My grouse shooting days are now past. Increasing years and rheumatic muscles remind me that I have had my time, and a very good time too, so now let younger men take my place and profit by my experience, if it should so please them. Let us look back on grouse shooting twenty-six years ago. Scotland, so far as regards the sporting of the far north, was then almost a terra incognita. Railways ended at Inverness, and to get there needed a journey to Aberdeen, and from there by the slowest of slow railways, but quick enough-life was not run at so fast a pace as now. The more remote districts of the north and west of Scotland were as unknown as the wilds of Labrador. Previous to that time grouse shooting was for the few; we were content with our English shootings, and very nice and pleasant they were. Every farmer, if the shooting was in his take, preserved his game; he shot it or he let it. The stubbles were long and full of weeds, the old pastures full of feg, and there was plenty of clover, but turnips not so much grown as now, excepting in the eastern counties, about which I know very little, the hedges and ditches not kept clean as they are now.
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