A young man grew at Xotūwaikût. 1 There was no water. Gulchs came out there, but there was no water in them nor anywhere in the world. He always went to get sweat-house wood in the morning. He always cried. When the sun went down he finished the sweat-bath. He always thought, "Maybe at night after I have gone in, the water flows." He used to go over the world. In a day he used to make the trip around, but he never found water. Ever since he had been living, he had cried as he made the sweat-house wood.
"After a time he thought, "I wish I could see water." "To-morrow," he thought, "I am going to look for water." He started in the morning. "In the upper world only I have never looked," he thought. He went to the world above and looked about. He was surprised to see four ridges there. He saw someone sitting on one of the ridges. He went towards him. When he came near him, he saw he had no eyes. A basket-bowl was sitting by him. The Xotūwaikût young man put his hand into it and water dripped off when he drew it out. He saw the basket was half full. He took it up and drank, leaving a little.
"Hei," said the one who had his eyes shut, "you think you have succeeded." "You did it for the Indians," he said, "who are going to come into existence. Smoke hangs over the world. You think it was water you drank. It was your own tears which you have been crying ever since you have been living. I held this basket under to catch them one by one as they fell. After a time there will be many Indians who will be poor. Even if they sweat themselves, if they drink water they will be poor. If they do that they will drink their tears." "Come, go home," he said. While he was looking he saw him put his hand into the water in the basket and sprinkle it everywhere. "To-morrow there will be water." That is why there is water wherever it dropped.
The next day when he went out at dawn he heard water running. "This is the way it will be," he said. "Even if he makes much sweat-house wood for himself, if he drinks water he will not become a rich man. I am the one they will say of, 'That is the one who did this way.' That one even if he does drink water will get something for himself. He will become rich." This one was living when there was no water but his tears.
336:1 Told at Hupa, December 1901, by Henry Hostler.
338:1 Pactaw, opposite Weitchpec.