I hired a car to take me to what used to be my house. It was the only place they were allowed to take a car outside of the confines of the spaceport village. Then, with my boots over my shoulder again and my shades stuck down in one of them, I headed through town on my crutches without even a glance at the house where I used to live. This trip was going to be as slow as the trip from the cave had been. Oh well, I was ready for it this time.
I had almost reached the well in the center of the town square when Lagge caught up with me. I could tell he was ecstatic to see me, but the crutches, casts and fading-by-now bruises on my face, threw him off a bit.
It wasn’t uncommon for any one of my friends to pick me up and whirl me around in the grips of some enthusiasm or joy, and without that outlet to his emotions, he seemed at a loss as to what to do with himself. “Liam, you’re back. I’m so glad you came back. Wait right here,” and he was off.
He came back with a big leg of thopper, thrust it into my hand and then took off in another direction. Now I really was anchored. I couldn’t eat and work my crutches at the same time.
(For your information, a thopper is a small creature about the size of a goat that looks kind of like a kangaroo except it supported its weight on all four feet. What I had in my hand was a front shoulder. The meat is very tender.)
He was back about twenty minutes later with Brom and Carm in tow. All three of them were laughing and cheering to see me back. It was catching.
Brom didn’t have the same inhibitions that Lagge had had and by the time they were done capering around me, I was sitting on Brom’s shoulders and Carm had my crutches. I had to hang on then because they were off. All three of them were running across the fields and pastures toward the cave with me bouncing along like a sack of potatoes with the thopper leg gripped tightly in one hand.