A high-caste youth among the Haida was determined to marry his uncle's daughter, because his uncle was a very old man and he wanted to take his place. But, after he had given a great deal of property for the girl and taken her, she ran away. He followed her and induced her to come back, but before long she ran away again, and she kept on acting this way for a long time.
Finally the young man heard of a very large woman who knew of medicines to get anybody with whom one was in love. When he came to her village her people treated him very kindly, asking him to come up and eat with them. After they had fed him and his companions they made a large fire on top of the retaining timbers for the woman to take her purifying bath. She had a little girl to
wait upon her when she bathed, and she was so large that this girl could bathe only one leg at a time.
After she had finished bathing, the large woman came out and gave the youth an eagle's tail across which ran a single streak of red paint. Then she said, "Right around the point from your father's village you will see land otters running up from the water. As soon as the white one among them steps up on the beach, raise your eagle's tail and see whether she will stand still. If she stands still and does not run away go right past without touching her. Then you may know that you will get your wife and that she will never leave you again; otherwise she will never come back. When you get to the village, that woman you are having a hard time with will come directly to you."
The young man did as this woman had told him, and, sure enough, when he reached the village his wife was very anxious to see him. She tried to fight against the inclination, but finally she had to go. When she entered, however, her husband refused to take her back. Instead he went to another village along with his father and married somebody else. His first wife took all this hardly, and, when they returned, came to him to demand property. Then the young man gave heir some of his own and some of his father's property and some slaves so that she would not bother his new wife. At the same time the girl felt very badly. Not a day passed but she cried to think that the husband who had formerly thought so much of her now had another wife.