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Hemingway Adventure

Belgrade, Montana

Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureThere is no neon sign advertising Jerome Andres’ business, and the casual visitor strolling down Outlaw Drive might easily be confused by what is going on at No. 2950. A deer lies dead on the front lawn, a skinned corpse hangs in the open garage, swinging gently above a sea of antlers, and a mighty half-mounted bison head guards the door of one of the outbuildings.

As I walk up the short driveway I pass scatterings of horn and skin, a circular saw and a large plastic bin of jawbones marked ‘Inedible’.

Jerome Andres, the owner and proprietor, comes out to meet me, or to be more accurate I bump into him as he emerges carrying a moose-head from the workshop to the garage. He pulls the garage door a little wider and I can see quite grisly scenes of carnage in there.

He deposits his load in businesslike fashion and reappears. He’s a short, powerfully built man in jeans and a neat blue check shirt with long, greying sideburns protruding from a baseball cap, which he raises every now and then to wipe his brow, revealing a balding pate. He hitches up his trousers, smiles a little shyly and motions me to the door from which he first emerged. I feel faint unease and am glad that the sun’s shining and I’m not alone. In fact the door leads to a quite tasteful reception area. It is full of animals, but, unlike those in the garage, most of them are in one piece. There are a couple of heads in plastic bags nestling by the computer, but the room is a Noah’s Ark-like showpiece for taxidermy. A sign above the reception desk defines his business philosophy: ‘The Bitterness of Poor Quality remains long after the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten.’
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Belgrade, Montana
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Belgrade, Montana
  • Book page no: 240

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