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Main > United States folktales > Fairy tale "An Event in Indian Park"

An Event in Indian Park

It was during the years when the Saranacs were divided that Howling Wind, one of the young men of Indian Carry, saw and fell in love with a girl of the family on Tupper Lake. He quickly found a way to tell his liking, and the couple met often in the woods and on the shore. He made bold to row her around the quieter bays, and one moonlight evening he took her to Devil's Rock, or Devil's Pulpit, where he told her the story of the place. This was to the effect that the fiend had paddled, on timbers, by means of his tail, to that rock, and had assembled fish and game about him in large numbers by telling them that he was going to preach to them, instead of which moral procedure he pounced upon and ate all that were within his grasp.

As so often happened in Indian history, the return of these lovers was seen by a disappointed rival, who had hurried back to camp and secured the aid of half a dozen men to arrest the favored one as soon as he should land. The capture was made after a struggle, and Howling Wind was dragged to the chief's tent for sentence. That sentence was death, and with a refinement of cruelty that was rare even among the Indians, the girl was ordered to execute it. She begged and wept to no avail. An axe was put into her hands, and she was ordered to despatch the prisoner. She took the weapon; her face grew stern and the tears dried on her cheeks; her lover, bound to a tree, gazed at her in amazement; his rival watched, almost in glee. Slowly the girl crossed the open space to her lover. She raised the tomahawk and at a blow severed the thongs that held him, then, like a flash, she leaped upon his rival, who had sprung forward to interfere, and clove his skull with a single stroke. The lovers fled as only those can fly who run for life. Happily for them, they met a party from the Carry coming to rescue Howling Wind from the danger to which his courtship had exposed him, and it was even said that this party entered the village and by presenting knives and arrows at the breast of the chief obtained his now superfluous consent to the union of the fugitives.

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Category: Andersen Hans Christian
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