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Wednesday, 23rd April, Howell Ponds. Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, I started with Thring and Frew at 8.5 a.m., on a course of 284 degrees. At 9.55 (seven miles) changed to 320 degrees. At 11.20 (four miles and a half) crossed the open plain, changing to 40 degrees to avoid the scrub. At one mile and a half changed to west. At one mile changed to north-west. At 2.20 (five miles) changed to 45 degrees. At 3 o'clock (two miles) changed to north. At 3.25 one mile and a half changed to north-west. At 3.45 camped without water. I have skirted the border of the forest land in the hope of finding water, but am disappointed. I have not seen a drop since I started. The plains are covered with beautiful grass, two or three feet high. There are a great many different kinds of birds about, and native smoke all round. I have searched every place where I thought there was the least chance of finding water, but without success. The day has been exceedingly hot. With such hot weather as this I dare not attempt to make the Victoria. The horses could not stand a hundred and forty miles without water. Those I have had with me to-day seem to have suffered enough, and would not stand another two days without. I must therefore return to the camp to-morrow. Wind, calm.