Wednesday, 06/08/30.

There's a glum mood in the camp as the men breakfast in the dark, determined to make an early start and reach Illbilla today, it promises to be a blazing hot trek and the mirage distorted Ehrenbergs appear to be about fifteen miles away. Both trucks are bogged in soft sand shortly after leaving camp and tempers start wearing thin early today. The expedition makes eight miles by midday. Taylor removes the bonnet of the Thornycroft to assist cooling and better to see the steering wheels on the narrow strips of matting.

It's another days difficult driving, occasionally finding and following the camel pad through a sea of sand and spinifex. Late in the afternoon near disaster strikes the expedition when the red hot exhaust of the Thornycroft ignites the accumulated twigs and grass around the engine, quick work has the fire out but the incident leaves a group of shaky and frightened men.

There's a blazing and dangerous row shortly after tea, the liverish Lasseter annoys the frustrated Blakely over a missing mug and the interfering Coote exacerbates the situation to the point where there is hot talk of guns being used. Sutherland calms tempers but Blakeley's opinion of Lasseter is not helped when he discovers that Harry has been sleeping in the cab of the Thornycroft with all the expeditions ammunition and firearms. Blakeley remonstrates with Lasseter about the consequences of an emergency but Harry will not be caught napping, too bad about his mates, and Blakeley misses the point that it might not be the Aboriginals that Lasseter is concerned about.

Of course there are no contretemps in the Terry camp which is awakened early in the morning by light rain. Underway after the usual early breakfast the Petermanns are occasionally sighted and another drum of fuel is buried. They arrive at the Petermanns early in the afternoon in great style, the truck reaching top gear in places. Williams sends up a very obvious smoke to attract camelman's attention and also to indicate their friendly intentions to the Aboriginals, there is no response and they push on to Piltadinnya waterhole where there is plenty of water and wait for their mates.

Towards evening the camel string arrives, all's well and heavy rain sets in, it's a cosy convivial camp that night. serious prospecting gets underway tomorrow, plans are fine tuned.

LASSETERIA