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A man (was) sick for a long time. He (had) three children. Thus he said to his children: "If I die, you shall let (make) me lie five days, then you shall bury me." In the next house (there was a) sick woman, and she died. And (the man too) died the next day. When he died, he was lying one night inside (the house); and the next day they took him outside, a little ways off from the house; and they continually kept him there. And they watched him. They placed him on a board, and on both sides lumber (was put) edgeways. And on top there was another board. As they were told, thus, indeed, they (did it). When he died, it was said that he surely went (up), but they did not know it. They just watched the dead (body).

As soon as he started, he got lost. He did not know where (to) go. So he came to a wide (large) road. He saw fresh tracks on the road, and he saw other tracks alongside, (those of a) dog. So he followed the tracks. The road had sticks crossways all the way. All the sticks had red paint (on them). It is said that they must have (gotten so) whenever a person touched them. He did not seem to have been walking very long, when he came on top. When he got on top, he looked everywhere. Then he started (out) again.

The road took him down a hill. Many sea-gulls were making a noise, and other (birds), eagles were making noise. All kinds of birds were making noise. So thus he was thinking: "Where may the birds (be that) are making the noise?" Now he went halfway on the road. It is said p. 41 that he must have been seen from the other side (of) the village. He heard shouts on the other side. "That man came, that man came!" All were running to the canoes. Many went after canoes. So he arrived there at the landing-place. He stood there and smiled. Some had pieces of canoes, and some had only half-canoes, and some had canoes (that were) open at the ends. This made him smile. He seemed to recognize his father. So he was thinking thus: "My father died quite a while ago." And he also saw his other brothers, and other, many other, people he knew. Not (even) one of them came ashore. They looked at him just from the river. Now thus they called him: "You (are) a stendi!" Now thus said his father to him: "Your grandmother, too, lives here. The road leads there. You must go there." And all the ferry-men went back.

Then, indeed, he went there to his grandmother. He saw many huckleberries. He did not want to eat them. He looked across, and (heard) lots of noise on the other side, right straight (across). The old man was sitting at the door. He was whittling a small stick. And the old woman was sitting inside the door. She was weaving a small basket. "Halloo, grandson!" Now the two old people went inside. And he, too, entered. He did not see anything when he went inside. The house seemed to be cleaned out. Nothing was lying inside. Then the old man built a fire. A little basket was hanging in a corner. So the old man stood (up), took hold of the basket, and brought it down. And that old man took a pan and put his hand three times into the little basket, and put something into the pan. Then he again hung up the basket whence he had taken it. Then he went there to his grandson and set the pan down there. At p. 143 first he saw nothing in the pan. Then he looked again into the pan. Then he again looked there. The pan was simply full of lice. So he became frightened, seized the small pan, and threw it into the fire. The lice seemed to snap [caused to be alive?] while they were burning. "My grandson, this thing is usually eaten whenever some one gets here." Thus the two old people said to him. They two knew that he was a stendi; but, of course, they two did not tell it to him.

Then they two informed him thus: "A woman arrived yesterday. They are (going) to dance a dance for her. It is said that people are (going) to play shinny up the river." Thus they two informed him. It is said that all sorts of people are going to play. They wrap up grass, and throw it up (into the air). When it almost falls to the ground, they throw spears at it. Such is their (mode of) playing. They are sliding (?) arrows, and with these they are shooting at the mark." Thus they two informed their (dual) grandson. "In the evening they will play cards with sticks." Then he saw a fish-trap. The fish-trap reached (clear) across. Then he was thinking thus: "When it gets dark, I will cross on that fish-trap." So thus the two old people said to him: "You must not go down to the water, Something will bite you. There (are) many bad things in the water." He was still holding the blanket, and he also had with him a knife.

