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In 1838 a young British officer George Grey led an expedition to Shark Bay in Western Australia with the intention of returning to the then village of Perth by Whale boat and exploring the country between.

In his 'Journals of two expeditions of Discovery' Grey describes the disaster which overtook them and the march back to Perth 480km which claimed the life of one of the party.

In 1838 there was no white settlement more than 20 miles north of Perth so the journey was amazing.

I have some American friends and this example reminds me very much of their inate sense of fairness.


Soon after the fires had been lighted I was sitting alone by mine, as the shadows of night were just falling over the wild hilly scenery with which we were surrounded; I had no water to cook a portion of the three spoonfuls of arrowroot yet left me, and I saw each of the others preparing his scanty portion of food. The native had at this time gone away to look for Zamia nuts, and it may be imagined that many almost undefined feelings at such a time thronged rapidly through my mind.

Whilst thus thinking I heard Hackney propose to Woods to offer me a share of their little store of food: "No," said Woods; "everyone for himself under these circumstances; let Mr. Grey do as well as he can and I will do the same." "Well then I shall give him some of mine at all events," said Hackney; and a few minutes afterwards he came up to my fire and pressed me to accept a morsel of damper about the size of a walnut.

I hesitated at first whether to do so or not, but, being aware that when we came into a country where game was to be found I could, by means of my gun, provide enough amply to repay this lad, I took it, after several refusals and having it as often warmly pressed upon me.

I was much affected by the kindness of Hackney, who was a young American; and I regret to add that I felt more hurt than I ought to have done at the remark of Woods.

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