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The Voyage South Part 5

Script By: Matthew Bissonnette
Historical fiction



Part 5 of the Voyage South.


Submitted:Oct 15, 2013    Reads: 1    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


ext. forest noon

It is a sunny after noon in the dense forest. Shafts of sunlight shine through parts of the canopy of the forest. There is the sound of birds singing coming from many directions. Fletcher and Louis are walking south between the towering tree's and they carry the canoe. They walk in silence for awhile then Fletcher speaks.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, why does it feel like I'm carrying most of the weight?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Surely it is just because the canoe is so heavy Fletcher. Feels like I have a mighty boulder on my shoulder.

They continue to walk south in silence. Then Louis speaks up.

Louis lafleur

You have ask much about Louis Lafleur Fletcher during the first have of our journey.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'm starting to get the feeling we would need to track to South America before I figure you out Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

True enough, but then even you would have not started to even begin to unravel the mystery that is your partner. But I would like to know something about Fletcher Harrison.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Ask what ever you want.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Seems the man you are today was only him for the advice of your wise father.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Could you just ask your question.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Emily may be a fine woman, but I don't think the advice which guides you would be much help to a lady. Such at advice needs to be told to a son. Why is it that you not yet have one?

Fletcher frowns and seems saddened.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I never said I had no children.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

True, but if you had a son I think you would have talked about him for at least five days so far. So why don't you.

Fletcher seems saddened.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Could we talk about something else if you don't mind.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I have told you much of I, more then any man has ever been told. I think you can answer my question Fletcher.

Fletcher is silent for a moment and looks down towards the ground as they walk.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have wanted nothing more then a son since the day I married Emily. But I have not yet so far been blessed. I fear we may not be able to have one.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Your tale saddens me greatly Fletcher. A good man such as yourself deserves that particular wish.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Well, it is better that it was not meant to be. I would have not been around much for his childhood.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I have found that sometimes life waits for exactly the right moment. Do not despair partner.

FLETCHER HARRISON

If you don't mind Lafleur, can we not talk till tonight when we make camp.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Sure, but tonight I would like to here more of your fathers advice.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Let's just keep walking.

Then then walk south silently and soon vanish into the forest south.

ext. forest night

A small area of the forest where the trees are not so thick. A roaring campfire is between Fletcher and Louis. Fletcher lies on his side is facing away from Louis, his eyes are open and he seems to be think about something. Fletcher now has a thick beard which has grown during the voyage. Louis is laying on his back and looks at at the sky. It is silent for a while when Fletcher then lowly speaks.

FLETCHER HARRISON

You have been silent all day. Why have you not been talking?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I think you need to be alone with your thoughts right now Fletcher. I know that when a man carries a deep pain in his soul, he must dwell on it much.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Have you ever considered having a son?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

This topic of sons I think troubles you greatly Fletcher. I fear if I answer I would only make you more sorrowful.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'm OK. It's just that I may not ever have a son. But perhaps you could.

Louis smiles.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

About a year ago, as a wandered through those dark lands in which I have spent my life I considered having a son.

FLETCHER HARRISON

So why don't you?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I thought that with my wits and Nora's eyes, she could bare me a son would could trek right around the Earth when became a man. It seemed like a good idea for a moment.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Something changed your mind.

Louis frowns.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Then I realized that I could never be a man who could be a husband Nora could rely on, and I think I will be the last Lafleur who grows up without a father. You where very right today. I cannot give up my travels in lands remote and distant also. I would not be there for him for both those reasons. But what a son he could have been.

FLETCHER HARRISON

People can change Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Of that I am most doubtful Fletcher. But I would like to believe what you say.

Fletcher then scratches his beard.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I cannot wait to get home and shave my beard. If we succeed then I'll never have shave it again.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I have met many a trapper during my travels, most have had the most thick and longest of beards. Why do you want to never see yours again?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have grown accustom to shaving it when I get back. During my months away from my dear Emily, feeling it upon my chin for many years has only remind me how far I am from home.

Louis scratches his mangy beard.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I would never completely shave mine off. Keeps my face warm on cold nights alone. I once when two years without trimming it, but then when I began to trip over it I knew I had to shorten it a little.

Fletcher closes his eyes.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We'll make our way down a good distance South and end this portion of our journey.

Louis closes his eyes.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Hope your dreams bring you comfort Fletcher.

Fletcher speaks groggily.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I check the traps in the morning. Then we'll be off.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Then till tomorrow.

