Spinifex And Sand Pioneering And Exploration In Western Australia By David W Carnegie



















































































































 - SPINIFEX AND SAND 

by DAVID W CARNEGIE (1871-1900)

A NARRATIVE OF FIVE YEARS' PIONEERING AND EXPLORATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Page 1
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SPINIFEX AND SAND

By DAVID W CARNEGIE (1871-1900)

A NARRATIVE OF FIVE YEARS' PIONEERING AND EXPLORATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

TO MY MOTHER

INTRODUCTION

"An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told."

The following pages profess to be no more than a faithful narrative of five years spent on the goldfields and in the far interior of Western Australia. Any one looking for stirring adventures, hairbreadth escapes from wild animals and men, will be disappointed. In the Australian Bush the traveller has only Nature to war against - over him hangs always the chance of death from thirst, and sometimes from the attacks of hostile aboriginals; he has no spice of adventure, no record heads of rare game, no exciting escapades with dangerous beasts, to spur him on; no beautiful scenery, broad lakes, or winding rivers to make life pleasant for him. The unbroken monotony of an arid, uninteresting country has to be faced. Nature everywhere demands his toil. Unless he has within him impulses that give him courage to go on, he will soon return; for he will find nothing in his surroundings to act as an incentive to tempt him further.

I trust my readers will be able to glean a little knowledge of the hardships and dangers that beset the paths of Australian pioneers, and will learn something of the trials and difficulties encountered by a prospector, recognising that he is often inspired by some higher feeling than the mere "lust of gold."

Wherever possible, I have endeavoured to add interest to my own experiences by recounting those of other travellers; and, by studying the few books that touch upon such matters to explain any points in connection with the aboriginals that from my own knowledge I am unable to do. I owe several interesting details to the "Report on the Work of the Horn Scientific Expedition to Central Australia," and to "Ethnological Studies among the North-West Central Queensland Aboriginals," by Walter E. Roth. For the identification of the few geological specimens brought in by me, I am indebted to the Government Geologist of the Mines Department, Perth, W.A., and to Mr. W. Botting Hemsley, through the courtesy of the Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, for the identification of the plants.

I also owe many thanks to my friend Mr. J. F. Cornish, who has taken so much trouble in correcting the proofs of my MSS.

CONTENTS

PART I

EARLY DAYS IN COOLGARDIE

CHAPTER I EARLY DAYS IN THE COLONY CHAPTER II "HARD UP" CHAPTER III A MINER ON BAYLEY'S

PART II

FIRST PROSPECTING EXPEDITION

CHAPTER I THE RUSH TO KURNALPI - WE REACH QUEEN VICTORIA SPRING CHAPTER II IN UNKNOWN COUNTRY CHAPTER III FROM MOUNT SHENTON TO MOUNT MARGARET

PART III

SECOND PROSPECTING EXPEDITION

CHAPTER I THE JOYS OF PORTABLE CONDENSERS CHAPTER II GRANITE ROCKS, "NAMMA HOLES," AND "SOAKS" CHAPTER III A FRESH START CHAPTER IV A CAMEL FIGHT CHAPTER V GOLD AT LAKE DARLOT CHATTER VI ALONE IN THE BUSH CHAPTER VII SALE OF MINE

PART IV

MINING

CHAPTER I QUARTZ REEFING AND DRY-BLOWING

PART V

THE OUTWARD JOURNEY

CHAPTER I PREVIOUS EXPLORERS IN THE INTERIOR OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA CHAPTER II MEMBERS AND EQUIPMENT OF EXPEDITION CHAPTER III THE JOURNEY BEGINS CHAPTER IV WE ENTER THE DESERT CHAPTER V WATER AT LAST CHAPTER VI WOODHOUSE LAGOON CHAPTER VII THE GREAT UNDULATING DESERT OF GRAVEL CHAPTER VIII A DESERT TRIBE CHAPTER IX DR. LEICHARDT'S LOST EXPEDITION CHAPTER X THE DESERT OF PARALLEL SAND-RIDGES CHAPTER XI FROM FAMILY WELL TO HELENA SPRING CHAPTER XII HELENA SPRING CHAPTER XIII FROM HELENA SPRING TO THE SOUTHESK TABLELANDS. CHAPTER XIV DEATH OF STANSMORE CHAPTER XV WELLS EXPLORING EXPEDITION CHAPTER XVI KIMBERLEY CHAPTER XVII ABORIGINALS AT HALL'S CREEK CHAPTER XVIII PREPARATIONS FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY APPENDIX TO PART V SOME NATIVE WEAPONS AND CEREMONIAL IMPLEMENTS

