At the fork where one river feeds into the other, the boys found a man sitting cross-legged on an outcropping of rocks, fingerpicking a guitar.
“Hail,” they cried.
The man stopped playing and watched them and the raft bob.
“Whatcha doing out here?” they asked.
He scratched at his chin, weeks away from a shave.
“Going to meet Ol’ Scratch,” he said. “He’s due any minute now. If I were you, I’d push off back into the middle and get.”
“Watcha meeting him for?”
“A man’s got to pay his dues. One way or another. Run along now boys. Goodnight.”