Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/550

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which he indicated.[1] He appeared to be well pleased with my response, doubtless in the hope of being the first to discover it. Perhaps Le Naturaliste, in searching for us in the Strait, will have discovered it.[2] At the moment of his departure, Mr. Flinders presented me with several new charts, published by Arrowsmith, and a printed memoir by himself, dealing with discoveries in the strait, the north coast of Van Diemen's Land, the east coast, etc., etc. He also invited me to sail, like himself, for Port Jackson, the resources of which he perhaps exalted too highly, if I had to remain long in these seas. At eight o'clock we[3] separated. He sailed south and we went to the west."

  1. What Flinders asked Baudin was whether he had any "knowledge concerning a large island said to lie in the western entrance of Bass Strait. But he had not seen it and seemed to doubt much of its existence." The reference was to King Island. Baudin marked on his chart, in consequence of this enquiry, an island "believed to exist," guessing at its situation and placing it wrongly; though he subsequently stayed at King Island himself.
  2. This sentence is interesting, as showing that Baudin wrote this part of his letter to the Minister at the time, not at Port Jackson weeks later. If the sentence had been written later, he would not have said that Le Naturaliste would perhaps sight the island. He by then knew that she did not.
  3. Flinders: "I returned with Mr. Brown on board the Investigator at half-past-eight in the morning, and we then separated from Le Géographe; Captain Baudin's course being directed to the north-west and ours to the southward."