He looked around when he got up. The house was filled with all sorts of food. So he was thinking thus, when he got up: "Suppose I bathe! I wonder why these two do not want me to go to the river!" So he went out, and (saw) lots of herring piled up a little ways from the house. So thus he was thinking: "I wonder when (they) got (?) these herring!" Then he was thinking thus p. 145 "I will wade into the water." So, indeed, he waded out. The water reached above his knees; and eels stuck there to his thighs. He did not do a thing. He kept on swimming,, even while the eels were sticking there. When he came ashore, he took two large eels and brought them ashore.

So afterwards he went inside. He brought in both eels. The two (old people) were sitting at the fire when he entered. So he put the 'live eels near them (dual). Then both became afraid of the eels. The old woman went crawling to the other end, and was hiding there, while the old man was hiding in a corner. There both kept still. And he whittled a small stick, and roasted both eels. Then the eels were almost cooked. (They had a) sweet scent. The two old people came back. "They always eat it, (namely) these things, my grandfather. It is good food. (They) don't hurt anybody."

In the evening he crossed there on the fish-trap. These two old people did not know it. They would always dance five times (days) whenever some one got there. When the person from that place (came to be) of such size, then they would quit dancing. So he came there to the dance-lodge. And, indeed, he saw the woman. He kind of knew her. She was standing right in the middle, inside, where (the people) were dancing. They danced around (her). And every one touched her head with his hands. He looked on the sly from outside. "Do you see that stendi? He is looking from outside." Then he ran away from there.

So he went back to the old people. They two said to him thus: "When anybody comes here, and he eats these lice, he becomes a person (belonging to) this place. He can never go home. But you are a living person, p. 147 and you said that (you) heard your children are waiting (for you), that's why you wish to go home."

So the next evening he crossed again. He wanted to take a good look at the dance. So he crossed again, and looked there a long time. The last time he looked, (he saw that) the woman was distributing the things that had been buried with her. She would thus speak whenever she gave something: "This your elder brother gives you, and this your mother gives you, and this your father gives you." Then they again perceived him. "The stendi is looking from the outside. Do you see him?"

So he went back to the old people. He spoke thus to these old people: "My children are waiting. I shall go home." Early in the morning he went home.

They still watched the dead body. It was decaying. His face was twisted. The flesh of the man who was lying (there) was just like a sponge. So near noon-time the man lying there seemed to squeak. It cracked four times, and they took away all the boards and laid them aside. Five times it cracked, (and) the man lying there just seemed to move. They took away all the blankets. Only one (blanket) still covered him there. No more did it crack. Then it seemed as if he moved his hand once beneath the blanket. His child was watching him. They had watched him day and night. Near him a big fire had been made. Then he lifted the cover and got up; and he placed his hands on the top of the cover. And his child was sitting at his head (side), and looked at its father's hands. Nothing seemed to be the matter (with him). So he got up and sat down on the thing he was lying on. And his (other) child was still sitting behind him. His hair was long: it reached to his waist. His hair was hanging down in front of his face. So he cut his hair (head), parted it, and threw it behind (him).

p. 149

Then his child spoke thus: "Father, I am watching you. Each day and night I had watched you." Thus the father spoke: "Amamasi," and the child did not know what he was saying. So thus spoke his boy: "I don't understand, father, what you say." So thus he said to his child: "I have lunch in the small basket. You shall eat it. Your grandmother sent it to you."--"I don't see where your lunch is." Then he pointed, with his fingers. "There it's sitting (?), don't you see it?" Then he called his folks. "Come here! Our father has come back." And they hurried up. They warmed water, and were going to bathe him in warm water. "Don't do anything, my child. I have come back all right." His eyes appeared swollen, as if he had been asleep for a long time. He had slept five days (only).

Then thus he said to his relatives: "Don't you eat this lunch. You will look for it to-morrow in the water." One cooked flounder and one fresh (flounder) he had for lunch. Then the next day they found, indeed, many flounders in the river. Some were cooked, and some were fresh. That man did not age. He always looked like a young man; but his children became (very) old.

Next: 24. The Revenge of the Sky People