SLABSAUCE Crappie Attractant |
  • Billy and the Kid - Chapter 17 through 20

    The previous chapters can be found here:

    Chapter 17

    Billy couldn’t quit smiling the entire trip home. “Mr. Baker, I can’t believe you got me a boat”. “I didn’t get you a boat Billy, I’m expecting you to earn it. There’s a lot of stuff we need to do around your house and I’m expecting you to help me with it. That and I want those fishing reports to keep coming. But now, don’t get ahead of yourself. We’ve got some stuff to do to the boat too and some things I’ll need to show you before you get turned loose with it.” “Oh, you can’t count on me Mr. Baker.”

    They drove on with Billy grinning ear to ear and Mr. Baker telling fishing stories. They were almost home when Billy remembered the box Mr. Make Do had given him. He slid it into his lap and pulled the carboard flaps on it and fished around in there to see what it was. “Billy, that was a good thing you did back there.” “No better than he did for me Mr. Baker”. The box was crammed full of stuff. Some of it looked useful, some not so much. A bunch of hooks and corks. Some miscellaneous lead of a bunch of sizes all chalky from age. Some spools of line. Some plastic jig skirts that were kind of faded. And another smaller box inside. “What are these Mr. Baker?” He held up it up to show Mr. Baker as he drove along. Mr. Baker slowed the truck and rode the breaks when he reached for it. “Let me see that Billy.” He studied it while bringing the truck almost to a stop. “Billy, that’s an old Hellbender. Probably the best trolling plug they ever made. As good of shape as this on is in, It’s probably worth $15 or so.” “Really? Well, there’s several of ‘em in here and a bunch more pretty close to it” Mr. Baker pulled the truck over. “Let me see that box”. Mr. Baker fished around in there for a bit. “Billy, this box is chuck full of vintage wooden crankbaits. Hellbenders, Flatfish, some South Bend stuff, here’s some Heddon River Runts.…..and look, you’ve even got 2 Creek Chubs here. You ought to put them up, they could be worth a bunch of money.” And he handed the box back to him and Billy looked at ‘em some more and thought about it. “Mr. Baker, will you help me pick the good ones out? I’ll put them back and save them, but I want to use some of them. I don’t think Mr. Make Do would want me to just hide all of them in a closet.” “You’re probably right Billy. Sure, I’ll help you with it. Maybe we could find a display case for the rest of ‘em.” “But how do you fish with them?” “I’ll help you with that too Billy”.

    They made the last 2 miles and backed the truck up to Billy’s carport. Mr. Baker had Billy go get the saw horses from his garage and they put Billy’s new boat on top of them leaving enough room for his Mom’s car. They put all the extras in the corner for now.

    “Billy, I’m feeling a little run down. I think I’m going to go take a nap. Why don’t you load up and go fishing and stop back by this evening and let me know how it goes”. “You bet Mr. Baker. I think I’ll see if I can’t catch a few and then come back and clean this boat up a bit and check in on you later. Thank you so much.” “Don’t thank me, Billy, I’m not giving you anything. You’re gonna earn it. Besides, sometime down the road, I expect you to give it to somebody else that deserves it. Just like Mr. Make Do.” “I will Mr. Baker. I will.”

    Mr. Baker made his way back to the house. He was bone tired from the little drive and all the excitement. He was supposed to get the results in two days, but judging from how tired he was, he didn’t really need the results to know what they’d say.

    Billy headed for the lake. It was bright and sunny again with a little bit of wind. Pretty close to the weather he had the last time he’d done pretty well. Still, it was hard to concentrate knowing what was waiting for him back at home. He managed to hold out for 2 and half hours before it was too much for him. Still he managed 4 and one of them was pretty good, so he had his story for Mr. Baker.

