Bill Mullins wrote:Erdnase refers to himself as an "unlicked cub" ...
I've noticed that Erdnase uses quite a few terms (often metaphorically or idiomatically) related to outdoors/rural life (animals, hunting/shooting, farming, etc). I don't think you can draw strong conclusions from this alone, but it's interesting that it does fit well with Sanders (growing up in western Montana and being an outdoorsman).
- A self-satisfied UNLICKED CUB [animals]
- FLUSH THE QUARRY [hunting]
- Proficiency in TARGET PRACTICE is not the sole qualification of the TRAP SHOOTER. [shooting/guns]
- or curtail the ANNUAL CROP of suckers; [farm]
- at the dealer's customary GAIT. [horses/animals]
- performs his part with the SHEARS when the LAMBS come to market. [farm/animals]
- the trusting nature of a FLEDGLING [animals]
- Many experts with the gun who can nonchalantly ring up the bull's eye in a shooting gallery could not hit the side of a BARN in a duel. [shooting/guns]
- common HERD [animals]
- a PRACTICED HAND can locate and bring the cards... [practiced hand = ranch hand?]
- The dog, the PONY, the elephant, and even the PIG, have all been carefully trained... [animals]
And, of course, there's also the Divining Rod trick with the patter centered on prospecting (Sanders was a mining engineer and prospector). And significantly, the patter to the same trick touches on archaeological/historical preservation another strong concern of Sanders (he worked and wrote for the Montana Historical Society, adding artifacts of historical value to their collection)...but that's getting further afield from the outdoors theme.