Mythology Of Mt. St. Helens--Part 2B Picture



Fleeing Spirit Lake

With the introduction of white-man, they were not aware of the terrors that lurked at Spirit Lake or in the geologically disturbed area. They would camp in forests that use to eat people. Fish amongst the bear-fish; and drink from the phantom waterfall. No fear was seen in their eyes, but as the years went by and people began to call the lake their home and out-of-towners visited the lake for evening shenanigans, trouble wasn’t far behind.

For quite some time; Seatco was described as a ghostly figure without body or form. This worked well against the native people, but the white people were not condition to understand Earth energies and the flow of nature and man’s involvement as part of nature and not above it.

Seatco had to take a new form to scare the average man and for Tony, he would literally have to fight for his life as a monster attacks him.

--Nathaniel Lee's "Morning Breath" in Mirror Shards.

The truck's shocks squeaked in protest as something scrambled over the cab. Tony's lungs burned. He saw a shadow move across the windshield. Claws scratched at the frost that must have condensed on the windows. The shadow leaned closer, but Tony was confident it wouldn't see anything.

When it jumped off the truck, the cab shook and Tony almost fell off his seat. He continued to hold his breath. Seconds passed, but the fear helped him fight breathing. A foot-long metal spike pierced the truck's roof. Tony screamed. The truck shook back-and-forth and Tony couldn't stop screaming.

The shaking stopped and the spike was pulled out with a spine-tingling screech. Tony saw a hairy eyeball stare down at him from where the spike had been. The eye was large and bloodshot. So much for playing possum.

Tony cranked the engine while the truck shook as the creature climbed back onto the cab. Several knuckles descended into the hole left by the spike. The engine purred to life and Tony kicked the gas. The truck careened forward. The truck crashed into a tree or something on the edge of the parking lot. The creature now had two fur-covered hands through the roof and was pulling the edges of the metal back.

Tony reversed the truck and drove towards where he thought the road should be that led away from the Spirit Lake parking lot. Tony rolled the steering wheel back-and-forth hoping to dislodge the creature clinging to the truck. He found that he knew where the side of the road was by a change in the texture of the wheels as they drove over the grass berms.

Tony slammed into a tree when he missed a sharp turn. The creature rolled forward and fell off of the hood. Tony remembered that the road twisted to the left here and quickly reversed the truck before the creature climbed back onto the truck. He made the turn and gunned the engine. The crashes had cracked the windshield and Tony twisted to kick out the glass.

Something hit the roof of the truck and Tony found himself covered with a thick brownish sludge that smelled like a cross between porcupine musk and cow patties. Tony fought the urge to vomit and concentrated on driving down the mountain to Castle Rock and his hotel room.

The Legend Of Spirit Lake

--C.F. Taylor & A.L. Russell

In the fastness of the forest, on the slope of Copper Mountain, ran a brook of crystal clearness; o'er a ledge it dash its waters, dancing, prancing to the bottom.

On the left a snow-clad mountain, rose in lone, majestic beauty. All around were wooded hillsides; in the midst of all lay sleeping, lay in quiet, peaceful slumber, lay a lake of limpid clearness.

All was quiet, dreamy quiet, but the leaping, dashing brooklet; none could speak except the brooklet; tongue was it for all surroundings. This its story, and its yearnings, told with frankness and deep feeling:

Long we've been here, waiting, waiting, vainly waiting human footsteps; waiting, but the footsteps came not; campfires came not to the lake shore; plumed brave nor did bashful maiden come within this charming basin. To the west the warlike Cowlitz, and the Yakima to the northward, but they shunned the lake and mountain, shunned them as they would a demon. Thus no voices came to cheer us; whoop nor laughter waked the echoes. When a brave peeped o'er the mountain into our entrancing valley, joyously he hailed his comrades, and they flock into the basin; scene of beauty most entrancing:

Circling mountains; water plenty; deer and bear, and goats and fishes; stately trees for good canoes. Came unto my dripping waters, and for them I sang my sweetest. Hard I tried to firmly hold them; happy I did wish to make them, for I wish them to dwell with us. And unto the great white mountain turned their eyes in admiration; see her in her robe of whiteness, always in her robe of whiteness, only when the twinge of sunset robes her in a golden glory.

