Chapter 18878927

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Chapter NumberXLVII (CONTINUED)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18878927
Full Date1885-04-11
Page Number20
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Word Count5837
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Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleArley
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FICTION.

?íVrom KMftIlfb, Amar le un, and otilar Periodical«»)

CHAPTER XLVIL-Continued.)

AU his wants and needs, however, were most kindly attended to ; be was nourished with delicious broths, made from venison and wild game ; cooling drinks prepared from'some kind of fruit, were always at hand, and some one constantly near to wait upon kim, while the doctor of the tribe paid bim daily viBits, examining into the state of his injuries, rub- bing and anointiDg bim in a must thorough-manner, and then departing, uttering a series of grunts satis- factory or otherwise, as the casa might be.

Thus several weeks passed by, and Wil was chained to that couch of skins by weakness and his broken

limbs.

It was very tedious, very trying to be thus bound not only hand and foot for a weight had been attached to his foot to keep hia limb in a proper position but to be tongue-tied also. He WBB anxious of course, to commmunicate with his party, for be knew that they muet be in great distress on his account, but it waa impossible, for not a word or a gesture, which did not pertain to his bodily comfort, was apparently comprehended, and there, in the heart of the wilderness, miles and miles away from all signs of civilization he was obliged to beor his helplessness with what patience be could,

He was sore and lame from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet; the condition of his broken leg would not admit of any but a reclining position; and, with nothing to psBB away the time, or no one to speak a word to him, it is not to be wondered at that be grew heart-sick and almost discouraged.

One day he lay in his wigwam, alone, thinking sadly of home and horne friends, longing for the sounds of bis father's hearty voice, for the touch of his mother's hand upon his ferered forehead, and a smile of affection from his beloved one, and feeling very rebellious over his hard lot, when he suddenly became conscious that a pair of sharp, black eyes were peering in upon him from between the curtains of his wigwam, and evidently watching him in the

keenest interest.

He made a gesture of impatience, and turned his face away, for be was in a mood to have the elighest thing irritate bim, and it was unpleasant to be thus spied upon and examined as if he was some natural curiosity.

But the object of his aversion, instead of disapper ing upon being diBCovernd, parted the curtains and stepped boldly within the tent.

It was a young Indian, of perhaps twenty-five years ; tall, straight eg an arrow, and graceful in every movement of his lithe body as a young forest

tree.

His faca waa bright and intelligent, and beamed with a kindly expression HB be gazed down upon the helpless man before him, while the profusion of wampum which he wore, proclaimed bim to be a person of considerable importance in the tribe.

Wil did not attempt to speak to him, for he believed that it would be sa useless as his previous efforts to make himself understood, but to bis surprise the young man addressed him in very good English :

" Is the pale-face better ? are his wounds bealing ?"

he asked,

Wil was so delighted to hear his mother tongue once more, that his face brightened like magic, and he answered with all the cpurtesy of wbioh he waa

master :

" Yes, thank you, I am better, though, of course, I am still helpless on account of my broken bones."

The young Indian bowed gravely, while his keen eyes seemed ¡to be studying the worn, though still handsome countenance of the stranger.

" The pale-face may be thankful that he is here even with broken bones," be said, briefly.

" That is so," Wil answered, heartily, " and though I would muck prefer to be with my own friends, yet your people have given me very kind care, and I am vary grateful."

The young brave's lips relaxed a trifle, as if the ap- preciative words had pleared bim.

.' I have been very lonely," Wil continued, " for I could talk with none-I am very glad to find some .ne who speaks the English language."

Again the brave merely bowed in reply,

"Howfar are we from a white settlement?" Wil inquired, anxiaus t» learn something regarding his

situation.

The Indian frowned slightly.

" Ten days march for the red man-fifteen days march for the pale-face," he replied, tersely.

Wil sighed heavily, that meant many, very many miles from civilization, there was no help for him, except from some such quarter, and he might be in the hands of a band of hostile savages.

.' Would one of your bravas carry a letter to the nearest post-office for me ?" he asked, after a moment of thought.

«« Ugh ! isn't the pale-foce comfortable ?" the Indian demanded, with a quick flash of his eye.

" Ob, yes, as comfortable as possible under the Circumstances ; but my friends will be very anxious about me, aad I wiBh to relieve them of their sus- pense."

" Pale face use big words-poor Indian no see,'» V?as the somewhat scornful rejoiner, " but," pointing to his bandaged arm, " how can he make a letter ?"

