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Title: Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park
Author: Schultz, James Willard
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park" ***

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             Blackfeet Tales of
              Glacier National
                    Park

                     BY
            JAMES WILLARD SCHULTZ

            _With Illustrations_


               [Illustration]


             BOSTON AND NEW YORK
          HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
        The Riverside Press Cambridge
                    1916


  COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY JAMES WILLARD SCHULTZ
             ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

           _Published April 1916_


             The Riverside Press
          CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS
                  U . S . A



  [Illustration: THE NARROWS, UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE, WITH BARING'S
    BASIN IN THE BACKGROUND
      _Page 214_]



  TO
  LOUIS WARREN HILL, ESQ.

  TRUE FRIEND TO MY BLACKFEET PEOPLE, AND
  THE ONE WHO HAS DONE MORE THAN ANY OTHER
  INDIVIDUAL, OR ANY ORGANIZATION, TO MAKE THE
  WONDERS OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ACCESSIBLE
  TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
  BY

  THE AUTHOR

  GLACIER NATIONAL PARK,
  SEPTEMBER 10, 1915.



Contents


    I. TWO MEDICINE                                        1
           HUGH MONROE                                     1
           THE WOMAN WHO EARNED A MAN'S NAME              12
           THE STORY OF THE THUNDER MEDICINE              23

   II. PU-NAK´-IK-SI (CUTBANK)                            43
           HOW MOUNTAIN CHIEF FOUND HIS HORSES            49
           WHITE FUR AND HIS BEAVER CLAN                  59
           THE STORY OF THE BAD WIFE                      85
           OLD MAN AND THE WOMAN                          98

  III. KI-NUK´-SI IS-SI-SAK´-TA (LITTLE RIVER)           110
           OLD MAN AND THE WOLVES                        112
           NEW ROBE, THE RESCUER                         129

   IV. PUHT-O-MUK-SI-KIM-IKS (THE LAKES INSIDE): ST.
         MARY'S LAKES                                    146
           THE STORY OF THE FIRST HORSES                 158
           ONE HORN, SHAMER OF CROWS                     182
           THE ELK MEDICINE CEREMONY                     199
           NA-WAK´-O-SIS (THE STORY OF TOBACCO)          216

    V. IKS-I´-KWO-YI-A-TUK-TAI (SWIFT CURRENT RIVER)     226
           THE JEALOUS WOMEN                             227

   VI. NI-NA US-TAK-WI (CHIEF MOUNTAIN)                  233
           THE WISE MAN                                  235



Illustrations


  THE NARROWS, UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE, WITH
    BARING'S BASIN IN THE BACKGROUND          _Frontispiece_

  UPPER TWO MEDICINE LAKE AND RISING BULL MOUNTAIN         8

  PI´-TA-MAK-AN (RUNNING EAGLE) FALLS                     12

  AT UPPER TWO MEDICINE LAKE                              20
      Showing Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill,
        Yellow Wolf, and the author

  MOVING CAMP FROM TWO MEDICINE                           42

  OUR CAMP ON CUTBANK RIVER                               46
      Showing Wonderful Runner and Little Plume
        Mountains

  STREAM FROM UNNAMED GLACIER POURING INTO CUTBANK
    CANYON                                                52

  THE BEAVER DAM                                          60

  BIGHORN COUNTRY. HEAD OF CUTBANK RIVER                  80

  CUTBANK RIVER. A GOOD TROUT RIFFLE                      84

  BLACK BULL AND STABS-BY-MISTAKE NEAR LOWER END
    OF CUTBANK CANYON                                     96

  STABS-BY-MISTAKE, SUN WOMAN, AND HER SON, LITTLE
    OTTER, IN CUTBANK CANYON                             106

  BIG SPRING PAINTING AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON THE FLESH
    SIDE OF A TANNED ELK-SKIN                            110

  SUN WOMAN                                              128

  CAMP NEAR LOWER END OF UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE           146

  AT THE NARROWS, UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE                  152

  GOING-TO-THE-SUN MOUNTAIN                              156

  GOING-TO-THE-SUN CHALET, UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE         180

  OPENING OF THE ELK MEDICINE PIPE CEREMONY              206

  ELK MEDICINE PIPE DANCE                                210

  TAIL-FEATHERS-COMING-OVER-THE-HILL PROPITIATING
    THE DREADED UNDER-WATER PEOPLE AT UPPER TWO
    MEDICINE LAKE                                        212

  ICEBERG LAKE                                           226

  EN ROUTE TO ICEBERG LAKE                               234

  GLACIER ON TRAIL TO ICEBERG LAKE                       240

_From photographs by R. W. Reed_



BLACKFEET TALES OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK



I

TWO MEDICINE



_July 12, 1915._


HUGH MONROE

After an absence of many years, I have returned to visit for a time my
Blackfeet relatives and friends, and we are camping along the mountain
trails where, in the long ago, we hunted buffalo, and elk, and moose,
and all the other game peculiar to this region.

To-day we pitched our lodges under Rising Wolf Mountain, that massive,
sky-piercing, snow-crested height of red-and-gray rock which slopes up
so steeply from the north shore of Upper Two Medicine Lake. This
afternoon we saw upon it, some two or three thousand feet up toward
its rugged crest, a few bighorn and a Rocky Mountain goat. But we may
not kill them! Said Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill: "There they
are! Our meat, but the whites have taken them from us, even as they
have taken everything else that is ours!" And so we are eating beef
where once we feasted upon the rich ribs and loins of game, which
tasted all the better because we trailed and killed it, and with no
little labor brought it to the womenfolk in camp.

Rising Wolf Mountain! What a fitting and splendid monument it is to
the first white man to traverse the foothills of the Rockies between
the Saskatchewan and the Missouri! Hugh Monroe was his English name.
His father was Captain Hugh Monroe, of the English army; his mother
was Amélie de la Roche, a daughter of a noble family of French
_émigrés_. Hugh Monroe, Junior, was born in Montreal in 1798. In 1814
he received permission to enter the employ of the Hudson's Bay
Company, and one year later--in the summer of 1815--he arrived at its
new post, Mountain Fort, on the North Fork of the Saskatchewan and
close to the foothills of the Rockies.

At that time the Company had but recently entered Blackfeet territory,
and none of its _engagés_ understood their language; an interpreter
was needed, and the Factor appointed Monroe to fit himself for the
position. The Blackfeet were leaving the Fort to hunt and trap along
the tributaries of the Missouri during the winter, and he went with
them, under the protection of the head chief, who had nineteen wives
and two lodges and an immense band of horses. By easy stages they
traveled along the foot of the Rockies to Sun River, where they
wintered, and then in the spring, instead of returning to the
Saskatchewan, they crossed the Missouri, hunted in the Yellowstone
country that summer, wintered on the Missouri at the mouth of the
Marias River, and returned to Mountain Fort the following spring with
all the furs their horses could carry.

Instead of one winter, Monroe had passed two years with the tribe, and
in that time had acquired a wife, a daughter of the great chief, a good
knowledge of the language, and an honorable name, Ma-kwi´-i-po-wak-sĭn
(Rising Wolf), which was given him because of his bravery in a battle
with the Crows in the Yellowstone country.

During Monroe's two years' absence from the Fort, another _engagé_ had
learned the Blackfeet language from a Cree Indian, who spoke it well,
so that this man became the interpreter, and Monroe was ordered to
remain with the Piegan tribe of the Blackfeet, to travel with them,
and see that they came annually to the Fort to trade in the winter
catch of furs. And this exactly suited him; he much preferred roaming
the plains with his chosen people; the stuffy rooms of the Fort had no
attractions for a man of his nature.

How I envy Hugh Monroe, the first white man to traverse the plains
lying between the Upper Saskatchewan and the Upper Missouri, and the
first to see many portions of the great stretch of the mountain region
between the Missouri and the Yellowstone. He has himself often told me
that "every day of that life was a day of great joy!"

Monroe was a famous hunter and trapper, and a warrior as well. He was
a member of the Ai´-in-i-kiks, or Seizer band of the All Friends
Society, and the duty of the Seizers was to keep order in the great
camp, and see that the people obeyed the hunting laws--a most
difficult task at times. On several occasions he went with his and
other bands to war against other tribes, and once, near Great Salt
Lake, when with a party of nearly two hundred warriors, he saved the
lives of the noted Jim Bridger and his party of trappers. Bridger had
with him a dozen white men and as many Snake Indians, the latter
bitter enemies of the Blackfeet. The Snakes were discovered, and the
Blackfeet party was preparing to charge them, when Monroe saw that
there were white men behind them. "Stop! White men are with them! We
must let them go their way in peace!" Monroe shouted to his party.

"But they are Snake white men, and therefore our enemy: we shall kill
them all!" the Blackfeet chief answered. However, such was Monroe's
power over his comrades that he finally persuaded them to remain
where they were, and he went forward with a flag of truce, and found
that his friend Jim Bridger was the leader of the other party. That
evening white men and Snakes and Blackfeet ate and smoked together! It
was a narrow escape for Bridger and his handful of men.

Monroe had three sons and three daughters by his Indian wife, all of
whom grew into fine, stalwart men and women. Up and down the country
he roamed with them, trapping and hunting, and often fighting hostile
war parties. They finally all married, and in his old age he lived
with one and another of them until his death, in 1896, in his
ninety-eighth year. We buried him near the buffalo cliffs, down on the
Two Medicine River, where he had seen many a herd of the huge animals
decoyed to their death. And then we named this mountain for him. A
fitting tribute, I think, to one of the bravest yet most kindly men of
the old, old West!

       *       *       *       *       *

At the upper east side and head of this beautiful lake rises a
pyramidal mountain of great height and grandeur. A frowse of pine
timber on its lower front slope, and its ever-narrowing side slopes
above, give it a certain resemblance to a buffalo bull. Upon looking
at a recent map of the country I found that it had been named "Mount
Rockwell." So, turning to Yellow Wolf, I said: "The whites have given
that mountain yonder the name of a white man. It is so marked upon
this paper."

The old man, half blind and quite feeble, roused up when he heard
that, and cried out: "Is it so? Not satisfied with taking our
mountains, the whites even take away the ancient names we have given
them! They shall not do it! You tell them so! That mountain yonder is
Rising Bull Mountain, and by that name it must ever be called! Rising
Bull was one of our great chiefs: what more fitting than that the
mountain should always bear his name?"

"Rising Bull was a chief in two tribes," Yellow Wolf went on. "In his
youth he married a Flathead girl, at a time when we were at peace
with that people, and after a winter or two she persuaded him to take
her across the mountains for a visit with her relatives. Rising Bull
came to like them and all the Flathead people so well that he remained
with them a number of winters, and because of his bravery, and his
kind and generous nature, the Flatheads soon appointed him one of
their chiefs. When he was about forty winters of age, some young men
of both tribes quarreled over a gambling game and several were killed
on each side. That, of course, ended the peace pact; war was declared,
and as Rising Bull could not fight his own people, he came back to us
with his Flathead wife, and was a leader in the war, which lasted for
several years. When that was ended, he continued to lead war parties
against the Crows, the Sioux, the Assiniboines, and the far-off
Snakes, and was always successful. Came the dreadful Measles
Winter,[1] and with hundreds of our people, he died. He left a son,
White Quiver, a very brave young warrior, and two years after his
father's death, he was killed in a raid against the Crows."

    [1] The winter of 1859-60.

  [Illustration: UPPER TWO MEDICINE LAKE. RISING BULL MOUNTAIN
    ON RIGHT]

"Ai! Rising Bull was a brave man. And oh, so gentle-hearted! So good
to the widows and orphans; to all in any kind of distress! We must in
some way see that this mountain continues to bear his name," said
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill.

And to that I most heartily agree.



_July 15._

We are a considerable camp of people: Yellow Wolf, my old uncle-in-law;
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill, another uncle-in-law; Big Spring;
Two Guns; Black Bull; Stabs-by-Mistake; Eagle Child; Eli Guardipe, or
Takes-Gun-Ahead. And with them they have their eleven women and fourteen
children. All are my especial friends, and all the men have been to
war--some of them many times--and have counted _coup_ upon the enemy.
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill has many battle scars on different
parts of his body. I was with him when he got the last one, in a fight
with the Crees. The bullet struck him in the forehead, ripped open the
scalp clear to the back of his head, but did not penetrate the skull. He
dropped instantly when struck, and we at first thought that he was dead.
It was some hours before he regained consciousness.

With all these men, and especially Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill
and Guardipe, I hunted and traveled much in the old days. Naturally,
we spend much of our time telling over this-and-that of our
adventures. Meantime the children play around, as happy as Indian
children ever are, and their mothers do the lodge work, which is
light, and gather in groups to chat and joke. The boys have just been
skipping stones on the smooth surface of the lake. The number of skips
a stone makes before it finally sinks, denotes the number of wives the
caster will have when he reaches manhood.

Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill and Two Guns are medicine men. The
former has the Elk medicine pipe, the latter the Water medicine pipe,
both ancient medicines in the tribe. They are spiritual, not material,
medicines. In fact, they are the implements used in prayers to the sun
and other gods, and each carries with it a ritual of its own.
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill has just told me that we will have
some prayers with his pipe a few days from now. I shall be glad to
take part in it all once more.



_July 16._

Again my people are filled with resentment against the whites. I told
them this afternoon that the falls in the river between this and the
lower lake had been given a foolish white men's name. I could not tell
them what it was, for there is no Blackfeet equivalent for the word
"Trick." But what a miserable, circus-suggesting name that is to give
to one of the most beautiful of waterfalls, and the only one of its
kind in America, and in all the world, for all I know! A short
distance below the outlet of the upper lake the river sinks, and a
half-mile farther on gushes into sight from a jagged hole halfway up
the side of a high and almost perpendicular cliff.

"In the long ago we named that Pi´tamakan Falls," said
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill.

"Yes? And who was he?" I asked, although I had a fair recollection of
the story of that personage. But I had forgotten the details of it,
and wanted them all.

"Not he, but she!" he corrected me.

"But Pi´tamakan (Running Eagle) is a man's name," I objected.

"True. But this woman earned the right to bear a man's name, and so it
was given her. She was the only woman of our people to receive that
honor, so far as I know. Listen! You shall hear all about it."


THE WOMAN WHO EARNED A MAN'S NAME

"As a girl, her name was Weasel Woman. She was the eldest of two
brothers and two sisters, and when she had seen fifteen winters both
their father and mother died. But unlike children in such circumstances,
they did not give up their lodge and scatter out to live with
relatives and friends. Said Weasel Woman: 'Somehow, some way, we can
manage to live. You boys are old enough to hunt and bring in meat and
skins. We three sisters will keep the lodge in good order, and tan the
skins for our clothing and bedding, and other uses.' And as she said, so
it was done, and the orphan family prospered.

  [Illustration: PI´-TA-MAK-AN (RUNNING EAGLE) FALLS
      The greater part of the stream gushes from the orifice a third
        of the way up the cliff]

"But Weasel Woman was not satisfied. Many young men and many old and
rich men wanted to marry her, and to all she said 'No!' so loudly, and
so quickly, that after a time all knew that she would not marry.
Wherever a party of warriors gathered for a dance or a feast, there
she was looking on, listening to their talk, and giving what help she
could. And when a party returned from war, she was loudest in praising
them. All she talked of, all she thought about, was war.

"On an evening in her twentieth summer a large party of warriors
started out to cross the mountains and raid the Flatheads. They
traveled all night, and when daylight came found that Weasel Woman was
with them.

"'Go back! Go home!' the war chief told her. But she would not
listen.

"'If you will not let me go with you, I shall follow you,' she said.

"And then spoke up the medicine man of the party: 'Chief,' said he, 'I
advise you to allow her to go with us; something tells me that she
will bring us good luck.'

"'Ah! As you advise me, so shall it be,' said the war chief; and the
woman went on with them. No man of that party teased her, nor bothered
her in any way: every one of them treated her as they would a sister.
It was the strangest war party that ever set forth from any tribe of
the plains!

"It was at the edge of Flathead Lake that they discovered the enemy, a
large camp of the Flatheads and their friends, the Pend d'Oreilles.
When night came they went close up to it, and the woman said to the
war chief: 'Let me go in first. Let me see what I can do. I feel that
I shall be successful in there.'

"'Go!' the chief told her, 'and we will wait for you here, and be
ready to help you if you get into trouble.'

"The woman went into the camp, where all the best horses of the
people--their fast buffalo runners, their racers, and their
stallions--were picketed close to the lodges of the different owners
of them. If she was afraid of being discovered and killed, she never
admitted it. The dying moon gave light enough for her to see the size
and color of the horses. She took her time and went around among them,
and, making her choice, cut the ropes of three fine pinto horses, and
led them out to where the party awaited her. There she tied them, and
went back into camp with the chief and his men and again came out with
three horses. Said she then: 'I have taken enough for this time. I
will await you here and take care of what we have.'

"The men went back several times, and then, having all the horses that
they could drive rapidly, the party struck for the mountains, and in
several days' time arrived home without the loss of a man or a horse.

"A few days after the party came into camp the medicine lodge was put
up, and on the day that the warriors counted their _coups_, and new
names were given them, an old warrior and medicine man called Weasel
Woman before the people, and had her count her _coup_--of going twice
into the enemy's camp and taking six horses. All shouted approval of
that, and then the medicine man gave her the name, Pi´-ta-mak-an, a
very great one, that of a chief whose shadow had some time before gone
on to the Sand Hills.

"After that Pi´tamakan, as we now may call her, did not have to sneak
after a party in order to go to war with them: she was asked to go.
And after two or three more successful raids against different
enemies, the Crows, the Sioux, and the Flatheads, she herself became a
war chief, and warriors begged to be allowed to join her parties,
because they believed that where she led nothing but good luck would
come to them. She now wore men's clothing when on a raid. At home she
wore her woman clothing. But even in that dress she, like any man,
gave feasts and dances, and the greatest chiefs and warriors came to
them, and were glad to be there.

"On her sixth raid, Pi´tamakan led a large war party against the
Flatheads, and somewhere on the other side of the mountains fell in
with a war party of Bloods, one of our brother tribes of the North.
For several days the two parties traveled along together, and then one
evening the Blood chief, Falling Bear, said to Pi´tamakan's servant:
'Go tell your chief woman that I would like to marry her.'

"'Chief, you do not understand,' the boy told him. 'She is not that
kind. Men are her brothers, and nothing more. She will never marry. I
cannot give her your message, for I am afraid that she would be angry
with me for carrying it to her.'

"On the next day, as they were traveling along, the Blood chief said
to Pi´tamakan: 'I have never loved, but I love now. I love you; my
heart is all yours; let us marry.'

"'I will not say "yes" to that, nor will I say "no,"' the woman chief
answered him. 'I will consider what you ask, and give you an answer
after we make this raid.'

"And with that the Blood chief said no more, but felt encouraged: he
thought that in time she would agree to become his woman.

"That very evening the scouts ahead discovered a large camp of
Flathead and Kootenai Indians, more than a hundred lodges of them, and
when night came both parties drew close in to it. Pi´tamakan then
ordered her followers to remain where they were and told the Blood
chief to say the same thing to his men. She then told the Blood chief
to go into the camp and take horses, and he went in and returned with
one horse.

"'It is now my turn,' said Pi´tamakan, and she went in and brought out
two horses.

"The Blood chief went in and brought out two horses.

"Pi´tamakan went in and brought out four horses.

"The Blood chief went in and brought out two horses.

"Pi´tamakan went in and brought out one horse. And then she said to
the Blood chief: 'Our men are becoming impatient to go in there and
take horses. We will each of us go in once more, and then let them do
what they can.'

"So the Blood chief went in for the fourth and last time, and came
back leading four horses, making nine in all. And then Pi´tamakan went
in and cut the ropes of eight horses, and safely led them out, making
in all fifteen that she had taken. The warriors then went in, making
several trips, and then, with all the horses that could be easily
driven, the big double party headed for home.

"On the next day, as Pi´tamakan and the Blood chief were riding
together, he said to her: 'I love you so much that I can wait no
longer for my answer. Give it to me now. I believe that you are going
to say, "Yes, I will be your woman."'

"Said Pi´tamakan: 'I gave you your chance. It would have been yes had
you taken more horses than I did from the camp of the enemy. But I
took the most; therefore I cannot marry you.'

"That was her way of getting around saying 'no' to the chief. She had
beaten him, an old, experienced warrior, in the taking of the enemy's
horses, and he could not ask her again to become his woman. It is said
that he felt very badly about it all.

"Pi´tamakan now carried a gun when she went to war, and used it well
in several fights with the enemy, counting in all three _coups_, each
one of them the taking of a gun from the man she herself killed. And
then, _haiya_! On her ninth raid she led a party against the
Flatheads, and while she and all her men were in the camp, choosing
horses and cutting their ropes, the Flatheads discovered them and
began firing, and she and five of her men were killed. And so passed
Pi´tamakan, virgin, and brave woman chief of our people. She died
young, about seventy winters ago."

       *       *       *       *       *

Okan, his vision, is the name the Blackfeet have for the great lodge
which they annually give to the sun, and for the four days of ceremonies
attending its erection and consecration. In our vernacular it is the
medicine lodge. I asked Yellow Wolf this afternoon why this river was
named Nat´-ok-i-o-kan, or, as we say, Two Medicine Lodge River, and he
replied that when the Blackfeet first took this great country from the
Crows, they built a medicine lodge on the river, just below the buffalo
cliffs. The next summer they built another one in the same place, and
owing to that the river got its name.

  [Illustration: AT UPPER TWO MEDICINE LAKE
      Left to right: Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill, Yellow Wolf,
        and the author, relating his killing of a grizzly at this
        particular place, in the long-ago]

Yes, this was once the country of the Crows. But the Blackfeet saw and
coveted it. It was about two hundred years ago, as near as I can learn,
that they came into it from their original home, the region of Peace
River and the Slave Lakes, and little by little forced the Crows
southward until they had driven them to the south side of the
Yellowstone, or Elk River, as it is known to the various Indian
tribes of the plains.

Perhaps, in the first place, the Blackfeet coveted more than anything
else the cliffs on the Two Medicine,--just above Holy Family
Mission,--where the buffalo were decoyed in great numbers and stampeded
in a huge waterfall of whirling brown bodies to death on the rocks
below.

The Blackfeet call such a place--there were several of them--a
_pi´skan_, a trap. Extending back from the cliff, for a mile or more
out on the plain, were two ever-diverging lines of rock piles, like a
huge letter V. Behind these the people concealed themselves, and the
buffalo caller, going out beyond the mouth of the V, by certain antics
and motions aroused the curiosity of the herd until it finally
followed him into the V. Then the people began to rise up behind it,
and the result was that, unable to turn either to the right or left,
from fear of the two lines of shouting, robe-waving stampeders, it was
driven straight to the cliff and over it.

When I first saw the place, there were at the foot of the cliffs tons
and tons of buffalo horn tips, the most time-resisting of any portion
of a buffalo's anatomy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Last night, while the pipe was going the rounds, I asked what had
become of old Red Eagle's Thunder Medicine Pipe, and was told that it
was still in the tribe, Old Person at present being the owner of it.
Said Two Guns: "That is one of the most ancient and most powerful
medicines we have. Do you know how it came into our possession?"


THE STORY OF THE THUNDER MEDICINE

"It was in the long ago. Our fathers had no horses then, but used dogs
to carry their belongings.

"One spring, needing the skins of bighorn to tan into soft leather for
clothing, the tribe moved up here to the foot of the Lower Two
Medicine Lake, and began hunting. Many men would surround and climb a
mountain, driving the bighorn ahead of them, their dogs helping, and
at last they would come up to the game, often several hundred head,
on the summit of the mountain. The dogs were then held back, and the
hunters, advancing with ready bow and arrows, would shoot and shoot
the bighorn at close range and generally kill the most of them.

"One day, while most of the men were hunting, three young, unmarried
women went out to gather wood, and while they were collecting it in
little piles here and there, a thunderstorm came up. Then said one of
them, a beautiful girl, tall, slender, long-haired, big-eyed, 'O
Thunder! I am pure! I am a virgin! If you will not strike us I promise
to marry you whenever you want me!'

"Thunder passed on, not harming them, and the young women gathered up
their firewood and went home.

"On another day these three young women went out again for firewood,
one ahead of another along the trail in the deep woods, and Mink
Woman, she who had promised herself to Thunder Man, was last of the
three. She was some distance behind the others and singing happily as
she stepped along, when out from the brush in front of her stepped a
very fine-looking, beautifully dressed man, and said: 'Well, here I
am. I have come for you.'

"'No, not for me! You are mistaken. I am not that kind; I am a pure
woman,' she answered.

"'But you can't go back on your word. You promised yourself to me if I
would not strike you, and I did not harm you. Don't you know me? I am
Thunder Man.'

"Mink Woman looked closely at him, and her heart beat fast from fear.
But he was good to look at, he had the appearance of a kind and gentle
man, and--although thoughtlessly--she had made a promise to him, a
god, and she could not break it. So she answered: 'I said that I would
marry you. Well, here I am, take me!'

"Her two companions had passed on; they saw nothing of this meeting.
Thunder Man stepped forward, and kissed her, then took her in his
arms, and, springing from the ground, carried her up into the sky to
the land of the Above People.

"But the two young women soon missed her. They ran back on the trail,
and searched on all sides of it, and called and called to her, and of
course got no reply: 'She may have gone home for something,' said one
of them, and they hurried back to camp. She was not there. They then
gave the alarm, and all the people scattered out to look for her. They
hunted all that day, and wandered about in the woods all night,
calling her name, and got no answer.

"The next morning Mink Woman's father, Lame Bull, made medicine and
called in Crow Man, a god who sometimes lived with the people. 'My
daughter, Mink Woman, has disappeared,' he told the god. 'Find her,
even learn where she went, and you shall have her for your wife.'

