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2 corrections, most recently by Spearth - Show corrections


We have been furnished by Mr. Auld with the following extracts from letters received by him from his son, Mr. W. P. Auld, of the Northern Territory Expedition:—

I have enjoyed good health with the exception of a slight attack of dysentery, but nothing to speak of. It only continued a day or two, but the Colonel told me I was to go to my tent and not to work till I was perfectly well He   'said he could not afford to lose me, so I must take care of   myself. The Colonel ia a very different man from what I   understood him to be. I thought he was a cold, proud man   but be is quite different to that. He often calls me into his tent and chats away like fun. Mr. King is quite well, and is looking much better than he did. The Beatrice arrived on Saturday, bringing buffalo, fowls, pigs goats, yams, potatoes, rice, &c. In the mornings it sounds quite like a farm-yard. The Colonel has given orders that each man is to have some fowls. We have just been out catching them. They are very small; tbe eggs are little larger than pigeon eggs. The crew of the Beatrice   described Timor as a very poor place, and that they could not get tbe few things tbey wanted. There are a lew Dutchmen on the island, and one Scotchman, proving   the saying true that.go wherever may, you will be sure to see   a Scotchman! The things they have bought are very dear; at least tbe crew bave charged us heavy for tbem. I bought a keg of tamarinds for 15s.; they make a deli-   cious drink, which is a great treat here. We had some buffalo on Sunday; it is very good eating. Tbe yams are as good as potatoes; the cocoanuts are first rate too, so that now we have plenty to eat, but we were quite ont of meat, with the excep tion of eight sheep, which have been kept for medical com- forts.       " I hope everything at ---- is going on well. I often long for a drink of milk, or a taste of Auldana Donzelinho or Verdilho. The hills will be looking beautiful, and I suppose all hands are engaged in clearing the weeds. I expect you will see me walking up the ---- hill in or about tbe month of June next."     "Escape Cliffs, October 7,1864.   "The Beatrice arrived from Timor on Saturday, bringing buffalo, yams, rice, cocoanuta, goats, pigs, &c. Commander Hutchison being unwell he intends starting for Adelaide,   which affords me another opportunity of writing to you.   No surveying can be done here until a stronger party comes. The Colonel has been very unfortunate in his officers, all of them (with the exception of Mr. King) do all in their power   to ridicule his orders, and tbe way tbey talk at the   mess table is disgraceful. Mr. King told me it was worse than at any sheepshearming shed. They bave a great down on me because the Colonel gave me tbe charge of the exploring parties. The Governor has suspended some of them. I believe if the Colonel had no officers he would get on a great deal better, for tbey are only a hindrance to him. On Saturday we start for Port Paterson In tbe Julia. We have been again troubled with tbe natives. On tbe 7th of September Young King came into the Camp with a piece of jagged spear sticking through bis back, and soon after another horse was brougbt in with a spear sticking in his shoulder; he had also two spear wounds in his near fore leg. The Colonel then gave orders tbat seven horsemen were to be in readiness to start next morning and try to find tbe natives' camp, and recover the goods they had stolen from us, and to treat them as felons. I went over to Chambers' Bay with two men, acting aa scouts. Fifty niggers tried to surround us. I shot at one, and sent one of the men to tell the footmen to come to our assistance. Tbey were showing real fighting. Directly tbe footmen made their appearance the blacks disappeared like magic into the sbrub. We recovered a quantity of the stores and goods. Tbe Doctor, I believe, has brought a charge against me for shooting the black. He sent it to tbe Governor, bnt he would not receive it; so I hear be intends sending it to Adelaide. It is only done out of ill-feeling to the Colonel. He is a capital fellow. He often calls me into his tent, and sometimes we have a glass of colonial wine. I believe this country will go a-head if the Government of South Australia will only send suitable men. We bave a good many hands here, all not worth their salt. Escape Cliffs are situated about eight miles to the south-west of Cape Hotham, commanding good views of the bay. There is a creek close to, with plenty of beautiful fish. The beach sandy, and affords good bathing ground; but you most beware of the alligators. I was riding down to the wells the other day, taking with me four kangaroo dogs. I waa about a hundred yards from the beach when I heard a dog yelping. I rode to the spot just in time to see a large alligator going off; he had swallowed the poor dog. The doctor also lost his dog by an alligator. He swam up to it, the fellow opened his mouth, and the dog went down without any cry whatever.       "The party is so small that it takes them all to manage   the camp., especially as there are so many useless ones among them. I am sorry to eay there is a good deal of gambling going on, especially among tbe officers. Sometimes tbey stay up all night. ---- is one of the leading ones. I expect to see eome beautiful country at Port Paterson, for when we were out exploring we saw a high range running that way. I am sorry to have to record the death ef Mr. B. Boucaut, a strong healthy young fellow. He died of remittent fever. The poor fellow was delirious the whole of tbe time. He is missed very much, as he was a good-hearted lad. I hope I shall soon be In yonr     presence once more, &c" From another letter we extract the following:— "There is some fine country here, and plenty of water. The grass seems to be always green and growing, especially near tbe river. I suppose that the heavy dew that falls every night acts instead of rain. There is some useless land here as well as there is tn other places, but as a whole it is the finest countrs for sheep and cattle I ever saw.       There are numerous alligators here, and very large, from 15 to 20 feet long. Tbey seem very fond of dogs, as we have lost several of our best dogs by tbem. They lie on the surface of the water just like logs of black wood, and the dogs seem to swim right into tbeir mouths without knowing anything about it; for, when close to tbem, they suddenly disappear down their throats all at once. The heat here seems to be very regular; it is almost always 90" in the shade at the middie'of the day. The lowest heat, at 2 o'clock, has been 82° in tbe shade, and the highest 95°, and it is seldom 100° in the sun, but nearly always stand   ing at that in tbe daytime. The lowest heat at night has been 37° end toe highest 78° at sunrise, that   being always the coldest tone, or a few minutes before it rises, Tbe natives are not very numerous here,but tbey are great thieves and very cunning and artful. There have been two shot by our party here; one, I think was justifiable, and tbe other a cold-blooded murder. I don't believe there are 200 natives within 50 miles of this place, and I should not be afraid with eight or ten men to go any where about. I do not think they will ever trouble us any more, unless thay should happen to catch a solitary man by himself; and then, if he was armed, and should manage to kill one, I think tbey would all cut and run."