“They say you have the blood of Yonega and that is why your skin is lighter and your face sharper,” Rising Fawn whispered as Timpoochee kneeled over her.
“They say your mother returned with Yufala from a hunting trip. They say she is of the Creek clans.”
“Hompita haya” Timpoochee grunted, cutting off Rising Fawn. “Woman, your skin and spirit and love are like honey from the trees but your tongue is the sting of the bee which guards it. Why do you say these things?”
“I don’t say it to hurt you, Timpoochee. I would never hurt you. “I want to know all about you. I want to know everything.
“They say, too, your mother left her people to live with a white man in the low country. They say Cornstalk is the son of a Creek man and you are the son of Yonega. They say Swift Deer suddenly appeared with Yufala on his return many years ago.”
“My mother and family are respected by our people,” Timpoochee demanded through gritted teeth. “My grandmother is a Beloved Woman and my father is our leader. If what you say is true why are we not cast aside like the useless bowels of a fish?”
“Is that not why the stories are told in muffled voices?” Rising Fawn answered. “Do the Tcki dare offend the Ugvwiyuhi? You will one day be a great leader. Of that I have no doubt. You are part of my people.”
“Our people,” Timpoochee interjected. “Your people are my people.”
He grew impatient.
“We are one in the same. The other people are Yonega. If I am one of them why do I not live with them? Why do I not come to you from their towns and forts and not from Long Man?”