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The Woman Magician

Long ago, in Aggo, a country where nobody lives nowadays, there were two large houses standing far apart. In each of these houses many families lived together. In the summer the people in the two houses went in company to hunt deer and had a good time together. When fall came they returned to their separate houses. The names of the houses were Quern and Exaluq.

One summer it happened that the men from Quern had killed many deer, while those from Exaluq had caught but a few. The latter said to each other, "They are not fair; they shoot before we have a chance;" and they became very angry.

"Let us kill them," said one.

"Yes, let us kill them, but let us wait till the end of the season, and then we can take all the game they have in their storehouse," said the others. For the game was packed in snow and ice and was taken home on dog sledges when the hunting was over.

When it came time to go home both parties agreed to go on a certain day to the storehouses and pack up the game ready to start early in the morning. This was the time for which the men of Exaluq had been waiting.

They started off all together with their sledges, but when they got a long distance from the camp and very near to the storehouse, those from Exaluq suddenly fell upon the others and slew them, for the men from Quern had never suspected that there was any ill-feeling.

Fearing that if the dogs went back to camp without their masters, the women and children would guess what had happened, they killed the dogs also. When they returned, they told the women that their husbands had separated from them and had gone off over a hill, and they did not know what had become of them.

Now one of the young men had married a girl from Quern, and he went to her house that night as usual, and she received him kindly, for she believed what she had heard about the men of her party straying off. She and all the other women thought the men would soon find their way back, as they had hunted in these parts so long that they knew the land.

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