6 3 56 012
6 3 14 25 36 7 16 25 34
"No, Nat-u-ritch—Jim stay here always with you." Something of her agony was relieved and she loosed her hold on him. "Always with you," Jim repeated tenderly, looking into the tragic eyes as she eagerly followed every word. "Only little Hal."
As Nat-u-ritch fully grasped the meaning of the words, there broke from her lips the one English word "No!" which rang out on the evening air with a wild, dry sob of protest. It was the anguished cry of universal motherhood. The Indian woman sank on her knees, with her arms about the boy, her face buried on his breast. The crouching figure betrayed the old savage instinct of the female covering her young from the ruthless hand that would snatch it from her.
This time both men turned away. A purple gray light fell over the yard, the last traces of the sun's glory disappeared, and the air grew chilly.
Jim was the first to speak. Kindly, but as a master who must have obedience, he said; "Nat-u-ritch, I have taken counsel. My heart is good. My word is wise. I have spoken. Go." He gently disengaged the boy from her grasp. Nat-u-ritch looked long into Jim's eyes, and as she met his immovable determination, without a struggle, and with a calmness terrible to see, she released the child.
Jim lifted her to her feet. With her big, stricken eyes still fastened on him, she stood silent for a moment; then the bent, half-stumbling figure slunk past him. Jim dared not watch Nat-u-ritch, though he could hear her heavy breathing and the flapping of her beaded robe against the ground as she crossed to the stable. Once Petrie saw her sway, but she had steadied herself before he could reach her. As she reached the corral she stopped, and, turning, flung out her arms in appeal to Jim; but his back was towards her, the child hidden in his embrace. Then he heard the quick patter of her feet as she fled out into the night—away from these aliens, back to the hills to abandon herself to her grief.