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[386] is therefore attributed to the terrific noises made by railroad cars, as they cross the Mystic at Charlestown. The largest number of alewives taken by one draught from Mystic River was in 1844; and they counted some few more than fifty-eight thousand! We once saw taken, by one draught from this river, shad sufficient to fill six horse-carts. In Mystic River the bass have wholly disappeared; though there are those living who remember to have seen them plenty, and some of them weighing more than thirty pounds.

In 1776, a negro, named Prince, was at work on the bank of the river, opposite the shallow where the ford was, a few rods above the bridge, when he saw an enormous bass swimming. very slowly up the river. The tide was inconveniently low for the bass, but conveniently low for the negro. Plunge went Prince for the fish, and caught him! No sooner was he out of water than a desperate spring, such as fishes can give,released him from his captor; and back he falls into his native element. Quick as a steel-trap, Prince springs upon him again, and again clutches him and lifts him up. The fish struggles; and Prince and fish fall together. Again Prince rises, with his prize in his arms, and then brings him ashore. It weighed sixty-five pounds. Prince thought that such a wonderful fish should be presented to the commander of the American forces then stationed on Winter Hill. His master thought so too. Accordingly, Prince dressed himself in his best clothes, and, taking the fish in a cart, presented it to the commander, and told the history of its capture; and the commander gave him six cents!

The shad, of late years, have not been abundant; only forty or fifty taken during a season. The number of alewives has also greatly diminished; and the town receives about one hundred and fifty dollars by selling its right of fishing through the year. Smelts continue to make their annual spring visit in undiminished numbers; and when, for noblest ends, they stealthily enter our creeks and little streams, they are watched by the hungry boys, who, for sport or profit, drive them into their scoop-nets by dozens. In this town, they do not let enough escape to keep the race alive; and if, in all other towns, they were so destroyed, this beautiful and delicious fish would become extinct among us. The greatest draught — by a certain nameless boy, fifty years ago — numbered sixty-three. They were taken from Marble, or Meeting-house, Brook.

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