“If there’s no hope, then I’ve got nothing to lose! I might as well shoot you anyway!” said Hunter.
This time, Missionary covered his ears as another shot rang out.
“There is a solution!” he said. “Only Jesus can take away a person’s sin. Only then can he know peace!”
“What’s a Jesus!”
“He’s God, Hunter! You’ll learn about Him in the pages of that book! Anyway, I better be going! If I keep talking to you, your friends are liable to circle round and find me!”
He began to move off.
“Don’t get lost down there!” Hunter called after him.
Missionary knew he spoke sarcastically and began to walk down the pipe. Sooner or later, he would find somewhere safe to exit.
Hunter made his way back across the park. At the same time, manogs began to drift into the camp. He heard weeping among the females, then a little while later, the adult males arrived. Entabaran trailed after them, hugged Queorp briefly, then spotted Hunter before coming over. Hunter’s brother often acted in anger and sometimes laughed, but he never shed a tear.
“Did you get him?” Entabaran asked.
“No; he slipped into a pipe.”
“We just buried some of the pack.”
Hunter didn’t think a man could kill a manog, but Missionary was a clever one.
“He is resourceful,” said Hunter.
Entabaran indicated the Bible. “Is that his book?”
“Yeah, I thought I’d read it to better know him.”
His brother snatched the Bible from his hands and stood in the middle of the street.
“This book belongs to the man we just hunted!”
He held it under the snout of a teenaged male.
“I want you all to remember this scent!”
He walked, holding it under the noses of the pack as he passed each one. In turn, they sniffed deeply.
“The next time any of us pick up his scent, we’ll follow and not stop until we have him!”
He cast an accusing eye at Hunter before handing the Bible back.
Already fed for the day, they settled in for the coming night. Their grief had drained them to the point where conversations became muttered sayings between manogs. Night came and Hunter threw another chair leg on the fire as his pack slept. He often used the time to clean his rifle and to read as he kept watch. Checking safe on the weapon, he put it aside and began to read, curious as to what he’d find.
The Bible began at a section called “Genesis.”
In the beginning, God…
Missionary said “Jesus was God;” maybe just a second name. The Bible went on to mention that he created everything. That too, made him pause. Manogs didn’t have religious beliefs, yet at the same time, they speculated on the origin of their existence. It went on to state the perfection of the world; how everything grew in abundance and everything had its order.
For two chapters, it went on like this, then God created man.