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Leaning forward to listen, Emma folded her arms across her knees.

"Do you recollect what I told you about how I lost my Hawken?" he asked.

"Yes, I remember."

Josiah took a deep breath, trying to muster the courage he needed to get this over with. "Well, I didn't exactly tell you the truth."

Emma's eyebrows raised in surprise.

"The Hawken was mine to do with as I wanted, so I traded it to that Shoshone I told you about. Traded it fer a night with his wife."

Stunned, Emma's mouth dropped open.

"That's all I got to say," said Josiah. "The only reason I'm telling you this, is because it's been bothering me something fierce-- though I don't know why it should. A man's got a right to find pleasure wherever he can, so like I said, I ain't making any apologies."

There. He had said it. Now he could rest at night, and not have this burden constantly vex him.

Then Josiah saw the tears come to Emma's eyes, and she dropped to the buffalo robes in one great sob. To Josiah's consternation, Mary woke up and looked at him with large frightened eyes.

"Go back to sleep," said Josiah.

"Why is Ma crying?"

"Do as yer told!" Josiah gave Mary a stern look and the child quickly lay back down.

"How could you?" Emma said between sobs.

The muscles in Josiah's jaw tightened. If Emma wanted to cry, then it was best to let her get it out of her system. There were things Emma would have to learn to accept, and this was one of them. Reclining on the robes, Josiah shut his eyes while Emma wept.

It was a long hard struggle, but Emma finally managed to stop the endless tears. Josiah had been unfaithful to her, and even worse, he wasn't sorry. His callousness dumbfounded Emma, and she realized the extent of the hardness of his heart. She had known he was stubborn in his wickedness, but he was blatantly proving it to her in no uncertain terms.

And this was her husband!

"Lord," Emma prayed silently, "I am innocent of Josiah's sin. Let my innocency stand before You, to remind You of Your promise to me. 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.' [Acts 16:31] Josiah is part of my house, Lord. In Your righteous anger over his sins, remember me. In wrath, remember mercy. [Habakkuk 3:2] Save him, Lord. Save my husband."
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