The old man pivoted slightly and calmly looked over his shoulder at Gary.
“They bitin’?” Gary said.
“I got four in a pale at my campsite over yonder,” the old man said motioning with his head. “If ya clean ‘em ya can help me eat ‘em.”
“Sure,” Gary said.
“There’s a knife in my gear,” the old man said. “Do a good job.”
By the time they were cleaned the old man had two more fish.
“Ya did such a good job on them fish here’s two more,” the old man said. “Ya got a name boy?”
“Just call me Pot.”
“That’s a different name,” Gary said.
“We hobos don’t ever tell our real name,” Pot said. “No matter where ya go on the tracks if ya mention Pot they’d know who yer talkin‘ bout.”
Pot used the knife to whittle shavings from a dried limb. He started a fire by using a magnifying glass. He laid a flat piece of metal on rocks that circled the fire and laid the fish on the metal. He turned the fish using his knife. When the fishes were done he pulled the metal from the fire using the sleeve of his shirt.
“We’ll let that cool a might before we eat,” Pot said. “Now if you ‘s to go over by them rocks and reach down in the water ya might find a couple of cokes. I stole them last night. I hope ya don’t mind them bein’ stolen. But I walked into the place and was all set to pay and the guy kicked me out. I walked around behind the place snuck in the back door and got exactly what I came for. The Lord provides.”
“Ya don’t have to believe that, boy,” Pot said. “I just don’t want you to feel bad about drinkin’ anything stolen.”
Gary fished the two Cokes from the river. Pot opened them by using his knife.
“Now let’s eat,” Pot said.
“What brings you down here, boy?”