Sunday 11 December 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Decr 11th Prayers were read to-day in Mr Kingston’s tent by Mr Gilbert, & a sermon was to have been read also, but information arrived that a large ship was sailing into the Bay, & the anxiety was so great that the greater part of the congregation separated and went to the beach, expecting it might be the Governor. It proved, however, to be the “Emma” from Kangaroo Island bringing the Company’s livestock, etc etc  I returned to my dinner (consisting of a fine cockatoo, which proved good) and we had hardly finished when 2 gentlemen made their appearance. They proved to be the Capt of the “Emma” & Capt Nelson of the “John Pirie” who brought us letters from England. Our first enquiry was of the fate of the 6 poor fellows, who it will be remembered landed on the Western Shore of Kangaroo Island intending to walk across it by “Capt Sutherland’s Track”. Of these only 4 have been found (Mr Nantes, a clerk in the office of the Colonial Secretary, & 3 labourers). Mr Slater (a surgeon) & Mr Osborne (printer) are it is feared lost. Mr Nantes states that after being out 9 days, Osborne was unable to proceed, & that Slater with his characteristic generosity, said he would stay with him, while the rest of the party pushed on, in the hope of sending relief to the two left behind. Two days after this Nantes & his party were found by a fishing boat, & were conveyed to the settlement, not having tasted food for 4 days, but are now recovering & are in tolerably good health. Parties sent in search of Slater & Osborne say they have the tracks of but one person, & as he appears to walk in circles, or backwards & forwards, they fear he is out of his mind. This doubtless was Slater – Osborne most probably has perished. Search parties were however still out when the “Emma” left, though no hope remains of finding either alive. Thus to Capt Sutherland’s very erroneous account of the Interior of the Island, it is to be feared 2 gallant & educated young men have fallen victims!

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