Guerrillas in the Glen
Gordon Stearns

Chapter 11
Figan's Separate Peace
page 1 of 4

"I hate this stupid house," sneered Hyde, scowling at the nearly completed building.

The house now loomed over the glen like a castle. Soft sunlight flowed through huge vacant windows lighting barren interiors. Even the decks extending over the glen were almost finished.

Figan was worrying more and more lately, but not about the house. The glen was now awash with colors. Burnished golds, brilliant crimsons and duller rusts punctuated the greens of the forest ceiling. Why was this happening? And the nights were getting colder. There no longer could be any doubt. The weather was changing!

As Figan and Hyde trudged slowly up the glen, the house seemed to grow larger. The creases in Hyde's forehead were deepening from the constant strain of guerrilla warfare. Yet every day the house grew bigger and bigger. Soon humans would be living in the glen.

"Those worker humans just keep building and building," complained Hyde bitterly. "We not able to stop them."
"Remember when we poisoned the horrid eel-tooths?" reminded Figan, trying to cheer up Hyde. "The humans had to stop work for a whole day."
"That was a long time ago," retorted Hyde, "even before the caterpillar came and chewed up the woods."

As Figan feared, that early victory was the high point of their struggle. Since then the guerrilla warfare had not stopped the worker humans for even a day. But the chimps had succeeded in scaring them.

At first, the workers tried to joke about the "bad luck" house. But soon they were whispering about gremlins. Any tools left about were whisked away mysteriously, never to be seen again. Except for hand saws. They were always found the next morning, savagely bent and twisted almost beyond recognition. Cigarette packs set down were spirited away by the same strange force. Wooden planks placed across the foundation trench were missing so often the next morning that the worker humans put them away at night.

Sometimes a thin sharpened stick would suddenly whiz out from dense undergrowth. The usual howl would be followed by curses and an energetic hunt for the sniper. Once Cecil claimed that for a fleeting instant he had glimpsed a small, ape-like body.
"Stick to bees, Cecil," boomed Mel. "They're more BEE-lievable."

So far luck had been with the little apes. They had not been detected. But Figan was concerned Hyde took too many chances.

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Guerrillas in the Glen Copyright 1997, 1998 Gordon Stearns
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