Chapter 3

Broud's clan had made it back from the gathering, and was trying to get settled in again. They were down to fifteen members now that Broud had banned Durc and Ura from the cave and Brac, Grev and their mother Oga had left with them. There was Brun and his mate Ebra, Vorn and his mate Uba, Groov and his mate Ovra, Borg and his mate Ona, Groob and his mate Ena, Torg and his mate Igra, Berg and his mate Tona and Broud. But there were no children in the clan as most of the members were older. Vorn, Goov and Brun had decided to have a meeting when they returned to the cave, that was before Broud had banned Durc and Ura from the cave. After the group of mixed spirit clan members and Broud's sons and mate had left, Broud's clan dropped lower in the clan standings. There was only Borg and the younger members of the other clans had taken all of the competitions. And the leadership went to Norg's clan again. Now there might be no new babies born and the clan could be doomed unless Ona became pregnant. Goov, Vorn and Brun met in the Mog-ur's chamber. Groov started the meeting by signing, Broud has doomed this clan. We have no children here and Borg and Ona are the only couple that might have children someday. We must do something to correct this problem. We could join with another clan and that might give us a chance to survive. But it would have to be one that was not so resistant to change. Brun signed, I watched Durc, Brac, and Grev practicing with the new spears before we left of the gathering and they were getting good at throwing them. I also understood what Durc was telling Dorg the day that he and the other three of mixed spirits came back from their hunt. If the clans could change we might have more food to feed our people but as long as we use the same ways to hunt we will be doomed. Brun signed, All the other clans are getting smaller as well. There is a clan farther to the south that is as small as we are. If we could combine our peoples and make some changes we might well survive whatever is coming our way. But as long as Broud is leader we will continue to get smaller. Then we must change that, said Goov. Would Brun take back the leadership, asked Groov. Brun signed, I cannot, I am getting too old to lead the hunt. Goov thought for a moment. Brun could lead the cave if Vorn were hunt leader. Vorn looked at both men and signed, Yes, I can do that. Brun was the best leader this clan has had in a long time. Then it is settled, signed Goov, Brun will lead the cave and Vorn the hunts. Then we must tell Broud that he will leave the clan.†As the three men came out of the Mog-ur's chamber, Vorn signed for Borg and Berg to follow them. When they arrived at Broud's hearth Goov signed, Broud we must speak of cave matters. Broud signed, I am leader and I will say when we speak of cave matters! No, Broud you are not leader any longer, Ursus has decided that you are destroying this cave and you must leave now. Turning to Brun Broud signed, I was made leader of this clan eleven years ago. Who will lead if I am not here? Goov replied, Brun will lead the cave and Vorn will lead the hunts. Broud looked at Goov and signed, I will not leave. You will leave or you will die, Ursus has spoken. signed Goov. Ursus has said so. Take your belongings and food and water and leave today. Brog and Berg will escort you out.†With that Goov, Vorn and Brun left the hearth. A few hours later Borg and Berg returned and advised the leaders that Broud had headed northeast, they thought he might be headed back toward Dorg's clan. After conferring the leaders decided it was time to hunt. Brun and Vorn talked about Durc's idea of hunting. Brun thought that they could modify the hunting style to suit them. Have the women and Brun drive the animals into a narrow pass then the hunters while lying on the ledge could jab the spear into the animal. Vorn thought it might work, but the hunters would have a better chance it they waited until they were in the pass then they could rise up on their knees and throw their spears downward into the animals. They would try the next day. Six hunters and four women left the cave the next morning. They went northwest to hunt in an area with a small passage. They found a small herd of onagers about eight animals. Brun and the women circled around and got behind them and started moving them toward the pass. As the animals reached the last hunter they all rose up and threw their spears into the closest one. They killed three and wounded two others but the hunt was considered a success. Some of the hunters followed the wounded animals and were able to catch up with both. They could only get one because a cave lion had found the other before they could. They went back to the cave after the women had skinned and butchered the animals and everyone carried a load of meat. The women started cutting the meat into thin strips for drying. With winter coming they would need more dried meat and vegetables. Uba took some of the women with Brun and to protect them from animals, and they gathered as many vegetables as they could carry. While the women were gathering Brun told Brog, I need you and Berg to go see Dorn in the south and ask him to meet with Goov, Vorn and I as soon as possible. There are a lot of things that we need to talk about. Also when you return you will start making spears like the ones Durc used at the gathering. I know where he hid three that Brac, Grev and he were using to practice with. We will all start using them. Since winter would be coming on Dorn's clan would be staying at least through the winter season and they had the room for his clan. It took a week for the two men to make it to Dorn's cave and back. They told Brun that Dorn and his people would come to the cave as soon as they could get everyone ready. That would give Brun time to get more meat and vegetables to feed everyone. He told Vorn that they needed to start practicing with the new spears as soon as they were ready. He had Borg and Berg along with Vorn come to his hearth. He handed each man a spear and had each give their impressions about the weapon. He asked Borg if he and Berg could make more of the spears. Borg replied, Yes we can, I would suggest that each hunter have at least two or three spears when we go out to hunt. Good, replied Brun, then you will make enough for our hunters and Dorn's as well. They will be here in a week and our hunters can start working with the new spears and they can help Dorn's hunters when they get here. Once all the hunters are ready we will go out on a hunt. Borg and Berg started by taking one spear apart and looking at how each piece was made. There were plenty of deer leg bones around the cave area and they knew where they could get the shafts they needed and there was also plenty of leather lashing around to attach the points to the shafts. It took them four days to get the sixteen spears ready