The winter of death and destruction had passed,
and spring had finally come to the high places of the world. Flowers
bedecked the sparse plains and young animals gambolled and grew in the
brief warmth of a sub-arctic spring that would all too soon stretch
into the warm, hazy days of summer, and before long autumn would bring
early frosts and icy mornings. Here, just a few days walk from the edge
of the great ice-walls to the north, a man stood.
He was tall for a Neanderthal, broad and brawny,
as was right for one of his breed. But his height was unusual, as were
the blue eyes that shone with great humour from under the heavy brow
ridges. It was said in the tribe that his mother had mated by the shores
of the great blue river to the west, for she had come to the Ulam already
heavy with child.
She had been taken in and fed, for she was a
hard worker, and once she had given birth to a son and proven herself
fertile, she had been mated to the man that would forever be thought
of as this tall warrior's sire. But his real sire was the river, the
rumours now said, and his mother had never denied it. That was the tale
told of this blue-eyed man who had gone with Naoh and Gaw on the quest
to find fire after the tribe was decimated by an attack by the Wagabou,
the hairy killers that had eaten their Ulam prey.
He became known as Amoukar of the Quest.
They had returned not only with Fire and the
skills to create it, but much more. Naoh had brought a woman. A slender,
dark woman of great beauty, although Amoukar thought her skinny and
her flat-planed face and huge eyes unnerving. He had found her alluring
though, and even at one point fancied she would make a mate for himself,
but she had taken to Naoh. He was leader and now chief of the Ulam tribe,
since many of the Old Ones had died in the Wagabou raid.
So now he stood, high on a promontory, watching
a herd of saiga antelope far below feeding on the rich spring grass.
He held the light atlatl in his left hand - his odd-handedness
another thing that set him apart from his peers - and thought about
how to prepare the hunt. The tribe had to be fed, and spring brought
new life - Naoh's woman, Ika, had given birth to a son. More women were
heavy with child, and this meant extra work for the men of the Ulam.
To prosper, they had to eat and lay by supplies for the long, hard winters.
He sighed. Amoukar of the Quest was regarded
as a fine warrior by his people, and he had returned from his Journey
with something else - a wicked sense of humour. Now he was in much demand
for stories by the fire, his big frame using the rich body language
of the Ulam to bring alive tales of long-gone hunts and bawdy encounters
with women of other tribes. But mostly the Ulam wanted to know about
The Quest. So Amoukar would sit by the glowing embers and relate tales
of mammoths, and the meeting with Ika's people the Ivaka, and had the
Ulam rolling about with laughter as he related how Naoh had had to mate
with the Ivaka women, all of them large, rounded females with buttocks
like moons. The poor man had been exhausted at the end as the members
of the Ivaka looked on with great amusement. Ika listened to all this
with tears of laughter running down her face as she nursed her new son.
But Amoukar was not happy. Here he was, a renowned
warrior and hunter with a good reputation, a great Quest to his name,
and the women of the Ulam wouldn't consider him as a mate. Amoukar of
the Quest was a decidedly lonely man.
Amoukar knew the problem lay with his status.
His mother had no status at all when she had arrived - no past, as she
never told of her origins. She had therefore been mated to a man of
low status, although he was a good man and a decent mate. He had treated
her well, and given her three more sons to enhance the wealth of the
tribe. Amoukar thought of his three young siblings, all now hunters
in their own right, two of them already mated with low-status women.
They seemed happy enough with their lot. But Amoukar had never found
a woman he desired to mate with
He groaned with need at the thought of her. Olah.
Her very name made him harden in arousal. She was beautiful
of very high status. She was untouchable
and so desirable he
couldn't even speak in her presence. There had been women in the tribe
who would have allowed him to relieve his need, but it may have meant
taking them as a mate if he had shown an interest.
well, she was different. He sat
down on a nearby rock and pondered the problem. He often came here to
think about things, trying to figure out how his life was going to be.
Amoukar of the Quest was now in a position to settle down with a mate
and sire children
many children, to enhance the tribe and to
pass on his skills as a hunter. Olah was the one, he knew. She and no
other would do.
She had come to the tribe just after his return
from the Quest, her mother a mate to a high-status Ulam who had lost
his previous mate in the Wagabou attack. He had been distraught, but
knew he had to find another mate and bring more Ulam into the world.
