Happs never knew his mother. His father raised him alone in the woods, and never really made peace with the way “that woman” treated him. From what Happs gathered while growing up, she and his father were foolish and young when they first set out as pioneers. He enjoyed the lifestyle of roughing it far from civilization. She wanted to have fun and wear pretty dresses and go to parties. She didn’t want to be a mother after all.
They traded furs for flour and never went hungry, but Happs remembers the hardships of poverty and isolation. He has a lingering sense that life might have been very different for him if his mother had taken him, but he has simply grown accustomed to the quiet lives of animals and the peace of a sunrise when there is not another human within a hundred miles. It is a kind of freedom he knows he is, in a way, lucky to have had, and though he sometimes wonders about city life and what goes on in the rest of the wold where there are so many people, he also knows he probably would never fit back in.
He accepts Dovan’s ineptitude in woodcraft, but also respects his more sophisticated grasp of things which mystify Happs: human relationships, politics and culture. The mere notion of a mechanical lock is something that astounded Happs when Dovan described how to pick one. When Dovan was impressed that Happs could shoot a buck in the eye at two-hundred feet, it made him feel like maybe what he had always thought was a deprived childhood might have given him skills he never properly respected the value of. The dynamism of their friendship is a novel experience to Happs and although he thinks Dovan’s cologne is obnoxious to deal with while hunting, he has grown to enjoy hot baths after Dovan made him take his first.