"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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October 14, 1926

October 14

Last night we had a very heavy rain and had a hard time keeping dry. At about seven o'clock Le Roux and Sian left with the Papuans and will try to reach Tombe this evening. We are practically out of food and all of our material cannot be brought back by this transport. Le Roux will send back others if there are any there, as soon as they arrive. At about ten o'clock the two Dyaks arrived here. They have no rice, but a little pork for one meal and will try also to go on to Tombe today. I doubt if they can make it, but they know how to get food from the jungle. At noon the transport in charge of the Ambonese soldier arrived here from above. The soldier was sick and had a little difficulty getting here. He, Stan and I stayed here with the baggage. We have pork, some bananas, and a little oatmeal - enough food for tonight and tomorrow. By tomorrow night some carriers should arrive here from Tombe, provided le Roux got there this evening. Dick went on with the other soldier and the carriers and probably [V1: interlineated: will] reach Tombe tomorrow night. They have but little food but can get fern tips and tree fern shoots on the way. It was a dark day all day and a steady drizzle continued from morning till night. This {p. 291} afternoon I scouted around with the rifle but game is very scarce around here and there seem to be no large birds. I located a banana tree however, with a good sized bunch of green bananas on it, growing on the side of a cliff by the creek. If we run out of food, one of us can be lowered over the edge of the cliff with a rattan and will be able to get them. I came back well soaked but with nothing extra to eat.

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