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The Little Journeys Camp
by [?]

For dishes and cutlery, I believe each of our mothers’ pantries contributed. Then a stock of grub was confiscated. The storeroom in the Phalansterie furnished Heinz beans, chutney, and a few others of the fifty-seven. John had run an ad in “The Philistine” for Heinz and taken good stuff in exchange.

For four years after that, this old camp was kept stocked with eats all the time. We would hike out Friday after school and stay till Sunday night. At Christmas-time we would spend the week’s vacation there.

Many times had I tried to get my Father to go out and stay overnight. But he wouldn’t go. One time, though, I did not come home when I had promised, so Father rode out on Garnett to find me. Instead of my coming back with him he just unsaddled and turned Garnett loose in the woods and stayed overnight.

We gave him the big bunk with two red quilts, and he stuck it out. Next morning we had fried apples, ham and coffee for breakfast.

What there was about it I did not understand, but John was a very frequent visitor after that.

You know we called Father, John, because he said that wasn’t his name.

He used to come up in the evening and would bring the Red One or Sammy the Artist or Saint Jerome the Sculptor. Once he brought Michael Monahan and John Sayles the Universalist preacher.

Mike didn’t like it.

The field-mice running on the rafters overhead at night chilled his blood. He called them terrible beasts.

From then on we youngsters were gradually deprived of our freedom at camp. These visitors were too numerous for us and we had to seek other fields of adventure.

John got to going out to the camp to get away from visitors at the Shop. He found the place quiet and comforting. The woods gave him freedom to think and write. It so developed that he would spend about four days a month there, writing the “Little Journey” for the next month. How many of his masterpieces were written at the Camp I can not say, but for several years it was his Retreat and he used it constantly.

He reminded us boys several times when we kicked, that he had a good claim on it–for didn’t he furnish the door and the window-frames?

I never suspected he would recognize them.