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96. KIGDLINARARSUK, in order to avenge the murder of his sister, went out in search of an old woman p. 445 who could agsist him in getting an amulet for giving swiftness to a boat. The first one he came to replied, "I have grown rather old to no purpose (viz., without having acquired wisdom), I am only clever in ― ―,1 but farther north I have an elder sister more cunning than I; first try thy luck with her, and if thou dost not succeed I'll see what can be done." He then went farther, and came to another old hag, who gave him for an amulet a small bit of a dried Merganser (Mergus serrator). This he inserted in the prow of the boat with such care that no marks or joints were visible. Twice he tried it before the boat appeared swift enough to run down a flying Merganser, and not till then did he start to encounter his adversaries.



p. 445

1 The original words I have not ventured to translate, sufficiently characteristic though they are of the modesty which it is considered necessary by the Eskimo to assume on such occasions as that described in the text. It would have been scarcely possible for the old woman to have claimed skill in a manufacture more lowly than that of which the words omitted would have been a translation.