“May we stand in your presence?” asked a warrior.
O-aa thought quickly; perhaps this was a case of mistaken identity, but she might as well make the best of it. If they were afraid of her, it might be well to keep them that way.
“I’ll think it over,” she said.
Glancing around, she saw some of the warriors peeking at her; but the moment she looked at them they lowered their heads. Even after they had looked at her, O-aa discovered, they still didn’t realize their mistake. She saw that they were yellow men, with painted leather aprons, and strange weapons, they wore helmets that O-aa thought were very becoming.
After she had taken her time looking them over, she said, “Now you may stand;” and they all arose.
Several of the warriors approached her. “Our Noada,” one of them said, “we have been waiting for you for a long time—ever since the first Xexot learned that only with your help can we hope to reach Karana after we die; perhaps that was a million sleeps ago. Our priests told us that some time you would come. Not so many sleeps ago one came out of the air whom we thought was our Noada, but now we know that she was a false Noada. Come with us to Tanga-tanga, where your priests will take you into your temple.”
O-aa was puzzled. Much that the man had said to her was as Greek to a Hottentot; but little O-aa was smart enough to realize that she seemed to be sitting pretty, and she wasn’t going to upset the apple cart by asking questions. Her greatest fear was that they might start asking her questions.