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´╗┐Title: Legends of Vancouver
Author: Johnson, E. Pauline, 1861-1913
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Legends of Vancouver" ***

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[Illustration: Cover art]



[Frontispiece: E. Pauline Johnson]



Legends of

Vancouver


By

E. PAULINE JOHNSON

(Tekahionwake)



_Eighth Edition_

ILLUSTRATED



Published by

Saturday Sunset Presses

Vancouver, B. C.

1913



COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY E. PAULINE JOHNSON



These legends are printed by courtesy of the "Vancouver Daily
Province," in which journal they first appeared.



Printed by

SATURDAY SUNSET PRESSES

Vancouver, B. C.



Preface

I have been asked to write a preface to these Legends of Vancouver,
which, in conjunction with the members of the Publication
Sub-committee--Mrs. Lefevre, Mr. L. W. Makovski and Mr. R. W.
Douglas--I have helped to put through the press.  But scarcely any
prefatory remarks are necessary.  This book may well stand on its own
merits.  Still, it may be permissible to record one's glad satisfaction
that a poet has arisen to cast over the shoulders of our grey
mountains, our trail-threaded forests, our tide-swept waters, and the
streets and skyscrapers of our hurrying city, a gracious mantle of
romance.  Pauline Johnson has linked the vivid present with the
immemorial past.  Vancouver takes on a new aspect as we view it through
her eyes.  In the imaginative power that she has brought to these
semi-historical sagas, and in the liquid flow of her rhythmical prose,
she has shown herself to be a literary worker of whom we may well be
proud: she has made a most estimable contribution to purely Canadian
literature.

BERNARD McEVOY



Author's Foreword

These legends (with two or three exceptions) were told to me personally
by my honored friend, the late Chief Joe Capilano, of Vancouver, whom I
had the privilege of first meeting in London in 1906, when he visited
England and was received at Buckingham Palace by their Majesties King
Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

To the fact that I was able to greet Chief Capilano in the Chinook
tongue, while we were both many thousands of miles from home, I owe the
friendship and the confidence which he so freely gave me when I came to
reside on the Pacific Coast.  These legends he told me from time to
time, just as the mood possessed him, and he frequently remarked that
they had never been revealed to any other English-speaking person save
myself.

E. PAULINE JOHNSON (Tekahionwake)



Biographical Notice

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) is the youngest child of a family of
four born to the late G. H. M. Johnson (Onwanonsyshon), Head Chief of
the Six Nations Indians, and his wife Emily S. Howells.  The latter was
of English parentage, her birthplace being Bristol, but the land of her
adoption Canada.

Chief Johnson was of the renowned Mohawk tribe, being a scion of one of
the fifty noble families which composed the historical confederation
founded by Hiawatha upwards of four hundred years ago, and known at
that period as the Brotherhood of the Five Nations, but which was
afterwards named the Iroquois by the early French missionaries and
explorers.  For their loyalty to the British Crown they were granted
the magnificent lands bordering the Grand River, in the County of
Brant, Ontario, on which the tribes still live.

It was upon this Reserve, on her father's estate, "Chiefswood," that
Pauline Johnson was born.  The loyalty of her ancestors breathes in her
prose, as well as in her poetic writings.

Her education was neither extensive nor elaborate.  It embraced neither
high school nor college.  A nursery governess for two years at home,
three years at an Indian day school half a mile from her home, and two
years in the Central School of the city of Brantford, was the extent of
her educational training.  But, besides this, she acquired a wide
general knowledge, having been through childhood and early girlhood a
great reader, especially of poetry.  Before she was twelve years old
she had read Scott, Longfellow, Byron, Shakespeare, and such books as
Addison's "Spectator," Foster's Essays and Owen Meredith's writings.

The first periodicals to accept her poems and place them before the
public were "Gems of Poetry," a small magazine published in New York,
and "The Week," established by the late Prof. Goldwin Smith, of
Toronto, the New York "Independent" and Toronto "Saturday Night."
Since then she has contributed to most of the high-grade magazines,
both on this continent and England.

Her writings having brought her into notice, the next step in Miss
Johnson's career was her appearance on the public platform as a reciter
of her own poems.  For this she had natural talent, and in the exercise
of it she soon developed a marked ability, joined with a personal
magnetism, that was destined to make her a favorite with audiences from
the Atlantic to the Pacific.  Her friend, Mr. Frank Yeigh, of Toronto,
provided for a series of recitals having that scope, with the object of
enabling her to go to England to arrange for the publication of her
poems.  Within two years this aim was accomplished, her book of poems,
"The White Wampum," being published by John Lane, of the Bodley Head.
She took with her numerous letters of introduction, including one from
the Governor-General, the Earl of Aberdeen, and she soon gained both
social and literary standing.  Her book was received with much favor,
both by reviewers and the public.  After giving many recitals in
fashionable drawing-rooms, she returned to Canada, and made her first
tour to the Pacific Coast, giving recitals at all the cities and towns
en route.  Since then she has crossed the Rocky Mountains no fewer than
nineteen times.

Miss Johnson's pen had not been idle, and in 1903 the Geo. N. Morang
Co., of Toronto, published her second book of poems, entitled "Canadian
Born," which was also well received.

After a number of recitals, which included Newfoundland and the
Maritime Provinces, she went to England again in 1906 and made her
first appearance in Steinway Hall, under the distinguished patronage of
Lord and Lady Strathcona.  In the following year she again visited
London, returning by way of the United States, where she gave many
recitals.  After another tour of Canada she decided to give up public
work, to make Vancouver, B. C., her home, and to devote herself to
literary work.

Only a woman of remarkable powers of endurance could have borne up
under the hardships necessarily encountered in travelling through
North-western Canada in pioneer days as Miss Johnson did; and shortly
after settling down in Vancouver the exposure and hardship she had
endured began to tell on her, and her health completely broke down.
For almost a year she has been an invalid, and as she is unable to
attend to the business herself, a trust has been formed by some of the
leading citizens of her adopted city for the purpose of collecting and
publishing for her benefit her later works.  Among these are the
beautiful Indian Legends contained in this volume, which she has been
at great pains to collect, and a series of boys' stories, which have
been exceedingly well received by magazine readers.

During the sixteen years Miss Johnson was travelling, she had many
varied and interesting experiences.  She travelled the old Battleford
trail before the railroad went through, and across the Boundary country
in British Columbia in the romantic days of the early pioneers.  Once
she took an eight hundred and fifty mile drive up the Cariboo trail to
the gold fields.  She has always been an ardent canoeist, and has run
many strange rivers, crossed many a lonely lake, and camped in many an
unfrequented place.  These venturesome trips she made more from her
inherent love of Nature and adventure than from any necessity of her
profession.

    *    *    *    *    *

Miss Pauline Johnson died in Vancouver on March 7, 1913.  In accordance
with her last wish her ashes were buried in Stanley Park within sight
and sound of Siwash Rock, where the main driveway round the park,
coming from the English Bay entrance, divides east and west--the
western branch sloping down towards the rock and the eastern going to
the Big Tree.  An editorial in the "Vancouver Daily Province" of March
8 said:

"The keynote of her whole disposition was a generous charity towards
everything and everybody with whom she came in contact.  There was no
trouble too great for her to take, no detail too small for her to
neglect when it was a matter of giving happiness to others.  She was
one of those great souls who would starve themselves on the trail, work
unwearingly [Transcriber's note: unwearyingly?] for her companions,
cheer them ever onwards through good times and bad, and rejoice with
them when the goal was achieved.  She loved life with a passionate
devotion that was almost pathetic in its intensity.  In spite of all
her travelling, all her experiences, which were by no means easy,
Pauline Johnson never lost her capacity for getting the best out of
life.  She was absolutely natural and simple in her love of happiness.
She disliked artificiality of any kind.  The seasons as they came and
went were in themselves a constant source of pleasure to her.  She
loved the Pacific coast with its ever-changing colors, the sea and the
deeply gashed mountains.  The wind in the great firs and the roaring of
the mountain torrents were music in her ears.  With the passing of
winter passed also the soul of Pauline Johnson to the happy hunting
grounds, there to find eternal freedom untrammeled by mortality.  To
all who knew her she was the 'best beloved vagabond.'  It was always
fine weather and good going on the trail of life when Pauline Johnson
blazed the way."



Contents


  Preface
  Author's Foreword
  Biographical Notice
  The Two Sisters
  The Siwash Rock
  The Recluse
  The Lost Salmon Run
  The Deep Waters
  The Sea-Serpent
  The Lost Island
  Point Grey
  The Tulameen Trail
  The Grey Archway
  Deadman's Island
  A Squamish Legend of Napoleon
  The Lure in Stanley Park
  Deer Lake
  A Royal Mohawk Chief



List of Illustrations


Frontispiece--Portrait

The Lions (The Two Sisters)

The Siwash Rock

Capilano Canyon

The Capilano River

Entrance to the Narrows

Kitsilano Beach

The Seven Sisters, Stanley Park



The Two Sisters

THE LIONS

You can see them as you look towards the north and the west, where the
dream hills swim into the sky amid their ever-drifting clouds of pearl
and grey.  They catch the earliest hint of sunrise, they hold the last
color of sunset.  Twin mountains they are, lifting their twin peaks
above the fairest city in all Canada, and known throughout the British
Empire as "The Lions of Vancouver."  Sometimes the smoke of forest
fires blurs them until they gleam like opals in a purple atmosphere,
too beautiful for words to paint.  Sometimes the slanting rains festoon
scarfs of mist about their crests, and the peaks fade into shadowy
outlines, melting, melting, forever melting into the distances.  But
for most days in the year the sun circles the twin glories with a sweep
of gold.  The moon washes them with a torrent of silver.  Often-times,
when the city is shrouded in rain, the sun yellows their snows to a
deep orange, but through sun and shadow they stand immovable, smiling
westward above the waters of the restless Pacific, eastward above the
superb beauty of the Capilano Canyon.  But the Indian tribes do not
know these peaks as "The Lions."  Even the Chief, whose feet have so
recently wandered to the Happy Hunting Grounds, never heard the name
given them until I mentioned it to him one dreamy August day, as
together we followed the trail leading to the canyon.  He seemed so
surprised at the name that I mentioned the reason it had been applied
to them, asking him if he recalled the Landseer Lions in Trafalgar
Square.  Yes, he remembered those splendid sculptures, and his quick
eye saw the resemblance instantly.  It appeared to please him, and his
fine face expressed the haunting memories of the far-away roar of Old
London.  But the "call of the blood" was stronger, and presently he
referred to the Indian legend of those peaks--a legend that I have
reason to believe is absolutely unknown to thousands of Palefaces who
look upon "The Lions" daily, without the love for them that is in the
Indian heart; without knowledge of the secret of "The Two Sisters."
The legend was intensely fascinating as it left his lips in the quaint
broken English that is never so dulcet as when it slips from an Indian
tongue.  His inimitable gestures, strong, graceful, comprehensive, were
like a perfectly chosen frame embracing a delicate painting, and his
brooding eyes were as the light in which the picture hung.  "Many
thousands of years ago," he began, "there were no twin peaks like
sentinels guarding the outposts of this sunset coast.  They were placed
there long after the first creation, when the Sagalie Tyee moulded the
mountains, and patterned the mighty rivers where the salmon run,
because of His love for His Indian children, and His Wisdom for their
necessities.  In those times there were many and mighty Indian tribes
along the Pacific--in the mountain ranges, at the shores and sources of
the great Fraser River.  Indian law ruled the land.  Indian customs
prevailed.  Indian beliefs were regarded.  Those were the legend-making
ages when great things occurred to make the traditions we repeat to our
children today.  Perhaps the greatest of these traditions is the story
of 'The Two Sisters,' for they are known to us as 'The Chief's
Daughters,' and to them we owe the Great Peace in which we live, and
have lived for many countless moons.  There is an ancient custom
amongst the Coast tribes that when our daughters step from childhood
into the great world of womanhood the occasion must be made one of
extreme rejoicing.  The being who possesses the possibility of someday
mothering a man child, a warrior, a brave, receives much consideration
in most nations, but to us, the Sunset Tribes, she is honored above all
people.  The parents usually give a great potlatch, and a feast that
lasts many days.  The entire tribe and the surrounding tribes are
bidden to this festival.  More than that, sometimes when a great Tyee
celebrates for his daughter, the tribes from far up the coast, from the
distant north, from inland, from the island, from the Cariboo country,
are gathered as guests to the feast.  During these days of rejoicing,
the girl is placed in a high seat, an exalted position, for is she not
marriageable?  And does not marriage mean motherhood?  And does not
motherhood mean a vaster nation of brave sons and of gentle daughters,
who, in their turn, will give us sons and daughters of their own?

"But it was many thousands of years ago that a great Tyee had two
daughters that grew to womanhood at the same springtime, when the first
great run of salmon thronged the rivers, and the ollallie bushes were
heavy with blossoms.  These two daughters were young, lovable, and oh!
very beautiful.  Their father, the great Tyee, prepared to make a feast
such as the Coast had never seen.  There were to be days and days of
rejoicing, the people were to come for many leagues, were to bring
gifts to the girls and to receive gifts of great value from the Chief,
and hospitality was to reign as long as pleasuring feet could dance,
and enjoying lips could laugh, and mouths partake of the excellence of
the Chief's fish, game and ollallies.

[Illustration: THE LIONS (THE TWO SISTERS)
  Bishop & Christie, Photo.]

"The only shadow on the joy of it all was war, for the tribe of the
great Tyee was at war with the Upper Coast Indians, those who lived
north, near what is named by the Paleface as the port of Prince Rupert.
Giant war canoes slipped along the entire coast, war parties paddled up
and down, war songs broke the silences of the nights, hatred,
vengeance, strife, horror festered everywhere like sores on the surface
of the earth.  But the great Tyee, after warring for weeks, turned and
laughed at the battle and the bloodshed, for he had been victor in
every encounter, and he could well afford to leave the strife for a
brief week and feast in his daughters' honor, nor permit any mere enemy
to come between him and the traditions of his race and household.  So
he turned insultingly deaf ears to their war cries; he ignored with
arrogant indifference their paddle dips that encroached within his own
coast waters, and he prepared, as a great Tyee should, to royally
entertain his tribesmen in honor of his daughters.

"But seven suns before the great feast, these two maidens came before
him, hand clasped in hand.

"'Oh! our father,' they said, 'may we speak?'

"'Speak, my daughters, my girls with the eyes of April, the hearts of
June'" (early spring and early summer would be the more accurate Indian
phrasing).

"'Some day, Oh! our father, we may mother a man child, who may grow to
be just such a powerful Tyee as you are, and for this honor that may
some day be ours we have come to crave a favor of you--you, Oh! our
father.'

"'It is your privilege at this celebration to receive any favor your
hearts may wish,' he replied graciously, placing his fingers beneath
their girlish chins.  'The favor is yours before you ask it, my
daughters.'

"'Will you, for our sakes, invite the great northern hostile tribe--the
tribe you war upon--to this, our feast?' they asked fearlessly.

"'To a peaceful feast, a feast in the honor of women?' he exclaimed
incredulously.

"'So we would desire it,' they answered.

"'And so shall it be,' he declared.  'I can deny you nothing this day,
and some time you may bear sons to bless this peace you have asked, and
to bless their mother's sire for granting it.'  Then he turned to all
the young men of the tribe and commanded, 'Build fires at sunset on all
the coast headlands--fires of welcome.  Man your canoes and face the
north, greet the enemy, and tell them that I, the Tyee of the
Capilanos, ask--no, command that they join me for a great feast in
honor of my two daughters.'  And when the northern tribes got this
invitation they flocked down the coast to this feast of a Great Peace.
They brought their women and their children: they brought game and
fish, gold and white stone beads, baskets and carven ladles, and
wonderful woven blankets to lay at the feet of their now acknowledged
ruler, the great Tyee.  And he, in turn, gave such a potlatch that
nothing but tradition can vie with it.  There were long, glad days of
joyousness, long pleasurable nights of dancing and camp fires, and vast
quantities of food.  The war canoes were emptied of their deadly
weapons and filled with the daily catch of salmon.  The hostile war
songs ceased, and in their place were heard the soft shuffle of dancing
feet, the singing voices of women, the play-games of the children of
two powerful tribes which had been until now ancient enemies, for a
great and lasting brotherhood was sealed between them--their war songs
were ended forever.

"Then the Sagalie Tyee smiled on His Indian children: 'I will make
these young-eyed maidens immortal,' He said.  In the cup of His hands
He lifted the Chief's two daughters and set them forever in a high
place, for they had borne two offspring--Peace and Brotherhood--each of
which is now a great Tyee ruling this land.

"And on the mountain crest the Chief's daughters can be seen wrapped in
the suns, the snows, the stars of all seasons, for they have stood in
this high place for thousands of years, and will stand for thousands of
years to come, guarding the peace of the Pacific Coast and the quiet of
the Capilano Canyon."

      *      *      *      *      *

This is the Indian legend of "The Lions of Vancouver" as I had it from
one who will tell me no more the traditions of his people.



The Siwash Rock

Unique, and so distinct from its surroundings as to suggest rather the
handicraft of man than a whim of Nature, it looms up at the entrance to
the Narrows, a symmetrical column of solid grey stone.  There are no
similar formations within the range of vision, or indeed within many a
day's paddle up and down the coast.  Amongst all the wonders, the
natural beauties that encircle Vancouver, the marvels of mountains
shaped into crouching lions and brooding beavers, the yawning canyons,
the stupendous forest firs and cedars, Siwash Rock stands as distinct,
as individual, as if dropped from another sphere.

