[* At her departure from the Cape, it was generally conjectured that she would never reach the settlement; but her commander, Lieutenant William Kent, considered and felt the design of his voyage to be of so much importance to the colony, that he determined to run every risk; and fortunately, though with great difficulty, he succeeded.]
A most unexpected and unaccountable desertion took place in the night after the arrival of the Reliance. Two boys belonging to that ship carried away a small two-oared boat, in which they intended to proceed to the southward, and there join the natives. Being pursued, they were brought back, and gave the above account of their scheme; to effect which, they had provided themselves with a boat-cloak to sleep in, a pair of pistols, a small quantity of gun-powder, and 50 cakes of portable soup. That any one who had been accustomed to the habits of civilised life should find charms in that led by the savages of this country, was unaccountable; for, admitting that idleness was the inducement, yet whoever associated with them must accompany them wherever they went, and they were generally on the move either by day or night. They were seldom provided with more food than was sufficient for the day; and in their treacherous visitations at night, for the purposes of revenge, the European might be easily mistaken for, or confounded with, the savage. But thus it was, to the great evil of the community to which these unthinking wretches belonged.
The inhabitants of the town of Sydney having been assessed to supply thatch for the roof of the new gaol, and completed their respective proportions, the building was enclosed during this month with a strong and high fence. A building such as this had certainly been long wanted. It was 80 feet in length; the sides and ends were constructed of strong logs, a double row of which formed each partition. The whole was divided into 22 cells, the divisions of which were logs. The floor and the roof were of the same solid materials, over which was a coat 8 inches deep of stiff clay, and the roof besides was thatched. Every accommodation for prisoners was to be found in separate buildings in the prison yard, in which also was a distinct brick building for debtors, fenced off from the felon side (to use an Old Bailey distinction) by a strong and high paling.
This, enclosing a spot of ground which had been marked out on the west side of the Cove for a ship-yard, landing provisions from the transports, and completing the granary, formed the principal labour in which the public gangs were employed this month at Sydney.
The weather was remarkably dry.
The Francis returns from the wreck of the Sydney
The Eliza long-boat missing
Gale of wind
Cattle from the Cape landed
An officer dies