The camp is long gone, only smoldering fire remains in the compacted snow, Charles is not surprised though as it does not take a master tracker to figure out direction David has gone as he did little to hide his tracks. With an annoyed sigh he begins to trek after his prey, growing colder and more annoyed as the sun begins to set. His pants are soaked and slowly freezing ahead there is no sign of life and while he knows generally where he is his exact location is a mystery. The tracks seem to lead him around his house and toward the lake but with the sun dipping below the horizon there is no way to turn back or go forward, no way to prepare, no where to get warm. By the light of the waning moon he trudges on, praying he meets with David soon, even if it is to beg for help.
Shivering violently he marches on, everything aching with cold and the tracks lost miles ago. The wind picks up and rushes through him whipping up loose snow as it goes, further obscuring the terrain be fore him. On the wind he hears his name, turning and looking, desperate for assistance but seeing nothing. “Charles!” Drifts over the wind again, looking over his shoulder and stepping backward there is a cracking noise. Scared he stops and looks around, unable to tell where he is fear washes over him as the cracking continues, “Charles!” a man appears in view, several yards away, its David “Charles, you are on the lake, walk toward me slowly.”
“Mister Le Beau?” His voice shakes “I’m so cold.”
“I know, but first we need you off the ice.” Charles nods and slowly steps forward, taking it one step at a time, the ice cracking slowly under his weight. With heart in his chest Charles fights the urge to run and keeps walking slowly toward David who is holding his hands out, something dark fluttering from him. There’s a loud crack and Charles freezes, staring at David now just a few feet away. “Come here, Charles. Hurry.” He needs little encouragement and takes off running, reaching him before the ice can give out. He collides with David’s chest and the man’s arms wrap around him along with a blanket. “Come on Charles, my camp is near by.”
“Ok Mister Le Beau.” He stays close, allowing himself to be lead to safety. The camp is indeed close by, David puts the boy to bed, covering him with blankets and stoking the fire. “I’m sorry Mister Le Beau.”
“For what?” His savior grumbles.
“I told ma you were near us.”
“You told me you would, now shush up. I’ll get you home safe tomorrow.” Charles nods and closes his eyes, the cold in his bones slowly subsiding under the layers of warmth and blazing fire. David remains awake, looking over the boy and the fire, he sighs and brushes a few strands of hair out of his face. “Stupid boy, you look so much like your mother.”