Chapter VIII

February and March and April were past, and May was come. Lepage had had a hard struggle for life, but he had survived. For weeks every night there was a repetition of that first night after the return: delirious self-condemnation, entreaty, appeal to his wife, and Hume's name mentioned in shuddering remorse. With the help of the Indian who had shared the sick man's sufferings in the Barren Grounds, the factor and Hume nursed him back to life. After the first night no word had passed between the two watchers regarding the substance of Lepage's delirium. But one evening the factor was watching alone, and the repentant man from his feverish sleep cried out: "Hush, hush! don't let them know--I stole them both, and Rose did not know. Rose did not know!"

The factor rose and walked away. The dog was watching him. He said to Bouche: "You have a good master, Bouche."