mallee, and dense mulga. Reached camp at 6 o'clock, having ridden thirty miles since I left the caravan, or forty miles for my day's journey. Poor feed at camp. Camp 53. Lat. 29° 23' 36". One of the sandhills we crossed was 1,100ft. above sea level. A strong gale set in from south-west, the equinoctial gales. Bitterly cold. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.63, ther. 65°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.73, ther. 51°. Distance for caravan, twenty miles.

Thursday, September 17th.—Camp 53. South-west gale; heavy scud, very cold. At 5.57 we started on bearing 230°, and passed through open scrub, sandy soil; spinifex, poor country, At two miles we crossed a salt water channel, two chains wide, leading south; could see for one and a half miles. I think this water­course probably leads out by the claypan discovered by Giles. Immediately on the west bank we found rocks (schistose), quartz, micaceous schist, granulite, pegmatite conglomerates of all these rocks, clayey loam (reddish color); black oak, bluebush, and other good stock bushes; a very pretty scarlet flowering bush; robin red breasts. Such a complete change of country is encouraging, and causes us to hope for water. At six miles we again enter sandy country, with mallee, acacia, cherry, mulga, spinifex. At eight miles low, irregular sandhills are met with, becoming closer together as we proceed, from five to twenty chains apart; mallee sand flats; few desert gums. At twelve miles sandhills farther apart; at fourteen miles closer together again and much higher. At 11.30 I saw a smoke to south quite close. I went off, and in four miles came to the fire; only one native again. A smoke then sprang up a little farther on; went to it; found only one track, the same man. Then on bearing 210° about one mile away another smoke sprang up; off I went to it to find that the same man had been there. I was so close on the fellow that he did not venture any more smokes. At fifteen miles, on bearing 125°, distant twenty miles, a white sand patch on hill, evidently the east side of a valley, as the hills again show about five miles to the westward. Returned to the caravan and camped at 2 p.m., sixteen miles, on good feed. Camels still look well, and Hadji says "No want water." Camp 54. Latitude 29° 33' 25". Marked a gum tree D.L./54 (within diamond), 17/9/91 (right hand side). Height, 1,100ft. Mr. Helms found about ten new plants to-day, and had six hours' walk to overtake the caravan. Limestone and sandstone; kurrajongs. I rode Misery nine miles extra. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.00, ther. 59°; 3 p.m., bar. 29.02, ther. 66°.

Friday, September 18th.—Camp 54. Ther. 38°. Calm, few clouds. At 8 a.m. cold, strong south-west wind. Resumed our journey on bearing 230° at 5.55. Irregular sandhills, general direction 290°. Spinifex, kurrajong, desert gums, acacia, cherry, and at five miles first grass tree (Xanthorœa) seen. Afterwards they became more numerous. Patches of dense mulga in the valleys, which we were fortunate enough to miss. Yellow sand. The vegetation is most peculiar, and I am of opinion that water could be obtained by sinking at no very great depth. Peculiar rush-like plants, grass amongst the spinifex, few trees. Saw an emu—the first living animal seen for a week. Very wretched country—sand plains and irregular sand hum­mocks. At fourteen miles quondongs become more numerous. Yellow sand, brown clay subsoil, rubbly limestone. At sixteen miles the hills are "jumbly hummocks". At eighteen miles poor mallee, limestone, very little feed where we camped at 3.25. Twenty miles, Mr. Helms collected about fifteen plants new to him. Camp 55. Lat. 29° 44' 45" Cloudy sky, extremely cold south-west wind. Max. temp. 58°, min. temp. 38°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.95, ther. 53°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.80, ther. 57°.

Saturday, September 19th.—Camp 55. At 11.30 last night we were awakened by rain drops and the clouds hanging low looked so like rain that we covered all the goods up, but only a few drops fell. At 8 a.m. a gale sprung up and then the sky became clear. We were later in rising this morning (5 a.m.); consequently our start was later, it being 6.20 ere we got away on bearing 230°, passing over undulating country, limestone outcrops, mallee, and spinifex, making a most wretched country. At seven miles yellow sandhills about ten chains apart, limestone, micaceous schist, and quartz. Camels looking and travelling well, although owing to the spinifex and hills rather slow. Mulga in some of the hollows. No tracks of natives, old or fresh, seen to-day or yesterday. Desert gums continue, few Xanthorœa (or grass tree), mallee, quondongs, pines, heath, and many shrubs and bushes, spinifex, and no grass. At fourteen miles saw at about twenty miles to north­west, all sandhills, a fresh native track. Country again became more level, producing little besides mallee and spinifex (five varieties of mallee). Turned out at 3.50 on better feed than I hoped or expected to find—poplars and kurrajong. Very fresh native track where camped. Cold south wind and cloudy. Saw smokes ahead to-day. Camp 56. Lat. 29° 54' 35". Height, 750ft.; distance, eighteen and a half miles. Min. temp. 35°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.23, ther. 52°; 3 p.m., bar. 29.15, they. 58°.

Sunday, September 20th.—Camp 56. Ther. 26°; clear, cold, dew. At 5.45 resumed journey on bearing 230°. I left the caravan to follow some native tracks—two or three men, a woman, and small child. The tracks led about in all directions, but after some time I got the woman and child's track going fairly straight and followed them east for some miles, but after the experience I had farther back came to the conclusion that it was useless following them any farther, as in all probability they are living on mallee root water, there being no sign of animal life, and they have no dogs with them. At seven miles could see about twenty or thirty miles to north-west level sandy country. Cloudy, cold, light south to south-east wind; at midday, warm, with light southerly breeze. Sandhills not so bad, but still a wretched country; desert gums, mallees, few acacias, grevillias, quondong, heath and spinifex, patches of burnt country, no grass, grass trees. Camped at 3.20; eighteen miles. On poor feed again. Fresh native tracks, and a smoke about three miles distant on bearing 250°. Amongst white sandhills. Camp 57. Lat. 30 5' 12". Distance, nineteen miles. Max. temp. 76°, min. temp. 26°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.32, ther. 56°; 3 p.m., bar., 29.30, ther., 75°. The eagle which Mr. Helms stuffed is causing a lot of trouble; it is carried as top loading, and sometimes gets a little rough usage. This morning it was discovered that it had slipped out of the paper Covering when we were covering up the goods in the dark, and was left out in the damp.

Monday, September 21st.—Camp 57. Ther. 34°, clear and cold. Resumed our journey on bearing 230°, which is direct for Queen Victoria's Spring; distant thirty-six miles, at 5.55. Jumbly sandhills, poor country. Camels still looking well. At five miles a smoke bearing 283° about ten miles distant. At five became a half miles a smoke bearing 267° about four or five miles distant. At six and a half miles the sandhills became less and lower, though high ones can be seen to west and north-west. Limestone outcropping. At fifteen miles yellow sand takes the place of brown, which prevailed for three miles. At 2 o'clock camped, as the feed on the burnt ground is better than in the unburnt, besides which some of the camels are getting The last two days were long and the feed poor. We have now been twenty-two days travelling without a rest, and as it has all been sandy, and a good many sandhills, the long journey is now telling on the poor patient brutes. We should make within two or three miles of the spring to-morrow evening. Emu tracks very numerous on a patch of burnt country, where there were some green creepers and herbage. Saw also the fresh tracks of a native man and woman and two dogs, the first dog tracks we have seen in the desert. Mallee of various kinds, some very large acacias, quondong, heath, grass trees, rushes, numerous shrubs, and flowering plants. Camp 58. Lat. 30° 14' 5".; height, 700ft. Distance sixteen miles. Max. temp. 77., min. temp. 34°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.32, ther. 55°; at 3 p.m., bar. 29.28, ther. 75°. One of the camels had a very bad foot and I made a leather shoe for it. Many of them are lame.

Tuesday, September 22nd.—Camp 58. Ther. 36°. Cold, clear, north-east wind. At 5.50 we resumed on same bearing. Camels went on well. The shoe I made was a grand success, and the camel walked well with it. At two miles we entered burnt mallee; red clayey loam; good herbage and grasses. The mallee has been burnt in vast patches a year or two ago. The fires must have been enormous. At five and a half miles passed a salty claypan, the shores or banks about 20ft. high, formed of crystalline gypsum, overlying gypseous clays. Limestone appearing as we entered the unburnt giant mallee country, which continued to the sixth mile, when we found burnt country with young mallee 3ft. to 6ft. high. Travelling much easier and quicker, for breaking through the dense mallee is slow work, and tiring for the poor camels. The sandy soil is hard. At nine miles white sandhills, with pines, &c. At twelve miles a conspicuous white sandhill bears 210°, apparently about five miles distant, a black scrub intervening. Smokes bearing 138°, also 290°, not distant. At thirteen miles a smoke, bearing 187°, only a few miles distant. The sandhills here run up to a height of 350ft., in long slopes, making them look in the distance as fine ranges. At fifteen miles we turned bearing 197° for the conspicuous white sandhill, which is a remarkable feature in this country, and which I am rather surprised that Mr. Giles does not mention in his journal. We shall get on the latitude given by Mr. Giles for Queen Victoria's Spring, and then travel along that latitude. Very good feed on this hill top; as we go south the feed gets poorer and the scrubs dense. At 3.50 having, we judged, gone far enough, we camped on poor feed. Camp 59. Lat. 30° 25' 48", making our position twenty-seven chains too far south for the spring. Height, 830ft. Distance for day, nineteen miles. We should now be about five miles east of Queen Victoria's Spring, and to-morrow is anxiously looked for. I am not very sanguine about finding any water there—the country looks so terribly dry, and from the absence of animal and bird life. Max, temp. 80°; min. temp. 36°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.21, ther. 60°; at 3 p.m., 29.00, ther.

Wednesday, September 23rd.—Camp 59. Clear, warmer; north-east wind. At 6 the caravan, led by Mr. Wells, started due west along the latitude, with instructions to wait for me at five miles. I went to the "conspicuous white sandhill", three and a half miles distant, on bearing 197°. Low sandhills, and then a gentle slope with quartzite outcropping then a bare white sand ridge at the foot of the hill, which was very steep and of pure white sand, like the sand of the seashore, above which it was elevated 1,150ft. From the top an extensive view was obtained. To the south. over a level-looking black scrubby country, with an occasional glimpse of reddish sand, the horizon appearing perfectly level and distant twenty miles; to the north the horizon is more irregular, as the long rounded tops of sandhills can be seen; to the east long black ridges with hollows between, distant, say, twenty miles; to the west, distant, say, eight or ten miles, is a long level black scrubby hill, with white sandhills lying between us which extend northerly but apparently not southerly. There are three pine trees on the summit of this hill, and as it is very conspicuous and visible, towering above its fellows, for some distance it should be an important landmark and guide for future travellers to Queen Victoria's Spring; white gumtrees in the deep narrow hollows on either side. So far as I can see distinctly with the glasses, say ten or fifteen miles, there is not a "white sandhill" in view to the east and north-east; therefore I am certain that we are east of the spring. Just as I overtook the caravan one of the camels—the one with the boot on—jumped up as if stung with something, and began running around. He had two empty water casks on; these and the saddle were taken off. Hadji administered the usual remedy, "cure all", twelve packets of salts. The poor creature was apparently mad, and was tearing around with Hadji hanging on to the noseline. We roped him down, which was no easy matter, got a bucket of water for him, but Hadji first wanted to dose him with a decoction of sonic seeds which he hurriedly prepared. As we were administering the medicine he had a kind of fit, and, with one convulsive fit, threw his head hack and almost instantly died. This was the most sudden death I have seen amongst camels. Just before I reached the caravan the camel had been feeding, and was apparently quite well, though rather tucked up, having been in season when we left Mount Squires. The doctor said, "Urinic poisoning." It was a very good camel, one of the Beltana mob, branded TE conjoined on off neck and like 8E on near rump. We proceeded due west; shortly I turned off to some white sand ridges on our left. Ascending the most southerly one I saw "an open space surrounded by pine trees" at the south-west end of the white sandhills—exactly the view which was presented to Mr. Giles on the 25th September, 1875 (sixteen years ago). I rode on, and in one mile came to the "funnel-shaped hollow", Queen Victoria's Spring, but, alas for us, the magnificent spring, which we had come 400 miles to find, had ceased to exist, for no water was visible. By pushing a stick down the "natural well" of Mr. Giles I found water, but I am afraid the supply will be very small. Signalled to the caravan, which would have passed along fifteen chains to the northwards. Turned the camels out at 12 o'clock, having travelled eight miles. Very good feed—acacias and other good camel bushes, besides some small herbs, and a small description of parakylia. Some fine white gums and pine trees grow around the open space of grass land, which is about forty acres in extent. We immediately proceeded to sink a well, and obtained a small quantity in a quicksand. Baling sinking until midnight we took about 50galls., and then the well fell in and we could do no more. When I and Bob went up to the camp about 8 p.m. the doctor, who had served. out a nip of whisky all round, made a very complimentary speech, congratulating me upon having brought the whole caravan safely across the desert for such an enormous distance without water, and saying how well we had all got on together, and expressed a wish that the amicable relations would continue to the end of the expedition, wishing further success to the expedition. They then, led off by Mr. Leech, sang "For he's a jolly good fellow". I was surprised, touched, and much gratified, and replied, thanking them for the sentiments expressed; also thanking them for the manner in which they had conducted themselves during our trying march across the desert. Told them that I would do all I could to make the work as easy and pleasant as possible for them, and again expressed the wish that if at any time they had, or fancied they had, any grievance they would at once come to me, and I would, if possible, give them satisfaction; if unable to do so myself I would send the matter on to the Geographical Society. Mr. Giles says in his journal the night before he found the spring—"Before us and all along the western horizon we had a black and scrubby rise of very high sandhills with a big hollow at the foot." Then next day he says, " Ascended white sandhills, an open piece of grass land surrounded by pine trees falling into a funnel-shaped hollow. Scrubs abound beyond the open space. Though there are many white sandhills in the neighborhood the open space is so small and so surrounded by scrubs that it cannot be seen from any conspicuous one nor can any conspicuous sandhill (distinguishable at any distance) be seen from it. It lies at or near the south-west end of a mass of white-faced sandhills, there being none to the south or west of it." The above description of Queen Victoria's Spring being such a true and faithful word picture in every detail of this spot and the position agreeing exactly with Mr. Giles' there can be no shadow of a question as to our now being at Queen Victoria's Spring. We have now been without a drink for the camels for twenty-four days, and will only apparently be able to give them a bucket each to enable them to carry us on to where? Fraser Range perhaps! Max. temp. 86°, min. temp. 37°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.82, ther. 70; 3 p.m. 28.94, ther. 80.

Thursday September 24th.—Mr. Giles discovered Queen Victoria's Springs on the 25th of September, 1875, on the seventeenth day of travel, his camels having done 325 miles with one bucket of water apiece on the twelfth day. He found it a veritable oasis in the desert, abundance of water and some game. We on the 23rd of September, 1891; after a journey of 375 miles, with one bucket of water each for the camels, in twenty-three days reach the same spot to find that the spring had dried up. Early this morning we were at the well, and by using the tent flies and long pine poles, with broken boxes and bushes, we got the hole down on to the clay bottom, and obtained a few buckets more by baling every hour. By taking 40galls. of water out of the casks we will be able to give the camels about 2galls. each to-night, and then resume our journey to-morrow for Hampton Plains, 100 miles distant, where we hope to get water. Having seen natives' smokes yesterday and the day before, I had good signal smokes made yesterday and to-day hoping to attract some natives who might lead us to a water. To-day smokes are numerous and close, but, none of the natives have come in. The doctor photographed the spring, and marked a tree for me—a white gum on the south side of the spring—E.E.E/D.L./23.9.91 Camp 60 on north side of the depression. Lat. 30° 25' 45". The marked tree bears 197° 30' true, distant about twenty-three and a half chains from the spot on which the observations were taken. The well is eleven and a half chains on the same bearing. Longitude 123° 20' 15", 836ft. above sea level. Variation 0° 41' east. Soon after midday the water supply gave out. The well is now 15ft. deep and on a blue clay bed, which is dry, containing no water. Mr. Streich agreed with me that it was no use sinking in the clay bed of the lake, unless we were prepared to go 20ft. or 30ft., to look for water. I am greatly disappointed, for this was to have been one of my "depôts" according to the instructions, and I confidently relied on being able to make a start northerly from. here, and now I do not know where we shall be able to start from. We have already done the biggest journey on record without water, and it is hardly to be expected that all the camels will travel much further. We walked around the edge of the open space, and found traces of Mr. Giles visit, and also of Fred Newman's, who reported as follows—"Mr. J. P. Brooks, of Israelite Bay, W.A., under date 25th August, 1890, sent a communication to the Victorian Branch of the R.G.S., from which I have abstracted the following:—'Three years ago Messrs. Crawford and Pigott, furnished with camels, started from Moodera, in the Eucla district, to find the Victoria's Spring, discovered and named by the explorer Giles. Crawford's party returned unsuccessful. They reported finding white sandhills 1,500ft. high, but all attempts to find the spring were in vain. Last year the Ponton Bros. went out. At ninety miles in a northerly course from their homestead they came to a large watercourse running in an easterly direction. . . . .Fred Newman, an intelligent Swede, who has resided in this vicinity for the last five or six years, has for the last six months been engaged in prospecting and exploring. He has just furnished me with the following particulars of his last trip:—Procuring a native who knew the country for a distance of fifteen miles beyond Victoria's Spring, as a guide, they travelled sixty miles in a north-westerly course from Fraser Range to a rockhole, beyond which the country got very poor, being a red sandy loam covered with spinifex and thin stunted mallee bushes. At ninety-five miles from the range they struck the dry watercourse previously described by the Pontons; they followed it in generally a north-westerly course for ninety miles through miserable country. Small flats were found here and there in the bed of this dry river, on which mulga and stunted sandalwood growing. . . . .Though many holes were dug on the river bed, no water was obtained, except where natives had wells; some of these were ample for the needs of his party, while at many others half the horses were watered at night and the other half in the morning. Owing to the drought which has been prevailing in these parts the natives informed him he could proceed no farther, as the water all "Kakabooka", (dead), but at the west end of the watercourse there was a large salt lake. . . . At what Newman calculates 135 miles from Fraser's Range they came to Victoria's Spring; he describes the water as a soakage, not a Spring, about 12ft. square; his thirsty horses lowered it to about 6in., but it was refilled in about half an hour; it is surrounded by a small patch of grass about 40,000 acres in extent, beyond which spinifex, stunted mallee and poverty. Near the water were seen many traces of Giles's party, camel dung, fires, tent pegs, trees cut by axes, &c.... Great numbers of emu came to the water. . . . Newman saw great numbers of natives there. They made no secret of being cannibals. . . . .He saw no children. On one occasion while travelling up the watercourse he came on a native camp, at which, judging from the numbers of spears and condys lying around, there must have been, according to Newman's calculation, nearly 600 natives.'" Newman's description is correct, but there is something wrong with the figures; 40,000 acres should be forty acres, and a mob of sixty natives would be large for that country. Max. temp. 90°; min. temp,41°. At 9 a.m., bar 29.20, ther. 75°; at 3 p.m.., bar 28.99, ther. 87°.

Friday, September 25th.—Queen Victoria's Spring. Cloudy in the east; warm. At 6.15 we resumed our journey on bearing 227°for a spring marked on the map. Before leaving we obtained 3quarts of water as the drainage for twelve hours, giving a total of 60galls. We have 120galls. of water in the casks, equal to twelve days, supply. I do not expect to find any water in the spring, which is sixty-five miles distant, but we shall get out of the spinifex country and probably have good travelling to Fraser Range. I have abandoned the idea of going to Hampton Plains, as there is no certainty of water there; whereas according to our maps there is a station at Fraser Range which means an absolutely certainty. At five half miles the "conspicuous white sandhill" bears 84° true. A strong north wind, with cloudy sky, like rain. Reddish loamy soil; spinifex, bushes, grass. Giant yellow bark mallee, 70ft. high, 2in. diameter, very straight and pretty. Hard clay subsoil; limestone in places. At thirteen miles a deep hollow at foot of a black range extending across our line of march. Large circular depressions. At fourteen miles we began to ascend over a hard clayey soil with quartzite outcropping. Large yellow bark mallee, quondongs, acacia, &c.; very poor feed. The top of the hill is 1,100ft. above sea level. We then descended into a basin, on which was good feed, but unfortunately a good deal of saltbush also, off which we must keep the camels. At sixteen miles (2.15) we turned out. Camp 61. Strong north-west wind, very trying. We all feel it after the lovely weather of the last fortnight. We seem to have passed out of the sandhills. Several times we saw where the natives had been getting water out of the mallee roots. We dug up some and got a little water. It is evident that a man could get quite enough to sustain life. It is no troubles to get the roots, as they are close to the surface and run out 20yds. sometimes. Up to now I have, in consideration of the Afghans having to bring in the camels in the evening, and during the day often having to run back to tie broken nose lines, allowed them 2qts. in addition to the 2gall. per man per day—12qts. instead of 10qts.; but now I have stopped the extra allowance, and Hadji kicked up a row about it, refusing to take their evening's water. Mr. Leech then called out to Abdul to come and take the water or he would put it back in the cask. Abdul came. Hadji complained to me, but I told him he must be content with what I consider it right to give him. Heavy smokes north of the spring this morning, and also to south-east and south. Max. temp. 91°, min. temp. 41°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.77, ther. 74°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.56, ther. 90°. Shall make earlier starts now.

Saturday, September 26th.—Camp 61. Lat. 30° 35' 0". Warm, clear, all clouds having disappeared. At 5.15, just as soon as we could see to move, having breakfasted by candle light, we resumed our journey on bearing 227°. At four miles we were on top of a hill 1,450ft. high, reddish loam, 6in. to 1ft. deep, reddish clay subsoil. Few limestone nodules. Descending slightly the soil became lighter. All day the spinifex has been in but small patches. Dense mallee and other bushes. At five and a half miles an extensive view was obtained before us, over apparently level scrub country. To the westward similar, with a big dip between. At eight and a half miles a rugged granite hill bears 305°, distant about twenty miles. Here the granite cropped out, and a little cup containing water was found. In the deep valley beneath us were three smokes, looking like camp fires. Away to the west, under some white cliffs, a blue smoke was also rising; also on our course some distance ahead. I went to the smokes in the valley and found they were all made by one lubra, going east. I then made across to intercept the caravan on a big granite hill, making smokes as I rode along. When I met the caravan I found that Mr. Leech and one or two others had gone back with a camel for about 10galls. of water which the doctor had found in a rockhole just after I left the caravan. Mr. Helms and someone else had gone to my smokes, thinking they were made by niggers. Spinifex, mallee, poor country, but very interesting in appearance, and worth a closer examination than it is possible for us to give it. A high country extends away easterly with a valley between it and another belt of high dark-looking country, like a range extending across our course and away to the east, circling around until it nearly meets the elevated country we have just crossed, some fifteen or twenty miles to the east. At fourteen miles a saltpan on our course; at fifteen miles we crossed a salt creek. The dry river mentioned by Newman, and discovered by Ponton Brothers, about which Newman says:—"At ninety-five miles from Fraser Range we struck a dry watercourse seen by Pontons. Followed it north-westerly for ninety miles through miserable country. Small flats here and there, on which mulga and stunted sandalwood were growing, and a poor scanty dry grass. Though many holes were dug in the river bed no water was obtained, except where the natives had wells. Some of these were ample for the needs of his party; at many others half the horses were watered at night, and the other hall in the morning." This creek (the Ponton, I shall call it) is 75yds.wide; saltwater at 3ft., gypsum, red clay banks 10ft. high; large mallee. Decided to turn out, as there was some bush on the north-east bank, and apparently none to south-west. Strong north-west wind hot, cloudy, looks like rain. The camels are still travelling well, and I have very little doubt that everyone will go to Fraser Range without water, if necessary. Sunk a hole in the creek bed and got saltwater at 3ft. I had a good wash all over and felt much refreshed therewith; the first wash for twenty-seven days. Heavy clouds at sunset, with lightning in east and north-east. Camp 62. Lat. 30° 44' 31". Distance, seventeen miles. The rocks met with to-day are "gneissic granite, syenite, and talcose schist, intersected by a multitude of quartz lodes; splendid country for prospecting."—V. S. Max. temp. 95°.

Sunday, September 27th.—Camp 62. The Ponton. Clear and cold. Rose at 3.30. Breakfast at 4. Resumed journey, same bearing, at 5 a.m. That was just as soon as we could see to move off the camp. It only took us (eight men) sixteen minutes to put all the loading on thirty-two camels. Travelled very slowly through thick mallee scrub, spinifex, giant mallee, 3ft. in diameter, 60ft. to 70ft. high; quondongs and thick scrub. At eight miles yellow bark mallee and bluebush on a rich red clay loam, having passed fluted or gimlet mallee, white mallee, and black butt, which is a most useful timber, very hard, dense, splitting very straight; the natives make their spears out of it. At ten miles bluebush, saltbush, limestone nodules, clayey soil (red, deep, and rich), many bushes; crows about, but no place inviting examination; very little spinifex; dry grass in patches; a gum tree with broad thick leaves on extremely long pendulous branches; also a clean white-barked mallee, on which the bark hangs in long thin strips or in bunches like ribbons—"Ribbon-bark mallee" I term it. At fourteen miles we left the spinifex and travelled over level red clay loam, salt- and bluebush in mallee scrub. A really good country, but suffering from a prolonged drought. At 2.20, having done sixteen miles, we turned out on very little feed. One of the camels was knocked up, and laid down two or three times with his loading; consequently I stopped, and will give him a bucket of water to­night. All the poor beasts are getting very leg weary and tired, and I cannot come across any feed on which to spell a day. The weather too is hot. Camp 63. Lat. 30° 54'. Max. temp. 98°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.73 ther. 65°; 3 p.m., no observations.

Monday, September 28th.—Camp 63. Warm night; clear; all signs of rain gone now; north-east wind. Resumed journey on bearing 227° at 4.55. Entered good country—saltbush, bluebush, high mallee hushes. Crossed Hunt's Hill at four miles. At seven miles, giant mallee—5ft. in diameter, 80ft. high; clay loam; very little spinifex. The whole country very dry. At eleven miles, low mallee, sandy, spinifex, and some grass. At thirteen miles, left the spinifex, and entered good country again. A crow or two followed us for some miles. I wish I had the same knowledge of the country as they have. The good clay loam producing fine mallees. Salt- and bluebush alternates with poor sandy, producing mallee scrub and spinifex. At eighteen miles, a small saltpan on our right. At nineteen miles, edge of a salt lake extending as for as could be seen to the east. We tried to cross it, but found it too boggy. No feed on this side, so had to go on, and it was 2.45 before we reached the opposite bank, having made the circuit of the western end in about three miles' travelling. We have passed the Spot where the spring is shown on the map, and have seen nothing at all indicative of a spring. The day has been hot, with a strong. north to north-west wind. The camels have travelled wonderfully well. The bucket of water which I gave the knocked up camel yesterday has had a wonderful effect. As each day closes, and no water and poor dry feed, I am more and more astonished at the wonderful powers of the camels. Camp 64. Lat. 31° 6' 7"; height, 1,450ft.; distance, twenty-two miles, 98° in the shade to-day. Having been eleven hours travelling, we were all exceedingly tired. I was very tired, having walked and sounded the depth of the mud in the salt lake, every few yards hoping to be able to get the caravan across. To-day I gave permission for a quart or two of water extra, to allow each man to enjoy his nobbler without trenching on their allowance, as all were extremely thirsty. When the Afghans came in with the camels at sundown, having had a long walk after them, as they had started off in search of water, I gave them two quarts of water extra. Poor fellows, they were very grateful. Max. temp. 98° (shade), min. temp. 60°. At 9 a.m., no observations; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.70; ther. 60°.

Tuesday, September 29th.—Camp 64. Resumed. journey at 4.55 on bearing 157° for a rockhole marked on the map. Country very good for travelling over—friable clayey loam (red), bluebush, little saltbush, large mallees, ti-tree, some very good flats. A splendid agricultural country, if a sufficient rainfall. Patches of spinifex and scrubby mallees. At eight miles, a salt basin. At eleven and a half miles we were on top of a hill covered with limestone rubble, with a range ahead. Having been sultry and cloudy at starting, it is now cool. North-west wind. Cloudy; looking like rain. A beautiful change, which refreshes and invigorates both man and beast. We gathered some green herbage as we passed along. At 12.45 (fifteen miles), in a fine flat, we found a good deal of a narrow, round, thick-leaf acacia, of which the camels seemed. very fond; so turned out. We passed a granite outcrop in a hollow, but only shallow surface holes. We saw where natives had very recently taken water out of mallee roots, leaving the bark vessel into which it had drained lying on the top of a heap of broken roots. Camp 65. Lat. 31° 17' 0". Height 1,100ft. Max. temp. 70°, min. temp. 39°. At 3 p.m., bar. 28.72, ther. 69°.

