But about the woodcock. This is, kind reader, purely a woodcock story, and more or less must be said about the dollar bird. But this is neither here nor there. It was over in the Root river bottoms. Finally we got on the woodcock ground and went to work. Talk about mosquitoes! There was no end to them. We ought not to say that, either, because there are spots on our person that just fit the end of a mosquito. There was an end to them. If you never saw mosquitoes in convention, you want to go over there. And right here we will give a recipe for keeping mosquitoes from biting. You take some cedar oil and put on your coat collar, if you are a man, and if you are a woman put it on that gingerbread work around your neck, and a mosquito will come up and sing to you and get all ready to take toll, when she will smell that oil. She is the sickest mosquito you ever saw. She turns over on her back and sends her husband for the nearest doctor. We had a bottle of cedar oil, and if Jennings hadn’t left it hanging up in Hogan’s store in his coat, we should have made those mosquitoes sick. As it was they did it to us. There isn’t a spot on us as big as a billiard table but what you can find artesian wells made by mosquitoes.
Woodcock sell higher in the market than any other bird. Lots of people that never saw them eat snakes, eat them. When they get up to fly they talk Bohemian, and get behind a bush. You shoot right into the bush, and if you kill one you think you are a good shot. Talk about getting tired. You walk around in the woods several miles, with mosquitoes getting acquainted with you, and all the time your nerves strung up in anticipation of seeing a dollar bill fly up, and if you don’t sleep without rocking, we are no prophet. The sport, however, is exhilerating, and we are glad we went. We are glad because it learned us one thing, and that is, if we ever want a woodcock real bad, it will be cheaper, easier, and better to buy it. It will be inferred that we did not see a woodcock. Such is the case.
But we made the blackbirds sick.
Last Wednesday the bell to our telephone rung violently at 8 o’clock in the morning, and when we put our ear to the earaphone, and our mouth to the mouthaphone, and asked what was the matter, a still small voice, evidently that of a lady, said, “Julia has got worms, doctor.”
We were somewhat taken back, but supposing Julia was going fishing, we were just going to tell her not to forget to spit on her bait, when a male voice said, “O, go to the devil, will you?” We couldn’t tell whose voice it was, but it sounded like the clerk at the Plankinton House, and we sat down.