A close family who has found themselves stranded on an
island after a shipwreck - By J. D. Wyss

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OSTRICHES IN THE DESERT               207
a rich line of vegetation. We followed its course for some time ; but as we advanced, vegetation disappeared, and we soon found ourselves in the middle of an immense plain, only bounded by the horizon. The sun beat right down on our heads, the sand burned our feet—in one word, it was a desert— a desert without a single tree—a desert of sand, the only green things being a few withered geraniums, and some sort of grass that contrasted strangely with the aridity of the soil. On crossing the river, we had filled our gourds with fresh water, but the sun had heated it so that we could not drink it, and we were obliged to throw it away.
After two hours of painful journeying we arrived at the foot of the hill, that we had perceived afar off. It was a rock that gave us some shade, and afforded us a refuge against the rays of the sun. We were too fatigued to climb the rock and reconnoitre the country ; we could scarcely stand against the overpowering rays of the sun, and our dogs were as tired as ourselves ; we were isolated in the middle of the desert, though we could see the river in the distance.
We had scarcely been seated five minutes when Nip, who had accompanied us, suddenly disappeared over the rock, having probably scented some brother
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