The snow had gone by now but the nights were still cold, still winter nights, with the air seeming far away and rare. They camped on the knoll above the town and built roaring fires with the dead wood they found on the forest floor at the edge of the pastures and meadows. They’d cook steaks on the open fire and watch the stars above waiver in the heat from the high flames and then look out to the west at yellow lights lining the streets of the town and see the headlights of the trucks moving slowly on the distant highway and they’d listen to the dogs on the hillside above them. Listen while the hounds ran whatever it was they’d gotten scent of. They were all amazed at how the old man took it all, seeming never to tire, feeding logs onto the fire with one hand and telling them all which of the dogs was in the lead, based on the baying and yelps. They slept the sleep of the righteous and woke early, before dawn, and brushed the ashes from the great mound of embers and stacked hickory and ash twigs atop the red coals until it was blazing again.