I’ll spin you a yarn. Yes, sir, it’s the truth. Last summer I was rubbering down the Bow one day when all the sports were out, and the man I got on the end of a line was the biggest in the river. You just ought to have seen him. I’ve had plenty of luck, but this old fellow beat the record. I found him a little way up the river, not far from the creek, he was lurking there. My! but he was a gamey old rascal. I bet he weighed 300 pounds if he weighed an ounce.
I got a clear look at him when I started to play him and he was fully seven feet, with a beautiful red and purple color around the gills. And gamey? Say, he was something fierce!
As soon as I felt him strike I knew I had a tough proposition. For a time I thought he was going to have me in the air. But I held on and commenced to play with him in my best style. I knew I had him secure so he couldn’t let go, and the only question was whether I could tire him out.
You can judge of his size when I tell you he hauled me clear round his boat twice, and I had to hold on tight or he would have got clean away.
Just as I began to feel that he was getting tired and I was beginning to think how fine he’d look in a photograph hanging up beside me, the line parted and I had to let him go. It was a shame, wasn’t it? I’ll never rely on those dinky little silk lines again. There’ll be sport if ever I get him on the end of a line again. If any of you fellows think you’ve had fun with a fresh
Mice often crawl into empty beer bottles, he said, no doubt attracted by the malty smell. A mouse in a bottle, having lapped up the few remaining drops of liquid, commonly finds himself unable to negotiate the return journey to the outside world. A few drops for a mouse, our informant ventured to say, was roughly the equivalent of a painful for an average-sized man.
This was not all our bottle-counter had to offer. His employment had given him a splendid
opportunity to assess the drinking habits of mice over a vast area of the Canadian West, and it was clear to him that country mice are worse topers than their city cousins. Either the rural dwellers drink more heavily, he said, or the city ones are shrewder at knowing when to hit the road. Far more mice show up in shipments of bottles from scattered prairie oases than those brought in by urban people. My friend and I received the impression that we had acquired around the keg-and-bottle exchange a notoriety that would not soon leave us.
By a coincidence, that day’s paper had carried a story about a speech made by one of the province’s leading temperance advocates. Using one of those striking figures of speech that seem to fascinate the teetotal world, this citizen had allegedly asserted enough beer had been sold in our province during the past year to keep everybody over the age of fourteen drunk for three weeks. My friend had during the day made a number of unfriendly references to those who had got his share, but he was somehow cheered to think that it may have been the mice.