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Title: Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life, Travel & Exploration
Author: Lord, W. B.
Language: English
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of specific issues encountered and the resolutions of each.


                         SHIFTS AND EXPEDIENTS

                              OF CAMP LIFE

                          TRAVEL & EXPLORATION

                              BY W.B. LORD

                            ROYAL ARTILLERY


                           T. BAINES F.R.G.S.

                               HORACE COX
                              39 STRAND WC




                                 CHAPTER I.

  OUTFIT TO TAKE ABROAD                                                3

                                CHAPTER II.

  BOATS, RAFTS, AND MAKE-SHIFT FLOATS                                 91

                                CHAPTER III.

  WORKING IN METALS                                                  192

                                CHAPTER IV.

  HUTS AND HOUSES                                                    268

                                 CHAPTER V.


                                CHAPTER VI.

  TIMBER AND ITS UTILISATION                                         355

                                CHAPTER VII.

  SLEDGES AND SLEDGE TRAVELLERS                                      394

                               CHAPTER VIII.

  BOOTS, SHOES, AND SANDALS                                          412

                                CHAPTER IX.

  WAGGONS AND OTHER WHEELED VEHICLES                                 432

                                CHAPTER X.

  HARNESS AND PACK ANIMALS                                           457

                                CHAPTER XI.

  CATTLE MARKING                                                     478

                                CHAPTER XII.

  HINTS ON HYGEENS AND CAMELS                                        483

                                CHAPTER XIII.

  WATER, AND THE SAP OF PLANTS                                       491

                                CHAPTER XIV.

  CAMP COOKERY                                                       535

                                CHAPTER XV.

  FISH AND AMPHIBIOUS ANIMALS                                        585

                                CHAPTER XVI.

  POISONED WEAPONS, ARROWS, SPEARS, &C.                              619

                                CHAPTER XVII.

  TRACKING, HUNTING, AND TRAPPING                                    628

                                CHAPTER XVIII.

  PALANQUINS, STRETCHERS, AMBULANCES, &C.                            682

                                CHAPTER XIX.

      OF TRAVEL                                                      716

                                CHAPTER XX.


                                CHAPTER XXI.

      OF NATURAL HISTORY                                             761

                                CHAPTER XXII.

  ROPES AND TWINE                                                    788

                                CHAPTER XXIII.

  BUSH VETERINARY SURGERY AND MEDICINE                               798

  APPENDIX                                                           808

  INDEX                                                              815

                       DIRECTIONS TO THE BINDER.


CAMP SCENE IN AFRICA                                  _To face page_  55

BOAT BUILDING ON THE LOGIER RIVER                                    125


LEAD SMELTING IN THE FOREST                                          228

SEARCHING FOR GOLD                                                   251

INDIAN LODGES                                                        309

THE TREATMENT OF TIMBER BY STEAM AND SAW                             376

SLEDGING OVER ROUGH ICE                                              402


GROUP OF HARNESS                                                     465

INDIAN WELL                                                          508

HIPPOPOTAMUS TRAP                                                    613

TRAPS FOR SMALL GAME                                                 673


                         Shifts and Expedients




Like two voyagers returned from a long cruise in far-off seas, we throw
together our joint gleanings in many lands. These do not consist of
jewels, gems, gold, or furs; no piles of costly merchandise do we lay
at the reader's feet as offerings from distant climes, but simply the
experiences of two roving Englishmen who have roughed it. By those who
have to pass through a campaign, travel wild countries, or explore
little known regions, shifts must be made, and expedients of many kinds
had recourse to, of which the inexperienced in such matters would but
little dream.

As necessity is the mother of invention, so is self-reliance the
father of its practical application, and it is with a strong desire
(by explaining how constantly recurring wants may be overcome, and
apparently hopeless difficulties surmounted) to strengthen that
quality in those who roam that we write this volume. In our travels
and adventures we have not been associated, the paths trodden by us
being widely separated. Whilst one was exploring in the wilds of North
Australia, the other was dwelling in a canvas-covered hole in the earth
before Sebastopol. The scenes change; Southern and Tropical Africa is
visited by the late Australian traveller, whilst the Crimea, with
its rugged hills and wild ravines, is exchanged for the jungles of
Central India by the other. So the two barques have drifted here and
there on the world's tide, but are anchored side by side, and have
compared logs at last; and if amongst the heterogeneous odds and ends
therein contained the reader can find the aid he seeks, our shifts and
expedients will not have been made in vain.

                               CHAPTER I.

                         OUTFIT TO TAKE ABROAD.

{Equipment to be purchased in England.}

In dealing with this portion of our subject we can but generalise, as
the destination of the traveller and the objects he has in view will
materially modify the nature and extent of his equipment. The military
officer who is bound on a long march, through a comparatively wild
country, needs a very different outfit from that which a hunter or
trader of experience would procure for himself before starting for
the home of the elephant and the savage. The man who, with his wife
and family, seeks a new home beyond the border line which divides the
unreclaimed wilderness from civilised society, needs an infinitely
more voluminous store of requisites--not to say comforts--than the
small band of hardy explorers or hunter naturalists, who, with horse,
mule, pack and rifle, wend their way over prairies and mountains
without path, and thread the forests and thickets where no traveller
has penetrated. There are other members of the human family who prefer
prosecuting their wanderings alone, carry all their worldly possessions
with them, and whose equipment is usually of a particularly simple
and practical character. The sea, the inland lake, and the rivers
flowing through little known regions, each have their explorers, for
whose use a variety of contrivances are needed. Some of these are
best made at home; others it will be found most convenient to prepare
in the localities in which their aid are required; whilst at times
adverse circumstances will render it necessary to improvise rough and
ready appliances to save life and prolong its duration when saved. We
shall therefore endeavour to give such hints and directions as will
enable our readers who intend visiting far-off countries to select
such matters as may be best purchased before quitting England, and to
avoid encumbering themselves with useless impedimenta. As we have first
made mention of the military officer about to depart on service, we
will suppose that he is in London, or any other large town, gathering
together his traps for a start. We will then accompany him on his
shopping expeditions, and give him a few hints as to what will prove
most useful. On matters of uniform we can have nothing to say further
than to advise, as we do in every case of purchase, that it be obtained
from some tradesman of well-established reputation. The raiment
calculated to meet the requirements of refined society, when the
uniform is for the time cast aside, must also be left to the dictates
of the prevailing mode and the good taste of the wearer.

{Shirt making and clothing.}

Where fashion and the dress regulations of the army end there do we
begin, and as flannel is, perhaps, the most important as an article
of under clothing, we will first make a few remarks on shirts of that
material, of which plenty should be taken. First, then, have them made
to measure from flannel which has been previously well shrunk, of
thoroughly good quality, of medium substance, and unobtrusive pattern
or colour. It will be well to order them of extra length, both of
sleeve and body, so as to allow for the shrinkage which is certain
to take place after a few washings, in spite of all precautions. Two
breast pockets should be made in each. These are very convenient for
holding a variety of small matters when no waistcoat is worn. For outer
clothing nothing can surpass good heather-coloured tweed, or Waterford
frieze, for ordinary wear; jackets of shooting-coat pattern, made with
plenty of pockets, formed from much stronger materials than are usually
made use of by tailors for that purpose, will be found most useful
for knocking about in. One or two pairs of trousers may be strapped
up the inside and bottoms of the legs with leather, after the cavalry
rough-rider pattern. A pair or two of Oxford cord hunting breeches
will also be found useful to wear with long boots, with ankle jacks
and gaiters. The waistcoats should be cut rather long, made with four
pockets, two breast and two bottom. All these should have flaps or
"salt-box" covers to them. Each half of the waistcoat, from about the
level of the bottom button and button-hole to where the back is joined
in, should be lined with a strip of leather. A long loose gaberdine
of woollen stuff, made to button up the front, and secured round the
waist by a long narrow scarf or "cummerbund," is an immense comfort
in camp or quarters, let the climate be hot or cold. A good supply of
reddish-brown woollen socks should be laid in; a moderate number of
long stockings, of the same material, to wear with the breeches; and
a few dozen pairs of the "heelless cotton" socks, for use on board
ship, or when the weather is hot; nothing can be more agreeable to
wear, except silk, and the cost is a mere trifle when compared to that
of other hosiery. White cotton pocket handkerchiefs, as a rule, last
their owners very much longer than silk, being less tempting to native
servants or followers. Braces should be always ordered of the saddler,
and made from the material used for the surcingles of racehorses. One
pair of these lasts longer than half-a-dozen of the flimsy affairs
usually sold ready made. There are those who dispense with braces, find
great relief by the practice, and wear an ordinary waist-belt instead;
but to some persons much discomfort is caused by so doing. A soft felt
hat, with a moderately wide brim, is a convenient head dress in most
temperate climates. With the head gear made use of in the tropics and
the far north we shall have to speak hereafter. The best gloves for
general and moderately rough usage are those sold under the name of
driving gloves. They should be obtained of the regular glover, and have
buckskin let in between the fingers. A pair of common hedging gloves
well repays the trouble of taking, when the brush of the thicket has to
be handled and firewood arranged.

{Hats, ground sheets, and india-rubber garments.}

Take a blue cloth pilot coat, cut long enough to reach just below
the knees; have it lined throughout with woollen material; let the
pockets be made extra strong, and order the buttons to be large, of
black horn, and sewn on with double-waxed thread. The left hand breast
pocket should be deep and lined with leather, as it not unfrequently
becomes a resting-place for the revolver when you do not wish to make
an ostentatious display of it. Get a couple of real Scotch caps, such
as the Highland shepherds wear; nothing can equal them for sleeping in
when camping out, and they form a most convenient head-covering for
camp use, or when the sun is not too powerful. Get from some sailors'
outfitter a regular seagoing sou'wester hat, with ear and neck flaps,
and a pair of oiled canvas overalls to match. Procure also from some
first-class maker a thoroughly good india-rubber coat; long enough to
come well below the tops of the butcher boots. Buttons should be sewn
in at the back and sides of the collar, in order to admit of a hood
of the same material being put on when needed. An arrangement of this
kind we have found most useful for boat work and in heavy tropical
rains. Order also a piece of the best Russia duck, 9ft. by 8ft.; have
this subjected to the waterproofing process; have the edges turned in
to form a 2in. hem; and at every two feet, at both sides and ends,
have good sized wide flanged brass eyelets punched in. Then in the
centre of the piece have a longitudinal slit made 16in. in length,
have the raw edge bound with a broad strong tape, and at every 3in.
on each side have an eyelet of less size than those at the edges put
in. This arrangement admits of the slit being laced close when it
is not required. A waterproof square of this kind is useful for an
almost endless number of purposes. In the first place it can be used
as a ground sheet to sleep on; it can, by thrusting the head through
the unlaced opening, be converted into an excellent cloak; it can by
fastening strings and pegs to the sides, and cutting a ridge pole,
be converted into a very fair substitute for a small tent; it forms
an excellent carpet to lay by the side of the tent bed, when you are
fortunate enough to be able to use one, keeping down insects, and
protecting the feet from sharp grass, stumps, and twigs. If during
rain the tent should admit water, as it sometimes will (especially if
heedlessly touched when saturated with moisture), this universal square
of duck can by the aid of some upright sticks or canes, one at the head
and another at the foot of the bed, and a bit of rope stretched like a
clothes line from one to the other, be at once made use of as a roof
to the bed, the sides being made to slope and stand out by attaching
pieces of twine to a few of the side poles. Clothes and other matters
can be securely carried when rolled up in this, even in the heaviest
rain. On a pinch, even a river might be crossed with its assistance,
but the method adopted for constructing extempore rafts, boats, canoes,
and floats, will be fully treated on when that subject comes under

{Boots and shoes.}

Boots and shoes for real work are in no part of the world equal to
those made at home, and a thoroughly good stock should be laid in
before quitting England; "butcher boots," so made as to fit the leg
compactly just below the bend of the knee, with low heels, and broad
heel seats; several pairs of shooting boots of the regular ankle-jack
gamekeeper's pattern, tipped at toe and heel. A pair or two of high
shoes made from soft undressed russet leather will be found very useful
to wear instead of slippers, or for camp use when the ground is dry. A
pair of Cording's wading boots will be found invaluable. They occupy
little space, are comparatively light, and keep the legs and feet dry
and warm when nothing else will. The late Mr. Wheelwright--better known
in the sporting and scientific world as the "Old Bushman"--thus speaks
of them in a communication to the _Field_: "I can add the testimony
of five years' experience to all you can say in their favour. For
wading, flight shooting, boat fishing or punting, and all winter water
work, they are invaluable. They are a little too heavy for a hard
day's walking, and soon cut through in the leg or foot among stakes
or bushes; but use them carefully, and they will be found by far the
best water boots ever made. They are very warm, stand a long while, are
perfectly water-tight to the last, and they have this advantage over a
leather boot--they want no dressing. Only never keep them near a fire.
I lost three or four pairs in the bush by neglecting to draw them off
before I lay down for the night before a camp fire. And what is worth
all the rest, they never get hard, but are always as easy to draw off
and on as a glove." It will be well also to provide two or three pairs
of brown leather shooting boots without heels and with single soles,
free from nails, and flexible enough to admit of the wearer walking
softly and with perfect freedom.

Foot gear, adapted to the nature of most countries to which the
traveller is likely to proceed, will be fully described when bush
shoemaking is under consideration.

It will be well also to procure from a saddler a good supply of
bootlaces. These should be cut straight and in the way of the grain of
the hide. The white leather used by carters for mending their harness
is by far the best for the purpose. Strips of this cut to about the
eighth of an inch square, and well greased with mutton suet, are next
to indestructible, and are available for all sorts of purposes apart
from that of lacing boots or shoes. Slightly burning or roasting the
ends in the candle or fire hardens them sufficiently to pass freely
through the lace holes without a tag.

                       Trunks and Boxes.

  [Illustration: TWO BOXES ON ENDS OF POLE.]

For ordinary travel the solid leather bullock trunks, of regulation
size, will be found both convenient and durable. All strap guides,
loops, and handles must be riveted as well as sewn to the body of the
trunk. Spare keys should also be fitted to the locks. In countries
where it is customary for baggage to be carried by porters through
narrow bush paths, and where destructive insects are numerous, we
recommend the use of sheet copper boxes, 16in. long, 12in. wide, and
12in. deep, made with copper wire strengthening rods, worked in the
edges of the plates or sheets. Ring handles, also of copper, should
be fitted to both sides and ends, as iron when wet would corrode the
copper. These serve to pass straps, cords, or lashings through. In
making these boxes great care should be taken to fit the joints and
cover so as to render them rainproof. The insides should be tinned just
as coppersmiths tin cooking pots. The above illustration will serve
to show the manner in which one porter carries two of these cases,
which, to be transported in this way, should not, with their contents,
weigh over 20lb. each. If one box is carried, as shown in the annexed
engraving, from 35lb. to 40lb. weight may be placed in it. Boxes for
Cape waggon travelling should be about 3ft. long by 16in. wide and
deep. They are best made of well-seasoned Memel deal, 1in. thick,
dovetailed and angle plated. Such packing cases as are taken will
require lining; thin sheet lead is convenient for this purpose, as it
serves for bullet-making when the boxes are taken on shore.


                        Shooting Gear.


To the traveller whose means of transport confine him to the possession
of one gun, we say, without hesitation, purchase a plain, strong,
muzzle-loading, double-barrelled smooth bore of 11 or 12 gauge. Length
of barrel, 2ft. 6in., weight 8-1/2lb. without the ramrod, a front
action bar, side locks, and ramrod pipes large enough to carry a rod of
extra large size and power. Two pairs of spare nipples, and one pair of
fitted main springs, in addition to those in the locks. A bell-metal or
iron spherical bullet mould must be selected with the greatest care,
as it by no means follows that because the figure 12 or 11 is stamped
on it, that, like a wadding punch, it is calculated for a gun of the
same gauge. Our plan, when about to purchase a new mould, is to form,
with beeswax, heated in warm water or before the fire, a ball, and
to trim, mould, and finally to roll it on a polished table under the
hand, until, when placed on a piece of thin, soft, greased kid, and
gently pressed down, it fits the bore accurately; then, with this ball
as a guide, we search the moulds until one is found just the size to
contain it without undue pressure being used in entering the hardened
wax ball. This mould we secure, caring nothing for the conventional
numbers placed on it. The spherical leaden ball, when encased in kid,
should fit the bore just tight enough to require one steady downward
thrust of the rod to force it home. If it travels on without pressure,
it is too loose; if, on the other hand, tapping with the rod is needed,
it is too tight, and liable to welt or disfigure the barrel. We have
seen many much injured, and rendered very unsafe, from this cause. If
several guns can be taken, then it will be well to purchase one or
more breech-loaders of No. 12 gauge. {Rifles and guns.} In the choice
of rifles, our readers must be mainly guided by the character and
size of the game they intend pursuing. A poly-groove muzzle-loader,
No. 12 bore, 2ft. 4in. in the barrels, and of about 10lb. weight,
will be found a generally useful and reliable gun. There are, without
doubt, many advantages attendant on the use of breech-loading guns
and rifles. There are also drawbacks, which, except under peculiar
circumstances, more than outweigh them. That the breech-loading form
of construction, varied as it is, is of less strength and durability
than that of an equally well made muzzle-loader, few will be disposed
to dispute. The hinge joints, levers, and slides, should they chance to
become bent, loose, or, worse still, broken, would require repair by
an experienced gunsmith; whilst, as will be seen as the work proceeds,
nearly all the common accidents to which even the strongest and best
made muzzle-loaders are liable in the bush, can, by the exercise of a
little ingenuity, be readily made efficient weapons by their unskilled
owners. Gunpowder, lead, and percussion caps, such as they are, can,
when your own store is expended, destroyed, or lost, be readily
procured even in very out of the way corners of the earth; whilst the
cartridges calculated for breech-loaders could be only procured in
towns or trading posts of importance, where the cost would, as a matter
of necessity, be great, and their efficiency questionable. Strong flint
muskets (old army regulation) will be found best calculated for the use
of native servants. A bit of agate, common quartz, or iron pyrites,
answers the purpose of a flint, should one be lost. Nevertheless,
some breech-loaders so perfectly combine the qualities of simplicity
of construction, excellence of shooting, and facility of re-loading,
that we forbear to put too general a veto upon them, especially when,
by inserting a metallic wad, they can be converted in case of need into
muzzle-loaders. Terry and Calishers, Westley Richards, and others,
are favourites in the Cape colony; and we carried for four years in
tropical South Africa one by T. Wilson, of Birmingham: it was compact
and simple in action, devoid of hinges and levers. We have loaded with
facility while running from a wounded elephant, and turned to fire
again within eighty yards. The cartridge was easily made with wads of
the proper size and a bit of tissue paper saturated with common fat;
each shot ejected the greased wad of the previous charge, cleaning
the barrel as it went. It could, if necessary, have been used as a
muzzle-loader, and is now, after 1600 rounds have been fired from it,
in as good condition as could be desired. The long sword bayonet we
never used, but, instead, cut down a smaller sword to the proportion of
a bush knife, and, by a little smith's craft and patience, fitted it
to be used as a bayonet if needed. A breech-loader has this advantage,
that with a small bayonet a man, even in a sharp skirmish, is not
defenceless while loading, for he has his point always before him ready
for use should his enemy close. We have since had a spring locker let
into the stock, to hold half a dozen cartridges and caps; so that, even
when snatched up without the belt, the gun should not become useless
after the first discharge.

Before quitting the subject, it may not be amiss to give a few hints
on the purchase of second-hand guns; these are often to be obtained
for considerably less than their original cost, and just as good as
when perfectly new. There are many establishments in London, where
second-hand fire-arms in considerable numbers are regularly kept to
select from; amongst these may be mentioned Whistler in the Strand,
Vaughan in the Strand, Hewett of Blackman-street, Borough, and Watson
of 313, Holborn. After deciding on the description of gun you require,
and ascertaining the cost, see that the maker's name is a good one,
take the number of the gun, and either call, write, or telegraph as
to identity and original price, which matters of information the
manufacturer will immediately furnish. This is not an unnecessary
caution, as, unless the would-be purchaser is experienced in style
of finish, and quality of workmanship, he may possibly invest in an
article sailing under false colours; and here let us most emphatically
impress on the reader that at neither of the shops above referred to
would he knowingly be allowed to be deceived. But that there are guns
in the market with names on them which are forgeries few will deny,
and it requires both the experience of the dealer, and the caution
of the buyer, to guard against being taken in by them. Do not rashly
reject a sound useful gun because it is made by a provincial Irish
or Scotch maker, as there are many gunsmiths out of London who turn
out guns equal in quality and shooting powers to any in the world.
When examining a gun you are about to buy, try the locks by cocking
and uncocking, see that the pitch suits your mode of shooting, draw
the ramrod, lift the hammers to half-cock, drift out the bolt and
reverse the barrels, when on looking underneath near the breech you
will probably see the proof marks and the number of gauge at which
the gun was proved; place the gun gauge in the muzzles and see that
the two numbers correspond, as it occasionally happens that guns are
proved at one number and bored out until they represent another--a most
reprehensible practice, which militates greatly against the safety
of the owner of the gun which has been thus tampered with. Do not,
however, hastily cast aside a well-made Irish gun with a known maker's
name engraved on it because there are no proof marks, as, for some
strange reason or another, the law of proof does not appear to extend
to Ireland; and we have seen many guns of surpassing excellence made
in both Dublin and Cork unstamped. The reason for this anomalous state
of affairs we never have succeeded in getting clearly explained; we
therefore merely speak of matters as we have found them.

Before removing the locks, see that they are neatly and compactly
fitted into the wood of the stock; see also that the timber of the
stock in the bed of the barrels immediately in front of the false
breech is sound; some makers lay in plates of metal at this joint,
which is an excellent plan. On removing the bolt and taking off the
locks, see that all the cavities into which the projections and
springs fit have been cleanly and evenly cut out with the tool. See
also that the triggers work freely and have back springs to them.
See that the interiors of the locks are well fitted together, and
if you can find the name of "Joseph Brazier, Ashes," engraved on the
inside of the plate, you may discontinue your scrutiny so far as the
lock department is concerned, as it is a guarantee for excellence of
quality which we have always found beyond question. Have the breeches
and nipples removed; see that both male and female screws are perfect;
look carefully through the barrels, and see that the inner surfaces
are clear, bright, and free from rust or honeycombing. Cast a general
glance over the gun furniture to see that all is firm and sound. See
that there are no shakes or cracks in the stock, and if there is no
varnish on it so much the better. Whether the barrels are to be of
Damascus or laminated steel, or twisted stubs, we must leave in great
measure to the taste of the purchaser. Each kind has its advocates.
We do not advise having guns without ramrods, as we have seen much
inconvenience arise in wild countries from having the loading rod to
carry and depend on. It is well to have one with a large powerful worm
inside the driving top or end, but it should be regarded rather in the
light of an auxiliary than an instrument to be depended on. {Testing
firearms.} It will also be advisable, before concluding your purchase,
to test the shooting powers of the weapon selected. If a smooth bore,
experiment on it first for accuracy of shooting with shot, in order
to ascertain if the barrels are accurately fitted together. This is
very easily done by trying a few shots from both barrels, at two or
three different ranges, at a small object such as a visiting card. By
fastening this to the centre of the target, and shooting steadily at
it, you will at once ascertain if both the barrels perform their work
satisfactorily, and do not shoot to the right or left. With such a gun
as we have recommended, 3drs. of powder and 1-1/4oz. of No. 5 or 6
shot will be found a fair average charge. Equal quantities by measure
of powder and shot form a charge almost universal in its usefulness.
The next test should be for pattern or regularity of distribution, at
different distances, which may begin at twenty paces and extend to
sixty, using the same charge. A large piece of sheet iron, painted
over with a mixture of pipeclay or whitening and water, should, in
the absence of one of Government pattern, be made use of. Form a
round black space in the middle, and, as in the case of the former
experiment, shoot steadily at it, at the different ranges indicated. It
will then be seen whether the shot are equally and evenly distributed
over a moderately large space of the metal. There are two modes of
testing penetration usually had recourse to. The most common is to
fire the gun, at different ranges, at a number of sheets of paper. Old
books, with the covers removed, answer the purpose as well as anything.
These, when firmly secured against the target, a door, or tree, are
fired at with a fair average charge, in order to ascertain the number
of leaves the shot has found its way through. To carry an experiment
of this kind out satisfactorily, it will be well to test the intended
purchase against some gun of known excellence, as no arbitrary rule can
be laid down as to the number of sheets which should be penetrated, no
two surfaces of paper being exactly alike in quality, substance, and
mode of arrangement. Tin powder canisters are also used as a test of
penetrating power. Some guns will riddle them from side to side, whilst
others, with the same charge, and at the same distance, merely throw
the shot through one thickness of the tin plate. Powder canisters are
not always of the same substance; therefore, we recommend a competitive
trial with them.

The accompanying table of results, which were some time since arrived
at and communicated to the _Field_ by an experienced correspondent,
will serve to show what varied results follow the use of particular
guns and canisters of more than ordinary strength.

"I was struck with the strength and sharpness of shooting of the
7-1/2lb. 11-gauge gun at the trials, of which I sent you the report,
and decided on trying the canisters again. The first was a very hard,
strong canister of Curtis and Harvey's, nearly square, being 4-3/4in.
by 4-1/2in. and 1-3/4in. nearly through. I fired eight barrels, two or
three pellets of each barrel going clean through both sides, and such
as did not go through both sides deeply indenting the second side. I
tried another of Curtis and Harvey's 6-1/2in. by 3-1/4in. by 1-3/8in.,
with like results--No. 5 shot 40 yards (by tape), and the canisters
standing loose on the top of a post. I then tried my heavy gun, 9lb.
11-gauge, barrels 5-1/2lb., 31in. long. I have drawn out a table of
charges and results. The patterns with No. 5 were very good--first-rate
many of them--and the strongest; with the 3-1/2drs. and 1-1/2oz. very
great, the other charge would not do. With No. 4 the strength is very
great, but I cannot rely on the pattern. I then put up a Curtis and
Harvey tin canister (apparently like the last in size and substance),
6-1/2in. by 3-1/4in. by 1-3/8in., and let go my right barrel at 40
yards with No. 5; to my amazement, five pellets stuck in the first
side, but none went through. I then examined it, and it was very
clearly a tough and strong subject. My keeper tried the other barrel
with the same results. He was, however, quite sure that my other gun
would send No. 5 through both sides. I tried several shots the next day
with the other gun at this same canister, but could not get through the
first side; the shots stuck in, and so hard that a strong clasp knife
would hardly extract them. I was astonished, I confess, for the shots
which struck the stone gate-post were flattened as thin as the edge of
a knife; and, standing about 5 yards wide of the mark, the strength
seemed sufficient to go through anything. However, facts are facts; and
the three canisters are now lying on the ground before me. I have since
been experimenting with the light gun and No. 6; the day was not very
favourable, being windy, but I did not like the patterns.

       |      |      |      |  Right  |   Left |
   Dr. | Oz.  | No.  | Yds. | Barrel. | Barrel.| LIGHT GUN, 7-1/2lb.,
       |      |      |      |         |        | barrels 4-3/4lb. 30in.
    3  |1-1/4 |No. 6 |  40  |   116   |   110  |  Very good. Very good.
       |      |      |      |   110   |   107  |  Very good. Very good.
       |      |      |      |   112   |    93  |  Good. Left went to the
       |      |      |      |         |        |   left.
       |      |      |  60  |    46   |    41  |  Tolerable. Left low.
       |      |No. 5 | ...  |    42   |    31  |  Good pattern, and very

  Targets 6ft. by 4-1/2ft., with circle 30in. in diameter; shots on
  circle not counted.

"I do not like No. 6; it comes up hard, too--very hard. I stood behind
the target while my keeper shot at it, both at 40 yards and 60 yards,
so I could judge well; but the patterns had not the killing regularity
of No. 5; a part was thick as dust shot, and another like No. 5, but
without its broad splashes, though the pellets were all as flat as
wafers at 60 yards. I would have backed the bird for ever. I cannot
help thinking that, in windy weather, very little execution could be
done at 40 yards with No. 6. I have since tried other charges--3drs.
1-1/8oz., 3drs. 1-3/10oz., both Nos. 5 and 6; also 3-1/4drs. 1-3/8oz.,
but I do not find any charge beats 3drs. and 1-1/4oz.

        |      |      |      |  Right  |   Left |
   Dr.  | Oz.  | No.  | Yds. | Barrel. | Barrel.|  Heavy Gun.
  3-1/4 |1-3/8 |No. 5 |  40  |    65   |    66  |  Right good. Left
        |      |      |      |    66   |    88  |  Right two holes or
        |      |      |      |         |        |    spaced. Left first
        |      |      |      |         |        |    rate.
        |      |      |  50  |    46   |    39  |  Not good. Not good.
        |      |      |      |    31   |    40  |  Moderate. Moderate.
        |      |      |      |         |        |    Want of strength,
        |      |      |      |         |        |    not the charge.
        |      |      |      |         |        |
  3-1/2 |1-1/2 |No. 5 |  40  |    84   |    81  |  Right very good. Left
        |      |      |      |         |        |    first-rate.
        |      |      |      |    80   |    81  |  Right good. Left
        |      |      |      |         |        |    excellent.
        |      |      |      |    83   |    84  |  Right first-rate.
        |      |      |      |         |        |    Left first-rate.
        |      |      |  50  |    42   |    50  |  Right excellent. Left
        |      |      |      |         |        |    excellent.
        |      |      |      |    46   |    44  |  Right not regular.
        |      |      |      |         |        |    Left very good.
        |      |      |      |    53   |    51  |  Right first-rate.
        |      |      |      |         |        |    Left first-rate.
        |      |      |      |         |        |    Very regular, very
        |      |      |      |         |        |    hard, very close.
        |      |      |      |         |        |
  3-1/2 |1-1/2 |No. 4 |  40  |    47   |    52  |  Very good.
        |      |      |  50  |    27   |    19  |  Not good at all.

  Targets 2ft. square, iron, tape measurement; gun 9lb., without ramrod;
  barrels 5-1/2lb. and 31in."

{Rifle sights.}

A rifle, before purchase, should also be carefully tested as to
accuracy of shooting; this can be best done on some rifle range. For
sporting purposes, accuracy of delivery and power of penetration at
moderate distances are much more valuable qualities than length of
range. Accuracy of shooting is best ascertained by firing steadily
from increasing distances at an ordinary target centre, up to 200yds.
A generally useful charge for spherical balls consists of the
bullet-mouldful of the very best powder. Use a greased kid patch for
the ball; see that it has no defects or faults in it; and never strike
it with the driving end of the rod when it has once reached the surface
of the powder in the barrel. Send the ball well home with a steady
pressure from above, and then withdraw the rod. Should it be found
that the balls are sent to the right of the object, in all probability
it will be found on examination that either the hind sight is placed
too far towards the right, or the fore sight too far in the opposite
direction. So with rifles which shoot to the left. If the hind sight
has been shifted in its slot, and driven too far to the left of the
exact line, or the front sight in a direction towards the right, the
balls will be found to assume an untrue flight; and the greater the
distance they have to travel, the more marked will the error become.
The handle of an old tooth brush, fashioned with a file into the form
of an elongated wedge, will, with the aid of a mallet or hammer, serve
to drift the slides into their proper position. This, when once found,
should be noted by making a small but deep cut with the point of a
penknife across both slide and barrel rib, so that if moved the two
ends of the cut will not correspond. Gunmakers usually either cut a
notch or punch in a piece of platinum, with the same view. Rifles will
not unfrequently need re-sighting from accidents in wild countries, but
this subject will be treated of at length hereafter. The penetration
of rifle balls is best ascertained by firing them at a number of thin
elm boards, placed one on the other like a pack of cards. The number of
layers or boards penetrated is at once ascertained by taking off the
planks one by one until the ball is reached.


We are not unfrequently asked to advise as to the quantity of
ammunition a single sportsman should take abroad in order to enjoy a
fair amount of shooting. The duration of the proposed excursion, nature
of game about to be followed, and the proclivities of the intending
traveller, will all influence the bulk of the store he should provide
himself with. Still, a hint or two may at any rate serve for a basis
for him to regulate his purchases by. Supposing, then, that a No. 12
or 11 muzzle-loader, an 11 or 12 bore muzzle-loading rifle, and either
a brace of double pistols or a revolver, are taken; 4lb. of best
sporting powder, 2lb. of rifle ditto, 2000 best caps for guns, which
_should have nipples alike_, and 250 pistol caps; two 28lb. bags of
No. 6 shot, one bag No. 4, and one bag BB. Have sail-canvas bags made
to go outside the ordinary shot bags, as these are sure to burst with
rough travelling. Take six bags of ordinary mercurial gun wads, and six
of extra thick felt ditto as powder wads. These can be split in two
if you run short. Wads of this kind are invaluable, as they keep the
gun clean, improve its power of shooting considerably, and are less
liable to rise in the barrel than those of thin material. Get a stout
elm box made; have it lined with sheet lead; have a division of stout
plank made in the middle, so that the shot may rest at one end and the
powder, wads, and caps at the other. Pack in every crevice with tow,
as that will come handy for cleaning purposes, solder down your lead
cover, and then screw on your elm box-lid. A stout pair of elm cleets
or bars should be secured to both bottom and top of the box. They not
only strengthen it, but prevent the planking from coming in contact
with the earth or wet decks. They also serve to prevent ropes used in
slinging or fastening the case in its various haulings up and lowerings
down from slipping. Cleets of this kind are useful appendages to all
wooden boxes used by travellers.


The most efficient and powerful pistol we have used is the holster
revolver of Colonel Colt, but its weight (4lb. 2oz.) is far too great
to admit of its being generally carried except on horseback. There
are not so many objections to the use of breech-loading revolvers and
pistols as there are to guns and rifles made on that plan. In the
first place, they are less liable to breakage or derangement; and in
the next, from the very limited number of cartridges which would be
actually fired, a sufficient number may be very easily taken to last
through a long campaign or expedition. It is an immense advantage
being able to instantly load or unload the chamber without discharging
it. It is customary with many travellers, ourselves amongst the
number, to fire the revolver off every Saturday to clean, re-load,
and re-cap them, thereby sacrificing six charges, six caps, and some
little labour. Notwithstanding all the ingenuity which has of late
been devoted to the production of breech-loading revolvers, we have
not seen one which we can recommend without reservation--the great
fault in every case being smallness of bore. Long range is, as a rule,
not required in a pistol, but that which is required is the power
of inflicting a severe shock to the system at comparatively close
quarters. Numerous cases might be cited when, after lodging two or even
three of the tiny pellets fired from small revolvers in the body of an
enemy, the enemy has had decidedly the best of it, and coolly finished
off the owner of the mechanical popgun with some old-world weapon of
greater power. Until a large-bored and handy breech-loading revolver
is produced, we recommend for use on horseback, either double-barelled
smooth-bore Lefaucheux-pattern pistols with 7-1/2in. barrels and 14
bore, or muzzle-loaders of the same size and gauge, with bar side
locks and swivel ramrods. The over and under double pistol is an
excellent weapon, and is carried by many soldiers and travellers of
great experience; but for our part, we prefer the barrels mounted side
by side, precisely as they are in a double gun. To carry in the belt
for use on foot, the Tranter breech-loader is perhaps as good as any,
although as a rule the trigger pull is too heavy; but this is an evil
which admits of correction.

{Powder flasks, barrel rods, &c.}

Take three Sykes powder-flasks, one to hold a pound and the others
of medium size; have them of tinned copper stitched over with saddle
pig-skin. We prefer for carrying shot a double shot-belt with patent
side springs to any of the lever cut-off contrivances; it is a very
old-fashioned plan we know, but a very effective and useful one for all
that. Two sizes of shot can be carried in it; it can be worn much more
comfortably than a pouch, which is always getting in the way, and there
is no loss of shot from chance blows on the lever: a still greater
advantage lays in your being able to see that which goes into your gun.
If only one size shot can be taken, select No. 6 for general use; but
No. 8, No. 4, and Bristol B. should be added if practicable. Gunpowder
of excellent quality is now to be obtained of all the first-class
makers. For percussion caps, thick felt gun-wads, and ordinary
mercurial ditto, go to either Joyce or Ely. The wire cartridges of
the latter maker are invaluable if they can be carried: we have done
wonders with them. When having your shooting gear put in order, have
two well-seasoned deal rods made, so that they may fit tightly into the
barrels of the gun when covered with two layers of flannel, which must
be firmly stitched on; the sticks are cut exactly the length of the
barrels, and connected at the muzzle ends by a short piece of strong
tape; this serves to draw them out by. Before placing the sticks in the
barrels for final packing up, rub them over with mercurial ointment,
as should be done to both the outsides of the barrels and the gun
furniture; there is little fear of rust attacking your firearms when
treated in this way.

A brass mould for casting buck shot will be found very useful. One we
have found of infinite service is thus made: Two long narrow cheeks of
brass are fitted at one end with a hinge, each cheek has the halves
of fifteen shot sockets at each edge, making, when the two halves are
closed, thirty perfect spherical moulds for shot. A groove and row
of inlets run along each edge, and two movable steel plates cut off
the necks of the shot when cool. There are two handles, and the whole
affair is not unlike a long narrow pair of nutcrackers. The shot thus
cast are about the size of garden peas, and an ounce of them, with
3-1/2drs. of powder behind it from a No. 11 gun, forms a charge which
will be found most formidable if used at moderately close quarters.
When defending a camp or waggon fort against the attacks of savages
nothing is equal to it.

              Stationery and Artist's Materials.

It is to be supposed that most persons visiting little-known regions
will at least keep a diary for private gratification, if not for public
use; and now that drawing from nature is so essential a branch of
education, they will most likely also wish to sketch such objects or
scenes as may be most interesting. Some who aspire to more exactitude
of detail than an artist can hope for in a hasty sketch may wish to
practise photography; and in this beautiful art the greatest possible
facilities are offered to those who practise it. We have lately seen in
London many most beautiful pictures taken by Dr. Kirk on the Zambesi
with a small and inexpensive camera, carried as a mere supplement to
his private equipment; but unless the traveller possesses, as Kirk did,
chemical knowledge enough to enable him to contend successfully against
the various contingencies of changing climate, impurity or scarcity of
water, and innumerable other new and unexpected difficulties, we are
inclined to think that the pencil, guided with what artistic skill the
individual may be able to command, will afford, if not the best, at
least the most certainly available results; and, without undervaluing
photography, we may in this preliminary chapter notice principally the
appliances which will enable a man to keep his journal and illustrate
it with sketches of interesting scenes or objects.

{The journal.}

First, then, as to the journal. Of course, for purposes of
correspondence, a traveller will take care to supply himself with some
one of the substantial and economical portable desks in which pens,
ink, note-paper, and envelopes are always at hand to enable him to
write a creditable letter from almost any part of the world. But the
journal or diary is another matter; its value consists chiefly in its
being what its name indicates--a diary or diurnal record. It must be
written while the events described are fresh on the memory, or there
is neither life nor spirit in it. If the journal of to-day is put off,
the events of to-morrow will confuse and dim the impressions that
ought in all their pristine vigour to have been committed to paper;
procrastination is the thief of time, and we may well say that it will
rob the journal of the traveller of all that freshness and vivacity
which alone can make it interesting.


The question, then, is, how shall he carry with him material so that
each night, by the blazing camp-fire, the scantily-fed oil lamp, or
the last half hour of the quickly waning twilight, he may record his
impressions of the events of the day? We will suppose that the chase
has occupied him; or he has been engaged, as we have, in desultory
warfare in Kaffirland or India; or even, it may be, passing through
a peaceful country, with no other than the common difficulties of
exploration and objects of interest in botany, zoology, or any of the
innumerable departments of science crowding on him at every hour. He
will, perhaps, wish to send home one or more copies of his diary as
correspondence, and it is absolutely necessary that he himself should
retain a perfect copy. Ink he cannot at all times carry, nor could he
use it, for the drying up of the fluid, the clogging and corroding
of his pens, would be insuperable difficulties; and, beside this, as
his time is not sufficient for him to write in detail, even for the
first time, all that he wishes, how shall he obtain a copy? In answer
we will simply state the plan we have successfully adopted. Pen and
ink we discarded altogether, and trusted simply to the powers of a
good HH. pencil and a supply of thin white foolscap interleaved with
semi-carbonic paper, as shown in the illustration here given. By this
arrangement we were able at any time to record all needful remarks or
observations in duplicate, and could have extended this if necessary
to five copies, while all the labour of re-writing was saved and all
chance of error obviated by this simple process.

{Artist's materials.}

With regard to artist's materials, until we have an opportunity of
going farther into detail, perhaps all that need be said is that the
traveller, knowing his own capabilities and requirements, should
supply himself with material from some respectable colourman--Reeves,
Winsor and Newton, or others--with such materials as he requires. To
one who has real facility in sketching, the black-lead pencil and a
few quires of sketching cartridge paper will be the means of affording
illustrations which, compared with the simple means employed, may be
accounted marvellous; but if he has skill in colouring and will add
to this a water-colour box, with tubes, or moist colours in porcelain
pans, in assortments (always kept by the best colourmen), with a few
sable or other pencils, and brushes of the best quality (for there is
really no saving in buying cheap goods), he may obtain results that
will in after years more than repay the cost and labour he has expended
upon them.

Details of our own outfit and expenditure will hereafter be given; and
we may now briefly mention that, for pure and careful painting, white
paper--say Whatman's--is indispensable; but where strict accuracy of
tint is not essential, it is very soothing to the eye, especially under
the fervid rays of an almost vertical sun, to have the paper slightly
tinted with pearl, warm grey, light drab, or neutral colours, which, if
well chosen, will enable the artist to make very effective drawings in
sepia, or colours heightened with Chinese white.

For persons wishing to employ their leisure in pleasing mementoes of
the scenes they visit, perhaps the following brief list--amplified,
should they desire it--will afford sufficient guidance; and they will
also do well to choose one or more of the shilling handbooks published
by Rowney and Co., or Winsor and Newton.

A sketching portfolio, with folding tin frame to confine the paper
while in use, and pocket for spare paper--quarto size. Do not take
sketching blocks where they have to stand rough usage.

One of folio size, if desired.

A good strong havresac of canvas, with leather slings for each folio.
Stout canvas is almost waterproof. This should have pockets for colour
box, water bottle, pencils, and penknife.

Half quire Whatman's drawing paper (white). Some of it should be cut to
the size of the folio.

Half quire sketching cartridge for less finished work.

Half quire tinted drawing paper (pearl, light drab, cool and warm

A proportion of all these papers should be cut to the size of the
sketch book when purchased; but a few sheets should be kept whole, as a
larger drawing may be required.

Two dozen drawing pencils--8 HH., 12 H., and 4 HB. In practice, it will
be found HB. is black enough, and it should be used sparingly, as,
unless a drawing is fixed immediately, the deep shades are very apt to
smear when the backs of other sketches are packed against them.

Two single bladed penknives.

Very compact sketching boxes with assorted colours in cakes, in
porcelain pans, or in collapsible tubes, are provided; and the amateur
can hardly do better than select one of these with any number of
colours from two to twenty-four.

We prefer to use the collapsible tubes, as from them any amount of
colour may be placed upon the palette ready for use, without the
trouble of grinding from the cake or washing up from the moist pan.
Another advantage is that the colour remaining in the tube cannot be
spoiled by the admixture of any other--the tubes might be carried loose
in the pocket of a white waistcoat without fear of spoiling it. There
are, however, a few which do not keep well, as, from their weight, they
separate from the medium they are mixed with and become hard. Some of
these are seldom used; but, where they are necessary, we should advise
that they be taken in cakes.

On tinted paper very nice effective sketches may be made with one tube
of sepia and a cake of Chinese white. With these we should advise three
brown sable pencils in flat German silver ferrules--Nos. 1, 3, and 6.
With the addition to these of the three primitive colours--red, blue,
and yellow--a considerable range of subjects may be painted; indeed
could we obtain these in perfect purity, we should require no other.
But, as this is impossible, we subjoin a list of colours, placing first
in order those that we have found most useful (Chinese white and sepia
have been already mentioned):--

                    Indian yellow,
                    French blue,
                    Yellow ochre,
                    Light red,
                    Prussian blue,
                    Rose madder (perhaps in cake),
                    Raw sienna (cake),
                    Burnt sienna,
                    Yellow lake,
                    Mars orange,
                    Payne's grey,
                    Vermilion (cake),
                    Vandyke brown,
                    Emerald green,
                    Scarlet lake (cake),
                    Crimson lake,
                    Purple lake,
                    Cadmium yellow (cake),
                    Brown madder (cake),
                    Purple madder (cake).

With these, the whole set from 1 to 6 of the sables in flat albata
will be needed, and we advise two each of 1, 2, and 3, as well as one
or two large swans' quills for washing in the sky or flat tints. A
tripod sketching stool folding to the size of a special's staff would
be useful, but the rivet should be strong and well clinched. Let the
watercolour box have divisions on the edge of the palette for every
colour it contains. If you take an easel, do not trust an india-rubber
collar joint; it will not stand tropical heat; let the joint be brass.
The tripod easel, folding up like a single rod, is most portable. We
have in this said nothing of oil colours; amateurs will hardly need
them in a wild country; but when we treat more at length on this
subject our own equipment will be given.

Scientific Instruments.

{Instruments for mapping the route.}

If the traveller aims at exploring and approximately mapping the
country he passes through, astronomical instruments are indispensable,
and of these none are more useful than the compass; the sextant, with
artificial horizon; the note book, conveniently ruled, for recording
observations; and the protractor, the scale, and the dividers, for
laying them down upon the map. If merely a pleasure excursion in a
sufficiently known country is contemplated, a pocket compass will be
all that is needed; and even that is dispensed with by hunters and
traders, who push farther every year into the wilderness without fear
of either mistaking their way or being unable to return upon their own

A great amount of detail may be filled in with the following simple
outfit:--A pocket compass, not only showing the points as in common
use, but graduated on the outer circle with degrees, reading
uninterruptedly from zero all round to 360: this will give the
direction of the road, the bearings of any two objects, and the angle
between them. A waistcoat-pocket ivory 6in. folding rule: this will
serve the purpose both of scale and protractor; the eighths of an inch
may be conveniently taken to represent miles, and by laying the rule
upon the compass, so that its joint coincides with the centre on which
the needle turns, and opening the legs to the degrees marked upon the
circumference, the required angle may be approximately transferred to
the note book. For observing latitudes a sextant is indispensable. If
great accuracy is not required, a pocket or box sextant of from three
to four inches diameter, and reading to half miles, will answer; but
for more precision one of at least 8in. radius should be taken, framed
entirely of metal, as wood will shrink and warp; it should read to 15
or even to 10 seconds, or sixtieths of a mile. There are many forms of
artificial horizon, but of these the mercurial is the best, and, in
fact, the only one we can confidently recommend. The trough should not
be less than five inches long by three broad, and we prefer an oval
form, with a convenient spout for pouring off the quicksilver when
done with. A glass roof is used to protect the surface of the mercury,
should there be any wind, and this may be made to fold into a very
small compass, if desired. Six, or at least four, pounds of mercury
should be provided; and this should be kept in an iron bottle, with
screwed stopper and cover, serving as a funnel, which should be further
protected by a piece of washleather tied over it. We have used as a
substitute a common stoneware ink bottle, with leather securely tied
over the cork, but wooden bottles are sure to split and leak when taken
to hot countries.

With this equipment, a superior compass, for the more accurate
determination of bearings, will be required. A prismatic compass is
very useful, but we have used, with great convenience and accuracy, a
flat one with a card of three inches diameter, divested of everything
but the slit and hair line sights, which are used just as those of a
rifle are, and protected only by a stout glass, which saved the trouble
of removing and replacing the cover. A small pouch on the waist belt
was appropriated exclusively to this. The note book may be of good
non-metallic writing-paper, such as is in common use. This may be
written on very conveniently with a H. or HH. drawing pencil, which is
practically indelible. It would be convenient to have lines ruled along
the side of the page for the courses and time or estimated distance;
£. _s._ _d._ columns will do very well for this. For mapping, paper
may be purchased ruled with squares of almost any desired size; the
inches are marked with strong lines, and the subdivisions, eights or
tenths, with fainter. This should be cut to fit one of the quarto
sketching folios, with folding frame to confine the sheet in use, and
pocket for spare paper as commonly used by artists. The instruments
absolutely necessary for plotting the result are a semicircular,
or, still better, a circular protractor, marked like the compass
with degrees from 0 to 360, and made of brass, or preferably of some
transparent material. A 6in. scale, with the usual divisions, and a
good pair of compasses or dividers, with points as fine as possible,
but somewhat obtuse, to prevent the possibility of their piercing the
paper and breaking off in it. For heights of mountains, the simplest
and most reliable instrument is the hypsometrical or boiling-point
apparatus, which, though not so accurate as the mountain barometer, is
sufficiently so for ordinary purposes, and has this great merit--it
cannot easily be put out of order. The rainfall, should the country be
blessed with any, may be measured by a Casella rain gauge, which we
have also used very successfully on a pinch as a funnel for drawing off
rum from a barrel. Thermometers reading up to boiling point ought to
be carried, and in addition to these the traveller may provide himself
with a self-registering maximum and minimum, and a wet and dry bulb


One of the greatest difficulties that an observer working on shore with
the artificial horizon can meet with is--that the actual angle to be
observed is doubled by reflection in the quicksilver. Few sextants read
higher than 120° or 130°, consequently, when the sun is 70° high, it
is beyond the reach of ordinary instruments. To meet this, Captain C.
George, R.N., of the Royal Geographical Society, has invented a very
beautiful little instrument, in the form of a double box sextant, and
the object of which is either to take two angles at one observation,
by referring two distant objects to a common centre, and completing at
once a perfect triangle, or, by the increased power of the instrument,
to take any required angle that may be too great for those in ordinary
use. The instrument is best described as being a special arrangement
of two sextants placed one over the other. Each sextant is complete in
all its essential details, and, if so required, can be detached and
separately used.

The "Improved Double Sextant" is capable of being applied to the
following uses:--

  (1.) To the measurement of angles of nearly double the arc which
         can be measured by the ordinary sextant.

  (2.) To the simultaneous measurement of two angles.

  (3.) To laying out a direct line between any two objects, thus
         acting as a substitute for a Raper's instrument.

  (4.) To laying out curves for railways, harbour works, &c., &c.

  (5.) It can be used as an optical square.

  (6.) It can be used as a dip-sector.

  (7.) It can be used on shipboard to measure the supplement of the
         meridian altitude, in cases where the land intervenes between
         the observer and the direct meridional horizon.

  (8.) It can be used on shore with the artificial horizon in
         obtaining altitudes of objects near the zenith.

  (9.) It is also available as two distinct sextants, one of which
         can be used in case of the other being damaged, or one can be
         used by an assistant, and the other retained by the observer.

A pocket compass is now made in which the northern half is black with
white points, and the southern white with black points; the advantage
of which by night or twilight is obvious. We prefer that the card
should travel with the magnet, as all the points then come naturally
into position, and the excessive liveliness of the needle which renders
a rapid observation so difficult is obviated. We have carried a pocket
compass with a swivel ring, so that it could be worn on the left
thumb, while we held the note book and kept the right hand free for
writing or guiding the horse. It is easier to make pencil notes on
horseback than in a waggon. For the proper registration of the time and
distance travelled, a good well-going hunting watch is necessary; and
if it has a black dial and white figures so much the better. This will
serve sufficiently well for taking time in the observation of lunar
distances. Unless under very exceptional circumstances it would be
useless for an explorer to trouble himself with a chronometer. A good
binocular field glass for day and night will be found useful.




{Portable observatory.}

We give a sketch of a very convenient arrangement made for us by Mr.
Casella, in which the roof of the artificial horizon, slung with
its point downward in a leather case, with pieces of tin let in to
protect the glass from injury, was filled up with a block of light
cedar, with hollows cut in it for the reception of the pocket sextant,
iron-stoppered bottle of mercury and funnel cap, prismatic compass,
note book with tables of declination cut from Hannay and Dietrichsen's
Almanac pasted in it, pencil, skin of chamois leather, and over all the
horizon trough. Lieutenant Skead, R.N., who accompanied the expedition
to the Zambesi, frequently used it, and called it "a portable
observatory." If the traveller intends to be long absent, he should
supply himself with the Nautical Almanac for three years in advance,
as well as with Norie's or Raper's Epitome, or Kerigan's Navigation.
In addition to the instruments we have described, triangular compasses
are very useful for taking the exact relative position of three
points, and sliding beam compasses for long distances. Proportional
compasses are also very useful in plotting the result of observations;
we were accustomed to pin down half a dozen sheets over each other
on the drawing board, and with a fine needle point prick the course
through the whole of them; then by underlaying them with semi-carbonic
paper, and writing the names on the upper sheet with a HHH. pencil,
three or even more copies at a time might be obtained, the number,
of course, depending much on the thinness of the paper we worked
on. (See accompanying illustration.) [Illustration] {Measurement of
distances.} Bear in mind that what an explorer wants is the means of
approximately laying down his course and distance travelled, and his
latitude precisely; the sextant and artificial horizon will do the
last within a mile. The compass will give the course very nearly if he
walks or rides; no instrument can be perfectly depended on. A pedometer
will do for short distances, but when he becomes weary it counts his
feeble steps just as it did his vigorous strides at the beginning, and
thus shows more than the truth. If wheel carriages can be used, take
a trochiameter, and contrive if possible to have the wheel on which
it is fixed exactly _five yards in circumference_; it saves no end of
trouble if there are no odd half inches to calculate. For mapping,
do not take a case of instruments unless they are really good; have
rather a few good ones wrapped in a chamois skin, a small ivory rule on
which the eighths of an inch serve for miles, a pair of good dividing
compasses, a good circular protractor transparent marked, from 0 to
360, a small parallel rule, HHH. pencils, a cake of blue for rivers,
and carmine for roads, with a couple of sable pencils and a fine
incorrodible metallic pen, will enable you to make a very complete and
reliable map.

In the map room of the Royal Geographical Society a small selection of
practical works is kept, a list of which, by the courtesy of Captain C.
George, we are enabled to insert here. It is as follows:--

                   The Traveller's Library.


 Outlines of Astronomy. Sir J. Herschel, Bart. (Longman and Co. 1858.)

 Astronomy and General Physics. W. Whewell. (W. Pickering. 1857.) 4_s._

 Illustrated London Astronomy. J. R. Hind. (Ingram and Co. 1853.) 1_s._

 Handbook--Descriptive and Practical Astronomy. G. F. Chambers. (J.
     Murray. 1861.) 10_s._

 Elements of Plane Astronomy. J. Brinkley, D.D. (Hodges and Smith.
     1845.) 6_s._

 Orbs of Heaven; Planetary and Stellar Worlds. O. M. Mitchell. (N.
     Cooke. 1856.) 2_s._ 3_d._


 Navigation and Nautical Astronomy. Rev. J. Inman. (Rivingtons. 1862.)
     6_s._ 3_d._

 Complete Epitome of Practical Navigation. (J. W. Norie. 1864.) 14_s._
     [N.B. The latest edition should be asked for.]

 Lunar Time Tables. J. Gordon. (Imray. 1853.) 7_s._

 Handbook for the Stars. H. W. Jeans. (Levey, Robson, and Co. 1848.)
     3_s._ 6_d._

            _Mathematics, Trigonometry, and Spherics._

 Manual of Mathematical Tables. Galbraith and Houghton. (Longman and
     Co. 1860.) 2_s._

 Mathematical Tracts. G. B. Airy. (J. W. Parker. 1842.) 9_s._ 6_d._

 Treatise on Practical Mensuration. A. Nesbit. (Longman and Co. 1864.)
     5_s._ 4_d._

 Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy. P. Kelly,
     LL.D. (Baldwin and Co. 1822.) 7_s._

 Treatise on Trigonometry. G. B. Airy. (Griffin and Co. 1855.) 2_s._

                         _For Travellers._

 What to Observe; or, Travelling Remembrancer. Col. Jackson. Revised by
     Dr. Norton Shaw. (Houlston and Wright. 1861.) 9_s._ 6_d.

    _Geodesy and Surveying, Military, Nautical, and Land Surveying._

 Treatise on Military Surveying. Lieut. Col. Jackson. (Allen and Co.
     1860.) 12_s._

 Outline of Method of conducting a Trigonometrical Survey. Col. Frome.
     (Weale. 1862.) 10_s._ 6_d._

 Practical Geodesy. J. W. Williams. (Parker and Son. 1835.) 7_s._ 6_d._

 Trigonometrical Surveying, Levelling, and Engineering. W. Galbraith.
     (Blackwood and Son. 1842.) 6_s._ 9_d._

 Engineering Field Notes on Parish and Railway Surveying and Levelling.
     H. J. Castle. (Simpkin and Co. 1847.) 8_s._

 Practice of Engineering Field Work. W. D. Haskoll. (Atchley and Co.
     1858.) 17_s._ 6_d._

 Treatise on Nautical Surveyings. Com. Belcher. (Richardson. 1835.)

                      _Weights and Measures._

 Weights and Measures of All Nations. W. Woolhouse. (Virtue Bros.
     1863.) 1_s._ 6_d._

 Foreign Measures and their English Values. R. C. Carrington. (Potter.

                      _Construction of Maps._

 Manual of Map-making. A. Jamieson. (Fullarton. 1846.) 2_s._

 Manual of Topographical Drawing. Lieut. R. Smith. (J. Wiley. 1854.)

                    _Projection of the Sphere._

 Projection and Calculation of the Sphere. S. M. Saxby. (Longman and
     Co. 1861.) 4_s._ 3_d._

                       _Use of Instruments._

 Treatise on Principal Mathematical and Drawing Instruments. F.
     Williams. (Weale. 1857.) 3_s._ 2_d._

 The Sextant and its Applications. Simms. (Troughton and Simms. 1858.)
     4_s._ 6_d._

 Treatise on Mathematical Instruments. J. Heather. (Virtue Bros. 1863.)


 Geography Generalised. R. Sullivan. (Longman and Co. 1863.) 2_s._

  In addition to these, every one ought to possess the Admiralty Manual
  of Scientific Enquiry, which is a series of papers written for the
  direction of explorers by men of the highest standing in various
  sciences; and no better general work can be recommended.

                NAMAQUA GUN BUCKET.]

                       Horse Equipment.


A good roomy hunting saddle, turned out as only an experienced
English maker can, or, at any rate, so far as our experience has
gone, ever does, we look on as the very perfection of that on which a
horseman should sit; and we strongly advise every one leaving England
for any country in which he has to ride, to provide himself with at
least one. The various saddles used abroad will be described farther
on. It will be requisite to have a number of "Ds" fastened on in the
most convenient situations for attaching by straps the various matters
which it is at times requisite to carry. Two soft leather holsters
should be fitted to the front, and a wallet (see engraving), made to
rest behind the off saddle flap and thigh of the rider, suspended by
straps from Ds sewn firmly on for that purpose. At the rear of the
saddle should also be attached a double row of Ds for the purpose of
securing a sort of leather cover or envelope (see engraving), within
which, when on the march, the head and heel ropes, with their pins,
are secured. The mode of using these, as well as "knee halters," &c.,
will be described when treating on that subject. Two "numdahs," or
saddle cloths, should accompany the saddle. The best we have seen of
late are composed of a thick species of felt; but, during the most
rapid and fatiguing forced marches through Central India, at the time
of the mutiny, we used two of quilted cotton of native manufacture,
which were put on alternately, one getting dry whilst the other was
becoming saturated with perspiration from the horse, and so, by a
constant change of these, avoiding one of the worst misfortunes that
can befall the horse of the traveller through a wild country, viz., "a
sore back." The skin of the klip springer, prepared with the hair on,
forms an admirable numdah. Saddles are greatly protected during rough
travel, and their durability much increased, by having cases made for
them of soft "russet" leather, or that which is infinitely better, when
it can be obtained, "saumber skin." We have had covers for all our
saddles made of it, to protect the pig skin from the tremendous thorns
of tropical forests, as well as the numerous other sources of injury to
which saddles are liable. The stirrup-iron should be of large size, so
as to admit of the free passage in and out of a thick boot with some
mud or clay about it. Two or three pairs of substantial hunting spurs,
with wide straps, will be found the most reliable kind of "persuader."
{Bridle.} The most useful bridle we ever had was of the "shifting
bead collar pattern," so constructed that, by unbuckling a pair of
side straps, both bits, with the reins attached, came off, leaving a
strong head collar, with a chin strap, on which was an iron ring for
a coil of rope to be suspended from, as shown in the illustration on
page 37. Numerous opinions exist touching "bits," and much diversity
of opinion must remain after all the arguments which have from time
to time been expended on the subject; as the temperaments of horses
and men vary, and as the peculiar purposes to which the horse, in the
number of phases or conditions in which he is called on to minister
to the wants and pleasures of his master, are changed, so will some
modification of the means used for his control and direction be
required. Pall-mall is one place and the forest another; and it by no
means follows, because the equipment one has used with English hunters
in an English hunting-field has been found all that could be desired,
that native bred or colonial horses, ridden in pursuit of game, require
no other. We do not think it would be profitable to the reader to enter
here on a description of the bits used by various nations and tribes.
We advise as nearly as possible adhering in this, as well as in many
other customs, to the mode adopted by the particular race or nation
amongst whom the traveller may chance to sojourn. Still, we recommend
him to take out from England (besides the bit fitted on the head
collar bridle, which may be a plain strong snaffle) two "segundras" of
medium power. Have no more buckles in either heads or reins than are
absolutely needed. Nothing tends to weaken a bridle so much, during the
exposure consequent on an outdoor life, as the rusting out of buckles
and the breaking or pulling through of their tongues--both sources of
endless trouble and annoyance.

{Pack saddles.}

For simple and efficient equipment both for pack and saddle horses we
do not know a better model than that adopted by Augustus C. Gregory,
Commander of the North Australian Expedition, and now Gold Medallist
of the Royal Geographical Society, with whom we had the honour of
serving from 1855 to 1857. The pack saddles, elaborately constructed
in England, which we took out to him were at once condemned for two
reasons; first, that they were unnecessarily heavy, and next that the
points of suspension for the load were so high that the least swaying
of the saddle would severely wring the horse's back. The large flaps
were saved as a reserve of useful leather for emergencies, and the
thick felt saddle cloths were gladly appropriated to their proper
use; but the complicated arrangement of wood and iron, combining the
undesirable qualities of weakness, weight, and inconvenience, was left
in store to await the sale of surplus equipment on our return.

The pack saddle, made under the direction of Mr. Gregory, consisted
simply of two boards of Australian cedar, about twenty inches long
by seven broad, inclined at such an angle as to sit fairly on the
horse's ribs, and at such a distance from each other that the spine
should remain uninjured between them. These were connected by two stout
bows of iron, 1-1/2in. broad by 3/8in. thick, arching well clear of
the horse's back, and having on each side hooks firmly riveted into
them for the suspension of the bags in which our provisions, &c.,
were stowed. The crupper was buckled round the aftermost bow, and the
straps for the attachment of the breasting, breeching, and girths were
screwed on the outside of the cedar planks. We hope the illustration on
the next page is sufficiently clear to indicate the position of these
without further description; it will be seen that the girths cross each
other as they pass under the belly.


A pair of pads, sufficiently large to prevent not only the saddle but
also the packs chafing the horse, were attached to the boards by thongs
passing through holes bored in either end, so that upon occasion we
could easily remove them to re-arrange the stuffing, and tie them again
in their places. One of the thick felted saddle cloths before mentioned
was invaluable as an additional protection. The form of the bags will
also be readily understood by a glance at the frontispiece. They were
of stout canvas, as wide as one breadth of the material, and the ends
were formed by a pear-shaped piece let in, and strongly roped round the
seams; the loops at the upper part were bound with leather, and iron
cringles or grummets were let in, by which to hang them on the hooks.
No other fastening was used, so that if a horse fell in the rugged
mountain paths, or in fording a rough and swollen torrent, it was an
advantage to him to shake off his bags at once, while we were generally
able to fish them up again before even such perishable stores as sugar
could be reached by water, through the pack and double bags of canvas
in which we kept them. Nothing whatever was allowed to be fastened to
the bows above the suspension hooks; indeed there was a general order
that the horse should carry nothing that was not contained in the side
bags. The smaller bags for flour, sugar, and other stores, were also
the length of one breadth of canvas. One end was formed by a circular
piece of canvas about eight inches in diameter, and the other was left
to be closed when they were filled. The inner bag was of plain canvas,
and this was covered by another that had been well saturated with
boiled linseed oil; these held about fifty pounds of flour, &c., and
in each flour bag two 1/2lb. tins of gunpowder were kept _perfectly
secure from fire or water_; we generally ate the flour as fast as we
wanted the powder. Each pair of side bags was numbered, and carefully
balanced one against the other, the stowage of each being from seventy
to seventy-five pounds, so that the total load of the horse should not
much exceed 160lb.


All the horses were furnished with a stout headstall and halter, which
may be readily understood from the above engraving, and to which, when
requisite, the bit and bridle could be buckled by short straps attached
to the ring for that purpose.

Our riding saddles were provided with stout Ds, the straps of which
were not stitched to the leather, but either firmly screwed into the
wood, or passed round the frame of the saddle. Three of these in front
served to receive the straps for buckling on "the swag," or a couple of
stout red or blue blankets, which, with the extra shirt and trowsers
serving as a pillow, formed our sole bedding. This was formed into a
roll a little more than 3ft. long, and 6in. diameter, and carefully
adjusted so as to arch well clear of the horse's withers. In front
of the saddle bar, on the off side, was a stout ring, through which
passed the slings of the gun bucket, which was made quite roomy enough
to allow a double barrel to be withdrawn or again inserted without
trouble, and was kept from collapsing by a ring of iron stitched into
its upper edge; and the tedious process of unbuckling the strap usually
passed round and round the grip of the gun stock was obviated by the
very simple spring and swivel catch shown in the sketch.

It may be mentioned that we found the spring bar a very convenient
arrangement, and only once we lost a stirrup leather when a rider had
dismounted to allow his horse to descend more easily a difficult hill;
but for such contingencies spare stirrups, &c., had been provided by
the commander. Two Ds on either side supported such saddle pouches
as were required; we preferred the nearly square form shown in the
sketch of saddle on page 36, as being more roomy, containing in one the
quarto sketch book actually in use, and in the other, a store of paper,
&c., for further supply. Small loops, the attachment of which is just
indicated on the inside of one of these bags, led forward for the girth
to pass through and keep the pouches from flapping.

Some of us carried a valise, such as is separately represented, and
others would make a roll of spare clothing; but it was imperative on
all that nothing whatever should be allowed to rest on the horse's
spine, but should be padded or otherwise arranged so as to pass clear
over it. The hobbles were formed of a band of stout leather, double
the required width, turned up and stitched so as to form a flat edge
and a round one. In use, the sewn edge was always uppermost, so that
the fetlock might not be chafed. They were connected by a short chain,
having a swivel in the centre, and a double hook at each end, the hooks
having holes pierced in their extremities for the reception of thongs,
by which one end of each hobble was moused or secured from falling
off. The hobbles were carried on the off side of the saddle, behind
the pouches; and were not unfrequently balanced by the pannikin and
tin quart, so essential to an Australian, that Henry, our commander's
brother, declared his conviction that no one could become a successful
traveller till he reduced his equipment to a clasp knife and a quart
pot. Bells were hung to the headstalls of the horses most apt to stray,
but thongs were fastened to the clappers, that they might be tied up
during the day's march.

Our personal equipment consisted of a brown leather waist-belt, with
snake fastening, carrying a small ammunition pouch, a revolver, and a
compass; the naturalist, geologist, botanist, or artist adding to this
such instruments as they required. Some few of us favoured braces, but
with the majority they were at a discount. A cabbage-tree hat, or one
of soft felt, a striped cotton shirt for fine weather, serge for wet,
moleskin trowsers, light woollen socks, and ankle boots, completing our
general costume.

Some hundred fathoms of small rope formed an essential portion of our
equipment, the use of which will be best understood on reference to
the frontispiece (which illustrates an expedient strictly within the
range of actual travel, and is here introduced chiefly to show the
form of pack-saddle bag which we found convenient, and can, therefore,
recommend to intending explorers). This shift will hereafter be more
fully described when we have to treat of those which must be improvised
by every traveller on such emergencies.

  [Illustration: NAMAQUA, WITH GUN, ON RIDING OX.]

{Gun slings.}

An excellent method of carrying the gun on horse or ox back we have
seen in common use among the semi-civilised Hottentots of Namaqua land;
it consists simply of a bag or bucket of tolerably stout leather,
large enough to contain the stock of the gun butt downward, nearly as
far as the lock; it can be fastened to the saddle in exactly the same
manner as that in use among us, or it can be fastened to the saddle
bar on the near side and thrown over to the off. It is generally made
of the softened but untanned leather of the country, and fastened by
a thong and noose where we should, for more convenience and neatness,
use a buckle. Its merits are that the gun lies easily before the thigh,
pointing upward behind the right arm, so that an accidental discharge,
if such a thing were possible, could hurt no one; it is easily removed
by shifting the arm within and lifting it from the bag without the
trouble of casting off any secondary fastening; and above all, it is
impossible that even in the roughest riding the charge could be jerked
forward in the barrel to the imminent danger of bursting it, as we
ourselves have witnessed at the first discharge, where the gun has been
carried muzzle downwards. The illustration below shows another very
convenient form of gun sling, which we have found to answer admirably.
When in use, the muzzles of the gun are above the left shoulder, and
the stock behind the right thigh. By bringing the right hand back the
toggle securing the loop round the grip is instantly released, when the
gun drops into the right hand, releasing itself from the ring by its
own weight, and is ready for instant use.

  [Illustration: GUN SLING.]



Do not be induced to encumber yourself with one of those ornamented,
highly polished, useless abominations popularly known as hunting
knives; they are worse than useless, and only serve to exasperate the
owner. For general rough and ready work, nothing is better than a
strong well-made butcher's knife. The blade should be continued through
the handle, which is formed by pinning two cheeks of hard wood or horn
together. The hand grip should be long, and the steel sufficiently
soft to be cut by a common hand saw file; and we strongly recommend
our readers to apply the file test to every cutting tool they provide
themselves with, as the hard woods of tropical countries cause endless
breakages and notchings when highly-tempered instruments are made use
of. In the purchase of a pocket knife, choose one that is small enough
to be a constant companion; one, or at most two blades will be found
sufficient for one handle. A very convenient description of knife is to
be met with in most hardware shops. The handle is straight and flat.
A stout stick-cutting blade is at one end of the haft, and a strong
scalpel-shaped pen blade at the other. The miniature tool chests sold
under the name of pocket knives to emigrants are jacks of all trades
in their way, having all sorts of supposed capabilities, associated
with a general tendency to uselessness. A pair of stout large bowed
scissors will be found very useful, as well as a small piece of Turkey
or Washita oilstone. This should have a little wooden box with a slide
cover made for it, in order to preserve it from breakage. A few tools,
well selected, can scarcely be dispensed with. {Tools.} The following
list we can recommend, but our readers must of course be guided as to
the number they will take by the purposes of their proposed journey:--


  Small hand axe, felling axe (American pattern).

  Belt tomahawk.

  Hand saw (medium size).

  Three chisels (3/4in., 1/2in., and 1/4in.), and one cold chisel.

  Three gouges (of the same sizes as the chisels).

  Three gimblets (from ten-penny nail size downwards).

  Six bradawls (assorted), to fit in one boxwood handle.

  Six saddler's awls,  ditto  ditto.

  Six shoemaker's awls,  ditto  ditto.

  One 1/2in. shell auger (without handle).

  One screw driver (1/2in).

  One engineer's riveting hammer (1/2lb).

  One pair of carpenter's pincers.

  One pair of strong pliers (bell-hanger's pattern).

  Three hand-saw files (one rat-tail; one flat; one half-round).

  One rasp, one soldering bolt, one pair of tin snips, ingot of solder,
  a lump of resin, and small ladle for lead melting.

  A few nails, screws, pump tacks, and coils of copper and iron wire,
  will be found useful.

  Billhook, as in illustration.


One or more billhooks will be found of great value when traversing the
tangled thickets, for dividing vines, lianas, briars, and entangled
branches. We have found the following form of hook extremely powerful,
and capable of cutting through most formidable impediments. The
following illustration represents the two sides of the hook, which, as
will be seen on examination, are not alike. [Illustration] The near
side of the blade, or that which would, when the instrument is used by
a right-handed man, lay towards the left, is slightly hollowed, and the
edge, instead of being bevelled, remains perfectly flush with it, like
the front of a very large gouge. The off-side edge is bevelled, and
exactly like that of a chisel. The plate of the blade should be 10in.
long, and stouter at the back than most ordinary English billhooks.
Instead of terminating in a tang or spill, the metal should be
continued throughout the handle as far as the point at which the curved
knob at its end is carved out. Handles for these hooks are best made
from natural-grown sticks of suitable bend. The wood must be tough,
strong, durable, and well seasoned. When nearly finished, a saw cut
must be made the exact length of the continuation of metal from the
blade, and this must be opened and widened with a flat file until the
plate fits exactly in it. A strong wide ring must now be driven on at
the upper end, and three stout soft iron pins passed through both the
wood and iron of the handle, riveting the ends securely in countersunk
holes prepared for their reception. The handle may now be finished,
and made to fit the grip of the hand by the use of the rasp, and some
pieces of broken glass as scrapers. The temper of these tools must be
regulated by the file test. Leather sheaths should be made for them,
with guide straps for the belt to go through.


{Tool hold-all.}

All the small tools can be conveniently packed and carried in a
leather or canvas hold-all. This is merely a long strip of either
canvas or leather, with longitudinal bands sewn on the inside. The
tools are arranged side by side under these, and then rolled up and
tied carefully together with a wide tape string. All the edge tools
should be tempered or let down to meet the file test, ground and set,
before being finally packed. The axe handle should be of well-seasoned
hickory, and so made as to admit of being knocked forward through the
eye of the blade, and so removed from it, as shown in the illustration
of the group of tools on the next page. [Illustration] A grooved
strip of wood should be fitted to the edge of the saw, in order to
preserve the teeth and keep the blade straight. A leather bag may be
also made for it with advantage. To those who do not require such
tools as we have described, and yet wish to provide themselves with a
very few, of small size, we can confidently recommend the following
arrangement. {Portable tool chest.} Order from a tin-plate worker a
stout, wire-edged tin box, with wire hinges. Let it be 7in. long, 3in.
wide, and 2-1/2in. deep. In this, several small files, one or two small
chisels, a number of both straight and curved awl blades, a screw
driver, hammer head, pliers, a few sail needles, a small hand vice, a
watchmaker's drill and bits, a jointed blowpipe, some bits of solder,
a little lump of resin, bits of brass and copper wire, some pieces of
watchspring for cutting metal, a narrow cold chisel, and several other
odds and ends, may be conveniently stowed away. A watch-spring saw
needs no teeth; it is only requisite to occasionally run the face of a
file from end to end, flat on the edge, as if in the act of blunting
it, to renew its cutting power. A gun barrel, or a bar of iron the
thickness of a walking-stick, can be cut through in an inconceivably
short time with one of these little instruments, aided by a little
sweet oil.

                        Camp Furniture.


The best camp bed we ever possessed was made on the stretcher
principle. The side bars were of birch wood, and ferruled in the
centre, so as to admit of their being taken into four lengths. The
legs, also of birchwood, shut and opened like two pairs of scissors.
The centre piece of the bed was of stout canvas, sewn into pipes at
the sides, through which the side bars passed. The head of the bed
was formed by fixing two uprights in holes made for them, and then
fixing a cross bar on their ends to keep them in place. A very thin
cocoa-fibre mattress, cocoa-fibre pillow, and three thoroughly good
brown blankets, are conveniently packed in a painted canvas bag, with
the framework of the bed. Camp beds, of endless variety, are sold
by all outfitters; but we describe that mentioned above as having
stood the test of no ordinary wear and tear most satisfactorily. The
various modes by which beds, hammocks, and litters are extemporised
by travellers will be fully dealt with when that subject comes under
consideration. In this section of our work we merely point out that
which is best purchased at home, leaving the multiplication of the
various objects, in some measure, to the judgment of the intending



A hammock is a very luxurious sort of bed, but most people are alarmed
by the very elaborate system of clews and rings by which it is
suspended, and in very deed, even with the most scrupulous cleanliness,
these are apt, in places where vermin abound, to harbour a great many;
but this might be avoided by having the canvas 10ft. or 12ft. long, and
gathering it at the ends so as to dispense with clews altogether. It
would then have the advantage that, when it could not be suspended, it
might be folded as a double sheet upon the ground to lay the rest of
the bedding on. A hammock can be slung in very unpromising places. We
were accustomed to keep two (washed, clews and all, every fortnight),
stretched to a bamboo pole, which we slung from the beams overhead.
One end may be fastened to a tree or to the waggon wheel, and the rope
attached to the other may pass over forked sticks set up as shears, and
lead to a tent peg driven firmly into the ground. A sheet may be thrown
over the pole or ridge rope, to serve as a tent or curtain.


It is a very favourite plan in South Africa to have the blanket covered
on both sides with chintz or printed cotton, quilted to it. This
keeps it clean for a long time, and makes it much more efficient as a

Most countries have some peculiar wrapper of their own, as the buffalo
robe of North America, the opossum rug of Australia, or the Vel
Komboars or sheepskin blanket of the Cape colony. We have used as a
pillow an inflated swimming belt, but in all cases when india-rubber
goods are used, they must be kept from much exposure to the sun, and,
above all, from contact with grease. We have had a waterproof overcoat
so heated when folded away that we could not again open it; but one of
these lined with calico, and covered with thin non-adhesive stuff, we
should think would be useful.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following statement will serve to show approximately the nature and
quantity of stores, &c., required for an expedition such as that to
which we were attached in Australia:--

_The Party._--Commander, A. C. Gregory; Assistant, H. C. Gregory;
Geologist, J. G. Wilson; Artist and Storekeeper, T. Baines; Surgeon
and Naturalist, J. R. Elsey; Botanist, F. Müller; Collector, Natural
History, &c., -- Flood; Overseer, J. Phibbs; Farrier and Smith;
Harness-maker; Stockmen, European (9); Shepherds, Native (2)--Total, 21.

_Provisions, &c. for 18 months._--17,000lb. flour, 5000lb. salt pork,
2000lb. bacon, 2000lb. preserved fresh meat in 6lb. tins, 2800lb. rice,
2500lb. sugar, 400lb. tea, 350lb. tobacco, 350lb. soap, 50lb. pepper,
500lb. salt, 100 galls. vinegar, 300 sheep, 200lb. sago, 640 pints
peas, 2 cwt. coffee, 500lb. lime juice, 6 galls. lamp oil, 1lb. cotton
wick, 3 cwt. preserved potatoes.

_Land Conveyance._--50 horses, 35 pack saddles, 15 riding saddles, 50
horse blankets, 800 fathoms tether rope 1-1/2in. and 2in., 20 horse
bells with straps, 100 pair hobbles, 3 light horse drays; 3 sets
harness, 3 horses each; 50 spare girths, 50yds. strong girth web, 50
bridles, 10 pair holster bags, 10 pair stirrup leathers, 5 pair stirrup
irons, 40 pair canvas pack-saddle bags, 100 straps, 200 buckles, 4
leather water bags, 20 pair spurs, 150lb. leather for repairs, 600
horseshoes and nails, 240 provision bags, 300 yds. canvas, 20lb. sewing
twine, 100 needles, 6 palms, 24 saddler's awls, 48 balls hemp, 1/2lb.
bristles, 6lb. resin, 6lb. beeswax, 12 hanks small cord, 6 currycombs
and brushes, 25 tether swivels.

_Arms and Ammunition._--16 double guns, 4 rifles, 10 revolvers, 10
pistols, 200lb. gunpowder, 1000lb. shot and lead, 30,000 percussion
caps, 20 belts and pouches, 15 gun buckets, straps, locks, spare
nipples, moulds, punches, 4 ladles, powder flasks, shot pouches, &c.,
for each gun.

_Camp Furniture._--5 tents 8ft. square calico, 150 yds. calico, 12
camp kettles (1/2 to 3 galls.), 6 doz. pannikins, 4 doz. tin dishes
(small), 1 doz. large, 4 doz. knives and forks, 4 doz. iron spoons, 6
frying pans, 6 leather buckets, 6 water kegs (6, 4, and 2 galls.), 6
spades, 4 socket shovels, 4 pickaxes, 2 spring balances (25 and 50lb.),
1 steelyard (150lb.), 1 sheep net (150 yds.).

_Instruments._--2 sextants (5in. and 6in.), 2 box do., 2 artificial
horizons, 10lb. mercury in 2 iron bottles, 4 prismatic compasses, 11
pocket compasses, spare cards and glasses for compasses, 3 aneroid
barometers, 4 thermometers to 180°, 2 telescopes, 1 duplex watch,
1 lever watch, 1 case drawing instruments; 2 pocket cases, pillar
compass, and protractor; surveying chain and arrows, 2 measuring tapes,
1 drawing board (30 × 40 inches), 2 pocket lenses.

_Stationery and Nautical Tables._

_Tools._--1 portable forge, 1 anvil (1/2 cwt.), 2 hammers and set of
tongs, 10lb. cast steel, 11lb. blister steel, 100lb. bar and rod iron,
3 smiths' files, 3 large axes (American), 6 small do.; 1 large tool

_Clothing._--120 pair moleskin trowsers, 120 serge shirts, 120 cotton
shirts, 60 pair boots, 40 oiled calico capes, 40 hats (Manilla), 40

_Artists' Materials._

_Miscellaneous._--5 yds. mosquito net, green; 500 fish-hooks, 25
fishing-lines, 2 gross matches, 1 gross tobacco-pipes; 2 strong
cases, or instruments, stationery, &c.; 8 doz. pocket-knives, 8 doz.
pocket-combs, 20 yds. red serge for presents to blacks, 20lb. iron
wire, 5lb. brass ditto, grindstone and spindle, coffee-mill, 3 iron
saucepans, 2 iron kettles, 6 galls. linseed oil, 6 pints olive oil,
2lb. red lead, 23lb. alum, 1lb. borax.

_Forage for Horses and Sheep from Moreton Bay to Victoria River, 2200
miles, at 14lb. per diem._--13 tons pressed hay, 9 tons bran, 200
bushels maize or barley, 500 bushels corn for horses after landing.

_Medical Chest_ for 2 years and 20 men.

_Naturalists' Stores._

       *       *       *       *       *



We took, for conveyance across rivers, or navigation of any inland
waters, a portable canoe of inflated canvas, in four sections, each
of which, when inflated and laced to a frame, formed half a boat; the
whole forming a double canoe, on which could be laid a platform of
15ft. by 7ft.

{Inflated canvas boat.}

The boat was made by Messrs. Edgington from a model which we had
previously constructed and tested as to its buoyancy and sailing
qualities. The framework was of ash battens, 3in. wide and 3/4in.
thick. The uprights at stem and stern were mortised into the keel, as
well as into the corresponding fore-and-aft batten above; they were
secured by cross lashings passing through holes properly bored for
the purpose. The gunwales were lashed on; and then the thwart pieces,
6in. wide, were secured in the same manner. The four canvas bags, each
cut so as to form half a whale boat, 15ft. long and 18in. in the half
breadth, were then laced in and inflated. Each rowlock was formed of
two pieces of ash screwed to the gunwale, as seen in the preceding
engraving; and two oars and a lug sail completed the equipment. The
whole might be used either as a double canoe or as two separate
boats, and Mr. Gregory was much pleased with them when put together;
but, in consequence of a technical difficulty at home, they were not
so efficient as they ought to have been. We had agreed with Messrs.
Edgington as to the quality of canvas and of the sewing to be used in
every part, but on applying to the Waterproofing Company he found they
would not waterproof his work, nor allow him to do it. He had therefore
to give over the whole of the work to the company. When finished, we
found that the seams were not stitched at all, but cemented together;
and, though warranted to stand 170° of heat, we found that with the
strain of actual use upon them they softened and gave way. If the
sections in their proper form were made of stout canvas, with the
india-rubber bags, so large that they should bear no strain, inclosed
within them, this would be a serviceable boat--for the india-rubber
did not actually melt with the heat, but just softened, so that it was
unable to resist the strain upon it. We had taken them up the river,
about thirty miles, in the schooner's gig, to fill with fresh water,
and instead of standing a heat of 170° they burst at 120°.

Although, as we have stated, our double inflatable boat partially
failed in Australia, from the inability of the waterproof cement to
bear the intense heat to which it was subjected, we believe that, had
Messrs. Edgington been allowed to waterproof their own work, or had
the company consented to waterproof the sections, properly seamed by
practical tentmakers, according to the directions we gave, the finished
boat would have been as successful in every respect as was the model.

When required for an exploring trip up the river, we decided to use
them not as a double boat, but as two single ones, and we spent some
days in securely stitching round every seam that should have been so
treated by the original maker. Every one will understand how the fibre
of the waterproof cloth would no longer close up round the threads, as
would that of the new canvas, so that, notwithstanding all our care,
there was always a little air leakage; however, spare bellows had been
provided, and one was apportioned to each boat.

Four or five 6lb. tins of preserved beef were thrust in between the
sections in each boat, so as to rest along the keel, our lighter stores
were laid as might be said "on deck," and with two small oars in each
we started, pulling up wherever there was sufficient water, and when we
came to the dry intervals, slinging the boats one at a time under two
oars, and carrying them easily with all their cargo to the next water.
The voyage lasted some days, and the boats, therefore, occasionally
required re-inflating.

{Canoe for one man.}

If the traveller only wishes for the means of ferrying himself over
rivers, he might take a couple of waterproof tubes, not less than 7ft.
long and 8in. in diameter, inclosed in unprepared covers of canvas so
tight as to relieve them from any strain, and connected by one breadth
of canvas for him to sit upon. A small frame should keep these parallel
to each other, and about 20in. or 2ft. apart; and the frame should
be kept just above the water, so as not to impede the motion. It is
a great thing to be independent of native help. If a man has his own
canoe, however small, the people will come to offer theirs; but if he
has none, they will make a hard bargain with him.

{Metal boats.}

Perhaps as good a material as any for a boat, if the explorer is able
to carry it, is pure sheet copper, of about 1lb. to the square foot. It
is flexible, easily worked, will turn and bend in any form and at any
angle; it may be folded down to a sharp edge like a sheet of paper, and
opened again, a test which no iron ordinarily procurable could stand;
it is nearly indestructible, and retains a proportionate value as old
copper however much it may be worn.

We have heard of an officer who had the two ends of a yawl or
whale-boat built of copper, and, though the stem would frequently be
doubled up by touching the ground in crossing the bar of some African
river, no leakage took place, and half an hour's skilful hammering
brought it into shape again. We believe that the boats, or at least
one of them, on the expedition of Mr. Lynch to the Dead Sea and the
Jordan, were of copper. If we remember rightly a copper boat was
carried in sections upon camels to Lake Chad.

Captain Burton took to Zanzibar a boat of corrugated iron, which was
so speedy that the Arabs called her the Runner-away; it would be
interesting to know the details of her construction. We at one time
experimented with galvanised iron, but did not find it sufficiently
flexible to bend so sharply as we required. In consequence of
this--when preparing, in conjunction with a long-known friend, Mr.
James Chapman, for a journey across Africa, from Walvisch Bay, on the
west coast, to the Victoria Falls, from which we hoped to navigate
the Zambesi to the Eastern Sea--we decided on building one of copper;
and many reasons induced us to make this on the principle of a double
canoe or twin steamer: in the first place, it would be difficult to
carry a boat of more than three feet in breadth or depth, in an ox
waggon, and these dimensions would afford room only for the closest
possible stowage of our own persons, and a very scanty equipment. It
was also, probable, that the boats would have, at rapids like Chicova
or Kebrabasi, to be taken out of the water and carried over rugged and
intricate country, where their length would render it impossible to
manage them.

It was necessary, therefore, to build each boat in six watertight
compartments, of 4ft. in length, of one sheet of copper, each of
which overlapped the one behind it, just as the scales of a lobster
are arranged, making the actual length of the boat 22ft. The "skin"
of each section was made of three sheets of copper, 2ft. wide, laid
side by side with their edges doubled over each other, so as to make a
perfectly turned joint that required no riveting, and was only soldered
to render it more certainly watertight. The ends of each section were
marked to the curve required, but cut three inches larger, the extra
circumference being cut with snips directed toward the centre, so that
they might be turned outward to fit the curve of the skin, thus leaving
a flange of 3in. at each end of the section, a strip of copper 6in.
wide was doubled and slipped over both parts, riveted and soldered, the
necessary surfaces having been previously tinned.

We hope the engraving on the next page will make this plan tolerably
plain. The end to the right is left unfinished, with the separate
pieces a little apart ready to be put together; the farther shows
the manner in which the flange of the foremost section overlaps the
after, and is bolted to it with copper screws and nuts, leaving a space
between, into which the hand and arm could be thrust if it were needful
to reach the bottom; the water would flow in or out of this narrow
space freely, the compartments only being guarded against leakage;
the nuts were all on the inside, and the iron key shown in the sketch
was for the purpose of turning them on or off, while the heads were
held outside by the screw wrench. The copper was kept in shape by an
inner frame of wood, and strengthened externally by seven rib-bands or
stringers of good straight grained red deal, running the entire length,
of which two served for gunwales and one for the keel, the ends of
this being let into sockets formed in the pieces of copper which were
doubled over the stem and stern post. One of the connecting beams is
shown in this sketch, and also the rings by which the sections were to
be carried when separated for overland conveyance.



For the purpose of keeping the cargo dry and secure from pilfering,
it was necessary that each section should have its own deck, and
this, to bear the weight of people standing on it, had to be made of
3/4in. plank, covered like the other parts with copper. Around each
hatchway were two mouldings, 3/4in. high, the hollow between which,
in heavy rains, we intended to fill with wax or grease, so that when
the corresponding moulding of the hatch fitted into it it might be
watertight. The connecting beams were 12ft. long, and made each of
two pieces of 3/4in. red deal, 2in. wide, so as to afford us, with the
platform laid on them, an available deck space of 12ft. by 20ft., on
which, when the river was broad and open, we might live or work with
comfort; while, if it narrowed, as we expected it would at Kansalo,
Chicova, or Kebrabasi, we could separate the boats and take each
through singly, towing the deck-raft, or even, if necessary, casting
it adrift and trusting to pick it up as the current brought it down.
Two 3/4in. planks, 9in. deep and 4ft. long, so as to catch the bolts
at either end of the section, served to support the rowlocks. Each
boat was provided with her own rudder, and we purposed, if necessary,
to connect the tillers by a light rod, although we believe she would
have steered by one alone. The masts were shipped in a wooden case,
between the foremost and the next section, and the mode of setting the
lug sails and awning will, we trust, be made sufficiently plain by the
engraving. Care had to be taken that no iron or other metal capable of
exerting a corrosive action came in contact with any part of the copper
that was likely to be wetted. And the reader will pardon us if, while
stating that the whole was built piece by piece in a little bedroom
scarce 8ft. by 12ft., we take this opportunity of paying a slight
tribute of gratitude to our warmhearted friend Frederick Logier, to
whose hospitality we were mainly indebted for the means of completing
our equipment, and who fell a victim to the fever so fearfully
prevalent in Cape Town in October, 1867. The ensign, kindly made for us
by a lady of that town, after having floated over our house at Logier
Hill, on the Zambesi, and served as the flag of our little artillery
corps at Otjimbengue, we still preserve as a relic of the journey.

The difficulties of the road, and deficiency of carriage, which
compelled us to leave behind eight out of the twelve sections, and our
expedients to replace them, will be more fully described hereafter:
we, therefore, append only an abstract of the materials employed in

   76 sheets copper, 4ft. by 2ft. 16oz. to the foot, at     }
      1_s_. 6_d._ per foot (but, as the supply was limited, }
      we had to take some heavier, and consequently more    }  £51 12 0
      expensive), one sheet same size 16lb. for stem, and   }
      stern post and rudder fittings                        }
  100½in. copper, screwed bolts and nuts, 3in., at 1_s._ 1_d._   5  8 4
   80        ditto       ditto      ditto 5in., at 1_s._ 5_d._   5 13 4
    5        ditto       ditto      ditto 7in., at 1_s._ 9_d._   0  8 9
  300 leather washers                                            1  5 0
  174½lb. solder, at 1_s._ 6_d._                13  4 4     }
  5lb. fine tin, at 2_s._ 3_d._                  0 11 3     }   17 10 8½
  Extra quantity not specified                   3 15 1-1/2 }
  Men's time for soldering                                      17 17 6
  Coke                                                           1  2 6
    2 nut wrenches                                               0 11 3
    4lb. of sal ammoniac, at 1_s._ 6_d._                         0  6 0
    4lb. of resin, at 4½_d._                                     0  1 6
    1 bottle of spirit of salts                                  0  1 4
    6lb. of lead, at 4½_d._                                      0  2 3
    3lb. of copper boat nails, at 3_s._ 6_d._                    0 10 6
    2lb. of nails and 2lb. of rivets, at 3_s._                   0 12 0
    3 steel punches, at 1_s._                                    0  3 0
    2 pair of rowlocks, with sockets and screws                  0  7 6
                                         Total                £103 13 5½

  [Illustration: CAMP SCENE IN AFRICA.]

It is impossible, at this distance of time, to collect every item used,
nor is it necessary to do more than to give an approximate idea of the
cost and proportion used of the principal materials. Perhaps the wood,
with a lad to assist in working it, cost about 10_l._; paint, oil,
sails, and other extras, about 10_l._ more; and 10_l._ freight from
Cape Town to Walvisch Bay. We think 6_d._ per lb. was allowed on such
old copper as was brought back.

 Tents, Canvas Buckets and Articles made of Canvas generally.


In an army where men are plentiful and tents very few, the eighteen
or twenty fortunate fellows to whom a bell tent may be allotted, can
pitch it easily and rapidly enough; one, standing inside, will hold
up the central pole, while the others, driving pegs all round, draw
out and affix the cords to them. We found, however, when accompanying
the division in Kafirland under General Somerset, that we could set up
our own tent, shared by Mr. Hoole, the interpreter, almost as quickly
alone, leaving our friend's servant at liberty to prepare our meal. Our
plan was to make two knots on the cord used for lashing up the tent,
one marking the radius of the inner line of pegs and the other that of
the outer, setting a central peg into the ground and looping over it
the end of the line; we held another at the knots, and with it drew
the two concentric circles. Twenty pegs are necessary for each. We,
therefore, threw four on the quarters of each circle, and distributing
four between each, drove them all into the ground; then spreading the
tent in the space, we looped on all the lines, and inserting the pole,
raised it up, its division into two pieces much facilitating this,
and tightened the cords at leisure. (See illustration, "Camp Scene in

{Patrol tent.}

Our patrol tent was just three yards of double width calico; a small
cord was stitched along the middle and loops of tape along the sides.
The diagonal pieces cut out of one end were stitched on to form the
flaps of the other, and a couple of small sticks for the supports, the
size of ramrods, were easily secured with the straps of our gun-bucket
on the right side of the saddle.

  [Illustration: CALICO PATROL TENT.]

  [Illustration: CALICO PATROL TENT.]

Our little tent weighed next to nothing; it was seven feet in length,
thirty inches high, and nearly thirty inches wide. We rolled our
blankets in it, and so kept them clean. The package was carried
strapped across the front of the saddle, and the latter, when set in
one end of the tent, formed an additional protection to the head, and
no rain ever penetrated our little dwelling, unless when a violent
side wind would force through the interstices of the calico a slight
sprinkling of minute drops, which would lie like dew outside the
blanket in the morning. Waterproof material is not required for a tent;
oiling the canvas or calico would only rot it; stout well-woven canvas
is nearly waterproof in itself, and no matter how porous or open the
material, the power of a tent to keep out rain depends more on the
"pitch" of its sides or roof than anything else. Let a plate of glass
lie in a sloping position, and let a drop of water be touched upon its
under surface, if that surface makes an angle of less than 45° with
the horizon the water will drop off it, but if the angle be above 45°
it will run from top to bottom along the lower side; in like manner if
the sides of the tent are pitched at a higher angle than 45° with the
horizon, the heaviest shower will run down them instead of penetrating.
A piece of waterproof is, however, very convenient to lay upon the
ground to spread the blankets on.

{Gipsy tent.}

Most of our readers who have visited the by-lanes and breezy downs
of England, will be familiar with, at least, the exterior of the
gipsy's tent. Its mode of arrangement is both ingenious and thoroughly
practical. We know of no plan by which a comparatively comfortable
resting place can be extemporised equal to it. Blankets, skins, mats,
canvas, or old rugs, serve to form a covering. The thicket furnishes
the hazel wands or "benders," of which there are usually eight, of 7ft.
long, and almost any description of tough wood, the "hole piece" and
farmer's gate shivers are not unfrequently purloined by the Romany Rye
to be thus utilised. A red hot poker serves to bore the holes. A few
pieces of odd cord keep the framework in place, and a set of pegs is
readily cut from the nearest hedge.

  [Illustration: GIPSY TENT FRAME.]

The ends of the benders intended for insertion in the earth are usually
fire-hardened, and one set will, with care, last a whole season.
The above illustration will better explain the mode by which the
contrivance is arranged than would any further description.

{Tente d'abri.}

The _tente d'abri_, as used by the French army, is an extremely useful
arrangement for a small band of travellers or explorers to provide
themselves with. It is composed of a number of sheets or pieces of
canvas. Each of these has a row of buttons and button-holes sewn
along the sides and upper edges, in order that they may be joined to
each other, much on the principle of a double-breasted waistcoat, as
shown in the engraving on the next page. The corners of the sheets are
provided with strong short loops of rope, through which the heads
of the tent pegs pass when the tent is pitched. The sheets are 5ft.
8in. by 5ft. 3in. Each member of a party of four or six is supposed to
carry his share of the tent, which consists of one sheet, three tent
pegs, and the half of a round wooden staff ferruled in the centre like
a fishing-rod. This, when put together, measures 4ft. 4in. in length,
and is 1-1/2in. in diameter. The total weight of each share is 3-1/2lb.
Tents of this description can be arranged by either buttoning four or
six sheets together, one sheet being considered as representing the
accommodation of one man; but when it is considered necessary to close
the two ends of the tent four sheets only are used as a covering,
the other two being used as doors. A centre tent pole is also set
up, so that a tent for six men has, when pitched, three poles, ten
pegs, and six sheets of canvas. When both ends are suffered to remain
unclosed, as they would be when shade alone is sought, four tent poles
or sticks and fourteen tent pegs are required; there would, then, be
two spare poles and four pegs. By digging out a cavity in the earth as
described at page 62, the comfort and internal capacity of the _tente
d'abri_ is much increased, and it forms a very convenient and portable
shelter. We remember seeing a French line regiment, which was for some
considerable time stationed on the heights above the Inkerman Valley,
most comfortably domiciled in this way.

  [Illustration: TENTE D'ABRI.]

{Lancers' tent.}

The Lancers, in Kafirland, used to form very commodious tents by
sticking upright in the ground one lance and two swords; a second lance
was passed as a ridge pole through the becket or loop of the first and
the hilts of the two swords, as seen in illustration, "Camp Scene in
Africa." One blanket was stretched over it as a tent, and another,
with the saddle cloths, &c., formed a comfortable bed for two soldiers.

A simpler form of tent may be made at a moment's notice. If rain comes
on, sit upright, joining the hands above the head as if you were about
to dive, supporting the blanket on them, and allowing it to hang down
on all sides that the rain may run off. If you have no blanket, you may
still keep your gun, ammunition, or sketch-book dry by sitting on them.


{Australian tent.}

The tents we used on the North Australian expedition were very light,
convenient, and easily set up. They were simply four-sided pyramids of
calico, eight feet square in the base, and from 9ft. to 10ft. in height
(see p. 65). They were lightly roped at the angles, and would set up
with four principal pegs, though there were loops for intermediate
ones along the sides. Poles could not conveniently be carried on the
packhorses, but there were few places in Australia where we could not
cut them if needed; and in fine weather, we mostly dispensed altogether
with the tents, except as mere sun-shades, and slept only in our
blankets. Their weight, dry, was trifling, but, on account of their
bulk, they formed the greater part of the load of one horse, and when
we had to travel--after a rainy night, without drying them--we found
that two wet tents, with the farrier's tools and a few horseshoes, were
quite heavy enough as a load for one animal.

{Cape-waggon tent.}

A very favourite form of tent in the Cape colony is made like the
longitudinal half section of a ridge-pole tent. This is fastened to
the roof of the travelling waggon and stretched beside it. When the
traveller has two of these, one on each side his vehicle, he will find
it of the greatest possible convenience. The waggon, with its own
aristocratic kap-tent, or humble but more durable wattled roof, serves
as the sleeping chamber; while the half tent on one side may serve as
a dining or general reception room, and the other as a working or
retiring apartment. These may either be raised or lowered according
to the position of the sun or wind, or may be completely closed in
at night; or, if required, the two halves can be taken away from the
waggon altogether, laced together, and, with poles cut upon the spot,
set up at once as a double-pole tent, as shown on p. 65.

[Illustration: THE CAPE-WAGGON TENT.]

{Extemporary tents.}

We have found in Australia and Africa, that the possession of a large
square of duck or canvas, eylet-holed at the corners and sides, or a
couple of good sized sheets of stout unbleached calico, with loops
of tape or cord stitched at the sides and angles, have enabled us to
construct extemporary screens from sun or wind, or even rain, and when
not so required have served admirably as the basis for our bedding.
In boat parties the sails or awnings of the boat may be stretched
upon the mast or oars, two oars at each end may be lashed crosswise,
and set up as shear legs, while the mast is used as a ridge pole, and
the sail drawn across them; there is, however, the objection that
the blades of the oars if projecting upward will hold wind, and they
should therefore be "feathered" toward the quarter whence it may be
expected to blow; but never forget that the making of a tent is only a
secondary and exceptional use for a boat's gear; if the sail is chafed
or cut, its proper usefulness will be much deteriorated; and if the
oars are allowed to sag or bend, by undue strain, they become worse
than useless. You can no more pull effectively with a warped or twisted
oar than you can shoot well with a crooked gun. In a boat voyage on a
river, or where you can make fast and shelter your boat at night, if
you set up two stanchions three or four feet higher than the gunwale,
one at the after and another at the bow thwart, and then make fast a
line to the ringbolt in the stern post, and lead it over the stanchions
to the other ring in the stem, it will form a ridge rope on which the
boat's awning with the yards or stretchers removed may be laid, and the
sides sloped down tent fashion to the gunwales, and made fast either to
the rowlocks or, still better, to a stout line passed tightly all round
the boat outside of and just below the gunwale streak.

