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p. 249


The wife of a young man who had recently married, died, and he was very sad. His father was a chief, and both he and the parents of the girl were still living. The young couple had been married for so short a time that they had no children.

The night that his wife died the young man remained awake all night unable to sleep, and the second night it was the same. Next morning he thought that he would walk out, but finally concluded to wait until after his wife's body had been buried. The body was taken away late that afternoon, and early next morning he put on his leggings and his other fine clothes and started off. He walked all day and all night. Daylight dawned upon him still walking. After going through the woods for a long distance he came to a very large valley. There had been a creek there which was now dried up. Then he heard voices, which sounded as though they were a long way off. Where he was traveling the trees were very thick.

Finally the youth saw light through the trees and presently came out on a wide, flat stone lying on the edge of a lake. All this time he had been walking in the death road. On the other side of this lake there were houses and people were moving around there. So he shouted out to them, "Come over and get me," but they did not seem to hear him. Upon the lake a little canoe was going about with one man in it, and all about it was grassy. It looked very nice.

After the man had shouted for a long time without receiving any response and had become tired, he finally whispered to himself, "Why is it that they do not hear me?" Immediately a person on the opposite side of the lake said, "Somebody is shouting." When he whispered, they heard him. "A person has come up (dâq â'wagut) from dreamland," the voice continued. "Let some one go out and bring him over." They carried him across, and, as soon as he got there, he saw his wife. He saw that she had been crying, and he raised his hands and looked at her. He was very happy to see her once again. Finally the people asked him to sit down in the house, and, when he did so, they began to give him something to eat. He felt hungry, but his wife said, "Don't eat that. If you eat that you will never get back." So he did not eat it.

After that his wife said to him, "You better not stay here long. Let us go right away." So they were taken back in the same canoe. It is called Ghost's-canoe (S!î'gî-qâ'wu-yâ'gu), and is the only one on that lake. And they landed on the flat rock where he had first stood calling. It is called Ghost's-rock (S!î'gî-qâ'wu-tê'yi), and is at the very end of the trail. Then they started down the road in which he had gone up. It took them the same length of time to descend it, and the second night they reached the youth's house.

p. 250

Then the young man made his wife stay outside and he went in and said to his father, "I have brought my wife back." "Well," said his father, "why don't you bring her in?" they laid down a nice mat with fur robes on top of it at the place where they were to sit. Then the young man went out to get his wife. When the door opened to let them in, however, the people in the house saw him only. But finally, when he came close, they saw a deep shadow following him. He told his wife to sit down, and, when she did so, they put a marten-skin robe upon her, which hung about the shadow just as though it were a person sitting there. When she ate they saw only her arms and the spoon moving up and down but not the shadow of her hands. It looked strange to the people.

After that the young couple always went about together. Wherever the young man went the shadow could be seen following him. He would not go into the bedroom at the rear of the house, but ordered them to prepare a bed just where they were sitting. Then they did so, for they were very glad to have him back.

During the day the woman was very quiet, but all night long the two could be heard playing. At that time the people could hear her voice very plainly. The young man's father at first felt strange in his son's presence, but after a while he would joke with his daughter-in-law, saying, "You better get up now after having kept people awake all night playing." Then they could hear the shadow laugh, and recognized that it was the dead woman's voice. To what the chief said the woman's brothers-in-law would add, "Yes, get her out, for she has kept us awake."

The nephew of the father of this girl had been in love with her before she died, although she did not care for him, and he was jealous when he found that her husband had brought her back. One night she was telling her husband that she was going to show herself as she used to be and not like a shadow and that she was going to remain so permanently. Her father's nephew had covered himself up at the head of the bed and heard everything. Her husband was very glad to hear this, but, while they were playing together afterward, the man who was listening to them thought that he would lift the curtain they had around them. The moment that he did so, however, the people in the house heard a rattling of bones. That instant the woman's husband died, and the ghosts of both of them went back to Ghost Land.

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