September 22.—Moving on the party for ten miles at a course of S. 35 degrees W., we passed through a dreadful country, composed of dense scrub and heavy sandy ridges, with some salt water channels and beds of small dry lakes at intervals. In many cases the margins bounding these were composed of a kind of decomposed lime, very light and loose, which yielded to the slightest pressure; in this our horses and drays sank deep, throwing out as they went, clouds of fine white dust on every side around them. This, added to the very fatiguing and harassing work of dragging the dray through the thick scrub and over the heavy sand ridges, almost knocked them up, and we had the sad prospect before us of encamping at night without a blade of grass for them to eat. Just at this juncture the native boy who was with me, said he saw rocks in one of the distant sand hills, but upon examining the place with a telescope I could not make out distinctly whether they were rocks or only sand. The boy however persisted that there were rocks, and to settle the point I halted the dray in camp, whilst I proceeded with him to the spot to look.
At seven miles W. 10 degrees S. of the drays we reached the ridge, and to my great delight I found the boy was right; he had seen the bare sheets of granite peeping out near the summit of a sandy elevation, and in these we found many holes with water in them. At the base of the hill too, was an opening with good grass around, and a fine spring of pure water. Hastening back to the dray, I conducted the party to the hills, which I named Refuge Rocks, for such they were to us in our difficulties, and such they may be to many future travellers who may have to cross this dreary desert.
From the nature of the road and the exhausted state of our horses, it was very late when we encamped, but as the position was so favourable a one to recruit at, I determined to take advantage of it, and remain a couple of days for that purpose.