300 Art of Travel.
CACHES AND DEPOTS.
Caches.-It is easy enough to choose a spot, which you yourself shall again recognise, for digging a hole, where stores of all kinds may be buried against your return neither is it difficult to choose one, so that you may indicate its position to others, or else leave it to a party who are travelling in concert, to find it out for themselves. : But excessive caution in the mode of depositing the stores is, in every case, required, as hungry and thieving natives keep watch on all the movements of a party ; they follow their tracks and hunt over their old camping-places, in search of anything there may be to pick up. And hyenas, wolves, wild dogs, and all kinds of prowling animals, guided by their sharp scent, will soon scratch up any provisions that are buried carelessly, or in such a way as to taint the earth.
The natives in Ceylon, when they wish to make a depot of game, jerk it, put the dry meat into the hollow of a tree, fill up the reservoir with honey, and plaster it over with clay.
Some dried plants of M. Bourgeau, the botanist attached to Captain Palliser's expedition to the Rocky Mountains, remained underground for ten months without injury.
Newly disturbed Ground sinks when Wetted.-If a cache be made in dry weather, and the ground be simply levelled over it, the first heavy rain will cause the earth to sink, and will proclaim the hidden store to an observant eye. Soldiers, in sacking a town, find out hastily-buried treasures by throwing a pailful of water over any suspected spot : if the ground sinks, it has surely been recently disturbed.
Best place for a Cache.-The best position to choose, for a cache is in a sandy or gravelly soil, on account of its dryness and the facility of digging. Old burrows, or the gigantic but abandoned hills of white ants, may be thought of, if the stores are enclosed in cases of painted tin : also clefts in rocks : some things can be conveniently buried under water. The place must be chosen under circumstances that admit of your effacing all signs of the ground having been disturbed. A