John avoided campfires. He was not robust enough to swing an axe. His hands were gambler-smooth and soft. He worried about splinters, nicks, sprains from rocks and wood that would keep him from working. The smoke troubled his lungs, making nights on the ground still more uncomfortable.

Riding with Wyatt changed his mind. They sat in the evening talking quietly, intimate, sharing. His friend's face and red-gold hair glowed rosy in monochromatic warmth, smiled for him. It was difficult to talk single-file on the trail. But after the day's work or killing, John now treasured their campfire.

Year: 1879, first. then 1880 - 1882
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