“Dane told you about this, didn’t he?” and she touched the brooch.
“A-ha-ha. Dane tell Injun.”
“And you knew me by this?”
“A-ha-ha. Injun know all sam’ white woman take care babby.”
She paused abruptly, sprang to her feet, and pointed excitedly to the high hill.
“See! See!” she cried. “Pu-kut! Pu-kut!”
Jean hastened to her side, and her eyes followed the woman’s outstretched arm. Up on the dazzling, sun-crowned peak a wreath of smoke was ascending beyond the tops of the highest trees. It rose straight into the air like a tall shaft ere it spread and fell in wavy, fairy-like curls, and slowly disappeared from view.
“What is it?” the girl asked, feeling certain that it meant something important.
“Slashers come,” Kitty explained. “Sam call Injun.”
“Now I understand,” Jean replied, while a great fear smote her heart. “The slashers are near, and Sam wants help; is that it?”
“A-ha-ha. Smoke call Injun.”
“Will the Indians see it?”
“Will they know what it means?”
“But suppose there are no Indians near?”
“Plenty Injun see pu-kut. Beeg hill. Injun know.”
“Will the Indians come?”
“In time to save us from the slashers?”
“Mebbe. Sam come bimeby. Sam know.”
Curiously and anxiously Jean watched that signal flaring from the high hill. She asked Kitty many questions, and learned how in times of danger the Indians sent up the smoke-wreath from certain hill tops. At night a blazing fire was used, and in this manner news was carried many miles in a remarkably short time.
Several hours wore slowly away as the two anxious women kept watch upon the hill. When at length the smoke ceased to ascend. Kitty’s face brightened.
“Sam come soon,” she said. “Injun come bimeby.”
“How do you know?” Jean asked.
“Injun mak’ pu-kut. Injun say ‘come.’”
“Did the Indians reply by sending up smoke? Is that what you mean?”
“A-ha-ha. Sam come soon. Injun bimeby.”
And in this Kitty was right, for in less than an hour Sam appeared before them. He smiled as he entered the lodge, laid aside his musket, and helped himself to some meat from a pot near the fire. As he ate, he told about the slashers. They were not far away, and were waiting to make the attack that night. How he learned this he did not explain, and Jean asked no questions. It was sufficient for her that he knew, and she had great respect for his knowledge of the ways of the wild, and his practical common sense.