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Chapter Two
The Stranger at My Side

1836, in what would later become Yellowstone National Park.

"The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."
~ 1 Corinthians 7:4 ~

When Josiah awoke the next morning, he found Emma still clinging to his buckskins. Satisfied the one blanket had done its job, he considered tussling Emma. However, since the sun was already so high, Josiah concluded he didn't have time.

"Emma," he nudged her awake, "we gotta git moving."

Groggy with slumber, Emma buried her face deeper into her cozy pillow. As a groan of satisfaction rumbled beneath her head, Emma suddenly remembered where she was and quickly let go of Josiah's hunting shirt.

Amused, Josiah watched Emma awkwardly retreat to her side of the buffalo robe. "Daylight's burning," he informed her. "We need to move on." Automatically reaching for his Hawken, Josiah checked the percussion cap on his rifle. The trapper jumped to his feet, and then went to see to his horses.

Nervously, Emma checked herself beneath the blanket, and breathed a sigh of relief when she found her clothing still intact. She hadn't remembered anything happening during the night, but it had frightened her to find Josiah still in her arms when she awoke.

"I ain't waiting fer you all morning!" Josiah called to her impatiently.

Emma poked her head out from under the blanket and saw that Josiah was staring at her from beside the horses.

"Pack up the bedding," he ordered. "We're clearing out."

"What about breakfast?" she asked hungrily.

"There's no time fer eating," Josiah urged. "Now git up, afore I come over there and pull you off'a that buffalo hide!"

Scrambling to her feet, Emma hurried to roll the heavy robe and pack it away.

Before loading the packhorse with his belongings, Josiah checked the wound on Emma's leg. After declaring that it looked to be healing as it should, he dressed it and bound it with a clean blue handkerchief.

After everything was in readiness, Josiah placed Emma on the sorrel and then mounted his own horse. He maintained tight control of Emma's reins, and never once let them out of his hand without first securing them to his saddle.

For all of that morning, they continued to ride in an ever Northerly direction. The territory around them grew increasingly majestic, and Emma wondered if this was the land of the Yellowstone she had heard Josiah mention the day before. Whatever it was, she knew they were nearing Blackfoot country, and dearly wished they were headed in any direction but North! To her, this was an act of insanity, for even though Josiah was part Blackfoot, he didn't seem to be on very good terms with his own people.

continued on next page...
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