THE VOUYAGE PIPERS


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Varnis, lost in her dream-world, and Dorita, hard-faced and haggard, were the only ones left, beside Kalvar Dard, of the original eight. But the band had grown, meanwhile, to more than fifteen. Like his father, he wore a pistol, for which he had six rounds, and a dagger, and in his hand he carried a stone-headed killing-maul with a three-foot handle which he had made for himself.

The woman who walked beside him and carried his spears was the daughter of Glav and Olva; in a net-bag on her back she carried their infant child.

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The first Tareeshan born of Tareeshan parents; Kalvar Dard often looked at his little grandchild during nights in camp and days on the trail, seeing, in that tiny fur-swaddled morsel of humanity, the meaning and purpose of all that he did. Of the older girls, one or two were already pregnant, now; this tiny threatened beachhead of humanity was expanding, gaining strength. Long after man had died out on Doorsha and the dying planet itself had become an arid waste, the progeny of this little band would continue to grow and to dominate the younger planet, nearer the sun.

Some day, an even mightier civilization than the one he had left would rise here All day the trail had wound upward into the mountains. Great cliffs loomed above them, and little streams spumed and dashed in rocky gorges below. All day, the Hairy People had followed, fearful to approach too close, unwilling to allow their enemies to escape. It had started when they had rushed the camp, at daybreak; they had been beaten off, at cost of almost all the ammunition, and the death of one child. No sooner had the tribe of Kalvar Dard taken the trail, however, than they had been pressing after them.

Dard had determined to cross the mountains, and had led his people up a game-trail, leading toward the notch of a pass high against the skyline. The shaggy ape-things seemed to have divined his purpose. Once or twice, he had seen hairy brown shapes dodging among the rocks and stunted trees to the left. They were trying to reach the pass ahead of him. Well, if they did He made a quick mental survey of his resources. His pistol, and his son's, and Dorita's, with eight, and six, and seven rounds.

One grenade, and the big demolition bomb, too powerful to be thrown by hand, but which could be set for delayed explosion and dropped over a cliff or left behind to explode among pursuers. Five steel daggers, and plenty of spears and slings and axes. Himself, his son and his son's woman, Dorita, and four or five of the older boys and girls, who would make effective front-line fighters. And Varnis, who might come out of her private dream-world long enough to give account for herself, and even the tiniest of the walking children could throw stones or light spears.

Yes, they could force the pass, if the Hairy People reached it ahead of them, and then seal it shut with the heavy bomb. What lay on the other side, he did not know; he wondered how much game there would be, and if there were Hairy People on that side, too. Two shots slammed quickly behind him. He dropped his axe and took a two-hand grip on his stabbing-spear as he turned. His son was hurrying forward, his pistol drawn, glancing behind as he came.

Four," he reported. The other ran. Kalvar Dard's son, who had no other name than the one his mother had called him as a child, defended himself. It is the rule: use bullets only to save life, where a spear will not serve. Kalvar Dard nodded. Now we each have six. Go back to the rear, keep the little ones moving, and don't let Varnis get behind. We must all look out for Varnis, and take care of her ," the boy recited obediently. He dropped to the rear. Kalvar Dard holstered his pistol and picked up his axe, and the column moved forward again. They were following a ledge, now; on the left, there was a sheer drop of several hundred feet, and on the right a cliff rose above them, growing higher and steeper as the trail slanted upward.

Dard was worried about the ledge; if it came to an end, they would all be trapped. No one would escape. He suddenly felt old and unutterably weary. It was a frightful weight that he bore—responsibility for an entire race. Suddenly, behind him, Dorita fired her pistol upward. Dard sprang forward—there was no room for him to jump aside—and drew his pistol. The boy, Bo-Bo, was trying to find a target from his position in the rear.

Then Dard saw the two Hairy People; the boy fired, and the stone fell, all at once. It was a heavy stone, half as big as a man's torso, and it almost missed Kalvar Dard. If it had hit him directly, it would have killed him instantly, mashing him to a bloody pulp; as it was, he was knocked flat, the stone pinning his legs. At Bo-Bo's shot, a hairy body plummeted down, to hit the ledge. Bo-Bo's woman instantly ran it through with one of her spears.

The other ape-thing, the one Dorita had shot, was still clinging to a rock above. Two of the children scampered up to it and speared it repeatedly, screaming like little furies. Dorita and one of the older girls got the rock off Kalvar Dard's legs and tried to help him to his feet, but he collapsed, unable to stand. Both his legs were broken. This was it, he thought, sinking back. And find a place, not too far ahead, where we can block the trail by exploding that demolition-bomb.

It has to be close enough for a couple of you to carry or drag me and get me there in one piece. You can't carry me with you; if you try it, they'll catch us and kill us all. I'll have to stay behind; I'll block the trail behind you, and get as many of them as I can, while I'm at it. Now, run along and do as I said. The others were crowding around Dard.

Broken Promises

Bo-Bo bent over him, perplexed and worried. Are you going to go away and leave us, as mother did when she was hurt? You carry me on ahead a little, when Dorita gets back, and leave me where she shows you to. I'm going to stay behind and block the trail, and kill a few Hairy People. I'll use the big bomb. Now, when you leave me, take the others and get away as fast as you can.

Don't stop till you're up to the pass. Take my pistol and dagger, and the axe and the big spear, and take the little bomb, too. Take everything I have, only leave the big bomb with me. I'll need that. Dorita rejoined them. We can get around it, and up to the pass.

