HOW TOM WAS BORX A FRENCHMAN 349
' Then let him take this knife, and be careful not to go to sleep.'
' And you ?' asked Pamphile, hesitating to accept.
' I have my tomahawk—silence ! '
So saying, he dropped his head between his hands again and became immovable.
The old woman raised the matting and brought in supper, and the Captain slipped the knife into his belt.
The woman's eyes turned to the chain once more.
' No doubt,' said she, ' my son met some white man on the war-path. He slew the man and took his chain.'
' You are mistaken, mother,' said the Captain ; ' I have been hunting buffalo and beaver as far up as Lake Superior ; then I took the skins to the town and changed half for this watch-chain.'
' I have two sons,' remarked the woman, placing the supper on the table. ' They have hunted these ten years, but have never managed to get such a chain as that. My son said he was hungry and thirsty ; let him eat and drink.'
' Does not my brother of the prairie sup ?' asked Pamphile, drawing his stool to the table.
' Pain stops appetite,' was the reply. ' I am not hungry, but I am weary, and going to sleep. May the Great Spirit keep my brother.'
' How many skins did my son give for the chain ?' began the covetous woman.
'Fifty,' said Pamphile at haphazard, falling to on his supper.
' I have ten bear and twenty beaver skins here. I will give them for the chain.'
' The chain is fastened to the watch.' replied the Captain. ' They cannot be separated, nor do I wish to get rid of them.'
' It is well,' said the woman with an evil smile. ' Let