Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 77 pages of information about Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin.

“A mighty toyon[9] dwelt on the island of Kagamil.  By name he was Kat-haya-koochat, and he was of great strength and much to be feared.  He had long had a death feud with people of the next totem, but the bold warrior Yakaga, chieftain of the tribe, married the toyon’s daughter, and there was no more feud.  Zampa was the son of Kat-haya-koochat, and his pride.  He built for this son a fine bidarka,[10] and the boy launched it on the sea.  His father watched him sail and called him to return, lest evil befall.  But Zampa heard not his father’s voice and pursued diving birds,[11] and, lo! he was far from land and the dark fell.  He sailed to the nearest shore and beheld the village of Yakaga, where the people of his sister’s husband made him welcome, though Yakaga was not within his hut.  There was feasting and merry-making, and, according to their custom, he, the stranger, was given a chieftain’s daughter to wife, and her name was Kitt-a-youx; and Zampa loved her and she him, and he returned not home.  But Kitt-a-youx’s father liked him not, and treated him with rudeness because of the old enmity with his Tyee father, so Zampa said to Kitt-a-youx:  ’Let us go hence.  We cannot be happy here.  Let us go from your father, who is unfriendly to me, and seek the barrabora of my father, the mighty chief, that happiness may come upon us,’ and Kitt-a-youx said:  ‘What my lord says is well.’

[Footnote 9:  Chieftain.]

[Footnote 10:  Canoe.]

[Footnote 11:  Ducks.]

“Then Zampa placed her in his canoe, and alone beneath the stars they sailed and it was well, and Zampa’s arm was strong at his paddle.  But, lo! they heard another paddle, and one came after them, and soon arrows flew about them, arrows swift and cruel, and one struck his paddle from his hand and his canoe was overturned.  The pursuer came and placed Kitt-a-youx in his canoe, seeking, too, for Zampa, but, alas!  Zampa was drowned.  And when his pursuer dragged his body to the surface, he gave a mighty cry, for, lo! it was his brother-in-law whom he had pursued, for he was Yakaga.  Then fearing the terrible rage of Zampa’s father, he dared not return with the body, so he left it with the overturned canoe in the kelp and weeds.  Kitt-a-youx he bore with him to his own island.  There she was sad as the sea-gull’s scream, for the lord she loved was dead.  And her father gave her to another toyon, who was cruel to her, and her life was as a slave’s, and she loathed her life until Zampa’s child was born to her, and for it she lived.  Alas, it was a girl child and her husband hated it, and Kitt-a-youx saw nothing for it but to be sold as a slave as was she herself.  And she looked by day and by night at the sea, and its cold, cold waves seemed warmer to her than the arms of men.  ’With my girl child I shall go hence,’ she whispered to herself, ’and the Great Unknown Spirit will be kind.’

“So by night she stole away in a canoe and steered to sea, ere she knew where she was, reaching the seaweeds where she had journeyed with her young husband.  The morning broke, and she saw the weeds and the kelp where her lover had gone from her sight, and, with a glad sigh, she clasped Zampa’s child to her breast and sank down among the weeds where he had died.  So her tired spirit was at rest, for a woman is happier who dies with him she loves.

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Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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