CHAPTER 5 SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

CHAPTER FIVE  The Mishap

Piercing torrents relentlessly hammered the territory for three days and nights. It wasn’t enough the two major clans on Roon Island continued their tribal wars. A major monsoon storm had hit hard. The unusually intense pummeling came as a sure sign the unseen forces were offended with earthly dwellers. As the last of its chastening presence moved westward, away from Yende village, Womini pondered what else could possibly happen.

Through a crack in the woven leaf wall of her longhouse, weary-eyed Womini saw lightening off in the distance, inland across Wandamen Bay. Dawn would be upon them in several hours. As she deeply breathed the stale room air, she momentarily relaxed, trance-like, and found herself mentally savoring the outside air so crispy fresh and biting. It was always so refreshing after the monsoons watered the jungle foliage; crisp and biting. However, she was shut up inside the hut, and the fierce storm had completely shrouded Wor’s face, without which Yende villagers couldn’t expect to live.

Throughout the  deluge, Womini had wondered if they would ever see blue sky again. Wor, that great marching fire-deity daily passed them by. Wor, who throws arrows of warm light toward the earth, by all his power and might had not been able to penetrate the diobara pimasa. Could big Sky-deity be angry with Wor as much as he was with the earthly Ayambi clan of Yende. And what was the cause for his anger she thought?

Without the warmth of Wor, the air felt cool, uncannily cold. Their near-naked bodies accustomed to steamy jungle heat chilled from the temperature drop caused by the incessant monsoon deluge. Everyone in Womini’s household had crammed into the cooking area at the back of the stilt house to be close to the fire. Such was the case in all the households, where the warm smoky atmosphere was only slightly aggravated by the wafting odor of at least a dozen unwashed bodies. Womini placed several jagged pieces of dried wood on the hard earthen fire pit and poked at the dying coals with her fire stick. Flames quickly ignited, licking the edges, casting an eerie yellow glow about the interior. She poked some more. Everyone else in the stilt house was asleep.

Sleep eluded her. She was physically drained and yet she could not find relief. She was restless. Her once beautiful dark features were sullen and drawn. Her weary eyes were sunken and bloodshot from mourning the loss of her loved one. The all-village mourning ritual had lasted only half a day. That was all they were allowed before the monsoons came and shut them up in their stilt houses. The lamentations of aged women had joined the men’s gloating victory hoots like warp and weft  in cane weaving. Men had danced and celebrated the heads they’d taken. Women, scathed by defeat, agonized over the loss of family members. And then big Sky-deity loosed his wrath. For the last three days, he kept Wor away and darkened the heavens with horrendous monsoon rains that dampened their exuberance and sorrow, all in one mighty show of superiority.

Womini’s two lifeless hollows slowly moved to stare at each resting torso. These were not happy times. These were days and nights filled with sorrow and bobo drinking. Bobo released Yende fighting men to a boisterous liberty, a disguise which hid the gnawing anguish deep within their bellies. They feigned victory, yet circumstance could be read in their eyes. There was an air of defeat. Over several months of fighting, the mounting losses increased as did a gnarling, cancerous pain. Every Yende adult felt it. They had ritualized their kin, but the end to it all was not in sight. Conflagration with the Rudomo clan was certain to continue.

“Oh, when will it stop?”  She cried to herself, “When will the killing stop?”

Like sleep, the answer also eluded her. The inhabitants on Roon Island could not rest until all wrongs were righted. But that was the dilemma. Reprisal warfare never completely ended. It is as a treadmill kept in motion by revenge, revenge fueled by primal hatred. The treadmill, although sometimes lulling for months on end, never completely wound down. The Ayambi clan could expect more heads would be taken, and certainly more heads would be lost.

Womini pensively studied the muscular frames of the men curled asleep against the outer bamboo wall. She knew the depths that anger and hate could press a human soul. She herself had been stolen, taken for a slave. In truth, these were not her clan, and yet, it was the Melanesian way. Either pay for a bride or steal one. Wrenched, literally pried from the arms of her dying brother during one such slave raid, she herself had been taken. Futilely protecting her, her brother’s life forces retreated in dark death. But his last heroic attempt had centered on her safety. As leader of the raiding party, Tomak honored that bravery. Womini’s brother was not beheaded and the young Numfor girl was taken, alive.

Happy, long ago memories of her family huddled together in their Numfor Island stilt house seemed to jab in and out between her present thoughts and concerns. Over the years, her hate and anger subsided. The Ayambi clan treated her fairly; she had not been beaten or molested. At first she was an obedient house slave. They named her Womini, when in truth womi-ni actually means this slave. Her slave status lasted up to the moment her emergent womanhood overshadowed the flowering adolescence she had tried desperately to conceal. When the time came that she should bear offspring Womini was given to Komoi.

This proved to be an economic boon. Normally, an Ayambi male had to purchase a bride from a neiboring clan. This always intailed the collective wealth of many clan families. Slaves however, were clearly possessions, no one paid for Womini, other than her brother, with his life.

Yet, Womini assessed Komoi was a prize. Swift as a wild running deer and youthfully muscular. More than once she caught herself stealing a glance at his glistening torso when he sat pounding the sago palm pulp with his amal or while he worked at mending cracks in his wa, the small dugout canoe every coastal male possessed.

Komoi’s father, Tomak, had defeated her brother and rightfully taken her for spoil. She was his slave, his responsibility and in his house she served. Yet, in time, as her own personal trauma became less and less vivid, she came to terms within herself. She would serve and not be a bother. She would try to be as inconspicuous as possible. If she were fortunate, one of the families would bargain for her and she would be purchased for a bride. On the other hand, maybe not. So naturally, in partial response to the hormonal changes taking place within her maturing body, Womini had often caught herself glancing at Komoi. The lurking thought that she might be given to him only seemed to kindle a primal desire she feared might never be fulfilled.

