“Young woman,” he began, “for your parents’ sake alone I give you permission to take food and clothing to those starving people.”
“Oh, I am so glad!” Jean replied. “But did you know my father and mother?”
To this question the man seemed to pay no heed. His eyes were fixed upon the seven candles.
“Yes, there were seven of us,” he murmured as if to himself, “seven who were all in all to one another. But six went out, and I was left alone. Put them out again, Miss, and leave just one burning. You may go now, as I want to think. Send Sam to me. He can sleep in here to-night. You will find plenty of blankets in the next room. Good night.”
Quietly and almost reverently Jean extinguished six of the candles, and then left the room. She felt that there was a deep mystery surrounding this man’s life of which the seven-branch candle-stick was but the outward symbol.
TIMON OF THE WILDERNESS
Jean awoke the next morning much refreshed after the good night’s rest. She slept upon a liberal supply of blankets which Kitty had prepared for her upon the floor. This was a treat after camp-life, and when she opened her eyes the Indian woman was cooking breakfast. It was not yet daylight, but the room was quite bright from the dancing flames of the fire-place. It felt nice to lie there with a roof above her and no weary journey ahead for that day, at least. She recalled the events of the previous day, and wondered how the injured man had passed the night. She had fallen asleep thinking about him, and the mystery of his life. Whoever he was, she was thankful that he had known her parents, and that for their sake he was willing to send food to the Loyalists. The Indians were to start that morning, so she must be ready to assist them in selecting the supplies.
About a quarter of an hour later Sam entered the room. He did not knock, for such etiquette was not in his simple code of Indian manners. He merely looked to see what his wife was cooking, and then turned toward Jean.
“Beeg chief want see babby,” he announced.
“How is he this morning, Sam?”
“No good. Bad.”
Fearing that the man was much worse, Jean hurried into the other room, and went at once to the couch.
“Good morning,” she brightly accosted. “How are you feeling now?”
“None too good,” was the reply. “I didn’t sleep a wink last night.”
“Your side hurt you, I suppose.”
“Perhaps so. But never mind about that now. I want you to help Sam pack up the outfit. Don’t let him take too much, and see that he doesn’t get any of that rum. It’s in a keg near the molasses.
“You will have some breakfast, will you not?” Jean asked.
“I suppose so. There’s a box yonder,” and he pointed to the opposite side of the room. “You’ll find some bread and cold meat. You might bring me a cup of strong tea; perhaps it will steady my nerves. Hand me my pipe and tobacco; they’re on that flat stone projecting from the fire-place.”