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We had arrived at the cave and the men went in and checked it
out. It would take a lot of cleaning to make it livable.
Everyone in the tribe pitched in to clean the place. Some of the
men grumbled about doing 'womans' work. But when they saw me
doing my part, they shut up.
It took almost a week to get the cave cleaned to the point that the
women were satisfied with it. Gone was the stink of cat and bear
piss and shit. The cave was nice but kind of inconvenient. The
nearest water was a little over a quarter of a mile away.
Then it happened. We were all still inside the cave, because it
had just gotten light out. There was a minor earth tremor.
A couple of rocks fell and landed near people. Needless to say,
everyone was headed out of the cave a second later. Me and mine
were at the center of the pack. Everyone had just cleared the
cave when we got a good shock. Dust came boiling out of the mouth
of the cave. I was thinking, 'Time to look for another
The chief of the tribe came up to me and asked, "Do you think that it
Damned if I knew.
We camped out for the rest of the day and night. No more shakes
At first light I went into the cave a little way, and looked
around. Not too bad. A few rocks had fallen but none so big
as we couldn't move it out of the way. The rest of the day was
cleaning up the stuff that had come down. Everyone, including the
children were helping in the cleanup. Then one of the boys came
running from the back of the cave. He was wet from head to toe,
and shivering. His father started to get all over him about
running around in a place that they didn't know. I stopped him.
I asked the child where he had gotten wet. He took me to a little
passage. It wound back about thirty feet then widened out to an
oval shaped room. In the center of the room was a pool of crystal
clear water. We had out water supply without going to the stream.
When I went back into the cave proper, and made the announcement about
the water, the rush was on. Every woman in the place wanted to
take a look for themselves. I didn't blame them at all. The
next thing I knew the celebration was on.
It seemed that almost every other
day or so a cooking bag would burst
while it was being heated. So, I tried a little experiment.
I went to the river and dug up some of that fine clay. Back at
the cave, I tried to shape a cooking pot from the clay. It took
almost two days for me to get it right. In my exploration, I
found a patch of fine white sand. I coated the inside of my 'pot'
with the sand. Then I laid up a big fire. I set the pot in
the center and put more wood on top. Then I lit it off. For
the next day we kept the fire going as hot as we could make it. I
kept looking at the 'pot' in the fire. Once it was glowing red
hot I told everyone just to let the fire die out. When it was
cool enough, I pulled the pot out of the ashes. Kind of rough
looking, but it looked as if it would serve some purpose. I taped
it with a stick, to see if it were brittle, and it rang like a
bell. The inside looked to be lined with glass.
I gave the pot to one of my wifes, and told her to try to cook
something in it. She looked rather dubious about the thing, but
said she would try. At the evening meal, I was served a meat and
vegetable stew, by a very happy looking wife. She told me that
she had tried the new pot. It cooked things much faster than a
skin bag over the fire. Several of the men had watched me make
the pot. Now they all wanted to try to make something out of the
clay. Hell I was all for it.
Over the next three or four weeks, every kind of plate, bowl, and pot
were made from the clay. Some of the designs were very good
Life was getting just a little easer for the people.
But as life will, it bit us in the ass one morning. One of the
children came screaming into the cave. He had a cut on his
arm. He was crying and I don't blame him. I got out the kit
and got his arm bandaged as best I could. He was going to have a
scar, a large scar.
I asked him what had happened. He said, "I went down to the
stream to look for fish. I was leaning down, when some one threw
a spear at me. I ran back to the cave".
That pissed me off completely. To harm a child was, to me, a
crime, and that crime carried a punishment. Who ever did this was
going to pay.
I walked to the entrance to the cave and looked out. I spotted a
group of five men just coming across the stream. I shouted,
"Stop and turn back, we do not want anyone that would hurt a child in
As an answer, three of the men threw their spears at me. I ducked
back behind the small lip of the opening. I drew my trusty .45
Cal. and fired at the lead man. Center of mass. He went
down, taking two others with him. The other two stopped and
looked at the one I had shot. They didn't know what had killed
their mate, but that didn't stop them. One of them turned and
tried to throw his spear. BLAM!! Another one down.
They checked him out and then started to walk off. I yelled,
"Take the dead ones with you, I don't want them stinking up my
camp"! It took them a long time to figure out how to carry the
two men. But finally they were on their way.
Dawn came up to me just as I was turning to go into the cave. She
asked, "Why are you not following them"?
I asked a question in return, "Why should I follow them"?
She replied, "You have killed two men. They might have
mates. If you do not claim the mates, they will go hungry.
It is our way to claim the mates and things of the ones you have had to
I thought about it for a few seconds, and made up my mind. I
would follow the men, but not right away. I wanted them to think
that they had gotten away with something. I told Dawn about what
I thought and she said, "It is good".
We waited until almost night fall before starting out. I got the
cart and trailer and started out of the cave. Dawn was right
there to stop me. She said, "I am going with you". I knew
that once she made up her mind that it would take at least small earth
quake to make her change it. I let her git on and we were
off. The trail was easy to follow. The men were scared of
the unknown, and that unknown had killed some of them. They
didn't even try to cover their tracks.
It took almost three days to get to the small camp. The men went
inside a hut and I heard a bunch of yelling. Someone was pissed.
I had pulled right into camp, and everyone had scrambled into the huts,
and were hiding.
I yelled, "I have come for the women that were mates of the ones I have
had to kill".
Dawn was looking around and said, "Andy, behind you". I turned
just in time to see a man trying to throw a spear at me. I put a
round into his gut. He wemt down. Two wemen came out of the
hut he was near. I could see that they were in rough shape.
They both were brused over their face, arms and legs. Dawn called
them over. They told Dawn that they had been mates to the dead
one, and that he had been the chief of the people in the camp.
What I didn't know was, I was now the chief of this group. But
Dawn was fast in the explaining.
It took a couple of days for the people to get ready to travel to my
It was slow going because of the
shape the people were in. It took almost a week to get to my
cave. I did a lot of hunting on the way back. These people
needed food and I was providing it for them.