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The Crossbow   >   Chapter 38   >   Bullet Shooting Crossbow   >   English    >  Bastard String   > p.184

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The Crossbow

Chapter XXXVIII

The Bullet Shooting Crossbow - English
(Continued)

The Bastard String

Fig. 119. - The Bastard String and Its Clamps.
Fig. 119. - The Bastard String and Its Clamps.

As the bowstring of a bullet crossbow is the part of the weapon that is usually in worst repair, it most needs description.

How to make the bowstring of a crossbow of this kind has long been forgotten. I am not, indeed, aware of anyone except myself who can now make and fit one properly. For this reason there are many fine bullet crossbows without bow-strings which might otherwise be a source of much amusement to their owners.

Before describing the bow-string of a bullet crossbow, I must explain the construction and application of its bastard string, for without the assistance of the latter its bow-string could not be fitted.

The bastard or false string of a crossbow was a necessary part of its equipment, though no doubt in the case of a company of crossbowmen one bastard string formerly served many crossbows, when new bow-strings had to be fitted to them or when old ones had to be removed for repair.

The bastard string was used to bend the steel bow of a crossbow sufficiently to allow its proper bow-string to be fitted on the bow. As the bow-string was always shorter than the bow, the latter had, of course, to be bent to a certain degree to enable its string to be put in position.

The bow of a crossbow, when its string was fitted, was always slightly bent so that its string might fit tight and true.

In the case of a wooden bow such as a longbow, it


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