December 2. — We had not moved far upon our return, when one of our most valuable dray-horses became completely overdone with fatigue, and I was obliged to take it out of the team and put in a riding horse, to try, if possible, to reach the plains where the grass was. We just got to the borders of this open patch of country, when the poor animal (a mare) could not be got a yard farther, and we were compelled to halt and decide upon what was best to be done. The water in the cask was nearly all consumed, the mare could not stir, and the other horses were very weak, so that no time was to be lost; I immediately decided upon leaving the man to take care of the mare and the dray, whilst I and the native boy took the other horses back for more water; having measured out to the man, water amounting to a quart per day, during our contemplated absence, I gave all that was left, consisting of about half a bucket full, to the mare, and then accompanied by the boy, pushed steadily back towards the water at the sand hills, distant about twenty-five miles. At dark we arrived there, but the sand had fallen in, and we had to labour hard to clear out the hole again; it was eleven o’clock at night before we could get the horses watered, and we then had to take them a mile and a half before we could get any grass for them. Returning from this duty, we had to collect and carry on our backs for more than a mile, a few bundles of sticks and bushes, to make a little fire for ourselves, near the water, the night being intensely cold. It was past two o’clock in the morning before we could lay down, and then, tired and harassed as we were, it was too cold and damp for us to rest.
- Category: Edward John Eyre - Vol 1 - Ch 12
- Written by Edward John Eyre
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