A favourite tract of wooded hills dissected by intermittent sandy creeklines would be the venue for my last hunt with a marvellous double rifle that had been the catalyst for a great many fond memories over the years.  I had recently acquired another side-by-side with the same .577 x 2 3/4 chambering, a vintage Webley screw-grip retailed by the Army & Navy Co-op Society around the turn of the previous century, so now the Greener "Empire" would have to go.  I could only hope that it would leave me with one last trophy to help ease the deep sense of regret I was suffering as the inevitable parting drew closer.  I need not have worried: that amazing rifle had always been something of a lucky charm in my hands!
  Last Dance Bull  
We had been walking the eastern-most creekline when a series of seepage areas running off towards the escarpment caught my eye.  Temporarily parting company with Marty I wandered over for a look, but the area was devoid of game and I soon headed back to re-acquire the creek.  My mate was nowhere to be seen however, so moving on towards the inviting shade of a copse of cabbage-gums I pulled out the UHF radio to give him a call.
At the sound of my voice, a huge black buffalo bull jumped up from his wallow hidden amongst the trees, and took off at a gallop back towards the gully.  In full stride his horns looked magnificent, so I hastily stuffed the radio into my pocket mid-sentence and threw up the rifle, desperately seeking a sight-picture worthy of the front trigger.  By happy circumstance a wide gap in the bankside vegetation gave me the opportunity I so urgently required, and the Greener double bellowed loudly.  On receiving the shoulder-shot the bull crashed to the ground in spectacular style, but was on his feet again in a heartbeat and it took several more cartridges to overcome his initial adrenalin boost and finally secure those fabulous trophy horns!
  Last Dance Bull 2  
Shouldering the 18 kilos (40 lbs) of head gear back several kilometres to the vehicle in the November heat and humidity was certainly an onerous task, but not one that I would swap for anything!  Back in town the tape-measure indicated 18-inch bases and lengths of 36 1/2 and 38 1/2 inches for a green-score of 111 points: indeed a fitting farewell tribute to that iconic "Empire" double.
Prequel: "Dancing with the Fat Lady"