CABIN POKER GAMER

By Keith Gibson

The sky was black with millions of bright stars that cold, November morning.

It was 3 a.m. as my brother, Paul and I were loading his 1953 C-J5 Jeep for a 3 day deer hunting trip to north Spring Valley.  We arrived at our favorite spot, had a last cup of coffee, loaded our 30-06 rifles and started the long hike up the mountain.

It was still dark, but the stars were now hidden by clouds and the wind  had picked up quickly.  A heavy snow started just after sun up and by 9 a.m. we decide the hunt was doomed.

Back at the Jeep the decision was made to head home, but first a short stop at a remote cabin to see some other McGill boys, who were spending a week there.

The four of them, the Mallas brothers Tom and George and the Mesic brothers Bonnie and Joe.  They had just come in from a hunt and had a poker game going.  Paul and I brought in some beer and Jim Beam and the party was on.

George won the first hand and promptly got up , grabbed a large mahogany branch and went all around the cabin banging on the walls.  It was a house poker rule.

George explained that a pack rat had been getting in the pots and pans at night, disturbing their sleep.  They decided to keep the rat awake all day so he would sleep at night.

It was one of those days that are so precious.  A warm quiet cabin in the mountains with a roaring  mahogany fire in the old rock fireplace, a beautiful snowfall and the company of lifelong friends.

The Oly beer and Jim Beam completed the scene.  we decided to spend the night and brought in our food and George soon had a huge pot of hunters stew simmering on the wood stove. Pure heaven on earth.

After the dinner dishes and pots were cleaned we sat around imbibing and telling stories until the warm stew and Beam put us to bed.

During the middle of the night we all awoke to the sound of pots rattling on the cold stove.  The beam of Tom’s flashlight caught the rat in the act. Bonnie hollered for us all to hold our ears and then kaboom. His 30-06 roared to life and the rat was history.  We all clapped and cheered.  The rat, like most career  criminals, never seemed to learn when to quit. It was quiet after that.

Next morning at breakfast George and Joe kept grinning at each other.  They had gone out early and got some snow to melt for the coffee.  We soon found out why the grinning.  In front of the cabin was a rack to hang deer on.  There was a nice 4 point and next to it was the rat and a pot with a large bullet hole in it.  There was a tag hanging on them that read—Taken by Bonnie Mesic, 11/16/56, with one shot, Nevada State Record.