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Unformatted text preview: I neared the crest of the low heathery slope immediately above the loch, whence the water first comes into view, I lay down on the ground and crawled like a deer-stalker to the skyline. Then I got out the glass and reconnoitred. There was my friend, sure enough; moreover, he was playing a very respectable trout. But he was
70 ANGLING SKETCHES fishing on the near side of the loch, and though I had quite a distinct view of his back, and indeed of all his attenuated form, I was as far as ever from recognising him, or guessing where, if anywhere, I had seen him before. I now determined to stalk him; but this was not too easy, as there is literally no cover on the hillside except a long march dyke of the usual loose stones, which ran down to the loch-side, and indeed three or four feet into the loch, reaching it at a short distance to the right of the angler. Behind this I skulked, in an eagerly undignified manner, and was just about to climb the wall unobserved, when two grouse got up, with their wild "cluck cluck" of alarm, and flew down past the angler and over the loch. He did not even look round, but jerked his line out of the water, reeled it up, and set off walking along the loch-side. He was making, no doubt, for the little glen up which I fancied that he must have retreated on the first occasion when saw him. I set off walking round the tarn on my own side--the left side--expecting to anticipate him, and that he must pass me on his way up the little burnside. But I had miscalculated the distance, or the pace. He was first at the burnside; and now I cast courtesy and everything but curiosity to the winds, and deliberately followed him. He was a few score of yards ahead of me, walking rapidly, when he suddenly climbed the burnside to the left, and was lost to my eyes for a few moments. I reached the place, ascended the steep green declivity and found myself on the open undulating moor, with no human being in sight! The grass and heather were short. I saw no bush, no hollow,...
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