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The Chenoo, Or The Story Of A Cannibal With An Icy Heart
by [?]

The Indian was so small by these giants that the stranger did not notice him. “Now,” said his friend, “thrust the horn into her ear!” He did this with a well-directed blow; he struck hard; the point entered her head. At the touch it sprouted quick as a flash of lightning, it darted through the head, it came out of the other ear, it had become like a long pole. It touched the ground, it struck downward, it took deep and firm root.

The male Chenoo bade him raise the other end of the horn and place it against a large tree. He did so. It coiled itself round the tree like a snake, it grew rapidly; the enemy was held hard and fast. Then the two began to dispatch her. It was long and weary work. Such a being, to be killed at all, must be hewed into small pieces; flesh and bones must all be utterly consumed by fire. Should the least fragment remain unburnt, from it would spring a grown Chenoo, with all the force and fire of the first. [Footnote: The idea is common to both Eskimo and Indian that so long as a fragment of a body remains unburned, the being, man or beast, may, by magic, be revived from it. It was probably suggested by observing the great vitality and power of self-production inherent in many lower forms of life, and may have given rise to the belief in vampires.]

The fury of battle past, the Chenoos had become of their usual size. The victor hewed the enemy to small pieces, to be revenged for the insult and threat as to eating his liver. He, having roasted that part of his captive, ate it before her; while she was yet alive he did this. He told her she was served as she would have served him.

But the hardest task of all was to come. It was to burn or melt the heart. It was of ice, and more than ice: as much colder as ice is colder than fire, as much harder as ice is harder than water. When placed in the fire it put out the flame, yet by long burning it melted slowly, until they at last broke it to fragments with a hatchet, and then melted these. So they returned to the camp.

Spring came. The snows of winter, as water, ran down the rivers to the sea; the ice and snow which had encamped on the inland hills sought the shore. So did the Indian and his wife; the Chenoo, with softened soul, went with them. Now he was becoming a man like other men. Before going they built a canoe for the old man: they did not cover it with birch bark; they made it of moose-skin. [Footnote: “The Indians have several names for a canoe: Kwedun (M.); A’kweden (P.); N’tooal (M.), my canoe or my water-craft of any kind; Mooseoolk, a canoe covered with moose-skin (M.); Skogumoolk (M..), a new canoe; N’canoolk (M.), an old canoe.”–Rand manuscript. To these may be added the different patterns of canoes peculiar to different tribes, as for instance the Mohawk, which is broad, with peculiar ends, etc.] In it they placed a part of their venison and skins. The Chenoo took his place in it; they took the lead, he followed.

And after winding on with the river, down rapids and under forest-boughs, they came out into the sunshine, on a broad, beautiful lake. But suddenly, when midway in the water, the Chenoo laid flat in the canoe, as if to hide himself. And to explain this he said that be had just then been discovered by another Chenoo, who was standing on the top of a mountain, whose dim blue outline could just be seen stretching far away to the north. “He has seen me,” he said, “but he cannot see you. Nor can he behold me now; but should he discover me again, his wrath will be roused. Then he will attack me; I know not who might conquer. I prefer peace.”