MR. WHITE’S ACCOUNT OF THE RIVER.
The night had been calm and close; and just before daybreak distant thunder resembling discharges of artillery was heard in the south-west. The sun rose clear, but was soon obscured when the wind sprung up from the north-east. I sent Mr. White with a party of men down the river to clear away any trees likely to obstruct the boat, and to ascertain whether any other impediments appeared in the channel. On his return he reported that at the distance of some miles down the channel was filled with dead trees of considerable size; and that in another place the bottom consisted of flat rocks which occasioned a rapid or shallow of considerable length, over which our boat, being made of very heavy materials, could not be carried without considerable delay. This unpleasant intelligence, and the continued subsidence of the stream, determined me to explore its course with a party on horseback until I could ascertain whether it took the desired direction, namely, north-west; and whether at any lower point the channel improved so much as to enable us to relieve the cattle of part, at least, of their load, by carrying it in the boat. I was most desirous of leaving the cattle there, and some of the party, to await the arrival of Mr. Finch, while I continued our researches with the boat if we could possibly find water sufficient for the purpose. This method of proceeding was contemplated in my original plan on leaving Sydney, when I hoped to reach a navigable stream where the cattle might refresh for the return journey, until the party, thus enabled to extend its operations by water, might fall back on some such depot.
Excursion down the Karaula.
Its unexpected course.
Junction of the Gwydir.
Owls and Rats.
Natives at the camp during my absence.
Their attempts to steal.
Tents struck to cross.
Arrival of Mr. Finch.
Murder of his men.
Loss of his horses.
And seizure of his stores by the natives.
Destroy the boat and retire from the Karaula.
Forced march to the Gwydir.
Numerous tribes surround the party.
Good effects of sky-rockets.
Funeral dirge by a native female.
Dog killed by a snake.
Numerous tribes follow.
The party regains the plains.
EXCURSION DOWN THE KARAULA.
I left the camp with six men and four pack-animals, carrying nine days’ rations, and proceeded along the left bank of the newly-discovered river.
ITS UNEXPECTED COURSE.