December 7. — After giving the horses water we put ten gallons upon one of them, and hurried off to the animals we had left. The state of those with us necessarily made our progress slow, and it was four o’clock before we arrived at the place where they were, about eleven miles from the water. The man had gone on to the furthest of the three, and had brought them all nearly together; upon joining him we received the melancholy intelligence, that our best draught mare had just breathed her last — another lay rolling on the ground in agony — and the third appeared but little better. After moistening their mouths with water, we made gruel for them with flour and water, and gave it to them warm: this they drank readily, and appeared much revived by it, so that I fully hoped we should save both of them. After a little time we gave each about four gallons of water, and fed them with all the bread we had. We then let them rest and crop the withered grass until nine o’clock, hoping, that in the cool of the evening, we should succeed in getting them to the water, now so few miles away. At first moving on, both horses travelled very well for two miles, but at the end of the third, one of them was unable to go any further, and I left the man to remain, and bring him on again when rested; the other I took on myself to within six miles of the water, when he, too, became worn out, and I had to leave him, and go for a fresh supply of water.

About four in the morning of the 8th, I arrived with the boy at the water, just as day was breaking, and quite exhausted. We managed to water the two horses with us, but were too tired either to make a fire or get anything to eat ourselves; and lay down for an hour or two on the sand. At six we got up, watered the horses again, and had breakfast; after which, I filled the kegs and proceeded once more with ten gallons of water to the unfortunate animals we had left behind. The black boy was too tired to accompany me, and I left him to enjoy his rest, after giving him my rifle for his protection, in the event of natives coming during my absence.

Upon arriving at the place where I had left the horse, I found him in a sad condition, but still alive. The other, left further away, in charge of the man, had also been brought up to the same place, but died just as I got up to him; there was but one left now out of the three, and to save him, all our care and attention were directed. By making gruel, and giving it to him constantly, we got him round a little, and moved him on to a grassy plain, about a mile further; here we gave him a hearty drink of water, and left him to feed and rest for several hours. Towards evening we again moved on slowly, and as he appeared to travel well, I left the man to bring him on quietly for the last five miles, whilst I took back to the water the two noble animals that had gone through so much and such severe toil in the attempt made to save the others. In the evening I reached the camp near the water, and found the native boy quite safe and recruited. For the first time for many nights, I had the prospect of an undisturbed rest; but about the middle of the night I was awoke by the return of the man with the woful news, that the last of the three horses was also dead, after travelling to within four miles of the water. All our efforts, all our exertions had been in vain; the dreadful nature of the country, and our unlucky meeting with the natives, had defeated the incessant toil and anxiety of seven days’ unremitting endeavours to save them; and the expedition had sustained a loss of three of its best horses, an injury as severe as it was irreparable.