Edith sent Hans to their cabins to get them to take Dennin down the coast in a canoe to the nearest white settlement or trading post, but the errand was fruitless.
So Edith Nelson went back to the terrible cabin with its endless alternating four-hour watches.
He became obsessed by the idea that it was his duty to kill Dennin; and whenever he waited upon the bound man or watched by him, Edith was troubled by the fear that Hans would add another red entry to the cabin's record.
So Hans became another factor in the problem the unexpected had given Edith Nelson to solve.
And always Edith replied that he would assuredly be dealt with according to law.
In the execution of this will Edith strove earnestly to observe the customary forms, but the group was so small that Hans and she had to serve as witnesses, as jury, and as judges - also as executioners.
On the day preceding that set for the execution, when Edith asked her usual question, "Why did you do it?
Negook," Edith said, "there is to be no trouble for you and your people.
As he talked, Edith wrote his story down, while the Indians listened, and Hans guarded the door for fear the witnesses might bolt.
Negook and Hadikwan, you have heard the white man's words," Edith said to the Indians.
He reeled back and forth, staggered, and clutched hold of Edith with his bound hands for support.
When Edith put his fur cap on his head and proceeded to pull the flaps down over his ears, he laughed and said:
Edith and Hans walked on either side of him and supported him, the while he cracked jokes and tried to keep them cheerful, breaking off, once, long enough to arrange the forwarding of his share of the gold to his mother in Ireland.
Edith, on the other hand, had realized; but the realization did not make the task any easier.
He bent over so that Edith could adjust the rope about his neck.