[Told by Chief Mountain]
There were two towns in the canyon of Nass river. The one was inhabited by the G*ispawaduwE'da, the other by the G*itg*iniō'x. In the first of these towns there were four brothers who were beaver hunters. They went to a lake that was full of beaver dams. They began to open one of the dams in order to allow the water of the lake to run off. When the eldest brother climbed down under the dam, it gave way and buried him, a large tree piercing his heart. When the water had run off, the brothers took out his body. They said to one another, "Why was our brother unfortunate to-day? Certainly his wife was not true to him." The three brothers went home and hid behind the house. They cut pitch wood and made a torch. When it was dark and the people had gone to bed, they went up to the house in which the wife of the eldest brother was living. They went to the place where they knew her bed stood, and listened. They heard her talking with a man who was lying down with her. They waited until they heard them snoring. Then the youngest brother lighted his torch and entered. He stepped up to his mother and asked, "Did any one come to our house while we were away?" His mother replied, "Yes; the chief's son, from the village opposite, came here, and he is here now." Then the young man told his mother of the death of her eldest son, and added that he had certainly died on account of his wife's faithlessness. Then he took his torch and stepped up to the bed of his sister-in-law. He saw that she was lying with one arm stretched out, and that a young man with earrings of abalone shell was lying on her arm. Then he put his torch down, pulled out his knife, and cut off the head of the young man and took it along with him. The woman awoke and found the blood streaming over her bed. She was frightened. She dug a hole under her bed and buried the body. Then she spread her bed again and lay down.
On the following morning the G*itg*iniō'x missed their young chief. They inquired where he had gone, and finally learned that he had crossed the river. Then they suspected that he might have been killed by the G*ispawaduwE'da. The three brothers had taken the body of their eldest brother home, and they had hung the head of their enemy over the doorway. The G*itg*iniō'x, under the pretext that their fire had gone out, sent a girl slave to the G*ispawaduwE'da to ask permission to
light a torch. They told the girl to ascertain if there were any signs of the whereabouts of the young chief. The young woman obeyed. The river was frozen and she went across, but she did not see anything. Still the suspicions of the G*itg*iniō'x were not allayed, and every morning they sent the young slave to ask for fire. Finally one morning when she crossed the threshold, a drop of blood dripped on her foot. She desired to see where it came from, and pretended to stumble. She put her torch into the snow and extinguished the flame. Then she returned into the house and lighted her torch again; and when she went out she looked up and saw the head of her young chief, with its large ear ornaments, hanging over the door. She went out, and when she came to the river she threw her torch away and ran home as fast as she could. When she approached the village, she wailed and cried, "I saw my master's head!" Then the G*itg*iniō'x put on their armors and went out to make war upon the G*ispawaduwE'da.
Wa'g*îxs, the wife of the eldest brother, knew all the time what was coming. She made one hole under her bed to hide herself when the G*itg*iniō'x should come to attack the village, another one for her daughter, whose name was Sqawô. When she saw the enemy coming, she called her daughter, and they hid in the holes. The G*itg*iniō'x killed all the G*ispawaduwE'da and set fire to their town. The mother and her daughter heard the houses falling. Finally everything was quiet, and the mother put her hand out of the hole in order to feel if the town were still burning. When she felt that the ashes were cool, she opened the hole and she and her daughter came out. The mother went about the town, but there was not a soul left except herself and her daughter. She went to the end of the town and sat down (therefore this place is called Hwîl uks-g*i-d?ā' Sqawô', Where Sqawô'-sat-down-near-the-water); and she sang:
Nâ-LEm-t?an nak*skuL Lgō-Lkwe Sqa-wō
That is, "Who will marry my daughter Sqawô?" When she had finished singing, a grouse came. He sat down and said, "I will marry your daughter." The mother asked, "What can you do?" 1 The grouse replied, "(When we fight) we raise our feathers and frighten man." 2The mother replied, "That is not enough," and the grouse left.
The mother sang again, "Who will marry my daughter Sqawô?" Then the squirrel came and said, "I will marry your daughter." The mother replied, "What can you do?" Then the squirrel said, "We only throw down acorns and frighten man." 3 "That is not enough; go away!" said the mother.
She sang again. The rabbit came and said, "I will marry your daughter." The mother asked, "What can you do?" The rabbit replied, "We open our eyes and move our ears and frighten man." "That is not enough; go away!"
Again she sang, and the owl came and said, "Hm, hm, hm, hm! I will marry your daughter." "What can you do?" "When we talk we frighten man." "That is not enough; go away!"
The owl went, and the mother sang again. All the animals came and wanted to marry her daughter. Finally the bear came and said, "I will marry your daughter." "What can you do?" Then the bear ran away. He threw trees down, tore the ground, and showed that he was very strong; but she was not satisfied, and sent him away.
Again she sang. The grizzly bear came and said, "I will marry your daughter." She asked, "What can you do?" Then the grizzly bear ran away and howled. He ran to a swamp, and tore out two roots of bullrushes (?), which looked like a man's head. He tore off some alder bark, chewed it, and spit the red juice on the roots so that they looked like bloody heads. These he carried to the woman. She was almost ready to accept him, but finally she sent him away.
