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A chilling gust of wind forced Josiah to the cover of a nearby tree, and he hunkered down with his buffalo robe for some rest.

"Do with me what You want, God. I'm willing."

Exhaustion pulled at Josiah's eyelids, and he fought to keep them open. It would be easy to fall asleep in the cold, never to awaken. But until God told him to lay down and die, Josiah was going to continue fighting for life. He had no choice. God hadn't taken his life yet, so there was only one thing left to do: carry on.

Getting up, Josiah willed himself forward.

"I'm needing yer help, God. I can't do this without You."

A gust of wind knocked Josiah off his weakened feet, and he sprawled on the snow. So this was it. After all he had been through, he was going to die. Josiah closed his eyes, surrendering his fate to the hands of God.

Just then, Josiah heard a faint noise above the howling wind. He weakly lifted his head. There, in an open stand of trees, was a large mule deer. Busily eating twigs, the buck seemed unaware of Josiah's presence, for the wind had pushed Josiah to the ground just in time to conceal his presence from the animal. Josiah grinned. He would never speak of "mere luck" again. Mouthing a silent thanks to Heaven, Josiah slowly raised his rifle and then squeezed the trigger.

It didn't take long for Josiah to have the deer skinned and ready. He left nothing inedible. Eyes, heart, tongue, liver, kidneys-- anything and everything that had nutrition, he took. Bundling his harvest into the wet deerskin, Josiah hoisted the heavy load over his shoulder. Its weight caused him to sink in the snow, and Josiah had to put the burden down to eat. He had no strength to return on an empty stomach, and was too hungry to bother lighting a fire to cook food. As did many Indians, Josiah ate the meat raw. It was fresh kill, and he was famished.

Finishing just enough food to recover some strength, Josiah headed for his lodge by the foothills.

Waking from her slumber, Emma smiled when she saw Mary sitting by the entrance with her pistol.

"See any wolves?" she asked the child.

"No," came the glum response.

Crawling to the fire, Emma heard her stomach rumble with hunger. She had known hunger before, but now that she was with child, strength was harder to find. Fighting back panic, Emma prayed for food.

"Pa talked to me," said Mary, crawling into the entrance to sit beside Emma.

"He did? What about?"

"He said he was sorry."

Taking a deep breath, Emma nodded in affirmation. So it hadn't been a dream, after all. Her life truly had changed, for Josiah had changed.

"I am hungry, Ma."

"I know. So am I."
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