These brutes in human forms firmly believed that they were safe from all prying eyes, and that their words of lust and revenge were lost amidst the forest depths. Little did they realise that not far away the form of an Indian was pressed close to the ground, that keen ears were listening to every word, and that flashing eyes were watching their slightest movements.
When, however, Lupin at length stepped into the canoe lying on the shore, and began to paddle rapidly up the river, the prostrate Indian rose to his feet, and glided swiftly among the trees, straight for the lodge where Jean was crouching. As the canoe touched the shore a short distance below the encampment, the native was silently standing near a large spruce tree. No sooner had Lupin landed, than like a catapult the Indian was upon him. With a wild gurgling cry of fear the surprised man reeled back, and tried to ward off the attack. But his efforts were all in vain, for the Indian’s fingers were upon his throat with a vise-like grip. Notwithstanding his frantic struggles, he was borne steadily to the ground, and there he lay with his assailant perched upon his body, and his fingers still clutching hard.
Seth Lupin had run his course. He knew no mercy, so no mercy was vouchsafed to him. In his diabolical mind he had planned the ruin of an innocent girl. But in his blind passion he had forgotten that the Great Avenger of the just uses many strange instruments in defending His own. He, like others, had left out of consideration the Unknown Quantity. The mighty forest had witnessed numerous tragedies, but none more swift and sure than the one this night on the bank of that narrow inland stream.
Within the lodge Jean heard that wild cry of fear, and it caused her to spring to her feet in terror. Her eyes stared out into the night, and unconsciously she lifted her right hand and struck at the blackness as if to drive it away. Listening intently, she could hear fearful sounds as of a desperate struggle, and then all was still. What did it mean? What unknown horrors were surrounding her? With cold clenched hands, and body rigid with terror, she strained her eyes into the darkness. She imagined that she could see forms creeping stealthily toward her, and the faintest outlines of great tree trunks were to her hideous monsters.
And as she looked and waited, something did appear suddenly before her. With a cry she started back, and raised both hands to defend herself. But a voice at once reassured her, causing her heart to leap with hope.
“White woman safe now,” it said. “Injun tak’ care white woman. Come.”
“Who are you?” Jean asked in a trembling voice.
“Me Injun Sam. White woman no ’fraid Sam. Come.”
“Will you save me?” the girl asked. “Will you take me home?”
“A-ha-ha. Bimeby. Come.”
A feeling of security now swept upon Jean, so leaving the lodge she followed the Indian, who at once led her away from the river into the forest. It was difficult to see her guide, and so hard was the walking that she often stumbled, and several times fell. At length the Indian took her by the arm.