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26. Chapter XXVI. (continued)
"I! - I forget Henry March!" exclaimed Hetty, starting. "Why should I forget him, Deerslayer, when he is our friend, and only left us last night. Then the large bright star that mother loved so much to gaze at was just over the top of yonder tall pine on the mountain, as Hurry got into the canoe; and when you landed him on the point, near the east bay, it wasn't more than the length of Judith's handsomest ribbon above it."
"And how can you know how long I was gone, or how far I went to land Hurry, seein' you were not with us, and the distance was so great, to say nothing of the night?"
"Oh! I know when it was, well enough," returned Hetty positively -"There's more ways than one for counting time and distance. When the mind is engaged, it is better than any clock. Mine is feeble, I know, but it goes true enough in all that touches poor Hurry Harry. Judith will never marry March, Deerslayer."
"That's the p'int, Hetty; that's the very p'int I want to come to. I suppose you know that it's nat'ral for young people to have kind feelin's for one another, more especially when one happens to be a youth and t'other a maiden. Now, one of your years and mind, gal, that has neither father nor mother, and who lives in a wilderness frequented by hunters and trappers, needs be on her guard against evils she little dreams of."
"What harm can it be to think well of a fellow creature," returned Hetty simply, though the conscious blood was stealing to her cheeks in spite of a spirit so pure that it scarce knew why it prompted the blush, "the Bible tells us to 'love them who despitefully use' us, and why shouldn't we like them that do not."
"Ah! Hetty, the love of the missionaries isn't the sort of likin' I mean. Answer me one thing, child; do you believe yourself to have mind enough to become a wife, and a mother?"
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