Thursday, November 05, 2009


If we told you before the trip that Stuart was going to miss the canoe trip but come to Nashville for a work session afterward, you'd never believe it. But it's true.

Of course, he's only coming to help Tim supervise.

"Ha, Ha! Look at all those guys scrubbing the dutch
ovens and gathering firewood and stuff...!"


He'd put out a trotline, a quarter-inch nylon cord from shore to shore with maybe twenty hooks, baited variously. The big cats bite most willingly in a rising muddy stream. I'd helped him set it, fighting the brown shove of the river and watching for the drifting logs that can toss a boat end over end, but had told him that if he wanted to run it during the night not to wake me. Now, restless, he emptied his cup and took the lantern, loud and functional again with white gas he'd bought, and went down to check it alone, absorbed in the bow of the canoe, pulling himself across hand over hand and examining the stagings as he went. Against the night the lantern made a clear bright circular picture of Hale and the canoe's curving bow and the hard-rushing brown water. I wrapped potatoes and stuck them in the fire and got the grill ready to use. Hale came back grinning, the lantern in one hand and his stringer in the other, with a six-pound channel cat and a couple of others that looked to be maybe three pounds each.

"My breakfast," he said. "Them as works, eats."

Goodbye to a River, p. 184.

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