Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/201

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The Passenger Pigeon

double barreled shotgun, powder flask and shot pouch; my little girl, then a miss of twelve summers, following me. I took a stand on a slight rise in the middle of a five-acre field and commenced shooting, you might say, at wads of pigeons, so closely huddled were they as they went by. Letting the birds get opposite me and firing across the flock, I was enabled to kill from three to fifteen pigeons at a shot. And my girl was wildly excited, picking up the dead birds and catching the winged ones and bringing them to me.

You never saw two mortals more busy than we were for a half hour. At this time my wife called for breakfast, as we were near the house, and I found my stock of ammunition nearly exhausted. We went into the house for our breakfast and when we came out the birds were flying as thickly as ever. She says, let us count the pigeons and see how many we have. We found we had killed and picked up in this short time twenty-three dozen. My wife said I had better take them to Three Rivers, which was our nearest town, and sell them. And as my ammunition was about exhausted, I hitched up my team, took twenty dozen of the birds and drove ten miles to the station, sold my birds for sixty-five cents a dozen and returned home well satisfied with my day's work, and having on hand a good supply of ammunition for the next morning's flight.

Now I wish to pass along, the lapse of time being about sixteen years. During this time I had removed