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7 corrections, most recently by JennyPoss - Show corrections

Sydney News.

LEICHHARDT'S EXPEDITION.

From the Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 30.)

The following letter from Dr. Leichhardt to a friend will be read with interest:-

Mr. Andrew's Station, Darling Downs,

28th November, 1846.

We shall pass about three stations more down the Condamine before we are fairly in the wilderness, and I should have waited in writing to you to the very last if rain had not set in, which has already kept us a week at this place, and will probably keep us until Monday, the 30th November. The plain of the Condamine is here 20 miles broad. The rain has rendered it extremely boggy, and my mules are so heavily laden (230 to 280 lbs. each) that I am afraid of straining them by such a distressing stage. We have succeeded in making them sufficiently quiet to be easily handled, and we catch them out of the stockyard by green-hide ropes, which we

attach to their necks and allow to trail be-

hind them - this is a dangerous practice, but we saw no other means of getting hold of the cunning rogues. The two little chesnuts, one of which kicked me at Stroud, I broke in by riding them all over New England, and I succeeded tolerably well, though the same little wretch which lamed my arm gave me a severe and dangerous spill before he fairly gave in. The mules are all in excellent condition, and generally admired. They showed their superiority even in coming along, as none of them were foot sore, though constantly travelling over the hard and rocky road of New England, whilst all my horses were foot sore, and some nearly knocked up, when arriving at Canning Downs. I was afraid that my goats would be a serious drawback to my progress, as the dry state of the country made me despair of finding water in those places where I found it on my former journey. Mr. Bunce, whom I had left in charge of the flock, surprised me, however, very agreeably, in arriving at Canning Downs only three days after me, travelling at the rate of eighteen miles a day, the animals even improving in condition. We lost twenty goats since leaving Winder- mere, and all the billy goats we got from Gloucester. I arranged with Mr. F. Hughes to take all my cattle from his run, to prevent them from separating into mobs, and to save me the trouble of collecting them from the various stations, particularly from Laidley Plains, on which Mr. Robinson, M.C., had given me a most liberal order. Mr. Mann found it extremely difficult to get a dray for my luggage, as all the carriers were at the Downs to bring down wool. Soon after our arrival, however, he succeeded, and joined us about a week afterwards at Mr. Hughes's Station, at which my whole party was col- lected. Friday, the 20th November, we started from Mr. Hughes's to go to Mr. Andrews's Station, which is about fifteen

miles farther on. I had sent Bunce and Wommai the day before with the goats and sheep, which several gentlemen had added to  

our stock. It was one o'clock before we had

done loading and arranging, and we were scarcely a mile and a half from the station when several of the mules upset their loads, and others lay down unable to get up again. The re-arrangement took us nearly an hour and a half, and the constant lying down, which seemed to protract our labours ad infinitum, was quite ridiculous. A heavy thunderstorm soaked us fairly, which I took as a most excellent omen, as I had never started on successful journeys without rain at the outset, and night overcame us before we arrived at the station. It was so pitch dark that we could not see our animals, but just hear the tinkling of the bells, and see the white blankets on the backs of a few of them. The consequence was, that two horses and four mules with their packs escaped our notice, and strayed into the bush ; the night was rainy, and it has continued to be so for the whole week. Next morning we tracked the mules, and found them in the scrub; three had thrown their loads by rolling, but one (Don Pedro) had his load (250 lbs.) on as snugly as when we set out; and notwith-

standing his having carried it for twenty-   three hours, he trotted with the greatest ease   into the stockyard. The cattle of Hughes's (two to three year old bullocks) were ex- tremely wild, and it was perhaps a most

fortunate circumstance that the rain com-

pelled us to stay to keep them in the stockyard, and to herd them every day. But the rain has supplied the country over which we have to travel with abundance of water

for the next four months, and I cannot help considering myself the favoured son of Pro- vidence, as on my first expedition. The   transport of my baggage from Sydney to Darling Downs amounted to £38, a sum which was rather unexpected. This and several other additional, expenses will make

