Timpoochee recognized his father’s boat immediately upon seeing it, of course. It’s more adorned and colorful than the others, all hallowed out trunks of large trees.
He was suddenly seized with the notion of jumping into the river to meet the water-borne delegation.
Casting off this moccasins and leggings, Timpoochee dove head-first into the river and started swimming toward the approaching boats.
Splashing wildly and making loud noises to attract attention he hoped his father saw him before the Uktena could.
“Timpoochee! My son!” shouted Yufala from the stern of his canoe. “What are you doing in the middle of the river? Are you trying to become a fish? You have not lasted very long without capture!”
From another boat, one of Yufala’s warriors cast to the boy a hemp rope. Timpoochee latched onto it as the warrior pulled him closer.
Climbing up over the gunnel, Timpoochee flopped into the center of Yufala’s boat.
Excited and panting, the boy tried to gain his composure while the delegation of Tsalagi leaders looked over him, perplexed.
“I’m glad to find you, my son,” Yufala said. “I was beginning to get worried. You’ve been gone a day and a night.”
“I’ve been thinking,” Timpoochee replied. “Thinking a lot.”
“I noticed you’ve been spending less time in town and more time in the woods with Rising Fawn,” Yufala said, bluntly. “She is a fine choice, my son, and will bear you good children.”
“Yes, Father,” Timpoochee said. “But I must understand some important things the Medicine has failed to teach me.”