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Leelinau, The Lost Daughter
by [?]

Leelinau was the favorite daughter of a hunter, who lived on the lake shore near the base of the lofty highlands, called Kaug Wudjoo.

From her earliest youth she was observed to be thoughtful and retiring. She passed much of her time in solitude, and seemed ever to prefer the companionship of her own shadow to the society of the lodge-circle.

Whenever she could leave her father’s lodge she would fly to remote haunts and recesses in the woods, or sit in lonely reverie upon some high promontory of rock overlooking the lake. In such places she would often, with her face turned upward, linger long in contemplation of the air, as if she were invoking her guardian spirit, and beseeching him to lighten her sadness.

But amid all the leafy haunts, none drew her steps toward it so often as a forest of pines, on the open shore, called Manitowok, or the Sacred Wood. It was one of those hallowed places which is the resort of the little wild men of the woods, and of the turtle spirits or fairies which delight in romantic scenes. Owing to this circumstance, its green retirement was seldom visited by Indians, who feared to fall under the influence of its mischievous inhabitants.

And whenever they were compelled by stress of weather to make a landing on this part of the coast, they never failed to leave an offering of tobacco, or some other token, to show that they desired to stand well with the proprietors of the fairy ground.

To this sacred spot Leelinau had made her way at an early age, gathering strange flowers and plants, which she would bring home to her parents, and relate to them all the haps and mishaps that had occurred in her rambles.

Although they discountenanced her frequent visits to the place, they were not able to restrain them, for she was of so gentle and delicate a temper that they feared to thwart her.

Her attachment to the fairy wood, therefore, grew with her years. If she wished to solicit her spirits to procure pleasant dreams, or any other maiden favor, Leelinau repaired to the Manitowok. If her father remained abroad in the hunt later than usual, and it was feared that he had been overwhelmed by the tempest, or had met with some other mischance, Leelinau offered up her prayers for safety at the Manitowok. It was there that she fasted, mused, and strolled.

She at length became so engrossed by the fairy pines that her parents began to suspect that some evil spirit had enticed her to its haunts, and had cast upon her a charm which she had not the power to resist.

This belief was confirmed when, one day, her mother, who had secretly followed her, overheard her murmuring to some unknown and invisible companion, appeals like these:

“Spirit of the dancing leaves!” whispered Leelinau, “hear a throbbing heart in its sadness. Spirit of the foaming stream! visit thou my nightly pillow, shedding over it silver dreams of mountain brook and pebbly rivulet. Spirit of the starry night! lead my foot-prints to the blushing mis-kodeed, or where the burning passion-flower shines with carmine hue. Spirit of the greenwood plume!” she concluded, turning with passionate gaze to the beautiful young pines which stood waving their green beauty over her head, “shed on me, on Leelinau the sad, thy leafy fragrance, such as spring unfolds from sweetest flowers, or hearts that to each other show their inmost grief. Spirits! hear, O hear a maiden’s prayer!”

Day by day, these strange communings with unseen beings drew away the heart of Leelinau more and more from the simple duties of the lodge, and she walked among her people, melancholy and silent, like a spirit who had visited them from another land.

The pastimes which engaged the frolic moments of her young companions, passed by her as little trivial pageants in which she had no concern.