Og, Boy of Battle
Chapter 23, "Crossing the Big Lake" 244-250
Chapter 25, "The Mystery of the Marsh" 267-273
Chapter 26, "Treed by a Mastodon" 274-289
illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull
A MYSTERIOUS hand had clutched the raft with invisible fingers and was slowly but irresistibly drawing it out into the center of the lake; out beyond the farthest point that the Fish people had ever dared venture on one of their craft. Og and Ru and their new companion Dab, of the Fish people, were terrified. The wolf-cub lying on top of Og's leopard skin pack in the center of the raft whined in fear The Hairy boys watched with frightened eyes the wooded shore fast receding.
A great change had suddenly come over the lake. The usually smooth water danced with white-capped waves. The raft rose and fell heavily. The water gurgled and sucked between the logs and the lashings of rattan and fibrous bark that held them together creaked and groaned. And, to add to their discomfort, a cold wind swept down from the Mountains of White-Haired-Old-Men, a wind so stiff at times that the three boys had to lean against it.
The wind made them angry. They hard enough to worry about in the stubborn movement of the raft without struggling against the fierce gusts. Og yanked at the ends of his flapping goatskin jacket in irritation. Their constant flapping interfered with his almost frantic efforts to wield the long push pole that he used as a sort of paddle.
And then to cause them more trouble the wind got under the big bearskin they had taken from the cave bear they had killed in the cave of the goats, and began to blow it off the raft. With a cry of anger Og dropped his pole and leaped for the skin, as the wind got under it and whipped part of it into the water. He tried to pull it back onto the raft again. But handling that big pelt in the wind was a harder task than he had anticipated. It took all his strength to drag it out of the water, and when he did get it beak onto the raft the wind got under it and snapped it about until it seemed like a thing alive. Holding to the edge of it with one hand Og tried to gather the rest of it under his arm. He might just as well have been trying to catch a three-toed horse. Each time he got a few folds of it gathered in, the wind would blow with greater force and pull it from his grasp.
He became enraged; furious. He began to fight it. He pulled and hauled and tugged and tried to work around behind it to throw himself on top of it.
But the wind, playing with him it seemed, whipped it one way and then another, wrapped it about his body and head, entangled his arms and legs, and, finally, tripping him, rolled him over and over across the raft and would have thrown him into the water had he not been able to hook his fingers into the lashings of the logs and held on.
Breathless, furious at being beaten by the wind and the bearskin he called for Ru and Dab to throw down their poles and help. Together they disentangled him from the bearskin, but the moment they did the wind seized it again and whipped it out flapping and snapping ahead of them, and they had to brace themselves to hold it from blowing away.
Og watched them a moment, thoughtfully. Could it be that the wind was the mysterious force that was pushing the raft onward across the lake? It pushed and hauled and fought against him. Was it pushing the raft? Og watched the raft move through the water it moment, then he watched Ru and Dab struggling with the bearskin. And suddenly it dawned upon him that the wind was a great force. And he realized that if he could handle this force if he could catch it in the bearskin, as it were, and hold it he could make it push the raft through the water swifter than any raft had ever gone before.
His anger gone and his excitement mounting at the possibilities he saw in this new idea, Og got to his feet, and while Ru and Dab struggled each with an end of the bearskin, Og sought to make a bag in which to imprison the wind. As he gathered in the edge and held it tight the force of the wind was terrific. But as he sought to make the bag he thus formed smaller, and close it, the wind seemed to slip out of it in some strange way and the force it exerted was not so strong.
This puzzled Og for some time. Again and again he tried to catch the wind in the bag, until suddenly it dawned upon him that he did not want to catch it. What he wanted to do was to give the wind something to throw its force against a broad surface. Then he spread the bearskin out and the push of the wind was so great that it almost hurled all three of them off the raft. Og became greatly excited; eagerly he explained his discovery to Ru, and while he talked his brain was busy with a new problem.
The wind's push was too strong against the bearskin for them to hold it even with all their strength. Their fingers were not strong enough to grip the edge of the bellying skin. They must reinforce their strength somehow. One of the push-poles would help. He would lash the skin to this and they could hold the pole on their shoulders. He tried it. It worked beautifully. Dab on one side of the raft and Ru on the other held the ends of the push-pole on their shoulders while Og sat in the middle of the raft and held onto both lower corners of the skin. The raft fairly boiled through the water and they became greatly excited.
