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Title: La Ronge Journal, 1823
Author: Nelson, George
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "La Ronge Journal, 1823" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                      LA RONGE JOURNAL, 1823



                           George Nelson



[Transcriber's Note:


(Includes additional materials: List of some other publications of his
work; editing notes; an example of a music scroll; details of Nelson's
fur trade career; table of contents; page images of handwritten
manuscript; references.)]



                     ALSO BY GEORGE NELSON

Peers, Laura & Schenck, Theresa (eds.). _My First Years in the Fur Trade:
The Journals of 1802-1804_. St. Paul. Minnesota Historical Society
Press. 2002.


The La Ronge journal of 1823 has also been published in hard copy in
an extensively researched work by Jennifer S. Brown and Robert
Brightman in 1988. This work contains extensive additional analysis of
the mythology, the shaking lodge ceremony, medicines and religious
practices of the Northern Algonquin peoples. Additional commentaries
from aboriginal perspectives on the Nelson text are given by Stan
Cuthand and Emma laRoque.

Brown, Jennifer S. H. & Brightman, Robert (eds.).  _"The Orders of the
Dreamed": George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Myth,
1823_. Winnipeg. The University of Manitoba Press. 1988



                         EDITING NOTES

Nelson's manuscript is a handwritten first draft for a work on North
American aboriginal belief systems completed in June, 1823. Nelson
had intended to edit and publish it at a later date. The first
publication did not occur until 1988 in _"The Orders of the Dreamed":
George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Myth, 1823_
where it is given a comprehensive, analytical and contextual
treatment by Jennifer Brown and Robert Brightman with contributions
from other authors.

The goals for this edition of Nelson's La Ronge Journal of 1823 are to
make Nelson's work accessible to a wider audience and ensure its
preservation and availability in  digital format. It is presented in
three parts.

Part 1 provides a lightly edited version of the manuscript. Nelson's
text is an excellent example of common English usage in early
nineteenth century North America. Idiosyncratic misspellings are
generally corrected; archaisms and localizations have been
maintained. Where the spelling of names is irregular or abbreviated,
a consistent spelling is chosen. Punctuation has been somewhat
modernized.

Editorial interjections, including section and subsection headings not
in the original, are enclosed in brackets. Nelson occasionally used
brackets in the text for parenthetical remarks; these have been
replaced with braces.

Part 2 is a verbatim and line by line transcription of the original
handwritten document. The transcription serves as the starting point
for Part 1. It is included here because of the importance of the journal
as an historical document and the desire to preserve and make the
manuscript available close to the original form while moving it to a
digital version. No attempt has been made to edit or correct the text.

Part 3 (omitted from the text-only and some portable reader versions)
is a set of digital images of the manuscript made from photocopies
provided by the Toronto Reference Library, the holder of the Nelson
papers. The size of the images is reduced to make them suitable for
on-line use; resolution is kept adequate for direct comparison with the
transcription.

An added table of contents provides links (in the hypertext versions)
to sections or pages in each of the three parts.  Page numbering
preserves that of the manuscript for reference purposes.

Certain sections of the this e-text may display poorly on some e-book
readers: (1) References to World Wide Web resources may be longer than
can be contained on normally formatted lines. To simplify correct
copying of the references, the lines have not been split. (2) In Part 2,
the line by line transcription of the handwritten manuscript, Nelson
sometimes made additions or corrections increasing the number of words on
a line of text. The length of the transcribed text line was increased to
maintain the line correspondence between the manuscript and the
e-text.

The Nelson manuscript was made available courtesy of the Toronto Public
Library. I would like to thank the staff of the Baldwin Room Manuscripts
Collection at Toronto Reference Library for their assistance in making
the material available for digitization. I would also like to express
thanks to my wife, Susan O'Donovan, for the hours spent proofing text
and clarifying many fine details of the language.



                  I HEAR THE SPIRIT SPEAKING TO US
              [Transcription of an Objibwa song scroll]

    I hear the spirit speaking to us.
    I am going into the medicine lodge.
    I am taking (gathering) medicine to make me live.
    I give you medicine, and a lodge, also.
    I am flying into my lodge.
    The Spirit has dropped medicine from the sky where we can get it.
    I have the medicine in my heart.


Midē Song Scroll. Collection and translation by W. H. Hoffman, 1885-1886.
_The Midē´wiwin or "Grand Medicine Society" of the Ojibwa_
Doctrine Publishing Corporation E-book #19368.



                   GEORGE NELSON'S FUR TRADING WORLD
[Transcriber's Note: Western North America Map: Lake Superior to Alberta]


George Nelson's Postings and Employing Companies

1802/1803   Yellow River (Fort Folle Avoine), Wisconsin, XY Company (XYC)
1803/1804   Lac du Flambeau, Chippewa River, Wisconsin, XYC
1804/1805   Red River area, Manitoba, XYC / North West Company (NWC)
1805/1806   Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, NWC
1806/1811   Dauphin River, Manitoba, NWC
1811/1812   Tête au Brochet (Jack Head), Manitoba, NWC
1813/1816   Long Lake, Ontario area, NWC
1818/1819   Tête au Brochet, Manitoba, NWC
1819/1821   Moose Lake, Manitoba, NWC / Hudson's Bay Company (HBC)
1821/1822   Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, HBC
1822/1823   Lake la Ronge, Saskatchewan, HBC

Nelson's experiences and accounts come from his life and work with
Ojibwa / Saulteau cultures around Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg and
contact in his later career with the Cree of Lake Winnipeg, the
Saskatchewan Delta, Cumberland House and Lake la Ronge. He makes
reference to the Beaver Indians (Dane-zaa) who, until the nineteenth
century, lived as far east as the Slave and Clearwater Rivers bringing
them and other Athabaskan cultures into contact with fur trading at
Ile à la Crosse, the administrative centre for Nelson's post at Lake
la Ronge.

His journal of 1802/1803 was instrumental in leading to the
rediscovery of the Folle Avoine posts of the XY Company and North West
Company in 1969 by Harris and Frances Palmer with assistance of
local residents. Subsequent archaeological work was undertaken and
the forts were reconstructed and have been operated as the Forts Folle
Avoine Historical Park by the Burnett County Historical Society since
1989. The Society provides tours, displays and programs on the fur
trade and aboriginal culture of the area.

Nelson recalled many accounts of Ojibwa practices in the Lake Superior area in
his 1823 La Ronge journal.



               GEORGE NELSON'S FUR TRADING WORLD, 1822-23
             [Transcriber's Note: Map of Lake La Ronge area]


Lake la Ronge was the site of some twenty trading posts dating from
1779. Nelson's Hudson's Bay Company post was a reestablishment in
1821 of an earlier North West Company post. According to _The Atlas
of Saskatchewan_, it was the only fort on the Lake over the winter of
1822/1823. The location is likely a known archaeological site in the
area shown on the map identified in the Atlas as Lac la Ronge II.

In 1947, the road network reached La Ronge townsite founded in the early
1900's,  and Stanley Mission, which dates from 1851, in 1978.



                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART 1
Introductory Remarks ...                                          ... 1
Conjuring: The Interpreter's Account
Initiations and Conjuring ...                                     ... 4
  In Quest of Dreams
  Dialogue with a Spirit ...                                      ... 5
  Principal Spirits
    Wee-suck-ā-jāāk / Gey-Shay-mani-_to_  ...                     ... 6
    Key-jick-oh-kay (Old Nick)
    Water Lynx ...                                                ... 7
    Sun
      A Dream Meeting with Sun
    Thunder ...                                                   ... 8
  Roots and Herbs (Medicines)
The Manner of Conjuring
  Building the Lodge
  Preparing the Conjurer
  Spirits who Enter the Lodge and Interactions with Them
    Meeh-key-nock (Turtle) ...                                    ... 9
    Thunder
    Flying Squirrel
    Wolverine
    Loon
    Hercules / Strong Neck: Altercation with a Young Man
    O-may-me-thay-day-ce-cee-wuck (Ancients or Hairy Breasts)
    Sun ...                                                      ... 10
    Pike
    Buffaloe
    Omniscience of Spirits
    Showing the Turtle Spirit ...                                ... 11
    Bear
    Keyjickahkaiw
    Wee-suck-ā-jāāk
  Practices of Powerful Conjurers
Mythology
  North Wind & his Daughter
    (Birth of Wee-suck-ā-jāāk & Mishabôse)                       ... 13
  Death of Mishabôse
  Wee-suck-ā-jāāk and Kingfisher
  Myths of the Flood
    Wee-suck-ā-jāāk's Revenge on the Sea Lynxes
    Wee-suck-ā-jāāk Tricks a Water Lynx and Beaver
    Recreation of the Land ...                                   ... 14
    Wolf Surveys the Land ...                                    ... 15
  Creation of Humans
  Separation of Land into Plains and Woods                       ... 16
  Wee-suck-ā-jāāk Travels the Earth, has a Son, becomes a Woman
Language Use
Conversations ...                                                ... 17
  The Figure in the Dream is Sickness
  Sickness Gives Warnings of Diseases
  Reappearances of Spirits in Dreams to Teach the Votary ...     ... 18
  Malevolent Spirits (Need for Regular Sacrifices)
  Accounts of Pahkack
    Attacks at Home and While Hunting
    Making Offerings at a Hunting Camp ...                       ... 19
    Description of Pahkack
    The Feast to Pahkack ...                                     ... 20
Roots and Medicines ...                                          ... 21
  The Abode of the Medicine Spirit
  Teaching the Medicines to the Votary
  Stones and Their Virtues ...                                   ... 23
Songs and Notes
Treatment of the Sick ...                                        ... 24
  Ceremonies and Songs Related to Starvation ...                 ... 25
Fugitive Pieces
  The Soul ...                                                   ... 27
    An Attempt to Capture a Soul
    Representation of the Soul ...                               ... 28
    Imprisonment of a Soul
  Medicines Used to Harm Others ...                              ... 29
    Used Against a Woman
  Wild Carroway ...                                              ... 31
    Used in Hunting
    As Love Potions (Baptiste's Stories) ...                     ... 32
  Effecting and Avoiding Spells ...                              ... 33
    Dealing with Spells on Firearms
      The Old Canadian's Account ...                             ... 34
      The Iroquois' Account
      The Half Breed's Account ...                               ... 35
Stories of the Hairy Breasts and Nayhanimis...                   ... 36
  North Wind's Challenge
  Nayhanimis Wars with the Hairy Breasts ...                     ... 37
Notes
  Motives for Writing the Journal ...                            ... 40
  Comments on Aboriginal Beliefs ...                             ... 41
  Mee-tay-wee
  Conjuring
  Evidence of Spirits through Conjuring Practice
Conjuring Ceremony for a N. W. Co. Gentleman ...                 ... 42
Stories ...                                                      ... 43
  The Hunter and the Wolf Spirit
  Pursuit by a Pahkack
Wetiko ...                                                       ... 44
  Trapping a Wetiko
  Habits and Types of Wetiko ...                                 ... 45
  Those Driven to Cannibalism by Starvation
  Story of a Wetiko Woman ...                                    ... 46
  Those who Dream of Ice and the North ...                       ... 47
  Dream Feasts Of Human Flesh
  Behavior of  Infected People ...                               ... 48
  An Account of Survival
  Executing a Wetiko
  Treatments and Recovery ...                                    ... 49
Malignant Spirits...                                             ... 50
  North, Ice, Skeleton and the Crazy Woman
Confession ...                                                   ... 51
Animal Sacrifice (Beaver Indians) ...                            ... 53
Fragments ...                                                    ... 54
  The Great Doctor
  The Devil and the Tailor Caricature
Feasts
Conjuring Ceremony (June 4th., 1823) ...                         ... 56

PART 2
Typescript of Manuscript

References



                     LA RONGE JOURNAL, 1823

PART 1

{1} [Introductory Remarks]

The following few stories or tales will give a better notion or idea
of the religion of these people than every other description _I_ am able
to pen. And as their _history_ is read with interest, I am persuaded
these few pages will be found equally deserving attention. I give them
the same as I received them and leave every one to make his own
remarks and to draw his own conclusions.


[Conjuring: The Interpreter's Account]

My interpreter, a young half breed, passed the winter of 1819-20 with
the Indians and gives this account. One day shortly before Christmas,
he was out with an elderly man, a chief of this place, a
hunting. Suddenly he stopped as to _listen_, apparently with great
eagerness and anxiety, upon which, after allowing a sufficient time,
the interpreter asked what was the matter.

"Listen and you'll hear."

"I have listened," says the interpreter, "but hear nothing, and it is
surprising that you who are deaf should hear and I not."

"Ah! A white man is thy father, and thou are just as _skeptical_,
doubting and ridiculing every thing we say or do 'till when it is then
too late. Then ye lament, but in vain."

After this the Indian became much downcast and very thoughtful for
several days. And as if to increase his anxiety, or rather to
corroborate the husband's assertions, his wife said that one day she
also _heard_, though the other women that were with her heard nothing,
and an altercation ensued.

His uneasiness increasing too much, he was forced to have recourse to
_their_ only alternative in such cases, _une Jonglerie_ as the French term
it, that is conjuring.

One of their party, another half-breed abandoned many years since by
his father and leading an Indian life, was applied to. He is reputed a
_true man_: [he] never lies. Out of respect to the other, he was induced
to consent, but much against his will. "For I am much afraid that
[one] of these times _they will carry me off_."

He was prepared, and entered with his _rattler_, shortly after which the
box and the rattle began to move in the usual brisk and violent
manner. _Many_ [spirits] entered, and one asked what was wanted that
they had been called upon.

The Indian, from the outside of the frame (for only the conjurer
alone enters), inquired if there was not some evil spirit near from
whom he had everything to dread.

"No." replied the same voice. "_All is quiet_, you trouble yourself with
vain phantoms."

"What then is the meaning," asked again the Indian, "of those sudden
flashes of light I sometimes see in the night?"

"What?" rejoined another voice from within. "Hast thou attained unto
this age and never yet observed this?" And then laughing, [it]
continued, "It is always the case during this _moon_ (December). And if
you doubt me, for the future observe attentively and you will find it
to be the case."

This satisfied him for the time. He became cheerful and assumed his
wonted ways, but not for a long time. He soon relapsed and, after some
days, applied again to the conjurer. When he had entered his box or
frame, a number again entered and one of them enquired why they were
called for.

The conjurer said [why].

"What?" says he, the Spirit, "Again! Thou art very skeptical. Dost
thou not believe? Now thou art fond of, thou wantest to be
haunted. Well thou shalt have thy desire!"

{2} At these dreadful words, which were uttered in an angry and
reproving manner, every soul was struck with terror. But as if to give
some consolation, [the voice] assured him that that spirit had but
just left his _home_, and coming on very slowly, would not be up with
them 'till _such a time_, a little prior to which they were ordered to
conjure again, when they would be told what to do.

This was no pleasant information to the conjurer who never undertook
this job but with the greatest reluctance--nay indeed even sometimes
horror. However, he neither, poor creature, had [an] alternative. At
the time appointed he entered again, everything being prepared.

After the preliminary demands or questions, "Yes," replies one of the
_spirits_, "that which thou dreadest _is_ near, and is drawing on apace."

"How shall we do? What shall we do?" exclaimed the Indian.

At last one of them, who goes by the name of the Bull or Buffaloe,
(through the conjurer, for he alone could understand him, his voice
being hoarse through, his uttering thick and inarticulate) asked the
Indian if he remembered of a dream he made while yet a young man?

"Yes," replies the Indian, "I remember perfectly. I dreamed I saw one
just like yourself who told me that, when advanced in life, I should
be much troubled one winter. But by a certain sacrifice and a sweating
_bout_ I should be relieved. But I have not the means here. I have no
stones."

"You are encamped upon them," rejoined the _spirit_, "and at the door of
your tent are some."

"Yes, but," says the Indian, "the dogs have _watered_ them, & they are
otherwise soiled."

"Fool! Put them in the fire. Will not the fire heat and make them
change color and purify them? Do this, fail not and be not uneasy. We
shall go, four of us (spirits), and amuse him upon the road and
endeavour to drive him back."

At this the interpreter burst out laughing, exclaimed, "Sacré bande de
bêtes! And do you believe all that d----d nonsense?"

"You doubt too." says a voice addressing him (the interpreter) from
the inside. "Go out of the tent and listen, you'll see if _we_ lie."

He did indeed go out to some distance, and after a while heard [the
spirits] as a distant hollow noise which increased 'till it became
considerably more distinct, and then vanished as a great gust of wind,
though the night was mild, calm, clear and beautifully serene. It even
startled the dogs.

"_Mahn_!" (an Indian term or exclamation signifying haste) said the
spirits from within.

    _They_ have turned him off the road as soon as the noise was
    heard. But he will not turn back or go home. He is _sent_ after
    you by another Indian who conjured him up out of the deep
    (the bottom of some flood). But be not too uneasy. If these
    four will not do, there are yet a vast many of us, so that
    between us all, we _shall_ drive him back. We will perplex
    and bewilder him, surround, torment and tease him on every
    side. But he is of a monstrous size, ferocious and withal
    enraged against you. The task is mighty difficult. _Observe_!
    See how beautifully serene the night is. If we succeed, the
    sky will change all of a sudden, and there will fall a very
    smart shower of snow attended with a terrible gust of wind.

    {3} This will happen between daylight and sunrise _and is his
    spirit_, all that will remain in his power. He'll then return
    to his home.

The interpreter, though he laughed at all this and could not bring
himself to credit it, yet swears that he heard the rumbling noise _on
their road_ and seemingly far off. The Indians gave implicit faith to
all. And the conjurer did not know what to believe.

"There is something," says he, "for my _Dreamed_, or _Dreamers_ have
assured me of it, but _I_ don't know what to say. However, most
assuredly, tomorrow morning we shall have the snow."

This _snow_ both comforted and depressed the poor Indian very much
seeing the weather was then so beautiful and so destitute of all the
usual signs of bad weather. It did snow. It came as foretold, quite
suddenly, and as suddenly became fine again.

In the ensuing morning, the Indian begged of the interpreter to chuse
one of the longest and straightest pine (epinette) trees he could find
of the thickness of his thigh, to peel off all the bark nicely,
leaving but a small tuft of the branches at the tip end. This they
painted cross-ways with bars of vermillion and charcoal alternately
the whole length, leaving however some intervals undaubded. And about
five or six feet from the ground, [they] fastened a pair of artificial
horns representing those of a bull, and decorated [it] with ribbon. He
also (the Indian I mean) made the sweating hut, and in short done
[sic] everything as directed, after which he (the Indian) became to
resume his wonted cheerfulness and contentment.

However, once more he was obliged to have recourse again to the
conjurer, from hearing another rumbling noise. "Thou Fool!" answered
the spirits. "Wilt thou never have done tormenting thyself and
disquieting us. That rumbling noise proceeds from the ice on a lake a
long way off. It is only the ice. Be therefore peaceable. I shall
[advise] thee if any ill is to happen thee."

The flashes of light, or those sudden glares that the Indian inquired
of the spirits, is, as they told him, lightening which always happens
in the month of December. And they laughed at his having lived so long
without observing it before.

The conjurer had lost his smoking bag one day that he was out a
hunting. And as it contained his only steel and not a small part of
his winter stock of tobacco, he was very uneasy and hunted several
times for it. They, having told the Interpreter often how kind and
charitable and indulgent those _spirits of the upper regions_ were, and
he, desirous of proving them, told the conjurer to send for his
bag. He asked, "Which of ye will go for my bag that I lost? He that
brings it me, I shall make him smoke."

"I will go," said one. They heard a fluttering noise, and soon after
they heard the same fluttering noise, and the rattler move, and down
fell the bag by the conjurer, covered with snow.

"How stupid thou art!" said the spirit naming the conjurer. "Thou
passedst over it and yet did not see it." It was a long time since the
bag was lost, and the distance was several miles.

Another one could not kill with his gun owing to its being crooked or
some other cause. {4} However, he attached the fault to the
gun. [This happened] the first time, I believe it was, that this
half-breed conjured. The people on the outside, hearing many voices
speak as they entered, at last they stopped at one whose voice and
articulation was different from that of the others. "Who is that one
just now entered?" said those outside.

"It is the _Sun_," replied the conjurer.

"Ha! Well, I am happy of it." said the the Indian. "Is it not _he_ who
says himself able to repair firearms (guns), and do anything with them
he pleases? Ask him (addressing the conjurer) if he will not have
compassion on me and put my gun to rights that I also may kill. I am
walking every day, and frequently shoot at moose, but always miss."

"Hand it me." said a voice from the top of the conjuring frame. The
gun was given to the conjurer. "It is loaded." continued the voice,
"Shall I fire it off?"

"You may, but take care you hurt nobody." replied the Indian. The gun
was fired, and shortly after handed back to the owner.

"Here is your gun. You will kill with it now." said the Spirit.

Both this business of the gun and smoking bag took place the first
time, I believe, the man conjured.


[Initiations and Conjuring]

There are but few individuals (men) among the Sauteux or Cris or Crees
who have not their medicine bags and [are not] initiated into some
ceremony or other. But it is not _all_ of them who can conjure. Among
some tribes most of them can, and among others again there are but
very few. Nor is it every one of them that tells _all truth_, some
scarcely nothing but lies, others again _Not One_ falsehood. And this
depends upon their _Dreamed_, sometimes. But I think [it] may be equally
imputed to their own selves, [to] presumption, ignorance, folly, or
any other of our passions or weaknesses.


[In Quest of Dreams]

But to become conjurers, they have rites and ceremonies to perform and
go through, which, though apparently simple and absurd, yet, I have no
doubt, but fully answer their ends.

Any person among them wishing to dive into futurity must be young and
unpolluted, at any age between 18 and 25, though as near as I can
learn between 17 and 20 years old. They must have had no intercourse
with the other sex; they must be chaste and unpolluted.

In the spring of the year, they chuse a proper place at a sufficient
distance from the camp not [to] be discovered nor disturbed. They make
themselves a bed of grass, or hay as we term it, and have besides
enough to make them a covering. When all this is done, and they do it
entirely alone, they strip stark naked and put all their things _a good
way off_. And then [they] return, lie on this bed, and then cover
themselves with the rest of the grass. Here they remain and endeavour
to _sleep_, which from their nature is no very difficult task. But
during whatever time they may remain, they must neither eat nor
drink. If they want to dream of the spirits above, their bed must be
made at some distance from the ground--if of the spirits inhabiting our
Earth, or those residing in the waters, {5} on the ground. Here they
lie for a longer or shorter time according to their success or the
orders of the dreamed. Some remain but three or four days, some
ten. And I have [been] told one remained thirty days without eating or
drinking. Such was the delight he received from his dreams!

When I laughed at this, the man was vexed, the others not a little
hurt.

The first thing they do after their return to their friends is to take
a good drink of water, smoke the pipe, and after that eat, but as
composedly as but just risen from a hearty meal. Their _Dreamed_
sometimes order them to make a feast, and not uncommonly tell them
where to go where they will find the animals whose flesh is to be
served up (always boiled). They sometimes lie in one posture and
sometimes another--i.e. their head to some one of the cardinal
points. Some have the most pleasant dreams imaginable, others
indifferent.

When they are to live to a good old age, they are told, "You will see
many winters! Your head will grow quite white." or "Though you shall
never see your head white, yet you shall live till you are obliged to
make use of a stick and long after. You shall die old, very old,
respected and regretted."

If they are to die young: "Thou shalt see the years of a young
man."--and so on of the other ages, as well as the manner of life they
shall have. The language is not very dissimilar to that of our version
of the Bible. But that stile seems to me to be the language of nature
which _I_ always find the more charming the more retired the _speaker_ is
from the pompous bombastic walks of _high_ life, which though they
furnish us with more ideas, _I_ do not think add much to the beauty
of the language.


[Dialogue with a Spirit]

As I have said before, the purpose of these dreams is to dive into
futurity. Everything in nature appears unto them, but in the shape of
a human being. They dream they meet a man who asks them (after some
preliminary conversation of course), "Dost thou know me?" (who or what
I am?).

"No."

"Follow me then!" replies this stranger. The Indian follows. The other
leads him to his abode and again makes the inquiry. The answer is
perhaps as before. Then the stranger assumes his proper form, which is
perhaps that of a tree, a stone, a fish. And after rechanging several
times in this manner, until such time as the Indian becomes perfectly
to know him, then this stranger gives him to smoke, [teaches] him _his_
song, thus addressing him, "Now do you remember my song? Whenever you
will wish to call upon me, sing this song, and I shall not be far. I
will come and do for you what you require."


[Principal Spirits]

They know many of _these Spirits_ as soon as they see them (in their
dreams) by the description the other Indians have given of them. Some,
however, they know from their nature. When the _Snow_ addresses them, he
they know because he is perfectly white--the _Ice_ also. The Sun and Moon
[they know] from their beautiful brilliancy and the elegance of their
abode--the houses of the two last being uncommonly neat and handsome
such as those of {6} the white (i.e. civilized).


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk / Gey-Shay-mani-_to_]

One principal amongst all these, and everything in nature appears at
least to some of them, is the Supreme Being, whom they term
Wee-suck-ā-jāāk (the last a's being pronounced as in 'all', 'hawk' etc.; the
first as ale, bail etc.) i.e. by his proper name, his common name,
Gey-Shay-mani-_to_ (this is among the Crees nation), which signifies
"the Greatly charitable Spirit." He is uncommonly good and kind,
addresses them and talks to them as to children whom he most
tenderly loves and is extremely anxious for.

Thus far everything is very well, and is perhaps a better _idea_ than
many of the vulgar christians can give. But on the other hand again,
their mythology, or stories relating to him, are many of them absurd
and indecent in the highest degree, reducing him to the level of his
creatures, and not unfrequently their making him dupe, but become so
by such vile, such abominable deception as I doubt to be equalled by
the most absurd and romantic of the Arabian tales. For there are many
of these tales the author durst not publish for the obscenity and
indecency. There are some obscene passages also in these tales (of the
Indians) but not more than might be expected from a people yet in a
perfect state of nature as to their mental powers, to our eternal
shame and scandal. This one they love, they love him a great deal, and
are by no means afraid of him, because he always addresses them "my
little children" and all the rest of his character is of a piece with
this.

[Key-jick-oh-kay (Old Nick)]

The next one is Old Nick. Him some term "Key-jick-oh-kay" (The 'J'
being pronounced soft, as Git or Gil, in French, for I know of no
English word where properly speaking the J is of any use and has the
sound seemed intended by it) or "Key-jick-oh-ka_iw_". I cannot at
present give the proper signification of this name for I am not
sufficiently acquainted with the language, but it appears to me as to
mean "he who made the day or skies, or resides in the sky." This one
they represent wicked, and terrible, inexorable to the highest degree,
always plotting evil and endeavouring to circumvent the rest of the
creation. [He] is always jawing and bawling. But when the other
appears, he orders him in a peremptory manner. "Hold thy tongue. Get
thee hence, thou deceiver; thou ill-liver." But these words are
uttered in such an authoratative and commanding tone that the Indians
themselves are quite astonished to see one who is so uncommonly kind
and indulgent to them in every respect, so tender and affectionate,
even in the choice of his words, assume so suddenly and with so much
authority, so much power over one whose name alone they never utter
but with the greatest dread and horror. Their horror of the Devil is
so great, that no one ever utters [his name] but when unavoidable. And
if, through inadvertency or ignorance, one of their children should
mention it, he is severely reprimanded by all who hear.


[Water Lynx]

There is also the Sea Serpent, a monstrous animal and has much
power. {7} The Mermaid (or Sea-Man), the Water Lynx or rather
Tyger--a dreadful character [is] this last, who keeps all the
inhabitants of the deep in the greatest subjection. There are however
one or two who contend with him, and sometimes he is reduced to the
necessity of compounding with them--the Great Turtle, and many
others. They have their abodes in the deep, but perfectly dry and
comfortable. Each one of these, and indeed all of them, have their
stories or mythology. Some I forget entirely and others remember too
incorrectly to mention at present.

{These [spirits], when anyone conjures, if he is a renowned _medicine_
man, _they_ all appear and speak to him, mostly in his own language.
Some few excepted are the _Pike_ (a jack fish) who speaks French, the
Sun and Moon both speak English, the Bull or Buffaloe in an unknown,
or at least strange, language. But all [are] perfectly intelligible
to the conjurer.

I am quite astray--leaving the proper thread of my story to follow one
of its branches. I ought to have said that.}


[Sun]

The Sun, when he appears to an Indian, he is seen in the heavens, as
an Indian (i. e. a man) _walking on the wind_. His dress is of a variety
of colors and handsome.


[A Dream Meeting with Sun]

I had a dream the latter part of which I shall relate to you as it is
perfectly descriptive of the manner or form in which the Sun
appears. I related it the next day to some of my half-breeds, when one
of them replied, "What a pity! Had you now forborne for a few days
mentioning _this_, he would have appeared again to you, and then you
would have had a fine opportunity of learning (from the fountain-head,
as we might say) how it is the Indians come to perform those things
the white will never credit." And he continued that it was precisely
the form he assumed when he appears to the Indians.

In my dream I thought we were travelling a road from which some of our
party had the utmost to dread from the ambush of an Indian who could
transport himself to what place he pleased. As we were walking, I
happened to look above and was much struck with the appearance of a
man walking in the heavens. His dress was that of a neat _Southern_
Indian, composed mostly of red and yellow, but also of a few other
colors. The garters of his leggings were also neat and handsome and
had a tuft of swans-down that had been powdered with vermillion
attached to the knot on the back part of the leg. To his shoes were
attached two long swan quills inclosing the foot thus [Transcriber's
Note: Image of the footwear] with a tuft of down at each end and in
the middle on both sides all powdered with vermillion. With these
quills and down, and the down on his garters, [he was buoyed] up in
the air. I addressed [him] in broken Cree. He answered in the same
broken accent. Upon my second address, I thought he did not understand
more of that language than I did myself. The Sauteux seemed to me his
proper tongue, and I was glad of having an opportunity of speaking
that language. So I the third time addressed him in it, asked him from
whence he came, whither he was going. He was very {8} high, insomuch
that the others thought it preposterous in my addressing him--that he
could not hear from that distance. Upon this he came down and talked
with us, saying he was an _ambassador_. Such is the habillement, and
manner in which the Sun shews himself.


[Thunder]

The Thunder also appears to them, in the shape and form of a most
beautiful bird (The Pea-Cock).


[Roots and Herbs (Medicines)]

Roots and herbs also (this also ought to have come in afterwards),
such as are medicinal, appear, and teach their votaries their
respective songs, how they must do, what ceremonies they must perform
in taking them out of the ground, their different applications. But
these roots [and] herbs (medicines), though they appear in their
dreams, they do not shew themselves in the conjuring hut, box, or
frame, that I learn. They are sent, as appears, by Wee-suck-ā-jāāk, _to
teach Indians their use and virtue_ without which _they would be very
ill off, whether to heal or cure themselves, or expell the charms by
which other Indians may have bewitched them_. And though they are
acquainted with many of these roots, the use and virtue of some of
which I can no more doubt than those used by the faculty in the
civilized world, yet they tell me there are several which they use to
different, and some to diametrically opposite, purposes.


[The Manner of Conjuring]

[Building the Lodge]

Their manner of conjuring is this: In the first place a number [of]
straight poles of two, or two and a half inches diameter and about
eight or nine feet long are prepared, cut, branched and pointed at the
lower end. They seldom require so _few_ as four, commonly six or
eight. These are planted in the ground from twelve to twenty or
twenty-four inches deep in an hexagon or octagon form, enclosing a
space of three feet diameter, more or less. These poles are secured by
hoops, three or four in number, and well tied to each pole, so that
none be able to move without the rest. This hut, square, box, or
frame, whatever it may be termed, is covered with skins, an oil cloth,
or some such sort of thing.


[Preparing the Conjurer]

The conjurer is bound hand and foot, not as if he were a man going to
_pry_ into futurity, but as a criminal, [a] _mere_, pure devil, and one
whom they intend never to loosen, so barricaded and cross-corded is
the creature, sometimes all crumpled into a heap. He is tied only with
his cloute on him, and thus thrust into the hut underneath by raising
the lower covering, his "she-she-quay" or rattler with him.


[Spirits who Enter the Lodge and Interactions with Them]

Some of them sing on entering, others make a speech. Here they remain,
some several hours, others not five minutes, before fluttering is
heard. The rattler is shaked at a merry rate, and all of a sudden,
either from the top, or below, away flies the cords by which the
Indian was tied, _into the lap of he who tied him_. It is then that the
Devil is at work. Every instant some one or other enters, which is
known to those outside by either the fluttering, the rubbing against
the skins of the hut in descending (inside) or the shaking of the
rattler, and sometimes all together. When any enter, the hut moves in
a most violent manner. I have frequently thought that it would be
knocked down, or torn out of the ground.


{9} [Meeh-key-nock (Turtle)]

The first who enters is commonly Meeh-key-nock (the Turtle), a jolly,
jovial sort of a fellow who, after disencumbering his votary, chats
and jokes with those outside and asks for a pipe to smoke. There is a
good deal of talking inside as may be supposed from the number of
folks collected in so small a space.


[Thunder]

To some renowned characters, all the spirits appear. The Thunder also
frequently comes, but he is desired to remain outside as he would
breake all. It is reported that he once entered and split one of the
poles into shivers.


[Flying Squirrel]

The Flying Squirrel also enters. He is no liar, but you must take
every thing he says as we do our dreams, the opposite. His nature is
such that he durst not tell the truth but in this ambiguous manner,
otherwise the conjurer would soon after die.


[Wolverine]

I do not know that the Skunk ever comes. But the Wolverine (Carcajoux)
does and he is known immediately by his stink, which occasions no
small merriment at his expense on the outside.

[Loon]

The _Loon_ also enters. He is known by his usual cry, "Nee-wih wee-way"
repeated commonly three times as he does when in the water. And this
too occasions a great laugh, for these four syllables, which form the
most common cry of that bird in the _spring_ of the year, as every body
may observe, _are_ also three words in the Sauteux and Cree languages,
which signify "I want to marry; I want to marry!"

"What! And will you never have done marrying? You were marrying all
last summer and still want to!" will some outside say. And everyone
has his word to put in.


[Hercules / Strong Neck: Altercation with a Young Man]

_Hercules_ also comes in. He is perhaps as much revered by those people
as even he was by the Spartans or Athenians. His name is _Strong Neck_
(and everybody knows how strong Hercules was). He does not seem over
fond of jokes, and when the other spirits announce his coming, all
those on the outside must cover their heads and not look up, for it
appears that he cannot [become] _invisible_ as the others do, or will
not, but still does not chuse to be seen.

    Once upon a time his arrival was announced, and everybody
    was ordered to cover themselves, so as not to see. (This,
    and all such like orders are commands sent to the conjurer,
    and which he, (being inside) must _promulgate_ to those on the
    outside). There was one young buck, however, who wanted to
    shew himself superior to these orders and divert his friends.
    [He] would not cover himself. Hercules entered, and at that
    time, as at all others, he was not in too good a humor. Some
    altercation ensued and "I am Strong Neck." said he.

    "Pah!" says the young man at last, "The neck of my
    os-Pubis indeed is [as] strong!" This raised a most violent
    laugh. But the young man was lost. He disappeared from amongst
    them, and was never after heard of. Since _that_ time they are
    rather more cautious.


[O-may-me-thay-day-ce-cee-wuck (Ancients or Hairy Breasts)]

Some of the _Ancients_ also enter. They are called
"O-may-me-thay-day-ce-cee-wuck", _Hairy Breasts_ {10} such as the
ancients are said to be. These are great boasters. They recount the
exploits of their younger days apparently with the greatest
satisfaction. [They] say, "I used to do so and so on such occasions. I
never shot a moose or buffaloe, but pursued them on my feet, and
ripped them open with my knife." But this is only _wind_, for no sooner
do other powerful ones enter, but these chaps search to secret
themselves.


[Sun]

The Sun enters, speaks very bad English at the offset, but by degrees
becomes to speak it very easily and fluently. He is gun smith and
watch-maker, or at least can repair them. When he is entered, there is
commonly a beautiful clear light visible, through the covering. He
[too] does not admit of too much familiarity, but is still good
natured and condescending.


[Pike]

The Pike or Jack fish also enters. As the Sun, [he] also speaks
(French,) badly enough at the offset.

    When there are two or three on the outside who can speak
    French
    and address him together, merely to perplex and bother him,
    he laughs at their folly and says, "You may talk twenty or
    a hundred of you together if you chuse, yet are you not able
    to perplex me. Come as numerously as you chuse, yet are
    there many more of us _Pike_ than you Frenchmen."

He is very familiar too.


[Buffaloe]

The Bull, or Buffaloe is understood only by the conjurer, his voice
being hoarse, and rough, his language quite foreign. The conjurer must
interpret when anything is wanted of him. As is his voice, so are his
manners. However, he will joke a little too. But let them beware not
to let drop anything in a sarcastic or contemptuous manner as to his
power or knowledge of the future for he takes it up and reproves in a
very tart manner. And [he does this] in a way too that conveys no
comfortable ideas to anyone present, for they all endeavour to excuse
it by saying it is only a joke. "I know jokes too; and I can laugh and
understand the nature of laughing as well as the best amongst you. But
such language is unbecoming, and I will have no more of it!"


[Omniscience of Spirits]

  A half breed one time, _because his father was a Frenchman_,
  thought he might go any lengths he pleased with him (the
  Buffaloe). He replied very warmly thus:

    "How durst thou doubt anything I say! Knowest thou not
    how clearly and distinctly objects are discovered and seen
    in a plain from an eminence? And my abode is in the regions
    above. I see every object as distinctly as you see at your
    feet. Doubt then no more, and never hereafter call our power
    to question."

    "Aye!" replied some of the other spirits, "We not only see
    _all that you do, however secret and hid you think yourselves_,
    but we also hear every word you utter."

    "If that indeed be the case, tell me where now are and when
    will be here my father's countrymen?" {The conjurer had been
    employed to tell what the people were about, as it was long
    since the time they were expected, and ought to have arrived,
    had elapsed.}

    "Wait! I shall go and see." And shortly after he returned.
    "They are now all asleep at such a place. The weather will be
    calm tomorrow, and, though the {11} distance is great, yet will
    you see them tomorrow night, for they are as anxious as
    yourselves."

    Another one said, "Since then ye Spirits pretend to know
    everything and are vexed when we call any of your sayings
    in question, come tell me how long shall I live? Shall I yet
    see two more winters?"

    "Ha!" (laughing replied the same voice) "Two winters? I see
    you all yet alive two winters hence. Every soul that sits here
    and considerably more; and some of you I see crawling with old
    age!"


[Showing the Turtle Spirit]

With some of the Spirits, as I've already said, the bystanders (or
setters, for they are seated on the ground round about) are very
familiar. The Turtle is one of them. He is very humorsome, and their
jokes with him were such (for I've heard this myself) as I should have
been ashamed to hold even with a bawd. It was pure _ribaldry_. But they
durst not doubt him when he speaks seriously, for he is very powerful,
and makes himself respected when he thinks it necessary.

"Who is that now speaking?" said one of the Indians. (This I was
told.)

"It is Mihkenach," said the conjurer.

"If it be him, prove it. Take him in your hand and show him to us."
Now the conjurer was a very great medicine man. He took the turtle
upon his hand, raised the covering of his _box_, and called them to
look. Every one was astonished at his beauty. He was very small,
scarcely more than two inches long. When all had gazed enough, the
conjurer drew him in.

The Turtle was very quiet while out, but as soon as he got in
exclaimed, "Oh! how afraid I was when I saw the children look so
eagerly. I was afraid some of them would have attempted to take me in
their hands and let me fall, perhaps in the fire." and laughed
heartily.


[Bear]

The Bear is a rough beast and makes a devil of a racket.


[Keyjickahkaiw]

Towards the latter end, Master Keyjickahkaiw, that old serpent Satan,
enters. His arrival is announced. All hands are grieved for then the
conclusion is soon to take place. He makes everything fly again,
kicking up his own (the Devil's) racket, jawing and blabbing, scolding
and giving the lie to and abusing all hands. The Indians are hurt and
displeased, but durst not say anything. They must swallow all quietly
And then it is that the conjurer most dreads for his own _bacon_. This
however does not last very long, for Wee-suck-ā-jāāk (the Supreme Being)
enters last. As soon as his coming is announced, Nick begins to sneak,
but still _en maitre_. Wee-suck-ā-jāāk enters, Nick _jaws_, silence is
imposed, Nick [is] still troublesome. At last the word comes
authoratatively and away _he_ flies.


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk]

The Indians are uncommonly fond of Wee-suck-ā-jāāk. He commonly speaks
to this effect.

