Star Stone Trilogy – Book One: Yii. Chapter Seven


Early morning, and Yii watched with amazement as hundreds of men stood in the open space in neat groups. There were also some of the white people riding astride large animals which they seemed to be able to control. Equally surprising were some strange looking devices carried on round things which went round as they were moved. Yii was impressed. The devices must have been quite heavy, for the round things sank a little into the hard surface of the open space, but the beasts pulling them were helped because the round supports revolved smoothly as the devices were carried along on them.
As Yii watched, all the men in the neat groups started tramping away, with the white people on animals going with them, disappearing out of the open space. Last the strange devices on the round supports followed, pulled by animals smaller than the one the white people were riding, they too disappearing out of the open space.
The regular visits from the tall white person now came to an end for some days. Major General Roberts V.C. required the regiment to be training ready to defend North West Frontier, and guard against incursion by raiders from Afghanistan. What Yii had seen was the regiment gathered on the parade ground, and marching away to the north. The officers were riding horses, and the guns on wheels were pulled by mules.
So Yii, feeling lonely and neglected, wondered constantly where he was and what his future might be, and what would his tribe be doing now. Now that they had lost him he guessed that his tribe were going through the funeral rituals for a dead person who could not be found. The Brahm would recite words of farewell. These were very simple, but if they could be translated they would be something like: ‘Float to the distant places, O loved one; be at peace in your new life. May the gods of water and fire guard you; the gods of wind and trees sing to you; the gods of tiger and snake watch you travel…’

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