I saw it first in the slanting light of a redly setting August sun; the
little tuft of green shrubbery that crests its summit was black against
the crimson of sea and sky, and its colossal base of grey stone gleamed
like flaming polished granite.

My old tillicum lifted his paddle blade to point towards it.  "You know
the story?" he asked.  I shook my head (experience had taught me his
love of silent replies, his moods of legend-telling).  For a time we
paddled slowly; the rock detached itself from its background of forest
and shore, and it stood forth like a sentinel--erect, enduring, eternal.

"Do you think it stands straight--like a man?" he asked.

"Yes, like some noble-spirited, upright warrior," I replied.

"It is a man," he said, "and a warrior man, too; a man who fought for
everything that was noble and upright."

"What do you regard as everything that is noble and upright, Chief?" I
asked, curious as to his ideas.  I shall not forget the reply: it was
but two words--astounding, amazing words.  He said simply:

"Clean fatherhood."

Through my mind raced tumultuous recollections of numberless articles
in yet numberless magazines, all dealing with the recent "fad" of
motherhood, but I had to hear from the lips of a Squamish Indian Chief
the only treatise on the nobility of "clean fatherhood" that I have yet
unearthed.  And this treatise has been an Indian legend for centuries;
and lest they forget how all-important those two little words must ever
be, Siwash Rock stands to remind them, set there by the Deity as a
monument to one who kept his own life clean, that cleanliness might be
the heritage of the generations to come.

It was "thousands of years ago" (all Indian legends begin in extremely
remote times) that a handsome boy chief journeyed in his canoe to the
upper coast for the shy little northern girl whom he brought home as
his wife.  Boy though he was, the young chief had proved himself to be
an excellent warrior, a fearless hunter, and an upright, courageous man
among men.  His tribe loved him, his enemies respected him, and the
base and mean and cowardly feared him.

The customs and traditions of his ancestors were a positive religion to
him, the sayings and the advices of the old people were his creed.  He
was conservative in every rite and ritual of his race.  He fought his
tribal enemies like the savage that he was.  He sang his war songs,
danced his war dances, slew his foes, but the little girl-wife from the
north he treated with the deference that he gave his own mother, for
was she not to be the mother of his warrior son?

The year rolled round, weeks merged into months, winter into spring,
and one glorious summer at daybreak he wakened to her voice calling
him.  She stood beside him, smiling.

"It will be to-day," she said proudly.

He sprang from his couch of wolf skins and looked out upon the coming
day: the promise of what it would bring him seemed breathing through
all his forest world.  He took her very gently by the hand and led her
through the tangle of wilderness down to the water's edge, where the
beauty spot we moderns call Stanley Park bends about Prospect Point.
"I must swim," he told her.

"I must swim, too," she smiled with the perfect understanding of two
beings who are mated.  For to them the old Indian custom was law--the
custom that the parents of a coming child must swim until their flesh
is so clear and clean that a wild animal cannot scent their proximity.
If the wild creatures of the forests have no fear of them, then, and
only then, are they fit to become parents, and to scent a human is in
itself a fearsome thing to all wild creatures.

So those two plunged into the waters of the Narrows as the grey dawn
slipped up the eastern skies and all the forest awoke to the life of a
new, glad day.  Presently he took her ashore, and smilingly she crept
away under the giant trees.  "I must be alone," she said, "but come to
me at sunrise: you will not find me alone then."  He smiled also, and
plunged back into the sea.  He must swim, swim, swim through this hour
when his fatherhood was coming upon him.  It was the law that he must
be clean, spotlessly clean, so that when his child looked out upon the
world it would have the chance to live its own life clean.  If he did
not swim hour upon hour his child would come to an unclean father.  He
must give his child a chance in life; he must not hamper it by his own
uncleanliness at its birth.  It was the tribal law--the law of
vicarious purity.

As he swam joyously to and fro, a canoe bearing four men headed up the
Narrows.  These men were giants in stature, and the stroke of their
paddles made huge eddies that boiled like the seething tides.

"Out from our course!" they cried as his lithe, copper-colored body
arose and fell with his splendid stroke.  He laughed at them, giants
though they were, and answered that he could not cease his swimming at
their demand.

"But you shall cease!" they commanded.  "We are the men (agents) of the
Sagalie Tyee (God), and we command you ashore out of our way!"  (I find
in all these Coast Indian legends that the Deity is represented by four
men, usually paddling an immense canoe.)

He ceased swimming, and, lifting his head, defied them.  "I shall not
stop, nor yet go ashore," he declared, striking out once more to the
middle of the channel.

"Do you dare disobey us," they cried--"we, the men of the Sagalie Tyee?
We can turn you into a fish, or a tree, or a stone for this; do you
dare disobey the Great Tyee?"

"I dare anything for the cleanliness and purity of my coming child.  I
dare even the Sagalie Tyee Himself, but my child must be born to a
spotless life."

The four men were astounded.  They consulted together, lighted their
pipes and sat in council.  Never had they, the men of the Sagalie Tyee,
been defied before.  Now, for the sake of a little unborn child, they
were ignored, disobeyed, almost despised.  The lithe young
copper-colored body still disported itself in the cool waters;
superstition held that should their canoe, or even their paddle blades,
touch a human being their marvellous power would be lost.  The handsome
young chief swam directly in their course.  They dared not run him
down; if so, they would become as other men.  While they yet counselled
what to do, there floated from out the forest a faint, strange,
compelling sound.  They listened, and the young chief ceased his stroke
as he listened also.  The faint sound drifted out across the waters
once more.  It was the cry of a little, little child.  Then one of the
four men, he that steered the canoe, the strongest and tallest of them
all, arose and, standing erect, stretched out his arms towards the
rising sun and chanted, not a curse on the young chief's disobedience,
but a promise of everlasting days and freedom from death.

"Because you have defied all things that came in your path we promise
this to you," he chanted; "you have defied what interferes with your
child's chance for a clean life, you have lived as you wish your son to
live, you have defied us when we would have stopped your swimming and
hampered your child's future.  You have placed that child's future
before all things, and for this the Sagalie Tyee commands us to make
you forever a pattern for your tribe.  You shall never die, but you
shall stand through all the thousands of years to come, where all eyes
can see you.  You shall live, live, live as an indestructible monument
to Clean Fatherhood."

The four men lifted their paddles and the handsome young chief swam
inshore; as his feet touched the line where sea and land met, he was
transformed into stone.

Then the four men said, "His wife and child must ever be near him; they
shall not die, but live also."  And they, too, were turned into stone.
If you penetrate the hollows in the woods near Siwash Rock you will
find a large rock and a smaller one beside it.  They are the shy little
bride-wife from the north, with her hour-old baby beside her.  And from
the uttermost parts of the world vessels come daily throbbing and
sailing up the Narrows.  From far trans-Pacific ports, from the frozen
North, from the lands of the Southern Cross, they pass and repass the
living rock that was there before their hulls were shaped, that will be
there when their very names are forgotten, when their crews and their
captains have taken their long last voyage, when their merchandise has
rotted, and their owners are known no more.  But the tall, grey column
of stone will still be there--a monument to one man's fidelity to a
generation yet unborn--and will endure from everlasting to everlasting.


[Illustration: Native cradle]


[Illustration: THE SIWASH ROCK
  Bishop & Christie, Photo.]



The Recluse

Journeying toward the upper course of the Capilano River, about a mile
citywards from the dam, you will pass a disused logger's shack.  Leave
the trail at this point and strike through the undergrowth for a few
hundred yards to the left, and you will be on the rocky borders of that
purest, most restless river in all Canada.  The stream is haunted with
tradition, teeming with a score of romances that vie with its grandeur
and loveliness, and of which its waters are perpetually whispering.
But I learned this legend from one whose voice was as dulcet as the
swirling rapids; but, unlike them, that voice is hushed today, while
the river still sings on--sings on.

It was singing in very melodious tones through the long August
afternoon two summers ago, while we, the chief, his happy-hearted wife
and bright, young daughter, all lounged amongst the boulders and
watched the lazy clouds drift from peak to peak far above us.  It was
one of his inspired days; legends crowded to his lips as a whistle
teases the mouth of a happy boy, his heart was brimming with tales of
the bygones, his eyes were dark with dreams and that strange
mournfulness that always haunted them when he spoke of long-ago
romances.  There was not a tree, a boulder, a dash of rapid upon which
his glance fell which he could not link with some ancient poetic
superstition.  Then abruptly, in the very midst of his verbal reveries,
he turned and asked me if I were superstitious.  Of course I replied
that I was.

"Do you think some happenings will bring trouble later on--will
foretell evil?" he asked.

I made some evasive answer, which, however, seemed to satisfy him, for
he plunged into the strange tale of the recluse of the canyon with more
vigor than dreaminess; but first he asked me the question:

"What do your own tribes, those east of the great mountains, think of
twin children?"

I shook my head.

"That is enough," he said before I could reply.  "I see, your people do
not like them."

"Twin children are almost unknown with us," I hastened.  "They are
rare, very rare; but it is true we do not welcome them."

"Why?" he asked abruptly.

I was a little uncertain about telling him.  If I said the wrong thing,
the coming tale might die on his lips before it was born to speech, but
we understood each other so well that I finally ventured the truth:

"We Iroquois say that twin children are as rabbits," I explained.  "The
nation always nicknames the parents 'Tow-wan-da-na-ga.'  That is the
Mohawk for rabbit."

"Is that all?" he asked curiously.

"That is all.  Is it not enough to render twin children unwelcome?" I
questioned.

He thought awhile, then with evident desire to learn how all races
regarded this occurrence, he said, "You have been much among the
Palefaces, what do they say of twins?"

"Oh! the Palefaces like them.  They are--they are--oh! well, they say
they are very proud of having twins," I stammered.  Once again I was
hardly sure of my ground.  He looked most incredulous, and I was led to
enquire what his own people of the Squamish thought of this discussed
problem.

"It is no pride to us," he said decidedly; "nor yet is it disgrace of
rabbits, but it is a fearsome thing--a sign of coming evil to the
father, and, worse than that, of coming disaster to the tribe."

Then I knew he held in his heart some strange incident that gave
substance to the superstition.  "Won't you tell it to me?" I begged.

He leaned a little backward against a giant boulder, clasping his thin,
brown hands about his knees; his eyes roved up the galloping river,
then swept down the singing waters to where they crowded past the
sudden bend, and during the entire recital of the strange legend his
eyes never left that spot where the stream disappeared in its hurrying
journey to the sea.  Without preamble he began:

"It was a grey morning when they told him of this disaster that had
befallen him.  He was a great chief, and he ruled many tribes on the
North Pacific Coast; but what was his greatness now?  His young wife
had borne him twins, and was sobbing out her anguish in the little
fir-bark lodge near the tidewater.

"Beyond the doorway gathered many old men and women--old in years, old
in wisdom, old in the lore and learning of their nations.  Some of them
wept, some chanted solemnly the dirge of their lost hopes and
happiness, which would never return because of this calamity; others
discussed in hushed voices this awesome thing, and for hours their
grave council was broken only by the infant cries of the two boy-babies
in the bark lodge, the hopeless sobs of the young mother, the agonized
moans of the stricken chief--their father.

"'Something dire will happen to the tribe,' said the old men in council.

"'Something dire will happen to him, my husband,' wept the afflicted
young mother.

"'Something dire will happen to us all,' echoed the unhappy father.

"Then an ancient medicine man arose, lifting his arms, outstretching
his palms to hush the lamenting throng.  His voice shook with the
weight of many winters, but his eyes were yet keen and mirrored the
clear thought and brain behind them, as the still trout pools in the
Capilano mirror the mountain tops.  His words were masterful, his
gestures commanding, his shoulders erect and kindly.  His was a
personality and an inspiration that no one dared dispute, and his
judgment was accepted as the words fell slowly, like a doom.

"'It is the olden law of the Squamish that lest evil befall the tribe
the sire of twin children must go afar and alone into the mountain
fastnesses, there by his isolation and his loneliness to prove himself
stronger than the threatened evil, and thus to beat back the shadow
that would otherwise follow him and all his people.  I, therefore, name
for him the length of days that he must spend alone fighting his
invisible enemy.  He will know by some great sign in Nature the hour
that the evil is conquered, the hour that his race is saved.  He must
leave before this sun sets, taking with him only his strongest bow, his
fleetest arrows, and going up into the mountain wilderness remain there
ten days--alone, alone.'

"The masterful voice ceased, the tribe wailed their assent, the father
arose speechless, his drawn face revealing great agony over this
seemingly brief banishment.  He took leave of his sobbing wife, of the
two tiny souls that were his sons, grasped his favorite bow and arrows,
and faced the forest like a warrior.  But at the end of the ten days he
did not return, nor yet ten weeks, nor yet ten months.

"'He is dead,' wept the mother into the baby ears of her two boys.  'He
could not battle against the evil that threatened; it was stronger than
he--he so strong, so proud, so brave.'

"'He is dead,' echoed the tribesmen and the tribeswomen.  'Our strong,
brave chief, he is dead.'  So they mourned the long year through, but
their chants and their tears but renewed their grief; he did not return
to them.

"Meanwhile, far up the Capilano the banished chief had built his
solitary home; for who can tell what fatal trick of sound, what current
of air, what faltering note in the voice of the Medicine Man had
deceived his alert Indian ears?  But some unhappy fate had led him to
understand that his solitude must be of ten years' duration, not ten
days, and he had accepted the mandate with the heroism of a stoic.  For
if he had refused to do so his belief was that although the threatened
disaster would be spared him, the evil would fall upon his tribe.  Thus
was one more added to the long list of self-forgetting souls whose
creed has been, 'It is fitting that one should suffer for the people.'
It was the world-old heroism of vicarious sacrifice.

"With his hunting-knife the banished Squamish chief stripped the bark
from the firs and cedars, building for himself a lodge beside the
Capilano River, where leaping trout and salmon could be speared by
arrow-heads fastened to deftly shaped, long handles.  All through the
salmon run he smoked and dried the fish with the care of a housewife.
The mountain sheep and goats, and even huge black and cinnamon bears,
fell before his unerring arrows; the fleet-footed deer never returned
to their haunts from their evening drinking at the edge of the
stream--their wild hearts, their agile bodies were stilled when he took
aim.  Smoked hams and saddles hung in rows from the cross poles of his
bark lodge, and the magnificent pelts of animals carpeted his floors,
padded his couch and clothed his body.  He tanned the soft doe hides,
making leggings, moccasins and shirts, stitching them together with
deer sinew as he had seen his mother do in the long-ago.  He gathered
the juicy salmonberries, their acid a sylvan, healthful change from
meat and fish.  Month by month and year by year he sat beside his
lonely camp-fire, waiting for his long term of solitude to end.  One
comfort alone was his--he was enduring the disaster, fighting the evil,
that his tribe might go unscathed, that his people be saved from
calamity.  Slowly, laboriously the tenth year dawned; day by day it
dragged its long weeks across his waiting heart, for Nature had not yet
given the sign that his long probation was over.

"Then one hot summer day the Thunder Bird came crashing through the
mountains about him.  Up from the arms of the Pacific rolled the storm
cloud, and the Thunder Bird, with its eyes of flashing light, beat its
huge vibrating wings on crag and canyon.

"Upstream, a tall shaft of granite rears its needle-like length.  It is
named 'Thunder Rock,' and wise men of the Paleface people say it is
rich in ore--copper, silver and gold.  At the base of this shaft the
Squamish chief crouched when the storm cloud broke and bellowed through
the ranges, and on its summit the Thunder Bird perched, its gigantic
wings threshing the air into booming sounds, into splitting terrors,
like the crash of a giant cedar hurtling down the mountain side.

"But when the beating of those black pinions ceased and the echo of
their thunder waves died down the depths of the canyon, the Squamish
chief arose as a new man.  The shadow on his soul had lifted, the fears
of evil were cowed and conquered.  In his brain, his blood, his veins,
his sinews, he felt that the poison of melancholy dwelt no more.  He
had redeemed his fault of fathering twin children; he had fulfilled the
demands of the law of his tribe.

"As he heard the last beat of the Thunder Bird's wings dying slowly,
slowly, faintly, faintly, among the crags, he knew that the bird, too,
was dying, for its soul was leaving its monster black body, and
presently that soul appeared in the sky.  He could see it arching
overhead, before it took its long journey to the Happy Hunting Grounds,
for the soul of the Thunder Bird was a radiant half-circle of glorious
color spanning from peak to peak.  He lifted his head then, for he knew
it was the sign the ancient Medicine Man had told him to wait for--the
sign that his long banishment was ended.

"And all these years, down in the tidewater country, the little
brown-faced twins were asking childwise, 'Where is our father?  Why
have we no father, like other boys?'  To be met only with the
oft-repeated reply, 'Your father is no more.  Your father, the great
chief, is dead.'

"But some strange filial intuition told the boys that their sire would
some day return.  Often they voiced this feeling to their mother, but
she would only weep and say that not even the witchcraft of the great
Medicine Man could bring him to them.  But when they were ten years old
the two children came to their mother, hand within hand.  They were
armed with their little hunting-knives, their salmon spears, their tiny
bows and arrows.

