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Amazoni #33 The City

Story ID:7029
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Serial Fiction
Location:Cleveland Ohio
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Amazoni #33 The City

Lisa Godin

Chapter 1
Trader Joseph rode closer to the village of the mighty Ohna. Having neglected the celebration of her sixtieth season, he rode armed with a proposal as a late gift.
Tenore City was Joseph's ultimate destination, occasioned by the need to visit one of his numerous Trader Lodge suppliers to investigate new stock. Accessible only by boat across the Nooveau Ocean, Tenore City was a bustling harbor town of old brick homes, shops, grand churches, street vendors, and wandering minstrels.
Trader Joseph imagined Tenore City as the consummate experience for Ohna, who had never ventured beyond the confines of the prairies, grasslands, and mountains of her beloved homeland.
Entering the Amazoni camp, Joseph returned nods and friendly greetings.
"Dah, Jo-teff," war chief Et-esh greeted. "It is good you visit. It is not often enough. You will stay awhile?"
"Until morning. I'm here to offer a late present to Ohna, seeing as I forgot her birth celebration."
"I will join in the sharing of this gift."
"By all means."
Et-esh and Joseph arrived at Ohna's tepee. Dismounting, the Trader led the way inside.
The warrior sat upon her high fur bed, a wide napkin of boar skin draped across muscled thighs to catch the white wood shavings from her nearly complete miniature resembling a six-pawed, pointed-eared, one-eyed gray bear. She gazed up with a grin.
"The spirits smile upon me, my friend. I was just thinking of you."
Joseph eyed the wooden figure with keen interest.
"Very good! I didn't know you whittled."
Setting aside her project, Ohna sheathed her knife.
"There will always be much about me you do not know, my friend."
"So I see."
Et-esh and Joseph sat beside the bed.
"I have a gift for you to make up for missing your birth celebration. It's a trip."
Intrigued by the mystery, Ohna leaned forward with interest.
"I'm going to Tenore City to order a few things I need for the trading post. We'll travel by boat across the Nooveau Ocean."
Ohna's eyes widened. "Ah yah!" she exclaimed. "The Great Water!"
"Tenore City is huge. People, food, goods, churches, cobbled streets, even music makers."
"The people across the Great Water will stand in awe of the daughter of Codot," Et-esh declared.
"As they should. While I am gone, young one you will take my place."
Et-esh nodded.
Chapter 2
Trader Joseph wolfed down his heaping bowl of warm, spiced, white bark pudding.
"You have outdone yourself again, Ojah."
"Ohna cannot get enough of my food."
Joseph grinned.
"If I ate as much as her, I would grow fat again."
"I do not eat that much, Jo-teff."
"You're as big and as solid as a mountain, warrior. You hardly got that way eating like a bird."
"I do not let her eat like a bird," Ojah defended. "With my cooking. Ohna will remain big and strong."
Ojah excused himself to visit his friends.
Ohna set aside her half-empty bowl of pudding. Her piercing gaze bored into her friend.
"It is a good gift you give with this journey, Jo-teff. But my ways will not change because I walk in a different land."
"I didn't expect that."
"It is good we understand each other."
Trader Joseph indulged in a grand yawn.
"Let's get some sleep. I'd like to catch the early boat."
Ohna grabbed a bed fur and tossed it to her friend for his night beside the fire.
"Good sleep, my friend."
* * * * * * *
An hour after sunrise, Shesh-Amazoni mounted Appaloosa and Trader, cantered briskly out of camp to meet the boat for Tenore City.
"You'll be impressed by our ship, Ohna. It's very large, with cannon for defense and dozens of cloth sails."
"Your can-non are strong?"
"One cannon ball can certainly do damage. If all were fired, an attacking ship would be kindling in no time."
"Ah yah! I will see this?"
"Hopefully not."
Ohna frowned in disappointment.
"Climbing the sails' masts, you can see for miles in all directions."
"Seeing nothing but water is to see nothing, Jo-teff."
"But you'd be the first."
Unimpressed Ohna shrugged massive mahogany-skinned shoulders.
The riders slowed to a walk to cool the horses.
"My horse will like your sails."
"We'll leave the horses ashore."
Ohna tensed, uncomfortable with the idea of leaving Appaloosa with a stranger.
"Why cannot our horses come if this boat is so big?"
"Just isn't done."
"A Trader boat owning many sails and can-non, but cannot hold two horses makes no sense."
