We made our way back to to the walkway we had built, I stood looking at it, something was bothering me. If the lomen found their way into the entrance, they would have free access to attack us. I decided to alter our walkway we cut the strips holding the section and pulled it back onto the next section. There we repeated and pulled the two sections back this would leave a gap of at least twenty feet of open water in one of the swiftest areas of the river.
We were happy to be back in River camp Sondi and Girl rushed out to meet us. It seemed we had been gone for months instead of two weeks. The Cats had not given birth as yet but it was obvious they were close and I told Drago to keep them here. Hobar and his wife Ceeil decided they liked the solitude here so decided to remain here. We all knew that Drago and Teal were becoming a pair so we knew Teal and BO would be here soon.
I Still planed to go after the lomen but not knowing what we would be facing I wanted to wait till the birth of Girl and Sondi' s Kits. Once they were born and weaned Mondo and Drago and who ever became their handlers would begin to train them. Mondo was looking at … at least 6 months. By that time the kits should be able to follow basic commands and be able to hunt.
Two weeks later Sondi gave birth to two kits a male and a female. Girl lasted three more days and she had one kit, female. We named Sondi 's kits male Sola and the female Soli. Girl's kit we named Duri. We had many requests to be handlers but the two who came first was Malo and Lil, they had become inseparable and had worked with the bigger cats. I felt they would be perfect for Sola and Soli. Socar and his partner Goba became Duri' s and they would train with Drago, Runt and Girl.
Teal had the best of both worlds, being Drago' s partner she also trained with the cats. Girl expressed her partiality to Teal. This really helped Socar and Goba with Duri. Duri was very mischievous you had to be careful where you left your moccasins. She would tour thru camp and if moccasins were in view she would collect them to make her bed. Goba would have to get them back...Duri would not listen to anyone else.
I visited with Hobar to talk to him about taking a younger wife, no one doubted how he felt about Ceeil but she is past child bearing age . Maybe you should speak to Ceeil about it... Her baby sister Gin would be good for both of you. And Gin is still child bearing age. Besides these extra women are wearing me out, Sonda and Ludi are complaining.
At three months the kits having been weaned we took them on a hunt. I left Bruno and Runt to guard River camp. Sondi took point and Girl to the right side. The kits ran by their mothers sides. Rather than South and west as we usually hunt I decided to travel up the East fork of the dry wash. But first checking the clearing for lomen.
We left the wash about a mile past the clearing and headed south east. After awhile Sondi came back with a rumble in her throat she grasped my hand in her teeth and dragged me the direction she wanted me to go. After a short distance we broke into a well defined trail which led down to a river crossing. From the foot prints it was obvious this was used often. Probably by the lomen herding their captives.
Since I was on a cat training outing I didn't really wish to confront any lomen today. We began to move South by west. A few minutes later the cats dropped into the grass and silently Girl and Sondi began to move forward . Sola and Soli to either side and Duri doing the same alongside Girl. I readied my spear Socar and Goba knelt where they were. Malo and Lil inched forward and placed their hands on the backs of the kits.
I listened and was a bit worried … they were tracking a sow and piglets. I considered this to be one of the most dangerous adversary. The sow had tusks as large as Bruno,s and he wasn't with us I was ready to call off the cats when the sow Charged, Sondi stepped to the side and Girl did also. I dropped to my knees and set my spear. The sow was charging so fast she ran up on my spear before Sondi and girl could even attack.
Sonda clamped her jaws on to the back of the sows neck. Girl ripped for the stomach. Duri chased after the piglets. Malo and Lil lifted their hands off the kits and directed them toward the piglets also. The sow's speed and force caused the spear to drive into her almost up to my hands.. As Sondi attacked, the sow swung its head and ripped open Sondi' s side. She still had the power to clamp down hard enough to paralyze the sow. Girl had disemboweled the sow with her belly attack. I like to think that my spear actually killed the sow but I really think the cats saved my butt.
