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> Issue 34 > Page 28 - The Magical Dancing-Doll

Page 28 - The Magical Dancing-Doll

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (306 reads)

takes it for granted that he has come in quest of a wife, and that such hard condi? tions will be enjoined as the price of dow? er that he will be slain. This she proceeds to tell him, and to relate how many who were much more brave and mighty than he appears to be, have fallen under the crafty dealings of their old chief, who imposes the conditions and works the death of those who come as suitors for his daughters. "Never mind," says our hero; "he'll not be able to kill me. I am pre? pared for any conditions he may be dis? posed to enjoin." Meanwhile it is soon noised abroad through the village that a strange youth has ar? rived, to solicit in marriage one of the old chief's daughters. The chief sends him a somewhat haughty message to come and pre? sent himself before him. He answers the summons in a tone still more haughty. "Tell him I won't go," is the answer re? turned. The chief thereupon relaxes some? what in his sternness, and sends a very modest request, intimating that he shall have one of his daughters in marriage, pro? vided he will remove a troublesome object, a small nuisance, that hinders him from seeing the sun from his village until it is high up in the morning. This is a high granite mountain; he will please remove that out of the way. "All right," is the quiet response; and the young man sits down in great composure. So, when the shades of evening have gath? ered over the village, he quietly takes out his little box and opens it. There, still dancing lustily, is his little com? rade (weedapcheejul). He stops suddenly, looks up, and exclaims, "Well, what is it? What do you want of me?" "I want you to level down that granite mountain," is the answer; "and I want it done before morn? ing." Ah' ("All right"), is the answer,-- kesetulahdggedes' ("I will have done it by morning"). So he shuts up his little box, lies down, and goes to sleep. But all night long he hears the sound of laborers at their work. There is pounding, tram? pling, shouting, shovelling; and when he a- wakes, lo! the whole mountain has been re? moved. When the chief awakes he hardly knows where he is; he is astonished out of measure. "He shall be my son-in-law," he exclaims; "go, call him, and tell him to come hither." The young man now obeys his summons. But the chief requires something further be? fore he will give him the hand of his daughter. He happens to be at war with a powerful neighboring tribe, and he in? dulges the hope that by engaging the young man in the war, he can cause him to fall by the hands of his enemies. He informs him that he wishes to surprise and destroy a village belonging to the enemy. "I will join you," says the young man. "Muster your warriors, and we will start to-morrow upon the expedition." Arrangements are ac? cordingly made, and everything is got ready for an early start. But our hero de? parts that very evening, and comes in sight of the village. There he uncovers his box and explains his wishes to the "dancing doll." He then lies down and sleeps. All night long he hears the noise of war, the shouts of men, the clash of arms, the shrieks of women and children, and the groans of the wounded and dying. The noise and commotion grow fainter and fainter, and at length cease 'altogether. Morning dawns; he proceeds to view the vil? lage. All is silent and still; every soul is cut off,--men, women, and children are all dead. He now returns, and on his way meets the chief and warriors moving on to? wards the enemy's village. He reports that he has destroyed the whole place as re? quested. 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