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CHAPTER XL Slaughtering the pike Trimmers and liggers Catching bait
Setting the trimmers Plenty of pike, and a big one The joys of a
keeper's life. PETER'S mind was now bent on the slaughter of the
pike on Saturday, at which Gerard, Mr. Knox, and three or four
others were to assist. Peter overhauled Quadling's implements of
destruction, and found two score of the ordinary wood trimmers,
with hooks and lines. He did not consider these enough for the
purpose, so he proceeded to make a number of "liggers," as used in
the adjacent Broad district. A bundle of dry reeds, as long and as
thick as the forearm of a man, is cut, and the ends tightly bound
with string, and the ligger is complete. It floats well, and does
not frighten the fish. The line is wound round it, and secured by a
half-hitch, which the run of a pike dislodges, thus permitting the
spare line to run out. It did not take Peter very long to make
fifty of these rough-and- ready contrivances, but when he had made
them he was rather nonplussed to find that Quadling had not a
sufficient store of double hooks and lines. The village shop,
however, afforded plenty of single eel-hooks and string, and the
keeper's lumber- room produced a quantity of soft copper wire in
the form of rabbit and hare snares confiscated from poachers. It
was an easy matter to whip a couple of eel-hooks back to back, and
mount them on a short length of wire. " Now, how shall we get some
bait, Mr. Quadling 1 Hava you a casting-net 1" " No, but somewhere
about there is a fine-meshed drag-net we took from some poachers in
the trout stream. If you can find that it will do capitally." After
some search Peter found it, and carrying it and a couple of large
watering-cans down to the lake, he proceeded to catch the bait. He
chose one of the shallo...
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