"'We go to find our father,' they said.

"'Oh! useless quest,' wailed the mother.

"'Oh! useless quest,' echoed the tribes-people.

"But the great Medicine Man said, 'The heart of a child has invisible
eyes, perhaps the child-eyes see him.  The heart of a child has
invisible ears, perhaps the child-ears hear him call.  Let them go.'
So the little children went forth into the forest; their young feet
flew as though shod with wings, their young hearts pointed to the north
as does the white man's compass.  Day after day they journeyed
up-stream, until rounding a sudden bend they beheld a bark lodge with a
thin blue curl of smoke drifting from its roof.

"'It is our father's lodge,' they told each other, for their childish
hearts were unerring in response to the call of kinship.  Hand-in-hand
they approached, and entering the lodge, said the one word, 'Come.'

"The great Squamish chief outstretched his arms towards them, then
towards the laughing river, then towards the mountains.

"'Welcome, my sons!' he said.  'And good-bye, my mountains, my
brothers, my crags and my canyons!'  And with a child clinging to each
hand he faced once more the country of the tidewater."

      *      *      *      *      *

The legend was ended.

For a long time he sat in silence.  He had removed his gaze from the
bend in the river, around which the two children had come and where the
eyes of the recluse had first rested on them after ten years of
solitude.

The chief spoke again, "It was here, on this spot we are sitting, that
he built his lodge: here he dwelt those ten years alone, alone."

I nodded silently.  The legend was too beautiful to mar with comments,
and as the twilight fell, we threaded our way through the underbrush,
past the disused logger's camp and into the trail that leads citywards.


[Illustration: Decoration]


[Illustration: Capilano Canyon.
  Bishop & Christie, Photo.]



The Lost Salmon Run

Great had been the "run," and the sockeye season was almost over.  For
that reason I wondered many times why my old friend, the klootchman,
had failed to make one of the fishing fleet.  She was an indefatigable
workwoman, rivalling her husband as an expert catcher, and all the year
through she talked of little else but the coming run.  But this
especial season she had not appeared amongst her fellow-kind.  The
fleet and the canneries knew nothing of her, and when I enquired of her
tribes-people they would reply without explanation, "She not here this
year."

But one russet September afternoon I found her.  I had idled down the
trail from the swans' basin in Stanley Park to the rim that skirts the
Narrows, and I saw her graceful, high-bowed canoe heading for the beach
that is the favorite landing place of the "tillicums" from the Mission.
Her canoe looked like a dream-craft, for the water was very still, and
everywhere a blue film hung like a fragrant veil, for the peat on Lulu
Island had been smoldering for days and its pungent odors and blue-grey
haze made a dream-world of sea and shore and sky.

I hurried upshore, hailing her in the Chinook, and as she caught my
voice she lifted her paddle directly above her head in the Indian
signal of greeting.

As she beached, I greeted her with extended eager hands to assist her
ashore, for the klootchman is getting to be an old woman; albeit she
paddles against tidewater like a boy in his teens.

"No," she said, as I begged her to come ashore.  "I not wait--me.  I
just come to fetch Maarda; she been city; she come soon--now."  But she
left her "working" attitude and curled like a schoolgirl in the bow of
the canoe, her elbows resting on her paddle which she had flung across
the gunwales.

"I have missed you, klootchman; you have not been to see me for three
moons, and you have not fished or been at the canneries," I remarked.

"No," she said.  "I stay home this year."  Then leaning towards me with
grave import in her manner, her eyes, her voice, she added, "I have a
grandchild, born first week July, so--I stay."

So this explained her absence.  I, of course, offered congratulations
and enquired all about the great event, for this was her first
grandchild, and the little person was of importance.

"And are you going to make a fisherman of him?" I asked.

"No, no, not boy-child, it is girl-child," she answered with some
indescribable trick of expression that led me to know she preferred it
so.

"You are pleased it is a girl?" I questioned in surprise.

"Very pleased," she replied emphatically.  "Very good luck to have girl
for first grandchild.  Our tribe not like yours; we want girl children
first; we not always wish boy-child born just for fight.  Your people,
they care only for war-path; our tribe more peaceful.  Very good sign
first grandchild to be girl.  I tell you why: girl-child maybe some
time mother herself; very grand thing to be mother."

I felt I had caught the secret of her meaning.  She was rejoicing that
this little one should some time become one of the mothers of her race.
We chatted over it a little longer and she gave me several playful
"digs" about my own tribe thinking so much less of motherhood than
hers, and so much more of battle and bloodshed.  Then we drifted into
talk of the sockeye run and of the hyiu chickimin the Indians would get.

"Yes, hyiu chickimin," she repeated with a sigh of satisfaction.
"Always; and hyiu muck-a-muck when big salmon run.  No more ever come
that bad year when not any fish."

"When was that?" I asked.

"Before you born, or I, or"--pointing across the park to the distant
city of Vancouver, that breathed its wealth and beauty across the
September afternoon--"before that place born, before white man came
here--oh! long before."

Dear old klootchman!  I knew by the dusk in her eyes that she was back
in her Land of Legends, and that soon I would be the richer in my hoard
of Indian lore.  She sat, still leaning on her paddle; her eyes,
half-closed, rested on the distant outline of the blurred heights
across the Inlet.  I shall not further attempt her broken English, for
this is but the shadow of her story, and without her unique personality
the legend is as a flower that lacks both color and fragrance.  She
called it "The Lost Salmon Run."

"The wife of the Great Tyee was but a wisp of a girl, but all the world
was young in those days; even the Fraser River was young and small, not
the mighty water it is today; but the pink salmon crowded its throat
just as they do now, and the tillicums caught and salted and smoked the
fish just as they have done this year, just as they will always do.
But it was yet winter, and the rains were slanting and the fogs
drifting, when the wife of the Great Tyee stood before him and said:

"'Before the salmon run I shall give to you a great gift.  Will you
honor me most if it is the gift of a boy-child or a girl-child?'  The
Great Tyee loved the woman.  He was stern with his people, hard with
his tribe; he ruled his council fires with a will of stone.  His
medicine men said he had no human heart in his body; his warriors said
he had no human blood in his veins.  But he clasped this woman's hands,
and his eyes, his lips, his voice, were gentle as her own, as he
replied:

"'Give to me a girl-child--a little girl-child--that she may grow to be
like you, and, in her turn, give to her husband children.'

"But when the tribes-people heard of his choice they arose in great
anger.  They surrounded him in a deep, indignant circle.  'You are a
slave to the woman,' they declared, 'and now you desire to make
yourself a slave to a woman-baby.  We want an heir--a man-child to be
our Great Tyee in years to come.  When you are old and weary of tribal
affairs, when you sit wrapped in your blanket in the hot summer
sunshine, because your blood is old and thin, what can a girl-child do
to help either you or us?  Who, then, will be our Great Tyee?'

"He stood in the centre of the menacing circle, his arms folded, his
chin raised, his eyes hard as flint.  His voice, cold as stone, replied:

"'Perhaps she will give you such a man-child, and, if so, the child is
yours; he will belong to you, not to me; he will become the possession
of the people.  But if the child is a girl she will belong to me--she
will be mine.  You cannot take her from me as you took me from my
mother's side and forced me to forget my aged father in my service to
my tribe; she will belong to me, will be the mother of my
grandchildren, and her husband will be my son.'

"'You do not care for the good of your tribe.  You care only for your
own wishes and desires,' they rebelled.  'Suppose the salmon run is
small, we will have no food; suppose there is no man-child, we will
have no Great Tyee to show us how to get food from other tribes, and we
shall starve.'

"'Your hearts are black and bloodless,' thundered the Great Tyee,
turning upon them fiercely, 'and your eyes are blinded.  Do you wish
the tribe to forget how great is the importance of a child that will
some day be a mother herself, and give to your children and
grandchildren a Great Tyee?  Are the people to live, to thrive, to
increase, to become more powerful with no mother-women to bear future
sons and daughters?  Your minds are dead, your brains are chilled.
Still, even in your ignorance, you are my people: you and your wishes
must be considered.  I call together the great medicine men, the men of
witchcraft, the men of magic.  They shall decide the laws which will
follow the bearing of either boy or girl-child.  What say you, oh!
mighty men?'

"Messengers were then sent up and down the coast, sent far up the
Fraser River, and to the valley lands inland for many leagues,
gathering as they journeyed all the men of magic that could be found.
Never were so many medicine men in council before.  They built fires
and danced and chanted for many days.  They spoke with the gods of the
mountains, with the gods of the sea, then 'the power' of decision came
to them.  They were inspired with a choice to lay before the
tribes-people, and the most ancient medicine man in all the coast
region arose and spoke their resolution:

"'The people of the tribe cannot be allowed to have all things.  They
want a boy-child and they want a great salmon run also.  They cannot
have both.  The Sagalie Tyee has revealed to us, the great men of
magic, that both these things will make the people arrogant and
selfish.  They must choose between the two.'

"'Choose, oh! you ignorant tribes-people,' commanded the Great Tyee.
'The wise men of our coast have said that the girl-child who will some
day bear children of her own, will also bring abundance of salmon at
her birth; but the boy-child brings to you but himself.'

"'Let the salmon go," shouted the people, 'but give us a future Great
Tyee.  Give us the boy-child.'

"And when the child was born it was a boy.

"'Evil will fall upon you,' wailed the Great Tyee.  'You have despised
a mother-woman.  You will suffer evil and starvation and hunger and
poverty, oh! foolish tribes-people.  Did you not know how great a
girl-child is?'

"That spring, people from a score of tribes came up to the Fraser for
the salmon run.  They came great distances--from the mountains, the
lakes, the far-off dry lands, but not one fish entered the vast rivers
of the Pacific Coast.  The people had made their choice.  They had
forgotten the honor that a mother-child would have brought them.  They
were bereft of their food.  They were stricken with poverty.  Through
the long winter that followed they endured hunger and starvation.
Since then our tribe has always welcomed girl-children--we want no more
lost runs."

The klootchman lifted her arms from her paddle as she concluded; her
eyes left the irregular outline of the violet mountains.  She had come
back to this year of grace--her Legend Land had vanished.

"So," she added, "you see now, maybe, why I glad my grandchild is girl;
it means big salmon run next year."

"It is a beautiful story, klootchman," I said, "and I feel a cruel
delight that your men of magic punished the people for their
ill-choice."

"That because you girl-child yourself," she laughed.

There was the slightest whisper of a step behind me.  I turned to find
Maarda almost at my elbow.  The rising tide was unbeaching the canoe,
and as Maarda stepped in and the klootchman slipped astern, it drifted
afloat.

"Kla-how-ya," nodded the klootchman as she dipped her paddle-blade in
exquisite silence.

"Kla-how-ya," smiled Maarda.

"Kla-how-ya, tillicums," I replied, and watched for many moments as
they slipped away into the blurred distance, until the canoe merged
into the violet and grey of the farther shore.


[Illustration: Native tool]



The Deep Waters

Far over your left shoulder as your boat leaves the Narrows to thread
the beautiful waterways that lead to Vancouver Island, you will see the
summit of Mount Baker robed in its everlasting whiteness and always
reflecting some wonderful glory from the rising sun, the golden
noontide, or the violet and amber sunset.  This is the Mount Ararat of
the Pacific Coast peoples; for those readers who are familiar with the
ways and beliefs and faiths of primitive races will agree that it is
difficult to discover anywhere in the world a race that has not some
story of the Deluge, which they have chronicled and localized to fit
the understanding and the conditions of the nation that composes their
own immediate world.

Amongst the red nations of America I doubt if any two tribes have the
same ideas regarding the Flood.  Some of the traditions concerning this
vast whim of Nature are grotesque in the extreme; some are impressive;
some even profound; but of all the stories of the Deluge that I have
been able to collect I know of not a single one that can even begin to
equal in beauty of conception, let alone rival in possible reality and
truth, the Squamish legend of "The Deep Waters."

I here quote the legend of "mine own people," the Iroquois tribes of
Ontario, regarding the Deluge.  I do this to paint the color of
contrast in richer shades, for I am bound to admit that we who pride
ourselves on ancient intellectuality have but a childish tale of the
Flood when compared with the jealously preserved annals of the
Squamish, which savour more of history than tradition.  With "mine own
people," animals always play a much more important part and are endowed
with a finer intelligence than humans.  I do not find amid my notes a
single tradition of the Iroquois wherein animals do not figure, and our
story of the Deluge rests entirely with the intelligence of sea-going
and river-going creatures.  With us, animals in olden times were
greater than man; but it is not so with the Coast Indians, except in
rare instances.

When a Coast Indian consents to tell you a legend he will, without
variation, begin it with, "It was before the white people came."

The natural thing for you then to ask is, "But who were here then?"

He will reply, "Indians, and just the trees, and animals, and fishes,
and a few birds."

So you are prepared to accept the animal world as intelligent
co-habitants of the Pacific slope, but he will not lead you to think he
regards them as equals, much less superiors.  But to revert to "mine
own people": they hold the intelligence of wild animals far above that
of man, for perhaps the one reason that when an animal is sick it
effects its own cure; it knows what grasses and herbs to eat, what to
avoid, while the sick human calls the medicine man, whose wisdom is not
only the result of years of study, but also heredity; consequently any
great natural event, such as the Deluge, has much to do with the wisdom
of the creatures of the forests and the rivers.

Iroquois tradition tells us that once this earth was entirely submerged
in water, and during this period for many days a busy little muskrat
swam about vainly looking for a foothold of earth wherein to build his
house.  In his search he encountered a turtle also leisurely swimming,
so they had speech together, and the muskrat complained of weariness;
he could find no foothold; he was tired of incessant swimming, and
longed for land such as his ancestors enjoyed.  The turtle suggested
that the muskrat should dive and endeavor to find earth at the bottom
of the sea.  Acting on this advice the muskrat plunged down, then arose
with his two little forepaws grasping some earth he had found beneath
the waters.

"Place it on my shell and dive again for more," directed the turtle.
The muskrat did so, but when he returned with his paws filled with
earth he discovered the small quantity he had first deposited on the
turtle's shell had doubled in size.  The return from the third trip
found the turtle's load again doubled.  So the building went on at
double compound increase, and the world grew its continents and its
islands with great rapidity, and now rests on the shell of a turtle.

If you ask an Iroquois, "And did no men survive this flood?" he will
reply, "Why should men survive?  The animals are wiser then men; let
the wisest live."

How, then, was the earth re-peopled?

The Iroquois will tell you that the otter was a medicine man; that in
swimming and diving about he found corpses of men and women; he sang
his medicine songs and they came to life, and the otter brought them
fish for food until they were strong enough to provide for themselves.
Then the Iroquois will conclude his tale with, "You know well that the
otter has greater wisdom than a man."

So much for "mine own people" and our profound respect for the superior
intelligence of our little brothers of the animal world.

But the Squamish tribe hold other ideas.  It was on a February day that
I first listened to this beautiful, humane story of the Deluge.  My
royal old tillicum had come to see me through the rains and mists of
late winter days.  The gateways of my wigwam always stood open--very
widely open--for his feet to enter, and this especial day he came with
the worst downpour of the season.

Womanlike, I protested with a thousand contradictions in my voice that
he should venture out to see me on such a day.  It was "Oh!  Chief, I
am so glad to see you!" and it was "Oh!  Chief, why didn't you stay at
home on such a wet day--your poor throat will suffer."  But I soon had
quantities of hot tea for him, and the huge cup my own father always
used was his--as long as the Sagalie Tyee allowed his dear feet to
wander my way.  The immense cup stands idle and empty now for the
second time.

Helping him off with his great-coat, I chatted on about the deluge of
rain, and he remarked it was not so very bad, as one could yet walk.

"Fortunately, yes, for I cannot swim," I told him.

He laughed, replying, "Well, it is not so bad as when the Great Deep
Waters covered the world."

Immediately I foresaw the coming legend, so crept into the shell of
monosyllables.

"No?" I questioned.

"No," he replied.  "For one time there was no land here at all;
everywhere there was just water."

"I can quite believe it," I remarked caustically.

He laughed--that irresistible, though silent, David Warfield laugh of
his that always brought a responsive smile from his listeners.  Then he
plunged directly into the tradition, with no preface save a
comprehensive sweep of his wonderful hands towards my wide window,
against which the rains were beating.

"It was after a long, long time of this--this rain.  The mountain
streams were swollen, the rivers choked, the sea began to rise--and yet
it rained; for weeks and weeks it rained."  He ceased speaking, while
the shadows of centuries gone crept into his eyes.  Tales of the misty
past always inspired him.

"Yes," he continued.  "It rained for weeks and weeks, while the
mountain torrents roared thunderingly down, and the sea crept silently
up.  The level lands were first to float in sea water, then to
disappear.  The slopes were next to slip into the sea.  The world was
slowly being flooded.  Hurriedly the Indian tribes gathered in one
spot, a place of safety far above the reach of the on-creeping sea.
The spot was the circling shore of Lake Beautiful, up the North Arm.
They held a Great Council and decided at once upon a plan of action.  A
giant canoe should be built, and some means contrived to anchor it in
case the waters mounted to the heights.  The men undertook the canoe,
the women the anchorage.

