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Having at last got fairly beyond all the cliffs bounding the Great Bight, I fully trusted that we had now overcome the greatest difficulties of the undertaking, and confidently hoped that there would be no more of those fearful long journeys through the desert without water, but that the character of the country would be changed, and so far improved as to enable us to procure it, once at least every thirty or forty miles, if not more frequently.

Relieved from the pressure of immediate toil, and from the anxiety and suspense I had been in on the subject of water, my mind wandered to the gap created in my little party since we had last been at water; more than ever, almost, did I feel the loss of my overseer, now that the last and most difficult of our forced marches had been successfully accomplished, and that there was every hope of our progress for the future, being both less difficult and more expeditious. How delighted he would have been had he been with us to participate in the successful termination of a stage, which he had ever dreaded more than any other during the whole of our journey, and with what confidence and cheerfulness he would have gone on for the future. Out of five two only were now present; our little band had been severed never to be reunited; and I could not but blame myself for yielding to the overseer’s solicitation to halt on the evening of the 29th April, instead of travelling on all night as I had originally intended: had I adhered to my own judgment all might yet have been well. Vain and bootless, however, now were all regrets for the irrecoverable past; but the present was so fraught with circumstances calculated to recal and to make me feel more bitterly the loss I had sustained, that painful as the subject was, the mind could not help reverting to and dwelling upon it.

Having given each of the horses a bucket of water, Wylie watched them whilst I cooked our dinner and made some tea, after getting which we again gave the horses another bucket of water a-piece, hobbled them out for the night, and then lay down ourselves, feeling perfectly secure from being overtaken by the native boys. We were obliged to place ourselves close to the hole of water to keep the horses from getting into it, as they were thirsty and restless, and kept walking round the well nearly the whole night, and feeding very little. We ourselves, too, although dreadfully tired and weak, were so cold and restless, that we slept but little. I had also a large swelling on two of the joints of the second finger of the right hand, which gave me very great pain.