i o8 Art of Travel.
Rivers cannot be forded if their depth exceeds 3 feet for men or 4 feet for horses. Fords are easily discovered by tying a sounding-pole to the stern of a boat rowing down the middle of the stream, and searching those places where the pole touches the bottom. When no boat is to be had, fords should be tried for where the river is broad rather than where it is narrow, and especially at those places where there are bends in its course. In these the line of shallow water does not run
straight across, but follows the direction of a line connecting a promontory on one side to the nearest promontory on the other, as in the drawing ; that is to say, from A to B, or from B to c, and not right across from B to b, from A to a, or from c to c. Along hollow
curves, as at a, b, c, the stream runs deep, and usually beneath overhanging banks ; whilst in front of promontories, as at A, B, and c, the water is invariably shoal, unless it be a jutting rock that makes the promontory. Therefore, by entering the stream at one promontory, with the intention of leaving it at another, you ensure that at all events the beginning and end of your course shall be in shallow water, which you cannot do by attempting any other line of passage.
To Cross Boggy and Uncertain Ground.-Swamps.-When you wish to take a wagon across a deep, miry, and reedy swamp, outspan and let the cattle feed. Then cut faggots of reeds, and strew them thickly over the line of intended passage. When plenty are laid down, drive the cattle backwards and forwards, and they will trample them in. Repeat the process two or three times, till the causeway is firm enough to bear the weight of the wagon. Or, in default of reeds, cut long poles and several short cross-bars, say of two feet long; join these as best you can, so as to make a couple of ladder-shaped frames. Place these across the mud, one under the intended track of each wheel. Faggots strewn between each round of the ladder will make the causeway more sound. A succession
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