But a little of this and soon all three of them were tired out. Resisting the push of the wind was harder than poling the raft. It would not do. Og cudgeled his brain for a way to make it easier. Then he devised masts. He forced the end of a second push-pole down between the logs of the raft close to where Ru stood and wedged the third pole between the logs where Dab stood. Then while they held the first push-pole against these masts he lashed each end fast, and tied the lower corners of the skin to the upright poles. To be sure the two improvised masts leaned a great deal and Og and Ru found it necessary to sit and brace them between their knees. But this was far easier than holding the sail against the full force of the wind, and they were elated with their new discovery elated that they had found a way to make the wind serve them.
WITH Da and his hunters and his horde of Fish people waving them farewell from the beach, they had started down the lake on the raft that Da had given them early that morning, keeping close to the shore, as all the Fish people did whenever they ventured beyond the fishing grounds just in front of the village. Og was pleased with this new craft. It was far better than the log he and Ru had partly shaped into a crude canoe. Made of many logs lashed together it was broad and flat. It could carry all three of them, as well as their leopard-skin packs, and their weapons and turtle-shell shields. The wolf-cub, now well grown, was also safe on board this craft t and there was room enough for the three to stand or crouch as they chose, nor did they have to dangle their feet in the water as they did when they sat astride their log.
The raft was heavier than the log, to be sure, and it required far more effort to urge it through the water. Og's method of propelling the log by means of flat sticks for paddles was not satisfactory with this craft, but the Fish people had devised a method of shoving the raft through the water by means of long poles pushed against the bottom of the lake and Og found that when all three of them used poles the heavy, raft moved through the water almost as swiftly as his single log did.
All had gone well on their cruise down the lake shore until the wind swept down from the mountains and seized the raft in its grasp. But with this enemy, the wind, turned into a friend to aid them it was exhilarating to the three boys to go sailing across the lake almost as fast as one could walk on dry land. To be sure they had long since been carried out into water that was appallingly deep and the shore they had left behind seemed so far distant that even the tall sequoias had melted into a heavy blue-green mass without detail. But the farther they sailed from one shore the closer they approached to the other, for the wind was carrying them diagonally across the lake. They had no means by which to steer and no knowledge of how to direct the course of their craft but the fact that they could make out a forest-clad shore ahead of them, and fast growing nearer, was sufficient.
THEY were thoroughly happy as they watched their approach to this strange new land across the lake and they scanned the shore with interest that quickened to real curiosity when Og made a discovery. He could see flying along the shores of the lake great flocks of birds, all winging in the same direction, and heading toward a stretch of low-lying shore that suggested a swamp. There were scores of them; hundreds of them. They flew in sky clouding flocks. He could see ravens among them, and magpies, redwings and jays. There were large birds and small birds, water birds and shore birds, and to Og and his companions they meant only one thing food.
Long ago the woodcraft of the Hairy People had taught them to watch the birds. Where the birds flocked there food was to be found, berries perhaps, or wild fruit or nuts or grapes. Some sort of food was attracting these great flocks of birds on the opposite shore of the lake. The boys watched them with rising expectation. Perhaps this new land was a land of plenty.
Happily the wind was taking them in the general direction the birds were flying. If they continued to follow the course they were traveling they would land not a great distance above the marsh where as they drew nearer they could see thousands of noisily chattering birds swarming through the swamp grass and the strange tangle of vines that grew in the marsh.
The raft grounded at the foot of a high, earthy bank at a point where the forest gave way to a broad grassy meadow that sloped down toward the marsh, and the boys scrambled eagerly ashore and dragged their cumbersome craft up on the beach. A moment they paused to make things snug, then taking only their bows and arrows and their stone hammers and leaving their shields, knapsacks and other equipment on the raft they started off to explore the marsh.
Eagerly they scrambled up the bank and began to scuttle like so many rabbits through lush grass. They dreaded open spaces where there were no trees to hide behind or scramble into in case of danger. Soon they came to a thick growth of tall reeds, that marked the beginning of the marsh and the ground became soft and wet under their feet. Then presently they found themselves well in the swamp and on the banks of a little stream that twisted and turned through the bog.
