Fig. 18.

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Fig. 19.

Knots Hitches And Splices 109

Fig. 20.

The Jar-sling, seen in Fig. 20, serves a similar purpose. In a long piece of cord, make a large loop as in Fig. 18, and hold the bight against the standing parts, a, a; pass the thumb and forefinger of the other hand down through c, lay hold of b where the crook of the imaginary wire is seen, and draw it through c down a little below a, a, as in Fig. 19, d, and hold it there. Now pass the thumb and forefinger down through the opening e (in the way the wire goes), lay hold of g, and draw it up through e, forming the complete knot as in Fig. 20.

Knots Hitches And Splices 110

Fig. 21.

Knots Hitches And Splices 111

Fig. 22.

Knots Hitches And Splices 112

Fig. 23.

The Turk's-head Knot.

One more knot, the Turk's-head (Fig. 23), remains to be described before we pass to the briefer subject of hitches. Take a long piece of fishing-cord, place the end a against the forefinger, wind the cord around the two fingers and hold it with the thumb, as in Fig-. 21.

Now with the other hand lay the part b over the part c, and while in that position pass the end a down between them, over the first crossing, under left strand, up between, over second crossing, under right strand, up between; take the hitch off your fingers, and it will be as in Fig. 22.

Where a Hitch Comes Handy.

Where a Hitch Comes Handy.

Next pass the loose end through the opening d, laying it against the cord a; then, with it, follow that strand (a) over and under, over and under, until you have a complete plait of three cords. Pass the knot over a stick to make it taut, and cut the ends close.

Fig. 24. Two Ways of Fastening a Weight to a Line.

Fig. 24. Two Ways of Fastening a Weight to a Line.

Fig. 25. To Tie a Short Line, to which a Hook is Attached, to a Longer or Ground Line.

Fig. 25. To Tie a Short Line, to which a Hook is Attached, to a Longer or Ground Line.

The Turk's-head knot, like the two preceding it, will tax your precision, deftness, and patience, and is an ornamental rather than a useful knot.

The knots in Figs. 24, 25, and 26 explain themselves; they are often useful to picknickers and campers-out.

Hitches are no less knots than any of the foregoing; but they are knots used to fasten the end of a rope to any object in such manner as to be easily cast off when no longer needed. They are few in number, and all very simple and easily described.

A Blackwall hitch is merely a loop thrown about a hook, as in Fig. 27, in such a way that the main part of the rope, c, being pulled downward, the part a jams the part b against the hook so firmly that while the strain is kept up the knot cannot possibly slip. Sailors use this hitch very frequently; but it can be used on land as well as at sea.

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Fig. 26.

To Fasten a Line to a Fish-Hook.

Fig. 27. Blackwall Hitch.

Fig. 27. Blackwall Hitch.

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Fig. 29.

Fig. 30. The Clove Hitch.

Fig. 30. The Clove Hitch.

Of all hitches, however, the one which any man or boy can least afford not to know is the Clove hitch. Make two bights or loops, as in Fig. 29; hold them between the thumbs and forefingers at a, b; slide the left loop over the right loop; then slip the double loop thus formed over the table-leg, or anything that will represent a post, and draw tight by the end (Fig. 30). Practise this until your fingers can do it swiftly and of themselves, just as your tongue can say the alphabet; for a Clove hitch, when it is used, needs to be made quickly and handsomely. I once saw a young cadet from Annapolis, who had been out on a sailing-party with some ladies, and had jumped ashore with a rope, hesitate at least half a minute before he could think how to make the proper knot, while a number of old sea-captains sitting by were watching him and laughing among themselves. A Clove hitch may be used, too, when, while out fishing, you extemporize an anchor by tying a rope to a stone. And in Fig. 31 you see again how this knot, e (with a half-hitch, f , in front of it), is used to tow a floating spar, or drag a piece of timber across the field.

Fig. 31. Floating Spar.

Fig. 31. Floating Spar.

A Rolling Hitch. A Cat's Paw.

A Rolling Hitch. A Cat's-Paw.

Fig. 32.

Two other hitches, a Rolling hitch and a Cat's-paw, are shown in Fig. 32.

Splicing is a process by which ropes are joined together so as to leave no knot. I appreciated its importance one morning when I saw an intelligent man of fifty work for an hour to splice a hammock rope. Where it is not specially important that the joining be a very nice and smooth one, the "short" splice is used. It is made by passing the strands of one piece in and out between those of the other. The short splice always leaves the spliced part thicker and clumsier than the rest of the rope. If it is desirable that the joining be a very neat one, so as to admit of the rope's running readily through the sheave-hole of a block, the "long" splice is necessary. This is made by unwinding each end about two inches, placing the strands as in the short splice, then unwinding one strand farther back, and winding the corresponding strand of the other piece in its place; proceeding in the same way with the other strands, and then fastening the ends in such a way that it is almost impossible to detect the splice. We have not space to describe here the exact mode of procedure; but there is scarcely a town or village anywhere but has its "old sailor," and there is no old sailor anywhere but will be glad to come and give you a lesson in splicing.

A splice that you can very easily learn for yourselves, however, is the Eye-splice. First make yourself a marling-spike, - if you have not the genuine article, - by whittling down to a point a piece of hard wood. I have found that the half of a clothes-pin, so treated, answered the purpose exceedingly well. Then take a piece of good three-strand rope, unwind the strands, and place them as you see, a, b, c, in Fig. 33. Open the strand d, and pass a through it, as in Fig. 34; then open e, and pass b over d and under e, as in Fig. 35. Turn the eye over, Fig. 36, open f and pass c through it, as in Fig. 37, and pull the strands tight. Now pass a over the strand next it, under the next one, and so on with the others. Proceed in the same way until the splice is about an inch long. Then stretch the eye (holding by the rope), to tighten everything, and cut the ends close. If you will make a neat Eye-splice all by yourself, and take it to the old sailor aforementioned, he will be sure to think it worth while to teach you all he knows; and he will be likely to tell you many things about knots, hitches, and splices which are of necessity omitted here.

Knots Hitches And Splices 122

Fig. 33.

Knots Hitches And Splices 123

Fig. 34.

Knots Hitches And Splices 124

Fig. 35.

Knots Hitches And Splices 125

Fig. 36.

Knots Hitches And Splices 126

Fig. 37.

BY CHARLES R. TALBOT.