The Construction of the Crossbow (Continued)
How to Fit the Bow-String to the Bow
Fig. 68. - One of the Metal Clamps to which the Bastard
String is Attached. Front and Surface Views. Half full size.
The bow-string is, as we know, 1/2 in. shorter than the space between
the notches of the bow, hence it will not reach from one notch of the bow
to the other, when held between them. Of course the bow-string would not
be taut when the bow is strung, if it were not shorter than the bow.
To place the loops of the bow-string over the ends of the bow, in the
notches shaped to receive them, mechanical aid is necessary. It would be
impossible to bend a thick steel bow enough for this purpose by manual
Fig. 69. - One of the Clamps Screwed to One of end
of the Bow, with One End of the Bastard String Attached to It. Half full
To fit the bow-string to a crossbow, what was termed a false or bastard
string was employed.1 The bastard string - by means of the windlass
of the crossbow (fig. 76, p. 123) - bent the steel bow sufficiently to
allow the loops of the bow-string to be slipped over the ends of the bow
into its notches, as shown in fig. 70.
1 ' A spindle full of raw thread to make a
false string for the king's crossbow.' - Monsfrefefs ' Chronicles.