Act 61: Shut yer yap... by Steve Hart

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Timpoochee tried, in vain, to stand.

“Where does yer think yer goin’?” demanded the fat Smitty, again kicking Timpoochee - this time into a slimy pile of fish heads and carcasses.

Timpoochee tried his best to utter some kind of cry of help to Cornstalk on the shore.

“Shut yer yap,” ordered Smitty as he slapped the boy across the cheek.

That was it.

That was all the awakening Timpoochee needed to return to him his wits. He was the son of Yufala, the leader, and was not going to be pushed around by anyone.

He reeled back and swung hard at the fat sailor’s knees, knocking him from behind.

He grabbed the first object he could find, a molded batten from one of the masts and charged at Smitty with all his fury.

He sensed the chained slaves wrestle to free themselves as he plunged the batten into Smitty’s head.

The sailor staggered backward and bounced to his knees.

The skinny Poker squealed and ducked back down into the hatch.

Recovering himself, Smitty staggered to his feet.

“Yer little red bastid,” cursed Smitty as he lunged at Timpoochee who was trying desperately to get out of the way of the human cannonball.

Smitty dove forward with such force that missing Timpoochee he lost his balance and crashed head first into the foot of the ship’s mast.

He fell to the deck and lay there motionless, unconscious.

Timpoochee jumped to his feet, looked around the deck for other demons ready to finish what the fat sailor started.

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Act 62: Lightning flashed in the distance... by Steve Hart

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The chained and manacled bear-men jerked and raged forward and backward, eager to be freed.

The fat Smitty shifted on the deck and groaned, a low, painful grunt.

Lightning flashed in the distance, reminding Timpoochee of the horizon and freedom.

Acting instinctively, he jumped up on the railing of the ship just as Smitty regained his feet.

“Come back ‘ere, ya little son-of-a-bitch,” Smitty gurgled. “You can’t get away from me that easy!”

A whippoorwill cried plaintively in the distance as Timpoochee dove over the side of the ship and into the black water. He felt the cold wetness surround him and at once felt relieved, freed.

Just as suddenly he remembered where he was, where he thought he was and fears of Uktena exploded in his mind.

Popping to the surface, Timpoochee saw the sailor standing on the ship’s railing and realized the two dangers facing him

He started swimming toward the shore as fast as he could.

Only a few strokes from the ship and Timpoochee heard a loud splash. He looked back and realized Smitty was no longer on the ship but had jumped into the water and was flailing about.

Timpoochee hesitated only a second and resumed swimming feverishly toward the shore. He could hear gurgled curses and gasps as the fat sailor tried to move his blubber through the water behind him.

In the next instant, Timpoochee heard a blood-curdling scream followed by fierce splashing and, then, silence.

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Act 63: Logs don't have eyes... by Steve Hart

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Only upon reaching the shore did Timpoochee risk another glance over his shoulder.

The river surface was calm, mostly, disturbed only by the ebbing wake of his own frantic movement.

He turned and looked into the woods which held an eerie silence. To his left he could see smoke rising above the trees from the Yonega settlement’s council house, where he was certain his father must be.

He then remembered seeing Cornstalk standing near this spot on the shore as he dangled from the fat sailor’s fist.

“Cornstalk!” he called loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to disturb whatever spirit was playing about.

“Cornstalk! Are you here?” he called again.

Nothing in reply.

“That would be like Cornstalk to run away from the danger,” Timpoochee thought to himself.

Only then did he remember the fat sailor must be nearby, too.

He looked again at the river, completely calm now, no sign of the fat sailor.

“He couldn’t have made it to shore ahead of me,” Timpoochee said aloud. “But where did he go?”

He scanned the river and there, near the ship but a little behind it Timpoochee saw what he first thought to be a log.

“But logs don’t have eyes,” he thought. “Red eyes.”

Small puffs of smoky haze drifted above the water, above the log with eyes.

A loud explosion suddenly burst from the ship’s deck, shattering Timpoochee’s ears and reverberating around the river bank and into the woods.

The water reported with tiny splashes all around him.

The echo of the explosion came back to him several times before Timpoochee looked to the deck of the ship to see the skinny Poker hold a long, thin rod with smoke pouring out its end and into the air.

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Act 64: Your land, mountains and water... by Steve Hart

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Yufala intensely surveyed the men surrounding the fire in the Yonega council house: his own council of elders, the white traders and the Tsalagi interpreter hired by the Yonega, a young man Yufala knew more by reputation than by friendship, Attakullakulla, who the Yonega called, Little Carpenter.

