I lately persuaded an arrow-thrower to show me how far he could project
a light archery flight arrow by means of a piece of string.
This man had never even seen such an arrow before ; he sent it, however,
several times from 180 to 200 yards.
Though I have tried all kinds of seasoned wood, light and heavy, I find
no material equals dry hazel for these arrows. A really good-flying arrow
is not easy to make and a dozen may be constructed without a successful
one amongst them.
The difficulty is to shape the hazel rod so that the pith inside it
is longitudinally correct as regards its being in the exact centre of the
finished arrow. If this is not the case the flight of the arrow will be
irregular and its range a short one. A first-class arrow is usually valued
at a sovereign by an arrow-thrower.
This is easily understood when we consider that by travelling a few
yards further than an arrow of inferior balance to it, a good arrow may
be the means of winning a valuable prize.
Fig. 177. - Part of the Head End; of the Centre; and
of the Butt End of a Hazel Arrow.