Yufala was quiet for a while as Timpoochee dried himself in the sun, resting on the floor of his father’s boat.
Timpoochee was quiet, too, as the small flotilla plied its way downstream.
“Where are you going, father?” Timpoochee asked after some time. “May I go with you?”
“We are going to the Yonega town, in the great valley well below Chota,” Yufala answered.
“I want to go with you - to the white man’s town,” Timpoochee blurted.
“The Yonega town is a rough and wild place, my son,” Yufala replied. “I’m not sure it is the place for a young buck. Your place is with the studies of the Medicine and your brother and mother.”
“Please, Ugalu, allow me to go on this journey,” Timpoochee pleaded. “I will not interfere. I must learn what it is about the white man that makes him as he is. I must also start to learn the ways of Yonega.”
Yufala frowned, his heavy eyebrows buried his deep set eyes. For the first time Timpoochee noticed his father appeared to be getting older. He noticed the many lines and wrinkles on a face once smooth as a river pebble.
The great chief was attired in his full trade clothing: breechloth of deep blue, like the coat of the thief bird. He also wore a linen shirt made in the Yonega’s methods. The shirt was a gift from the Yonega leader
Yufala’s neck was adorned with the silver crescents identifying his clan and position in his town. A cluster of eagle feathers was attached to his head by a band of stretched animal skin. The feathers told Yonega he was, indeed, chief of his people and the one to whom all matters of his people should be directed.
“Timpoochee, my son,” Yufala said. “There are many things you must learn. I know why you disappeared two days ago. I know of your confusion and I know why you and Rising Fawn argued.
“In time you will understand the parts of your life which will come together to make you a fine leader of your people.”