"...Robert saw himself as an Ojibwe warrior in this contest and the blood pounded in his ears as he charged across the clearing ready to smash the stuffed deerskin ball against the red flannel. Dimly in the background he had heard increasing yelling and drumming from the village but he had ignored the sounds in the heat of the baggataway battle. Finally his mother's voice calling his name cut through the sweaty haze and looking around, he realized that his brothers had abandoned the game and were running to the house. Even more astonishing to Robert was the way his Ojibwe friends instantly melted into the forest surrounding the HBC post. Even Neejogan, his best friend, slipped away from the clearing into the dark trees.
For the span of several heartbeats, Robert stood alone, panting and staring at the woods. But now the sound of the drums grew very close. Whipping his head around towards the lake, he saw with a jolt of alarm that a number of war canoes were almost at the beach and the reason for his mother's frantic voice became clear.
"Robert, run home. run as fast as you can. Now, Robert! Run! Run!"
He ran and in seconds reached the safety of the cabin. Simon yanked him inside, the heavy wooden door slammed shut behind him, his mother dropped the bar across the door and he joined his panting, sweaty brothers in a heap on the floor as Ma snapped out orders...."