July 6.—BEING anxious to pursue my explorations, and unwilling to lose another day solely for the purpose of receiving my letters, I sent down my overseer to arrange about getting our stores up from the vessel, which was about fourteen miles away, and to request the master to await my return from the north, and in the interval employ himself in surveying and sounding some salt water inlets, we had seen on the eastern shores of the gulf in our route up under Flinders range.
Having made all necessary arrangements and wished Mr. Scott good bye, I set off on horseback with the eldest of my native boys, taking a pack horse to carry our provisions, and some oats for the horses. After rounding a projecting corner of the range we passed Mount Arden, still traversing open plains of great extent, and very stony. In some of these plains we found large puddles of water much discoloured by the soil, so that it was evident there had been heavy rains in this direction, though we had none to the southward.
After travelling twenty–four miles we came to a large watercourse winding from Flinders range through the plains, with its direction distinctly marked out by the numerous gum–trees upon its banks. This was the “salt watercourse” of my former journeys so called from the large reaches of salt water in its bed a mile or two among the hills. By digging in the gravelly bed of the channel, where the natives had scooped a small hole, we got some tolerable water, and were enabled to give as much as they required to our horses, but it was a slow and tedious operation. We could get very little out at once, and had to give it to them to drink in the black boy’s duck frock, which answered the purpose of a bucket amazingly well.
There was not a blade of grass, or anything that the horses could eat near this creek, so I was obliged to tie them up for the night, after giving to each a feed of oats.