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- The Algonquin Legends of New England - 20/54 -
this collection.] Yet as they grew older, and he began to hear on every side of their wickedness, he said: "I will go among them and find if this be true. And if it be so, they shall die. I will not spare one of those who oppress and devour men, I do not care who he may be."
This family was at _Samgadihawk_, or Saco, on the sandy field which is in the Intervale or the summer bed of the Saco River, in the El-now-e-bit, the White Mountains, between Geh-sit-wah-zuch [Footnote: _Geh-sit-wah-zuch_, "many mountains" (Pen.). Mount Kearsarge, so called from the several lesser peaks around it.] and K'tchee penahbesk, [Footnote: _K'tchee penabesk_, "the great rock," a much more sensible and appropriate name than that of "Cathedral Rocks," which has been bestowed upon it; also _chee penabsk_.] and near Oonahgemessuk weegeet, the Home of the Water Fairies. [Footnote: Also called from a legend, _Oonahgemessuk k'tubbee_, the Water Fairies' Spring. This appropriate and beautiful name has been rejected in favor of the ridiculously rococo term "Diana's Bath." As there is a "Diana's Bath" at almost every summer watering place in America, North Conway must of course have one. The absolute antipathy which the majority of Americans manifest for the aboriginal names, even in a translation, is really remarkable.] Now the old man, the father of the evil magicians and his adopted father, had only one eye, and was half gray. [Footnote: This would directly connect him with the beings which are half stone, like the Oonahgemessuk, or water-goblins, the dwellers in Katahdin, and the Eskimo elves. This will be referred to again.] And Glooskap made himself like him,--there was not between them the difference of a hair; and having this form, he entered the wigwam and sat down by the old man. And the brothers, who killed everybody, not sparing one living soul, hearing a talking, looked in slyly, and seeing the new-comer, so like their father that they knew not which was which, said, "This is a great magician. But he shall be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly."
Then the sister took the tail of a whale, and cooked it for the stranger to eat. But as it lay before him, on the platter and on his knees, the elder brother entered, and saying rudely, "This is too good for a beggar like you," took it away to his own wigwam. Then Glooskap spoke: "That which was given to me was mine; therefore I take it again." And sitting still he simply _wished_ for it, and it came flying into the platter where it was before. So he ate it.
Then the brothers said, "Indeed, he is a great magician. But he shall be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly."
When he had eaten, they brought in a mighty bone, the jaw of a whale, and the eldest brother, with great ado, and using both his arms and all his strength, bent it a little. Then he handed it to Glooskap, who with his thumb and fingers, snapped it like a pipe-stem. And the brothers said again, "Truly, this is a great magician. But he shall for all that be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly."
Then they brought a great pipe full of the strongest tobacco; no man not a magician could have smoked it. And it was passed round: every one smoked; the brothers blew the smoke through their nostrils. But Glooskap filled it full, and, lighting it, burnt all the tobacco to ashes at one pull, and blew all the smoke through his nostrils at one puff. Then the brothers said again in anger, "This is indeed a great magician. Yet he shall be tried again ere he goes, and that bitterly." But they never said it again.
And they still tried to smoke with him, and the wigwam was closed; they hoped to smother him in smoke, but he sat and puffed away as if he had been on a mountain-top, till they could bear it no longer. And one said, "This is idle; let us go and play at ball." The place where they were to play was on the sandy plain of Samgadihawk, or Saco, on the bend of the river. [Footnote: I have an Indian stone pestle, or hominy pounder, which I picked up on the site of this ball-play.] And the game begun; but Glooskap found that the ball with which they played was a hideous skull; it was alive and snapped at his heels, and had he been as other men and it had bitten him, it would have taken his foot off. Then Glooskap laughed, and said, "So this is the game you play. Good, but let us all play with our own balls." So he stepped up to a tree on the edge of the river-bed and broke off the end of a bough, and it turned into a skull ten times more terrible than the other. And the magicians ran before it as it chased them as a lynx chases rabbits; they were entirely beaten. Then Glooskap stamped on the sand, and the waters rose and came rushing fearfully from the mountains adown the river-bed; the whole land rang with their roar. Now Glooskap sang a magic song, which changes all beings, and the three brothers and their father became the _chinahmess_, a fish which is as long and large as a man, and they went headlong down on the flood, to the deep sea, to dwell there forever. And the magicians had on, each of them, a wampum collar; wherefore the _chinahmess_ has beneath its head, as one may say, round its neck, the wampum collar, as may be seen to this day. And they were mighty _m'teoulin_ in their time; but they were tried before they went, and that bitterly.