Wednesday, September 30th.—Camp 65. Cold, clear night. Camels had very good feed last evening. At 5 resumed our journey on bearing 157° over a poorer country; a great deal of bush and undergrowth; loose red clay. From top of a hill up a tree could see Fraser Range. At 9.30, eleven miles, a hill bears 178°, and Fraser Range 190°. At thirteen miles we crossed a limestone hill, stopped for one quarter of an hour on some green feed. At 12.45 turned out on what I thought was a good green herb, but finding that it was not the kind the camels liked we moved on again at 1.5. Hills, samphire, and saltbush flat like a watercourse was crossed at fourteen miles. At 2.45, sixteen miles, we turned out for the day on poor bushes, but I could see the camels had had quite enough for the day and I must be very careful not to let them knock up. At least twice every day I stand and let the whole caravan pass me, carefully noting each camel to see how it is doing. The day has been cool and they are all travelling wonderfully well. My riding camel, Misery, is very shaky. If there were good feed the camels would do much better and we could Possibly do longer stages. Clouds in west and south-west look very like rain. I wish it would come and relieve the camels' sufferings and my anxiety. Gneissic granite, quartz, and conglomerate again to-day with the limestone rubble very abundant. Camp 66. Lat. 31° 30' 45". Distance, sixteen miles. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.90; 3 p.m., bar. 28.77.

October, 1891]

Thursday, October 1st.—Camp 66. A few drops of rain fell, but not sufficient to repay us for the trouble of covering up the goods. Clear morning. At 4.55 we again moved on on bearing of 195° now for Fraser Range. At 1 p.m. camped, having made about sixteen miles. The country on the whole very good, but a great deal of fallen timber and thickets of bushes and clumps of trees make the route so circuitous that a good many more miles were actually travelled. We were camped on some green herbage. Fraser Range not in sight yet, owing to the high mallee forest we are in, although I caught a glimpse of it from a tree top this morning right on our bearing. Camp 67. Lat. 31° 44' 3". Distance, fifteen miles. Although we are within nine miles of the position assigned to Dempster's station on the map, there is absolutely no sign of any white men or stock. The country is too thick for stock.

Friday, October 2nd.—Camp 67. Clear and cold. At 4.45 resumed journey over the same class of country, but at ten miles we were on top of a long elevation, and through the giant mallee we had at last a distinct view of Fraser Range, some eight miles distant. Altered our bearing to 210° for the highest hill, and at nine miles struck a sheep-proof wire fence just at the foot of the hill, and fortunately splendid camel food, fresh young saltbush, quondongs, acacias, sandalwood, &c. For the eight miles we had been passing through dense thickets of mallee, with occasional patches of saltbush, and saw a few old horse and cattle tracks. Here there are plenty of old horse and sheep pads, but nothing fresh; and from the dry state of the country, I am almost afraid that the station is abandoned; but the wire fence shows us there has been a station, and we shall get a drink, if nothing more. A number of crows about is a sure sign of water. Mr. Wells rode across about a mile into the thicket to a smoke, but the natives had gone. The dog Edward went over the hills and came back with his feet wet, showing there was water near. After dinner Leech, Streich, and I set out to climb the hill just inside the fence. We found a fine masonry dam in one of the gullies, with perhaps 80galls. of dirty water in it; this is where Edward had been. From this dam a well-beaten dray track led around the east side of the hills, going south-westerly. No fresh tracks on it, except of three native women. We followed the road at a good sharp pace, passed a new reservoir, a tank excavated at the mouth of a fine valley. Still on. Having gone about five miles along the road we saw some smokes in the forest, and heard some natives calling out. I replied, and leaving the road we quickly and cautiously stole upon four women, who, though much astonished at our appearance, were not afraid. They could not speak English, but were familiar with white men. Very wretched creatures they were; two were old, Wizened up, and two were quite young, but about the most wretched specimens of Australian native I have ever seen. They each have a young child. One cannot be surprised at the smallness and wretched appearance of these aborigines when the nature of the country which supports them is taken into consideration. A great scarcity of water—absolutely no animal or bird life; they must live on grubs, white ants, roots, and lizards. Questioning these natives about water and white men, they answered in the affirmative, and off we set through the forest to cut the road again. They followed us as fast as they could, with their babes in bark trays, swung to their shoulders by mallee bark rope. We each took a baby; the one I had being about three months old, and lay on its back very comfortably in the mallee bark tray. In about two miles a cold drizzling rain came on. It was now dark, and the lubras camped among some bushes, having made fires with the firesticks they were carrying. Black-fellows, especially the women, always carry firesticks, when moving about, for the purpose of signalling, burning out game, or for the camp fire. A short distance farther and we saw lights advancing around the point of a hill, and could hear the merry chatter of the natives as they came. When we got quite close to them, they not seeing us, I spoke; they threw down their firesticks and fled like startled deer, some in one direction and some another, and all was silence and darkness again. I picked up a firestick, and soon saw others advancing. When we got near them, I spoke; they, having seen the firesticks approaching, were not afraid, but much astonished to see four white men. These Proved to be the station natives, and told us that two white men, Bob and Cherry, also ponies and nanny-goats (sheep), sat down and plenty gabi (water.) Just previously we had heard the tinkle of a horse bell, and I thought I could make out some fresh sheep tracks on the road, and knew we were right for water. At 7 o'clock we knocked at the door of a big stone hut, which was opened to us, and the two old men gazed with wonder at us. I informed them who we were, and that we wanted water for our camels. They said they were nearly dried out, but would let us have a little. They asked us no questions, but put on the kettle and the camp oven full of mutton chops, a supper to which we did ample justice. The long walk in the cold bracing south-west wind had sharpened our appetites. What an intense feeling of relief it was to know that we had all reached water safely! The strain on me was removed, and for a few moments I felt like collapsing. We had walked between ten and twelve miles, though by road to the camp it was only eight miles, too far to go back to-night, so after a long talk and a glance at some papers as late as August, we lay down to rest, but not to sleep much, on some sheepskins. We were told that twenty-five miles north­east of the station there was a fine "gnamer" rockhole and well of good water, at which we were welcome to camp, there being no stock out there. The camp 68 was in latitude 31° 57' 44"; the distance travelled seventeen and a half miles. The man in charge of the station, Bob Bryce, said we could have as many sheep as we wanted and four bags of flour.

Saturday, October 3rd.—Before 5 o'clock on a cold and bleak morning we were on the road back to the camp with the good news. Reached the camp at 7 a.m. The other members of the party had sat up till 9 o'clock the night before wondering what had become of us. We had breakfast, saddled up the camels and proceeded to the station, leaving Wells, Streich, and Warren in camp. The knocked-up camel had managed to reach the camp half an hour after us yesterday, one of the Afghans having stayed with him, and he just managed to reach the water to-day. The poor brutes were very patient, but looked with longing eyes at the full trough, to which we would not let them go. Gave them 6galls. each, as much as could be spared, and as much as I cared about the camels having, for more might have been dangerous. This is the thirty-fifth day from Mount Squires, 536 miles, over a terrible country—sandhills and spinifex, dense mallee scrubs, forests, and thickets; and all the water the camels have had is 3galls. on the second day, 2½galls. on the eighth day, and 2½galls. on the twenty-fifth day at Queen Victoria's Spring—a total of 8galls. each. We have brought all the camels and all the loading and equipment through. We are proud of our camels and of the journey accomplished. So far as I know it is a record journey—certainly for Australia, the next best being Mr. E. Giles in 1875—325 miles in seventeen days with 3galls. of water each on the twelfth day. Ours was nearly double. It was actually so in point of time, and my riding camel, Misery, had carried me over seventy miles extra, making for him 600 miles. We had dinner, killed two sheep, and took one live one back to the camp with us, where we again turned out. We left the knocked-up camel in one of the paddocks with two cow camels belonging to the station, the men promising that he should have water whenever he came in for it. The live sheep was tied up to a tree, and contrived to get loose and lost himself in the scrub. We took two natives out from the station to show us the well and rockhole. These ranges are of hornblendic schist; nicely grassed valleys, good saltbush, and other edible bushes; mallee forests. At camp 68.

Sunday, October 4th.—Camp 68. Loaded up and set out north-easterly along a dray track for Symons' Hill Well. We reached the rockhole in seventeen miles, over good stock country, reddish sandy loam. This rockhole has been enlarged by blasting, and contains about 7,000galls. now, although it is capable of holding, roughly, about 15,000galls. The hole is closely covered with long mallee poles to keep out birds or animals. The water is clear, pure, and good, but not so good as the Mount Squires water, of which we had 40galls. in the casks yesterday. Very fair bush feed, but very dry, for this country is also suffering from a drought. Pitched a permanent camp, and made ourselves as comfortable as possible. Gave the camels 6galls. each. Dr. Elliot hurt his foot to-day through slipping On a stone as he was about to mount. Mr. Bryce very kindly promised to send a blackboy with our despatches and telegrams to Esperance Bay, as they could not lend me horses to go in. All busy letter-writing, Wells and I till late at night. The camels can have free access to the water to-morrow. Camp 69. Lat., 31° 50' 56"; height, 1,213ft.; var., 0° 38' W.

Monday, October 5th.—Camp 69. Symons' Hill rockhole. Clear, cold; east wind. All busy writing. The camels had as much water as they desired, some taking 20galls. right off and presently returned for more.

Tuesday, October 6th.—Depôt No. 3. Camp 69. Symons' Hill well. Cold; light rain. Abdul started early for the station for sheep. I left the camp at 12.30: In eight miles a shower of rain commenced, and continued until I reached the station at 6 p.m. Heavy rains in places, with bail. South-west wind; intensely cold; light showers continued to fall all night. To my disappointment I found that the native who was to have taken our despatches into Esperance Bay, 160 miles distant, had run away, and that there was no other reliable native on the station. Mr. Bryce then kindly offered me the use of the two camels at the station if I could manage with them, or, failing that, two horses (the only two they had). I thanked them heartily, and said I would take the camels.

Wednesday, October 7th.—When the two station camels came in. I was astonished to see how fat they were. They had not been handled for two years, and I had considerable trouble to put new nose buttons in without any assistance. After all my trouble my saddle, although a big one, would not go on the back of either camel, neither would the pack saddles, so that I was forced to abandon the camel notion and make arrangements for the horses, which will prevent me taking Gwynne down. I will leave him at the station and he can go down with dray as soon as it comes. The day was cold, cloudy, and like rain.

Thursday, October 8th.—Fraser Range Station. Cold, cloudy, south-west wind. At 6 p.m. Mr. Leech, the doctor, and Gwynne came in. Leech and Gwynne both suffering from diarrhœa, poor Gwynne looking like a corpse. He said he had hardly been able to sit on the camel, and was afraid lie could not stand the journey to Esperance Bay.

Friday, October 9th.—Fraser Range Station. At 7.30 I started with two horses, or ponies rather, a broken riding saddle, a naked native boy on foot leading the pack horse. I am taking the boy under the advice of the men at the station, who say that unless I have someone to look after my blankets and rations while I am out for the horses in the morning the natives, who are always on that road, will be sure to steal them. At 9.30 I had to stop and make a crupper for the pack saddle, as it had been repeatedly slipping on the pony's neck. Had a pot of tea, and at 10.30 saddled up, and passed Peter's hole at 12; ten miles. At fourteen miles the road crosses a hill of hornblendic schist, in which is a nice little rockhole filled with water by the recent rains; some nice grass here, but the extent of good country is limited, this being the south­western extremity of Fraser Range. At 3.15 we reached Little Jam Hill—twenty-two miles—and turned out. The water here is in a rockhole in a hollow. The natural hole in the hornblendic schist has been enlarged into a tank by the use of blasting powder. Very indifferent feed for the horses on the burnt sandhills in the vicinity. My boy does not understand English; therefore he is not much of a companion.

Saturday, October 10th.—Little Jam Hill. Cold, clear, south-west wind; heavy dew. The horses had not wandered far. We were on the road at 5.15, passing through poor sandy country covered with dense mallee thickets. At twenty miles we passed the Clear Streak, a patch of open country. Watered the horses at the tank there, filled our water bag, and pushed on. At 2.10 we camped on some good grass in a patch of burnt mallee. We had travelled twenty-three miles. I walk some hours and let the boy have a ride. No water here. It is nine miles to Big Jam Hill, but the men at the station told me there would be no feed there.

Sunday, October 1lth.—Foggy, cold. Started at 6 o'clock. Same class of country. At 8.35 we watered our horses at Big Jam Hill, filled our bag, and resumed the journey through same miserable mallee country. Stopped for two hours on some grass, and at twelve miles passed a sheep yard, and found the country to be Bay of Biscay clay soil, but densely clothed with mallee thickets—a most worthless country. The clayholes were full of water from the recent rains. Twenty-seven miles brought us to Double Tank. Plenty of water, but poor feed. The tank is a clay reservoir. Horses and foals watering here. Fresh native tracks along the road. Just at sundown four natives (three men and one woman) came to my camp. I gave them some meat and bread. Most miserable looking wretches; dirty in the extreme. In all my wanderings in Australia I have never seen dirtier or more miserable specimens of humanity than these. They slept at my fire, which I thought was the safest place to have them, as I could keep an eye on them. They had a bark tray full of white ants, which I tasted and found very insipid. The addition of pepper and salt would, I have no doubt, render them very palatable. They also had the bark of a. tree root, which had a peculiar glutinous taste. I should not think there is much nourishment in that—it seemed too woody—but I suppose it gives the digestive organs something to work at.

Monday, October 12th.—Cold, clear, foggy. Had to tie the horses up last night, as some others came in to drink, and mine made off after them and would not content themselves. Started at 5.50. At six miles passed a small salt lake, amongst irregular white sandhills, dense mallee, and bushes. No feed of any description. At thirteen miles, having passed two other salt lakes, we came to a deep well. No feed. Again we stopped on a burnt patch to let the horses have a mid-day feed. Can see Mount Ridley, which we reached at 4.25. Here there is a small paddock (wire fence) to keep sheep in when travelling to or from Fraser Range, as the mallee scrub is full of the mallock poison, and the hill has a great deal of the heart leaf (poison), both very deadly to animals. Some wheat was struggling for an existence in an enclosure. Very fair crop is usually grown here, but this year has been too dry. Mount Ridley is of granite, and about 800ft. above sea level. I ascended it and had an extensive view, which must have been a very disheartening one to the explorer who first climbed this hill (Mr. A. Forrest, I think.) From south round west north to east a level line of mallee scrub. Two bold, bare hills to the east, a few to the south, those on the seacoast being visible. Numerous salt lakes are scattered about; the dazzling whiteness of their salty surface breaks the monotonous black of the mallee. The water is obtained in a well about 3ft. deep in black mould—evidently a spring, and, I believe, permanent, although not a large supply. Mr. Dempster has erected a whip and iron troughs. Some very nice sheoaks in the paddock. Magpies (the first seen in Western Australia) were numerous, and their sweet, familiar notes sounded very homelike; so too was the scent of the wattle blossoms. Not very long ago, I believe, a black-fellow killed a white man who was camped here, travelling alone. A large party of natives had camped here last night, and gone off into the scrub this morning.

Tuesday, October 13th.—Cold, clear, heavy dew. Mount Ridley. On the road again at 6.15. Poor, level, white sandy country, with thickets of whipstick mallee; salt lakes. Stopped one and a half hours for dinner and to allow the horses to have a feed, when we again pushed on for Jennapulup, thirty miles, which we reached at 3.50. Met here two white men—one going out to Fraser Range for the horses that are running there, and the other a Mr. Sinclair, who has a contract for sinking reservoirs on the Fraser Range station. He had a springcart and three horses. I arranged with him to bring Gwynne and Hadji, with all the collections made by the scientists, to Esperance Bay as soon as I returned to Fraser Range. I found that the name of Fraser Range is "Orrallinna"; 69 camp, "Wumbinna"; Symons' Hill, "Kulladunya".

Wednesday, October 14th.—Junnapulup, a ti-tree creek, with salt water, but on the rocks and in the crevices rainwater is to be found in limited quantities. Cold, clear, heavy dew. Started at 6 a.m., and travelled over the "sand plains", being white sand undulations, covered with low shrubs, amongst which sheep can find a living. The whole country is covered with most lovely flowers; every bush is covered with bloom—quite a paradise for the botanist. I could not help gathering some of the forms that were new to me, and only regretted that I had not the means to make and preserve a collection. I shall take a few back for Mr. Helms. At 11.30 I passed the telegraph station, only stopping to send a telegram home, which I had ready written out, and then rode on to the woolshed, where I found the manager (Mr. Bostock), to whom I introduced myself. He very kindly asked me to put up at the station during my stay at the bay; I very gladly accepted his invitation. I then, after turning the horses out, walked down to the telegraph station, half a mile distant, and sent to the President of the R.G.S. a long telegram descriptive of the journey from Warrina to Fraser Range and of the country passed over, and advised that I had intended proceeding from Queen Victoria's Spring north to lat. 27° 30', then north-westerly to Forrest's track. "Impossible now. Owing drought can place no dependence on outside waters. Cannot risk camels undertake long dry stage again so soon. Propose going viâ Hampton Plains. Finding no water we will make westerly; if water Cross Giles at Ularing, Forrest at Mount Ida, to Hope's, viâ Townsend station. From Windich Spring go south-easterly to lat. 28°, which would complete examination block A. Please advise if you concur with this suggested route." Telegrams were sent to His Excellency the Governor of West Australia, and to Sir John Forrest for information about the country. Congratulatory telegrams were received from His Excellency the Acting Governor of West Australia and from Sir John Forrest, from friends in South Australia and from the Victorian branch of the R.G.S.

Numerous private telegrams were sent and received, conveying the gratifying intelligence that my family and friends were all well. A vessel was in the harbor and about to sail in a few days for Albany, so that my despatches will reach Adelaide within a fortnight; she will return here again in a few weeks, just about the time I will be able to get Gwynne and Hadji here. Accounts contained in the newspapers of the drought on the Murchison and the North-West generally were simply appalling, and gives me but little hope of finding waters in block A, and convince me of the wisdom of the route from Fraser Range as suggested by me to the Council, October 15th.

Thursday, October 15th.—Esperance Bay. The following telegrams were received:—

"From A. C. MacDonald, Hon. Sec. Victorian Branch R. G. S.—Accept our sincere congratulations for successful results of your expedition so far. Convey same to Dr. Elliot and other members of your party. further details anxiously awaited."

"From A. T. Magarey, Hon. Sec. S.A. Branch R.G.S., Adelaide.—Full reply to your telegram cannot be given until after council meeting to-morrow. Please say where your party is now camped, whether there is any urgent necessity for you to return to them on Sunday, and if you do so, will it be possible to further communicate you by telegraph. Are you sure you have sufficient stores to carry you to first depôt at Hope and Moore's station, Murchison river, where the stores arrived a few days ago in charge of a man sent specially from here? Do you consider it necessary for the man to stay at the depôt till you reach there? Stores have also gone to second depôt viâ Derby. Are you sure you can safely proceed with reduced party? It appears desirable to make up strength of party as soon as possible. Is it advisable to at once send men from here via Albany? How is Gwynne returning, and when can he be expected here? Kindly reply to-day if possible, with anything that occurs to you supplementary first telegram."

"From A. C. Onslow, Administrator.—I welcome you on your arrival within the colony, and heartily congratulate you on the completion of your arduous journey so far."

"From Stirling Bros. & Co., Perth, W.A.—Proprietors Inquirer and Daily News congratulate yourself and party on success of expedition so far, and desire convey best wishes concerning your future operations. Would be glad of brief outline of country traversed. Reply paid."

"From R. A. Sholl Esq., P.M.G. Perth, W.A.—Have issued instructions for you to have free use of wire Sunday 11 a.m., Adelaide time, to speak to your wife in Adelaide. Mr. Sinclair, stationmaster, will render you every assistance if you will apply to him."

"From H. D. O'Halloran Esq., Chairman Stock Exchange of South Australia, Adelaide.—Stock Ex­change of South Australia express their gratification of the safe arrival of yourself and party in West Australia, and earnestly hope that you will safely accomplish the remaining portion of your expedition. Market dry, like your journey."

I wired to Sir John Forrest, K.C.M.G., Premier, Perth, W.A., asking him for information about waters on his track of 1869, to which he replied as follows:—"Postmaster-General will assist you in every way possible. The spring under Mount Ida looked fairly permanent when I was there in 1869, and was the best place in that neighborhood. Two Springs and Depôt Spring in same neighborhood not permanent, and nothing to the eastward on my route of 1869 permanent. On my route of 1874 you can depend on Windich. and Weld Springs."

I sent the following telegrams:—"To A. T: Magarey, Hon. Sec. R.G.S., Adelaide.—Party camped at Fraser Range, 180 miles distant. My return is not urgent. Camels are on good feed. Party has plenty water and provisions. No possibility of communicating me after I leave here, as I purpose resuming journey immediately on return. Will await here your pleasure. Have been able to obtain stores sufficient take us Murchison. Should think unnecessary man to stay at depôt. Probably another Afghan will insist on going, as Hadji owes him £200; therefore should like if you can send George Lindsay to Murchison. So strong was feeling against Hadji remaining one day longer than necessary that scientific officers have placed their services for work amongst camels at my disposal if wanted. Can therefore manage to Murchison very well, having scarcely any loading now. Sending men viâ Albany would entail unnecessary expense and delay. Shall send. Gwynne and Afghans from here by wool boat next month to Albany. Gwynne will wire you when leaving there. You will have letter in about three weeks. The Afghans have not proved very good, being bad bushmen and not first rate camel men. Had considerable trouble with them when on allowance of water. Think gave you all important information in first telegrams." In the evening a message came up from the telegraph office asking me to go there at once, as I was wanted to speak to someone in Melbourne. I went down and found Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Panton waiting to speak me on behalf of the Victorian Branch of the R.G.S. They asked me some twenty questions, to which I replied as fully as I was able without reference to my journals.

Friday, October 16th.—Esperance Bay. The telegraph station being half a mile from the sheep station, a flagstaff was erected at the telegraph station, and when a message was received the flag was hoisted, which would soon be noticed by someone and a black-fellow would be dispatched for it. The flag was hoisted very often during my stay, and the black messengers kept going backwards and forwards pretty often. The weather is cold and showery, interfering with the shearing, which is in full swing. The only buildings at Esperance Bay are Messrs. Dempsters' station buildings, telegraph station, and police station. The bay is a very good one. Under a high sandhill, just above high water mark, and nestling among shady bushes, is the last resting-place of Tommy Windich, a faithful native servant of Messrs. John and Alexander Forrest. The spot is marked by a black marble headstone and enclosed with a neat, strong, picket fence. On the stone was engraved the following:—"Erected by John and Alexander Forrest in memory of Tommy Windich; born near Mount Stirling, 1840; died at Esperance Bay in 1876. He was an aboriginal native of Western Australia of great intelligence and fidelity, who accompanied them on four exploring expeditions into the interior of Australia, two of which were from Perth to Adelaide. 'Be ye also ready.'"

Saturday, October 17th.—At Esperance Bay. Soon after breakfast the telegraph flag was seen, and the following telegram was received:—

"From A. T. Magarey, Hon. See. R.G.S., Adelaide.—Council conveys congratulations upon arrival of yourself and party in safety. Glad to hear all well. Upon what evidence do you identify the spring visited by you with the Queen Victoria's Spring of Giles'? Had you Giles' description to refer to—Parliamentary paper No. 22 of 1876, page 8, or Giles' book, pages 188 and 200? Council surprised to hear that this spring was dry in view of Giles' description. Council considers it desirable for you to proceed with the exploration of the remaining western portion of block en route to the Murchison. Sir Thomas anxious for us to complete examination of unknown country as soon as possible as you proceed, regardless of time. Purchase of camels approved. Lindsay and Joorak will be sent to the Murchison unless they can reach you viâ Albany. Can you obtain sufficient stores for the more extended examination now proposed. Stores asked for will be sent. Council meets again Monday morning; please reply before meeting and wait further communications."

To that telegram I replied as under:—"Had both Giles' book and Parliamentary paper. Certain of identity Victoria's Spring, latitude agreeing within few seconds, longitude four miles. We cut on to Giles' given latitude eight miles east of his longitude; then travelled west along latitude. No difficulty recognising locality, Giles' description of surroundings being faithful. Were you not also surprised at Fort Mueller and Barlee Springs being dry? Respectfully venture emphasise my opinion that suggested manner of completing examination block A under existing circumstances is best. Have obtained services natives Hampton Plains, who will show me waters. If I can get water enough between Hampton Plains and Forrest's track 1869 of course will examine country to eastward. Sir John Forrest wires me he saw no permanent water except perhaps at Mount Ida. The drought has been long and severe. Vegetation dead, and rockholes rarely furnish enough water for our large party. Men this year depending on Hampton Plains waters they visited last year perished horses and nearly lost their lives. Council may rest assured I will, if possible, examine country on way to Murchison, but cannot possibly go northwards from Victoria Springs; must do it from west. Distance to Windich Springs too great, and country debars fast travelling. Bought two camels Dempster £30 each. Manager Fraser Range says that country drier now than any time since settlement fifteen years ago. Stock has to be shortly shifted to coast. No use send men viâ Albany. Can obtain enough flour, tea, sugar, meat for two mouths. Shall be speaking Mrs. Lindsay to-morrow 11 o'clock.

Sunday, October 18th.—At Esperance Bay. Enjoying to the fullest the free hospitality of Mr. Bostock, manager for Messrs. Dempster and the breezes right off the Southern Ocean, the roar of whose breaking waves is sweet music to me after the long silence and solitude of the desert. In the afternoon I was able to indulge in my favorite pastime, "a sail on the bosom of the mighty deep", but we found ourselves in rather an awkward predicament, for when on a lee shore, with a strong breeze and a high sea, the staysail halyards carried away. The gear was very rotten, and I had to climb to the top of the mast and reeve the halyards through the block. As our frail craft rose to the waves and pitched head foremost into the trough it seemed as if the mast would go by the board. We ran back to the moorings in safety. When Mr. Bostock caught hold of the moorings I started to run forward to help him, but catching my foot in the sheet, and the boom coming over at the same moment, I was knocked overboard.

Monday, October 19th.—At Esperance Bay. Received the following telegram from the Council of the R.G.S., Adelaide:—

"Council approves your proceeding as you suggest, examining the western portion of block A as far as possible on your way to the Murchison. As you will no doubt start at once, we heartily wish you good-bye and good luck. Kind regards to yourself, your officers and men. Wire when you leave. Tietkins sends congratulations to yourself and party from. Sydney. Mr. Helms' brother Charles reports all well. Letters await him Murchison. No change since. Please convey this to Helms."

To which I replied:—"Thank you; I will leave here to-morrow. Reach camp in seven days. Then have to prepare meat for journey. Hope leave Fraser Range about end of month. You probably hear from me next from Cruickshanks'. Please send Dempster Bros., viâ Albany, six bags flour to replace what they have sup­plied me with. To former list please add twenty-five pair hobble straps, 2lbs. copper rivets, assorted. Letters left to-day; expect reach Adelaide within fortnight. Inform me Murchison whether you require me to go to Geraldton. Good-bye. Regards."

Tuesday, October 20th.—Received wire from home. At 11 a.m. I started my boy, Mickey, off with the Packhorse. I started at 2 p.m. from the telegraph station, having wired my thanks to the Postmaster-General, Perth. Mr. Sinclair, the stationmaster, accompanied me some distance. I overtook Mickey and three other natives who were going to Fraser Range at 5.30, and reached Jenapulup at 6.45; twenty miles. Threatening for rain; put up my tent.

Wednesday, October 21st.—Started at 6 a.m. Reached Mount Ridley at 3.45 p.m.; thirty miles. Muggy weather; thundering to north.

Thursday, October 22nd.—Cloudy and warm. Rode to double tank, where four natives, one woman and two children, joined us. They were evidently great friends of Mickey and Kurdi Kurdi. When they met they embraced, talked away at a great rate, occasionally bursting out into hearty laughter. The old man who was with us was evidently a stranger, as he sat outside the circle, and never a word was addressed to him. Now and then he would look at me and smile. Later, evidently, an invitation was made to him to join the group, and the introduction took place. He sat in the lap of each man in turn for half a minute, the man embracing him, and then the youngest child, a boy 2 years old, was passed over to him. He embraced the child and nursed it for a little while. No introduction was made to the women or the girl 5 years old, but the two women sat together and laughed, talked, nodded their heads, and every now and then one would lay her head on the other's shoulder. The old man then joined the magic circle, and merry conversation was carried on till late. Then the visitors left my fire and made a camp some little distance off. My companions Joined them, and a corroboree was indulged in until the small hours of the morning. Thunderstorm to the north-west.

