August 7.—Making an early start I returned to the Depot Pool, and found the party all well. They were, however, just preparing to move away, as the water was nearly all gone. The drays were packed and everything ready when I arrived; they had tried to obtain water by digging, but had failed, having been stopped by hard rock.
I was now in a very awkward dilemma. The water where we were, had been all used, and we must consequently remove at once,—but where to, was the question? If I went to the permanent water to the eastward, I gained nothing, as I only harassed my party by travelling through an almost impracticable country, over which we must return before we could move further to the north,—and if I went to the N. W. to The Scott, I went to a mere puddle of water, precarious and uncertain at the best, and at which, under any circumstances, we could not remain long:—yet move I must, as soon as the morning dawned. Many and anxious were the hours I spent in consideration and reflection.
Little indeed are the public aware of the difficulties and responsibilities attached to the command of an expedition of exploration;—the incessant toil, the sleepless hours, the anxious thoughts that necessarily fall to the share of the leader of a party under circumstances of difficulty or danger, are but imperfectly understood and less appreciated by the world at large. Accustomed to judge of undertakings only by their results, they are frequently as unjust in their censure as they are excessive in their approval. The traveller who discovers a rich and well watered district, encounters but few of the hardships, and still fewer of the anxieties, that fall to the lot of the explorer in desert regions, yet is the former lauded with praise, whilst the latter is condemned to obloquy; although the success perhaps of the one, or the failure of the other, may have arisen from circumstances over which individually neither had any control.