Page:Yule Logs.djvu/307

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Josh still sat on his horse looking round, considering rapidly the possibility of holding the place against such terrible odds. The physical and mental sufferings through which he had passed had told upon him in no ordinary degree: his face was drawn and perfectly colourless, his eyes were sunk deep in his head, and his lips cracked with a consuming fever; from a bright, happy-looking man, he had grown stern and forbidding. Truly the iron had entered into his soul.

"I must find some place for my horse; I cannot let him loose, we may need him. Do you know where I can put him with any degree of safety?" he asked a young man of about his own age who for the last few minutes had been watching him attentively.

"If you will dismount, I will stow him away," was the quiet answer.

Josh made an effort to throw himself off, but as he reached the ground he staggered and almost fell.

"Are you hurt?" asked Stephen Carter, eyeing him curiously.

"Only stiff," answered Josh with an effort, pulling himself together. "We must hurry up. Do you hear? The Indians are close at hand."

"This way then," said the young man, preceding him to an inner courtyard, where there was a shed. "He will be all right here."

"Are you acquainted with this house?" asked Josh.

"I ought to be; it is my father's," was the short answer. "I am Stephen Carter."

"That is well; then you have a right to command. Will you see that the doors and windows are closed? All the men who have arms must guard the entrances. Those who have none, with the women, must draw water from the wells and fill every bucket and utensil, for the Indians will try to burn us out; it is their way."

He had hardly finished speaking, when the frantic