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Kut o Yis.
Start of Story
"Ah," said the son-in-law, "you talk back to me. That makes me still
angrier at you." He put an arrow on the string and shot at the old
man, but did not hit him. Kut-o-yis´ said to the old man, "Pick up
that arrow and shoot it back at him"; and the old man did so. Now,
they shot at each other four times, and then the old man said to
Kut-o-yis´, "I am afraid now; get up and help me. If you do not, I
think he will kill me." Then Kut-o-yis´ rose to his feet and said to
the son-in-law, "Here, what are you doing? I think you have been
treating this old man badly for a long time. Why do you do it?"
"Oh no," said the son-in-law, and he smiled at Kut-o-yis´ in a
friendly way, for he was afraid of him. "Oh no; no one thinks more
of this old man than I do. I have always been very good to him."
"No," said Kut-o-yis´. "You are saying what is not true, and I am
going to kill you now."
Kut-o-yis´ shot the son-in-law four times and he fell down and
died. Then the young man told his father to go and bring down to him
the daughters who had acted badly toward him. The old man did so and
Kut-o-yis´ punished them. Then he went up to the lodges and said to
the youngest woman, "Did you love your husband?" "Yes," said the
girl, "I loved him." So Kut-o-yis´ punished her too, but not so
badly as he had the other daughters, because she had been kind to
To the old people he said, "Go over now to that lodge and live
there. There is plenty of food, and when that is gone I will kill
more. As for me, I shall make a journey. Tell me where there are any
people. In what direction shall I go to find a camp?"
"Well," said the old man, "up here on Two Medicine Lodge Creek there
are some people--up where the piskun is, you know."
Kut-o-yis´ followed up the stream to where the piskun was and there
found many lodges of people. In the centre of the camp was a big
lodge, and painted on it the figure of a bear. He did not go to this
lodge, but went into a small lodge where two old women lived. When
he had sat down they put food before him--lean dried meat and some
"How is this, grandmothers?" he said. "Here is a camp with plenty of
fat meat and back fat hanging up to dry; why do you not give me some
"Hush; be careful," said the old women. "In that big lodge over
there lives a big bear and his wives and children. He takes all the
best food and leaves us nothing. He is the chief of this place."
Early in the morning Kut-o-yis´ said to the old women, "Harness up
your dogs to the travois now and go over to the piskun, and I will
kill some fat meat for you."
When they got there, he killed a fat cow and helped the old women to
cut it up, and they took it to the lodge. One of those old women
said, "Ah me, the bears will be sure to come."
"Why do you say that?" he asked.
They said to him, "We shall be sorry to lose this back fat."
"Do not fear," he said. "No one shall take this back fat from you.
Now, take all those best pieces and hang them up, so that those who
live in the bear lodge may see them."
They did so. Pretty soon the old bear chief said to one of his
children, "By this time I think the people have finished killing. Go
out now and look about; see where the nicest pieces are, and bring
in some nice back fat."
One of the young bears went out of the lodge and stood up and looked
about, and when it saw this meat hanging by the old women's lodge
close by, it went over toward it.
"Ah," said the old women, "there are those bears."
"Do not be afraid," said Kut-o-yis´.
The young bear went over to where the meat was hanging and stood up
and began to pull it down. Kut-o-yis´ went out of the lodge and
said, "Wait; wait! What are you doing, taking the old women's meat?"
The young bear answered, "My father told me that I should go out and
get this meat and bring it home to him."
Kut-o-yis´ hit the young bear over the head with a stick and it ran
When it had reached the lodge it told what had happened and the
father bear said, "I will go over there myself; perhaps this person
will hit me over the head."
When the old women saw the father and mother bear and all their
relations coming they were afraid, but Kut-o-yis´ jumped out of the
lodge and killed the bears one after another; all except one little
she-bear, a very small one, which got away.
"Well," said Kut-o-yis´, "you may go and breed more bears."
He told the old women to move over to the bear-painted lodge and
after this to live in it. It was theirs.
To the old women Kut-o-yis´ then said, "Now, grandmothers, where are
there any more people? I want to travel about and see them."
The old women said, "At the Point of Rocks--on Sun River--there is a
camp. There is a piskun there."
So Kut-o-yis´ set off for that place, and when he came to the camp
he went into an old woman's lodge.
The old woman gave him something to eat--a dish of bad food.
"Why is this, grandmother?" asked Kut-o-yis´. "Have you no food
better than this to give to a visitor? Down there I see a piskun;
you must kill plenty of buffalo and must have good food."
"Speak lower," said the old woman, "or you may be heard. We have no
good food because there is a great snake here who is the chief of
the camp. He takes all the best pieces. He lives over there in that