Timpoochee decided it was far too dangerous to allow the others to accompany him back into the Yonega settlement.
And he would need the stealth of a lone intruder. A party of too many would create too much commotion.
He could not take a boat, either.
“Stay here and remain as silent and unseen as you can,” Timpoochee said to his men and placed Waya in charge.
“Start home without me if I do not return within two more nights,” he said. “If you start home and I do not catch up with you, please tell our people I was lost trying to retrieve one of our own, as my father would have done, tried to do.”
And with that Timpoochee left his men and faded into the darkness, leaving the fire light fading over his shoulder.
He walked west, along the shore until he came to the wide bay and the narrow passage across to the island where, he knew, another narrow passage at the island’s tip could be a short swim to the mainland - if the tide was in his favor.
He looked down at the dark water for a clue. It seemed to be flowing east, away from the passage into the Gulf.
If the medicine is with him he could swim to the island, walk to its end and swim again to the mainland. Once there he could rest during the day and creep silently back into Pensacola when night falls.
If the medicine is with him.