7. The acceptance
The young woman saw him kissing the young man.
Standing up behind the reversed stock, she remained upright, the fist between the teeth and the teeth tightened on the bones to hurt them.
She did not know anything anymore. Nothing.
The cloud of white light was still in her head and the heart was radiant with the happiness that the little old man put in her body. No need to think. It is him. Sure. Moreover, she does not think. No need anymore. She knows now that there is light behind the gray veil of the reality of the days and that this gray veil is only the way that she looks at it. At least, it is what she believes to recognize, because she does not understand anything anymore and it is very well like that.
It is well thus because she is happy like never she has believed to be able to be one day.
And she spans the trunk on the ground and without slipping on the piled up snow on the other side, she goes towards the old man. Straight. Because it is there that she must go and there is no more means to make some other way and that she notices it without fear.
The old man has perceived the movement behind the stock of the tree.
He places his lips a third time on the forehead of the lying young man. The pact of alliance must be sealed. The integral gift of oneself. Not possible to make some other way. The Gods have decided so.
Him also, he cannot make some other way. Like for her, the young girl full of life and who went towards the death by giving herself good reasons to this one, this bitch. He has broken the wire of the death on her. Because he is the Master and he knows.
That one, on the sledge, knows too. He knows almost as much as him on the Heaven. He has perceived it this night, lying on the flesh stiffened by the death which wanted its prey. He withdrew it from the nozzle of the eagle because the Gods wanted so and sent him there so that he gives his life for this dead person.
But that one, lying on the sledge, he knows almost nothing of the Earth and the Earth was about to swallow him. So, he will have to teach him.
Because him, lying on the sledge, he would not have broken the bond of the young girl with the death. He would have said: “What’s the use!” Because he did not believe anymore in the capacity of the Man to be saved and the Earth has wanted to kill him.
He will have to teach him. It will be necessary that warmth comes back into his heart so that he had him also the desire to break the bond of the death on the Man because he has the power of it since he is blessed by the Gods.
It is this power which did not want to die this night.
But by all the Kamis, how it will be hard to make penetrate this smile into his nut, because with such a body so ugly and filled with acid odors, it can only be one skull hard like stone!
-So, it is your son!
He shook the head and his goatee dirty with earth and mud rubbed on his rough collar of the homespun canvas.
She did no longer use the “tu” form with him. Impossible.
She now knew the light behind the appearance of the things and it could never be the same. Never.
Him, that one lying in the pelisse, that one which did not move and which one could believe dead, he will not always use the “Vous” form with him. Sure. He even knows that he will strike him. Because he is a being which comes from too far from the world of the Men to accept the customs of them. He will have to teach them to him!
- Why do you sigh Little Father? asked the young girl who comes and places herself beside him, a step behind as it is usual…. It is true that he is not beautiful. Hideous! she burst while laughing.
Shaken by her laugh which was propagated to the whole body, she is curved towards the ground and her knees join the snow. Her skillful hands of woman bring back the canvas of the cover on the face of the young man.
- He is almost died, she said between her teeth.
She does not refuse anymore the contact with the skin. The middle finger joined by the index after one moment of uncertainty slid against the pinched nostrils and follow the contour of the pinched nose.
- By all the Gods of the mountain, how it is long!
And she burst again of laughing.
The fingers discovered the face now, and followed the contours of it. She had closed the eyes. Her palms looked for the texture of the cheeks. The young girl frowned because her hands did not recognize these forms. Above all the texture of the skin. She had never touched that of all her young life and the memory of the body did not return to her. She had never thought that these beings can a day come by their village. She had not been prepared to touch one of them.
She learned into the night of her eyes because she felt that only her hands were going to be able to guide her in the knowledge of this being.
- You have there a curious son, she told one word after the other while slipping towards the collar of the pelisse.
She had a shiver which moved her flesh in the back when the fingers came into contact with the hollow and long throat like a collar of the waders which came close to the brook in summer.
In the middle of the neck, there was a large ball, then a hollow below.
- He is almost made like us, she released as with regret.
This ball there, the ball of the men achieved at the top of the hollow of the throat, she had so often felt it in her brother. When she had fun to tease him when he was lying on the grass, at the time of the rest during the long days of the cut at the end of the summer.
Almost with regret, she says it.
- Then, it is well a son of man! ….
The eyelids remained sealed to the cheeks. The young girl kept the quite upright head on the shoulders. Like the woman who inspects the kid of which she will have to look after.
Because it is certain. That one, this son of the man who is born from the belly of a woman, she will have to be her nurse.
No need that the old man tells her now to go back to the village!
Besides, what does she possess at the village? Just memories. And those ones, the little old man has cut them in one go while striking this beauty of the life behind her forehead.
Besides, this forehead, she places it on the forehead of the one who is still sleeping! It is to him that everything must go now.
Has he not said: “A man needs you”? No question that he takes back now what he has given her!
The old man did not say anything. He did not look at either the young girl being curl up against the body of the one who was now his son because the Movement of the Life had wanted so.
He knew what she was doing. She discovered her field.
It was a girl of the countryside. She needs ground around. It is well. It is precisely of the earth which his son misses to accept the heaven which is in his head. Because that one has no more leg. This young woman will give him her legs!
It is well. It must be so.
Then he lifted up the forehead towards the crest covered with snow. It presented powdery snow carried by the wind, like a mane surrounding itself around the crests.
- There is wind at the top, Heidi says.
She had followed the movement of the old man.
She did not wait for an answer. They must go by there. Obliged, to go out of the valley without passing by the collar kept by the soldiers.
The knees were torn off from the snow in a sucking noise. With the hand, she dusted her trousers. Her right hand went to the research of the cord at the head of the sledge and she was turning over in a smooth gesture known since her childhood. The cord was encrusting in the fleshy part of the left shoulder. Later she will change sides.
- Let’s go, she says.
The back leg pushed to extract the sledge from the snow. She did not slip. She knew how to force.
They did not speak. They knew that death waited for them at the top, between the crests. Then on the flat part filled with furious wind which launched its needles into the flesh to make them bleed.
They will need all their forces to pass and bring back the “almost dead person” on the other side.
Afterwards, it will be easy. Almost. Death will not be anymore with each step. He will find animals to pull the sledge. Men also who will incline themselves on the gold medal of his row.
- By all the Kamis..... Why thus you do not want me to use my power of Master to pass the mountains!
He has not asked. He exclaims in front of the effort to produce. Only. Because he knows the answer. Then he shrugged the shoulders.
The young girl has heard him muttering. She does not claim anything. It is too late. The death of the cold is ahead. It lashes already the cheeks and she starts to no longer feel the lips under the wool of scarf. It is thus! It is thus and she is happy because this death, for once, she takes it from the front. She does not run to take refuge near the hearth. Now, she knows that she will no longer cry over her. Sure. She does not know how, but the certainty lives in her flesh.
And this flesh must suffer. It is it which will give its life to save the one of “the one almost dead”.
The cord saws her shoulder. She changes sides in an attentive stride not to break the slip of the sledge. It is so difficult to make it start again afterwards!