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The women ate their breakfast at the table, for there was little room in the small cabin for so many. When they were finished, Cora told Emma to take Mary outside.

"I must speak to my son," said Cora. "What I have to tell him, you should not hear."

Reigning in her curiosity, Emma wrapped herself in blankets, while Cora bundled Mary for the winter cold.

"I do not want to go with her," Emma heard Mary's frightened whimper.

Cora led the child to the door where Emma was waiting. "She will not harm you, Mary. Now go. I will call you when it is time to say goodbye."

With shotgun in hand, Emma took Mary outside. They found a spot beside some trees where the wind was not quite so chilling, and there they stood in silence, waiting to be called back into the lodge.

"All right, Ma," Josiah braced himself for the worst, "speak yer mind while you can. I ain't letting you and Grandpap stay much longer."

Cora returned to the table, her eyes fixed on the buffalo robes where Josiah was sitting. "When you took Emma to wife, she had no white man's wedding?"

"No." Josiah's face hardened when he realized where this line of questioning was leading.

"You will shame her among her people, if you will not do this. It is the white man's way."

"I ain't caring, Ma."

Cora sighed. "Then you will stay here?"

"Only fer the winter."

"You must not bring white trappers to our hunting grounds," warned Cora. "It will mean your death. I can not make peace for you a second time."

"I never asked you to make peace!" Josiah spat at his mother in contempt. Grandpap grunted so loudly, Josiah knew the old man was displeased. "Why is she always against me, Grandpap?"

"Because, you are against yourself," Grandpap took another puff from his pipe. "You must make peace with the white man or the Blackfoot. Your mother knows you cannot live with your hand raised against everyone."

"There's always the Crows," harrumphed Josiah.

"You would fight against your people?" asked Cora.

"I already have," chuckled Josiah. "I went after them two Blackfoot braves that killed Emma's pa; they won't be going back to their women as anything but ghosts."

Cora was silent. She looked to her father.

"I have claimed many scalps, and some were Blackfoot," Grandpap admitted with a shrug. "Sometimes, it cannot be helped."

"They was planning to kill me, so I had no choice," Josiah pulled the blanket up around his bare shoulders. It was harder to keep warm, now that he no longer had his hunting shirt. "It's time fer you and Grandpap to be leaving, Ma."
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