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"Of course they do," smiled Emma, as she placed bear meat on a spit over the fire. Pausing, she turned to look at the curious child. "Why do you ask? Haven't you ever seen a white woman before me?"

Mary shook her head, "no."

"I have my cloth dress put away, because it isn't up to keeping me warm in these snowy mountains. Animal hide clothing is best here, and it doesn't fall apart as quickly."

"Could I see it?"

"Do you really want to?"

Smiling, Mary eagerly nodded, "yes."

Going to the buffalo robes where Josiah was still reclined, Emma pulled out her dark blue dress to show the child. "The dress needs some mending, but its still serviceable."

Small fingers lightly touched the worn cloth, and Emma could clearly see Mary was fascinated.

"Do you want me to put it on for our Christmas?"

When Mary grinned excitedly, Emma thought the child looked remarkably like Josiah-- although much prettier.

Collecting her old shoes, Emma was about to undress when she noticed she was holding Josiah's rapt attention. "I don't suppose I could expect you to be a gentleman, and look someplace else while I dress?"

"What fer? Yer my wife."

That was the answer Emma had expected, but as she started to undress, she was surprised when Josiah turned his head away. Mary watched as Emma put on the several layers of clothing, which, to the girl's delight, included petticoats! The dark blue dress came last, and then Emma completed her wardrobe by putting on her old shoes.

Mary giggled as the dress swayed when Emma moved back to the fire to cook.

"Walk more!" Mary tugged Emma's hand pleadingly.

When Emma complied, Mary put out her arms to mimic the elegant swaying of the dress.

"I must get back to the meat!" Emma laughed. "Be a good girl, and play with your dolls."

Still smiling over Mary's antics, Emma turned back to the cooking meat. It was filling the small cabin with a delicious aroma that only heightened Emma's feeling that today was very special. This was Christmas Day! Humming a church hymn, Emma's heart became all the merrier.

Suddenly, Emma looked up to find Josiah standing beside her.

"Mr. Brown! I wish you wouldn't sneak up on me that way!"

"I weren't sneaking."

"Call it whatever you want, but I didn't hear a sound!"
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