When I got outside I saw the hunters coming back. They’d caught a particularly big mammoth.
I saw Joog shaking his head, scratching on his tablet close by. I rushed over to him.
“I need to talk to them. Roon needs an old woman.”
“Of course he does.” Joog rolled his eyes.
Joog was off to find an old woman and I was on my way to the butchers.
Maig, the butcher was sharpening his axe when I got to him. “Heads up. The hunters are all out of sorts today.”
“Yeah, Lom and Pol. I heard.” I regretted it as soon as I said it. Really no time for drama.
Maig stopped sharpening. Que clearly hadn’t gotten to him yet. “What happened with Lom and Pol?”
I saw the hunters getting closer. Pol at the front. He looked angry. To be fair he always looked angry but this was different. “Lom got drunk and said something about Pols’ wife.” I couldn’t believe I had just said that. Zte had always said that Que told me things because he knew I would tell everyone. Apparently, she was right.
“Well, can’t wait for those two to get into the fermented berries tonight!” Maig was practically giddy. I needed to get out of there before I inadvertently caused anymore issues. “Maig, do me a favor. Tell them to take the tusks and the fur to the storage hole and make sure it’s covered. We’ll get to it in two moons. Thanks buddy!” I hightailed it out of there.
When I got back to the main cave, the old woman was wrapping Roons’ ankle with snake skin.
“She put moss inside it!” Bleech was nervously watching the procedure chewing on his finger. I gave him my stern look. I had told him time and time again not to do that at work. We handle food! We had all recently discovered that our hands, if placed in the mouth, can make us sick and most likely die.
The old woman fastened the snake skin onto Roons’ ankle and gestured with her head for me to meet her out of earshot to talk. Everyone gasped, including me. I’d always forgotten that old women could talk.
She turned her back to the staff who were all looking our way. She leaned in. “He’ll live, probably, but he won’t be able to walk. It will be more like a hop. Probably no use to you today. I’ll check on him later. If it swells, it will have to come off, if not, he should be fine in a couple of days.”
Yep, down two men!
“And listen…” she went on, “Tell your Neanderthal friend he doesn’t need to “catch” me. I have a clearly marked etching on my cave indicating that I’m available for healing any time.”
I just nodded. Honestly, I remember her words but they didn’t exactly make sense to me.
“AND, I don’t need to be dragged! I can walk unlike your idiot cry baby over there!”
Then, I think she hissed and hobbled out of the cave. We all just stood still until she was gone. It took a while.
Keen let out a long held breath. “Useless! Don’t know why they won’t just die like men over 30!”
I agreed but there was no time to get a conversation on the matter going. The meat would be there soon and I had to prep the back cave.
“Keen, get the broth going, Bleech, can you help Roon to his cave? Come right back and set the bowls up by the front, right there.” I pointed to the compartments on either side of the main cave entrance.
I motioned for Joog to follow me to the back cave.