Benton sat apart from the group, watching the river flow past in silence. Then he shuffled back to the fire and poured himself the last of the day's bourbons. "I hope the hell they can keep the engineers away from this river," he said. "We've gotten so damned serious with our technology. Americans used to play with their rivers—Mike Fink and the keelboatmen, that kind of thing. Joyful work it was. If every American could run the Buffalo just once, the way we did today, then I think our rivers would be beyond the reach of trouble." He looked over at Sammie Feeback and dropped a little gravel into his voice. "Well, when do we eat, you gaw-damn old river diver, you?"