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"I'm sure I can," Emma tried to give the girl an encouraging smile. She wanted to ask why the children had done such a thing, but from what she knew of Josiah's relationship with the Blackfoot people, it was not difficult to understand. "Go to sleep when you can," Emma kissed the child again. "Goodnight, Little One."

When Emma crossed to the other side of the fireplace, Josiah was lounging on his buffalo robes, worn out from a hard day's work of chopping wood. Forcing his eyes open, Josiah moved over to make room for Emma on the bed.

"You look tired," Emma said disappointedly. "I was hoping we could talk."

"I ain't too tired," said Josiah, sitting up to keep himself from falling asleep. He wearily rubbed his chopping shoulder, wincing as he worked the knots from his muscles.

"Do you want me to do that?" asked Emma. Not waiting for him to answer, Emma crawled behind Josiah to massage his shoulder.

"That feels good," moaned Josiah. "A little to the right? Thanks, Emma. I owe you."

"I'll say you do," Emma sighed patiently. "I'm angry with you, Josiah."

"I know," he groaned.

"How could you do that to Mary?"

"It wasn't hard."

"I'm not playing games with you, Josiah. I'm serious."

"So am I, Emma." Josiah reached over his shoulder, firmly grabbing Emma by the hand and pulling her around until they were face to face. "I ain't good at apologies, but I figure you got one coming."

Emma was surprised, but also more than a little wary of Josiah's charm. In spite of his woodsy ways, he could be quite appealing when he wanted to be.

"Please, don't say this, just because you're hoping to tussle me, Josiah."

"I ain't doing any such thing," he frowned. "I shouldn't have barred my teeth at the ru-- at the child."

"Why are you telling me this?" asked Emma. "Is it just because I'm angry with you?"

"Well," he hesitated, "you are, ain't you?"

"Does meanness come so easily, that you can frighten and tease and ignore your own daughter?"

Josiah sighed heavily, rubbing the back of his neck as though wishing he hadn't stopped Emma from giving him that massage. "It comes easier than I want, Emma."

"Have you tried to stop?"
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