Poster: Matoskah McDonough
Post # 8
Mat was making his own canoe. He was building it where he and Yas
had their little ritual across from Ashford Island on the port coastline
heading up around the bend to the Lighthouse. He had cut down a straight
birch, twenty four inches in trunk diameter and free of branches for
twenty feet. He slit the skin with a knife and using a square of thick
bark with a chisel edge cut into it, removing the bark in one piece.
This way he will not have to seam pieces together for a fifteen foot
canoe. A skeleton was made of wood pieces, forty or so ribs that he ran
the bark over sealing all seams. This was what he was in the process of
doing this day. Soon he would have his own canoe to take across the
waters even if he had bought two well made other canoes from the
Wainwright and one from Bovee.
Yas had been out hunting and after dropping the skinned and prepared
game off at the camp, headed off to find his brother. He had a feeling
where Mat would be and was pleased to see he was right. Moving silently
he came up beside his brother while studying the canoe. "Need to
work with your hands?" He smiled as he teased, then nodded.
"That is true but I have means until this canoe is ready to be put
in the water." Motioning to the brush where he hid the other two
canoes upside down and one would not notice them for the way he
camouflaged with other brush. "Have you seen Patwin yet? I wish for
us three to investigate the island. Hunt. See if the spirits like us
there." Which there was a clear view of the island off in the
distance. Clear waters rolled in and back out in that constant motion.
It would take them an hour by canoe, the waves not as bad in the
direction behind the island to the shore here. Spot he chose for their
spirit flight done a few weeks ago.
He glanced over his shoulder and nodded, "Good." He opened the
buckskin bag he was carrying, offering Mat one of the rabbit pies from
inside. Courtesy of Kuwan. "Kuwan said eat. And no, I haven't seen
him yet. I'm sure he'll be here soon enough. He can smell one of these
from miles away. " There were several inside.
Patwin swiped the back of his neck with the palm of his hand, pulling
the stroke down along his chest. The heat of the day lingered on his
skin, but the breeze felt good against the sweat that beaded on his
brow, against his scalp, down his spine. With that breeze traveled the
scent of pies, rabbit pies, Kuwan's rabbit's pies to be exact. After the
lengthy fast that accompanied his time with the spirits, that particular
aroma caused his nostrils to flare with appreciation, his mouth to water
in anticipation. His steps were silent through the trees and underbrush
until he found the source and that 'source' was already indulging in the
pies. He stepped into the clearing and started toward the brothers.
"The Great Spirits have spoken and guided me to this very spot to
share those pies with the both of you."
He had sat in the grass while he enjoyed his own, tipping his head back
to watch the sky. And when he heard that familiar voice, he started to
laugh. "You see, it only takes a good breeze, and there he is.
" He held up the bag, grinning. "There are plenty. I would ask
if you are hungry, but I know when it comes to rabbit pie, you are
"Patwin!" Certainly pleased to see his 'brother' as he secured
the strip of bark in place. "There is much to tell, much to share
while we eat rabbit pie." He had a small fire going for he
suspected they might not cross the ocean to the island until the setting
of the sun. They would spend the night there, hunting and sleeping on
the other side along the shore to know instinctively on another level if
the island is for them. "Come share your story," first and
foremost to begin the journey of this night.
By the time the verbal invitations came, Patwin was already at the
twins' side. He grinned as he collected the bag and stuffed a hand in to
retrieve a pie. "Nice." He said to Mat, nodding toward the
"I didn't bring potcheen. We'll have to drink water." Not that
he minded. While he liked potcheen, he also preferred to be clear
headed. "So ... share now, or after you're finished?" He
looked thoughtful. "No, share while you eat, or we'll never hear
That's when he pointed out the other two canoes, "perhaps your tale
can wait until we are on the island called Ashford." Which the
swing of his hand pointed out the very place out in the ocean. "It
needs new name," but hearing Yas he had to laugh, "eat and
tell your tale, I will get the other two canoes ready." He was up
from his ongoing project to uncover the other two birch canoes and drag
them down near where the water lapped the sand.
Taking a bite of his pie, he shook his head while he chewed. "Mmmph."
He began, still savoring the juicy rabbit tenderness. He squatted near
Yas, watching Mat head back to work. He remained there, chewing,
watching, taking his time. The story would wait for now. Kuwan's
pies came first. If the brothers wished to speak while Patwin
masticated, they could go right ahead.
He just chuckled and looked at Patwin. "The island is deserted and
we want to explore it. It might prove to be a good place for us."
He shrugged slightly. "We need a place of our own, though James
Callihan has no problems with us staying there." He rubbed his chin
thoughtfully. "So, we are going to start looking."
