Fords and Bridges. 109
of logs, laid crosswise with faggots between them, will also do, but not so well.
Passing from hand to Hand.-When many things have to be conveyed across a piece of abominably bad road-as over sand-dunes, heavy shingle, mud of two feet deep, a morass, a jagged mountain tract, or over stepping-stones in the bed of a rushing torrent-it is a great waste of labour to make laden men travel to and fro with loads on their backs. It is a severe exertion to walk at all under these circumstances, letting alone the labour of also carrying a burden. The men should be stationed in a line, each at a distance of six or seven feet from his neighbour, and should pass the things from hand to hand, as they stand.
Plank Roads.-°" Miry, boggy lines of road, along which people had been seen for months crawling like flies across a plate of treacle, are suddenly, and I may almost say magically, converted into a road as hard and good as Regent Street by the following simple process, which is usually adopted as soon as the feeble funds of the young colony can purchase the blessing. A small gang of men, with spades and rammers, quickly level one end of the earth road. As fast as they proceed, four or five rows of strong beams or sleepers, which have been brought, in the light wagons of the country, are laid down longitudinally, four or five feet asunder; and no sooner are they in position than from other wagons stout planks, touching each other, are transversely laid upon them. From a third series of wagons, a thin layer of sand or grit is thrown upon the planks, which instantly assume the appearance of a more level McAdam road than in practice can ever be obtained. Upon this new-born road the wagons carrying the sleepers, planks, and sand, convey, with perfect ease, these three descriptions of materials for its continuance. The work advances literally about as fast as an old gouty gentleman can walk; and as soon as it is completed, there can scarcely exist a more striking contrast than between the two tenses of what it was and what it is. This `plank road,' as it is termed in America, usually lasts from eight to twelve years ; and as it is found quite unnecessary to spike the planks to the sleepers, the arrangement admits of easy repair, which, however, is