There was a (Muskrat)-Man. And at that place, they say, many women lived. Now, the men went off to hunt, and they returned bringing back deer. And at night, eating their supper, they went to sleep.
And in the morning, as they were getting up, "Do your best, killing deer, drying it, bringing it home to use for the winter! It is indeed a hungry world. The world will not always be as it is now(?)," one said. He was these people's brother, the oldest man, they say. When he spoke, he said, "Yes, doing this way, it is a good world, and we shall always be healthy if we go hunting. Do the best you can," he said.
Then they went off, one after another. And by and by, towards night, they came back one after another, from hunting. So one man crawled towards the smoke-hole. And meanwhile there was one who remained in the house, always lying close by the wall. Rising from thence, he took the deer.
Again some one carried a deer there, crawled to (the smoke-hole), and again some one brought deer, and he took it. He laid it down on the opposite side of the fire. Then (another) brought deer home, and brought it (to the smoke-hole), and he took it. The man did only that sort of work, it is said, this man who staid at home.
All the people kept coming back, until they had all arrived. When all the deer had been handed in, there
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were many (?). The deer were piled up (?). Meanwhile the women leached acorns. And those people kept crawling to (the smoke-hole) until all had crawled thither except one, who came behind. And as he stood up at the smoke-hole, just as he was crawling over in, Muskrat-Man seized him. Very quickly indeed he seized and dragged him away. When he had carried him off and thrown him down, (the victim) cried out repeatedly. And then he killed him, and, carrying him on his back, he took him away.
Meanwhile the crowd of people, seeing what had been done to their brother, said nothing. They sat without listening. They were afraid, it is said, of what had made their brother cry aloud. While their eldest, their brother, was being killed, the women cooked, paying no attention, (although) they saw it. And they (said), "He is a magically powerful man." Thus the women said to one another; and the men said the same.
Carrying him off towards his house, the Muskrat-Man took (his victim) home. And when he had taken off his load, (his) wife took it, carried it inside, and set it down. Then, skinning it and preparing it, she hung it up to dry. "Yes! If we do thus, we shall have much meat," she said. "Yes! Killing them continually in that way, I shall kill all of that lot of people," said Muskrat-Man talking with his wife.
Meanwhile one of those present said to the crowd, "What man, I wonder, has done this to us again! It was an evil man who did it, a strong man, one with whom we can do nothing," he said. "Do ye all do the best ye can, and live through it," said he. The oldest man it was who spoke, they say.
Next morning, when they had talked it all over, they went off hunting. just as it was getting night, they returned one after another. They brought back deer. What
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(a number) came! They kept coming until they had all arrived. Then that man who worked (slave?) took (the deer). When they passed the deer over the edge (of the smoke-hole), he kept taking them, took them all. Meanwhile the people crawled over in, kept crawling in until all had done so.
All were in but one alone, who crawled over in. Pretty soon he crawled over head-first (?); and just as he came over, (the evil person) jumped suddenly from the place (where he was hid) and seized him. Seizing and dragging him away to one side, he carried him thither. He (the victim) made a noise, crying out repeatedly. Then (the evil person) killed him.
Meanwhile the crowd did not look at him, paid no attention to him, all kept silent. Then (the evil person), having put (his victim) on his back, carried him off. And having carried him home, "Doing thus, I am one who shall kill people. I am one who shall have much meat," he said. (Then) he skinned, prepared, hung up to dry, and dried (the victim), they say.
Again, when it was dawning, "Yes," (the chief) said. "In this way I am losing all my people. He does it that way. Thither, my people, without feeling badly, go to the grazing hills, grazing as you go (using decoy heads of deer?)," said he. "Yes," said they. "What is best for us to do, (seeing that) he does so to us?"--"Ye must say nothing to him, and go on," said (the chief). Then they went off one after another.
And that (other) man staid there, the man who always remained in the house, and dressed the deer. The man who staid there did only that, they say. Meanwhile, saying nothing to him indeed, the women attended to their work. After a while, they spoke to the chief. "It was here that he came just as the sun went down," they said. "And
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then it was here they all stood about, and crawled in. From what place, I wonder, does he seize them!" they said, asking the chief.
The women did not go in (to the house) all day, (but were) doing their work, pounding acorns, cooking all kinds of food, (until) night came, having to cook (all day because) there were so many people. So these women could not know where the (evil) man staid when he was about to jump out and seize (his victim).
When the chief spoke to them again, they understood. "He stands behind (where) the main post stands. Whenever (the people) are coming, he seizes them from thence, and keeps dragging them on over," he said. Then they said, "Ho!"