He came up upon them with a bottle of potcheen which had been packed
under the canoe along with a few other things all in the middle of one,
blankets and the like for an overnight trip. "If the island is
suitable and we are granted it, we shall sail to the Colonies and bring
back any from our tribe or allied tribes that wish to live their lives
in the old ways and not be forced to change to the white man's but live
in respect of different ways as they do here."
The last one he swallowed down rather hard, forcing it down in order to
speak. "So we explore the island." And in classic Patwin form
he used the motion of his head to indicate the direction of the island,
"and then we go back to find any who wish to return?" He gave
a grunt, following with a wave of hand to ask for a swig of that
potcheen to follow the pie down.
"That is what we are going to attempt. There will some who will not
wish to leave but we hope there will be more who wish to leave, get away
from what is to come as the white man move deeper into the land."
He frowned, shaking his head. "Perhaps they will keep the old ways
in memory, but we may keep them here without pressure to change."
Just when you think it is a deserted shoreline, guess what? "Whooo
whoooo," came a familiar call, and the owner of the hootie call,
was sitting visible to all. Just sorta walked right up since they were
configuring stuff about their people and all, it would have been rude to
interrupt you know.
They weren't on the island yet but they may hijack Charlie to go with
them. She scare many bears. "It is what we hope and good
plan." So he was hoping his plan was a 'good' plan. He took a drink
of the potcheen before handing it off to Patwin, just as the hoots came.
"It is early for owl," as he turned in that direction,
"it is Charlie."
Of course it was Charlie, whoooooooo else would it be, "Hey,"
rising she ambled to where they were sharing pies and potcheen. Not that
she imbibed.."How is every one?" It had been some time since
she had seen them all, but she had not forgotten any one ...
"We are well, Charlie. You?" He held out the pouch with the
pies. "Are you hungry?"
She grinned at the three, nodding at Yas"A bit hungry thank
you," reaching in the poke for a pie, they always had good food ...
"Kuwan's rabbit pie," as if everyone knew how famous they
were. "You wish to come for ride to the island," pointing out
the obvious to Charlie before he was back to where he had hidden the
canoes to get the oars, all four, two for each canoe and a bundle
of supplies in each too. "When you are ready," he
obviously was but he was back for his bottle of potcheen and a pie to
devour before they set out.
Charlie was always game for adventure, nodding her head as she ate the
pie, obviously they hadn't heard about her boating mishaps, ought to be
fun to say the least, "what is it you are looking for?"
figuring she needed to know what she might be agreeing to ...
He gave his brother an odd look before he stood, wiping his hands on his
britches. The bag was lifted since there were still a few more pies in
Patwin stood as Yas did, almost at the same moment, as if they were
thinking the same thing at the same time. He eyed the bag a moment, then
looked to Charlie and Mat. "We are searching to see if the island
is suitable for living." He offered to the female. "Charlie,
it is good to see you again."
"That is why, to build our village there. To live in peace and
harmony with nature and be able to come here when necessary." They
were half white and a father to see to, although he was being seen to by
one fair. He wasn't sure why Yas and Patwin were giving him odd looks or
maybe they were giving each other ones.
nodded her head, she knew how they felt, not exactly fitting in, and
kind of on the outside looking in, but for Charlie that was an art form,
and she had perfected it well. "It is good to see you as
well," humming to Mat, "it is a wise decision, you can come
and go when you need to." Which is what she did, most of the time
He started to one of the canoes, wiping his hands on the sides of his
thighs, then took hold of the edge of the boat, stepping deeper into the
water to begin guided it out. Patwin wasn't giving any looks, except to
that bag of pies and that was for obvious reasons! "When the mad
dogs begin their frothing and foaming, our people will be far enough
away to be safe." Then he looked to Mat. "It is so?"
Though Patwin had wished to return to the colonies, it was to be with
his people, their people. To have them here, safe from the actual
happenings witnessed in his visions, would be far better.
He followed Patwin to the water's edge, though before he joined Patwin,
he tossed the bag into the canoe and grinned. Since the other wasn't
done, they'd be two to one. "We keep the pies." He was full so
he didn't care who finished them off.
Patwin grinned to Yas, and offered a single nod of agreement, only then
cutting a look to Mat and Charlie. They had the pies, life at the moment
As Patwin and Yas took off in one canoe he helped Charlie get in the
other before he was pushing it out into the waters. Good running start
then jumping in and like a madman dipping his oar back and forth.
