200 Art of Travel.
those circumstances, carrion and garbage of every kind can be eaten without the stomach rejecting it. Life can certainly be maintained on a revolting diet, that would cause a dangerous illness to a man who was not compelled to adopt it by the pangs of hunger. There is, moreover, a great difference in the power that different people possess of eating rank food without being made ill by it. It appears that no flesh, and very few fish, are poisonous to man ; but vegetables are frequently poisonous.
Dead Animals, to find.-The converging flight of crows, and gorged vultures sitting on trees, show where dead game is lying ; but it is often very difficult to find the carcase ; for animals usually crawl under some bush or other hiding-place, to die. Jackal-tracks, &c., are often the only guide. It may be advisable, after an unsuccessful search, to remove to some distance, and watch patiently throughout the day, until the birds return to their food, and mark them down.
Rank Birds.-When rank birds are shot, they should be skinned, not plucked ; for much of the rankness lies in their skin ; or, if unskinned, they should be buried for some hours, because earth absorbs the oil that makes them rank. Their breast and wings are the least objectionable parts, and, if there be abundance of food, should alone be cooked. Rank sea-birds, when caught, put in. a coop, and fed with corn, were found by Captain Bligh to become fat and well-tasted.
Skins.-All old hides or skins of any kind that are not tanned are fit and good for food ; they improve soup by being mixed with it ; or they may be toasted and hammered. Long boiling would make glue or gelatine of them. Many a hungry person has cooked and eaten his sandals or skin clothing.
Bones contain a great deal of nourishment, which is got at by boiling them, pounding their ends between two stones, and sucking them. There is a revolting account in French history, of a besieged garrison of Sancerre, in the time of Charles IX., and again subsequently at Paris, and it may be elsewhere, digging up the graveyards for bones as sustenance.
Blood from Live Animals.-The Aliab tribe, who have great herds of cattle on the 'White Nile, " not only milk their cows,