" Ob, I could manage with my other hand to let them know that I am not dead, as I know they must

fcelieveme," Wil said.' '

The brave shrugged hij shoulders, ' ¡' Ugh! too witm for Indian to go to village, and 1 f he chief goss noith as the sun geis higher.' '

"North? dose that mean farther away?" Wil asked, with a sinking heart,

" It means to the heurt of the cool forest, where the hot sun does not burn, where the trees are green eat and the wild bird's songe are sweetest," assented the Indi«n, with kindliog eyes, then turning abruptly,

be left the tent.

Wil eaw nothing of him again for more than a week, and he began to fear that be bad offended bim by his request ; but one morning he appeared to him as suddenly BS before, bearing in hie strong hand a quaint little basket, made from the bark of the white birch, and filled with delicious strawberries, which he silently presented to him.

Wil thanked him with his brightest emile, then with tact lured him to talk for half an hour or more, while he eat his berries,

He eaid not a word this time about sending letters to bil frien 's, for he feared to drive bim away as be- fore ; and instinctively feeling that it was a subject which would hare to be hftndled with great delicacy.

" Perhaps they expect to obtain a targe random by detaining me thus," he thought, and resolved that he would do all that he could to hasten his recovery and regain the UBO of his lambs, for in his present crippled state he could not hope to escape from bis captors, even if favorable opportunity should offer.

In conversing with the young Indian, who, he learned, was the only son of the chief of the tribe, he told him what the object of the party with whom he was traveling at the time of his accident, had been; he told him that they Were studying the formation of rocLs and minerals, together with Bowen and planta, and he was surprised to see with

UVf, ujuuli luluigat X.w Ket<»na¿ fn him

But he was even more surprised by the practical use which he made of what be had beard, for, one morning shortly after, he brought him a hunting pouch filled with a variety of stones, some of them quite valuable specimens of kifferent kinds of ore.

He was delighted with them, pointing out their peculiarities, and explaining something of their for- mation, in a way that interested the young brave greatly; and after that, he bad an abundance of specimens, both mineral and botanical, and the next month or two passed comparatively rapidly.

By tha end of that time he WBB able to get about a little with the aid of a rude crutch, which had been fashioned for him, and some one to steady his feeble stepB ; and thuB he began to mingle with the tribe whose captive h« bad become.

He found everyone kindly disposed toward bim, and willing to wait upon him or run at his lightest bidding, but he was conscious that he was constantly

watched.

He was never left alone, and as he grew stronger and better able to help himself, some member of, the tribe always accompanied him wherever he went, ar>d it was evident that they did not intend to allow him even the smallest chance to elude them.

He finally asked Arrow-for that WRS the name of the chiaf 's son-why he was not allowed to communi- cate with his friends.

The face of the young man at once grew dark.

"Indian very poor," he said, sullenly: "white drive, drive, drive bim away from his hunting grounds until nothing left-little corn, little venison, and no gold to buy. He take care of pale-face now more than three moons-give him buck arm, leg» strength ; and when the white man's friends send gold, he can co."

"Is that all?" Wil exolaimed, eagerly. "Why did you not tell me this before ? You shall have gold ; you deserve to be paid for all your care and kindness, and I should never trnve thought of going away without paying you handsomely for what your people have done."

" Ugh I'' Arrow grunted, but there was a strange look in his keen eyes.

i " How much money do you want P" Wil asked,

vainly imagining that perhaps be might bave enough i by him to purchase his freedom and a guide to some

town.

i "When the pale-face is ready to pay one thousand i American dollars to the chief my father,' then per-

haps Arrow may get leave to take .tim back ta his . people," was the wary answer. [ Wil flushed hotly.

A thousand dellars was a large BUM-a very unjuBt i amount lo demand; a hundred would have been ; liberal remuneration for the care and attention he , had received,

He had a letter of credit for three times the sum Artow mentioned, but unless he could take it to a , bank in some large city, it was as useless as so much > blank paper to him,

Perhaps however, if he would make his captors understand this, they might allow him to go with an i attendant to draw the money, and then once under ! the protection of his own people he could feel at

liberty to name the eua which be would pay them.

He tried to explain the matter to Arrow, and to persuade him to go with him to draw the money.

" Why not send Indian alone ?" the young man asked,cautiously, and viewing the, to bim, meaning lass characters of the letter cantemptuously.

" Because the banks will not pay money to any one but me, and not then until I write my name in their

books."

A cunning gleam shot into the red man's eyes.

