Water for Drinking. 219
" I have just had 4 holes dug in the course of ordinary work, in hard earth. Two men dug the holes in 12 hour ; they were 3 feet 6 inches deep and 6 inches in diameter. I weighed the clay raised at each stroke. In 4 consecutive strokes the weights were 1 ± lbs., 14 lbs., 14 lbs., 2 lbs. Another trial gave 7 lbs. lifted, after 5 or 6 strokes." According to the above data, an Assamese workman makes a hole, 1 foot deep and 6 inches in diameter, in 6 minutes. Holes 10 feet deep and 6 inches wide can be made, as I am informed, by this contrivance.
Protecting wells.-The following extract from Bishop Heber, though hardly within the scope of the ` Art of Travel,' is very suggestive. " The wells of this country (Bliurtpoor, India), some of which are very deep, are made in a singular manner. They build a tower of masonry of the diameter required, and 20 or 30 feet high from the surface of the ground. This they allow to stand a year or more, till its masonry is rendered firm and compact by time ; then they gradually undermine it, and promote its sinking into the sandy soil, which it does without difficulty, and altogether. When level with the surface, they raise its walls higher ; and so go on, throwing out the sand and raising the wall, till they have reached the water. If they adopted our method, the soil is so light that it would fall on them before they could possibly raise the wall from the bottom ; nor, without the wall, could they sink to any considerable depth." A stout square frame of wood scantling, boarded like a sentry-box, and of about the same size and shape, but without top or bottom, is used in making wells in America. The sides of a well in sandy soil are so liable to fall in, that travellers often sink a cask or some equivalent into the water, when they are encamped for any length of time in its vicinity.
Scanty wells in hot climates should be brushed over, when not in actual use, to check their evaporation.
Snow-water.-It is impossible for men to sustain life by eating snow or ice, instead of drinking water. They only aggravate the raging torments of thirst, instead of assuaging them, and hasten death. Among dogs, the Esquimaux is the only breed that can subsist on snow, as an equivalent for `eater; The Arctic animals, generally, have the same power.