"A giant tree was felled, and day and night the men toiled over its
construction into the most stupendous canoe the world has ever known.
Not an hour, not a moment, but many worked, while the toil-wearied ones
slept, only to awake to renewed toil.  Meanwhile the women also worked
at a cable--the largest, the longest, the strongest that Indian hands
and teeth had ever made.  Scores of them gathered and prepared the
cedar fibre; scores of them plaited, rolled and seasoned it; scores of
them chewed upon it inch by inch to make it pliable; scores of them
oiled and worked, oiled and worked, oiled and worked it into a
sea-resisting fabric.  And still the sea crept up, and up, and up.  It
was the last day; hope of life for the tribe, of land for the world,
was doomed.  Strong hands, self-sacrificing hands fastened the cable
the women had made--one end to the giant canoe, the other about an
enormous boulder, a vast immovable rock as firm as the foundations of
the world--for might not the canoe with its priceless freight drift
out, far out, to sea, and when the water subsided might not this ship
of safety be leagues and leagues beyond the sight of land on the
storm-driven Pacific?

"Then with the bravest hearts that ever beat, noble hands lifted every
child of the tribe into this vast canoe; not one single baby was
overlooked.  The canoe was stocked with food and fresh water, and
lastly, the ancient men and women of the race selected as guardians to
these children the bravest, most stalwart, handsomest young man of the
tribe, and the mother of the youngest baby in the camp--she was but a
girl of sixteen, her child but two weeks old; but she, too, was brave
and very beautiful.  These two were placed, she at the bow of the canoe
to watch, he at the stern to guide, and all the little children crowded
between.

"And still the sea crept up, and up, and up.  At the crest of the
bluffs about Lake Beautiful the doomed tribes crowded.  Not a single
person attempted to enter the canoe.  There was no wailing, no crying
out for safety.  'Let the little children, the young mother, and the
bravest and best of our young men live,' was all the farewell those in
the canoe heard as the waters reached the summit, and--the canoe
floated.  Last of all to be seen was the top of the tallest tree,
then--all was a world of water.

"For days and days there was no land--just the rush of swirling,
snarling sea; but the canoe rode safely at anchor, the cable those
scores of dead, faithful women had made held true as the hearts that
beat behind the toil and labor of it all.

"But one morning at sunrise, far to the south a speck floated on the
breast of the waters; at midday it was larger; at evening it was yet
larger.  The moon arose, and in its magic light the man at the stern
saw it was a patch of land.  All night he watched it grow, and at
daybreak looked with glad eyes upon the summit of Mount Baker.  He cut
the cable, grasped his paddle in his strong, young hands, and steered
for the south.  When they landed, the waters were sunken half down the
mountain side.  The children were lifted out; the beautiful young
mother, the stalwart young brave, turned to each other, clasped hands,
looked into each others eyes--and smiled.

"And down in the vast country that lies between Mount Baker and the
Fraser River they made a new camp, built new lodges, where the little
children grew and thrived, and lived and loved, and the earth was
re-peopled by them.

"The Squamish say that in a gigantic crevice half way to the crest of
Mount Baker may yet be seen the outlines of an enormous canoe, but I
have never seen it myself."

He ceased speaking with that far-off cadence in his voice with which he
always ended a legend, and for a long time we both sat in silence
listening to the rains that were still beating against the window.


[Illustration: Native canoe]



The Sea-Serpent

There is one vice that is absolutely unknown to the red man; he was
born without it, and amongst all the deplorable things he has learned
from the white races, this, at least, he has never acquired.  That is
the vice of avarice.  That the Indian looks upon greed of gain,
miserliness, avariciousness and wealth accumulated above the head of
his poorer neighbor as one of the lowest degradations he can fall to,
is perhaps more aptly illustrated in this legend than anything I could
quote to demonstrate his horror of what he calls "the white man's
unkindness."  In a very wide and varied experience with many tribes, I
have yet to find even one instance of avarice, and I have encountered
but one single case of a "stingy Indian," and this man was so marked
amongst his fellows that at mention of his name his tribes-people
jeered and would remark contemptuously that he was like a white
man--hated to share his money and his possessions.  All red races are
born Socialists, and most tribes carry out their communistic ideas to
the letter.  Amongst the Iroquois it is considered disgraceful to have
food if your neighbor has none.  To be a creditable member of the
nation you must divide your possessions with your less fortunate
fellows.  I find it much the same amongst the Coast Indians, though
they are less bitter in their hatred of the extremes of wealth and
poverty than are the Eastern tribes.  Still, the very fact that they
have preserved this legend, in which they liken avarice to a slimy
sea-serpent, shows the trend of their ideas; shows, too, that an Indian
is an Indian, no matter what his tribe; shows that he cannot or will
not hoard money; shows that his native morals demand that the spirit of
greed must be strangled at all cost.

The Chief and I had sat long over our luncheon.  He had been talking of
his trip to England and of the many curious things he had seen.  At
last, in an outburst of enthusiasm, he said: "I saw everything in the
world--everything but a sea-serpent!"

"But there is no such thing as a sea-serpent," I laughed, "so you must
have really seen everything in the world."

His face clouded; for a moment he sat in silence; then looking directly
at me said, "Maybe none now, but long ago there was one here--in the
Inlet."

"How long ago?" I asked.

"When first the white gold-hunters came," he replied.  "Came with
greedy, clutching fingers, greedy eyes, greedy hearts.  The white men
fought, murdered, starved, went mad with love of that gold far up the
Fraser River.  Tillicums were tillicums no more, brothers were foes,
fathers and sons were enemies.  Their love of the gold was a curse."

"Was it then the sea-serpent was seen?" I asked, perplexed with the
problem of trying to connect the gold-seekers with such a monster.

"Yes, it was then, but----"--he hesitated, then plunged into the
assertion, "but you will not believe the story if you think there is no
such thing as a sea-serpent."

"I shall believe whatever you tell me, Chief," I answered; "I am only
too ready to believe.  You know I come of a superstitious race, and all
my association with the Palefaces has never yet robbed me of my
birthright to believe strange traditions."

"You always understand," he said after a pause.

"It's my heart that understands," I remarked quietly.

He glanced up quickly, and with one of his all too few radiant smiles,
he laughed.

"Yes, skookum tum-tum."  Then without further hesitation he told the
tradition, which, although not of ancient happening, is held in great
reverence by his tribe.  During its recital he sat with folded arms,
leaning on the table, his head and shoulders bending eagerly towards me
as I sat at the opposite side.  It was the only time he ever talked to
me when he did not use emphasising gesticulations, but his hands never
once lifted: his wonderful eyes alone gave expression to what he called
"The Legend of the 'Salt-chuck Oluk'" (sea-serpent).

[Illustration: THE CAPILANO RIVER
  Bishop & Christie, Photo.]

"Yes, it was during the first gold craze, and many of our young men
went as guides to the whites far up the Fraser.  When they returned
they brought these tales of greed and murder back with them, and our
old people and our women shook their heads and said evil would come of
it.  But all our young men, except one, returned as they went--kind to
the poor, kind to those who were foodless, sharing whatever they had
with their tillicums.  But one, by name Shak-shak (The Hawk), came back
with hoards of gold nuggets, chickimin,[1] everything; he was rich like
the white men, and, like them, he kept it.  He would count his
chickimin, count his nuggets, gloat over them, toss them in his palms.
He rested his head on them as he slept, he packed them about with him
through the day.  He loved them better than food, better than his
tillicums, better than his life.  The entire tribe arose.  They said
Shak-shak had the disease of greed; that to cure it he must give a
great potlatch, divide his riches with the poorer ones, share them with
the old, the sick, the foodless.  But he jeered and laughed and told
them No, and went on loving and gloating over his gold.

"Then the Sagalie Tyee spoke out of the sky and said, 'Shak-shak, you
have made of yourself a loathsome thing; you will not listen to the cry
of the hungry, to the call of the old and sick; you will not share your
possessions; you have made of yourself an outcast from your tribe and
disobeyed the ancient laws of your people.  Now I will make of you a
thing loathed and hated by all men, both white and red.  You will have
two heads, for your greed has two mouths to bite.  One bites the poor,
and one bites your own evil heart--and the fangs in these mouths are
poison, poison that kills the hungry, and poison that kills your own
manhood.  Your evil heart will beat in the very centre of your foul
body, and he that pierces it will kill the disease of greed forever
from amongst his people.'  And when the sun arose above the North Arm
the next morning the tribes-people saw a gigantic sea-serpent stretched
across the surface of the waters.  One hideous head rested on the
bluffs at Brockton Point, the other rested on a group of rocks just
below Mission, at the western edge of North Vancouver.  If you care to
go there some day I will show you the hollow in one great stone where
that head lay.  The tribes-people were stunned with horror.  They
loathed the creature, they hated it, they feared it.  Day after day it
lay there, its monstrous heads lifted out of the waters, its mile-long
body blocking all entrance from the Narrows, all outlet from the North
Arm.  The chiefs made council, the medicine men danced and chanted, but
the salt-chuck oluk never moved.  It could not move, for it was the
hated totem of what now rules the white man's world--greed and love of
chickimin.  No one can ever move the love of chickimin from the white
man's heart, no one can ever make him divide all with the poor.  But
after the chiefs and medicine men had done all in their power, and
still the salt-chuck oluk lay across the waters, a handsome boy of
sixteen approached them and reminded them of the words of the Sagalie
Tyee, 'that he that pierced the monster's heart would kill the disease
of greed forever amongst his people.'

"'Let me try to find this evil heart, oh! great men of my tribe,' he
cried.  'Let me war upon this creature; let me try to rid my people of
this pestilence.'

"The boy was brave and very beautiful.  His tribes-people called him
the Tenas Tyee (Little Chief) and they loved him.  Of all his wealth of
fish and furs, of game and hykwa (large shell money) he gave to the
boys who had none; he hunted food for the old people; he tanned skins
and furs for those whose feet were feeble, whose eyes were fading,
whose blood ran thin with age.

"'Let him go!' cried the tribes-people.  'This unclean monster can only
be overcome by cleanliness, this creature of greed can only be
overthrown by generosity.  Let him go!'  The chiefs and the medicine
men listened, then consented.  'Go,' they commanded, 'and fight this
thing with your strongest weapons--cleanliness and generosity.'

"The Tenas Tyee turned to his mother.  'I shall be gone four days,' he
told her, 'and I shall swim all that time.  I have tried all my life to
be generous, but the people say I must be clean also to fight this
unclean thing.  While I am gone put fresh furs on my bed every day,
even if I am not here to lie on them; if I know my bed, my body and my
heart are all clean I can overcome this serpent.'

"'Your bed shall have fresh furs every morning,' his mother said simply.

"The Tenas Tyee then stripped himself and, with no clothing save a
buckskin belt into which he thrust his hunting-knife, he flung his
lithe young body into the sea.  But at the end of four days he did not
return.  Sometimes his people could see him swimming far out in
mid-channel, endeavoring to find the exact centre of the serpent, where
lay its evil, selfish heart; but on the fifth morning they saw him rise
out of the sea, climb to the summit of Brockton Point and greet the
rising sun with outstretched arms.  Weeks and months went by, still the
Tenas Tyee would swim daily searching for that heart of greed; and each
morning the sunrise glinted on his slender young copper-colored body as
he stood with outstretched arms at the tip of Brockton Point, greeting
the coming day and then plunging from the summit into the sea.

"And at his home on the north shore his mother dressed his bed with
fresh furs each morning.  The seasons drifted by, winter followed
summer, summer followed winter.  But it was four years before the Tenas
Tyee found the centre of the great salt-chuck oluk and plunged his
hunting-knife into its evil heart.  In its death-agony it writhed
through the Narrows, leaving a trail of blackness on the waters.  Its
huge body began to shrink, to shrivel; it became dwarfed and withered,
until nothing but the bones of its back remained, and they,
sea-bleached and lifeless, soon sank to the bed of the ocean leagues
off from the rim of land.  But as the Tenas Tyee swam homeward and his
clean, young body crossed through the black stain left by the serpent,
the waters became clear and blue and sparkling.  He had overcome even
the trail of the salt-chuck oluk.

"When at last he stood in the doorway of his home he said, 'My mother,
I could not have killed the monster of greed amongst my people had you
not helped me by keeping one place for me at home fresh and clean for
my return.'

"She looked at him as only mothers look.  'Each day these four years,
fresh furs have I laid for your bed.  Sleep now, and rest, oh! my Tenas
Tyee,' she said."

      *      *      *      *      *

The Chief unfolded his arms, and his voice took another tone as he
said, "What do you call that story--a legend?"

"The white people would call it an allegory," I answered.  He shook his
head.

"No savvy," he smiled.

I explained as simply as possible, and with his customary alertness he
immediately understood.  "That's right," he said.  "That's what we say
it means, we Squamish, that greed is evil and not clean, like the
salt-chuck oluk.  That it must be stamped out amongst our people,
killed by cleanliness and generosity.  The boy that overcame the
serpent was both these things."

"What became of this splendid boy?" I asked.

"The Tenas Tyee?  Oh! some of our old, old people say they sometimes
see him now, standing on Brockton Point, his bare young arms
outstretched to the rising sun," he replied.

"Have you ever seen him, Chief?" I questioned.

"No," he answered simply.  But I have never heard such poignant regret
as his wonderful voice crowded into that single word.


[1] Money.



The Lost Island

"Yes," said my old tillicum, "we Indians have lost many things.  We
have lost our lands, our forests, our game, our fish; we have lost our
ancient religion, our ancient dress; some of the younger people have
even lost their fathers' language and the legends and traditions of
their ancestors.  We cannot call those old things back to us; they will
never come again.  We may travel many days up the mountain trails, and
look in the silent places for them.  They are not there.  We may paddle
many moons on the sea, but our canoes will never enter the channel that
leads to the yesterdays of the Indian people.  These things are lost,
just like 'The Island of the North Arm.'  They may be somewhere nearby,
but no one can ever find them."

"But there are many islands up the North Arm," I asserted.

"Not the island we Indian people have sought for many tens of summers,"
he replied sorrowfully.

"Was it ever there?" I questioned.

"Yes, it was there," he said.  "My grand-sires and my great-grandsires
saw it; but that was long ago.  My father never saw it, though he spent
many days in many years searching, always searching, for it.  I am an
old man myself, and I have never seen it, though from my youth I, too,
have searched.  Sometimes in the stillness of the nights I have paddled
up in my canoe."  Then, lowering his voice: "Twice I have seen its
shadow: high rocky shores, reaching as high as the tree tops on the
mainland, then tall pines and firs on its summit like a king's crown.
As I paddled up the Arm one summer night, long ago, the shadow of these
rocks and firs fell across my canoe, across my face, and across the
waters beyond.  I turned rapidly to look.  There was no island there,
nothing but a wide stretch of waters on both sides of me, and the moon
almost directly overhead.  Don't say it was the shore that shadowed
me," he hastened, catching my thought.  "The moon was above me; my
canoe scarce made a shadow on the still waters.  No, it was not the
shore."

"Why do you search for it?" I lamented, thinking of the old dreams in
my own life whose realization I have never attained.

"There is something on that island that I want.  I shall look for it
until I die, for it is there," he affirmed.

There was a long silence between us after that.  I had learned to love
silences when with my old tillicum, for they always led to a legend.
After a time he began voluntarily:

"It was more than one hundred years ago.  This great city of Vancouver
was but the dream of the Sagalie Tyee (God) at that time.  The dream
had not yet come to the white man; only one great Indian medicine man
knew that some day a great camp for Palefaces would lie between False
Creek and the Inlet.  This dream haunted him; it came to him night and
day--when he was amid his people laughing and feasting, or when he was
alone in the forest chanting his strange songs, beating his hollow
drum, or shaking his wooden witch-rattle to gain more power to cure the
sick and the dying of his tribe.  For years this dream followed him.
He grew to be an old, old man, yet always he could hear voices, strong
and loud, as when they first spoke to him in his youth, and they would
say: 'Between the two narrow strips of salt water the white men will
camp--many hundreds of them, many thousands of them.  The Indians will
learn their ways, will live as they do, will become as they are.  There
will be no more great war dances, no more fights with other powerful
tribes; it will be as if the Indians had lost all bravery, all courage,
all confidence.'  He hated the voices, he hated the dream; but all his
power, all his big medicine, could not drive them away.  He was the
strongest man on all the North Pacific Coast.  He was mighty and very
tall, and his muscles were as those of Leloo, the timber wolf, when he
is strongest to kill his prey.  He could go for many days without food;
he could fight the largest mountain lion; he could overthrow the
fiercest grizzly bear; he could paddle against the wildest winds and
ride the highest waves.  He could meet his enemies and kill whole
tribes single-handed.  His strength, his courage, his power, his
bravery, were those of a giant.  He knew no fear; nothing in the sea,
or in the forest, nothing in the earth or the sky, could conquer him.
He was fearless, fearless.  Only this haunting dream of the coming
white man's camp he could not drive away; it was the one thing in life
he had tried to kill and failed.  It drove him from the feasting, drove
him from the pleasant lodges, the fires, the dancing, the story-telling
of his people in their camp by the water's edge, where the salmon
thronged and the deer came down to drink of the mountain streams.  He
left the Indian village, chanting his wild songs as he went.  Up
through the mighty forests he climbed, through the trailless deep
mosses and matted vines, up to the summit of what the white men call
Grouse Mountain.  For many days he camped there.  He ate no food, he
drank no water, but sat and sang his medicine songs through the dark
hours and through the day.  Before him--far beneath his feet--lay the
narrow strip of land between the two salt waters.  Then the Sagalie
Tyee gave him the power to see far into the future.  He looked across a
hundred years, just as he looked across what you call the Inlet, and he
saw mighty lodges built close together, hundreds and thousands of them;
lodges of stone and wood, and long straight trails to divide them.  He
saw these trails thronging with Palefaces; he heard the sound of the
white man's paddle-dip on the waters, for it is not silent like the
Indian's; he saw the white man's trading posts, saw the fishing nets,
heard his speech.  Then the vision faded as gradually as it came.  The
narrow strip of land was his own forest once more.

