In this journey Lieutenant Dawes’s line of march, unfortunately and unpleasantly for him, happened to lie, nearly from his setting out, across a line of high and steep rocky precipices, which required much caution in descending, as well as labour in ascending. Perhaps an open country, which might have led him readily and conveniently to the point he proposed to attain, was lying at no great distance from him either to his right or left. To seek for that, however, might have required more time than his stock of provisions would have admitted; and he was compelled to return through the same unprofitable country which he had passed.
On the 21st, between ten and eleven o’clock at night, the Supply returned from Norfolk Island, having been absent six weeks within a day. From thence Lieutenant King wrote that he expected his harvest would produce from four to six months flour for all his inhabitants, exclusive of a reserve of double feed for twenty acres of ground. Beside this promising appearance, he had ten acres in cultivation with Indian corn, which looked very well. His gardens had suffered much by the grub worm and from a want of rain, of which they had had scarcely any since the 23rd of September last. The ground which was cleared for the crown amounted to about twenty-eight acres, and he was busied in preparations for building a redoubt on an eminence named by him Mount George.
The Supply, in her visit at Lord Howe Island, turned eighteen turtle; several of which unluckily dying before she reached Norfolk Island, she could leave only four there, and but three survived the short voyage thence to this place.
Several thefts having been lately committed by the convicts, and the offenders discovered by the vigilance of the members of our new police, several of them were tried before the criminal court of juidicature. Caesar the black, whose situation on Garden Island had been some time back rendered more eligible, by being permitted to work without irons, found means to make his escape, with a mind insensible alike to kindness and to punishment, taking with him a canoe which lay there for the convenience of the other people employed on the island, together with a week’s provisions belonging to them; and in a visit which he made them a few nights after in his canoe, he took off an iron pot, a musket, and some ammunition.
The working convicts at Sydney had lately been principally employed in constructing two convenient kitchens and ovens for the use of the detachment, adjoining to the quarters; building a house for the judge-advocate; forming roads either in or leading to the town; and removing the provisions from the old thatched storehouse to that in the marine quarters, which, by being covered in with tiles, was not so liable to an accident by fire, nor likely to prove so great an harbour for rats, to guard against whom it had become necessary to take as many precautions as against any other enemy. They, however, in defiance of every care which was taken to shut them out, when the provisions were removed, found means, by working under ground, to get in; and as it was now a matter of much moment to preserve every ounce of provisions that belonged to us, they were all taken out, and restowed with an attention suitable to their important value.