    He hurried back to the house and grabbed a broom, a brush, some dishwashing liquid from the kitchen and pulled the garden hose around and started cleaning. He swept and picked out all the sticks and pine straw and found at least 7 hooks half stuck under the braces. Once he had all that out, he started in with the water hose, soap and brush to get all the dust and dirt out. After an hour, it was beginning to shine like a new penny. While he cleaned, he thought about how excited his Mom was going to be to see it. But then realized, she must have already known about it, otherwise, Mr. Baker wouldn’t have taken him to get it. After rinsing it the last time, he decided to go clean up the house a little bit and start dinner for her. That was the best way he could think of to say thank you until she got home.

    Chapter 18

    Over the next two days William and Billy worked on Billy’s house on odds and ends in the early part of the morning and spent the mid day on the boat and Billy fished in the afternoon to let William rest. In no time, they had transformed the bare boat into a fishing machine. William had cut some plywood and covered it with outdoor carpet and put down between the benches making the floor flat, but used ¼ inch to keep the weight down and had glued strips of Styrofoam down between the ribs for support and to keep it from sitting in water. He had a couple of old plastic seats and a pair of swivels that worked out nicely for the front and back seats. They filled out the registration online at the library and Billy had insisted on reimbursing Mr. Baker for the $23 fee from money his Mom had given him. Mr. Baker agreed, but only after he talked Billy into a BBQ lunch and he agreed not to tell Ann about it. William installed some cargo netting on the front and back side of the middle bench to keep odds and ends in and showed Billy how to skull a boat. He also took his time making sure Billy knew to keep his weight low when moving around and the importance of a PFD and the throwable that doubled as a seat cushion. On the last day, they made a run to the store and bought a brand new paddle. Mr. Make Do had given them one, but it wasn’t in that good of shape and it was a good idea to have a spare anyway. When they’d finished up, William got some paint and Billy drew out the registration numbers on the front of the boat in anticipation of receiving the stickers from the state. When he finished, he turned to Mr. Baker and asked “Is it OK to name a boat this small or does it have to be big like a sail boat?” “Billy, it’s your boat, you can do whatever you want with it”. Billy moved the paint bucket around to the transom and went to work. After a few minutes, Mr. Baker moved around back to see what he came up with. “I think Mr. Make Do would like that Billy”. In black letters it read “SHADOW”.

    They put away their stuff and made plans to move the boat up to the lake the next AM after they finished the fascia boards on the back of the house. Billy took off for the lake and William went back home. He opened the door grinning from ear to ear just like he had for the last 3 days running. He went about the house doing things and telling Ann all about the morning’s activities. When he got to the kitchen he turned the water on and was busily washing his hands when Ann said from behind him, “Billy, the doctor’s office called.”. Billy stopped washing his hands and looked up and out the window, but didn’t move. He hadn’t thought about any of that in at least 2 days. Without turning and continuing to wash his hands, he said “Oh. What’d they say?” “Well. They want to run more tests. They said the ones they ran weren’t conclusive and the lab messed one up and they want to run them again.” William finished washing, grabbed a towel and dried his hands then slowly folded it and put it on the kitchen counter. He used the time to gather his thoughts. It was time for Ann to know what he’d decided. “Ann, I” “So, I set the appointment for Tuesday and we need to be there by 9. Now, I’ve got clothes to fold and you promised me you’d look at the faucet in the spare bathroom”. She kissed him on the cheek and walked out of the room.

    Twice that evening, William tried to bring the subject back up but every time he did Ann would cut him off and change the subject then take off to do something in the house. Later that night, he had tried one last time when they got into bed and Ann stopped him and made him go get her some aspirin in the front of the house. When he’d gotten back to the bedroom, she pretended to be asleep. He smiled to himself, set the aspirin on the night stand and got back into bed quietly as to not “wake” her.

