Her wails rang out into the rainforest. Yet instead of becoming angry at him, Mallia reached for the hunter to comfort her, tears streaming down her face. Only after sitting with her on the bed and stroking her hair for several minutes did Mallia begin to calm down. Again with her head nuzzled in his chest, it crossed his mind to fling her face-down across the cushion and ravish her voluptuous body. But he couldn't bring himself to do it. Perhaps it was his sister's dress, but he began to feel more like her protector.
His younger sister had died when her betrothed man had abused her on their wedding night, and in his heart he knew what his tribesmen would do to this red haired child-woman if they found her. He made up his mind not to let that happen. There was something he had to do, but he was unsure if he could leave her alone.
Finally, he gathered a length of heavy twine, and tied it around Mallia's waist with a tight knot. The other end he lashed to the bed railing. Placing some bread and water within her reach, He went bounding out the door. He could hear Mallia crying again as he took off running across the forest floor.