Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/95

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77

called Mount Shole, from the likeness which it is supposed to bear to the bald head of a gentleman of that name. The plains are of stiff clay of different colours, with some varieties of sandy loam. Here the river dividing into two branches, we had to choose one which runs westerly: we followed until we arrived at a wet valley, not unlike that near the "Echo,"[1] and as full of springs.

Turned homewards by a tract more distant from the river, in hopes of discovering better land; but it proved to be miserably bad—of white sand, bearing the mahogany tree—which satisfied us that we had again arrived at the Darling Range: soon afterwards, however, we passed through a valley of better quality behind Mount Shole, where we bivouacked, having first shot two cockatoos for supper. This day we saw several huts.

Oct. 1st.—Proceeded farther in a N.N.E. course, through very bad land, mere sand; and at noon reached a rich valley, but not well watered. We here saw many kangaroos, and one native, skulking behind a tree; and heard the screaming of native women and boys. As we approached the settlement, several of these people scampered off, uttering a word which sounded like "hunnyan;" and we ascertained, subsequently, that a great number of them had been at the settlement the day before, with green boughs (we hope emblematic of peace) in their hands.

3rd.—At eight o'clock, a.m., we proceeded on an excursion from Mount Bakewell, N.N.W. Very fine land on Mr. Thompson's grant. Beyond Mount Mackie, fell in with some natives, who called to us frequently "coo—oo" and as soon as we had acknowledged the invitation, two of them (one of whom Dobair recognised to have seen several times before) threw down their spears, and approached us with a friendly manner, as if glad to see us; we shook hands,


  1. In the county of Wicklow, Ireland.