Now he got up and walked up and down; he made the fire blaze up; he sat huddled over it until it burned down to a bed of glowing red coals. Once or twice he heard Gloria stir restlessly upon her fir-bough bed. But he did not speak. There was nothing to be said between them now; they would wait until she had rested, until morning. Then there would be no more delay.
The boys soon cut a Fir-bough bed, but Guy put off going home for the blankets as long as he could. He knew and they suspected that there was no chance of his rejoining them again that day. So after sundown he replaced his foot-rags and limped down the trail homeward, saying, "I'll be back in a few minutes," and the boys knew perfectly well that he would not.
With this, working many a quiet hour, she at last cut in two the fir-bough. She lifted it in her hands, to feel the weight of it, before she thrust it under her bed to lie hidden there against possible need. Poor thing as it was, she felt no longer utterly defenseless. Once Mad Ruth, lighting the lantern, had dropped a good match.
He fancied that, if he could only have seen the look in the eyes hidden underneath, he might have risked changing to the other side of the unkindly frontier of fir-bough which marked him off from the land of promise on the farther side. But he could not see, and in a moment the chances were past.
Suddenly, a swift shadow, like the fabulous flying-dragon, writhed through the air before her, and she felt herself instantly seized and borne aloft. It was that wild beast the most savage and serpentine and subtle and fearless of our latitudes known by hunters as the Indian Devil, and he held her in his clutches on the broad floor of a swinging fir-bough.
On this fir-bough he constructed a landing-place, upon which it was as easy as possible to step from the stair in the elm. Next, the bough being very large, he laid along it a plank steadied by blocks underneath a level for the little feet.