Obrázky stránek

The youth said, "Remain outside, and let me go in alone first." He entered. “You have arrived,” said War-Club Owner. “Yes, and I have brought a woman." — "Where is she?" – "Outside." So War-Club Owner went out, and said, “Well, my new sister, come in !"

She was very lovely and well dressed; and they soon learned that she was the daughter of a chief of a famous and powerful family. The girl had an elder sister and a brother, who had gone hunting, and had deserted the village. War-Club Owner still cared for the camp, and helped his sister-in-law to keep their home, while the youth hunted, as usual. War-Club Owner loved his sister-in-law and respected her; he would not let her get wood or water. One day when the sister-in-law was making moccasins and quill-work, and patching moccasins, in came a very tall man. He entered, and sat down by the woman. All at once he said to the woman, "Come on, now!” She paid no attention. “Go away!" - "No, come on! you must come!" He locked his arm with hers and dragged her away. At the door War-Club Owner cried, “He! what are you doing? Stop!" War-Club Owner took hold of her and held her back. "Let her alone!" he shouted; but the big man was too strong, and pulled her, until the girl nearly came apart; then War-Club Owner let go, and the stranger carried her off. He was an evil power, who did nothing but steal other men's wives, taking them to his lodge. When the youth came home, and missed his wife, he felt dreadfully, and asked his brother where she was. “Oh, she has been stolen from us; and I did the best I could, but I was overcome. He took her home by the hunch-back's trail. I shall try to get her back, and maybe I shall succeed.” — "Well, I'll go too!” — “Oh, no! you have no power at all. What can you do? You will be overcome at once.” — “Oh, no! she is my wife, and it is right for me to protect and defend her.” — “All right, if you think you can! but you know how you are. You will not obey me, and you will only get into trouble again.”

This made the youth so angry, that he started out alone; but WarClub Owner warned him once more about hunch-backs. “Well, if you will go, I shall stay here and keep house."

The youth came to four hunch-backs, who cried, “He! War-Club Owner's brother is on his way after his wife.” They offered him some meal, and he accepted it at once, and was again overcome by them. The hunch-back who duped him then went off in the youth's shape. War-Club Owner saw it all from his lodge, and started out. "We see War-Club Owner coming after his sister-in-law," cried the cripples. War-Club Owner was displeased when he saw his brother. "Why on earth did you make such a fool of yourself a second time? Now go home!" and War-Club Owner straightened him out. “You cannot obey, you are weak. You are no good."


War-Club Owner went there, and cured the hunch-backs, so that they were restored to youthful shape and looks.

"Now stand here, and let me show you my power!” he ordered. He turned to the women and called them up too. Then War-Club Owner took his large and powerful bow and flint-tipped arrows. “Before you go, I want to show you my power, who I am, and what I can do. It is I who have released you all. Here about us lie the bones of these women's husbands!” He cried, and shot into the air. "Watch!” he cried; and as the arrow fell, he yelled, "He! All of you stand up, or it will fall on you!” The bones came together again and became men. "Now all of you take your wives and go home to your places." He cried, and they all shook hands with one another and with War-Club Owner. Then he said, “Rather do you owe your thanks to my sister-in-law; she was the cause of all this, through me. All of you thank her."

Meantime the poor brother was hunting, and had prepared a large supply of provisions. After they had been home for a while, WarClub Owner ordered the youth to take his wife and go and visit her parents, as they must have returned and the trail was open. They only took a little luggage. When they arrived, she knew the place, and led her husband to the lodge where her parents lived, and they entered. All were there.

“Do you know me, mother?" – "Oh, yes!” — "I have returned to life, and War-Club Owner did it. This is his brother, my husband."

Her parents were very glad, and they staid there. The parents were so glad, that they made them sit in the place of honor. On the second day, War-Club Owner looked from home, and saw all that went on.

"Now I will show my power to my father-in-law and mother-in-law. They shall have in their rawhide boxes all this meat that I have been preparing so long. Let all this go to my mother-in-law in her sleep! Let it go to her lodge through the smoke-hole, and arrange itself around them!” The instant he said this, the meat left silently; but it so crowded the old man, that he was awakened, and exclaimed. His wife rebuked him; but, when she felt the same, she arose and looked, made a fire, saw all these gifts, and said, “Old man, keep still! Our lodge is stocked with the best of meat. Be happy! Don't complain!"

Their son-in-law was there too; so the old man said, “Our son-in-law War-Club Owner sent this here. We take it thankfully." Next night the old man took garters, fancy garments, red sashes, and mats, and commanded them to go to War-Club Owner as a return present; and it was so. The old lady sent woven bags filled with wild rice and sweet corn, and sugar in mococks. The old man had another daughter;

and so they decided to give her to War-Club Owner, and said to their daughter, "Take your sister to War-Club Owner to be his wife."

Now it was well with War-Club Owner. The old people said he was good, and deserved all these benefits. When their daughter returned, she took the girl. The youth made her wait outside, took his own wife in, and said to War-Club Owner, "We have brought you a wife, and she is here."

War-Club Owner was so pleased, that he sprang, and fell half way to the door, and went out and cried, “Come in! I accept you gladly."




The Malays of the Padang Highlands in Sumatra are born cockfighters. But for a main of game-fowls, arranged to take place near the beautiful lake of Maninju, sweet, pretty Raïssa would be at home instead of on the road between Matoor and Pasar Lawang.

It is early, between eight and ten, the hour specified in native speech as most propitious for spreading out the rice in the hull to dry. The people of the Lowlands, truly, would call it late, seeing that they observe much earlier hours for going to market and the transaction of business because the sun makes them. In the cool Highlands, however, there is no such fear of the burning Eye of Day.

The road leads through coffee-gardens and here and there a primitive sugar-plantation with the old-fashioned mill, worked by hand or by a yoke of oxen. Farther away the watered rice-fields are watched over by giant mountains in the hazy distance. Everywhere, in the valleys and on the hills, mother earth lifts up her opulence to the favoring light of heaven, which descends in the glory of a new-born tropical day.

It is not considered proper for young girls to attend market-places, where conversation is held of such meaning, where people are encountered of such an adventurous disposition as ought to be met only by men and old women who know something of the world and its ugly snares. But Raïssa, though the child of a well-to-do mother, yea, living in a house with gables pointed upward like horns, the exclusive privilege of the free-born Malay, - Raïssa is all for new ideas. She has been a pupil of the native school at Matoor, where six gurus, appointed by the Dutch Government, instruct some two hundred children, among whom are already fifteen girls. Female emancipation is beginning to spread around the lake of Maninju! And Raïssa has still another excuse, quite sufficient in her opinion if maidenly coyness may come to the rescue of old-time institutions: Raïssa is in love.

Behold her, then, brown but comely, her dark red scarf, embroidered with gold, folded over her head after the manner of the daughters of the land; her eyes, black and bright, brighter yet by the effect of a blue powder rubbed into the lower lids, haughtily looking down upon the other women, who trot to the market loaded with baskets of

1 All rights reserved by author.

« PředchozíPokračovat »