" That is not gold or silver," he cried, scornfully. " White man never pay poor Indian something-he say' pay,' but when he entera the wigwam of his own people, they strong, Indian weak, and they drive him buck into the forest empty and hungry."

Again the hot blood mounted in Wil's face at being thus suspected,

" But I tell youl want to pay you handsomely. I should b9 glad to give you money now if I had it, and if you will go with me I, will promise that no harm shall come t° yot^.and you shal} not be driven back empty and hungry. I know this is not gold,"

be added, touching his letter, " but it will bring me < gold when I take it to a bank."

But Arrow shrugged his shoulders, a derisive smile still curling his lips.

" White men all cheats," he said, laconically, and with sullen obstinacy, and Wil eaw that some other plan would have to be devised for bia liberation, but be was nearly heart-sick and discouraged.

Shortly afterward as he lay upon his couch of robes thinking dismally upon his situation and Wondering what would be.the end of it, he was dis- turbed by a slight noise at the enterance of his wigwam.

Glancing up somewhat impatient'y he saw to his surprise a delicate oval face-the face of a young aid beautiful girl looking wistfully in opon him.

He could see nothing but her face, with its coal black eyes with their- straight, smooth brows, its rosy cheeks and scarlet lips.

[ Glad of anything to break the monotony of his life,1

he beokoned her with his band, saying in a gentle

tone i

"Come in if you like."

The curtains parted at his invitation, and an Indian maiden of seventeen entered and stood before him. . ' r

She was as slenderand graceful as a young sapling' her form was perfect and fully developed, and «he, had hands and feet such as a London belle might have emvied. Her complexion was not nearly ai swarthy as the majority of hex tribe s her features

were delicate nud regular, and Wil, as he looked upon her, wondered at her beauty. ,

Her bair, instead of hatging atraiiht and limp about her cheeks as the Indians usually wore it, had been gathered back and tied with blight ribbone, thus Bhowing her saul!, well-shaped head to advan taße.

She wore a short robe of some light skin, elabor- ately embroidered with wampum; the moecaiins upon ht-r little feet were made to match it, and wonderful departure I-her lithe limbs wera actually incased in stockings, a thing unheard of before among the savage tribe.

She WHS a bright, dainty creature, and in her handB ehe held a bunch of brilliant flowers, trophies of a end diligent eercb.

"The pale face is lonely," she said in a low, mueicnl voice, and bending a glance of compassion upon his sad countenance.

"Yes, I ow lonely"' Wil sighed, "but who are you ?"

" Mimosa-Arrow's sister," she answered, simply.

" I have never seen you before," Wil said wonder- ing where she had been all the time.

She shook her head and showed her white teeth in a dazzling emile; then drawing herself up with a proud gesture Bhe returned :

" The daughter of the chief was told she must not see the pale face."

" Then how does it happen that you are here now ?' he asked, in surprise, and wondering at her correct language. v

Again that dazzling smile, and the color deepened

in her cheek.

" The chief hBB cone to the rising sun. Arrow hunts the deer in the forest, and the squaw sleeps in the wigwam," she said, in a tone of vailed defiance.

" You mean that you have stolen away to see me, while no one can know it?" Wil said, looking amused, and admiring this graceful little savage more and more:

She nodded an assent ; then taking a step forwardi she half-knelt before him, and held out her beautiful flowers to him.

"You are very kind," he said, sitting up and taking them from her. "Where did j ou gather such lovely blossoms ?"

"Yonder, where the eagles make their nests," she replied, with a gesture to indicate the mountain above them.

CHAPTER XLVIII.

HOMEWABD BOUND,

" Did ij'U climb those crags ?" he cried astonished. She shrugged her pretty ehoulders, while her lips

curled a trifle.

"The chamois is not more sure-footed than Mimosa," she said, briefly.

" Do you love flowers?" Wil asked, with a growing

interest in ber.

The quick color flashed over her face like a glow of light.

" Tbey are the smiles of tbe Great Spirit," she said, reverentially, while her eyes rested fondly upon the gay colors in her hand,

"You do love tbem or you never would have said that," Wil returned, earnestly and deeply touched by the pretty smile ; " and BO do I, I am very thank- ful to you for thinkk.2 of me in my loneliness. But I have nothing to give you in return, unless you will let me choose one of these for you to wear as a token of my gratitude."

" To wear?" ehe repeated, blankly not comprehend- ing his meering at all.

"Yts. In my country. When a gentleman gives a lady a flower, if ihe cores anything for it she pins it at her throat or wears it in her belt. Here is this beautifnl scarlet bell, which I will choose for you, as my thank offering for the bouquet.

