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THE MAUI NEWS-
SATURDAY, JANUARY 0, 1909
A DUCK SHOOTING STORY.
Ity RHIN IIAIiDLIN
FRENCIIY SIKVVTS AT HKOOYS.
The sun had sunk Ixhind the
cloud bank which top the mountain
west of Wailuku when two old
cronies mot outside the Wailuku
Market. They lieaincd 'with that
garrulous sociability of old people
and sat down on n Ix'iieh fur a social
Jim Jones spoke up first with a
note of joy in his cracked voice.
"Seems to me somehow the town is
Ix tter 'n them old times when we
used to snoop around together. The
men seem just as oicn hearted as
we were in them old times, and the
, women just as pretty."
"IIo ho! ever tell the old woman
that?" replied, Hill Heed. You was
a gay young rooster them days
alright, always stuck on girls till
the old woman got wind of your
capers and kept her eye on you. 0
Jimmy. I rememler them times
"You warn't any different from
the rest of us, Bill, I can tell"
" "Oh, come off there" was Rill
Reed's rejoinder" we were all of a
kind, as like as two peaB in a pod,
and looked through the same key
hole as the boys would say."
"You rememlier the old watch
maker thet had a shop alovc Jim
Girvin's corner?" said Jim Jones.
"Oh yes, I rcmemlxT him well"
said Bill Reed. "He had a pretty
daughter and don't I remember call
ing on her one evening after the old
man had warned me to keep nway
from the house? Don't I remember
how he jumped me and cussed and
got after me with boot and club?
And kicked me into a taro patch be
fore. I got away? He was a hot
tempered old Frenchy alright."
"There you go talking about girls,
after trying to make out I was more
stuck on girls than you were You
always was great on girls them days
and a lot of fathers watched your
moves with a shot gun handy, and
that reminds me of what I wanted
to tell you alxut old Frenchy" said
"Old Frenchy was a great sport,
likes to take his gun and go out
gunning after clucks, plovers and
the like, and being on the good side
of the old man, for I knew enough
not to make eyes to the girls when
ho was around. I was that foxy.
I often went out gunning with him.
"Tho lagoon back of Kahului
used to be a great place for water
fowl, ducks, and the like, and us
boys kept going there gunning till,
the birds got shy and wouldn't , light
anywhere near the banks, but would
plump in and stay about the middle
of the pond when there was any
thing suspicious around.
"Wo had Ilopke get us some real
life like decoy ducks. One day we
went down and planted a dozen or
so of them decoys in a suitable
place, and went off a little to give
the real ducks a chance to come
over and make friends with them
wooden ones. While we were wait
ing developments, who would come
along but Frenchy. He spied the
decoys and stopped, looked around
for cover but there warn't any ex
cept a few tufts of grass and the
aL.iI! nm 1 w ... r . 1 ...... n ,1 . 1 . . . .
"He wanted the ducks, and want
ed them bad. IIo didn't know
they were only decoys ! And there
was nothing for him to do but to
lie down and crawl for it. The place
was flat with muddy pots here and
"Wo just laid back and roared to
see tho old man making for it. First
he'd push bis gun ahead then wrig
gle along on his Ix'lly hugging the
ground close, not even rising to cross
tho mud holes. We laughed till we
thought we had had enough of the
old man's antics, then we got up
and yelled at him, but he was that
lxnt on bagging them birds that he
didn't notice the fuss we were mak
ing. "When he got in good range he
ups and lets off one barrel at them
dollar and a half apiece decoys, and
the way them imitations Ixihliod
serenely was a puzzle to the old
man, but to make sure he lets off
the second barrel at 'em. Results
same. No dead ducks or wounded
ones flopping in the water for him
to pick uj), but just them imitations
bobbing serenely as if nothing had
been fired at 'em.
"When the old man looked
around and saw us rolling about and
cutting capers in the sand, holding
in our sides and yelling at him he
took a tumble to himself and flow
off the handle. How he did dance
and cuss and swear I
"There he was dahlx'd all over
mud raving mad and swearing ot us
and we won1 laughing fit to bust
our sides 1 He got madder'n mad
der finally he bust out crying, and
with tears rolling down his whiskers,
he called us wicked lxiys to fool a
IH)or half blind old man like him by
planting them wooden ducks for
him to shoot at, and blubbered
enough to make you feel 'shamed
"That sobered us. Wo weren't
bad lxys. We didn't mean to fool
the old man. We wanted to fool
the ducks but he got there first, and
twas only natural for us boy like to
take in the whole show. So we
pitied the obi man, and went over
to help him pick up his- things.
