We fell into an easy walk. I decided that there were certainly worse companions than MacBean. I am still insistent that Smithson would have been less than pleasant, should I have waited for the dawn appointment.
For all his annoyances (and there are plenty), Gordon MacBean has always impressed me with his sound reasoning. His attention to detail cannot be faulted. His intuition is usually correct.
As we walked, we discussed the odd imprints along the river bank. We considered the possibility that it was merely the path of an injured animal. We hoped that it was, that this nocturnal journey was a needless pursuit.
“I did not want it poisoning my mind tonight,” MacBean said, as we neared the edge of trees. “There is little I hate more than a restless night. I thought it best if I set out now. I assumed you would feel the same, and so I merely waited for you to appear.” He laughed. “You are extremely predictable, you know.”
I told him to hush. He instantly obliged (another reason I prefer MacBean to Smithson. Smithson would have continued talking, simply to irk me).
He was also kind enough to snuff out his cigar. Tonight indeed, Gordon MacBean proved himself a worthy investigative companion.
The forest floor was riddled with pine needles and leaves. I could hear the rustle of wind moving through the trees. The night was clear, no clouds barring the moon. And yet the trees were thickly placed, the shadows impenetrable.
“Shall we?” Gordon muttered as we lingered at top of the pathway. “Never a dull moment, eh, Benge?”