The Lake of the Sky eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Lake of the Sky.
young to press the war-path when last the tribe gave battle to their hereditary foes, the Paiutis.  He never had done deed of valor, nor could he even claim the right to sit with the warriors around the council fire.  All day long he had been sitting alone on the jutting cliffs which overhang the water, far away from the laughter and shouts of the camp, eagerly, prayerfully watching the great Lake.  Surely the Great Spirit would hear his prayer, yet he had been here for days and weeks in unavailing prayer and waiting.
The afternoon was well-nigh spent and the heart of the young brave had grown cold as stone.  In his bitter despair he sprang to his feet to defy the Great Spirit in whom he had trusted, but ere he could utter the words his very soul stood still for joy.  Slowly rising from the center of the Lake, he saw the ong.  Circling high in the heavens, the monster swept now here, now there, in search of prey.  The young brave stood erect and waited.  When the ong was nearest he moved about slightly to attract its notice.  He had not long to wait.  With a mighty swoop, the bird dashed to earth, and as it arose, the young brave was seen to be clasped fast in its talons.  A great cry of horror arose from the camp, but it was the sweetest note the young brave had ever heard.  The bird flew straight up into the sky until Lake and forest and mountains seemed small and dim.  When it reached a great height it would drop its prey into the Lake and let the current draw it to its nest.  Such was its custom, and for this the brave had prepared by unwinding from his waist a long buckskin cord and tying himself firmly to the ong’s leg.  The clumsy feet could not grasp him so tightly as to prevent his movements.  At last the great feet opened wide, but the Indian did not fall.  In a mighty rage, the ong tried in vain to grasp him in his teeth, but the strong web between the bird’s toes sheltered him.  Again and again the bird tried to use his horrid teeth, and each time his huge body would fall through the air in such twistings and contortions that those who watched below stared in bewilderment.  But what the watchers could not see was that every time the huge mouth opened to snap him, the young brave hurled a handful of poisoned arrowheads into the mouth and down the big throat, their sharp points cutting deep into the unprotected flesh.  The bird tried to dislodge him by rubbing his feet together, but the thong held firm.  Now it plunged headlong into the Lake, but its feet were so tied that it could not swim, and though it lashed the waters into foam with its great wings, and though the man was nearly drowned and wholly exhausted, the poison caused the frightened bird such agony that it suddenly arose and tried to escape by flying toward the center of the Lake.  The contest had lasted long and the darkness crept over the Lake, and into the darkness the bird vanished.
The women had been long in their huts
Project Gutenberg
The Lake of the Sky from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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