Friday, October 23rd.—Cloudy; south-east wind. Started at 6.10, having overslept myself.

Saturday, October 24th.—Camped at Little Jam Hill, so called because on the hill a quantity of stunted raspberry jam wood is growing.

Sunday, October 25th.—Heavy thunderstorm and rain last night. Reached the station at 12.30. Found Gwynne looking well and quite fat. Dr. Elliot and Mr. Wells were over at the damsinkers' camp, some four miles distant. Sent a messenger for Sinclair. He came over, and I arranged with him to take Gwynne and others, and all their packages and the boxes of specimens, to Esperance Bay, starting on Thursday next. I was very annoyed to find that Sinclair had taken three bags of flour, including one of the four sold to me. Sinclair was excavating dams under contract, and the station had agreed to supply him with rations. He had brought in some fifty natives to work at the darns, and had demanded the flour as his right, although Bryce told him that he had promised it to me. This was extremely annoying, as I had calculated upon getting a two mouths' supply of flour, whereas now I must start with only three or four weeks' supply. However, that will be sufficient to take us to one of the outstations near Lake Austin.

Monday, October 26th.—Fraser Range Station. Started for camp at 6.45. Heavy fog. Reached camp at mid-day and found all well. The natives who were to show us water at Hampton Plains were still at the camp. Took stock of the provisions in camp, and found we had the following quantities:—Meat, tinned, 164lbs. (equal twenty days' supply); sugar, 100lbs. (equal thirty days' supply); tea, 20lbs. (equal forty-nine days' supply); peas (dried), 3qts.; beans, 5qts.; vegetables (compressed), 14lbs.; flour, 150lbs.; salt, 28lbs.; soap, 6 bars; currants, raisins, dried apples, and apricots, and a two month' supply of food for Mr. Wells (viz., milk, oatmeal, digestive meal, and maizena); maizena, 20lbs.

Tuesday, October 27th.—Bob, Abdul, and I went to the station to prepare meat for our journey. There are two or three head of cattle in one of the paddocks. I hope to be able to shoot one or two of them, as beef will salt better than mutton.

Wednesday, October 28th.—Searching, assisted by a black-fellow, unsuccessfully for the cattle. Had dimmer with Sinclair. It is an interesting sight to see the natives at work. The ground is ploughed up and some natives with shovels, others with their hands fill handbarrows, made with two mallee sticks and a flour bag which two natives carry out to the bank. Old and young of both sexes to the number of about forty are thus employed. Many of these natives were, though small, strongly built. Dr. Elliot has taken some interesting photographs here. I decided not to waste any more time looking for the cattle. Rain, squalls, cold.

Thursday, October 29th.—Abdul started back with two live sheep and two dead ones. Then Bob and I dressed, boned, and salted thirteen sheep, obtaining 390lbs. of meat. Hadji, who had come in, cut the throats of the sheep, or else the Afghans would not have eaten any of it.

Friday, October 30th.—Bob returned to camp. I remained to look after the meat, square accounts, get Gwynne and Hadji away. Sent message by Bob that all were to be prepared to start on Monday 2nd.

Saturday, October 31st.—Gwynne and Hadji with ten boxes of specimens and a bundle of spears, which I had procured at Fraser Range, started in Sinclair's dray for Esperance. Mahyedin came in with two camels to carry out the meat. We had some trouble getting nose buttons in the two camel cows, and also in the old camels which had been running in the paddock for the past month. Mr. Bryce told me that the way Fred Newman, who visited Queen Victoria's Spring last year used to get about the country was:—He had three or four horses and two black boys, who would take him to the outside water in their country, where they would wait until some natives were found who they would persuade to take them to the outside waters in their country, in the direction Newman wished to travel, where they would again adopt the same tactics; so that there can be no doubt he was at Queen Victoria's Spring, and that there was no other water within a reasonable distance of that place. Newman related how, when he was at Queen Victoria's Spring, some natives had come in from a hunting excursion hungry, tired, and with empty game bags, a fat little girl was taken away into the bushes, killed, cooked, and eaten. Bryce also told me that a gold prospector had, in the early part of 1890, come in from Hampton Plains for provisions, and being unable to get any, had gone on to Esperance Bay, returning in December. He had five horses and a black boy. They started for the plains, but the first place they struck into for water was dry; they then made over to a waterhole Mr. Giles MacPherson (for that was the prospector's name) knew of. Alas, that was dry also; and their horses had been three days without a drink. MacPherson then decided to strike back for the station. He had to destroy four horses, but one mare bravely struggled on with them. On the sixth day MacPherson reached the station; and late in the evening the black boy came in. They had been three days without water, and the weather had been intensely hot. The horse had been six days without a drink and lived. Mr. Wells has observed the latitude of Fraser Range Station to be 32° 2' 15", showing the range to be thirteen miles out of position on the West Australian maps—thirteen miles farther south than shown. The Peak is 2,010ft. above sea level.

November, 1891]

Sunday, November 1st.—Fraser Range Station. I and Mahyedin returned to the camp, taking the meat and the camels. Watered all the camels in the evening, and tied them down. Max. temp. 86°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.89, ther. 70°; 3 p.m., bar. 22.72[sic], ther. 83°.

Monday, November 2nd.—Simons' Hill depôt—No. 3. Camp 69. Gave the camels another drink at the rockhole; and, with all our casks and water vessels full, we started at 9.45 on bearing 280° for the Murchison, viâ Hampton Plains, where we expect to get water, a black-fellow, his wife, and six-year-old boy going with us to show us plenty "gebi." At six miles we crossed our track inwards. Camp 70 at 2 p.m.; distance nine miles. The day has been hot, with a west wind; cloudy, looking like thunder. The country passed over is fairly good—a reddish clay loam; mallee, quondong, acacia, saltbush: very dry. At 5 p.m. a strong south to south-east wind. Max. temp. 95°, min. temp. 61°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.73, ther. 75°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.69, ther. 83°.

Tuesday, November 3rd.—Last night was cold, windy, and cloudy. This morning broke cold and clear. South-east wind continued all day. We started at 5.40 and camped at 2.40. All the country seen to-day was good—saltbush abundant, open mallee, ti-tree, few thickets, bluebush, and patches of grass. At fifteen miles we crossed a high ridge, from which we could see Fraser Range bearing 155°. The native could from a treetop see the hill to which he is taking us for the first water. Our course was 295°. Micaceous and hornblendic schists. Camp 71. Lat. 31° 42' 3". Distance, sixteen and a half miles. Max. temp. 82°, min. temp. 53°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.05, ther. 72°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.82, ther. 80°.

Wednesday, November 4th.—Camp 71. Resumed our journey at 5.30 on bearing 305°. At five miles came to a small rockhole, which only contained 16galls. of water, which we took out and gave to the two Fraser Range camels. Good country, but dry. Saltbush, mallee, ti-tree, &c. Many good stock bushes. We should not have seen the rockhole, as it was off the course we were travelling; but when we came to a big patch of splendid black butt timber the natives turned off for this rockhole. The black butt timber is of the Eucalyptus species; it is a useful timber, splitting easily. The natives make their long spears out of this wood. Mr. Wells and Mr. Streich went to the prominent bluff two and a half miles west, which Mr. Streich described as being of "same formation as yesterday, viz., argillaceous slate, micaceous schist, hornblendic schist, and quartz reefs. A likely country for minerals, and worth prospecting." Mr. Wells was able to get bearings to some important hills. The native pointed bearing 310° for water, and I led the caravan in that direction. At fifteen miles we came to salt lakes. Country is all mallee; good dark loamy soil, undulating; mallee very dense; hopbush and few quondongs, with patches of saltbush. At 2.45 we turned out, having travelled fifteen miles. Camp 72. Lat. 31° 35' 45". Cool south-east to east wind. Sun hot. All vegetation extremely dry. Poor feed for camels. Max. temp. 89°, min. temp. 41°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.92, ther. 20°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.89, ther. 85°.

Tuesday, November 5th.—Camp 72. Mild night; clear, cold; east wind. Sun hot. In three and a half miles we passed the west end of a salt lake, which extends four miles to the east. At four and a half miles came on the shore of a lake extending east and west ten or more miles. The lake bed was too soft to carry the weight of a loaded camel. Mr. Wells led his camel across, and we met on the quartzite ridge which forms the northern shore, and which is 1,450ft. above sea level. The caravan followed the southern shore, and crossed the western end of the lake. The manner in which I test the state of the lake beds is by cutting a stick, pointing the end of it, and every few yards I push it down to the hard bottom, which, if reached at less than 1ft., I deem it safe to take the loaded camels; if over that depth it is not safe, as the bed of these lakes is composed of a stiff gritty red clay, which clings to the feet. From the top of the low quartzite range, which trends nearly east and west, we could see salty plains evidently clothed with saltbush and a chain of salt lakes extending west as far as could be seen, with low hills beyond. The open country appears to extend northwards. The prominent hill passed yesterday was seen bearing 120°. We now entered a splendid country—salt- and bluebush, mallee, sandalwood, acacias, quondongs, but all very dry, a rich red loam well adapted for agriculture if the rainfall was sufficient. This class of country continued for eight miles, when we camped on good feed, but unfortunately a lot of saltbush, which the camels will eat. Turned out at 2.15, having travelled twenty-six miles. Camp 73. Lat. 31° 26' 20". As we were travelling I noticed the native woman look about her, and then walk straight for a morrell gumtree. We went across to see what she had found. The tree trunk branched off into two about 4ft. from the ground, and just in the fork was a small hole (decayed centre), out of which the small black ants were streaming in thousands. The woman pushed a stick in and withdrew it wet; so here was a water. supply. We watched with interest, wondering how they would get at the water. Turning to a shrub near by a branch was broken, and with their teeth they loosened the bark and drew it off. Pushing the ends of three or four of these into one another a long pipe was formed and the water sucked up. The water had collected there by means of the branches guiding the little streams of water after or during a shower of rain. Max. temp. 93°, min. temp. 55°. At 9 a.m., bar. 29.0, ther. 55°; 3 p.m., 28.49, ther. 91°.

Friday, November 6th.—Camp 73. At 5 a.m. we resumed on bearing 310° over the same good country for twelve miles, when we entered sandhills and sandy country bordering some salt lakes. The country became much poorer, the vegetation also being mostly mallee, although occasionally there were patches of good acacias. The day was intensely hot, and we camped a little earlier on good green bushes at the north­west point of a salt lake (dry), having travelled seventeen miles. Thunderstorms about. Just after leaving camp this morning we passed a cliff, nob on top, of a long range, whose height is 1,500ft. above sea level—sandstone (arg.). In the bed of this salt lake there are numerous outcrops of white quartz and a dyke of ironstone—I fancy rather a likely place for gold. A splendid red clay forms the bed of this lake, which is surrounded by high sand ridges. Camp 74. Lat. 31° 14' 8". Mr. Wells' camel ran him under an overhanging branch, which dragged him off. Fortunately he escaped without any injury. Max. temp. 99°, min. temp. 60°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.58, ther. 83; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.62, ther. 97°. In the evening a strong wind from the south cooled the air and drove away the thunderstorms.

Saturday, November 7th.—Camp 74. Cool night; light sprinkling of rain a few times; strong south wind. At 5.40 we were again travelling on bearing for Mount Monger, which was in sight. At five miles over the same class of country we struck one of the eastern arms of Lake Lefroy. We could not see either end, east or west. We had at two miles crossed a smaller arm of the same lake. I sounded in the usual way, and got good bottom from 8in. to 12in., but the red clay was so sticky that the water-carrying camels fell down when we were some distance out on the lake. We had considerable difficulty with one of the heavy camels. We had to spread a tarpaulin in front of him and slip it under him as he endeavored to rise. We returned to the shore and followed along westerly where the lake seemed narrower. I sounded in many places before I found a place where I thought we could venture to take the camels, halving all the heavy loads. Only one water-cask was put on a camel. By this means we all got safely to the other side, after a delay of three hours. An island stood in the lake, of hornblendic rocks. We camped at 2 o'clock on good feed two and a half miles from Mount Monger, having only made eleven miles. Mr. Wells went over to Mount Monger, ascended it, and took bearings to prominent hills. He found a diorite hill on his way to camp. Camp 75. Lat. 31° 6' 30". Max. temp. 90°, min. temp. 53°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.81, ther. 74°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.68, ther. 89°. Distance, eleven and four miles=fifteen miles.

Sunday, November 8th.—Camp 75. Heavy fog; cool night. At 5.15 we resumed our journey on bearing 290°, missing the various northern arms of Lake Lefroy, which lay like a vast sheet of silver in the morning sun, the southern shores being invisible. We passed over splendid undulating forest country, grass, salt- and bluebushes, sandalwood, acacia, quondong, and large mallee; good soil, with red clay subsoil, as revealed by the sides of the watercourses crossed. At six miles we changed our course to 266° for Hunt's Slate Well. Our black guide has pointed straight for Hunt's Well, but told us we could not go straight owing to the Salt Lake. He now pointed straight for Hunt's Well. The same beautiful country continued. When we had gone twelve miles, and when in sight of the creek on which Hunt's Well is situated, our guide pointed south-west. We turned, and in one mile came to a saltpan, surrounded by cliffs, which he examined and seemed very puzzled, and turning led us north for a short distance, when he saw a horse track ("pony china"). He turned west again until we came to a small watercourse, which he followed for one mile southerly, until he came to where natives had sunk some small wells. He sat down under a shady bush and, proudly pointing to the hollow, said "Plenty gebi." We turned out, there being good feed, but the camels would not cat, the hot weather and the saltbush having made them so thirsty. Sank the well, and at Oft. came On the pipeclay bottom, on top of which was a 8in. layer of gravel, out of which a little water oozed. Sank a hole in the pipeclay to allow the water to accumulate. The native points up the valley for more water. I will camp here to-morrow as there is good feed, and find Hunt's Well and have a look around for water. I am now much afraid we shall have to go to Yilgarn for water. This will be very disappointing, as we had hoped to have at least been able to follow a new line of country (which we expected would be auriferous) to the Murchison. Very hot and sultry. Camp 76. Distance, twenty miles. Max. temp. 90°, min. temp. 63°; at 9 a.m., bar. 28.59, ther. 75°.; 3 p.m., bar. 28.57. ther. 90°.

Monday, November 9th.—Camp 76. Warm night; clear warm morning. Messrs. Wells and Streich rode to the red hill six miles to the south, which Mr. Streich reports to be of "eruptive hornblendic rocks, intrusive schists, and slates." I, with the natives, went up the creek to find a water which they assured me was there, and also to find Hunt's well and tank. The boy got on some horse tracks and followed them six miles, till we came on the creek again, when he was again puzzled. went on a bit further and came on a tank in the red clay bed of the creek, near which stands a tree marked TANK\15/8/90\W.P.G. (encircled), the bottom just cracking as it dried in the sun. The natives were quite nonplussed over the non-existence of water, "Kapi kuya" (no water) being now their cry. Seeing a smoke not very far off to the westward I sent the natives off to bring in the black-fellows. I followed down on the east side of the flat, passing an old camp (white-fellows'). Found the slate well fallen in and dry. From the appearance of the spoil heap I do not think Mr. Hunt, who sank the well in 1864, got any water in it. This is a nice valley; good grass and saltbush, reddish clayey loam, with red clay subsoil. The outcropping rocks on the west side indicate a gold-bearing country. Ther. 120° in shade. Our well yielded 4galls. in twenty-four hours. At sundown the natives returned very thirsty, bringing with them a man who, so far as we could understand him, said there was no water in this valley, or anywhere near here. Charcoal, our guide, said he found the one man, two women, and some children, but no water. They were living on root water. This now means westward towards Yilgarn, along Hunt's track, visiting all the watering places he found or made. I scarcely expect to find any, or but very little, this side of Yilgarn, as the country is described as "miserable thickets and sand plains, with outcrops of granite." I will send Charcoal and his companions away to-morrow and take the old man on, for if he does not take us to water he may save us time and trouble by telling us there is none in places where one would look for it. Max. temp. shade 102°, min. temp. 60°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.65, ther. 72°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.59, ther. 100°.

Tuesday, November 10th.—Camp 76. Close, warm, clear night. At 5.10 we started on bearing 266°. Charcoal left for Fraser Range. The old man went on with us. Splendid country continued for twelve miles. At four miles we crossed a high, stony range, covered with big mallee and gums. Good soil. At thirteen miles passed Depôt Hill, 1,500ft high, of gneiss, very much broken. A large smoke in the distance, W.N.W. Our native wanted me to go there, saying there was water. It was not safe to go, as probably we should have found but a small rockhole. At 1.10 we camped on good feed, having made sixteen miles. The day was exceedingly hot. The camels look worse than they did when we reached Fraser Range. They will. not eat, but lay about under the shady bushes. I really feel more anxious about them than at any time during our journey. Having been nine days on half-dry saltbush has played the mischief with them. At. sundown gave them 2galls. of water each with 7lbs. of oatmeal mixed between them. The oatmeal was so used at the advice of Dr. Elliot. Two of the camels. being weaker than the rest, had 4galls of water. Camp 77. Max. temp. 102°, min. temp. 65°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.57, ther. 80°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.41, ther. 97°; var., 0° 23' west.

Wednesday, November 11th.—Camp 77. Close, clear night. East wind in the morning. Again very hot. The country is patchy. Sometimes poor soil, with thickets, and then open large mallees, with clayey loam and good stock bushes. If we had water the camels would do very well here. Travelling slow. Occasional outcrops of gneiss. Started at 4.52 and camped at 12.50. The camels sought the shady bushes and only nibbled at some feed. As we were travelling this morning we discovered that during the night Alumgool's riding camel had knocked one eye out and another camel had cut his foot badly. Dr. Elliot operated on the camel's eye, but was unable to save the sight. Again gave the camels 2galls. of water each out of the casks as they were in such a bad state; I was really afraid they would give in. Camp 78. bat. 31° 10' 22". Max. temp. 98°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.46, ther. 81°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.49, ther. 93°. To-day's bearing 268°. Sixteen miles.

Thursday, November 12th.—Clear, close night. Made our usual early start, and at seven miles came on a patch of burnt country with some green plants, and turned out hoping the camels would eat; they picked about a little and then Mr. Helms reported finding Gastrolobium oxenalis growing plentifully; fortunately none of the camels ate any. At 4 p.m. we again started, but as the scrub continued thick we had to stop at 7.15, having only made fourteen miles for the day. Sandy undulating country with thickets of mallee and miserable scrubs. Crossed a gneiss outcrop. Camp. 79. To-day's course 275°. Fourteen miles. Max. temp. 99°, min. temp. 61°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.62, ther. 81°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.51, ther. 93°.

Friday, November 13th.—Camp 79. Hot, clear. Started at 4 a.m.; at six miles we struck a horse pad on Hunt's cleared track which led us through some very dense thickets, and right glad we were to be on a pad, for the camels travelled much better knowing, poor creatures, that it would lead to water. At 12 o'clock we reached Yerdanie and found a well constructed by Hunt in 1864. It was well built up with blocks of gneiss and we had not much trouble in cleaning it out. We sunk the well to bottom on rock at 15ft., but unfortunately found but little water. By 11.30 p.m. we had drained it and only secured 70galls., which we gave to the camels. Very hot day. Undulating sandy country, quite useless for any purpose. Granite out­crops 1,650ft. above sea level. Camp 80. Lat. 31° 11' 5". Max. temp. 96°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.44, ther. 81°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.23, ther. 93°. Courses—275° for six miles; then 255° gradually making around to 270° for ten miles.

Saturday, November 14th.—Camp 80. Yerdanie. At 8.30 we got 18galls. more water. Started at 5 o'clock, still along Hunt's track, which is clearly visible here and there by the stumps of the bushes which had been cut down. Some of the branches lay on the ground undecayed, although they have been there for twenty-eight years. At 7 o'clock, six miles having travelled over good bush country to Warangering, where we found a rockhole dammed up by white men, and containing about 300galls. of dirty water. Turned the camels out. Cool west wind sprang up, and the camels ate for a little while. In the evening we gave them three buckets (8galls.) each, which revived the poor creatures greatly. Large bare gneissic granite rocks 1,550ft. high. Camp 81. Max. temp. 98°, min. temp. 56°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.13, ther. 87°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.03, ther. 96°.

Sunday, November 15th.—Camp 81. Yesterday evening a nice change set in. A cool damp south-east wind blew during the night. We started at 5.25, and passed over rather poor country—mallee thickets, raspberry jam wood, acacias, spinifex, sandy, with granite outcrops. At 1.15 we camped at another big out­crop, on the east end of which we found a stoned well, Boorabbin. Very good feed; acacias and wattles, sheaoak. Sank the well 4ft. deeper, making it 13ft. to bottom; but found very little water, and the camels are very thirsty. We took about 15galls. per hour out. At midnight Bob bailed eight buckets. We gave the eight poorest camels 4galls. each and six others 3galls. each. In ordinary seasons there would be a good supply of water in this well, as the catchment area is large. Marked a sheaoak tree D.L./15.11.91. Camp 82. Height 1,650ft. Sixteen miles. Max. temp. 86°, min. temp. 56°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.41, ther. 65°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.11, ther. 80°. At 8 p.m. a strong south wind cooled the atmosphere and brought up heavy clouds. Course for the day, about 265°.

Monday, November 16th.—Camp 82. Boorabbin. Cold, windy, cloudy. Ther. 48°. At sunrise we emptied the well again, which yielded altogether about 160galls. or 170galls. of very good pure water. Took on 100galls. in the casks. Resumed our journey along Hunt's track at 5.40 a.m. Passed over most miserable country—undulating, sandy, clothed with stunted bushes of many kinds, dwarf casuarina, mallee, acacias, dead pines, spinifex, and rushes, numerous flowering plants; Gastrolobiums everywhere. Mr. Helms is able to add to his collection, having found two new plants to-day; but for the rest of us the country has no attractiveness. From the extremely tortuous course of this track it is evident that twenty-seven years ago, the country had many dense thickets, which fires have since destroyed. At 1.40, having travelled eighteen miles, we came to another granite outcrop, around which a little feed was growing, and on the east side of which is a very small dry stoned well, Quardanoolagin, at which we turned out. Camp 83. Much poison plant on the west side of the rocks. Height 1,750ft. Passed to-day a rocky hill formed of coarse conglomerate quartzite. Max. temp. 89, min. temp. 48°. At 9 a.m., bar, 28.23, ther. 67°; 3 p.m., bar. 27.99, ther. 87°. Course 259°. Lat. 31° 15' 42".

Tuesday, November 17th.—Camp 83. Quardanoolagin. During the night the wind blew strongly from south-east and east. Lightning to east and north-east. A few drops of rain. Resumed our journey at 5.25, with a strong north-east to north wind. Much Gastrolobium. here. Good, reddish, clayey soil, producing acacias, quondongs, ti-tree, raspberry jam, &c., with black wattles around the granite outcrops. In ten miles we came to a rock called Karoling, on top of which Mr. Wells found two fine shallow rockholes, full of beautifully clear rainwater, and I found a stone dam across a creek, with an excavation, into which is a good soakage. Turned out and pitched our camp amongst some very large white gum trees. The camels were able to go to the water and drink their fill and then revel in some really good feed, but as the dreaded Gastrolobium was abundant I was very anxious about them. We shall camp here to-morrow to let the poor brutes have a rest and a good soaking of water. Mr. Helms found the first true water plants of the journey. He also obtained some new plants. Camp 84. Karoling 1,500 feet above sea level. Marked a gum tree E.E.W./D.L./84/17.4.91 (in diamond.) Max. temp. 91°, min. temp. 66°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.21, ther. 85°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.09, ther. 89°.

Wednesday, November 18th.—Camp 84. Karoling. Strong south wind during night. Cold, cloudy. Sun rose in a cloudy sky. Attending camels, washing clothes, &c. Very good feed, but limited in quantity. About enough for our camels for a week, but I shall be glad to get away, as the poison plant is too plentiful. Emptied the casks and half filled them with clear, fresh water from a rockhole. A shower of rain fell here within the last month. According to the plans we have we are now about seventy miles from Knutsford, apparently the town of the Yilgarn goldfields, and about thirty-five miles from Kookendine, where I think there are some mines. At last we have obtained sufficient water to make a fresh start, but on reference to the map it will be seen that we are 250 miles from the edge of the unexplored country, with no water for 700 miles, and, so far as we know, none between us and block A. Our camels are weak and very low in condition, and absolutely unfit to attempt any exploration. Nothing can be done from here with flying parties. There can be no two opinions about the course to pursue. The only reasonable and safe direction to follow is to go into Knutsford, from where we shall probably find a road or pad leading northwards to the Murchison, by following which we shall not have long stages without water, and the camels will improve a little. Max. temp. 90°, min. temp. 50°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.44, ther. 70°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.40, ther. 90°. Lat. 31° 15' 2".

Thursday, November 19th.—Karoling. Camp 84. Left the camp at 5.40 on bearing 278° for Corling. All the camels are well, although when I was looking around them after they were tied down for the night I found Mr. Leech had tied his camel close up to a large Gastrolobium bush. At four miles we passed Corling, which is a huge outcrop of granite full of rounded waterworn cavities, but no water. Surrounding it the country is good red loamy soil, large mallees and gum trees. Cool, strong, south to southeast wind, cloudy. Black butt and rough bark gum trees. Black wattles grow large and luxuriant close to these granite outcrops. The blazes on the trees are now very distinct, and Hunt's track has been marked in places by stakes recently. Between Karoling and Corling the cleared track has been renewed, but after passing the latter place the track becomes very indistinct, although every little while we see Hunt's blazed trees and stumps. At ten miles we came to a narrow salt lake, which the horses had crossed, but we found it too sticky for our weak camels, and had to go round the north end of it. On the western edge of the lake is a low peaked hill—quartzite, quartz, lime. Granite on the edge, and showing to the south. Yellowish soil with limestone. Nodules and large timber. At fourteen miles, near a granite outcrop, we struck a somewhat recent dray track leading north-west. We followed it over poor, hard, yellowish soil, producing only stunted and poor bushes with low mallee. At 2 o'clock, having made about eighteen miles, we turned out in a York gum thicket with mallees, quondong, boxbushes, and one or two other sorts which the camels eat. I did not care to pass this bit of feed, as we might fare worse by going farther. Warm pleasant day. Camp 85. Max. temp. 86, min. temp. 50. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.81, ther., 72°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.63, ther. 81°. Courses—278° three miles, 262° seven and a half miles, 255° for three miles, W.N.W. three and a half miles. Lat. 31° 16' 19".

Friday, November 20th.—Camp 85. Clear. Immediately after leaving camp passed out of the timber and entered on the sand plains, high undulations covered with low heath and thick scrubs, through which the pad wound in a most tortuous course. At about four miles, when we were on top of a high ridge, we saw some distance ahead of us, at the foot. of a long, low black range, some white objects, which were very puzzling. They looked like tents or galvanized iron houses, but might only be patches of a salt lake showing through the trees. No one could make them out, and our plans did not show any township there. I came to the conclusion that unless they were houses and tents I had never seen anything so misleading in the bush. At seven miles we came to a paddock (post and wire fence) in which was two stone tanks with water and some horses. As the gate was locked with a pair of handcuffs I concluded it was a police paddock and that a township could not be far off. According to our plan this is Buladgin. For some miles the track had been leading us a little south of west, but now it turned again north-west, and was a well-worn road leading through a rather better country. Good red soil; mallee forests—some very fine timber, black butts, York and morrell gums, salmon gums, fluted or gimlet mallee, &c. At fourteen miles we saw two men cutting timber. I went to them and ascertained that the houses showing through the trees about one mile distant constituted the township of Southern Cross, the central depôt of the Yilgarn goldfields. There being good feed, suitable trees and bushes, besides a good deal of saltbush, we turned out and pitched camp. The officers and myself walked up to the town, the first house we came to being a public-house rudely constructed of galvanized iron. Those who saw us coming in took us for a party of mining experts from the other side. But on its becoming known who we were some little excitement occurred. An Adelaide man, Mr. Raeside, was amongst the first we met. I then walked up to the warden's tent and was introduced to him, learning that he had just returned from a hasty trip to Ularing, where gold had been found. As there was absolutely no water in that locality he had declared it a goldfield and granted suspension to the holders of claims for six months. It was very fortunate for us that I did not push on from Hampton Plains for Ularing depending upon getting water there. We should have lost many of our camels and crippled the the expedition. I and Mr. Wells dined with Mr. Raeside, who has charge of the Government works. The other officers had their dinner at the hotel, where the warden (Mr. Finnerty), the bank officials and other prominent residents board. After dinner Messrs. Leech, Wells, Streich, and I were driven out by Mr. Raeside four miles to Kookendine, where, on the shores of a salt lake, is situated the battery belonging to the Hope's Hill Gold Mining Company, whose claim or lease is about two miles distant. After inspecting the battery we went on to the mine, and found an immense formation or lode of quartz, with bands of steatite and kaolin, all of which goes straight to the battery and yields an average of 18dwts. to the ton. As the formation is 27ft. wide this would pay handsomely, were it not for the high rate of wages (£3 10s. to £4 per week for miners), the scarcity of water, and the distance between the stone and the machine. The cost of feeding a horse is £4 per week, so that the cartage of the stone must be a very heavy item. It is intended to lay a light tramway; but I think it a great pity that the stampers were not put up on the mine and the water forced to it. The battery is a primitive one. and salt water has to be used for the boilers. Twenty more stampers are shortly to be added. Water for domestic use is distilled, and, as eucalyptus leaves and kerosine are put in the boiler to keep the salt from incrusting, the water has not a pleasant taste. The rocks are hornblendic, chlorite, and talcose slate. We returned to the township, taking with us an old South Australian friend, Mr. W. W. Mills. Camp 86; 900ft. above sea level. Courses—West, thirteen miles; north-west, seven miles=twenty miles.

