Wednesday, 03/09/30.

Johns and his mates set off early south into the ranges and not far from water, he reckons he is on a sure thing after yesterdays discussions with Lasseter and Blakeley. Taylor gives the plane a quick overhaul and Hall, Blakeley and Lasseter check final details before flying south west looking for Lasseter's landmarks and a way through the sandhills. On the return Hall swoops low over a group of Aboriginals scaring the wits out of them.

All is quite at Illbilla for two hours when the plane drones in from the west and makes a safe landing.

Lasseter will only confirm that the Expedition is still about 150 miles too far north but there is a possible way through the sandhills to the southwest. Hall then takes Taylor for a flight to check the way, they return after thirty minutes and Taylor is not enthused by their prospects, Blakeley decides to give it a go in the Thornycroft starting tomorrow, preparations get underway immediately.

Coote and Hall also decide to get underway tomorrow, it will be a long haul to Adelaide. The mood in the party is glum.

That afternoon Coote confronts Lasseter regarding his tenuous credibility and the location of the reef and reminds Lasseter that he could well face fraud charges. To his surprise Lasseter gives vague and confusing directions to the reef which he confirms he sighted on the flight with Hall. Coote takes Harry's story as hard evidence. They decide to tell Blakeley nothing who suspects Coote of secret knowledge anyway. He is not overly concerned quite certain by now that there is no reef to be found.

Relations between Blakeley and Coote are cool, most of the men are busy writing letters, Johns and his mates take it easy in the bush nearby.

LASSETERIA