113. GRAVES.
"They were remarkable; I had not seen their like before".
BLAKELEY, Dream MIllions. 98.


During their decent of the south side of Mount Marjorie on 24/8/30, Blakeley and Lasseter discovered two elongated mounds of carefully packed water worn stones that Blakeley likened to graves, Aboriginal graves!, He thought that about two tons of stone had been used in the construction of each grave and there was a definite order to the arrangement of the stones, "At one end there was a smooth large black stone, very flat and standing on its edge, no doubt some attempt at a headstone". Blakeley gives no indication of the direction the graves were facing and does not speculate on the significance of what he thought a remarkable find, "I had not seen their like before", he was anxious to be away from the place, feeling that he and Lasseter were being closely watched.

Idriess fills in the gaps in Blakeley's sparse description of this unusual discovery, in Lasseter's Last Ride, "twenty tons of stone were built into a tomb, terraced around with stones. The sleepers feet faced east each warriors arms lay by his right hand, stone knives, stone spear heads, stone hammers. They must have been chiefs of tribes who thus lay in state", Idriess wondered if the warriors had fallen from the escarpment above the graves while hunting game or perhaps had fought a duel over some "dusky belle of the desert"; the romantic reads and sells better.

This could be cited as another instance of some liaison between Blakeley and Idriess during the writing of Lasseter's last Ride, and lends lie to Bailey's statement that Idriess had not met Lasseter or any members of the expedition prior to writing his best seller. Is one to believe that somewhere on the southern slopes of Mount Marjorie is a stone burial site of considerable significance ?, highly unlikely. As elsewhere in Central Australia, this land has been crossed many times by keen observers and there are no reports of two such graves, and it's difficult to imagine the Aboriginals carting four tons of stone much less Idriess's twenty, for the purposes of burial. Causes one too wonder which came first, Idriess's imagination or Blakeley's discovery ?


R.Ross. 1999-2006

Blakeley Fred, Dream Millions, 98,99.  Idriess Ion, L Lasseter's Last Ride, 54,55.