As we walked up to the lodge, Mary Martin called out but no one could see her. She was under the house, the world's loveliest mole, having just soldered three water pipes that burst during last night's unseasonable freeze. While her husband and son Robert went down to refuel the Cessna, she informed us that today was Bill's 40th birthday. She sure didn't want him to come back from a hard day's fishing and discover that the pipes had gone pop.
Dinner was ducks a la mode de Mary, the flesh marinated and sweet, breaking loose from the bone at the touch of a tine, awash in a sauce of wine, sour cream and unnamed herbs. Mary was out of her frontierswoman costume—slacks, sweater and mukluks—and into an evening gown, replete with mantilla. She had worked minor magic on her hair, her eyes and her face.
With such a wife, and such a land to hunt and fish in, one could only envy Bill Martin.