Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

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heavy silk thread well waxed. Extra strings, looped and


waxed, should always be carried to use in case of accident,
and they should always be kept perfectly dry.

THE ARROW. Two varieties of arrow are made, the tar
get and the hunting arrow ; but we have to do simply with
those for target practice. The shaft, or wooden part, of an
arrow is called the " stele ; " and hard-seasoned pine or old deal
is the best wood. The steel head of an arrow is called the
" pile ; " and in a target-shaft it is round, and passes over
the end of the stele like a cap or thimble. It has a bevelled
point. The end of the shaft opposite the pile, there is a
deep notch, or nock, to fit the bowstring. Often in the best
arrows a notch is cut in a piece of horn set in the stele.

Feathering properly is next in importance to a good stele.
Three feathers are necessary ; and " they must be set on the
stele about an inch and a quarter from the nock, at an
angle with each other of about one hundred and twenty
degrees, or the third of a circle, and so arranged that one
feather is at right angles with the nock. This is called the
cock-feather, and is colored to make it conspicuous. It must
always be next to the thumb of the arrow hand in shooting."
For short range, accurate shooting, the stele must be heavy,
and the feathers broad. Highfield's arrows are the best,
but there are horn-pointed French arrows almost as good.

A shooting-glove is made, especially to protect the first
three fingers of the right hand. It is formed from three
thimbles of stiff smooth leather fastened to soft strips
attached to a wristband buttoning around the wrist. But
any close-fitting glove is better, and many use no glove at

The quiver is merely a round tin tube, closed at the lower
end, covered with leather, and holding from three to six
arrows. It may be made as ornamental as desired. Where
worn with a belt, it must be well back on the right side. A


baldric is more picturesque, and is merely a broad strap worn
across the shoulder, and diagonally across the chest. A
large woollen tassel may do duty in wiping the arrows when
soiled ; and a small silver or ebony grease-cup may also hang
from the belt, holding a " composition of two parts lard and
one part white wax with which to touch occasionally the
string, the arrow at the nock, and the finger-tips. A bracer
is simply an arm-guard of heavy leather with elastic bands
holding it to the wrist and fore-arm ; but many archers use
none at all.

THE TARGET. The simplest target of all is what old Eng-
lish archers call a "clout," made of stiff white pasteboard,
divided like other targets. It should be from six inches to
a foot in diameter, and is merely, when used, slipped into a
cleft stick stuck in the ground. Straw targets are sold, and
a table is given of their diameters and the proper distance
from them.


1 foot , . . . . . . . . . 15 yards.

2 feet 20 "

3 " 40

4 " 50 to 100 "

Each target has a gilded centre called the "gold.''
Around this, four rings are drawn, red, white, black, white,
the red being next to the gold.

When the gold is hit, it counts 9

When the red is hit, it counts . . . . . . 7

When the inner white is hit, it counts . . . 5

When the black is hit, it counts 3

When the outer white is hit, it counts I

An excellent target is made from a shallow pine box,
perhaps four feet square, filled with well-packed earth, over


which a coffee-sack is tacked, on which a target-face is
fastened. This stops the arrow, and is as good as a butt or
straw target, which needs to be supported by an easel, or
tripod of wood.

