218 Art of Travel.
After digging deeply, the sand will often be found just moist, no water actually lying in the well ; but do not, therefore, be disheartened ; wait a while, and the water will collect. After it has once begun to ooze through the sides of the well, it will continue to do so much more freely. Therefore, on arriving at night, with thirsty cattle, at a well of doubtful character, deepen it at once, by torch-light, that the water may have time to collect ; then the cattle may be watered in the early morning, and sent to feed before the sun is hot.
It often happens, when digging wells in sandy watercourses, that a little water is found, and that below it is a stratum of clay. Now if the digging be continued deeper, in hopes of more water, the result is often most unfortunate ; for the clay stratum may prove extremely thin, in which case the digging will pierce it : then the water that had been seen will drain rapidly and wholly away, to the utter discomfiture of the traveller.
Iierkari.-I am indebted to correspondents for an account
of a method employed in the plains of the Sikhim Himalaya,
and in Assam, where it is called a " Kerkari," also in
lower Bengal, for digging deep holes. The natives take a
freshly cutbamboo, say three inches in diameter : they cut it just
above one of the knots,
and then split the wood
as far as to the next
joint, in about a dozen
places, and point the pieces somewhat. The other end of the
instrument should be cut slantingly, to thrust into the earth to
loosen it; in order to give it strength, the cut should be made
obliquely through a joint and not beyond it, as in the figure.
The grass is then torn away from the ground, the cut end of
the bamboo is well stabbed into the earth, and its other end is
afterwards worked vertically with both hands. The soft soil
is thus forced into the hollow of the bamboo, and spreads out
its blades, as is intended to be shown in the figure. The
bamboo is next withdrawn and the plug of earth is shaken out
it is then reintroduced and worked up and down as before. It
is usual to drive a stake in the ground to act as a toothed comb,
to comb out the plug of earth. Mr. Peal writes from Assam :
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