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again all at once, we may be friends.
To begin, tell me, what have you on
your mind? Come, make a friend of

He looked at her in alarm.
She smiled.



'Shall I guess?" said

"You will never guess," said he; "and I shall never have the heart to tell you."

"Let me try. Well, I think you have run in debt, and are afraid to ask me for the money."

Griffith was greatly relieved by this conjecture; he drew a long breath; and, after a pause, said cunningly, "What made you think that?"

"Because you came here for money, and not for happiness. You told me so in the Grove."

"That is true. What a sordid wretch you must think me!"

"No, because you were under a delusion. But I do believe you are just the man to turn reckless, when you thought me false, and go drinking and dicing." She added eagerly, "I do not suspect you of anything worse."

He assured her that was not the way of it.

"Then tell me the way of it. You must not think, because I pester you not with questions, I have no curiosity. O, how often I have longed to be a bird, and watch you day and night unseen! How would you have liked that? I wish you had been one, to watch me. Ah, you don't answer. Could you have borne so close an inspection, sir?”

Griffith shuddered at the idea; and his eyes fell before the full gray orbs of his wife.

fell sick of a fever, a brain-fever: the doctor blooded me."

"Alas! would he had taken mine instead."

"And I lost my wits for several days; and when I came back, I was weak as water, and given up by the doctor; and the first thing I saw was an old hag set a-making of my shroud."

Here the narrative was interrupted a moment by Mrs. Gaunt seizing him convulsively; and then holding him tenderly, as if he was even now about to be taken from her.

"The good people nursed me, and so did their daughter, and I came back from the grave. I took an inn; but I gave up that, and had to pay forfeit ; and so my money all went; but they kept me on. To be sure I helped on the farm: they kept à hostelry as well. By and by came that murrain among the cattle. Did you have it in these parts, too?"

"I know not; nor care. Prithee, leave cattle, and talk of thyself."

"Well, in a word, they were ruined, and going to be sold up. I could not bear that I became bondsman for the old man. It was the least I could do. Kate, they had saved thy husband's life."

"Not a word more, Griffith. How much stand you pledged for?" "A large sum."

"Would five hundred pounds be of any avail ?"

"Five hundred pounds! Ay, that it would, and to spare; but where can I get so much money? And the time so short."

"Give me thy hand, and come with

"Well, never mind," said she. "Tell me," said Mrs. Gaunt, ardently. me your story.”

"Well, then, when I left you, I was raving mad."

"That is true, I'll be sworn."

"I let my horse go; and he took me near a hundred miles from here, and stopped at-at-a farm-house. The good people took me in."

"God bless them for it. I'll ride and thank them."

"Nay, nay; 't is too far. There I

She took his hand, and made a swift rush across the lawn. It was not exactly running, nor walking, but some grand motion she had when excited. She put him to his stride to keep up with her at all; and in two minutes she had him into her boudoir. She unlocked a bureau, all in a hurry, and took out a bag of gold. "There!" she cried, thrusting it into his hand, and blooming all over with joy and eagerness: "I

thought you would want money; so I saved it up. You shall not be in debt a day longer. Now mount thy horse, and carry it to those good souls; only, for my sake, take the gardener with thee, - I have no groom now but he,—and both well armed."

"What! go this very day?"

"Ay, this very hour. I can bear thy absence for a day or two more,-I have borne it so long; but I cannot bear thy plighted word to stand in doubt a day, no, not an hour. I am your wife, sir, your true and loving wife: your honor is mine, and is as dear to me now as it was when you saw me with Father Leonard in the Grove, and read me all

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Ay, but," said Mrs. Gaunt, very softly, "I am afraid if I keep you another hour I shall not have the heart to let you go at all; and the sooner gone, the sooner back for good, please God. There, give me one kiss, to live on, and begone this instant."

He covered her hands with kisses and tears. "I'm not worthy to kiss any higher than thy hand," he said, and so ran sobbing from her.

He went straight to the stable, and saddled Black Dick.


VERY one who has fed his boyish

fancy with the stories of pioneers and hunters has heard of the character known among Indians as the "medicine-man." But it may very likely be the case that few of those familiar with the term really know the import of the word. A somewhat protracted residence among the Blackfoot tribe of Indians, and an extensive observation of men and manners as they appear in the wilder parts of the Rocky Mountains and British America, have enabled the writer to give some facts which may not prove wholly uninteresting.

By the term "medicine" much more is implied than mere curative drugs, or a system of curative practice. Among all the tribes of American Indians, the word is used with a double signification, a literal and narrow meaning, and a general and rather undefined application. It signifies not only physical remedies and the art of using them, but second-sight, prophecy, and preternatural power. As an adjective, it embraces the idea of supernatural as well as remedial.

VOL. XVIII. — NO. 105.


As an example of the use of the word in its mystic signification, the following may be given. The horse, as is well known, was to the Indian, on its first importation, a strange and terrible beast. Having no native word by which to designate this hitherto unknown creature, the Indians contrived a name by combining the name of some familiar animal, most nearly resembling the horse, with the " medicine term denoting astonishment or awe. Consequently the Blackfeet, adding to the word "Elk" (Pounika) the adjective "medicine" (tōs), called the horse Pounika-ma-ta, i. e. Medicine Elk. This word is still their designation for a horse.

