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TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
bowl He was huge. I bet he'd go a thousand pounds,
I yelled to Johnson to let him have line, but
before I could say a word, I saw Johnson rise up in
the air off the chair as though he was being der-
ricked, and him holding just for a second on to that
rod and the rod bending like a bow, and then the
butt caught him in the belly, and the whole works
He'd screwed the drag tight, and when the fish
struck, it lifted Johnson right out of the chair and he
couldn't hold it, He'd had the butt under one leg
and the rod across his lap. If he'd had the harness
on it would have taken him along, too*
I cut out the engine and went back to the stern,
He was sitting there holding on to his belly where
the rod butt had hit him.
'I guess that's enough for to-day,' I said*
'What was it?' he said to me.
'Black marlin,' I said.
'How did it happen?'
'You figure it out?' I said. 'The reel cost two
hundred and fifty dollars. It costs more now. The
rod cost me forty-five. There was a little under six
hundred yards of thirty-six thread.'
Just then Eddy slaps him on the back 'Mr,
Johnson/ he says, 'you're just unlucky. You know
I never saw that happen before in my life/
'Shut up, you rummy,' I said to him.
'I tell you, Mr. Johnson,' Eddy said, 'that's the
rarest occurrence I ever saw in my life.*