"'I take your word,' Crow Man answered him. 'I believe that I can
learn where she went. I may not be able to get her now, but I will
some time, and then you will not forget this promise. I have always
wanted her for my woman.'

"Crow Man went to the two young women and got them to show him where
they had last seen Mink Woman. He then called a magpie to him, and
said to the bird: 'Fly around here and find this missing woman's
trail.'

"The bird flew around and around, Crow Man following it, and at last
it fluttered to the ground, and looked up at him, and said: 'To this
spot where I stand came the woman, and here her trail ends.'

"'Is it so!' Crow Man exclaimed. 'Well stand just where you are and
move that long, shining black tail of yours. Move it up and down, and
sideways. Twist it in every direction that you can.'

"The magpie did as he was told, and Crow Man got down on hands and
knees, and went around, watching the shifting, wiggling, fanning tail.
Suddenly he cried out: 'There! Hold your tail motionless in just that
position!' and he moved up nearer and looked more closely at it. The
sun was shining brightly upon it, and the glistening black feathers
mirrored everything around. They were now spread directly behind the
bird's body, and reflected the tree-tops, and the sky beyond them.
Long, long, Crow Man stared at the tail, the people looking on and
holding their breath, and at last he said to Lame Bull, 'I can see
your daughter, but she is beyond my reach: I cannot fly there. She is
up in sky land, and Thunder Man has her!'

"'_Ai! Ai!_ She did promise herself to him the other day, if he would
spare us,' one of the two wood gatherers said, 'but she did not mean
it; she was only joking. It is no joke!'

"Lame Bull sat down and covered his head with his robe, and wept, and
would not be comforted.

"Thunder Man took Mink Woman to sky land with him, and somehow, from the
very first she was happy there with him; she seemed to forget at once
all about this earth and her parents and the people. It was a beautiful
land up there: warm and sunny, a country just like ours except that it
had no storms. Buffalo and all the other animals covered the plains, and
all sorts of grasses and trees and berry-bushes and plants grew there as
they do here.

"But although Mink Woman was very happy there, Thunder Man was always
uneasy about her, and kept saying to his people, 'Watch her constantly;
see that she gets no hint of her country down below, nor sight of it. If
she does, then she will cry and cry, and become sick, and that will be
bad for me.'

"Thunder Man was often away, and during his absence his people kept a
good watch on Mink Woman, and did all they could to amuse her; to keep
her interested in different things. One day a woman gave her some
freshly dug _mas_,[2] and she cried out: 'Oh, how good of you to give
me these! I must go dig some for myself!'

    [2] _Mas._ I know not the English name for this edible root. The
    French voyageurs' name for it was _pommes blanches_.

"'Oh, no! Don't go! We will dig for you all that you can use,' the
women told her, but she would not listen.

"'I want the fun of digging them for myself,' she told them. 'Somewhere,
some time back, I did dig them. I must dig them again.'

"'Well, if you must, you must,' they answered, and gave her a digging
stick, and cautioned her not to dig a very large one, should she find
it, for that _mas_ was the mother of all the others, and was constantly
bringing forth new ones by scattering her seed to the winds. She
promised that she would not touch it, and went off happily with her
digging stick and a sack.

"Well, Mink Woman wandered about on the warm grass and flower-covered
plain, digging a _mas_ here, one there, singing to herself, and thinking
how much she loved her Thunder Man, and wishing that he would be more
often at home. He was away the greater part of the time. Thus wandering,
in a low place in the plain she came upon a _mas_ of enormous size;
actually, it was larger around than her body! 'Ha! This is the mother
_mas_; the one they told me not to dig up,' she cried, and walked around
and around it, admiring its hugeness.

"'I would like to dig it, but I must not,' she at last said to herself,
and went on, seeking more _mas_ of small size. But she could not forget
the big one; she kept imagining how it would look out of the ground; on
her back; in her lodge, all nicely cleaned and washed, a present for
Thunder Man when he should return home. She went back to it, walked
around it many times, went away from it, trying to do as she had been
told. But when halfway home she could no longer resist the temptation:
with a little cry she turned and never stopped running until she was
beside it, and then she used the digging stick with all her strength,
thrusting it into the ground around and around and around the huge
growth and prying up, and at last it became loose, and seizing it by its
big top leaves, she pulled hard and tore it from the ground, and rolled
it to one side of the hole.

"What a big hole it was! And light seemed to come up through it. She
stepped to the edge and looked down: upon pulling up the huge _mas_
she had torn a hole clear through the sky earth! She stooped and
looked through it, and there, far, far below, saw--

"Why, everything came back to her when she looked through it: There
it was, her own earth land! There was the Two Medicine River, and
there, just below the foot of its lower lake, was the camp of her
people! She threw away her digging stick, and her sack of _mas_, and
ran crying to camp and into Thunder Man's lodge. He was away at the
time, but some of his relatives were in the lodge, and she cried out
to them: 'I have seen my own country; the camp of my people. I want to
go back to them!'

"Said Thunder Man's relatives to one another: 'She has found the big
_mas_, and has pulled it up, and made a hole in our sky earth! Now,
what shall we do? Thunder Man will be angry at us because we did not
watch her more closely.' Thinking of what he might do to them in his
anger, they trembled. They tried to soothe Mink Woman, but she would
not be comforted; she kept crying and crying to be taken back to her
father and mother.

"Thunder Man came home in the evening, and upon learning what had
happened, his distress was as great as that of Mink Woman, whom he
loved. When he came into the lodge she threw herself upon him, and
with tears streaming from her eyes, begged him to take her back to
her people.

"'But don't you love me?' he asked. 'Haven't you been happy here?
Isn't this a beautiful--a rich country?'

"'Of course I love you! I have been happy here! This is a good
country! But oh, I want to see my father and mother!'

"'Well, sleep now. In the morning you will likely feel that you are
glad to be here, instead of down on the people's earth,' Thunder Man
told her. But she would not sleep; she cried all night; would not eat
in the morning, and kept on crying for her people.

"Then said Thunder Man: 'I cannot bear to see--to hear such distress.
Because I love her, she shall have her way. Go, you hunters, kill
buffalo, kill many of them, and bring in the hides. And you, all you
women, take the hides and cut them into long, strong strips and tie
them together.'

"This the hunters and the women did, and Thunder Man himself made a
long, high-sided basket of a buffalo bull's hide and willow sticks.
This and the long, long one-strand rope of buffalo hide were taken to
the hole that Mink Woman had torn in the sky earth, and then Thunder
Man brought her to the place and laid her carefully in the basket,
which he had lined with soft robes: 'Because I love you so dearly, I
am going to let you down to your people,' he told her. 'But we do not
part forever. Tell your father that I shall soon visit him, and give
him presents. I know that I did wrong, taking you from him without his
consent. Say to him that I will make amends for that.'

"'Oh, you are good, and I love you more than ever. But I must, I must
see my people; I cannot rest until I do,' Mink Woman told him, and
kissed him.

"The people then swung the woman in the basket down into the hole she
had torn in the earth, and began to pay out the long rope, and slowly,
little by little, the woman, looking up, saw that she was leaving the
land of the sky gods. Below, the people, looking up, saw what they
thought was a strange bird slowly floating down toward them from the
sky. But after a long time they knew that it was not a bird. Nothing
like it had ever been seen. It was coming down straight toward the
center of the big camp. Men, women, children, they all fled to the edge
of the timber, the dogs close at their heels, and from the shelter of
thick brush watched this strange, descending object. It was a long, long
time coming down, twirling this way, that way, and swaying in the wind,
but finally it touched the ground in the very center of the camp circle,
and they saw a woman rise up and step out of it. They recognized her:
Mink Woman! And as they rushed out from the timber to greet her, the
basket which had held her began to ascend and soon disappeared in the
far blue of the sky.

"All the rest of that day and far into the night, Mink Woman told her
parents and her people about the sky gods and the sky earth, and even
then did not tell it all. Days were required for the telling of all
that she had seen and done.

"Not long after Mink Woman's return to the earth and her people,
Thunder Man came to the camp. He came quietly. One evening the door
curtain of Lame Bull's lodge was thrust aside, and some one entered.
Mink Woman, looking up from where she sat, saw that it was her sky god
husband. He was plainly dressed, and bore a bundle in his arms:
'Father!' she cried; 'here he is, my Thunder Man!' And Lame Bull,
moving to one side of the couch, made him welcome.

"Said Thunder Man: 'I wronged you by taking your daughter without your
permission. I come now to make amends for that. I have here in this
bundle a sacred pipe; my Thunder pipe. I give it to you, and will
teach you how to use it, and how to say the prayers and sing the songs
that go with it.'

"Said Lame Bull to this man, his sky god son-in-law, 'I was very angry
at you, but as the snow melts when the black winds[3] blow, so has my
anger gone from my heart. I take your present. I shall be glad to
learn the sacred songs and prayers.'

    [3] The "Chinook" wind. It is generally accompanied by dense black
    clouds that obscure the mountains.

"Thunder Man remained for some time, nearly a moon, there in Lame
Bull's lodge, and taught the chief the ceremony of the medicine pipe
until he knew it thoroughly in its every part. 'It is a powerful
medicine,' Thunder Man told him. 'It will make the sick well; bring
you and your people long life and happiness and plenty, and success to
your parties who go to war.'

"And as he said it was, so it proved to be, a most powerful medicine
for the good of the people.

"Thunder Man's departure from the camp was sudden and unexpected. One
evening he was sitting beside Mink Woman in Lame Bull's lodge, and all
at once straightened up, looked skyward through the smoke hole, and
appeared to be listening to something. The people there in the lodge
held their breath and listened also, and could hear nothing but the
chirping of the crickets in the grass outside. But Thunder Man soon
cried out: 'They are calling me! I have to go! I shall return to you
as soon as I can finish my work!' And with that he ran from the lodge
and was gone. And Mink Woman wept.

"Who can know the ways of the gods? Surely not us of the earth.
Thunder Man promised to return soon, but moons passed, two winters
passed, and he came not to Lame Bull's lodge and his woman. But soon
after he left so suddenly, Crow Man returned from far wanderings and
heard all the story of the god and Mink Woman. He made no remark about
it, but spent much time in Lame Bull's lodge. Then, after many moons
had passed, he said to the chief one day: 'Do you remember what you
once promised me? When your daughter so suddenly disappeared you
promised that if I would even find her, or tell you whither she had
gone, you would give her to me when she was found. Well, here she is:
fulfill your promise!'

"'But she is no longer mine to give. She now belongs to Thunder Man,'
the chief objected.

"'Let me tell you this,' said Crow Man: 'You promised to give her to
me if I would even tell you where she had gone. I did that. And now,
as to this Thunder Man, he will never return here because he knows
that I am in the camp, and he fears me. So you might as well give me
your daughter now, as you will anyhow later.'

"'Ask her if she will marry you. I agree to whatever she chooses to
do,' Lame Bull answered.

"Crow Man went outside and found Mink Woman tanning a buffalo robe: 'I
have your father's consent to ask you to marry me. I hope that you
will say yes. I love you dearly. I will be good to you,' he told her.

"Mink Woman shook her head: 'I am already married. My man will soon be
coming for me,' she answered.

"'But if he doesn't come, will you marry me?' Crow Man asked.

"'We will talk about that later. I will say now, though, that I like
you very much. I have always liked you,' she replied.

"More moons passed, and as each one came, Crow Man never failed to ask
Mink Woman to marry him. She kept refusing to do so. But after two
winters had gone by, and Thunder Man still failed to appear and claim
her, why, her refusals became faint, and fainter, until, finally, she
would do no more than shake her head when asked the great question.
Then, at last, in the Falling Leaves moon of the second summer, when
Crow Man asked her again, and she only shook her head, he took her
hand and raised her up and drew her to him and whispered: 'You know
now that that sky god is never coming for you. And you know in your
heart that you have learned to love me. Come, you are now my woman.
Let us go to my lodge, my lodge which is now your lodge.'

"And without a word of objection Mink Woman went with him. Ai! She
went gladly! She was lonely, and she had for some time loved him,
although she would not acknowledge it.

"It was a good winter. Buffalo were plentiful near camp all through
it, and Crow Man kept the lodge well supplied with fat cow meat. He
and Mink Woman were very happy. Then came spring, and one day, in new
green grass time, Thunder Man was heard approaching camp, and the
people went wild with fear; they believed that he would destroy them
all as soon as he learned that Mink Woman had married Crow Man. They
all crowded around his lodge, begging him to give her up, to send her
at once back to her father's lodge.

"But Crow Man only laughed: 'I will show you what I can do to that sky
god,' he told them, and got out his medicines and called Cold-Maker to
come to his aid. By this time Thunder Man was come almost to camp; was
making a terrible noise just overhead. But Cold-Maker came quickly,
came in a whirling storm of wind and snow. Thunder Man raged, shooting
lightning, making thunder that shook the earth. Cold-Maker made the
wind blow harder and harder, so that some of the lodges went down
before it, and he caused the snow to swirl so thickly that the day
became almost as dark as night. For a long time the two fought,
lightning against cold, thunder against snow, and little by little
Cold-Maker drove Thunder Man back: he could not face the cold, and at
last he fled and his mutterings died away in the distance. He was
gone!

"'There! I told you I could drive him away,' said Crow Man. 'Mink
Woman, you people all, rest easy: Thunder Man will never again attempt
to enter this camp.' And with that he told Cold-Maker that he could
return to his Far North home. He went, taking with him his wind and
storm. The sun came out, the people set up their flattened lodges, and
all were once more happy.

"And Lame Bull, he retained the pipe, and found that its medicine was
as strong as ever. And from him it had been handed down from father to
son and father to son to this day, and still it is strong medicine.

"Kyi! That was the way of it."

  [Illustration: MOVING CAMP FROM TWO MEDICINE
      The end of the procession]



II

PU-NAK´-IK-SI (CUTBANK)



_July 18._

Down came our lodges this morning, and to-night we are camped in
Cutbank Canyon, just below the great beaver ponds some six or seven
miles from the head of the stream. When I first saw these ponds, years
and years ago, they were dotted with beaver houses, and at dusk one
could see the busy woodcutters swimming from them in all directions to
get their evening meal of willow or quaking aspen bark, preparatory to
beginning their nightly work of storing food for winter use. I never
killed a beaver, but I have torn down beaver dams in order to watch
the little animals repair them. Beavers have a language as well as
men: there was always a chief engineer who told the workers just what
to do, and he himself rectified their mistakes.

We are encamped right on the main war road of the Blackfeet into the
country of the West Side tribes. Once, when camped here with the Small
Robes (I-nuk´-siks), the band, or gens, of which I was a member, I saw
a party of our young men make their preparations and start westward on
a raid. They gathered in a sweat lodge with an old medicine man, who
prayed earnestly for their success while he sprinkled the hot rocks
with water, and dense steam filled the place. And at dusk, carrying in
painted rawhide cylinders their war finery, and in little sacks their
extra moccasins, awl and sinew for repairs, and their little paint
bags, they stole out in single file from the camp and headed for the
summit of the range.

Every evening, during their absence, the old medicine man rode all
through the camp, shaking his medicine rattles, singing the song for
the absent, calling over and over each one's name, and praying for his
safe return.

And then, one morning some two weeks later, they came into camp with a
rush, driving before them sixty or seventy horses that they had taken
from the Kootenais. And two carried a slender wand from which dangled
a scalp. They came in singing the song of victory; and then the war
chief shouted: "A multitude of the enemy are on our trail. Break camp,
you women, and move down river. Take your weapons, you men, and turn
back with us!"

We took our weapons. We mounted our horses and rode like mad up the
old war trail, and within a half-hour sighted the enemy, forty or
fifty of them, strung out in a long, straggling line, according to the
strength and speed of each one's horse. We exchanged a few shots with
the lead riders; one fell; the rest took their back trail, and how
they did go up the steep incline to the summit, and over it. We did
not pursue them: "Let them go!" Bear Chief shouted. "We have many of
their horses; we have scalped three of them; let them go!"

We "let them go!" and, indeed, that was the wiser way: they could have
made a stand at the summit and shot us down as fast as we came on.

The old war road! How many of my people have traveled over it, some
of them never to return. It was along this road that Pi´tamakan,
virgin woman warrior, led her warriors in what was to be her last
raid! But how many, many times our people have come rushing homeward
over it, singing their songs of victory, waving the scalps they have
taken, and driving before them great bands of the horses of the Pend
d'Oreilles, the Snakes, the Nez Percés, and other tribes of the
Columbia River watershed.

The names the Blackfeet have given to the four world directions are
most significant of their entry into this Missouri River country.
North is _ap-ut´-o-sohts_: back, or behind direction. South,
_ahm-ska´-pohts_, is ahead direction. East is _pi-na´-pohts_:
down-river direction; and west is _ah-me´-tohts_: up-river direction.
I have told why the Two Medicine was so named, when the Blackfeet came
into the country from the Far North, and drove the Crows before them.
This river they named Pu-nak´-ik-si (Cutbank), because its narrow
valley for a long way up from its junction with the Two Medicine is
walled in by straight-cut cliffs.

  [Illustration: OUR CAMP ON CUTBANK RIVER
      On left is O-nis-tai´-mak-an (Wonderful Runner), and on right,
        Ki-nuk´-sa-po-pi (Little Plume Mountain)]

The Cutbank River Valley, like those of all the other streams of the
country, has been the scene of many a fight between the Blackfeet and
their enemies, in which the Blackfeet were generally the victors. A
remarkable instance of an old woman's bravery occurred just below here
some forty years ago.

A few lodges of the Kut´-ai-im-iks, or Never Laughs band of the
Blackfeet, in need of the skins of elk and bighorn for making
"buckskin" for light clothing and moccasin tops, were here hunting,
and one evening all the men gathered in old Running Crane's lodge for
prayers with his beaver medicine. An old woman, named Muk-sin-ah´-ki
(Angry Woman), was sitting in her lodge by herself because there had
not been room for her in the crowded beaver medicine lodge. But she
was listening to the distant singing, and saying over the prayers at
the proper time, her heart full of peace and love for the gods.

As she sat there at the back of the lodge, she suddenly noticed that
the doorway curtain in the upper part was being slowly pulled aside to
the width of a hand, and in that small space an eye glared at her for
a time, and then the curtain dropped back to place.

"That was the eye of an enemy," she said to herself. Her heart
throbbed painfully; and for the time her thoughts were confused. Then,
suddenly, some one, perhaps the sun himself, told her to take courage.
She took courage: she stole out of the lodge to see what that enemy
was doing. There was a moon; bright starlight; the night was almost as
light as day; and she had no more than left the lodge than she saw the
man walking here, there, examining the buffalo runners, the best and
swiftest horses of the people, all picketed close to the lodges of
their owners. Whenever the man's back was toward her, she hurried her
steps; got closer and closer to him; and then, suddenly, she sprang
and seized him from behind and shouted: "Help! Help! I have seized an
enemy!"

In the beaver medicine lodge the men heard her and came running to
her relief. She had the man down; he was struggling to rise; but the
sun must have given her of his power: she held him firmly until they
came, and they seized him, and White Antelope stabbed him to death. He
was a Gros Ventre.


HOW MOUNTAIN CHIEF FOUND HIS HORSES

"Nephew, listen! Magic took place here in the long ago," said Yellow
Wolf as we sat around his lodge fire this evening.

"The Ah´-pai-tup-i[4] were hunting on this Cutbank stream, every day
or two moving nearer and nearer to the mountains. At one of their
camping-places some distance below here, Mountain Chief lost his two
fast buffalo runners, and although all the young men of the camp
scattered out to look for them, they could not be found. Camp was
moved nearer to the mountains, and after a few days moved again, this
time to this very place where we are now encamped.

    [4] Ah´-pai-tup-i (Blood People). One of the twenty-four gentes of
    the Pi-kun´-i, or "Piegan" Blackfeet.

"The loss of the two buffalo runners was all that Mountain Chief could
think about. As they could not be found, he felt sure that some enemy
had stolen them.

"There was a Kootenai Indian visiting in camp, and one day he entered
Mountain Chiefs lodge, and said to him: 'You are grieving about the
loss of your two fast horses. Now, if you will do as I say, perhaps I
can find them for you.'

"'Whatever you ask, that shall be done,' Mountain Chief told him.

"'First, then, you must give me a robe, a good bow, and a quiver of
arrows,' said the Kootenai.

"'They are yours; there they are: my own weapons, that robe. Take them
when you want them,' said the chief.

"'I will take them later,' said the Kootenai. 'And now, call in your
leading men.'

"Mountain Chief went outside and shouted the names of the men he
wanted: a medicine man; several old, wise men; some warriors of great
name. They came and were given seats in his lodge, each man according
to his standing in the tribe. Said the Kootenai then: 'I have a sacred
song that I want you all to learn. I will sing it over three or four
times, then you sing it with me.'

"He sang the song. It was low in tone, and slow; a strange and beautiful
song that gripped one's heart. But it was not hard to learn; after the
Kootenai had sung it over four times, all there could sing it with him.

"Then the Kootenai told Mountain Chief to have the women build for him a
little lodge there inside the big lodge. This they did by leaning the
sticks of two tripods against one of the poles of the lodge, their lower
ends making a half-circle, and then covering them with buffalo leather.
Into this little enclosure crept the Kootenai, taking with him a bird
wing-bone whistle, and a medicine rattle, and as soon as he was inside
he ordered the women to smooth down carefully the leather coverings so
that he would be in the dark. He then said to the people, sitting there
in the big lodge: 'We will now sing the song four times. It is a call
song to all living things: the birds, the animals, the trees, the
rocks--yes, even they have life. All will come when we sing this song,
and we will question them as to the whereabouts of the two missing
horses.'

"They sang the song four times, and then the Kootenai, alone in his
dark little lodge, sang another song, keeping time to it with his
rattle, and the people, listening, heard outside the sighing of the
wind through a big pine tree, although no such tree was near; and the
Kootenai questioned the pine tree, and it answered that it had no
knowledge of the missing horses.

"Then, at his summons, came the different birds and the animals; one
could hear outside the flutter of their wings, the tread of their
feet; and the Kootenai questioned them, and one by one they answered
that they had not seen the horses. Came then a big rock, hurtling down
through the sky and through the smoke hole of the lodge right into
the fireplace, scattering ashes and coals all around the lodge, and
frightening the people sitting there. And the Kootenai questioned it,
and it answered that it knew nothing of the lost horses.

  [Illustration: STREAM FROM UNNAMED GLACIER POURING INTO CUTBANK
    CAÑON]

"'Let us sing the sacred song again,' the Kootenai called out from his
dark little lodge, and the people sang it with him, not once, but four
times. The Kootenai then blew his whistle four times, four long, loud
whistles. At the time there was no wind, but soon they heard, far off,
the roar of an approaching wind of terrible force. Said the Kootenai
then: 'I have called him, he is coming, Old-Man-of-the-Winds: be not
afraid; he will not harm you.'

"He came with dreadful whirlwinds of his making. Winds that shook the
lodge, and made the lodge ears hum with the noise of that of a hundred
swarms of bees. And then, suddenly, the wind fell, and outside the
people heard this wind god ask: 'Why have you sung--why have you
whistled for me--what is it you want to know?'

"The Kootenai answered: 'Mountain Chief, here, has lost his two best
horses. Fast buffalo runners they are; both black; one with a white
spot on his side. I called you to ask if you have seen them anywhere?'

"'No, I have not seen them,' Old-Man-of-the-Winds answered. 'As you
know, I belong on the west side of this Backbone-of-the-World. It is
from there that I start the winds that blow over your country. I have
been no farther out than here. No, I have not seen the horses.'

"'Now I am depressed,' the Kootenai exclaimed. 'I did not expect to
learn much about this from the birds, the animals, trees, and rocks,
even the bumblebee could tell me nothing; but I felt that you would
surely know where the two horses are!'

"'Well, I have a friend who can tell you what you want to know,' said
Old-Man-of-the-Winds. 'He is Red-Top Plume. He lives in the clouds; he
can see the whole country; undoubtedly he can tell you where those
horses are.'

"'He is a stranger to me. How shall I find him--this Red-Top Plume?'
the Kootenai asked; and all the people held their breath, waiting to
hear the answer. Here was sacred talk; talk of a man with a god, and
about gods: they could hardly believe that it was real, that which
they were hearing.

"Answered Old-Man-of-the-Winds: 'Watch the clouds. When you see one of
them turning from white to red, as the sun goes down to his lodge on
his island in the great sea, you will know that Red-Top Plume is there
above you. That red cloud is his plume. Yes, when you see that, sing
your song again four times; blow your whistle again four times, and he
will answer you.'

"And with that the wind suddenly started to blow from the east, and
Old-Man-of-the-Winds went with it back to his western home, and they
heard him no more.

"From his dark little lodge in the big lodge, the Kootenai called out
to Mountain Chief: 'Go, stand outside your lodge, watch for a cloud
turning red, and when you see it, come inside and tell me that it is
there above us.'

"Mountain Chief went outside. He looked up and saw but a few small,
white, slowly drifting clouds in the sky. There were four of them
straight above him. These drifted toward one another, and he cried
out: 'A sign! A sacred sign! Four small clouds are getting together
to make one large cloud!'

"And at that all the people in the lodge cried out: 'The sacred number!
Oh, sun! Oh, Above People all! Pity us! Pity us all! Allow us to survive
all dangers! Give us long life and happiness!'

"And then, as the sun was setting, Mountain Chief cried out: 'The four
are now one large cloud, and its edge is beginning to turn red! Ai!
The red, the sacred color, spreads over it!'

"His voice trembled. Himself, he trembled; for he knew that he was
looking--not at an ordinary cloud, but at Red-Top Plume himself, the
great cloud god!

"'Come in! Come in!' the Kootenai cried to him. And he went back into
the lodge and joined in the singing of the sacred song. Four times
they sang it, oh, how earnestly! The Kootenai then blew his wing-bone
whistle four times. Followed a silence; the people scarcely daring to
breathe. And then they heard outside, in a deep and beautiful voice:
'I am Red-Top Plume! Why have you called me here?'

