Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/27

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My Boyhood Among the Pigeons

group of English woodcock, on the other a setter rampant. Hanging at my left side by a green cord with a tassel or two is my fluted copper powder flask, ready to measure out two and three-fourths drams of coarse Dupont or Curtis & Harvey powder.

"My pockets are full of Ely's black-edged wads, for I am a young nabob of sportsmen, let me tell you, and I scorn to use tow or bits of newspaper for wadding. My vest pocket holds the caps, G. D.'s or Ely's again, for didn't I tell you that I was a nabob. The pièce de résistance of this outfit is the game bag, the pride of my eye, for it was a Christmas present, and this is its maiden shooting trip. Suspended over the left shoulder so that it will hang well back of the right hip, the strap that carries it is broad and with many holes for the wondrous buckle which can be shifted to hang it in the most comfortable place, wherever that is, for when it is loaded with game it will choke me almost to death, no matter how I adjust it. This noble bag has two pockets, one of them for luncheon, and on the outside is a netted pocket, easy to get into and keeping the birds cool. I nearly forgot to mention its magnificent fringe, which hangs down from both sides and the bottom like the war-bags of an Indian chief.

"My companions are rigged out in much the same fashion. They are grown men, however, for I don't remember any other boys who shot pigeons with me. Holabird or khaki hunting suits are as yet unknown, and