Saturday, November 21st.—Mr. Streich and I inspected Fraser's South mine, with which we were very pleased. The reef, the workings, and the machinery are all good. The reef is large, and carries a good average of gold (over loz. to the ton). I made no notes of the mines, asking Mr. Streich to do so, which he did. I then left him to go on with his inspection of the other mines, I contenting myself with a chat with the manager of the Central, and then went into the township to do my business. I could not help remarking that as the batteries (some of them) have been built on level ground they will soon be smothered in their own tailings. All these mines are paying their way, and will pay good dividends when the railway has reduced the cost of working to about one-third. There can be no question as to the future of this district. I went into the store and ordered six weeks' supply of rations, calculated on a more liberal scale than usual, that is as regards certain luxuries. Ordered six bottles of brandy (half a case).

Sunday, November 22nd.—At Southern Cross. Everyone in the township. Weather exceedingly hot. Busy writing letters and reports. Promised to take the caravan through the township at 9.15 on Monday morning.

Monday, November 23rd.—Southern Cross. Hot, clear. At 9 a.m. we left the camp and, by way of the Fraser South, we entered the township, and found nearly all the inhabitants assembled to see us. Some of the leading residents, seeing that we were about to start, invited us all into the dining room of the hotel, and produced some champagne. The warden and magistrate (Mr. Finnerty) in a very kind manner expressed their great pleasure at having met us, regretted the waterless state of the country through which we had travelled, sympathised with us for being driven out of our intended course, and complimented us upon having come through safely, and congratulated us upon the wonderful journey we had accomplished. On behalf of the members of the expedition I replied, thanking Mr. Finnerty and the residents for the warm welcome and many kindnesses they had shown us, that while we had been very glad to have made their acquaintance, it was a source of great annoyance to us that we had been, for want of water, driven so far into the known country. Praised the officers for their behavior under the difficulties and unpleasantnesses of the journey, and referred to the wonderful power of the camels. I then called upon the members of the expedition to drink to the success of Southern Cross, coupled with the name of Mr. Finnerty, who replied, thanking us. We then went out into the street and walked up to the next store, where an account had to be settled. I saw that everybody was mounted, and asked them if they were right, to which Mr. Leech replied, "Yes; we are all right." I mounted and, amidst the cheers of the assembled crowd, I took my place at the head of the caravan, and we moved off along the road towards Golden Valley, or Knutsford, near where we were to get water, the camels being very thirsty again. Mr. Wells rode on to Hope's Hill with Mr. Mills for the latter's swag, I having promised to give him a lift to the Murchison. On top of the rise half a mile out I looked back and saw all coming on. We then entered the dense mallee forest, and the tail of the caravan was of course lost to sight. After crossing the lake near Kookendine I looked back and saw the rear guard just emerging on to the open half a mile behind. I went on and saw no more of them, as we were travelling through dense scrubs until after we had camped at 4 p.m., thirteen miles out, on the first feed we came to. I had let my camel go and was about to assist in unloading when Warren rode in and said the doctor had sent him on to say that Bob Ramsay had had a sunstroke, and to send back some water to them, about five miles behind. Immediately took a fresh camel out of the team, saddled up, filled two bags with water, broke open a case for some brandy, and started within ten minutes of Warren's arrival in camp, and rode back five miles, to find Bob better, but Mr. Leech said during the doctor's absence he had some kind of a fit. On our way we met Mr. Wells and Mills, who said they had given them all the water out of their bags. Dr. Elliot poured water over the back of Bob's neck, let him drink a little, gave him a thirst tabloid, a pill, and told him to lay quiet. We got him on his camel and I kept close to him all the way cheering him up, and got him into camp safely, but very much done up. Camp 87. Max. temp. 106°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.50, ther. 75°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.21, ther. 105°.

Tuesday, November 24th.—Camp 87. South-east wind during night; clear. Bob is better, but his head is very bad. At 1.15 in eighteen miles over poor country, we reached the police tanks, which are just completed. There is a nice little soakage into a granite tank at the base of a granite outcrop. Watered the camels. Messrs. Finnerty and Raeside drove out from Southern Cross, and dined with us. Mr. Finnerty expressed his astonishment at our camels travelling in their present condition, and said he would not like to tackle the journey now before us, they looked so bad. We have not been fortunate enough to find a place to spell at, and there is no feed here. Camp 88. Height, 130ft. Max. temp. 103°, min. temp 62°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.27, ther. 85°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.28, ther. 100°.

Wednesday, November 25th.—Walked to another rock where there are three wells, and found plenty of feed and water. Altogether a very desirable spot to rest at, and as two of our camels yesterday could not rise with little more than the empty saddles, we shall take advantage of the opportunity, and rest a few days before we start on a journey of in all probability 150 miles without water through a miserable country. Will move on to-morrow; remaining here to-day partly on account of Ramsay, who is not fit to move about. I walked ten miles. Cool; south wind, strong and pleasant. These tanks are on the main road between Northam and Yilgarn, and about nine miles from Golden Valley. In the evening a strong, cool south to south-west wind. Camp 88. Max. temp. 89°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.51, ther. 77°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.52, ther. 88°.

Thursday, November 26th.—Camp 88. Cold night, south-east wind. At 6.25 started for the other water, four miles distant. One camel again unable to rise with anything on its back. Rajah fell down with Mr. Leech, and was too weak to rise, so that we must stop at this water as long as the feed will last, or else these poor camels will not be able to reach the Murchison. Pitched camp comfortably; rigged our canvas troughs, watered the camels, and let them go, many of them without hobbles. The troughs will be kept full. and as the camels will be eating saltbush they will come in to water every day. After dinner Abdul and I went to Golden Valley for sheep; brought out two alive. Golden Valley is about eleven miles from the camp; it is just on the eastern edge of the surveyed township of Knutsford. In the township proper there are no houses. In the Valley there is a public-house at which the miners working in the neighborhood board. The only other building is a house belonging to one of the mines. There is a well of fresh water, but the owners will not allow the residents to use it; consequently they have to cart the water from the wells where we are camped. There are two or three mines here, but very little work is being done; a battery is being erected, but I do not think these mines will pay. The country is very hard; the reefs not large, and apparently not rich. I will send Mr. Streich in to examine them and the country in the neighborhood. Camp 89. Max. temp. 84°, min. temp. 49°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.87, ther. 66°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.79, ther. 82°. Course 300° 30'; four miles to Karoling.

Friday, November 27th.—Cold nights, strong south-east wind; morning broke clear and cold. Mr. Wells busy over the plans. Messrs. Helms, Mills, and I walked over to some granite rocks two or three miles distant. No water there, and only a few acacia bushes. The camels are on good saltbush, quondong, and. other green bushes, and when they come in to drink they feed for a while on the green acacias and wattles growing around this rock at the camp. I have instructed the Afghans to be sure, that at least once in three days they see all the camels. Max. temp. 86°, min. temp. 42°. At 9 a.m., bar 28.87, ther. 63°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.75, ther. 86°. Camp is fifteen chains due north of pile. Lat. 30° 58' 36".

Saturday, November 28th.—Depôt, No. 4. East wind, cold and clear. Attending to camels. Gave poorer ones flour, fat and sugar, which mixture has a wonderful effect on camels when they get low in condition. I have known camels spelling on good feed without improving in condition, but after two or three doses of fat, &c., to at once begin to get strong and put on condition. Rubbed tar and oil on the mangy ones. Administered castor oil to some who needed it. Mr. Wells and I working at the plans, which we intend to send away from here. Max temp. 90°, min. temp. 50°, At 9 a.m., bar. 28.81, ther. 81°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.69, ther. 88°.

Sunday, November 29th.—Clear, east wind, cool. Working at plans. Mr. Leech has not yet acquainted me with his decision. The camels are on good bush and coming into water every day, when they drink an enormous quantity. I told Mr. Streich that I thought it would be advantageous to him to go into Golden Valley and examine the country there, and that he could go in to-morrow, when I would be sending in for sheep; he could live at the hotel for a few days. Max. temp. 96°, min. temp. .59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.82, ther. 82°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.73, ther. 88°.

Monday, November 30th.—North-east wind, hot. Sent Mahmoud into Golden Valley for sheep, and Mr. Streich went with him. I told Mr. Streich to let Mahmoud bring the camel back, as there was no water and but little feed there, and that I would send it for him on Wednesday. He promised to do so. Dr. Elliot and Mr. Helms went to the large granite outcrop three miles distant, on the shores of Lake Deborah, to take some photographs. After dark we heard a cooee and answered it. Went across, and found a black-fellow in charge of 100 sheep going to the Southern Cross. He said he had been three days on the road and Would be two days more. He was quite alone, not even a dog. That is cheap droving. Mahmoud returned with two sheep and a message from Mr. Streich that he would keep the camel there.

December, 1891]

Tuesday, December 1st.—Hot, clear, north-east to north wind. The doctor came back for some water, and said he was getting some excellent photographs. I cannot understand what he is doing. Mr. Leech handed me a telegram to send to the President of the Royal Geographical Society, Adelaide, asking to be allowed to resign his position on reaching the Murchison.

Wednesday, December 2nd.—Doctor and Helms still at the rocks. Engaged letter writing and plan making. Mr. Streich returned. Max. temp. 105°. At 3 p.m., bar. 28.48, ther. 101°.

Thursday, December 3rd.—In the evening the doctor and Mr. Helms returned. I told them that there would be an opportunity to write, as I would take in a mail to-morrow. Sent Mahmoud in for two sheep. The camels are improving. The Afghans are engaged repairing saddles and making two new ones for the two cows I bought at Fraser Range. Max. temp. 100°, min. temp. 63°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.42, ther. 91°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.40, ther. 97°.

Friday, December 4th.—I reached Golden Valley at 5 p.m, and let my camel go for the night, as I would be engaged with my correspondence up to a le to hour. The weather is very peculiar—hot days, thundery; strong north-west gales at night. Max. temp, 90°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.62°, ther. 72°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.50, ther. 90.

Saturday, December 5th.—Heavy gale. Thunder to the southward. Returned to camp at 2 p.m. Made preparations for starting on Monday. One of the tanks or wells has gone dry, and we have to commence using from another one. We could not stay here any longer if we wanted to, or the Valley people would have no water left for their use. Max. temp. 90°, min. temp. 60°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.61, ther. 70°; 3 p.m., bar. ther. 89°. Height by hypsometer, 850ft. above sea level.

Sunday, December 6th.—Depôt No. 4. All in camp. I feel that I cannot read Divine service in camp now. Only thirty-six camels seen to-day; six missing, but they were seen yesterday, so that they cannot be far away. Max. temp. 89°, min. temp. 590. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.56, ther. 72°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.45, ther. 88°; var. compass 1° 22' W.

Monday, December 7th.—Depôt No. 4. Bearing about 49°. Five camels missing until near midday. Watered them all, and at 12.30 started along the road for Golden Valley, it being necessary to go that way to get across Lake Deborah. At nine miles we camped, and Abdul and I went into the Valley for a sheep and some stores I had purchased to replenish those used during our spell. I stayed to write some letters and pay accounts. Leech, doctor, Helms, and Streich walked in after supper, and had a merry evening, returning to camp after midnight. I reached camp about 11 p.m., having had a very good Kimberley black boy given me, who will be very useful for tracking and on the flying trips. Max. temp. 102°, min. temp. 62°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.43, ther. 89°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.39, ther. 90°. Camp 90.

Tuesday, December 8th.—Camp 90. Cold south wind; clear. Started at 6.25, and cut on to the Barcootin track about one and a half miles from Golden Valley. Mr. Wells went into Golden Valley to post a letter to the R.G.S. which I had hurriedly written in pencil while the camels were being loaded. We travelled over very good country, brownish sandy soil with clay subsoil fit for agriculture, and now producing many edible bushes and some grass, and crossed a narrow neck of Lake Deborah, which was rather soft, and I was very glad to see all the camels safely across. At midday we reached Barcootin, which is another Government well or tank, at the foot of a large outcrop. Here there is camped a black shepherd with a flock of about 500 sheep belonging to Mr. Lukin whose station is some distance to the westward. The scientific gentlemen went into Golden Valley this morning and did not reach the camp till late. Mr. Rouls, from Southern Cross, came here, and told me of a good well, Elijahputten, which the native pointed to as lying to the north­west, and distant, as near as I could understand, twenty five miles, but we were advised to ride round by a track, making the distance somewhat greater. I decided not to fill up the casks here, but go there and make that our starting point. Took three sheep, as Mr. Lukin had given me permission to do so; one was killed, and the other two would be carried alive in the hide pack bags, thus enabling us to have fresh meat for a week longer. Very good water here, but poor feed. Min. temp. 58°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.61, ther. 70°; 3 p.m., ther. 70°. Camp 91. Lat. 30° 48' 45"; thirty chains from pile bearing 240°. Bearing from Karoling 348°; distance, thirteen miles.

Wednesday, December 9th.—Camp 91. Cool night; clear. South-east wind. Resumed our journey north-easterly to Enuin, five miles distant, which is a granite outcrop, with a well, and old hut, and yards. We the then turned with the track north-westerly for Elijahputten, and passed through some good saltbush for a short distance, and then miserable sand plains, with dense thickets of scrub and mallee. At fifteen miles we camped on poor feed. I am very glad we came by the road, as pushing through these dense thickets is weary work for both man and beast. Warm day. Camp 92. Max. temp. 97°, mm. temp. 54°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 69°; 3 p.m., bar, 28.10, ther. 91°. Courses—North-east, six miles; north-west, nine miles.

Thursday, December 10th.—Camp 92. Cool night; south wind, clear. Started at 5.50, and travelled over poor country to Elijahputten, fifteen miles. Passed some immense outcrops of granite. Here is a splendid well, the best we have seen—20ft. of water. The well has a whip and troughs, and is at the eastern foot of an immense granite outcrop. Good feed, but not much of it. A hobbled horse and some cattle here, although no one to water them; they must have strayed from somewhere. We gave the horse a drink, and he at once took the road leading westward as fast as the hobbles would permit him. A very strong west wind; cold, cloudy. Camp 93; lat. 30° 35' 50". Max. temp. 89°. min. temp. 52°. At 9 a.m, bar. 28.17, ther. 72°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.18, ther. 81°. North-west, five miles; 292°, ten miles north-west, fifteen miles.

Friday, December 11th.—Camp 93. Elijahputten or Elichaputten. Very cold south wind; little rain; heavy squalls. Filled all the water vessels, and started bearing 330° at 6.40, and for the first six or seven miles we passed through fairly good country—good soil, salmon gums, mallee, raspberry jam, mulga, acacias, quondongs, and a little saltbush. Numerous fresh tracks of cattle and sheep crossing our course, although we never heard of any camp being on our right and nothing for thirty miles on our left. At eight miles passed an old fallen in well. Soil is now lighter and poorer. Numerous granite outcrops. The main body of granite appears to be on our left and trending in the direction we are travelling. At ten miles we were on top of an elevation 1,600ft. above sea level, with the country we have passed over looking like a very deep valley. Changed our bearing to 310°, to go to some granite rocks, where we shall find feed on which to camp, the country now being most miserable, sandy and quartz gravel. At twelve miles mallee, better soil, and bushes, sandy, ferruginous sandstone rubble, low bushes. At fourteen miles we turned out on very good feed; granite rocks, 1,650ft. above sea level. Some grass here, but everything terribly dry. Found a small granite cup, with a little water in it. Just on the edge of the scrub, when I was looking around for a spot to pitch the camp on, some members of the rearguard set fire to the scrub, which burnt furiously, and was unpleasantly close to where we had to camp: Camp 94; lat. 30° 26' 10". Max. temp. 93°, min. temp. 53°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.35, ther. 66°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.12, ther. 89°.

Saturday, December 12th.—Camp 94. Clear south wind during, night. At 6 a.m. we resumed our journey over most miserable country on bearing 346°, low scrub and thickets, with patches of fluted mallee. Very poor country indeed, quite unfit for any purpose; a light soil, poor, but here and there we saw a little grass. In many places pebbles and broken stones of quartzite and ferruginous material are scattered over the surface. Granite outcrops frequently. At thirteen miles we saw a smoke ahead bearing 315°. The members of the party riding in the rear have been amusing themselves setting fire to the scrubs, which burn fiercely, being composed of jambush, dwarf casuarina, &c., all very dry. At 2 p.m., having only made about thirteen miles, we turned out. The camels will not stand more than about eight hours' travelling, and the thickets make our progress very slow. Bob's camel has a bad knee, appears as if he had knelt on a piece of broken glass. Dr. Elliot kindly dressed it and says he will attend to it. Up to now Mr. Mills has been riding the camel which Mr. Helms rode across the desert, but as it is knocking up I have given him another one. Two of the young camels are rather lame. This evening Dr. Elliot asked me for the plan Mr. Panton gave him. Camp 95. Max. temp. 94°, min. temp. 54°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.22, ther. 78; 3 p.m., bar. 28.04, ther. 90.

Sunday, December 13th.—Camp 95. Cold clear night, south wind. During the day south to south-east wind, strong—few fleecy clouds scudding across the sky. Started at 5.50 on same bearing, and soon entered a dense jam thicket through which we had to break our way for about one mile, when we emerged upon low bushes, light sandy soil, with gravel on the surface, quartzite and grits. At 1.15 we turned out on good feed in a patch of mallee with saltbush and edible bushes. Camp 96. Distance, fourteen miles Lat. 30° 4' 10". Max. temp. 87°, min. temp. 53°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.29, ther. 74; 3 p.m., bar. 28.18, ther. 84.

Monday, December 14th.—Camp 96. Lat. 30° 4' 10", which shows that we have only made twenty-four in two days, very slow travelling. Yet we cannot do more. The nature of the country prevents fast travelling and if I keep the camels going more than about eight hours some of them will give in. I must get them all to the Murchison, where there is good feed and water on which to rest them, while we examine the country to the eastward, with lightly-equipped parties. Cold clear night. Last evening the doctor cut the wound in Bob's camel's leg and said he ought not to be ridden. At 5.45 we resumed our journey on bearing 305° for a big hill which Mr. Wells saw from a tree trop last night. We rode through dense thickets of mulga and other bushes; with the exception of the first two miles it is a most worthless country. We passed a huge out­crop of quartz 30ft. or 40ft. high and 20yds. wide, direction north and south. Another big castle-like outcrop of white quartz visible a mile or two to the south. Very high mallee just here. I broke a good deal of the quartz, but saw no color of gold. I was surprised to find in the evening that Mr. Streich did not notice these immense outcrops. At 10 o'clock we were at the foot of a big granite bill (bare), which we supposed to be Mount Churchman. Climbed to the top of it and then did not consider the hill was big enough or conspicuous enough to be named as a mountain. It answered the description given by Mr. Giles very well and was on the correct latitude, but as we had no certain starting point we cannot be sure of its identity yet. Moved on north-westerly and turned out at 2 p.m., having lost two hours at the granite hill. Camp 97. Distance travelled twelve miles. Max. temp, 95°, min. temp. 56°. At 9 a.m, bar. 28.30, ther. 80° 3 p.m, bar. 28.20, ther. 92°. Courses—305°, eight miles to a hill, 1,850ft. above sea level; 305°, four-twelfths of a mile.

Tuesday, December 15th.—Camp 97. Lat. 29° 58' 30". Night warmer, with light south wind. Just above the camp from the top of a cliff I could see a big, bare granite hill some eight miles distant, bearing 290°, which might be Mount Churchman, but if so, then that mount is considerably out of position on our map, or else our starting point, Knutsford (a surveyed township), is incorrectly placed on the litho. maps of Western Australia. At 5.50 we started on bearing true north. For a considerable distance we had to go through a dense raspberry jam thicket, and then had open, burnt country. At seven miles we came to cliffs of conglomerate, covered with dense thickets. At the foot open mallee, with saltbush (the same description of country near our camp of yesterday). At the top of this cliff I could see what I suppose to be Mount Singleton, dim in the distance, bearing 301°, and the salt lakes to the right of it. Our course led us through dense scrub, with pines. So dense was the scrub that three or four of us walked ahead, clearing the way for the caravan. Granite outcropped occasionally. At 2.40 we turned out on edge of a samphire flat, being the head of some salt lakes we could see to the westward. This valley extends away to the east for a great distance. Not very much feed, but the country ahead did not look very promising. The day was hot and the journey had been very trying. Distance, fifteen miles. Camp 98. Max. temp. 101°, min. temp. 59°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.33, ther. 80°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.45, ther. 99°. Course 3° mag. by Mr. Wells' compass, i.e., true north for fifteen miles. Lat. 29° 44' 50".

Wednesday, December 16th.—Camp 98. Warm nights. South-east wind, clouds in west and east. Resumed our northward journey at 5.45. Crossed samphire flats with good saltbush, &c., making a very good stock country; good reddish soil. At eight miles crossed a large lake, loose gypseous soil, very dry and Powdery; much samphire. We then entered low bushes and mulga; good stock country. At 1.50 we turned out on very good feed—acacias, quondongs, kurrajong, &c. Cool, cloudy, threatening for rain. At times during the day it was very hot and sultry; thunder in the distance, a few drops of rain. Camp 99. Lat. 29° 32'. Max. temp. 80°, min. temp. 65°. At 9 a.m., ther. 76°, bar. 28.62; at 3 p.m., ther. 80°, bar. 28.45. True north, fifteen miles.

Thursday, December 17th.—Camp 99. Clear night, light breeze; no rain. though there was thunder and lightning to the north-west. We were a little late this morning, having been sleeping under cover. At eight miles we were on top of a high stony hill or range of argillaceous sandstone, very much weathered, densely covered with mulga and other bushes. Can see a hill, which we suppose to be Mount Kenneth, bearing 12° on a bearing of 343°. There is a bare rock, to which we shall go on the chance of finding water. In three miles farther (eleven miles) we came on a few old cattle tracks. As we proceeded they became more numerous; also a few horse tracks and many old sheep tracks, showing that at some time stock bad been depasturing here. A little farther and we saw some cattle tracks only a few days old. The cattle had been feeding, so we continued on our course through the dense mulga country, expecting to shortly strike a pad leading to water. Numerous were the guesses as to which way we would have to turn to go to the water. At fourteen miles we struck a cattle pad with fresh tracks, the freshest leading north-east. We turned along the pad in that direction, and in one mile came to Pindeburra Well in the Warne Flats, where a Chinaman was camped, drawing water out of a well some 30ft. deep with a hand windlass and one 5galls. bucket to water 150 head of cattle belonging to Mr. Clinch, whose station is some distance to the westward. At 2 p.m. we turned out, having travelled fifteen miles. The day was extremely hot, 100° in the shade. Camp 100. Lat. 29° 19' 59". Max. temp. 98°, min. temp. 66°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.37, ther. 86°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.49, ther. 96°.

Friday, December 18th.—Camp 100. At Pindeburra Well. Lat. 29° 20'. This is the exact latitude of Pindeburra or Gelanding Lake, as shown on both plans. This shows that we were not at Mount Churchman on the 14th instant, but that the hill I saw bearing 292° (from about two miles on hearing 310° from the hill we had supposed to be Mount Churchman) was the mount. As we had no particular object in going there it did not matter. Very hot day. Everyone had good wash and sleep. South-west breeze in the afternoon. So far as I can see these flats are formed of a good reddish loam, with good red. clay subsoil; red and other mulga. Put 240galls. of water in the casks, although I understand from the Chinaman that a road leads up the Warne Flats for about fifty miles when we shall find a station. Max. temp. 104°, min. temp. 67°. At 9 a.m.' bar. 28.63, ther. 96°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.56, ther. 104°.

Saturday, December 19th.—Pindeburra Well. Camp 100. Calm, clear; warm night. At 5.40 we resumed our journey, on bearing 350°, up the flats. In three miles we came on the dray road, and followed it, our camels walking along in good style. Glad to be on a road once again. We followed up on the east bank of the creek, with good acacias all the way, and turned out on good feed at 1, where the track crosses and leaves the creek—eighteen miles. Camp 101. These flats consist of really good country, but appear to have been overstocked some few years ago. The soil is really good, and produces mulga, acacias, saltbush, grasses, &c., and is fit for stock or agriculture. Mr. Streich has expressed the opinion that there is abundance of water underground, and he would not be surprised if it were artesian. If artesian water could be obtained at the head of these flats a splendid irrigation colony could be founded, for the soil is suitable and so is the contour of the country. Max. temp. 106°, min. temp. 69°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.48, ther. 94°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.38, ther. 105°. Course about 11°.

Sunday, December 20th.—Camp 101. Clear warm night. At 5.35 we resumed our journey along the dray track, which is slowing more to the north-west up a very pretty valley, with good reddish loamy soil strewn with quartz and producing mulga, acacia, corkbark tree, kurrajong, saltbush, and grass—a very likely-looking country for minerals. We are just on the southern boundary of the newly-proclaimed Murchison goldfield, and the country is well worth prospecting. At eight miles we passed a prospector's camp (deserted) with a tree marked T. HAYWARD,/Prospector,/1891./——/H DOWD,/Prospector,/Nov. 17, 1891.

A hole was sunk some 4ft. into the decomposed granite forming the bed of the creek; very little washdirt showing. The rocks in the neighborhood are hornblendic, micaceous, and talcose schists, with much quartz. The soil still remains good. At 9.30 we were due west of Mount Kenneth, distant four or five miles. At 1.40 we turned out amongst mulga with many good kurrajongs for the camels, a low white-looking range just in front of us. Judging by the sheep tracks, we should not be far from a water. Very hot day; wind from south to north-west. We passed three or four wells on the creek, but none of them have any water in. Numerous sheep camps and yards. Camp 102. Eighteen miles. Max. temp. 105°, min. temp. 69°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.27, ther. 93°; 3 p.m., 28.12, ther. 104°. Courses W.N.W. eight miles, N.W. twelve miles.

Monday, December 21st.—Camp 102. Cold night. At 5.20 we were again on the road, which leads west for six miles and then north-west over poor country, spinifex, mulga, sandy and gravelly soil, quartzite, and conglomerates. At 1 o'clock, having made seventeen miles, we turned out close to Mr. Broad's station, and pitched our camp under the shade of beautiful casuarina and prickly acacia growing along the creek, in which is an abundant supply of perfectly fresh water at about 8ft. This particular casuarina is a sure index to the existence of water at shallow depths. This out station, nestling in Canning Hills, is I think the prettiest spot we have seen for months. In a good season it must be very beautiful. The hills are undoubtedly auriferous—slates, quartz, ironstone, schists, &c. Mulga country principally. The station buildings consists of government house, woolshed, two huts, and whip wells, 15ft. deep. As we rode up to the station we were a source of wonderment to the natives and children. The owner of the station (Mr. Broad) was away with the sheep some forty miles north-east, but his wife gave us a cordial welcome, and as it was just dinner time, invited us to dinner; I thanked her, but said there are too many of us, she said "Oh, well, those of you who are here come"; we, Dr. Elliot, Wells, Mills and I accordingly dined at the station after seeing the camp pitched. Mrs. Broad, who has four children, has been here five years; they having bought the station from Mr. Oliver. This is the furthest out station. They have had no rain for three years, and natives, speaking no English, have this year come in from the eastward and are staying about here because there is no water in their own country—a further proof that we had done the right thing by not attempting to push across from Hampton Plains. The doctor neglected a good opportunity for getting information from the natives, from those here who belong to the country and can speak good English. Some native weapons too might have been obtained. I was too busy to attend to the natives myself. Mrs. Broad showed us a plan of the country from a traverse made by the surveyors, with a lot of useful information on it. She gave us permission to make a tracing off it in the evening. Camp 103. Course W.N.W. I was disappointed at not being able to get any fresh meat. There were no sheep on the station; they had lost about 4,000 through the drought. Mrs. Broad said twelve miles north-westerly we would find a new station belonging to Mr. Fogarty where we would be able to get mutton. As the road did not lead that way she said she would send a native to guide me to the place. Max. temp. 98°, min. temp. 69°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.27, ther. 82°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.31, ther. 98°. A fine crop of hay was grown here one year, but the soil is only a few inches deep.