"'Red-Top Plume! God of the clouds! Pity us!' the Kootenai answered.
'It is a matter of horses; of two fast buffalo runners; both black;
one with a white spot on its side. We have lost them. Have you--oh,
have you seen them anywhere?'

"'That is a small thing to call me down about,' the sky god answered;
'but, since I am here, I will tell you what I know: Yes, I have seen
them. I saw them just now as I came down to earth. They are standing
beside the spring just up the hill from where you camped when you lost
them.'

"'Ah! Ah! Ah!' the people exclaimed in hushed voices. And the Kootenai,
questioner of gods and unafraid, cried out: 'Red-Top Plume! Sacred
plumed god of the clouds! You are good to us. Tell us, now, what we can
do for you--what sacrifice to do?'

"But he got no answer. Red-Top Plume had gone--gone back to his home
in the sky, and the people, rushing out from the lodge, looked up and
saw him moving slowly eastward, his beautiful plumes redder than ever.
And while the Kootenai and Mountain Chief and the other warriors made
sacrifice to him, some young men mounted their horses and rode back to
the camping-place where the two horses had been lost, and lo! they
found them near the spring where Red-Top Plume had told that they were
standing."



_July 22._

Even in my day the many beaver dams in this wide canyon were in good
repair, and the ponds were dotted with inhabited beaver lodges. There
are few of the little woodcutters here now, but in time to come, under
the sure protection of the supervisor of this Glacier National Park,
they will become as numerous as they were before the white man came.

Talk about beavers to-night brought out a most interesting story by
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill. Said he: "Beavers build a great
dam, often working moons and moons to complete it. Then, when it is
finished, and a great pond created, they build their lodges in the
backed-up water, and cut their winter supply of cottonwood, willow,
and quaking aspen, which they tow out in convenient lengths and sink
in deep water around the lodges.

"Now, after a few winters, they have to move on and build another
dam-and-pond, for they will have used up all the available trees and
willows around the first pond. But that is still their pond, the clan
that built it, and in time, when a new growth of food trees has sprung
up around it, they return there, repair the dam, build new lodges, and
remain as long as the young trees last."


WHITE FUR AND HIS BEAVER CLAN

"Away back in the ancient days, when our first fathers were able to
talk with the animals, a beaver chief named White Fur, with his
family and his relatives, built a big dam on this river. You can
still see the remains of it, willow-grown, and it still backs up some
water, a pond as large in extent as the camp of our tribe. But in the
old days that dam extended from one side to the other of the valley,
and the water it backed up was more than a pond: it was a small lake.
Above here, there is a swift stream of white water rushing down the
north side of the valley from great ice banks in the mountains. Well,
just below its junction with the river is where White Fur built the
dam.

"Time passed. The sons of other beaver clans came and married the
daughters of White Fur's clan, and took them off, and the sons of his
clan went out and found wives and brought them home. The clan
increased; the pond became full of lodges; the trees were cut in
greater number each succeeding summer. So it was that, when the ice
went out one spring, White Fur went around and around the pond,
examining the remaining food trees, and saw that there remained only a
few more than enough for the coming winter. It was no more than he
expected; his last hurried look around, just before the freeze-up in
the fall, had warned him that the food supply was getting small.

  [Illustration: THE BEAVER DAM]

"He went home, and called a council, told what he had learned on his
round, and then said:--

"'We must move out from here as soon as the ice breaks up next spring,
and when we go we must know just where we are going; we cannot afford
to lose time hunting for a good place to make a new home. Now, who
will start out on discovery?'

"'I will!' his eldest son, Loud Slap, first answered. He was so named
because he could tail-slap the water louder than any one else in the
whole gens.

"Now, Loud Slap was White Fur's favorite son, and next to himself the
best, the wisest dam-builder in the gens. The chief wanted to keep him
at home, for going on discovery was very dangerous. But for very shame
he could not order him to remain and let some other take the risk. So,
with sinking heart, he said: 'You spoke up first, my son, so you shall
be the first one to look for a new home for us. I have had a dream, and
I want you to find out if it told me truth: Go down this river a little
way beyond the edge of the pines, look north, and you will see a big
ridge with a low gap in it. Go up through that gap, and down the other
side, and you will soon come to a small branch of a good-sized stream;
look at all the branches of that stream for a good home for us, and come
back and tell us all about it. Make that crossing through the gap in the
daytime, for then the most of our enemies, the mountain lion, the fisher
and the wolverine, the wolf and the coyote, are generally asleep. Night
is the time that they do their murdering work.'

"'As you say, so I will do,' Loud Slap answered.

"And the next morning, some time before daylight, he started down
river on his dangerous trail of discovery. Below his pond there were
other ponds; and as he swam through them many of the beavers living
in them asked him where he was going.

"'Out on discovery; our food trees will last us only this coming
winter; we have to find a new home,' he answered them all.

"On he went, through the last of the ponds, down the river, swimming
fast, so very fast that his big webbed hind feet, swiftly kicking,
made the water foam past his breast. He had started out too early;
when he passed the last of the pines, daylight was still some time
off, so he dived under a pile of driftwood, then crawled up into it,
found a good resting-place on one of the logs and went to sleep, sure
that none of the prowlers could reach him there.

"The sun shining down through the little openings in the driftwood
pile awakened him. He slipped down into the water, made a dive, and
came up out in the middle of the river. Near by was a high, sloping
bank bare of trees and brush; he swam to shore, climbed it, looked
north, and saw the big ridge and the big, low gap in it. He looked all
around; no animals were in sight except a few elk, and he knew that
they would not harm him: he began waddling toward the gap.

"The sun was hot. Loud Slap's legs were short; his body fat and heavy;
there was no water; he soon became very tired and thirsty, and the top
of the gap seemed to be a long way off. More and more often he had to
stop and rest, but he kept saying to himself: 'I will not give up! I
will not give up!'--and at last he arrived at the top of the gap.
Close up to the top on the other side were thick, cool groves of
quaking aspen and willows; as far as he could see, the valley below
him and its far side was one green growth of trees, and he knew that
somewhere down there was water, plenty of it. Down he went, oh, how
easily, on the steeper places just pushing a little with his hind feet
and sliding along on his belly. He soon came to a small stream of
running water and drank and drank of it, rolled over and over in its
shallowness until wet all over, and then he followed it down. Other
little streams came into it, and at last it became so deep that he
could swim. After a time he came to where this stream joined a much
larger one, and he turned and went up it, and away up in the timber
found where a dam could be built that would form a very large pond,
and best of all the quaking aspens and willows were everywhere there
growing so closely together that they formed a food supply that would
last a number of winters.

"That night Loud Slap slept in a hole that he dug in a bank of the
stream. This is the one which we long ago named Ki-nuk´-si
Is-si-sak´-ta. I understand that the white people have another name
for it.[5]

    [5] Ki-nuk´-si Is-si-sak´-ta (Little River). By the whites named
    Milk River.

"Early next morning Loud Slap came out of his hole, cut down a small
quaking aspen, and ate all he wanted of its bark. He then swam down
the stream, turned up its little fork, and before the sun was very
high left it and took his back trail up through the gap, and before
noon was going down the long slope to Cutbank River. The going was
easy. But one thing troubled him: the risk that he ran traveling there
in that open, waterless country. Whenever he came to a patch of buck
brush or a clump of tall grass, he would sit up and look all around to
see if any enemy was near; and then he would go on, keeping as close
to the ground as possible. Twice he saw a coyote in the distance, and
sat motionless until the animal moved on out of sight. And then, when
almost to the river, sitting up and looking out from a brush patch, he
saw a wolverine coming straight toward him. He trembled; he shivered.
'Now is my end come!' he said to himself, and imagined how it was
going to feel to be bitten and clawed and torn to death. Because of
his helplessness, because he could in no way defend himself, he wept;
but silently.

"On came the wolverine, sniffing the ground; sniffing the rocks; the
weed growths; and once, when he turned and looked back, Loud Slap
threw himself flat there in the brush; he had not dared move before.
The wind was from the southwest; the wolverine was coming from the
west, and that was one thing in Loud Slap's favor. But on which side
of that patch of brush would he pass? If to the north, then he would
scent the beaver-odor trail, follow it, and all would be over. If he
passed to the south of the patch, and not too close, then all would be
well. From where he lay, flat on the ground in the brush, Loud Slap
could see nothing but the brush stems in front of his nose; but
presently he heard, close to the patch and to the west of it, the
sniff! sniff! sniffle! of his enemy. He closed his eyes; his body
shook with fear; he could almost feel strong, sharp-fanged jaws
closing upon his neck! The suspense was terribly hard to bear! And
then, after what seemed to be a whole moon of time, he heard the
sniffling close in front of him; then faint and fainter off in the
direction of the river; and presently he opened his eyes, little by
little rose up, and looked out from his hiding-place. Lo! Wolverine
had come close, _close_ to the brush patch, and south of it, and then
had turned, and was now walking slowly toward the river! 'My enemy
passes! I survive!' Loud Slap said to himself, and would have sung had
he dared. Oh, yes, beavers sang in those days, as you shall learn.

"Loud Slap watched the wolverine go on down the valley, and then
waddled to the river as fast as he could work his legs. How good it
felt, that plunge into the cool water from the bank! and, once into
it, he made it foam as he swam homeward against the swift current.
Long before night he climbed the dam of the upper pond, and a little
later entered his father's lodge. 'Ha! Back so soon! What found you,
my son?' old White Fur asked.

"'A fine stream there on the other side of the gap. A place to dam a
large pond. Plenty of food bark trees,' Loud Slap answered, and then
told carefully all about the place, and about his narrow escape from
the wolverine. Then his mother went swimming from lodge to lodge of
the gens, calling all the heads of the families, and when they had
gathered in White Fur's lodge he told again of his find and of the
dangers of the trail. All went home pleased that he had found such a
good place for a new home for them.

"White Fur and his whole gens worked very hard that summer to get in
sufficient food bark sticks for the winter supply. They had to drag
the last of them a long way to water, and they kept at it long after
the snow came, and until the ice and cold weather prevented further
cutting. The trails they left in the snow, just before the pond froze
over, were a sure call to their passing enemies, and they halted and
lay in wait beside them, and killed in all five of the members of the
gens, one of them Loud Slap's oldest son. A lynx was seen to spring
upon him and carry him off, as he was going out to finish cutting down
a large tree.

"The winter passed. When spring came, there was still considerable
food bark untouched on the underwater piles, but, oh, how glad the
beavers were to be able to swim about again, and eat fresh bark from
living tree branches. All were anxious to start at once for the new
home across the ridge, but White Fur would not permit it. From the
pressure of the winter snows the dead grass of the past summer lay
flat: 'We must wait until the new grass grows high enough to conceal
us,' he said, 'and then we will go.'

"Of course, he meant those that would be able to go: females with
newborn young were to remain where they were until the young should be
old enough to travel, and then they were to cross the ridge and join
their mates. The new grass came, and when it was a little higher than
the top of a beaver's back, old White Fur and Loud Slap led all those
who could go, about fifty of them, down the river on the way to the
stream beyond the gap. White Fur had already talked with the chief who
lived in the next pond below, and he had promised to keep all
newcomers from occupying the pond that White Fur and his gens were
leaving for a time.

"The travelers saw no enemy on the trail up through the gap, and, upon
arriving at the place that Loud Slap had discovered, were well pleased
with it. That very evening, after a heavy meal of bark, they began
work on the dam, and by morning had much willow brush laid, butts to
the current, across the stream. Night and day, with little rest, they
toiled to complete the dam, of sticks and stones and sod and earth,
and within two moons' time they finished it, and had a pond large
enough and deep enough for the lodges of the gens, and all the food
sticks they would need to sink for winter use. Then, one evening, came
those who had been left behind, came with their strong and half-grown
young, and all began at once to cut and bring in and sink the winter
food supply. Long before winter set in they had stored more than they
could possibly use, and from that time until the ice formed they did
nothing more than strengthen the dam, and eat and sleep, and play
about in the water.

"The winter passed, and more young were born. Came and went another
winter, and in the spring more young were born. There were now in the
gens many two, and three, and some four-year-olds, both male and
female, and they could not mate with one another; something had to be
done for them. Old White Fur called a council, and there was much talk
about it. Some favored sending scouts away down the Little River to
learn if there were any beaver colonies along it. Others, and the
greater number, declared that the unmarried males should take the
trail through the gap down to Cutbank River, find mates in the
different gens having ponds along it, and tell the unmarried males
there to come over and take wives from White Fur's gens. It was
decided that this should be done, and one morning more than forty
young males started for Cutbank River.

"Days passed; and yet more days, and no wife-seeking beavers came to
the pond on Little River. 'Something is wrong,' White Fur told Loud
Slap.

"'_Ai!_ Something is wrong. If none come within four days' time, I
shall go over to the Cutbank ponds and learn what the trouble is.'

"The four days passed, and no stranger, not one, came. On the fifth
morning Loud Slap once more took the trail for Cutbank, saying to
White Fur as he left, 'If I do not return within four days' time, then
send some one over to learn what the trouble is, for I shall be dead.'

"Down the river went Loud Slap, and up the little fork, and thence
along the trail through the gap in the ridge. He moved along very
cautiously, keeping a sharp lookout in all directions, and seeing
nothing to alarm him. After passing through the gap he saw, on a ridge
to the east, a number of wolves following a small band of buffalo, and
that pleased him, for, seeking food there, they would not be likely to
turn and cross his trail. He hurried on down the slope.

"Suddenly, when near the river, a whirl of wind brought a dreadful
odor to his nostrils; an odor of dead and decaying flesh. He stopped,
sat up, looked sharply ahead, saw nothing to alarm him, went on a
short distance, and came upon a scene that made him shiver; that made
him mourn: there, on the trail and on both sides of it, lay his
youthful kin who had gone out to seek wives! There they lay, their
bodies swollen and bursting, every one of them mangled and torn,
several half eaten by their enemies, wolves probably, that had
discovered and killed them all! One look at them was enough; he
hurried on, weeping, and plunged into the river.

"Upstream he went, faster than he had ever swam before, and soon
entered the lower one of the beaver ponds. Straight to the chief's
lodge he swam, and dived down to the entrance, and went up into the
big and comfortable grass-floored home.

"'Ha! Loud Slap! It is you! Welcome you are! Sit youth and give us the
news!' the chief cried out.

"Loud Slap greeted him and gave the news, and both wept over the death
of so many of their kind. The chief's wife went out and spread the
news, and there was mourning in every lodge in that pond.

"The chief then gave Loud Slap bad news. Said he: 'In the early part
of this moon came to us a visitor from the big pond at the head of the
lake on the next stream south of this river.' He meant, of course,
the great beaver pond just above Lower Two Medicine Lake.

"'Yes?' said Loud Slap,--'yes?'

"'Ah! He came and visited us and our kin in the other ponds, and gave
no reason for his coming, and soon went home. But in a few days' time
he returned with all his gens, and they are many, and took possession
of the upper pond, your pond, and at this time they are repairing the
dam and backing the water up into the new growth of food trees, which
are as thick as they can stand. We told him, we all told him, this
chief,--Strong Dam is his name,--that he should not take the pond, as
it belongs to you, to your father, White Fur, and his gens. But he
said that he did not care who owned it, he had taken it, and would
hold it, fight for it against all comers.'

"'Ha! Is it so!' Loud Slap cried. 'We will see about that! Say nothing
to any one that I have been here. Tell your people to keep my visit
secret from all above here. I go to bring my kindred over, and we will
drive that Strong Dam and his gens back whence they came, or kill
them all.'

"Loud Slap went back to his Little River home the next day, and told
all that he had seen and learned. All mourned and mourned for their
dead, and their hearts burned with anger against Strong Dam and his
gens. Said White Fur: 'I am old, old. But I can still fight! We will
go over to our pond to-morrow. I will lead you, and we will teach that
Strong Dam and his relatives something; we will send them crying back
to their pond above the lake!'

"They started the next morning, all the males, and even females that
were without young; and they were many, those who were waiting for
males of other gentes to come and marry them. Old White Fur led them
across to the river without mishap, and up to the first pond, where
they visited, and rested, and ate their fill of fresh, green bark. And
there some of the females met young unmarried males who wanted to mate
with them; and they answered, 'We will marry you, but first you must
fight for us; you must help us drive that Strong Dam and his gens
from our pond.'

"'And is that all you ask?' they replied. 'We are only too glad to
help you. Who would not fight for his sweetheart should not have one!'

"This gave White Fur something to think about; and after a time he
said to Loud Slap: 'Go, now, on a secret mission: visit the ponds of
our friends above here, and say to the unmarried males that our young
females here will marry them, but they must first help us drive Strong
Dam from this river.'

"'Ai! That is a good plan,' said Loud Slap; and he started at once to
carry it out. Late that night he returned, and reported that all the
young males had agreed to the proposal, and would join White Fur and
his kin when they came along.

"'Let us start now,' said White Fur; and the advance began, and by the
time he reached the dam of his own old pond, he had a large following.

"There was a young man lying there on the dam, a far-back ancestor of
ours who had gone there to get his medicine dream; his vision. He was
awake; and when, in the bright moonlight, he saw that big, old,
white-furred beaver come up on the dam, and a hundred and more beaver
following, he could not believe his eyes, and cried out: 'Am I really
and truly awake, or is this a medicine vision?'

"'Hush! Keep still,' old White Fur told him. 'What you see is real. We
are come to fight and drive off those here who have stolen our pond
and our new growth of food trees. Just you keep still: we want to
surprise them. If you see that they are beating us, then give us help.
When all is over, I will give you a medicine that will insure you long
life and happiness.'

"The young man--No Otter was his name--made signs that he would keep
quiet. And he sat there and watched more than a hundred beavers cross
the dam close in front of him, and slide quietly into the pond, and
even then could hardly believe that he was not dreaming.

"As they entered the water that great war party of beavers swam out in
all directions for the shores of the pond, where, scattered all
along, Strong Dam and his kin were already cutting the young trees
for winter food. And as he watched and listened, the young man heard
suddenly a great commotion and squealing all along the shore: the
fighting had begun. Then, almost at once, the attacked and the
attackers took to the water, and the whole surface of the pond was as
if it had been struck by a tornado. It boiled, and eddied, and foamed,
and shot high in spray, and with it all was the slap! slap! slap! of
beaver tails as the animals struggled and clinched, and floundered and
bit, all over its long length and width. And soon beavers, frightened
and gasping for breath, and bleeding from many wounds, began to pass
on each side of the young man over the dam, and drop into the stream
below and disappear in its swift current. And some, unable to climb
it, and bleeding from many wounds, died there at the edge of the dam
and sank. The water was red with their blood. One of them, crawling
out, staggered right up against the young man, and gasped, and died,
and he put out his hand and felt of it, its wet coat, the warm but
now breathless body, and then for the first time was he sure that what
he was witnessing was real, and no dream.

"The fight was over. The last of the enemy had been killed, or had
fled down river, and White Fur and his party gathered on the dam. Not
all were there: some of them lay dead on the bottom of the pond or
sorely wounded on the shore. White Fur directed that they should be
helped into the cool lodges, where they would be safe from the
prowlers, and there cared for and fed. That done, said White Fur to
the young man: 'You have seen a great sight this night. Had we needed
your help I know that you would have given it.'

"'Yes, you had but to call, and I would have been with you,' the young
man answered.

"'I know it,' said White Fur, 'and just for your good-will I shall
give you a strong medicine, and teach you the songs that go with it.
But I cannot do this here; you will have to go home with us, to our
pond on the next stream to the north.'

  [Illustration: BIGHORN COUNTRY. HEAD OF CUTBANK RIVER]

"They went there the next day, leaving behind the newly married
females and their mates to care for the wounded and make them well.
And on the way up through the gap and down to the pond, White Fur and
Loud Slap told the young man the story of their lives and their
troubles, just as I am telling it to you. And upon reaching the pond
on Little River, No Otter remained there a long time with the beavers,
the old chief and his son, Loud Slap, giving him a medicine beaver
cutting and teaching him the beaver songs. It was a good medicine. He
took it home with him, and kept it, and made ceremony with it, and
sang the songs as he had been taught to do, and because of that he had
great success at war, and in curing the sick, and he lived to great
age.

"Kyi! So ends my story."



_July 25._

Yesterday Guardipe, or, as I prefer to call him, Aí-is-an-ah-mak-an
(Takes-Gun-Ahead), climbed with me to the top of White Calf Mountain.
There, on the extreme summit of the rough crested mountain, we came
upon five bighorn, all ewes, and not one of them with a lamb beside
her. During the lambing season here this year there was a continuous
downpour of rain and sleet and snow, in which the newborn young
undoubtedly perished.

But how tame those five ewes were! We walked to within fifty yards of
them, and they gazed at us curiously, now and then nervously stamping
the rock with one or the other of their fore feet. And then they
circled around us, twice, and finally walked off toward the eastern
point of the mountain, often stopping to look back at us, and finally
disappeared behind some rock piles.

At the same time Kut´-ai-ko-pak-i (No-Coward-Woman--as my people have
named my wife) was having her own experience with the game in this
Park. With Miss L----, a Boston friend, she was sitting near the edge
of a high, almost cutbank at the edge of the river, when she heard the
slow, heavy, twig-snapping tread of an animal back in the brush. She
gave her friend a nudge, and pointed in the direction of the sounds,
and the two watched and listened. And presently they saw the brush
shaking as the animal forced its way through it, and then, half
revealed and half concealed in more open brush, they saw a big grizzly
coming straight toward them! Right near where they sat a dwarf juniper
grew at the edge of the high bank, several of its limbs overhanging
it. Without speaking a word, and trembling as though they had ague,
they crept to the tree, grasped one of the limbs, and tenaciously
gripping it let themselves down over the edge of the bank. And
then--the limb broke with a loud snap and down they went along the
gravelly incline, so steep that they could get no foothold, over and
over, head first, feet first, and sideways, and landed in the river
with a loud splash. But they did not mind that: what were bruises and
a wetting compared to being mauled by a grizzly? They forded the
waist-deep stream and arrived dripping but safe in camp, and were
glad to be there!

Although this Glacier National Park is only five years old, the game
animals within it have already become very tame. The bighorn and the
Rocky Mountain goats no longer flee from parties traversing the
mountain trails, and the deer and elk and moose have become almost as
fearless as they are. As for the bears, they are continually trying to
break into the meat-houses of the different camps. Undoubtedly these
mountains and forests within the next ten years will fairly be alive
with game. And as to trout, the supply is increasing instead of
decreasing. In this Cutbank stream alone there have been caught this
season in the neighborhood of two thousand trout, weighing from a
fourth of a pound up to four pounds, but since the 1st of April
seventy thousand young trout, from the Anaconda hatchery, have been
put into it.

  [Illustration: CUTBANK RIVER. A GOOD TROUT RIFFLE]



_July 27._

Last night, in Black Bull's lodge, we had more tales of the long ago
in this Cutbank Valley. Would that I had the time to collect all the
Blackfeet legends of the various places in their once enormous
domain. From the Saskatchewan to the Yellowstone, and from the Rockies
between these two streams, eastward for about three hundred miles,
there are tales of adventure, of camp-life, and wonderful legends, for
every mountain, stream, butte, and spring within that great area. Said
Black Bull last night:--

"I will tell you a story that my grandfather told me. It happened in
the days of his fathers' boyhood, and it is called


"THE STORY OF THE BAD WIFE

"One summer in that time the people, having made new lodges, moved up
here on Cutbank River to cut new lodge poles, and to gather
weasel-eyes,[6] which grew in great quantities back on the high
mountain slopes.

    [6] Ap-ah a-wap-spi. Weasel-eyes: huckleberries.

"At that time one of the best-liked young men of the tribe was Falling
Bear. He was a very brave and successful warrior, and very kind-hearted:
he took it upon himself to keep three or four old widows and several
old and helpless men supplied with all the meat and skins they could
use, and even gave them gentle horses for packing and riding whenever
camp was moved. At the time the people moved up here on Cutbank, he had
been married but a short time. He had fallen in love with Otter Woman,
the most beautiful girl in the tribe, and with her father's and mother's
consent, and to their great joy and pride, had set up with her a lodge
of his own. No word had been so much as whispered against Otter Woman;
she was believed to be as good and pure as she was beautiful of face and
form.

"The tribe had not been here many days when Falling Bear decided to go
to war. Many of the warriors, some of them much older than he, wanted
to go with him, but he told them all that this time, because of a
dream, a vision he had, he would take no one but his woman. He made
full preparation for the war trail, had a sacred sweat with an old
medicine man, who was to pray for him during his absence, and then,
with his woman, he took the Cutbank trail for the country of the West
Side tribes, all of them enemies of the Blackfeet.

"Traveling with great caution, and only at night, he passed through the
country of the Flatheads, and came to the plains country of the Nez
Percés. There he struck the trail of a big hunting party of people, and
followed it, and soon found that he was gaining upon them; one early
morning he came upon their camping-place which they must have left on
the previous afternoon, for in some of the fireplaces there were still
live coals deep down in the ashes.

"Now, on the night before he had lost his tobacco, and his desire to
smoke was strong within him. So he said to his woman, 'You go around
on that side of the big camping-place and examine every lodge site for
tobacco leavings, and I will search this side for it.' They parted and
began their quest.

"The camp had been pitched partly in an open, grassy park, and partly in
the timber surrounding it; and because of that Falling Bear and his
woman were often out of sight of each other. At one of these times Otter
Woman was examining a lodge site and fireplace back in the timber, and,
happening to look off to one side, she saw hanging on some brush a fine
shield, some beautiful war clothes, and a large fringed and painted
medicine pouch. She well knew that these had been spread out to sun by
the campers and forgotten, and that some one would be coming back for
them, and was about to go after Falling Bear to come and take them when
she heard the tread of an approaching horse. So near was it that she had
not time to run and hide. She stood still, staring, and almost at once
there came in sight, on a black-and-white pinto horse, the handsomest
young man that she had ever seen. He was so handsome that to look at him
gave her a yearning pain in the heart for him. Just one look, and she
had fallen in love with him! She didn't want to fall in love with him;
she just couldn't help it!

