The Strange History and Legend of the Moran Moor
Extract Eight, Flight, Fight, Flight
Two Moons quickly realized the danger that her new, strange and extremely exciting acquaintance would present to both himself and to her if he was discovered by her prospective husband and his attendant warriors. Her betrothal and marriage were the closing act of a recently arranged truce between her own tribe and that of her future spouse, her maidenhood was in effect the final seal on the treaty. Whilst the stranger had in no way interfered with her ability or willingness to keep up her end of the bargain his mere presence on what was considered a sacred and neutral space would inflame matters beyond easy control. Her future husband was a man of little intellect and much bravado, exactly the mix needed for a great war chief, but not one suited to sensible negotiations. Gathering her hand maidens around her she quickly outlined the plan that had come to her in what seemed like an impossibly lucid manner. Julien was rapidly disguised in all manner of loose fitting clothes, his head and hair concealed beneath what was even by any Salish standards an enormous reed sun hat and carefully concealed in the midst of their party led down the trail leading from beach to the eventual site of the wedding nuptials, the twin lakes beneath the inspiring heights of the islands central majestic mountain, home to mighty eagles and Great Spirit alike.
For his part Julien quickly surmised that events had taken on a degree of urgency that overrode any qualms he might have felt about following this adorable maidens instructions, as well as accepting the overwhelming feeling of connection similar to the one her had shared with his long trusted companion Aqantie’wit.
The pathways up from the island’s beaches were comparatively steep, rising almost vertically in places till reaching what appeared an undulating heavily forested plateau. Julien was surprised at the speed their party moved, the women were lithe and surprisingly sure footed in terrain that many a soul might have found taxing. Thankfully for all his recent physical ills Julien was able to make a good showing and managed to keep up with his companions on even the most challenging sections of virtually undetectable deer tracks.
The party had travelled perhaps for an hour when Two Moons called for a temporary halt to gather wits and breath. Julien feigned nonchalance but was more than happy to perch upon a grassy mound for a few minutes respite. Ne had barely settled when suddenly from out of what seemed thin air a very fierce native warrior appeared in their midst.
The intruder quickly settled into what seemed a very heated conversation with Julien’s rescuer, becoming increasingly aggressive and belligerent. Quite naturally Julien felt intimately at risk and began to consider options for either attack of defense.
He really need not have worried for Two Moons simply produced a blade from under her wrap and settled any disagreement with one deep slash across her protagonist’s windpipe. The brave gurgled momentarily then rapidly bled out.
Three of Two Moons companions quickly removed the body from the deer path, brushing the ground with horse tails to obliterate any disturbance left where they had dragged the body. Julien was struck not only by the calm manner of both kill and clean up but also the efficient way such seeming innocents rifled the dead braves clothes for valuables. His questioning glance towards Two Moons was answered by an easily understood shrug of indifference, obviously there was little love existent betwixt the two soon to be interwoven tribes.
Minutes later the partially refreshed party were back on the trail. Two Moons had coaxed Julien forward to walk aside her and was able to sign sufficient information to place his immediate concerns at rest.