man's a complete ass, of course. But he was right the first time. No more room
for you here. No more room for me."
Holmes, then, I inquired. Would he go home?
"Oh, I shall
die in due course," he said. An adjustment of the wrist was made.
"Always time enough for that," he added. "Now this"—a sudden
convulsion from the trout—"fish here. Shall it be thumbs up or
I said he'd make
a fine wall fish. Personally, I like to keep my very large trout, just one
every now and then. They come so infrequently that I tend to be piggish when
they do. No, in my net, that trout would last seconds only.
Christmas," said Holmes, "I choose not to play God."
In the middle of
Africa, on a Christmas morning, hard into a big trout...an eavesdropper would
have thought this conversation ludicrous. But no one was there. Just me. And
there seemed nothing odd about it at all.
The trout was
finished. Holmes waded out into the stream, his deerstalker as firmly in place
as if it grew there, and tailed the trout. It was enormous.
"I'll bet he
goes 24 inches," I said. I rummaged in my vest for a tape measure.
said Holmes. "Don't touch him."
The trout lay in
the shallows, exhausted. Its gills heaved, pulsed. Holmes held him in the
water, sliding his hand softly under the belly. With a quick motion he unhooked
his nymph. Then he gingerly ushered the brown back to deep water. He held it
there, the great hooked-jaw head upstream, until it swam from his hands, rolled
to right itself and disappeared downstream. "They have a marvelous feel to
them, don't they?" He seemed to suffix every sentence with a question. I
didn't know how they felt. I knew how I felt about such a fish. I felt