Between the highlands of British East Africa and the mountainous region of Southern Abyssinia is a broad tract of desolate and unexplored country. Great natural obstacles have to be surmounted in crossing this belt. It is waterless, and affords no food for man, and sometimes no grazing for animals.<br><br>A great part of the country is a mass of volcanic débris, utterly uninhabited, and no guides are obtainable.<br><br>It required a certain amount of persuasion and encouragement to hearten up my men to the enterprise of crossing this unknown land, especially at that period when we were without guides.<br><br>At times they were mutinous, fearing that they would die of thirst, and we were perhaps only saved from that fate by the happy discovery of a water-hole. At other times they straggled, and appeared too worn out to care what happened, or to make any effort to reach the next water-hole. Nevertheless a great measure of praise is due to my men for the manner in which they accomplished the journey.