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"What's yer name?" Josiah called out as he blanketed the floor of the lean-to with pine needles.

"Emma B-Brown," she stammered, struggling to keep her eyes open. "I'm so t-tired."

"You can rest after you git warm," Josiah promised, jumping to his feet. He guided Emma to the low entrance of the lean-to and told her to take off her snowshoes and get on all fours so she could crawl inside. "Keep talking, Em."

"Aren't you c-coming?" mumbled Emma, when she saw he was remaining outside.

"The lean-to ain't finished yit," his teeth chattered. The branches wouldn't offer enough insulation by themselves, so Josiah dug at the snow for any vegetation he could find to pile on top of their shelter; this would hold in the body warmth of the lean-to. "Who am I?" he called, endeavoring to keep Emma awake until it was safe for her to sleep.

"What was all that shooting about?" she wondered.

"We came across some Blackfoot, just as they were finding out Crows were in the area," replied Josiah.

"Then, why didn't you help the Crows?" Emma tried to stop her teeth from chattering by clamping a hand over her chin.

"You want me killing my own kin?" asked Josiah. Clumps of dirt crumbled through the branches as he piled more vegetation over their lean-to.

Emma wiped the dirt from her eyes. "They were your family?"

"Who do you think that old man was?"

"I don't know," Emma's voice was becoming distant again, so Josiah urgently called her back to the present.

"He's was my ma's, pa," he informed her with a short laugh. "Thought he'd do me a good turn and warn me off with that shot. I expect he'll be wanting a returned favor one of these days."

Flopping down on his belly, Josiah elbowed his way into the narrow lean-to until he was snug against Emma for her body warmth. Sweat had turned to ice on his arms, and Emma was frightened at how frozen he had become in so short a time.

"Mr. Brown, you're freezing!"

"I'm all right, Em," he tried to calm her concern. "I've been colder."

In spite of the situation, Emma found herself smiling. Josiah hadn't scorned her for showing concern for his wellbeing, and had accepted it without doubting her motives.

Taking their discarded clothing, Josiah stuffed them into both ends of the lean-to.

Without being asked, Emma shared the large capote with Josiah. She shivered as his frozen arms slid about her warm middle.

"Thanks," he grinned. "I'm warming up some."

"Why were the Blackfoot shooting at the Crows?" wondered Emma. "Isn't this country big enough for both tribes?"
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