First there are too many anglers twixt holy lee and

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Unformatted text preview: your mind not to be disappointed, not to troll, and not to envy the more fortunate anglers who shout to you the number of their victories across the wave. Even at Loch Leven we may be contemplative, may be quiet, and go a-fishing. {2} 43 ANGLING SKETCHES THE BLOODY DOCTOR (A BAD DAY ON CLEARBURN) Thou askest me, my brother, how first and where I met the Bloody Doctor? The tale is weird, so weird that to a soul less proved than thine I scarce dare speak of the adventure. This, perhaps, would be the right way of beginning a story (not that it is a story exactly), with the title forced on me by the name and nature of the hero. But I do not think I could keep up the style without a ladycollaborator; besides, I have used the term "weird" twice already, and thus played away the trumps of modern picturesque diction. To return to our Doctor: many a bad day have I had on Clearburn Loch, and never a good one. But one thing draws me always to the loch when I have the luck to be within twenty miles of it. There are trout in Clearburn! The Border angler knows that the trout in his native waters is nearly as extinct as the dodo. Many causes have combined to extirpate the shy and spirited fish. First, there are too many anglers: Twixt Holy Lee and Clovenfords, A tentier bit ye canna hae, sang that good old angler, now with God, Mr. Thomas Tod Stoddart. But between Holy Lee and Clovenfords you may see half a dozen rods on every pool and stream. There goes that leviathan, the angler from London, who has been beguiled hither by the artless "Guide" of Mr. Watson Lyall. There fishes the farmer's lad, and the schoolmaster, and the wandering weaver out of work or disinclined to work. In his rags, with his thin face and red "goatee" beard, with his hazel wand and his home-made reel, there is withal something kindly about this poor fellow, this true sportsman. He loves better to hear the lark sing than the mouse cheep; he wanders from depopulated stream to depopulated bu...
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