Recognized HTML document

212   Art of Travel.

of his good fortune and be content with his day's work, than to risk the uncertainty of another supply.

Purity of Watering-places.-Make no litter by the side of watering-places ; and encourage among your party the Mahomedan feeling of respect for preserving the purity of drinkingwater. Old travellers commonly encamp at a distance from the watering-place, and fetch the water to their camp.

Signs of the Neighbourhood of Water.-The quick intelligence with which experienced travellers discover watering-places, is so great that it might almost be mistaken for an instinct.

Intell-igennce of Dogs and, Cattle.-Dogs are particularly clever in finding water, and the fact of a dog looking refreshed, and it may be wet, has often and often drawn attention to a pond that would otherwise have been overlooked and passed by. Cattle are very uncertain in their intelligence. Sometimes oxen go for miles and miles across a country unknown to them, straight to a pond of water ; at other times they are most obtuse : Dr. Leichhardt, the Australian traveller, was quite astonished at their stupidity in this respect.

Trees and ordinary vegetation are not of much help in directing a traveller to water, for they thrive on dew or on occasional rain ; but it is otherwise when the vegetation is unusually green or luxuriant, or when those trees are remarked, that are seldom seen to grow except near water in the particular country visited, as the blackthorn-tree in South Africa.

Birds.-Some species of birds (as water-fowl, parrots, and the diamond bird) or animals (as baboons) afford surer prcmise; but the converging flight of birds, or the converging fresh tracks of animals, is the most satisfactory sign of all. It is about nightfall that desert birds usually drink, and hence it often happens that the exhausted traveller, abandoning all hope as the shades of evening close in, has his attention arrested by flights of birds, that give him new life and tell him where to go.

Tracks.-In tropical countries that have rainy and dry sea

)F - www.fastio.com