In the town Lax-anLôE, below G*iLwunksî'Lk, was a shaman who owned a rattle and a carved squirrel, which became alive as soon as it was dark. There was a village on the opposite side of the river, whose inhabitants were enemies of the shaman. One night he sent his squirrel across the river to kill his enemies. It obeyed and killed all the people, with the exception of a few men, among them a shaman, whose name was TsEgu'ksku. After the squirrel had killed all the people, TsEgu'ksku and three other men got into a canoe and descended the river. He had a long board in his canoe which was painted red. They landed near Cape Fox. There TsEgu'ksku lay down on the plank and covered himself with a mat made of cedar bark. Then his friends made a small fire on the end of the plank and burnt meat, tallow, and berries in the fire. They turned their faces away from the plank, and when they looked again the plank with the fire and TsEgu'ksku had disappeared. They heard a noise, from the depths of the sea. TsEgu'ksku had been taken into the house of the chief G*itk*staqL, who lives at the bottom of the sea. The chief sent for a box drum. The three men heard the following song coming from the deep:
Wudē', wudē', wudē', hē'yi, wudē, wudō'.
Hwîl nE-gEbgā'bEL pLô'ôn qanL näqL, iē',
Hwîl g?ōL-qa1gā'l qabā'q iē'.
Hwîl g?ōL-diē'qat wī-Ts?egä'uks ts?äuL, wī-hwî'lpsqat G*îtk*tsEm wâ'ōpElē'.
That is, "Fastened together are sea otter and killer-whale; scattered are the cockles where TsEgu'ksku walks about in his great house at Wâ'ôpEL" 1
Then G*itk*staqL gave TsEgu'ksku a club in shape of a land otter and a small box, the lid of which was carved in the shape of a fin of a whale. Furthermore, he gave him a chamber-pot made of wood. He said to him," The river is frozen now. Take this, it will break the ice for you." Then TsEgu'ksku was sent back. All of a sudden he was seen again in the canoe, and by him were the presents of the chief from
below. He threw the club into the water. It swam up the river and cut the ice. After some time the club became tired. He took it into the canoe and put the box on the ice. The box assumed the shape of a killer-whale and moved over the ice, thus cutting it. Then he told it to go to the house of the shaman who had killed his friends. The latter had a daughter, whose name was Lgo-yī'yuk (Little-worker). TsEgu'ksku commanded the whale to break the ice when he saw the girl on the river and to bring her to him. Soon the girl came down to the river to fetch water. Then the whale rose and carried her away to where his master was staying, and the latter sang:
[paragraph continues] Next he ordered the whale to watch and whenever a woman went to fetch water to take her away. The inhabitants were therefore in great want of water. Finally TsEgu'ksku sent his otter club to kill all the people. The club swam across the river and killed every one. Only one man, who happened to be out hunting, was saved.
At this time the Haida used to make war upon the villages of Observatory inlet. TsEgu'ksku happened to be there with his friends when the Haida made an attack on the village, and he and all his companions were killed. The Haida cut off the heads of the slain to take them along as trophies. TsEgu'ksku's head was placed in the bow of the canoe. When the Haida had gone some little distance, his head rolled overboard and swam back to where the body lay. Head and trunk were joined again, and TsEgu'ksku rose hale and well. He returned to Nass river.
The man who had been absent hunting while TsEgu'ksku's otter-club had killed all his friends resolved to take revenge. He invited TsEgu'ksku to a feast. He was going to give him dried human flesh mixed with poison to eat. One of TsEgu'ksku's supernatural helpers had warned him, however, and had told him to take out his intestines after the feast, and to replace them with dogs' intestines, then the poison would do him no harm. TsEgu'ksku put on a bearskin for his blanket, placed a ring of red cedar bark around his neck, and strewed eagle-down on his head. Then he went across. He entered the house of his enemy and sat down. When the food was ready for him, he remarked, "This is human carrion," but he ate it nevertheless. At night he became sick. Then he said to the people, "I am going to die. When I am dead, open my stomach, and take out the intestines. Then kill a dog, take its intestines, and put them in place of mine. Then
you must sew up my stomach." They obeyed, and after four days TsEgu'ksku was alive and well. They placed his intestines in a canoe, which was pushed into the river. It sank at once, and his intestines are still at the bottom of the river. They cause the noise of the rapids.
Once upon a time TsEgu'ksku traveled down the river in his canoe. The canoe capsized, and when he was about to be drowned a great number of gulls came to his rescue. They took him on their backs and carried him up the river to his village, singing:
Hâ de-k*â'etnē hagun-dE-hwî'lēL qē'wundeL an-dā'x*L lax-ha'.
That is, "I am taken along on the water, I am taken around the world by gulls."
After a short time an epidemic of smallpox visited the villages. TsEgu'ksku placed a pole, which he had painted red, in front of his house to ward off the disease. But, nevertheless, he became sick. He called all the great shamans of his village, and asked them if he would recover. Finally one of them replied that he would not recover. Then he made a bow and four arrows, which he painted red. He ordered one of his friends to shoot the arrows up to the sun. His friend did so, and the arrows did not return; but every time he shot, blood began to flow from TsEgu'ksku's forehead and from his cheeks. When TsEgu'ksku felt the blood, he said, "I shall not remain dead." He took his rattle and went around the fire twice, following the course of the sun. Then he asked for a coffin box. He crawled into it and died. Then the people took the skin of a mountain goat, cut ropes out of it, and tied the box tightly. Then they placed it on a large bowlder behind the village. On the fourth night after the burial a noise was heard proceeding from the box. When the people went Out to see what it was, they saw that TsEgu'ksku had broken the thongs, and that he was sitting on the box. He had assumed the shape of a white owl. One man tried to catch him; but as the owl flew away, he became afraid and returned. Then a second man, whose name was Lō-gwisgwā's, tried. He did not succeed. After four men had tried, the owl suddenly fell back into the box, and the thongs were replaced by magic. The staff which TsEgu'ksku had raised in front of his house fell to pieces and was seen to be rotten all through. Before the owl fell back into the box, it said, "WuL dEmā'ndē;" that is, "Nobody will be left." The epidemic continued for some time, and all the people died. This was the first visitation of smallpox.
231:1 A place near China Hat.