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Life On The Mississippi, Complete by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

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abnormal rise must be provided against, because this would endanger the
levee, and once in force behind the works of revetment would tear them
also away.

Under the general principle that the local slope of a river is the
result and measure of the resistance of its bed, it is evident that a
narrow and deep stream should have less slope, because it has less
frictional surface in proportion to capacity; i.e., less perimeter in
proportion to area of cross section. The ultimate effect of levees and
revetments confining the floods and bringing all the stages of the river
into register is to deepen the channel and let down the slope. The first
effect of the levees is to raise the surface; but this, by inducing
greater velocity of flow, inevitably causes an enlargement of section,
and if this enlargement is prevented from being made at the expense of
the banks, the bottom must give way and the form of the waterway be so
improved as to admit this flow with less rise. The actual experience
with levees upon the Mississippi River, with no attempt to hold the
banks, has been favorable, and no one can doubt, upon the evidence
furnished in the reports of the commission, that if the earliest levees
had been accompanied by revetment of banks, and made complete, we should
have to-day a river navigable at low water, and an adjacent country safe
from inundation.

Of course it would be illogical to conclude that the constrained river
can ever lower its flood slope so as to make levees unnecessary, but it
is believed that, by this lateral constraint, the river as a conduit may
be so improved in form that even those rare floods which result from the
coincident rising of many tributaries will find vent without destroying
levees of ordinary height. That the actual capacity of a channel through
alluvium depends upon its service during floods has been often shown,
but this capacity does not include anomalous, but recurrent, floods.

It is hardly worth while to consider the projects for relieving the
Mississippi River floods by creating new outlets, since these
sensational propositions have commended themselves only to unthinking
minds, and have no support among engineers. Were the river bed cast-
iron, a resort to openings for surplus waters might be a necessity; but
as the bottom is yielding, and the best form of outlet is a single deep
channel, as realizing the least ratio of perimeter to area of cross
section, there could not well be a more unphilosophical method of
treatment than the multiplication of avenues of escape.

In the foregoing statement the attempt has been made to condense in as
limited a space as the importance of the subject would permit, the
general elements of the problem, and the general features of the
proposed method of improvement which has been adopted by the Mississippi
River Commission.

The writer cannot help feeling that it is somewhat presumptuous on his
part to attempt to present the facts relating to an enterprise which
calls for the highest scientific skill; but it is a matter which
interests every citizen of the United States, and is one of the methods
of reconstruction which ought to be approved. It is a war claim which
implies no private gain, and no compensation except for one of the cases
of destruction incident to war, which may well be repaired by the people
of the whole country.


Boston: April 14, 1882.



HAVING now arrived nearly at the end of our travels, I am induced, ere I
conclude, again to mention what I consider as one of the most remarkable
traits in the national character of the Americans; namely, their
exquisite sensitiveness and soreness respecting everything said or
written concerning them. Of this, perhaps, the most remarkable example I
can give is the effect produced on nearly every class of readers by the
appearance of Captain Basil Hall's 'Travels in North America.' In fact,
it was a sort of moral earthquake, and the vibration it occasioned
through the nerves of the republic, from one corner of the Union to the
other, was by no means over when I left the country in July 1831, a
couple of years after the shock.

I was in Cincinnati when these volumes came out, but it was not till
July 1830, that I procured a copy of them. One bookseller to whom I
applied told me that he had had a few copies before he understood the
nature of the work, but that, after becoming acquainted with it, nothing
should induce him to sell another. Other persons of his profession
must, however, have been less scrupulous; for the book was read in city,
town, village, and hamlet, steamboat, and stage-coach, and a sort of
war-whoop was sent forth perfectly unprecedented in my recollection upon
any occasion whatever.

An ardent desire for approbation, and a delicate sensitiveness under
censure, have always, I believe, been considered as amiable traits of
character; but the condition into which the appearance of Captain Hall's
work threw the republic shows plainly that these feelings, if carried to
excess, produce a weakness which amounts to imbecility.

