Whip-handles are a very perishable commodity; if one used nothing but the lash, they would be everlasting, but, as a rule, one is not long satisfied with that. It is when one gives a "confirmation," as we call it, that the handle breaks. A confirmation is generally held when some sinner or other has gone wrong and refuses to obey.
Look at Master Morganic; he has his main course close-reefed on the Achilles, to luff into his station, and I'll warrant you will get a good six months' wear out of that ship in this one gale; loosening her knees, and jerking her spars like so many whip-handles; and all for love of the new fashion of rigging an English two-decker like an Algerian xebec!
Then he went to three of the chief jewellers in Paris and compared all the whip-handles that they could offer; he was in search of some artistic treasure that was regally superb.
At least it was not for the sake of whip-handles and trowsers, that I fell into the clutches of Moses Melchizedek, for that was the name of the devil to whom I betrayed my soul for money. Emulation, however, mingled with the love of art; and I must confess too, that cigars costs me money as well as pictures; and as I have already hinted, there was worse behind.
I wondered a little at this, as I knew Hanssen was very fond of a game of whist after supper, and never missed it unless he had work to do. I happened one evening to express my surprise at this, and Stubberud answered at once: "He's making handles." "What sort of handles?" "Whip-handles; but," Stubberud added, "I'll guarantee those hickory handles I'm making.
By getting over the ground at an early hour, they might rest during the heat of the day under the shade of the myall trees from which the creek took its name and employ themselves in shaping a few stock whip-handles, which are made from its fragrant wood; they would then recommence their search for Old Bolter.