“I am glad that we have made this Camp Heaven,” I answered to him as I slid from my horse, ungirthed him, and drew from his back the heavy saddle he had worn for the day, as I had been taught by my father to do after a day’s hunting, if no grooms came immediately. “Is it that you have hunger, my Gouverneur Faulkner?”
“Only about ten pounds of food craving,” he made answer to me with a large laugh that was the first I had ever heard him to give forth. “I’ll rustle the fire and water if you’ll open the food wallet and feed the horses.”
“Immediately I will do all of that,” I made an answer to him and because of the happiness of that laugh he had given forth, a gladness rose in my heart that made me again that merry boy Robert.
And it was with a great industry for a short hour that we prepared the Camp Heaven for a sojourn of a night. Upon a very nice hot fire I put good bacon to cook and my Gouverneur set also the pot of coffee upon the coals. Then, while I made crisp with the heat the brown corn pones, with which that Granny Bell had provided us, he brought a large armful of a very fragrant kind of tree and threw it not far into the shadow of the great tree which was the roof to our Camp Heaven.
“Bed,” he said as he came and stood beside the fire in a large towering over me. I dropped beyond rescue a fragment of that corn bread into the extreme heat of the coals, but I said with a great composure and a briefness like unto his words:
“Why is it that a man thinks he wants more of life’s goods than fatigue, supper and bed, do you suppose, boy?” questioned my Gouverneur Faulkner to me as at last in repletion he leaned back against our giant rooftree, between two of whose hospitable large roots we had made our repast, and lighted a pipe of great fragrance which he had taken from his pocket.
“I would not possess happiness even though I had this nice supper, if I was alone in this great forest, Your Excellency; I would have fear,” I answered him with a small laugh as I took my corduroy knees into my embrace and looked off into that distant valley below us which was beginning to glow with stars of home lights.
“Didn’t I tell you once that you don’t count, that you are just myself, youngster? You ought not to know I am here. I don’t know you exist except as a form of pleasure of which I do not ask the reason,” was the answer that my Gouverneur Faulkner made to me.
“I excuse myself away with humbleness for impertinence, Your Excellency,” I returned to him.
“If you tried, do you think you could call me Bill, just for to-night, boy?” was the answer he made to my excuses as he puffed a beautiful ring of smoke at me.
“I could not,” I answered with an indignation.
“I heard you call Sue Tomlinson ‘Sue’ the first night you danced with her.”
“But that Mademoiselle Sue is a woman, my Gouverneur Faulkner,” I answered with haste.