A PROFITABLE DAY
by William Byrd
MAJOR MAYO'S surveybeing no more than half donewe were obliged to amuseourselves another day in this place. And that the time might not be quite lostwe put our garments and baggage into good repair. I for my part never spent aday so well during the whole voyage. I had an impertinent tooth in my upper jawthat had been loose for some timeand made me chew with great caution.Particularly I could not grind a biscuit but with much deliberation and presenceof mind. Tooth-drawers we had none amongst usnor any of the instruments theymake use of. Howeverinvention supplied this want very happilyand I contrivedto get rid of this troublesome companion by cutting a caper. I caused a twine tobe fastened round the root of my toothabout a fathom in lengthand then tiedthe other end to the snag of a log that lay upon the groundin such a mannerthat I could just stand upright Having adjusted my string in this mannerI bentmy knees enough to enable me to spring vigorously off the groundasperpendicularly as I could. The force of the leap drew out the tooth with somuch ease that I felt nothing of itnor should have believed it was come awayunless I had seen it dangling at the end of the string. An under tooth may befetched out by standing off the ground and fastening your string at due distanceabove you. And having so fixed your gearjump off your standingand the weightof your bodyadded to the force of the springwill poise out your tooth withless pain than any operator upon earth could draw it.
This new way of tooth-drawingbeing so silently and deliberately performedboth surprised and delighted all that were presentwho could not guess what Iwas going about. I immediately found the benefit of getting rid of thistroublesome companionby eating my supper with more comfort than I had doneduring the whole expedition.