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33. The Blind Man who recovered his Eyesight.

Tradition of the Clan Ts!ôts!êna of the A'waîLEla.

(Told by NEg*ê'.)

The A'waîLEla, the descendants of Ts!ô'na, were hungry. They had no fish. They were travelling about looking for a river in which there were fish, and they came to Qwa?la'd There was a blind man, Âtâ'lats!eg*al, whom

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his wife had left. His children, who were staying with their mother, found a salmon in the river. They ran to their father, and told him, "We found a salmon."--"Don't say that! Put a salmon-trap into the river." The children obeyed, and their mother helped them put up the trap. Soon the fish became more numerous, and the river was full of salmon. The former wife of Âtâ'lats!eg*al caught fish in the trap, and forbade her children to give any to their father. When he asked them whether they had salmon, they said that there were none. The woman ate all the salmon alone. She only gave a little to the children to keep them quiet. This continued for a long time.

One day the children saw something black on the other side of the river. They told their father about it. He replied, "Don't say that! Maybe that is what your dead grandfather used to call a black bear." They gave him his bow and his arrows, and upon his request they pointed the arrow at the bear. Then he spanned the bow and let go the arrow. He hit the bear. The old man said, "That sounds as though I had killed it." Then the woman, who was standing behind him, said, "No, you did not hit it; it has gone." She, however, went across the river, skinned the bear, and ate the meat.

Another day the children saw something red on the other side of the river. The old man said, "Maybe it is a deer. Give me my bow." The woman pointed the arrow. He shot and killed the deer. He said, "This sounds as though I had hit it." But the woman claimed again that he had missed it. She said, "I have been across, and I looked, but you have missed it."

Another day, when the children were playing again, they saw something white. They shouted, "We see something white above us!" The old man said, "Surely, that is a mountain-goat." He said, "Get ready, and I will

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follow you. Take me up the mountain; I will hold on to you." The children went up, took the old man along and he shot the mountain-goat. Then they took it down again, and they had plenty to eat. His wife ate all the tallow. She would chew it, and put it on the end of a stick and melt it near the fire, and then she would suck it, as the Indians are accustomed to do.

A few days after, the children saw four mountain-goats. Then again they took up the man, who shot them. The mountain-goats fell down the mountain. Then he asked his wife, "Do you see where it fell down?" She replied, "Yes, do you say so that I may eat all the tallow?" Again he asked her, and she again replied the same. Finally he became impatient, and said, "Yes, go and eat and suck all the tallow, but lie down on the rocks on your stomach when you are through eating." Then she ate all the tallow, and she drank much water. Thus she was transformed into a mass of tallow; and then she became a stone, which may be seen here to this day.

Then the blind man said to the children, "Let us go up the river and see who lives there." They went on; and soon they saw a bear, which he killed. They went on, and next he killed deer and elk and all kinds of animals. They came to another place and built a house. Then he said to his children, "Stay here, children! I will go on ascending the river. Wait here until I come back; and don't be afraid if I should stay away a long time, even if it should be several years. I must go to the place where I want to go." Then he left the children and went up the river.

He came to a lake, from which the river flows. There was a jam. There he staid, and soon he felt the place moving. It rocked from one side to the other, and the lake also began to rock. He also heard a noise. Then

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he thought, "There must be something supernatural in the lake." And he went into the lake and sat down. A Loon appeared in the middle of the lake. It went to him, and said, "Come to me! Sit down on my back!" The man replied, "Thank you, friend." Again the Loon said, "Come!" The man replied, "I am blind. I cannot see." Then the Loon said, "Hold on to me; and when your breath becomes short, poke me." He stepped on the back of the Loon, who dived. After a little while the man poked the Loon. He arose. When they came up, the Loon said, "Try harder if you want to get what you desire." Then they dived again. They staid under water a long time, and finally they came back to the place where they had first dived. He did not poke the Loon until they had come up again. Then he saw with surprise that the place where he had been was at the door of the house where he wanted to get supernatural power. Somebody took him in on his back. Somebody asked, "What does our friend want?" The reply was given, "He wants to have supernatural power." He did not say anything himself; but the Listener knew his thoughts. Then they restored his sight, and they gave him the power to become rich easily; and they gave him the death-bringer and the water of life. Then he went back to his children.

