A bundle of coir-rope is then brought, and two men, provided with a wooden mallet for beating and pressing the bale, proceed to tie it up with as much nicety as sailors serve down rigging. When complete, a bale is a solid mass three feet and a half long, a foot deep, and a foot wide.
We saw the husk carded out by machinery into its component fibres, for coco-rope matting, coir-rope, saddle-stuffing, brushes, and a dozen other uses; while the fruit was crushed down for the sake of its oil; and could but wish all success to an industry which would be most profitable, both to the projectors and to the island itself, were it not for the uncertainty, rather than the scarcity, of labour.
We stayed it up by ropes, while another rope hanging from the top enabled us to ascend without difficulty. Our rope, I should say, was formed from the fibre of the gomiti or sagaru palm-tree. The large petioles of this tree spread out at the base into broad fibrous sheets, which enclose the trunk. It is from this material that the natives of these regions manufacture the coir-rope.
Mr Sedgwick was about to despatch Tanda, when Mr Thudicumb proposed that we should hoist our post, and endeavour to ascertain what was the cause of their flight. By means of the coir-rope we had prepared, it was soon hoisted up, and stepped in its place more securely now than at first, because there was no necessity for again lowering it. Roger Trew was very speedily at the top.
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