“Come,” he said at last in quick cheerful notes of decision. “This won’t do at all. We’ve got to get out of here. You must take that shoe off. Then we’ll get you over yonder and you can bathe it in the stream. Try and get your gaiter off, too, won’t you?”
His peremptory accents startled her a little, but she sat up obediently while he supported her shoulders, and wincing again as she moved, at last undid her legging. Gallatin then drew his hasp-knife and carefully slit the laces of her shoe from top to bottom, succeeding in getting it safely off.
“Your ankle is swelling,” he said. “You must bathe it at once.”
She looked around helplessly.
“Nothing of the sort,” he laughed. “I’d have let you carry me—if you could.” And then, with the hurried air of a man who has much to do: “You take off your stocking and dangle your foot in the water. Wiggle your toes if you can and then try to rub the blood into your ankle. I’m going to build a fire and cook some fish. Are you hungry?”
“I don’t know. I—I think I am.”
“Good!” he said smiling pleasantly. “We’ll have supper in a minute.”
He was turning to go, when she questioned: “You spoke of a camp. Is—is it near here?”
“N-o. It isn’t,” he hesitated, “but it soon will be.”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand.”
He laughed. “Well, you see, the fact of the matter is, I’m lost, too. I don’t think it’s anything to be very much frightened about, though. I left my guide early this morning at the fork of two streams. I’ve been walking hard all day. I fished up one of the streams for half of the day and then cut across through the forest where I thought I would find it again. I found a stream but it seems it wasn’t the same one, for after I had gone down it for an hour or so I didn’t seem to get anywhere. Then I plunged around hunting and at last had to give it up.”
“Don’t you think you could find it again?”