Fletcher closes his eyes and they both slowly fall asleep as the fire burns between them.

ext. forest dawn

The campfire in the woods is now just glowing ash. Louis, who is alone, is on back asleep, snoring loudly; the canoe is nearby. Louis then stops snoring and slowly opens his eyes. He sits up and scratches his neck then looks around.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I hope Fletcher returns with something to satisfy my hunger for tonight.

He then lays on his back again and looks at the sky.

ext. forest moment later

Fletcher is walking through the forest south slowly. The forest becomes less dense but it is very silent. Fletcher then sees the empty trap a few yards ahead. He walks to it and looks down, then he frowns.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Nothing. I also have not seen a sign of a animal of any kind, tracks or anything. Hope we find some prey further south.

Fletcher then kneels down and picks up the trap shakes his head then starts walking back in the direction he came. He does not notice that a large, black wolf as walked out from some trees many meters behind him. The wolf is extremely thin at it's ribs protrude from the sides of its body. It then sees Fletcher and begins to walk towards him. When it gets nearer, it stops and growls. Fletcher stops and slowly turns around. When he see's the wolf he pulls the knife from the sheath in his belt. The three other wolves, all who are starving, emerge from the forest behind the wolf closest to Fletcher. They all look at Fletcher and snarl as they expose their fangs. Fletcher then turns and starts to walk quickly in the direction him came a returns the knife to its sheath, trap in the other hand. When he looks over his shoulder a sees that the wolves are now quickly approaching a sprints North.

ext. forest later

The area of the trappers camp the previous night. Louis is standing over the canoe and looking around the woods.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Where is Fletcher?

Then he hears Fletcher call in the distance North.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur!

Louis then walks south amongst the trees. He then sees Fletcher appear in the distance and running towards him. Louis watches him quickly approach and he comes to a suddenly halt beside Louis, Fletcher throws the trap to the ground and turns back, pulling out his knife and squints.

FLETCHER HARRISON

You might want to ready your knife.

Louis looks at him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Did you lead another ten American soldiers onto us partner? I do not want a repeat of our last disagreement.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I came upon four wolves, large ones.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Surely a man of the trade we share as come across a wolf. Besides, they are only a threat if they are half starving.

Fletcher looks at Louis and seems worried. Louis frowns pulls his knife from its sheath and they both face south. They wait a moment when the four large wolves emerge from the trees and run quickly towards them. Louis then starts switching the knife between hands and briefly laughs.

FLETCHER HARRISON

This is not funny.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I just curious who will be better in this fight. A real competition finally.

They both look at the quickly approaching wolves. Two suddenly stop while the other two charge the two men. One of the wolves then darts towards Fletcher but he then slashes at its face and it recoils in pain and begins to back and and snarl. The other wolf then jumps at Louis when it is upon him. He raises the knife to strike but it knocks him to the ground and is on top of him. Louis then plunges the knife into its side, but it is able to bite his shoulder and Louis grunts in pain. The wolf in front of Fletcher then charges him again. It jumps at Fletcher but he then throws himself with the knife raised. He is able to grab the throat of the wolf and plunge the knife into it's neck. It howls in pain and it is able to bite into the forearm of Fletcher. He grimaces but makes no sound. Louis is still on the ground with the wolf on top of him, and continues to plunge the knife into its side. Then he throws the lifeless carcass of him as blood begins to stain the shoulder of his leather outfit. Fletcher, still clutching the wolf's neck, drops the dead beast to the ground. Blood is staining the arm of his leather clothing. Louis gets up and walks forward then stands beside Fletcher. Holding the knives, they look at the two remaining wolves. After a moment the wolves turn away and run back into the forest. Once they are gone, both men return the knives to their sheaves. They look at each other.

FLETCHER HARRISON

When we left the territories, I thought I would have been better of making this voyage alone.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

And know Fletcher?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I guess they did find the two best men of our trade.

They turn around and begin to walk towards the camp fires remains, both holding a hand to their wound. Once there, Fletcher falls to ground and he looks at Louis who stands above the fire.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, get that fire burning again. And ready your knife.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I think I know where this is going.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We don't want our wounds to become infected.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Ah, a competition of the endurance of pain. I warn you, you are in the company of the one man who can beat you.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'll win, but I'm sure you'll it will be a difficult victory.

Louis smiles and looks down at the fire.

ext. forest later

A while later. Now the campfire is roaring again, Fletcher and Louis sit on either side of it holding their knives, the tip glowing. They have taken the top of their outfits off, both of them have thick body hair and many healed over scars on their chests. They look at each other.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

The man who groans in pain the loudest rows for the next hundred miles.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Deal Lafleur.

