Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 36

“Well, then,” said the young man. “Go as you have said and we shall see what will happen.”

[Pg 112] The old men arose without saying a word and went to the lodge on the bluff. As soon as they were gone, the young man said, “Oh, wife, get my piece of white clay. I must scare one of those old men nearly to death.”

But the woman was unwilling, saying, “Let them alone. They have no robes. Let them cut off robes for themselves.”

But as the husband would not stop talking about it, the wife got the piece of white clay for him. He whitened his whole body and his face and hands. Then he went to the lodge in a course parallel to that taken by the old men. He went very quickly and reached there before they did.

He climbed the scaffold and lay on it, thrusting his head out through the tent skins just above the doorway.

At last the old men approached, ascending the hill, and talking together in a low tone. The young man lay still, listening to them. When they reached the lodge, they sat down.

The leader said, “Fill your pipe, friends. We must smoke this last time with our friend up there.”

“Yes, your friend has spoken well. That should be done,” answered one of them.

So he filled the pipe. He drew a whiff, and when [Pg 113] the fire glowed, he turned the pipestem toward the seam of the skins above the doorway. He looked up towards the sky, saying, “Ho, friend, here is the pipe. We must smoke with you this last time. And then we must separate. Here is the pipe.”

As he said this, he gazed above the doorway and saw a head looking out from the tent.

“Oh! My friends!” he cried. “Look at this place behind you.”

When the two looked, they said, “Really! Friends, it is he!” And all fled.

Then the young man leaped down and pursued them. Two of them fell to the ground in terror, but he did not disturb them, going on in pursuit of his father. When the old man was overtaken, he fell to the ground. He was terrified. The young man sat astride of him. He said, “You have been very disobedient! Fill the pipe for me!”

The old man said, “Oh! My grandchild! Oh! My grandchild!” hoping that the ghost would pity him. Then he filled the pipe as he lay stretched there and gave it to his son.

The young man smoked. When he stopped smoking, the old man said, “Oh! My grandchild! Oh! My grandchild! Pity me, and let me go. We thought we must smoke with you this last time, so we went [Pg 114] to the place where you were. Oh! My grandchild, pity me.”