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Irving Crump's
1936. Og - Son of Fire
"Based on the famous radio adventure series"

Big Little Book #1115
Racine, Wisconsin
Whitman Publishing Co.

CHAPTER SEVEN

In the Snows

Nada, who was sturdily strong, enjoyed a speedy convalescence. Og and Ru spared her of carrying wood for their fires and soon her arm was entirely healed of the painful wolf-bite.
Again they pushed on, toiling over the mountain range which lay between them and the Mussell River on which their village was located.


Nada Was Spared of Carrying Wood

The Cave People noticed the weather was growing colder. They did not know that a great ice cap was slowly moving down from the north and driving all creatures toward the tropics.

So now, when they found themselves caught in their first snow storm on the mountain slope, they were again deeply grateful for their knowledge of fire.

Nada, breathless with exertion, and weak with hunger and cold, paused to rest.

"Og — I — am — so — tired —. This snow — gets — deeper."

Ru beat upon his hands for warmth.

"You are always tired, Nada," he was unjust in his impatience and his own discomfort. "You move as slowly as a turtle."

"I do not!" Nada said through chattering teeth. "Oh, can't we rest a little down there by those boulders? They will keep out the wind. I have the dried grass safe inside my tunic so we could make a fire to warm us."

"It is not wise to linger," Og spoke cautiously. "We must get down the mountain out of this storm. The caves of our People are somewhere down in that valley."

In the distance there sounded a rumbling roar as a heavy snow slide went its tumbling way down the mountain.

"Another snowslide!" Ru spoke as though the snow were Nada's making. "If we get caught in one of those we shall know it. We must hurry on. See it go tumbling down the mountain."

Og looked about him, then turned pityingly to Nada.

"It is what I am afraid of," he said undecidedly. "But you ARE cold, Nada. Look, Ru, how she shivers. Her teeth rattle together like seed in a dry gourd."

"Oh, my feet are so cold," Nada whimpered.

But Ru would offer no sympathy.

"Always she holds us back," he grumbled. "Three days ago we left the valley of the wolves and we are still far from our village. We have not tasted food since we ate those wolves we killed, and they tasted none too good."

"It has been a hard journey," Og agreed. "Hard for us all. But now —" He reached his hand to Nada and helped her along. "Now we shall rest behind these boulders for a little while."

Og and Nada led the way, Ru followed in sour humor.

"You always give in to her," Ru grumbled. "Think of me, I am pinched with hunger."

Presently Nada stopped and pointed to a spot in the snow. "Look, Og — there! Blood on the snow. It is — why — it is a goat!"

Ru, his good nature immediately regained at the possibility of food, pushed ahead.

"It is a goat," he cried. "And fresh killed, too. It has been raked on its back and flanks by some creature with claws."

Og was now looking at the animal.

"You have sharp eyes, Ru," he said admiringly. "These are the: claw marks of a snow leopard — the only cat creature that lives up here in the snow."

"But if the leopard killed the goat," Nada questioned, "why did he not eat it?"

Og explained: "The snow leopard must have struck him down on the mountain top — but the goat got away. His strength failed — and he crawled behind these boulders to rest."

"And here he died, and here we found him!" Ru ended the story joyously. "This is great luck."

"Now you may be grateful to me for wanting to go in here and rest!" Nada could not keep a little gloating note out of her voice as she smirked at Ru.

"Bah," Ru replied begrudgingly, "it's no fault of yours the goat is here."

"Where is your dried grass, Nada?" Og looked about for a suitable place to build their fire and roast the goat meat.

Eagerly they set to work. A dead tree nearby provided enough fuel to send a cheery fire blazing in spite of the deep snow. While Og and Ru tended the fire, Nada, with the help of Og's flint knife skinned the goat.

"I will cut away the cat marks, she called as she worked. "I like not the smell of their claws."

With his stone axe, Og broke the horns off the goat's head. Nada was examining the skin.

"It is so warm — so wooly," she crooned caressing it with her chilled fingers.

The warmth and cheer of the fire, the sizzling of the meat and the tantalizing odor put the Cave People in a festive mood.

"Og," Nada looked up eagerly, "give me your flint knife. I have a good thought."

"So have I!" But Ru's thought was the coming feast. Og gave Nada the knife and went back to the fire.

Nada placed the skin flat on the ground, wooly side up. She placed her foot on it, and then cut and tied it about her ankles with a thong.

"See, Og!" delight sparkled it her voice. "I have clothes for my feet as I have clothes for my body!"

Nada displayed her feet proudly.

Og and Ru looked from Nada to each other, greatly pleased with what she had made. There was skin enough to make a pair for each and this Nada did. The Cave People had their first goat-skin moccasins, the first shoes to worn by the human race.

"Strange it never occurred to us before," Og spoke thoughtfully,

"We never had to walk in snow before," Nada said. "We only saw it on the mountainside."

"True," Og said, "snow is new to our People."

Ru poked at the sizzling meat, "Can we not eat it now?" he asked impatiently.

"Wait, it will soon be done," Og bade him. Then he said, "Nada, I have a good thought, too. The goat horns — on the end of a stick — they would make good spears!"

"A long spear. That is a good thought," Ru acknowledged.

Now Ru's interest was thoroughly aroused. Excitedly they worked, and when Nada announced the meat was ready, they proudly displayed their new weapons of defense — the spears they had invented.

"Look, Nada !" Og begged her full attention. "See — I hit that dead tree. It sticks very deep. That will kill a goat or —"

He was interrupted by an eerie wailing cry.

"What is that?" Nada cried in alarm.

Og retrieved his spear. "The snow leopard!"

Ru saw him first. "He is coming down the mountain yonder. Do you see?"

"Oh, he is coming for his goat," Nada was afraid, but she was hungry, too. Then, in an after thought, she said fearfully, "He is coming for — us!"

"And we are coming for him!" Og boasted. "Come, Ru, let us test our spears!"

Together they advanced.

The leopard glided in closer. He drew back his lips, baring the great yellow fangs, preparatory to an attack.

Nada screamed a warning.

"He is charging! Look out, Og. Here he comes! Look out!"

Ru poised the spear. "I will stab him through the chest!" he cried exultantly.

"Not too close!" Og warned him. Mind his claws. Look out, Ru."

But he spoke too late. In a flash, the leopard leaped and knocked Ru down.

"He is killing Ru!" Nada sobbed. "Og, stab him! Stab him, before it is too late!"

Og held the spear high, poised it carefully — and sent it flying to its mark.

Ru was saved.


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