"It's a boy!" Roshario exclaimed. She sprang up and ran out of the tent.
"Thonolan, come in here!" Thonolan nearly fell over at the sound of his name. He was up all night pacing back and forth nervously in his lean-to set up outside Jetamio's tent. Her cries kept everyone up, and most thought the worst.
"Hurry up, Jetamio is waiting," Shamud said, poking her head out the opening.
Thonolan walked into the tent and knelt beside his mate. "How are you feeling? How is the baby?"
"I'm feeling a little sleepy, but the worst part's over. He is doing wonderful, too," Jetamio whispered, smiling at a bundle of chamois skins.
Thonolan gently took the bundle into his arms. "He is so beautiful, so small. Have you decided on a name?" He whispered back, with a big smile on his face.
"I have decided to name him Jethon."
"Jethon. I like it." Thonolan said with a happy grin. He handed Jethon back to Jetamio and ran out of the tent, looking for his brother.
"Big Brother, come and see Jethon! Isn't he just so beautiful!" Thonolan shouted, grabbing Jondalar's hand. He tried to pull him towards the tent, but Jondalar's strength was too much.
"Calm down, Little Brother. I'll come and see Jethon, you don't have to pull me," Jondalar said, trying to unlock his brother's grip from his hand. Thonolan fled back to Jetamio quicker than a rabbit. Jondalar walked into the tent, smiled to Shamud, and knelt down besides the couple.
"He is wonderful. Congratulations, Little Brother," Jondalar said, smiling at his brother. He began to think of Serenio. Would she have a child of his spirit? He worried about his age; 21 was old for an unmated man. Though he loved Serenio and her son, Jondalar wasn't sure he would tie the knot with her.
"No Darvo, see here. You hit it too hard so the stone broke. Hit it again, but with less force." Jondalar explained. He was teaching Darvo how to work the stone. Jondalar decided that he would stay with his brother and live with Serenio and Darvo, though one day he would return to his home. He liked the boy, and Darvo had a knack for flint-knapping. He created spear points with ease and tools were made with a professional quality. Jondalar had only begun teaching him three moons ago and he had already made many tools without an accident. He was surprised when the boy's axe suddenly shattered.
"Darvo, is something bothering you? You haven't broken a tool for some time," Jondalar questioned, looking into his troubled eyes.
"Yes, something is wrong," he stated, looking down. "Tholie said she was planning a small Journey so she could visit some Mamutoi kin to the North but when I asked to go along, she said I was too young. Jondalar, you know I like Journeys! Why do I have to be so young?" Darvo complained, dropping his hammerstone. "You know I have planned to make a Journey, and I want to meet Tholie's kin. The Mamutoi sound interesting and I could learn so much!"
"Darvo, is that what's troubling you?" Jondalar said, shaking his head slightly. "You will be old enough soon. Don't worry about it. The Mamutoi won't go anywhere," he reminded with a smile.
Darvo sighed. "I suppose you're right, Jondalar..." He was still upset about not being able to go on the Journey but Jondalar had a point. Until then, he would perfect flint-knapping so he could show off his skill to the Master Flint-Knapper who lived with the Mamutoi. Thoughts about being as good as the master made Darvo very eager. He picked up his hammerstone and worked a fresh piece of flint with a smile on his face.
Jondalar watched Darvo. He really wants to make this Journey, he thought. Well, Darvo will be old enough in a few years. Talk about Journeys had the man thinking about his own, past and future. Maybe he will bring Darvo to visit his home. Jondalar spotted Dolando walking by and decided to pay Tholie a visit before she left.
"Darvo, are you okay now?"
"I'm fine. Why?"
"I just want to talk to Tholie. I'll come back."
Jondalar passed Thonolan and Jetamio with Jethon, working out some new winter clothes for the infant. He grinned, then left to find Tholie. He was interested in these Mamutoi people and Tholie told him there was a young man that was one of the best flint-knappers anyone has seen. Apparently he could give Dalanar a run for his money. He felt a little jealous when Darvo talk about him but the boy still looked up to Jondalar. He ran to Dolando and waved to him.
"Dolando, have you seen Tholie?"
"Yes; she is in her tent packing up for the Journey. Roshario was just in there too, Tholie decided on bringing some company," he replied. Dolando was unhappy about his mate traveling and staying away for a whole year. Jondalar nodded and started towards her tent. He scratched on the leather hide, waiting for a reply.
"Come in!" Tholie yelled. Jondalar pushed aside the hide and walked in, ducking his head.
"Hey, Tholie. Getting ready for your Journey?"
"Yes, actually. I don't know how much to pack, though. I am not sure how long it will take to get there. Summer is a good time to travel, but I don't want to be walking through winter unprepared," she said in a worried tone.
"Well, as long as you can hunt, you are fine. What are you taking?"
"A change of summer clothes, a pack of travel food with some of the Ramudoi's special fish eggs, some good tools, a few chamois skins, and a couple of spears. I can't take too much, though you are right. As long as I can hunt, I can get more food, and maybe some hides."
"When are you and Rosh going to leave?" Jondalar asked.
"We're heading out tomorrow. Roshario is all packed up. She was so happy when I asked her to join me," she said with a smile.
"Well, I hope you two have fun, and may the Mother smile on your Journey. Oh, and make sure you bring back some flint-knapping secrets from the one you call best," he said, winking at her.
"Don't worry Jondalar. I am sure he will be very interested to exchange some tricks," Tholie said, winking back.
Jondalar walked out of the tent and back to Darvo. He was excited to hear the young man wanted to make tools for the women. They went to work immediately.
The next day everyone helped Tholie and Roshario gather items for their Journey. If they could, they would have brought the whole camp with them. There were many tearful good-bye's and hugs from both water and land people. Darvo ran to Tholie and gave her some special tools he made.
"Be sure to show Wymez these tools Tholie! These are the best ones I have made, and I want to know what he thinks."
"Of course I will show him, Darvo." She smiled, and carefully placed the tools in a pouch on her haversack. Roshario was jumping up and down, excited to start the Journey. She took Tholie's arm and tried to pull her away from the emotional crowd. Tholie made sure she had talked to and hugged everyone before leaving with her friend. With a final good bye, the two women set off into the horizon.