    He lay there thinking for a long time unable to go to sleep. Ann obviously didn’t want to hear it, but he had decided there was nothing else that could be done. The move was complete, the house was in order, Ann was all set. Besides, it wouldn’t be like he would drop dead mid step one day. With a little luck, he had a good little while left. Only Billy next door was left undone and even he was well on his way. He thought about all he’d done in these last few weeks. He sure would like to get to go fishing with Billy on that little lake but chemo would make sure he couldn’t if he let Ann talk him into it. No, his mind was made up and that was just the way it was going to be. He imagined fishing with Billy and all the things he wanted to show him. That made him think back to fishing with his Dad. He didn’t remember much from those first few trips but he remembered losing a good fish when he was maybe 6 or 7 years old and his Dad laughing about it when he looked at the line and the knot William had tied and slipped loose. He was mad as a hatter at his Dad for laughing about that fish, but he remembered his Dad putting down his rod and moving over in the boat to sit beside him and his Dad showing him how to tie a knot and how to check to make sure it wouldn’t slip. He remembered his Dad’s huge, rough hands on his showing him where to loop and when to pull. He often couldn’t remember what his Dad looked like when William was that young. It was hard to remember past that frail, sick man he became in that last year before he passed. But William always remembered those hands. He thought about that frying pan sized hand – hard as iron and rough as sand paper - on his when his Dad would let him run that old Johnson on his boat as he drifted off to sleep.

    Chapter 19

    By the time William made it out of the bedroom, the next morning, Ann was already busy about the house. She pecked him on the cheek, told him breakfast was on the table and flew out the house mentioning something about some errands. Typical. That was her way when she didn’t want to hear what William had to say. When the door shut behind her, he smirked a little to himself and thought ‘I’m going to miss her most of all’.

    William sat down to breakfast and went over his mental checklist while he ate. There was only one more thing that needed doing over at Billy and Carol’s house and that was just blowing out the furnace and checking to make sure it was functioning properly. Luckily, the grip of the summer had already broken and the nights were growing comfortable again, so if he and Billy hurried, they’d be out of the attic before it got too uncomfortable. That would leave the meat of the day to get The Shadow up to the lake and if his strength held out, he might even wet a line today. That thought had him hurrying through his meal and getting ready to leave the house.

    William closed the door leading to the garage and just like clock-work, there was Billy to meet him. “You’re looking pretty good today Mr. Baker” “Feeling it too, Billy.” Billy started in with the required story from the day before. He’d had a pretty good outing with a total of 7 and two over 10 inches. It wasn’t until they had made it up into the attic that the story came to an end. William opened the unit and inspected everything as he pointed out the purpose and function of the major components. It actually didn’t look that bad and only required a little blowing out with some canned air to clear the accumulated dust from the burners. Billy went back down and turned it on to test it and everything was working properly. By the time Billy made it back up the ladder, Mr. Baker was already buttoning it back up. “Well, that’s everything I had on my list for the house Billy, can you think of anything else we need to check on?” “No sir, nothing else comes to mind and my Mom hasn’t mentioned anything else”. “When is she supposed to be home today?” “She’ll be home a little early today. Around 4”. “Well, if we’re gonna get The Shadow up to the lake, we better get on it then”. That brought a smile to Billy’s face.

    William had scouted out the area and there was some private property on the back side that had a little house on it that came within 100 yards of the shoreline. He’d asked around and gotten permission from the woman that owned it to use her gravel access to get as close as they could. He figured with as much weight removed as possible that Billy and he could either carry or drag the boat to the water and Billy could paddle back to the other side to store it on the side closest to his house. They loaded the boat and made the short haul to the little old house. It was in a lot better shape than William imagined. The woman that owned it had said it had been left to her by her mother, but she hadn’t been to it in over a year now. William had imagined it being a shack, but it was actually a nice little home in need of just a little maintenance. They were able to back the truck to the edge of the trees, but the one thing he hadn’t counted on was the fence bordering the property. They took their time and managed to clear it by using the truck bed for height and walking it over a fence post, then propping it against the post. Next they grabbed it on either side and set it on the ground. Luckily, they were only 75 yards to the water through the pines and it was mostly downhill. They made the water with no trouble and William rested while Billy made a couple of trips back for the other stuff in the truck, including his fishing gear.

