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.

‘March’ 10.—­This morning the “Cowal,” or watercourse, which had detained the Brothers on their first trip, had to be swum over, and here poor Ginger, one of the horses, got hopelessly bogged, and though got out and put on his legs with saplings, was too exhausted to go on,and had to be abandoned.  The distance accomplished was 11 miles.

‘March’ 11.—­The line marked by Mr. Jardine was followed to-day.  A scrub occurred on a creek called Wommerah Creek, through which it took two hours to drive the cattle.  Only 10 miles were made, and the camp was pitched at about 4 miles from the mouth of the creek where the corroboree was held.  Three horses were knocked up during the day, which prevented their gotting as far as intended.

‘March’ 12.—­On counting the cattle it was found that 30 head had been dropped in coming through the scrub at Wommerah Creek.  Two of the black-boys were sent after them, and the Brothers went out to find a crossing-place over Ranura Creek, (their last camp in Somerset.) Here they met the same tribe, (known as Wognie’s,) and bartered “bacca” and “bissika,” against “moro wappi,” or fish, with which the camp was plentifully supplied in the evening.  The cattle were recovered all but five.  The country is described as being composed of ridges of white and red sand, intersected by swamps of tea-tree, pandanus, and banksia, the crest of the ridges being generally surmounted by a patch of scrub.  The timber, bloodwood, mahogany, stringy-bark, and nonda.

‘March’ 13.—­A late start was made to-day, for some of the horses were away.  The camp was formed on the banks of the lake before-mentioned, 8 miles from Somerset, Chappagynyah, which is described as teeming with crocodiles. tThe next day the party reached their final resting place, probably not without some exhiliration in feeling that their journey was over.  They were met at Baronto, by Mr. Jardine, who had ridden out from Somerset for the purpose.  The camp was established at Vallack Point, where the wearied horses and cattle at length found rest, whilst their drivers were able to indulge in the unwonted luxuries of regular feeding and uninterrupted sleep:  luxuries which few but those who have experienced hunger and broken rest can fully appreciate.  They had been on the road for 5 months, travelled over 1600 miles, the last 250 of which were, as we have seen, performed on foot, and by most of the party barefooted, whilst for the last four weeks their food had consisted chiefly of jerked veal, fish without salt, and the wild fruits and herbs they might find in the bush.  In addition to the distance travelled over by the whole party, and over which the cattle were driven, the Brothers traversed more than 1200 miles in their exploratory trips ahead, looking for the lost horses, etc.  Alexander Jardine’s journey down the Einasleih alone amounted to little less than 300.  It may be imagined, therefore, that the return to the habits and fare of civilized life must have been an agreeable change.

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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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