The Lake Josephus Days


We left Little Redfish for Lake Josephus, traveling along thegood names—from Stanley to Capehorn to Seafoam to

Rapid River, up Float Creek, past the Greyhound Mine andthen to Lake Josephus, and a few days after that up the trailto Hell-diver Lake with the baby on my shoulders and a goodlimit of trout waiting in Hell-diver.

Knowing the trout would wait there like airplane ticketsfor us to come, we stopped at Mushroom Springs and had adrink of cold shadowy water and some photographs taken ofthe baby and me sitting together on a log.

I hope someday we'll have enough money to get those pic-tures developed.

Sometimes I get curious about them, won-dering if they will turn out all right.

They are in suspensionnow like seeds in a package.

I'll be older when they are de-veloped and easier to please.

Look there's the baby !

Lookthere's Mushroom Springs !

Look there's me !

I caught the limit of trout within an hour of reaching Hell-diver, and my woman, in all the excitement of good fishing,let the baby fall asleep directly in the sun and when the babywoke up, she puked and I carried her back down the trail.

My woman trailed silently behind, carrying the rods andthe fish.

The baby puked a couple more times, thimblefulsof gentle lavender vomit, but still it got on my clothes, andher face was hot and flushed.

We stopped at Mushroom Springs.

I gave her a smalldrink of water, not too much, and rinsed the vomit taste outof her mouth.

Then I wiped the puke off my clothes and forsome strange reason suddenly it was a perfect time, thereat Mushroom Springs, to wonder whatever happened to

Zoot suit.

Along with World War II and the Andrews Sisters,

Zoot suit had been very popular in the early 40s.

I guessthey were all just passing fads.

A sick baby on the trail down from Hell-diver,

July 1961,is probably a more important question.

It cannot be left togo on forever, a sick baby to take her place in the galaxy,among the comets, bound to pass close to the earth every173 years.

She stopped puking after Mushroom Springs, and I carriedher back down along the path in and out of the shadows andacross other nameless springs, and by the time we got downto Lake Josephus, she was all right.

She was soon running around with a big cutthroat trout inher hands, carrying it like a harp on her way to a concert—ten minutes late with no bus in sight and no taxi either.

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