‘January’ 31.—Crossing the creek immediately after leaving the camp, the party still continued to follow the windings of the river through similar country to that of yesterday, save that the ground was more boggy, the swamps, ana-branches, and small lagoons more numerous. On the latter some Coromandel geese were seen, of a species different from those found near Rockhampton. The heavy rain which had continued all last night had caused the river to rise several inches. At about ten miles the progress of the party was stopped by a large stream coming in from the South-east, about the same size as the McHenry. A tree was marked AJ at the junction which was very scrubby, and the new stream received the name of the Eliot. It was running strongly, and had to be traced up for two miles, before the party could cross in safety. This they fortunately accomplished without accident, although the water was up to their necks, as they waded across with their saddles and packs on their heads, giving them all they could do to stem the rapid current. They then proceeded on their way for 7 miles further, the last two of which were through thick brush, and camped on the bank of the main stream, now much augmented in size after receiving the waters of the Eliot. There was but little grass for the poor horses, but no choice, the country back from the river being all scrubs and swamps, covered with tea-tree, but barren of grass. The total distance travelled was 17 miles. The course generally West by South, clearly proving that they could not be on the Escape.
‘February’ 1.—The river was again followed for about seven miles further, but as the course still continued to trend West, and even south of West, the Brothers in disgust determined on re-tracing their steps, satisfied, if satisfaction can be predicated of such a disappointment, that they were on western waters, and that they had not yet reached the looked-for Escape River. At this point, therefore, they turned, intending to swim the river at the main camp, and make another exploration to find the Settlement from the North side, or right bank. By night-fall they reached their first night’s camp, where they found the “gunyah” very acceptable. They had now followed the supposed Escape 45 miles; deducting a third for its sinuosities, a distance of at least 30 miles in a straight line Westward had been travelled, and they were filled with surprise that so large and important a stream should have remained undiscovered. Its width at their turning-point was over two-hundred yards, the banks commencing to be very swampy, and it is described by Mr. A. Jardine, as the most compact river, with the exception of the Fitzroy, he had seen in the North. The rain continued as yesterday during the whole of the day, accompanied with cold winds. This, together with their disappointment, was sufficient to depress the spirits of most men. There is not, however, in the journals of either of the Brothers the slightest indication of despondency or complaint.