"It is so."
Joseph attempted another plot on the subject of horses.
"If you need to be around horses, Tenore City has plenty of horse-drawn carriages to take advantage of."
Ohna scowled.
"Making a warrior soft."
"Then we'll walk about town."
The riders quickened their pace.
Chapter 3
Trader Joseph and Ohna arrived at the Nooveau Ocean's white beach, its waters gently lapping the shore. A shack and empty corral stood one hundred yards away. An old man, bent with age, stood in the doorway, his wrinkled face softened slightly with white beard. He glared at Ohna his contempt urging him to spit a stream of tobacco, smacking a crab scurrying past his feet.
Dismounting, the riders gazed at their vessel stretching thirty-five feet, its hull of solidly constructed wood seasoned by gale winds and salt water. The spotless sails numbered one hundred, widespread square patches secured upon sturdy masts, their rigging criss-crossed in what seemed a senseless tangle, whipped in the strong breeze.
Ignoring the twenty man crew gawking at her from the ship's railings, Ohna gazed with interest at the row of ten cannon muzzles peeking from tiny portholes.
Joseph pointed to the dock.
"The boat's tied to that."
Ohna couldn't have cared less what it was tied to as long as it remained upright. Judging from the way the craft swayed, she had serious doubts of its seaworthiness. She and Joseph led their horses to the old man's corral.
"Fine day, isn't it, Cracker?"
Cracker limped up to Ohna, his blue eyes cold.
"It was until this barbarian ruined it."
"Age, I see, hasn't softened you."
Cracker spat a stream of tobacco, narrowly missing Ohna's moccasined foot.
Growling menacingly, Ohna then led the horses into the corral.
"Better watch yourself, Cracker. On Ohna's bad side now, misbehave when we get back, or mistreat her mount, your chew tobacco will be shoved so far up your ass it'll never see the light of day."
Ohna rejoined her companion.
"We go now, Jo-teff."
Watching his visitors tread briskly to the dock, Cracker spat a new tobacco thread.
Ohna and Joseph boarded the boat. Commands were bandied about. Within minutes they set sail. A rotund commander joined his passengers.
"I'm Captain Jahool, barbarian. Welcome aboard."
"I am called Ohna," the warrior corrected harshly.
Captain Jahool extended a friendly beefy hand.
"Forgive my choice of words.
Ohna folded her arms across her chest.
Embarrassed, Captain Jahool dropped his hand. "I see my manners with natives needs improvement." He turned his attention to the amused Joseph. "It's been quite some time since your ugliness graced my deck."
"Missed you, too."
"Are you two hungry? Of course you are. I have bread, a new meat called beef, which is quite tasty I might add, and some damn good ale I keep for special occasions."
"I do not drink burning water."
Captain Jahool examined the burly warrior.
"Judging from your size and no doubt incredible strength, you'd utterly destroy my boat if you were prone to drunken rages. So for you, I have a bottle of exquisite Looah Cider spiced with Jamma Root. Got it from the islands. Bottled it myself."
Ohna nodded.
"I will have."
"Wondrous! You won't be disappointed. My crew likes to pass the time with a little fun, too. How are you at cards?"
Ohna stared blankly.
Ohna brightened. "Ah yah!" she exclaimed. "Amazoni use gambling stones that are much like Trader dice. I always win."
"After eating, I'll assemble my men and see how good you are. Come along!"
Chapter 4
Their meal concluded, Captain Jahool led his new passengers on deck and announced the dice game. In need of diversion, the crew eagerly gathered wooden boxes as dice table and chairs.
"Who will play with Amazoni?" Ohna demanded.
An emaciated crewman broke from the crowd.
Ohna settled upon her box stool. Her opponent assumed his seat.
Crew Man removed his dice from his pants pocket and slapped them upon the play box.
Ohna pointed to Crew Man's polished tin collar pin molded in the shape of an anchor.
"I take that."
"My good luck pin?"
"I will have your talisman."
"What will you put up?"
Ohna drew a glittering medium-sized diamond from a waist pouch.
Crew Man leaned forward, hungrily examining the gem.
"Let's play!"
After replacing her diamond, Ohna slammed a dark fist upon the play box, jolting the dice.
"High number win. Agree. You hit now."
Crew Man fisted the play area.