    My Little (Grand) Children, I am very indulgent and kind. I
    am very charitable, and love you much, a great deal more than
    you imagine. You must not live ill, nor make a bad use of your
    power and knowledge, for I hate that. Hence it is I command
    Nick in that authoratative manner, {12} because he is wickedly
    inclined. Mischief and destruction are in his nature; he
    grieves at any good he sees. Take ye heed, beware of him, for
    he is ever on the watch to destroy you.

When _Charly_ enters, after some abuse, he calls out, "Get ye hence,
get ye hence. What are ye doing so long from your home? Off with ye
immediately!". And [he] rubs up and down the skins that form the
covering lest any should be hid. Thus he sends off all the spirits,
who, as they _fly_ off, as well as when they enter, give this frame a
terrible shaking. It may be supposed what sort of a shaking he gives
as he comes and goes, and how he shakes the rattler;--for they all
shake the rattler on entering. When Wee-suck-ā-jāāk goes off all is
done.


[Practices of Powerful Conjurers]

Some conjurers are so powerful that the _hut_ they enter, must be
doubled; that is two rows or sets of poles, one on the outside [of]
the other, and each row fastened with good strong hoops well tied,
after which the outer and inner row are also fastened. Thus arranged
they seem to be beyond the power of any three or four men to move. Yet
when the spirits enter, it sets a-going with a motion equal to that of
a single pole indifferently stuck in the ground and violently moved by
a man.

I have never seen any of these double ones, but twice or thrice saw
the others whilst the conjurer was in. Some time afterwards, when they
were off, I shook them with both hands and with all my strength, but
the motion was nothing like that of the conjurers. I have been told
that those [conjurers] who enter these double ones are so powerful
that almost all the creation comes to see them, and [the poles] are
shaken with uncommon violence.

This motion, the conjurers say, is produced by the concussion of the
air. The spirits come and enter with such velocity that it is the _wind
they produce_ which occasions it. The conjurer is all the while seated
peaceably in the bottom, (on the ground) of his hut.

Some of them to shew their power have had small sticks of the hardest
wood (such as produces the wild pear, and of which the Indians make
their arrows, and ram-rods for guns) about the size of a man's finger,
made as sharp-pointed as possible and dried, when they become in
consequence nearly as dangerous as iron or bayonets. Some have
eighteen, twenty-four, more or less, though seldom less than eighteen
planted in the bottom of their hut. They are about twelve or fourteen
inches out of the ground.

On the points of these sticks is the conjurer placed, sometimes on his
bottom, at others on his knees and elbows. And there he remains as
quietly and composedly as if he were on "_a bed of roses_". And when he
comes off, no marks of injury appear, though he entered naked, only
his cloute about him, and of course the cords with which he is
tied. _Their familiars (their dreamed, or those who appear to them in
their dreams and promise them their assistance and protection) support
them so that no injury happens them!!!_


{13} [Mythology]


[North Wind and his Daughter (The Birth of Wee-suck-ā-jāāk and Mishabôse)]

March 29th.--I feel but very indifferently disposed to write, but I am
on the eve of an accumulation of business and may not after a few days
have the necessary time, so that I shall [take the] risk.

A couple of days back, I have been conversing with a Cree (Indian) who
_piecemeal_ gives me the following account of their mythology:

The North (Wind), apparently one of oldest of created rational beings,
thus addressed his daughter, his only child, "My daughter! Be very
careful, and remember that anything you do, or wherever you go, on
turning yourself, turn _always in the same direction with the sun, and
never in a contrary direction_."

Now women are a compound of perverseness, obstinacy and curiosity, and
withall forgetful enough too _sometimes_. This girl, one day she was
chopping fire-wood. Without thinking of her father's admonition, in
going to another tree, [she] turned round to the right in a contrary
direction to the sun, and instantly fell to the ground and died.

The time she used to take up in this occupation being expired, her
parents became very uneasy, and after some search, found her on her
_back_ dead, and her belly [swollen] to an enormous size. The father and
mother, on each or opposite sides, contemplated her situation with
great grief. At last the father arose, stood up, and made a long
speech, praying to "The Father of Life" to have mercy and compassion
on his child.

His speech was not ineffectual. The girl was delivered of a boy, and
shortly after, of another. The elder was called Wee-suck-ā-jāāk; the
younger "Mi (or Mee) shaw-bôse". After this the girl recovered and
became as aforetime. These two young men immediately attained "man's
estate", manhood, and became hunters.


[Death of Mishabôse]

The younger of the two one day was in pursuit of a grey or rein deer
(carriboeuf), after which also pursued a wolf. The deer, having thus
no hopes of escape, fled to a rock on the edge of the waters and
plunged in. Mishabôse and the wolf followed. But they all three became
a prey to the Michi-Pichoux, or Great Lynx, i.e. Water Lynx,
Water-Cat, or Water Dog.


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk and Kingfisher]

Wee-suck-ā-jāāk was very uneasy for his brother. [He] was anxious to
revenge his death, but scarcely knew well how. At last one day, seeing
a Kingfisher hovering in a certain spot, [ Wee-suck-ā-jāāk] addressed
him thus, "My younger brother! What art thou there looking at?"

"I am looking at Mishabôse, your brother, lying in the bottom of the
deep, drowned."


[Myths of the Flood]


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk's Revenge on the Sea Lynxes]

After some further conversation, Wee-suck-ā-jāāk discovered the means of
avenging himself. He accordingly set to work and made himself a _large
canoe_ on board of which he embarked the Moose, Deer, Bear, Otter,
Beaver, Muskrat, Wolf [and others] and repaired to the place where the
Sea Lynxes used to resort to sleep. This was a fine, pleasant place on
the land. Here he observed several of them and began his work. It is
not related how many he did kill, but the water upon their death came
rushing upon him in a violent torrent.

As he expected this, he had brought his canoe near hand. But before he
reached it, after killing his enemies, he was already knee-deep {14}
in the water. However, he got safely on board, but in his hurry [he]
forgot to embark a little earth.

Now the waters swelled immensely, and in a very short time the highest
land was covered, and Wee-suck-ā-jāāk was tossed about by the wind and
water. It appears that he had not the foresight either of taking with
him sufficiency of provisions, for he became very hungry, and thus
expressed himself to his crew.


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk Tricks a Water Lynx and Beaver]

After some time he saw something on the water, very large and moving
toward him. He thus addressed it, "Who or what art thou my younger
brother?" (For he, being the first born, always addressed the rest of
the creation, whether animate, inanimate, or rational or not, as his
_younger brothers._) "And whither art thou going?"

"Why, my elder (brother), I am a _water lynx_, and am sent by
_confrers_ in search of Wee-suck-ā-jāāk and to destroy him!

"Aye! Is it so indeed? And how or with what instrument do you intend
to destroy him?"

"I have a large and very strong iron tail, with which if I smite his
canoe he must perish!"

Wee-suck-ā-jāāk, seeing his danger, thought to get off by duplicity and
dissimulation, and thus continued, "Indeed you must have a very
extraordinary _tail_, my _younger_ [brother] .... Come near and let me
see it, how it is made."

The Lynx drew up, presented his tail. Wee-suck-ā-jāāk took hold as to
look on it, and placed it on the gunnel of his canoe and with a stone
cut it off saying, "Now go to thy friends, and tell them how
Wee-suck-ā-jāāk has served thee."

He retired double quick, grieved, ashamed, and not with a little pain.

"Ha!" said the Water Lynxes on perceiving the situation of their
companion, "Ha! Wee-suck-ā-jāāk is cunning, and too powerful. We must
destroy him for our own safety. Come now. Who amongst us will
volunteer, and go to destroy that enemy of ours?"

They at last pitched upon an enormous beaver and thus addressed him at
his departure. "Go thou, our brother. Destroy that mutual enemy of
ours. Be not afraid of him for he is not worthy of fear. But still be
cautious, for he is very artful."

Wee-suck-ā-jāāk descryed him also, and the same addresses and
compliments passed as with the first. "And how do you intend to
destroy Wee-suck-ā-jāāk?"

"With my teeth."

"Well then do come near and let me see them."

The beaver drew up, and shewed his teeth. Wee-suck-ā-jāāk put his hand
on his head and while exclaiming "What terrible teeth! How immensely
broad and sharp! They are like large axes!" He, with his other hand,
took up a large stone and with a dreadful blow broke them all in his
head. "Now go thou too to your friends and tell them how
Wee-suck-ā-jāāk hath served thee."

Indeed the beaver did go, sniffling and blowing and yelling. The
Lynxes were astonished and durst no more attempt anything at him.


[Recreation of the Land]

His situation, however, was very disagreable, very uncomfortable, and
what added to it was his want of food. He thus addressed his
companions one day, "Come now, we very reprehensibly forgot to bring
earth with us, and who knows how long this will {15} continue? Which
of you all will endeavour to get a little earth for me out of which I
shall try to make _land_ for us to live on? Whoever will go shall be
amply rewarded."

They all said it was very deep. There was scarcely an hope.

Then he said to the Otter, "Go thou, my _Younger_ (brother), and if
thou diest in the attempt, I shall restore thee to life, and make
thee immortal." Saying this he tied a long leather thong to his tail
and sent him down. He found the otter was dead, hauled him up in to the
canoe, rubbed him dry and blowed in his nostrils, when he revived.

Then he sent the Musk Rat. "Come, my little brother, go thou, thou art
small and very active, art fond of the water, and goeth to great
depths. Thy reward shall be as that of the Otter." The rat was secured
with a thong also, and down he went. Wee-suck-ā-jāāk found he was dead,
hauled him up, and was extremely happy to find he had some earth in
his little paws and mouth. He restored him to life as he did the
otter, and sent him down again. When he brought [him] up, his mouth
[was] as full as it could hold, and a good deal [was] in his _hands_
which he held pressed to [his] breast.

Now Wee-suck-ā-jāāk took this earth and made a ball of it, and blew [on]
it a considerable time. And [he] sent off the Wolf to make its circuit
to see if it was large enough.

[Wolf Surveys the Land]

After four nights he returned and thus spake, "My Elder, the earth is
indeed large and beautiful, but our number now is small. When we will
increase, it will be too small for us. We will be all upon top of each
other." (We will be in each other's way etc.) "And if you make man as
you contemplate, it will be much more so."

Wee-suck-ā-jāāk then blew it out again and once more sent the wolf. He
was eight nights absent, and reported it still too small.
Wee-suck-ā-jāāk then blew it out for a long time and sent the wolf again.

But before he went off he said, "My Elder, the Earth must now be very
large, and I shall possibly be too much wearied to make its circuit. I
shall traverse, and if I find anything to assure me of its being large
enough, I shall _howl_, which will be a sign to you. And whatever place
may suit me, there will I make my residence."

After several nights absence they heard him howl, wherefore they all
concluded the Earth was sufficiently large.

Wee-suck-ā-jāāk then _blessed_ the others and sent them away telling
them to multiply, "and be good, not vicious or ill inclined, nor secret
or hide [yourselves] too much from _my_ little brothers, (the human
beings, which he was about to create) when they might want to eat."


[Creation of Humans]

Now after this he became very lonesome and bethought himself of making
_Indians_, human beings. He, in consequence, took up a stone and
fashioned it into the form of a man. But whilst at this work, it
struck him that by forming them of so strong and hard a substance
that, in time when they would [come] to know their nature, they would
grow insolent and rebellious, and be a great annoyance to each other,
and of course also would never die. "This will not do. {16} I must
make them of a more weake and fragible substance so that they may live
a reasonable time and behave as becomes human beings." Upon this he
took up a handful of common earth and made the form of a man, and blew
into his nostrils _the breath of life_.

The Moon formed the female as Wee-suck-ā-jāāk did the male, hence the
reason of the periodical return of their sickness with that of the
Moon, "as also among the sluts" (bitches). Hence also all women are
forbidden, when they go out from the calls of nature, and that _one_
in particular, to look at the moon while thus employed. Those who are
thus forgetful, ignorant or obstinate immediately find the effect by
the return.

I should have said that he bruised the stone to pieces, although a
great part of it was already formed.

For the white (I believe it was the Moon again), he made a partner for
him of one of his ribs and another piece, which he wrapped in a
handkerchief and laid beside him saying, "This, by the time thou
risest, shall be a full grown woman and shall be thy companion."


[Separation of Land into Plains and Woods]

After all this done, he made a separation in the Earth, one part of
which was a beautiful, plain meadow ground, and the rest woody.


[Wee-suck-ā-jāāk Travels the Earth, Has a Son, Becomes a Woman]

And then [he] set off travelling in the Earth. He took a partner to
himself by whom he had a son. This soon got to man's estate, but had a
great aversion to the female sex, which gave his parents a great deal
of anxiety. All their trouble, all their remonstrances, were to no
effect. At last the father bethought of a plan in which he was sure of
success.

[He] transformed himself into a most beautiful woman. And when the son
was returned from his hunting, "Well son!" said the mother, "Here is a
young and handsome woman we have procured merrily for thee. Does she
please thee?"

Her _charms_ were so great the young man immediately became extremely
fond of her. But this, in the end, became the source of much trouble
to both parents--and of disgrace to the father particularly. The mother
became jealous and vexed on her son's account that he should so
[impose], and [do] many shameful things to her husband.

Here follows a train of stories, the most indecent and shameful and
sometimes obscene that one can well imagine. But these people are yet,
so far as regards their faculties, in a state of nature. Everything
appears reasonable and natural and must be very gross and palpable
indeed when they do not give credit to [it].


[Language Use]

Their language is also that of nature, and they speak out what they
think. They do not use circumlocution to avoid an indecent term, nor
have they flourishes to embellish their discourses. And their
speeches, to my taste at least, are far more pleasing and natural than
those strained and laboured compositions we meet with amongst
ourselves. But this is not the place for these discussions.


{17} [Conversations]

_April 4th, 1823_. There is a sick Indian with me whom I have been
obliged to feed with his whole family all winter, not being able to
endure the cold on his lungs, and in a manner deserted by his
friends. To get as near the truth as I can possibly do in all things
relating to their mythology, I frequently converse with him on these
subjects. And when _not forbidden by his Dreamed or familiars_, [he]
is explicit enough. A few nights back he thus informed me upon the
several questions I proposed.


[The Figure in the Dream is Sickness]

The one that I saw in my dream, as above related, _is not the Sun_, as
my half-breeds told me. The Sun is dressed like a gentleman, [in] a
short coat, waistcoat, short breeches, stockings, boots, a hat and a
beautiful feather stuck in it. He speaks English and the rest as
mentioned above.

But the one I mentioned above, is Sickness, or the Plague. There are
four of them: two walking in the air as I mentioned, and two _in_ the
earth--in the bowels of the earth at a certain moderate distance from
the surface, perhaps in the same _proportion_ as those who are above.


[Sickness Gives Warning of Diseases]

The Indian thus relates of him:

    When I was a young man, he appeared to me and told me his
    name was Sickness, and that every time a _general_ sickness
    was to take place amongst us, he would come and forewarn me.

    See, four winters ago (in 1819), after we had taken debt in
    the fall and were proceding, each of us, to our hunting grounds,
    he appeared to me one night and said, "I am come to tell you to
    get out of the way of all _large waters_ (lakes and rivers) and
    pitch off immediately into the woods. Be cautious, also select
    proper ground for an encamping. Never pitch your tents in large
    high woods particularly of the pine kind, chuse _low woods_ to
    encamp in. And never look up to gaze lest I see you see and you
    be smitten. Keep off always from large waters, for I am on a
    circuit round the earth. I shall follow the travelling waters
    (the routes or roads usually frequented or navigated), and
    smite all those I there find with sickness. In the interior
    or to one side I shall not go. Tell this to the Indians that
    they keep out of the way."

It was that year that the _measles_ made such havock in some places.
He thus continued:

    This last fall (in December) I saw him again. He told me he
    was on another circuit and intended making a large selection,
    passing through the plains and coming down again this way. He
    said he would pass when the leaves would be rather large
    (about the 20th June, in these parts) and told me as before
    to admonish everybody to keep out of the way of _large waters_
    [and] trees.

    "It is not my doings, nor is it my choice that I thus _prowl_
    through the earth." said he. "But I am sent, and cannot resist."

    Now we will be again this spring visited with some sickness,
    but I cannot tell which--it is a breaking out in the flesh.
    And his appearing {18} to you (me) is a sign that he will
    certainly pass.

I then asked him if he intended telling the other Indians of it.

"I shall tell my Elder (brother), but not the others, for they
won't believe me."

He was very diffident. He wanted to communicate to me all he was told.
But [he] said he durst not lest he should injure himself by exasperating
the other (_Sickness_) and being _enigmatically_ forbidden!

"He told me," continued the Indian, "as a sign, that two of our number
should die this winter: one a small one, (and _he_ is dead, naming to
me a child that had died about that time, though very distant then from
him) and the other a full grown person. Whom he is I know not, _but one
must die_!"


[Reappearances of Spirits in Dreams]

These chaps [spirits] seldom appear (in dreams) less than four times,
but commonly six times, and each time in a different form until the
last, when he _makes himself known_. And ever after [the spirit] appears
(or rather [they] appear) in the same uniform manner. It is then,
after they have made themselves completely known to their votaries,
that they communicate their power and teach their _songs_ which, though
in their dreams, are so indelibly imprinted in their memories that
they are never forgotten. For every one of these spirits, genii,
demons, phantasies, or whatever you may please to term them, have each
their _song_ which they communicate to their votaries, as well as
explain also their power. Hence it is, that when any one amongst them
has dreamed of a certain number, commonly a good many, twenty, thirty,
or perhaps a thousand, that they can _conjure_ when they please. For
these, like the guardian genii in the fables, keep always near them,
and protect them from _too_ much injury from the evil machinations of
some of the mischievous ones.


[Malevolent Spirits (Need for Regular Sacrifices)]

Indeed, from what I can learn, there are but few of these _familiars_
but do do evil to their votaries if they, the votaries, the Indians,
neglect performing the regular, annual, or perhaps more distant
periodical sacrifice. And [for these sacrifices], their _familiar_
tells them what it is he expects.


[Accounts of Pahkack]


[Attacks at Home and While Hunting]

A few days ago in the night between the 31st March and 1st April, this
Indian was sleeping in an old house I sent him to when, at a late hour
in the night, he was pulled most violently out of his bed so that his
wife, that was lying beside him, awoke and with difficulty kept him
down, though he also struggled himself to make his _familiar_ leave his
hold. And the house shook violently.

The next day he sent me his wife to ask a little grease to make a
sacrifice. (Burnt offering. *God forgive me the comparison, which by
the bye, is not meant to ridicule, but is really the case.) I gave her
a little, and the husband came the same evening to sleep with us. Upon
enquiry, he told me thus:

    It was a _Skeleton_. He _was_ displeased with me because I did not
    make him my usual offering. And yet he knows that I am _pitiful_,
    that I cannot move to hunt myself, but am beholding to others
    for every mouthful I and my family eat. But they are wicked
    when they think themselves {19} neglected or abandoned, and
    think nothing of carrying off an Indian and throwing him in
    some distant place, dangerous precipice, or other place where
    he must perish if not succored by some other more kind one.

"Some years back," continued he,

    I went out one night in the fall to hunt moose. I had tied
    my canoe very securely in the rushes and there was waiting
    alone to hear the moose either come to the lake, or cry
    after the dam, for it was in the rutting season.

(And the Indians commonly go out in this manner at that season, for
the buck has a certain cry which he makes at that time, either to call
the female, or as with the domestic cattle, to exult, as one might
think, from their capers.)

    I all at once heard far ahead of me cries of "Heh! Heh!
    Heh!" (or "Hayh!", or "Haih!") sudden, quick, coming in the
    air, and directly towards me.

    "Oh! Now," said I, "I am gone!"

    Indeed he came. I _cringed_ and laid myself as low in my
    canoe as possible. But he came straight to me, took me up
    and threw me in the water, all the time crying, "He! He!"
    I then endeavoured to take out my _fire-bag_; but this he
    would not let me do. Having then no alternative, I was
    obliged to make for the shore as well as I could, he all
    the time crying in the same manner just above my head, as
    if he intended absolutely my death. However, I reached the
    shore, though with the greatest difficulty. Then I took
    some dry grass which I rubbed and bruised 'till it became
    soft and put it under my arm pits and crumpled myself into a
    small heap and remained 'till the sun began to warm when I
    swam back to my canoe. He kept hovering over me all night and
    until the Sun was pretty high, always making the same cry.
    Though when he found me so benumbed with cold on my
    debarkation, he laughed, "Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Today (Apr. 4th) he asked me for a needle and thread to sew the sleeve
of his capot which this _ghost_! had torn in his endeavours to carry
him off the other night. Whilst he was sewing, "How he has vexed me,"
said he, "by tearing my old coat. But I am afraid of him."

[Making Offerings at a Hunting Camp]

He related me another story of _them_ as follows.

    I went out one time a hunting beaver with a friend of mine.
    It was a long distance from our lodges. We killed six beavers,
    and slept out. I awoke in the night and was much astonished
    to observe a man seated on the opposite side of the fire,
    resting his head on both hands, with his elbows on his knees
    apparently in a very pensive, sullen manner. He had but skin
    and bone--not the least particle of flesh; and _this_ one had
    hair on his bony head.

    I gently pushed my friend and told him to look at _that
    stranger_. We were both extremely agitated in consequence
    of our fear, and were at a loss what to do.

    Having no alternative I arose. Conceiving he came to ask
    for something to eat, I took a beaver, cut it in two and
    presented him the half of it. He did not deign to look at
    it. I was much afraid. I then bethought of cutting it into
    mouthfuls, which after presenting him, I threw into the
    fire. Thus I did with the whole, and when done, he arose
    and walked off peaceably in the _air_.


{20} [Description of Pahkack]

This sort they term _Pâh-kàck_, Skeletons, or such as die of hunger, or
some that die extremely lean, whether from the consumption or other
sickness. These, many of them, when they have nothing but just the
mere skin and bone remaining, some of them in this situation,
disappear from the earth and go to reside with all those who have
already departed in that distressed state. This band, or congregation,
[has] a head or chief. Their color is commonly green, though sometimes
black. And it is extremely uncommon when one has even any hair, being
bald--as if a blown bladder.

They sometimes are heard in the day; the [noise] is sometimes as of a
quantity of dried bones rattled or shaken in a forcible manner in a
kettle. And sometimes [they are heard], as above related, making that
same monotonous but frightful cry of "He'h! He'h!" very quick and
with an abrupt termination.


[The Feast to Pahkack]

The sacrifice they offer to these is grease, generally a large bladder
full, and of the best kind. All the natives present are
invited. Tobacco, of course, goes before everything else. He who makes
the feast or his assistant most commonly lights, or fills rather, the
pipes of all who smoke. But when it is [lighted], it is first
presented to that quarter where _these_ are supposed to reside (I
believe in the northwest or west), then to the cardinal points, then
to the (bladder of) grease which is put in a dish fit to contain it
and covered with down.

Some of them have a small board about twenty or twenty-four inches
long, flat, painted with red earth, and a head made to it, of the same
piece, and flat as the rest. At a certain distance below the neck, as
we might suppose the shoulders, other small pieces made in the same
form and about three or four inches long are stuck in each side at
short distances, reaching to the ground--the lower end being small, and
the head end would bear some resemblance to the ribs or arms were
there not so many, by their being somewhat in a hanging form.

After smoking and some speeches in which these ghosts are addressed,
he who makes the feast _waves_ it three times crying "He! He!" very loud
for a good many times. And [he] then presents it to this board which
is intended as a representative of the Pahkack, desiring _him_ to accept
it and be propitious and merciful to them, neither to injure them nor
their _little ones_.

Then he dances three times round the tent (in the inside), and when he
comes to the fourth time, the one seated next him (in the direction of
the sun) rises. He makes a feint of offering it twice to the one who
rises, who in his turn _does_ as if he was going to receive it. And the
third time it is thrown into his hands. This one makes a double turn
upon his heels and dances or _trots_ once round the tent, and the [one]
next him seated rises to take it in his turn with the same ceremony
'til all have passed. Then it comes into the master's hands again who
reperforms the same ceremonies once more, puts down the grease, cuts
it up, and shares to every male or widow present, in proportion to
their numbers (the families they may have).

Shortly after my arrival here this last fall, they invited me through
compliment to two of these feasts. I went both times {21} merely to
have a better opportunity of making my observations, which are as
above, as near as I can bring them.

But my mind was too much disturbed with reflections which soon became
so melancholy that I had nothing to bestow on what was going on. "Poor
unfortunate creatures!" I often exclaimed to myself.

    Ye are desirous, nay anxious, to perform your duties to
    your maker, but know not how. If you only knew how he
    abominates this ceremony which you perform with so much
    devotion! How soon would you cast off all your superstitions,
    and rather live without any religion at all, and risk all
    upon chance, than perform sacrifices, for aught I know, to
    demons!

I shall not here enter upon these reflections further, suffice the
above for they are too long, too frequent. And besides, I wish to
sacrifice the little paper I have remaining to such other things as I
have, and which I think may not be quite uninteresting to you. Had
there been but their speeches and the ceremonies, I should not perhaps
have thought so deeply. But their cries of "He! He!" and "Ha! Ha!"
[were] so repeated and vociferous, that I was struck with a certain
horror and thought that half of the devils in hell had entered the
throats of these men to give _me_ an idea of their pandemonium
below. Good God! What a miserable reflection! But how much moreso the
occasion leading to it!


[Roots and Medicines]

Notwithstanding, they sometimes _Dream_ of roots (medicines). There is
a certain place, according to their notions, consecrated to _Esculapius_
(and perhaps Apollo also, conjointly). It is depicted as a most
heavenly abode, so delightful.


[The Abode of the Medicine Spirit]

He (_Esculapius_) resides in a mountain, in the bowels of which is his
house. It has six doors, but so mysteriously constructed that no soul
whatever besides himself and his _inmates_, of whom there are a great
number (of every nation and language), can open them.

The lock apparently is in the form of a screw, or spiral, and is
opened on the inside, but only to such as Esculapius deems worthy of
admission. These doors open _to_ different quarters, the house being
immensely large and, as above mentioned, in the bowels of ye mountain.

_In_ this residence is of every medicine useful in life such as do not
_vegetate_--minerals [and] fossils. These are shown to the votary. He is
instructed in their use, the manner of preparing and mixing them, the
ceremonies, songs and sacrifices to be performed in their application,
taking of them up, or in instructing _others_, because it is not every
_Indian_ that is favored with these dreams.

The mountain is of a moderate size, and there issue from it forty
rivers which fall into a lake not far from the _base_ and situated in a
beautiful plain. This lake is shallow and has some handsome sandy
shoals, and in the borders of it in the water grow beautiful
_rushes_. The water in every one of these rivers is of a different
color, no two being alike; one is black, another white, red, green,
blue, _ash-color_. _In_ the latter grow herbs and plants of a vast
variety, as also their nature.


[Teaching the Medicines to the Votary]

In the sides of the mountain are of every herb and plant that grows in
any part of the world whatever. When any one of them {22} (of the
Indians I mean) is thus favored, he appears first at these rivers when
the head or chief of the mountain comes out. [He] [accosts] [the
Indian] in a friendly manner. And after some conversation, he is
introduced into the interior of the house where he is astonished to
find people of every nation and language in the earth. But if I can
form a right opinion, there are but few of each language.

They are seated in four rows--their seats being something like those of
a theatre, semicircular and rising a little one above the other. These
are all doctors, and it is their business to instruct the _votary_ in
the object of his mission. They have a great quantity of medicines
already prepared of such as are produced in the bowels of the earth,
such as minerals, stones, shells. And most, or many of these, are hung
up in the house.

Here he is taught how and in what manner to prepare these, as also the
songs and sacrifices appropriate to each different one or sort. When
on the outside, or out of doors, he is shown all the roots, herbs,
plants, and is taught the respective song (of each) or of any
particular one, or number, or such only as grow in the climate he
inhabits. Both the songs and the plant, [the] herb, are so indelibly
imprinted on his mind (or memory), though he had never seen them
before, or should not happen to meet with any of them for years
afterwards, yet on his first view, he immediately recognises them and
every circumstance that had been instructed him, as if he had passed a
regular apprenticeship. This may seem very extraordinary, if not
indeed absurd, to people unacquainted with them, but still it is no
less a positive fact.

These rivers, waters, are of different colors. So also is the _rapidity_
of each stream, some of them moving in a turbulent and awful manner,
as the rapids and eddies at the foot of large falls, some moving in
large majestic waves like the swells of a large deep lake agitated by
the wind, and some in a beautiful smooth current, down which the
_canoes_ are scarcly perceived to move. These are the tokens or signs or
emblems of the manner of _our_ lives here below so far as regard to
health and sickness. And of course the description requires no further
explanation.

In some of these rivers grow herbs or plants which themselves, as well
as their roots, are a rank, deadly poison, more or less. And their
effects, when any demon-spirited wretch employs them as instruments of
vengeance, though I have known none to carry off the object
_immediately_, yet have a most melancholy, baneful effect. Some of
[these plants are] exactly similar (in their effects) to _Lunar
Caustic_, and oftentimes with an additional _humiliating_ effect (but
more of this hereafter). And some deprive the object of every one of
his senses but that of feeling. A melancholy instance of this I saw in
the Spring of 1813 and sufficient of itself to _[emolliate]_ a
heart of adamant!

Sometimes Esculapius will not instruct his votary in their use,
satisfying himself with telling them _they are bad medicines_, or
perhaps not mentioning them at all. To others again he [will explain]
every _circumstance_ relating to them, but with a _most strict_ {23}
injunction never to employ them at his _Peril_:

    ... unless you wish to die. I teach you all these these
    things because I love you, and know your heart to be
    compassionate. But _mind my words_, if ever you employ them
    with an ill or evil _view_, thou shalt die! Other _Indians_ as
    well as thyself love life. It is sweet to everybody; render
    it therefore not a burthen or _disgrace_; and I _hate_ those
    who thus abuse my confident affection!

They are also forbidden, sometimes as strictly, and for the same
reasons, instructing others in their use. Notwithstanding this great
love and cautious diffidence of Esculapius, there are other malignant
powers who teach them and encourage their use. Hence those distressing
objects I cannot here, for the want of paper, speak of.


[Stones and Their Virtues]

What I have mentioned of minerals, which from their description are
indeed really such--minerals, yet I cannot take upon myself from my
slender knowledge of their language and _technical_ terms, to _assure_
you that they are prepared after _our_ manner, by chemical
processes. Mercury, sulphur, saltpetre or nitre, I do not know that
they have. But there being french, english, german, and, from the
description, greek and hebrew doctors among the number, I should not
suppose it preposterous in concluding that they have them all in the
same way as ourselves.

But from what I can learn, it is _stones_, that is some particular kinds
of them, that are most used, such as _talc_, pumice stones and various
other kinds. These they are shewn how to reduce to powder, and with
what water, out of which river (or colored water if you please), the
water is taken to mix up these powders. _With the roots and herbs it is
different. _They are boiled_. These _stones_ (for they are most commonly
thus denominated by them) are held in very great repute by them,
though many of them that have been shewn me as possessing wonderful
virtues, I considered as very common and foolish or at least harmless
things.

Here! I am again digressing, which is everlastingly the case with me
when not in the _humor_ of scribbling. I should have mentioned first
(because as you may see, I have begun _this_ story in the _middle_
instead [of] at either of the two ends) that when they want to dream of
these things, as well as of any other particular thing, they must fast,
and lay down to sleep, keeping their minds as free as possible from any
other thoughts whatever, and wholly bent and employed on that
particular one alone.

I also should have observed in the proper place that the door [at
which] the votary is introduced [through] is exactly in the middle of
these rivers, there being twenty on each side of the door. The use [or]
intent of the other five doors I never thought to enquire, and must
leave you to guess as well as myself 'till such times as I can get
this matter explained.


[Songs and Notes]

Their songs are delivered in _notes_, impressed or drawn on bark, in
the form of hierlographics, and thus taught. And being hierlographics,
(and not very dissimilar to those anciently used by the egyptians, nay
indeed, I have reason to think from what I have seen of both, that any
_learned_ man being perfectly acquainted with the one could trace a
great deal in the other, but this opinion I hazard from my own
ignorance), no two are alike. It therefore requires {24} him to learn
them, that is [every] _one_ of them. For those notes are not like
ours, _marked_ with regular bars so that one gamut serves for all. But
with them, each one may be said to be itself a _gamut_. However, I
have reason to think that they are regular and uniform. For many years
ago, when I was still scarcely more than a boy, I remember throwing
away the contents of one these medicine bags in which there were
several strips of bark covered with these notes. An Indian happened to
be by. He took one up and with the point of his knife, placing it on
one of these, began to sing moving the knife regularly as children do
when they begin to learn their a, b, c.

This surprised me a little at the time, for the Indian was a stranger
and had but lately arrived from his own lands that were several
hundred miles off. After laughing at and ridiculing him, as is the
custom with us, I asked how he could make them out?

"The same," said he, "as you do to _reckon_ (read) your _papers_. See
this one is (meant for) the _Thunder_, that the Earth. But I only know
a few of these songs. The possessor of this bag knew a great deal. He
was a great medicine man, [a] doctor."

As far as I can learn, every different root, herb, plant, mineral,
spirit (or whatever you may please to term this latter) has each [its]
respective songs. And [these] they must sing, were [their] voices like
that of a choked pig, when [they] employ them for one of themselves,
or [teach] them to another. When they sing, those of their _familiars_
who instructed this song, [whether] to the one who sings, as having
learnt it from himself ([the] familiar) or having been handed to him,
[the familiar] is said to attend, invisibly of course, and perform
that which he promised this (medicine, supposing it is one) should
effect. _{This is a long and complex job, and I doubt much if I can get
through with it without more of my blundering. But I shall risk
blunders, omissions, and repetitions.}_ Hence it is they always sing
when they attend on a desperately sick person amongst themselves,
though very rarely when they administer to the white.


[Treatment of the Sick]

When any one is very sick, and that they be _called upon_, or perhaps,
though rarely ordered in their dreams by their familiars, they sing,
blow and suck alternately and with such violence that one would think
they wanted to to blow them to the d----l, or swallow them down their
throats. But no, it is to force in the medicine of which they have
generally a mouthful masticated into a pulp, or something near _salve_,
sometimes. The suction business is to draw out the Devil: the
medicine, bone, stone, iron, brass, stick, or whatever they imagine it
is, that occasions the disease.

If the complaint lies in any particular part, to that part it is they
apply themselves most and sometimes _only_--supposing the hip [or] knee,
for there they imagine it is a worm or maggot gnawing them. But if the
complaint is universal, that is the whole system be sick and
debilitated, it is then the pit of the stomach and the temples,
rubbing sometimes the wrist, the palms of the hands and opposite the
heart. This is very frequently done. And in the intervals the songs
and rattler [are sung and played] together. {25} And often a short
speech or prayer [is made] to that one of their _Familiars_ whom they
think will be most propitious on the occasion, or _he_ from whom they
hold such, or such instruction.

These songs are a dull monotony. For though they have a few variations
and are high and low, and the [transitions are] sometimes so very
sudden that it requires a particular command of the throat to sing
them, and to _me_ [are] so difficult, I should, I believe, require a
seven years apprenticeship even with Esculapius (But I believe it is
_Pluto_ or _Pan_ who teaches the songs.) himself for me to learn
them. There is certainly no musick in them, though some few that I've
heard many years ago, passing a winter with them, I found pleasing
enough. But perhaps more from the _solemnity_ with which all was going
on was I struck than anything else. Indeed we had great reason to be
solemn, for we were dreadfully pinched by hunger.


[Ceremonies and Songs Related to Starvation]

When oppressed through starvation, they have a variety of ceremonies
which they perform. And though the songs be different, as also the
_ceremonies_ themselves, still are they intended to answer the same
purpose. I shall endeavour to describe a couple to you from which you
may form a pretty just idea of the rest.

It was the latter end of January or beginning of February 1804. Four
of us, only _white_ people mind, were pitching off, or rather flying off
from our houses we had built in the fall on account of _the_ enemies. We
had a small stock of dry provisions and speared a few fish once or
twice. But there were so many of us that we were soon brought to short
commons, as the _strip_ of country we were then going through contained
no other animals but a few stragling bears. But these animals at _this_
season could not be found notwithstanding all the exertions of our
hunters. One evening on my return to our lodges, one of the women told
me that the oldest man of our band, a great doctor, or conjurer, as we
frequently denominate them, said that if I were to pay him half a
carrot (one and a half pounds) tobacco, he would conjure and be
assured of success, for it required payment. Though I suspected there
was a trick in this, I did not hesitate but gave him his demand. The
first night their songs and ceremonies were as usual. "Tomorrow, my
_familiar_ tells me, we shall get a bear."

All the hunters returned at evening _mais tous à blanc_. The second
night, the rattler, songs, speeches, smoking, and medicine bags
opened. "Tomorrow we will assuredly get something." But the same as
the day before. The third night, the same, but everything conducted
with a sort of awful silence and solemnity that surprised me a good
deal. I was harassed with constant walking, weake through hunger, and
tired with their _bêtises_ as the French say. But the manner of their
conduct kept me that time from growling.

"Oh! Now tomorrow indeed, we shall not fail. We shall certainly eat
flesh for the old man is a great conjurer and well liked. He prayed to
the _Master_ or Giver of _Life_, and his dreamed have promised him
success."

But we get no more than before. In these conjuring boutes they made no
use of drums, but instead of that had cut a small hollow tree of
maple, about five feet long and scooped it out, after splitting so
that it resembled a semicircle {26} or stove pipe split down. This
_hollow_ board had been well dressed--reduced to about half an inch in
thickness and well polished. There were, to the best of my memory,
four men seated tailor fashion and held a small stick about three
quarters of an inch diameter and about fifteen inches long in each
hand. With these they beat time to the tune and another moved or
shaked the rattler in the same manner. All this however was to no
purpose.

There was another Indian in company with us, but _tenting_ by himself
(and his family). This Indian, who was very fond of me, would
frequently call me in and give me a share of what he had to
eat. "Well!" said he, "What success have your great men?"

I answered I did not expect much.

"No." replied he.

    They did not go the right way to work. Had I not
    polluted (spoiled, as he said) my person last fall
    (alluding to an Indian he had then killed) I should try.
    And I believe that my familiars would be _charitable_ to me.
    However, I shall let them go on until they are done, after
    which I shall make a trial. Perhaps on _your accounts_ they
    may shew me their wonted attention.

I took this as wind, but as he spoke in so very _earnest_ (si naivement)
a manner, I concealed my sentiments. The second night after the others
had finished, he began a little after dusk. But what a difference
between them!

He had an immense large drum, as large [as] those among the military,
and stretched hard. Upon this he beat time, but very hard, to accord
with his songs which were as loud as he could bawl. At certain
intervals also he used only his rattler, but with as much violence as
he could. Thus he continued alternately singing, praying (or making
speeches) and smoking, 'till broad daylight. When he began we thought
this fellow was mad or only jesting. But the Indians of our lodge
reproved us.

At sunrise he came out of his lodge, and made a long speech in which
he told one to go one way, a second another, and himself by another
route. "Thou," addressing the first one, a young lad, "thou wilt soon
find thy (bear)."

"But thou," addressing the father:

    On thy way on thou wilt pass very near, but will not see
    him. Thou'lt search along and return giving up all hopes.
    But when come to this, thou must return again and between
    _this_, thy last track and the first one thou shall make this
    morning, thou'lt see him in his nest. As for me, I shall
    have much trouble to get mine.

I heard him speak, but not understanding sufficiently the language,
the women explained to me. I need not tell you how _we_ laughed at the
poor devil, and so went off hunting _ivy_ which had been our support for
a long time. But in the evening we found all that he predicted
perfectly verified. This I assure you is a fact, and will maintain it
notwithstanding everything _skeptics_, (excuse the term) or those
unacquainted, or but superficially so, with these people may say. And
I am also certain that he had no previous knowledge of their being
there, for there was plenty of snow, and there were no other tracks
but those of these two hunters, [and] we had pitched _up_ (the river)
that day.

But, here I am digressing--to return therefore.


{27} [Fugitive Pieces]

I am altogether out of the regular track that I had proposed to myself
at my first setting off. My time is too short and my memory too bad
to read over the whole so as to resume the regular course. The
remainder shall be composed of _fugitive pieces_. Indeed the nature of
some of them being a _compound_ will not admit of their being _treated_
of but in _sections_ if I may use the term.