"'I am old,' he called, in his sorrow and his trouble for his people.
'I am old, oh, Sagalie Tyee!  Soon I shall die and go to the Happy
Hunting Grounds of my fathers.  Let not my strength die with me.  Keep
living for all time my courage, my bravery, my fearlessness.  Keep them
for my people that they may be strong enough to endure the white man's
rule.  Keep my strength living for them; hide it so that the Paleface
may never find or see it.'

"Then he came down from the summit of Grouse Mountain.  Still chanting
his medicine songs he entered his canoe, and paddled through the colors
of the setting sun far up the North Arm.  When night fell he came to an
island with misty shores of great grey rock; on its summit tall pines
and firs circled like a king's crown.  As he neared it he felt all his
strength, his courage, his fearlessness, leaving him; he could see
these things drift from him on to the island.  They were as the clouds
that rest on the mountains, grey-white and half transparent.  Weak as a
woman he paddled back to the Indian village; he told them to go and
search for 'The Island,' where they would find all his courage, his
fearlessness and his strength, living, living forever.  He slept then,
but--in the morning he did not awake.  Since then our young men and our
old have searched for 'The Island.'  It is there somewhere, up some
lost channel, but we cannot find it.  When we do, we will get back all
the courage and bravery we had before the white man came, for the great
medicine man said those things never die--they live for one's children
and grandchildren."

His voice ceased.  My whole heart went out to him in his longing for
the lost island.  I thought of all the splendid courage I knew him to
possess, so made answer: "But you say that the shadow of this island
has fallen upon you; is it not so, tillicum?"

"Yes," he said half mournfully.  "But only the shadow."


[Illustration: Native cradle?]



Point Grey

"Have you ever sailed around Point Grey?" asked a young Squamish
tillicum of mine who often comes to see me, to share a cup of tea and a
taste of muck-a-muck, that otherwise I should eat in solitude.

"No," I admitted, I had not had that pleasure, for I did not know the
uncertain waters of English Bay sufficiently well to venture about its
headlands in my frail canoe.

"Some day, perhaps next summer, I'll take you there in a sail-boat, and
show you the big rock at the southwest of the Point.  It is a strange
rock; we Indian people call it Homolsom."

"What an odd name," I commented.  "Is it a Squamish word?--it does not
sound to me like one."

"It is not altogether Squamish, but half Fraser River language.  The
Point was the dividing line between the grounds and waters of the two
tribes, so they agreed to make the name 'Homolsom' from the two
languages."

I suggested more tea, and, as he sipped it, he told me the legend that
few of the younger Indians know.  That he believes the story himself is
beyond question, for many times he admitted having tested the virtues
of this rock, and it had never once failed him.  All people that have
to do with water craft are superstitious about some things, and I
freely acknowledge that times innumerable I have "whistled up" a wind
when dead calm threatened, or stuck a jack-knife in the mast, and
afterwards watched with great contentment the idle sail fill, and the
canoe pull out to a light breeze.  So, perhaps, I am prejudiced in
favor of this legend of Homolsom Rock, for it strikes a very responsive
chord in that portion of my heart that has always throbbed for the sea.

"You know," began my young tillicum, "that only waters unspoiled by
human hands can be of any benefit.  One gains no strength by swimming
in any waters heated or boiled by fires that men build.  To grow strong
and wise one must swim in the natural rivers, the mountain torrents,
the sea, just as the Sagalie Tyee made them.  Their virtues die when
human beings try to improve them by heating or distilling, or placing
even tea in them, and so--what makes Homolsom Rock so full of 'good
medicine' is that the waters that wash up about it are straight from
the sea, made by the hand of the Great Tyee, and unspoiled by the hand
of man.

"It was not always there, that great rock, drawing its strength and its
wonderful power from the seas, for it, too, was once a Great Tyee, who
ruled a mighty tract of waters.  He was god of all the waters that wash
the coast, of the Gulf of Georgia, of Puget Sound, of the Straits of
Juan de Fuca, of the waters that beat against even the west coast of
Vancouver Island, and of all the channels that cut between the
Charlotte Islands.  He was Tyee of the West Wind, and his storms and
tempests were so mighty that the Sagalie Tyee Himself could not control
the havoc that he created.  He warred upon all fishing craft, he
demolished canoes and sent men to graves in the sea.  He uprooted
forests and drove the surf on shore heavy with wreckage of despoiled
trees and with beaten and bruised fish.  He did all this to reveal his
powers, for he was cruel and hard of heart, and he would laugh and defy
the Sagalie Tyee, and looking up to the sky he would call, 'See how
powerful I am, how mighty, how strong; I am as great as you.'

"It was at this time that the Sagalie Tyee in the persons of the Four
Men came in the great canoe up over the rim of the Pacific, in that age
thousands of years ago when they turned the evil into stone, and the
kindly into trees.

"'Now,' said the god of the West Wind, 'I can show how great I am.  I
shall blow a tempest that these men may not land on my coast.  They
shall not ride my seas and sounds and channels in safety.  I shall
wreck them and send their bodies into the great deeps, and I shall be
Sagalie Tyee in their place and ruler of all the world.'  So the god of
the West Wind blew forth his tempests.  The waves arose mountain high,
the seas lashed and thundered along the shores.  The roar of his mighty
breath could be heard wrenching giant limbs from the forest trees,
whistling down the canyons and dealing death and destruction for
leagues and leagues along the coast.  But the canoe containing the Four
Men rode upright through all the heights and hollows of the seething
ocean.  No curling crest or sullen depth could wreck that magic craft,
for the hearts it bore were filled with kindness for the human race,
and kindness cannot die.

"It was all rock and dense forest, and unpeopled; only wild animals and
sea birds sought the shelter it provided from the terrors of the West
Wind; but he drove them out in sullen anger, and made on this strip of
land his last stand against the Four Men.  The Paleface calls the place
Point Grey, but the Indians yet speak of it as 'The Battle Ground of
the West Wind.'  All his mighty forces he now brought to bear against
the oncoming canoe; he swept great hurricanes about the stony ledges;
he caused the sea to beat and swirl in tempestuous fury along its
narrow fastnesses, but the canoe came nearer and nearer, invincible as
those shores, and stronger than death itself.  As the bow touched the
land the Four Men arose and commanded the West Wind to cease his war
cry, and, mighty though he had been, his voice trembled and sobbed
itself into a gentle breeze, then fell to a whispering note, then faded
into exquisite silence.

"'Oh, you evil one with the unkind heart,' cried the Four Men, 'you
have been too great a god for even the Sagalie Tyee to obliterate you
forever, but you shall live on, live now to serve, not to hinder
mankind.  You shall turn into stone where you now stand, and you shall
rise only as men wish you to.  Your life from this day shall be for the
good of man, for when the fisherman's sails are idle and his lodge is
leagues away you shall fill those sails and blow his craft free, in
whatever direction he desires.  You shall stand where you are through
all the thousands upon thousands of years to come, and he who touches
you with his paddle-blade shall have his desire of a breeze to carry
him home.'"

My young tillicum had finished his tradition, and his great solemn eyes
regarded me half-wistfully.

"I wish you could see Homolsom Rock," he said.  "For that is he who was
once the Tyee of the West Wind."

"Were you ever becalmed around Point Grey?" I asked irrelevantly.

"Often," he replied.  "But I paddle up to the rock and touch it with
the tip of my paddle-blade, and no matter which way I want to go the
wind will blow free for me, if I wait a little while."

"I suppose your people all do this?" I replied.

"Yes, all of them," he answered.  "They have done it for hundreds of
years.  You see the power in it is just as great now as at first, for
the rock feeds every day on the unspoiled sea that the Sagalie Tyee
made."



The Tulameen Trail

Did you ever "holiday" through the valley lands of the Dry Belt?  Ever
spend days and days in a swinging, swaying coach, behind a
four-in-hand, when "Curly" or "Nicola Ned" held the ribbons, and tooled
his knowing little leaders and wheelers down those horrifying mountain
trails that wind like russet skeins of cobweb through the heights and
depths of the Okanagan, the Nicola and the Similkameen countries?  If
so, you have listened to the call of the Skookum Chuck, as the Chinook
speakers call the rollicking, tumbling streams that sing their way
through the canyons with a music so dulcet, so insistent, that for many
moons the echo of it lingers in your listening ears, and you will,
through all the years to come, hear the voices of those mountain rivers
calling you to return.

But the most haunting of all the melodies is the warbling laughter of
the Tulameen; its delicate note is far more powerful, more far-reaching
than the throaty thunders of Niagara.  That is why the Indians of the
Nicola country still cling to their old-time story that the Tulameen
carries the spirit of a young girl enmeshed in the wonders of its
winding course; a spirit that can never free itself from the canyons,
to rise above the heights and follow its fellows to the Happy Hunting
Grounds, but which is contented to entwine its laughter, its sobs, its
lonely whispers, its still lonelier call for companionship, with the
wild music of the waters that sing forever beneath the western stars.

As your horses plod up and up the almost perpendicular trail that leads
out of the Nicola Valley to the summit, a paradise of beauty outspreads
at your feet; the color is indescribable in words, the atmosphere
thrills you.  Youth and the pulse of rioting blood are yours again,
until, as you near the heights, you become strangely calmed by the
voiceless silence of it all, a silence so holy that it seems the whole
world about you is swinging its censer before an altar in some dim
remote cathedral!  The choir voices of the Tulameen are yet very far
away across the summit, but the heights of the Nicola are the silent
prayer that holds the human soul before the first great chords swell
down from the organ loft.  In this first long climb up miles and miles
of trail, even the staccato of the drivers' long black-snake whip is
hushed.  He lets his animals pick their own sure-footed way, but once
across the summit he gathers the reins in his steely fingers, gives a
low, quick whistle, the whiplash curls about the ears of the leaders
and the plunge down the dip of the mountain begins.  Every foot of the
way is done at a gallop.  The coach rocks and swings as it dashes
through a trail rough-hewn from the heart of the forest; at times the
angles are so abrupt that you cannot see the heads of the leaders as
they swing around the grey crags that almost scrape the tires on the
left, while within a foot of the rim of the trail the right wheels
whirl along the edge of a yawning canyon.  The rhythm of the
hoof-beats, the recurrent low whistle and crack of the whiplash, the
occasional rattle of pebbles showering down to the depths, loosened by
rioting wheels, have broken the sacred silence.  Yet above all those
nearby sounds there seems to be an indistinct murmur, which grows
sweeter, more musical, as you gain the base of the mountains, where it
rises above all harsher notes.  It is the voice of the restless
Tulameen as it dances and laughs through the rocky throat of the
canyon, three hundred feet below.  Then, following the song, comes a
glimpse of the river itself--white garmented in the film of its
countless rapids, its showers of waterfalls.  It is as beautiful to
look at as to listen to, and it is here, where the trail winds about
and above it for leagues, that the Indians say it caught the spirit of
the maiden that is still interlaced in its loveliness.

It was in one of the terrible battles that raged between the valley
tribes before the white man's footprints were seen along these trails.
None can now tell the cause of this warfare, but the supposition is
that it was merely for tribal supremacy--that primeval instinct that
assails the savage in both man and beast, that drives the hill men to
bloodshed and the leaders of buffalo herds to conflict.  It is the
greed to rule; the one barbarous instinct that civilization has never
yet been able to eradicate from armed nations.  This war of the tribes
of the valley lands was of years in duration; men fought and women
mourned, and children wept, as all have done since time began.  It
seemed an unequal battle, for the old experienced war-tried chief and
his two astute sons were pitted against a single young Tulameen brave.
Both factors had their loyal followers, both were indomitable as to
courage and bravery, both were determined and ambitious, both were
skilled fighters.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE NARROWS, VANCOUVER, B.C.
  Bishop & Christie, Photo.]

But on the older man's side were experience and two other wary,
strategic brains to help him, while on the younger was but the
advantage of splendid youth and unconquerable persistence.  But at
every pitched battle, at every skirmish, at every single-handed
conflict the younger man gained little by little, the older man lost
step by step.  The experience of age was gradually but inevitably
giving way to the strength and enthusiasm of youth.  Then one day they
met face to face and alone--the old war-scarred chief, the young
battle-inspired brave.  It was an unequal combat, and at the close of a
brief but violent struggle the younger had brought the older to his
knees.  Standing over him with up-poised knife the Tulameen brave
laughed sneeringly, and said:

"Would you, my enemy, have this victory as your own?  If so, I give it
to you; but in return for my submission I demand of you--your daughter."

For an instant the old chief looked in wonderment at his conqueror; he
thought of his daughter only as a child who played about the forest
trails or sat obediently beside her mother in the lodge, stitching her
little moccasins or weaving her little baskets.

"My daughter!" he answered sternly.  "My daughter--who is barely out of
her own cradle basket--give her to you, whose hands, are blood-dyed
with the killing of a score of my tribe?  You ask for this thing?"

"I do not ask it," replied the young brave.  "I demand it; I have seen
the girl and I shall have her."

The old chief sprang to his feet and spat out his refusal.  "Keep your
victory, and I keep my girl-child," though he knew he was not only
defying his enemy, but defying death as well.

The Tulameen laughed lightly, easily.  "I shall not kill the sire of my
wife," he taunted.  "One more battle must we have, but your girl-child
will come to me."

Then he took his victorious way up the trail, while the old chief
walked with slow and springless step down into the canyon.

The next morning the chief's daughter was loitering along the heights,
listening to the singing river, and sometimes leaning over the
precipice to watch its curling eddies and dancing waterfalls.  Suddenly
she heard a slight rustle, as though some passing bird's wing had dipt
the air.  Then at her feet there fell a slender, delicately shaped
arrow.  It fell with spent force, and her Indian woodcraft told her it
had been shot to her, not at her.  She started like a wild animal.
Then her quick eye caught the outline of a handsome, erect figure that
stood on the heights across the river.  She did not know him as her
father's enemy.  She only saw him to be young, stalwart and of
extraordinary, manly beauty.  The spirit of youth and of a certain
savage coquetry awoke within her.  Quickly she fitted one of her own
dainty arrows to the bow string and sent it winging across the narrow
canyon; it fell, spent, at his feet, and he knew she had shot it to
him, not at him.

Next morning, woman-like, she crept noiselessly to the brink of the
heights.  Would she see him again--that handsome brave?  Would he speed
another arrow to her?  She had not yet emerged from the tangle of
forest before it fell, its faint-winged flight heralding its coming.
Near the feathered end was tied a tassel of beautiful ermine tails.
She took from her wrist a string of shell beads, fastened it to one of
her little arrows and winged it across the canyon, as yesterday.

The following morning before leaving the lodge she fastened the tassel
of ermine tails in her straight, black hair.  Would he see them?  But
no arrow fell at her feet that day, but a dearer message was there on
the brink of the precipice.  He himself awaited her coming--he who had
never left her thoughts since that first arrow came to her from his
bow-string.  His eyes burned with warm fires, as she approached, but
his lips said simply: "I have crossed the Tulameen River."  Together
they stood, side by side, and looked down at the depths before them,
watching in silence the little torrent rollicking and roystering over
its boulders and crags.

"That is my country," he said, looking across the river.  "This is the
country of your father, and of your brothers; they are my enemies.  I
return to my own shore tonight.  Will you come with me?"

She looked up into his handsome young face.  So this was her father's
foe--the dreaded Tulameen!

"Will you come?" he repeated.

"I will come," she whispered.

It was in the dark of the moon and through the kindly night he led her
far up the rocky shores to the narrow belt of quiet waters, where they
crossed in silence into his own country.  A week, a month, a long
golden summer, slipped by, but the insulted old chief and his enraged
sons failed to find her.

Then one morning as the lovers walked together on the heights above the
far upper reaches of the river, even the ever-watchful eyes of the
Tulameen failed to detect the lurking enemy.  Across the narrow canyon
crouched and crept the two outwitted brothers of the girl-wife at his
side; their arrows were on their bow-strings, their hearts on fire with
hatred and vengeance.  Like two evil-winged birds of prey those arrows
sped across the laughing river, but before they found their mark in the
breast of the victorious Tulameen the girl had unconsciously stepped
before him.  With a little sigh, she slipped into his arms, her
brothers' arrows buried into her soft, brown flesh.

It was many a moon before his avenging hand succeeded in slaying the
old chief and those two hated sons of his.  But when this was finally
done the handsome young Tulameen left his people, his tribe, his
country, and went into the far north.  "For," he said, as he sang his
farewell war song, "my heart lies dead in the Tulameen River."