He went down the river and reached his house. There he found his children all dead; only the bones were there. He gathered them, put them together, and sprinkled them with the water of life, and they revived. They rubbed their eyes, and said, "How long did we sleep?"

The father said to them, "Get ready! Let us go down to the mouth of the river. I am now another one; I am not what I was. We will go back and take revenge on your stepmother." They reached their house, and he revived the stone that had been his wife. Only her head

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could be seen; the rest of her body was stone. She said, "Thank you, master! Now you have obtained what you desired to have." And she asked him to revive her entirely. She said, "Have pity on me!" and he replied, to take his harpoon which he had obtained at the lake. It killed all kinds of animals. The child went out, and soon came back bringing some seals. "These we will eat. I cannot eat what you give me." Then Ts!ô'na was ashamed. Then Âtâ'lats!eg*al killed many animals, and gave them to his tribe, who were hungry.

While the people were still eating, a canoe was seen coming, in which there were many people. The people said, "A canoe is coming. Maybe they want to make war on us." Then Ts!ô'na put on his bird-dress. He went out; and it began to thunder, and it be-an to rain and to hail, and the canoe foundered before the warriors could get ashore. He did so because he was angry because his brother had declined the food he was going to give him. But now he was satisfied. Then he said to his children, "Don't let us remain this way. Let us call our brother, and let us invite in all the different tribes, and let them eat what we have killed." Then the children went out to invite in the other tribes. They came with their wives and children. They were wondering what kind of food they were going to receive. Then Âtâ'lats!eg*al arose, and said, "We invite you for this: bear, mountain-goat, deer, seal, and all kinds of animals. I will give them to you, for I feel that you are the way that I used to be when I was blind. You have not much food. Maybe there are no salmon in your river, as it used to be at my place. Come on! I will divide all this among you." Then the men, the women and children, divided what was given to them, and they ate as much as they wanted.

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Then he said to his children, "Let us visit our brother behind that point of land." That is the place where his brother Ts!ô'na lived. When he reached there, his brother said, "I understand that you obtained supernatural power. I felt that you were coming, and I am glad to see you." He led him to the rear of the house. Then Ts!ô'na put on his thunder-bird dress, and said, "Stay here while I go hunting and looking for fish." While he was away, his guests were sitting there. They heard the thunder four times when he was catching his salmon. He carried it home; it was the double-headed serpent. He put it before his guests. As soon as Âtâ'lats!eg*al saw the double-headed serpent, he looked at it, but declined to eat. Ts!ô'na urged him; but he simply said, "Give us something else to eat. I do not eat the kind of salmon you give me. Let us go and see what we have at our village." Then he sent one of his children, and told him "Yes, I will do so; but I will take revenge for your badness." She begged his pardon, and promised not to do again what she had done. She said, "Your children shall be my children, and I shall love you as I love them." Then she asked for her life; but he said, "You may live, but I shall punish you." He sprinkled her with the water of life, and her whole body came out of the stone. Then he struck her with his hands, and she ran about as a deer. Again he sprinkled her with the water of life, and her head appeared out of the body of the deer. She asked him to have pity on her; and he said, "Yes, but I shall return what you did to me." He sprinkled more water of life on her, and she became a woman again. Then he said, "You shall be a woman of the woods (bEk!u's)." Then she became a woman of the woods. She ran back into the woods; and there she has staid ever since, as the woman of the woods of Q!wa?lâ'd.

[Redactors note: The last three pages of this are scrambled, apparently due to a printer's error. The story continues from the end of p. 450 ("Only her head...") to the top of p. 452 ("...could be seen"). Then from the end of p. 452, it apparently starts in the middle of p. 451 ("Then he said to his children...") and runs to the end of p. 451 ("Then he sent one of his children, and told him..."), to the top of p. 451 ("..."Yes, I will do so;") and finished in the middle of p. 451 ("...she has staid ever since, as the woman of the woods of Q!wa?lâ'd"). I have rearranged the text so the narrative is consistent--JBH.]


Next: 34. Song-Dance