It was perfectly astonishing to hear men who, on other subjects, were of
some judgment, utter their opinions upon this. I never heard of any
instance in which the commonsense generally found in national criticism
was so overthrown by passion. I do not speak of the want of justice, and
of fair and liberal interpretation: these, perhaps, were hardly to be
expected. Other nations have been called thin-skinned, but the citizens
of the Union have, apparently, no skins at all; they wince if a breeze
blows over them, unless it be tempered with adulation. It was not,
therefore, very surprising that the acute and forcible observations of a
traveler they knew would be listened to should be received testily. The
extraordinary features of the business were, first, the excess of the
rage into which they lashed themselves; and, secondly, the puerility of
the inventions by which they attempted to account for the severity with
which they fancied they had been treated.

Not content with declaring that the volumes contained no word of truth,
from beginning to end (which is an assertion I heard made very nearly as
often as they were mentioned), the whole country set to work to discover
the causes why Captain Hall had visited the United States, and why he
had published his book.

I have heard it said with as much precision and gravity as if the
statement had been conveyed by an official report, that Captain Hall had
been sent out by the British Government expressly for the purpose of
checking the growing admiration of England for the Government of the
United States,--that it was by a commission from the treasury he had
come, and that it was only in obedience to orders that he had found
anything to object to.

I do not give this as the gossip of a coterie; I am persuaded that it is
the belief of a very considerable portion of the country. So deep is the
conviction of this singular people that they cannot be seen without
being admired, that they will not admit the possibility that any one
should honestly and sincerely find aught to disapprove in them or their

The American Reviews are, many of them, I believe, well known in
England; I need not, therefore, quote them here, but I sometimes
wondered that they, none of them, ever thought of translating Obadiah's
curse into classic American; if they had done so, on placing (he, Basil
Hall) between brackets, instead of (he, Obadiah) it would have saved
them a world of trouble.

I can hardly describe the curiosity with which I sat down at length to
peruse these tremendous volumes; still less can I do justice to my
surprise at their contents. To say that I found not one exaggerated
statement throughout the work is by no means saying enough. It is
impossible for any one who knows the country not to see that Captain
Hall earnestly sought out things to admire and commend. When he praises,
it is with evident pleasure; and when he finds fault, it is with evident
reluctance and restraint, excepting where motives purely patriotic urge
him to state roundly what it is for the benefit of his country should be

In fact, Captain Hall saw the country to the greatest possible
advantage. Furnished, of course, with letters of introduction to the
most distinguished individuals, and with the still more influential
recommendation of his own reputation, he was received in full drawing-
room style and state from one end of the Union to the other. He saw the
country in full dress, and had little or no opportunity of judging of it
unhouselled, unanointed, unannealed, with all its imperfections on its
head, as I and my family too often had.

Captain Hall had certainly excellent opportunities of making himself
acquainted with the form of the government and the laws; and of
receiving, moreover, the best oral commentary upon them, in conversation
with the most distinguished citizens. Of these opportunities he made
excellent use; nothing important met his eye which did not receive that
sort of analytical attention which an experienced and philosophical
traveler alone can give. This has made his volumes highly interesting
and valuable; but I am deeply persuaded, that were a man of equal
penetration to visit the United States with no other means of becoming
acquainted with the national character than the ordinary working-day
intercourse of life, he would conceive an infinitely lower idea of the
moral atmosphere of the country than Captain Hall appears to have done;
and the internal conviction on my mind is strong, that if Captain Hall
had not placed a firm restraint on himself, he must have given
expression to far deeper indignation than any he has uttered against
many points in the American character, with which he shows from other
circumstances that he was well acquainted. His rule appears to have been
to state just so much of the truth as would leave on the mind of his
readers a correct impression, at the least cost of pain to the sensitive
folks he was writing about. He states his own opinions and feelings, and
leaves it to be inferred that he has good grounds for adopting them; but
he spares the Americans the bitterness which a detail of the
circumstances would have produced.

If any one chooses to say that some wicked antipathy to twelve millions
of strangers is the origin of my opinion, I must bear it; and were the
question one of mere idle speculation, I certainly would not court the
abuse I must meet for stating it. But it is not so.

. . . . . . .

The candor which he expresses, and evidently feels, they mistake for
irony, or totally distrust; his unwillingness to give pain to persons
from whom he has received kindness, they scornfully reject as
affectation, and although they must know right well, in their own secret
hearts, how infinitely more they lay at his mercy than he has chosen to
betray; they pretend, even to themselves, that he has exaggerated the
bad points of their character and institutions; whereas, the truth is,
that he has let them off with a degree of tenderness which may be quite
suitable for him to exercise, however little merited; while, at the same
time, he has most industriously magnified their merits, whenever he
could possibly find anything favorable.