"He, this Nez Percé, checked up his horse and sat quiet, staring down
at her, and no doubt thought her the handsomest woman he had ever
seen. Suddenly she began making signs to him. What a wonderful thing
that silent language is! All the tribes of the plains know it. Just by
the use of their hands they can express their every thought to one
another.

"Signed she: 'My man is over there! Be quiet. I will go to him, somehow
get his weapons from him, then hold him. You come quickly when I cry
out, and kill him, and I will go with you; will be your woman.'

"Of course, nothing could have pleased the Nez Percé more than that.
To kill an enemy and take his beautiful woman, what a big _coup_ that
would be! He signed to the woman that what she proposed was good, and
slid from his horse and tied it to a tree, then signed to her to go,
and he would follow, keeping out of sight.

"The woman crossed the big camping-ground and found her man: 'I have
made a great find,' she told him. 'On some bushes over there are
hanging beautiful war clothes, a shield, weapons, and a medicine
pouch. Leave you your weapons and things here, and come with me, and
take them.'

"'But why should I leave my weapons? One should never be without
them,' he objected.

"'Because from here goes the trail we are to follow, and you will have
all you can do to bring here what I have found,' she explained.

"He didn't see any sense in leaving his weapons, but took her word and
laid them down, along with his medicine pouch, and his war clothes in
their _parflèche_ (painted cylinder), and followed her out into the
open park. 'The things are right across there in the brush,' she told
him, pointing to the place, and then gradually dropped back to his
side, and then a step behind him. Then, as they came near the brush on
the far side, she suddenly seized him, endeavoring to squeeze his arms
close to his side, so that he could not use them, and at the same time
she called out to the Nez Percé to come to her assistance. He had been
watching, and was already coming as fast as he could run.

"Falling Bear, of course, saw at once the intentions of the two, and
as quick as a flash of lightning made up his mind what to do. He only
half struggled with the woman, now grasping his neck with one hand and
arm, and beating his eyes and face with the other hand. She was fast
blinding him, but he stood the pain of it until the Nez Percé, with
war club raised, was but a step or two away. He then broke loose from
the woman, kicked backward, his foot striking her in the stomach and
knocking her over, and then he sprang at the Nez Percé, seized the arm
and hand that held the war club high, and struggled with the man for
possession of it. He wrenched it away from him, and with it struck him
a hard blow on the head, and he fell, his skull crushed in, and died.
The victor scalped him with his own knife, took his war club and his
bow and arrows, and then turned to the woman.

"She lay where she had fallen, trembling at what she had done, wishing
that she had not done it. 'Get up. If you spoke truth, if there are
war clothes and other things over there, lead me to them,' Falling
Bear told her.

"She arose, still trembling, but now with some hope that he was not
going to kill her, and led him to the place. His eyes were swelling shut
so fast that one was entirely closed, but he could partly use the other.
He looked at the things there on the brush: 'Ah! Here are the war
clothes, the shield, the medicine pouch, but where are the weapons?'
he asked.

"The woman did not answer. What could she say? There had been no
weapons left on the brush. Falling Bear laughed a laugh that made her
shiver, and told her to gather up all that was there and follow him.
He unfastened the horse and led it across the camping-place, she
following, and he had her take up his own weapons and things and
fasten them to the saddle. He then mounted the horse, and told her to
lead it and take the back trail home. Before he had ridden far his
other eye closed; he was, for the time, wholly blind; but not afraid.
He kept close possession of all the weapons, and made the woman do
everything that he wanted done. She minded his every word.

"Traveling again at night, and hiding in the brush during the daytime,
the two passed safely through the country of the Flatheads, and crossed
the mountains. On the morning that they approached the camp here on
Cutbank, Falling Bear had partly recovered the use of one eye. The other
was still swollen shut; it seemed to have been poisoned by the woman's
fingernails.

"When so near the camp that they could plainly see the lodges, Falling
Bear told the woman to go on in and tell her relatives to come to him;
that he would await them right where he was. They soon came out to
him, his father-in-law and his brother-in-law, and when they saw his
scarred face and swollen eyes, they cried out: 'Oh, what has happened
to you? Have you been in a fight with a mountain lion?'

"'Worse than that,' he answered; 'this was done to me by the one I
most loved and trusted.' And then he told them all about it, and
concluded by giving them the horse and all the things that he had
taken from the Nez Percé.

"When he finished his awful tale the two men, listening closely, were
so overcome with shame and grief that for a time they could not speak.
But at last Falling Bear's father-in-law said: 'I have made up my mind
what to do. Come! Let us go on into camp.'

"They went in; Falling Bear to his own lodge--in which his father and
mother lived. His woman was not there; she had gone to her father's
lodge. He was glad that she had gone there; he never wanted to see her
again. His father asked him to give the story of his war trail, and he
answered that he had nothing to say. He was so sick at heart that he
could not talk.

"Arrived in his own lodge, and finding his daughter, Otter Woman,
there, Falling Bear's father-in-law told her to go out for a time; and
when she was gone he told her mother all that she had done, and then,
calling in their son, the three agreed upon the way the bad wife
should be punished. They called her in and told her to braid her hair
nicely, and to put on her best clothes. And while she was doing that,
her father and mother and brother painted their faces black and let
down their hair.

"As soon as Otter Woman was dressed, her father said to her: 'We will
now go outside, and you will mount the Nez Percé horse. I will lead
it, your mother and brother will follow, and we will go all through
the camp, stopping here and there to tell the people all about the
great wrong you did your man.'

"'Oh, no, no! Not that!' Otter Woman cried. 'I am ashamed enough as it
is! I am sorry that I did it! I don't know how I came to do it; I shall
never, never do such a thing again!'

"'You spoke the truth there,' said her father. 'No, you will never do
it again!' And he ordered her to go out ahead of them and mount the
horse. She did so and sat upon it, head cast down, looking neither to
the right nor left nor ahead: shame was with her. Holding the horse's
rope, the old man shouted: 'Listen, people, listen.' And when a crowd
had gathered he told them what his daughter had done to her good man,
and the people groaned with shame that one of their tribe could be so
bad of heart. Some even wept at the horror of it.

"From one part of the camp to another the old man led the little
procession, stopping often to tell the shameful story, until all knew
it. And then at last he led the horse out into the center of the great
circle of the lodges, and told his daughter to dismount. She did so,
and, drawing his knife, he stabbed her in the heart and she fell and
died. Said he then to his wife: 'Get women to help you; drag that body
far off and leave it, and never let me hear again the name of her who
was once my daughter!'

"And the women did as he said. Never again did any one mention Otter
Woman in his presence."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Ai! A sad story! A story to give one bad dreams! Let us have one of
more cheerful nature before we go to bed," said Stabs-by-Mistake.

"An Old Man story, then," said Two Guns. "All are laughable."

"Elder brother, tell us the story of Old Man and the woman," said
Black Bull to Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill.

  [Illustration: BLACK BULL AND STABS-BY-MISTAKE (right) NEAR LOWER
    END OF CUTBANK CAÑON]

"Ai! That I will," the chief answered.

But before I set down the story, I must explain Old Man.

Old Man (Näp´-i) was the god who created the world, and all life upon
it, and he was _the_ god of the Blackfeet until, some centuries back,
they got from some southern tribe another religion, of which the sun
is the principal god. However, they still pray to Old Man, as well as
to the gods of the later religion, although in time a great many
stories have grown up about Old Man that make him appear to be more of
a buffoon than a god. An interesting point about the word _näp´-i_ is,
that, while it is the term for an old man, its real meaning is dawn,
or the first faint, white light that gives birth to the day. And so,
in common with the ancient Mexicans, various tribes of the plains, the
Aryans and other ancient races of the Old World, the original religion
of the Blackfeet was the worship of light personified.

Let us have now, the old chief's story of


OLD MAN AND THE WOMAN

"Having created the world, the animals, grass, trees, all life upon
it, Old Man realized that by having men live by themselves, and women
by themselves, he had made a mistake. He saw that they should live
together. The camps of the two sexes were far apart: the women were
living here at the foot of the mountains, in Cutbank Valley, and the
men were away down on Two Medicine River. Each camp had a buffalo
trap, and subsisted wholly upon the buffalo that were decoyed into it.

"As I have said, Old Man saw that he had made a mistake in keeping men
and women apart. In fact, he found that he himself wanted a woman; so
he went to the men and said: 'You shall no longer live by yourselves.
Come! We will go up to the camp of the women, and each of us get one
of them.'

"The men were more than glad to do that; it was what they had been
hoping to do for a long time; so they hurried to put on their best
clothes, and neatly braided their hair, and then started off with Old
Man for the women's camp. When they came in sight of it, Old Man told
them to stop right there, and he would go ahead and plan with the
women just what should be done. They sat down, and he went on to the
women's camp. Himself, he had on his old, soiled clothes; his fine
clothes he had left back with the men.

"Arrived in the camp, he found only two or three women there; the
woman chief and all the others were down at the buffalo trap,
butchering the animals that they had that morning decoyed into it.
When he told the few women that he found why he had come, he greatly
excited and pleased them, and they started at once to run and tell the
others to hurry up from the trap and meet the men.

"'But wait. Not so fast. I want a word with you,' Old Man called out;
and when they came back to him, he asked: 'What kind of a woman is
your chief?'

"'Everything that is good, and kind and brave, that is our chief,'
one answered. And another said: 'Ai! She is all that, and more; and
she is the most beautiful woman of us all!'

"This pleased Old Man. He said to himself, 'That is the woman for me.
I must have her.' And to the waiting women he said: 'It is right that
chief woman should mate with chief man. You women are to come to us,
and each select the man you want. Now, tell your chief woman that the
chief man is brave and kind and handsome, and that she shall select
him for her man. She will know him by the way he is dressed. He wears
buckskin shirt and leggings, embroidered with porcupine quills, and a
cow-leather robe with a big porcupine-quill embroidered sun in the
center of it. You tell her to take him for her man!'

"'We will do so!' the women cried, and started off for the buffalo
trap as fast as they could run.

"Old Man hurried back to the waiting men, and hurriedly put on his
fine clothes, the ones that he had described to the women.

"Trembling with excitement, and out of breath from their long, swift
run, Old Man's messengers arrived at the buffalo trap and told their
wonderful news,--that men had come to marry them; that each woman was
to choose the man that she thought would best suit her. The butchering
of the animals ceased at once, and the women started for their camp to
put on their good clothes and recomb their hair. They wanted to appear
as neat and clean and well dressed as possible, before the men. Yes,
all ran for their camp, all except the chief woman. Said she: 'I
cannot leave here until I finish skinning this spotted medicine calf.
Go, all of you, and I will join you as soon as I can.'

"The work took more time than she thought would be required, and when
she arrived in camp with the valuable skin, she found all the other
women dressed and impatient to go and choose their men. 'Oh, well, it
doesn't matter how I look,' she said. 'I am chief; I have a name; I
can go choose my man dressed just as I am. How did you say the man
chief is dressed?'

"They told her again what he wore, according to what the messenger
man had told them, and she said: 'I'll choose him. Chief, I suppose,
must mate with chief.'

"And so she went right on with the others, wearing her butchering
dress, all stiff with blood and grease from the neck down to the
bottom of the skirt; and her moccasins were even more foul than the
skirt. Her hands were caked with dried blood, and her hair was not
even braided.

"Their chief leading, the women approached the waiting men, all of
them standing in a line, and singing a song of greeting. Old Man stood
at the head of the line, very straight and proud, and of fine
appearance in his beautiful new porcupine-embroidered clothes. By
these the chief woman recognized him from afar, and said to herself:
'He is a fine looking man. I hope that he will prove to be as good of
heart as he is good to look at.' And, leading her women, she walked
straight up to him and laid a hand on his arm: 'I will take you for my
man,' she told him.

"But Old Man shrank back, his face plainly showing his loathing of
such a bloody and greasy, wild-haired woman.

"'I take you for my man,' the woman chief repeated; and then he broke
away from her hold and ran behind his men: 'No! No! I do not want you,
bloody, greasy woman,' he cried, and went still farther off behind his
men.

"The woman chief turned to her followers: 'Go back! Go back to that
little hill and there wait for me,' she told them. And to the men she
said, 'Remain where you are until I return. I shall not be gone long.'
And with that she turned and hurried to her camp. Her women went to
the hill. The men remained where they were.

"Down at her camp the chief woman took off her old clothes and bathed
in the river. Then she put on her fine clothes, a pair of new
moccasins, braided her hair, scented herself with sweetgrass, and
returned to her women. She was now better dressed than any of them,
and they had told Old Man the truth when they said that she was
beautiful of face and form: she was the most beautiful woman of them
all.

"Again she led her women to the line of waiting men. Again Old Man
stood first, stood at the head of them. But she passed him by, as
though she did not see him, and he, with a little cry, ran after her,
took her by the arm, and said: 'You are the woman for me. I am the
chief of the men: you must take me!'

"She turned upon him, and her eyes were like fire. She tore his hand
from her arm, and cried: 'Never touch me again, good-for-nothing,
proud-and-useless man. I would die before I would mate with you.'

"And to her women she said: 'Do not, any of you, take him for your
man.' And with that she turned and chose a man. The others then, one
by one, took their choice of the men. When all had chosen, there was
one woman who had no man; all had been taken except Old Man. She would
not have him, and became the second wife of one of the men. The
choosing over, all started for the women's camp. Old Man, now very
sad-hearted, was for following them; but the chief woman turned and
motioned him off. 'Go away. There is no food for you, no place for
you in our camp,' she told him; and he went away, crying, by himself.

"And that is what Old Man got for being so proud."



_July 30._

We break camp and move northward to-morrow. For the past two days some
of us have been riding about on this "Backbone-of-the-World," as the
Blackfeet call the Rocky Mountains, and we have ridden our horses
where, in former times, nothing but a bird could go. The Park
Supervisor and his engineers and miners and sappers have blasted out
trails over the highest parts of the range, making it easy and safe
for tenderfeet tourists to view the wonders of this sub-Arctic,
greater than Alpine range of mountains. One of the most impressive
views is from the summit of the trail from Upper Two Medicine Lake to
Cutbank River. The Dry Fork Trail, it is called. At its extreme height
the trail is along a mountain crest about thirty feet in width. Mr.
L. W. Hill graphically described the stretch the other day, when,
after crossing it, he said: "On its east side one can spit straight
down three thousand feet into a lake, and on the other side cast a
stone that will go down much farther than that!"

Indeed, the view of the mountains and cliffs and canyons from that
height is so grand, so stupendous and impressive, that one cannot find
words to describe it all.

On another day we went over Cutbank Pass and down the west side of
the range, far enough to get a good view of the Pumpelly Glacier,
and see the huge ice blocks break from it and drop from a cliff
more than two thousand feet in height. They strike the bottom of
the canyon with a reverberating crash that can be heard for miles.
Just below this glacier, down Nyack Creek three or four miles, is a
fine alkaline spring and clay bed where, in other days, old
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill and I were wont to go for
bighorn, goats, deer, and elk. All these animals came to it in
great numbers, and drank the waters, and ate great wads of the
salty mud. We once killed a large grizzly there, whose late autumn
coat was as black as that of a black bear.

  [Illustration: STABS-BY-MISTAKE, SUN WOMAN, AND HER SON, LITTLE
    OTTER IN CUTBANK CAÑON]

This afternoon we have had further talk about the naming of these
mountains. For a wonder, the topographers have not taken away the
original name for the outer mountain on the north side of this Cutbank
Valley: we find on the map that it is still White Calf Mountain. It
was named for one of the greatest chiefs the Montana Blackfeet ever
had. As a young man, fresh from his first war trail, he witnessed the
signing of the treaty between his people and the representatives of
the United States, at the mouth of the Judith River, in 1855, so he
must have been born in 1836 or 1837. As a warrior, his rise to fame
was rapid, and many are the stories told of his indomitable bravery in
facing the enemy. In later years, because of his great interest in the
welfare of his people, he became their head chief. He died in
Washington, in 1903, while there on tribal business.

The right names of the other mountains walling in this valley are as
follows: The unnamed mountain next west from White Calf Mountain is
Ahk´-sap-ah-ki (Generous Woman); Mount James is Ah´-kow-to-mak-an
(Double Runner); Mount Vorhis is O-nis-tai´-na (Wonderful Chief). The
west one of the Twin Buttes is Little Plume; the east one is
O-nis-tai´-mak-an (Wonderful Runner). And, as I have said, the outer
mountain on the south side of the valley is Muk-sin-a´ (Angry Woman).
All but the last one were named for old-time great chiefs and warriors
of my people, and we intend that they shall be so named on the
official maps, even if we have to petition the House of
Representatives and the Senate, in Washington, to make the change! And
you, my readers, lovers of these grandest mountains of our country,
will you not be with us in this perfectly proper request?

Said Takes-Gun-Ahead to me this afternoon: "Who are these white men,
James, and Vorhis, for whom the mountains were named? Were they great
warriors, or presidents, or wise men?"

I had to confess that I had never heard of them.

"Huh!" he exclaimed. And "Huh!" all the others, even the women,
echoed.



III

KI-NUK´-SI IS-SI-SAK´-TA (LITTLE RIVER)



_August 2._

We moved over here on Little River--or, as the whites have named it,
Milk River--day before yesterday, and made camp at the lower edge of
the great body of timber in which the stream has its source. We are
here on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and several miles from the
boundary line of the Glacier National Park. The state game laws do not
apply to the reservation, hence we have the right to hunt upon it when
and where we please.

  [Illustration: BIG SPRING PAINTING AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON THE FLESH SIDE
    OF A TANNED ELK-SKIN]

Yesterday Takes-Gun-Ahead and I oiled our rifles and started out after
meat. We went up the river, passing the old beaver dams that White Fur
and Loud Slap built in the long ago, and presently, in the dense
growth of pine, cottonwood, and willow, came upon old and fresh
tracks of deer and elk. We followed for a time the trail of four or
five elk, and left it to take the very fresh trail of a moose.
Takes-Gun-Ahead was in the lead, and within ten minutes he saw the
animal not fifty yards away, standing partly concealed behind a clump
of willows and watching our approach. Its head was in plain view, and
he fired and struck it just at the base of the ear, and it fell, gave
a convulsive kick or two, and was dead when we got to it. It was a
three-year-old bull, and carried a very ordinary set of antlers,
velvet-covered and still soft at the points. I dressed the carcass
while my companion went back for a horse, and before noon we had real
meat--_ni-tap´-i-wak-sin_--in camp. We distributed it among the
lodges, and there was great rejoicing. Later in the day, Two Guns and
Black Bull brought in a fine buck mule deer, and at sunset Big Spring
returned with the meat and skin of a yearling ram that he had killed
on the outer point of Divide Mountain. It was like old times,--the
camp red with meat,--and we all felt rich and happy.

The killing of the moose in this particular place brought out a lot
of reminiscences of happenings here on Little River in other days, and
of them all I think that Takes-Gun-Ahead's story was the best. As the
pipe went the first round after our feast of roast moose ribs in Black
Bull's lodge, said he: "I will tell you the story of


"OLD MAN AND THE WOLVES

"One day in that long ago time, Old Man was wandering along the edge
of this forest, having come over from Cutbank way. He was feeling very
lonely, and wondering what he could do to have a more lively time,
when, as he approached the river here, probably right where we are
camped, he saw a band of six wolves sitting on the bank, watching him.
He stopped short, watched them for a time, and then approached them,
whining out: 'My younger brothers! My younger brothers! I am very
lonely! Take pity on me: let me be a wolf with you!'

"As I have said, the wolves were six: the old father and mother,
their two daughters, and their sons, Heavy Body and Long Body. The old
father wolf answered Old Man. 'Just what do you mean?' he asked. 'Is
it that you want me to change you into a wolf--that you want to live
just as we do?'

"'I want to live with you, hunt with you,' he answered, 'but I don't
want to be changed wholly into a wolf. Just make my head and neck to
look like yours, and put wolf hair on my legs and arms, and that will
be about enough of a change. I will keep my body just as it is.'

"'Very well, we will do that for you,' said the old wolf; and he took
a gray medicine and rubbed it on Old Man's head and neck and legs and
arms, and made the change. 'There!' said he. 'My work is done. I would
like to have made you all wolf, your body as well as the rest of you,
but you will do as you are; you are quite wolf-like. And now, let me
tell you something about our family. My old wife and I don't hunt
much. Your two younger brothers there are the runners and killers, and
their sisters help in the way of heading off and confusing the game.
Your younger brother there, Long Body, is the swiftest runner, but he
hasn't the best of wind. However, he generally overtakes and kills
whatever he chases. Your other younger brother, Heavy Body, is not a
fast runner, but he has great staying power, never gets winded, and in
the end brings down his game. And now you know them. Whenever you feel
like hunting, one or the other of them, as you choose, will go with
you.'

"'You are very kind to me,' said Old Man. 'I am now very tired, but
to-morrow I shall want to hunt with one or the other of them.'

"'We are also tired; we have come a long way; it is best that we all
rest during this night,' said the old wolf; and he led the way up to
the top of a high ridge on the north side of the valley, where all lay
down.

"'But why rest out on top of this barren, windy place, instead of in
the shelter of the timber?' Old Man asked, his teeth beginning to
chatter from the cold.

"'We never rest in the timber,' the old wolf replied. 'There enemies
would have a good chance to take us unawares. Here we can see afar
everything that moves, and as one or another of us is always on watch,
we can keep out of danger. Also, we can look down and see the
different kinds of game, and make our plans to chase what we want,
head it off, tire it out, and kill it. We always, summer and winter,
do our resting and sleeping on high places.'

"Before the night was far gone, Old Man became so cold that he
trembled all over, and, try as he would, he could not keep his jaws
together.

"'You annoy us with your tremblings, and your teeth chatterings; you
keep us from sleeping,' the old wolf complained.

"'Well, I shall not annoy you long,' Old Man answered, 'because I
shall soon freeze to death!'

"The old wolf aroused his wife and children: 'This tender-bodied elder
brother of ours is freezing. I suppose we have to protect him. Lie
down in a circle around him and cover him with your tails,' he told
them.

"They did so, and he was soon overcome with heat: 'Take your
ill-smelling tails from my body; I am wet with perspiration!' he
gasped. They removed their tails and he soon began to shiver. 'Put
them back! I freeze!' he cried; and they did as he commanded. During
the night he had them cover him many times with their tails, and as
many times remove them. He passed a miserable night, and so did the
wolves, for he kept them from sleeping.

"At break of day all arose, and, looking down into the valley, saw a
lone, buck mule deer feeding farther and farther away from the timber.
They made a plan for capturing it. They all sneaked around into the
timber, and then Long Body and Old Man crept down the valley until the
buck saw them and ran, and then they chased it. Long Body soon pulled
it down, and Old Man came up in time to seize and break its neck, and
felt very proud of himself. The other wolves soon came to the kill,
and all feasted. The carcass lasted them two days.

"Again and again they went to the top of the ridge to pass the night,
and Old Man soon became so used to the cold that he did not need tail
covering. When the deer was eaten, they killed another one, and then a
buffalo bull, which lasted them some days. Then, after two failures in
chasing antelope and some hungry days, Long Body killed a big bull
elk, just outside the timber here. They were several days eating it,
but at last all the meat and the soft bones were finished, and nothing
but the backbone and the hard leg bones remained. Said the old wolf
then: 'We must be saving of what we have left, for it may be some time
before we can make another killing. To-day we will take turns chewing
the upper bone of a hind leg.'

"They gathered in a small circle with one of the bones, noses to the
center, and the old wolf said to Old Man: 'Now, while this chewing is
going on, bone splinters are bound to fly. You must keep your eyes
tight shut until it comes your turn to chew, else you may get a
splinter that will blind you.'

"Old Man did as he was told. The old wolf began the chewing, and
after gnawing off the end of the bone, and getting a little of the
marrow, called out to his wife that it was her turn to chew and passed
her the bone. And so from one to another it went around the circle
until Long Body got it, and Old Man's turn came next. His curiosity
now got the better of him: he just had to see what was going on, and
slowly opened one eye, the one next to Long Body. All the wolves had
their heads to the ground or resting on their fore paws, and all--even
Long Body, busily chewing the bone--kept their eyes tight shut. 'Huh!
This is a queer way to feast,' Old Man said to himself, and just then
a splinter flew from the bone and struck his open eye, not putting it
out, but causing him great pain and making him very angry. 'I will pay
him for that!' he thought, and waited his turn at the bone, becoming
more and more angry as he waited.

"'Your turn, Old Man,' said Long Body after a time, and passed him the
bone. Old Man took it, chewed it for a time, looking sharply at all
the wolves. All had their eyes tight shut, so, raising the bone as
high as he could, he brought it down with all the force of his arm
upon Long Body's head and killed him. The other wolves, hearing his
twitching, as he died, opened their eyes, saw him dead, and Old Man
staring in horror at what he had done.

"'Oh, what have you done! You have killed your younger brother!' the
old wolf cried.

"'I didn't mean to,' Old Man answered. 'When he was chewing the bone
he let a splinter fly, and it struck me in this eye. I meant to punish
him a little for being so careless, but I did not mean to kill him. I
must have struck harder than I thought to do.'

"'You had your eyes open! It was your fault that you got the
splinter!' the old wolf said; and then he and all the rest began
grieving for their dead.

"All the rest of that day, and all through the night, they howled and
howled, and Old Man thought that he would go mad from the mournfulness
of it all. He was very sorry--he hated himself for what he had done in
his anger.

