It appears unlikely also that any practicable route for stock will be discovered between the coast which Mr. Jardine skirted, and the heads of the rivers Staaten, Lynd, Mitchell, and Batavia. The interval between Kennedy’s track and that of the Brothers has yet to be explored, when the best line will probably be found nearer to the former than the latter, for the country between the Staaten and Mitchell near their sources has been proven to be a barren and waterless waste, the good country only commencing beyond the Mitchell, and forming the valley of the Archer, but terminating about the Coen.
The fate of the unfortunate mule, whose loss was amongst the most severely felt of the journey, has come to light in rather an interesting manner. In a late letter from Cape York, Mr. Frank Jardine mentions that some natives had visited the Settlement at Somerset, amongst whom were seen some of the articles carried in the mule’s pack bags. On questioning them he found that they were familiar with all the incidents of the journey, many of which they described minutely. The mule had been found dead, having shared the fate of Lucifer and Deceiver, and perished from thirst, and his packs of course ransacked. They had watched the formation of the Cache, when the party abandoned the heaviest articles of the equipment, and in like manner ransacked it. These blacks must have travelled nearly 500 miles, for the Staaten is nearly 450 miles in a straight line from Somerset, and were probably amongst those who dogged the steps of the party so perseveringly to within 100 miles of Cape York, frequently attacking it as described. From their accounts it appears that the expedition owed much of its safety to their horses, of which the blacks stood in great dread. They described minutely the disasters of the poison camp on the Batavia, particularising the fact of Frank Jardine having shot one of the poisoned horses, his favourite, with his revolver, their start on foot, and other things. From this is would appear that they closely watched and hung on to the steps of the party, though only occasionally daring to attack them; and proves that but for the unceasing and untiring vigilence of the Brothers, and their prompt action when attacked, the party would in all probability have been destroyed piece meal. The utter faithlessness, treachery,