How TO SHOOT. The targets must first be placed on
the stands, facing each other, and ten feet farther apart than
the length of the range to be shot. A mark must be placed
as a standing-point from which to shoot, ten feet from the
face of each target. " Now carefully brace your bow as
heretofore directed. Put the arrow-nock on the string at
the place marked for it, with the cock-feather out to the left.
This is done with your right hand, whilst your left tightly
grasps the handle of the bow, holding it nearly horizontal.
Now, with the nock thus on the string, hook the first, sec-
ond, and third fingers under the string, taking the arrow
between the first and second. Turn the bow to the left with
the left hand, until it stands nearly vertically in front of you,
your left arm extended towards the gold of the target. Draw
with your right, and push firmly with your left hand, until
your arrow's head rests on the lowest joint of your left fore-
finger. Your right hand will now touch your right ear.
Look straight and hard at the centre of the target's gold, but
do not even glance at your arrow. Blindly direct your arrow
by the sense of feeling. Let go the string. There is no
such thing as 'taking aim' with an arrow. He is a bungling
archer who attempts it. Shoot from the first by your sense
of direction and elevation. It will surprise you at first to
see how far you will miss, but soon you will begin to close
in with your arrows towards the gold. . . . The quicker shot
you are, the better for you, but be careful not to make a
little snatch and jerk when you loose the string. The posi-
tion in shooting should be graceful, easy, and firm. To this
end advance the left foot a half-pace, the toe turned towards



the target, the knee of the left leg slightly bent. Fix the
right foot nearly at right angles with the left, the right leg
straight. Look directly over the left shoulder at the target.
This position is called, 'putting the body into the bow,' and
will lead to powerful shooting."


" I. That each archer have a scoring-card or paper on which
to mark score, as follows :



Number Scored.


Mary Smith



40 yards.


ist End





" II. That a captain be elected to superintend the scoring,
and to settle disputes as to what a shot shall count.

"III. That all persons, whether archers or not, shall keep
behind the person shooting.

" IV. The range shall be, say, sixty yards for gentlemen,
and for ladies, say, thirty yards.

" V. There shall be two targets, one at each end of the
range. Each shooter shall let go three arrows, and this
shall be called an end. Then all persons, excepting the
marker, shall walk to the other end of the range, extract
their arrows, regard score, and shoot three arrows back at
the first target.

" VI. The number of ends for a game shall be thirty ; that
is, ninety shots for each archer.


" VII. That the rings on the targets score as follows :

Gold 9

Red 7

Inner White 5

Black 3

Outer White . i

" VIII. That the archer getting highest total score shall
be winner.

" IX. In case two or more archers are even in total score,
the one having the greatest number of hits shall win. If
the hits are equal also, then the one having the greatest
number of gold hits, or hits nearest the gold, wins ; or, if
the equal archers choose, they may shoot three arrows each
to settle the 'tie.'

" X. That 'hits ' and 'scores ' are to be counted and kept

" XL That the winners of first prizes shall not afterwards
compete for the lesser prizes of the day, unless they agree
to allow to each competitor the difference between his and
their score as a handicap. That is, if the winner of the open
first prize beat A, B, and C respectively ten, twenty-five,
and forty points, then on the new score, for the second prize,
A, B, and C shall have respectively ten, twenty-five, and
forty points the advantage of him to begin with.

"XII. That an arrow breaking two rings shall be s~nred
for the higher ring.

" XIII. Any arrow rebounding from the target shall not
be scored.

"XIV. If an arrow 'flip' from the string, and the archer
cannot reach it with his bow, it shall be counted a shot,
scoring nothing.

" XV. Each arrow shall be distinctly marked with the
owner's name.

" XVI. That no arrow be drawn from the target before it
is scored : otherwise its score to be lest.



" XVII. That each archer shoot no bow or arrows except
his own.

"XVIII. That the scorer keep each archer's score, as
follows : "

June, 188S.

Number of








ISt . .

2d. . .

3d- . .

4 th . .

5th . .

6th . .


Croquet is too well known to need any description ; but a
new form of it is not so much so, and makes a pleasant
variety. This is called


This game is the same in principle as bridge at bagatelle.
Nine hoops are fixed in a horizontal line, thus,




The striker, who plays the eight balls one after another,
stands at any agreed number of yards from the hoops, and
aims at the centre one, scoring for his stroke according to
the hoop which he goes through. Should he miss the hoops
altogether, a deduction of three is made from his score.
Should he hit the wire, and so fail to go through, he scores
the same as though he went through the lower of- the two
hoops separated by the said wire. Should he strike the out-
side wire of hoops No. i, he scores nothing, but is not
punished by the score of minus three. The game may be
played by sides, or by a general competition for the highest


