Tom was also capable of anger, but he was hardly short-tempered. In my haste to follow him to a fishing hole, I once failed to thoroughly latch a gate. When we returned, the gate still stood, but I was lectured the half hour ride home on all the possible consequences of my error: stock on the loose, bulls breeding at the wrong time of year, the posting of NO TRESPASSING signs, and probably worst of all in Tom’s mind, us being considered city-bred people. Another time, exasperated at the long shots I was taking at ducks, he “accidentally” dropped a full box of shells into soupy mud. “That just leaves us ten, kid, so we gotta make ’em count.” I waited for the ducks to come closer, and learned one of my most important lessons about wing shooting—at 35 yards, you hit what you aimed at, and left no cripples.