They then both look to their bloodied wound for a moment, then press the glowing tips of the knives to their injury. They both grimace in pain yet make not a sound. They hold burning tips to their flesh as a small amount of smoke is emitted and their is a faint sizzling sound. After a few moments they both simultaneously throw the knives to the ground and look at the burned flesh over wound.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

So who won that contest Fletcher?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I guess it is a tie. I really thought I would win that one.

They both look south.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Since there was no victor, when we reach the next river in a few days who will paddle?

FLETCHER HARRISON

Tell you what. I got the next hundred miles, the next six hundred are yours.

Louis falls onto his back and looks up into the sky. Fletcher looks at him for a moment then south again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Do you know what one of the first things father told me when I told him I wanted to be a trapper like him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I am sure it is very profound.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I might want to get a job in some town if I could not take endure pain.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Your father is a man who seems to have been always right. During my travels, the only companion with me is the bitter sweet sting of pain.

FLETCHER HARRISON

When I give this profession up, you know, I think I will actually miss it.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

If you will miss the pain, then you will surely greatly miss the pain of being away from sweet Emily.

FLETCHER HARRISON

That is one pain I can do without.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Why is it that you did not take your fathers advice Fletcher? I do not doubt your tolerance for pain is legendary, but why do you venture North so long when you could have been home? A get a job like most men?

FLETCHER HARRISON

The first time I returned to Emily after we where married have many months in the Northern wild, I found a job at a small general good store.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

And when did you leave her again?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I really could do what was required of me.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Fletcher, I doubt there a ten men in all of North America who could do what you have spent so many months alone doing. Surely this job was not insurmountable?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I could not get a job like most men as you said for a simple reason.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Which is?

FLETCHER HARRISON

We are not like most men Lafleur. Few men can bare months alone in lands where few dare venture.

Fletcher then falls onto his back.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

We'll wait awhile and admire the scars that will remind us of our besting of those poor beasts.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We still can go a very good way south before dusk.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I'll skin one of those unfortunate wolves and take some of the meat for tonight. Though I only eat wolf when no other food can be found.

Fletcher lifts his head and looks towards the south.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We might run into the rest of their pack along the way.

Louis briefly laughs.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I am doubtful at that. Right now every wolf a hundred miles to the south knows that two very capable opponents are on coming their way. They won't bother us.

Fletcher looks up at the sky.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Though we are most definitely in dangerous and foreign lands partner, I admit I'm have a little bit of fun.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Strange enough, I am having a little fun to.

Then they both look silently at the sky.

ext. forest noon

It is just after noon. The tree's sparsely cover the forest floor and the bright sun cast a whitish land, the floor of the wood slopes mostly down. Then Fletcher and Louis appear and walk south with the canoe upright on their shoulder and walk slowly south. They walk in silence for awhile when Fletcher speaks suddenly.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Is your shoulder still hurting Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

There is some pain which I barely notice. Once I had run into five wolves far north, all much larger and hungrier then the ones we bested today.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I am sure I'm about to be astounded.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You have guessed right. I killed them all yet they have nearly severed a leg, so I then walk six hundred miles after tending to the wound. The leg troubles me still.

FLETCHER HARRISON

That actually reminds me of one of my tales up north.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You have talked of nothing but your father or Emily. I would really be interested in hearing this tale of your bravery.

FLETCHER HARRISON

It happened three years ago. I was far North, many hundred miles from the home I built. I was making my way down a very steep hill, I had descended much steeper ones a million times.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Your tale of the not very steep hill is not as impressive as I expected.

FLETCHER HARRISON

A rabbit darted out from some bushes suddenly, I got startled which had never happened once before. I then began to tumble down the hill. When I reached the bottom and rolled right into a large rock. I had received very serious blow to the head, plus I had broken my leg.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Fletcher, this tail is having potential. Go on, you have my complete attention.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have spent many years alone in those lands, but never before that moment had I ever once been afraid.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I can deduce that that sweet Emily was the cause of that fear.

FLETCHER HARRISON

You are a man of great wit Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Those since you walk with me now, then it seems likely you made it back.