    *    *    *    *    *

But the spirit of his girl-wife still sings through the canyon, its
song blending with the music of that sweetest-voiced river in all the
great valleys of the Dry Belt.  That is why this laughter, the sobbing
murmur of the beautiful Tulameen will haunt for evermore the ear that
has once listened to its song.



The Grey Archway

The steamer, like a huge shuttle, wove in and out among the countless
small islands; its long trailing scarf of grey smoke hung heavily along
the uncertain shores, casting a shadow over the pearly waters of the
Pacific, which swung lazily from rock to rock in indescribable beauty.

After dinner I wandered astern with the traveller's ever-present hope
of seeing the beauties of a typical Northern sunset, and by some happy
chance I placed my deck stool near an old tillicum, who was leaning on
the rail, his pipe between his thin curved lips, his brown hands
clasped idly, his sombre eyes looking far out to sea, as though they
searched the future--or was it that they were seeing the past?

"Kla-how-ya, tillicum!" I greeted.

He glanced round, and half smiled.

"Kla-how-ya, tillicum!" he replied, with the warmth of friendliness I
have always met with among the Pacific tribes.

I drew my deck stool nearer to him, and he acknowledged the action with
another half smile, but did not stir from his entrenchment, remaining
as if hedged about with an inviolable fortress of exclusiveness.  Yet I
knew that my Chinook salutation would be a drawbridge by which I might
hope to cross the moat into his castle of silence.

Indian-like, he took his time before continuing the acquaintance.  Then
he began in most excellent English:

"You do not know these Northern waters?"

I shook my head.

After many moments he leaned forward, looking along the curve of the
deck, up the channels and narrows we were threading, to a broad strip
of waters off the port bow.  Then he pointed with that peculiar,
thoroughly Indian gesture of the palm uppermost.

"Do you see it--over there?  The small island?  It rests on the edge of
the water, like a grey gull."

It took my unaccustomed eyes some moments to discern it; then all at
once I caught its outline, veiled in the mists of distance--grey,
cobwebby, dreamy.

"Yes," I replied, "I see it now.  You will tell me of it--tillicum?"

He gave a swift glance at my dark skin, then nodded.  "You are one of
us," he said, with evidently no thought of a possible contradiction.
"And you will understand, or I should not tell you.  You will not smile
at the story, for you are one of us."

"I am one of you, and I shall understand," I answered.

It was a full half-hour before we neared the island, yet neither of us
spoke during that time; then, as the "grey gull" shaped itself into
rock and tree and crag, I noticed in the very centre a stupendous pile
of stone lifting itself skyward, without fissure or cleft; but a
peculiar haziness about the base made me peer narrowly to catch the
perfect outline.

"It is the 'Grey Archway,'" he explained, simply.

Only then did I grasp the singular formation before us; the rock was a
perfect archway, through which we could see the placid Pacific
shimmering in the growing colors of the coming sunset at the opposite
rim of the island.

"What a remarkable whim of Nature!" I exclaimed, but his brown hand was
laid in a contradictory grasp on my arm, and he snatched up my comment
almost with impatience.

"No, it was not Nature," he said.  "That is the reason I say you will
understand--you are one of us--you will know what I tell you is true.
The Great Tyee did not make that archway, it was--"here his voice
lowered--"it was magic, red man's medicine and magic--you savvy?"

"Yes," I said.  "Tell me, for I--savvy."

"Long time ago," he began, stumbling into a half-broken English
language, because, I think, of the atmosphere and environment, "long
before you were born, or your father, or grandfather, or even his
father, this strange thing happened.  It is a story for women to hear,
to remember.  Women are the future mothers of the tribe, and we of the
Pacific Coast hold such in high regard, in great reverence.  The women
who are mothers--o-ho!--they are the important ones, we say.  Warriors,
fighters, brave men, fearless daughters, owe their qualities to these
mothers--eh, is it not always so?"

I nodded silently.  The island was swinging nearer to us, the "Grey
Archway" loomed almost above us, the mysticism crowded close, it
enveloped me, caressed me, appealed to me.

"And?" I hinted.

"And," he proceeded, "this 'Grey Archway' is a story of mothers, of
magic, of witchcraft, of warriors, of--love."

An Indian rarely uses the word "love," and when he does it expresses
every quality, every attribute, every intensity, emotion and passion
embraced in those four little letters.  Surely this was an exceptional
story I was to hear.

I did not answer, only looked across the pulsing waters toward the
"Grey Archway," which the sinking sun was touching with soft pastels,
tints one could give no name to, beauties impossible to describe.

"You have not heard of Yaada?" he questioned.  Then fortunately he
continued without waiting for a reply.  He well knew that I had never
heard of Yaada, so why not begin without preliminary to tell me of
her?--so--

"Yaada was the loveliest daughter of the Haida tribe.  Young braves
from all the islands, from the mainland, from the upper Skeena country
came, hoping to carry her to their far-off lodges, but they always
returned alone.  She was the most desired of all the island maidens,
beautiful, brave, modest, the daughter of her own mother.

"But there was a great man, a very great man--a medicine man, skilful,
powerful, influential, old, deplorably old, and very, very rich; he
said, 'Yaada shall be my wife.'  And there was a young fisherman,
handsome, loyal, boyish, poor, oh! very poor, and gloriously young, and
he, too, said, 'Yaada shall be my wife.'

"But Yaada's mother sat apart and thought and dreamed, as mothers will.
She said to herself, 'The great medicine man has power, has vast
riches, and wonderful magic, why not give her to him?  But Ulka has the
boy's heart, the boy's beauty, he is very brave, very strong; why not
give her to him?'

"But the laws of the great Haida tribe prevailed.  Its wise men said,
'Give the girl to the greatest man, give her to the most powerful, the
richest.  The man of magic must have his choice.'

"But at this the mother's heart grew as wax in the summer sunshine--it
is a strange quality that mothers' hearts are made of!  'Give her to
the best man--the man her heart holds highest,' said this Haida mother.

"Then Yaada spoke: 'I am the daughter of my tribe; I would judge of men
by their excellence.  He who proves most worthy I shall marry; it is
not riches that make a good husband; it is not beauty that makes a good
father for one's children.  Let me and my tribe see some proof of the
excellence of these two men--then, only, shall I choose who is to be
the father of my children.  Let us have a trial of their skill; let
them show me how evil or how beautiful is the inside of their hearts.
Let each of them throw a stone with some intent, some purpose in their
hearts.  He who makes the noblest mark may call me wife.'

"'Alas!  Alas!' wailed the Haida mother.  'This casting of stones does
not show worth.  It but shows prowess.'

"'But I have implored the Sagalie Tyee of my father, and of his fathers
before him, to help me to judge between them by this means,' said the
girl.  'So they must cast the stones.  In this way only shall I see
their innermost hearts.'

"The medicine man never looked so old as at that moment; so hopelessly
old, so wrinkled, so palsied: he was no mate for Yaada.  Ulka never
looked so god-like in his young beauty, so gloriously young, so
courageous.  The girl, looking at him, loved him--almost was she
placing her hand in his, but the spirit of her forefathers halted her.
She had spoken the word--she must abide by it.  'Throw!' she commanded.

"Into his shrivelled fingers the great medicine man took a small, round
stone, chanting strange words of magic all the while; his greedy eyes
were on the girl, his greedy thoughts about her.

"Into his strong, young fingers Ulka took a smooth, flat stone; his
handsome eyes were lowered in boyish modesty, his thoughts were
worshipping her.  The great medicine man cast his missile first; it
swept through the air like a shaft of lightning, striking the great
rock with a force that shattered it.  At the touch of that stone the
'Grey Archway' opened and has remained opened to this day.

"'Oh, wonderful power and magic!' clamored the entire tribe.  'The very
rocks do his bidding.'

"But Yaada stood with eyes that burned in agony.  Ulka could never
command such magic--she knew it.  But at her side Ulka was standing
erect, tall, slender and beautiful, but just as he cast his missile the
evil voice of the old medicine man began a still more evil incantation.
He fixed his poisonous eyes on the younger man, eyes with hideous magic
in their depths--ill-omened and enchanted with 'bad medicine.'  The
stone left Ulka's fingers; for a second it flew forth in a straight
line, then as the evil voice of the old man grew louder in its
incantations the stone curved.  Magic had waylaid the strong arm of the
young brave.  The stone poised an instant above the forehead of Yaada's
mother, then dropped with the weight of many mountains, and the last
long sleep fell upon her.

"'Slayer of my mother!' stormed the girl, her suffering eyes fixed upon
the medicine man.  'Oh, I now see your black heart through your black
magic.  Through, good magic you cut the 'Great Archway,' but your evil
magic you used upon young Ulka.  I saw your wicked eyes upon him; I
heard your wicked incantations; I know your wicked heart.  You used
your heartless magic in hope of winning me--in hope of making him an
outcast of the tribe.  You cared not for my sorrowing heart, my
motherless life to come.'  Then, turning to the tribe, she demanded:
'Who of you saw his evil eyes fixed on Ulka?  Who of you heard his evil
song?'

"'I,' and 'I,' and 'I,' came voice after voice.

"'The very air is poisoned that we breathe about him,' they shouted.
'The young man is blameless, his heart is as the sun, but the man who
has used his evil magic has a heart black and cold as the hours before
the dawn.'

"Then Yaada's voice arose in a strange, sweet, sorrowful chant:

  My feet shall walk no more upon this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.
  My mother sleeps forever on this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.
  My heart would break without her on this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.

  My life was of her life upon this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.
  My mother's soul has wandered from this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.
  My feet must follow hers beyond this island,
    With its great, Grey Archway.


"As Yaada chanted and wailed her farewell, she moved slowly towards the
edge of the cliff.  On its brink she hovered a moment with outstretched
arms, as a sea gull poises on its weight--then she called:

"'Ulka, my Ulka!  Your hand is innocent of wrong; it was the evil magic
of your rival that slew my mother.  I must go to her; even you cannot
keep me here; will you stay, or come with me?  Oh! my Ulka!'

"The slender, gloriously young boy sprang toward her; their hands
closed one within the other; for a second they poised on the brink of
the rocks, radiant as stars; then together they plunged into the sea."

      *      *      *      *      *

The legend was ended.  Long ago we had passed the island with its "Grey
Archway"; it was melting into the twilight, far astern.

As I brooded over this strange tale of a daughter's devotion, I watched
the sea and sky for something that would give me a clue to the
inevitable sequel that the tillicum, like all his race, was surely
withholding until the opportune moment.

Something flashed through the darkening waters not a stone's throw from
the steamer.  I leaned forward, watching it intently.  Two silvery fish
were making a succession of little leaps and plunges along the surface
of the sea, their bodies catching the last tints of sunset, like
flashing jewels.  I looked at the tillicum quickly.  He was watching
me--a world of anxiety in his half-mournful eyes.

"And those two silvery fish?" I questioned.

He smiled.  The anxious look vanished.  "I was right," he said; "you do
know us and our ways, for you are one of us.  Yes, those fish are seen
only in these waters; there are never but two of them.  They are Yaada
and her mate, seeking for the soul of the Haida woman--her mother."


[Illustration: Native art]



Deadman's Island

  It is dusk on the Lost Lagoon,
  And we two dreaming the dusk away,
  Beneath the drift of a twilight grey--
  Beneath the drowse of an ending day.
  And the curve of a golden moon.

  It is dark in the Lost Lagoon.
  And gone are the depths of haunting blue,
  The grouping gulls, and the old canoe,
  The singing firs, and the dusk and--you,
  And gone is the golden moon.

  O! lure of the Lost Lagoon--
  I dream tonight that my paddle blurs
  The purple shade where the seaweed stirs--
  I hear the call of the singing firs
  In the hush of the golden moon.


For many minutes we stood silently, leaning on the western rail of the
bridge as we watched the sun set across that beautiful little water
known as Coal Harbor.  I have always resented that jarring,
unattractive name, for years ago, when I first plied paddle across the
gunwale of a light little canoe, and idled about its margin, I named
the sheltered little cove the Lost Lagoon.  This was just to please my
own fancy, for as that perfect summer month drifted on, the
ever-restless tides left the harbor devoid of water at my favorite
canoeing hour, and my pet idling place was lost for many days--hence my
fancy to call it the Lost Lagoon.  But the chief, Indian-like,
immediately adopted the name, at least when he spoke of the place to
me, and as we watched the sun slip behind the rim of firs, he expressed
the wish that his dugout were here instead of lying beached at the
farther side of the park.

"If canoe was here, you and I we paddle close to shores all 'round your
Lost Lagoon: we make track just like half moon.  Then we paddle under
this bridge, and go channel between Deadman's Island and park.  Then
'round where cannon speak time at nine o'clock.  Then 'cross Inlet to
Indian side of Narrows."

I turned to look eastward, following in fancy the course he had
sketched; the waters were still as the footstep of the oncoming
twilight, and, floating in a pool of soft purple, Deadman's Island
rested like a large circle of candle moss.

"Have you ever been on it?" he asked as he caught my gaze centering on
the irregular outline of the island pines.

"I have prowled the length and depth of it," I told him.  "Climbed over
every rock on its shores, crept under every tangled growth of its
interior, explored its overgrown trails, and more than once nearly got
lost in its very heart."

"Yes," he half laughed, "it pretty wild; not much good for anything."

"People seem to think it valuable," I said.  "There is a lot of
litigation--of fighting going on now about it."

"Oh! that the way always," he said as though speaking of a long
accepted fact.  "Always fight over that place.  Hundreds of years ago
they fight about it; Indian people; they say hundreds of years to come
everybody will still fight--never be settled what that place is, who it
belong to, who has right to it.  No, never settle.  Deadman's Island
always mean fight for someone."

"So the Indians fought amongst themselves about it?" I remarked,
seemingly without guile, although my ears tingled for the legend I knew
was coming.

"Fought like lynx at close quarters," he answered.  "Fought, killed
each other, until the island ran with blood redder than that sunset,
and the sea water about it was stained flame color--it was then, my
people say, that the scarlet fire-flower was first seen growing along
this coast."

"It is a beautiful color--the fire-flower," I said.

"It should be fine color, for it was born and grew from the hearts of
fine tribes-people--very fine people," he emphasized.

We crossed to the eastern rail of the bridge, and stood watching the
deep shadows that gathered slowly and silently about the island; I have
seldom looked upon anything more peaceful.

The chief sighed.  "We have no such men now, no fighters like those
men, no hearts, no courage like theirs.  But I tell you the story; you
understand it then.  Now all peace; to-night all good tillicums; even
dead man's spirit does not fight now, but long time after it happen
those spirits fought."

"And the legend?" I ventured.

"Oh! yes," he replied, as if suddenly returning to the present from out
a far country in the realm of time.  "Indian people, they call it the
'Legend of the Island of Dead Men.'

"There was war everywhere.  Fierce tribes from the northern coast,
savage tribes from the south, all met here and battled and raided,
burned and captured, tortured and killed their enemies.  The forests
smoked with camp fires, the Narrows were choked with war canoes, and
the Sagalie Tyee--He who is a man of peace--turned His face away from
His Indian children.  About this island there was dispute and
contention.  The medicine men from the North claimed it as their
chanting ground.  The medicine men from the South laid equal claim to
it.  Each wanted it as the stronghold of their witchcraft, their magic.
Great bands of these medicine men met on the small space, using every
sorcery in their power to drive their opponents away.  The witch
doctors of the North made their camp on the northern rim of the island;
those from the South settled along the southern edge, looking towards
what is now the great city of Vancouver.  Both factions danced,
chanted, burned their magic powders, built their magic fires, beat
their magic rattles, but neither would give way, yet neither conquered.
About them, on the waters, on the mainlands, raged the warfare of their
respective tribes--the Sagalie Tyee had forgotten His Indian children.

"After many months, the warriors on both sides weakened.  They said the
incantations of the rival medicine men were bewitching them, were
making their hearts like children's, and their arms nerveless as
women's.  So friend and foe arose as one man and drove the medicine men
from the island, hounded them down the Inlet, herded them through the
Narrows and banished them out to sea, where they took refuge on one of
the outer islands of the gulf.  Then the tribes once more fell upon
each other in battle.

"The warrior blood of the North will always conquer.  They are the
stronger, bolder, more alert, more keen.  The snows and the ice of
their country make swifter pulse than the sleepy suns of the South can
awake in a man; their muscles are of sterner stuff, their endurance
greater.  Yes, the northern tribes will always be victors.[1]  But the
craft and the strategy of the southern tribes are hard things to battle
against.  While those of the North followed the medicine men farther
out to sea to make sure of their banishment, those from the South
returned under cover of night and seized the women and children and the
old, enfeebled men in their enemy's camp, transported them all to the
Island of Dead Men, and there held them as captives.  Their war canoes
circled the island like a fortification, through which drifted the sobs
of the imprisoned women, the mutterings of the aged men, the wail of
little children.

"Again and again the men of the North assailed that circle of canoes,
and again and again were repulsed.  The air was thick with poisoned
arrows, the water stained with blood.  But day by day the circle of
southern canoes grew thinner and thinner; the northern arrows were
telling, and truer of aim.  Canoes drifted everywhere, empty, or worse
still, manned only by dead men.  The pick of the southern warriors had
already fallen, when their greatest Tyee mounted a large rock on the
eastern shore.  Brave and unmindful of a thousand weapons aimed at his
heart, he uplifted his hand, palm outward--the signal for conference.
Instantly every northern arrow was lowered, and every northern ear
listened for his words.

