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40. Gray-Face (Ô'xsEm) and Twin (Yîkwî'l). 2

Tradition of the Ts!êts!êlwa'lagamê?, a Clan of the Nimkish.

(Dictated by NEg*ê'.)

LEla'g*inîs, the father of Gray-Face and A?mê'LEs, lived at Flat Place (Ô'dzâ'?lîs). The name of his wife was ?mâ'xulayugwa, who belonged to the clan K*!k*aê'noxu of

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the A'waîLEla. Twin, a member of the clan Ts!êts!êlwa'lagamê?, lived at Foundation (Xulku). He was jealous of Gray-Face on account of his wife. They were enemies. One day Gray-Face and his father visited the people at Foundation. Before they landed, Twin's wife came down to the beach, and told Gray-Face that if he should land, the people would kill him. Gray-Face's father and his friends, who had not been warned, went ashore, And all were killed.

When Gray-Face saw what was happening, he pushed off his canoe and crossed the river. He was pursued by his enemies; but he ran into the woods, and they were unable to overtake him. Some of them launched their canoes and poled up the river, expecting to find him. When they came to his village, they found Gray-Face's younger brother, A?mê'LEs, who was catching trout below the village, and struck him with their paddles, so that he fell into the water. During this time, Gray-Face passed his enemies and reached his house, when he warned his wives and the other people, who were thus enabled to make their escape.

His mother told him that his younger brother was fishing below the village, and asked him to call him. When he went there, he discovered the warriors, and soon found his brother's body lying in the water. He threw it over his shoulders and carried it, the head hanging down. Thus water ran out of his mouth, and the boy revived. They walked across land to Beaver Cove (Q!ug*î's), whence they crossed for Knights Inlet. Gray-Face paddled across on a log because he had no canoe. Before he got across, he saw warriors, who were going from Knights Inlet to Nimkish River. They discovered the log, and they were going to have a look at it, because they thought they had seen a man on it; but while they were going,

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one of the warriors said, "Those are seals on the log." Just at that time Gray-Face and his brother let themselves drop into the water; and the other warriors said, "Don't you see they are really seals?" As soon as the warriors had left, the brothers crawled back on their log again, and paddled on until they came to Baronet Passage (DE'mlêwas). There they found a small canoe, which they mended and caulked; then they continued their journey and came to the village of Dzâ'wadê. There Gray-Face went to his uncles Q!ôlqoxsta, Q!ô'mx*stalamas, and K*!ê'k*!ilaxstâla. Meanwhile the warriors whom they had met on their way to the Nimkish River had learned that LElâ'g*inîs had been killed, and that the brothers had made their escape. Then they thought that these must have been the men who had been seen on the log of driftwood.

Gray-Face and his brother were given breakfast by their uncles, and they were made welcome. Q!ôlqoxsta gave them a stone axe (Lâ'?yâla), saying, "With this I have killed chiefs. Later on you shall prove its power."

Meanwhile the warriors came back who had learned that LElâ'g*inîs was dead. Then the uncles of the two young men made their house ready, and invited the warriors in. When everybody was inside, K*!ê'k*!ilaxstâla, who was a great chief, arose and said, "Don't let our son stay still. Let him try what we have given him. Let us see whether he knows how to handle it." Then Gray-Face arose and killed with his stone dagger a man who was sitting next to him. Then his uncle said, "That is very good; your uncle used it in the same way. Now let us see what your brother can do, whether he can do as his father did." Then the other one arose and killed a man who was sitting in the seat of the chiefs. Then his uncle said, "Yes, you are doing as well as your father."

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The people were afraid of them, and did not dare to defend themselves. Then their uncles gave them a canoe to go and take revenge. They took them to Foundation, and the canoe landed behind the point of land at the mouth of the river. Their uncles returned home to Knights Inlet. The brothers went back to their own house at Flat Place, whither the women of their tribe had returned.

Twin had his salmon-trap near Foundation. Now, the Nimkish, the tribe of Twin, heard that the brothers had returned; and they were afraid of them, for they knew that they had good weapons. They did not dare to go near them. Only those who had been kind to them went to visit them. They told the brothers that the people were willing to see Twin killed. They told Gray-Face that he might kill him, and they would then recognize him as their chief.

They planned with Gray-Face how to kill him. Gray-Face sent word to Twin's wife, who had previously warned him, and let her know that her husband was to be killed, that she should give her consent. He met her on the bank of the river when she went there in the evening to ease herself. Then he planned with her how to kill Twin. It was arranged that he should be induced to bathe and wash in the river at a certain time, and that Gray-Face should surprise him there. If Twin should make his escape, then the woman was to leave the house open, so that he might enter. Twin was, of course, on his guard. He always had his dagger tied to his wrist; even when he bathed, he carried it. Therefore Gray-Face did not attack him while he was bathing.

Then Twin's wife asked her husband to come into the house. There she dried him and combed his hair. One of his wives was sitting on his right, another one on his left. The one with whom Gray-Face had made the plan

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was sitting nearest the door. While they were combing him, he held down his head to dry his hair by the fire. Then Gray-Face entered the house unheard, took him by the hair, and struck his temples with his bone dagger. One of the women cried. He was dead, and his wives went back to their parents. Then Gray-Face became chief, and his brother became his warrior. He killed all the friends of Twin. 1


473:2 The narrator said that the name of Ts!êts!êlwa'lagamê?'s son was LElâg*inîs, and that Gray-Face was a late descendant of LElâg*inîs. The intermediate generations were not known to him. See also Franz Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc., p. 150.

477:1 The narrator claimed that the passage relating to Wê'qaê's daughter, contained in the version quoted before, does not belong to this story.

Next: 41. The Boy who disappeared Underground