I ran downstairs and out onto the deck with the stocked first aid kit in hand. I looked down the gravel driveway and noticed the van with the empty boat trailer and Marcy leaning into the driver’s side window. She was deep in conversation with Muddy.
As I stood there, Father Brian and Angus came out from the kitchen. Angus had a food barrel on his back and Father Brian had a large green canvas backpack on his.
“Got plenty of good eats?” I asked.
“We’ve got oodles of food for two days.” Angus adjusted the pack. Father Brian swung his pack off his back and dropped it, with a heavy thud, onto the deck.
“Two days, eh?”
“Oh ya. We won’t take more then that. We will catch up with those trippers pretty quickly.”
“Good luck you guys. Here’s your first aid kit.” I said as I offered it to Father Brian. He smiled as he took it from my hand, opened the top of his backpack and slipped the kit in. “And, again, I’m super sorry about the miscommunication.”
“Not your fault, Anne. Really.” Father Brian said as he tied off the top of the pack and looked down the road towards the van. “Bit of a life lesson,” he said as he tilted his head towards Marcy. I nodded but still felt partially responsible.
“Lotsa prayers now, Anne.”
“Absolutely!” I said as Father swung the large, ungainly pack onto his back and started down towards the van. It had to weigh fifty pounds at least. I watched him go.
“I’m actually looking forward to this little trip.” Angus told me in a low voice.
“Really?” I looked at Angus.
“Obviously, I hope no harm has come to Mallory. And, to be honest, I’m know that she is in good hands. But a couple of days off from the routine, sleeping in the woods, cooking over the fire, canoeing…it’s gonna be awesome!” Angus said dreamily. “Plus the pound of bacon, two steaks and apple crisp that Shawn packed will be much appreciated.” Angus licked his lips.
“I have to admit. That does sound good.” Angus picked up the barrel and gave me a side hug.
“Bye Angus,” I said as I watched him go. “Smell ya later.” I laughed.
Angus turned and walked backwards. “No kidding! You WILL smell me later. From about a mile away!”
“I still don’t get the attraction.” I shouted to Angus’ back. He just waved as he kept walking to the waiting van. I watched and started a silent Hail Mary.