It consists of a box about eight inches square, one foot in length, and open at both ends. In the centre of the top board a hole of the diameter of a lead pencil should be bored, and a smaller aperture also made in the middle of each end near the edge as seen in the accompanying engraving. The spring is next required. This should consist of an elastic switch or small pole, three or more feet in length. It should be inserted in a slanting auger hole, made through the middle of one of the side boards near the bottom at the angle shown at (a). Should the switch fit loosely it may be easily tightened by a small wedge driven in beside it. The bait stick (b) should be about four inches in length, and large enough to fit easily into the hole in the centre of the top board. Next procure a stout bit of cord about eight inches in length. Tie one [Page 58] end to the tip of the switch and provide the other with a large double knot. A second knot should then be made, about an inch and a half above the first. A piece of sucker wire is the next necessity. Its length should be about five feet, and its centre should be tied over the uppermost knot in the string. If the bait is now in readiness, the trap may be set. Bend down the switch until the end knot will pass through the hole in the centre of the board. When it appears in the inside of the box, it should then be secured by the insertion of the top of the bait stick, as shown at (b). This insertion need be only very slight, a sixteenth of an inch being all that is sufficient to prevent the knot from slipping back. The spring is thus held in the position seen in the drawing, and the loose ends of the sucker wire should then be passed downward through the small holes and arranged in nooses at both openings of the box. Our trap is now set, and the unlucky creature which attempts to move that bait from either approach, will bring its career to an untimely end. The bait stick may be so delicately adjusted as to need only the slightest touch to dislodge it. Such a fine setting is to be guarded against, however, being as likely to be sprung by a mouse as by a larger animal. The setting is easily regulated, being entirely dependent upon the slight or firm insertion of the bait stick. Among all the “modi operandi” in the construction of traps, there is scarcely one more simple than the principle embodied in this variety, and there is none more effective.
The box snare already described may be set by the same method, and indeed the principle may be applied to almost any trap, from the simplest snare described on page (52) to the largest dead-fall.
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THE OLD-FASHIONED SPRINGLE.