There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near the water.
They walked single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other.
His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool.
"Lennie!" He said sharply. "Lennie for God' sakes don't drink so much."
"It's on'y a mouse, George."
"A mouse? A live mouse?... Give it here!"
Lennie lumbered to his feet and disappeared in the brush. George lay where he was and whistled softly to himself.
"...You go get wood. An' don't fool you around. It'll be dark before long."
"If you don' want me I can go off in the hills an' find a cave. I can go away any time."
"I been mean, ain't I?"
Up the hill from the river a coyote yammered and a dog answered from the other side of the stream. The sycamore leaves whispered in a little night breeze.