If you build a hut, and have not time or material to make it weather
proof, the tent may with great advantage be pitched as a lining to it,
and it is wonderful what effective shelter may be obtained from very
imperfect hutting done in this manner.

We have frequently heard of officers and men setting up their tents or
marquees, then building the framework of their hut over them, covering
it roughly, and finishing at their leisure, so that, by the time the
tents have been worn out, very efficient thatched houses have taken
their places.

We should think that a bell tent (such as may be purchased at any town
where military stores are kept), cut in half, and supplemented with a
couple of squares of canvas, eylet-holed at two inches or more from the
edge, so as to lace between the two halves of the bell tent, and used
as a double-pole tent, either with a ridge pole or with a rope extended
at either end as a stay, would form a very commodious habitation, and
would be specially useful where the number of occupants is subject to

  [Illustration: SECTION OF CRIMEAN TENT.]

{Fitting up of tent.}

When a tent is to be occupied for any length of time, it will be
advisable to dig a hole in the earth to pitch it over, doing so not
only adds materially to the space inside the tent, but makes it much
more comfortable to reside in, from the shelter afforded by the sides
of the excavation. Many of the huts built by the Russian soldiers in
the neighbourhood of Sebastopol were sunk to a very great depth, being
in fact merely large holes in the earth with roofs to them. The roofs
were of poles thickly laid over with brushwood, and then covered with
earth, light was admitted through holes in the low framework of the
sides, oiled paper being used as a substitute for glass. About 2ft.
6in. will be found a good depth for the excavation for an ordinary
military tent to stand over. In digging it see that the sides are cut
down evenly, and that the bottom is level. If planks can be procured
to floor and line it so much the better. Some persons leave a round
bank of earth in the middle for the pole to rest on, but we much
prefer fixing a log of wood, cut from a tree trunk, in the centre of
the floor. The habitation we formed for ourselves in the Crimea, when
encamped before Sebastopol, was thus arranged. We first made a hole in
the earth a little less than the diameter of the bottom of the tent,
and of the depth before referred to; we then made a pit in the centre
about 18in. in depth. In this we sank the lower end of a piece of old
tree trunk, 4ft. long and 7in. in diameter. In its upper surface we cut
with a gouge a cup-like cavity. We then nailed a spiral strapping of
forage hoop round a boat mast we were fortunate enough to hunt out at
Balaklava; we then rounded the lower end so as to make it loosely fit
into the cup on the head of the block. The bell or upper portion of an
old tent was then raised on our mast tent pole, and over it our own
new and complete tent, forming so to speak a double roof, having about
a couple of inches of space between the two surfaces of canvas. This,
by holding a certain portion of air, added in an extraordinary degree
to its sheltering properties. We next dug a deep drain completely round
the tent, and placed a quantity of broken stones in its bottom. An old
wooden packing case was then let in, by digging into one of the sides
of the excavation immediately under the doorway. This not only answered
the purpose of a step to enter by, but formed an excellent storehole
for all sorts of stray matters. The pipe from a small Maltese stove
was carried out through the earth, and discharged its smoke outside a
low wall of rough stones which encircled the tent. We drove two strong
posts deeply into the earth beside the door, across their tops we
nailed a strong bar, which served to hitch horses to, rest gun against,
&c.; whilst across their lower portions we stretched a piece of forage
hoop, edge upwards, to perform the part of a bootscraper. Towards the
end of the war we were enabled to procure plank enough to both floor
and line the tent throughout, thereby adding much to our comfort. The
lining is carried out by placing boards the height of the side banks on
their ends, all round the tent, like the staves of a barrel, and then
nailing the flooring boards here and there fast to them. The upper ends
are kept in their places by nailing short battens of wood across the

The illustration on page 62 is a section of the tent referred to, and
shows the manner in which many of the arrangements described are made.
Many tents we have seen have been dug out to a sufficient depth to
admit of a sort of cellar or lower room being formed; this can only
be done at the expense of much trouble and labour. The arrangement of
the interior of a tent admits of the exercise of a considerable amount
of ingenuity. Cart, waggon, or gun wheels are extremely useful, both
for forming a secure base for the pole to rest on, and for a table and
gun rack. The tent pole, as shown in the engraving on the next page,
rests on one wheel, whilst it passes through the centre of the nave
of another. The hooks for hanging various objects from are formed by
the natural branches of the tree from which the pole has been made.
We seldom make use of the ferruled pole furnished with the tent when
we have young forest trees at hand; in the absence of these, the
conventional deal stick serves to fall back on.


  [Illustration: TENT PEG.]


{Tent peg.}

Much of the efficiency of a tent depends on the way in which it is
pitched. An experienced hand will so adjust his pegs and lines,
that the gale of wind which prostrates the canvas houses of the
inexperienced, passes his harmlessly by. Much has been said and written
in praise of iron tent pegs, and, under some circumstances, they may
be found highly useful, but there are very serious objections to
their use in wild countries. If of sufficient size and length to be
efficient, their weight becomes a matter of considerable importance.
Their value to natives is so great that to prevent loss by theft is
next to impossible; added to which, it is almost certain that one
or two will be left in the ground, every now and then, on striking
camp. We therefore prefer wooden pegs, made from some tough sound
wood. Burn the points in the fire in order to harden them, and keep
a good stock always on hand. The timber of the oriental plane makes
excellent tent pegs. A strong and useful form of peg is shown in the
annexed illustration. The mallet used for driving the pegs should be
made of some heavy and hard wood, such as mimosa or baubul thorn. The
handle should be made larger at one end than the other, so that it
may be removed from the head of the mallet, just as the axe handles
before described are separated from the blades. It not unfrequently
happens, during tropical rains, or in sandy soil, that pegs driven
in the ordinary way will not hold. {Modes of securing tent ropes,
&c.} It then becomes necessary to dig a moderately deep pit at the
point at which the peg should stand. Bind together a small faggot of
brushwood, reeds, or weed stalks; fasten a loop of rope or thong to
it long enough to come 3in. or 4in. above the level of the pit where
the faggot is buried. Place your prepared faggot in the bottom of the
pit crosswise, and then well stamp in the earth over it. A bag of
sand, a stone, or a bundle of old hide answers the same purpose. In
rough stormy weather, it is sometimes necessary to _back_ your pegs;
this is done by driving in an additional one in a line with the first,
and then forming a couple of half hitches with the tent rope over its
head. It was a common practice in the Crimea to employ an old Russian
bayonet in this way, driving it into the earth until the curved neck
alone remained above the surface for the hitch to pass round. All tent
ropes should be relaxed on the approach of rain, or the tightened cord
will, in all probability, draw the pegs, and thus allow the wet canvas
to come flapping down about your ears, causing no end of discomfort
and confusion. A tent may be securely pitched, even on the sands of
the desert, by laying a waggon wheel flat on the ground, fixing
the pole over the hole through which the axle passes on the head of
a plug driven far enough into it to prevent the pole from passing
through; secure your ropes to bags of sand buried in the manner before
described, and no ordinary weather will blow down a tent thus arranged.

{Selection of ground for tent pitching.}

In selecting a spot on which to pitch your tent much will depend on
the period of time you are likely to spend in the locality. The nature
of the country through which you are passing will also influence the
choice. When travelling onwards, and merely resting for one or two days
at a time, a dry, raised, level spot, in the vicinity of wood, grass,
and water, may safely be selected. Do not, however, encamp too _close
to water_ in countries where venomous snakes are met with, as they
generally congregate where it is to be found most abundantly. It is not
wise, either in Australia or Texas, to encamp beneath certain trees,
as the branches at times drop suddenly off and fall with a crash to
the earth. In India or Africa we have always sought the friendly shade
afforded by some wide-spreading forest giant, as we have never known an
instance of "branch-fall" in those countries. In clearing the ground
of stray stones, tufts of weeds, &c., look well about for holes in the
earth, and, when any are discovered, stamp suitable stones or pieces of
broken wood well into them. Reptiles of many kinds are not unfrequently
found in these underground burrows. We have found a large square of
tarpauling invaluable as a tent carpet. When about to set up your tent
for a long sojourn additional precautions are requisite. See well to
the lay of the land as regards the flood level of the nearest river or
lake; the stray bits of driftwood and weeds washed into the branches
of waterside trees will be a useful guide. See that no flags or rushes
are growing near your proposed resting-place, as they are certain
indications of a boggy soil, unfit for camping on. Choose, if possible,
an elevated position, well above the influence of the miasma and night
mists of the low grounds and rivers. We have often seen a slightly
raised hill standing bare and island-like in a sea of humid vapour. See
also that no dry grass is allowed to stand in the vicinity of the camp,
lest it should be ignited by a stray spark or a hostile native.

{Umbrella tent.}

A stout carriage umbrella, with a curtain of 3ft. 6in. buttoned or
laced round the edge, would make a very convenient shelter for one
person. If the curtains were gored so as to give more room below, two
persons might sleep under it comfortably. An extra joint would be
required to give sufficient length to the handle. A similar frame made
proportionately strong, and with a curtain or wall of six or seven
feet, might be found useful in cases where the height of a bell-tent
or marquee is objectionable. Malacca cane would be a good material for
such a frame. We have heard of an adventurous American traveller who
had his umbrella tent made of starred and striped material, so that he
might be always under the protection of his country's flag.

{Canvas buckets.}

Stout canvas buckets answer very well to carry water in for almost any
distance, and if stiffly roped will retain their form when filled, and
collapse when empty; if a little flour is rubbed into the canvas, it
will render them somewhat tighter, and will not materially affect the
taste of the water, but we prefer to take the stoutest canvas. Keep
it perfectly clean, and trust solely to the natural contraction of
the threads when wet, to thicken up and tighten the material so as to
render it for all practical purposes nearly waterproof. India-rubber
bags, especially if carried into a hot sun, and not quite full, always
make the water taste badly. When we served on the North Australian
expedition, we always had a canvas bucket hanging in the doorway of
the hut, just shaded and exposed to a free current of air. The partial
evaporation through its sides kept the water deliciously cool.

  [Illustration: CANVAS BUCKET.]

{Mosquito nets.}

If the traveller can afford such a luxury, and is likely to have plenty
of tent room, and a sufficient train of well ordered and obedient
servitors, we should advise him by all means to take plenty of mosquito
net, gauze or tarletan, green or blue. This should be suspended around
his bed so as to form an inner tent, pervious in every direction to
the cooling breeze, but having no aperture whatever by which a single
insect could gain admittance. If the nights are cool, so that he
can bear plenty of bedclothing, the face alone may be protected by
the net; but if they are likely to be warm, so that he lies with the
thinnest possible coverlet, and frequently throws off even that, it
must be large enough to inclose the whole bed, and be tucked in or
otherwise secured all round; in all cases it must be capacious enough
to give him plenty of room to sleep, without touching its sides, for
if an unfortunate limb should by any accident touch the gauze, the
infinitesimal tormentors would assuredly not neglect to improve their

The net may be simply a large square, a portion of the centre may be
gathered in the hand, and a cord knotted to it by which to suspend
it from above, while the edges are brought round and tucked under
the mattrass. If two points of suspension, one near the head and the
other at the feet, can be obtained, with a light rod or ridge pole
between them, the material may be used to more advantage, and it may,
if convenient, be distended by a hoop, square or oblong frame of light
canes or twigs, lashed together with a bit of cord.

We had one when in India, cut, and stitched into a cone, or crinoline
shape, suspended from above, and tucked around under our bedding, and
found it exceedingly serviceable--of course, when the real hard work
comes on, all these luxuries go to the rear; but it is wise to enjoy
them when you can.

In many parts of the world, we might say in all, where flies are found,
dense swarms are sure to seek the shelter of the traveller's tent,
causing endless annoyance to the inmates by settling on, or buzzing
about, their faces, hands, or the work they may be doing--drinking up
every drop of moisture from the angles of the eyes, inserting their
probosces into any cut or open sore on the hands for the same purpose.

                        Odds and Ends.

{The ditty bag.}

There are a number of articles which, although not strictly found
under either of the heads we have before dealt with, will be found of
very considerable service in wild countries. A "_ditty bag_" should
be made of some tough strong material, such as fustian, velveteen, or
canvas. It should contain a large assortment of needles, especially of
the larger and stouter sizes; half-a-dozen medium-sized sail needles,
three roping needles, two packing needles, half-a-dozen duck needles,
sailmaker's thimble and palm, sail hook, rubber, and piercer; roping,
sail, and duck twine. (Learn how to use the palm from a sailor on the
voyage.) A dozen skeins of black thread, ditto brown; one dozen skeins
of carpet thread, brown; six slips of black silk, six white ditto; six
hanks of worsted, the colour of the socks and shirts. All these skeins
should be wound off on cards, as endless entanglements follow the
attempts made by the inexperienced to use thread from the uncut skein.
We also advise winding on cards, as cut thread is not so well adapted,
from the number of short lengths in it, for splicing broken fishing-rod
joints, &c. A few reels of strong white sewing cotton, a little bag of
buttons of _all sorts_, a lump of beeswax, six pieces of strong tape, a
packet of pins, a bodkin, and a pair of strong large bowed scissors. A
little ingenuity will enable the traveller to perform an endless number
of repairs with the contents of a bag thus furnished. The more needles
you can take the better, as they are at all times eagerly sought after
by natives.


A small pair of common bellows can be bought for about a shilling. Do
not fail to provide at least one of these useful contrivances. It is
perfectly surprising to note the number of valuable ends they serve to
answer. Stubborn fires, formed of saturated brushwood and damp moss,
are, by their aid, forced into a blaze, when ordinary coaxing and
fanning only produced suffocating smoke and grievous loss of temper.
The fine sand and almost impalpable dust which, in some regions, finds
its way in some strange manner into your very gun locks is best removed
by the aid of your bellows. Laid flat on the knees a capital board for
writing, drawing, or the examination of minute objects, is formed.
When cutting out leather thongs with the knife, or fashioning raw
hide covers for various things, they may be used for a cutting-board.
When snatching a hasty meal at the camp fire at early dawn, before
starting on the march or hunt, we do not sit on the damp earth, but
usually place our bellows on the ground and sit on that. Most of our
small job work, such as fileing, soldering, fish-hook tying, and tackle
making, is performed on the ever-ready surface of the bellows; and when
small objects of iron or steel require heating, either to be worked,
tempered, or case-hardened, a hole in the ground, a little charcoal and
dry cow dung, by the aid of the bellows, enables us to extemporise a
small forge. Larger forges will be described when smith's work comes
under consideration.


Do not on any account be induced to encumber yourself with what is
called a "canteen," a contrivance which is in our opinion much like
the many-bladed knife we have before referred to. A few months since,
when the expedition in search of Dr. Livingstone was about being sent
to Lake Nyassa, two contrivances for cooking were brought to the Royal
Geographical Society for approval, and of these, were they to be used
by a man who would take proper care of them, we could only speak in
terms of unqualified praise. But they were declined simply because it
would be impossible to teach a native cook how to use them, and it
would be easier to give him a fathom of calico to buy half-a-dozen
earthen pots, and to buy more when these were broken. It is, no doubt,
vastly ingenious to make a pepper dredge fit into a tea-canister which
belongs in the teapot, which in turn should go into the saucepan, only
unfortunately the class of persons to whom utensils of this kind are
usually entrusted in wild countries are slow to appreciate mechanical
puzzles, and usually throw the whole lot into the first bag they can
get, when the spout of the teapot gets knocked off, and the pepper
becomes hopelessly amalgamated with the tea, to the decided detriment
of both. {Table necessaries.} Rather provide yourself with a few plain
useful articles for table use. In giving a list of these, we will
suppose that one person has to be catered for: a well-made strong quart
tin pot, with both hook and handle, is better for making tea in than
the conventional teapot; it is also useful for an endless number of
other cooking purposes. A knife, fork, and spoon, should be packed in
a leather _hold-all_, like that filled with small tools, which we have
already represented on page 43. The knife and fork should have the
steel of their blades carried through the handles in a flat plate, to
which the cheeks of the haft are riveted; those made with tangs are
always shifting round or coming out from being washed in hot water or
placed in the sun; the spoon should be of iron, tablespoon size. We
have, on more than one occasion, had to melt lead in ours for bullet
making, which could not be done if it had been made of any other metal.
Get two small wooden bowls, such as bankers keep gold in, take them
to a tin-plate worker's, and have narrow copper hoops _let into_ the
wood just below the edges, this prevents splitting. Nothing is equal to
these for drinking hot tea out of; metal cups of all sorts scald the
lips if the tea is moderately heated, and earthenware vessels are too
liable to be broken. A half-pint horn cup will be found very useful,
and is next to indestructible. We have one which we extemporised
from an old Russian powder horn we picked up in the Redan. This has
travelled many thousands of miles with us since its conversion, and is
just as capable of containing good liquor as ever. {Pots and pans.} A
frying-pan is worth anything to a campaigner; fish, flesh, or fowl are
all equally well cooked in it. Coffee can be roasted, pancakes made,
stews prepared, and a whole host of useful offices performed. Do not
forget your frying-pan. It is a good plan to have a "parasol joint,"
as it is called, made in the handle close to the pan, this will, by
bending the handle a little, admit of its being folded across the pan,
and thus more easily stowed away. It may be well to observe, perhaps,
that the "parasol joint" is formed by cutting two slots in the divided
ends, fitting in a short plate, running two rivet-pins through them,
and then sliding a ferrule over the joint, which keeps it stiff. Take
two dinner plates of enamelled iron; these are best kept with the
hold-all, in a flat leather pouch with partitions. A leather loop,
or D, at each corner enables you to attach the plate pouch to either
your own or the pack saddle. Have a tin canister made; it should be of
cylindrical form, and should have a division in the middle, a cover at
each end, and be capable of holding 2oz. of ground pepper and 4oz. of
fine salt.

The most useful kind of cooking pot we know is the common cast-iron
crock of Meg Merrilies pattern. Use it with moderate care, and it will
last a lifetime. A wooden cover is easily fitted to it in event of the
iron pot lid being lost; and should by any misfortune one of the legs
get broken off, and a hole made in the bottom of the crock, a good
thick pledget of cotton cloth drawn through it will stop the leak, and
remain unconsumed during the boiling process. Bread, meat, birds,
fish, vegetables, or fruit can be baked readily in or under the crock,
as will be seen when bush cookery is treated on. It is also useful for
a variety of other purposes, as will be seen as the work proceeds--take
a crock, therefore, by all means. An all-blaze pan is another most
useful utensil. It is thus made: Have two deep copper bowls made of a
size sufficient to hold about three pints each. These should each have
two lugs or handles riveted to them, and a flange raised round the
edges should admit of the mouths of the two bowls fitting closely into
each other like a box and its cover. The insides must be tinned in the
usual manner, and the handles so adjusted that when the two bowls are
joined they are opposite to each other and near enough together to be
lashed fast with twine. The formula for preparing food by the use of
these pans will be given under the head "Camp Cookery."

{Leather buckets.}

A leather bucket, such as firemen use, will also be found of great
service for an endless number of purposes. We invariably carried, when
in Central India, a miniature bucket composed of leather, attached
to the pack saddle; it held a quart, and by the use of twenty yards
of ordinary sea-fishing line, which was always coiled away in it, we
have often been enabled to obtain water from deep native wells when
other travellers not so provided have been destitute of this priceless
treasure. In some portions of the East, the wells are very deep and
narrow, so that, without some such contrivance as the above, it is
impossible to reach their contents. When collecting specimens of
natural history in Turkey, we were on one occasion in much distress
for want of water, and after a long search discovered one of these
tantalising excavations. There lay the longed-for fluid, glittering
like silver down below, but far too deep to reach without some shift
or expedient, so we betook ourselves to the sea beach, which was not
far off, to see what good fortune would cast in our way. An empty
univalve shell, not unlike that of an overgrown whelk, soon rewarded
our search; we fixed a stick across its mouth, dragged forth the
trailing vines and creepers from a neighbouring thicket, knotted them
together, fastened on our shell in company with a goodly stone to give
it weight, lowered away briskly, drew up cautiously, and thus treated
the parched palate and dry tongue to that which they so much needed.
Again and again did our good sea shell travel up and down until, having
satisfied the cravings of nature, we resumed our journey; and to the
sea shell and vine are we indebted for the design of our miniature
bucket and cord which now invariably accompany us on our wanderings. We
advise, therefore, that one _common_ fire bucket of _leather_, and one
to contain a quart be provided. Guttapercha buckets are very neat and
pleasant to look at, but the sun of the tropics has an awkward habit
of causing their bottoms to fall out; we, on one occasion, saw six
rendered perfectly unserviceable in one day from this cause. Get a good
stock of leather straps and buckles of different sizes from a saddler,
these are useful for a variety of purposes. It will be well also to
provide a goodly number of padlocks, of two sizes; let the largest
be "iron rim," say three inches in diameter, and the smaller size of
brass, such as are sold at _one shilling_ each--sixpenny ones are
useless; keep one key for each size attached to your watch guard, and
carefully lock away all the rest. A butcher's steel, of good quality,
is well worth taking. A selection of fishing gear, too, is of the
greatest value, of this subject we shall treat at length under the head
"Fishing." A corkscrew should be provided, the best pattern we know is
that in which the worm fits by a screw into a hollow tube. {Other odds
and ends.} When required for use, the tube is passed through a flat
ring in the end of the shank, and forms a cross handle; screws of this
kind are conveniently carried in the waistcoat pocket. Tin boxes of
wax vesta matches are exceedingly useful; take a good number of these;
get also a tube and cap "strike-a-light" with a chain, striker, bit of
agate, and spare cotton cord slow match.

              Medicine and Dressings for Wounds.

{Medical stores.}

On one of Nelson's boat expeditions up a tropical river, the medical
chest was unanimously voted a piece of lumber; but, before the arduous
voyage had been completed, the only regret was that sufficient medicine
had not been taken. An unmanly fear of fever, or other sickness, would
probably aid in bringing it on, but reasonable precaution ought never
to be neglected.

Many countries have an unenviable notoriety for the prevalence of
peculiar and local diseases: some are perfect hotbeds of fever in
various forms; and wounds from gunshot, sharp-edged tools or weapons,
bruised and fractured bones, are casualties that may befall the
traveller in any country, and therefore a few articles for the dressing
of these should certainly find a place among his stores.

In case of wounds, cleanliness and repeated washing in cold or tepid
water as may be best for the particular case, is the most generally
successful treatment, and for this purpose plenty of sponge or flannel
should be provided; the sponges should be of moderate size, perfectly
clean from grit or bits of shell, close grained, and soft. Flannel
is a good substitute; but if a piece of either is used for washing
an unhealthy wound on one person, it should never again be used upon
another, as it might convey infection, and, indeed, it would be much
safer to destroy it utterly.

_Lint_ is, of course, well known to be one of the best coverings for
an injured part, and a good supply ought to be taken as, although the
underclothing, or sometimes even the bedding, of the party, may supply
bandages, very few travellers going on a serious exploration in a wild
country would think of taking linen shirts, while sheets would be
equally scarce among their bedding.

_Cambric_ or _lawn_ handkerchiefs would be good substitutes.

_Calico_, for bandages or rollers, would be more likely to be at
hand in some parts of Africa, such as the Portuguese stations on the
Zambesi, or at Great Fish Bay, where a wrapper of six feet square forms
the dress of the native who borders on the possessions of the white
man; while in Kafirland or Damaraland, where soft untanned leather is
the prevailing dress, it would be less certain to form any considerable
part of the equipment.

_Adhesive plasters._--Of these perhaps common diachylon is the best;
but in a hot country, like Africa, we have seen a roll of it soften
during the journey, and, in exemplification of its name, sticking so
fast together that it looked more like a field marshal's baton than
anything else, and the spreading out of it again into a sheet was a
hopeless task. It would therefore be better to carry the diachylon in
a gallipot, and spread it when required on thin cotton. Isinglass
and court plaster are useful for keeping clean small hurts--the fluid
obtained by boiling tendons in water spread on silk makes a very useful
plaster--though, in trifling cases, we are in favour of letting the
coagulated blood form the natural covering while the cut heals up
beneath it.

_Cerate_, which may, on occasion, be made of beeswax and pure fat or
oil, in such proportions as the temperature of the country may require,
is very useful, spread on lint or linen, as a cooling ointment for
sores that require to be kept soft.

_Spongio pilene_, a material composed of small fragments of sponge,
attached to a backing of india-rubber sheeting, will be found valuable
in applying hot or cold water to injured surfaces. It can be cut with
readiness to any required size or shape.

During the Zambesi expedition, Dr. Kirk was provided with a good
store of gutta-percha tissue, in sheets, for the purpose of covering
poultices, moist applications, &c. The tissue should be cut much
larger than the lint or other material, the moisture of which is to
be confined. Other sheets were of various thicknesses, from that of
writing paper up to cardboard or millboard, so as to give support, if
necessary, as well as covering. He also carried gutta-percha splints
for the leg or arm, properly fitted, for inside or outside, right or
left; and cases might occur in which the possession of one of these,
at the moment it was required, would be invaluable. They packed very
easily one within the other, occupying little more room than so many
flat sheets.

Millboard in strips, 18in. long and 6in. wide, for leg splints, or
15in. by 4in. for the arm, would stow easily, and by moistening
would be easily moulded on the limb of a healthy person to the shape
required. A few bandages, 3in. wide and 6ft. or 8ft. long, should be
kept rolled up in the medicine chest; but if a store of calico is
carried, there is no need to tear off more till they are wanted. (N.B.
They should _always_ be torn--not cut.) It is not to be expected that
every traveller should carry or be able to use the formidable array
of deadly looking keen-edged knives, of saws, and other instruments
of torture; nevertheless, it would be prudent that a small selection
should be taken, and we extract from a clever little work, "First Help
in Accidents," the following list:--

      Sticking plaster,
      Small sponge,
      Suture needles,
      Dressing forceps,

Small pocket cases containing all the requisite instruments are to be
obtained of any surgical instrument maker. Among medicines quinine
stands pre-eminent as an effectual, though perhaps not always an
infallible, febrifuge; it is, however, so excellent a tonic that its
moderate and occasional use may safely be recommended, and we do not
know of a better remedy in case of fever. It is best dissolved in wine,
if the traveller should be fortunate enough to be able to carry any. It
may be given in rum or other spirit, which is more portable and likely
to be at hand, and which is also useful for preserving insects; but if
a man wants any peace while passing through most wild countries, or is
doubtful of his own powers of self-denial, we would recommend him to
convert all his wine into a strong solution of quinine before starting,
and to do the same with half his rum or spirit of wine, having the rest
strongly methylated for use, either in a spirit lamp or preservation
of specimens. Let both these be labelled with a death's head and cross
bones, such as is used by chemists in the Cape and other countries,
where many of the native population cannot read, or do not understand,
English, to signify poison.

A proportion of wine or spirit may, of course, be reserved for prudent
and moderate use, as a glass, or even a bottle judiciously given may go
very far to gain the good will of a native chief, or to induce either
the proper servants or occasional assistants of the traveller to work
heartily in helping him out of some difficulty. We have generally found
a good pannikin of hot coffee accepted readily enough by the people
after a long night journey; but there are times when a fire could not
be made, and a drop of spirit, imparting a momentary sensation of
warmth, even if it produces no other good effect, has, at least, that
of showing that their employer cares for them, and does what he can to
cheer them after their labour.

In most tropical rivers there are extensive deltas, intersected with
netlike labyrinths of shallow impracticable channels, alternated with
shoals, which the advanced guard of mangroves is just reclaiming from
the sea, and where tangled, dank, and unwholesome wildernesses and
swamps are formed, there fever, in its most deadly forms, is sure to

The delta of the Zambesi is also a place of danger from this cause;
and persons of a full stout habit are said, and we believe with some
reason, to be more liable to fever than others of a spare and meagre
build; indeed, the Portuguese, when they see a well-framed athletic
man, in prime condition, enter the river, prophetically mark him as
one of the first victims. We have ourselves suffered severely and
continuously from this malady, which generally came on with a cold
shivering or ague, and was succeeded by the fever, accompanied by
intense perspiration, prostration of strength, nausea and inability
to eat, or even to retain the necessary medicine or cooling drink;
an immoderately exaggerated idea of the length of time; short uneasy
slumbers, disturbed by incongruous dreams--generally of some difficulty
previously experienced--or total want of sleep, total failure of
memory, and in bad cases delirium while awake.

When the "Pearl" first entered the Zambesi Dr. Kirk ordered that a
glass of spirit with quinine in it should be served to the men every
morning; and we would frequently, as the large doses administered were
intensely bitter, make up the quinine into pills, with chocolate or
cocoa paste, or sometimes place the quinine powder dry on the tongue,
and then swallow a copious draught of water to wash it down.

We give, first, Dr. Livingstone's remedy for fever; but, useful and
effective as it really is, we cannot say, from experience, that it
is infallible; and the fatality among the gentlemen of the mission
proves that we do not, as yet, possess a remedy for the fever that will
supply the place of a sufficient and generous diet, total cessation of
exposure to the malaria, and removal to a more elevated and healthy
country, even though it be but a few hours' journey from the infected
district. The doctor's receipt is as follows:--

                                  "Linyante, 12th of September, 1855.

"A pill composed of three or four grains of resin of jalap, three or
four of calomel, and an equal number of quinine; a drop or two of
tincture of cardamoms to dissolve the resin to form the bolus.

"I have had a great many cases in hand, and never met with a single
case of failure; it ought not to purge; the quantity of resin must
be regulated to produce only a gentle movement, which, when felt,
is accompanied by perspiration and a sound sleep. A check to this
perspiration has, in my own experience, given rise to vomiting large
quantities of pure blood."

In another letter:--

"We make a pill of equal parts of resin of jalap, calomel, rhubarb,
and quinine; say for a powerful man eight grains of resin of jalap,
eight grains of calomel, four or six grains of rhubarb, and four or
six grains of quinine; make the whole into pills with tincture of
cardamoms. This relieves the very worst cases in a few hours.

"We then give quinine till the system is affected with cinchonism[A],
the calomel is removed at once from the system, and, curiously enough,
decreasing doses serve. In some of us half a grain of the mass produces
as much effect as twenty-four grains did at first."

  [A] Singing in the ears.

A friend in Capetown, who had travelled in the Brazils, gave us the
following receipt, used, we believe, by an Italian doctor; there he
tells us it was efficacious, but we have not had opportunity to put it
to the test:--

"To one bottle of water add 36grs. of sulphate of quinine, 2
teaspoonfuls of Epsom salts, 34 drops of sulphuric acid, and 40 drops
of ether; this mixture is called antiperiodic water; a wine-glassful
three times a day as soon as the first symptoms are perceived, and
continued for three or four days after recovery. If delirious, an
injection of 1 tablespoonful of vinegar to 10 of this water."

Warburg's fever drops are well spoken of. Very large doses of quinine
are given in India and Africa, sixteen or twenty grains at a time; and
we have frequently taken in powder as much as would lie upon a shilling.

Sometimes violent exertion, producing perspiration and exhaustion,
if practised in time, may avert an attack. We have heard of a doctor
visiting a man when the shivering fit was about to come on, who locked
the door, mixed two glasses of stiff hot grog, put on the gloves, and
engaged his patient in a boxing match, which, at least, for that time
averted the fever.

We do not give our unqualified recommendation of this treatment; but
we have often found that, during a period of severe and long sustained
labour, we have remained in health, but that an attack of fever has
accompanied the reaction induced by an intermission of the work.

Simple aperients should be taken; we have used Cockle's anti-bilious
pills, salts, senna, or jalap; and their opposites in case of
diarrhoea. With a little opium and a bit of carpenter's chalk, we
have been able to give almost marvellous relief to a poor coloured
woman in excruciating agony.

Take a good supply of _Chlorodyne_. Opium both in gum and tincture. A
few drops of the latter, placed within the eyelids of those suffering
from snow blindness, often prove of the greatest advantage; chloroform
must be used with caution; still, in cases of great suffering, it is
worth while to try it. We have known one exceedingly severe case of
illness in which messengers had to be sent to every white man within
240 miles for medicines, and letters were written on the chance that
some passing vessel might take them to a port whence by some other
agency a supply of drugs might be forwarded.

_Emetics_, which are commonly sold in doses, white and grey, and of
different degrees of strength.

_Sudorifics_--among which we have used Dover's powders as a convenient

_Eyewashes._--Weak solutions, sulphate of zinc and diacetate of lead,
or weak brandy and water, may be used.

It may be needful to carry a small quantity of blistering plaster--or
rather the materials of which to make it--soft wash-leather, ointment
of Spanish fly, &c., or mustard.

_Tincture of arnica_, used in the proportion of one part tincture to
eight parts water, is a valuable application for strains or contusions.

_Glycerine_, or cold cream, may be used as cooling applications to
irritated surfaces.

_Effervescing powders._--The blue paper contains carbonate of soda,
30grs.; the white, tartaric acid, 25grs. 1lb. of carbonate of soda, and
13-1/2oz. of tartaric acid, make 256 powders of each sort; or, 1-1/2oz.
of carbonate of soda, and 3oz. of tartarised soda, packed in blue, and
7drs. of tartaric acid, in white, will make twelve sets.

All salts must be kept in bottles closely stoppered, and only put in
paper for immediate use.

_Antiscorbutics._--Almost any vegetable; plenty of sugar; fresh
fruit; dried tamarinds; good lime juice, vinegar, or citric acid; raw
potatoes, with the strong earthy taste as fresh as possible; the pulp
of the cream of tartar tree or Baobab in Africa, or of the Gouty-stem
(_Adansonia Gregorii_) in Australia. Dr. Kane, in his Arctic voyages,
found fresh raw meat a remedy.

It will be well for the traveller to limit his equipment to a few
simple and really useful medicines, of which a sufficient supply for
the maladies to be expected in the country he is bound for should be
taken. A complicated assortment would serve only to confuse him, and
it is better even to trust solely to nature than to tamper unskilfully
with dangerous remedies.

{Poisons and antidotes.}

Poisoning, whether from accident or otherwise, should always be
provided for, and it will be well to be supplied with a few antidotes.
Some poisons are best ejected by vomiting--draughts of salt or mustard
and warm water, half a wine-glassful of ipecacuanha wine, or a glassful
of warm water with twenty or thirty grains of sulphate of zinc.
Antimonial preparations, as tartar emetic, are too depressing, and not

In others, the action on the stomach may be diminished by mucilaginous
or oily drinks, as milk, barley water, white of egg, and salad oil.

For _poisonous acids_ use no emetics; alkaline remedies are proper.
Soda or potash in water, given plentifully; carbonate of magnesia,
Dinneford's solution, common whitening, or chalk in water, followed by
some mucilaginous fluid, as milk or barley water.

Against _alkalies_, as potash, soda, &c., acids must be used--diluted
vinegar, citric or tartaric acid, lemon juice or sour beer; soothing
drinks as before, after the poison has been neutralised.

For _metallic poisons_ an emetic may generally be tried.

For _arsenic_, avoid emetics. Take a mixture of milk and lime water, or
soda water in equal quantities. Light magnesia diffused in water may be
taken. Common animal charcoal may be tried.

For _corrosive sublimate_ give white of egg and plenty of milk; if eggs
are not at hand, use flour mixed with water.

_Vegetable irritants._--Give an early emetic and demulcent drinks.

_Narcotic poisons._--Opium. Give an emetic; pour cold water on the head
and neck and shoulders; place mustard poultices on the calves of the
legs or feet; give hot strong coffee and free air; keep the patient
moving till drowsiness passes off.

_Prussic acid in small doses._--Give ammonia or strong coffee; pour
cold water on head and chest, rubbing dry with warm towels, and give
free air; in large doses no treatment will avail.

_Strychnine._--In Australia, South Africa, and some other countries
strychnine is extensively used; and a correspondent thus writes in the
_Field_ concerning it:--"It sometimes happens that dogs are poisoned,
accidentally or otherwise, by nux-vomica, or its alkaloid. It may not,
therefore, be useless to inform the reader what treatment should be
adopted in such a case. The poison acts very rapidly, tetanus comes on,
and the dog soon dies, exhausted by the violence of the fits. If the
poison have only been just taken, and no fits have occurred, the best
remedy is tannin, in the form of pounded galls, or the areca-nut powder
so much used in kennels. But if the dog be already seized with tetanus,
the only remedy is the permanganate of potash. I have found, in several
experiments on animals, that, when once the tetanic spasm has set
in, permanganate of potash is the only remedy giving any chance of
recovery; if administered in time it is most successful. Condy's fluid,
now so much used in the stable and kennel, is the most convenient form
for its administration. A wineglassful of Condy's fluid, slightly
diluted, may be given. During the treatment the dog must be kept quiet,
and touched as little as possible. This treatment, which has never yet
been suggested (to my knowledge), I beg to offer to those readers who
may be in need of it; but I cannot speak of its effects on the human

_Alcohol in excess._--Evacuation of the stomach, followed by hot
coffee, external stimulants and friction.

_Suffocation by gases, &c._--Removal to pure air, cold water on face
and chest, artificial inducement of respiration, friction of surface,
followed by hot coffee or brandy and water.

_Animal poisons_--stings of insects, snake-bites, &c.--If a sting
remains in the wound, extract it, and apply a strong wash of ammonia
in spirit or water, or, in its absence, warm oil; if faintness
follows, some stimulant, as brandy and water, may be given freely for
snake-bites; in addition to this cauterise the wound with nitric acid
or a white-hot iron.

The trappers of America place great dependance on strong whisky; if
great exertion can be maintained, so as to produce excessive fatigue
and perspiration, the system may throw off the poison.

In the Cape colony an antidote for snake-bites is sold under the
name of Croft's Tincture of Life. This was analysed, when we were
in Grahamstown, by the faculty, and the ingredients they found
were pronounced good; but there were others which the maker would
not reveal. We have seen several testimonials as to its efficacy.
The medical men, however, arranged a case somewhat larger than a
fifty-likeness _carte-de-visite_ album, containing lancet, ligature,
cupping-glass, a bottle of ammonia, lint, and a piece of lunar caustic;
but it was much too large to be carried about by any traveller in
expectation of being bitten by a snake. We therefore took a small tin
vesta match box, put a lancet, small bottle of ammonia, lunar caustic,
in a stoppered bottle, lint, and ligature in it, and kept it in the
waggon. We are happy to say we never had to put it to the test, for we
were never bitten by a serpent. Sometimes a little judicious humouring
of the patient does as much good as medicine.

In the Bushman country around Lake Ngami, where the entrails of the
Ngwa or poisonous grub are used to give such fatal effect to the
insignificant-looking arrows, a small plant with a yellow star-like
flower, called the _Kala-haetlwe_, is used as an antidote. Fat is also
rubbed into the wound and also given internally till the effect of the
poison is neutralised.

The snake-stone of India, if it has any good qualities, seems to owe
them entirely to its absorbent properties, and these would be more
efficiently performed by scarification and the cupping glass.

Ipecacuanha, applied as a poultice, has been by some considered a most
valuable antidote to snake-bites. This antidote is equally effective in
the stings of scorpions and other venomous reptiles.

The fiction of the cup of rhinoceros horn, which caused all poisonous
drink to effervesce and bubble over, is so firmly believed, that we
have known a Cape trader offer to drink any poison we could give him
out of such a cup; but we declined the experiment.

A preparation of the guaco plant is highly esteemed on the Spanish main
as an antidote against bites of snakes of all kinds.

Acetic acid rubbed on the wound caused by the bite of scorpions or
centipedes is very efficacious. In the absence of this, chewed tobacco
is often made use of; but the natives are of opinion that the scorpion
inflicting the wound crushed between two stones and laid on the injured
part is a certain remedy, and, from what we have been enabled to learn
from them on the subject, there seems to be some foundation for the

{Imaginary ailments of natives.}

The imaginary ailments of natives are neither few nor far between;
but it is not at all times wise to disregard them. We have known our
followers come, night after night, with small sicknesses, when we had
but a few doses of fever mixture left, and, by some chance or other,
a little currie powder. Now, had we sent away a man with his "little
sickness," he would have been really ill next morning. We therefore
looked as wise as possible, felt his pulse, looked at his tongue, read
a paragraph or two, and sent him to boil some water and bring it to us;
we then carefully measured out a spoonful of currie powder, mixed it,
saw him drink it off, and sent him to make himself as warm as he could
till next morning.

             Horse Medicines and Farrier's Stores.

If an expedition is about to be undertaken where the services of
many horses or mules are required, a list of medicine stores should
be furnished for them, which may be approximately as follows, the
quantities being arranged for twenty animals for six months:--

      Raw linseed oil, 4 galls.
      Olive oil, 2 galls.
      Spirits of nitre, ether, 4lb.
      Nitrate of potash, 6lb.
      Barbadoes aloes, 2lb.
      Potassio tartrate of antimony, 1lb.
      Camphor, 1lb.
      Ginger, in powder, 6lb.
      Palm oil, 6lb.
      Tincture of opium, 4lb.
      Spirits of ammonia, 4lb.
      Spirits of turpentine, 1 gall.
      Cantharides, in powder, 1lb.
      Lard, 6lb.
      Linseed meal, 8lb.
      Compound tincture of myrrh and aloes, 2lb.
      Calomel, 1oz.
      Nitrate of silver, 1/2oz.
      Sulphate of copper, 2lb.
      Alum, 2lb.
      Sugar of lead, 1lb.
      Sulphate of iron, 2lb.
      Powdered gentian, 4lb.
      Prepared chalk, 6lb.
      Stockholm tar, 10lb.
      Tow, 6lb.

Old flannel and sheeting for bandages, two or three sponges, a packet
of pins, a hank of fine twine, six pieces of coarse tape, a pestle and
mortar, set of scales and weights, palate knife, graduated measure,
a quire of whitey-brown paper, two pairs of scissors, one straight
and the other curved; a drenching-horn, phleam, lancet (horse size),
glyster syringe (quart size), and blood can. Hoof picker, searcher,
drawing knife, buffer, pincers, shoeing hammer, hoof rasp, and set of
hobbles. The use of these matters will be treated on under the head of
"Veterinary Surgery."

                 Lamps, Lights, and Lanterns.


About the most simple and effective lamp we have ever seen is that
used by the Portuguese at Tette, in their illuminations; it consists
of a shallow pan of clay, as big as the palm of the hand, slightly
baked, or, perhaps, merely sun-dried--to contain the oil--a spoonful
of salt is tied up in a piece of rag, the ends being left just long
enough for a wick, and this cheap and simple arrangement serves all the
purposes of out-door illumination. Sticks about three feet high, with
their upper ends cleft into three parts, which are kept open by the
insertion of a wedge, are planted in lines along the streets, and the
lamps supported on these, or ranged along the porticoes or fences of
the various houses, burn brightly and steadily for many hours, defying
even a tolerably stiff breeze to blow them out. The oil used is that
of the ground nut, which, beside being cheap and plentiful, is so pure
that it may be used for almost any purpose, scarcely an article of food
in Tette being prepared without it; in fact, the nut itself, which may
be eaten plain, roasted, treated as a "confect" in various ways, or
infused as a substitute for coffee, contains so much essential oil that
it will burn for more than a minute with as bright a flame as a good
candle; when arranged one over the other on a stick or wire they give a
good permanent light.

  [Illustration: MAKE-SHIFT LAMPS.]

It is often necessary, however, for the traveller to supply himself
with light when the grease at his command is neither liquid enough
to rise through the fibres of a wick, nor hard enough to be moulded
into a candle. In this case, the wick should be allowed to rest on
and overhang a little the sides of the vessel used as a lamp--a cup
of earthenware, a common tin cap box, or even a bit of tin or sheet
iron bent up will answer well enough; the flame soon heats the side
sufficiently to melt a portion of the fat, and a constant supply is
thus kept up as the wick requires it.

Almost anything will serve as a wick--a bit of old rag, or the
flax-like fibres of the various plants used as cordage by the natives;
strips of bark beaten to separate the fibres, or even small twigs may
be used; rushes with enough of the outer covering removed to expose
the pith, while on one side a strip of bark is left sufficiently
strong to support it, are also worth looking to in case of need; but
it is best to be provided with a sufficiency of cotton which is cheap,
easily carried, and useful for many other purposes. If possible, a
good supply of the best sperm candles, or others of material not
likely to be affected by changes of climate, should be carried. On the
Australian expedition, we used Price's vegetable wax candles; and some
of these--after having twice crossed the line, gone round Australia and
part of the Indian archipelago, and made the circuit of the globe--are
now in Kew Museum in as good condition as when they were issued from
the factory.

The common bull's-eye or police lamp is very useful if only required
by one person for a specific purpose, such as reading off a sextant
after observation of a star, but it does not diffuse light enough for
general purposes. In fact, if wood is plentiful, a roaring fire will
give greater facility for reading, writing, or such other occupations
as are likely to employ a traveller's evening than anything else. If
you want warmth, let your fire be on the ground and sit round it; if
you want light to work by, make it on a slight elevation, say from
eighteen inches to two feet high. If you want wood, and your native
attendants, when called on, make excuses, or Jem tells Sambo and Sambo
tells the old woman to fetch wood for the master, do not put yourself
to the trouble of scolding them, but take the wood off their fire and
put it on your own, and let them settle whose duty it is to bring more.
_Experto crede._

A horn lantern is good "to keep the light from going out;" but then,
perhaps, the operator may desire that the light should not be so
literally "kept in;" and it is said that a piece of rag dipped in salt
and water, and wrapped round a candle, will answer the purpose of
preserving it from extinction in windy weather without lessening its
illuminating powers. This, however, requires continuous attention, in
order that it may be cut down as the candle burns low. The Esquimaux
lamp is a piece of soft stone with a slight groove along the front
edge; in this is laid a wick of moss or other material, and, the heat
imparted to the stone being quite sufficient to melt the fat laid on
it, it is fed with very little trouble. One who has made a turnip
lantern in his youth will seldom be at a loss to extemporise a shelter
for his bit of candle. A calabash or gourd, with perforations to
allow the passage of the light, covered or not with oiled calico or
paper; a worn-out pannikin or preserved meat tin; the body of a quart
bottle, the more transparent the better; or, what is best of all, one
of the oblong tins in which fancy biscuits are generally sold, will
answer admirably; the polished surface of the latter serving also as
a powerful reflector. We had one of these slung from the roof of the
waggon, the bowl of a broken ladle was secured in the bottom of it, and
with a bit of cotton wick and a few pieces of hard fat, a light steady
enough to work by was secured for the evening; the common forecastle
lamp used on board our merchantmen is a useful form, and the shadowless
railway lamp we found very servicable, as long as the glass could be

We have constructed a very powerful reflecting lamp from a large sheet
of tin, nearly two feet in height, curved round so as to form half a
cylinder, six or eight inches in diameter; about eight inches from its
base, we made a shelf to sustain the oil lamp, and a socket to contain
the candle if we should be fortunate enough to have one, and behind
this we arranged a couple of sixpenny trade looking-glasses at an angle
of 90° with each other, and by the light thus thrown forward we were
able to write or sketch with facility during many hours of the weary
night. (See p. 85.)

A lamp commonly used in India is a tumbler half full of water with oil
on the top, and a wick wrapped round a stone or bit of lead, with its
end projecting above the oil; but it has this disadvantage, that rats
may upset the glass while drinking the oil, carry off the burning wick,
and so expose the house to great danger. A float may easily be made of
bottle wire and three bits of cork, in which half an inch of wick is
enough to last all night.


It is often desirable to make candles, and for this purpose the hard
fat and tallow of any animal that may be killed should be preserved,
that is, if it can be spared from the no less important purpose of
greasing the axles; or beeswax, if it can be obtained, may be used
either in combination with it or separately. If you wish to make dip
candles, take a sufficient number of strands twice the length you
require, twist them slightly and double them, and let the parts twist
together; pass a small rod through the "bights" of as many of these
wicks as you find convenient, say half a dozen; take a bucketful of
hot water, throw the fat or wax in, and it will soon melt and float
upon the surface; let the wicks absorb as much as they will, straighten
and let them harden; then, holding the rod by the end left for that
purpose, dip them quickly to their full length, withdraw and allow
them to cool, and repeat the operation till your candles attain the
desired size. If you have fat enough you may have half a dozen or more
sets of wicks and can keep on dipping in rotation, thus allowing each
plenty of time to cool before its turn comes round again. If you aspire
to mould candles, nothing is better for your purpose than a piece off
the end of a gun-barrel--and very few African hunters make a journey
without shortening some lengthy weapon by eight or ten inches. In this
case, pass a small stick an inch or two in length through the bight of
the wick, bring the end out through the "mould" and make it fast to
another, or pass it through a gun wad or section of a cork, so as to
stretch it fairly and evenly in the centre, and stop the lower end;
then pour in the tallow or wax, and, when cool, warm the mould slightly
and the candle will draw out. In some countries wood may be found
sufficiently resinous to be used as candles, but a supply of sticks cut
to a convenient size must be prepared and a rest of some sort contrived
so that they may be easily placed in it or withdrawn when nearly
burnt out; the angle they ought to make with the horizon varies with
the quality of the wood, if very combustible they may be set nearly
upright, if less so they must be more nearly horizontal.

All candles, however, waste rapidly unless screened from the wind, if
the traveller can carry a spring burner, this inconvenience is in a
great measure obviated; but often this is impossible, and he must make
the best shelter he can with a bit of bent tin, a joint of bamboo, or
whatever material may be at hand. If the candles have to be packed in
bags where stowage is of importance, and cases must be thrown away, it
is best to cut them in two, as the risk of breakage is much reduced by
the diminution of their length; in cutting them the knife should be
warmed slightly, as it divides them without chipping off fragments. In
lighting the lower half, if you have wax vestas, and stick one of them
in alongside the wick that has been cut, you avoid the necessity of
cutting down the wax to expose the end, and so may save three quarters
of an inch of candle.


We have seen the Malays, in the Island of Timor, take a soft porous
stick, or the pith of a peculiar rush, and then wrap round it a coating
of beeswax, to serve as a torch or candle. The natives of the shores of
British Columbia and Vancouver Island use a fish known as the Eulachon,
or North-West Capelin, as a source of light. The leaf of the cocoa-nut
palm possesses strong illuminating power. The pine knot and birch bark
of North America and Canada are extensively used for giving light in
deer-hunting, fish-spearing, and on other occasions. The bog deal of
Ireland is also used. The Damaras, who have a custom of obtaining their
fire only from that kept burning at the hut of their chief, carry with
them dry flakes of "Kraal mist" or cattle droppings, ignited and held
between the forks of a cleft stick; and the Indian matchlock men carry
fire in the same way. The mussalchees or torch-bearers of Central
India, who commonly accompany troops during night marches, use long
sausage-shaped rolls of cotton cloth; the ends of these they from time
to time moisten with oil poured from a vessel carried for the purpose.
The hill guides usually employ large splinters cut from the Deodar
cedar. In Mexico, the brilliant fire-flies are sometimes caught and
used for giving a temporary light: the direction of a letter, or the
points of a compass, may be read by them.

The sparks from a flint and steel, a bit of quartz, sulphuret of iron
or agate, and a pocket knife, will give light enough to read the
compass, or to form a night signal.

There are many very nice arrangements for the purpose of light giving
and cooking, which may be obtained from any military outfitter; but
their chief defect is, that they will only answer their purpose under
tolerably convenient circumstances, and become useless when the real
hard work of travel begins.


Travellers, both on sea and land, often require to cook a small
allowance of coffee or tea when, from severity of weather, scarcity of
fuel, or the impossibility of halting long enough, it is impossible
to kindle a fire in any of the ordinary methods, and frequently when,
from the pitching of a small vessel or the jolting of a waggon, it
would be dangerous to use a spirit lamp, an Etna, or an uncovered fire
of any kind. Under these circumstances we should think the principle of
internal heat, as applied in the Russian _samovar_ or tea urn, might be
successfully adopted. This, with various modifications in outward form,
may be described as a small furnace for burning wood or charcoal in
that part which serves as the base of the urn, with a funnel or stove
pipe, wide at the bottom, but tapering rather sharply upward, leading
straight up through the water, and having at top a telescope joint,
by which the funnel can be lengthened and the draught increased when

  [Illustration: SAMOVAR.]

Our own idea is to have an upright cylinder of copper tinned inside,
and from about a couple of inches above the lower part of this an
internal cone, like an inverted funnel, exactly fitting the cylinder at
its lower edge, and tapering up to a small aperture at top. A double
floor would be let into the cylinder about an inch from its base, so
that it might be set upon a plank without danger from the fire. The
cover would have a central hole for the funnel or smoke pipe to rise
through; a small lip spout would serve to pour off the water, and ring
handles, with chains long enough to obviate all danger, would serve to
suspend it from the waggon roof, or from the beams of a small vessel,
while others on either side would help to stay and steady it. A broad
cap or roof of copper hooked on to links of the chains an inch or two
above the end of the smoke pipe would prevent any possible risk from
fire reaching any woodwork from which the samovar might be suspended.

                              CHAPTER II.


{Stopping leaky boats.}

In traversing wild countries, or examining their coasts, lakes, or
rivers, boats of some kind are indispensably necessary. The traveller
may, perhaps, be fortunate enough to possess one or more sound and
seaworthy. More frequently, however, it will be his lot to have either
some sun-dried leaky craft, crank canoe, or unstable raft, on which
to entrust his life and equipment, when his ingenuity and powers of
resource must be exercised in order to successfully contend with the
various shortcomings and failings he will certainly discover. If a boat
be very leaky, and is so rotten as not to be reparable by ordinary
means, cover the whole bottom with canvas to above the water line,
and paint it, she will then be perfectly tight, and also very much
strengthened and protected against external injury. Should the canvas
even be left unpainted, it will be found to reduce the leakage very
considerably. Turn the boat bottom upwards, take a breadth of canvas
for each side, or, if one breadth be not wide enough, increase it as
much as necessary by stitching on another. Lay one edge of this against
the keel, just below the garboard streak; fasten it with copper tacks,
or if with iron pump tacks, dip them previously in thick white paint,
varnish or boiled oil, to prevent them rusting the canvas. Wet the
canvas, and stretch it tightly, tacking it on the stem and stern post,
so as just to cover the insertion of the planking; then stretch the
upper edge to the moulding, just below the wash-streak, and nail it on
there. It might, if necessary, be carried right up to the gunwale; but,
in this case, it must be defended by a moulding or ribband of plank
from chafing against the side of a vessel or pier. In the case of a
gig, or long sharp boat, the canvas will give or stretch sufficiently
to adapt it to the required form; but in one with a short bluff bow and
stern, it must be fitted either by neatly folding the parts necessary
to be reduced, or by cutting and stitching it to the shape required.

{Make-shift outrigger.}

If a small boat crowded with passengers has to leave a wreck in a
heavy sea, she may be preserved from sinking or overturning by lashing
across the gunwales a couple of oars (cut, if there is time for it, to
a suitable length), and fastening to them, outside the boat, four small
water-casks or breakers; these would somewhat impede her progress, but
buoyancy and safety, and not swift sailing, are the chief requisites
in leaving a wreck. Breakers lashed under the thwarts, or bow and
stern sheets, are sometimes used; but, though they impart buoyancy to
a water logged boat, they take up room, and do not give the additional
stability which is afforded when they are placed outside.



The cumbrous mass of spars, water-casks, and other stores, which want
of stowage under hatches often forces small vessels to carry upon deck,
may easily be converted into a perfectly safe and buoyant raft, ready
for instant use on an emergency, by the following arrangement of the

The spars, amongst which will generally be found one fit to make a
topmast, another for a lower yard, and, perhaps, one or two more of
equal length, are laid fore and aft on either side the main hatch; the
water-casks, perhaps half a dozen on each side, are lashed to them;
while the space between is occupied by the long boat, and, perhaps, one
or two casks of meat or other stores, the whole being secured to the
deck; but all this floating power is neither connected in itself, nor
easily detachable from the sinking vessel.

It would not be much more difficult, when securing the row of casks
and spars on either side the hatch, to connect all these by short
spars lashed across the ends, as shown in the engraving, with a couple
more crossing near the bow and stern of the long boat, and bearing
others passing fore and aft beneath her bilge, to which she might be
secured by lashings perfectly independent of the gripes by which she is
fastened to the deck. Indeed, the chief requisite is to keep all the
lashings that connect the parts perfectly clear of those which hold the
raft to the vessel, so that, in case of need, it could at once be cut
clear, and allowed to float bodily off from the sinking hull.

                 BOAT, USED AS A RAFT.]

We have stated the absolutely necessary points as simply as possible;
but many improvements might easily be suggested, such as the four
casks, at the ends, being pointed like conical buoys, so as to offer
less resistance to progress through the water; or that in two or more
of the aftermost casks a quantity of salt or preserved meat, biscuit,
or groceries should be kept in store for any emergency.

The smaller spars, of which there are generally plenty on board,
might be crossed upon this framework, so as to make a platform, and a
studding-sail spread over would prevent small things dropping through,
or help to support the crew or passengers.

The boat, however leaky or battered, would always be a place of
security and comparative comfort for the ladies or children, as the
power of floatation would be in the spars and casks. We believe the
Spaniards always endeavour to secure a boat on any raft they are
obliged to make, using her, no matter how much she may be stove or
broken, as a place of rest or refuge for the helpless or the weary.

It would be superfluous to give directions for the rigging of a mast
or steering apparatus. Seamen in emergencies would improvise these
according to the means at hand. Two or three small spars set up as a
triangle would carry sail, where, perhaps, a mast could not be stepped;
and the oars of the long boat, assisted by the trimming of such sail
as could be set, would be most likely the readiest appliances for
steering. Sometimes the "bridge" of a paddle steamer is made like a
caisson, and shipped in grooves, so as to float off should the vessel
sink. Small craft trading in the Indian islands, which carry a quantity
of bamboo as small spars, are thus provided with a natural substitute
for life-buoys, and a material for constructing rafts, or rendering
boats, though leaky as so many sieves, perfectly unsinkable. Rafts of
the large hollow stems of the bamboo are frequently used by fishermen
in the Indian archipelago.


It may, perhaps, be of little use to suggest that before a vessel
leaves port attention should be given to the means of saving life
should she go down at sea. The possible foundering of a seaworthy
vessel is about the last thing a sailor thinks of; he trusts more
to his presence of mind and ready application of the means at hand.
Nevertheless, provision against danger would cast no imputation on
their manliness. The law compels a proportionate number of boats to
the complement of crew or passengers. Some owners provide cork belts
or jackets for the men, with mattrasses, pillows, or cushions of
cork, for the berths or sofas in the cabin; and it would be well if
every passenger making a sea voyage were to provide himself, and each
of those depending on him, with a life-belt, either of cork or of
inflatable material, and likewise see that these were not stowed away
in chests below the hatches, but kept at hand in the berths so as to be
available when wanted; and also that their use was perfectly understood
by those for whom they were provided.

We have seen a waistcoat with inflatable lining carried far into the
interior by one of the boldest elephant hunters in South Africa; and it
is stated that, after the sinking of the ill-fated steamer "Arctic,"
some of the passengers provided with belts floated on the surface of
the Atlantic for some days, giving, with a kind of desperate humour,
the names of different hotels to the piece of floating wreck at which
they had "put up last night," or intended to do so for the next.

It is a pity that none of the waterproof materials at present in use
are comfortable in ordinary wear, so that some common article of dress,
as a neck-tie, a belt, or sash, might be made so as to be inflatable
when an accident occurs.

Of all that we know at present, we should say the most effective,
simple, and secure from damage, is the ordinary cork jacket, of the
pattern supplied by the Life-boat Institution; it is sufficiently
buoyant, does not impede the exertions of the wearer, and cannot be
damaged by collision with rocks or other hard objects.


Perhaps the circular life-buoy now in common use is as good as any, but
it requires some address and strength on the part of the swimmer to get
it over his head to its proper place beneath his arms; it also lies
low on the water when thrown overboard, and if at any distance is not
easily seen by the swimmer or by the boat's crew who eventually go to
his assistance.

In the navy a breaker or small cask is used, with a staff six or eight
feet long passed through it, the lower end projects say three feet, and
is loaded with lead; the upper will stand from four to six feet above
the water, carrying a small red flag by day, or a port-fire by night.

The slings of the buoy are brought up to the taffrail and looped over
a small pin, which is withdrawn by pulling the trigger of a gun lock,
and a quick match led to this at night serves at the same time to
ignite the port-fire, so that the swimmer, the boat's crew, and the
commander of the vessel, have a conspicuous object to make for and are
so prevented from losing each other.

In larger vessels, we believe, two breakers are used, connected by
saddle-shaped iron bars; these enable one, or perhaps two men to sit,
with their shoulders considerably above the surface; while beckets
of rope all round would enable a greater number, say the crew of a
capsized boat, to support themselves with a fair chance of safety. The
size, however, of a life-buoy must always be limited. It is mostly
required to save one person who has fallen overboard; and, though
perhaps sufficient to support more, it should never be so large as to
be dangerous or inconvenient when taken into the boat put out in a
heavy and dangerous gale to the rescue.

Several fathoms of small line should be and often are attached to the
buoy, so that if it is let go in time the swimmer may catch it, and be
saved without the necessity of lowering a boat. We have seen a "life
line" of coir or cocoa-nut fibre, which is very buoyant, successfully
veered away to an overladen and endangered boat at a considerable
distance, when a hempen rope, which sinks by its own weight, would have
been of no service.


{Calabash float.}

Nearly similar in principle to this last-named life-buoy is the
calabash float, described by Dr. Barth as being used by the natives of
Central Africa; it is simply a bar or plank of light wood, so laced to
the bottom of two large calabashes, that a man sitting on the bar, as
he would upon a saddle, will sink about waist deep, and may use his
hands to paddle himself across the stream.

{Reed boat.}

Our illustration shows how any buoyant article in the traveller's
possession might be used in this manner. The boxes shown on pp. 8 and
9 are designed expressly for such emergencies. Small water "vatjies,"
barrels, or tin cans, wooden boxes, even though somewhat leaky,
wrapped in canvas or two or three thicknesses of calico, which need not
be cut, would become sufficiently tight for a short voyage. To make a
reed boat, take reeds of any length you wish, a foot or two more than
half the length of your boat, lay them lengthwise on level ground, with
their small ends toward the ends of your intended boat, and their butts
overlapping each other by a foot or two; take cord or other material
for lashing, and interweave it with the reeds till the part in the
centre resembles a flat cheese-mat, then bend it round the hoop which
you intend for the midship frame. Insert smaller frames toward each
end, and finally gather up the ends of the reeds into a point, cover
this with some waterproof material, oiled calico or canvas, &c., or
canvas simply pasted with flour and water, and you will have a boat
buoyant and more or less durable according to the strength of the

  [Illustration: REED BOAT.]

About 1844 we made such a boat in Cape Town, using what are there
called Spanish reeds, which run between 10ft. and 15ft. in length,
three quarters or an inch in their greatest diameter, tolerably strong
and very buoyant; these were lashed on wooden barrel hoops with a
light deal keel and gunwale, and covered with two thicknesses of oiled
calico. There was no leakage, and our little skiff was so light that
with the assistance of a friend we easily carried her to and from the
house in which she was built. We often ventured beyond the shipping
anchored in Table Bay, our guns being secured by lanyards to the boat
in case of accident.

{Reed raft.}

On parts of the Nile where reeds abound, the natives make them up into
bundles of perhaps 8in. or 10in. in diameter at the larger end, and
tapering almost to nothing at the smaller; three or four of these are
fastened side by side, their points are made to curve up a little,
and they form a portable and convenient vessel for crossing the river
or conveying small cargoes of grain or other produce to market. The
stoutest part of the fan-shaped leaf of the doum palm is used as
a paddle. The float is not a heavy load for one man, when carried
overland, and one supported by a forked stick, or three or four with
their larger ends set on the ground and the smaller resting against
each other, form very good sun-shades, or huts to protect the inmates
against more inclement weather.

  [Illustration: REED RAFT AS USED ON THE NILE.]

We have seen very useful and commodious rafts made by cutting very
large quantities of marsh reeds, fastening them up roughly in bundles,
laying these side by side, and then arranging another layer of bundles
across the lower tier. A few vines, or twisted reed bands, serve to
keep the bundles in their places, whilst a thick layer of loose reeds
on the top makes a level surface for the traveller and his baggage to
rest on. As the lower reeds become saturated with water others can
be cut, and added to the top. Long river voyages, floating with the
stream, have been accomplished on rafts of this description. Bamboo
canes, when they can be obtained in sufficient number, form excellent
rafts. They are also extremely valuable as outriggers, and outrigger
beams for canoes, adding greatly to their stability.

In other parts, where reeds are not so common, floats of wood are used
as an assistance to swimmers.


When swimming our horses over many of the wide and rapid rivers of
Central India, the natives who were employed in guiding the animals,
first swam across with them without any artificial assistance, and
then returned for others with billets of a peculiarly light wood held
between their left arms and sides, under the shoulders; with these
appliances, they floated with extraordinary buoyancy, and made rapid
progress across the stream.

The inflated skins or intestines of animals, hollow gourds, earthen
pots, bladders, or bundles of bark, may be used as aids in crossing
rivers where canoes or rafts cannot be constructed.

{Cattle boat.}

On some of the great Indian rivers, large dish-shaped boats are used
for the conveyance of horses or cattle. A boat of this description is
very quickly made by first forming a basket-shaped framework of bamboo,
here and there interwoven; this is securely lashed together with strips
of raw hide, twisted cane, or common cord. When completed, the basket,
or frame, is turned upside down, on the ground, pegged fast with hooked
pegs cut from the branches of the nearest tree, and then covered with
raw bullock hides, which are sewn fast to the frame, and to each other,
grease being well rubbed into the seams. When complete, the boat is not
unlike a common tea-saucer--measures between fourteen and fifteen feet
in diameter, and is about two feet eight inches deep; made to these
dimensions, the hide boat will safely carry from three to four tons of
cargo. There is no possibility of upsetting it. When horses or bullocks
have to be conveyed in contrivances of this kind, it will be necessary
to lay branches of trees, and a good layer of reeds, or sedge grass, on
the bottoms, in order to prevent the animals from thrusting their hoofs
through the hides. The water-draught of hide boats is surprisingly
slight, from five to eight inches being sufficient to float one with
a full load on board. Long-handled shovel-shaped paddles are used to
propel them with, and a store of raw hide, and some tallow, and an
eyed awl, or large needle, for patching, enables the boat voyager to
execute with expedition all the repairs his leather craft may need. All
hide-covered boats, or floats, should be occasionally placed bottom
upwards, on shore, to dry, in order to render the skins more durable.


The coracle, so much used by Welsh fishermen, is made much after
the same fashion. A smooth level piece of turf being chosen, the
frame-sticks, just such as coopers use for making into hoops, are bent
and interwoven until the requisite form of the frame has been arrived
at, the bottom being upwards. The edge, which afterwards becomes the
gunwale, is formed by making a border of hazel-wand basket-work, the
ends of the frame-sticks are trimmed off even with this, and a covering
of Russia duck, or light canvas, is neatly sewn over all. The coracle
is then paid over with tar, or some other water-proofing material; one
thwart, or seat, is secured from each end to the framework, holes are
made in this for a leather strap to pass through, which enables the
fisherman to carry his coracle on his back. A single-bladed paddle,
like a baker's _oven pile_, is used to paddle with. Some considerable
practice is needed to enable a new hand to conduct, or, as it is
called, _drive_ a coracle--not a little caution is required in both
getting in or out. It is best, if possible, to depart from some shallow
sand-spit, or gravel bed, where the coracle may be shoved off into
deeper water, after the tyro has taken his seat, and established the
proper balance. In landing, it will be well to observe the same caution
until practice and experience give the confidence and dexterity which
they alone can confer. There is a peculiar stroke of the paddle much
used in coracle driving, to which the canoe man seldom has recourse.
This is gained by turning the left arm round the handle of the paddle,
until the hand is a short distance above the blade, and the shaft
rests against the shoulder. The paddle blade is then worked in a
figure-of-eight direction.

  [Illustration: SKIN BOAT.]

{Skin boat.}

The size of skin or canvas-covered boats will usually be determined
by the available amount of skin or covering material. Any waggon ox
requires 8ft. of room to work in, and his skin would give a square of
leather of very little over 6ft.; the African buffalo would be about
the same, the eland somewhat larger, the black or brindled gnoo, the
koodoo, and some of the larger antelopes, rather less. Suppose you
have two ox skins; cut them straight across where the neck is at its
widest, and let the natives or waggon-drivers stitch them together
with strong sinews or thongs of hide, using a round awl or piercer,
to make a round hole that will close again, and not a sharp-edged one
that will cut the hide and so leave holes that will afterwards become
leaks. The sheet should be kept damp, not wet, by spreading ox-dung or
damp earth upon it till the frame is ready. Suppose it now to be 12ft.
long and 6ft. wide; you may make your boat of from 3ft. to 4ft. in
width, and 10ft. in length and 2ft. deep. If you care to have definite
stem and stern posts, it is very likely that poles may be found with
branches projecting at the required angle, but practically it is best
to let them curve more or less gradually into the line of the keel,
and for this purpose to choose two long straight poles; bend their
thick ends round a tree to rather more than the requisite curve, as
they will always straighten again; then, having chosen a flat piece
of stiff ground, make two holes 10ft. apart, for the thick ends of
your poles to rest in, bend down their thin ends, let them overlap,
the farther the better, and lash them together; then take another of
about 8ft. (or a foot longer on each side than the width of the skin),
and having curved this, stick the ends into the ground, about 3-1/2
ft. or 4ft. apart, and lash it where its centre passes under the keel;
do the same with two others, 18in. on either side, and you will have
the three midship frames; take two poles for each gunwale, join them
by overlapping their thin ends as before, lash them to these central
frames, so far from the keel that the edge of the skin will just cover
them, bend them till they come together at the bow and stern, let them
cross each other by a few inches, lash them tightly, and do not be in a
hurry to cut their ends too closely; the curve they take will guide you
in the insertion of the other frames. As you come nearer to the bow and
stern, forked branches of the proper angle may be advantageously used,
and along the sides, where the rowlocks come, forks may be left on the
extremities of the ribs to serve for them; a fork may also be lashed
in at either end for steering or sculling. Lay two or more ribbands
or bilge pieces along each side; fasten in such boards or poles as
you have for thwarts, and, when the whole is firmly lashed together,
spread over it the prepared hide and stitch it all round to the pole
that serves for gunwale, the hair, if you have not already scraped it
off, being inwards; grease plentifully while it is still wet, and then
let it dry; look carefully to the seaming; give this as much grease as
it will absorb, or you can afford; and when it is quite stiff, saw off
the superfluous timber ends, not too close; turn it up, and it is ready
for use: never let your boat lie in the water longer than is absolutely
necessary, and turn it bottom upwards whenever you haul it ashore. The
quagga hide is proverbially rigid; and we should think that if taken
off by merely making one slit along the belly, distending with dry sand
and letting it harden in the sun, it would make a tolerably safe boat
in smooth water for one person, without any other fitting.

We have heard of mules or transport animals being killed when water
carriage became available; their flesh jerked for future provision, and
even their ribs pressed into service to do duty without even a change
of name in the canoes for which their hides served as coverings.

{Russian cargo boat.}

In the United Service Museum is a very carefully-constructed model of a
Russian cargo boat from the Aleutian Islands, Commander Pike, R.N., the
donor, states that it carries 3-1/2 tons of fur sealskins. No metal is
used in it, the wooden frame is pegged or lashed together, and covered
with walrus hide. No dimensions are given; but, as very nearly three
feet are required for one oarsman, it is probable that the boat would
be 25ft. long and 8ft. wide near the stern; it will be noticed that
there are but single thole pins, and therefore grummets of rope or iron
must be fastened on the oars.

{Esquimaux boats.}

The other boat is the _oomiak_, or woman's canoe, of the Esquimaux.
The frame is made of drift wood and bone, often in very small pieces,
but so tightly pegged and lashed together with hide thongs, that the
compound seems fully as strong as a single piece; it is very neatly
covered with sealskin.


The method of constructing the frames of both these varies but
little from that we have just described, and we think will be made
sufficiently plain by the drawings copied by permission from the models
in the Museum.

The _kayak_, or man's canoe, is longer, sharper, and narrower, and is
completely covered with sealskin, with the exception of a circular
aperture in the centre, and from the edges of this a skin comes up
so as to tie tightly round the waist of the daring walrus or seal
hunter, so that not a drop of water can enter his little vessel; while
even if by any accident she should capsize, a vigorous stroke of the
double-bladed paddle will suffice to right her; the harpoons or other
weapons cannot possibly be lost, for bladders are attached to the lines
of those prepared for use; while the reserves are not cast adrift till
they are wanted. Marvellously ingenious as these fur-clad boat-builders
are, their frail craft are so difficult to handle that no ordinary
explorer can, without long practice, hope to use them with much
success. Still there are many points connected with their construction
well worthy of imitation.

The small sledge in the background has a screen of skins suspended
across it, in which a hole is made for the seal-hunter to fire through.

{Dug-out canoes.}

Canoes, hewn and dug from the solid tree trunk, are general and
valuable; and there are few portions of the earth where forest trees
grow to the requisite size that dug-out boats of some kind are not in
use. The natives of British Columbia construct very large and powerful
boats from the trunks of the huge cedar trees found in that country.
To the fortunate possessor of the axe, the adze, the gouge, and the
mallet, the formation of a dug-out canoe is a matter of comparative
ease; but to the Indian, unprovided with efficient tools, it is a
task of no ordinary magnitude, still he undertakes it boldly, falling
back on shifts and expedients to aid him in his toil. With such rude
implements as he may chance to be possessed of, he fashions the
exterior, flattens the surface of the log, and hews out the bow and
stern; then fire, kept within due bounds by the assistance of clay,
is brought to bear on the mass of timber, and as the wood ashes form,
and the wood becomes charred, a sharpened stone or thick sea-shell is
used to remove the mass and expose a fresh surface. By dint of labour,
patience, care, and perseverance, the shell of the boat is at length
formed, but lacking the curves and contour needed to render it stable
and seaworthy. Indian ingenuity again steps in to meet the difficulty.
The boat is filled to the brim with water, a huge fire is lighted, and
a number of stones heated to redness. These are one by one dropped into
the unfinished canoe, until the water is raised almost to the boiling
point; then when the wood is under the full and softening influences
of the heated water and steam, transverse bars of wood are driven in
one after the other, until the requisite breadth of beam and bilge are
gained. The water is then removed, and the canoe allowed to dry with
the bars in it, when the shape thus given remains as long as the boat
lasts. The removal of the bars and a little polishing up renders the
canoe fit for sea. It is not uncommon for craft of this description,
manned by crews amounting sometimes to as many as thirty, to brave the
turbulent and formidable seas of the Pacific Ocean, in pursuit of the
sea-otter, fish, &c.

We have seen many canoes of this description on the large rivers
of Central India, Australia, and on the Zambesi. The aborigines of
Australia are also in the habit of using bark canoes of the most
primitive form of construction. A sheet of bark of suitable size is
stripped from the nearest tree, the ends are guarded by little walls of
clay, and with a rude stick for a paddle, and a lump of moistened clay
for a fire-place, Corry, armed with his unerring spear, starts on a
fish-hunting expedition on the pond or river.

{Models of platform boat.}

During the years 1863 and 1864, while enjoying the hospitality of our
late friend Charles John Andersson, the chief, as he may be called, of
the persevering explorers of South-West Africa, we devoted considerable
attention to the construction of models of boats for the purposes of
discovery and river navigation, and of substitutes for them. The first
essential in the case before us was that of portability of the boat
or of the materials to make it; the second, facility of construction
when it reached the water, equal facility of separation into its
original parts at any interruption of the river course, and also of
reconstruction after it had been carried to a point where navigation
could be resumed. Another, and not less important condition, was, that
the materials should be such as were obtainable either in Damaraland,
or, at farthest, from some of the vessels that occasionally called
at its bays or harbours from Cape Town. The conversion of the usual
waggon gear into a float will be presently treated on; and we will now
describe the model we constructed for our boat, suggesting to explorers
that when they find themselves under the necessity of building, they
will save much time, trouble, and anxiety as to the result of their
labour, by proceeding nearly in the same way.

                 SINGLE BOAT WHEN NEEDED.]

In the first place, we had decided on the use of sheet metal, plain
or galvanised iron in sheets of 6ft. by 2ft., or copper of 4ft. by
2ft., with screwed bolts and nuts in either case of exactly the same
metal as the sheets, so that any galvanic action should be impossible.
Next, the framework must be of wood; and as to form, it was absolutely
necessary that the boat should have beam and buoyancy enough to launch,
without fear of submersion through any rapid that had water enough to
bear her clear of rocks, and was not steep enough to be considered as a
waterfall. We purposed to put the materials together on the spot; and,
therefore, their weight only, and not the dimensions of the boat, were
taken into consideration with regard to waggon carriage.

For the mere purpose of passing from the head of the river navigation
to the sea, and thus proving that such navigation was possible, nothing
more than a single boat would be required. But for observing, mapping,
sketching, or otherwise improving to some useful result the various
opportunities of the journey, sufficient room must be provided for the
voyager to work comfortably on deck instead of sitting cramped up in
the stern-sheets, and we, therefore, decided on making ours capable of
being used as a double boat when the breadth of the river permitted it.

The advantage of being able to use each part when separate, as an
independent boat, so that the sharers in the voyage might trace
separate branches of the river, had to be balanced against the
disadvantage of having to take each of these singly through rapids,
which their dimensions might not insure their passing in safety, and
also against the fact that if the "double" is formed of two perfect
boats, they cannot attain great speed either in sailing or rowing, from
the fact that the volume of water admitted between the stems, which
may be, for example, 8ft. apart, must be compressed as it passes the
midship section, to 4ft. or 5ft., according to the breadth of beam of
the boats, and will again have to expand as it passes the gradually
increasing space between their "run," or after section. And the loss
of power thus expended in "heaping up water," although imperceptible
at a low speed, would become enormous if a higher rate were attempted.
Therefore we made our model so that when not required as a double, she
should become one single yawl or whale boat of 30ft. in length, and
6ft. beam, with 2-1/2ft. internal depth in midships, rising to nearly
4ft. at either end to enable her to shoot a tolerably strong rapid
without shipping water; the two sections were therefore each made like
half a whale boat, the outer sides having their proper curve and the
inner being perfectly flat, so that when used doubly the water might
pass without resistance between them, and when singly they might be
clamped together as one boat by screwed bolts through the keel, stem,
stern posts, and the inner gunwales.

Our first care was to seek out a block of soft, fair grained wood,
30in. long and 3in. wide, and to shape this truly to the form required
for one half section of our boat. We next provided a sufficiency of
planking, ribbands, &c., also on a scale of 1in. to the foot, and then
cut out from the thinnest tin case linings, forty pieces of 6in. by
2in., to represent our sheets of iron.

The dimensions of our boat had been previously so arranged that in the
midship section the depth of nearly 2 ft. on the flat side should leave
rather more than 4ft. of the iron available to form the curve on the
outer, necessary to give a half beam of 3ft.

In building our model we adopted slightly different plans with each
of the two sections. In that intended for the starboard side we laid
along the flat or inner side of our block or wooden mould a batten,
1/4in. square (representing one of 3in.) and 24in. long (each inch
being understood to represent 1ft.); to this we fitted the stem and
stern post, each 6in. in length, both exactly alike, curving and raking
forward and aft like those of a whale boat, so as to have an actual
height, before the keel was added, of 3-3/4in. We then laid along the
top of the flat side the inner gunwale 1in. deep, but as this would be
an impediment to the rowers when the sections were clamped together
to form a single boat, we cut out a piece (marked A, p. 106) 3/4in.
deep and 18in. long, so as to be removable at pleasure, the remaining
quarter then forming the stringer on which the thwarts would afterwards
be laid, the bottom of the three-quarter piece (A) having checks cut
in it to allow it to fit over them. We then took the piece of tin
representing the midship sheet, and drawing a line across it, 1-1/2in.
from its edge, bent it over the keelson, bolting the short end to the
thwart stringer, and bringing the longer one of 4-1/2in. round the
curve to the outer gunwale; nine sheets were required aft and nine
forward of this, and the only difference in laying them was that, as we
proceeded forward, the edge of each sheet overlapped by nearly 1/4in.
the one behind it, while in working aft, the edge of each had to be
inserted beneath that which lay before it. When the curves of the stem
and stern were reached, the sheets had to be cut to the required form
instead of being bent, and were bolted in their proper places. The
outer gunwale, 1/8in. thick and 3/4in. deep, was now laid on and bolted
to the metal sheets; another batten, 1/2in. wide, was laid from stem to
stern along the bilge, and the keel, 1/4in. thick and deep, was fitted
in its proper place and bolted through the metal to the keelson.

Our half boat was now sufficiently firm to be taken off the mould. A
short stringer of 18in. was laid internally upon the floor, and another
the whole length along the inside on which to lay the outer end of the
thwarts; and timbers, 1/4in. thick, were bolted in with their heads
projecting 1in. above the gunwale, so as to receive cross-beams of
1/2in. in thickness and 15in. long, by which the sections were kept
apart when used as a double boat. We considered it better to secure
the beams by cross-lashings than by bolts, which, if the boats worked
much in troubled water, would probably rend the parts they served to
connect. Along the gunwales, at short intervals, we intended to use
lighter cross-beams, probably of bamboo, that is if it were procurable;
but having carried out our model sufficiently to establish the general
efficiency of our principle, we did not think it needful to spend time
in completing every little detail, and this called forth the free but
friendly criticism of Mr. Charles Bell, the Surveyor-General of the
Cape colony, whose valuable and practical advice we take the liberty of
giving (see p. 115).

The only difference of plan adopted in building the other or port
section was that we built the whole of the inner or flat side of plank
1/8in. thick, by which we were enabled to cut 1-1/2in. off each sheet,
and this method in building a full-sized boat would have enabled us
to use copper sheets of 2ft. by 4ft. instead of iron of 2ft. by 6ft.


{Full-sized platform boat.}

In building a full-sized boat on this model, our plan would be to
make the flat side all of 3/4in. plank, with the stem, stern post, and
keelson all fast in their proper positions, and the keel left slightly
apart, so as to allow the sheets of metal, whether iron or copper, to
be inserted between it and the keelson. Then, laying the whole flat on
its side, we would cross cut with a fine tenon saw our wooden model
into eight pieces of equal length, and carefully enlarging the section
of each length would make as many temporary frames, and set them upon
the flat side, cutting checks in them to let in the stringers, which
when bent down to the flat at either end would very effectually give
the form of the boat. We would then fit the ribs, keeping them as light
as possible with due regard to strength, cutting them, if requisite,
out of wood selected with the proper natural curve; or, preferably,
using flexible wood, such as ash, in pieces 2in. broad, and 1/2in.
in thickness, and placing them not quite 2ft. apart, so that the
overlapping edges of the sheets might coincide with the ribs, and the
bolts might pass through them and also through the inner stringers, and
the outer ribbands and gunwales at all their points of intersection.
The ends of seven of these ribs, at nearly equal distances (as at
sheets 2, 5, 8, 10, 13 and 16, on p. 106), we would leave standing six
or eight inches above the gunwale, and about four inches from each we
would set up another of equal height, so that the cross-beams might lie
between them when required, and be secured by lashings passing down
to the first stringer (p. 110), or so that when the two parts were
connected as a single boat they might serve as rowlocks. Short struts
from the foremost pair of these would give great additional stability
to the masts.

In laying the deck, we should by all means endeavour to avoid
injuring the planks by boring needless holes in them, as they might
on an emergency be required for building a smaller boat. We should,
therefore, lash them with raw hide to the foremost and aftermost
crossbeams, and then laying lighter beams across near two or more of
the intermediate ones, fasten them down where requisite by strips of
the same material (p. 110).

For connecting the two sections, so as to form a single boat, we should
use screwed bolts 1/2in. thick, and 7in. long, passing at intervals of
about 16in. through both keels, stems, stern posts, and inner gunwales,
thus firmly clamping both the flat sides together. The two removable
portions of the inner gunwale (marked A) previously mentioned would, in
this case, be unshipped to allow the oars free play, as in illustration
on opposite page, and on page 106.

Copper is the only metal we should wish to use or recommend to others,
and all fastenings used with it must be of the same metal. We recommend
in this case, screwed bolts and nuts, presuming that the boat would be
built for a journey, the exigencies of which might oblige the traveller
frequently to take her to pieces and rebuild her; but as our own means
were at that time inconveniently limited, we made a calculation of the
comparative cost of plain and galvanised iron and of wood.

The mode of setting the sails, spreading the awning, &c., will be
sufficiently clear from the engraving (p. 106).

Our little model, when tried upon the flooded flats at Walvisch Bay,
sailed "like the wind," but had a tendency to bury the lee-bow, which
was easily remedied by ballasting the weather quarter; an oar was the
readiest and most convenient means of steering.

Estimate of material if the boat be built of copper, the flats or inner
sides being of plank:--

                                                            £  _s._ _d._
   40 sheets copper, 2ft. by 4ft., 1lb. to the foot,     }
         at 1_s._ 6_d._ per lb., or 12_s._ each          } 24    0   0

  200 square-headed bolts, 1/4in. thick (with nuts),     }
         1/2in. grip for the skin and ribs,              }
  180     ditto     ditto  1/2in. thick, 1-1/4in. grip   }
        for skin, ribs, and stringers,                   }
  180     ditto     ditto  3in. grip, for ribs,          }
         stringers, and timber heads,                    }  27    0   0
   90     ditto     ditto  6in. grip, for keel and       }
        keelson and for clamping the two sections        }
        together when used as a single boat,             }
  Equal to 650 bolts, averaging perhaps 10_d._ each      }

    4lb. copper rivets, assorted sizes, for repairs          0   12   0

    6lb. copper nails, from 1in. to 3in.                     0   18   0

    1lb. rooves, for clinching nails                         0    3   0

    2 red deals, straight and clean, 21ft. long, 9in.    }
        by 3in., cut into six pieces of 3in. square,     }
        of which five will suffice to make the two       }
        keels and keelsons; the remaining piece would    }
        cut four stringers 3/4in. thick. (If these deals }
        could be procured 24ft. long, four pieces would  }
        do this, and there would be no necessity for     }
        scarfing.)                                       }

    3 deals of 21ft. each, cut into four 3/4in. planks;  }
        and 1 deal, cut into one 1-1/2in. and two 3/4in. }   4    0   0
        planks, would give fourteen 3/4in. planks, of    }
        which nine would suffice for the two flat sides, }
        two for the gunwales, 4-1/2in. wide, and three   }
        with the spare piece mentioned above for the     }
        stringers and ribbands, while the 1-1/2in. plank,}
        by careful adaptation of the requisite curves,   }
        would cut for the four stems and stern posts,    }
  Or equal to 6 deals, say                               }

    2 galls. boiled linseed oil, in tin cans of 1 gall.
        each                                                 0   12   0

    4 galls. raw linseed oil, in tin cans of 1 gall. each    0   16   0

   28lb. white lead, in iron kegs of 7lb. each               0   14   0

   14lb. red   ditto      ditto      ditto                   0    7   0

  (The cans and kegs will be useful as cooking or water
  vessels when emptied.)

   30lb. resin                                               0   10   0

    6 paint-brushes and tools assorted                       0    6   0

  Tinsmith's small shears or snips                           0    4   6

  Engineer's hammer                                          0    4   6

    6 punches, from 1/8in. to 1/2in.                         0    9   0

    2 screw-drivers, large and small                         0    3   6

    2 screw-wrenches                                         0    9   0

    1-1/2in. auger                                           0    1   6

    1 brace, and set of bits, including rymers,          }
        countersinks, and bits for metal                 }   1    4   6

    3lb. brass screws, assorted, up to 3in.                  0    9   0

    3 pieces unbleached calico, double width, for lug    }
        sails, awning, &c.                               }

   12 copper or composition cringles, small sizes, for   }
        sails and various purposes                       }

  Manilla rope, 10 fathoms, 3in., for mooring            }
      Ditto     50 fathoms, 1-1/2in.                     }   2    0   0
      Ditto     50 fathoms, 1in., for running gear, &c.  }

    If the boat be built of iron the same size--

  Forty sheets of plain iron, 2ft. by 6ft., at 4_s._ 6_d._   9    0   0

All the bolts, screws, nails, and other fastenings, must be of plain
iron, and none of them must be galvanised.

Galvanised iron would not be much cheaper than copper, and would be
very intractable in working. We should not recommend it to a traveller
who intends to build his own boats in the wilderness and expects to
have to take them to pieces and rebuild them two or three times.

Tinned charcoal iron would be nearly as expensive as copper, and the
fastenings would also have to be tinned.

Plain iron is the only metal on which any saving could be effected,
even at the cost of additional labour. In this case, perhaps, three
times the amount of paint should be taken.

A mixture of red and white lead, with half boiled and half raw linseed
oil, should be used rather thickly for painting the inside of every
joint, and all the bolts, screws, or nails, should be thrown into
boiled oil, then taken out and allowed to drain and dry before they
are used. The boat must be thoroughly well painted after completion,
and the paint allowed to harden before she is put into the water.

If the boat is built of wood the same size--

Two deals and a half, as before, for keels, keelsons, stems, and stern

Four deals, each to be cut into four 3/4in. planks, for flat sides,
gunwales, and stringers.

Five deals, each to be cut into six 1/2in. planks, or equal to 230
running feet of plank, to stand, when cleaned, not less than 5/8, and
630 feet not less than 3/8.

  5000 copper boat nails, 1-1/4in., with rooves.

    28lb. iron nails, assorted, from 1-1/2in. to 3in.

  2000 iron screws, from smallest size to 3in.

    90 1/2in. screw-bolts and nuts, 6in. grip.

   200 1/4in. screw-bolts and nuts, 3in. grip.

     6 rods of 1/4in. iron, to cut into lengths for bolts, as required.

  Paint, oils, &c., as before.

If the traveller can afford to carry two or four good 12ft. ash oars
and one of 14ft., by all means let him do so. Nothing is equal to them
for pulling or steering, but let him carefully preserve his treasures, and
not put them to any use that will twist or warp. If he engages natives
as a permanent crew, they may be taught to pull very well; but if he
hires temporary helps, let them bring their own paddles, and they will
make the boat go well enough.

For the connecting beams, the masts, yards, &c., we should prefer
bamboo, as being exceedingly strong in proportion to its weight. In
the Indian islands we have seen oars made of bamboo poles, with a
disk of wood about as large as a dinner plate lashed on the outer end,
and the men pulled very well with them. If bamboo cannot be
obtained, poles may generally be cut in the vicinity of a river; but the
traveller in Africa or Australia must not expect to find any wood that
will possess all the valuable qualities of good red deal, therefore we
would say take as much of this as you can carry, without inconveniently
incumbering your vehicles. The battens we were able to take to the
Zambesi astonished the natives there, they had never seen wood so
light, so strong, and so even of grain throughout its length; while
the fresh smell it gave out when cut was their constant theme of

[Illustration: 1-8]

In 1864 Mr. Charles Bell, the Surveyor-General at Cape Town, who
has built and used double boats since 1850, favoured us with the subjoined
description of his method of construction:--

"My boats are only 12ft. long by 9in. wide, and 9in. deep, and 12ft.
by 14in. I have never made them more than 15ft. long, with a bearing
power of about 800lb. I have now built or directed the building of
about five good boats on the principle, easy and swift under oars or
before the wind under sail, and not very faulty even on a wind without
any false keel, but you can never sail quite close without one. Mine
were built to go through heavy surf all fore and aft, so that the wave
could strike nothing except sharp edges, and in surf they are first-rate.

"Iron is objectionable both on account of weight for carriage, and
liability to oxidisation in heat and moisture; nothing like canvas. A
bolt of No. 3, 2lb. of tin tacks, and a few needles and hanks of twine,
would be all I would bother myself to carry a mile. My first boat had
not an ounce of metal in her barring rowlocks and rowlock sockets,
and she cost me 17_s._ 6_d._ and some old plank, and carried me safely
through wall-sided breakers that would have troubled a whale-boat's
crew. Say you want a pair of 30ft. boats of 3ft. beam and depth,
tolerably safe even against snags and rocks. For each take a 30ft.
batten, 3in. by 2-1/2in. for keel; strut and erect on it knees' planks and
stem pieces as in Figs. 5 and 6, and section in Fig. 2 (p. 116).

"Trust greatly to lashing the frame; let the knees diminish in beam
from the centre to each end as in Fig. 1 (p. 116): draw in your side
pieces and planks, or rather press them down to your vertical side laid
on a flat surface, and you will have lines that will astonish you. Of
course you can raise stem and stern for the look of the thing, as I have
done, but it gives more trouble than it is worth. If you want to make
a safe lifeboat, tack tight over each knee-frame a piece of canvas (Fig. 3,
p. 116), leaving an edge loose and broad enough to be sewn on to the
outer canvas, loosely (so as not to interfere with the lines it will
naturally take), and be tacked to boards and battens where they come
in contact with it. I should have first said cover bottom and sides with
tightly-stretched canvas, in which operation a cobbler's pinchers are
most useful, but any others will do, then grease outside and in. If you
prefer tar and have it, well and good; then cover the deck in the
same manner, stitching knee-piece canvases as you go. You will
thus, if the workmanship be perfect, have in each half boat ten watertight
compartments, which it will be no easy matter to damage; snags
will be your worst enemies, and they cannot damage more than one at a
time under ordinary circumstances, whereupon the first landing and a
crooked needle with patch of canvas, twine, and grease, will make all
right. In the deck of each such compartment you should pierce a
marlinspike hole, button-hole the edges, and fit a plug, and as a large
boat cannot be so easily turned upside down as ours, you may have a
pipe, and any simple means of sucking out such bilge water as may get
in. Next as to connection of the boats. If you wish it sliding, so as
to increase or diminish the width between them when necessary, make
it on the lattice girder or rafter principle, and avoid weight, as in
Fig. 7; each not more than 6ft. from the centre. Stay and strut them
to points near the stem and stern, and they will be quite strong and firm
enough to support the mast and the awnings, with the other fittings.
The knee-pieces may be left projecting when required to meet the
sliding rafter; 1ft. between the boats will be quite enough, so 10ft.
of rafter will be quite enough. The sail may be a long low lug, split
if you like, to let it pass the mast when on a wind (Fig. 4). An oar
will steer, and easily control the extra face of sail on one side when
before the wind with the yard squared. But on a wind you must have
a keel, one that will slide over sunken rocks, and not be damaged even
when it takes them side on. It may fix with free play in the front
beam, and lay loose in cleats on the after one with a projecting arm
to be held upright by rope, as in Fig. 8.

"Of course there must be an opening between the deck planks, to
allow of its rise. Such a boat will carry at least a ton and a half of
cargo, if made sufficiently flat in the bottom, and it will require a
very stiff breeze and large sail even then to submerge the lee boat.
There is this advantage, too, that it cannot be done so quickly as to
prevent the remedy by luffing up or otherwise with ordinary vigilance.
Your goods and tarpaulins will be quite safe 6in. above the gunwale.

                                            "Yours very truly,

                                                 "Charles Bell."

Just before returning from South Africa we found that the clever author
of "A Painter's Camp in the Highlands" had also gone through nearly
the same course of experiments, and had arrived, like us, at the
conclusion that the double form of boat was the most safe, convenient,
portable, and roomy on deck; and also that it was objectionable to have
the inner sides rounded, for the reasons before given. He therefore
finally adopted the flat inner side, and making his boats 30ft. in
length and 4ft. apart at the stem, increased the width to 4ft. 1in.
aft, so as to let the inclosed body of water glide away more easily. He
found, however, that after working out his own idea for his own use, he
was served with a notice for infringing a patent of which he had not
previously heard; and in like manner, after our return from Africa,
a description of a patent tubular life raft was submitted to Captain
George, at the Royal Geographical Society, and he immediately saw that
this was nearly identical with our own plan.

{Making inflatable boats safe.}

About 1853, a friend in Graham's Town, with whom we left our model of
the inflatable boat, subsequently used in Australia (see p. 48), made
one for his own amusement, on a small river. He had but two tubes,
each of them with a flat side toward the centre, with a small platform
between raised on crossed struts, one pair of which on each side were
very ingeniously made to carry the rowlocks, as in the next sketch
(Fig. 9). And, as he was doubtful of keeping the canvas of his boats
sufficiently air-tight, he either filled them, or proposed to do so,
with the bladders of oxen previously inflated, so that, even were
air to escape from the tubes which formed the boats, they could not
collapse. This, in itself, would be a hint which a traveller, who must
either shoot game or kill domestic animals for his followers, would do
well to bear in mind.

{Skiff of iron or copper.}

Iron, whether plain or galvanised, is sold in sheets of 2ft. by 6ft.,
while those of copper are 2ft. by 4ft. We recommend only the copper;
but economic or other reasons may very possibly compel the traveller to
use iron.

We have, for facility of construction, chosen the form of a Norwegian
praam, or wherry, with both ends alike. A semicircular section slightly
flattened at the bottom, without a keel, and rising with an easy sheer
to a sharp point at either end.

Eleven sheets of iron would be required; the central one being left of
its original shape and size, while the five at either end are cut to
the forms shown by the outer lines, and to the dimensions indicated
by the figures marked along the lower edge: thus, in No. 1, from the
centre there is no perceptible curve along the 6-foot side, but the
ends are sloped off, with straight although diagonal lines, so that the
side nearest the centre remains 6ft., while the farthest is reduced to
5ft. 9in.

In the next sheet, or No. 2, the side nearest the centre curves very
slightly; the segment taking off only one inch at either end, the
curved side (supposing we are now working from the centre forward)
overlaps the edge of No. 1 two inches, and it is therefore cut, not
to 5ft. 9in., but to 5ft. 10in., as No. 1 would be of that breadth, a
couple of inches back; the front side is left straight, but is reduced
in breadth to 5ft. 5in., and the after side of No. 3 is so much more
curved that the segment cuts off three inches. The figures in the
diagram will render the progressive diminution to the end sufficiently
plain. It will be seen that the end remains one foot wide; this is
usually filled in with a semicircular piece of plank, being quite sharp
enough for all practical purposes, and affording room for a rowlock
for a steering or sculling oar, or for a hole through which the boat's
painter may be passed. But, if desired, another piece of iron, which
may be called sheet No. 6, may very easily be let in to continue the
curve quite up to a point, as in the dotted end of Fig. 2. The half
section is given on the side marked iron of Fig. 3, the outer line
standing for the two edges of the central sheet, where the skiff is
4ft. wide and 1ft. 10in. deep. The next line, 1-1/2in. smaller all
round, is the section at the overlap of sheets Nos. 1 and 2; the third
line, two inches within the last, is at the edges of Nos. 2 and 3; the
fourth, three inches smaller, is at the contact of Nos. 3 and 4; the
fifth, six inches less, is at Nos. 4 and 5; and the sixth, diminishing
by nine inches, is the end of No. 5, which is filled in by a semicircle
of plank about five inches in diameter.

[Illustration: FIG 1-3]

The eleven sheets laid side by side would, of course, present a length
of 22ft., but the overlap and the segment of the curve cut from those
near the ends would reduce the length of the boat to 19ft.

Our diagram is on a scale of a quarter of an inch to a foot, but this
is somewhat small for the needful accuracy; therefore if anyone intends
to build, we would advise him to copy it on a scale of at least one
inch to a foot, in which case the halves will represent six inches and
the quarters three, and if he has a rule divided to one-twelfths, his
work will be much facilitated.

It would be better to make, as we have done in preparing this
description, a model block on which to test his work; indeed we would
advise this in all cases of intended boat building. If the boat is to
have a bow and stern distinct from each other, the model must be of the
whole length, but may be of only half the breadth. If both ends are to
be alike, it may be half the length and breadth, or one quarter of the


In the present instance, take a piece of deal, as clean and
straight-grained as possible, 19in. long (or 21in. if you wish the ends
to come to a point), 4in. wide, and 3in. deep. Having smoothed this,
draw a line along the centre of the top and bottom, connecting them by
perpendiculars at the two ends; then on the top set off the line of
one-quarter of the gunwale, or outer line, taking the breadths from the
section in Fig. 3 (p. 119), and their distances from the centre, from
the elevation in Fig. 2 (p. 119), bearing in mind that the centre means
not either of the edges, but the middle of that marked as the central
sheet. It will save trouble to cut out a piece of card to the size of
this quarter, and trace the corresponding ones on the top and bottom of
your block; then copy the elevation given in Fig. 2, and trace this, as
before, on both sides. Now fix the block, with one end up in a bench
vice, and with a narrow frame saw cut along the gunwale lines nearly
to the centre, but do not cut them quite off, or you will lose your
elevation lines (if a friend helps you by guiding the other end of the
saw to the line on his side, you will be more certain to cut truly);
then turn the block one-quarter round, and cut the line at top and
bottom. Now place the other end uppermost, and repeat the process; and
lastly, finish the cuts, and detach the superfluous pieces.

Take a piece of card or thin stuff, and draw on it the midship section,
and cut this away, leaving a corresponding hollow; round off the edges
of your model until she fits this hollow, and of this size 2in. of
the centre must be left. Do the same with the diminishing sections,
forward and aft; then cut eleven sheets of card 2in. by 6in., mark a
central line across each, and also along the bottom of the model; lay
one sheet uncut across the midship section, and tack it there; mark
each of the others after the outlines given in the diagram (Fig. 1, p.
119), but test them in their places before cutting them. Take care also
that as you go forward each sheet overlaps that which is behind; but as
you work aft, insert the front edge under the one before it. You may
think this operation would be tedious; but having once gone through it,
you will build your full-sized boat with confidence. And let us again
assure you that time spent in obtaining a preliminary certainty of your
plan is saved over and over again when you come to actual work.

