Wednesday, 16th May, Centre.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
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Wednesday, 16th May, Centre. I despatched Kekwick at daybreak in search of permanent water, with orders to devote the whole of two days to that purpose. I must now do everything that is in my power to break this barrier that prevents me from getting to the north. If I could only get one hundred and twenty miles from this, I think there would be a chance of reaching the coast. I wish the horses could endure the want of water a day or two longer, but I fear they cannot; this last journey has tried them to their utmost. Two of them look very wretched to-day, and will with difficulty get over it; one I scarcely think will do so. I should not have been afraid to have risked two more days with five of them. If they had been all like these five, I should have tried to the north-west a degree and back again without water. I have been suffering dreadfully during the past three weeks from pains in the muscles, caused by the scurvy, but the last two nights they have been most excruciating. Violent pains darted at intervals through my whole body. My powers of endurance were so severely tested, that, last night, I almost wished that death would come and relieve me from my fearful torture. I am so very weak that I must with patience abide my time, and trust in the Almighty. This morning I feel a little easier; the medicines I brought with me are all bad, and have no effect. The wind still from the north-west, with a few light clouds. Towards sundown the wind has changed to the south-west; heavy clouds coming from the north-west.