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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Fire-Plume"

The Fire-Plume

No, no; they will say that I have slain him, and they will require blood for blood. Oh! my cousin, whither are you gone?"

He would have rested to restore his mind to its peace, but he could not sleep; and, without further regard to net or canoe, he set off for the village, running all the way.

As they saw him approaching at such speed and alone, they said, "Some accident has happened."

When he had come into the village, he told them how Wassamo had disappeared. He stated all the circumstances. He kept nothing to himself. He declared all that he knew.

Some said, "He has killed him in the dark." Others said, "It is impossible; they were like brothers; they would have fallen for each other. It can not be."

At the cousin's request, many of the men visited the fish-fire. There were no marks of blood. No hasty steps were there to show that any conflict or struggle had occurred. Every leaf on every tree was in its place; and they saw, as the cousin had before, that the foot-prints of Wassamo stopped in the wood, as if he had gone no further upon the earth, but had ascended into the air.

They returned to the village, and no man was the wiser as to the strange and sudden vanishing of Wassamo. None ever looked to see him more; only the parents, who still hoped and awaited his return.

The spring, with all its blossoms and its delicate newness of life, came among them; the Indians assembled to celebrate their vernal feast from all the country round.

Among them came the sad cousin of Wassamo. He was pale and thin as the shadow of the shaft that flies. The pain of his mind had changed his features, and wherever he turned his eyes, they were dazzled with the sight of the red blood of his friend.

The parents of Wassamo, far gone in despair, and weary with watching for his return, now demanded the life of Netawis. The village was stirred to its very heart by their loud lamentings; and, after a struggle of pity, they decided to give the young man's life to the parents. They said that they had waited long enough.

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