Public holiday: the Library will be open on 3 October. View opening hours
The team thins
Blakeley grew too frustrated to continue and led most of his team back to Alice Springs. Lasseter was left alone with a bushman and dingo trapper named Paul Johns, but their relationship quickly grew turbulent. Lasseter was determined to push on at all costs and having overtired their camels, decided to leave them with Johns for a few days while he continued his search.
Two days later Lasseter returned to Johns with a bag of samples he claimed were from the reef, but a fight broke out between the two when he refused to let Johns see the proof for himself. Johns called Lasseter a liar and left him in the wilderness while he returned to Alice Springs.
Oh it is awful indeed and the skeleton of me can scare support the weight of my clothes.
-Harold Lasseter, Diary Fragments 1930
Starvation sets in
Unfamiliar with the lay of the land and unable to speak any of the local Aboriginal language, Lasseter’s last diary entries paint a picture of a desperate man.
Though at several points Aboriginal people provide him with water and shelter, Lasseter appears desperate for food and his diary offers several false goodbyes before it peters out to its final end. Lasseter's writing is particularly harsh towards Blakeley and his team.
I leave my everlasting curse on Blakeley and Jenkins, Blakeley for not sending the relief as promised and Jenkins for omitting the Argerol.
Before his demise, Lasseter claims in his diary that he has found the reef, pegging and claiming the area. However the reef has never since been discovered, though Lasseter’s expedition wouldn’t be the last to try and find it.
eyes are still blurry & smart a good deal but are much better than last week. To my way of thinking this is the ninth day after the camels bolted & I hear they went north (Ilbilla way) so may reach the Mission in a couple of months Too late to benefit me. I may as well write finish to my life chapter it is only will power that is holding me up & that is dam poor sustenance
If my feet were only tough but the irony of it is, that my feet are the tenderest part of my body. I leave my everlasting curse on Blakely & Jenkins, Blakely for not sending the relief as promised and Jenkins for [indecipherable] the Argerol Darling I want you to remember me as when we first met & not the scarecrow that I now am have shrunk still further & the flies & ants have nearly eaten my face
hand malla or gryah arm ninna leg alpa or colpa capa body wela head mala hair catta eye curro nose milla teeth cattee pigeon tulba emu calaah [indecipherable] malu basin wera or weda [indecipherable] peka