Barren Box, NSW, 1960
We were all having lunch after a great morning’s shoot. All members of the party had bagged out and the ducks were now dressed and in the freezer. One of our guests was Jack Thompson, the man responsible for bringing the German shorthaired pointer dogs into Australia.
Jack was one of the best handlers of gundogs in this country, but he was also a bugger of a shot.
He would always have a boatload of dogs with him and perhaps this explains his story and most likely the reason for his loss.
Jack came back to camp looking most worried. I asked the reason for this look and he told us he had lost his gun overboard.
He had marked the spot well and he asked if we could help him recover this valuable gun, which was in about eight feet of water.
I knew of this gun. It was a top grade Beretta SO EELL u/o with three sets of barrels, and I also knew its value. Anyhow, a posse was formed and we motored out to the spot. I asked Jack if the gun was loaded, the reply being ‘no’. The first diver was Keith Russell: he dived in and you would not believe it, the first think he touched with his foot was the gun. Everyone was delighted, especially Jack. He insisted on giving Keith a reward. “All I want is a double-headed ice cream,” Keith said. Jack put the freezer in the car and motored back into Griffith, bringing back ice cream for everyone.