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So far, Lindy had said nothing. He was red-faced and catching his breath. But at that he said, "Nah."
"What?" I asked.
"Not the Green Devil," Lindy panted. "Very big, uh, huge, uh, ordinary pike."
He would not be shaken. He didn't want it to be the Green Devil.
He wanted to be able to go on fishing for the Green Devil.
But I think that secretly, he knew it was. It was the last Boxing Day pike trip for our crowd. Roy had a row with his father over the Armstrong Siddeley and went to live in London. Devan quit fishing and only hunted. And, extraordinarily, as if life held nothing more for him, Lindy quit also and got married to one of the country girls who came to the Saturday dance.
Twenty years later, on a Boxing Day morning, I was set up to go fishing in a small lake in County Monaghan, Ireland. A man called Kevin Linnane was showing it to me. "In that corner by the reeds," he said, "there's a pike as big as a little horse."
He didn't give it a name. I know what it was, though. The Green Devil had found a new home.