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Hemingway Adventure

Belgrade, Montana

Belgrade, Montana, USA 
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The garage from hell. Deer awaits 'artistic improvement'.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureJerry is constantly being interrupted. Two men have just pulled into his driveway and are unloading a two-year-old pronghorn antelope. They’re very sure how they want it mounted. Body sideways on, in relief, with the head turned as if it’s looking out into the room.

Could Jerry do it by February? One of the men wants to give it as a present to his wife on Valentine’s Day.

Jerry sizes it up, makes a measurement or two and there and then, right on the front lawn, produces a short, sharp knife and begins to remove the skin from the body. He asks one of the men to hold it down with his foot whilst, with a quick and expert twist, he breaks the head off. As he pulls it away the skin follows neatly, like a coat being slipped from a pair of shoulders.

He carries the flayed carcass to the dreaded garage. He’ll clean the skin up tonight, remove all the flesh, turn the ears inside out, the lips will be split, salted and dried and then the skin will be sent to the local tannery.

‘Will you have it stuffed by February?’ I ask.

Jerry looks pained at the use of the ‘s’ word.

‘Stuffing is when you stuff something in a bag,’ he says a trifle tartly. ‘This is artistic improvement.’

‘Will it be artistically improved by February?’

‘Not a chance.’
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Belgrade, Montana
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Belgrade, Montana
  • Book page no: 242

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