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Emma glanced in Josiah's direction, and seemingly understood the source of Mary's concern. "This is for nighttime, when everyone is asleep. Just cover the chamber pot after you're done, and I'll keep it clean. If you don't want to use it, then wake me up and I'll take you outside to the latrine."

Mary shook her head. "I do not like the dark."

"Then use the chamber pot." When Mary still didn't look convinced, Emma bent over and whispered something that Josiah absolutely could not hear, though he had been able to hear everything else. After some consultation, Emma straightened. "Josiah, if Mary has to use the chamber pot while you're awake, do you promise not to look?"

"Why should I look?" he chuckled.

Emma gave him a serious look, and Josiah quickly nodded his agreement. "I promise."

"See?" Emma smiled to the girl.

Staring at the floor, Mary sighed glumly.

"He is trying, Little One."

"Are you sure he is my pa?" asked the girl, giving Emma a pleading look that begged to be told otherwise.

Taking Mary by the hand, Emma led her to the buffalo robes where Josiah was eating a late supper. "Josiah, tell her who you are."

"Why should I?" he asked, chewing with his mouth wide open. "She already knows who I am." The disappointment on Emma's face gave him cause for concern, so he addressed the short person at her side. "I'm yer pa."

"Are you sure?" asked Mary.

"You didn't git that white skin from no Blackfoot," grunted Josiah.

"I am not white!" Mary said stoutly.

"You ain't, huh?" Josiah grabbed Mary's hand, holding it up to his for a comparison. "Lookit, yer hide is whiter than mine. Yer first ma was a full-blooded Blackfoot, so the white in you came from me." He abruptly released Mary's hand, only to notice Emma looking a little frightened. "I didn't hurt her, Emma, so stop looking at me like I did."

"Please, be gentle," asked Emma.

Josiah stared at the child. "Like it or not, I'm yer pa. You don't have any choice in the matter, so it won't do you no good to fight it."

Mary hung her head, and Josiah heard her sigh.

"While we're speaking to each other, Emma is bothered yer calling me 'Mr. Brown.' I reckon you'd best stop." When Mary remained silent, Josiah tilted her chin up so he could see her eyes. "I know I'm rough, but I won't hurt you. I ain't used to living with so many women, but I'll git used to it."
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