Wednesday 16 November 1836

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

Wednesday, 16th November.

Nothing worth notice has occurred since Friday until yesterday which Lipson and I spent shooting and fishing in the next valley. My time has on the other days been variously employed working at my hut when the weather would permit, and lying down with a book in the middle of the day. The heat has been excessive these last two days, the thermometer in the tents yesterday being at 1180. We have no mosquitoes in Rapid Bay but the flies are the most torturing of torments, alighting by hundreds on the face and creeping into the ears, eyes and nose, thus keeping one in a constant fever. I gave 5/- for an old gauze veil which acted as a defence against the brutes but rendered the heat almost suffocating, which last evil I willingly endured to be rid of the first. I was unfortunate enough yesterday to lose my veil and my poor face is again doomed to be victimised. We did not return from our sport yesterday till night had set in when, on reaching the hills we were alarmed by seeing a great part of the valley of our encampment in flames which were rapidly spreading in the direction of the tents. On our arrival we were informed that the fire was accidental and arose from one of the labourers imprudently setting fire to some grass on ground that he was about to dig. The breeze, however, which caused the flames to spread so rapidly covering more than two miles of country, happily died away before midnight and the fire gradually subsided. The sight from the hills was grand in the extreme, completely illuminating our settlement and the effect of the glare reflecting on the snow-white tents was as beautiful as it was strange.

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