It is composed of three pieces, all to be cut from a shingle or thin board. Let the first be about eight inches long, and three-quarters of an inch in width. This is for the upright. An oblong mortise should be cut through this piece, one inch in length, and beginning at about an inch from the end of the stick. Three inches from the other end, and on one of the broad sides of the stick, a notch should be made, corresponding in shape to that shown in our illustration. The bait stick should be four or five inches long, one end fitting easily into the mortise, where it should be secured [Page 51] by a wire or smooth nail driven through so as to form a hinge, on which it will work easily. On the upper side of this stick, and two inches distant from the pivot, a notch should be cut, similar to that in the upright. The catch piece should be about two inches in length, and bevelled off to a fiat edge at each end. This completes the pieces.
To set the trap, it is only necessary to find some stout sapling, after which the upright stick may be attached to it close to the ground, by the aid of two pieces of stout iron wire, twisted firmly around both. It is well to cut slight grooves at each end of the upright for the reception of the wires, in order to prevent slipping. Tie a strong piece of twine around one [Page 52] end of the catch piece, knotting it on the beveled side. Cut the string about two feet in length, and attach the other end to the tip of the sapling. Adjust the bait stick on its pivot. By now lowering the catch piece, and lodging the knotted end beneath the notch in the upright and the other end in the notch on the bait stick, the pieces will appear as in our drawing. Care should be taken to set the catch pieces as slightly as possible in the notches, in order to insure sensitiveness. At about four inches from the catch piece, the wire noose should be attached and arranged in a circle directly around the bait. By now backing up the trap with a few sticks to prevent the bait from being approached from behind, the thing is complete, and woe to the misguided creature that dares to test its efficacy. By adjusting the drawstring so far as the upper end of the catch piece, the leverage on the bait stick is so slight as to require a mere touch to overcome it; and we may safely say that, when this trap is once baited, it will stay baited, so far as animal intruders are concerned, as we never yet have seen a rabbit or bird skilful enough to remove the tempting morsel before being summarily dealt with by the noose on guard duty.
For portability, however, the following has no equal.