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“Think his dad would let him go out if he had 'lipsy ?” said Jehu, who believed nothing he couldn't see.

“ Again,” said Sacramento, "a band from Ukiah came here once on a pic-nic. They sat on a point which hangs over the lake, and played sweet music for hours. The people loved to hear it reverberating among the hills ; suddenly a great wave broke on the shore — a fin shone above the surface. All started back in alarm and fled ; but the bass viol, being a portly man, and having a portly instrument, could not get along very well. The fish saw him, and next day he died — both as if they were drowning.”

We spent the evening until a late hour listening to these tales, and finally one by one drew our blankets and went to sleep. Some hour or so afterwards our sleep was broken by a deep groan that startled us all; it was followed by a yell that raised us to our feet. The feminine portion of our number broke out in a scream, and the mountains echoed back the unusual noise breaking their accustomed stillness. It was all caused by Jehu. He declared he had lain thinking of the monster of the deep, when the sound of a mighty splash in the waters had aroused him fully, and he saw an immense fish with distended mouth and jaws and fiery eye swimming toward us; he screamed to awaken us, and the monster disappeared. As this was not according to the usual habits and appearance of his or her fishghostship, and even Sacramento declared it was rediculous, Jehu at length became convinced he had been dreaming, and our sleep for the remainder of the night was unbroken.

The morning came calm and beautiful. Our party was again divided. Some determined to visit the lower lake, some the upper. Jehu alone declared his intention to climb an overhanging rock, whence he could look down on the waters. This rock was known as the Lovers' Leap, whereon the Ukiah minstrels had perched themselves, and, as I afterwards learned, was the scene of the legend's birth. As Jehu turned to go, the Parson exclaimed with an emphasis that caused us all to smile, “Well, of all the inconsistencies, that man beats! He refuses to believe in the vastness of Alpha in Lyra, and yet has perfect credulity in the size of that fish."

I determined to go legend-hunting for that night. I had learned from Sacramento that an old Indian named Chochis-agua —“The Water Struggler "— who had once been chief of the Lake Indians, but had grown so old he had abdicated in favor of one of the younger members of his family, knew the whole of the legend. He was silent in the presence of his tribe ; but alone with the white man, and a few reals in expectancy, would open his mouth, and the legend might be learned. Old Chochis-agua lived some miles from the lakes on the road to Ukiah, and near Coyote Creek. There was his principal rancheria, and there he was most likely to be found. A lady who was on a visit to California, and had become deeply interested in the story of the mysterious fish, determined to accompany me the next day in search of the abdicated monarch, from whom we expected to gleam the legend of the Blue Lakes. We found the rancheria ; it was near the bend of the stream Coyote Creek, and on the borders of a copse of willows. Stretched lazily and idly in the sun were a


half-a-dozen young Indians and their squaws, engaged in an occupation very familiar to every one who has seen anything of Indian lifecatching the inhabitants which teem in their fertile heads, and disposing of them in a way very shocking to those who are indisposed to use such diet. On inquiry we learned he was down the stream, and we turned towards the place indicated. “Is it possible there can be a poetic feeling in the breasts of those hideous savages?” said my companion, a lady of culture and refinement, as we turned from this camp of Digger Indians we had visited, she for the first time to see something of savage life and learn something of savage literature. It was hardly surprising the question should be asked; the external appearance of the Digger is not more prepossessing than was their occupation. There is nothing in their bearing or manner at all impressive: their faces at best are not alive with the playful changes which thought or deep feeling show; but stolid, brutal, while their habits are filthy and disgusting in the extreme. In addition to the hideousness of their features, most of the matrons were in mourning. Their sorrow for the dead is expressed in their apparel by a total neglect of it; in their persons, by daubing lines of pitch around their foreheads, down the cheeks, across the nose, along the arms, and in the form of a St. Andrew's cross upon their breasts, extending from each shoulder to the lower ribs. The effect produced is sickening. The lady who asked the question had come to California with a vivid recollection of the Indians of Cooper's novels, and her imagination had added all the novelist had failed to express; and with an exalted idea of the Indian physique, as well as the Indian characteristics, when she learned there was a rancheria in the neighborhood she was as anxious to see them as she was to hear the story. It was with difficulty she could be persuaded to remain and seek the old chieftain after seeing his tribe. We found him an old, very old

His head was white with many snows, his limbs trembling, his steps supported by a large stick. His head was crowned with an old straw hat; a shirt and pair of overalls completed his attire. A long career, hunting, mining, roaming in California had given me some acquaintance with the Digger tongue. It is a compound of a gibberish of their own and the "greaser" Spanish of Mexico. Their words are few; so are their ideas. I greeted him with the common Buenos dias, Señor !” to which he responded, and I immediately went to work to ask what he knew of the Blue Lakes. In an instant the old man was mum. There is a way of arguing with the Indian which is as resistless to him as it is to most Indian agents, the only difference between the two being, it takes less diplomacy and sewer words, as also other things, with the Indian than with the agent. I drew from my pocket a two-bit piece, better known as a quarter of a dollar. The old man looked, but was silent. Another - they jingled; he looked more keenly, but was still silent. Another, and jingled them together; there was an uneasy look about the old fellow, but no words. Another — the old man looked hard at me, at the money, then all around to see if any one of his tribe was in sight. I made a motion as if to put the dollar in my pocket. The old man threw up his hands deprecatingly. At last he spoke: “One dollar two bittee." I hesitated, then slowly drew out another quarter, and learned


The True LEGEND OF THE BLUE LAKES, which I will give as near as possible in the language of Chochis-agua, his English not being very extensive.