He held it out to her as he spoke, ead sha advanced shyly to take it, ber eyes glowing, and the rich color sweeping up to her forehead as her Angers touched his in the act.

" I should be glad if you could come to see me again, Mimosa," Wil said, as she was turning, with- out a word, to le ^ve him.

" Mimosa had seen the pale face often, but he knew it not; he was Bleeping, and the braves wert on the trail," sbe returned, thus indicating that it was only by stealth that she dared approach his wigwam,

Then turning, she disappeared, like some bright bird, and the place seemed even more gloomy thai beforejto ita sad-hearted occupant,

Every day after Mimosa's brief visit to him, Wil received a lovely bouquet of flowers. Sometimes they were thrust jost inside the curtains by a small, delicately formed hand, which quickly disappeared again like a frightened bird ; sometimes they were laid upon his pillow where he would find tham on return from a walk, or they would be dropped in the very path at bia feet from some invieible source above.

But he WBB at no loss to know to whom he was indebted for these choice floral offerings although it was long before he bad another opportunity to con- verse with the chieftain's beautiful daughter.

Now and then he caught a glimpse of her as she passed to and fro about her duties, or mingled with the other maidens of the camp ; and once or twice, when he ventured near a group of which she formed the centri», and met the glance of her dark, bright eyes he marked the sudden flush which leaped into them, and the vivid flush which burned upon her

cheeks.

Not having any opportunity to thank her for her thoughtful attentions, he could think, of no other way to evince his appreciation than to weer her colors, so he would often tuck one of her bright flowers in his buttonhole, and wear it until it dropped

and faded,

Now and then be would find a small basket of fruit in hissent-berries of various kinds ¡and one day he discovered upon his couch an exquisite belt of wampum, which he did not doubt, had been wrought by the dainty fingers of the chieftain's daughter.

Four months had passed since hie captlvtiy began, and he was able now to walk without a crutch, UBing only a stout stick to favor his weakerjlimb. He was well and strong in every other respect, and he began to have some desperate idea of taking matters into bis own bands and strive to ¡get away from the wilderness and his uncongenial companions.

With this in view, he often went out to Bit with the braves araund the council fires ; and though he could sometimes gather something of their meaning from their glance and gestures.

I In this way he was now brought in frequent con- tact with Mimosa, is the maidens were often called to wait upon the braves, and she was always eager to be amoBg them,

Occasionally she would stop in an off-hand manner near Wil, and speak a low word or two with him, and he could not fail to see that she entertained the kindest of feelings toward him.

" Perhaps," he thought, after one of these brief interviews with her, "I may be able to persuade her to assist me to escape."

Ona evening, alteran excessively warm and sultry day, the men; instead of gathering in their nsual circle, threw themselves about anywhere, where they could find the coolest spot of groußd, while beneath arstately forest trae a koot of gay maidens had gathered to chatis the growing dusk,

Wil was very restless, and oh I so bitterly home- sick. He canld neither sit nor lie anywhere quietly but paced back ead forth in the open space before the wigwams, extending his walk a little further every time he turned,

He had put a bright cardinal flower in his button- hole before leaving his tent, hoping thus to attract Mimosa's attention ; for be had resolved to obtain an interview with her before ha slept, if possible, and put bar regard for bim to a test.

It was not long before he espied har sitting by herself just a little apart from the group of girls be-

fore mentioned.

Little by little he extended his pacings in that direction, until he passed the Bpot where she eat twice, and without appearing to notice that she was

tbere.

He turned the third time, and just as he came op- posite her the cardinal flower that be had'worn dropped just at her feet. He stooped to pick it np>

Bnd said, in a low, appealing tone : j

" Wil Mimosa come to the back of the tent by and by ? I have a few words to say to her.''

She did not even look up at him, as she briefly

answered :

" Yes, pale-face, she will come."

The closest observer would not have mistrusted that tliey had spoken to each other. He bad, to all ap- pearance, dropped a flower, stooped as instant to «cover it, and then passed on.

Once or twice he paced back and forth again, then, yawning wearily, be leisurely sauntered away

to his tent.

Mimosa watched him from beneath her dusky lashes, bnt not a movement betrayed that she was in my way interested in his actions, and, after he had disappeared, her head gradually sank forward until it almost rested upon her bosom, while her body swayed back and forth as if overcome with sleep.

A burst of merriment appeared suddenly to awake her, making her look up, to find several pairs of eyes mirthfully regarding her, and the young girls gath- ering about her began to banter her upon her drow- siness at that early hour of the evening.

