Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland eBook

Francis Lascelles Jardine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland.
in some instances rush blindly away from the herd and be lost, as described before.  The intention on starting was to run the river down to the head of the tide, and then establish a camp, where the cattle could stay, whilst the Brothers went on to find Somerset, now supposed to be not far distant.  On leaving the river the course was shaped west, to head the scrubs on the tributaries, but this, far from improving the travelling, made it worse as they got into a maze of scrub, heath, and swamps, through which they had to thread their course.  They, had therefore, to make their way back to the river, which was again struck in about 7 miles.  It was here running north, the bed free from fallen timber, and about 150 yards wide, and so full and flooded as to make it impossible to discover whether it was within the tidal influence or not.  Following the river for 4 miles, making a total journey of 12, the rain pouring the whole day, the party camped on the bank, where alone grass was to be found, and that even very poor and thin.  Two of the horses “Tabinga,” and “Pussey,” had to be left about three miles back from the camp with their saddles, utterly knocked up.  A lame heifer was killed and cut up for jerking, on the morrow.  Course N.W. by N. Distance 12 miles. (Camp LXXXII.)

‘January’ 29.—­This day was devoted to rest, with the exception of the necessary duties of jerking the beef of the heifer, and preparing for the start of the Brothers to find Somerset.  The horses left behind were sent for and brought into camp, and dispositions made for a halt, until the return of the Leader.  The packs, saddles, and stores were “overhauled,” and found for the most part to be completely rotted, from the constant rain and severe duckings they had undergone, making the party congratulate themselves that they were near their destination.  At the request of Frank Jardine, Mr. Richardson plotted up the route, as far as this camp, and gave him his position on the chart, with a note “that camp 82 was on the Escape River, eight miles in a direct line from where it joins the sea, and sixteen miles from Somerset.”  In this, as in the case of the position of the Lynd, he was mistaken, the reason for which, he states to be that his sextant was out of order.  This was much to be regretted, as failing the correctness of the surveyor’s observations, Mr. Jardine might just as well trust to his own dead reckoning.  It might be supposed that Mr. Richardson having had an opportunity of checking his position by the bearing to Cape Grenville, when he sighted the sea on the 20th inst, at camp 74, should have been able more accurately to have determined his present position, but he excuses himself on the score of the difficulty of estimating the daily distance whilst walking.* This is a very admissable explanation, considering the tedium and slowness of their progress in winding through scrubs, and being delayed by crossings, the tortuousness of their route making it difficult to keep the course.  It was the more unfortunate, therefore, that the sextant, which was naturally depended upon for keeping them informed of their progress, should have been allowed to become so deranged, as to be less reliable than the result of mere dead reckoning.

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Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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