“And did you marry daddy?” Tommy unexpectedly asked, at which the others laughed merrily.
“No, dear, not for several years. I guess we were too poor to marry. Anyway, we waited until your daddy and my daddy built this nice house and cleared some of the land.”
“Are we rich now, Mummy?” Ruth questioned.
“Not rich, dear, but comfortable. We have a good home, and one of the best farms along the river. We are rich, though, in happiness and in our children. Your grandfather was always so proud of you. Ruth, you were but a baby when he died. He was very fond of you, and named you after my mother. It was a sad day for me when he was taken away.”
Again Jean glanced at the picture, and thought of what her father had meant to her.
“When did Old Mammy die?” Ruth asked.
“Not long after your grandfather. She was sick but a short time, and grieved very much over my father’s death. She longed to go back to her old home in Connecticut, but that could not be. She died murmuring the words of her favourite psalm, ’The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.’ She was a good, true woman, and a mother to me. It is very hard to lose our loved ones.”
“But we have the Indians, Pete, Sam, and Kitty,” James reminded. “They are coming to-morrow, and I am so glad. Sam is going to make me a bow and a whole lot of arrows.”
“And Kitty promised me a pair of snow-shoes,” Ruth said.
“But Pete’s going to bring me the best of all,” Tommy chimed.
“What’s that, dear?” his mother asked.
“Spruce gum. He said he would, anyway.”
James and Ruth laughed so heartily that Tommy became embarrassed, and hid his flushed face against his mother.
“There, there, dear,” Jean soothed. “It is all right, James and Ruth will want some gum, too. I am sure they will be very glad to see you, and will have presents for all. We must make this a very pleasant Christmas for them. They are getting old, so we cannot expect to have them with us much longer. Their house is all ready, and Martha is preparing a great dinner for them. We shall all go over to visit them.”
“Did daddy build that house for them?” Ruth asked.
“Yes, you know he did. It was his own idea. He was so grateful to Sam and Kitty for what they did for me, that he had the house built just for them and Pete. It is their home, and they can come there at any time, and stay just as long as they please. They shall never want so long as we have anything to share with them. Sam and Kitty saved my life, and I can never forget how good they were to me.”
Ruth reached up and reverently touched the little arrow fastened to a chain about her mother’s neck.
“And was it really that which told them who you were?” she asked in an awed voice.
“Yes, it was this arrow your father gave me so long ago. I have worn it ever since. We call it ‘The King’s Arrow,’ because of your father’s name when he was in the royal service. It has meant a great deal to us both, for it was truly a Love-Charm.”