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Fire.   179

only one or two men, because as the work is fatiguing, the men can undertake it in turns ; and, again, as considerable knack is required for success, it is much more probable that one man out of many should succeed, than that only one man, taken at hazard, should do so. But the best plan of all for a party of three or more men is for one of them to hold the upper block, another to hold the lower block and the tinder, should there be any, and the third man to cause the drillstick to rotate. He will effect this best by dispensing with the " ° bow," and by simply using a string or thong of a yard or four feet long. He makes one or two turns with the string round the drill-stick, and then holding one end of the string in either hand, he saws away with all his force. I believe that a party of three men, furnished with dry wood of an Appropriate quality and plenty of string, would surely produce

smoke on the first few trials, but that they would fail in producing fire. If, however, they had a couple of hours' leisure to master the knack of working these sticks, I think they would succeed in producing fire before the end of that time. The period of time necessary for a successful operation is from one to three minutes. It is of little use fatiguing yourself with sustaining the exertion for a longer period at a time, unless the wood becomes continuously hotter. As soon as the temperature remains uniform it shows that you have let the opportunity slip ; it is then the best economy of effort to desist at once, to rest, to take breath, and recommence with fresh vigour.

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