As soon as they parted the grass on the banks of this channel thousands of birds took to the air like a big black cloud. The whirring of their wings sounded like distant thunder, and the noise of their shrill, strident calls was all but deafening to the Hairy boys and made the wolf-cub who had followed them bark furiously.
FOR some time they stood there and looked across the little stream toward a grassy island on the other side, where the birds had been congregated. And as they looked expressions of disappointment came over their faces. They had expected to see a mass of briars with luscious red or purple berries hanging from them, or at least a tangle of grape vines with bunches of the ripened fruit ready to be picked and eaten.
There were tangled vines aplenty. Indeed the little island was covered with a peculiar creeping growth that twisted and twined and intertwined in a strange mass but there was no brightly colored fruit. Instead, all they saw were masses of tiny pods, sun-dried and uninviting. Og grunted in disgust as they stood there on the muddy banks of the channel. Ru and Dab were for turning back, satisfied that the mass of vines held nothing interesting for them. But while the birds circled noisily overhead Og's eyes were searching the tangle and his brain was busy speculating on what manner of food the birds had led them to. Certainly if these pods held something that drew such great flocks daily there might be some slight profit in investigating further.
So he waded hip deep into the little stream and crossed over to the island, and although they felt it was useless effort Ru and Dab followed and the wolf-cub swam across after them.
Once among the tremendous mass of creeping vines, Og picked one of the dry pods and looked at it closely. Then he shook it, and, hearing something rattle within against the dry shells, broke it open. A half dozen brown, almost round, objects fell out into the palm of his hand. These he inspected too and finally out of sheer curiosity put several in his mouth and crunched his strong teeth down upon them.
A look of pleasure crossed his face then, and he quickly crunched the rest of the beans, smacking his lips the while. And Ru and Dab, watching with interest, broke open several pods and sampled the bean-like pellets. They found to their surprise that the hard round objects were very palatable indeed. They were salty and just a little sweet, and it was rare indeed that the Hairy boys found any food that contained any great quantity of either salt or sugar.
Unmindful of the continued squawking of the angry birds that circled overhead, they began to strip the vines of their dried pods and gorge themselves on the little brown pellets. They ate and ate until they could not possibly eat any more, and then Og, loath to see so many pods still unopened, stripped off his goatskin jacket and, making a sack of it by gathering the corner together, began to pick pods and put them in this improvised pack sack. Ru and Dab, who had long since learned from Og the advisability of storing food, followed suit.
And so eager were they to gather a great quantity that they did not notice the birds had ceased their squawking and had risen higher in the air, there to circle round and round in a frightened manner. Indeed their usually alert instincts did not give them any warning of danger until the wolf-cub came slinking toward Og, whining, and with his tail lucked between his legs and the hair on his back bristling in fear and anger.
[Chapter 26 - Treed by a Mastodon]
STARTLED Og hissed a warning and all three boys stopped picking and looked up. For a moment they stood petrified, rigid with fear. Above the tops of the tangle of vines and the waving reeds of the marsh towered the biggest head they had ever seen, from which stared small pink-rimmed, sinister eyes. Raised aloft and waving shakily in the air was a short, thick trunk while beneath it curving downward and outward were two long yellow polished tusks that ended in keen villainous points. The ears seemed ridiculously small for such a massive head, and the skin of the great beast covered with coarse shaggy hair like the mammoth was rough and wrinkled like the bark of a tree. Instantly the three Hairy buys realized that the huge beast watching them was a mastodon, the biggest, strongest and most ill-tempered of all the beasts that roamed the forest far bigger and stronger than the hairy mammoth.
Og was the first to break and run. With a cry he swept up the goatskin full of pods which lay al his feet, and slinging it across his shoulder started wading across the stream in the direction they had come. Dab and Ru with cries of fear plunged into the water beside him and waded across while the wolf-cub, swimming with all its strength, forged ahead of them all and scrambled up the marsh bank first. There it turned and snarled angrily at the mastodon.
For several seconds the huge animal stood regarding the three retreating boys silently, but when the wolf-cub snarled the great beast seemed suddenly to break into a towering rage. With a bellowing trumpet it came plunging through the swamp toward them, tearing through the tangled vines tramping them down, uprooting them and scattering them in all directions as it cleared a path for itself with its tusks and trunk. With a cry to his companions to make all haste possible Og plunged ahead as fast as he could go.
