Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/36

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State of the Swan River Colony Oct., 1830.

of fifty miles due east from Perth. Having reached the eastern base of this range, they found the waters taking an easterly direction, and discharging themselves into a river of considerable magnitude, running north-west, about sixty yards in width, very deep, and having a strong current. This river, in all probability, will be found to discharge itself into some inlet on the coast; perhaps in some part of the unexamined coast of Shark' Bay,—though Captain King is inclined to think its mouth will rather be found somewhere about 'Moresby's Flat-topped Range,' where, in passing, he observed clefts in the hills, and a finely-wooded country down to the sandy beach, The hills of the Darling range were generally covered with a red loamy soil, producing good grass and wild vetches. The trees were chiefly of mahogany, of a very vigorous growth, the blue and red gum, and a few Banksias. Where the waters first began to take an easterly course, the trees were chiefly of blue gum, casuarina, and black wattle, and a tree which is stated to be similar in its growth to an apple, bearing a fruit resembling in form, but exceeding in size, an unripe hawthorn berry. The wood of this tree had a remarkably sweet scent, and the bark a delicate pink colour. Mr. Dale says, ' a specimen which we
' brought home with us has been pronounced by some professed
' judges to be a species of sandal-wood.'

They met with no natives except three men on their. return, who were very civil, and desirous of making themselves useful; but they observed many traces of them: and in ascending the great fiver, about twenty-four miles, to a spot where the hills assumed a rugged and romantic character, they discovered, under a great mass of granite, a large cavern, the interior of which was arched, and had all the appearance of an ancient ruin. ' On one side,' says Mr. Dale, 'was rudely carved what was evidently intended
' to represent an image of the sun; it being a circular figure about
' eighteen inches in diameter, emitting rays from its left side, and
' having within the circle lines meeting each other nearly at right
' angles. Close to this representation of the sun were the im-
' pressions of an arm and several hands.' It is stated, that from these heights the view to the eastward, for twenty to thirty miles, exhibited an undulating surface and a well-wooded country.