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Josiah's explanation for why she had been unmarried for so long, greatly embarrassed Emma, for she felt it wasn't true. After all, her "beauty" hadn't seemed to quiet his tongue any. However, if Josiah refused to acknowledge out loud that he had a very plain woman for his wife, then it was his business; she had done her best to be honest about the matter. Thankfully, Josiah soon dropped the subject, his attention having been diverted by her announcement that supper was ready.

After they ate, Josiah prepared for bedtime by spreading two blankets on the buffalo robe. The added blanket meant Emma wouldn't have to keep close to him during the night, and Josiah wondered what she would do. He didn't let his disappointment show as Emma quickly went to her side of the bed. "It'll be cold tonight," he cautioned, as if the previous nights had been any warmer. "If you need to share my heat, I won't shove you away if you want to nestle with me."

When Emma remained where she was, Josiah restrained himself and didn't pursue her beneath the blankets.

The next morning, Emma was awakened by the smell of breakfast cooking beside the campfire. Hungrily, she crawled from the buffalo robe to get her share of the food.

"I'm going trapping today," announced Josiah, pulling out his Bowie knife to slice off some meat for Emma. "I'll leave you with one of my rifles and some ammunition, so I reckon you'll be all right while I'm gone."

Curiously, Emma ventured a quick glance at the mountain man.

"That's right," he growled, "you heard me! I'm leaving you a rifle!" Josiah bit off another chunk of meat before continuing. "It ain't safe being without a rifle, with all that meat still drying. I reckon griz will be getting fat for winter, and that jerky will be looking mighty good to 'em right about now."

"Griz?" puzzled Emma.

Josiah frowned. "Grizzly bears! Ain't you ever heard of griz?"

"When we first came to the Rockies," recalled Emma, "Pa shot at a grizzly bear to keep it from attacking our horses after we made camp."

"They can snap the back of a buffalo," Josiah bragged with a knowing grin. He raised a large hand and extended his fingers as though they were claws. "With just one blow."

Emma shuddered. Josiah looked much like a grizzly bear himself, with his dark brown hair and broad shoulders, and from the look on his face just now, he knew it.

"Be here when I git back," he ordered, putting down his paw to continue with his breakfast.

When Emma bowed her head to silently thank God for her meal, Josiah stopped chewing and didn't swallow until she began to eat.

"I won't be back until the day after tomorrow," Josiah informed Emma. "I'm going upstream to trap beaver." He saw Emma struggle to swallow her buffalo meat.

"You'll be away for so long?" she whimpered a little fearfully.

"I'm giving you a rifle!" retorted Josiah, not caring for the guilty feeling she was causing with those wide brown eyes of hers. "The meat should be dry by then, and we can move on to my pa's lodge up North."
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