Over the boggy ground they raced at full speed, thrashing their way through the thick reeds and leaping from one hummock to another. They were breast to breast and exerting every ounce of strength they had to gain a lead on the tremendous beast behind them.
THEY could hear the mastodon making hard work of it. His great weight and tremendous bulk was not meant for fast travel in boggy places, and they could hear him snorting and floundering and splashing about in the boggy spots. And with his floundering he seemed to grow more angry and more determined to overtake them.
The wolf cub was the first to gain the solid ground of the grassy plain, but instead of streaking across the open space he turned and snarled and barked at the mastodon until Og reached him and with a cuff hushed his noise. Og realized that it was the wolf-cub and his angry, yelping that annoyed the mastodon more than anything else.
Ru and Dab came out of the marsh close behind Og. For a moment they stopped and turning watched the struggles of the oncoming beast. But when they saw the anger that glared in his tiny eyes and when they realized how far they were from safety they turned and fled again, running faster now because the solid earth gave them better footing.
They needed every bit of speed they could command their flying feet to give them for when the mastodon finally snuggled on to solid ground once more it made up for all the time and effort it had lost in the marsh. With another angry trumpet it burst into a long ungainly swinging stride and its ponderous thundering footsteps seemed to shake the very earth. The Hairy boys heard it coming on with a fear that gripped their hearts, for they were far out in the open and the nearest trees were a long distance ahead.
They headed for the trees, their legs flying, their hearts pounding with exertion and fear and their breath conning in great sobbing gasps. On they pressed. But as fast as they traveled the mastodon came on faster. His footsteps sounded perilously close behind then. They could hear each sucking gasp as he breathed. His ponderous shambling strides were eating up the distance between them. His short stubby trunk was outstretched to seize them once they came within his reach.
The big beast gained at every stride. Dab threw away his stone hammer and even the precious bow and arrows Og had made for him, and with a heart-breaking effort struggled to reach Ru and Og, running almost abreast just ahead of him.
The group of trees seemed very near now. Ru threw away hammer and bow, too, and Og dropped his weapons, and a moment later almost at the lake shore and within a half dozen strides of the nearest and smallest of the trees he dropped the bag of beans he had been carrying. The next instant he bounded into the air, Iong arms outreached and fingers clutching for the lower branch of the tree under which he flashed. Ru and Dab leaped almost at the same moment and they swung themselves upward and scrambled through the network of branches to a place of safety.
Only just in time did they gain the branches for scarcely had they drawn their bodies over the lowermost limbs when the mastodon came thundering under the tree to an abrupt stop. And even as they climbed out of reach his stubby snakelike trunk darted upward among the branches reaching, groping, trying to seize them. The end of the trunk brushed Dab's ankle, causing him to scream in terror as he drew himself still higher among the branches.
IT HAD been a narrow escape, but Og and Ru could see that they were far from safe yet. The tree into which they had leaped was not large and it stood almost alone. The nearest tree was just a little too far away for them to leap the intervening space and they were cut off from the refuge of the tree highway through the forest that Og and RU had used so often to take them out of danger. And, worst of all, though it was as thick around as Og's waist, the tree they were in was small enough for the mastodon to uproot and beat down if he chose to.
For a few moments it stood there glaring up at them with its tiny pink-rimmed eyes while it trumpeted until the leaves of the tree shook. Around and around the tree it tramped, roaring its mighty blasts while it rutted the ground with its long tusks and threw great clods over its head. Again and again it reached up and shook the tree until it swayed as if in a gale. It tore branches down as high as it could reach, and flung them down the bank into the lake. Then suddenly it spied the bag of beans. This it prodded and gored, flinging the dried pods with their rattling beans in all directions and tearing the jacket to shreds. Then still angry it lumbered back toward the tree again.
It stood silently looking up at the three Hairy boys, and in its intelligent little eyes anger gave way to a crafty look, and Og realized with a sinking heart that the animal was determined to get them even though it had to uproot the tree. Once more it reached upward and wrapping its trunk about the tree shook it furiously until the boys had to cling fast with all their strength to keep from being thrown out. After a moment it backed away, then charged with its broad flat head against the tree trunk, causing it to sway as if in the grip of a cyclone. Again and again it charged, until Og realized that already the tree was leaning far over and that the earth all about its roots was opening. The mastodon would uproot the tree. It was inevitable. And when it came crashing down the beast would tear them from among the branches and impale them on its tusks or trample them underfoot as it had done the goatskin.