IN a remote part of the North lived a man and his sister, who had never
seen a human being. Seldom, if ever, had the man any cause to go from
home; for, as his wants demanded food, he had only to go a little
distance from the lodge, and there, in some particular spot, place his
arrows, with their barbs in the ground. Telling his sister where they
had been placed, every morning she would go in search, and never fail of
finding each stuck through the heart of a deer. She had then only to
drag them into the lodge and prepare their food. Thus she lived till she
attained womanhood, when one day her brother, whose name was Iamo, said
to her: 'Sister, the time is at hand when you will be ill. Listen to
my advice. If you do not, it will probably be the cause of my death.
Take the implements with which we kindle our fires. Go some distance
from our lodge and build a separate fire. When you are in want of food,
I will tell you where to find it. You must cook for yourself, and I will
for myself. When you are ill, do not attempt to come near the lodge, or
bring any of the utensils you use. Be sure always to fasten to your
belt the implements you need, for you do not know when the time will
come. As for myself, I must do the best I can.' His sister promised to
obey him in all he had said.

Shortly after, her brother had cause to go from home. She was alone in
her lodge, combing her hair. She had just untied the belt to which the
implements were fastened, when suddenly the event, to which her brother
had alluded, occurred. She ran out of the lodge, but in her haste forgot
the belt. Afraid to return, she stood for some time thinking. Finally,
she decided to enter the lodge and get it. For, thought she, my brother
is not at home, and I will stay but a moment to catch hold of it. She
went back. Running in suddenly, she caught hold of it, and was coming
out when her brother came in sight. He knew what was the matter. 'Oh,'
he said, 'did I not tell you to take care. But now you have killed me.'
She was going on her way, but her brother said to her, 'What can you do
there now. The accident has happened. Go in, and stay where you have
always stayed. And what will become of you? You have killed me.'

He then laid aside his hunting-dress and accoutrements, and soon after
both his feet began to turn black, so that he could not move. Still he
directed his sister where to place the arrows, that she might always
have food. The inflammation continued to increase, and had now reached
his first rib; and he said: 'Sister, my end is near. You must do as I
tell you. You see my medicine-sack, and my war-club tied to it. It
contains all my medicines, and my war-plumes, and my paints of all
colors. As soon as the inflammation reaches my breast, you will take my
war-club. It has a sharp point, and you will cut off my head. When it is
free from my body, take it, place its neck in the sack, which you must
open at one end. Then hang it up in its former place. Do not forget my
bow and arrows. One of the last you will take to procure food. The
remainder, tie in my sack, and then hang it up, so that I can look
towards the door. Now and then I will speak to you, but not often.' His
sister again promised to obey.

In a little time his breast was affected. 'Now,' said he, 'take the
club and strike off my head.' She was afraid, but he told her to muster
courage. 'Strike,' said he, and a smile was on his face. Mustering all
her courage, she gave the blow and cut off the head. 'Now,' said the
head, 'place me where I told you.' And fearfully she obeyed it in all
its commands. Retaining its animation, it looked around the lodge as
usual, and it would command its sister to go in such places as it
thought would procure for her the flesh of different animals she needed.
One day the head said: 'The time is not distant when I shall be freed
from this situation, and I shall have to undergo many sore evils. So the
superior manito decrees, and I must bear all patiently.' In this
situation we must leave the head.

In a certain part of the country was a village inhabited by a numerous
and warlike band of Indians. In this village was a family of ten young
men--brothers. It was in the spring of the year that the youngest of
these blackened his face and fasted. His dreams were propitious. Having
ended his fast, he went secretly for his brothers at night, so that none
in the village could overhear or find out the direction they intended to
go. Though their drum was heard, yet that was a common occurrence.
Having ended the usual formalities, he told how favorable his dreams
were, and that he had called them together to know if they would
accompany him in a war excursion. They all answered they would. The
third brother from the eldest, noted for his oddities, coming up with
his war-club when his brother had ceased speaking, jumped up. 'Yes,'
said he, 'I will go, and this will be the way I will treat those I am
going to fight;' and he struck the post in the center of the lodge, and
gave a yell. The others spoke to him, saying: 'Slow, slow, Mudjikewis,
when you are in other people's lodges.' So he sat down. Then, in turn,
they took the drum, and sang their songs, and closed with a feast. The
youngest told them not to whisper their intention to their wives, but
secretly to prepare for their journey. They all promised obedience, and
Mudjikewis was the first to say so.

