The Lavalite World by Philip Jose Farmer. Chapter 9, 10, 11, 12

“And he said, ‘I will reveal that to you in the proper time, Kickaha. In the meantime, let us see how the Thana treat you. If they act as I wish, then

they will go on to great glory and will prosper and thrive as no other tribe has ever done. But if they mistreat you, then I will destroy them, men, women, children, and beasts. Not even their bones will be left for the scavengers to gnaw.'”

“And then he turned and rose into the air and moved swiftly around the side of the mountain. A few minutes later, you showed up. You know what happened after that.”

The effect of his lie was such that Kickaha almost began to believe in it. The tribe surged around him, fighting to touch him as if to draw to them the power he must have absorbed just by being close to the Lord. And they begged him to consider them as his friends. When the shaman, Oshullain, pushed through the mob and seized Kickaha’s foot and held on as if he were absorbing the power, Kickaha knew he’d won.

Then the chief said loudly, “Kickaha! Did the Lord say anything about you leading us?”

Wergenget was concerned about his own position.

“No, the Lord did not. I believe that he just wanted me to take a place in the tribe as a warrior. If he had wanted me to be chief, he would have said so.”

Wergenget looked relieved. He said, “And what about this wretch, Toini, who said that perhaps you should be sacrificed?”

“I think he knows he was very wrong,” Kickaha said. “Isn’t that right, Toini?”

Toini, on his knees, sobbing, said, “Forgive me, Kickaha! I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“I forgive you,” Kickaha said. “And now, chief, what should we do?”

Wergenget said that since it was now obvious that the Lord was no longer angry, it was safe to go into the sea-country. Kickaha hoped that the thunderstorm season was indeed over. If another storm occurred, then the tribe would know he’d been lying. Which meant it’d probably tear him apart.

For the moment, he was safe. But if anything went wrong, if it became evident that the tribe wasn’t favored by the Lord, then he’d have to think up another lie fast. And if he wasn’t believed, curtains for Kickaha.

Also, what if they should run into Urthona, the real Lord of this universe?

Well, he’d deal with that situation when it happened.

Anyway, if he saw any sign of Anana, any evidence that she was in the sea-land, he’d desert the Thana. It seemed to him that if she’d survived, she would have gone to this area. She’d know that if he’d lived, he would go there too.

Also, Urthona and McKay would go to where the land was relatively stable and where there’d be plenty of water.. And where they were, the Horn would be.

He wondered if Ore had been caught in the flashflood which had carried him away. Or had he only been swept a little distance, enough to take him out of reach of Urthona and McKay.

Such thoughts occupied him until the caravan reached the sea. There they drank the water and let the moosoids satisfy their thirst. Some of the women and children gathered nuts and berries from the trees and bushes. The men waded around in the waves and jabbed their spears at the elusive fish. A few were successful.

Kickaha got a small portion of the raw fish, which he examined for worms before eating.

Then the Thana formed a caravan again and began the march over the white fine sand of the beach. They had come in on the right side of the channel, so they turned right. To cross the channel where it emerged from the sea, they would have had to swim a quarter mile of deep water. They passed many trees and animals felled by the lightning. The carcasses were covered with scaly amphibians, teeth flashing or dripping blood, tails flailing to sweep their competitors away, grunting and croaking, snapping. The birds were busy, too, and at many places the uproar was almost deafening.

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