I looked around, the kits and their handlers had taken all eight of the piglets. Before we began dressing out the pigs I sent Malo back to get Teal and BO. We were going to need BO'S strength to bring in Sondi and the Sow. We could handle the piglets on the hand drug travois.
Ludi came back with them with her powders and herb cures to start the healing of Sondi. She brought some skins and absorbent moss to wrap around the wound in Sondi's side. Which was a good thing because no way were we going to get Sondi to ride on the travois with the sow..
This was to be a training hunt but due to the old sow we got more that we bargained for though. One big plus, was the obedience of Sola and Soli by not running headlong into the fray, instead they waited until directed. And fought their instincts and went where they were told. Also Duri went after the piglets rather than following her mother into battle with the sow.. All together, other than Sondi's wound things went quite well.
I got my second spear from the travois, I had tried to remove my 1st spear from the sow but it was lodged tight. We started to work our way back to the wash, covering our tracks and covering our entrance from the lomen's path into the wash. We had made multiple accesses to the lomen's pathway from the wash. We constantly replaced the brush with new so that it did not stand out as being different.
We were moving toward the bramble gate when we heard voices. I motioned every one down as I knelt I felt fur touching my legs... It was Sola and Soli repeating what Bruno and Sondi would do in face of danger. The voices were near the bramble gate... it was two lomen they must have seen Ludi taking Sondi inside for more treatment. They were seeking where she disappeared and had not discovered the entrance as yet.
Girl edged forward, Socar held Duri back, turned and looked at me for hint of what to do. I motion to hold them back. I stood with spear in hand and yelled 'NOW' and threw the spear, Girl burst out and leaped landing on one of the lomen as my spear unfortunately struck the same one. I again yelled 'NOW'. The kits charged in and attacked the the uninjured lomen … Sola And Soli went for his ham strings. Duri, like her father leaped and bit down on his privates causing the lomen to bellow out in pain. Malo stepped in close to the lomen and with one swipe ripped his throat from ear to ear.
I led all three of the kits close and had each one sample the blood of the lomen. “Well this trip worked out quite good” The kits got more training than I expected for a hunt...It was back to normal for awhile. Sondi was not a pleasant patient but she continued to get better.
Every three days I went out or sent one of the others out on a scout. We mostly scouted our normal hunting area usually along the wash to the South and West. After 5 months of training of the kits I felt it was getting close to time to go after the lomen. Now that Sondi was well it was time for a real scout.
I took Bruno and Sondi and Drago and started across the River following the lomen's path. Once we crossed the River we faded into the forest but kept the trail in sight. Often we saw lomen walking both ways on the trail. We spotted one group bringing in some captives, mostly women.
This got me to thinking... All the captives we had freed there were three to one women to men...Why? That was a question I was itching to know the answer too. Drago wanted to rescue the captives. I had to explain this was a scout we could take this small group but with lomen coming and going along this trail it is just to dangerous. We are trying to locate their village and then come back and rescue a lot of people...hopefully. We kept this group in sight and followed along behind.
We followed them for two days it became very difficult to stay out of sight with all the lomen moving around. We circled around a bit and was able to see a large clearing ahead . I put the cats on stalk and Drago and I followed along behind them.
Bruno came to a stop and made a rumbling in his throat I edged up between the cats while Drago move up along side of Sondi. We could hear screams and yells from both men and women. What came into view was sickening.
We were over looking down into what appeared to be a large bowl shaped hole in the ground about a 100 feet in diameter. At the 4 points of the compass was a crude stairway. Other wise the sides were over 12 foot deep making it near impossible to escape without going up the well guarded steps. There were at least a 100 lomen. With more entering and leaving in all 4 directions
There were no lomen women, how curious, but there was many tribal women some pregnant some not. The men were tied to trees or stakes and watched closely, some had arms or legs missing. The lomen would grab a tribal women and bend her over and rape her then throw her aside. It made no difference if the woman was pregnant or not. It was wanton debauchery. Across the way was a small hut we could hear babies crying and see male children coming in and out the door.
