"And every white man of them knew that as surely as the sun sets the Indian would return for the girl whom he claimed as his squaw, and that if she was not there for him to take, twelve of them would pay with their lives!"The weeks went on and the girl grew well and strong, but, because of her horrible accident, could remember nothing of her past. She was like an angel to the rough traders and soldiers; going about among them in the simple robe they had fashioned for her of skins and sacking, with her fair hair lying over her shoulders and her eyes as blue as the very sky. And because she could not tell them her name they called her Angele.
"One day a message was brought to their fort telling of war in the Colonies--that the English were fighting the French and that all Canada would be swept with flame and blood! Almost to a man they said they would go back to fight. One among them did not speak--it was Robert! Though he had fled from England never to return, he could not lift his hand against her. And someone must stay with Angele!"By the camp fire they talked it over. It was decided that four of them would remain at the fort until the chieftain came to claim his captive. One of these would be Robert; the other three would be chosen by lot.
"So while the others went home along the trail over which they had come, the four guarded the little fort for Angele's sake. Three of them gave little thought to that time when the Indian chief would come for the girl--to them, it simply meant that their guard would be ended and that they, too, might return--but Robert went about with a heavy heart, for, as the , it seemed to him more and more impossible to give the girl into a life of bondage! Under the stars he vowed that before he would do that he would run his knife deep into her heart, and pay with his own life.
"Angele's contentment was terribly shattered one evening when, at sundown, three Indians came to the fort. At the sight of them she uttered a terrible scream and fled into hiding. They said they had been wandering over the country and had come to the fort quite by chance and only sought a friendly shelter for the night, but the sight of their brown bodies and dark faces had shocked the girl's mind in such a way as to bring back the memory of everything that had happened to her and hers at the hands of these red men. Robert found her crouched in a corner weeping in terror.
To him she told her story; how the little band of people, once happy families in the land of Acadia, roaming in search of a home, had been surprised by an attack of Indians; how before her very eyes every soul of them had been killed and she alone had been spared because the chief wanted her for his squaw! They had carried her away with them; for days they had travelled through strange forests, for hours at a time she was scarcely conscious. Then, attempting escape, she had received the blow from a tomahawk that had hurt her so cruelly. It was a terrible story. Robert listened to the end and then, taking her two hands and holding them close to his heart, told her solemnly that never would she be given again to the Indians!