from the epilogue of Clash of Empires

As he lay in the snow he drifted in and out of consciousness and so afterward he wasn’t sure if he was awake or asleep when he had another visit from his brother the buffalo.  This time there was also a woman; Orenda was standing beside the buffalo holding a baby in her arms and smiling at Liam.  Then in a lilting, ethereal voice she said, ‘Otetiani my love, do not overly grieve for us any longer.  Remember us, yes, but do so in the happiness that we shared together.  Let go of the rage that eats at your heart and turns you into a man you are not.  Cherish us in your heart not the hatred.’  A mist then rose around them and from what seemed like a great distance Liam heard Orenda say, ‘farewell my love, we are always with you.’  Liam found that he was now sitting up and had tears streaming down his face.  He raised his left arm to wipe his eyes forgetting for a moment of the wound in his shoulder.  The pain brought him back to reality and he saw through his tears a buffalo calf standing where Orenda and the old bull had been in the dream.  In a playful gallop it came over to Liam, licked his hand and then scampered back to the herd.  The pain from his wounds increased when he stood up and it took a moment before he was able to start walking.  He turned and was surprised to see just Huritt’s gored body lying on the ground; the buffalo was gone.  Liam looked at the body of the enemy he had pursued for so long and for so many miles; the rage and the hatred he carried in his mind, those twin qualities of destruction that ate away at his soul, the driving force of his life seemed to melt from his mind.  The bleating sound of the calf drew Liam’s attention and he watched it walk away, occasionally going into a leaping, zig-zagging trot as if it had not a care in the world.  Liam’s face lit up into a smile, ‘farewell for now, my brother,’ he called out and then began the hike back to the camp.


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