These men were as brothers, and like brothers, their competitive natures
were high. The faster, harder, more determined Matoskah's strokes in the
water, the more determined, harder, faster Patwin rowed. He kept a
smiling eye on the occupants of that other canoe as he kept the
She moved along, hopping to which ever canoe was empty a seat. It made
sense closer to the spirit world, looked like it was Mat and her in a
canoe.She was fairly nimble, chuckling to her self, as she grabbed an
oar. Enjoying the rush forward in the water. "Yee haw we are making
waves," like she had to add that ...
The wooden crafts were well made and sliced through the water with
little effort at all, leaving a sleek, rippling wake behind their
progress. There was a great hope building within Patwin that the island
would serve their purpose. Even though his visions had shown him the
future of what was held for his people if they stayed, unless the three
of them could find an alternative, stay they would have to in the
colonies, and survive.
"Not too big," as there were real waves in the ocean to get
that canoe through. They had wake going and were steering straight. He
made sure to guide the canoe straight into a wave than let it hit them
To Charlie it was an adventure, with friends, what could be better, she
understood a lot of their feelings, recalling her own but she made
friends as they did, but it was not the same when you knew that your
people would suffer, here at least they had a hope to be themselves ...
Patwin needed to share those visions with Yas and Mat, although Mat
planned to return here even if his brothers stayed. He hoped it didn't
come to that. Within an hour as the sun lowered on the horizon, they
reached the sandy mixed with rocky shore on this side. A ship would not
be able to beach itself but canoes could go where even boats could not.
He jumped out to pull up the front onto the short in beaching it. There
was a squawking of birds just within the forest up from the beach and
Yas was laughing as the canoe cut across the water and for the island.
They had a bit of an advantage but why not use it! It was certainly
different from this vantage point then how they had seen it previously.
He grinned at Patwin as he motioned to the bag. "Don't forget your
Charlie balanced and hopped out of the canoe, looking at the small beach
area, air bubbles from the back wash of the water meant clams ..and
maybe something else, good eats to be certain ...
Friend though she was, and well liked by the three of them, Patwin would
not share his visions while in Charlie's company. Such was a ritualistic
practice that he would save to discuss with his brothers, in private.
Patwin snatched up the bag, then tucked and tied the corners to his
waistband. The oars he placed within the canoe, then turned to look
about at the island bathed in the setting sun. He found himself nodding
in acceptance, even without realizing at first he had been.
Charlie watched the waves skitter over her booted feet, so much for the
boots right? Lifting her gaze to the forest area, it appeared healthy,
stepping towards it, deciding she should really wait for the others ...
The visions could wait until they were back with Kali and Kuwan to share
them too. Here they had another project at hand. "Let us know what
wildlife you see here," aimed at Charlie but for them all as he
started to climb up a very steep embankment comprised of boulders,
fallen trees and ground cementing all. He had to jump across some and
climb other parts before reaching the grass above. Here he had a view of
the manor in the distance. Ominous thing especially in the falling light
as the sun was setting.
"Clams," she gurgled, as she hopscotched as Mat did,
"bird," not edible but wild life. "EWW ... why do they
destroy the view ..." the manor didn't belong to the wilds ...
"It has been here. I was told that scientists had it last and
wanted to experiment out in the wilds so they didn't disturb anyone.
They have been gone many moons, many years. Something still
lingers." So he felt as an owl went flying by and hooting its
warning to them. The kind that put a chill to your spine. "We go
from here to the other side." Which he wasn't going to linger at
this point. He had been assured the island was safe by normal means.
Patwin had maneuvered up to the left of Mat, examining the sandy earth
and the foliage that grew from it, then how the earth changed, and what
trees and plants took root. When Charlie spoke, and then Mat, Patwin
stood from his studious crouched position to see the manor. His gaze
lifted and followed the owl, then dipped his head in respect and thanks
for the call. "Lead the way, White bear, we are as your shadows
"We avoid that." He muttered as he followed Mat and Patwin up
onto the rise above and glanced at the mansion. Eventually they might
have to deal with it but maybe they could just burn it down. He watched
the owl as well, smiling to himself.
"It is good that owl speaks, there is wisdom here," meaning
the owl, more then willing to just play tag along with the three, aware
that they were looking for something special ...
That's when their journey through the woods began. The island was
overrun with rabbits, or more accurately hares, they were bigger than
the usual wild bunny. There were plenty of deer, some elk and even
moose. Grouse, ducks, swans, geese, the list went on as they made their
way through rich fauna. All kinds of greens, some of which he had never
seen before. There was a field of birch trees, that of oak, spruce and
popular. Maple trees that if they harvested the sap they could have
syrup on their pancakes. A rustle here and a rustle there, things
fluttering up in the trees unseen. This was rich earth, untouched earth
for the most part.