In time, she and Komoi made good the notion that Numfor women were as fertile as frogs. This earned her the respect of the entire village and saved her paternal clan-in-law from public ridicule. Two beautiful girls and a boy she named Rundawai, meaning large headed, because she travailed more in birth with him than with his sisters. These three and Komoi were her constant preoccupation.

Now all was changed. She felt a deep, sinking sensation within her innermost being. What will life be like without Komoi? How can I go on without him she thought? Why must the killing and suffering continue? Questions, questions, questions but never any answers. It’s the way of things, she thought and again placed several more jagged pieces of wood on the dwindling fire. She slumped, yielding to the fatigue that finally overcame her. Gliding into sleep, amorphous visions flashed in her mind. Komoi, swift as a running deer, and Wor, showering the earth with his warm arrows of light; visions that emerged like some waft of smoke carried aloft by a gentle breeze.  And she thought of  big Sky-deity.

“What will it take to quench your anger?” She breathed out, falling deep into sleep.

Chapter 4 SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

CHAPTER FOUR Unforeseen Consequences

Rudomo clansmen at Kayov village were sorely stricken by their losses. The Ayambi had retreated. Although by now it was full daylight, the early morning wake of their strike had produced a penetrating numbness as void and ominous as an astral black whole. Women totally beside themselves beat their chests wailing in lamentation. This anguish of soul became as a mighty rushing avalanche; mourning the dead began gushing forth spontaneously. Men, once erect standing warriors, had shrunken noticeably with forward sagging shoulders. Defeat was a heavy cloak to carry. Retrieving headless kinsmen and mourning their loss was not an easy task. Yet these survivors had lived through their worst nightmare. Besides which they were absolutely dumbfounded that the Ayambi warriors of Yende had broken the moon-cycle tradition and attacked their village without any advance warning.

As far back as memory served no clan group had ever broken the moon-cycle tradition. After a conflagration between two differing clans, the moon-cycle tradition gave time for each group involved in the clash to mourn their dead, heal their wounds and regain a sober sense of being. No clan wanted to totally annihilate the others. The feuds and occasional clashes, for whatever the reasons, didserve certain ethnocentric purpose. These war raids had always been, and were foreseen to be so in the future. Yet now, this attack was different.  It had come too soon, and it initiated change, something innovative and sinister.

The actions of the Yende warriors brought to the forefront the hardship of constant reprisal killing. And up to this time, no one group of any clan had ever broken the moon-cycle tradition. This was a twist, truly making the attack an unexpected surprise. Faced with this knowledge, however, did not lessen the black shroud of anguish that draped heavily upon every Rudomo clansman in Kayov village.

As a precaution, certain elders felt it best to position a sentry near the sacred white rock area close to the spot where the lone Ayambi warrior had entered and disappeared. Not being able to enter the taboo place themselves, they were not going to allow any opportunity for an enemy who might still be alive to escape. Tribal taboo was something an aboriginal did not take lightly.

From the earlier vantage point of two Rudomo warriors, it appeared the lone enemy had leaped into the air, and disappeared. This was not altogether strange in itself as the Rudomo would have conjectured this Ayambi intruder had used karuar power and thus had vanished. However, at the time, the two Rudomo warriors pursuing were disappointed they could not enter the area and investigate further. Consequently, they turned their attentions to the others.

The arrows piercing fallen Ayambi warriors, Bodnini and Andi, failed to penetrate their vital organs. Had such been the case death, as a welcomed friend, would have ensued quickly. In the thicket, Rudomo warriors mercilessly yanked out the arrows instead of killing them outright. The hand-carved ironwood arrow points were fashioned with sharp angular barbs that ripped their flesh and sinew upon withdrawal. Each wound grotesquely enlarged when this happened. The removal ushered on more intense bleeding. The pain each man felt could not be measured, and yet, it was only the beginning of their torturous ordeal.

The warriors beat the two, breaking Andi’s leg in the process and then dragged them back to the village. Even before they could tie them to the vertical foundation posts underpinning the men’s longhouse women thronged helpless Bodnini and Andi. Women, once crazed by belly-knotting anguish as they stared at the headless bodies of their revered warrior husbands and sons, stopped flagellating their own chests and focused their attentions at the two intruders. In furious attacks, the women spit at them, struck them with their fists and bamboo rods. They poked their flesh and savagely bashed their heads until their natural facial features were so rearranged even their clansmen wouldn’t recognize them.

In and out of consciousness they went. When the women finally tired, Bodnini and Andi were unconscious, their ebbing life forces held by a very thin thread. It would have been better for them to have quickly succumbed in battle, fighting with dignity, dying as warriors. Now they could be little recognized, cloaked in humiliation dying in painful shame. When finally, again regaining a measure of consciousness, the women were there to taunt them and poke. But at this last occurrence, the ferociousness of their feminine anger had noticeably diminished, being replaced by a maliciousness that surfaced as a faint  knowing twinkle in their eyes. What intent now motivated their actions?

Several women grasped their bamboo rods by the ends, and twisted them hard to make them split apart. The long thin sections were passed around. Bodnini was first to see through his one remaining but quite swollen eye what they intended to do. A new wave of terror swept over his already unrecognizable countenance as he raised up to fill his burning punctured lungs and coarsely breath out, “Pasamai!”

All too well the women knew what he meant. In a roundabout way Bodnini was begging for death. However, they intended to give him many memorable scars to take with him to the afterworld. The pasamai bamboo, when split apart, possesses an edge as sharp and lethal as any surgeon’s scalpel. Each woman struck to flay the men giving no particular attention to design. They swung their bamboo knives lacerating the two until the curtaining pink inside flesh was more prominent than their once smooth, brown skin.

