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he admired as always the all-out
startled indignant struggle of a wild
trout, even a small one. (Planted trout --
pellet-fed, soft-bodied from a life of
fi nning in one place side by side in hatchery
ponds -- he shunned.)
In the last two seasons
he had left his tackle at home,
content with walking along a stream
by himself, content with a leisurely
survey of things, with the occasional
prolonged observation of this
or that; with sitting still.
To do
otherwise now, to take up active
fi shing, would be like taking up
years later one of those books
which, as he read it, became
the signal event of that time
in his life. And such a book, once read,
had then become (while his mind
went on to other books and other
concerns) an occupant, vivid and
quiet in him. If one day years later
he took down the book and read
into it a little way, he'd fi nd it was
still alive there in him. There were only
a few such books. The physical
book, the one that got dusty,
he would dust, and put back on its shelf.