Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/369

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351

night; so, no wonder I nodded. This day I took a ride into the hills, about seven or eight miles from this, to look at a part of the river, but I was disappointed in the land. There is to be a ball on Monday night given by the naval and military men here—"a United Service ball." I shall have to go down to it, for one has no option in these matters, for fear of giving offence.

June, 7th.—The United Service ball was a splendid one. The rooms were decorated with the ship's flags, which had a fine appearance. The company did not come away till near six o'clock in the morning. I have seen the sketch of the bay and river made by the Beagle. They were about 100 miles from the coast, inland, taking into account the depth of the bay, but about 25 miles up the river. It is melancholy to think that Messrs. Grey and Lushington should have succeeded so badly. They have had their sufferings and dangers, and difficulties, but if they had not been so very impatient, and had started inland from the spot where the Beagle's nautical survey terminated, they might have had a different tale to tell. There are still 300 miles of coast unexplored in that quarter, i.e., from lat. 22° to 17°. It is in between 16° and 17° (I believe) that Roebuck Bay and the Fitzroy river are found. The Beagle sails next week to survey Bass Straits, and returns here about eight or nine months hence, to try the N.W. coast again. I have been declared entitled to have my land, 6000 acres, on Ellen's Brook, in a succession of square miles up the Brook, which I consider a favourable arrangement for me. The grant will contain about 9½ square miles. I am bound to describe the boundaries to be fixed for me, so I must employ my spare time about this immediately. I got a thorough drenching coming home to-night, and the water in the river was level with the horse's back when I crossed. We have had heavy falls of rain.

June 9th.—Irwin came home yesterday, and remained here for the night. He is desirous to get the house at Henley