That was every Ulam's destiny, as it should be. So he had found Olah's
mother in a nearby tribe, the Usheg, who lived closer now to bathe in
the reflected glory of the Ulam. They had been proud to let such a man
from a great tribe like the Ulam barter for her favours. Olah's mother
had bred sons to her previous mate who had died, killed by a woolly
rhinoceros, and Olah was her eldest child. Olah's mother was already
pregnant to her new mate, and the Ulam thought it most propitious. Therefore
Olah was highly desirable as a mate, having already reached womanhood
with the beginning of her menses a year earlier.
Amoukar wanted Olah. He wanted her more than
he had ever wanted anything in his life before, and he had no idea how
he would go about gaining her as his mate. His sleep was disturbed by
her, his nights restless with want for her.
He knew she slept only a spear's length away
from him, but she may as well have been on the other side of the world
as far as attaining her favours were concerned. Nevertheless, he often
had to rise in the night and take himself off beyond the firelight and
spill his seed onto the ground, groaning in frustration and grief. He
had never been with a woman, but he wanted nothing more than to lie
with Olah and spend himself within her supple young body. He wanted
to see her belly swell with his children and her breasts fill with life-giving
milk, and he would keep her fed and warm, as all good Ulam men should.
But how he should go about winning this desirable woman for himself,
he had no idea.
His blue eyes narrowed against the setting sun
he pondered the problem for a while longer, but could not think of a
way out of his dilemma short of stealing her away and leaving the tribe
for good. But he couldn't do that, he knew. He was loyal through and
through - he couldn't help it, it was an essential part of him he couldn't
deny. No, he couldn't leave - even if it meant being unable to win Olah
for himself. He would have to think of something else. Perhaps if he
spoke to Naoh
his friend and leader was a wise man. It was he,
after all, who had led them to victory in the Quest and had brought
home a wise woman like Ika, who had taught them how to create fire from
nothing more than two sticks. It was a rare and precious gift, and Naoh
had been blessed not only with a clever woman, but also a new son. Yes,
Amoukar of the Quest decided. It was time to speak to Naoh
Standing upright, he decided he was happier.
The decision was made, and he would do his best to win Olah for his
mate. Turning away from the setting sun, he wandered back down the hill
to the cave of the Ulam.
She was watching him as he ambled down from amongst
the stunted trees, his big frame broad and inviting. Olah had been watching
Amoukar since she had come to live with the Ulam.
She had never seen such a man. She liked his
broad shoulders and strong hands, she liked the way he tied his thick
dark hair back and fastened it with two sticks to keep it out of the
way, and she liked the way he laughed as he told stories in the shadowed
light of the night fire. Laughing was not something she was used to.
The Ulam, like their neighbours the Usheg, were a solemn people, not
given to much humour, or so she had been led to believe. But her friends
among the Usheg had been wrong - the solemn Ulam did laugh, and laughed
and it was usually Amoukar of the Quest who made it so.
He could be a buffoon, or a hunter, a warrior
or a fool. But there were no two ways about it - in Olah's eyes he was
all she wanted in a man. He never shouted at her, or threatened her
- indeed, he seemed tongue-tied in her presence, his big body confused
as he tried to convey thoughts or wishes to her. Even demanding a mouthful
of water from her had him fumbling with embarrassment, the gesture of
cupped hands becoming so muddled until the whole tribe saw the word
meld into the phrase for 'woman', which had Olah shaking with silent
laughter and the more unkind members of the Ulam say that Amoukar wanted
to drink of Olah's pleasure until he was sated. Which Olah secretly
knew to be true, and wished in her heart that it could be so.
Nevertheless, the old women and children of the
tribe had made Amoukar's life a misery for days with their teasing,
the big warrior blinking in confusion and stoically taking their unkind
comments. But he withstood it as always, resigned to his fate. Yes,
Olah thought. Amoukar of the Quest would make a good mate, although
his low status made him unsure and withdrawn sometimes, a fact that
She watched as Amoukar settled down beside the
fire, those strange blue eyes gazing thoughtfully into the depths of
the thing that meant life or death to the Ulam. Without fire, without
this thing that burned bright and kept predators away, this thing that
kept them warm and brought them together as a tribe, they would be nothing.
Olah knew Amoukar was admired and respected amongst
his people, but she had to find a way to make his status unimportant.
