304 Art of Travel.
the exact point in the circumference of the cairn or mark whence the 10 feet measurement should be made. This is due to the irregularity of the bases of all such marks. Therefore, when searching for letters, a short trench, running to the north, will frequently have to be dug, and not a mere hole. I should propose that the short notice be punched or pricked on a thin sheet of lead, made by pouring two or three melted bullets on a flat stone, and that the plate so made and inscribed should be rolled up and pushed into a hole bored or burnt through the head of a large tent peg. The peg could be driven deeply in the ground, quite out of sight, without disturbing the surrounding earth. It might even suffice to pick up a common stone and to scratch or paint upon it what you had to say, and to leave it on the ground, with its written face downwards, at the place in question.
To secure Buried Letters from Damp.-They may be wrapped in waxed cloth or paper, if there be no fear of the ravages of insects. Lead plate is far more safe : it can be made easily enough by a traveller out of his bullets. (See " Lead.") A glass bottle (with something that insects cannot eat, such as lead-plate, sealing-wax, or clay, put carefully over the cork) or an earthen jar may be used. The quill of a large feather will hold a long letter, if it is written in very small handwriting and on thin paper, and it will preserve it from the wet. After the letter has been roiled up and inserted in the quill, the open end of the latter may be squeezed flat between two stones, heated sufficiently to soften the quill (see " Horn ") but not so hot as to burn it, and then, for greater security against wet, the end of the quill should be twisted tight. Wax affords another easy means of closing the quill.
Picture-writing.-As very many excellent bushrangers are unable to read, rude picture-writing is often used by them, especially in America. The figure of a man with a spear or bow, drawn as a child would draw, stands for a savage; one with a hat or gun for a European ; horses, oxen, and sheep are equally to be drawn ; lines represent numbers, and arrowheads direction. Even without more conventional symbols,
vast deal may be expressed by rude picture-writing.