"The mourning-time over, the wolves dug a hole in the ground and
buried Long Body, and then scolded Old Man. 'Had you killed my son
intentionally,' the old wolf concluded, 'we would have had your life
in payment for his life. As it is, we will give you one more trial:
see that such an accident as that never again occurs!'

"'Younger brother,' said Old Man, 'I am grieving and very restless
because of what I have done. I want to be moving; to be doing
something. Let Heavy Body go with me up in this pine forest, and we
will try to kill something.'

"The old wolf remained silent for some time, thinking, and at last
answered: 'Yes, I will allow him to go with you, and remember this: if
anything happens to him, we shall hold you responsible, and great will
be your punishment!'

"The two started off, and Old Man said to his partner, 'In some ways I
am wiser than you. I have this to say, and you must heed it: Whatever
you start after, be it deer or elk or moose, and no matter how close
you may get to it, if it crosses a stream, even a little stream that
you can jump, stop right there and turn back. Mind, now, even if a few
more leaps will get you to the animal's throat, you are not to make
those leaps if it crosses a stream. Should you keep on, death in some
form will get you.'

"'How do you know this?' Heavy Body asked.

"'I may not tell you all that I know,' Old Man replied. 'I have given
you the warning; heed it.'

"They went farther up in the timber, and after some nosing of trails
started a big bull moose, and took after it, Heavy Body running far in
the lead. He was fast gaining upon it, was almost at its heels, when
it jumped into a wide, long pond, really a widening of the creek, and
started swimming across it to an island, and from that to the other
shore. Heavy Body thought of Old Man's warning, but said to himself:
'He doesn't know everything. I must have that moose!' And into the
water he went and started swimming toward the island. And just as he
was nearing it a water bear sprang from the shore, and killed him,
and dragged him to land, and Old Man appeared at the edge of the pond
just in time to see the bear and her two nearly grown young begin
feasting upon her kill. With a heart full of rage and sorrow, he
turned back into the timber and considered how he could revenge the
death of Heavy Body.

"Two mornings later, just before daylight, Old Man came again to the
shore of the pond, and close to the edge of the water took his stand
and gave himself the appearance of an old stump. Soon after sunrise
the old water bear, coming out from the brush on the island, saw it,
sat up and stared at it, and said to herself: 'I do not remember
having seen that stump before. I suspicion that it is Old Man, come to
do me harm. I saw him right there when I killed the wolf.'

"She stared and stared at the stump, and at last called out her young,
and said to one of them: 'Go across there and bite, and claw that
stump. I believe that it is Old Man. If it is, he will cry out and run
when you hurt him.'

"The young bear swam across and went up to the stump, and bit, and
clawed it, and hurt Old Man. He was almost on the point of giving up
and running away, when it left him and went back to the island and
told the old one that the stump was a stump, and nothing else. But the
old one was not satisfied. She sent the other young one over, and it
bit and clawed Old Man harder than its brother had, but he stood the
pain, bad as it was, and that young one went back and also said that
the stump was just a common old stump and without life.

"But the old water bear was not yet satisfied. She went across
herself, and bit and tore at the stump with her claws, and what Old
Man had suffered from the others was nothing compared to what he
endured from her attack. He stood it, however, and at last, satisfied
that her children had been right, that this was a stump and nothing
else, she left it and started back for the island. Then it was that,
just as she was entering the water, Old Man picked up the bow and
arrows he had made during the two days back in the timber and shot an
arrow into her, well back in the loin; but she dove under water so
quickly that he could not see whether he had hit her or not. She swam
under water clear around back of the island, and went ashore where he
could not see her. He turned, then, and went away back in the timber,
and slept all the rest of the day and all of the following night.

"Early the next morning he was approaching the pond by way of the
stream running from it, when he saw a kingfisher sitting on a limb of
a tree overhanging the water, and looking intently down into it:
'Little brother, what do you there?' he asked.

"'The old water bear has been shot,' the bird answered. 'She bathes in
the water, and clots of blood and pieces of fat escape from the wound,
and when they come floating along here I seize them, and eat them.'

"'Ha! So I did hit her!' Old Man said. 'How badly, I wonder?'

"He went on up the shore of the stream, trying to think of some way to
get complete revenge for the death of Heavy Body, when he heard some
one out in the brush chanting: 'Some one has shot the old water bear!
I have to doctor the old water bear! Some one has shot the old water
bear! I have to doctor the old water bear!'

"He went out to see who this might be, and found that it was the bull
frog, jumping about and making the chant after every jump. He went to
him and asked if the bear was much hurt?

"'There is an arrow in her loin,' the frog answered, 'and as soon as I
find a certain medicine plant, I shall pull the arrow out and apply
the crushed plant to the wound. I believe that I can save her life.'

"'That you never will,' Old Man said, and fired an arrow into him, and
killed him. He then took his skin, put it on, tore up a handful of a
green plant, and swam to the island. As soon as he reached the shore
he began chanting as the frog had done: 'Some one has shot the old
water bear! I have to doctor the old water bear!' And so, chanting and
jumping, he followed a trail into the brush and came upon the old
bear and her two young. She was lying on her side, breathing heavily,
and her eyes were shut. Old Man bent over her, and, firmly grasping
the arrow, shoved it in until it pierced her heart, and she gave a
kick and died! He then picked up a club and killed the two young.
'There! That ends the water bear family. I was crazy ever to have made
her and her husband!' he exclaimed.

"Casting off the frog skin now, he with great difficulty floated the
three bears from the island to the shore of the pond. There, a short
distance back from it, he found a bowl-shaped depression in the
ground. Into this he dragged the carcasses of the bears, after
skinning them and taking off all the fat from their meat and insides,
and then he tried out the fat and poured the oil over them, completely
covering them and filling the depression. He then called the animals.
'All you who would be fat, come bathe in this oil,' he shouted. And on
all sides the animals heard and began to come in. The bears--real
bears, the grizzly and the black--came first and rolled in the oil,
and ever since that time they have been the fattest of all animals.
Then came the skunk; next the badger; after him the porcupine, and
rolled in the oil and got fat. The beaver came and swam across the
oil. All that part of him above the water as he swam--his head and the
forward part of his back--got no fat, but all the rest of his
body--his sides, belly, and tail--became extremely fat. Last of all
the animals came the rabbit. He did not go into the oil, but, dipping
a paw into it, rubbed it upon his back between his shoulders and upon
the inside of each leg. That is why he has no fat on other parts of
his body.

"'Well, there!' Old Man exclaimed, after the rabbit had gone. 'I have
done some good. I have avenged the death of my wolf partner and have
made fat many of my younger brothers!' And with that he started off
seeking more adventures.

"Kyi! My story ends."



_August 4._

Not for many years, I am sure, have my relatives and friends here been
so happy as they are just now. Instead of beef or no meat of any
kind, as is generally the case with them when at home,--some die every
winter from want of food,--they have now in every lodge real meat;
meat of moose and elk and bighorn, and so are living much as they did
in the days before the white men overran their country and killed off
their game.

  [Illustration: SUN WOMAN, DAUGHTER OF TAKES-GUN-AHEAD AND WIFE OF
    STABS-BY-MISTAKE]

A happy heart sharpens one's wits. All day yesterday, as I knew, my
two old relatives, Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill and Yellow Wolf,
were considering what other one of the tribal stories about the Little
River country would most please me. I had told them that I could not
put them all down--could use only two or three of the most interesting
ones. And so, when we all gathered in Yellow Wolf's lodge last
evening, and the pipe was lighted and started on the round of our
circle, he said that it had been decided that I should have the story
of the rescue of a boy from the Crows, and that he would tell it. It
was called, he said, the story of


"NEW ROBE, THE RESCUER

"In the long ago, before our forefathers had taken this country from
the Crows, they were one summer camping and hunting on the Big River
of the North.[7] Came the evening of a long, hot day, and a boy of
eight or nine winters--Lone Star was his name--failed to return to his
parents' lodge. The chiefs ordered the camp crier out, and he went all
among the lodges, shouting the news, and asking if any one had seen
the boy? None had; so then the chiefs ordered all the men and youths
to go out and try to find him. All that moonlit night, and all the
next day, they searched the surrounding country, but got no trace of
him. Every alighting buzzard was marked down, but in every instance it
was found to be feasting upon the remains of game that the hunters had
killed. So then, although his body could not be found, most of the
people believed that the boy was dead. His beautiful sister, Red
Cloud Woman, and his father, Black Bear, thought otherwise; they
believed that he had been stolen by the enemy, and publicly, all
through the camp, the two went, the girl vowing that she would marry
whoever would find her brother, the old man adding that she had his
permission to make the vow.

    [7] Ap-ut´-o-sosts O´muk-at-ai (Big River of the North). The
    Saskatchewan.

"There was in the camp a very poor young man, named New Robe. So poor
was he that he had never owned a new robe, nor a new shirt, nor
leggins, nor even new moccasins. His father and mother were dead, and
always, as far back as he could remember, he had worn nothing but the
used clothes the charitable had given him. He had never been to war,
had never done anything to make a name for himself, but now he was
eager to start in quest of the missing boy. He had long loved the
girl, but had never even spoken to her. He now went to her and said:
'Tell no one about it. Just silently pray for me. I am going to travel
far in search of your brother.'

"Said the girl: 'This is not a time for me to hide my heart from you.
I have watched you, loved you for a very long time. But what could I
say? Nothing. Well I knew that my people would not allow me to marry
one so poor as you. But now there is hope for us; somehow I believe
that this trouble is to be the means of bringing us together.' And
with that she kissed him, and he went quietly out from camp,
unobserved by any one, and started southward on his quest.

"Many days later, in the valley of Old Man's River, New Robe came upon an
old camp-ground of the enemy--Crows, of course, for that was then their
country. From it he found that they had moved south, and he followed
their trail, ever along the foot of the mountains, and knew that he was
fast overtaking them. At the River-of-Many-Chiefs-Gathering[8] he found
live coals in the ashes of their abandoned fireplaces, and so, upon
arriving at the top of the ridge overlooking this stream, he was not
surprised to see the lodges of the great Crow camp here--right here
where we are encamped to-night. They were set up in a great circle, and
in the center of it was a huge lodge covered with old lodge skins: the
Crows were having their medicine lodge ceremonies!

    [8] St. Mary's River.

"As soon as night came and before the moon arose, New Robe descended
the hill and entered the camp. The people were all of them gathered at
the medicine lodge, singing and dancing, and fulfilling their vows to
the sun, so he went from one living lodge to another, looking into
each for some sign of the missing boy. By the time he had made the
round of the lodges of half of the circle it was midnight, and the
people were beginning to go home to sleep. He left the camp and went
back on the ridge, having found no trace of the one for whom he
searched.

"The next night New Robe descended the ridge and searched the lodges
of the other half of the circle, and found not what he sought. When he
had finished, the people were still gathered at the medicine lodge,
and, desperate, and knowing well the great risk that he would incur,
he went toward it, and stood at the outer edge of the great crowd and
watched the ceremonial dancing of the different warrior clans. He kept
his face partly concealed with his old robe, and moved from place to
place around the outer circle of the people, and none observed him, so
intent were they upon watching the dancers.

"At last, during a quiet interval between dances, he imagined that he
heard some one groaning, but, look where he would, he could see no one
in distress, nor could he locate the exact place from which the
groaning came. It was a light-voiced groaning, such as a child would
make; he felt sure that it came from little Lone Star, somewhere in
that great lodge, and in great pain. He left the place, went outside
the circle of lodges, and lay down.

"It was long past midnight when the people returned to their lodges.
Then, as soon as the camp became quiet, New Robe returned to the
medicine lodge, and, listening, heard faint groaning and located it.
It came from the top of the center post, where all the sacrifices to
the sun were hung. He was sure then that it was no other than Lone
Star up there, lashed to the post, a living sacrifice to the sun, and
there to die!

"Well he knew that there, within the lodge, were sleeping the women
who had vowed to build the great structure in honor of the sun. And
there, too, in his secret, walled-off little inner lodge, slept the
medicine man whose duty it was to drive back approaching thunderclouds
and rain. He had to risk awakening them! He had at least to attempt to
rescue the boy! So, casting off his robe, he climbed the outer wall of
the lodge, and from it crawled along one of the big long poles that
slanted up to the center post. There he found Lone Star, firmly lashed
to one of its forks, and so far gone that he could no longer even
groan.

"Silently, very carefully, New Robe unwound the lashing, and then,
fastening an end of it under the boy's arms, let him down to the
ground. He then descended, and found that the boy was so numb that he
could not walk. There was but one thing to do then. He took the
helpless one upon his back, stole out of the lodge, and started with
him across the big camp-ground. Dawn had come. As he was passing the
circle of lodges, an early riser, a woman, saw him and with her
shrieks aroused all the near-by sleepers. They rushed out, warriors
and youths, the women following, and overtook him. He made no
resistance. He could have left the boy and made his own escape, but he
would not do that. Several old warriors seized him and the boy, and
hurried them to the lodge of the head chief, the women and the youths
following and crying out that they be killed. Inside the lodge, the
chief motioned them to seats, and in signs asked New Robe what he had
to say for himself.

"'I came not to harm you,' New Robe answered, 'nor to take from you
anything that is yours. I came to find this boy, and take him back to
his mourning father and mother and sister. And where did I find him!
Tied to the center post of your medicine lodge, there to die from
want of water and food, a living but dying sacrifice to the sun! That
were too cruel a thing to do. I ask you not to put him back there. If
he is to die, I die with him. Shoot us, stab us, kill us in any way
you choose, so that our death be quick!'

"The chief gave him no answer to that. He counseled with the other
chiefs for a long time, and at last signed to him: 'You are so brave
that we shall give you and the boy a chance for your lives. You are to
remain here in this lodge to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and the
following night. My young men will keep watch on you, so do not
attempt to escape. On the morning following your second night here,
you are to be given your chance to leave us unharmed. I shall not now
tell you what that chance will be.' And then, turning to his men, he
gave them certain orders, and they hurried from the lodge.

"During the two days and two nights, New Robe prayed as he never had
before, prayed for strength and courage to succeed in whatever he
should be told to do. The people of the lodge treated him and the boy
well. They did not want for food, nor anything else that would make
for their comfort. Early in the morning after the second night, the
chief signed to him: 'It is not my fault, nor the fault of my under
chiefs, that you have to undergo this trial for your life and that of
the boy this day. My people were crying for your lives; they wanted to
drag you two out from here and fill your bodies with arrows. I did not
want them to do that; my council of chiefs did not want it done; so we
counseled together and hit upon a way to give you a chance for your
lives. It is not an easy thing that you have to attempt, but I hope
you will succeed. And, whatever happens, believe this: I have done the
best for you that I could!'

"A little later, soon after the morning meal, the chief signed the two
captives to follow him, and led them to the medicine lodge. In front
of it were seven fresh buffalo bull heads which a number of men were
skinning, and out in front of them, in a great half-circle, were
gathered every man, woman, and child of the Mountain Crow tribe. New
Robe wondered what was to be done with the seven buffalo heads; he
suspected that they were to be in some way used in his trial for life.

"'Come!' the chief signed, and led him and the boy to the entrance of
the medicine lodge. There they stood, the mark of many flashing, angry
eyes, and presently the skinners finished their work, and an old chief
placed the shining skulls in a line out from the doorway of the lodge,
each one of them a long step distant from another.

"Again the head chief made signs to New Robe: 'There is your trial for
life,' he said. 'You are to take the boy on your back, and step from
one to the other of those skulls until you step upon the last one;
pass from it to the ground. If you succeed in doing that, you and the
boy are free to go to your home, and none of my people shall harm you
on your way. But should you slip from a skull, and even so much as
touch the ground with your toe, to save your balance, then the
warriors standing out there will fall upon you, and kill you both.'

"New Robe looked long at the seven skulls, considering what he should
do. Being freshly skinned, he knew that they were very slippery. And
then, which would be safest, to step slowly, carefully, from one to
another, or make a run across them touching each one quickly, lightly?
They were far apart; too far for slow, deliberate stepping; he
concluded that the thing to do was to start running from the back of
the lodge, and go along the line of them as fast as he could with his
burden. He signed to the chief that he would do that, and led the boy
to the back of the lodge.

"While going there another thought came to him. He got back of the
boy, and stooped, and while pretending to fix the young one's belt and
leggins, kept spitting in two places upon the ground. He then stepped
squarely in each pool of the spit and then upon soft ground, and
coated his moccasin soles with the sandy earth. Then, suddenly
swinging the boy to his back, and running swiftly across the lodge, he
lit upon the first skull with his right foot, and went leaping on
from one to another as fast as he could with the weight upon his back.
The third skull began to turn with him, and he made a weak leap from
it, barely alighting upon the next. But it held firm and he made a
sure leap from it to the next, and from that to the next, and then,
stepping squarely upon the seventh, and last skull, passed from it to
the ground, and released the boy from his back.

"The crowd stood silent, sullen, watching him. The head chief came to
his side and spoke to them, and they suddenly broke out in loud
cheers. The chief then signed to New Robe: 'There is one thing more
you are asked to do before we send you home. You do not have to do it,
but we hope that you will. Come with me!'

"They went to the lodge of a young chief, and when they were seated,
the chief signed to New Robe: 'My father, once a great chief, is an
old man. He does not want to die of old age and long and painful
illness, and he wants a chance to kill one more enemy before he dies.
He wants to fight you. If he kills you, then that will be good. If
you kill him, then you shall have his war horse and all his weapons,
and I will give you a fine present, and you and the boy shall go to
your home in perfect safety. Now, what say you to that?'

"'I have no weapons,' New Robe objected.

"'Weapons you shall have,' the other replied. 'All the warriors of the
camp are anxious to loan you what they have. You shall go with me and
examine what they have until you find just what you want.'

"New Robe considered the matter. If he won out, what honor, what a
_coup_ it would be to return to his people with the weapons and the
war horse of his enemy. If he lost, if he was killed--a sudden doubt
struck him, and he asked: 'If I fall, what will become of the boy?'

"'We promise you now,' the chiefs both answered, 'that in that case
some of us will take the boy to within sight of the camp of your
people, and send him safely to it.'

"'I take your word for that, and now give me weapons,' said New Robe.

"He was offered his choice of many bows and spears, war clubs and
knives, but took only a short, lithe bow and a handful of
well-feathered arrows. Then, standing within the circle of the lodges,
he awaited the coming of the old chief. He soon appeared, wearing a
beautiful war costume and riding a sorrel pinto war horse. And now,
dressed as he was, and easily controlling his fiery-tempered mount, he
did not seem to be so very old; at a distance one would have thought
him a young warrior. His weapon in hand was a long, scalp-tufted
spear. On his back he carried a bow and otter-skin quiver of arrows,
and in his belt, in a handsome sheath, quill-embroidered, was his
knife. Said New Robe to himself: 'He looks strong, he is brave. Well,
I too must be brave, and watchful.'

"Forth and back across the other side of the big circle rode the old
man, singing a war song, brandishing his spear, keeping his prancing
war horse well in hand. And then, suddenly urging him forward, he came
swift as the wind at New Robe. And he, dropping his tattered wrap,
awaited his coming with ready bow. On he came, shouting his war cry,
and when quite close New Robe let fly his long and heavy-shafted
arrow. It struck the old warrior fair in the ribs. He flinched, the
mounting blood choked off his war cry, but on he came, and with a last
great effort hurled his spear, and fell from his horse and died,--died
without knowing that the weapon had passed high over New Robe's head!

"And then what a shout went up from all the people! Shouts of honor
for the old chief who had preferred death in battle instead of in his
lodge, and shouts too for the young man who had so bravely faced him.
New Robe knew not what to do. He stood looking this way, that way,
uncertainly. Then came to him the son of the old dead chief and signed
to him to take the horse and the weapons of his enemy, and he did so.
Then the young man brought to him another horse, a big and gentle
black: 'I said that I would give you something,' he signed, 'and here
it is. The boy can ride it home. You may go now, both of you, and go
without fear of pursuit: not a man in this camp shall follow you!'
And without wasting any time the two mounted the horses and rode
northward away from the camp.

"In the Blackfeet camp Lone Star's father and mother grieved more and
more for the loss of him, but his sister, Red Cloud Woman, would not
believe that he was dead; had somehow faith that he was alive; that
New Robe would find him, and bring him safely home. And at last, when
she saw that her father and mother were likely to go mad from grief,
she told them that New Robe had gone in search of the boy, and that
she would marry him, even if he returned alone. Morning after morning
she went up on a butte close to camp and watched the great plain
stretching away to the south, and all day long, and often on her couch
at night, prayed for the safe return of brother and lover.

"And then, at last, after many, many days of worried watching, she saw
two riders coming from the south across the plain, and, sure that they
were those she had been praying for, ran to meet them. They were the
missing ones. They sprang from their fine horses, and she kissed
first her brother and then clung to New Robe: 'I am right now your
woman,' she cried, and kissed him again. 'And I am proud to be your
woman,' she went on, 'so take me up behind you and we will all ride
home!'

"She got up behind him on his prancing war horse, and as they rode in
he quickly told her of his adventures, and how, at last, he had fought
and killed the old war chief, and for that had been given the two
horses and all the weapons and fine war clothes she saw. So it was
that, coming into camp, she had the tale of his brave deeds to shout
to the people, and they, gathering close around, honored his name and
gave him a chief's greeting. Yes, the poor orphan had within the
length of one moon become a chief, and had made a mourning father and
mother happy. That very night he and Red Cloud Woman were given a
lodge of their own, and their happiness was complete."



IV

PUHT-O-MUK-SI-KIM-IKS (THE LAKES INSIDE): ST. MARY'S LAKES



_August 10._

We left Little River on the 5th, crossed the big ridge dividing the
Arctic and the Atlantic waters, and made camp here on the big prairie
at the foot of the Upper St. Mary's Lake.

In the old days this great valley, hemmed in by gigantic mountains,
was my favorite hunting ground after the buffalo were exterminated and
there was no more sport to be had upon the plains.

  [Illustration: CAMP NEAR LOWER END OF UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE]

Hugh Monroe, or Rising Wolf, was, of course, the first white man to
see these most beautiful of all our Northern Rockies lakes; with the
Piegan Blackfeet he camped at them in 1816, and long afterward, with
his growing family of hardy sons and daughters, this became his
favorite hunting and trapping ground. When, in the 1830's, that
valiant and much beloved missionary, Father De Smet, S.J., was
visiting the various tribes of this Northwest country, Monroe was
engaged to take him to a conference with the North Blackfeet, then
camping on the Saskatchewan River. _En route_ they camped at the foot
of the lower of these lakes, and there erected a large wooden cross,
and named the two sheets of water, St. Mary's Lakes. Later on, the
Stevens expedition named them Chief Mountain Lakes, but that name did
not last. Monroe and his brother trappers were all Catholics, and they
continued to use the name that the great priest had given them, and on
the maps they are St. Mary's Lakes to-day.

During my long friendship with him, Monroe told me many stories of his
adventures here in early days. This was his favorite mountain resort
on account of the great numbers of moose that inhabited the heavily
timbered valley and mountain slopes, and of the great variety and
numbers of fur animals that were found here. The valley swarmed with
elk and deer; there were countless flocks of bighorn and goats on the
mountains, and herds of buffalo everywhere along the lower lake, and
below it; but Monroe liked best of all the flesh of moose, and killed
large numbers of them every season that he camped here.

His method of catching wolves was simple and unique. He would build an
oblong, pyramidal log pen about eight by sixteen feet at the base, and
eight feet in height, the last layer of logs being placed about
eighteen inches apart. Easily climbing the slope of this, the wolves
would jump down through the narrow aperture at the top to feed upon
the quantities of meat that had been placed inside to decoy them, but
they could not jump out. Often, of a morning, the trapper and his sons
would find ten or more big wolves imprisoned in the trap, and, powder
and ball being very costly, they would kill them with bow and arrows,
skin them, and drag the carcasses to the river and cast them into it,
then take the hides home and peg them on the ground to dry. In this
manner they would often, in the spring, have several hundred wolf
pelts to pack in to Fort Benton for sale, and prime pelts sold at five
dollars each, in trade. Their catch of beaver, otter, mink, martin,
and fisher was also large.

Monroe always camped at the foot of the lower lake, near the outlet,
and was there more than once attacked by roving war parties of
Assiniboines, Crows, and even the Yanktonais. The horses were kept at
night in a strong corral just back of the lodge, and in the daytime
were watched by some member of the family while they grazed on the
rich prairie grasses. All the family--John and François, the sons,
Millie and Lizzie, the daughters--and even the mother had guns,
flintlocks, and a good supply of powder and ball. Early one morning a
large war party was discovered approaching the camp, sneaking from
bush to bush, some crawling on all fours through the high grass.
Lizzie opened fire upon them and killed her man, and then the fire
became general on both sides. But the Monroes, in their trenches
surrounding the lodge, had the best of it from the start, and
eventually made the enemy retreat with a loss of five of their
number. Late the following night the Assiniboines crept in to make
another attack, but the Monroes were expecting them, waiting for them,
and in the bright moonlight could take fairly accurate aim. They again
drove them off, with a loss of two more of their number, and that time
they kept going. Nothing more was seen of them. But for some days the
Monroes did not venture far from their camp.

I first saw the St. Mary's Lakes in October, 1882, in company with
Charles Phemmister, James Rutherford, Charles Carter, and Oliver
Sanderville, all old plainsmen, good company, and best of hunters. We
outfitted for the trip at the Old Agency, on Badger Creek, Blackfeet
Reservation, and started northward. There was no trail after leaving
the crossing of Little or Milk River, and we struck up country toward
the big gap in the mountains, in which we knew the lakes must lie, and
that evening camped on the shore of a large prairie lake that was
black with ducks. I shot a dozen or more of them as they flew over a
long point, and to my surprise and delight found that they were all
canvasbacks and redheads, and very fat from feeding upon the wild
celery beds of the lake. I named the sheet of water Duck Lake.