PART VI

THE JOURNEY HOME

CHAPTER I RETURN JOURNEY BEGINS CHAPTER II STURT CREEK AND "GREGORY'S SALT SEA" CHAPTER III OUR CAMP ON THE "SALT SEA" CHAPTER IV DESERT ONCE MORE CHAPTER V STANSMORE RANGE TO LAKE MACDONALD CHAPTER VI LAKE MACDONALD TO THE DEEP ROCK-HOLES CHAPTER VII THE LAST OF THE RIDGES OF DRIFT SAND CHAPTER VIII WOODHOUSE LAGOON REVISITED CHAPTER IX ACROSS LAKE WELLS TO LAKE DARLOT CHAPTER X THE END OF THE EXPEDITION

APPENDIX

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

(45 illustrations appeared in the original text, published in 1898. They have not been reproduced in this etext.)

HON. D. W. CARNEGIE JARRAH FOREST, WEST AUSTRALIA GENERAL STORE AND POST-OFFICE, COOLGARDIE, 1892 THE FIRST HOTEL AT COOLGARDIE THE "GOLD ESCORT" GRASS TREES, NEAR PERTH DEATH OF "TOMMY" FRESH MEAT AT LAST BAYLEY STREET, COOLGARDIE, 1894 CONDENSING WATER ON A SALT LAKE FEVER-STRICKEN AND ALONE MINER'S RIGHT TYPICAL SANDSTONE GORGE CROSSING A SALT LAKE ENTRANCE TO EMPRESS SPRING AT WORK IN THE CAVE, EMPRESS SPRING ALEXANDER SPRING WOODHOUSE LAGOON A BUCK AND HIS GINS IN CAMP AT FAMILY WELL CRESTING A SAND-RIDGE HELENA SPRING THE ONLY SPECIMEN OF DESERT ARCHITECTURE THE MAD BUCK SOUTHESK TABLELANDS A NATIVE HUNTING PARTY PLAN OF SAND-RIDGES EXAGGERATED SECTION OF THE SAND-RIDGES CHARLES W. STANSMORE NATIVE PREPARING FOR THE EMU DANCE SPEARS TOMAHAWKS BOOMERANGS CLUBS AND THROWING-STICKS SHIELDS QUARTZ KNIFE CEREMONIAL STICKS RAIN-MAKING BOARDS MESSAGE STICKS GROUP OF EXPLORERS JUST IN TIME A WILD ESCORT OF NEARLY ONE HUNDRED MEN ESTABLISHING FRIENDLY RELATIONS THE TAIL-END OF A MISERABLE CARAVAN A KARRI TIMBER TRAIN A PEARL SHELL STATION, BROOME, N.W. AUSTRALIA

* * * * * * * * * *

PART I EARLY DAYS IN COOLGARDIE

CHAPTER I

EARLY DAYS IN THE COLONY

In the month of September, 1892, Lord Percy Douglas (now Lord Douglas of Hawick) and I, found ourselves steaming into King George's Sound - that magnificent harbour on the south-west coast of Western Australia - building castles in the air, discussing our prospects, and making rapid and vast imaginary fortunes in the gold-mines of that newly-discovered land of Ophir. Coolgardie, a district then unnamed, had been discovered, and Arthur Bayley, a persevering and lucky prospector, had returned to civilised parts from the "bush," his packhorses loaded with golden specimens from the famous mine which bears his name.

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