It will easily be believed that the various duties entailed upon Capt. Hay left him but little time for scientific researches, yet this indefatigable officer had already made a fine collection of geological specimens from the adjacent hills. I regret that circumstances prevent me from giving any of the useful information which his industry supplied. I am only able to say, that the fossils were generally found in tertiary deposits, and were plentiful in quantity, but the variety was not great. He had at the time of our visit made, likewise, considerable progress in putting his position into as good a state of defence as circumstances allowed; of course he had not means to defilade his fort, but he had erected a breastwork four feet and a half high across the defile, which would certainly be of great use in checking any body of horsemen who might advance from the north, at least for a time sufficient to enable the garrison to prepare for an attack. The fort seemed a focus for all the rays of the sun, and was intensely hot, the thermometer ranging from 95 to 110 in the shade; nor was the situation healthy, for a great many Goorkahs were in hospital, and all were more or less debilitated from the effects of the climate.
Whilst at Badjgh[=a]r we made the acquaintance of one of the chiefs, Suyed Mahommed of the Dushti Suffaed or white desert, through whose country we eventually travelled; we found him an easy good-tempered man, well inclined towards the British, but grasping and avaricious. Throughout our intercourse with him he behaved well, but he took occasion frequently to remind us we were not to forget that he looked for a reward; still, in summing his character, I must say he was superior to his “order;” for, either from the wish to lead a quiet life or from his limited means and unwarlike disposition, he was not given to feuds or chuppaos like his neighbours. He sent rather a characteristic letter to Shah Pursund Kh[=a]n, a chief whose dominions were also on our line of route, recommending us to his notice, but concluding by telling him to judge of us and act according to our merits.
On the 9th July we bade our kind friend Capt. Hay farewell, and many were the prayers offered up for our safe return; the Goorkah soldiers even accompanied us for three or four miles. Sturt had not been supplied with any introductory letters from Sir William M’Naghten, although he was sent on duty, for it was uncertain what kind of a reception we might meet with amongst the chiefs of Toorkisth[=a]n, and it was therefore deemed unadvisable to give us the character of accredited agents, which would necessarily tend to mix us up with politics. Though this plan may have been very wise on the part of Government, yet it by no means contributed to our comfort, as we found ourselves frequently the objects of suspicion. Some of the chiefs plainly said, “you are come