first to wear it. Then she tore at Eudena’s hair, and took a spear from Siss and beat her with all her might. And when she had vented the warmth of her heart on the girl she looked closely into her face. Eudena’s eyes were closed and her features were set, and she lay so still that for a moment the old woman feared she was dead. And then her nostrils quivered. At that the old woman slapped her face and laughed and gave the spear to Siss again, and went a little way off from her and began to talk and jeer at her after her manner.
The old woman had more words than any in the tribe. And her talk was a terrible thing to hear. Sometimes she screamed and moaned incoherently, and sometimes the shape of her guttural cries was the mere phantom of thoughts. But she conveyed to Eudena, nevertheless, much of the things that were yet to come, of the Lion and of the torment he would do her. “And Ugh-lomi! Ha, ha! Ugh-lomi is slain?”
And suddenly Eudena’s eyes opened and she sat up again, and her look met the old woman’s fair and level. “No,” she said slowly, like one trying to remember, “I did not see my Ugh-lomi slain. I did not see my Ugh-lomi slain.”
“Tell her,” cried the old woman. “Tell her—he that killed him. Tell her how Ugh-lomi was slain.”
She looked, and all the women and children there looked, from man to man.
None answered her. They stood shame-faced.
“Tell her,” said the old woman. The men looked at one another.
Eudena’s face suddenly lit.
“Tell her,” she said. “Tell her, mighty men! Tell her the killing of Ugh-lomi.”
The old woman rose and struck her sharply across her mouth.
“We could not find Ugh-lomi,” said Siss the Tracker, slowly. “Who hunts two, kills none.”
Then Eudena’s heart leapt, but she kept her face hard. It was as well, for the old woman looked at her sharply, with murder in her eyes.
Then the old woman turned her tongue upon the men because they had feared to go on after Ugh-lomi. She dreaded no one now Uya was slain. She scolded them as one scolds children. And they scowled at her, and began to accuse one another. Until suddenly Siss the Tracker raised his voice and bade her hold her peace.
And so when the sun was setting they took Eudena and went—though their hearts sank within them—along the trail the old lion had made in the reeds. All the men went together. At one place was a group of alders, and here they hastily bound Eudena where the lion might find her when he came abroad in the twilight, and having done so they hurried back until they were near the squatting-place. Then they stopped. Siss stopped first and looked back again at the alders. They could see her head even from the squatting-place, a little black shock under the limb of the larger tree. That was as well.
All the women and children stood watching upon the crest of the mound. And the old woman stood and screamed for the lion to take her whom he sought, and counselled him on the torments he might do her.
Eudena was very weary now, stunned by beatings and fatigue and sorrow, and only the fear of the thing that was still to come upheld her. The sun was broad and blood-red between the stems of the distant chestnuts, and the west was all on fire; the evening breeze had died to a warm tranquillity. The air was full of midge swarms, the fish in the river hard by would leap at times, and now and again a cockchafer would drone through the air. Out of the corner of her