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The King's Daughter, by Suzanne Martel. Read by Marika Um Chapter 23. Faithful to his promise, Simon took his son on a short excursion to hunt for small game. The child, armed with a wooden rifle skillfully carved by Matura, went off proudly, an empty sack over his shoulder with this for cap and fringed leather suit gansa Jonas had made him. He was a miniature replica of his father. At the end of the day, the hunters returned triumphant. Simon walked along in long, easy strides, forcing Nicholas, exhausted and burdened by the big sack, overflowing with hares and partridges to run along at his heels. Too tired to eat. The child, still proud, is Bunch fell asleep with his nose in his plate. His father laid him on the straw bed in the loft and covered him carefully with the bare skin blanket. You're asking too much from him. John took him to task. She was beginning to think her projects for bringing father and son together had their less desirable side. Set your mind at ease. Mother hen, I'm not the brute you think I am. I carried both the hunter and the game most of the way back, but that obviously was to be kept secret. When we reach the old oak, we both assumed our roles again. You'll be good in the woods, Simon concluded, pleasantly surprised at his discovery. Who could he have gotten that from? John retorted teasingly, an innocently look on her face. The next day, Simon on and a cod. The Huron left this time to bag a moose. Monsieur Whoville wanted to smoke a lot of meat for the winter. The expedition was to last two days or more, depending on the luck of the hunt. Abandoned and disconsolate, Nicholas watched them go. His little form, talked by the enormous for cap, looked ridiculously like a large mushroom. Jan's heart softened. Miro sat whimpering next to his young master. He seemed as disappointed as Nicholas that he could not follow the hunters. Gansu Jonas had been gone since dawn, gathering certain dried herbs and roots found only at that time of the year. John was planning to get an explanation of their properties during the winter, when the intimacy of the warm house would melt the Huron woman's reserve and overcome her exasperate in silence. Limp was away. He had gone with Carrot Top, who had come to borrow him for a few days. John was making corn cakes with her usual vigor. Everybody is busy. Isabel put her doll to bed in the cradle. Simon had built her near the door. Zan, warmly covered with a rabbit skin gansa Jonas had tanned, was listening patiently to the endless stories her young mother told her. At noon, a delicious smell of warm cakes filled the cabin. John opened the door and called Nicholas, who is a great trench Sherman meal time always tore him away from his fascinating games. This time, the child did not appear when she called. Even the shrill whistle that made me rock on flying home produced no results. Worried, John circled the house must get in hand with a sinking heart. She went to the riverbank. The canoe was there, but not Nicholas. Even if the little boy had hidden out of spite because he had not been invited to go hunting, his still undisciplined dog would have answered Shan's whistle, since she always had delicious surprises in store for him. In really anguish, she dressed Isabel, put on her great cape and with the loaded gun over her shoulder. She started along the path, calling and stopping frequently to listen. Soon she had to carry her tired daughter in her arms. With this burden, Jean visited all the familiar places where Nicholas might have taken refuge. At the foot of the big oak full of hope, John lays a bell in her cape. The little girl had fallen asleep. Remembering the escapades of her youth, she decided to climb once again. Perhaps Nicholas had a ship or a chateau up there. Despite his young age, she did not see how he could have reached the first fork. It was even out of her reach. But you never know. You could expect anything from ingenious Simon's son and from his wife, too. John had soon leaned a big dead branch against the trunk, with all the agility of a 10 year old girl. The poachers granddaughter confidently climbed the tree. Ah, familiar longing filled her and made her forget for a moment, why she was climbing from the top. She saw the brilliant ribbon of the river winding in the distance, curving in front of the Whoville property. She had to face the facts Nicholas could not be in the oak tree. Disappointed, John resumed her vain search. Twice. She returned to the cabin in hopes of finding the repentant run away. There, around five o'clock, she met cancer. Jonas, coming home from the woods, loaded down like a mule. The Huron woman met the news of Nicholas's disappearance without batting an eyelash. She set her burden down, bent over the path, inspected the underbrush and announced haltingly, No tracks. Dead leaves hide. Evening, come, we go home! She took Isabel firmly from Gene's arms. The little girl had been crying softly for hours, aware of her adoptive mothers nervousness. But Jan exhausted, could not persuade herself to abandon Nicholas. She pictured his frail little form, his pale eyes so like Simon's. A fine rain began to fall on. The thought of the child, alone in the terrifying forest filled her with horror. She left cancer. Jonas and Isabel in the cabin, slipped a few cakes on a piece of cold meat into her pocket and went out into the twilight