Thryng lay in Hoke Belew's cabin,—not in the one great living-room where were the fireplace and the large bed and the tiny cradle, but in the smaller addition at the side, entered only from the porch which extended along the front of both parts.
He still lay on the litter upon which he had been placed to carry him down the mountain,—an improvised thing made by stretching quilts across two poles of slender green pines. The litter was placed on low trestles to raise it from the floor, and close to the open door to give him air. David had not regained consciousness since his hurt, but lay like one dead, with closed eyes and blanched lips; yet they knew him to be living.
Cassandra sat beside him alone. All night long she had been there unsleeping, hollow-eyed, and worn with tearless grief. She had done all she knew how to do. Before going for help she had removed his clothing and bound about his body strips torn from her dress to stop the bleeding of his shoulders where the silver bullet had torn across them. How the ball had missed giving a mortal wound was like a miracle.
Hoke Belew had tried to arouse him, but had failed. At intervals, during the night, Cassandra had managed to drop a little whiskey between his lips with a spoon, and she had bathed him with the stimulant over heart and lungs, and chafed his hands, and had tried to warm his feet by rubbing them and wrapping them up between jugs of hot water. She had bathed his bruised head and cut away the softly curling hair from the