Act 57: His heart suddenly chilled... / by Steve Hart

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Timpoochee awakened at the first rays of the sun, brought out of his restless sleep by the rude screeching of martins as they circled back and forth, scooping unsuspecting bugs from the chilled morning air.

The sky was clear with only a hint of cloud way off in the direction of the Yonega settlement. It was that season of new leaves and fresh odors and mild winds.

Despite the pleasant morning, Timpoochee soon remembered his troubles. The name, “Kinnard,” kept repeating itself in his head.

His heart suddenly chilled as the glanced to the ground near the canoe’s bow to discover an owl’s feather lying on the ground.

The feather shocked his brain, too.

“Old Hunter was here last night,” he said remembering his dream. Or whatever it was.

Without thinking another thought, Timpoochee jumped from the canoe and into the river to immerse himself, to purify the spirit that last night was haunted by the vision and the news it carried.

Not even bothering to remove his leggings or breechcloth, he dove into the water, repeating a prayer for purification in his head.

Into the water, again and again he dove, trying to wipe clean the memory of the vision and its message.

It was no use. Old Hunter told him the truth and he knew it. Still, to believe it shocked his very soul.

“If what Old Hunter spoke is true I cannot return to the village and live as a member of a family and a people to which I don’t belong,” he said to himself.

“My life will be a cruel trick. The entire town must know the truth yet the one about whom the truth is known does not even understand that truth.”

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