It is a fiction that all men are warlike and all
Given a host of suitably armed,
sufficiently aroused women,
any commander could conquer
But the feminine warriors would have to be
retired after each fray, and a fresh supply of properly
motivated replacements sent in.
The ferocity of a woman
towers over any male anger, but it is intensely
and tends to crumble once an immediate
objective has been attained.
(Charles E. Israel "Ritzpah" Simon & Schuster 1961)
A perhaps somewhat more sympathetic chronicler would say that these warriors had volunteered
to take up positions among these rocks ...
That they had by mutual consent agreed to participate in a tactic in which they had little opportunity to escape and,
once overtaken, virtually no hope of survival ...
Their rear-guard action in positions taken up among the rocks that formed a narrow pass through the surrounding hills
provided their fellows with an opportunity to escape ...
To say that their self sacrifice was heroic is an understatement ...
To say that it was at the same time entirely of their volition is not the precise truth of the matter ...
In what is a simple statement of fact,
the warriors of both forces were very near to total exhaustion.
These few defenders of the Amazon Pass were members of what had been a significantly larger force.
They had ventured too far into known enemy territory and, having failed in several attempts to defeat their opponents,
their captain had finally determined that it would be wisest to withdraw.
And so, defeated, discouraged, in some cases wounded and in all cases weary,
their small squadron had gradually fallen to the rear of their retreating cohort.
And so it was by chance rather than by any design of their own
that it fell their lot to take up this last stand among the outcropping of boulders that formed Amazon Pass.
"Nombe!" Greda exclaimed. "I have just loosed my last shaft! Have you any to spare?!"
"This is my last arrow, Greda!" The young warrior returned.
"Then I'll have to retrieve one or two from the bodies of those fallen among our own ranks!"
So saying, Greda left the cover of the boulder they had crouched behind
in an effort to reach the recumbant female forms that lay sprawled at her feet.
Their pursuit, no less weary than were their quarry, had at this time turned away and were themselves falling back.
But seeing the warrior Greda move into the open,
one of their number seized upon the opportunity to launch a shaft which, as luck would have it,
saw fit to plunge a measure of its length into the lower belly of the unfortunate warrior.
Nombe stood frozen as she witnessed the last of her friends stagger and fall,
adding what was soon to be her own corpse to the mounds of bleeding female flesh
that lay in quiet heaps among the uncaring rocks ...
Nombe was alone now ...
She fully expected to feel a shaft pierce her own gut at any moment!
But her adversary wasted no time in any display of exhultation upon the death of Greda,
but stepped away to quickly disappear among the boulders ...
It has often been said that in matters of survival,
the race does not always go to swiftest nor the strong, but to she in whom the Gods find favor ...