Tuesday, December 22nd.—Wargee Station, camp 103. Strong south-west wind. Cool and clear. Resumed our journey along the track westerly towards Oliver's, to get through the Canning Hills; but at five miles we turned to bearing 345°, which took us over a rough granitic country, with stunted mulga and other bushes; abundance of the kite leaf poison plant (Gastrolobium). For four and a half miles when under the direction of our native guide our course was changed to 5°, and we still found a most miserable country. We then struck an old dray track, which led us rather a circuitous route, with a general north-west bearing, through some good mulga country. At twenty-two miles we came to a whip well, at which a black-fellow was watering few hundred miserable-looking sheep. He told me that it was only a little way to where Mr. Fogarty's new station was. We followed the road for two and a half miles through high mulga a sandy soil till we struck a large watercourse coining from south-west. Followed it up for about half a mile, when we came to the new station—one unfinished but and a shed. No men about, and only half a dozen starving sheep standing over the dry troughs, which have just been erected at a new well in the creek bed, about 10ft. deep; very good water. The native shepherd came after us, and I learned that the name of this well is Nalbaralla, and the Fogartys are living at Darn, some distance west or south-west from here. I saw a well of good water, 6ft. deep, on a mulga flat; one well west. I am much disappointed at not finding some men here, as I hoped to get some information about the country, as well as some mutton. Watered the camels. The native shepherd directed me which way to travel to-morrow to get water and to avoid the hills. Max. temp. 93°, min. temp. 64°. At 9 a.m. bar. 28.43, ther. 46°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.53, ther. 91°. Camp 104. Lat., 28° 38' 35". The one redeeming feature of this country is the abundant supply of good water to be obtained at very shallow depths. The country itself is poor and patchy, and a great deal of the kite leaf poison grows about the granite ridges.

Wednesday, December 23rd.—Camp 104. At 5.45 we started along a dray track leading north-west to a well at four miles; then more northerly until we met a well-beaten road leading east and west. I rode about one mile west to Beera Spring and found a new well, deeper than usual, had just been completed; the troughs were not yet fixed. There was a tent with rations and a shed with tools, and fresh horse tracks, but no one had been there for the past twenty-four hours. Very nice country. We crossed the road and steered north, up a good mulga valley, down which in flood times there is a heavy rush of water. Very good cattle country, there being abundance of top feed, besides in ordinary seasons plenty of grass and some saltbush. Later on we crossed two roads close together, leading east and west. At nineteen miles we turned out on good camel-feed mulga, kurrajong, and green saltbush. Camp 105. Max. temp. 100°, min. temp. 60°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.63, ther. 84°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.49, ther. 97°. Courses—320°, four miles; due north three. miles to outcrop and rockhole; ten miles, altered course, 3° mag., nine miles=nineteen miles.

Thursday, December 24th.—Camp 105. Warm, clear night. Resumed our northerly course at 5.20. with an east wind blowing. Clear sky and very hot. As we proceeded the country improved. More grass, saltbush, and mulga granite hills close on our left. At six miles we could see much dust in a valley a little on our right. We turned to bearing 37°, and should reach the station in twelve miles. In nine miles, over same class of good stock country, with a good, reddish, loamy soil, we struck the road. I had a shot at a turkey, but did not bag him, as I hoped, for our Christmas dinner. In three miles along the road easterly, eighteen miles in all, we reached the station owned by Mr. Watson. It is situated on a level mulga flat, with abundance of good water at shallow depths. The house well is perfectly fresh, while a well about twenty chains away is quite salt. The station has been formed ten years. A similar drought was prevailing then. Mr. Watson is away at Geraldton. Mrs. Watson, who is a native of Western Australia, and has some three or four healthy little children here, was most kind to us and gave me much valuable information. Water being so easily obtainable all over their run, they have had no losses from drought, being able to shift the stock on to new country from time to time. West Mount Magnet Goldfield is about twenty-four miles distant. From 200ozs. to 300ozs. of gold were picked up on the surface of a flat, and there are now over sixty men there. As soon as the rain comes this country will be prospected right out to the desert. Many natives have come in from the east reporting all the waters dried up. The troopers who were sent out in search of the murderer of young Waldeck returned a few days ago, having been successful in capturing the fellow after a desperate struggle, during which the man was shot in the leg. Great credit should be given to these men, for they had a very hard time. They had natives with them who knew the country, and report that they went about 150 miles east and saw good stock Country. also mineral country; their horses were three days without water and were knocked up. Mrs. Watson told me I could get a good native from their out station Millie Millie, north-east of Mount Magnet, to go out east with me if I want one. This is a very good stock country, and the settlers should be prosperous. The Christmas bullock escaped out of the yard yesterday evening, so that we shall only have mutton for our Christmas dinner. Max. temp. 103°, min. temp. 67°. At 9 a.m, bar. 28.59, they. 900; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.47, ther. 101°. Camp 106, Yoweragabbie.

Friday, December 25th.—Christmas Day, Yoweragabbie Station. Camp 106. Clear, hot, E.S.E. wind. My eyes are very weak. We shall remain here to-day. After breakfast I went up to the station and asked. Mrs. Watson to allow me to stay inside as it was very hot and the glare hurt my eyes. I went to the camp at 5 p.m. to dinner; roast mutton and plum pudding. At the station they had salt beef and plum pudding for dinner. Cloudy, hot, thunderstorm in evening. One camel missing. If I can find a good depôt east of Cruickshank's station and get a dray to go to Hope's for the stores, the camels will be fit immediately on arrival of the stores to go out on flying trips into the desert. We then could make north-east over unfixed country to the Windich or Weld Springs as seemed to us the best. It will certainly be a great saving of time and distance for the camels if I can so arrange it. Mr. Wells got some very good information from the natives here. Max. temp. 109°, min. temp. 68°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.54, ther. 95°; at 3 p.m., bar. 28.35, ther. 107°.

Saturday, December 26th.—Yoweragabbie Station. Hot night; strong wind. We intended starting to-day, but one camel was missing. Two Afghans and the black boy returned about 8 o'clock without the camel. They had their breakfast, and then started out on camelback, Ned, the black boy, riding Misery. At 2 o'clock a little black boy from the station came to tell me that he had seen a camel's track a long way out. He was out looking for some lost sheep, and when he saw the track he was afraid and returned to the station. I put him on in front of me on Mr. Wells's camel. At two miles came on the tracks, and followed them for One and a half hours, when we found the camel only about four miles from the camp. Sent all the camels down to the acacias, three miles away, for the night. An exceedingly hot day; thunderstorms to the north­east. Purchased at the station 3lbs. of tea, 20lbs. sugar, 100lbs. fresh meat, and one sheep. Water is obtainable at from 6ft. to 10ft. on the flat, after going through a shallow loamy soil and travertine limestone with a conglomerate of pebbles on the bottom. Max. temp. 107°, min. temp. 72°. At 9 a.m., bar. 98.48, ther. 97°; 3 p.m., bar, 28.36, ther. 106°.

Sunday, December 27th.—Yoweragabbie Station. Cooler night; wind from south-west. Clear morning. promising to be a hot day. The camels were brought, and we started at 8.30 along a road leading north. We travelled along the bank of a creek in a mulga valley. Saw two shallow wells in the creek, both containing good water. At 2 p.m. we reached Mr. Jones's station and turned out, there being good acacias in the creek. Mr. Jones kindly allowed us to use a hut, for which we were thankful, as the clay was extremely hot and the mulga bushes are shadeless. This is very good stock country. Water in one well at 10ft. and another at 6ft., perfectly fresh, and a very large supply one well will water 4,000 sheep. The Messrs. Jones have only been two years here, and tell me that the natives inform them that. as near as they can make out, 150 miles north-east there is good country—blue gum creeks, but there is a belt of spinifex country this side of it. No white men have been out there. We all supped with Mr. Jones. Camp 107. Fifteen miles. Max. temp. 109°, min. temp. 75°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.43, ther. 96°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.24, ther. 108°.

Monday, December 28th.—Camp 107. Clear cold night; south-west breeze. At 5.30 we started, still northerly, along a road, Mr. Jones going with us. At six miles, having travelled over good country, we came to a well of good water, with splendid prickly acacias. The doctor came on ahead, as he expected to get sonic photographs of natives, there being, according to Mr. Jones, about 100 camped near this well. To his disappointment all the natives had run away into the bush, having heard that some policemen were coining. Doctor took some spears, wommerahs, shields and waddies from the camp. Mr. Jones stopped at this well. He told me that we would get to a good well with a flock of sheep in charge of a white man, and that his brother would come on in the evening, and give me what sheep I wanted. We followed the track, still northerly, over good pastoral country. At twelve miles we saw fresh sheep tracks. At twenty-two miles we came to a well of good water on an acacia flat, but no troughs, and no one camped. We have come the distance, and there is splendid feed here, so shall turn out. Old "tucker box" camel knocked up to-day. The day was very hot and the stage rather long. If we have a continuation of this weather we shall only be able to make short stages. After watering the camels I decided that we must rest here to-morrow for the sake of the knocked up camel, as to travel would risk his knocking up altogether. I must get all on the main road, and then it will not matter much if I have to leave some for a week. Mr. Jones did not come on, but a black shepherd came here with a flock of sheep, out of which I took three nice fat wethers. Our dinner to-day consisted of roast beef, rice, blancmange, jam, and milk. Some diggers passed en route to West Mount Magnet. Put 150galls. of water in the casks. Rubbly or nodular limestone. This well is only 6ft. deep, in an acacia flat. It seems as if the prickly acacia here is an indication of water. Camp 108. Max. temp. 109°. min temp., 69°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.22, ther. 89°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.23, ther. 108°.

Tuesday, December 29th.—Camp 108. Cooler night; hot day. Eight more diggers, on foot, came here this morning, carrying their swags, provisions, water, and tools. They are going to Mount Magnet. The camels ate nearly the whole of the night, and have enjoyed their camp to-day on such good feed. Gave them another drink, and tied them up all night. Mr. Helms is better. Max. temp. 106°, mm temp. 68°. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.38, ther. 93°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.36, ther. 102°.

Wednesday, December 30th.—Camp 108. Cool change set in last night. At 5.45 we again resumed the weary and toilsome march, over good stock country, mulga, acacias, saltbush, dry grass, &c., reddish soil, loamy and good, with occasional patches of nodular limestone. At three miles passed a well of good water, 6ft. deep. At six miles another well, 8ft. deep, of splendid water, and a large supply. Paid Mr. Jones £2 5s. for the three sheep caught at the last camp. The winding track, which was made by my old Northern Territory friend, Mr. R. R. Cruickshank, a short time ago, still led us northerly through a dense mulga scrub on sandy soil. At 2.45, having made about twenty-one miles, we camped on rather poor feed. The granite hills seemed to be two or three miles farther on, and although I knew there would be good feed there I preferred camping here, as I had been warned of the existence of much poison plant at those rocks. The day was cooler; a south-west breeze was blowing. Old "tucker-box" camel travelled well to-day after the rest. Two more footmen on their way to Mount Magnet camped with us. Camp 109. Height, 1,400ft. Max. temp. 108, min. temp. 69. At 9 a.m., bar. 28.33, ther. 89°; at 3 p.m., 28.23, ther. 101°.

Thursday, December 31st.—Camp 109. Southerly breeze, cool day. Resumed our journey along the track at 5.25. In two and a half miles we crossed the granite outcrops, on the south side of which is a small soakage just dry. Poison bush plentiful. At seven and a half miles came to a well 8ft. deep, with a whip and good iron troughs; good stock water. The track then turned a little north of east, and after watering the camels we proceeded at 8.55 over good mulga country with large granite hills. At 3 o'clock, having done twenty-one miles, we reached Townsend's Coodardy Station, on the main road from Geraldton to the Murchison. A great number of diggers camped here, amongst them some South Australians; also a spring dray returning to Geraldton, having been up to the field with the rations I had ordered from Esperance Bay by telegram. Soon after camping Messrs. Elliot, Streich, Helms, and Ramsay handed in their resignations, which I at once telegraphed to the President of Geographical Society, Adelaide. There is a large sandy creek here, and in a small watercourse leading into it there is a nice soakage well, giving a fair supply of beautiful water. Camp 110. Max. temp. 106°, min. temp. 72°. At9 a.m., bar. 28.32, ther. 90°; 3 p.m., bar. 28.20, ther. 103°. Courses—north seven miles, northwards to station.

January, 1892]

Friday, January 1st.—New Year's day. Camp 110. At Coodardy Station; strong south-west wind during night. Sent Mr. Wells along the Geraldton-road to overtake the dray. A man named Cumming, being strongly recommended by Mr. Cowan, was put on in Ramsay's place. We resumed our journey at 6.30 along a well-beaten road, over level mulga country; very good stock country, and plenty of good water at very shallow depths. At eighteen miles we crossed a splendid looking belt of mineral country—hornblendic slates, ironstone, and quartz. At 3 o'clock, having made twenty-two miles, we turned out at the Deep Well, which is 30ft. deep, and contains beautifully pure water. Here we overtook Captain Pleitner, of Adelaide, and Mr. S. T. Edwards, who had passed us earlier in the day en route for the field. Mr. Pleitner told me that he had seen George Lindsay in Geraldton, and that he had had to go back to Perth for horses, none being obtainable at Geraldton. I was surprised, as I fully expected he would have been at Moorarie before this. When starting, one of the camels could not rise with only 50lbs. on its back.

Saturday, January 2nd.—Camp 111. Resumed journey at 5.45. At ten miles, having passed over splendid mulga country, I crossed a creek, in which was a well with a small supply of fresh water. A good mineral and grazing country. I stopped by the roadside for a few minutes to examine some rocks, when the doctor passed me, reaching the station some time before I did, which was at 1 o'clock. Messrs. Cruickshank extended to me a most cordial welcome, telling me to make the station our home for a month, or six months, or as long as we liked. They would give me half of whatever they had. After dinner a special messenger was sent into the goldfields for the letters I expected would be waiting for us. This is a good station; comfortable homestead; good stock country; plenty of good water at very shallow depths (5ft. or 6ft.) A good deal of sheep-proof wire fencing about. The day was very hot. North wind, dusty, thunder clouds. Camp 112 was about ten or twelve miles farther back.

Sunday, January 3rd.—Annean Station. A terrific duststorm occurred after dark last evening, followed by a light rain, .19. After breakfast I rode around to look for a feeding ground for the camels, which I found to be quite near the station. When I returned, the caravan had arrived, and I informed those who had resigned that I had made arrangements with Mr. Cruickshank for them to stay at the station. We camped at the woolshed. We were disappointed when the messenger returned from the goldfields without any letters for us. In the evening Mr. Cruickshank and Mr. Mills drove over to the goldfield, fourteen or fifteen miles distant, and I rode over on one of the camels. Stayed at the warden's quarters (Mr. Walters'), and met Mr. Lacey and many others. All were most kind, and expressed their admiration of the journey we had accomplished in the face of a three years' drought. Camp 113.

Monday, January 4th.—Nannine Goldfield. I only visited Macpherson's claim, and had a long conversation with him. I saw some wonderful specimens of gold-bearing stone, taken from a very large reef. I like the appearance of the country for gold very much indeed. I returned to camp in the evening. Day was extremely hot, with thunderstorms in different directions.

Tuesday, January 5th.—Annean Station. Another very hot day. Sent Mr. Wells to the goldfield for some stores. Settled with Ramsay, and he left the camp.

Wednesday, January 6th.—Dr. Elliot started at daylight. I busied myself with the accounts of those leaving, and wrote to Mr. Streich, telling him that I was going into Geraldton next day, and asking him to put in writing his reasons for resigning his position, so that I might send it on to the society. To that he replied, saying that he "regretted not being able to furnish me with his reasons for resigning", but that he "would give them to the Royal Geographical Society, by whom he was appointed, and to whom he had sent his resignation." I also wrote to each of them, asking them to comply with the instructions on page 9, lines 29 to 36, of the "Handbook of Instructions". Gave Mr. Wells instructions what to do during my absence, viz., to go to Moorarie for a few things we wanted, and to meet George Lindsay and Joorak. Wrote a letter for him to give to Donald Cumming, when leaving, which instructed him to take charge of the camp.

Thursday, January 7th.—At 5.50 I started alone on the camel we considered most fit for the journey. At eighteen miles I camped three hours for dinner and rest for the camel. At 5 o'clock, having done thirty-six miles, I camped on really good feed, saltbush, &c. Very hot, with thunderstorms. About midnight, Cruickshank's bullock team, loaded with rations, passed.

Friday, January 8th.—I was on the road till 4.50, and stopped for an hour at a good green bush, reaching Coodardy at 10.35—eighteen miles—where, as it was very hot indeed, I turned out and went into the station, where I remained until 4 o'clock, when Captain Pleitner and Mr. Edwards drove up, with one of their horses knocked up. I resumed my journey and camped at 10 o'clock in mulga, having made eighteen miles. I spelled one hour on some feed just before sundown.

Saturday, January 9th.—At 4.45 I was again on the road, passing a man asleep. At 5.35 I reached a well of brackish water in a salt creek. Stopped for one and a half hours on green saltbush. The water was good for stock, and only 3ft. from the surface. Another well, about 200yds. farther on, near the creek, was better water. Numbers of dead kangaroos lying about. Good feed for camels, but poison-bush growing amongst the rocks. At ten miles passed another well of good water only 3ft. from the surface. Met three men with horses, one being Mr. Carlyon, from Mullewah, who told me had opened the country north of Weld Springs, and that the natives told him that after crossing a belt of spinifex to the north-east good country existed, in which were some springs. He says there is good country between the tracks of Forrest and Giles, with good waters and Springs. Intensely hot. My camel completely fagged, and would not get up with me on his back. At twenty-three miles came to Willara Station (deserted). Splendid water in a well only 6ft. deep; three buildings. I took refuge from the sun in a thatched hut. There was a very strong hot wind. from the south-west, with clouds. I should think this extremely hot weather must soon bring up rain. The country is in a terrible state—even the mulga is dying, and there is no grass anywhere. The abundance of good water, at shallow depths, is the one redeeming feature of this country, but there is no luxuriant growth of trees as one would expect—no gum trees, only acacias of all sorts, with casuarinas in the creek beds, indicating the presence of water. There is really no surface soil, the rock being almost bare. My camel had a good camp on green acacias (prickly).

Sunday, January 10th.—During the night the wind changed to south-east, and blew very strong. Dusty, hot, cloudy; few drops of rain. The camel was near by. Started at 5.15 a.m., over saltbush and mulga country, with granite outcrops. Cloudy; wind cooler and strong; looks like rain in the north-east. At 9.15, having let the camel feed awhile by the roadside (fifteen miles), I reached a soakage well—my camel being completely done up. Although there is no feed, I had to camp, and will go on in evening. This is just about as dreary a time as one could put in—with a knocked up camel, sixty-five miles to a station, three days' rations in the bags, long hot day, nothing to do. I met one man to-day, who was merely tramping along with his swag. I envied him; for I would sooner walk and carry my swag than walk and drive a knocked up camel. A smart shower of rain fell here recently. The small claypans are just dry; the well is about 15ft. deep, and has but a small supply of perfectly fresh, whitish soakage water. Jam woods, mulga, cork-bark; shallow reddish loamy soil. Resumed my journey at 415 on foot, driving my camel before me. After accomplishing six miles, camped at two quondong trees, in high dense mulga; sandy soil. Looking very like heavy rain to the north-east; wind from south-east. Pitched my drover tent, and made all snug for heavy rain, but not a drop fell.

Monday, January 11th.—Still cloudy, and looking like rain to the north-east. Resumed journey on foot at 515. As the camel would not lead, I had to drive him in front of me. At ten minutes past 8, having made ten miles, I reached a well, 8ft. deep, in a large casuarina creek; very good water. Let the camel go on good green saltbush. In the afternoon Captain Pleitner and Mr. Edwards came along, and I started again, and managed to reach a well in big sandy creek—twelve or fourteen miles on—at 7 p.m. Captain Pleitner and Edwards camped here also.

Tuesday, January 12th.—Strong wind; cool. Resumed my journey, and in five miles came to a well, at which some natives were watering sheep. Arranged with one of them to look after the camel; tied the saddle, &c., in a tree down where the natives camp gave the fellow a tomahawk, and promised to send some rations from the station (Gabyone) for him. Captain Pleitner drove up in his buckboard buggy; I jumped up behind, and we reached Gabyone (Messrs. Lacey's station) in the evening, having camped for dinner at a good well. Mr. Lacey gave us a kindly welcome, and lent me a horse for the journey to Geraldton.

Wednesday, January 13th.—Extremely hot day. We stayed at Gabyone until 3.30 p.m., when we started with two fresh horses, one of which had never seen a collar before. We passed through mulga country with good saltbush on the flats;—water in shallow wells at short distances apart. At 11 a.m. next day, having only stopped for about two hours, we reached Mullewah, seventy-five miles distant. Mullewah is a depôt for the up-country station stores, and is on the edge of the sand plains which extend nearly to the coast.

Thursday, January 14th.—We stayed at Mullewah until sundown, when we resumed our journey, and passing over a heavy road turned out at a deep brackish well—fourteen miles.

Friday, January 15th.—By sunrise we were again on the road, which now became very heavy—high white sandy undulations with sand plain vegetation. We reached the Greenough River about 1 p.m., and turned out under the very welcome shade of a fine eucalyptus growing in the wide sandy bed of this river. At 4 p.m. George Lindsay drove up. Captain Pleitner and Mr. Edwards drove on, leaving me, as I had some arrangements to make. A Gabyone team took Joorak on, with instructions to pick up my camel and go on to the camp at Annean. We camped here for the night.

Saturday, January 16th.—Mr. Darlot kindly undertook to deliver despatches, &c., to Mr. Wells.

Monday, January 18th.—The following telegrams were received:—"Council meets 2 o'clock to-day. Furnish immediately any information necessary, and acquaint council of your proposed movements, what number men, and what class men you require." To that I replied as follows:—"Purpose working remainder block A with light parties from depôt near Murchison goldfields. Enough camels will be fit to work as soon as I return to camp. Only require botanical collector and geologist. I do not mind whether we have a doctor or not, but must have someone to photograph. Subordinate position can be filled. locally. No occasion send a third officer, can give George Lindsay responsibility and charge of stores and equipage. If geologist and collector can be here shortly would wait and take them back with me, as much difficulty in arranging for transport in this country. Would only have to purchase one more horse. Men only require personal outfit, weighing say 50lbs. each." The following telegram was received:—"Please reply to following questions immediately:—1. Have you ascertained if it is practicable to go inland to explore any of the blocks A or others from the Murchison? 2. How many men do you require to complete your party? 3. Can they be obtained at Geraldton? 4. In the present state of the country is it desirable to reappoint members of scientific staff? 5. In the absence of a scientific staff how many camels can be dispensed with." To that replied:—"From all information I can gather, in spite of drought, I believe it is practicable to go on with the exploration of blocks A, B, and C. Am not willing to dispense with any camels, as by working from depôts all camels will be made use of. Now that we are in country where depôts can be formed better have all the camels in case of losses by poison or accident. Party is now complete except for three scientists. As stated in last wire, this is the time for rain, and showers have already fallen in the back country. With regard to question 4 it is for you to say whether men having special qualifications for those positions are necessary for carrying out Sir Thomas's wishes. If you think fit we can carry on the scientific work with present staff—say, George take collector's position to the best of his ability. I am not afraid to undertake the geological work, and I think I can manage the photography."

Wednesday, January 20th.—I received the following telegram from the council:—"Sub-committee on exploration met to-day; more definite replies are required to questions 1 and 5 in telegram of yesterday, early as possible. Council endeavoring obtain geologist and desire that all men required for expedition be employed in South Australia. Tietkens being communicated with; society offer him position collector and general assistant. Exercise your discretion what goods really necessary to take to Murchison."

I replied as follows:—"Waters about lat. 27°, long. 119°, also lat. 28°, long. 119°, will enable me to go farther easterly for, say, 250 miles, relieving party with water to follow few days later so that in event of no water being found the party would return on its own track to a given point, where, on a given date, the water team would meet them. Also can from same waters go across to Mount Hosken; thence to Windich Springs, meeting the main caravan with rations for next blocks. Same system of working will enable us complete upper blocks, even if we find no new waters and have to make depôts on the heads of the various rivers. If no scientists appointed could possibly dispense with seven to ten camels, but in their present condition would not be willing to do so. As those resigning have broken their agreements, I presume I am right in informing them that their pay ceases. and they must pay their own expenses back to Adelaide; please instruct me. Good Queenslander now filling Ramsay's place; no other subordinate wanted. Will be glad to welcome Tietkens in position proposed." Later on I received the following—"Council meeting held to day, Wednesday; resolution moved and carried that Mr. Wells be instructed to make explorations, if camels are fit, into block A from nearest available depôt to that block; that Mr. George Lindsay take charge of camp during Wells' absence exploring, and that leader be asked to come to Adelaide forthwith to confer with council. Please give necessary instructions and authority to George Lindsay; write Wells fully sending him particulars of resolution, advising him best movements after doing which, return forthwith Adelaide, confer council regard monetary matters. You had better make provision for payment £25 each scientific gentleman resigned, giving £10 Ramsay, payment each case account salary." I replied that I would obey instructions and leave for Adelaide on Saturday night. The next few days were occupied in making arrangements and writing despatches to Mr. Wells. The following is a copy of the instructions I sent to Mr. Wells :—"In reply to question from council I said waters about lat. 27°, long. 119°, and lat. 28°, long. 119°, will enable us complete block A by light parties, water team following, &c., Mr. Townsend tells me that I can make sure of water thirty miles farther east than his outstation, and also he will so describe the place to you and give you a native to guide you to a place fully seventy miles further east where you can for a certainty get water by sinking. If that be the case you will have not much difficulty in getting about the country, for that water should be near long. 121°, and with a water team to follow you from that water you can easily go anywhere you wish. Remember this: if you find waters make your examination as close and as much in detail as the formation of the country warrants. 1st. See Townsend, and get all possible information from him. 2nd. Get his native. 3rd. Start as soon as you think the camels are fit. 4th. Leave Misery with George; he can use him. 5th. Better take Warren and any other men you think you need. 6th. Procure long steel drill and spoon, also small quantity dynamite, to enable you sink wells. 7th. Joorak will remain in charge of camels under George. 8th. If necessary you may put Mills on to lead your relieving team with water. 9th. Collect plants, as far as possible. 10th. In crossing hills or rocky country please observe the strike or direction of the rocks and reefs, the inclination or dip, and the direction of the dip (see that book of mine, 'Mines and Minerals', by Cox; that will give you a good idea of what is necessary). Elevation.—Carefully take aneroid readings of all variations in elevation crossed, so that a geological map may be constructed. Take specimens of the different rocks met with, so that they may be classified. If you meet with any slaty country, with quartz and ironstone, if possible have a look round for gold, and bring specimens of all the different rocks in the locality, specially noting the peculiar features of the locality. George ought to reach you about the 5th February. I think you will be able to get a good depôt for camels at an outstation of Townsend's to the east, where there is plenty of feed and water, with good bushes and sheep. If so, shift to there, as camels want to be kept on best feed available. You might be able to get away, say, the 15th February. I will reach Adelaide about the 2nd February; say I stay there a fortnight, equals the 16th; reach here 26th; reach Cruickshank's 10th, and your camp, if out eastwards, on the 15th March. That will only give you about a month clear before I am back, so you had better not try to get across to our desert track, but examine the country somewhat closely out to about long. 123° and up to Timperly Range, so that in the event of waters existing anywhere there we could have a good starting point from which to go east towards our old track as soon as I return. That will give you as much as you can do in two months. 11. Buy what stores you require locally. 12th. Maher wishes to return to Adelaide. Send the buggy back with him, so that I can have it to go up with on my return. Send by him all specimens, plants, &c., that may have been left. If necessary leave someone in charge of stores at Moorarie, but I should think it is unnecessary. 13th. I authorise you to detain all and every article belonging to the expedition now in possession of scientists; all firearms, tools, instruments, chemicals, medicines, medicine chests, &c., photos. cameras, kodak, &c. If Streich chooses to come down with Maher you can permit him to do so, but none of the others are to be permitted to travel with our buggy. 14th. Do not forget to take salts and castor oil with you on all flying trips. 15th. Instruct Maher leave the horses at Giles's, nine miles from here."