Brave and maiden, woman, children, turned their eyes unto the mountain; calm, serene, and all contented till some eye saw in the water spirit of the great white mountain, ‘See! A ghost! An apparition!’ then a shriek and all confusion! Left they all, the haunted mountain. Ne'er returned they; for the story, story of the spirit mountain, plain to all within the lake depths, spread to all adjoining country, and became a tribe tradition. To this day an Indian will not set a foot upon the mountain; for he fears the mountain specter always seen in Spirit Lake; bears in mind the old tradition—cannot brave the superstition.

Spake the rill of Copper Mountain, sang the falls of Spirit Lake.

Thus until a lone prospector came to tap our rocks for metal, we were left in desolation. Welcome to the human footsteps; we have joy and health and comfort if you will but come unto us. See the mountain in her whiteness; see her majesty and greatness; see her in the golden sunset; see her glisten in the moonlight; see her likeness in the water. Not a specter; bodes no danger; only beauty given double; double measures to attract you. Gone the Yakima and the Cowlitz, come the pale face in great numbers to the mountain:

One of substance, one of spirit; one of substance in the azure, one of spirit in the water…bring the weary man of business; bring the heavy-burdened mother; bring the children with their prattle; bring the lover and the maiden; bring the invalids on stretchers to the balsam of our woodlands; bring them all, whose hearts are heavy; bring them all, who worship nature; bring them to the magic mountain; make a shrine unto the mountain.

Spake the rill of Copper Mountain, sang the falls of Spirit Lake.

Bring them in the chu-chu wagon: Hurry with the rails of iron; put the chu-chu wagon on them; bring, oh bring the people to us. Bring the sad and the disheartened; bring the glad and happy, also; bring the laughter of the children; bring the sweetheart and the lover. I will sing and dance or labor; only bring me human faces, upturned faces, eyes all sparkling; bring me them and I'll be happy.

Spake the rill of Copper Mountain, sang the falls of Spirit Lake

All these years I've sung and wasted, wasted songs of centuries. If you'll come and let me serve you, I will sing or dance or labor, turn your wheels of industry. They have called me ‘Independence,’ but I'm sure that's not my nature, for I want to be of service; I will sing or dance or labor, be an ornament or servant, for I want to bring the people from their cares and occupations. Bring them from the heat of summer to this place of restful coolness. Hurry, then, the chu-chu wagon; hurry, then, the track of iron; hurry, then, the water power. Then the people gay and happy, with new courage for life's burdens, will return unto their labors after they have rested with us.

Spake the rill of Copper Mountain, sang the falls of Spirit Lake.

Come and see the mountain Psyche; come and see in nature's mirror, see her likeness in the water; see her in the glowing sunset, see her glisten in the moonlight. White man calls her Mt. St. Helens, she the queen, the mountain princess; come and make a shrine unto her. She is robed in whiteness always, and the lake is always crystal; I will sing and work forever if you'll bring me human faces, human footsteps, human voices, something human to inspire song or dance or toil eternal, for we wish to send a message to the spirit in the cloud land, to the spirit in the star land; we must render an accounting of our service here below. Send the people to the mountain, to the lake and to the mountain, to the hills and rills and woodlands that the sick may breathe the balsam, that the weary may be rested, that the children may be healthful, and that job be universal. Bring them from the heat of summer; bring them from their toil and labor; bring them soon and bring them often.

Spake the rill of Copper Mountain, sang the falls of Spirit Lake.

"I will sing and work forever for the people, oh, the people; bring them to the snow-clad mountain, to the mount of snow eternal, to the lake of crystal clearness; show them in the water mirror picture of the great white mountain; mount of gold within the sunset, mount of silver in the moonlight; slopes of green down to the lake shore, balsam in the breath of fir trees, shady nooks within the forest, winding paths upon the hillsides. Tents should dot the circling lake shore, winged boats should cross its surface; all for service of the people; all for rest and health and comfort of the people, blessed people; of the beings who, immortal, after death can bear our message to the Spirit in the star land; bear the message of our labor, of our songs and of our yearnings, to the land of the Great Spirit where must all give an accounting.

Spake the rill one Sabbath morning, sang the falls one peaceful Sabbath, To the spirit, long departed, of the dearly loved Great Poet.

Forbidden South Side Of Mt. St. Helens

--Michael McLeod

Pg. 94-96

From the right angle, the entire mountain could be seen mirrored in Spirit Lake, a deep-blue jewel that took its name from an autumn phenomenon in which human-size wisps of fog rise from the surface and whirl like dervishes. The Indians believed they were the demon spirits of departed chiefs angry about the coming of white men. Spirit Lake didn’t need demons to gussy it up, but something about the place, with its legends and otherworldly beauty, invited speculation that all was not as calm as it looked.

