country. They put on him his head-dress of feathers, and leaned his bow against his shoulders, for it was before the white men had brought guns for the Indians. They then left him and returned to their homes.
The warrior, however, heard and saw all they did. Although his body was deprived of muscular motion, his soul was living within it. He heard them lament his death, and felt their touch as they set him up. "They will not be so cruel as to leave me here," he thought to himself. "I am certainly not dead. I have the use of my senses." But his anguish was extreme, when he saw them, one after another depart, till he was left alone among the dead. He could not move a limb, nor a muscle, and felt as if he were buried in his own body. Horrid agonies came over him. He exerted himself, but found that he had no power over his muscles. At last he appeared to leap out of himself. He first stood up, and then followed his friends. He soon overtook them, but when he arrived at their camp no one noticed him. He spoke to them, but no one answered He seemed to be _invisible_ to them, and his voice appeared to have no _sound_. Unconscious, however, of his body's being left behind, he thought their conduct most strange. He determined to follow them, and exactly imitated all they did, walking when they walked, running when they ran, sleeping when they slept. But the most unbroken silence was maintained as to his presence.
When evening came he addressed the party. "Is it possible," said he, "that you do not see me, nor hear me, nor understand me? Will you permit me to starve when you have plenty? Is there no one who recollects me?"
And with similar sentiments he continued to talk to them, and to upbraid them at every stage of their homeward journey, but his words seemed to pass like the sounds of the wind.
At length they reached the village, and the women and children, and old men, came out, according to custom, to welcome the returning war party.
They set up the shout of praise. Kumaudjing! kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
They have met, fought, and conquered, was heard at every side. Group after group repeated the cry.
Kumaudjing! kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
They have met, fought, and conquered The strong and the brave, See the eagle plumes nod, And the red trophies wave.
The war-banner waves, They have fought like our fathers, And scorn to be slaves, The sons of the noble, They scorn to be slaves.
And he--where is he, who has led them to fight, Whose arrow was death, And whose war-club was might.
The hero is near, He is tying his enemies' scalp to his robe.
And wiping the enemies' blood from his spear.
He is near--he is near, And, hark, his Sa-sa-kwan
Now bursts on the ear.
The truth, however, was soon revealed; although it caused a momentary check, it did not mar the _general_ joy. The sight of scalps made every tongue vocal. A thousand inquiries were made, and he heard his own fate described, how he had fought bravely, been killed, and left among the dead.
"It is not true," replied the indignant chief, "that I was killed and left upon the field of battle. I am here. I live. I move. See me."
Nobody answered. He then walked to his own lodge. He saw his wife tearing her hair, and lamenting his fate. He asked her to bind up his wounds. She made no reply. He placed his mouth close to her ear, and called for food. She did not notice it. He drew back his arm and struck her a blow. She felt nothing.
Thus foiled he determined to go back. He followed the track of the warriors. It was four days' journey. During three days he met with nothing extraordinary. On the fourth, toward evening, as he drew near the skirts of the battle field, he saw a fire in the path. He stepped on one side, but the fire had also moved its position. He crossed to the other side, but the fire was still before him. Whichever way he took, the fire appeared to bar his approach. At this moment he espied the enemy of his fortunes in the moccasin, or flat-headed snake. "My son,"
said the reptile, "you have heretofore been considered a brave man--but beware of this fire. It is a strong spirit. You must appease it by the sacred gift." The warrior put his hand to his side, but he had left his sack behind him. "Demon," he exclaimed, addressing the flame, "why do you bar my approach. Know that I am a spirit. I have never been defeated by my enemies, and I will not be defeated by you."
So saying, he made a sudden effort and leaped through the flames. In this effort he _awoke from his trance_. He had lain eight days on the battle field. He found himself sitting on the ground, with his back supported by a tree, and his bow leaning against his shoulder, as his friends had left him. He looked up and beheld a large Gha Niew, or war eagle, sitting in the tree, which he immediately recognised as his guardian spirit, or personal Manito. This bird had watched his body, and prevented the other birds of prey from devouring it.
He arose and stood for a few minutes, but found himself weak and emaciated. By the use of simples and such forest arts as our people are versed in, he succeeded in reaching his home. When he came near, he uttered the Sa sa kwan, or war cry, which threw the village into an uproar. But while they were debating the meaning of so unexpected a sound, the wounded chief was ushered into their midst. He related his adventures as before given. He concluded his narrative by telling them that it is pleasing to the spirits of the dead to have a fire lit up on their graves at night, after their burial. He gave as a reason, that it is four days' travel to the place appointed for the residence of the soul, and it requires a light every night at the place of its encampment. If the friends of the deceased neglect this rite, the spirit is compelled to build a fire for itself.
Light up the fire upon my grave When I am dead.
