Another Look at My Past HTML version

Chapter 11
Captain Samuels and First Speaker were conferring. At least Captain Samuels certainly hoped they were
conferring. Lacking a common language, they were drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick. First Captain
Samuels drew a large object that hopefully conveyed the idea of The Fair Winds. Then he drew stick figures
with two arms and two legs.
At that point he handed the stick to First Speaker. They only had one stick, so they had to share. First
Speaker drew stick figures with six appendages. Some were going about on two legs and had four arms they
could use. Others were walking on four legs and had two arms. The middle pair could be either arms or
legs, and that was puzzling to the humans.
The stick came back to Captain Samuels. It would be harder now. And what exactly did he want to say to
these beings? Diplomacy is the art of talking while not saying very much. Since he lacked the means to
convey any kind of complex concept, he would s tay with basics. Captain Samuels drew more human stick
figures. Some of them were further away from the blob that represented The Fair Winds. This was supposed
to convey that the humans were going to spread over the planet. Now how could he draw a farm?
“Steady as it goes. Easy. Careful now, we have to get the horses off the ship.” Mike Paulson was a mass of
unresolved anxiety.
“The horses are fine. It's you that is afraid to go down the ramp.” Woodford Smythe was in no mood to play
therapist. His job these days was to handle the horses, and that is what he was going to do.
“I am not afraid to go down the ramp. I just want to be sure everything is going to be okay.”
“I'm bringing them down. Try to stay out of the way.”
Jack and Molly were led down the main ramp. Horses are used to being led here and there. The ramp was
plenty wide for both of them, and the tri-cedesium composite material gave good footing.
Seventeenth O ne was restless. “I should be attempting to initiate a cross-species interpersonal dialog. But
when I approach any of them, they walk away.”
“They probably are leaving it to their leader to talk to First Speaker. You could learn from that.” Fifth One
was giving no sympathy.
The horses reached the bottom of the ramp. Woodford was not sure what to do next, so he left them standing
there. Nobody was sure what to do next.
Seventeenth O ne saw an opportunity. “I will approach those two there. They are just standing there, so
maybe they desire communication.”
Fifth O ne was skeptical. “Are sure about that? I see differences between these two and all the others.”
“These two have four legs like all the rest of the strangers. They might even be the masters, since they are
just standing there not working. The rest of them are work ing pretty hard, but not these individuals.”
Seventeenth O ne approached these two individuals on her two rearmost legs, with her primary optical