In 1847, the French-Canadian artist Paul Kane set out by canoe from Fort Vancouver, located across the Columbia River from present-day Portland, to travel downstream to the Pacific. He kept a journal in which he described camping on what is now called Sauvie Island and visiting with the Multnomah Indians who lived at the mouth of the Lewis River, which flows into the Columbia from headwaters high on the mountain. Kane painted a now-famous picture of Mount St. Helens belching fire, which he visualized from the Multnomah’s’ campfire tales. The Indians had many superstitions about the peak. Kane, curious for a closer look, asked them to guide him up the Lewis, but they refused. Near the headwaters, they said, lived the Skookums, a race of giant, hairy cannibals, and the river and its surrounding forest were forbidden territory; no tribes ventured up there.

Settlers heard the tales and passed them on. As the population there-about grew, reports of giant, vaguely human creatures living near the mountain began creeping into newspapers. The most famous report occurred in 1924, when a group of miners working a deep canyon on the mountain’s eastern flank claimed they were attacked at night by giant apes who rained boulders on their cabin. The miners’ story—borne out by the discovery of huge footprints—sparked pandemonium. Law officers and vigilantes stormed the mountain armed to the teeth.

Years later, a retired Forest Service supervisor, Harry White, recalled getting a call from a fellow ranger who found himself caught in the middle of the excitement. “Why, Harry,” the ranger shouted through a tinny connection, “the woods are full of people. They’re armed with rifles and shotguns and pistols, and they’re shooting at anything that moves. I’m afraid that somebody is going to get hurt!” no apes were found, but the canyon became “Ape Canyon,” and the story was enshrined in the mountain’s official Forest Service history.

Patterson located and interviewed Fred Beck; one of the miners involved in the incident, and began exploring the mountain on horseback. He was particularly taken with Ape Canyon. Viewed from either end, the long, deep fissure—once known as Thousand-Foot Canyon—exudes mystery. In the mid-sixties it was an easy and spectacular ride across the mountain’s southern shoulder, passing through patches of wild strawberries, twisted bonsai pines, blue lupines, and red Indian paintbrush, to the canyon’s lip, where the walls were vertical and a stream flowed through the middle like a scene from Shangri-La.

Before the mountain’s catastrophic eruption in 1980, much of it was ringed by a single road that connected a handful of tiny communities. Everyone in the area came to know the little cowboy on the lookout for Bigfoot, including several grizzled forest veterans who claimed to have seen either the beast or footprints or knew someone who had.

Early in his investigation, Patterson was encouraged by an incident involving a couple fishing on the Lewis River, who reported to the sheriff that they had seen a giant, beige-colored creature walking on the bank. A logger named Charlie Erion, who owned a farm on the river; went to the site with his son and found hundreds of huge humanlike tracks. The couple’s story and Erion’s discovery made the newspapers. Patterson showed up at Erion’s place a few weeks later and peppered him with questions. Erion told him of several other reports. They became friends, and Patterson took to using Erion’s place as a way station on his journeys to and from the mountain, occasionally staying overnight.

Thunderbird Of Spirit Lake

--Jeff Davis

Virtually every Native American culture has stories of a giant, magical bird, which most call the Thunderbird. The name comes from the sound the birds’ wings make when in full flight, like thunderclaps. The Thunderbird’s wings, it was said, were larger than two canoes, and the feathers the size of canoe paddles. Their eyes glowed red, and lighting shot out of their claws. At least two Thunderbirds flew in Washington: one in the Cascade Mountains, and the other in the Olympic Mountains of the Puget Sound.

The first bird lived part of the time inside Mount St Helens. It created earthquakes and volcanic eruptions when it rolled over in its sleep. The rest of the time, it lived at the bottom of Spirit Lake, at the foot of the mountain. The Native people saw the water bubble and froth when the Thunderbird was angry. According to one legend, this bird attacked many other creatures until the Raven killed it, after which the Thunderbird’s body fell into the Columbia River, where it formed several islands. Other people believe it is still alive, and is responsible for the recent eruptions at the mountain.

The local people were afraid of Spirit Lake because of the Thunderbird and the other spirit beings that inhabited the area, and kept a healthy distance away. When Mount St. Helens erupted in the 1840s, artist Paul Kane traveled to the mountain to sketch and paint it. Upon his return a few days later, the locals ran away from him. Their belief in the powers of the spirits there was so strong; they thought Kane was a ghost.

