Page:Tlingit Myths and Texts.djvu/40

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26
[bull. 39
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY

Then he went up to the camp with his wife, and they saw all kinds of food there. His wife said, "It is lucky that we came across this;" and after a while the man said, "Let us cook some, my wife." Then the woman took her cooking basket and put some water into it. Presently she said, "Way out there is a canoe coming." It was a black canoe. She said, "We better leave this alone until the canoe comes so that w T e can invite them to eat with us." Her husband said, "All right." By and by his wife said, "What is the matter? To my eyes it does not appear like a canoe. It is too black." It was really a young killer whale, under which the other killer whales were swimming to make it appear like a canoe. When the supposed canoe reached land, the whales rushed ashore, seized the woman, who had concealed herself behind her husband, and carried her down to the sea. They took her away because her husband had taken their provisions. This time, when the killer whales rose again, instead of appearing like only one canoe, they came up out of the water thick everywhere and began to swim down the bay very fast. Meanwhile the husband went down to his canoe, got in, and paddled after them along the shore. But, when they came to a high cliff where the water went down deep, all the whales suddenly dived out of sight.

Now the man climbed to the top of this cliff, fastened a bough to his head and another slim spruce bough around his waist, filled the space inside of his shirt with rocks, and jumped into the ocean at the spot where his wife had disappeared, falling upon a smoothj mossy place on the bottom. When he awoke, he arose, looked about, and saw a long town near by. He entered the last house, which proved to belong to the chief of the shark people.

In this house he saw a man with a crooked mouth peeping out at him from behind a post. A long time before, when he had been fish ing, a shark had cut his line and carried off the hook, and it was this hook that now peeped out at him. It said, "Master, it is I. When your line broke, they took me down here and have made me a slave." Then he said to the shark chief, "Is there any news in this town?" and he replied, "Nothing especial in our town, but right across from us is the killer- whales town, and recently we heard that a woman had been captured there and is now married to the killer- whale chief." Then the shark chief continued: "The killer-whale chief has a slave who is always chopping wood back in the forest with a stone ax. When you come to him, say within yourself, I wish your stone ax would break. Wish it continually." So the shark instructed him.

Then he went over to the killer-whale town, and, when the slave s ax did break, he went up to him and said, "I will help you to fix that stone ax if you will tell me where my wife is." So he began to

fix it in place for him. It was the only stone ax in the killer-whale