The two warriors had long ago succumbed to shock. Gripping death was eminent but so miserably slow in coming to their aid. These formerly erect Ayambi warriors were now little more than two masses of amorphous bloody flesh and bone. Each man was impaled upon the coarse pillars, held firm by the blood drenched rattan lashing. Again one mass found the strength to beg, “Pasamai!”

The humiliation could be brought no further. Nearby, a disinterested leader of men took a sharp pasamai bamboo and quickly slit each man’s throat bringing their earthly ordeal to an end. “It is best we mourn our dead than prolong the lives of these two dogs.”  Kukuri spoke without emotion and retreated into the men’s longhouse. The amorphous fleshy lumps slumped lifeless as the women slowly disbursed, and resumed to mourn. Rudomo warriors would make sure the dogs’ heads were properly cared for.

Runners were sent to spread the word to other Rudomo villages that the Ayambi of Yende had broken the moon-cycle tradition and attacked Kayov. The elders and warriors would come. They would all gather together to discuss this strange and unexpected turn of events. Making the next move had to be done by group decision in the wider sense. But what move should they make? Breaking the moon-cycle tradition was a bad precedent, not to be quickly followed. Yet, since one Ayambi clan village broke the tradition, what would prevent others from doing the same.

And what of the Rudomo? Those at Kayov needed time to heal, yet who should take up their reprisal? Roon Island was not that big a land mass. For all the villages to be in conflict at the same time would lead to disturbing consequences.  The men needed time to ponder these issues and discuss them. They needed a convergence of clan.  Runners were sent immediately to other Rudomo clan enclaves.

Unaware a watery catharsis was about to begin, they continued mourning their dead. Toward late afternoon, the pungent fragrance of impending rain was in the air above Kayov. When the monsoon rains finally emerged, fiercely intense, they were prevented from gathering any time soon.

Chapter 3 SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

Chapter 3 Savage Encounter

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

This is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

CHAPTER THREE  The Plan

Secretary Ansel van der Kraatj wasn’t a man with impressive stature, but as a strategist he certainly seemed he might hold his own. Van Given judged him to be slightly older than himself, possibly in his early forties. Being shorter and a tad bit on the heavy side didn’t lessen the subtle stealth about him he detected. His was an indescribable quality of character. Just in brief conversation, van Given discerned van der Kraatj to be an immensely capable, intuitive man.

Why the Company had failed to recognize such talent was another mystery. Certainly, he was due a promotion. He could have easily filled this Regent posting himself. Van der Kraatj shifted the aged, mustard-colored Meerschaum pipe from his right hand to his left. Quickly he reached up and twisted the similarly patinated end of his handle-bar mustache and continued their conversation.

“Again, you must realize these Hattam fellows are a nasty lot, quite given to violence and bloodshed. The slightest provocation yields disastrous results. They are constantly at each other’s throat, and quite frankly, even more so at odds with the other aboriginals who frequent Manokwari. However, our situation here is not without resolve. We’ve covered this ground before, and I think the Queen’s position is quite established.”

“I agree with your earlier point that it would be futile in the long run to oppose their hostile antics with a show of force, although our police guard is quite capable of doing so, I should think,” said van Given, shifting his chair position.

“You are right, sir, to assume our police guard most capable. However, what we need aim toward is a mutual understanding, one that, again for a season, approaches Her Majesty’s intentions for our very presence here in Netherlands New Guinea. It is very much to our best interests to avoid bloodshed at all costs. May I suggest, albeit yet another payment on our part, that we try to meet their demands in some measure.”

“Yes, Secretary Ansel. Yes I do believe we can work toward that end. Your insights and suggestions have been most informative. Eh, I see by my time piece it is about time. Shall we make our way to the Hall Commons, sir?”

Rising, Regent van Given and Secretary Ansel van der Kraatj stepped out into the early evening twilight. As they headed downhill van Given noted the diffuse lightning still off to the east inching closer. A telltale scent of rain was aloft in the light breeze. It seemed the impending storm was a stone’s throw away. Soon, he reasoned, soon refreshing monsoons will be here. And then they entered the Hall Commons to face a crowd of stone-faced, stone-aged brown skinned men, some clutching their bow and ironwood tipped arrows as if in the ready!

Chapter 2 SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

Chapter 2 Savage Encounter

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

This is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

Other KDP publications by Mr. Henning include:

The Sauwastika Enigma (a novel)

Releasing The Soul A Balinese Transformation Ritual

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Early Years)

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Teen Years)

Stone Giant A Young Woman’s Quest For Truth

Mr. Henning’s music is offered at:

http://www.theodoreahenningii.com

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

CHAPTER TWO  The Arrival

Setting: Manokwari outpost, North Coast,   Netherlands New Guinea

Leonard van Given loosened his shirt collar and perused his newly acquired quarters. Earlier in the day he had arrived at Manokwari outpost, Netherlands New Guinea by inter-island merchant ship from Ambon, Maluccas. He came to replace the prior Dutch Regent, who was now bound for Holland on medical leave. Duty in the South Pacific hadn’t really appealed to van Given, it did have its risks. But, he was on his way up the company ladder so to speak, and working in the South Pacific offered the quickest road to success. Manokwari, the most recent fledgling Dutch outpost, continued to pose all sorts of developmental concerns his seniors felt could best be tackled by a younger administrator, one with prior experience on the field.

Van Given didn’t consider 32 years of age to be so young. Yet, if he were ever to be appointed to a government position at Den Hague he knew he had to serve his Queen and country. However, this Netherlands New Guinea posting came as a small surprise, it was an administrative add-on. He had already served three years and four months in the Maluccas Islands, and by this time should have been enroot back to Holland himself!