[The Soul]

The first therefore, lest I have not time to _enter_ all, I shall speak
of is _The Soul!_ This seems, to me at least, a most extraordinary and
incomprehensible thing. Yet from the different sources which I have
received it, and the manner of relation, serves but more and more to
perplex. Whether it is really and absolutely the soul, or some other
_principle_ on which the very existence depends, I cannot say. But
something it is, lodged apparently in the heart or breast, that on
these occasions flies off and leaves them, and at the very instant of
its exit it is perceived. And [the parting] occasions such a
derangement of the whole system, and particularly of the faculties, as
very soon to deprive the object of life, but [primarily causes] a
total want of sense, such as we suppose the soul _endows_ us with.


[An Attempt to Capture a Soul]

I shall here relate you one of the many stories of the kind, verbatim,
as I received it. It was from an Indian, of course. He told me that
one summer, being on a visit rather to a distant part of the country
(perhaps two or three hundred miles [distant]), he fell in with one of
his acquaintances who (as often happens between strangers,
particularly to such as come from the southward) asked to purchase
_medicines_ of him.

    I had but a small quantity, and only of four sorts or kinds.
    He being very anxious for them, I sold them _all_ to him. He
    was not satisfied. He must have more, though I positively
    assured him I had given him the last. Then he menaced me,
    and said I should feel the effects of his resentment arising
    from my avarice and _uncharitable_ spirit. Knowing his
    disposition, I returned to my friends, intending to be as
    far out of his way as possible.

    One night in the winter he conjured. I was fast asleep (and
    several hundred miles off) and never thought more of him. But
    he called upon his familiars and demanded my soul! _It was taken_
    to him. But just as it was on the eve of entering his conjuring
    hut, I perceived it and sprang from my bed in the most dreadful
    agonies and convulsions, insomuch that two men holding and
    pulling of me with all their might, and [who] also had the
    assistance of the women, could not keep me quiet. I was
    constantly springing forward, rushing hither and thither and
    absolutely (totally) deprived of my faculties, for I have not
    yet the least knowledge of what I was doing, so great was my
    horror in observing this conjuring tent.

    At last a friendly spirit interfered and forbad the conjurer
    at his peril to do anything to my soul, but allow it to return
    immediately. He was afraid for his own life and durst not
    disobey. He let _it_ go. I cannot tell you how happy I felt and
    so easy. The distance was great indeed, but I soon flew back
    and reentered my body, when I became entirely composed.

    {28} But I had been so dreadfully agitated that I found myself
    in a profuse sweat, my whole frame so shaken, debilitated, and
    weake, that for several days I could not move but with pain.

    "Heh!" said I, "What a narrow escape!"

    The other Indians asked what ailed me? I told them where _I_ had
    been. They would scarcely credit [it]. But in the ensuing summer,
    upon enquiry, they found it true, and were now fully convinced
    that this power doth lodge with Indians!


[Representation of the Soul]

They represent the soul as being small, not very dissimilar in size
and shape from the yolk of a large hen or duck egg. Some of them [are]
very hard, and much of the nature and substance of a stone, but still
not of that substance. And others again [are] much more soft and
tender. Some are easily _kept_ and bruised, but others are with
difficulty taken and continually in motion. But all are extremely
impatient of restraint and cannot bear it. Confinement is death to the
body from which it has issued!

Some conjurers possessing sufficient power and influence take a soul
if they want to destroy the body, (in the conjuring box or tent), and
wrapping it in a piece of leather, rub and bruise it between both
hands 'til they destroy its subtility or subtilty. As soon as it comes
within view of the conjuring tent, its agonies are terrible, as also
those of the body, however distant that may be. But as soon as its
motion is destroyed, the body dies likewise.


[Imprisonment of a Soul]

Others again take it and put it in a japannd tobacco box and tie the
lid or cover securely with a _woman's garter_ from whence, if not
loosened by someone, it can never escape. Any other lashing is not
anything near so completely effectual as this. Reflect and you will
guess immediately the reasons they give. As I do not know Latin and
you don't understand Indian, I must suppress this and many other
things. Others again take a different method thus. But by-the-bye,
this has but very little relation to the soul. I shall therefore refer
it until afterwards and give you another story as received from a
Canadian, an eye witness.

He was passing the winter with the Indians, and one night the head man
of the tent he lodged in gave a feast. He was in the habit of doing it
and was himself apparently a good and peaceable man, but not to be
trifled with by other Indians. Everything being prepared, the guests
were just going to eat when the feast-man's mother dropped suddenly as
if dead. Everyone was struck with consternation. They had recourse to
their medicines, songs, rattlers as usual. At last he fell to sucking
his mother in one of her temples. Suddenly they heard something
_crack_. The Indian drew back, his mother arose perfectly recovered and
all became well. However, that which occasioned the _crack_, the Indian
took out of his mouth, wrapped carefully up and gave it to his wife to
put in a tobacco box, which she did. It had all the appearance of a
_bean_ (une fève). The wife wanted to tie the lid, but the husband said
there was no necessity. They resumed their meal.

But the old woman was not long in possession of her senses. She very
soon relapsed, and as instantaneously as at the first. "Ho!" exclaimed
the Indian, "The _Dog_ is off." They looked into the tobacco box but
nothing was found. They continued conjuring three nights and the last
[night] especially. The man told me he thought the devil {29} was
amongst them from a certain kind of undescribable noise in the air
round about their tent and the sudden flashings of light. This was
powder (gun powder). They had carefully thrown out all the fire,
thrown a great quantity of snow and water on the hearth, and then put
fresh earth upon it. It was perfectly dark in the lodge, there being
no other light than what is usually emitted from the heavens. Upon
this hearth of fresh earth they would throw some powder and then
retiring to the bottom of the tent would say, "Come! Let me see if I
be a manito?" then singing. Off the powder would fly!

They continued this way three nights, but all to no purpose. The old
woman yet lived two years but never spoke.

He said (the Indian) that this _bean_ "... was the soul or spirit of
another Indian, then at a vast distance, which he darted at my mother
to render her pitiful and miserable. But I shall make the dog suffer."

However, after this, the Canadian enquired why he did not revenge
himself and kill him.

"No," said he, "that won't do. He has got back his soul it is true,
and I cannot get it again. Yet I might easily kill him if I chuse, but
this won't do. He is somewhat [justified] for I took both his wives
from him."

There are many other instances of a like nature, but different in the
proceedings, that I do not recollect sufficiently to commit to paper.


[Medicines Used to Harm Others]

Now again for the other way: If an Indian has a spite against another
and is induced to it for the preservation of his own life or from
motives of revenge, he takes the following plan or method. He takes a
piece of leather and cuts it into the shape of his _enemy_. And if he
wants him to die speedily, he places a little _powdered medicine_
opposite the heart, or upon it. This medicine is, I believe, a root
and very inflammable. He holds a small spark of fire _near_ it. It
immediately _explodes_, and that part of the leather on which _it_ was
becomes burnt and shrivelled. When he performs this, he generally
utters words like these, "Let the heart of _such a one_ become like this
leather. Let it shrivel and die within him!"

If it is a leg, an arm, the head, or any other particular part, or
parts or even the whole body, it is the same, and the words also,
unless he doth not wish for the death. Then he will say, "Let _such a
part_, become lame, useless, ulcerous," according to his
disposition. And that part, or parts become thus affected according to
his wish.

"But how is it possible that such things can be? Do you really think
that an insignificant root of no apparant power or virtue whatever can
effect such things?" Thus I would frequently question. And their
answers with little variations [were] universally the same.

Yes, most certainly it is not [accomplished by] the root alone, but
with the assistance of that one of his dreamed that is most powerful
and most fond of him. "He! You white people, you know not. You are
consummately ignorant of the power of our great medicine men. Many
things might I tell you much more surprising. But you do not believe
these trifles--how much less then those [things] you do not know?"

What then is to be done! How do with, {30} what say to, a people so
blind, so infatuated!

They have some roots that are dreadful in their effects. To being a
female, I think I should prefer immediate death! They have some that
have the same effects as _Lunar Caustic_. They use them thus: During the
time of their "seperation" (menstruation) they endeavour to give them
to smoke, which is never refused. There is some of this root mixed
with the tobacco. One smoking is sufficient. A few months after, their
complexion begins to change, and at last becomes of a _nasty_ black with
abundance of hair growing out of the face. And if these women were to
shave, I verily believe their beards would become as bushy and thick
as those of any man whatever.

In performing this they must also utter words thus. "Let the one for
whom I intend this, and who shall smoke of it, become black and hairy,
and become as ugly and rejected as she is now fair and searched for!"

Sometimes they mingle it with their food or the liquor they
drink. There is more than one kind of this dreadful root, one of which
I was shewn but have forgotten, there being two or three others
resembling it. It is like many others, a perennial herb, and hath some
resemblance to the long or tall thistle.

To return: When the subject or object discovers that she hath been
thus dealt with, which they sometimes do a few weeks after, they may
be restored for there is an _antidote_ to it. But I have never known one
instance of this, though a dozen of the others I have. Some handsome,
fair complexioned, young females refusing the importunate
sollicitations of an abandoned, vicious, revengeful wretch become the
victim of [their] _coyness_. And two or three years after, I have
positively not known them and could scarcely believe my eyes.

There is of another kind [of root] and which is very common, whose
effect is an extraordinary _vacuation_ of blood and [which] in a few
days would occasion death.


[Used Against a Woman]

    A half breed I lately had with me, the son of a man who many
    years ago was a servant of yours, being not of an extraordinary
    good moral character, finding his solicitations rejected with
    scorn, became jealous and very anxious to revenge himself. He
    applied to an old Indian, but in so cautious a manner that the
    Indian gave him of the root without suspecting and told him
    how to use it. He pulverised it, and mingled it with a little
    vermillion, and then watched his opportunity which occurred,
    I believe, the ensuing morning.

    In our _outposts_ we have no temples dedicated to Cloacinda.
    And, besides, the females here are ashamed to _sacrifice_ at
    them. He therefore could not miss his opportunity. He watched,
    and after she entered, he went and soon found the place by the
    _smoke_. Here he sprinkled some of this powder which he took in
    a quill, pronouncing, "Let me see blood issue from the same
    place _this_ hath done. I want to see blood."

    Scarcely five hours after, the woman who was married, and
    of course so much the less bashful, said, "What is the matter
    with me, I have been just now out and want to go again." You
    may suppose her astonishment seeing the time of the natural
    return was scarcely half elapsed. {31}  But how much more so,
    finding it issue far beyond anything she had ever known.
    This continued 'till very late in the day.

    And the beast was watching to see if it would answer. He
    went in to the house on pretence of a friendly visit and
    remarked how _pale_ she was. The mother told him, "My daughter
    has been _bewitched_, and could you not do something to ease
    her?"

    He became extremely uneasy in his turn. He went out, and
    passing by the place she went to, he easily discovered,
    notwithstanding her precaution, of what dreadful consequences
    it would be if not timely attended to. He was afraid she
    would die before anything could be done. However, he went
    to the old Indian and speaking in a most sympathising strain
    asked him if he could not administer something to stop that
    extraordinary issue.

    "Why!" replied the old fellow, "That root I gave you the
    other day is its own antidote. Give her the length of her
    middle finger to _eat_ and it will stop quick enough."

    He did not chuse to tell the Indian that it was this that
    had occasioned it, lest he should be punished by him in his
    turn. But artfully conducting his discourse, [he] got more
    from him, administered it to the woman muttering in himself,
    "Let this blood cease, I have seen enough of it." And she was
    soon healed!

    I done all I could to make him confess it, without coming to
    the point. But he never would. He satisfied himself by
    assuring me with the most solemn assertions that it was the
    case. "And if you doubt it," continued he, "you may make the
    experiment. You need be under no apprehensions whatever, for
    in giving her of the same root to _eat_, it will stop."

This root, when mastigated and applied when reduced to pulp, but
better when pulverised, stops the blood immediately on application to
any wound--_how profusely soever it may flow_. It is very astringent and
somewhat hot.


[Wild Carroway]

Another herb, I believe it is the (wild) carroway, which we commonly
denominate aniseeds--at least the smell and taste much resemble
that. And its stalk bears a very great resemblance to the wild mint,
as well as the leaves and flowers. I _suppose_ this is the one meant,
because they tell me the taste and smell are delicious. This root and
all its appurtenances (stalk, leaves and flowers) is of wonderful
effects in various _things_. I shall give you some of the stories
relating to it as I received them.


[Used in Hunting]

    I was living out with _such_ an Indian, and we became reduced to
    _short commons_. One day he (the Indian) took a piece of bark and
    drew upon it three moose, and put some of this _medicine_ upon
    the heart and head of each. Then he fastened a piece of sinew
    to it, and told me to fasten it to a small stick that had
    been stuck _slant-way_ in the Ground.

    "Now," said he, "let me see if this will do. Oh no! I am
    afraid it won't. But I'll try. If it answers, the bark will
    dance!"

    I laughed at his idea (a half breed told me this) and so did
    one of his sons. However, the son told me that he had
    seen his father do so before, and that he killed every
    time.

    "Stop! Let us see how he will go on." said the son. The
    father began to sing (and if _I_ remember right, beat the
    drum also). Shortly after the bark began {32} to move,
    and as the old fellow raised his voice, so did its
    motion increase, 'till at last it began whirling round
    with great violence, sometimes one way and then another,
    'till it was wound up close to the stick, when it began
    changing sides--sometimes _upon_ & sometimes _below_ the stick.

    He ceased, began to talk with us and saying he was
    afraid it would not _answer_. Thus he did three times,
    and the bark moved every time with the same violence.
    Now he desired, in the beginning, that if his _familiar_
    would have compassion on him, he would render these three
    moose foolish that they might not be possessed of their
    usual cunning.

    The next day we went out, the old man, his son and myself,
    a hunting. We were hungry; we walked till late in the day,
    and finding no tracks, I proposed our return. But he told
    me we ought to proceed, for in the low ground beyond a small
    ridge then near in sight of us we may perhaps find some
    tracks.  "I am never deceived when I am answered (my bark
    dances)."

    We soon reached this low ground and shortly after heard a
    noise: jumping, running, and breaking of sticks. "Ah! Here
    they are!" said the old man. "See how their _head_ is turned!
    What a noise they make, how they play. They are foolish."

    We killed them all. If you doubt me, ask any of the Indians,
    and see if they won't all tell you that _he_ does so when he
    wants to kill.


[As Love Potions (Baptiste's Stories)]

Another story: for _love potions_ or philters are also composed of this.

    There were several young men (half-breeds) of us together, and
    also some young women who came with us to await the arrival of
    their husbands from Fort William at _that_ place. Two of our party
    wanted to pay them a _visit_ in the night. And I endeavoured to
    dissuade them, but to no purpose. They went, and met with the
    reception I foretold. They began bawling out, and on purpose,
    to awake every one near and shame us, for we were lodging by
    ourselves. And then [they] took good cudgels and pursued them
    into our place. _We_ enjoyed this confusion of the others though
    partly at our own expense.

    One of them then addressed me. "Come Baptiste, this _bitch_ has
    vexed me. I know you have _good medicine_. Give me some of it that
    I may laugh at her in my turn." (I must tell you that one of them
    I have known many years back was, and is still, a _bitch_--i.e.
    according the Indian acceptation (as well as our own) of the term.
    And the man is the same one I mentioned little above, at the
    conclusion and beginning of pp. 30 and 31.)

    I gave him some with the _directions_. He returned again very
    soon after (in the same night) [and] found her asleep. He
    then rubbed her forehead, opposite her heart, the _pit_ of the
    stomach, and the palms of both hands. Then he awoke her. The
    next day as my comrades were desirous of revenging themselves,
    they broached the conversation publicly and had the laugh in
    their turn. The women had the _best_ at the offset, but as they
    could not deny the other charges, they became extremely
    confused and vexed. A quarrel ensued, but my comrads
    exultingly told them, "We can turn and twist you _now_ about
    our fingers as we please!" And {33} they did too. For the
    women both _giving suck_ at that time, thought it was their
    children that were handling them, as they used but _one_
    finger, and gently.

The other story is thus.

    A man that I have with me at present, in consequence of some
    _slips_ of his _rib_, had frequent and some severe quarrels with
    her. She began to hate him and wanted to go with her
    _paramour_. The husband though vexed and confused _did not want_
    to lose her. He began by soothing, coaxing, and caressing her.
    But she always bawled out as loud as she could that everybody
    might hear, though it were at midnight, "Thou white dog!  Leave me
    alone. Why art thou fumbling at me?"

    The more she became averse the more he coaxed, and she
    bawling out, "Don't _slabber_ me!" every time he attempted
    to kiss her. And she was watching a fair opportunity to
    slip off to her lover (an Indian).

    At last he lodged his complaints to me and asked if
    I could not _assist_ him. I gave him some of this _medicine_
    with the usual directions. And [I] told him as soon as he had
    executed all properly, to come away and leave her and not
    return to her for a couple of days so that in her turn she might
    suffer.

    He had not long left her 'till she called for him as if
    wanting something. And like a goose he went immediately, though
    I done all I could to make him pay her in her own coin. Since
    that time they live as you see them. _But_ if you doubt of this also,
    you can easily make the experiment. Chuse any one you please, and
    let her be ever so coy, and shy, you will bring her as you want!!!

    Shortly after this I made some general enquiries of the man
    latterly in question. But he would not avow [to it], though
    from his confusion and [the] precipetency with which he answered,
    I believe there is _something_ in the business.

    It is with this medicine (continued the half breed) that the
    young men do completely and universally succeed with all the
    women that please them.


[Effecting and Avoiding Spells]


With this also, principally, they succeed in bewitching any one they
are averse to, and prevent them from killing such animals as they
please. They draw the likeness of the animal or animals they do not
chuse the others to kill, put of this medicine (though most commonly
mixed with some others in this latter case) upon the hearts, and
desire that they may become shy and fly off upon any the least
appearance or approach of them. Or they will _conjure_ and desire some
of their _familiars_, one or several, to _haunt such a one_ in all his
motions and scare and frighten off and _render wise_ any _such_ and
_such_ animals--and let the distance be hundreds of miles off. Their
familiars, that are spirits residing in the air, and transport
themselves in an instant to any place they [please], and who see all
that is going on _below_, keep _all_ away accordingly.

To evade this is a task that but few can succeed in. They must first
conjure to learn who it is that has bewitched them. Then they inquire
what is to be done. But here lies the difficulty. Sometimes they are
told they _must_ leave the appointed time run out; at others [perform]
such and such ceremonies, which is tantamount to the first answer; but
at others again, it is easily dispelled. This {34} depends entirely
upon the precautions the _bewitcher_ has taken; the power, influence, or
number of his dreamed; as also on the other hand, the dreamed, their
power; [and on the] influence of the _bewitched_. But sometimes on a
very slight or trivial cause depends the whole.


[Dealing with Spells on Firearms]


[The Old Canadian's Account]

I shall tell you another story. An old Canadian I have now with me has
been in the habit of _living-free_ for many years back. In the beginning
of a winter he was tenting with some Indians, and one of them, an
impertinent, bombastic sort of character, was boasting to him of the
great power and effect of some medicines and a drum he had lately
received from a Sauteux.

    For some time I did not mind him, but finding he became
    at last troublesome, and insinuating as plainly as he
    durst that _he_ was now invulnerable, or rather immortal,
    and that _we_ were helpless, a quarrel ensued 'till at
    last, "I fxxt. upon your medicines and drum and the one
    also who gave them to you!" said I.

    We seperated in no good friendship. At night he made a
    feast and invited me amongst the rest with the design of
    poisoning me. But his friends remonstrated so effectually
    that he put this off and intended shooting me going out of
    the lodge. But this also the others would not allow. He
    was vexed. I kept my eye upon him, determined I should
    give the first blow on the least motion he might make.
    Finding himself prevented in these, he said that I indeed
    should kill two moose, but that the rest of the year I
    should starve as a dog.

    I seperated next day with my wife and children. They were
    under great apprehensions, but I mocked all their conjurings.
    I very shortly killed two moose, but these indeed were the
    last. I walked and hunted every day. And seldom one day
    passed but I fired at the buffaloe, moose, or some other
    animal, but never got anything, anything! I and my family
    were near dying with hunger.

    I tried everything in my power, never giving myself the
    least trouble about the Indian's menaces. At last the spring
    arrived. Ducks and geese came, but no better success. At last
    one day, prowling in my canoe, I met two other _free-men_,
    [one of whom], after mutual inquiries, told me the same thing
    had happened him. And [he said] that an Indian told him to
    file off a small piece of the _muzzle_ of his gun and wash it
    well with water in which _sweet-flag_ had been boiled. And
    [it] killed after that as before.

    I laughed at the idea. But reflecting that it was an innocent
    experiment, and I could not offend the Almighty, I tried. And
    the first animals I saw I immediately killed. This sir
    (continued he) I assure you is a positive fact!!!

  I find that the Indians have recourse to this method also. But you
  must observe: as is the disease, so is the remedy.


[The Iroquois' Account]

Another story just now occurs to me which I shall relate, not so much
to multiply these pretended proofs, as to show that our Iroquois,
Algonquins [and others] are not such complete converts to the
Christian faith as most people may complacently imagine. But rather
[they] have a mongrel religion like those whom the King of Babylon
sent to inhabit Samaria when he carried Reuben and Ephraim captives
(in the Bible).

This winter an Iroquois {35} told me that one winter he was out a
beaver hunting with many of his friends. The oldest man of their party
proposed one day that a certain number of them should go out a hunting
moose or buffaloe, and the others beaver. This one says:

    I returned at night after a good success--the old man nothing.
    He became envious, a quarrel ensued, and after this many
    others. One day I fired at a moose as he was running past me.
    He fell. I went to him, and just as I was for beginning to skin,
    he rose up, but with my axe I brought him down. It was very far
    from home. I merely opened him and returned light, trusting to
    the others of our party, for I had no desire of partaking of the
    dry provisions the old fellow had of his own. Immediately on
    entering the lodge, we had another severe quarrel, and he told
    me I should not any more exult in my prowess as he should take
    care I should not kill any more animals for _some time_.

    As we were coming to _knife work_, I ordered my wife to bundle
    up all our things and my lodge, and pitch off. It was then late,
    and I had not yet eaten. As none of my friends knew that I had
    killed, I did not chuse to tell them, but merely said as I was going
    off. "Let those who are fond of me, or who chuse, follow me." But
    none came, and I encamped upon my moose.

    Every day I went a hunting. Scarcely a week passed but I
    fired twenty, thirty, and sometimes upward of fifty shots upon
    buffaloe or moose but could never kill. I would _miss_, or _the ball
    twisting in the hair would fall by the animal_ without doing further
    injury. I starved for a long time and became so weake that I could
    hardly walk.

    At last my wife, a woman of this country, one day that I had
    been out as usual had prepared some good strong lye, and on my
    return, washed my gun with it, filled it, and stopping both the
    orifices, put it over the smoke where it remained all night. She also
    took a number of the balls and boiled them likewise in the lye,
    telling me she had seen her uncle do so many years before when he too
    had been bewitched. I thought, at all events, it could do no harm.
    And besides, I could have done anything I was so hungry.

    The next day I went out again [and] found another flock or herd of
    near twenty buffaloe. I drew nigh and took all my usual precautions.
    I fired, one dropped; [I] fired again, another dropped. I killed
    fourteen out of that herd, and ever after missed not once!

I asked him how the old fellow had done [it].

He said, "I suppose it was as they frequently do: bury a piece of my
meat in the ground and pray the Devil to prevent my killing. For the
Iroquois, when they take it in their head, are very wicked and do not
want power!"


[The Half Breed's Account]

A few days ago a half-breed abandoned with the Indians came in. And
amongst his other _wantages_, [he] asked me for a small piece of (red)
sealing-wax, "... because my brother cannot draw blood from the
animals he fires at. By heating his gun and applying this wax the
blood will flow profusely from the wounds." He expressed himself
afraid that his brother might have been bewitched, and by retarding
this operation he might enter _dans sa mal chance_!

{36} These few _examples_ will suffice to shew you that they have
different methods of _bewitching_ and also different ways of clearing
themselves. And the faith and dread they have of this is scarcely
credible, and the consequences are often too uncommonly distressing.


[Stories of the Hairy Breasts and Nayhanimis]

[North Wind's Challenge]
I shall now give you of the Story of the Hairy Breasts. Near the days
of _Noah_, nations were few and small. Wee-suck-ā-jāāk (Noah, I shall
call him for abbreviation sake) had a son, as I told you before, whose
name was Nay-hân-nee-mis [Nayhanimis]. Being strait'ned for provisions,
he went out to angle with some of the Hairy-Breasts. They came to a
lake, pierced several holes, but the North (or North Wind, as you chuse)
being envious of Nayhanimis froze the water down to the very ground so
that in the deepest parts they found but earth. And after much
digging, at last [they] reached the bottom. But behold that also was
frozen--and who knows to what depth in the Earth!

Finding this to be the case Nayhanimis, addressed his friends thus.

    I see this is the doing of the North Wind. (Now by rights
    the North Wind ought to have been his maternal Grand Father--but
    what cannot envy do?) He is envious of us and wants to make
    us die of hunger. But he shall not! I have to propose to you
    to cut off my head, rip up my body, beginning at the throat.
    You must not hurt nor break any single one of my bones, but
    carefully take off all the flesh, dry it, and make pounded meat
    of it. Of this you must sprinkle a little in every one of the
    holes. You must also _chop_ up my heart into very small pieces
    and throw a few of these pieces also into each hole. Then put
    in your lines, and you'll take as many fish as you please. But
    my bones you must put in a heap, carefully by themselves.

    Mind! Upon your faithful observance of all these commands
    depends our mutual safety. The North thinks himself sole
    master, and would wish to crush us because we begin to have a
    little knowledge. But he shall know me!

They [did] accordingly, and accordingly also they took abundance of
fish. North perceived this. He came to see, and finding himself thus
frustrated, inquired how it came about. They told [him]. He challenged
Nayhanimis who by this time had revived. And besides, a beautiful
large feather he had sticking in his cap, or head, which none durst
wear but such as have given incontestible proofs of their manhood
[and] bravery. He likewise had a smoking bag of the skin of a
badger. Nayhanimis accepted the challenge.

"It seems, Nayhanimis, you are a great man, a man of extraordinary
power and abilities! Let us have a trial, and see which of us has the
most, for I also have some knowledge."

Nayhanimis answered, "No! I have but little power. But that little I
employ as much as I can to the general benefit of my fellows. Let us
see what you can do, which if I cannot, then you will certainly be
superior to me."

Here they performed one or two wonderful feats. But in [these]
Nayhanimis had the advantage most confessedly. The North pierced his
body through, and [did] another extraordinary thing I cannot well
recollect. But the other [did] more and recovered not only more
suddenly but more perfectly.

At last the North put a bet and said, "Let us see for this last act. I
will cut off my head, and if I cannot replace and recover {37}
perfectly, the same as I am at present, then my _house_ and all I have
shall be yours. But if I succeed, and you cannot, then all your
_possessions_ shall be mine."

Nayhanimis consented for he was secretly desirous of humiliating the
self-sufficient spirit of North. They tried. North failed, but
Nayhanimis completely succeeded. He deliberately severed his head from
his body, put it down on the ground beside him very composedly, and
then replaced it, when it became as though nothing had happened. But
this was owing to the power and virtue of his _plume_ which, however,
the others knew nothing of.

It appears that the North also recovered but by the assistance of his
friends, of whom he had a numerous train. North was faithful to his
promise. [He] gave him his house which was beautiful and spacious, but
mostly underground, or at least in the side of a mountain. All
[North's] friends turned out, put in Nayhanimis and gave him the full
possession.

But he was no sooner in than they secured all the outlets: doors [and]
windows. And [they] set it on fire to destroy one whom they found so
much more powerful than themselves! Nayhanimis, finding this to be the
case, was not in the least dismayed, but took his smoking bag and thus
addressed it. "Now _thou_, Badger, our mutual safety depends upon thy
obedience and expedition. Thou art made to pass _through_ the earth as
_[quickly]_ as _upon_ it. These fools think to destroy us, but thou must
show that we are superior to them."

During the conflagration they were enjoying the scene and exulting in
the idea of having at last succeeded in destroying so formidable an
adversary. But what was their consternation when they saw him come to
them without even one hair of his head singed! They were _appalled_ with
astonishment, and had not the power of utterance.

At last, recovering a little, they endeavoured to pass it off as a
joke and turn it to his own advantage, by silencing at one blow the
envy and malice of _all_ his enemies, pretending to be staunch friends
of his. But he was not thus to be duped. Yet he showed a superiority
of sentiment and generosity, equal to his powers and abilities, by
giving them (though _contemptuous_ if you please) pardon. So much for
this _Part_.


[Nayhanimis Wars with the Hairy Breasts]

Thus did matters pass on for yet a few years. The _Indians_ began to
_multiply_ and inhabit the world. But the Hairy Breasts, a jealous,
envious, and at best foolish people, could not well behold _their_
prosperity. They made _war_ upon them (the _Indians_) by stealth and
destroyed numbers. Their affairs bore a most dismal aspect--[The Hairy
Breasts wished for] no less than the total extinction of the whole
race.


At last Nayhanimis pitched off with his wife, _her father_, and another
one. There were four of them. He found a Beaver lodge. Here some of
the _Hairy-Breasts_ came up with him: compliments at first, afterwards
sneers, taunts and revilings--but so ambiguously [given] that no hold
could be taken.

"How numerous, how many are there of ye?" inquired [one of] the Hairy
Breasts.

"We are twenty of us." replied Nayhanimis;

"And so are we." rejoined the others.

Now they here entered into an arrangement that whoever found _Beaver_
for the future, it should be his own. But to avoid any wrangles, he
who _found_ the Beaver should plant a stick or branch upon the lodge as
a mark. On their return {38} home, each recounted to his family what
he had met with in the course of the day.

"Now," said _Nayhanimis_ addressing his family, "we must take twenty
beavers, one for each man of them (meaning the Hairy Breasts) and make
a feast. If it turns out that we be able to eat these twenty beaver,
and they not, then we shall be superior to them and have the upper
hand."

The beaver were cooked accordingly. He took his _rattler_ which he shook
to the tunes of his songs, performed the usual ceremonies, and they
ate the whole twenty beavers with ease. Then addressing his family
thus said, "These Hairy Breasts are great boasters, but cowards. They
are a people of no account. Tomorrow will decide all."

The Hairy Breasts on their return did the same as Nayhanimis and
cooked also twenty beavers, thinking that his band did really consist
of that number. They ate, but every one was already full and yet more
than three quarters of the feast remained. "Give me my rattler," said
one of the oldest, "that I sing. It may happen that we find grace."

He sang and shook his rattler, but it would not sound. After frequent
repeated trials to no effect, he became vexed and threw it out of
doors among the dogs. "This dog of a rattler will not sound in spite
of all my endeavours. But hold! Hear how it rattles now that it is
out. Go for it one of ye! Perhaps it was owing to some fault in me."

They brought it to him. But [it was] still as before; he threw it out
again in a rage. It was no sooner out than it sounded [as] well as
before. It was brought in again, but as before, again. Then he threw
it out for good, vexed and disappointed to the utmost degree. But his
friends were not pleased. They considered this a portentious omen and
his behavior foolish, and by no means calculated to reconcile their
_Deities_ to them. He comforted them by telling them, "The numbers of
the adverse party must be few. Otherwise we had surely been able to
_eat_ the whole of this feast. They are few and we _shall_ subdue them."

The next day they all pitched off. Nayhanimis came first to a beaver
lodge and marked it. [He] came [to] another and marked that one
also. But making a circuit, in which he hung up his bow [and] quiver
in a tree at his own height, came round to the same lodges and found
that the Hairy Breasts had put marks of their own and thrown his one
away. Exasperated he threw theirs away and replaced his. And [he] made
another circuit, when he found the Hairy Breasts had replaced their
own again. He also remarked that the Hairy Breasts had hung up their
bows _in the tops of very high trees_, trusting to their numbers.

At last they met, greeted each other at first, then sneers, quarrels,
a challenge and then the battle. They were to fight _man to man_.

Nayhanimis killed nineteen right out, but the twentieth had near
killed him. However, this was but an accident usual in battles. He
soon killed him also.

The women were coming up when, raising his voice to a pitch to be
distinctly heard by all, [he] said:

    Such of ye _Indian_ women as have been taken from your homes
    [and] had your husbands killed, such of ye Indian women as
    are willing to return to your nation, take all axes and
    others arms out of the hands of these Hairy Breast women.
    Seperate yourselves from them; attack {39} and destroy them
    _all_. Leave not one alive to carry the news to the others.

They seperated accordingly and killed every soul.

Then he took them to his tent and [found] by their answers to his
queries that there [was] still another band, not far off, consisting
of forty young and two old men of the Hairy Breasts. He ordered a
quantity of poles or pickets to be cut very long, and made a kind of
fort of them round his own tent. And [he] gave orders to them to
gather a vast quantity of snow round all the sides of it to come over
the points, so that neither the pickets nor tent might be seen, and
that this rising might have the appearance of a natural hill--
something in short in the form of a pit. He immediately made a number
of lances, and spears and walked off in quest of his enemies.

He soon reached their camp, drew near, and found that there were but
two old men. All the others were out a hunting. Here he listened to
their conversation and was burning with indignation at the stories
these two old men told each other of the cruelties they had done to
the _Indians_. They were chuckling at this when he sprang into the tent,
took each by the head and thrust their faces [into] the fire and
sprang out again to listen.

One of them, returning to his senses, for they had both fainted during
the ceremony, exclaimed thus, "My old friend! What is the matter with
me? I lost my senses quite suddenly and now that I am come to, I feel
my face quite sore and cannot see."

"It is the same with me." replied the other one

"Then it must be some evil spirit that has pounced upon us." resumed
the first.

At last Nayhanimis addressed them thus:

    I shall tell ye old men a story too. There were two old men
    formerly seated in their tents relating to each other the
    exploits of their younger days and the cruelties they
    committed upon the _Indians_.

    Nayhanimis was near. He pounced upon them and thrust both
    their heads together into the fire. When your children
    and young men be returned from their hunting, tell them
    this story. In the meantime I shall return home and make
    ready for them. My name is _Nayhanimis_ and I reside at
    _such_ a _place_ (i.e. I am _called_, or named,
    Nayhanimis ...).

The old men, as may be imagined, were thunderstruck with this and
durst not say a word more. But in the evening the young men came
home. They were astonished to see their fathers in such a plight.

"Children! Behold your fathers!" said they. "Had any _miscreant_ durst
act in such a manner to _our_ fathers, their villany should certainly
not have passed off thus. _But we are now old men and of no more
account_!!!"

This last apostrophe above all the rest roused them to vengeance. They
merely scraped the snow off their feet and legs and went immediately
in quest of him vowing vengeance all the way of a most cruel and
_exemplary_ nature.

Nayhanimis was on his guard. Every soul able to wield a weapon had one
in his hand, besides an infinite number of spears and sharp stakes
stuck in the ground. The Hairy Breasts came, but not perceiving the
trap on account of the snow that was brought over [the] ends of the
stockades, they all fell in, one upon the other, and impaled
themselves in their fall on these sticks. All of them but two or three
met with instantaneous death. The few that were not injured were put
{40} to an excruciating but immediate death to satisfy the _manes_ of
the departed _Indians_. And he proceeded immediately to the camp, killed
the remaining two old men, scoffing and taunting them at the same
time. Immediately after this he ordered such of the _Indian_ women as
had had their husbands killed, or were taken by the Hairy Breasts, to
seperate from the other women and inflict the same punishment upon
them and their children as had been done to their friends.

    Thus were the Hairy Breasts entirely [extirpated] merely
    by their own folly and wickedness. Had they lived peaceably,
    and allowed the _Indians_ to partake of the blessings of this
    world without envy, as well as themselves, and to which they
    had an undoubted right, they might still have been in existence.

    However, there are still two nations of them, one of which is
    on _your_ lands, the others, I believe beyond the seas. But they
    are an insignificant and most despicable people. They pretend
    to antiquity and would fain extort respect from the _moderns_
    (i.e. themselves, or the Indians, _principally_). But their very
    countenance, appearance, everything about them denotes folly,
    and seems more to demand contempt than to call for respect. I
    saw one many years back, who was brought by the traders from
    somewheres on your lands. [His] face was venerable, but still
    there was a meanness in the _whole_ of him that I could not
    account for. I respected him, and wanted to treat him
    accordingly. This is as from the stories I had heard related of
    them. But the traders laughed at _us_ and asked one if I was
    inclined to respect folly, insignificance, and nothing!!!


[Notes]

I have been a long time in writing these pages, and have been
frequently disturbed. I have been often obliged to put by my paper
after seating myself five or six times to write only one word. From
such long and frequent interruptions _much_ method and correctness
cannot be expected. I therefore send them to you in the form of _notes_.


[Motives for Writing the Journal]

My motives for thus employing my time and paper were first to amuse
and instruct myself, but principally for your own amusement and such
few friends as you may think _worthy_ of the communication. _Lend them
not [out] of the house_, nor let too many see them, for I have some
notion, please God I live, to digest them into form and regularity,
and have them published--besides a vast many others I [propose], with
God's help, collecting. But this is merely between ourselves, and
immediately after perusal blot out all _this_ paragraph.

Journals [and] voyages of these people have been frequently
published. But I have met with none that gives so circumstantial a
detail of their private life (if I may so say) as is necessary to give
that insight to their ideas and notions (and this latter term too, I
think, critically speaking, cannot be applicable to them) that is
required, and so much wanted, to form a proper estimate of man in his
_natural_ state.

We all see them, hear them and relate of them. But where is there one
who can give the _whys_ and _wherefores_ that these people do so and so? I
beg you will _blot_ this last paragraph entirely out, at least the first
part. And do not be premature in your condemnation or judgement of me,
for I trust my motives are entirely destitute of vanity, and only the
desire of truth urges me, or at least [the desire for] true and just
information. G N. April 16th 1823.


{41} [Comments on Aboriginal Beliefs]

Such are the notions and ideas of these people. They acknowledge a
superior power, not Wee-suck-ā-jāāk, as I was erroneously informed, _but
the same _one_ you adore in the Christmas holidays_. This one they have a
great respect and veneration for. But seldom it is, as far as I can
learn, that they sacrifice or pray to him, make speeches, which,
though extempore, _I_ consider as much prayers as though they were
composed after the most deliberate and mature reflection. And many
parts of them [are] so simple, plain, natural, and withal so sublime,
that I frequently felt great pleasure in attending to them.

But these sentiments are so few comparitively speaking, and the
absurdities so great and frequent, that few men can hear them without
lamenting their ignorance. They have often seemed to me as desirous in
a high degree of becoming acquainted with the true _mode_ of
worshipping, from the frequent changes, even during my time, they have
made in their _worshippings_. As a proof of this is the avidity with
which they seize any new system introduced from their _southern_
neighbors, the short time they hold it, and how completely it is
abandoned, if not entirely forgotten for another equally, if not more,
absurd than the former. To introduce a new system among them, it is
only necessary to report an extravagant tale of some wonderful
character, the cures by _this_ means that have been performed, and such
like miraculous and fantastic nonsense. But in their fundamental
points I perceive no visible alteration.


[Mee-tay-wee]

The principal of these is what they call the Mee-tay-wee, a ceremony I
shall compare to freemasonry. But the initiations are public. Every
one that chuses comes to see them, and many are invited. Here, in the
course of initiation, are ceremonies or deviltries performed that no
man of his own mere dexterity or power _can_ do.


[Conjuring]

The next principal one is conjuring. This is a principle I believe as
natural to man as the air he breathes (though not _so_ necessary).
Everyone wishes to peep into futurity, and there are few but who would
not inquire into causes could they do it, or were it not forbidden
them. These two, of course, are consequences or consequents of their
mythology. There are many in the civilized or Christian world who
absolutely and positively deny this power of theirs as being absolutely
impossible and at best [believe them] but absurd and idle stories.


[Evidence of Spirits through Conjuring Practice]

Many of the things related of these conjurings I acknowledge to be
so. But at the same time I am as positively and as firmly persuaded of
the truth of the assertion _that they have dealings with some
supernatural spirit_, as I am convinced that I live and breathe in
air. [That is] unless, indeed, we chuse to acknowledge and believe a
certain sect of philosophers (of the last century I believe) who _wish_
to tell us that we _only imagine ourselves alive_. And I am by no means
inclined to acknowledge myself as superstitious. I am convinced of
this from reason, argument, comparison--in short, from _analysis_. Let
any one man, unless he be a headstrong brute who is _determined_
beforehand not to be convinced, analyse their _discourses_, and I am
confident he will believe as much as many, or have great doubts at
least. To absolutely deny this, we must first deny that there is a
Devil, and afterwards deny his pernicious power. {42} And if we deny
these points, we must descend to a third, and [one] more fit for an
atheistical wretch and a beast than a Christian, or even rational
creature. I have heard some sensible and well informed gentleman deny
it on the plea of their _ignorance_. But this again is _a_ basis and
very solid one.

