At the start of the second week we were back to fishing with Arngrim. He seemed to be in a hurry this day. He told us that today instead of waiting for the fish to happen in to the net. He wanted us to chase fish out of the river in to the net. We did not argue or ask why. It took about an hour and the net was loaded with fish and the net was in the boat. When we got back to the dock, Arngrim told us to clean the fish and take them in to the village market. Partakkis and I were both a little confused when Arngrim walked off so fast that he was almost running.
We finished the fish cleaning and loaded them in to the two wheel hand cart. Between the troll built cart and the weight of the fish it took both of us too pull the cart up the hill. By the time we got up to the village market square we were both completely winded. We got stones under the wheels and sat on the ground trying to catch our breath. We heard laughter from the other side of the cart. I stood and looked over the cart to see the troll that had hit me in the back with a couple other trolls skyraider. I later learned that they were not laughing at us, I sure thought they were and I felt my blood boil. Partakkis put her hand on my arm in restraint; she was standing next to me now. How’s the chest and knee I said, loud enough for his friends to hear. All of the skyraiders stopped laughing. I could read the anger in their faces and the one that had hit me in the back leaped over the cart and snatched me up by my shirt. He started to shake me and threaten me for insulting his honor.
I had heard what Tago had said about abusing newots. I knew that it would damage his honor if he did anything to me. I said loudly in troll “Are you going to abuse a defenseless newot?” with a cheese smile on my face. Then he threw me to the ground forcefully and growled out “You will get yours lizard”. He stormed off with his friends following. Partakkis looked at me with a concerned look on her face and said “you are an idiot.” I Laughed and said “I knew he would not do anything.” She shook her heard head and said you have insulted his honor in front of the other skyraiders this is not over. I laughed to my self and we went back to selling fish.
A few minuets later I was talking to one of the villagers, a dwarf that was buying fish, he suddenly got a shocked look on his face. Before I could ask him what was wrong I was jerked from the ground from behind by the back of my shirt. We were behind the fish booth before I figured out it was Arngrim. He was furious. I was sure I was about to get beaten. He tossed me to the ground and leaned way down so that his face was inches from mine. “Why do you choose to make me look bad?”
I had a shocked look on my face and stammered out “What are you talking about?”
“Korack just came to my house and told me that you were disrespecting him in front of the village.” “He was laughing at us!” jumped out of my mouth before I thought about what I was saying. “Korack is a full member of the village and you will show him respect!” Arngrim said as he got even closer to my face. “I had to leave my wife who is having a baby to come deal with you! Skram you will go to the lake and catch the largest fish that you can clean it and carry it to his house and apologies to him.” My shoulders slumped and my eyes went to my feet. I knew there was no way out of this, “Yes Arngrim. I will do as you say.” Arngrim started to turn to leave. “Arngrim”, I said “good luck to you and your wife and I am sorry for insulting you.” Arngrim’s face relaxed and he smiled “Thank you Skram, now do what I told you, and do it correctly.” He headed up the hill.
I came out from behind the booth, Partakkis and all the villagers that were out front were staring at me. “I told you.” Partakkis said. The villagers looked in other directions and started milling about. “I know.” I said. “Go and do what he told you, I will watch the booth.” She said. Look in the caves in the deepest part of the lake for the tiger fish. I smiled a tiger fish would be a good prize.
I ran down the hill to the shack and collected a well oiled knife. I swam out in to the lake where the water got dark. I stopped and caught my breath and started taking deep breaths to prepare for the dive. This would be no easy trick. Tiger fish fight back. They are large fish with large teeth, but such a prize would do most of my apologizing for me.
One last gulp of air and down I went. The water was cold and dark. I could start to see the bottom. It was rocky with holes and cracks every where you looked. I saw a few tiger fish that were as big as my tail, but I was looking for something big. I searched so long that I had to surface for air. When I had my lungs fill for air I went down again. On my 4th attempt I found a cave that was big enough for me to swim in to. I looked from the out side before going in. I was sure that there was something big in there. I did not want to face if in the cave so I went back to the surface and cut down a sapling and cleaned off the branches. I went back to the cave and stuck the stick in to the cave and waved it around madly.
Woooooosh! Out it came. The tiger fish was as long as I was and probably weighed more than myself. It whipped around and came right for me with its mouth open baring its 2 inch teeth. I dodged to the side and grabbed the dorsal fin with my left hand. I drew the knife from my belt and jammed it in to the right eye of the fish. The tiger fish shuttered in its death throws. I put the stick through its gills and started swimming for the fishing shack. I took my time and cleaned the fish.
I took all of the teeth out of the skull and cleaned them. I dulled the edges of the teeth on a stone tied strings on them. I then tied the strings to the end of one of the heavy tail bones to make a rattle.
I stuck the rattle in the back of my belt and picked up the skinned fish that was almost as big as myself and headed up in to the village. I stopped by the fish booth to find out where Korack and Arngrim both lived. I started up the hill again.
I arrived at the home of Korack. It was a small hut. I did not notice it before but it was easy to see that Korack was just a little older than I was. He was obviously just starting out in life with a small little house and a new wife. There were no signs that they had had any children yet. I could hear that there were people in side the hut. I knocked on the door and stepped back. The fish was hanging on my back as it was heavy. Korack opened the door and looked back over his shoulder, “The little lizard is here.” He and a couple other voices from inside laughed. I kept my calm. “Korack of the Steelskull Clan,” I started in broken troll, “I apologize for disrespecting you. I bring you a gift to prove that I am serious.” I pulled the four and a half foot body of the tiger fish out from behind me. Korack’s face showed his surprise but he quickly recovered. He handed the tiger fish body in to his house and the laughter stopped. I bowed to Korack and walked off.
I then headed to Arngrim’s house. It was a large long house with a couple of small out buildings. There were what appeared many friends, family, and kids outside the house. I saw Arngrim walking around talking to the many name givers drinking and celebrating. I stopped at the entrance to the yard and waited till Arngrim saw me and waved for me to enter.
I walked up to Arngrim and said “I’m here to apologize for insulting you with my actions on such an important day for you. I have brought your new off spring a gift.” I produced the rattle. “I did not know of the event or I would have had more time to polish it.” I finished.
Arngrim took and looked over the rattle. “These are the teeth of the fish you took to Korack?” “Yes” I replied. “It mush have been five feet long he said.” “Yes” I replied again. “You did well, that will be a weeks worth of food for them.” Said Arngrim. “Now that you have apologized and given a gift, if he bothers you tell me about it. Then he will answer to me. Come and have a drink to celebrate the birth of my new son.”