Anyway, now that you know whom I'm talking about, I'll add that the only reason I and a few other guys in our school tolerated him was because his dad owned some land around town that had good hunting for dove, quail and rabbits. As long as we were friendly toward Rip, we got to hunt there. I guess this was a bribe of sorts, because being friendly to Rip didn't always fit into the nature of things, especially on the occasion of his sixteenth birthday when his dad presented him with-you guessed it-a Browning Sweet Sixteen shotgun and a leather case hand-tooled with Rip's name and a maudlin birthday verse. How well I recall the haughty smirk on that kid's face every time he pulled his gun out of its fancy case at our dove hunts that season. Anyway, there came a rain shower during one of our Saturday hunts that pretty well soaked Rip's leather case, which had been left on the hood of his Dad's expensive car. My pals and I took this as a good omen, but none of us could have imagined-Rip least of all-what chemistry was to take place in that leather case. At our next hunt Rip uncased the Browning in his typical lordly fashion and, as usual, we were forced to bear witness. What we beheld, however, was not the bright blue of Browning steel but a ghastly thing layered with crusty rust! Rip took one long, unbelieving look and then sank to the ground in a blubbering fit. Apparently, the soaking of the pretty case activated tanning chemicals in the leather and unleashed something powerfully corrosive. The reason I'm telling Rip's sad tale (aside from the fun of it) is to illustrate how fast your fine gun can be ruined by casual neglect.