The sheets having been cut to the proper shape, set the two points of
the gauge 1/4in. apart, and so that the centre of the space between
them shall be exactly 1in. from the shoulder, and gauge these lines
all round the sheets, then, commencing from the centre of the longest
side, mark off spaces of 3in., and with a flat-ended punch, and a dolly
or matrix, or, in lack of that, a hard block of end wood, drive 1/4in.
holes on all the sides except those which are cut with a curve. Then
lay the centre sheet on the rib or mould, which, like the rough frame
on which bricklayers construct an arch, gives it its proper curve,
and, under one edge, lay the curved edge of the next sheet. Mark where
the holes should come; remove it and punch them, and fasten the two
sheets together temporarily with three or more of the screw bolts. Do
the same with the successive sheets towards each end, and you will
find that the copper shell, even without ribs or strengthening of any
kind, will assume its proper form and will be tolerably stiff. If the
sheets are truly cut, the result may be attained, even without a mould,
by driving one hole in the centre of the curved side, bolting it to
the straight edge of the other sheet, and then bending both round till
the curved edge coincides with the straight one. In this condition you
may decide on increasing the width of your boat by forcing the sides
farther apart; this will increase her sheer or elevation at either end,
and will diminish her depth, or you may incline to reduce her beam,
which will give her greater depth and will reduce the sheer till the
elevation of the gunwale presents nearly a straight line. It would be
better, however, if circumstances permitted, to adhere very nearly to
the form given in the drawing, and set up such a frame for working on
as is shown in the illustration on the next page.


Drive as many rough stakes into the ground as the number of sheets in
your intended boat requires. Let these near the centre be three and a
half or four feet high, and these at the ends slightly lower. Stretch
a chalk line fore and aft, and see that all their centres are in true
alignment and 1ft. 10in. apart. The line should be fastened to two
posts in the same line as, but beyond these required for, the boat.
Let it come low enough just to touch the central posts, then measure
downwards from the line the amount necessary to be cut off those
towards the ends, so as to give the proper sheer. Next, commencing from
the centre, face off with a saw, or otherwise, as much of each post as
is needful to let each frame lie truly against it, noticing that as
the bottom of each is farther from the next than the top or part near
the gunwale, it is more convenient to face that side of the post which
looks towards the centre; then, with any rough slabs or planks, form
two moulds the exact size and form of your midship section, just as
bricklayers would do if they were building an arch. Nail these to
their proper supports, and on them bend the strips, 2in. broad by
1/4in. thick, you intend for ribs, letting only one edge rest on
the mould, while the other projects so far that you may have clear
space to bore through the centre the holes for your screw-bolts. Do
the same with all the others towards the two ends, confining them
with a temporary ribband where the gunwale is afterwards to be; or,
still better, leaving their ends 6in. too long, so that this ribband
may not interfere with the completion of the boat. Have a chalk line
stretched near the ground, along either side, parallel with the centre
one above, so that any deviation from the proper form can be measured
and corrected. Then lay on the sheets, insert the bolts, and screw
them up, adding a keel or centre batten, bilge streaks, and gunwales,
externally, and bottom boards to prevent the occupant treading on the
copper, and stringers for the thwarts inside. The projecting ends of
the ribs can be left where required for rowlocks, or cut off where they
are not.

The same process, with attention to the different dimensions, will make
you a copper boat, consisting of nine sheets, 2ft. by 4ft.; and this
will be 16ft. long, 3ft. 3in. wide, and 10in. deep; but if the gunwales
were made of plank, 4-1/2in. wide, or half the width of a deal, the
skiff would be quite deep enough to carry three or four persons in
moderately smooth water.

If you wish to build the same boat of wood, 3/8in. planks (not more
than 4in. wide) will be stout enough. The lines radiating from the
centre in the sectional drawing are given for the purpose of showing
the progressive diminution of the planks in width, from the central
section towards each end. These should be tested by cutting strips of
card and tacking them, like planks, on the block that serves as your

This would be a very handy form for a dingy for the traveller's
personal use, as it might be taken to pieces, and the sheets laid
flat, occupying a space of 2ft. by 4in. in extent, and less than 1in.
in depth, or they might be rolled up in three bundles, of which each
must weigh less than 24lb., as the weight of the whole nine sheets of
copper before being cut would be only 72lb. The screw-bolts would weigh
probably more than the sheeting, but they could be divided into packets
of any convenient weight for carriage by native porters or otherwise;
and we should think that half a day would be quite sufficient to put
the whole together when wanted, or take it apart when done with. The
boat would pull or paddle, and would sail well enough off the wind,
but would not compete with a keeled boat close hauled; if the iron
sheets were used, she would, of course, be larger and heavier, and the
material would be less portable.

In the boat built for Mr. E. D. Young, for use on the Shire river and
Lake Nyassa, thin sheets of steel were at first proposed, but as these
could not be readily obtained, the best iron was used, and the edges of
these being turned upward and inward, formed the ribs of the boat, each
sheet being connected by bolts passing through this inward edge to the
next sheets before and behind it. This form of construction combines
all the elements of lightness, simplicity, and strength; but we do
not recommend it to a traveller who has to work up his own material,
because none but a skilled workman could turn inward a broad segment of
a sheet of metal, the outer surface of which has to present a curve. If
anyone doubts this, let him try it by folding half an inch of the edge
of a sheet of paper to a right angle with the other part, he will then
find it impossible for him to impart a curvature to the sheet without
tearing the upturned edge if he bends it outward, or wrinkling it if he
gives the contrary curve. If he wished to adopt this form of joining
the parts, his plan would be to cut up his sheets of copper into planks
4ft. long, and 8in. broad, then gauging a line all round 2in. within
the edge, cut out the squares at the four corners and turn up the
borders all round, he would thus have out of one sheet of copper 4ft.
by 2in., three planks 4in. wide, and 3ft. 8in. in length, a waste of
material that hardly any circumstance could justify.

 {Metal boats.}

In 1858 we made a model of a metal boat, about thirty feet long, by
six feet beam, to carry a crew of sixteen men, each of whom, when it
was taken to pieces, should not find his share of the load to exceed
50lb. each of the thwarts; and the bow and stern sheets were continued
downward so as to form a water-tight box, the lower outline of which
coincided with the section of the boat, so as to supply the place of
ribs and convert her into a lifeboat. Indeed, we would advise that in
all metal boats some such portions should assume the form of lockers
or of reservoirs of air, so that, should the boat be swamped or become
leaky, she might not sink even when filled with water.

Our model was approved by Captain Washington, R.N., the Secretary at
that time of the Lifeboat Institution, and the builder to whom we
submitted it estimated the weight of the sheet copper and bolts of
the same to be employed in the hull at 260lb. and the cost at 60_l._,
while the internal fittings, somewhat less in weight, would cost 40_l._
This expense Dr. Livingstone considered to be too great; but, when we
reached the Zambesi, it was a matter of frequent regret that we had not
some form of boat portable enough to be carried over rough country to
rivers we wished to explore.


One of the most beautiful little vessels we ever saw was built by
the wrecked crew of a French steamer. She was 40ft. long and 8ft. or
10ft. beam, clinker-built, with thin and narrow planks, without a joint
in their whole length, sawed out of the mainmast, and flexible ribs
about a foot apart and not more than one inch in breadth or thickness.
Her deck beams were, of course, somewhat more rigid, to sustain the
weight of the men who crowded her. She was said to have sailed eleven

{Wattled boat.}

Our friend, Mr. Wilson, an experienced African traveller, recommends a
wattled or basket-work boat, and in a country where rattans, osiers, or
flexible twigs, or green reeds, are obtainable, such a boat would be
both light and durable; but it would be open to objection on the score
of unavoidable roughness, and inequality of outer surface, which would
impede its progress through the water, and expose parts of the canvas
covering to constant liability to chafe whenever it touched the ground.
Even if a traveller intends to purchase or hire native canoes, it is
indispensable that he should have some small portable boat of his own,
sufficient at least to show the natives that he is not totally helpless
on the water and dependent on them.

In the case of our copper boat, illustrated at page 53, we have already
remarked that the difficulties of the road, and the mortality among Mr.
Chapman's cattle, obliged us to leave behind eight of the sections.
The method we adopted with the other four is shown in our full-page
illustration, representing boat-building on the Logier River.

On account of the danger from the tsetse, or poisonous cattle fly, our
friend's waggons could not be taken to the banks of the Zambesi, and
everything had to be carried by the Damara servants and hired natives
to Logier Hill, about eighty miles below the Victoria Falls, which
we had selected as the first place from which continuous downward
navigation was possible.

The building of the house will come more properly under its own
heading, and we will now only treat of what concerns the boat.

About the 3rd of October, or towards the close of the dry season, we
cut down a motchicheerie tree, which divided a little above the ground
into two tolerably straight logs of manageable dimensions. These were
first notched with the axe on the side we intended to "fall" them; the
cross-cut saw was then "put in" as far as it would go without nipping
from the pressure of the wood, and a notch being made on the other
side, the saw was used freely, the weight of the tree on the "falling"
side opening the cut as the work proceeded.

Fresh reports, however, caused us much uncertainty whether the Falls
of "Moambwa," or the rocks, were not still below the station, and some
time was therefore spent in exploring the river down to Sinamane's
Island, when, having ascertained that the rapids and other difficulties
appeared not quite impracticable, we set up the bow and stern sections
of one boat, connecting them by the ribbands of red deal we had been
able to carry up, and fitting at short intervals a series of frames on
central posts, as described at p. 122, and further supported by shorter
posts on either side, in a line with the gunwale streak, testing the
accuracy of all parts where correctness was required with plumb line
and level, and leaving the rest rough.

Our bench consisted of ten stakes, nearly 3ft. high, driven into the
ground, and two long straight poles laid fore and aft in their forks;
smaller poles were laid across these as closely as possible, and lashed
with the inner bark of the young branches of the "kookomboyon"--a kind
of stercuhia, which, while still moist, answers very well, but becomes
brittle in drying. The large smith's vice was firmly lashed to the
stoutest upright with raw hide, and forked poles were set diagonally to
resist the forward strain to which the bench was subject when wood was
being planed up.

It was just possible to get thin poles that would bend, but none were
sufficiently flexible to take the true curve required for the ribs,
and at the same time strong enough to bear the strain when they became
dry. Therefore we had to cut crooks out of the motchicheeries, the wood
of which looked something like coarse short-grained cedar; and first
burning away the light stuff from the tree cut down a month ago, we
found a great many available forks and curves.

We had great difficulty in selecting wood of a suitable size for
plank; trees too small, or too crooked, or of unsuitable wood, were
in abundance; while those of the wood we wanted were mostly too large
and unmanageable. Sometimes, at a distance, one would appear to be
small enough, but when we came near it would prove three or four
feet thick and sixty or eighty feet high, and had only seemed small
by comparison with those around it. One group of motchicheeries had
grown to maturity, throwing a wide-spread shadow around them; and a
young sapling had shot straight up from near their roots towards the
air and light; this was 9in. thick at the base, and 4in. at nearly
30ft. up; it proved impossible to "fall" the top outward, and it was
very difficult to clear from the other trees. We would have saved
labour by floating it down stream to our building-yard, but the wet
season was coming on, and the sap had by this time risen in the wood,
so that a small piece sunk when thrown into the water. The labour of
sinking a saw-pit would have been great, and besides this the expected
rains would have kept it always wet. We therefore erected trestles of
primitive construction; two triangles of forked poles, 6-1/2ft. long,
supported the ends of a stout cross-beam, firmly lashed to them with
buffalo hide, and for greater security lashed also to the stem of a
tree. The second trestle was destitute of this support, and therefore
had to be shored by longer poles, the forks of which took the necks of
the opposite triangles, while their hands were stopped by wedges driven
into the ground; for additional firmness, lashings were passed at the
points of intersection. Two stout poles were laid fore and aft upon
the trestles, and shorter pieces across served to rest the log upon;
there was some difficulty in lining the lower side, but by cutting
notches in the cross-pieces large enough to let the chalk line pass
freely, and "springing" it only by short lengths at a time, this was
accomplished. It was difficult to teach a young Dutch lad, strong as an
ox, and nearly as stolid, to saw with us; but at length the "sapling"
was cut, and one of the larger logs lifted gradually up by forming an
inclined plane with strong poles, and supporting it whenever we gained
a few inches of elevation by forks of various lengths lying ready for
that purpose. This having been felled before the sap was up proved much
easier to saw, and we had so far overcome the difficulties in our way,
that we had commenced laying the bottom plank of the first boat, when
the difficulty of providing food, owing to the retreat of the wild
animals to the pools which the rainy season was filling all over the
desert, and the fever among the people, seven Damaras, mostly women and
children, having died in Chapman's camp, and one of the most useful
men in ours, obliged us, for the sake of saving the rest, to retreat
to the highlands of the desert, and on the 3rd of February, 1863,
we hauled down our colours at Logier Hill, and commenced our return

{General hints on boat building.}

Two general rules in boat building should be borne in mind. First,
that clumsiness is not necessarily strength; and, secondly, that it
is much easier to build a sharp swift boat with moderate sheer, and
clear lines of entrance and run, than a short one with great beam,
bluff bows, and wide overhanging stern. The stem and stern post should
rake considerably, or even form parts of a curved line connected by
the keel, as if they are made too upright, not only is the boat more
difficult to steer when sudden alteration of the course is necessary,
but, if she is built of wood, so much curvature is required in the ends
of the planks that it is difficult for an inexperienced hand to lay
them. A rudder cannot be nicely fitted to a curved stern-post, but if
you decide to steer with one instead of an oar, make the stern-post
straight, and if you wish to diminish its "rake" or inclination, make
it one foot wide below and only a few inches at the top. A rudder is
much more convenient in ordinary cases; but, when great quickness and
power is required, nothing is equal to the steering oar.

In constructing a clinker-built boat some practice is required in
clinching the nails. First, a hole is bored with a gimlet of such a
size that the nail requires some driving, but very little, to force
it through. This prevents any lateral curvature, which would be fatal
to any attempt at clinching. A roove is then put over the joint and
driven home to the surface of the plank, and the end of the nail is
nipped off nearly close with a pair of cutting pincers. If you have a
spring-handled hammer to screw on to the plank so that the face of it
just rests on the head of the nail, so much the better, if not, you
must hold your heavy hammer with your left hand or get a mate to do so;
while with the edge of your little clinch hammer you tap as sharp and
lightly as possible on the centre of the cut end of the nail, causing
its sides to overspread the edges of the roove, when it can be nicely
smoothed off with the face of the hammer. When one plank has been laid,
the outside of its upper edge should be bevelled off so as to let the
lower edge of the next lie truly against it in the position required
by the curvature of the boat's side; and, to retain it in its place,
several pairs of "nippers" should be used. These are made of two pieces
of wood--say sixteen inches long and two inches square--cut a mortice
1/2in. wide by 3in. long in each, and pass through them a piece of hard
wood fitting the mortice loosely and 12in. long, so as to project 4in.
at either end, in each end of this bore three 1/2in. holes, not quite
in the central line, but one a little on one side of it, and the next
on the other, so as to avoid the risk of splitting two into one; have
pegs of hard wood or iron to put through these at the distance you may
require, then having adjusted one end of the nippers on the planks you
wish to hold together, drive a wedge between the other ends till the
grip is tight enough. A pair of these is shown in our illustration at
page 106. We believe that the traveller will find it generally most
advisable to build his boat bottom upwards.

{Cape-waggon boats.}

We should think that a traveller in South Africa, using the common
ox-waggons of the country, might easily, and without additional weight,
carry up with him all the wood necessary for the purposes of boat
building. The floor or bed-plank of the waggon is about thirty-six
inches in width, and from twelve to eighteen feet in length. Four
deals might be laid down for this. If they were twenty-one feet long,
they would project considerably behind. It is not considered expedient
to have the fore and hinder wheels too great a distance apart; but
then the projecting ends need not be loaded. The usual holes for the
fastenings of a waggon bottom should not be bored in them, but they
should be secured by lashings of raw hide, and the parts liable to be
chafed should also be protected with the same material. They might be
previously sawed into planks or battens of the required size, and then
tightly lashed together by thongs of raw hide, especially near the
ends, which would otherwise be liable to split with changes of weather
and rough usage. The waggon sides are usually a little more than two
feet high in front and three or more behind, and the framing of these
is an elaborate piece of work. Three deals 9in. wide would give 27in.
in height all along. These might be cut into 3/4in. or 1/2in. plank,
and again bound up with raw hide, like those of the floor, and thus the
traveller would have in one waggon nine deals, or more than sufficient,
if he built his boat of copper; while, by raising the sides to 36in.
with a couple more, he would have enough to construct her entirely of

In building the waggon-tent or tilt, as it would be called in England,
two methods are adopted in the Cape. The first is the kap-tent (E
on next page), which is regularly framed by the waggon builder with
stanchions about five feet high from the floor, neatly fitted to the
sides, at intervals of two feet or thirty inches; with bows of flexible
wood, forming a flattened arch about nine inches higher, across them,
and fore and aft battens, half-checked in, so that the whole presents
a smooth external surface to receive the inner sail, or cover of
painted canvas, which is laid on before the outer sail, or snow-white
neatly-fitted tilt, is drawn over all. The second is that which any
competent waggon driver can extemporise for himself with a sufficient
quantity of bamboo split into laths two or three fingers broad, stout
Spanish reeds, common hogshead hoops, or an adjacent forest, in which
flexible poles can be cut. His first care is to lift and shore up his
waggon so as to set free one or both of the hinder wheels, on the
circumference of which the flexible rods he intends for his bows are
bent and fastened down, and in doing this some care is requisite. The
rod must not be grasped by both ends and suddenly forced into the
curve, for one part may be weaker than the rest, and it may break
there, or be forced into an unsightly prominence; but, after having
been steamed, if possible, or, as is more commonly the case, laid for
two or three days in water or wet earth, the part intended for the
centre of the arch should first be bound tight and flat upon the tire
of the wheel, then the ends should be gradually pressed down by two
assistants, the principal watching the inequalities of the curvature,
and reducing them by passing turns of raw hide tightly over any parts
that have a tendency to irregular projections. The bows, which should
be about twelve or fourteen feet in total length, are now set up. Care
having been taken that the waggon sides stand truly, the front and
aftermost are first fixed, and the driver, if a man of average height,
stands on the centre of the waggon floor, holding the bow as fairly as
he can, with the crown of its arch about the level of his eye, say five
feet six from the floor, while his assistants, standing outside, fasten
the ends with screws or thongs of raw hide, to the styles or stanchions
of the waggon sides. The lifter, the dissel-boom, or other straight
and heavy pole, is now laid fore and aft upon the bows to keep them in
a level line, and also somewhat to flatten the crown of the arch and
expand it laterally. The laths or battens, fore and aft, are now lashed
on, and the result is a less sightly but stronger and more durable roof
for the exigencies of travel than the kap-tent. In the rear of the tent
(letter N) are shown the ribs of an ox or buffalo slung to the roof to
hang the saddles on.

                 A BOAT (G).]

Such a tent as either of these might be easily constructed so as to
be available for a boat whenever it might be required. First let the
stanchions, screwed or lashed to the waggon sides, rise to the usual
height of about five feet, and let the bows forming the flattened
arch across them be of any flexible material, but preferably of
straight-grained ash, such as is used for the better kind of tubs or
casks. The hoops of American flour barrels would answer well; they are
somewhat thin, but three might be laid together, and would be much more
flexible and strong than if one piece only was used.

Of these, supposing nine bows were used, three in the front and three
in the rear might be permanently secured to the stanchions, as in
the illustration (E, p. 131), while the three central ones should be
so fastened as to be readily cast off. The laths or battens, on the
contrary, should be securely fastened to the central bows, so as to
lift off with them, and only slightly to those at either end.

When the boat is required, it would be but an hour's work to cast off
the temporary fastenings. Take off the movable part of the top frame,
draw the ends of the battens together, as shown in the illustration
(G, p. 131), inserting at pleasure three or four smaller bows at
either end, and then taking the under sail--which is generally of
oiled canvas--fold down the corners so as to narrow it at either end
to the shape of the boat, and stitch or lace it with eyelet-holes
to the gunwale. A second thickness of unpainted canvas might always
be kept upon the roof between the inner and outer sail; and if this
were also laced on the boat, previously reversing the ends of the two
parts of canvas, so that if any portions had been chafed while on the
waggon they might not coincide with each other, the boat would be as
impervious to water as wooden boats generally are.

A few spare laths, previously lashed beneath the front and aftermost
bows of the tent, so as to remain there when those required for the
boat were removed, and perhaps two or three duplicate bows, would
prevent the necessity of leaving the vehicle destitute of cover while
the boat was being used.


Very often the explorer may find himself alone in a boat, or he may
wish to cross a river or pass from ship to shore or back again without
calling other men from their duties, and in such cases he who has the
power of managing a boat with a single oar, has a great advantage over
one who must ask the aid of another. We have been on boat trips where
the scientific officers have cheerfully manned the oars and pulled
against the stream all night, and when we volunteered to take our
turn, the answer was, "No; you can scull, and none of us can. Keep the
steering-oar, and help us onward with it." The first great difficulty
of the novice is to get the blade of his oar under water and keep it
there, and to make the loom rest firmly in the rowlock; the natural
tendency of the wood to float will at first seem insuperable, but as
soon as he has acquired the proper motion of the wrist he will wonder
that he ever had the slightest trouble in keeping the oar to its duty.

To learn to scull, go into a boat that is either fast to the shore or
vessel, or have a comrade to pull the other oar with you should you
fail. Then stand on the stern-sheets on the starboard side, so that
the right hand may be toward the bow of the boat; plant the left foot
on the starboard side seat, and advance the right to the middle of
the aftermost thwart; grasp the small end of the oar with the right
hand, and the loom with the left about eight or ten inches from it,
so that when the blade of the oar is horizontal the back of the hands
and arms may be uppermost and also in a horizontal line. You will find
that when the blade is supported by the water, the loom will not lie
in the rowlock; but now depress the wrists a little, raise the hands
till the blade forms an angle of 40° or 45° with the horizon, the edge
farthest from you being the highest; push the oar from you as far as
you can without losing your balance, then, as your first stroke ceases,
drop the hands and raise the wrists till the blade inclines as much
the other way, the raised edge being then nearest you; pull the loom
towards you, bending backwards at the same time as far as you safely
can, and you will find the arms in the proper position, with the elbows
at the side, the wrists lowered, and the hands ready to rise for the
stroke from you. Make short strokes at first, and do not hurry. Never
mind which way the boat goes, or whether she goes at all; stick her
nose in a mudbank, if you like, till you can keep your oar below the
surface, then give her her head; if your oar keeps under water she must
go forward, and by making a stronger sweep to starboard or to port,
you may steer her at your will. If you have a long narrow boat, she
will keep a straight course, but with a short dingy, she will incline
at each stroke a little to the right or left, and if you use the oar
regularly, her wake will show a series of graceful and equal curves.

In default of an oar, the bottom board may be taken up and used by
being laid on the point of the stem, the boat going then stern first.
Lightermen, on the Ouse, frequently scull their horse boats in this
manner. We have sculled a whale boat with one oar over the quarter,
_i.e._, in the crutch of the stroke oar, much as a gondolier does; but
tholes or rowlocks cut in the streak above the gunwale would not admit
of this. We give no directions for this or for the use of the plank.
When the novice can keep his oar blade under water, he can easily learn
how to adapt his new power to any emergency.


In paddling a canoe sit near the stern, looking forward, and with the
paddle on your right side make a long fair stroke; never mind the
deviation of her head to the left; but just before you lift your paddle
from the water, feather the blade of it by turning the right hand
inward from the wrist, turn the right elbow outward, and draw the left
hand inward across your breast; this will "port your helm" and bring
her to her course again.

If you have a mate who handles another paddle this is less needful; but
it is well to learn to paddle your own canoe practically as well as
metaphorically, single handed.

The kroomen about Sierra Leone use a canoe pointed at both ends and
with a great sheer; this, to a novice, is much more difficult to keep
to a true course, but a single krooman tossing his paddle from hand to
hand, without missing a stroke, will make her fly direct as an arrow
the way he means to go.

In the gunning boats on the Norfolk coasts, when strict silence is not
needed, and in canoes of some other countries, a double-bladed paddle
is used. The pole is grasped by both hands, like the balance-pole of a
rope-dancer, and equal strokes are given alternately, or the course is
changed by a more powerful stroke on the other side.

We have occasionally found that the power of handling the native
paddle has been of great service, for when we have wished to cross a
river to secure some specimen of wading bird, and the bargaining over
the hire would have occupied half a day, we have cut the matter short
by stepping into the canoe, paddling to the other side, shooting our
bird, and making the owners a sufficient present on our return; and,
while we advise that all travellers should most scrupulously regard the
rights of the natives, we must also intimate that they will not gain
the respect of savages by submitting tamely to extortion, or showing
themselves in any way afraid to maintain their own.

  [Illustration: THE PROA.]


The proas, or outrigger canoes, of the Malays and Indian islanders,
are so proverbially swift that they have fairly earned the title by
which they are generally known, of "flying proas." We have seen and
admired many varieties of these, as well as their fan-shaped sails,
sometimes of matting--bright and yellow while new, and deepening to
browner tints with age, and sometimes of snow-white cotton, or of white
alternated with cloths of blue or pink, and gay streamers floating from
the bending yards. The most common, and we may almost say the most
beautiful of these, were the little proas sailed by one man only, as
represented in our sketch. The hull consisted of a single log, perhaps
twenty feet in length, and hardly as many inches in depth and breadth;
the mast was about six feet in height; and the sail, of triangular
form, was laced to a couple of bamboos nearly as long as the canoe; the
thick ends of these crossed, and were lashed together at the tack of
the sail, and were made fast, loosely enough to give them sufficient
play, a little before the mast thwart; a loop attached to the upper
bamboo, or yard, at about six feet from the tack, was hitched over a
knob on the mast-head, instead of hoisting the sail by halyards, and
the sheet was attached by loops like kite loops, or bowline bridles, to
the lower bamboo or boom; in hauling to the wind, the simple gathering
in of the sheet trimmed the sail nearly down to the gunwale, as seen
in the distant proa, while in going free the slackening of it allowed
the sail to rise to the wind, till in the distance it reminded us of
the beautiful fan-shaped sea-shells, so often found upon the coast.
Stability was imparted under this enormous press of sail by two bamboos
twelve or fifteen feet long, and from four to six inches thick, kept
parallel to the boat at six or eight feet from her sides by two beams
of the same lashed across her gunwales, bending slightly downward,
but the foremost less so than the after, so that the fore end of the
outrigger might be raised slightly above the water, and not impede
the boat. The rudder was just like that of our own boats, except in
its fittings, which consisted simply of a rope grummet at its neck,
by which it could be hitched on to a timber head on either quarter,
and we believe it made so little difference that the boatman seldom
gave himself the trouble to shift it from one to the other. Of course
a tiller was used, as yokes and lines would have been inapplicable.
We cannot tell exactly their rate of sailing, but they passed our
swift and handy little schooner the "Tom Tough" with ease, even when
the breeze was at its freshest. The hull is generally whitened with a
mixture of chunam, or coral lime, and cocoa-nut oil, and the raised
ends are ornamented with devices in red or green, and sometimes a
red streak runs along the side. The tambanga, or waterman's boat for
passengers, has more beam, no outrigger, and a smaller though similarly
shaped sail.

Some of these proas were much larger, being fifty or more feet in
length, and then the sides of the log forming the bottom of the canoe
would be raised either by other planks sewn on or by a framework of
bamboo, with pieces cross cut from the leaves of the fan-palm, so
that the leaf ribs should stand vertically, stitched to them to form
the extra height of side, while a roof of the same was built over the
centre where cargo would be stowed, or over the after end, to form a
kind of cabin. When planks are used for raising the sides, they are not
sawn like ours, with economy of time, labour, and material, but are
laboriously chopped out of the solid; and, instead of being bent, are
patiently dubbed down to the requisite curve with numberless strokes
of the keen little Malay adze, projections being left on the inner
side through which holes are bored to lash them to the timbers, while
rows of holes along the edges admit of their being sewn together with
strips of rattan, and shreds of palm leaf laid along the seam and
confined by the tightening of the stitches, help to reduce the leakage,
which, if the vessel works at all in a sea-way, can never be entirely
stopped. They have two large sails similar in form to those of the
smaller proas, and sometimes a third, as a mizen. This is small enough
to be hitched over the mast-head, as before; but the others have to be
hoisted by halyards, and the long yards supported by propping them at
some distance from the slings by bamboo poles. The stays were formed
of slips of bamboo, and sometimes even of the poles, which, being well
fastened, would not only resist tension on the weather-side as well
as ropes, but on the lee would, by their rigidity, help to support
the masts. The outriggers of these were more elaborately framed with
a lighter set of beams, which supported stanchions and hand-rails,
so that, when the wind freshened, men might run out upon the weather
outrigger and, holding on by the hand-rail and stays, which lead from
the mast-head, serve as a counterpoise to the immense sails as the
boat dashed through the water. Reefing seemed never to be thought of,
and our own men soon got into the habit of speaking of a one-man or
two-man breeze, according to the number seen on the weather outriggers
of the proas that flew past us. The appearance of these vessels when
going wing and wing before the wind was very pretty. And others, in
the fashion of the Chinese junk, or in every modification of European,
engrafted on native form, afforded picturesque contrast, but need not
be here described.

The professional pirate has the outrigger only on the weather-side, and
this is frequently a log of light wood trimmed sharp at either end, so
that while its specific gravity is small enough to keep it buoyant, it
is still so heavy as not to be easily lifted out of the water, like a
bamboo, and when requisite, men sent on it, as in the former case, will
give it additional weight. But the chief peculiarity is in the hull of
the vessel, which is only half a boat, the lee-side being perfectly
flat, while the weather, or that toward the outrigger, is rounded as
usual; they will be frequently more than fifty feet in length, and six
or eight in breadth. We speak of the lee-side, because when the course
has to be changed--say in beating to windward--they do not go about
like a ship, that must go with her bows forward and be steered from
the stern, and therefore turns to receive the wind on the other side.
This would be fatal to the proa, as the buoyancy of the outrigger would
not prevent her from capsizing; and therefore, while the steersman
lets that end which is temporarily her bow fall off from the wind,
the men who have charge of the tack run round with it on the platform
to windward of the mast, the sheet is brought round to leeward, a
steersman takes his place at the other end, and that which has been the
stern now becomes the bow, and cleaves the waves at the rate of twenty
miles per hour. But no one need fear a proa with a double outrigger,
for she is not intended to lay alongside and board.

                 EITHER END FIRST, AS REQUIRED.]

The engraving represents a proa with an outrigger only on the
weather-side; and not only would the sail be made to traverse by
shifting the tack to that end which, for the time being, was intended
to go foremost, but the mast is also fitted to be inclined forward
by slackening that which happens to be the back stay, and tightening
that which is _pro tempore_ the fore. Those which serve for shrouds,
being exactly abreast of the mast, are so arranged for the purpose of
facilitating this.

The commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, Charles
Wilkes, U.S.N., gives the following description of the Fejee canoes:--

{Fejee canoes.}

"They are superior to those of other islands. They are generally
double, and the largest are 100ft. in length; the two canoes are of
different sizes, the smaller serving as an outrigger to the other,
and are connected by beams on which a platform is laid, 15ft. wide,
and extending 2ft. or 3ft. beyond the sides. The bottom of each canoe
is a single plank; the sides are fitted to them by dovetailing and by
lashings passed through flanges left on each piece; the joints are
closed by the gum of the bread-fruit tree, which is also used for
smearing them. They have a depth of hold of about 7ft., and the ends
are decked for 20ft., to prevent their shipping seas. Amidships[B] they
have a small thatched weather house, above which is a staging on which
several people can sit. The canoes of the chiefs are much ornamented
with shells. The sails are so large as to appear out of proportion with
the vessel, and are of tough and pliable mats; the mast is half the
length of the canoe, and is stepped on deck in a chock; the yard and
boom are twice as long as the mast; the halyards are carried over a
crescent on the mast-head, they are bent on to the yard at a distance
from its tack or lower end nearly equal to the length of the mast. The
natives manage these vessels very expertly; they require much skill
in beating against the wind, for it is necessary that the outrigger
should be always on the weather-side, _as, if it gets to leeward, no
vessel is so easily capsized_; in tacking, therefore, the helm is put
up instead of down, until the wind is brought abaft the beam, then the
tack of the sail is carried to that end which was previously the stern,
but which has now become the bow, and the canoe is steered from the
other end; they carry sail even when it blows heavily, by sending men
on the outrigger to counterbalance the force of the wind. The canoes
are of logs hollowed and built upon; they make long sea-voyages, and
are provisioned only with yams; they are ornamented with _Cypræa-ovula_
shells, and carry white pennants; they carry water in cocoa-nut shells,
and, with fire and an 'ava' bowl, are equipped for sea. The chief
holds the end of the sheet, and it is his duty to prevent the canoe
capsizing; the steer oar has a large blade. In smooth water they sail
very swiftly, but the force of the sail strains them, and they leak
badly, so that the men are constantly baling. The planks are kept in
shape by small ribs as with us. The principal tool used is an adze,
which is now made by lashing a European plane iron to a crooked handle;
they are anxious to possess our tools, and especially the American axe.
Their knives are made of bamboo, cut into form while it is still green;
after being dried it is charred, which makes it very hard and sharp; a
second charring, followed by grinding on a smooth stone, will even fit
it for surgical operations."

  [B] On the platform.--(Ed.)

{The balsas.}

The balsas, at Guayaquil, as described by Sir E. Belcher, in his
journal of the voyage of the "Sulphur," are rafts of ten logs 14in. in
diameter, and 60ft. long. The wood is a kind of bombax, called balsa
wood, they bear fifteen or twenty tons independent of their crew, and
bring fresh water down the river in jars of seven gallons each. Houses
thirty or forty feet long, and twelve feet wide, are built on some of
them, and families take passage or live permanently on board.

The balsas, at Arica, in Peru, are differently constructed; they are
simply skins, stripped off the animal, with as little cutting as
possible; the absolutely necessary incisions are then securely closed,
the hides are inflated and allowed to dry and harden, and two being
laid alongside each other a platform is laid across them, on which
the cargo is kept sufficiently high above the spray or ripple, and
brought dry ashore even through a heavy surf. Two ox-hides would make
a very serviceable balsa, as would also a pair of the large seal, the
sea-elephant, porpoise, or other marine animal of suitable size.

{Cape waggon chests as rafts.}

We will now endeavour to show how the chests that are usually
carried in Cape waggons might be converted into a buoyant, roomy,
and manageable raft. These chests are generally about three feet in
length, and sixteen inches wide and deep; two of them, the fore and
after chests, are indispensable, as the waggon cannot be kept in
shape nor the cargo properly secured without them; sometimes more are
carried, and others of smaller size are affixed to either side, but
the objection to these is that in a densely-wooded country, stumps and
stout branches are apt to catch the angles of the side chests, and
damage or carry them away.

                 A RAFT.]

We propose that, in the waggon used by the traveller for his own
conveyance, as many of these chests should be stowed as will stand
fairly on the floor beside each other, say ten, as in the illustration
(A, p. 142). Then, instead of the two usual square-ended side chests,
we would advise that four should be fitted (Nos. 11 to 14), each of
them having one end 16in. square like the other chests, but tapering at
the other end to the mere thickness of the plank, and with the bottom
also sloping, so that the narrow end should be only 8in. deep. Two of
these with the broad ends together could be fitted on each side the
narrow points passing well clear within the wheels. Care should be
taken to have them water-tight; and, if made of well-seasoned plank
and well oiled, they would remain so for a long time. When they are
required for a raft, take them from the waggon and place them in two
rows about three feet apart, and also with an interval of 3in. between
the ends of the boxes in the same line--as shown in the illustration
(B, p. 142)--with the tapered side boxes, as indicated by the numbers,
forming the four ends. If you have been able to carry a couple of
long stout bamboos, lay them along the inner side of each line of
boxes, and if you have lighter ones to lay along the outer sides so
much the better; if you have not bamboos, the dissel-booms and lifter
poles of the waggons must be pressed into service, or poles sought in
the nearest forest, as long and as straight as possible; then take
the yokes of the oxen and lay them across in the 3in. spaces between
the boxes, and passing the "reims" or other thongs cut from raw hide
through the holes made for the yoke "skeis," lash each yoke to the
fore and aft poles, securing the boxes each in its own compartment
by passing a few turns through the handles in the ends and round the
yokes. When this is completed, you will have a very serviceable raft or
double canoe. The hinges of the chests will, of course, be towards
the centre, so that when opened the lids will fall inwards; and if
other poles are now laid fore and aft upon the yokes, they will support
the lids so as to form the deck, leaving the chests open, so that, if
any of them should leak, the water may be at once seen and baled out;
but should it be thought preferable to keep the boxes closed, the buik
plank or floor of the waggon, or even its sides, may be made use of for
the deck. If the traveller contemplates a long voyage, and requires a
sharper boat so as to attain more speed, he may make four of his boxes
(marked D 7, 8, 9, 10) tapering diagonally to 8in. at one end; but he
must take care that they are made in pairs, so that he may be able to
place the straight and the diagonal side of each in its proper position
in the raft. He will then also find that they will be easily arranged
so that each pair will stow square in the waggon; then the side boxes
(D 11 to 14) must be made only 8in. wide at the larger end, tapering
as before at the smaller, and, with a slight diminution of floating
power, he will have a sharper and more speedy boat. The figures in the
central spaces of B indicate the changes of position in the numbered
boxes, and the dotted lines show the increase of sharpness at the ends.
It is of importance that in the boxes which taper, one side should be
straight and square with the end, and one only diagonal, as it might be
necessary in a narrow stream, to place both the lines of boxes close
together, and then the line of the inner sides being perfectly straight
and the outer tapering, the whole would form one boat sharp enough at
either end.

Some of the yoke "skeis" might be left in their sockets where required,
as shown in the elevation, or other pieces might be cut to a proper
length, to serve for tholes or rowlocks, awning stanchions, or belaying
pins. If a mast were needed, it might be stepped by cutting jaws like
those on the gaff of a cutter, and setting them across one of the
yokes. The fork of a branch might serve; but as poles generally become
thinner upward, and the natural position would be thus reversed, it
would be less laborious to cut or fit on jaws to the butt of the pole,
and leave the fork at top for the halyards to run over. Two back stays
would be required, spreading at a considerable angle; and one or two
fore stays, with sufficient spread not to interfere with the free
motion of the yard; two, three, or four poles, set up as a triangle
or sheer legs, would also serve, and then only one stay, stretching
perpendicularly downwards between them, would be required.

In ferrying wheels over, the readiest way (if the breadth of the boat
permits) is to keep each pair on their own axle, which is laid across
the boat, with the wheels overhanging each side.

Even if the traveller be not provided with a waggon, he must have with
him a quantity of stores, or materials for whatever scientific pursuit
he is engaged in, as well as beads, calico, or other currency of the
country, to pay for service, or purchase food; and if his boxes for
containing these were all of uniform size, they would serve equally
well as a raft; the copper boxes described at pages 8 and 9 are
expressly designed for this service.

{To float waggons.}

In floating a waggon over without extraneous assistance, the buik plank
or floor, the water cask, the fore and after chests, and the side
boxes, will be sufficient, if tolerably water-tight--and if not, they
may easily be made so, either by covering them with canvas, by caulking
them or even laying them in the river all night to let the wood swell,
which will generally have the desired effect. But it would be well, if
this is at all doubtful, to remove the drag-chains, "reim-schoens," and
all easily detachable ironwork, and first float over only the under
carriage and its wheels. If a line can be previously stretched across
the river, and the oxen ready in their yokes on the other side attached
to it, they may save much trouble by towing it across, while one or two
men steer till the wheels take the ground, and it is drawn on shore
in the natural way. The buik plank, with the casks and chests still
fast to it, can be taken back for the rest of the heavy gear, and as
much of the cargo as it will carry. If large hollow reeds--the drier
the better--can be obtained, faggots of these can be fastened fore and
aft, within the side chests, filling up nearly the whole space, except
sufficient for the men to stand on in the centre; and a light platform
can be laid above the top of the chests, on which to lay light goods
which require to be kept dry. But bear in mind that the cargo a raft
can carry above water is always small, and not at all like the mountain
of treasure invariably represented on that of Robinson Crusoe.

About 1849 or 1850, while staying with our fellow-traveller, Joseph
Macabe, at Vaal River, an extraordinary drought prevailed; the
great river could be crossed dryshod at the "drift" by means of
stepping-stones, though there were long reaches above and below in
which a good-sized vessel might have floated, and on one of the
sand-banks then laid bare appeared an upright pole, belonging to a
waggon which the owner had attempted to float over with bundles of
green reeds, leaving the "rein-schoems" and drag-chains on as ballast,
and previously removing the sides, the chests, buik plank, and
everything else that could impede its passage to the bottom.

  [Illustration: EXTEMPORE SHEARS.]

{Extricating waggons from quicksands, &c.}

Whilst gazing at this odd landmark, Mynheer appeared; with him came a
goodly staff of tall athletic sons and nephews, attended by a numerous
train of native helpers. On digging for the waggon, it was found to
have settled so far below the sand that when the tallest of the family
stood on the tire of the wheel his shoulders were barely at the surface
of the water, and Mynheer had yoked his oxen and was attempting to draw
out the waggon by a horizontal strain. We forbore to offer advice which
would certainly have been rejected, but retired to the house, and when
one of the sons visited us after the day's fruitless labour, we rigged
a pair of miniature shears, and, letting them incline over a weight,
showed how easily it might be lifted by applying a horizontal strain to
cause the shears to rise to a vertical position. The result of this was
that Mynheer sent up a request that, as "een groote zee-water's men,"
we would come and give him a bit of advice. We accordingly suggested
that, as the sand was not firm enough to set the shear legs upon, he
should cut three good-sized beams, and laying one horizontally, cut
mortices in the ends, while tenons were cut on the other two to fit in
them, the apex of the triangle being firmly lashed with the "reims" or
thongs of softened hide, used for spanning in the oxen. The triangle
was now set up, sloping somewhat over the fore-stell or carriage of the
buried waggon, and one of the drag-chains was fastened to the wheel and
led over the top of the shears, whence, lengthened out by the other
chain and spare rope, it was bent on to the "trek-touw," to which the
oxen were already yoked. At length the cattle bent them to the yokes,
the gear tightened and strained, the dissel-boom, that so long had been
our beacon, began to rise, when some fastening gave way and all came
down by the run; the pole, however, remaining a foot higher than it
was before. A native was desired to refasten the chain; and, sticking
two fingers of his left hand into his nostrils in a manner no European
could imitate, he settled down below the water, and worked with his
right hand only. Piece by piece the waggon was hauled out during the
succeeding days, after having been three years and three days imbedded.

In exploring countries covered with dense forests or difficult to
be traversed, rafts are wonderfully useful for navigating lakes and
rivers, or for conveying your goods. Dr. R. Brown, commander of the
expedition in Vancouver's Island, favours us with the following note:--

{Trenneled rafts.}

"We travelled long distances by rafts in Vancouver's Island, and, in
order to have facilities for making them, we caused an auger (2in.) to
be constructed with a ring-head instead of the usual spike with a nut,
so that, by a piece of wood being put through it, a handle might be
extemporised. Generally speaking we could find dry fallen cedar (_Thuja
gigantea_, Natl.) by the borders of lakes or rivers, or if not living
cotton wood (_Salix Scouleriana_) will do; and in fact any wood, though
pine is rather too heavy and apt to get waterlogged.

"Cutting two lengths of logs, the length of the raft required,
sharpening the 'bows' off roughly, we laid them on the ground,
parallel, and as far apart as we wished them. Then two cross-pieces,
composed of a log split in two, were pegged by means of the auger
across near the ends, over them was built a floor of split cedar
boards. Two rowlocks were pegged in here and there according to the
number of rowers required, and one pair at the end for a steering oar.
Oars were soon extemporised by means of the axe, and the raft moved
lazily along at about one and a half or two miles an hour on a lake,
but the labour was infinitely easier than working through the wood with
a seventy or eighty pound load on your back.

"Sometimes we constructed even ruder rafts than these. Mr. Frederick
Whymper and Mr. Ranald M'Donald once descended twenty miles of a river
on a little raft composed of the boards out of an Indian's hunting
lodge, tying it together with withes of cedar twigs, which are very
tough, and used by the Indians for sewing their canoes and fastening
their lodge planks together. The holes they made with pistol bullets."

{Principles of raft building.}

The general principle on which all rafts are or ought to be constructed
is nearly the same; that is, if they are intended to be worked or to
make progress through the water, as in most cases is desirable. The
exceptions to this are generally when it is merely desired to float
down a stream, abandoning the raft as worthless when the voyage is
completed, or when produce or manufacture of any kind has to be brought
down from a higher country to a lower, and, from its buoyancy it may
be collected into a raft, which, on reaching its destination, may be
reduced to its component parts and sold; or where, as in still more
exceptional cases, it is necessary to provide floating habitations for
families or small communities without reference to locomotion, which is
effected by other means.

In the first and most general case, the object is to obtain sufficient
carrying power with as little resistance to progression as possible;
and to this end the larger spars, on which the buoyancy of the whole
depends, ought to be laid parallel to, and at such a distance from,
each other as seems necessary either to insure the requisite stability,
to give sufficient room on deck, or to suit the length of those that
are to be used as cross-beams; but they should never be laid close
together so as to present a broad united surface to be forced through
the water, nor even so close as to convert that portion of fluid
between them into dead water to be dragged like a solid body with the
raft. We would say, if there be two or more spars of equal size, let
the interval between them be at least three times as broad as their
diameter, and generally let the width of your raft be not more than
one-sixth of its length. If you have only one large spar, let that form
the centre, or, as it may be called, the keel, and let the smaller
ones, either singly or lashed together in bundles of convenient size,
be laid parallel to it at proper distances on either side. Endeavour
as much as possible to keep your cross-beams as high above the water
as possible, for if these are submerged, their sides will offer as
much resistance to your progress as if the whole raft had been filled
up with solid logs. On this account, therefore, it would be advisable
to lash or pin on the top of each of the main beams either a smaller
one to increase its height, or short pieces at intervals, as chocks on
which to lay the cross-beams.

Let the ends of the spars that form your floats be pointed to an acute
angle by either sawing off wedge-shaped pieces of about 15° or 20° in
the sides, or chopping them with axe or adze.

The cross-beams at each end and one in the centre must be securely
fastened. Do not have too many, nor keep them too close together; but
let the others cross diagonally in opposite directions, or even brace
the frame thus formed by stout ropes stretched diagonally from corner
to corner, and seized together with smaller lines where they cross each
other in the centre, which will give great firmness and rigidity to the

Let us suppose, for instance, the case of a stranded or waterlogged
brig of about 200 tons, of which the lower masts and the wreck of some
of the other spars are still available. If the masts can be got out
so much the better, for they would be in the whole not much short of
60ft. long; but it is much more probable they would have to be cut by
the board, and perhaps also below the hounds, which would still leave
clean spars between 30ft. and 40ft. in length, and most likely 14in.
thick. If the mast-heads were left on they would be at least 10ft.
longer, but the tops should be removed, and the projecting portion of
the hounds chopped down so as to offer as little impediment to progress
as possible; the masts should be laid parallel to each other about
8ft. apart, and the main boom, lower yards and jib boom, or spare
topmast, if available, lashed together as a faggot, and laid between
them as a central spar. A short, stout spar, such as the heel of a
broken topmast, should then be laid across at 6ft. or 8ft. from either
end, and firmly lashed to them, and one, or at most two, more may be
laid across in like manner near the centre; the intervals between these
should be occupied by small spars laid across diagonally, or by cross
bracings of rope as before described; it is of little use to peg or
treenail the parts together, unless the water is very smooth, for the
pegs would be sure to break with the working of the raft in a heavy
sea. We have suggested the heels of the topmasts as crossbeams, because
their thickness would help to raise the platform above the level of the
sea, and this might be farther raised by laying a couple of studding
sail booms fore and aft upon the masts under them, and laying the deck
with short spars or pieces of plank across the booms. If tools can be
got at or used, mortices may be sunk in the masts, or fore and aft
spars, and handspikes or capstan bars set upright in them at intervals
of 6ft.; these will carry a light rail to prevent men being washed off,
and will serve to spread an awning when such a luxury can be attempted,
and also as supports to which rowlocks can conveniently be fastened.

If the vessel is provided with sleeping bunks, which are sometimes
lashed to ring-bolts on the deck, it might be well to secure at least
one of them; if not an empty hogshead or anything that can serve as a
place of temporary shelter for a wearied man, or for the commander to
consult his charts and compass in, should be fitted on the platform.
A sheet of iron, or non-combustible material of any kind, should be
taken to form the foundation of a fire-place; and if there is choice of
provisions, preserved fresh meat should be taken in preference to salt,
with as much biscuit, vegetables, vinegar, sugar, tea or coffee, and
fresh water, as circumstances permit. If canvas is at hand, sails will
be easily made, if not, any flat surface, sheets of iron or planks,
either separate or framed together, may be set up that the raft may
sail free, or trimmed for her to go as near the wind as she will lie.

If three casks are available as floating power, make a triangle of
studding sail booms, and lash each angle firmly on the top of one
of the casks, taking care to keep their heads pointing forward to
that which is intended to be the bow; then on these spars build such
platform as you need, and erect your mast and sail.


A couple of spare topmasts brought together at their heads, and
extended by a shorter spar at their heels, so as to form a triangle
more or less acute, form a good foundation for a raft; the space
between may then be filled with whatever buoyant material you possess,
whether casks, boxes, or smaller spars. No rules can be considered
absolute in raft making; anything that will float, and can be lashed
together in any manner, must be used; if a portion of the vessel's deck
can be cut out by axe or saw it may form a good foundation; if the raft
can be built on board the wreck, or on the beach beside her, so much
the better, but it would be better to throw the materials overboard,
and, at the cost of any extra labour, construct it in the water, than
not be able fairly to launch it when completed. We have seen the waist
stanchions of a waterlogged vessel cut away for such a purpose, or in
extreme cases the hull may be expected to go down, and then the only
anxiety will be to complete the raft so that it may be capable of
floating off the sinking vessel. In the water a rectangular raft is
best built alongside the vessel, but the triangular one must be built

{Pot raft.}

Of buoyant merchandise formed into rafts for the purpose of floating
down rivers to the markets, we have an example in the pottery floats
upon the Nile, where a number of jars having been made, are bound
together, and a platform of reeds laid on them. Tho long timber rafts
upon the Rhine and on the rivers of Canada and North America are also
examples of this principle.

{Sedge-grass rafts.}

On some of the larger rivers of Africa, as the Okovango, discovered
by our late friend C. J. Andersson, the Teoughe and others, rafts of
sedge grass are used; sometimes these, if only intended to carry a
few persons across a river, are small and comparatively manageable,
and have even an attempt at comfort and security in a kind of rail
raised round them of faggots of the same material. Others, used in
hippopotamus hunting, are mere floats on which the small canoes are
drawn up, and their chief merit is that they are so like natural
accumulations that the animal does not think of getting out of their

On a still larger heap of these Mr. Andersson descended the tortuous
course of the Teoughe for many miles; and Mr. Oscar T. Lindholm, who
accompanied the eminent but unfortunate Swedish naturalist Wahlberg,
gave us a most graphic account of a similar voyage. Immense quantities
of sedge was collected, and bundles of it were thrown upon the water
in some quiet nook, without any regularity and with no other fastening
than its own natural cohesion and entanglement when one layer was
thrown almost at random across another. A small hut was built upon the
heap when it had acquired sufficient size, and the whole, when ready,
was forced out into the stream, which brought it down at an average
rate of two and a half miles per hour. If it took the ground, the only
consequence was the loss of a few reeds from the bottom layer as the
mass swung round and cleared itself. Snags, projecting points, or other
impediments might tear off more, but nothing could stay the quiet but
irresistible movement of the great raft, which, as the grass below
became densely pressed and sodden, began to draw nearly 6ft. of water,
and sank deeper every day; to remedy which, fresh grass was cut and
thrown daily upon the upper layers. Frequently overhanging trees tore
off portions, and once a large trunk lay so close to the water that it
fairly swept the decks fore and aft; the occupants saved themselves by
climbing over the tree, but the hut, with many valuables, was carried
right away. With this exception the voyage was accomplished safely, but
it was a task of great difficulty to prevent the unwieldy mass being
swept by the stream into Lake Ngami, in the still waters of which it
might have floated for an indefinite period without coming nearer to
the shore.

The obelisk of Luxor was removed by laying a vessel ashore, with her
head towards it, when the river was at its highest; the masts were
lifted and shored up from the deck, so as to allow an immense packing
case to be built upon the keelson; ways like those for launching a
ship were built, and on them the heavy monolith was forced onward till
it lay at length fairly in the vessel, occupying nearly her entire
length; a deep channel cut from the vessel to the river, and at the
next rise of the water she floated off. But without forgetting this, we
do not remember a case of more ingenious and persevering adaptation of
apparently insufficient means to great and important ends, than that
of the conveyance by our countryman Layard of the great human-headed
bulls and lions from the magnificent ruins in which he found them to
the point of embarkation on the Tigris, and thence, by rafts so frail
that we almost wonder how the ponderous masses were supported, to a
place where vessels more adequate to the carriage of such a burden
could receive them. It would be a pity to curtail the brief and graphic
description, and we therefore give it in his own words:--

"I did not doubt that the skins, once blown up, would support the
sculptures without difficulty as far as Baghdad. The journey would take
eight or ten days, under favourable circumstances. But there they would
require to be opened and refilled, or the rafts would scarcely sustain
so heavy a weight all the way to Busrak; the voyage from Baghdad to
that port being considerably longer, in point of time, than that from
Mosul to Baghdad. However carefully the skins are filled, the air
gradually escapes. Rafts bearing merchandise are generally detained
several times during their descent to enable the raftmen to examine and
refill the skins. If the sculptures rested upon only one framework,
the beams being almost on a level with the water, the raftmen would
be unable to get beneath them to reach the mouths of the skins, when
they require replenishing, without moving the cargo. This would have
been both inconvenient and difficult to accomplish; I was, therefore,
desirous of raising the lion and bull as much as possible above the
water, so as to leave room for the men to creep under them.

"It may interest the reader to know how these rafts, which have
probably formed for ages the only means of traffic on the upper parts
of the rivers of Mesopotamia, are constructed. The skins of full-grown
sheep and goats are used. They are taken off with as few incisions as
possible, and then dried and prepared. The air is forced in by the
lungs through an aperture, which is afterwards tied up with string.
A square framework, formed of poplar beams, branches of trees, and
reeds, having been constructed of the size of the intended raft, the
inflated skins are tied to it by osier and other twigs, the whole
being firmly bound together. The raft is then removed to the water and
launched. Care is taken to place the skins with their mouths upwards,
that, in case any should burst or require filling, they can be easily
opened by the raftmen. Upon the framework of wood are piled bales of
goods and property belonging to merchants and travellers. When any
person of rank or wealth descends the river in this fashion, small huts
are constructed on the raft, by covering a common wooden "takht," or
bedstead of the country, with a hood formed of reeds and lined with
felt. In these huts the travellers live and sleep during the journey.
The poorer passengers seek shade or warmth by burying themselves
amongst bales of goods and other merchandise, and sit patiently, almost
in one position, until they reach their destination. They carry with
them a small earthen "mangal," or chafing-dish, containing a charcoal
fire, which serves to light their pipes and to cook their coffee and
food. The only real danger to be apprehended on the river is from the
Arabs, who, when the country is in a disturbed state, invariably attack
and pillage the rafts.

  [Illustration: INFLATED FLOATS.]

"The raftmen guide their rude vessels by long oars--straight poles, at
the end of which a few split canes are fastened by a piece of twine.
They skilfully avoid the rapids, and, seated on the bales of goods,
work continually, even in the hottest sun. They will seldom travel
after dark before reaching Tekrit, on account of the rocks and shoals
which abound in the upper part of the river; but when they have passed
that place they resign themselves, night and day, to the sluggish
stream. During the floods in the spring, or after violent rains, small
rafts may float from Mosul to Baghdad in about eighty-four hours; but
the large rafts are generally six or seven days in performing the
voyage. In summer, and when the river is low, they are frequently
nearly a month in reaching their destination. When the rafts have been
unloaded, they are broken up, and the beams, wood, and twigs are sold
at a considerable profit, forming one of the principal branches of
trade between Mosul and Baghdad. The skins are washed and afterwards
rubbed with a preparation of pounded pomegranate skins, to keep them
from cracking and rotting. They are then brought back, either upon the
shoulders of the raftmen or upon donkeys, to Mosul or Tekrit, where the
men engaged in navigation of the Tigris usually reside."


In one of the sculptures thus brought to our own country by the
energetic traveller, an army is represented crossing a river, and the
soldiers are supported each by an inflated goatskin held under the
chest, while one of the legs being led upwards to the swimmer's mouth
enables him to keep it distended, should any air escape. In making
these bags, the only sewing necessary is at the aperture through which
the animal is skinned; the neck, cut close to the head, may be tightly
bound up with a thong, and an over-hand knot cast in the three legs;
the fourth being left with a tube for re-inflation.

Sir Samuel Baker says, when speaking of crossing the Atbara River, "I
had eight inflated skins attached to the bedstead, on which I lashed
our large circular sponging bath, 3ft. 8in. in diameter. This was
perfectly safe for my wife, and dry for the baggage; the watertight
iron box that contained the gunpowder was towed as a pinnace behind the
raft. Four hippopotamus hunters harnessed themselves as tug steamers,
and there were relays of swimmers. The raft answered well, and would
support about 300lb.; the sponging bath would carry 190lb."

{American portable boat.}

Colonel R. C. Buchanan, of the United States service, is the inventor
of a very useful form of portable boat. It was used in several
expeditions, in Oregon and Washington territory, with much advantage.
It is thus described:--

"It consists of an exceedingly light framework of thin and narrow
boards, in lengths suitable for packing, connected by hinges,
the different, sections folding into so small a compass as to be
conveniently carried upon mules. The frame is covered with a sheet
of stout cotton canvas or duck, secured to the gunwales with a cord
running diagonally back, and put through eyelet holes in the upper
edge. When first placed in the water, the boat leaks a little, but
the canvas soon swells, so as to make it sufficiently tight for all
practical purposes. The great advantage to be derived from the use of
this boat is, that it is so compact and portable as to be admirably
adapted to the requirements of campaigning in a country where the
streams are liable to rise above a fordable depth, and where the
allowance of transportation is small. It may be put together or taken
apart and packed in a very few minutes, and one mule suffices to
transport a boat, with all its appurtenances, capable of sustaining
ten men. Should the canvas become torn, it is easily repaired by
putting on a patch, and it does not rot or crack, like india-rubber
or gutta-percha; moreover it is not affected by changes of climate or

  [Illustration: COLLAPSIBLE BOAT.]

{Collapsible boat.}

We have not seen Colonel Buchanan's boat, but we remember one perhaps
not very dissimilar, it was, in fact, a collapsible boat--the gunwales,
the keel, and all the intermediate pieces being exactly alike, and made
of 3/4in. plank from 4in. to 6in. wide; these were hinged together at
the two ends, just as are the frames of the oval reticules, and covered
with stout canvas; the thwarts have hinges below the centre, from
which also the third board, serving as a stanchion, reaches downward
to rest upon the keel. There is a ring-bolt near the centre of each of
the midship thwarts, and when the boat is hoisted out of the water
by tackles at either end, a couple of small lines from these rings
jerk up the centre of the thwarts and allow the gunwales and all the
corresponding boards on either side to fall down beside the keel, as
shown in the upper figure of our illustration (p. 155). There are also
ring-bolts to the gunwales, and a couple of lines from these are held
fast while the boat is lowered; the gunwales rise, and a man sitting
upon the thwarts presses them into their place and the boat assumes
its proper shape: of course the segments of plank below the gunwales
have to be cut a little shorter at each end as they come nearer to the
keel, or the boat would not shut up on its hinges. A boat 4ft. wide
would collapse into a width of not more than 1ft. Such a frame could
be readily taken to pieces by withdrawing the bolts of the hinges, and
if each piece, supposing the boat to be 4ft. wide and 16ft. long were
hinged in its centre, it would not be much too long to carry on a mule,
except the country were more than ordinarily difficult, when it might
be hinged in three lengths.

At the meeting of the British Association, in Birmingham, we saw some
model boats of good form, but with very little projection of keel or
stem or stern post, so that one might be fitted into the other without
rising more than a few inches above the gunwale of the first; the
thwarts of the lower one are stowed between the two very conveniently,
and three or four may be thus packed, the uppermost, however, retaining
all her fittings in readiness for immediate use.

{Canoe birch.}

The aborigines of many countries make use of the bark of certain trees
for the purpose of canoe building. The most important of these is the
canoe birch (_Betula papyracea_); its range may be estimated at 37°
north to 43° south. Trees of this description not unfrequently grow to
70ft. in height, and are proportionately thick, so that sheets of bark
of very large size can be readily stripped from them. The bark canoes
of the Canadians and Indian traders are often of a very large size.

In the absence of forest conservators, economic considerations go for
very little. It may be convenient, when canoe building or repairing is
the object, to "fall" the tree, and, in doing so, care must be taken
that the bark shall not be rent or bruised, either by fracture of the
tree or by falling across a rock or stump, while the log ought to
lie with both ends somewhat supported, so that the required sheet of
bark may not be crushed between it and the ground. Perhaps it will be
found generally easier to detach the bark while the tree is standing,
and in this case a cut must be made all round the tree at the lower
end of the sheet; the most perfect side should be left for the bottom
of the canoe, and the longitudinal slit should be so made as to cut
right through any defective portion which may thus be cut out with the
least possible waste of material. If the tree has an inclination, it
will be easier work to make the slit on the upper side. The bark should
be detached by broad round-edged spuds of soft wood, thrust gently
and cautiously between it and the tree; and it may also be previously
loosened by striking it with a broad log or mallet on the outside,
taking care not to break its texture. Steps may be cut in the wood to
stand in, and hand-holds also as the work proceeds; and the lower part
of the bark should be made fast with cord or slips of bark, passed
loosely round, so that it may not swing clear of the tree and split the
upper part before it is finally detached.

  [Illustration: CANADIAN BARK CANOE.]

{Canadian bark canoe.}

The sheet should now be taken to a plot of level ground, carefully
spread out with the inside downward, and the outside should be cleaned
from any knots, excrescences, or hard and brittle layers that increase
its weight without adding to its strength; and it should then be cut
nearly to the form shown in the sketch (Fig. 1). A sufficient number
of ribs or hoops of light flexible wood should be provided, and great
care should be taken, in bending it, not to split or unduly to force
any part so as to make an unsightly protuberance, which would also most
probably become a leak. The holes should be carefully bored along the
edges that come in contact, and they may be sewn with fibres from the
roots of pine trees or from small cedar twigs, and rendered water-tight
by the use of pine-tree gum. Flexible poles or laths are then stitched
in for gunwales or thwart stringers, and the canoe is more or less
tastefully trimmed off and ornamented, according to the taste of the
builder, as in Fig. 2 (p. 157).

Nothing can be lighter or handier than these canoes, but their very
lightness and want of "hold on the water" makes them difficult for
Englishmen to handle until experience has been their instructor.

{Queen Charlotte's Island canoe.}

Canoes of this description are wonderfully buoyant, and draw very
little water; and, when managed by skilful hands, few boats are more
reliable. Our friend, Mr. F. Poole, who has spent many years among the
Indians of North-West America, and is a canoeman of no ordinary skill,
has recently completed a tour of extraordinary extent and interest,
paddling fearlessly, and alone, far out to sea. The dimensions of the
canoe he uses, which was made expressly for him by the Indians of Queen
Charlotte's Island, are as follows: Length, 15ft.; width across beam,
3-1/2ft.; depth, 15in.; weight, 100lb.


In her Mr. Poole started from Liverpool, paddling to New Brighton, from
thence to Southport, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Dutton Sands, Whitehaven,
Kirkcudbright, Whitehorn, Port William and Glen Luce. From thence by
the use of wheels--two pairs of which, composed of iron, mounted on
iron axles, are kept, until required, stowed away in the canoe--Mr.
Poole proceeded overland to Stranraer; from thence paddled along the
coast and up the river to Glasgow; then by canal to Grangemouth, and
by sea to Leith. For two nights and the greater part of two days Mr.
Poole was out of sight of land, and the voyage was prosecuted during
the prevalence of the equinoctial gales. Such of our readers as may
contemplate canoe voyaging will do well to borrow a few hints from
Mr. Poole's equipment. A powerful bull's-eye lamp was always carried,
lashed fast to the stem at night, and a mariner's compass was provided
to steer by.

The wheels before referred to are extremely useful in many ways. They
are like those of an ordinary perambulator, only of light wrought iron;
they are 1ft. in diameter; the axle is also of wrought iron, 3/4in.
square, and long enough to carry the wheels clear of the canoe's sides
when mounted on them. To travel the canoe on dry land, the axles, each
covered with a strong common pillow, are brought under the fore and
after portions of the canoe, like the axles of a long narrow carriage.
Rope lashings are now brought from the thwarts down to the axle
bars, through which iron belaying pins pass; these keep the lashings
from shifting, and keep all secure when the canoe is pushed or drawn
onwards. The wheels are an immense assistance in beaching the canoe
and getting her above high-water mark, when there is but one voyager.
They also serve as ballast, and are useful for a number of camping and
make-shift purposes.


The paddle shown in the accompanying illustration, kindly furnished by
Mr. Poole, is of the exact form requisite to obtain perfect efficiency.
It is composed of red cedar, and is exactly one-tenth, diminished

  [Illustration: CEDAR-BARK CANOE.]

{Cedar-bark canoe.}

The bark of the cedar (_Thuja gigantea_) is also much used by
certain Indians of North-West America for canoe building; but the form
usually made from it differs materially from that just described.
The cedar-bark canoes are in shape much like some of our iron-clad
rams, having projecting beaks, or prows, almost in a line with their
keels. The Indian paddling one of these frail craft, sits, or rather
squats, at one extreme end of the bottom, which has the effect of
tilting the bow end up in the air, burying the stern end deeply in the
water. The sharp tail-like point thus immersed seems to impart speed
and capability of evolution to a remarkable degree; much practice
is required before the exact poise and adjustment of weight are
acquired. The Indians, who half live in their canoes, manage them with
extraordinary dexterity, ascend and descend rapid rivers, and cross
wide stretches of lake fearlessly. [Illustration] The form of these
canoes, and of the bark sheet used for making them, is shown in the
above illustration. The mode of sinking the stern of a canoe is also
had recourse to by the Rockingham Bay savages, who manage the so-called
shoe canoe with much skill. The frame is of rough wicker-work, the
covering of hide, and the two short shovel-shaped paddles made use of
are shown in our illustration. A canoe of this kind is very easily
made, and is not difficult to manage.

  [Illustration: SHOE CANOE.]

  [Illustration: FUEGIAN CANOE.]

{Fuegian canoe.}

We have just seen a small canoe sent from Terra del Fuego by the
Governor of the Falkland Islands to the Royal Geographical Society. It
is small, and was paddled by a girl eight years of age; it is chiefly
interesting as showing how small pieces of bark may be utilised. It is
about 8ft. long, 22in. wide, and 18in. or 20in. deep; the centrepiece
of the bottom is nearly 3ft. long and 10in. wide, and to this are
stitched two pieces, each about 4ft. long, tapering to a point, and
curving upward to a high peak at either end. The sides are pieces of
bark nearly 8ft. long and 18in. deep, straight on the upper edge, and
cut to the curve of the bottom on the lower. The whole are stitched
together with wood fibre, for which sometimes strips of whalebone are
substituted, and caulked with the fibre of the wild celery. The boat is
kept in shape by ribs of winter bark twigs, not thicker than the little
finger, and packed closely side by side through the whole length; nine
small sticks lashed athwart the gunwales keep them in their proper
shape, and a sheet of bark midships serves to sustain a patch of
clay on which to keep a small fire. A bundle of weapons of the chase
accompany this canoe.

The spears are pointed with bone, and the barbed one used for fish
and cetaceans is only shipped loosely into the shaft, to which it is
attached by a lanyard, so as to remain fast during the struggles of the
animal; while that used for birds is serrated, and is firmly fastened
into the shaft.

  [Illustration: AUSTRALIAN BARK CANOE.]

{Australian bark canoe.}

The tea-tree bark is sometimes used in Australia for canoes. We have
seen a length of it roughly tied up at the ends, and strengthened a
little by poles along the gunwales, in use at Moreton Bay, as shown
in our illustration. It is just possible to make the bark of the gum
tree answer the purpose in the absence of better material. We have
often searched in Africa for a tree with bark fit to make a canoe
of, but never succeeded in finding one. Along the eastern coast of
Australia, especially towards Torres Strait, we frequently fell in with
canoes, some with outriggers and others double. They were generally
long straight logs, of very little breadth or depth; and the advantage
of this seemed to be that though the ripple would frequently wash
into them, yet, if they pitched ever so little, their great length
and shallowness would tilt out the greater portion of the water. The
outriggers were mostly logs of wood sharpened at either end, and with
pegs set up in them, so that the outrigger beams might not dip into
the water and impede the motion of the canoe.

  [Illustration: MANGROVE FLOATS.]

When we reached the Victoria River we found that the natives were
accustomed to support themselves in crossing on logs of the light
mangrove wood, either singly or tied up in bundles. The part near the
roots seemed to be the favourite, as the stumps of the roots formed
pegs on which to hang their spears, skins, or other possessions. The
wood of the milk bush, which is about half the specific gravity of
cork, is much used by the natives of equatorial Africa for the above

{Long canoes.}

At Shupanga, on the Zambesi, we have seen dug-out canoes, 50ft. long
and about 5ft. wide and deep; at all events, a tall man standing beside
them did not stoop much when he rested his arms upon the gunwale. These
were hollowed and roughly shaped in their native forests, and hauled
along nearly thirty miles, on rollers, by the long rope-like stems
of the vines and creepers common in tropical forests. They were made
only for the Portuguese. The upper part of the bows expanded into a
platform sufficiently large for the chief boatman to stand on, while
the stern was cut into an imitation of a run and dead wood, with a
couple of holes in the after part, to which a rudder was secured by
lashings. Nothing can be better for hollowing a canoe than the adze,
but our Kroomen used a broad spud or chisel on a staff about 6ft. long,
driven in a manner which will be best understood by a glance at the
statue of "Michael overthrowing Satan." The Krooman's method of baling
is characteristic. Should the canoe fill, all hands jump overboard,
seize the gunwales, and sally her fore and aft till the water flies
out at either end and leaves her absolutely free. We have seen a
canoeman, near Lake Ngami, walk to one end of his leaky craft and, thus
depressing it, cause the water to flow towards him, when, making his
broad foot do duty for a scoop, by a succession of vigorous kicks, he
soon had his canoe as free as he desired.

  [Illustration: MASSOOLAH BOATS.]

{Massoolah boats.}

In many parts of the world, boats of almost any size are built without
metal fastenings, and the Massoolah boat of Madras may be taken as
a fair type of those which are sewn or laced together. It will be
seen in our illustration, copied by permission from a model in the
United Service Museum, that the bottom boards are flat and form an
oval elongated and pointed at the ends, so that the side planks curve
naturally to meet the stem and stern-post, and give the boat an easy
sheer. They are sewn together with coir yarn (or cocoa-nut husk fibre),
the stitches crossing over a wadding of coir or straw, which presses
on the seam and prevents much leakage. They are very elastic and give
to the shock as they take the ground in the surf, which runs sometimes
nearly 16ft. high; they are from 30ft. to 35ft. long, 10ft. or 11ft.
wide, and 7ft. or 8ft. in depth; they pull double banked, six oars on
a side, made of long rough poles with oval pieces of board lashed on
the ends; they are steered by an oar. Our illustration shows also the
catamaran or log float, on which the natives will pass to and from the
shore when no other craft, not even the Massoolah boat, would venture.
It must be remembered, however, that the men are themselves nearly
amphibious, and care as little for being washed off their rafts as so
many frogs; while the letters or small parcels they carry are kept dry
only by being worn in a kind of oil-cloth turban.


{Norwegian boats.}

We have seen very nice boats built in Norway with dowels instead of
nails; they were clinker built, and the dowels were about 1/2in., or
fully as thick as the planking. A number of rods, from 3ft. to 4ft.
long, are planed up to the required size, and cut into lengths say,
when two thicknesses of 1/2in. plank are to be clinched, to 1-1/2in.,
or, when the two planks and a timber of perhaps 1in. are to be
fastened, to 2-1/2in., so that both ends may project a little beyond
the wood they are to fasten; the dowel is then split at each end with a
sharp chisel, taking care that the cut is made at right angles to the
grain of the plank or rib, wedges are driven in, and the end, being
slightly spread out by the use of the clinch hammer, is trimmed off not
too close; the wedges should be all neatly cut with a fine saw, and by
sawing them in breadths from a board, and then splitting them to the
required size, labour may be greatly economised. The holes should be
bored with a sharp centre-bit; and if the dowels fit tightly the wedges
may be dispensed with, as the ends will spread sufficiently under the
clinch hammer without breaking the grain.

In building, if any difficulty should be found in drawing down the end
of the plank to the stem, it will be advisable, after having fitted
it carefully, to slack up the centre, let the end come to its place,
fasten it, and then again bend the plank downwards. In some boats,
especially in the navy, the planks do not run fore and aft, but two
thin layers are crossed over each other diagonally, and clinched
together; this leaves the outside perfectly smooth, and is perhaps the
strongest known method of boat building. In planing up the edges of
planks, &c., it is absolutely necessary to have a vice of some kind,
and nothing is better than a tree vice, unless you have a blacksmith's.
Saw off a young tree from 6in. to 8in. thick, at about 3-1/2ft. from
the ground; saw the stump down the middle as low as you can; bind the
lower part tightly with thongs of raw hide to prevent its splitting,
then insert wedges to open the upper part, put your planks in, withdraw
the wedges, and it will hold tight enough. It is as well to cut the
upper part of the opening sufficiently wide to admit an inch plank, as
short pieces can easily be put in to fill up should you wish to hold a
thinner one.


{Portable steel boat.}

We have already mentioned the principle on which Mr. E. D. Young's
portable steel boat for the Livingstone Search Expedition was built;
and although, as we then said, none but a skilled workman could
hope to turn up the edges of a curved sheet of metal, we think the
principle might be applied to a flat-bottomed boat by merely snipping
the flanges at the turn of the bilge, and bending upward the sides at
any convenient angle; by cutting these more and more diagonally from
the centre, the boat might be tapered to each end--not, indeed, in a
true curve, but in a succession of short straight lines, which would
tolerably represent one.


The number of pieces composing the "Search"--the boat used in the
expedition sent in quest of Dr. Livingstone--were as follows:
Thirty-six side pieces of steel, each being a load for one man; the
midship piece required 2; the stern piece, 3; the bow piece, 3; the
mast, 2; the boom, 2; the sails, 2; chain cable, 6; anchor, 1; and the
whole with provisions, luggage, &c., made up 180 loads.

Captain Faulkner, who, as a volunteer, accompanied Mr. Young on
the Search Expedition, has determined on returning with a party of
ardent hunters and explorers, and an engineer, to Lake Nyassa, and
for this purpose an iron steamer has been built 50ft. long, 5-1/2ft.
deep, and 11-1/2ft. broad. The little craft, appropriately named the
"Faugh-a-ballagh," is composed of 75 sections, put together with 8000
screws, so that she may be carried, as was the "Search," past the
rapids and cataracts of the Shire River.


{American life raft.}

The American life raft "Nonpareil," which recently made the voyage
across the Atlantic, may be taken as a successful application of the
tubular system. It will be seen that she was constructed of three
parallel inflatable tubes, covered with stout canvas, connected by
breadths of the same, and with a rectangular frame laid over all to
support the masts and rudder fittings; but the sketch is introduced
here also to show the use of the droge, by which the little craft may
in effect be anchored in the open sea, or at least may have her drift
effectually checked, while the sea itself is broken before it reaches
her. The droge in the present instance is of canvas, stretched on a
large hoop with four lines, so attached to its circumference that when
the strain comes on it it stands vertically in the water, and opposes
the resistance of its entire surface. The oars or mast, and sails
of a boat, will also answer this purpose; and we have heard of one
instance in which the imperilled crew added also a number of the skins
of freshly-killed seals, the oil working out of which calmed the water
for a considerable distance. It is necessary to watch the length of
the sea, so that the boat may be veered as far from the droge or raft
as it will serve to protect her against the breaking waves. We have
heard the captain of a vessel say that he would never incur the risk
of wearing in a gale, but would rather sacrifice some spar or piece
of lumber to bring the ship's head to the wind. In doing this, the
hawser would be carried round from the droge on the weather bow, under
the bobstays and bowsprit rigging to the lee bow, and finally to the
quarter; the droge would be thrown over, sufficient line paid out, and
then held on to till the ship's head came to the wind; the strain would
be then changed for a moment to the lee bow, and then to the quarter,
whence it would be cut away as the ship fell off upon the other tack.
A spar held by a hawser and bridle, with a stout sail bent to it--the
clews, or lower corners, being weighted with shot, lead, or iron, to
make them heavy--forms an excellent droge for a small craft to lie to

{Temporary repairs of vessels.}

Although this subject may seem almost beyond the province of our work,
it is by no means improbable that explorers may have to turn their
attention to it, or that shipwrecked crews, or dwellers on a lonely
coast, may have to repair or build small craft for themselves. We have
seen first-class waggons built by missionaries, and others have built
vessels; and the reader may remember with advantage the description
given by Ulysses of his laying down side by side ten or a dozen pine
trees more or less smoothed off as a foundation on which to build his
upper works.

During the progress of the North Australian Expedition, we were
ascending the Victoria River with our little schooner, the "Tom
Tough." There was little or no wind, and with the boat ahead towing
and the lead going we were drifting up with a strong flood-tide, and
the captain, elated by success, and anxious to make the most of his
opportunity, kept going onward instead of prudently anchoring while the
tide was still rising. In consequence of this, when the vessel touched
the ground, there was no subsequent rise of water to float her off;
indeed, it was remarked that the water began to fall while the tide
was still running upward, and she was left at low water on the 27th of
September, 1855, on a mud bank, with her bows uncomfortably propped up
by a projecting rock.

On the 29th she floated; but the flood-tide was so nearly done, that we
had no time to choose an anchorage, and the schooner grounding with the
ebb, parted her chain cable and heeled over with the force of the tide
till we could barely stand upon her decks.

Day after day the schooner drifted to and fro upon this sand-bank,
sometimes moving a length or two, and sometimes only a few feet during
a tide; the sand scoured out from beneath her bow and stern, leaving
holes with 6ft. or more of water there, while hillocks accumulated
under her in midship; and the sand seemed to travel so evenly with
her, that the usual criterion--a hand lead, allowed to trail upon the
ground--was of no service in enabling us to estimate the distance she
had moved.

On the 10th of October the decks had rifted, the combings of the main
hatch had started up, the starboard side between the masts was hogged
up 18in., and at the turn of the bilge, where the floor timbers join
the ribs, one of the planks had split for 15ft. or more, leaving spaces
into which the flat hand might easily be passed.

We laid broad strips of blanket and sheepskin well tarred on the
principal rents, and nailed thin planks over them (Fig. 8, p. 170), but
in another day or two she was just as bad on the other side; her stern
was peaked into the air, while her bows dipped about 7ft. into a hole,
the water pouring out of the fresh rifted planking as the tide fell.
The mainmast rose up through the partners, so that we were obliged to
slack off the rigging, and it became a question whether the stanchion
under the main hatch should be knocked away to prevent its bursting up
the deck, or whether it should remain so that the strength of the deck
might keep the bottom a little longer from breaking.

On the 25th we again floated, after nearly a month of straining to and
fro upon the sand-banks, and drifted rather than navigated the vessel
up to the camp we had established below Steep-head.

Captain Gourlay with his crew, and some of the expedition men, found
suitable trees some little distance up the river at Timber Creek,
which, however, after a rather exciting adventure with some wandering
natives, acquired the name of Cut-Stick Creek instead. Two long heavy
gum trees as straight as possible were selected, brought to the
vessel, and laid as sister keelsons (Fig. 2) alongside the real one,
which, as well as all the original framework, is marked Fig. 1 in our
illustration. Three or four pair of heavy crooks, each representing the
half of a floor timber (Fig. 3), were then laid on the inner skin, with
the inner ends abutting on the sister keelson, and the outer reaching
up above the junction of the ribs with the floor heads. Heavy riders
(Fig. 4) were placed upon them crossing the three keelsons, and were
secured by clamps (Fig. 5) made of the tires of our dray wheels, which
we had no hope of being able to put to their proper use. Being now
above the rise and fall of the tide we could not beach the vessel, and,
therefore, the frame could only be bolted to the true sides above the
water line (Fig. 6), but it was pressed down upon the bottom not only
by its own weight but by stanchions (Fig. 7) between it and the deck


The schooner being detained for repairs, it was decided to undertake an
expedition to the Albert River in the long boat; and thus, by reaching
Mr. Gregory in time to assure him that a vessel was coming, prevent
his starting for the colony with insufficient supplies; Mr. George
Phibbs, the overseer of the expedition, and Mr. Graham, the mate of the
"Messenger," volunteering for the trip, we commenced our preparations.
The boat was cleaned, repainted, the leaks stopped; and two inflatable
tubes were made, each of them of one piece of canvas, 14ft. long, lined
with waterproofed calico, folded so that the two sides should come
together, a rope along the seam, with eyes turned in at the corners,
to make it fast by, and, with one of the screw valves from our worn-out
boat (p. 48), let into the after end, to receive the nozzle of the
bellows. These we at first intended to stretch beneath the thwarts,
inside, but eventually laced them outside each gunwale, where they were
less in the way, and, when kept in a state of semi-inflation, projected
sufficiently to prevent a great deal of the ripple of the sea washing
into the boat, and this advantage we made the most of when we were
fairly at sea, by fitting light bamboo stanchions forward, and securing
the tubes to them, so as to make a kind of raised wash streak round the


We left the vessel on the 23rd of October off New Year's Island, and
at first had fine weather with good working breezes, but in a few days
strong adverse gales came on. On the 2nd of November we worked all day
clawing off a lee shore, the sea raging furiously over the shallow
bottom; but our boat, though only 18ft. long and 6ft. beam, behaved
well, and we weathered the rocks by less than a quarter of a mile
after sunset. Darkness came on at once, and, as we dare not run in for
shelter, we made the boat snug and hove to under foresail and mainsail
all night. We ran through between the Crocodile islands, the crest
of the short sea behind us foaming around our quarters, while our
bowsprit was actually dipping in the next, and began to fear that we
should have to pass the islands without finding a shelter, when Phibbs
volunteered to swim ashore. We let go our carronade as an anchor, and
ran in to the full length of the line; he sprang overboard, and with
some difficulty reached the shore, where he soon found a quiet little
nook to which he beckoned us to steer.

We will only add that on the 17th of November, after having sailed
nearly 750 miles, we reached the mouth of the Albert River, in the Gulf
of Carpentaria.

{Sails and their substitutes.}

We cannot dismiss the subject of boats without appending a few remarks
on such simple forms of sails as are likely to be of service in such
small craft as a traveller might possess, and we shall take, as the
maximum, one of those swift and handy fore and aft schooners in which
the Americans push their trade in all quarters of the world. Each lower
mast and topmast would most likely be in one piece, combining great
strength with neatness, and obviating the necessity for much staying.
The bowsprit is also of a single piece; the sails are a jib from the
foremast head to the bowsprit end, a forestaysail set to the stem
head, a foresail and mainsail on gaffs made to lower when the sail is
reefed or taken in; the foot of the mainsail is always extended by a
boom, and that of the foresail sometimes; if they are laced to the
boom, as in the yacht "America," which had booms even to the foot of
her jibs, the sails sit flatter and better on a wind, but if they are
not, there is the advantage of being able to reduce the sails without
the trouble of reefing, by tricing up the foot; gaff topsails may be
either jib-headed, like the fore, or on a gaff, like the main, in Fig.
1. The mainstay causes some little difficulty; if it goes from mast to
mast, the tack and sheet of the fore gaff topsail must be passed over
to leeward of it when the vessel goes about; if it leads down to the
deck there must be two parts, one on each side the foresail, and the
lee one ought to be slacked, and the weather one set up on each tack.
If a foreyard, or rather a cross-jack, is carried, a flying squaresail,
half the width of the yard, may be sent up on the weather side, and a
topsail may be set in the same manner, the fore and aft sails supplying
canvas enough on the lee side.

The cutter (No. 2) has a jib, a foresail on the stay, and a mainsail;
the jib topsail runs with grummets on the topmast stay, but the
halyards only reach the lowermast head; a lug-headed gaff topsail gives
opportunity for a greater spread of canvas.

The boat (No. 3) is rigged with foresail and spritsail. An eye in the
peak of the latter receives the upper point of the sprit, while the
lower end is set into the eye of a snorter, a bight of rope passing
round the mast and tightened chiefly by the strain of the sail upon it.
Sometimes it is pushed up by hand while the sail shakes, so as to set
it properly up, but it is better to have a small tackle as seen on page
171 to set it up with.

  [Illustration: 1-4]

No. 4 has shoulder-of-mutton sails, the peaks of which are bent on to
small taper yards which slide up and down on and abaft the lower masts
like gunter topmasts; this facilitates the reefing of the sails, and
also the setting of the jib from the foremast head.

No. 5 is a lugger, the yards are slung in the thirds, the shortest
and thickest arm is forward, and the longest tapers aft; the foremost
leach of the sail is very strongly roped, so that the tack holds down
the forearm and elevates the peak. Sometimes in well-manned vessels
the lugs are dipped so as to pass to leeward of the mast whenever they
go about, and in this case the tack may be bowsed down considerably in
front of the mast and a large sail carried; but in short-handed craft
the tacks are brought down to the mast, and the foresail and mizen are
set on one side and the mainsail on the other, and are not dipped. The
after leach of the jib must be cut so as to go clear of the foreyard,
the topmasts to slide abaft the lower masts; and there is always some
difficulty in setting a fore topsail, as there must either be a double
tack to pass the sail over the jib halyard in going about, or its fore
leach must remain to leeward of it.

The lateen (No. 6) has triangular sails with very long taper yards, the
head and fore leach becoming one; indeed, if there be any distinct fore
leach, the sail becomes an ill-shaped lug, and not a lateen. The masts
are somewhat short; sometimes mere stumps, but then the halyards and
the tacks must be enormously strong to counterpoise the immense length
of the yard.

The proa sail (Figs. 7 and 8, p. 173), a triangle spread upon two
bamboos, hitched upon a stump mast in small boats, we have described
at p. 135. No. 9 is a modification of it, by which a boat sets jib and
mainsail in one, the angle formed by the yard and boom becomes more
acute at each reef as indicated by the lines. It would be difficult,
however, to work the boat without a small mizen to help her round in
staying. No. 10 is the shoulder-of-mutton sail, set on a single taper
yard or mast.


Palm leaves are sometimes used as sails; our sketch represents three
or more cocoanut leaves, so woven together as to present a surface
to receive the wind. Blankets and articles of clothing are used in
emergencies. Oars are set up, and a boat will gather considerable way
under them. Planks, the broader and flatter the better, are excellent
substitutes, and may be trimmed at pleasure. It must not be forgotten
that, however graceful in art and poetry the bellying canvas may be,
the chief object of the sailmaker is to get it "to sit like a board."


{Reefing of sails from the sides.}

Sometimes when a sail is split, or otherwise rendered unserviceable,
it is desirable to use another for a substitute without spoiling it by
cutting. We remember reading of a vessel in which the topsail was split
in a heavy gale; a spare foresail was got out and stout bands sewed on
it, from the clews to the reef-band, diminishing upwards to the width
the topsail head ought to be; eyelet holes were worked in, points or
lacings inserted, and the sail, thus reduced, sent up to do duty as a


Captain (now Admiral Sir E.) Belcher, when in command of H.M.S.
"Sulphur," made use of a very clever expedient for imparting motion
to his vessel when the wind failed. He constructed a couple of bolts,
with stout umbrella framework covered with canvas at their heads, and
with their butts so thickened as to fit loosely into the bow guns. A
line was attached to each butt, and one was given in charge to the
port and the other to the starboard watch; the first was fired to
a good distance ahead, and as soon as the line was hauled upon the
frame expanded and opposed its full resistance, so that, as it could
not be drawn backwards through the water, the vessel must begin to
move. Before this was hauled in the next was fired, the ship would
increase her rate of progress, and, the impetus being once acquired,
she would "hold her way," so that eventually the men would have little
more to do than gather in the slack of the line. No sailor likes the
inaction of a calm, and besides this the captain had judged rightly
in exciting the emulation of his men by giving one to each watch, and
further stimulating it by an occasional glass of grog to the hardest
working side, so that the cry of the port watch would be, "Haul away,
and run her up to the umbrella before the starbowlines get theirs
laid out," and _vice versâ_, till sometimes a speed of four knots an
hour was obtained. Thus was the good ship hauled out of many a belt
of calms, and brought into the region of the winds, which might be
only a few miles distant, while other vessels not so provided might
have lain becalmed for weeks; and not only this, but her position
in a bay or anchorage could be shifted at pleasure, and she became
almost independent of wind or extraneous assistance by this ingenious

Paddles worked by mill sails have been proposed; but of these it will
be sufficient to remark that the power of the paddles to drive the
vessel's head to wind will be less than that of the wind to drive her
backward by the full amount of all that is expended in overcoming the
friction of the machinery; in every other position the wind on the
sails would do its work without the paddles.

{Hints in emergencies.}

A Prussian vessel, with the leaks gaining on her and her crew
exhausted, was saved by lashing a spar across the mainmast, with one
end projecting overboard with a barrel half full of water fast to it,
so as to rise and fall with the sea. The pump brakes were made fast
to the spar, and the vessel was thus kept afloat, while the crew were
relieved from their labour.

A boat has been known to come ashore safe through a heavy sea by means
of a handful of oil judiciously thrown over by one of the men whenever
a wave threatened to break near her; and Captain Basil Hall relates how
one of his boats was hove to all night under a droge of all her spars
and sails and two or three seal skins, the oil of which working out
calmed the water for a considerable distance.

Instances of this kind might be indefinitely multiplied; but we note
only a few as suggestions. No amount that we could give would supply
the want of presence of mind and the ready power of adapting the means
at hand to the emergency.

Our space will not allow us to go into all the details of boat sailing,
but we must find room for one or two general rules. In seeking to land
through breakers, which must always be effected by the oars, wait just
outside them till you find the heaviest roller coming in; then give
way, and come in upon it, with your boat's bow all but overhanging its
crest, and, as it lands, you jump out and haul your boat beyond the
power of its reflux. Some crews are in the habit of giving two or three
powerful strokes just before they reach the shore, and then pitching
their oars simultaneously as far from them as possible, picking them up
again when they have secured their boat. It is well, however, to know
that there is no current to set the oars out to sea before doing this.

In coming off face the breakers boldly, but judiciously watch the
smaller waves, and give her good way through them. Keep your boat's
head on to the sea, and never let her take a breaker more than two
points on either bow.

Trim the sails so that when brought to the wind the boat will very
nearly steer herself, and she will attain her utmost speed. The action
of the rudder has always a slightly-retarding influence, but if there
is any want of balance let it be on the side of ardency or tendency to
fly up in the wind, so that she may carry a little weather helm rather
than want helping up by a lee one, and thus, in case of sudden squalls,
the boat will, as if by instinct, obey the first touch of the lee helm,
and, shaking the wind out of her sails, will right herself. The main
sheet of an open boat should never be made fast, but held either by the
steersman, or some one near him, in readiness to ease off. A squall
seldom comes so suddenly that the first puff, if well watched, will not
help the boat into the wind before the full strength comes; but on the
coast of Australia we have known a squall come so suddenly through the
dead calm of the night that it struck us at once like a blow from a
sledge-hammer, and, though we had taken all the usual precautions, the
sea was pouring like a jet-black cataract flecked with diamonds over
8ft. of the lee gunwale before the boat came to the wind; and we would
say, therefore, if there is not an air to bring the boat's head up when
you expect a squall, help her with the sweep of an oar into the best
position to receive it.

If you want to carry on sail do not attempt to stiffen the boat by
making all the crew sit to windward; for, should the mast break, as
is not unlikely with the increased strain, nothing can prevent her
capsizing; let them sit in the bottom. In the way of ballast, nothing
can be better than bags nearly filled with fresh water. They will
assume the form of any place you want to stow them in, and will not
sink the boat if she should fill; in fact, being lighter than salt
water, they would impart a trifling buoyancy.

{Temporary rudders.}

The loss of the rudder, an accident which is by no means so unfrequent
at sea as may be imagined, involves also, for a time at least, the loss
of control over the vessel's course. Even in the open sea this must be
attended with considerable peril; but when it happens in the vicinity
of rocks or shoals, and the vessel has not sea-room, the danger becomes
appalling. The careful and vigilant trimming of the sails is the
readiest means of regaining command of the vessel, and we believe the
"Wager" was extricated from a most perilous position by this alone;
but it is a work of immense labour, and harasses the crew severely.
A stream cable payed out astern, and veered to either quarter, is
sometimes used; or, if the accident should occur in moderate weather,
by striking on a bar, the jolly boat with the plug out may be lowered
and towed astern, but both these plans check the speed of the vessel,
and are only useful when they can be made to impede one side more than
the other; and that this is not the true principle of steering is
known to every butcher's boy, who apologises for wearing but one spur
by saying "if one side of his horse goes the other must." The rudder
may be considered as a continuation of the keel, capable of moving on
a hinge to an angle of 22-1/2° on either side, and when the vessel
moves forward, and the helm, for instance, is put to port, the water
impinging on the starboard side of the rudder is reflected from it at
an equal square to that of its incidence, and the resulting force tends
to drive the stern to port and incline the head to starboard. But as
the force acts in the direction of a line midway between the angles of
incidence and of reflection, it has also a retarding tendency, and if
the helm were put over to an angle of 45° the greater part of the power
would be expended in stopping rather than in steering the vessel. If
a ship could be made so flexible as to be converted like a fish into
the segment of a circle either way at pleasure, the very perfection of
steering would be attained, and the rudder is merely the best imitation
of this that can be devised.


Our illustration shows one expedient for the remedy of the misfortunes
we have named. A warp or cable is faked down upon the deck in lengths
equal to that of the required rudder, all the parts are then so closely
pressed together that it resembles a board of the required breadth; it
is then stiffened by longitudinal and cross bars, a weight is attached
to the bottom, and a tiller projects aft, from the extremity of which
the steering tackles (A) lead in over each quarter. When lowered into
its place, the heel is confined to the stern-post by chains or hawsers
leading to the gangway on either side, and in the present instance
ropes are reeved through the gudgeons on the stern-post. Sometimes two
parts of the cable are left longer than the rest to come up the rudder
trunk and form the neck of the rudder, a short spar passed through the
bight on deck serves to suspend the whole. Very frequently, however,
when the rudder goes, the gudgeons, and perhaps also part of the
stern-post, are carried away, and it then becomes necessary to devise
some plan which shall supply their loss.


Several expedients are given in the _Nautical Magazine_ for 1836,
and from these we extract two or three examples. A spar, such as the
spanker-boom or jibboom, is first passed over the stern, secured to
the centre of the taffrail by temporary "partners," and to the heel of
the stern-post by stout guys leading forward to the gangways on either
side; the gaff is then fitted on this, just as it would be on a mast,
and one of the smallest and stoutest storm staysails is laced, with the
head downwards, to the upright spar, and also to the gaff, the foot
of the sail being cut off, if it be too large. It is then hauled down
to the lower end by a halyard previously reeved, and the gaff, which
should go a little below the surface of the water, is hoisted until the
sail sits "as flat" as a board. If greater power is thought necessary,
the outer end of the gaff can be sawn vertically down the centre, and
boards clinched in, as shown in the sketch (Fig. 3); or either the
sail or boards might be used separately. The ship is steered by guys
leading from near the end of the gaff over each quarter. Sometimes the
principle of the steering oar is adopted: a spar, with planks fastened
on its outer end, is got over, and the foremost end is fitted to the
stern by ring-bolts or lashings, so as to allow it to work freely
without too much play. The outer end is kept down either by a lower guy
or by a piece of pig ballast or other weight; and if a topping-lift be
attached, leading to a boom over the stern and thence to the mizen
topmast-head, the oar may be lifted out of the water when one stroke
has been completed, carried back again to the other side, and thus
bring the ship's head round by a succession of sweeps.

Sometimes it is necessary to make a temporary stern-post, and the spare
lower cap (which, however, we may remark, is generally stowed away
where it is least likely to be found on an emergency) can be fitted
on this by enlarging the masthead hole and securing it, as before,
by lower guys. A topmast, with its heel upwards, may be passed down
through it, and such additional spars or planking bolted on as will
give the needful increase of breadth. The surface should be as smooth
as circumstances permit, so that the water may glance off readily; the
fid-hole will then receive the tiller, but the spar must be well banded
or lashed round to prevent its splitting with the strain, or perhaps
breaking off where the sheave-hole weakens it.


{Scarfing or fishing of broken spars.}

The captain of our battered little vessel had always some rough and
ready expedient at his finger-ends. When one of the iron davits of
the quarter boat was bent by a collision, he extemporised a forge
with some pig ballast, on deck, and, though the planks beneath were
somewhat scorched, he rendered the davit again effective. Once, when
running before the wind, the mainsail jibed in consequence of careless
steering, and the boom, being fastened by a "lazy guy," a slovenly
shift a little too common among us, broke short off; however, a good
stout plank was found, cut into four pieces, which were laid round
the fractured part so as to inclose it in a kind of packing-case, of
which the four sides did not meet at their edges; wooldings of rope
were passed round at intervals and tightened by driving in wedges,
and the boom, though somewhat clumsy, was again fit for duty. (See

If a spar, with both ends alike, breaks at either end, a very neat and
effective scarf may be made by sawing it down the centre and reversing
the two parts, end for end, so that the fracture in one half may come
against the unbroken part of the other, as in our sketch (p. 181). If
the fracture is long, there may be no need for that unsightly appendage
called a fish, and, even if it is short, a very small one will serve
the purpose.


If a mast breaks, much above the deck, it may be again used, with
little or no diminution of its strength, by reversing it, and stepping
what used to be the masthead upon the keelson, so that the fractured
part may come below the deck, while that which was the heel is shaped
and fitted to become the head. It will be evident from the sketches we
give that in a ship with a very deep hold, where very nearly half the
mast is below the deck, this plan is more likely to be of service than
in a shallow one, where the part below bears but a small proportion to
that above.

       *       *       *       *       *


As a substitute or as an auxiliary to the common sails, or as a means
of sending up a signal or effecting communication between a ship and a
lee shore, a kite of sufficient power would frequently be useful.

Every voyager knows how frequently all the lower and larger sails of a
vessel are becalmed, the uppermost and smallest catching only a gentle
air, while at a little height above them the wind, as indicated by the
fleecy clouds, may be blowing much more briskly.

In this case, when even the flying kites, as the upper sails are
figuratively called, have become useless, real kites flying at a
sufficient elevation would do good service; and even though the wind
might not be fair, still so long as it was a little abaft the beam
the vessel might be steered to her course. One thing must be kept in
mind, and that is, that when it has once fallen calm below the kites
cannot be raised to the breeze that is blowing above, therefore it
would be well either to send them up before the breeze fails, or at
least to send up in preparation a small one, to the line of which the
larger could be hitched, and jerked clear when it had been carried to a
sufficient altitude.

A kite of 12ft. in height spreads about 50ft. square of canvas, and
will pull, in a fresh breeze, with a strength of about 200lb., if
the height were doubled the strength would, of course, be fourfold;
and as it would act as a lifting or buoyant instead of a depressing
sail, the only risk in "carrying on" would be the parting of the line
connecting it with the vessel; on this account it would be the best
possible form of sail to rig in an open and over-crowded boat when
leaving a wreck, for its tendency would be to lift the bows over the
seas instead of depressing them. And even if a man about to risk the
passage by swimming from a stranded ship to a lee shore could send up
a small kite, such as he could make with a cotton shirt, a couple of
sticks, and a few fathoms of fishing line, it would most likely buoy
him over the crests of the breakers in which he would otherwise be
overwhelmed. But the greatest objection to the general use of the kite
is, that in the usual mode of flying we have no command of it except
that of letting it go higher or hauling it in at the risk of breaking
the line; this has been met by a very ingenious invention, and although
it is patented, we think that we may do the public some service, and
Mr. Pocock, the patentee, no harm, by describing it.

  [Illustration: POCOCK'S KITE.]

The common form of kite is best. The standard is made into two or three
equal lengths, connected either by fishing-rod, by tent-pole, or by
parasol joints; the wings have hinges at the head of the standard,
and, if large, joints in each pinion. The flight band consists of two
lines, the uppermost of which has an eye upon it through which the
lower, called the brace line, reeves, and both come down to the hand
of the conductor, and by these the deviation of the standard from the
perpendicular is controlled. By hauling on the brace line the surface
is opposed fairly to the full strength of the wind (Fig. 1); by
slackening it the kite floats more horizontally, allowing the wind to
pass gently beneath it, so that even in the strongest gale the power
may be regulated at pleasure (Fig. 3). The power may be increased by
backing the first with a second kite as in Fig. 2, all the lines of
the second kite being made fast to their corresponding places on the
first, so that both assume the same relative position in all cases.
Two smaller lines from the wings, also passing through eyes on the
upper line, act as braces by which to trim the kite upon a wind; and it
appears from a diagram given by the inventor that a vessel braced sharp
up will lie within about five and a half points of the wind, or as
close as most vessels can with their usual sails, and, therefore, may
turn to windward. With a kite the operation of tacking would be very
easy. Even should the boat not answer her helm, the kite line taken
aft would bring her head up to the wind, and, being carried round on
the other quarter, and again forward to its proper place, would help
her to her proper course; and in manoeuvring the absence of masts
would be an advantage rather than not. A carriage with the fore wheels
capable of being turned by a tiller would also turn to windward, and
the draught power might be increased at pleasure by backing one kite
with another, the connecting lines all being fastened in their proper
places, as in the illustration (p. 183), so that whatever change of
position was imparted to the lowermost kite might be also assumed by
all that were harnessed to it.

Signals by day or night might be sent up with great facility by
hitching the halyard block upon any part of the kite line, when the
flags or lanterns might be sent far above any spars or sails that could
obstruct the view of them. In case of shipwreck, even a common kite
extemporised with the roughest materials would very generally be useful.