The time for their departure drew near. Word was given to assemble on a
certain night, when they would depart immediately. Mudjikewis was loud
in his demands for his moccasins. Several times his wife asked him the
reason. 'Besides,' said she, 'you have a good pair on.' 'Quick,
quick,' said he, 'since you must know, we are going on a war excursion;
so be quick.' He thus revealed the secret. That night they met and
started. The snow was on the ground, and they traveled all night, lest
others should follow them. When it was daylight, the leader took snow
and made a ball of it, then tossing it into the air, he said: 'It was in
this way I saw snow fall in a dream, so that I could not be tracked.'
And he told them to keep close to each other for fear of losing
themselves, as the snow began to fall in very large flakes. Near as they
walked, it was with difficulty they could see each other. The snow
continued falling all that day and the following night, so it was
impossible to track them.

They had now walked for several days, and Mudjikewis was always in the
rear. One day, running suddenly forward, he gave the SAW-SAW-
QUAN,{footnote [War-whoop.]} and struck a tree with his war-club, and it
broke into pieces as if struck with lightning. 'Brothers,' said he,
'this will be the way I will serve those we are going to fight.' The
leader answered, 'Slow, slow, Mudjikewis, the one I lead you to is not
to be thought of so lightly.' Again he fell back and thought to
himself: 'What! what! who can this be he is leading us to?' He felt
fearful and was silent. Day after day they traveled on, till they came
to an extensive plain, on the borders of which human bones were
bleaching in the sun. The leader spoke: 'They are the bones of those
who have gone before us. None has ever yet returned to tell the sad tale
of their fate.' Again Mudjikewis became restless, and, running forward,
gave the accustomed yell. Advancing to a large rock which stood above
the ground, he struck it, and it fell to pieces. 'See, brothers,' said
he, 'thus will I treat those whom we are going to fight.' 'Still,
still,' once more said the leader; 'he to whom I am leading you is not
to be compared to the rock.'

Mudjikewis fell back thoughtful, saying to himself: 'I wonder who this
can be that he is going to attack;' and he was afraid. Still they
continued to see the remains of former warriors, who had been to the
place where they were now going, some of whom had retreated as far back
as the place where they first saw the bones, beyond which no one had
ever escaped. At last they came to a piece of rising ground, from which
they plainly distinguished, sleeping on a distant mountain, a mammoth

