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staggering shape, waterlogged, reeled from the rim of the storm and came battling after Kweetchel. AnnoishHaung still followed.
Kolite bent to the paddle. The little canoe rode the waves like a duck. Grimly behind her labored the big canoe of the Haida. She was lightening each moment as the slaves of Annoish-Haung bailed out the brine. Kweetchel once more took the paddle. He glanced at the compass. It It still headed them resolutely north. Among the low cloud-banks to east and west they saw islands of refuge, channels that offered escape, but Kweetchel passed them one by one, and Annoish-Haung followed fast. He fled north into the clear running sea.
Ahead of them reared a great crag, an islet of honey-gold rock, grown with bright-green moss and all hollowed with the sea. Round its base the jade-green rollers broke forever in a thresh and thunder along hidden reefs, and in time they could see the sea-lions lying as thick along the reefs as grubs on a leaf; the roaring of the happy sea-bulls mingled with the roaring of the foam.
Toward this crag Kweetchel drove straight, and Kolite thought, "This is the end," for she believed he meant to dash against the rocks and die.
Kweetchel believed at first that this was what the thing meant; then he saw, due ahead, a break in the surf and a dark hollow behind it.
He glanced back. The big canoe was very near, but hesitating-so near that he could see Annoish-Haung see Annoish-Haung striking his slaves, who had no stomach for the surf, flashing and thundering in the silver sun. KweetIchel headed for the narrow break in the reef.
The rocks seemed to leap forward and close about them like jawsgranite jaws streaming with bronze kelp-curtains. From the ledges the sea-bulls reared to gaze and bellow, and right and left the cows dived into the sea. The surf thundered to right and left of them, to east and west. Only on the path of the needle was a narrow channel of deep water.
Kweetchel yelled aloud and dug the paddle deep. The little canoe heaved, heaved, heaved to heaven; the dark mouth of the cave seemed to spin toward them; there was about one chance in a hundred.
They were through, and a sheet of foam shouldered them quietly into the cave.
Rocks buttressed the entrance, whitened with the droppings of a million tern, and these and the reefs allowed only the overflow of the foam to enter the cave. It was a very still place, floored with this shallow pool. The rocks were all covered with a rose-red incrustation, and tufted with brown and emerald weeds, in which lived enormous noduled crabs, purple and scarlet. In one wall of the cave was a rosy recess, like a shrine. Kweetchel ran the canoe behind one of the buttresses that flanked the mouth of the cave, and lifted Kolite out, and set her in this recess. this recess. Then he caught up a spear and looked from the entrance.
There was a cry of death. Death had struck the sea-hawk on the sea. The hands of the weary slaves had not been so true as the hand of Kweetchel. He saw the Haida lift for the opening of the reef, plunge forward on the shoulders of the rollers, and miss it. In an instant the great canoe was flung aside. Her
carved prow crashed upon the rock, and she split from prow to stern and sank. The slaves went down in the rush of the foam; they were broken against the reefs. Only one man, holding a spear in his teeth, leaped clear, dragged himself upward by the slippery kelp to the ledge where the sea-lions roared and swerved and made ready to charge, and staggered toward the cave. It was Annoish-Haung.
He came to the entrance of the cave, and Kweetchel met him there. They closed at once, stabbing with shortened spears. Great and fierce was Annoish-Haung among the fierce Haida, and now he was half mad with anger. He drove Kweetchel back and back into the cave. They splashed and thundered in the still pool. Their blood stained it. The water rocked, and green reflections flowed upon the rosy walls. The huge crabs ran sidewise, winnowing the water with their horrid feathered jaws. And in the niche Kolite shuddered.
Annoish-Haung shouted his warcry and drove with his spear. Kweetchel avoided it, and the impetus of the stroke carried the Haida past him. Annoish-Haung recovered instantly, but Kweetchel had had time for just one slash with the blade of his spear, across the forehead, under the head-band with its silver crest.
Blood from the shallow cut blinded Annoish-Haung. Before he could clear his eyes, Kweetchel had run in again and slashed his knee. He dropped to the other. He flung his spear, but he could not see, and it went wide. Kweetchel drove his spear into the body of Annoish-Haung. The Haida plunged forward and fell at the mouth of the cave, crashing into the shallow pool.
Red ripples ran and broke about the knees of Kweetchel. He stood heaving, panting, staring at AnnoishHaung, who lay very still. Kweetchel ran forward to look at him. Kolite screamed, but she was too late.