Just then the housekeeper brought him afternoon tea and sweet little rice cakes. “Terima kasih, Ibu Sri,” he said in Malay. Without emotion his eyes traced Sri’s footsteps out of the room.

“Warm tea. Ugh!”  Van Given  thought. He didn’t much care for tea. Unlike many of his Dutch peers, he enjoyed hot coffee not only in the morning but in the afternoon as well. He mentally made note to talk to the house steward about his coffee desires at the next available opportunity.

His university background and affinity for languages helped him acquire his previous posting to the Office of the Resident of Ternate, Maluccas. Ever since the late 1700s, Malay speaking Indonesians had been a constant sight in Amsterdam. The Vereenigde Oost-Indishe Compagna (Dutch East Indies Company, the VOC for short) just couldn’t be without their invaluable pembantu, their house stewards. And it was through one such Indonesian man that van Given had studied the language.

The Maluccas Islands had been a real challenge for the VOC at first. But in the course of time, administration became perfunctory. And it all but remained perfunctory when the Dutch government stepped in to bail the VOC out of it’s bad-debt situation. The VOC no longer operational now meant Den Hague was ‘the Company’. And for over a hundred years van Given’s predecessors, more highly motivated by export profits than political concerns, had come to terms with local ruling powers.

Unlike Java, with its many geographical potentates and fickle manor lords that even now posed numerous challenges for the Governor-General and his small army, the Sultanate of Tidore kept an autocratic hold on the peoples of the Maluccas Islands. The farmers and peasants actually revered its power and authority. So, from the standpoint of two powers coming to terms of agreement, the Dutch early on negotiated their position of strength into an alliance with the Sultanate. Successive treaties had even extended the Sultanate’s authority to parts of Netherlands New Guinea, from which it acquired slaves and yearly tribute. Together, the Dutch and the Sultanate shared the collected tribute, while the Dutch purchased all their export spices through Sultanate assessors. In return, the Dutch ousted the Portuguese and substituted their presence, which deterred other would-be malefactors, namely the English,  desiring to cash in on the lucrative spice trade.

The Dutch claimed territorial rights as early as 1828 for all lands west of 141 degrees East longitude. This claim, though, wasn’t officially acknowledged by Britain and Germany until 1895 and still it took several more years until Dutch outposts at Manokwari and Fakfak on the South coast were established. Britain and Germany had each laid prior claim to portions of the Eastern half of the New Guinea island.

The Twentieth Century dawned with an excitement that energized the here-to-for Colonial aspirations for market domination. Allowing private trade companies in the colonies had secured renewed interest back in Holland. This coupled with the discovery and production of crude oil by the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company in Sumatra made for a bright future.

Dutch presence in South East Asia had become a lucrative stronghold not to be regarded lightly. Netherlands New Guinea was the Eastern gateway to their spice island profits, which now needed to be guarded more closely. New Guinea was a brilliant jewel in the rough, and van Given along with others purposed to pick up the standard of those who had gone on before, and be the immediate jewel cutter.

Van Given carried his cup and saucer out onto the verandah, leaving the rice cakes on the tray inside. He took a sip of the warm, sweet brew, swished it around inside his mouth, puckered, and then swallowed. Gosh, I’m tired, he thought to himself. As he gazed seaward, toward the bay, he was immediately cognizant that his predecessors had indeed chosen a very comfortable spot up on the hillside to build the estate houses. It was from here the breath-taking view of Dorey Bay was most panoramic. Lemon Island, just a short distance out, rose like a sparkling green emerald with minions of majestic coconut palms standing erect as if they were the Queen’s own guard. A golden-white collar of sand glistening in the late afternoon sunlight accentuated the embroidered patches of clear blue, blue-green, and turquoise waters surrounding.

Clean, golden-white inviting sand. Warm inviting sand. Van Given felt his knees weaken a little; it had been some time since he had taken leave. He needed a reprieve, he needed to rest. This picturesque panorama of sea, sky, green jewel and golden sand signaled a melancholy difficult to avoid. He sat hard into the wooden chair without breaking his gaze, and thought of Troita. Breathing deeply, Leonard filled his lungs and then exhaled ever so slowly. The late afternoon breeze had an aromatic, salty character about it, almost as if he were home in Amsterdam. Amsterdam, his real  home so far away. His eyes gently closed.

“Leonard, why did you volunteer for this posting so far from those who love you. Leonard, I love you, don’t you realize that by now?”

He took a long moment to reply, gazing expressionlessly at her flowing satin gown.

“Yes, Troita, and I love you, too. But, eh, I was only contemplating the best for us, eh, our future– you understand, don’t you Troita, my darling? There is so much to consider before we can be together. You understand, don’t you? Tell me you do.”

Tenderly, she reached to touch the side of his masculine jaw, then let her hand fall back into her lap as she looked him square in the eyes.

“I understand that Leonard van Given, the love of my life, is about to flee this stuffy seaport and sail off to only Providence knows what, and I must be content here in Amsterdam without you! Indonesia is so far away, Leonard, why Indonesia?”

“Troita, Troita. You know very well that you are more important to me than my career. But if I am ever to get the posting we both desire here in Holland, I need do this thing. They require my, eh, my administrative expertise to assist the Resident of Ternate. It’s all for the greater economic good of Holland. Plus, my father needs the contacts that I can surely make for his import business. It will only be three years. Suffer, darling, suffer with me that long, won’t you? I promise to return and we’ll be married just as soon as this is over.”

Grasping his hands in hers she replied, “I understand, Leonard. Now, you understand. I love you with all my heart, and I know you must do this thing, as you say for us, if not for the greater good of Holland. I will be content in your absence, I will not cast my honey to another beast. You are a beast, you know!”

Her eyes twinkled as she drew up close to him and he savagely embraced her and kissed her neck.

“And I, too, promise to be faithful, my love. Oh, how I worship you. I love you, Troita,” he whispered.

