"I have no predilection for shooting anything, Sir?" "Then I am safe!" said he, with an arrogant little air of satisfaction. "I was born under an indolent star, but I confess to you, privately, of the two I would rather gather my harvests with the sickle than the sword. How does your uncle find it?" "Find what, Sir?"
The boy had a bow and arrows, with which he had often amused himself in shooting about the decks. He did this with so little consideration, that at last, one of the officers of the ship told him that he must not shoot any more in those parts of the ship where the ladies were, but that he must go forward, among the sailors, if he wished to practise archery.
Which reminds me that the Arabs say the shooting stars, meteorites, are starry stones which the angels fling at the poaching demons whom they catch sight of prowling too near the palisades of heaven. I must say I like Arab angels. My heaven would coruscate like a catherine wheel, with white-hot star-stones. Away, you dog, you prowling cur.
The force of the explosion causes so perfect a closing of the joint as to prevent any possible escape of gas, yet the breech may be removed by as simple a process as that of cocking the gun; and we have in the course of experiment fired the gun three hundred times, and have since seen it fired five hundred times, without once wiping or cleaning, and the working of the joints was as easy and the shooting as good at the last as at first.
His purpose was to refrain from doing so, unless forced to shoot in self defense, and his pride would not permit him to deviate a hair's-breadth from the path in order to escape the necessity of shooting.
Inside the room were several men, who, including the bartender, were wearing the kind of smile worn by men who are making believe to like what they don't like. A shabby individual in a broad hat with a cocked gun in each hand was walking up and down the floor talking with strident profanity. He had evidently been shooting at the clock, which had two or three holes in its face.
"But we shall see little of one another; you will be shooting most of the time," she said with the very faintest hint of challenge too delicate, too impersonal to savour of coquetry. But the germ of it was there. "Do you shoot?" "Yes; why?" "I am reconciled to the shooting, then." "Oh, that is awfully civil of you. Sometimes I'd rather play Bridge." "So should I sometimes."
Our warlike expedition, therefore, was soon changed into a sort of pic-nic party we amused ourselves with bathing, turning of turtle, shooting, and eating the wild pine-apples which grew on all the islands. We remained there for three days, during which nothing occurred worth narrating, unless it is an instance of the thoughtless and reckless conduct of midshipmen.
He tore a sheet from his pocket-book and scribbled out a telegram. His man had disappeared and a substitute taken his place by the time von Hern arrived. The latter was now all amiability. It was hard to believe, from his smiling salutation, that he and the man to whom he waved his hand in so airy a fashion had ever declared war to the death! The shooting began a few minutes later.
Carriers are easily obtainable, and some splendid pigeon shooting can be had an hour or two after leaving Apia till within a few miles of Safata. Pigeons are about the only game to be had in Samoa, though the manutagi, or ring-dove, is very plentiful, but one hardly likes to shoot such dear little creatures.