When we got close, he flew off the
handle again ami tried to break his
gun on us, and we felt glad he had
fired off his second barrel before he
had seen us and we got away before
he could reload."
IMTK AXIl SHARKS.
"That was a good joke alright
and a mean trick to play on the old
man, even if its unexpected as you
say, but I take your word for it,'!
said Bill Reed. "And reminds me of
the good old whaling times when I
used to go duck shooting in the Ewa
lagoon. That lagoon there was as
pretty bit of water as you'd ever
want to see them days.
"After the whaling ships had
been in port a few weeks and we
got tired of cruising round the Ho
nolulu by-ways and alloys, we used
to go down duck shooting on the
"Among us boys was a whippor
snapper of a young feller named
Black. When I'd go down and
fetch up with two ducks, he'd go
down and come back witli three,
I'd go next and bring in four and
he'd take a turn and come ..back
with five, and then he'd brag about
bein' the best shot, brag about gett
ing 'em quieker'n any one else and
brag well I sized him up to lie all
"I remarked about it being easy
enough to buy tame ducks from
Chinamen and he took me up on it,
and we had the boys settle the dis
pute. All web footed birds were
ducks to 'em, and they awarded
him the honor of bein' the lost shot
'cause ho produced more ducks 'n I
did, and I got real downhearted for
"It was up to me to do something
to show I was the Ix-ttor man of the
two, so one fine morning I goes
down to the lagoon and snooped
around the bulrushes for birds and
"I shot at e'm and they would
go flopping clear into the middle of
the lagoon and go under. I was
killing 'em by the score and
couldn't get any without bavin' to
swim for it, and tho lagoon reputed
to be the home of the king o'
"I had to have the birds for proof
that I was bettor'n Black with his
confounded string of one more duck
than mine. So I says here goes for
them ducks sharks or no shark, its
ducks in hand that counts.
"I pulls off my clothes and swims
(ait and dives .for 'em. I found
scores of 'em lying on the bottom,
swaying easy like with the motion
of the water. I picks up a few and
turns to rise for a breath and as I
ltKiked around I saw one of them
sliarks, just a small feller alxmt a
fathom and an arm in length com
ing along lazily and ho saw me. lie
gives a gasp and his eyes bulged out
and looked at me like what Colum
bus did when ho discovered America,
and with a flip of his tail be turned
and was gone. Well, I rose Hilled
my lungs with air and dove down
for move birds.
"I started picking 'em up by the
score, when I fools a slight stir in
the water and looked, and there
alxmt a ship's length away coming
full speed at me were a whole
college of sharks! The place was
alive with sharks, all looking nt me
with eyes fixed as much as saying
you're my meat,' jaws wide opan,
tongues hanging out, and a racing
for me as if all hands had a bet to
go to the first one to nab mo.
"I gives one look, chucks them
birds to the nearest shark and
makes a break liekety spilt for dry
land. I was a fast swimmer thoin
days, but them sharks would a got
me. They -wore Ix'tter'n me in the
water, and I owns it up like a man.
"I hits the shoal water with them
sharks puffing after me, and just as
I jumped for dry land the nearest
feller made a grab at mo, ami nipp
ed me in the back below the belt
with the corner of bis mouth, took
a bit of flesh itud left there a scar
which I shall carry with me to the
"Hold on, Jones" for Jim was
rising to go and Bill Reed caught
him. "Set still. Now what do
"The old woman wanted some
fish and I was goin' to get some
from them Japanese fellers over
there before they're all gone'' was
Jones evasive reply.
"Well, you wait till I'm through,
if you're a friend of mine" said Bill
"And your story is like the same
one I hoard from a one eyed sailor
man," said Jim Jones.
"I am telling you no story. It's
gospel truth from my own ex
perience" said Bill Reed." "I
listened to your yarn when you was
spinning it, now "
"But that was no lie," said Jim
Jones "I can 'get eye witnesses right
here to prove it."