                 OF A KITE.]

When the ship is on a lee shore, a common kite, flown from on board,
could not fail to bring a line to land, and, with this communication
once established, all hands could probably be saved. Their own boat
might be veered ashore, or the men sling themselves with grummets and
warp themselves hand over hand; or if passengers are on board, a cot
or hammock, slung to notched blocks running on a hawser with a line
to haul it back to the vessel, and one to bring it again towards the
shore, might be employed.

But with kites rigged as we have described, there would have been a
greater chance of safety, for they may be braced to fly three and a
half points either way from the direction of the wind, and if they are
employed to carry a grapnel or small kedge, they may be braced and
veered within a limit of seven points of the compass towards a suitable
spot; may be lowered gradually by the slacking of the brace line, and,
if the hold is not good, again elevated by hauling it in, to drop the
anchor in a more suitable spot.

In our full-page illustration the extemporised kite is not so
completely rigged, but the flight line is led through a block, so that
the wrecked crew could make fast to one end a stronger line; and,
having hauled that through, could next bend on a sufficiently stout

The inventor states that he has travelled in a carriage, at twenty
miles per hour; that a boat so drawn outsailed the speediest vessels
of the usual rig; that a lady ascended to a height of a hundred yards;
and that his son, with a 30ft. kite, scaled a cliff 200ft. high. Tho
main and brace line of a kite of this size were 1/2in. in diameter,
the braces (proper) were somewhat smaller. The discovery that a statue
once stood on Pompey's Pillar was made by some merchant captains who
ascended it by means of a line carried over by a kite.

       *       *       *       *       *

{Weather signs.}

The canoe or boat voyager should at all times pay particular attention
to the instructions which foretell the approach of storms; these are
not at all times so unmistakable as to enable him to surely count on
the kind of day or night which he has to pass through; still, the
remarks of the late Admiral Fitzroy, published by the Board of Trade,
are of much practical value:

"Whether clear or cloudy, a rosy sky at sunset presages fine weather;
a red sky in the morning, bad weather, or much wind (perhaps rain); a
grey sky in the morning, fine weather; a high dawn, wind; a low dawn,
fair weather. Soft-looking or delicate clouds foretell fine weather,
with moderate or light breezes; hard-edged oily-looking clouds,
wind. A dark, gloomy blue sky is windy; but a light, bright blue sky
indicates fine weather. Generally, the softer the clouds look, the
less wind (but, perhaps, more rain) may be expected; and the harder,
more 'greasy,' rolled, tufted, or ragged, the stronger the coming wind
will prove. Also, a bright yellow sky at sunset presages wind; a pale
yellow, wet; and thus, by the prevalence of red, yellow, or grey tints,
the coming weather may be foretold very nearly, indeed, if aided by
instruments, almost exactly. Small inky-looking clouds foretell rain;
light scud-clouds driving across heavy masses show wind and rain; but,
if alone, may indicate wind only. High upper clouds crossing the sun,
moon, or stars, in a direction different from that of the lower clouds,
or the wind then felt below, foretell a change of wind. When sea-birds
fly out early, and far to seaward, moderate wind and fair weather may
be expected; when they hang about the land, or over it, sometimes
flying inland, expect a strong wind with stormy weather. There are
other signs of a coming change in the weather known less generally than
may be desirable, and, therefore, worth notice; such as when birds
of long flight, rooks, swallows, or others, hang about home, or fly
up and down or low--rain or wind may be expected. Also, when animals
seek sheltered places, instead of spreading over their usual range;
when pigs carry straw to their sties; when smoke from chimneys does
not ascend readily (or straight upwards during calm), an unfavourable
change is probable. Dew is an indication of fine weather: so is fog.
Neither of these two formations occur under an overcast sky, or when
there is much wind. One sees fog occasionally rolled away, as it were,
by wind, but seldom or never formed while it is blowing."

       *       *       *       *       *


The traveller will not unfrequently wish to render sailcloth, duck,
calico, and other materials water-proof; few handy methods surpass that
of the Chinese. They proceed as follows: to every ounce of melted white
wax is added one quart of spirits of turpentine. The mixture must be
stirred with a stick until quite cold, when the material to be treated
is thoroughly dipped, allowed to drain out, and then finally hung by
the corners in a current of air to dry. In making common tarpaulins it
is well to soak the canvas thoroughly in sea-water before laying on the
dressing, and as the water evaporates the tar penetrates the fabric. In
Africa we used the acrid milky juice of the _Euphorbium_, mixed with
a little boiled oil, on calico. It was very flexible, and perfectly
protected a common open packing-case, with books and papers, on the
deck of the vessel from the Cape to London. Boiled linseed oil, when
allowed to soak into linen or cotton cloth, much increases its power of
resisting the action of water.

       *       *       *       *       *

{The deep-water glass.}

To those who are engaged in boat expeditions, researches along the
sea-coast, or lake investigations, it is of the greatest importance to
be able to see far down into the depths below; as, for example, for
the recovery of sunken seals, which often go to the bottom like lead
when struck dead by a shot, the examination of rocks, and the detection
of lost objects. The late Mr. Wheelwright gives such a thoroughly
practical account of his deep-water glass that we insert it in his own
words: "I have had a little experience myself in seal-shooting off our
north-west coast, and when I first began I had the mortification of
seeing many a seal which I had shot stone dead go down like a plummet,
and we lost him. But afterwards we used a seal-glass, a kind of machine
very similar to a small hand-churn, like a bucket, about one yard high,
tapering towards the top, about 9in. wide at the top and 18in. at the
bottom. Of course the top was open, and in the middle of the bottom was
fitted a square piece of glass (I believe common window glass). As soon
as a seal sunk dead, we cast over a small buoy, kept in its place by
a grapnel, as near the spot where the seal sank as possible, and then
we examined the bottom after this fashion: We sunk the glass over the
boat's side (just where we fancied the dead seal lay) into the water,
within about two inches of the top (glass downwards), and by steadily
looking down through the little glass window we could distinctly see
the bottom of the sea and what lay on it. As soon as we saw the dead
seal we hooked him up with a line and a drag. I don't know what is the
greatest depth of water in which such a glass is available, and it is
now some time since I used one; but I am sure I have often seen a dead
seal lying in eight or ten fathoms; and just round the rocks where we
shot the seals the water was never very deep, but still we rarely could
see the bottom with the naked eye. I do not believe the glass at all
has any magnifying properties, but I suppose the focus of vision is
better concentrated below the surface of the waves in the comparatively
still water. I was at this time living with one of the Customs'
officers on the coast, who often used such a glass with great success
in finding kegs that were sunk by smugglers off this coast.

       *       *       *       *       *

{Treatment of the apparently drowned.}

Our remarks and directions concerning the various means which may be
had recourse to for traversing rivers, lakes, and the sea would be
incomplete without instructions for the restoration of the apparently
drowned. None that can be drawn up are more perfect than those given by
the authority of the Royal Lifeboat Institution, which were published,
with some of the following remarks, in the _Field_ newspaper some short
time since:--"Hanging the body up by the heels to drain out the water
which is supposed to have been swallowed, is not one of the least
injurious of the popular expedients in cases of suspended animation,
and it is, in itself, sufficient to keep up the engorgement of the
brain, which is one of the chief dangers to be apprehended. So, also,
warm baths, tobacco smoke, and other depressing influences, should be
strictly prohibited; and also that horrible practice of rolling the
body over and over, which is so frequently adopted by those who are
ignorant of its effects. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and
Humane Society constantly circulate printed papers containing cautions
against the adoption of these expedients; but, unfortunately, they are
seldom to be met with when they are wanted, and, on that account, we
venture to impress upon our readers the importance of making themselves
intimately acquainted not only with the objectionable practices to
which we have alluded, but also with the methods which scientific men
are agreed upon as those most likely to restore the circulation and

"In the first place, it may be observed that for several hours after
the submersion all hope of recovery should not be given up, unless it
is declared by a medical man of experience that life is extinct. The
signs by which this opinion may be formed are pretty clear to him, but
by an ordinary spectator they are liable to be mistaken, since they
are all more or less comparative in their nature. When, however, for
half an hour there is not the slightest evidence of breathing, or of
the action of the heart--when the eyelids are half closed, with the
pupils turned upwards and dilated, the jaws clenched, and the fingers
semi-contracted--there is little doubt about the result, especially
if the tongue is partially protruded, and the lips and nostrils are
covered with frothy mucus. The temperature of the body is often not a
reliable sign, because that is kept up by artificial means; but if, in
spite of these, and in addition to the existence of the above symptoms,
the coldness of the surface is very manifest, even if there is no
medical authority for the relaxation of all efforts at restoration, it
can serve little purpose to persevere. Still it is better to err on the
safe side, and in this country there is seldom a long interval of doubt.

"But supposing a body to be brought out of the water, it becomes a
question, What shall be done? Shall it be taken to the nearest house,
or at once be treated on the spot? The answer is, proceed at once in
the open air, whether on shore or afloat, and lose not a moment in the
attempt to _restore breathing_, and _keep up the temperature of the
body by the application of dry heat_. The first of these is the main
object, and the second must be for a short time sacrificed to it, but
only for a few minutes, after which the two objects must be jointly
pursued. These efforts must be continued energetically till they are
either found to be successful, or declared to be useless. Should the
breathing be restored, the circulation should next be encouraged by
rubbing the limbs in the direction of the heart, with firm and steady
pressure, and with the aid, if possible, of warm flannels or silk
handkerchiefs, protected by a blanket over all. Beyond these general
directions, however, it is necessary to give others more minute, and
this will be best done in the words used in the printed directions of
the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which are given in a succinct
tabular form, and should be hung up in every public place near which
accidental drowning is at all likely to occur." These directions are as

 _To clear the Throat._                       DIMINUTION OF WARMTH.

   1. Place the patient on the floor or         N.B.--These efforts must
 ground with his face downwards, and one      be made very cautiously,
 of his arms under the forehead, in which     and must not be such as
 position all fluids will escape by the       to promote _Warmth_ and
 mouth, and the tongue itself will fall       _circulation rapidly_; for
 forward, leaving the entrance into the       if circulation is induced
 windpipe free. Assist this operation by      before breathing has been
 wiping and cleansing the mouth.              restored, the life of the
                                              patient will be endangered.
   2. If satisfactory breathing commences,    No other effect, therefore,
 adopt the treatment described below to       should be sought from
 promote warmth and natural breathing. If     them, than the prevention
 there be only slight breathing, or no        of evaporation, and its
 breathing, or if it fail, then--             result, the diminution of
                                              the warmth of the body.
 _To excite Breathing_--
                                                1. Expose the face,
   3. Turn the patient well and instantly     neck, and chest, except
 on the side, and--                           in severe weather (such
                                              as heavy rain, frost, or
   4. Excite the nostrils with snuff,         snow).
 harts-horn, smelling salts, or tickle
 the throat with a feather, &c., if they        2. Dry the face, neck,
 are at hand. Rub the chest and face warm,    and chest, as soon as
 and dash cold water on it.                   possible with handkerchiefs
                                              or anything at hand;
   5. If there be no success, lose not a      and then dry the hands
 moment, but instantly                        and feet.

 _To imitate Breathing_--

   6. Replace the patient on the face, raising
 and supporting the chest well on a folded
 coat or other article of dress.

   7. Turn the body very gently on the side
 and a little beyond, and then briskly on the
 face, back again; repeating these measures
 deliberately, efficiently, and perseveringly
 about fifteen times in the minute, or          3. As soon as a blanket
 once every four seconds, occasionally        or other covering can be
 varying the side:                            obtained, strip the body;
                                              but if no covering can
 [_by placing the patient on the chest,       be immediately procured,
 the weight of the body forces the air out;   take dry clothing from
 when turned on the side, this pressure is    he bystanders, dry and
 removed, and air enters the chest._]         re-clothe the body, taking
                                              care not to interfere with
   8. On each occasion that the body is       the efforts to restore
 replaced on the face, make uniform but       breathing.
 efficient pressure with brisk movement,
 on the back between and below the
 shoulder-blades or bones on each side,
 removing the pressure immediately before
 turning the body on the side:

 [_the first measure increases the
 expiration, the second commences

 [stars] The result is--_Respiration_ or
 _Natural Breathing_; and, if not too
 late, _Life_.


   1. Be particularly careful to prevent
 persons crowding round the body.

   2. Avoid all rough usage and turning
 the body on the back.

   3. Under no circumstances hold the body
 up by the feet.

 N.B. The directions are printed in parallel columns to avoid confusion,
 and to insure that the efforts to obtain both objects shall be
 carried on at the same time.

                              CHAPTER III.

                           WORKING IN METALS.

It would be of great advantage to every traveller if before starting
on an expedition he were to spend a few hours in learning from a
blacksmith how to weld together two pieces of iron, and from a tinman
how to solder tin or copper. In the absence of this experience, a man
who is determined to help himself need not despair of success if he
will bear in mind that the chief essentials in both cases are proper
heat, strict cleanliness, and sufficient quickness of manipulation
without hurry. If the traveller possesses a portable forge, it is most
likely he will have learned how to use it before starting; if not, he
may in many countries, South Africa especially, find almost in every
tribe some native who could make one; or if not, he might adopt some
of the expedients described under that head. His first care should
be to see that his fire burns clearly and with sufficient intensity,
and this he may aid by occasionally dashing in a little water, which,
by the decomposition of the gases, will increase the heat under the
direct blast, while the surplus, falling on the surrounding coal, will
prevent the fire spreading farther than is requisite. The broken ends
of the iron to be rejoined should then be placed in the fire, one of
them in the centre of the heat, and the other near enough to acquire a
preparatory warmth; the first, heated to a bright orange red, should
be taken out and thickened by stamping the broken point upon the anvil
till it is considerably shorter than before; if the heat is sufficient,
the scarf, or smooth diagonal surface which is to form one part of
the welded joint, may be worked upon it; if not, it must be returned
to the fire while the other part is taken out and driven up in the
same manner. In using the hammer, some care is needful to proportion
the force of the blow to the size and comparative heat of the metal
you are working, and also to turn the iron under the hammer so that
each stroke shall help to consolidate the mass instead of splitting it
into fibres. When the surfaces of the scarf are worked smooth, fair,
and perfectly free from scales or dirt of any kind, place them side
by side in the fire and bring them to an intense white heat, so that
when drawn forth they may almost spontaneously give off small white
sparks. We would add a caution against burning the iron, or partially
fusing it, by too much heat, but we do not think a traveller with an
extempore forge is in much danger of doing this. The anvil should now
be perfectly clean; the "smith," with his hammer ready in his right
hand, should grasp with his left one of the pieces while his attendant
draws out the other and lays it with the scarfed side uppermost on the
anvil; prompt action without hurry is now the one thing needful: the
smith withdraws his piece, lays it with its scarf turned downwards
on that of the assistant's, and with one decisive stroke of the
hand-hammer unites them; a few more smart and rapid strokes while the
iron is slightly turned to and fro to receive them properly, complete
the union; and when the first heat is lost the iron is again put into
the fire, and the joint which, owing to the thickening and shortening
previously described, should present a clumsy appearance, may be
trimmed and hammered down to its proper dimensions, the iron, if this
is neatly done, having lost but little of its original length; and
it is now for the operator to judge whether he will restore this by
beating the metal a little thinner or sacrifice a little of it for the
sake of retaining the original thickness. Among the Kafirs a rock is
most frequently used for an anvil, and a smaller stone for a hammer.
The West Africans use a conical block of iron, about the size and shape
of the link extinguishers, some of which may yet be seen before old
houses in London. The work has, in consequence, a slightly indented
appearance, which distinguishes it from the smooth-faced hammer-work
of England; but their weapons are of excellent metal, and so flexible,
that they will almost tie in a knot rather than break. The Abyssinians
also use weapons of this temper; for they say if a steel sword breaks,
who can mend it, but if it bends we can sit on it and straighten it.

{Scrap and hoop iron.}

We have often made very good knives for skinning or cutting up animals
from the handles of broken gridirons, frying-pans, stout hoop, or
other bits of iron. Broken sheep-shears are also excellent substitutes.
The hoop iron used to bind the bundles of compressed hay issued to
troop horses can be made use of for an immense number of useful
purposes. The walls of many of the stables we erected in the Crimea
were composed entirely of this material, closely interwoven, like
basketwork. Excellent gabions can be made from it, as can the framework
of hut roofs. A piece a couple of yards long, doubled forward and back
in zigzag form, makes an excellent gridiron. Short pieces, straightened
out by hammering, form useful make-shift knife blades for the use of
native servants. Tent poles are greatly strengthened by having a spiral
strapping of this iron nailed to them. Saws for cutting or rather
fretting blocks of stone can be made by stretching a strip of this
material edgewise in a wooden frame, aided by water, sharp sand, and a
suitable balance weight, such as marble masons use. Excellent eel traps
are made by arranging long strips of hoop for a body, and then securing
them by small nails, as rivets, to hoops made from the same material.
Eel traps will be fully described under the head of "Fishing." We once
made a complete set of bars for the bottom and front of a camp stove
entirely of forage hoop iron, made a scraper for the door, a set of
hooks for a gun rack, and a set of cross hooks to hang meat on. Never
heedlessly throw away forage iron.

Trimming and filing up are matters which may be left very much to the
taste and opportunities of the traveller, but it should be remembered
that, _cæteris paribus_, a neatly finished piece of work, besides
being more satisfactory to the eye, is in itself stronger, as the
inequalities, flakes, flaws, or roughnesses of the surface, which,
under any strain, might form the commencement of a fracture, are
removed; and besides this, especially in wet climates, a well smoothed
piece of work is less liable to rust in patches than one of unequal
surface. If you intend to file-finish your work, remember to let it
cool slowly, and do not harden it by immersion in water.

{The use of cold or of joiners' chisels.}

In some cases incisions may be required, too sharp or clean to be cut
with a file, and, if proper care be taken, a fine, sharp, joiner's
chisel may be used without more injury than may be set right by fresh
grinding it; it is advisable, however, first to render the angle at
which the edge is set a little more obtuse, so as to lessen the danger
of flawing it, taking care at the same time to keep it as keen as

{Tires and wheels.}

In all expeditions in which wheeled vehicles are used, nothing causes
more trouble than the loosening of the tires, owing to the shrinking
of the woodwork, and possibly some slight expansion of the metal, from
the heavy pressure on the rough roads, as well as from the intense heat
of a tropical climate. If sufficient skill be available, the proper
course is to cut and shorten the tire, for all other make-shifts have
the disadvantage either of being insecure, or positively injurious to
the fabric of the wheel. Supposing the shortening to be determined on,
the tire must be taken off, and if, as is frequently the case, it be
fastened with rivets through the felloes, the clinch on the inner ends
of the bolts must be first cut or filed away, the "washers" or iron
rings taken off, and the rivets themselves driven back with a long
punch or drift pin; the "band" or tire will then either fall off or
require but a few blows to detach it. The streaks used to protect the
wheels of field artillery guns and waggons are removed and replaced

It is impossible to measure the relative circumference of the felloes
and the _inner side_ of the band without an instrument similar to the
perambulator; _i. e._ a wheel or disc of wood or metal, mounted on a
handle. A chalk mark is made on the felloe and a corresponding one
on the edge of the disc; the two are set together, and the disc--say
1ft. 6in. in circumference--will then revolve perhaps ten and a half
times in going round the hinder wheel of a Cape waggon of about 5ft.
diameter. As soon as the disc has again reached the starting point
another chalk mark is to be made upon it, and the distance between
the two marks on the disc, say 9in., is to be added to the number of
revolutions counted; it is then to be applied to the inner side of
the band, the ten revolutions counted off, the additional 9in. to be
run, and the distance between the starting point and the finish of its
course is the amount by which the band is too long. Some judgment is
required to decide whether more or less than this piece shall be taken
out. If the wheel looks very firm and close in its joints, perhaps a
little less should be cut, as the overlapping of the weld will take
up a trifle--especially if it be not very skilfully and neatly done;
if the wheel is loose and the spokes not firmly shouldered up to the
nave, a little more may be taken away; and in this case it is proper to
estimate whether the felloes will close up sufficiently to force the
spokes home upon the nave; if not, the ends of four or more felloes
opposite each other should be cut a trifle shorter with a fine tenon
saw, great care being taken not to cut the dowels by which the ends
of the felloes are kept true to each other. A smooth, hard place must
now be sought out, on which the wheel can be laid flat, the front
downwards, a hole being dug, if necessary, for the reception of the
nave; flat stones, plates of iron, or slabs of hard wood, laid evenly
under the circumference, would be of advantage when the shortened
band is to be driven on. The next essentials are plenty of water and
abundance of heating power. The ends of the band must now be heated,
and the smith will bevel off each of them, one from the inside and
the other from the out, so as to form the scarf; an attendant or two
holding the band, as he directs, upon the anvil. The tire should now
be reversed, and the curvature increased by resting it on two points
of support and striking heavily between them on its inner surface till
the scarfed ends close upon and begin to overlap each other. It is
again placed in the fire with the ends equally exposed to the intense
heat, and at the proper moment is lifted out by two attendants and
promptly, but carefully, placed upon the anvil; a few smart decisive
blows are given, and the joint is made. The hammer man now comes to
the assistance of the smith and consolidates it by striking alternate
blows with the "sledge," under his direction. The circumference is
again tried with the revolving disc, and if it be too short, as it
ought rather to be, it is again heated and hammered out, the weld,
if this be rightly done, gaining solidity in the process. The band
is then laid upon the ground and a fire of wood, dry cow dung, or
other material made, so as to heat it to redness through its whole
circumference. It is then lifted by tongs or other means (if hooks
are used they must be applied from the outside), and placed upon the
wheel, and, as quickly as possible, hammered down nearly into its true
position. The workmen will soon find what "smoke to the eyes" is like,
but they must disregard this, and, before the wood is too much burned
away, quantities of cold water must be dashed on, the hammer men all
the while beating down the shrinking band to a level with the felloes;
before it is quite cold the wheel should be caught up and brought to
the anvil, or a smooth rock, where the tire is faced up true to the
felloe front by heavy blows, and finally cooled off and tightened by
another deluge of cold water.

Everything depends upon prompt action; and the tiring of a set of
waggon wheels at some out station is really an exciting event, at which
all hands are required to work with a will.

{Repair of perch-bolts.}

Not unfrequently the "schammel-bolt" or perch-bolt will give way in
the grip, and if this flaw be detected in time, and the bolt be long
enough, the evil day may be staved off by removing it, boring a hole
through the "buik" plank or floor of the waggon, right above, and
dropping the bolt down through it so that its head remains 3in. or 4in.
higher than before, and the nip is brought upon a fresh place, as shown
by the dotted line above H (p. 216).

{Extempore anvils and vices.}

For small work, the "reim schoen," or drag, turned up upon a block of
wood, will form a very decent anvil; and the next essential is a vice,
which ought to be as large and powerful as can be carried. A weak
inefficient vice is worse than useless. The means of attaching it ought
also to be good, for if it is not firmly fixed no work can be properly
finished in it. No part of the waggon ought to be used as a holdfast
for the vice, unless indeed it were properly fitted with iron guards
for that purpose before starting, for the claws and screw-bolts would
speedily tear and split the wood, and only damage the vehicle to no
purpose. It would generally be better to cut down a convenient tree,
leaving a stump about 3-1/2ft. high, and in this to cut a niche, partly
to let the vice in: it might then be secured by hoops of iron, if
available, such as the nave bands, or anything similar, tightened with
wedges, and lashed in its place by thongs of raw hide, which, when they
dry, acquire almost the rigidity of iron.

If the vice cannot be fixed firmly, it is better to cut with the saw a
deep groove down into the solid stump, and, having inserted the iron
you wish to file, to tighten it with wedges, screws, lashings, or such
other appliances as you may have at hand (p. 166).

The tapping of screws on bolts or nuts, especially if of any size,
requires that the work be firmly held; but we should rather advise
that duplicate bolts and nuts of the principal sizes used in waggon
work--1/2in., 3/4in., 7/8in., and 1in.--be carried, as a set of taps
and dies could not be had even in Cape Town for much less than £5, and
an unskilled hand would be more likely to break the instruments than
use them to advantage. For the smaller sizes, suitable for gun-locks,
&c., a plate and set of taps might advantageously be carried.



{Cutting bolts and gun-barrels.}

Sometimes a bolt, rod of iron, or a gun-barrel, has to be cut off to
a given length, and the most convenient way of doing this is to file
a row of small teeth upon the back of a handsaw, and with it to saw
off the superfluous iron: the first illustration shows the manner of
cutting the teeth, and their exact size and shape. Always put in a bit
of copper, lead, or leather to protect the gun-barrels from the grip
of the vice. It may, perhaps, be well to remark here, that nearly all
Russian saws are made to cut backwards, and all the gun breech-screws
made in that country are cut the reverse way to ours.

For repairs of guns, it is well to have sufficient wire of different
thicknesses; but when a hardened pivot is required, a broken gimlet or
a bradawl will often supply the material; and we have before now earned
a goat or sheep for dinner by supplying in this manner some deficiency
in the arms brought to the white man to be repaired. It is convenient
to buy a musket-lock or two before starting, and to save all sorts of
screws, tumblers, springs, &c., out of old locks.

We were once asked, far away in Namaqualand, to perform no less a
service for a friend than to put a new hammer on his gun. Modest
disclaimers of ability were not received, and there was nothing left
but to do our best. We found a bit of flat iron, which, fortunately,
had a hole in it: this we first squared up with a small "three-square"
file, and then fitting it to the tumbler, and making sure that the flat
surface of the hammer should strike upon the nipple, laboriously cut
and filed away the intermediate parts, and before morning the hammer
was fixed. Mr. Rae, the engineer of the Zambesi expedition, proceeded
more scientifically; he employed a native to weld up a quantity of iron
hooping into a plate quite thick and large enough to make the hammer,
then, drawing the outline, he bored small holes close together all
round it, broke off the superfluous iron, and finished with the file.

On one occasion we were unfortunate enough to break the little S-shaped
bridle which connects the claw of the mainspring with the arm of the
tumbler. Most of our readers will remember that this portion of a
gun-lock is of a most peculiar form, being not only S-shaped, but
flat-cheeked and T-ended. Notwithstanding the apparently complicated
nature of the undertaking, a new one had to be made; so we proceeded as
follows:--One of our small mining picks chanced to have an iron wedge
(which had originally been cut from an old patten iron) in the handle.
This we softened in the fire, worked into form on the head of an
upturned hammer with one of smaller size, and then roughly finished it
up with a handsaw file. The screw hole had then to be made, and, as we
had no drill, we took the scissors from our fishing-book, ground down
the point on our bit of Turkey hone, tempered it in the candle, and
then, by dint of hard labour and persistent boring, made a hole through
the end of the bridle. We then gave our work a few finishing touches,
tied it up in a bit of old leather, heated it in the fire, plunged it
in water to case-harden, and then secured it in the lock, where it
performed its work well until we parted with the gun so repaired.

{Sighting guns.}

Most of the hunters in South Africa find that ivory, from its agreeable
creamy white, is better adapted for the "korel," or front sight of
a gun, than the polished metal used for that purpose by the maker.
Sometimes the sight is accidentally lost, and has to be replaced; but
more frequently the dazzling bit of metal is purposely knocked off.

  [Illustration: 1-9]

A broad flat groove, say 1/2in. broad, or as wide as a handsaw file,
and 1/16in. deep, is cut across the midrib of the gun (Fig. 1), and the
edges of this are under cut, either with a sharp-edged file, or, if
the operator is expert in the use of tools, with a chisel and mallet.
A piece of ivory (Fig. 3), cut so that the grain runs with the length
of the barrel, and with an elevated ridge left in the centre, is then
fitted tightly in, adjusted as nearly as possible, and the metal
clinched down upon it; then the central ridge is filed on either side
until, by occasionally firing at a mark, the gun is found to shoot
without lateral deviation. It should, in the beginning, be considerably
too high, and should then be filed down so as to carry the bullet point
blank to its mark at a hundred yards.

If the back sight is lost, cut a notch across the midrib as before,
and fashion a piece of iron (Fig. 2) to the same shape as you did your
ivory, only let the elevated ridge in this case be across the barrel.
File a notch in the centre, and leave the iron a little wider than
the rib, so that it may admit of being driven a little to either side,
and the superfluous metal filed off when the adjustment is nearly
perfected. Mark it, and take it out to do this; then put it in again,
clinch it, and test it by firing at a mark.

Figs. 4 and 5 represent the position of the two sights. If the gun
shoots to the right, shift the back sight (Fig. 6) to the left and the
front sight (Fig. 7) to the right; if to the left, shift the back sight
(Fig. 8) to the right, and the front one (Fig. 9) to the left. If the
gun shoots too low, file down the front sight; if too high, file down
the notch of the back sight.

In one of our own rifles the front sight was, as usual in military
patterns, based on the block of iron which forms the check for the
bayonet (Fig. 11). We did not remove this, but cut behind it a very
shallow groove an inch broad, and in this fixed and soldered a piece of
iron with a longitudinal groove, to carry a knife-edged sight of ivory,
as seen in Fig. 10.

  [Illustration: 12 DAY
                 13 NIGHT
                 14 DAY
                 15 NIGHT
                 16 NIGHT
                 17 DUTCH ROER]

For night shooting, we used the only sixpence to be found amongst our
party; bending and polishing it and clinching it on to a saddle of
zinc painted black. Holes were punched in this for leather thongs, and
in front was a notch cut to fit the actual sight, and so insure the
central position of the silver one when in use (Fig. 13). By day the
saddle was turned beneath the barrel (Fig. 12), and the little flat
thongs of antelope hide were not at all in the way. With guns not of
military pattern the sight could not so conveniently be turned under,
but would have to be removed by day; but we should think a broad silver
sight might be fixed on a steel spring on the rib behind the sight,
with a broad ring to slip over and keep it down by day, as in Fig. 15,
or to draw back and let it rise into view by night as in Fig. 14 (p.
201). For the same purpose our late friend, C. J. Andersson, used to
wrap a bit of white paper round the muzzle of his gun, pinching it up
in the centre, or laying a cord under it to give it a little elevation
(Fig. 16).

As a protection, and also for the contrast of the colours, the Dutch,
and many of the English colonists, stitch very tightly over all a
bit of skin from the inside of the elephant's ear (Fig. 17). This
is very fine, exceedingly strong, and, when rubbed with a little
grease, intensely black; it is then very carefully cut, to allow the
front sight to appear through, and left to dry. Another advantage
of this plan is, that it corrects the errors often caused by the
mirage or refraction of the sun's rays from the polished barrel,
which, especially in the tropics, causes the object aimed at to
become indistinct, to assume the appearance of motion, and to be seen
sometimes considerably above its true position, thereby causing the
marksman to miss by shooting over it.

{Sheath knives or bayonets.}

No wise traveller ever encumbers himself with a long sword or bayonet
of ordinary pattern; but every one carries a sheath knife, of from 6in.
to 12in. in the blade; and the handle of this ought to be made so that
it may fix as a bayonet on his gun. We have seen natives considerably
astonished by this sudden conversion of our gun into a spear to kill a
wounded animal.

If the knife handle were simply made round, so as to stick into the
barrel, like the bayonet of old times, it would be better than nothing;
but if the side-springs were generally adopted, it might be well to
arm our troops, intended for service in wild countries, with a good
serviceable sheath knife, of 8in. or 10in. in the blade, to be used for
general purposes, and fixed as a bayonet when wanted, rather than with
the orthodox triangular needle, that is only of use in opportunities
that occur but rarely. We remember a party of a certain line regiment
coming upon a number of Hottentots, when their officer ordered them to
fix bayonets, forgetting for the moment that as usual they had been
left at home--just as were the swords and steel scabbards of the Cape
Corps--lest their rattling should give warning to the crafty foe. It is
a common custom in India, when real work has to be done, to throw aside
the steel scabbards and replace them with wooden ones, which have the
double advantage of being noiseless and a preservative to the edge of
the sword. We have heard a man of the Rifle Brigade say, he should not
fear even though lost in the bush. "Shoot the first Kafir that attacks
you," said he, "and arm yourself with his assegai, and no other will
come near you."

Our allies, the Fingoes, in the war of 1850-53, generally carried one
or more assegais, using the shaft as a ramrod, or holding two of them
crosswise in the left hand as a rest for the musket. The Kafirs, when
hard pressed, retain the largest assegai, and, breaking off the shaft,
use it as a sword or dagger. The contest is often prolonged by picking
up the assegais thrown by the other party, and sending them back again.
To prevent this, sometimes a tribe, bent on a sharp decisive conflict,
will cut the shaft half through, so that it may break when it strikes,
and become useless to the enemy.

The Dutch Boer sits down, rests his elbows on his knees, and extending
his left arm, with the ramrod grasped firmly and planted on the ground,
obtains an almost immovable rest for his heavy roer. Many of them shoot
from the left shoulder, and some few can shoot from either shoulder
equally well--an immense advantage if a man on horseback is surrounded
by enemies.

  [Illustration: THE ASSEGAI GUN REST.]

  [Illustration: RAMROD GUN REST.]

{Watch-key, to make.}

In an out-of-the way corner of Central India we were so unfortunate as
to lose our watch-key--the last of three. This we replaced as follows:
We first routed out a piece of soft steel about the size of a small
black-lead pencil. After filing off one end perfectly flush, we placed
it in the fire, whilst we prepared the square end of a saddler's awl
by grinding it to the exact size of the key-square of the fusee of the
watch. When the steel was heated to a cherry red, we fixed it upright
in the vice, and then supporting the bit of awl with a pair of pliers
we, with a light hammer, drove it a fair distance into the steel bar.
When it cooled, it was reheated, and the bit of awl driven deeper,
until a square hole of sufficient depth was formed. The bar was then
filed down to the size of the key-hole of the watch. The requisite
length was then cut off; the end flattened out for a thumb-piece; and
a hole drilled in it to pass a thin strip of tendon through. A few
finishing touches were given with a fine file; the work was heated to a
blue heat on a bit of red-hot iron, and was then dropped into a cup of
water. So we made our watch-key, which did its work well through about
4000 miles of travelling, and was as good as new when we returned to
England with it hanging at our whip-cord watch-guard.

{Tools, to temper.}

In all cases in which heat is required for iron work care should be
taken that the fire is perfectly clear, especially if it has been
previously used for melting lead, when any dross or other extraneous
matter should be scrupulously cleared out. Sulphur in any form is most
destructive. It would be well that the operator should learn before
starting how to work up and fresh temper a cold chisel, or punch, or
even to make one if needful out of a broken file or rasp; of course,
the punch is round, square, or octagonal, according to circumstances,
and generally flat at the end to drive back the nail or bolt that is
to be withdrawn. Sometimes a tapered point on a triangular instrument,
such as a handsaw file, with the edges sharpened, is useful for driving
into a broken nipple, and by turning it against the sun to extract
it when sufficient hold has not been left for the usual nipple key.
The cold chisel is first forged to a chisel edge, more or less finely
tapering according to the strength required, the two sides forming an
angle of about 15° to 20° with each other; the cantle is then filed
or ground till its sides form an angle of from 45° to 90°; it is
then heated to a cherry red, and dipped in water cautiously at first,
being frequently taken out and watched during the process till it
assumes a pale straw colour, a deeper tint or even a deep blue or
purple, according to the degree of hardness required, and is finally
ground sharp upon a stone with plenty of cold water. Small tools may
be tempered by laying them on a piece of red-hot iron, such as a bit
of waggon-wheel tire; the changing colours should be watched, and when
the desired tint appears the tool may be plunged into water. Should it
be too hard the temper may be reduced by dry grinding; when a temper
not quite so hard and less liable to fly is required, it may be given
by cooling the steel in grease or oil. The tools carried for this
purpose must vary according to the means of conveyance. On the North
Australian Expedition we had a portable forge, which remained at the
main camp, but on our inland journeys with packed horses we took as
many horse-shoes as were thought requisite, a small hand hammer, a pair
of tongs, a few files, rasps and punches, and a supply of nails.


It not unfrequently happens that some object, such as a fish-hook, key,
portion of a gun-lock, or gun furniture, will require being so treated
as to harden the surface whilst toughness of texture is retained. This
process is known as case-hardening, which is, as its name implies,
one by which a hard case or crust is formed over the surfaces of the
articles operated on. There are numerous instruments and contrivances
in constant use in the construction of which the toughness of iron
combined with the hardness of steel, communicated by the process about
to be described, is taken advantage of. Gun furniture, fish-hooks,
and handcuffs are examples, the latter most remarkedly so, as, were
they composed of ordinary iron, nothing would be more easy than to
file or saw them through; if of steel, a blow with a stone, or any
other heavy substance, would break them as though made of earthenware.
When case-hardened neither of these devices is available. Too hard to
cut, too tough to break, the metal is all that can be desired. Having
fashioned, filed up, and finished the article or articles in hand,
procure a fair quantity of leather cuttings, or horsehoof parings.
These should be roasted crisp, and pounded up until a sufficient
quantity of coarse powder is obtained to bury the "work" when laid in
a little iron box, which can be conveniently made by doubling up the
edges and ends of a bit of sheet iron. In the absence of iron, clay may
be used to form the box. This, when filled and gently pressed down,
must be placed, when dry, in a clear bright fire, and heated up to a
blood red heat, at which temperature it should be allowed to remain for
a short time, taking care not to increase it. The box and its contents
may then be withdrawn with the tongs, and thrown into a pail of cold
water. The work may, when cold, be washed and brushed clean, made
thoroughly dry, oiled, and put aside for use. Ferrocyanide of potassium
is also extensively used for case-hardening, being either sprinkled
over the work when hot, or mixed with some convenient substance, such
as dried cow dung, and placed in the box; but, unless in the hands of
those accustomed to use it, the surfaces of the work at times become
"pitted" from the contact of stray particles of the salt.

{To platinise iron, &c.}

Professor Church gives the following directions for covering the
surfaces of metallic objects with a film of platinum: "Dissolve in
1oz. of distilled water 60grs. of bichloride of platinum and 60grs.
of pure honey. Add to the above solution 3/4oz. of spirits of wine,
and 1/4oz. of ether. The mixed liquids, if not quite clear, must be
filtered through a piece of white blotting-paper. The objects to be
platinised, which may be of iron, steel, copper, bronze, or brass,
are to be thoroughly cleaned by washing them in soda, then in water.
When they have been dried they require heating over a lamp to a heat
below redness. For this purpose they may be suspended, by means of a
fine wire, over a spirit or an oil lamp, in such a way as not to touch
the flame. Suddenly, before they have had time to cool, the objects
are to be completely plunged beneath the surface of the platinising
liquid. One immersion for a single minute generally suffices, but the
process may be repeated if necessary, care being taken to wash and dry
the pieces operated upon before re-heating them. The composition of
the solution may vary considerably, and yet good results be obtained.
Sometimes the addition of more honey improves it; sometimes the
proportion of bichloride of platinum may be increased or diminished
with advantage. Indeed, it will be found that the appearance of the
platinum film deposited upon the objects may be altered by changing
the proportion of the bichloride present. The solution may be used
several times; gradually, however, it loses all its platinum, the place
of this element being taken by the iron or copper dissolved off the
immersed objects."

If the film of platinum deposited by this method is found to be
permanently adherent, the plan promises to be very valuable. It would
be a great boon to travellers in warm, damp countries to be able
to protect iron and steel articles by so simple a process. In the
same article Professor Church describes a new and very simple plan
of inlaying iron with silver, and also for enamelling metals with
different colours. Both these processes really come within the scope
of amateurs, and we can strongly recommend the entire paper to those
interested in the chemical arts.

We may now appropriately mention a few examples where this platinising
process seems to furnish desirable results. Articles made of iron or
steel--watch-chains, seals, sword-handles, keys, and similar useful or
ornamental objects--are greatly improved in appearance, and, moreover,
preserved from all chance of rusting, by this treatment. The colour of
the platinum film is of a neutral greyish black, and it often shows
at the same time a faint iridescence. Iron or steel which has been
inlaid with gold or silver, forming what is known as damascene work,
is greatly improved by platinising. Neither the gold nor the silver
are in the least degree affected, and they will be found to afford a
better contrast with the colour of the platinised than with that of the
original iron.

{To preserve iron from rusting.}

Iron which has become deeply rusted cannot be platinised by our
process. In order, however, to preserve from further destruction
objects of steel or iron having an archæological or artistic interest,
a very excellent plan may be used as a substitute. The purest white
paraffine is to be melted in a clean pan, and maintained at about the
temperature of boiling water. The rusted and corroded specimens are to
be immersed in this paraffine bath till they cease to froth from escape
of moisture. They are then withdrawn, wrapped in blotting-paper, and
kept in a warm place till the excess of paraffine has been absorbed.
The objects thus treated, while preserved from further decay, do not
acquire that disagreeable greasy aspect which the varnish ordinarily
used imparts. We have been obliged to tar our saw blades, which was
very inconvenient in working, but this was better than having them
spoiled by rust.

{Smith's tools.}

If the traveller has a waggon, as in South Africa, he may either carry
a portable forge or trust to finding natives capable of building one
and supplying bellows of their own manufacture. If he thinks the weight
of a small anvil too great, he should carry a heavy sledge hammer,
which will serve as an anvil for ordinary purposes; two hand hammers of
different weights; half-a-dozen pair of tongs, of such form and size
as will enable him conveniently to hold the different sizes of work
he may find necessary to do; at least a dozen files or more--square,
flat, half-round, or rat-tail; and of these the temper should never be
destroyed by working with them on iron that has not yet become cool,
though occasionally time may be saved by using a worn-out file to work
on iron while it is yet hot and comparatively soft; cold chisels of
different sizes, from small ones of 1/4in. or 1/2in. wide, to be tapped
with a small hand hammer, to others of 1-1/2in., to be held by pieces
of rod iron coiled round them, or still better by rods of osier, and
to be struck with the sledge hammer; if there is an anvil, of course
a chisel to fix upright in the hole provided will be taken with it;
punches of various sizes, and a stock and set of drills for boring
holes up to 1/2in. in diameter, with rymers, or tapering four-edged
tools for gradually enlarging them, and countersinks for letting in
the heads of screws, &c., to the surface level. For small work, such
as gun-locks, &c., an Archimedean drill and set of bits are very
convenient, a hand-vice and set of gunsmith's small files--triangular,
square, flat, half-round, round, and knife-edged--should accompany them.

{Muskets, to repair.}

A traveller will frequently have occasion either for his own servants
or for the natives of the country to put "fresh fire" into the pan
cover of a musket; for this purpose nothing is better than the blade
of an old saw, the thinner the better; a piece is broken off, softened
and filed down to the exact size; it is then bent so as to fit the face
of the pan-cover, and is bound on to it by several turns of iron wire,
not drawn so tightly but that bits of copper wire may be thrust beneath
them all round the edges that are to be joined; borax, dissolved in
water, is now laid on with an old brush, and, if necessary, small lumps
are also added, and the whole is placed in the fire and heated till
the copper melts and brazes the two parts firmly together; let it cool
slowly, finish it carefully with the file, heat it to a dull red, and
temper by cooling it in water. Half-civilised Hottentots frequently do

{Fish-hooks, to make.}

The snoek-hook used in Table Bay is a bit of brass wire as thick as a
quill and 7in. long; the point is filed sharp, and the barb is merely
such a triangular notch as might be made with a handsaw file. It is not
bent in a true sweeping curve, like our fish-hooks, but turned sharply
up at about 2in. from the point, so that when the lip is pierced, it
slips at once into the sharp bend of the hook, and the struggles of the
fish are less likely to break it than they would be if it afforded the
leverage that the usual form of fish-hook gives. (See Fig. 20, p. 211.)

Fish-hooks can be made by taking a wire or rod of the required size
and softening it by heating it to a bright red and letting it cool
very slowly in sawdust or leaving it till the fire dies out; let the
soft end abut against something solid, and, with a sharp chisel and
mallet, make a deep cut at such an angle as to form the barb; file
up the point, heat it again, and bend it round a stick of the proper
size so that the curve may be true. We have, before now, broken up a
gridiron at the galley fire, and with a hook thus formed from one of
the bars caught a young shark, whose flesh formed a very desirable
addition to our fare. On another occasion, while exploring a branch
of the Victoria River, in North Australia, we halted, as usual, at
noon, with scanty rations, which Mr. Gregory improved by taking from
his hat a stout sewing needle, softening it in the fire, and bending
it into a fish-hook, baited with grasshoppers; a few strands of thread
made a sufficiently strong line, a small sapling formed a rod, and,
in a few minutes, he had caught three fish, resembling mullet, nearly
18in. long. The needle had done good service, but was too precious to
be thrown away, so Mr. Gregory carefully restored it to its pristine
straightness, tempered it, and again stuck it in his hat, to be used,
when required, for its legitimate purpose.

{Brass, and its treatment.}

It is rather curious that with brass the softening process is the very
reverse of that we use with iron. Heat a bit of brass and plunge it
into cold water, and, with a sharp knife or chisel, you may carve it
almost like pewter; heat it again when finished, let it cool slowly,
and it becomes as hard as before.

A traveller in Africa should be well provided with brass, the best
form being that of stout wire as thick as stair carpet rods; this will
serve for many useful purposes: hooks, rings, ramrods for guns, or
almost anything can be made of it. While, in lengths sufficient to make
armlets, it is always a convenient medium of barter, or payment for the
services of the natives, who, though they will give nothing for hollow
lacquered curtain rings, will always appreciate solid metal, that may
be cut, worn away, or broken, and remains the same throughout.

{Tinning Copper.}

To tin copper: first clean the surface carefully by rubbing it
with sandpaper or stone, or washing it with diluted nitric acid or
aquafortis; heat it till it is rather too warm to handle, by placing
a hot iron or pan of fire under the part to be tinned; rub on, with a
feather, a little hydrochloric acid (commonly called spirits of salt)
with zinc dissolved in it; then, with a soldering bolt previously
rubbed on sal-ammoniac, touch the bit of tin you hold upon the copper,
and, as you melt it, spread it evenly with a bit of rag over the
surface you wish to tin; this ought to be done with the insides of
all copper vessels that are to be used for containing liquids or for
cooking, and also for the edges of sheets that are afterwards to be
soldered together. Even if the edges were to be riveted, it would
still be advisable to tin them, as they might then also be soldered by
slightly heating them and running a little tin into the joint, by means
of the heated bolt rubbed on sal-ammoniac, as before.

Small iron nails, tacks, fish-hooks, &c., are protected from
the effects of rust by tinning. The process is carried out as
follows:--First cleanse the objects to be operated on in diluted
sulphuric acid, then place them with broken fragments of tin and
sal-ammoniac in an earthenware bottle over a strong charcoal fire. When
the coating of tin is found to be complete, they are first washed in
clean water, and then dried in hot bran or sawdust.

  [Illustration: 1-20]

{Sheet metal, to join.}

A very strong joint may be made by turning up, say 1/2in., more or
less, of the edge of one sheet (Fig. 1), then laying in it the edge of
the other (Fig. 2), and turning up the edges of both (Fig. 3); then,
keeping the joint pressed down, lift up the second sheet as you would
open a book, and press it out flat and open (Fig. 4). You cannot make
this joint in the two edges of the same sheet, turned round upon each
other (Fig. 5), unless you first nearly flatten the two parts (Fig. 6),
when they may be doubled upon each other, and the sheet restored to its
cylindrical form by the insertion of any pointed cylinder, such as, for
instance, the horn of the anvil or a block of wood rounded and tapered
at the end (Fig. 7). Suppose it is required to make a pannikin, this
joint, whether previously tinned so that it may be soldered or not, is
the only proper one, but the corners should previously have been cut
away, so that only a single or, at most, a slightly overlapping double
thickness may be left at top and bottom (Fig. 8). The bottom edge is
now turned outwards by gently tapping it on the block or anvil edge
with a hammer till it resembles a narrow flange (Fig. 9). A circular
piece is now cut for the bottom so much larger as to allow a rim to be
turned up all round (Fig. 10), and to admit the flange within it (Fig.
11); then setting it flat upon the anvil, and forcing into it a block
of wood that has been cut perfectly to fit it, clinch down the rim of
the bottom upon the flange (Fig. 12), and turn them both up against
the side together (Fig. 13). The top edge may now be rolled over in
the same manner, and it will give additional strength if the rim is
strengthened by the insertion of a piece of wire. If the foregoing
joints have been carefully made you will have a water-tight and, what
is more, a fireproof pannikin with or without the aid of solder, and
a handle can be riveted on or not just as suits your convenience. One
great advantage of the folded joint is, that if it is not too tightly
hammered down, the parts will slide freely on each other, and advantage
may be taken of this for making an opening in one side of a cannister
to be closed by a sliding lid; or, if you are making a pannikin or
other vessel, and your metal is not large enough to make the whole
circumference in one piece, cut a small strip (Fig. 14) of the breadth
you wish the joint, say 3/16in. or 1/4in., and fold the edge of the
metal twice over it (Fig. 15), then draw it out; do the same with
the other edge, and also with the edges of the piece you intend to
insert (Fig. 16), and you may then, with a little care, slip the parts
together, and clinch down the joints as closely as you wish (Fig. 17).
If the corners have previously been snipped off, or smoothed with a
file, it will considerably increase the facility of doing this.

{Utilisation of meat tin cases.}

During the North Australian Expedition, when Mr. Gregory was preparing
for the journey from the Victoria River to the Albert, in the Gulf
of Carpentaria, he collected all the emptied preserved meat tins,
and burning off the old paint by placing them above the forge fire,
smoothed down the tin upon the surface with a piece of _greasy_ rag,
trimmed up the ragged edges, and, in most cases, obtained sheets of
tinned iron nearly equal to new; from these he made pannikins of
graduated sizes, in fact a nest of them, one fitting into the other
from the largest to the least, thus securing comfort and convenience to
his party, and utilising material which many persons would have thrown
away as useless.

In opening a packing case lined with tin, care should be taken to cut
the edges as clean as possible, for not only are ragged points liable
to tear the hands very disagreeably, but if you wish to make use of
the tin in any other manner, it is of great importance that it should
be kept quite clean, flat, and free from unsightly wrinkles; a smooth
sheet of tin may be cut, turned, or bent almost at will, but if it has
previously been wrinkled, it is absolutely impossible to restore it to
flatness, and to make a true joint in it is as much out of the question
as to write freely on note paper fall of unsightly folds or creases.
For cutting tin or other sheet metal, a pair of small tin snips, say
8in. or 9in. in total length, will be found exceedingly useful: stout
copper or sheet-iron may be cut with them.

{Dishes and plates, to make.}

To make plates or dishes of sheet iron or other metal, cut out a disc
or oval, of the size you wish, and then draw a line parallel to the
edge all round it (Fig. 18); then draw lines radiating from the centre,
like points on a compass card, as many as you please, say twelve, which
will divide each quarter into three parts, answering to the hours on a
clock face.

Make a small hollow across the end of a block of wood, the stem of the
nearest small tree cut off at a convenient length for instance, lay the
edge of your plate on it with one of the radiating lines corresponding
with the hollow; strike it with the edge of your hammer till you have
slightly indented it, do the same on the opposite side, and then with
the other two quarters; repeat this all round, and you will have a very
neat and useful plate, with scolloped edges like the patty pans usually
sold by tinmen (Fig. 19).


A few rivets of various sizes, of iron, tin, and copper, should be
taken; but, if the work is to be exposed to the action of the water,
care should be taken not to fasten iron sheets with copper rivets, as
the action of the metals on each other will be most destructive.

Tin rivets may be used to fasten any other metal where great strength
is not required, and they are very advantageous for many purposes, as
handles of tin or copper pannikins. By these we mean rivets of tin, not
of iron tinned over, which also are useful, but not so easily worked.

{Make-shift forge and bellows.}

To extemporise a forge and bellows, the natives of Africa and India,
who invariably squat down to their work, simply make their fire on the
ground, which is previously smoothed and clayed over; behind this is
raised a bank or fence of clay, perforated for the admission of a tube,
either of wood of the bark of a small tree, or of the horn of an ox, or
other large animal.

Their bellows are variously formed, but in every instance a pair are
used, being worked alternately, one with the right hand and the other
with the left, so as to keep up a continuous blast. They are generally
formed of goat or antelope skins of about the same size, which are
skinned off as "sacks," and braiied or softened in the usual manner.


The sack is made by cutting the skin of the animal along the inside of
the thighs, and then, without making any other incision, stripping it
over the fore part of the body, the head being previously cut off, the
skin of the legs is sewn or knotted up to prevent the escape of air. In
one of the hinder legs of each bag is fitted a smaller tube, frequently
of gemsbok horn, and to the sides of the aperture of the neck are sewn
two pieces of stick with loops upon them for the insertion in one of
the thumbs, and in the other of the fingers, so that by expanding the
hand the neck can be opened while it is raised to inflate the bag, and
closed up by grasping it tightly when it is pressed down to force the
stream of air upon the fire; then by inflating and compressing the bags
alternately, the primary object of a continuous and sufficient supply
of air is obtained.

There are various modifications of form, in some of which more or less
wood is very ingeniously used; but as the power of the whole depends
entirely on the amount of air that can be inclosed in and forcibly
expelled from the skin bags, we think the foregoing description will
sufficiently answer the purpose.

If the traveller wishes--as an Englishman generally does--to stand up
to his work, he can build up for his forge a square of rough stones,
and then smooth over the top with a mixture of cattle dung and clay,
of which last anthills broken up afford the finest quality; or if the
hills are sufficiently large, he may at once smooth off the top of one
and shape the embankment in the rear. But in this case he will also
have to raise another platform, not only to carry his bellows, but for
the blower to sit upon; for we doubt whether a native in the wilderness
could be prevailed upon to blow them in any other position.

One of the most important portions of a waggon, and at the same time
one most liable to damage, is the axle, and it is therefore of vital
consequence that the traveller should understand properly how to set
about repairing it.

{New axles.}

Suppose it be necessary to condemn the broken axle and make a new one;
the first care is to seek out a tree of good hard wood--"kameel doorn"
(_Acacia giraffæ_) is about the best a traveller is generally likely to
find, though many other varieties may be used--and in thinly wooded
countries this may imply a day or more spent in searching for miles
around, for the trunk should be of tolerably straight grain, solid,
and capable of affording a log 6ft. or 7ft. in length, 10in. in depth,
and 4in. in thickness. A yoke of oxen may be sent to draw it home,
and it should then be truly, however roughly, squared up to the above

The size of the aperture in the nave, both at the back and front of
the wheel, should then be taken, they will generally be about 4in.,
tapering to 3in. or 2-1/2in.; the length of the arm will probably be
from 14in. to 16in. In cutting the arm _nothing_ is to be tapered off
from the front (Fig. 1) or from the lower part (Fig. 2), all the taper
being cut from above and from behind, so that the wheels may incline a
little inward in front and below, and if the axle arms should bend a
little with the weight of cargo and with the forward draught, they may
only have a tendency to resume a true position.

The arms should be carefully lined off in accordance with these rules,
and in cutting the shoulder (Fig. 3) it should be squared, not from the
edge of the axle, but from a line (dotted in the illustration) drawn
along the centre of the arm, so that the back of the nave may bear
truly against it. In cutting the shoulder be sure not to weaken the
arm by letting the saw go, however little, beyond the proper depth,
for where so great a pressure has to be borne the slightest cut would
become the beginning of a fracture. When the arms have been cut and
roughly rounded by saw and adze or axe, trim them with the spoke-shave,
and occasionally try on the wheel, whirling it round to test the
truthfulness of the work--there is almost sure to be sufficient grease
or tar left in it to mark all the undue projections, and to leave clean
the hollows on the arm, and the marks should be carefully examined
that you may know what parts require to be trimmed away. It is now
time to take off the iron work from the condemned axle; and sufficient
notice should be taken of every piece, to know exactly to what portion
of the woodwork it is to be restored, for much extra difficulty is
occasioned by any uncertainty on this point. Bolts, though of the same
apparent size, should not be transferred at random from one side to
the other, and every nut, when once removed, should be scrupulously
restored to the individual bolt it belongs to. These injunctions may
seem needlessly strict; but we speak from experience, and if the reader
has to attempt the work now under consideration he will do well to
attend as strictly to them.


The iron skeins, or friction guards (Fig. 4), should be removed from
the arms of the old axle and carefully let into the corresponding
ones of the new; and when nearly fitted they may be slightly heated
so as to char and smooth the bed for themselves, as well as to grip
more tightly, in cooling, the wood they are meant to protect. Before
fastening them with their proper bolts the wheels should be tried on to
ascertain that they have been truly fitted.

  Note.--The sketch above shows, on one side, the kap tent, or
   properly-built roof, and on the other, the wattled substitute. O is
   the front of the "kadel," or swinging bed frame, L, 8, M, on the next
   page, are the yokes, skeis, and trek gear, drawn to the scale given
   at the side.

If, as is most frequently the case, the new axle is a front one, it
must now be fitted under the rest of the fore "stell" or "carriage"
(H), the holes for the connecting bolts and perch-bolt marked and truly
bored, and the clamps which bind it to the upper portion heated, driven
into their place, and tightened by being suddenly cooled with water.


Sometimes, when it is not necessary, or wood sufficiently large cannot
be procured, to make a new axle, a new arm (I) may be let in, and
this should be scarfed and checked in, and the inner end (Fig. 5),
which reaches nearly to the centre of the axle, cut, not square, but
diagonally across, so that the after side is somewhat longer than the
front, and this, preventing the inner end from coming forward, will
also counteract the natural tendency of the draught to force the arm

If the longitudinal cut (Fig. 6) for the scarf is also made not square
across, but a little inclined upwards in front, it will also help to
resist the backward pressure of the wheel. No fastening beyond the
bolt which passes through the quarter of the axle and the band at the
shoulder is absolutely necessary for the fixing of a new arm. We have,
upon one occasion, not only made a new axle, but when, from unsoundness
of timber, a new arm was necessary, have put in one on which the
heavily-loaded waggon ran nearly 1000 miles; and besides this, the
fore "tong" (J), or socket in which the dissel-boom or pole (K) works
being much broken, we cut off the jaws on either side, and fitted new
ones in a manner that will be much better understood by the above
sketch than by description; and these, after running from the Zambesi
to Otjimbengue, were still so firm that the professional waggon-wright,
deemed it necessary only to secure them by the addition of a couple of
bands put on hot, and shrunk down on them with water.

{Repairing poles.}

Frequently the "dissel-boom" or pole will break, but the cutting
and fitting of a new one is too simple a matter to need much more
instruction than a careful inspection of the old one will afford; it
was our practice, however, to bore a hole perpendicularly downward
behind the dissel-bolt (Fig. 7), and by means of a 1/2in. bolt and nut,
tightly screwed, preserve the pole from splitting when subjected to a
heavy strain.

Mr. Reeder, whom we met near the Zambesi, showed us a very ingenious
plan of staying the dissel-boom when the fore tong was weakened.
Chapman went out and shot a rhinoceros, and Reeder first nailed a chock
upon the dissel-boom, and fixed on it a grummet of rhinoceros hide
as tight as possible, then, taking a long, stout strip of the same,
he hitched the middle of it on in front of the grummet, leading the
parts to each side of the splinter bar, and thence under the axle to
the bolts behind it, where the ends were thinned off sufficiently to
admit of their being easily made fast. These stays did not come forward
enough to gall the after oxen. The great virtue of raw hide is that,
instead of slackening like rope when it dries, it shrinks, and becomes
as hard as iron. Suppose a dissel-boom sprung where another could
not be procured, the skin from the leg of an ox, or a wild animal of
corresponding size--say a buffalo or quagga--drawn on while wet and
allowed to dry, would make the joint firmer even than the unfractured
part (Fig. 8). The skin from the tail of an ox will, in the same
manner, mend a broken waggon whip; and that of a calf's tail is in like
manner used by the Kafirs to bind the part where the iron of their
assegais or light javelins is inserted into the shaft. Quagga skin,
indeed, is especially used for this purpose, and hardly for any other,
as it is so rigid that the ordinary means for softening leather are
of no avail. Sometimes the Dutch farmers use the skin, just as it is
stripped off, as a jar or barrel to hold corn or other produce.


{The repair of wheels.}

A long journey over rough roads and in an intensely hot country, like
Africa in the dry season, will tell upon the best-made wheels, and
the spokes and tires will become loose most frequently where it is
impossible properly to rectify the defect. In such cases a number of
wedges of dry, straight-grained wood must be prepared, and for this
purpose some box or packing-case, made of deal, must be sacrificed, as
it will be almost impossible to procure anything so suitable in the
bush; the plank must be cut into pieces between 3in. and 4in. long,
and, if these are again sawn diagonally along their length, material
will be saved by the production of two wedges, where only one could
have been made by the whittling process. These must be driven tightly
in from back and front, between the felloe and the tire, and as equally
as possible all round the wheel; if they are then wetted with, and
allowed to absorb, a strong solution of salt in water, they will swell,
and will not again shrink as they would if wetted with water only. We
knew one very practical Englishman who used to soak his wedges in salt
and water before driving them in, but what he gained by thus previously
swelling them we never were able to learn. If the spokes become loose
in the nave the temporary remedy is to cut two stout bars, in length
just equal to the diameter of the wheel; half check them so as to give
them a better hold on the felloe; lay them parallel to each other on
the front of the wheel, one on each side the nave, and bind every spoke
as firmly as possible to them with thongs of raw hide, taking care to
keep the lashings quite close to the centre of the wheel; the drying up
of the thongs will shrink them so much that the fabric of the wheel
will be as firmly bound together as if clamped with iron.

If a spoke be broken, cut a new one much thicker than the rest, half
check it on to the back of the felloe, and let the other end abut
upon the nave, filling up nearly the space between the sound spokes
on either side; it should need to be driven in tightly, and, when in
position, should be secured by thongs of raw hide, both at the nave and
at the felloe, to sticks laid across the front of the spokes on either
side, and securely lashed to them.

{Lead, and its uses.}

Lead is useful for a multitude of purposes; its great specific gravity,
and the ease with which it can be melted, cut, hammered, moulded, and
bent, render it especially valuable as a handy metal. Our space will
not admit of our giving more than a few of the most noteworthy purposes
to which it can be applied by the hunter and explorer. Projectiles of
all sizes can be made from it, from the ponderous cannon shot to the
small sizes used by the hunter naturalist.

{Cannon shot.}

Round shot for artillery, of excellent quality, can be manufactured
from lead; and there is no doubt that for certain purposes it is far
superior to the iron missiles in general use, the cheapness of the
latter material being its great recommendation. It will sometimes
happen in wild countries that although regular cannon balls are not
obtainable lead is, and to make round shot from it two or three methods
may be adopted. The first is to form a ball from well-mixed clay, or
carve one from wood, of size to fit the bore of the piece easily, but
not too loosely. The clay ball will require thorough drying in the sun
or before a slow fire before use. The wooden one will merely require
sprinkling over with fine ashes from the camp fire to fit it for use.
Two large calabashes, wooden boxes, bowls, or cooking pots, are now
to be rather more than filled with well-kneaded clay, which has been
carefully freed from stones or grit, pressing it well down with a flat
board until it is quite even at the surface and is perfectly compact.
The clay round the edges of the two clay holders must now be trimmed
off with a knife even with the sides of the holders, but projecting
about an inch beyond the brim. The surface of each is now to be
sprinkled with very fine ashes, and the ball pressed into the centre
of the clay until it is half imbedded. It is then to be carefully
removed, and pressed in like manner on the other holder. The ball is
then taken out and laid aside, the two holders being allowed to dry
slowly, care being taken that the clay is not cracked by the too sudden
application of heat. When thoroughly dry, the vessels or holders are
to be placed mouth to mouth, and so fitted, by scraping the clay, that
the two indentations formed by the ball fit exactly facing each other;
when this has been done, a funnel-shaped inlet must be cut for the
admission of the molten lead. The two holders may now be put together,
secured with a lashing of cord or strips of hide, and the metal run in
at the inlet. Some time must be allowed to elapse before the mould is
disturbed, or the lead will not have sufficiently settled to admit of
the shot being removed without injury to the apparatus. The tail of
lead formed by the inlet serves to lift the shot out by, and is then
cut off flush with the surface. A number of balls may with care be made
with the same pair of holders, only the greatest caution is needed in
this, as with all other operations in which molten lead is used, to
guard against the presence of moisture in the mould, or most serious
accidents will happen.

We were busily engaged one night over the camp fire casting heavy
bullets for our large smooth bore, making use of an iron ladle for the
lead, and a large pair of iron moulds for the balls. These had become
rather hot and were laid aside to cool; and whilst this was doing, as
the lead was beginning to run rather short, we started for the tent
to get more, desiring one of the Indians, who was keeping up the fire
and generally aiding in the operations, to go on casting so soon as
the moulds were cool. That no time might be lost, our dusky assistant
plunged the hot mould in a pot of water, closed it up, and proceeded to
pour in the charge of heated metal, when a violent explosion instantly
took place, scattering the boiling lead broadcast over the naked legs
and bodies of the unfortunate natives, sending the ladle one way, the
mould another, and causing a perfect panic and dire dismay throughout
the party.

Soft stones of many kinds can be conveniently made use of for casting
in, taking two of equal size, scooping out the cavity in each stone
of the form intended to be given to the casting, and then cutting an
inlet. Common Bath scouring bricks answer this purpose admirably. We
constantly use them for casting fishing leads, plummets, bodies for
artificial baits, &c. &c. Two bricks, or portions of brick, are made
use of. The surfaces are rendered smooth by rubbing them together.
The intended cavity is then marked with a sharp point on each half,
and scooped neatly out with a knife, chisel, or other convenient
instrument; when finished, notched, and the inlet cut, the two halves
are tied together with tape and the lead poured in. Objects of six
or seven pounds weight can be made by the use of two common scouring
bricks. Balls of large size are often made in the East by hammering
square masses of lead, or iron, on an anvil until sufficiently round
for use. Great labour and no little skill are required to perform the
operation, which after all leads to very unsatisfactory results, the
balls being rough and untrue, corresponding with the interiors of the
barrels they are intended to be fired from. We have seen heavy stones
and bits of iron covered with lead fired from the most unpromising
looking matchlocks, which, somehow or another, deliver their charge
with greater force and accuracy than would be anticipated on a first
examination. The best moulds for casting bullets of all sizes and forms
are those made from gun-metal, bronze, or brass.

{Buck-shot mould.}

A buck-shot mould of either of these materials will be found of great
value. We have one which has proved on many occasions of the greatest
service; it is constructed to contain two rows of cavities for the
shot, seven in each row, one above the other; so that when the groove
leading to the inlets is filled with lead, and all the cavities are
charged, the second row is turned upwards and treated in the same
manner. The shot, when cold, are cut from their necks with a knife or
strong pair of scissors, and are then fit for use. They should be about
the size of common peas, and a charge of them from a large powerful gun
is tremendously effective; they are extremely useful for deer jumping,
antelope shooting, wild goose or bustard stalking. At very short
distances, and in close encounter with a large animal, they may be
used with destructive effect, but must be only considered in the light
of a makeshift when the true large game of the forest has to be dealt
with. Against attacking hordes of savages, in a bush fight, or canoe
encounter, they are invaluable. The charge must be proportioned to the
size of the guns; those of heavy metal and large bore generally deliver
them best.

{Slugs, to make.}

Slugs are to be made by filling a box or large pot with fine clean
sand, forcing it down tight, and then with a smooth round stick, about
the size of a small pencil, making a number of holes from the surface
to the bottom of the vessel or receiver in which the sand has been
placed. When as many are made as the space will admit of, pour the
molten lead steadily into them until they are filled; when cold, the
sand can be thrown out, and the leaden rods or pencils separated from
it. These, when laid on a board in rows, can be cut up into short junks
by placing a strong knife on them, and striking it on the back with any
convenient instrument. Thick sheets of lead are cut up into dice in
much the same manner. These are usually shaken about in a tin box or an
iron pot, in order to round off the corners.


{Shot, to make.}

The manufacture of shot by the amateur, although not quite as easy of
accomplishment as the preparation of slugs, may be, with the exercise
of a little ingenuity, successfully carried out; and although the
produce of his labours will not equal the perfect spheres produced by
the professional shot manufacturer, by the aid of his costly tower,
yet it will be good enough for the description of shooting he will be
likely to obtain in situations where the making of shot is rendered
necessary. We were driven to the necessity of devising the plan we are
about to describe by the impossibility of obtaining shot, coupled with
the urgent want of that to be procured with it. Thus is the operation
to be conducted:--A piece of iron, such as horse-shoes are made from,
is to be obtained if possible, if not, any other piece of iron, about
2ft. long and of moderate width and thickness, will answer the purpose.
About an inch from the end of this drill a wide-mouthed, funnel-shaped
hole, of the form known as a _countersink_, until within about the
eighth of an inch of going through the bar; then, with a drill about
the size of a knitting-needle, extend the hole quite through; next,
get a piece of dry plank, about 3ft. long, and in it, with a handsaw,
cut as many longitudinal cuts as the width of the board will admit
of, making them a little over the eighth of an inch deep and the
thickness of the saw wide. The board, when placed slightly on the
incline, must be so treated with a charge of molten lead that all the
cuts are filled with it from the upper end; the result will be the
formation of a great number of long lead wires. These are to be taken
from the grooves and fresh batches run, until as many pounds have
been made as it is intended to make shot. A preserved-meat tin, or an
ordinary tin pot, must now be about one-third filled with water, and
the remaining two-thirds filled up with oil; the pot must be placed
on a plate or dish, in order to catch any oil which may run over as
the work proceeds. The end of the iron bar which has the hole in it
is now to be placed in the fire and heated to a bright-red heat: when
the other end, round which a piece of cloth may be bound, is grasped
with the left hand, and the bar quickly withdrawn from the fire, struck
smartly against some solid body, in order to remove adhering dust and
ashes, and then held with the wide mouth of the hole upward, a short
distance above the surface of the oil in the pot. A lead wire is now
to be quickly taken up in the right hand and its end pressed well down
into the hole (as shown in the above illustration); if the iron is well
heated, the wire will melt away very rapidly and run in a succession
of drops into the oil: wire after wire is to be thus melted, until the
iron requires reheating. (It is a good plan to have two or more irons
at work, but it is not essential.) This wire-melting process must
be continued until all the stock has been expended, when the solid
contents of the pot may be taken out. If the operation of _dropping_
has been properly performed the result will be shot of about three
sizes--No. 7, No. 4, and duck shot. Certain conditional circumstances
somewhat alter these sizes, but approximately they are to be expected,
and a certain number more or less _tailed_ will generally be found
amongst the rest. To separate the three sizes of round shot two flat
tin boxes or empty sardine tins are required. With a piece of nail
filed down, so as to make a hole the size to just let No. 7 shot
through, punch a number of holes in the bottom of one of the boxes, so
as to make a sort of sieve of it; then with another nail make holes
in the bottom of the second box, just large enough to let your No. 4
through. When these are prepared, wash your mixed shot in water, with
wood ashes in it; this removes all the oil in the form of soap. The
shot, when dry, is ready for sifting with the boxes. The first box lets
only No. 7 or a size or so smaller through, keeping back the No. 4. The
second box lets the No. 4 through, retaining the duck shot. Each size
may now have its own respective _tailers_, or pear-shaped shot, mixed
with it; these can be got rid of by allowing the shot to run down over
a sloping board, when the round shot run straight to the bottom, whilst
the _tailers_ run off at the sides, and can be collected to melt up

{Lead plates, to make.}

Plates of lead for writing inscriptions on can be cast by turning up
the edges of a piece of sheet copper, iron, or tin, just high enough
to form a sort of shallow tray to hold the molten lead. In the absence
of sheet metal, the surface of a box of sand, or a flat stone with a
little wall of clay round it, may be made use of.

{Lead pencils and stock whip handles.}

Lead pencils, for rough carpenter's work, can be made by filling
joints of small cane, marsh reeds, or weed stalks, with melted lead,
and then pointing them with a knife. The handles of stock whips and
some other implements are weighted, and prevented from splitting, by
having lead run into them; some of the former are occasionally very
elaborately ornamented. The operation is performed by first cutting out
the intended pattern on the handle with a sharp-pointed knife or other
instrument, taking care that the cutting penetrates the wood deeply,
that the form of the groove is slightly undercut, and that each ring
of the pattern communicates with the one below it. The first ring on
the stick must have an _inlet_ made in it; strips of stout brown paper
are now, after being slightly moistened and touched over with paste,
rolled round the stick, layer after layer in spiral form, until its
whole length has been thickly covered like the case of a rocket. When
thoroughly dry the lead is run in at the inlet, and when cold the paper
can be stripped off, and the handle finished off and polished with
sand-paper or a bit of fish-skin.

{Bruised gun-barrels, to repair.}

Indentations in the sides of gun or rifle barrels can be taken out by
the following process:--Take the barrel out of the stock; cut a cork so
as to fit the muzzle tightly, and then force it down three inches, ram
in about a quarter of an inch of dry powdered clay on the cork, twist
a cloth dipped in cold water several times round the barrel in order
to prevent the rib from becoming unsoldered by heat, and then fill up
the space above the clay with molten _hardened lead_. (See "To harden
bullets," p. 228.) You will then have a metal plug exactly fitting the
barrel. Remove the cork and clay, and fashion from strong hardwood a
rod just long enough to reach a few inches beyond the indentation. A
bar of iron is now to be heated to a red heat, and placed against the
indented spot on the outside of the barrel; the wet cloth being at the
same time wound above and below it. The metal plug is now to be forced
down the tube with the rod until it rests on the obstruction, when a
few blows with a piece of heavy wood on the upper end of the rod will
generally pass the plug onwards by forcing the tube back to its proper
position. It will be well to reverse ends with the plug and force it up
and down several times, until it travels quite freely past the point of

{Make-shift rifle shells.}

Rifle shells may be extemporised by having little tin tubes the length
of the conical bullet and the size of the gun nipple made. These, when
their ends have been plugged with wood, are placed one by one in the
mould, held upright by a bit of very fine brass wire, and the lead
cast round them, so that the lead at the base of the bullet may extend
beyond the end of the tube and cover it. The thin end of the tube
should project just a trifle beyond the apex of the cone, as a rest for
the cap. The wooden plug at this end is now taken out; the tube filled
with the best sporting powder, and a strong, well made percussion-cap
put on the tube, and secured there with strong varnish, sealing-wax,
or pitch. The loading of a breech-loader with these is accomplished
with no danger, but with a muzzle-loader the very greatest caution
is required. The end of the ramrod or loading stick should be very
deeply countersunk, in order to take all pressure off the cap; and even
with this precaution it is well to make use of an overhanging branch
of a tree to place the rod against, whilst the rifle is thrust muzzle
upwards until the ball is home. Shells somewhat on this principle were
first brought into notice by the late General Jacob, of the Scinde
Irregular Horse. They are tremendously destructive when skilfully used:
destroying large animals by exploding in them, and blowing up magazines
of gunpowder at all but incredible distances; but we have known them
explode _outside_ the elephant and other large pachyderms, thus failing
completely in the object they were used for. Mr. Metford's improvement
on the Jacob shell is worthy of remark. Finding that it did not always
explode, he mixed equal parts of chlorate of potass and sulphate of
antimony; the two can be mixed on a plate with a _bone_ paper-cutter
or a quill pen. The more they are mixed, the more sensitive is their
detonating power. The bullets are moulded with a hole from point nearly
to base, as for Jacob's shells, but no copper tube is used. The powder
is filled in with a quill to the top, and settled down by a few taps
of the base of the bullet on a table, and the end is then stopped with
wax. But it is very questionable whether, in close encounter with large
animals, it is not better, after all, to rely on the more certain
effects of heavy balls of ordinary construction, with strong charges of
powder behind them. With the numerous improvements in rifle shells we
cannot deal, as many of them are too complex in their component parts
for a wandering hunter or explorer to be able to imitate successfully.

{Ladles, spoons, and other substitutes.}

Small ladles or iron spoons are usually used to melt lead in, but,
in the absence of these, bullets and other small matters may be
cast in the following manner, which is a favourite one amongst the
Indians:--A piece of dry hard wood, about 16in. long, 3in. broad, and
2in. thick, is prepared; on one end of this a spoon-shaped cavity, with
a lip-shaped groove in the end, is made; in the bottom of this a few
red-hot wood embers from the fire are placed on these same fragments
of flattened lead, and on the lead some good-sized pieces of red-hot
embers. A bit of bark is now twisted into a blow-pipe, from which a
steady stream of air is directed to the miniature furnace, which almost
instantly melts the lead, and fits it for running by the lip into the
mould, just as it would from a spoon. Clean, excellent bullets are to
be made in this way.

{Lead ore smelting.}

It sometimes happens that lead ore or galena is discovered. Lead as
a metal, except in very rare instances, is not found in a native or
malleable form; and as the ore is a sulphuret, brittle, and easily
pulverised, some method must be had recourse to in order to smelt
and render it fit for use. Some Indians do it in the following
manner:--After reducing a large quantity of the ore to powder, between
heavy stones, they seek out a hollow tree stump, clear out the bottom
flush with the ground, and dig a pit just outside it. Then on the
bottom or floor of the stump a thick layer of dry wood is placed,
evenly on this a layer of the powdered ore, then another layer of wood,
then one of ore, and so on until the stump is quite full. A small hole
is then chopped with a tomahawk through the side of the stump, level
with the ground and opposite the pit. Through this orifice fire is
introduced, and the stump soon becomes a mass of glowing heat as the
air rushes in at the hole at the bottom; so fast as the galena (which
is usually very pure) is reduced to melted lead it trickles through the
interstices of the heated pile, and runs out into the pit, where it is
allowed to settle and cool.

The Dutch-Africans like to have their bullets of such a size that when
one is put into a clean barrel it passes slowly down without rattling,
the slight noise of the escaping air being heard as it descends. In a
skirmish they load very quickly; the powder is poured from the large
ox-horn into the hollow of the hand, and thence into the gun: a number
of bullets are held in the mouth, one is dropped in, and the moisture
cakes the powder round and holds it in its place with a very slight tap
from the ramrod, or sometimes perhaps without; though we should never
advise any one to incur so great a risk of bursting his gun.


{To harden bullets.}

For such game as the elephant or rhinoceros the hunters harden their
bullets with a little tin--not more than one-tenth; if too much is
added it makes the bullet brittle, and detracts from its specific
gravity; it should be just hard enough to show a slight indentation
when bitten. The lead must be first melted as requiring the greater
heat, and the tin added afterwards. Type metal, or worn-out type from
printing offices, is much used for this purpose; but quicksilver,
which, from its own great specific gravity, does not detract from the
weight of the bullet, is the best alloy. Sir S. Baker says:--"The lead
is melted in a pot, which is kept at red heat. Enough to make three or
four bullets is taken in a smaller ladle, and one-tenth of quicksilver
added and stirred into it with a bit of iron, as if the quicksilver is
exposed to the great heat of the larger pot it will soon evaporate. The
rifle bullets used in the army, being compressed instead of cast, are
hard enough without alloy; and in breech-loaders, where the bullet has
to pass through a barrel which is generally a trifle smaller than the
chamber, it would be unsafe to harden it too much."


{Cleft bullets.}

The Fingoes and Kafirs cut a small piece off two bullets, so as to
produce flat surfaces (Fig. 1); then, while the lead is still clean,
press them strongly together, giving them a half turn to expel the
air and bring them perfectly in contact. They will adhere so strongly
as to bear throwing on the ground, and when fired at a hundred yards
will separate only a few inches. A bullet cleft very nearly through
with two cuts, so that it spreads into four parts (Fig. 2), makes a
fearful wound at close quarters--a conical cut from its base (Fig. 3)
particularly so. Sometimes two bullets are connected by a bit of bell
wire rolled up spirally as a spring (Fig. 4). We have seen bundles of
nails bound together with wire by the rebel Hottentots in imitation of
conical bullets. The Kafirs use bits of the legs of iron pots. Some
of the native hunters use iron bullets, or rather bolts twice as long
as their diameter; but they creep so close that they cannot miss, and
follow the wounded animal till he dies, so that they always recover
their bullet.

{Extemporising bullet moulds.}

Bullet moulds may be extemporised in many ways. Two shallow boxes may
be made and filled with loam or clay, much as the moulds for cannon
shot, before described, are made (of which last no material is better
than a pounded anthill), and the surface of the lower one must be
smooth. A piece of stiff paper pierced with holes the size of the
bullet laid on it, and as many bullets as convenient pressed half way
into the clay, the other half must then be pressed down upon it, and
when nearly dry the bullets must be taken out, holes made through to
the outer surface, on which a small channel should be cut, so that the
lead may run to the entrance and not waste itself by spreading. Most
likely the mould would be damaged after two or three castings, but it
is easy to make a new one. The Dutch boers frequently use blocks of
steatite or soapstone, with half the bullet cut into each, and pegs or
projections on one half, with corresponding hollows in the other, keep
the two parts in true position (Fig. 5).

In Sydney we required a conical bullet mould; and, as such things were
not generally kept for sale, we engaged a founder to make a solid block
of brass, as in Fig. 6, and in this to bore a cylindro-conical hole,
point downwards, about 1/2 in. deeper than the length of the bullet;
another piece was made with a handle at one end, and at the other a
projection (Fig. 7), to fit into the block and give the form of the
hollow back of the bullet; a hole was bored through this a little
smaller above than below, so that when the superfluous lead was cut
off the bullet would come away with a tail about 1 in. long, tapering
to the end; this was easily cut off with proper pincers; there was a
small notch cut up the side of the inserted block so as to allow of the
escape of air as the lead was poured in. In some conical moulds the
lead is poured in from the side, and in others from the point. We do
not approve of either of these methods. The greatest hardness, weight,
and density should be at the point, and therefore this should be
downward in the mould, while the metal is poured in at the base.

Of course the great range acquired by some of our most perfect rifles
with cylinder conical bullets is an immense advantage, for if animals
cannot be approached they may be shot at long ranges; and very
frequently during the last Kafir war, while parties with the common
musket have been defending themselves against savages who occupied
almost impregnable positions, those among the colonists who possessed
long ranged rifles would occupy a hill perhaps a couple of thousand
yards off, and send bullets among the enemy with quite sufficient
accuracy to create a very uncomfortable feeling of insecurity.

A very favourite form of gun was a double-barrel, with one barrel
rifled, and very carefully sighted for long ranges, and the other
plain, and capable of throwing a good charge of buck shot, which we
have seen very effectively used at thirty or forty yards.

{Sporting rifles.}

When the elephant hunters lie at the water by night, and shoot at very
close quarters, they find that a sharp-pointed conical with very high
velocity, pierces so suddenly and sharply, that the animal feels no
shock to the nervous system, and gets away for many miles, and dies
beyond their reach. They therefore choose a short, smooth-bore gun,
with a very large round bullet. We have seen them as large as half a
pound; and this, with a comparatively small charge of powder, say 9drs.
or 10drs., bruises rather than pierces, communicating such a shock to
the adjacent parts that the creature is stunned as well as wounded,
and is not able to make those marvellous last efforts that in the
former case would enable him at least to die in peace far out of reach
of his pursuers. We, after a fair trial of the conical ball in India,
abandoned it on account of the quantity of wounded game lost, and
returned to the old spherical projectile.

{Cartridge making.}

Improvements in guns are long before they are generally adopted in wild
and distant countries. The old flint musket is to this day the favoured
weapon of most of the border tribes of South Africa, America, and the
East; it will shoot quite well enough for them, and, if of military
make, it lasts a long time in comparatively good order. Percussion
guns found their way very slowly even among the Dutch colonists;
many admitted their superiority, but there was always the uncertainty
of being able to obtain a supply of caps, and, in the same way,
many excellent forms of breech-loaders cannot be adopted by persons
travelling or residing far from civilisation, because complicated and
expensive cartridges are required, and when the supply runs short the
gun is useless. And sometimes, because however perfect the gun may be
while well taken care of, its delicate adjustments soon give way under
the rough wear and tear of actual hard service. The advantages of
facility in reloading, especially on horseback, or while running after
or away from the game or enemy, are so great that if a breech-loader
can be made sufficiently strong and simple in all its parts, capable
of being used as a muzzle-loader on emergencies, or with cartridges
so simple that a person of ordinary skill can make them for himself,
it will surely commend itself to men whose lives, in many cases,
depend upon the effectiveness of their guns. It would be invidious
in us to compare the merits of the various forms. We have already
mentioned the satisfaction with which we used the single-barrelled
Wilson breech-loader, the simplicity and strength of which, combined
with facility of loading, were all that could be desired, unless,
indeed, it were made self-capping, which we believe could easily be
done. A metal breech-plug, to be inserted when required, converts it
into a muzzle-loader; but then a smaller size of bullet must be used,
and the cartridges are so simple and inexpensive, that we found it
more easy to make them on the spot. The materials required were a few
sheets of tissue paper, a quantity of felt wads, tolerably stout, half
of them the exact size of the bore, and the rest a little smaller.
[Illustration: 1-11] A piece of tin of the form and size indicated by
the diagonal lines (Fig. 1) in our illustration was used as a pattern
by which to cut the paper. The straight edge that was to surround the
bullet, and the farthest diagonal side, were touched with a little
gum, gathered from the nearest mimosa. A small cylinder of wood (Fig.
3) was then taken by the knob, in the left hand, and, with the right,
the hollow base of the bullet (Fig. 2) was fitted on to the convex
end, laid fairly on the paper (Fig. 6) and rolled forward until the
cartridge case was formed. The wood was then withdrawn, and the paper,
adhering to the bullet, left to dry. When a sufficient number were
completed, they were set upright in any convenient trough, or in a
block of wood (Fig. 7), 3in. deep, bored with holes of the proper size
(Fig. 11). The charge of powder was poured into each and covered with
a small disc of card or paper. One of the small wads, saturated with
grease, was next put in (Fig. 8), the superfluous paper folded down
on it (Fig. 9), and a full-sized wad was then affixed to the end with
a drop of gum (Fig. 10). The tissue paper was quite strong enough to
confine the powder, and a military cap, of fair average quality, never
failed to drive the fire through it to the charge. We found it best to
saturate our wads by melting, or rather heating, our hardest fat nearly
to boiling point, throwing them in and letting them absorb as much as
possible, and then spreading them out on a clean surface to cool. Of
course we carried a couple of wad punches of the proper size in case
our supply should run short. [Illustration] In making a cartridge for a
muzzle-loading rifle, the wooden roller should have a hollow to receive
the point of the bullet; the bullet is placed on the paper with the
base towards the right hand, just so far within the edge as to allow a
wad to be put behind, and the paper turned down over it. The powder is
then measured into the case on the point, and, in loading, the powder
is first poured into the gun, then the bullet is reversed and the
paper torn off before it is rammed down. It is questionable, however,
whether any form of single-barrelled rifle or shot gun can compete
with a double barrel for general usefulness and efficiency. Whilst on
the subject of cartridges, it may not be amiss to refer to the tallow
cartridges used for shot guns. They add greatly to the length of range,
and are extremely valuable for wildfowl shooting.

[Illustration: A-C]

The following communication to the _Field_ newspaper will serve to
explain the mode to be observed in their manufacture:--

{Grease cartridges, to make.}

"A represents a piece of common cartridge paper; B a roller of boxwood,
or any hard wood, turned to the size to admit the paper A being rolled
once round it, and then fitting into the chamber C; C a chamber turned
out of a solid piece of wood, the chamber to be the exact size of bore
of gun the cartridges are intended for. To make the cartridges, cut a
piece of paper in the shape of the drawing A, cutting the top to the
width requisite, to allow the paper at top to overlap nearly a quarter
of an inch; then gum the edge of the paper to about the eighth of an
inch, as marked by the dotted line on the drawing A. Place the roller
B on to the paper at D, and roll up firmly; wind round it a little
thread, to keep the paper from slipping. In a few minutes it will be
dry. You can then push the roller out of the case, and proceed in the
same way till you have enough cases. Secondly, take the roller and
return it to the case, excepting that you leave the roller exposed
at the top, say for 16-gauge about 3/8in.; place the case and roller
in the chamber, bottom upwards, then take some fine strong twine and
place round as in drawing No. 1. When drawn tight, tie firmly, and it
will appear as in No. 2: then reverse the roller and case, bringing
the tied end down to bottom of chamber, press down hard to flatten the
bottom of case, draw out the roller, pour into the case some melted
tallow of about the consistency of cream, and then put in your charge
of shot, having sufficient quantity of tallow to just cover the shot.
Put by until cool; when set firm, place on the top of the tallow a
leather wad (the size for 16-gauge cartridge will be 18-gauge). Any
leather not too thick will do, and you can cut the wads out with a
punch. Turn down the case neatly over the leather wad, and make fast
with sealing-wax. When loading place the tied end of cartridge next to
the powder. These directions are for both muzzle and breech-loaders,
the only difference being in the roller, which for muzzle-loaders must
be made 1/16in. smaller at the bottom end, as marked by the dots in
drawing B. After a little practice the cartridges do not take long to


{Makeshift cartridges.}

Wherever the means of transport will permit, take plenty of Ely's wire
cartridges, but when they cannot be obtained, a makeshift form, well
adapted for general use, may be made as follows:--Prepare a stick,
about 18in. long, by rounding it carefully and making it fit the bore
of your gun loosely. Round this take two or three turns of oiled
silk, such as chemists sell. Then draw off the end of the stick tube
enough to hold the charge of shot and admit of two ties being made
round it. Now, with a piece of fine twine, put on the first tie close
to the stick; then put in your charge of shot, and when it is shaken
into place, put the other tie on the outer end, just as sausage skins
are secured. The cartridge is now complete, and can be cut off next
the stick, when you proceed as before until all the tube has been
used. We manufactured a great number of these in Tartary, and found
them hard-hitting and durable. We usually carried a waistcoat pocket
full of them, and rammed one down on each charge of powder without
any wad between the cartridge and powder, but always placed one over
the cartridge, in order to prevent it from rising in the barrel.
Cartridges of this description kill considerably farther than a loose
charge, and are exceedingly handy when shooting from the horse's back.
We, with 1oz. of No. 4, killed in this way, near Phoros Pass, an eagle,
which we gave Captain Blackiston, R.A., who, we believe, deposited it
in the Royal Artillery Institution at Woolwich. The fingers of old kid
gloves should always be kept, as they serve as excellent covers both
for shot and ball. Shot will require one tie to keep it in; balls will
remain in without fastening. A little grease or oil should be smeared
over them when first made.

{Hints on firearms.}

On many occasions we have been obliged to fire shot from a rifle, for
the purpose of obtaining birds, when the smooth-bores were not at hand.
Either the oiled silk or glove-finger cartridge is very far superior to
a loose charge. In loading ordinary guns with loose shot, it sometimes
happens that a few grains get dropped into the loaded barrel between
the ramrod head and the barrel. When this happens, invert the gun,
pass the rod upwards, and the shot will fall out, when the rod can be
withdrawn. The ramrod will also at times get firmly fixed in a foul
barrel, and defy every ordinary effort to get it out. A little water,
spirit, or any other fluid poured down the barrel almost instantly
releases it. Should a gun or rifle miss fire, or be exposed for any
time to damp, cut a small peg of dry, soft wood, hammer it well down
into the nipple, cut it off flush, put on a new cap, and pull the
trigger, when the weapon is almost certain to go off. We first saw this
plan in use among the Sardinian Bersigliari, and have since found it
answer perfectly.

When hunting through wet jungles, or the reeds of the marsh, percussion
caps can be rendered almost waterproof by melting a little beeswax on
a piece of tin and then dipping the mouth of each separate cap in it.
These, when cold, are set aside for use. When placed on the nipple, the
wax forms a shield between the cap and nipple, which prevents the water
from working its way up. All vegetable oil used about gun-locks should
be prepared as follows:--Partly fill a common vial with oil, throw in a
half charge of shot, hang it in the air with the cork out, and in a few
days drain off all the clear oil from the top for use.

{Gun cleaning.}

Spirits of turpentine, when it can be procured, is very valuable for
cleaning the interiors of guns, pistols, and rifles. When water is
used, wash the barrels out thoroughly with cold water, making use of
a tough wooden rod with a number of notches at the end. Round this
a piece of woollen cloth may be twisted until of a size to act as a
sucker in the barrel. Woollen is better than tow, linen, or cotton,
as there is no danger of ignitable threads being left behind, and it
can be used repeatedly by washing and drying it. When the barrels are
thoroughly clean, fill them with boiling water. When this has all run
off through the nipple holes, commence with a fresh strip of cloth to
dry out the barrels, which must be held in a folded cloth, in order to
guard the hand from the heat of the water. When quite dry, and before
the barrels are cold, finish off with a little spirits of turpentine.
Lead may be removed by the use of a little quicksilver. The cleaning
of fire-arms in a wild country is a matter of the very greatest
importance, and should never be entrusted to servants, unless, from
long service and great experience, they may be implicitly depended on.
Even with such followers about us, we always, however fatigued, clean
our own guns.

It not unfrequently happens that white men residing alone or in small
communities in the vicinity of numerous and powerful native tribes
possess cannon of some kind or other, generally small signal guns
from merchant ships, perhaps recovered from wrecks upon the coast, or
field-pieces abandoned as not worth the trouble of bringing away when
some military outpost has ceased to be occupied.

{Mounting cannon.}

During 1863 and 1864 the barbarous and desultory war between the
Namaqua Hottentots and the Damaras, whom they had so long oppressed,
was keeping the country in a state of alarm for many hundred miles
around, and we were requested to take charge of a couple of brass yacht
guns. It was necessary to mount them, so that they might be easily
moved from point to point on the plain around the village; and for
this purpose we took for each the hinder wheels and axle of a Cape
waggon, inserting a pole to serve as the "trail" into the socket of
the "lang-wagen" in the centre of the axle; we then took a plank of
stinkwood, 1ft. wide, 3in. thick, and about 4ft. long. About 1ft. from
the foremost end a stout bolt passed through it and the centre of the
axle so as to let it work freely, the after end was tapered to a point
and travelled on a quadrant, made from the felloe of an after wheel.

On this, as a swivel bed, we bolted down a pair of cheeks of 2in.
stinkwood to carry the guns. The quoins and wedges ran in grooves,
formed by 1in. slips of stinkwood nailed upon the bed, to which they
were secured by lanyards of raw hide; the boxes for ammunition on
either side were covered with raw hide, and that containing the powder
was thickly lined with green baize; the matches were kept in a small
box in front of the gun-carriage; the fuze-holder was made from the
segment of a hollow brass curtain ring fixed to a handle of hard wood;
the fuze itself was a strip of calico 1in. broad, doubled and loosely
twisted into a two-stranded rope; it was steeped in a solution of
gunpowder, and the colour indicated its strength--light grey was slow
match, and dark grey was quick.

As we did not contemplate moving the guns farther than necessary for
the defence of the village, we made no provision for yoking draught
oxen, but this could easily have been done if needed. It was enough
for our purpose to provide man ropes, one pair behind the gun and one
before, so that, either in advance or retreat, its muzzle might be
towards the enemy.

The bullets were all tied up in calico, with wads made by cutting off
sections of soft deal rods, and cartridges of twelve or fourteen musket
balls or fifty revolver bullets were made up.

{Time guns.}

One use to which one of our guns was put is shown in the illustration.
We were asked to repair the clock, but this is always difficult, and
it is uncertain how long it may go correctly afterwards. We therefore
erected a frame over the gun, and fitted the lens of a camera on an
axle placed due east and west, so that it could turn in the plane
of the meridian, and so be adapted to the sun's gradual change of
declination. Below the lens we fitted a piece of tin with its edges
turned downwards, to hold a piece of quick match, a strip of calico,
steeped in a strong solution of gunpowder, beneath it; a small slit in
the tin was then so adjusted as to let the focus of light fall through
it exactly at 12 o'clock; a small clip of tin confined the other end
of the match over the vent. The moment of noon was announced with a
regularity that no clock in our possession could have attained; and one
great advantage was, that if by the interposition of a cloud, which
would not happen once in nine months, the gun should fail to fire at
the proper moment, it could not go wrong, for the speck of light would
pass the narrow slit, and no discharge would take place till the next

  [Illustration: TIME GUN.]


The absence of the cap squares of a gun can be remedied by lashing
the metal firmly down to the carriage with a raw hide rope, and then
twisting it up tight with a stick, as shown in the above illustration;
which also exhibits the mode of raising a gun by making use of the
trail as a lever. A heavy gun may be mounted by letting its muzzle into
a hole in the ground while the carriage is run under it.

{Percussion caps and substitutes.}

During the continuance of the Damara and Hottentot war we were becoming
exceedingly short of percussion caps, and were obliged not only very
carefully to husband the few that were left, but to turn our attention
to the manufacture of substitutes. The tips of Congreve matches, with
the wood cut to a point so as to stick in the nipple of the gun,
proved very effective, but were liable to be brushed or shaken off,
or to become damp if carried for any length of time before firing.
We, therefore, first inclosed the end of the match in the shell of an
expended cap, and finding this answer, we dissolved the composition,
and put a drop into the cap without the wood; we then dissolved it off
a whole box of matches at a time, and with a camel-hair pencil put
small drops into as many cap shells as it would serve. This answered
admirably; but our next fear was that the supply of matches would
run short, and therefore, drawing on our own artificial horizon for
the quicksilver, on the photographic stores for nitric acid, and on
our friends, the missionaries, for a supply of alcohol from their
natural-history department, we set about the manufacture of fulminate
of mercury according to the following recipe:--Dissolve 10 grs. of
mercury in 1-1/2 oz., by measure, of nitric acid; the solution is
poured cold into 2 oz., by measure, of alcohol in a glass vessel,
and gentle heat is applied till effervescence is excited, though it
ordinarily comes on at common temperatures, a white vapour undulates
on the surface, and a powder is gradually precipitated, which is
immediately to be collected in a filter, well washed, and cautiously
dried. It detonates by gentle heat or slight friction. Two grains and a
half, with one-sixth of gunpowder, form the quantity for one percussion
cap. We used a conical twist of blotting-paper for the filter, and
mixed the fulminate, while still moist, with a small palette knife
upon a plate with the gunpowder, treating it very gently, and in small
quantities. We collected all the shells of expended caps, and for new
ones cut out a cross of thin copper; then, making a hole in a piece of
iron and a punch the size of the nipple, we drove the centre of the
cross in, and the shell was formed. Stiff cartridge-paper stiffened
with gum would have answered for dry weather, but would not have been
secure against wet.

{Brass guns and their charges.}

The block-houses erected by the Hudson's Bay Company, as depôts and
forts in connection with the fur trade, usually have guns mounted in
them. Brass field guns and howitzers are also at times to be met with
at the border stations of wild countries, and it may, therefore, be
well to know the charges and ranges of the ordinary kinds, which are as

                           BRASS FIELD GUNS.

              |                 Ranges.
   Elevation. +------------+-----------+-------+-------------
              | Round Shot.| Shrapnel. | Case. |  Length
              |            |           |       | of fuse.
    P.B.      |     310    |    --     |  100  |   ·3
      1/2°    |     470    |    450    |  150  |   ·4
    1         |     620    |    600    |  200  |   ·5
    1-1/2     |     760    |    710    |  250  |   ·6
    2         |     890    |    820    |  300  |   ·7
    2-1/2     |    1000    |    920    |  --   |   ·8
    3         |    1100    |   1020    |  --   |   ·9
    3-1/2     |    1190    |   1110    |  --   |  1·
    4         |    1280    |   1180    |  --   |  1·
    4-1/2     |    1370    |   1250    |  --   |  --
    5         |    1450    |   1320    |  --   |  --
    5-1/2     |    1530    |   1380    |  --   |  --
    6         |    1600    |   1440    |  --   |  --
              |                 Ranges.
   Elevation. +------------+-----------+-------+--------------
              | Round Shot.| Shrapnel. | Case. |  Length
              |            |           |       | of fuse.
    P.B.      |     300    |    --     |  150  |  --
    0-1/2°    |     500    |    --     |  200  |  --
    1         |     680    |    670    |  250  |  ·3
    1-1/2     |     830    |    800    |  300  |  ·4
    2         |     960    |    910    |  --   |  ·5
    2-1/2     |    1080    |   1020    |  --   |  ·6
    3         |    1190    |   1120    |  --   |  ·7
    3-1/2     |    1300    |   1220    |  --   |  ·8
    4         |    1400    |   1320    |  --   |  ·9
    4-1/2     |    1500    |   1410    |  --   |  ·9
    5         |    1590    |   1500    |  --   |  ·0
    5-1/2     |    1680    |   1590    |  --   | 1·0
    6         |    1760    |   1680    |  --   |

                            BRASS HOWITZERS.

              |                          Ranges.
   Elevation. | Common | Shrapnel. |          Case.          | Length
              | Shell. |           |                         | of fuse.
     P.B.     |   200  |    --     |           100           |   --
     0-1/2°   |   310  |    --     |           150           |   --
     1        |   420  |    400    |           200           |   ·3
     1-1/2    |   530  |    520    |           250           |   ·4
     2        |   630  |    630    |           300           |   ·5
     2-1/2    |   715  |    725    |                         |   ·6
     3        |   800  |    820    +-------------------------+   ·7
     3-1/2    |   885  |    910    |                         |   ·8
     4        |   970  |   1000    |        Ricochet.        |   ·9
     4-1/2    |  1050  |   1090    |                         |  1·0
     5        |  1135  |   1180    |Charge 6oz., el. ·7° .600|  1·1
     5-1/2    |  1220  |   1270    |  "    8oz.,  "  ·6  .600|  1·2
     6        |  1290  |   1350    |  "   10oz.,  "  ·5  .600|  1·3
              |                          Ranges.
   Elevation. | Common | Shrapnel. |          Case.          | Length
              | Shell. |           |                         | of fuse.
     P.B.     |   270  |    --     |           150           |   --
     0-1/2°   |   390  |    --     |           200           |   --
     1        |   520  |    500    |           250           |   ·3
     1-1/2    |   640  |    630    |           300           |   ·4
     2        |   760  |    760    |                         |   ·5
     2-1/2    |   860  |    870    +-------------------------+   ·6
     3        |   960  |    980    |                         |   ·7
     3-1/2    |  1060  |   1090    |                         |   ·8
     4        |  1160  |   1200    |        Ricochet.        |   ·9
     4-1/2    |  1260  |   1300    |                         |  1·0
     5        |  1350  |   1400    |       See Table B.      |  1·1
     5-1/2    |  1440  |   1500    |                         |  1·2
     6        |  1520  |   1600    |                         |

                           TABLE B.

