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“I know you have come to kill me. I shall never know good fortune again, anyhow. I have many skins and goods. With those I will pay for Kaiachououk. I can say no more.”

As he ceased speaking, Semijak’s eldest son burst out angrily:–

“Yes, we have come to kill you. Our law is a life for a life. We will not take any bribe.”

But Oggak, the second avenger, thought differently:–

“We will hurt those who are not guilty. It would be different if he had no family. What offer does he make?”

“You know that Kalleligak is the second best hunter in the North,” the agent spoke up. “And your mother, the wife of Semijak, has also sent me a letter. She says nothing but evil will come from killing the head of another family. Cannot the spirit be satisfied in some other way?”

Mr. Barlow said he would go out and return when they had talked over the matter among themselves. He always felt great pity for these far-off outcasts of humanity. To kill another could only make matters worse. It was quite probable that even a blood feud would be started and more valuable lives be sacrificed. The struggle for existence was hard enough in any case, and if he suggested their taking the law into their own hands, there was no telling where it would end.

So it turned out that the matter was settled by simple word of mouth. That was absolutely sufficient for Kalleligak. If the avengers appointed by the tribe were satisfied, not only would the spirit of the murdered chief rest quietly, but the guilty one’s life would be safe.

The agreement, duly drawn up by the agent, read as follows:–

“We will not kill you.
You are to pay–
Two white bears.
Twelve white foxes.
Three live dogs.”

That was the value set on a really great man’s life. It makes one wonder at what rate ours would be appraised in Eskimo land.