Amoukar would have to do something so radical, so awe-inspiring, that
his status would melt away like ice on a warm spring day.
But how to go about it? Olah looked over to where
Naoh's woman Ika crooned softly to her young son. Ika would know. She
had brought so many new ideas and perceptions to the Ulam that Olah
knew instinctively that Ika would thing of something.
With a determination unusual in such a respectable
and well-brought-up young woman, she scrambled to her feet and went
to visit her friend.
Amoukar was so deep in thought that he was unaware
for a while of his friend Naoh settling himself down beside him at the
fire. But finally he drifted out of his reverie and looked over into
amused and sympathetic brown eyes.
Naoh gestured quietly at Olah, now sitting beside
Ika and amusing herself by playing with Naoh and Ika's young son.
"You want her, my friend?"
Amoukar grunted miserably in reply. Was it that
obvious? Of course it was. Amoukar looked over at Olah, watching her
with naked desire on his face. Look at her! How could any man not want
her? Her deep-set brown eyes glowed with pleasure as she played with
the child, her broad hips and young, budding breasts setting his heart
aflame. She was small by Ulam standards, and barely reached Amoukar's
broad chest, but he knew she would be a lusty mate and a fine mother
to his children. He groaned and rocked unhappily in his misery.
Yes." He bowed
his head in assent.
Naoh watched his friend and quest-brother as
the young warrior suffered in silence, but he was at a loss as to what
to do. He knew Amoukar's status was the barrier, and it would be a difficult
problem to surmount. Naoh was a wise man and a good leader, and an unhappy
Amoukar was no use to the tribe at all, but he knew he could not dare
to flout convention in this matter.
As Amoukar rocked, always a sign of distress
in the Ulam, he covered his eyes with a half-open hand, his face grief-stricken.
I wish I could
Naoh frowned in concern. He knew how Amoukar
felt - when Ika wasn't there he was lost, as though his body had been
cut in two. When she had returned to her people during the Quest, he
had lain in her bed of dried grass, full of the scent of her, and felt
the same way.
He leaned forward and touched Amoukar's cheek
with the back of his hand in the time-honoured sign of friendship and
"We'll think of something." Naoh gestured
at Ika with his chin. " I'll speak to Ika
she will know.
She always does."
Amoukar groaned helplessly, his rocking subsiding
gently - if Ika could think of a way to win Olah
he would do
anything. Absolutely anything.
Leaving Amoukar to wallow in his misery, Naoh
wandered over to discuss the matter with Ika, the woman who had brought
the means of making fire to the Ulam. She alone, he knew, would find
Ika sat pondering the matter, feeling the tug
and nuzzle of her son as he suckled lustily at her breast.
Naoh was deeply concerned for Amoukar - they
were brothers if not in blood then in friendship, and it worried Naoh
that Amoukar had got himself into such a state over Olah, although he
understood why. The girl was ideal for the young warrior - clever, skilled
in all manner of things, Olah would bolster Amoukar's self-confidence
and give him many fine children. But how to facilitate matters
It was a major problem. She knew if Amoukar could
do some great feat he would be able to ask for her - Olah's mother had
mated a reasonable man, and he would be content to let her be joined
to such a fine warrior. But what could he do?? His status was inherited,
and it took something outstanding to change it. She thought quietly
as she changed her son to her other breast.
Studying the other members of the tribe, her
gaze suddenly fell on young Gaw, the third of the Quest-brothers. Small
and slightly-built he was nevertheless a quick and fearless hunter,
as was his twin brother. He had never let his size daunt him from a
thing, and he had fought his way out of the clutches of a cave bear
during the Quest and lived to tell the tale.
He walked with a bad limp now as a result of
his injuries, and he would never have made it home to the Ulam if Amoukar
had not carried him on his broad back. Gaw was still a valued member
of the Ulam, however, as he was their finest flint-knapper, and the
three warriors had remained close. Gaw had mated recently and it was
already obvious his mate was with child, and the prospect filled the
young warrior with joy - he would have a son to show how to hit a flint
core just in the right place so that the flakes would be exactly the
right size for any tool Gaw planned to make. If it was a daughter, she
would have enough status to mate well and be cared for.