The white men perspired rivers from underneath their heavy clothing inside the sweltering, dimly-lit house. They clearly knew nothing of building a council house which included ventilation. Its walls were mud, the floor was dirt and the ceiling was dried oak, hemlock and pine branches and leaves.

The only opening was the door and the heat of the fire made the inside very warm, not unlike Yufala’s own sweat lodge. But not intentionally a sweat lodge.

The Yonega were clearly uncomfortable.

“Your land, your mountains, your water are among the most beautiful on the face of the earth,” Captain Wills began, addressing Yufala and his council. “Your region is among the most fertile that can be found.

“From the banks for your rivers can be grown endless supplies of corn, polk, potatoes. The game in your mountains seem plentiful and robust. From your waters can be harvested an unfathomable supply of fish and mollusks.

“The King’s settlement far off in the land of Pensacola wants to begin our relationship in the proper way by offering manufactured goods from England - cloth, guns, European bread and seeds for new crops you can grow yourselves such as indigo, cotton, new and better kinds of corn and potatoes.

“All these offered to you to make your lives better.”

Yufala remained silent for quite a while after the Yonega leader finished his talk. No one else spoke. 

“Our people tried trading with Yonega once before, many seasons ago,” he said after some time. “The trade was not satisfactory. The Yonega of that time were only interested in gem stones, in wealth as you see it. They seemed to think our people hold some great secret store of gems and metals. They were very greedy people.”

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Act 65: Greed is not respect... by Steve Hart

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Attakullakulla shifted in his seat. Yufala said nothing but waited for the young man to tell the white men of his answer. The translator said nothing.

“When the world was very young it was flat and soft and wet,” Yufala said after a few minutes of silence.

“The animals were anxious to come down from the sky vault and sent birds to find any dry places where they might land.

“Bird after bird launched only to return with no news.

“At last they sent the great buzzard with its huge wings and the great buzzard searched and searched the world for high, dry land. He grew very tired after a while and when he reached this land he was barely flying, very low to the soft world.

“He was barely above the surface and as he flew his wings began to scrape the soft world. Where his wings scraped the ground he created a valley and where his wings turned skyward again he cast up a mountain.

“When the animals saw this they became afraid the whole world would be mountains and called back to the sky vault the great buzzard.

“But to this day these mountains remain our home and they are special in all the world.

“What the mountains have they give freely to those worthy of their gifts, those who respect, cherish and honor what they have to give.

“Greed,” Yufala concluded. “Is not respect.”

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Act 66: By what authority? by Steve Hart

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Without bothering to wait for a reply by the British captain, Attakullakulla looked directly into Yufala’s eyes, as if he was an equal.

“Those were different people than these,” he said, in the Tsalagi language most familiar to Yufala. “They came from a different nation in Europe, across the great ocean, from Spain.

“The Yonega settlement on the Great Gulf,  Pensacola, has been traded to the British Empire in return for the island of Cuba, far to the south in the Gulf.”

“What do you mean the land has been traded?” Yufala asked. “Is it possible that land and water can be given to the white man when our people have lived on it and prospered from it for many generations?

“By what authority does this take place, that land can be given or bartered?”

“The transaction takes place by the authority of the white chief, the British Ugvwiyuhi, who is called King George,” replied Attakullakulla, as the British captain sat silent, a bewildered look on his face.”

“What is the chief saying, Carpenter?” Captain Wills interjected himself, clearing miffed at being left out of the conversation.

“He is asking about the transaction which brought Spanish West Florida under the domination of the British Empire,” Attakullakulla replied. “He has expressed doubts, understandable doubts, about the presumption of the white man to trade land among themselves when land doesn’t belong to any one people or nation. He asks by what authority does the King take the land.”

“Tell him the King derives his authority ultimately from God, the giver of all earthly things,” chimed in Rector Winfield, who until this time had been sitting quietly smoking a pipe of strong native tobacco given him by Yufala’s delegation.

The rector sat back in his seat, his eyes looking rather distant and glazed.

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Act 67: The land cannot be possessed... by Steve Hart

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“Rector Winfield says the King is given his authority from God, the great spirit, who makes everything,” translated Attakullakulla.

Yufala noticed the young man’s squeamish disposition.

“If it is true the Bearer of Breath made everything and gave our people the land, the mountains, the animals to hunt, the fish to catch, I don’t understand why the Bearer of Breath would, then, transfer such authority over land to someone who lives so far distant from that land,” Yufala said.

