Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/288

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256
Swan River.

station existed nearer to Cape Leuwen. In May I proceeded there, and formed a small settlement in a beautiful and fertile situation, three miles to the eastward of the Cape in Flinders' "Dangerous Bight," where now, however, there is no danger. About one hundred persons make it a very contented and prosperous little place, where ships may obtain excellent water, wood and vegetables, at a few minutes notice.

'In August, the third in order of the attempts to get beyond the hills was found to be successful. A young gentlemen of the 63d regiment, accompanied by Mr. Beachman, an excellent practical farmer, penetrated to the farther side of the mountains, and found that the almost continuous range from north to south, which they form, is about thirty-six miles broad. Beyond this range, to the east, there is an undulating variety of generally fair land. The vallies, or plains, between the hills with which it is studded, are always good, and covered with grass, and the soil, though variable, presents a proportion of good land to the extent of one-third of the first quality. The travellers were prevented from going farther to the east than a few miles into this country, by a river flowing to the north, which at the time was rolling down an impetuous flood, caused by the rains of the season. After proceeding twenty miles up to the south on its banks, they returned to Perth with the agreeable news.

'In October, taking Mr. Dale, the discoverer of the above-mentioned country, with me, and several practical farmers, I proceeded across the mountains; and, having examined the country for a few days, I selected a site for a future country-town, and returned to my other tasks. I took the opportunity of sending Mr. Dale and a few others to the eastward. They penetrated to the distance of an hundred miles from the coast, directly east from Perth, and returned with a most favourable account of the country they had passed over.

'In December I again proceeded to the south coast. Our discoveries were impeded by circumstances; and, after paying a visit to the Cape Leuwen settlement, we returned by the way of King George's Sound to Perth. About the time I sailed, an expedition, which I had long been preparing, set off coastward from this to King George's Sound, under the direction of Captain Bannister. He and his party crossed the hills at the head of the Canning, after having travelled about thirty-five miles among them. He then passed for ten miles further through a country of equal proportions of good and bad land. To these forty miles succeeded the most beautiful country he had ever seen, and represented by him to be available either for pasturage or tillage. This noble district he traversed for eighty-eight or ninety miles in a S. by E. direction: at the end of which distance he came into a hilly