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The Devil at Yuletide
Clive Gammon
December 24, 1979
As surely as Boxing Day follows Christmas, the four Welsh boys knew that an enormous pike lurked in the deep waters under the Eight-Arch Bridge—and they meant to catch it
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December 24, 1979

The Devil At Yuletide

As surely as Boxing Day follows Christmas, the four Welsh boys knew that an enormous pike lurked in the deep waters under the Eight-Arch Bridge—and they meant to catch it

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"And you saw him follow it?" I said. I was under the spell again.

"Nah," said Lindenburgh. "I brought the spoon nearly to the bank. There was a big old beech tree fallen in the water there. I'll be showing it to you. The spoon was nearly out of the water when he slid out and grabbed it. Came out from under the tree.

"That was the only time I got a real close look at him. He was as big as...damn, he was huge! And I could see a couple of inches of wire leader, somebody else's, hanging down from his jaw."

"The Green Devil," I said.

"The Green Devil," said Lindenburgh. We paused reverently.

"Listen," I told him. "my mother probably thinks I'm at the bottom of the lake."

This time I managed to get as far as the pay phone. When I returned, my ears still buzzing with that special maternal mix of guilt-inducing concern and reproach, Lindenburgh was ordering fresh pints.

"I was going to go to the dance," I said. "And Old Man Haggar drops the shutters at 10."

"We can go to the dance anytime," Lindenburgh said. "Roy will let us in."

Roy Haggar, on leave from his national service in the artillery, son of Old Man Haggar, close friend of John Lindenburgh, and co-pilgrim in the quest for the Green Devil, as it developed. A small, neat fellow he turned out to be when I finally met him, and his first words to Lindenburgh were, "I made that plug. It's in the office."

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