Thursday, February 23, 2006

30May1857, Fishing

FALCONHURST, May 30th, 1857.
—I went to look at the robin's nest, wherein all the eggs are hatched but one. The chaffinch's in the P. laurel have vanished like the others : it must be a weasel. We went in the afternoon to a pond some way off, where we fished : Witherby presiding. I had been in common with all the others tantalized by perpetual bites, and had twice I think brought a roach above water, which then splashed away again, and had in some despair changed my place, when behold ! two or three little bobs of the float, a very great one, a dash of it towards the middle of the pond, a stiff tightening of the line, a frantic tug upwards on my part, a flight through the air of a great flapping fish and a landing of a—carp ! ! ! !

With this overwhelming exploit, my afternoon deeds ceased ; I caught no more. Two little roach had been caught before, one by Cecil, and one by Edward, but the capture of the carp seemed to exhaust the pool, for even bobs of the float became rare. But it was all great fun, especially the frequent excited appeals to Oracle Witherby, on the occasion of deceptive Bobs, or Roberts, as Meriel's wit denominated them. We ordered the carp to be done for dinner, in spite of its single blessedness, and had the two small fry for tea. But alas ! the carp was let fall by the culpable cook and rendered unfit for presentation.

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