The distance between them was very great, but the size of the animal
caused him to be plainly seen. 'There,' said the leader, 'it is he to
whom I am leading you; here our troubles will commence, for he is a
mishemokwa and a manito. It is he who has that we prize so dearly (i.e.
wampum), to obtain which, the warriors whose bones we saw, sacrificed
their lives. You must not be fearful: be manly. We shall find him
asleep.' Then the leader went forward and touched the belt around the
animal's neck. 'This,' said he, 'is what we must get. It contains the
wampum.' Then they requested the eldest to try and slip the belt over
the bear's head, who appeared to be fast asleep, as he was not in the
least disturbed by the attempt to obtain the belt. All their efforts
were in vain, till it came to the one next the youngest. He tried, and
the belt moved nearly over the monster's head, but he could get it no
farther. Then the youngest one, and the leader, made his attempt, and
succeeded. Placing it on the back of the oldest, he said, 'Now we must
run,' and off they started. When one became fatigued with its weight,
another would relieve him. Thus they ran till they had passed the bones
of all former warriors, and were some distance beyond, when looking
back, they saw the monster slowly rising. He stood some time before he
missed his wampum. Soon they heard his tremendous howl, like distant
thunder, slowly filling all the sky; and then they heard him speak and
say, 'Who can it be that has dared to steal my wampum? earth is not so
large but that I can find them;' and he descended from the hill in
pursuit. As if convulsed, the earth shook with every jump he made. Very
soon he approached the party. They, however, kept the belt, exchanging
it from one to another, and encouraging each other; but he gained on
them fast. 'Brothers,' said the leader, 'has never any one of you, when
fasting, dreamed of some friendly spirit who would aid you as a
guardian?' A dead silence followed. 'Well,' said he, 'fasting, I
dreamed of being in danger of instant death, when I saw a small lodge,
with smoke curling from its top. An old man lived in it, and I dreamed
he helped me; and may it be verified soon,' he said, running forward and
giving the peculiar yell, and a howl as if the sounds came from the
depths of his stomach, and what is called CHECAUDUM. Getting upon a
piece of rising ground, behold! a lodge, with smoke curling from its
top, appeared. This gave them all new strength, and they ran forward
and entered it. The leader spoke to the old man who sat in the lodge,
saying, 'Nemesho, help us; we claim your protection, for the great bear
will kill us.' 'Sit down and eat, my grandchildren,' said the old man.
'Who is a great manito?' said he. 'There is none but me; but let me
look,' and he opened the door of the lodge, when, lo! at a little
distance he saw the enraged animal coming on, with slow but powerful
leaps. He closed the door. 'Yes,' said he, 'he is indeed a great
manito: my grandchildren, you will be the cause of my losing my life;
you asked my protection, and I granted it; so now, come what may, I will
protect you. When the bear arrives at the door, you must run out of the
other door of the lodge.' Then putting his hand to the side of the
lodge where he sat, he brought out a bag which he opened. Taking out two
small black dogs, he placed them before him. 'These are the ones I use
when I fight,' said he; and he commenced patting with both hands the
sides of one of them, and he began to swell out, so that he soon filled
the lodge by his bulk; and he had great strong teeth. When he attained
his full size he growled, and from that moment, as from instinct, he
jumped out at the door and met the bear, who in another leap would have
reached the lodge. A terrible combat ensued. The skies rang with the
howls of the fierce monsters. The remaining dog soon took the field.
The brothers, at the onset, took the advice of the old man, and escaped
through the opposite side of the lodge. They had not proceeded far
before they heard the dying cry of one of the dogs, and soon after of
the other. 'Well,' said the leader, 'the old man will share their fate:
so run; he will soon be after us.' They started with fresh vigor, for
they had received food from the old man: but very soon the bear came in
sight, and again was fast gaining upon them. Again the leader asked the
brothers if they could do nothing for their safety. All were silent.
The leader, running forward, did as before. 'I dreamed,' he cried,
'that, being in great trouble, an old man helped me who was a manito; we
shall soon see his lodge.' Taking courage, they still went on. After
going a short distance they saw the lodge of the old manito. They
entered immediately and claimed his protection, telling him a manito was
after them. The old man, setting meat before them, said: 'Eat! who is a
manito? there is no manito but me; there is none whom I fear;' and the
earth trembled as the monster advanced. The old man opened the door and
saw him coming. He shut it slowly, and said: 'Yes, my grandchildren,
you have brought trouble upon me.' Procuring his medicine-sack, he took
out his small war-clubs of black stone, and told the young men to run
through the other side of the lodge. As he handled the clubs, they
became very large, and the old man stepped out just as the bear reached
the door. Then striking him with one of the clubs, it broke in pieces;
the bear stumbled. Renewing the attempt with the other war-club, that
also was broken, but the bear fell senseless. Each blow the old man gave
him sounded like a clap of thunder, and the howls of the bear ran along
till they filled the heavens.

The young men had now run some distance, when they looked back. They
could see that the bear was recovering from the blows. First he moved
his paws, and soon they saw him rise on his feet. The old man shared
the fate of the first, for they now heard his cries as he was torn in
pieces. Again the monster was in pursuit, and fast overtaking them. Not
yet discouraged, the young men kept on their way; but the bear was now
so close, that the leader once more applied to his brothers, but they
could do nothing. 'Well,' said he, 'my dreams will soon be exhausted;
after this I have but one more.' He advanced, invoking his guardian
spirit to aid him. 'Once,' said he, 'I dreamed that, being sorely
pressed, I came to a large lake, on the shore of which was a canoe,
partly out of water, having ten paddles all in readiness. Do not fear,'
he cried, 'we shall soon get it.' And so it was, even as he had said.
Coming to the lake, they saw the canoe with ten paddles, and immediately
they embarked. Scarcely had they reached the center of the lake, when
they saw the bear arrive at its borders. Lifting himself on his hind
legs, he looked all around. Then he waded into the water; then losing
his footing he turned back, and commenced making the circuit of the
lake. Meantime the party remained stationary in the center to watch his
movements. He traveled all around, till at last he came to the place
from whence he started. Then he commenced drinking up the water, and
they saw the current fast setting in towards his open mouth. The leader
encouraged them to paddle hard for the opposite shore. When only a short
distance from land, the current had increased so much, that they were
drawn back by it, and all their efforts to reach it were in vain.