Tuan, Tuan fon Gifon?” Sri called from just inside the room, mispronouncing his Dutch name. Van Given drew up startled, opening his eyes he heard her repeat, “Tuan fon Gifon, tamu ada.” At this, van Given stood erect and straightened his collar in preparation to meet his unexpected guest, whoever that might be. Stepping back inside the room, he gave a nod of approval.  Sri opened the door and motioned for the stranger to enter.

“Damsma, Tuan, I am Markus Damsma, Head of Building Projects for the Dutch Regency here in Manokwari. Perhaps you have been informed of me?”

“I regret I haven’t been informed of you. Your Dutch is very good, Pak Damsma.” he said, evaluating what might be his descent. Batak? Ambonese? Van Given perceived  Damsma’s swarthy complexion was rather lighter than expected. No. He hadn’t been informed of him. He hadn’t even been there a full day! How could he have been informed? There were so many Indonesians in the service of the Crown no one could keep track of them all if he wanted to. Van Given continued,  “Where did you learn to speak Dutch so well?”

Damsma hesitated, shuffled his feet and replied, “In Amsterdam, Tuan, I was raised in Amsterdam. I accompanied my father when he returned home. I was eight years old then. He is Dutch, you know, my mother is Ambonese. I use her surname, Tuan.”

“Ah, an Ambonese cross marriage, van Given thought. “Such is more and more common these days. No doubt he knows that some of his countrymen call such offspring anakcamput, the mixed-weed children. That must have been the reason for his embarrassment.”

“No, I didn’t know, but go on, Pak Damsma, what important matter brings us two together during the resting hour?”

“The locals, Tuan, they have made another disturbance, over land issues this time. It seems to be a recurring thing with them, disturbances I mean. Matters never settle completely no matter how hard we try. Assuredly they have been paid, several times paid, but they keep coming back. It is always this one or that one who has been left out and they come and create a disturbance. It is all so very exhausting, these aboriginals and their ways.”

“OK, Pak Damsma, I understand. But could not this matter wait until tomorrow? Must I attend to the matter so late in the afternoon?”

He noticed Damsma straighten up slightly, standing more erect as he drew in a deep breath before speaking.

Tuan van Given, I would not have bothered you with this except that the local Hattam big-man is leading to incite his people to burn the inland storage building on the far side of town. He claims his father’s brother’s son was not party to the land negotiations and the building is on his inheritance portion. Believe me, Tuan van Given, we have tried everything to satisfy these aboriginals, it just seems so impossible.”

“Very well, Pak Damsma, if you think my presence could help quell this misunderstanding, I will consent to a hearing this evening. Would you please go and inform the Hattam big-man and his people that we will discuss this issue tonight. We shall all gather at the Hall Commons say around 7:30 then? Is such agreeable with you, Pak Damsma? Is there an interpreter here in town?”

“Oh, Yes! Tuan van Given,  I am sure they will quiet down upon learning that the Tuan Regent will speak with them tonight. Tuan Ni’ik Gevil is here who can translate, I will inform him. Thank you, Tuan, tonight at 7:30 at the Hall Commons. Thank you, Tuan. Permisi dulu, ya?” he said out of habit in Malay and with that he turned and left the room.

Sri was just bringing more warm tea when she caught sight of Pak Damsma exiting through the door. Van Given waved her away with a word, and stepped back out onto the verandah as he began to think of the way in which he would approach the problem on behalf of the Dutch government.

He thought it best to speak with the Secretary to the Regent and enlist his help before the meeting took place. He now knew of necessity he would dine much later that evening and that seemed to prick him. Van Given had hoped to be able to rest before assuming his Regent duties in a day or so. Now that was out of the question. Sighing, he noticed clouds gathering in the east far out to sea. Gathering clouds could only mean a night of cooling monsoon rain. That resolved, he turned, and retired to his bedroom to bathe and change for the evening ahead.

Chapter 1 Savage Encounter

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

This is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

Other KDP publications by Mr. Henning include:

The Sauwastika Enigma (a novel)

Releasing The Soul A Balinese Transformation Ritual

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Early Years)

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Teen Years)

Stone Giant A Young Woman’s Quest For Truth

Mr. Henning’s music is offered at:

http://www.theodoreahenningii.com

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

CHAPTER ONE   The Omen

Year: 1902

Setting: Roon Island, North Coast  Netherlands New Guinea

An almost tangible element of trepidation seemed to permeate the atmosphere as Ayambi clan warriors of Yende village began their trek at the appointed time. They gathered to assemble at Womaki’s listening place deep in lush tropical jungle. The conclave had been called to ascertain the outcome of their planned attack on Kayov, the closest Rudomo clan village. Womaki, the Ayambi clan seer with the keenest ability to foretell the future, had been chosen to demonstrate his ability, and perform the needed sade ritual.

Young Womini grew sullen as her husband, Komoi, swiftly descended the bamboo runged ladder at the front of their stilt-house, and silently joined the other Ayambi warriors trecking in silence. Tomak led the group. Komoi’s father Tomak was one of the most skillful fighting men of the whole clan. He would lead the raid.

The seerer’s place was a high structure built on tall bamboo stilts. The height gave a momentary measure of safety if there was an attack. It also afforded a good jungle lookout. Located inland on Roon Island toward the base of the rising Roon Island Mountain, it was some distance from the salt-water shore of  Yende.

As quick as a Sumatra monat, Tomak climbed the notched tree-trunk ladder monkey-like fifteen feet into the air to reach the platformed structure, then others followed. They took their places sitting cross legged on the coarse palm bark flooring. Komoi took his position to the rear of his revered elders. In the past, young Komoi had fought in several skirmishes, defending Yende women from village attackers. However, this was to be his first major offensive on enemy ground.

