As to the second, I am convinced that Forrest mistook the butt-ends of the sand-ridges cut off by Lake Breaden for a range of hills, for he only saw them from a distance. The creek heads in a broken sandstone range of tabletops and cliffs; from its head I sighted a peculiar peak, about nine miles distant, which I took to be Forrest's "Remarkable Peak," marked on his map.
Such are the shores of Anahuac the shores of the Mexican Sea. Without commerce almost harbourless a waste of sand; but a waste of striking appearance and picturesque beauty. To horse and inwards! Adieu to the bright blue waters of the Gulf! We have crossed the sand-ridges of the coast, and are riding through the shadowy aisles of the forest. It is a tropical forest.
Over many wide regions of the south-western desert country of Arizona and New Mexico lies an eternal spell of silence and mystery. Across the sand-ridges come many foreign things, both animate and inanimate, which are engulfed in its immensity, which frequently disappear for all time from the sight of men, blotted out like a bird which flies free from a lighted room into the outside darkness.
On October 11th we reluctantly left the "Diamond of the Desert" behind us, travelling in a N.E. by N. direction over the interminable sand-ridges, crossing a greater extent of burnt country than we had yet seen, and finally camping on the top of a high ridge so as to catch any breeze that the night might favour us with.
I find that my estimate for the average height of the sand-ridges is considerably lower than that of Colonel Warburton.
The transport lorries are all British, some of them still branded with the names of well-known London firms. Newly-built supply depôts, canteens, and military institutes fringe the town proper or rise behind the sand-ridges.
This was to have turned aside among the sand-ridges, and by keeping along some of the lateral hollows, double back upon their pursuers. There were several such side hollows; for on going up the main ravine, they had observed them, and also in going down; but in their hurry to put space between themselves and their pursuers, they had overlooked this chance of concealment.
Now that our course was Westerly, we had expected to run between the ridges, but no such luck attended us. True, we marched between the SAND-ridges, but every now and again a ridge of ROCK running exactly across our course had to be negotiated.
To the West, some ten miles distant, a line of cliffs running North and South, with sand-ridges beyond, and a plain of spinifex between; to the North of the cliffs an isolated table-top hill, showing out prominently this I named Mount Cornish, after my old friend and tutor in days gone by.
But the cursed sand-ridges made one half silly and inclined to shake one's fist in impotent rage at the howling desolation. Often I used to go away from camp in the evening, and sit silent and alone, and battle with the devil of evil temper within me. Breaden has told me that he had the same trouble, and Godfrey had fearful pains in his head to bear.