These people are still in a complete state of nature. Their ideas of
the true God are far from clear or correct. They acknowledge Him
indeed as the supreme and absolute master of all, but more, or rather
as, a passive _deity_ [more] than as he really is. But their notions of
their other deities came far more near the truth.

Their wants indeed are also few, but they are arbitrary and cannot be
dispensed with, at least for any time. It is therefore very natural
that they should employ their whole thoughts and most of their time in
procuring these means to warding off or averting their dangers. And I
do not know of any method more adapted to this than the one they
pursue: fasting and sleeping to dream. And they do dream too. And many
of these dreams are so complicated, or compounded of so many different
things that it is absolutely beyond the power of _their_ invention to
fabricate them.

Surely a man may believe his senses. A man tied, wound up in a blanket
or skin equally soft. Here he is held by one, two, or three men. He
slips out of the blanket and presents himself before you free, leaving
the cords _untied_ in the blanket. You hear him speak, and perhaps
twenty other voices besides, all at the same. Again, he is bound as a
criminal, rather indeed as a pig, crumpled into a heap and thrust into
his _hut_. At the very instant of his entrance, the hut shakes as if ten
thousand devils were for pulling it to pieces. You enter this, find
the man absent, hear a fluttering about your ears or see a vast number
of small lights resting on the hoops that hold the poles together.

Immediately after you are out, you hear the man speak within
again. You look again and feel for him, but hear him talking at a
distance. What can this be but supernatural agency? I have never seen
feats of _this_ kind, but others I have, not so _strong_, but equally
convincing.


[Conjuring Ceremony for a N. W. Co. Gentleman]

I have been informed that a young half-breed, abandoned with the
Indians almost from his childhood, a few years back entered one of
these conjuring _huts_ at the solicitation of one of the North West
gentlemen to see what retarded the people so long. Previous to his
entering a great deal of conversation on the subject had been [taking
place]. Matters were settled between them and the conjurer. Some time
after his entrance, he began to cry (not weep) as a person uneasy. At
first the voice was within, but it appeared as rising in the air, and
at last was lost.

"Well!" said one of the Indians, addressing one of the half-breeds
living with the white. "Well! Enter now, and see if he be there. Thou
art always doubting and denying what we say of these things. Enter
then, and see if he be there. Then indeed are our assertions false."

He raised the bottom of the _casement_ and entered. But as he was not
below, he rose on his feet and felt for him, but [the conjurer was]
not to be found. However he was _paid_ for his curiosity. There was a
dreadful fluttering within, but especially about his head. His hair
[was] flying about in his face as if in a tempest, and [there were]
frequent appearances of small lights before his eyes whichever way he
turned. He bawled out and asked those without what was the matter with
him. He became afraid and _walked_ {43} out as quick as he could.

Very shortly after, they heard the same cries of pain, faintly at
first, but the voice soon entered. The _conjurer_ said he was carried
to where the people were. "They are all asleep, at such a place and
tomorrow will be here." He said there were four (spirits) of them,
that carried him off. Each held him by the _little finger_ and _little
toe_!


[Stories]

I shall here relate a couple more of these stories.


[The Hunter and the Wolf Spirit]

An Indian told me that several years back he left his lodge on the
borders of a large lake to go to the house for some necessaries he
wanted. He took a traverse for some islands. The weather was dull but
mild. A storm very soon set in. But he persevered. Thinking the wind
had changed, he also changed his course. He became very much fatigued
and laid down on the ice to rest himself and wait for daylight, for
_the_ night had overtaken him. He was not long down before, reflecting
on his situation, he became extremely uneasy and was afraid of
freezing.

At last he heard a curious noise near him that he could not account
for. At first his fears increased, greatly dreading it was some
malignant spirit. But having no alternative he resigned himself to his
fate.

    And I became as composed as though I were safe. And I was
    too, for an animal much resembling a wolf, and black, came up
    and covered me. I was very cold, shivering in every limb, but
    I soon became quite warm. He rose from off me and went on as
    if inviting me to follow. His eyes appeared like two candles.
    I followed.

    He led me to an island where I made a fire and warmed and
    dried  myself. And as soon as I was rigged, I followed him,
    for he went off and looked at me so earnestly I took it for
    an order. He led me straight to the water hole. There
    happened to be people at the time there going for water.
    They saw _these_ lights and asked me what occasioned them,
    or who it was that came with me. I told them it was a
    compassionate spirit that retrieved me from a dreadful death.


[Pursuit by a Pahkack]

_Second_ [Story]! A young man lately told me the following.

    I was returning home with my uncle when come to _that_ point,
    we heard something crying behind us, "He! He! Ha! Ha!" and
    whistling alternatively. My uncle told me it was a Pah-kack
    (Skeleton), and [it] wanted to destroy us. It came up with
    us very soon and kept constantly buzzing and whistling in
    our ears so that, indeed, we were quite bewildered at last.
    It was at night and dark, but we kept straight on as we
    thought. We were mistaken for, after walking a long time,
    we at last came to the water hole again from where we had
    set off. We were both of [us] much afraid, but finding this
    path, we minded it no more though it pursued us making more
    and more noise the nearer we got _home_.

Many of these stories bear a great resemblance to those extravagant
tales of la Béte a la Grande Queue, Loup Garoup, Chasse Galerie and
many others natural to superstitious people. It requires, therefore, a
great deal of caution and attention to get at the true ones. I have
here _inserted_ more than I originally intended, but they will serve to
give you an idea of the notions of these people, and, except a few, I
have selected those that appeared most rational. _However they will all
come in time_.


{44} [Wetiko]

There is a kind of disease (or distemper rather, and of the _mind_, I am
fully persuaded) peculiar to the Crees and Sauteux, and of which they
have the greatest dread and horror. And certainly [the fear is] not
without the very greatest cause--the consequences, forty-nine times out
of fifty, being death unfortunately to many besides the _subjects_ or
objects themselves. They term _this_ Wen-di-go (according to the French
pronunciation, which is more correct than the English, in this
word)--the proper signification of which, to me at least, and no one I
think can doubt it, is _Giant_ of the Anthropophagi _Genus_, sect, tribe,
or kind.

The stories related of these are as extravagant and fantastic as
those we read in our old romances _in the days of chivalry_. [They
differ] in no one circumstance hardly but the means used in their
destruction which, of course, is often done by the intervention or
assistance of their guardian genii. However, there are some few more
rational than those of _ours_, and though still beyond all bounds of
credibility, are as devoutly believed by these poor creatures as the
Gospel is by the most orthodox among us. I do not remember any of
these sufficiently correctly to give you a few of the stories, one
excepted.

Suffice it to say that they are of uncommon size. Goliath is an unborn
infant to them. And to add to their _dread_, they are represented as
possessing much of the power of magicians. Their head reaching to the
tops of the highest _poplars_ (about seventy or eighty feet), they are
of proportionate _size_. Of course they must be very heavy. Their gait,
though grand and majestic, at every step the earth shakes. They
frequently pursue their prey (_Indians_ of course) invisibly. Yet they
cannot so completely divest themselves of all the incommodities of
nature as to prevent their approach being known. A secret and
unaccountable horror pervades the whole system of one, several, or the
whole band of those of whom he is in pursuit. [There are] phenomena in
the heavens [and] earth.


[Trapping a Wetiko]

    In the days of _Noah_, (or near them at least) there were a
    large party of _Indians_ collected together for mutual safety.
    Many camps had been already destroyed by him, and the
    Indians were in great danger [of] being entirely exterminated.

    At last they bethought themselves of a plan. "It is needless
    to go to war upon him. What can we do to him with our arms!
    Let us make an immense large trap (of wood) and draw lots
    [for] which of us shall serve as bait. It is a dangerous assay
    indeed, but will any generous one amongst us refuse sacrificing
    his life for the safety of so many?"

    They made this trap on the opposite side of a small opening in
    the woods, so that he might see the person seated from afar.
    It was between large trees which were made to serve as
    _posts_. It was finished.

    An old woman stepped up and said, "My Grandchildren! I am
    now old  and of no more account among ye. We are all in danger
    of being devoured by this insatiable and terrible beast
     Why should I then regret sacrificing a life that, at best
     I can now enjoy but only for a short time, seeing it will
    in the end be productive of so much good? _I will go and be
    bait_."

    The others were extremely touched at her generosity
    but they had no alternative, and circumstances admitted of no
    delay. The old lady seated herself very {45} composedly in
    the trap and awaited his arrival. The others fled off of
    course. It was time too, for he soon _hove_ into sight, stalking
    along in all the stile and terror of imperial grandeur.
    His head [was] equal with the tops of the highest trees, and
    the ground [was] shaking at every step, though frozen, it being
    then depth of winter. And his countenance denoted an
    assemblage of pity, contempt, rage and voraciousness. All
    this did not dismay the old lady; she remained quiet.

    He perceived her. "What! What, old woman, art thou doing there?"
    But changing his tone, which he did several times, thus continued,
    "Thou art of my natural enemies and I shall presently grind thee."

    "Ah! my grandchild! I am an old woman, abandoned and deserted
    by those whom I have suckled and brought up. They are fled
    off in dread of thee, and being old and helpless, they thrust
    me in this tuft of trees so as to be the less embarrassed.
    Come now and assist me out, and in acknowledgement I shall
    inform thee of their precautions. Otherwise thou'lt lose thy
    life by their deceptions."

    He was in no dread of the _Indians_, so far as regarded their
    _own_ power, but he thought a little salutary advice would not
    be amiss, intending after this to _grind_ the old _thing_ as he
    had promised himself.

    He drew up. "What a devil of a place they have put thee indeed.
    Did they think to conceal thee from me?"

    He stooped to enter. When she found he had entered far enough,
    she touched a stick. And down came all the weights and cross
    bar upon his back. Though he was uncommonly strong, the weight
    and suddenness of the blow was such that he gave way and was
    jammed between the two beams or bars. Here he struggled denouncing
    [and calling for] vengeance and eternal destruction to the whole
    of the _human_ race.

    The great bellowing he made was a signal to the men who were
    in ambush not far off. They came running up and soon dispatched
    him with a multitude of blows from axes and chisels. Thus
    were they, for _one time_, relieved. The women and children
    returned to the camp and enjoyed themselves as usual without
    further apprehensions.

These giants, as far as I can learn, reside somewhere about the _North
Pole_. And even at this day, [they] frequently pay their unwelcome
visits, but which, however, are attended with a complete fright only.

It seems also that they delegate their power to the Indians
occasionally. And _this_ occasions that cannibalism which is produced or
proceeds rather from a sort of distemper much resembling _maniaism_.


[Habits and Types of Wetiko]

There are three sorts or kinds that I know of, and believe there are
no more. The first I have already related as above, and the two I am
going to give you are sometimes _compounded_ together and sometimes
_independent_. But they are both equally true and melancholy and
distressing in whatever light we may view them. However, I shall not
pretend by any means to palm _all_ that is said about them upon you as
true. Of this you'll by and bye be able to judge as well as myself, and
not doubt.


[Those Driven to Cannibalism by Starvation]

The first of these are such as are driven to this dreadful extremity
by starvation. In all _woody_ countries where the inhabitants lead a
wandering, roving life and whose subsistence depends upon the game
they procure, they must of necessity be frequently pinched and
sometimes brought very low. All _people_ cannot bear this privation
alike. And though there is perhaps not {46} a people in this world
who take this so patiently as these people do, yet there are not
wanting instances where, even with them, that _nature_ gives way. They
vanish as a _dying_ candle.

But others cannot stand it out so long; they must have something to
eat, be it what it may. Sometimes, though with the most extreme
reluctance at first, they feed upon the flesh of such as _have
died_. Any kind of animal substance, at such times, must come very
grateful to the stomack. And hence it is, I believe, that those who
have once preyed upon their fellows ever after feel a great desire for
the same nourishment. And [they] are not so scrupulous about the means
of procuring it. I have seen several that had been reduced [to] this
distressing alternative. And though [it be] many years after, there
appeared to me a wildness in their eyes, a confusion in their
countenances much resembling that of reprieved murderers.

Now, if we consider how very precarious their mode of subsistance is,
how devoted they are to superstition and prejudice, we--such of _us_ as
know more about them--we, I say, may wonder how they stand out so
well. Very many instances I have known seem to be far beyond the power
of human nature to stand.

Yet, notwithstanding this dreadful privation lasts not for a few days,
but even to weeks and months, during all of which time the men are out
from star-light to star-light and have never anything more to _eat_
than some bits of leather, moss, bark and such like, it is very rare
they will kill a _fellow_ to live upon him. This is not
universal. There are unfortunately still too many exceptions, but
these again would seem as denounciations from their gods. They appear
so to me--I can scarcely doubt it! And the Indians themselves seem to
think the same, though in another way.

At this place where I am now writing (Lac La Ronge, English River),
but a few years back, several instances occurred. An old canadian is
said to have lost one of his sons thus, though an excellent
hunter. The old man sometimes speaks to me of that son. And the second
died on his way to the house, and not far off. The same year an Indian
killed all his family but two daughters whom he compelled to partake
with him, and for the rest of the route he ...........

I shall here give you a few stories of the kind.


[Story of a Wetiko Woman]

    _That_ same year (I do not know precisely when, but only a
    few years back) a woman alone arrived at the house. Her
    appearance was haggard, wild, and distressed. However, she
    was taken into _the_ house. Questions [were] put as usual,
    but the answers [were] vague, indefinite and contradictory.
    They handed her something to eat. She acted as if eating
    it indeed, but let the whole fall in the _inside_ of her
    gown. This [roused] suspicion. But what added to this was
    the extraordinary stench she emitted from the heat of the
    chimney. And shortly after her entrance a part of a human
    shoulder [was found]. The dogs brought [it] in from upon
    her road. She went off, being directed upon a road leading
    to a camp not far off.

    As soon as she made her appearance, the Indians immediately
    conceived what was the matter. But through charity, as well
    as for safety and to find the truth, they gave her to eat
    principally marrow-fat. Now these people pretend that
    cannibals cannot bear this fat or grease. Of course it was
    a kind of _ordeal_.

    Everything she did and said, notwithstanding her great
    caution, betrayed her. She took up [one] of the children
    of her acquaintances to {47} kiss, as is customary, but
    would have given it a bite had they not taken it from her.
    They watched her narrowly. All the men slept in one tent
    with her. She pretended to be asleep 'till she imagined
    the others were, then rose very cautiously, and was
    beginning to prepare herself for _action_. One of the men
    perceived this, rose upon her with an axe. Though the
    blow was violent, and upon the head, she would have
    killed him had not the others interfered. Her wretched
    fate was soon decided.

There is such a singular, strange, incomprehensible contradictoriness
in almost all these cases. And many I have heard, that I do most
verily believe they are _denunciations_, witch, or wizardisms. In any
other manner they are not rationally to be accounted for, unless we
suppose all those who feed on human flesh to be thus possessed. Then
it is natural to man in these cases. But why then not the same with us
as with these people?


[Those who Dream of Ice and the North]

The third kind--or delegated which by what follows, I believe may be
allowed to be the term--[is made up of] those who dream of the North or
the Ice or both. Everyone knows where the North resides, but only few
know the abode of Ice or the Ice. This they pretend is the parent of
Ice. [It] is in the bowels of the earth, at a great depth and never
thaws. All ice originates from this. These two they are much afraid of
because they are both highly malignant spirits. There is no joking or
jesting with them. Those who at _any_ future period are to become
cannibals thus dream of them.


[Dream Feasts Of Human Flesh]

After the certain things usual in all dreams:

    I was invited by the North to partake of a feast of ducks
    the most beautiful I had ever seen and well cooked. The dish
    was before me. I set _to_. A stranger by me touched me with
    his elbow and said, "Eat not thou of that, look into thy dish!"

    Behold that which I had taken for the wing of a duck was the
    arm of a child! "He! What a narrow escape!" said I.

    Then he took me into another room and gave me most excellent
    meat, the most delicious in appearance I had ever seen. I
    would not eat. I discovered it was the flesh of _Indians_ thus
    served up to me! He took me into a third room and gave me
    tongues. These I also perceived were the tongues of _Indians_.

    "Why refusest thou what I offer thee? Is it not good?"

    "I feel no inclination to eat." I replied.

    Then he took me in a fourth room where fine beautiful _hearts_
    were served up, and I was desired to eat. But I perceived
    that it was still the same. I therefore refused.

    Then said he, "It is well done. Thou hast done well!"

    Heh! Had I unfortunately eaten of this, then had I become
    a cannibal in addition to all my other misfortunes.

Those who eat at these feasts are frequently, but not universally told
thus:

    This is a sign to thee that thou shalt one day become a cannibal
    and feed on the flesh of thy fellows. When thou shalt see
    children play with and eat ice (or snow) _in_ thy tent, say
    "My time is near." For then thou shalt soon eat _Indian_ (human)
    flesh.

They have such dread and horror of this that it is constantly in their
minds.

    You white people! [You] who live at your ease, get your living
    out of your nets or from your Indians, and besides are not
    otherwise troubled as we, make light of these things. I do not
    make much account of them either. But I tell you that he who thus
    once dreams of either of those dogs are for ever after continually
    troubled with them.

    {48} We do everything in our power to drive him away from us.
    But still he hovers about us, and we cannot avoid him. You are
    very fortunate! You live as you please; never care for him; nor
    does he molest you.

Such I am told are the _sentiments_ of these people in general.


[Behavior of Infected People]

I look upon this as a sort of mania, a fever, a distemper of the
brain. Their eyes (for I have seen [them] thus perplexed) are wild and
uncommonly clear; they seem as if they glistened. It seems to me to
lodge in the head. They are generally rational except at short, sudden
intervals when the paroxysms seize them. Their motions then are
various and diametrically contrary at one time to what they are the
next moment: Sullen, thoughtful, wild [looking] and perfectly mute,
staring in sudden convulsions, [they use] wild, incoherent and
extravagant language.


[An Account of Survival]

There was one a few years back infected with this not far from where I
was at the time. The accounts given of him, though I shall not vouch
for their truth, are thus.

    One night towards the latter end of December he began staring
    at his daughter with an extraordinary intenseness.

    "My daughter! I am fond of thee! I love thee extremely!"

    "I know thou dost." replied the woman abashed, for she was then
    very young.

    "Yes! I love thee. I think I could eat a piece of thee, I love
    thee so much."

    The girl exclaimed at his rashness. There were but three of them:
    the father, daughter and her husband.

    When it was dark he put himself stark naked. And uttering a
    strong tremulous noise, and his teeth chattering in his head as
    if through cold, [he] rose up and walked out of the tent and
    laid himself, curled as a dog in a heap, upon the wood that his
    daughter had that day brought to the door. Here he remained all
    night in spite of what they could do. A little before day he
    returned. Thus did he every night for about a month, and every
    time slept out naked. Nor would he eat, excepting at times a
    little raw flesh. In the daytime he was more composed, but his
    face bore the appearance of one possessed of the Devil. He
    recovered and became as usual--composed, and good natured. I
    knew them all well, but had no dealings with them from the year
    before (1812).


[Executing a Wetiko]

A young Indian a few years back had _one_ of the above dreams. He became
very uneasy and thoughtful finding it recur so very frequently. And he
would have willing undergone any torments, any death, rather than
become an anthropophagi. He also frequently desired his friends, upon
any the least appearance of these symptoms in him, to kill him. "For
if you do not kill me 'till I have eaten of _human_ flesh, you'll
perhaps not be able to do it afterwards. But my children! Oh! my
children! How grieved am I to leave ye! But it must be so; I have no
alternative. Spare me not my friends, I conjure [sic] you!"

He had been a good hunter and a peaceable _Indian_ and, of course, much
loved by his friends. This business depressed them a great deal. At
last, the time approaching fast, his brother one day remained behind
with him to watch him whilst the others pitched off. About the time
this one thought the others had finished the encampment, he proposed
their setting off to join them. But before long he left his brother
behind and laid an ambush for him {49} not far from the tent. This
was a preconcerted scheme; the other men, of course, were not far off.

The sick one drew near in a very slow and thoughtful manner. However,
when he came near to where his brother was hid, he stopped, looked up
and called out, "Thou thinkest thyself well hid from me, my brother,
but I see thee. It is well thou undertakest [this]. It had been better
for thee, however, hadst thou begun sooner. Remember what I told you
all. It is my _heart_; my _heart_ that is _terrible_, and however you may
injure my body, if you do not completely annihilate my _heart_, nothing
is done."

The brother was sure that he was not discovered--this _knowledge_ being
the information of some of the spirits. He therefore did not
answer. Some of the other men had gone to meet him and endeavoured to
amuse him, that the brother might give the first blow. Accordingly he
shot--straight for the heart. He dropped but rose immediately and
continued towards the camp that was within sight, laughing at their
undertaking. _The ball went through and through, but not a drop of
blood was seen--_His heart was already formed into Ice_.

Here they seized and bound him, and with ice chissels and axes set to
work to dispatch him. According to his desire they had collected a
large pile of dry wood and laid him upon it. The body was soon
consumed, but the heart remained perfect and entire; it rolled several
times off the pile. They replaced it as often. Fear seized them. Then
with their (ice) chissels they cut and hacked it into small bits, but
yet with difficulty was it consumed!

[Treatments and Recovery]

They fancy that blood which circulated through the heart first turns
into water, then coagulates or congeals, and shortly after becomes
into solid imperforable or impenetrable ice. The only antidote or
remedy for this is to give them large draughts of high-wines, double
distilled spirits, or the spirits of wine, if any can be had the
better. This taken in large draughts and frequently and _kept_ beside
a large fire flows to the heart and thaws the ice. If a profuse sweat
ensues, it is a happy omen.

An Indian with me this winter gave out his apprehensions that he was
thus tormented. I communicated it to two others who happened to come
in about that time.

"Why do you not give him large draughts of your strongest spirits to
drink and keep him in the room beside a large fire?"

I replied that I was afraid it would burn him.

"Oh no! If he is a real Windigo, it will only do him good by driving
out the ice. But if he _lies_ to you, indeed, then it certainly will
injure him. But it will be good for him, and teach him for the future
not to impose upon people to frighten them."

However, they are, in general, kind and extremely indulgent to those
thus infected. They seem to consider it as an infliction and are
desirous of doing all they can to assist. There are, however, many
exceptions. But these again depend upon the circumstances attending
them. One of my best hunters here is thus tormented, or at least thus
torments himself, and very often desires his friends, in compassion,
to put a period to [his] existence the first symptoms he may shew of
cannibalism.

A young girl, lately married, and scarcely worth a _filip_ so small and
diminutive, was this winter seized with this phrensy. The consequence
was that the men durst not leave the tent for {50} any length of
time, being obliged to assist the women in holding and preventing her
from biting or eating any of the children and perhaps herself. They
bethought of a sacrifice: cropping her hair--and short.

She recovered and is now well. She says, "I do not recollect any
single one circumstance of all that is told me. I thought I was always
on the tops of the trees."

There is another one of my Indians thus affected too. The Indians say
it is a punishment (from some of their _familiars_, of course) for so
lightly esteeming their ceremonies--nay indeed--and ridiculing them
often. "This fall," he began:

    There were but two men of them together (with each his family).
    Things bore a most dismal aspect.

    At last the wife of the other, who, by-the-bye, is said to
    [be] a little affected that way too, told him one day that
    he sprang forward to seize one of _his own_ children, "Keep
    quiet for, thou dog, if a gun hath no effect on thee, my axe
    shall. I shall chop thee up into slices! Thou hast then better
    be quiet!"

    This kept him indeed quiet for some time. How they are now
    I cannot say, not having heard of them from the beginning
    of December (now April 20th).

They appear most inclined to prey _first_ upon their own family. And
they also think that firearms are absolutely unable to injure them. _A
ball cannot injure _Ice_. To destroy _Ice_, it must be _chopped up_.
And the _heart then is all Ice_.

They sometimes, indeed frequently, recover with the warm weather, _for
the sun then _animates_ all nature_!!!

There are many other instances of a like kind in their tendency or
consequences, but different in their proceedings, that I cannot bring
to mind at present. I mention several of these to shew you the
different manner they are infected. In the mean time I shall relate
you others not less entertaining.


[Malignant Spirits]


[North, Ice, Skeletons and the Crazy Woman]

There are several spirits of whom these people are much afraid, but
four principally, they being the most malignant and little accepting
of _excuses_, however great and urgent they may be, for the non
performance of _their_ sacrifices. These are the _North, Ice, Skeletons
and the Crazy Woman_, or foolish, mad, jealous woman.

    Not very many years ago an Indian had entered his conjuring
    _hut_. She came among the rest. But being displeased with the
    conjurer on account of some sacrifice to other spirits, she
    seized and carried him off! Skeleton perceived it, and being
    [fond] of the conjurer, pursued Jealousy. Finding herself
    nearly overtaken, she prefered her own safety to vengeance
    and let the _Indian_ fall _in some place_ at a vast distance from
    where he had been taken. Skeleton took him up and brought
    him back to the great satisfaction of all parties.


She frequently comes with the _others_ when they conjure. But on her
appearance she is desired to be quiet, "_Pay-ah-tick_": gently, quietly,
peaceably.

Master Skeleton also is as much dreaded as Folly, if not more, because
he shews himself at any time he pleases, it not being necessary to
conjure to call him to.

There _is_ an Indian who, before he married, had his _dress shoes_ made
by this lady (Folly, or Jealousy). She was, of course, extremely fond of
him. "The shoes were beautifully garnished, far superior to anything
of the kind done by _our_ women!" There are not {51} wanting ladies,
living with the white, who confer full share of their _favors_ on some
of the Indians, and from one of these I fancy it is he got these
shoes. But to hide the business, [he] imputed them to Folly, which
served him a double end. If I can see that chap I shall be very
particular in my inquiries of him. I know him well.

This brings to my mind the _white stag_ or hind _Sertorius_ had in his
exile and during his wars with his country, as mentioned by
Plutarch. Indeed, to be candid, _I_ find a very great affinity between
the ideas and notions of these people and those of the Greeks and
Romans. And by these [affinities], much--far much--better than by the
incongruous hypothesis of the learned, might be traced the _origin_ of
these people. And I am far from taking the task to be difficult. Would
_we_ only divest ourselves of _our own_ prejudices and take the proper
plan, this great _Enigma_, if I may so explain myself, would be not
perfectly cleared I allow, but a rational clew [would be] afforded to
the unravelling of it. I have read many of these _hypotheses_, but they
are so filled with inconsistencies that I could scarcely believe men
could employ so much time in them. ..... I could say something else
instead of the conclusion of this last sentence.

A Gentleman, and an Englishman too, but I forget his name, would wish
to _insinuate_ that these people are from a different origin with
ourselves: [from] Adam. And to prove his hypothesis, he begins by an
anatomizing hogs! (See the Encyclopaedia, not by Rees, but
_Fitz-Patrick_ I believe.) This puts me in mind of some of the _Newtonian
Systems_: There is no such thing in nature as _cold_. We must say an
_absence_ of _heat_! Why cannot we as well say there is no such thing as
_darkness_, but merely an _absence of light_, or reverse either, and
either will be as reasonable. Most strange reasoning is this indeed!


[Confession]

These people have a notion that _confession_ saves them from many
accidents and also preserves the lives of the sick, or rather restores
them to their wonted health. I have not learned the origin of
this--when, why, or wherefore--but it seems to be very remote, to have
[sprung up] with their mythology. I shall [make it] a point to enquire
very particularly into this, and for this, as well as other things, at
different quarters to find and detect _errors_. But all, however, that I
have written in these pages, though there may be some difference in
the recital and perhaps a _few_ straggling circumstances, are, I have
great reason to think, fundamentally the same throughout among these
people. .....

When any one of them is particularly affected with diseases out of the
common course of nature _here_, or though the disease may be precisely
the same as all others, yet, from certain circumstances individually,
or a combination of them, they say he is Oh-gee-nay in Cree, or
On-gee-nay in Sauteux (the On pronounced as in French and _not_
English), by which it would seem as if they meant he was afflicted or
chastised for his own sins, or those of some of his or her near
relatives: father, mother, if children; if grown up and married
persons, for their own. Whether they only imagine this, or are
informed of it by conjuring, _private_ {52} information from their
_familiars_, or from the symptoms of the sick person, I cannot say, but
the thus afflicted person must confess his sins publicly.

Now in these confessions, as in all their other discourses or
conversations (_initiating_ and _giving of medicines excepted_), they
use no circumlocution, no secret or enigmatical word or term, to
screen themselves. But all is delivered in plain terms and before
everyone that chuses to hear. These confessions are terrible
things. And they seem far more sincere and complete than those of many
Catholics. They have wonderful, retentive memories, and no scene, no
crime from their earliest years unto that day do they hide. But Great
God! What abominations! One would scarcely imagine the human mind
capable of inventing such infamously diabolical actions as _some_ do
commit: murder, incest, and other things, if possible an hundredfold
more, debasing the human soul. Whether they repent of these things,
neither can I say, but it would appear as if they were the acts of a
contrite and most humbly penitant soul. I have never had an
opportunity of hearing these from _their own_ mouths, but _other_ Indians
have told me of them. And though before their families _sometimes_,
[they] have never omitted one single circumstance, from the
suggestions of the idea, down to the very last _conclusion_.

When I heard of these things at first, I _would not_ believe them. But
hearing them come so circumstantially, _I trembled for the Land I
sojourned in_ _lest it should vomit me out as the land of Canaan did its
inhabitants_, _or be swallowed up in its destruction as Sodom and
Gomorrah_!

It is true they are not _all_ so. No, I am told there are but few, and
in charity I hope it is [so]. Otherwise what will be my fate seeing I
am, in a certain degree, partaker with them? Surely the inhabitants of
such a land, at _best_, cannot look for more than mere _present
enjoyment_. When I reflect seriously on _all_ these things, as I
sometimes do, revolving them in every different manner in my mind, it
is beyond the power of words to express my feelings. Poor unfortunate,
blind creatures! That it is from _blindness_ they commit these things, I
am fully persuaded, because I am equally confident that they do not
attach that same degree of criminality to them we, _from the revealing
of the Scriptures_ to us, do. Some they consider in the light of
trifles, some natural, some weaknesses. But all tend to the
gratification of most bestial appetites whatever may have been the
original cause, _curiosity_ or otherwise.

However, I received a piece of information in one of these, and _it_
was circumstantially detailed, that has cleared a point to me I could
never solve. And though I enquired of both Wool and Bob, they were not
wiser than myself. Indeed, without the _trial_ or experiment, it seems
impossible to say certainly where the cause lies. Now I know it. If
ever an opportunity offers, or that it pleases God I again revisit my
own lands, I shall be able to speak to a certainty. As I cannot write
Latin, I shall say no more of _it_ at present.

A few years back an Indian at the next post above _this_ died. He had
been a long time sick, {53} and from this conceived himself _ongenay_
and accordingly prepared for his confession. Having received the
details at second and third hand, I shall endeavour to give _part_ of
them to you as near _their_ stile as I can. But really I find myself
_very inadequate_ to the task. There is a certain _poetic_ sublimity in
their language on such _like_ occasions as will not easily meet with
credit from those (the better informed) of the civilized world
unacquainted with these people. Even amongst ourselves there are but
few, for few can judge of the beauties of a language, and most of
those few have too high a notion of their own mighty superiority to
stoop to _regular_ conversation with them.

But to return--After having revealed all, or most part, of his sins to
the company in general, he thus addressed his family in particular:

    You see, my children, my distressed state. I cannot move nor
    stir without assistance. And I feel strengthened in my lungs
    (breast, heart), merely as it were by permission of my
    _Dreamed_ (some particular one he meant) to divulge my
    offenses to the gods (or God) publicly, before you all, to
    deter you from the same vices (wickednesses).

    I was once a young man also, the same as you are now, healthy
    and vigorous. Nothing appeared difficult nor dangerous to
    me. I lived as became a man, and prospered accordingly. But
    I thought that this proceeded from my own power only. Had
    I so continued, all had been well! But no, I _unfortunately_
    heard speak of such Indians (meaning _this_ place, _as my
    informants tell me_), how powerful they were in their medicines,
    the extraordinary feats they performed. I envied them, and
    thought that I required but _that_ knowledge more to render me
    perfect (immortal) and happy. I undertook a voyage to that
    place. I found that the bare truth had been scarcely told me.
    I burned with anxiety to become as knowing as themselves, and
    I was gratified.

    Had I rested here, all had yet been well. But in learning
    their medicines, I also learned of them those vices, those
    sins, that by _their practice_ have reduced me to this
    wretched situation.

    My sons! Take example from your father! Be good charitable,
    and peaceable Indians as I was at the first set off of my
    life. And employ the same means; indulge, use the same anxiety
    to _avoid_, that I did to _procure_ that information that hath
    reduced me so far below the level even of a dog. Never forget
    this. Never indulge even the least desire of such acquisitions.
    For if you once begin, you will be deluded by their flattery
    to that destruction I have found. But you are young men! And
    unless you find grace, you also will be deluded and lost as
    I am!

I have heard a good deal said of _this_ Indian's confession and
exhortations to his sons. They were not lost. He himself lived but a
short time and seemed much comforted by it.


[Animal Sacrifice (Beaver Indians)]

There is a tribe of _Athabasca_ that go by the name of _Beaver
Indians_. From the tenets of their religion, I _am told_ that, when
laying under any malediction, bewichisms, or conceive themselves so,
they make a vow that the first animal they shall kill they will do
_so_. They do not fail, but immediately proceed in quest of another
which, by this diabolical action, they think they will soon find and
kill. They do not _touch_ the animal afterwards, {54} as those beasts
among the Crees and Sauteux do, but leave it lay as a sacrifice. They
consider it as a duty imposed upon them. But the others do it from
mere beastiality. "Such a one did so--brought home part of the meat,
and we all of us eat it! Oh! the dog!" said an Indian not long ago to
me.


[Fragments]

Lest I may not soon have another opportunity of writing on these
subjects to _you_, I shall add a few more _fragments_.


[The Great Doctor]

    An Indian here, passing for a great doctor, was applied to
    (and is still) by many to attend upon them.

    Several of these he retrieved from death. One of his dreamed
    I believe the North, was not pleased and told the doctor
    never to administer his medicines to those he had doomed to
    death. The doctor replied it was hard and uncharitable seeing
    he could prolong their days a little.

    "Well! For every one that thou dost deprive me of, I shall
    take one of thy children." And the doctor lost eight or nine
    (I cannot now remember well). But he is now grown more cautious.

    But this Doctor is himself a beast.

    Being unable to stand from sickness, he told two of his wives
    "Take ye me one under each arm to my [sweet-heart]. I feel
    myself dying and don't chuse _thus_ to go." And he actually
    did. Remember _I am told this_, but I have reasons to believe it.

    He is an incestuous beast. Otherwise, I find him a good Indian
    and, what is most strange, sensible beyond many of his equals.


[The Devil and the Tailor Caricature]

I have got a caracature here of the Devil carrying off a tailor. I
asked one of my Indians if any of their familiars resembled him and
how they were. The reply was:

    Yes, he resides in the North (at the Pole I suppose) and
    has a vast number of young men. The Indians report of some
    finding their tracks that are very numerous and exactly
    resemble the tracks of the grey deer (carriboeuf). But
    neither [he] nor his young men are very wicked. North, Ice,
    Skeleton and Folly are the most wicked and ill inclined of
    all those we dream of or enter the conjuring box!


[Feasts]

Of their feasts I cannot say more than any common observer. I have
been invited and partaken of many of them, but I never thought of
enquiring into their origin [and] the causes of them. But from the
little I could learn, or rather understand from the speeches made at
_all_ of them, and what I have learnt in regard to other things, I think
[I] may say, without dreading contradiction, that as there are songs
[and] ceremonies appropriate to every one of their gods or familiars
or devils, there [are] also _feasts_ made for each according to the
whim, dream or some other circumstance of the one who makes them.

We denominate these 'feasts', and from their own term it would seem
they so mean. But I consider this again as a premature interpretation
which I have not leisure to explain. I consider them rather as
_sacrifices_. Indeed they may perhaps rather be esteemed as partaking of
both. I have somewhere above said that they are _obliged_ to make an
annual sacrifice to some of their gods as the non-performance passes
not off with impunity. These therefore are obligatory or compulsory
sacrifices. But besides these they also have free-will sacrifices.

These feasts or sacrifices are not _universally_ {55} of _flesh_. They
have them of flesh, grease, dried berries [and] rum. And few of these
feasts are made without _the one who makes it_ [offering] a certain
[part] (very small, only a few mouthsful) to _him_ whom it is in honor
of or intended for. [This] he most commonly puts into the fire, _in_
or on the ground. Some of them are very grand and ceremonius, the
_titbits_ of the animal only, as the head, heart, and liver, tongue,
and paws when of a bear.

It is only the great men that are allowed to eat of these. Others
again, besides the above, [eat] the brisket, rump and ribbs. And very
seldom a woman is allowed to partake of them, particularly if it is _un
festin à tout manger_--to eat the whole.

Though there may be sufficient for two or three times the number of
guests, all must be eaten before day. Though, in certain cases, the
feaster is obliged, and commonly does, take part back, providing a
knife, a bit of tobacco, or something else attend with the dish.

In these great feasts, the feaster makes one or several speeches
before _we_ begin to eat, and one again after all is done. And [he]
sometimes sings, beats the drum and [makes] speeches during the whole
time of the feast, never partaking of a morsel himself. At some of
them there is dancing to be performed.

I happened to be called to one of these many years ago. It was the
principal parts of a bear. And the paunch had been filled with the
liver, heart and fat, with blood, minced, and much resembling that
dish the Scotch term _haggish_. We were all very hungry, and though we
gormandized (it cannot be called _eating_) there yet remained full two
thirds. The Feaster was uneasy, and said he would have been proud had
we eaten all, for in that case his dreamed would have been
propitious. We were obliged to dance also. But when I could stow no
more, I gave him my knife and a bit of tobacco and walked off leaving
him to settle with his god as well as he could. But indeed I was not
very scrupulous then, otherwise I had most certainly avoided many of
them though it is oftentimes dangerous if there be not method or
qualification in the refusal.

Their feasts of rum are often to some one of the four wicked ones,
praying them to be propitious and not allow themselves to be
influenced by the wicked solicitations of envious Indians.

Many years ago I happened to be out a hunting a few miles from the
house and came unexpectedly upon the lodge of a few Indians I had that
day given rum to. I heard one of them harangue, and drew up cautiously
to listen. He entreated the rain, snow and frost to have pity upon
their young ones (that they might kill).

I communicated this a few years after to a couple of gentlemen. One of
them, longer in the country than myself, denied it and enquired of his
wife who had lived a long time with the Indians. She corroborated his
denial. I perceived the cause, and told him that it was because _they_
do not chuse that we become too well informed of all their
ceremonies. It was to no effect, and I had almost a mind to credit the
woman too myself, but by _insinuation_ I find I am perfectly right.

Thus {56} it happens in almost everything else. A thing that does
not meet with our approbation, or be a little beyond the sphere of our
limited information, we immediately deny or condemn. Whereas by taking
_proper_ measures to enquire or inform ourselves, not only those things
themselves, but others far more interesting, and sometimes too of the
greatest moment, whether to ourselves or others, are rendered
probable, reasonable, certain.

Hence it is also that many, upon receiving a piece of information,
there rest themselves as upon a rock of certainty. Now either of these
I consider equally blameable as they lead to distrust, doubt, and
sometimes to a complete refutation or assertion of facts that very
oftentimes cast a stain or stigma, sometimes upon the whole people,
and without any other foundation than, as might be said, that all
powerful _veto_.

They have feasts for the dead, most commonly berries, or in countries
where it is made, sugar. Generally yearly a bark box of perhaps 2 or 3
gallons is placed _in_ the grave, upon it, or well hid in some private
nook, if they are afraid, or do not chuse, it be taken.

I ought rather to have said these are sacrifices. But independent of
these, they have feasts also, and feasts of baptism--feasts in short
for almost every occasion. Besides these they have _smoking_ feasts;
these are to deliberate. I shall, should it please God I live, make it
a point to enquire particularly into the origin of all these.


[Conjuring Ceremony (June 4th, 1823)]

June 5th. These last 3 days have been busy and turbulent ones for
me. It is now considerably past midnight (and of course the 6th June)
but my Indians are drinking and I cannot think of going to bed. Till
they do I shall employ my few remaining _leisure_ moments ('till next
year, please God I live so long) in giving you an account of a
conjuring bout I, with some difficulty, got an Indian to make last
night (June 4th).

