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more, and evidently the animals ing interesting and beautiful, or at now knew where they were, for they least picturesque; but it didn't hapkept this path. After some time a pen so to us. One by one the houselight burst on our sight, hidden pre- hold assembled convulsed with merviously by trees or rocks.

riment at the freaks. But we were "Thank' fortune people do sit up beyond caring for anything. Our in Arcady. That is certainly Judge pretty sunbonnets of the morning, Thornton's cottage.

It won't be our jaunty waists and skirts, and long now before we are at home.” our fine boots! Tom could have

Dorothy— "Where are we now posed for an Indian chief; his trouTom?"

sers were in fringes half way to his "Why, dear, don't you know your knees, for he had pulled them out own home?”

of his boots to keep the rain from It was past midnight, but old Ja- filling them.

filling them. But I am not going son, the cook, was still up. The to tell you what we did look like. other members of the household had Half an hour later we were sitconcluded that had stopped ting around a roaring fire in dresssomewhere for the night, and had ing gowns and slippers, with a hot all gone to bed. Jason held his

supper in progress, and Marble sides with laughter when he saw Mountain was a memory. us.

"It's nice to be wild once in a “Lawd a massy, whar yuh bin? while, but you want a home to come What yuh bin doin'?” And we were to afterwards for hospitable treatsights. People in stories can always ment; for mountains do not use one come out of the worst ordeals, look- as gently as truth," observed Tom.

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BY

JOHN G. NEIHARDT

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white man,

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AZHINGER Saba was a wood from the scattered plum great Medicine Man. An thickets.

old Indian whose original The fall days passed and the being has not been blasted by Northwest breathed with snowy the doubt of the

breath upon the hills, and the tribe will tell you that he was a seer of was locked in the desolate little strange things big in meaning; a valley as by a hand of ice. Condreamer of dreams that glared with finement to the lodges and insuffithe light of dawns and days, sun- ciency of food brought sickness. downs and stars, speaking with the Many a strong brave became less ambiguous tongue of mystery! To than the shadow of a squaw. Many his credulous subjects, Wazinga a squaw tottered and fell beneath Saba

bronze Colossus, her load, and became weaker than stretching a hard metallic hand the child at her back. across his little world, and the lit- It was one of the numerous humtle world groaned or laughed ac- ble tragedies that history does not cording to the will of the manymooded master; for such have been But daily about the windswept the people since the creation, and village went a youth who entered such have been the masters. the lodges where the groans of suf

In the fall of the year 1812 the fering were loudest. There was a entire Omaha tribe, returning from strange light in his eye, and he who a buffalo hunt on the plains which from the bed of sickness saw the now constitute Western Nebraska, light trusted in the youth and mutbuilt its winter village at a distance tered to his kinsmen : “Did you not of about 200 miles from Ne Shuga, see the light in the eye of this the Great River.

youth? Wakunda smiles upon him The hunting had been poor, and —his power is great!" the tribe, though originally intend- This the people did not guess. ing to winter among the protecting The light was the glare of the life bluffs of the great stream, where that was being consumed within firewood was plentiful, discontinued him, blown upon by the strong its march in order to conserve its breath of the winter and the hunstrength. Who toils must eat inuch; ger. For wherever the youth went therefore the tribe ceased toiling he brought not only the mysterious that the small stock of meat might drinks brewed from herbs, but he endure the winter.

brought morsels of meat which he The Omahas built comfortable himself should have eaten. mud lodges along the banks of a And it happened that some of creek, which would at once afford the stricken died and the greater them water and a limited supply of part lived. Then a small noise of voices with a big meaning spread meaning. The Chief had wished to throughout the village. A buzz of dazzle the youth, and it was accomwonder, which was full of the do- plished. ings of the youth, whom the peo- Wazhinga Saba motioned the ple learned to call Wazadi (Healer.) youth to sit upon the opposite side

In all races have appeared these of the fire. After a prolonged sacrificing men of genius. Some silence, during which each regarded have been Christs in their small the other through the haze of flameway; some have remained unappre- lit smoke, the Chief said: ciated martyrs. All have contribu- "The great heart of Wazhinga ted to the upbuilding of belief in Saba is glad of the good words that the supernatural. These are the in- have been spoken among the carnations of Pity, grotesque in a lodges. Does not the Chief love world of cruelty and suffering, his people? The little words of a Many have missed immortality but chief are big Wazhinga Saba by the length of Pilate's judgment. wishes to do great honor to Wa

The noise of wondering voices zadi.” At the name, the speaker spread and swelled into a cry that paused and smiled again. "This

“ beat into the lodge of the stern and place is not good," he continued; selfish chief, Wazhinga Saba. And "there is an evil spirit in this place. as he heard, the little warmth that There is much sickness and groanhid in his heart died and the cold- ing and dying. It must not be. Does ness came; for jealousy is the north- not the Great Chief love his peowest wind of the soul.

ple? We will take the sunrise trail; Many days he sat alone in his we will leave the groaning and the lodge, speaking only with the jeal- sickness behind us. We will go to ousy of his heart. He said to him- the banks of the great Smoky self: “Am I not the greatest of all water. It is a good place; there medicine men? Shall a youth walk are good spirits there." between Wazhinga Saba and the The Chief paused and looked into belief of his people?"

the flames, thinking deeply. "I Then the coldness of his heart have a deed for a strong and brave answered things that would have man. A good trail must be found been terrible upon a tongue. And that the tribe may not go astray: the Chief listened.