As we backed away I told Drago we would take some of them out as we headed home. We picked our spot and I sent Drago and Sondi to the other side of the trail. We were just out of sound range of the lomen bowl. Well sound range of human voices I expected the sound of a couple of Cave Lions to send fear into the minds of the lomen.
We heard a small band of lomen coming down the path toward the bowl. Bruno lay in wait in front of them and Sondi slipped in behind. Drago was hidden behind a large tree and I behind a large bush. When the lomen were about centered in our attack zone I whistled and the cats attacked. The lomen panicked and one powerful blow from the Paw of a full grown Cave Lion crushed the skull of one victim as Bruno seemed to brush him aside and clamped down on the next. They tried to turn and run away from Bruno when Sondi made contact and tore into them. Drago and I stood up and began jabbing with our spears. The lomen were yelling the one thing I understood in their language, “The Beast, The Beast!”
By the time it was over we were blood splattered but uninjured and at our feet lay 8 lomen. I had Bruno and Sondi roar loud and often...Then we disappeared into the forest. We went further out and set up another ambush. And we waited.
We were watching the River crossing, suddenly there was silence and one lomen stepped in to the water he was very careful and looked all around holding his club at the ready. He successfully made the crossing. Thirty feet from the water the path made a bend the lomen carefully went around the bend only to find himself facing Mondo holding a sling. Mondo swung the sling and released one end sending the rock with killing force straight into the scouts forehead.
Down he went, before he hit the ground Drago had him under the armpits and was dragging him into the underbrush where he administered the final blow or should I say slash...He cut the scouts throat. Now back to position to wait for the next group.
We didn't have long to wait two more lomen came into sight and entered the water. Behind them was a line of captives and four more lomen. As the first two reached the other side, Drago and I stood with slings in hand and loosed two more rocks then reloading and the second stone was on its way instantly. Drago' s first stone taking his target in the throat crushing his windpipe the second stone hitting the collarbone and snapping it in half.
Mondo' s first stone striking his man in the nose driving pieces of bone into the brain and turning his head which caused the second rock to hit the lomen in the temple. Both lomen dropped to the ground never to move again.
While Mondo and Drago were taking care of the lead two, Bruno and Sondi attacked from the rear between teeth and claws they made short work out of the other four. At the sight of the Lions the captives were screaming. Bruno didn't help matters when he walked up to an 8 year old girl and licked her face.
We finally convinced the captives everything was alright but before we released them we had to get rid of the bodies. I heard a splash and looked down the river and spotted a set of eyes twelve inches apart...a Crocodile … Drago looked at me and smiled. We pulled the bodies into deeper water and gave them a shove. The faster water took them right to the gathering Crocs knowing it was feeding time.
We went back to the captives and released them. There were two poles of captives equaling twelve, eight women over fifteen, an eight year old girl and three men. We led them North to the wash and on to the bramble gate. Ludi had heard Bruno sounding so was ready for us. She marched all of us to the hot pond and had us strip and enter the bath.
The oldest woman was 23, she backed toward me wiggling her tail, I knew this was her way to express her gratitude. Oh well who was I to turn down such a gift, since I had fathered over half the kids in the clan. I squatted a bit since she was quite small then I lifted her up and guided my self into her. I looked over to Drago only to see he was getting the same treatment.
When the bath was over and fresh clothes were furnished we introduce our newcomers to our valley they were in awe. Every body greeted them but the show stopper was when the three kits pushed thru and demanded attention from all not just the newcomers.
One of the men, Ibin, asked if I was the beast. When I said I was, the other man Timor, stated the lomen are afraid me. I laughed and said I try to keep them that way.
There were hundreds of lomen and I still do not have a plan to eradicate them.