Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/296

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A DRAUGHT OF WATER.

rently about three miles off. Poor 'Faust's' doom was sealed; he was seized with fits, and Mr. Pyltseff, finding it was impossible to hurry on, and too far to ride back to the caravan for a glass of water, waited till we came up, laying 'Faust' under a clump of saxaul and covering him with saddle-felt. The poor dog became less conscious every minute, gasped two or three times, and expired. Placing his body on one of the packs, we moved on again, sorely doubting whether there were really any well in the place pointed out to us by the guide; for he had already deceived us more than once. Our situation at this moment was desperate. Only a few glasses of water were left, of which we took into our mouths just enough to moisten our parched tongues; our bodies seemed on fire, our heads swam, and we were close upon fainting. In this last extremity I desired a Cossack to take a small vessel and to ride as hard as he could to the well, accompanied by the guide, ordering him to fire at the latter if he attempted to run away. They were soon hidden in a cloud of dust which filled the air, and we toiled onwards in their tracks in the most anxious suspense. At length, after half an hour, the Cossack appeared. What news does he bring? and spurring our jaded horses, which could hardly move their legs to meet him, we learned with the joy of a man who has been snatched from the jaws of death, that the well had been found! After a draught of fresh water from the vesselfull that he brought, and having wet our heads, we rode in the direction pointed out, and soon reached the