In the evening the hut was prepared at some distance from the houses
on account of the stink, as _the spirits_ cannot or will not endure any
pollution. The hut consisted of ten poles about seven feet out of
ground, well stuck in, and somewhat better than three feet
diameter. The Poles were secured with two hoops. They were covered
with two parchment skins (of moose) well bound with many rounds of
strong leather line. _The top was _covered_ with a dressed skin and
secured also, to prevent its being carried off (by the wind).

About 10 P.M. (still broad daylight with us) we drew up with the
conjurer, smoked and chatted some time. After this he took his drum,
much resembling a tambourine, and with a stick gently struck it all
the time he made a speech. I was almost touching him (all seated) but
from the noise of the drum and his low voice, for the man has a
dreadful complaint on his lungs, I could only gather, "Take pity upon
me; take pity upon me. Hear and come. Let me not speak in vain, nor
become abashed. Show me charity. ..." It was a moderate and decent
prayer. After this _they_, for there were several men, {57} began to
sing using the drum and rattler. They sang, among others, the Moose,
Horse, Bear, and Dog songs, about a dozen in number.

[Then] he prepared by taking off his clothes, all to his cloute, and
asked who should tie him. I replied that I would, but was afraid of
hurting him. Another conjurer did, beginning with his fingers between
the 2 joints nearest the hand, nearly as I can describe it, thus
giving a double turn to the line between each finger. And the line was
new mackerel, small, which I happened to have in my pocket by
accident. I drew up to _inspect_. And observing the fingers to swell
upon his complaining of the tightness, I felt a good deal for him.

After this his blanket was wrapped round him and tied in such a
manner, lengthways, crossways and every way. And a good knot _I_ tied at
each meeting of the cords, for I assisted in _this_, that I could have
laid any wager that it was beyond the power of spirits themselves,
thus tied, to [extricate] themselves. And his hands were _under_ his
hams. As he could no more move than fly, _of himself_, the other
conjurer and I put him to the door. But behold it was with difficulty!
We could just get his head in, the entry being too narrow by about ten
or twelve inches screwing and jaming considered.

"It will do, it will do." said the conjurer, "Cover me now."

His back was covered with a blanket, and we all retreated to our
seats, myself about four feet distant. The others took the drum and
began to sing.

I could not help but laughing in myself and pitying the boldness of
their vanity. But I had soon occasion to think otherwise, and had I
not predetermined that reason should conduct me throughout the whole
of this, I cannot say how far in the _other_ extreme _I_ might have
gone.

But to return: The conjurer desired the others to sing. They began a
short song, I believe it was that of the _Stone_, and the man entered
in an instant! I was struck dumb with astonishment, for he appeared to
me to _slide_ in by something that was neither invisible nor
descernible. I heard something that, for the life of me, I cannot
account for, and that's all.

From the time we covered him (twenty-five minutes past 10 P.M.) to the
time we had done hunting for the twine that tied his fingers, not
quite five minutes elapsed. And not one and a half minutes [passed]
before his blanket and the cords were thrown out to us! Not one of
them, apparently (one knot) _untied_! My astonishment and
apprehensions of his being entirely carried off from us were such that
I was nearly springing up to haul him out for fear of his being
forever lost.

The others continued singing a few other songs, and I had the utmost
anxiety in hearing [him] repeatedly call out, as if in the greatest
apprehensions himself, "Enough! Enough! {58} Enough of ye I say!", and
frequently for the space of some minutes repeating the same, and now
and then calling out, "Do not _Thou_ enter!"

The _Stone_ was the first one known to us by his song; for every
one, almost, that entered sang _his_ song, to which those (the Indians)
on the outside would keep chorus. A vast number entered. I verily
believe upward of an hundred [did so], for upwards of that number of
times the frame shook back and forwards, and very smartly, as if to
fall. And among the first were some truly terrible characters. I have
almost entirely converted myself from these foolish ideas of ghosts
and hobgoblins, but I assure you in truth that I more than once felt
very uneasy.

The Ice entered. He made a noise extremely resembling that made by a
person shivering with cold, loud, and hoarse and _liquid_.

The Devil _himself_ also entered in _propria persona_, in a very
authoritative and commanding manner. I assure you there was no
laughing nor gigling outside. All the time he sang and spoke.

The Turtle spoke as an old, jocular man. "I hate the French, for in
their travels, when they find me, they kill me and eat me. I shall
answer none of their questions." But this was a joke, for he laughed.

"Speak out, Turtle! Speak out louder that we hear thee!" said those
without.

"I would too," replied he, "but my voice is so strong I must contract
it thus, otherwise ye could not endure the sound of it. Stop!"
continued he, "I must imitate the drunk!" which he did to the great
diversion of us all. And [he] concluded with snoring, the natural end
of all drunken feasts, and then became quiet.

On which another voice (which I also perfectly heard and understood as
well [as] the Turtle herself [sic]) cried out, "See! See if she does
not look like a frog stretched out!" and this raised a proper laugh
both in and out.

The Dog entered, and spoke perfectly plain and [distinctly], and
with a more elegant and harmonious voice [than] I ever heard in
my life.

Bears of three or four different sorts, the Horse, Moose, Skeletons,
spirits of departed and _still living friends_ entered. But none but
the latter and above mentioned were to be understood by any but the
conjurer himself.

On the entering of one, "That is my (_adopted_) Son." said an Indian
seated by me, and called out his name to which he readily answered
besides questions. This young man and a girl, both living, spoke very
plain (you must observe that it is not their bodies, but their
souls or spirits that enter). [There were] children almost at the
instant of birth, dwarfs, giants. But this latter did make a noise
indeed.

We all laughed very heartily when the Horse entered, for it appears he
passed too near the Turtle who called out as the horse was flying
about (in the inside) singing and rattling his rattler, "I wish you
would take care of yourself and _not {59} tread_ on one." in allusion
to his diminutive size in comparison with that of Horse.

It is somewhat surprising that everyone that entered, whether he spoke
[plainly], or was interpreted, their first words were, "Your lands are
distressed. Keep not on the Grand River--sickness, sickness."

"But from amongst _ye here_ I shall select only a few aged ones." said
one of the latter, but in a _voice_ no one but the conjurer could
understand.

As he went out, however, the conjurer paid him a most bawdy
compliment. We all laughed and asked what was the matter.

"Pah! Nothing. I am only afraid of him." said the conjurer

One of them that entered, apparantly the Devil himself for he spoke
and acted _en veritable maitre_, startled us all a great deal and
enquired authoritatively and angrily, "What want ye of me? Speak!"

Upon several hurried enquiries put to him, he said that some things I
saw and heard in my house this winter were by Mr. Frobisher, who
expired so dreadfully in 1819. "He is a skeleton (Pah-kack); and it is
he who built _this_ house. He comes to see."

Though I did certainly both hear and see several times this winter,
and once in particular about two A.M., yet I do not feel much inclined
to add faith to this assertion of Davy's. I must have something more
substantial. But I am much inclined to doubt master Davy's assertions
and consider _this_ and several others of his sayings at former
periods in the same light as those he delivered at many of [the]
Grecian temples, for I have every substantial reason to consider him
as the same identical gentleman. However, a short time hence will
decide.

The Turtle said we should have a good deal of rain, but not a _very
great deal_, and a very high wind, and as soon as the Sun should
appear. "At its setting, an Indian (naming him by a very extraordinary
and bawdy feature in his _person_) should arrive and bring us meat;
_but this you will eat of course, and I shall go without_."

{"Beware of yourselves. Tomorrow night you shall drink and be
drunk. Drink and leave the house as soon as you can, _for there are
from that wind_ (by which he designated the _South_) _who if they
drink with ye, ye shall become pitiful_," alluding to two blackguard
half breed brothers who, proud of the bravery of their deceased
father, are ever and anon insulting and domineering over other
Indians. It is worthy of remark that an aged man in the course of this
last winter was [advised] of the same and repeatedly pressed not to
drink at the house on their accord}.

This is now the 6th (June). The Sun appears, but the wind is very
high, and we have frequent showers of rain and snow. About midnight
the conjurer addressed me and asked if I wished to see any of _them_
(the Spirits). I accepted the offer and thrust my head underneath. And
being upon my back, I looked up and near the top observed a light as
of a star in a cloudy night, about one and a half inches long and one
broad--{60} though dim, yet perfectly distinct. Though _they all_ appear
as lights, some larger and others smaller, this one was denominated
the Fisher Star, the name by which they designate the Plough, I
believe we call it, or Great Bear, from the supposed resemblance it
bears to that animal, the fisher.

When I was entering, several of the Indians on the outside called out
to the spirits, "Gently! Gently! It is our Chief who wishes to see
you. Do him no evil!" I had my apprehensions.

A little after one P.M. one of my men looked in with several
Indians and saw several small lights about as large as the
thumbnail. A few minutes before two P.M., being daylight, they gave
another shaking to the frame and made their exit.

The above is an account of only a small part, for I am too much
pressed for time. I cannot therefore enter into particulars, nor a
larger detail, nor give you my opinion further than a few words. I am
fully convinced, as much so as that I am in existence, that spirits of
some kind did really and virtually enter, some truly terrific, but
others, again, quite of a different character.

I cannot enter into a detail by comparisons from ancient and more
modern history, but I found the consonance, analogy, resemblance,
affinity, or whatever it may be termed, so great, so conspicuous that
I verily believe I shall never forget the impressions of that evening.

But above all things that stick most forcibly in my mind is the
unbound gratitude we owe and ought to shew every instant of our
existence to that Almighty Power that deigned to sacrifice his only
Son for us for our Salvation! Oh my God, let me never forget this! And
teach me to thank thee not only with my lips but with every action of
my life!

Here I must close and in a few minutes seal up this for your perusal,
sincerely wishing I may find an opportunity, safe, of conveying it to
you.

How earnestly I wish Robert had been present and understood the
language. This would convince the most skeptic.


To Mr Wm Nelson, Wm Henry         G. Nelson


Note: Read these pages among yourselves and lend them not out of the
house.



Part 2

Typescript


    Page 1st
The following few Stories or Tales will give a better notion or Idea of the religion of these
People than every other description  _I_ am able to pen, & as their _history_ is read with interest, I am
persuaded these few Pages will be found equally deserving attention.  I give them the same as I
received them & leave every one to make his own remarks & to draw his own conclusions.

My Interpretor, a young half breed, passed the winter of –'19-'20 with the Indians &
gives this account.  One day shortly before Christmass he was out with an
elderly man, a chief of this place, a hunting.  Suddenly he stopped as to _listen_, apparent-
ly with great eagerness & anxiety, upon which after allowing a sufficient time the
Int. asked what was the matter? "Listen & you'll hear" "I have listened, says the Intr. but hear no-
"thing & it is surprising that you who are deaf should hear & I not"--"Ah! a white man is thy
"father & thou are just as _skeptical_: doubting & ridiculing every thing we say or do 'till
"when it is then too late--then ye lament, but in vain ...." After this the Indian became much
down-cast & very thoughtful for several days; & as if to increase his anxiety or rather to to corroborate
the husbands assertions, his wife said that one day she also _heard_, tho' the other women that were
with her heard nothing, & an altercation ensued.  His uneasyness increasing too much he was
forced to have recourse to _their_ only alternative in such cases, i.e. _une Jonglerie_ as the french
term it, that is conjuring. One of their party, another half-breed, abandoned many years since
by his Father & leading an  indian life, was applied to: he is reputed a _true man_, i.e. never lies.
Out of respect to the other he was induced to consent, but much against his will; "for I am
"much afraid that some of these times _they will carry me off_." He was prepared, & entered with
his _rattler_, shortly after which the box & the _rattler_ began to move in the usual brisk &
violent manner. _Many_ entered, & one asked "what was wanted that they had been called
"upon." The indian from the outside of the frame (for only the conjuror alone &
enters) inquired "if there was not some evil spirit near from whom he had much
"every thing to dread?"--"No, replied the same voice, _all is quiet_, you trouble yourself
"with vain phantoms" "What then is the meaning, asked again the Indian, of the those sud-
"den flashes of light I sometimes see in the night?"--"What! rejoined another voice from within,
"hast thou attained unto this age & never yet observed this;" & then laughing, continued,  "it is al-
"ways the case during this _moon_ (December) & if you doubt me, for the future observe
"attentively & you will find it to be the case".--This satisfied him for the time, he became
cheerful & assumed his wonted ways.  But not for a long time--he soon relapsed, & after
some days applied again to the conjurer. When he had entered his box or frame--a
number again entered & one of them enquired why they were called for? The conjuror
said -. "What? says he,* "again! Thou art very skeptical--dost thou not believe? now
thou art fond of, thou wantest to be haunted, well thou shalt have thy desire." At these

* i.e. the Spirit


                                      (2)
these dreadful words, which were uttered in an angry & reproving manner, every soul was struck
with terror; but as if to give some consolation assured him "that that spirit had but just
left his _home_, & coming on very slowly would not be up with them 'till _such a time_,
a little prior to which they were ordered to conjure again, when they would be told what to
do. This was no pleasant information to the conjuror who never undertook this job
but with the greatest reluctance, nay indeed even sometimes horor: However, he neither, poor creature had no alternative. At the
time appointed he entered again, every thing being prepared. After the preliminary de-
mands or questions &c. "yes replies one of the _spirits_, that which thou dreadest _is_ near, &
"is drawing on apace" ... "How shall we do? what shall we do?" exclaimed the indian--
At last one of them, who goes by the name of the Bull or Buffaloe (thru the conjuror, for he
alone could understand him his voice being hoarse & rough, his uttering thick & inarticulate)
"asked the indian if he remembered  of a dream he made whilst yet a young man?." "Yes"
"replies the indian--I remember perfectly,--I dreamed I saw one just like yourself,
"who told me that when advanced in life I should be much troubled one winter, but
"by a certain sacrifice & a sweating _bout_ I should be releived; but I have not the means
"here,--I have no stones"--"you are encamped upon them rejoined the _spirit_ & at the
"door of your tent are some" "yes, but says the indian the dogs have _watered_ them,
"& they are otherwise soiled"--"Fool, put them in the fire, will not the fire heat,
"& make them change color, & purify them? Do this, fail not & be not uneasy--
"we shall go four of us (spirits) & amuse him upon the road, & endeavour to
"drive him back." At this the Interpretor burst out laughing & exclaimed "sacré bande de
Betes & do you beleive all that d__d nonsense?" "You doubt too says a voice addres-
"sing him (the In.) from the inside; go out of the tent & listen, you'll see if _we_
"lie"--he did indeed go out to some distance & after awhile heard as a distant
hollow noise, which increased 'till it became considerably more distinct & then
vanished as a great gust of wind, tho' the night was mild, calm, clear & beauti-
fully serene--it even startled the dogs. "_Mahn_! (an indian term or exclamation signifying haste)
"said the spirits from within, _they_ have turned him off the road, as soon as the noise was
"heard, but he will not turn back, or go home: he is _sent_ after you by another indian
'who conjured him up from out the Deep (i.e the bottom of some flood) but be not
"too uneasy, if these four will not do, there are yet a vast many of us, so that between
"us all we _shall_ drive him back: we will perplex & bewilder him: surround, tor-
"ment & tease him on every side: but he is of a monstrous size,  ferocious & withal
"enraged against you:--The task is mighty difficult. _Observe_! See how beautifully
"serene the night is--if we succeed, the sky will change all of a sudden, & there
"will  fall a very smart shower of snow attended with a terrible gust of wind. This


                                      (3)
"This will happen between day light & Sun rise, _& is his spirit_, all that will remain
in his power--he'll then return to his home."--The Intr, tho he laughed at all this,
& could not bring himself to credit it, yet swears that he  heard the rumbling noise, _on
their road_, & seemingly far off: the indians gave implicit faith to all--& the conjuror
did not know what to beleive "there is something says he, for _my Dreamed_, or _Dreamers_
"have assured me of it, but _I_  dont know what to say--however, most assuredly tomor-
"row morning we shall have the snow." This _snow_ both comforted & depressed the poor
indian very much, seeing the weather was then so beautiful & so destitute of
all the usual signs of bad weather. It did snow--it came as foretold, quite sudden-
ly, & as suddenly became fine again. In the ensuing morning the Indian begged of the Inter-
preter to chuse one of the longest & straightest Pine (Epinette) trees he could find of the thickness
of his thigh; to peel off all the bark nicely, leaving but a small tuft of the branches at the
tip end--this they painted cross-ways with bars of vermillion & charcoal, alternately
the whole length, leaving however some intervals undaubded--
& about 5 or 6 feet from the Ground, fastened a Pair of artificial horns, representing those
of a Bull, & decorated with ribbon. He also (the Indian I mean) made the sweat-
ing hut, & in short done every thing as directed, after which he (the indian) became to
resume his wonted cheerfulness & contentment. However, once more he was obliged
to have recourse again to the Conjuror, from hearing another rumbling noise; "Thou
"Fool answered the spirits: wilt thou never have done tormenting thyself & dis-
"quieting us--that rumbling noise proceeds from the ice in a Lake a long way
"off--it is only the ice--be therefore peaceable--I shall advertise thee if any
"ill is to happen thee."--The Flashes of light, or those sudden glares that
the indian inquired of the spirits, is, as the told him, lightning, which always happens in
the month of December & they laughed at his having lived so long without observing it
before. The Conjuror had lost his smoking bag one day that he was out a hunting &
as it contained his only steel & not a small part of his winter stock of Tobacco &c. he
was very uneasy, & hunted several times for it: They having told the Interpretor often
how kind & charitable & indulgent those _spirits of the upper regions_ were, & he,
desirous of Proving them, told the Conjuror to send for his bag. He asked "which of
"ye will go for my bag that I lost? He that brings it me, I shall make him
"smoke" "I will go, said one--they heard a fluttering noise, & soon after they heard the
same fluttering noise & the rattler move, & down fell the bag by the conjuror, covered with snow--
"How stupid thou art, said the spirit, naming the Conjuror, thou passedst over it & yet
"did not see it." It was a long time since the bag was lost & the distance was several miles.--
Another one, could not kill with his Gun, owing to its being crooked, or some other cause--


                                      (4)
--however, he attached the fault to the Gun--The first time, I beleive it was, that this
half-breed conjured.  The People on the outside hearing many voices speak as they entered,
at last they stopped at one whose voice & articulation was different from that of the others: "Who
"is that one just now entered? said those outside--"It is the _Sun_, replied the Conjuror"
"ha! well, I am happy of it, said the the indian, is it not _he_ who says himself able
"to repair Fire-arms (Guns), & do anything with them he pleases?--ask him (ad-
"dressing the Conjuror) if he will not have compassion on me & put my Gun to rights, that
"I also may kill--I am walking every day & frequently shoot at moose, but always miss"--
"Hand it me" said a voice from the top of the conjuring frame. The Gun was given to
the Conjuror.  "It is loaded, continued the voice, shall I fire it off?"--"You may, but
"take care you hurt no body" replied the indian. The Gun was fired, & shortly after
handed back to the owner--"Here is your Gun--you will kill with it now" said the
Spirit.--Both this business of the Gun & smoking bag took place, the
first time, I beleive, the man Conjured.--
	There are but few Individuals (i.e. men) among the
Sauteux or Cris, or Crees who have not their medicine bags--& initiated into some cere-
mony or other, but it is  not _all_ of them who can Conjur. Among some tribes, most
of them, can; & among others again, there are but very few.  Nor is it every one of them
that tells _all truth_, some scarcily nothing but lies, others again _not one_ false-
hood, & this depends upon their _Dreamed_, sometimes, but I think may be equally
imputed to their own selves, i.e. Presumption, ignorance, folly, or any other of our
passions or weaknesses. But to become Conjurors, they have rights & ceremonies
to Perform & go through, which, tho' apparently simple & absurd, yet I have no doubt but
fully answer their ends. Any person among them wishing to dive into futurity,
must be Young & unpolluted. At any age between 18 & 25. Tho' as near as I can
learn between 17 & 20 years old--they must have had no intercourse with
the other Sex--they must be chaste & unpolluted. In the spring of the year they
chuse a proper place at a sufficient distance from the camp not be discovered
nor disturbed. They make themselves a bed of Grass, or hay as we term it, &
have besides enough to make them a covering. When all this is done--& they do it entirely
alone, they strip stark naked & put all their things _a good way off_ & then return,
ly on this bed & then cover themselves with the rest of the Grass.  Here they remain &
endeavour to _sleep_, which from their nature is no very difficult task.  But, du-
ring whatever time they may remain, they must neither eat nor drink. If they want to
Dream of the Spirits above, their bed must be made at some distance from the Ground
--if of Spirits inhabiting our Earth, or those residing in the waters, on the Ground.


                                      (5)
on the Ground. Here they ly for a longer or shorter time,  according to their success, or the
orders of the Dreamed. Some remain but 3 or 4 days, some 10, & I have be told one re-
mained 30 days without eating or drinking; such was the delight he received from his
Dreams!--When I laughed at this, the man was vexed, & the others not a little hurt.
--The first thing they do after their return to their freinds is to take a good drink
of water, smoke the Pipe: & after that eat, but as composedly as if they had
but just risen from a hearty meal. Their _Dreamed_ sometimes order them to make a
Feast; & not uncommonly tell them where to go, where they will find the animal whose
flesh is to be served up (i.e. always boiled) &c. They sometimes lie in one Posture,
& sometimes in another, i.e. their head to some one of the Cardinal Points. Some have
the most pleasant dreams imaginable; others indifferent. When they are to live to
a good old age(!!!) they are told..."You will see many winters! your head will grow
"quite white"; or "tho you shall never see your head white, yet you shall live
"till you are obliged to make use of a stick, & long after"--"You shall die old,
"very old, respected & regretted."--If they are to die young... "Thou shalt see the years of a
"young man"; & so on of the other ages,  as well as the manner of life they shall have; & the
language is not very dissimilar to that of our version of the Bible. But that stile seems to
me to be the language of Nature which _I_ always find the more charming the more re-
tired the _speaker_ is from the Pompous, bombastic walks of _high_ life, which tho' they furnish
us with more ideas, _I_ do not think adds so much to the beauty of the language.
	As I have said before, the purpose of these Dreams is to dive into futurity. Every
thing in nature appears unto them, but in the Shape of a human-being--They dream
they meet a man who asks them (after some preliminary conversation of course) "Dost
"thou know me? (who or what I am?)"--"No" "Follow me then" replies this strangers,
the indian follows--the other leads him to his abode & again makes the inquiry--
the answer is perhaps as before. Then the Stranger assumes his proper form, which is
perhaps that of a Tree, a Stone, a fish &c. &c. & after rechanging several times
in this manner, 'till such times as the Ind. becomes perfectly to know him, then this stran-
ger gives him to smoke, learns him _his_ Song &c. thus addressing him: "Now do
"you remember my song? .... Whenever you will wish to call upon me, Sing
"this Song, & I shall not be far--I will come, & do for you what you require."--
They know many of _these Spirits_ as soon as they see them (in their dreams) by the des-
cription the other indians have given of them--some however they know from their
Nature. When The _Snow_ addresses them--he they know, because he is perfectly white. The
_Ice_ also. The Sun & Moon from their beautifull brilliancy & the elegance of their
abode. The Houses of the two last being uncommonly neat & handsome, such as those of


                                      (6)
the white (i e. civilized). One Principal amongst all these,  & every thing in Nature appears
at least to some, of them, is the Supreme Being, whom they term Wee-suck-ā jāāk
(the last a's being pronounced as in, all, hawk, &c.; the first as ale, bail, &c.) i.e. by his Pro-
per name, his common name, Gey-Shay-mani-_to_ (this is among the Crees nation),
which signifies "the Greatly charitable Spirit."  He is uncommonly good & kind, addresses them,
& talk to them as to children whom he most tenderly loves & is extremely anxious for.  Thus far
every thing is very well, & is perhaps a better _idea_ than many of the vulgar Christians can give; but
on the other hand again thier Mythology, or Stories relating to him, are many of them ab-
surd & indecent in the highest degree: reducing him to the level of his creatures, & not
unfrequently their making him dupe;  but become so by such vile, such abominable deception as
I doubt to be equalled by the most absurd & romantic of the arabian Tales; for there
are many of these Tales the author durst not publish for the obscenity & inde-
cency. There ares ome obscene passages also in these tales (of the indians) but
not more than might be expected from a people yet in a perfect state of
nature, as to their mental Powers, to our eternal shame & scandal. This one
they love, they love him a great deal, & are by no means are afraid of him, because he always
addresses them "my Little Children &c." & all the rest of his character is of a
piece with this.--The next one is Old Nick--Him some term "Key-
"-jick-oh-kay" (The J being pronounced soft, as Git, or Gil, in french, for I
know of no English word where properly speaking the J is of any use & has the
sound seemed intended by it) or "Key-jick-oh-ka_iw_". I cannot at present
give the proper signification of this name, for I am not sufficiently acquainted with
the language, but it appears to me as to mean "he who made the Day or Skies,
"or resides in the Sky" &c.--This one they represent wicked, & terrible; inexorable
to the highest degree; always plotting evil, & endeavouring to circumvent the rest
of the creation; is always jawing & bawling; but when the other appears he or-
ders him in a peremptory manner "hold thy Tongue; Get the hence, thou
"deceiver; thou ill-liver". But these words are uttered in such an authoratative
& commanding tone that the Indians themselves are quite astonished, to see one who is
so uncommonly kind & indulgent to them in every respect; so tender & affectionate,
even in the choice of his words, assume so suddenly & with so much authority so
much Power over one whose name alone they never utter but with the greatest
Dread & horor. Their Horor of the Devil is so great, that no one ever utters it but
when unavoidable; & if thro' inadvertancy or ignorance one of their children
should mention it he is severely reprimanded by all who hear.--
	There is also the Sea Serpent, a monstrous animal & has much Power; The Mer-


                                      (7)
The Mermaid (or Sea-Man), The Water Lynx, or rather Tyger--a dreadful charac-
ter this last, who keeps all the Inhabitants of the deep in the Greatest Subjection--there
are however one or two who contend with him; & sometimes he is reduced to the necissity of
compounding with them.  The Great Turtle, and many others. They have their abodes
in the Deep, but perfectly dry & comfortable. Each one of these, & indeed all of them
have their Stories or Mythology; some I forget entirely, & others remember too incor-
rectly to mention at present.--[These When any one Conjures, if he is a renouned
_Medicine_ Man, _they_ all appear, & Speake to him, mostly in his own language, some
few excepted as the _Pike_ (a Jack fish) who Speaks french; The Sun & Moon, both speak
English; the Bull or Buffaloe in an unknown, or at least strange language; but all  per-
fectly intelligible to the Conjuror.--I am quite astray--leaving the proper thread of
my story to follow one of its branches--I ought to have said that] The Sun when
he appears to an indian, he is seen in the Heavens, as an Indian (i.e. a Man) "walk-
ing on the Wind." His dress is of a variety of Colors & handsome. I had a dream,
the latter part of which I shall relate to you as it is perfectly des-
criptive of the manner or form in which the Sun appears.  I related it the next day to
some of my half-breeds, when one of them replied; "What a pity! had you now forborne
for a few days mentioning _this_, he would have appeared again to you; & then you would have
had a fine opportunity of learning (from the fountain-head, as we might say) how it is the
indians come to perform those things the white will never credit:" & he continued that
it was precisely the form he assumed when he appears to the indians. In my
dream I thought we were travelling a road from which some of our Party had the
utmost to dread from the ambush of an indian who could transport himself to
what place he pleased. As we were walking I happened to look above & was
much struck with the appearance of a man walking in the Heavens. His
dress was that of a neat _Southern_ Indian, composed mostly of red & yellow, but also of a
few other colors: The Garters of his leggings  were also Neat & handsome & had a tuft of
Swans-down that had been Powdered with vermillion, attached to the not, on the
back part of the leg: To His shoes were attached 2 long Swan quills inclosing
the foot thus [Transcriber's Note: Diagram of Sun's footwear] with a tuft of down at each end & in the middle on both
sides, all Powdered with vermillion--with these quills & down, & the down
on his Garters buoyed him up in the air. I addressed in broken Cree--he answered
in the same broken accent; upon my second address I though he did not understand more
of that language than I did myself: the Sauteux seemed to me his proper tongue & I was
glad of having an opportunity of speaking that language; so I the third time addressed him
in it asked him from whence he came, whither he was going &c. &c.--He was very hi


                                      (8)
hi, insomuch that the others thought it preprosterous in my addressing him--that he could not
hear from that distance. Upon this he came down & talked with us--Saying he was an _ambas-
sador_ &c. Such is the habillement, & manner in which the Sun shews himself.--The Thun-
der also appears to them, in the Shape & form of a Most beautiful bird (The Pea-Cock).--
  Roots & herbs also (this also ought to have come in afterwards) i.e. such as are medeci-
nal, appear, & teach their votaries their respective Songs--how they must do,  what ceremonies
they must perform in taking them out of the Ground, their different applications &c. &c. But
these roots, herbs, &c. (medecins) tho' they appear in their Dreams, they do not shew themselves
in the Conjuring Hut, box, or frame, that I learn. They are sent, as appears, by Wee-
suck-a-jaak, "to teach indians their use & virtue." &c., without which "they would be
very ill off, whether to heal or cure themselves, or expell the charms by which other
indians may have bewitched them" &c. And tho' they are acquainted with many of
these roots &c. the use & virtue of some of which I can no more doubt than those used by the
Faculty in the Civilized world, yet they tell me there are several which they use to differ-
ent, & some to diametrically opposite purposes.
	Their manner of Conjuring is this--in the first place a number straights poles of
2, or 2 1/2 ins. diameter & about 8 or 9 feet long are prepared, i.e. cut, branched & Pointed at the
lower end--they seldom require so _few_ as four, commonly 6 or 8, these are planted in
the Ground from 12 to 20 or 24 ins. deep in an hexagon or octagon form, enclosing a space of
3 feet diameter, more or less--These Poles are secured by hoops,
3 or 4 in number, & well tied to each pole, so that none be able to move without the
rest--This Hut, square, box, or frame, whatever it may be termed is covered with skins,
an oil cloth, or some such sort of thing.--The Conjuror is bound hand & foot, not as if
he were a man going to _pry_ into futurity, but as a Criminal, i.e.  _mere_,  pure
Devil & one whom they intend never to loosen, so barricaded & cross-corded is the creature,
sometimes all crumpled into a heap. He is tied only with his Cloute on him & thus
thrust into the hut, underneath, i.e. by raising the lower covering--his "she-she-
quay" or rattler with him. Some of them sing on entering, others make a speech,
--. Here they remain some several hours, others not 5 minutes before a fluttering
is heard.  The rattler is shaked at a merry rate & all of a Sudden, either from the
top, or below away flies the cords by which the indian was tied _into the lap
of he who tied him_. It is then that the Devil is at work--Every instant some
one or other enters, which is known to those outside by either the fluttering, the rubbing against
the skins of the hut in descending (inside) or the shaking of the rattler, & sometimes all
together. When any enter, the hut moves in a most violent manner--I have fre-
quently thought that it would be knocked down, or torn out of the Ground. The first


                                      (9)
The first who enters is commonly Meeh-key-nock (the Turtle) a jolly, jovial sort of a
fellow, who, after disencumbering his votary, chats & jokes with those outside & asks for a
pipe to smoke &c.--There is a good deal of talking inside as may be supposed from the
number of folks collected in so small a space. To some renowned characters, all
the Spirits appear. The Thunder also frequently comes but he is desired to remain
outside as he would breake all--It is reported that he once entered & split one
of the Poles into shivers. The Flying Squirrel also enters--he is no liar, but you
must take every thing he says as we do our Dreams i.e. the opposite: his nature is such
that he durst not tell the truth but in this ambiguous manner, otherwise the
conjuror would soon after die. I do not know that the Skunk ever comes, but the
Wolverine (Carcajoux) does & he is known immediately by his stink, which occa-
sions no small merriment at his expense, on the outside. The _Loon_ also enters
--he is known by his usual cry--"Nee-wih wee-way" repeated commonly 3 times as
he does when in the water. And this too occasions a great laugh, for these four
syllables, which form the most common Cry of that bird in the _Spring_ of the
year, as every body may observe, _are_ also 3 words in the Sauteux & Cree languages,
which signify "I want to marry"! "I want to marry"!  "What! & will you never
"have done marrying?--you were marrying all last Summer & still want to"--will some
outside say, & every one has his word to put in. _Hercules_ also comes in--he is per-
haps as much revered by those people as even he was by the Spartans or Athenians--
His name is _Strong Neck_ (& every body knows how strong hercules was)--he does
not seem over fond of Jokes--& when the other Spirits announce his coming all
those on the outside must cover their heads & not look up; for it appears that he
cannot come _invisible_ as the others do, or will not, but still does not chuse
to be seen. "Once upon a time his arrival was announced, & every body was ordered
"to cover themselves, so as not to see (this, & all such like orders are commands sent to
"the Conjuror, & which he, (being inside) must _Promulgate_ to those on the outside)--
"--there was one young Buck however who wanted to shew himself supe-
"rior to these orders & divert his freinds, would not cover himself--Hercules
"entered--& at that time, as at all others, he was not in too good a humor--Some alter-
"cation ensued & "I am Strong Neck" said he "Pah! says the young man at last,
"the neck of my os-Pubis indeed is strong"! This raised a most violent laugh, but
"the young man was lost--he disappeared from amongst them, & was never after
"heard of. Since _that_ time they are rather more cautious. Some of the _Ancients_
also enter--they are called "O-may-me-thay-day-ce-cee-wuck" i.e. _Hairy breasts_


                                      (10)
such as the ancients are said to be.. These are great boasters--they recount the exploits of
their younger days, apparently with the greatest satisfaction; say "I used to do so & so
"on such occasions--I never shot a Moose or Buffaloe, but pursued them on my feet,
"& ripped them open with my knife &c."  But this is only _wind_, for no sooner do other
powerful ones enter, but these Chaps search to secret themselves. The Sun enters--speakes
very bad English at the offset, but by degrees becomes to speake it very easily & fluently--He
is Gun Smith & watch-maker, or at least can repair them. When he is entered there
is commonly a beautiful clear light visible, through the covering--He neither does not
admit of too much familiarity; but is still good natured & condescending. The Pike
or Jack fish, also enters; as the Sun, they also speak (French,) badly enough at the offset,
"When there are 2 or 3 on the outside who can speake french & address him together,
"merely to perplex & bother him, he laughs at their folly & says 'you may talk
"'20 or 100 of you together if you chuse, yet are you not able to perplex me--come as
 "'numerous as you chuse, yet are there many more of us _Pike_ that you frenchmen'"
--he is very familiar too. The Bull, or Buffaloe is  understood only by the Conjuror,
his voice being hoarse, & rough--his language quite foreign--the Conjurer must
interpret when any thing is wanted of him.--As is his voice, so are his manners--
--however, he will joke a little too; but let them beware not to let drop anything
in a sarcastic or contemptuous manner as to his power, or knowledge of the future for he
takes it up & reproves in a very tart manner; & in a way too that conveys no com-
fortable ideas to any one present,  for they all endeavour to excuse it by saying it is
only a Joke, "I know Jokes too; & I can laugh, & understand the nature of laughing as
"well as the best amongst you, but such language is unbecoming & I will have no
"more of it."--"A half breed one time, _because his father was a french man_
"thought he might go any lengths he pleased with him (the B.)--he replied very
"warmly thus: "how durst thou doubt anything I say--Knowest thou not how clearly
""& distinctly objects are discovered & seen in a plain, from an eminence; & my abode is
""is in the regions above--I see every object as distinctly as you see at your feet, doubt
""then no more, & never hereafter call our Power to question."--Aye! replied some of the other
"spirits "We not only see _all that you do, however secret &hid you think yourselves_
""but we also hear every word you utter." If that indeed be the case tell me, where now are, &
"when will be here, my fathers Country Men? [The conjuror had been employed to tell
"what the people were about as it was long since the time they were expected, & ought to have
"arrived, had elapsed]--"Wait! I shall go & see"--& shortly after he returned "They are
""now all asleep at such a place--the weather will be calm tomorrow, & tho' the distance

                                      (11)
""distance is great, yet will you see them tomorrow night, for they are as anxious as yourselves"--
"another one said, "Since then ye  Spirits pretend to know every thing & are vexed when we call
""any of your sayings in question--come tell me--how long shall I live?--Shall I yet see
""two more winters? "Ha! (laughing replied the same voice) two winters? I see you
""all yet alive two winters hence, every soul that sets here & considerably more; & some of
""you I see crawling with old age""!!!--With some of the
Spirits as I've already said the by standers (or setters for they are seated on the
Ground round about) are very familiar--The Turtle is one of them, he is very hu-
mersome, & their jokes with him were such (for I've heard this myself) as I should
have been ashamed to hold even with a bawd--it was pure _ribaldry_: but they durst
not doubt him when he speaks seriously; for he is very powerful & makes himself
respected when he thinks it necessary. "Who is that, now speaking?" said one of the in-
dians (this I was told)--"It is Mihkenach" said the Conjuror--if it be him, prove it
"--take him in your hand & show him to us"  Now the Conjr. was a very great me-
"decin man,--he took the turtle upon his hand, raised the covering of his _box_,
"& called them to look--Every one was astonished at his beauty--he was very
"small, scarcely more than 2 ins. long. When all had gazed enough the Conjurer
"drew him in.--The Turtle was very quiet while out but as soon as he got in
"exclaimed "Oh! how afraid I was when I saw the children look so eagerly--I
"was afraid some of them would have attempted to take me in their hands &
"let me fall, perhaps in the fire" & laughed heartily. The Bear is a rough
beast & makes a devil of a racket. Towards the latter end master Keyjickah-
kaiw, that old serpent, Satan, enters;--his arrival is announced--all hands are greived, for
then the conclusion is soon to take place--He makes every thing fly again, kicking
up his own (i.e. the Devils) racket, jawing & blabing, scolding & giving the lie to &
abusing all hands: the indians are hurt & displeased, but durst not say anything--they must
swallow all quietly, & then it is that the Conjuror most dreads for his own _bacon_:
this however does not last very long for Weesuckajaak (the Supreme Being) enters last
--as soon as his coming is announced Nick begins to sneake, but still _en maitre_
--Wee_k_  enters, Nick _jaws_, silence is imposed, nick still troublesome,
at last the word comes authoratatively & away _he_ flies. The Indians are uncommonly
fond of Weesuckajâck--he commonly speaks to this effect "My Little (i.e. Grand) Children
"I am very indulgent & kind, I am very charitable, & love you  much,--a great deal more
"than you imagine. You must not live ill, nor make a bad use of your power & knowledge
"for I hate that;--hence it is I command Nick in that authoratative manner; because


                                      (12)
"because he is wickedly inclined--mischief & destruction are in his nature--he greives at any
"good he sees: take ye heed, beware of him for he is ever on the watch to destroy you"
--When _Charly_ enters after some abuse he calls out "Get ye hence, get ye hence, what
"are ye doing so long from your home: off with ye immediately"; & rubs up & down
the skins that form the covering lest any should be hid. Thus he sends off all the
Spirits, who, as they _fly_ off, as well as when they enter, give this frame a terrible
shaking. It may be supposed what sort of a shaking he gives as he comes & goes, &
how he shakes the rattler;--for they all shake the rattler on entering. When We-
suckajaak goes off, all is done.--
    Some Conjurors are so powerful that the _hut_ they enter, must be doubled; that is two
rows or Setts of Poles one on the outside the other, & each row fastened with good
strong hoops well tied, after which the outer & inner row are also fastened--thus


arranged, they seem to be beyond the power of any 3 or 4 men to move, yet when the
Spirits enter it sets a-going with a motion equal to that of a Single pole indifferently stuck
in the Ground & violently moved by a man. I have never seen any of these double
ones, but twice or thrice saw the others, whilst the conjuror was in--Some time
afterwards, when they were off, I shook them with both hands & with all my strength,
but the motion was nothing like that of the Conjurors. I have been told that
those who enter these Double ones, are so powerful that almost all the Creation
comes to see them, & they are shaken with uncommon violence. This motion
the Conjurors say is produced by the concussion of the air; i.e. the Spirits come
& enter with such velocity that it is the _Wind they Produce_ which occasions it.
The conjuror is all the while seated Peaceably in the bottom, (on the Ground) of his
hut. Some of them to shew their Power have had small sticks of the hardest
wood (such as produces the wild Pear, & of which the Indians make their arrows, &
ram-rods &c. for Guns) about the size of a mans finger, made as sharp point-
ed as possible, & dried, when they become in consequence nearly as dangerous as iron,
or bayonets--Some have 18, 24 more or less, tho' Seldom less than 18 planted in the
bottom of their hut--They are about 12 or 14 ins. out of the Ground--On the Points of these
Sticks is the conjuror placed, sometimes on his bottom, at others on his
knees & elbows, & there he remains as quietly & composedly as if he were on
"_a bed of Roses_"; & when he comes off no marks of injury appear, tho he entered
naked, only his Cloute about him, & of course the Cords with which he is
tied. "Their familiars (their Dreamed, or those who appear to them in their dreams &
Promise them their assistance & Protection) support them so that no injury hap-
pens them"!!! __________________