Yes, _seewass_, my brother, this is a true story. For Glus-gah-be was a great man in his day, and the day will come when I shall go to him and see him. [Footnote: This legend is from a single authority, Maria Saksis.]
_How Glooskap went to England and France, and was the first to make America known to the Europeans_.
There was an Indian woman: she was a Woodchuck (Mon-in-kwess, P.). She had lost a boy; she always thought of him. Once there came to her a strange boy; he called her mother.
He had a pipe with which he could call all the animals. He said, "Mother, if you let any one have this pipe we shall starve."
"Where did you get it?"
"A stranger gave it to me."
One day the boy was making a canoe. The woman took the pipe and blew it. There came a deer and a _qwah-beet_,--a beaver. They came running; the deer came first, the beaver next. The beaver had a stick in his mouth; he gave it to her, and said, "Whenever you wish to kill anything, though it were half a mile off, point this stick at it." She pointed it at the deer; it fell dead.
The boy was Glooskap. He was building a stone canoe. Every morning he went forth, and was gone all day. He worked a year at it. The mother had killed many animals. When the great canoe was finished he took his (adopted) mother to see it. He said that he would make sails for it. She asked him, "Of what will you make them?" He answered, "Of leaves." She replied, "Let the leaves alone. I have something better." She had many buffalo skins already tanned, and said, "Take as many as you need."
He took his pipe. He piped for moose; he piped for elk and for bear: they came. He pointed his stick at them: they were slain. He dried their meat, and so provisioned his great canoe. To carry water he killed many seals; he filled their bladders with water.
So they sailed across the sea. This was before the white people had ever heard of America. The white men did not discover this country first at all. Glooskap discovered England, and told them about it. He got to London. The people had never seen a canoe before. They came flocking down to look at it.
The Woodchuck had lost her boy. This boy it was, who first discovered America (England?). This boy could walk on the water and fly up to the sky. [Footnote: This tale was taken down in very strange and confused English. The first part is in my notes almost unintelligible.] He took his mother to England. They offered him a large ship for his stone canoe. He refused it. He feared lest the ship should burn. They offered him servants. He refused them. They gave him presents which almost overloaded the canoe. They gave him an anchor and an English flag.
He and his mother went to France. The French people fired cannon at him till the afternoon. They could not hurt the stone canoe. In the night Glooskap drew all their men-of-war ashore. Next morning the French saw this. They said, "Who did this?" He answered, "I did it."
They took him prisoner. They put him into a great cannon and fired it off. They looked into the cannon, and there he sat smoking his stone pipe, knocking the ashes out.
The king heard how they had treated him. He said it was wrong. He who could do such deeds must be a great man. He sent for Glooskap, who replied, "I do not want to see your king. I came to this country to have my mother baptized as a Catholic." They sent boats, they sent a coach; he was taken to the king, who put many questions to him.
He wished to have his mother christened. It was done. They called her Molly. [Footnote: The Indians pronounce the word Marie Mahli or Molly. Mahlinskwess, "Miss Molly," sounds like Mon-in-kwess, a woodchuck. Hence this very poor pun.] Therefore to this day all woodchucks are called Molly. They went down to the shore; to please the king Glooskap drew all the ships into the sea again. So the king gave him what he wanted, and he returned home. Since that time white men have come to America.
* * * * *
This is an old Eskimo tale, greatly modernized and altered. The Eskimo believe in a kind of sorcerers or spirits, who have instruments which they merely point at people or animals, to kill them. I think that the Indian who told me this story (P.) was aware of its feebleness, and was ashamed to attribute such nonsense to Glooskap, and therefore made the hero an Indian named Woodchuck. But among Mr. Rand's Micmac tales it figures as a later tribute to the memory of the great hero.
One version of this story was given to me by Tomah Josephs, another by Mrs. W. Wallace Brown. In the latter Glooskap's canoe is a great ship, with all kinds of birds for sailors. In the Shawnee legend of the Celestial Sisters (Hiawatha Legends), a youth who goes to the sky must take with him one of every kind of bird. This indicates that the Glooskap voyage meant a trip to heaven.
_How Glooskap is making Arrows, and preparing for a Great Battle. The Twilight of the Indian Gods._
"_Is Glooskap living yet_?" "Yes, far away; no one knows where. Some say he sailed away in his stone canoe beyond the sea, to the east, but he will return in it one day; others, that he went to the west. One
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