Isabella is still alive. The timeline gets a little muddy here — which it can do when you almost freeze to death — but I think she’s actually recounting her ride to Longmount and then her last return to Estes before she then leaves for good. Maybe.*
Anyway, when we left, she was nearly frozen. But she soon saw the “scattered houses and blessed lights of Longmount…When I reached the hotel I was so benumbed that I could not get off, and the worthy host lifted me off and carried me in.
“Not expecting any travelers, they had no fire except in the bar-room, so they took me to the stove in their own room, gave me a hot drink and plenty of blankets and in half and hour I was all right and ready for a ferocious meal.”
It turns our that Evans was also there, which she’d discover the next day. All of the money issues were now ok. They intended to set back off early the next morning but discovered it was 17 below zero. Events (but not very interesting ones) intervene. She winds up waiting a bit, adding extra clothes, and riding back to the Hughes’ house.
* Sometimes, she gets a little hard to follow, is what I’m saying. She got better about timelines in later books.