I made camp in a small cave that overlooks a valley. I started a fire and had a small dinner of yucca and rice, provided to me by a tiny village I passed through about two hours ago. The people there were kind, giving me warm clothes and food. They speak a language that I don’t understand, but their hand gestures and smiles seemed to imply that they were offering me a place to stay. I declined, not wanting to put them into any further danger.
One of the old women took me by the hand and led me to her hut. Inside was her daughter, perhaps 12 or 13 years old. Her face had been bludgeoned and her forehead bore a wound that still seeped blood. She could barely breathe. The woman seemed to want my help, and kept repeating apu, apu,which I’ve surmised is their name for the creature I hunt. I could do nothing but put my hand on the chid and whisper a prayer, then, to the protestation of the child’s mother, I turned and left. She grabbed me by the wrist and begged me to stay, but there was nothing I could do.
I’m close now. Very close. This has been a long six weeks, but finally it will come to an end. The creature hasn’t much longer to live.