There was one hope; he might yet ward off the danger, for the uplifted arm of the god had not fallen. He hoped to appease the anger of the giant by dancing in his honor.
“We have travelled far,” said old John the medicine man, to Markeda, “and are tired. When we have slept we will dance with you, for we are of the giant’s party.”
“Great is Haokah, the giant of the Dahcotahs,” the chief replied; “it is a long time since we have danced to him.”
“I had been hunting with my warriors, we chased the buffalo, and our arrows pierced their sides; they turned upon us, bellowing, their heads beating the ground; their terrible eyes glared upon us even in death; they rolled in the dust, for their strength was gone. We brought them to the village for our women to prepare for us when we should need them. I had eaten and was refreshed; and, tired as my limbs were, I could not sleep at first, but at last the fire grew dim before my eyes, and I slept.
“I stood on the prairie alone, in my dream, and the giant appeared before me. So tall was he that the clouds seemed to float about his head. I trembled at the sound of his voice, it was as if the angry winds were loosed upon the earth.
“‘The warriors of the Dahcotahs are turned women,’ said he; ’that they no longer dance in honor of the giant, nor sing his songs. Markeda is not a coward, but let him tremble; he is not a child, but he may shed tears if the anger of the giant comes upon him.’
“Glad was I when I woke from my dream—and now, lest I am punished for my sins, I will make a sacrifice to the giant. Should I not fear him who is so powerful? Can he not take the thunder in his hand and cast it to the earth?
“The heart of the warrior should be brave when he dances to the giant. My wigwam is ready, and the friends of the giant are ready also.”
“Give me your mocassins,” said the young wife of Markeda to old John; “they are torn, and I will mend them. You have come from afar, and are welcome. Sleep, and when you awake, you will find them beside you.” As she assisted him to take them off, the medicine man looked admiringly into her face. “The young wife of Markeda is as beautiful as the white flowers that spring up on the prairies. Her husband would mourn for her if the giant should close her eyes. They are bright now, as the stars, but death would dim them, should not the anger of the giant be appeased.”
The “Bounding Fawn” turned pale at the mention of the angry giant; she sat down, without replying, to her work; wondering the while, if the soul of her early love thought of her, now that it wandered in the Spirit’s land. It might be that he would love her again when they should meet there. The sound of her child’s voice, awakening out of sleep, aroused her, and called to her mind who was its father.
“They tore me away from my lover, and made me come to the teepee of the chief,” was her bitter reflection. “Enah! that I cannot love the father of my child.”