FLETCHER HARRISON

My father had shown me to make a pretty good leg sprint a few years before he died.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I never new your father Fletcher, but the part of your tale where you lose him makes me feel a little grief.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I then was able to make a pretty good crutch and began to limp home, holding the trap. But I feared I never would reach the end of that voyage.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

From what I've come to know of you Fletcher, you would have made it back if you had lost both you arms and legs.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I usually now exactly how many days I was up there headed south. It was a slow trip. Every week I would use the trap to feed myself, and would have t most three hours sleep in that time. I lost track of the days because I was to afraid to count them.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I would like to tell you of when you finally reached the end of trip and was with your wife again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I could limp pretty fast by the time I got home early one morning. Emily was sitting on the porch, crying. She would count the days to and I was over a month late.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I suspect when she saw you the crying stopped.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I think she was to sad to notice me approach and limp up onto the porch. When she saw it was me, we just held one another in silence for an hour on that porch I built.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Fletcher, your tail has almost moved me to tears. But men of our profession are not allowed to cry. The only other trapper who I came across who cried did not last the month.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'm ashamed to admit I shed a few tears when my father died. But it was only for a moment.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I would have probably done so to if I was there. But if I ever receive word of my fathers death, I would not cry a single tear.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I also admit I felt a brief pang of fear when the commander told us that your voyage was to that south.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Why the brief sensation of fear.

FLETCHER HARRISON

It instantly thought of that trip south when I almost did not make it home. But it was brief.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You have my word Fletcher, in several more weeks you'll be home and never have to leave again and I'll be far to the North. Either we both go home alive, or neither. You have the word of Louis Lafleur.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Thank you Lafleur. That actually means a lot to me.

Then they walk in silence south.

ext. field night

In the vast forest is a field with a grassy bottom. The moon and stars hang over it. In an area where the grass is less dense, a large campfire is roaring in eat. Fletcher and Louis sit on either side as the canoe is nearby. They both are eating the cooked meat of the wolf. Fletcher stops eating and looks at Louis briefly.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Since I admitted about how I once succumb to fear today Lafleur, I would like to know have you have been afraid before.

Louis tears some meat with his teeth and chews it for awhile then stops. He looks at Fletcher and frowns.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You may be a great man, but you do not have a wit as sharp as mine. I think you would have gathered that the thought of being faithful to one woman fills me with a terror more intense then I ever felt.

Fletcher looks at him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

But that one time when fear was your companion, though a weakness is was, it moved you to do something very difficult. If one should feel fear, that that is the one that would be most hopeful.

FLETCHER HARRISON

But you realize your fear only holds you back from something thinks you seek.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I fear is shameful and has only held me back all my life. But aside from that fear which might as well cripple me as much as an amputated leg, nothing else has ever scared me in the dark lands far North. To be honestly, sometimes that is the only place I am not afraid.

FLETCHER HARRISON

My father always told me that a man can learn to conquer any fear.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You and your father are braver men then Louis Lafleur. That is one bravery I fear I will never have.

Louis finishes the meet then lies on his back and closes his eyes. Fletcher finishes his and looks at Louis.

FLETCHER HARRISON

May I make a large request Lafleur?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

If it is not about women, then I give you my vow that it will be granted.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We should be at most a few days from the next river. I can manage all that time awake, can you handle helping me take the canoe with me without sleep.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I most readily agree. But why this request?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I did not tell Emily how long I would be gone because I did not know when I left.

Louis opens his eyes and looks at Fletcher.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You know she is most likely on the porch right now, crying for her lost husband.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I want to get home as soon as possible.

Louis then closes his eyes.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I would not be able to respect myself if we let your good wife worry longer then necessary. We'll will not sleep until you are again with her and I am back in those dangerous lands I call home.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I am in your debt. Second time on this trip. After we go our separate ways when we are home, any time in the coming years you need me to repay it you have the right to ask anything.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I know you are a man of your word Fletcher, I find it likely your father said something about honesty. I will collect someday.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I do admire your wit, sharpest one I've ever seen.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

We must travel many days without sleep, so we may want to rest well tonight.

Fletcher nods then rolls onto his side. After awhile, Louis begins to snore.

ext. forest dawn dusk

A dense section of the forest early in the morning. It is gloomy and shadows darken most of the forest. There is the sounds of birds singing in the distance. Then Fletcher and Louis appear and walk quickly south with the canoe on their shoulders. The ground is on a shallow downwards hill. Fletcher is looking Louis in the front and seems impressed.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We have walked twenty four hours straight Lafleur, I have to say I'm impressed.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You doubt my mastery of our trade.

Fletcher smiles.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have no doubt you could paddle a boat a thousands miles in two single days, but I never expected that I would be struggling to keep up with you.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Your attempt to be kind with flattery welcome, but I suspect it is untrue.

FLETCHER HARRISON

OK, but you are pressing ahead as fast as I can. We should be to the river soon.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I will be glad to be on the river again. I'm tired of walking.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I always find it is quicker and less tiring to traverse the wilderness by water.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I admit about twelve hours ago, I felt I could not go any further.

