246 Art of f Travel,
light, lasts for months, and is perfectly effective. I have tried metal holders, but I much prefer the simple quill, on account of its elasticity and lightness. A little binding with waxed thread, may be put on, as shown in the sketch, to prevent the quill from splitting.
Wadding.-The bush affords few materials from which wadding can be made ; some birds' nests are excellent for the purpose. I am told that a dry hide will not serve as materials for wads.
Flints.-According to tire's Dictionary, the best stones to choose for making gun-flints are those that are not irregular in shape ; they should have, when broken, a greasy lustre, and be particularly smooth and fine-grained ; the colour is of no importance, but it should be uniform in the same lump ; and the more transparent the stones the better. Gun-flints are made with a hammer, and a chisel of steel that is not hardened. The stone is chipped by the hammer alone into pieces of the required thickness, which are fashioned by being laid upon the fixed chisel, and hammered against it. It takes nearly a minute for a practised workman to make one gunflint.
Gunpowder.- To carry Gunpowder.-Wrap it up in flannel or leather, not in paper, cotton, or linen ; because these will catch fire, or smoulder like tinder, whilst the former will do neither the one nor the other. Gunpowder carried in a goat-skin bag, travels very safely. Mr. Gregory carried his in the middle of his flour; each flour-bag (see p. 69), during his Noah Australian expedition, had a tin of gunpowder in the middle of it.
To make Gunpowder.-It is difficult to make good gunpowder, but there is no skill required in making powder that will shoot and kill. Many of the negroes of Africa, make it for themselves,-burning the charcoal, gathering saltpetre from salt-pans, and buying the sulphur from trading caravans : they grind the materials on a stone. In Chinese Tartary and Thibet, every peasant manufactures it for himself.
To make 8 lbs. of gunpowder, take 1 lb. of charcoal, 1 lb. of sulphur, and 6 lbs. of saltpetre. These proportions should be followed as accurately as possible. Each of the three materials must be pounded into powder separately, and then all mixed together most thoroughly. The mixture must have a little water added to it,
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