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Several persons once went out from Sitka together, when their canoe upset and all were drowned except a man of the KîksA'dî. A canoe came to this man, and he thought that it contained his friends, but they were really land otters. They started southward with him and kept going farther and farther, until they had passed clear round the Queen Charlotte islands. At every place where they stopped they took in a female land otter. All this time they kept a mat made out of the broad part of a piece of kelp, over the man they had captured until at length they arrived at a place they called Rainy-village (Sî'wu-â'nî).

p. 189

At this place the man met an aunt who had been drowned years before and had become the wife of two land otters. She was dressed in a ground-hog robe. Then she said to him, "Your aunt's husbands will save you. You must come to see me this evening." When he came his aunt said, "I can't leave these people, for I have learned to think a great deal of them."

Afterward his aunt's husbands started back with him. They did not camp until midnight. Their canoe was a skate, and, as soon as they came ashore, they would turn it over on top of him so that, no matter how hard he tried to get out, he could not. In making the passage across to Cape Ommaney they worked very hard, and shortly after they landed they heard the raven. a They could go only a short distance for food.

When they first started back the woman had said to her husbands, "Don't leave him where he can be captured again. Take him to a good place." So they left him close to Sitka. Then he walked around in the neighborhood of the town and made the people suffer so much every night that they could not sleep, and determined to capture him. They fixed a rope in such a way as to ensnare him, but at first they were unsuccessful. Finally, however, they placed dog bones in the rope so that they would stick into his hands, dog bones being the greatest enemies of the land otters.

Late that night the land-otter-man tore his hands so with these bones that he sat down and began to scream, and, while he was doing this, they got the rope around him and captured him. When they got him home he was at first very wild, but they restored his reason by cutting his head with dog bones. He was probably not so far gone as most Victims. Then they learned what had happened to him.

After this time, however, he would always eat his meat and fish raw. Once, when he was among the halibut fishers, they wanted very much to have him eat some cooked halibut. He was a good halibut fisher, probably having learned the art from the land otters, though he did not say so. For a long time the man refused to take any, but at last consented and the food killed him.


189:a Supernatural beings who heard the raven call before they came to land, died.

Next: 47. The Man Fed From the Sky