X. On testing the bow before bracing
NO ARCHER should ever brace a bow that is unknown to him. He should first examine it carefully and look it over very thoroughly for flaws in its construction and for injuries received from use. First he should examine the sinews on its back and test them by striking them lightly with a small piece of iron or a stone. If they resound with vibration, they are whole and fit: but if they fail to resound and seem sagging, they are loose and unfit.
He should also examine the siyahs for any possible flaws, such as being warped or distorted. This he does by holding the bow by its grip, with its back toward him, and carefully examining the conformity of its curves. If the bow should pass all these tests, he should not be impatient to brace. He should first hold it with its belly toward him and grasp a siyah with each hand. He should then place his knees against the bow on either side of the grip and gently draw the siyahs toward him. If the operation proceeds smoothly and both limbs bend evenly, the bow is fit and suitable.
He should then let it stand awhile before bracing it. After bracing it he should straighten out any bumps or twists that were not evident before. Then he should examine whether or not the string crosses the grip at the very center. If it does not bisect the grip he should let it go and not use it. If, however, it does so bisect the grip, he may use it, for it is straight and, by the will of God, effective.