The course now taken was through Bagot range to the Stevenson, where they arrived on February 1st.
The next day they proceeded northward, and at eight miles came upon a large water hole, which was named Lindsay Creek, after J. Lindsay, Esquire, M.L.A. This water hole was one hundred and fifty yards long, thirty wide, and from eight to fifteen feet deep in the deepest parts.
The native cucumber was growing upon its banks, and the feed was abundant.
Here they met with immense numbers of brown pigeons, of the same description as those found by Captain Sturt in 1845. There were thousands of them; in fact, they flew by in such dense masses that, on two occasions, Woodforde killed thirteen with a single shot. The travellers pronounced them first-rate eating.
Many natives, tall, powerful fellows, were seen, but they did not speak with them.
After trying for water in the neighbourhood of Mount Daniel, they were compelled to return to Lindsay Creek, which they did not quit until February 9th, when they camped on another creek, which was named the Coglin, after P.B. Coglin, Esquire, M.L.A.
From this place Mr. Stuart started, accompanied by Thring and Woodforde, to examine the condition of the Finke, and found its bed broad, and filled with white drift sand, but without water.
A hole ten feet deep was sunk in the sand, but just as the increasing moisture gave them hope of finding water, the sides gave way, and Thring had a narrow escape of being buried alive.
After sinking several other holes, but without success, they turned to another creek, coming more from the westward, and in a short time discovered six native wells near to what was evidently a large camping-place of the natives.
The ground for one hundred yards round was covered with worleys, and at one spot they seemed to have had a grand corroberrie, the earth being trodden quite hard, as if a large number had been dancing upon it in a circle.
They had left one of their spears behind, a formidable weapon about ten feet long, with a flat round point, the other end being made for throwing with the womera.
On the 13th Mr. Stuart and his two companions returned to the camp on the Coglin, after discovering a place about four miles from the six native wells, where sufficient water could be obtained by digging.
On the 14th three of the men were sent in advance to dig a hole at this place, and the following day the whole party moved forward to join them.
Here the natives annoyed them much by setting fire to the grass in every direction.