    Charge.  |  Elevation.  |  Pitch.
      oz.    |     deg.     |
       6     |     7·5      |   400
       9     |     4·38     |    --
       8     |     9·       |   500
      10     |     7·5      |    --
      11     |     6·       |    --
      11-1/2 |     5·5      |    --
      12     |     5·25     |    --
      14     |     5·       |    --
       9     |     7·75     |   600
      12     |     6·5      |    --
      16     |     4·75     |    --

{Cartridges and wads for cannon.}

Cartridges for either brass or iron guns are best made of some woollen
material; trade serge or old blanketing answers very well for the
purpose. Bags should be made a little less than the bore, and into
these the charge of powder is to be poured. A piece of woollen thread,
double worsted, or twine should now be used to close the end of the
bag, after which it is to be passed two or three times round the bag,
giving it at the same time a compact cylindrical form by rolling on a
board or table under the hand. Passing the thread through the substance
of the cartridge aids much in keeping its form and facilitates loading.
A cartridge needle should be used to perform this operation. This
needle can be easily made from a piece of stout copper or brass wire.
Flatten out one end, drill or punch a hole in it to form the eye, and
file the other end sharp for a point. Fourteen inches is a convenient
length for a cartridge needle. It is said that a sailor's wife enabled
a British vessel to continue a long and desperate fight by pillaging
the officers' quarters of all the stockings she could find, and handing
them up to be filled for cartridges. The intestines of animals,
according to their size, would make as good cartridge cases as could be
desired. Wads may be made of picked oakum twisted in a flat spiral to
the proper size of the bore, when they are made to retain their shape
by being secured here and there with fine twine passed through with
the needle. In the absence of oakum, wooden wads may be made by first
spokeshaving a stout pole to the size of the bore, and then sawing it
up into convenient lengths.

{Guns to unspike and repair.}

Old guns which have been laid by will not uncommonly be found spiked,
by having a common nail driven into the vent. If efficient tools
are at hand this may be drilled out, if not, put a charge of powder
in the gun, bore a gimlet hole in one of your wooden wads, through
which pass a loosely-twisted string well impregnated with dissolved
gunpowder, and afterwards dried. Cut the end of your prepared string
just at the muzzle of the gun, light it, and get out of the way, when
the explosion, which soon takes place, will not unfrequently expel
the spike. A gun which has had its trunnions knocked off, with a view
to rendering it useless, may be made nearly as effective as ever by
cutting with the axe or adze a bed for it in a stout piece of log, of
such a form that the cascabel of the gun and the breech end are rather
more than half buried in solid wood. The log may now be trimmed off to
convenient dimensions, and all made secure by a lashing of wet raw hide
rope, which rests in a broad shallow notch cut in the log to receive
it. The gun and its bed are thus, as the rope dries, held together by a
material little less rigid than iron.

{Priming cups, to make.}

The bed log and gun may now be mounted by placing a very strong round
bar of hard tough wood across the slide or carriage immediately
below where the trunnions would have rested. This receives a deep
semicircular notch, cut to exactly correspond with it on the under
side of the bed log. The gun can now be elevated and depressed in
the usual manner by placing wedges under the log. The common mode of
priming a gun from a flask or horn, when there are no percussion or
friction tubes to be obtained, is, to say the least of it, inconvenient
and dangerous. It is far better to keep on hand a few priming cups.
These are made as follows: From the joints of a bamboo cut a number of
little cups, the bottoms being formed by the knots of the cane; in the
centre of the bottom bore a hole, with a gimlet or red hot wire, large
enough to admit a piece of marsh reed, hollow cane, weed stalk, or
quill, about 3in. long, and small enough in diameter to pass down into
the vent of the gun easily; stop the small end with a bit of melted
sealing-wax; secure the large end in the cup by the same agency.

The cup becomes now a sort of funnel, through which common fine
sporting powder should be poured until both tube and cup are full,
when a piece of oiled paper is strained over the top of the cup like
the head of a drum, and is tied fast with twine. When the gun is to
be fired, the cartridge is pierced in the usual way with the priming
wire. The tube of the priming cup is now to be inserted at the mouth
of the vent, and pressed down until the bottom of the cup rests on the
metal of the gun, when on the port fire or linstock being applied, the
paper lid is instantly burned through, and the gun discharged. In windy
weather, heavy tropical rains, or at night, these cups are extremely

{Makeshift firearms.}

A cannon, of very tolerable efficiency for close quarters, and slug or
bullet charges, may be made by boring a hole partly through a piece of
tough strong log, with a pump auger; bore a vent with a gimlet, put on
one or two hoops or rings of iron or raw hide, and the gun is ready for
use. We have seen several of these, which were effectually used during
the rebellion in Canada.

In 1838, at the siege of Herat, Mahomed Shah brought up a quantity of
metal on the backs of camels, and had a heavy bronze gun cast, and
completely finished before the town; and when the siege was raised
the king had his gun sawn to pieces and taken to Teheran. Shah Abbas,
of Ispahan, had a heavy piece of artillery, but said it would delay
his march, and he would much rather carry metal on camels and cast
artillery before the enemy's town.

During the Indian mutiny, the rebels pulled down the telegraph-posts
which had iron tube sockets fitted to them in order to keep off the
white ants. These sockets were taken off, and vents drilled in them.
They were then loaded with powder, and charges of slugs made from
doubled up and hammered pieces of the telegraph wire. We have seen a
piece of common iron gas-pipe, a piece of wood, and a few bits of sheet
copper, converted into a very formidable matchlock pistol.

In our Australian boat voyage we had a small 1lb. swivel carronade. We
jammed a pole about 6ft. long into the fork of the swivel, and had we
met any of the Malay trepang fishers, who go in companies of a hundred
or more, we should have made the swivel-bolt fast to the bowsprit just
outside the stem of our boat, and, letting the trail rest on the mast
thwart, have defended ourselves with heavy charges of musket bullets.
Of course the fishers might have been friendly, or, if not, the
knowledge that we had a gun would have made them so, and we should not
in any case have been the aggressors.

{The Zemboureks, or dromedary artillery.}

Light guns mounted on dromedaries or camels are valuable for the
defence of caravans, &c. The Afghans first used these in an emergency
against the Persians. A number of pivoted arquebuses were mounted
on the saddles of dromedaries, which were taught to kneel while the
pieces were fired from their backs. The Persians, profiting by the
lessons of their defeat, also organised a similar force, the guns
weighing not more than 75lb. The saddle was originally constructed
of two-forked branches connected by wooden bars, and if the gun was
slightly overloaded the recoil would injure the fittings, and disturb
the animal; but subsequently the saddle was much improved, and wheels
were added, so that it might be taken from the animal's back and
used as a field gun. It will be seen that the staff of the bannerol
carries a little tent, and this covers the ammunition bags. A skin of
water hangs under the belly of the camel. The Persians have sought
out with eagerness and perseverance the best form of artillery to be
carried on the backs of animals; and, as it seems that dromedaries have
been successfully imported into America and Australia, it may be of
advantage to know that they are capable of being utilised in this way.
Other animals, perhaps oxen, might be trained to carry smaller guns.


Very efficient common case shot can be made by filling empty
preserved-meat tins with rifle or pistol balls. A bag of cooper's iron
hoop rivets is a very favourite charge among the South-Sea whalers.
Round shot can be made as directed under the head "Lead, and its Uses."

{Grenades and rocket arrows.}

Extempore grenades can be made from empty soda-water bottles or old
ink jars. On one occasion we made a number from the latter vessels by
filling them with a mixture of buck shot and strong sporting powder;
stoppers of wood were then fitted by notching the upper ends, and
fastening them down with wire, like the corks of champagne bottles,
a gimlet hole was then bored in each, and a few inches of quick match
put in. When the fuse has been lighted, these vessels are either hurled
from the hand or fired from large powerful cross-bows, when they, by
exploding in full flight or on the ground, cause no trifling confusion
among an undisciplined enemy, a pack of wolves, or a sounder of hog in
a cactus brake.

An unarmed merchantman was chased by a pirate galley; she hove to, and
pretended to surrender, but two men stood at the gangway with a cask of
powder. As soon as the long low open boat came alongside they threw it
into her, and the cook, running out of the galley, threw a shovelful of
hot coals after it. The ship forged ahead before the smoke had cleared
away, and escaped, leaving the desperadoes to their fate.

Large arrows tipped with strong paper cases, such as are made for
rockets, only choked at the bottom, become most formidable projectiles.
The cases are partly filled with powder, a wad, with a hole in it, is
rammed down on the charge, a quill is put in the hole, about thirty
buck shot are deposited round the quill, which is filled with meal
powder. The case and quill head are then capped with paper which has
been soaked in dissolved gunpowder or nitre. Arrows thus made are to
be fired from powerful hand-bows, after the match has been lighted. In
the true rocket arrow the touchpaper is ignited just before the arrow
is fixed in the bow, and it is shot just before the fire reaches the
composition; the combustion then aids the flight rather than retards
it. The head is strongly barbed, so that it may not easily be drawn
from thatched roofs, &c.; the Chinese and Indian tribes often use these.

{Gunpowder, to make.}

It sometimes happens that the hunter or explorer has, like many members
of the Algerian, Tartar, and Mongolian tribes, to turn gunpowder
manufacturer. To make gunpowder three ingredients are requisite: viz.,
saltpetre (nitrate of potash), sulphur, and charcoal. The two former
ingredients should form a part of the equipment of an expedition
(see "Farrier's Stores," p. 84). Still, where such stores are not
carried, sulphur and saltpetre are usually to be obtained, more or
less pure, from the natives of all but the most unfrequented and
isolated countries. The saltpetre will require recrystallisation,
which is carried out as follows: Take equal quantities, by measure,
of the saltpetre and boiling water, stir them well about with a stick
until all the lumps are thoroughly dissolved; strain the resulting
fluid through a coarse cloth in order to get rid of sticks, chips, and
stones, and set it aside to crystallise; when the process is complete
drain the water from the crystals, set them to dry on a skin or a
cloth. The sulphur, if in lumps as imported, will require purification
by melting. This operation must be conducted over a very slow fire,
and immediately the mass becomes liquid in the pot it should be put
to stand for a few minutes in hot wood ashes in order that impurities
may settle to the bottom. The neck of the vessel may then be held
fast in a twisted stick, and the contents poured dexterously out
into a convenient mould until the sediment at the bottom, which is
useless, is left. Flour of sulphur will not require this treatment.
The charcoal (see "Charcoal Burning," p. 267) should, for gunpowder
making, be prepared from some light, clean-grained wood. In this
country willow, withy, alder, hazel, linden, &c., are held in high
esteem for the purpose; but in wild countries the nearest approach to
these within reach should be obtained. The three ingredients must be
first separately ground, either in a native quern or stone handmill,
between two conveniently-formed stones, or in an extempore pestle
and mortar, until reduced to perfect powder, quite free from lumps
or grit. The three powders are to be now weighed out carefully in
the following proportions: One part sulphur, one part charcoal, and
six parts saltpetre. Mix these on a skin pegged out on the ground,
and rub the mixture together with the palms of the hands until most
intimately and thoroughly blended; then, with an empty percussion-cap
box or drinking cup, measure your mixture, and for every ten cups or
boxes of powder put down a stone or make a mark, and for every mark
put aside a cup full of warm water, so that you have just one-tenth of
fluid. This you sprinkle with a bunch of feathers or grass, a little
at a time, on the powders, until, by constant and persistent working
and kneading, a smooth homogeneous paste is formed. Two well-selected
stones much facilitate this stage of the process; one should be large
and flat, the other water-rounded and oval; in fact, a water-worn
pebble of about 2lb. weight. By sitting on the stretched skin with
the flat stone between the legs, the water and sprinkler at the side,
and the pebble between the hands, the paste can be effectually worked
up; and it is well to bear in mind that on the perfect homogeneity of
this paste depends, in great measure, the quality of the gunpowder.
[Illustration] The paste--or devil as it is sometimes called--being
thoroughly elaborated, make square flat cakes of it 6in. square and
2in. thick, and wrap them compactly up in cotton cloth or old sheeting
four or five times doubled; then stitch up a stout hide bag just
large enough to contain all your cakes and their coverings when built
in compactly one on the other, and sew up the opening; then, with a
chisel, scoop out a cavity in the end of a log just deep enough to half
bury your case of cakes; then, with the aid of a neighbouring tree,
and a few suitable pieces of wood, which are easily fashioned with the
axe, prepare such a press as is shown in the above illustration. The
weight should be increased gradually, and the pressure intensified
until the cakes are pressed into compact masses. The coverings are now
to be removed, and then the process of coming begins, and the help of a
corning sieve is required. This is made as follows: Make a wide stout
hoop of any pliant wood, and over one of its edges stretch a head of
parchment, like that of a banjo, nail or lace it on wet, and when dry
it will become perfectly tight, like the head of a tambourine. Now,
take a very small-sized key, file off the wards and bow, sharpen the
lower edges round the tube with the file until it is converted into a
sharp hollow punch. Turn your tambourine upside down on a smooth-faced
log of suitable size, and, with a small hammer and your little punch,
proceed to perforate the parchment until the head is covered with small
round holes. Now fashion from any dry, hard, heavy wood a flat disc
1-1/2in. thick and 4-1/2in. in diameter; this, with the broken cake,
is put in the sieve and rattled about forward and back until the small
broken granular fragments are in numbers forced through the holes in
the parchment, and fall on the skin stretched to receive them. It will
be found that among the grains thus formed there will be a certain
quantity of fine dust; this can be separated by sweeping the grains
over a sloping board on which flannel has been stretched, the grains
pass on, the dust remains amongst the fibres of the wool, and can be
collected to work up again. The granules can now be placed in a little
wooden box and shaken about until rubbed smooth against each other.
To finish them off it is well to place a large sheet of iron, copper,
tin, or any other metal over a pot of boiling-hot water, throw the
now all-but-finished gunpowder on the plate and stir it about until
completely dry. A clean frying-pan is by no means a bad instrument
for powder drying; take care that it is only placed on hot water, and
not subjected to fire heat, or a blow-up will probably follow. Too
much caution cannot be used after the powder has been subjected to the
granulating process; before that there is little to fear, after it a
great deal.

  [Illustration: SEARCHING FOR GOLD.]

{Geology for travellers.}

In travelling through little known or comparatively undescribed
countries, it will be well for the experienced traveller to closely
investigate and carefully study the geology of the region he is passing
through; outcropping rocks and the stones of the river beds should be
closely investigated. Sand should be gathered on the borders of the
deep pools, dried, spread out on paper, and examined under the lens.
Thus will the formation of inaccessible mountain regions be often
brought to light. The winter ices and spring floods, by breaking up
and disintegrating the rocks they flow through, gradually, by friction
and the grinding power of water-moved boulders, reduce the detritus
which accompanies them to sand, more or less ponderous according to
the metallic elements of which it is formed. Thus, by the breaking up
of quartz veins by the agencies just referred to, gold is released from
its matrix to enrich the sands and shingle beds of certain rivers.
Alluvial tin is in the same way set free in grains and nodules from the
granitic or other formations in which it resides, and, water borne,
travels onward until arrested by some deep pit or crevice in the river
bed, where it remains until disturbed by floods of more than ordinary
magnitude, or the pick and shovel of the miner. Our space will not
admit of our dealing at length with the indications of gold or other
metals, or of the regions in which the precious metals and gems are
to be sought. {Metals, to identify.} We shall, therefore, content
ourselves by giving a few plain, and we trust practical, hints for
the finding and identification of such metals, stones, &c., as the
traveller is likely to meet with. First in importance we class gold;
and, although precarious and uncertain in the bulk of its deposits,
is more generally distributed throughout the earth's surface than any
other metal. {Hints to gold searchers.} Clay slate formations, traversed
by iron-stained quartz dykes, are well worth investigating; and most
of the streams which flow through such formations will be found, on
careful examination, more or less auriferous. In prospecting a stream,
or river bed, choose localities where the stream, after a sharp
descending run, has impinged against a perpendicular bank, forming an
eddy before flowing onward. Dig away boldly all the top deposit until
the bed rock is reached. Rout out all the depressions, crevices, and
holes in this, scooping up all the clay, gravel, and grit they may
contain. Place all this in convenient quantities in a broad shallow
metal pan or dish, add water to it, rub it about briskly with the
hand, pour away all the dirty water, add more, shake it about, give a
sweeping rotatory motion to your pan, pick out all large lumps of stone
or quartz, giving a sharp look at the latter; still add water, and work
the pan until nothing but fine clear sand remains in it. A dexterous
rolling, tilting motion is given by the initiated, which at once clears
away the baser fragments, and reveals the "colour," as the gold dust
is called by the miners. A broad shovel is at times used somewhat
in the same manner, the handle being held as shown in the full-page
illustration "Searching for Gold," when the process is called vanning.


{Mining and miners' tools.}

To carry out a regular system of investigation among quartz reefs,
mineral veins, and metalliferous rocks, certain tools and appliances
will be needed--picks of Cornish pattern, such as is represented in
the above illustration, sets of steel borers, with cockscomb ends,
sets of steel gads or wedges, borer, steel and gad steel in bars,
blasting powder, safety match in coils, some heavy hammers, a portable
forge (such as is here represented), [Illustration] set of smith's
tools, shovel blades, spare pick-heads, and hilts of ash, &c. When it
is deemed requisite to blast a portion of rock, the borer and hammer
are used much as shown in the annexed illustration. [Illustration]
One man, sitting on the ground, holds the borer upright and turns
it freely round, whilst his assistant strikes it with the hammer. A
little water dropped from time to time down the hole keeps the bit
cool, and facilitates the operation. As sludge collects, it is removed
with a species of scraper, fashioned from the end of an iron bar. A
small rod or stick, with its end fibres frayed and set up like a mop,
is used for drying out the hole. Should it be in wet ground, where
moisture remains in spite of swabbing out, a cartridge composed of
tallowed cotton or oiled paper, may be used to inclose the powder in.
According to the old-fashioned plan, which some miners still follow,
a long pointed copper rod or needle was pressed into the charge after
it had been rammed into the bottom of the hole. Round this rod clay,
pulverised clay, slate, &c., was closely packed, and driven with a
copper tamping rod until the hole was compactly filled up. The needle
was now withdrawn, and a match, composed of a long marsh reed filled
with mealed powder, thrust down the orifice until the charge was
reached, when the upper end was held in its place by clay. A bit of
rag, smeared with moistened powder, was attached to the head of the
reed, which, when fired, burned long enough to afford time for the
miners to shelter themselves from the effects of the explosion. Since
the introduction of the so-called patent safety match, it has been with
great advantage substituted for the reed; the burning of this match or
fuse is generally so uniform, that it has only to be cut according to
the distance between the hole and the place of shelter. Even this great
improvement in the means of ignition falls very short of exploding by
voltaic electricity, which should always, when practicable, be had
recourse to. The wandering miner and explorer will, however, seldom be
able to avail himself of its valuable aid, or the use of gun cotton or
nitrate of glycerine, which agents have of late been much lauded as
substitutes for gunpowder in mining operations.

It not unfrequently happens that diamonds and other precious stones are
found in river beds, and such other localities as miners are in the
habit of examining. We therefore offer a few hints and directions for
the identification of these in their rough state, as given by Professor

  [Illustration: 1-22]

{Precious stones, to identify.}

"Fig. 1 is an octahedron; Fig. 2 an octahedron having six planes on
the edges; Fig. 3, dodecahedron with rhombic faces; Figs. 4, 5, and
6 are rarer forms. Out of 1000 diamonds I have generally found about
one of the form of Fig. 6; about ten like Fig. 5; fifty like Fig. 4;
and the remainder like 1, 2, 3, in about an equal proportion. With
regard to the size and weight of diamonds, 500 out of 1000 which came
in the same parcel were found smaller than Fig. 1, which is the exact
size of a diamond weighing half a carat; 300 were of the size 3, 4, 5,
and 6--none of these exceeded a carat in weight; eighty of the size
2 weighed a carat and a half; only one was as large as Fig. 16--this
weighed 24 carats. The remainder varied from 2 to 20 carats, a carat
being equal to three grains and one-sixth troy. Fig. 7 consists of
a conglomerated mass of quartz pebbles rounded through having been
water-worn, a crystal of diamond, the size of a small pea, and various
grains of gold, the whole cemented together by oxide of iron. This
specimen is peculiarly interesting at the present time, as showing the
association of diamonds with gold. In 1844 a slave was searching for
gold in the bed of a river in the province of Bahia, and discovered
diamonds. It being a new locality for diamonds, 297,000 carats were
collected in two years, which produced upwards of 300,000_l._ I see
no reason why diamonds should not be found in Australia, Canada,
California, as well as in those other gold districts from which they
have hitherto been obtained. The value of the most inferior diamonds,
unfit for jewellery, is 50_l._ per ounce. Could they be found in
sufficient abundance to be sold at 5_l._ per ounce, the benefit to
the arts would be incalculable. Not only would the seal engraver,
watchmaker, lapidary, glazier, &c., be able to procure them at easier
prices, but numerous substances would be rendered useful which at
present cannot be profitably worked owing to the high price of diamonds.

"Figs. 8 to 11 represent four crystals of corundum. This substance
is commonly found in six-sided prismatic crystals, and frequently
terminated at each end by six-sided pyramids. When transparent, and of
a blue colour, it is known in jewellery as the sapphire; when merely of
a red colour, it is called Oriental ruby; and when this colour is of a
rich depth, the stone is more valuable than even the diamond.

"Figs. 12 to 14. Three crystals of spinel-ruby. It is of various shades
of red, and is easily distinguished from corundum by the peculiarity of
its crystalline form and inferior hardness.

"Figs. 15 and 16. Crystals of garnet. These are chiefly found in the
form of the rhombic dodecahedron; are occasionally of a beautiful
red colour; when semi-transparent, are called by the jewellers
"carbuncles." They are of comparatively little value.

"Figs. 17 and 18. Two rhombic prisms of topaz. It is found in rivers,
frequently with all the edges and angles of the original crystal worn
off, and presenting a round appearance, in which state it is often
mistaken for the diamond, owing to the colour and specific gravity of
each being the same. It may, however, easily be distinguished from it
by the difference of the hardness and fracture. The diamond yields
readily to mechanical division parallel to all the planes of the
regular octahedron, the topaz only at right angles to the axis of the

"Fig. 20. Tourmaline. A crystal having six sides, deeply striated in
the longitudinal direction, and terminated by a three-sided pyramid;
colour varying from black to brown and green. Transparent specimens are
useful to the philosopher in experiments on polarised light.

"Fig. 21. Crystal of transparent quartz or "rock crystal," frequently
called a "diamond" in the mining districts, as "Bristol diamond," a
"Cornish diamond," &c. The crystal represented by this figure was
brought from California by a person who refused 200_l._ for it, under
the impression that it was a real diamond, because it scratched glass
and could not be scratched with a file. Its real value, however, is not
more than 2_s._ 6_d._

"Fig. 22. Beryl, presents a six-sided prism, and is usually of a green

{River pearls, to find.}

When substances are found which are supposed to be precious stones, the
file test should be at once applied; if the teeth of the instrument
"bite," as it is called, or cut into the substance, it will be at once
fair to infer that some inferior mineral has been discovered. The bit
of sapphire from the case may also be called into use, and if the
stone you have found is of white colour, and a corner of your sapphire
bites or scratches it, there is no hope of its being a diamond. If
on weighing it the specific gravity of the specimen is found to be
less than 3·9, it will not turn out to be a ruby or sapphire. The
application of heat is another test, as if no electricity is manifested
it will not turn out to be a gargoon or a topaz. If, on testing it
on your piece of flint glass, the surface of that is bitten by the
specimen, it will probably be found to be either rock crystal, quartz,
or perchance beryl. The rivers of many countries, our own amongst the
number, not unfrequently contain large mussel-like shells; these are
the fresh-water pearl mussels (_Unio margaritiferus_), and the pearls
which these at times contain are of considerable value, and well repay
being looked for when the rivers are low.

"All is not gold that glitters." Sulphuret of iron and yellow mica are
not unfrequently mistaken by the inexperienced for gold, and we have
not unfrequently had some little difficulty in convincing the sanguine
discoverer of his error. Sulphuret of iron, pyrites, or the mundic of
the miners, is a bright yellow glittering mineral, which sometimes
has gold associated with it. The differences between it and gold are
sufficiently marked. Strike the suspected fragment on a hard substance
with a hammer, and if "mundic," it at once becomes reduced to minute
fragments, whilst gold would be only slightly flattened. Gold is
malleable; mundic is not. Gold can be cut with the pocket-knife just as
easily as copper; mundic resists the knife, turns its edge, and will
strike fire against its back, giving out sulphurous fumes. Mundic,
after being made red hot, is attracted by the magnet; gold never
is. Hot nitric acid causes it to decompose with much effervescence,
leaving such spangles of gold as it may contain free in the bottom of
the test tube. Gold dust is readily taken up by quicksilver; mundic
is not. Yellow mica is so much lighter than gold that its comparative
want of ponderability should at once distinguish it; a small portion
placed on an iron bar, and heated in the fire to redness becomes, on
cooling, flakey and lustreless, whilst gold would remain unaltered; it
floats on the surface of mercury, refusing to unite with it, whilst
gold is immediately converted into an amalgam. Sulphuret of copper, or
copper ore as it is usually called, breaks freely under the hammer, but
can be cut easily with the knife, only instead of producing a solid
metallic chip it crumbles into powder, just as soft stone or chalk
would. Alluvial tin can in no case be mistaken for either gold, silver,
or copper. It is dark coloured, breaks into powder under the hammer,
and is exceedingly ponderous. With the so-called _rosin_ and _wood_
tin we cannot deal here, as the explorer is not very likely to find
them. Minute fragments of stream tin are to be easily distinguished
from small bits of iron ore by first heating them red hot, and then
subjecting them to the magnet; iron will be attracted, tin will not.

{Iron ore, to smelt.}

Many wild countries produce iron ore of remarkable purity, and a
number of native tribes, by a rough system of smelting, contrive to
obtain enough metal for the manufacture of their weapons, implements,
&c. The greater the purity of the metal, the less difficulty will be
experienced in dealing with it. Should the explorer at any time be
called on to smelt a little iron ore, he may proceed as follows: Build
a turret-shaped furnace, proportioned to the quantity of ore to be
treated, line it with ant-hill clay, or common clay and sand, leaving
a hole in the front near the bottom, which has a temporary stopper
of clay placed in it, and another orifice about 2ft. up the back for
the air blast to enter at. Either a large pair of double bellows,
compressible skin air-bags, such as we have before described, or
blowing cylinders, such as are represented in the annexed illustration
[Illustration], must be set up at a convenient distance from the
back of the furnace. These cylinders are used by the inhabitants of
New Guinea instead of bellows, and answer remarkably well. They are
composed of two hollow tree trunks, placed side by side; a wooden tube,
which serves to let the air out, unites them; and a man or boy sits on
the tops of the tubes, and works alternately up and down a couple of
mop-shaped pistons, which are made from poles armed at the ends with
bundles of fibre, feathers, or dry grass, so adjusted that they expand
on being thrust down and collapse on being drawn up. As one piston man
gets fatigued, another takes his place; thus a continuous stream of
air is kept up. Whatever method of blast is decided on, it must be so
arranged as to be continuous and powerful. When the interior of the
furnace is quite dry, throw in a good quantity of well-burned charcoal;
then a layer of split dry wood until it reaches about 1ft. above the
entrance of the blast; then another layer of charcoal and dry cow dung
a few inches deep; then sprinkle in loosely a layer of broken iron ore,
mixed with a little limestone if you can get it; then another layer
of charcoal and dry cow dung, and another of ore; and so on until the
furnace is all but full, only one layer of wood being used. Now through
the blast entrance introduce some well-ignited and glowing embers from
your fire; put in the tube of your blast, which may be of baked clay;
lute it fast in its place, so as to prevent any escape of air; and
proceed to blow, when your furnace will soon be in a state of active
ignition and glow. Keep up the blast steadily, and as the contents of
the furnace sink down add to them from above layer by layer as before
directed, until it is considered that enough metal has been cast in.
So soon as it is thought probable that the iron has melted, a small
portion of the clay of the tap-hole may be removed with an iron bar,
when, if in a sufficiently fluxed condition, the iron will run freely
out into long shallow pits dug to receive it. The iron thus procured
is called bloom, and has to be heated in pieces in the forge fire, and
thoroughly roasted and thumped about until it is soft and tough enough
for general use. The natives do not as a rule wait for their iron to
flow, but open the furnace when it cools down, and then drag out such
bloom as may have settled to the bottom. Excellent steel is made from
iron thus procured by the natives of the hill districts of India, by
putting it in small earthen crucibles with charcoal, rice, chaff,
peroxide of manganese, and green leaves. These pots are then luted down
with clay, and placed in a clay furnace heated with dry cow dung and
charcoal. Here they remain for a considerable time, when the fire is
allowed to burn out; the pots are then, when cool, removed, and the
steel taken out to be fashioned by the hand of the smith into any form
required. We have used a great deal of both iron and steel prepared as
above described, and found both of admirable quality.

{Chemical tests for minerals.}

A common horse-shoe magnet, such as can be bought for a mere trifle
at any toyshop, will be found very useful for extracting particles of
iron from other mineral. Whenever the means of transport will admit, it
is well to take a small compact case of simple appliances, tests, and
reagents. The whole, by a little ingenuity, may be easily packed in a
solid leather case very little larger than an ordinary sandwich box.
Its contents should be as follows: Small glass-stoppered and capped
bottle of nitric acid, ditto hydrochloric acid, ditto liq. ammonia,
ditto quicksilver, small corked bottles of ferrocyanide of potassium,
bi-chromate of potash, fused borax, and common salt; a small jointed
blowpipe, a pair of forceps, a small pair of scales, fitted for taking
specific gravities, and a set of weights, a bit of flint glass, a
piece of sapphire, which can be obtained from any lapidary; half a
dozen test tubes to nest one within the other; half a dozen old watch
glasses, to be obtained for a few pence from any watchmaker; half a
dozen narrow strips of window glass, cut to a thickness little greater
than stout wire, and 5in. long (these are for stirring up hot acids,
&c.); a piece of stout copper wire, shaped like the figure 9, to hold
the watch glasses on whilst they are over the lamp or candle flame; a
small fine file and a few narrow slips of well burnt light charcoal;
a common wire cigar-holder, to hold the test tubes in whilst heated;
and a very small bright-faced hammer, such as watchmakers use. It is
truly astonishing how much qualitative analysis can be carried out
with these comparatively limited means. We will suppose that a little
bag of sand has been obtained; that it shows, on being spread out,
a number of particles of a glittering yellow substance, as well as
black-coloured grains, mixed with common quartz and minute fragments of
stone. We first place our sand on a sheet of white paper, and with our
pocket lens have a thorough examination of the various constituents.
Should any grains of sufficient size and questionable character present
themselves, they may be at once taken up on the moistened point of
a pin. If one of them should look like gold, place it on some hard
substance and give it a blow with your hammer. If it flattens without
powdering, drop it into one of your test tubes, pour in a little nitric
acid, and hold it in the flame until it boils thoroughly. If your
particle gives off a train of minute bubbles and gradually dissolves,
pour a little of the contents of your tube into two separate watch
glasses placed side by side, add a little water to each. Add a little
common salt to No. 1; if the particle is silver, you will at once have
a thick white precipitate--chloride of silver. Drop a few drops of your
liquor ammonia into No. 2; and if copper, the beautiful and well-marked
blue colour of ammonuret of copper will at once appear. Should the
particle have crushed under the blow, it is probably either sulphuret
of iron or copper ore. To distinguish these two substances when in a
minute state of division, proceed with the acid as just described,
and test one watch glass with a small fragment of ferrocyanide of
potassium, when, if sulphuret of iron or "mundic," you will have a
dense cloud of Prussian blue in your watch glass. Treat the other with
your liquor ammonia, and you will have the same brilliant ammonuret of
copper colour as if the particle had been native or malleable copper.
Having satisfied ourselves as to the selected particles--for should the
flattened grain resist the action of the hot acid and remain bright, it
is surely gold--we place our sand on a shovel, and hold it there until
the whole is red hot; it may then be taken from the fire, and allowed
to cool on the shovel. The magnet will now take out all the bits of
iron. Now with a hammer-face or smooth water-worn pebble proceed to
crush all the substances on the shovel fine. Then at the nearest stream
of water, or in a large tub, carefully van and wash your sample until
all the earthy and worthless matters have been washed away; then the
practised eye will instantly distinguish the gold, if any. The utterly
inexperienced may, however, be deceived by remaining fragments of
mundic or copper ore before referred to; therefore, to make assurance
doubly sure, let him dry his washed metal powder on the shovel over
the fire, then carefully place it in a small, clean, dry vial-bottle
with a little quicksilver. Shake and rattle it well about until all
the particles have been brought well in contact with the mercury. Such
fragments as it will not take up are not gold; but to find that which
it has converted into an amalgam, place the mercury in a piece of clean
chamois leather, press it carefully, and the mercury will force its
way in minute globules through the leather, leaving the gold in a soft
mass within. This, by being heated to redness, throws off the remaining
quicksilver, and can be estimated as gold. Silver will also amalgamate
with mercury, but can always be distinguished from gold by the nitric
acid and salt test before described. Lead ore is rarely mistaken for
anything else, its peculiar colour, cubical form of crystallisation,
and gravity being generally sufficient to identify it. A small
quantity, reduced to a fine powder and mixed with a little fused borax,
readily fuses on a charcoal slip before the blowpipe, and is then
ordinary lead. The silver often associated with lead ores can alone be
estimated by a regular assay, requiring the use of crucibles, cupels,
furnace, &c. Sulphuret of antimony, although massive and somewhat
lead-coloured, leaves a thick rough deposit on the charcoal, and fuses
into a brittle crystalline regulus, in no way resembling lead. Small
specimens of galena, or lead ore, should always be preserved for future
investigation, as it is at times extremely rich in silver, whilst
at others a mere trace only remains. We have analysed lead ore from
Cornwall which yielded between 90oz. and 100oz. of silver to the ton,
whilst other samples, raised in Wisconsin, although yielding 85 per
cent. of lead, did not contain enough silver to render its extraction
remunerative. The points of distinction between minerals and metals
we have thus been briefly laying down do not properly apply to the
investigations of the regular gold-digger, but are mainly intended
for the use of those who are engaged in exploration and research. The
professed gold-seeker, as a rule, casts all aside save the one great
centre of his hopes and pursuit. He, in his prospecting expeditions,
makes use of the broad shallow metal pan shown in the illustration
which represents "Searching for Gold." The quantity of gold brought
to light by its aid guides him in his choice of a locality. If it is
considered rich enough, he, with his mates, sinks down to "_the pay
dirt_," or deposit containing the gold; this is either washed out
at once on the cradle, or piled in heaps for future treatment. With
gold quartz-crushing, amalgamation on a large scale, or the washing
down of drift by hydraulic power and the use of flumes as practised
in California, we cannot deal here, as the appliances are far more
complicated and ponderous than the mere traveller could carry with him.

{Base metal, to detect.}

It sometimes happens that imposition is attempted in far-off lands, and
imitation gold ornaments offered to the traveller. To test the quality
of these, it will be requisite to have a bit of black terra-cotta
pot, or a fragment of any hard smooth black stone. Rub the suspected
ornament on this until a metallic streak is left, dip one of your
bits of glass rod in your nitric acid, and let a drop or two fall on
the track left by the metal. If of base material, the particles will
rapidly turn green and dissolve; if gold, they will remain unchanged;
and if an alloy, the combined metal will be removed, and the gold
wall remain stationary on the black surface. The exact standard of
mixture or combination can only be arrived at by the use of a set of
touch-needles, which are rubbed and compared with the doubtful marks on
the stone.


{Stone, to quarry.}

There are many situations in which stone may be advantageously used for
the erection of houses, forts, or defensible depôts. On the discovery
of a bed of rock adapted for the purpose, the head or covering earth
should be removed, either by the agency of water obtained by diverting
some neighbouring stream for the purpose, or by digging with the spade
or shovel. Careful examination will now generally disclose veins
or seams traversing the stone, such of these as run in favourable
directions should be selected, and the gads or wedges before described
had recourse to. It is well to have, at least, a dozen of these for
stone splitting. They should be about 5in. long, 1-1/2in. wide, and
1/2in. thick, tapering to the edge, which should not be too sharp.
All gads should be made of the best gad steel, carefully pointed and
tempered. In entering the gads, it will be well to insert them in the
selected seam at about 1ft. apart; then, with the heavy hammer or
pick-head, strike each gad a blow or two in succession, which will
serve to open the seam, and not unfrequently detach the required
fragment. When large square or oblong blocks are required, it is well
to first mark out the size required on the rock with the pick's point,
and then with either the borer before described, or a jumping bar (of
form shown in the annexed illustration), drill a row of holes about
8in. apart on the line before marked out, in depth proportioned to
the intended thickness of the stone, in each hole should be placed
a pair of gad cheeks--these are pieces of half-round iron bar. The
rounded sides rest against the sides of the holes as the gad is
driven between the flat surfaces, thus forcing open the grain of the
rock without breaking away the sides of the holes by gad clinching.
As in the former case, each gad is gradually driven home until the
line of holes run into one long fissure and the block is detached. In
breaking out flat slabs of comparatively thin stone, it will be found a
good plan, after measuring and marking the size decided on, to sink a
shallow groove either with the pick's point or a stonecutter's chisel
across the extreme length of the slab; then, by inserting the gads
at the outer face or edge of the deposit, the slab will not only be
raised but evenly broken off. Fire is a most powerful agent and aid in
stone-breaking, especially when assisted by water. The huge and massive
boulder of rock which bids defiance to the sledge-hammer may very soon
be reduced to fragments by making a strong fire round it, and, when
thoroughly heated, throwing buckets of water over it.

{The treatment of stone.}

Some Indians are particularly clever in the art of stone dividing. They
build a double wall of clay the whole length of the stone, leaving
about six inches of bare rock between them. They then lay more clay
on the outsides of the walls, nearly the width of the stone. Then
between the walls of clay they make a long line of fire with dry cow
dung and chips of hard, dry wood. An incredibly short space of time
elapses before the division of the stone is completed, when the fire
is carefully extinguished with earth or sand, and the stone allowed to
cool. Rocks, so placed as to prevent recourse being had to either of
the expedients described, may be split out by the action of a small
charge of powder, fired, as before directed, in a hole made by the
jumping bar. To drill a hole with this no hammer man is required,
but the weight of the protuberance on the instrument, when aided by
a jumping and rotatory motion, is sufficient to cut away the rock.
Water swab, shell scraper, &c., are used with these implements, just
as they are with the miner's borer, which can be used in confined
spaces and under outlying works, where the jumper would be useless. A
crowbar or two will be found very useful for lifting out broken pieces
of stone, &c. There is also an instrument much used in America called
a "canthook," which is here represented. It is extremely valuable
for moving both stones of large size and logs of unwieldy dimensions.
The handle, or lever, is made of tough, well-seasoned timber, and is
usually from 6ft. to 7ft. long. The claw is of sound, tough, wrought
iron, and proportioned in weight and spread to the bodies it is applied
to. Two or three sizes of claws fit one handle, just as a dentist's key
is adapted to the size of the tooth it is to grasp. An oblong square
hole is cut through the lever for the claw's end to pass through, and
a stout iron pin, with a hole in the end for a split stop to go into,
keeps the claw at its proper point of adjustment. The boulder claw is
another most useful implement. It is used for turning over and rolling
out large boulders of rock, lifting out logs, &c. These claws, and the
chains and rings to which they are attached, should be made of the
best Swedish iron; the claw point should be of gad steel, welded in.
The form of the hook or claw is very important, as, if not turned to
the exact bend, it will not grip or hold. The above illustrations will
serve to show both the form of the claw and its mode of action when in


  [Illustration: THE BOULDER CLAW.]

{Miners' pump, to make.}

When water settles in a comparatively shallow pit, too large to be
conveniently emptied by the aid of buckets, a very simple form of pump
will be found useful. Nail four long planks together in the form of a
narrow square box or tube, say 1ft. square; now procure a stout pole a
little longer than the box, nail a flat board to one end of it just as
a table is attached to its stand, cut away the edges until it fits the
box loosely, then nail a bordering of old boot leather or hide round
the edges until it fits tight enough to suck; cut a large square hole
in it, and fasten over this with tacks a piece of tapping leather or
raw hide backed with wood for a valve; bore a hole in the upper end of
the pole to put a cross handle through; bore an auger hole through the
lower end of your box about 1ft. from the opening, and through this
drive a stout stick to keep the sucker from coming too far down; your
pump is now complete. Place it in a slightly slanting direction in the
pond, and secure it with a crooked stick driven in by its side; push
the sucker to the bottom, pour a bucket of water or so in to make it
draw, and you will, by working the piston steadily up and down, soon
have the water pouring in a flood over the upper edge of the box, where
it can be caught in a hollow log or a pit lined with clay. One of these
box pumps is shown in the full page illustration "Searching for Gold."

{Charcoal burning.}

The traveller will find it extremely useful to be able to manufacture
his own charcoal. There are several methods by which he can do this,
all depending on the same general principles. Pieces of wood of
suitable length and convenient size are prepared. We show here the most
effective arrangements.


The pile, when evenly and completely built up, is covered with turf and
a little sand or earth--leaving one fair-sized orifice as a draught
hole. Fire is introduced either at the bottom of the pile through
a hole left for it, or dropped down through the space left by the
withdrawal of the centre post. The orifices of all charcoal pits or
chambers should remain open until the fire has become well distributed
through the mass of wood, but should be covered with a stopper of
turf or clay directly the light grey smoke of active combustion shows
itself. The contents of the pile may from time to time be tested by
removing a small portion of the stopping or covering turf and inserting
a hooked iron rod, by the aid of which a sample of the baking may be
withdrawn for examination. Immediately on being satisfied that the
charcoal has been sufficiently burned, more earth, turf, sand, &c.,
should be heaped on the top of the pile, until every crevice is stopped
completely. The fire will then soon die out, and the contents of the
pile can be removed. [Illustration] [Illustration] We also represent a
contrivance for preparing charcoal for gunpowder making. [Illustration]
A small cask has one head removed, a stout pole run through the
bung-hole, and is then evenly packed with selected billets of light
suitable wood. (See "Gunpowder, to make," p. 247.) The head is then
replaced, the cask covered with well-worked clay, and then sunk in a
pit prepared for its reception. The pole is then withdrawn, and a good
quantity of red-hot embers thrown down the hole. The cask, after being
used for charcoal making, is very useful for an oven, as will be shown
when cookery is under consideration.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                            HUTS AND HOUSES.

{Timber felling.}

Before proceeding to give directions for building huts and houses,
it may not be amiss to give a few hints on felling trees. Hints they
can only be, as it is just as impossible to teach the art of wielding
the backwoodsman's axe by writing as it is to communicate the faculty
of tracking wild animals through the forest by verbal directions.
Experience and close observation are the only two true masters in both
cases; still, we may be enabled to give such general directions as may
save our readers from some of the humiliating predicaments we have seen
the inexperienced wood-chopper placed in. Nothing is more common than
to see one of this class hopelessly pinching his axe at every cut,
from having commenced his chop too narrow. The length of the chop, or
chip as it is sometimes called, will, of course, depend on the size of
the tree; but in all cases it should be made in a long wedge form, as
shown in the annexed illustration. [Illustration] By cutting in this
way, the surface of the stump is left as level as a planed board, and
the log which is separated from it has, when it falls, a wedge-shaped
end. It will, in most cases, be found that the tree which you are about
to fell will lean more or less in one direction. Station yourself, axe
in hand, on the side towards which the tree leans; then measure your
distance by placing the edge of your axe on the centre of the boll
of the tree, at such a height from the ground that the axe lays in a
straight and true line according to the stature of the axe man. The
check or flange at the end of the axe helve should rest in the hands
as the arms are extended towards the tree. This will give the distance
at which the axe blade may be best brought to bear on the tree trunk.
In delivering the cuts, which should follow the distance test, the axe
should be dexterously and powerfully whirled round the head; sometimes
obliquely from above downwards, and at others in a straight and direct
sweep across the line of the log. The horizontal form of the lower cut
and the wedge shape of the upper will be thus preserved until the tree
is half cut through, when exactly the same system of operation should
be followed out on the side of the tree opposite to that on which the
first incision was made. On the second chop being nearly completed,
the tree will fall directly away from the axe man in the line of its
inclination. On all the tops, lops, and branches being removed, and
the log cleared from surrounding impediments, it may become a question
as to what purpose it is to be applied. If it is of great length, and
comparatively short pieces are required, the process known as "logging
up" must be had recourse to. This is carried out as follows: After
measuring the length of the log, and dividing it into the requisite
number of pieces by marking it with the axe, stand on the tree trunk,
with your feet pointing across the grain of the wood, then with your
axe proceed to cut two sloping or wedge-shaped cuts, as shown in the
annexed illustration [Illustration], carrying them into the log until
half through it; then face about, and make two on the other side,
which, when finished, should meet the others at their widest diameter,
which will be that of the tree. Some settlers in wild countries burn
down the trees in order to save labour; others girdle them. To perform
this latter process, it is necessary to cut a wide band of bark from
the butt of the tree near the ground. This prevents the sap from
ascending, and thus quickly destroys vegetation. Where timber is scarce
and valuable, the cross-cut saw may be made to aid the axe, and the
tree taken off almost level with the ground. It sometimes, although not
frequently, happens that trees are found too large to be felled by the
axe or saw. This was the case with the so-called "big tree," one of
the "mammoth trees" of California. It was felled by boring a complete
circle of holes round and into its immense trunk with augers. Five men
were occupied during twenty-two days in completing the final overthrow
of the tree, which was effected, after all the holes had converged,
by the introduction of a number of wedges. Its period of growth was
estimated at 3000 years; it measured 302ft. high, and was 96ft. in
circumference at the butt. The bark measured nearly 1ft. in thickness.

{When to cut timber.}

The quality, strength, and durability of timber are much influenced by
the season of the year in which it is felled. In all temperate regions
the autumn or winter season should be chosen, as at that time little
sap is flowing through the vessels of the tree. In this country it but
too often happens that well-grown oak timber is all but sacrificed in
order that the bark may be procured. Early spring, the season for bark
rending, is the very worst that could by any possibility be chosen
for cutting timber. Charged as it is with vegetable juices, rich in
saccharine matter and albumen, the seeds of dry rot and decay are
carried with it, which no after treatment will serve to eradicate. In
tropical climates it is well to fell such timber as is intended to
be kept for future use at the end of the dry season and before the
setting in of the rains; all logs intended for rails, posts, &c.,
should be split up, immediately after felling, into the rough forms of
the objects into which, when fully seasoned, they will be converted.
The bark should be all stripped off, and the rough timber placed under
cover in such a situation as will admit of light and air penetrating
freely through it. Timber cut and thus treated one season, should not
be used until the next. The durability of seasoned timber is infinitely
greater than that of green.

{Timber, to split.}

For efficient timber splitting, a set of thoroughly well-made and
correctly-formed iron wedges, and a number of equally well-shaped
wooden wedges or gluts, are needed. The iron wedges should be made of
the very best tough iron, tipped with gad steel, as in the form of
the annexed illustration. [Illustration] All the edges and corners
should be slightly rounded off in order to give freedom in driving;
the length, from head to point, should be 10 in., the width across the
wedge 2-1/2 in., and the thickness of metal across the edge at the head
2 in. Some judgment is required in tempering wedges, as they must be
hard enough at the point to prevent bending, and yet not hard enough
to break. The file test is as good as any. The edge of the wedge point
should never be hammered thin before tempering, but left rather thick
to be reduced to the proper degree of sharpness on the grinding stone.
The wooden gluts are usually considerably larger than the iron wedges;
these are to be made from hard, tough, well-seasoned timber--round
stout poles are convenient for making them. The proper lengths, which
are mainly dependent on the size of the logs to be operated on, are
sawn off. The sides or cheeks of these pieces are then chopped off
with the axe in approximately true wedge form, an even surface and
exact pitch is afterwards given to them with a cooper's drawing knife
or a spoke shave. Wedges, whether of iron or wood, should never be
driven with an iron hammer. [Illustration] A wedging beetle, of form
shown in the accompanying illustration, should be always made use of.
The hardest and toughest wood to be obtained should be used to form
the head; the ends are usually hooped with flat iron rings, and the
handle fashioned from some tough elastic wood, such as ash or hickory.
Scarcely any two men use the same size beetle, but the following
will be found fair average dimensions from which to make one: Length
of beetle head 9in., binding hoops 1-1/4in. wide and 1/2in. thick,
diameter of beetle head 5-1/2in., length of handle 2ft. 8in. Great
care should be taken in fitting in the handle, as it is essential
to the efficiency of the instrument that it and the head should be
exactly true with each other. A slightly flattened handle lies in the
hand more compactly, and works more freely, than a perfectly round
one. Nearly all logs split best from the small or crown end towards
the butt. If it is intended to divide the log into four pieces, the
wedges must be inserted as shown in the annexed illustration (A), if
into three they are placed as at B. When rails, &c., are to be made,
the log must be divided into quarters, by first making a cross-shaped
cut in the end of the log, and striking the back of the axe with the
beetle until the edge enters deep enough to afford a hold for the iron
wedges. Longitudinal cuts with the axe are now to be made, the whole
length of the log corresponding with the cross. The wedges, gluts, and
beetle do the rest when the latter implement is properly wielded. Logs
for shingle making are quartered much in the same way, only instead
of being split out in the full length, the log is cut up into short
lengths before quartering. The shingles may be 15in. long by 9in.
wide, and in form like that represented in the above illustration. The
axe and beetle may be used for splitting off these wooden flakes, but
the lath render's _froe_ is a far more convenient instrument for the



The diagrams in the next page will serve to show the mode by which the
long log quarters are split up into rails, &c. Some particular species
of tree will split without the aid of wedges; the axe alone being used
to cleave them. Two axe men attack a log, one chops in his axe blade in
the line of grain, the other follows behind and chops in his, when the
first man becomes the second, and so on until the cut is complete and
the log is split.


Such posts as are intended to be driven into the earth require accurate
and careful pointing. Each cheek of the timber should be smoothly and
evenly sloped off to about the proportion shown in the illustration
representing the wedge. The centre of the post will thus become the



The accompanying illustration represents a log clip for holding a post
whilst undergoing the process of pointing. The side wedge holds the
post securely in the notched piece of log laid to receive it. A camp,
garden, or cattle inclosure may be easily and expeditiously fenced in
by either of the plans shown in the following illustrations. The first
system of railing consists in driving double posts into the earth at
equal distances, and then dropping trimmed poles and pieces of wood
or stones alternately between them. A wooden pin driven through the
heads of both posts at each nip keeps all compact and secure. To erect
a fence by the second plan, posts are driven into the ground singly,
in the position shown in the diagram on the next page, and then poles
are laid with their ends crossing at a sufficient inclination to rest
against and be held by the posts. The rails can be adjusted to any
distance apart, by fitting in short pieces or junks of pole between the
ends of the long bars. A very simple and useful fence for marking the
bounds of a camp, or piece of cultivated ground, is formed by planting
short stout poles obliquely in the earth, so that they may cross each
other like the letters XX. The points at which the poles cross are
secured with a twisted withy, a bit of raw hide, a strip of twisted
bark or root. Fences of this kind are very useful to show natives the
nearest point to which they may stray towards the packs and bales of


The natives of British Columbia and some other countries laboriously
hew and chop away the two cheeks of a log with their primitive hatchets
until they form a plank by the reduction of a whole tree. In India and
China the natives make use of a long cross-handled saw, not unlike our
pit saw, for the division of a log into planks. They do not, however,
sink a sawpit as we do in this country, but set up a pair of cross legs
or shears, and run the log obliquely across the upper fork until it is
some distance in the air. They then saw down to the fork of the shears,
and, when that is reached, reverse the log, end for end, by tilting
it, and commence at the other extremity. The hunter or explorer will,
as a rule, be mainly dependent on his skill as a woodsman, and wielder
of the axe, for a comfortable dwelling amongst the forests. The number
of a party and the duration of a visit to any particular locality will
influence the kind of structure it will be best to erect. A single
trapper or hunter naturalist can content himself with very moderate

{Board wigwam.}

A simple form of wigwam can be thus built with the aid of the axe only,
in a very short time; search out and cut four stout fork ended posts
between 6ft. and 7ft. long, sharpen their ends, drive two of them into
the earth firmly at 9ft. apart, then cut a couple of straight strong
poles of about 1ft. girth and 10ft. long, lay one of these in the forks
of the two posts and fasten it there with a twisted withy or a bit of
raw hide; then measure off 5ft. from one of the posts, and, parallel
with it, set up one of the others, plant the remaining one at the other
end, lay in the second pole, secure it as before, and the framework
is complete. Now look out for a free splitting tree, log it up into 13
ft. lengths, split these into boards, place them in a sloping direction
against the poles which rest in the forks, and arrange them so that the
upper ends do not meet, but leave a good wide opening for the smoke to
come out. Split up a log or two the length required to board up the
ends of the wigwam; this can be done by setting the boards upright,
leaving a wide one movable to form a door, drive in a few hard wood
pegs so as to catch the bottoms of the boards and all is made secure.
During the day a board or two to leeward may be slid aside to let in
light, by night air enough comes in through the chinks. {Log house, to
build.} As a more permanent home for a party who are about wintering
in the woods, it is best to construct a log hut of the description
represented in the following illustration [Illustration]; its size
must, of course, depend on the number of its proposed occupants; it
can be made either oblong or square. When a sufficient number of trees
of convenient bulk for handling have been felled and logged up into
proper lengths, the ends should be notched with the axe, as shown in
the illustration. [Illustration] The four ground logs are then laid
and keyed together by their notches; the second row are then placed on
these, either by the aid of skid bars placed in a slanting direction
on the lower logs, or by manual labour. When all the walls are high
enough, the doorway must be cut in the following manner: Begin on
the upper log and chop through at each end, the exact width of the
proposed opening follow down, cutting log by log until the ground log
is reached; cut this nearly half through and then split out the piece,
the other portion below forms your threshold. Take a fresh log, and in
it split out a space exactly to correspond with that in the ground log,
place this as a crowning log with three others, uncut, to form your
wall plate, the split-out piece will form the top of your doorway; the
square hole for the window or shutter is chopped out in the same way.
The gable ends and ridge log must be adjusted at such a pitch as to
insure a free run for rain water or melted snow; the four ends or butts
of the gable angles should rest and be firmly wedged in four holes axed
out for them in the ends of the upper row of wall-plate logs; where the
gable peak crosses, the logs should be notched together and pinned; the
ridge log will then rest in the crutches formed by the intersection.
Now, after having selected the most convenient spot for a fire-place,
chop a hole through the logs, including that on the ground, about 3ft.
wide and 4ft. 6in. high. There are several ways of forming a chimney
and fire-back; one is to build a beehive-shaped wall outside the
opening, plastering the inside with clay, and forming a rough chimney
stack with turf and stones. All chinks or crevices between the logs are
stopped with clay and moss. Some American trappers and hunters proceed
as follows: They cut a number of poles long enough to reach the top of
the proposed chimney, which is, of course, a little higher than the
ridge of the roof; they then plant the sharpened ends of the poles in
the earth in such a way as to form a semicircular hedge surrounding the
back of the hole in the logs, and about 6ft. at its widest part from
them. An inner hedge of sticks about 6ft. long is now planted within
the row of long poles, at about 8in. from them; a number of bushy twigs
are now collected and interwoven between the poles and sticks until
a sort of double wall of basket work is formed between these wicker
partitions; a quantity of wet clay and small gravel is firmly impacted,
and rammed down until the space will hold no more. The long poles are
then gathered together into a sort of inverted funnel form, a hole
being left where their small ends meet for the smoke to pass through;
a thorough slap-dashing with thin wet clay within and without finishes
the affair. The inner layer of basket work consumes in time, but leaves
the clay and stone hard enough to resist an ordinary heat. Huts of this
description are either half log-roofed or shingled; that represented in
the illustration is covered by the former mode. Logs of fitting size
and length are split in halves; the surfaces of one-half of these are
slightly hollowed with the axe or adze, and then placed side by side
with the round surface downward on the ridge bar and wall plate; on the
hollowed faces of these over every interval is laid face downward one
of the flat-faced pieces. (See illustration, p. 275.)

{Temporary wigwams.}

To roof-in one of these log huts with the shingles we have before
described, the builder must proceed in a different manner; rows of
rafters must be pinned on to catch the shingles. The first row, or
that at the wall plate, should project some inches beyond it; on the
heels of these a long flat lath or batten of wood is secured by wood
pegs driven in here and there, this nips the row of shingles and keeps
them in place. The second row is laid over and beyond the batten and
so on, much as slates or tiles are laid for the roof of an English
house. Doors and shutters for log houses are usually made of boards
obtained from split logs pinned together with cross-bars, and are
generally called _dowel hinged_; an auger hole is bored a few inches
into both frame and door, a hard wood peg placed half-way into each
hole gives perfect freedom of motion, and will last as long as the
house. A flooring is very easily made by splitting a large log into
rough boards, and much increases the comfort of the establishment.
[Illustration] The above illustration represents a rough temporary
wigwam, which may be easily made as follows: Select either a large
fallen log or high bank for a back; drive two stout forked pieces
sufficiently far from the back and far apart to give space for the
interior; lay another pole across the crutches for a front wall plate,
and two side poles from the back, long enough to rest on and be secured
to this. Thatch with hemlock or balsam fir branches, arranging them
layer upon layer, butt end upwards. The gable ends can be closed with
either branches or grass-covered hurdles or frames. Another kind is
made by placing all the posts double, and then dropping the planks down
between them, so that they are nipped by the uprights, as shown in the
accompanying sketch.


{The huts of savages.}

As an almost invariable rule, the huts built by savage nations are
round, or approximate more or less to the circular form. But sometimes
they are shapeless things, like the rude "gunyah" of the Australian,
which consists merely of a sheet of bark of the tea-tree (one of
the Eucalypti) broken across the middle and set up in a triangular
form to shelter "the body" from the inclemency of the weather; while
small fires are lighted all around for warmth and defence against the
mosquitoes, or a dry log, 6ft. or 8ft. long, is laid on either side,
and set on fire in several places. Equally simple is the hut of the
desert bushman. A few sticks are set up against each other, so as to
form an irregular cone, with one side left open to admit "the body"
of the sleeper, as shown in the illustration on p. 279. In almost
all tribes the commencement is made in the same manner. A circle is
traced or imagined on the ground, and the women, squatting down, with
sharp pointed sticks work holes a foot or more apart all round it;
long flexible wands are inserted, and their tops bent over and lashed
together, and if the hut be large, one or more poles are placed inside
the circle as supports. In Kafirland the fire-place is simply a flat
hearth, occupying the centre, so that the poles, when there are any,
are arranged round it. Smaller rods are wattled all round, or bound
tightly to the ribs with strips of the inner bark of the mimosa, or
other tree, and the hut is thatched with reeds, grass, or whatever may
be the favourite or most convenient material of the country.


In Kafirland the huts are hemispherical, like beehives, or rather like
inverted bowls, slightly flattened on the top. The thatching is very
neatly and compactly done, and generally small ropes of grass are
carried many times round and round outside the hut, and laced with
smaller strips through the thatching to the _inner_ frame. The floor is
nicely clayed with a compost of "kraal mist" or cattle dung, and the
fine clay of ant-hills broken up and well mixed. Sometimes the inner
wall for 2ft. or 3ft. high is plastered with the same, and pumpkin
seeds stuck into it in fanciful patterns, and picked off again, when
the clay is dry, leaving a glazed film sparkling in the hollow.

In one of our sketching trips through Kafirland in 1848 we had been
advised by Captain Roper, of the Rifle Brigade, who commanded at the
Buffalo Mouth, always to go to a hut or village at night, as should
any accident befall us our "spoor" could be traced, and the owner of
the hut or headman of the village be held responsible; while, on the
contrary, should we sleep in the bush, and our horse be stolen, and the
thieves act on the principle that "dead men tell no tales," it would be
very long before we were missed, and tracing might be impossible.

There is one fault in these Kafir huts. They resemble an inverted
bowl; the door is cut out of the edge, and there is no other aperture
whatever. The consequence is that if one stands up his lower
extremities may be absolutely chilled, while from the waist upward he
is immersed in a bath of smoke or heated air; and when the fire has
gone low, and the intensely cold air of the early morning fills the
lower part, driving the warm air above the level of the doorway, the
sleeper is glad to wrap himself more closely in his mantle.


In countries where stratified rocks, as sandstone, &c., which split
easily into flat slabs, abound, huts are frequently built of stone. A
circle of blocks is laid on the ground, then another on them, with the
edges projecting a little inward, so that the circumference of each
course is less than that of the one immediately beneath it; a large
slab covers the top, and finishes the building. Such huts are found in
the north-eastern part of the Free State in South Africa, formerly the
Orange River Sovereignty.

Among the various Bechuana tribes in and beyond the Free State, the
building of a hut is a more elaborate and artistic affair; in fact,
it deserves rather to be called a house, consisting, as it does, of
walls and a roof perfectly distinct from each other. In its simplest
form it consists of a row of stakes from 4ft. to 7ft. high, set up in a
circular form, and of a conical roof, the frame of which is mostly made
separately on the ground, and then lifted into its place, and bound
firmly upon the upright wall. In the larger huts a smaller concentric
circle of stakes (of course much longer than the first, as they have to
reach the roof at a higher point) forms an inner chamber, and generally
the eaves of the roof are extended, so as to form also a verandah, or
shade, all round; and, besides this, there will be a larger circular
wall inclosing a courtyard, frequently of considerable dimensions.

  [Illustration: CHIEF'S HUT, VAAL RIVER.]

Sometimes, as on the Lower Zambesi, the row of stakes forming the outer
wall of the house is plastered round with a broad central horizontal
band of red or yellow clay, leaving about a third above and below it
open for ventilation, and sometimes the whole is elaborately smoothed
with a mixture of the fine clay of broken ant-hills and cattle dung,
which, being left of its natural colour, has the appearance of a light
greyish stone. All this is performed by the women, who put it down
and smooth it with their hands, finishing not only the house, but the
outer walls and even the floor of the courtyard, with so much nicety
that, as good housewives say at home, "you might eat off it." Raised
seats are generally built in the form of segments of a circle, and
these are as carefully smoothed over as the rest. The hut of a Bechuana
chief at Vaal River was a model of neatness in its way; the walls had
been marked off into blocks, zigzag lines had been traced on them,
and uncouth patterns were painted in black or coloured clay over the
low door of his inner chamber, which, hung round with antelope skins,
was, as he said, very nice and warm--in fact, insufferably hot. The
outer apartment was 3ft. or 4ft. broad, and ran all round the inner.
The part nearest the door served as a reception room, and the remoter
regions were used for the stowage of rough skins, household gear, the
musket and ammunition, and large pots and calabashes of outchulla or
native beer, which kept up a constant simmering as it fermented, and to
the taste seemed very like spoiled vinegar. Large frames are made of
wattled work, and coated with clay till they resemble capacious jars;
in these the corn is stored, small roofs are raised over them, and the
timber around is wastefully heaped up to form a kind of shelter from
the sun for the chief and council to sit under.

The hartebeeste hut shown in the full-page camp scene in Kafirland,
mostly used by colonial Hottentots, is simple and easy enough to make.
It has one straight side, and one lean-to, and derives its name from
its resemblance to the sloping back of the animal.

The huts of the Damaras are generally of very rude construction. A
circle of sticks is planted in the ground, and the tops bent over and
lashed together, generally with their own bark; they are then roughly
wattled, and plastered over with clay and "kraal mist." Rain so seldom
falls that they seem to take no precaution against it, preferring
rather to risk the few drenching showers of the wet season than to take
the trouble of making their huts waterproof. Sometimes the hides of the
few cattle they slaughter are spread over their huts, and kept in their
places by stones or heavy poles laid on them. In one respect only they
have an advantage over the Kafir hut, and that is, the smoke escapes
through the cracks and interstices of the roof. Internally there may be
a dried hide to sit or sleep on, an earthen pot for cooking, a calabash
or two, or a bambuse or wooden bowl for milk or water; two or three
skins stripped off whole, as sacks for "uintjies" or earth nuts; and it
may be an axe, of Ovampo, or more rarely of European, manufacture.


The box made of stiff leather, in which they carry grease and red
ochre, may also be here; but, with the exception of their cattle, the
Damaras seldom possess much more property than can be carried on the

The huts of the Berg Damaras are still more primitive; and sometimes
they seek no other shelter than one or two small bushes, the lower
branches of which are cut away, while the upper ones are brought
together and interwoven--others being added if needful--and grass
thrown loosely over all.

Indeed, small trees, with the lower branches cleared away, and the
upper ones drawn together and interlaced, form very convenient huts
or arbours. The Bechuana women, in making a kraal, beat the mimosa
branches on the ground till they flatten them into a fan-like form,
then they plant them side by side and interlace the branches.


The Namaqua Hottentots, the Makobas or canoemen of the B[=o]-tlét-t[=e]
River, and many of the Bechuana tribes in the Orange River Sovereignty
and elsewhere, build hemispherical frames of flexible wands, and cover
them with mats of rushes like cheese mats. These are very neatly made.
The Hottentots use flat awls, 18in. or 20in. long, for this purpose,
but the Makoba awl is not more than 5 in. or 6 in. Small thongs of
dressed antelope skin, or cords twisted from the fibres of different
plants, are used for sewing the mats. These might be easily made by a
traveller needing them, and he could best do it by having two or three
needles of any convenient length, from 4in. or 5in. to 20in.; they
should be flattened at the point, and pierced with an eye to carry the
cord on which the reeds are strung. The most convenient method would be
to fix the needles upright at the proper distance from each other, and
then press upon them as many rushes as their length would allow; these,
with the strings drawn through, should then be removed, and a fresh
set threaded on, care being taken to see that the strings are kept
clear, so that they reeve consecutively through all the rushes, and
make a smooth uniform mat. Generally, however, it will be found that,
where the proper materials grow, the natives will make and sell them
cheaply enough. Mats of this description are much used by the natives
of North-West America in hut building; the needles used in that country
are not unfrequently 5ft. long.

{Crook and prong house, to build.}

It often becomes necessary for the traveller, if he contemplates a
stay of a few months, or even weeks, in any one place, to build his
own hut; and it is as well that this should be, if possible, somewhat
superior in size and form to the dwellings of the natives around him.
If the nature of the ground and the materials at hand will admit of
it, this may as well be a house regularly walled and roofed, and at
least the four corner posts, as well as the two which support the
gables, should be firmly let into the ground. If care is taken to cut
all these with a fork, so that the ridge pole of the roof may rest in
the forks of the gable poles, and the wall plates in those of the four
corner posts, the building will be much stronger, and the work greatly
facilitated. The rafters may also have forks, which can rest upon the
wall plate, but this would leave the thickest part of the branches
upward; a little labour in thinning them off would remedy this, or
they might, in favourable localities, be so chosen that it would be of
very little consequence. Every alternate rafter should be reversed,
so that its forks might help to support the battens. All the poles
forming the side walls should have forks to help to support the wall
plate, and those which form the sides of the doors or windows should be
so selected that smaller forks, at the proper height, would serve to
receive the sills of the door and windows. Such a frame as this would
present the greatest amount of strength and firmness with the least
possible necessity for lashing, pegging, or other fastening.


The sketch of the framework of a house indicates the manner in which
the forks and branches may be used to the best advantage. If trees of
proper size are abundant, the builder will be able to choose them so
as to suit their places, with as much regularity as indicated in the
drawing; if not, he must make the best of the materials.

The smaller framework beside it represents that of a hut we built at
Depôt Creek. We set up three forked poles as a triangle at either end,
laid a ridge pole between them, and lashed it firmly there. Rafters and
battens were added, and we stripped off large sheets of tea-tree bark
(_Eucalyptus melaleuca?_) to cover it. We also obtained some of the
white-barked red-gum tree (_Eucalyptus resinifera_); but this is more
brittle, and did not answer so well.


The roof may be covered with the reed mats already spoken of, one or
two thicknesses of which, if the roof has a pitch of _not less_ than
45°, will suffice to keep out rain; or it may be thatched with grass,
reeds, or the broad leaves of the fan palm-remembering that, whatever
material is used, it will cast off water much better if the point of
the leaf is downward. The lowest course will be laid and securely
fastened first; then the next, overlapping it; and so on to the top.
This may be done by simply lashing the stalks of each course to the
proper batten; or a thatching needle may be made of wood, smooth and
flat, an inch or more in breadth, and pierced near the point with an
eye to carry the lashing. The inner bark of many trees, though unfit
to make cord which is to remain permanently flexible, will answer very
well for this purpose; for if stripped as required, and used while
still wet, it will tie in any knot, and bear straining tightly. It will
hold well enough when dry, though it would not again bear working up,
on account of its brittleness. The leaves of the _Phormium tenax_, of
New Zealand, which grow much like those of the common flag, are very
generally used in that country, just as they are gathered, for binding
various matters. Excellent twine, thread, cloth, and rope are made from
the fibre, as will be seen as our work proceeds.

The walls may be filled up, according to taste or necessity, with
mats or reeds; or, if permanent shelter from bad weather is required,
nothing is better than wattle and daub, and if the wattling is
carefully done, and good clay or broken ant-hills and "kraal mist"
used for the daub, a very neat job may be made of it. We have shared
the hut of a sergeant of Sappers in the forest of the Pierie Hills in
Kafirland, where he had a clay hearth, and wattle and daub chimney,
and, though a roaring fire was kept up, he did not anticipate any
danger. He had charge of a party who were cutting timber, and one noble
"yellow wood" they had just felled was no less than 7ft. diameter at
its base. The bush vines hung in long straight lines, like ropes from
the upper branches of this tree; and on one of these, 60ft. or 80ft.
long, and not more than an inch thick, the sergeant, who was a heavy
man, raised himself, and swung to and fro without fear of breaking it.
In fact, these vines may be used while green for many of the purposes
of rope or cord. We have disentangled nearly 30ft., as fine and almost
as tough as a small fishing line, from the forest in front of the
Victoria Falls, and rolled it into a small coil; but once dry, it
becomes brittle, and cannot be straightened. Some of these vines bear
fruit, which, though not equal to the cultivated grape, is by no means
to be despised.

When looking for a spot along the banks of the Zambesi on which to
establish a camp and rebuild our boat, in September, 1862, Ave were
warned by the natives who came to meet us against the pretty little
sequestered spots beside the tributary rivulets, as they were certain
to be infested by mosquitoes. We, therefore, having in view also the
probability of being obliged to stay far into the unhealthy season,
tried back about a mile, and selected a limestone spur which had a
small valley between it and the higher range in its rear.


{Roof, to raise.}

This we named Logier Hill, after our old and steadfast friend in Cape
Town; and, setting to work with a keen American felling axe, cut down
the thorns and brushwood on the top, while the people assisted us in
cutting or dragging the fallen bushes to the verge. Three mimosas,
which were in a good position, we left standing, and added one for
the fourth corner post. Then selecting flexible branches, we framed
upon the ground an oval of corresponding size; on this with lighter
poles (most of them the young straight branches of the "kookom boyou,"
a gigantic sterculia in general appearance, somewhat resembling the
baobab), we framed a roof similar in form to that of a marquee,
using for lashings the inner bark, stripped from the branches just
mentioned. To lift this, as its weight was considerable in proportion
to its strength, and all the people were away collecting poles or
grass for the completion of our huts, was rather difficult, but we
had fortunately a small coil of manilla line and a few blocks. With
two of these we made a tackle, and lifting one side of the roof 2ft.,
supported it by a forked branch while we raised the rest, shoring it
in the same manner all round, and then lifting it again and supporting
it on longer forks till it was high enough to be fastened securely in
its place. We placed forked uprights under it at proper intervals,
but as the eaves projected considerably we did not find it necessary
to close in the walls, but when the rain came on laid fresh poles
upon the roof and thatched it with grass and reeds to the ground. For
central supports we took two forked poles, and instead of setting them
upright at the two ends of the ridge pole gained additional rigidity
by crossing them like an X, and lashing them together in the centre.
At one end, raised upon forks above 18in. high, we made a platform of
small poles as straight as we could get them to serve for a bed, and
when a buffalo was shot spread over it the dried hide to level it a
little more. This platform was continued all round between the uprights
and the eaves, and various stores were laid on it.

One advantage here was the immunity from the ravages of the white ant,
which is seldom found in a limestone country. But as the rainy season
came on hosts of the destructive little white-shouldered beetle that
feeds on skins, preserved hides, and specimens of all kinds--seeming
rather to enjoy arsenic soap and other preservatives--ravaged
everything made of untanned leather; while other kinds, larger and
still more unpleasant to the eye and touch, would actually commence
eating the velschoens off our feet during the short meal time.

We should have preferred reeds for thatching, as when laid at a
sufficient angle, say anything above 45°, they cast off water
perfectly, although if laid at a lower angle they might be by no means
water-proof. Of course the cut ends of the stems must be upward, and
the leaves pointing down, or the water will be retained, and allowed to
leak through instead of being thrown off; and this rule holds good when
grass or such like material is used. If the roof of the hut be conical,
the ends may simply be brought up and tied tightly together, or they
may be worked into an ornamental form like those of the Bechuana (see
p. 281). If it has a ridge as ours had, it must be covered with a
horizontal layer, sufficiently thick to keep the water from insinuating
itself between the meeting of the two sides.

In our own house we stretched the sails of our boat and calico tent
within the roof to keep off any leakage during heavy showers, and added
fresh poles and grass to the outside. Sir Richard Glyn, who visited the
hill after we had been compelled to abandon it, and who returned to
England before us, reported that our house was the strongest building
of the kind he had ever seen.

{Bamboos, for building.}

In countries like the Indian islands, where bamboo can be obtained in
any quantity and of any size, from a reed fit for a lady's arrow to one
big enough for the mast of a small sloop, it is easy enough to build
a house; the extreme strength and lightness of the material, with its
glossy surface and neat and uniform appearance, rendering it in every
sense most valuable for such purposes. Poles of uniform size may be
planted closely so as to form a wall, or pillars may be placed more
or less apart, and mats or blinds of smaller reeds, or larger ones
split up, may occupy the intervals. Balconies, strong and sufficiently
ornamental, may be formed; and the eaves of the roof may be made to
project to any distance, so as to form an effectual verandah; while
palisades or fences of any form or height may be constructed _ad

Bamboo, from its polished siliceous covering, is, externally at least,
proof against the ravages of the white ant, which destroys without
mercy all the softer kinds of wood and vegetable or animal fibre,
whether in the form of boxes, furniture, books, clothing, specimens of
natural history or botany, drawings, or articles of necessity or luxury
of any kind.

If thunderstorms are frequent or dangerous, a glass bottle on the
highest point of the roof will act as a non-conductor, and may not
unfrequently avert the flash that might otherwise destroy the building.
It is not always, however, effectual.

{Doors and gates, to make and hang.}

Doors or gates may be made as closely worked or as open as may be
desired; and, while upon this subject, it may be as well to mention a
very convenient way of hanging them in the absence of regular hinges.
The hinge side of the door or gate should be a standard of some
strength, to which all the rest is framed and securely fastened with
pegs or lashings; round this and the corresponding doorpost a strap or
thong of leather or cord should be passed in figure of 8 fashion to
form each hinge, or it may simply be passed round both and "seized"
between them with smaller cords. This, however, will not hold the door
with sufficient stiffness to let it swing true and easily; therefore,
take a common ale or porter bottle, bury it neck downwards in the
ground, leave the lower end of the standard somewhat longer than the
door, point it a little, and insert it in the hollow at the bottom of
the bottle--the gate will swing fairly on such a pivot, as it never
gets out of order, and it may almost be said will never wear out.

  [Illustration: 1-11]

The gate itself (Fig. 1) may be built of rough branches--one tolerably
stout limb, for the hinge or swinging side, should have a good branch
projecting from its lower part diagonally upwards to the upper part
of the latch side; another fork, with its branches as nearly at right
angles as possible, will form the latch side and top rail; and a
third will make the lower one. Never be in a hurry to trim off small
branches; generally they will weave in and add to the strength; and,
if not, they are easily cut off afterwards. When the posts are set up
on the ground, it is as well to char the ends as a protection against
damp or wood-destroying insects; cut notches near the ends, and in
them wedge good heavy stones--they will keep the posts firm, and in
countries where there is frost nothing else can prevent their rising
out of the ground. We found this arrangement very valuable in the
Crimea. It is not necessary that the bottle should be whole; if the
"cup" under the bottom is perfect, the broken edges of the sides will
give it additional firmness.

In Fig. 2 the gate post has a fork, and another on the branch serving
as the top rail makes the upper hinge. One of the other branches has a
fork projecting from the lower angle and working on the gate post as a
cutter's gaff does on the mast. This is easy to make, can be unshipped
at a moment's notice, and hung up again as readily. Fig. 3 is a more
regularly made gate on the same principle. The top rail has a hole
working on the thinned upper part of the gate post, which is pierced
with holes, and has a peg so that the gates may be raised or lowered as
required; the lower part works on the gaff principle.

It is generally desirable to hang a gate so that it may shut of itself
after it has been opened; and to ensure this, if iron hook and staple
hinges can be had, let the hook of the upper hinge project a little
farther from the gate post than the lower one, as in Fig. 5. If it is
requisite that the gate should remain open--which is sometimes, though
not often, the case--the upper hook should project less than the lower,
as in Fig. 4. Generally, if the hinges be equal, the gate will hang in
whatever position it may be left; but if the post inclines from the
perpendicular to right or left, the gate will swing to the same side.

Very good standards for fences may be made by cutting half mortices
in the opposite sides of a squared log, 4ft. or 5ft. long, as in Fig.
6, then cutting it into planks, and, before these are quite detached,
sawing it down in the direction of the diagonal line; a pair of these
are matched together, as in Fig. 7, and the lower end morticed into a
flat plank so far as to let one hole come below it to receive a key to
fix it there. The horizontal plank should rest upon a short log at each
end, and it may be held in place by a couple of notched pegs driven
into the ground.

{Walls, to build.}

Many of the natives of South Africa are very handy at building rough
stone walls; but they require an overseer to insure the proper binding
of the stones as they are laid. Some of their own countrymen may
be found with skill enough for this. It is no use to build up two
fair faces, as in Fig. 8, and then fill up the middle with loose
stones--their weight would be sure to force out the sides and bring
down the whole structure; but large flat stones should be chosen, as
in Fig. 9, to reach either quite through the wall, or at least so far
that the stones on the other side may meet and have a bond with them.
Such walls, miles in length, are built without cement of any kind. If
galvanised iron wire is to be used for fencing, to support upright
rails, it is a good plan to have two rail-heads fixed at the proper
distance, and to make the turns of the wire on these to insure each
loop being equidistant, as in Fig. 10.

Chalk lines and measuring lines of all kinds suffer from being coiled
or rolled up by hand--turns and kinks are put on or taken out of them;
and it is much better to have reels, either like the log-reel of a
ship, or like Fig. 11 (see p. 290), where a peg in the circumference of
the disc serves as the crank by which to wind it up.


{Plank screens to make.}

Effective screens can be readily extemporised with planks of any kind
and ropes; the simplest plan is to double the rope, making one part
somewhat longer than the breadth of all the planks to be used, and
leaving whatever spare end may be upon the other to hoist the screen by
when finished. The first plank is laid in the bight of the rope, the
two parts of which are then crossed and the next plank laid between
them; they are crossed again for the third plank, and so on till
all are inclosed. If there is not an eye on the shorter end of the
rope, make a bow-line knot or two half hitches on it (see "Knots and
Hitches"), and pass the longer end through; then lead the spare line
at each end of your screen over the forks of trees, or sheer legs,
or whatever support you mean to use, and hoist away simultaneously
and carefully; for this arrangement, though perfectly strong and
secure while every part remains in its proper place, is most easily
disarranged; and in fact the great advantage of it is that, when no
longer required, it can be shaken to pieces like a house of cards,
leaving neither holes or imperfections in the planks nor kinks or
knots in the rope. We have shown the boards rather far apart in our
illustration for the sake of distinctness, they will lie closer, but
they must always be separate by more than the thickness of the rope.
They may be made to lie closer by omitting to cross the ropes and
"stopping" them together with small cord, as in Fig. 2; or a perfectly
weather-proof wall with overlapping edges may be obtained by looping
the rope into a chain, as in Fig. 3, taking care to make the lower
link well fast, for on this the security of the whole depends. To take
this to pieces nothing more is necessary than to slip each loop off the
end of the plank; let go the fastening of the lower end, and all the
links of the rope chain will shake out.


Great firmness may be imparted to any of these arrangements by placing
a small pole inside, and securing every plank to it by successive
hitches of a smaller line, as in Fig. 4; or, if stouter poles be used,
the walls may be built up in this manner, commencing from the bottom
plank and fastening the upper ones as you go on. Each plan will have
its advantages under peculiar circumstances. In the Indian islands,
large hollow bamboos are either split into three or four parts, making
somewhat rounded narrow planks, or an incision is made in the side of
the cane, when it is opened out, laid flat, pressed, and converted into
a single plank. Movable screens of considerable size are made in the
same manner as in Figs. 1 and 2 already referred to.

{Makeshift shelves.}

A shelf is easily made by piercing holes in the four corners of a
plank, passing lines through, and suspending it to a beam. A very neat
set of bookshelves may be obtained by doubling two cords of sufficient
length, working an eye in the bight of each, passing the ends down
through the holes in the first plank, and turning double knots on
them, so that it hangs fairly; then passing them through the next and
knotting them, and successively through as many more planks as you
require shelves.

{Reed houses, screens, and sheds.}

We have seen houses built by traders or missionaries almost entirely
of reeds, some of which grow from 10ft. to 20ft. long and more than
1in. thick. Bundles of these, with the thin ends and butts reversed,
and overlapping each other so as to equalise their strength as much
as possible, are laid on the ground to serve for top, bottom, and
centre battens; then across these the reeds are distributed in two or
three layers, according to the required thickness of the wall; other
battens are laid on the upper side to correspond with those below, and
the cords--slips of bark, palm leaf, twisted grass rope, or thin and
flexible forest creepers--are passed through to bind the whole tightly
together. If a number of these are made say 12ft. or 15ft. square, they
may easily be arranged on the framework of a house, or set up as a
continuous fence. A trench is dug about 1ft. deep, the screen inserted
in it, the earth well pressed down, and support is given either by
shores, if needful, or by the next screen forming an angle with the
first. If the wood of the country is more available for making hurdles,
they can be used in the same manner.


We have had very excellent temporary stables and sheds erected in
Central India, composed entirely of poles, cords, and grass, forming
what is called "chupper" screens. These are formed by laying together
double poles; in the space left between these poles long tufts of
jungle grass are arranged, until the whole frame is filled up, when
the sticks or poles, being tightly drawn together with cord, the grass
is nipped between them, as shown in the above illustration. When in
the Tartar country, we saw a number of very comfortable huts made by
cutting out a kind of notch in the hill side. The space thus formed was
first framed over with strong poles, and then covered with brushwood; a
layer of turf covered all, and soon took root, forming feeding grounds
for whole families of goats, which walked about on the houses quite
at home. The fronts of these hill dwellings were composed of wicker
work, plastered with clay. Logs were hollowed out by the Tartars almost
as thin as paper, when their ends were stopped with clay. In those
the bees laid up their stores of honey, which was taken as required,
without disturbing the industrious swarm in the next log. The annexed
illustration represents one of these huts and a pile of bee logs.



{Defensible farm-houses.}

During the Kafir war we visited the homestead of a Scottish farmer,
who, although upon the very border, had gallantly determined to stand
his ground, and to that end he had built a small defensible tower;
the flat roof covered with raw hides, and surrounded by a loopholed
parapet, and the only door fronted by a solid shield of brickwork, with
a small aperture on one side, so that an enemy attempting to enter must
do it in a stooping position, and before he could turn and straighten
himself in the doorway, must present his head in the most convenient
possible position to have it split by the defenders. A large water cask
was kept filled in the fort, and even should the enemy gain possession
of the lower room the women and children could still be tolerably safe
in the upper, except from random shots fired upwards through the floor,
and which of course could be returned in the same manner from above.
Against fire their only defence lay in the supply of water we have
already mentioned, but care was taken to have nothing inflammable in
the lower room. There was no staircase; the ladder would be drawn up
through the trap. The beams and flooring would require a considerable
blaze to ignite them, and against any quantity of material being
brought in for that purpose the defenders relied upon their rifles, or
no less deadly smooth bores, loaded with loopers or buck shot.


Blockhouse, among military edifices, is, as its name implies, a
building constructed chiefly of timber. If alone, it constitutes
an independent fort; if formed in the interior of a field-work, it
becomes a retrenchment or redoubt, and serves to protect the defenders
from the inclemency of the weather when the work is occupied during a
considerable time, or to prolong the defence when the work is attacked,
and after it is taken to enable the garrison to obtain a capitulation.
When the blockhouse is to be employed only as a retrenchment, its plan
is generally a simple rectangle, and its walls consist of a single row
of piles placed upright in the ground. These are pierced with loopholes
at the distance of 3ft. from each other, in order that the building
may be defended by a fire of rifles from within. The roof is formed
by laying timbers horizontally across the inclosed area and covering
them with fascines and earth. The interior breadth of the building
may be from 18ft. to 20ft., in order to allow a passage between the
two rows of bedsteads. These are placed with their heads to the side
walls, and serve as stages on which the men may stand to fire through
the loopholes when the latter are much elevated above the floor. In
a mountainous country the blockhouse possesses great advantages over
an ordinary field fort, inasmuch as the interior of the latter would
be incessantly ploughed up by the fire of artillery directed into it
by the enemy from the surrounding heights. Here, then, the blockhouse
may with propriety be constructed as an independent work; its plan may
have re-entering angles, or be in the form of a cross, in order to
allow the faces to be defended by flanking fires from the rifles and
revolvers from within; and the walls may be thick enough to resist even
the shot from 9-pounder guns. For this purpose they must be made by
planting parallel to each other, at a distance of 3 ft. or 4ft., two
rows of strong piles, those in each row being close together, and the
interval between the rows being filled with earth up to the height of
the loopholes, which should never be immediately under the roof of the
building. The roof must be made shell proof, as before; but it has
been recommended, when the work is not overlooked by the enemy, and
when its breadth will permit, to have the piles forming the side walls
long enough to arise above the roof, and, either alone or with a mass
of earth behind them, to serve as a parapet.

Where blockhouses have to be constructed among hostile or doubtful
Indian tribes, who are not the possessors of artillery, the fascine and
earth roof and double rows of piles may be easily and safely dispensed

Logs, squared with the axe and laid on each other, may be substituted
for piles with advantage, as the labour of planting firmly in the
earth so many ponderous beams of wood is considerable. It is well,
in building a blockhouse, to construct a raised breastwork of small
logs round the margin of the roof; these may be roughly squared and
doweled together with short wooden pins. The roof itself should, after
shingling, have a goodly layer of sand, earth, or raw hides laid over
it in order to guard against the fire-tipped arrows of hostile savages.
A few auger holes here and there serve to carry off rain water or
melted snow, and the log breastwork can be both loopholed and fired
over with ease.

Frontier blockhouses are usually built of squared logs of timber
dowelled together; loopholes are made for firing rifles through, and
portholes for one or two iron guns. Some frontier posts are merely
squares of heavy log palisades, with all the requisite offices and
buildings erected within them. A banquet runs from end to end of
each side of the square in order that the defenders may command the
attacking force. All trees and bushes within long shooting range are
carefully removed so that there shall be no cover.

{Waggon burgs, to make.}

Bands of travellers in Africa not unfrequently so arrange their waggons
as to form substantial defences against the attacks of hostile natives.
We have often assisted in forming these so-called "waggon burgs." They
are made as follows: One waggon, with all the women, children, and
ammunition, is placed in the centre. Others are drawn up, each with
its inner fore wheel nearly touching the outer hind wheel of the one
before it, and forming just such an angle with it that the dozen or
thereabouts of vehicles form an almost perfect circle, their poles
and trek gear extending on the outside, so that the oxen can again
be yoked to each without disorder or confusion. There is room inside
for the horses and cattle beside the defenders; and, should danger be
imminent, the waggons can be locked together by the drag chains, and
all the interstices choked with thorn bushes, the stems of which thrust
inward would be securely fastened by pegs driven into the ground, or by
lashing branches, cut short for the purpose, to the inner wheels, or by
"reims" or thongs reeved through the bifurcations; while the tangled
branches would oppose a barrier that no enemy could force in the face
of the bullets or the small shot that would be poured through. The gear
of the oxen would also be brought in and used in strengthening the


{Farm and village, to fortify.}

In rendering a farmhouse defensible regard must be had to the character
of the expected enemy. In countries like South Africa, where the main
object of the Kafir is the acquisition of cattle, the house ought to
command and protect the kraal, the fence of which will often of itself
form a shelter for the crafty foe. It is usually circular, as this form
is most easily made, and will inclose the greatest number of cattle,
with a given amount of material; but, if it were made triangular, with
bastions on the two angles nearest, the guns of the defenders would
sweep the other two sides, their fire crossing at the farthest angle,
and leaving no place for an enemy to conceal himself. The house itself,
with its outbuildings, should if possible be in the form of a square,
inclosing as large a courtyard as is convenient for the accommodation
of the defenders and their allies, and on emergencies for their horses,
with a few sheep or oxen. If there be a spring or well in it so much
the better; a ledge or bank, 18in. or 2ft. high, should run along the
inside of the wall, so that the loopholes may be too high for the enemy
to look in at or fire through; and there should be small chambers
projecting from the angles, or at least from two diagonally opposite
loopholed, so that each can enfilade two sides of the wall.


But perhaps it will be better, instead of describing an ideal
defensible homestead, to give an example of a real one, which,
though not quite perfect in a military view, was as nearly so as the
accommodation required for the traffic and the work carried on there
would allow. Our illustration is a plan, drawn from memory, of the
village of Objimbengue, to the south of which (Fig. 1) is the flat
sandy bed, 400yds. wide, of the Swakop River, filled only during the
flooded season, but in the dry retaining a vast amount of water beneath
the sand, while a little rivulet represented by the faint line appears
here and there upon the surface. Fig. 2 is a low bank or foreshore,
overgrown with wild tamarisks or dabbie bushes, and partly cleared
for a garden (Fig. 3) in which is a well, and used in other places
for corn land, care being taken to reap the crop before there is any
possibility of its being swept away by the floods of the next season.
On the east of the village is a small tributary, generally dry, called
the Artip (Fig. 4), and beyond this, and the limits of the picture,
would be the Mission House of Regterveldt and the Damara village, with
its curious entrenchments scattered without order, but not without
great judgment, over the face of the hill wherever a few men could
find a place to shoot from. The trench (Fig. 5), fronted by the mound
of earth thrown out of it, and by a breastwork of dabbie logs, made by
the Damaras, formed the outer line of defence of his homestead, and he
could in emergency have depended on a thousand men to man it. Fig. 6
is the opening for the southern road leading across the river from the
country of the hostile Namaquas. Fig. 7, the road leading from Walvisch
Bay; and Fig. 8, the continuation of it toward Lake Ngami, and Fig.
9 is the steep edge, 15ft. or 20ft. high, of the plain, on which the
village is built. Fig. 10 is a small breastwork for a brass 1-pounder
gun commanding the southern road, and Fig. 11 for another sweeping the
open space to the south-east, where, in fact, an attack actually took
place. The guns were, however, usually kept beside the house, where
one served as a time gun, and they could easily be moved whenever they
were wanted. Fig. 12 was a dwelling-house; the central space is open
and would serve as a shelter for native fugitives, for horses, sheep,
and a few of the most valuable working oxen; the front is composed of
a voor-house or entrance-hall, usually occupied for general family
purposes and reception of visitors, and before it is a verandah.

At each angle are rooms used as sitting or bed chambers; on the western
side are spare chambers for the reception of guests; in the rear are
kitchen, bath-room, and other offices; and on the east are store-rooms
and the entrance gate. Fig. 13 is the wheelwright and waggon maker's
shop; Fig. 14, the smithy; Fig. 15, the sawpit; Fig. 16, the tiring
plate; Fig. 17, small trenches with angular mounds before them,
commanding the eastern gate of the village; Fig. 18, the graveyard;
Fig. 19, the workmen's cottages; Fig. 20, the slaughter-house and
waggon-shed; the walls of all these buildings being musket-proof,
and the windows more or less convenient for firing from. Figs. 21
and 22 are stoutly stockaded cattle kraals; they were both square,
but the triangular outline of Fig. 21 shows what would be gained in
defensibility and lost in accommodation by adopting that form; Fig. 22
has small "scherms" at the angles protected by the fire from the house,
and commanding the other two sides; Fig. 23 is a storehouse, adding but
little to the strength of the position, but indispensable for its use.
The dotted lines indicate the directions of effective fire from the

In most frontier villages the church, as the most substantial building,
is used as a place of refuge, and as a last stronghold against savage
assailants; and on the east coast, the natives, when they throw up
a rough tower of defence, always call it by the Portuguese name,
"Egregia," or church.

{Churches, to fortify.}

We have seen the church at Shiloh converted into a very pretty little
fortification by one of our own engineer officers. Bastions were raised
at the angles of the outer wall, the building itself was unthatched,
and a breastwork, with loopholes, raised upon the walls.

We have known friends who have had to entrench their waggons for months
among tribes whose friendship was dubious; and they seemed to prefer
that, especially for a night attack, or for a sentry's accommodation,
the embankment should be behind the trench, and not before it, so that
they might look from the very edge of the pit and see the dark figure
of an approaching enemy against the sky, whilst they would be invisible
against the mound behind them; whereas, if the mound were in front,
they would have to raise their heads to look over it, and an enemy
creeping close to the ground, would be absolutely invisible, and would,
moreover, be able to see clearly the elevated figure of the sentry.

{Mission churches, plans for building.}

We have on several occasions been asked to draw plans for churches on
remote stations, and for defensible farmhouses; in the former case,
regard must be had to the nature of the materials at the disposal
of the missionary, to the number of the congregation he wishes to
accommodate, and also to the number and skill of the assistants,
whether European or native, he can employ or persuade to join in the
work. Generally, it is better so to draw the plan that a portion of
the church may be commenced, and sufficiently furnished for almost
immediate use; while the remainder is left to be finished as the
congregation increases, and as the tribe become more and more alive to
the benefit conferred on them by religion and civilisation. Some regard
must also be had to the doctrinal views of the missionary requiring the

If, as is frequently required, the men and women of the congregation
are to be separately seated, the best form is that of the Greek cross,
and the seats of the men must be placed in one arm and those of the
women in the other; while the position of the pulpit, with its back
against the angle of the other two, gives every individual a fair
opportunity of seeing and hearing the minister.

Where this regulation does not prevail, the Latin cross is the best
form; the longest limb lying east and west affords space for the
congregation and the preacher. The wings or shorter limbs on the
north and south give very great support to the walls, and serve for
vestries or other offices; the tower and porch at the eastern end form
the continuation of the longer limb, and it should also be capable of
increase if necessary, by the addition of a smaller continuation at the
western end.

In this case, too, it is the part intended for the congregation that
should be first built. It is most probable that the materials would
be rough unhewn surface stones, for powder to blast out more solid
material would be expensive. Tools for quarrying would be unattainable,
and men with skill or industry to work them even still more so, while
ant-hill clay would be the only available cement, unless the erection
should be in a limestone district, or near a beach, where shells in
abundance could be procured and burnt into lime.

Bricks are often made, but they are frequently of inferior clay, and
often merely sun-dried, or inefficiently burned, and are in no case
equal to the well-squared and hardened article known by the same name
in England.

It would, therefore, be prudent not to make the walls more than 10ft.
or 15ft. in height, and to allow at least 2ft. of thickness at the base
for every 10ft. of height, and even then they ought to be supported by
buttresses not more than 20ft. apart; the top should not be less than
12in. or 15in. in width, and if good planks for wall plates cannot be
procured, they ought to be rather more to allow for the proper bedding
in of rough substitutes. The roof must have a pitch of 45° to enable
it to throw off water in the rainy season, and each rafter must be
two-thirds the width of the building to the outside of the walls, and
so much more as is required for the projection of the eaves.

If, therefore, rafters can be procured 20ft. in length, of which 2ft.
are required for projection, this will leave 18ft., and the possible
width of the church may be found by adding half the length of the
rafter thus--18+9=27--27ft. to the outside of the walls, or about 24ft.
in the clear; this, with 4ft. of passage down the centre will give two
benches of 10ft. capable of accommodating six persons each. Each sitter
ought to have 3ft. of space from front to rear, although it is possible
to sit in 2ft.; thus, a space of 60ft. would accommodate a congregation
of 240 or 360 persons, according to the room allowed.

In many cases the fitting-up of benches may be deferred, as the natives
will sit naturally on the ground, or will bring their own seats with
them. At least 15ft. or 20ft. ought to be reserved for the pulpit and
the communion table, and this would give an aisle of 80ft. long by
24ft. wide.

A high gable and Gothic window is doubtless a great ornament to a
church, but it would be dangerous to build the wall 15ft. higher for
that purpose; and it is much better, therefore, to make the end no
higher than the sides, and let the roof incline at an angle of 45°
instead of having a gable end.


The windows must be small, and it is better to make them lancet-shaped
and narrow; if the buttresses are 20ft. apart there may be two windows,
2ft. wide between each. The rafters ought not to come over the windows,
even if the wall plates be good, but ought to rest on the solid space
between them.

The rafters are half checked at each end to the cross-beam and let
into checks on the king-post; thus (Fig. 1) struts to the beam will
considerably strengthen them, and if these are fitted into checks
nailed on instead of being mortised or half checked in, the strength
will not be impaired. Fig. 2 shows more clearly the manner in which
the square ends of the rafters abut on the king-post. If it should be
desirable to avoid having cross-beams the rafters may be framed as in
Fig. 3; but unless this is very substantially done the weight of the
roof is apt to expand them and force the walls outward. We, therefore,
advise the common form, at least until the assistance of skilled
workmen can be procured. The upper part of the king-posts may be a
forked branch, and the ridge pole will lie very nicely in this.

{Makeshift houses, foundations, and fences.}

In extemporising rough frame-houses in dry countries, the foundation is
a matter of small importance; generally, when the ground is cleared, a
place sufficiently hard and smooth, and a little elevated so that rain
may not flood the house, is easily found. But sometimes a foundation
must be formed, not only to afford a support to the fabric, but to
raise the floor above the influence of damp or of low-lying noxious
vapours. We have heard of barges or vessels being grounded and houses
built upon them, and have in fact seen instances of this as well as of
the deck houses being removed from wrecks and set up, sometimes raised
on low walls, forming very comfortable habitations ashore, and of tents
being set up as roofs over walls of rough stone. We have heard of the
foundations of a house in San Francisco being laid with the 21lb.-sized
oblong boxes of tobacco with which the market had been glutted. In Cape
Town, when meat was a few halfpence a pound, we have seen bullocks'
heads used as stop-gaps in the fences near Green Point. The cores of
bullocks' horns are not unfrequently used for the same purpose in this
country. In Walvisch Bay we saw bags of coarse salt used as part of the
foundation of the original wooden shed in which, notwithstanding its
lowly appearance, many a traveller has found so hospitable a reception.

We wondered a little at first at the use of such a material on a beach
overflowing for miles at every spring tide, but found it was protected
from actual contact with the sea by an embankment of sand, supported
by posts and planking. Rain would not occur perhaps once in two years,
and the fresh water from the Kuisip overspread the flats so rarely that
such a contingency was hardly taken into account. The bags and their
contents seemed to be in a normal state of dampness, but did not appear
to waste in consequence of it.

When more commodious houses were required, the samphire, that formed
the only vegetation on the flats, was collected by the Hottentot women,
spread in layers alternated with sand well trodden down into it until
mounds were formed about 4ft. high. On one of these a store was erected
of corrugated iron, and on another the Rhenish missionaries built a
wooden house they had brought out in frame, so solid and substantial,
as to prove that timber in the land it came from was of far less value
than metal or any other material. Perhaps for parties who can afford
the carriage, corrugated galvanised iron houses offer as convenient a
method as any of obtaining accommodation sufficiently permanent, and
yet easily removable. The rigidity imparted by the corrugation could
not be attained by any thickening of plain sheets, while scarcely more
room is required in packing; for although one sheet of plain iron
occupies much less room than one of corrugated, the sheets of the
latter fit so closely one upon the other that a dozen or twenty require
not much more space than one. Dr. Livingstone took a house of this kind
to the Zambesi in 1858; it formed a very efficient shelter for our
stores on Expedition Island, but, as we never made any permanent camp
beyond the Portuguese town of Tette, it was not again required. The
sheets, however, used separately or together in any number according
to the weight they were to support, formed excellent bases for tables,
beds, settees, as well as benches, raised a few inches from the floor,
on which to store such things as we wished to preserve from the white

{Buildings of the Portuguese in Africa.}

At Tette, on the Zambesi, there are ridges running parallel to the
banks of the river, with hollows between them, which may have served
as supplementary channels during extraordinary floods; and, to avoid
the low-lying malaria, which is of greater specific gravity than common
air, the Portuguese colonists erect their houses on these ridges. The
hollows serve as streets or roadways, and also as channels to carry
off the deadly exhalations, which, being heavier than air, naturally
seek the lowest level. The dwelling rooms are also further elevated
by being built over a basement, which serves as a store-room, the
elevation of a few feet frequently making all the difference between
the chance of catching fever and of escaping it. In these store-rooms
they build isolated platforms about 3ft. high, on forked posts of hard
wood, which are carefully swept every morning, while salt is strewed
around their base to prevent the white ants approaching. Probably tar
or turpentine would have the same effect, but in remote regions these
are not always at command. The tarred wood of our iron house was never
touched; and the camphor wood of India is valued very much on account
of its immunity from their attacks.


When the Portuguese on the Zambesi build large houses that are to be
divided into rooms, they build into the central and side walls a row of
pillars, into the thickness of which stout poles are built, with the
forks left upon them, and perhaps other rows of pillars without the
connecting walls are built for the verandah.