With this idea of medicine, and recollecting that the word is used to express two classes of thoughts very different, and separated by civilization, though confounded by the savage, it will not surprise one to find that the medicine-men are conjurers as well as doctors, and that their conjurations partake as much of medical quackery as does their medical practice of affected incantation. As physicians, the medi

cine-men are below contempt, and, but for the savage cruelty of their ignorance, undeserving of notice. The writer has known a man to have his uvula and palate torn out by a medicineman. In that case the disease was a hacking cough caused by an elongation of the uvula; and the remedy adopted (after preparatory singing, dancing, burning buffalo hair, and other conjurations) was to seize the uvula with a pair of bullet-moulds, and tear from the poor wretch every tissue that would give way. Death of course ensued in a short time. The unfortunate man had, however, died in "able hands," and according to the "highest principles of [Indian] medical art."

Were I to tell how barbarously I have seen men mutilated, simply to extract an arrow-head from a wound, the story would scarce be credited. Common sense has no place in the system of Indian medicine-men, nor do they appear to have gained an idea, beyond the rudest, from experience.

In their quality of seers, however, they are more important, and frequently more successful persons, attaining, of course, various degrees of proficiency and reputation. An accomplished dreamer has a sure competency in that gift. He is reverently consulted, handsomely paid, and, in general, strictly obeyed. His influence, when once established, is more potent even than that of a war chief. The dignity and profit of the position are baits sufficient to command the attention and ambition of the ablest men; yet it is not unfrequently the case that persons otherwise undistinguished are noted for clear and strong powers of "medicine.”

Of the three most distinguished medicine-men known to the writer, but one was a man of powerful intellect. Even this person preferred a somewhat sedentary, and what might be called a strictly professional life, to the usual active habits of the hunting and warring tribes. He dwelt almost alone on a far northern branch of the Saskatchewan River, revered for his gifts, feared for his power, and always approached with something

of reluctance by the Indians, who firmly believed the spirit of the gods to dwell within him. He was an austere and taciturn man, difficult of access, and as vain and ambitious as he was haughty and contemptuous. Those who professed to have witnessed the scene told of a trial of power between this man -the Black Snake, as he was called - and a renowned medicine-man of a neighboring tribe. The contest, from what the Indians said, must have occurred about 1855.

The rival medicine-men, each furnished with his medicine-bag, his amulets, and other professional paraphernalia, arrayed in full dress, and covered with war-paint, met in the presence of a great concourse. Both had prepared for the encounter by long fasting and conjurations. After the pipe, which precedes all important councils, the medicine-men sat down opposite to each other, a few feet apart. The trial of power seems to have been conducted on principles of animal magnetism, and lasted a long while without decided advantage on either side; until the Black Snake, concentrating all his power, or "gathering his medicine," in a loud voice commanded his opponent to die. The unfortunate conjurer succumbed, and in a few minutes "his spirit," as my informant said, "went beyond the Sand Buttes." The only charm or amulet ever used by the Black Snake is said to have been a small bean-shaped pebble suspended round his neck by a cord of moose sinew. He had his books, it is true, but they were rarely exhibited.*

The death of his rival, by means so purely non-mechanical or physical, gave the Black Snake a pre-eminence in "medicine" which he has ever since maintained. It was useless to suggest

The Mountain Assinaboins, of which tribe the Black Snake is (if living) a distinguished ornament, were visited more than a hundred years since by an English clergyman named Wolsey, who devised an alphabet for their use. The alphabet is still used by them, and they keep their memoranda on dressed skins. With the exception of the Cherokees, they are, perhaps, the only tribe possessing a written language. They have no other civilization.

poison, deception, or collusion, to explain the occurrence. The firm belief was that the spiritual power of the Black Snake had alone secured his triumph.


I mentioned this story to a highly educated and deeply religious man of my acquaintance. He was a priest of the Jesuit order, a European by birth, formerly a professor in a Continental university of high repute, and beyond doubt a guileless and pious man. acquaintance with Indian life extended over more than twenty years of missionary labor in the wildest parts of the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. To my surprise, (for I was then a novice in the country,) I found him neither astonished, nor shocked, nor amused, by what seemed to me so gross a superstition.

"I have seen," said he, "many exhibitions of power which my philosophy cannot explain. I have known predictions of events far in the future to be literally fulfilled, and have seen medicine tested in the most conclusive ways. I once saw a Kootenai Indian (known generally as Skookum-tamaherewos, from his extraordinary power) command a mountain sheep to fall dead, and the animal, then leaping among the rocks of the mountain-side, fell instantly lifeless. This I saw with my own eyes, and I ate of the animal afterwards. It was unwounded, healthy, and perfectly wild. Ah!" continued he, crossing himself and looking upwards, "Mary protect us! the medicine-men have power from Sathanas."*

This statement, made by so responsible a person, attracted my attention to what before seemed but a clumsy

species of juggling. During many months of intimate knowledge of Indian life, as an adopted member of a tribe, as a resident in their camps, and their companion on hunts and war-parties, — I lost no opportunity of gathering information concerning their religious belief and traditions, and the system of medicine, as it prevails in its purity. It would be foreign to the design of this desultory paper to enter at large upon the history of creation as preserved by the Indians in their traditions, the conflicts of the Beneficent Spirit with the Adversary, and the InIdian idea of a future state. With all these, the present sketch has no further concern than a mere statement that "medicine" is based upon the idea of an overruling and all-powerful Providence, who acts at His good pleasure, through human instruments. Those among Christians who entertain the doctrine of Special Providences may find in the untutored Indian a faith as firm as theirs, — not sharply defined, or understood by the Indian himself, but inborn and ineradicable.