, This, as she had intended, gave her an excuse for re tiring, and rising, she made some laughing rejoin der and then ran lightly away to her own wigwam,

Half an hour later Wil beard a gentle scratching on tba cloth of his tent just by his pillow.

" Mimosa," be whispered.

"Let the pale-face speak, Mimosa will listen," came in a low, sweet tone to him.

" Mimosa, why do your people hold me a captive here ?" he asked.

" Is not the pale-face kindly treated ?"

" Yea, but I long for my own land and my own people."

Wil thought he heard a gentle sigh at this, but the next moment she answered, though her voice did not sound quite natural.

" Tba pale-face would make a brave warrior ; if he could be content, be might become a great chief by and by."

" No, no, that would be impossible," be returned» with an unseen gesture of disgust,

" Tell Mimosa why."

"Because-because-Listen, Mimosa; you have always been a child of the forest ; you have been free and unfettered asa bird, and no other life would be possible for you, that is, you could not enjoy the other. How would you like it if someone should catry you away to a large city and shut you up in small close rooms, never allowing you to go out, and where you could never get a breath of your native air, or see one of your native people P"

" Mimosa would die," she said, briefly ; " her heart

would break."

" Yee, that is it. I am in a strange, wild country my liberty is taken from me, and my heart is break- ing to go.baek to my friends and my country."

"The pale-face is a man, and the hearts of the brave do not break," the girl replied, with an accent

of scorn.

"Perhaps not," he assented, with a flush at the implied weakness : " I might not die, bnt I am very unhappy to be detained here against my will."

" Again he heard that sigh : then :

" Ah ! if only the pale-face could be happy here, Mimosa would live but to serve him, and-he should be a great chief."

There was a- sadness and an earnestness in the sweet voice that thrilled her listener.

He started, as a thought flushed upon bim,

Could it be possible that this beautiful Indian girl was learning to love him P and was that the secret of her past attentions to bim, and of her wish for him to remain and become one of her own people P

He hoped that such was not the case ; at all events, be resolved to nip any such sentiments in the bud.

"That could never be," he said, gravely. "My heart is with my own people, and I must go back to them. Will you he help me, Mimosa ?"

Surely a sob emote his ear at this. He was not quite sure, but it was very like it. Then the girl said, in passionate voice :

" When] the pale-face goes home, far actosB the sea Mimosa-dies !"

Her voice died away to a hoarse whisper at the

last word*

It was as he had feared, after all. The mischief was done-the Indian maiden loved him ; and for a moment he was speechless-appalled.

" Hush !" he said, at length ; " you must not say that, for by and by some noble brave will ask to take yeu to his wigwam, and you will be very happy, while I-listen now, for this is a secret which I could not tell ta every one-I must go back to Eng- land ; for I love ai beautiful, golden-haired maiden there, who, I fear, is even now mourning for me as dead. Now you see why /could not remain will- ingly with your people, even were not this kind of life very distasteful to me. But Mimosa, if you will assist me to get away, so that I can go back to those Hove, I shall always remember you as a kind friend."

He listened and waited for Borne reply to this, but none came. At last he arose and looked out, There WBB ao one there-the spot where Mimosa had knelt to talk with him was empty;she had stolen away as quietly as «he had come, and he; knew not what would be the result of his petition to her. So, with a sigh of disappointment and something of apprehen- sion, he threw himself again upon his pile of robes, and was ere long asleep.

He scanned the faces of the warriors somewhat anxiously the next morning as he went among them and for several days after, but no one appeared any different to him; he was not more closely watched and ha began to think that if Mimosa did not mean to help him, ehe at least intended to keep bis deßire for escape a secret.

However, he was every day becoming »nore de- sperate,'and resolved that he would improve the first opportunity that offered for his escape -take his life in hia hand, and try to make his way to seme white settlement.

But, one morning" he arose with a strange feeling of lassitude upon him, while sharp stinging pains went shooting throughout, bia whole body. His tongue waa'parched and'dry his head dizsy and a fear began to haunt him that he was going tobe very

«I. ?

Epery moment he seemed to grow worse, and ' before he had finished dressing himself, he was obliged to crawl back to his bed, where a messenger, Bent to inquire into his absence from the morning men!, found bim groaning with pain.