Dr. Kirk, when consulted as to the best method of colonising the Shire,
or Sheeree River, gave it as his opinion that the estates lying low
in the fertile valleys should be cultivated by natives only (who in
their _own country_ do not seem susceptible to the deadly influence of
fever, though when removed to another locality that is not perceptibly
worse, they are as liable to be attacked as Europeans), and that the
proprietors should have their residences upon the hills, as far as
possible above the level of the malaria, with a small military force
at their disposal, to keep order when necessary among the inhabitants
of the valley. This certainly appears to be the only feasible plan
of occupying such a country with any benefit to the various parties

{Rio Negro huts.}

An Indian cottage, on the banks of the Rio Negro, has been thus
described:--"The main supports are trunks of some forest tree, of
heavy and durable wood; but the light rafters are the straight,
cylindrical, and uniform stems of the Jará palm. The roof is thatched
with the large triangular leaves of the Caraná palm in regular
alternate rows, neatly bound with sipos or forest creepers. The door
is a frame of thin strips of wood neatly thatched over. It is of the
split stems of the Pashiuba palm. In one corner is a heavy harpoon for
cow-fish; it is of the black wood of the Pashiuba barriguda. By its
side is a blowpipe, 10ft. or 12ft. long, and a little quiver of small
poisoned arrows hangs near it. With these the Indian procures birds
for food or for gay feathers, or shoots the hog or tapir; and it is
from the stem and spines of two palms that they are made. His great
bassoon-like musical instruments are of palm stems; the cloth to wrap
his valued feather ornaments is a fibrous palm spathe, and the rude
chest for his treasures is woven from palm leaves. His hammock, his
bowstring, and his fishing line are fibres of palm leaves; the first
from the miriti, and the other two from the tucum. The comb on his head
is the hard bark of a palm. He makes fish-hooks of the spines, or uses
them to puncture on his skin the peculiar markings of his tribe. His
children eat the agreeable red and yellow fruit of the pupunha or peach
palm, and from the assai he has prepared and offers you a favourite
drink. A carefully-suspended gourd contains oil from the fruit of
another, and the long elastic-plaited cylinder used for squeezing dry
the mandiocca pulp to make his bread is of the bark of one of the
singular climbing palms which alone can resist for any considerable
time the action of the poisonous juice. In each of these cases a
species is chosen adapted to the special object to which it is to be
applied, and often having different uses which no other plant can serve
so well."

{Papuan tree houses.}

The arboreal dwellings of the Horaforo tribe in New Guinea have been
thus described by Dr. J. Coulter:--"Against each tree rested a notched
pole, and at a whistle from the chief, answered by hundreds of similar
sounds in every direction, natives with flambeaux flitted down the
poles till the whole forest was brilliantly illuminated. In fact, they
had their houses, or rather nests, in the trees, and when they retired
for the night the pole was hauled up to prevent surprise. These abodes
were made by thinning away some of the branches, and laying horizontal
poles on others sufficiently stout to bear them; the uprights are cut
with forks, which rest on the lower branches, while their upper ends
are lashed with cocoa-nut fibre to those above; the sides are formed by
bamboos lashed closely together; the roofing is also of cane covered by
sheets of thick bark sewed together, and perfectly proof against the
heavy rains. The flooring is laid with split bamboos and light wood,
and the walls are lined with stout matting, which gives sufficient
shelter against the piercing winds. The shape varies according to the
spread of the tree; sometimes when they extend all round an extensive
house is made to inclose the whole tree; the smallest will measure
16ft. square, but sometimes they are longer and less wide; and when
the whole tree is built in they are three times as large. They are
perfectly safe, for the lower branches are as thick as an ordinary

  [Illustration: PAPUAN TREE HOUSE.]

{American Indian lodges.}

The lodges of the North-American Indians are perhaps the most
convenient residences which could be devised for people of their
nomadic habits. The lodge poles, or supports, are made from tough
durable wood, well-grown young saplings being selected for the purpose.
On the line of march they are, by fastening them to a sort of pad,
secured on each side of a horse, or even dog. The ends trail on the
ground like the skids of a sledge, and are packed with various odds
and ends, which are prevented from falling off by cross-bars and
a lashing of hide or twisted bark rope, as shown in the full-page
illustration. When the camp is about being formed, the poles are freed
from their attachments and set up in a circle, forming an irregular
cone, the apex of which consists of the converging and collected ends
of the poles, through which the smoke escapes. The lodge covers are
made from prepared skins, on which are depicted, in rough outline,
some of the most noteworthy achievements and events in the life of the
owner. The lower borders of the skin covers are secured to the ground
with pegs, whilst thongs are made use of for binding the poles in
places and uniting the skins. The tracks of the trailing lodge poles
in the sand, or across the plains, may be looked on by the traveller
as peaceful indications, as, where the lodge gear is, the squaws and
papooses will be found. On the war path all such impedimenta are left
behind in some place of safety.

  [Illustration: INDIAN LODGES.]

The full-page illustration, representing "Indian Lodges," will serve to
explain the manner in which dwelling places of this description are set

{Fuegean pole houses.}

Some of the natives of Terra del Fuego construct small but tolerably
comfortable huts from straight trimmed poles; these are arranged in a
shallow pit, the exact size of the floor of the intended hut; they are
arranged side by side in conical form, the tops of all the poles being
brought together become self-supporting. All the interstices, except
those where the heads of the poles come together (which form exits for
the smoke), are filled in tightly with a mixture of clay and thick soft
moss. Huts thus built will resist the action of the heaviest storms,
and are tolerably dry. Peat, when cut in slabs or blocks, makes a
valuable building material. We once built a shooting house, or rather
hut, near the banks of a large river with this substance. We thatched
it with reeds laid over willow poles. The door was made of wicker work
covered with clay; the hinges were twisted willows. The window was made
of oiled paper; the fireplace was plastered with clay, and we mounted a
small barrel in lieu of a chimney pot. The fuel used was peat, so there
was no danger of its taking fire.

{Hutting in the Arctic regions.}

In a continuous Arctic winter the usual relations of fluids and
solids are so completely changed that entirely new necessities arise,
accompanied by as novel means for supplying them. Water, either for
drinking or other purposes, is as scarce as in the driest parts of
India or Africa; for though in temperate countries it may be a luxury
to let a piece of ice melt in the mouth, the expenditure of animal heat
in thawing a mouthful of snow in the Arctic regions would be greater
than even the most robust constitution could afford.

Water, in fact, unless kept in constant agitation, loses its fluidity.
A sheet of ice is as dry as a piece of glass, and snow seems to have no
more moisture in it than the dust of the highway on a Derby day.

Owing to this quality snow does not accumulate on small surfaces
elevated and exposed to the wind. Captain Parry found that from the
roof of his vessel a fresh breeze invariably carried off any snow that
had settled on it in calm weather, and also from the masts, yards,
sails and rigging. His opinion is that in high latitudes the less the
ship is dismantled the better, for the frost does not hurt the gear,
and no harm can occur from thawing till the season for refitting

Should you at any time be so situated as to be compelled to winter on
board ship in the Arctic regions, it will be well to follow the plan
pursued by Dr. Kane to render his ship and cabin as cold proof as
possible. He procured large quantities of moss and turf, with which the
quarter-deck was thickly covered. Down below he inclosed a space about
18ft. square, and packed the walls forming it, from floor to ceiling,
with the same materials. The floor was carefully caulked with plaster
of Paris and common paste, on this was laid a stratum of Manilla oakum
2in. thick, and over this deposit a canvas carpet was spread. The
entrance was from the hold, by a long moss-lined passage or tunnel,
formed after the manner in which the Esquimaux arrange the "topsut," or
rabbit-burrow like passage which leads to their huts, as shown in the
illustrations at pp. 313 and 315. A number of doors and curtains were
then constructed at such points as afforded a chance for the ingress of
cold. This moss nest, or den, was constructed to accommodate ten men.

The outside of the ship was banked up with moss, and over that a thick
bank of snow was made.

The snow, indeed, when lying in proper thickness, and sufficiently
compressed, forms the best possible material for building. Cold as it
is in itself, it seems to act as a non-conductor of heat; and if an
internal structure, however slight, can be set up, the thicker the
outer wall of snow is made the better. Captain Parry's men proceeded
in the following manner: In banking the snow against the ship's sides,
a wall of sufficient height was built about 4ft. from them, and loose
snow was thrown in till it covered nearly the whole of the upper
works; about 8in. of snow was also laid on the decks and hatches, and
above this a layer of sand cemented by water, for the double purpose of
preventing the escape of heat from below, and saving the planks from
being rifted by the frost; and the waste heat of the galley fire was
utilised by making the funnel pass up through a tank, which was kept
filled with snow, thus without any extra fuel producing 65galls. of
water per diem. A wall of snow, 12ft. high, was built at a distance
of 25yds. all round the ship, to afford a comfortable shelter from
the wind. It is also essential to make and keep always clear of ice a
'fire-hole,' from which water can be procured at any moment in case of

The observatory was built on shore: first of planking lined with
canvas, with a layer of turf outside, and completed by an extra
thickness of solid slabs of snow; it was flat-roofed, and as small as
possible, the instrument room being 8ft. square, and the working room
5ft. by 8ft., thus economising either natural or artificial heat. In
fact, it seems that the primary object in building a house is to make
the actual dwelling room as small as possible, and the passage to it so
long and narrow, that it requires almost a long journey to reach the
external air. Dr. Hayes describes a snow house, or rather cave, dug by
an Esquimaux in a snow drift that had collected in a sheltered hollow.
He dug downward first about 5ft., then horizontally about 10ft. more,
tossing the detached snow blocks out behind him, and then began to
excavate his cavern, to which, when finished, he built a doorway just
large enough to crawl through. The floor was covered with a layer of
stones, and then with several layers of reindeer skins; the walls were
also hung with skins; two native lamps lighted, a skin hung across the
doorway, and he and his family were "at home," the temperature soon
rising to the freezing point.

  [Illustration: SNOW HUT--ARCTIC REGIONS.]

The doctor's temporary encampments were thus formed: A pit is dug 18ft.
long by 8ft. wide and 4ft. deep; over the top are placed the oars to
support the sledge; over the sledge is the boat's sail, and on that is
thrown loose snow. In one end of this den is a small entrance hole,
closed with blocks of snow; over the floor is a strip of india-rubber
cloth; over this two buffalo skins, between which the whole party of
twelve pack themselves as closely as possible, the only change of
costume being to take off the boots and stockings and replace them
with sleeping hose of reindeer skin. A pot of hot coffee, or a hash of
dried meat and preserved potatoe, cooked over a lamp of oil or alcohol,
forming the repast, of which the most estimable quality is its warmth.
Captain Parry, being rather surprised at the short time in which an
Esquimaux village sprung up near the vessel, induced some of the
natives to build a hut, and found that two or three hours were enough
to complete the establishment. The only materials are snow and ice,
the latter being only used for windows. A number of slabs of compact
snow, 6in. or 7in. thick and 2ft. long, are cut and laid edgewise in
a circle, on a level spot, covered with snow, from 8ft. to 15ft. in
diameter; on this is a second tier, sloping a little inward, each slab
made to fit closely by running a knife along its edges, the top is then
smoothed off with the knife, and the builder, standing in the centre,
receives the slabs for the successive tiers from the men outside. When
the walls are 4ft. or 5ft. high they begin to lean inward, so that it
appears as if the blocks laid on them would fall; but the workman still
goes on raising and closing in the hemispherical walls, and when they
have become too high for the slabs to be handed over to him he cuts a
hole at the bottom with his knife and has them passed through. The dome
is often 9ft. or 10ft. high, and it is carefully finished by the men
outside dropping the nicely rounded block that serves as a keystone,
to be received and fitted by the man within. The outside workers heap
snow round the foundations, and carefully stop up any accidental
holes between the blocks. The builder lets himself out by cutting an
arch 3ft. high and 2-1/2ft. wide, and from this they construct two
passages--end to end--each 10ft. or 12ft. long and 4ft. or 5ft. high,
the lowest being next the hut, as shown in the outline ground plan. The
roofs of these passages are sometimes arched, and at others covered
with flat slabs.

If a single apartment is required the hut is now complete, but if
several families are to reside together the passage is made common to
all, the first hut becoming a kind of antechamber, and is commonly a
little smaller than the rest, which are entered by arched doors 5ft.
high. Sometimes the ground plan assumes the form of a cross, as in
the instance we now illustrate. A hole is cut into the side of each
compartment, and a circular plate of ice 3in. or 4in. thick, and 2ft.
in diameter, let into it. The light is like that transmitted through
ground glass, and is quite sufficient.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN OF SNOW HUT.]

A bank of snow, 2-1/2ft. high, round the interior of each room, except
near the door, forms the bed and fireplace, the former occupying the
sides and the latter the end opposite the door. The beds are made by
covering the snow with a layer of stones, on which are spare paddles,
tent poles, whalebone, pieces of network, and a quantity of birch
twigs, reindeer skins in profusion are heaped on these, creating not
only a comfortable but a luxurious resting place.

The fireplace is a shallow vessel of stone, the wick is of moss rubbed
dry between the hands, disposed along the straight edge for about
18in., it supplies itself from a long strip of blubber hung near enough
to be melted gradually, and drop slowly into the hollow of the stone;
over the lamp is a network, on which wet boots or mittens are usually
laid. Frequently there are two other lamps in the corners next the
door, for no married woman or widow can be without her separate fire.

With all the lamps lighted, and the room full of people and dogs, the
thermometer on the net over the fire stands at 58°; 2ft. or 3ft. away
it falls to 32°, close to the wall it is 23°, the temperature of the
open air being at the same time 25° below zero. If the temperature
is raised higher than this, the melting of the roof causes great
inconvenience; but when an inclination to drip is observed, a patch of
cold snow is plastered on to absorb the superfluous heat. In the time
between the extreme cold of winter, and the season when it is possible
to live in tents, the natives suffer much from this melting of their

The cooking is done in pots of hollowed stone (_lapis ollaris_),
slung over the lamps. Many of these are cracked, but are joined by
lacings of sinew, or rivets of copper, iron, or lead, which, with a
sufficient coating of dirt, makes them again watertight. Their knives
are sometimes of ivory, but the best are of iron, obtained from the
Hudson's Bay Company.

They procure fire by striking two pieces of iron pyrites over a
leather case with dried moss in it, and a little floss from the seed
of the ground willow helps to convey the flame to a bit of oiled
wick--sometimes the wick for the lamp is made of asbestos.

At times, especially in the commencement of the winter, the huts are
built of ice instead of snow. They approximate to a circular form,
but from the flatness of the material necessarily present a number
of flat sides and obtuse angles. They are cemented entirely with
snow and water, and roofed with skins, which are replaced by snow as
winter advances. The entering tunnels are also of slabs of ice, as are
the kennels for bitches and puppies. The skin canoes are propped up
on slabs of ice high enough to be out of the reach of the dogs. The
semi-transparency of the walls give these huts a strange effect, and
some of our later voyagers have called them crystal palaces; but all
the purity, either of ice or snow, disappears, and whatever cleanliness
the Esquimaux possess is forced upon them by the annual thawing of
their houses.


The summer tents are made of several seal or walrus skins, the former
without the hair, and the latter with the thick outer coat taken off,
and the rest shaved down so thin as to admit light through them. They
are irregularly sewn together, forming a kind of oval bag, supported in
the middle by a pole of several deers' horns or bones of other animals
lashed together. On the top of this is a cross or T-piece, which serves
to extend the top of the tent, 6ft. or 7ft. from the ground the lower
part of the tent pole rests loosely on a large stone, from which any
accident will knock it off. The borders of the skins are kept down by
stones laid on them, and the top is stayed by a thong on the outer
side, stretching to a heavy stone at some distance. The door is merely
two flaps, one of which overlaps the other, secured by another stone.

Sometimes a little shelter from the wind is given by an outer wall of

If a larger tent is required, two of these bags are made to overlap at
the edges, and are set up with a couple of poles.

The accumulation of seal and walrus flesh and blubber during the summer
months makes these habitations disgustingly filthy; but it is to be
remembered that the great necessity of the Esquimaux is to keep himself
warm, and he cannot afford to lower the temperature of his skin by
washing off the grease and dirt which encrust it.

On one experimental trip Captain Parry was compelled by a sudden
decrease of temperature to shelter his party in a small tent. They
attempted to warm themselves by smoking, and found the temperature at
their feet to be 1° below zero, while overhead the smoke had raised
it to +7°, the outer air being -5°, soon falling to -15°. It was then
found possible to dig a kind of cavern in the snow, the spade being
lent as a favour to the men who most required to warm themselves, a
small fire and a pot of soup were made, and by confining the smoke and
hot air the temperature was raised to +20°, while outside it was -25°.

                               CHAPTER V.

                           RIVERS OR RAVINES.

The solitary traveller in a wild country will be very rarely compelled
to construct his own bridge, for, as a general rule, he will only have
to pass once, or at most to return by the same route. The labour of
making a bridge would be greater, and more time would be lost, than by
seeking for a practicable passage at some distant point, or, in case a
river was the impediment, forming a float of some kind.

{Swamp roads, to make.}

There are, however, occasions when there is no alternative but
bridge-making, as when exploring expeditions, accompanied by pack
animals, or a field force on the march, have rivers, swamps, ravines,
or, perchance, rotten ice, to pass over. Where there is not water
enough to float a canoe, but where there is sufficient to cause the
formation of deep pools and dangerous mire, over which few animals
used for the conveyance of baggage could pass without the aid of some
artificial footway, narrow deep channels may be very often rendered
comparatively easy to cross by filling them up with bundles of
brushwood or marsh reeds. We were constantly in the habit, when engaged
in making forced marches through Central India, of making use of the
stalks of the recently cut juhari for this purpose. Unsafe ice can be
rendered firm and secure by strewing a thick layer of reeds over it,
and then throwing water enough to cause the whole to freeze into a
compact mass.

Before, however, proceeding to describe the various modes usually
had recourse to for rendering trees available for bridging purposes,
it will be well to give a few plain and practical directions for
ascertaining the width of rivers, ravines, and the arms of swamps,
without the aid of scientific instruments, and also for finding, by
makeshift modes, the altitude of trees.


Fig. 1. If you have a pocket compass, and the river runs, say east and
west, and you are on the south side, choose a well-defined tree, A, or
other object on the opposite shore, and bring it to bear north of you;
mark your position by putting in a stake or peg, B, turn to one side,
say the left, and walk westward till A bears north-east, which will be
the case at C; then C B will be exactly equal to B A, or the breadth of
the river, because from the point C, A will bear north-east, and B will
bear east, subtending an angle of 45°, and as the line C B is east, and
B A is north, they subtend an angle of 90°, or a right angle, and must
be of equal length; the triangle you have formed being the half of a
square, divided by a diagonal line from corner to corner.

  [Illustration: FIG. 1]

If you have room repeat this by walking east till A bears north-west
from D; and if the first operation has been correctly performed, the
second will confirm it; or if the first be in error, it is likely that
the second will be exactly as much in error the opposite way, and the
mean of the two observations will be approximately correct.

  [Illustration: FIG. 2]

Fig. 2. If you have not a compass, choose A as before, set in a
stake at B, and prolong the line to C; then on this line erect a
perpendicular by looping a cord on the stake at C, and with a sharpened
peg held at the other end of it drawing the arc, D E; then, making D
and E equidistant from B, draw through these three points the line D B
E F; on this line retire toward F till A and B form an angle of 45°,
which may be measured either by folding a square of paper diagonally,
or by pegging out a piece of string divided into two lengths of 24in.
and one of 32in. See that the longest or diagonal side bears truly
upon A, and one of the shorter sides on B, which will take place at the
point F, then F B will be equal to B A, or the breadth of the river.
Repeat this also if the ground allows, on the opposite side G, and take
the mean of the two observations.

The correctness of all these observations may be greatly increased by
resting your rifle on each successive point, and carefully sighting all
the lines with it.

  [Illustration: FIG. 3]

Fig. 3. Another excellent and simple plan is--choose A; set in B; from
B erect the perpendicular B C, C D, divided equally at C; from D erect
the perpendicular D E; retire along it till the stake C bears truly
upon A, which will be at F, then F D will equal B A.

  [Illustration: FIG. 4]

Fig. 4. If the river bank is so curved that you cannot draw B C D at
right angles, you have two alternatives. If there is plenty of room
retire as far as you please from the bank before planting the stake B,
and deduct from the result the distance you retire from the bank. Or,
if there is not room, you may draw B C D, as in Fig. 4, diagonally,
and contrive to keep D E as nearly parallel to A B as you can; but
any defect in parallelism will greatly affect the correctness of your
measurement, as will be evident from the dotted line G.

  [Illustration: FIG. 5]

Fig. 5. If the river is wide, choose A as before; set in B, and retire
any measured distance, say 6yds., to C; then from B and C erect
perpendiculars of equal length, and draw the square B C, D E; test it
by stretching a cord from corner to corner; then, prolonging the line C
E, bring the stake D in one with A, and produce the line A D till it
intersects C E at F; then divide F E into six parts, measure as many of
them as you can on the line E D, and you will find as many of them as
there are yards on the line B A; therefore, in the present instance,
11yds. will be the breadth of the river, and one may be deducted
because the marks are not close to the edge of the banks; or say, as E
F is to E D so is B D to B A.

Fig. 6. To erect a perpendicular on a given point on any line,
measure equal distances on either side; set in pegs, loop a cord on
them alternately, and strike two arcs, their intersection will be
perpendicular to the given point. To cross the end of a line by another
at right angles, set a peg some distance back, loop a cord on it, and
strike an arc. Measure equal distances from the end of your given line
to the arc, then a line drawn through the three points will be at right
angles to the first.

  [Illustration: FIG. 6]

A scale of equal parts may be made by folding a slip of paper in half,
then folding each part in half, and so subdividing it as much as you
wish, but do not fold it in half, and then double the two parts to get
the quarters at one operation, and then double the four parts to get
the eighths, or you will find them come out very unequally.

A measuring tape may be made by taking a narrow white tape, say 1/4in.,
and winding it on a slip of card barely an inch wide, just so little
spirally that each turn may not half cover the preceding one, then
carefully blacken the edges, and, when you unwind the tape, mark every
twelfth inch with figures to denote feet, and every sixth with an extra

A square is made by taking a sheet of paper, folding the corner down so
that the edge of the end coincides with the edge of the side, and then
cutting off the superfluous length, each corner of the square is an
angle of 90°, _i. e._, a right angle or a quarter of the compass, say
from north to east. The diagonal fold makes at each corner an angle of
45°, or four points of the compass, say from north to north-east; fold
this again, and it will give 22-1/2°, or two points of the compass,
from north to north-north-east, and this may again be subdivided if

We have often tried the breadth of rivers by firing a rifle ball at
some well-defined mark on the other side, with the sight adjusted to
100yds. or more, according to the estimated distance, and noticing
whether the ball reached beyond or fell short of the mark. The habit
of doing this very greatly corrects and assists the eye in forming
estimates of distance. A good stone thrower ought to know the range he
can make with pebbles of different sizes. If a native is near buy one
of his least valued arrows or spears, and get him to throw it across,
and then ask him to throw a similar one on ground where you can recover
it and measure the distance, but never ask a savage to throw away
weapons of the chase for nothing. In calm weather, we have fired a
rifle ball, with its utmost range, on the surface of a lake, and have
counted seconds from the time we saw the splash till we heard the sound
of its fall. Sound travels 1142ft. in a second, or about a statute
mile in 4-3/4 seconds, or a geographical mile--or rather one minute of
latitude, or of longitude _on the equator_--in 5-3/4 seconds.

                     WHOSE BASE IS ACCESSIBLE.

Fig. 1. Fold down a square of paper from corner to corner, and you
will obtain a triangle, of which two of the sides form a right angle,
and the third, or diagonal, forms an angle of 45° with each of them
(see next page). Make a mark upon the tree 5ft., or the height of your
eye, from the ground, and retire from the tree till, holding the paper
steadily with one short side horizontal and the other vertical, you can
take sight along its lower edge at the mark, and along the diagonal
side at the topmost branches; then pace or measure the distance from
the tree, add 5ft. for the height of the eye, and you will have the
height of the tree; because, if the two angles of the diagonal be 45°,
the base and the perpendicular must be equal. A piece of thin board,
with pins set in at each angle to serve as sights, would be better
than the paper, but is not so readily extemporised. If you split the
end of a wand so as to hold the paper or board quite up to the height
of your eye, it will give additional steadiness. The observer in our
illustration is unavoidably represented a little too near his work, but
he is probably taking the height of the first bifurcation, which is
often more important than the height of the tree.


Fig. 2. Or, sticking a branch into the ground, select one of its forks,
or lash on a cross piece which shall pass through the trigger guard
behind the trigger, so that the gun may be about the height of your eye
when you aim horizontally at the mark on the tree, the trigger finger
grasping the stick for greater steadiness. Take another stick, with a
fork or cross rest of equal height with the first, and connect them by
a smaller stick of any length, say 18in. or 2ft., and at exactly the
same height above the lower rest lash another on the second stick, so
that, the base and perpendicular being equal, the gun, when its muzzle
is laid on the higher rest, shall form exactly an angle of 45° with
its line when previously laid upon the lower one. Now retire until
from the lower rest you can sight the mark upon the tree, and from the
upper its highest branches; then the distance from your pivot stick,
plus 5ft., will be the height of the tree. Our illustration purposely
shows this operation in the simplest possible form; but the frame might
be steadied by lashing on other cross bars (X fashion), and a friend
to help in moving it to a greater or less distance from the tree would
greatly assist the observer. It would be inconvenient to make this
observation kneeling. A telescope, a long straight reed, a roll of
paper, or a straight tube of any material, will answer almost as well
as the rifle. Even a clasp knife (Fig. 3), with a bit of reed stuck
into the handle where the point should reach, and resting on the point
of the half-opened blade, is better than nothing.

  [Illustration: FIG. 3]

If the ground is perfectly level, and you have a looking-glass, lay it
down and level it by setting on it a basin full of water; retire till
you see the top of the tree reflected in it, then if your distance
from the mirror equals the height of your eye, the distance from the
mirror to the tree will be equal to its height. In perfectly calm
weather the basin of water will do without the mirror, or a shallow
pool or river will give an approximation; but, as the ground is always
depressed where water settles, there will be some uncertainty about the
height of the eye, which will more or less vitiate the observation, and
this will also be the case if thirsty animals rush in to disturb it,
as in our sketch. Or if the sun or moon is shining, set up a stick,
and watch till its shadow is equal to its height, or note when your
own shadow equals your height, and the height of the tree and the
length of its shadow will also be equal. But, as it may not be always
convenient to wait for this moment, the height of the tree may be
found by proportion. If the stick is 5ft. and its shadow 7ft., then
if the shadow of the tree be 70ft., its height will be 50ft.; or if
in looking at its reflection in the mirror, the height of your eye
be 5ft., and the distance 8ft., then if the distance from the mirror
to the tree be 80ft., its height is 50ft. In either of the first two
methods the same rule must be observed; the paper may be folded to a
greater angle if you cannot get far enough from the tree, or a smaller
one if you must go farther, and the same with the elevation of the
rifle. In these cases, carefully measure the base and perpendicular of
your smaller angle, and say, "as the base of the small angle is to its
perpendicular, so is the distance from the tree to its height."

Thus, as in Fig. 4 on next page, if the distance between the two rests
is 2ft. and the elevation of the rifle 1ft., the distance from the tree
must be equal to double its height.

  [Illustration: FIG. 4.]

All these observations will apply to any object of which the highest
point is perpendicular to the accessible base, such as a precipice, the
wall of a fort, or the gable end of a house, but not to the peak of a
mountain, two or three miles beyond its base, nor to the pitched roof
of a house seen sideways, nor to the spire of a church, or flagstaff on
the central tower of a castle, unless the doors of these buildings be
opened so that you can continue to measure your base to a point exactly
beneath that which you have taken the angular height. Still, if the
base be not accessible, it is not impossible to measure the height,
for the distance of the object may be taken by any of the plans for
ascertaining the breadth of a river, or any of the above methods may be
performed twice over, as in Fig. 5; first, at any convenient distance,
_b_, and secondly, at a measured distance, _c_, nearer to or farther
from the object; and the easiest way of obtaining the result is to lay
down on paper the obtained angles, _d_, _e_, _f_, and _g_, _h_, _i_,
in due proportion to the measured distance, _b_, _c_, between them;
then from them to protract the angle, _d_, _g_, _a_, and continuing the
base line, find on it the point _j_, from which a perpendicular would
meet the top of the object, _a_. The distance, _b_, _c_, being known,
that of the base, _b_, _j_, and the height of the tree, _j_, _a_, will
be best found by measurement of equal parts, but bear in mind that the
result can only be an approximation to truth, for every additional
operation involves an increase of possible error.

  [Illustration: FIG. 5.]


       *       *       *       *       *

{One-tree bridge, to make.}

In passing extensive marsh tracks, few expedients surpass the so-called
American cordway, the subject of the illustration on p. 325. It is
constructed as follows from the description of material usually
abounding in marsh tracks: Trees and poles of almost any description
will be found to answer. Cut as many as is thought requisite.
Divide them into three classes--_ground poles_, _cross poles_, and
_stringers_. The ground poles should be the largest and heaviest. The
cross poles are comparatively short lengths, and lay across the ground
poles with their ends projecting some distance beyond. They are laid
closely together, and then secured and bound down by the stringers
which lay on them. A treenail driven in here and there serves to keep
all in place by nipping the cross poles tightly. The ends of the ground
poles and stringers may be either scarfed and treenailed, or laid side
by side and tied with withies or strips of suitable bark. It will be
seen, on examining the illustration, that where the roadway ends a
bridge begins. This is of the description known as a one-tree bridge,
and is made as follows: Select a tree of sufficient length to reach,
when felled, across the stream, and of fair average girth, say 9ft.;
fell it with the axe in the manner before directed, and then walk out
on the trunk and cut away all the branches from the upper surface; then
log it up into lengths of about 10ft. a sufficient number of transverse
pieces to reach, when placed side by side, from one end of the bridge
log to the other. Then in the centre of each of these make a shallow
notch by delivering right and left cuts with the axe. Next with your
auger bore two holes as wide apart as the diameter of the bridge log
will admit of. Lay your transverse piece on the main log, so that it
shall rest in the form of a true cross, with the notch in the centre
resting on the main log; then, whilst keeping the cross piece steady
with one foot, bore down the auger holes about a foot into the solid
timber. Treenails (see "Treenails, to make") are then to be placed in
the holes and driven home with a mallet or the head of the axe.


{Swamp bridge, to make.}

Another form of tree-nailed bridge, calculated for very wet or
dangerously swampy ground, is formed by laying down two lines of
stouter ground logs than those used to form the "cordway" just
described, scarfing and tree-nailing the ends together as they are
laid down. The transverse bars for the footway have a right and left
chip taken out each end from the surface which is to lay next the
ground log. They are then bored with the auger, one hole at each end
being sufficient. They are then placed closely side by side. One man
completes the hole which passes down into the log, whilst another
drives home the treenails, as shown in the annexed illustration. Earth
or sand thrown with a shovel between the cross pieces increases the
stability of the arrangement. {Treenails, to make.} Treenails have
been, and will be, frequently mentioned in the course of this work;
it will, therefore, be well here to give directions for making and
using them. To the shipwright they are invaluable, as by their aid he
unites the various planks and timbers made use of in the carrying out
of his art. In England they are usually made from straight-grained
oak, which, after being sawn into proper lengths, is split up into the
rough form of the required treenail. This, after being faced and hewn
with the adze, is passed through a double-handed cutting instrument
known as a treenail tool. A skilfully-handled axe, a spokeshave, or a
drawing knife, will, although less expeditiously, produce with ease
well rounded and serviceable treenails. In wild countries any tough
straight-grained wood may be selected for treenail making. For bridge
and roadway work pine wood will answer the purpose very fairly. A dead
log is best when it can be obtained for making these wooden holdfasts.
Cut it up into pieces the length of the proposed treenail, chop off the
bark, and split them into either three or four (as directed at p. 272),
according to the size of the log; then, with the _froe_ or axe, split
them into rough squares the length of the required treenail, round off
the curves and corners, chop off the edges at the end, so that it may
enter the auger hole freely, and the treenail is ready for use.

  [Illustration: GABION BRIDGE.]

{Gabion bridge, to make.}

Rivers which are too wide to be crossed by the one-tree bridge, and
yet of inconsiderable breadth, may be crossed by the use of the gabion
bridge, which is thus constructed: First, prepare as many strong wicker
gabions as the width of the stream will render necessary. About 14ft.
apart will be found a convenient distance to place them. Their height
will depend on the depth of the water. Three feet at least should be
allowed between the surface of the stream and the upper edge of the
gabion. Where suitable poles and sticks for gabion making cannot be
obtained trees should be felled and split up, as for rails (see p.
273). The bars thus obtained should be cut up into proper lengths, and,
by the use of the axe and auger, converted into large deep crates, such
as are used for packing earthenware. These are made by boring rows of
auger holes in strong wooden bars, and then driving the sharpened ends
of the lesser bars into them until the crate is finished, no nails
or metal fastenings being required. Whether the crate or gabion is
used, the principle of construction observed in making the bridge is
the same. The first gabion, after being secured to the end of a stout
rope, is launched from the bank, and then guided, end upward, by the
aid of forked setting poles, to its proper position. Stones, pebbles,
or pieces of broken rock, are now cast pell-mell by hand into the open
mouth of the gabion, which is held down by the setting pole until fixed
in its position by the weight of the mass within it. When quite full
two or three stout poles are laid side by side for a man to walk over.
He takes up his station on the gabion, and aids in arranging the ends
of two side logs which are pushed out to him from the shore, and placed
wide enough apart to give sufficient width to the intended bridge.
Transverse bars formed of split logs are now rapidly treenailed on,
as shown in the accompanying illustration. The second gabion is now
launched from the first, the stone collectors with bags and baskets
walk out, cast their loads, and return for more, proceeding in the same
manner until the bridge is finished. {Tartar bridges, to make.} When
travelling among the Tartars we had on more than one occasion to pass
our mules and horses over rather insecure-looking bridges formed by the
natives. They were alike in construction, and were made by laying three
long strong poles, or rather small tree trunks, side by side from bank
to bank. Across these alternately (butt-end and top), as shown in the
engraving on next page, was laid a close row of tightly-bound bundles
or faggots of small brushwood. On these bundles of twigs large flat
slabs of turf, grass side upward, were placed and stamped compactly
down, forming serviceable and really good bridge ways. A small river
can be easily crossed by men on foot by simply felling a tree of
sufficient girth and length across it. Should there be a number of
packs or loads to pass across, it will be well, if the party is a large
one, to so station men along the tree trunk that they can pass the
bundles or articles from hand to hand, just as firemen hand buckets of
water, thus saving unnecessary labour. A rope stretched across greatly
aids the men in keeping their balance.


{Extempore jetty, to build.}

We, on one occasion, when encamped on the banks of a large Indian
river, were called on to provide for the immediate transport of a
battery of field guns, waggons, horses, &c., to the opposite side.
Some large native boats were procured, but they, even when empty, drew
so much water, that they could not be made to approach within some
distance of the shore. We therefore felled two trees, which fortunately
stood side by side, letting their crowns fall from the bank, well
out into the stream. We soon foraged out three large dug-out canoes,
which were concealed among the reeds hard by. These, with our own
axe, and those of two stalwart-limber gunners, we split into lengths
of uneven plank. Whilst we were doing this, a party had been at work
forcing down large heavy branches between the two tree trunks, and
on these compactly-bound faggots of brushwood (which a number of
natives attached to the expedition prepared close at hand) were rammed
and stamped down. Tho boards procured by cutting up the canoes were
arranged side by side on this bed, their ends being secured by burden
ropes knotted together and hitched over them, as shown at Fig. 1, p.
292. We now employed the natives in throwing buckets and bags of earth
and sand thickly over and between the planks. Over this extempore
jetty--which reached out to the boats, on some of which platforms had
been erected--all our battery, consisting of two 12-pounder howitzers,
and four 6-pounder guns, with all their equipment, passed in perfect
safety. The work was not commenced until late in the afternoon, and all
had crossed long before morning.

{Extempore baggage derrick.}

It not unfrequently happens that there is greater difficulty in
transporting the baggage of an expedition across a river than in
getting over the men and animals. This was the case in the following
instance. We were exploring the Victoria River, in North Australia,
when we came to a branch of one of its tributaries (Jasper Creek) so
much swollen that it was unsafe to attempt crossing it with loaded
horses. We found, however, a passage to an island, on which stood a
couple of tall overhanging gum trees. We had with us several fathoms
of Manilla line, about 1/2in. in diameter, this was passed over a
fork of one of the highest and most projecting branches. Mr. Gregory
swung himself across, we followed; and while our head stockman, with a
fatigue party of five horses, brought the packs to the island, one man
lifted the pack that had been bent on to the line as high as possible;
another gave an extra pull upon the other part to lift it as clear of
the water as possible during its passage, letting go by the run as it
swung to the other shore, where one of the party stood ready to catch
the pack, while we, making a sharp run with a small line, helped it
across, and checked any tendency to swing back again. In this manner we
brought over a ton and a half of provisions and stores in between two
and three hours; the unloaded horses found a practicable ford a little
higher up.

{Tree footways.}

Sometimes the interlacing of overhanging branches answered our purpose;
or we found it possible to fell a tree so that its head might fall on
the other shore, or into the water pointing up stream, so that it would
drift and jam against the opposite bank.

On another occasion, coming to the Lua, a tributary of the Zambesi,
rushing through a narrow place, we went to the edge of the forest,
and with a small tomahawk cut down the best tree we could find, and,
assisted by three or four Makololo, carried it to the brink, raised it,
and let it fall across.

{Chain bridges, to construct.}

In many of the colonial streams it is necessary to provide the means of
passage, for the fords may be inconveniently far apart. In such cases
the general expedient is to purchase the chain cables of some wrecked
ship, and stretch them across, securing the ends either to stout posts
or bars wedged into clefts in the rocks, or to tolerably broad surfaces
of timber buried 6ft. or 8ft. in the earth. Of course strong purchases
are required to stretch the chains, especially if the distance between
the river banks is great; but the buyer would most likely take care
also to provide himself, when he obtained the chains, with a pair of
large double blocks with iron-hooked straps, and twenty or thirty
fathoms of stout rope; so that, when such a tackle is hooked on, and
the fall made fast to the trek gear of a span of well-trained oxen, the
chain must come or something give way.

Two parts of the chain must be stretched so as to assume perfectly
parallel curves, and on these the planks for the roadway are laid,
the lashings passing conveniently through the links and preventing
any possibility of slipping; other chains or ropes are stretched as
hand-rails, and for the supports of these it is a good plan to cut
young trees, say 12ft. long, sling them about 4ft. from the top, and
fasten them to the chain, so that the upper part will support the rope,
while the 8ft. of butt hanging below serves as a counterpoise to keep
it upright. This, however, must depend on the height of the bridge;
for if the water catches any part of it during the rainy season, there
is great danger of the whole being swept away; and it is therefore
advisable to make all the fittings as light as is consistent with the
safety of passengers, so that in case of extraordinary floods they
may be swept off before they communicate strain enough to break the
chain--just as the masts of a vessel ought to be of such strength as
to be carried away before they capsize the ship. We have seen a bridge
built of planks and trestles, very slightly fastened together, but
every part was moored by a long line to one or other of the banks. The
whole affair would go to pieces when the floods came, and when they
subsided the pieces were hauled in, and the bridge reconstructed.

{Fly bridges and ferries.}

In broader rivers the chain is carried across, and a barge is built
with a winch at either end, round the barrels of which a turn of the
chain is taken; the waggon about to cross is drawn upon the platform by
two or more of its own oxen, the winches are hove round, and the oxen
draw the waggon up the other shore, without even having been unyoked
during the passage.

  [Illustration: FLYING FERRIES.]

In strong rapid streams an anchor and cable is laid high up the stream,
and the lower end terminates in a bridle. The boat is alike at either
end, and when about to leave the shore the end of the bridle which
happens to be forward is gathered in, while the after one is somewhat
slackened. The boat shoots over to the other shore, and is kept there
by the force of the stream, so long as the bridle nearest the bank
keeps her head more up than the farther one allows her stem to be. To
bring her back again, haul in that which is farthest from the shore;
slack off the other, and she will recross the river as if of her own

The same may be effected by means of the rudder. Have a short mast,
to which the cable is attached just high enough to clear the heads of
passengers, &c., and about one-fourth or one-third from the bows. Then,
if the boat be lying on the right bank of the river, her port side will
be to the shore; and as long as the helm is to starboard, or away from
the shore, the rudder will incline the boat's head inward, and the
force of the stream will keep her there. But put the helm aport, her
head will fall off, she will shoot over to the left bank, and remain
there. In fact, this flying bridge, or ferry--for it partakes of the
nature of both--acts in the water on the very same principle that a
kite does in the air. The line being made fast, not to the stem of
the boat, but to a point about one-third aft, would allow her to ride
straight on end with the stream only so long as by careful steering her
head was kept exactly to it; but the moment an inclination is made, by
putting the helm, say "aport," the boat's head inclines to starboard;
she receives the stream upon her port side, which should make an angle
of about 22° with the line of the current, and she at once sheers to
starboard or to the left bank--remembering always that, in speaking of
a river, the observer is supposed to face down stream, and the banks
are named as they are on his right or left hand. A wire rope ferry
of this kind is stretched across the united rivers "Moola Moola" and
"Moola Moota," near Poona. We have crossed by it often, and found it to
answer admirably.

  [Illustration: WIRE ROPE FERRY.]

Sometimes it may be of importance to bridge a ravine, which, though
not impassable for an active man, is difficult for average passengers.
The first requisite is to get a line across. If the nearest bank is a
precipice a man may be lowered down with a rope, and he may then climb
the opposite cliff, taking the rope with him; but if the farthest
bank is precipitous also the case is more difficult, as the rope will
not help him to ascend. Perhaps by walking up or down the bed of the
gorge while his friends above follow him with the rope, he may find a
practicable route; or another party may be sent many miles up or down
to find a crossing, and, by lowering another rope, haul him up with the
first still fast.

{Line slings and lobsticks.}

If neither of these plans is possible, a stone or leaden weight may
be slung over with a small line, much as sailors heave the lead. We
usually employ for this purpose a contrivance known among hunters as a
"squailer," or "lobstick."

  [Illustration: LOBSTICKS.]

There are several ways of making a lobstick; the best, perhaps, being
those represented by Figs. 2 and 3 in the engraving below. An oval ball
of lead, with a hole through the centre, and about 6oz. in weight, is
prepared. A strong, tough, and slightly flexible stick is now fitted
to the hole in the lead, in which it is held by a wedge driven into
its cleft end. A long light line, either twine or fishing line, is
now coiled evenly down on the bank, one end is firmly knotted to the
extremity of the handle of the lobstick, and the other to a peg driven
into the ground. The end of the stick where the twine is made fast is
now held lightly in the hand with the ball downwards; two or three
rapid and powerful turns round the head are now taken in such a way as
to cause the stick to bend. It is then hurled, at a good elevation,
across the stream or gorge, where a man who has previously crossed is
waiting for it. The string once across, a rope attached to it follows.
No one unacquainted with the use of these implements would believe that
they could be thrown to the incredible distances which they at times
reach. Fig. 1 is an extempore lobstick, made by splitting the handle,
inserting a pebble or suitable stone, and then lashing the divided
stick fast with twine. A line may be sent over by an arrow or rocket,
taking care that the attachment is made with wire or raw hide, so that
it may not be burned through. Or, if the ravine be wide, it may be
carried over by a kite, and if materials are at hand this kite may be
made large enough to carry a man also. There is no fear of the kite
line breaking. If there is rope enough to make a bridge, there must be
enough to fly a kite strong enough to carry a man.

[Illustration: POLE CHAINS.]

{Makeshift fastenings.}

The communication being effected by any of these means, the next thing
is to haul ropes of increasing weight and power across till they are
strong enough to haul over the actual cables, and these may be made of
various indigenous materials: the bark of the mimosa, of the baobab,
and other trees; the fibre of yucca or aloe leaves, or, still better,
of those of the _Phormium tenax_; bush vines, bind weed, or creeping
plants; rattans, grass, or strips of palm leaf, may be twisted into
ropes; or poles of any straight wood, of nearly even thickness, may
be cut and used as links of a chain, by being strongly, yet somewhat
loosely, attached to each other by shorter links of rope. Sometimes, if
a hole be cut in the butt of one tree, the young branches of the other
will be found pliant enough to pass through it, and weave around the
stem and the few forks that may be left on it for that purpose.

  [Illustration: CABLE AND TWIG BRIDGE.]

Bamboo maybe partially cut away nearly up to a joint, leaving long
strips on either side, which being doubled back on themselves form
excellent links; or they may be split up and spliced together like the
strands of a rope; and, from the great number of very small, long, and
pliant branches growing from every joint, bamboo offers great facility
for the attachment of other fastenings at every foot of its own length.

{Cane and twig roadways.}

The cables having been stretched across and securely fastened, the
next requisite is the construction of the roadway. If bamboo is the
material, the large stems may be cut into lengths of about 5ft., and
split into four, giving pieces of, perhaps, from 4in. in width.; these
should be laid with the convex side upwards, projecting about 1ft.
beyond the cables on each side, and securely lashed to them--the small
shoots already mentioned will very materially assist this process.
If smaller bamboo is about to be used, it can be split into three or
four parts, or put in place without splitting. Small ropes should be
provided as hand rails or safety lines, and these must be confined to
the sides of the bridge by upright stancheons about 3ft. or 4ft. high,
and placed tolerably close together. Twig ropes stretch very unequally
in use.

Rattans and creepers are often of very great length, and pieces 100yds.
long, and not above 1-1/2in. in thickness, may be disentangled in the
forest. These can be utilised in a variety of ways. Sometimes a roadway
is made of short pieces of wood suspended at either end from the
cables, but in this case the amount of small line required is greater;
and, what is of more importance, the safety of the traveller depends
at every step on the fastening of the piece he treads on, while in
the former case, even if the fastening were insecure, the cable would
support his weight. Besides this, in order that they may not swing
apart, every piece must be lashed to its neighbour; and it seems more
safe and economical to build the roadway on the cables, and stretch
lighter ones above them for safety lines.

{Bridge shears, to construct.}

If the ravine is not very broad, a tree, such as the stem of a tall
palm, which will often be 60ft. high, and 1ft. in thickness; or a
bamboo, which will be sometimes 80ft. or 90ft., may be raised, and
secured by stays and guys in a vertical position; or, still better, two
may be lashed together as shear legs and then raised. If the ground is
good this need not be done at the very edge of the cliff, for when once
the shears are nearly upright, smooth planks may be put under the butts
of the spars, and they may be pushed or hauled in any direction.

If men can find a passage to the other side, and carry over some of
the stays and guys there, the work will be much facilitated. If not,
make another pair of shears exactly like the first, and lay them
horizontally on the ground, with their butts resting against and
fastened to those of the upright ones; let the stays come to the head
of these, slack them a little till the uprights incline forward 20° or
30° over the gulf, then keep all fast, and allow the horizontal shears
to rise as the others are lowered, keeping a check upon them all the
while, until the first are laid fairly across.

If the gulf is wide, this operation might be carried on from both sides
till the shears meet, and could be secured together in the middle, as
in our illustration; and the roadway could then be constructed between

  [Illustration: BRIDGE SHEARS.]

{Guano stages at Ichaboe}

When vessels first went to the island of Ichaboe for guano, it was
customary to require every new comer to bring two or three stout spars
for the purpose of extending the landing jetty; and as each had the
benefit of the spars left by former vessels, so each was expected to
leave her own for the use of those who followed.

Owing to the irregularity of the rocky bottom, thickly covered with
seaweed, the depth of water, and the distance from shore at which the
surf began to break, all the ordinary methods of constructing a jetty
were impracticable, especially when the object of each captain was to
load his vessel as quickly and easily as possible, and to get away
without expending the labour of his crew on works more than sufficient
for his own service. Besides this, even had holes been bored, piles
driven, and a staging laid down upon them, the platform, if permanently
spiked down, would inevitably have been torn up by the surf in even
a moderate gale; or, if loosely laid, would have been liable to such
constant derangement as to be practically useless. It was necessary,
therefore, that the base, while strong. enough to support the traffic,
should present little or no surface for the waves to act upon, and that
the roadway should be so elevated that breakers could not touch it.
Even under these conditions, it was found that the first structures
were washed away, and other forms had to be adopted; these could only
be built on the north and east sides of the island; they were not less
than 200ft. or 300ft. in length, and seldom or never in a straight line.

A heavy bower anchor, sometimes weighted by several lengths of chain
frapped round it, was laid down well outside the surf, with one or two
fifteen fathom lengths of chain, and to the end of this a stout hawser
was bent on and carried to the shore, passing over and lashed to the
intersection of a pair of stout poles set up as shears, and with its
shore end leading to another anchor or secure fastening, to which, when
the structure was completed, it could be tightly set up by means of

The first pair of shears having been erected, it was comparatively easy
to erect others, and often as many as a dozen or sixteen pairs were
fixed, the hawser passing over and serving as a ridge rope to them all.
At about 12ft. above high water smaller spars were lashed fore and aft,
so as to connect all the shear legs on either side through the whole
length of the jetty, and others were laid across and well secured by
cleats and lashings between each pair of legs, with some at shorter
intervals, on which the roadway was constructed of planks and spars,
sometimes nailed, but more generally securely lashed. At the end of
this staging was a small platform, slung by tackles to the outermost
pair of shears, and capable of being raised or lowered, so that boats
might lie alongside it either at high or low water.

{The flying railway.}

Other vessels, not so well provided with spars as to entitle them to
share in the accommodation of these stages, adopted a kind of flying
railway, such as is used on the rocky coast of the Cape Verdes for the
shipment of salt. A stout spar, 40ft. or 50ft. long, or sometimes, if
the vessel was totally unprovided, her own mainboom was taken ashore.
Smaller spars were set up as shears, and by these the large one was
erected, and stayed in a perpendicular position as a derrick. The
heaviest bower anchor, with several fathoms of chain, was laid outside
the surf, in thirty or forty fathoms of water. A stout hawser was
bent on to the end of the chain, carried to the derrick head, and
hitched round it or otherwise secured; and the shore end was extended
inland toward another anchor, to which it was hauled taut by a powerful
tackle. Another tackle served to raise the guano bags to the derrick
head, and on the hawser travelled a large snatch or natch block (so
called because one of its sides is notched to admit any part of a line,
the end of which cannot conveniently be reeved through). A man, seated
on a kind of cross-tree, would pass the hook of the travelling block
into the slings of the bags when they were hoisted, and would detach
the hook of the tackle, and the bags were eased down to the boat lying
out, where the hawser nearly reached the sea by a stout line passing
through a single block at the derrick head. Generally, the travelling
block alone had to be brought back; but if provisions or other stores
were to be landed, they were hooked on before it returned. Passengers
would be landed or embarked in the same manner; sometimes in a stout
basket, or in a cask cut into the fashion of an arm-chair; but more
generally, in disdain of such luxuries, in the loops of a double
bowline--the bolder spirits glorying in being let go by the run, and
gliding down the hawser just as the Russians do in their sledges on
artificial ice hills.


It will often happen that in the erection of some makeshift
contrivance, or the laying out of a ground plan for future operations,
some rough and ready mode of levelling will be needed.


The Dutch African farmers use a very simple and effective level in
laying out water furrows for the irrigation of their farms, and, when
it is understood that even on very favourable ground these furrows are
often two miles long, it will be seen that some little engineering is
required. They take a table, the longer the better, and having tested
its surface by the eye, and by lines stretched across, they place on
each end a large basin filled to the brim with water. When these are
perfectly full without overflowing, the sight is taken over them at a
staff set up upon the next station, and the height of the mark on this,
less the height of the table and basin, gives the difference of level.


We had a tube of tin 4ft. long and 1in. diameter, with two pieces of
glass tube bent upward, passing through corks in either end, so that,
by using water coloured with charcoal or mud, we could at once observe
the true level. A long bamboo or reed closed at the ends, but open in
all its intermediate length, will do just as well, and there is no
necessity that it should be straight. Smaller pieces of reed, 3in. or
4in. long, should be set up in each end, and the bore of these must be
large enough to allow the water to flow freely to its natural level.
The top of these may be notched for sights like those of a rifle, or
sliding sights may be fitted on the side of them. This instrument may
be used for taking vertical angles by fixing the eyesight upon a
pivot, marking the place of the foresight on the staff, when the level
has been taken; then pouring away the water, sighting the top of the
object, marking the elevation upon the staff, and then either drawing
the obtained angle on paper, or taking the difference between the base
and perpendicular, and then working out the result by the rule of three.

  [Illustration: DEODAR BEAM BRIDGE.]

{Deodar bridges.}

One of the bridges over the Sutlej is formed of lengthy deodar
cedar beams, supported at either end by piers formed of very strong
timbers wedged for half their length in the solid rock, the next
timbers overlapping those on which they rest by 2ft. or 3ft., these
in turn being overlapped by others, till the space between is so much
diminished, that it can be spanned by the long deodar beams.

  [Illustration: INDIAN ROPE BRIDGE.]

{Rope bridges.}

The Jhula, or rope bridge, has a kind of seat slung to it, capable of
being hauled to and fro by lines to either bank, and the live stock,
as well as the baggage of passengers, is secured to this and sent
across. Other bridges are made of ropes of birch twigs, two of which
are stretched across from rude piers upon the banks, and from these,
hang cradle like, a continuous hurdle of the same frail material
serving as a footway, and attached to the ropes by a sort of open
basket work, a couple of smaller ropes stretched beneath helping to
support the roadway. This, apparently, by its own weight and the
unequal stretching of its parts, soon gets out of order, and the
passage is a somewhat hazardous feat (see illustration, p. 335).

{Deris, to make.}

Sometimes the rivers are crossed on deris, or skins of bullocks, which
are thus prepared: One cut is made along one hind leg, the skin is then
turned forward and stripped off uncut, except at the hocks and knees;
it is buried a few days to facilitate the removal of the hair; it is
then again turned inside out, and the openings of the eyes, mouth,
&c., sewn up; it is then turned back again, and the incision stitched
together with thongs of raw hide; the open ends of the limbs are tied,
except one, which is left as a tube to inflate the skin; the thin tar
of the deodar, or other pines, is poured in and shaken about till the
flesh side is well charged with it, and the outside is tanned with an
infusion of pomegranate husks.

A double cord is fastened round the inflated skin, across which the
waterman lies on his chest, holding the string with his left hand and
working a short paddle with the right, assisting himself also with his
feet. The passenger, with as much baggage as he can carry, sits astride
on the ferryman's back, with his knees on the skin. When heavy goods
are to be carried, two skins are brought together, each man laying
hold of a projecting leg of the other skin, and a frame--often of a
"charpai," or Indian bedstead--is laid upon their backs to receive the
load. Horses or mules are made to swim, the ferryman leading them by
the halter. The appearance of the inflated skin, when carried by the
waterman, is most ludicrous (see p. 333); but when the air is let out
it packs very conveniently. It is exceedingly serviceable, costs about
3s., and weighs about 16lb.

{Rafter, plank, and slab bridges.}

Very neat and effective bridges may be made on the rafter principle,
which our engraving at p. 303 will sufficiently illustrate. The
roadway, either horizontal, as in Fig. 1, or with more or less rise
in the centre, as in Fig. 3, being supported by the king-posts,
a tolerably broad river may be spanned by a bridge supported on
latticed-worked sides, like a number of XXXX's set up without
intervening spaces; but this would require skilled workmanship and
secure fastening. Arches of great strength may be made of thin planks
laid one upon another; a dozen inch planks would thus give an arched
beam 1ft. in thickness, and when properly clamped, or bound together,
exceedingly strong. This beam may be easily lengthened, no joining or
scarping of the individual planks is required, their ends may simply
butt against each other; but care must be taken that no two joints come
even nearly together, or much of the strength will be thrown away.

  [Illustration: PLANK ARCH.]


Many Chinese bridges are constructed with slabs of stone, set up much
in the manner of those at Stonehenge. A number of bridges of this
description, formed entirely of granite, are to be seen on the Cornish

An Indian army was once sent to act against an enemy accustomed to a
colder clime. A broad river checked the advance of the Indians, who had
to remain day after day shivering from cold which their enemies bore
with impunity; but their leader observed that ice was forming on the
river, and, though the strong current kept the centre clear, he found
a place some miles below the hostile camp where it had nearly united.
By pushing forward poles and faggots into the water he made a nucleus
on which fresh ice was formed, and before morning he had sufficiently
bridged the river to allow of the passage of a few men who held their
position till the rest could cross.

{Hints on fording rivers.}

In fording deep and rapid streams, the tendency of the body to float
greatly diminishes the power to resist the force of the current. We
have seen a short and compactly built man, struggling against this
difficulty, when a couple of tall aborigines came to his assistance,
and with mistaken zeal put their hands under his arms to hold him
up, till he explained that he wanted them rather to press upon
his shoulders and keep him down. A detachment of our troops found
themselves before a ford where the stream was deep and strong, and
while they hesitated, the tall guide picked up a heavy stone, placed
it on his head, and walked safely through. It is to be remembered,
however, that the ford which is safe for the first man is not always so
for the last. An ancient general attempted the passage of a river, but
the trampling of the men and horses loosened the sand, the stream swept
it away, reinforcements were unable to come up, the advance was beaten,
and in attempting to recross the river, numbers were drowned, owing to
the increase in the depth of water.

In most countries native paths will lead to the practicable fords,
and very frequently villages will be established near them, so that
information and guides may generally be obtained. In the Cape colony,
people who live near the drifts or fords of large rivers frequently
keep spans or teams of powerful oxen for the sole purpose of drawing
the waggons of travellers across, and these are generally led by some
stout young fellow on a horse that is also well accustomed to the
locality. It will often happen in the course of exploration that the
traveller will have to find the shallow places for himself. Reefs,
or edges of strata, running across the river are, of course, obvious
enough, but to find moderate shallows in a river of more even depth is
not quite so easy; the best way, therefore, is to follow the windings,
bearing in mind generally it is better to seek up the river than down
where fresh tributaries increase it. In all the hollows where the
stream impinges strongly upon the banks they are generally very steep,
with considerable depth of water, while the points will be found to
slope downward with shoals extending from them, and there is generally
an eddy or return current on the upper side; therefore, if a point can
be found, with another somewhat below it on the other side, a ford may
reasonably be looked for, especially if the width between the points
seems greater than usual. A ford seldom leads straight across a river,
and there is little use in looking for one in a hollow or under a steep

{Abyssinian mule platforms.}

Mr. Percival, who has travelled much in Abyssinia, tells us that he
used what he calls portable inclines to facilitate the passage of his
long and heavily-laden mule trains over difficult places, especially
such as the perpendicular edges of stratified rock 2ft. or 3ft. in
thickness, which to laden mules would be as impassable as precipices of
a thousand times the height. To obviate this difficulty, he employed
one or more mules in carrying roughly-made platforms of stout poles
about 10ft. long, with others lashed across them, ladder fashion, so
as to present a surface of about 10ft. by 2ft. It would be the duty
of the drivers of these mules to have, at least, one of them well to
the front in anticipation of any difficulty; the platform would then
be laid down, the train would walk over it and pass on, leaving it in
the rear to be loaded up again and brought on, while one of the other
platform mules would pass to the front in order to be ready for the
next difficulty.


The length of these would depend on the height of ledge of rock to be
mounted. Suppose the strata were 3ft. in thickness, then a platform
of 4ft. 6in. would present a surface lying at an angle of 45°, while
one of 7ft. 6in. would lie at 22°; this, for short distances, would
not be at all a difficult incline either to descend or to climb, and
platforms of 10ft. would give plenty of spare end to rest on the
supporting edges, and would not be very inconvenient in carriage. Mr.
Percival says he has made them of wattled or hurdle work from 12ft. or
15ft. up to 24ft. in length, and yet so light that one mule has carried
two of them; and in following what are called the torrent roads, at the
bottom of deep ravines, these would come into requisition at every few
hundred yards.

It was in such ravines as these that most disastrous events were
anticipated by travellers who knew the difficulties of the country,
without being at the same time aware of the skill and resources of our
military engineers.

In native warfare an army might be watched into a place from which
escape is hopeless, and in the dry season the grass would be then fired
at the entrance and the exit; or in the rains, some small river might
be partially dammed up so as to accumulate a quantity of water, which
being let loose at the proper moment by the dragging out of a pole that
serves as a trigger to let go the rest of the impediments, would sweep
down upon and overwhelm the helpless enemy.

  [Illustration: MINERS' SWING AND LADDER.]

  [Illustration: INDIAN ESCAPE POLE.]

  [Illustration: INDIAN SCALING LADDER.]

  [Illustration: ROPE AND CHAIN LADDERS.]

{Natural bridges.}

Besides the modes of crossing rivers or ravines before described, there
are various methods of passing over comparatively narrow impediments
to the onward journey. A chance tree, storm felled across the stream
or gully, not unfrequently affords the requisite footway without the
expenditure of labour. There are, however, localities in which old
hollow logs, cast in this manner across water, are to be looked on with
some degree of suspicion, as the following incident of travel will
serve to show: An old friend of ours chanced one day to arrive much
fatigued at the brink of a tropical stream, which had one of these
natural bridges thrown by some storm across it. Before passing over, he
lit his fire, cooked his food, and indulged in a quiet smoke; happening
to cast his eye along the fallen tree trunk, he perceived something of
rather sinister appearance, in slow motion, on its surface. On looking
more closely, he saw a huge python, half in and half out of a hole in
the log, apparently enjoying the rays of the mid-day sun. The bark of
the tree near to the bank, on which our friend was sitting, was worn
quite smooth by the passage of numerous animals, and there is no doubt
that this formidable toll collector had long enjoyed the monopoly
of his tree bridge. Our friend selected another crossing place less
carefully guarded. Small streams, or the narrow channels of swamps, may
be easily and expeditiously crossed by the aid of the leaping pole.
{Leaping poles.} Tall bamboos or tough, straight, well-grown poles are
suitable for the purpose. In soft fen ground, it is a good plan to
shoe the bottom of the pole with a piece of flat, strong wood, formed
somewhat after the manner of a half ball, with a hole in the middle for
the reception of the end of the pole. In exploring the cliffs at the
edges of ravines, the metal seeker not unfrequently swings himself from
ledge to ledge by the aid of a rope attached above, as shown in the
accompanying engraving. The cliff climbers, who search for the eggs of
sea-fowl, roam about at times in much the same manner. In descending
from points of danger, where a leap for life affords the only hope
of escape, advantage may be taken of the contrivance which was used
by the rebels at Kotah, in India, during the mutiny. They, on being
pushed hard by our troops, who had gained possession to the approaches
to their fortified works within the town, bolted like rabbits in a
warren, and made for an embrasure, or rather casemate, in one of the
bastions of the outer wall; from this they thrust out a strong, but
flexible bamboo pole, from the end of which a rope depended. The inner
end of the bamboo was secured by heavy weights being placed on it.
The fugitives worked their way out by clinging under the pole, until
they in turn reached the rope at the end, when they slid down to the
end, and then dropped off into the dry ditch. Judging from the immense
height of the bastion, and the rocky nature of the ground, we should
have had but faint hopes of escape with life; but there is little
doubt that many who braved the peril of the fall escaped more or less
injured. {Makeshift ladders.} We had no means at hand of measuring the
bamboo, but should judge it roughly at 40ft. The illustration on p.
347 will serve to show the manner in which it was made use of. Not far
from the bastion just referred to, we found a number of Indian scaling
ladders. They were much in appearance like large bamboo hurdles. The
canes composing them were bound at their intersections with strips of
twisted cane. They were, for their size, remarkably light; and the
nature of the material of which they were constructed, and the way in
which they were put together, made them immensely strong. A number of
men abreast might have ascended them easily. There are many forms of
makeshift ladders, amongst which, perhaps, the following are the most
noteworthy. The ordinary rope ladder is too well known to need more
than a passing comment. The rope and batten ladder is perhaps not quite
so well known, but is far more easy to mount and dismount; its form is
shown at A in the accompanying illustration. Two strong chains, and a
set of suitable sized bars, form a very useful kind of ladder, much in
use among miners; its mode of arrangement is shown at B in the annexed
illustration. In South America and some other countries, the notched
log ladder is much used both in mining and surface operations. It is,
as its name implies, a log notched deeply to receive the feet and hands
of the climbers. Another form of log ladder is made by boring a row
of auger holes at equal distances, say 2ft. apart, and then driving
long stout treenails through them, so that each end of the treenail
may project beyond the side of the log, for a hand and foot hold. Long
forked branches may have their lateral shoots cut off at convenient
distances apart, so as to form a footway of short prongs. A row of
spikes or treenails may be driven into the side of a cliff, a wall, or
the trunk of a tree to climb up by. The natives of many wild countries
adopt this method, about which we shall have more to say when the
subject of tree-climbing is under consideration.

  [Illustration: PEG, BRANCH, AND LOG LADDERS.]


{Landing derrick.}

In some parts of the world, the operation of landing from a boat,
or embarking from the quays or jetties built out into the sea, is
rendered both difficult and dangerous by the great range imparted to
the boat by the roll of the swell, which in the Eastern seas is at
times very great. In such situations, it is a good plan to have a
stout post set in the masonry, or in a hole made in the rock, and to
the top of this post a swivel crutch, which holds the trunnions of a
long projecting arm, like that of an Egyptian well lever, to the small
end of which a rope and cross-bar are securely fastened. To the short,
heavy end, several more ropes are attached, by which when the person
to be landed has either grasped the cross-bar, or seated himself on
it, the contrivance is at once raised aloft, and turned steadily but
rapidly inward, when by easing off, the man is allowed to drop easily
to his feet on solid ground. There used to be such a contrivance as
this at St. Helena, by the aid of which we have often landed. The
illustration on p. 349 will serve to show how the apparatus is managed
and constructed.

A barrel, stoutly lashed with rope, fitted with a seat, and cut away at
the side, so as to admit of the traveller sitting in it, as in a chair,
is used for ladies or invalids, who are slung in it at the end of the
arm, and hauled in as above described.

{Bridges of boats.}

Sometimes it is necessary to construct bridges of boats; and these are
often works of great magnitude, requiring a considerable amount of
material, especially when an army with artillery and baggage waggons
has to cross. Whether large or small, the method of proceeding must
be nearly the same. First, a number of stout beams must be collected,
sufficient to make a double line across the river, with their ends
overlapping each other by more than the breadth of the boats that
are to support them. The boats should be brought to the shore and
moored a little above the site of the intended bridge. If anchors are
procurable, they should be laid at regular intervals across the river;
a buoy should be attached to the end of each cable, and a small line
should lead from the farthest to each nearer one in succession, till
they are all connected with the shore. A substantial frame of beams
should be constructed at the edge of the bank, and a boat brought
alongside it riding by the first cable, and secured by a temporary
mooring to the shore. Two beams must be launched across her near the
head and stern, and firmly lashed to the thwarts and stringers.

The boat must now be swung out to the full extent of the beams; the
second cable must be laid hold of, and the first cast off and hauled to
shore for the next boat, which is dropped down stream under the shore
end of the beams, which are laid upon her gunwales and made fast there;
while two others are pushed from the shore and fastened to her as the
first pair were to the first boat. Intermediate beams, if requisite,
can be laid, and planking lashed or pinned upon them so as to complete
that part of the platform. Then other beams and planking, sufficient
for a similar platform, should be brought on board, for the purpose of
finishing the bridge when this pair of boats reaches the other shore.
The outermost boat should now pick up the third cable, and pass the
second to the inner one; while the first cable should be taken by a
third boat, which will drop down between the others and the shore, to
receive her portion of the platform; and so on in succession until the
bridge, completed as it goes on, extends so nearly to the other shore
that the loose material carried by the first pair of boats serves to
complete the connection.


Anchors may be extemporised from forked branches of trees--the harder
and heavier the better. These should have stones or iron lashed to
them, in order to give weight. Several forks should be left on the main
stem, and pointed to insure their holding. If charred in the fire, so
much the better, as their durability and strength are much increased by
the process. If there is but one fork, care must be taken so to balance
the anchor with the stone below and the cable above, or a stock lashed
across, that this fork or arm shall be sure to take the ground. The
bridge may be also shored against the stream by branches, with their
forks taking the beams, while their lower ends, weighted by stones,
rest against the bed of the river. Stones are of no use as anchors,
as they lose so much of their specific gravity when immersed; but if
a heavy stone can be dropped beyond a cleft in the rock, as in our
sketch, it will hold well.

If no anchors or substitutes can be had, the cables may be made fast
to a stout tree as far up the stream as possible; and being brought in
upon the inner bow of each boat, she will take the stream upon that
side and be forced outward. The rudder, if she has one, will assist in
this, but it is not material, as she can be kept at the proper angle by
making the foremost beam a little longer than the after one.

If the bridge is constructed so low down the river as to be within the
ebb and flow of the tide, anchors are indispensable, and each boat
must be moored head and stern, as shown in one of the examples in our
illustration; or, if there be but one cable to hold her against the
ebb, shores may be set so as to counteract the influence of the flood,
unless a great rise and fall, or violent rush at the turn of the tide,
should render it unsafe to use them. If boats cannot be had, two or
three large casks, placed end to end and firmly lashed to poles laid
parallel to their length, may be used at each junction of the beams;
or if a number of small ones can be obtained, they may be collected
within a triangular frame of poles; but in any case each float must
be sufficiently buoyant to keep the bridge at least 3ft. clear of the
water, if there is any current; if there is none, the platform may even
touch the water, and be partially sustained by it. In our sketch we
have omitted all but a small portion of the planking, in order to show
more clearly the manner of connecting the framework.


{Carrying, rolling, and parbuckling heavy spars.}

In some parts of India and China very heavy weights are carried by an
ingenious framework of bamboo. A stout pole is crossed at its ends by
two lighter ones, and each of these again by two others, each of which
is again crossed by smaller ones 2in. or 3in. in diameter and 6ft. or
8ft. long; the sixteen ends of these are raised on the shoulders of as
many men; the weight is slung to the centre of the larger beam, and
borne with ease and comfort on the elastic frame. In our illustration
(p. 352), two gangs of coolies are represented carrying a tree, but
more could be employed if requisite. For rolling, the tree should be
cleared of projecting stumps as much as possible; long skids should be
placed under it, and if the ends from which the tree is to be rolled
can be elevated by wedges or otherwise, so as to make an inclined
plane for it to roll down so much the better; at all events, get the
thick end under the tree and let the thin end be in the direction
that you wish to roll it. Parbuckling is effected by making fast the
end of a line to a stump or other holdfast in the required direction,
then bringing the end of the line under the log, and taking one or
more clear turns, bringing the end back over it and hauling on. A few
hands judiciously using handspikes or levers will greatly assist this


There are times when the principle of the common step-ladder might
be advantageously remembered; and a traveller who expected to have
much climbing might have one of those in which a groove is run in the
inside of each standard, and the rungs, working on pivots, are shut up
into it, the whole forming a light and compact pole, which a man might
easily carry on his shoulder. It would, however, be cheaper and better
to purchase this at home than to make it abroad. A rope and batten
ladder is more easily made. The rope is doubled, an eye is turned in to
the bight, holes are bored in the ends of the steps or rungs, the ends
of the rope are passed through, and double knots turned on to keep each
step in place. A light ladder, either of this kind or that previously
described, with a coil of rope to fling over the lower branches, would
enable a botanist or collector of birds or insects to climb many trees
otherwise inaccessible.


In case of fire in a town, if anything--say the end of a sofa or part
of a bed frame--could be projected only 1ft. or 2ft. from a window,
and weighted by a chest of drawers on its inner end, it would form
what persons unskilled in climbing so much require--a clear point of
departure; and the blankets, sheets, and coverlets torn into strips of
not less than 4in. or 6in. wide, and twisted into a two-stranded rope,
could be fastened to this and used--first, to lower the more helpless
persons into the street, and, finally, for the active to glide down
by. It would be too much to expect, as has been proposed, that every
house should have a coil of rope, but it is well to remember that if
there be only a ball of string it may serve to haul up stronger lines,
brought by volunteers from without. If infants are to be lowered, it
is better to put them in a bag than to tie a rope round their bodies;
a couple of pillow cases would be strong enough, and there would be
no fear of suffocation during the minute or two of their descent. A
man may tie a child on his back or descend with it in his arms, but
it is much safer to lower it separately. If flames are bursting from
the windows beneath, perhaps the rope may be taken to the next lower
story of the opposite house so as to avoid the danger of burning
the rope or scorching those who descend. Of regular fire-escapes we
need say nothing, as where they are provided competent persons, very
frequently seamen, are appointed to work them; but it is well to bear
in mind that, as the property of flame and heated air is to ascend, a
man creeping close to the floor may often traverse in safety a chamber
the upper part of which is impracticable. A towel or piece of sheeting
dipped in water and tied round the mouth and nose will prevent heated
smoke and particles of burning matter from entering the air passages,
and thus enable a person to struggle for life in situations where
suffocation would be inevitable without some such expedient for its

                              CHAPTER VI.

                      TIMBER AND ITS UTILISATION.

{Extraction of sap.}

We have before stated that timber should never, except in cases of
emergency, be felled with the sap in it; still, during the vicissitudes
of rough travel, it will frequently happen that, in order to execute
repairs imperatively needed, the trees must be cut down, hewn into
form, and made use of at once. When this is done, the object will be
to get rid of the sap which fills all the minute pores and tubes of
the wood as quickly as possible. To do this, a trench, proportioned in
length and depth to the quantity and size of the timber to be treated,
must be dug in the earth. Lay in the logs, after denuding them of their
lateral branches, fill the trench with water, and let them soak in
it whilst you build a strong hard wood fire. When this is thoroughly
ignited throw a number of large heavy stones into it, and as they
become red hot withdraw them with twisted sticks, and throw them into
the trench until the water boils actively. Continue to do this until
there are a number of heated stones in the already boiling sludge;
throw then a thick layer of clay, turf, and earth, over the whole mass,
and leave it to steam and stew for the night. A large log, intended
for the axle of a waggon or other heavy work, may be, with advantage,
subjected to a second application of the same process, when it will be
found much more tough and durable than if converted with the raw sap in

{Seasoning wood.}

Before proceeding to fell a growing tree for immediate use, it is well
to search carefully about for a dead storm-cast trunk of the kind
required, which will, as a rule, be found in tolerable condition. When
a depôt is formed, or a point selected as a rendezvous, it is advisable
to fell a few trees, and let them lay in store, so to speak, until
they are wanted. Cutting a deep notch round the whole circumference
of a tree, and letting it stand until required for use, much improves
the quality of the wood. When practicable, and time will allow, it
is well to leave logs of timber intended for seasoning to soak in
rivers, lakes, or arms of the sea; but it is wise, at the same time,
to ascertain, by the examination of pieces of wood which have fallen
accidentally into the water, whether any of the creatures addicted to
timber boring are found in the locality. The rivers flowing into the
Black Sea abound with the _Teredo navalis_, or ship worm, to such an
extent that floating logs very shortly become so perforated as to be
perfectly useless except for firewood. Much of the timber we obtained
in that part of the world was defective on account of the depredations
of this pest, whose range, unfortunately, is a pretty wide one; and his
works, and those of other borers, are therefore to be jealously looked
for in the neighbourhood of a proposed salt or brackish water timber
pond. In countries where hot springs are met with, they may be utilised
for timber seasoning and other purposes. Sticks or poles intended for
bending into ox bows, or other curved forms, should be placed either
in boiling water or the hot embers of the camp fire until thoroughly
heated through. They may then, after being properly shaped, be tied in
the required form with cords, and hung in the air to dry. Several long
crooked sticks may be straightened at once by forcing them side by side
into the hollow of a large bamboo cane from which all the knots, except
that at one end, have been removed. When a sufficient number of sticks
are arranged in the cane, place it mouth upwards, and fill it to the
brim with boiling water. When the first charge is cold add a second,
and so on until the sticks have been about an hour in their hot bath.
They can now be forced separately into smaller bamboos without water,
or lashed between battens of stiff wood until cold, when such small
irregularities and curves as remain may be removed by heating the part
requiring treatment over the fire and carefully straightening it over
the knee. Nearly all the spear handles, whether of cane or forest wood,
found among wild tribes are straightened and rendered fit for use by
the agency of fire. Strong and perfectly straight tubes for blow-pipes,
&c., are formed by inserting a small cane into the hollow of a larger
one and turning it round till any deviation from the straight line in
one counteracts that of the other.

{Steaming log.}

The elegant curve given to many of the bows found among the Northern
Indians is given by first heating them in the camp fire, and then,
after bending them carefully to the desired shape, keeping the curves
in position by the aid of thongs. We have one of these bows now,
which was even charred in the course of making, but has never lost
its contour or elasticity. The bending of ships' planks is effected
by a process very similar in principle. In the absence of a properly
constructed steaming chamber, the planks of a makeshift vessel may be
efficiently steamed in the following manner. A long hollow log should
be set horizontally on trestles of convenient height, one end must
be stopped with a plug, and the other have a tight wooden stopper
and cross-bar fitted to it. When the required number of planks are
thrust down the log, steam is admitted through a bamboo, or hollow
tube of wood, from a large covered cauldron placed on a fire beneath
the log. All the joints of the bamboo should be luted fast with clay,
and kept tight until the planks are sufficiently steamed for bending,
when they are dragged out with wooden tongs, and put in place on the
vessel. The full page illustration shows the mode of using a steaming
log. {Hardening wood.} Wood, which does not require straightening,
is rendered much more hard and durable than it would otherwise be by
the action of carefully applied fire-heat. The clubs and grubbing
sticks of natives are generally fortified in this way. Spear, arrow,
and blow-pipe darts have their points so hardened by the action of
heat, that they more closely resemble the texture of bone than aught
else, and perforate almost as readily as sharpened iron. We have seen
the tough, dense scales of a large fish penetrated with the greatest
facility by a spear prepared in this way. Flat strips or laths of
bamboo cut to a fine edge, and fire-hardened, are used by many of the
inhabitants of the islands of the Eastern seas as substitutes for
knives; some of these truly makeshift blades are as keen as surgical
instruments, and are at times used in the performance of minor
operations of surgery. Many of the trees of tropical countries will be
found to possess heart wood of great strength and density, whilst the
outside or "sap" is light coloured, weak, and next to useless. {Hard
wood.} In such cases, all the outside layer of timber should be cut
away with the axe or adze, and the central core alone made use of. In
selecting poles or sticks for purposes where toughness and durability
are matters of importance always, when practicable, take young seedling
trees. Next in quality to these are the shoots which spring up from
the underground roots of large trees. When either of these kinds are
intended to be put aside to season, they should be pulled up by the
roots rather than cut; the earth may be beaten out from among the
fibres by striking the roots of the sticks together; they can then be
hung in an airy place to dry: late in the autumn or in the winter are
the best seasons for rooting up saplings.

{Larch trees.}

In countries where the larch fir grows abundantly, a number of tall
young trees will be found from some cause to have died as they stand,
to have withered and become perfectly dry. These will be found
extremely tough and well seasoned.


Bamboos must be selected according to the purpose they are intended
for. The female bamboo, as it is called, is remarkable for the
largeness of the cavities placed between the internodes; this quality
renders it buoyant, light, and well adapted for splitting up into
planks. We have seen a very large bamboo slit from end to end by making
one long cut in the side. The cane is heated and carefully opened. The
knots are then all smoothed off, when the hollow shell is laid between
boards on which heavy stones are placed, until it is pressed perfectly
flat, and becomes a bamboo board. The knots of large female bamboos
make excellent pails or water vessels.

A joint of bamboo cut longitudinally in half, and supported on feet
formed from another joint of the same cane, after the manner of a pen
tray, makes a most convenient receptacle for pins, steel pens, pencils,
sail needles, and a host of other matters which are required to lay
parallel to each other.

  [Illustration: BAMBOO PIPES, BUCKETS, ETC.]

Water pipes, for irrigation, can be made from a train of canes with
their ends thrust into each other, and secured by transverse pegs,
as at Fig. 1, on opposite page. All long bamboos, intended for pipes
or tubes, must have their internodes removed. This we used to do as
follows: We prepared some short pieces of round bar iron of a size
just to fit the bore of the canes easily. We then pointed one end of
the iron chunk and sloped the upper end, by hammering on the anvil,
to a wedge form. Through the centre of the upper edge we punched a
hole, through which we passed a wire long enough to reach the entire
length of the cane to be treated. The chunk was then heated red hot
in the fire and dropped down, like a bucket in a well, on the first
knot, through which it would rapidly burn. It was then lowered away
until it reached the second knot, and so on until all were entirely
removed. When the chunk became cooled by contact with the wood, it was
reheated and entered again. Fig. 2 shows the form of the knot chunk,
&c. Excellent tar buckets (Fig. 3) or water pails (Fig. 4) are to be
made from the ends of large cane joints. Boxes for wheel grease (Fig.
5), drinking cups, boxes, and a whole host of other receptacles for
various matters, solid and fluid, are made from the same material.
The mode of cutting and bending bamboos is shown by Figs. from 6 to
13. In Eastern countries one occasionally meets with specimens of the
female bamboo of such gigantic proportions and huge growth that no
little wonder is excited as to the mode of cultivation had recourse
to in their production. We were for a long time quite at a loss for
a solution of the mystery, but at length discovered that among the
stools or root clumps of the canes one of promising appearance was
by the natives selected for treatment. This was dug up and carefully
replanted in a favourable locality. All the shoots which sprout up
save one are cut away. This is allowed to grow up until it has reached
a fair average size. It is then cut off to within about 6in. of the
ground, leaving a hollow projecting stump. Into the bore of the cane
thus left, a mixture of sulphur and stable litter is tightly rammed,
just as you would charge a hole for blasting or would load a gun. For a
period of three years every shoot which shows above the ground is cut
away. The best shoot of the fourth year is allowed to grow to its full
altitude and bulk, which at times is truly prodigious, leading to the
false conclusion that some cane of peculiar species was the subject of
wonder and investigation. From the lesser members of the bamboo family
water-wheels, bows, arrows, spear heads, paper, bow strings, pens,
baskets, brooms, brushes, shoulder poles, buckets, masts, spars for
boats, &c., are made. The male bamboo differs from the female in having
scarcely any cavity running through it. Canes of this description are
peculiarly well adapted for the handles of hog spears, waggon whip
handles, and a multitude of other purposes where great strength and
elasticity are required. {Cocoa-nut palm.} The cocoa-nut palm is a
tree which, on the score of usefulness, is perhaps second to none.
On the uses of its fruit, leaves, gum, fibre, and sap we shall have
more to say further on in our work. The wood is extensively used for
canoe building. It is hewn into form by the small sharp adzes of the
islanders. Clamps are left on the inside and bored through. Dowels of
hard wood are inserted in the edges, and the planks are sewn together
with rattan or fibre of the cocoa-nut husk, while the timbers are
bound to the clamps by lashings of the same material, as shown in
the full page illustration. Much of the coir, or cocoa fibre, used
in the manufacture of this and other descriptions of twine, and for
caulking seams and crevices in the canoes when finished, is obtained
by the natives of the islands which dot the Eastern seas and Pacific
Ocean from the underground burrows of the great cocoa-nut-eating crab
(_Birgus latro_), whose subterraneous workings are at certain seasons
abundantly stored with this useful material, which is sometimes hooked
out with long flexible sticks armed with a species of barb, and at
others procured by digging out the crab, nest and all. Canoe paddles
and clubs are often made from the stalk of the cocoa palm.

  [Illustration: WOODEN SWIVELS.]

{Wooden swivels.}

A great number of useful and almost indispensable articles called
into daily use by the traveller and explorer can be made from wood.
Swivels of one kind or another are in constant demand, as the ropes
used for tethering animals would without their aid soon become masses
of hopeless entanglement. A very neat and useful form is shown in
Fig. 1; it consists of two bars of flexible wood, bent by steaming or
otherwise into the requisite curve. The parts which form the neck of
a are thinned off, but the ends are left of their full thickness; the
neck of _b_ is also left thick, and in each of its parts a groove is
cut, forming a hollow through which _a_ passes; _b_ is then closed by a
lashing, and the swivel is ready for use. Fig. 2 is very effective, and
easily made. A bit of wood has three holes bored in it; a short piece
of rope is passed through the end holes, and double knots turned upon
its ends. This forms a "bridle;" and, if it is requisite to attach a
longer line, this should not be looped through so that one cord may saw
upon the other, as at _c_, but properly hitched, as shown at _d_. The
other line is passed through the central hole; and it will work more
easily and wear out less quickly if a small ring or washer (_f_) of
hard wood or sole leather is put on before the knot is turned upon its
end. Fig. 3 is a plain form of swivel, and easily made, but is apt to
chafe the rope. Fig. 4 is a very neat and useful form. A longitudinal
hole is bored in a block of wood, two larger ones are bored across it,
and with a knife or chisel these are cut into one large opening; the
ends of the lines are passed in towards the centre, washers are put
on, the knots are made, and the swivel is complete. Fig. 5 is a useful
pattern. The swivel is made of the joint of a fir tree, and any number
of lines may be hooked on to it. The collar is made of two parts,
lashed together and suspended from each end; the washer is also in two
parts, like the collar. Fig. 6 is easily made with two pieces of wire.
Fig. 7 would form either a crutch for a rowing or sculling oar, or a
swivel rest for a gun or telescope, &c. Fig. 8 is a rod of flexible
wood, with the two ends passed through the collar and fore-locked,
leaving the loop to turn freely. Fig. 9 is simply a broad-headed nail
passed through a piece of wood, and with its point bent into a hook: a
washer of iron saves wear and tear. This is very similar to the swivels
used by rope-makers.

  [Illustration: FLAIL SWIVELS.]

The common flail swivel is excellent for many purposes. Sometimes it is
made with two pieces of stout hide or sole leather, shaped like Fig. 1.
One of these is turned so that the narrow part in the middle forms a
loop; while the broad ends are nailed, tightly stitched, or lashed to
the thick or swinging arm of the flail (Fig. 3); the other piece, being
linked through this loop, is also bent till the broad ends meet; and
their edges are then securely stitched together so as to form a collar,
which works freely on the handle (Fig. 2), at the end of which is a
knob to prevent the collar slipping off.

Occasionally two flexible rods (withies) are bent for this purpose: one
is firmly fastened by a leather band nailed or lashed to the extremity
of the swinging arm (Fig. 5); the other has small knobs left on its
ends to prevent the leather collar slipping off, and this works freely
on the handle (Fig. 4). Either of these arrangements may be thrown out
of gear by taking hold of the knob and drawing the thin end of the
handle out of the collar. A slice of bullock's horn, shaped as Fig. 1,
after softening it in hot water, makes an excellent collar.

{Extemporary measurements.}

Every traveller ought to carry with him the means of measuring feet and
inches, and as instruments for that purpose are so cheap and portable
there is hardly any excuse for being without something of the kind.
We have a little waistcoat-pocket ivory rule, folding into lengths of
3in., and occupying no more room than a small penknife, and with this,
even if an elephant were killed, we could mark off 5ft. or more upon
a stem of grass, and use it as a measuring rod, with the little rule
ready for the fractional parts. We had at one time half-a-dozen rules
(sold at a penny each), 3ft. in length, and folding on pivot joints
into lengths of 6in., and they were quite correct enough for common
carpentry. Tape lines for 6ft. or 12ft. may be had in cases not larger
than a Geneva watch. Chesterman's patent, shutting with a spring, is a
good form. And even if a traveller should (as he may often be obliged
to do) disburden himself of every incumbrance, he ought to have inches
marked upon something he is sure to carry with him, say upon the ramrod
of his gun, or perhaps on the rib of the gun itself; but let this be
done neatly by a skilled workman before leaving home, for we should
esteem the companion of the chase too highly to let it be recklessly
disfigured. The inside of the waist-belt may be marked also in inches.
It is at all times well to know the length of the different joints of
the limbs. Suppose the nail-joint of the forefinger be 1in., the next
joint will be 1-1/4in., the next 2in., and from the knuckle to the
wrist 4in.; in this case the finger is bent, so that each joint may be
measured separately, though when held straight the distance from the
tip of the forefinger to the wrist would be only 7in. The span with
thumb and forefinger would be 8in., and with the thumb and any of the
other three 9in., or equal to the length of the foot; from the wrist
to the elbow would be 10in., and from elbow to forefinger 17in., and
from collar-bone to forefinger 2ft. 8in., height to the middle of the
kneecap 18in. From the elbow to the forefinger is usually called a
cubit, but it is seldom strictly so, a cubit being 18in. In like manner
the full stretch of the extended arms is called a fathom, but it is
generally somewhat less, a fathom being 6ft.; and in paying Africans
with calico, we found it best to let every man measure off his own
fathom, even though he protruded his chest and threw back his arms
to the utmost, he generally took a trifle less, and was much better
pleased than if we had measured it strictly with a rule. If a man
stands with his back to a flat wall, and extends his arms, his fathom
will be nearly equal to his own height; but if he tries to measure
the girth of a tree by placing his breast against it, and as it were
embracing it, he will find his fathom many inches short, and on an
average perhaps not more than 5ft. The Dutch farmers at the Cape clench
both fists, making the extended thumbs meet, and they call the whole
1ft., when it is sometimes nearer 15in.; and an elephant measured in
this manner would be reported unduly small were it not that they also
measure from the edge of the foot round the curve of the shoulder to
the wither instead of taking a straight line, so that one error nearly
balances the other. This is a very useful measure, but every man should
grasp a foot rule, as in our sketch, and ascertain for himself how much
his thumbs overlap in doing so.


The step is commonly supposed to be 3ft., and the pace 5ft., but this
is a most uncertain mode of measurement; a man may step 3ft., measuring
from the heel of one foot to the toe of the other, but even if he does
so two steps must be less than 6ft. by the length of his own foot, and
very few men can take with any correctness a hundred consecutive steps
or paces. Besides which so many travellers confound the terms step and
pace that it is impossible to tell which they mean; it is much better,
therefore, to use the word yards and to measure them by a military pace
stick; this may be two light sticks like a walking-cane sawed down the
middle and riveted at the head like a pair of compasses; then if, at
1ft. from the joint, a stick of 1ft. in length be fastened across the
opened legs they will form an equilateral triangle, and the points will
be 3ft. apart; with these, used like a pair of compasses, a man may
measure off 100yds. almost as fast as he could walk it, and would be
certain of his distance. A forked branch cut on the spot and trimmed,
so that the ends are 3ft. apart, answers the same purpose.


For measuring a base for rough triangulation, a fishing line of 100ft.
is easily carried; three measurements will give 100yds., and six will
give as many fathoms. 120 fathoms is a cable's length, a common and
useful unit in maritime surveying. To measure successive lengths let
your line have a little stray end beyond the marks, and as the hanks
are usually sold in lengths of 120ft., an overhand knot may be turned,
10ft. from each end, to mark the 100ft. Stick a perfectly smooth peg
in the ground, without projecting head or catch of any kind, make a
loop in the end of your line, and put it over the peg, carry out the
100ft. and put in another peg, then jerk the line upward, and you will
cause a wave to run along it which will lift it off the end of the
first peg (Fig. 1); but, as a permanent loop might catch thorns or
projecting branches, it is well to make it with a hitch (Fig. 2), so
that it may shake out as it comes off the peg, and leave only a free
end to be hauled in. Several hitches, or a sheepshank (Fig. 3), might
be used for this purpose, but probably none would answer better than
the signal halyard hitch (Fig. 4), and with this the end may be made
fast to any convenient tree or bush that stands fairly in the line
you wish to measure. Pass the end twice round the branch or peg, then
taking the end and a small bight of the measuring part, hitch them as
if you were going to tie a reef knot, pull the first hitch tight, but
do not complete the knot by making the second hitch; this will hold
quite fast enough, and a slight jerk will be sufficient to set it free
when you wish to haul in the end. Hitch it to another branch, and so in
succession you may measure any number of lengths you wish, taking care
always to keep the several pegs or points of fastening in a straight

A measuring line should merely be straight upon the ground, and never
be subjected to any tension, still less should it be lifted up and
then stretched to a straight line in the air; slopsellers know this
when they ask sailors to hold up a length of serge while it is being
measured, but any experienced hand meets this by insisting that his
cloth be laid fairly on the deck and measured there.

{To make or build wheels.}

The first step in diminishing the labour of dragging a heavy body along
the ground is to put rollers underneath it, and the use of these is
exemplified in the earliest Assyrian monuments; but these are left
behind as the mass moves onward, and have to be constantly carried
forward and replaced beneath. The next step is to connect them with
the mass, or with the carriage supporting it, by axles, forming either
integral parts of the rollers and turning with them, or by fixed axles,
on which the rollers or wheels revolve. It is probable that many of the
ancient vehicles were supported on axles revolving with the wheels;
but we now only retain this form in that of the wheelbarrow, and the
simplest way of making this, where timber is cheap and plentiful, is
to cut a log of sufficient length, then to saw or chop down the ends
so as to leave a disc of sufficient size and thickness in the centre,
with two arms projecting from it to form its axle, as shown in Figs. 2
and 3. The barrow itself may upon occasion be made of a forked tree,
of which the single part is thick enough to have a space cut in it to
receive the wheel, while the two branches serve as the handles, and
minor ones from them perhaps answer the purpose of legs; otherwise
a rough frame, as shown in our sketch, may be built, and pegged or
treenailed together.

  [Illustration: SOLID LOG WHEELS.]

In Mexico, Chili, Tartary and elsewhere, rough discs of timber (Fig.
1) are sawed or chopped off from large trees. A hole is made in the
centre to receive the axle. These wheels answer well enough for
countries where time is of no value, mercy to draught oxen unthought
of, and where the inhabitants would rather hear a dry wheel grate on
its axletree than take the trouble to grease it. "Evil spirits dread a
creaking wheel," say they, and so the primitive contrivance is allowed
to revolve noisily. A wheel of this kind might be made much more
efficient by leaving a nave or boss in the centre, sheathed with hard
wood or raw hide, and by binding it with the latter material let into
a groove cut round the circumference in place of a tire; an endless
band cut out of the hide of a rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephant, or
giraffe, put on wet, and allowed to shrink and dry before it was much
used, would be almost everlasting.

  [Illustration: WHEEL BUILT IN SEGMENTS.]

A very neat and serviceable barrow wheel may be thus built: Take a
piece of deal 4in. wide, 3in. thick, and 14in. long; set a pair of
compasses to a radius of 8in.; and, fixing the centre leg 4in. from
the block, describe on it the segment of a circle; draw this on both
sides, and cut the block truly to the outline; then saw it down into
six thicknesses of somewhat less than 1/2in.; lay three of these
together, so that their chords form an equilateral triangle, each angle
being 60°, and their segments will complete the circumference of a true
circle. Then take the other three, and lay them on so that the centre
of each shall cover the ends of each pair of the lower series; then
bore holes and screw or nail them together (inch copper boat nails,
with rooves for clenching them, are the best for this purpose), and you
will have a wheel 3/4in. thick, and 16in. diameter. Take a 1in. bar of
wood 3in. broad, half check it into the opposite triangles where there
is but one thickness of wood, strengthen it by bars from the other
angles, bore a hole in the centre, and insert an axle of hard wood or
iron. If you have a piece of iron hoop, reduce it, and rivet the ends
together, so that it forms a tire that will just not go on; punch half
a dozen holes in at intervals, heat it, put it on quickly, hammer it
into place, and cool it with water; then put nails or screws through
the holes, to keep it from working off, or tire it as before with an
endless band of raw hide; or bore holes through it 1in. or 2in. apart
all round, at about 1in. from the edge, and lace thongs of raw hide
through these and round the edge, so as to preserve it from splitting,
or being worn by contact with the ground.


To build a waggon wheel, clear a smooth place upon a floor, levelled
with ant-hill clay, or preferably smooth planked. Take a 1/2in.
straight-edged batten of rather more than 5ft. in length, and 3in. or
4in. in width; clench or screw a cross piece on this, so as to form a
boss in the centre, as in the figure on next page; and through this,
at the edge of the batten, bore a hole with a bradawl, which being
also bored into the floor forms a pivot for it to work on. At 1in.
from the centre, bore a hole, through which a pencil or a pointed
scoring iron can be passed, to draw the first circle for the bore
of the nave. At 4-1/2in. bore another, to mark the circumference of
the nave. If a front wheel is required, bore two holes at 15in. and
18in. for the inner and outer circumference of the felloes, or make
them at 2ft. 2-1/2in. and 2ft. 6in. for a hind wheel. Having drawn
these circles, decide upon the number of spokes you intend to use,
which will most likely be eight or ten for a fore wheel and twelve
or fourteen for a hinder, such as is shown in our example (Fig. 1).
Divide 360, the number of degrees in a circle, by the number of spokes,
thus--360° divided by 8 is 45°; in like manner, 10 spokes would form
angles of 36°, 12 of 30°, and 16 of 22-1/2°. To obtain these angles,
strike a circle on a good-sized sheet of writing or cartridge paper;
fold it across the centre, exactly in half, open it and fold it in
half the other way, taking care that the two parts of the previous
fold perfectly coincide with each other; you will thus have angles of
90°, which may be called north, south, east, and west. Fold it again
between every two of these, and you will obtain angles of 45°; these
again divided will give angles of 22-1/2°; and the next subdivision
would give the thirty-two points of the compass, equal to 11-1/4° each.
To obtain angles of 10°, divide each angle of 90° into three parts,
and subdivide each of them into three. The strong lines in our next
figure indicate angles of 22-1/2° for a sixteen-spoke wheel, and the
faint lines angles of 10°. Our diagram of the wheel was drawn with a
bit of card cut to the exact size shown in our figure, pivoted on one
pin, while the point of an HH pencil was passed through other
pin-holes to draw the circumference. If two of these lines should come
very close together, it will be seen that the pin-holes are not pierced
in the same radial line, or they would break one into the other; but by
placing them a little on either side concentric circles can be drawn as
closely as requisite.


Now, cut a piece of thin board or stiff paper to the angle at which
the spokes are to be set--in this instance 22-1/2°--and with the aid
of your straight-edge draw a line across, through the centre, to both
sides of the circumference of your wheel; draw another across this at
right angles, and test the lines by trying whether each quarter will
contain four times the mould you have cut to the angle of 22-1/2°; then
draw two other lines of 45°, and subdivide each space into the required
angles of 22-1/2°.

Suppose your spokes are to be 1in. thick, withdraw the bradawl that has
served you as a pivot, and bore two holes, each 1/2in. from the central
line, and, pivoting the batten on each of these in succession, you will
be able to draw the lines showing the thickness of your spokes, _a_,
the original line still indicating the direction of their centre. Then
divide the circumference of your felloe into eight segments of 45°,
and draw short lines across it as at _d_ (p. 368), to indicate the
length of the felloe pieces, each of which must contain one pair of
spokes, while its ends come fairly in the centre of the space between
two others. Take a thin piece of board and cut a mould for the felloe
pieces, marking on it the lines for the dowel holes, _d_, and those
for the insertion of the spokes, _c_. Then in like manner cut a board
with a circumference of 9in. as a mould for the nave, and on it draw
the lines which mark the mortices for the insertion of the spokes,
_b_. The nave should be turned of some good solid even-grained wood,
not too hard; elm is well calculated for the purpose. It is generally
9in. or 10in. long, and it should have a hole 1in. in diameter through
its centre. A narrow pit, 3ft. in depth, is dug, and two stout beams,
9in. apart, laid along its edges; a 1in. rod of iron is passed through
the hole in the nave, which, with its iron bands already driven on, is
placed between the beams, supported by the ends of the rod which rest
upon them (stout trestles, 3ft. high, are sometimes used instead of the
pit). In one of the beams at the back of the nave is a stout upright,
with a line marked upon it as a guide in boring the holes truly.


{Naves, to turn.}

To turn a nave to the proper form without the assistance of a turning
lathe, the following makeshift contrivance will be found useful and
efficient. Fit up four strong planks, or a strong stool, of form shown
in the accompanying illustration. Cut out two upright cheeks, which
must be fitted by mortices to the upper surface of the stool. Then
make a =T= rest, and fit it in the centre of the stool, in one of a
train of square holes cut behind the line of the cheeks. The block
of wood intended to form the nave must have an ordinary auger hole
bored through its true centre, and in this must be firmly wedged an
iron bar, with a crank or handle bent at one end; this bar rests on
bearings prepared for it in the cheeks, one bearing is formed by boring
a hole just large enough to let the plain end of the bar through, and
the other by sawing out a deep notch for the handle end to drop into,
when it is prevented from becoming displaced by a pin passed in above
it. The man about to officiate as turner sits astride on the stool,
presses a long-handled gouge or chisel by the action of his shoulder
firmly down on the rest, with its cutting edge against the nave log,
which is turned steadily round by an assistant who has charge of the
handle; the whole operation being conducted much on the principle of
tool grinding, only that the motion of the log is always towards the
man who manages the chisel. The rest is advanced as the log decreases
in diameter.

{Wheels, to build.}

If the wheel is to have what is called a dish, cut a small piece of
wood (Fig. 3, p. 368) to the angle at which the spokes are to project
forward; and, having marked off all the mortices, which will be 3/4in.
wide by 1-1/2in. long, take a brace and 3/4in. bit, or a 3/4in. screw
auger, and bore two holes in the space marked for each mortice, as in
Fig. 2, taking care to centre most accurately the spot at which the
point of your bit or auger is inserted, and to keep its true direction
by the aid of the upright line and the small angled board. The mortices
will then be finished with a 3/4in. mortice chisel and mallet. The
holes in the felloe (Fig. 4) will be bored at the same angle with a
1in. auger; for, as the spoke will be 1-1/2in. from back to front,
there will be shoulder enough in those directions without weakening
it by cutting a shoulder on the sides. Of course, the shoulders, both
at the felloe and at the nave, will be cut to the same angle at which
the holes are bored. The tenon should be less than 3in. in length, so
that it may allow of the subsequent boring of a 3in. hole in the nave
to receive the bush or iron sheathing in which the axle turns; and in
like manner the ends inserted in the felloes should be less than 3in.
long, so that they may not receive any pressure from the tire. Fig. 5
shows the centreing of the felloe ends to bore the dowel holes. Now,
resting the nave on its iron rod upon the beams of the pit or trestles,
drive in the first spoke, testing it by the upright line and by your
angled board. Then, boring a hole in your upright, drive in a peg and
cut it off at such a length that the first spoke may just touch it in
passing. Drive in all the other spokes so that they also touch the end
of the peg, and then in the end of each spoke make a cut 1in. deep,
with a fine tenon saw, to receive a wedge of hard wood when the wheel
is built. Then in one end of each felloe drive a dowel (_d_) rather
stiffly, but so that it does not bottom in the hole; leave half its
length projecting. Take a screw clamp and compress two of the spokes
together till their ends will enter the holes in one felloe piece;
drive it about 3/4 in. on, and slack off the clamp. If you have not a
clamp, pass three or four turns of rope or thong round the two spokes,
and twist them tightly with a hammer handle or other lever. Do the
same with the next pair, and fit on the next felloe piece, taking care
that it receives fairly the dowel of the first. Proceed in this manner
all round, then look carefully to the fair insertion of all the spoke
ends and dowels, and, being satisfied of this, keep the wheel turning
slowly, and strike the felloe pieces homeward by smart blows of a
mallet as each spoke passes you. When they are all fairly home, drive
in the wedges to the spoke ends, trim off the felloe as neatly as you
wish, insert the bush in the nave, and have the wheel tired in the
manner described at pp. 195, 196.


