Page:Yule Logs.djvu/185

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169
A DANGEROUS GAME

"Weed, then," squeaked Hezz.

"'Tisn't," cried Lance; "I know by the heavy, steady pull. It's a big conger."

"No congers there."

"How do you know?"

"And if there were they wouldn't bite at this time of day."

"You mind your own business," cried Lance excitedly.

"It's a thumping big one, and he isn't awake yet to his being hooked. He's coming, and he'll begin to make a rush directly to get in his hole. You begin rowing, and get him right out away from the rocks."

Hezz did as he was told, but only made two or three strokes and then stopped, for his companion had to give line.

"Slower," said Lance, panting, as he held on again.

"Wait till he makes a rush. I say, did you bring the big gaff hook?"

"No; but that line'll hold any conger you can catch, and I've got the little chopper in the locker when he comes on board. But that isn't a conger."

"'Tis, I tell you. I can feel him trying to get back.—What is it, then?"

"Weed," croaked Hezz in his deep bass.

"You're a weed! It's a big conger, and he has got his tail round a rock or in a hole."

"Let him go, then."

"What? Why he'd shuffle back into his hole, and I should lose him. Wait till he gets a bit tired and gives way a bit."

"Let go, and if it's a conger he'll slack the line and come swimming up to see what's the matter. But you've only hooked a weed."

"Ha! ha!" laughed Lance. "You're a clever one, Hezz. Look, he's coming up quite steady;" and the boy drew in a couple of yards of line.