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Modern Archery
Part 2 of 9

The writer has frequently requested a sample of skill from this description of spectator, and usually with the following result:

Citizen opens the ball: "How far do you call that?"

"Fifty yards."

"You make a great many misses. Not a very good shot, are you?"

"No, nothing extra. About fair to middling."

"Lemme try it once?"

"Certainly; but excuse me for saying you will probably be a little disappointed at first."

"That's all right. Watch this."

Citizen adjusts his eye-glasses, draws up the bow, nips the arrow between thumb and forefinger, lets go, and starts a tunnel in the ground about half-way to the target.

"Hardly steam enough that time. Try again."

Second effort results about the same, and citizen retires in disgust.

"So long since I shot a bow—rather out of practice."

"Just so."

His own efforts rather spoiling his stories, citizen falls back on aboriginal reminiscences. The Indian is always to be relied on as subject-matter for a yarn, and possesses the further advantage of not being on hand to test the accuracy of citizen's remarks:

"When I was a boy, I used to see Indians do some tall shooting. Knew one fellow who'd cut a sixpence out of a stick every time at a hundred yards."

"That so? Had good eyes, that Indian."

"Eh! What's that? What do you mean?"

"Nothing more than that you or I would need a telescope to see a sixpence a hundred yards off."

Symptoms of mental commotion evident in citizen's countenance. Decides that "perhaps it wasn't a hundred yards," gradually reducing the distance to a few feet under cross-examination—eventually hauling off for repairs, quietly muttering a candid opinion to the effect that "there's not much in that game, anyhow."