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The way's clear and easy; if you put off the bomb just this side of it, you'll start a rock-slide that'll block everything. A hairy shape appeared on the ledge below them; one of the older boys used his throwing-stick to drive a javelin into it. Two of the girls picked up Dard; Bo-Bo and his woman gathered up the big spear and the axe and the bomb-bag. They hurried forward, picking their way along the top of a talus of rubble at the foot of the cliff, and came to where the stream gushed out of a narrow gorge.

The air was wet with spray there, and loud with the roar of the waterfall. Kalvar Dard looked around; Dorita had chosen the spot well. Not even a sure-footed mountain-goat could make the ascent, once that gorge was blocked. You have one light grenade; know how to use it? I turn the top, and then press in the little thing on the side, and hold it in till I throw.

I throw it at least a spear-cast, and drop to the ground or behind something. And use it only in greatest danger, to save everybody. Spare your cartridges; use them only to save life. And save everything of metal, no matter how small. Those are the rules. I will follow them, and so will the others. And we will always take care of Varnis. I remember, when we were all in the ship together—you and I and Analea and Olva and Dorita and Eldra and, oh, what was that other girl's name, Kyna! And we were all having such a nice time, and you were telling us how we'd all come to Tareesh, and we were having such fun talking about it I have something to do, here, but I'll meet you on top of the mountain, after I'm through, and in the morning we'll all go to Tareesh.

She smiled—the gentle, childlike smile of the harmlessly mad—and turned away. The son of Kalvar Dard made sure that she and all the children were on the way, and then he, too, turned and followed them, leaving Dard alone. Alone, with a bomb and a task. He'd borne that task for twenty years, now; in a few minutes, it would be ended, with an instant's searing heat. He tried not to be too glad; there were so many things he might have done, if he had tried harder.

Metals, for instance. Somewhere there surely must be ores which they could have smelted, but he had never found them. And he might have tried catching some of the little horses they hunted for food, to break and train to bear burdens. And the alphabet—why hadn't he taught it to Bo-Bo and the daughter of Seldar Glav, and laid on them an obligation to teach the others?

And the grass-seeds they used for making flour sometimes; they should have planted fields of the better kinds, and patches of edible roots, and returned at the proper time to harvest them. There were so many things, things that none of those young savages or their children would think of in ten thousand years Something was moving among the rocks, a hundred yards away.

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He straightened, as much as his broken legs would permit, and watched. Yes, there was one of them, and there was another, and another. One rose from behind a rock and came forward at a shambling run, making bestial sounds. Then two more lumbered into sight, and in a moment the ravine was alive with them.

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They were almost upon him when Kalvar Dard pressed in the thumbpiece of the bomb; they were clutching at him when he released it. He felt a slight jar When they reached the pass, they all stopped as the son of Kalvar Dard turned and looked back. Dorita stood beside him, looking toward the waterfall too; she also knew what was about to happen. The others merely gaped in blank incomprehension, or grasped their weapons, thinking that the enemy was pressing close behind and that they were making a stand here.

A few of the smaller boys and girls began picking up stones. Then a tiny pin-point of brilliance winked, just below where the snow-fed stream vanished into the gorge. That was all, for an instant, and then a great fire-shot cloud swirled upward, hundreds of feet into the air; there was a crash, louder than any sound any of them except Dorita and Varnis had ever heard before. Varnis, shocked by the explosion, turned and stared at him, and then she laughed happily. What did you do, after we left?

His puzzlement worried Varnis vaguely. You are Dard, aren't you? Who else could you be? I am Dard," the boy said, remembering that it was the rule for everybody to be kind to Varnis and to pretend to agree with her. Then another thought struck him.

His shoulders straightened. I am Dard, son of Dard," he told them all. Does anybody say no? He shifted his axe and spear to his left hand and laid his right hand on the butt of his pistol, looking sternly at Dorita. If any of them tried to dispute his claim, it would be she.

But instead, she gave him the nearest thing to a real smile that had crossed her face in years. Hasn't he always led us? And tomorrow he's going to take us to Tareesh, and we'll have houses and ground-cars and aircraft and gardens and lights, and all the lovely things we want. Aren't you, Dard?

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Then he looked down from the pass into the country beyond. There were lower mountains, below, and foothills, and a wide blue valley, and, beyond that, distant peaks reared jaggedly against the sky. He pointed with his father's axe. So they went, down, and on, and on, and on. The members of St. He was born near Tralee, Co. Kerry, an event reputedly marked by angels hovering in a bright light over the house. He was baptized by Bishop Erc, who ensured that a year later Brendan was delivered into the care of Saint Ita at Killeedy.

From an early age Brendan attracted disciples, and he established a number of monasteries in Ireland. The most famous was Clonfert, Co. Brendan also founded a convent at Annaghdown, Co. Galway, over which his sister Brig presided. Many landmarks of western Ireland are named after the saint, including Mount Brandon in Co. Brendan is associated with a number of monastic sites close to the River Shannon and around the west coast of Ireland.

In this particular case the words are much older than the music, having being penned by the Irish poet Paedar O'Doirin - and eventually set to music by the composer Sean O'Riada - Women of Ireland. Paddy O'Rafferty's Jig. The Air to this song, Bruach na Carriage Baine, is much older than the words which were penned more recently by Brian O'Higgins - to create this song-masterpiece of migration and love: 'The Strangers land may be bright and fair, And rich in its treasures golden.

You'll pine, I know, for the long long ago And the love that is never olden. The Princess Royal. The Coolin: This air is characterised as one of the most beautiful from the Irish Traditional repertoire. There is dispute as to its origin with some declaring it to be one of O'Carolan's compositions and others giving it to Thomas Connellan - The Coolin. O'Carolan's Welcome.

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