for eight hunters. The eight hunters including Brun started working with the new spears, he told them that he had seen Durc throw overhand but Brac and Grev had to throw more sidearm. They all found out that they could only throw sidearm. They spent almost every day practicing and by the end of that week they were making good hits on the targets. Borg and Berg had been working on more spears each evening. By the time Dorn's clan arrived they had two spears ready for each of those hunters. They spent another week practicing then Brun called Vorn, Dorn, and Greg to his hearth for a meeting. It was decided that Vorn would head the hunt with all the hunters except Brun who would lead the women to drive the animals into the passage. Once the first animal reached Vorn's position he would throw his spear. That would be the signal for the other hunters to rise up and throw their spears. They left the cave early the next morning and started out to the northeest; Borg had located a herd of Bison not too far from the passage the evening before. When they arrived the animals were still in the same area. After giving Vorn time to get the hunters in position Brun started the women moving forward. When the bison saw the people walking in their direction they started moving away from them into the pass. Vorn looked over the edge of the pass and when the first animal reached him he threw his first spear. The hunters down both sides of the pass threw their spears. In a few minutes it was over and there were twelve dead bison in the pass. The rest moved out and ran into the low valley beyond. The women started skinning and getting the animals cut up for transport back to the cave. Brun told the hunters that they would have to help take the meat back to the cave that they could not afford to make another trip back to the pass so everyone was loaded when they headed back. When they had made it half way back to the cave Brun called a halt, as he walked around checking to make sure everyone had made it he noticed something in a clearing just east of their position. He signed for Vorn and Dorn to follow him and they went to check it out. As soon as they walked into the clearing Brun stopped and could not believe what he was seeing. The son of his mate was laying dead on the horns of a wooly rhinoceros. He had been killed days before but Brun could see the belongings of his mate's son scattered around the camp site. He signed, Vorn, go back and bring Goov and two other hunters. As Vorn started back Brun said, And bring Ebra also. When they returned Brun took Ebra aside and said, Your son now walks the spirit world. He was attacked by his totem days ago. Once they have the body wrapped and ready Goov will perform the burial, you must collect his things for him to take with him to the next life. After the burial Brun stayed by the grave and signed, Broud I hope that you will learn to control your emotions in the spirit world. Then he turned and walked back to the group and they started out again. It was a long trip back to the cave and the feeling was that the hunt would have been the high point of their day until they found Broud's body. Once in the cave the women started cutting up the meat. Most would be dried for winter but the rest would be roasted and served to the cave and Dorn's clan. After the meat was cut up and placed on drying racks the cave gathered and had a meal of roast bison. Brun Said, The hunt today was a success and we have plenty of drying meat for winter. There will be a meeting later and both caves will know of the outcome of that meeting. Later Goov called a meeting in the Mog-ur's chamber and invited Brun, Vorn, Dorn and Greg to join him. He told what he had foreseen for the clans future and told them that the only chance they had to survive would be for both caves to join together and form one cave. It would still be the Clan of the Cave Bear but the leadership would be Dorn as cave leader and Vorn as hunt leader. Ursus was giving those caves that were not afraid of change a way to survive. Also Ursus had said that any new mixed children born in the cave were not to be treated as deformed, they were still his children. Dorn asked Brun, Would you and Goov stay on as advisors? They looked at each other and nodded. Then I will take command of the cave with Vorn as my hunt leader and you two as part of a leadership council. Dorn was young and knew that to have the experience of older hunters would be a plus. They went back into the main cave and Goov stepped up to the central fire and tapped his staff on the cave floor. He signed, Our two caves will join together as one, the leader of the cave will be Dorn and Vorn will be second in command and hunt leader. There will be a leader council that will include Brun and myself. This cave is larger so we will be staying here. Borg and Berg will become the spear and tool makers for the cave. As Goov stepped aside Dorn came forward and signed, Tomorrow we will start to gather more fruits and vegetables, and our hunters will start hunting as needed to be ready for winter. We are a cave of many mouths and we will need much food to feed them for winter. Now they started to establish new hearth lines. Goov moved a little closer to the Mog-ur's chamber. And Dorn moved into Broud's old hearth. The four leaders hoped that they were ready to follow the path that Ursus had directed. It would mean many changes and the clan did not like change, but the word of Ursus carried too much weight to be ignored. After the cave had been rearranged they set about storing the dried meat from the hunt. The women would start going out to gather whatever greens, vegetables, tubers, fruits and nuts that could be found. The cave hunted about twice a week, and they were good hunts. The new spears were the best thing that had ever happened to the clan, thought Brun. And Durc who most considered deformed was the one who made this new life possible. He and Ayla were the best thing that ever happened to this clan. The clan is better now than it was when Broud was leader; the hunters are getting their pride back. Two moons after Dorn's cave joined Goov called a council meeting in the Mog-urs chamber. Goov told them that Ursus wanted the cave to move farther to the south. Changes were coming that would not bode well for the clan. If they were to survive they would have to move. Goov said that the clan had one other thing to do before they moved south. Ursus was having Ayla bring those of mixed spirits to her valley to start a new camp it was to be called Grey Wolf lodge. They would go to the valley and make right the things that Broud's actions had caused. They would have until the end of next summer before they would have to move. Brun was glad that he could make peace with the woman that had brought so much luck to his clan. Their bad luck had started the day Broud became leader and forced her to leave.