The next day we made a trail down the long hill, and camped at the
foot of the lower lake, close to the outlet. Then began two weeks of
most glorious sport. We shot elk, deer, and several grizzlies in the
valley, and bighorn on a mountain that I named Flat Top, and combed
that mountain from one end to another and on all sides for an animal
known to us as the Rocky Mountain ibex. We had seen several skins of
them, bought from the Stony Indians by Captain John Healy, of Fort
Whoopup and Fort Benton fame, but none of us nor any man of our
acquaintance--and we knew every trapper and trader in the country--had
ever seen one of the animals alive. Of course we found none, as this
sub-Arctic animal, which we later learned is a true antelope, and not
an ibex or goat, seldom leaves the high cliff mountains for the outer
and lower ones of the range. When, later, we did find them, we in our
ignorance named them Rocky Mountain goats, and that is the common name
for them to-day, despite the fact that they are antelopes.

On this first visit to the St. Mary's Lakes country I was so impressed
by the grandeur of its mountains, the beauty of its many lakes, and
its plenitude of game, that thereafter for many years it was, more
than anywhere else, my home. In 1883 I brought out to the lakes a good
boat that I had had built for me at Fort Conrad, and with it learned
that both lakes were alive with whitefish and Mackinaw, Dolly Varden,
and cutthroat trout. During the summer of this year I named Red Eagle
Mountain and Red Eagle Lake, after my uncle-in-law, Red Eagle, owner
of the Thunder medicine pipe, and one of the most high-minded,
gentle-hearted Indians that I ever knew. In the autumn of this year
Dr. George Bird Grinnell joined me, and we hunted around the lower
lake, and went up Swift Current far enough to see what we thought
would possibly prove to be a glacier. We had not then time to learn
if our surmise was correct. During our hunt Dr. Grinnell killed a
large ram at long range, offhand, with one shot from his old Sharp's
rifle, on the mountain next above Flat Top, and I therefore named it
Single-Shot Mountain.

  [Illustration: AT THE NARROWS. UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE]

In the summer of this year I also named Divide Mountain, because it is
the outermost mountain on the Atlantic-Arctic watershed. At the same
time I named Kootenai Mountain, also for a very good reason. Some
members of that tribe were encamped beside me at the foot of the upper
lake. I noticed often that they would ride out of camp at daylight and
return at noon or a little later with all the bighorn or goat meat
that their horses could carry, and finally I asked them where they
went to make their killings so quickly.

"Come with me to-morrow and I will show you something," one of them
answered. And the next morning I rode with him up Red Eagle Valley and
part way up a mountain, where we tied our horses and went on afoot for
a couple of hundred yards. Then, looking down into a _coulée_, we saw
a dozen or more bighorn in the bottom of it and killed four of them.
They had been eating salty clay and drinking from a salt spring that
oozes from the ground there, so I named the place Kootenai Lick, and
also gave the mountain the name Kootenai. Thereafter I knew where to
go for bighorn when I wanted one.

In 1884 I named Almost-a-Dog Mountain, after one of the few survivors
of the Baker massacre, which took place on the Marias River, January
1, 1870. At that time Colonel E. M. Baker, with a couple of companies
of cavalry from Fort Shaw, Montana, was trying to find the camp of Owl
Child, a Piegan Blackfoot, and murderer of a settler named Malcolm
Clark, and arrest him. By mistake he struck the camp of Heavy Runner
and his band of friendly Indians, and, although the chief came running
toward him waving his letters of recommendation and his Washington
medals, Baker ordered his men to begin firing, and a terrible massacre
ensued, the Indians firing not one shot in defense, as about all the
able-bodied men were at the time on a buffalo hunt. When the firing
was over, two hundred and seventeen old men and women and children lay
dead and dying in their lodges and in the camp. The soldiers then shot
the wounded, collected the lodges and property of the Indians in great
piles, and set fire to them and departed.[9]

    [9] The above is an extract from an affidavit by the late Joseph
    Kipp, who was Baker's scout and guide at the time.

In the autumn of 1885 Dr. Grinnell, J. B. Monroe, and I made a trip up
Swift Current River, and discovered and roughly measured the big
glacier at the head of its middle fork, Dr. Grinnell killing a big ram
on the ice while we were traversing it and avoiding its deep
crevasses. That evening Monroe and I named the glacier in honor of Dr.
Grinnell, and also named the mountain to the north of it after him. On
the following day we were joined by Lieutenant--now Major--J. H.
Beacom, Third Infantry, and he gave my Indian name, Apikuni, to the
high mountain between Swift Current and the South Fork of Kennedy
Creek. Upon our return to Upper St. Mary's Lake, Dr. Grinnell named
Little Chief Mountain, Monroe gave Citadel Mountain its name, and I
named Yellow Fish, Goat, Going-to-the-Sun, and Four Bears Mountains.
Yellow Fish (O-to-ko´-mi) was an Indian who often hunted with us, and
Four Bears (Nis-su´-kyai-yo) was the Blackfeet camp crier, and a most
amusing man.

It was in 1886, I believe, that we three, and my old-time friend,
William Jackson, one-time scout for General Custer and General Miles,
cut a trail to the head of the St. Mary's Valley and discovered the
great sheet of ice which we named the Blackfeet Glacier. We at the
same time named Gun-Sight Pass, and named the peak just west of the
glacier, Mount Jackson. It should be Sik-si-kai´-kwan (Blackfeet Man),
Jackson's Indian name. He was a grandson of Hugh Monroe, a real
plainsman, and one of the bravest men I ever knew.

  [Illustration: GOING-TO-THE-SUN MOUNTAIN]

Going-to-the-Sun has been climbed this day, and a flag has been
planted upon its summit, by Paul E. Walker, Esq., of Topeka, Kansas.
Owing to a high cliff upon its upper shoulder, the mountain has always
been considered unclimbable. But after long search, and with no little
risk, Mr. Walker finally worked out a way up the wall, and out upon
the extreme crest, and was undoubtedly the first man, white or red,
ever to stand there. He reports that a magnificent view of the
mountains and plains is to be had from the great height.



_August 12._

We have more real meat in camp. Yesterday Black Bull went up under the
north point of Flat Top Mountain, which is on the Indian Reservation,
and killed two fat young rams. I went fishing, and in the first pool
of the river below the upper lake, caught several two- and three-pound
cutthroat trout. We had a great feast in the evening--roast bighorn
ribs, broiled trout, a quantity of blueberries, and so on.

After the feast was over came story-telling time, and we heard this
man's and that man's experiences in hunting in this vicinity in other
days, Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill relating a hard experience
that befell him when once wintering here with me. He was chasing a
wounded elk on the slope of Single-Shot Mountain, and stepped upon a
sharp, snow-covered knot that pierced his foot through and through,
and kept him laid up for two months. Yellow Wolf then related an
old-time tale, which incidentally gave the reason for naming these two
sheets of water the Inside Lakes. He called it, he said,--


"THE STORY OF THE FIRST HORSES

"In that long-ago time when the people had only their great, wolf-like
dogs for carrying their belongings, there were two very poor orphans,
a brother and sister, in the camp. The boy was very deaf, and because
he seemed not to understand what was shouted at him, he was believed
to be crazy, and not even the relatives of his dead father and mother
cared to have him in their lodges. One would keep him for a time and
tell him to go, and then another relative would take him in for a
short time, and, getting tired of him, send him on to another lodge.
And wherever he went, his beautiful young sister went with him. Often,
in good weather, when camp was moved, the two would stay at the old
camp-ground, living on cast-away meat so long as it lasted, and then
they would overtake the camp and go into the nearest lodge, and at
least be sure of a meal. They were generally barefooted and always
shabbily dressed. It was a hard life that they led. And because he was
so deaf, and believed to be crazy, the boy had not even one playmate
in all the camp, nor had his sister, for she knew that it was her duty
to be always at his side. There came a time, however, when a childless
woman, wife of a great and rich chief, wanted the girl to raise as her
own daughter, and after many days the boy persuaded her to be adopted,
and he was left alone and more lonely than ever.

"Not long after this separation, the camp moved one day, and the boy,
Long Arrow, remained at the old camp-ground to live there as long as
he could on the leavings of the people. At last he finished the last
scrap of thrown away or forgotten meat and started to overtake the
camp. The day was hot, terribly hot, but despite that the boy traveled
as fast as he could, often running, and perspiration streamed from his
body and his breath came short and fast in loud wheezes. Suddenly,
while running, he felt something give way with a snap in his left ear,
felt something moving out from it, and reaching up he pulled from it a
long, round, waxy object that looked like a worm. He held it in his
hand and ran on, and noted that with the left ear he could plainly
hear his footsteps upon the trail. A little later something snapped in
his right ear, and began to move out of it, and he took from it
another worm-like substance, and keeping both in his hand, ran on. He
could now hear plainly with both ears, and so happy was he that he
felt almost as though he could fly.

"But that was not all the good that was to come to him that day. Early
in the morning a hunter had left camp with his pack dogs, and had
taken the back trail in search of buffalo, and just before the boy
appeared he had killed one, and was butchering it when he saw the boy
approaching him. This hunter, Heavy Runner, was a chief, and one of
the kindest men in the whole camp. He had long thought to do something
for this boy, and now, when he saw him coming, he said to himself:
'The time has come. I shall do something for him!'

"The boy came to him and his kill, and he shouted to him, at the same
time making signs: 'Sit you down, my boy, and rest. You are wet with
sweat, and covered with dust. You must be very tired. Take this piece
of tripe and eat it. And now let me tell you something: from this day
you are to be my boy. I adopt you. You shall have a place in my lodge;
good clothes; a good bed. Try to be good, and deserve it all. I am
going to try to make a man of you.'

"'Heavy Runner, your kind words make me want to cry,' said the boy,
his voice trembling, tears dropping from his eyes. He swallowed
painfully, brushed away the tears, sat up straight, and went on: 'I
shall be glad to be your son. I will do all that I can to deserve what
you give me. And now, let me tell you something. As I was running away
back there on the trail, and breathing hard, first in one ear, and
then in the other, something broke with a snapping noise and out came
these two worm-like things, and at once hearing came to me. I believe
that I could hear a mouse walking if he were away out there beyond
your kill.'

"'Now, that is good news, and a good sign!' Heavy Runner shouted. He
was not yet used to the fact that the boy could hear. Then,
remembering, he said more gently: 'You take a good rest while I finish
butchering this animal and packing the dogs, and then we will each
take what meat we can carry and go home. Yes, boy, you have a home
now, and a good one.'

"That evening, when Heavy Runner told his woman that he had adopted
Long Arrow, she made a great outcry: 'How could you, and without
asking me, adopt that deaf, crazy boy?' she asked. And then, she
cried, and said that she would not have him for a son, and ran from
the lodge. People gathered around and pitied her and said that she was
right; that the boy was crazy and deaf and worthless, and would not
mind, and as soon as he got good clothes he would run off and again
live at old campgrounds.

"After a time she went back to her lodge, and as soon as she entered
it Heavy Runner said to her: 'Now, at once, cease your crying, and
take the anger from your heart. I have adopted this boy, and he is my
boy. He is no longer deaf; he was never crazy. He is a good boy and I
shall make a man, a chief of him. See that you treat him well, even if
you cannot love him. And believe this: if you do not treat him well,
you shall be the one to suffer. To-morrow morning, begin making some
good moccasins for him. I, myself, shall cut out his clothes, and he
can sew them.'

"So began a new life for Long Arrow. If the woman did not love him,
she at least treated him well. He did everything that he could think
of to please Heavy Runner. He went hunting with him, and brought home
heavy loads of the meat that he killed, and in every possible way was
of use to him. And yet he was not satisfied; he kept saying to
himself: 'I want to do something great for this man who is so good to
me!'

"Time passed. The boy grew up to be a fine young man; good of heart
and of fine appearance; and at last Heavy Runner's woman loved him as
though he were her own son. But in one thing he was very different
from the other young men of the camp: he made no close friends, and
when not needed by Heavy Runner he wandered much by himself. Excepting
his sister, whom he frequently took for long walks, he had little to
say to any one, and so the people, all but she and his foster parents,
continued to believe him crazy.

"One evening he said to Heavy Runner: 'Tell me. What must one do to
become a chief?'

"'One must be very brave, must be fearless when facing the enemy, and
of very kind heart; full of pity for the poor and the old and the
sick, and always anxious to help them,' the chief replied.

"'Well, I want to become a chief. What is the first thing for me to
do?' he asked.

"'The first thing to do is to go to some far and dangerous place, and
get your medicine. That is, something that will make you favored by
the gods, and bring you good luck in battle, and in all matters of
life,' Heavy Runner told him.

"'That I shall do,' said the young man, 'but, first, will you not call
in the chiefs, and the medicine men and braves, and let me hear from
them where they went, and what they did to get their medicine? I shall
then have a better idea of what I am to do.'

"'We will have in our lodge full of them,' Heavy Runner said. And the
next morning he shouted out invitations for a smoke, asking only the
great of the tribe to come to it. They came, filling the lodge, and
then, when the pipe was going the round of the circle, he told why he
had invited them to the smoke; asked them to give their experiences in
their search for medicines.

"One after another they told their adventures; where they went; what
they did; what they saw; what narrow escapes from death they had. And
at last it came Spotted Bear's turn. But he refused to give his
experience.

"'What,' he cried, 'tell that crazy youth about my adventure? Why, I
wouldn't waste my breath on him!'

"'But he is a poor boy; he wants to know; you might tell it him in a
short way,' pleaded Heavy Runner.

"'Well, I will tell it; not for his benefit, for he is crazy, and
would not understand; but I will tell it so that you all may know what
I did,' the surly one answered.

"'From this very place I traveled southward along the foot of the
mountains. Seven days and seven nights I traveled, stopping only now
and then for a short rest and sleeping very little, and on the morning
after the seventh night I arrived at the shore of a small lake. There
I met a stranger man who asked me what I sought, and I told him that I
was wandering in search of a strong, a powerful medicine. "Ah!" said
he, "in such a matter I cannot help you. Go on south for three days
and three nights, and you will find a man who will give you what you
seek."

"'I went on. Stopping only for short rests, and rarely sleeping, I
traveled south for three days and three nights from that place, and in
the morning after the third night arrived at a long, wide lake running
away back in the mountains. I looked at it, looked at the mountains,
turning this way, that way, and when I turned a last time, lo! there
in front of me stood a man, fierce of face, dressed in beautiful
strange clothing, wrapped in a robe such as I had never seen before,
and carrying a spear with a big, flint point.

"'"What do you here?" he asked. "Are you not afraid to come to this,
the home of us gods of the deep waters?"

"'I answered that I was not afraid; that I feared neither gods nor
men, nor any animal of the earth, the sky, or the deep waters. And at
that he cried out: "You are brave! The brave shall be rewarded! Come
with me!"

"'I went with him to his lodge. I am promised to secrecy; I dare not
tell you where it was. He took me in and fed me, and gave me this robe
that I am wearing, this medicine robe, and taught me the prayers and
ceremony that goes with it. I asked him what kind of a robe it was,
and he answered that it was the skin of an elk-dog;[10] an animal as
large as an elk, and, like the dog, useful for carrying burdens. The
gods, he said, rode them, guided them wherever they wanted to go.

    [10] Po-no-ka-mi-ta (elk-dog). The horse.

"'Said I: "May I have one of those elk-dogs to ride home?"

"'"No! They are only for the gods to use," he answered, and told me to
go. I came home. I have the robe. Here it is, proof of all that I have
told you. Ah! And this crazy youth would know where I went, what I
did! It is to laugh to think of his going there!'

"The pipe went a last round, and then the chiefs and medicine men and
braves went home. As soon as they were gone Long Arrow said to Heavy
Runner: 'My chief, you know that I am not crazy. I feel that I must go
on adventure, and I want to go where Spotted Bear went, and prove to
him that I can go as far and face as many dangers as he did. Will you
let me go, and keep secret from every one whither I have gone and for
what purpose?'

"'What you propose is just what I want you to do,' Heavy Runner
answered. 'You shall start to-morrow, taking with you all the
moccasins and other things you will need, and your foster mother and I
will tell no one anything about you.'

"At break of day the next morning, while all the people of the great
camp still slept, Long Arrow started on his journey of discovery.
Straight south he went, by day and by night, resting and sleeping at
long intervals, and then only for a very short time. On the third day
he arrived at the small lake that Spotted Bear had mentioned, and
there met the man of that place, even as he had done.

"'What seek you?' the man asked.

"'Knowledge! Medicine! The way to become a chief!' Long Arrow
answered.

"'I cannot help you. Go on south for seven days and seven nights, and
you will come to a great lake, and there you will meet a man who can
help you if he cares to do so. It may be that he will not even show
himself to you, but anyhow it is worth your while to go there and try
to meet him.'

"Long Arrow went on for seven days and seven nights, resting and
sleeping less than ever, eating nothing except now and then a piece of
dry meat not so large as his hand. Early in the morning after the
seventh night, exhausted, hardly able to drag one foot after the
other, he came to the great lake, and some distance back from its
shore fell down on the grass and fell into a sound sleep. It was late
afternoon when he awoke, and, opening his eyes, he was surprised to
see a boy standing beside him. He was a beautiful child, by far the
most perfect of form and feature that Long Arrow had ever seen; so
beautiful that it did not seem possible he could be of this earth, a
child of the people of this earth.

"Said the boy to him: 'I have been waiting here a long time for you to
awake. My father invites you to his home.'

"'I shall be glad to visit him,' Long Arrow answered, and sprang up,
put on his weapons, and was ready.

"The boy led him straight to the shore of the lake, and there cried
out: 'Do not be afraid, follow me!' And having said that, changed into
a snipe, entered the water and disappeared.

"Long Arrow was afraid, terribly afraid of the deep, dark water, and
the mystery of a place where a child could suddenly become a snipe.
But he said to himself: 'If I fail in my search for a medicine it
shall be through no fault of mine,' and he entered the water. Lo! it
did not wet him; did not touch him. It parted before him and he went
on down the sloping, sandy bottom of the lake, and soon saw, close
ahead, a large, fine lodge, on which were painted in red and black the
figures of two strange animals. The boy, arrived at the doorway of
the lodge, changed suddenly from a snipe back to his natural self, and
cried out: 'Follow me! Here you will be welcome,' and went in. Long
Arrow, following him, found himself facing a fine-looking man at the
back of the lodge. He was sitting cross-legged on his couch, and wore
a beautiful black robe which entirely covered his legs and feet. 'You
are welcome here, my son, be seated,' said the man, and told his wife
to prepare food for his guest.

"Long Arrow looked about him. On all sides the lodge was hung with
beautiful shields, war clothes, weapons, handsomely painted and
fringed pouches of sacred medicines, and a porcupine-quill embroidered
belt of such brilliant colors that it shamed the rainbow.

"The woman of the lodge soon set food before Long Arrow, and, having
long fasted, he ate largely. The man then filled and lighted a pipe,
passed it to his guest, and said: 'I knew that you were coming, and I
wondered if you would have the courage to follow my son from the shore
of this lake down here to my lodge. Not long ago a man of your people
came here, but he was afraid; he would not follow my son. And there he
made a great mistake. I was going to give him the most valuable
present ever given by gods to men. As it was, I went out to him where
he sat far back from the shore, and gave him the tanned hide of an
elk-dog, and sent him home. He was not worthy of a better present. But
you are different. I shall give you something of great value. Remain
here with us a few days. My son shall show you my band of elk-dogs;
you shall hunt and kill meat for us; and when you go, then you shall
have the great present.'

"The boy went out with Long Arrow and showed him the elk-dogs. They
came running from the timber out upon the open prairie at the foot of
the lake, and were a wonderful sight. They were far larger than an
elk, of shining black color, had tails of long hair, and there was
long hair all along the top of their necks and hanging down their
foreheads from between their restless ears. They were of all sizes,
from suckling young to old males and females, and all were very fat
and playful, even the oldest of them.

"'Young man of the earth,' said the boy, 'if you are wise and
watchful, these animals and my father's black robe and his
many-colored belt may be your present: the three go together. You have
noticed that my father always keeps his feet covered with the black
robe; that when he arises and goes out of the lodge he is very careful
to keep the robe lowered around him, like a dragging woman's dress, so
that his feet cannot be seen. Well, you have but to see those feet,
and anything that you ask for will be yours.'

"'I shall do my best to see those feet,' said Long Arrow.

"Several days passed. The old people of the lodge were very kind to
Long Arrow, and he in turn did his best to please them, hunting most
all of the time and bringing in much meat. And what time he was not
hunting, he would sit close to the herd of beautiful elk-dogs and
watch them feed and play. When in the lodge he watched closely for a
sight of the old man's feet, but he ever kept them closely covered.

"At last, one evening, the old man started to go out of the lodge,
keeping his robe well down upon the ground about him, but as he
stepped over the low front of the doorway his right knee raised the
robe and Long Arrow saw his left foot; and lo! it was not a human
foot: it was the hoof, the round, hard hoof of an elk-dog! He gave a
cry of surprise at the sight, and the old man, realizing what had
happened, exclaimed: 'Hai-yo! How careless of me! Well, it cannot be
helped, it must have been fated that he should see it!'

"He went on out, and upon returning took no pains to conceal his feet:
both of them and the ankles were those of the elk-dog.

"'Well, you have seen my feet, so you can now tell me what I shall
give you,' said the old man, as he resumed his seat.

"'Now, don't hesitate; speak right out; ask for the three things,'
whispered the boy.

"And Long Arrow, taking courage, answered: 'Give me three things:
your black robe, your many-colored belt, and your elk-dogs.'

"'Ha! You ask a great deal,' the old man cried, 'but, because you are
brave and good-hearted and not lazy, you shall have the robe and the
belt and a part of my band of elk-dogs. The robe and the belt are the
elk-dog medicine. Without them you could never catch and use the
animals. There are many prayers and songs and a long ceremony that go
with them, and I have to teach it all to you. When you have thoroughly
learned them, then you shall go home with your presents.'

"Long Arrow was many evenings learning them all, but at last he could
repeat every one of them perfectly, and dance the dances as well as
the old man himself, and finally the latter told him one evening:--

"'You have done well. I am glad that my elk-dogs and my medicines are
to be in your hands. You may start for home to-morrow. And now,
listen! Take good heed of what I am about to tell you.

"'When you leave here, wearing the black robe and the belt, you are
to travel for three days and three nights and never once look back.
When you rest, you are to face the north. Be sure, now, that,
traveling or resting, you never once look back. The elk-dogs will not
at first follow you, but on the third day of your homeward journey you
will hear them coming behind you. Even then you must not look back,
but keep on walking. After a time they will come on right beside you,
and with a rope that I shall give you, you will catch one of them and
mount and ride it, and all the others will follow you. They will
always do that so long as you have the black robe. Lose that, and you
lose your animals; they will become wild, and you will never be able
to catch and train them.'

"'As you say, so shall I do,' Long Arrow answered.

"And early the next morning the old man gave him the robe, the belt,
and a rope made from the head hair of buffalo bulls, and he started
for home, keeping ever in mind and obeying carefully the old man's
instructions. At times he had his doubts of the old man. Perhaps a big
joke was being played upon him; the elk-dogs would not come on the
third day, nor any other day! But he would soon cast off such
thoughts, and go on with renewed faith that all would be well with
him.

"And on the third day he heard behind him the thunder of many hard
hoofs upon the hard plain; the occasional whinnying that he had
learned to love so well! And then, an old female leading them, the
elk-dogs came close up beside him, and he caught and mounted one of
them, and rode on. How happy he was! He realized what this would mean
for himself and for the people. These elk-dogs would rapidly increase
in number; there would soon be enough of them for all the people, and
then they would ride instead of walk, and their lodges and all their
belongings would be carried by the animals. 'And now I can do
something for those who have been so good to me,' he said to himself,
and rode on, singing the new songs that he had learned.

"It was late in the afternoon on the day that he approached the camp.
All the men had returned from the hunt; every one was outside the
lodges, resting in the warm sunshine. The first to discover him gave a
shout of surprise and alarm. All the people sprang up and stood gazing
at the strange sight. They asked one another what the strange big
black animals could be? And was it really a man sitting astride one of
them?

"'It is some fierce god bringing his fierce animals to destroy us,'
shouted Spotted Bear, the very man who had so contemptuously used Long
Arrow, who had not had the courage to follow the boy-snipe into the
water. Again he cried out: 'Surely it is an evil one coming to destroy
us.' And he fled, and all the people fled with him and took to the
brush.

"Long Arrow rode into camp and dismounted at Heavy Runner's lodge, and
all the elk-dogs came up and crowded around him and the one of them
that he had been riding. 'Heavy Runner! Heavy Runner!' he shouted. 'Be
not afraid! I am only your son, come back to you!'

"Heavy Runner heard the well-known voice and was no longer afraid. He
came hurrying from the brush, all the people following him, and they
all crowded around Long Arrow and his strange animals. Said the youth
then: 'Only father and mother that I ever knew, I have brought to you,
excepting one female and one male, all these strange and useful
animals. As you see, they can be ridden; you will no longer have to
walk. Also, they will carry for you everything that is yours. I am
glad that I can give them to you, both of you who have been so good to
me.'

"'How generous of you!' Heavy Runner cried. But his wife could say
nothing: she embraced Long Arrow and wept.

"'Where did you get the strange black ones?' a chief asked.

"'I will tell you all about it this evening; I am cautioned not to
talk about the gods in the daytime,' Long Arrow answered. And after
picketing the animal he had ridden on good grass, and driving the
others out from camp, he went into the lodge and rested.