Then the leader again spoke, telling them to meet their fates manfully.
'Now is the time, Mudjikewis,' said he, 'to show your prowess. Take
courage and sit at the bow of the canoe; and when it approaches his
mouth, try what effect your club will have on his head.' He obeyed, and
stood ready to give the blow; while the leader, who steered, directed
the canoe for the open mouth of the monster.

Rapidly advancing, they were just about to enter his mouth, when
Mudjikewis struck him a tremendous blow on the head, and gave the SAW-
SAW-QUAN. The bear's limbs doubled under him, and he fell, stunned by
the blow. But before Mudjikewis could renew it, the monster disgorged
all the water he had drank, with a force which sent the canoe with great
velocity to the opposite shore. Instantly leaving the canoe, again they
fled, and on they went till they were completely exhausted. The earth
again shook, and soon they saw the monster hard after them. Their
spirits drooped, and they felt discouraged. The leader exerted himself,
by actions and words, to cheer them up; and once more he asked them if
they thought of nothing, or could do nothing for their rescue; and, as
before, all were silent. 'Then,' he said, 'this is the last time I can
apply to my guardian spirit. Now, if we do not succeed, our fates are
decided.' He ran forward, invoking his spirit with great earnestness,
and gave the yell. 'We shall soon arrive,' said he to his brothers, 'at
the place where my last guardian spirit dwells. In him I place great
confidence. Do not, do not be afraid, or your limbs will be fear-bound.
We shall soon reach his lodge. Run, run,' he cried.

Returning now to Iamo, he had passed all the time in the same condition
we had left him, the head directing his sister, in order to procure
food, where to place the magic arrows, and speaking at long intervals.
One day the sister saw the eyes of the head brighten, as if with
pleasure. At last it spoke. 'Oh, sister,' it said, 'in what a pitiful
situation you have been the cause of placing me! Soon, very soon, a
party of young men will arrive and apply to me for aid; but alas! How
can I give what I would have done with so much pleasure? Nevertheless,
take two arrows, and place them where you have been in the habit of
placing the others, and have meat prepared and cooked before they
arrive. When you hear them coming and calling on my name, go out and
say, "Alas! it is long ago that an accident befell him. I was the cause
of it." If they still come near, ask them in, and set meat before them.
And now you must follow my directions strictly. When the bear is near,
go out and meet him. You will take my medicine-sack, bows and arrows,
and my head. You must then untie the sack, and spread out before you my
paints of all colors, my war-eagle feathers, my tufts of dried hair, and
whatever else it contains. As the bear approaches, you will take all
these articles, one by one, and say to him, "This is my deceased
brother's paint," and so on with all the other articles, throwing each
of them as far as you can. The virtues contained in them will cause him
to totter; and, to complete his destruction, you will take my head, and
that too you will cast as far off as you can, crying aloud, "See, this
is my deceased brother's head." He will then fall senseless. By this
time the young men will have eaten, and you will call them to your
assistance. You must then cut the carcass into pieces, yes, into small
pieces, and scatter them to the four winds; for, unless you do this, he
will again revive.' She promised that all should be done as he said.
She had only time to prepare the meat, when the voice of the leader was
heard calling upon Iamo for aid. The woman went out and said as her
brother had directed. But the war party being closely pursued, came up
to the lodge. She invited them in, and placed the meat before them.
While they were eating, they heard the bear approaching. Untying the
medicine-sack and taking the head, she had all in readiness for his
approach. When he came up she did as she had been told; and, before she
had expended the paints and feathers, the bear began to totter, but,
still advancing, came close to the woman. Saying as she was commanded,
she then took the head, and cast it as far from her as she could. As it
rolled along the ground, the blood, excited by the feelings of the head
in this terrible scene, gushed from the nose and mouth. The bear,
tottering, soon fell with a tremendous noise. Then she cried for help,
and the young men came rushing out, having partially regained their
strength and spirits.

