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The Woman Magician

They hastily harnessed their own dogs and started in pursuit of the fugitives.

The women whipped their dogs and journeyed rapidly, but the pursuers had older and tougher animals and were likely to overtake them soon. They became very much frightened, fearing that they would all be killed in revenge for the death of the young man.

When the sledge of the men drew near and the women and children saw that they could not escape, the boy who had slain the man said to the old woman:

"The spirits of our murdered men are calling to us to cut the ice. Cannot you cut it?"

"I think I can," she answered, and she slowly drew her first finger across the path of the pursuers, muttering a magic charm as she did so.

The ice gave a terrific crack, and the water came gushing through the crevasse. They sped on, and presently she drew another line with her finger, and another crack opened and the ice between the two cracks broke up and the floe began to move.

The men, dashing ahead with all speed, could scarcely stop their dog team in time to escape falling into the open water. The floe was so wide and so long that it was impossible for them to cross, and thus the women and children were saved by the art of their conjurer.

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