Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/90

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72

Dampier, and subsequently King, observed the great fluctuations of tides on this coast (I forget at what time of the year); if it was in our winter months, their observations would tend to corroborate the opinion, that a large river debouches there. But this is a long and dull digression to you.

Deeming it expedient to give the horses another day's rest, we went without them, on a little excursion of six or seven miles, to look at Mr. Dale's grant, and on our way passed a hut, in which five of the natives concealed themselves; saw some turkeys; bathed in the Avon, in which we observed something stirring, which we conjectured to be a platypus, but naturalists have not yet ascertained that it exists here.

Returned by the river on the plain, and noticed a kind of thorn—a species, I think, of the Mespilus; and a shrubby tree, bearing fruit like the sloe. Dined on kangaroo stew. My young pet, poor "Hop," looks sickly, and will probably die.

19th.—We have changed our station, to the place where it was intended that the nucleus of the settlement should be formed. I found many burrows, like badger earths; and shot two ducks, and as many cockatoos.

20th.—Poor little kangaroo has died; it was a pretty affectionate creature, hopped after me wherever I went, knew my voice, and slept in my bosom. I was sorry for it, and buried it. Set out on our expedition southward, the party consisting of Mr. Dale, Mr. Thompson, myself, and Sheridan, mounted on horses in rather an odd way. Those which Sheridan and I had were without saddles, which had been left behind; we had for substitutes our cloaks doubled under us, with rope stirrups, and in this way we rode 300 miles! Mr. Dale's horse was the only one properly equipped. Mr. Thompson rode his own horse, which had a pad on him: and each of us carried his proportion of provisions as well as his clothes, in saddle bags or other contrivances, with his gun slung across his shoulder. We passed over a beautiful coun-