"North" by Joseph Fick

Chapter 40 And When The Time Is Right p470~473

Lak looked at the men assembled in his tent. Ogwah,
his old and faithful lieutenant, near him sat the trusted
Thah, mature beyond his years ready to serve his chief.
On his left were Keelut and Jenson, both men feeling
471
more important than they really were. Fools were so easy
to deceive.
“I’ve drawn up a plan, one that will be followed without
question,” said Lak placing emphasis on the last part.
“We have seen two groups of men leave the ship. Time
enough has passed. When we finish here, Thah and
Keelut will take ten men and go after the first party.”
“I don’t know why we waited so long,” complained
Keelut, “we could’ve taken them before.”
“You are going to get them now. We know where their
supplies are and the direction they are heading. They are
closer to what they want to find, and if anything should
happen to them, they can expect no help. You can reach
them faster than they have moved,” said Lak. “As for the
ship, me, Ogwah and Jenson will take that.” He looked at
Thah, “Meet me there when you return.”
Thah nodded. Lak looked at the other men. “Any
questions?” he asked, the question itself more rhetorical
than anything. When no one spoke, the leader stood up,
followed by the others. “Thah, Keelut, be on your way.”
He turned to the Englishman, “Jenson, guns,” he said
simply. The man nodded and left. With the others gone,
Lak spoke to Ogwah. “Send Kamei to find the second
party and bring them back here. How many of them are
there”
“Four men, two sleds, it shouldn’t take too long to find
them.”
“You didn’t send men to watch them?” asked Lak.
Ogwah shrugged his shoulders. “I didn’t think it was
necessary Lak, it was only a small hunting party.”
“Find them,” said Lak.
Ogwah nodded and left the tent. Lak shook his head he
had to think of everything it seemed. He walked to the
opening of his tent and whipped open the flap. “Send me
one of the whores from
the trading post!” he called to some men huddled around
some dogs. After all, what’s the point of being a leader of
renegades if he couldn’t indulge occasionally?
Ogwah walked to the fire Kamei was warming himself
at and sat down. “Those four hunters that left the ship,
you know?”
Kamei nodded his head.
“Lak wants you to find them, bring them here. Can you
do that?”
Kamei nodded his head again. It didn’t surprise him
that he was ordered on such a task. He could find the
men. It might take a day or two days, a week or three
none the less, he would find them. He stood up and
without a word walked to his shelter for his rifle and
whatever else he might need. Ogwah watched him go.
Kamei never questioned, never argued and rarely spoke.
He just did as he was told which suited Lak, Ogwah and
the band just fine. The older man smiled, those hunters
were as good as caught. Ogwah stood up and walked to
his tent, he still had much to do.
Jenson sat in his tent making faces in a small mirror
putting on a fierce face that…well, looked more silly than
fierce. Well, that was ok, he had a little time before it
was actually needed. He put the mirror down and sighed.
He shouldn’t have killed Tobias, he realized now that it
was a rash act, a mistake. He didn’t have anybody to talk
to or to look up to him. It was wrong for him to lose his
temper and he was man enough to admit it. Of course
Tobias was still dead but at least Jenson felt better about
himself.
Keelut prepared his sled. Finally he was going to get
some satisfaction. He knew Peter was in the group they
were going after and it would feel good to settle the score
after all this time. Keelut would have his revenge for the
wrongs committed against him of that he was sure. He
would show that pathetic group that Peter led who was
boss, they would learn a well needed lesson, he would see
to that! The thought made him smile.
Thah, who was also preparing his sled, saw Keelut
smile and wondered what might have crossed his mind to
bring such an expression to his face, not that he cared so
much. Thah didn’t think much of the Inuit failure,
besides he already had his instructions concerning the
fool, to be carried out at Thah’s discretion. Finishing up,
he checked the other ten men who were going with them,
not that they needed checking but it provided a
necessary excuse to have a private word with some of
them. Such a task did not take long and within a short
period he was back at his sled waiting. Keelut
approached Lak’s man. “Let’s leave,” he said in a flat
voice.
Thah nodded his head. “Yes, let us leave,” he said and
with those words the twelve men departed.

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