[Illustration: KITSILANO BEACH, VANCOUVER, B.C.  Bishop & Christie,
Photo.]

"'Oh! men of the upper coast,' he said, 'you are more numerous than we
are; your tribe is larger; your endurance greater.  We are growing
hungry, we are growing less in numbers.  Our captives--your women and
children and old men--have lessened, too, our stores of food.  If you
refuse our terms we will yet fight to the finish.  Tomorrow we will
kill all our captives before your eyes, for we can feed them no longer,
or you can have your wives, your mothers, your fathers, your children,
by giving us for each and every one of them one of your best and
bravest young warriors, who will consent to suffer death in their
stead.  Speak!  You have your choice.'

"In the northern canoes scores and scores of young warriors leapt to
their feet.  The air was filled with glad cries, with exultant shouts.
The whole world seemed to ring with the voices of those young men who
called loudly, with glorious courage:

"'Take me, but give me back my old father.'

"'Take me, but spare to my tribe my little sister.'

"'Take me, but release my wife and boy-baby.'

"So the compact was made.  Two hundred heroic, magnificent young men
paddled up to the island, broke through the fortifying circle of canoes
and stepped ashore.  They flaunted their eagle plumes with the spirit
and boldness of young gods.  Their shoulders were erect, their step was
firm, their hearts strong.  Into their canoes they crowded the two
hundred captives.  Once more their women sobbed, their old men
muttered, their children wailed, but those young copper-colored gods
never flinched, never faltered.  Their weak and their feeble were
saved.  What mattered to them such a little thing as death?

"The released captives were quickly surrounded by their own people, but
the flower of their splendid nation was in the hands of their enemies,
those valorous young men who thought so little of life that they
willingly, gladly laid it down to serve and to save those they loved
and cared for.  Amongst them were war-tried warriors who had fought
fifty battles, and boys not yet full grown, who were drawing a bow
string for the first time, but their hearts, their courage, their
self-sacrifice were as one.

"Out before a long file of southern warriors they stood.  Their chins
uplifted, their eyes defiant, their breasts bared.  Each leaned forward
and laid his weapons at his feet, then stood erect, with empty hands,
and laughed forth their challenge to death.  A thousand arrows ripped
the air, two hundred gallant northern throats flung forth a death cry
exultant, triumphant as conquering kings--then two hundred fearless
northern hearts ceased to beat.

"But in the morning the southern tribes found the spot where they fell
peopled with flaming fire-flowers.  Dread terror seized upon them.
They abandoned the island, and when night again shrouded them they
manned their canoes and noiselessly slipped through the Narrows, turned
their bows southward and this coast line knew them no more."

"What glorious men," I half whispered as the chief concluded the
strange legend.

"Yes, men!" he echoed.  "The white people call it Deadman's Island.
That is their way; but we of the Squamish call it The Island of Dead
Men."

The clustering pines and the outlines of the island's margin were now
dusky and indistinct.  Peace, peace lay over the waters, and the purple
of the summer twilight had turned to grey, but I knew that in the
depths of the undergrowth on Deadman's Island there blossomed a flower
of flaming beauty; its colors were veiled in the coming nightfall, but
somewhere down in the sanctuary of its petals pulsed the heart's blood
of many and valiant men.


[1] Note.--It would almost seem that the chief knew that wonderful poem
of "The Khan's," "The Men of the Northern Zone," wherein he says:

  If ever a Northman lost a throne
  Did the conqueror come from the South?
  Nay, the North shall ever be free ... etc.


[Illustration: Gold panning pan, pick, shovel]



A Squamish Legend of Napoleon

Holding an important place among the majority of curious tales held in
veneration by the coast tribes are those of the sea-serpent.  The
monster appears and reappears with almost monotonous frequency in
connection with history, traditions, legends and superstitions; but
perhaps the most wonderful part it ever played was in the great drama
that held the stage of Europe, and incidentally all the world during
the stormy days of the first Napoleon.

Throughout Canada I have never failed to find an amazing knowledge of
Napoleon Bonaparte amongst the very old and "uncivilized" Indians.
Perhaps they may be unfamiliar with every other historical character
from Adam down, but they will all tell you they have heard of the
"Great French Fighter," as they call the wonderful little Corsican.

Whether this knowledge was obtained through the fact that our earliest
settlers and pioneers were French, or whether Napoleon's almost magical
fighting career attracted the Indian mind to the exclusion of lesser
warriors, I have never yet decided.  But the fact remains that the
Indians of our generation are not as familiar with Bonaparte's name as
were their fathers and grandfathers, so either the predominance of
English-speaking settlers or the thinning of their ancient war-loving
blood by modern civilization and peaceful times, must one or the other
account for the younger Indian's ignorance of the Emperor of the French.

In telling me the legend of The Lost Talisman, my good tillicum, the
late Chief Capilano, began the story with the almost amazing question,
Had I ever heard of Napoleon Bonaparte?  It was some moments before I
just caught the name, for his English, always quaint and beautiful, was
at times a little halting; but when he said by way of explanation, "You
know big fighter, Frenchman.  The English they beat him in big battle,"
I grasped immediately of whom he spoke.

"What do you know of him?" I asked.

His voice lowered, almost as if he spoke a state secret.  "I know how
it is that English they beat him."

I have read many historians on this event, but to hear the Squamish
version was a novel and absorbing thing.  "Yes?" I said--my usual
"leading" word to lure him into channels of tradition.

"Yes," he affirmed.  Then, still in a half whisper, he proceeded to
tell me that it all happened through the agency of a single joint from
the vertebra of a sea-serpent.

In telling me the story of Brockton Point and the valiant boy who
killed the monster, he dwelt lightly on the fact that all people who
approach the vicinity of the creature are palsied, both mentally and
physically--bewitched, in fact--so that their bones become disjointed
and their brains incapable; but to-day he elaborated upon this
peculiarity until I harked back to the boy of Brockton Point and asked
how it was that his body and brain escaped this affliction.

"He was all good, and had no greed," he replied.  "He proof against all
bad things."

I nodded understandingly, and he proceeded to tell me that all
successful Indian fighters and warriors carried somewhere about their
person a joint of a sea-serpent's vertebra, that the medicine men threw
"the power" about them so that they were not personally affected by
this little "charm," but that immediately they approached an enemy the
"charm" worked disaster, and victory was assured to the fortunate
possessor of the talisman.  There was one particularly effective joint
that had been treasured and carried by the warriors of a great Squamish
family for a century.  These warriors had conquered every foe they
encountered, until the talisman had become so renowned that the totem
pole of their entire "clan" was remodelled, and the new one crested by
the figure of a single joint of a sea-serpent's vertebra.

About this time stories of Napoleon's first great achievements drifted
across the seas; not across the land--and just here may be a clue to
buried coast-Indian history, which those who are cleverer at research
than I, can puzzle over.  The chief was most emphatic about the source
of Indian knowledge of Napoleon.

"I suppose you heard of him from Quebec, through, perhaps, some of the
French priests," I remarked.

"No, no," he contradicted hurriedly.  "Not from East; we hear it from
over the Pacific, from the place they call Russia."  But who conveyed
the news or by what means it came he could not further enlighten me.
But a strange thing happened to the Squamish family about this time.
There was a large blood connection, but the only male member living was
a very old warrior, the hero of many battles, and the possessor of the
talisman.  On his death-bed his women of three generations gathered
about him; his wife, his sisters, his daughters, his granddaughters,
but not one man, nor yet a boy of his own blood stood by to speed his
departing warrior spirit to the land of peace and plenty.

"The charm cannot rest in the hands of women," he murmured almost with
his last breath.  "Women may not war and fight other nations or other
tribes; women are for the peaceful lodge and for the leading of little
children.  They are for holding baby hands, teaching baby feet to walk.
No, the charm cannot rest with you, women.  I have no brother, no
cousin, no son, no grandson, and the charm must not go to a lesser
warrior than I.  None of our tribe, nor of any tribe on the coast, ever
conquered me.  The charm must go to one as unconquerable as I have
been.  When I am dead send it across the great salt chuck, to the
victorious 'Frenchman'; they call him Napoleon Bonaparte."  They were
his last words.

The older women wished to bury the charm with him, but the younger
women, inspired with the spirit of their generation, were determined to
send it over seas.  "In the grave it will be dead," they argued.  "Let
it still live on.  Let it help some other fighter to greatness and
victory."

As if to confirm their decision, the next day a small sealing vessel
anchored in the Inlet.  All the men aboard spoke Russian, save two
thin, dark, agile sailors, who kept aloof from the crew and conversed
in another language.  These two came ashore with part of the crew and
talked in French with a wandering Hudson's Bay trapper, who often
lodged with the Squamish people.  Thus the women, who yet mourned over
their dead warrior, knew these two strangers to be from the land where
the great "Frenchman" was fighting against the world.

Here I interrupted the chief.  "How came the Frenchmen in a Russian
sealer?" I asked.

"Captives," he replied.  "Almost slaves, and hated by their captors, as
the majority always hate the few.  So the women drew those two
Frenchmen apart from the rest and told them the story of the bone of
the sea-serpent, urging them to carry it back to their own country and
give it to the great 'Frenchman' who was as courageous and as brave as
their dead leader.

"The Frenchmen hesitated; the talisman might affect them, they said;
might jangle their own brains, so that on their return to Russia they
would not have the sagacity to plan an escape to their own country;
might disjoint their bodies, so that their feet and hands would be
useless, and they would become as weak as children.  But the women
assured them that the charm only worked its magical powers over a man's
enemies, that the ancient medicine men had 'bewitched' it with this
quality.  So the Frenchmen took it and promised that if it were in the
power of man they would convey it to 'the Emperor.'

"As the crew boarded the sealer, the women watching from the shore
observed strange contortions seize many of the men; some fell on the
deck; some crouched, shaking as with palsy; some writhed for a moment,
then fell limp and seemingly boneless; only the two Frenchmen stood
erect and strong and vital--the Squamish talisman had already overcome
their foes.  As the little sealer set sail up the gulf she was
commanded by a crew of two Frenchmen--men who had entered these waters
as captives, who were leaving them as conquerors.  The palsied Russians
were worse than useless, and what became of them the chief could not
state; presumably they were flung overboard, and by some trick of a
kindly fate the Frenchmen at last reached the coast of France.

"Tradition is so indefinite about their movements subsequent to sailing
out of the Inlet, that even the ever-romantic and vividly colored
imaginations of the Squamish people have never supplied the details of
this beautifully childish, yet strangely historical fairy tale.  But
the voices of the trumpets of war, the beat of drums throughout Europe
heralded back to the wilds of the Pacific Coast forests the
intelligence that the great Squamish 'charm' eventually reached the
person of Napoleon; that from this time onward his career was one vast
victory, that he won battle after battle, conquered nation after
nation, and but for the direst calamity that could befall a warrior
would eventually have been master of the world."

"What was this calamity, Chief?" I asked, amazed at his knowledge of
the great historical soldier and strategist.

The chief's voice again lowered to a whisper--his face was almost rigid
with intentness as he replied:

"He lost the Squamish charm--lost it just before one great fight with
the English people."

I looked at him curiously; he had been telling me the oddest mixture of
history and superstition, of intelligence and ignorance, the most
whimsically absurd, yet impressive, tale I ever heard from Indian lips.

"What was the name of the great fight--did you ever hear it?" I asked,
wondering how much he knew of events which took place at the other side
of the world a century agone.

"Yes," he said, carefully, thoughtfully; "I hear the name sometime in
London when I there.  Railroad station there--same name."

"Was it Waterloo?" I asked.

He nodded quickly, without a shadow of hesitation.  "That the one," he
replied; "that's it, Waterloo."


[Illustration: Native bowl]



The Lure in Stanley Park

There is a well-known trail in Stanley Park that leads to what I always
love to call the "Cathedral Trees"--that group of some half-dozen
forest giants that arch overhead with such superb loftiness.  But in
all the world there is no cathedral whose marble or onyx columns can
vie with those straight, clean, brown tree-boles that teem with the sap
and blood of life.  There is no fresco that can rival the delicacy of
lace-work they have festooned between you and the far skies.  No tiles,
no mosaic or inlaid marbles, are as fascinating as the bare, russet,
fragrant floor outspreading about their feet.  They are the acme of
Nature's architecture, and in building them she has outrivalled all her
erstwhile conceptions.  She will never originate a more faultless
design, never erect a more perfect edifice.  But the divinely moulded
trees and the man-made cathedral have one exquisite characteristic in
common.  It is the atmosphere of holiness.  Most of us have better
impulses after viewing a stately cathedral, and none of us can stand
amid that majestic forest group without experiencing some elevating
thoughts, some refinement of our coarser nature.  Perhaps those who
read this little legend will never again look at those cathedral trees
without thinking of the glorious souls they contain, for according to
the Coast Indians they do harbor human souls, and the world is better
because they once had the speech and the hearts of mighty men.

My tillicum did not use the word "lure" in telling me this legend.
There is no equivalent for the word in the Chinook tongue, but the
gestures of his voiceful hands so expressed the quality of something
between magnetism and charm that I have selected this word "lure" as
best fitting what he wished to convey.  Some few yards beyond the
cathedral trees, an overgrown disused trail turns into the dense
wilderness to the right.  Only Indian eyes could discern that trail,
and the Indians do not willingly go to that part of the park to the
right of the great group.  Nothing in this, nor yet the next world
would tempt a Coast Indian into the compact centres of the wild
portions of the park, for therein, concealed cunningly, is the "lure"
they all believe in.  There is not a tribe in the entire district that
does not know of this strange legend.  You will hear the tale from
those that gather at Eagle Harbor for the fishing, from the Fraser
River tribes, from the Squamish at the Narrows, from the Mission, from
up the Inlet, even from the tribes at North Bend, but no one will
volunteer to be your guide, for having once come within the "aura" of
the lure it is a human impossibility to leave it.  Your will-power is
dwarfed, your intelligence blighted, your feet will refuse to lead you
out by a straight trail, you will circle, circle for evermore about
this magnet, for if death kindly comes to your aid your immortal spirit
will go on in that endless circling that will bar it from entering the
Happy Hunting Grounds.

And, like the cathedral trees, the lure once lived, a human soul, but
in this instance it was a soul depraved, not sanctified.  The Indian
belief is very beautiful concerning the results of good and evil in the
human body.  The Sagalie Tyee (God) has His own way of immortalizing
each.  People who are wilfully evil, who have no kindness in their
hearts, who are bloodthirsty, cruel, vengeful, unsympathetic, the
Sagalie Tyee turns to solid stone that will harbor no growth, even that
of moss or lichen, for these stones contain no moisture, just as their
wicked hearts lacked the milk of human kindness.  The one famed
exception, wherein a good man was transformed into stone, was in the
instance of Siwash Rock, but as the Indian tells you of it he smiles
with gratification as he calls your attention to the tiny tree cresting
that imperial monument.  He says the tree was always there to show the
nations that the good in this man's heart kept on growing even when his
body had ceased to be.  On the other hand the Sagalie Tyee transforms
the kindly people, the humane, sympathetic, charitable, loving people
into trees, so that after death they may go on forever benefiting all
mankind; they may yield fruit, give shade and shelter, afford unending
service to the living, by their usefulness as building material and as
firewood.  Their saps and gums, their fibres, their leaves, their
blossoms, enrich, nourish and sustain the human form; no evil is
produced by trees--all, all is goodness, is hearty, is helpfulness and
growth.  They give refuge to the birds, they give music to the winds,
and from them are carved the bows and arrows, the canoes and paddles,
bowls, spoons and baskets.  Their service to mankind is priceless; the
Indian that tells you this tale will enumerate all these attributes and
virtues of the trees.  No wonder the Sagalie Tyee chose them to be the
abode of souls good and great.

But the lure in Stanley Park is that most dreaded of all things, an
evil soul.  It is embodied in a bare, white stone, which is shunned by
moss and vine and lichen, but over which are splashed innumerable
jet-black spots that have eaten into the surface like an acid.

This condemned soul once animated the body of a witch-woman, who went
up and down the coast, over seas and far inland, casting her evil eye
on innocent people, and bringing them untold evils and diseases.  About
her person she carried the renowned "Bad Medicine" that every Indian
believes in--medicine that weakened the arm of the warrior in battle,
that caused deformities, that poisoned minds and characters, that
engendered madness, that bred plagues and epidemics; in short, that was
the seed of every evil that could befall mankind.  This witch-woman
herself was immune from death; generations were born and grew to old
age, and died, and other generations arose in their stead, but the
witch-woman went about, her heart set against her kind; her acts were
evil, her purposes wicked, she broke hearts and bodies, and souls; she
gloried in tears, and revelled in unhappiness, and sent them broadcast
wherever she wandered.  And in His high heaven the Sagalie Tyee wept
with sorrow for His afflicted human children.  He dared not let her
die, for her spirit would still go on with its evil doing.  In mighty
anger He gave command to His Four Men (always representing the Deity)
that they should turn this witch-woman into a stone and enchain her
spirit in its centre, that the curse of her might be lifted from the
unhappy race.

