‘fraa-aank’

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

against the glim­mer­ing, light­en­ing dawn. I picked up the gun.

Rush of heavy wings

A sec­ond later there came a rush of heavy wings. Seven or eight dark forms swept low over­head, cir­cled and came up into the wind. The gun swung up and, as the flash cut the half-light, a mal­lard crashed into the wa­ter. The sec­ond bar­rel cut down an­other. Soapy plunged through the reeds like a tiger, smashed through a fringe of ice and was out into those deep, dark wa­ters, swim­ming like a gun­boat, that vil­lain­ous tail bran­dish­ing tri­umphantly in his wake. A dog with the heart of a lion, the sea-sense of a Vik­ing.

In an in­stant that whole marsh around was alive with the hoarse quacking of mal­lard, the thin whis­tle of teal, the splash of ducks tak­ing off, the whis­tle of wings and the sky was pat­terned by trips and bunches of fowl fly­ing back and forth. Pip­ings and whis­tles made a pan­de­mo­nium of sound. High above the clam­our came the hoarse “fraa-aank” 46 • SHOOT­ING TIMES & COUN­TRY MAG­A­ZINE

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