To Charlie it would take at least a week, of exploring, but she sensed
the animals there, the under growth would offer much in the way of
herbs, some that did not like sunlight, every once in a moment of time,
she would bend to pick a leaf or flower, Sniffing her find, she tucked
it in her bodice to inspect later on when time permitted. It was a good
place from what she could see ...
He studied some of the trees, taking note of growing fruit. Some would
be ready soon, some not until fall. A deer watched as they passed, ears
twitching before it was bouncing off again. He wondered briefly if its
ancestors had swam across the water though it was a great distance. Or
perhaps those who built the manor brought them here.
There would be little the three of them, (four with Charlie!) would miss
about this place. The tiniest details could be taken in, even in the
diminishing light. The bark of the trees, any stacking of fungus on that
bark, the thickness of moss or the sprouting of mushrooms. Patwin
squatted, dug a finger beneath a shroom and plucked it free from its
insertion. A sniff, a squinting look, then he nibbled at the edge,
seemed pleased, then popped the entire delicacy in his mouth.
"There is much to be used here, Matoskah, Yaskitchi. It looks that
it will support many for many years to come."
She glanced to Patwin, sample a mushroom, smirking to her self, as she
moved along, looking at different things. A treasure trove of herbs, and
leaves that amused her. Twirling a leaf between her fingers she kept an
eye on the men not wanting to get lost in her own realm...
He found a sprig of mint which he gave each a piece. "No wabbit
mouth.." followed by a chuckle. They could eat shrooms and envision
along with the stuff Mat carried for his pipe. He came upon an inland
water hole, one big enough to go swimming in with a waterfall down one
end. Mountain to explore although none were as high as the ones inland.
There were probably caves too. It would take many months to really
explore the island and where the manor was .. only one small part easily
avoided. Although there was something about the place. Mat followed the
brook that led away from the water hole that would lead them to the
other side of the island.
Stuffing the mint leaf to lips she used her tongue to rub it against her
teeth, She paused to look at the brook, keeping Mat in sight. Fresh
water with no sign of taint from the sea, or sand from the beach,
probably have good fish in it at the right time of year ...
Mint! He refilled his water skin at the pool, grinning as he
studied the water. Though it was growing dark, fish could be seen
feeding and there were likely frogs to be hunted. Fireflies were
beginning to appear here and there. "Good sign." After placing
the mint sprig into his water skin, he caught one of the fireflies in
his hand, watching it a moment before releasing. Then he stood and
followed the brook a short distance behind his brothers.
They slowly spread apart as Mat headed further down the path. Patwin was
correct in that this place was abundant for having been left deserted by
human life. Charlie said something about searching for the rare herbs
that only grew in such dark places like this forest had to offer and
went to find some. Mat managed to disturb a family of coons that scolded
then scattered back into the woods. His brothers would probably know the
disturbance came from him up ahead. The sun was setting further to the
horizon giving off the glow of golds and reds that filtered through the
trees and marked patterns on various trunks. Ones that took on shapes of
the spirits. The trees gave way as he found himself standing on an
embankment about fifty feet up from a rocky shore but the view from that
spot also showed that if he kept to his right it would gradually lead
him down to sands that were white with rich vegetation behind.
For the most part, all signs pointed toward this island as a
possibility. Patwin was pleased as they continued their search, although
it wouldn't show on his features, little did. There were predators on
this island as well.
He kept moving along the trail, pleased with what they had found so far.
The disturbance had him chuckling, remembering other times back home. In
fact, the island reminded him of home, even with the addition of that
mansion. He finally caught up with Mat, and stood staring out over the
ocean, not speaking. He didn't need to at this point.
Patwin traced his fingers down the long stripes that scarred the bark of
a tree. He turned, eyeing the darkening area, scanning the growing
shadows. None of them feared the creatures of the night, for they were
one as well, but like any mammal when the scent of a threat is present,
Patwin would be cautious, and he'd warn his brothers as well. He didn't
seek out the twins, but called out in a sound that they would recognize,
continuing on with his own investigation.
Mat was paying homage to the spirits of the island that welcomed them.
Setting the pack on the ground before removing the tobacco and herb
mixture from his pouch. His voice rose to blend with the night in an
ancient prayer of thanks as he let the gentle breeze take the specks
with it. It was also a ritual of claim for his people as the island
seemed to welcome them and would the others they brought in time.
He wouldn't interrupt his brother, though he did take a moment to answer
Patwin. Then, while Mat, continued his prayer, he turned to look back
over the island. There would be plenty of time to explore in the days to
come but he took a moment, while the sun turned everything to a glorious
gold, to mark any special places in his memory. His hope now was that
their people would agree to come back here to a place that would become