Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central Australia And Overland From Adelaide To King George's Sound In The Years 1840-1: Sent By The Colonists Of South Australia By Eyre, Edward John
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Once Took Possession Of An Elevation A Little Above Our Position, And
Formed Their Camp For The Night.
As we were so few in number compared to
the natives, we were obliged to keep a watch upon
Them during the whole
night, and they did the same upon us - but at a much less individual
inconvenience from their number; they appeared to take the duty in
turn - two always being upon guard at once.
December 1. - After giving the natives some water, and taking breakfast
ourselves, we moved on in the direction they wished us to go, followed by
the whole party; at two miles they brought us to the sea over a dreadful
heavy road, but upon then asking them where the water was, they now told
us to our horror, that there was "mukka gaip-pe," or, no water.
The truth was now evident, we had mutually misunderstood one
another; they seeing strangers suddenly appear, had taken it for granted
they came from the sea, and pointed there, whilst we, intent only upon
procuring water, had fancied they had told us we should find it where
they pointed; upon reaching the coast both were disappointed - they at not
seeing a ship, and we at not finding water.
It was now a difficult matter to decide what to do: our horses were
greatly jaded, owing to the hilly and sandy character of the country; our
water was reduced to a low ebb in the casks, for relying upon the natives
guiding us to more, we had used it improvidently; whilst the very least
distance we could be away from the water, at the sand-drifts, was
twenty-five miles; if we went back we lost all our previous labour, and
could not do so without leaving the dray behind, and if we went forward,
it was very problematical whether water could be procured within any
distance attainable by our tired horses.
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