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Story Of The Three Strong Men
by [?]


There was a chieftain in the days of yore. He had a great desire for a poor girl who was a servant, and who worked for him. To win this girl he first I most lose his wife. He took his wife afar into the woods to gather spruce-gum, and then left her there.

She soon found out that she had lost her way, and, wandering, she lost it more and more for many days, until she came at last to a bear’s den, where, going in, she found the Chief of all the bears, who welcomed her, provided for her wants, and furnished her with pleasant food; but as the meat was raw he went into a neighboring town for fire. And as she lived with him she was to him in all things as he wished, and as a wife.

So that it came to pass, as time went on, that a new-comer was expected, and she bade the Bear provide the baby’s clothes. And when the long-expected infant came it was a boy, large, beautiful, and strong; he was in everything beyond all other boys.

And as the child was born in a strange way, he very soon displayed a magic power. No baby ever grew so rapidly: when four months old he wrestled with the Bear and threw him easily upon the floor. And so the mother saw that he would be a warrior, and the chief of other men.

She loathed the life she led, and wished to leave, and live as she had done in days of old. To this the Bear would in nowise consent, and as her son was human, like herself, he loved his mother best, and thought with her.

One day he said, “Now I can wrestle well and throw the Bear as often as I choose. When I next time cast him upon the ground, catch up a club; the rest remains for you!”

They waited yet a while till he had grown so strong that the Bear was nothing in his grasp. One day they wrestled as they ever did, and then the woman, with a vigorous blow, strengthened by hate and famishing desire of freedom and a better human life, laid him in death upon the mossy floor.

They went their way back to the chieftain’s town, and found him married to the servant-girl. The mother only spoke, and the wild boy tore down the wigwam of the Indian chief just with a blow, and then he called aloud unto the Lightning in the sky above, “Come down to me and help me in my need! Build a grand wigwam such as man ne’er saw! Build it, I say, and for my mother here!”

The Lightning came, and with a single flash built such a home as man had never seen.

And then he said, “Mother, I mean to go and travel everywhere, until I find another man who is as strong as I. When he is found I will return to thee.”

So on he went afar until he saw a man who lifted up a vast canoe with many people in it. This he did, raising it in the water; but the boy bore it ashore, and lifted it on land.

And so the two agreed that they would go on together until they found a third equal to them in strength, if such a man were living anywhere in all the world.

So traveling by hill and lake, they went, until one day, far in a lonely land, they saw a man rolling a mighty rock, large as the largest wigwam, up a hill. But the Bear’s son, lifting the stone with ease, threw it afar over the mountain-top,–threw it afar beyond the rocky range; they heard it thunder down the depths below.

Then the three strong men went to hunt the moose. He who had tossed the ship remained in camp to do the cooking, while the others went with bow and spear afar to find their game.