Is Wazadi strong? Is he brave? So it happened one evening that Then let him seek a good trail to a runner came to the lodge of the the great smoky water. Let him youth called Wazadi, summoning go alone, that the honor may not him to go to the big chief's lodge. be divided like a big bison by many Wazadi followed the runner to the that are hungry!" big lodge.

As Wazhinga Saba ceased speakHe pushed aside the buffalo hide ing, a great joy born of vanity that hung across the door and en- blazed in the blood of the youth, tered. The chief, dressed in his and he answered the question in the most elaborate garments, profusely chief's eyes with a glad voice. decorated with wolfs' teeth and "I am strong and brave! I will hawks’ beaks, sat alone by his fire. seek the trail !” As the youth entered, the chief When Wazadi withdrew from the arose and stood in the glare of the lodge, Wazhinga Saba sat a long flames that gave an additional at- time staring into the flame. He traction to his regal figure. For a was thinking The future was moment Wazadi stood awed into again pleasant to look upon. Ever immobility at the sight, nor moved since the noise of the

of the strange until Wazhinga Saba smiled a youth's deeds had beat into the pleasant smile. The smile had its lodge, striking discord in the song

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with his teeth set and his face to the blast Wazadi led his people.

re

that his vain heart sang, the future tent like the sound of underground had been as the horizon of the waters, for they dared not speak morning when a black cloud blinds aloud. the eyes of the climbing sun. But But one evening, after many days · now the cloud had become but a of storm had swept across the sky, thin, translucent vapor, promising the figure of a man, frost-whitened, to vanish in the glare of day. weakened, and blinded with the

As he gazed into the fire he was snow, stumbled into the village. thinking of the long and cruel trail Wazadi has come back! Wazadi which his rival would follow; of has come back!” the keen and merciless storm winds, The shout passed contagiously mad with the zigzag Aight of snow ! from lip to lip, and grew into a His reverie grew deeper. In his clamor that found its way through mind he followed the youth down the door of the lodge of Wazhinthe sunrise trail. He saw him wal

ga Saba. The cry wrought a terlowing through drifts, tumbling in

rible anger in his heart. to hidden ravines; stumbling on What! Was this the way the through the blinding, hissing snow

great Wazhinga Saba took that obliterated all landmarks! He venge? No! He would see the saw the white ghost of a man blood of this audacious Wazadi! thrown down with hunger and the Vet it could not be done with viocold, to be the senseless impediment lence, for did not the people love upon which the snow caught and the youth? An oppressed people drifted.

is like a pack of wolves. Both flee The last thought came like the until the trail ends, then they turn first far cry of an approaching tri- and their bites are terrible! Would umph. The Chief leaped to his not the violent death of Wazadi feet with a loud burst of laughter. end the trail? "Wazadi will not come back!” he At this thought the revenge of muttered slowly as though to taste Wazhinga Saba became indefinite; the sweetness of the words: "Wa- yet some time it would be. He zadi will not come back! Wazadi!” would wait.

At the last word he chuckled These turbulent thoughts were with derision, and then lay down interrupted by the entrance of the beside his fire. But he did not youth himself. He stood at the sleep. Defeat can sleep, because door of the lodge, the white ghost there is an element of death in it.

of a man.

His eyes were sunken Triumph is wakeful, because it is and bleared. The skin was drawn life new-born.

across his cheek bones. He totBefore the sunrise of the next

tered. His voice was the ghost of day Wazadi had disappeared among

a strong voice: the frozen hills to the eastward. “I have found the trail; the tribe Upon the lips of Wazhinga Saba will not go astray.

The trail is sat a smile beside a sneer.. He nad long and there is death upon it. The vanquished his budding rival and winds strike like the forefeet of a his heart held high festival.

bear and bite like the teeth of a For many days he feasted the wolf. I was strong and I am here. other chiefs of the tribe, who had It is a bad thing for the people to become puppets puppets in

hands. take the trail !" Haunches of the best bison meat Wazhinga Saba smiled and answere wasted, until starvation stood wered : “Does the strong man make between the tribe and the spring. his toil worthless with his groanAnd the people looked with wistful ing? Wazhinga Saba speaks with eyes upon the doings of their chief

the spirits. Wakunda (God) will and muttered syllables of discon- put his hand upon the winds and

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