The second thunderbird was friendlier to humanity. Many generations ago, the Quileute people of the Olympic Peninsula were starving, in part because a giant killer whale was eating all the fish. Their chieftain appealed the Great Spirit for help, and it summoned the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird appeared to the people with the body of the whale in its claws, which it gave to them to eat, then flew to Mount Olympus, where it made its home. And though it was helpful to humans, the bird valued its privacy. Hunters climbing the mountain were scared away by the ice and rock-falls the bird created when it smelled them.

In addition to explaining natural phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the Thunderbird legends have some basis in fact. Some think they were (and are) eagles, which are not common in the area but known to the native people there. And the largest living bird in North America is the California condor, which make their home in the Sierra Madre Mountains: a long way to travel to Washington State. Or is it?

Legend Of Face Rock

--Sunset Oceanfront Lodging Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon

Many, many years ago, the legend begins, Chief Siskiyou from the far mountains traveled with his family and other clansmen to the coast to trade goods with the four tribes who lived by the sea they called Wecoma.

In his honor, the four chiefs planned the greatest feast in all memory. They roasted bear, salmon, elk, and deer. Huge quantities of clams and mussels were steamed. Cedar back trays were filled with honey and red and blue huckleberries.

It was feared that Seatka, the evil spirit who lived in the sea, might cause trouble for the people and their guests. Armed warriors stood guard on the high bluffs.

The sea enchanted Princess Ewauna, the beautiful daughter of Chief Siskiyou. After the feast, when the people were sleeping, she slipped away from camp, carrying a basket with her cat and kittens nestled inside, and followed by her faithful dog.

The moon was full and the Wecoma ran silver. Ewauna, who did not fear Seatka, swam in the sea, farther and farther from shore. The dog barked a warning but it was too late.

The evil Seatka had captured the beautiful princess. The dog carrying the basket of kittens swam to his mistress and buried his teeth in the hand of Seatka.

Howling, he shook off the dog and threw the cats into the sea. Seatka tried to make Ewauna look into his eyes, but she refused to look away from the great, round moon.

When her father awoke, he raised the alarm. Everyone rushed to the shore of Wecoma. There they saw the lovely face of Princess Ewauna gazing skyward. Her dog was on the beach howling for the princess, and the cat and kittens were in the sea. In time, they all turned to stone, frozen forever; as they were that long ago dawn.

Spirits Of Spirit Lake

--Charles A. Stansfield

Spirit Lake, not surprisingly, is filled with spirits, or so the local Native Americans believe. A great many people of all races and ethnic backgrounds agree that Spirit Lake is aptly named. It is a spooky place and has been for many centuries.

Spirit Lake lies only about seven miles northeast of Mount St. Helens, and their geological histories and mysterious powers are connected. The lake, according to geologist, was created long ago by the eruption of the great volcano. Lava rock and cinders ejected from Mount St. Helens buried an entire forest and dammed a stream, creating the lake. This theorized origin was proven correct when the 1980 eruption, which shot a dense plume of smoke and ash 80,000 feet in the air, released an avalanche of debris a mile wide, raising the lake's surface by another two hundred feet. Spirit Lake reaches astonishing depths. Many spots are more than 1,300 feet deep. These mysterious depths may be one reason for the lake's supernatural aura. Who knows what might exist at such depths?

According to tribal traditions, Spirit Lake is the home of many spirits--some good, some evil, many violent, and a few capable of predicting the future. It is these spirit prophets who may be the most important phantoms; their messages and warnings are said to foretell disaster.

The vicinity of Spirit Lake is noted for weird sounds. The very earth seems to whisper and moan. The reason for these phenomena may be the unusual terrain produced by past volcanic eruptions. As great flows of hot liquid rock poured down the mountain thousands of years ago, the top crust cooled solid while molten lava continued to drain from beneath it. This led to long, winding lava tubes or underground tunnels. One, Ape Cave, is more than 12,000 feet long, with many side branches. Air currents in these lava tubes can make it seem as though the earth itself is breathing, sighing, whispering, and moaning.

Local legend has it that these sounds are caused by Siatcoes, out-cast spirits from other tribes who have the power to speak through various animals or even trees and rocks. These supernatural ventriloquists sometimes deliver urgent warnings to the living when the mountain may again explode and destroy all life around it.