FLETCHER HARRISON

So why did you not stop?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

The thought of being home soon gives the more strength then I have ever known.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We are very different men Lafleur, but we do have that in common.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I sense this strength has made more voyage homes from the dark wilderness to the far north much quicker.

FLETCHER HARRISON

You are correct.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Funny, that strength always drives me up to those dangerous lands. I would stay up there and never return if it was not for my admiration for a lovely woman.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I almost wish I could go on one more trip far north when this is all finished.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I thought you never wanted to see it again because it only reminds you of your solitude Fletcher.

FLETCHER HARRISON

When we get back and I'm home, I have made Emily spent to much of her life alone. But I do have a small desire for one more trek.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

And what motivates this desire?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I would not mind going on an excursion with you in familiar lands. It would be a interesting contest of skill when we are both in our element.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

There you would stand no chance. I have spent much more time then you, and I suspect you have wandered in those lands more then any else of our profession. Besides, I would never accept an invitation for that voyage even if you wanted to go.

FLETCHER HARRISON

And why is that Lafleur?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

For the whole trip, all I could think about was a man a long away from the home he built where his wife waits for him. Aside from that though, I would have accepted. A few times I would start a partnership with another trapper, but at most it would last a few days.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I must admit, before this trip I preferred to brave the wilds alone. But in the extremely likely event must someday I must, I hope you would come along.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You where not the first partner who I had to fight during the course of the partnership. That is how they all ended. But you are the only one who could see that I be of great help to you on this trip.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Your right. Can you walk for at most a day more?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Only if you don't collapse and I have to drag you along Fletcher.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'll try to keep up.

They begin to walk quicker south.

ext. river noon

To the north is a the vast wilderness of dense woods and foreboding forests during an overcast day. A river runs from east is and suddenly sharply turns south. The river is is wide and there is a fast current. As the river goes south, it is surrounded by a light wood on either side. Then Fletcher and Louis appear from the forest to the North and drop the canoe on the muddy shoreline along the riverbank and both collapse from exhaustion. Louis lies on his back breathing heavily and Fletcher is on his knees with his palms laid against the ground. Fletcher then looks south and see's the river goes directly in that direction. He looks at Louis on the mud beside him.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I would like to keep going for another day if you don't mind.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I would not have insisted otherwise.

Fletcher gets up and goes to the canoe and pushes it partly into the water. Louis deeply inhales then slows his breathing. He gets up and walks to the canoe and gets into the front. Fletcher then pushes the canoe into the river and gets into the back. Fletcher then starts to paddle. Lois then sits forward and grabs a paddle and starts rowing slowly. Fletcher stops paddling and seems shocked.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Are you Louis Lafleur?

Lafleur looks back as he stops rowing and seems puzzled.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

What Fletcher?

FLETCHER HARRISON

You must be the Lafleur brother who actually will paddles.

Lafleur grins then looks forward and continues to slowly paddle. Fletcher then continues to paddle.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Seems we have learn much from each other since we left the territories.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I will say this is one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. After my father was gone, I still would learn much on every venture to the wilds north.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I am not like you there. I learned all there was to know my first two months in those remote and unfriendly lands.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Why don't you get some sleep. I'll row till we reach or next camp in a day.

Louis keeps paddling.

FLETCHER HARRISON

You need rest.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Getting you home Fletcher right now is pressing me forward far more then the gold waiting for us on our return.

FLETCHER HARRISON

When we braved those rapids many days ago, I saw how you row a boat Lafleur.

Louis stops paddling and looks back at him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I am not sure what you are implying.

FLETCHER HARRISON

There has not been one trapper I have crossed paths with who can best me at the skills of this trade we share which few men can do. But you, I hate to admit, have a little edge on me at some things.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

There is no man on Earth such a compliment would mean more from.

FLETCHER HARRISON

But paddling, my kid sister paddles a boat better.

Louis then briefly laughs then puts the paddle in the bottom of the canoe. He turns around and lies down then looks up at the sky. He seems barely able to stay awake.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I'll be honest, I only used a canoe my first year as a practitioner of our trade. It is the one aspect of the life I chose that has eluded. Besides, I'm faster on foot.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Why did you not tell me sooner?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Because then you would not have believed I could paddle six hundred miles.

Fletcher smiles.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Right, I totally believed you the whole time. I'll row the continue until we have gone as far south as we need to.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Then what?

FLETCHER HARRISON

You can paddle us home.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

you have the word of Louis Lafleur that you will not have to let your paddle touch the water once on the way home.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I believe you completely.

Louis's head then falls to one side and he begins to snore loudly. The canoe continues on down the river.





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