Mudjikewis, stepping up, gave a yell and struck him a blow upon the
head. This he repeated, till it seemed like a mass of brains, while the
others, as quick as possible, cut him into very small pieces, which they
then scattered in every direction. While thus employed, happening to
look around where they had thrown the meat, wonderful to behold, they
saw starting up and turning off in every direction small black bears,
such as are seen at the present day. The country was soon overspread
with these black animals. And it was from this monster that the present
race of bears derived their origin.

Having thus overcome their pursuer, they returned to the lodge. In the
meantime, the woman, gathering the implements she had used, and the
head, placed them again in the sack. But the head did not speak again,
probably from its great exertion to overcome the monster.

Having spent so much time and traversed so vast a country in their
flight, the young men gave up the idea of ever returning to their own
country, and game being plenty, they determined to remain where they now
were. One day they moved off some distance from the lodge for the
purpose of hunting, having left the wampum with the woman. They were
very successful, and amused themselves, as all young men do when alone,
by talking and jesting with each other. One of them spoke and said, 'We
have all this sport to ourselves; let us go and ask our sister if she
will not let us bring the head to this place, as it is still alive. It
may be pleased to hear us talk, and be in our company. In the meantime
take food to our sister.' They went and requested the head. She told
them to take it, and they took it to their hunting-grounds, and tried to
amuse it, but only at times did they see its eyes beam with pleasure.
One day, while busy in their encampment, they were unexpectedly attacked
by unknown Indians. The skirmish was long contested and bloody; many of
their foes were slain, but still they were thirty to one. The young men
fought desperately till they were all killed. The attacking party then
retreated to a height of ground, to muster their men, and to count the
number of missing and slain. One of their young men had stayed away,
and, in endeavoring to overtake them, came to the place where the head
was hung up. Seeing that alone retain animation, he eyed it for some
time with fear and surprise. However, he took it down and opened the
sack, and was much pleased to see the beautiful feathers, one of which
he placed on his head.

Starting off, it waved gracefully over him till he reached his party,
when he threw down the head and sack, and told them how he had found it,
and that the sack was full of paints and feathers. They all looked at
the head and made sport of it. Numbers of the young men took the paint
and painted themselves, and one of the party took the head by the hair
and said--

'Look, you ugly thing, and see your paints on the faces of warriors.'

But the feathers were so beautiful, that numbers of them also placed
them on their heads. Then again they used all kinds of indignity to the
head, for which they were in turn repaid by the death of those who had
used the feathers. Then the chief commanded them to throw away all
except the head. 'We will see,' said he, 'when we get home, what we can
do with it. We will try to make it shut its eyes.'

When they reached their homes they took it to the council-lodge, and
hung it up before the fire, fastening it with raw hide soaked, which
would shrink and become tightened by the action of the fire. 'We will
then see,' they said, 'if we cannot make it shut its eyes.'

Meantime, for several days, the sister had been waiting for the young
men to bring back the head; till, at last, getting impatient, she went
in search of it. The young men she found lying within short distances
of each other, dead, and covered with wounds. Various other bodies lay
scattered in different directions around them. She searched for the head
and sack, but they were nowhere to be found. She raised her voice and
wept, and blackened her face. Then she walked in different directions,
till she came to the place from whence the head had been taken. Then
she found the magic bow and arrows, where the young men, ignorant of
their qualities, had left them. She thought to herself that she would
find her brother's head, and came to a piece of rising ground, and there
saw some of his paints and feathers. These she carefully put up, and
hung upon the branch of a tree till her return.

