Step by step she slowly pushed her way through the forest and the night. She longed for morning, for the blessed light of day to dispel the gloomy shades around her. But it was a long time coming, and she was so weary. Often now she paused to rest, each time longer than the last. At length she felt that she could go no farther. She could not find the trail from which she had wandered, and the snow was deep. She floundered about for a few minutes, and then with a cry of despair she looked wildly around. What was she to do? She knew that she was lost, yes, lost in the mighty woods where no aid could reach her. She thought of the mast-cutters. She must reach them, and warn them of their danger. What would her father and Dane think if she failed in her duty? But would they ever know of the efforts she had made? Would her body ever be found? No, no, it must not be. She would not give up. She must not die there. The mast-cutters must be warned.
Under the inspiration of this resolve she again started forward. She pressed bravely on her way, wearily dragging her snow-shoes which now were so heavy. For a few minutes she moved onward. But her strength was soon spent, and a great weakness swept upon her. She staggered from side to side, and fought hard to stand upright. She grew bewildered, and the trees seemed to be whirling around her. The roaring of the storm overhead sounded like the voice of a demon mocking at her despair. She could endure it no longer; she felt that she was going out of her mind.
“Daddy, daddy! Dane, Dane!” she called, but only the wind replied with a wild shriek to her passionate appeal for help.
Against a great tree she leaned her tired body for support. But it was of little assistance in her distress. It could not reach out sheltering arms, neither could it whisper words of comfort and hope. Gradually her body weakened, drooped, and then like a tired child she sank upon the snow at the foot of the lordly pine. The wind continued its roaring in the trees, and the snow sifting down through their branches whitened the still, huddled form below.