Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/368

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called him—the citizens of Damascus were frightened by the rumor that the great unbeliever bad reappeared in the form of a gaunt hyena that prowled around the city at night; and Abulfeda informs us that before the battle of Aleppo the Karmathians saw a large eagle circling above their vanguard, but were careful not to disturb it, "for they at once recognized the spirit of Abu Taher"—one of their former leaders who had won a great victory on that same battle-field.

Sitting Bull once declared that Father De Smet was the only white man whose word could be implicitly relied upon; but, according to the observations of Mr. W. Everett, this confidence seems to refer to political rather than mythological questions. Mr. William Everett, a government scout at Fort Custer, lived several years among the Sioux, and convinced himself that they believe in the metempsychosis of distinguished chiefs, and on one occasion he saw Sitting Bull himself "making motions with his hands, and talking to a large wolf, which apparently understood what he said, for, whenever he made the sign for 'Do you understand?' the wolf would throw up his head and howl." They deem it unlucky to kill a white wolf (like the Laplanders, who entertain similar scruples in regard to the white polar fox), and only famine will induce them to shoot at a white-tailed deer. During the hard winter of 1865 six young braves took the risk, and, "were found strangled with marks of fingers on their throats and horrified looks, as if they had seen something awful" (vide "Popular Science Monthly," vol. xxi, p. 422).

The Tyrolese mountaineers have an equally weird superstition which their priests have not seen fit to discourage, namely, that an unbaptized child is changed into a Flüh-vogel (a bird with a peculiar wailing cry), and has for ever to flit about the desolate shores of the highland lakes; and the Albanian peasants believe that Constantin Kastro, the companion in arms of the famous Scanderbeg, still haunts his native mountains in the form of a black falcon.

[To be continued.]




MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: Along with your kindness there comes to me a great unkindness from Fate; for, now that, above all times in my life, I need full command of what powers of speech I possess, disturbed health so threatens to interfere with them that I fear I shall very inadequately express myself. Any failure in my response you must please ascribe, in part at least, to a greatly