the whole expenses of my expedition, about £600. I was assisted with stock by Mr. F. Macarthur, two mules ; Mr. Hosking, £10 to buy a horse or a mule ; Mr. Armstrong, a mule ; Mr. Thomas Rusden and Dr. Thom- son, a fine horse; Mr. M. Marsh, twelve wethers ; Mr. Bracker, one horse and twenty five wethers ; Mr. Leslie, four bullocks, Mr. Fairholm, two bullocks; Mr. C. Campbell, twelve wethers ; Mr. Hodgson, two bul- locks ; Mr. Andrews and Mr. Tertius Camp- bell, twenty-four wethers; Mr. Robinson, eighteen bullocks; government, ten bullocks. Much kindness and hospitality were shown to me and my party by all the people along the road. Mr. Mann has brought a fine sex- tant with him, which I shall take besides my own. The oxydation of the quicksilver de- pends entirely on the shaking trot of the mules. My trough has a filtering hole, and by this I obtain the quicksilver at once pure. The Rev. Mr. Clarke's boiling apparatus is very handy indeed, and I hope to make an interesting series of observations with it. Lowrie's station, 2,600 feet ; Rusden's sta- tion, 3,127 feet ; Macdonald's, near Ben Lo- mond, 4,386 : Marsh's station, at Maryland, 2,907 ; Bracker's station, Canning Downs, 1,184 (a most striking fall from New Eng- land to Darling Downs) ; Hodgson's station, 1,573 ; Andrew's station, 1,296.

Ben Lomond, the highest part of New England, near Macdonald, will be probably 5,000. The observations on the Downs agree tolerably well with Cunningham's) who took his, generally, nearer to the range. I have

booked carefully my observations, and shall,   on my return, again compare the boiling point at the sea coast. It is strange that the difference in both thermometers is not every- where the same, as observed at Tahlee, though the boiling point of it is always higher than that of B. The rain commenced with a heavy thunderstorm from the north-east, and a strong wind has continued, with rainy weather, from the same quarter; it is usual at this time of the year, though rarely of so long dura- tion. Many of the gentlemen have even not yet commenced with shearing, and are conse- quently in a sad dilemna. Two days ago young Mr. Turnbull joined my party. A great number of young men wish to follow my tracks to Expedition Range and Peak Range ; Mr. Francis Isaac is the most likely, and he is making serious preparations. I shall be at Peak Range in six weeks, after starting from the last station of the Con- damine (John Steven's). Turnbull's arrival was advantageous to me in another respect, two gentlemen having sent me two fine horses by him; but I was compelled to leave one behind in New England, as it was severely staked in the belly. My party is consequently composed of nine persons, F. Mann, Hely, Bunce, Turnbull, Perry, and Boeking, also of Harry Brown and Wommai, aboriginal natives, of 14 horses, of 16 mules, of 36 to 40 head of cattle, of 270 goats, and about 96 sheep, and 4 dogs. The weather is clearing up ; we shall be occupied to-day and to-morrow in plaiting green hide ropes, but Monday, the 30th instant, we shall shove on

again. My goats and sheep are already gone on, and so are my cattle, which crossed the plain yesterday. This is all I have to tell you for the present, but I shall have stores of facts and observations for you when I return. I thank you for Col. Stokes's Work, I have looked over those passages most interesting to me, and Mann has read the whole; the work will be sent to Mr. Lynd, who will take care of it for you. We are all in good health, but I had several attacks of blight, which however yielded readily to a strong solution of nitrate of silver.

Goulburn.-A most distressing occurrence took place in the early part of the week. The circumstances are these: A gentleman (Cap- tain Howell,) who reside* in this township, but who has been from Iinme some lime, keeps a vicious unsightly libidinous uctioned monkey, but which can get oil* or break its chain occasionally, to the injury and an- noyance of the neighbours. On Tuesday it broke its chain, (very insufficient chain in- deed,) got over the fence, made for a family that resides next door, (Mr. Gale,) seized one of the children, to save which the mother snatched it out of its paws, when it jumped on her, she screaming for help all the while, but none was at hand ; the brute got off the woman, and while she was calling for the man who kept it, to come to take it off the premises, it went into the house, and in a moment seized an infant of only nine days old, by the nose and side of the head, and drew it from the bed to the door. The situ- ation of Mrs. Gale, who had only been up the first day since her confinement, may be easily conceived, to 6ee her infant bleeding profusely, and completely in the power of an

obnoxious and infuriated brute. She suc- ceeded in getting it off, by beating it with a broomstick, but the poor infant is sadly dis- figured : there is a gash from eye to eye, the nose appears to be broken, and the right temple bare to the skull ; the spine is said to be injured, and the poor infant is in a most distressing state. The same brute has been guilty of an attack upon a man, whose ear he nearly bit off, and also of other attacks upon children, before it came into the hands of its present keeper, which were of so serious a nature as to require medical treatment for some time.-Herald Correspondent, Dec. 29.

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