Jean did as she was requested, and sang several of the hymns she remembered. At times she glanced at her dusky companions. Their eyes shone with pleasure, mingled with admiration as they watched the reclining girl, and listened to the words of hope and comfort. They were but unlettered natives of the wild, yet their hearts responded readily to the concord of sweet sounds. Often the good lying in such hearts needs but a gentle fanning to burst forth in the beauty of love, service, and devotion. Little did Jean realise the influence she was exerting upon those two friendly Indians in that quiet lodge in the depths of the great forest.
THE SMOKE SIGNAL
When Jean awoke the next morning she was stiff and sore. She longed to stay there all day and rest. But Kitty informed her that they must move on at once, for not only were the slashers hot upon their trail, but that a storm was coming, and they would need better shelter than their rude brush lean-to could give. In a short time Sam returned and reported that their pursuers were floundering about in a valley several miles away. They had evidently lost the trail, and it would take them some time to find it again.
“Will they keep on following us?” Jean asked.
“A-ha-ha,” Sam replied. “Stop bimeby, mebbe. See?” and he laid his hand upon his musket.
“Will you shoot them?”
“Oh, you mustn’t!” and Jean shuddered. “That would be murder.”
“White man kill Injun all sam’ dog. Ugh!”
“A-ha-ha. Sam know.”
“You killed one white man, remember. But you must not kill any more. Will you promise me?”
“Sam no say. See bimeby.”
After Jean had eaten a hurried breakfast, the few belongings were again packed up, and once more they started forward. The morning was cold, and the trees were swaying and creaking like great masts at sea beneath a whipping wind. Jean shivered as she bravely and patiently followed Sam through that trackless wild. All through the morning they toiled onward, and the afternoon was waning when the rain swept down upon them. It froze as it fell, and ere long the ground was covered with a coating of ice. At times Jean slipped and would have fallen but for Kitty, who caught her by the arm and helped her over the rough and treacherous places. The clothing of the three wayfarers soon became stiff with the frozen rain, and resembled ancient armor. But still they pressed onward, and night was again shutting down when another and a larger lake burst suddenly into view.
On the shore of this fine body of water were several Indian lodges, completely deserted. To Jean they looked cold and forbidding, so very glad was she when Sam led the way to a dense thicket of young fir and spruce trees. Nestling in their midst was the cosiest lodge Jean had ever beheld. In fact, it consisted of a couple of lean-tos, facing each other, between which was an open space a few feet in width. This latter served as the fire-place, the smoke ascending through the opening above.