  [Illustration: GOING-TO-THE-SUN CHALET, UPPER ST. MARY'S LAKE]

"That evening all the chiefs and warriors came into the lodge, Spotted
Bear with them, and he told all about his strange adventures, of his
life with the Under-Water People, and how the old man had given him
the elk-dogs, and the black robe and the belt that he wore. And, of
course, he told about Spotted Bear's cowardice in failing to follow
the boy-snipe into the water, and he fled from the lodge, and his
chieftainship dropped from him as he fled. Ever afterward he was no
more than a woman in that great camp; never again was he allowed to
sit with the chiefs and warriors! And when Long Arrow had finished
telling them all about his wonderful adventures, the chief cried out:
'We will move camp to that lake of the Under-Water People. They have
more elk-dogs; we will ask for them, give anything to obtain
possession of such valuable animals.'

"They moved south to the lake, but, search as they would, could find
no elk-dogs, nor did the boy-snipe nor any of the Under-Water People
appear, although the medicine men made sacrifice to them and prayed
them to show themselves. They did discover, however, that above this
lake was another and a longer one, hemmed in by still higher
mountains, and so they named the two the Inside Lakes, and that is the
name they bear to this day."



_August 12._

Last night we all gathered in Stabs-by-Mistake's lodge, and, while the
pipe was filled and refilled, and passed from hand to hand on many
rounds, we had more tales, strange and weird, of the people of the
ancient days. One that our host told especially interested me, and
here it is, literally translated for your perusal. It was the story,
he said, of


"ONE HORN, SHAMER OF CROWS

"It was in the long ago time, when all three of our tribes, the
Blackfeet proper, the Bloods, and we, the Pikun´i, whom the whites
mistakenly call Blackfeet, were still living in the North country. The
camp of the Pikun´i was on Big River, close up to the foot of the
mountains. One of the great chiefs of the tribe was One Horn. Very
brave he was, and very rich, for his band of horses numbered more than
a hundred head. He had two wives, sisters, but no children. Many
orphans called him father, for he had poor old couples care for them,
and kept them all well supplied with meat and with skins for clothing.
He was a peculiar man, was One Horn. He seldom visited in other
lodges, and was a man of few words; it was always difficult to get him
to tell of his brave deeds.

"One summer night One Horn had an uneasy dream about his horses, and
with the first faint light of coming day arose, washed and dressed
himself, and took up his weapons and went out to see if his herd was
anywhere in sight. He climbed to a little rise on the edge of the
plain, saw them quietly feeding at a distance, and then saw something
else: two men asleep in a _coulée_ close under the little rise. They
were, he thought, young men of the camp, watchers of the horse herds,
and he concluded to surprise them and scold them for sleeping when
they should be watching the plains for the approach of enemies. More
from habit than anything else, he drew his bow, fitted a war arrow to
it, and then, creeping close to the sleeping ones, shouted: 'Awake!
You lazy ones, awake!'

"To his great surprise they were two enemies, who sprang up at the
sound of his voice, and he shot one of them in the breast, and he
fell, and as the other turned and ran, he fired an arrow at him and
struck him in the back, but he kept on running, the arrow dangling and
swaying from his back, and he soon disappeared in the thick brush
bordering the river. One Horn went back to camp and sent the warriors
out to look for the wounded man, but they never found him.

"Although a very brave warrior, One Horn's voice was always for peace.
He thought much about the wars of tribe against tribe and the great
loss of lives they caused, and wished that he could put an end to it
all. He counted up the different tribes with whom his people were at
war--the Sioux, the Assiniboines, Cheyennes, Pawnees, Snakes,
Bannocks, Pend d'Oreilles, Flatheads, Nez Percés, Kootenai, and Crows.
And the worst of them all were the Crows. He determined to go to the
Crows and try to make peace between them and his people.

"Another thought came to him: It was best to say nothing to his people
about his plan, for many would make serious objection to it. If he
succeeded, they should know all about it upon his return. If he
failed, he would never tell them where he had been. So, one evening,
he gave his women orders what to do, and kept his horses close in
around his lodge. Late that night, when all the camp was asleep, down
came the lodge, the pack and travois horses were quietly loaded, and
he and his women headed southward, he driving his big herd in the
lead. The next morning the people found that they had a mystery that
they could not solve: One Horn was gone with all his belongings, gone
without telling them one word of his intentions! Why had he left them
so secretly, and whither had he gone? They never ceased talking about
it and wishing that he would return; they felt safe when he was at
their backs.

"Traveling south day after day along the foot of the mountains, One
Horn and his women at last struck the River-of-Many-Chiefs-Gathering,
and, following it up, came in sight of the big prairies at the foot of
the lower one of these Inside Lakes. It was then dusk, but not so dark
but what they could see that there was a big camp of people at the
edge of the timber bordering the lake shore. Said One Horn, 'They must
be the ones I seek, the Mountain Crows. As soon as they sleep, we will
go on and put up our lodge near theirs.'

"Early the next morning an old man stepped out from his lodge, and saw
a strange lodge standing by itself just outside the circle of the big
camp. He looked at it a long time, and the growing light at last
enabled him to see that there were two huge bears painted on its new
white leather skin. He turned and hurried to the lodge of the head
chief of the camp, aroused him, and cried: 'Here is a mystery;
something to be looked into: just outside the circle of our camp a
strange lodge is standing. It belongs not to us Mountain Crows, nor to
our brothers, the River Crows. I know that, for it has painted upon it
two big bears, and neither of our tribes has that medicine.'

"The chief hurried to get up and dress, and so did others, and they
soon left their lodges and approached the strange lodge. There was a
fire within it. Voices were heard in low-toned conversation. Close
around a few horses were picketed, and farther out grazed a large band
of them, mostly grays and blacks. It was evident that the owner of the
lodge was a chief, a bear medicine man, a very rich man. The Crow
chief thrust aside the door curtain of the lodge, and entered, the
others following. A fine-appearing man at the back of it gave them the
sign for welcome, and motioned them where to sit. He lifted a big
filled pipe and lighted it, and passed it. The Crow chief smoked
first, and then one by one those with him.

"Having passed on the pipe, the Crow chief signed to the stranger:
'You are a Blackfoot?'

"'Yes, I am a Blackfoot,' One Horn answered. 'You are wondering why I,
an enemy, have come here and set up my lodge beside you. You shall
know! I have come to try to make peace between your people and my
people. I am tired of all this war, and its wasting of men's lives,
and making women and children mourn.'

"'You say well. Your talk deserves attention. Peace between us would
be good for us both. I will talk to my people about it,' said the Crow
chief.

"And just then One Horn's women set before him and the other Crows
dishes of rich berry pemmican, the best of dried meat and back fat,
and they ate with the outside chief. Then they smoked again and went
home, the Crow chief saying that he would soon give a call for a
council, and would send for the Blackfoot to join in it.

"It was not until near sunset, however, that a youth came to invite
One Horn to the Crow chief's lodge. He found assembled there all the
head men of the tribe, and the chief told him that, after long talk,
they had decided that they, too, were tired of war, and would be glad
to make peace with the Blackfeet.

"'But be not in a hurry to return home,' the Crow chief concluded.
'Make us a long visit, and during it we will decide together where and
when our two tribes shall meet to make this lasting peace treaty.'

"Answered One Horn: 'I shall be glad to camp here with you for the
rest of this moon.' And all those present signed to him: 'Yes. Remain
here with us for a time.'

"One Horn and the Crow chief became friends. They hunted together,
visited often in each other's lodge, and together were invited to
other lodges to feast and smoke, and join in the warriors' tales of
raids and battles and adventures along far trails.

"The River Crows were at this time encamped just over the ridge from
the Inside Lakes, on Little River, and some of them came frequently
to visit their Mountain brothers at the foot of the lakes. Among
others came a man who was always counting his _coups_. In a gathering
of the warriors he would wait until all had told what they had done in
war against their enemies, and then he would count one _coup_, only
one, that was far greater than any of theirs.

"On a day when One Horn was visiting in the Crow chief's lodge, this
man was one of the guests. The talk was of war, and after many there
had told what they had done, he said that, with a friend, he was
approaching the Blackfeet camp, and they were discovered and
surrounded by all the warriors of the tribe. His friend soon fell, as
full of arrows as a porcupine is full of quills, but that he, charging
this way, that way, shooting arrows fast and killing many Blackfeet,
made them give way before him and he escaped from them, although
wounded in the back. Later on, when safe from pursuit, he had drawn
out the arrow, and still had it, proof enough of the truth of his
tale.

"This man then turned to One Horn, and said, by signs, of course, 'We
have all of us here told about our fights, and now it is your turn:
tell of your brave deeds.'

"'I have nothing to say that will interest you; mine have been just
the common experiences of those who go on raids. No, I have nothing to
say,' he answered.

"'But you must tell us one great thing that you have done,' the River
Crow insisted.

"And again One Horn answered: 'What I have done would not interest
you. I have nothing to say.'

"The man then turned to the Mountain Crow chief and said: 'This is a
poor kind of a friend for you to have! He has done nothing; he is no
chief, he is a woman!'

"'I do not know for sure, but I think that he is a chief, that he has
a big war record,' the host answered him.

"And then the guests went their several ways, the River Crow laughing
shrilly, contemptuously, as he left the lodge.

"It was not long after this that the River Crow came over again from
Little River, and again was one of a party of guests in the lodge of
the chief of the Mountain Crows. Once more the talk was of war, and
when it came this man's turn to talk, he drew an arrow from his
quiver, laid it on the ground in front of him, and said: 'There! No
one here, nor in the camp of the Mountain Crows and the camp of the
River Crows, has ever equaled what that stands for. That is the arrow
that I drew from my back after my partner was killed, and I fought my
way single-handed through the hundreds of Blackfeet warriors, killing
many of them, and so frightening them that they dared not pursue me.'

"One Horn leaned over, looked at the arrow, and gave an exclamation of
disgust: 'That is my arrow,' he signed. 'I know this man now. At dawn,
one morning, I discovered him and his partner asleep near our camp. I
crept up to them and shouted, thinking that they were our horseherd
watchers, and when they sprang up, I saw that they were enemies. I
shot one of them dead. This man turned and ran, never even firing at
me, and I shot an arrow into his back, but he kept on going and
escaped from me in the brush! Yes. That is the very arrow I shot into
him!'

"'It is a lie! A big lie!' the River Crow said, and signed.

"For answer to that, One Horn went to the door of the lodge and
shouted to his women to bring over his quiver of arrows. It was soon
handed in to him, and he said: 'I have here two kinds of arrows:
hunting arrows and war arrows. Here are the war arrows.' And he laid
them beside the arrow in front of the boaster. All there saw at once
that they were exactly like it in every way, had the same private mark
just back of the point. And suddenly, with jeers and cries of 'Liar!'
'Coward!' they took handfuls of ashes and earth from the fireplace and
threw them in the River Crow's face and on his head, and he ran for
the door and was gone, leaving the arrow behind. One Horn picked it up
and put it in his quiver, and said: 'That no doubt ends his lying
bragging!'

"Some days after this exposure of his lying, the River Crow, watching
his chance, entered the lodge of the Mountain Crow chief and said to
him: 'That Blackfoot has shamed me. I was a chief, but now all people
laugh at me. I want revenge. Let me kill that friend of yours and I
will give you three of my best horses!'

"'What you ask is impossible!' the chief replied. 'He is my friend! We
have smoked together, have eaten together. I cannot allow you to kill
him. And for your lying you deserve what you got!'

"The River Crow sneaked away, but on the next evening, when none but
the chief and his women were at home, he came again. And this time he
said: 'Let me do what I want to do; you know what that is; and I will
give you five of my best horses and my beautiful young daughter.'

"And this time the chief did not give him a short answer. He thought
over the offer for a long time. He knew that it would be a terrible
thing to betray his Blackfoot friend, but the temptation was great.
His women were getting old. He wanted that beautiful girl. And at
last he gave way to the temptation: 'It shall be as you wish,' he told
the man. 'All is arranged for to-morrow; we go with the hunters on a
big buffalo hunt, and there will be no chance for you to do what you
want to do. Come the day after to-morrow and I will help you--if you
need my help--to kill the Blackfoot.'

"Very early the next morning the hunters started out after buffalo,
One Horn taking with him one of his women to help in the butchering
and packing in of the meat. They were no sooner gone than one of the
Crow chief's women hurried to One Horn's lodge and told his other
woman all about the plan to kill him. She told it because she was
jealous; she did not want her man to take another wife!

"So it was that, when One Horn came home that evening, this wife ran
to him and embraced and kissed him as though she would never let him
out of her arms. This strong showing of love was unusual with her, and
he asked her the cause for it.

"'Because to-morrow you are to die, and sister and I are to become
slaves. See now what you have done by coming to try to make peace with
these Crows!' And she told him all about the plot to end his life.

"But One Horn just laughed: 'Wipe away your tears and take courage,'
he told her. 'These Crows will not kill me, a bear medicine man, and a
chief. They cannot kill me. I will show you to-morrow something that
will surprise you!'

"That night he kept his favorite war horse picketed close to his
lodge, and the next morning he carefully dressed himself in his
beautiful war clothes, painted himself and his horse, took his bow and
arrows, his shield and spear, and rode into the center of the big
camp, and called upon the Crow chief to come out. He did come out,
also dressed for battle, and One Horn cried out to him, at the same
time making signs, so that he would be sure to understand, 'Your plot
is discovered. So you and that River Crow are going to kill me. Where
is he? Call him. I want to fight you both. I am a bear. I fight like a
bear. Come! Hurry! Let us fight. Ha! I am going to fight my true
friend, the chief of the Mountain Crows, he who smoked and ate with
me, he who was going to join me in making a lasting peace between our
two tribes. Come! Let us fight! Shall it be on horseback or afoot? I
give you the choice.'

"The Crow chief gave him no answer. Some of the people, looking on,
were beginning to show their anger and shame at his betrayal of a
friend. He turned and went back into his lodge, and would not come out
again.

"While this was going on, several men had hurried to the River Crow
man, stopping in the far end of camp: 'Your plan to kill the Blackfoot
is discovered, and he is dressed and armed and mounted, waiting to
fight you. He is like a raging grizzly, and his, you know, is the bear
medicine. What are you going to do?'

"The man did not answer them. He mounted his horse, and, hidden from
One Horn's sight by the lodges, struck out for the River Crow camp on
Little River, and fear was with him. He often looked back to see if
he were being pursued by this dreadful bear medicine man who had once
wounded him, and was now so anxious to meet him face to face.

"One Horn rode back to his lodge. 'Take down the lodge, pack up
everything. We will not stay another day with these treacherous
Crows,' he told them, and rounded up and caught what horses were
needed for packing and riding.

"Just before they were ready to leave, the Crow chief sent one of his
women to say to One Horn that he was sorry for what he had done, very
sorry that he had ever listened to the River Crow, and wanted to make
reparation. He wanted to give his Blackfoot friend ten head of horses.

"'Tell him that I will not accept anything from him,' One Horn
answered the woman. And he and his outfit started for the north and
were soon out of sight of the Crow camp.

"Some days afterward they arrived at the camp of their people on the
Big River of the North, and had no sooner set up their lodge than One
Horn called a council of the chiefs and told them where he had been
and for what purpose.

"'Although I accomplished nothing, I am glad I went,' he told them. 'I
now know the Crows. They are liars all, and not to be trusted. I
advise that we begin a steady war against them.'

"The other chiefs agreed to that. Messengers were sent to the brother
tribes, the Bloods and the North Blackfeet, and to the Gros Ventres,
friends of the Blackfeet, and the war was started. Little by little,
summer after summer, they drove the Crows southward, killing many of
them, and were not satisfied until they forced them to the country
south of the Elk River,[11] where they have ever since remained. So,
because of their treachery, the Crows lost a great and rich country."

    [11] Po-no-ka´-ĭs-i-sak-ta. Elk River; the Yellowstone River.



_August 18._


THE ELK MEDICINE CEREMONY

Not in many, many years have I been so affected as I was this morning.
For some days I have had a high fever, and have slept but little at
night. In-si-mak´-i (Growth Woman), Yellow Wolf's wife, had been
doctoring me with the good old remedy for fevers, sweet sage tea, but
it seemed to have no effect. So Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill
announced that he would have his Elk Medicine ceremony for my benefit,
and that he was sure that it would cure me of my illness. We had it
this morning, and to-night I have a normal pulse and the fever has
left me. I will not go so far as to say that it was his prayers that
cured me,--prayers far better, far more earnest than those of any
Christian preacher I ever heard,--but yet, I am well! To me, all
religions are nothing more than the codified superstitions of the
ages, but of them all, Christian and pagan, I like best the faith of
these, my people, faith that the sun is the conservator of all life
and the orderly ruler of this, our earth. And what absolute faith they
have in their Sun-religion! Should Christians live as closely to their
beliefs as the Blackfeet do to the laws of conduct given them by their
Sun god, what a different, what a happy world this would be!

Before I relate the details of the ceremony, I must tell something of
the medicine itself.

The Blackfeet believe that, when they lie down and sleep, their
shadows, or, as we say, their souls, their spiritualities, leave the
body and go on far adventure. Their name for this is Ni-pup´-o-kan (my
dream; my vision); and when they awake they really believe that they
have experienced all the incidents of their dream, and relate them as
having been of actual fact.

When men and animals were first created, they had a common language,
and the latter had the power to change themselves at will into the
form of man. It was in that long ago time that a man seeking
knowledge, and praying earnestly for it, was in his vision visited by
an elk in the form of a man, whose name was Po-no-kai´-ût-sĭn-in-ah
(Elk-Tongue Chief).

"I have heard you praying, asking for help. What is it you want?
Perhaps I can help you," the elk man said.

The man answered: "I seek some way to relieve my people from
sickness; some way to give them long life and happiness. Help me if
you can do so."

The elk man answered: "I can help you; I will help you. Through what
was given me in my vision I am in great favor with the sun, and all
the gods of the earth, the deep waters, and the blue above. That
medicine you shall have. I give it to you now!" And having said that,
he gave the man a painted lodge, a medicine pipestem, beautifully
decorated with a down-hanging set of tail feathers of the sage hen,
and wound with strips of the fur of the bear and various water
animals. And with it, wrapped in clean buckskins, were the skins of
birds and animals, all those that live upon the water and in the
water, and feed upon the life in the water, fish, and all the various
water insects. And having given the man all this, he taught him how to
use it, with all the prayers and ceremonies that go with it. The man
took all this to his home, and used it, and found that it was great
medicine, and ever since that time the Elk Medicine Lodge and the
things that go with it have been handed down from generation to
generation, to this day.

So now we come to the ceremony that was given to-day for the curing of
my illness. It was my lucky day! Early in the morning Mr. Herford T.
Cowling, chief photographer for the United States Reclamation Service,
arrived at the Great Northern Railway Company's St. Mary's Camp and I
went to him and asked if he would take moving pictures of the
ceremony, provided the Indians were willing to have him do it. He
enthusiastically replied that he would be very glad to take it all in
with his crank-machine, so I went to my people to ask if they would
permit it to be done. They objected, saying that the ceremony was so
sacred that even the presence of white people, antagonistic all of
them to their religion, would profane it. They did not count me. I was
one of them!

Said I: "Listen, my relatives, and brothers all! We are all soon to
die, and as we pass away the whole of the old life goes with us. Your
children, taken away from you by the whites, put in school and taught
the white men's religion and manner of living, will know nothing about
the way their fathers lived unless I put it all down in writing for
all time to come. That I am doing. And how much more interesting it
will be if I can have pictures to go with it! Say yes! Let us have,
with this that you are to do to-day, the living pictures of it all!"

There followed a long silence, all considering my request. Finally, my
best of friends, Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill, wiped tears from
his eyes, and said, brokenly: "Ap-i-kun´-i is right. The whites take
our children from us and teach them false beliefs. But they teach them
to read, and it may be, that, after we have all gone on to the Sand
Hills,[12] they will read our brother's writings and see us as we
were, making our prayers to the gods, and, having read and seen the
pictures of it all, return to the one true faith. I say, let the
picture man come!"

    [12] The Sand Hills (Spät-si-kwo). The drear after-life abode of
    the Blackfeet. Their shadows there had a cold, cheerless imitation
    of life.

"Ai! Ai! Let him come!" all cried, and I sent a messenger for him.

During the ceremony he took six hundred feet of it, and so for all
time to come is preserved the interesting ceremony of the Elk
Medicine.

The ceremony is always given in a closed lodge, but this time we threw
the front of it wide open, so that the lens of that moving-picture
machine could take it all in.

As I have said, Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill is old, feeble,
half-blind, and is himself unable to go through parts of the ceremony.
So, on the evening before this came off, he sent for Chief Crow and
his wife, living near, to help him out. Chief Crow is also a medicine
man, his wife, of course, a medicine woman, and he owns the Seizer's
medicine pipe. Four other medicine men were there, all of them taking
part in the ceremony. In each of the three tribes of the Blackfeet
there is a secret society of the medicine men, and the members help
one another in their ceremonies, and they and they only can dance with
the sacred symbols of their rites.

When I went into the lodge the sacred medicines were hanging directly
over the owner's couch, opposite the doorway. They were the sacred
pipestem and many skins of water animals and birds enclosed in various
wrappings, and a buffalo rawhide painted pouch containing sacks of
various colored sacred paints. On Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill's
left sat his medicine wife. I took my seat close to him on his right.
Back of me, and all around the right side of the lodge from me, were a
number of women. On the other side, opposite them, were the men and
Chief Crow's medicine wife.

The ceremony opened with a prayer by Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill,
beseeching the gods to look with favor upon what was to be done. Then his
wife arose and undid the fastenings of the medicines, and slowly,
reverently, laid them on the couch between her and her husband. The
opening song then began, the song of Po-no-kai´-ût-sĭn-in-ah (Elk-Tongue
Chief). Oh, how I would like to inscribe that song here! Alice Fletcher
says--and I know that she is right--that all Indian music is
classical. But their tonal scale is far different from ours; we have not
one musical instrument that can reproduce it. Never, never lived a white
man who could sing these Blackfeet songs. As a boy, year after year, I
tried to sing them, and always failed; one has to take them in with his
mother's milk in order to sing them correctly.

  [Illustration: OPENING OF THE ELK MEDICINE PIPE CEREMONY
      Left to right: The author; Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill;
        his wife and the wife of Chief Crow, both medicine women;
        Chief Crow, medicine man, lifting the sacred roll of the
        medicine pipe; Medicine Weasel and Old Boy, singers]

The song ended. The medicine woman, with a pair of sacred red-painted
willow tongs, took a coal from the fire, placed it just in front of
the sacred medicines, and dropped upon it a pinch of sweet grass. It
burned, and, as the perfumed smoke arose, she and her man grasped
handfuls of it and stroked their bodies, thus purifying themselves
before handling the medicines. Then, all present joining in, they sang
the song of the real bear, the grizzly, while the medicine woman
unfastened the outer wrapping of the medicine pipestem roll, which was
bound with a strip of fur from a grizzly's back; and at the same time,
in keeping with the time of the song, they made the sign for the bear,
closed hands held upon each side of the head, representing its wide,
rounding ears.

That song finished, the song of the buffalo began, the medicine man
and the medicine woman clenching their hands and alternately putting
one out before the other, representing the deliberate, ponderous tread
of the animals as they traveled to and from the water. When that song
was finished--and it was one to stir one's inmost soul--another
wrapping, bound with buffalo fur, was undone, and all present besought
the gods to have pity upon them.

Next came the fourth and last song, the song of the beaver, chief of
water animals. And while it was being sung, the medicine woman
unrolled the fourth and last wrapping, and the sacred medicine
pipestem lay in sight of us all. At that all the women gave shrill
cries of triumph, of victory; and all the medicine men beginning a
solemn chant to the Sun, Chief Crow advanced, received from the
medicine wife of my old friend the sacred stem, and, extending the fan
of feathers drooping from it, held it aloft and danced in time with
the song to the doorway of the lodge and back again, and returned the
stem to my friend, who reverently took and embraced it, and made a
short prayer to the gods for the long life, good health, and happiness
of us all, especially the little children of the tribe.

Next came my part in the ceremony. My old relative and friend felt
around in his medicine pouch, got out a small sack of _a-san´_, the
sacred red paint, and painted my face with it, at the same time
beseeching the gods to give me, his brother, Ap-i-kun´-i, long life,
good health, and prosperity in all things. Then, having finished the
painting and the prayer, he had his wife hand Chief Crow, his helper,
the long red-painted wooden flute that goes with the medicine, and the
latter, holding it aloft, danced with it almost to the doorway of the
lodge, where he blew several soft, clear notes to the four corners of
the earth, and then returned the flute to the woman. This was the Elk
Medicine whistle, for imitating the weird call of that animal, and was
used just now to call him, the ancient Elk god, to give me his favor,
his pity. My friend then facing me, upon his knees began the thunder
song, in which all joined, and, spreading his blanket-clad arms wide
to represent the thunder bird wings, hovered before me, fanned me with
his wings, the intent being to waft to me from him the sacred power.
That over, all arose, and passing in line from the lodge, Chief Crow
leading, danced through the camp and back again, and the ceremony
ended.

I cannot begin to express how I felt all through the ceremony. I
honored my people for their sincere faith, their reverence for their
gods. And my thoughts went back to the time when they were the lords
of these plains and mountains and knew not want. And not so very long
ago they were a tribe of three thousand members, and now they number
only eight or nine hundred, and those who have gone have mostly gone
from want, from their susceptibility to disease because of lack of
proper nourishment. Do you wonder that they feel bitterly toward the
whites, who have taken from them everything that made their life
worth living?

  [Illustration: ELK MEDICINE PIPE DANCE
      Chief Crow leading the column and carrying the sacred stem]



_August 27._

Because we were to-day to embark upon the deep, dark waters of this
lake, we yesterday had a little ceremony on the shore, beseeching the
dread Under-Water People to have pity upon us and allow us to pass in
safety over their domain. We had a little fire close to the water's
edge, and having filled and lighted his pipe with a coal taken from it
with his sacred red tongs, old Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill
smoked and made his prayers, at the same time casting into the water a
little sack of his medicines as a sacrifice to the gods. It was a
short ceremony, but satisfied even the most timid of the women that
all would be well with them during their voyage upon the lake.