                                      (13)
March 29th- I feel but very indifferently disposed to write; but I am on the eve of an accumula-
tion of business & may not, after a few days, have the necessary time, so that I shall risk.
	A Couple of days back I have been conversing with a Cree (indian) who by _peace-meal_
gives me the following account of their mythology:--"The North-(wind) apparently one of
oldest of created rational beings thus addressed his daughter, his only child  "My
"daughter! be very careful, & remember that anything you do, or wherever you go, on turn-
ing yourself, turn _always in the same direction with the Sun, & never in a contra-
ry direction_." Now women are a compound of Perverseness, obstinacy & curiosity; & withall
forgetful enough too, _sometimes_. This Girl one day she was chopping fire-wood, without
thinking of her fathers admonition, in going to another Tree, turned round
to the right, in a contrary direction to the Sun, & instantly fell to the Ground, &
died. The time she used to take up in this occupation, being expired, her Parents became
very uneasy, & after some search found her on her _back_, dead, & her belly swolen to an enor-
mous size. The father & mother, on each or opposite sides, contemplated her si-
tuation with great grief. At last the Father arose, stood up, & made a long
speech, praying to "The Father of Life" to have mercy & compassion on his child.
His speech was not ineffectual: the Girl was delivered of a Boy, & shortly after, of another--
The Elder was called Wee-suck-a-jock; the younger "Mi (or Mee) shaw-bôse"--
After this the Girl recovered & became as aforetime. These two young men immedi-
ately attained "mans estate"--i.e. to manhood, &c. and became hunters.  The
younger of the two one day was in pursuit of a Grey, or rein Deer (Carriboeuf) after
which also pursued a Wolf. The Deer having thus no hopes of escape fled to a
rock on the edge of the waters & plunged in, Mishabôse & the Wolf followed; but they
all three became a prey to the Michi-Pichoux, or Great Lynx, i.e. water Lynx,
water-Cat, or water Dog. Wesuckajock was very uneasy for his brother, was
anxious to revenge his death, but scarcely knew-well how. At last one day seeing
a Kings-fisher hovering in a certain spot addressed him thus "My younger
"Brother! what art thou there looking at?"  "I am looking at Mishabôse, your
"brother, lying in the bottom of the deep, drowned" &c. After some further con-
versation, Weesuck. discovered the means of avenging himself. He accordingly set to
work & made himself a _large Canoe_, on board of which he embarked the Moose, Deer,
Bear, otter, Beaver, muskrat, wolf &c. &c. & repaired to the place where the
Sea Lynxes used to resort to sleep; this was a fine pleasant place on
the Land. Here he observed several of them & began his work. It is not related
how many he did kill, but the waters upon their death came rushing upon
him in a violent torrent; as he expected this, he had bro't his canoe near hand,
but before he reached it, after killing his enemies, he was already knee-deep in the


                                      (14)
in the water: however he got safely on board; but in his hurry forgot to embark a little earth.
--Now the waters swelled immensely, & in a very short time the highest land was cover'd
& Weesuckajock was tossed about by the wind & water. It appears that he had not the fore-
sight either of taking with him a sufficiency of Provisions for he became very hungry,
& thus expressed himself to his crew. After some time he saw some-
thing on the water, very large & moving towards him: He thus addressed it, "Who,
"or what, art thou my younger brother? (for he being the first born, always addressed
the rest of the creation, whether animate, inanimate, or rational or not, as his _younger
"Brothers_) & whither art thou going?" "Why! my Elder (brother) I am a _water Lynx_,
"& am sent by _Confrers_ in search of Weesuck. & to destroy him" "Aye! is it so indeed?
"& how or with with instrument do you intend to destroy him?" "I have a large &
"very strong Iron-tail, with which if I smite his Canoe, he must perish?" Wee-
suckajock seeing his danger tho't to get off by duplicity & dissimulation & thus
continued: "Indeed you must have a very extraordinary _tail_ my _Younger_ ....
"come near, & let me see it, how it is made &c."--The Lynx drew up, present-
ed his tail, Weesuck. took hold as to look on it, & placed it on the Gunnel
of his Canoe & with a stone cut it off saying,"Now go to thy friends, & tell
"them how Weesuck. has served thee."--He retired doubled quick, grieved,
ashamed, & not with a little pain. "Ha!" said the water Lynxes on perceiving
the situation of their  companion, "ha! weesuck. is cunning, & too powerful,
"we must destroy him for our own safety." "Come, now, who amongst us will
"volunteer, & go to destroy that enemy of ours?"--They at last pitched upon an enor-
mous Beaver & thus addressed him at his departure "Go thou our Brother, Destroy
"that mutual enemy of ours,  be not afraid of him for he is not worthy of fear; but still be cau-
"tious, for he is very artful." Weesuck. descryed him also, & the same addresses &
compliments passed as with the first. And how do you intend to destroy Weesuck?"
"with my teeth." Well then do come near & let me see them." x x x  The beaver
drew up, & shewed his teeth: weesuck. put his hand on his head & while exclaiming "What
"terrible teeth!--how immensely broad & sharp--they are like large axes!" he
with his other hand took up a large stone & with a dreadful blow broke them
all in his head. "Now go to thou too friends & tell them how Weesuck. hath served
"thee." Indeed the beaver did go, sniffling & blowing & yelling.  The Lynxes were
astonished, & durst no more attempt anything at him.  His situation however
was very disagreable, very uncomfortable, & what added to it was his want of
food.  He thus addressed his companions one day. "Come now we very repre-
"hensibly forgot to bring earth with us, & who knows how long this will conti-


                                      (15)
"continue?--which of you all will endeavour to get a little earth for me out of which I
"shall try to make _Land_ for us to live on?--whoever will go shall be amply rewarded."
They all said it was very deep. There was scarcely an hopes. Then he said to the otter
"Go thou my _Younger_ (brother) & if thou diest in the attempt, I shall restore thee to life,
"& make thee immortal". Saying this he tied a long leather thong to his tail & sent him
down: he found the otter was dead, hauled him up in to the canoe, rubbed him dry
& blowed in his nostrils, when he revived. Then he sent the Musk rat: "Come my
"little brother,  go thou, thou art small & very active, art fond of the water, & goeth to great
"depths--thy reward shall be as that of the otter." The rat was secured with a thong
also & down he went. Weesuck found he was dead: hauled him up, & was extre-
mely happy to find he had some earth in his little paws & mouth: he restored
him to life as he did the otter, & sent him down again, when he bro't up his mouth as
full as it could hold & a good deal in his _hands_ which he held pressed to breast.
	Now weesuck. took this earth & made a ball of it, & blew in it a considerable
time & sent off the Wolf to make its circuit to see if it was large enough. After
four nights he returned & thus spake "My Elder, the earth is indeed Large & beautiful; but our
"number now is small: when we will increase it will be too small for us: we
"will be all upon top of each other (i.e we will be in each others way &c.), & if you
"make man as you contemplate,...it will be much moreso." Weesuck then blew
it out again & once more sent the Wolf--He was 8 nights absent, & reported it
still too small. Weesuck then blew it out for a long time & sends the wolf
again. But before he went off he said "My Elder, the Earth must now be very
"large, & I shall possibly be too much wearied to make its circuit: I shall traverse,
"& if I find any thing to assure me of its being large enough I shall _howl_,
"which will be a sign to you; & whatever place may suit me there will I make my resi-
dance." After several nights absence they heard him howl, wherefore they all
concluded the Earth was sufficiently Large. Weesuck. then _blessed_ the others & sent
them away telling them to multiply "& be good, not vicious or ill inclined, nor se-
"cret, or hide themselves too much from _My_ little brothers (the human beings
which he was about to create) when they might want to eat" &c. &c. Now
after this he became very lonesome & bethout himself of making _Indians_
i.e. human beings. He in consequence took up a stone & fashioned it into
the form of a man; but whilst at this work it struck him that by forming
them of so strong & hard a substance that in time when they would become to
know their nature, they would grow insolent & rebellious & be a great a great an-
noyance to each other & of course also, would never die. "This will not do, I must


                                      (16)
"I must make them of a more weake & fragible substance, "so that they may live a reas-
"reasonable time & behave as becomes human beings." Upon this he took up a handful
of common Earth & made the form of a man, & blew into his nostrils _the breath of life_.
	The Moon formed the Female, as Wesuck. did the Male, hence the reason of the Pe-
riodical return of their sickness with that of the moon, "as also among the Sluts." (Bitches).
Hence also all women are forbidden when they go out from the calls of nature, & that _one_ in
particular, to look at the moon while thus employed. Those who are thus for-
getful, ignorant, or obstinate immediately find the effect by the return &c. x x x.
I should have said that he bruised the stone to Pieces, altho' a great part of it was
already formed. For the white (I believe it was the Moon again) he made a Part-
ner for him of one of his ribs & another piece, which he wrapped in a handker-
chief & laid beside him saying "this, by the time thou risest, shall be a full
"grown Woman & shall be thy companion" &c.----After all this done, he
made a separation in the Earth, one part of which was a beautiful
plain meadow Ground, & the rest Woody; & then set off travelling in the
Earth. He took a partner to himself, by whom he had a son. This soon got to mans
estate, but had a great aversion to the female Sex, which gave his Parents a great
deal of anxiety, all their trouble, all their remonstrances were to no effect: at
last the father betho't of a plan in which he was sure of success. "He transformed him-
"self into a most beautiful woman & when the Son was returned from his hunting
"well Son! said the Mother, here is a young & handsome woman we have procured
"merily for thee; does she please thee?"--Her _charms_ were so great the young man
immediately became extremely fond of her. But this, in the end, became the
source of much trouble to both Parents & of disgrace to the father particular-
ly. The mother became jealous & vexed on her son's account that he should so
be imposed upon, & done many shameful things to her husband."  Here follows
a train of Stories the most indecent, & shameful & sometimes obscene, that one can
well imagine. But these people are yet, so far as regards their faculties, in a
state of Nature. Every thing appears reasonable & natural & must be very
gross & palpable indeed when they do not give credit to them. Their language
is also that of nature, & they speake out what they think--they do not use circumlocu-
tion to avoid an indecent term, nor have they flourishes to embellish their dis-
courses; & their speeches, to my taste, at least, are far more pleasing & natural
than those strained & laboured compositions we meet with amongst ourselves. But this is
not the place for these discussions.----


                                      (17)
-_April 4th 1823_} There is a sick indian with me whom I have been obliged to feed with his whole
family all winter, not being able to endure the cold on his lungs, & in a manner deserted by
his friends. To get as near the truth as I can possibly do in all things relating to their
mythology, I frequently converse with him on these subjects; & when "not forbid-
den by his Dreamed or familiars" is explicit enough. A few nights back he
thus informed me upon the several questions I proposed. The one that I saw in my
dream as above related _is not the Sun_, as my half-breeds told me. The
Sun is dressed like a Gentleman, i.e  a short coat, waistcoat, short breeches, stock-
ings, boots, a hat & a beautiful feather stuck in it. He speakes English &c. and
the rest as mentioned above. But the one I mentioned above, is Sickness, or
the Plague. There are four of them: two walking in the air as I mentioned, & two _in_
the earth, i.e. in the bowels of the earth at a certain moderate distance from
the surface, perhaps in the same _proportion_ as those who are above. The indian
thus relates of him: "When I was a young man, he appeared to me, & told me his
"name was Sickness; & that every time a _general_ sickness was to take place
"amongst us he would come & forwarn me. See: Four winters ago (in 1819) after
"we had taken debt in the fall & were proceding each of us to our hunting Grounds
"he appeared to me one night & said, 'I am come to tell you to get out of the way
"'of all _Large waters_ (i.e. Lakes & rivers) & pitch off immediately into the woods:
"'Be cautious also & select proper ground for an encamping; never pitch your
"'tents in Large high Woods, particularly of the Pine kind, chuse _low woods_
"'to encamp in & never look up to Gaze lest I see you see & you be
"'smitten. Keep off, always from Large waters, for I am on a circuit round
"'the earth: I shall follow the travelling waters (i.e. The routes or roads
"'usually frequented or navigated) & smite all those I there find with
"'sickness: in the interior, or to one side I shall not go. Tell this to the
"'indians that they keep out of the way.'" It was that year that the _Measles_
made such havock in some places. He thus continued, "This last fall (in December)
"I saw him again--he told me he was on another circuit & intended making a
"large selection, passing thro' the plains & coming down again this way. He said
"he would pass when the leaves would be rather large (about the 20th June,
"in these parts) & told me as before to admonish every body to keep out of the
"way of _large waters_, trees &c. &c.--'It is not my doings, nor is it my choice
"'that I thus _prowl_ thro' the earth, said he, but I am sent, & cannot resist'--
"Now we will be again this spring visited with some sickness, but I cannot
"tell which--it is a breaking out in the flesh &c. and his appearing to you


                                      (18)
"to you (i.e. me) is a sign that he will certainly pass." I then asked him if he intend-
ed telling the other indians of it. "I shall tell my Elder (brother), but not the others, for they
"wont beleive me." He was very diffident: he wanted to communicate to me all he
was told, but said he durst not lest he should injure himself, by exasperating the other
(i.e _Sickness_) & being _enigmatically_ forbidden!--"He told me, continued the indian,
"as a sign that two of our number should die this winter, one a small one (& _he_ is dead
"naming to me a child that died about that time, tho' very distant then from him)
"and the other a full grown person--whom he is I know not, _but one must die_!
These Chaps seldom appear (in dreams) less than 4 times, but commonly 6 times,
& each time in a different form 'till the last, when he _makes himself known_,
& ever after appears (or rather appear) in the same uniform manner. It
is then, after they have made themselves completely known to their votaries,
that they communicate their power &c. &c. &c. and teach their their _songs_
which tho' in their dreams, are so indelibly imprinted in their memories that they are
never forgotten. For every one of these Spirits, Genii, demons, phantasies, or whatever
you may please to term them, have each their _Song_, which they communicate
to their votaries, as well as explain also their power. Hence it is, that when any
any one amongst them has dreamed of a certain number, commonly a good
many, 20, 30, or perhaps a thousand, that they can _conjure_ when they please; for
these like the guardian Genii in the fables, keeps always near them, & pro-
tect them from _too_ much injury from the evil machinations of some
of the mischievous ones. Indeed, from what I can learn, there are but few of
these _familiars_ but do do evil to their votaries if they (the votary, i.e. the in-
dian) neglect performing the regular annual, or perhaps more distant
periodical sacrifice; and this sacrifice, their _familiar_ tells them what it is he expects.
A few days ago, in the night between the 31st March & 1st April, this indian was
sleeping in an old house I sent him to, when at a late hour in the night he was pulled most
violently out of his bed; so that his wife that was lying beside him, awoke & with
difficulty kept him down, tho' he also struggled himself to  make his _Fami-
liar_ leave his hold: & the house shook violently. The next day he sent me his
wife to ask a like a little grease to make a sacrifice (i.e. burnt offering X)--I gave
her a little, & the husband came the same evening to sleep with us. Upon en-
quiring he told me thus. "It was a _Skeleton_: he _was_ displeased with me because
"I did not make him my usual offering & yet he knows that I am _pitiful_,
"that I cannot move to hunt myself, but am beholding to others for every
"mouthful I & my family eat; but they are wicked when they think themselves

X God forgive me the comparison, which by the bye is not meant to ridicule, but is really the case.


                                      (19)
neglected or abandoned, & think nothing of carrying off an indian & throwing him in some
distant place, dangerous precipice, or other place where he must perish if not succored
by some other more kind one. "Some years back continued he, I went out one night
"in the fall to hunt moose. I had tied  my Canoe very securely in the rushes &
"there was waiting alone to hear the moose either come to the Lake, or cry after the
"Dam, for it was in the rutting Season (& the indians commonly go out in this
manner at that season, for the Buck has a certain cry which he makes at that
time either to call the female, or as with the domestic cattle to exult as one
might think from their capers) "I all at once heard far a-head of me cries of heh, heh!
"heh (or hayh,  or haih) sudden, quick, coming in the air, & directly towards me 'oh!
"'now said I, I am gone'!--Indeed he came--I _crinjed_ & laid myself as low in my
"Canoe as possible; but he came straight to me, took me up & threw me in the
"water, all the time crying he'! he'!--I then endeavoured to take out my _fire-
"bag_; but this he would not let me do. Having then no alternative, I was obliged
"to make for the shore as well as I could, he all the time crying in the same man-
"ner just above my head, as if he intended absolutely my death. However I reached
"the shore, tho' with the greatest difficulty. Then I took some dry grass which
 "I rubbed & bruised 'till it became soft & put it under my arm pits & crumpled
"myself into a small heap & remained 'till the sun began to warm when I
"swam back to my Canoe. He kept hovering over me all night & until the Sun was
"pretty high, always making the same cry; tho' when he found me so benumbed with
"cold on my debarkation he laughed, ha! ha! ha!" &c. &c.--Today (Apr. 4th)
he asked me for a needle & thread to sew the sleeve of his Capot, which this _Ghost_!
had torn in his endeavours to carry him off the other night. Whilst he was sewing
"how he has vexed me, said he, by tearing my old Coat, but I am afraid of him."--
--He related me another story of _them_ as follows. "I went out one
"time a hunting beaver with a friend of mine: It was a long distance from our
"lodges--we killed 6 Beavers, & slept out. I awoke in the night & was
"much astonished to observe a man seated on the opposite side of the fire, resting his head on both
"hands, with his elbows on his knees apparently in a very pensive, sullen manner. He had but skin & bone--not the least particle of
"flesh; & _this_ one had hair on his bony head. I gently pushed my friend & told him to
"look at _that stranger_. We were both extremely agitated in consequence of our fear,
"& were at a loss what to do. Having no alternative, I arose, conceiving he came to
"ask for something to eat I took a Beaver, cut it in two & presented him the half of
"it: he did not deign to look at it--I was much afraid. I then bethought
"of cutting it into mouthfuls, which after presenting him I threw into the fire--
"thus I did with the whole; & when done, he arose & walked off peaceably in the _air_."


                                      (20)
This sort they term _Pâh-kàck_, i.e Skeletons, or such as die of hunger; or some that die ex-
tremely lean whether from the consumption or other sickness--Those, i. e. many of them,
when they have nothing but just the mere skin & bone remaining, some of them in this si-
tuation disappear from the Earth & go to reside with  all those who have already departed
in that distressed state. This band or congregation have a head or chief--Their
color is commonly green, tho' sometimes black; & it is extremely uncommon
when one has even any hair, being bald--as if a blown bladder. They sometimes are heard in
the day. The nois is sometimes as of a quantity of dried bones rattled or shaken in
a forcible manner in a kettle; & sometimes as above related making that same
monotonous but frightful cry of he'h! he'h! very quick & with an abrupt ter-
mination. The sacrifice they offer to these is Grease, generally a large bladder full,
& of the best kind. All the natives present are invited. Tobacco of course goes before every
thing else. He who makes the feast, or his assistant, most commonly lights, or fills
rather, the pipes of all who smoke, but when it is light it is first presented to
that quarter where _these_ are supposed to reside (I believe in the N. W. or West)
then to the cardinal points--then to the (bladder of) Grease which is put is put
in a dish fit to contain it & covered with down. Some of them have a small
board about 20 or 24 ins. long, flat, painted with red earth, & a head made to it, of the
same piece, & flat as the rest. At a certain distance below the neck, as we might
suppose the Shoulders, other small pieces made in the same form & about 3 or
4 ins. long are stuck in each side at short distances, reaching to the ground--
the lower end being small, & the head end would bear some resemblance to the
ribs or arms were there not so many, by their being somewhat in a hanging form.
After smoking & somes speeches, in which these Ghosts are addressed--He who makes
the feast, _waves_ it 3 times crying he! he! very loud for a good many times, & then
presents it to this board, which is intended as a representative of the Pahkack,
desiring _him_ to accept it, & be propitious & merciful to them, neither to injure them
nor their _little ones_. Then He dances 3 times round the tent (in the inside) &
when he comes to the 4th time, the one seated next him (in the direction of the
Sun) rises. He makes a feint of offering it twice to the one who rises, who in his
turn _does_ as if he was going to receive it; & the 3d time it is thrown into
his hands: this one makes a double turn upon his heels & dances or _trots_ once round the
tent, & the next him, seated, rises to take it in his turn, with the same ceremony,  'till all
have passed.  Then it comes into the masters hands again who reperform the same
ceremonies once more,--puts down the Grease, cuts it up, & shares to every male or
widow present, in proportion to their numbers (i.e. the families they may have.--Shortly after my arrival here this last
fall they invited me thro' compliment to two of these feasts--I went both times merely


                                      (21)
merely to have a better opportunity of making my observations, which are as above, as near as I
can bring them.  But my mind was too much disturbed with reflections which soon
became so melancholy that I had nothing to bestow on what was going on. Poor
unfortunate creatures! I often exclaimed to myself--Ye are desirous, nay anxious to perform
your duties to your maker, but know not how. If you only knew how he abomi-
nates this ceremony which you perform with so much devotion, how soon would
you cast off all your superstitions, & rather live without any religion at all, &  risk
all upon chance, than perform sacrifices, for aught I know, to demons!  I shall not
here enter upon these reflections further, suffice the above; for they are too long, too
frequent, & besides I wish to sacrifice the little paper I have remaining to
such other things as I have, & which I think may not be quite uninter-
esting to you.  Had there  been but their speeches, & the ceremonies, I should
not perhaps have thought so deeply.  But their cries of he! he! & ha! ha! &c. so repeated
& vociferous, that I was struck with a certain horror & thought that half of the
devils in hell had entered the throats of these men to  give _me_ an idea of their
Pandemonium below. Good God! what a miserable reflection! but how much
moreso the occasion leading to it is.--
      Notwithstanding they some times _Dream_ of roots (medecines &c.) there is a certain place accord-
ing to their notions consecrated to _Esculapius_ (& Perhaps Appollo also, conjointly). It is depicted
as a most heavenly abode, so delightful. He (_Esculapius_) resides in a mountain in the
bowels of which is his house--it has 6 doors, but so mysteriously constructed that no soul
whatever, besides himself & his _inmates_ of whom there are a great number (of Every Nation
& language) can open them--The Lock apparently is in the form of a Screw, or
Spiral, & is opened on the inside, but only to such as Escu. deems worthy of admis-
sion These doors open _to_ different quarters, the house being immensely large, & as above mentioned,
in the bowels of ye mountain: _In_ this residance is of every medicine useful in life, such as
do not _vegetate_, i.e. minerals, fossils, &c. &c. These are shown to the votary; he is instruct-
ed in their use;  the manner of preparing & mixing them; the ceremonies, i.e. songs & sacrifices,
&c. &c. to be performed in their application, taking of them up, or in instructing _others_;
because it is not every _Indian_ that is favored with these Dreams. The mountain is of a
moderate size, & there issue from it 40 Rivers which fall into a Lake not far
from the _base_ & situated in a beautiful plain--this  Lake is shallow & has some
handsome sandy shoals, & in the borders of (in the water) it grow beautiful _rushes_.
The water in every one of these rivers is of a different color, no two being alike, one is
Black, another white, red, Green, blue, _ash-color_ &c. &c. _In_ the latter grow herbs &
plants of a vast variety, as also their nature. In the sides of the mountain are of every
of every herb & plant that grows in any part of the world whatever. When any one of them


                                      (22)
(of the indians I mean) is thus favored, he appears first at these rivers, when the head or Chief of the Mountain
comes out, accost him in a freindly manner, & after some conversation he is introduced into the
interior of the house, where he is astonished to find people of every nation & language in the
earth. But if I can form a right opinion, there are but few of each language.--They
are seated in Four rows, their seats being something like those of a Theatre, semicircu-
lar & rising a little one above the other. These are all Doctors; & it is their business
to instruct the _votary_ in the object of his mission &c. They have a great quantity of
medecines already prepared, of such as are produced in the bowels of the Earth, such
as minerals, stones, shells &c. &c. and most, or many of these, are hung up in the
house. Here is he is taught how, & in what manner, to prepare these, as also the
Songs & sacrifices &c. appropriate to each different one or sort.  When on the
outside,  or out-of-Doors, he is shewn all the roots, herbs, plants &c. and is taught
the respective Song (of each) or of any particular one, or number, or such
only as grow in the climate he inhabits. Both the Songs & the Plant, herb &c.
are so indelibly imprinted on his mind (or memory), tho' he had never seen
them before, or should not happen to meet with any of them for years afterwards, yet
on his first view, he immediately recognises them, & every circumstance that had been
instructed him, as if he had passed a regular apprenticeship.  This may seem very
extraordinary, if not indeed absurd to people unacquainted with them, but still it
is no less a positive fact. These rivers i.e. waters are of different colors, so also is the _rapidity_
of each stream; some of them moving in a turbulent & awful manner as the rapids
& eddies at the foot of Large falls; some moving in large majestic waves likes the
swells of a large & Deep Lake agitated by the wind;  & some in a beautiful
smooth current, down which the _canoes_ are scarcly perceived to move. These
are the tokens or signs or emblems of the manner of _our_ lives, here below, so far as regards to
health & sickness, & of course the description requires no further explanation.
In some of these rivers grow herbs or plants which, themselves, as well as their roots,
are a rank, deadly poison, more or less; & their effects, when any Demon-Spirited wretch
employes them as instruments of vengeance, tho' I have known none to carry
off the object _immediately_,  yet have a most melancholy baneful effect; some of
them exactly similar (in their effects) to _Lunar Caustic_, & oftentimes  with an ad-
ditional _humiliating_ effect (But more of this hereafter) & some, deprive the ob-
ject of every one of his senses but that of feeling--a melancholy instance of this I saw in
the Spring of 1813 & sufficient of itself to _emeliate_ an heart of adamant! Some
times Esculapius will not instruct his votary in their use, satisfying himself  with
telling them _they are bad medecines_, or perhaps not mentioning them at all. To others
again, he explained every _circumstance_ &c. relating to them; but with a _most strict_


                                      (23)
injunction never to employ them at his _Peril_ "unless you wish to die: I teach you all these
"these things because I love you, & know your heart to be compassionate: but _mind my
"words_, if ever you employ them with an ill or evil _view_, thou shalt die. Other _indians_
"as well as thyself, love life--it is sweet to every body; render it therefore not a bur-
"then or a _disgrace_; & I _hate_ those who thus abuse my confident affection" &c. &c.
They are also forbidden sometimes as strictly, & for the same reasons, instructing
others in their use. Notwithstanding this great love & cautious diffidence of Escu-
lapius, there are other malignant Powers who teach them & encourage their use.
--Hence those distressing objects I cannot here for the want of Paper,  speake of--
    What I have mentioned of minerals &c. which from their description are indeed really
such, i.e. minerals &c. yet I cannot  take upon myself from my slender knowledge of their
language & _technical_ terms, to _assure_ you that they are prepared after _our_ manner,
i.e. by Chemical processes. Mercury, sulphur, saltpetre or nitre &c. I do not know that they
have; but there being french, English, German, & from the description Greek & Hebrew
Doctors, among the number, I should not suppose it preposterous in concluding that they
have them all in the same way as ourselves. But from what I can learn it is _Stones_,
that is, some particular kinds of them that are most used, such as _talk_, pumice stones,
& various other kinds.  These they are shewn how to reduce to Powder, & with what water, i.e.
out of which river (or colord water if you please) the water is taken to mix up these Powders.
"With the roots & herbs &c. it is different--_they are boiled_" &c.--These _stones_ (for they are most
commonly thus denominated by them) are held in very great repute by them; tho' many of those that
have been shewn me as possessing wonderful virtues I considered as very common & fool-
ish, or at least harmless things.  Here!  I am again digressing, which is everlastingly the case with
me when not in the _humor_ of scribbling. I should have mentioned first (because as you
may see, I have begin _this_ story in the _middle_ instead at either of the two ends) that when they
want to dream of these things, as well as of any other particular thing, they must fast, & lay
down to sleep, keeping their minds as free as possible from any other thoughts whatever,
& wholly bent & employed on that particular one alone. I also should have observed in
the proper place that the door the votary is introduced is exactly in the middle of
these rivers, there being 20 on each side of the door. The use, intent, &c. &c. of
the other 5 doors, I never thought to enquire, & must leave you to guess as well as
myself 'till such times as I can get this matter explained. Their songs are
delivered in _Notes_, impressed or drawn on bark, in the form of hierlographics,
& thus taught, & being hierlographics (& not very dissimilar to those anciently used by the
Egyptians; nay indeed, I have reason to think from what I have seen of both, that any
_Learned_ man being perfectly acquainted with the one could trace a great deal in the other;
but this opinion I hazard from my own ignorance) no two are alike, it therefore requires


                                      (24)
him to learn them; that is any _one_ of them: for those notes are not like ours, _marked_ with regular
bars &c. so that one Gamut serves for all; but with them, each one may be said to be itself a _Gamut_.
However, I have reason to think that they are regular & uniform; for many years ago, when
I was still scarcely more than a boy, I remember throwing away the contents of one these mede-
cine bags in which there were several strips of Bark covered with these Notes--
--an indian happened to be by--he took one up & with the Point of his knife placing it on
one of these began to sing, moving the knife regularly as children do when they begin to learn
their a, b, c.--This surprised me a little at the time, for the indian was a stranger
& had but lately arrived from his own lands that were several hundred miles off.--
After laughing at, & ridiculing, him, as is the custom with us, I asked how he could
make them out? "The same said he, as you do to _reckon_ (i.e. read) your _papers_
"See this one is (meant for) the _Thunder_; that, the Earth, &c. &c.; but I only
"know a few of these songs:--the possesser of this bag knew a great deal--he
"was a great Medecine man, i.e. Doctor" &c. As far as I can learn, every different
root, herb, plant, mineral, Spirit (or whatever you may please to term this latter) have
each their respective songs; & which they must sing, were  his voice like that of a choked
Pig, when he employs them for one of themselves, or learns them to another. When
they sing, those of their _familiars_ who instructed this Song, whether to the one
who sings, as having learnt it from himself (i.e Familiar) or having been
handed to him; he is said to attend, invisibly of course,  & perform that which he
promised this (medecine, supposing it is one) should effect. _[This is a long &
complex job, & I doubt much if I can get  thro' with it without more of my blundering;
but I shall risk blunders, omissions, & repetitions]_ Hence it is they always sing when
they attend on a desperately sick person, amongst themselves, tho very rarely when
they administer to the white. When any one is very sick, & that they be _called upon_,
or perhaps, tho' rarely, ordered, in their dreams, by their Familiars, they sing, blow,
& suck, alternately, & with such violence that one would think they wanted to
to blow them to the d___l, or swallow them down their throats;  but no, it is to
force in the medecine, of which they have generally a mouthful, masticated into
a pulp. or something near _salve_, sometimes: the suction business is to draw out
the Devil; i.e the medicine, bone, stone, iron, brass, stick, or whatever they imagine
it is that occasions the disease. If the complaint lies in any particular part, to that
part it is they apply themselves most, & sometimes _only_: supposing the hip, knee &c.
for there they imagine it is a worm or maggot gnawing them. But if the complaint
is universal, that is the whole system be sick & debilitated, it is then the pit of the Stomach
& the Temples; rubbing sometimes the wrist, the palms of the hands. & opposite the heart.
This is very frequently done, & in the intervals the songs & rattler together, & often a


                                      (25)
& often a short speech or prayer to that one of their _Familiars_ whom they think will be
most propitious on the occasion, or _he_ from whom they hold such, or such instruction &c.
These songs are a dull monotony; for tho' they have a few variations & are hi & low, & the
transition sometimes so very sudden that it requires a particular command of the
throat to sing them;  & to _me_, so difficult that I should I believe require a 7 years
apprenticeship even with Esculapius (but I believe it is _Pluto_, or _Pan_ who teaches
the songs) himself, for me to learn them, there is certainly no musick in
them; tho' some few that I've heard many years ago, passing a winter with them,
I found pleasing enough; but perhaps more from the _solemnity_ with which all
was going on was I struck, than any thing else: indeed we had had great reason to
be solemn, for we were dreadfully pinched by hunger. When oppressed thro' star-
vation, they have a variety of ceremonies which they perform;  & tho' the songs be different,
as also the _ceremonies_ themselves, still are they intended to answer the same purpose.--
I shall endeavour to describe a couple to you from which you may form a pritty
just idea of the rest.--It was the latter end of Jany. or beginning of Feby.  1804, four of
us only _white_ people, mind  were pitching off, or rather flying off from our houses we had built in the fall on ac-
count of _the_ enemies. We had a small stock of dry Provisions & speared a few fish once or
twice, but there were so many of us that we were soon bro't to short commons as the
_strip_ of country we were then going thru contained no other animals but a few strag-
ling Bears, but these animals at _this_ season could not be found notwithstanding all the
exertions of our hunters. One evening on my return to our lodges one of the women told me that
the oldest man of our band, a great Doctor, or conjuror, as we frequently denominate them,
said that if I were to pay him half a carrot (1 1/2 lbs) tobacco, he would conjure & be assured
of success, for it required payment. Tho' I suspected there was a trick in this, I did
not hesitate, but gave him his demand. The first night their songs & ceremonies were
as usual.--"Tomorrow, my _familiar_ tells me we shall get a Bear". All the hunters
returned at evening, _mais tous a blanc_. The second night, the rattler, songs, speeches,
smoking, & medicine bags opened: "Tomorrow, we will assuredly get something." But the
same as the day before. The third night, the same, but every thing conducted with
a sort of awful silence & solemnity that surprised me a good deal. I was harassed
with constant walking, weake thro' hunger, & tired with their _Bêtises_ as the
french say; but the manner of their conduct kept me that time from growling.
"Oh! Now tomorrow indeed, we shall not fail--we shall certainly eat flesh; for
the old man is a great conjuror, & well liked: he prayed to the _master_ or giver of _Life_, & his
Dreamed have promised him success.  But we get no more than before.  In these conjuring
boutes--they made no use of drums, but instead of that had cut a small hollow tree of
maple, about 5 feet long & scooped it out, after splitting so that it resembled a semicircle--


                                      (26)
or stove pipe split down--this _hollow_ board had been well dressed i.e. reduced to about half an inch in thick-
ness & well polished: there were to the best of my memory four men seated taylor fashion & held a
small stick about 3/4 ins. diameter & about 15(ins.) long, in each hand: with these they beat time
to the tune & another moved or shaked the rattler in the same manner. All this however was
to no purpose. There was another indian in company with us, but _tenting_ by himself (& his
family).--This indian who was very fond of me would frequently call me in & give me a
share of what he had to eat: "Well! said he, what  success have your great men?"--I an-
swered I did not expect much: "No replied he, they did not go the right way to work,
"--had I not polluted (spoiled, as he said) my person last fall, alluding to an indian
"he had then killed, I should try; & I beleive that my familiars would be _charitable_
"to me: however I shall let them go on 'till they are done, after which I shall make
"a trial: perhaps on _your accounts_ they may shew me their wonted attention."
--I took this as wind, but as he spoke in so very _earnest_ (si naivement) a manner, I con-
cealed my sentiments. The second night after the others had finished--he began a
little after dusk. But what a difference between them!--He had an immense large
drum, as large those among the military, & stretched hard: upon this he beat time,
but very hard, to accord with his Songs which were as loud as he could bawl: at cer-
tain intervals also he used only his rattler,  but with as much violence as he could.
    Thus he continued alternately singing, praying (or making speeches) & smoking,
'till broad day light. When he began, we thought this fellow was mad or only jesting;
but the indians of our lodge reproved us. At Sun rise he came out of his lodge,
& made a long speech; in which he told one to go one way, a second another, &
himself by another route. "Thou, addressing the first one, a young lad--thou wilt
"soon find thy (bear): but thou, addressing the father, on thy way on  thou wilt
"pass very near, but will not see him: Thou'lt search a long & return giving up
"all hopes: but when come to this thou must return again & between _this_ thy last
"track & the first one thou shalt make this morning, thou'lt see him in his
"nest. as for me, I shall have much trouble to get mine." I heard him
speake, but not understanding sufficiently the language, the women explained to me.
I need not tell you how _we_ laughed at the poor Devil; & so went off hunting _Ivy_
which had been our support for a long time; but in the evening we found all that
he predicted, perfectly verified. This I assure you is a fact, & will maintain it
notwithstanding every thing _skeptics_, (excuse the term) or those unacquainted, or
but superficially so, with these people may say: & I am also certain that he had no
previous knowledge of their being there; for there was plenty of snow, & there were no other
tracks but those of these 2 hunters, & we had pitched _up_ (the river) that day. But, here
I am digressing: to return therefore.