“In the time of long ago, moons and moons gone by; the big rains have come and risen on the plains below ten times since then” - as there is a very heavy rain-fall, flooding the plains and washing the mountains, about every ten years in California, I suppose the old chief means about one hundred years ago —“from the Big Water,* a big canoe came filled with the pale-faces and blue eyes, all with hair clothes on like big white bear — hair sombreros, hair clothes.† The wind had blown many, many suns from there,” pointing to the north ; "and the pale-faces out on big water could not get home. Nothing to eat, no water, no aguadiente — all sick. They came to Teco Yante. Teco Yante Indians went down to bay to see palefaces. Never saw pale-face before. Indian then good Indian ; no drink fire-water, no have big sick — go hunt heap deer, heap antelope, heap bear - go fight - heap scalps. Humboldt Indians & go see pale-faces; give pale-face heap eat. Now pale-face bad 'man; bad man bring fire-water, kill Indian, no good. The Humboldt Indians and Ukiah Indians no been friends. Both tribes go to war with thousand braves; all gone now — gone as the snow on the peak, gone as the green grass when sun grows hot. || Five pale-faces stayed with the Humboldt Indians. Two of them crossed the Black Mountains and came and lived with Ukiah. Bad for tribe to take the paleface — all bad. When they come, Indian heart grow pale, and Indian squaw get bad.

Indian chief gave them the pipe, and acorns ; taught them how Indian cooked their food, and draw bow; taught them spear the fish and catch the deer, and set him in council of braves. The pale-faces knew much; taught Indian much — strong men — big run. Young Indian brave no match pale-face with spear and bow; soon beat in race and hunt. Humboldt chief and Ukiah chief each had one daughter. Chochis-agua know nothing of Humboldt chief daughter; but Te-co-nee, the soft eye, daughter of Ukiah, fine squaw. Old squaw down there. Ugh!” And never was there a more contemptuous accent than that thrown around the word "ugh!” as used by him then. It was a visible evidence of his opinion of the vast difference between the “good old times" and the new; it was also an evidence of the esteem in which men of all nations hold the very females they degrade, or companion with in their degradation.

“Te-co-nee loved strong white-face, and soon he took her to his lodge; and before two rains came, a little daughter was in the paleface lodge. They call her Bin Te-co-nee, or the soft blue eye; for like Indian, long black hair and red skin ; yet her eye pale-face eye

– like there," and he pointed to the deep blue sky overhead. “Little Bin 'Te-co-nee, or Soft Blue Eye, grew seven rains, and already was as feet as a fawn, and as graceful as a bending willow. Te-co-nee loved her, Ukiah loved her, and all tribe thought she would be big medicine. When her father went on the hunt she would wait his

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• The Pacific Ocean. † Evidently Russians. I Now Humboldt Bay.
$ I shall use modern names, as they are known to Indians themselves.
| It requires a Californian to feel the force of this simile.

coming back, and on his return her feet would fly toward the hunter like the antelopes from him, her long black hair streaming out like the horse's tail,* and her blue eyes gleaming like the sky when the sun sinks beyond the big water. Then pale-face would snatch her up and kiss her, and bear her on his shoulders where Te-co-nee would always wait to meet the pale-face. It was under big oak tree, where she first saw him.

“Seven rains had come and gone, when one day there came to Ukiah's tribe another pale-face. As soon as the others saw him they ran to meet him, and threw themselves in each other's arms, and kissed each other many, many times. Then big feast; big deer cooked whole. Ukiah Indians went to Bin-agua - blue waters — and there speared big fish; heap big fish at that feast. The pale face that came had little boy with him, eight rains old. He was named Unite-ha-snake with noise. And Bin Te-co-nee and Un-te-ha soon played, and sat under big oak, and went out in woods together, as though they had known each other forever.