Another old tradition is that a giant elk lured a young brave out hunting food for his starving family many centuries ago. The elk led the hunter into the lake and then drowned him. To this day, according to myth, the huge elk and his pursuer appear at the lake when an eruption is near. The elk and hunter were spotted just before May 18, 1980, when an incredible explosion tore the top 1,300 feet off the mountain, scattering ash over parts of three states. It could happen again at any time.

The Woman In White

--The News Tribune, 2008

For nearly five months after Mount St. Helens blew its top on the morning of May 18, 1980, stories of a spooky female hitchhiker started to make the rounds.

So many people said they saw the woman that the stories were retold in mainstream media reports. Police in Southwestern Washington towns were even notified that drivers might report seeing the woman, Smith said.

Driving at night on Interstate 5 and local highways, many drivers were stunned as their headlights revealed a woman in a white dress walking on the shoulder and signaling she needed a ride.

When cars stopped, she crawled into the back seat and sat quietly as they continued on their way. But eventually, the woman would talk about Mount St. Helens.

The volcano's dynamic display that spring was a common conversational icebreaker at the time, so drivers certainly weren't surprised by the woman's choice of topics.

But what happened next certainly sent chills down their spines.

The woman in white would lean forward and say something like, "You know it's going to erupt again."

When the driver glanced at the woman in the rear view mirror, she was gone.

Similar stories circulated in the area, getting more and more specific each time until, in some of her final appearances, she told drivers, "The volcano is going to erupt again between Oct. 12 and 14."

As the date approached, the sightings became more rare until they stopped altogether. When Oct. 12, 1980, came and went, people started kicking themselves and laughing at each other for giving validity to such a tale.

Some people, Smith said, wrote off the ghostly prediction as a morality tale, a reminder to always respect the power of Mother Nature.

"It would have been natural to assume she meant Oct. 12, 1980," Smith said. "But years don't matter to ghosts."

When Mount St. Helens awoke in late September 2004, the story of the woman in white had almost entirely vanished from local lore. As St. Helens spewed ash and steam, scientists theorized that the main event would be molten lava punching through to the surface.

They were right. After weeks of anticipation, scientists recorded lava finally pushing through the crater floor…on Oct. 12.

The Ghost Of The Spirit Lake Lodge

--Alan Goggenheim

Spirit Lake Lodge lay buried in the snowy forest of towering Douglas firs, shaggy pine and ancient cedar. Ice crusted up along the banks of the frozen Toutle River three feet from the lodge patio. A stillness clung to the air. Nothing breathes. A heavy darkness blanketed the snowy round shoulders of Mount St. Helens.

A warm yellow beam of life poured out from a single kerosene lantern perched on the window still inside one of the second floor lodger’s rooms above the main entrance. Inside that room two men talked.

“I’d say we chopped a good pile of wood today,” said Harry Gustafson.

“Yeah, and now I guess we’ll have to clean out that chimney before long,” his companion replied.

Gustafson leaned back in his big leather rocking chair, gently massaging his arthritic elbow. Sitting across from the older Gustafson was Silas Scoggins, the lodge caretaker. Silas took care of the place through the long and lonesome winter months. Gustafson had ventured up the mountain to the lodge that afternoon to help Silas during the upcoming weekend when a few tourists might trek through the elements for some winter adventure.

Silas leaned back in his cane-bottomed chair and nodded, a little sleepy but deeply content from the chicken and gravy he had fried up earlier that evening. Harry’s company was sure nice in the big, old lodge. Except for his shaggy black Labrador retriever—Bugsy—Silas had nobody to talk to other than himself during the weekdays. This was nice.

Bugsy curled up at Silas’ feet, stood and walked in a light circle, then lay down again and curled up. The big, long haired Lab must have weighed 150lbs. Gustafson smiled at the way the dog groaned and fell into a deep, restful sleep. He peered at Silas and asked about their neighbor, a fellow lodge owner up the road named Harry Truman.

“I seen how you and old Truman laid in a pretty big pile of wood. How’d you wangle that?” he asked Silas.

“Oh, me and Harry are buddies these days. He stopped in and asked me to help buck some logs down the road. He bribed some loggers to leave him a few in a ditch, but you know that old coot can sure make his case, especially when he’s got a cooler full of six-packs,” Silas laughed.

“Old Truman even made arrangements with the cutters there to cut him two-foot logs rather them chip’em. We just drove down and hurled half back to his place and half to here,” said Silas.

“How much did you get us?” Gustafson asked.

“Twenty cords,” said Silas.

Gustafson whistled.