At dusk she arrived at the first lodge of a very extensive village. Here
she used a charm, common among Indians when they wish to meet with a
kind reception. On applying to the old man and woman of the lodge, she
was kindly received. She made known her errand. The old man promised to
aid her, and told her the head was hung up before the council-fire, and
that the chiefs of the village, with their young men, kept watch over it
continually. The former are considered as manitoes. She said she only
wished to see it, and would be satisfied if she could only get to the
door of the lodge. She knew she had not sufficient power to take it by
force. 'Come with me,' said the Indian, 'I will take you there.' They
went, and they took their seats near the door. The council-lodge was
filled with warriors, amusing themselves with games, and constantly
keeping up a fire to smoke the head, as they said, to make dry meat.
They saw the head move, and not knowing what to make of it, one spoke
and said: 'Ha! ha! It is beginning to feel the effects of the smoke.'
The sister looked up from the door, and her eyes met those of her
brother, and tears rolled down the cheeks of the head. 'Well,' said the
chief, 'I thought we would make you do something at last. Look! look at
it--shedding tears,' said he to those around him; and they all laughed
and passed their jokes upon it. The chief, looking around, and
observing the woman, after some time said to the man who came with her:
'Who have you got there? I have never seen that woman before in our
village.' 'Yes,' replied the man, 'you have seen her; she is a relation
of mine, and seldom goes out. She stays at my lodge, and asked me to
allow her to come with me to this place.' In the center of the lodge sat
one of those young men who are always forward, and fond of boasting and
displaying themselves before others. 'Why,' said he, 'I have seen her
often, and it is to this lodge I go almost every night to court her.'
All the others laughed and continued their games. The young man did not
know he was telling a lie to the woman's advantage, who by that means

She returned to the man's lodge, and immediately set out for her own
country. Coming to the spot where the bodies of her adopted brothers
lay, she placed them together, their feet toward the east. Then taking
an ax which she had, she cast it up into the air, crying out, 'Brothers,
get up from under it, or it will fall on you.' This she repeated three
times, and the third time the brothers all arose and stood on their

Mudjikewis commenced rubbing his eyes and stretching himself. 'Why,'
said he, 'I have overslept myself.' 'No, indeed,' said one of the
others, 'do you not know we were all killed, and that it is our sister
who has brought us to life?' The young men took the bodies of their
enemies and burned them. Soon after, the woman went to procure wives for
them, in a distant country, they knew not where; but she returned with
ten young women, which she gave to the ten young men, beginning with the
eldest. Mudjikewis stepped to and fro, uneasy lest he should not get
the one he liked. But he was not disappointed, for she fell to his lot.
And they were well matched, for she was a female magician. They then all
moved into a very large lodge, and their sister told them that the women
must now take turns in going to her brother's head every night, trying
to untie it. They all said they would do so with pleasure. The eldest
made the first attempt, and with a rushing noise she fled through the

Toward daylight she returned. She had been unsuccessful, as she
succeeded in untying only one of the knots. All took their turns
regularly, and each one succeeded in untying only one knot each time.
But when the youngest went, she commenced the work as soon as she
reached the lodge; although it had always been occupied, still the
Indians never could see any one. For ten nights now, the smoke had not
ascended, but filled the lodge and drove them out. This last night they
were all driven out, and the young woman carried off the head.

The young people and the sister heard the young woman coming high
through the air, and they heard her saying: 'Prepare the body of our
brother.' And as soon as they heard it, they went to a small lodge
where the black body of Iamo lay. His sister commenced cutting the neck
part, from which the neck had been severed. She cut so deep as to cause
it to bleed; and the others who were present, by rubbing the body and
applying medicines, expelled the blackness. In the meantime, the one
who brought it, by cutting the neck of the head, caused that also to

As soon as she arrived, they placed that close to the body, and, by aid
of medicines and various other means, succeeded in restoring Iamo to all
his former beauty and manliness. All rejoiced in the happy termination
of their troubles, and they had spent some time joyfully together, when
Iamo said: 'Now I will divide the wampum,' and getting the belt which
contained it, he commenced with the eldest, giving it in equal portions.
But the youngest got the most splendid and beautiful, as the bottom of
the belt held the richest and rarest.

They were told that, since they had all once died, and were restored to
life, they were no longer mortal, but spirits, and they were assigned
different stations in the invisible world. Only Mudjikewis's place was,
however, named. He was to direct the west wind, hence generally called
Kebeyun, there to remain for ever. They were commanded, as they had it
in their power, to do good to the inhabitants of the earth, and,
forgetting their sufferings in procuring the wampum, to give all things
with a liberal hand. And they were also commanded that it should also be
held by them sacred; those grains or shells of the pale hue to be
emblematic of peace, while those of the darker hue would lead to evil
and war.

The spirits then, amid songs and shouts, took their flight to their
respective abodes on high; while Iamo, with his sister Iamoqua,
descended into the depths below.

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