                                      (27)
--I am altogether out of the regular track that I had proposed to myself at my first setting
off; my time is to short, & my memory to bad, to read over the whole, so as to resume the regular course
--the remainder shall be composed of _fugitive Pieces_. Indeed the nature of some of them being a
_compound_ will not admit of their being treated of but in _sections_ if I may use the term.
  The first therefore, lest I have not time to _enter_ all, I shall speake of is
_The Soul!_ This seems, to me, at least, a most extraordinary & incomprehensible thing--
yet from the different sources which I have received it, & the manner of relation serves but
more & more to perplex. Whether it is really & absolutely the soul, or some other _principle_
on which the very existence depends I cannot say, but something it is lodged appa-
rently in the Heart or breast, that on these occasions flies off & leaves them; & at the
very instant of its exit it is perceived, & occasions such a derangement of the whole
system, & particularly of the faculties as very soon to deprive the object of life; but
primally a total want of sense, such as we suppose the Soul _endows_ us with.
  I shall here relate you one of the many stories of the kind verbatim as I received it.
  It was from an Indian of course. He told me that "one summer being on a visit
"rather to a distant part of the country (perhaps 2 or 300 miles) he fell in with one
"of his acquaintances, who (as often happens between strangers, particularly to
"such as come from the Southward) asked to purchase _medecines_ of
"him. I had but a small quantity, & only of  4 Sorts or kinds: he being
"very anxious for them, I sold them _all_ to him: He was not satisfied--he must have more
"tho' I positively assured him I had given him the last. Then he menaced me, & said
"I should feel the effects of his resentment arising from my avarice & _uncharitable_ spirit.
"Knowing his disposition, I returned to my friends, intending to be as far out of his
"way as Possible.  One night in the winter he conjured--I was fast
"asleep (& several hundred miles off) & never thought more of him: but he called upon
"his Familiars & demanded my Soul(!)--_it was taken_ to him; but just as it
"was on the eve of entering his conjuring hut I perceived it & sprung from my bed
"in the most dreadful agonies & convulsions insomuch that two men holding
"& pulling of me with all their might, & also had the assistance of the women,
"could not keep me quiet: I was constantly springing forward, rushing hither &
"thither & absolutely (i.e. totally) deprived of my faculties for I have not yet
"the least knowledge of what I was doing, so great was my horor in ob-
"serving this conjuring tent. At last a friendly spirit interfered & forbad the
"conjuror at his peril to do any thing to my Soul, but allow it to return im-
"mediately. He was afraid for his own life & durst not disobey--he let _it_ go.
I cannot tell you how happy I was felt & so easy--The distance was great indeed--
but I soon flew back & re-entered my body; when I became entirely composed


                                      (28)
"But I had been so dreadfully agitated that I found myself in a profuse sweat, my whole
"frame so shaken, debilitated, & weake, that for several days I could not move but with pain.
"Heh! said I, what a narrow escape!--The other indians asked what ailed me? I told them
"where _I_ had been--they would scarcely credit; but in the ensuing summer upon enquiry
"they found it true; & were now fully convinced that this Power doth lodge with indi-
"ians"! They represent the soul as being small: not very dissimilar in size & shape
from the yolk of a large Hen, or duck, Egg:--some of them very hard, & much of the na-
ture & substance of a stone, but still not of that substance; & others again much more soft
& tender: some are easily _kept_ & bruised, but others are with difficulty taken & continually in motion;
but all are extremely impatient of restraint & cannot bear it; & confinement is death to the
body from which it has issued! Some conjurors possessing sufficient power, & influence,
take a soul, if they want to destroy the body, (in the conjuring box or tent) & wrapping it in
a piece of leather, rub & bruise it between both hands 'till they destroy its subtility or
subtilty. As soon as it comes within view of the conjuring tent its agonies are ter-
rible as also those of the body, however distant that may be; but as soon as its motion is
destroyed the body dies likewise. Others again, take it & put it in a Jappand Tobacco box, & tie
the lid or cover securely tied with a _womans_ Garter, from whence, if not loosened by someone it can
never escape--any other lashing is not, anything near, so completely effectual as this: reflect,
& you will guess immediately the reasons they give. As I do not know latin, & you dont
understand indian I must suppress this & many other things. Others again take a different
method, thus: But by-the-bye, this has but very little relation to the Soul. I shall therefore
refer it 'till afterwards & give you another Story as received from a Canadian an eye
witness. He was passing the winter with the indians & one night the head man
of the tent he lodged in gave a feast. He was in the habit of doing it & was himself ap-
parently a good & peaceable man, but not to be trifled with by other indians. Every
thing being prepared the guests were just going to eat when the feast-man's mother
dropped suddenly as if dead: every one was struck with consternation: they had re-
course to their medicines, songs, rattlers &c. as usual; at last he fell to sucking his
mother in one of her temples, suddenly they heard something _crack_: the indian
drew back, his mother arose perfectly recovered & all became well. However that
which occasioned the _crack_, the indian took out of his mouth, wrapped carefully up & gave
it to his wife to put in a tobacco box, which she did: it had all the appearances of a
_Bean_ (un fêve)--the wife wanted to tie the lid but the husband said there was no
necessity--they resumed their meal. But the old woman was not long in possessi-
on of her senses. She very soon relapsed, & as instantaneously as at the first "ho! exclaim-
"ed the indian, the _Dog_ is off"--They looked into the tobacco box but nothing was found--They
continued conjuring 3 nights, & the last especially, the man told me he thought the devil was


                                      (29)
was amongst them from a certain kind of undescribable noise in the air, round about their tent,
& the sudden flashings of light. This was Powder (Gun Powder): they had carefully thrown out
all the fire, thrown a great quantity of snow & water on the hearth, & then put fresh
Earth upon it--it was perfectly dark in the lodge, there being no other light than what is
usually emitted from the heavens: upon this hearth of fresh earth they would throw some
Powder & then retiring to the bottom of the tent would say "come! let me see if I be a
"manito"--? then singing &c. off the Powder would fly! They continued this way 3
nights but all to no purpose: the old woman yet lived 2 years but never spoke &c.
He said (the indian) that this _bean_ was "the Soul or Spirit of another indian, then at
a vast distance, which he darted at my mother to render her pitiful & miserable;
but I shall make the Dog suffer." However , after this, the Canadian enquired why
he did not revenge himself & kill him  "No; said he, that wont do: he has got back
"his soul it is true, & I cannot get it again, yet I might easily kill him if I chuse,
"but this wont do--he is somewhat justifiable, for I took both his wives from
"him." There are many other instances of a like nature but different in the
proceedings, that I do not recollect sufficiently to commit to Paper.--
	Now again for the other way. If an indian has a spite against another, & is
induced to it for the preservation of his own life, or from motives of revenge, he takes
the following plan or method. He takes a piece of leather & cuts it into the shape
of his _enemy_; & if he wants him to die speedily he places a little _Powdered medecine_
opposite the heart, or upon it. This medecine is I believe a root, & very inflammable,
he holds a small spark of fire _near_ it--it immediately _explodes_ & that part
of the leather on which _it_ was becomes burnt & shrivelled: when he performs this,
he generally utters words like these "Let the Heart of _such a one_ become like this
Leather, let it shrivel & die within him"! If it is a leg, an arm, the head,
or any other particular part, or parts, or even the whole body, it is the same, &
the words also; unless he doth not wish for the death; then he will say "Let
"_such a part_, become lame, useless, ulcerous" &c. &c. according to his disposi-
tion; & that part, or parts become thus affected according to his wish, "But
"how is it possible that such things can be?  Do you really think that an insig-
"nificant root, of no apparant power or virtue whatever can effect such things?"
Thus I would frequently question, & their answers with little variations uni-
"versally the same." Yes, most certainly it is not the root alone, but with the assistance
"of that one of his Dreamed that is most powerful & most fond of him: he! you white people
"you know not; you are consummately ignorant of the Power of our Great medecine men
"many things might I tell you much more surprising--but you do not believe these trifles,
"how much less then those  you do not know?"--What then is to be done! how do with


                                      (30)
what say to a people so blind, so infatuated! They have some roots that are dreadful in their
effects--Being a female, I think I should prefer immediate death. They have some that have
the same effects as _Lunar Caustic_. They use them thus. During the time of their
"Seperation" (i.e menstruation) they endeavour to give them to smoke, which is never
refused--there is some of this root mixed with the Tobacco. Once smoking is sufficient
--a few months after their complexion begins to change--& at last becomes of a
_nasty_ black with abundance of hair growing out of the face; & if these women
were to shave, I verily believe their beards would become as bushy & thick as those of
any man whatever. In performing this, they must also utter words thus: "Let the
"one for whom I intend this, & who shall smoke of it become black & hairy; & be-
"come as ugly & rejected as she is now fair & searched for"! Sometimes they
mingle it with their food or the liquor they drink: there is more than one kind of this
dreadful root; one of which I was shewn, but have forgotten, there being 2 or 3 others resembling
it.--it is like many others a perennial herb, & hath some resemblance to the long or tall
Thistle. To return. When the subject, or object, discovers that she hath been thus dealt
with, which they sometimes do a few weeks after, they may be restored, for there is an
_antidote_ to it; but I have never known one instance of this, tho' a dozen of the others I
have. Some handsome, fair complexioned young females refusing the importunate solli-
citations of an abandoned, vicious, revengeful wretch, becomes the victim of her
_coyness_; & 2 or 3 years after, I have positively not known them & could scarcely
beleive my Eyes.----There is of another kind & which is very common,
whose effects is an extraordinary _vacuation_ of blood, & in a few days would occa-
sion death. A half breed I lately had with me, the Son of a man who many
years ago was a servant of yours, being not of an extraordinary good moral
character finding his sollicitations rejected with scorn became jealous & very
anxious to revenge himself. He applied to an old indian, but in so cautious
a manner that the indian gave him of the root without suspecting & told him
how to use it. He pulverised it, & mingled it with a little vermillion & then
watched his opportunity, which occurred I beleive, the ensuing morning. In our _out_-
Posts we have no temples dedicated to Cloacinda, & besides, the females here are
ashamed to _sacrifice_ at them: he therefore could not miss his opportunity--he wat-
ched, & after she entered he went & soon found the place by the _Smoke_: here he
sprinkled some of this Powder which he took in a quill, pronouncing "Let me see
blood issue from the same place _this_ hath done--I want to see blood."--Scarcely
five hours after, the woman who was married & of course so much the less bashful said
"what is the matter with me, I have been just now out & want to go again." You may
suppose her astonishment seeing the time of the natural return was scarcely half elapsed


                                      (31)
but how much more so finding it issue far beyond anything she had ever known: This con-
tinued 'til very late in the day & the beast was watching to see if it would answer. He went
in to the house on pretence of a freindly visit, & remarked how _Pale_ she was--The mother
told him "my daughter has been _bewitched_ & could you not do something to ease her?"
He became extremely uneasy in his turn: he went out & passing by the place she
went to he easily discovered notwithstanding her precaution of what dreadful conse-
quences it would be if not timely attended to. He was afraid she would die
before anything could be done. However he went to the old indian & speaking in a
most sympathising strain, asked him if he could not administer something to stop
that extraordinary issue. "Why! replied the old fellow--That root I gave you the other
day is its own antidote--give her the length of her middle finger to _eat_ & it will
stop quick enough." He did not chuse to tell the indian that it was this that
had occasioned it lest he should be punished by him in his turn; but artfully con-
ducting his discourse got more from him, administered it to the woman, mutter-
ing in himself "Let this blood cease, I have seen enough of it"--& she was soon
healed!  I done all I could to make him confess it, without coming to the point;
but he never would: he satisfied himself by assuring me with the most solemn
assererations that it was the case; "& if you doubt it, continued he, you may
"make the experiment--you need be under no apprehensions whatever, for in
"giving her of the same root to _eat_ it will stop." This root, when mastigated,
& applied when reduced to pulp, but better when pulverised, stops the blood
immediately on application to any wound--"_how profusely soever it may
"flow_." It is very astringent, & somewhat hot.
	Another herb, I beleive it is the (wild) Carroway, i. e. which we commonly denominate
aniseeds--at least the smell & taste much resemble that, & its stalk bears a very great resemblance
to the wild mint, as well as the leaves & flowers. I _suppose_ this is the one meant, because they tell
me the taste & smell are delicious: This root, & all its appurtenances (i.e. stalk, leaves, & flowers)
is of  wonderful effects in various _things_. I shall give you some of the stories relating to it as I
received them. "I was living out with _such_ an indian, & we became reduced to _short commons_
"--One day he (the indian) took a piece of bark & drew upon it 3 moose--& put some of
"this _medecine_ upon the heart & head of each; then he fastened a piece of sinew to it &
"told me to fasten it to a small stick that had been stuck _slant-way_ in the Ground--
""Now said he, let me see if this will do: oh no! I am afraid it wont; but I'll try--if it
""answers, the bark will dance"! I laughed at his idea (a half breed told me this) & so
"did one of his sons: however the son told me that he had seen his father do so before, &
"that he killed every time"--stop! Let us see how he will go on," said the Son. The father
"began to sing (& if _I_ remember right, beat the drum also)--Shortly after the bark began to


                                      (32)
"to move, & as the old fellow raised his voice so did its motion increase, 'till at last it began
"whirling round with great violence, sometimes one way & then another 'till it was wound
"up close to the stick, when it began changing sides--sometimes _upon_ & sometimes _below_
"the stick. He ceased: began to talk with us & saying he was afraid it would not _answer_
"Thus he did 3 times, & the bark moved every time with the same violence. Now he
"desired in the beginning that "if his _familiar_ would have compassion on him, he would
"render these 3 moose foolish: that they might not be possessed of their usual cunning"--
"&c.  The next day we went out--the old man, his son & myself, a hunting--we
were hungry--We walked 'till late in the day & finding no tracks I proposed our
return, but he told me we ought to proceed; 'for in the low ground beyond a
"small ridge then near in sight of us, we may perhaps find some tracks--
"I am never deceived when my I am answered' (i.e. my bark dances)--We soon
"reached this low Ground & shortly after heard a noise: jumping, running & breaking
"of Sticks 'ah! here they are,' said the old man: 'see how their _head_ is turned!
"what a noise they make,--how they play--they are foolish. We killed them all."
"If you doubt me; ask any of the indians, & see if they wont all tell you that _he_ does so
when he wants to kill."--Another story: for _love potions_, or philters, are also com-
posed of this. "There were several young men (half-breeds) of us together & also some
"young women, who came with us to await the arrival of their husbands from Fort
"William at _that_ place. Two of our party wanted to pay them a _visit_ in the
"night & I endeavoured to dissuade them, but to no purpose:--they went, & met
"with the reception I foretold: they began bawling out and on purpose to awake
"every one near & shame us; for we were lodging by ourselves & then took good
"cudgels & pursued them into our place: _we_ enjoyed this confusion of the others
"tho partly at our own expenses. One of them then addressed me  come Bpt. this _bitch_
"'has vexed me,--I know you have _good medicine_,--give me some of it that I may
"'laugh at her in my turn. (I must tell you that one of them I have known many
years back was, & is still, a _bitch_ i.e. according the indian acceptation  (as well as
well as our own,) of the term; & the man is the same one I mentioned little above,
at the conclusion & beginning of p.p. 30 & 31) "I gave him some with the _directions_ -
"--he returned again very soon after (in the same night)--found her asleep--he
"then rubbed her forehead, opposite her heart, the _pit_ of the stomach, & the palms
"of both hands. Then he awoke her. The next day, as my comrades were desi-
"rous of revenging themselves, they broached the conversation publicly & had the laugh in
"their turn: the women had the _best_ at the offset, but as they could not deny the other
"charges they became extremely confused & vexed: a quarrel ensued; but my comrades exult-
"ingly told them 'we can turn & twist you _now_ about our fingers as we please.' And they


                                      (33)
"they did too. For the women both _giving suck_ at that time, thought it was their children
"that were handling them, as they used but _one_ finger, & gently." The other story is thus:
--A man that I have with me at present in consequence of some _slips_ of his _Rib_ had fre-
"quent, & some severe quarrels with her--she began to hate him & wanted to go with her
"_Par-amour_: the husband tho' vexed & confused _did not want_ to lose her: he began by
"soothing, coaxing, & caressing her, but she always bawled out as loud as she could that
"every body might hear, tho' it were at midnight 'thou white dog, leave me alone
"'why art thou fumbling at me?" The more she became averse the more he coaxed
"& she bawling out 'dont _slabber_ me' every time he attempted to kiss her,--&
"she was watching a fair opportunity to slip off to her lover (an indian). At last he lodged
"his complaints to me, & asked if I could not _assist_ him. I gave him some of this _mede_-
"cine with the usual directions & told him as soon as he had executed all properly
"to come away & leave her, & not return to her for a couple of days so that in her
"turn she might suffer. He had not long left her 'till she called for him as if want-
"ing something & like a Goose he went immediately, tho' I done all I could to make
"him pay her in her own coin.--Since that time they live as you see them.
"_But_ if you doubt of this also, you can easily make the experiment--chuse any
"one you please, & let her be ever so coy, & shy, you will bring her as you want"!!!
--Shortly after this I made some general enquiries of the man latterly in question,
but he would not avow, tho' from his confusion & precipitancy with which he an-
swered, I beleive there is _something_ in the business. "It is with this medecine con-
"tinued the half breed, that the young men do completely & universally succeed
"with all the women that please them." With this also, principally, they
succeed in bewitching any one they are averse to, & prevent them from killing such
animals as they please. They draw the likeness of the animal or animals, they do
not chuse the others to kill, put of this medicine (tho' most commonly mixed with
some others in this latter case) upon the hearts & desire that they may become shy
& fly off upon any the least appearance or approach of them. Or, they will _conjure_
& desire some of their _familiars_, one, or several, to _haunt such a one_ in all his
motions & scare & frighten off, & _render wise_ any _such & such_ animals; & let
the distance be hundreds of miles off--their familiars that are spirits residing
in the air, & transport themselves in an instant to any place they place, & who see all
that is going on _below_, keep _all_ away accordingly. To evade this is a task that but
few can succeed in. They must first Conjure to learn who it is that has bewitched them,
then they inquire what is to be done: but here lies the difficulty.--Sometimes they are
told they _must_ leave the appointed time run out: at others, such & such ceremonies, which is
tantamount to the first answer; but at others again, it is easily dispelled--This depends


                                      (34)
depends entirely upon the precautions the _bewitcher_ has taken, the Power, influence, or number
of his Dreamed: as also on the other hand of the Dreamed, their, power, influence &c. of the _be-
witched_. But sometimes on a very slight or trivial cause depends the whole.--
  I shall tell you another story. An old Canadian I have now with me has been in the
habit of _living-free_ for many years back. In the beginning of a winter he was
tenting with some indians, & one of them an impertinent, bombastic sort of character
was boasting to him of the great power & effect of some medicines & a drum he had
lately received from a Sauteux &c. &c. "for some time I did not mind him, but
"finding he became at last troublesome, & insinuating as plainly as he durst that
"_he_ was now invulnerable, or rather immortal & that _we_ were helpless, a quarrel
"ensued 'till at last I fxxt. upon your medicines & drum & the one also who gave
"them to you said I. We seperated in no good freindship. At night he mad a feast &
"invited me amongst the rest with the design of poisoning me; but his freinds remonstrated so ef-
"fectually that he put this off & intended shooting me going out of the lodge; but this also
"the others would not allow: he was vexed--I kept my eye upon him, determined I should
"give the first blow on the least motion he might make. Finding himself prevented
"in these he said that I indeed should kill 2 moose, but that the rest of the year I
"should starve as a dog. I seperated next day with my wife & children--they were
"under great apprehensions, but I mocked all their conjurings--I very shortly
"killed 2 moose; but these indeed were the last. I walked & hunted every day--
"& seldom one day passed but I fired at the Buffaloe, moose, or some other animal,
"but never got anything anything--I & my family were near dying with hunger, I
"tried every thing in my power, never giving myself the least trouble about the indians
"menaces.  At last the spring arrived--Ducks & Geese came; but no better suc-
"ess. At last one day prowling in my Canoe I met 2 other _free-men_, who, after mutual
"inquiries &c. told me "the same thing had happened him & that an indian told him to file
"off a small piece of the _muzzle_ of his Gun & wash it well with water in which _Sweet-
"flag_ had been boiled, & killed after that as before."  I laughed at the idea, but re-
"flecting that it was an innocent experiment & I could not offend the almighty, I
"tried, & the first animals I saw I immediately killed.--This Sir, continued
"he, I assure you is a positive fact"!!!--I find that the indians have recourse
to this method also. But you must observe: as is the disease::so is the remedy. Another story just
now occurs to me which I shall relate, not so much to multiply these pretended
proofs as to shew that our Iroquois, Algonquins &c. &c. are not such complete converts
to the Christian faith as most people may complacently imagine, but rather have
a mongrel religion like those whom the King of Babylon sent to inhabit Samaria
when he carried Reuben & Ephraim captives (In the Bible). This winter an Iroquois


                                      (35)
told me that one winter he was out a Beaver hunting with many of his friends.--The
oldest man of their party proposed one day that a certain number of them should go out a
hunting Moose or Buffaloe, & the others Beaver. This one says "I returned at night after
"a good success--the old man nothing--he became envious--a quarrel ensued; & after
"this many others. One day I fired at a moose as he was running past me, he fell--I
"went to him; & just as I was for beginning to skin he rose up, but with my
"axe I bro't him down--it was very far from home--I merely opened him &
"returned light, trusting to the others of our party; for I had no desire of partaking of the dry
"provisions the old fellow had, of his own.  Imediately on entering the lodge we had a-
"nother severe quarrel, & he told me I should not any more exult in my prowess
"as he should take care I should not kill any more animals for _some time_. As we
"were coming to _knife work_, I ordered my wife to bundle up all our things & my
"lodge, & pitch off--it was then late, & I had not yet eaten. As none of my
"friends knew that I had killed, I did not chuse to tell them, but merely said
"as I was going off  'Let those who are fond of me, or who chuse, follow me'; but none came,
"& I encamped upon my moose. Every day I went a hunting--scarcely a week
"passed but I fired 20, 30, & sometimes upward of 50 Shot, upon Buffaloe or Moose,
"but could never kill--I would _miss_, or _the ball twisting in the hair would
"fall by the animal_ without doing further injury. I starved for a long time--
"& became so weake that I could hardly walk. At last my wife (a woman of
"this country) one day that I had been out as usual had prepared some good
"strong lye, & on my return washed my Gun with it; filled it, & stopping
"both the orifices put it over the smoke where it remained all night. She
"also took a number of the balls & boiled them likewise in the lye, telling me she had
"seen her uncle do so many years before when he too had been bewitched.--I thought at
"all events it could do no harm; & besides I could have done anything, I was so hungry.--
"The next day I went out again,--found another flock or herd of near 20 Buffaloe,
"I drew nigh & took all my usual precautions--I fired, one dropped; fired again,
"another dropped:--I  killed 14 out of that herd; & ever after missed not once"!
I asked him how the old fellow had done?--he said "I suppose it was as they
"frequently do--i.e. bury a piece of my meat in the Ground & pray the Devil
"to prevent my killing: for the Iroquois, when they take it in their head,
"are very wicked, & do not want power"!--A few days ago a half-breed, abandoned
with the indians, came in; & amongst his other _wantages_ asked me for a small piece of (red) sealing-
wax "because my brother cannot draw blood from the animals he fires at: by heating his Gun & ap-
"plying this wax the blood will flow profusely from the wounds". He expressed himself afraid that
his brother might have been bewitched & by retarding this operation he might enter _dans sa mal chance_!"


                                      (36)
These few _examples_ will suffice to shew you that they have different methods of _bewitching_
& also different ways of clearing themselves.  And the faith, & dread, they have of this, is scarcely
credible; & the consequences are often too uncommonly distressing.--I shall now give you of the
    Story of the Hairy Breasts.  Near the days of _Noah_, nations were few & small.
Weesuckajock (noah, I shall call him for abbreviation sake) had a son as I told you before
whose name was Nay-hân-nee-mis. Being straitned for provisions he went out to angle
with some of the Hairy-Breasts. They came to a Lake, pierced several holes, but the
North (or North wind, as you chuse) being envious of Nayhanemis, froze the water down
to the very ground; so that in the deepest parts they found but Earth & after much
digging at last reached the bottom; but behold that also was frozen! & who knows
to what depth in the Earth? Finding this to be the case Nays, addressed his freinds
thus--"I see this is the doings of the N. Wind (now by rights the N. Wind ought to have been his
maternal Gnd Father--but what cannot envy do?) "he is envious of us, & wants to make
"us die of hunger--but he shall not!--I have to propose to you to cut off my head--rip
"up my body, beginning at the throat--You must not hurt nor break any single
"one of my bones; but carefully take off all the flesh, dry it, & make Pounded meat of it.
"of this you must sprinkle a little in every one of the holes; you must also _chop_ up
"my Heart into very small pieces & throw a few of these pieces also into each hole: then put in
"your lines, & you'll take as many fish as you please. But my bones you must put in a
"heap, carefully by themselves. Mind! upon your faithful observance of all these commands
"depends our mutual safety. The North thinks himself sole master, & would wish to
"crush us because we begin to have a little knowledge: but he shall know me!"
They done accordingly, & accordingly also they took abundance of fish. North per-
ceived this: he came to see, & finding himself thus frustrated inquired how it came
about?--they told: He challenged Nays. who by this time had revived; & besides
a beautiful large feather he had sticking in his cap or head, which none durst wear
but such as have given incontestible proofs of their Manhood, bravery &c. he like-
wise had a smoking bag, of the Skin of a badger. Nayhanimis accepted the
challenge. "It seems Nahanimis you are a great man, a man of extraordinary power & abilities!--
"--let us have a trial, & see which of us has the most; for I also have some Knowledge"--Nahani-
mis answered "No! I have but little power, but that little I employ as much as I can
"to the General benefit of my fellows: let us see what you can do, which if I cannot,
then you will certainly be superior to me." Here they performed one or two wonderful feats
but in which Nayhanimis had the advantage most confessedly.--The North pierced his body
through, & done another extraordinary thing I cannot well recollect; but the other done more
& recovered not only more suddenly but more perfectly. At last the North put a bet & said "Let
"us see for this last act: I will cut off my head & if I cannot replace & recover perfectly


                                      (37)
"perfectly, the same as I am at present, then my _house_ & all I have shall be yours; but if I succeed,
"& you cannot, then all your _possessions_ shall be mine." Nayhanimis consented; for he was
secretly desirous of humiliating the selfsufficient spirit of North. They tried--North failed,
but Nayhanimis completely succeeded: He deliberately severed his head from his body, put it
down on the Ground beside him, very composedly, & then replaced it, when it be-
came as tho' nothing had happened. But this was owing to the Power & virtue of
his _Plume_; which, however, the others knew nothing off. It appears that the North also
recovered but by the assistance of his friends, of whom he had a numerous train. North
was faithful to his promise--Gave him his house which was beautiful & spacious,
but mostly underground, or at least in the side of a mountain. All his freinds
turned out, put in Nayhanimis & gave him the full possession. But he was no sooner in than
they secured all the outlets; doors, windows &c. & set it on fire to destroy one whom they
found so much more powerful than themselves!  Nays. finding this to be the case was
not in the least dismayed, but took his smoking bag & thus addressed it "Now _thou_
"Badger,--our mutual safety depends upon thy obedience & expedition--Thou
"art made to pass _thro'_ the Earth as _quick_ as _upon_ it: these fools think to destroy
"us, but thou must shew that we are superior to them." During the conflagration they were
enjoying the scene & exulting in the idea of having at last succeeded in destroying so formidable
an adversary: but what was their consternation when they saw him come to them without
even one hair of his head singed!--they were _appalled_ with astonishment & had not
the power of utterance. At last recovering a little they endeavoured to pass it off as a
joke & turn it to his own advantage, by silencing at one blow the envy & malice of his _all_
enemies, pretending to be a staunch friend of his. But he was not thus to be duped; yet
he shewed a superiority of sentiment & generosity equal to his Powers & abilities by
giving them (tho' _contemptuous_ if you please) pardon.  So much for this _Part_.--
    Thus did matters pass on for yet a few years. "The _indians_ began to _multiply_ & inha-
bit the world: but the Hairy-breasts, a jealous, envious, and at best foolish people,
could not well behold _their_ prosperity: they made _war_ upon them (the _indians_) by
stealth & destroyed numbers: their affairs bore a most dismal aspect--no less than the
total extinction of the whole race. At last Nayhanimis pitched off with his wife,
_her_ father, & another one--there were four of them. He found found a Beaver lodge--
here some of the _Hairy-Breasts_ came up with him. Compliments at first, afterwards
Sneers, taunts & revilings; but so ambiguously that no hold could be taken. "How nume-
"rous: how many are there of ye" inquired the Hairy B. "We are twenty of us" replied
Nayhanimis; "& so are we rejoined the others. Now, they here entered into an arrangement that
whoever found _Beaver_ for the future it should be his own; but to avoid any wrangles, he who _found_
the Beaver should plant a stick or branch upon the lodge, as a mark. On their return


                                      (38)
home each recounted to his family what he had met with in the course of the day. "Now said _Nay-
"hanimis_, addressing his family, we must take 20 Beavers, one for each man of  them (meaning the
"hairy-breasts) & make a feast. If it turns out that we be able to eat these 20 Beaver, & they
"not, then we shall be superior to them & have the upper hand." The Beaver were cooked
accordingly:--he took his _rattler_ which he shook to the tunes of his Songs,--performed the
usual ceremonies, & they eat the whole 20 B. with ease. Then addressing his family
thus, said "These Hairy-Breasts are great boasters, but cowards--They are a people of
no account--tomorrow will decide all." The Hairy Breasts on their return did
the same as Nayhanimis & cooked also 20 B. thinking that his band did really con-
sist of that number. They eat: but every one was already full & yet more than 3/4
of the feast  remained--"Give me my rattler (said one of the oldest) that I sing &c. it may
"happen that we find grace". He sang & shook his rattler, but it would not sound--
After frequent repeated trials to no effect he became vexed & threw it out of doors
among the Dogs "This dog of a rattler will not sound in spite of all my endeavours: but
"hold! hear how it rattles now that it is out--go for it one of ye, perhaps it was
"owing to some fault in me." They bro't it to him: but still as before: he threw
it out again in a rage; it was no sooner out than it sounded well as before:
it was bro't in again: but as before again. Then he threw it out for good, vexed
& disappointed to the utmost degree. But his freinds were not pleased; they considered
this a portentious omen & his behavior foolish; & by no means calculated to reconcile their _Deities_
to them. He comforted them by telling them the numbers of "the adverse party must be few,
"otherwise we had surely been able to _eat_ the whole of this feast: they are few & we _shall_ sub-
"due them." The next day they all pitched off. Nayhanimis came first to a Beaver
lodge & marked it--came another & marked that one also. But making a circuit, in
which he hung up his Bow, quiver &c. &c. in a tree, at his own height, came round
to the same lodges & found that the Hairy-B had put marks of their own  & thrown
his one away:--exasperated he threw theirs away & replaced his, & made another
circuit, when he found the H.B. had replaced their own again: He also
remarked that the HB. had hung up their Bows &c. &c. _in the tops of very hi trees_, trusting
to their numbers. At last they met--greeted each other at first, then sneers, quarrels,
a challenge & then the battle: they were to fight _man to man_--Nayhanimis killed 19
right out, but the 20th had near killed him: however this was but an accident
usual in battles--he soon killed him also. The women were coming up when raising
his voice to a pitch to be distinctly heard by heard by all said "Such of ye _indian_
"women as have been taken from your homes, had your husbands killed &c. such
"of ye indian women as are willing to return to your nation, take all axes & others
"arms out of the hands of these H. B. women,--seperate yourselves from them; attack


                                      (39)
"& destroy them all: leave not one alive to carry the news to the others. They seperated accordingly &
killed every soul. Then he took them to his tent & finding by their answers to his queries
that there were still another band not far off consisting of 40 young & 2 old men of the HB.
he ordered a quantity of poles or pickets to be cut very long & made a kind of Fort of
them round his own tent:--gave orders to them to gather a vast quantity of snow
round all the sides of it, to come over the points, so  that neither the pickets nor
tent might be seen, & that this rising might have the appearance of a natural
hill, something in short in the form of a pit. He immediately made a
number of lances & spears & walked off in quest of his enemies. He soon reached
their camp--drew near & found that there were but 2 old men, all the others were
out a hunting. Here he listened to their conversation & was burning with indignation
at the stories these 2 old men told each other of the cruelties they had done to
the _Indians_--They were chukling at this when he sprung into the tent, took each
by the head & thrust their faces in the fire & sprang out again to listen. One
of them returning to his senses, for they had both fainted during the ceremony, exclaimed thus "my
"old freind! what is the matter with me? I lost my senses quite suddenly & now
"that I am come to, I feel my face quite sore & cannot see"--"It is the same with me"
replied the other one--"Then it must be some evil spirit that has pounced upon us"
resumed the first. At last Nayhanimis addressed them thus "I shall tell ye old men a story too.
"There were two old men formerly seated in their tents relating to each other the exploits
"of their younger days & the cruelties they committed upon the _Indians_--Nayha-
"nimis was near--he pounced upon them & thrust both their heads together
"into the fire. When your children & young men be returned from their hunting
"tell them this Story, in the mean time I shall return home & make ready for them--
"--my name is _Nayhanimis_ & I reside at _such_ a _place_" (i.e. I am _called_ (or
named) Nayhanimis &c.). The old men as may be imagined, were Thunder Struck with this & durst
not say a word more. But in the Evening the young men came home--They were astonished to see
their fathers in such a plight. "Children! behold your fathers! said they--Had any _miscreant_
"durst act in such a manner to _our_ fathers, their villanny should certainly not have
"passed off thus: _but we are now old men & of no more account_!!!" This last apostrophe
above all the rest roused them to vengeance: they merely scraped the snow off their feet
&legs & went immediately in quest of him, vowing vengeance all the way of a most cruel & _ex-
emplary_ nature. Nayhanimis was on his guard, every soul able to weild a weapon had one in
his hand, besides an infinite number of spears & sharp stakes stuck in the Ground, The H.
B. came, but not perceiving the trap on account of the snow that was bro't over ends of the
stockades they all fell in one upon the other & impaled themselves in their fall on those sticks &c.--
All of them but 2 or 3 met with instantaneous death--The few that were not injured were put to


                                      (40)
to an excruciating, but immediate death to satisfy the _manes_ of the departed _indians_; & he proceeded im-
mediately to the Camp; killed the remaining 2 old men, scoffing & taunting them at the same
time. Immediately after this he ordered such of the _indian women_ as had had their hus-
bands killed, or were taken by the H. B. to seperate from the other women & inflict the same
punishment upon them & their children as had been done to their friends. "Thus were
"the Hairy Breasts entirely exterpated, merely by their own folly & wickedness. Had they lived
"peaceably, & allowed the _indians_ to partake of the blessings of this world without envy,
"as well as themselves, & to which they had an undoubted right, they might still have
"been in existence. However there are still 2 nations of them, one of which is on _Your_
"Lands, the others, I believe beyond the Seas: but they are an insignificant & most
"despicable people. They pretend to antiquity & would fain extort respect from the
"_moderns_ (i.e. themselves, or the indians, _principally_) but their very countenance, appearance,
"every thing about them denotes folly & seems more to demand contempt than to call for
"respect. I saw one many years back, who was bro't by the Traders from somewheres
"on your Lands:  he face was venerable, but still there was a meanness in the _whole_ of
"him that I could not account for: I respected him, & wanted to treat him according-
"ly--this is as from the Stories I had heard related of them; but the Traders laughed
"at _us_ & asked one if I was inclined to respect folly, insignificance, & nothing"!!!--
    I have been a long time in writing these Pages & have been frequently disturbed--I have been
often obliged to put by my paper after seating myself 5 or 6 times to write only one word: from such
long & frequent interruptions _much_ method & correctness cannot be expected--I therefore send
them to you in the form of _Notes_. My motives for thus employing my time & paper were
first to amuse & instruct myself, but principally for your own amusement & such few
friends as you may think _worthy_ of the communication. _Lend them not of the house_, nor
let too many see them; for I have some notion please God I live to digest them into
form & regularity & have them published, besides a vast many others I purpose with
Gods help, collecting: but this is merely between ourselves & immediately after perusal
blot out all _this_ Paragraph. Journals, voyages &c. &c. of these people have been fre-
quently published: but I have met with none that gives so circumstantial a
detail of their private life (if I may so say) as is necessary to give that insight to
their ideas & notions (& this latter term too, I think, critically speaking cannot be appli-
cable to them) that is required & so much wanted to form a proper estimate of
man in his _natural_ state.  We all see them, hear them & relate of them; but where is
there one who can give the_ why's_ & _wherefore's_ that these people do so, & so?  I beg you will
_blot_ this last paragraph entirely out, at least the first part; & do not be premature in
your condemnation or judgement of me, for I trust my motives are entirely destitute of
vanity & only the desire of truth urges me, or at least true & just information &c. &c. G N.
								april 16th 1823--

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	Such are the notions & ideas of these people. They acknowledge a superior Power, not Wee-Suck-a-
-jock, as I was erroneously informed "but the same _one_ you adore in the Christmas holidays". This
one they have a great respect & veneration for but seldom it is as far as I can learn) that they sa-
crifice or pray to him i.e. make speeches, which tho' extempore, _I_ consider as much prayers as tho'
they were composed after the most deliberate & mature reflection; & many parts of them so simple,
plain, natural, & withal so sublime that I frequently felt great pleasure in attending to them.
    But these sentiments are so few comparitively speaking, & the absurdities so great & frequent that
few men can hear them without lamenting their ignorance. They have often seemed to me
as desirous in a hi degree of becoming acquainted with the true _mode_ of worshipping, from
the frequent changes, even during my time, they have made in their _worshippings_. As a proof of this
is the avidity with which they seize any new system introduced from their _Southern_ neigh-
bors: the short time they hold it; & how completely it is abandoned, if not entirely forgotten
for another, equally if not more absurd than the former. To introduce a new system
among them it is only necessary to report an extravagant tale of some wonderful character,
--the cures by _this_ means that have been performed & such like miraculous & fantastic
nonsense. But in their fundamental points I perceive no visible alteration. The prin-
cipal of these is what they call the Mee-tay-wee. A ceremony I shall compare
to Free-masonry; but the initiations are public--every one that chuses comes to see
them & many are invited. Here, in the course of initiation are ceremonies or deviltries
performed that no man of his own mere dexterity or Power _can_ do. The next
principal one is conjuring. This is a principle I believe as natural to man as the air he
breathes (tho' not _so_ necessary). Every one wishes to peep into futurity & there are few but
who would not inquire into causes could they do it, or were it not forbidden them. Thes two
of course are consequences or consequents of their mythology. There are many in the
civilized or Christian world who absolutely & positively deny this power of theirs as being
absolutely impossible & at best but absurd & idle stories. Many of the things related of
these Conjurings I acknowledge to be so; but at the same time I am as positive & as
firmly persuaded of the truth of the assertion "that they have dealings with some supernatural
spirit," as I am convinced that I live & breathe in air; unless, indeed, we chuse to acknow-
ledge & believe a certain sect of Philosophers (of the last century I beleive) who _wish_ to tell
us that we _only_imagine ourselves alive_. And I am by no means inclined to acknowledge
myself as superstitious: I am convinced of this from reason, argument, comparison; in-
-short from _analysis_. Let any one man, unless he be a headstrong brute who is _de-
termined_ before hand not to be convinced, analyse their _discourses_ &c. &c. and I am confi-
dent he will beleive as much as many, or have great doubts at least. To absolutely
deny this, we must first deny that there is a Devil, & afterwards deny his pernicious power


                                      (42)
and if we deny these points, we must descend to a third, & more fit for an atheistical wretch
& a beast than a Christian, or even rational creature. I have heard some sensible & well informed
Gentleman deny it on the plea of their _ignorance_; but this again is _a_ basis & very
solid one. These people are still in a complete state of nature: their ideas of the true
God are far from clear or correct: they acknowledge him indeed as the Supreme & absolute Master of
all, but more or rather as a passive _Deity_ than as he really is; but their notions of their other
Deities come far more near the truth. Their wants indeed are also few, but they are arbitrary
& cannot be dispensed with, at least for any time; it is therefore very natural that they should em-
ploy their whole thoughts & most of their time in procuring these means to warding off or averting their dangers.
And I do not know of any method more adapted to this than the one they pursue, i. e.
Fasting & Sleeping to dream; & they do dream too: & many of these dreams are so complicated,
or compounded of so many different things that it is absolutely beyond the power of _their_ in-
vention to fabricate them. Surely a man man beleive his senses.  A man tied, wound up in
a blanket, or skin equally soft: here he is held by one, two, or 3 men--he slips out of the
blanket & presents himself before you free, leaving the cords &c. _untied_ in the blanket: you
hear him Speak, & perhaps 20 other voices besides, all at the same: again he is bound as a
criminal, rather indeed as a Pig, crumpled into a heap & thrust in to his _hut_--at the
very instant of his entrance the hut shakes as if ten thousand devils were for pulling it
to pieces: you enter this, find the man absent, hear a fluttering about your ears, or see
a vast number of small lights resting on the hoops that hold the poles together:
immediately after you are out you hear the man speake within again; you look again & feel
for him, but hear him talking at a distance; What can this be but supernatural
agency?--I have never seen feats of _this_ kind, but others I have, not so _strong_, but equally con-
vincing. I have been informed that a young half-breed, abandoned with the indians almost
from his childhood, a few years back entered one of these conjuring _huts_ at the solicitation
of one of the N. W. Gentlemen to see what retarded the people so long. Previous to his entering a great
deal of conversation on the subject had been: matters were settled between them & the con-
juror. Some time after his entrance he began to cry (not weep) as a person uneasy,
at first the voice was within, but it appeared as rising in the air, & at last was lost.
"Well!" said one of the indians addressing one of the half-breeds, living with the white "Well! enter
"now, & see if he be there: thou art always doubting & denying what we say of these things:
"enter then & see if he be there, then indeed are our assertions false." He raised the bottom
of the _casement_ & entered, but as he was not below, he rose on his feet & felt for him, but
not to be found. However he was _paid_ for his curiosity: there was a dreadful flutter-
ing within, but especially about his head, his hair flying about in  his face as if in
a tempest & frequent appearances of small lights before his eyes which ever way he turned: he
bawled out & asked those without what was the matter with him: he became afraid & _walkd_


                                      (43)
out as quick as he could. Very shortly after they heard the same cries of pain, faintly, at first, but
the voice soon entered. The _Conjuror_ said he was carried to where the people were "They are all
aslepp, at such a place & tomorrow will be here" &c. He said there were 4 (spirits) of them,
that carried him off: Each held him by the _little finger_ & _little toe_! I shall here relate
a couple more of these stories. And indian told me that several years back he left his lodge
on the borders of a large Lake to go to the house for some necessaries he wanted. He took
a traverse for some islands,--the weather was dull but mild: a storm very soon set in--
but he persevered: thinking the wind had changed, he also changed his course. He became
very much fatigued & laid down on the ice to rest himself & wait for day light, for
_the_ night had overtaken him. He was not long down before reflecting on his situation
he became extremely uneasy & was afraid of freezing. At last he heard a curious noise near
him that he could not account for: at first his fears increased greatly dreading it was
some malignant spirit; but having no alternative he resigned himself to his fate "& I became
"as composed as tho' I were safe; & I was too: for an animal much resembling a Wolf
"& black, came up & covered me; I was very cold, shivering in every limb, but I soon
"became quite warm: he rose from off me & went on as if inviting me to follow--his
"eyes appeared like 2 candles.--I followed--he led me to an island where I made a fire
"& warmed & dried myself; & as soon as I was rigged I followed him, for he went off & looked at
"me so earnestly I took it for an order: he led me straight to the water hole:--
"there happened to be people at the time there going for water--They saw _these_ lights
"& asked me what occasioned them, or who it was that came with me,--I told
"them it was a compassionate spirit that retrieved me from a dreadful death."--
--_2nd_! A young man lately told me the following "I was returning home with my
"uncle when come to _that_ point we heard something crying behind us he! he! ha! ha!
"& whistling alternatively.  My uncle told me it was a Pah-Kack (Skeleton) & wanted to
"destroy us. It came up with us very soon & kept constantly buzzing & whistling in our
"ears so that indeed we were quite bewildered at last: it was at night & dark, but
"we kept strait on as we thought; we were mistaken, for after
"walking a long time, we at last came to the water hole again from where we had
"set off.  We were both of much afraid; but finding this path we minded it no
"more tho' it pursued us making more & more noise the nearer we got _home_."
    Many of these stories bear a great resemblance to those extravagant tales of
la Béte a la Grande Queue, Loup Garoup, Chasse Galerie & many others
natural to superstitious people, it requires therefore a great deal of caution &
attention to get at the true ones. I have here _inserted_ more than I originally intended,
but they will serve to give you an idea of the notions of these people; & except a few, I have
selected those that appeared most rational: _however they will all come in time_.


