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Rufus paused. "The President is a regular guy," he said on an impulse, guessing correctly that his visitor was thinking of the same thing.
"He's a very nice fellow and a very good hunter. I can't rightly say if I would vote for him if he were running again. I have never voted because I just registered this year. I haven't got nothing against him at all. I'd probably go ahead and vote for him."
Then Rufus laughed. It was a low outburst that he failed to hide.
"I was just remembering the last time that the President was here," he confessed. "The President fell in a stump hole. Everybody rushed over to see if he's O.K. I went over and picked him up. There were a lot of people around. Maybe 20 or 30 of those Secret Service men. They don't bother me. They're all pretty nice people. The only thing I worry about is finding some birds. That's my job."
When training duties were over, Rufus led the way to his six-room cottage, lonelier now that Rufus is a widower and his children have grown up and moved to town. Inside, Rufus took out a photograph that is a prized and precious possession. It is of the two of them, Rufus and the President of the United States.
His visitor asked if it could be borrowed for use in a magazine. Rufus shook his head and asked the visitor to find some other picture. This one was something between him and the President. "I just couldn't let you print it. It just wouldn't seem right."
Rufus changed the subject. "I once trained another dog for the President," he said. "He took that one, another setter, to Gettysburg and used him to hunt there."
Why didn't Ike try to lure Rufus to Gettysburg?
"Couldn't take me away from Mr. Humphrey," Rufus said.