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Cora handed the knife to Emma. "Do you want me to do this?" she offered.

"No," Emma bravely shook her head. "He did as much for me, when he rescued me. I owe him this." Emma saw Josiah's body harden as the heat of the blade touched his skin.

One by one, Emma cauterized the torn skin, searing the flesh together so there were no open wounds on Josiah's back. By the time she was finished, Josiah had gone limp.

"He's passed out," trembled Emma. She looked to Cora and Grandpap for advice. "Should I wake him?"

"Let him rest," urged Cora, wiping the perspiration from her face. She looked about, only to find Mary huddled in a far corner of the cabin, clutching her Indian doll. "It is all right," she smiled encouragingly to Mary.

"Is that my pa?" asked Mary in a frightened voice.

"Yes," coaxed Emma, "but he's sleeping now, so we must keep quiet." Emma got to her feet, but when her knees wobbled, she had to lean against the fireplace mantle to keep from toppling over.

"I will prepare the noon meal for you," prompted Cora, gently pushing Emma back to the buffalo robes. "You rest now."

Emma smiled weakly, grateful for a chance to lay down and soothe her tattered nerves.

The excitement over, Grandpap settled beside the fireplace and got underfoot as Cora moved about to fix something to eat.

Lying on her side, Emma watched Josiah's unconscious face. He was still on his stomach, and she figured it would be quite awhile before he would be comfortable enough to lay on his back again.

Josiah moaned, and his eyes opened. He grinned when he saw Emma's brown eyes gazing at him in concern. "I always knew you had pluck," he breathed unsteadily. "I'm proud of you, Em."

"Thank you for not screaming," she sighed gratefully.

Josiah closed his eyes, letting the fatigue of pain pull him to sleep.

It was evening when Josiah awakened from his rest. Emma quickly came to his side, dabbing his face with a cold cloth and then looking over her handiwork on his back.

"Do you want me to apply the same Indian remedy you used for me?" she inquired thoughtfully. "The skin is cooled now."

"Git Grandpap to do it," grunted Josiah. "He knows which one to use."

Emma showed Grandpap the smelly little pouches, and the old Blackfoot quickly located the one he needed. After applying the Indian remedy, Grandpap took a long strip of cloth Emma had cut into a bandage from a blanket, and bound it around Josiah's chest.

"It will heal good," Grandpap nodded in approval. Going to the warm blaze, Grandpap sat down on the dirt floor beside his daughter, and then lit his tobacco pipe. "We can leave in the morning," he puffed smoke in Cora's direction.
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