Saturday, July 5th.—The Eagle schooner has arrived from Sydney bringing some flour and some stock, but no meat, which is very scarce now in the colony. The captain of the ship (Pratt) has been often here before trading between this and Sydney, and he has now brought his wife and family to settle here. I think this fact speaks for itself. He gives a gloomy account of the Sydney colony.
We have been trying to rig out a fishing net as a trammel net, in hopes of catching some fish, but there is so much delay in getting up some corks and leads which are still in Fremantle that I fear the winter floods may prevent us. You possibly do not understand what a "trammel net,"—or "wall-net" as others call it—is. I will describe it: a small meshed net, as long as you please but about 6 feet deep, is suspended perpendicularly in the water by ropes and corks; on either side of this net another net of the same length and depth is attached to the same ropes, but the mesh of these two outer nets is about six inches square, so that a fish coming up or down the river passes through the wide mesh of the nearest net without obstruction, strikes against the middle small-meshed net, and, pushing on a part of the middle net through the wide meshed net on the further side, it then gets itself entangled or detained in a purse or pocket which prevents its return or escape * * * Just fancy! Mr. B—, who lately got out some Irish beef to sell, asks now the moderate sum of twelve guineas a tierce for it. My men are all grumbling because I have ceased to give meat to them at breakfast whilst it is so scarce. Mr. Robert Brockman and Mr. N. Shaw have been here for tea this evening. * * * I noticed that one of my lambs had its stomach full of dry earth. I have often observed them eating clay; perhaps it is for the salt which it contains.
I left this on Monday after an early dinner, and rode to Guildford, where I did not arrive till sunset. Had a cool but dark walk thence to Perth, as I sent the mare back