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"I am a Christian," Emma nodded.

At this, Grandpap harrumphed, but his daughter quickly silenced him. She turned back to Emma. "My son has a Christian wife?" Her tone was one of disbelief, though she obviously believed Emma's statement to be true. "Josiah is not such a person... but I am."

Emma was unable to conceal her surprise. "You? A Christian?"

"My husband was not a good man," explained Cora, "but he taught me of Jesus when he read stories from his thick book."

"He had a Bible?"

"Yes," nodded Cora, "but he 'lost' it after he said I was taking the stories from the book too seriously." Her eyes grew dark with the pain of past memories. "When my beauty faded, he left our bed, and found another wife."

Emma bit her lip. She prayed Josiah would never do anything like that to her.

"Josiah was a boy when I took him with me to return to my people. It was not good for him at my village, so he went back to his father." Cora's voice was matter-of-fact, though the pain remained in her eyes.

Silent, Emma didn't know what to say.

Cora looked at Emma curiously. "Do you have family?"

Emma sighed in a moment of unguarded honesty. "No, I only have Mr. Brown." When she realized how that must have sounded, Emma covered her mouth in embarrassment.

Instead of scolding, Cora's mouth parted in the slightest of smiles. "It is not good for you to be alone with my son. You will be happier with a child."

Emma blushed, for the subject of children seemed to come up with every Indian woman she came into contact with.

"You would like a child?" The question seemed to greatly interest Cora.

"I've always wanted a large family," admitted Emma, though she had intended to have it with a godly husband.

Hopefulness flickered behind Cora's eyes, and for a moment, Emma thought she was about to say something very important. Indeed, Emma had had that feeling ever since Grandpap and Cora's arrival. There was a deeper reason for their visit, and Emma had a strange hunch it was no accident that they were here while Josiah happened to be away.

Gathering her blankets around her shoulders, Cora stood up. "We must go."

Grunting in agreement, Grandpap tapped his pipe against the fireplace and then got to his feet. He gave Emma one last cursory glance before the two headed out the door.

There were no tender goodbyes, and no promises of future visits. Even so, Emma felt herself wishing that they had. She liked Cora.
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