“If was our people who came into this land. We were given the land to use for our lives. We were warned not to overuse the land or water, not to mistreat it, not to abuse it. Our people will be sustained forever as long as we cared for the land and the animals that dwell on it and fishes that swim beneath it.

Attakullakulla shifted in his seat.

“These people don’t want to abuse our land or our people,” he said, softly, maybe even tentatively thought Yufala.

“They came only to trade with you; to give you some of their way of life in return for the goods of the Fire People. They want to be your friend, your brother in the riches of the world.”

“The nations of England and Spain fought a war,” interjected Captain Wills. “To settle that war we signed a treaty, called the Treaty of Paris.

“Under the terms of that agreement the Spanish gave up control of this region in return for Cuba, which we took by force.”

“My people signed no treaty,” Yufala said. “To control something it must be possessed. The land cannot be possessed for it belongs to all creatures who dwell on it.”

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Act 68: Someone is shooting! by Steve Hart

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Rector Winfield leaned forward, his eyes barely open, effects of the strong tobacco. He slowly opened his mouth, ready to speak it appeared when the council was interrupted by a loud blast.

It came from the direction of the river.

Everyone in the council house immediately jumped to their feet.

Captain Wills and Attakullakulla were the first to recognize the noise as a blast from a fussee.

“Someone is shooting,” cried Captain Wills as he rushed from the council house into the balmy evening.

Everyone else in the council house followed the British commander, rushing toward the river landing.

Captain Wills was the first to reach it, followed closely by Attakullakulla and Yufala.

“What in the name of blazes are you shooting at?” Captain Wills bellowed to the skinny deckhand standing on the ship’s bridge with a musket in his hands.

“Well, hawk, sir,” Poker somehow managed to come up with an explanation. “‘E was circlin’ over’ed like ‘e wanted one of the slaves. I had to show ‘im ‘ho was boss, I did, sir.”

By this time a crowd had gathered at the river landing.

Captain Wills stood just at the river’s edge, the toe of his boots in the water.

He felt something bump his foot.

He looked down to see a fat, white arm, severed at the shoulder, floating in a pool of blood in the river.

The arm still wore the remnant of a sweat-stained shirt.

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Act 69: What is going on here? by Steve Hart

Timpoochee crawled into a clump of bushes just as the delegation from the white man’s council house came thundering down to the river.

Lightning flashed in the darkening sky and Timpoochee saw his father standing among the men at the river’s edge. They were talking rapidly among themselves.

He stood up to signal to his father but collapsed again into the bushes.

Yufala saw the boy fall and rushed to his side.

“Timpoochee!” he said fervently, wiping the boy’s wet brow with his shirt. “What’s going on here? What is this disturbance all about?”

Captain Wills also stepped to the side of the boy and his father.

“What is going on here?” he demanded. “Has this boy done something to  my crew?”

Just as suddenly as the lightning, Cornstalk leaped from another clump of bushes just downstream from the stunned Timpoochee and concerned, confused Yufala.

“Father!” he shouted. Those men, on the white man’s ship, they tried to capture Timpoochee and me!”

“What are you doing here and what are you saying?” Yufala shouted back at this elder son, his eyes staring fiercely at his elder son.

“Those white men, they have come to capture all of us! Just now they tried to capture Timpoochee in a fight! They have bear men captured on the ship!”

Timpoochee, still too shaken to speak, listened to his brother squeal his tirade nearly in a frenzy.

Yufala stepped toward Cornstalk, his eyes full of fire and his muscles ripping.

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Act 70: Enough! by Steve Hart

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“Cornstalk,” Yufala said gruffly but quietly as he approached his elder son, out of earshot of anyone else.

Timpoochee could barely hear his father’s words.

“We’ve had enough of your childish pranks and stories. Perhaps you think it great fun to trick your elders but it is not, especially when these white visitors mean so much to the life of our people, our town.”

“But father, it’s true what I said,” Cornstalk was almost crying. “Those men tried to capture Timpoochee. I was just going to save him when he jumped the ship and swam ashore.”

“Enough!” Yufala barked and turned sharply, returning to the party of traders.

“Tell the captain the boy has an overactive imagination and seems unwilling to see a difference between his fantasies and the truth,” Yufala said to Attakullakulla, again in a quiet tone.

“Tell him the boy causes problems in our town from time to time. Tell him I am sorry for the disturbance.”

Attakullakulla did as suggested and explained the story to Captain Wills.

