“It was not Indians,” one of the men declared. “It was a legion of devils which struck us. Who ever heard of Indians doing such a job? Why, they would have finished every man-jack of us. It’s a warning to us to get out of this place and leave that girl alone. I said so at the first when I saw those marks upon Seth Lupin’s throat. There’s something d—— uncanny about this, and I’m done with it. Let’s get away before anything else happens.”
Seeing that the slashers were now thoroughly frightened, and would trouble them no more, Sam and his companions picked up their belongings and booty, and glided away silently among the trees. They were not altogether satisfied with their night’s work, and so little was said as they sped onward. Their savage nature demanded complete revenge upon their old-time enemy. The partial knock-out blows were not to their liking. Little did the slashers realise that they owed their lives that night to the very girl whose ruin they had sought, who through her gentle influence upon her dusky defenders had caused them to stay their hands and temper their punishment toward their hated enemies.
THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
Jean learned about her defenders’ success upon their return to the lodge. She had been anxiously awaiting their coming, and when they did arrive and she saw the booty they carried with them, her heart sank within her. The slashers must all have been slain, so she imagined. When Sam, however, told her what had happened, she was greatly relieved.
“Will they trouble us any more?” she asked.
“No more now,” and Sam smiled. “White man head hurt. Sore. Slashers much ’fraid. Go ’way queek.”
“Oh, I am so glad,” and Jean gave a sigh of relief. She felt quite secure now, and she looked with admiration upon the hardy Indians who had done so much for her. She thanked them, and they were pleased at her words. To see this white girl happy made up somewhat for their disappointment of the night.
The next day the visitors left for their own lodges, so once again Jean and her two companions were alone. The days that followed were busy ones for the Indians. There were many things to do before starting on their long journey overland of which Jean had no idea. First of all, there was a travelling-suit to be made for the white girl. From the cache Sam brought down some soft, tanned caribou skin, and upon this Kitty began to work. Jean watched her with great interest and admiration.