{To make a steering wheel.}

A ship's wheel differs from that of a waggon in being, not a roller
moving freely on its axle and supporting the carriage and its load, but
rather a series of levers arranged as spokes, connected and supported
by the felloe for the purpose of turning the axle and gathering in or
slacking off on either side the ropes or chains by which the tiller
is moved; the spokes, therefore, project 6 in. or 8 in. beyond the
circumference of the felloe, and are smoothed and rounded off so as
to be easily and conveniently grasped by the steersman's hand. The
diameter of the felloe should not be less than 30 in., or it will
not give sufficient leverage; nor more than 4 ft., or a man cannot
command it easily. Neither the nave nor the felloe are made solid, but
are built up in the following manner: The lines of circumference are
traced, and the angles of the spokes set off in the manner already
described. A disc of hard wood 9 in. in circumference, about 2 in.
thick, and with a hole 3 in. square in its centre, is laid upon the
floor. The spokes are arranged on this, and screwed or clenched firmly
to it; the interstices are then filled up, and another disc of similar
size is screwed or clenched over all to form the front. The bush, or
axle box, which of course is square, is fitted in, and an ornamental
boss, generally covered with brass, is screwed over to conceal it. The
felloe pieces are 3in. or 4in. broad, and 1in. thick: the back pieces
are laid so that their centres come upon the spokes and their ends
between; the next set, exactly as thick as the spokes, are laid in the
intervals; and the front pieces are laid so that their ends meet upon
the spokes, where they are generally confined by an ornamental lozenge,
a cross, or an oval of brass, screwed down upon them. The axle is
supported in a true fore and aft line by a couple of stancheons, with
bushes for it to work in; and on some part of it, behind the wheel, is
fixed the drum, over which the tiller chains or hide ropes are passed
with two or three turns, so that as one is gathered in by a turn of the
wheel, the other may be slacked off.


A windlass may be of any size, from that of the old crossbow, to one
fitted to weigh the anchor of a vessel, although in large ships the
capstan is thought to afford the best and steadiest means of applying
the continuous exertions of the men. A windlass may be roughly formed
by setting up a couple of forked logs, or still better, if possible,
choosing two forked trees firmly rooted in the proper place, and laying
across them another log, thinned off as much as possible where it rests
in the forks, to reduce the friction without too much impairing the
strength. The central part ought to have paul notches cut in it, and a
heavy paul log may be hinged or pivoted to a stout staple, nearly level
with the ground, so that its end, acting as a "paul," catches the paul
notches and prevents the windlass giving way to the strain of the cable
while the men are shifting their handspikes. The barrel of the windlass
ought to be chopped or adzed down to an octagonal form (expressively
though erroneously called 8-square), and holes should be morticed right
through in each face so that each man, without change of position,
should have eight opportunities of inserting his handspike. A Spanish
windlass may be extemporised with the boat's oars. Two of them are
lashed together as sheers with legs of unequal length, the longer leg
being in the direction of the strain. A pair are set up in each side of
the boat and lashed to the thwarts, care being taken to put some piece
of wood or other dunnage under the ends, so that they may not hurt the
planking. Another oar is now laid across, with its loom resting in
the forks; a grummet strop or a short piece of rope is made fast to
the middle of each of the boat's stretchers; if the end is frayed out,
so much the better. The end is applied to the loom of the oar that
represents the windlass, and the stretcher is turned round and round it
until the rope tightens so much as to make it an efficient handspike.
It should then be "stopped" in position with a bit of yarn. If there is
a davit in the boat, the buoy rope is carried over the sheave, three or
four turns are passed over the "windlass oar" and the end is carried
forward and held by one of the boat's crew, who gathers in all he can
and loses none as the men heave round. When the boat's stern is hove
down as low in the water as is prudent, all the men go in the bow, and
sometimes jump there, to jerk the anchor from the ground.

  [Illustration: SPANISH WINDLASS.]

The gunner's capstan is made by sinking one end of a waggon or gun
axle in the ground, placing a wheel on it upside down, and lashing
handspikes to the spokes to act as capstan bars. The rope to be hove on
is passed round the nave of the wheel below the line of the spokes, as
shown in the annexed illustration.

  [Illustration: GUNNER'S CAPSTAN.]


In many countries where navigation is not very far advanced, wooden
anchors are commonly used. We have seen and sketched these on the coast
of Java, and elsewhere. In tropical countries the hard heavy wood that
sinks of its own weight is peculiarly suited for this. A forked tree
of suitable size is chosen, and sometimes, but not always, the fork or
fluke of the anchor is strengthened by a cross lashing to the shank.
A heavy stone, as long as possible in proportion to its thickness, is
lashed across underneath the shank, serving the purpose of a stock.
A loop for the attachment of the cable is made above it, so that the
anchor, when cleared for letting go, may hang in the position shown
in Fig. 1, and may take the ground fluke downward. A many-forked tree
of heavy wood, with stones lashed on (Fig. 2) for additional weight,
is more certain to hold, but does not stow so snugly when not in use.
This, in a lighter form, may be used as a creeper for dragging over
the bottom to recover a lost cable, &c. Canoes, in shallow, sluggish
waters, are often moored by one or more of their poles stuck into the
mud. A stone lashed to one of these and a guy carried aft, as in Fig.
3, will give additional security; or a couple of poles may be put over
the sides and crossed under the bottom, the lower ends being guyed in
the same manner, but this would be dangerous in a strong tide-way. If
the boat is dropping down with the tide, a pole over the stern, about
a foot longer than her draught of water, will take the ground and
either prevent her running ashore or at least give warning before she
does so. Where heavy wood cannot be obtained, a couple of holes may
be bored in a slab of sandstone (Fig. 4), the ends of a forked branch
thrust through and forelocked, another stone being jammed into the fork
at right angles with the first. We have often seen anchors of this
description in use among Indians.

  [Illustration: MAKESHIFT ANCHORS.]

{Working in timber.}

A pump, or nave auger, may be advantageously worked with what are
called "slinger sticks." Set the log upright, either in a hole in the
ground by shoring it, or by a combination of both methods. Above it rig
a stage, on the forks of trees, with a firm socket for the stock or
shaft of your auger to work in. Then fit a waggon wheel on the top of
it, _lash_ an upright pin to one of the felloes (do not spoil a _good_
wheel by boring holes in it). The sticks have broad, flat ends, with
holes to work upon the pivot, and crutch handles for the men to take
hold of. In some parts of the Indian Archipelago even gun barrels are
bored out in nearly similar fashion, only two boys walk slowly round
with a kind of capstan bar, the drill being weighted with a basket of



{Saws and drills.}

We have seen Africans, in Portuguese service, working a common handsaw
very efficiently by fixing a cross handle to the end of the blade; then
two men would sit opposite each other, and holding the log between the
soles of their feet, as shown in the full page illustration, would work
the saw between them. For rough work this serves well enough. In such
case let them have a saw with teeth widely set, and pretty much their
own way; but if you want anything well done do it yourself. Saws for
natives need not have much temper, and the teeth should be set very
wide, so as to do a great deal of what carpenters call "sawing wood."
The Germans are very fond of using frame saws, like that shown in
the same illustration--a long, narrow strip of soft steel, stretched
tightly in a heavy rectangular frame of wood. Such a saw could be
extemporised with a few feet of iron hooping, with teeth filed on it.
It would do for soft wood, but on hard wood would wear out quickly;
nevertheless, it might last long enough to do the required work. We
had three small web-saws, assorted sizes; they are very handy to
carry, frames (like that in our full page illustration--"Boat building
at Logier Hill") are easily made when wanted, and they should not be
neglected if weight or bulk in carriage is objectionable. Stock and
bow drills may be easily made, as in Fig. 1. The arm of a tree will
afford a socket above, and the wood or iron to be bored must be firmly
fixed below; a good sized disc of heavy wood, the sheave say of an
old block, or a piece sawed off a hard tree, acts as a fly wheel. For
smaller work a cotton reel (Fig. 2) does well for the bow strings to
work on; in this case the stock ought to be of iron, purchased at home.
The Bowditch islanders lash their drill on alongside the stock (Fig.
3), but we can hardly sanction this plan, though it might exceptionally
prove useful. If weight and not rapid motion is desired, make the drill
stock of a heavy log (Fig. 4), with the pivot going up through the
upper socket, and fit a crank on it.

  [Illustration: STOCKS AND DRILLS]


{Coopers' work.}

We have had at times not actually to make casks _ab initio_, but
what comes to very nearly the same thing, to pick out the materials
of old ones "shaken out," when we abandoned a camp, to tie them in
bundles, and carry them as best we could till they were again required.
Sometimes it is impossible to gather all the individual parts of one
cask, and heads and staves must be taken as they come. In this case,
pick out two heads of the same size, or pieces which will make two.
Measure their diameter, and as the circumference is, for practical
purposes, three times as much, measure across the ends of the staves on
the inside of the chine groove, until their united widths fully equal
three times the diameter. If you have another cask a little larger,
set up the staves inside it; or if you have one somewhat smaller,
arrange them outside, and put on temporarily a larger hoop, or lash
them with a turn or two of rope. Then take the hoops which you have
selected for the cask, and get the larger ones over the end, drive
them down tolerably tight, nearly to the centre. Then, taking one of
the heads, bore a couple of gimlets into it to hold it by, or screw on
it a clamp, across the grain, so as to hold all its pieces fair and
level. Let this down edgewise into the belly of the cask, then, drawing
it up, enter one edge of it into the chine groove, and, slacking the
hoops if necessary, lift it till it fits in all round. If you find any
difficulty in this, take a knife blade, or thin piece of hoop iron,
pass it through one of the interstices of the staves under the head,
and lift it till it enters the groove. If this is done at the four
quarters, it will be impossible for the head to fall down inside. Drive
the lower hoops down, and when the staves begin to close up, take
out the knife or hoop iron and tighten the hoops with the hammer and
driver. Then turn up the cask, and if you wish to close it at once,
do the same with the other end, if not, drive the hoops on leaving it
open, and slack them up when you want to put the head in. Put knives or
thin iron between the staves, as before, to keep the head from slipping
down, and withdraw them before you tighten up. If you have not another
cask to set up the staves in or upon, take one of the hoops and support
it as a horizontal ring by tying it to small trees or posts, or set up
the head itself on a pole, breast high, for the staves to lean against,
or dig a circular trench a few inches deep in the ground to set the
staves in. Remember that if iron hoops are worn or rusted or bent much,
and have to be straightened out, they are very easily broken or burst
by driving too tightly. Of course they can be mended by punching holes
and riveting a piece in; but they require good punches and a matrix,
for which a piece of hardened wood may be substituted, and some skill
and patience. Always heat both the iron and rivets, and do not punch
holes or clench rivets cold. Wooden hoops are generally withies or
saplings, split down the middle, and left with one flat side and one
round. The ends are thinned a little, and notches cut on the upper edge
of one and the lower of the other. These are made to catch each other,
either with a short overlap, as in Fig. 1, in which case the two parts
lie parallel with each other, or with a long joint (Fig. 2), in which
each takes a half turn round the other, between the notches. The joint
is then served either with slips of osier or split rattan, or other
substitute for cord.

If it is necessary to make a cask, the pieces forming the discs used
for the heads should be dowelled together, with a bit of pith of reed,
or other caulking material between them, and the circumference must be
thinned off to an obtuse edge. The staves, to look neat, ought to be
nicely rounded as segments of a circle, and the ends should be narrower
than the centre if belly is to be given to the cask; but if it is not
essential that the cask should be perfectly round, the staves may be
of flat plank. It is, however, indispensable that their edges should
be cut to the proper angle, or they will not fit closely nor support
each other when hooped up; the diagram we give will facilitate this.
If there are to be 20 staves in a cask their edges must be cut at an
angle of 18°, thus 360 divided by 20 is 18, and the angle of any other
number may be found by dividing 360 by the number of staves. The chine
groove may be cut with a saw, and it is better that the staves should
be always a little narrower at the ends than in the middle, so that the
hoops may tighten in being driven on.

{Water casks, to embark.}

To becket a cask, slacken off one or more of the hoops, take a strip
of raw hide, slip one end under, twist the middle a little, then turn
it, slip the other end under, nick them that they may not draw out,
and tighten up the hoop. A kind-hearted American, captain of the
"Mechanic," of Boston, who filled our water casks when we were on scant
allowance, off the coast of Australia, taught us this expedient. In
towing a number of casks from shore to the vessel becket them in this
manner at both ends, and on two sides; then put them end to end, and
pass a rope on each side through all the beckets. If there are two
boats let one tow ahead of the other, so as to leave but one wake; let
the bung-hole be _downward_, for if the cask leak, the salt water being
heaviest, will not run up into the fresh, nor will the fresh run down
into the salt; whereas, if the bung is up, the fresh water may splash
out and the water of the sea run in and spoil the remaining contents.

  [Illustration: 1-7]

{Bent wood.}

Hoops may be made by taking thin strips of any flexible wood, three or
four times as long as the circumference of the required hoop, coiling
them as it were, and then binding or clenching them together. These
are very strong and flexible (Fig. 3). Jib stay hanks (Figs. 1 and 2)
are made of any tough wood, in bars 14in. or 16in. long, 1in. wide,
and a little more than 1/2in. thick at one edge, and somewhat less at
the other. These are notched about 2in. from the ends, so that when
they are bent the ends may cross each other and afford a hold for the
lashing that attaches them to the leach of the sail. They are not
fastened as the sailor opens them to put them on the stay, and the
lashing to the leach rope fastens them sufficiently. Hanks may be made
of the fork of a branch (Figs. 4, 6 and 7), and if a double hank is
required, a branch with two forks (Fig. 5) will serve the purpose.

  [Illustration: 1-5]

In South America stirrups are very neatly made by taking a bar of tough
wood (Fig. 1), 1ft. or 14in. long, notching it so as to leave in the
centre a piece of the full thickness 4in. long, and leaving the ends of
the full thickness, thinning down from them to the notch on each side
till the wood can be safely turned up so that the ends meet and form
the bow of the stirrup (Fig. 2). The ends are cut to the proper bevel,
and fastened by a thong in a hole bored through them. A couple of
horizontal bars, 2in. long, fastened above, form a slip for the stirrup
leather to pass through. This is a very neat arrangement, but its only
fault is its extreme lightness, as, when the horse is in rapid motion,
the foot cannot readily find the stirrup if it should be lost for a
moment. In this respect, the block of wood, sometimes richly carved
and ornamented, used by the Chilians (Fig. 3), is, notwithstanding its
clumsy appearance, far superior. Three bars, so lashed as to form an
equilateral triangle of at least 5in. inner measurement, will make a
good stirrup. The fork of a branch, with a cross piece lashed on it,
or suspended so that one of its arms forms the tread or bottom piece,
a thong of hide making the other side of the triangle, will answer
if sufficiently heavy. The hide of the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, or
giraffe, when sufficiently dried, may be cut into stirrups, and left
to harden. Sometimes the block which forms the stirrup is cut with
a projecting spike to form a spur; but the Mexican wooden spurs,
consisting of two sticks a little thicker than a pencil, 4in. long,
armed with small iron points, and provided with straps as in Fig. 4,
are about the neatest and most easily extemporised form we know.

{Makeshift axes or adzes.}

Among the native tribes of South Africa, where iron, owing to the small
scale on which they smelt it, is very scarce and valuable, considerable
ingenuity is shown in the mounting of an axe blade. This is generally a
triangular piece of iron, with one of its sides thinned down and ground
to a rounded edge, and the other two tapered to a spike. It is well
known that weight is an essential quality in all chopping instruments,
and the deficiency of iron has therefore to be made up with wood. A
stout branch, with another projecting from it at an angle of from 70°
to 80°, is so cut as to leave a block of the larger limb attached
like a mallet head to the smaller one, as in the uppermost figure
of our illustration (p. 382). The spike of the axe head is made red
hot, a hole is bored through the knob in the direction of the grain,
and the axe is ready for use, and has besides the advantage of being
convertible into an adze by simply taking out the iron and inserting it
again athwart the hole instead of keeping it parallel with the handle;
the two lower figures will give a sufficiently good idea of this. We
have seen these tools very efficiently wielded by honey hunters and by
native woodsmen and carpenters, who, when tired of work, convert the
axe handle into a pipe by taking out the iron, partially stopping the
middle of the hole with a few green leaves, putting the tobacco into
one end, and applying their broad lips to the other.


The other two figures represent the manner in which a broad chisel
may be converted into a serviceable axe or adze, by smoothing off and
channelling the front of the knob, and firmly lashing the chisel to it
with raw hide either fore and aft or athwartships as required. A plane
iron (p. 140) is often made to answer the same purpose. The hoes used
by the women in Africa are made in nearly the same manner as the axes,
but larger; sometimes they are flat, thin, and oval; sometimes chisel
or adze shaped; and sometimes a gouge like form is given to the blade,
but in all cases a spike is left at the top for insertion into the
heavy knob of the handle. At times this knob is cut where two branches
project from it, so as to form a double-handled hoe, an example of
which is shown in our engraving of a Bechuana hut on p. 281.

{Hurdle or wattle work.}

It may not be amiss here to give an example of the manner of making
a piece of wattled work for a door, a window shutter, a table, a
bedstead, or any other purpose. As many stakes as are required are
planted firmly in the ground, either in a trench or, which is better,
in holes separately made with a "grauwing" stick for the purpose.
Rattans, osiers, twigs, reeds, or grass, are then wattled in in the
manner shown in the sketch, their ends being either cut off, if they
are not flexible enough to bend well, or returned round the outermost
stake, and wattled in again if they are. In doing this, care must be
taken not to draw the outermost stakes unduly together; and to prevent
this it is a good plan to cut a strong stick, with a fork at one end
and a notch like gaff jaws in the other, and set it between the stakes
to keep them apart, removing it when it is necessary to put fresh
wattles over the top, and replacing it when they are to be forced down.
Baskets, crates, or gabions of any size, may be made by setting up
squares or circles of stakes, and removing them when wattled; or houses
may be built by fixing them more permanently and using them as the

  [Illustration: WATTLED WORK.]

We have often admired the simplicity of the equipment of a Javanese
ship carpenter; the ponderous maul or heavy axe and adze of our workman
is unknown to him; all his tools, axe, adze, maul, hammer, and augers,
are made so as to fit successively on one handle about 2ft. in length
(see p. 44), and are carried in a canvas haversack slung upon his
shoulder. We have seen, perhaps, a hundred Javanese workmen squatting
about the decks and sides of our little schooner busy as bees, and
tapping away like so many woodpeckers, where one-fourth the number of
English carpenters could not have worked without injuring each other.

{Blocks or pulleys.}

The attention of the traveller is too seldom directed to blocks and
tackle. These useful and unpretending economisers of labour are thought
to belong to a ship, and therefore to be out of place on an inland
journey. Nevertheless, we have found that the possession of eight or
ten blocks of different sizes, and two or three coils of rope to suit
them, has often done us most essential service; and as a traveller may
unexpectedly find them necessary, where perhaps nothing but rope of
hide or native vegetable fibre can be obtained, we subjoin directions
for making the simplest forms, which we believe will meet most of the
probable requirements:


To make a single block, take a piece of good sound wood of medium
density, and of a kind that will not easily split. Elm is much used at
home: oak will do very well; so will also the stinkwood of Africa, and
others of like quality in other countries. Let it be, for instance,
7in. long, 4in. wide, and 3in. thick; suppose it is to carry a rope
of 1in. in diameter, properly called a 3in. rope, all ropes being
measured by their circumference. Gauge along each of the narrow sides
two parallel lines 1in. apart and 1in. from each edge, and draw
lines across at 1in. from each end; then, taking a brace and an inch
centre-bit, insert the centre so that its cutter shall just come within
the cross-line at either end; bore the holes half through, and between
them bore two other holes with the same bit, thus taking out nearly all
the wood between the lines: reverse the block, and bore in like manner
from the other side; take a chisel and mallet and clean away all the
intermediate parts, and you will have a sheave hole 5in. long and 1in.
wide. Clean it up with a file or rasp. Then, drawing a longitudinal
line along the centre of each of the broader sides, mark it at 3in.
from one end and 4in. from the other on each side, and, placing the
centre of the bit on these marks, bore through each side for the

Then for the sheave select a log of the hardest wood conveniently
obtainable; _lignum vitæ_ is generally used, but many kinds of acacia
would answer very well. See that it is large enough to cut away all the
sap wood, and leave a heart 4in. in diameter; trim this to a circular
form, saw off a disc 1in. thick, fix it in a lathe, and with a gouge
or half round rasp or file sink a hollow all round the edge. If you
have not a lathe, saw the disc not quite off, and, while it is still
attached to the log, make the hollow on the edge and saw it off when
finished; bore an inch hole in the centre, place it in the shell, drive
a pivot of hard wood right through, and you will find that at one end
of the block the sheave very nearly fills the hole, while at the other
a vacancy of about an inch is left to reeve the rope through.

Then, with a gouge or half round rasp, sink hollows in the outside of
the shell along the centre line toward each end, and across the ends,
to receive the strop; round off the corners and edges as neatly as
you wish, and you will have a serviceable block like Fig. 1 (p. 384).
Sometimes iron pivots are used, but these are a trifle smaller than the
wooden ones; 3/4in. iron would do, but then an iron socket ought to be
let into the sheave as in Fig. 2. Some sheaves have small iron rollers
let into them to run round on the pivot, and so diminish the friction;
but a traveller need not work to such a nicety as this.

{The snatch-block.}

The snatch-block has already been two or three times mentioned, and
perhaps this is a good opportunity to show its form, which is given in
Fig. 3. The shell is longer and stouter than that of a common block,
and in one side of it is cut the "natch" from which it takes its name;
it is iron bound, but part of the strop is fashioned into a hasp, which
is opened when the bight of a rope is to be passed into the natch and
shut down upon its staple and forelocked to keep the rope from coming
out should the strain be suddenly released.

{Signal block.}

Fig. 4 is a very useful kind of block for signalling; it has ten or
more sheaves side by side, and as many lines running over them; in fact
it ought to have as many sheaves as there are flags. It is kept in the
signal locker with the halyards always rove, and each flag bent on to
its own line. When required for use one end of the peak down-haul is
bent on to the cleat in the centre, as shown in the figure, and it is
hoisted to the peak end; the flags required are then sent up, care
being taken to hoist each to such a height that they may read properly
one under the other in the required order. These being done with are
hauled down and others sent up, and much confusion and loss of time is
saved by thus avoiding the necessity of bending on and unbending the
several flags from one pair of halyards.

{Double block.}

We give also figures of two useful forms of double block. No. 5, on
which the sheaves are side by side, is called a sister block. No. 6,
in which they are one above the other, is a fiddle block. Notice that
in this form the lowermost sheave is the smallest, and thus the rope
passing over it is not jammed by the one that passes over the upper.

  [Illustration: MAKESHIFT LATHES.]

{Makeshift lathes}

In the manufacture of a number of wooden articles, such as the sheaves
of blocks, bowls, round balls, &c., the aid of a makeshift lathe will
be required. There are several forms of lathe made use of in different
countries. No. 1 in the annexed illustration is the best we know of for
the use of the traveller or explorer. To make a contrivance of this
kind proceed as follows: Prepare three squared posts, bore an auger
hole through the top of each at about 5in. from its head; to these
holes fit a spindle made of some hard tough wood, in such a way that
it will just easily play round in the holes without shaking about; cut
a slice from a log about 7in. in diameter; trim it until it is quite
round; cut a tolerably deep groove round the edge, and bore a hole
in the centre for the spindle to come through. Now, from a piece of
pointed iron rod or bar make a pivot pin, as shown passing through the
head of the post which stands alone; fit this in the hole so tightly
that the driving of a single wedge prevents it from sliding forward
or back. All the posts must be firmly fixed in the ground at an even
depth, and at the relative distances shown in the engraving. In the
end of the spindle opposite the pivot pin three sharp iron spikes, made
from nail points, must be driven; these hold the work in its place when
revolving. This it is made to do by the action of the spring overhead,
which is usually made from a tough elastic pole or bamboo cane. The end
of the spring is fitted with a long strip of hide or a rope, which,
passing once round the grooved slice of log, is attached to the end
of the treadle. This is made from a naturally-forked branch, with a
bit of plank lashed fast to it for a foot board. The chisel rest is
made by driving a post into the ground in front of the work, making a
saw-cut in its head, and then driving a bit of thin board or a piece
of broad hoop iron into it, in the form of the letter T. The spindle
is prevented from moving too far back by having pins driven through it
before and behind the tail-post.

The lathe represented at Fig. 2 is common throughout the East. It is by
the use of this contrivance that we have seen the long and beautifully
straight pipe tubes, for which Stamboul is so justly celebrated,
made. We have also seen the turners of Poona, in India, making their
wonderful nests of almost air-tight boxes by the aid of the bow-lathe
(Fig. 2). It is erected much on the principle of Fig. 1; but is usually
placed so close to the ground that no one but an Asiatic could work
conveniently at it.

  [Illustration: GRINDING STONES.]

{Grinding stones, to mount.}

Few border stores will be found without a Newcastle grinding stone, and
very few expeditions of any magnitude omit including one or more in
their list of useful matters. There are several modes had recourse to
for setting up a grinding stone, but we usually adopt one of the plans
shown in the accompanying illustration. Fig. 1 represents a natural
fork set up in a slanting direction, and then treenailed against the
trunk of a tree. To mount the stone, a straight bar of wood or iron,
squared in the centre, must be wedged tightly in the square hole of the
stone. If the axle is of wood, the two ends must be rounded, in order
that they may revolve freely in the notches cut for their reception
in the support. A wooden winch handle must then be fitted to one of
them. If the axle is to be of iron, it should be first heated in the
fire to a red heat; the form of the handle bent in it by hammering;
the centre squared, and roughened at the edges by the use of a cold
chisel; and the two bearing or revolving surfaces made round by the
use of the hammer and file. Wooden pins or iron staples will serve to
keep the axles from rising out of the notches and becoming displaced. A
suspended bullock's horn, with a hole in the small end, through which
a wisp of tow or moss is loosely pulled, makes a very good water drip,
to prevent the tools from losing their temper when being ground. Some
prefer putting a wooden trough, to contain water, under the stone. This
is a mere matter of taste.

  [Illustration: PACK-SADDLE CROOKS.]

{The use of forked sticks.}

A vast deal of trouble may be saved when various useful articles are
being made from wood, by a judicious selection of such branches as
nature has already fashioned to the hand of the bush carpenter. The
above illustration will serve to give an example of this; it represents
a set of pack-saddle crooks. To make these, it is only necessary to
cut with the axe four stout hooks and two straight bars; bore or
burn a hole through the upper end of each hook, lash them together
in pairs with strips of raw hide or rope, and lash on the side bars
as shown in the engraving. The hooks are then ready to be placed on
the pack saddle, to which they are secured by a girth, which is
attached at each end to the side bars of the hooks. We have found these
contrivances most useful for carrying dead game, packs, or bundles of


A very useful description of makeshift hand-barrow can be made from
four forked branches arranged as shown in the following illustration,
and lashed together with strips of raw hide. We first saw these
contrivances in use on the borders of the Mena country, where the
natives used them for the purpose of carrying a peculiar description of
clay, which was collected among the ravines between the hills, and used
for the manufacture of pottery. These barrows, from their lightness,
elasticity, and great strength, answer admirably.

  [Illustration: MAKESHIFT HAND-BARROW.]

  [Illustration: CAMP TABLE AND STOOL.]

{Camp furniture.}

Excellent camp tables and stools can be made by selecting such branches
or tree trunks as have grown in either three or four prong form, as
shown in the engraving (Figs. 1 and 2 represent a table and stool). The
tops are made from slices cut from convenient-sized logs. The table
top is supported and strengthened by having natural grown knee pieces
treenailed to the sides of the main upright or pillar. A small stool
is best made by cutting away the top of the pillar until it is made to
fit, a large auger hole bored in the centre of the seat, when driven
in, the pillar head is split with a chisel, and then wedged tight.
Should a larger table leaf be required than an ordinary log slice will
afford, one may be built up by boring holes in the edges of boards, and
treenailing them together, as shown in Fig. 3 (p. 389).

  [Illustration: A, B]

{Gate latches.}

Latches for gates and doors can be made entirely of wood, as
represented in the illustration A, in which Fig. 1 shows the latch
in use, and Figs. 2 to 7 the form to which each part must be cut
before being put together. The illustration B represents another
form of wooden door latch well adapted for cupboard fastenings, and
three makeshift modes of forming box hinges. Fig. 1 is the swivel
hinge; Fig. 2 the salt-box hinge; and Fig. 3 the claw hinge. Their
mode of construction will be at once understood on reference to the
illustration B.

  [Illustration: NATIVE PLOUGH.]

The knee-like bends and forks so often found to exist in the branches
of trees are often taken advantage of in the manufacture of makeshift
ploughs. The preceding and following illustration represent a native
and settler's makeshift plough.

  [Illustration: SETTLER'S PLOUGH.]


{Agricultural implements, &c.}

Many useful agricultural and other implements can be made by the use of
forked sticks, some of which are shown in the above illustrations.

A strong fork, with treenails driven through holes bored in its ends,
makes a very convenient yoke for carrying pails of water or other heavy
weights, as shown in the accompanying illustration.


It not unfrequently happens that pigs, when the settler is fortunate
enough to have any, are apt to cause much mischief among the young
canes or maize plants. To prevent them from doing so, prepare a good
number of "hogs' cravats" from stout forked sticks, as shown in
the annexed illustration, put them on, and a fence of very moderate
strength will keep the pilferers out effectually.


Many descriptions of trees will be found on which the branches grow
in a species of crown at each joint of the trunk. The holly and some
kinds of pines are familiar examples, and are commonly found in this
country. From a piece of the main stem of a young tree of a suitable
size, a contrivance called a "supple jack" can be made by cutting off
the radiating branches to a convenient length, removing all the bark,
and then pointing each projecting spine like a skewer. [Illustration]
When the jack is hung up by its small end it forms a most convenient
contrivance from which to suspend dead game, fish, or odds and ends.
To hang a bird to the jack pass one of the pointed hooks up through
the angular space between the lower mandible, and bring it out at the
beak. A fish is best suspended by entering the hook at one of the gill
covers, and bringing it out of the mouth; hares or rabbits by passing
one hind leg through a space formed by cutting a slit behind the back
tendon of the other. The legs thus form a loop to slip over one of the
hooks of the jack. The foregoing illustration shows the jack in use.
[Illustration] Saddle rests, wall and tent pole hooks, &c., can be made
from knee, elbow, or hooked branches of trees. They can be attached to
any fixed point either by the use of treenails or lashing, as shown in
the preceding illustration.

The maple and some other kinds of trees are not unfrequently found with
large projecting excrescences growing on their trunks; these, when
carefully chopped off with the axe, will be found to have a hard, dense
crust or shell next the bark, whilst the main body of the wood is soft
and easily scooped out. From these abnormal growths excellent bowls
may be made. Some of them are sufficiently large to admit of vessels
capable of containing from eight to ten gallons being made from them.
Very excellent platters or shallow trays can be obtained from the same

                              CHAPTER VII.


The use of the sledge in some of its various forms is general
throughout the greater portion of the known world. The northern regions
may, however, be fairly considered the great field for the performance
of sledging operations. Men, animals of various kinds, and the wind
are all at times made available as means of applying either traction
power or propulsion to the sledge; and as the build and rig of ships
and boats are found to vary according to the seas they are sailed over,
and the requirements of those who sail in them, so will sledges differ
in form, size, capacity, weight, and the material from which they are
constructed according to the nature of the climate and country they are
used in. The far north, and in regions where long and rigid winters
lock the earth, the rivers, lakes, and even at times the sea itself, in
ice, and covers the whole with a thick mantle of snow, such travelling
would be next to impossible, without the aid of the sledge, which,
although apparently simple in design, requires much care and judgment
to construct successfully.

{Dimensions of sledges.}

Dr. Kane, the Arctic explorer, thus writes on this subject:--

"The dimensions and structure of the sledge are of vital importance,
almost imperceptible differences cause an increase of friction equal to
the draught of another man or dog. The curvature of the runners must
be determined experimentally. The 'Faith' was even preferable to the
excellent model of Captain McClintock; the dimensions of both are as

     MCCLINTOCK'S.          Ft. In.         'THE FAITH.'       Ft. In.

  Length of runners         13   0    Length of runners         13   0
  Height of ditto            0  11½   Height of ditto            0   8
  Horizontal width of                 Horizontal width of
    all parts                0   2¾     rail                     0   2¼
                                      Base of runners            0   3¼
                                      Other parts                0   2
  Thickness of all parts     0   1¼   Thickness of all parts     0   1¼
  Length resting on a                 Length resting on a
    plane surface            5   0      plane surface            6   0
  Cross-bars, six in number,          Cross-bars, five in number,
    making a width of        3   0      making a width of        3   8

"The shoeing of large English sledges was burnished 1/8in. iron, ours
were annealed 3/16in. steel, as light as possible to admit slightly
countersunk rivets. Sealskin lashings, applied wet, were used for the
cross-bars, the wood was hickory and oak, not the Canada elm used by
the Lancaster Sound parties. A sledge like this, with a canvas cover on
which to place and confine the cargo, would load from 150lb. to 200lb.
per man. The 'Faith' has carried 1600lb."

{Sledges, to draw.}

When manual labour is brought to bear on the sledge it is usually
applied through the medium of traction, propulsion, or the two
combined. The men who propel a sledge simply push behind, whilst those
who draw do so by the aid of track ropes and shoulder bands, which
latter contrivances are called "rue ruddies," and are used as shown in
the illustration.


The track lines are best made from twisted horsehair, but in the
absence of that material Manilla rope is the next best. Each man of
the tracking party should be provided with his own track line and rue
ruddy, for which he should be held responsible. The sledge to be drawn
is fitted at its front end with a species of bridle loop, to which all
the lines are attached by rings, in such a way that as the sway or
motion of the sledge inclines to either side, the rings travel forward
or back on the bridle.

It is well, however, to attach one line on each side without a ring to
the sledge runner outside the attachment of the bridle, in order that
when the sledge has to be turned, or its line of direction suddenly
changed, the power of one man on each side may be brought directly to
bear. The sliding lines must be so adjusted with regard to length that
the whole party of trackers may use their full powers without coming in
contact with each other. The longest lines may be from 16ft. to 20ft.
from ring to end.


{The rue ruddy.}

The rue ruddy is a broad band of double canvas or skin with the edges
sewn in, and the bearing joints padded and stuffed with hair. A loop
is formed at the point at which the track rope is attached, through
this the toggle of the line is passed. When an extra man is attached to
a line, a spare toggle is attached to it by a timber hitch, as shown
in the illustration here given. A short mast and small square sail can
be used with great advantage when the wind is fair. Kites would also
facilitate the passage of sledges over comparatively smooth ice.


{Dog sledge and harness.}

The dog sledge is a most valuable and important accessory to northern
travel, and without its assistance the Esquimaux hunter and Arctic
explorer would be at times almost helpless. The form of the dog sledge,
and the manner of harnessing the dogs, varies according to the customs
of the countries in which it is used and the period of the year when
its aid is required. We shall, therefore, confine ourselves to a
description of such as are most likely to be of value to the European
traveller, leaving him to select the form of harness best suited to his
particular tastes. Dog harness is usually made from strips of sealskin
sewn together with threads formed from sinew. Some drivers make use
of one trace, others prefer two. The most common plan is to lead two
traces, so to speak, into one, as shown in the above illustration. Many
drivers of great experience work their dogs abreast when the single
trace arrangement is adopted. Others use a leader, harnessed ahead of
the other dogs.

Dr. Hayes, the Arctic explorer, thus writes regarding his dogs: "We
harness them each with a single trace, and these traces are of a length
to suit the fancy of the driver, the longer the better, for they are
then not so easily tangled. The draught of the outside dogs is more
direct, and if the team comes on thin ice and breaks through, your
chances of escape from immersion are in proportion to their distance
from you. The traces are all of the same length, and hence the dogs
run side by side, and, when properly harnessed, their heads are in a
line. My traces are so measured that the shoulders of the dogs are just
20ft. from the foremost part of the runners."

  [Illustration: HELPING THE DOGS.]

{Speed and the whip.}

With a twelve-dog team, harnessed in this manner, a high rate of speed
may be gained. Six measured miles have been run over a tolerably good
surface in twenty-eight minutes. The direction and speed of the team
are regulated partly by the voice, but mainly by the whip; and, as
this instrument is so important and difficult to handle, we cannot
resist giving the reader the benefit of the experience of Dr. Kane,
than whom few have had greater experience in dog-sledge management.
He thus describes the whip he used for his teams. "The whip is 6yds.
long, and the handle but 16in., a short lever by which to throw out
such a length of seal hide. Learn to do it, however, with a masterly
sweep, or else make up your mind to forego driving a sledge, for the
dogs are guided solely by the lash; and you must be able, not only to
hit any particular dog out of the team of twelve, but to accompany the
feat also with a resounding crack. After this, you find that to get
your lash back involves another difficulty, for it is apt to entangle
itself among the dogs and lines, or to fasten itself cunningly round
bits of ice so as to drag you head over heels into the snow. The secret
by which this complicated set of requirements is fulfilled consists
in properly describing an arc from the shoulder, with a stiff elbow,
giving the jerk to the whip handle from the hand and wrist alone. The
lash trails behind as you travel, and when thrown forward is allowed to
extend itself, without an effort to bring it back. You wait patiently
after giving the projectile impulse until it unwinds its slow length,
reaches the end of its tether, and cracks to tell you that it is at its
journey's end. Such a crack on the ear or forefoot of an unfortunate
dog is signalised by a howl quite unmistakable in its import. The mere
labour of using this whip is such that the Esquimaux travel in couples,
one sledge after the other. The hinder dogs follow mechanically and
thus require no whip, and the drivers change about so as to rest each


{Esquimaux sledges and expedients.}

Many of the Esquimaux sledges are most ingeniously constructed--some
being formed of light slabs of bone, lashed together with sinew and
shod with runners composed of highly-polished walrus ivory. Should the
surface of the runners become roughened from any cause, the Esquimaux
fills his mouth with water, and then, by contracting his cheeks as in
the act of blowing a trumpet, forces the water in a strong jet over the
face of the runner. A coat of thin ice instantly forms, and becomes
frozen firmly to the bone, producing a coating like that of glass. The
above illustration will serve to show how this operation is conducted.


{Sledge log, to make.}

To estimate the speed at which a sledge is travelling, a log must be
used. This is constructed as follows: A wooden reel and spindle, such
as shown in the annexed engraving, must be made; round this the log
line is coiled, leaving a free end for the log or weight, which may
consist of a piece of scrap iron or a stone, to be attached to. About
20yds. from the log a bit of red rag should be knotted to the line;
then at every 50ft. knot in a bit of seal hide. When about to use the
log line, cast the weight well clear of the sledge, let the reel give
off the line freely until the red rag is free. Directly that is off the
coil, turn your half-minute glass up, and let the sand run, and when
it is all down, stop the reel. It will be then seen, by the following
calculation, what the speed has been. As 120 times half a minute make
one hour, and 120 times 50ft. make very nearly a geographical mile, so
many bits of hide will run clear of the revolving reel as the sledge
travels miles in the hour.


  [Illustration: 1-3]

{Sledge equipment.}

When fitting up your sledge equipment procure some large-sized marrow
bones, and saw them up into a number of tolerably stout rings; then,
from other bones of solid texture, make toggles to accompany the rings.
These contrivances, shown in the above illustration, are invaluable
for attaching leather straps to each other. A simple slit in the end
of each strap admits of the toggle being passed through them, when its
notched form prevents it from coming out again. Knots in dog harness
tend to endless hitches and entanglements; and buckles, from being
composed of metal, would be stolen to a certainty. Three modes of
attaching strips of hide to each other are shown above. Figs. 1 and 2
illustrate how the bone rings before described can be made use of. Fig.
3 shows two loops twisted over each other. A good-sized bladder, or
skin bag, forms a convenient receptacle for both rings and toggles, of
which make plenty.


When about to pitch camp, or whilst resting, drive the spears into
the ice to secure the dogs to by short neck ropes. Most sledge dogs
are trained to lie down when the whip handle is passed lightly along
their backs. Never heedlessly quit your sledge whilst on the march,
unless you have fast hold of the upstanders, or without first bringing
it to an anchor. This can be done by thrusting a seal spear or lance
down into the snow between the first two transverse bars of the sledge
bottom. Should you neglect these precautions, you stand a good chance
of seeing your runaway team go rattling off in the far distance,
leaving you to follow as you best may. To check the speed of your
sledge when you are on it, plant your heels on the snow and sit fast.
{The habits of sledge dogs.} It will be generally found that in every
team there will be one master dog, who, by the use of a sharp set of
teeth and a strong will, contrives to keep all the rest in subjection,
and not unfrequently quells disorders among the quarrelsome pack by
dashing in among them at the height of their constant skirmishes, and
sending them head over heels to the right and left, thereby aiding his
master in maintaining due discipline. {Food for the dogs.} Frozen or
dried fish, and the offal of such animals as may be captured in the
chase, are used as dog food. The Esquimaux usually feed their dogs but
once in two days; it is better, however, to feed every day, but not
until the work is finished, the journey ended, and the camp pitched.
No dog works well on a full stomach. Great care should be exercised in
the feeding of your dogs in order that all may share alike, as some
are so desperately artful and cunning, that they do all in their power
to delude their master into a belief that, instead of having had their
full allowance, it is yet to come.

No northern traveller ever willingly allows his dogs to eat any
portion of the liver of the polar bear, as it is pronounced by all
the Esquimaux to be most unwholesome and injurious to dogs; they,
therefore, either bury the bear's liver under the ice, or, if
practicable, cast it into the sea. No sledge or portion of the sledge
equipment in the construction or repair of which, thongs or tendons
have been used should be left in reach of the dogs during the night, or
they will be pretty sure to reduce the whole to a wreck before morning.
With such makeshift sledges as have their runners made from rolls of
frozen hide this precaution is especially necessary.

{Hints on sledges.}

The following hints on the subject of sledges, given by Dr. Kane, are
most valuable, being the result of no ordinary experience. To encounter
broken ice in the midst of darkness, and at a temperature destructive
to life, everything depends upon your sledge; should it break down,
you might as well break your own leg--there is no hope for you. Our
sledge, then, is made of well-tired oak, dovetailed into a runner
shod with iron; no metal is used besides except the screws and rivets
which confine the sledge to its runners. In this intense cold, iron
snaps like glass, and no immovable or rigidly fastened wood-work would
stand for a moment the fierce concussions of a drive. Everything is
put together with lashings of sealskin, and the whole fabric is the
skeleton framework of a sledge as flexible as a lady's work-basket,
and weighing only 40lb. On this we fasten a sacking bottom of canvas,
tightly stretched, like its namesake of the four-post bedstead, around
the margin. We call this ticking the apron and cover; the apron being a
flap of 16in. high surrounding the cover, and either hanging loose at
its sides, like a valance, or laced up down the middle. Into this apron
and cover you pack your cargo--the less the better--and then lace and
lash the whole securely together.

{Rules for the march.}

The following rules to be observed on the march or during a halt are
valuable and practical to a degree. "Keep the blood in motion without
loitering on the march; and for the halt raise a snow house, or, if
the snow lie scant or impracticable, ensconce yourself in a burrow, or
under the hospitable lee of an inclined hammack-slab. The outside fat
of your walrus sustains your little moss fire; its frozen slices give
you bread; its frozen blubber gives you butter; its scrag ends make the
soup. The snow supplies you with water, and when you are ambitious of
coffee there is a bagful stowed away in your boot. Spread out your bear
bag, your only heavy movable, and stuff your reindeer bag inside, hang
your boots up outside, take a blade of bone and scrape off all the ice
from your furs. Now crawl in, the whole party of you, feet foremost,
draw the top of your dormitory close, heading to leeward."

  [Illustration: SLEDGING OVER ROUGH ICE.]

{Useful odds and ends.}

When about to start on a sledge journey, a certain number of useful
matters will be required in addition to those already mentioned. A
few green or blue gauze or tarlatan veils, to protect the eyes from
the glare of the snow, will be found of the greatest value. In the
absence of these, sledge men not uncommonly collect a quantity of the
deposit of black found in the sconces of the lamps. This they mix with
grease, and with it black the eyelids and upper part of the face. This
expedient, although not equal to a veil, is far better than nothing.
We have made use of green glass spectacles, but found them next to
useless, as the glasses soon became coated with ice, formed from the
condensed vapour given off with the breath. Never travel without a
small pocket mirror; by its aid you can discover at once whether your
nose or ears are becoming frost bitten, and can act accordingly.
Directions for the treatment of frost bite will be given further on in
our work. Never go without your possible sack, which should contain
lots of hide strips, of all lengths and sizes, awls, needles, cord,
leather, knife, whetstone, and any number of bone rings and toggles. A
large fine-toothed rasp is of great service in fashioning bone; take
one, or more; one handle will serve for all, and the sharp, tang ends
serve to bore holes with. Few men have managed to reduce their sledge
equipment to more simple elements than the doctor. He says, "My plans
for sledging, simple as I once thought them, and simple, certainly, as
compared with those of the English parties, have completely changed.
Give me an 8lb. reindeer fur bag to sleep in, an Esquimaux lamp, with
a lump of moss, a sheet-iron snow melter, or a copper soup pot, with a
tin cylinder to slip over and defend it from the wind, a good _pièce
de résistance_ of raw walrus beef, and I want nothing more for a long
journey if the thermometer will keep itself as high as minus 30°. Give
me a bearskin bag, and coffee to boot, and with the clothes on my back
I am ready for minus 60°, but no wind." During long journeys over
rough and uneven ice the paws of the dogs are liable to become worn
and sore. {Dogs' boots.} It is well, therefore, before encountering
such hindrances to travel, to protect them with mocassins. These are
made by rounding a piece of soft hide, with the hair side in, and then
cutting all round its edge a number of small slits; through these a
strip of hide is passed. The dog's paw is placed in the centre of the
round. On the string being drawn home, the foot will be fitted as shown
in the annexed illustration. Tolerably well-fed dogs will rarely eat
these protections off, as they seem to know perfectly well what they
are put on for. Mocassins are especially needed when there is a thin
sharp crust of ice on the surface, and the pace rapid.


{The tobogun sledge.}

When the snow is soft, the form of sledge known as a "tobogun" is very
useful, not only as a dog sledge, but as a convenient means of carrying
packs, traps, or dead game; when used for these purposes, the hunter,
who usually travels on snow shoes, draws it after him by a track line.
The tobogun is made by either bending up the end of a tough plank by
steam, or cutting the desired form of wood out of the solid with the

{Ice boards.}

There is another kind of sledge somewhat on the tobogun principle,
known as an ice board. This is made from exceedingly tough, elastic
wood. It is turned up at the bow end like the toe of a skate, and
usually measures about 1ft. wide by 8ft. long. It is made thus in
order that it may freely pass along the narrow Indian trails across
the lakes. This board, although tough and flexible enough to pass over
the inequalities of the uneven way without breaking, is stiffened at
the upturned prow by a piece of wood, which, being fastened inside
the curve, preserves its bent form. Several cross bars, disposed at
intervals in the line of the sledge, serve to add to its strength. The
bridle or drawing point of the sledge is formed of hide, and is secured
to the beak or stiffener. The team of dogs used in drawing this kind of
conveyance is harnessed to two stiff tough poles, which project to the
front. The load is so packed as to admit of its being divided equally
throughout the entire length of the board to which it is secured, by
passing two hide ropes along its sides from end to end. These side
cords are attached by lashings to the cross bars, and form a series
of points of attachment for the lashings which pass forward and back,
and from side to side over the load. After being hauled up as tight
as possible, there should be rope enough for two tail pieces to trail
behind; these are useful to seize on when going down a slope, if the
sledge requires turning, or in event of the dogs taking it into their
head to bolt on a steep incline, the sledge, load and all, is turned on
its side, and allowed to drag to the bottom, where it is set right, and
proceeds as before.



{Common dog sledge.}

The common runner dog sledge is better adapted for travelling over
tolerably hard snow, and the mode of harnessing the dogs is shown in
the annexed engraving. The bearing points, chest band, and collar piece
of the harness, should be made of thin soft hide, sewn double like
an old fashioned shot belt, and then stuffed with hair-wool, pounded
bark, fibre, or moss. A seal should be always drawn head first, as it
travels thus with less than one-half the traction power. {The travail
sledge.} When the ground is hard, or in the absence of snow, dogs are
frequently used to draw a contrivance known as a "travail"; this is
made by attaching two long tough sticks, slightly turned up at the
hind ends, to the neck collar of the dog. The small ends of the sticks
should rest nearest the head of the dog; by some dog drivers these
are made to just cross each other over the dog's neck, where they are
bound to each other by a lashing of hide; others prefer attaching each
stick in a line with the body of the dog, as in the above illustration.
The travail sticks are padded at their points of contact, and kept
asunder before and behind the load by cross bars of different lengths,
the shortest being next the dog's hind legs. Horses are frequently
equipped precisely in the same manner, as will be seen on reference to
the engraving representing Indian lodges. A horse of fair average power
will carry a travail load of about 212lb. twenty-five miles per day,
and a good dog will draw 75lb. in the same way over prairie land.


{Dog packs.}

Such dogs as are not employed in pulling very often carry packs on
their backs, as shown in the annexed illustration; these should be at
all times very light, and the girths and breast strap wide enough to
prevent undue pressure. We have seen the Tartars pack their dogs by
placing a broad band of sheepskin with the wool inside round the dog,
fasten it with loops and toggles, fit on a breast strap of the same
material in the same way, and then secure the load to the girth by
passing thongs through a set of bone rings sewn in for the purpose. The
thongs pass across the load, and go through the rings on the opposite
side, and thus secure the pack without compressing the dog, as shown in
the accompanying illustration.


{Horse sledges.}

When horses are used for sledge drawing it is no uncommon practice
to attach them to a conveyance formed by mounting a common carriage
body on runners. We have seen the Russians use a most convenient and
durable sledge body; it was formed of strong wicker work, strengthened
by stringers of light wood, bound with lashings of raw hide. The
runners were faced with steel, and the horses, three in number, worked
abreast; that in the centre having a sort of arch or hoop over his
neck. Bells should be used on all sledge teams, as the sledge glides
along so noiselessly that collisions would be frequent without the
cheerful warning note of the bells, which can be heard at a great
distance in the clear frosty air. It is not our intention here to enter
on the subject of sledges, as used by the sledge clubs for amusement
or display, as they are not within our province. {Field artillery
sledges.} Field artillery can be easily worked on the surface of frozen
lakes and rivers, by attaching runners instead of wheels to the guns
and waggons. The recoil of guns, when fired from sledge runners, is
often considerable, and many modes are adopted to govern it. The best
makeshift plan we know is to prepare two long thick straw mats for each
gun sledge, and before laying the gun, raise the breech ends of the
runners by handspike power, to a sufficient height to admit of the mats
being drawn well under them, when the handspike may be withdrawn, and
the runners allowed to rest on the mats. A species of rough basket work
formed from pine branches will answer the same purpose.

{The reindeer sledge.}

The reindeer is a most valuable animal for sledge drawing, and, from
the immense number of animals of this description kept in a state
of partial domestication in the north (it has been roughly computed
that in Lapland alone there are 100,000), extensive use is made of
them as beasts of burden, some being used as pack animals, and others
worked on the snow in the form of sledge (represented in the opposite
illustration) known as the _kerres_.


The mode of harnessing the deer is peculiar, the bridle loop, formed
of tendons, being under the front of the sledge; this arrangement
gives lifting power. Then a single trace, attached to this bridle,
passes between the deer's hind legs, and is attached to the collar
(which is well padded with hair), after passing through a loop in
the back band, where it meets under the chest. The guiding rein is
single near the sledge, where the driver holds it, but double near its
termination; one part is fastened to the collar, whilst the other is
secured to the deer's head. This rein is used much as our ploughmen
use a plough rein; it is composed of strips of plaited hide, and, by a
dexterous turn of the wrist and elbow, can be made to do the duty of
a whip, and, although little control can be exercised over a wayward
animal, a tractable one will perform journeys of surpassing length in
a wonderfully short space of time; from seven to eight miles an hour
over tolerably good ground may be considered average travelling. It is
recorded, however, that an officer charged with important dispatches
once travelled from Umea, which is situated in the Gulf of Bothnia,
to the city of Stockholm in forty-eight hours with one deer (the
distance is little short of 500 miles); but the life of the deer was
sacrificed in the performance of the journey. The weight of a deer's
load will depend much on the nature of the work he is engaged on; when
employed in bringing in dead game, produce, &c., at a slow pace, he can
easily draw 3 cwt., but when equipped for a rapid journey the weight
drawn should not amount to more than from 230lb. to 245lb. English.
Sledge deer not unfrequently perform some curious and inconvenient
freaks with their drivers. Should they from any cause think themselves
unfairly dealt with or harshly used, they immediately turn back on the
conductor, who, to save himself, at once turns over the sledge and
gets under it. The deer now tries to make use of his horns, but finds
them of little avail against the mummy-like clothing of his skin-clad
master, who usually settles the matter by the production of a lump
of salt, which, when licked by the eager tongue of the irritated and
cantankerous deer, acts like a charm in restoring order and a good
understanding, when on he goes again as fresh and willingly as ever. In
some parts of Siberia reindeer are regularly ridden, just as horses
are in England and bullocks in Africa and the East.


{Summer sledges.}

Summer sledges of various forms are common to the whole world. We shall
only deal with the most noteworthy and valuable to the settler or
explorer. The most common of these, known as a _wishing bone_ sledge,
is made from a curved and forked branch cut off to the required length,
a deep notch is cut at the point of the angle at the union of the
fork to fasten the horses to, transverse pieces are treenailed across
the prongs, the tail ends are slightly rounded up like the runners
of a sledge, and the head is also curved in an upward direction with
the axe, as seen in the above illustration. Sledges of this kind are
very useful for the conveyance of rough heavy substances, such as
building stone or mineral ores, packed in skin bags. Another useful
form of farmer's or emigrant's sledge is also shown in the annexed
illustration. [Illustration] Auger holes are bored through the ends of
the runners, through which a strong wooden bar is passed, to this the
traces are fastened.

{Snow shoes.}

The description of snow shoe used by the natives of different countries
and localities vary just as much as the sledges. We can, therefore,
only deal with the general principles of their construction and use.
The "racquet" or snow shoe of the Canadians varies in length with the
degree of supporting power of the snow. The form of the snow shoe is
shown in the accompanying illustration. [Illustration] The frame or
outside rim of the shoe is made from tough, light wood; ash is much
used for the purpose. The network is often made from strips of moose
skin, deer skin, or some other untanned hide. There are two modes by
which the network is secured to the frame. One is to bore a train of
gimlet holes at proper distances apart all round the frame, and with
thin strips of hide or tendon passed alternately backward and forward
through them, the side loops of the racquet work are taken up and
tied fast to the frame. The other method consists in winding a long
thin thong round the frame, and so binding the interlacing to it. The
annexed illustration shows some other forms of the snow shoe.


The snow shoe is not strapped to the foot like the skate, but is
fastened in two ways. First, there is an arrangement of strap through
which the foot is thrust without the aid of the hands; the length and
attachment of the thong being proportioned to the foot of the wearer;
then there is an orifice left in the middle of the network in the
centre line of the shoe, but nearer to the toe than the heel; into this
hole the front part of the foot is thrust, much as one would put on an
old heelless slipper.

In the adjustment of the shoe fastenings, the ball of the great toe is
made to rest on what the Indians call the "bimikibison," or walking
strap. This is secured by its ends to the frame of the shoe, and by its
sides by means of short straps to the front cross bar. In addition to
these, a small loop is attached to the walking strap of just sufficient
length to allow the toes to pass through, but narrow enough to keep
back the ball of the foot, which acts as a sort of stopper, and by its
pressure lifts and pushes the shoe upwards and forwards. In order to
prevent the foot from working its way backwards, a strap or sling, the
"adiman," passes round the back of the heel. With this arrangement the
foot works, so to speak, like a scale beam, the bearing part being the
ball joint of the great toe, and as either end of the beam tilts up or
down, so the shoe is dragged on or becomes a resting spot until its
fellow passes skimmingly forward, leaving a well-marked pair of grooves
behind the traveller.

Makeshift snow shoes are often made in the forest from light, tough
boards. These are hewn into the rough form of a fish--broad before
and narrow behind. The toe hole, or "eye" of the shoe, is cut as in
the more perfect shoe, and an indentation is hewn out of the solid to
admit of the foot always dropping into its proper position. These are
generally used over very soft snow or swampy unsafe ground. The curved
snow shoes shown in the illustration on p. 409 are at times over 6ft.
long, and are used on open ground; the shorter kinds being better
adapted for walking the forest, where roots and other impediments to
travel abound.

  [Illustration: 1-3]

{Snow-shoe boots.}

Such boots as are worn for ordinary travelling, are utterly useless to
the snow-shoe runner, who could not perform his work in them. Here,
again, customs vary with countries. The Esquimaux, after covering his
feet well with birds' skins, encases them in coverings of sealskin,
chewed pliant and soft by his loving spouse; over these he draws a pair
of fur boots, made from the skins of bears' legs, with the feet left
on. The mocassin is the form of foot gear best adapted for the use of
the European traveller, and to put it on properly requires some little
practice and management. The following directions will at any rate show
the form and nature of the materials best calculated to insure comfort
in walking and prevent frost bite. First make a pair of thick flannel
_cap_ socks, as shown in Fig. 1. These are merely flannel soles or
socks with a toe cap sewn to them. These are put on just as you would
put on slippers, over the crossed ends of the long flannel bandages
which fold evenly under the toes on each side, and lap over each other.
The long ends are now brought round the foot, over the sole, round the
heel, and are wound evenly and spirally over and under each other until
brought well up under the calf of the leg. Here they are fastened
off by passing the free ends two or three times under the coil. The
mocassin may now be fastened on over this arrangement, as shown in
Figs. 2 and 3, when a good thick pair of blanket leggings makes all
complete for a tramp.


{Norwegian skidor.}

Unlike the snow shoes, the _skidor_ of Lapland and Norway have no
_racquet_ work, but are merely long, narrow, upturned runners, to which
the feet of the _skid löpare_ or traveller are strapped. [Illustration]
A peculiar staff, with a projecting rim round it, is carried to aid in
propelling, guiding, &c., when ascending or descending uneven surfaces.
The annexed illustration will serve to give some idea of the way in
which the skidor are used, but an immense deal of practice is required
to make even a tolerably good _skid löpare_.

{Skates and their substitutes.}

In some localities the shin bones of animals are used as aids in
passing over frozen surfaces. One is securely strapped under the sole
of each boot and made to act somewhat after the manner of a small
sledge runner. On the use of skates we shall have little to say, as the
art of plain, straightforward skating is too general to need more than
a passing remark. We show in the accompanying illustration the mode of
fastening which we have found most reliable for use on rough ice, and
for hard work. [Illustration] We were many years ago advised to use it
by a Dutchman who was celebrated for his feats in pace and distance; we
adopted his plan and adhered to it.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                       BOOTS, SHOES, AND SANDALS.

We have already advised the traveller to include in his outfit a good
store of English made boots and shoes--suited to the work he is likely
to engage in--in warm countries such as Africa or India. We prefer
shoes, and like them as light as is consistent with durability; but,
for wear in the jungle or by the river side, we have never found any
foot gear to equal moderately stout, but flexible, laced shooting boots
and saumber-skin gaiters. The chief defects of a shoe is, that if it is
too low, or ill made, so as to open at the sides, it may admit dirt or
small stones, and that it does not protect the ankle or shin in walking
through sharp grasses, such as the spear grass of India (the seeds of
which are like the heads of Liliputian arrows), the _Triodia spinifex_
of Australia, or the low "haak doorns" of Africa.

Medical and military writers recommend shoes either without or with
only very low heels, and say that the so-called military heels give
2in. of additional height at the expense of all other good qualities;
and this will at once be evident if we consider that the proper use of
the foot in springing, walking, or running, depends upon its being able
to move from a perfectly horizontal position, till the line of the sole
from toe to heel forms an angle of 45° or 50° with the ground. If then,
by the interposition of a block of leather, we prevent the heel coming
within 15° or 20° of the horizontal line, we diminish the power of the
foot just as much as we should the power of a bow, when, knowing that
the archer could draw at 36in. we were to insist that the bow should be
made with a curve of 18in., instead of being, as it ought, very nearly

The so-called support to the ankle is not only unnecessary but
positively injurious. Opera dancers do not usually perform in boots,
but shoes as light as possible. The Zouaves simply wear gaiters to
keep dirt out of the shoe, and they detest the tight leggings, and on
a march pitch them away, and let the knickerbockers lower down upon the
leg. Men, in the constant habit of wearing tight or heavy boots, are
not likely to have good legs, and none march better than Highlanders in
their kilts and shoes; or natives of wild countries, who only put on
sandals when the expected march is so long, that the hard skin of the
foot would wear through faster than the natural growth could replace
it. We suppose that it will be sufficiently definite to consider boots
as having the upper leathers sufficiently high to cover the ankle, or
as much of the leg or thigh as may be requisite. Shoes, as covering a
part, or the whole of the foot up to, but not above, the ankle, and
sandals as being merely soles fastened on by laces or thongs, but not
covering or inclosing the foot. [Illustration: 1-2] The form we have
found most useful is that called the oxonian (Fig. 1), coming just high
enough to cover the whole instep without interfering with the action
of the joint, and fitting closely round beneath the ankle. Fig. 2
represents the Irish brogue, a good serviceable foot covering. Elastic
sides do not stand hard wear in tropical heat, and therefore we use a
front lacing. We object to bluchers, because after some wear the flaps
of the quarters become loose, and bits of rotten stick or stiff grasses
frequently are forced in in walking. {African boots.} Most countries
have some form of shoe easily made from materials obtainable upon the
spot, and in Africa the "velschoen" of untanned leather is the general
wear. [Illustration] Sometimes these are very clumsily made, the naked
foot is planted on the piece of leather intended for the sole, and
the outline is marked out with the point of a knife, the blade being
held so far clear as to obviate all danger of cutting the foot, a plan
which certainly has the merit of making the shoe sufficiently roomy.
The thinner hide intended for the front is then laid on over the
instep, and the edges, being brought down, are cut even with those of
the sole; and, both being bored with an awl, are stitched through and
through with leather thongs, the quarters are then fitted on in the
same manner, and the only reason that the stitches do not wear out is
that the sole is so much wider than the foot, that no weight comes upon
the part in which the seam is made. A couple of holes in the front of
the quarters receive another thong which serves as a tie, and this,
being the only part that is in anyway tight, must considerably gall the

The hides of the giraffe, the eland, or the buffalo are used for soles,
and a piece large enough for a pair may generally be purchased for
eighteenpence. These are simply dried, and a native must be hired to
beat and soften them, working grease into them as he does so till they
become so soft and supple that, though they are not waterproof in the
sense of absolutely repelling the liquid, they may be wetted through
and dried again without becoming hard. Sometimes a native will do this
for a knife (value ninepence or a shilling) and the grease; but a sharp
look-out must be kept upon the latter, or he will rub it into his own
skin instead of that which he is employed to soften. An African can no
more be trusted with fat than many of our own countrymen with ardent

For the upper leather the hide of many of the larger antelopes will
do, but that of the "koodoo" is most universally esteemed, being
somewhat thicker than stout calf, and very soft and durable; that of
the wildebeeste is too hard and stout, and those of the springbok and
smaller antelopes too thin. This skin is also subjected to a long
preliminary rubbing and working in the hands of the natives, grease
being occasionally smeared on.

The preparation of a good-sized skin--such as that of a koodoo, or
of an ox, if it is to be softened so as to be fit for purposes where
lightness and pliability are required--is performed as follows. If the
hair is to be removed, the skin is wrapped up with the hair inward,
fresh cattle dung having been previously spread over it to keep it
moist, and if the party be not on a journey, it is buried for a day or
two, to "sweat" the hair off; but if the hair is to be retained, this
preliminary process is dispensed with. If the thickness of the hide is
to be reduced, it is then pegged out tightly upon the ground, with the
hair side downward, and the flesh, and as much of the inner side of the
skin as requisite, removed by scraping with the small, broad-edged,
soft iron blades set like adzes, across the handle, and used very much
in the manner of the scrapers, which so much disgust passengers on long
voyages when used upon the deck above their berths. The hide having
been still kept damp and soft by being covered with cattle dung, or
moist clay, is next taken in hand by half a dozen or more natives,
who, sitting around it and grasping each their handful of the edge,
compress and rub it in every possible direction, ever and anon driving
all their hands together towards the centre, and then simultaneously
falling back, stretching the skin to the utmost. Grease has to be
applied occasionally, and the skin, when put away for the night, must
be carefully rolled up and kept under moist earth till morning.

Most of the native tribes also have some species of mimosa, generally a
small variety, the bark and young roots of which they pound as fine as
possible in their wooden mortars, and, by rubbing in the powder during
the dressing of the skin, they partially tan it, and impart to it a
reddish brown colour.

{Shoemakers' wax.}

Before proceeding to make or repair boots or shoes, shoemakers' wax
will be required. It is a good plan to take a hornfull out from
England. The wax horn may be made from the horn of a common cow; fill
it with softened wax until nearly full, put in a wooden bottom, secure
it in its place by driving in three or four wire pins, and all is made
secure. When the wax is required for use, saw off the small end of the
horn far enough down to reach the contents. Apply heat to the exterior
until the wax runs out in sufficient quantity on a greased stone; take
up as much as is needed for use, work it into a ball, and put it to
swim in a little water. If you have to make your own wax proceed as
follows: Take 4oz. of resin, grind it to a fine powder between two
stones, 1/4oz. of beeswax chopped up small, and 2oz. of common pitch;
mix these substances with the resin, and place the whole in a small
native chatty pot. Then put the pot in a bed of hot wood ashes, and
with a long flat-pointed stick work and stir the mass about until
thoroughly melted; then add 3/4oz. of good clean fat, and keep the
whole in a state of solution for about a quarter of an hour or twenty
minutes. Grease the bottom of a calabash or bowl, half fill it with
cold water; take your pot off the fire with a twisted stick, and pour
the molten materials into the water. When cold enough to handle, grease
your hands, and work the wax about; pull it out into long strips,
double these back on themselves, and so proceed until all the materials
are well amalgamated; then work it out into a long stick or rod, take
a greased knife, and divide it up into pieces large enough to make
convenient-sized balls for use. These are best kept floating in water
until wanted.


In making a pair of shoes the mode usually adopted is that previously
described, and, by dint of patience and careful fitting, some persons
will make them very neatly and effectively in this manner; but, after
all, there is always an uncertainty as to their fitting properly, and
we found it much better to take the trouble in the first instance of
making a pair of lasts. For this purpose it is best to take the length
of the foot, its extreme breadth and height at the instep, and cut
two logs of tolerably hard even-grained wood (we used the sweet gum),
rather larger, and square them up to these dimensions--say, length
10in., breadth 3in., and height 4in., more or less. Then, placing the
foot upon a piece of soft ground, trace its outline, and then, holding
a board vertically against the inner side, trace off on this the
profile, and removing the foot trace also the outline of the print it
has made upon the ground. The inner side and the bottom of each block
ought to be nicely and truly squared up, even though, from scantiness
of wood or other causes, the other sides should not be so. Take all the
measurements for breadth from the straight line made by the edge of the
board upon the ground, and measure them from the inside edge, right
and left, upon the bottom of the blocks; draw the outline, and inside
it draw also the actual tread of the foot, measured in the same manner
from the impression on the ground. Then, measuring from the bottom of
the board, transfer the profile of the foot to the inside surface of
each block, and with axe or saw cut them to the outline of the heel and
instep, taking care not to attempt to round them till you have also cut
them to the outline of the breadth; then, having ascertained that all
your measurements are true, and that both lasts are of similar size
and form, begin to round them as nearly as possible to the natural
form of the foot, lowering them more on the outer side toward the small
toes than on the inner, where the line of the instep extends from the
ankle to the great toe; then, having ascertained the arch of the foot,
commence rounding away the edges of the sole from the inner line,
observing that in the waist of the foot the tread runs very nearly
along the outer edge, leaving nearly all the hollow to be cut away on
the inner side. Let the sole rise from the ground a little also under
the toes, as their pressure downward will make the shoe fit better, and
it will be less liable to catch small impediments in walking.

[Illustration: 1-3]

Bear in mind that in the natural foot the great toe is as nearly as
possible parallel to the straight line drawn along the inside of the
foot, and if it is forced from this position by ill-cut shoes, such
as some years ago were inappropriately called "straights," or by the
wearing of high heels, not only is the beauty of the foot sacrificed,
but its elasticity, its strength, and usefulness are materially
diminished. In Figs. 1, 2, and 3 we have represented the natural form
of the foot, distinguishing by the flat shadow the part that actually
touches the ground, and by a lighter outline along the hollow, that
which may be considered as the average limit of the sole. These are
one-fourth the natural size, and, by using inches for the quarter
inches in our drawings, the enlarged outlines will be a sufficient
guide in cutting the lasts, the average proportions of feet being very
nearly the same, though of course dimensions will vary. In Fig. 1 of
the next illustration we give the forms of sole that may be used. If
the ground is bad, and it is necessary to defend the foot against
thorns, sharp stones, &c., the outer lines may be adopted; but on
tolerably fair ground, it is only the actual tread that requires
protection from the sole. However, as the foot is constant in its size,
the smaller the sole is the larger must be the upper leather. Of this
last we have represented two forms. They are both shown, folded and
stitched, so as to be ready for lasting; but the smaller figures within
show the form of each part before it is folded.

  [Illustration: 1-3]

In Fig. 2 the whole upper is cut out from one piece, folded in the
centre of the front, and stitched at the heel. The edges should not be
cut off too close to the seam (otherwise neatness will be gained at the
expense of strength), and they should always be outside; for, if they
be turned in, it would be very difficult to flatten them so perfectly
as not to gall the heel. Tho front is split 2-1/2in. or 3in. down the
instep, and a piece of stout leather, with its edges thinned down, is
stitched on and pierced with holes to receive the lacing. It is split
not quite through, but about 1/2in. is left to strengthen the front
of the shoe, and prevent the thinner leather tearing. The edges in
which the holes are pierced are, of course, left the full thickness.
A tongue of soft leather ought to be stitched in, that the lacing may
not gall the instep, but the edges of this must be carefully thinned
down, and no knots or ends of thread should be left inside. The ends
may be fastened off very neatly without knots by merely taking one or
two stitches backward along the already finished seam, and even if the
fastening should show outside, it will still be better than that after
a long march the instep should be found chafed and bleeding, and a
sore established which will be very difficult to heal.

In Fig. 3 the front is in one piece and the quarter in another, and
this is a convenient arrangement when, though you may have plenty of
leather, it is not of sufficient size to cut the upper in a single
piece. Generally, the edge of the quarter is laid over that of the
front, and stitched, leaving the upper part loose as a flap or ear to
receive the tie or lacing. In this case, the centre of the front is
left long enough to come up as a tongue to defend the instep, but this
method has the disadvantage of leaving a space on either side the foot,
opening forward as in the case of bluchers, and liable to receive in
walking broken sticks, reeds, or grass stems, which are often forced
in with considerable violence. We, therefore, prefer to stitch the
front edge over that of the quarter, inserting a tongue as neatly as
possible, and stitching on, as before, edgings of stiff leather to
receive the lacing, taking care, also, that all edges inside the shoe
are trimmed off to nothing, and that no fastenings off are made inside.

All these should be sewn with "saddlers' seams"--that is, the two
parts should be laid together, and holes being pierced with a fine
straight awl, the two threads should be passed through from right and
left simultaneously, and drawn tight with an equally firm pull on
either hand. The seam will thus show no difference on either of the
sides; but, if a section were made, it would present the appearance of
a chain, as in Fig. 5 of the engraving on p. 421, each link inclosing
the thickness of leather left between the holes. Although the threads
should be tightened with a firm hand, they should not be hauled upon so
as unduly to contract the leather, and so make the seam grip the foot
like a cord when the shoe is finished.

The dorsal sinews of the springbok, or the domestic goat, separated
into fibre of the proper size, will answer very well for this purpose,
the points being cut sharp, wetted, and twisted a little, will be quite
rigid enough to pass through the holes previously bored; but while we
have a stock of good whity-grey thread, we prefer to use it doubled and
well waxed, in a couple of stout tailor's needles, always, however,
boring the holes with a fine awl to insure regularity.


A pair of clamps are necessary to hold the work, as both hands are
employed in sewing. They may be made of two staves of a powder barrel,
or an American flour cask, or any other light elastic boards that can
be made to curve inward, and grip with a fair edge with tolerable
firmness. These are held between the knees, so that the work may be in
a convenient position for eye and hand. If barrel staves cannot be had,
two small bits of plank, with fair edges, may be fitted in the smith's
vice. A young sapling, 2in. or 3in. thick, may be cut off about 30in.
from its root, and the stump slit down with a sharp axe, the edges
being trimmed off thin and fair; or the boat nippers described at p.
129 may be pressed into service.



The orthodox material for sewing on the sole is, of course, the waxed
thread, made by taking from three to six or eight thicknesses of the
flax sold in balls for that purpose, twisting them loosely together,
and waxing them with the mixture before described. The ends of the
threads are thinned to a fine point, and, a bristle being split part
of its length, the fine end of the thread is laid between the parts,
and then rolled several times round both of them; and the fastening
is made by opening the strands of the thread, and passing the perfect
end of the bristle through them. It is much more easy to do this than
to describe it, and in five minutes' practice almost anyone ought to
be able to learn it. We prefer, however, fine "reimpjies," or thongs,
rather less than 1/8in. broad, cut from the skin of a steinbok, and
nicely rubbed up, stretched, and smoothed. The points of these cut
sharp, wetted a little, twisted, and allowed to dry, will be quite fine
and hard enough to be passed through the awl holes; but we have upon
occasion taken a bit of fine brass rabbit wire, and passing it through
a hole in the end of the thong, as far as the middle have doubled the
two ends together, and twisted them into one, to obtain a more rigid

  [Illustration: 1-5]

  [Illustration: A-C]


Of the several methods of stitching, the simplest, as has been
mentioned, is to lay the edges of the sole and upper leather together,
and stitch them through and through (Fig. 1). In this case, however,
either the thread appears outside, and is exposed to be chafed upon
the ground, or the sole itself must be cut so as to let the stitches
in, and sometimes a cut is made in the edge of the sole, as in Fig. 2,
but this has by no means a neat and finished appearance. Some of the
Dutch farmers use what is called the "binnen naaid," or inside seam.
This is made by turning the edge of the upper leather (Fig. 4) in upon
the sole (Fig. 3), and sewing it with a kind of backstitch, which will
be better understood by reference to the figure than by description.
It must be begun in the waist of the foot and worked round the front
to the other side. The heel is finished last of all, as, when the shoe
is once closed, the fore parts of it could not be reached. This seam
is very neat, but a last cannot be used in making it. The plan we
adopted is that used by shoemakers for pumps or single soled shoes,
and we believe this to be the easiest, the neatest, and, at the same
time, the most durable. The sole (Fig. 1) is cut with the heel toward
the thickest part (if there be any difference) of the leather, and if
greater thickness is required, another piece (Fig. 2) should be cut to
the shape of the heel and thinned away to nothing in front, as it must
be placed on the inside of the true sole, and a thick edge would of
course give pain to the foot. A small groove or channel (Fig. 3), just
deep enough to bury the stitches, should be cut about 1/2in. from the
edge upon the upper surface, and a similar one (Fig. 3_a_) in the edge
of the true sole; then, the holes being pierced with a curved awl, the
two parts should be firmly sewn together. Fig. 4 represents the channel
cut all round the sole and heel for stitching on the upper leather, and
Fig. 5 the bevelled edge against which the upper leather is laid. B
is a sectional view, with all the parts similarly numbered, the upper
leather being stitched on; and C another with the upper stitched and
turned into its proper position when the shoe is finished. The sole,
with its inside uppermost, must then be laid upon its proper last,
and tacked to it with nails or pegs that will easily draw out when no
longer required, and care must be taken that the waist fits well down
into the hollow of the last. The edge must then be bevelled off, at
an angle of 45° all round, reducing its apparent thickness by about
one-half. In very fine work the edge is thinned down almost to nothing
in the waist, but is left nearly of its full thickness in the heel.
The object of this, however, is to present an inclined surface for the
upper leather to rest against and be stitched to.

The upper is then turned inside out, and placed upon the last; its
height at the heel, at the sides, and on the instep, is measured, and
these points are first secured by small tacks, driven about half in, so
that they can be withdrawn when no longer wanted. The edges are then
drawn tightly over the edges of the sole, and tacked to it, beginning
at the toe and proceeding equally along the sides as far as the
beginning of the heel. The last is then taken, with the sole upward,
between the knees, where it may be confined by a strap long enough to
pass round the feet; holes are pierced with a sharp curved awl, through
the upper leather, and the bevelled edge of the sole, to the channel
previously cut. The thread or thong of steinbok hide, being pointed
at both ends, is drawn as far as its middle through the first hole,
the two ends are passed simultaneously from right and left through
each successive one, and the seam, commencing from the fore part of
the heel on one side, goes forward round the toe, until it comes as
far back on the other side. In commencing the sewing of the heel, if
an inner thickening piece has been put on, care must be taken that in
front, where it is yet thin, the stitches take up also a portion of
the thickness of the true sole, and do not depend only on the inner
heel, until they have passed the end of the seam that connects the two
thicknesses together. If the stitches of the connecting seam have been
set far enough into the substance of the leather, there will be no
danger of cutting them in boring the holes for sewing on the upper.


In fastening off, take two stitches back upon the seam, and a hole may
be bored through one part of the thong to pass the end of the other
through, but no knots must be made; inside they would gall the feet,
and outside they would look clumsy and unworkmanlike. Our sketch will
sufficiently illustrate the foregoing description. Fig. 1A is
the sole; Fig. 4, the channel and stitching; Fig. 4_a_, the stitching
seen through the upper leather, and D the last; B shows the relative
position of the parts when the shoe is taken off the last, and turned
ready for use. No inner sole or lining is needed, for the leather
itself is softened sufficiently in the native processes. We generally
preferred to turn the outer side, or that from which the hair had been
stripped, inward, as it was smoother to the foot; and besides this, if
left outside, would soon have looked shabby from contact with grass
or thorns, whereas the inner or fleshy side would suffer no change of
appearance by casual abrasion.

The shoe first finished should be kept in a cool moist place, and not
suffered to dry till both are done, when they should be taken off the
lasts, turned right side outward, and each put upon the last on which
the other was made, and allowed to dry, a very little fat being rubbed
upon them, that it may be absorbed as the water dries out, to prevent
their becoming hard.

In one pair of shoes thus made, with soles of buffalo hide and koodoo
uppers, we have performed three journeys of eighty miles each, with
quite enough intermediate walking to make up the 300.

It may be thought that we have insisted too much on the lightness and
pliability of foot gear, but it must be remembered that we now speak of
what, under particular conditions, we have found useful. A change of
circumstances might render large and heavy boots an absolute necessity.
The American Indian wears the lightest possible mocassin; the South
African, when he comes near his game, takes off his sandals, that he
may step as noiselessly as a cat. The European hunter will do well to
follow their example as closely as he can, and whatever the form of
the foot gear he adopts may be, let it be light and flexible enough to
walk, jump, climb, or run with facility.



The principle of the mocassin appears to be that in almost universal
use among all the Esquimaux and North American Indians, the leading
difference in form of construction being that the former usually carry
the upper leather up over the leg to form a species of boot, whilst the
latter covers the foot only with the mocassin. Unlike the shoes we have
described, the Indian mocassin has far more sole than upper leather, as
the so-called sole extends up over the sides, front, and heel, to be
united with the border leather and front flap by a gathering seam. When
about to undertake a journey over very hard or rough ground, a sort of
supplementary sole of green hide, with the hair left on the outside,
is not unfrequently put on. The leather used in the manufacture of the
best and softest description of mocassins requires an immense deal of
rubbing, dressing, and manipulation; that used by the Esquimaux tribes
is chewed by the women until beautifully supple and pliant. Different
tribes of Indians adopt different styles or fashions in the cut and
finish of their foot gear, as shown in the illustration on p. 424,
which represents the mocassins of distinct tribes; thus it is by no
means difficult to detect attempted imposition by closely investigating
the foot coverings of a spy or secret enemy.


{Makeshift foot coverings.}

Various makeshift foot coverings are used by different nations. Some
of the bushmen and half-civilised Hottentots, when they have killed
an animal of suitable size, such as a buffalo, quagga, or any of the
larger antelopes, will cut the skin all round above and below the
hough, and, having stripped it off, will draw it upon their own foot,
so that the heel comes where the hough of the animal used to be; the
toe is then closed with a few stitches, a slit for a small tie or
lacing is made on the instep, and, by walking in it before it dries or
hardens, it is trodden into the shape of the foot. We have chosen the
quagga skin for our illustration because the stripes help to identify
the parts used for the hough-skin shoe; but it is, perhaps, the least
eligible for the purpose, as it dries so hard and rigid that it must be
very unpleasant wear. The North American Indians use the hough-skin of
the moose in the same manner.

The peasantry and brigands of Calabria and many other portions of the
South of Europe, wear a very simple and useful kind of makeshift shoe.
A piece of soft hide is cut to several sizes larger than the foot, a
number of points or corners are allowed to remain along the edges, the
foot, after being well swathed in bandages, is placed on the piece of
hide, which is then gathered up round the foot by looping and knotting
a long strip of cotton cloth or tape forward and back to the corners of
the hide until all is secure and compact, as shown in the illustration
on next page (Fig. 2).

The old Highland caterans shod themselves in much the same manner. We
have seen the Crim-Tartars make excellent winter foot coverings from
sheepskin, with the wool inwards (Fig. 1). This was cut much after
the Calabrian plan, but the corners, after having slits made in them,
were looped to short flat leather straps, which, when crossed forward
and back over the front, were laced together with a long narrow thong
of sheepskin, which served to hold a wider piece of wool-covered skin
in place, as a sort of gaiter. They also make a summer shoe from soft
tanned hide, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4.

  [Illustration: 1-4]

Most of the African tribes find the skin of their sole sufficiently
hard for their ordinary and daily walks, but when they expect to make
long marches they invariably use some sort of artificial protection;
and there is no surer sign on the frontier of the Cape Colony that the
Kafirs intend to make war than to see among them a general preparation
of velschoens or sandals; and often the cattle farmers on the frontier
have been thus forewarned, while the Government authorities, deceived
by plausible excuses, have imagined there was every prospect of a
continued peace.

Various forms of sandal are in use among different tribes, but those
used by the Bechuana (Fig. 1, next page) may be taken as a sufficiently
useful type. The leather is sometimes rendered slightly pliable by
being pounded and beaten, but very often not. The foot is planted on
it, and the outline drawn, the sole being cut somewhat larger than this.

Two slits are made, one on each side the hollow of the foot, and the
two ends of a piece of hide are passed up through them, as shown in
Fig. 2; and in each end of this are cut two slits, as seen in Figs. 1,
2, 3, for the two parts of a thong of dressed hide to pass through.


The ends of this are passed through another piece which goes down
between the great toe and the next, then passes through the sole, and
is fastened sometimes by being returned through two other holes, and
the divided ends passed through a hole bored "in their own parts," as
in Fig. 4, and sometimes by being simply returned only once in the
manner shown in Fig. 3, which represents the very simple arrangement
for tightening the side straps; in fact, a thong of hide, with several
holes bored in it for its own end to pass through, may be lengthened or
shortened up as conveniently as a strap and buckle, the sandal being
put on or off simply by drawing the loop of the thong over the heel in
the same manner as a low shoe.


The Damaras wear sandals with the toe and heel pointed, and elongated
2in. or 3in. beyond the foot, like a small snow shoe; this saves the
toes from contact with small thorns, and they often strap on greaves of
stiff hide to protect the shins.


In Timor, we purchased two or three pairs of palm-leaf sandals, very
nicely woven; these last very well for a few hours' walking, and, being
very cheap, may be renewed as often as requisite. On some of the
pilgrim roads in India, the poorer travellers seldom provide sandals
for themselves, but pick up those that are thrown away half worn by the
more luxurious.


Small rope, not more than 1/2in. in diameter, makes a good sole, and by
thinning one end, and beginning by bending this just before the hollow
of the foot, then coiling it six or seven times round, and finishing
off on the inside of the foot, so as to leave the front two turns wider
than the heel, a very fairly shaped sole may be made; this may be
fitted either with thongs as a sandal, or as a slipper with a canvas
upper. The Malays wear a wooden sole, the heel and tread of which are
about 2in. thick; it is held to the foot simply by a peg, with a knob
or button on the top, which is taken between the great toe and the
next, and thus held on or dropped off at pleasure; this is, in fact,
much the same that is worn by the Turks, Japanese, and Persians, only
that they use a leather strap instead of a button.

{Sabots and socks.}

Sabots are, at times, extremely useful; they can be made from any light
soft wood, such as withy, willow, poplar, or cotton wood (_Populus
tremuloides_). Cut two blocks from a log with the axe, fashion them
roughly into the form of a high shoe, and then, with a mallet and
sharp gouge, proceed to hollow them out to the requisite capacity and
thinness, when the outsides may be finished off with the spokeshave.
Socks formed of sheepskin, with the wool on, add much to the comfort
of the wearer. The Russian soldiers, before Sebastopol, made excellent
socks or false soles from plaited straw; these were worn inside their
long boots, and served to preserve the feet from damp; no stockings
were worn with them. An excellent description of sabot was forwarded to
us during the Crimean war for use in camp; the sole was of light wood,
the upper leather was like that of a high shoe, and the lining of thick
felt. The leather and wood were connected round the edges by the use of
a row of small flat headed tacks, much like those used in making a pair
of bellows. No description of foot gear we have ever seen equals these
felt-lined sabots for use during tent life. In Chinese Tartary a sort
of boot composed of thick felt is worn over both stocking and shoe.
When camping in or travelling through tropical countries, never omit
turning your boots or shoes upside down, and rapping the soles sharply
before venturing to put them on, as scorpions, centipedes, and other
unwelcome intruders, are particularly fond of taking shelter in such
convenient retreats. We have found it an excellent plan, when boots
or shoes of native leather get thoroughly water soaked, to fill them
tightly with any kind of grain; the moisture is absorbed rapidly by it,
and the leather is prevented from shrinking by the expansion of the

{Dubbin, to make.}

It is well to keep a good-sized pot or canister of dubbin for your
English boots and shoes. This is best made as follows:--Take of oil,
obtained by boiling ox feet, half a pint; beeswax, 1oz.; spirits of
turpentine, 1oz.; Burgundy pitch, 1/2oz.; resin, 1/2oz. Mix all the
ingredients, except the spirits of turpentine, together in a chatty,
and melt them over the embers of the camp fire until thoroughly
dissolved; then remove the pot from the fire, pour in the spirits of
turpentine, and stir the whole with a piece of lath until cold. To
apply the dubbin properly, the boot or shoe must be held to the fire
until warm, when every part of it, sole, heel, and upper, may receive a
thorough dressing over, and subsequent rubbing. This not only preserves
the leather from the effects of hot sun and wet ground, but prevents
the white ants, cockroaches, and other devouring insects from eating it.

One of our naval friends, who was an ardent naturalist, had a pair of
French wooden shoes, which he found a great protection while wading
among sharp rocks in search of specimens, where india-rubber boots
would have been cut and become leaky. A perfectly waterproof boot or
garment of any kind is an excellent thing, but an imperfect one is
worse than useless; and for wading after specimens or working in the
water, if it is not convenient to be naked, a pair of wooden clogs,
with a flannel shirt and drawers, and a straw hat or Tam o' Shanter
bonnet, is as good an equipment as any.

{India-rubber boots, to mend.}

We have before spoken of india-rubber wading boots, which, to be of
value, should be of first-class quality and finish. It will sometimes
happen that, notwithstanding all the precautions you may take to guard
them from injury, that sharp-pointed sticks, thorns, &c., will make
holes in them large enough to admit water. In order to enable you to
repair these injuries when they occur, it will be well to purchase
from the maker of the boots a good supply of sheet india-rubber. Get
also from a chemist a bottle of coal-tar naphtha fitted with a glass
stopper. When about to mend your boots, take a sharp knife or pair of
scissors, and snip or cut up about 2oz. of the india-rubber sheet.
The cut pieces should not be larger than good-sized buck-shot. Put
these into a wide-mouthed bottle, such as is used for gum; now pour
in enough naphtha to cover the rubber; put in the cork, and let the
mixture stand for a few hours to soak; then shake the bottle, turn it
upside down, and rattle it from side to side; repeat this process from
time to time until the rubber is thoroughly dissolved in the naphtha,
which it will be in about three days. Should it become sticky and
thick, pour in a little more naphtha and shake it about until of a
convenient consistency for use. Now cut a patch from the sheet rubber,
large enough to extend well beyond the margin of the hole; give both
the patch and the surface to which it is to be applied a good coating
of the rubber varnish; lay on the patch; press it well home; place
a flat board in the boot under the patch, and another board on the
outside over it, so as to nip both patch and boot between them; lay a
heavy stone or other weight on the outside board, and let the whole
arrangement remain until the varnish is dry and the union between the
parts complete. If the hole is in the leg of your boot, turn it inside
out until the injured spot is reached and the patch is seen through the
hole. Proceed now with the inside exactly as you did with the outside,
when the mend will be complete. If the hole is in the foot of the boot,
use only the single patch attached to the outside.

{Sore feet.}

When the sole of a shoe has once been soaked with salt water, it
always retains dampness, and cannot again be worn with comfort or
pleasure. India-rubber shoes cannot be worn in warm countries either
alone or over the ordinary shoes, unless they are cut low and open,
and even then the lengthened use of them is inconvenient and painful.
It not unfrequently happens that the feet of those not thoroughly
accustomed to hard tramping will become blistered. When the eggs of
either poultry or wild birds are to be obtained, it is a good plan
to break one or two, according to their size, into each shoe before
starting in the morning; or, if you have any spirit, put a little in
a cup or dish, place a lump of tallow on a flat stick, and hold a
hot brand over it until the fat melts and runs into the spirit. The
ointment thus prepared may now be taken from the spirit and applied
thickly to the sore surfaces and bottoms of the stockings. When large
bladders form, take one of your needles and draw a piece of soft
worsted or woollen thread, obtained by unravelling a bit of old shirt,
directly through the bladders. This acts as a seton, and causes the
fluid to freely discharge itself.

                              CHAPTER IX.


The wheeled carriages made use of in different parts of the world
are even more various in their design and construction than the
sledges before described; and, as a general rule, it will be found,
when the test of actual use is brought to bear, that the description
of contrivance (or at least a modification of it) in use among the
civilised and semi-civilised inhabitants of a country or colony will
be best adapted for such work as may have to be performed in it by
the traveller or explorer. It is, however, difficult to overcome home
prejudices, and, as an almost invariable rule, the British emigrant,
on his arrival at the Cape of Good Hope or Australia, commences
by denouncing the colonial waggon as clumsy, unworkmanlike, and
inefficient, and usually threatens to effect immense improvements, and
just as invariably, if he has to make a journey of any distance into
the interior, he adopts, if he be a sensible man, the vehicle which,
by the experience of many, has been found the best for the work it has
to do. On the well-made roads near Cape Town or Port Elizabeth, or on
the broad plains of the Orange River Free State, imported carriages
from England, or vehicles upon their model by colonial builders, may
be used with safety and advantage; and even some of those wondrous
combinations of strength and lightness imported from America, under the
names of spider or skeleton carriages, are found to do good service;
but when really hard work comes on, and densely wooded kloofs or rugged
mountain passes, with rough stretches of road over hill-side or valley,
with fords in which stones of several hundred weight seem to lose
their gravitation and become the mere playthings of the torrent, the
ponderous Cape waggon will be at once appreciated, as all its parts
are so strongly put together that the strain of twelve or twenty oxen
cannot draw them asunder, and yet fitted so loosely that they will
give and bend to every inequality of the road. The Cape waggon is found
to hold its position against all rivals as the vehicle best adapted to
the wants of a travelling or exploring party, and the exigencies of the
transport service and general carrying trade of the country.

We have already, at pp. 60 and 61, given an example of a Cape waggon
with side tents; at pp. 129-132, we have shown how the tent frame or
other material of a waggon might be converted into a boat; at pp.
140-144, we have indicated the manner in which the waggon chests might
be made available as a raft; at pp. 215-219 will be found diagrams
and instructions for repairing axles, fore tongs, dissel-booms,
strengthening wheels when the spokes are shaken loose, tightening up
the tires by driving wedges between them and the felloes, or making
and putting in new spokes without taking the wheel to pieces; at pp.
195-197 are remarks on tiring of wheels and prolonging the efficiency
of strained bolts by shifting them so as to freshen the nip; at pp. 297
and 298 waggon camps are described; and the method of building wheels
is given at pp. 366-372.

  [Illustration: CAPE WAGGON (WITH DIAGRAMS).]

{Cape waggon.}

It is, therefore, now only necessary to give a general view of a
full-sized "kap-tented" travelling waggon, with diagrams of such parts
as have not hitherto come under notice. Such a waggon is represented in
Fig. 1, and the buik plank, or floor (_a_), will sometimes be 17ft. or
more in length, though in moderate-sized vehicles it does not exceed
13ft., or thereabouts. The sides are generally of yellow wood (3/8in.
plank), _b_, secured to a substantial ladder-like frame, the longer
pieces of which (_c_) are called "leer boomen," or ladder trees. The
sides and bottom are not fastened together, nor are they fastened to
the understell or carriage, but the bottom plank is simply laid upon
the schammels (_d_) and secured from moving by cleats (_e_), which
grip the after one. The fore and hinder axles are connected by a stout
beam, called the "lang wagen" (_f_), working freely on a pivot passing
through the aftermost jaws of the fore tong (_g_), and strengthened
by a bar of iron (_h_), called the iron "lang wagen." The dissel-boom
works like a carriage pole in the foremost jaws of the "fore tong."
In this tong, also, immediately behind the axle, is a stout ring-bolt
(_i_), to which are attached the drag chains, and they, with the
reim schoen and the tar bucket, are looped up to hooks, fixed at the
attachment of the after tongs (_j_) with the lang wagen. To the back
of the after axle is suspended a kind of framework, called the "trap"
(_k_), for the reception of pots, kettles, and general lumber. Into
the ends of the schammels are set rungs, or stancheons (_l_), which
confine and support the waggon sides. Fig. 2 shows the arrangement of
the carriage, clear of the wheels and top hamper. All the parts are
distinguished by the same letters. Fig. 3 shows how the buik plank
(_a_) is laid upon the after schammel (_d_), and kept from shifting by
the clamps (_e_); it will be seen that there is room enough between it
and the rungs (_l_) for the sides (_b_), and these are kept apart at
the after part by the after bar (_m_), as well as by the after chest
(_n_), and in front by the fore chest only, leaving, in the present
instance, a space available for stowage of rather more than 11ft. long,
3ft. wide, and 3ft. in height; though frequently the cargo is piled
much higher. The kadel, or bed, an oblong frame (_o_, p. 216), with a
netting of raw hide thongs, is then either slung above the cargo to the
stancheons of the tent, or laid upon spars placed across the waggon,
with their ends resting on the top rail or leer boom (_c_). The tent
frame should be first covered with reed matting, similar to a cheese
mat, and often obtainable from the Hottentots. Above this should be the
under sail, which is very often painted to render it waterproof, though
for durability we prefer to have it of stout unpainted No. 1 canvas,
and above this is drawn on the upper sail. In the case of a kap-tent,
this is sometimes in three or more pieces; first, the roof; then the
sides, which are tacked on under a neat border at its edges; and,
lastly, the fore and after klaps or curtains. Sometimes, however, the
whole of these parts are made in one. The central breadths of canvas
are left 5ft. or 6ft. longer at each end, so as to serve for the fore
and after curtains, and the sides are stitched to the roof, so that
the whole may be put on or taken off in one piece. The edges are then
either buttoned to brass studs along the leer boom, or tied down with
thongs of koodoo hide, stitched on for the purpose. A couple of bamboos
or forked sticks are lashed to the foremost and aftermost stancheons of
the tent frame, to serve as "nicks" in which to lay the waggon whip,
which is a well-selected straight-grown "vaderlandsche" (male bamboo),
from 10ft. to 15ft. in length, with a lash of about 20ft., as thick
in the middle as the little finger, and with a "voorslag," or lash of
koodoo hide, about 4ft. or 5ft. more. This, in the hands of a practised
driver, is a most formidable weapon. Any particular ox in the long team
of twelve or fourteen may be gently filliped in any part, or have the
whip cracked next to his ear as a reminder, or if he show stubbornness
or obstinacy, a cloud of hair may be cut from his sides from hip to
shoulder, or each successive stroke of the long voorslag may be made to
draw blood, until he goes to his duty.

The side chests are supported on stout bars (_o_), which cross beneath
the bottom of the waggon, projecting 1ft. or 16in. beyond its sides,
and these, besides being bolted to the bottom planks, are generally
lashed tightly to the top rail by reims of raw hide (_p_), which serve
to keep the bottom from bending too much with the weight of the cargo,
and help still further to bind the waggon together. On open colonial
roads, the side chests are generally rectangular, but we have seen them
on the waggons of elephant hunters, brought to a sharp point forward,
because, in passing through a thickly-wooded country, trees or stumps
would knock off in passing the corners of a rectangular chest. We
think, for economy of room, a long chest, tapered at both ends, as
shown in our sketch, might be adopted; and if there were a probability
of the waggon chests being required for a boat, as described at pp.
140-144, this might be made in two lengths, as we have shown it, so
that the ends would serve for the respective ends of the boat or raft.
They would be secured either by bolts and nuts, or by lashings of hide
to the cross-bars and to the stancheons of the waggon sides. Padlocks
and hasps are generally used, but a very stout branch may tear them
off. Rim locks would be better, were it not that the same cause might
disarrange the set of the lid, and prevent its fitting properly. A
couple of stout knees and chocks should be screwed or bolted on to the
after part of the floor for the water cask to rest in, and this should
be securely lashed, and never allowed to stand or travel without at
least a day's water in it, both to keep it from shrinking and leakage,
and also as a prevention against any unexpected emergency or failure of

Fig. 4 is a plan of as much as is necessary to show of the "under
stell," or carriage. The same letters are attached to the parts. The
junction of the two bars (_j_) of the after tong with the "lang wagen"
is shown more distinctly. _p_ is the head of the schammel bolt or perch
bolt, which passes down through the schammel and axle, allowing the
latter to turn freely. The top of the schammel is seen partly hiding
the arms of the axle, underneath it; in its ends are the mortices for
the rungs. _q_ is the lifter, composed of two parts--the "legter voet,"
or upright, with two mortices, corresponding to the height of the fore
and after axles--and the "legter hout," or lever, which is passed
through the required mortice and forelocked by an iron pin. The shorter
end is generally armed with one or more iron studs, to keep it from
slipping; the longer end is tapered and rounded just so as to be easily
grasped. Sometimes, when iron reim shoes are not to be had, or are worn
out, a log of wood is roughly shaped and slightly hollowed (_r_) to
receive the tire of the wheel, and, instead of chain, is attached to
the fore tong by a stout hide rope. A short end is also left near the
reim schoen, to hook round the felloe of the wheel.


For rough work, such as carrying stones or packages of unhandy form or
dimensions, a "buik waggon" is very convenient. In this the regular
lang wagen is released from the fore tong, and either replaced by
a rough beam of any required length, or the beam is simply lashed
under the original lang wagen, and its end is trimmed down so as to
be inserted into the jaws of the fore tong; but as the bolt might
probably split and draw out from the unprotected wood, the drag chains
should be led aft from the ring-bolt, and hooked on as tightly as
possible to the after axle, a turn or two being taken, if they are too
long, round both the lang wagen and the pole by which it is lengthened.
They may be set up tight by using reims of raw hide as lanyards.

The sides consist of a couple of stout planks set on edge--a couple
of 21ft. deals for instance. Cross-bars are lashed under these at
intervals, to keep the bottom from sagging.


