When the inhabitants of that town became very numerous the daughter of the chief there used to go out berrying. One day, while she was out after berries, she stepped into the manure of a grizzly bear and said, "That nasty thing is right in the way." Then the grizzly bear came to her in the form of a fine-looking man, and she went off with him but they thought that a grizzly bear had killed her. Now the grizzly-bear people watched her very closely, and, whenever she went out of the den, they covered up her tracks. This girl had dentalium shells around her neck, and the bears were very much surprised to find one of these lying in her tracks every time they covered them over. Early in the morning the male bears went out after salmon, while their wives gathered firewood. They always
selected wet wood for this, but the girl got nothing but dry wood, and her fire continually went out. She could never start a fire with it. One day, however, an old woman called to her and said, "You are with a different sort of people. You are brought away from your own people. I got here because the same thing happened to me. Use wet wood like the rest of the women. Leave that dry wood alone." Then she used wet wood and had good fires.
When this girl had lost almost all the dentalia from her clothing she thought, "What is going to become of me?" But the old woman said to her, "Do you want to save yourself? Do you want to go back to your father and mother? This is not a good place where you are. Now," she said, "go and get a piece of devil's club, a thorn from a wild rose bush, some sand, and a small rock. When you see these bear people coming after you, throw that devil's club back of you first. Next throw the thorn, then the mud, then the sand, then the rock."
So the woman collected these things and started off on the run, and after a while she saw the bears coming behind her. When they had gotten quite close to her she threw back the devil's club and there came to be so many devil's clubs in that spot that the bears could not get through easily. While they were in the midst of these she got a long distance off. The next time they got close she threw back the thorn, and rose bushes covered the country they had to traverse, retarding the bears again and enabling her to obtain another long lead. Next she threw back the mud, and the place became so muddy that they had to wade through it slowly. After that she threw the sand which became a sand bank, and the bears slid back from it in attempting to cross. Finally she threw back the rock, and there was a high cliff which it took the bears a long time to surmount.
Before the bears had overcome this obstacle the girl came out on a beach and saw a man in front of her in a canoe fishing for halibut. She said to him, "Come ashore and save me," but he paid no attention to her. After she had entreated him for some time he said, "Will you be my wife if I come to save you?" "Let me get into your canoe, and let us go out. Then I will talk to you about that." Finally, when she saw that the bears were very close to her, she said, "Have pity on me. Come and save me." "Will you be my wife, if I come and save you?" "Yes, I will be your wife." Upon that he came in very quickly, took her into his canoe and went out again. He was fishing with a float on the end of his line, and, when he came back to it, he began pulling his line up. Then the bears rushed down to the beach and shouted, "Bring us our wife. That is our wife you have in your canoe. If you don't bring her to us we will kill you." At first he paid no attention, but after a while he said,
[paragraph continues] "Well! if you think you can kill me, swim out here." Immediately they plunged into the water and when she saw them coming the girl was frightened, but the man said, "Don't be frightened. My father was of the GinAxcAmgê'tk." a When the bears got close to the canoe, he put his club into the sea and it killed them all. Then they went to his home.
The morning after this, when her husband was about to go out fishing, he said to the woman, "I have a wife living on the other side of the house. She is a very bad woman. Don't look at her while she is eating." After her husband got home from fishing he waited on his new wife and was very kind to her, and, when they were through eating, they went up to the top of the house to sit. Then she said to him, "I am your wife now. Anything you know or whatever you have seen you must tell me all about." So her husband said, "This wife of mine is a very large clam. She is very high. Nobody looks at her. You see that there is always water in the place where she is sitting. Anyone that looks at her falls into this water and drifts away." This man lived under ground, but the girl thought she was in a house because she was as if out of her head. Her husband caught halibut all of the time to give to his monster wife, and the girl thought to herself, "How does that thing he feeds so much eat?" One time, therefore, as soon as the clam began eating, she lay down, made a hole in her blanket and looked through it at the big clam eating. She saw that it was a real clam. When the clam saw that she was looking, it shot out so much water that the house was filled, and the girl was carried underneath the clam by the current. When her husband got home, however, and found the girl gone, he said to the clam, "Where is that girl?" He became very angry with the clam and killed it by breaking its shell. Then he found the girl's dead body in the water under the clam, took it out, put eagle feathers upon it, and restored it to life. Therefore nowadays eagle feathers are used a great deal at dances and in making peace. b
By and by the man said to his wife, "Do you know that your father lives a short distance from here? Do you want to go to see your father and mother?" She was very glad to hear that, and
they started off at once, after loading the canoe down with food, for this being was rich and had all kinds of things. His canoe was a brown bear, which traveled of itself but had to be fed at short intervals. a Just before they reached her father's town, they landed, carried their canoe up and placed all of the food under a large tree where it would keep dry. Then the man stayed with it and told his wife to go over to her father's house. Her father and mother had thought that she was dead, so they were very happy to see her. She said to her father, "There is a lot of food close by here. I have brought it to you." At that time she looked very filthy to them and her clothing ragged, though to herself she appeared beautiful. So her father was very much ashamed of her and gave her some good clothing. She also smelt to them very strongly of the beach. Then they went over and brought in all the food, but her husband did not come with them. b
126:a Cf. story 96.
128:a Said to be the Tsimshian word for GonaqAdê't.
128:b "Eagle feathers are often referred to nowadays in speeches. Thus people will say to one who is mourning, 'You have been cold. Therefore I bring you these feathers that have been handed down from generation to generation.' When peace is about to be made one man is selected called the 'deer' (Qôwakâ'n) because the deer is a very gentle animal. When a man is so taken he is supposed to be like the deer, and he has to be very careful what he says. Eagle feathers are put upon his head because they are highly valued. The songs be starts while dancing are those sung when the people were preserved from some danger, or at the time of the flood. He does not sing anything composed in time of war. They also called the 'deer' the 'sun deer' (gAgâ'n qôwakâ'n), because the sun is very pleasant to see and never does anybody any barm. Some called him 'fort deer' (Nu qôwakâ'n), because people are safe in a fort, For this office a high-caste person was always selected." (From the writer's informant.) Cf. Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, p. 451