Stricken to death, the sea-hawk could still slay. As Kweetchel bent above him, his arms shot upward and wrapped about the body of Kweetchel. Kweetchel struggled, but he could not break away. Still bound in the embrace, but gripping his spear, he fell. The dying Haida, holding Kweetchel, hurled himself from the mouth of the cave into the sea.
Kolite ran from the recess. She leaned from the lip of the entrance and gazed down into the realms of Scanawa. She did not pray now. All her being was in her eyes.
Two minutes passed, three minutes. There was a boiling trouble in the wash of the surf. Something dark emerged. It was a man's head. A man's hands clawed feebly at the streaming rock beneath the mouth of the cave. The surf heaved him upward, sucked him away. It was Kweetchel.
Kolite stripped off her girdle. She lay on the rock, gripping with one hand. With the other, as Kweetchel was lifted again on the wave, she flung the girdle. He caught it. Somehow, on the shoulder of the wave, she dragged him into the cave. He fell forward, breathing terribly. She thought he was dead. She took his head on her knees and patted his face with her hands. In a little while Kweetchel looked at her and said:
"Annoish-Haung is dead. I killed him in the sea."
They spent three fireless days on the rock, eating sea-urchins and dulse,
while Kweetchel recovered a little from his wounds, and, like another traveler before him, frapped his ship; for the canoe had been scraped on the reef, and Kweetchel must kill a sea-lion and wrap her with strips of the hide, and brace her with splinters of AnnoishHaung's canoe washed up on the tide. He also made a very fine song about the fight in the cave, and sang it to Kolite, beating on the side of the dugout for a drum. Then, suffering badly from thirst, they put to sea again.
Their one desire was to go home. But the thing still pointed implacably north, and they did not dare disobey a spirit that had done so much for them. So north they went once more. They went north forty-eight hours straight, paddling against half a gale, the dugout making water badly. They were nearly dead when they fell in with a small trading-schooner beating down from Gold Harbor, and the captain took them on board. He could n't speak Kweetchel's language, but he knew some Haida, and Kolite told him their story. At the end of it he said:
"Where do you want to go now?" "We want to go home," said Kweetchel, sadly, through Kolite, "but we dare n't do it, because the spirit in the box says go north." And he showed the sacred compass to the white man.
The white man began to laugh. It is a way they have at the most reasonable things. He laughed and laughed. Then something in the faces of Kweetchel and Kolite made him grave.
"But you can go south," he said kindly.
"Yetzhahada, the thing says north," said Kolite, resignedly.
"It says south, too. Look."
Of course, when one end of the com
pass-needle pointed north, the other pointed south; only Kweetchel did not happen to notice this before. Their troubles were over. If they had not fallen in with the schooner, they would probably have gone on to the north pole. Now everything was all right. They could go home without fear of angering the masterful thing.
They were very happy. The captain of the schooner gave them a passage, and eventually landed them near their old village. He vainly tried to explain to Kweetchel the compass.
Kweetchel stayed with the remnant of his own people. In time missionaries found him, and he stopped eating dogs and keeping slaves, and sang hymns and wore a second-hand hat instead. He himself told me this story, with trimmings, years ago.
He was a very old man then. I thought he must have died since, but the other day I saw a little totem-pole in a store in Victoria. It was two feet high, carved of yellow cedar, and gaily painted, such as old Indians make to sell to the summer tourists on the coast. And soon as I saw it, I knew Kweetchel must have made it, for it was carved with all the characters of his saga. He was there, with Kolite and the big canoe and the little canoe and a sea-lion and an albatross, and a terrible representation of UnUna swallowing up Annoish-Haung. On the very top was something.
I went into the store. They wanted ten dollars for the pole, which was dear.
"But, as you can see," they said, "it has a heap on it. Only no one knows what the thing on the top is."
I bought the pole, because, you see, I knew all about it, and what the thing on the top was. It was a conventionalized mariner's compass.
AM not sure where or when I first met Henry James, but I distinctly remember the first important letter I got from him, though I cannot find it now. Had I been able to find it, I would have tried to get it in the very unintelligible volume that recently appeared of James's letters. I say unintelligible because I would defy any one who did not know the people of those circles to understand the volumes of letters of James, Meredith, and Swinburne. There are few or no explanations as to people and things in the letters, and the letters do not explain themselves.
Though, as I say, I am not wholly certain when or where I first met James, I remember his first letter.
an article by him on London, and
I had made a series of drawings for