Thursday, January 12, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 12th Installment

          The only emotion I miss is anger. Bored, tired, or sad were easy to give up, as these emotions only involved my own little emotional world. The irony was the parents still got angry, and that didn’t seem fair.
We got our bullet and charged over to the tractor to claim 'dibs' on driving. Russ won. Well, he was older and faster and, according to him, smarter. But I was stronger, and I was a warrior. I loved to work harder, faster, and smarter, and completing every job better than anyone else of any age. Even though Russ and I were best friends there was still competitiveness between us. Whether at work, play, or just plain bragging, we always measured, timed, judged and argued over who was the fastest, best, strongest, and always who was the smartest.
He started the tractor up, and I saddled myself over the nose of the tractor with my feet on the steering rods, the rifle across my lap.
“Kick her up into high and let’s fly.” I commanded. The 8N Ford tractor had a 4 speed plus a 3 speed shifter on the side. When you were in 4th gear high it would go about 25 miles an hour which was scary fast for us, and we would go as fast as we dared as often as we could.
We made good time getting back to the scene of the morning slaughter. There wasn't an antelope in sight. None. I think they can sense the death of one of their own or at least smell it. The desert cool night was already surrendering its hold on the morning air, the sun being high enough to burn the cool away. We abandoned our flannel shirts at the tractor. I cranked open the bolt action of the 270 and checked the chamber, cranked the bolt shut and checked the safety. The rules were always point the muzzle at the ground and never put a shell in the chamber until you have the game in sight. These rules were especially true with this gun. Vernon had adjusted (I think with a file) the trigger mechanism until the gun had what is called a ‘hair trigger.’ It took about an ounce of pressure and only the slightest movement to fire the gun. He believed that if you have to think about pulling the trigger, you can’t be accurate. There is no such thing as 'squeeze off a shot.' By the time you squeeeeeeze off a shot, you are not sighting the gun where and when you want. You sight through the rear peep and place the front sight post on the mark where you want to shoot. Nobody, no matter how strong, can hold a gun perfectly steady. Your mind knows when the sighting is true, and at that moment, the gun will shoot. Letting the 'unconscious brain/finger connection' work by instinct instead of thinking about shooting actually makes the gun dead accurate. A hair trigger gun is

500 more words tomorrow

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