    William surveyed the lake. It was larger than he imagined and looked to be a good bit deeper too. There were 2 good sharp points coming down to the water than he could see and some rock as well. He figured it might be as deep as 30’ from the angles he could see. The water in front of him had 2 to 2.5’ of visibility and a good tinge to it telling him it was fairly fertile. He could see bait flicking in the cove to his right and noted a couple of birds diving a couple of times giving away it was loaded with bait. From the layout, the only wind that would give Billy any trouble was a North West wind and even then it would only make it a tough slog with the paddle and no real danger from rough water. William stood and walked to the water’s edge and turned slightly, shielded his eyes and studied the water. Billy had made the last trip and walked up beside him, catching his breath. After a bit, Billy asked him, “What are you looking at Mr. Baker?”. “Just studying the lake a little Billy. I’m letting it tell me it’s secrets.” Billy had been here plenty and the lake had never told him a thing. He studied along with Mr. Baker until he couldn’t stand it any more. “What’s it telling you?” “Plenty. First there’s a short grass growing out to about 5’. That’s going to the nursery for the baitfish and a key spawning place for the fish on this side at least. Maybe even the entire lake. Next, the lake has shad and bluegill, but it appears the bluegill aren’t all that big. You can see a few working in the grass if you’re still enough. I saw two largemouth cruising that grass too. From the water color and the presence of the grass, I’d stay away from glitter in my tubes. There’s plenty of clarity not to need it and if the water get’s much clearer than this, I’d be looking at some natural colors to try like pumpkinseed on a bright day.” Billy was at the same time impressed and mad at himself that he had only noticed about half of the things he’d mentioned. “You want to go fishing Mr. Baker”. “Billy, I sure would like to, but I think I’m need to call it a day and get some rest. I don’t want to push it and besides, I didn’t bring my stuff with me.

    Chapter 20

    Billy made quick time of his new morning routine including putting the dishes away from the night before and was out the door is less than 45 minutes, but nearly tripped over William sitting on his front steps. Had it not been for his youth and agility, he probably would have. William had even surprised himself with the quickness in his step when his feet hit the floor that morning at 4:30. Of course, at his age, his routine took just over an hour, but still that wasn’t bad for a man his age and he had to make breakfast for two. Even with the extra time though, he’d still been sitting on the porch for more than a half hour though. He’d listened to the birds and watched the squirrels dodge the cars and enjoyed every dang minute of it. The only unpleasantness he’d had was when his mind struggled to figure out just when exactly was the last time he’d been fishing. Was it two years or was it three? Could it have been four? He remembered it was warm, but not hot. And windy. It blew that day to beat the band. He remembered it was the last time for sure because he hadn’t caught a single fish and broke a brand new rod when his boat blew into a stump and sandwiched it between the gunnel and a limb. He still remembered how mad he was about it when he came in to the ramp and how by the time he’d backed the truck down his boat had blown sideways on the ramp and every last bad word he’d said when he went to crank the motor and set the prop down on some rip-rap and tore it to pieces. Looking back on it now, he couldn’t even remember why that made him so mad. He’d torn the prop up on that old 9.9 dozens of times. It was while the prop was at the shop that he started feeling sick, looking back on it now he thought. Of course, he had kept it to himself for too long and just kept thinking it was something that would pass. He’d made excuses to himself and then to Ann about why he didn’t seem to want to fish any more. Funny thing was, if he’d been able to keep on fishing, Ann probably never would have figured out something was wrong with him and he’d probably never had the chance to meet Billy at all.

    “Mr. Baker, what are you doing out here? Is everything all right?” “Right as rain, Billy. I was just in a hurry to go fishing this morning”. “You sure you’re up to it today?” “Billy, I’ve never been so sure of anything in all my life.”. Billy’s look shifted from concern to the biggest smile William had ever seen. “Well, let’s get going then”.