'Twill softly shed its beaming rays, To guide the soul its darkling ways, And ever, as the day's full light Goes down, and leaves the world in night, These kindly gleams, with warmth possest, Shall show my spirit where to rest When I am dead.
Four days the funeral rite renew, When I am dead.
While onward bent, with typic woes, I seek the red man's last repose; Let no rude hand the flame destroy, Nor mar the scene with festive joy; While night by night, a ghostly guest, I journey to my final rest, When I am dead.
No moral light directs my way When I am dead.
A hunter's fate--a warrior's fame, A shade, a phantom, or a name, All life-long through my hands have sought, Unblest, unlettered, and untaught: Deny me not the boon I crave-- A symbol-light upon my grave, When I am dead.
 War cry.
FROM THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE CHIPPEWAS.
In a peculiar class of languages like the native American, in which symbols are so extensively used, it might be anticipated that Death should be thus denoted.
I asked SHAGUSH KODA WAIKWA, from whom this allegory is derived, whether the Northern Indians discriminated between a corpse, a ghost, a spirit, an angel, and death, considered as a personification. The answer was affirmative, and I received the name for each.
Pauguk, according to this authority, is the personification of death. He is represented as existing without flesh or blood. He is a hunter, and besides his bow and arrows, is armed with a _puggamagon_, or war club.
But he hunts only men, women, and children. He is an object of dread and horror. To see him is a sure indication of death. Some accounts represent his bones as covered by a thin transparent skin, and his eye sockets as filled with balls of fire.
Pauguk never speaks. Unlike the JEEBI or ghost, his limbs never assume the rotundity of life, neither is he to be confounded in form with the numerous class of minor Manitoes, or spirits. He does not possess the power of metamorphosis. Unvaried in repulsiveness, he is ever an object of fear; and often, according to Indian story, has the warrior, flushed with the ardour of battle, rushing forward to seize the prize of victory, clasped the cold and bony hand of PAUGUK.
"I shall never forget the fate of OWYNOKWA," continued the narrator.
"She was a widow of my native village, who had been left with six sons.
One after the other, as they became of suitable age, they had joined the war parties who went out against their enemies and fallen in battle. At last but one was left; he was her only stay and comfort, supplying her with food and protection in her old age. But he too, as he became old enough, spurning the dull life of a hunter, followed the war drum of his tribe, and went out against our enemies in the West. The absence of such a war party, is a time of anxiety and suspense with the women of a village. To relieve this, and at the same moment to prepare them for more particular intelligence, the returning party gives the war-cry of triumph, and the death-wail indicating the number slain, as soon as they come within hearing. On the present occasion, Owynokwa rushed from her lodge, the moment she caught the first sound. She stood with her lips parted, in an attitude of intense and agonized suspense; and as soon as the death-wail broke upon her ear, despair appeared to rivet her to the spot. She heeded nothing; not a muscle moved; she neither inquired nor heard, who were the slain, but sank slowly to the earth in the place where she stood. She was carried into her lodge, and the next morning showed signs of reanimation, but they were slight and brief--the rigidity of death soon seized upon her frame, and she followed her son to the land of spirits. Her son was indeed among the slain, but mortal tongue had not communicated the fact. It was generally supposed she had met the glare of Pauguk at the moment the death-wail or Chee kwau dum had broke on her ear."
THE VINE AND OAK.
AN ALLEGORY IN THE MANNER OF THE ALGICS.
A vine was growing beside a thrifty oak, and had just reached that height at which it requires support. "Oak," said the ivy vine, "bend your trunk so that you may be a support to me." "My support," replied the oak, "is naturally yours, and you may rely on my strength to bear you up, but I am too large and too solid to bend. Put your arms around me, my pretty vine, and I will manfully support and cherish you, if you have an ambition to climb, even as high as the clouds. While I thus hold you up, you will ornament my rough trunk with your pretty green leaves and shining scarlet berries. They will be as frontlets to my head, and I shall stand in the forest like a glorious warrior, with all his plumes.
We were made by the Master of Life to grow together, that by our union the weak should be made strong, and the strong render aid to the weak."
"But I wish to grow _independently_," said the vine, "why cannot you twine around me, and let me grow up straight, and not be a mere dependant upon _you_." "Nature," answered the oak, "did not _so_ design it. It is impossible that you should grow to any height _alone_, and if you try it, the winds and rain, if not your own weight, will bring you to the ground. Neither is it proper for you to run your arms hither and yon, among the trees. The trees will begin to say--"It is not my vine--it is a stranger--get thee gone, I will not cherish thee." By this time thou wilt be so entangled among the different branches, that thou canst not get back to the oak; and nobody will _then_ admire thee, or pity thee."
"Ah me," said the vine, "let me escape from such a destiny:" and with this, she twined herself around the oak, and they both grew and flourished happily together.