Dim light from the glowing coals in the centrally located fire hearth cast aerie yellow fingers across the shadow on Womaki’s chocolate colored face. He was already sitting, facing east. Wor, the sun-deity, daily climbed the backside of the earth and traversed the waters, making sure all island peoples were cared for. The Ayambi clan, like all the clans of Wandamen Bay, honored Wor the most as he nurtured them in the earth below.

Womaki was eager to begin. He leaned forward in the direction of his daily rising benefactor, aware the jungle night sounds were ill-present. “This is indeed very unusual,” he thought to himself. The customary jungle peeping and chirping had altogether diminished to silence. Womaki perceived this to be a sure sign the sade ritual, and the word he sought was of great consequence.

As a group, the Ayambi warriors had beforehand decided to break the moon-cycle tradition and attack Kayov village sooner than tradition would customarily allow. This fact alone fostered a seriousness about the group. Absent were the chuckles and jibes so often characteristic of male camaraderie. This night, their thoughts were far from power-draining female pleasure, and much disposed to the conflagration that would soon take place. With his right hand Womaki picked up several ancient Cassowary leg bones. He gently rubbed the spindly bones, fondling them between his palms. This added yet another oily layer to their darkly golden, ancient appearance.

Directly in front of  him on the coarse palm bark floor was a huge Chinese porcelain platter.  Blue upon white it was at least thirty inches across, more bowl shaped than flat. The thick edge flared outward at about a thirty degree angle. When lightly struck, the platter would sing in a pleasant, high pitched ring.  Staring pensively at the platter, he began to tap the edge with a small length of bone.

Then, Womaki began to hum to the singular musical note of the ringing. All gazes were attendant to him. He closed his eyes. Opening his mouth, his humming instantly changed to a chant; a chant that called to the ancestral spirits, to the spirit helpers, and to all the other unseen beings whom both chide and direct the lives of mere earthly dwellers.

Ay yei, yei, Ay yei, yei.” He cried out, letting the latter cry drone on with a longer lilt. Over and over he chanted while tapping. Trance like, he kept his body swaying back and forth rhythmically.

Young Komoi noticed the beads of sweat that formed on Womaki’s wrinkle-lined forehead. It was a relatively cool night despite the lack of any breeze. “Peculiar Womaki is sweating,” the young warrior thought. At that very moment of thought, Womaki opened his eyes wide and stared straight past the others to look directly at Komoi. Their eyes briefly met, then Komoi turned his head away, embarrassed by the sudden staring eye contact.

Ay yei, yei, diru ni kavo siepo ma rei, ye,” he cried one last time, then slumped silent closing his eyes. He was now holding the Cassowary leg bones between his palms, about a foot above the plate. He opened his eyes, gazed at the bones and posed the question, “Are these brave warriors going to overpower the Rudomo clan at Kayov village?” Quickly he released the bones. Silence. Everyone stared wide-eyed in amazement.

Komoi felt a tinglely cold sensation run up his naked back as the spindly bones landed upright on end in the center of the plate! A profound sense of awe swept over the onlookers. Everyone except Womaki was in awe at how the bones landed upright without so much as a sound on coming to rest.  Just spindly old bones standing straight up, motionless. Old bones held firm by unseen spirit powers.

Womaki’s face brightened with a broad smile. The sade ritual was finished. He swiftly scooped up the bones with his right hand and addressed the men, “The unseen ones have spoken, the bones confess you will overpower our enemy tomorrow!”

Almost immediately pandemonium broke out as the men whooped and hollered their positive response to this word. Quickly they arose and descended to further prepare themselves for the late night’s canoe journey and the raid. The elders left first then the others. No one seemed aware of Womaki any longer. His usefulness had ended. However, neither did anyone take notice how his dark eyes followed Komoi down the bamboo ladder, and out into the still, black night.

Intro: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER Chapter by Chapter

SAVAGE ENCOUNTER

This is a work of fiction. Characters, organizations, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or when factual, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Theodore A Henning II

Other KDP publications by Mr. Henning include:

The Sauwastika Enigma (a novel)

Releasing The Soul A Balinese Transformation Ritual

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Early Years)

Justin Teaguely Adventures (The Teen Years)

Stone Giant A Young Woman’s Quest For Truth

Mr. Henning’s music is offered at:

http://www.theodoreahenningii.com

This is Part One in a historical fiction series entitled: SAVAGE ENCOUNTER, there are 24 chapters I will be publishing individually, be sure to scroll down to the desired chapter. I hope you enjoy the book. Gratuities can be made to bluebonnets_trb@msn.com through Paypal.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Colonial expansion during the 1700’s witnessed the Dutch East India Company (VOC) controlling the spice island territory of the South Pacific. At some point Den Hague, the Dutch central government took oversight of the faultering company. Then, with the dawning of the 20th Century, the discovery of oil in Sumatra, Indonesia engendered new excitement for the colonialists bent on expanding Dutch control. Set against the backdrop of steamy untamed equatorial jungle and vast South Pacific ocean areas, easternmost Netherlands New Guinea offered the promise for profits like never before. Like a jewel in the rough, it needed to be cleaned, cut, and polished. Untold dangers lurk for those who try.

In a male dominated world, a world of cultural and social indignities, struggle and challenges, the lives of three extraordinary women converge in this tale. It is as much their story as they each grasp inner resolve, each in her own way embraces the prospect of an uncertain future, and each seems hellbent to initiate change.

BUSKING: ON MY BUCKET LIST

BUSKING: ON MY BUCKET LIST

I have always been fascinated by those individuals who had the moxy to stand on a street corner somewhere and play/ sing their music. For some of us singer songwriter musician types to do so is almost akin to begging for money like with a little tattered cardboard sign and that snotty-nosed kid by our side we see so much of!