    William knew the spring in his step wouldn’t hold all day, so they made plans to split up and William would drive the tackle around to the little house rather than wasting the energy on the walk through the woods and Billy would get the boat and meet him on the other side. By the time William made it around, Billy was already pushing the boat into the water. He must have run the whole way to the lake, William realized and grinned to himself. The trip across the lake gave William a little time to respool his two spinning reels and rig up a couple of cork and jig rigs. He studied the water and picked out two hand tied jigs that a friend of his from West Virginia had made special for him. One color was called Pbug and the other William named Old Friend. Old Friend William had custom ordered just to his specs, Pbug was a slightly different twist on Old Friend that Jason had suggested and, to William’s surprise, would sometimes outfish Old Friend. William couldn’t think of two better ties in his box to teach this upstart a lesson he wouldn’t forget and he smirked to himself has he clipped the last tag line.

    William turned his attention back to the lake and Billy coming across. He was surprised at how well he was handling that boat with the paddle, especially for someone so new at it. The boat was tracking as well as William thought he could manage and Billy wasn’t making the mistake most people do by trying to overpower the boat and get in a hurry to get where they were going. Billy was making nice smooth figure 8s and just gliding across. About two thirds of the way, Billy stopped, switched hands, and turned in his seat to finish the run with his left hand. “Yep”, Willliam thought to himself, “he still hasn’t built up the muscle yet”. That’s when the wheels came off Billy’s little bus. The boat was spinning and his figure 8’s turned in to figure 3s, 7s and William even thought figured 17s at one point. William couldn’t help but giggle a little when Billy stepped out to pull the boat up. Billy noticed, but didn’t seem to mind. “That left hand still gives me trouble, Mr. Baker” “Me too Billy, it’ll come to you with practice though. “Do you want the front or the back Mr. Baker?” “If it’s OK with you Billy, I’ll take the first turn at the front and then we’ll switch when I run out of steam.” “Sounds good to me.” Billy was always agreeable like that. As they loaded their tackle, William wondered if Billy was so confident in himself that he was agreeable or whether he was agreeable because he wasn’t confident in himself. He never really answered that question to himself, but decided that in either case, it was a quality that would serve Billy well for the rest of his life.

    They loaded up and Billy climbed in the back and William pushed them away. “Where do you think we should try first, Mr. Baker?” “I was hoping you could make a suggestion Billy, you know this lake better than I do” “Well, I’ve been spending most of my time around that point over there or either this pocket over here lately” “Most of my bigger fish have come from the point, but it seems I catch more in the pocket”. “Have you fished either of these points back here?” “No Sir, I just haven’t gotten to them yet”. “OK, well, let’s start out in the cover and go for the numbers, then we’ll work over to the point and go for a big one. If I’ve still got the energy, let’s try whichever of those points looks best to you and fish something new. How does that sound?” “Like music to my ears Mr. Baker”

    They made their way over to the cove and set up in the center between what William guessed was where the creek or drain should be and the shoreline. From this vantage point they could work the deeper water and the little bit of wood on what William guess was the flat and still have a good chance of making the weed line. “What do you think of this spot here Billy?” “Looks good to me, I’ve caught more on the other side back there, but this looks pretty similar” There he went being agreeable again. “Let’s drop the anchors and try it for a bit. And they did.

    Wiliam let Billy make the first cast and William watched in amazement at the skill he’d developed in these few weeks. He was fluid and purposeful with no wasted movements or overpowering forward stroke. “You’ve gotten pretty handy with that rod Billy” “Yes sir, I’ve been working at it.” And Billy allowed himself a smile as he tripped the bail. William took the next cast and he smiled to himself at how rusty he’d become as he tripped the bail. They both worked their ends of the boat toward the shoreline for the next few minutes. Billy was lost in thought about what needed to be changed and his next cast. William was lost in thought about the seeming hitch in his swing and why he couldn’t get that stupid jig to go exactly where he wanted it when Billy set the hook on the first fish and played him in. It was nothing to brag about, but it broke the ice and was a picture perfect way to start the day. William was impressed with how healthy it looked and that it had more weight than it’s 8 inches would lead you to believe. Billy released it and they both reset for their next target. William adjusted his cork a little shallower…not because he thought the fish were shallower, but because he thought it might make it a little easier to get that stupid jig next to that stupid tree limb this time. Billy didn’t change a thing and with the flick of his wrist, the cork settled back close to the twig where that fish had just come from. Billy had just made his second turn of the handle when he set the hook again. This one was a little longer but not quite as heavy as the first. Again, William admired the fish and congratulated him. Then he moved his cork a little shallower again. Billy managed 2 more before William was able to answer with one of his own. “There he is!” William said and he played him to the boat only to have him come off right at the end. “I hate that for you Mr. Baker”. “Just wasn’t meant to be Billy” William said but underneath he was ready to chew nails. They fished on and William managed to miss another, but the fishing had played out and they decided to move to the other side of the cove.

