282 Art of Travel.
and green wood and rotten -wood make the most smoke. It is best to make two fires 100 yards apart, lest your signalling should be mistaken for an ordinary fire in the bush. These double fires are a very common signal to vessels in the offing, on the African coast.
Other Signals.-By Sight.-A common signal for a distant scout is, that he should ride or walk round and round in a circle from right to left, or else in one from left to right.
Mr. Parkyns, speaking of Abyssinia, describes the habits of a caste of robbers in the following words:-" At other times they will lie concealed near a road, with scouts in every direction on the look-out ; yet no one venturing to speak, but only making known by signs what he may have to communicate to his companions or leader. Thus he will point to his ear and foot on hearing footsteps, to his eyes on seeing persons approach, or to his tongue if voices be audible ; and will also indicate on his fingers the numbers of those coming, describing also many particulars as to how many porters, beasts of burden or for riding, there may be with the party."
A kite has been suggested as a day signal; and also a kite with some kind of squib, let off by a slow-light and attached to its tail, as one by night. (Colonel Jackson.)
Sound.-Whistling through the fingers can be heard at considerable distances : the accomplishment should be learnt. Cooing in the Australian fashion, or jodling in that of the Swiss, are both of them heard a long way. The united holloa of many voices, is heard much further than separate cries. The cracking of a whip has a very penetrating sound.
Smells.-An abominable smell arrests the attention at night.
Letters carried by Animals.-In short reconnoitring expeditions made by a small detachment from a party, the cattle or dogs are often wild, and run home to their comrades on the first opportunity; in the event of not being able to watch them, owing to accident or other cause, advantage may be taken of their restlessness, by tying a note to one of their necks, and letting them go and serve as postmen, or rather as carrier-pigeons.
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