Under the silent vigil of the watchers, the players threw the dice for more than an hour. Frustrated by the protracted game, accustomed to easy wins, Crew Man rolled his dice, surreptitiously palming them so both displayed six. Ohna narrowed her eyes.
"Looks like I win your diamond, barbarian."
Ohna slowly rose. "You win nothing," she hissed. "You cheat by changing the dice."
Leaping to his feet, Crew Man overturned the makeshift play table.
"How dare you accuse me of such an outrageous act!"
"I have sharp eyes, thin one. Greed for my stone-that-glitters makes you cheat." Ohna shoved Crew Man to the railing. Single-handedly lifting him by the collar she heaved him over, maintaining a tight grip upon the screaming and thrashing man. "Admit you cheat or I drop you," she threatened.
The dorsal fins of hungry predators poked out of the water alongside the vessel.
"Let me up! Let me up! Snap Jaws!"
Ohna lowered Crew Man slightly.
"All right! I palmed the dice! Let me up!"
Ohna yanked Crew Man onto the deck. Baring her teeth, she claimed his anchor pin, ripping his shirt slightly.
"You're confined to quarters!" Captain Jahool barked. "Consider yourself lucky I don't lash you to the mast and flog you." He booted Crew Man in the rear to hurry him on his way. He turned to the Shesh-Amazoni slipping Crew Man's pin into a waist pouch. "Please accept my apologies for his cheating."
Ohna nodded acceptance.
"I'll show you and Joseph your quarters. Should any of my men give you further grief, feel free to toss them overboard."
Ohna grinned.
Captain Jahool glared at his stunned crew.
"Well, don't just stand around like a pack of idiots. This ship can't run itself."
The crew scattered
* * * * * * *
Four nights later, with one more to go, under twin moonlight, Ohna left the cabin she shared with Joseph, and unexpectantly found Captain Jahool leaning against the rail, gazing upon his beloved sea. She joined him.
"It's a beautiful night, warrior. Nothing like clear skies and a gentle ocean to relax by."
"A lodge fire and a good smoke calm Amazoni."
"Only the sea calms me. Some time tomorrow we'll sail into Tenore City's harbor."
"That is good."
"I take it you've lost interest in nautical travel."
Ohna nodded.
"Not everyone takes to it. It was a pleasure having you aboard."
Ohna inclined her head slightly at the praise.
"Good sleep, Ja-hoo."
"Good night."
Ohna padded away.
Chapter 5
Midmorning of the fifth day found Ohna and Trader Joseph on deck as Captain Jahool's hulk coasted into Tenore City's harbor to anchor beside other ships swaying on their dock moorings.
"Enjoy your stay in Tenore City, warrior."
"You float away now?"
"We'll be around."
As she followed Joseph along the crowded dock, Ohna was uncomfortable among the huge Outsider population scurrying around unclaimed cargoes of food and crates, bumping into each other in their petty hurry. Strutting men in silk top hats, tailed overcoats over tight suits, shod in high polished boots; vain women prancing in their layered skirts, frilly blouses, and ridiculous flowered bonnets filled the warrior with disdain. She wondered how they could breathe in amidst all their finery.
The aroma of clashing perfumes and colognes stung the nose.
"Jo-teff, why do your women wear much paint on their faces?"
"It's called make up. It's supposed to make them look better."
"It does not."
Trader Joseph chuckled.
An overly made up woman with beady emerald eyes approached the pair, blocking their way. She was an arresting sight, her shoulder-length black hair set in tube-like curls, clad in knee-length, low-cut black dress studded with golden pearls, shod in black high heeled shoes.
"Hello, I'm Opal."
"We're not interested in anything you have to offer," Trader Joseph growled.
Undaunted and smiling wickedly, Opal caressed Ohna's muscled left arm.
"Maybe you're not, mister, but this one hasn't said a word. I'd have her for free."
Ohna turned to Joseph. "Weeshgah go-gah-goh. We go," she grunted.
The pair abruptly took their leave, abandoning a stunned, speechless Opal.
Stalking the red cobbled streets and ignoring passing gawkers, annoyed by frequent rattly horse-drawn carriages, Ohna viewed the unfriendly brown brick high-rise homes with swept front steps. Not a single patch of greenery brightened the stark sterility of the brick and mortar lodges. On the opposite side of the street, shops stood sentry duty.
Turning a corner, they stood before a squat building of white plaster. Its only luxury were the huge windows divided into hundreds of triangular panes of frosted glass. Above the red door hung a sign: Ye Eatery Inn.
