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Of Glooskap And The Three Other Seekers
by [?]


Of old time. Now when it was noised abroad that whoever besought Glooskap could obtain the desire of his heart, there were three men who said among themselves, “Let us seek the Master.” So they left their home in the early spring when the bluebird first sang, and walked till the fall frosts, and then into winter, and ever on till the next midsummer. And having come to a small path in a great forest, they followed it, till they came out by a very beautiful river; so fair a sight they had never seen, and so went onward till it grew to be a great lake. And so they kept to the path which, when untrodden, was marked by blazed trees, the bark having been removed, in Indian fashion, on the side of the trunk which is opposite the place where the wigwam or village lies towards which it turns. So the mark can be seen as the traveler goes towards the goal, but not while leaving it.

Then after a time they came to a long point of land running out into the lake, and, having ascended a high hill, they saw in the distance a smoke, which guided them to a large, well-built wigwam. And, entering, they found seated on the right side a handsome, healthy man of middle age, and by the other a woman so decrepit that she seemed to be a hundred years old. Opposite the door, and on the left side, was a mat, which seemed to show that a third person had there a seat.

And the man made them welcome, and spoke as if he were weleda’asit kesegvou (M.)–well pleased to see them, but did not ask them whence they came or whither they were going, as is wont among Indians when strangers come to their homes or are met in travel. Erelong they heard the sound of a paddle, and then the noise of a canoe being drawn ashore. And there came in a youth of fine form and features and well clad, bearing weapons as if from hunting who addressed the old woman as Kejoo, or mother, and told her that he had brought game. And with sore ado–for she was feeble–the old dame tottered out and brought in four beavers; but she was so much troubled to cut them up that the elder, saying to the younger man Uoh-keen! (M.), “My brother,” bade him do the work. And they supped on beaver. So they remained for a week, resting themselves, for they were sadly worn with their wearisome journey, and also utterly ragged. And then a wondrous thing came to pass, which first taught them that they were in an enchanted land. For one morning the elder man bade the younger wash their mother’s face. And as he did this all her wrinkles vanished, and she became young and very beautiful; in all their lives the travelers had never seen so lovely a woman. Her hair, which had been white and scanty, now hung to her feet, dark and glossy as a blackbird’s breast. Then, having been clad in fine array, she showed a tall, lithe, and graceful form at its best.

And the travelers said to themselves, “Truly this man is a great magician!” They all walked forth to see the place. Never was sunshine so pleasantly tempered by a soft breeze; for all in that land was fair, and it grew fairer day by day to all who dwelt there. Tall trees with rich foliage and fragrant flowers, but without lower limbs or underbrush, grew as in a grove, wide as a forest, yet so far apart that the eye could pierce the distance in every direction.

Now when they felt for the first time that they were in a new life and a magic land, he that was host asked them whence they came and what they sought. So they said that they sought Glooskap. And the host replied, “Lo, I am he!” And they were awed by his presence, for a great glory and majesty now sat upon him. As the woman had changed, so had he, for all in that place was wonderful.