About the middle of the forenoon the relief party drew away from the house on their arduous journey to the A-jem-sek. It had taken Sam some time to repair the broken toboggan he had found in a shed near by. When this had been loaded with supplies, Sam threw the rope across his shoulders and started forward, with Kitty following. It would be a hard trip, Jean was well aware, so she told the Indians how grateful she was, and that no doubt King George would hear of their good deed. Her words pleased the simple-minded natives, and they undertook the difficult task in the best of spirits.
“Don’t forget to tell the Loyalists about the moose,” Jean reminded as she stood watching them from the back door.
“Injun no forget,” Sam replied. “White man come bimeby. Sam, mebbe.”
The girl watched her faithful friends until they had disappeared from view. All at once she seemed inexpressibly lonely as she stood there. While the Indians were with her she felt secure. But now she was alone with the mysterious invalid in the next room. She might have gone, too, but the man had asked her to stay until the natives returned, and she could not very well refuse his request. Anyway, she would be of more use here than out on the trail. She wondered what was the cause of the feeling of depression that had so suddenly swept upon her, and which was contrary to her buoyant nature. All at once the great silent forest appeared to her like some sinister monster, holding a lurking enemy within its brooding depths. She chided herself for her foolishness, but for all that, she could not entirely banish the strange feeling.
Going into the adjoining room, she found the invalid asleep. Not wishing to disturb him, she sat down by the table and picked up the book lying open there. It was a copy of Shakespeare’s works, well-bound, and showing signs of much use. She turned to the front blank pages, hoping to see a name inscribed there. But nothing could she find. She examined two other books, one a copy of Virgil’s “Aeneid,” and the second “The Tatler,” but no clue could she obtain as to the identity of the owner. In one of them, however, she did find where a name had been scratched out, as with a knife.
Taking up again the copy of Shakespeare’s works, she glanced at the play where the book was lying open. It was “Timon of Athens,” and the page upon which her eyes rested contained Timon’s terrible curse outside the walls of Athens. She read it through, and then let the book drop upon her lap, wondering why any one in his right mind could so curse his fellow beings. She glanced toward the man upon the cot. Had he been reading those words ere he laid the book aside? she mused. What connection had that curse with him? Did he hate his fellow men as Timon did of old? Perhaps he, too, had been wronged, and had fled to this lonely place. She recalled what he had said about those starving Loyalists. Surely there must be some good reason for his intense bitterness.