"This is an excellent restaurant, Ohna."
Trader Joseph opened the creaky wooden door.
Ye Eatery Inn overflowed with famished patrons who were eating, drinking, and vibrating the rafters with blaring conversation.
A long table set in the middle of the restaurant was crammed end to end with bowls of assorted meats, fruits, soups, breads, and nuts. Stacks of tin plates and silverware waited for takers.
Scorning the use of Trader plates, Ohna helped herself to a roasted chicken, chomping a massive bite out of it to the appalled stares of onlookers. Joseph helped himself to a bowl of piping hot black soup and a chunk of brown bread. They settled at the last empty table. A waiter materialized, glaring with revulsion at Ohna ripping apart her meat with savage abandon.
"I don't believe we need anything as yet," Joseph assured.
"I've had complaints about this...this... person you came with," Waiter retorted.
Wiping grease from her mouth upon a massive forearm, Ohna glared at the disrespectful intruder.
"What about my friend?"
"People are staring at her. She's an unwelcome distraction with her sparse clothes, if you can even call them that, her table manners are atrocious, and worse, she doesn't have the decency to use a plate. You may stay. She goes."
Joseph slurped some soup.
"Those are serious complaints. I suggest you discuss them with my friend."
"I intend to."
Ohna rose slowly from her seat, her titanic size casting an ominous shadow upon the dwarfed waiter.
Finishing his soup, Joseph concentrated attention upon his bread. As far as he was concerned, Waiter no longer existed.
"You have words for me?"
Waiter nervously swallowed, realizing that physically he'd be no match.
"Speak," Ohna commanded.
Ohna clutched a handful of Waiter's crisp white smock and yanked him against her.
"It appears I've made a mistake."
Ohna growled.
"Anything you want, we'll try to...uh...accommodate you."
Ohna shoved Waiter from her.
Waiter hurriedly escaped.
The warrior sat.
Ripping off a piece of bread from his diminished chunk, Joseph handed it to Ohna.
Chapter 6
Ohna and Trader Joseph hit the street after their meal. Time to shop. The warrior followed her friend into Laras' Place. She was astonished by the sheer volume of merchandise, far more than Joseph's Trader Lodge had. There were bolts of silks, belts, standing dolls, necklaces, hats, bracelets, earrings, and weapons.
While Ohna browsed, Joseph stepped up to Laras' counter and found the seated, lanky bald storekeeper reading a paper.
"Laras, you too-tall scarecrow. How the hell are you?"
Laras leaped out of his chair.
"Joseph, you son-of-a-bitch. It's about damn time you showed! I'm fine as always. You?"
"Fine as always."
Laras gazed at Ohna hovering over the jewelry/weapon case.
"How many times do I have to tell you, Joseph, to introduce me to your friends. Who is she?"
"Her name is Ohna. She's a Shesh-Amazoni warrior."
"Warrior, eh? Well, get her over here so I can meet her!"
"Ohna," Joseph called, "Laras is dying to meet you."
Ohna approached the counter.
"Is she friendly?"
"Ask her."
"Are you friendly?"
"Are you Jo-teff's friend?"
"A very good one."
"Then I am friendly."
Laras grinned.
"Humor. I like that. Anything I can help you with?"
"I find good presents for my mate and a warrior."
Laras stepped from behind his protective counter. "Lead on." He turned to Joseph. "You know where my pad is. Jot down your Trader Lodge list for later shipping."
Laras followed Ohna to the glass case holding both jewelry and weapons and unlocked it.
"These chain bracelets and necklaces are made of the finest silver. World-renowned artisans made the knives and small hatchets."
Ohna snatched up a thick bladed knife with an onyx hilt.
"Excellent choice. Very popular."
"It must be sharp."
"Trust me. It'll take seasons of hard use before it needs honing."
Ohna admired the gleaming blade.
"War chief Et-esh will have this fine weapon. I see no sheath."
"We don't sell them."
"It is foolish to trade a knife but have no sheath." Ohna shrugged. "No matter. Et-esh will make one.
"I will have all your bracelets for my mate, Ojah. He likes many."
Laras scooped up the delicate chain bangles.
"Anything else?"
The warrior trailed Laras to his counter.
"Quite an extensive list this season. They'll be shipped in a month. Let's see. Your items plus your warrior's comes to...two hundred gold pieces."
