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

The Fire-Plume

The rest of the Old Spirit seemed to have done him much good, for he was very cheerful; and, first putting his head forth from the window for a puff at a sand-hill, which was his prime luxury in a morning, he said to Wassamo, "Son-in-law, you have been very patient with our long absence from your company, and you shall be rewarded. In a few days you may start with your wife to visit your relations. You can be absent one year, but at the end of that time you must return. When you get to your home-village, you must first go in alone. Leave your wife at a short distance from the lodge, and when you are welcome, then send for her. When there, do not be surprised that she disappears whenever you hear it thunder." He added, with a sly look, "That old Island Spirit has a brother down in that part of the country. You will prosper in all things, for my daughter is very diligent. All the time that you pass in sleep, she will be at work. The distance is short to your village. A path leads directly to it, and when you get there, do not forget my wants as I stated to you before."

Wassamo promised obedience to these directions, and, at the appointed time, set out in company with his wife. They traveled on a pleasant course, his wife leading the way, until they reached a rising ground.

At the highest point of this ground, she said, "We will soon get to your country."

It suddenly became broad day, as they came upon a high bank; they passed, unwet, for a short distance under the lake, and presently emerged from the water at the sand-banks, just off the shore where Wassamo had set his nets on the night when he had been borne away by the two strange females.

He now left his wife sheltered in a neighboring wood, while he advanced toward the village alone.

Musing sadly, and from time to time breaking forth in mournful cries, as he walked the shore, it was his cousin that Wassamo beheld as he turned the first point of land by the lake.

With the speed of lightning the cousin rushed forward.

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