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A fellow I have worked with for almost fifteen years walked up to me knowing I am a certified Marlin "Nut/Enthusiast" and says "I have an old lever that is kind of rusty but would you be interested". Well he knew what the answer was going to be before he even started pulling my chain. I asked him what kind of lever is it, well he was not sure. I then drew rough pictures and he pointed to the side eject one. I am now getting more excited as this is playing out, mind racing, worst case being a batch of usable internals in the end. I am not going to bring it on base he says so we will figure something out. Well, he comes in Wednesday morning and informs me his truck has been at the shop for repairs and wife drove him in and would I be interested in running him after work to get truck and then swing by and he would give me the rifle. Not a problem I say and on through the day we go with visions of levers dancing in my head. Dealer visit was fifteen and out, I am now closing in on the moment with excitement building. We arrive at his home in which I have been numerous times, opens up and turns dogs loose, pops garage and in we go. Now he says close your eyes, uh-oh I thought (he has found great pleasure in pulling my chain for fourteen years) for a free Marlin I will run the risk of being bit. I feel the rifle in my hands and I open eyes, my first thought was battlefield dig as I have never in my life seen a Marlin this bad off. Hammer cocked, termite run butt and plate missing with screws hanging out. Front hand guard missing but all there otherwise with pitting like I have never seen. The lever, floor plate and receiver have melted into one orange pitted blob with the lever screw remains standing proud above. The right side of barrel is so pitted I think I can almost see in the chamber. All the time I am rolling this thing around in my hands he is giggling his behind off. Well at this point the emotions have settled, he has quit chuckling and have now transitioned into an awkward silence. He goes on to tell me of an old car he had on a piece of property he owns and was clearing and this was behind the back seat, a 79' C. And he says "I know you have a bunch of Marlins but do you have any Marlin art". His idea being that I would hang it over the Marlin area in the cave. And there you have it, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!
 

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