Suddenly, Bugsy’s head popped up. His floppy ears stood straight up. Silas cocked his head sideways. Voices!

A woman said something about something somewhere.

A man’s voice responded, “Yes.”

Her voice went on, just barely out of earshot.

“What in the heck?” Silas could not quite make out what she was saying.

Gustafson sat up, turned his head towards the bedroom door almost expecting somebody to walk in any moment.

“You hear that?” Silas asked.

“I think so,” Gustafson replied. “Maybe it’s somebody got into the lodge?”

“No, no, couldn’t be. I’m pretty sure I barred the front door and the back’s snowed in clear to the eaves.” Silas said. “I’m sure it’s locked.”

“You sure?” Gustafson asked once again. He could hear the woman clearly not. She was pointing out objects in the lodge to the man who would occasionally mutter, “Mmm, yes, yes. Mmm, yes.”

Silas slid forward to the edge of his chair. “Yeah, I’m positive I wedged the shovel through the door handles. And I latched the top and the bottom of the door too. I’m sure I did.”

Bugsy leaped to his feet and walked to the door. His nose reached up into the air, trying to catch a whiff of whoever, or whatever, was coming this way.

“You better go and take a look around,” said Gustafson. Silas stood up and reached for his 410 shotgun leaning against the wall and a big, eight-battery flashlight on the top of a dresser drawer.

Gustafson’s arthritis prevented him from jumping out of the big leather rocking chair. Silas pondered giving him a hand up, and then decided to take a look-see by himself. “I’ll be right back,” he said.

Bugsy sprang to his feet as Silas reached for the doorknob. It turned ever so slightly. Silas recoiled. He pulled his hand back to the stock of the gun, gave it a pat, and then reached out again to turn the knob.

“Here, take the lamp,” said Gustafson, pointing to the kerosene lantern by the bed.

“Good idea,” said Silas. It would be kind of hard juggling the flashlight, lantern and his shotgun, but pitch black and horrific without them.

“I’m coming now,” Silas said to the intruders outside their bedroom door. He twisted the heavy, cast-iron knob, pushed open the solid wood door and blasted the full length of the hallway with the big flashlight. An eerie reflection off the picture frame at the far end of the hall blinded Silas for a second. He quickly scanned the hall with his lights. Shadows fled into the doorways to the seven other second-floor lodge rooms. He inched down the hallway, flashing inside each lodge room. In each was a handmade bed, its mattress carefully bunked over for the winter. Each room had a bone china kerosene lamp on the nightstand. The hand painted lampshades leered back at Silas, prompting him to hurry on to the next room.

“Come on, boy,” said Silas to his dog. “Let’s get this over with.”

They paced down the long hallway the length of the lodge. Nothing here; nothing there. The voices seemed more remote. The mysterious man and woman must have disappeared downstairs to the main lodge area, somewhere near the stairwell, or maybe they were lurking in the basement.

“Hello! Down there?” Silas called out.

Silas edged closer to the stairs, threw the beam of light from his powerful flashlight down below and brought into full view two red, white and blue wooden Indian heads.

Creeeeak! Creeeeak! Creeeeak! Went the steps as he descended, Bugsy by his side, strangely unwilling to bolt downstairs.

At the landing, Silas checked the dark edges of the room and placed the kerosene lantern on the end of the bannister. He leveled the flashlight and probed the shadowy form frozen around the lobby. Salt shakers cowered behind napkin holders on each of the five dining tables. Ghastly images smiled out of burled myrtlewood picture frames that lined the walls above the antique end tables. There was no phone.

Stale candy and spools of fishing line gleamed behind the cut glass showcases. Silas angled to the left and passed the horseshoe bar and grill area in the middle of the lodge. No voices now, but a heavy sigh of air exhaled from the flue of the woodstove at the top of the stairs. Bugsy paid it no mind, his paws padded down the steps to the basement barely illuminated now by the throw of the flashlight. Silas followed him.

A rocking chair creaked. The woodstove flue tapped gently to the rustle of the wind outside. Snow tapped against the windowpanes. Bugsy growled, the sniffed the dank air below.

Silas strained to hear something moving, something whispering, something grasping the handle of an axe.

“Find anything?” Gustafson snapped as Silas and Bugsy burst back into the upstairs lodge bedroom.

“Naw, just some mice, I think. Must’ve been in this place all winter,” Silas said.

“Or them ghosts again,” said Gustafson.

Link To: Mythology Of Mount St. Helens -- Part 2C (The Dark Side Of The Mountain)

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