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MacWhirr's Diary

Arthur MacWhirr’s Diary


Mar 7—Jock Kuburaga says that abos are following us. Most unusual if true. Primitives have every reason to fear guns—and our bush ranger predeliction for using them. In the past, I have always known them to head the other way as soon as they sight white men.

Mar 21—We are about equally distant from Joanna Spring and Separation Well, east of an awful line of dry lakes. The heat is terrible. Our hopes are low—there is nothing here, certainly not quartz reels! L’s notations are in systematic error. He is a complete duffer as a surveyor.
Today we sighted several enourmous birds flying lazily far above us. How did they get here, and where can they be going?

Mar 22—At about noon today we found Jock, partly buried in a gully. His body was scoured and covered with hundreds of small punctures, as though somebody had sandblasted him. We buried him of course. I shall miss his counsel, and he was an excellent hand with the camels.

Mar 23—We have discovered what appears to be remnants of an ancient city, rising from the shifting sands! I believe I have secured several good photographs of this amazing find, though the heat has ruined all but six of my photographic plates. By the pitting of the stone, the blocks and pillars appear to be more than 10,000 years old! Incredible!

Mar 24—Four camels killed in the attack last night. I saw at least two abos, and more must have been skulking out there. I’m sure I hit one. That ends this trip—we’ll have to head back to Cuncudgerie and report this incident.
More than men were out there last night. I saw shapes much bigger than men during the attack. My evidence is the body of Old Sam the camel, punctured and scraped is the best way I can describe the remains, just like poor Jock. Since the attack lasted only a couple of minute, it’s hard for me to believe that anything human could have done so much damage so quickly. But then what was it?