Fire-Hunter, published in 1951, is the story of Hawk, a pre-historic man who is banished from his tribe for breaking the tribal law (Sound familiar Ms. Auel?) by inventing a spear-launching tool (The device is seen being used in the film Quest For Fire for you sticklers for detail). He is left behind with Willow, an injured young woman abandoned by the tribe because of her inability to travel in the nomadic lifestyle they employ.
Hawk has to invent many tools, and becomes an innovative hunter to survive the harsh world around he and Willow. They are quite smart in fashioning a bow and arrow along with a lethal poison taken from snakes to bring down large game such as mammoth, bear, giant sloth and sabertooth tiger. He domesticates a wolf cub/dog and so has a hunting companion. They live in the shelter of a cave where he defeated the previous occupant, a massive bear. She crafts pottery/tar-lined baskets to store food and water in. They survive many hardships; bitter cold winters, an attack from hostile Neanderthal-like people, and scarcity of food and game.
Eventually, the few remaining stragglers from the original tribe find them and seek their cave to live in. The newcomers have warmed to the new way of hunting and living, as it is the only means for their survival, effectively abandoning their previous lifestyle and culture. Fire-Hunter is a fun and influential novel. It was my favorite book as a young boy.
This report prepared by David Fletcher