The Indian, being thoroughly ignorant of all things not connected with war or the chase, is necessarily superstitious. His imagination is active,generally more so than are his reasoning powers, — and fits him for a ready belief in the powers of any able mediciner. On one occasion, Meldram, a white man in the employ of the American Fur Company, found himself suddenly elevated to high rank as a seer by a foolish or petulant remark. He was engaged in making a rude press for baling furs, and had got a heavy lever in position. A large party of Crow Indians who were near at hand, con


*I do not feel at liberty to give the name of this sidering his press a marvel of mechaniexcellent man, now perhaps no more. In 1861, he lived and labored, with a gentleness and zeal worthy of the cause he heralded, as a missionary among the Kalispelm Indians, on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. Such devotion to missionary labor as was his may well challenge admiration even from those who think him in fatal error. His memory will long be cherished by those who knew the purity of his character, his generous catholicity of spirit, and the native and acquired graces of mind which made him a companion at once charming and instructive.

cal ingenuity, were very inquisitive as to its uses. Meldram, with an assumption of severity, told them the machine snow medicine," and that it would make snow to fall until it reached the end of a cord that dangled from the lever and reached within a yard of the ground. The fame of so potent a medicine spread rapidly through the Crow

nation. The machine was visited by hundreds, and the fall of snow anxiously looked for by the entire tribe. To the awe of every Indian, and the astonishment of the few trappers then at the mouth of the Yellowstone, the snow actually reached the end of the rope, and did not during the winter attain any greater depth. Meldram found greatness thrust upon him. He has lived for more than forty years among the Crows, and when I knew him was much consulted as a medicine-man. His chief charms, or amulets, were a large bull's-eye'silver watch, and a copy of "Ayer's Family Almanac," in which was displayed the human body encircled by the signs of the zodiac.

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The position and ease attendant upon a reputation for medicine power cause many unsuccessful pretenders to embrace the profession; and it would seem strange that their failures should not have brought medicine into disrepute. In looking closely into this, a well-marked distinction will always be found between medicine and the medicine-man, quite as broad as is made with us between religion and the preacher. I have seen would-be medicine-men laughed at through the camp, - men of reputation as warriors, and respected in council, but whose forte was not the reading of dreams or the prediction of events. On the other hand, I have seen persons of inferior intellect, without courage on the war-path or wisdom in the council, revered as the channels through which, in some unexplained manner, the Great Spirit warned or advised his creatures.

Of course it is no purpose of this paper to uphold or attack these peculiar ideas. A meagre presentation of a few facts not generally known is all that is aimed at. Whether the system of Indian medicine be a variety of Mesmerism, Magnetism, Spiritualism, or what not, others may inquire and determine. One bred a Calvinist, as was the writer, may be supposed to have viewed with suspicion the exhibitions of medicine power that almost daily presented themselves. And while, in very

numerous instances, they proved to be but the impudent pretensions of charlatans, it must be conceded, if credible witnesses are to be believed, that sometimes there is a power of second-sight, or something of a kindred nature, which defies investigation. Instances of this kind are of frequent occurrence, and easily recalled, I venture to say, by every one familiar with the Indian in his native state. The higher powers claimed for medicine are, in general, doubtfully spoken of by the Indians. Not that they deny the possibility of the power, but they question the probability of so signal a mark of favor being bestowed on a mere mortal. Powers and medicine privileges of a lower degree are more readily acknowledged. An aged Indian of the Assinaboin tribe is very generally admitted, by his own and neighboring tribes, to have been shown the happy hunting-grounds, and conducted through them and returned safely to the camp of his tribe, by special favor of the Great Spirit. He once drew a map of the Indian paradise for me, and described its pleasant prairies and crystal rivers, its countless herds of fat buffalo and horses, its perennial and luxuriant grass, and other charms dear to an Indian's heart, in a rhapsody that was almost poetry. Another, an obscure man of the Cathead Sioux, is believed to have seen the hole through which issue the herds of buffalo which the Great Spirit calls forth from the centre of the earth to feed his children.

Medicine of this degree is not unfavorably regarded by the masses; but instances of the highest grades are extremely rare, and the claimants of such powers few in number. The Black Snake and the Kootenai, before referred to, are, if still alive, the only instances with which I am acquainted of admitted and well-authenticated powers so great and incredible. The common use of medicine is in affairs of war and the chase. Here the medicine-man will be found, in many cases, to exhibit a prescience truly astounding. Without attempting a theory

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