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Emma looked over to Mary, and the girl nodded "yes."

"I suppose you are," sighed Emma.

Squatting down, Josiah picked up the Bible in Emma's lap. As he flipped through the pages, Emma sensed he was deliberately putting himself in her way. After more page turning, Josiah offered the Bible back to her.

"Are we friends, again?" he asked.

"I suppose so," said Emma, accepting the Bible from his hand.

"Aw, Emma, I don't want another 'suppose.'"

Josiah lightly caressed Emma's cheek with his rough fingers, and Emma was surprised when tears came to her eyes.

"What are you crying fer?" he asked.

"I don't know," Emma quickly brushed away the stray tears. "I'm so tired."

Pushing aside Mary, Josiah took her place on the small bed beside Emma. Then, as though an afterthought, he looked at the girl. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"No," Mary said, looking somewhat shocked that he had even asked.

Josiah turned back to Emma. "Are you tired of me, or just plain tired?"

"I don't know," shrugged Emma. "Maybe both."

As if carefully trying to gauge her feelings, Josiah slowly put an arm about Emma. When she didn't stiffen, he drew her to his side. "I know what we're needing," he nodded. "We need to stretch our legs and git out of this here lodge. If I have some help on my bear coat, we could go hunting tomorrow."

"I will help!" said Mary, her small mouth in a broad, Josiah-like grin.

"There now, ain't that something to look forward to, Emma?" Josiah peered down at Emma as she buried her face against his chest. Then she began to cry.

"Is Ma all right?" Mary asked in concern.

"I ain't rightly knowing," said Josiah. "Emma? You still angry with me?"

"I don't think so," came her muffled reply.

"Well, that's something, anyway," he chuckled. "Come now, Emma, gather yer senses. No one died, so there ain't any call fer tears. Take a look at Mary there. See? She's smiling, so you should, too."

"I see her," said Emma, trying very hard to stop the oncoming tears. She finally managed a smile, and Josiah let her sit up on her own strength. It startled Emma that she should cry so hard over a situation Josiah had already diffused, and it made her carefully think over her condition. When Emma and her father had been on their own in the wilderness, her menstrual cycle had disappeared. It had yet to come back, though she was now eating regularly and much healthier than before.
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