Saturday, January 23rd.—At midnight left Geraldton for Fremantle, in s.s. Flinders.

Monday, January 25th.—Reached Freemantle at 10.30 and at once entered the train for Albany, to catch the P. & O. s.s. Victorian.

Tuesday, January 26th.—Reached Albany in the evening.

Thursday, January 28th.—At Albany. Steamer sighted at 7.40, arriving an hour later, and sailing again at 4 p.m.

Friday, January 29th.—At sea.

Saturday, January 30th.—At sea.

Sunday, January 31st.—After a most pleasant passage we dropped anchor off Largs Bay at 5 p.m.

Collapse of the Expedition]

Monday, February 1st.—Lunched with Sir Thomas Elder, and spent the afternoon with him explaining the work we had accomplished, and the behaviour of the officers who had resigned. Sir Thomas expressed himself as perfectly satisfied with what I had done, and told me to take a month's rest and then go back with what officers I, in conjunction with the council of the Geographical Society, considered necessary.

On the 2nd February I attended a meeting of the council and made a verbal statement concerning the affairs of the expedition. The meeting was adjourned until the 4th, when I continued the statement and answered questions. I was then kept in Adelaide waiting the arrival of the resigned officers, who intended (so they intimated) "preferring grave and serious charges against me." On the 8th March Messrs. Leech, Helms, Streich, and Ramsay attended a meeting of the council, I being present, and made statements containing their reasons for resigning. Messrs. Streich and Helms had been in Adelaide ten days, but would not make their statement until, to use their own words, "their brother officers arrived, when they would all make a statement together".

On the 10th March I met the council and denied the charges. On the 14th March Sir Thomas Elder wrote the following letter to the President of the Royal Geographical Society:—

"Dear Sir—I have considered all the complications which have arisen in connection with my exploring expedition, and also its want of success up to date, and I have also considered the unfavorable character of the season. I have now made up my mind to bring the exploring expedition to a close at present, in which course I hope I shall have the approval of the. committee of the Geographical Society. I shall hold out to myself the hope of resuming this scientific and exploring work at a more favorable time. As I have not lost confidence in Mr. Lindsay's management, and still think he was beaten by the season, I propose to give him what I consider fair compensation for loss of office.

"I have, &c.,                    

"THOS. ELDER."

On the 4th of April Dr. Elliot attended a meeting of the council, I not being present, and presented a written statement of his reasons for resigning, and his charges against me. On the 23rd June the remainder of the party reached Adelaide, and on the 27th June Mr. Wells attended a meeting of the council to give evidence. Warren was not then examined. I was not satisfied with the incomplete examination, as I wished Mr. Wells and also Warren to be fully examined in every detail of the charges, and therefore asked that another meeting might be held, which was done on the 9th July, when both Mr. Wells and Warren supported me in the fullest manner. Another meeting was held on the 12th July, at which the following resolution was carried—"That after hearing the evidence of Messrs. Wells and Warren, which has borne out Mr. Lindsay's evidence in all essential points, the council consider Mr. Lindsay is exonerated from the charges preferred against him by the members of the expedition, and that the evidence taken be filed, and the affairs of the expedition connected with the society be closed."

As soon as possible after the arrival at Annean Station, of George Lindsay, with instructions from me, Mr. Wells started to explore the country to the eastward with a lightly-equipped party. Fine rains fell, the drought breaking up completely a few days after he left the depôt camp, enabling him to send Mr. W. W. Mills back with the water casks, and to carry his exploration out to within 100 miles of our desert track. He then went north-east, and returned to the depôt by another route, reaching there after an absence of about six weeks, during which he had discovered much good pastoral country and belts of auriferous looking country. His disappointment at finding instructions to disband the expedition was indeed great, as the drought had broken up and all the camels were fat and fit to go on with the work of exploration. Full detail of his work is contained in his journals herewith. Professor Tate, of the Adelaide University, classified the geological specimens brought by Mr. Wells.

DAVID LINDSAY,                    

Leader of the Elder Exploring Expedition, 1891-2.





MR. WELLS' JOURNAL. [1892.]

August 31st, 1892.

Sir—In accordance with the wishes of the council, and acting under instructions from the leader of the expedition, I have the honor to report having examined that portion of block A situated between lat. 26° and 28 S. and long. 119° and 124° E. Owing to the short space of time at my disposal and being without an assistant I was unable to subject the country to so thorough an examination as could be wished. It was my intention on returning to depôt, where we expected to find the leader awaiting us, to suggest making a further examination between the two routes, as shown on the map, whilst the party where travelling en route for Weld Springs, where Mr. Lindsay purposed forming a depôt. However, on the arrival of the mail at the goldfields I received instructions to break up the party with all possible speed and return to Adelaide. Finding it would be necessary to proceed to Geraldton before I could act I instructed the party to remove the supplies from Moorarie Station to Coodardy, where the stores were disposed of to the diggers. Proceeding to Champion Bay by coach I got necessary instructions after some delay, and returned on foot to Coodardy, the monthly mail coach having just left, a distance of 260 miles. Travelling with caravan and those members of the expedition who were engaged in Adelaide we reached Geraldton, and proceeded per s.s. South Australian to Adelaide, arriving on June 23rd.

A detailed description of the country examined with an account of each day's proceedings will be found herewith.

I have, &c.,                    

L. A. WELLS,            

Surveyor Elder Exploring Expedition.    

   To the President Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, S.A. Branch.





February, 1892]

February 15th, 1892.—Camp 113, Annean depôt. Bar. at 9 a.m. 28.200, attached ther. 81°. South­westerly breeze; 25 per cent. upper clouds. Having received by mail from Geraldton instructions from the leader to examine that portion of block A which lies to the eastward from here I started making the necessary arrangements for removing everything from here to a well situated about south-east and distant fifty miles, where I purpose forming a depôt prior to making a final start. Party engaged to-day in packing up stores and equipment. The camels arrived during the evening from a well about thirty miles north from here, where I have had them spelling for the last fortnight on a patch of fair feed. They look much improved, but some of them are still very poor. Bar. at 3 p.m. 28.125, attached ther. 100°. Moderate westerly wind; 50 per cent. clouds.

February 16th.—Camp 113, Annean depôt. Bar. at 9 a.m., 28.175, attached ther. 86°. Calm, clear sky. Making ready for a start to-morrow; preparing loads for pack camels. Bar. at 3 p.m. 28.125, attached ther. 99°. Strong westerly wind, clear sky, hot, and dusty.

February 17th.—Camp 113, Annean depôt. Very cold during the early morning. Packed camels and having wished the Messrs. Cruickshank good bye, we left the Annean Station at 8 a.m. Bearing in a south­easterly direction we passed Cruickshank's Hill (trigonometrical station) at two miles, then crossing a portion of Annean Lake and travelling over a few sand ridges and fairly level chocolate loam clothed with mulga, saltbushes, and grass patches, we passed a well eight miles on western side of track with some scrubby hills to north-west. Two miles further on we passed another well in a low flat. Reaching a patch of good camel feed at twelve miles, which I had previously noted, I determined to camp for the remainder of the day, there being no feed further ahead for some distance. A recent shower of rain had evidently fallen here; the saltbush, acacia, and quondongs were nice and green. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.125, attached ther. 99°; 75 per cent. upper current clouds, slight westerly wind.

February 18th.—Camp 114. Cold during early morning. Packed camels and made start at 6.45 a.m., following a track from Annean Station. At four miles we reached a well called Kullkulli, where a white man and natives were camped in charge of a small flock of sheep, which looked miserably poor, and numbers of dead sheep were lying around the well. We watered all the camels here. The well, as in most cases in the Murchison district, is not more than 10ft. deep, and has a fair supply of good water. Continuing in the same direction we were soon on the Coodardy run, the property of Mr. E. C. Townsend. Travelling over level chocolate soil, clothed with a dense growth of mulga and grassy patches, we passed a short range on our left, where another trigonometrical station is erected. At six miles from Kullkulli Well we reached a large bare granite outcrop which covers some acres of ground. There were two prospectors camped here on some rockholes of fresh water. Having lunched here we continued on, and now following along Mr. Townsend's track from Coodardy to his far out sheep camps. Crossing undulations of chocolate soil, clothed with dense mulga, few bushes, and little grass, outcrops of quartz, ironstone, and slate, at five miles we reached another patch of fair feed at 3 p.m., where we camped. Bar. at 3 p.m., 27.980, attached ther. 101°. Strong north­westerly wind, clear sky. Spent the remainder of the afternoon prospecting.

February 19th.—Camp 115. Getting started at 6.30 a.m., and following the track in a south-easterly direction over same class of country as above described, we passed a well and small but at ten miles. This is another sheep camp, but was not in use at time of our visit. Two miles farther on we passed a waterhole sunk in a large gum flat. Both these wells are of shallow depths and the water is of a fair quality. After travelling for sixteen miles we reached a well called Yarra-bubba, where there is a white man camped. in charge of sheep and two native shepherds. This is a shallow well with whip, and it has a fair supply of good water. There being fair feed in the neighborhood I decided to camp at 2 p.m. We watered all the camels here, and dosed one of them with sulphur, he being very poor and hide-bound. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.130, ther., 93°; moderate westerly wind, clear sky. To-day we passed over a similar class of country to that of yesterday for the first twelve miles, then sandy soil and limestone patches with open saltbush, ti-tree, quondongs, acacia, and red and other varieties of mulga. There are several beefwood or "yarra" trees growing around this well. The word "bubba" is the native name for water, hence the name of the well "Yarra-bubba". Several of the settlers in the Murchison district have informed me that wherever these trees are found water may be had by sinking, and at shallow depths. I have seen these trees growing in parts of Queensland, but do not know if it is considered a sign of water in the vicinity in that colony.

February 20th.—Camp 116. Cold morning. One camel strayed during the night and delayed us a little. At 7 a.m. we left Yarra-bubba, and following a pad about east-south-east from over level chocolate loam flats clothed with dense mulga, grassy patches, and herbage, six miles from Yarra-bubba we passed a bare granite outcrop with a soakage well at foot called Kyarra, a very prominent granite rock called Barlangi lying to the south, and about two miles distant. Continuing on through dense mulga for two miles further we reached another whip well called Welbundinum, at midday, where we purpose forming our depôt. Here there is a strip of splendid camel feed about one mile wide and four or five miles in length, the acacia (prickly), native willow, and saltbush being beautifully green, and presenting a pleasing contrast to the surrounding country. The well is a shallow one, and it affords a fair supply of good stock water. A native and his lubra are camped here in charge of a small flock of sheep. On inquiry he informed me of the existence of a spring or native well from twenty to thirty miles to the eastward from here called Walga-gunya, and states that it is in the bed of a creek which has some other waters further up the channel. I was unfortunate in having twice just missed seeing Mr. Townsend, who informed Mr. Lindsay of this or other waters to the eastward. My time is too limited to allow of my going to Coodardy on the chance of finding him there. However, the man in charge of these natives and sheep has promised to send this native with us to point out the waters he knows of. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.120, attached ther. 98°; calm, clear sky. Observed for lat., and round same 27° 9' 30" S.; var. of compass, 1° 17' west.

February 21st.—Camp 117, depôt. Sunday. Another cold morning. Bar. at 9 a.m., 28.175, attached ther. 86°. Moderate easterly wind, clear sky. Went out to examine the surrounding country, and was satisfied that the camels spelling would do well here during my absence. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.040, attached ther. 104°. Slight wind from south-west, clear sky.

February 22nd.—Camp 117, depôt. Another cold morning. Bar. at 9 a.m., 28.125, attached ther. 94°. Easterly breeze, clear sky. Making preparations for start to-morrow. Sent all the water kegs to a well five miles east from here to be filled, the water being of a much better quality for human consumption. Killing and salting sheep. Writing letters. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.000, attached ther. 104°. Cold, clear sky.

February 23rd.—Camp 117, depôt. Leaving George Lindsay in charge of the depôt and camels, with Warren to take charge during the former's absence for the mail, taking with me Donald Cumming (whom I find a smart and useful man), Abdul (an Afghan), and Ned (a Kimberley native), four pack and three riding camels, six weeks' provisions, also W. W. Mills and one Afghan with riding and five pack camels to accompany us on our journey for 150 miles, carrying an extra supply of water for the camels we are to keep out for the whole of the trip, when we attain that distance. The native here (Paddy) also accompanied us to point out Walga-gunya. We made a start at 8.45 a.m. and travelled to Nanadie Well, which bears 87° mag. from Barlangi Rock, picking up the sixteen kegs of water, having about 400galls. altogether, and watering all the camels. We left here at 11.30 a.m., bearing 63° mag., and travelling over level chocolate loam, thickly clothed with good stock mulga and patches of dry grass, at three miles from Nanadie entered poor country of sandy soil, clothed with mulga scrub (low mulga). spinifex and few acacias (wattle bush). At seven miles reached top of rise with ridge of granulite, with cliffs facing west and striking south 30ft. above flats. Read round of bearings here, and continuing on for half a mile we camped on a small patch of acacia (wattle bush) and spinifex. Bar. at 3.15 p.m. 27.960, attached ther. 106°. Choppy easterly wind, 75 per cent. clouds; occasional peals of thunder, travelling to-day about twelve miles. A heavy thunderstorm passed over at 8 p.m., and quite one and half inches of rain fell here. We all got a soaking, having no tents erected, but I do not think any of us objected, being overjoyed with our future prospects. This is the first rain we have had to benefit us since crossing the South Australian boundary. This being the season for rains here, I hope to see a good deal more before our return.

February 24th.—Close morning. Made start at 7.10 a.m. and crossed the poor sandy country at two miles, now going over rich chocolate loam, clothed with good stock mulga, dead grass and herbage, bearing 82° mag. Crossed at five miles a wide flat watercourse with shallow water running southwards. Then entered splendid saltbush, acacia, willow open mulga, few corkwoods and grass. Reached Walga-gunya at ten and a half mites. This is a native well sunk in the bed of a creek called Bubba-ugundi, which loses itself about four miles south-west in a flat. The creek has a bottom of hard limestone rock, and there are pools of salt water on either side of the well, which are filled with mud and sand. The creek was running strongly during our visit. I decided to camp here at midday, and give the camels the benefit of the splendid feed along the creek. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.080, then, 92°. Variable east wind, fifty per cent. clouds. During the afternoon went on foot with the native Paddy, following up the channel, taking a rifle with me. One mile from Walga-gunya he showed me a beemarra (spring) in the creek called Yarra-bubba; a beefwood was growing on the bank of the creek. He stated that this was not very good water, and that it went salt at times. One mile further on is another spring or native well called Wallabuckan. I noticed salt patches all along the creek. There are several beefwood or yarra trees here on south side of spring. The creek is about one chain wide here, and two miles further up it splits into two branches, the larger one, coming from northward, called Partoongarra, and the other from the eastward called Bundarra. A strip of splendid open saltbush, about half a mile wide, extends along the creek, with chocolate loam and good stock mulga fringing same. I fired a shot at a turkey on our return, but did not bag it. Returning to camp at 5 p.m., I allowed the native to return, and sent by him a note to George Lindsay. We filled all our kegs here with rainwater from the creek. Lat. at camp, 27° 5' 12" S.; well being five chains off, bearing 225° mag.

February 25th.—Walga-gunya. Bearing about 89° mag., we left here at 6.45 a.m., following along course of creek to junction; thence along the branch called Bundarra. Passed several small pools and water-holes, the creek getting much smaller as we advanced, thickly clothed with mulga on either side and patches of saltbush. At five miles noticed no rain had extended further eastward than here. Noticed we were approaching a range, which we reached after travelling thirteen miles from Walga-gunya. Quartzitic grit formation. Range bears 145° mag., and is 2,100ft. above sea level. Slate and quartz reefs and ironstone in this range. which looks favorable for prospecting. Had lunch, and here took a round of bearings. Noticed a prominent mountain in this range bearing 135°, which we steered for, travelling over stony surface quartz blows, and reefs, dense thickets of various mulga, jamwood, acacia, few corkwoods, and coarse grass. After travelling five miles on this course, camped at foot of range, finding the mountain too far off to reach this evening. Bar. at 5 p.m., 27.760, attached ther. 100°. Moderate east breeze, 50 per cent. clouds. Lat. 27° 6' 30". The country is very dry here, and we are disappointed to find no rain has fallen here for a considerable time.

February 26th.—Dent Mills with caravan bearing 110° mag., self with Cumming going to mountain. At one mile struck a large stony creek, which bears north-east and runs out on flats of mulga. Following up a branch of this creek (which splits up) through dense mulga thickets and few kurrajong, rough stony spurs and gullies, reached mountain at four miles, which is composed of schistose rock, banded with hematite, 2,260ft. above sea level and 310ft. above flats. Read round of angles here. Another mountain in this range, three miles distant to south-east. From here we could see open sandy desert country four miles distant east, north-east, and extending long distances towards north; mulga valley extending for considerable distance north from here, and all around as far as can be seen. Left mountain and overtook the caravan at four miles, having travelled through dense mulga, spinifex, and coarse grass. At five miles we entered the poor sandy country seen from the mountain. Dense spinifex (triodia), little low mulga, open low mallee, and few clumps of desert gums. Reached sand ridges at nine miles, and here noticed the range we have just left continues for a considerable distance to the south-east. Rested here for an hour and had some tea. It was very hot amongst these ridges, and the vegetation was suffering very much from evidently a prolonged drought, many bushes being quite dead. Continuing on through this class of country for six miles, when we came upon some flat granite outcrops, with numbers of very shallow rockholes, but no rain having fallen here they were all dry. Seeing a few quondongs and clumps of fair stock mulga we camped here at 3.30 p.m., having travelled about nineteen miles for the day. Bar. at 4 p.m., 27.875, attached ther. 102°. Calm, 75 per cent. clouds. Noticed a deal of drought-stricken mulga this afternoon, dead in many places. Lat., 27° 13' south.

February 27th.—Cloudy morning. Close. Distant thunder. Starting at 6.30. a.m. on same course of 113° mag., travelling over sandy undulations of same miserable description of desert country for nine miles, when we met with good chocolate loam, clothed with a good class of stock mulga, dense thickets in parts, jamwood, mulga grass, and saltbush patches. Ten miles from last night's camp we reached some ridges of granulite 2,090ft. above sea level, and hard granite rock outcrop 2,000ft. above sea level. Took round of bearings here, and noticed apparently a range to the north-east and trending in a south-easterly direction. Slightly altering our course, and bearing 98° mag. for a bluff point, and travelling across country as above described, we reached at seven miles a short range covered with mulga and few pines. Formation of vein quartz and quartzitic grit, with hard granite underlay dipping 25° north. Bar. at 3 p.m., 27.830, ther. 102°. East wind, 75 per cent. clouds. Finding some shallow rockholes here in flat granite outcrops with a little water from a storm that had apparently fallen about a month previously, we camped, and started in different directions in search of more water. Proceeding on foot to the bluff point, which is the highest part of the range (Mr. Mills going to the north-east, and Ned and Cumming further east), found the bluff 2,150ft. above sea level and 150ft. above surrounding flats. Took round of angles from here. Range to the north? east now showing plainly, and about twenty miles distant. This range extends east for three miles and west for same distance, an extensive valley of mulga stretching to north-north-east. Noticed from here a conspicuous granite boulder bearing 346° 30' mag., and one mile distant. Made sketch showing the ridges of granulite passed over this morning, with the prominent mountain tops showing in the distance. There are some nice saltbush patches around this range. On returning to camp learnt Mr. Mills had discovered some more shallow rockholes at the conspicuous granite boulder above mentioned, and the camels had managed to get a fair drink apiece; Cumming and Ned returning later, reported having found a nice little waterhole full of water. On examination I found it was a hole at the mouth of a small creek which comes from the highest part of the range, and bearing from bluff point 2°, distant about sixty chains; from conspicuous boulder 140° and twenty chains distant. It is 15yds. long, from 7yds to 4yds. wide, and 3ft. deep, in good holding ground. A black cormorant flew away from the hole as we approached. Put all the camels here for the night. Lat. at camp 27° 16' 11" S. Bearing to waterhole 65°, distant twenty-five chains.

February 28th.—Thunder and lightning during the night, but no rain fell. Leaving here at 6.45 a.m. we proceeded to the waterhole; tried all the camels, and following along the range to eastward and eventually bearing 113° mag. over red loam soil and sandy patches densely clothed with stock mulga, spinifex, and few mallee. The country had been recently burnt in places, and we saw several recent foot tracks of natives and emus here. No rain having fallen beyond the range the country was still showing evidence of a severe drought. At six miles outcrops of quartz and quartzitic grit. Continuing on we entered a change of country at twelve miles, of light-colored soil and limestone outcropping, casuarinas, various bushes, and saltbush. Fifteen miles from range we came upon a nice patch of prickly acacia, large boxwoods, and saltbush. This being capital feed for camels, we camped at 3 p.m. Bar. 27.880, attached ther. 98°, southerly breeze, 50 per cent heavy clouds. Marked a casuarina on north side L.A.W./27.2.92 (encircled). This class of country extends for some miles to the south-east and north. Large boxwoods to north-east, north, and north-west; var. of needle, 0° 59' W.

February 29th.—Thunderstorms to the south-west. Leaving camp at 6.20 a.m., and still bearing 113° mag., for one mile passed through boxwoods, acacia, saltbush, patch of tall ti-trees and polygonum, 1,825ft. above sea level; then tall mulga, mallee and giant acacia (wattle), loamy red soil, and dense spinifex. At three miles small quartz outcrop 1,850ft. above sea level. Noticed this morning several birds, magpies, minahs, parrots, and crows about the camp, but could find no water. After travelling six miles we touched on edge of desert country, with belts of desert gums, extending to south-west, south, and south-east. At seven and a half miles ferruginous gravel on surface, and good stock mulga. Here we noticed the range on our left about ten miles distant, now crossing hard chocolate loam, few acacia (wattle) and jamwoods, and patches of good saltbush. After travelling ten miles we reached edge of samphire and saltbush flats, with gypseous ridges intersecting, extending towards south-east. Tall ti-tree, good mulga, quondongs and saltbush around edges; 1,850ft. above sea level here. Crossing these samphire flats and gypseous formations until sixteen miles, when we again entered good red loam, clothed with good mulga, various bushes, patches of saltbush, and spinifex. At twenty miles entered a miserable sandy flat extending north and south, with low inferior mulga, desert gums, and spinifex. Having travelled about twenty-five miles, we camped at 5 p.m. on edge of some fair mulga feed. Bar. 27.960, attached then 100°. East-south-easterly wind; 75 per cent. clouds rising to north. The camels were tired and sulky to-night, and did not appear favorably impressed with the feed. Lat. 27° 29' S.

March, 1892]

March 1st.—Cool pleasant morning. The camels being tired last evening did not stray far. We left camp at 6.15 a.m., bearing 85° mag. for a prominent hill in the range we have noticed on our left for the past two days. One mile from camp we struck a large gum creek, about one chain wide, with a sandy bed and alluvial banks; bars of quartzite in bed. The gum trees were very yellow in most places, suffering from drought. We followed up the channel for three miles, but seeing no probability of finding water we continued on towards the hill, which we found four miles from camp. Formation of diorite and vein quartz 2,050ft. above sea level and 150ft. above flats. These hills are all clothed with low mulga and other bushes. Read from the summit a round of angles. From here there is a good view in all directions. Noticed a prominent mountain top in range to southward from here and distant about eight miles, and another in range south-south-east and twenty miles distant. The gum creek is plainly visible for about twelve miles to the south­west, where it is lost sight of in an extensive valley of mulga. Can see up the gum creek to the north-east for about seven miles, when it splits up in the hills. There are many hills and ranges visible to the north and east, mostly all covered with mulga. Altering our course here and now bearing 110° mag. we passed some large granite boulders at half a mile 1,900ft. above sea level. One mile in advance from here we saw numerous quartz, ironstone, and upright slate reefs with north and south strike. The country in this neighborhood I believe to be well worth prospecting. Three miles from hill found specimen of wood asbestos. Here noticed a quartz reef striking north and south, which we could trace for quite five miles on the latter bearing, travelling through good mulga and little saltbush until four miles from the hill, when we suddenly came upon a small flat with some good saltbush. Ned here found some shallow waterholes with about a foot depth of water in a small watercourse from the range. There had evidently been a thunderstorm here but a few days ago, and the water was soaking away very quickly. There being good mulga and saltbush feed all round here I determined to camp and give the camels the benefit of it. We saw a few waterhens on our arrival at the water, but they were very wild and ran off into the scrub. Ned followed them with the gun and shot two after a good walk. Half a mile south-east from these small holes we found a larger one with a stony bottom a hundred yards long and 18in. deep. There were several more waterhens here, and I managed to shoot one. We found another hole 2ft. deep and five chains long about one mile south-south-west from camp. Bar. at 3 p.m., 27.880, attached ther. 91°; south-easterly wind, 75 per cent. clouds.

March 2nd.—A light rain fell last night, and the weather is still very threatening this morning, getting a late start and still bearing 110° mag. through good stock mulga and patches of saltbush on red loam. Three miles from camp rain again set in with every appearance of continuing, so we camped for remainder of day. Outcrop of quartzitic grit, and ironstone, and quartz rubble on the surface of rich red loam soil. A miserable drizzling rain for remainder of day; about ¼in. fell altogether.

March 3rd.—Very little rain during the night, and this morning it is very dull and again raining. We will not be able to proceed to-day. Bar. at 9 a.m., 27.960, attached ther. 70°; east wind, sky overcast, and light rain at intervals. At 3 p.m., bar. 27.940; attached ther. 82°; east wind, sky overcast, and light rain falling, apparently clearing up.

March 4th.—Dull, misty morning, and everything damp. Packed camels and left camp at 6.30 a.m. on same course of 110° mag. The weather was very oppressive, a heavy vapor rising from the wet ground. We noticed numbers of centipedes crawling about in all directions. After travelling a mile we entered a large sand plain with very low mulga, spinifex, and bushes. Large patches of grass where the country had been burnt by natives. From here we saw a conspicuous granite outcrop bearing 128°. Sending the caravan on the course we are steering, I went with Cumming to examine it. Found it about a mile distant, and covering about an acre of ground. It is 1,975ft. above sea level and 50ft. higher than the sand plain. There were many shallow rockholes all over the surface and up to a foot deep. A small creek passes on east side, and bearing south-south-west runs out on a grassy flat half a mile distant. This creek comes from a range a few miles north-east from here. It has a sandy bottom, and there are some large green gum trees fringing the banks. The edge of the sand plain bears about south-west and north-east from here. All good stock mulga as far as can be seen outside this. The caravan cut the creek at three and a half miles from camp. Here they found a native soakage well in the bed with water in it. There were numbers of natives' old encampments about here, and some recent tracks about the well. The caravan reached the knob we were steering for at five miles from camp, and we rejoined them there. This is a small knob of quartzitic grit, and there are several others in the immediate vicinity, 2,050ft. above sea level. Nice patches of saltbush around here. Took round of bearings from here. There are extensive valleys and undulations of mulga visible in all directions from this point. A prominent hill in southern end of range bearing 119° mag. Altered our course slightly, and, bearing for this hill, we travelled through granite outcrops, jamwood, mulga, currant bush, little saltbush and herbage (dead roley poky). At one and a half miles passed granite outcrops ten chains to left, with two dry rockholes. Then passing through dense mulga and grass, we reached another sand plain at six miles, clothed with spinifex (triodia), which we crossed two miles further on. It extends at right angles across our course. Then sandy undulations, with large desert gums, quondongs, and spinifex (triodia) for one mile. Continuing on from here through good loamy soul with stock mulga and grass, we ascended a rise 2,000ft. above sea level, with white quartz outcropping. Formation here of quartzitic grit. Bar. at 4 p.m., 27.925, attached ther. 92° Calm, 75 per cent. clouds, and heavy showers falling around. Lowest flat here 1,950ft. above sea level; still continuing on same course, over good red loam soil, broken quartz and ironstone on surface, and slate outcrops striking north and south, with good mulga and saltbush patches. At nine miles on this bearing we camped about half a mile from the hill, on some good saltbush feed for the camels. Two heavy showers fell before we got our tents up for the night. Unable to observe for latitude, sky overcast with clouds.