    “Don’t worry Mr. Baker, you’ll get yours today, I can feel it.” “I hope you’re right Billy. I’m a lot rustier at this than I thought I’d be.” They reset the anchors within casting distance of the largest lay down William had seen so far. This one had some depth around it and some grass on the very back side. William reset a little deeper and made the first cast he’d been proud of all morning. He layed that jig right in the fork of a main branch and the cork settled in just behind it. “Perfect” he thought to himself. With one twitch it disappeared and it was obviously a good one. “There he is” William let out and round and round they went with William being careful not to let him get back into the tree. This time though, William brought him to the boat and lifted him high. “That might be the biggest I’ve seen come out of here Mr. Baker. How big do you think he is?” “He’s a good 12 inches Billy, maybe even 13” “How much do you think he weighs?” Oh, I’d say at least a pound, maybe a little more.” “Wow. Well, if I couldn’t catch him, I’m glad you did.” William admired him for a moment, then let him swim away. Things were looking up and he still had plenty of energy left. Maybe even a little more than he started with after that fish. “What’s the biggest you’ve ever caught Mr. Baker”. “Oh, maybe 18 inches or so. I didn’t measure him, but he was a smooth 3.23 pounds.” “I didn’t even know they got that big”. “Oh there’s some good fish out there in the big lake alright. 2 pounders are not that uncommon” “Huh. Maybe we’ll get us a couple one day Mr. Baker.” Billy sort of trailed off in the middle of that sentence almost like he wished he hadn’t said it halfway through.

    That puzzled William for a moment, then it hit him that in all his own excitement, he hadn’t told Billy what had happened with the doctor. And Billy hadn’t even asked. William put down his rod and reset himself. “Billy, I didn’t tell you about the doctor’s office did I?” “Billy reeled in the last of his cast and set his rod across his lap and turned towards Mr. Baker with his legs. “No sir, you….didn’t”. Billy was bracing himself for bad news. “Billy, the doctor gave me the all clear, said I was fit as a fiddle. He gave me some pills to get my energy back up and said he didn’t want to see me again for at least a half a year.” Billy smiled at first, then it faded and he looked down at the bottom of the boat. “So…” He cleared his throat “you’re going to be alright then?” Billy wasn’t sure if he was being told the truth or whether Mr. Baker was protecting him. “No Billy, I’m going to be great!” Billy looked up and saw Mr. Baker’s grin and knew this was the truth. Billy shot a grin back at him and said “So….does this mean I can stop taking it easy on you then with the fish?” Mr. Baker rolled with laughter. “No Billy, I’d rather you keep taking it easy on me if you don’t mind. I can’t have a young fella like you outfish me all day. What would Ann think of me?” William grabbed his rod and made a big commotion with his cast as if he was real intent on catching one ahead of Billy. After the prank played out a bit, Billy said, “I’m glad you’re going to be around for a good while longer Mr. Baker” William welled up a bit and after swallowing hard, “Billy, I’m glad you’re going to be around for a good while longer too”.

    They fished on and Billy kept pulling away. The fishing was good today and the wind was light, which William was glad of. It’d been 15 years since he’d had to skull a boat by hand and was beginning to feel it. Still, he was proud that’d he’d managed to pull back within 4 fish of Billy’s count of 9.

