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Instead of immediately going hunting, Josiah enjoyed the solitude of the wilderness and rested himself by the shelter of some trees. He already intended not to find any game today, and was making plans to stay out all night. Tomorrow, he would hunt, but today, he would do as he pleased. He would not deny himself anything.

As Josiah busied himself in his rebellion, a figure appeared in the distance. By the time Josiah noticed the man, he was already within shooting distance.

"Thought you was gone," said Josiah, immediately recognizing the Shoshone Indian from last week.

The man remained silent, his eyes fastened on Josiah's Hawken.

Gripping his rifle with a possessive hand, Josiah stood up from his resting spot. "This is Blackfoot country. They won't be none too pleased to find you here."

The man gave an assenting grunt, his face coming to life with a flicker of fear. The Shoshone and Blackfoot were enemies, and it was risky for the Shoshone to remain in these mountains for long periods of time. Josiah understood this, and from the Shoshone's expression, Josiah knew the man understood the hazard he was taking by remaining.

"No food," the Indian said in broken English. "Buffalo gone. People hungry."

Resting his Hawken in the crook of his arm, Josiah nodded with a grim smile. "I reckon the Blackfoot and Crows scared all the game away."

"Crows," said the man in disdain, for the Crows were also enemies of the Shoshone.

"Why ain't you gone to follow the buffalo?" Josiah asked curiously. "Scared of gitting caught, huh?"

The Shoshone straightened his back at Josiah's taunt, but kept quiet. Josiah could tell he was hungry, and probably hadn't eaten much in days.

When the man kept staring at Josiah's Hawken, Josiah shifted it to his other arm to enforce the message that the rifle was off limits.

"You trade?" asked the Indian.

Josiah scowled at him mockingly. "You've got nothing to trade that I want. Yer belly is as empty as yer head." He was about to walk away from the man, when the Shoshone invited him into his lodge to eat and discuss a trade. Josiah knew he wasn't likely to be fed very much, but since he was disposed to let the man entertain him for awhile, accepted the invitation.

As Josiah followed the man against the foothills of the valley, Josiah noticed the mended tear in the man's sleeve. "Is yer arm mending?" asked Josiah.

The Shoshone grunted. It was humiliating to have been wounded by a mere girl child, and Josiah knew it. That's why Josiah mentioned it with a mischievous grin, and delighted in seeing the man squirm with embarrassment.

The Shoshone's lodge was made with long poles, and covered with warm buffalo hides to keep out the cold. When Josiah stepped inside, he was met by three women, and a man who stared at him suspiciously. Josiah knew it was hard to disguise his Blackfoot heritage, and tried to act as unthreatening as he could by letting his rifle lay in his lap when he sat down.
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