March 5th.—About fifteen points of rain fell last evening. Cloudy morning and misty rain falling. At 6.30 a.m. proceeded to summit of hill, which is 2,050ft. above sea level, and 100ft. above flats. Formation of quartzite and ferruginous quartzose grit; loose rocks of vein quartz breccia around, and perpendicular slate reefs striking north and south. This hill is one of a range of low, scrubby hills clothed with mulga. Erected small cairn of stones here. Took round of bearings from summit. Noticed a prominent hill in a range to the north-east, and from twenty to twenty-five miles distant. A small salt lagoon about three miles south-south-east, with quartz blows showing. A prominent isolated hill lying to the south-east, and about, eight miles distant. Valleys of rich chocolate loam, and clothed with mulga, &c., as far as the eye can reach. Slightly altering our bearing here and steering 115° mag. for two miles, we crossed slate ridges, dip 30° to 45° east, and strike north and south. Patches of good saltbush and grass. At three miles a low water­course trending southwards, 1,850ft. above sea level. Cork trees in bed. Five miles from the hill we entered some splendid open mulga and saltbush country extending north and south. Outcrops of conglomerate here. After travelling six miles heavy rain set in and poured down, wetting us thoroughly, the surface of the ground being 2in. of water deep at times. About 1½in. of rain fell in a very short space of time. Seeing no prospect of the weather clearing we camped, having travelled but eight miles for the day. The country soon became very boggy. There is good mulga, saltbush, and quondong feed here. Bar. at 3 p.m. 28.025, attached ther., 75°. Sky overcast, and south-easterly wind. Such splendid rains having fallen I anticipate little difficulty in finding water for the rest of our journey.

March 6th.—Still cloudy and threatening. So much rain having fallen, and apparently to the eastward, I started Mr. Mills with one Afghan, six camels, four pairs of water kegs, and what equipment I did not require on return journey to depôt, and with remainder of party continued our journey, and bearing 115° mag. Half a mile from camp we crossed a salt creek coining from the north-east and trending south-south-west, eventually emptying into a large salt lake. Splendid saltbush, quondong, and a few bushes along banks and about half a mile wide, continuing on through good pastoral land of a rich chocolate soil, flats of splendid. saltbush (open), large open mulga, quondong, and dry grass. Four miles from camp are some outcrops of blue diorite, 1,875ft. above sea level, with a large salt lake at foot, 1,825ft. above sea level. This lake is about twelve miles long and ten miles wide. There are four conspicuous hills on the south-eastern side of the lake, and a red-colored range a little further eastward. Took round of angles here. A prominent quartz hill visible to the eastward. Ranges to the north and north-east, and a prominent hill showing in a range about fifteen miles south-east. Making a sketch of the lake from here we continued on, now bearing 95° mag., for the quartz hill, travelling over a series of samphire flats and small serpentine watercourses, with patches of spinifex and saltbush extending to the northward for two or three miles, sandy banks intersecting, with good stock mulga grass and saltbush. Six miles from the diorite outcrop we struck a long samphire flat, twenty chains wide, extending east and west, with gypseous banks and a few stunted boxwoods. Good mulga, grass, and saltbush on either side. At one and a half miles further on we crossed the end of the flat and entered good chocolate soil, well clothed with mulga, ti-tree (large), quondong, few pines and acacias, and splendid saltbush. We reached the hill at ten miles on this bearing and found it 1,950ft. above sea level and 40ft. above base. Formation of vein quartz. Took round of angles from here. There were two remarkable peak hills in a low range about fifteen miles north, which formed a noticeable feature from here. Low scrubby hills and ranges to the north and north-east. Altered course from here, and bearing 73° mag. for a. prominent roundhill in a low range, crossing rises of limestone formation (travertine), rich chocolate loam flats, red and other varieties of mulga, good saltbush and few corkwoods. Five miles from the hill we camped on a splendid piece of pastoral country—open large mulga, splendid saltbush, quondongs and herbage on good chocolate loam flats. Travelled for day, twenty miles. Showery all morning and fine after­noon. Saw here two wire-wing pigeons and numerous old pads of kangaroos. Bar. at 5 p.m. 27.940, attached ther. 82°. South-east wind, 75 per cent. clouds. Observed for lat. 27° 39', south. The weather for the past week has been most unfavorable for observations.

March 7th.—Cloudy morning; fine. Making a start at 6.25 a.m. and still bearing 73°mag.; we travelled over some splendid pastoral land extending north and south of open mulga flats, saltbush, quondong, few other bushes, dead grass and herbage. At three miles we passed an outcrop of decomposed quartzose felstone. We reached the hill at nine miles, which is 2,025ft. above the sea level and 75ft. above base. Formation of ironstone and quantities of quartz and ironstone on the surface for two miles around the hills, also perpendicular slate reefs striking north and south. Erected here a small cairn of stones and read angles. An extensive valley clothed with mulga, &c., extends for a considerable distance to the north-west. Low hills and ranges clothed with mulga scrub to the north and north-east. This range extends for a few miles to the north and south-east for four miles. Also in same direction three far distant tops, in apparently a range, were visible. Leaving here and bearing 73° 30' for a prominent distant hill. We were now crossing slate rises and reefs with loose flints. Fair mulga, grass and patches of saltbush. Crossed some shallow water-courses, which were very boggy. Three miles from the bill, spinifex (triodia) took the place of grass amongst the mulga. At four miles we entered an intrusion of open desert country of sandy soil, dense spinifex, few desert gums, stunted mallee and mulga, and grass in patches where fires have been. Crossed this belt at one and a half miles, and again met With good stock mulga on a rich chocolate loam. Spinifex (triodia) and abundance of dead grass on burnt patches. Six miles from the hill we saw very recent foot tracks of natives and children. Ned said they had only passed here this morning, and were travelling southward. One mile further on were some nice patches of saltbush. Eight miles from the bill were several claypans with water, on open saltbush and grassy flat, with mulga. surrounding. Camped here at and turned the camels out on good feed. Bar. 27.840, attached ther. 98°, south-easterly wind; 75 per cent. clouds, and thunderstorms to the north-east. Here we were surprised to see a large gum creek, which passes about a quarter of a mile south from camp, and trends in a south-westerly direction. This creek, which was running strongly at time of our visit, is fringed with large white gum trees, and, opposite camp, from three to the chains in width. The bed has large quantities of sand and shingle of quartz, slate; and ironstone fragments. The gum trees here were suffering very much from the recent drought the leaves being very yellow in appearance. Fifteen chains south from the camp we marked a gum tree on the north side of the creek, and: just in the bed L.A.W/E.E.E./7.3.92. (encircled). Read bearings from the branches of a tree, and made sketch of a prominent hill in a short range almost due north With a remarkable knob on southern end, and distant about six miles: Good grass and herbage, shooting up on the plain fringing the creek. We saw some mushrooms here. Saltbush and Mulga as far as can be seen to the south. The course of the creek could be traced for some miles to the north-east. Fifteen chains north from the marked tree is a natural claypan, circular, and 3ft. deep, 100yds. diameter, with natural bank all round of red loam, conglomerate of small pebbles in bed. Six inches of water here at time of our visit. A large black and white crane flew from here as we approached:—Lat. at camp, 27° 34' 21" S.

March, 8th.—Dull and cold morning. Getting an early start, and continuing same course as yesterday. Following up the channel we crossed the creek at one mile where it was two chains wide. Now entered open mulga and spinifex (triodia) on red loamy soil. After travelling for six miles passed on our remarkable quartz blow, and another similar a mile further on. Here we also found hard granite boulders outcropping. Crossing open mulga, patches of saltbush and grass country, we cut a small creek (from a high range which trends to the south-east), which bears about north, and empties in the large gum creek, which is about one mile on our left. At ten miles we crossed fair sized gum creek, bearing 340° mag., with sandy bottom and running water. Having travelled eleven miles, and whilst the quart pots were being boiled, I walked to the summit of a quartzite hill fifty chains to north, crossing the large gum creek at half a mile. Here it junctions with another smaller channel earning in from the' southward. The main channel is four chains wide here, with hard granite outcrops in the bed, which is sandy, with quartz, ironstone and slate shingle. Ascending the hill, I, found it 2,100ft. above sea level, and 100ft. (about) higher than the creek. Formation here of quartzite. Read round of angles. This hill is one of a low range bearing to the north for a few miles, where it junctions With a larger one. Noticed mulga in all directions from here. Three-quarters of a mile from this hill in a south-westerly direction is a large waterhole in the creek, with a clump of beautifully green gumtrees around it. Also a quarter of a mile from here and on the north side of the junction of the two channels are large waterholes 6ft. deep, and gum trees here were very green also, whilst on all other parts of the creek they were very yellow in appearance. Probably a permanent soakage may be found here. Giving to the rains which have recently fallen, I was unable to test by sinking, but formed this opinion by the remarkable greenness of the gumtrees at these places, acacia, corkwoods, and good saltbush fringing the banks of the creek. Continuing en at noon, we reached the hill, on the course we have been travelling for the past two days, at two and a half miles. Formation of decomposed clay slate 2,125ft. above sea level and 120ft. above flats. Took round of angles front here. A high point in a range was visible to the north-west, about twenty-five miles distant. Two prominent tops in range about seven miles distant and situate east-north-east from here, the large gum creek passing between these two tops. High tops of a low range trending about south-east were visible to the south. The high range we also passed on our right this morning was also visible for a considerable distance to the south-east. Good saltbush and mulga around this hill. All hills and Valleys clothed with mulga as far as can be Seen from here. Bearing from here 110° mag. passed over a yellow, clayey flat, open, with good saltbush extending either side, also needle-bush, willow, and mulga. One and a half miles from hill good red loam with mulga and grass. Continuing through this class of country, we reached at six miles the southern end of a long, flat-topped hill composed of chert and quartzitic grit, 2,260ft. above sea level here and 150ft. above surrounding flats. Took bearings from here, and noticed a low range about east-south-east from fifteen to twenty miles distant. A bluff in scrubby range and isolated top above horizon about south-south-east and twenty-five miles distant; 20ft. below the cap of the hill selected specimen of impure kaolin. Camped at 4 p.m., near foot of this hill. Bar. 27.725, ther. 84°. South-east wind. Sky overcast with leaden clouds, but little rain has fallen in this locality so far, and the country around the hill shows evidences of having undergone a severe drought, the mulga being dead in many places. Patches of saltbush here.

March 9th.—Dull, and drizzling rain. Pursuing same course, bearing 110° mag., stony ridge coming from the hill about half to north about two miles. Passing over rich chocolate soil, well clothed with mulga, patches of splendid saltbush extending north and south. patches of grass and herbage, at eight miles we passed a ridge on our right half a mile distant, with bluffs facing east formation of ironstone, 2.075ft. above sea level and 100ft. above flats. We crossed the lowest flat at eleven miles, 1,925ft. above the sea level. Tall mulga, grass, and patches of saltbush here. Loamy soil, with surface of quartz and ironstone. Fifteen miles on our course we ascended a high, scrubby ridge, the country gradually rising from lowest flat to this point, which is 2,075ft. above sea level. Outcrops of similar formation here. At nineteen miles we reached the summit of a range of low, scrubby hills, 2,130ft. above sea level, and extending north and south, no hills being, visible to the eastward from here, and the country was clothed with mulga in all directions. Continuing on over stony undulations, clothed with good mulga and grass, for seven miles, when the mulga becomes more open, with dense undergrowth of spinifex, and few low mallee. Camped at ten miles from last range, having travelled twenty-four miles for the day. Bar. at 4.45 p.m. 27.800, attached ther. 78°. Easterly breeze; 50 percent. clouds, clearing. Rain set in about midnight, and, as we had not erected our tents, we got a drenching. We have seen but little game of any description since leaving the depôt. In a distance of over 200 miles we have noticed two turkeys, two lowans, a few wire-wing pigeons, ringneck parrots, minahs, and magpies. No kangaroos or emus, although we have crossed a few fresh tracks, numerous old pads being seen every day. The drought seems to have driven almost everything out of the country.

March 10th.—A. strong south-easterly wind was blowing all night and continuing this morning. Starting at 7 a.m., and still bearing 110° mag., we entered desert country—sandy undulations, clothed' with dense growth of spinifex, open large luxuriant desert gums, few kurrajong acacia, Poplars, and corkbarks on flats; occasional mulga thickets; irregular sand ridges at two miles, with few quondongs. After travelling. about six miles we reached a high elevation, 2,050ft. above sea level, and immediately afterwards entered a valley, which extends north-west and south, 1,875ft. above. sea level. Further on we saw where natives had been recently grubbing in the sand. Grasstrees (Xanthorœa) were growing here. At twelve miles level open red sandy soil, desert gums, forest, and few acacia. Crossed forest at sixteen miles, and again entered sand ridges, with red tops, occasional mulga thickets. At eighteen miles we crossed another large valley, extending north-west and south-east, 1,850ft. above sea level. Having travelled twenty miles over miserable desert country we got an extensive view to the south and south-west; the country in these directions of sand ridges, and apparently all similar to what we have been travelling through all day. One mile further on we reached the highest point of to-day's journey, 2,100 feet above sea level, mulga thickets and outcrops of quartzitic grit extending in a south-easterly direction. Camped here at 4.15 p.m., on northern point of a mulga thicket. Examining the thicket, where we saw a number of old camping places of natives, I found two nice rockholes with about 500galls. of water between them (they were full). Six chains south from camp and inside the mulga thicket, these holes could be passed very easily without observation. The camels all drank well here and will do well on the mulga feed. From here we got a very extensive view to the eastward, and I was surprised to see what appeared a large range in the extreme distance, the top appearing round and prominent. From a tree I noticed a low scrubby range, to the south-south-east, about twenty miles distant, and extending in a south-easterly direction. Bar. at 4.30 P.m. 27.790, attached ther. 78°. Strong south-easterly gale, few white upper current clouds. Lat. at camp, 27° 47' 32" S.; var. of compass 0° 23' west.

March 11th.—Cloudy and cold morning. Leaving early, and still travelling over the same wretched class of country—open sandy valleys of spinifex, desert gums, few acacias, small mulga thickets, and quondongs. Crossed fresh tracks of emus and kangaroos. At nine miles we reached the top of a ridge of granulite 1,840ft. above sea level, bluff point ten chains south. Read bearings from here, and noticed a conspicuous range with two very high tops, about east-north-east. Made sketch shelving the range we are approaching, and slightly altered our course, now bearing 112° mag. for the highest Point. At the foot of the ridge an outcrop of flat hard granite rock was met with. Eleven miles from this morning's camp we had an extensive view to the south-east, the lookout in that. direction being very uninviting, nothing visible but same description of desert country. More granite boulders. outcropping here. At eighteen miles lowest flat 1,650ft. above sea level. Then sandy undulations and outcrops of limestone. We reached a small hollow at twenty miles with a native soakage well at bottom. A belt of casuarinas and corkbarks around, 1,650ft. above sea level. There was a small patch of currant hushes; quondongs, &c., here, so I decided to camp. Bar. at 4 p.m. 28.240, attached ther. 74°. Strong east wind. sky overcast, and few drops of rain. There is a small limestone rise about five chains north of the well, which has a hard limestone bottom. We found it quite dry; but this is apparently a favorite camping spot of the natives. There were numerous old camps around and well-beaten pads leading to the well; but none had evidently been here for a long time. Three chains north of the well Cumming marked a corkbark tree on east side L.A.W./11.3.92 (encircled). From the top of a tree a peak in a scrubby range about twenty miles due south was visible. High sand ridges about four miles south-west.

March 12th.—Cloudy. morning and few drops of rain. Left camp at 7 a.m., and at half a mile we entered a narrow strip, of good stock country. Various low bushes, saltbush, quondong, casuarina, and few mallee, a. shallow watercourse with stiff yellow clay bottom, trending in a south-easterly direction. One mile further in advance we again entered sandy desert country. Open desert gums, few acacia and kurrajong, and dense spinifex (triodia). Made sketch of range from here, showing the highest point. After travelling thirteen miles we reached the range, the sand ridges running right up to the foot on western side, proceeding to the summit of the highest hill, which is 1,950ft. above sea level and 350ft. above flats, composed of schistose quartzite, banded with hematite. The rocks here dip about 45° east, strike north and south; a quartz. reef running north and south at foot of hill, and loose quartz ironstone and slate around foot of hill and along the range. Cumming in prospecting found. a specimen showing specks of gold. The range bears 150° mag. and lowers to nothing at about ten miles to the south, and one and a half miles due north. A prominent mountain top, three miles distant along the range to the south. Another prominent hill in a parallel range bears 122° mag. and distant eight miles. From hence the casuarina watercourse crossed this morning can be traced for a good distance in a south-easterly. direction. Erected a cairn of stones on the summit and took a number of bearings, the two prominent tops in the conspicuous range seen yesterday morning bearing from here 343° and 356° mag., and from twenty to twenty-five miles distant. The country between here and there is apparently all of a desert nature. A remarkable small tabletop hill and prominent bluffs in tablelands from ten to twenty miles to north-east. An extensive valley of mulga between. Claypans and open flat of saltbush to the north-east and one mile distant. Sandy desert country to south and south-east, and dense valley of mulga, east-south-east. A low scrubby range is visible to the south­east about twenty miles distant, a prominent bluff point in northern end of high table range bearing 60° mag. Leaving the hill we proceeded to the claypans, and small saltbush flat seen from the summit, and finding some capital feed here I determined to camp here and allow the camels to get the benefit of it; they have fared very badly for the past four nights. Lat. of camp 27° 58' 49" S., and of hill 27° 59' 17" S.

March 13th.—Cloudy morning and very close. Getting away early, and now bearing 71° mag. for the high bluff point seen yesterday. We reached an isolated outcrop of granulite passing to granite, at three miles 1,800ft. above sea level and 100ft. above flats. Found here on north side of hill a native soakage well with fresh water. Jamwood, good mulga, and grass around here. Five and a half miles from camp we crossed the parallel range seen yesterday, which lowers to the north-west, upright slate outcrops striking north and south; granulite and quartz. After travelling eight miles through good loamy country clothed with mulga and grass we entered sandy desert country of mallee, dense spinifex, and few desert gums, and three miles further on sand ridges with few acacia and dense spinifex. These sand ridges run west-north-west and east-south-east. Occasional limestone outcrops. At sixteen miles we crossed the south-west end of a fresh lagoon (dry) ten chains wide and one and a half miles long, 1,600ft. above sea level. Sand ridges now much higher, with low ti-tree and casuarina in flats. The sand ridges get higher, and run right into the table range which we reached at about twenty-three miles. It extends in a south-easterly direction, and is covered with low mulga scrub, 1,825ft. above sea level and 200ft. above flats; formation of granulite; slate and white quartz at foot strike north and south; no dip visible. Read bearings from the bluff point. Another similar bluff point and red looking tablehill lying due east. Prominent bluffs in tableland lying to the north-west about twelve miles distant. Two prominent isolated flat-topped hills about eight miles north-north-east. These tablelands resemble those bluff outcrops described during our trip from Mount Squires to Queen Victoria Spring. Country around here of anything but a cheering nature—desert sandhills and ridges clothed with dense spinifex (triodia), desert gums, mallee, and few acacia and bushes. Camped at 4 p.m. about thirty chains northeast of bluff. Bar. 28.190, ther., attached, 100°; calm, and 50 per cent. dark clouds; thunderstorms around. Lat. of camp, 27° 52' 54" S., and of hill, 27° 53' 7" S.

March 14th.—Some heavy showers of rain fell during the night, but we saw no water lying about this morning, having all soaked away in the sand. Bearing now 93° mag. for high bluff at southern end of tableland over desert country of high continuous sand ridges, generally bearing 290° mag. Clothed with acacia and few quondong, flats of dense triodia (spinifex) and large desert gums with thick foliage. After monotonous travelling we reached the bluff at twelve miles. Formation of granulite 1,900ft. above sea level and 200ft. above flats. Spinifex and mulga scrub around and clothed with mulga on top. Got a considerable view from here to the north-east, east, and south-east, all of a most discouraging appearance for at least thirty miles, red sand ridges being visible in all directions. Bearing from here 87° 30' mag. and over a continuation of similar country to that crossed this morning Camped at 4.45 p.m., having travelled seventeen. miles on this bearing. The camels were very tired and sulky to-night. They are poor in condition, and. have sore backs owing to the wet weather we have lately experienced. Very little feed here. Lat. of camp, 27° 53' S.

March 15th.—Thunderstorm early this morning and shower of rain. Very close and dull. Seeing no prospect of an improvement in the country to the eastward, and being satisfied that we are now in the Great Victoria Desert proper, I determined to alter our course to a northerly direction. My instructions from the leader of the expedition also necessitates my getting back about the end of the present month. Bearing now 21° mag. and travelling over wretched country similar to that crossed yesterday, some of the sand ridges being very steep on southern sides. Camped on edge of mulga thicket, having travelled nineteen miles for day. Bar: at 4 p.m. 28.140, attached ther. 90°; calm, cloudy, and thunderstorms around; var. of compass 0° 7' east.

March 16th.—Continuing on same course and still crossing continuous red ridges of sand, generally bearing 290° mag., with dense spinifex everywhere, open large desert gums in flats, few quondongs, acacia, and low ti-tree bushes. The weather has been very oppressive for the last few days; and the camels, being low in condition and weak, now show their want of a drink. Camped at 4.30 p.m., having travelled twenty-three miles for day. Bar. 28.100, attached ther. 98°. Calm, cloudy, and thundering. Latitude 27° 19' S. Marked a desert gum on north side L.A.W./16.3.92. (within triangle).

March 17th.—Very close morning. Travelling still on same course and over same class of country as that of yesterday. At six miles saw recent footprints of two natives going westward, the first signs we have seen for several days. The country here appears almost entirely destitute of game. At nineteen miles we camped at 4 p.m. on spinifex flat. Poor feed for the camels, who look very wretched at present; the sandhills and hot weather without water telling on them very much. Lat. 27° 3' 20" S. Bar. 4 p.m., 28.050, attached thermometer 98°. Calm and sultry, 50 per cent. clouds. From here we saw a range of tablehills about due west in the extreme distance. I purpose proceeding in that direction to-morrow.

March 18th.—Travelling in a westerly direction and bearing now 272° mag., over same description of miserable sand ridge country for whole of day, and approaching a high point of table range seen yesterday. Camped at 5 p.m. at foot of sand ridge, having travelled twenty-seven miles for day. Noticed some tabletops from twelve to fourteen miles to the south-east. Too cloudy to observe to-night. I am in hopes of getting the camels a drink to-morrow.

March 19th.—Very close morning, small black flies being very troublesome. Continuing on same course, over sand ridges, &c., for three miles, when we entered rich red loamy soil, clothed with good mulga acacia, grass, little saltbush, and other bushes, shallow watercourses coming from the range. Saw here recent tracks of an emu. After travelling eight miles we reached the range, which is flat on top, with abrupt sides facing the east, all clothed with a dense growth of mulga. Ascended the bluff point, which is 2,170ft. above sea level, and 200ft. above flats. Formation here of fine sandstone and white silicious mudstone. Could not see anything from here except sand ridges to north-east, as far as the eye could reach. There is a watercourse amongst some gorges on the north side of this bluff point, in which we found some shallow pools of water, but not sufficient for the camels. Altering our course, and bearing 300° mag. from here, we crossed the range at one mile, a bluff point being visible to the north, distant about eight miles. Continuing on through good mulga, grass, species of saltbush, quondong and spinifex for six miles, when we.again entered red sandhills and ridges, clothed with dense spinifex, and occasional mulga thickets, and dead grass, where the country has been burnt by the natives. Here we saw several recent tracks of the latter. Fourteen miles from the range we noticed some low, scrubby hills at the end of same, to the north-east and distant about eight miles. Three miles further on we camped amongst a jumble of high red sandhills, with acacia and quondong, and occasional mulga thickets on red heavy soil. Bar. at 3 p.m., 28.000, attached ther. 96°. North-west wind, 50 per cent heavy clouds. Thunderstorms around. Bearing 10° mag. to a red table hill about fifteen miles distant. Every appearance of rain to the westward. Too cloudy to observe to-night. The sandfly is very troublesome here.

March 20th.—Heavy rain fell last night; vivid lightning and thunder accompanied it. Fully half an inch fell, but no water was met with until we had travelled two and a half miles, when Cumming found a shallow native well (soakage) in a natural grassy basin, which is almost surrounded with sand ridges. We got 55 gallons of water here for the camels, which they eagerly swallowed. It was intensely close, and a steamy vapor rising from the ground. Eight miles from camp we reached the foot of another low ridge or range, clothed with dense mulga. Here we found abundance of surface water, in a small stony creek, from last night's rain. There were a number of old encampments here. Half filled our kegs, and continuing on for five miles we reached the range seen this morning, clothed with mulga, and 1,950ft. above sea level, and 50ft. above base. Sandhills amongst and around same. Formation here of sandstone. From here we saw a salt lake or lagoon on our bearing. At 3 p.m. we camped on edge of mulga thicket, having travelled fifteen miles for the day. Bar. 28.040, attached ther. 100°. Calm and sultry; 50 per cent. heavy clouds. It was exceptionally hot all day. Poor feed here, but I anticipate finding better country to-morrow around the lake seen in advance. Saw two cockatoos; no other game or birds. Lat. 26° 48' 42" S.

March 21st.—Cold morning and easterly wind. Travelling on same bearing over high sand ridges. Two very prominent bluffs, facing south, being visible to the south-west, from six to eight miles distant. At five miles two high bluffs in a table range, about due north, from five to eight miles distant; passing through mulga thickets, open desert gums, mallee, quondongs, acacia, and spinifex for first four miles, then gently undulating chocolate soil with saltbush flats, various bushes, ti-tree, grass, and patches of spinifex. After travelling for five and a half miles, we reached the edge of the lake, which is 1,550ft. above sea level, and at this point has 18in. of water. Made sketch of lake from here, which extends for a considerable distance on bearings 210° and 300° mag. Very narrow in places towards the south. In attempting to cross over here we got some of the camels bogged, the bed of the lake being very treacherous in places. On opposite side of lake is a prominent tablehill to south-west and two miles distant, also bluff point four miles distant. The prominent bluffs before mentioned now about south-south-west. Following along the lake southwards we noticed good. saltbush, mulga, and various stock bushes around sandhills and loamy flats, with claypans of fresh water. After travelling about five miles, we eventually found a crossing on arm of lake, and with great difficulty got the camels over without their saddles, floating the kegs and carrying the equipment across. We camped on western side on top of a sand ridge, being all thoroughly tired this evening, having been half submerged in mud and water for some hours. There are some low tabletop hills from three to four miles eastward and low tabletops south-south-east and ten miles distant. This evening sandflies, mosquitoes, and march flies are very troublesome. The lake here is twenty-five chains wide. Low sand ridges are visible to the south for a great distance. Ned shot a lowan to-day.

March 22nd.—Bearing from here 292° mag., we proceeded to one of the two prominent bluff points noted yesterday, and reached it at one and a half miles. Ascending, we found it 1,700ft. above sea level and 150ft. above flats and lake. Formation here of silicious sandstone, covered with dense mulga. From here we could see the lake extending southwards for about fifteen miles, and up to five miles in width, with small islands of sand in bed. It passes under the other prominent bluff hill, which is two miles clue south from here. A bluff in a low tableland about twenty miles to southward. A low round hill to the south-west and fifteen miles distant, also bluff at southern end of low table range in same direction. Mulga all around and over these hills, and patches of saltbush and various bushes in gullies and flats; patches of spinifex. Leaving the hill, and now bearing 293° 30' mag., following up a gully, and crossing the range at one and a half miles, flat on top and precipitous gorges, all clothed with a dense growth of mulga. At two miles small creek, bearing north-east to the lake. Good grass along this creek. At two and a half miles, and two miles to right, are two isolated table tops at end of the range. Sandhills and numerous outcrops of silicious sandstone at three miles. Seven miles from the hill we passed a group of tabletops on our right. A mile further on we crossed a creek coming from a bluff to our left and emptying in lake. Chocolate soil, stony surface, mulga, and jamwood. At nine miles we passed three low rough tabletops to our left. From here on we crossed a number of creeks with grassy patches and shallow holes of water, all emptying in the lake and coming from a tableland from one to two miles on our left. After travelling fourteen miles we reached a very prominent bluff point in tableland. This point is 1,900ft. above sea level and about 150ft. above surrounding flats. and forms a very conspicuous feature, the lake shore being about three miles to north. Formation here of silicious sandstone and mudstone. Erected a small cairn of stones and read a round of angles. From here I could trace the sides of this tableland about six miles, bearing south-east. A small low tablehill and another very conspicuous bluff point in this tableland were visible about four miles to west. A long tableland with prominent bluff points extending all along the northern sides of the lake, and in the distance were two remarkable bluff points, bearing 290° mag. Made sketch showing same. Good stock mulga and saltbush patches, on red loam, between here and lake, with sandhills bordering the latter. We could trace the lake extending towards the north-west for a great distance. Camped about half a mile from bluff, which bears from camp 143° mag. The mulga shows evidences of a severe drought in this vicinity. Bar. at 3.30 p.m. 28.140, ther. 95; easterly breeze, 75 per cent. clouds. Lat. of camp, 26° 46' 37" S., and of bluff, 26° 47' S.

