Friday, January 6th, The Neale.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Third Expedition
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Friday, January 6th, The Neale. As my rations are now drawing to a close (for we started with provisions only for three months, and have been out now for three months and more), I must sound a retreat to get another supply at Chambers Creek. It was my intention to have sent two men down for them, but I am sorry to say that I have lost confidence in all except Kekwick. I cannot trust them to be sent far, nor dare I leave them with our equipment and horses while Kekwick and I go for the provisions. Situated as I am with them, I must take all the horses down; and if I can get men to replace them at Chambers Creek, I will send them about their business. They have been a constant source of annoyance to me from the very beginning of my journey. The man that I had out with me on my last journey has been the worst of the two. They seem to have made up their minds to do as little as possible, and that in the most slovenly and lazy manner imaginable. They appear to take no interest in the success of the expedition. I have talked to them until I am completely wearied out; indeed, I am surprised that I have endured it so long. Many a one would have discharged them, and sent them back walking to Adelaide; in fact, I had almost made up my mind to do so from here, and to run the chance of getting others at Mr. Barker's. Although they have behaved so badly, and so richly deserve to be punished (for they have taken advantage of me when I could get no others to supply their places), I could not find in my heart to do it. Kekwick is everything I could wish a man to be. He is active, pushing, and persevering. At any time, and at any moment, he is always ready, and takes a pleasure in doing all that lies in his power to forward the expedition. Would that the two others were like him! I should then have no trouble at all. Started at 7 a.m. on my return on a south-east course, and camped at a small spring on the east side of Mount Younghusband. Distance, twenty miles.