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p. 207


The Scabby Young Man. 1

p. 212

At Kintcūwhwikût there grew ten Kīxûnai and one woman. One of the brothers who was covered with scabs lay next to the steps in the sweat-house where the others stepped over him with their dirty feet. Once the head-man of the family commanded him to feather arrow-shafts. "Here across the river toward the south hangs a blanket made of woodpecker scalps in rows," he said. "The man who stands in the middle of the dance always wears that blanket." "Very well, let us go," said the brother who was covered with scabs.

They found ten men lying there a little way from each other. Right in the middle was hanging the blanket. The scabby brother stepping over them took the blanket down. The man lying on the outside first discovered what had happened. "He has taken the blanket away from us," he cried. Then the scabby one in whose hand lies the arrow 1 threw himself with it. The arrow came down on the west side of the Trinity river south of Medildiñ. Those who were pursuing him came there. He threw himself with it again. This time it came down at Tsemita. Again he threw it landing opposite Miskût. From there he threw himself with it to Kainoñadiñ. Then he threw the arrow with himself back to Estciñ. Those who were following him fell behind. He threw it again coming down at Tseyediñ. The next time he threw it landed with him at NiLûtkalai. Then without special reason he threw it to Yidaxomiñwatciñ. Having succeeded in taking away the blanket he put it into a storage basket.

After a time two maidens came to marry him from the shore of the eastern world. "They have come to marry you," said the sister to the scabby brother. The stranger women made soup for them of dentalia meat. The scabby brother was the only one who could eat it. Then he went with them along the ridge from Kintcūwhwikût toward the east. Before they left one of the

p. 213

women told his sister that when the feathers on his head-dress disappeared behind the crest of the mountain she might know he had reached the eastern world.

When they came to the shore of the body of water which separates the eastern world from this, one of his wives cautioned him to step into the canoe with care. The canoe, which had come to ferry them across, was made of black obsidian, on which ordinarily one would slip and hurt himself. So many woman were making soup by the water's edge that the ground was white with their hats, as if dough had been spread over it. The women laughed at him as he walked along. His quiver looked as badly as he. When he was yet a long way off he heard someone calling him son-in-law. He heard himself called that way ten times.

When he came to the house of his wives he went in. They made soup and brought him ten baskets full. He ate it all. "Ye! he will be the one," they thought. When the meal was over the men went into the sweat-house. After the scabby one had finished sweating he went out to swim. Then someone said to him, "You can't find sweat-house wood around here. Northeast from here is the only sweat-house wood." It was Mink who told him this. Then they two went there after it. The scabby one took a Tan oak and split it to its roots with his hands. Then he split it up and made ten bundles of it. They went back each carrying five bundles. When they were near the village they put the wood down. Having tied them all together, Mink lifted them all onto the back of the scabby man. "Put them down carefully wherever you take them," he said. 1

Then the scabby fellow smoked himself. When he was through he went to the river to swim. He came to the surface of the water way down stream. How beautiful his hair looked! There were so many women making soup by the riverside that the steam of the cooking settled over the place like a fog. One of the woman said, "That fellow who came here from Kintcūwhwikût and married is drowned." "Your husband is drowned," she told one of the wives. When he had come up from the river,

p. 214

now no longer scabby, he swept the sweat-house. "Come," said Mink to him, "let us go into the house. Tomorrow there will be shinny-playing."

The next day Mink took the stranger along to the game and handed him a shinny stick. When the one who had been scabby pressed down on it to test it, it broke. Mink gave him another which broke also. "Well, let it go," said the guest and drew from his arm a shinny stick of blue-stone. 1 "They will make a wall come between you and the goal," his companion told him. He sent the balls right through the wall. They played until night. Having won, Mink and the man from Kintcūwhwikût went home. "He will stay here," thought the father of the wives. The next day the one who had been scabby concluded to return to his brothers and sister. When he got back to Kintcūwhwikût he said to his sister, "Let us go to the eastern world." He gave to each of his brothers a woodpecker headdress. The brother and the sister went away. They are there now.

This along-the-river-dance is his. "In the Indian world they will do this way," he said. "There will be one man and one woman who will fix the dancing place. My body will come to the mind of the man who will do that."


207:1 Told at Hupa, December 1901, by McCann.

212:1 See p. 205.

213:1 Compare p. 148.

214:1 Compare pp. 147 and 149.

Next: XVII. The Passing of the Kīxûnai