The commander of the Hunter snow, Mr. Fern, having found, like most of those who had preceded him, that a voyage to New South Wales was not a bad speculation, resolved on deriving some profit from his return. It was understood at his departure, which was on the 20th, that he was bound for New Zealand, for the purpose of cutting spars to load with back to Bengal.*
[* Mr. Robert Campbell, who returned some time after to Port Jackson, mentioned, that Captain Fern proceeded to the river Thames in New Zealand, where his people cut down a quantity of very fine spars, sufficient to load his vessel; but, being rather short of hands, he could not have shipped them, had not the natives with much alacrity and good humour assisted his people in getting them to the water’s side. See Vol I Ch. XXVIII, viz: ’In the course of that time they cut down upwards of two hundred very fine trees, from sixty to one hundred and forty feet in length, fit for any use that the East India Company’s ships might require. The longest of these trees measured three feet and a half in the butt, and differed from the Norfolk Island pines in having the turpentine in the centre of the tree instead of between the bark and the wood. . . .’]
Two men, who had been exploring the country to the northwest of Richmond Hill and of the river Hawkesbury, fell in with the bones of two mares which had been stolen some time since from Parramatta. It was very probable, that the people who stole them had, after some time and experience, found that travelling was not quite so practicable in this country as they had imagined, and that, not being able to procure a supply of food, they had been compelled by hunger to the necessity of destroying their cattle, and living upon them as long as they could possibly cat of them; after which they, no doubt, followed such route as their judgment was capable of pointing out; but, unfortunately for them, they could not have known which way they went. The bones of the mares, the heads of which the men brought in to prevent any doubt of their story, were found at not more than a good day’s journey from the Hawkesbury, which river they had no doubt crossed at one of its branches higher up, where there are many fordable places.
Some of the whalers that were in the harbour, proceeding on their fishery, the town was freed from the nuisance of their seamen, who could not resist the two temptations, spirits and women, so peculiarly calculated every where to lead them astray. The masters of the ships made many complaints that they could not keep their people on board.
At Sydney the walls of the granary were completed, and part of the roof got up. The battery also was finished.
The weather during the month had been so very sultry and dry, that there was every appearance of being completely disappointed in the sanguine expectations which had been entertained of a most abundant wheat harvest. The pasture and garden grounds also were suffering exceedingly through want of rain.