On the 20th we travelled on a N.W. course, and in the early part of the day passed over tolerably good soil. It was succeeded by a barren scrub, through which we penetrated in the direction of Welcome Rock, a point we had seen from one of the Plains and had mistaken for Mount Harris.Having conversed frequently with Mr. Oxley on the subject of his expeditions, I went into the interior prepossessed in favour of his opinions, nor do I think he could have drawn any other conclusion than that which he did, from his experience of the terminations of the rivers whose courses he explored. Had Mr. Oxley advanced forty, or even thirty miles, farther than he did, to the westward of Mount Harris; nay, had he proceeded eight miles in the above direction beyond the actual spot from which he turned back, he would have formed other and very different opinions of the probable character of the distant interior. But I am aware that Mr. Oxley performed all that enterprise, and perseverance, and talent could have performed, and that it would have been impracticable in him to have attempted to force its marshes in the state in which he found them. It was from his want of knowledge of their nature and extent, that he inferred the swampy and inhospitable character of the more remote country, a state in which subsequent investigation has found it not to be. The marsh of the Macquarie is nothing more than an ordinary marsh or swamp in another country. However large a space it covers, it is no more than a concavity or basin for the reception of the waters of the river itself, nor has it any influence whatever on the country to the westward of it, in respect to inundation; the general features of the latter being a regular alternation of plain and brush. These facts are in themselves sufficient to give a fresh interest to the interior of the Australian continent, and to increase its importance.I do not know whether I was wrong in my conjecture, but I fancied, about this time, that the men generally were desponding. Whether it was that the constant fatigue entailed on myself and Mr. Hume, and that our constant absence, or the consequent exhaustion it produced, had any effect on their minds, or that they feared the result of our perseverance, is difficult to say; but certainly, they all had a depression of spirits, and looked, I thought, altered in appearance; nor did they evince any satisfaction at our success — at least, not the satisfaction they would have shown at an earlier period of our journey.We were anxious to get to the small plain I have mentioned, if possible, for the sake of the animals, and pushed on rapidly for it. About 4 p.m. we had reached our sleeping place of the previous evening, and being overpowered by thirst, we stopped in hopes that by making our tea strong we might destroy, in some measure, the nauseous taste of the water. The horses were spancelled and a fire lit. Whilst we were sitting patiently for the boiling of the tins, Mr. Hume observed at a considerable distance above us, a large body of natives under some gum trees. They were not near enough for us to observe them distinctly, but it was evident that they were watching our motions. We did not take any notice of them for some time, but at last I thought it better to call out to them, and accordingly requested Mr. Hume to do so. In a moment the whole of them ran forward and dashed into the river, having been on the opposite side, with an uproar I had never witnessed on any former occasion.