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The Con - Part 23

Started by otter, April 09, 2013, 11:24:22 AM

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The trophy took pride of place on the mantelpiece, to the left of the new clock, though he placed it backwards in recognition of the fact that it had been secured by wilful cheating. To-day he would be busy, as expected a new order had arrived from Jimmy Brennan, two Popes French Nymph Rods, leaders and Secret French Nymph flies. Armed with such magnificent equipment, Jimmy would surely secure the trophy at the next competition.

Davy Hughes suggestion that he joined the committee was a very welcome surprise. He had envisaged that he would have to engage in some political manoeuvring to wiggle his way to the top table. Davy's invitation fast tracked everything and that would allow him plenty of breathing space to carefully analyse each committee member. Opening his diary he contemplated his plan, scribbled a few notes and duly satisfied he went to chapel.

Two funerals and an unexpected visit from the Bishop took up all his time that week and as he drove to the hotel on Friday evening he contemplated his approach. Deciding that the best option was to keep low key, he relaxed. The meeting was due to start at eight PM and he timed his arrival for ten past eight. Opening the door he quickly surveyed the room. Jimmy and Davy immediately stood up, welcoming him and ushered him to the vacant seat.

As he settled, the other members nodded in his direction. Mick Murphy laughed out loud, banging his fist on the worn table; 'Good man Father, after your display in the competition it's only fitting that you took that seat so that we can keep an eye on you. Father Brennan retorted with an equally loud bang on the table; 'By god Mick, you have it all backwards. Only that your wife asked me to join to keep an eye on you I would have no other reason to be here. I thought there was only one meeting a month but she seemed to think there was actually five a month; 'Mick blushed with embarrassment and if only he knew that Father Brennan was chancing his arm he would not have had to reveal his indiscretions; 'Only a small white lie Father, and Charlie there, has to tell his wife the same one, how else could we escape their clutches for a bit of peace a few nights a month;'

Jimmy Egan regained control of the meeting and the various items on the order of business were discussed, voted on and laid to rest. Davy fidgeted with his biro as the order of business came to a conclusion and when the inevitable question was asked by Jimmy Egan; 'Any other business;' he stared into space before blurting it out; 'Are we going to revisit the stocking policy this year?' Mickey groaned; 'Here we go, the annual torture. Davy, have you a death wish or something. If we stopped stocking we may as well take up golf, what would be able to catch?' A few laughed, their names duly noted by Father Brennan. 'Mickey, in your case it would make no difference at all;' Davys response left Mickey seething with anger.

Jimmy had to intervene before it came to blows. 'Lads, it's a fair question and it will be on the agenda for the meeting in September, a week after the last competition; As usual it will be a secret ballot to ensure that there are no bad feelings afterwards.' It was agreed and calm returned.

Lying back on his couch, Father Brennan mused over the evening's proceedings, He struck Mickey of his list of people to work on, no point trying to move a mountain. He did not know the others very well so apart from Jimmy Egan, and obviously Liam and Davy, the rest had question marks beside their names. Out of the nine man committee three were against stocking, two definitely for, four unknown. One of the four had to be turned, but which one. Mary Kelly was the parish busybody, stuck in everyone's business and outwardly at least, was the most virtuous woman in the parish. Mary had one major flaw that she kept well hidden and that was her daily consumption of copious amounts of Vodka.

The following morning he called on Mary, leaving a large bottle of Smirnoff on her kitchen table. She immediately knew that he had a job for her and did not protest when he supplied her with four names. 'A written report on each, leave no stone unturned, you have two weeks,' A bottle of Vodka and being able to delve into the hidden lives of four people, two addictions served in one go. She attacked the job with gusto and by the time the bottle was empty she had made her report and a second bottle sat on her kitchen table.

He stared at the reports, an accountant, a barrister, a mechanic and a farmer and no dirt on any of them. If Mary could find any then none existed. A lifetime of gambling had honed his instincts and having little else to go on, he decided on his opening gambit. Joe Daly the farmer was the least likely one to prefer stockies and he would be the first to receive attention from this priest.

With one competition over, the leader board showed Father Brennan 10 points, Jimmy 9, Liam 8. Jimmy would be allowed to win this one, no need to panic him to much. Peering out through the trees once again, Liam on camera they giggled as Jimmy went through his ritual of netting his illegal trout. 'Bet it's at least six pounds Liam'; Father Brennan was confident that Jimmy would make sure that the day would be his. Jimmy was making sure all right, two fine four pounders found their way to his car.

When the cars left the car park, Father Brennan started old Clio and keeping back a distance he followed farmer Joe to the river. Driving down the narrow lane, Father Brennan pulled in and sat smoking a cigarette. Joe was going to Casey's and he would allow him plenty of time to start fishing. Crossing the gate he could, as he expected, see the top of Joes head as he waded the run at the top of Casey's field. Moving quickly downstream, he stopped at the first run, caught his four stockies in double quick time. Moving quickly back upstream he found a good sitting place at the opening where the wire fence stopped, leaving access for cattle to the river.

Looking upstream he observed Joe for quite a while. Another smoker, Father Brennan, reminded himself that he need to cut back, Joe was worse than he was and that was saying something. Joe would make a few casts, retire to the bank, light another cigarette and made more than a couple of phone calls. After a half hour he moved up and joined Joe just as he lit another.

'Good morning Joe, have you had any luck yet;' he said as he approached. Joe looked up through the haze of smoke and grinned; 'No keepers yet Father, how have you fared; 'I have my four Joe said Father Brennan, laying his bag down on the grass, four stocked fish;' Joe offered his congratulations though he seemed completely disinterested; 'Don't worry about me;' said Joe; 'I haven't weighed in a trout in many years, I'm not much use at it really;'

Father Brennan was surprised at this. Joe seemed a competent caster but he had noticed that while he had watched from below, Joe had not ventured out too far into the stream. Father Brennan suggested that he wade out a bit further and cover the deeper water. Not for the first time in his life, Father Brennan had come across an angler unwilling to take advice. As they sat and watched the river, a small hatch of olives started. Several of the rainbows rose in unison and soon all up and down the river the rings of rising fish were visible. 'Off you go Joe, here's your chance to fill your bag;' Urging him a second time.

Joe waded out slowly and upstream. He paused, changed his fly and glanced over his shoulder at Father Brennan. When a trout rose in the shallows on his side, he quickly turned towards it and cast. Father Brennan tracked the dry fly and within two yards it disappeared in the rings of a rise. Joe never struck and simply wound up his line and walked ashore. 'Jesus Joe, I see your problem, you have to strike when you get a take.'

Joe lit another cigarette before responding; 'That was a wild trout Father, probably eight or nine inches. What would be the point of playing it when I had no intention of taking it home or weighing it in at the competition;' 'I see Joe;' Joe looked Father Brennan straight in the eye; 'No you don't Father, I don't strike for fear of having to land one of them stupid rainbow trout;' Father Brennan slapped Joe heartily on the back; 'Oh I do see Joe, I see you are a man after my own heart.'

Joe and Father Brennan were deep in conversation with their noses stuck in each other's fly boxes and barely noticed the other anglers arrive back to the car park. Father Brennan was the first to weigh in his trout, followed by Liam and both noticed the grin of satisfaction on Jimmy's face. Mickey as usual made his singular contribution to events; 'Well done Jimmy, another vermin wild trout removed from the river;' As Jimmy received his trophy he winked at Father Brennan; 'French Nymphing.'

to be continued


Lol doesn't reading this make you want to be with them.

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