ONCE more the great animal flung its full weight at the tree. Og could hear the roots breaking underground with dull thumping sounds. He could see the gnarled tentacle protruding above the surface. The mastodon leaned its full weight against the trunk, pushing with all its giant body. Slowly, with an earth-smothered snapping of breaking roots, it yielded. In terror Ru and Dab looked at Og as if seeking from him a suggestion as to how they were to save themselves. Og appeared as helpless as they. Yet his brow was wrinkled as if he were thinking. He was studying the angle at which the tree was leaning. Suddenly he gave an exclamation of encouragement and began to scramble higher among the branches. They followed him.
High up in the topmost branches he crouched and pointed to a near-by tree.
"Look. When the tree falls it will sweep past that tree over there. When it passes we must leap and hope to gain that other tree. If we do not we are lost."
Grim, determined, frightened, they crouched there and waited. High up in the top under the terrible pushing power of the mastodon the swaying of the tree was terrific. It was as if gale after gale of wind smote it, shook it, bent it over. Slowly but surely it was yielding, leaning, falling. They could hear the popping reports of the roots giving way in quick succession. They felt the sickening sensation of the thing collapsing. Down it swept in a great arc. Crouched and ready they waited. Its branches brushed against the branches of the nearest tree, then crashed through them. Og hurled himself through the air. Ru and Dab, from the branches on which they crouched, did likewise. For a moment all three seemed to hang suspended in mid-air. Then they fell amid the foliage of the standing tree, and reaching with long arms and strong groping fingers they caught hold of firm branches and held fast.
For a moment each paused to look for the others. Then finding all were safe they scrambled to the opposite side of the tree, ran out upon the longest branches and in swinging leaps hurled themselves into the next tree. Then with the angry trumpet of the mastodon sounding behind them, like real tree people, they plunged madly along the tree highway into the safety of the thickest of the forest, and worked their way up the lake shore.
But as they traveled their panic disappeared. The bellow of the mastodon was left farther and farther behind until finally they ceased to hear it. Then they slackened their pace and after a time climbed to the ground and came out on the lake shore at a point where a high rocky promontory reached out like long arm into the water. It was a lovely spot with a little cove and sandy beach huddled under the face of the cliffs, and Og could see in the craggy surface of the rocky heights the scar-like opening of many caves. What a wonderful place it would be for the colony of Hairy People.
Eagerly they began to explore the face of the cliff, poking into first one cave and then another, and by the time twilight had settled down they had found a deep and wonderfully dry cave in which to spend the night, and Og with some slivers of flint picked up on the beach, and some improvised tinder had made a fire in the doorway; a fire that crackled merrily and dispersed the gathering gloom and made them comfortable. And as they crouched around it talking of their adventures, they heard the patter of footsteps in the darkness and presently into the circle of light came the wolf-cub happily wagging his tail. Trusting to his legs alone he had escaped from the mastodon, and by the light of the fire and with the aid of his keen nose he had found his boy companions.
As they curled up together inside the cave that night Og felt they had found the place for which they were searching so long; the new home for the Hairy People. He would bring them there and teach them how to make and use bows and arrows, how to overcome their fear oŁ water and build rafts and harness the wind to pull them through the water. Dab would teach them how to catch fish with the fish-stick of the Fish People.
Og told all these thoughts to Ru and Dab next morning and Ru was pleased, for he was growing lonesome for his people. He was for starting back to tell the news of their discoveries to the tribe hiding and waiting in the cave near the old volcano. But Og shook his head and smiled.
"We have much to do. Our bows and arrows, our hammers, everything we own has been lost, or are on the raft down the lake. We must get ready for the long trip back. We must make new weapons. Unless we are brave enough to go back and face the Mountain-that-Walks."
At the very suggestion of going back to the scene of their experiences of the day before both Ru and Dab shuddered, and Og knew they were no braver than he, for he did not care to go down the lake shore so soon after their narrow escape from a horrible death. And so they set to work re-equipping themselves with weapons and getting ready for their return journey.