Badminton is a game suited either for indoor or outdoor
recreation : it may be played in the hall, or on the grass-plot
or lawn. The dimensions of the ground for outdoor play
should be 60 feet long by 30 fe^t wide (the proportions of
an ordinary billiard-hall) ; but the game is occasionally
played on one 80 feet by 40 feet. Whatever size, however,
the ground may be, the same relative proportions should
be adhered to. The net sold with the implements is to be
stretched across the hall or lawn (hanging vertically) ; and
the cord, having been affixed at top and bottom to the
standard, is to be secured to a stake or peg driven into the
ground at each end of the net. (See plan.) The net divides
the players into two sides ; and each side should be further
divided into two courts, shown respectively at A B and C D.
In order to define the courts, a cord may be drawn through
the centre of the net, or they may be marked out by means of
chalk upon the turf. At three feet distance each side of the
net a line is to drawn, and this is termed the serving-crease.
The game may be played by any number of persons, not ex-


ceeding eight on each side ; but four players on each side is
the usual number.

The first side to serve is to be determined by lot ; and,
in order to equalize the chances, only half the number of

FIG. 47.

players on this side serve in the first innings. After the
first innings, all the opponents serve, then all the others,
and so on in rotation ; and the side which first scores 2 1 or
29 (according to the number playing) becomes the winner
of the game. When the players do not exceed two or four
on each side, the game consists of 21 points; but, if more
than four, 29.

The game is commenced by one of the players standing
in one of the courts, say in B, and serving the shuttlecock to
that player stationed in the opposite court diagonally to that
in which the server is ; viz., in C. Serving the shuttlecock
is an important feature in the game, and the rules in regard
to it must be rigidly adhered to. It is performed thus : the
player, termed the server, takes the shuttlecock in the left
hand, and strikes it with the battledoor in his right over the
net, and beyond the serving-crease on the other side ; but, in


serving the shuttlecock, the battledooi must never be raised
higher than the elbow, and it must invariably be struck
underhand. At other times it may be struck at either over
or under, but only the latter when serving. If the adversary
in court C, termed the servee, miss it (the shuttlecock having
been fairly served), then the player in court B scores i ; but
if he strike the shuttlecock back, and the server's side miss
it, then the latter is out (this is termed a hand-out), and an-
other player on the same side becomes server in his place,
the side served scoring one point.

After the first serving, the players on either side are not
compelled to keep in their respective courts, but may strike
the shuttlecock from any part they choose, so long as they
keep within the boundaries.

If the server miss the shuttlecock in the act of serving, or
strike it overhand, in each case he is out.

If the shuttlecock does not clear the net, or if it fall within
the serving-crease on the other side, he is out ; or if served
into the wrong court, or beyond the bounds of the ground,
he is likewise out.

When the server's side makes a point, Le., scores I, he
(the server) must at once move into the court to the left of
that in which he stands ; thus from court B he would move
into A, or from C into D, according to the side in. Another
server then takes his place, or, if all on one side have served,
then the opponents in their turn become the servers.

The side serving makes a point if the shuttlecock is
missed by the adversary, or if it is not struck back entirely
clear of the net, or if struck beyond the bounds of the game.

A player is not compelled to accept the serving if the
shuttlecock be served into the wrong court, or beyond the
bounds of the ground ; but if the player strikes at the shuttle
cock, it counts.


The players change into the opposite court at the termina-
tion of each game, and the winners of the last game become
first servers in the next.


This is an agreeable outdoor amusement. A ring which
turns is placed in the centre of the lawn, and each player
has one ball and a cue. They commence by bowling the
balls as near the ring as possible, and the nearest ball plays
first. The object is to throw the ball with the cue (which is
shaped something like a ladle or spoon) through the ring.
Each time this is successfully done, the player scores i,
and continues playing until he misses ; and then the next
player goes on. It is played with sides, like croquet.