But the thought of the bear made Ika ponder more
on the subject. The idea that was forming in her head was radical, she
knew. And, if Amoukar approved, would be highly dangerous, if not suicidal,
for him. Naoh would probably not be happy about it, she thought, as
it would surely result in Amoukar's death and the Ulam could not afford
to lose such a fine warrior in such an escapade over a woman. But ultimately
it was Amoukar's decision and no-one else's. Catching Naoh's eye as
he sat stripping sinew from the butchered hock of an aurochs, she gestured
for him to come to her. She had a plan.
Naoh thought she was crazy. But Amoukar sat thoughtfully,
his blue eyes weighing up his chances. It was a risky plan to say the
but if he could do this thing, well
were breathtaking. Olah's step-sire could not refuse him even if he
wanted to; such a feat of triumph would negate any objections he could
think of. Amoukar's low status would melt like the snow in high summer
and trickle away to nothingness, and Olah would be his.
He looked at Naoh and Ika, his decision made.
Only they would know of this great thing he would do for his Olah -
the girl was not to know. He tapped his head gently with the handle
of his atlatl and then raised it above his head in the gesture
"'oo:rsa 'tir pre-nj
I will hunt the bear
and I will win!"
Naoh looked at the triumph on his friend's face
and grieved, for now he knew that Amoukar would die.
When dawn broke the following morning, Amoukar
made ready for his journey. The bear he had in mind was the same one
that had mauled Gaw, and Amoukar had chosen his prey with care. Not
only would the claws and skin be a fine bride-price, he would bring
home the skull for the tribe. A bear skull was a prized possession for
the Ulam, and for generations had been set on sticks at the rear of
the cave as a symbol of the tribe's high status.
He looked over at Gaw, the young flint-knapper
wrapped around the body of his mate, his hand lying on the unmistakable
swell of her belly where the child lay. He would bring home a tooth
for Gaw, he decided. That would bode well for the child when it was
He lifted his atlatl, checking that the
flint heads on the short, light spears were sharp and firmly embedded
in the body of the shaft, and then he retrieved his heavy wooden spear.
He had no doubt whatsoever that he would need it. His last chore was
to lift three glowing lumps of charcoal from the fire and put them in
a hide container. With the help of fire, he knew, he had a chance of
killing Gaw's bear.
The rest of the tribe was beginning to stir and
Olah stretched her firm young body, yawning mightily. But her eyes widened
as she saw the man she desired for her mate more than anything in the
world stand up to leave. Where was he going? She saw how heavily armed
he was, and instantly knew he was going hunting
but what perturbed
her was that he was going alone. An animal big enough to require the
heavy wooden spear was very dangerous, and normally would only be hunted
by all of the fit men of the tribe, never singly.
As he went outside into the early morning mist
that boded well for a sunny day, he turned one last time, and caught
Olah watching him. For once he didn't look away in embarrassment and
saw, for the very first time, the yearning in her. His blue eyes shone
with warmth at the concern for him he saw in the brown gaze. He straightened
to his full height and gently hit his high shoulder with his fist. He
let her know in that one movement that she should not fear for him
he was strong.
Olah thought her heart would burst with pride.
He would do this thing for her, whatever it was, and although she was
deathly afraid for him, she knew he could do nothing else - he wanted
her more than anything he had ever wanted in his life, so she stood
as tall as she could so the tribe could see the pride and faith she
had in him. She bowed her head in acknowledgement of the honour he did
her and she made sure every member of the Ulam saw and understood that
she desired him too.
And then he was gone, his tall, broad frame silhouetted
against the cave entrance for a moment, strong and graceful in the hazy
Olah stood still for long moments, letting the
tribe see her devotion, her chin tilted in defiance of any who would
dissent. She waited until Amoukar had gone and then she sighed. She
was frightened for him. She knew he was going to do a thing that was
so dangerous it could cost him his life, and he was doing it for her.
What if he died? She instantly stopped herself thinking that way. He
was her Amoukar, and he was a great warrior - he would find a way.
She caught her step-sire looking at her with
shrewd eyes. He knew how much Olah wanted the young warrior, and he
was fond of his step-daughter. Amoukar would be a fine mate for her,
he decided, and obviously that strange woman Ika had found a way around
it. If Amoukar returned alive, he was in no doubt that the man would
have earned his woman. It would please him greatly to give Olah to him.
He only hoped the young man didn't get himself gutted in the process.
