Monday, 1st September, North Newcastle Water.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
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Monday, 1st September, North Newcastle Water. Whilst saddling the horses this morning the natives again came up, and were anxious to know if they might be permitted to visit the camp after we were gone; that of course I had no objection to. They have been very quiet and peaceable during our stay; but I suppose they observed that both night and day we were always prepared to resist any aggression on their part. Started at seven o'clock, and proceeded by the base of the Ashburton range to my former camp on the East Newcastle Water. Distance, twenty-five miles; course nearly south-east. Arrived at four o'clock and found the water much reduced, but still in great abundance. Not a drop of rain has fallen since we left. There are, apparently, two tribes of natives on this water, one inhabiting the north and the other the south; for, on those of the north visiting us, we could not recognise any of those we saw on the southern water. One of the natives was a very amusing little fellow, rather less than five feet high, having a very peculiar and comical countenance and antics that would have eclipsed Liston in his best days, and as supple in the movements of his joints as any clown on the stage. He imitated every movement we made, and burlesqued them to a very high degree, causing great laughter to his companions and us. He seems to be the buffoon of the tribe. The other natives delighted in making sport of him, by ridiculing the shortness of his stature and laughing at him behind his back. Wind, south-east.