They (the hunters) returned at their usual time, when the sun was almost down. They brought home (food), and kept arriving with it, until they had all come. They kept passing it over in (to the house) until they had passed it all in. Meanwhile that man stood close up behind the main post. And again they crawled over in, kept coming, until they had all crawled in but one man, who crawled over in. And then he (the evil person), making a sudden motion, lifted him up on his shoulder, and, having done so, he threw him down and killed him. So he brought him (the victim) home from his hunting, and arrived there. And his wife took (the body); and thereupon she cut it in strips, dried it, fixed it nicely, made a lot of it.
Next day that crowd of people went again to hunt. "Without being afraid of that man, rise (and get ready) for your grazing hills (?)," 1 . . . he said. The chief spoke.
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Then his people said, ". . . .," 1 and thereupon they all went off.
As the sun was going down, a man (Coyote) came. He arrived, and, reaching there, he sat down and talked. The women spoke to him. "Yes," said he, "my other (new?) cousins, ye women must do the best ye can and cook. After having eaten supper, I shall spend the night," said he.
Then one woman spoke. "We are feeling very sad, and have not begun to eat food properly (as usual) (?)," she said. Then Coyote said to the woman, "What is the trouble?" And the woman said, "(Because) some sort of supernatural being, coming to seize (us), kills all our brothers, and causes us to grieve. So, crying much, we are staying (here), feeling very sad."
Then Coyote asked, "Whence does he watch? Where does he carry him off and lay him down?" Then that woman spoke. "Here he carries him off and lays him down," she said, pointing downward. "So he carries him away," she said, "He stands up close behind that post, watching people. That is what the chief said, in speaking. Meanwhile the people themselves are evil people, for, being afraid of him (the evil person), they cry while he kills (his victim); and, while looking on, they pay no attention," she said.
"Pooh!" said (Coyote). I am one who does not fear anything. While I am watching, there is no one who can make people cry out. There is no kind of man who can make (people) cry while I am about. I shall see that (evil person)," he said. "I wonder when it happens!" (?) he said. "When the sun shall be at that stopping-place?" Then, "Yes," said they, "almost at sunset."
Then he went off up a little ways, and having gone
off, after having strained, he defecated a gopher-head. Thereupon, "See here!" he said, "tell me how I may kill him."--"On the contrary, you are the one who is to be killed," it said. "Ah! You always talk that way to me," said Coyote, and, giving it a kick, he kicked it away down the hill.
Then, after having strained, he defecated a mass of bent-grass. And he asked it, "How shall I kill him?"--"You want to know what to do (?)? There is a round stone where he lays (the victim) down," it said. "Having hidden that elsewhere, crawl in and hide where the rafters come together at the smoke-hole. Meanwhile he will not see you, for he will be watching constantly another man (the victim). As he seizes the other man, drags him off over the edge and sets him down, after carrying him away,--do you jump up, seize him, and pull him away, and, after carrying him down to where you have hid it, do you strike him with his own round stone," it said. "Then you will carry him off to his home."
"All right!" said Coyote. "He is always one who speaks well to me." So he stuck it back in the same place (from whence it came), and plugged it with the gopher-head. Then he went down again. He hid that (stone) in another place, and then, crawling in, he staid where the posts came together.
Meanwhile the crowd of people got home. They brought deer, kept handing it over in, until they had passed it all in. All the while they crawled in (to the house), kept crawling in, until all had crawled in but one; and he, the last of all, crawled in.
Just then the Muskrat, jumping up quickly, carried the man off and set him down. He caused him to make a noise, making him cry out loud. (Coyote), following close behind, ran after him. "Where is my round stone? Where?
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[paragraph continues] Where?" he said often, feeling all about. Meanwhile Coyote, seizing the Muskrat-Man and having dragged him away, killed him.
Then putting (the body) on his back, he carried him off, carried him to the Muskrat's house, and, taking him inside, laid him down. Then the wife rushed in. She was just going to take up (the body) when she recognized her husband. So she dropped it.
Meanwhile Coyote seized her, and, holding her with his mouth, laid her down. He kept trying to insert his penis, and pretty soon he did so. Just then she said, "Ah! You are squeezing me! Raise up a little!" Then he did raise himself up a little. And then she dived into the water which was in the house. Whereupon he, after having dived through after her, by and by came out, and swore at himself. His rabbit-skin blanket (that was) belted about him was wet, and, wringing this out, he swore.
"I was bad. I was a bad Coyote. I am a person who believes anything. Why didn't I hold her tightly?" he said, cursing himself. Then he said (to the one he had killed), "You shall not be a person who shall trouble mortal men; but mortal men shall say in stories that Coyote killed the Muskrat-Man. You are evil, and shall stay in the river-canyons, living there, not troubling people. That is what mortal men will tell of you," he said.
Thereupon he went back down, returning to the same place. When he arrived, he said, "Do you people stay there. I am going away." And they said., "Very well." And in that same country they remained long ago. Meanwhile Coyote-Man went off. That is all, it is said.
111:1 Obscure. Hesaetem, "how many;" honwēpepem, "living persons;" tui tseno, "to get up, arise."