The next few days were going to be very, very
hard indeed for the tribe
and especially for Olah. Well, there
was nothing they could do now but wait. He nudged his mate who still
lay slumbering beside him, and demanded some water.
It took Amoukar half a day's walk to reach the
gorge where the great bear lived.
Deep and winding, the ancient cliffs had been
hollowed out by a long-dead river millennia before, and the soft carboniferous
stone was full of caves and channels that echoed eerily as the wind
explored their depths with chill fingers. It was here the bear made
its home, solitary in habit, only coming in contact with its own kind
during the brief mating season.
Amoukar didn't approach the cave which lay in
the crumbling wall, although he knew by experience the beast would probably
be asleep in the heat of this surprisingly warm spring day. He wanted
to get a look at the animal, he needed to find out its habits and routine.
He couldn't spend too long in his observations, as cave bears had a
great sense of smell, and he didn't want to be surprised in the night.
Crouching on his haunches on an outcrop above
the gorge, he studied the cave. The entrance was not too large, and,
even better, the cliff-face sloped back above the cave, a jumble of
rocks lying against the cliff wall.
He took a sharp breath as he saw movement at
the entrance, and suddenly Gaw's bear emerged into the sunlight. The
thing was huge. The heavy brown pelt was ruffled by the soft breeze
and the massive broad head swung sideways as the animal tested the scents
in the air. The shoulders of the beast were enormous, hunched with muscle,
making the hindquarters look small in comparison. As for the creature's
even from his elevated position Amoukar could hear the click
of the long, wickedly sharp claws on the rock.
But even as he wondered how he was possibly going
to kill the bear without killing himself into the bargain he noticed
something. The animal was lame. One of its hind legs dragged heavily
and the hock was at an awkward angle - obviously the leg had been badly
damaged and had healed crookedly, but the bear seemed to be able to
put its full weight on the damaged limb. The big ursine also seemed
to be in good condition, so the injury hadn't hampered it too much.
But Amoukar knew the bear could not run as fast as it should, and that
was a key advantage.
As he watched the bear set about looking for
something to eat, Amoukar of the Quest began to formulate a plan.
The bear had returned to its cave in the heat
of mid afternoon, and Amoukar watched from his new hiding place above
the cave amongst the jumble of rocks. The afternoon was warm, with little
in the way of a breeze, and for a spring day the air was surprisingly
He waited for a while, knowing the bear would
settle down in the cave and sleep until dusk, when it would once again
stir and head outside in search of food. As he sat he began to hear
a soft, rumbling 'huff'
the bear was asleep. Lifting the charcoal
in its hide container and gathering up the green branches he had collected
earlier, he silently eased down to the entrance.
He tipped the charcoal on the floor just inside
the cave entrance and covered the glowing chunks with the green foliage,
grimacing in satisfaction as he saw them begin to smoke strongly. The
draught that constantly swept through the entrance sucked the smoke
into the cave and fanned the small, licking flames that grew steadily
as he watched.
Leaving the branches to smoulder, he retired
once more to his position above the cave and waited by his heavy spear,
now lodged firmly underneath the pile of boulders and resting on another,
ready to be used as a fulcrum. His atlatl lay beside him, and
the four short spears it propelled lay in readiness.
For long moments he waited, the tension beginning
to tighten in his gut. He didn't know if he would succeed in his task.
A cave bear was a daunting opponent even for a strong hunting band of
six or seven members of the Ulam. For one man
well, he knew if
he didn't succeed he wouldn't win Olah - and if he didn't win Olah,
then life wasn't worth living and it would be as well that the bear
But his pondering was interrupted by a rumbling
cough, then a hefty sneeze. There was a clatter of claws on rocks and
then the bear was emerging from the cave in a stumbling amble, the huge
animal half-blinded by the thick smoke and still drowsy from sleep.
Amoukar was ready for him. Leaning with all of
his weight on the wooden spear he shouted with effort
rocks began to move. With a grating rumble, they shifted and unbalanced,
and with a final, massive heave of the spear Amoukar managed to dislodge
the key stone that kept them in place.
