The story was featured in three parts between May and August 1897 in The Idler magazine, and was later released in collected editions. The story is set during the Stone Age, and tells of a caveman named Ugh-lomi, who kills his rival, the de facto tribal leader Uya. Whilst in exile, Ugh-lomi becomes the first man to combine stone and wood to fashion an axe. He uses this weapon, along with his wits, to claim the position of tribal leader for himself.
The story is unusual for Wells, in that the various animals featured, including boar, bears and hyenas, all have names and can speak English.