Chapter 4

-4-

The danger of the pass

 

The next morning Nora approached Jhacks, who was standing on his mountain and singing: “fruits giggleishish”. When he saw Nora he asked her

“What rhymes with giggleishish?”

“I’ll tell you something, Jhacks, how about Peto-ran-away ishish?”

“What?!”

They both simultaneously ted the horizon. Jhacks because he didn’t need to get kicked out of Nora’s land on the first day of work, and Nora because Peto was the only family she had. It was Nora who spotted Peto walking toward the irka’s fort. This was enemy territory to Nora, who was sure that the irkas would kill her sister if she entered their land. The irkas were actually boys the same age as Nora, but their parents had killed her mother and taken her father, and Nora was unwilling to admit that they were anything other than bloodthirsty. So when she saw Peto walking toward their area, her heart turned cold and the only thing in her head was get to Peto. She tore through the pass, dashed around Mt. Futchi and through the twin mountains, aware that Jhacks was right behind her. They caught up to peto just a few feet away from the irkas, and Nora glanced warily around. Then she turned to Peto.

“Peto! I’ve told you not to go over here!”

“Peto go ‘splorin’”.

“No Peto, you must ask me or Jhacks before you go anywhere, who by the way, I WILL DEAL WITH WHEN WE GET HOME.”

If Jhacks heard the danger in her voice, he did not respond. It was then that they entered the pass. (They had been walking while they talked, or rather, while Nora talked.) all of a sudden Nora heard an unknown voice saying “get her, she’s on our land!” next thing she knew, strong arms wrapped around her and held on. Nora tugged at them while calling “PetogohomeZenaSheenoJhackshelp!”

Jhacks was nearest, and he tugged the arms off Nora and the two of them scrambled up Mt. Yinin. Nora turned to look back and saw a group of children her own age. The one who stood in front seemed to be the leader and she called “no one walkes on our land!” she said it in a way that seemed as though English was not her first language, and she had been taught those words, and only those words, just for the purpose of threatening people.

 

Later Jhacks toldNora a surprising fact.

“m’dad told me where I came from once. I wasn’t too interested in comeing back here, but after he died, I decied to see what it was like here.”

Nora tried to keep her voice cool.

“what did your dadtell you about here?”

“he said I was decended from Jordan I, thefounder of the Ki, Jordan II, missionary of the Cloister, Tom, the pie man,  and Jordan III, who taught English to some people named Ivy and Nora.”

That was when Nora exploded.

“you blockhead! You didn’t tell me you were decended from the famous people! Peto and I are decended from people working right along side your ancestors! I had know idea that you were really one of us! YOUR BLOOD BELONGS TO THIS LAND, JHACKS, AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN TELL ME!”

Nora shoved Jhacks right off Mt. Yinin, to where he lay in the snow. Nora gave him glare and turned on her heel.

 

Nora never forgave Jhacks. She avoided him, but at the same time was noticing that he seemed to be gaining control of Peto, or else Peto had stopped running off. Or rather, Jhacks was with her wherever she went. Nora often saw Peto running in the tall grasses of the prairie with Jhacks watching her. Nora was still giving him the cold shoulder, though. She wonered if he was expecting praise. She had to admit, however, his baby-sitting was improving. Nora, meanwhile, was busy making friends with the people in the pass. She had observed that there were four of them. 3 girls and 1 boy. They had made a nice home in the pass, crouching against the walls at night and building little shelves where they held their treasures. Their clothes came off the supply cart and their hair, except for the boy and the smallest girl, was kept long. Now Nora knew why her scissors had seemed to disappear occasionally.

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