Tradition of the Nê'nêlk*!ênoxu, a Clan of the Nimkish.
(Told by NEg*ê'.)
lôs and one of his friends were fishing for cohoes salmon at a small river. When he was about to take them out of his trap, he found that the wolves had been there before, and had taken away the salmon. Therefore he became angry. He caught many fish, and tied them together with cedar-twigs. When he had as many as the two men could carry, they started a fire and roasted the salmon on spits. When they were done, they began to eat. Some of the spits were still standing near the fire.
Then a wolf came, and wanted to take some of the roasted salmon. K*ê'
lôs said, "Do you come for salmon?" He overturned one of the spits, took out the intestines of the roasting salmon, threw them at the wolf, and thus burned it. The wolf cried and rolled about on the ground. Then the wolf ran back into the woods, howling. During the whole night the wolves were heard howling.
The next morning, when the noise did not stop, the two men said, "Let us go home, else the wolves might come and get us. They had not been going long when the wolves came. They took K*ê'
lôs, but let his companion go. He ran home to call the people to help.
There were so many wolves, that the end of the pack could not be seen. One seemed to be their chief. The wolf whom he had scalded was also there. Part of his body had no hair.
lôs tried to escape by climbing a tree. The wolves tried to climb the tree to get him, but they were not able to do so. Then they climbed one on another's back, but they always fell down again. Then they began to
dig up the roots of the tree, until it began to fall. K*ê'
lôs jumped into the branch of the next tree, but this one also fell. Thus he jumped from the first tree to the second, and from the second to the third, which was very large. The wolves nearly gave up trying to get him.
The head wolf ran about and exhorted the others to go on digging. When the third tree fell, the man jumped on the fourth tree. Again the wolves were about to give up; but their chief exhorted them, and they started again. This tree stood very far away from all others, and K*ê'
lôs did not know how to escape. He thought he would save his head, and therefore he tied over his face the cedar-bark cape that he was wearing, so that the wolves should not bite it. Finally the tree fell. The wolves tore him to pieces; but before they finished, the people came. If they had come a little earlier, they might have been able to save him. They found his head wrapped up in cedar-bark, and took it along. They handed it about and wailed for him, because he belonged to the nobility of the tribe.
lôs had a brother, who happened to be away hunting beavers. The following day he came home. When he reached the opposite side of the river, he called his brother. "Come and take me over!" He called two or three times, but nobody replied. Then he thought, "What may be the matter? At other times he always used to come at once when I called." Then another man came and took him across; but he did not tell him what had happened, for he did not wish the brother to wail right on the river. The people made him welcome, and gave a great feast. While he was sitting there, one of the chiefs arose, and told him what had happened to K*ê' lôs. The brother could not speak. He just lay back and began to cry. He died on the spot, and the people buried him.