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Miss Mary's Lion
Ernest Hemingway
December 20, 1971
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December 20, 1971

Miss Mary's Lion

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"Right on the center of his shoulder. Dead in the center. You saw the hole."

There had been a big drop of blood that had rolled down from the tiny hole high in the spine, rolled down to the center of the shoulder and stopped there. I had seen it when the strange, black antelope lay there in the grass with the front part of him still alive, but quiet, and the after part quite dead.

"Good, Kitten," I said. "Are you sure you don't want to take the other one?"

"No. I want you to shoot. You ought to keep in practice too."

Yes, I thought. Maybe I should. I took another drink of the gin.

"I'll take the Jinny flask," Mary said. "I don't have to shoot anymore. I'm so happy that I shot him so that it pleased you. I wish Pop had been here too."

But Pop was not here and, at point-blank range she had shot fourteen inches higher than she had aimed, downing the beast with a perfect high spinal shot. So a certain problem still existed.

At the camp I found Mary sitting in her chair under the biggest tree writing in her diary. She looked up at me and then smiled and I was very glad.

"I'm having fun," she said. "It's such a wonderful morning and I'm enjoying it and watching the birds and identifying them. Have you seen that wonderful roller? I'd be happy just watching the birds."

"But isn't there something special that you'd like to do?"

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