SEARCH FOR THE SURVIVORS OF THE
WRECK OF THE THOMAS KING.
THE Boats despatched to the Bay, on the 19th instant, in search of further intelligence- of tho crew of tho Thomas King, returned to Brisbane on Sunday night, and the following particulars of the expedition have been gathered from the party, which consisted of Messrs. Robinson, Weaver, Richards, Walmsley, and Frazer, besides some blacks. Before leaving Brisbane they had been
informed by Captain Spreul, of the Fatima, that any assistance they required might be procured from his ship, and Mr. Harris, the agent, fur- nished them with a note, containing a request to that effect. As they met, on the passage down the river, the Captain coming up in his boat, they presented the note, which was returned to them
with the assurance that the chief mate...
... do so, saying that he had instructions to give
away no provisions without the order of the Captain; that they were going on a "wild
goose chase," and that, as regarded their state- ment about having spoken to the captain, there was no believing anybody in this quarter, as they were all "old lags." Owing to this inhospitable conduct tbey were disappointed of obtaining a bag of biscuit, and some cutlasses, the former of
which would have enabled them to continue longer out. They next boarded the Harp, and were very
kindly received by Captain Sommerville, who offered them all the assistance in his power, but,
having had a very long voyage from Sydney, he had no spare provisions. From him they obtained a quantity of ball cartridge.
On the 'arrival of the party at Callowanda, at the north end of Bribies' passage, three of them, accompanied by six natives, walked along the coast to the northward about thirty miles, when they fell in with a tribe of blacks, who informed
them that three of the sailors were still alive. From the information gathered from the blacks it would appear that they had met the three white men in the bush, about ten days after the murder,
and, as they were stripped, one of the natives had given them a coat which he had on. It was said that the Frazer's Island blacks had brutally murdered the doctor and the other man (Dalis) and that the three survivors had plunged into an adjoining river, and swimming across, had escaped.
Inquiry having been made amongst the blacks for the articles taken from the shipwrecked men, and flour, rice, and tobacco having been distri- buted amongst them, the following articles were delivered up to the party: - 1 gold watch and seal, 1 silver gilt ditto, and key, 1 miniature
(believed to be that of Dr. Hyslop) in gold setting, a pocket book containing a bill of exchange on the Bank of Australasia, London, for £252 19s. 5d., a number of letters belonging to
Dr. Hyslop, twelve American gold coins, three sovereigns and a half, 1 gold Dutch coin, a book, six shillings in silver, a brass ring belonging to the chronometer, and a boat-hook. All these articles, with the exception of the boat-hook, were safely
delivered bv the party into the hands of Mr. Eldridge of Brisbane, who will account for them to the owners. They were informed that the
chronometer was destroyed, and that one or two rings were still in possession of the blacks, one of which (a diamond one) an old woman had on her finger, and would not give up. The party now
searched about for tracks of the missing men. On the south bank of the Mooroochydore, about 55 miles from the mouth of the Brisbane, they found the handle of a scythe fastened in the ground,
with the two hand pieces pointing inland, and nearer to the sea a slab was stuck up, as if to draw attention to the other mark. Near the first named spot were foot tracks, and some marks of a bird having been eaten there; and the foot prints were tracked by the blacks about seven
miles inland, to the edge of a scrub, where it t seemed that the men lind been eating some wild raspberries. It seemed from the tracks that they had occasionally passed back towards the beach, and then again made their way inland.
At first they were informed by the blacks that the bodies of the two murdered men had been washed away by the sea, but it seems that this was not likely, and one of the women subsequently
stated that the blacks had thrown the bodies into the sea. It is still equally probable that they were carried inland.
The party of blacks from whom the stolen
articles were obtained consisted of about 200, and many Frazer's Island natives were recognised amongst them.
It seemed likely, from the information obtained,
that the murders were perpetrated about fifteen miles south of Wide Bay. The blacks reported that the ship's boat was lying in a creek on the
south side of the Wide Bay bar. The sails had been cut up by the natives.
As provisions were falling short, and there was
a probability that the survivors might have been brought into Brisbane, the party resolved to return. They first, however, wrote a number of notes, with which they sent off the friendly blacks in different directions, so that if they should fall in with the seamen the latter might not fear to trust themselves to the guidance of the natives. The blacks promised if they found them to keep them in safety on Bribie's Island, until the return of the party.
On their way back to Brisbane, the party called on board the brig William Gladstone, and were very hospitably received by the mate, who regretted that they had not called on their out- ward journey, as they could have had what pro- visions they wanted.
The native blacks reported that a large ship was lying ashore somewhere to the northward of Wide Bay. Mr. Robinson's party found, washed ashore, some wax candles, part of them being whole, and a portion of the cabin windows of a vessel, some of the glass being entire.
The Police Magistrate of Brisbane having furnished Mr. Robinson's party with ample sup- plies for the resumption of their search, the same persons, in two boats, have again left Brisbane for the bay, and it is hoped that success may crown the laudable efforts of the party. The property, recovered will, we understand, be taken to Sydney by Captain Wickham, wlio has promised to bring the praiseworthy conduct of the party under the notice of the Government, with a view to obtaining a reward, which has been justly merited by the skill and intrepidity already dis- played in the search.