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Free Online Version of The Book of The Crossbow

The Crossbow   >  Chapter 32   >  Spanish Sporting Crossbow   >   Bent by a Cranequin   > p.155
Table of Contents List of Illustrations Index Appendix

The Spanish Sporting Crossbow

which will have to be carefully strained and then put over a fire to boil. All froth and viscosity which may remain must be skimmed off the juice. When this is done, the juice must be strained again and then set in the sun from 10 o'clock in the morning till the day declines.

' This process will have to be repeated for three or four days or more. Each day before the juice is set in the sun it must be strained, when it should be like syrup, and of the same colour but thicker. If you put a straw or a bit of stick in it, it should adhere to it, and that which gathers together most quickly and which if smelt makes people sneeze violently, is the strongest.

' Some people who make this decoction boil it, instead of exposing it to the sun, but this decoction is not so strong as that which is set in the sun.

' The poison may be tried on a chicken or a young pigeon to see if it is right. Take a needle with thread, wet the thread in the mixture and pass it through the sole of the chicken's foot between the skin and the flesh till it bleeds, then, in the time of saying " Credo," the bird will nod and in a very short time will die. The same will happen with a cat or any other animal if the decoction is good.

' I have seen such a thing happen, that when a stag receives a wound from a poisoned arrow it runs a hundred paces, more or less, and then turns its head towards the place whence it received the shot; in a very short time, during which the animal stands still if it can do so, the poison reaches its heart and so puts an end to its life.

' This may be known by the animal beginning to cough and toss its head and vomit; then in an instant it is dead.

' Let it not be thought that without the poison the animal dies of the wound of the arrow though it has received it in a mortal part.

' If the animal be wounded only in the hoof, and if it bleeds at all, this poison will work into the blood and death will soon come. There are other decoctions made from other herbs which are slower in their effects though they also kill. There are also others which make an animal stagger, reel and vomit only, and the more they vomit the sooner they recover.

' The places where the poison is slowest to take effect, are wounds in the stomach, for as there is no blood in the stomach the strength of the poison is spent in its contents.

' The animals which most quickly die from the poison are those of most choleric temper. The wild boar, the wolf and the cat, die very quickly.'


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Inspired by the great war machines and siege catapults of Leonardo da Vinci , this all Red Oak hardwood trebuchet features an open counterweight cabinet for range and trajectory adjustment. 

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