"Robber, my ass. I'm your favorite supplier."
Joseph surrendered his gold.
"You can be replaced."
"Like hell!"
"You try to cheat Jo-teff?" Ohna demanded.
The men laughed.
"No, warrior. We always banter like this."
Ohna relaxed.
Laras wrapped the Shesh-Amazoni's goods in plain wrapping; she in turn handed the package to Joseph.
Laras' patrons departed.
"Church is the next to show you."
"It's where Ner is worshipped."
"You have no faith in your spirits, Jo-teff."
Trader Joseph flashed a wry smile.
"My wife, Kiddy, does, and she made me promise to go."
"Kid-deh is wise to make you visit this sacred lodge called church. One day you will believe in its great power."
"Always the converter."
They rounded another busy street corner.
"I do not know that Trader word, Jo-teff. All I know is if you turn your face from this spirit called Ner, when you need him, he will not come."
"Look, I'm going to church for Kiddy. Now you keep your religious beliefs, I'll keep my lack of them, and we'll get along better, all right?" Joseph snapped.
"As you wish," Ohna replied quietly, bothered at how upset she had made her companion.
They halted before a magnificent stone building with twelve spires reaching far into the sky. Huge granite steps paved the way to an ornately carved door. The church's windows of stained glass depicted a white robed, bearded man with long yellow hair speaking to people and animals.
"Ah yah! I like this picture glass of many colors."
"Stained glass."
Shielding her eyes from the sun, Ohna peered skyward at the intricately carved stone spires, each tipped with a stone dove.
"Medicine Woman would not believe the story of this sacred lodge's size! Does a shaman live here?"
"Only on worship day."
Ohna shook her head in awe of such beauty and power that Outsiders took for granted.
With an effort, Joseph pulled the massive door open.
Chapter 7
The pair walked the red carpeted foyer to a wooden wall with an embedded sterling silver basin filled with water. Out of respect to his wife, Joseph anointed his forehead with a drop of water.
Curious, Ohna leaned over and sniffed. The water smelled pure. She plunged her hand into the basin and lifted it. Warm water dripped from her hand. It felt like ordinary water.
"You just dunked your hand in holy water, Ohna."
"This is good?"
"You're not supposed to do that."
Ohna scowled.
"I as tahna make it better because it knows a leader's touch. This water gives your people strength?"
Joseph shrugged.
"Then why do you touch it if it carries no meaning for you?"
"I did it for Kiddy. Let's get out of here."
"You will not stay for Kid-deh?"
"I've done enough.
"I will see more of this lodge," Ohna insisted and continued down the carpeted floor between gleaming wooden pews. At the end of the white walled hall stood an alter. A thousand lit candles inside golden cups flickered. They must send up prayers to the one called Ner, she surmised. The room was barren of icons. For a place of worship with its outer splendor, church seemed a cold and sterile place within. Ohna returned to Joseph standing near the holy water basin.
"I see why you do not believe in your spirits, Jo-teff."
Ohna nodded.
"Your spirit does not live here. Burning sticks send your prayers, but if you cannot see your spirit in ways other than the picture glass, you cannot feel him.
"The spirits of Amazoni are everywhere. We always hear them, see them in visions. We feel their touch and it is warm. Your people do not speak to your spirits. Your shaman comes only one day. It is a bad way. Amazoni could teach Outsiders much about speaking to the Sky People."
"I couldn't have said it better myself. Let's go."
Continuing their tour of Tenor's congested cobbled streets, Joseph and Ohna encountered a mesmerized crowd outside a long yellow tent listening to a pacing, top-hatted, mustachioed speechmaker.
"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, to be dazzled by the most spectacular specimen of a man with never before witnessed strength, cunning, and agility in his sport of wrestling. Pacifico the Mighty is his name, wrestling is his game. For one day only, any brave soul who will face Pacifico will fight for free, and all you lucky folk may watch for free."
Ohna shoved through the crowd.
"You speak great things for one who stands alone. You are as the storyteller who plays with words."
Ring Master glared at his impertinent heckler.
"A disbeliever. A barbarian disbeliever at that, unschooled in civilized ways. Who are you?"
The warrior thumped a huge fist to her chest.
"I am Ohna leader of the Amazoni from across the Great Water. I am a mighty warrior who has fought in many battles and owns many scalps. I have greater strength and cunning and have never lost a battle."
