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Trembling with terror, Emma shuddered beneath Josiah.

The mountain man looked down at his frightened wife. "Follow me," he silently mouthed the words.

Keeping as low to the ground as they could, Josiah and Emma untied their snowshoes and then crawled on hands and knees until it was safe to get to their feet. Then putting back on their snowshoes, Josiah grasped Emma's hand, yanking her behind him at an awkward run. His eyes flashed with a wild pleasure that terrified Emma. She had seen it before when he had scalped the Blackfoot Indian, and as they heard the gruesome sounds of battle, she saw that same look in his eyes once more.

To Emma's surprise, instead of heading back to the cabin, Josiah moved about over their old tracks, crisscrossing footprints in the immediate area before finally heading off in the opposite direction as home.

The gunfire lessened, but it only increased Josiah's haste. Emma's arm nearly pulled from its socket as he dragged her behind him, his eyes and ears carefully tracking the movements on the other side of the line of trees.

A man screamed in pain, and Emma squeezed her eyes shut. She didn't want to know what was happening, but she guessed a victor was scalping his enemy while he was still alive.

Josiah barred his teeth at Emma, prompting her to keep up with his long hurried strides. Hugging her shotgun in her free arm, Emma closely trailed behind Josiah as he attempted to lead any possible Indian trackers away from their cabin.

Man and woman huffed through the snow, until they heard the crack of a rifle and the whiz of a bullet as it passed their heads. Spinning around, Josiah was ready to unload his weapon into the enemy. His eyes scanned the distance, suddenly coming to stop when he spotted a solitary Blackfoot warrior.

The Blackfoot held his rifle above his head and then waved to Josiah.

Recognition setting in, Josiah slowly lowered his Hawken. "You missed!" he shouted. "Yer eyes are growing dim, Old Man!"

To Emma's wonderment, the man waved again, before turning to rejoin the others.

"Who was he?" she panted.

"No one," breathed Josiah, his voice low and rumbling as it always did when he was angry. His chest heaved, and he wiped the sweat of exertion from his brow. Trekking further down the mountain, Josiah reached the safety of some thickly wooded trees.

Emma's teeth chattered as Josiah opened her capote and began to undress her.

"Yer animal skins are damp with perspiration, Emma. You've got to git out of this, or you'll freeze to death." The capote was relatively dry, so after peeling the buckskins from Emma, Josiah bundled her back into the dry coat.

Hurriedly discarding his cumbersome snowshoes, Josiah was looking quite cold by the time he managed to pull off his buffalo coat and hunting shirt. He flapped his arms wildly to keep warm, and then spotted a large fallen tree. Thinking quickly, Josiah harvested several snow ladened branches and piled them against the fallen tree to create a lean-to.

Shivering uncontrollably, Emma felt a stab of panic when she saw the snow was coming down heavier than before.
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