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Josiah rubbed his face against the sleeve of his hunting shirt. "I didn't think it showed," he said in a low voice. "I even wet my face down with snow afore I come in to talk to you."

Emma sat up in bed to get a better look at her husband. "Are you sincere?"

"I was out there on the mountain, telling God I was a sinner and bawling like a baby. I reckon that's about as sincere as I git."

Emma's eyebrows raised in surprise. "Sinner?"

Josiah stared at the ground before raising his eyes to hers. "I told God I repented of what I done. That Bible of yers said to believe on the Son of God, so that's what I'm trying to do. I ain't thinking so big of myself to expect you to fergive me right now, but do you reckon God will? If He don't fergive me, then does that mean I can't have everlasting life?"

Emma pinched her arm. She was truly awake, and Josiah was waiting for an answer.

"If you've truly repented, and are believing on the name of Jesus, then God has forgiven you, Josiah."

"How can you be so sure? Does it say so in that book?"

Under pressure, Emma suddenly couldn't remember the verse she needed. Then it came to her: "If we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

"Where does it say that?" asked Josiah.

"I think it's in First John somewhere," said Emma, feeling very much as though she had awakened into a dream.

"Can I see it?" he asked. "I ain't trying to question yer book learning, but this is important."

"Yes, of course," nodded Emma. She pulled out the large Bible, opening it to First John.

"I want to see where it says those EXACT words," said Josiah.

The trapper hovered over Emma's shoulder so closely, she had trouble turning the pages without him getting in the way. When he didn't move after a gentle hint, Emma finally offered him the Bible.

"Would you like to do this for yourself?"

Moving back a little, Josiah mumbled something Emma couldn't understand.

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you," said Emma.

Josiah groaned. "I said, 'I can't read.' And don't you go laughing at me, Emma."

"I won't laugh," said Emma. She turned her attention back to the Bible, rather than embarrass Josiah any further.

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't go telling people."
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