Accordingly he danced about camp all one day with nothing on but his pants, and, of course, being so seasoned, he did not burn. As the sun swung low the Chiefs assembled in Council. The head Chief looked over the new Warrior, shook his head gravely and said emphatically: "Too green to burn. Your name is Sapwood." Protest was in vain. "Sappy," he was and had to be until he won a better name.
"And hoe the garden? Oh, yes; I think I see you." "Well, I won't do it. You better let me 'lone." "Little Beaver, what do they do when an Injun won't obey the Council?" "Strip him of his honours. Do you remember that stick we burned with 'Sapwood' on it?" "Good idee. We'll burn Hawkeye for a name and dig up the old one" "No, you won't, you dirty mean Skunks!
Then the blows redoubled until the trunk began to tremble from the base to the summit, like a living thing. The steel had made the bark, the sapwood, and even the core of the tree, fly in shivers; but the oak had resumed its impassive attitude, and bore stoically the assaults of the workmen. Looking upward, as it reared its proud and stately head, one would have affirmed that it never could fall.
Ordinarily a yew bow properly protected by sapwood requires no backing; but having had many bows break in our hands, we at last took the advice of Ishi and backed them. Since then no bow legitimately used has broken. The rawhide utilized for this purpose is known to tanners as clarified calfskin. Its principal use is in the manufacture of artificial limbs, drum heads and parchment.
"I'll bet I kin make a Woodpecker come out of that hole," said Sapwood, one day as the three Red-men proceeded, bow in hand, through a far corner of Burns's Bush. He pointed to a hole in the top of a tall dead stub, then going near he struck the stub a couple of heavy blows with a pole. To the surprise of all there flew out, not a Woodpecker, but a Flying Squirrel.
First, with their double-bitted axes, each drove a deep notch into the sapwood just wide enough to take the end of a two-by-six plank four or five feet long with a single grab-nail in the end, the springboard of the Pacific coast logger, whose daily business lies among the biggest timber on God's footstool.
Where it is impossible to obtain yew, the amateur bowyer has a large variety of substitutes. Probably the easiest to obtain is hickory, although it is a poor alternative. I believe the pig-nut or smooth bark is the best variety. One should endeavor to get a piece of second growth, white sapwood, and split it so as to get straight grain.
Here Little Beaver handed the Head War Chief a flat white stick on which was written in large letters "Sapwood." "Here's the name he went by before he was great an' famous, an' this is the last of it." The Chief put the stick in the fire, saying, "Now let us see if you're too green to burn."
'You hain't dressed the sapwood off them blocks, and the grain eats into one another besides. True for Uncle Zack that gentry from the old country warn't never born to be handlin' axes an' frows. It don't come kinder nateral. They shouldn't be no thicker than four to an inch to be rael handsome shingles, added he, 'such as sell for seven-an'-sixpence a thousand.
Year after year new layers of wood are formed around the first layers. This first layer finally develops into heartwood, which, so far as growth is concerned, is dead material. Its cells are blocked up and prevent the flow of sap. It aids in supporting the tree. The living sapwood surrounds the heartwood. Each year one ring of this sapwood develops.