Sunday, 13th May, Scrub and Gum Flat.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
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Sunday, 13th May, Scrub and Gum Flat. I do not like the appearance of the country. As I can see no hope of obtaining water on this course, I shall change to the east, in order to cut the large gum creek that I crossed on the 26th ultimo, and, if I find water in it, to follow it out to wherever it goes. At three miles cut a small gum creek: searched for water both up and down, but could find none, nor any appearance of it. Still keeping my east course, we then passed through a very thick mulga scrub, and at ten miles struck a low range of hills, composed of quartz, with a conical peak, which I ascended. The prospect from this is very extensive, but disheartening, apparently the same sort of scrubby country that I have endeavoured to break through to the north-west. The view to the north is dismal; there are a few isolated hills, seemingly the termination of John range, and of the same formation as this that I am now on. To east-south-east there appears to be a creek, to which I shall now go. At three miles I reached what I had supposed to be a creek, but it is a small narrow gum flat which receives the drainage from this low range. We found a hole where there had been water, but it was all gone. I have named the peak Mount Rennie, after Major Rennie of the Indian army. In this small flat we shot a new macaw, which I shall carry with me, and preserve the skin, if we get to water to-night. The front part of the neck and underneath the wings is of a beautiful crimson hue, the back is of a light lead colour, the tail square, the beak smaller than a cockatoo's, and the crest the same as a macaw's. After leaving this flat, we passed through some scrub, and came upon another of the same description. Here I narrowly escaped being killed. My attention being engaged looking for water, my horse took fright at a wallaby, and rushed into some scrub, which pulled me from the saddle, my foot and the staff that I carry for placing my compass on catching in the stirrup-iron. Finding that he was dragging me, he commenced kicking at a fearful rate; he struck me on the shoulder joint, knocked my hat off, and grazed my forehead. I soon got clear, but found the kick on my shoulder very painful. Mounted again, and at seven miles we came upon some more low hills with another prominent peak of a dark-red sandstone. This I have named Mount Peake, after E.J. Peake, Esquire, of Adelaide. I now find that the gum creek which I crossed between Central Mount Stuart and Mount Denison runs out and forms the gum plains we have just passed. No hope of water. I must now bear in for the centre to get it. Passed through a very thick, nasty mulga scrub for five miles, and camped again without water under some low stony hills. I feel the effects of my accident very much.