Stránka:book 1913.djvu/519

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sick man carefully down upon it. Then Long Elk stood for a little, looking at the girl, but she remained silent and would not look at him. "I will go now," he said, "but each night I will come with meat for you and your lover."

Still the girl did not speak, and he went away. But as soon as he had gone No-Heart sat down and cried. The sick man raised up a little and asked, " What troubles you? Why are you crying?"

"Did you not hear? " she replied. "He said that you are my lover."

"I know you," said the man. "They call you No-Heart, but they lie. You have a heart; I wish it were for me."

"Don't!" the girl cried. "Don't say that again! I will take care of you, feed you. As your mother is to you, so will I be."

Now, when night came again, No-Heart went often out in the passageway, staying there longer and longer each time, returning only to give the sick man water or a little food. At last, as she was sitting out there in the dark, Long Elk came, and, feeling for the right place, hung up a piece of meat beyond the reach of the dogs. "Come in," she said to him." Come in and talk with the wounded one."

After that Long Elk sat with the Arickaree every night for a time, and they talked of the things which interest men. While he was in the lodge No-Heart never spoke, except to say, "Eat it," when she placed food before them. Day after day the wounded one grew stronger. One night, after Long Elk had gone, he said, "I am able to travel; to-morrow night I will start homeward. I want to know why you have taken pity on me; why you saved me from death?"

"Listen, then," said the girl. "It was because war is bad; because I pitied you. Many women here, and many more in your village, are crying because they have lost the ones they loved in this quarre'. Of them all, I alone have talked, begging the chiefs to make peace with you. All the other women were glad of my words, but they are afraid and do not dare speak for themselves. I talked and feared not; because no one could bid me stop. I have helped you, now do you help me; help your women; help us all. When you get home tell what was done for you here, and talk hard for peace."

"So I will," the Arickaree told her. "When they learn all ..text continues