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To Emma's horror, Josiah rolled onto his back. His face revealed that he was in a great deal of agony, but evidently, his anger was even greater.

"Please, be careful," Emma pleaded, as Josiah sat up beside her on the robe.

From the bed, Josiah confronted his mother. "You told them where I was, didn't you Ma."

Calmly, Cora nodded. "I told them."

Josiah uttered a curse. "Why, Ma? Why'd you do this to me?"

When Cora remained silent, Emma spoke up. "Because," deduced Emma, "she couldn't bring the child here, without them knowing where we were." Emma looked to Cora to see if she had guessed correctly.

Cora nodded. "It is true."

"Child?" Josiah stared at his mother, an understanding light beginning to flicker behind his dark eyes. His gaze darted about the room, until he noticed the large blanket nestled behind Cora. Though its contents were mostly hidden from his view, he could distinguish the partial outline of a sleeping child.

The mountain man clenched his jaw. "I ain't taking her."

Gathering her courage, Emma turned to face her husband. "I told Cora we would."

Josiah grabbed Emma by the wrist. "You had no right!" he shouted angrily. When Emma whimpered, Josiah lessened his grip until he finally let go of her altogether. "You had no right, Emma. I wasn't here!"

Rubbing her sore wrist, Emma quietly nodded in agreement. "I should've waited until you returned," she conceded, "but that doesn't mean you shouldn't accept responsibility for your actions."

"I ain't letting that dirty little half-breed--" Josiah's tirade was quickly muffled by Emma's hand. She glanced at Mary. To her relief, the child was still asleep. Josiah pushed Emma's hand aside. "She ain't living in my lodge!" he finished adamantly.

"Please, lower your voice before she hears you!" Emma whispered. "If that poor girl is what you say, then what, may I ask, does that make you?"

"She's a bastard child, and I don't want anything to do with her!"

Emma tried to calm down, though her heart continued to pound in her ears. "Mary has a father, and now she has a new mother."

"No, she ain't!" spat Josiah.

"I gave Cora my word."

Josiah glared at Emma.

Emma knew how much value Josiah placed in keeping promises, and hoped his self-righteousness wouldn't force the child out of the cabin.
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