"Ah ha! A boastful barbarian woman."
"Ah yah! I do not speak empty words. I say also that you shout about one who is not all you say he is because he is too cowardly to speak for himself."
The crowd gasped at such boldness.
"You tell them," Joseph muttered to himself.
Ring Master was incensed.
"He will not even show himself," Ohna goaded.
"Pacifico the Mighty, appear before this heathen loudmouth!" Ring Master called.
Pacifico the Mighty lumbered out of the tent. What a figure he presented, bald and blemished with a nose smashed flat. His belly hung so far over his red tights that he couldn't see his booted feet.
"I will fight!"
"Good!" Ring Master exclaimed. "But I caution you. Looks are deceiving. You'll have your hands full, for Pacifico has crushed greater than you. Overconfidence will defeat you."
"Overconfidence gets warriors killed, loud one. I live."
Ohna shoved her way past Pacifico into the tent.
Rumbling with excitement, the mob followed.
Chapter 8
Within the tent, flat mats of straw-stuffed burlap were cordoned off with ropes. Bleachers surrounding the ring rapidly filled as Ohna and Pacifico the Mighty stepped into the ring. Ring Master joined them. So annoyed by the man was Ohna that she tossed him out through the ropes, to wild applause.
"I'm gonna rip you limb from limb," Pacifico threatened.
Ohna stuck her tongue out.
Roaring like a bull, Pacifico clumsily charged, missing Ohna who laughingly sidestepped the lunge.
Playfully she danced about her behemoth, dim-witted challenger as she would at an Amazoni social dance to wild laughter from the crowd, Trader Joseph chortling the loudest.
From behind his back, Ohna tickled Pacifico's meaty ribs, startling him.
Allowing his anger to overwhelm him, Pacifico charged. A powerful moccasined foot to the belly slammed him onto his back.
Humor evaporated, Ohna pounced upon the stunned man. A fist delivered with all her strength to his forehead knocked Pacifico out cold. She hefted a fist overhead and whooped shrilly in victory.
The crowd went wild--applauding, stamping their feet, shouting, and whistling. Encouraged, Ohna screeched again.
Joseph ran to ringside.
Ring Master dodged Ohna to Pacifico and slapped him in the face in a futile attempt to rouse him.
"Good show, Ohna!"
"It will be a good story to tell my people."
"A hell of a story."
"I have had enough of this Outsider town. We will go now. I am anxious to give my presents to Ojah and Et-esh."
As they crossed busy street after busy street on their way back to the dock, Ohna spotted a girl child no older than three seasons toddle into the path of a rapidly advancing, master-less horse-drawn carriage. Townspeople screamed, terrorizing the already alarmed horse, but doing nothing to rescue the unaware child.
Ohna bolted.
The runaway carriage was nearly atop the toddler, who sat down exhausted from her wanderings.
With the speed of a loosed arrow, Ohna seized the child and hugged her close. The toddler burst into shrill crying at being handled by a stranger. Ohna rolled with her charge, avoiding the horse's pounding hoofs and carriage's crushing wheels by seconds. Undaunted by the rescue, the carriage thundered on.
Joseph, clutching tighter the warrior's wrapped gifts, ran to the kneeling Shesh-Amazoni who spoke gently in Amazoni, her foreign words soothing the little girl.
Townspeople crowded around, whispering and pointing.
A distraught woman dressed in frilly crimson silks, bonnet tentacled with multi-colored feathers, neck weighed down with strands of polished silver pearls, snatched her child, hugging and kissing her.
"Your young one is not hurt," Ohna assured her.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Ohna inclined her head.
"I've never seen anything like you."
"I come from across the Great Water. I am Ohna, warrior of Amazoni."
"I want to invite you to my house for a reward dinner. It's not often a child is saved."
"To visit your lodge would be a good thing. But I cannot accept. I have been away from my people too long."
Woman unhinged her clustered gold pearl brooch from her collar.
"Then please accept this as a token of appreciation."
Ohna accepted the trinket valued more as an additional pretty present for Ojah.
Joseph and Ohna came upon their docked boat for the trip home.
"So, did you enjoy this exciting trip?"
She retrieved her package of presents from her friend.
"It is as you would say, a good place to visit but I would not want to live here. To sit before my fire, smoking my pipe, Ojah and Et-esh close, is where I belong."
Without a backward glance, the mighty Ohna stalked up the dock ramp onto the boat.