At first he held a faint hope that when Bill missed him at the tilt, a search would be made for him and his friends would find the wigwam. But as the days slipped by he realized that he would probably never be discovered. There came a fear that the news of his disappearance would be carried to Wolf Bight and he dreaded the effect upon his mother and Emily.
But there was one consolation. Emily could go to the hospital now and be cured. Bill would find the silver fox skin and his share of that and the other furs would pay not only his own but his father’s debts, he felt sure, as well as all the expense of Emily’s treatment by the doctor—and a good surplus of cash—how much he could not imagine and did not try to calculate—for the doctor had said that silver foxes were worth five hundred dollars in cash. This thought gave him a degree of satisfaction that towered so far above his troubles that he almost forgot them.
In a little while he was quite strong and active again. Finally a day came when the Indians made preparations to move. The wigwam was taken down and with all their belongings packed upon toboggans, and under the cold stars of a January morning, they turned to the northward, and Bob had no other course than to go with them even farther from the loved ones and the home that his heart so longed to see.
A FOREBODING OF EVIL
Never before had Bob been away from home for more than a week at a time, and his mother and Emily were very lonely after his departure in September. They missed his rough good-natured presence with the noise and confusion that always followed him no less than his little thoughtful attentions. They forgot the pranks that the overflow of his young blood sometimes led him into, remembering only his gentler side. He had helped Emily to pass the time less wearily, often sitting for hours at a time by her couch, telling her stories or joking with her, or making plans for the future, and she felt his absence now perhaps more than even his mother. Many times during the first week or so after his going she found herself turning wistfully towards the door half expecting to see him enter, at the hours when he used to come back from the fishing, and then she would realize that he was really gone away, and would turn her face to the wall, that her mother might not see her, and cry quietly in her loneliness.
Without Bob’s help, Richard Gray was very busy now. The fishing season was ended, but there was wood to be cut and much to be done in preparation for the long winter close at hand. He went early each morning to his work, and only returned to the cabin with the dusk of evening. This home-coming of the father was the one bright period of the day for Emily, and during the dreary hours that preceded it, she looked forward with pleasure and longing to the moment when he should open the door, and call out to her,