Obadiah Brown scratched at his shaggy beard, and then continued to lead his mule, Bessie down the mountainside. It was a bright spring day, and the warm sun on his face was a welcome relief after a harsh winter in his remote cabin. It had been a long winter as well, and seemed especially so since his trusty dog, Beast had died in late November. Bessie was good enough company, but failed to be much of a conversationalist, nor did she have Beast’s knack for at least feigning interest in what Obadiah had to say. But now it was trading season and Brown was bringing his stock of furs down to Pierre’s Hole. Obadiah was still yet to see another human being, but he smiled as fences and a herd of horses came into sight. Company, a shave, and fresh supplies were only an hour away.