config

January 2. — Having watered the horses early, we left the encampment, accompanied by some of the natives, to push once more to the north-west. On the dray we had eighty-five gallons of water; but as we had left all our flour, and some other articles, I hoped we should get on well. The heavy nature of the road, however, again told severely upon the horses: twice we had to unload the dray, and at last, after travelling only fourteen miles, the horses could go no further; I was obliged, therefore, to come to a halt, and decide what was best to be done. There appeared to be a disastrous fatality attending all our movements in this wretched region, which was quite inexplicable. Every time that we had attempted to force a passage through it, we had been baffled and driven back. Twice I had been obliged to abandon our horses before; and on the last of these occasions had incurred a loss of the three best of them; now, after giving them a long period of rest, and respite from labour, and after taking every precaution which prudence or experience could suggest, I had the mortification of finding that we were in the same predicament we had been in before, and with as little prospect of accomplishing our object. Having but little time for deliberation, I at once ordered the overseer and man to take the horses back to the water, and give them two days rest there, and then to rejoin us again on the third, whilst I and the native boy would remain with the dray, until their return. The natives also remained with us for the first night; but finding we still continued in camp, they left on the following morning, which I was sorry for, as I hoped one would have been induced to go with us to the Great Bight.