March 23rd.—Close morning. Bearing for the conspicuous distant bluffs seen yesterday, we crossed at two miles a large creek coming from the tableland to southward. Good saltbush, mulga, and. various other bushes here. At four miles the tablelands were about one mile to left, and extending to westward. Two miles further on we were in splendid saltbush, grass, prickly acacia, currant bushes, and open mulga; few sandy rises. At seven miles numerous claypans, up to 50yds. long, with canegrass in beds. At nine miles we were still in good country, and here passed an arm of the lake extending north-east and from 3ft. to 4ft. of water in places. Ned here shot two teal. At eleven miles we were passing over some splendid open saltbush country stretching back towards the tablelands passed on our left. There were some beautiful large myall trees growing here. Thirteen miles from the hill we crossed a narrow samphire flat at right angles extending half a mile either side with large claypan of fresh water at left end. At seventeen miles samphire flats and like large creek or watercourse coming in here. We have now apparently passed the end of the lake. We camped at 4 p.m. on some splendid saltbush feed. Open belts of mulga and acacia as far as can be seen around. Red loamy soil and numerous large shallow claypans. We have passed through all splendid pastoral lands to-day, saltbush being abundant, myall, mulga, acacia, quondong, grass, and herbage; patches of spinifex and ti-tree scrub on sandy soil. The range on our right which bears south-east from the prominent bluff we are steering for shows up well. Bar. 28.060, attached ther. 102°; calm, 50 per cent. clouds. Sandflies, march flies, and mosquitos are very troublesome here. Lat. 26° 42' S., var. of needle, 0° 17' W.

March 24th.—Close threatening morning. At 6.50 a.m. we continued on same course over splendid pastoral country. Soil of a rich chocolate loam and numerous shallow claypans. Open mulga and bushes, saltbush, grass and herbage (munyeroo). Numbers of small waterholes in watercourses coming from the tablelands. We reached the prominent bluff at eight miles, which is very steep and bold and the most southerly point of a high tableland which is covered with mulga, 2,000ft. above sea level, 200ft. above base, and 300ft. above lake. Formation of coarse silicious sandstone. A natural wall of perpendicular rock from 20ft. to 30ft. deep and all along top. Erected a small cairn of stones and read round of angles. Very prominent bluffs are visible all along this range to the eastward and up to twenty-five miles distant, with splendid mulga and saltbush flats along base. The lake was not visible from here. The bluff point visited on the 22nd instant, and also that passed early on the 23rd, being very prominent features. Other prominent tablelands and hills are visible from fifteen to thirty miles to the south-east, south, and south-west, two high isolated tablehills being visible to the west-south-west and about fifteen miles distant. Numerous tablelands and tablehills from fifteen to five miles to westward. A very high bluff point in a tablehill bearing 282° and seven miles distant, this tableland edge bearing 329° mag. and runs into sand ridges at about seven miles; from here open country clothed with mulga and saltbush extending far to the south­east, mulga and thickets to the south, and open mulga, saltbush, and grass to the north-west as far as can be seen. At foot of this bluff and a quarter of a mile south are some small pot holes of clayey formation in a shallow watercourse trending towards the lake, altering our course slightly and now bearing 289* mag. for the high bluff point in conspicuous tablehill, crossing over chocolate loam with quartz and ironstone rubble, and outcrops of slate which appear to underlie the tableland. Open mulga, myall, and saltbush. Two miles from tableland we crossed a large watercourse trending south-west, and eventually finding its way to the lake with shallow waterholes 2ft. deep. Here we saw a few teal. At four and a half miles another large watercourse, with claypans and grass, coining from the north-west end of a tableland or hill two miles distant. We reached the high bluff point of the tablehill, which extends in a north-westerly direction, after travelling seven miles, and camped at foot of same on a creek, with abundance of water in shallow holes along the channel. Ascended the hill, which is 2,150ft. above sea level, 200ft. above base, and 400 feet above surrounding flats. Formation of sharp quartzitic grit and laminated sandstone with white hard shale underlay. Erected pile of stones here and took round of angles. The bluff point visited this morning appearing very prominent with the other bluffs visited and passed on the 22nd and 23rd instants showing in the distance. A high tableland with bluff is visible from here to the north-east and about fifteen miles distant. Two prominent tablehills about three miles to the southward, a. bluff point at northern end of table range bearing west-north-west a distance about twenty miles. The creek from camp can be traced up to this point. Open mulga, grass, and saltbush along course, and pools of water can be seen for a great distance. All these tablelands and hills are clothed with a dense growth of mulga. Valleys surrounding of fair stock country, red loamy soil, open mulga, grass, and patches of saltbush. Barometer at camp, which bears 216° mag., at 4 p.m., 27.860, attached ther. 100°; calm, 50 per cent. clouds; hot. Ned shot two teal this evening, which is the first meat we have had for four days. Lat. at camp, 26° 37' 45", and at bluff (computed), 26° 37' 30" S.

March 25th.—Dull and cloudy. A few drops of rain fell last. night. Now bearing 238° mag. for a bluff point in another prominent tableland, which we reached at three and a half miles, having followed a watercourse up to same from camp. Same formation as last visited. A point at the eastern end of a tableland range, which trends west-south-west, bears north-west from here, and about four miles distant. From here we continued on the same course, following up a valley with large watercourse on our right. Patches of saltbush, good mulga, and grass, the tableland being immediately on our left. Six miles from camp we passed a bluff point where. the tableland edge bears southward. A mile further on we passed a small tablehill on our left, the tableland range on our right being four miles distant, where it terminates in sand ridges. Here we were passing over red loamy soil, mulga, few mallee, and dense spinifex. At ten miles desert country and sandhills, green spinifex (triodia), and thickets of mulga, mallee, and open desert gums, the edge of desert country running east and west, the view being considerable to the eastward. After travelling fifteen and a half miles a group of tablehills were visible in a low mulga-covered range about five miles south-south-east and trending in a south-easterly direction. Continuing over red sand ridges and spinifex flats, which were beautifully green here, open desert gums, acacia, and quondongs for remainder of journey. Having travelled about twenty-two miles we camped on some very green spinifex, which was seeding, the camels being very fond of it. Bar. at 3.40 p.m. 28.040, attached ther. 80°. Cool southerly wind; 75 per cent. leaden clouds. Marked a desert gum tree on north side L.A.W./25.3.92. (encircled.) Too cloudy for observation to-night.

March 26th.—Few drops of rain fell last night. Cold, cloudy morning. Altering our bearing here to 289° mag., and continued on over same class of country for four miles, when we crossed the southern end of some low stony mulga ridges. At five miles and about five miles south we noticed a low stony mulga ridge, extending about east and west. At nine miles we were again crossing over very high sand ridges, the mulga ridge being now about eight miles on our left. Crossing these high sand ridges for four miles we entered mulga and thicket on red loamy soil, some isolated tablehills being about ten miles distant to the north-west. All mulga country as far as can be seen from here; the ridge on our left now about six miles distant. At eighteen miles low stony mulga ridges three miles to the left; good mulga and mulga grass, suffering from recent drought. Here we noticed many hundreds of small birds which were devouring caterpillars from the mulga trees, the latter being stripped quite bare in places by these pests. After travelling twenty-one miles we camped on good mulga feed at 4.15 p.m. Bar. 28.160, attached ther. 76°. Southerly wind all day and sky overcast; few drops of rain. To-day we saw the recent tracks of a native with a lubra and child.

March 27th.—Cloudy and cold; few drops of rain. Still bearing 289° mag. Travelling for five miles we reached some rises of ironstone and ferruginous gravel, 1,800ft. above sea level, which we crossed at right angles. Fairly open mulga and mulga grass. Nine miles on our journey we saw a small intrusion of desert sand ridges, half a mile on our left, an extensive view of level mulga country extending southward. One mile further we touched the edge of the sandy intrusion, which is about one mile wide here. At thirteen miles we entered sand ridges with acacia, quondong, and spinifex, with mulga and low ridges half a mile to right. Allowed the camels to feed for an hour at noon. From here I saw some higher ridges to the north­west, about six miles distant. Leaving the desert country at eighteen miles, which extends some distance on either side of our track, we entered red loamy soil, clothed with mulga and grassy patches. At nineteen and a half miles we crossed a low ridge of decomposed granulite, 1,950ft. above sea level, on the western side of which, and about 200yds. to our right, is a small native soakage well. Here we saw many old native encampments. After travelling twenty-one miles we reached some splendid open mulga grassy flats. Cumming here found two shallow waterholes, the largest being 30yds. by 3yds. and 18in. deep, in good clay holding soil. Geranium and munyeroo were growing here. Camped here, and watered the camels. Bar. at 4 p.m. 28.000, attached ther. 82°. Southerly winds; 50 per cent. light clouds, clearing. It became too cloudy for observation during the night. We have finished all our provisions, except a little flour and three pots of meat extract. We have been unable to get any game, which is very scarce.

March 28th.—Dull and cloudy. Starting at 6.20 a.m., still bearing 289° mag., through splendid grassy flats and patches of saltbush extending northward, and shallow watercourses trending in same direction. Crossed at two miles ridges of granulite, with low cliffs facing eastward; summit 1,950ft. above sea level. A small stony creek heads here and trends north-west, with small rock waterholes. At three and three and a half miles we crossed two small creeks, with water in beds and trending northward. Splendidly grassed along channels, and good flats on our right. Mulga, jamwood, bushes, and mulga grass; white quartz and ferruginous gravel in patches of small dimensions on good red soil. At four and a half miles we crossed a creek with corkwoods along course, and splendidly-grassed flats extending northwards. Here we found a waterhole, 50ft. by 6ft. and 2ft. deep. From six and a half to eight miles we crossed sand ridges, desert gums, mallee, and spinifex flats, extending about two miles on either side; then mulga and mulga grass and patches of spinifex (triodia) splendidly-grassed flats with corkwoods and munyeroo. Eleven miles from camps we reached the summit of a high mulga-clothed ridge extending east and west for half a mile 1,950ft. above sea level and 150ft. above flats; formation of ironstone gossan. Took bearings here—a small range of tops from two to three miles south-west, a ridge or low mulga-clothed. range from eight to ten miles north-west, with a valley of open mulga. and grass between. Outcrops of quartz were visible bearing 300° mag. and about six miles distant, a low range parallel to our course being about five miles on our right—an extensive view in this direction for at least fifteen miles, and apparently all of a similar nature to this. From here passing over low ironstone rises with little quartz on surface, open mulga, and grassy patches. Hence we saw recent tracks of two emus followed by a native, also numerous old pads of kangaroos. At thirteen miles splendid saltbush flats of chocolate loam, quondongs on low red sandy rises, open mulga, various bushes, grass, and spinifex. Numerous small salt lagoons here. from a.quarter to half a mile diameter with good saltbush surrounding. Could see the open country extending for five miles north­ward; it also extends southward. Here we crossed a salt creek bearing through lagoons to the north-east, 1,800ft. above sea level here; at seventeen miles a small lagoon to right and watercourse coming from south: Saw number of recent tracks of natives, and Ned informed me of their having just passed here. Shortly afterwards, on ascending a sandhill, we surprised a lubra, who was gathering caterpillars from the mulga trees. Seeing she was perceived she ran away crying out to her friends, who were evidently not far off. Sent Cumming after her, and he soon overtook her. However. we only succeeded in showing her we were friendly, she being too afraid and crying too much to allow of our getting any information from her. Half a mile further on a long narrow lagoon, extending three miles north-east; saltbush and samphire around. At eighteen miles a belt of circular lagoons from ten to forty chains diameter, with gypseous formation showing around. Half a mile beyond this we entered sand, spinifex, quondongs, acacia, grevillia, and dead grass on burnt patches. Continuing on over miserable level open sandy country, with dense spinifex (triodia) we camped, after travelling twenty-three miles, on north side of a mulga thicket. Bar. 4.45 p.m., 27.860, attached ther. 94°. Twenty-five per cent. white clouds, warm and calm. Low knobs two miles to right of course and most easterly point of a low cliff ridge we are approaching. Lat. here 26° 29' 17" S.

March. 29th.—A few points of rain fell last night. Close, cloudy morning. Bearing 296° mag., over open mulga and grassy flats, following up a watercourse. Patches of saltbush. Reached the low cliff range at three miles; cliffs facing eastward and forming a tableland, level desert country on top. Formation here of granulite and 2,000ft. above sea level. We found some small rockholes here. Falling from here we crossed steep sand ridges at four and a half miles, then open spinifex flats, acacia, quondong, few bloodwoods, few bushes and grass on burnt patches. Now 1,930ft. above sea level. At seven miles red loamy soil, mulga, spinifex, and few mallee, occasional flat watercourses with grass. We reached the summit.of a low granulite range or tableland 2,050ft. above sea level at ten and a half miles. Patches of saltbush around here. At twelve miles spinifex, mallee, and desert gums; dead grass where burnt. Now 1,950ft. above sea level. Red sand ridges on either side and few large bloodwoods. Continuing on through mulga, thicket we reached, at thirteen and a half miles, another granulite ridge, 2,050ft. above sea level. A very extensive view from here to the north-east; nothing but desert country to be seen in this direction. Again entered sand ridges at fifteen miles could see from here a low ridge about thirty miles to the north-east; all desert gums and mulga thickets between. A low ridge or range about five miles to west. Sixteen miles on course a low flat 1,975ft. above sea. level. Spinifex, desert gums, and few bloodwoods here. We reached some very high red sand ridges at twenty miles, generally bearing north and south, 2,120ft. above sea level at top of highest. Camped at foot on eastern side and marked a bloodwood tree on south side five chains east of hill and five chains north from camp L.A.W./29.3.92 (encircled). Var. 0° 41' W. Lat. of camp, 26° 22' 32" S. Bar. at 4 p.m., 27.825, attached ther. 95°. Westerly wind; 25 per cent. large white clouds. From top of sandhill 305° to prominent tops in like end of range twenty or thirty miles distant, lower tops west-north-west fifteen miles distant. Cliffs bearing north and south of granulite three miles south-west from here. A very extensive view to the southward, apparently all desert country. Low mulga tops fifteen or twenty miles north-north-west.

March 30th.—Dull, cloudy morning. Thunderstorm last night; about fifteen points of rain fell. Starting at 7.30 a.m. and altering our bearing to 247° mag., we crossed a large spinifex flat with few bloodwoods. At two miles we entered a mulga thicket. Travelling one mile through this we reached the top of a low granulite range 2,000ft. above sea level. Fairly open and grassy country with patches of good saltbush on western slopes. Reached lowest flat at six miles, 1,800ft. above sea level. Granulite outcrops and small quartz on surface. At seven and a half miles, hearing a shot from Cumming, followed by signal shots on our right, he having followed some kangaroo tracks in the hope of getting at them. We hatted and waited until he came up, hoping he had been fortunate enough to kill one, but we were disappointed to find he had lost himself in the mulga. Continuing our journey we crossed fairly open mulga-clothed chocolate soil, with patches of grass and saltbush; ridges of quartzite, ironstone, and slate reefs bearing north and south, mulga, mulga grass, and little spinifex, small saltbush patches. At fifteen and a half miles a watercourse trending south-west, with shallow waterholes 12in, deep and 30yds. by 10yds. Half a mile another similar watercourse, trending south-south-east. At twenty miles mulga thickets, open mallee, and spinifex, beautifully green, and going to seed. Camped here at 4.45 p.m. Bar. 28.000, attached ther. 88°; east wind, 75 per cent. clouds. We saw a turkey here, but it was very wild.

March, 31st.—Dew last night; close morning. Pursuing the same course, and crossing low rises of heavy ironstone and flints, with flats of saltbush, open mulga, grass, and herbage (munyeroo). After travelling two and a half miles, and from the branches of a tree, a low long' hill was visible to the south, from twenty-five to thirty miles distant. All low country between, and apparently clothed with mulga, saltbush, &c. Three and a half miles on our course we passed on our right a low round rise or blow of ironstone, about a mile and a half distant. Splendidly-grassed mulga flats here. A wide watercourse, with broken channel tending to south-east, with a waterhole fifteen chains by half a chain, and 3ft. deep, with duckweed floating on top. Leaving here and crossing rich red loam, clothed with mulga, mulga grass, and patches of spinifex, ferruginous gravel and loose ironstone often covering surface. At six miles flats 1,750ft. above sea level, with outcrops of conglomerate of small pebbles. After travelling about twelve miles we reached a point or knob in a low range trending north and south, with a creek passing through a gap on the north side of knob, which is 1,850ft. above sea level. Formation of banded quartzite and flint. The creek bears 100° mag., and empties in a watercourse about three miles distant. In the gap are several nice waterholes from five to ten chains long. half a chain wide, and 9ft. deep. There are several large beef wood or yarra trees growing along the channel, Duckweed was floating on all these holes, and a black cormorant flew from one of them as we approached. Probably permanent water may be found here. A higher point in the range lies about half a mile north. Fair open stock mulga and patches of saltbush around here. A long prominent hill bears 315° mag. from this knob, and distant seven or eight miles. Erecting a pile here, we continued on same bearing, crossing loamy flats, low good mulga, mulga grass, and saltbush patches. Rotten outcrops of granulite at thirteen miles, and a small watercourse trending south-east towards valley. At fifteen miles we reached a high point 1,950ft. above sea level. Outcrops of white quartz, formation of rotten granulite. A high and prominent hill was visible from here, bearing 298° mag., and from twenty to thirty miles distant. The watershed here is to the north-west. From here very stony surface and granite boulders outcropping. Jamwood, mulga, and little spinifex. Falling to level, chocolate loam, mulga, spinifex, and little mallee, all suffering from drought. Camped at 4 p.m. on open sandy soil, dense spinifex, few mulga, acacia, quondong, and mallee; rather poor feed for camels. Travelled for day twenty-two miles. Bar. at 4 p.m., 28.100, attached ther. 90°. Calm. Seventy-five per cent. leaden clouds. Close all day. A prominent range, and probably the Kimberley Range, named by Sir John Forrest, is now showing plainly in front of us, A large hill with bluff very conspicuous, facing the south, almost on our bearing. To-day we saw two turkeys, two emus, and a kangaroo. Latitude by Pollux and e Argus, 26" 38' 40" S.

April, 1892]

April 1st.—A cold, cloudy morning. Slightly altering our course, and now bearing 237° mag. for the prominent bluff point, a quartz hill or blow showing on the left. Travelling over open sandy desert country, dense spinifex, low drought-stricken mulga, and bushes (many being quite perished), sand ridges on either side, at six miles we reached large mulga or loamy flats, clothed with good saltbush, few sandy rises with spinifex. A mile further we struck a large salt lake, edge bearing south-east for five miles, then bearing round towards the south-west. Attempting to cross here opposite an island we got three of our camels bogged, and experienced some difficulty in extricating them. The lake was dry here and 1,625ft. above sea level. Following along the edge to westward through splendid open saltbush and samphire for three miles, when we crossed a creek coming in from the northward. Large boxwoods, large ti-trees, splendid saltbush, grass, and herbage, extending north and north-west as far as can be seen. Two miles further on we reached the end of the lake, where a large salt creek empties into it. It was two chains wide, and was running strongly at time of our visit. There were a great number of teal, mountain ducks, and small waterhens here. Leaving Cumming and Ned to try and shoot some game, with instructions to follow us, I took the Afghan and camels up the creek for one mile, where we found a hard bottom and 2ft. deep, where we crossed, a large open flat of saltbush and samphire extending to the westward for two miles. Continuing on directly for the prominent bluff point, bearing 210° mag. Crossing an open saltbush plain and gradually ascending over red loamy soil with loose quartz and small ironstone on surface, we struck a nice creek coming from the range and emptying in the lake. Corkbarks and splendid grass and herbage (munyeroo) in the bed, which is four chains wide here. A small waterhole and a natives' soakage well. Camped here at 3.30 p.m., having travelled about eighteen miles for the day. Bar. 4 p.m., 28.140, attached ther., 90°; west wind, sky overcast, and few drops of rain. The well is in bed of creek in loose sand, and near a large corkbark tree, bearing to the bluff 210° and four miles distant. Cumming and Ned arrived shortly after us, bringing two waterhens with them, the ducks being too wild to get a shot at. We enjoyed a good meal off these with some boiled munyeroo.

April 2nd.—Close, cloudy morning. Starting early we proceeded to the prominent bluff, which is composed of quartzite rock, and 2,100ft. above sea level, 200ft. above base, and 400ft. above the lake, clothed with dense mulga. We erected a small cairn of stones over a quartzite cliff on the eastern side. Read from here a round of angles. The prominent quartz blow bearing about east four miles with edge of lake at foot, the end of the lake being about twelve miles distant in the same direction. A group of distant tops bearing east-south-east and thirty miles distant. A narrow salt arm or creek can be seen bearing in the same direction from the lake's end. An extension valley of mulga to the south-east with grassy watercourses emptying into the lake. The range, which is low to the southward, bears 142° mag., mulga being every­where in this direction. Nothing prominent is visible to the westward. This range bears 280°, and junctions with another high rough range trending north-east and south-west, a high bluff point showing over the latter to the north-west, and about twenty miles distant, a prominent round top being about due north and twenty-five miles distant. An extension valley of mulga in this direction, all hills being clothed with mulga. Leaving here and bearing 237° mag. we passed at two miles a prominent bluff point in the range one and a half miles to right, crossing a very stony surface, soil of chocolate loam, mulga, mulga grass, and patches of spinifex for nine miles. Then edge of desert country with red sand ridges showing about five miles to the southward. Continuing on over open spinifex, sandy flats, with low scattered mallee and mulga thickets, few acacia and quondongs, at seventeen miles from the range we camped on fair bush feed for the camels, two prominent tops being visible in the range to the northward from ten to twelve miles distant. A few pines and bloodwoods are growing in this vicinity Bar. at 4 p.m. 27.910, attached ther. 90°. Calm; 50 per cent. large clouds. Thunderstorms around. Very warm all day. Lat., 26° 56' 30" S. Variation of needle, 1° 5' W.

April 3rd.—Close, cloudy morning. Altering our course here and bearing 257° mag. over miserable desert country for three miles, when we reached a low range or ridge of quartzite and granulite, clothed with thickets of dense mulga, 1,950ft. above sea level. Then again entered desert country. After travelling three and a half miles we could plainly see the two prominent points (mountains) passed on our outward track on the 26th of February. They were bearing from here about west-south-west. Six miles from camp we reached some cliffs in range or ridge of quartzitic grit and granulite, 1,900ft. above sea level. Jamwood, mulga, and little saltbush around here. Then flats of good mulga and patches of spinifex clothing chocolate loam. At fourteen miles low sandy and loamy flat, 1,700ft. above sea level. Poor open mulga and dense spinifex, few stunted mallee, low bushes, few pines and bloodwoods. At eighteen and a half miles a prominent hill was visible about due north. We crossed horse tracks here and also at twenty-four miles, still crossing same open spinifex (triodia) flats, few kurrajong, bloodwoods, native poplars, and cork trees. Now 1,800ft. above sea level. Low sand ridges with few pines here. Camped at 5 p.m. on a low sand ridge, with a small mulga thicket to the south-east, the prominent mountains bearing 199° and 214° mag. Travelled for day about twenty-six miles. Ned caught four bungarras (iguana) to-day, which will be sufficient for his supper and breakfast. We have had no meat excepting a little game for a fortnight, and our flour will be finished to-morrow. Lat. by Castor, Pollux, and E. Argus, 27° 2' 28" S. The camels are just about done up, being very leg weary and low in condition.

April 4th.—Cold during early morning. Altering our course to 266° mag., crossing sandy plains and low red ridges of sand; kurrajong, acacia, quondong, grevillia, native poplars, and spinifex for four miles. Then good red loam, tall stock mulga, and patches of grass. Reached the range in which the mountains are situated; summit 1,925ft. above sea level, which we reached at ten miles. Here we struck our outward track of 25th February, following down a shallow watercourse, with several small waterholes in channel. Good grass patches along the banks, and numerous recent tracks of kangaroos. We saw some teal here, but unfortunately did not shoot any of them. We reached Wallabuchan, but, finding the hole filled with salt water, we continued on to Walga-gunya, where we camped at 430 p.m. Bar. 28.160, ther. 94°. West wind; 54 per cent. large white clouds. The feed here and all along the creek is looking splendid. The camels will enjoy themselves here to-night. Lat. 27° 5' 12" S.

April 5th.—Cold morning; strong south-easterly wind. Leaving Walga-gunya early, without breakfast, having finished our provisions, we started on return to depôt, Abdul and Ned following our outward pad back, via Nanadie Well, whilst Cumming accompanied me to the prominent hill at southern end of dark range noted on February 23rd. At six miles we crossed a well-grassed watercourse trending southwards, and here saw a waterhole which would last for two months. Reached the hill at ten miles. Formation of schistose rock banded with hematite and slate, 1,850ft. above sea level, and 200ft. above surrounding flats. Took round of angles from here. This range bearing to the north-west. Leaving here.we travelled directly for the depôt camp, which we reached at noon. My camel fell over a fallen mulga, and gave me a slight shaking. Abdul and Ned arrived shortly after us. We found all well at camp. The party had been obliged to move from the well to a higher point about ten chains to the north-west, having been flooded out. Warren informed me that George Lindsay had left the depôt yesterday to meet the mail from Geraldton at Annean Station. Mills had also left, in hope of meeting Mr. Lindsay there and getting his wages prior to leaving for the goldfields. I found all the camels left in depôt in splendid condition and fit to continue the work of exploration. We were absent just six weeks and a day, and travelled over a distance of 750 miles. To-morrow I propose going to Nannine, to meet George Lindsay with the mail and enable myself to reply to any communication I may get from Adelaide should Mr. Lindsay not arrive, the time he stipulated for returning having passed.

April 6th.—Taking Joorak with me, one riding camel each and two pairs of pack bags to bring a few necessary stores from Nannine, I left the depôt to meet the mail. After travelling about forty miles we reached the township at 6 p.m., the country passed over presenting a very different aspect in comparison With two months previously, splendid rains having fallen everywhere, doing immense good. Mr. Walter, the goldfield warden, received me most courteously and insisted on my staying at his quarters. This gentleman has been most kind to all members of the expedition. The mail was due this morning, but was delayed by rain. There is a great deal of sickness on the fields at present. Several diggers have recently died from fever, the nature of which is unknown to the residents. There are no medicines and no medical man within 300 miles.

April 7th.—The mailman arrived at midday, and we were disappointed to receive telegrams from the Royal Geographical Society intimating that the exploring work was to be discontinued and the party broken up. Everything being so favorable for continuing at present makes the disappointment greater; George Lindsay having also arrived with the mailman I at once started him back to the depôt with instructions how to act. Being unable to settle any of the accounts due by the expedition, or pay Cumming or Mills their wages, I was compelled to arrange for going to Geraldton for instructions before leaving the district; also to arrange about a quantity of goods lying at Mullewah, seventy miles from Geraldton.

Appended is a list of native names which I have collected from four tribes met with during the expedition, principally while in the Murchison district, the greater number of which I regard as most reliable. The system of orthography followed has, in accordance with instructions, been that adopted by the council of the Royal Geographical Society of London.





VOCABULARIES.





VOCABULARIES OF WORDS AND PHRASES, WITH TRANSLATIONS.

ORTHOGRAPHY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SYSTEM ADOPTED BY COUNCIL OF R.G.S. OF LONDON.

COLLECTED FROM THE "PIDONG" TRIBE OF NATIVES AT THE HEAD OF THE MURCHISON RIVER,
WESTERN AUSTRALIA (LAT. 26°, LONG. 117°, APPROX.).


By L. A. Wells, Surveyor, Elder Exploring Scientific Expedition

[Not included]




MAPS of the EXPEDITION






Map Showing the Exploration and Discoveries of the Expedition
in South Australia and Western Australia





Map Showing a Geological Traverse of the Expedition
across South Australia and Western Australia


THE END

This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia