Chapter Two (10)
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“Shall I save you from the beast, my lady?” Japheth asked with mock severity, nodding toward the bear pelt on which she sat. She saw that he was freshly bathed. His face was marked with a number of shallow cuts, including a larger one on his forehead just below the hairline.

“Your offer is gallant, good sir,” Deborah said, with exaggerated formality. “But I have already slain the fiend.”

Japheth laughed. “So I see. Then may I join you in your repose upon the remains of your victim?”

Deborah nodded, and her husband moved to sit next to her before the fire.

“I may never become acclimated to the skins and heads with which your father has adorned this house,” Japheth said.


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