This is a favorite game on ship-board in long voyages, and
was made known to us years ago in Mrs. Whitney's "We
Girls." Ten rings are made from rope, each ring eight or
ten inches in diameter ; and the object is to throw all over a
stake set up at just the right throwing-distance, this depend-
ing something on the player, though eight or ten feet is the
usual allowance. Each player throws all the rings at one
turn, each ring that falls on the stake counting ten. What-
ever number is made counts up on the player's side, and the
game includes as many rounds as may be agreed upon.
Sets are now sold in large toy-stores, but they are easily
made at home ; and the game, though simple, is graceful and
pleasing. The rings can be brightened by winding them
with strips of gay woollen, and finishing each with a bow
tightly sewed on.



Any number may play at this game. Two are selected to
choose sides. Five points in the field are then marked out
with stones or sticks, one for a home, the others for resting-
places. One of the players from the side chosen to begin
holds the ball (which should be a soft India-rubber one) and
a netted battledoor with which to strike it. One of the
players on the opposite side must stand near, in order, if
possible, to catch the ball ; and if she succeeds in doing
this, the opposition side are out. The moment the ball has
started, the player runs round the course marked : if she is
hit by the ball, she cannot again play until three rounders
are accomplished by some of the players on her side. If the
ball strikes the runner when she has arrived at the post or
the home, it does not count.




HARDLY a village in the land but owns a fresh-water pond,
or small stream, where swimming could easily be learned.
And before any one ventures into a boat, or makes even the
shortest journey by water, swimming should have been
learned so thoroughly, that, no matter how hampered by
clothing, presence of mind will not be lost in case of acci-
dent, and, even if thrown suddenly into the water, there
will be no fear. " Can you swim ? " ought to be painted in
large letters on every boat-house in the land ; and every one
who sails or rows, taught how to support themselves in the
water, if nothing more. Swimming is an instinct with all
young animals, and would seem to be so with one variety
of the human animal ; the South-Sea-Islander babies being
tossed into the water before they are a year old, and, by the
time they are three or four, being as much at home in the
water as on the land. Climate makes this more agreeable
for them than it would be for us : but our long summers give
ample time for learning ; and, once learned, there is no more
fear of the water, and boating follows naturally. Certainly
it should never begin till swimming has been learned.

It is wiser always to begin under the direction of an
older person/ Swimming may be self-taught, as it often is
among boys ; but a strong father, or older brother, can give
you hints that no written directions will hold as well. A
flannel bathing-dress is the best costume ; and, if you do not


want to wet the hair, wear also an oil-silk cap, with a close-
fitting elastic run in the edge. A swimming-tank, of course,
gives one a far greater sense of safety, but this requires a
building expressly for the purpose ; and a pond, or still water
by the seashore, where there is an experienced person to
direct matters, will, as soon as the first fear is over, be far
pleasanter. Never swim directly after eating, or when over-
heated, and let the first step be to wet the head, as this
prevents headache.

? Remember first, that, when a human body is immersed in
water, one-eleventh of its weight remains above the surface
in fresh water, and about one-tenth in salt. One who is
afraid of sinking stretches out the arms to catch at some-
thing; and thus the head immediately goes under water, as
the head and arms exceed greatly one-tenth of the weight of
the body. If a swimmer turns on the back, the head thrown
back, so that the face is turned upwards, there need never
be fear that the water will come over the mouth, although,
at each inspiration and expiration of breath, the face rises
and sinks one inch.

