‘December’ 2.—The river was travelled down through similar country for eleven miles, when the party reached the head of the tide, and camped on a rocky water hole in an ana-branch, the river water not being drinkable. The course was to the southward of west. It was now beyond a doubt, even to Mr. Richardson, that this river was not the Mitchell, for neither its latitude, direction, or description corresponded with Leichhardt’s account. It was also perceived that the longitude of the starting point must have been incorrect, and very considerably to the westward, as their reckoning, carefully checked, brought them much too near the coast. The Brothers therefore became satisfied of what they had long believed, that they had never been on the Lynd at all, or even on its watershed, and that what they were on was an independent stream. They therefore named it the “Ferguson,’ in honor of Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor of Queensland, but there is little doubt that it is the Staaten of the Dutch navigators, or at least its southern branch. Should a northern branch eventually be discovered, which the delta and numerous ana-branches make a probable hypothesis, the stream explored by the brothers might with propriety retain the name they gave it. At eight miles from the start the character of the country changed from the prevailing flats, to a kind of barren sandstone and spenifex ridges. On pitching the camp the fishing-lines were put into requisition, but without success. It is remarkable, that on reaching the salt water, not far from this spot, Leichhardt was similarly disappointed, after having counted on catching and curing a good quantity of fish, the whole day’s work of Brown and Murphy being “a small siluus, one mullet, and some guard-fish,” ‘qu.’ gar-fish.
‘December’ 3.—To-day’s stage was a short one, and was hoped to have been the last on this miserable river, which was now looked upon as undoubtedly the Staaten. It had in some measure improved. The timber was much larger and finer, and the lagoons extensive and deep. But a heavy storm which came down, and compelled them to camp early, soon proved what the country would be in the wet season. With this one heavy fall of rain it became so boggy that the horses sank in up to their girths. Hitherto the grass had been so scanty that the party could not halt for a day to kill. They had consequently been four days