                                      (44)
There is a kind of disease(or distemper rather, & of the _mind_, I am fully persuaded,) peculiar to the
Crees & Sauteux's & of which they have the greatest dread & horor; & certainly not without the
very greast cause, the consequences 49 times out of 50 being death unfortunately to many be-
sides the _subjects_ or objects themselves. They term _this_ Wen-di-go (according to the
french pronunciation, which is more correct than the English, in this word)--the pro-
per signification of which, to me at least, & no one I think can doubt it, is _Giant_ of the
Anthropophagi _Genus_, sect, tribe, or kind &c. The stories related of these are as extravagant
& fantastatic as those we read in our old romances _in the days of Chivalry_; differing in no one
circumstance hardly but the means used in their destruction, which of course is often done by
the intervention or assistance of their Guardian Genii. However, there are some few more ra-
tional than those of _ours_ & tho' still beyond all bounds of credibility, are as devoutly be-
lieved by these poor creatures as the Gospel is by the most orthodox among us. I do not
remember any of these sufficiently correctly to give you a few of the stories, one excepted:--
--Suffice it to say that they are of uncommon size--Goliath is an unborn infant to them;
& to add to their _dread_, they are represented as possessing much of
the Power of Magicians. Their head reaching to the tops of the highest _Poplars_ (about 70, or 80,
feet) they are of proportionate _size_, of course they must be very heavy: their gait tho grand
& majestic, at every step the Earth shakes. They frequently pursue their Prey (_indians_ of
course) invisibly, yet they cannot so completely divest themselves of all the incommodi-
ties of nature as to prevent their approach being known. A  secret & unaccountable horor pervades
the whole system of one, several, or the whole band, of those of whom he is in pursuit:
Phenomena in the heavens, earth &c. &c.--"In the days of_ Noah_ (or near them at least) there
were a large party of _indians_ collected together for mutual safety: many camps
had been already destroyed by him, & the indians were in great danger being entirely ex-
terminated. At last they bethought  themselves of a plan. "It is needles to go to war upon him-
"--what can we do to him with our arms! Let us make an immense Large trap (of wood)
"& draw lots which of us shall serve as bait: it is a dangerous assay indeed, but will any
generous one amongst us refuse sacrificing his life for the safety of so many?"--They made
this trap on the opposite side of a small opening in the woods, so that he might see the
person seated from afar. it was between large trees which were made to serve as _Posts_.
It was finished. An old woman stepped up & said "My Grandchildren! I am now
"old & of no more account among ye: we are all in danger of being devoured by this insatiable
"& terrible beast, why should I then regret sacrificing a life that at best I can now
"enjoy but only for a short time, seeing it will in the end be productive of so much good?
"_I will go & be bait_." The others were extremely touched at her generosity, but they had no
alternative, & circumstances admitted of no delay. The old lady seated herself very com-


                                      (45)
composedly in the trap & awaited his arrival: the others fled off of course. It was time too, for he soon _hove_ in
sight!--Stalking along in all the stile & terror of Imperial Gradeur, his head equal with the tops
of the highest trees, & the ground shaking at every step, tho' froze, it being then depth of winter,
& his countenance denoting an assemblage of pity, contempt, rage & voraciousness.  All this
did not dismay the old Lady: she remained quiet:--he perceived her--"What! What
"old woman, art thou doing there?" But changing his tone, which he did several times thus
continued; "Thou art of my natural enemies & I shall presently Grind thee." "Ah! my
"Grand Child! I am an old woman, abandoned & deserted by those whom I have suckled & bro't
"up: they are fled off in dread of thee, & being old & helpless they thrust me in this tuft of trees
"so as to be the less embarrassed: come now & assist me out & in acknowledgement I shall
"inform thee of their precautions, otherwise thou'lt lose thy life by their deceptions." He
was in no dread of the _indians_, so far as regarded their _own_ Power, but he thought a little
salutary advice would not be amiss, intending after this to _Grind_ the old _thing_ as he had pro-
mised himself. He drew up: "what a devil of a place they have put thee indeed--did they
think to conceal thee from me?"--He stooped to enter: when she found he had entered
far enough she touched a stick & down came all the weights & cross bar upon his
back. Tho' he was uncommonly strong the weight, & suddenness of the blow was such
that he gave way & was jamed between the two beams or bars--here he struggled denouncing
vengeance & eternal destruction to the whole of the _human_ race. The great bellowing
he made was a signal to the men who were in ambush not far off: they came
running up & soon dispatched him with a multitude of blows from axes & Chissels
&c. &c."--Thus were they for _one time_ releived: the women & children returned
to the camp & enjoyed themselves as usual without further apprehensions. These Gi-
ants as far as I can learn reside somewhere about the _North Pole_; & even at this day
frequently pay their unwelcome visits, but which however, are attended with a complete
fright only. It seems also that they delegate their Power to the indians occasionly; &
_this_ occasions that cannibalism which is Produced or proceeds rather from a sort of
distemper much resembling _maniaism_. There are 3 sorts or kinds that I
know of, & beleive there are no more.  The first I have already related as above, & the
2 I am going to give you are sometimes _compounded_ together & sometimes _independent_;
but they are both equally true &  melancly & distressing in whatever light we may view
them: However, I shall not pretend by any means to palm _all_ that is said about
them upon you as true--of this you'll by & bye be able to judge as well as myself
& not doubt. The first of these are such as are driven to this dreadful extremity by
starvation. In all _woody_ countries where the inhabitants lead a wandering, roving life, & whose
subsistence depend upon the Game they procure, they must of necessity be frequently pinched, & some-
times bro't very low. All _People_ cannot bear this privation alike & tho'  there is perhaps not a


                                      (46)
a people in this world who take this so patiently as those people do, yet there are not wanting in-
stances where even with them that _nature_ gives-way. They vanish as a _dying_ Candle; but others can-
not stand it out so long: they must have something to eat, be it what it may: sometimes, tho'  with
the most extreme reluctance at first, they feed upon the flesh of such as _have died_. Any kind of
animal substance at such times, must come very grateful to the Stomack; & hence it is I be-
lieve that those who have once preyed upon their fellows, ever after feel a great desire for the
same nourishment, & are not so scrupulous about the means of procuring it. I have seen
several that had been reduced this distressing alternative, & tho' many years after there ap-
peared to me a wildness in their eyes, a confusion in their countenances much resem-
bling that of reprieved murderers....Now if we consider how very precarious their
mode of subsistance is, how devoted they are to superstition & prejudice, we, i. e. such of _us_
as know more about them, we, I say, may wonder how they stand out so well: very many
instances I have known seem to be far beyond the power of human nature to stand:--Yet
notwithstanding this dreadful privation lasts not for a few days, but even to weeks & months,
during all which time the men are out from star-light to star-light & have never
anything more to _eat_ than some bits of leather, moss, bark & such like, it is very rare they
will kill a _fellow_ to live upon him. This is not universal, there are unfortunately still
too many exceptions; but these again would seem as denounciations from their Gods--
--They appear so to me--I can scarcely doubt it! and the indians themselves seem to think
the same tho' in another way. At this place where I am now writing (Lac La Ronge, English River) but
a few years back several instances occurred. An old Canadian is said to have lost one of his
Sons thus, tho' an excellent hunter: the old man sometimes speakes to me of that son: and the
second died on his way to the house, &  not far off. The same year an indian killed all
his family but 2 daughters whom he compelled to partake with him, & for the rest of the
route he ........--I shall here give you a few stories of the kind. "_That_ same
"year (I do not know precisely when but only a few years back) a woman alone arrived at the
"house. Her appearance was haggard, wild, & distressed: However she was taken into _the_ house--
"questions put as usual, but the answers, vague, indefinite & contradictory: they
"handed her something to eat--she acted as if eating it indeed, but let the whole fall in
"the _inside_ of her gown: this rose suspicion. But what added to this was the extra-
"ordinary stench she emitted from the heat of the chimney; & shortly after her entrance, a
"part of a human shoulder the Dogs bro't in from upon her road. She went off--being
"directed upon a road leading to a camp not far off. As soon as she made her appearance the indians
"immediately conceived what was to matter; but thro' charity as well as for safety & to find the
"truth they gave her to eat, principally marrow-fat." Now these people pretend that cannibals
cannot bear this fat or grease, of course it was a kind of _ordeal_. "Every thing she did & said, notwithstand-
"ing her great caution, betrayed her. She took up some of the children of her acquaintances to kiss


                                      (47)
"kiss as is customary but would have given it a bite had they not taken it from her. They wat-
"ched her narrowly. All the men slept in one tent with her: she pretended to be asleep 'till
"she imagined the others were, then rose very cautiously & was beginning to prepare herself for _action_
"--One of the men perceived this--rose upon her with an axe; tho' the blow was violent &
"upon the head she would have killed him had not the others interfered: her wretched fate
"was soon decided." There is such a singular, strange, incomprehensible contradictoriness in
almost all these cases, & many I have heard, that I do most verily believe they are _denun_-
ciations, witch, or wizardisms: in any other manner they are not rationally to be account-
ed for, unless we suppose all those who feed on human flesh to be thus possest,--then it
is natural to man in those cases; but why then not the same with us as with these people?
--The 3d Kind, or delegated, which by what follows, I believe may be allowed to be
the term, are those who dream of the North, or the Ice, or both. Every one knows
where the North resides, but only few know the abode of Ice, or the Ice. This they pretend is the
Parent of Ice, is in the bowels of the Earth, at a great depth & never thaws--all ice originates
from this. These 2 they are much afraid of, because they are both highly malignant spi-
rits: there is no joking or jesting with them. Those who at _any_ future period are to become
cannibals thus dream of them. After the certain things usual in all dreams  "I was
"invited by the North to partake of a feast of ducks, the most beautiful I had ever seen
"& well cooked--the dish was before me,  I set _too_: a stranger by me touched me with his elbow & said, Eat not thou
"of that; look into thy dish; behold that which I had taken for the wing of a duck was
"the arm of a child! 'he! what a narrow escape'! said I. Then he took me into another
"room & gave me most excellent meat, the most delicious in appearance I had ever seen
"I would not eat--I discovered it was the flesh of _indians_ thus served up to me! He
"took me into a 3d room & gave me Tongues: These I also perceived were the Tongues of _in_-
"dians. 'Why refusest thou what I offer thee? is it not good?' 'I feel no inclination
"'to eat' I replied. Then he took me in a fourth room where fine beautiful
"_hearts_ were served up, & I was desired to eat, but I perceived that it was still the same
"I therefore refused. Then said he 'it is well done--thou hast done well!' Heh! had I unfor-
"tunately eaten of this then had I become a cannibal in addition to all my other misfortunes."
    Those who eat at these feasts are frequently, but not universally told thus: " This is a sign to
"thee that thou shalt one day become a cannibal & feed on the flesh of thy fellows--When
"thou shalt see children play with, & eat, ice (or snow) _in_ thy Tent say 'my time is near';
"for then thou shalt soon eat _indian_ (human) flesh." They have such dread & horor of
this that it is constantly in their minds. "You white people! who live at your ease, get your
"living out of your Nets or from your indians, & besides are not otherwise troubled as we,
"make light of these Things:--I do not make much  account of them either, but I tell you that he
"who thus once dreams of either of those Dogs are for ever after continually troubled with them


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"--we do every thing in our Power to drive him away from us, but still he hovers about us & we can-
"not avoid him. You are very fortunate--you live as you please, never care for him nor does he molest
"you."--Such I am told are the _sentiments_ of these people in General. I look upon this
as a sort of mania, a fever, a distemper of the brain. Their eyes (for I have seen thus perplexd)
are wild & uncommonly clear--they seem as if they glistened--It seems to me to
lodge in the Head. They are generally rational except at short, sudden intervals when the
paroxysms cease them: their motions then are various & diametrically contrary at one
time to what they are the next moment--Sullen, thoughtful, wild look & perfectly
mute:--staring in sudden convulsions, wild incoherent & extravagant language.
There was one a few years back infected with this not far from where I was at
the time: the accounts given of him, tho' I shall not vouch for their truth are
thus. One night towards the latter end of December he began staring at his daugh-
ter with an extraordinary intenseness: "My daughter! I am fond of thee! I love
"thee extremely"--"I know thou dost" replied the woman abashed, for she was then
very young"--Yes! I love thee--I think I could eat a piece of thee, I love thee
"so much". The Girl exclaimed at his rashness--there were but 3 of them
the father, daughter & her husband. When it was dark he put himself stark-naked &
uttering a strong tremulous noise, & his teeth chattering in his head as if thro' cold, rose
up & walked out of the Tent & laid himself curled as a dog in a heap upon the wood
that his daughter had that day bro't to the door. Here he remained all night in-
spite of what they could do. A little before day he returned. Thus did he every
night for about a month & every time slept out naked; nor would he eat,
excepting at times a little raw flesh. In the day time he was more composed,
but his face &c. bore the appearance of one possessed of the Devil. He recovered &
became as usual, composed, & good natured--I knew them all well, but had no
dealings with them from the year before (1812)--A young indian a few years
back had _one_ of the above Dreams. He became very uneasy & thoughtful finding it recur
so  very frequently: & he would have willing undergone any torments any death rather than
become an anthropophagi: he also frequently desired his friends upon any, the least appear-
ance of these symptoms in him to kill him. "For if you do not kill me 'till I have eaten of _human_
"flesh, you'll perhaps not be able to do it afterwards; but my Children! Oh! my children!
"how grieved am I to leave ye! but it must be so--I have no alternative." "Spare me
"not, my friends I conjure you"! He had been a good hunter & a peaceable indian, & of course
much loved by his friends: this business depressed them a great deal. At last the time approach-
ing fast his brother one day remained behind with him to watch him, whilst the others pitch-
ed off: about the time this one thought the others had finished the encampment he proposed their
setting off to join them. But before long he left his brother behind & laid an ambush for him not


                                      (49)
not far from the Tent. This was a preconcerted scheme, the other men of course were not far off.
The sick one drew near, in a very slow & thoughtful manner: however when he came near to where
his brother was hid, he stopped, looked up & called out "Thou thinkest thyself well hid from
"me my brother, but I see thee: it is well thou undertakest, it had been better for thee however
"hadst thou began sooner. Remember what I told you all--it is my _heart_; my _heart_, that is
"_terrible_, & however you may injure my body if you do not completely annihilate my _heart_
"nothing is done." The brother was sure that he was not discovered, this _knowledge_ being the
information of some of the spirits: he therefore did not answer. Some of the other men had
gone to meet him & endeavoured to amuse him that the brother might give the first
blow: accordingly he shot, straight for the heart--he dropped, but rose immediately,
& continued towards the camp that was within sight laughing at their undertaking. "The
"Ball went through & through, but not a drop of blood was seen--_his heart was alrea-
"ready formed into Ice_."  Here they seized & bound him & with ice chissels & axes
set to work to dispatch him. "According to his desire they had collected a large pile
"of dry wood & laid him upon it.--The body was soon consumed, but the heart remained perfect
"& entire" it rolled several times off the Pile--They replaced it as often: fear ceased them--
"then with their (Ice) chissels they cut & hacked it into small bits,  but yet with diffi-
"culty was it consumed"!!! They fancy that blood which circulated thro' the heart
first turns into water, then coagulates or congeals, & shortly after becomes into solid
imperforable or impenetrable ice. The only antidote or remedy for this, is to give them
large draughts of high-wines; double distilled spirits, or the spirits of wine, if any
can be had the better: this taken in large draughts & frequently, & _kept_ beside a large
fire, flows to the heart & thaws the ice: if a profuse sweat ensues it is a happy
omen. An indian with me this winter gave out his apprehensions that he was thus
tormented--I communicated it to 2 others who happened to come in about that time: "Why do you not give him
"large draughts of your strongest spirits to drink & keep him in the room beside a large
"fire." I replied that I was afraid it would burn him "Oh! no--if he is a real
"Wendigo it will only do him good by driving out the ice; but if he _lies_ to you indeed,
"then it certainly will injure him; but it will be good for him, & teach him for the future
"not to impose upon people to frighten them." However, they are in general kind &
extremely indulgent to those thus infected: they seem to consider it as an infliction &
are desirous of doing all they can to assist. There are however many exceptions: but these
again depend upon the circumstances &c. attending them. One of my best hunters here
is thus tormented, or at least thus torments himself; & very often desires his friends in
compassion to put a period to existence the first symptoms he may shew of cannibalism.
A young girl lately maried, & scarcely worth a _Filip_, so small & diminutive, was this winter
seized with this phrensy--the consequence was that the men durst not leave the tent for any


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any length of time, being obliged to assist the women in holding & preventing her from biting or eating
any of the children, & perhaps herself. They bethought of a sacrifice i.e. cropping her hair & short--
--she recovered & is now well. She says "I do not recollect any single one circumstance of all that
"is told me.--I thought I was always on the tops of the Trees." There is another one of my in-
dians thus affected too.  The indians say it is a punishment (from some of their _familiars_ of
course) for so lightly esteeming their ceremonies; nay indeed & ridiculing them often. This
fall he began: there were but 2 men of them together (with each his family)--Things
bore a most dismal aspect;--at last the wife of the other,  who by-the-bye is said to
a little affected that way too, told him one day that he sprang forward to seize one of
_his own_ children, to "keep quiet, for thou dog if a Gun hath no effect on thee, my
" axe shall--I shall chop thee up into slices:--thou hast then better be quiet."
This kept him indeed quiet for some time: how they are now I cannot say, not hav-
ing heard of them from the beginning of Decr (now Apl. 20th). They appear most
inclined to prey _first_ upon their own family: & they also think that fire arms
are absolutely unable to injure them--"a ball cannot injure _Ice_: to destroy
"_Ice_, it must be _chopped up_: & the _heart then is all Ice_." They sometimes,
indeed frequently recover with the warm weather "for the sun then _animates_
all nature"!!!--There are many other instances of a like kind in their tendency
or consequences, but different in their proceedings that I cannot bring to mind at present: I men-
tion several of these to shew you the different manner they are infected--in the mean time
I shall relate you others not less entertaining. There are several Spirits of whom these
people are much afraid, but four principally, they being the most malignant & little
accepting of _excuses_ however great & urgent they may be for the non performance of _their_
sacrifices. These are the _North, Ice, Skeletons & the Crazy woman_, or foolish,
mad, jealous, woman. "Not very many years ago an indian had entered his conjuring _hut_.
"She came among the rest; but being displeased with the conjuror on account of some
"sacrifice to other spirits, she seized & carried him off! Skeleton perceived it, &
"being of the conjuror pursued Jealousy: finding herself nearly overtaken she prefered
"her own safety to vengeance & let the _indian_ fall _in some place_ at a vast dis-
"tance from where he had been taken--Skeleton took him up & bro't him back
"to the great satisfaction of all parties"! "She frequently comes with the _others_
when they conjure, but on her appearance she is desired to be quiet "_Pay-ah-tick_"
i.e. gently, quietly, peaceably &c." Master Skeleton also is as much dreaded as
Folly, if-not more, because he shews himself at any time he pleases, it not being
necessary to conjure to call him to. There _is_ an indian who before he married had his
_Dress Shoes_ made by this Lady (Folly, or Jealousy)--She was of course extremely fond of him"--"The shoes
"were beautifully garnished, far superior to anything of the kind done by _our_ women"! There are not


                                      (51)
wanting Ladies living with the white who confer full share of their _favors_ on some of the in-
dians; & from one of these I fancy it is he got these shoes; but to hide the business imput-

ed them to Folly, which served him a double end. If I can see that Chap I shall be very
particular in my inquiries of him--I know him well. This brings to my mind the
_White Stag_ or Hind, _Sertorius_ had in his exile & during his wars with his country as
mentioned by Plutarch. Indeed--to be candid, _I_ find a very great affinity between the
ideas & notions of these people & those of the Greeks & Romans &c. &c. And by these, much,
far much better, than by the incongruous hypothesis of the learned might be traced the
_origin_ of these people; & I am far from taking the task to be difficult: would _we_
only divest ourselves of _our own_ prejudices & take the proper plan this great _Enigma_,
if I may so explain myself, would be not perfectly cleared I allow, but a rational
clew afforded to the unravelling of it. I have read many of these _hypo-
thesis_ but they are so filled with inconsistencies that I could scarcely believe men could
employ so much time in them ..... I could say something else instead of the conclusion
of this last sentence.  A Gentleman, & an Englishman too, but I forget his name, would
wish to _insinuate_ that these people are from a different origin with ourselves i.e.
Adam; & to prove his hypothesis he begins by an anatomising hogs! (See the Encyclopae-
dia, not by Rees, but _Fitz-Patrick_ I believe) This puts me in mind of some of the
_Newtonian Systems_ i.e. there is no such thing in nature a _Cold_--we must
say an _absence_ of _Heat_! why cannot we as well say there is no such thing as _dark-
ness_, but merely an _absence of light_, or reverse either, & either will be as reasonable
--most strange reasoning is this indeed!
    Confession. These People have a notion that _confession_ saves them
from many accidents & also preserves the lives of the Sick, or rather restores them to
their wonted health &c. I have not learned the  origin of this; when, why, or wherefore, but it
seems to be very remote, to have sprang with their mythology. I shall it make a point to enquire
very particularly into this; & for this, as well as other things, at different quarters, to find & detect
_errors_ &c. but all, however, that I have written in these pages, tho' there may be some difference
in the recital & perhaps a _few_ stragling circumstances, are, I have great reason to think
fundamentally the same throughout among these people....... When any one
of them is particularly affected with diseases out of the common course of nature _here_,
or, tho' the disease may be precisely the same as all others, yet from certain circumstan-
ces, individually, or a combination of them, they say he is Oh-gee-nay in Cree,
or On-gee-nay in Sauteux (the On- pronounced as in french & _not_ English), by which
it would seem as if they meant he was afflicted or chastised for his own sins, or those of some
of his or her, near relatives, i.e. father, mother &c. if children: if grown up & married persons,
for their own.  Whether they only imagine this, or are informed of it by conjuring, _private_ infor-


                                      (52)
information from their _Familiars_, or from the Symptoms of the Sick person &c. &c. I cannot say,
but the thus afflicted person must confess his Sins publickly. Now in these confessions as in
all their other discourses or conversations (_initiating_ & _giving of medicines_, excepted) they use no
circumlocution, no secret or enigmatical word or term, to screen themselves; but all is de-
livered in plain terms & before every one that chuses to hear: These confessions are ter-
rible things; & they seem far more sincere & complete than those of many catholics.
--They have wonderful retentive memories, & no scene, no crime from their earliest
years unto that day do they hide. But Great God! what abominations!--one would
scarcely imagine the human mind capable of inventing such infamously dia-
bolical actions as _some_ do commit: murder, incest, & other things if possible an
hundred fold more debasing the human Soul. Whether they repent of these things neither
can I say, but it would appear as if they were the acts of a contrite & most humbly
penitant Soul. I have never had an opportunity of hearing these from _their own_ mouths,
but _other_ indians have told me of them, & tho' before their families _sometimes_, have never
omitted one single circumstance from the suggestions of the idea down to the very
last _conclusion_. When I heard of these things at first, I _would not_ beleive them; but hearing
them come so circumstantially _I trembled for the Land I sojourned in_ "lest it should
vomit me out as the land of Canaan did its inhabitants" "or be swallowed up in
its destruction as Sodom & Gomorrah"! It is true they are not _all_ so; no, I
am told there are but few, & in charity I hope it is; otherwise what will be my
fate seeing I am in a certain degree partaker with them! Surely the inha-
bitants of such a land, at _best_, cannot look for more than mere _present enjoy-
ment_. When I reflect seriously on _all_ these things as I sometimes do, revolv
ving them in every different manner in my mind it is beyond the power of
words to express my feelings. Poor unfortunate blind Creatures! That it is
from _Blindness_ they commit these things. I am fully persuaded, because I am equally confi-
dent that they do not attach that same degree of criminality to them we, _from the re-
vealing of the Scriptures_ to us, do: some, they consider in the light of trifles; some natural; some
weaknesses: but all tend to the gratification of most Bestial appetites, whatever may
have been the original cause, _curiosity_, or otherwise. However, I received a piece of infor-
mation in one of these, & _it_ was circumstantially  detailed, that has cleared a point to
me I could never solve: & Tho I enquired of both Wool & Bob, they were not wiser than my-
self. Indeed, without the _trial_ or experiment, it seems impossible to say certainly
where the cause lies: now I know it, if ever an opportunity offers, or that it pleases God I
again revisit my own lands I shall be able to speak to a certainty. As I cannot write
Latin, I shall say no more of _it_ at present.--
	A few years back an indian at the next Post above _this_ died: he had been a long time sick, &


                                      (53)
& from this conceived himself _ongenay_ & accordingly prepared for his Confession.
Having received the details at 2 & 3d hand I shall endeavour to give _part_ of them to you as near _their_
Stile as I can; but really I find myself _very inadequate_ to the task: there is a certain
_Poetic_ Sublimity in their language on such _like_ occasions as will not easily meet with credit
from those (the better informed) of the civilized world unacquainted with these people. Even
amongst ourselves there are but few; for few can judge of the beauties of a language & most of
those few have too hi a notion of their own mighty superiority to stoop to _regular_ conver-
sation with them: But to return: after having revealed all, or most part of his Sins to
the company in general he thus addressed his family in particular--"You see my Chil-
"dren my distressed state: I cannot move nor stir without assistance, & I feel strengthened
"in my lungs (breast, heart) merely as it were by Permission of my _Dreamed_ (some parti-
"cular one he meant) "to divulge my offenses to the Gods (or God) publicly, before you
"you all, to deter you from the same vices (wickednesses). I was once a young man also, the
"same as you are now, healthy & vigorous; nothing appeared difficult nor dangerous to me--
"I lived as became a man, & prospered accordingly; but I thought that this proceeded from my
"own Power only: had I so continued, all had been well! but no, I _unfortunately_ heard
"speake of Such indians (meaning _this_ place, _as my informants tell me_), how powerful
"they were in their medicines, the extraordinary feats they performed. I envied them, &
"thought that I required but _that_ knowledge more to render me perfect (immortal) &
"happy:--I undertook a voyage to that place: I found that the  bare truth had been
"scarcely told me--I burned with anxiety to becoming as knowing as themselves & I
"was gratified. Had I rested here, all had yet been well; but in learning their me-
"decines I also learned of them those vices, those sins, that by _their practice_ have
"reduced me to this wretched situation. My Sons!  take example from your father!
"be good, charitable, & peaceable indians as I was at the first set off of my life, & employ the
"same means, indulge use the same  anxiety to _avoid_, that I did to _procure_, that information
"that hath reduced me so far below the level even of a dog. Never forget this, never in-
"dulge even the least desire of such acquisitions; for if you once begin you will be
"deluded by their flattery to that destruction I have found. But you are young men! &
"unless you find grace you also will be deluded & lost as I am"! I have heard a good
deal said of _this_ indian's confession & exhortations to his Sons--they were not lost. He
himself lived but a short time & seemed much comforted by it.
  There is a tribe of _Athabasca_ that go by the name of _Beaver Indians_. From
the tenets of their religion I _am told_ that when laying under any malediction, be-
wichisms, &c. or conceive themselves so, they make a vow that the first animal the shall
kill they will do _So_--they do not fail, but immediately proceed in quest of another which by this
diabolical action they think they will soon find & kill. They do not _touch_ the animal afterwards as


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as those Beasts among the Crees & Sauteux do, but leave it lay as a sacrifice: they consider it as a
duty imposed upon them; but the others do it from mere beastiality. "Such a one did so, bro't home
"part of the meat, & we all of us eat it--O! the Dog!" said an indian not long ago to me.
    Lest I may not soon have another opportunity of writing on these Subjects to _you_ I shall
add a few more _fragments_. An indian here, passing for a great Doctor was applied to
(& is still) by many to attend upon them. "Several of these he retrieved from death: One
"of his dreamed, I beleive the North, was not pleased & told the Doctor 'never to administer
"'his medecines to those he had doomed to death.' The Dr replied it was hard & unchari-
"table seeing he could prolong their days a little. ' Well! for every one that thou dost
"'deprive me of, I shall take one of thy children'; & the Dr lost 8 or 9. (I cannot
"now remember well); but he is now grown more cautious". But this Dr is himself a
beast. "Being unable to stand from sickness he told 2 of his wives 'Take ye me one
"'under each arm to my sweat-heart.--I feel myself dying & dont chuse _thus_ to
"'go': & he actually did. Remember, _I am told this_; but I have reasons to beleive it.
--He is an incestuous beast: otherwise I find him a good indian & what is most
strange, sensible beyond many of his equals.--
    I have got a caracature here of the Devil carrying off a Taylor. I asked one
of my indians if any of their familiars resembled him & how they were,--the reply was "Yes,
"he resides in the North (at the Pole I suppose) & has a vast number of young men: The
"indians report of some finding their tracks that are very numerous & exactly resemble the
"tracks of the Grey Deer (carriboeuf); but neither him nor his young men are very wick-
"ed: North, Ice, Skeleton, & Folly are the most wicked & ill inclined of all those
we dream of, or enter the conjuring box"!--
    Of their Feasts, I cannot say more than any common observer--I have been in-
vited, & partaken of many of them, but I never thought of enquiring into their origin, the
causes &c. of them. But from the little I could learn or rather understand from the
speeches made at _all_ of them, & what I have learnt  in regard to other things, I think
may say without dreading contradiction, that as there are songs, ceremonies &c.
appropriate to every one of their Gods or Familiars or Devils, there also _feasts_ made for
each according to the whim, dream, or some other circumstance of the one who makes them.
   We denominate these Feasts, & from their own Term it would seem they so mean;
but I consider this again as a premature interpretation which I have not leisure to
explain: I consider them rather as _sacrifices_--indeed they may perhaps rather
be esteemed as partaking of both. I have somewhere above said that they are _obliged_
to make an annual sacrifice to some of their Gods as the non-performance passes not
off with impunity--these therefore are obligatory, or compulsory sacrifices; but besides these
they also have Free-will sacrifices. These Feasts or sacrifices are not _universally_ of


                                      (55)
of _Flesh_:--they have them of Flesh, Grease, dried berries, rum, &c. &c. and few of these
Feasts are made without _the one who makes it_ offers a certain (very small, only a few mouths-
ful) to _him_ whom it is in honor of, or intended for, which he most commonly puts into
the fire, _in_ or on, the Ground. Some of them are very grand & ceremonius:--the _tit_
bits of the animal only, as the head, heart, & liver, tongue, & paws when of a Bear: It is
only the Great men that are allowed to eat of these: Others again, besides the above, the
brisket, rump & ribbs; & very seldom a woman is allowed to partake of them, parti-
cularly if it is _un festin à tout manger_, i. e. to eat the whole; tho'  there may be
sufficient for 2 or 3 times the number of Guests, all must be eaten before day; tho' in
certain cases the Feaster is obliged, & commonly does, take part back, providing a
knife, a bit of tobacco, or something else attend with the dish. In these great
Feasts the feaster makes one or several Speeches before _we_ begin to eat, & one again
after all is done,  & sometimes sings, beats the drum & speeches during the whole
time of the feast, never partaking of a morsel himself. At Some of them there is
dancing to be performed: I happened to be called to one of these many years ago
--it was the principal parts of a bear; & the Paunch had been filled with the
liver, heart & fat with blood, minced, & much resembling that dish the Scotch
term _haggish_: we were all very hungry & tho' we gormandized (it cannot be
called _eating_) there yet remained full 2/3ds. The Feaster was uneasy & said he would
have been proud had we eaten all, for in that case his Dreamed would have been
propitious: we were obliged to dance also; but when I could stow no more I gave him
my knife & a bit of Tobacco & walked off leaving him to settle with his God as well
as he could; but indeed I was not very scrupulous then, otherwise I had most
certainly avoided many of them, tho' it is oftentimes dangerous if there be not
method or qualification in the refusal. Their feasts of rum are often to some
one of the 4 wicked ones, praying them to be propitious & not allow themselves to be
influenced by the wicked sollicitations of envious indians. Many years ago I
happened to be out a hunting a few miles from the house & came unexpectedly
upon the lodge of a few indians I had that day given rum to. I heard one of
them harangue, & drew up cautiously to listen--He entreated the rain, snow &
frost to have pity upon their young ones (that they might kill) &c. I commu-
nicated this a few years after to a couple of Gentlemen--one of them longer
in the country than myself denied it & enquired of his wife who had lived a
long time with the indians--she corroborated his denial--I perceived the
cause, & told him that it was because _they_ do not chuse that we become too well
informed of all their ceremonies: it was to no effect, & I had almost a mind to credit
the woman too myself, but by _insinuation_ I find I am perfectly right. Thus it


                                      (56)
it happens in almost every thing else: a thing that does not meet with our approbation, or be a
little beyond the Sphere of our limited information, we immediately deny or condemn; whereas by
taking _proper_ measures to enquire or inform ourselves not only those things themselves but others
far more interesting, & sometimes too of the greatest moment, whether to ourselves or others, are rendered
probable, reasonable, certain. Hence it is also that many upon receiving a piece of informa-
tion there rest themselves as upon a Rock of certainty. Now either of these I consider
equally blameable as they lead to distrust, doubt, & sometimes to a complete refutation or asser-
tion of facts that very oftentimes cast a stain or stigma sometimes upon a whole people.
& without any other foundation than as might be said that all Powerful _Veto_.--
    They have feasts for the dead, most commonly berries,--or in countries where it is made,
Sugar: generally yearly a bark box of perhaps 2 or 3 Gallons is placed _in_ the grave, upon
it , or well hid in some private nook, if they are afraid, or do not chuse, it be taken
--I ought rather to have said these are sacrifices; but independent of these they have Feasts
also, & feasts of Baptism. Feasts inshort for almost every occasion. Besides these
they have _smoking_ feasts: these are to deliberate.--I shall, should it please God I live,
make it a point to enquire particularly into the origin of all these.--
    June 5th. These last 3 days have been busy & turbulent ones for me--it is now
considerably past midnight (& of course the 6th June) but my indians are drinking
&  I cannot think of going to bed Till they do I shall employ my few remaining
_leisure_ moments ('till next year, please god I live so long) in giving you an
account of a conjuring bout I with some difficulty got an indian to make
last night (June 4th).--In the evening the hut was prepared at some dis-
tance from the houses on account of the stink as _the Spirits_ cannot, or will
not endure any pollution--The hut consisted of 10 poles about 7 feet out
of Ground, well stuck in, & somewhat better than 3 feet diameter--the
Poles were secured with 2 hoops: they were covered with 2 Parchment skins
(of Moose) well bound with many rounds of strong leather line: _the
top was _covered_ with a dressed skin & secured also, to prevent its being
carried off (by the wind)--About 10P.M. (still broad day light with
us) we drew up with the conjuror, smoked & chatted some time. after
this he took his drum (much resembling a tambourine) & with a
stick gently struck it all the time he made a speech: I was almost
touching him (all seated) but from the noise of the drum & his low voice,
for the man has a dreadful complaint on his lungs, I could only gather
"Take pity upon me; take pity upon me; hear & come: let me not
speake in vain, nor become abashed--show me charity" &c. &c.--it was
a moderate & decent prayer. After this _they_ (for there were several men) began


                                      (57)
began to sing, using the drum & rattler--they sang among others the moose, horse,
Bear, & Dog Songs; about a dozen in number, when he prepared by taking off his
clothes, all to his cloute, & asked who should tie him, I replied that I would,
but was afraid of hurting him: another conjuror did beginning with his
fingers between the 2 joints nearest the hand nearly as I can describe
it--thus giving a double turn to the line between each
finger, & the line was new Mackerel, small, which I happened to have
in my pocket by accident.--I drew up to _inspect_ & observing the fin-
gers to swell upon his complaining of the tightness I felt a good deal for
him. After this his blanket was wrapped round him & tied in such a
manner, lengthways, crossways & every way, & a good knot _I_ tied at
each meeting of the cords; for I assisted in _this_, that I could have laid
any wager that it was beyond the Power of Spirits themselves, thus tied, to
eradicate themselves; & his hands were _under_ his hams--as he could no
more move than fly, _of himself_, the other conjuror & I put him to the
door, but behold! it was with difficulty we could just get his
head in, the entry being too narrow by about 10, or 12 ins. screwing
& jaming considered. "It will do, it will do" said the conjuror--"cover
me now"--his back was covered with a blanket & we all retreated
to our seats, myself about 4 feet distant--The others took the drum
& began to sing. I could not help but laughing in myself & pitying the
boldness of their vanity,--but I had soon occasion to think other-
wise & had I not predetermined that reason should conduct me throughout the
whole  of this, I cannot say how far in the _other_ extreme _I_ might have gone.
But to return: the conjuror desired the others to sing, they began a short song,
I believe it was that of the _Stone_, & the man entered in an instant! I was
struck dumb with astonishment; for he appeared to me to
_slide_ in by something that was neither invisible nor descernible--I heard some-
thing that for the life of me I cannot account for, & that's all: from the time
we covered him (25.'  Past 10 P.M) to the time we had done hunting for the
twine that tied his fingers, not quite 5 minutes elapsed, & not 1 1/2 minutes
before his blanket & the cords were thrown out to us!--Not one of them,
apparently (i.e.  one knot) _untied_!--My astonishment & apprehen-
sions of his being entirely carried off from us were such, that I was nearly
springing up to haul him out, for fear of his being for ever lost. The others
continued singing a few other songs & I had the utmost anxiety in hearing repeated-
ly call out as if in the greatest apprehensions himself "enough! enough! e-


                                      (58)
Enough of ye I say"; & frequently for the space of some minutes repeating the same,
& now & then calling out "do not _Thou_ enter." The _Stone_ was the first one known
to us, by his song; for every one almost that entered sang _his_ song, to which those
(the indians) on the outside would keep chorus. A vast number entered, I verily
beleive upward of an hundred; for upwards of that number of times the frame
shook back-&-forwards and very smartly as if to fall; & among the first
were some truly terrible characters. I have almost entirely converted myself
from these foolish ideas of Ghost & hobgoblins, but I assure you in truth
that I more than once felt very uneasy. The Ice entered--he made a noise
extremely resembling that made by a person shivering with cold, loud, &
hoarse & _liquid_. The Devil _himself_ also entered in _propria persona_, in
a very authoritative & commanding manner: I assure you there was no
laughing nor gigling outside, all the time he sang & spoke. The Turtle
spoke as an old Jocular man. "I hate the french; for in their travels
"when they find me, they kill me & eat me:--I shall answer none of their questions"
but this was a joke; for he laughed. "Speake out Turtle, speake out, louder that
"we hear the", said those without "--I would too, replied he, but my voice is
"so strong I must contract it thus otherwise ye could not endure the sound
"of it." "Hop! continued he, I must imitate the drunk", which he did
to the great diversion of us all & concluded with snoring, the natural
end of all drunken feasts & then became quiet, on which another voice
(which I also perfectly heard & understood as well the Turtle herself) cried
out--"see! see! if she does not look like a frog  stretched out" & this
raised a proper laugh both in & out. The Dog entered, & spoke perfectly
plain & distinct, & with a more elegant & harmonious voice I ever heard
in my life. Bears of 3 or 4 different sorts, the horse, moose, Skeletons,
spirits of departed & _still living friends_ entered; but none but the
latter & above mentioned were to be understood by any but the conju-
ror himself. On the entering of one "that is my (_adopted_) Son" said
an Indian seated by me & called out his name to which he readily
answered besides questions: this young man & a girl, both living,
spoke very plain (you must observe that it is not their bodies, but their
Souls or Spirits that enter)--Children almost at the instant of birth,
Dwarfs, Giants; but this latter did make a noise indeed. We all
laughed very heartily when the horse entered; for it appears he passed too
near the Turtle who called out as the horse was flying about (in the inside)
singing & rattling his rattler, "I wish you would take care of yourself & _not tread


                                      (59)
"tread_ on one" in allusion to his diminutive size in comparison with that of
horse. It is somewhat surprising that every one that entered, whether he spoke plain,
or was interpreted--their First words were your lands are distressed--keep
not on the Gnd River--sickness, sickness; "but from amongst _ye here_  I shall
select only a few aged ones" said one of the latter,  but in a _voice_ no one but the
conjuror could understand--as he went out however the Conjur<<<<<




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