"Ready, I cannot really drink a drop of water myself, and I am thirsty, unless you give a little to these poor dogs."
"I pity the poor dumb creatures as much as you do, Master Willy; it is kindness to ourselves and them too, which makes me refuse it to them. However, if you like, we will take a walk first, and see if we can find any water. Let us first go to the little dell to the right, and if we do not succeed, we will try farther on where the water has run down during the rainy season." William was very glad to go, and away they went, followed by the dogs, Ready having taken up the spade, which he carried on his shoulder. They soon came to the dell, and the dogs put their noses to the ground, and snuffed about. Ready watched them; at last they lay down panting.
"Let us go on," said Ready, thoughtfully; they went on to where the run of water appeared to have been - the dogs snuffed about more eagerly than before.
"You see, William, these poor dogs are now so eager for water, that if there is any, they will find it out where we never could. I don't expect water above-ground, but there may be some below it. This beach is hardly far enough from the water's edge, or I should try in the sand for it."
"In the sand - but would it not be salt?" replied William.
"No, not if at a good distance from the sea-beach; for you see, William, the sand by degrees filters the sea-water fresh, and very often when the sand runs in a long way from the high-water mark, if you dig down, you will find good fresh water, at other times it is a little brackish, but still fit for use."
"Look, Ready, at Romulus and Remus - how hard they are digging with their paws there in the hollow."
"Thanks to Heaven that they are! You don't know how happy you have made me feel: for, to tell you the truth, I was beginning to be alarmed."