But to get together in a few days or a few weeks the fine bows and arrows they had made for themselves, the stone hammers, and the skins of beasts to cover them such as they had accumulated over months of wandering was more of a task than even Og had anticipated, and as they worked and hunted Og felt that they had sacrificed a great deal to their curiosity in following the birds to the swamp where the delicious salty beans grew. The more he thought of all the possessions they had abandoned, their turtle-shell shields, their best flints and all their other property, the more his determination to regain them grew.
"If you go Og, we follow," Ru and Dab told him. Og smiled.
And so next day they started down the lake shore, keeping close to the water's edge. They scrambled over huge boulders and uprooted trees, they waded across streams and marshy coves until soon from a distance they could see the uprooted tree, and beyond their raft still drawn up on the shore, in the center of which was piled all their possessions. Furtively they slipped along under the shelter of the high cut bank until they gained the raft. Eagerly they seized their shields and the spears they had left there, rolled the great bear skin into a bundle and tied their leopard skin packs on their backs.
"Now if we dared venture out into the meadow we might find our bows and arrows and our hammers," said Og. looking up the bank.
Stealthily he crept to the top and peered over. Not a sign of life greeted his eyes. The birds were still swarming in the swamp and feasting peacefully. This told Og that the mastodon was not abroad. Not far away he saw the dirt-grimed shreds of his goatskin jacket that had held their hoard of beans, and just beyond he saw their bows and arrows and stone hammers where then had flung them just before they. had leaped into the tree.
Eagerly Og climbed over t the edge of the bank and picked tip the tattered shreds of his goatskin jacket. Then suddenly something arrested his attention and made him tremendously excited.
There were scores of the little brown beans scattered all about the ground but over some of them had come a curious transformation. Those that had fallen on the sand and pebbles near the lake shore were much the same as they had been, but here and there, where one had fallen on wet soil, the beans had split apart, sending fine rootlets into the ground. And in the rich loam not far from the uprooted tree, where the mastodon had furrowed the ground with its great tusks, Og was surprised to behold a mass of young creeping vines growing out of the ground; vines exactly the same as those from which they had plucked the bean pods so many suns ago.
Og had often pondered the mystery of growing things. He had seen nuts and acorns in the forest splitting open and sending roots into the ground and somehow he vaguely knew that eventually they would be trees. But never before had he realized that he could have any part in this mysterious process of Nature. But as he crouched there examining the beans and the growing vines he realized that he had brought the beans from the marsh to this point, and that the mastodon in its frenzy had trampled them into the ground. And there in the rich warm soil a mysterious force had changed them into plants that would eventually grow big and strong and bear bean pods just as those in the swamp did. And if all this could be done by accident, certainly it could also be done by design.
For a long time he pondered the mystery of the growing vines, and while Dab and Ru, grown tired of his inaction, strayed down to the shores of the lake, Og walked slowly about examining the beans that were scattered in all directions. And as he looked at each one he began to realize that those that had been buried in the soft warm loam that had been furrowed by the mastodon's tusks had grown the best, while those that lay in the sand and among the pebbles had not prospered at all. Evidently rich warm earth alone possessed the mysterious power that made things grow. Handfuls of the scattered beans he gathered up and carried back up the bank to the place where the others were growing and, scooping holes in the soft earth where the tree had been uprooted, he buried them there.
And as he performed this simple operation a strange sense of possession came over him. These were his beans and the vines that would grow from them would be his too. The very earth into which he had planted them was his. He would guard it and care for it. He would keep the birds from stealing his beans. And when the Hairy People came to this new land he would give them some of this new food and teach them how to plant the seeds in the earth so that more would grow.
All this he told to Dab and Ru when they came impatiently back to where he crouched over the growing vines. It was hard for him to make them understand at first, but when they did comprehend they were as eager to plant some of the beans as he was and they scoured about among the rocks until they too had found several handfuls and planted them after the way Og showed them. And when they had done this they too felt the same sense of possession that had grown within Og, and they were loathe to leave their little gardens unwatched.
Finally Og spoke to Ru.
"Ru, I will stay and watch the growing things. I will care for the fire at the cave door and keep the cave from being entered. I will stay while you and Dab go back and bring the Hairy People here. And when they come we shall all have ground to plant things and wolf-cubs to live with us in our caves and lie by our firesides. Go, Ru, and bring the Hairy People. I will stay behind and guard our property."
And because Ru and Dab thought well of Og's advice and looked to him as their leader, they set off next morning back toward the snow-capped mountains beyond which waited the tribe of the Hairy People.