a duck shoot on the Kansas line


Senior Member
Dear All,

The sheriff sees a woman near an ice-hole messing around with a man floating in the water.

The sheriff’s never shot a woman before. Don’t even think of her as a woman. This is bagging boar in the Rio Grande brush country. This is a duck shoot on the Kansas line.

I can see 3 ways to interpret "a duck shoot on the Kansas line":
1) On the border of Kansas;
2) On some bank (river or lake side) of Kansas.
3) While ducks are flying over Kansas, migrating.
Probably other variants are possible.
Is any of mine correct? ("Fifty Grand" by Adrian McKinty)
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Alex. I'm not an expert (not being an American) but I'd assume it just meant 'hunting ducks on the Kansas border'. It's possible ~ though this is more conjecture, and seems a bit unlikely, now that I think about it ~ that people might hunt duck 'on the line' because it's illegal to do so within the state itself. I'm fairly sure hunting laws vary from state to state in the US.


    Senior Member
    The phrases "the Kansas line" or "the Line Kansas" can also refer to a position (just to the north of the 38th parallel) once occupied by the UN forces during the Korean war.

    Was the sheriff old enough to be a veteran of that war?

    As to the "duck shooting", I wonder if it could mean sniping at the enemy soldiers from a cover, as military snipers do? It is not unlike shooting at target ducks in a shooting gallery.


    Senior Member
    American English
    The author is dehumanizing the shooting of the woman by comparing the event to "bagging boar in the Rio Grande brush country" or "shooting ducks on the Kansas line." It's all about hunting animals in the U.S.

    Here, Kansas is definitely the state where Dorothy and Toto are from. I imagine, like ewie, that "Kansas line" refers to the border of Kansas and another state, somewhat akin to the Mason-Dixon Line, at least in usage.
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