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"I want to try again." Excitedly sitting down on her bed, Mary waited as Emma went to fetch the sewing box.

Emma's mind wasn't on the sewing lesson, though Mary gave her much to smile about. The child was willing to learn, and even more eager to please, making Emma all the angrier at her husband. Shoving aside her anger, Emma smilingly hugged Mary. For Mary's sake, she wasn't going to let Josiah spoil this time away from him.

The air was so frigid, every breath pained Josiah's lungs as he slowly lumbered across the deep snow. The mountain man paid little heed to the pain, however, and even the distant howl of wolves were not enough to shake Josiah from his brooding. The memory of Emma's face as she told him to go, haunted his every step. Part of him wanted to go back and apologize, while his stubborn side refused to admit he had been wrong.

Just then, the ground beneath Josiah's snowshoe burst into a flurry of white feathers and wings! As the startled grouse flew off, Josiah realized that if his mind hadn't been so preoccupied with Emma, he could have shot the fowl for supper. Cursing his own weakness, Josiah moved down the mountain where the trees were more plentiful and the cabin a little further from his thoughts.

The cracks between the window shutters signaled the approach of nightfall, and there was still no sign of Josiah. Emma and Mary had a wonderful day together, sewing and practicing the letter "B," but Emma's mind had never strayed very far from Josiah. Now, as the sun was threatening to disappear behind the towering Rockies, Emma wondered if the mountain man would camp for the night to lick his wounds. Emma yearned for Josiah, but at the same time, his brusque treatment of Mary was something she simply had to fight. Emma felt she had no choice.

As Emma thought this over, the sound of heavy footsteps greeted her ears. Picking up her shotgun, Emma cautiously opened the door. She saw a tall figure dusted in white, dragging a leather covered burden behind him in the snow. Unsure who it was, Emma raised her weapon at the stranger.

"Are you still so angry, I'm greeted with a rifle?" asked a familiar deep voice.

"Josiah! Thank God, it's you!" Emma lowered her shotgun in relief. "I didn't recognize you under all that snow!"

"Yer mighty blind," he chuckled, dragging his heavy load to the cabin door. Emma stiffened at his criticism, prompting him to add, "But mighty purty, too."

"Another half hour, and it would've been dark," said Emma, moving aside so Josiah could enter with his load of firewood.

"I'm knowing that, Emma. Ain't got a clock, but I reckon the sun is as good as any to keep time by. Why? Were you worried I wouldn't come back?"

"I wondered if you might make camp for the night, instead of returning in the dark," said Emma, securely placing the bar over the door as Josiah shed his coat before the fireplace.

"Would you have bin sorry, if I had?" he asked, shaking the snow from his capote.

Emma was quiet. Moving Josiah to one side of the fireplace, she hung a kettle of water over the flames.

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