“I fear he is about heart-broken,” Jean replied. “He has been failing of late, and I am afraid this blow will go hard with him. I was his only comfort.”
“It was a great trial for him to leave his old home, I suppose.”
“In a way it was. But he was very brave through it all. He did what he could to encourage others, and many were helped by his cheerful manner. He told them that it was a great privilege to suffer in a noble cause, and that it was an honour to be loyal pioneers in a strange land.”
No sooner had Jean uttered these words than she wished them unsaid. But the man appeared not to have heard them.
“Tell me about your old home,” he requested. “Also about the war, and your coming to this country. It will help to pass the time.”
Jean was only too glad to do this, so quietly and simply she told about her old happy home in Connecticut, her mother’s death, the war, and all that it meant to them, of their arrival at Portland Point, the voyage up the river, and the settlement in the wilderness. Of Dane Norwood she did not speak, for it was not her nature to reveal to a stranger the deep things of the heart. Neither did she mention the rangers and their march with the men of the settlement against the rebels. A natural caution restrained her from speaking of this to one who so hated the Loyalists and King George.
When she had finished she waited for the man to make some remarks. When, however, he did not speak, she rose, went into the other room, and busied herself in preparing dinner. It was a simple repast, but it satisfied the invalid, and he showed his pleasure by a faint smile, the first that the girl had seen upon his face.
“It is good of you to stay here and wait upon me,” he said, “especially after what I said about the Loyalists and King George. I owe my life to you, Miss, and I am not ashamed to acknowledge it.”
“It was Sam who saved you, Mr. Timon,” Jean smilingly replied.
“Ah, yes, in actually shooting the moose. But for you, though, Sam would not have been on hand at the right minute. It was you who suggested going to the mast-cutters on behalf of those Loyalists.”
“The real credit, then, should be given to the ones who plotted to carry me away from home. But for them I would not be here now.”
“And my body would be lying out there in the snow, gored, torn and trampled. Wonderful, indeed, is the chain of events.”
“It is wonderful,” Jean agreed. “I have been thinking so much about it ever since Sam rescued me that night from Seth Lupin. I was in absolute despair, but just when help was needed most it seemed as if God reached out His hand and saved me. The words of that beautiful hymn, ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd,’ have been often in my mind. I sang it one night to Sam and Kitty, and they were greatly pleased.”
“Will you sing it to me?” the man asked. “It has been many years since I have heard any singing, except rough camp songs.”