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Chapter I
Part 3 of 4

And so I will go further, and say that, in my opinion, nearly all of the innovations that come along almost daily now in the making of archery goods are innovations in name only, as I have yet to see anything new of a worthwhile nature. Each "new" idea that springs up has been tried many years ago and finally discarded. The multitude of so-called improvements that have appeared of late have all been precisely what I mean when I say foolish. Still, I must not bring upon my own head the accusation of being the same, by in any manner attempting to discourage the man who has the inventive bee in his bonnet.

As the present chapter is only introductory to my subject, I must not get into a vein leading into detail. So, if the reader feels impatient concerning something I have touched upon rather sketchily, I ask that he bear with me a little; doubtless the information will be supplied further along. However, in this connection, let me add that I fully expect that I shall be called upon to write many a letter in elaboration of this book. A pleasant enough penalty for me and decidedly easier than writ-ing the book; but nevertheless not consciously invited by any little white sins of omission.

I have to expect, of course, that some of the writers on archery will not agree with me on various points. As for this, I may as well admit, as I have been doing my best to make clear, that I don't agree with everybody, either.

And this leads me to add a word or two along the previous line. We find some of the newcomers in the field copying the old style of Indian bows. Some of these are four times as wide as they are in depth. Naturally, a hint of the buffalo hunter's bow, or the warrior's bow, gets considerable wide-eyed attention from archers not giving the subject any real study. But who, the makers included, ever has asked himself the simple question why the Indian used a short, wide bow? Wasn't it merely because the short bow was handier to use on a horse, handier to carry and shoot in the thick of the virgin forests, than a longer bow? And because the extra width was needed to make up for the sacrificed length and depth?

The Indians of this country certainly were good bow makers and archers. But it is a singular fact that no archer of standing has ever yet reported coming across a remarkable bow of savage make anywhere in the wide world, not excluding the British Museum itself.

Again, we have the whaleback bow, stacked in the belly to nearly the shape of a cone. Why such a bow? I'm sure I don't know.