138 Art of Travel.
habit of the naked natives in Australia to do so, and not an unfrequent one of the Hottentots of South Africa. Mr. Moffat records with grateful surprise how he passed a night, of which he had gloomy forebodings, in real comfort, even luxury, by adopting this method. A man may be as comfortable in a burrow as in a den. I shall speak of underground houses under " Hutting ; " and for the present will only mention that, in arid countries, dry wells, dug by natives and partially choked by drifted sand, are often to be met with. They are generally found near existing watering-places, where they have been superseded by others, better placed and deeper. Now, there are few warmer sleeping-places than one of these dry wells ; a small fire is easily kept burning at the bottom, and the top may be partially roofed over.
in Ashes of Camp Fire.-A few chill hours may be got over, in a plain that affords no other shelter, by nestling among the ashes of a recently burnt-out camp fire.
Warm Carcases.-In Napoleon's retreat, after his campaign in Russia, many a soldier saved or prolonged his life by creeping within the warm and reeking carcase of a horse that had died by the way.
By the water-side.-A stony beach makes a fine dry encamping-place, and has this advantage, that it makes it impossible for marauders to creep up unheard. But the immediate neighbourhood of fresh water is objectionable, for, besides being exposed to malaria and mosquitoes, the night air is more cold and penetrating by its side, than at one or two hundred yards' distance from it. (I will speak of walls of rushes and reeds, under " Huts.")
By Porks.-In the cruel climate of Thibet, Dr. Hooker tells us that it is the habit to encamp close to some large rock, because a rock absorbs heat all day, and parts with it but slowly during the night-time. It is, therefore, a reservoir of warmth when the sun is down, and its neighbourhood is coveted in the night-time. Owing to the same cause, acting in the opposite direction, the shadow of a broad rock is peculiarly cool and grateful, during the heat of the day, in a thirsty land.
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