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Kut o Yis.

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"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 her parents.

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 belly fat. "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 of that?" "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 home crying.

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 snake-painted lodge."


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