{Extemporary waggon.}

A durable and convenient form of waggon can be extemporised in any
wild country where wood and raw hides are procurable by proceeding
as follows: First from dead, but sound, trees, or seasoned wood (see
"Wood, to season"), fashion the pieces for your waggon bed frame, as
shown in the illustration below. Both the fore and hind axle trees are
composed of two pieces of wood matched so as to lay evenly on each
other. On the surface of contact of each piece-half holes are cut
for the admission of the pole (A), prong piece (B), and cross prong
ends (C). The perch bolt (D) should be an iron pin, but may be a hard
wood treenail. Either lashings of raw hide or treenails may be used
for securing the upper and lower axle pieces to each other. The lower
piece of wood, or axle bar, should be composed of some hard dense, yet
tough, wood, as the axles have to be formed from it. The butt end of
the prong piece (E) is so adjusted as to travel forward and backward on
the pole, thus lengthening or shortening the body of the waggon. There
are two methods by which the regulation of the prong piece is effected.
One is to have a train of holes in the pole and one hole in the butt
end of the prong piece for a pin to pass through, which being driven
down through one of the holes in the pole holds it at that length. We,
however, prefer hollowing out the lower surface of the prong-piece butt
with a gouge until it fits on the pole after the manner of a hollow
slide or rider. This we lash fast to the pole with a long strip of raw
hide, taking several turns both before and behind the joint. The prong
piece must be cut from a natural fork of suitable size and length. The
butt end should be left at least 18in. long, in order that sufficient
bearing surface may be left to rest on the pole under the hide lashing.
By adopting this mode of regulating the movements of the prong, a pole
of moderate and convenient size may be used without fear of breakage. A
very stout pole is required for the pin plan, as the auger holes bored
through it tend greatly to decrease its strength. The four upright
posts (F, F, F, F) are fitted into four square holes chiselled out in
the upper axle piece for the purpose of receiving them; and they serve
to secure the planks, hurdles, wattle work, or poles forming the sides
of the waggon.

Directions for building and fitting wheels have been given in a former
portion of our work; and we need therefore only repeat that slices
cut from suitable-sized log ends form very fair makeshift wheels (see
p. 366); but care should be taken, if native carts are used in the
region where the makeshift waggon is building, to ascertain the gauge
at which their wheels are set and regulate yours accordingly, or the
wheel tracks on these trails will not match with yours, and so cause
strains and breakages. The adjustment of the contrivance just described
will entirely depend on the purpose for which it is from time to time
required. For the conveyance of the packs and baggage of a large party
it may be drawn out to its full length, as shown in the illustration
(p. 440), leaving only pole enough for the attachment of draught
animals. By bringing the prong piece farther back a short four-wheeled
waggon can be formed, and by slipping the fore axle and prong over the
end of the pole you leave the perch and hinder axle to be used as a
two-wheeled cart, whilst an extra pole fitted to the first axle and
prong makes a second pair-wheeled cart just as handy as the other.
Should there be but two available draught animals for the two carts,
shafts can be used instead of poles. These are easily made by lashing
on poles with raw hide, or cutting wide prong-shaped branches which
spread out wide at the butt, which must be left long enough to fit into
the pole hole of the axle piece, when, if cut with a good curve, these
shafts will somewhat resemble those of a Hansom cab. Acting somewhat on
this principle, the Californian teamsters make use at times of a sort
of train waggon, which, with a powerful mule team, is, over favourable
ground, worked entire; but when the vicissitudes of travel require it,
they work each separate compartment of the waggon just as we should an
ordinary cart.


{Cape wine waggon.}

About the year 1842, we were accustomed to see the primitive wine
waggon of the Cape Colony toiling over the dreary waste of shifting
sands known as the Cape Flats. Its wheels were large and broad, the
hinder ones being often 7ft. in diameter. The fore and after carriages
were connected by a long fir pole, and the sides and bottom were
formed of six or eight trees of the same kind, so arranged as to form
a convenient bed for two or three beakers of wine. At the hinder end
would be a tent and sides of wattled work, or perhaps the sides of an
ordinary waggon, with the tent attached, would be fitted temporarily
on, so as to form a place of shelter for the owner and his family. It
was generally drawn by twenty or twenty-two oxen.

The illustration on p. 440 represents one of these wine waggons; and,
as it may so happen that the lot of the settler may be cast in regions
resembling the district we have just spoken of, it may be well that he
should know how to construct a conveyance of this kind, as the fore
part of the waggon affords ample space for stowing away barrels or
bales. As will be seen, on reference to the illustration, the length of
the waggon can, like that before described, be regulated according to
the requirements of the owner.


{Indian gharrie.}

The illustration below represents a vehicle in which we performed some
very rough travelling through Central India. Its cover, or tent, was
composed of painted cotton cloth stretched over bamboo hoops and nailed
to the framework. On the bottom, or bed, of our conveyance we placed
a stout matress stuffed with cotton. Our rifles, guns, water barrel,
and revolvers hung in pouches against the inside of the waggon tent.
The door was at the rear. The windows had curtains fitted to them. The
bullock teams varied in strength from one pair to three, according to
the character of the country travelled through. Conveyances much like
this in construction, and of admirable quality, are manufactured at
Ahmednugger, in the Bombay Presidency. When travelling in this vehicle
our heavy baggage followed in two hackeries, or country carts, each
drawn by two pairs of bullocks. These hackeries, like the arobas of
the Tartars, merely consist of an axle, a pair of rough strong wheels,
a pole, and number of odd poles, sticks, and pieces of board bound
together with hide. Our men were much puzzled in Crim-Tartary when we
overtook, on the only road leading from passes perfectly impracticable
for wheeled carriages, several of the bullock arobas of the country
laden with bales of skins and bags of grain. The Tartars had simply
taken their arobas to pieces by casting off the hide lashings, packed
the bullocks, themselves, and their wolfish-looking dogs, with the
divided loads and waggon gear, marched over the passes, and then put
the whole affair in travelling trim again. With our horses and packed
mules we had no such difficulty to contend against. Much like these
in construction is the single-ox cart of Red River. In this the ox
is harnessed very much as a horse would be, working between a pair
of ordinary shafts. Each driver conducts his own train, which may
consist of a dozen carts. The oxen are driven with a long-handled,
heavy-thonged whip, which is a sort of compromise between the whip of
a Cape waggoner and that of an Australian stock-man. Each of these
primitive carts is capable of transporting about 9cwt. of buffalo flesh
and hides from the hunting grounds to the depôt of the hunters.


{Horse and mule waggons.}

Horse and mule waggons and carts vary so much in construction according
to the nature of the country they are used in, and to the purpose
for which they are intended, that it would be impossible to describe
one-tenth of their number. The mode of harnessing, too, differs in
almost every country. Whilst we, in England, usually content ourselves
with a team harnessed in pairs, the Russians not unfrequently work
three and four a-breast. The Spanish and Portuguese race, in their
devious wanderings about the world, have taken the enormously high
wheel of the Peninsula with them, and delight to see a big-booted
postilion, black or white, acting as pilot to the lumbering old-world
conveyance they journey in. Scarcely any two artillery services in
the world correspond in their draught arrangement--some making use of
the pole, whilst others, England amongst the number, use the shafts.
Our province being to deal more particularly with vehicles calculated
to bear the rough usage and vicissitudes of travel, we naturally turn
to vastly extensive countries--where long journeys over hill, plain,
and valley are commonly performed--for the best form of waggon to do
it with. Experience in these matters is always the best guide. The
constant demand almost invariably brings about the required supply. We
have no long waggon journeys in England; and, as neither the artillery
or military train waggon of this country, nor the "equipage militaire"
of France, is in accordance with our notions of what travellers' mule
waggons should be, we go a little farther a-field, and select the
Wilson waggon of the United States of America, the subject of the
full-page illustration. The American mode of harnessing is also shown.
All these waggons have wheel friction breaks fitted to them, as had all
the Sardinian waggons used during the Crimean war.

{Wheel drags.}

In travelling over rough passes and steep acclivities great attention
should be paid to the application of proper break power to the wheels.
The use of the skid and common drag-chain are too well known to need
comment here, only that it may not be amiss to remark, _en passant_,
that, conducting your waggon down the edge of a steep hollow, or
ravine, you must have your shoe placed on the wheel _away_ from the
drop side. Never use your drag-chain when you can safely do without
it, as, by confining the wheel in one position during the descent of
steep pitches, the portion of the tire in contact with the ground will
be seriously ground and cut up. All comparatively light carts and
waggons should have the lever friction breaks before mentioned attached
to them. These contrivances are simple in construction, powerful in
action, and, by allowing a certain amount of retarded action to the
wheel, many advantages are gained. [Illustration: A-E] The detail of
the break arrangement varies greatly in the different countries in
which it is used; but the illustration on p. 443 will serve to show
the principle on which it is constructed. The roller (A) has two stout
pieces of hide rope wound round it. These are attached to the break-bar
(B), which slides forward and back under the staples (C). By depressing
the end of the lever (D) and hooking down its end, the friction blocks
(E) are drawn against the surfaces of the wheel tires and retained
there with just as much force as is thought requisite. The movements of
a waggon train furnished with these contrivances are not retarded and
rendered irregular by the constant and harassing stoppages consequent
on the leading waggoners skidding and unskidding. On the crest of a
steep descent being reached, all the teamster has to do is to heave
down his lever to the required pitch, and hook on without stopping his
team. On getting near the bottom he unhooks, and is prepared to move
smartly up on the rise before him, all the other waggons following his
example. In this way there is no check. In going down dangerously-steep
inclines it is a good plan to attach a short bushy tree of good weight,
root end forwards, by a strong rope or chain to the hind axle.


{Makeshift break.}

A very effective makeshift break can be made by cutting a tough, stout
pole, long enough to extend some distance beyond the diameter of
the wheel to be dragged. Lash the ends of the pole to the framework
of the waggon, so as to nip the wheel, as shown in the accompanying
illustration. Almost any amount of nipping power may be gained by
tightening the lashings. A large exploring party, or troops on the
march, can also, when requisite, make use of drag ropes, by which to
ease a load down a difficult place. When it is desirable to completely
lock a pair of wheels, cut down a young tree of suitable size, trim off
the branches, and cut it to a length sufficient to pass directly across
the bottom of the waggon, through the spokes of each of the wheels to
be locked, and extend a couple of feet or so beyond the nave of each
wheel a few turns of rope round both the tree and the felloe of the
wheel prevents the arrangement from slipping. This is a very good plan
to adopt when a waggon has to be stopped for any time in the middle
of a very steep incline. The two wheels on one side of a short-bodied
carriage may be locked by applying a rope or chain, as shown in the
annexed illustration. By treating both sides alike all four wheels
would be locked, as when waggons are drawn up to resist attacking
Indians, only that chain must be used in order to prevent the locking
from being cut free, and the waggon being started out of its place.



{Substitute for wheels.}

If one wheel of a four-wheeled carriage gets broken on a journey, or
when some distance out of camp, and there is no spare wheel to replace
it, make the two fore wheels good, leaving the deficiency with the hind
axle; then cut down a tree about 8in. or 9in. in diameter, cut a deep
notch in its large end, lay this on the axle directly inside the fore
wheel on the side towards the absent hind wheel; measure the length of
the tree, and see that it is long enough to trail on the ground sledge,
runner fashion, behind the carriage, round up the ground end, like the
toe of a skate, with your axe; cut another notch on its upper surface
for the end of the axle from which the broken wheel came to rest in.
Now lash both the front and hind axles in their places firmly, as shown
in the annexed illustration, and you will be at least able to get to a
convenient place to effect a perfect repair; and here we would advise
the reader never to despair of making a successful mend in almost any
case of breakages among wheeled carriages, provided wood, a few tools,
and raw hide can be obtained. A raw hide band, properly fitted on wet,
and allowed to dry gradually, is little less reliable than good wrought
iron, and far more so than bad.

{Waggon equipment.}

Every wheeled carriage used in exploring or travelling long journeys
should have its own grease box secured in a convenient situation; just
above and before the near fore wheel is a good place. The form of the
common Indian bamboo grease box is shown at p. 359, illustration No.
3. A good-sized ox-horn makes a convenient grease box. A mixture of
Stockholm tar, 6lb., and fat, 1lb., makes a good grease. If a little
common plumbago can be got to put into it, so much the better. In
countries where native vegetable oils are abundant, they may be used,
instead of the fat, to mix with the tar. Bear in mind that keeping
the wheels well greased is a duty of no common importance. In hot
countries it is an excellent plan to work the naves of the wheels over
with strong twine, just as boys work balls in some parts of England.
The twine-work affords a holdfast for a thick layer of wet cowdung,
or clay, which should be renewed whenever the waggons are stationary
for the day or night. We never omit this custom when it can be by any
possibility adhered to. By keeping the nave moist the spokes of the
wheel remain tight. It is a good plan to well water the ground under
each wheel when encamping on very dry ground. The treatment of injured
wheels will be found at pp. 219, 220. When any of the ironwork of your
waggon becomes bent from an upset, or other accident, never attempt to
straighten it cold. Light a fire, heat it to a red heat, hammer it back
to its proper form, and then let it cool gradually before putting it
in its place. Plunging it suddenly in cold water is apt to render the
metal brittle. In the purchase of all iron fittings for either waggon
work or horse equipment, about which we shall have more to say as our
work proceeds, insist on seeing it, without paint or varnish, bare from
the forge, as you can then see that there are no hollows, cracks, or
defects in it. It is wonderful what a number of shortcomings a good
thick coat of coal-tar will cover when laid on over the hot metal.
Avoid malleable cast iron as you would a broken limb. It cannot be
bent without the danger of nipping off short. When broken, it cannot
be welded or faggoted up. It is not reliable in any way, and is a
mere delusion and snare to the unwary; and yet, incredible as it may
appear, not only the greater portion of the cheap horse equipment iron
sent to the colonies is made from it, but we have ourselves seen more
than one attempt made by unscrupulous contractors to introduce it in
Government work, where wrought metal had been specially insisted on and
agreed for. An experienced man will generally detect the nature of the
material at once, but the inexperienced requires some rough and ready
way of judging of the quality of that which he is about to purchase.
Buckles, D's, rings, hooks, &c., will not unfrequently show the mark
of the mould in which they were cast. If there is no such mark, take
one of the suspected objects in the tongs, put it on an anvil, and with
a light hammer knock it about a little to see if it breaks up; as a
further test put it in the forge fire, heat it to a bright red heat,
cut and open out the object to its full length, and then proceed, with
your hammer, to draw out the end, as if you were going to make a long
sharp nail from it. If the suspected metal is wrought iron it readily
takes the spike form, but if malleable it will give under the hammer
and break up. Too much care cannot be exercised in the selection of all
matters of iron intended to meet the vicissitudes of rough travel. The
iron of Sweden, Russia, and India is excellent when it is obtained of
native manufacture. Its admirable purity and toughness partly depend
on the quality of the ore from which it is obtained, but mainly from
the absence of sulphur in its composition. This arises from charcoal
being used as a fuel for smelting instead of the coal made use of
in this country, which, from its containing considerable quantities
of sulphuret of iron (the mundic of the miners), is but ill-adapted
for the production of iron of high quality. Thoroughly good iron is
convertible and reconvertible into an endless number of objects of
usefulness. Thus, the links of an old chain make excellent staples;
these, when broken, can be worked up into nails, and pieces of these,
when filed up, are used to make goad points and many other things.
Every waggon should have its "odd and end" box for small matters in
iron, such as linch pins, S hooks, D's, spikes, union links, &c., &c.
All these are worth their weight in gold in a wild country, and must,
therefore, be kept carefully out of the reach of natives.

{Field artillery.}

The settler in the vicinity of a frontier beyond which native tribes,
who may become hostile at any time, reside will not unfrequently find
it useful to know how field artillery and the waggons belonging to it
are handled in cases of breakage. Well-organised labour will perform
more in a few minutes than would double the amount of force in hours
expended in ill-directed efforts. Works exclusively on artillery
matters rarely reach the hands of any save officers in that branch
of the service. We, therefore, give the following directions for the
management of disabled field artillery, furnished by General Lefroy,
R.A., F.R.S., in his handbook of "Field Artillery Service."


(1.) Dismount the gun.

(2.) Nos. 2 and 3 put a handspike in the muzzle, and raise it. Nos. 4
and 5 take a prolonge or drag rope, pass it in the rear of one trunnion
and in front of the other, and sling the gun securely to the limber
hook; then pass the long end of the rope between the boxes to the
front. Nos. 6 and 7 steady the wheels. Nos. 8 and 9 raise and hold up
the shafts whilst 4 and 5 sling the gun. As soon as the gun is slung,
8 and 9 haul down the shafts, and hold them about the same height they
would be if a horse was hooked in them. Nos. 6 and 7 then take the
long end of the rope left by 4 and 5, and bring it down at the end of
the box frame, close to the boxes under the breech of the gun about
the vent astragal, or between the frame and footboard, according to
the length of the gun, so that the rope will have no tendency to slip
off the carriage. When 6 has done this and handed the end of the rope
to the other side to 7, and put the first part of a reef knot on it,
1 gives the word "Bear down the muzzle," when 2 and 3 bear down. Nos.
6 and 7 take a turn round the breech, bring the end of the rope up at
the end of the box frame, and secure it. Nos. 8 and 9 now let down the
shafts and leave them.

(3.) The trail is now thrown round, and the carriage is dismounted and
turned over.

(4.) _To lift the carriage._--Nos. 8 and 9 place themselves at the
breast, 6 and 7 at the axletree arms, 4 and 5 at the cheeks of the
carriage, close to the axletree, 2 and 3 at the trail, 1 in the shafts.
At the word "Lift," the numbers all lift, and carry the carriage to
the rear of the limber, and rest the breast on the rear of the boxes,
as far on as the front cap square bolts. Nos. 8 and 9 then mount on
the footboard, and, taking hold of the breast chains, the whole of the
numbers lift again, and, moving forward, continue to lift until the
elevating screw box rests on the rear of the limber boxes.

(5.) No. 1, who has been in the shafts during the operation, gives the
proper directions for balancing the carriage.

(6.) _Placing the wheels._--Nos. 4 and 5 put on the washers and
linch-pins; the numbers on each side will put on the wheels "dish
down;" and the four lowest numbers will lash in rear, and the four
highest numbers in front. Nos. 2 and 3 will then secure the trail to
the handspike in the muzzle by the locking chain.

(7.) _Lashing the carriage._--Nos. 4 and 5 use the box lashings, 6 and
7 the drag rope and breast chains. The side-arms are laid on the top of
the boxes close to or between the box guard irons and the carriage.


(1.) The gun and carriage are dismounted, and the gun is slung as in
the first case.

(2.) The waggon and gun carriage are so placed that the rear of the
waggon will be close to and in front of the carriage; or, in other
words, the gun carriage will be brought to the rear of the waggon, and
placed with the trail to the waggon before it is dismounted.

(3.) The carriage is then turned upside down, as in the first case.

(4.) At the word "Prepare to lift," 2 and 3 place themselves at the
breast, 4 and 5 at the axletree arms, 6 and 7 at the cheeks, and 8 and
9 at the trail. At the word "Lift," the carriage is lifted, and the
trail rested on the footboard. Nos. 8 and 9 then jump up and seize the
trail handles, and at the next heave bring the trail on the rear box.
Then, lifting and moving forward, they bring the trail eye near to the
limber boxes, but not to touch them. In this position the cap square
bolts will injure the lids of the boxes, but by placing a piece of wood
about 3in. or 4in. thick on the boxes it will raise the carriage clear.

(5.) _To unlash the waggon boxes and place the wheels._--Nos. 2, 4, 3,
and 5 unlash the rear boxes; 6, 8, 7, and 9 the front boxes. Then the
two extreme numbers and the two centre ones will each take one of the
box lashings (or 2, 9, 5, and 6) and lay them conveniently to where
they are needed.

(6.) _Placing the wheels._--The four numbers on each side then lift
the gun wheels, "dish inwards," inside the rear wheels of the waggon,
and rest them on the axletrees. Nos. 2 and 3 lash the wheels together
at the rear. Nos. 4, 6, 5, and 7 lash to the box handles. Nos. 8 and 9
lash together in front, and then fix the trail to the perch.

(7.) The spare side-arms to be put in their proper places on the gun
carriage, and the others alongside the gun.


(1.) The gun is slung under the limber, as in Cases I. and II., and the
carriage is limbered up. Here it may be remarked that a piece of chain
would answer best for slinging the gun, because a rope sling takes
up so much room that the trail eye is sometimes prevented from being
keyed; besides a rope may get chafed.

(2.) _To take off the disabled gun._--No. 2 takes a handspike and
passes it under the axletree close to the wheel. It is manned at the
other end by 8.

(3.) Nos. 4 and 6 stand ready to take off the wheel; 3, 5, 7, and 9
take hold of the highest part of the opposite wheel, and place their
feet against the lowest part, to ease 2 and 8. At the word "Take off
the wheel," 2 and 8 lift; the numbers on the opposite side pull over; 4
and 6 take the wheel off the axletree, but hold it in such a position
that the axletree will pass between the spokes, where it is to rest,
and they remain to keep the wheel steady.

(4.) Nos. 2 and 8 then take a stout spar, about 12ft. or 14ft. long,
and pass it under the axletree and secure it to a piece of wood in the
trunnion holes and to the cheeks of the carriage.

(5.) The numbers on the opposite side place the wheel, "dish side up,"
on the limber boxes; and all the numbers assist to secure it--2, 3, 4,
and 5 in rear, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in front.


(1.) This case can only occur when a gun and its waggon are by
themselves; for if two or more guns and waggons are acting together, a
waggon limber would be taken for the gun, and then the case would be as
No. 6.

(2.) _Unlimber and run the gun in rear of waggon._--At this word 2 and
3 bear down the muzzle; 4 and 5 man the wheels; 6, 7, 8, and 9 man the
trail; and the gun is run in rear of the waggon, with the trail eye
under the rear axletree. Nos. 8 and 9 pass the locking chain through
the trail eye. If it will not pass through, it must be brought up at
the side; but it is better through the eye or handspike ring.

(3.) _Limber up._--Nos. 2 and 3 bear down the muzzle; 4 and 5 man the
wheels; 6 and 7 raise the trail. One of the next numbers passes the
lock chain of the gun over the axletree of the waggon, from rear to
front, across to 8, who will pass it over the axletree from front to
rear, and, assisted by 9, will take a turn under the neck of the trail
plate and round the returns. It is then secured by its own hook.

(4.) _To remove and place the limber boxes._--The limber will be lashed
to the side of the waggon body by the numbers on that side on which
the limber stands. No. 1 in the shafts; 2 and 4 unlash; 6 and 8 untie
the boxes, and slip them a little to the rear. The limber will then be
lashed close to the waggon wheel in the centre of the limber, in line
with the axletree of the waggon. No. 1 then lets down the shaft-prop.
Nos. 2 and 4 mount on the waggon, and 6 and 8 on the footboard of the
limber. Nos. 2 and 6 lift one box on the top of the waggon wheel,
whence they will be assisted by 3 and 5 to place it on the rear box of
the waggon body. Nos. 4 and 8 will then lift on the other box, and,
assisted by 7 and 9, place it on the front box of the waggon body, the
locks front and rear.

(5.) _Dismount the limber._--The limber is now moved forward a little.
Nos. 6 and 7 hold up the splinter bar. Nos. 8 and 9 take out the
shafts, and lay them down; then relieve 6 and 7 at the splinter bar,
who will take hold of the front part of the wheels, and 4 and 5 the
rear part, 6 and 7 attending to the linchpins and washers. Nos. 2 and
3 take hold of the rear of the limber, and at the word "Take off the
wheels," 2, 8, 3 and 9 lift, and 4, 6, 5 and 7 take the wheels off.
Then the whole is laid on the ground.

(6 and 7.) The waggon boxes are unlashed and the wheels placed, as in
Case II.

(8.) The limber body is now turned upside down and placed on the top of
the boxes of the waggon limber, axletree to the rear by the whole of
the numbers, and secured behind by both of the limber box lashings, and
in front of the splinter bar and pitchells by the prolonges or fitting
ropes. Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 lashing behind, and 6, 7, 8, and 9 in front.
The small box of spare linchpins and washers to be laid on the disabled
limber by 8.

(9.) The shafts are then placed, one on each side, between the disabled
limber boxes and the guard irons of the waggon body, point to the rear,
and secured by the pocket straps.


This case is so similar to Case IV. that the details would only be a
repetition, except when the word "trail" is used in Case IV. use the
word "perch" in this. The waggon body being secured the same as the gun.

       *       *       *       *       *

{Yoking or harnessing draught oxen.}

In South Africa, the oxen draw from the neck, or, rather, the yoke is
laid upon the neck, and is prevented from slipping backward by the
hump, which, when the ox presses forward, is pushed strongly against
it. The form of the yoke and its furniture is shown on p. 217. The yoke
is about 6ft. in length, and 3in. thick. In its centre is a strong
staple, through which are passed several turns of reim or hide thong,
to lace it to a corresponding ring on the "dissel-boom" (K),
or on the "trek touw" (8). Near each end are two mortices, 3in. long,
3/4in. wide, and about 1ft. apart, through which to pass the "jeuk
skeis," or yoke keys, which keep it in place on the neck of the ox. The
ends should be rounded so as not to chafe the animal. A knobbed head,
more or less ornamented, keeps them from slipping through the mortices,
and on the outside edge of each key are cut two notches, to receive
the throat strap, which is simply a double thong of softened hide, so
twisted as to leave a loop at each end. This is hitched to the upper
or lower notches to tighten or loosen it, and it may be more nicely
adjusted by twisting or untwisting it till it attains the required
length. The strap will readily be recognised on p. 217.

When the oxen are to be "inspanned," the span or team is driven to the
waggon, and the nooses of the reims or raw hide halters are thrown over
the horns and tightened on the forehead. The oxen are then arranged in
pairs, and held by one or more assistants, as seen near waggon No. 9,
on p. 298. The driver then leads out the fore oxen, lifts the yoke
over the neck of the farthest, hitches the throat strap into the nicks,
and then, holding up the yoke with one hand, with the other he draws
forward the other ox, and induces him to walk to his proper place under
the yoke. The "voor looper," or boy that leads them, then holds the
reims of the fore oxen so as to keep the "trek touw" tolerably tight,
while the other oxen are yoked, as seen before waggon No. 2, on p.
298. In outspanning the order is reversed, the fore oxen being left
to keep the trek rope tight till the very last. An ox requires fully
8ft. to pull in; therefore, a trek touw for twelve oxen must be fully
40ft. long, as the two after oxen will be yoked to the dissel-boom, and
require no rope. Our accompanying sketch of Cape oxen in their yokes
will sufficiently show the arrangements. A Cape waggon is supposed to
be loaded with about 2000lb. of cargo, but 3000lb. is not uncommon, and
we have seen a waggon with 4000lb. start as lightly as could be wished,
though when it came on bad roads it was too heavy for the oxen. The
trek touw is usually of hide rope, but hunters sometimes use chain and
sometimes hempen rope, either of which defy the teeth of jackals and
hyænas. Chain may, perhaps, gall the sides of the oxen, but we have
seen it used on long journeys without bad effect. Hemp is apt to rot,
from exposure to alternate wet and excessive dryness, but we have seen
it do good service. With a hempen rope, get a sailor to splice in all
the rings before you leave the coast. A Hottentot will do well with a
hide rope, but not with one composed of hemp.

  [Illustration: CAPE OX TEAM.]

In Australia, two-wheeled drays, somewhat like the Scotch cart,
are used. They will sometimes carry 3000lb. of wool over bad
roads. They are very handy, but strain the necks of the pole oxen
rather. [Illustration] Sometimes, only two oxen are used, as in our
sketch--sometimes, six or more. The yoke lies upon the neck, like the
African, but is fastened by iron bows passed up through the yoke and
keyed above it, so that, when once an ox is yoked, nothing on earth can
free him till the bow is removed. The long bamboo whip of Africa is
unknown in Australia. The handle is short, the lash long and heavy, and
is often terminated by a bit of silk, to produce a more effective crack.

In many parts of Spain, the yoke is simply laid across the foreheads
of the two oxen, and lashed fast to the base of their horns. This
is not only a source of great discomfort to the animals, but is an
absolute waste of their muscular power; for, strong as the neck of
an ox undoubtedly is, that part of the spinal column which forms it
cannot with impunity bear the continued heavy strain or the occasional
concussions which might without injury be received upon the shoulder.

  [Illustration: THE SWING OX GOAD.]

In some parts of the world the yoke is laid across the back of
the head, and is lashed fast to the roots of the horns. This plan
is followed by some of the Hispano-Americans, who make use of an
enormously long goad, hung in a sling, to drive the cattle with. In
addition to the point of the weapon a sharp "dropper," or bob, is hung
on in such a way that, by lowering the shaft of the goad, it may fall
end downwards on the bullocks, working too close to be attacked by the
point. The preceding illustration will serve to show the nature of this
contrivance and the mode of fastening on the yoke.

  [Illustration: GERMAN OX HARNESS.]

Some of the Germans adopt a much better plan. They take a broad band
of stout leather, so stuffed and padded as to form a cushion, and fit
this upon the hump of the ox, as shown in our sketch. In each end of
this are stout rings, to which the traces are attached, and there
is a slight collar and a belly band to keep it from slipping in its
place, but the whole strain comes upon the part best able to support
it, _i.e._, the shoulder hump; and this simple gear has the advantage
of being applicable to one or any number, while the yokes can only
be used for pairs of oxen. Remember that the prudent as well as the
merciful man is merciful to his beast; and if you want an animal to
work for you, take especial care that he is not galled nor incommoded
by superfluous or ill-fitting gear, nor fretted and irritated by
unnecessary chastisement, inflicted in such a manner that he cannot
understand it. If it is necessary to flog him, take care to do it in
such a manner that he can escape the punishment only by going to his
work, and discontinue it as soon as he really does so.

Little good could result from our describing the various modes by which
bullocks are harnessed in different parts of the world, as the explorer
will, in great measure, have to be guided in the selection of the way
in which he intends to work his teams by the description of animal with
which he is about to deal. [Illustration; A, B] Humped cattle draw
efficiently by either the German plan, before described, or the yoke
and pin plan shown in the annexed illustration (A), because a
much larger amount of pressure comes on the anterior point of the hump,
or bearing point of the yoke piece, than in any other direction, the
pin merely keeping the neck of the bullock in the proper position, and
regulating the line of draught; whilst humpless cattle require, in lieu
of a collar, either a neck bow, as shown at B, or some other
mode of adjustment, by which neck and shoulder power can be brought to
bear. The Indian, African, and Eastern cattle work according to the
former rule, whilst the English and Australian draw by the latter.
The Australian ox bow, as we have before stated, is usually composed
of iron, bent into the required form; whilst that in general use
throughout the western counties of England is made from a pole of tough
wood, commonly elm, moulded to the requisite shape by the aid of heat.
The yoke should be made from some tough light timber, and the neck bows
of some wood not liable to splinter.

                               CHAPTER X.

                       HARNESS AND PACK ANIMALS.

Whether mules or horses are selected for waggon and cart draught too
much attention cannot be paid to the arrangement and fitting of the
harness they are intended to work in; and, although the pattern will
vary somewhat not only in every country, but in every province, the
traveller passes through, the leading principles remain much the same,
and whether the traces are of rope chain or leather, the office they
perform remains unaltered. Collars, let the pattern be what it will,
require especial care in fitting, as nothing tends more effectually to
disable a harness animal (mule or horse) than a collar carelessly or
injudiciously applied. Every animal in the team should have its own,
and on first selecting the collar for fitting so put it on that the
collar strap can be buckled up to the last hole in the tongue strap.
When you have done this there should be room enough at the bottom of
the collar in front of the animal's chest to pass the open hand when
laid flat freely forward and back between the inside of the collar and
the animal's neck. When new collars are found to fit uneasily and chafe
in particular places, it is a common expedient among mule teamsters
to lay the ill-fitting collar in water, and allow it to soak for the
night; it is then taken out wet and fitted to the animal's neck, to
which it at once adapts itself. Much trouble is often experienced on
long and toilsome expeditions from loss of condition and leanness
of the animals causing the saddles and collars to fit badly and,
consequently, cause severe sores. Take, therefore, plenty of curled
hair stuffing with you, in order that deficiencies in the padding
may be from time to time made good. When a collar is too large to be
adapted to a thin neck by stuffing, it will be well to cut a portion
out of its centre at once, which can be done by first measuring the
excess of space roughly, then take the collar off the animal; lay it on
a board or table, and cut out evenly as much as is thought requisite,
and if on testing the collar it is found still too large, cut out a
little more from each side of the incision until the collar takes
its proper bearing, but take care that a proper medium is observed
regarding the position of the lower end, or bow, of the collar. If it
hangs too far down the movements of the muscles of the shoulder are
interfered with. If it presses too far upwards the windpipe becomes
unduly pressed on. Some persons use what is called "crown pads" for the
top, or ridge, of the neck, under where the narrow portion, or crown,
of the collar rests. These are sometimes made from sheepskin with the
wool on, but it will be better to get some moderately stout but smooth
and soft leather. Cut this into pad pieces, each of which may be 13in.
long and 8in. wide. Make a cut at each end of the pieces about 2-1/2in.
from the end of the pad, extending it to about an inch from the centre.
Then turn your pad, and cut from the opposite side until only the inch
of sound leather remains between the two cuts. Treat the other end of
the pad in the same way, and it will be fit for use.

A very tolerable makeshift collar and pair of hames may be made as
follows: Collect a good quantity of reed, either wheat or marsh reed;
cut off all the heads, or tops, leaving nothing but the clear shafts of
the plant. Make these up in a bundle, and place them to soak in water
for one night. Measure the horse's or mule's neck for size of intended
collar with a piece of cord; lay this on the ground in the form and of
the size of the collar; then close to the string, as it is placed on an
even spot, drive in a double row of long pegs at about 6in. apart; then
proceed to lay in your reed between the two walls of pegs, so disposing
the reeds that too many ends do not appear at any one place; continue
to lay in reeds, working them round the ends of the oval and thumping
them well down in their places, until sufficient substance has been
gained for the fore part of the collar; then, with fine twine, proceed
to bind the reeds firmly together by lashing them spirally. Now make a
second reed collar just as you did the first, only let it be larger and
more bulky; and, with a packing needle and twine, sew the two collars
together, one on the other--that first made on the top. Now try the
united collars on the animal, the large collar being next the shoulder.
See that there is plenty of space below the windpipe in front of the
chest when it is made to fit at both top and bottom. Line the inside
of the bearing or large collar with soft pliant leather laid over a
layer of soft moss, fine cocoa fibre, fur of animals, or anything else
you can get calculated for stuffing purposes. A piece of hide laid on
and sewn wet will cover the outsides of both collars; but whilst it is
drying the hames should be fastened in the groove formed by stitching
the two collars together.


The hames are made as follows: Get two well-seasoned pieces of
tough strong wood; cut them to the shape of the curve and length of
the collar, and fashion them as shown in the annexed illustration.
A is the trace hame-tug, formed of a loop and several turns
of raw hide; B is the hame strap fork, below which an oblong
square hole is cut for the strip of hide forming the hame strap to pass
through; C is the lower end of the hame cut into hook form, to
admit of its being securely lashed with hide strips to its fellow on
the opposite side.

Breast straps may be used in lieu of a collar and hames.

When starting on an expedition take plenty of harness leather with you.
Raw hide and strips of sinew are admirable for repairs, but good tanned
and curried leather is needed for the harness itself.

The illustration on next page represents a very useful and plain set
of mule harness, and also the way in which a long rope or lasso is
used for securing a refractory mule to the side of a waggon whilst the
harness is being put on. Some mules are so dangerously skilful in the
use of their fore and hind feet, that even an accomplished prizefighter
might view their feats in the art of attack with envy. To guard against
the effects of this objectionable skill, we proceed as follows: Throw
the running noose end of your lasso over the mule's head, and let it
settle well over his neck; then edge him quietly away until he is
standing stem and stern with the waggon on the near or left-hand side;
then, keeping well before your mule, pass the free end of the lasso
between the upper spokes of the near fore wheel; draw out your end by
walking backwards with it, keeping up a steady strain until you walk in
a wide circle well outside the range of mules' heels; slip dexterously
behind the wheel and tail of the waggon, keeping your lasso tight all
the while; then pass your lasso end, from without, inwards between the
spokes of the near hind wheel; haul taut and belay. There are very few
mules that cannot be successfully handled in this way. The guide as
to the proper height of the lasso is given by the point of elbow and
the line of the stifle joint. If the mule is a small one, choose lower
spokes in the wheel than for a tall, long-legged animal.


  [Illustration: A, B]

The adaptation of hames to collars is almost as important as the
fitting of the collars to the animals. Hames are sometimes made of wood
fitted with iron work, but they are far better when made from good
tough wrought iron. Here we again say, beware of "malleable cast."
During the rough work of a campaign hames are constantly getting
broken, particularly at the union of the ring point and the blade
of the hame. The old pattern used by our horse artillery and field
batteries was especially objectionable, as the point of union (shown in
the above illustration at A) was so unmechanically effected
that incessant trouble and constant breakage was the result. We have
submitted to the Horse Guards authorities that which we believe to be
a far more durable and efficient pattern (as shown at B, p.
460). The hames now in use are certainly better than they were at the
commencement of the Crimean war; but those which we used during our
long forced marches in India during the mutiny were very far from being

  [Illustration: A, B]

We, some time since, invented and patented a very simple contrivance,
by which a fallen or disabled horse or mule could be instantly freed
from the tension of the traces without cutting or unbuckling. The
latter operation, by-the-bye, it is next to impossible to perform,
from the strain on the trace. By the use of our slip (represented in
the accompanying illustration) the trace can be released by turning
up the pendulum (A) until it matches with the slot (B), when it drops
out to the front, and forms a cross handle, like that of a corkscrew,
to draw the lock pin by. The instant the pin is drawn as far as it
can be pulled out, the trace is detached from the ring of the hame.
The lock pin cannot be lost, as it can only be drawn out to a certain
distance--in fact, just far enough to free the trace from its hold.

Much mischief is done to team animals by having bits of insufficient
substance and solidity. See that they are of sufficient diameter to
prevent cutting, and that they are long enough from cheek to cheek to
prevent pressure on the angles of the mouth and lips. See also that the
bit is so attached to the headstall that the corners of the mouth are
not drawn up by it. Let the throat latch be long enough to see plenty
of daylight under, or, by drawing on the headstall, the poll of the
head may be severely rubbed and a poll evil established. The nature
of this injury will be fully dealt with under the head of "Veterinary
Surgery." If bearing reins are used at all, see that they are slack. A
good store of anti-friction pads will be found of the greatest value
on the march to keep such portions of the harness as are found to rub
the skin of any animal in the team from doing further mischief. These
are made of very soft pliant leather, stuffed with soft curled hair.
Seven inches long by 4-1/2in. wide, and 2-1/2in. thick, will be found a
convenient size. They are secured between the strap causing irritation
and the skin by bits of thong fastened to their backs for the purpose.
Galls from saddles or collars are not unfrequently caused by some
hard and uneven point of bearing. When this is the case, take a long
sharp-pointed instrument, pass it through the leather or woollen, and,
by working it about and pushing in every direction, force the stuffing
back until a cavity much larger than the gall is formed; thump the
covering over and into the cavity well with the round end of a tool
handle until it fits the injured spot without pressure. Never allow
teamsters or drivers to tie knots in straps of any kind with a view
to shortening them. Insist on more holes being punched for the buckle
tongue, or the cutting of the strap to the proper length. Knotted
straps and serious galls go hand in hand. In adjusting your traces to
the swingle trees, see that there is length enough given them when
slack for the swingle tree to reach just sufficiently far down the back
of the hind leg to cross half-way between the point of the hock and
the hollow of the heel. As the trace is tightened, there will then be
enough space for the animal to move his legs freely in. Watch him as
he walks off, and see that nothing touches him behind at full stride.
There are more kickers made by ill-adjusted swingle trees than any
other cause. The weaker the animal is, the more liable he is to get his
hind legs battered by the bar, as he lacks spirit and energy to keep
well clear of it. The bar is, however, his enemy from that time, and it
is difficult to make him forget past sorrows.


{Chains and links.}

Waggon chains of one sort and another often snap when it is highly
inconvenient to repair them. Keep, therefore, in your "odd and end" box
a good number of union links, made as shown in the above illustration.
They are forged rather flat, stouter in proportion than the chain they
are intended to unite, in order to guard them against opening. A
leather thong or tie, with a toggle end, is passed through the slots
at the two ends of the union, in order that the links may not come out
when the chain is slack. The looped ends of ropes are conveniently
attached to chains, or chains to standing rings, by these union links.
The illustration on p. 462 represents one of them uniting the ends of
two chains.

{Pack animals.}

Pack animals are of the greatest service and value to the explorer,
as they travel easily through tracts of country which are impassable
for wheeled carriages of all descriptions. Horses, ponies, mules,
donkeys, oxen, elephants, camels, dromedaries, lamas, goats, and dogs
are all, more or less, used as pack animals in different countries;
and no two can be found in which the pack saddle and its gear will
exactly correspond. The nature of the ground to be passed over, and the
description of load to be carried, will in great measure call for some
special arrangement in the form and adjustment of the gear. For the use
of a well-organised exploring or hunting party, provided with horses or
mules, we know of no pack saddle equal to that described and figured at
pp. 25 and 36. Saddles of this description, although admirably adapted
for carrying the well-made and evenly-formed bags of the explorer,
would not answer to the requirements of the professional packer, who
carries objects of every imaginable shape, from a bundle of pick-heads,
or a case of bottled ale, to a barrel of powder. For the safe transport
of such matters as these no saddle is better than the Hispano-American
pack saddle.

No people in the world understand the management and packing of mules
as well as the Spaniards and their descendants. The foundation of the
Spanish pack saddle may be said to be the "aparejo," which is, so
to speak, a framework for the back of the mule composed entirely of
hide. Its form is represented at A in our illustration entitled "Horse
Equipments." Each side flap of the aparejo is composed of a double
layer of hide, with space sufficient between the layers to introduce an
efficient stuffing of hay, dry moss, fibre, or other stuffing material.
The cushions or side pads, when stuffed, should be about 3ft. 8in. long
by 2ft. 8in. wide. Each flap and side cushion will thus constitute one
side of the saddle body. These, when stitched together at the top, will
form a sort of hollow ridge within which the backbone will rest free
from pressure and friction. The aparejos of the Andalusian muleteers
who, with their mules, accompanied us from Spain to the Crimea had
layers of small twigs disposed between the stuffing of the panels and
the covering of hide, so that the "riata," or rope used in securing the
load, was prevented from cutting grooves in the padding. Each of these
aparejos weighed, when new and dry, 35lb. On the inside of each cushion
leather a hole is left, through which the material constituting the
stuffing can at any time be got at. The careful packer will constantly
avail himself of this orifice, in order that such portions of stuffing
as may become shifted and worked up into hard lumps by the movements
consequent on travel may be redistributed and evenly disposed of. The
above illustration represents this aparejo when placed on the back of
the mule.


Next the skin of the animal is placed a piece of soft well-washed
canvas, 4ft. 6in. square; on this is then laid three layers of thick
woollen blanket; on these layers, the true saddle cloth--the "corona"
of the packers. This is made of stout woollen cloth, with fringed,
worked, and ornamented borders. The corners of each of these cloths
bear on them the letter or number of the mule to which it belongs. When
removed from the mule, it is placed with the saddle gear on or under
the aparejo, so that every mule can be at once fitted with his own

  [Illustration: GROUP OF HARNESS.]

To secure the aparejo, and the cloths beneath it, to the mule's back,
a wide girth, called a "synch," is used. This may be composed either
of hide, grass, cloth, or common sail canvas doubled. Its edges should
be sewn in a broad hem. The width may be about 13in., and the length
not sufficiently great to go round the mule's body, over the aparejo
and cloths under it. One end of this girth has a ring sewn into it, and
the other a bent stick of natural growth, as shown at B in
full-page illustration of "Horse Equipments." To tighten the synch by
drawing the two ends together, a long strip of well-greased thong is
used. This is passed several times through both ring and wooden eye,
after one end has been made fast. By powerful and continuous hauling
on the free end, the ring and eye are at length drawn close enough
together below the saddle to make all secure. A loop is then formed in
the free end, and the bow pulled under the forward and back lashings
of the thong. When the synch is to be relaxed, it is only necessary to
pull on the free end to set all free.

{Pack ropes and saddles.}

Two ropes are used for lashing on the load. One is called the "riata,"
and should be of pliant, evenly-spun 2-1/2-in. rope, 70yds. long; the
second, or sling rope, is best made of stout patent sash line. Forty
feet will be found long enough for a sling rope. No written directions
or pictorial illustration will give the least idea how to lash fast
the heterogeneous objects constituting a general pack load; nothing
but experience and ingenuity in the handling of rope will ever teach
the traveller how to form the intricate spider-web-like lashing,
interlacing, and cross-binding, which by a professional Spanish or
Mexican packer are woven until as tense as a harp string.

{Cross-tree saddles.}

The Hudson's Bay Company and many traders and explorers in North West
America make use of the so-called cross-tree saddle for transporting
their peltries and stores. One of these is shown at C in our
full-page illustration representing "Horse Equipments." The girth
for that description of saddle has two sets of holes made in it, so
that the ends may be laced together by the use of a strip of hide,
represented at D.

{Tightening harness.}

A good number of narrow flat battens of tough wood and bundles of
twigs will be found very useful for placing between the load ropes and
load, as in the case of bags containing soft substances, or articles
likely to be crushed in, a groove is at once formed by the tension
of the strained rope, and without some interposing medium no little
mischief is done. When a rope is found loose from any cause, it can be
tightened by thrusting a short curved stick into the loop formed by the
slack part, when, by twisting the lever round and round, the required
tension is soon gained. When packing a mule or adjusting a disarranged
pack it is well to partially blindfold the animal. This is done by the
Spaniards by the use of a contrivance called a "tapajo," represented
at E in the full-page illustration of "Horse Equipments."
The hind strap of this is placed behind the ears, just as the head
strap of a halter would be. The leather part hangs before the mule's
eyes, whilst the fringe-like tails hang down at the sides. When not
on a mule's head, the tapajo is used instead of a whip by placing the
forefinger through the ring in its middle.

{Bell mules.}

In travelling through a country tolerably free from large animals of
prey or hostile Indians, it will not be requisite to hobble a large
train of mules during the night, as they will not stray far from the
hobbled bell mare. This animal leads the march by day and keeps the
"mulada" together at night. A gelding not uncommonly takes the place
of the mare as the bearer of the bell. White or grey animals should be
selected to perform this duty. Never, on any account, allow a stud mule
to accompany your band; he rarely thrives, is always ready for a fight,
and is as bad as an enraged wild beast when fairly roused. It is not
wise to work mules hard until after three years old--four, five, and
six are better ages to buy at.

{Hints to mule buyers.}

Examining a strange or ill-tempered mule's teeth with a view to
ascertaining his age is at times rather a risky operation. To do this,
put on a blind, get a halter put on the mule's head; stand well in
against the near fore-shoulder, pass the right hand gently up the neck,
patting the animal as it goes until you are enabled to take a steady
firm grip of the root of the ear with your right hand; then, with your
left, seize quickly, but tightly, on the upper lip and nose. Do this
quickly and resolutely, guarding against a blow from the fore-foot, and
you will probably get a glance of the front teeth, or incisors, and see
if the corner tooth is temporary or permanent.

Another piece of important information will be gained at the same
time, and that is whether the dentition of the upper jaw is free from
deformity. It sometimes happens that both mules and horses are what is
called overhung or parrot-beaked, which simply means that the upper
row of front teeth projects so far beyond the lower that the two rows
can by no effort of the animal be brought in contact. This defect is
often overlooked, but when present is a fruitful source of loss of
condition and consequent weakness, as food, easily gathered by animals
with naturally-formed rows of teeth, is all but lost to the unfortunate
possessor of a parrot-mouth. See, too, that the tongue is perfect.

Mules for packing purposes should not be too large or high on their
legs. Some of those which accompanied us from Andalusia to the East
were 16 hands and over; whilst the great majority of the trains we
worked in Central India were very little larger than common donkeys,
and certainly less than a great many we have seen in Egypt.

The experience of the last American war has shown that the
Hispano-Mexican mules are a most hardy and valuable strain. Speaking
of these animals, the superintendent of the Government mule corral
at Washington says:--"There is in Old as well as New Mexico a class
of mules that are known to us as Spanish-Mexican mules. These mules
are not large, but for endurance they are very superior, and, in my
opinion, cannot be excelled. I am not saying too much when I assert
that I have seen nothing in the United States that could compare with
them. They can apparently stand any amount of starvation and abuse. I
have had these Spanish mules in a train of twenty-five six mule teams,
and starting from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on Colonel (since General)
Sumner's expedition in 1857, have travelled to Walnut Creek, on the
Santa Fé route, a distance of 300 miles in nine days, and this in the
month of August. The usual effects of hard driving, I noticed, showed
but very little on them. I noticed, also, along the march, that with a
halt of less than three hours, feeding on grass that was only tolerably
thick, they will fill up better and look in better condition for
resuming the march than one of our American mules that had rested five
hours and had the same forage. The breed, of course, has something to
do with this; but the animal is smaller, more compact than our mules,
and, of course, it takes less to fill him up. It stands to reason that
a mule with a body half as large as a hogshead cannot satisfy his
hunger in the time it would take a small one. This is the secret of
small mules outlasting large ones on the prairies. It takes a large one
so long to find enough to eat when grass is scanty that he has not time
enough for rest or recuperation. I often found them leaving camp in the
morning quite as hungry and discouraged as they were when we halted
the previous evening. With the small mule it is different. He gets
enough to eat quickly, and has time to rest and refresh himself. The
Spanish or Mexican mules, however, are better as pack animals than for
a team. They are vicious, hard to break, and two-thirds of them kick."

These observations of the superintendent are highly practical, and
well worth bearing in mind in the purchase of pack mules. We are of
opinion, however, that there are other qualities to be found in small
well-formed animals, apart from the comparatively small amount of food
required to support them.

Activity, endurance, and muscular power do not, so far as our
experience has enabled us to judge, increase in the ratio of size; and
the great majority of noteworthy and remarkably clever performances
under saddle or pack related by hunters and explorers have been
achieved by animals of comparatively small size. We do not think that
even the English hunter will be found an exception to the rule. Often
have we devoutly wished that it might be our good fortune to possess a
16-hand horse with going and staying qualities, equal in proportion,
size for size, to those of a sturdy, but very tiny cob we were once
'cute enough to select from a drove fresh from the wilds of Bulgaria.
We conceive that a well-formed mule--that is to say with clear bright
eyes, hocks not inclined to give in like those of a cow, stout muscular
haunches, a short back, and dark small compact feet--should, for
average service, be about 14 hands high, and weigh about 8cwt. Avoid
all spotted, dappled, or white mules. These are, among the packers,
known as "painted" or calico mules, and are by no means as hardy as
those of dark uniform colours. Mares are always to be preferred to
horse mules. They are more tractable, and follow the bell mare better
on the march.

{Hints on mule equipment.}

About 140lb. is as much as a mule of average power can travel well with
from day to day. Never start a mule train without looking carefully at
each mule as he passes; and if you see one of them raising his lips and
twitching his mouth and nose depend upon it he is getting galled, and
requires looking to. Particular care should be taken that the halter
heads fit easily across the back of the head, and that, in putting the
halter on, the ears of the mules are not injured or roughly handled.
Nothing makes a mule so shy and disposed to be vicious as sore ears.
The halters used for pack mules are just such as we use in this
country. We, however, prefer leather head collars with ropes attached
to them.


{Hobbling cattle.}

There are many ways of preventing horses and mules from straying from
the spot at which they are intended to remain. The Indian method of
picketing horses by the use of head and heel ropes is by far the best
and most convenient we have ever had recourse to. The heel hobbles--the
subject of the accompanying illustration--are best made of stout tanned
leather; the inside surface should be lined, and have a slight stuffing
of curled hair put in to prevent friction; one hobble end terminates
in a leather loop; the other, in a leather toggle. The heel ropes
themselves should be made from soft flexible rope (cotton is often
spun into heel ropes); the strands are opened and untwisted to a short
distance, in order that they may be securely stitched fast to each
hobble. At about 6ft. from the hobbles the two heel ropes are spliced
together and form one tail rope, which is secured round a peg driven
into the earth. Two ropes attached to the head collar are also secured
to pegs, as shown in the illustration on p. 471. When on the march each
horse should carry his own head and heel ropes secured in a leather
wrapper behind the saddle.


Head ropes may be conveniently fastened to the head collar by having
a strap and buckle like that represented at A in the annexed
illustration attached to the end of each rope, if the other end is
finished, as shown at B. One head rope left on when the horse
is equipped for marching forms a convenient head-collar rope, which can
be coiled up and secured as shown at p. 37.

The Cape hunters usually secure their horses during a temporary halt
by the use of the knee halter. The manner of adjusting this is shown
at A in the following illustration. In Australia, the hook
hobbles, figured at p. 33, are adjusted as at B in the illustration


It is a common practice in the army to stretch a long rope between
a number of posts, and then secure the horses to it at intervals
by fastening the ends of the head-collar chains. We have seen mule
trains in India fastened in a similar manner to a long cord stretched
out on the ground. Although space is economised by the adoption of
these plans, they lead to an endless number of serious accidents from
kicks, bites, and stake wounds from the splintered posts. The addition
in weight to the present scale of military horse equipment may be,
perhaps, urged as a reason why the head and heel ropes of India have
not been universally adopted by the troops of this country. The result
of our experience is that the very slight addition which is made to
the burden by the strapping on of a pair of light strong head and heel
ropes to the rear of the saddle is a mere mite in the balance when
compared with the constantly recurring and serious evils we have just
referred to.


{Horses, to tie up.}

If you are without hobbles, your horse or mule may be prevented from
straying far by fastening the fore and hind leg on the same side
together with a piece of rope or a couple of leather belts. The two
fore feet may be hobbled together in much the same manner, allowing
just a short scope for the animal to move one foot before the other.
In countries where the lasso is used either in the form of hide lasso
or hair cabresto (the manufacture of which will be treated of further
on in our work), a horse or mule may be secured by first putting the
noose end over the head and adjusting the neck loop just to fit the
small of the neck easily, and then with the free or trail end taking
a single hitch knot through the loop. This prevents the noose from
running up and strangling the animal should it become suddenly alarmed
and hang back. Mustangs, however, very rarely hang on a lasso after
once experiencing its powers. Never trust the security of your riding
animal, when either hunting or scouting, to either the regulation
head-collar chain or headstall-rope, as, should a sudden alarm from any
cause arise, your steed will in all probability give a sudden snort,
tuck his haunches well under him, get his fore legs well to the front,
give his head a violent shake, with one effort send all your head gear
to the four winds, and go scampering away perhaps for ever. Lassoes
are not so easily broken. If halting among trees or bushes fasten the
trail end to a flexible branch; if there are no bushes, and you have a
peg, fasten the lasso to it. If out on the prairies without a peg, dig
a deep hole in the earth with your knife; tie a large knot in the end
of the lasso, force it to the bottom of the hole, and then stamp the
earth and turf well in over it. On sandy desert ground the lasso end
may be secured to any odd article, such as a bag or blanket, which may
be then deeply buried in the sand. An ox may be conveniently secured
by passing two or three turns of a rope round the roots of the horns
and then making a knot in front. All ropes long enough to admit of the
animal walking and feeding in a moderately large circle should have one
of the forms of wooden swivel before described attached to it in order
to prevent twisting and entanglement.

Should a party of Iceland horsemen wish to halt for a short time,
they place their horses with their heads together, and heels forming
the outer border of the circle; the bridles are then looped and
knotted together. Horses secured in this way cannot stray because no
two animals pull in the same direction. This plan will only answer
with very quiet animals. The entire horses of the East would fight
desperately if thus brought in contact.

{Horses, to lead.}

Large bands of horses may be driven or led in strings fastened head and
tail, or marched on what is called a waggon line. This is a long strong
rope fastened at each end to a cart or waggon, sufficient distance
being maintained between each vehicle to keep the rope moderately
tight. The halters of the horses to be led are fastened at convenient
intervals along the line of the rope, and as the waggons travel so the
horses march in a line. If there are many stores to be transported at
the same time, put them in the rear waggon, as the line of marching
horses aid greatly in drawing the load. An arrangement of this kind is
very convenient when a stampede from Indians is to be dreaded.

{Embarking horses.}

Horses may be conveniently embarked by the use of the sling shown in
the illustration on p. 474. The belly-band is made of very stout sail
canvas, mounted on two straight strong bars of wood. The ropes, which
should be of thoroughly reliable 4-1/2in. or 5in. rope, after passing
round under the edges of the belly-band, are securely fastened to the
ends of the bars, and each terminates in a loop. Four strong rope
loops are secured to the edges of the band for the breast and breech
ropes to pass through. One man holds the horse's head steady by the
halter, and, if requisite, adjusts a blind; two men, one on each side,
pass the rope loops through each other; whilst others bring round the
breast and breech ropes, haul them up tight and double knot them. At
the word "hook on," the hook of a fall working from a derrick is passed
through the upper loop and stopped with a piece of small stuff. At a
given signal the men on board at the tail of the fall, walk smartly
away with it, and the horse moves rapidly aloft guided by two guy ropes
until directly over the hatchway, which should be well padded with bags
of straw. At the signal to lower away, the horse is lowered steadily
to the hold or lower deck, where a deep bed of straw is spread, and
men wait to cast loose and conduct it to the stall allotted for its

  [Illustration: EMBARKATION SLING.]

In regularly-fitted horse transports, boxes are not unfrequently fitted
for the horses to walk into before being lowered in them. Sometimes,
when near the shore, horses are allowed to swim to land.

The management of horses on board ship will be treated of under the
head "Veterinary Surgery."

  [Illustration: HOLD ON, ALL!]

{Pack animals and packs.}

Horses and ponies for packing should be of sturdy short-legged, cobby
breed. A full-sized horse's pack for moderately fast and continuous
travelling should not weigh more than about 120lb. A lively well-formed
ox will carry about the same burden. Donkeys will carry from 50lb. to
60lb., according to size and condition. A pair of strong cane or wicker
panniers, with lids made to hinge and lock, and covered with stout
waterproofed duck, will be found very useful for putting in articles
for immediate use. Cooking utensils, food for the day, and a change
of dry garments, are conveniently stowed away in these receptacles.
Beware how you pack a number of rattling, clattering pots, pans, and
kettles loosely on a timid ox's back. Should sudden alarm seize him,
it will most probably lead to such a scene as is represented in the
illustration on the opposite page.


Camels and dromedaries are frequently most valuable to the traveller;
and, although generally associated with the torrid zone and its
belongings, we see no reason why the camel should not be successfully
acclimatised in many countries in which it is now practically unknown
to the packer and traveller. "Camel Land" has been said to embrace
the Canaries, Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, the Great Desert,
Egypt, Africa, Arabia, Turkey in Asia, Persia, Cabool, Beloochistan,
Hindoostan, Burmah, Thibet, Mongolia, Tartary in Asia, the Crimea,
and a comparatively small tract of country in the neighbourhood of
Constantinople. The camel has been kept and rendered available for
general use on the estates of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, at Pisa, for
very nearly two centuries. Australia and America are, we conceive,
particularly well calculated for the utilisation of the labours of
the camel. The opinion commonly entertained that the camel can only
flourish in tropical lands is most erroneous. The ordinary geographical
range of this animal may be roughly stated as being between 15° and
52° of north latitude, and 15° of longitude west of Greenwich to
about 120° east of it. We have had opportunities of working camels of
the Bactrian, Arabian, and Saundney breeds, under more than common
vicissitudes of both climate and labour; we have ridden, muffled up in
fur helmet and gloves, through the deep snow, where the woolly-coated
Bactrians, crouching behind a sheltering rock, discussed their meal
of coarse steepe hay contentedly, and were hardy to a degree; we have
seen the burden camels of Egypt, under huge loads, trooping across
the dry deserts of that land as if they were in their element; we have
performed over 3000 miles of packing with Indian camels, and have
taken part in most severe forced marches with Saundneys, carrying
two men (an Englishman and a native), a heavy saddle, two sets of
arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, over difficult tracts of country
bordering on the sandy desert regions of Central India.


{Harnessing camels.}

Although we have seen the camel harnessed much after the manner of an
ox, and used in draught, it will rarely be found of much service to the
explorer when used in harness: as pack animals, camels are invaluable.
A good form of camel pack saddle is given at F in our full-page
illustration of "Horse Equipments"; and the above diagrams will serve
to show how ordinary camel riding saddles may be made. Any strong
tough wood will answer for the uprights and side pieces; the lashings
are of raw hide; the cushions, or pads, of leather, stuffed with wool
or curled hair; the girths are of spun goats' hair; and the breast
strap is a wide band of plaited thongs. Some idea may be formed of the
courage, power, and speed of the camel when we state that, before the
opening of the Suez Railway, the mails were transported on camels'
backs twice per month across the Desert between Grand Cairo and the
head of the Red Sea, a distance of eighty-four miles, without halting,
in about eighteen hours. The weight of each camel-load (four mail
boxes, &c.) was about 300lb.

Few matters of animal nomenclature have led to more confusion and
misunderstanding than the terms "camel" and "dromedary;" and this has
mainly arisen from the distinction laid down by Buffon, who states
that the camel has two humps, whilst the dromedary has only one. If
this point of distinction were correct, there would be no camels in
Egypt, and one would have to travel to Tartary and some remote parts
of Asia to find them; and the dromedary, and that only, would be
found in Turkey, Arabia, Grand Cairo, Africa, and India. Amongst the
Arabs and Egyptians the word "gimel" is applied to all the members of
the genus--the term "dromedary" never being made use of. An animal
used exclusively for riding purposes is called a "hagine". It will,
therefore, be convenient to follow their example, and call a baggage
animal of this family a "camel," and that used for riding purposes a
"hagine." Our space will not admit of our entering on the subject of
camel breeding, or the various crosses of breeds found in different
parts of the world, as, like those of the horse, they would fill a

                              CHAPTER XI.

                            CATTLE MARKING.

In all large and imperfectly settled countries the use of a private
mark, or brand, is most important, not only as a means by which animals
can be identified and recovered when lost, but as the evidence of legal
transfer and of particular breed or strain of stock. Animals are most
commonly marked with either some conspicuous and tenacious pigment,
by slits or cuts of definite form made in the ear, or by initials or
some symbol branded with a heated iron on some part of the body. Sheep
may be both ear-marked and lettered with either red or black paint.
The lettering is easily and expeditiously effected by the use of the
cover or bottom of an old biscuit tin. Lay your sheet of tin on the
table, and with the point of your knife sketch out the outline of the
letter or letters you have determined on as your mark, taking care
that they are of conspicuous size; then with a mallet and chisel cut
out the letters. You will then have a sort of stencilling sheet; cut
it to a convenient size, nail a piece of wood to it for a handle, and
your marker is complete. Place it against your sheep, paint over the
outside of the plate with a large paint-brush, and your mark is made
in an instant. Your sacks, bags, and boxes can be marked in the same
manner with the same contrivance. A herd of cattle can be temporarily
marked by a newly-arrived settler in a quarter of an hour or twenty
minutes, as follows: Procure a waggon whip handle or a long pole; then
lash to its end a round ball of either hide, with the hair on, or a bit
of old blanket, fixing on your ball to the stick just as the striker of
a drum-stick is made. Dip this in a pot of paint or tar, and then put
it adroitly against the haunch or shoulder of the animal to be marked.
Give it a sudden sharp twist round, and there will be instantly formed
a round ball-like spot. With a lot of timid newly-purchased cattle,
with which you are anxious to move off at once, the above plan will be
found a good one.

A native herdsman would despise such means of recognition; and many of
the colonial farmers would know individually every horse, ox, or sheep
in their possession, just as we know by expression of the countenance
or peculiarity of figure any person among our own acquaintance; and we
have even heard of a case in which the calf of a cow, that had been
stolen many years before, was recognised by its resemblance to its
mother, and the theft thus traced out and detected.

The cutting of marks in the ear seems to be the more primitive and,
perhaps, the easier, as involving less need of tools or apparatus; but
it is difficult to give sufficient variety to enable many farmers to
have each a distinctive mark. One slit, or more, in the right or left
ear, a "swallow-tail" in one and a slit in the other, or a hole punched
with a wad cutter, are among the most common; but all are liable to be
torn off by dogs or wild animals; and the hole in the ear is especially
objectionable, as the creature itself is almost sure to tear it through
by scratching with his hinder foot. Moreover, almost all are liable
to be altered should the marked property fall into dishonest hands;
and most farmers, and, it may be said, all traders, now employ the
branding iron--fashioned to represent either their own initials or
some arbitrary sign, as a cross, a square, a triangle, a circle or any
segment of it, a star of any particular number of rays, the figure
formed by crossing two triangles (as here shown).


In America, and some other countries, it is requisite on the purchase
of animals--horses and mules especially--that the traveller should
not only get a receipt for his purchase money, but get indorsed on it
by the seller his acknowledgment of the new owner's counter-brand, in
manner as follows: "Received of Capt. ----, the sum of ---- dollars, in
payment for a brown mare mule. Seller's brand, O. B.; buyer's brand,
W. Signature, &c." The new brand should be placed under the old one,
and unless these precautions are taken the new purchaser stands a very
excellent chance of having his recently-acquired stock seized on at
some frontier post, and detained until the legality of the transfer
has been ascertained. It is sometimes agreed on that the owner shall
renounce all claim to an animal by reversing his own brand above that
originally made by him, thus, [reverseB/A--invertedA/B]

There are tales, however, of certain dwellers at a distance from the
law who have acquired considerable skill in altering the marks of any
stray cattle that may fall into their hands, and this is an operation
requiring no little skill, for should the mark be old, an iron made
too hot will burn the addition in so deeply that it will for a long
time display an air of freshness not in accordance with the original.
Some initials are very easy of alteration; thus, C may be converted
into O, or Q, or G; I may be made at least into thirteen letters
without increasing its size, which, when it is used in combination
with others, is a point of considerable importance, and into several
more if a slight increase may be ventured on. P may become B or R,
and L or F may be changed to E. It may be well for us to point out
to those who have charge of Government stock, or are likely to have
stolen animals offered them for sale, that the thief not unfrequently
sees fit to adopt an anchor as his brand, as, if it is of proper size,
the broad arrow, by the addition of the stock and flukes, makes a very
respectable one. We have heard of an unscrupulous colonist who branded
all his cattle with a frying pan, and had no particular place on which
to apply it; thus, no matter what the brand on a stray horse or ox
might be, he had nothing to do but to clap the red hot disk above it,
and his own mark speedily and effectually obliterated every other. It
is said that he afterwards repented, and, in proof of it, led a most
exemplary life in a Government department for fourteen years.


It is a good plan to have a small iron and to brand cattle upon the
horns, as it is impossible to efface the mark by any process that
would not betray itself. This iron may also be used for branding small
articles--such as tent poles, yokes, waggon-gear, or anything in the
traveller's possession--not only as a precaution against theft, but
as a means of affording an indication of his fate should he perish,
as many a poor fellow has done in a gallant but fruitless effort to
explore an unknown country.

  [Illustration: 1-9]

Any man with a few tools and a moderate share of ingenuity can make his
own branding iron from a suitable-sized chunk of soft iron. File it to
the right form, give it an even surface; then with a pencil sketch the
letter, or mark, on the iron, only taking care to reverse the object
as you would in drawing on wood. When your pencil lines are complete,
scratch them in with a sharp hard point. Rub a little gunpowder and
grease into them in order that they may show conspicuously, and
then, with a hammer and small cold chisel, proceed to chip away the
superfluous iron until the pattern stands boldly and sharply out. Heat
it and try the print on a board, and, if requisite, trim and file again
until it is to your satisfaction. A large drill is of great service
in making branding irons, which, when finished, can be attached to
handles either by leaving a piece of metal on the back of the chunk
long enough to weld the hand iron to, or a screw may be made at the
back to hold it in its place. Some persons make chunk, hand iron, and
all from one piece of metal; others form the letters, &c., from narrow
strips of iron, bending them to the required figure, and then riveting
them fast to a sort of frame. We, however, consider the solid chunk
form of iron by far the best and most durable. A clear charcoal or wood
fire is best for heating the brand in. It should be heated just hot
enough to singe rather than burn into the skin; so long as the roots
of the hair are destroyed the burning may be considered effective. As
we have before stated, the particular strain, or breed, of certain
animals may be known by the peculiar way in which they are branded. The
Arabs have a great number of private marks, which few, save themselves,
understand. Horses and dromedaries are marked in an entirely different
manner. There is also a distinction drawn by them between large and
small horses. The former are known as "Aneezah" Arabs, and, if of high
cast, usually bear the peculiar mark of the tribe by which they are
reared. All Arab horses under 14 hands are called "Nedjdi." These,
when found by any tribe to possess more than ordinary purity of breed
and excellence, are marked with an extremely narrow crescent, like
a new moon, with the horns a little more than an inch apart. In the
illustration on p. 481 we give a few examples of dromedary branding, as
showing the particular class of animal indicated by it. 1. Amadabieh.
2 shows the general mark of a Bicharieh tribe, which will be seen to
exist on all the other examples. The additions show the private brand
of each small community, or division of the tribe, thus: 3. Amitirah;
4. Mahomed-Ouzabieh; 5. Menacir; 6. Achabab; 7. Cawarah; 8. Mahazi; 9.

Having shown the marks by which many strains or breeds of camels may
be known, it may not be amiss to give a few general hints on camel and
hygeene purchase and management.

                              CHAPTER XII.

                      HINTS ON HYGEENS AND CAMELS.

The following directions to purchasers of these animals are given by
Linant Bey, engineer-in-chief of dykes and bridges to the Viceroy of
Egypt, and were translated for the information of the President of the
United States of America.

{Points in the dromedary.}

"To avoid deception in the choice of a dromedary one must be very much
of a connoisseur of the animal, for I think it is more difficult to be
skilled in dromedaries than in horses. One must have lived with Arabs
and their dromedaries to appreciate either the one or the other. It
may be conceived, then, how difficult it is to designate clearly what
constitutes a good dromedary.

"A dromedary should not be too tall, nor its legs too long, which would
give it a gaunt appearance; nor should the chest be too wide nor too

"The fore-legs should not touch the callosity upon the breast. The two
rowels or mullets (_molettes_) of the fore-feet should be far from
touching each other when the animal walks.

"The belly should be round, without being puffy; and the hump should
not be too big.

"The neck should be rather wide than narrow, the head well set on, the
eye large, and the lips closed.

"In walking the animal should show suppleness in the neck, and have a
wavy movement of the head. The more suppleness there is in this motion
the easier will be the gait.

"To be highly esteemed a dromedary should not cry when touched; and,
when bridled, haltered, or saddled, it should give utterance only to a
low grumbling.

"A dromedary should not be taken that has been seriously hurt
near the shoulders, where the saddle rests, though it does not
indicate disease, but proceeds only from the little care the Arabs
give to keeping their saddles in repair. In a female this is less
objectionable; for, in giving birth, if her wounds have caused any
disease, it is almost always cured. Fine cautery marks on either side
of the callosity, on the breast, or on the belly near the navel,
indicate always internal, incurable disorders.

"The hind-legs should not be too angular, but rather straight. The hump
should not be too much to the front; rather to the rear is better, as
then the saddle is more easily adjusted. The hair should not be too
short, as then the animal is more easily injured.

"The feet should be small, the nails and the hair round them black
rather than white.

"Fawn-coloured dromedaries are more highly prized than those entirely

"When mounted, the dromedary should instantly and quickly rise and
start off.

"When the dromedary moves, it should be with such spirit that the rider
is obliged to hold him in; this supports both. To urge him on kick him
on the shoulder with the foot. It is very difficult to find a dromedary
uniting in itself all these requisite qualities, and very rarely can
such an one, especially if it is a female, be purchased; for the Arabs
love their fine-blooded dromedaries as much as they do their horses,
and it is only as presents, or else at enormous prices, that the
choicest animals can be obtained.

"A first-rate Nomanieh is worth in Cairo from five hundred to six
hundred dollars; but those ordinarily met with there sell from one
hundred to two hundred dollars.

"The Bichariehs sell for less; good ones--that is to say, such as are
for sale--may be had for from sixty to one hundred dollars.

"At nearly for the same prices as for the Bicharieh can be purchased
also the other breeds of the Mahazi, Cawarah, and Ababdi. I will remark
here that the Bicharieh dromedaries do not carry as heavy burdens as
the Nomanieh. These last carry a saddle called 'gabit,' fitted with
pads, and with saddle-bags termed 'krourque,' that hang down on both
sides of the saddle and carry the baggage, provisions, &c., of the
rider and of the dromedary.

"The Bicharieh carries a wooden saddle, laid over two small pads, which
are not fastened to it. This saddle is called 'kyarpah,' 'maraloup,'
&c., &c., according to its shape. Saddle-bags cannot be carried over
it, on account of its form; but behind it a small sack of hide called
'bila,' in which a little luggage can be packed, may be attached after
the manner of a valise or portmanteau.

"Often, in expeditions, a servant or follower rides behind upon the
dromedaries of the two breeds. Both riders carry their arms.

"In a word, the Nomanieh generally carries from 200lb. to 230lb.; the
Bicharieh, 180lb. At the utmost their burdens are 300lb. and 350lb.
A dromedary, well equipped, well ridden, and in good condition, can
easily make in a day over suitable ground, level and a little sandy,
about ninety miles, that is, between morning and evening; but it cannot
keep on at that rate. It can make fifty miles a day for fifteen or
twenty days, and for a long journey can be counted upon for that. I
have myself travelled upon one ninety miles in eleven hours, and gone
twelve miles in forty minutes."

The carrying power of the camel will depend in great measure on the
stock they came of and the climate in which they are employed, the
Central Asiatic camel being, as a rule, more vigorous and enduring than
that of either Africa or India. The loads of camels will vary greatly
with the nature of the work they are employed to perform. Where very
short distances under burden have to be travelled, as for instance from
the depôts of a town to a camp in the immediate vicinity, a powerful
and healthy camel can carry from 1100lb. to 1200lb.; for the march, or
when produce or baggage has to be carried any distance, from 300lb.
to 400lb. will be found quite heavy enough to admit of regular and
continuous performance of carrying duty. We always roughly estimate
our weight of stores and equipments at seven camels to the ton; for
slow ordinary travelling of about twenty miles per day of from eight
to ten hours in duration; for more rapid movements the loads should be
proportionately lightened.

{Camels and their loads.}

The following table of camel burdens made use of in various parts of
the world may prove useful to the traveller in many lands:

  COUNTRY.              WEIGHT.                DESCRIPTION OF ANIMAL.

  Algeria,            }
  Morocco,            } From 300lb. to 400lb.   Ordinary camels of the
  Tunis,              }                         country.
  Tripoli,            }

  Egypt,                From 350lb. to 550lb.   Camels of the country.

  Syria,              }                       { Large-sized bull camels
  Asia Minor,         }                       { (_l[=o]ks_, as they
  Turkey in Asia,     } From 500lb. to 600lb. { called) and hybrids
  Persia and Tartary, }                       { (or _booghdee_).

  Beloochistan,       }
  Cabool,             }
  Hindoostan,         } From 300lb. to 400lb.   Ordinary breeds.
  Thibet,             }
  Birmah,             }
  Mongolia,           }

  Crim-Tartary and    }
  the borders of      } From 300lb. to 500lb.   Bactrian.
  Southern Russia,    }

{Hints on camels.}

The age of a camel, like that of a horse or mule, may be judged of by
the teeth. It remains without incisor teeth until the termination of
the third year of its life, when it has two; at five years old, it will
have four; at six years old six incisors; and at eight there will be a
full complement--canines and molars.

The condition of the hump is a good index of the general well-doing of
the animal, as that structure is the first to fail or diminish from
want or overwork.

The food of camels may be said to be found everywhere on the earth's
surface where vegetation, of even the most scanty and unattractive
character, is to be found. All is food that comes to tooth with
the camel, and when low trees have been scarce, we have often sent
a native armed with our hatchet or billhook to climb into a large
peepul, neem, or baubul thorn tree, and chop down a cartload or two
of branches. These, when dragged with hook-ended sticks to where the
camels were picketed, were received with cavernous rumblings and grunts
of satisfaction; and the same tree, by the use of the same implement,
yielded not unfrequently the supper for the camels and the fuel to cook
our own evening meal.

The Arabs generally maintain that the camel should not drink more
frequently than once in every three days, although in dry hot
weather we have known them drink much more frequently without being
apparently the worse for the indulgence. We have on many occasions
endeavoured to ascertain the quantity of water taken at each period of
thirst-quenching, and the result of our investigations have led us to
the conclusion that about five gallons should be allowed as a drink to
each camel when he takes in water on the march. The stomachs of the
camel, like those of other ruminating animals, are constructed so as to
admit of a store of both food and water being laid up in them to meet
the demand when other sources of supply fail.

In cases of extreme necessity, and when the preservation of human life
depends on the obtainment of water, the supply to be found in the
stomach of the camel should not be overlooked or forgotten.

During the Algerian campaign the French made some investigations in
order to find out the quantity of water a dead camel's stomach would
contain, and the result was that about 15 pints was the average arrived
at. This water, although green and turbid, had no offensive smell; and
it was at the time asserted by the Arabs that water of this character
required three days to clear itself. This period, however, could
rarely, if ever, be allowed to elapse, as three days would probably
close the scene of suffering, exhaust the patience of the distressed
traveller, or lead him to more natural sources from which to obtain the
precious fluid.

In a case of emergency, we should simply pass the water through our
pocket filter, which will be described under the head "Water, and the
Sap of Plants," and drink it at once.

{Camels, to embark.}

The regular purchase, collection, embarkation, and transport of camels
has rarely been so carefully and successfully conducted as by the
officers appointed by the Government of the United States of America,
and the report forwarded to Congress by the officer in charge of the
embarkation department will not fail to be of interest and value. He
says: "In the first place, the ship is anchored as close as possible
to the place of embarkation to save time. The camel boat with the car
in it is rowed on shore, and a force of about ten men sent to get the
camels in. There is also sent on shore in the boat a good tackle (not
very large), a camel harness complete, spare plank, hammer and nails,
and about 50 fathoms of 2in. rope, all of which will be of use.

  [Illustration: EMBARKATION TACKLE.]

"It is requisite to select a place for the boat where she will lie with
her bow on a level with the wharf. If this cannot be done, and it is
necessary to 'beach' her, then a strong bridge made of stout plank,
and about 8ft. wide, will have to be constructed, strong enough to
bear not only the camel's weight, but to stand their struggling. This
I was obliged to do. The bow of the boat being secured firmly to the
wharf or bridge, the harness is placed on the camel, which is led up
as close as it will go. If it will walk right into the car, one end of
which is placed on the gunwale of the boat, so much the better (in no
instance did we find them willing to go without force), but if it will
not go in then hook on the tackle to the breaststrap of the harness on
the camel; let the men keep a steady pull upon it, and the camel will
go in without a hurt, no matter how much he may resist. Four men guide
the camel, and keep it in the centre of the planks, and one man leads
it by the halter into the car, through which the tackle is led, one
block being hooked to the other end of the boat. After the camel is in
it is made to lie down, the knees tied round with ropes, a rope across
the neck and made fast to the knees, and two or three ropes across the
back to keep it down. It is then hoisted on to the camel deck without
fright or excitement of any kind."

The opposite illustration will serve to show how the ropes and tackle
are arranged for the purpose of urging a reluctant camel onwards.


When the camels were all on board the report goes on as follows:--

"Having taken in all the camels, two days we occupied in fitting to
each one its proper harness (for almost every one of them differed in
size and form), marking their numbers on the harness, and fitting out
each one with brush and currycomb--all of which it is necessary to be
done before going to sea. Hayracks, made of large open network, were
fitted amidships, extending the whole length of the camel deck. Large
bags filled with hay were also placed against the ship's sides for
their haunches to rest against, and two ropes fitted for securing to
the harness on each camel." The above engraving will show the manner
in which the camels were secured when a gale of wind or a heavy sea

"To enable the camel guard to efficiently watch their charge at night,
four large lanterns with reflectors were put up, and lighted every
evening at sunset; and, in case of accidents from fire, two large water
tubs were kept always full."

{Camel journal.}

The American camel journal kept on board the United States ship
_Supply_ is so thoroughly practical and useful, that we insert a
specimen of its form of construction for the guidance of travellers
who may have to perform a voyage with camels newly purchased for an
expedition or campaign.

                        CAMEL JOURNAL.

   18  .|Bales.|Galls.|Bags.|Galls.| lb. |   lb.    |
 Jan. 21|280lb.|  30  |  2  |  --  | --  |¼ sulphur |Received on board
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |6 camels (2 of
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |them males). Washed
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |them and secured
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |them in their
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |stalls. Put sulphur
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |in their water.
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |
   "  22|220lb.|  40  |  1  |  --  | --  |    --    |Fitted the harness
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |when required, and
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |rubbed the camels
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |well with curry-
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |combs and brushes.
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |Named the camels
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |and lettered the
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |harness.
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |
   "  23|1 bale|  40  |  1  |  --  | --  |    --    |Refilled the net-
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |ting with hay, as
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |also the fenders
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |for their behinds.
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |Went round the
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |camels with sulphur
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |ointment, and ap-
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |plied it on all
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |suspicious-looking
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |places. Ceased to
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |issue oats. Lit-
        |      |      |     |      |     |          |tered with hay.

The treatment of camels when suffering from disease or accident will be
given under the head "Veterinary Surgery."

                             CHAPTER XIII.

                     WATER, AND THE SAP OF PLANTS.

{Locality for water.}

The whole success of an expedition and the preservation of the lives
of those composing it have not unfrequently depended on the obtainment
of this precious fluid; and, as its importance to the traveller is
vital, so the sources from which it is to be obtained are numerous.
Rivers, lakes, springs, and rain pools are the most common and obvious,
needing no comment here. Showers of rain often yield a considerable
quantity, which may be caught in sails or sheets spread for the
purpose, selecting those which are free from the perspiration of men
or animals. Deep clefts among rocks and ravines often contain a great
deal, and the cliffs by the sea-shore, although there are no rivulets
to be discovered, frequently contain cracks and crevices, through which
water runs and loses itself in the sand.

The beds of apparently dried-up watercourses should be always explored
carefully, as high up as possible, and the stones at the bottom of the
deepest pools lifted out, and their resting places examined. A piece of
woollen cloth, a sponge, or a bunch of soft moss, will much facilitate
the withdrawal of chance finds in such places. Spots of low ground,
on which reeds, rushes, or other water plants are found, should be
carefully examined, and their depths probed with a strong sharp-pointed

The tracks of wild animals are often valuable guides to water; but
careful examination is needed lest the searcher should take the back
track, and go from, instead of towards, it. A sharp lookout overhead
towards evening will often be rewarded by a sight of the flocks of
wild-fowl or other birds winging their way towards the drinking
places. Baggage animals and dogs at times show extraordinary instinct
in finding pools and springs where they are least expected to exist.
We have also seen Indians apparently guided by some singular faculty
to its neighbourhood. In most countries some particular kind of tree
will be met with generally associated with the presence of water, and
growing near it.


Should moisture be discovered a hole should be at once dug by loosening
the earth and gravel with the stick, and then clearing out the hole
with the hand, a small "well" as deep as the arm is long, may be very
rapidly made in this manner: Well hardening the point of the digging
stick in the fire will add much to its efficiency, and is much better
than a mere pointing with a sharp instrument. Where the soil is of a
loose character and the sides of the well likely to fall in, a long
bundle of reeds or rushes should be bound together and thrust down.
Holes of this kind may be long preserved as drinking places by making
up a round ball of slender twigs just sufficiently large to fit the
hole, ramming it firmly to the bottom, then placing a bamboo or other
hollow tube long enough to reach a couple of feet or so above the
surface, and then filling in the hole with earth and pressing the whole
well down. The water is thus preserved from evaporation, and can be
sucked freely through the tube. At times it will be found to flow up
the tube and run over, or a second tube may be put in to blow through,
when the water can be caught in any convenient vessel by boring a hole
through a bit of bark for the upper end of the tube to fit into, thus
forming a shoot for it to run off through, as in the above illustration.

When horses or cattle have to be watered from a pool or "well" of
any size, and the water is any distance below the surface, the old
expedient of the lever and post, so common all through Egypt and most
Eastern countries, will be found an exceedingly useful one. (See the
following full-page illustration.) When travelling through Central
India, where the wells are often very large and deep, we used to find
our small brass "lota pot," which was carried strapped fast to the
front of the saddle, with a long coil of whipcord stowed away in it to
lower and raise by, of great service.

Drinking troughs for cattle are conveniently made from hollow tree
trunks, sheets of bark with the ends nipped up, or by digging a trench
in the ground and placing a piece of canvas or an indiarubber ground
sheet in it. In watering cattle from contrivances of this kind two
separate herds should be formed, consisting of those which have to
drink and those which have drunk, letting them up one at a time,
and keeping back the rest. Much confusion and irregularity are thus
avoided, and you are sure that each animal has had its share.

{Water, to find.}

We can only give a few general hints on searching for water.
Perhaps the surest way is if there are natives in the country to
make friends of them, not by hurriedly and lavishly forcing upon
them presents--costly, it may be, to the giver, but valueless to
them--but by quietly waiting to see what they value, and giving it in
moderate quantities, as if the donor knew its worth as well as they.
Half a stick of tobacco, a short pipe, a sixpenny knife, or cotton
handkerchief, blue spotted with white, or a few strings of beads of
the kind they value--generally white, red, blue, or black opaque seed
beads--will gain their good will better than useless tinsel or gewgaws
of ten times the cost; while a Dutch brass-barrelled tinder-box,
with flint and steel, value 1_s._ or 1_s._ 6_d._, becomes far in
the interior an article of such value that it ought not to be given
except as a reward for real service. Extravagant liberality will
only be attributed to fear, more especially if haste accompanies it;
therefore, it is wise to spend a little time before making even the
preliminary offer of a pipeful of tobacco, and more before giving the
real present and making known what is desired in return. But in reality
the traveller will save time, and when he does ask for water the native
will bring him a supply, or point out where to obtain it; whereas, were
he to open the negotiations by hurriedly demanding information, the
natives would become suspicious of his motive, and would in the first
instance tell him a lie in order to throw him off the scent and gain
time to discover his supposed intentions.

In the absence of native guides, converging footpaths of men or animals
will probably lead to a pool. Most antelopes drink every day, but this
is not the case with the gemsbok or the eland, the last of which never
drinks, or, if it ever does, the instances are quite exceptional.

As before stated, the flight of birds morning and evening should also
be watched, but this, however, is not always an infallible sign, as
we have seen cockatoos drinking water so black that we could not use
it; but when, as we have also seen, even the parrots desert an island
before sunset it becomes tolerably certain that no water will be found
upon it.

Depressions on the ground should be followed, and additional freshness
of vegetation carefully sought for. An iron ramrod may be thrust into
the ground when there is any chance of dampness below the surface, and
the traveller should make himself acquainted with the peculiar plants
of the country which grow near the water. The pandanus, or screw pine
of Australia, is one of these.

In savage countries the labour of seeking and digging for water falls
principally on the women, who usually make use of a fire-hardened
grubbing stick for working a hole in the ground. The stick is loaded
with a perforated stone of several pounds weight to give additional
force to each stroke, and as the soil is loosened it is cleared out by
the insertion of the hand and arm, using the bent fingers as a scoop.
Use is also made of a stick split to about 12in. or 15in. from the
end, and this, when worked down into soft soil, catches and brings up
a quantity in the cleft, and this being shaken out upon one side the
stick is again clear and fit to bring up more. A bamboo cane, with the
end split up into several filaments, is used for the same purpose by
the natives of India.

Where only salt or saline water is to be obtained recourse may
be had to distillation, which may serve, as it has done in many
well-authenticated cases, to at least save the lives of the human
beings and dogs of a party. Little hope could, however, be entertained
of being enabled by this means to supply the wants of cattle or horses.

{Makeshift still.}

A "still" may be very easily made from any vessel which will stand
fire, such as one of the copper water barrels hereafter described, or
even a common cooking pot and a gun barrel (single or double), a hollow
bamboo with the knots removed, or, in fact, any hollow tube. If a pot
is used, a stout heavy wooden cover must be fitted to it, through
which two holes are to be cut--one at the side for the barrel or tube,
and the other a bung-hole at the top, which must have a stopper fitted
securely to it, and is used to introduce the water as it becomes
exhausted. This saves the trouble of removing the cover, and thus
disturbing the other arrangements. The annexed illustration will serve
to explain the nature of a contrivance of this kind. The boat-shaped
box resting on the forked sticks is made of bark, pinned at the ends
with wooden pins. This is filled with a couple of woollen blankets
or a quantity of moss, or even seaweed. The barrel passes directly
through the centre, and is kept cold by constantly throwing cold
water over it. The fresh water runs out through the hole from which
the nipple is unscrewed, and is caught in any suitable vessel; and
the waste salt water through holes bored in the bark for the purpose.
Many modifications of this plan might, of course, be had recourse to,
but this will be found about as convenient as any. Barrels, or hooped
vessels of any kind, are about the very worst that can be taken into a
wild country, as the hoops come off as the wood shrinks, causing leaks
and endless trouble.


{Copper water flasks.}

For carrying water on the backs of animals a pair of thin sheet
copper flasks (20in. long, 12in. broad, and 8in. thick) will be found
exceedingly convenient. These should have broad and strong loops
soldered on to pass leather straps and lashings through, and in using
water it should be taken alternately to preserve an even balance.
The bung-holes should be at the ends and have a stout raised ring
round them, through which a hole is drilled; through this a pin is
run, passing through a corresponding hole in the wooden stopper, thus
keeping it secure. These flasks, when made, should be thoroughly tinned
inside. They are useful for a number of purposes. Water can be boiled
in them as well as carried. They can, on an emergency, be converted
into a "still," as before stated, and when corked up air-tight are a
great support to a raft. One at each end of an outrigger pole renders
the upsetting of a canoe or float log next to impossible. No knocking
about hurts them, and should at any time a leak be discovered a bit of
solder puts the matter to rights at once.

{Water skins and pails.}

Next in value to flasks, perhaps, come leather mussacks, of the
description used in the East. They can be made of any size, and, when
injured or pricked, as they sometimes are by sharp sticks or thirsty
niggers, they are readily repaired for the time by pinching up a piece
of leather at the orifice and passing a sharp-pointed stick through,
over which a clove hitch (see "Knots and Hitches") may be secured. A
patch may be sewn on when there is time to do it, just as a cobbler
mends a shoe. But bear in mind that, instead of the ordinary thread or
hempen cord used in mending or making leather utensils or articles in
this country, a dry carefully-cut leather thong should be used instead,
as when once in place it swells from the action of the water on it, and
completely fills the holes through which it has been passed, thereby
preventing leakage.

In Mongolia they use a very useful pail or bucket for carrying water.
It has a head fixed into it much like that of an ordinary barrel, and
there are two openings or bung-holes; one tolerably large on one side,
just below the edge of the head, and another through the head itself.
In these orifices wooden plugs or stoppers are fitted, and, when water
is to be poured out, the stopper in the head is just eased like the
vent peg of a cask, so that air may be admitted; when the stopper is
taken out the larger hole freely discharges the water, which would not
run without the vent-peg arrangement.

During the year 1865, when we had entered the Victoria River, North
Australia, and the _Tom Tough_ was still drifting, in daily danger of
breaking up upon the sand-banks, we had become tired of carrying water
overland from distant pools to supply 140 sheep; and, considering that
if our inflatable boat (p. 48) would hold air to float upon the water
she would also hold fresh water to float in salt, we determined to
seek supplies farther up the river; and putting the four sections into
the schooner's gig, we sailed or pulled alternately thirty or forty
miles up the river, till the entire cessation of the mangroves and the
appearance of the pandanus, or screw pine, upon the banks and islands
showed that we were above the influence of the tide and in a stream of
permanently fresh water.

{Canoe water-transport.}

We halted at Palm Island, and, choosing a place where the water was a
little more than knee deep, we threw the inflatable sections overboard,
and, fixing the bellows in the valves, held them beneath the surface
and pumped water into them, just as we would have pumped air had we
required them for boats. We did not quite fill them with water, but
forced in a little air to give them buoyancy, and, at the same time,
to preserve their shape. In towing them, however, the pressure of the
water caused the foremost ends to assume a wedge-like form, while the
water and air, being forced aft, carried all the buoyancy thither, and
they went down head-foremost. We remedied this by cutting a long spar
and lashing them to it, making fast also an indiarubber mattress to the
parts most liable to go down.

Tedious enough was our voyage down the river. To make anything like
speed with such a drag astern of the boat was impossible, either with
oars or sails; and during the heat of the day we found the cement of
the bags beginning to soften and give way. They had been warranted to
stand 170°; but, testing them by the thermometer, the internal heat was
only 120°. We gathered up the defective part, knotted it with a bit of
twine, and laced the bag along the gunwale of our boat--keeping her
in trim by lacing its fellow on the other side--leaving only one pair
to be towed astern. The extensive shallows, where for half a mile on
a stretch the river percolated through rather than flowed over broad
banks of angularly-broken stones, caused us considerable labour and
anxiety lest some sharper point than usual should pierce our bags and
deprive us of the fruit of all our toil. We found, however, that they
yielded kindly to the varying pressure; and we rolled them, one by
one, over the successive reaches--working for hours together through
the night, and frequently in pools in which we saw alligators, and
sometimes sharks of considerable size.

Our week's work, however, toilsome as it was, resulted in a supply of
600 or 800 gallons of fresh water, tasting somewhat of indiarubber,
but still available for the sheep. This supply we could have obtained
in no other manner.

{Ships' water-bags.}

Water-bags for ship use may be made of stout No. 1 canvas. They should
be of oblong form, about 2ft. long by 18in. wide. They should be in two
thicknesses--the inside or lining being kept perfectly clean, and the
outer one previously oiled with good boiled linseed oil and allowed to
dry before it is made up, so as to keep the inner canvas as free from
taint as possible. Generally the canvas is wetted with salt water, and
then hung up till it is wind dry, or just so damp that no water will
drip from it. It is then considered to be capable of absorbing just so
much oil as will suffice to render it waterproof without clogging it
or making it unpleasant to handle when it is dry. A sufficiently stout
rope should be stitched round the seam of the bag; beckets or loops
should be left in it at the four corners for convenience of handling;
and a wooden tube or stopper should be inserted, and firmly seized in
with small cord at one corner.

These bags are most convenient when a supply of water is needed on
any emergency, especially if the landing be difficult or dangerous,
or the inhabitants hostile. They occupy no room in the boat while
empty. The oarsman may pull in unencumbered through the surf; or, if
it is necessary to fight, the riflemen may use their weapons. When
the landing is effected each carrier may seize his bag, sling it over
his shoulder with a lanyard, and experience no hindrance until he
actually fills it, when, of course, the weight of the water will become
a burden. The bags will lie flat in the boat's bottom, accommodating
their form to that of the space they occupy. If it is necessary to
carry sail they serve as ballast; and even were the boat to fill, they
would not sink her, but, as fresh water is of somewhat less specific
gravity than salt, would, if secured by bottom boards laid over them
and beneath the thwarts, help to keep her up; and on this account they
would form the most eligible ballast for boats on separate service,
and even for pleasure boats on excursions, where they might not be in
actual need of a large supply of fresh water.

{Calabashes, horns, and egg-shells.}

Cattle horns serve in South Africa for powder-flasks or water vessels,
some, especially among the Bechuana tribes, being 13ft. from tip
to tip, and capable of containing several gallons each; while the
Hottentots use them to hold honey beer, and the Abyssinians for "tedge"
or mead. A calabash, or gourd, is used by most of the natives of South
Africa, as well as many other countries, as a water vessel. It is
light, water-tight, not very easily broken, and even if an unfortunate
fracture should take place the natives repair it by boring holes on
either side the crack, pointing them diagonally towards each other,
so that, by giving a slight turn to the point of the sinew used for
thread, they either pass it through the next hole or bring it so
near that it may be caught, crochet fashion, by a fine thorn or a
crook-pointed needle. The leakage is stopped by a little grease and
clay rubbed into the holes. A calabash with a long neck may be cut
so as to form a spoon or ladle. Others of smaller size are used as
snuff-boxes, or receptacles for many trifles; and in some parts of
Turkey calabashes are used for powder flasks. An ostrich's egg-shell
with a net worked tightly round it makes a good water-bottle.

{Bladders and paunches.}

The bladders, or paunches, of slain animals are very generally used as
water vessels. If an animal has drunk recently water may be found in
its stomach. We have quenched our thirst with the milk of a blesbok doe
as she lay dead, though not yet cold, upon the plain.

We have often seen our followers, when a buffalo or other animal has
been killed, take out the paunch, shake out its contents, and hasten
with it to the nearest stream, where, with barely a preparatory
rinsing, they would fill it with water quite clean enough for their
idea of culinary operation; and, calling on the nearest native
resident, would invite him to bring his pots with him and assist in
cooking the banquet.

Sometimes the paunch scraped thin is suspended by thongs passed through
like purse strings. Occasionally two mimosa thorns, which are not
unfrequently 4in. or 5in. long, or a couple of skewers, are thrust
through and the cord tightened round under them. If a small hole should
be found, it may be stopped by putting a somewhat larger pebble upon
the place, gathering the skin around it, and then tying the neck firmly
with a cord; or the edges may be skewered together with a thorn, and
the neck bound tightly with cord.

When a rhinoceros has fallen we have seen the Damara women carefully
extract the long intestines, distend them with air, and bring them home
coiled round their bodies, to be used thereafter as water vessels.

{Waterproof baskets.}

The Kafirs on the frontier of the Cape Colony plait baskets of so fine
a texture that they employ them for holding milk and even water; but
it is better that they should become saturated with the first before
they are used for the latter, as, though they swell while wet and are
perfectly tight, pure water would dry out with the heat from the fibre
of an empty basket, and the consequent shrinking of the texture would
make it leaky.

We have seen most elegant and serviceable baskets made in Timor of the
leaves of the fan palm. The ends of all the spreading leaflets are
gathered together in a point, and a cord of twisted fibre is passed as
a handle from this point to the stump of the footstalk. A pair of these
baskets, holding two or three gallons each, are slung to the ends of a
bamboo, and the bearer taking this across his shoulder carries water,
or sometimes palm juice, about the town. The latter refreshing beverage
is sold at a doit per cup; the cup itself being made of a smaller palm
leaf, and also purchasable for a doit or two.

At Walvisch Bay, in South-West Africa, where rain falls perhaps once in
two years, and the river runs with fresh water once in ten, there is a
small water hole called Sand Fountain. This is about four miles from
the landing place, and the water was, and perhaps still is, brought by
two or more Hottentots dragging a cask fitted up like a garden roller,
with the pivots set firmly into stout cross-pieces nailed or screwed
upon each end of the cask.

Shafts of wood, with holes bored in them to fit upon the pivots, may be
used as means of traction, or, if more convenient, ropes with thimbles
or grummets turned in the ends for the same purpose; but in this case
the trek ropes should be kept apart by a horizontal bar that they may
not chafe upon the chine of the cask. It will also be advantageous to
fit on felloe-pieces, near each end, so as to form a substitute for
wheels, on which the cask may travel, and this will save a great deal
of wear and tear should the country be rough or stony.

A larger cask mounted on the after wheels of a waggon, and fitted with
chocks on a frame lying on the axle is useful.

{Camp filter.}

Filtering bags can be made of woollen or other cloth. An excellent
and convenient camp filter is thus made: Take a wooden box or barrel,
long and deep. Bore a number of holes in the bottom, fasten in a
blanket bag, and then place a layer of grass, small twigs, or moss on
the bottom, over the holes; then a layer of sand; then a thick bed of
coarse lumps of charcoal; then fresh layers of grass or moss, until the
box or barrel is about half filled. Then fashion a false head or cover,
making it just large enough to move up and down the cask or box freely;
burn or bore a number of holes in it, and, when fitted in, press it
firmly down on the arrangement below, and drive a few nails in above to
keep it from rising. When this contrivance is partially sunk in a pond
or lake the water will ascend to the upper compartment above the false
head, from which it can be dipped or drawn for use.


Another useful barrel filter can be made by knocking both the heads
out of a small cask, boring it full of gimlet holes, placing it on a
thick layer of charcoal and pebbles in a larger cask, also bored full
of holes, and then filling in all the space between the outer and inner
barrels with the mixture, as shown in the above illustration.


The following is an expedient easily extemporised and frequently used
in damp soils, where water is scarce. A quantity of grass is tied up in
a wisp, or plaited into a bag; two reeds are inserted in this--one as a
suction tube, and the other to admit air; and the apparatus is buried
wherever a sufficiency of moisture is likely to permeate the soil.


The annexed illustration shows a very common expedient. Suppose the
waters of a river to be excessively turbid: a well may be dug in the
bank at any convenient distance, and the water that collects in it
will at least be much clearer than that of the river. Of course none of
these modes will correct chemical impurity.

{Hints on springs.}

We have heard it said that even sea-water by filtration through a
considerable mass of sand will lose much of its saltness and become
drinkable, and that, by digging wells at some distance from the
margin of the beach, it may be obtained with a very small amount of
brackishness. We should like to hear a well-authenticated instance of
this, in which there could be no doubt that the sea-water had been thus
purified, and that the diggers had not in fact struck upon a stratum
moistened by the inland drainage, and rendered more or less brackish by
meeting with the sea-water.

We have known a remarkable instance of the discovery of a spring of
fresh water in the immediate vicinity of the salt. In 1855, while
attached to the North-Australian Expedition, we had great difficulty in
supplying the sheep carried by our schooner, _Tom Tough_, with water.
We made one trip up the Victoria River, with indiarubber bags--and this
we purpose to notice more fully under its proper heading--and searched
the country on either side the river in all directions. We found many
little pools in shady hollows of rock, or of alluvial soil, marking
the course the rivulets would take in the rainy season, and many of
them decked with waterlilies. But these were too distant to be of
service to us, and we again examined the country in our vicinity. In
one cleft of rock we found a pint or two of water, and with a long twig
and the broken shell of a gouty stem fruit we drew up enough to allay
our thirst; but after traversing the arid ridges for hours we were
returning unsuccessfully, when, passing at half-tide along the muddy
margin of the river where a bold projecting headland forbade us any
other path, Mr. Gregory noticed a little water collected in a hollow of
the mud around a boulder. We thought at first it was only the drainage
of the retiring tide, but on tasting it, we coincided in his opinion
that it was not salt water. We set to work with our hands and cleared
away the mud and brackish slime till, having reached a stratum too
hard for our fingers' ends, we rested, and soon had the satisfaction
of seeing a small threadlike streamlet of clear water forcing its
way through the muddy sediment. In a few minutes nearly half a pint
of fresh water had collected, and, having satisfied ourselves of the
value of our discovery, we returned to our schooner, and, putting a
couple of puncheons in the long boat, waited till the turn of the next
tide, and dropped down with the ebb to the headl