Tuesday 27 December 1836

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

Tuesday Decr 27. We have been beating between Althorp & Kangaroo
Islands for the last two days without making much progress; but the
wind this morning became fair & we are now proceeding. There was a great
fire made on the shores of Kangaroo Island yesterday evening, & it
occurred to me that if the poor fellows reported lost from the Africaine had
really made the coast, this might be a signal from them. I mentioned this
to the Captain whose humane answer was “Oh they are dead long ago!”
Mr Lipson however, seems to have coincided with me, for during the
night he put off from the Cygnet to endeavour to ascertain what it
was; but unfortunately he could not land owing to it having fallen
calm. His opinion is that as there are no natives on the island it may
have been the unfortunate persons alluded to; & that it would be
desirable to take the first opportunity to explore the spot. Why this was
not done at once, I leave the Captain to explain. The chance of saving
the lives of two human beings was surely as well worth losing time for,
as the delay to pick up a cur overboard, or getting a lathe finished
or a dressing table made.

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