The 'few square yards' was an area of about ten metres by fifteen. The entrenching tool was a small metal spade with razor sharp edges, the silver sheen of the blade suggested that Ty honed it regularly. The haft of the tool was only about two feet long so I had to bend over at the waist. Thankfully the blade sliced through the turf quite merrily and after about half an hour I had cut the thick grass into long strips, which I had to drop onto my hands and knees in order to roll up. It was heavy work and the sun had broken out, sweat beaded on my brow and pooled under my armpits and in the small of my back.
Occasionally I came across the pink-grey tube of an earthworm that I would tease from the loam, the creature's shrivelled body receding from my touch. Once free I would add it to the writhing mass of its brethren in the mess tin. I was so intent on my work that I didn't hear Ty approaching.
"Great work Satchmo." I looked up at him and had to squint as the sun shone directly over his shoulder.
"I'm sweating like a nun in a sex-toy factory here!" I exclaimed, though truth be told I felt a certain pride in the dark patch of earth and the neat rolls of turf.
"Have you got any bait?" he poked about in the mess tin "Good stuff, lets go fishing."
Ty strode off across the meadow and I trailed after him, wiping the sweat from my brow on the shoulder of my T-shirt. He stopped to pick up a drinks can, I gathered the cane poll and set off after him.
"There's some good fishing in the pool down by the boat house."
I followed him across the meadow; the thick grass still glistened with dew and wetting the bottom of my trousers. We walked around the base of the elevated mound and came upon the bank of a river. The water was dark and slow moving in this section, perhaps ten metres across and the bank was thick with a tangle of reeds. Off to our right was the weathered wooden bridge where I had sat the day before. A path on the far bank led off into the woods, which blanketed a steep hill. Ty knelt and scooped a tiny insect from the water close to the bank, he held it up and compared it with the home made fly that dangled from the line wound around his drinks can. He smiled broadly and walked along the riverbank away from the bridge.
No more than a minute's walk along the bank we came to a broad and still pool through which the water hardly seemed to be moving. Despite this, the water was clear with a greenish tinge and I could clearly see the pebbles on the bottom, some two metres down.
Ty dropped to a crouch and scuttled along the bank. He turned back to me and whispered "Satchmo! Get down! The fish will see you!" Rolling my eyes somewhat, I copied his stance. Several metres into the scrub was an old wooden shack, the glass in its windows was grey with cobwebs and the entire front wall was comprised of double doors. This was the boathouse I assumed.
"What are we fishing for?" I whispered to Ty who was unravelling line from the drinks can around which it was tethered, unsure as to why I was whispering exactly. He pointed to a cluster of large rocks on the far side of the pool.
"There are usually some good sized tench by those rocks, if we're lucky we may see a roach or two." I felt none-the-wiser.
"All you have to do is put a worm on your hook and land him over there." Ty pointed to the far bank of the river. I selected a worm that I judged tasty to the eyes of a tench and after several efforts managed to fix him to the hook. Flicking the cane pole sent the worm and line arcing across the pool, where he plopped a few feet short of the rocks.
"I'm going to try my fly just the other side of the pool." He studied me for a moment, "make the worm dance a little." He mimed holding a rod with two clenched fists, making a series of little jerks. I twitched the rod as he had suggested, waited a few minutes then set about making myself comfortable on the river bank.
YOU ARE READING
Quid Pro QuoMystery / Thriller
Satchmo Turner is a failed private detective from the rusting heart of the Black Country who is reeling from the loss of his sister and fiancee. He's going nowhere at work, and treading water in life, until he picks up a simple missing person case a...