So the Four Men entered their giant canoe, and headed, as was their
custom, up the Narrows.  As they neared what is now known as Prospect
Point they heard from the heights above them a laugh, and looking up
they beheld the witch-woman jeering defiantly at them.  They landed
and, scaling the rocks, pursued her as she danced away, eluding them
like a will-o'-the-wisp as she called out to them sneeringly:

"Care for yourselves, oh! men of the Sagalie Tyee, or I shall blight
you with my evil eye.  Care for yourselves and do not follow me."  On
and on she danced through the thickest of the wilderness, on and on
they followed until they reached the very heart of the seagirt neck of
land we know as Stanley Park.  Then the tallest, the mightiest of the
Four Men, lifted his hand and cried out: "Oh! woman of the stony heart,
be stone for evermore, and bear forever a black stain for each one of
your evil deeds."  And as he spoke the witch-woman was transformed into
this stone that tradition says is in the centre of the park.  Such is
the legend of the Lure.  Whether or not this stone is really in
existence--who knows?  One thing is positive, however, no Indian will
ever help to discover it.

Three different Indians have told me that fifteen or eighteen years ago
two tourists--a man and a woman--were lost in Stanley Park.  When found
a week later, the man was dead, the woman mad, and each of my
informants firmly believed they had, in their wanderings, encountered
"the stone" and were compelled to circle around it, because of its
powerful lure.

But this wild tale fortunately has a most beautiful conclusion.  The
Four Men, fearing that the evil heart imprisoned in the stone would
still work destruction, said: "At the end of the trail we must place so
good and great a thing that it will be mightier, stronger, more
powerful than this evil."  So they chose from the nations the
kindliest, most benevolent men, men whose hearts were filled with the
love of their fellow-beings, and transformed these merciful souls into
the stately group of "Cathedral Trees."

How well the purpose of the Sagalie Tyee has wrought its effect through
time!  The good has predominated as He planned it to, for is not the
stone hidden in some unknown part of the park where eyes do not see it
and feet do not follow--and do not the thousands who come to us from
the uttermost parts of the world seek that wondrous beauty spot, and
stand awed by the majestic silence, the almost holiness of that group
of giants?

More than any other legend that the Indians about Vancouver have told
me does this tale reveal the love of the Coast native for kindness, and
his hatred of cruelty.  If these tribes really have ever been a warlike
race I cannot think they pride themselves much on the occupation.  If
you talk with any of them and they mention some man they particularly
like or admire, their first qualification of him is: "He's a kind man."
They never say he is brave, or rich, or successful, or even strong,
that characteristic so loved by the red man.  To these Coast tribes if
a man is "kind" he is everything.  And almost without exception their
legends deal with rewards for tenderness and self-abnegation, and
personal and mental cleanliness.

Call them fairy tales if you wish to, they all have a reasonableness
that must have originated in some mighty mind, and better than that,
they all tell of the Indian's faith in the survival of the best
impulses of the human heart, and the ultimate extinction of the worst.

In talking with my many good tillicums, I find this witch-woman legend
is the most universally known and thoroughly believed in of all
traditions they have honored me by revealing to me.



Deer Lake

Few white men ventured inland, a century ago, in the days of the first
Chief Capilano, when the spoils of the mighty Fraser River poured into
copper-colored hands, but did not find their way to the remotest
corners of the earth, as in our times, when the gold from its sources,
the salmon from its mouth, the timber from its shores are world-known
riches.

The fisherman's craft, the hunter's cunning were plied where now cities
and industries, trade and commerce, buying and selling hold sway.  In
those days the moccasined foot awoke no echo in the forest trails.
Primitive weapons, arms, implements, and utensils were the only means
of the Indians' food-getting.  His livelihood depended upon his own
personal prowess, his skill in woodcraft and water lore.  And, as this
is a story of an elk-bone spear, the reader must first be in sympathy
with the fact that this rude instrument, most deftly fashioned, was of
priceless value to the first Capilano, to whom it had come through
three generations of ancestors, all of whom had been experienced
hunters and dexterous fishermen.

Capilano himself was without a rival as a spearsman.  He knew the moods
of the Fraser River, the habits of its thronging tenants, as no other
man has ever known them before or since.  He knew every isle and inlet
along the coast, every boulder, the sand-bars, the still pools, the
temper of the tides.  He knew the spawning grounds, the secret streams
that fed the larger rivers, the outlets of rock-bound lakes, the turns
and tricks of swirling rapids.  He knew the haunts of bird and beast
and fish and fowl, and was master of the arts and artifice that man
must use when matching his brain against the eluding wiles of the
untamed creatures of the wilderness.

Once only did his cunning fail him, once only did Nature baffle him
with her mysterious fabric of waterways and land lures.  It was when he
was led to the mouth of the unknown river, which has evaded discovery
through all the centuries, but which--so say the Indians--still sings
on its way through some buried channel that leads from the lake to the
sea.

He had been sealing along the shores of what is now known as Point
Grey.  His canoe had gradually crept inland, skirting up the coast to
the mouth of False Creek.  Here he encountered a very king of seals, a
colossal creature that gladdened the hunter's eyes as game worthy of
his skill.  For this particular prize he would cast the elk-bone spear.
It had never failed his sire, his grandsire, his great-grandsire.  He
knew it would not fail him now.  A long, pliable, cedar-fibre rope lay
in his canoe.  Many expert fingers had woven and plaited that rope, had
beaten and oiled it until it was soft and flexible as a serpent.  This
he attached to the spearhead, and with deft, unerring aim cast it at
the king seal.  The weapon struck home.  The gigantic creature
shuddered and, with a cry like a hurt child, it plunged down into the
sea.  With the rapidity and strength of a giant fish it scudded inland
with the rising tide, while Capilano paid out the rope its entire
length, and, as it stretched taut, felt the canoe leap forward,
propelled by the mighty strength of the creature which lashed the
waters into whirlpools, as though it was possessed with the power and
properties of a whale.

[Illustration: THE SEVEN SISTERS, STANLEY PARK.  Bishop & Christie,
Photo.]

Up the stretch of False Creek the man and monster drove their course,
where a century hence great city bridges were to over-arch the waters.
They strove and struggled each for the mastery, neither of them
weakened, neither of them faltered--the one dragging, the other
driving.  In the end it was to be a matching of brute and human wits,
not forces.  As they neared the point where now Main Street bridge
flings its shadow across the waters, the brute leaped high into the
air, then plunged headlong into the depths.  The impact ripped the rope
from Capilano's hands.  It rattled across the gunwale.  He stood
staring at the spot where it had disappeared--the brute had been
victorious.  At low tide the Indian made search.  No trace of his game,
of his precious elk-bone spear, of his cedar-fibre rope, could be
found.  With the loss of the latter he firmly believed his luck as a
hunter would be gone.  So he patrolled the mouth of False Creek for
many moons.  His graceful, high-bowed canoe rarely touched other
waters, but the seal king had disappeared.  Often he thought long
strands of drifting sea grasses were his lost cedar-fibre rope.  With
other spears, with other cedar-fibres, with paddle blade and cunning
traps he dislodged the weeds from their moorings, but they slipped
their slimy lengths through his eager hands: his best spear with its
attendant coil was gone.

The following year he was sealing again off the coast of Point Grey,
and one night after sunset he observed the red reflection from the
west, which seemed to transfer itself to the eastern skies.  Far into
the night dashes of flaming scarlet pulsed far beyond the head of False
Creek.  The color rose and fell like a beckoning hand, and,
Indian-like, he immediately attached some portentous meaning to the
unusual sight.  That it was some omen he never doubted, so he paddled
inland, beached his canoe, and took the trail towards the little group
of lakes that crowd themselves into the area that lies between the
present cities of Vancouver and New Westminster.  But long before he
reached the shores of Deer Lake he discovered that the beckoning hand
was in reality flame.  The little body of water was surrounded by
forest fires.  One avenue alone stood open.  It was a group of giant
trees that as yet the flames had not reached.  As he neared the point
he saw a great moving mass of living things leaving the lake and
hurrying northward through this one egress.  He stood, listening,
intently watching with alert eyes; the swirr of myriads of little
travelling feet caught his quick ear--the moving mass was an immense
colony of beaver.  Thousands upon thousands of them.  Scores of baby
beavers staggered along, following their mothers; scores of older
beavers that had felled trees and built dams through many seasons; a
countless army of trekking fur bearers, all under the generalship of a
wise old leader, who, as king of the colony, advanced some few yards
ahead of his battalions.  Out of the waters through the forest towards
the country to the north they journeyed.  Wandering hunters said they
saw them cross Burrard Inlet at the Second Narrows, heading inland as
they reached the farther shore.  But where that mighty army of royal
little Canadians set up their new colony, no man knows.  Not even the
astuteness of the first Capilano ever discovered their destination.
Only one thing was certain.  Deer Lake knew them no more.

After their passing, the Indian retraced their trail to the water's
edge.  In the red glare of the encircling fires he saw what he at first
thought was some dead and dethroned king beaver on the shore.  A huge
carcass lay half in, half out, of the lake.  Approaching it he saw the
wasted body of a giant seal.  There could never be two seals of that
marvellous size.  His intuition now grasped the meaning of the omen of
the beckoning flame that had called him from the far coasts of Point
Grey.  He stooped above his dead conqueror and found, embedded in its
decaying flesh, the elk-bone spear of his forefathers, and trailing
away at the water's rim was a long flexible cedar-fibre rope.

As he extracted this treasured heirloom he felt the "power," that men
of magic possess, creep up his sinewy arms.  It entered his heart, his
blood, his brain.  For a long time he sat and chanted songs that only
great medicine men may sing, and, as the hours drifted by, the heat of
the forest fires subsided, the flames diminished into smouldering
blackness.  At daybreak the forest fire was dead, but its beckoning
fingers had served their purpose.  The magic elk-bone spear had come
back to its own.

Until the day of his death the first Capilano searched for the unknown
river up which the seal travelled from False Creek to Deer Lake, but
its channel is a secret that even Indian eyes have not seen.

But although those of the Squamish tribe tell and believe that the
river still sings through its hidden trail that leads from Deer Lake to
the sea, its course is as unknown, its channel is as hopelessly lost as
the brave little army of beavers that a century ago marshalled their
forces and travelled up into the great lone north.



A Royal Mohawk Chief

How many Canadians are aware that in Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught,
and only surviving son of Queen Victoria, who has been appointed to
represent King George V. in Canada, they undoubtedly have what many
wish for--one bearing an ancient Canadian title as Governor-General of
all the Dominion?  It would be difficult to find a man more Canadian
than any one of the fifty chiefs who compose the parliament of the
ancient Iroquois nation, that loyal race of Redskins that has fought
for the British crown against all of the enemies thereof, adhering to
the British flag through the wars against both the French and the
colonists.

Arthur Duke of Connaught is the only living white man who to-day has an
undisputed right to the title of "Chief of the Six Nations Indians"
(known collectively as the Iroquois).  He possesses the privilege of
sitting in their councils, of casting his vote on all matters relative
to the governing of the tribes, the disposal of reservation lands, the
appropriation of both the principal and interest of the more than half
a million dollars these tribes hold in Government bonds at Ottawa,
accumulated from the sales of their lands.  In short, were every drop
of blood in his royal veins red, instead of blue, he could not be more
fully qualified as an Indian chief than he now is, not even were his
title one of the fifty hereditary ones whose illustrious names composed
the Iroquois confederacy before the Paleface ever set foot in America.

It was on the occasion of his first visit to Canada in 1869, when he
was little more than a boy, that Prince Arthur received, upon his
arrival at Quebec, an address of welcome from his Royal mother's
"Indian Children" on the Grand River Reserve, in Brant county, Ontario.
In addition to this welcome they had a request to make of him: would he
accept the title of Chief and visit their reserve to give them the
opportunity of conferring it?

One of the great secrets of England's success with savage races has
been her consideration, her respect, her almost reverence of native
customs, ceremonies and potentates.  She wishes her own customs and
kings to be honored, so she freely accords like honor to her subjects,
it matters not whether they be white, black or red.

Young Arthur was delighted--royal lads are pretty much like all other
boys; the unique ceremony would be a break in the endless round of
state receptions, banquets and addresses.  So he accepted the Red
Indians' compliment, knowing well that it was the loftiest honor those
people could confer upon a white man.

It was the morning of October first when the royal train steamed into
the little city of Brantford, where carriages awaited to take the
Prince and his suite to the "Old Mohawk Church," in the vicinity of
which the ceremony was to take place.  As the Prince's especial escort,
Onwanonsyshon, head chief of the Mohawks, rode on a jet-black pony
beside the carriage.  The chief was garmented in full native costume--a
buckskin suit, beaded moccasins, headband of owl's and eagle's
feathers, and ornaments hammered from coin silver that literally
covered his coat and leggings.  About his shoulders was flung a scarlet
blanket, consisting of the identical broadcloth from which the British
army tunics are made; this he "hunched" with his shoulders from time to
time in true Indian fashion.  As they drove along, the Prince chatted
boyishly with his Mohawk escort, and once leaned forward to pat the
black pony on its shining neck and speak admiringly of it.  It was a
warm autumn day: the roads were dry and dusty, and, after a mile or so,
the boy-prince brought from beneath the carriage seat a basket of
grapes.  With his handkerchief he flicked the dust from them, handed a
bunch to the chief and took one himself.  An odd spectacle to be
traversing a country road: an English prince and an Indian chief,
riding amicably side-by-side, enjoying a banquet of grapes like two
schoolboys.

On reaching the church, Arthur leapt lightly to the green sward.  For a
moment he stood, rigid, gazing before him at his future brother-chiefs.
His escort had given him a faint idea of what he was to see, but he
certainly never expected to be completely surrounded by three hundred
full-blooded Iroquois braves and warriors, such as now encircled him on
every side.  Every Indian was in war paint and feathers, some stripped
to the waist, their copper-colored skins brilliant with paints, dyes
and "patterns"; all carried tomahawks, scalping-knives, and bows and
arrows.  Every red throat gave a tremendous war-whoop as he alighted,
which was repeated again and again, as for that half moment he stood
silent, a slim boyish figure, clad in light grey tweeds--a singular
contrast to the stalwarts in gorgeous costumes who crowded about him.
His young face paled to ashy whiteness, then with true British grit he
extended his right hand and raised his black "billy-cock" hat with his
left.  At the same time he took one step forward.  Then the war cries
broke forth anew, deafening, savage, terrible cries, as one by one the
entire three hundred filed past, the Prince shaking hands with each
one, and removing his glove to do so.  This strange reception over,
Onwanonsyshon rode up, and, flinging his scarlet blanket on the grass,
dismounted, and asked the Prince to stand on it.

Then stepped forward an ancient chief, father of Onwanonsyshon, and
Speaker of the Council.  He was old in inherited and personal loyalty
to the British crown.  He had fought under Sir Isaac Brock at Queenston
Heights in 1812, while yet a mere boy, and upon him was laid the honor
of making his Queen's son a chief.  Taking Arthur by the hand this
venerable warrior walked slowly to and fro across the blanket, chanting
as he went the strange, wild formula of induction.  From time to time
he was interrupted by loud expressions of approval and assent from the
vast throng of encircling braves, but apart from this no sound was
heard but the low, weird monotone of a ritual older than the white
man's footprints in North America.

It is necessary that a chief of each of the three "clans" of the
Mohawks shall assist in this ceremony.  The veteran chief, who sang the
formula, was of the Bear clan.  His son, Onwanonsyshon, was of the Wolf
(the clan-ship descends through the mother's side of the family).  Then
one other chief, of the Turtle clan, and in whose veins coursed the
blood of the historic Brant, now stepped to the edge of the scarlet
blanket.  The chant ended, these two young chiefs received the Prince
into the Mohawk tribe, conferring upon him the name of "Kavakoudge,"
which means "the sun flying from East to West under the guidance of the
Great Spirit."

Onwanonsyshon then took from his waist a brilliant deep-red sash,
heavily embroidered with beads, porcupine quills and dyed moose hair,
placing it over the Prince's left shoulder and knotting it beneath his
right arm.  The ceremony was ended.  The Constitution that Hiawatha had
founded centuries ago, a Constitution wherein fifty chiefs, no more, no
less, should form the parliament of the "Six Nations," had been
shattered and broken, because this race of loyal red men desired to do
honor to a slender young boy-prince, who now bears the fifty-first
title of the Iroquois.

Many white men have received from these same people honorary titles,
but none has been bestowed through the ancient ritual, with the
imperative members of the three clans assisting, save that borne by
Arthur of Connaught.

After the ceremony the Prince entered the church to autograph his name
in the ancient Bible, which, with a silver Holy Communion service, a
bell, two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, and a bronze
British coat-of-arms, had been presented to the Mohawks by Queen Anne.
He inscribed "Arthur" just below the "Albert Edward," which, as Prince
of Wales, the late king wrote when he visited Canada in 1860.

When he returned to England, Chief Kavakoudge sent his portrait,
together with one of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, to be
placed in the Council House of the "Six Nations," where they decorate
the walls today.

As I write, I glance up to see, in a corner of my room, a draping
scarlet blanket, made of British army broadcloth, for the chief who
rode the jet-black pony so long ago was the writer's father.  He was
not here to wear it when Arthur of Connaught again set foot on Canadian
shores.

Many of these facts I have culled from a paper that lies on my desk; it
is yellowing with age, and bears the date, "Toronto, October 2, 1869,"
and on the margin is written in a clear, half-boyish hand,
"Onwanonsyshon, with kind regards from your brother-chief, Arthur."


[Illustration: Native tools]





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