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my left hand so much that I could not use it for several days; this was entirely owing to my boots being without large nails; partly cloth, and partly leather with buttons, are sometimes used, but I do not think they answer so well as the common lace-up boot, as you cannot regulate the degree of tightness over the instep. A boot also made like an ordinary Wellington boot, only stronger and of thicker leather, is a very good boot for cover and " battu" shooting, but will not answer for the hills, or for any hard work, as wrinkles are invariably formed in the instep, seriously interfering with your comfort, producing tenderness, then soreness, and finally excoriation. When this happens with any boot, there is no remedy like diachylon plaster, put on warm and kept firmly on with the hand till it is well attached, in which case it will generally remain till the inconvenience be entirely removed.
Some persons are more liable than others to suffer from the pressure and friction of boots, especially in warm weather, at the commencement of the shooting season; I therefore recommend them to take a supply of this useful plaster with them. It is always advisable to apply moderately warm water to the feet after a day's shooting; some -refrain from this comfortable practice, contending that it makes the feet tender and more liable to excoriation. I have found the reverse to be the case, as the warm water, by removing incipient inflammation arising from friction, prevents that soreness which precedes excoriation, but, notwithstanding the warm water, sometimes the feet at the commencement of your taking strong exercise will become tender: under such circumstances, great relief will be derived from rubbing the feet well over in the morning, immediately before putting your stockings on, with either sweet oil, or with any kind of pomard; it will also operate as a preventive against excoriation.
To -return from this digression on shooting boots to shooting garments. Having recommended woollen for the entire costume in Scotland, I must qualify such recommendation by restricting it merely to the moors, as it would be altogether unsuitable for cover shooting; and as there is as good cover shooting in Scotland as in England, and perhaps in many parts of it better, or containing a greater variety of game, I will make a few suggestions on the subject of winter costume. The objection to woollen for the winter is simply because it could not withstand the briars, brambles and blackthorn; in. fact, in many covers a coat of woollen would be destroyed in one day, and trousers of the same material would share a similar fate: we must therefore have recourse to something stronger, and that is to he found in velveteens, cords, and plushes, and fustians for coats, and moleskin and cord for trousers. Velveteen, I think, makes the most agreeable coat, and is not readily torn; it is, however, an uncomfortable one in wet weather, but covers ought then to be avoided, as they can yield neither enjoyment nor sport.
Any colour is preferable to black in velveteens, inasmuch as the black dye is prejudicial to the strength of the stuff, and moreover conies out when it is wet, which is decidedly an additional objection. If wear alone be consulted, there is nothing like plush for cover shooting, but this is rarely used in England, except by gamekeepers; I have seen it very commonly worn in France.
For trousers no material surpasses moleskin, if it be of first-rate quality; it will resist briars, furze, and blackthorn; in fact, no description of cover will tear it, and, after it has been once washed, it becomes soft, pliable, and most agreeable to wear. Cord also makes good trousers, but after it has been washed a few times is easily torn. Fustian and moleskin make good coats, as far as wear is concerned, but are disagreeable from their stiffness, and their appearance is also much against them. As far as colours are concerned for shooting coats, dark ones are no impediment to sport in covers, but on the moors, or in field shooting, I am persuaded your chance of approach is considerably diminished by dark colours, late in the season when the birds are wild. In all sorts of stalking the colour of your dress is of the greatest importance ; but I reserve my remarks on this point, till I come to the subject of stalking.
RECEIPTS FOR DRESSING BOOTS.
One pint of boiled linseed oil, half a pound of mutton suet, six ounces of clean bees-wax, and four ounces of rosin, to be melted over the fire, and well mixed. This, while warm, not so hot as may burn the leather, to be rubbed well in with the hand, the boots being perfectly clean and dry; the leather is left soft and pliant.
I have used this receipt for years, and prefer it to those which I subjoin, as it is more easily made. It is excellent as a preservative of the leather, and as good as any I have ever tried for keeping out the water. I extracted it, many years ago, from an American paper.
India rubber, cut fine . . 4 oz.
Spirits of turpentine . . 7 oz.
Bees-wax 2 oz.
Mutton suet 3 oz.
Linseed oil £ pint.
Put the India rubber into a bottle with the spirits of turpentine; place it near the fire until dissolved, which may be three weeks; then add the other ingredients, they having been previously melted together over a slow fire. This must be well rubbed into the boots with a brush, the boots being perfectly dry and clean; twice a week will suffice, or once every third time after wearing them.
1 pint of linseed oil, boiled.
1 oz. of bees-wax.
^ oz. of Burgundy "pitch.
2 oz. of spirits of turpentine.
Melt the three first ingredients over a slow fire in an earthen pot; after taking off"the fire, add the turpentine. Rub this mixture well into the boots with the hand for a quarter of an hour (but a softhaired brush will do), either before the fire, or under a warm sun. In the first instance, let this