And so, where we once had rude rafts of logs, lashed together with
rawhide ropes, we this morning embarked in good boats and went all up
the beautiful lake, past Red Eagle, and Little Chief, and
Almost-a-Dog Mountains to the head of the lake, and looking back at
the slope of Milk River Ridge saw the far-apart, enormous footprints
of Heavy Runner, keeper of the buffalo.

Away back in ancient times, after Old Man had made buffalo and they
had increased and covered the plains, they had great desire to wander
westward and see what might be on the other side of the great
mountains. The people--the Blackfeet--learning of this were greatly
distressed. The far side of the mountains, away west and still
westward to the shores of the Everywhere-Water, was the country of
their enemies, many tribes of them, and should they get possession of
the buffalo herds they would never let them return. What to do about
it they had no idea, so they called upon Old Man for help.

  [Illustration: UPPER TWO MEDICINE LAKE
      Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill (with pipe) propitiating the
        dreaded Under Water People]

Said he: "I made the buffalo to be plains animals, and here upon these
plains they shall remain, and other-side tribes shall come to you and
ask permission to kill a few of them now and then. So, don't worry.
Go home now and attend to your affairs. All shall be well with you."

The people went home. They saw that the buffalo remained upon the
plains in apparently as great numbers as ever. But some of the
hunters, to learn for sure if they were all there, ascended the
different passes of the mountains and went down the other side for
some distance. There were no buffalo, not even a few straggling bulls
on the other side, and they wondered how Old Man was keeping them
back. They soon learned. In a vision it was revealed to an old
medicine man that a huge god, a man of enormous stature, was
patrolling the mountains from far south to the everlasting snow of the
north, and with a club driving the buffalo back eastward as fast as
they came anywhere near the summit of the range. And so it was that
the other tribes--those of the west--never got the buffalo.

       *       *       *       *       *

On our way down the lake we passed the beautiful Sun Camp and the
chalets of the Great Northern, perched upon the very spot where
Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill and I killed many a bighorn and
goat in times gone by. It was a favorite wintering place of the
animals, for the winds kept the steep mountain slope practically bare
from snow. And passing the mouth of the creek just above the camp, I
remembered that I had named it after Thomas, and Colonel Robert, and
the Honorable Cecil Baring, of London, with whom I often hunted back
in the eighties. In those days there were many bighorn and goats, and
not a few grizzlies back in the basin at the head of the creek. And
what amusing and sometimes exciting adventures we had with them! One
morning we espied a big "billy" goat on a ledge, and just as we saw
him he moved to the back side of it and lay down, showing only an inch
or two of the top of his back.

"Who will go up and rout him out, so that I can get a shot?" asked
Colonel Baring, and Jack Bean, of Yellowstone fame, volunteered.

It was to be a steep, almost straight-up climb, so Jack laid down his
rifle and started without encumbrance of any kind. At last he reached
the shelf and stood up on it, and that "billy" came for him, head
down! And Jack! Never have I seen a man come down a dangerous cliff so
fast as he did! And he kept coming, falling, sliding, rolling, and
then Colonel Baring fired and dropped the goat, and man and animal
came the rest of the way to the foot of the place together! We had
been too much concerned for the safety of our friend to laugh, but
when he at last stood up and faced us, bloody, half-naked, but not
seriously hurt, we roared. But Jack never even smiled: "Who would have
thought that a blankety-blank goat would go for a fellow!" he
exclaimed; and he went to the creek to repair the damages to his
person.

On this day, halting here and there along the lake, we took some views
of the scenery and of our people, and at sunset were back in our
lodges. For some of us it is a last trip over the old, familiar
ground. My two old friends, Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill and
Yellow Wolf, must soon go on to their Shadow Land!

       *       *       *       *       *

We were not too tired to-night for story-telling, so, after the
children had been put to bed and all was quiet, Takes-Gun-Ahead gave
us the following, the story of tobacco, which is called


NA-WAK´-O-SIS

"In that long ago time when the earth was young, and people had not
long been made, a man threw some weeds upon a fire and found that the
odor, the smoke from their burning, was very pleasant. That night he
had a vision and learned that this plant was strong medicine; that,
when smoked in a pipe, which his vision explained to him how to make,
it would be the right thing with which to offer prayers to the gods.
He also taught the man the prayers and all the ceremony that went with
the prayers; and told him how to plant the weeds, from the seeds on
their tops, so that he could always have plenty of it.

"This man was very much pleased with what he had learned. He went to
his three brother medicine men and told them all about it, and the
four of them formed a society of themselves and no others, for the
raising of the weed and its proper uses. But they were very stingy
with this weed, which they named _na-wak´-o-sis_, and would only now
and then give the people a leaf of it, although they raised large
numbers of the stalks in every summer time.

"A young man named Lone Bull was very anxious to become a member of
this medicine society, but because he had no medicines and knew not
the rites of it, he was told that he could not join it. At that time
the camp of the people was close under Chief Mountain. He left it,
with his woman and his pack dogs, and moved up to the river running
out of the Inside Lakes, and there set up his lodge. Said he then to
his woman: 'I have come up here to get medicines; in some way to find
things that will enable me to become a raiser of _na-wak´-o-sis_. If I
can do that, I shall be of great help to the people. Now, then, I am
going to hunt and collect all the medicine skins I can find, and you
stay at home, take care of the lodge, gather wood, and cook what meat
we need. I shall bring in plenty of fat meat along with the skins.'

"The man went hunting every day, and the woman remained at home. One
day, when the man was gone, she thought she heard singing; beautiful
singing; but look where she would she could see no singers. She spoke
to the man about it when he came home that evening, and made him feel
uneasy: 'If you hear it again, look about more carefully,' he told
her.

"She heard it the next day, and this time located it, right under the
lodge. She went out to the bank of the river and looked at the bank:
there, under the water, were beaver holes in it, and beaver cuttings
upon the sandy bottom, and by that she knew that the lodge had been
set up above a bank beaver's home, and that beavers were the singers.
She went back to the lodge, lay down and put her ear to the ground,
and could then hear them plainly, and was pleased. Their singing was
so good that it was all that she could do to stop listening to them
and begin cooking the evening meal.

"When Lone Bull came home that night she told him what she had
learned, but he could hear nothing, although he put his ear close to
the ground. Nor could he hear the singing the next evening, nor the
next, although his woman could hear it plainly. So now the woman got
her knife and cut a round hole in the ground, and Lone Bull laid his
head in it and could then hear the singing. He told her to make the
hole deeper; larger. She did so, and cut clear through the ground, and
looking down he could see the beavers sitting in their home, singing
beautiful songs, and dancing strange and beautiful dances in time to
them.

"'Younger brothers, have pity on me!' he cried. 'Oh, my young
brothers, teach me your medicine!'

"They looked up and saw him, and one answered: 'Close the hole that
you have made, because the light disturbs us, and we will soon be with
you.'

"They soon came in through the doorway, four fine-looking men,
beautifully dressed. They had changed themselves from beavers to men.
They took seats, and then one of them said to Lone Bull: 'Elder
brother, what is it that you want of us? How can we help you?'

"Lone Bull told them what it was: his great desire to obtain
_na-wak´-o-sis_ and grow it for the people.

"'We have that plant; like us it is from the water, a water medicine,'
the beaver man told him; 'but before you can use it you have much to
do, much to learn. You have to learn all our songs and prayers and
dances and different ceremonies, and gather for the ceremonies a skin
of every animal and bird that is of the water, one of each except the
beavers, and of them there must be two. You know these animals and
birds: otter, mink, muskrat; different kinds of ducks; the fish hawk,
and all the other birds that get their food from the life of the
water. Why? Because there are two great life-givers of this world: the
sun, which gives heat, and water, that makes growth, and in our
ceremonies the skins of these different animals are symbols of the
water.'

"'I shall collect them all, so teach me everything,' Lone Bull told
them. And they began that very night.

"Day after day Lone Bull hunted the animals and birds, brought in
their skins for his woman to cure, and night after night the beavers
taught him their medicine, all the sacred prayers and dances and
ceremonies of it. And at last he knew them all thoroughly.

"Then, one night, the beaver chief handed him some stalks of
_na-wak´-o-sis_, the top stems all covered with little round seeds.

"'These,' said he, 'are the children of the big-leaved plants; put
them into the ground and they will grow and make other plants that
bear children. And now, I must tell you just how to plant: Gather a
great, long, wide pile of old dry logs, dry brush and weeds, and set
it afire. The heat from it will burn the ground, burn the sod, and
make everything soft under it. Then, when the place has cooled, gather
from around badger holes, squirrel holes, and wherever you can find
it, plenty of the brown earth they have thrown out, and mix it with
the burned black earth, so that it will not pack hard around the
seeds, and keep them from coming up into the sunlight.

"'After you have taken all the seeds from the stems, you must put them
in a sack and not touch them again with your hands. With an antelope
horn you will make row after row of little holes all across the burned
ground and only a hand apart, and with a buffalo-horn spoon drop a
seed into each hole. When that is done, and it will require a long
time, you and yours are to dance along each row of seed, singing the
sacred songs, your feet lightly pressing down the ground over the
seed. At the end of a row you must step across to the next row, and
dance backward on that one, and forward on the next, and so on until
the last row has been pressed down, and all your songs have been sung.
Then you can go away from the place for a time. Return after one moon
has passed, and you will find that the young plants have grown above
the ground. Watch them, that insects do not destroy them. Give them
water if the rains fail you. They will grow all summer, and fade with
the ripening of the choke-cherries. Cut them then, care well for them,
and you and your people will have a plenty for your winter smokes and
ceremonies. There! I have told you all!'

"It was planting-time then. Lone Bull moved right up to the foot of
the lower one of the Inside Lakes, and did everything that he had been
told to do, his wife helping him in every way. People hunting from
down Chief Mountain way came and saw his growing plants, and went home
and told about them. The four medicine men just laughed. 'Ha!' They
cried. 'He has no _na-wak´-o-sis_! He wanted to join us and we would
not let him into our society. He but plants some useless weed.'

"But later on, just as their planting was getting ripe, a terrible
hailstorm came along and destroyed it all; every leaf was cut into
fine pieces! They cried from grief! Then they said among themselves:
'_Na-wak´-o-sis_ we must have or our medicines will be without power.
It may be that this Lone Bull really has the true plants: let us go up
and see them.'

"They went, all the people with them, and saw that he had the sacred
plants. The hailstorm had come nowhere near his place.

"Said they to him then: 'You have a big planting, and we will help you
gather it, and you and we four will use it. You shall join us.'

"Lone Bull laughed long before he answered: 'I need no help from you.
You shall each have a little of my planting for your own use, and you
shall pay me well for it. The rest, excepting what I need, I shall
give to the people, and hereafter they will always have all that they
need of the plants.'

"And as he said that he would do, so he did, and the people gave him
great praise and honor for it all, and he lived to great age. Kyi! Why
not? He had the beaver--the water medicine! It is a powerful medicine
to this day!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A visitor in our camp this evening told a tale that ill pleases us.
There is a tourist camp away up in Gun-Sight Pass, one of the most
weirdly beautiful places in this whole country. There, the other day,
an employee was putting up a table on which were painted arrows
pointing to the different mountains, the name of each peak alongside
its particular arrow.

A tourist standing near and watching the work suddenly exclaimed:
"Why, over there is a peak that has no name. Can you not name it after
me?"

"Certainly I can," the employee answered; and painted another arrow
and inscribed beside it: "Lehnert Peak."

"And over there is a fine waterfall," the tourist said. "Will you
please name it after my little daughter?"

"Sure!" said the man; and painted another arrow pointing to "Mary
Frances Falls."

Enough said!



V

IKS-I´-KWO-YI-A-TUK-TAI (SWIFT CURRENT RIVER)



_September 1._

We moved up here the other day and made camp beside one of the most
lovely lakes in all this Rocky Mountain country. In my time we called
it Beaver Woman's Lake. It is now McDermott Lake. And what a name that
is for one of Nature's gems! There are names for other lakes and peaks
here just as bad as that, but we shall have nothing to say about them
here. Only by an act of Congress can we get what we want done, and we
have faith that within a reasonable time all these mountains and lakes
and streams will bear the names of the great chiefs, medicine men, and
warriors who traversed them before the white men came.

  [Illustration: ICEBERG LAKE
      Immense bergs are continually dropping into it from the live
        glacier in background]

Some of us--all excepting our two old men and the women--have been
riding over the different trails here, viewing the glaciers and other
places of interest, especially Iceberg Lake, where we saw a mass of
ice as large as a house part from the glacier, splash down into the
deep lake, and disappear, and after a time come up from the depths to
the surface and create another commotion of the waters. It was a grand
sight!

Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill says that the lake with the
unpronounceable white man's name--McDermott--should be called Jealous
Women's Lake; that away back in the days of his youth, when the
Kootenai Indians occasionally came to camp and hunt with the
Blackfeet, he had a youthful friend of the mountain tribe who told him
the following story:--


THE JEALOUS WOMEN

"In those days a young Kootenai, good of heart, a great hunter, and
very brave, married twin sisters so alike that except for one thing
they could not be told apart: one was a slow, the other a very fast,
talker.

"In time the fast talker, named Marmot, became jealous of her sister,
Camas, complaining all the time that she had to do the most of the
lodge work, and that she was sure Camas said bad things about her to
their man. Camas denied all this. 'I have never tried to place myself
first with our man,' she said. 'We are twins; I love you dearly; our
man's heart is so big that it holds us both in equal love. Now, be
sensible! Cast out your bad thoughts for they are all wrong.'

"But Marmot persisted in believing that she was neglected; that her
sister had all their man's affection; and she finally went to him with
her complaint. He laughed. 'I love you just as much as I do your
sister,' he said. 'Now, just think back and show me when and in what
way I have shown that she is first with me!'

"Marmot sat down and thought. She thought a long time; remained
silent. The man was very patient with her; he waited for her answer,
but it did not come. At last he said: 'Well, you have thought a long
time. Have you found one thing in which I gave her preference?'

"'No, I haven't, but all the same I believe that you love her best,'
Marmot answered; and got up and went about her work.

"The man shook his head, made no answer to that, and took up his
weapons and went hunting down the river. At the time he was camped
right here at this lake.

"The man had not gone far, moving slowly, carefully, through the
timber and brush along the river, when he heard ahead a great
splashing in the water, and, going closer, found that it was caused by
two otters playing. They would chase each other in the water, then
climb the bank and go as swift as arrows from a bow down a slide that
they had made, and again chase and tumble each other over in the
water. The man crept closer to the slide, an arrow in his bow, another
in his hand, and, watching his chance, shot one of the players. He
tried to get the other, but it dived and was gone before he could fit
the other arrow to his bow: 'It is too bad that I didn't get the
other. I would have liked a skin of these medicine skins for each of
my women,' he said to himself.

"He took the otter home and handed it to Camas. 'That is yours,' he
said. 'There were two of them. To-morrow, Marmot, I will get the other
for you, and then you will each have a strong medicine skin.'

"Marmot said nothing, but looked cross.

"The man went hunting the next day but he could not find the other
otter. He searched the river for many days and could not find one.

"And as the days passed, Marmot became more and more angry, and
finally said to her sister: 'I have proof now that our man loves you
best. He gave you the otter; he does not even try to get one for me.
He hunts other animals every day, bighorn, goats, animals that live
nowhere near the haunts of the otter.'

"'Now, don't be foolish!' Camas answered. 'You know as well as I do
that he has tried and tried to get the other otter for you. But at
the same time he has to get meat for us: that is why he hunts the
mountain animals.'

"'Camas, the two of us can no longer live in this lodge,' cried
Marmot. 'You are a bad woman! I hate you! I will fight you any way you
say to see which of us shall be our man's one wife!'

"Then it was that, for the first time, Camas became angry: 'We have no
weapons to fight with,' she answered, 'but I propose this: We will
swim this lake across and back and across and back until one of us
becomes tired and drowns! Now, crazy woman, what do you say to that?'

"'Come on! Come on!' Marmot cried, and ran to the shore and tore off
her clothes. So did Camas, and the two rushed into the water and began
their swim of hate. They crossed the lake; turned and came back;
crossed again and started back, Camas well in the lead. She reached
the shore in front of the lodge, dragged herself out on the shore, and
turned. Her sister had gone down. There was not even a ripple on the
still water. Marmot was drowned. Hardly knowing what she did, she put
on her clothes and went into the lodge and cried and cried. The man
came home. She was still crying. He asked her where Marmot was, and
she cried all the harder, but at last told him all. Then the man
cried. Together the two mourned for a long time, and searched the lake
for the body of the lost one, and could not find it. So they moved
away from the unhappy place and returned to the camp of their people,
but it was a long time, a very long time, before they ceased mourning,
and never again would they go anywhere near the lake.

"Yes, this is the Lake of the Jealous Women!"



VI

NI-NA US-TAK-WI (CHIEF MOUNTAIN)



_September 7._

We came up here the other day to the foot of this great landmark of
the country, and made camp beside a running spring in the edge of the
timber. The mountain is most appropriately named. It is the outer one
of an eastward projecting spur of the range, and is higher than any of
the peaks behind it. A chief, a leader, should always be taller, more
conspicuous in every way than his followers. This mountain gradually
slopes up eastward from the one behind it to an altitude of 9056 feet,
then drops in a sheer cliff several thousand feet to its steep slope
running down to the plain. From several hundred miles to the north,
and an equal distance to the south, and from the Bear Paw Mountains to
the east, it can be plainly seen, grim, majestic, a veritable Chief of
Mountains, and for that reason the Blackfeet so named it in the long
ago.

The way to climb the mountain is by the long, narrow, and in places
cut-walled ridge running up toward its summit from the west, and then
one has but one cliff to surmount, the one almost at its crest. Only
men and goats and bighorn can scale that cliff, but on the extreme
summit lies an old buffalo skull, taken there by a Blackfoot in the
long ago for a pillow rest while getting his medicine dream. There he
fasted for days, and at last, in his weakened condition resulting from
want of food and water, got his vision, his medicine which was to be
his guardian through life. Who was it that came to him in his fasting
dreams? Ancient Buffalo, perhaps; or, maybe, Morning Star. Whoever it
was, he went staggering down the mountain and to camp, absolutely
certain that he had found his guardian spirit, his medium for favor
with the greatest god of all, the Sun, supreme ruler of this earth.

  [Illustration: EN ROUTE TO ICEBERG LAKE]

We are here again upon our own ground, the Blackfeet Reservation, and
so once more have meat in camp, fat bighorn and fat mule deer, killed
by our hunters. This was once a great wintering place for deer and
elk, and, higher up, for bighorn. Some years ago a hunter,
Na-mik´-ai-yi by name, trailed a band of elk around to the ridge
behind the mountain and up its narrow way until they came to the foot
of the cliff near the summit and could go no farther. There they
turned back toward him and he fired one shot and dropped the leader.
The others, afraid to try to dash past him, chose the one alternative:
they rushed to the high cliff there on the north side of the ridge,
and sprang from it, and were all killed by the fall, eighty head of
them!



_September 8._

Last night, after our feast of _ni-tap´-i-wak-sin_ (real meat) we
gathered in Yellow Wolf's lodge for a smoke and a talk, and our host
gave us a little story that I must here set down, the story of


THE WISE MAN

"Here, under this mountain, the people were encamped and two of them
were Wise Man[13] and his woman. He was so named because he was
always finding out how to do useful things.

    [13] Mo-kûk´-i In-ah.

"Up to the time of this encampment the people had had nothing to wear
but the plainest kind of garments, shirts, leggins, gowns, moccasins,
all made of plain tanned leather of different kinds. Wise Man thought
long about this, and finally said to his wife: 'Let us move away from
camp for a time, and go farther into the mountains. I have a plan that
I want to try by myself.'

"The next morning they packed their dogs and moved up to the foot of
the Inside Lakes, crossed the outlet, and made camp. Wise Man then did
some hunting, killed plenty of meat for his wife and the dogs, and
began on his plan for making clothing more pleasing to the eye. He
went up on the high ridge between the lakes and Little River and dug
an eagle trap. That is, he dug a pit somewhat longer and wider than
his body, and quite deep, and killed a deer and laid it beside the
pit, and slashed its body so that the liver protruded. He then got
into the pit, covered the top of it with willow sticks and grass, and
waited, hoping that eagles would see the deer and come to eat it. They
did come; he could hear the heavy swish of their wings as they sailed
down upon it; and as they were eating the liver he would cautiously
reach up, grasp them by the legs, pull them down into the pit, and
kneeling upon them crush out their life. In this way, one at a time,
he caught many eagles, and took them home as he caught them, and took
from their bodies the tail feathers, the fluffy plume feathers, and
others that he thought would answer his purpose.

"They had a very rank, unpleasant odor, these feathers; so, when he
thought that he had enough of them, he had his woman cover the floor
of the lodge with a thick layer of sweet sage, upon which he carefully
spread them. He then threw a quantity of sweetgrass upon the fire,
and, running from the lodge, the two tightly closed it and kept the
smoke inside. This last they did three or four times until the
feathers lost their bad odor, and were perfumed with the pleasant
odor of sweetgrass and sweet sage, both perfumes sacred to the gods,
as they afterward learned.

"Winter was now come, and Wise Man began to hunt weasels, brown and
common of appearance in summer, but white and beautiful in winter.
This was more difficult work than trapping eagles, but by setting many
snares he caught during the winter more than a hundred of them. He
then made a headdress of some of the eagle tail feathers, and
suspended from it a number of weasel skins, and along the seams of his
shirt and leggins tied a number of the weasel skins. He then put on
the headdress and his ornamental clothes and stood up and asked his
woman how he appeared in them.

"'You seem to have become a different man,' she answered. 'You look
very brave, very handsome. The clothes are beautiful.'

"'They are of better appearance than they were,' he said, 'but I am
not yet satisfied. Perhaps I can improve them; but first I have to do
something for you.'

"Wise Man put away his new clothes, and in old ones hunted elk,
taking from them their two tushes, and in the evening boring holes in
the soft part. Having collected two hundred, he sewed them in rows on
the breast and the back of his woman's new gown, and both saw that it
was then a handsome gown.

"Said the woman: 'There! We are now complete; we have fine appearance.
Let us go home and show the people what we have done.'

"'No,' Wise Man answered; 'something is lacking, something that will
make our clothes really beautiful. I have done all that I can without
help, and now I shall ask the gods to show me what more to do.'

"Perhaps it was the gods that directed his footsteps the next day. As
he was going through the timber he came upon the remains of a
porcupine, its quills scattered all around upon the ground. He sat
down, took up some and examined them, and the thought came to him that
they could be dyed different colors and in some way sewed upon
garments and make them of brighter hue. He took all that he could
find, and killed several more porcupines, and carried home all the
long quills to his woman and told her his plan.

"Said she, 'I know that the yellow moss that grows on pine trees will
stain anything a yellow that will not fade, that cannot be washed off.
Let us seek for other colors.'

"They sought a long time, finding a green color in a certain wood, a
red in the juice of a plant, and then they dyed the quills the three
colors. Meantime the woman had been trying different ways to fasten
the quills to leather, and now, by flattening them, turning in the
ends, and sewing them side by side with very fine sinew and with the
finest of bone needles, she succeeded in making long bands of them of
different designs in the various colors. She was a long, long time
making them, but at last she made enough of the bands to sew onto the
arms of Wise Man's shirt, and down his leggins, and upon the neck
front-and-back of her gown. Each was so pleased with the appearance of
the other then that they kissed and almost cried with joy. Early
the following morning they packed up, crossed the river, and started
for the camp, still here at Chief Mountain. As soon as they came in
sight of it they stopped, put on their fine clothes, and then went on.
The people saw them approaching, but not until they were right close
to the camp were they recognized. Then what a crowd surrounded them,
staring at their beautiful garments, asking questions without end, and
as soon as they learned how this had all been done, they began at once
to gather material for similar clothing. And Wise Man, of course,
became a great man in the tribe, for to him was due the discovery of
the way to make beautiful things."

  [Illustration: GLACIER ON TRAIL TO ICEBERG LAKE]



_September 9._

Although nothing has been said, we have not been so cheerful as usual
for the past few days, for all have known that we must soon part and
go our several ways. Tail-Feathers-Coming-over-the-Hill is a sick man,
and Yellow Wolf but little better, so to-night we decided to break
camp in the morning. To-morrow night each family will be at home on
Cutbank, Willow Creek, Two Medicine, and Badger, all streams of the
Reservation, and I shall be upon my way to the Always-Summer-Land.

Well, we have had a pleasant time these past two months, traveling and
camping along our old trails, and yet the evenings around the lodge
fires have not been of unalloyed joy: all have been tinged with sad
memories of other days; of deep regret that the old days--days when we
had all this great country to ourselves--are gone forever. And so,
to-night, after our quiet, last evening meal together, we had no
story-telling, no passing of the pipe; none had the heart for it; and
I am writing these last words by the light of a dying fire, true
symbol of the passing of all things. And now, by its last, blue
flicker, I write--

THE END



Transcriber's Note

Names may appear both in hyphenated and unhyphenated forms, e.g.
Pi´-ta-mak-an and Pi´tamakan. These are preserved as printed.

Both ap-ut´-o-sohts and Ap-ut´-o-sosts appear in the book, referring
to 'North.' It is possible that Ap-ut´-o-sosts is a printer error, as
compass directions seem to end in ~ohts, but as the transcriber was
unable to establish this as a certainty, it is preserved as printed.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

The following amendments have been made:

    Page vii--Is-i-sak´-ta amended to Is-si-sak´-ta--Ki-nuk´-si
    Is-si-sak´-ta (Little River)

    Page 143--warror amended to warrior--It struck the old warrior
    fair in the ribs.

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page.
Other illustrations have been moved where necessary so that they are
not in the middle of a paragraph.





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