“One moon the pale-face there, and Ukiah found he had taken Humboldt chief's daughter to his lodge. Un-te-ha, her boy - Ukiah no love Humboldt - fight much. He steal much Ukiah horses, and so Ukiah no love to see Un-te-ha with Bin Te-co-nee. One day Un-te-ha and Bin Te-co-nee out in forest-bear came Un-te-ha run away — leave Bin Te-co-nee. Ukiah much mad — call Un-te-ha little coward. One day Un-te-ha and Bin Te-co-nee play in Ukiah's lodge; pull down bear robe. Ukiah come home ask who pulled down robe. Bin Te-co-nee say: I did it, Ukiah. Un-te-ha say nothing. Ukiah call him little coward; tell Te-co-nee no let them play together. One more moon and Humboldt pale-face go away. Palefaces talkee — talkee much. Come Ukiah and say — have friends in Humboldt country — want to see friends ; carry Te-co-nee and Bin Te-co-nee along. Ukiah say no; I keep them until you come back. Pale-face talkee — talkee Te-co-nee two days he gone.

Kissed Te-co-nee and Bin Te-co-nee - he cry and feel bad. Come back kiss again. Go. No come back. Te-co-nee go sit under big oak tree. Look - look. No come back.

One moon go

two moon go. Te-co-nee go every day sit under big oak tree. Look - look; no come back.

Te-co-nee feel bad. Ukiah take big bear, six horses, heap big fish — send to Humboldt. Where pale-faces ? He send back:

All gone — big boat come, all go, no come back. Then Teco-nee get sick — much sick. Medicine man come. No good. Te-co-nee sit — sit under big oak. Look look. Te-co-nee all little — no body, big eyes. Medicine man build house — big fire. Put Te-co-nee in house, dance, shake his medicine-box; come holler in Te-co-nee ear, try heap to make Te-co-nee well.

No good. Te-co-nee die. Then Ukiah take Bin Te-co-nee and all tribe - go to Bin-agua, where big mountains — make lodge there. Eight rains go by. Ukiah big fight with Humboldt ; take much prisoner. Un-te-ha one. Bring all to Bin-agua. Bin Te-co-nee see Un-te-ha ; Eye grow bright - said nothing. Ukiah put braves around house

Not so poetical to us as to the Indian, whose whole soul, like an Arabian's, is centred in his horse.

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where Un-te-ha — kept seven suns. Bin "Te-co-nee never go near house. Ukiah think Bin Te-co-nee no know Un-te-ha. Seven suns bring bad Indians out. Kill um — big kill. Heap dance. Un-te-ha come. Tied to tree. Braves go to shoot him. Bin Te-co-nee run up to Un-te-ha, throw arms around him. Braves try to pull her away.

No come. Ukiah come. She tell him kill Un-te-ha, kill her. Ukiah say no, and take Un-te-ha to house. No let Bin Teco-nee see him.

“ Bin Te-co-nee wait seven suns more. Ask - ask Ukiah to see Un-te-ha once more. Go to see Un-te-ha. He say he love her much. She love him too. They talkee much; no one know what but one old squaw. Ugh! Ukiah send and take Bin Te-co-nee away. She ask Ukiah no kill Un-te-ha. Ukiah say yes he will next day. That night big moon. Bin Te-co-nee go to house where Un-te-ha was. No one see her. Cut thongs on Un-te-ha. Un-te-ha go away; she go with him. Brave see him run, give war-cry; all jump up. Old squaw run to Ukiah. Tell him Bin Te-co-nee and Un-te-ha talkee, talkee; go to big rock over Bin-agua; jump off together. Love so much, die together. Ukiah run round lake; there on rock Bin Teco-nee and Un-te-ha. Just then big war-cry- Humboldt Indian warcry. Un-te-ha hear it; he give whoop too. Give Bin Te-co-nee push, and run up mountain. Bin Te-co-nee fall in. Ukiah call big coward, and let fly arrow.

Humboldt Indian come. Big fight — burn camp, take squaws.

Ukiah run to rock; jump in water; huntee, huntee. No Bin Te-co-nee. Braves fight all night. Humboldt Indians gone, and Un-te-ha gone. Ukiah go one day to big rock; two braves with him. Old squaws on mountain cry much, paint black. Looked in Bin-agua ; cry Te-co-nee, Bin Te-co-nee! and then big fish come beautiful — look like woman - soft blue eye. Look up, see Ukiah, see braves. Ukiah stretched out arms, said Bin Te-co-nee, jumped in water. Ukiah no more. Next day braves cold, feel out, feel out, gurgle, gurgle” here putting his hand to his throat —"gurgle, gurgle, die. Heap braves, heap squaws see big fish; all die — all drown no water. Indian go away

no more to Bin-agua. Bin Te-co-nee big fish looking for Un-te-ha - big coward, big coward, snake with noise."

Here Chochis-agua ceased, I supposed with emotion, and turned away to respect his grief. “Ugh! ugh!” he cried in an instant,

” , "give me one dollar two bittee." It was given him. He jingled it for a few moments, looked apprehensively towards the camp, drew up the flap of his shirt and hid it away. Looking at the lady, who had grown interested in his narrative and came nearer as he had proceeded, he said : “Fine squaw, fine squaw! How much for your squaw? Give you two squaws, ugh!” I shook my head, and we turned away,

The old warrior growled something for a moment, and then shouted, “Give me piece baccy!” We kept on our way, and were soon out of sight and hearing.

B. R.

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