"Very well," said the
lover, "I will eat the fish with you, but you must first make me a
promise. If I eat the fish, you must promise, pledge yourself, to
fetch me all the water that I can drink."
"I promise," said the
other, and the two ate the fish out of their war-kettle. For there
had been but one kettle for the party.
When they had eaten, the
kettle was rinsed out and the lover's friend brought it back full of
water. This the lover drank at a draught.
"Bring me more," he said.
Again his friend filled
the kettle at the river and again the lover drank it dry.
"More!" he cried.
"Oh, I am tired. Cannot you go to the river and drink your fill from the stream?" asked his
"Remember your promise."
"Yes, but I am weary. Go now and drink."
"Ek-hey, I feared it
would be so. Now trouble is coming upon us," said the lover sadly. He walked to the river, sprang in, and lying down in the water with his
head toward land, drank greedily. By and by he called to his friend.
"Come hither, you who
have been my sworn friend. See what comes of your broken promise."
The friend came and was
amazed to see that the lover was now a fish from his feet to his middle.
Sick at heart he ran off
a little way and threw himself upon the ground in grief. By and by
he returned. The lover was now a fish to his neck.
"Cannot I cut off the
part and restore you by a sweat bath?" the friend asked.
"No, it is too late. But tell the chief's daughter that I loved her to the last and that I die
for her sake. Take this belt and give it to her. She gave it
to me as a pledge of her love for me," and he being then turned to a great
fish, swam to the middle of the river and there remained, only his great
fin remaining above the water.
The friend went home and
told his story. There was great mourning over the death of the five
young men, and for the lost lover. In the river the great fish remained,
its fin just above the surface, and was called by the Indians "Fish that
Bars," because it bar'd navigation. Canoes had to be portaged at
great labor around the obstruction.
The chief's daughter
mourned for her lover as for a husband, nor would she be comforted. "He was lost for love of me, and I shall remain as his widow," she wailed.
In her mother's tepee she
sat, with her head covered with her robe, silent, working, working. "What is my daughter doing," her mother asked. But the maiden did
The days lengthened into
moons until a year had passed. And then the maiden arose. In
her hands were beautiful articles of clothing, enough for three men. There were three pairs of moccasins, three pairs of leggings, three belts,
three shirts, three head dresses with beautiful feathers, and sweet
"Make a new canoe of
bark," she said, which was made for her.
Into the canoe she
stepped and floated slowly down the river toward the great fish.
"Come back my daughter," her mother cried in
agony. "Come back. The great fish will eat you."