    “OK Billy, I’ve had about enough of this paddle. Would you mind taking over?” “I’d be happy to. They gingerly swapped ends without too much wide eyed commotion. “Let’s try one of those new points back there Billy” “I’m on it.” As Billy skulled over, they talked about the weather, the fishing, days gone by and days to come. William enjoyed that conversation as much as any with a grown man he’d ever had too. He wasn’t sure if he was enjoying Billy so much, or if it was just the fact that the dark corner of his mind was finally gone. After listening to Billy talk for a bit more, he decided it was Billy he was enjoying and the lack of that dark place was just a bonus.

    They set up again on a decent looking spot and went back at it. Considering the luck they’d had so far, they were just about to lose confidence after 10 minutes had passed with no takers when Billy said “There he is.” “Oh, he’s a good one too. William stopped what he was doing to watch. Billy was doing a superb job of handling the fish in and was enjoying the moment when the fish came up and William scrambled to the center seat to help if he could when he saw the size of it. “Don’t lose him Billy” was all he could manage to make come out of his mouth. Billy’s mouth had completely stopped working. The fish made one last lunge under the boat and both Billy and William held their breath but Billy almost instinctively held the rod as far away from the boat as possible so the fish wouldn’t get on the boat and at the same time put pressure on him to keep him out of the anchor line when all of the sudden the fish just gave up and Billy reached down an picked him up. “Man what a fish!” “That’s a Jim Dandy, Billy, A JIM DANDY.” Billy lifted and turned him. “I can’t believe I don’t have a ruler with me” “I’d say he’s 13 easy, maybe 14 inches and at least a pound and three quarters. Look how thick he is.” Billy was beaming. “Here, let’s lay him out on the seat and we’ll put a mark on the bench and that way you can measure it later.” They used a hook to scratch out a line to mark where the fish’s tail ended from the edge of the boat on the center seat. Billy made the mark very distinctive and a little larger and deeper than it needed to be, but Billy wanted to make dang sure he got a good measurement later. That scratch was still visible the very last time Billy ever fished out of The Shadow some 12 years later and as much as Billy fished that little pond, he never did catch one any longer. But he never forgot it either. Neither did William.

    Before William had finished, he had pulled to within 2 fish, but he finally had to concede defeat with the final count being William 9 and Billy 11, but that was only because Billy let William count the 1 little Bass, which William appreciated. It had been a banner day and one William would often think about, but he’d stayed a little longer than he really should have and his shoulder, back and legs weren’t going to let him forget it the next day either. “Billy, I hate to say it, but I think I need to head on back” “Yes sir, I’ve got some chores I need to do before my Mom gets home anyway.” There he went being agreeable again.

    The next four chapters will be published here soon. There will be a total of 6 installments, each containing 4 chapters. This story was written by our very own member: Wannabe...

    Previous installments can be found here:
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. jpdawg's Avatar
      jpdawg -
      Thanks for the story. Brings back some wonderful memories.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good read
    1. Crappiegirl1's Avatar
      Crappiegirl1 -
      Great story, looking forward to the next chapters
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Great read.
    1. revitup's Avatar
      revitup -
      Thanks wannabe and slab. I enjoyed this segment too.
    1. RagflyJigMan's Avatar
      RagflyJigMan -
      A very GREAT read. Waiting for the next chapters.
    1. Lotech Joe's Avatar
      Lotech Joe -
      I hope this has been as enjoyable for you to write as it has been for us to read.
    1. bassaholic's Avatar
      bassaholic -
      This is great.Thank you.
    1. speckslayer57's Avatar
      speckslayer57 -
      Exciting, Something to look forward to, better than a lot of the books I've read in a couple a years, brings out alot of emotion. Hurry Please, More-More-More.
    1. Luvfatslabs's Avatar
      Luvfatslabs -
      Excellent read
    1. RangerZ20's Avatar
      RangerZ20 -
      Great story
    1. papasage's Avatar
      papasage -
      great story "thanks"
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