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Fire.   181

believe, all kinds of puff balls, will also make tinder. " It should be gathered in August or September, and is prepared by removing the outer bark with a knife, and separating carefully the spongy yellowish mass that lies within it. This is cut into thin slices, and beaten with a mallet to soften it, till it can easily be pulled asunder between the fingers. It is then boiled in a strong solution of saltpetre."

A Roll of Rag.-Cotton rag will easily take fire from the spark from a flint, in a very dry climate, if well struck. It must be rolled up moderately tight,

so as to have the end of the roll

fluffy ; the rag having been torn, not cut. A rag rolled in this way is not bad tinder, if the sparks are

strong, and one commences to blow it the instant one of the fibres is seen to be alight. If its fluffy end be rubbed into a little dry gunpowder, its property as tinder is greatly improved.

Cotton Lamp-wick.-A piece of it drawn through a tin tube, to shield the previously charred part from being rubbed off, is excellent in dry climates. (See fig. 1, p. 180.)

Touch paper is merely paper dipped in a solution of saltpetre, or what comes to nearly the same thing and is somewhat better, paper smeared with damp gunpowder until it is blackened. Some grains of unerushed gunpowder should be left adhering to the paper, and a few more should be allowed to lie loosely upon it. Unsized paper, like that out of a blotting-book, is the best suited for making into touch-paper ; paper is rendered unsized by being well soaked and washed in water. (See next paragraph.)

Saltpetre for Tinder.-In all cases the presence of saltpetre makes tinder burn more hotly and more fiercely ; and saltpetre exists in such great quantities in the ashes of many plants (as tobacco, dill, maize, sunflower), that these can be used, just as they are, in the place of it. Thus, if the ashes of a cigar be well rubbed into a bit of paper, they convert it into touch-paper. So will gunpowder, for out of four parts of it, three are saltpetre ; damaged gunpowder may be used