The Construction of the Crossbow
end of the stock, and the claws of its fore-end are hooked over the
upper surface of the bow-string, as shown in fig. 75, p. 122.
Fig. 76, p. 123. In this plan, though the bow is bent, the windlass
is not removed, so that its proper position on the stock and string may
By reversing the handles of the windlass a couple of turns to slacken
its cords, it can be quickly taken off the stock of the crossbow, which
is then ready for use. In former days the crossbowman, after he had stretched
his bow-string and removed the windlass, suspended the latter from his
side, by means of a hook attached to his belt.
Fig. 77 shows a crossbowman using his windlass to bend his steel bow.
He holds (as was usual) a bolt between his teeth that it may be ready
at hand to place on the stock of his crossbow when its bow is bent. See
fig. 19. p. 49 for another example of this practice.