The doctor was summened, and, upon seeing his i patient, gave vent to a perfect torrent of dissatisfied

grunts, and proceeded to put him through a thorough steaming process ; but it wae all of no avail, for every hour only added to poor Wil'e torments, and before night he waa unable to move, for he was bound hand and foot by the chains of that relentless demon

rheumatism,

It would be tedious to follow bim through the long seneon of pain and wrefahedneas, of loneliness and almost despair. The disease seemed loth to relinquish its hold upon its victim, but his strong constitution at length conquered, and he began slowly to mend.

He had received the moat devoted care, however« during this illness; for when the fever had passed, and his wandering mind returned to its normal con- dition, he found Mimosa established betide him as his nurse, and a very efficient one she proved, too, for every want and need ware attended to almost before be was conscious of them himself, and with a gentle- ness and deftness that were grateful to his weakened

nerves

But she was greatly changed ; she was no longer the bright, happy maiden that she bad been, when bhe bad come so shyly to bring bim her flowers.

Her cheeks had lost their roundness ; her sparkling eyeB had grown dull and sunken ; her form seemed to bave shrunk away, all its graceful outlines had dis- appeared, while she bad a dry, hard cough, which r»ckad her whole body with every paroxysm.

But ihe never complained-never apoke of herself, though there waa a hopeless tenderness in her eyes which smote Wil every time she looked at him, while she was so attentive and gentle that ha began to ftel

a real affection for her. I

But as his strength returned and bfs convalesence progressed rapidly, shs did not come so often, while she seemed to have grown suddenly wdak and spirit"

leas herself.

Once she WBB absent several days,and upon inquir- ing of Arrow where she wes, he replied in atone tha was almost fierce, and with a desparing look.

"Mimosa droopB ; she says the Great Spirit has

called her,"

"Surely she cannot be so ill as, that!" W11 cried greatly startled.

The Indien bowed his bead upon his breast and did not answer, but Wil could see that his teeth had almost bitten through his lip in his efforts to restrain all feeling, while his hands were clenched ao tightly that they had become livid.

Tears actually started to the invalid's eyes ; he could hardly believe that the beautiful girl was fatally ill ; yet he remembered bow hollow her cough Bounded the last time he saw her, and how, several times, she had involuntarily put her hand to her side as if a sharp pain bad suddenly pierced her.

Arrow soon recovered his composure, and then told him that Mimosa had been out In a storm and taken a sudden cold ; that during his illness she had had several slight hemorrhages, and only a day or two previous she had been attacked with one more violent than the others, and wai now confined to her couch.

This made W11 very sad, for he had been greatly interested in tbe bright, intelligent maiden, and it seemed almost cruel that she must die BO young,

Another week passed, and then sha came again to gee bim, and he was shocked at the ohanga which the past fortnight bad wrought in her, though she did not appear nearly so ead BB she bad done the last

time he saw her.

" I nm sorry you have been sick, Mimosa," he sal d holding out his hand in greeting to her.

Sbe laid hers for a moment within it, and it almost burned him with its fever heat.

, " Mimosa will be better leon," ehe answeredi

quietly, as aha sat down beside bim.

Then fixing her dark eyes with a mournful look on his face, ehe asked, significantly :

" Can the pale-face be patient a little longer?"

Wil's heart bounded into his throat at the question for something told him Bhe had devised a way for him to esospe from his captors.

" How P-patient for what ?" he asked, tryiig to speak calmly.

She held up her hand between him and the sun- light that poured in between the parted curtains of his tent, and ha saw that it was almoBt transparent and trembling from weakness.

" See I" she said, with a sad smile ; " the life is al- most gone; two moons will not wax and wane be- fore it will be cold and still. When Mimosa's heart ceases to beat, the pale-face »hall be free."

" Mimosa 1 surely you da not think you are going to die!" Wil said, startled by her words, and in his anxiety for her, heedless for the moment of their full import.

She smiled again, a trifle bitterly. "Does the pale-face care?"

"Truly I do," he said, earnestly ; "I should grieve

sorely."

"Will be remember the poor Indian girl when be goes buck to the golden-haired squaw ?"

" Indeed I shall. I shall never forget bow kind you bave been to me ; nor that perhaps I owe my life to your faithful care."

Her lips trembled, and her eyes were dazzling bright na ehe leaned nearer to bim, the hectic burning

on har cheek.

"Mimosa has loved the pale-face wall," she wispered-" so well that she will find a way to send bim back to his people and the beautiful maiden who is grieving for bim. But her heart is broken ; there is no beauty in the hills or valleys any more for herr-no joy in the flowers/ in the whispering boughs and.running waters ; she long* for the happy hunting-grounds of the Great Spirit, who will make her well and lift the pain from her heart."

(Te be continued.)