She sang again. Then there came a clap of thunder, and she fainted; when she came to, she saw a man standing near by. He said, "I will marry your daughter." "What can you do?" He replied, "I take this club from under my blanket, and as I turn it the ground turns and trees grow up." The woman asked him to show his powers, and he turned the club. At once the woman and the girl were buried underground, and trees grew over them. Then he turned the club again, and they came up again. He said, "I saw how your friends were killed, and your village destroyed. Therefore I have come to marry your daughter."
He took the women under his arms and said to them, "We will go up to heaven now. Don't open your eyes while we are flying, though you bear much noise, else we can not reach heaven." He put the mother under one arm, and the daughter under the other, and flew upward. While he was passing through the clouds there was a great noise, which induced the mother to open her eyes. They fell back at once, and he said, "I will try once more; but if you open your eves again, I must leave you." He rose a second time; but when they were passing through the clouds they heard the same noise, and the mother could not withstand the temptation to look. As soon as she opened her eyes they fell back. Then the man said, "I can not take you up. I must leave you down here." He tore off a branch of a tree, put the mother into the hole which he had thus made, and put the branch back in its place. He said, "You shall cry whenever the wind moves the tree." That is the reason why the trees moan when they are moved by the wind.
Then he flew up with his wife and arrived in heaven. He went to his house. They entered. After they had eaten he showed the girl where to lie down. He did not lie down with her, but stayed in a room by himself. His name in heaven was Hîslēgihō'ôntku. Every morning the rays of the sun fell through a chink upon her, and soon she found that she was with child. After a short time she gave birth to a boy, whom she called after the chief in heaven, Hîslēgihō'ôntku. After some time, when the rays of the sun struck her body, she conceived another son. She called him Ax-t?Em-hwîlhwî'lg*it (Headless). Then a third son was born, whom she called Lē-g*a'amExsku (Lying-on). Finally she gave birth to two daughters, whom she called KsEm-mamä'm and KsEm-gwadzîq-t?ēlîx* (Woman-excrements-grease).
The chief made bows and arrows for the boys, and ordered them to fight among themselves. They shot at one another and aimed at their eyes. When an arrow had struck one of them, the girl stepped up to him, took it out, and sucked the wound, which closed at once. When they were grown up, the chief made houses for the boys. The front of the house of the eldest had three doors. It was called Lax-ō'Em. The doorways were ornamented with skulls. It was dark in the entrances. Therefore the doors were called Qalx*si-sqä'Exku. Painted planks were laid in front of the house. The eldest brother had a head ornament of abalone shells. Another one had a head ornament of skins. Still another had a bow inlaid with abalone shells. They had blankets made of ermine skins. They also had the carved club by means of which they were able to overturn houses.
Then the chief in heaven sent the children and their houses down to the place where the village of the G*ispawaduwE'da used to stand. Their mother stayed in heaven. Late in the evening the G*itg*iniō'x heard a noise: "BE, bE, bE!" When they went out to see what caused the noise, they saw that it was foggy. A man went down to the river and heard people singing on the other side. They sang:
"Q?am-uks Tōdū't La qal-ts'aps dep alā'lEx."
Just | out from the shore | Tōdū't | | the town of | the | fearless ones."
He ran back to the house and said, "I hear people singing on the other side." The others made fun of him, and said, "Those are the ghosts of the G*ispawaduwE'da."
On the following morning they saw four beautiful houses on the site of the former town of the G*ispawaduwE'da. The chief of the G*itg*iniō'x ordered his people to cross the ice, and to make war on the occupants of the houses. They began to shoot with arrows. An arrow struck the eye of one of the brothers. Their sister sucked it out, and the wound closed again. After some time the eldest brother shouted, "Stop fighting, else I shall turn over my club, and your town
will be buried. Trees will grow up in its place." When they continued the fight, he turned his club, and the whole town disappeared under ground. Trees grew in its place. Then he turned his club again and the town reappeared, but the G*itg*iniō'x continued to fight. Then he turned his club once more. The town was buried again and all the people died.
The brothers traveled all over the world, and made war on all the tribes, and destroyed them by means of their club. The chief in heaven became angry because they abused his gift, and wished that they might forget the club on one of their expeditions. So it happened that they forgot the club when they went out to attack the town Gulg*ē'u. Therefore the place has been called ever since that time Hwîl d?ak*s-ts?aX, or Where-the-club-was-forgotten. Then they went to DEmlaxā'm on Skeena river, where they settled, as they were unable to continue fighting on account of the loss of the supernatural club. Their descendants became the G*isq?ahā'st.
On account of the gifts received in heaven, this clan have the privilege of using head ornaments of abalone shell, such as they received from Hîslēgiyō'ôntku.
222:1 Ago' si-gwix*-hwî'lEn?
222:2 Q'am-hō'saldEm la'yîm, nLk*?ē hō'tSiL g*a'dEm.
222:3 Q?am-ma'g*ildEm mäq, nLk*?ē hōtL g*at.