Each of these exhibitions of intelligence extorted exclamations of wonder. It is true, that one or two of the higher chiefs understood that the name might possibly have been obtained from Cloud; but how was the medicine-man to know that Wolfseye was a drunkard? This last had not been said in terms; but enough had been said, to let those who were aware of the propensity feel that more was meant than had been expressed. Before there was time, however, to deliberate on, or to dissect this specimen of mysterious knowledge, le Bourdon reversed the glass, and applied the small end to the eye of Cloud, after having given it its former direction. The Indian fairly yelled, partly with dread, and partly with delight, when he saw Wolfseye, large as life, brought so near him that he fancied he might be touched with his own hand.
“What dat mean?” exclaimed Cloud, as soon as surprise and awe enabled him to find his voice. “Fuss he little, den he big—fuss he great way, den he close by—what dat mean, eh?”
“It means that I am a medicine-man, and this is a medicine-glass, and that I can see with it into the earth, deeper than the wells, or higher than the mountains!”
These words were translated, and explained to all three. They extorted many ejaculations of wonder, and divers grunts of admiration and contentment. Cloud conferred a moment with the two principal chiefs; then he turned eagerly to the bee-hunter, saying—
“All good, but want to hear more—want to l’arn more—want to see more.”
“Name your wants freely, Pottawattamie,” answered le Bourdon, with dignity, “they shall be satisfied.”
“Want to see—want to taste whiskey spring—see won’t do—want to taste”
“Good—you shall smell first; then you shall see; after that you shall taste. Give me room, and be silent; a great medicine is near.”
Thus delivering himself, le Bourdon proceeded with his necromancy.
He turned him round, and fled amain With hurry and
dash to the beach again; He twisted over from side
to side, And laid his cheek to the cleaving tide;
The strokes of his plunging arms are fleet, And with
all his might he flings his feet, But the water-sprites
are round him still, To cross his path and work him
—The Culprit Fay.
The first step in the conjuration of the bee-hunter was, to produce an impression on the minds of his untutored observers, by resorting to a proper amount of mummery and mystical action. This he was enabled to do with some effect, in consequence of having practised as a lad in similar mimicry, by way of pastime. The Germans, and the descendants of Germans in America, are not of a very high class, as respects education, taken as a body, and they retain many of the most inveterate of the superstitions of their Teutonic ancestors.