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Big Blackfoot River Monster Swallows Farmer's Young Hogs

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Big Blackfoot River Monster Swallowing Young Hogs - 1921

Golden Fish Tooth Is Won By “Chick”

Sergeant Cummings Loses Story Contest

All hail to the supreme potentate of rod and reel and salmon egg, W. W. (Chick) White.

The Missoula chapter of the Ancient Order of the Tellers of the Fishy Tales have bestowed upon “Chick” the honor of the golden fish tooth.

It was at the nightly meeting of the chapter in the Royal café the “Chick” told two fish stories that nearly stopped the courthouse clock. Secretary Jack Leeper had called the roll and all had answered present. Then the worthy chairman, Tommy Hickey, spoke thusly:

“Our sacred record book shows that we have no Knight of the Golden Fish Tooth. We must keep faith with our patron saint, Isaak, and name a knight. Ye know full well that the man who gets the honor must tell the biggest fish story.”

Then upspake Sergeant Tom Cummings, the Guardian of the Mystic Salmon Egg: “Chairman, I will try for the honor.”

“Proceed.”

“Years, years ago,” the sergeant started. “There was a small lake near my country home in Logansport, Indiana. There were millions of fish in this lake: so many that they couldn’t move without rubbing the spots off of each other. When the bugs fell upon the water the fish would start jumping, but the lake was so small that they landed upon the shores. Every morning I would go out and gather up the fish. There were thousands of them.”

“Enough,” this from the chairman.

“Chick” White arose and there was a stir in the assembly. Jack Boehme smiled.

“I have listened to the glorious tale,” said “Chick.” “Methinks the sergeant did his best and worthy of praise, but hearken to my tale and then judge whether or no the honor should fall upon my shoulders, even if the sergeant can throw a salmon egg farther than I can.”

“I take you back to the year 1874. I was in the Flathead river region and from a mountain top I looked down toward the river. The valley appeared misty but when I descended and reached the river bank I saw that the mist was created by the fish jumping in the river. The river was alive with them and it seemed as if the whole bottom of the stream was moving. I did not have a bit of fishing tackle, but I was determined to get some fish. My first step was to pluck several hairs from the tail of my horse. Next I caught six grasshoppers. I wound a hair around the hoppers, making a sort of a bundle. Then I tossed them out into the stream. The bundle was too large for the fish to get into their mouths. I kept drawing the hoppers closer and closer to shore with the opened-mouth fish following and when one would get close enough I would reach down and scoop it out upon the river bank.”

The members seemed abashed, but not so with “Chick” as he continued.

“The next and final episode I will tell you about happened on the Blackfoot river. A farmer had told me that a fish in the river had been swallowing his young hogs when they went swimming so I determined to get some of the monsters.

“I tossed in a hook with a salmon egg on it. A minnow came along and grabbed that. Next came a larger fish which grabbed the minnow. He in turn was followed by one just a little bigger which duplicated the stunt. This fellow fell the victim of still bigger fish and the still bigger fish was grabbed by a still still bigger fish and –.” But that was enough. The sergeant threw up his hands, a signal of defeat, and “Chick” knelt and received the blessings of the chairman.


The above whoppers appeared in The Daily Missoulian on Sunday, March 27, 1921.

https://www.newspapers.com/image/348703870

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 February 2018 20:51