Oh. My. Goodness. That is the ugliest man I have ever seen in my life. “I am not an animal, I am a human being!” This is almost more than I can take… three strips at once… so much of the plot unfolding before my eyes that I can barely take it all in!
So that is “Ol’ Eddie…” And it’s suddenly clear why he don’t want no coppers involved… Hospital bed confessions are the best kind, although I don’t know that he is in imminent danger of shuffling off this mortal coil, but still, he starts “his story” with the admission that he has “done a little poaching,” as Mark “knows (yes he does, for Mark sees and knows all…) I guess this is what amounts to a capital offense in the Trail-verse. Apparently, though, Eddie has done more than a “little” poaching otherwise how could he have become “Ol’?”
REAL Poachers, from OUT OF STATE! KILLED a RANGER!! BIG MIKE!!! But already the logic escapes me. So they have hunted their own preserve to extinction, and therefore have moved onto other grounds, found a virtual Valhalla in Lost Forest, and would now have Eddie gunning down anything with four legs… What, so they can drag it back to their preserve and dupe a client into thinking that he shot it? That’s not giving the big game hunter very much credit for intelligence. Sort of like suggesting that a farm raised bass could pass for one that came to trophy size on its own in the wild… You suppose that Rod Bassy and Big Mike work for the same conglomerate??
Ah, the O’l Bait-n-Switch… counting on the fact that no big game hunter worth his salt would ever want to return empty handed… The stakes are raised and the fleece is on! An additional $1,000? Hah! Chump change! Let’s go get that Buck! Male vanity is a terrible force, one that can be turned to advantage by one who knows how to pull that string (or would it be push that button??) “Quick Jason, get Eddie a glass of water, we don’t want him expiring on us, and oh by the way, I don’t share by-lines… so you will just have to go get your own story. This one is unfolding on my father-in-law’s land, so I have dibs, even though Eddie called you first!”