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The older of the two Blackfoot suspiciously narrowed his eyes at Josiah. Then he looked at Emma and then back at Josiah again. "You come to free white woman," he deduced, his hand gripping the rifle that remained in his lap. Hearing this, the younger Indian suddenly lifted his weapon and pointed it at Josiah.

Josiah's face remained undisturbed. He turned the cooking meat over and shook his head. "Need wife," he repeated sadly. "Need woman more than whiskey."

At this, the younger Indian laughed, but kept his rifle aimed at Josiah's belly.

"We have woman," the older Indian informed Josiah, pointing to Emma's tree. "You take her for whiskey?"

"That depends," Josiah hesitated. "Take woman for good, or for one night?"

"One night," the Indian gruffly replied.

"Need wife," insisted Josiah. "One night not good. Must keep."

"You come to save white woman," the Indian once again concluded. "You not want wife. You take woman and maybe kill us."

Josiah let out a small laugh, as if the thought amused him. "You give woman as wife, I give jug of whiskey."

The young Indian seemed somewhat agreeable, but the older was still suspicious. "You take to wife," he said, pointing to Emma's tree, "and we take whiskey. You not take her to wife, we kill you." The Indian pointed his rifle at Josiah as if to make his point.

So they were going to test him. Josiah looked at the woman still trying to hide behind the tree. "Take to wife there?" he asked.


"For one jug of whiskey?"

"Whiskey," the Blackfoot nodded.

"Wife must be virgin," Josiah continued to bargain.

The Indian laughed grimly. "If she not bleed, you take back whiskey."

The two leveled their eyes at each other, letting the silence finish their communication. Josiah finally nodded in agreement.

The younger Indian let out a whoop and jumped to his feet to follow Josiah back to his horse for the half a jug of whiskey. When they returned to the campfire, Josiah handed over the jug to the older of the two Blackfoot, for he clearly seemed to be the leader.

The Indian accepted the jug, sloshing its contents about to determine if there was anything left. When he was satisfied that there was indeed some whiskey still left, he waited to see if Josiah would fulfill their deal, for he still suspicioned Josiah had come to save the white woman. As Josiah started off for the tree, he called after him, "You take white woman to wife. I come see."

Emma filled with dread as one of the Indians started heading toward her tree. As he came closer, she was able to distinguish his dress, and noted that he wore buckskins like a white man, and not the loincloth and leather leggings of her captors.
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