Ruark began writing regularly for Field & Stream magazine, a column called "The Old Man and the Boy." These were gathered into books, and the first one, (1957) same title as the column, includes this passage:
"Quails are reflexes like I told you. There isn't time to do any figuring. But ducks are ballistics."
"What's a ballistic?" I asked him.
The old man had a lot of big words he liked to spring with no explanation, just waiting for me to ask him. He said curiosity was necessary to intelligence and that curiosity never killed the cat. The cat died from stupidity he said, or mebbe an overdose of mice...
Robert Ruark was actually smarter than most people. He made a good living from his novels and settled on the Costa Brava in Spain in his later years. He was notable perhaps for his humility. In his will, distributed too soon, he divided the bulk of his estate between his ex-wife and his fiancee, Marilyn Kaytor, food editor for Look magazine.