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Jack Londonís Diamonds

Jack London has added another adventure to his already remarkable career, likewise increased his bank account, and learned something that Isaac Walton would have given his eye-teeth to know. It all happened in the heart of the Olympic mountains, at Lake Crescent, where the author now is, and it happened the other day. In Lake Crescent abound the renowned Beardslee trout, found nowhere else in the world. To feel the tug of one on the end of a casting line and to caress its spotted sides sent London there to spend five weeks. He went there with the avowed intention of remaining until he had captured a Beardslee trout. For four days he went out in the morning and rowed back at night, ate his meals and retired to his tent. Not a word was said. Guests saw him bring in strings of fine speckled and Dolly Varden trout, but not a Beardslee. Among the guests is Alexander Pantages, who learned of Londonís great desire and planned to play a little trick on the author. One morning he approached London at breakfast and offered to bet $195 against all the money London had in his pockets that he would not catch a good Beardslee trout during his stay. London found $3, and they left the money with the inn-keeper. In the flat-bottomed boat assigned to each guest London rowed across the lake, fully five miles, and fished all day. His boat was fairly swamped with various species of trout and some nice, land-locked salmon. But in spite of forty-seven changes of flies and three hours of trolling not a Beardslee trout even made a strike at the hooks and spoons. Suddenly the author was seized with an inspiration. Selecting a wondrously well-made trolling spoon, London took his diamond stud, which was the envy of Jack Johnson, and tied it to the gut leader, an inch above the cluster of hooks, and then bent to the task of trolling the placid waters of the cove. Hardly had the hook touched the water when a strike and a tug of the line assured the author that a fish was hooked. About dinner time London carried the prize to the veranda, where guests had assembled. Then he walked to the clerkís counter and pocketed the $198. It cost Pantages another $50 to learn how the trout was caught.

The Wasp
July 11, 1911