"Sit still, and hoar mo out. I
took in your yarn without turning
a hair, and never a word about ' ly
ing either. I've got the scar on my
back to prove it" said Bill Reed.
"But that might lx the dent you
got from Frenchy 'h I m x t toe'' said
"Now don't got gay," said Reed.
"Fair play is all I ask." And see
ing no chance of gottting away Jim
Jones Bottled, down again, while Bill
Reed resinned his yarn.
"And as I was saying I laid on
the beach among the bulrushes
pretty well tuckered out, and blood
ing till some natives come along and
fixed mo up and took me home.
"When I got over it and was
round again tho boys made a hero
of me, and when they heard how it
happened some cried over mo, to
think that their own behavior bad
driven me to risk being eaten up by
sharks, in my desire to accomodate
them by producing the birds I had
killed in the lagoon.
"But that little whippor snapper
Black turned green with envy, and
said my say so was of no 'count,
'course I had no birds to show for
"I opened up my clothes and
showed the scar where the shark bit
me, and the boys looked at me and
wanted to choke Black. But I
thought of his mother and pitied
the little fool for her sake, and told
the boys not to be too hard on him,
and they hooted him and told him
to go away back and sit down."
A FANCY SHOT.
"After that prompted by Black
the lxiys would go down to shoot
ducks and come back with nothin'.
Claiming the ducks fell in the lagxn
and none of 'em wanted to swim
out and risk being bitten by sharks
as I did. Natives couldn't bo hired
to swim for them. And some of
'em got reckless and claimed six Kit
ing down ducks by the lxiat load
and couldn't get them ashore 1k
causo of the sharks and finally said
they couldn't bring 'em in on the
(Id sore backed horses they got from
tho stable to go out on. Just brought
in one or two for specimens, and
lot the rest sink in the lagoon.
That's the way they did, till I felt
scindalized over it.
"Then this 'ore whippor snapper
Black got to blowing aboul doing
fancy shooting and the hoys lioniz
ed him again, ami I saw I had to
do something or I w done for.
So I goes in with the boys to try
fancy shooting, and I did some
shooting no one else could do I
made sure of myself and told the
boys df my stunt
"But they were that stuck on
Black thev'd wink at mo and ak
for the birds. I told 'em to look
at the bottom of the lagoon, whore
their own birds wero, and that so
bered 'em up. But they snickered
on the quiet for they had ooniph to
ly gone back on me, ns if I was
used to telling whoppers.
"It hurt some to think they took
me for n ordinary common low
down liar, and all because that
feller Hlaek wore putting '((in up
to it. So I ups and invited the
whole bur.oh logo down Kwa and
ee me do my fancy stunts. That
took the house. We hired every
horse and rig we could et and
went down. Ah, that was a great
"We got there in good season
and hid among the bulrushes and
waited. The ducks came in flocks
and just bung like a cloud over us,
waiting to be shot at, and I was
urged to bag the biggest lot of
foivls ever one man could bag, and
I felt, tempted to do it, but I waved
that aside. I wasn't going to spoil
my chance by doing an ordinary
every day shooting stunt.
"The bids got tired and went off
to rest, and the scoffers began to
throw slurs at mo, and that was
harder to bear, but I shut my
tooth and waited for the chance I
was looking for. The the birds be
gan coining in a line ahead, one
after another, but I lot the n pass,
then my own friends began to go
back on me, they were that fickle!
'I then up and told them, I was
just going to shoot eight birds and
no more. I was a humane man
and had come to do fancy shooting
not plain fowl killing. I waited
till just eight ducks came by fly
ing in a low string, one after an
other past me, when I ups my gun
pointed at the leader and pulled
the trigger of one barrel after an
other with a quick swing down tho J
line as the gun went off and
brought all eight of 'em down
''They were coming out from a
li'tle valley towardi the lagoon,
and the force of llieir light took
'em all eight clear out into the
middle where they all flopped in
and went under like all the ducks
we shot before.
''The boys rubbed their eyes und
grinned at me, but I loaded my
gnu ar.d asked if I hadn't shot a? I
claimed? If I hadn't brought
down the whole string on 'em, and
if it were n't a fact the birds had
jinto the middle of the pond flapp
ed and gone under the same as they
claimed the birds they shot did?
