Chester G. Osborne
The Memory String
1984
from the dust jacket:

Game was harder and harder to find. More and more people were moving onto the land that the tribe had always felt was theirs. And they themselves had been guilty of killing more animals than they really needed. So Darath was especially upset when he found that strangers had destroyed his father Catching Spear's trap line.

This was the beginning of a long fall and winter for Darath, his sister Kiona, and for the White Trees, the totem group to which they belonged. They lived on the Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka, some thirty thousand years ago. And it was the adventures of that winter that sent them on an even greater adventure — a trip to a new world.

Darath wishes to be a hunter like Catching Spear, and that winter he proves he can be a good hunter. But his grandfather, the tribal shaman, wants him to learn the magics of healing, how to prophesy with the moon sticks, and how to preserve the tribal wisdom and history with the memory string. Darath is at first reluctant, but then, along with Kiona, agrees. When spring comes, he is not only a hunter but a young shaman as well.

It is then that Catching Spear's idea of following clues left by distant ancestors to a land where there is much game and no people takes shape. It will be a difficult and dangerous journey. And it is because of what Darath has learned, and because he can put that learning to work when it counts, that the trip becomes possible and even, perhaps, successful.


CHESTER G. OSBORNE has been writing stories ever since the Worcester (Mass.) Sunday Telegram printed his brief account of a policeman catching a rabid dog. He was six years old at the time. He later won a serial story contest and had a science fiction story published in a national magazine when he was seventeen.

Preparation for a music career diverted him from writing for a while; as a professional trumpeter he played in many organizations in New England, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under Arthur Fiedler. He earned degrees at New England Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University and taught music in schools in Massachusetts and New York.

The author of The Memory String served four years in the Army in World War II. He has done field work with New York archaeology teams, served as curator at the Museum, Manor of St. George, and contributed articles on history and biographies to Long Island Forum and Encyclopedia Americana. He now lives in Center Moriches, New York. His hobbies are salt water fishing and the "repairing of my ancient but stalwart house overlooking the sea."