Last night we heard that Jehu had reached Hut Point in about 5 1/2 hours. This morning we got away in detachments – Michael, Nobby, Chinaman were first to get away about 11 A.M. The little devil Christopher was harnessed with the usual difficulty and started in kicking mood, Oates holding on for all he was worth.
Bones ambled off gently with Crean, and I led Snippets in his wake. Ten minutes after Evans and Snatcher passed at the usual full speed.
The wind blew very strong at the Razor Back and the sky was threatening – the ponies hate the wind. A mile south of this island Bowers and Victor passed me, leaving me where I best wished to be – at the tail of the line.
About this place I saw that one of the animals ahead had stopped and was obstinately refusing to go forward again. I had a great fear it was Chinaman, the unknown quantity, but to my relief found it was my old friend ‘Nobby’ in obstinate mood. As he is very strong and fit the matter was soon adjusted with a little persuasion from Anton behind. Poor little Anton found it difficult to keep the pace with short legs.
Snatcher soon led the party and covered the distance in four hours. Evans said he could see no difference at the end from the start – the little animal simply romped in. Bones and Christopher arrived almost equally fresh, in fact the latter had been bucking and kicking the whole way. For the present there is no end to his devilment, and the great consideration is how to safeguard Oates. Some quiet ponies should always be near him, a difficult matter to arrange with such varying rates of walking. A little later I came up to a batch, Bowers, Wilson, Cherry, and Wright, and was happy to see Chinaman going very strong. He is not fast, but very steady, and I think should go a long way.
Victor and Michael forged ahead again, and the remaining three of us came in after taking a little under five hours to cover the distance.
We were none too soon, as the weather had been steadily getting worse, and soon after our arrival it was blowing a gale.