“Why, I believe I am,” and Jean laughed. “What are you cooking?”
“Bird. Sam ketch’m. Good. Smell’m?”
“I certainly do, and it makes my mouth water.”
The woman at once stooped, dipped a cup into the pot which was simmering over the coals, and handed it to Jean.
“Soup. Good,” she said.
“It is good,” Jean agreed after she had tasted it. “This will make me strong. You are a fine cook. What is your name?”
“Is that all?”
“But you have an Indian name, have you not?”
“Injun name long. Babby no spik Injun name.”
After Jean had finished her breakfast, she felt much refreshed. She washed herself at a little brook which babbled through the forest, and arranged as well as she could her tangled hair. One little pool served as Nature’s mirror, and in this she could see her face and the brooch at her throat. She again recalled the happy day it had been given to her. How long ago that seemed, and she wondered where Dane was now. No doubt he was frantically searching for her, his heart filled with grief and fear. She must get home as soon as possible, for she knew how her father’s heart must be nearly broken. She would get the Indians to take her back at once. But when she mentioned this upon her return to the lean-to, Kitty shook her head.
“No go now,” she said. “Cold bimeby. Snow come. Ribber freeze.”
“Will we go then?” Jean eagerly asked.
“Mebbe, Sam come back soon. Sam know.”
“Where is Sam now?”
“Sam dere,” and she motioned off toward the river. “Sam watch white man. Sam track’m all sam’ bear. White man no see Sam.”
“What white man? Isn’t he dead?”
“A-ha-ha, Seth dead. More white man.”
“What, are there others?”
“A-ha-ha. Bad! Ugh! Hunt babby. No find babby. White man mad.”
“Will they come here?” A new fear had now come into Jean’s heart. So there were other men after her! Who were they? But she had confidence in her dusky friends, and believed that they would save her.
“White man come, mebbe,” the Indian replied. “No ketch Injun, no ketch babby. All gone.”
“Where shall we go?”
“Way off,” and Kitty waved her hand to the right. “Beeg wood, see?”
“And you will take me there? But I want to go home.”
“A-ha-ha, go home dat way, bimeby,” and she pointed westward. “Beeg ribber, Wu-las-tukw.”
“I never heard of that river. Where is it?”
“Way off dere. Wat you call’m?”
“The St. John?”
“A-ha-ha. Injun call’m ‘Wu-las-tukw,’ beeg ribber.”
“And you will take me there?”
“Bimeby, mebbe. Sam know.”
They were seated near the fire during this conversation, and the Indian woman was busy with a deer-skin garment. It was a warm looking jacket, and she was sewing on an extra string of bright-coloured beads. When this had been accomplished to her satisfaction, she held it forth for Jean’s inspection.