Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/549

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and talked about our respective work. He appeared to me to have been happier than we had been with respect to the discoveries he had made. He told me about a large island, about a dozen or fifteen leagues away, which had been visited by him. According to his account, he stayed there six weeks to prepare a chart of it;[1] and with the aid of a corvette[2] had explored two deep gulfs, the direction of which he sketched for me, as well as of his Kangaroo Island, which he had so named in consequence of the great quantity of those quadrupeds found there. The island, though not far from the continent, did not appear to him to be inhabited.

"An accident like that which had unfortunately happened to us on the coast of Van Diemen's Land had overtaken Mr. Flinders.[3] He had lost a boat and eight men. His ship was also short of stores, and he was not without uneasiness as to what would happen.

"Before we separated the Captain asked me if I had any knowledge of an island which was said to exist to the north of the Bass Strait islands. I replied that I had not, inasmuch as, having followed the coast fairly closely after leaving the Promontory as far as Westernport, I had not met with any land placed in the position

  1. A mistake; Flinders was at Kangaroo Island only six days.
  2. Péron also had the erroneous impression that the Investigator had been accompanied by a corvette, which foundered in Spencer's Gulf, and so wrote in his Voyage de Decouvertes. Baudin must have confused what Flinders told him about the drowning of Thistle and the boat's crew, with an idea of his own that this boat was a consort of the Investigator as Le Naturaliste was of Le Géographe.
  3. Baudin was referring to a boat party of his own, consisting of Boullanger, one of his hydrographers, a lieutenant and eight sailors. They had gone out in a boat to chart a portion of the coast which Le Géographe could not reach. They did not return, and Baudin supposed them to have been lost. But they were in fact picked up by the sealing brig Snow-Harrington from Sydney, which afterwards sighted Le Naturaliste, and handed the men over to her.