Not too long ago I came out of my local Walmart. Didn’t get far before I heard this fellow bellowing out and banging his guitar. I’m serious, bellowing out and banging! I packed my purchases in the car, shut the door and walked back to get a closer look. I was curious, he was doing some kind of funky up-tempo blues just banging the same chord on his guitar. The lyrics weren’t any better, I think it was a four word phrase that he repeated over and over and over again. I stood there for awhile hoping he would work up something with more acumen. At one point I interrupted and asked if he knew any other songs. That was my mistake, he began to belt a two or three word phrase over and over and over again!

Being a member of the Fort Worth Songwriters Association and the prestigious NASI, I was immediately aware this guy banging there was stratospherically NOT a songwriter, not a very good singer, and totally an anomaly for a guitar player! Yet I stood in awe as folks came forward and tossed a few bucks into his tips container. If the word mediocre was fair of his performance, having a set of brass ones set him apart! I have often said to my wife, “I’m going to go play on a street corner somewhere!” Because frankly, it looked like a fun and profitable experience.

She’d always shut me down, “ Oh, you don’t need to make a fool of yourself on some public street,” or some such verbiage to chink my moxy and keep me from being a public laughing stock ( in her eyes). But nobody was laughing at that guy! They were tossing bucks his way! And he was the guy who’d get the hooked end of a cane at the local open mic!

I’ll be frank. It’s not that easy for singer/ songwriters to get a paying gig. Open mic opportunities just fill the gap at some establishments with no skin off their nose. They call the experience “exposure.” Plus, tips at such places are diverted to that frothy specialty coffee drink or bottled beer, not the tips jar! On the other hand, singer songwriters take the craft seriously. We study the makeup of the music that embraces the lyrics. Rhyming is essential, a well engaging “hook.” And it seems each genre has it’s own set of parameters that make the combined crafting something to be proud of. Did I say pride? That may be the key to this whole busking idea. Letting go of it.

I’m reminded of the gal I’ve seen over the last 20 years. She didn’t have a nice sounding guitar, kind of clunky and out of tune. Her voice could barely handle the notes of the songs she sang, but there she was. I’d see her at small gatherings, a side-ally act sitting off the back of her rusting pickup belting out Beatles tunes, etc. She was at the trade days weekends, the swap’n shop meets and the most obscure events. I have to figure if it was money, she had tapped into a steady stream of it cause busking for her just wasn’t a one night stand… she made a vocation out of it! In the process, with little talent, not much effort, but lots of moxy, she probably made more money with tips than I have ever have seen trying to sell my tapes and CDs!  Yup, busking is on my bucket list!

NOWADA OF THE DANI

NOWADA OF THE DANI TRIBE
Please, for a moment, let me share my simple life with you. I am trapped in a world you can’t possibly enter. Oh, some have come, tourists and missionaries, anthropologists and government types, and those most curious. You see, you outsiders refer to us as ‘stone-age’ people, and quite frankly, up to 100 years ago, many of your educated believed us to be something less than human. Truth be told we never had opportunities such as you. This world I speak of encompasses all that we can see, together with the realm of frightening darkness, the place of immaterial spirits, and unseen creatures, and the ghosts of our ancestors. We can’t escape this world, it defines who we are. So, I want to tell you of our pain, something we embrace each day with every breath we take. Now, please, you take a deep breath. Go on, breathe deeply. What do you feel? Peace? Well-being? Satisfaction, perhaps? Had there been such a thing as a cosmic coin toss, what I share here might have been your story!

My name isn’t important, you may think of me as Nowada. My friend here is Gudupi. We are not sisters, but cousins. We belong to one of the Dani tribal clans located in the Baliem Valley, in the Highlands of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. I’m showing you my hands right off so you see for yourself my constant daily reminder our life is difficult. Whereas we take joy at the birth of a son or daughter, a large part of our existence involves mourning our dead. We Highland Dani still have a high mortality rate compared to say, Coastal tribes in proximity to the ocean.

Fresh from a funeral, Gudupi is covered with chalky mud. She will grieve in this fashion for some time, often without eating food or drinking water, or tending to her garden, and every Dani woman knows the importance of her garden plot.
We Dani people are sedentary hunters and gatherers, having garden plots carved into the sides of the mountains. We use stone hand axes to work the ground. Our men will clear a plot, but we women must dress it and plant the crop. Usually, ubi-ubi, sweet potatoes. If we are not vigilant, wild pigs can decimate our food supply overnight! It takes two cycles of the moon for our crop to mature. Thus tending our garden plot is very important and arduous. The outsiders and missionaries bring more modern tools, tools with sharp metal edges. Only a few Dani men can afford to trade for such things. We rely on various sized sharp pieces of hard stone for our tools. Additionally, we women must gather the fire wood for both the men’s living hut (honai) and our own (ebei). Our hut houses have two levels, the lower where we gather and cook, and the upper berth where we sleep because it’s safer from snakes and spiders, plus the wafting smoke rising takes the chill off during cold nights. They say this is what causes our many breathing ailments.