“Mr. McIntosh!,” Captain Will turned and shouted to Poker, who was still standing on the bridge of the ship, holding the gun. “Put away that musket and do not fire it again for fear of stirring the natives into an uncontrollable frenzy!”

“Aye, aye, Cap’in,” the sailor shouted back. “Sorry, sir!”

The trading party started slowly back to the council house.

Timpoochee watched from the short distance as the Yonega captain took a couple of extra steps back to the river and without anyone else noticing stopped to pick up what looked like a barkless tree limb. He tossed it nonchalantly into bushes in Timpoochee’s direction and out of sight.

The captain quickly stepped back toward the group and resumed his pace with the others.

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Act 71: The real people by Steve Hart

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Timpoochee felt drops of refreshing rain pelt his face and body. He lay back down in the wet grass, still shivering from the excitement.

He looked over his shoulder but Cornstalk was nowhere to be found.

He sat in silence for a few minutes, listening.

The faintest crack of a small twig reached his ears. Then, another, closer.

“Asquanigohisdi,” Cornstalk said, delightedly from just past the clump of bushes. “Pretty funny, don’t you think, brother?”

“Usgaseti,” Timpoochee answered. “What are you thinking?”

“I saved you, didn’t I?” Cornstalk insisted.

“You did nothing of the sort,” Timpoochee shot back. “I think Uktena saved me...or whatever that was.”


The precise origins of Timpoochee’s people, the real people or Yunwiya, is not known. But they generally believed they originated in a land toward the rising sun where they were placed by command of the four councils sent from above when there was only darkness.

That land, it was said, was inhabited by huge snakes and great water monsters and, again on the command of the four councils, the Yunwiya had come into the glorious mountains of Shaconage at the beginning of time.

Older stories told of Timpoochee’s people coming from the south or west. But always the stories told of the animal people and the real people moving from the land of the dark to the land of the light.

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Act 72: Light is what we need... by Steve Hart

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Timpoochee remembered with love sitting around the town house with the younger children listening to Yufala recite the ancient tales.

“In the old days,” he would begin. “There was no light anywhere.

“The animal people stumbled around in the darkness. Whenever one bumped into another he would say, ‘what we need in the world is light.’

“And the other would reply, ‘yes, indeed light is what we need - badly.’

“At last the animals called a meeting and gathered together as best they could in the dark. The red headed woodpecker said, ‘I have heard there are people who have light on the other side of the world.’

“‘Good, good,’ everyone said.

“‘If they have all the light they must be greedy people,’ said the fox. ‘Who would not want to share any? Maybe we should just go over there and take the light from them.’

“At once all the animals sharted to shout, ‘who shall go?’

“And they argued and argued about who was the strongest and ran the fastest and who was best able to go and steal the light.

“Finally, the possum said, ‘I can try. I have a fine big bushy tail and I can hide the light inside my fur.’

“‘Good, good,’ said all the others and the possum set out.”

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Act 73: We still have no light... by Steve Hart

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“As the possum traveled toward the east where the light was to be found it began to grow stronger and bigger until it dazzled his eyes,” Yufala continued his story. “The possum screwed up his screwed up his eyes to keep out the bright light.

“Even today, if you notice, the possum’s eyes are almost shut and he comes out of his house only at night.”

The children laughed.

“All the same, the possum kept going toward the east, clear to the other side of the world,” Yufala said. “There he found the sun.

“He snatched from the sun a little piece of it and hid it in the fur of his fine bushy tail.

“But the sun was so hot it burned off all the fur of his fine bushy tail and by the time the possom got home his tail was a bare as it is today.

“‘Oh dear,’ the animals said when the possum returned. ‘Our brother lost his fine bushy tail and we still have no light.’

“‘I’ll go,’ said the buzzard. ‘I have more sense than to put the sun on my tail. I’ll but it on my head.’

“And, so, the buzzard set off for the east, flying as fast as he could toward the other side of the world where the sun would be found.

“Because the buzzard flies so high the sun-keeping people, now on the lookout for sun thieves, could not see him way up in the sky.

“When he was sure the sun-keeping people were not watching the buzzard dived straight down out of the sky, just the way he does today, and caught a piece of the sun in his claws.”

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Act 74: Perhaps a woman... by Steve Hart

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“Grabbing a piece of the sun, the buzzard set it on his head and started for home,” Yufala continued.

“But the sun was so hot it burned off all his head feathers and that is why the buzzard’s head is bald today.

“Now, the people were in despair," Yufala explained.

“‘What shall we do? What shall we do?’,” they cried. “‘Our brothers have tried hard; they have done their best, everything a man can do. What else shall we do to have light?’

