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"Good, then you ain't in a bad way," he sighed in relief.

When they reached the cabin, Josiah put Emma in front of the fire and then carefully took off her shoes.

"These are full of holes," he looked at Emma's footwear. "No wonder yer feet are blue!" Josiah went to his large bag and pulled out a spare set of moccasins. He compared them to Emma's small feet and then laughed at himself for even checking. Tossing aside his giant sized shoes, Josiah took her small feet between his rough hands and rubbed them until her skin glowed a healthy pink.

"Until I fashion some moccasins," sighed Josiah, "you'll need to keep out of the snow."

"My shoes will serve me just fine," insisted Emma.

Josiah frowned. "You reckon moccasins ain't fitting for a white woman?"

"It's not that," Emma stammered awkwardly. "They're simply not necessary. I can get along just fine without them."

Discouraged, Josiah let her foot drop from his hands.

"Thank you for the thought though, Mr. Brown."

Josiah leveled his gaze at Emma. "You'll wear whatever I tell you to wear." He jumped to his feet and then grabbed his rifle. "I'm going hunting. Stay inside and keep the bar over the door while I'm gone."

"When will you be back?"

"When I feel like it," came his short reply. Putting on his buffalo hide coat and then filling a small pouch with jerky, Josiah left the cabin to head for some destination known only to himself.

Alone once again, Emma put the bar over the door and then went to the window to do some sewing. Her trembling needle refused to work, however, and Emma spent the remainder of the day staring out the window deep in thought.

Instead of returning to the cabin that night, Josiah decided to camp beside the mountain. His frustrations cooled in the winter wind, while his body enjoyed the night fire.

One question kept sounding over and over in his brain: "Do you want her?" The reply was always the same: "Yes!" In fact, Josiah didn't know of anything else he wanted more than Emma. The longer he was with her, the more he wanted her to treat him as her husband.

"If only she'd give in," he sighed glumly. "That woman is more stubborn than I am!" Josiah quickly checked himself. "Almost as stubborn," for he would never admit a mere woman could have a will stronger than his own.

The next morning, Josiah headed back to the cabin, eager to see Emma again. He pounded on the door until she let him inside, and then produced the grouse he had shot.

"It'll be good eating," he told Emma, placing it in her hands and then going to the fire to warm himself.

Quietly, Emma went to the table to set about dressing the bird while Josiah stood beside the fireplace. He wanted to say something to her-- anything, to break this silence between them.

"Do you know what day of the week this is?" asked Emma.

"No, I don't," shrugged Josiah, glad that he didn't have to be the first to speak up.

"I think today will be Sunday," she decided. "Starting now, every seven days will be the Sabbath."

"Why do you want to go and do that fer?" asked Josiah. "You ain't knowing what day this is!"

"I haven't had much time to keep track of months, let alone days," explained Emma, "because I've been too busy staying alive. Even though I think God understands, it's time I put the Sabbath back in its rightful place."

"This means you ain't fixing lunch?" Josiah asked in alarm.

"No, I'll cook lunch," answered Emma, "but if any chore can wait until the next day, I'd like to put it off so I can rest on the Sabbath."

"The Sabbath!" he grumbled. Deciding to change the subject to something more agreeable, Josiah pointed to the grouse Emma was plucking on her lap. "That's a big'un, ain't it?"

Emma forced a smile and nodded that it was.

Coming to Emma's chair, Josiah crouched down to look into her face. "I don't want to be yer enemy," he sighed, touching her cheek with a large hand. "Don't fight me unless you have to, Emma."

His gentle touch created a warm feeling in Emma that she couldn't escape. "I'll try not to," she breathed quietly. "I don't want to be your enemy, either."

Smiling, Josiah kissed Emma's cheek and then went to the buffalo robe to stretch out while she fixed his meal. "Wake me when the food's ready," he yawned. If this was Sunday, he decided to make the best of it and take a good long nap.

With a yearning heart, Emma looked across the cabin to where Josiah was lying. "God," she whispered into the silence, "if You could turn King Nebuchadnezzar's heart to righteousness, then you can turn his."

Still awake, the mountain man's sharp ears caught every word of Emma's hushed prayer. The "him" she had referred to obviously meant him. Josiah thought it a futile prayer, for he knew he would never change.

Not even for Emma.

"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will."
~ Proverbs 21:1 ~

"I [King] Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He [God] is able to abase."
~ Daniel 4:37 ~

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