It is better always to dispense with corks, or floats of any
sort. You should wall^ in on a clear and gradually shelv-
ing bottom, until the water reaches the breast; then turn
to the point of entrance, draw a full, deep breath, close the
lips, and rest on the water, letting it rise to the chin, and
gradually, as this is done several times, letting more and
more of the head be covered. If there is fear, and an invol-
untary throwing out of the arms, let some one support you
a moment or two, till it is proved that you need not sink.
But decide in the beginning not to be afraid, and not to
mind it if you do sink once or twice, or if the water dashes
in your face. You will very quickly see that you are far
more secure than you dreamed you could be ; and, as soon


as you have gained this confidence, the rest is easy and
pleasant. Then comes the question of attitude, which is a
very important one. The head must always be thrown back,
the chin raised, the breast set well forward, and the back
hollowed and kept steady.

The position of the hands is quite as important. The fin-
gers must be kept close together ; for, if separated, they break
the surface of the water, and spoil the stroke. The thumbs
must lie closely to the forefingers, and the hands be hollowed


a little, but very little, as, if they are too much curved, the
stroke loses power.

For the stroke, let the fingers be raised three or four inches
higher than the thick part of the hand, and let the outer
or little-finger side be a little higher than the inner edge.
Then project the hands forward to their utmost extent, and
then let them fall on a line with the hips, but at some
distance from them. Then raise the hands to the breast by
a turn of the wrist, and they are ready for another stroke.
This motion should be easy and regular, and can be prac-
tised before entering the water at all, one arm at a time
being exercised, and then both together.


It is the feet and legs which do the chief part of the work,
as they are so much larger and stronger ; and many of their
motions, too, can be practised in one's room, one arm resting
on top of a chair, while the opposite leg is exercised. The
first motion is to draw one leg up as high as possible (the
knee inclining inward, and the ankle a little turned, so that
the sole of the foot is outward), then throw the foot out to
the full extent of the leg. If in the water, both feet are
drawn up at once, and then thrust out strongly, and as widely
from each other as possible, bringing them together briskly
and closely, to be ready for another stroke.

The legs and arms must do their work alternately, the
arms descending while the legs are rising. At first it is
easier to let them work together ; but, as soon as confidence
is gained, the alternate movement must be learned. A quick
stroke is tiresome ; and a long, steady one will take the learner
over a hundred yards, where a quick one would tire out in

How to breathe is one of the most troublesome points.
" The breath should be drawn in at the moment when the
body is elevated by the hands descending toward the hips,
otherwise the mouth will probably become filled with water.
The breath should be expired while the body is sent forward
by the action of the legs. The head is the principal regula-
tor of the movements in the water," and the least change in
its position affects the position of the body.

Floating is often learned before swimming. For this,
turn on the back, and let the crown of the head sink deeper
than usual ; raise the chin above the line of the forehead ;
cross the hands on the breast, or place them, about a foot
apart, at equal distances from the head ; and let the feet be
close together. This is often a rest when tired of swimming.

Treading water is also a change. Here only the legs are



t ^ed ; the arms being folded on the chest, or pressed against
the hips. The stroke with the legs is the same, save that
it is made in half the usual space of time. The swimmer
is practically standing in the water, and, if the stroke were
as slow as usual, would sink too low in the interval between


In swimming on the back, the body rests at full length,
really gently lying down on the water, with very slight motion
of the feet ; but, for this, finning, winging, and the countless
ways in which an accomplished swimmer varies the sport, it
is necessary to have personal teaching, though strokes and
methods are carefully described in a swimming-manual, men-
tioned, among other books of reference, at the end.


In the first place, practise every possible method of keep-
ing afloat under disadvantageous circumstances ; so that, if
any accident should happen, you may always know instinc-
tively what to do, and may do it without having to think
about it.


That terrible swimmer's bane, the cramp, is always to be
dreaded. Perhaps more good swimmers have been drowned
by cramp than by any thing else, and only those who have
suffered from it can conceive its fatal power. Strong men
and good swimmers, when seized by the cramp, have been
known to sink instantly, overcome with the sudden pain ;
and nothing can save the victim but the greatest presence
of mind.

The usual spot where the cramp is felt is the calf of the
leg, just below the knee ; and it sometimes comes with such
violence, that the muscles are gathered up into knots.

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Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 12 of 28)