“‘They have done the best a man can do,’ said a little voice from the grass. ‘Perhaps this is something a woman can do better than a man.’

‘Who are you?’ everyone asked. ‘Who is that speaking in a tiny voice and hidden in the grass?

‘I am your grandmother spider,’” she replied. “‘Perhaps I was put in the world to bring you light. Who knows? At least I can try and if I’m burned up it will still not be as if you lost one of your great warriors.’

“Grandmother spider felt around her in the darkness until she found some damp clay. She rolled it in her hands and molded a little clay bowl.

“She started eastward, carrying her bowl and spinning a thread behind her so she could find her way back.

“When grandmother spider came to the place of the sun people she completed escaped their notice because she was so quiet and so tiny.

“She reached out gently, took a bit of the sun and placed it in her clay bowl.

“She then followed back along the thread she’d spun and with the sun’s light growing and spreading before her she traveled back from the east to the west.

“And if you’ll notice the spider’s web is, even today, shaped like the sun and the spider will always spin her web in the morning, very early, before the sun is fully up.”

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Act 75: A shooting pain in his soul... by Steve Hart

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“‘Thank you, Grandmother Spider’ said the people when she returned with the light. ‘We will always honor you and we will always remember you.’

“From then on pottery became women’s work and all pottery must be dried in the shade, just as that first pot dried slowly in Grandmother Spider’s hands as she returned in the darkness from the sun.”

A warmth enveloped Timpoochee as he lay shivering in the grass. Remembering the glow of sitting fireside, listening as Yufala retold the old stories helped ease the fright and agitation of what he’d just witnessed.

Those days were many seasons ago when his time was filled with play and fishing on the river and hunting in the valleys and mountains, spending the time learning the Medicine of his people.

The warmth was suddenly pierced by a shooting pain in his soul, the sudden realization as he lay there he was at a crossroad.

“Cornstalk!” he called out.

Nothing came in response.

“Cornstalk!” he called again.

Still nothing.

Something in Timpoochee’s soul always told him the leadership of his people - after Yufala - would fall to him and not Cornstalk.

Since the arrival of Yonega in his land Cornstalk had seemed truly afraid of the pale skinned people. That little show he’d just put on only proved further his inability to assume the mantle of leadership.

Cornstalk must have run away - again, Timpoochee thought.  

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Act 76: Odd, how Yonega build towns... by Steve Hart

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Timpoochee knew if Cornstalk vanished he was not going to be found and, so, he sat quietly for a few minutes hoping the errant brother would reveal himself.

Timpoochee also knew he would have to walk - carefully and in full view of the guards - into the Yonega settlement to find Yufala and, maybe, explain what really happened on the boat, in the water, with those sailors and the bear men.

He was still stunned by what happened - near death, the chained bear men, the fat sailor being eaten by Utkena. Is that what really happened? No other explanation, Timpoochee thought. He supposed.

Slowly, he gathered himself, uncoiled to his feet and headed toward the river landing and the Yonega settlement.

It was odd, the way the white men built this town. Walls of logs surrounded the outside, each one carved at their tops into spearheads. It was not like the towns he knew, of his people, open and inviting to strangers.

This town seemed organized to keep visitors out, rather than inviting them in. Or, maybe, to keep its townspeople in rather than letting them out.

It seemed only one door through the log walls existed, facing the river landing. He approached cautiously but upright and trying to display determination, like he belonged there.

The guards at the door saw him and launched from their shoulders the same kind of fire shooting spear the sailors had.

Timpoochee stopped in his tracks.

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Act 77: Come with me... by Steve Hart

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With Timpoochee stopped dead in his tracks, the guards at the Yonega town gate slowly lowered their muskets.

“Who are you?” they called out.

Timpoochee did not understand but reasoned they were addressing him.

“My father is our leader, in the council house talking with your leader,” he said in words the guards did not understand.

From out of nowhere another man appeared with the guards. One of his own people Timpoochee thought at first but he did not recognize him and noticed a difference in the way he was dressed.

The man spoke to the guards and in a language they understood. Timpoochee watched the exchange, trying not to tremble.

The guards nodded their heads in agreement with whatever the man said to them.

“Timpoochee,” the man called out, to the boy’s surprise.

“Come with me. Follow me,” he said, in Timpoochee’s language. “I will take you to your father.”

Timpoochee sheepishly followed the man into the Yonega’s daunting town, surrounded as it was by those walls, closed in, like some kind of pen.

