Now people were disappearing from the town they had left. There were two wood roads. When anybody went out on one of these roads he never came back, and a person who went out on the other also, never came back. When one went away by canoe, he, too, was never seen again. He did not come home. In a single year there
was no one left in that town except two, a woman and her daughter. After she had thought over their condition, this woman took her daughter away. She said, "Who will marry my daughter?" A heron that was walking upon the shore ice spoke to them, "How am I?" "What can you do?" said the woman. "I can stand upon the ice when it comes up." "Come home with us," said the woman. So the heron married [the girl], and she became pregnant. She brought forth. She bore a son. It began to grow large. The heron said to his wife, "What is the matter with your friends?" and she answered, "When they went after wood they never came back."
After the child had become large he kept taking it to the beach. He would bathe it amid the ice. Then the little boy began shooting with arrows. He always took his bow and arrows around. When he killed anything his father would say of the little boy, "My little son is just like me." By and by he said to his wife, "I am going away."
[paragraph continues] After that the little boy began to go into the water. He crawled up, when he was almost killed by it.
Once he started off with his bow and arrows. When he was walking along the beach [he saw] a hîn-tayî'cî a swimming in a little pond of sea water. He took it up. It cut his hands with its sharp sides. He reared it in the little pond. As he was going along with his bow and arrows he would feed it.
One time he said to his mother, "I am going after firewood." "But your uncles never came down," [she said]. In the morning he jumped quickly out on the floor. He took a stone ax and ran up in one of the roads. In it there was a finger sticking up, which said to him, "This way with your finger." He took hold of it and pulled up the being which was there. He threw it down on a stone. In the place from which he took it bones were left where it had been killing. Then he cut off its head with his stone ax. He took it down to his mother. He threw it into the house to her and to his grandmother, and they cut the face
all up. They burned its face in the fire along with urine. They treated it just as they felt like doing. By and by the boy went up to the hîn-tayî'cî he was raising. Before it got longer than himself he shot it in the head. He took off its skin. Then he put [the skin] on a stump. How sharp were its edges!
When he got home again he jumped quickly out on the floor in the morning. He took his stone ax along in the next road. When he got far up he saw a head sticking up in the road. He said, "Up with your eyes, Kucaqê'!tku." The head was bent far backward. After he had moved its head backward he cut it off. The place where he took up this head was all full of bones. He threw that also down into the house. They rubbed its face with dung. They did to it as they felt toward it. After that he kept taking his bow and arrows up. He brought all kinds of things into the house for his mothers (i. e., his mother and grandmother). The son of the heron who came to help
the woman was doing this. By and by he asked his mother, "In which direction did my uncles go who went out by sea and never came home?" She said to him, "They would go this way, little son." He went in that direction with his bow and arrows, and came out above the hole of a devilfish. As he was sitting there ready for action he looked right down into it. Then he went back for the hîn-tayî'cî coat he had hidden. When he returned he threw a stone down upon the devilfish. He put on the hîn-tayî'cî coat in order to jump into the midst of the devilfish's arms. Then he went right into them very quickly. He moved backward and forward inside of the devilfish's arms, and cut them all up into fine pieces with his side. By and by he cut its color sac in the midst of its arms, and afterward he swam out of the hole. He was floating outside, and he came ashore and took off his coat. Then be put it on the stump, and came again to his mother. The large tentacles floated up below them. He had cut them up into small pieces. It was that which had destroyed the people.
Again he took his bow and arrows. He came across a rat hole. The rat's tail was hanging out. He came directly home and, early in the morning before the raven called, he set out for it. He took his hîn-tayî'cî shirt. When he got back he started to put [the shirt] on after he had sharpened its edges. After he had gotten into it he went up to the [rat] hole. Then he threw a stone down upon it, making it give forth a peeping sound, as if the mountain were cracking in two. He swam round a stone, waiting for it to swim out. When it swam out it ran its nose against him. It swain past him. It wanted to drop its tail down on him. Then he floated edge up, and it tried to drop its tail down upon him. When it dropped its tail down upon him it was cut up into small pieces. Then it swam up to his side, crying on account of what he had done. He cut it all up. Afterward he swam ashore. He put his skin back on the stump. In the morning its head floated in front of them. They cut it up.
After two days he pulled down his canoe. Going along for awhile, he came up to the beach in front of a woman sitting in a house. She had only one eye. "Come up, my nephew. I have stale salmon heads, my nephew," she said to him. This person in front of whom he had come was the real one who had destroyed the canoes. Those were human heads that she spoke of as stale heads. He did not eat them. He saw what they were. "I have also fish eggs," [she said]. Those were human eyes, and he did not eat of them. He emptied them by the fire. The woman's husband, however, was away hunting for human beings. Lastly she got human ribs, and when he would not eat those she became angry about it. She threw a shell at him with which she used to kill human beings, but missed him, for he jumped away quickly. Then he took it up. He hit her with it in return, and the cannibal wife broke in two. After be had killed her he pulled her over on the fire. When he blew upon her ashes, however, they became mosquitoes. This is why mosquitoes eat people. After
he had killed her he went away and met the cannibal man. When he met him he killed him. He cut off his head and took it to his mother's home. There they cut his face all up. They burned his face with dung.
In olden times when a person finished a story he said, "It's up to you."
Lâ'gu yên qAx du
l-nîgî'n ye qoyanaqe'tc, "Hûtc! qê lqA'x."
Old times | when | with | they are through | thus | they always say, | "I am out of it," (or "Up to you.")
274:a See p. 217.