We carry water from the stream, tend the babies, cook the food, forage for green edibles, and weave our carrying bags (nongkin). The outsiders sometimes provide us with white-man’s clothing, but it doesn’t last long. We weave skirts that cover our feminine parts of soft grasses, soft and airy. Men will wear woven cloth shorts, but these foreign shorts cover their manliness without allowing a measure of bravado. Some men wear the penis gourd (koteka) and the shorts together! But we think that’s funny! We laugh when they are not looking. Tall penis gourds are the traditional Dani male coverage. The larger the better!
Our men cut trees, hunt the deer and wild pig. They make the bows and arrows they use in war and hunting. Some prefer ironwood spears. Occasionally, there is a clan incursion. Our men defend us to the death so we’re not taken for slave wives. If they are not doing these things, they tend to the enemy skulls that adorn the men’s meeting house. Of all these tasks, the obligation to mourn the dead falls more to us than to them. Ancestor ghosts can cause mischief and harm. We consider them with oblations placed in the trees. We believe that in dying they pass to the unseen realm. Hundreds of years experience has taught us they do not wander. So, our desire is that our oblations please them and they will stay hidden in the forests. Ancestral ghosts can be very annoying, bringing sickness and famine, and often miscarriage. Consequently, one tradition we dare not forget is the digit removal ceremony.
The missionary suster (nurse) often refuses to give us their medicine if one of the women has had a digit removed. They want us to stop doing it, they think our tradition is crude and inhuman, but they don’t understand. When a next of kin dies, the closest female must undergo the digit removal. Occasionally, more than one digit is removed from the same finger. A clan elder will usually perform the ceremony during the time the dead one has been funeralized. He uses a small sharp pointed stone to separate the finger. He wraps the stub in leaves with tobacco spittle. Eventually it will heal. The digit cut off accompanies the dead, thus there remains a connection between the two realms, living and the dead. I have refused cutting my first two fingers on my right hand because I need hold my garden hand ax very tight.

Yes, every aspect of our daily life seems to cause pain, yet had it not been for the outsiders, we would not have known that life for others is more pleasant. You see, ‘stone age’ people have little in the way of life activities that offer a contrast. Even less are activities that might bring a smile. We survive knowing the pain we feel, for us, is life itself. Carrying heavy firewood, mending stone and wood fences, birthing children, cooking wild pig with hot stones in a fire pit, weaving the articles and skirts we need, tending the wounded, and yes mourning the loss of the young, the old, or the warrior in between. Our traditions and rituals serve us so we never forget that our ancestral ghosts would be mad if we changed our ways. I would love to have more fingers, but our world is not something individuals control. We fear great calamity would befall us if we do not strive to maintain a balance in nature, as you outsiders express it. Dani people are proud. We never forget that ancestral ghosts have power to bless us or to cause us harm. The fearful things lurk unseen in darkness, and our pain reminds us of who we are.
Story written by
Theodore A Henning II

Vmat2, God and You!

Vmat2 , God and You!

There is a video[a] circulating on the internet purporting to be a 2005 intelligence meeting wherein Mr. Bill Gates is expressing his concerns regarding religious fanaticism, by offering a solution. In the video a couple MRI scan photos are displayed on a screen, one showing a small glowing section in the front right lobe. This Mr. Gates explains is the area of the brain that corresponds to spiritual stimulus, such as might be exacerbated by religious zealots or fanaticism.  The second photo shows a section more centrally located along the right side of the cortex. It was glowing way much larger than the previous, and this area represented repression or ‘disdain’ for the things spiritual, as was pointed out, this area ‘lit up’ when scripture was read to the individual during the MRI procedure.

I cannot vouch for the validity of the video, or that it was really Mr. Bill Gates delivering. What does disturb me is the potential of the information reported therein, and the intent of the meeting in the first place. Since discovery of the Vmat2[b] ‘god gene’, what was suggested in the presentation is the use of a virus, respiratory in focus, to target and alter the Vmat2 gene in humans, thus in essence diminishing if not out rightly destroying the ability of human response to spiritual/ religious stimuli (God), making these people “normal,” without further possibility of them becoming fanatical.

Of course Islamic fundamentalist fanatics were in view during this lecture, but… Only two representative MRI photos were demonstrated, 1) the area of spiritual response in the first, and 2) the area of “disdain” as Bill put it. There was no middle ground area, and with a wave of his hand, the intent was to neutralize the god-response area of the brain and make such neutralized individuals ‘normal,’ as in the disdainful MRI photo! AM I the only one to catch this in the video? What is ‘normal’ about disdainful reaction to things spiritual? Responding with disgust and or disdain to religious stimuli; e.g. preaching, scripture reading, prayer, praying, singing hymns or vocally worshiping our creator is not anywhere near ‘normal’ behavior. It smacks of something un-human, demonic even. What was unclear about the information speaks to the question, “Do these ‘normal’ individuals show any response at all, however small in the religiously sensitive area of the brain?” The MRI presented did not show this, it was dark.

So then, does this mean that some people have the Vmat2 gene and others do not? A test for the presence of the gene would be the simple road to answer this question, because not all people can be MRIed while listening to Scripture! The use of a virus to crush the Vmat2 can not be singular, either. It would not be a  ‘religion specific’ measure, but one that touched upon the whole human population, because all humans would have this gene! Yes, do something about those Islamic zealots, and throw in the Christians and Jews, too! That’s what I see coming with this.

,As I have postulated in several of my earlier blog posts (The Witness of Two, and Part 2 The Art of War in the Heavenlies )[c],[d] it is possible that right here and now there are individuals living and walking among us that are not true human beings, but angel-human hybrids. As such, they cannot respond to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ as true humans can. Further, these hybrids are the ‘Tares” of the Gospel message, Wheat and the Tares. Remember, Jesus instructed that these ‘tares’ appear so much like the ‘wheat,’ it is only at the end-time harvest would they be separated without harming the wheat. But that doesn’t presume we might not be able to identify who these tares might be, because “You shall know them by their fruit!”

Even if the video is bogus, a Hollywood-ish stunt, the cat is out of the bag so to speak, and the method of religio-cide succinctly presented. And don’t you tell me there aren’t those out there thinking of how to implement the scheme!


[a]  https://youtu.be/W_Zo1-5B30o

[b]  https://symbiosisonlinepublishing.com/genetic-science/genetic-science12.php

[c]  https://wideastexas.com/2021/06/06/the-witness-of-two/

[d]  https://wideastexas.com/2020/09/05/414/