"They looked at my gun and
looked at me, as if they thought I
was rubbing it into 'em, and ad
mitted I had done it, except Black
who stood by himself and went off
in a huff, ho was that jealous.
"And with thorn 'ere witnesses
owing up to what I done, my re
putation for doing fancy shooting
was made "
Bill Reed sag the uneasy look
in the eye of hU friend and spoke
tartly "You're as nervous as a
dog with fleas and a tick in the ear
Jim Jones squirmed a bit and
remarked about the fancy shooting
he'd seen Frenchy do, ami des
cribed it as follows:
KHKNCHY's (iHKAT HllOT.
"When I used to go along with
Frenchy carrying the game bag for
him, one day we went out shooting
to the salt flats of near Kihei.
"It looked as if the flats were
dry but the reflection from the
nearby mountain often gave the
water a deceptive look so we went
on hoofing it down there in the hot
"As we went down going there
from the little half moon shaped
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hi'l by the road we saw the flats
were full of water. It was a beau
tiful bit of water with thee trees
on the border mirrored in it and
very etree top reflected in the wa
ter. On the banks were cattle and
horses grazing, and bore and there
were native houses built of grass
with people moving about, and all
so plain I could see it vet.
"As we got nearer and nearer the
water sparkled wavelike in the hot
sun, and it was a beautiful bit of
eenery, but we were after ducks
and other water fowl. And the
old man first saw a flock of 'em
flying in a long graceful line to
wards us, and he pointed it out to
me and I saw it plainly with my
own eyes. A hcatiful flock of birds
"We drew near where the bridge
now is at the edge of the pond and
I wonder I for the water receded
from us, but the birds were com
ing on nicely hovering over the
water as if they were looking for
some soft place to drop in.
"Old Frenchy was getting excit
ed and ready to shoot, and the
range seemed eather long to me,
but Frenchy had carefully greased
every shot he had and was sure i.t
would carry. All at once ho ups
his gun and le'.s off both barrels
one after another, and I rubbed my
eyes and wondered for I din't see
no birds fall and they bad vanish
ed, but then I always flinch and
shut my eyes when a gun oes off
and we both ran stumbling into
the mud to look for the birds and
was floundering in the mud before
my eyes were opened and I saw we
had been fooled by a mirage. A
real mirage such as you can see by
going down there even today,
but that was a wonderful shot, and
I saw the whole thing plain with
my own eyes, and can swear to the
truth of it."'
There was a puzzed look on Bill
Reed's face and he remarked, "I
don't see nothin' in your yarn.
WTiat are you drivin' at?
"I took you for a bright feller,
Bill," says Jim Jones, "but it
seems you aint. My point is this,
Frenchy's stunts was as good as
your n. ou shot your birds and
got nothin' but a yarn, Frenchy
shot his clear out o' sight n-nd got
nothin', the same as you did.
Ha! hn! ha!"
Bill Reed saw a new light and
flew oil the handle.
"Hold on, don't get mad. Bili!"
said Jim Jones, "I told you an ex
perience just as like your'n as two
peas from the same pod."
Bill Reed got up and glared,
sore at the reflection on his fam
ous Ewa lagoon fancy shot. It
looked as if he was going to hit
Jim Jones on the head with his
walking stick, then he turned und
hurried off like any reportable man
wanting to get away from a wick
ed liar like Jim Jones.
And Jones, he chuckled softly
and remarked, "People like to talk
about gettin' fair play and when
you give it to them they get mad.
Bill was always long on yarns and
durn short .on temper. Bad, bad
for an old man to be that! Do the
same as I do, take it all in and
give it to 'em just as good or bet
ter then you'll be popular wi)hthe
boys, and they'll slap you on the
back and say your're alright, and
that's about pretty near alj what
an old nnn is good for if you know
''Them good oU days ain't all
they're cracked up to be, the pre
sent times are plenty good enough
i.. ... . i ii i
mi un oki man iikc me, and lor re
collecting old times w hy I can hold
up my end against any one trying
it on me in this little burg, now
that's u fact."
Then he got up and ambled off
to the next door for a smile, where
the old man loved to be with tho
hoys bein', as be put it, 'always
was one of the old boys,'