She came back laughing and joyful. “See!” she exclaimed. “Many things! I have found a knife, and I have found a broken kettle; and here is an awl made from a bone; and here is something which I think their women use in scraping hides.” She showed me all these things, last the saw-edged bone, or scraping hoe of the squaws, used for dressing hides, as she had thought.
“Now I am a squaw,” she said, smiling oddly. She stood thoughtfully looking at these things for a time. “Yes,” she said, “we are savages now.”
I looked at her, but could see no despair on her face. “I do not believe you are afraid,” I said to her. “You are a splendid creature. You are brave.”
She looked down at me at length as I lay. “Have courage, John Cowles,” she said. “Get well now soon, so that we may go and hunt. Our meat is nearly gone.”
“But you do not despair,” said I, wondering. She shook her head.
“Not yet. Are we not as well off as those?” she pointed toward the old encampment of the Indians. A faint tinge came to her cheeks. “It is strange,” said she, “I feel as if the world had absolutely come to an end, and yet—”
“It is just beginning,” said I to her. “We are alone. This is the first garden of the world. You are the first woman; I am the first cave man, and all the world depends on us. See,” I said—perhaps still a trifle confused in my mind—“all the arts and letters of the future, all the paintings, all the money and goods of all the world; all the peace and war, and all the happiness and content of the world rest with us, just us two. We are the world, you and I.”
She sat thoughtful and silent for a time, a faint pink, as I said, just showing on her cheeks.
“John Cowles, of Virginia,” she said simply, “now tell me, how shall I mend this broken kettle?”
WITH ALL MY WORLDLY GOODS I THEE ENDOW
Poor, indeed, in worldly goods must be those to whom the discarded refuse of an abandoned Indian camp seems wealth. Yet such was the case with us, two representatives of the higher civilization, thus removed from that civilization by no more than a few days’ span. As soon as I was able to stand we removed our little encampment to the ground lately occupied by the Indian village.
We must have food, and I could not yet hunt. Here at the camp we found some bits of dried meat. We found a ragged and half-hairless robe, discarded by some squaw, and to us it seemed priceless, for now we had a house by day and a bed by night. A half-dozen broken lodge poles seemed riches to us. We hoarded some broken moccasins which had been thrown away. Like jackals we prowled around the filth and refuse of this savage encampment—–we, so lately used to all the comforts that civilization could give.