A tumble of boulders rained down on the beast,
pounding into flesh and bone, the animal disappearing under a hail of
rock and dust, a bellow of agony torn from the enormous chest. Amoukar
screamed his triumph as he saw the huge animal collapse under the assault,
and as the dust settled he saw the creature lying still under the jumble
Straightening, he grabbed his atlatl and
raised it above his head in victory. He had killed the bear!! Olah was
But his triumphant cry was interrupted by a rumbling
growl. Amoukar's joyful 'arr' died in his throat as he saw the
bear rise from the rubble, obviously hurt, but very, very angry. Amoukar
knew instinctively he was in deep trouble. A wounded bear was doubly
dangerous, and he had to act quickly.
Grabbing the short spears he notched one in the
throwing handle and sent it unerringly into the bear's side, burying
itself into the ribcage behind the shoulder. The bear bawled in anger
and pain and Amoukar saw blood spill from its nose and mouth - he had
pierced a lung. The next spear hit its hindquarters, the third embedded
itself deeply into the bear's powerful neck. The animal stumbled and
fell, and Amoukar felt his heart thudding in his chest with fear and
exhilaration. He had one more spear left, and he send it hard into the
bear's ribcage once more, hoping to hit something vital
the bear's head sank onto the ground, he was sure he had hit the great
muscle in the chest that gave it life.
He waited for long moments, watching, gauging
how the bear lay and trying to see if it was still breathing. But the
enormous beast lay still, sprawled on the dusty ground, blood pooling
beneath its head.
Cautiously he wended his way down from the rocks,
now holding the heavy wooden spear in readiness, and prepared to deliver
a final blow to the animal to make sure. As he neared, he saw the broad,
bloodstained muzzle of the beast, and the great, armoured claws on the
big paws. But as he got closer he gasped in horror.
The bear was watching him.
Mortally wounded, it was nevertheless still alive.
The moist nose twitched as it caught his scent and the head lifted,
the animal grunting in agony, and it managed to haul itself to its feet,
unsteady but intent on killing the human thing that had brought about
Amoukar stumbled backwards in shock, teeth bared
in fear and knowing he had absolutely no chance of escape if the bear
The ursine was blinded by pain and anger, but
it still reared onto its back legs, and Amoukar knew he was a dead man.
The beast was half as tall again as himself, and the jaws opened wetly,
blood dripping from enormous canines. The bawl of the animal as it thudded
back down onto all fours made the ground shake, and then it was lumbering
towards him at an unbelievably fast rate, its rolling lope carrying
it - despite its injuries - towards the warrior at a frightening speed.
The damaged leg didn't hamper the beast one little bit.
Amoukar had run out of time.
The bear was almost upon him, and instinctively
he braced the heavy spear against the ground and closed his eyes. Olah.
He thought of her beauty, and her magnificent body. For his Olah, he
decided, he would die well, as any good Ulam would.
And then the world was nothing but noise and
the stench of blood, he felt an agonising, tearing pain in his chest
and side, and the heavy blow of a big paw. And suddenly, everything
He was suffocating.
He couldn't move, and his side and chest were
on fire. But he was alive, he was sure.
Amoukar of the Quest surfaced gradually from
unconsciousness, and was very surprised indeed that he had survived
a bear attack. Opening his eyes, all he could see was brown fur, and
twisting his head sideways he met with a dull brown eye, glazed in death.
He could hear the buzzing of flies but nothing else, and as he tried
to move he had to yelp from the pain in his side.
But gritting his teeth he managed to push the
bear's carcass a little and wriggle his way out from beneath its front
leg. Free from its lethal embrace, he lay gasping for breath, gathering
his strength. He was hurt, he knew, but he had no broken limbs and he
obviously hadn't bled to death, so he decided he might just live long
enough to get home to the tribe and win his Olah.
After a little while he struggled to his feet,
swaying unsteadily, and looked at his wounds. Large parallel gashes
in his chest muscle and his side had bled profusely but now were crusted
with dried blood. The paw had caught him a glancing blow, probably in
the bear's death-throes, as it lay impaled on the heavy spear. The animal's
own impetus had been its death, as its body weight drove the weapon
deep into its chest during the final charge at Amoukar.
He made his way painfully back to his place above
the cave and retrieved his hide water container, and took a long drink,
slaking his thirst. He couldn't believe he was still alive - and, what's
more, he had killed a bear single-handed. No longer was his status low
he, Amoukar of the Quest, has rid himself of the taint forever.
He was a great warrior, and nothing could now stop him from claiming
Olah for his mate.
Digging out his flint knife, a gift from Gaw,
he set about the chore of collecting his bride-prize from his kill.