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March 11. — Early this morning we moved on, leading slowly our jaded animals through the scrub. The night had been one of painful suspense and gloomy forebodings; and the day set in dark and cloudy, as if to tantalise us with the hope of rain which was not destined to fall. In a few miles we reached the edge of the cliffs, from which we had a good view of the sandy valley we had been travelling round, but which the thick scrub had prevented our scrutinising sooner. I now noticed some hillocks of bare sand in the midst of it. These I had not seen before, as the only previous point from which they could have been visible had been passed by us in the dark. It now struck me, that the water spoken of by the natives at Yeerkumban-kauwe might be situated among these sand-hills, and that we were going away from instead of approaching it. The bare idea of such a possibility was almost maddening, and as the dreadful thought flashed across my mind I stood for a moment undecided and irresolute as to what I ought to do. We were now many miles past these hills, and if we went back to examine them for water, and did not find it, we could never hope that our horses would be able to return again to search elsewhere; whilst if there was water there, and we did not return, every step we took would but carry us further from it, and lead to our certain destruction.

For a few minutes I carefully scanned the line of coast before me. In the distance beyond a projecting point of the cliffs, I fancied I discerned a low sandy shore, and my mind was made up at once, to advance in the line we were pursuing. After a little while, we again came to a well beaten native pathway, and following this along the summit of the cliffs, were brought by it, in seven miles, to the point where they receded from the sea-shore; as they inclined inland, leaving a low sandy country between them and some high bare sand-hills near the sea. The road now led us down a very rocky steep part of the cliffs, near the angle where they broke away from the beach, but upon reaching the bottom we lost it altogether on the sandy shore; following along by the water’s edge, we felt cooled and refreshed by the sea air, and in one mile and a half from where we had descended the cliffs, we reached the white sand-drifts. Upon turning into these to search for water, we were fortunate enough to strike the very place where the natives had dug little wells; and thus on the fifth day of our sufferings, we were again blessed with abundance of water, — nor could I help considering it as a special instance of the goodness of Providence, that we had passed the sandy valley in the dark, and had thereby been deterred from descending to examine the sand-hills it contained; had we done so, the extra fatigue to our horses and the great length of time it would have taken up, would probably have prevented the horses from ever reaching the water we were now at. It took us about two hours to water the animals, and get a little tea for ourselves, after which the boy laid down to sleep, and I walked round to search for grass. A little grew between the sand-drifts and the cliffs, and though dry and withered, I was most thankful to find it. I then returned to the camp and laid down, but could not sleep, for although relieved myself, my anxiety became but the greater, for the party behind, and the more so, because at present I could do nothing to aid them; it was impossible that either the horses, or ourselves, could go back to meet them without a few hours’ rest, and yet the loss of a few hours might be of the utmost consequence; I determined, however, to return and meet them as early as possible in the morning, and in the mean time, as I knew that the overseer and natives would, when they came, be greatly fatigued, and unable to dig holes to water the horses, I called up the boy, and with his assistance dug two large holes about five feet deep, from which the horses could readily and without delay be watered upon their arrival. As we had only some shells left by the natives to work with, our wells progressed slowly, and we were occupied to a late hour. In the evening we watered the horses, and before laying down ourselves, drove them to the grass I had discovered. For the first time for many nights, I enjoyed a sound and refreshing sleep.