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Kut o Yis.
Start of Story
After a time the water began to boil and the old man turned his
quiver upside down over the pot, and immediately there came from it
a sound of a child crying, as if it were being hurt. The old people
both looked in the kettle and there they saw a little boy, and they
quickly took him out of the water. They were surprised and did not
know where the child had come from. The old woman wrapped the child
up and wound a line about its wrappings to keep them in place,
making a lashing for the child. Then they talked about it, wondering
what should be done with it. They thought that if their son-in-law
knew it was a boy he would kill it; so they determined to tell their
daughters that the baby was a girl, for then their son-in-law would
think that he was going to have another wife. So he would be glad.
They called the child Kut-o-yis´--Clot of Blood.
The son-in-law and his wives came home, bringing the meat, and
after a little time they heard the child in the next lodge crying.
The son-in-law said to his youngest wife, "Go over to your mother's
and see whether that baby is a boy or a girl. If it is a boy, tell
your parents to kill it."
Soon the young woman came back and said to her husband, "It is a
girl baby. You are to have another wife."
The son-in-law did not know whether to believe this, and sent his
oldest wife to ask the same question. When she came back and told
him the same thing he believed that it was really a girl. Then he
was glad, for he said to himself, "Now, when this child has grown
up, I shall have another wife." He said to his youngest wife, "Take
some back fat and pemmican over to your mother; she must be well fed
now that she has to nurse this child."
On the fourth day after he had been born the child spoke and said to
his mother, "Hold me in turn to each one of these lodge poles, and
when I come to the last one I shall fall out of my lashings and be
grown up." The old woman did as he had said, and as she held him to
one pole after another he could be seen to grow; and finally when he
was held to the last pole he was a man.
After Kut-o-yis´ had looked about the lodge he put his eye to a hole
in the lodge-covering and looked out. Then he turned around and said
to the old people, "How is it that in this lodge there is nothing to
eat? Over by the other lodge I see plenty of food hanging up."
"Hush," said the old woman, raising her hand, "you will be heard.
Our son-in-law lives over there. He does not give us anything at all
"Well," said the young man, "where is your piskun--where do you kill
"It is down by the river," the old woman answered. "We pound on it
and the buffalo run out."
For some time they talked together and the old man told Kut-o-yis´
how his son-in-law had abused him. He said to the young man, "He has
taken from me my bow and my arrows and has taken even my dogs; and
now for many days we have had nothing to eat, except sometimes a
small piece of meat that our daughter throws to us."
"Father," said Kut-o-yis´, "have you no arrows?"
"No, my son," replied the old man, "but I still have four stone
"Go out then," said Kut-o-yis´, "and get some wood. We will make a
bow and some arrows, and in the morning we will go down to where the
buffalo are and kill something to eat."
Early in the morning Kut-o-yis´ pushed the old man and said, "Come,
get up now, and we will go down and kill, when the buffalo come
out." It was still very early in the morning.
When they reached the river the old man said, "This is the place to
stand and shoot. I will go down and drive them out."
He went down and stamped on the log-jam, and presently a fat cow ran
out and Kut-o-yis´ killed it.
Now, after these two had gone to the river the son-in-law arose and
went over to the old man's lodge, and knocked on the poles and
called to the old man to get up and help him kill. The old woman
called out to the son-in-law, saying, "Your father-in-law has
already gone down to the piskun." This made the son-in-law angry,
and he began to talk badly to the old woman and to threaten to harm
Presently he went on down to the log-jam, and as he got near the
place he saw the old man at work there, bending over, skinning a
buffalo; for Kut-o-yis´, when he had seen the son-in-law coming, had
lain down on the ground and hidden himself behind the carcass.
When the son-in-law had come pretty close to where the buffalo lay
he said to his father-in-law, "Old man, stand up and look all about
you. Look carefully and well, for it will be the last time that you
will ever see anything"; and while the son-in-law said this he took
an arrow from his quiver.
Kut-o-yis´ spoke to the old man from his hiding-place and said,
"Tell your son-in-law that he must take his last look, for that you
are going to kill him now." The old man said this as he had been