Act 14: The color of blood, the sky, the sand... / by Steve Hart

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The reddish-brown bulk of the vessel plowed the water as long oars stretched from its gunnels and propelled it forward.

Useless sails flapped loudly as the white men scrambled to furl them against the disagreeable wind. Long man was easily 30 canoes wide at the landing and the boat took up nearly half that distance across.

“That odor again,” Timpoochee murmured to himself, realizing how it violated the delightful domestic smells of the town.

It was much worse than fish after sitting in the sun. It smelled unclean, a little like decaying bread.

A brightly colored pennant flew from the top of the ship. It was the color of blood, the sky and the sand all at the same time and was crossed by lines of color from its corners.

The people gathered around the party of elders as the ship moved closer; women with small children at their breasts; older children stood bravely beside the adults.

Standing his ground beside Yufala, Timpoochee could not find Cornstalk anywhere in the crowd.

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