People, mostly men and one or two women, milled about. A cooking fire burned here and there. The structures in the town were closed in, too, like the town itself.

The man led Timpoochee to the council house and inside, where he was greatly relieved to find his father, standing in the center of the council circle, waiting for him - or maybe for the man who guided Timpoochee into the town.

Yufala cast a stern look in Timpoochee’s direction, nodded to his guide and began speaking.

“At the beginning of time an ulunsuti was given to the white man and a piece of silver was given to my people,” Yufala said to the council.

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Act 78: That is what you seek... by Steve Hart

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“The white man cared nothing for the ulunsuti,” Yufala continued his story to the council. “It meant nothing to him even though it was lustrous and of many colors.

“And just the same, the man of my people to whom was given the piece of silver cared nothing for it and he threw it away.

“As they both went about their days, the man of my people happened upon the ulunsuti cast away by the white man and like it very much and has kept it all these years.

“And as it would happen the white man came across the piece of silver thrown away by my people and liked it very much, perhaps even more than the man of people liked the gem, ” Yufala said.

“The white man liked the piece of silver so much it has become treasured by your people and sought after all these many generations. There is little that stops you from getting more and more silver.

“On the other hand, my people so treasured the ulunsuti that we buried it deep in our mountains and there it remains to this day, multiplying over the generations into many, many precious stones.”

Yufala stopped short in his story.

“You care little for our ulunsuti,” he said, turning to Capt. Wills and addressing him directly. “But you think hidden among our mountains we have vast quantities of your precious silver pieces and that is what you seek.”

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Act 79: What the future may hold... by Steve Hart

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Capt. Wills sat silently for a few moments.

“I assure you, Great Ugvwiyuhi,” said Capt Wills after a bit, stumbling awkwardly over the title as taught him by Attakullakulla.

“We are here to trade fairly, equitably.”

“The way you speak, eat and dress leads me to believe you are good, ordered people who hold great respect for the natural order of the world,” Yufala replied. “But they way you act toward your own people, the way in which you conduct your affairs leads me to believe something different.

“I see those dark men you have chained to your ship and wonder why such a good ordered people find it necessary to treat other people as though they are animals.”

“Don’t be mistaken, my friend,” Capt. Wills shot back. “Those creatures chained to our ship are not men, exactly. They are property and exist for labor, to be put to use for the advancement of the King’s cause around the world. Perhaps, they could be an object of trade between our people.”

Timpoochee sat in silence as he listened to his father, the Yonega leader and the strange man interpreting their words to each other.

“What kind of a king chains other men?” he thought to himself.

“I know in many lands your people have come to be admired, respected, even emulated in many ways by our cousins to the north and south,” Yufala said, motioning to Attakullakulla. “But my people do not see other people as objects of trade.

“It appears from the permanent appearance of this town you have erected you do not intend to leave our land any time soon. While we are a welcoming people we will talk among ourselves, consult our own counsel and medicine and discern what the future may hold.”

And with that, Yufala jumped to his feet, motioned the others to follow and marched resolutely from the Yonega council house.

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Act 80: People danced often in the old days... by Steve Hart

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The journey back up Long Man from the Yonega town seemed more tedious to Timpoochee.

Yufala and the others worked harder paddling upstream. Timpoochee wanted to take his turn but he sat silently in the middle of the boat, fearing if he said anything - particularly about the episode on the Yonega ship - he would unleash his father’s wrath.

After journeying for a while in a stretch of calm, smooth water Yufala finally began talking.

“In the old days people danced often and often danced all night,” he said. “There was once a dance at a very old town, near the origin of Chattahoochee, in the lower mountains.

“The dance had been going on for a while when in walked two young women, both with long, beautiful hair. No one knew them.

“They danced with one partner then another, charming them all.

“One of the young warriors fell in love with one of the women, because of her beautiful hair, and before the night passed asked her to marry him, through an old man as was the custom then.

“The woman told the old man in reply that she would marry the young warrior but she would first have to ask her brother, who was at home. The young woman promised to return to the next dance, seven days later, with a reply from her brother and in the meantime the young warrior would have to fast to prove his love.

“The women slipped away in the morning without anyone seeing them leave.

“The young, smitten warrior did as he was told and fasted, counting the seven days until the next dance.”

“He showed up early and anxious when it was time for the next dance and well into the evening the two women appeared again, just as suddenly as the first time.

“They told the young warrior their brother was willing but he would have to follow them home after the dance and warned him if he told anyone where he went or what he saw he would surely die.”

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